[[quoteright:250:[[Webcomic/TrueMagic http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/True_Magic_wolf_n_skeleton_2041.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:250:Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?]]-]

->''"'Monster' is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We’ve just gotten used to being the cat."''
-->-- '''Dr. Henry Wu''', ''Film/JurassicWorld''

[[VillainousRescue Pursued by a Big Bad Wolf? Wait till' the Bigger Badder Wolf comes in.]]

Our heroes are cornered or trapped by one scary thing or group, only to be saved by another, bigger, scarier thing or group. Sometimes the "savior" has been introduced earlier in the plot, making this an instance of ChekhovsGunman.

If the "savior" was previously the main antagonist, this may set up an unusual reaction in the viewer, who notes how his feelings about that antagonist are changed in this scene. The characters may notice the same; they may say, "I never thought I'd be so happy to see you!".

Generally the "savior" [[VillainousRescue isn't actively trying to save the protagonists]]. He's just there. And hungry. And the heroes [[OutOfTheFryingPan had best not be there once it finishes its present meal]].

May result when the hero asking "WhyIsntItAttacking" has the bigger fish behind him.

Commonly used as a DeusExMachina. See also CollidingCriminalConspiracies when the "Bigger Fish" arrives early and threatens heroes and villains equally.

Compare to AlwaysSomeoneBetter, SaveTheVillain, DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu, ExitPursuedByABear, SelfDisposingVillain, EvilerThanThou, and TheWorfEffect (in which the "big fish" character keeps encountering bigger fish). If {{invoked|Trope}}, see SummonBiggerFish. If it's a videogame, and you have to also fight the bigger fish, it's a BaitAndSwitchBoss. For actual bigger fish (and other things), see SeaMonster. If someone thinks they're scaring off an antagonist and it's really because there's a bigger fish around that they can't see, then that's ScaredOfWhatsBehindYou. (That version is usually PlayedForLaughs.)
See also CubCuesProtectiveParent where the hero is the "middle" fish.


* There is an Australian advertisement where a tourist asks locals if there are any crocodiles in the water.
-->'''Aussie:''' No. No crocodiles, mate.\\
'''Tourist:''' ''(dives in)''\\
'''Aussie:''' [[ThreateningShark Sharks ate 'em.]]
* A UsefulNotes/McDonalds ad shows a kid using french fries as bait while fishing. Soon a fish bites...and a bigger one...and an even bigger one...which ends with a long chain of fish, ending with a huge sperm whale.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSti50t-W9I HEXBUG Spider XL]] advertisement introduces two Spiders... and then the giants come, and they're scared into [[BowelBreakingBricks pooping batteries]].

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''LightNovel/Overlord2012'', the protagonist himself, Ainz Ooal Gown, ''is'' the bigger fish. As the former leader of one of the most powerful guilds in Yggdrasil before being transported to the New World, he is easily able to brush off even the most powerful of this world's monsters without so much as wasting a breath.
* In ''Manga/{{Monster}}'', Nina is saved from Professor Geidlitz by Johan. What makes this better is that they were using her as bait to lure Johan in to convince him to lead their group and make "the master race" dominant once again, seeing him as the next Hitler. Anna tried to warn them that Johan didn't care about their cause or any cause. [[EvilIsNotAToy They discover too late that she's correct.]]
* Used to great effect during the BatmanColdOpen of the ''Manga/OnePiece'' movie ''[[Anime/OnePieceFilmStrongWorld Strong World]]''. Luffy is pursued by a giant alligator, which is defeated by a [[UndergroundMonkey Forest Octopus]], which is in turn defeated by a [[BigCreepyCrawlies giant preying mantis]], which is itself defeated by a [[MixAndMatchCritters gorilla-bear]], only to have that thing finished off by Luffy himself once he gets sick of this. This is inverted with the giant shark from said opening, who is devoured by a group of ravenous ant warriors.
** Also happens in the manga. One example being after the Fishman Island arc, where a fish the crew catches is then eaten by a bigger fish, which is eaten by an even bigger fish, which is then killed by Zoro.
* A heroic variant in the ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' episode, "Birth of a Child Swordsman": Yahiko is being chased by the gang of thugs he's been dealing with the entire episode. He leads them into an narrow alleyway where he can fight them one-on-one, but the thugs wise up and approach en masse, knives drawn. Then the thugs look up and notice Kenshin and Sanosuke on the wall behind Yahiko (either of whom would've been enough to make the thugs pause). Most of the thugs flee, but the leader [[RevengeBeforeReason wants to settle the score with Yahiko.]] He ends up giving Yahiko [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome his first victory in a real fight.]]
* A(n even more) sinister variant in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': The only way to defeat The Walpurgis Night is [[spoiler:by making Madoka fight her. Doing this promptly turns her into [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the even more devastating]] Kriemhild Gretchen]].
** In the finale [[spoiler:Kriemhild Gretchen is defeated ''by Madoka'' via a {{Wishplosion}}]].
* And then the even more sinister version with [[spoiler:Homura Akemi]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', when they SummonBiggerFish using the forces of two witches and most of the Puella Magi at their best to defeat Kyubey... Only for [[spoiler:Homura to turn out to be even more powerful than everyone, and she promptly seals the power of both Kyubey and Madoka..]].
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': Freeza and his even stronger father are coming. This could mean the end of all life on Earth. As soon as they arrive, a person we've never seen before shows up and cuts them both in half with a sword.
** Done very extensively with the gods of the setting. Kami is God? Actually, he's just the god of Earth. King Kai? Actually, he's just one of four guardians of the universe, with the Grand Kai above him. And above the Grand Kai we have the Supreme Kais, the gods of creation, (though that reveal came pretty soon after the Grand Kai was revealed,) who in turn are ruled over by the Grand Supreme Kai, the ruler of the universe. And then, in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper,'' we learn that equal to the Supreme Kais are the gods of destruction, and above them all is the King of Everything, the creator of the multiverse.
* Extremely prominent in ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'', where high level predatory monsters will be dined upon by even higher level ones. Case in point, recently when the Four Beasts awoke from their centuries old slumber to invade the human world, one of them killed a Regal Mammoth with one attack. In earlier chapters, said Regal Mammoth was probably the largest creature seen in the series so far (being approximately one kilometer in height), and had the ability to inhale hundreds of smaller beasts through one of its two trunks and spitting bones out the other.
* In the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' episode "Attack of the Prehistoric Pokemon", Ash, Pikachu, and Team Rocket are stuck underground with some recently-awoken and very grumpy Omanytes, Omastars, Kabuto, and Kabutops. After some back-and-forth battling, the ancient Pokemon have them on the ropes when they suddenly look around in a panic and flee. Ash wonders why they're running. [[GiantFlyer Cue]] [[PrehistoricMonster Aerodactyl]].
* In ''Literature/{{Gate}}'', the heroes see a dragon in the distance moving towards them, when it is suddenly devoured by a '''much larger''' one, which then attacks them.

