The hero is knocked down by a bad guy, he's disarmed, and is going to die
. But then - BLAM!
- the bad guy's head explodes
. It turns out that there was a guy with a Sniper Rifle
(usually a Cold Sniper
, Career Killer
, or other such Badass) providing overwatch. Usually, this guy turns out to be a Big Damn Hero
who was either Just in Time
or wanted to save their bullet for the last minute to be totally awesome
Sometimes, the bullet is an Instant Death Bullet
. Other times, usually when the aforementioned bad guy is stronger
, the round acts as a ballistic "Hey, You!" Haymaker
and wounds the bad guy for the killshot.
This shooter can be anyone from a previously mentioned character with good aim to an outright Deus ex Machina
. In many works, the sniper is a Chekhov's Gunman
This trope is similar to Stab the Scorpion
. Also, compare Type A of False Gunshot
This troupe might be one that Needs a Better Title. It also might exist already. Excuse One on my part.
Also, since I'm bad at finding specific examples, it Needs More Examples - sorry!
Anime and Manga
- In the first episode of Gunslinger Girl, Henrietta screws up the mission when her Berserk Button is pressed and goes into Mook Horror Show mode, but one mook takes cover behind the furnature and is about to toss a grenade when Rico dispatches him from across the street.
- Esposito is this for Beckett at the end of the Castle episode "Kill Shot". This is especially strong thematically since the entire episode has centered around Beckett dealing with her PTSD after being shot by a sniper.
- Everpresent in Call of Duty. Many missions involve you traveling with a companion. Inevitably you'll split up and he'll tell you that he'll "cover" you, thus beginning a line of scripted enemy deaths where you'll hear him say "he's mine..." before the mook's head asplodes. Partially subverted in that, most of the time, you can preempt the script and kill the enemy yourself, or occasionally your companion will give you a choice of taking them out yourself or letting him do it.
- Seen in Modern Warfare 2.
- Family Guy, "And Then There Were Fewer." Lois is at a cliff's edge about to be killed by Diane Simmons when Simmons is shot from the house by Stewie.
- The Simpsons. In "Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge" when Homer (as the new police chief) is being menaced by Fat Tony's mafia goons in front of the house, a sniper takes them down. Marge thanks [former] Chief Wiggum but he says it wasn't him. Turns out it was Maggie Simpson - you know, the baby who shot Mr. Burns.