Rescue Reversal YKTTW Discussion

Rescue Reversal
Somebody is rescued by the person they were trying to rescue.
(permanent link) added: 2012-01-01 14:25:25 sponsor: Andygal edited by: Hero_Gal_2347 (last reply: 2014-07-19 22:14:03)

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DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

In a Rescue Arc, the rescuers will variably succeed on rescuing their teammate(s), or they may be Not Quite Saved Enough, or said captive is brought somewhere else... or this.

This plot occurs as follows:
  • Someone is captured by his enemies.
  • Their friends, realizing this, go off to rescue said someone.
  • They encounter a danger along the way, usually when they're close to said someone.
  • He/she then breaks free (or is revealed to have broken free) by some means and then he/she has to rescue them.

Maybe their rescue attempt is a Redundant Rescue because said someone is not really in danger/Bad Ass enough to escape the situation him/herself; or maybe somebody else broke the captured character out before his friends got there; or maybe the hero tricked the villain into letting him go. In any case he doesn't need help (anymore) but now the would-be rescuers do.

Can be a part of Unwanted Rescue or Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like because in this case, the rescue backfires.

Sometimes may overlap with Badass in Distress or Damsel out of Distress. Compare Now Let Me Carry You.


Anime and Manga
  • Done tragically in One Piece: Luffy finally manages to rescue Ace in Marineford, and they're running away to the Whitebeard's ship. Then Akainu insults WB in front of Ace, which provokes the latter into attacking him. He knocks Ace aside, and goes after Luffy with a magma fist... then Ace Took The Bullet for his brother. Result: Ace dies.
  • In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Captain Gray's unit extracts Dr. Aki Ross from Phantom-infested territory, but when they get back to base, they realize that Gray was infected by a Phantom, so Aki performs an emergency surgery to save him in turn.
  • In Albatross: Wings of Death, Fujiko is kidnapped and taken hostage by Prof. Lumbach. Naturally, Lupin and Co. charge to her rescue... except she saves 'em the trouble. Not only does she take over the plane, she saves Lupin while she's at it!

  • In Ever After, the prince attempts to rescue Danielle after she is sold as a slave. She meets him on the road out of the castle, carrying the sword she used to rescue herself.
  • In the 2004 Film of the Book of Around the World in 80 Days, Fog tries to pull Passepartout out of the way of a falling pillar, the latter instead pushes him out of the way when it takes too long.
  • Spider-Man 2: Peter dashes into a burning building (without his powers) to save a girl who's trapped inside. After he finds her, he doubles back, but the floor collapses beneath him, leaving him hanging on for dear life. After hoisting the girl up, she returns the favor and pulls him up. The two then escape the building.
  • In A New Hope, immediately after Luke and Han Solo free Leia, she has to help them find a way out. Zig-Zagged since Luke (with help from C3P0 and R2D2) then has to rescue them from her rescue.
  • In City Lights; a drunk and depressed eccentric millionaire is clumsily attempting to take his own life at the harbor. He has tied one end of a rope to a large stone and put the noose around his neck. The Tramp (Chaplin) comes down the steps and valiantly intervenes to prevent the man's determined suicide, but the loop in the rope falls around his neck and pulls him into the river instead. The Tramp almost drowns and he is the one who must be saved.
  • A small-scale example occurs in Transformers: The Movie. Hot Rod proclaims to Arcee that things are dangerous so she'd better stick close to him. Cue her pulling him out of the way of a blaster shot and saying he'd better stick close to her.

  • This happens in the first book of the Mistborn series, when Vin is captured and Elend tries to rescue her and predictably gets into trouble, lucky for him one of Vin's other friends already broke her out and she got her stuff back and saved his butt.
  • In The Light Fantastic, Cohen the Barbarian launches an Unwanted Rescue of an entirely voluntary Virgin Sacrifice but when he attempts to swing the girl over his shoulder, his back goes out. Much to her own surprise she finds herself having to carry him away from the druids circle.

Live-Action TV
  • In The Adventures of Superman episode "The Defeat of Superman", Superman gets locked in a room with Kryptonite while trying to rescue Lois and Jimmy. Jimmy neutralizes the radiation by shoving the Kryptonite into a lead pipe and stomping its ends closed.
    Jimmy: For once, we had to save him.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Name of the Doctor" Clara saves the Doctor by leaping into the Doctor's history to rescue him from the Great Intelligence, which also leaped in to erase the Doctor from history. When she gets lost, the Doctor sends her a plot trinket to keep her sane until he can find her in there and pull her out, rescuing her.
    How many times have you saved me, Clara? Just this once, just for the hell of it, let me save you.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Spongebob Squarepants. This happened in the episode where the title character first meets Sandy Cheeks. He sees her being attacked by a giant clam and tries to save her, but he winds up getting clamped by the crab instead, prompting Sandy to beat the clam into submission and save him.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Superman's Pal", Superman flies into Metallo's trap trying to rescue Jimmy and Jimmy winds up having to save him.
  • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Leo tries to save Splinter when the latter almost falls while climbing a fragile pipe. Leo reaches him and pulls him up, but the pipe is rapidly buckling beneath them, so Splinter pulls a grappling hook out of his robes and uses it to get both of them to safety. He could have saved himself at any time, but he wanted Leo to confront his fear of heights, and to teach him An Aesop about focusing his mind to avoid distractions.
  • Played with in the Darkwing Duck episode "Water Way to Go". Darkwing runs after Launchpad when his carrier blows away in a sandstorm, only to be blown away himself and have Launchpad chase after him. Neither saved the other; they were just fortunate enough to turn up near the villain's compound.

Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples Up for Grabs
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