Created By: Andygal on January 1, 2012 Last Edited By: Hero_Gal_2347 on July 19, 2014
Troped

Rescue Reversal

Somebody is rescued by the person they were trying to rescue.

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Page Type:
Trope
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.


Examples

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!

Film
  • 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.

Literature
  • 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
Community Feedback Replies: 66
  • January 1, 2012
    CaveCat
    This happened in the episode where Spongebob Squarepants 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 Spongebob.
  • January 1, 2012
    crazysamaritan
    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.
  • January 1, 2012
    Psi001
    See also Redundant Rescue and Stop Helping Me.

    • In the 2004 movie of Around The World In Eighty 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.
  • January 2, 2012
    MiinU

    Film

    • 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.
  • January 2, 2012
    Shnakepup
    That Spongebob example has no reason to be spoilered...
  • January 7, 2012
    PaulA
    Ever After isn't a full reversal: Danielle doesn't end up needing to rescue the prince.
  • January 7, 2012
    crazysamaritan
    Sorry, I missed the "but now the would-be rescuers do" part.
  • January 7, 2012
    jbrecken
    This happens to a lesser degree in Star Wars. Luke, Han and Chewie go to rescue Leia from the detention cell, but once they get her out of her cell they have no plan for how to leave the area until she shoots a hole in the wall and they jump into the garbage.
  • January 8, 2012
    MiinU
    bump.
  • April 23, 2014
    Omrega
    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.

    Might cross over with Now Let Me Carry You.
  • April 23, 2014
    DAN004
    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.
  • April 24, 2014
    Koveras
    Would this count?

    • 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.
  • April 24, 2014
    Arivne
    • Formatted the Examples section.
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added the word "Examples".
      • Added Example section media header(s).
    • Corrected spelling (characxter).
    • Corrected {anymore} to (anymore).
  • April 24, 2014
    DAN004
    Dunno if any of Omrega's bumped ykttws are up for grabs or not.
  • April 24, 2014
    Omrega
    Could this also be going from Damsel In Distress or Distressed Dude to Defiant Captive?
  • April 24, 2014
    MiinU
    @Omrega - Possibly. At the very least, there'd be some overlap between them. Speaking of which...

    Anime

    That example is already covered in the Damsel Out Of Distress entry on that page, btw.
  • April 25, 2014
    Arivne
    The Ever After example is actually Redundant Rescue and is already on that page.
  • May 27, 2014
    Omrega
    Bump.
  • May 28, 2014
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
  • May 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Well...
  • June 1, 2014
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this?
  • June 11, 2014
    DAN004
    Gonna grab this, if nobody objects... (hope anyone else wants to, though)
  • June 11, 2014
    Astaroth
    • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, Leo trys 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.
  • June 16, 2014
    Tiiba
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/13708268-418/injured-hiker-saves-rescuer-hit-by-helicopter-blades.html

    "When he learned of the injury, Kilburn hobbled, fell and crawled about 50 yards on his broken leg to Stanley."
  • June 16, 2014
    MasamiPhoenix
    In A New Hope, immediately after Luke and Hans free Leia, she has to help them find a way out. Zig Zagged since Luke (with help from CEP 0 and R 2 D 2) then has to rescue them from her rescue.
  • June 16, 2014
    BKelly95
    Would this be an example of Irony?
  • June 19, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Sounds like it to me.

    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.
  • June 20, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • June 24, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
  • June 24, 2014
    bookworm6390
    Doesn't the Superman needing to be rescued from kryptonite in the process of trying to save someone else happen a lot? Or is that just my impression from reading Showcase Presents, those old stories seem to reuse plots. Like World's Finest stories where Batman is there to dispose of the Kryptonite.
  • June 24, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ It's probably happened several times, given that that's one of the only ways his human friends can help him directly (see Now Let Me Carry You).

    And yes, things during the Silver Age did tend to repeat to some degree (see the page quote for Contagious Powers).
  • June 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • June 30, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 3, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 6, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Yeah! Only one hat left!
  • July 8, 2014
    Snicka
    Fix the name spelling of Han in the Star Wars example (it's Han, not Hans).
  • July 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Hats plz.
  • July 12, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    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.
  • July 13, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    One more hat...
  • July 13, 2014
    eroock
    Film:
    • 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.
  • July 13, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Dan, are you there?
  • July 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ eh?
  • July 13, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    New stuff.
  • July 14, 2014
    DaibhidC
    Literature:
    • 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.
  • July 14, 2014
    Larkmarn
  • July 14, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 14, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Launching soon?
  • July 14, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Would subverted Heroic Sacrifices count here?
  • July 14, 2014
    bookworm6390
    IDK. Probably would depend on the context...
  • July 15, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 15, 2014
    randomsurfer
    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.

    I'm not too satisfied with the wording above; if someone can improve on it that'd be swell.
  • July 15, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 16, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 17, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 17, 2014
    DAN004
    Launch?
  • July 17, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Your YKTTW.
  • July 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I was asking other ppl whether I can launch this now or not.
  • July 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Ah. Bump.
  • July 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^^ I thought if you grabbed a YKTTW you could launch it whenever you thought best (once it reaches 5 hats). Is that not right?
  • July 18, 2014
    DAN004
    Okay, wait a bit, I'm not with my computer right now...
  • July 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^^ Anybody out there, isn't that right? Maybe I should check it.
  • July 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Aha.

    "The general rule of launching is to let the person who proposed the trope launch it, unless they specifically said it was Up for Grabs. However, if the original creator stops replying to the discussion, and the trope is all ready to go, it's better to act and launch the trope."
  • July 18, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices? I only know of Rescue Tropes.
  • July 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Don't know. I think there's a thread for it, but technically only one index would be enough. It could pick up more as it goes on.
  • July 18, 2014
    randomsurfer
    [nevermind]
  • July 19, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ztsc1g9ziov8558xbu38k2cp&trope=RescueReversal