* The climax of ''Comicbook/{{Bone}}'' is an interesting double-helping of this trope: [[spoiler:the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]]-[[PhysicalGod goddess]] Mim's roaring rampage is set to wipe most of the heroes (most of the planet) off the map. Meanwhile, Thorn and Fone Bone are being pursued by the rest of the dragons, in a blind rage. The dragons pursue Thorn and Fone to the surface, at which point they see Mim, and they break off their pursuit to go [[CooldownHug calm their queen down]]]].
* In an early Sunday strip of ''Comicstrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin shrinks down suddenly to the size of a bug from the perspective of other bugs. A fly tries to step on him until a frog eats it.
* One ''Comicstrip/ShermansLagoon'' comic has a progression of Bigger Fish eating each other. When Sherman, a Great White Shark, shows up to eat the third, another fish protests, "You're going out of turn. I eat that guy, then you eat me."
* Occurs in ''ComicBook/NthManTheUltimateNinja'' when RealityWarper Alfie O'Meagan is waiting for a cosmic being called M'Gubgub. He barely avoids being stepped on by a massive alien who dwarfs the planet and proceeds to praise M'Gubgub... only for the alien to run away in a panic, as the ''galaxy-dwarfing'' M'Gubgub arrives.
* In one ''ComicBook/DoctorStrange'' story arc, Strange is menaced by the cosmically powerful sorceress Umar. He finds and releases an artificial EldritchAbomination called Zom which is the one thing that scares her. Needless to say this quickly backfires (if Strange couldn't handle Umar, he has no chance of containing something bigger than her), and he has to find a bigger fish yet, going through a chain of deals which ends with the Living Tribunal, ''the'' single biggest fish in the entire Marvel ''Multiverse'' (apart from an unseen, vaguely-defined "[[TheMaker One-Above-All]]"). The Tribunal himself was defeated in the leadup to ''Comicbook/{{Infinity}}''. It seems this was done by the mysterious 'Rabum Alal' - Sumerian (yes, really) for "Great Destroyer" - as Black Swan, kind of his herald in a sense, calls him. And now, as of ''ComicBook/SecretWars2015'', the Living Tribunal [[spoiler:is dead at the hands of the Beyonders]].
* Staggeringly, even {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} has a Bigger Fish - his own father, Yuga Khan. Thankfully for Darkseid and the universe, all ''he'' cares about is learning the truth about the Source, and was trapped, as everybody else is, attempting to penetrate it. However, when he freed himself, he briefly terrorized Apokolips even worse than his son did, and caused Darkseid to attempt to hide. Having learned nothing from his previous attempt, Yuga Khan once again attempted to invade the Source and ended up once again trapped.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel'', Gah Lak Tus is one of the biggest threats in that universe. When 616 Galactus arrives through a tear in reality, Gah lak Tus tries to consume him. Upon realizing that Galactus is both a kindred spirit and far more powerful, Gah Lak Tus immediately chooses to [[FusionDance merge with him]] and serve him as his new Heralds.
* A common theme throughout most iterations of Franchise/{{Superman}}, especially in the case of Doomsday. Clark Kent is the most powerful being in the world so the only times he can really face a challenge is when he faces someone with more power than him.
* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': In ''The Dead Man'', Yassa Povey is saved from being eaten by feral grunts by a sinister phantom who scares them off and then pursues him. It later turns out to be [[spoiler:the Sisters of Death]] looking for the Dead Man.
* Hellmachine is a giant monstrosity, with what appears to be a city on its head, and is apparently the "third angel of despair". After being driven off by the heroes in ''ComicBook/TheMultiversity #2'', it's promptly devoured by the [[EldritchAbomination hideous things dwelling inside the Bleed]].

