Perhaps the hero has just gone through the portal when it suddenly breaks, leaving him with no way back. Perhaps everyone is fleeing but the hero, probably because he is More Hero Than Thou
, insisted on everyone else going ahead of him and thus didn't make it in time. Either way, he's trapped with the big boss or in some other dangerous situation, and there's no way for anyone else to come help.
Usually this is caused by a Phlebotinum Breakdown
at the worst possible moment
, but occasionally the situation in question could be designed to only let one person through. The plot does not usually revolve around finding a way back; it's usually a simple excuse to isolate the hero with the villain or monster.
- In Star Trek IV: The Final Frontier, the transporter has just enough power to beam up Spock and Mc Coy, leaving Kirk stranded on the planet with the vengeful god.
- In The Matrix, Agent Smith shoots the phone just after Trinity gets out, leaving Neo with no exit and no choice but to fight him.
- In the first Terminator movie, Reece explains that the time machine got blown up just after he followed the Terminator through, so "It's just him and me." The subsequent movies also featured just two Terminators going back in time, but didn't bother explaining why either side didn't send more.
- Han Solo riding out to save Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, even though he knows that he won't be able to get back before the doors close.
- That one Star Trek TOS episode where aliens force Kirk to duel the lizard creature alone on the planet's surface. This is a case where the hero being stranded was actually the plan.
- In Doctor Who episode Dalek, Rose is not quite fast enough to make it through the security doors and ends up trapped with the dalek.