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Intentionally heroic example in ''FanFic/TheBridge'', when we get to see what happens when a giant from [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic one franchise]] meets an even bigger giant from [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} another]]. Garble and his gang greed-growth into fully grown, rampaging, 50-70 meter dragons... [[BigDamnHeroes Cue]] the 90 meter tall Anguirus to [[CurbStompBattle show them who's the alpha predator]]. [[StealthPun BIG]] damn heroes indeed.
** Flashbacks and the universe timeline reveal that the [[Film/PacificRim Anteverse kaiju]] ended up on the receiving end of this -- in addition to the Jaegers, they also had to deal with various other human mecha, in addition to all the heroic kaiju in Godzilla's faction. The couple of examples we're shown reveal that the Anteverse bunch didn't stand a chance.
* In ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'', Nanoha and Fate are outmatched by one of the Jewel Seed monsters until [[spoiler:Zest]] makes his appearance by killing it in one blow.
* In ''FanFic/TheUniversiad'', the Forum's Forerunner-derived tech base is still dwarfed by several others, among them Literature/TheCulture.
* In ''FanFic/ADreamOfDawn'', Nightmare Moon has overthrown Celestia, shattered the Elements of Harmony and rules Equestria with an iron hoof. Her reign lasts about five minutes after [[BigBad Discord]] returns.
* ''FanFic/BetweenMinds'': What's worse than a [[VideoGame/HalfLife2 Combine battalion]] irrevocably capturing the hero? [[spoiler: A Xenian water monster, of course!]]
* In ''FanFic/ShadowsOfGiants'', an Oodako stalks a giant squid, only to be caught and eaten by Godzilla.
* In ''FanFic/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAvengerS'', what will happen if the TSAB have a diplomatic meeting with Earth? [[spoiler: The Asgardians will join in, obviously!]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'' when Dennis the Bounty Hunter finally catches up to [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick. [[spoiler:Dennis goes to step on [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick, [[BaitAndSwitchBoss only to be stomped on by the "Cyclops".]]]] Patrick even yells out "Bigger Boot!"
** Played straight earlier in the film when the frogfish that ate their car is itself eaten by an ''enormous'' deep-sea eel. [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick's [[http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/g33PYjkPy0s/maxresdefault.jpg shocked expressions]] are priceless, to the point of becoming a [[MemeticMutation meme]] - at least, Patrick did.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HelpImAFish'', the main characters are collecting ingredients to make a potion to turn them back into humans, but run into trouble getting an octopus to squirt ink, as it is much bigger than they are and thus just grabs them. It does eventually squirt ink and swim away, which Fly attributes to their screaming scaring it off, but was really because of the [[ThreateningShark great white shark approaching]]...
* In the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of ''Disney/FunAndFancyFree'', when Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy arrive at Willie the Giant's castle after their house is carried upwards by a beanstalk, a giant dragonfly swoops down and tries to attack the three, but a giant catfish living in Willie's moat jumps up and eats the dragonfly.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Minions}}'':
** The opening credits sequence has a gag where the minions find a boss, that boss is eaten, and the minions want to serve the new creature... until that creature is eaten as well, culminating in the Minions serving a ''TyrannosaurusRex''.
** Done in a more subtle way at the end. [[spoiler:Scarlet Overkill makes off with the crown of England... only to be literally frozen in her tracks by a young Felonious Gru, who takes the crown right out of her hands and flies off.]]
-->'''[[spoiler:Scarlet]]''': YouHaveNoIdeaWhoYoureDealingWith! I'm [[spoiler:Scarlet Overkill! The world's greatest super villain]]!\\
'''[[spoiler:Gru]]''': [[spoiler:Oh, ''were'' you now?]]
* A pretty hilarious example in ''WesternAnimation/FindingDory''. When the truck containing the fish falls into the ocean, a small fish gets eaten by a bigger fish, which gets eaten by an even bigger fish. Suddenly, the even bigger fish sneezes and spits out the slightly smaller fish, which in turn spits out the smallest fish.
* In ''Disney/{{Moana}}'', a giant eel-like creature tries to eat Moana when she arrives in the Realm of Monsters, but is itself eaten by a giant plant monster in the nick of time.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Franchise/StarWars Film/ThePhantomMenace'', as Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Jar Jar travel in a sub through the watery core of Naboo, this happens twice in a row: their sub is first attacked by a crablike [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Opee_sea_killer?file=Opee_Sea_Killer_eats.png Opee Sea Killer]], and then later by a serpentine [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Colo_claw_fish Colo Claw Fish]]. On both occasions, a ''massive'' [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sando_aqua_monster Sando Aqua Monster]] comes along and eats the smaller predator.
-->'''Qui-Gon:''' There's [[TropeNamers always a bigger fish]].
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark'':
** The heroes of ''Film/JurassicPark'' are about to get eaten by ''Velociraptors'', but the ''T. rex'' shows up, trounces the raptors and saves the day. How it appeared there without anyone noticing, or why the protagonists are now less terrified than they were earlier, remains completely unexplained (there was a barely noticeable hole in the wall it possibly came in through). [[WordOfGod According to the producers]], they were struggling with the ending when they came to the realization that it was really the hero of the movie, and that was when everything fell into place.
** In ''Film/JurassicParkIII'', the heroes run from a ''Spinosaurus'' straight into the hunting grounds of a ''T. rex''. The ''Spinosaurus'' [[spoiler:"rescues" the heroes [[TheWorfEffect by killing]] the ''T. rex'']], but later begins chasing them again.
** In ''Film/JurassicWorld'', the ''Indominus rex'' proves too much for everything thrown at her [[spoiler: until the ''T. rex'' knocks her through a fence to the edge of the lagoon and [[GiantSwimmer the mosasaur]] eats her]].
** In ''Film/JurassicWorldFallenKingdom'', a ''Carnotaurus'' sees Owen and is ready to pounce on him for its dinner. That's when Rexy comes to the rescue again and [[CurbStompBattle easily subdues]] the smaller theropod with a MightyRoar.
* Speaking of YouShallNotPass, in ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', the eponymous gang of nine are in the deeps of Moria surrounded by countless goblins... until the goblins themselves start running for their very lives. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balrog Guess who]] had woken up and was ''really'' mad?
* The [[Film/StarTrek 2009]] ''Franchise/StarTrek'' reboot has this happen when Kirk is abandoned on an ice planet. He gets chased by some sort of space polar bear. After a while another massive creature smashes through the ice and kills it -- [[SuperPersistentPredator and then promptly throws the large slab of meat it just caught to chase down Kirk]].
* Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/KingKong2005'',:
** The heroine hides from a huge carnivorous lizard in a hollow log, and it tears at the wood to try to get her. Suddenly it stops, and she seems safe... until ''half'' the same lizard is seen dangling from the jaws of a ginormous ''V. rex'', which just bit it in two.
** Kong himself is a near constant example of this trope in the first half of the movie, as he repeatedly kills a number of animals that are trying to eat Anne Darrow.
* In ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'', a Franchise/{{Predator}} attacks Alexa, but is killed by an Franchise/{{Alien}}.
* In the Creator/BrendanFraser version of ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'', the heroes are saved from vicious coelacanth-type fish by plesiosaur-type sea monsters.
* In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', Jake faces down a huge, charging rhino-like titanothere. When it stops and retreats, he thinks he's won, only to have to run from what really scared it off: the bigger and nastier-looking carnivorous thanator that was creeping up behind him.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'':
** ''Film/{{Rodan}}''. The miners are attacked by giant insects called the Meganula...That is, [[FromBadToWorse until the baby Rodan started hatching and began devouring the Meganula, attacking the miners, and escaping into the city.]]
** Played straight in ''Film/GodzillaVsMechagodzillaII''. Several members of the JSDF are attacked by Rodan as they try to take an egg from a nest. And, then, Godzilla (who is larger than Rodan) shows up and attacks both the JSDF and Rodan.
** Averted in ''Film/GodzillaMothraKingGhidorahGiantMonstersAllOutAttack''. Actually Baragon is never attacked by the JDSF, as the Cabinet never actually takes action. In this instance Godzilla is still the Bigger Fish. Baragon goes straight to battle with him. Baragon is the hero, but nowhere near being the bigger fish.
** The main dynamic between Godzilla and the [=MUTO=]s in ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}''; Godzilla happens to be the Apex Predator of eons-old radioactive giants, and is pursuing the [=MUTO=]s like a predator hunts its prey.
* Subverted in ''The Colour of Magic'', where a sinking pirate ship is devoured by a sea monster the size of a village... which shortly washes up dead on an island, as the ''smaller'' fish it swallowed along with the ship just happened to be the Luggage. Which kicked it to death from the inside.
* In ''Film/LakePlacid'', the protagonists are arguing near the lakeside when a bear appears and attacks them. Then the crocodile unexpectedly pops out of the water and drags the bear in by its leg.
* In the beginning of ''Film/{{Sharktopus}}'', a beach girl is attacked by a shark while swimming off the shoreline, but the Sharktopus saves her by devouring it.
* In ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'', the ([[AsTheGoodBookSays very religious]]) sniper finishes off wave after wave of German infantry - until he stares down the barrel of a [[TankGoodness Marder Self-Propelled Gun]]. From a clocktower, no less.

* An ArmsRace between the Yooks and Zooks in Literature/TheButterBattleBook, where both sides are feuding about [[SillyReasonForWar whether to butter your toast on the top or bottom,]] and they go from whips to slingshots to catapults to guns to bombs to mega-bombs, with the Zooks frequently one-upping the Yooks' weapons until it reaches an AmbiguousEnding with both sides involved in a MexicanStandoff...
* In ''Literature/TwoSerpentsRise'', the Caleb woke the King in Red to curb-stomp high priest Temoc when the fanatic tried to sacrifice his best friend.
* [[InvertedTrope Flipped on its head]] by Jonathan Swift:
-->''So nat'ralists observe, a flea\\
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey,\\
And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em,\\
And so proceed ''ad infinitum''.''
* In ''Literature/WatershipDown'', after Hazel and Co. are attacked by General Woundwort, a massive dog is led into General Woundwort's forces, who naturally run. General Woundwort himself stays to beat up the dog. It’s worth noting that most of the characters are non-anthropomorphic rabbits, with the exception of Kehaar the seagull.
** It's also worth mentioning that they NeverFoundTheBody.
** Well, they wouldn't, would they? Bigger Fish are often ''Hungrier'' Fish also.
* Subverted in ''Literature/TufVoyaging''. WildCard Rica Dawnstar has Tuf outgunned and at her mercy, and refuses to believe him when he tries to point out the ''T. rex'' creeping up behind her. It looks like this trope will kick in...then it turns out she was toying with Tuf, and had the Phlebotinium to control the ''T. rex'' all along.
* ''Literature/CiaphasCain''
** In ''Cain's Last Stand'', the schola and [[RedShirtArmy PDF]] are completely swamped by the forces of [[TheCorruption Chaos]]. They've fallen back to the secret facility containing the [[ArtifactOfDoom Shadowlight]], and are about to be overwhelmed when the [[OmnicidalManiac Necrons]] decide to show up. They butcher the forces of Chaos pretty handily, giving Ciaphas Cain [[note]]HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!![[/note]] and company an opportunity to evacuate.
** Earlier in Cain's career in ''Caves of Ice'', some Necrons save his butt again by fending off the Ork attack long enough for them to evacuate, but not before Cain sets the whole facility to explode.
** In ''The Traitor's Hand'' Cain and Co. have to fight through a horde of well-entrenched Chaos cultists before they complete a ritual that will plunge the planet into [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]], with no certainty they'll succeed. Cue the sudden appearance of five Chaos Berserkers [[EnemyCivilWar who worship another Chaos God]], and who proceed to slaughter their way through the cultists with abandon, leaving Cain to only follow the trail of destruction to reach their goal.
* Creator/AlanDeanFoster loves this trope, especially as an excuse to show off his weird alien ecologies in the ''Literature/HumanxCommonwealth'' series.
** In ''Drowning World'', characters menaced by a branch-clambering maccaluca are saved when it's snapped up by a vuniwai leaping up from the water.
** ''Mid-Flinx'' is essentially one long string of Bigger Fish: Flinx's initial human pursuers are killed and supplanted by [=AAnn=] pursuers, and both groups of enemies are gradually picked off by one bizarre jungle predator after another.
** It's played with in ''For Love Of Mother-Not'' when the penestral (roughly speaking, a pike that's 50 feet long) that attacks the bad guys ''doesn't'' save the heroes from them (it eats their boat, but the real villains has just escaped onto a flyer). The fisherwoman escorting Flinx scoffs at its size, pointing out that it wasn't terribly big for a penestral, and that the penestral is ''only'' a mid-range predator anyway. She offers to take Flinx fishing for oboweir sometime, and when he asks the inevitable "What's an oboweir?", her reply is "A fish that eats penestral."
* In ''Casino Royale'' (book and movie), Bond is rescued from [[BigBad Le Chiffre]] when Le Chiffre's own superiors (SMERSH or QUANTUM, depending on the source) assassinate him.
** Bond himself is the Bigger Fish in ''The Spy Who Loved Me'' (the original novel only[[note]]Ian Fleming was very dissatisfied with this novel and only gave permission for the title to be used when he sold the film rights. Thus, the film has very little similarity to the novel.[[/note]]) when, while checking into a hotel, he walks in on two small-time mobsters who are attempting to rape Viv Michel.
* In Book Three of ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', a quad of undead warriors who had been attacking the heroes was chased off by the Erymanthian Boar.
* A couple of times in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. In ''Literature/ProvenGuilty'', Harry has just [[spoiler:escaped from where Madrigal Raith and his lackey have been holding him hostage]] and they've started fighting... Only for the bad guys to end up running away as fast as possible when the book's actual BigBad shows up. ''Small Favor'' also has a sequence where Harry's trying to get away from a FallenAngel, only for [[spoiler:fairy assassin Eldest Brother Gruff]] to show up and take out the guy without even trying.
* Used in ''[[Literature/{{Nightside}} Nightingale's Lament]]'', when a limo Taylor is riding in is about to be attacked by a predator camouflaged as another car. Before it can do any damage, the critter is picked up and carried off by something HUGE with talons and wings. Possibly a subversion, as the limo might've been able to hold off the car-mimicking monster with its built-in defenses.
* In the 11th book of ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', the Baudelaire orphans are in a submarine which is [[spoiler:being attacked by the main villain]]. However, when a mysterious question mark appears on the radar, everyone is scared, including [[spoiler:the attackers]]. To make matters worse/better, the author never says just what the question mark was.
* In Creator/RudyardKipling's "The Butterfly That Stamped" in his ''Literature/JustSoStories'', the following paragraph tells of King Solomon:
-->''Once he tried to feed all the animals in all the world in one day, but when the food was ready an Animal came out of the deep sea and ate it up in three mouthfuls. Suleiman-bin-Daoud was very surprised and said, "O Animal, who are you?" And the Animal said, "O King, live for ever! I am the smallest of thirty thousand brothers, and our home is at the bottom of the sea. We heard that you were going to feed all the animals in all the world, and my brothers sent me to ask when dinner would be ready."''
* The Empire plays this role at the end of ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', just as it looks like the rebels are about to be obliterated by Xizor's forces.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', Harry and Hermione are surrounded by an angry mob of centaurs. Just as the situation is looking rather grim, a giant shows up, scattering the herd and chasing them into the forest. Hermione, characteristically, is worried about the centaurs. It's worth noting that these centaurs, in turn, had gotten rid of Delores Umbridge, the FauxAffablyEvil Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and the centaurs were angry BECAUSE Hermione had [[SummonBiggerFish manipulated them into getting rid of Umbridge.]]
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Literature/TheScarletCitadel'', Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian, as DistressedDude, is menaced by a snake, which is scared away by a man coming to kill Conan for killing his brother. The snake eats that man. (The keys that he taunted Conan with land at Conan's feet.)
* In Peter Benchley's "Beast", the titular giant squid is moments from finishing the remaining characters when it is attacked, killed, and presumably eaten by an equally massive sperm whale.
* In ''100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories'', there's a story by Martin Gardner called "Thang," in which the titular being started eating the solar system but was interrupted by an even larger being scooping him up and swallowing him. "For there are other gods than Thang."
* In the third book of Creator/RobinHobb's [[Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings Liveship Traders]] trilogy, Bingtown, the town in which much of the action takes place, is being completely overrun by the Chalcedonians... when the last of the ancient race of [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] wakes from her unexpectedly lengthy slumber, and goes looking in Bingtown for those responsible for her awakening. The Chalcedonians fire arrows at her in terror, and in response, she effortlessly kills them all.
* Creator/ShelSilverstein wrote about this trope [[http://mark-it-fab.tumblr.com/post/21462918917/kaleidozcopicdreams-fish-the-little-fish-eats here.]]
* ''Literature/{{Steelheart}}'' opens with an Epic named Deathpoint robbing a bank and generally wreaking havoc. What with his [[MeaningfulName ability to kill people by pointing at them]], he seems an extremely formidable guy. Then Steelheart (who is basically an evil version of Superman, except maybe even ''more'' powerful) shows up, and suddenly Deathpoint doesn't look so scary after all...
* In ''[[Literature/TheActsOfCaine Heroes Die]]'', Hari spends much of the book being harassed by Administrator Kollberg. At the end, he is arrested by the Social Police.
* ''[[Literature/TheCrusaders The Crusaders]]'' has the Earth almost destroyed by the first arc's villain, Dr. Anarchy, who was legitimately a big deal. Then, the Brutikai warrior, Glorien, walks in and [[VillainTeamUp recruits]] him.
** Darkstar shows up in Volume Two, and is powerful enough to annihilate Mind Master and Starbolt in combat, without resting between the fights, something even Glorien couldn't pull off.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' season 4 is all over this trope. One group of Losties hides from the freighties in the Others' Barracks. Later, a group cornered in a house are able to leave because the smoke monster (the series' original antagonist) attacks the bad guys. In the finale, when the Others showed up, fans at [[Website/TelevisionWithoutPity TWoP]] commented that they felt like the cavalry had arrived, quite a sharp contrast to the Others' first appearance in "Exodus Part 2".
* ''Series/{{Primeval}}''
** Episode 6 features a scene in which Nick is rescued from a Future Predator when said predator is attacked by a ''Gorgonopsid''.
** Episode 3 features Nick being attacked by a mosasaur, only to have said mosasaur eaten by an even larger mosasaur right before it's about to chomp down on him.
* At least once per season, ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' featured a scene in which some minor vampiric menace (who is convinced he's the MonsterOfTheWeek, or even BigBad) shows up to kill Buffy just in time to get eaten by the true MonsterOfTheWeek.
* One of the animation segues in an episode of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' has a section involving people being squashed on the streets by "killer cars", which were destroyed by [[MegaNeko a gigantic building-swallowing Siamese Cat]], which was then killed by a several-hundred-foot-tall disembodied hand... and then it transitions into something [[strike: else]] completely different.
* ''Series/BoredToDeath'': Our protagonist is saved from a scary murderous thug by driving into the back of a police car. While high.
* The ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3k]]'' episode ''Film/KingDinosaur'' features two astronauts trapped in a cave by a ''TyrannosaurusRex'' that is actually an iguana. The arrival of a baby alligator with a fin glued on its back, and the ensuing "dinosaur" battle, allows them to make their getaway.
* In "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS3E93TheLittlePeople The Little People]]," an episode of ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'', spaceman Peter Craig discovers a race of ant-size people and uses his size to [[AGodAmI proclaim himself their god]] threatening to kill them all unless they obey, yet he still constantly terrorizes them anyways...until two spacemen who are giants even to ''him'' show up.
* This occurs several times in ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs''.
* On ''Series/{{Justified}}'' Boyd Crowder has just been 'arrested' by a mob hitman pretending to be a sheriff's deputy and is about to be taken to his death. US Marshall Raylan Givens wants to talk to Boyd about a related matter and is not amused when the 'deputy' gives him lip. The hitman draws his gun and Raylan shoots him dead. Later in the episode Boyd uses SummonBiggerFish and asks the Detroit mob to help him deal with some corrupt local businessmen who made him AnOfferYouCantRefuse. Later he notes that there are only two fish bigger than the Detroit mob: God and Uncle Sam. If Boyd gets on the bad side of the Detroit Don Theo Tonnin, he is screwed unless Raylan and the Marshalls take out Theo for him.
* In ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', whenever there's a story arc about a villain containing elements of conspiracy, there seems to almost always be a more powerful, more mysterious bad guy behind them.
** The episode Matsya Nyaya[[note]]law of the fishes[[/note]] is all about this concept in which an armored car guard tries to rob his own shipment before running afoul of [[DirtyCop HR]].
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the "Predator of the Daleks" is one of the names for the Doctor, given to him by the Daleks ''themselves''.
** From the episode "Army of Ghosts", an army of several thousand Cybermen has just managed to conquer Earth. Then a spaceship stored in Torchwood's basement opens up, and out come four Daleks. A large part of the next episode has the Daleks effortlessly killing the Cybermen.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** The [[spoiler:rings of the Four HorsemenOfTheApocalypse]] are the key to defeating Lucifer. Three of them have to be taken by force, but [[spoiler:Death voluntarily gives them his because he considers it an insult to be bound by "a bratty child throwing a temper tantrum"]] (Yes, that's actually how he describes {{Satan}}.)
** There's also the scene in "Hammer of the Gods" where an entire roomful of pagan gods is effortlessly slaughtered by Lucifer.
** [[spoiler: Amara, a.k.a. The Darkness, is the biggest fish in the series so far. She effortlessly slaps around everyone who goes after her, including Lucifer, and even ''God himself'' acknowledges he can't beat her on his own.]]
* ''Series/{{Community}}'': In "Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps", Annie tells a story about a vampire version of Jeff [[spoiler:getting eaten by a werewolf version of herself.]]
* For the first three seasons of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'', Librarian [[TheDreaded "Tammy Two"]] (Ron Swanson's second ex-wife-named-Tammy) is the clear BigBad of the series. Then at the end of season three, the cast are informed that "Tammy One" is on the scene. Tammy Two ''immediately flees in terror''.
* In ''Franchise/StarTrek'', the Borg are one of the most terrifying and unstoppable alien forces in the franchise. In the [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Battle of Wolf 359]], a single Borg cube annihilated 40 Federation ships without taking a scratch. In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', we finally meet their bigger fish: Species 8472. Their introduction shows two Borg cubes being effortlessly destroyed, [[KilledMidSentence in the middle of saying]] ResistanceIsFutile no less.
** The possibility of this was [[{{Foreshadowing}} Foreshadowed]] in the episode "Unity", where the crew encounter a powerless Borg cube. B'Elanna suggests the cube was either damaged by an "[[NegativeSpaceWedgie electro-kinetic storm]]" or someone more powerful than them. Everyone is visibly unnerved by the possibility of that.


* ''I know an old lady who swallowed a fly''... and an increasing sequence of critters each swallowed to catch the previous one.
* Music/PinkFloyd's "The Wall": ''When we grew up and went to school / There were certain teachers who would / Hurt the children in any way they could ... But in the town, it was well known / When they got home at night, their fat and Psychopathic wives would thrash them / Within inches of their lives.''
* Marty Robbins' song 'Big Iron' describes a duel between the outlaw Texas Red and an unnamed ranger. Texas Red, despite being only twenty-four years old, has already killed twenty men in such gunfights, and the townsfolk fully believe that they're about to watch him put one more notch on his gunbelt. When it comes time for the duel, the ranger draws, fires, and kills Texas Red before his opponent had even fully drawn his own pistol.

* Thomas from ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'' was a murder-rapist in life, and was able to completely get away with it until he went to Hell and was reduced to a punching bag for {{Satan}}.
* Sir Gregory Pitkin in ''Radio/TheMenFromTheMinistry'' is an archetypal BadBoss of General Assistance Department, but his own superior Lord Stilton sometimes plays this role saving (mostly unknowingly) the staff of Department from Sir Gregory's wrath.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': It's hinted that the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] are not actually invading the Milky Way, but instead fleeing from '''[[UltimateEvil something]]''' in their home galaxy.
* In ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'', the Environment deck can lead to various critters finishing off the supervillain you're fighting. For example, if you can get the villain down to 1-2HP, they can be considered the "target with the lowest HP" for the Chupacabra in the Final Wasteland or the Raptor Packs in Insula Primalis. Chomp.
* This trope is exemplified in the ''MagicTheGathering'' card [[https://img.scryfall.com/cards/normal/en/c14/16.jpg?1496446996 Reef Worm]].

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* The climax of ''Ride/SkullIslandReignOfKong'' at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal's Islands of Adventure]] involves the riders being pursued by a pack of Venatosauruses, who soon flee when one of them gets eaten by the much bigger Vastatosaurus Rex.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/{{Outlast}}'', Chris Walker, who up to that point has been the recurring/main antagonist of the game, as well as being a hulking behemoth of a man, is just about to deliver the finishing blow to the protagonist, [[NonActionGuy Miles Upshur]], before he is grabbed by the [[{{Nanomachines}} Walrider]], which proceeds to throw him around the room like a ragdoll, finally shredding him to bits in a vent grate.
* While [[BadassBookworm Gordon]] [[OneManArmy Freeman]] doesn't exactly ''need'' the help, there are numerous places in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series where members of different factions fight and kill each other, effectively clearing Freeman's path (Marines and Xen aliens in ''Half-Life'', Combine, Antlions and Headcrab Zombies in ''Half-Life 2'' and its Episodes). Closer to the trope, this leads to at least two instances where a rampaging Antlion Guard slaughters a squad of Combine soldiers.
** This is essentially what happened between ''Half-Life 1'' and ''2''. At some point after or during the AlienInvasion by Xen forces, a ''different'' alien invasion by the Combine happened. They [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomped]] both Earth and Xen forces easily, and took over the planet.
* This trope is the major point of ''VideoGame/FeedingFrenzy''. Eat small fish, become large fish, and avoid the even larger fish while doing that. Most levels have non-edible fish (which means, they eat you), or something else capable of killing you (mines or birds, or both!) but in several levels you get to be top dog of the seas.
* No matter what fish you are in ''VideoGame/OdellDownUnder'', there is always something that can eat you. Even the largest fish, the great white shark, can still be eaten... by another great white shark.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWarChainsOfOlympus'', Kratos fights a Cyclops, which is then eaten by a basilisk.
* In ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'' when you do the "Big Trouble in Little Granemor" quest you're attacked by a Giant Hungry Zombie after fighting off some vampires. The zombie makes about one attack before a [[BodyHorror Ribber]] randomly comes up and drags it away (with its mouth).
* ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'' features this trope quite prominently, particularly in the Cell Stage. If you happen to be in the middle of being attacked by a large organism, once in a while a larger creature comes along and scares off or eats your attacker.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'''s "Ritual of the Mahjarrat" quest, [[spoiler:Lucien]] is killed by [[spoiler:[[MacGuffinGuardian the dragonkin]]]].so
* You barely avoid a beheading in the opener of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', thanks to a dragon rampage.
** It can happen in-game, too: dragons can randomly attack while the player is fighting off weaker enemies.
** The Dragonborn themself is one. According to lore, Akatosh bestowed upon mortals the gift of Dragons-blood so that they may serve as guardians of mankind and as natural predators to Dragonkind. Indeed, part of what makes the Dragonborn so greatly feared is their ability to simply show up in the middle of a Dragon-attack, [[CurbStompBattle tear them apart]], [[YourSoulIsMine devour their very soul]]... and then promptly [[ButForMeItWasTuesday go on their way]]. There's a ''reason'' the Dragonborn is referred to in-universe as "''[[TheDreaded The One They Fear]]''".
* In ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'', ANMC's are running rampant throughout the Shelter, having killed [[spoiler: or converted]] the humans inside and many in a nearby town. It's only after Aya [[spoiler: kills the generators in the Neo Ark]] that the Golems show up. If you thought the ANMC's were bad, [[FromBadToWorse you are going to get a very rude surprise]]. The Golems eventually run into their own bigger fish...[[spoiler:[[SemperFi The United States Marine Corps.]]]].
* ''VideoGame/MusashiSamuraiLegend'' had a literal example with the Crimson Gorger. After the fight, it's about to eat Musashi, it then gets eaten by the ''Great'' Crimson Gorger, who then proceeds to continue the chase and therefore the boss fight.
* ''VideoGame/BioShock1'' uses this trope early on to introduce the Little Sister and Big Daddies. After injecting himself with the Electro Bolt plasmid, Jack is left nearly unconscious as two splicers poke his body, searching for Adam. They are scared off by the approaching footsteps of a big daddy.
** Later on, Jack witnesses a scene where a splicer tries to harvest a Little Sister that's supposedly all alone, only for her scream to alert a Big Daddy that proceeds to beat the ever-loving crud out of the unlucky splicer.
* ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankAll4One'' pulls this in one of its enemy introductions; a [[GiantMook Tank Minion]] flies in to confront the heroes at Terawatt Forest, only for [[AwakeningTheSleepingGiant a Guardian to activate]], pull the Minion in with its tractor beam and smash it to pieces with its hands.
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''
** In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'', when you enter one boss fight room, a large number of smaller bats immediately form into a giant bat… Which then gets crushed by a giant hand belonging to Balore, the boss you actually end up fighting.
** In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance'' where the Talos (the massive suit of armor that chases you in the beginning of the game) crushes a smaller Living Armor that is set up to be the boss.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'': You play as a badass vampire. You have cool powers, you're resistant to gunfire, and you have incredible strength and speed. {{Muggles}} pose little to no challenge at all. [[ImplacableMan Werewolves]], on the other hand, are an entirely different story. There will be one instance in the game where you have to face one, and all you can do is run away. ''[[HopelessBossFight RUN]]''. [[spoiler:Or lure up to the observatory and crush it between the doors]].
* It's possible for this to happen in ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter''. Example: Qurupeco [[EnemySummoner summons]] Deviljho. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Deviljho kills Qurupeco.]] [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: [[Instant Win Condition Objective complete! Returning to village in 1 min. ]]
* In ''VideoGame/JurassicParkTheGame'', the ''TyrannosaurusRex'' reprises her role in eating raptors to the protagonists' benefit.
** Another scene has her show up and get into a fight with an angry mother ''Triceratops'' that's trying to kill them, and the protagonists only make it through because, for the most part, the two dinosaurs are more interested in killing each other.
** The ''Dilophosaurus'' only back off when they hear a strange call. [[HopeSpot It looks for a moment as though Nima is free to escape, and then there is a rustling of leaves and shadowy creatures surround her in the dark.]] Then she gets bitten.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** In the ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' [=DLC=], ''Lonesome Road'', a Deathclaw can be seen running in a cave. When you follow it you see its corpse and what follows is probably the first encounter with the Tunnelers, reptilian humanoids that hit as hard as Deathclaws, attack in packs, travel underground, and breed like rabbits.
** In ''VideoGame/Fallout4'', there's a ruined town that you can find remnants of a Raider encampment in. They were wiped out when Super Mutants moved in. By the time you get there, the town is full of dead Super Mutants and live Deathclaws.
* In Chapter 6 of ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'', the party have just finished a fairly tough boss fight with a Tainted Sphinx when ''three'' more show up. Then the colossal [[BonusBoss Telethia]] swoops in and tosses the beasts around like ragdolls before flying away. The characters are left wondering whether it intended to save them or toy with them.
* ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'': No matter how powerful you think you are, the Mongols and later the Timurids will cream you and all your big Europe-bestriding armies.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'', Gyarados have a well-deserved reputation as terrifying, powerful and destructive monsters, but even they flee from Wishiwashi's powerful [[TheWormThatWalks School Form]], called the Demon of the Seas... and even then, Wailords have been known to devour entire schools of Wishiwashi whole.
** This comes full circle in ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'', where a school of Wishiwashi forms and the player expects the Totem battle against a School Forme Wishiwashi from ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' to take place... [[spoiler: [[BaitAndSwitchBoss and then]] a Totem [[GiantSpider Araquanid]] pounces on the forming school and takes it's place as the boss battle.]]
* In the second ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'', upon entering the arena on Cato Neimoidia, a cutscene plays out in which a huge gate opens to reveal a [[EliteMook rancor]]. The rancor only takes a few steps forward before an absolutely enormous arm reaches out from below the arena and grabs the beast, dragging it down below. Then you're introduced to the [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Gorog]].
* The Reaper Leviathan of ''VideoGame/{{Subnautica}}'' is a fearsome, best avoided beast. But as the game goes on, the once seemingly apex predator is revealed to be both the smallest of the Leviathan class beasts and ''food'' for the other members of the class.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' features an example on one uncharted world: you can discover a number of corpses and wrecked vehicles bearing signs of [[MechaMooks geth]] weapons fire. Unfortunately for the geth, this happened in a [[SandWorm thresher maw]] nest. For another layer, you'll likely find this after killing said thresher maw.
* One hilarious example comes in Final Fantasy XIII, where a sidequest includes hunting down [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Zenobia]] TheButcher, a huge undead abomination with [[CombatTentacles tendrils for hands]]... and when you encounter it, a hooded little lizard with a lantern and a kitchen knife walks up to Zenobia and rams its knife into the ankle of the thing, killing it instantly. It's absolutely hilarious... unless you've fought a Tonberry in a prevoius game and know that the little lizard that's currently waddling towards you is more dangerous than any undead abomination could ever even ''hope'' to be...
* In ''VideoGame/Subnautica'' there are many, many fish... some of them larger than others. The deeper you go, the bigger they tend to get. Mildly subverted due to the larger predatory fish generally ignoring smaller predatory fish.
** Averted with the [[spoiler: Sea Emperor Leviathan]] which is strictly a plankton-eater.
** Played horribly, terrifyingly straight with both the [[spoiler: Reaper Leviathan]] and the [[spoiler: Ghost Leviathan - adults AND juveniles]] due to their aggressive and predatory behaviors... ironically, adult [[spoiler: Ghost Leviathans]] are also plankton eaters. And will still kill you.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The {{Trope Namer|s}} was parodied in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'', where the event [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0033.html convinces Qui Gon that he can cast]] SummonBiggerFish. It becomes a running gag that Qui Gon thinks about casting it numerous times, never actually getting outright overruled due to circumstances steering the decision away from that.
** Well, there was as [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0208.html alternate version]]...
* In [[http://sluggy.com/daily.php?date=030525 this]] ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' strip, the Godhounds attacking the house get taken out in one panel by the Mind Wedgier, a soul-eating EldritchAbomination.
** In a much earlier and more humorous example, Torg is about to be kissed by the ugliest woman in the world, but she is suddenly eaten by the alien that followed him from another dimension. She (the alien this time) seems about to eat him too, but he's still relieved.
* Orbital beam weaponry in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}''. [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/20050709.html Oh, yes.]]
* ''Webcomic/BrawlInTheFamily'' closes the circle with this trope in [[http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/comic/507-cheepcheep/ strip #507]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Evon}}'', the title character is [[http://evoncomics.com/?p=1221 about to be raped]] by MadScientist Legune, when he's chased off by his patron, the mage, Maximus. But Maximus only stopped him to keep him from messing up his own plans of [[SuperBreedingProgram using Evon to breed a race of super mages]]. And he planned on starting right then and there... When [[http://evoncomics.com/?p=1235 HE is stopped]] by fellow [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Cabal]] member, Ferneris, who is rather ticked off that Maximus interfered with his own orders to bring Evon in. [[http://evoncomics.com/?p=1237 Violence ensues.]]
* Inverted in [[http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/2011/11/20 this]] ''ComicStrip/CulDeSac'' strip.
--> "Nothing beats Biggest Shirley."
* In ''Webcomic/QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger'', [[http://www.rhjunior.com/quentyn-quinn-space-ranger-0013/ this is what the wannabe pirates learn.]]
* Happens twice in succession in [[http://goblinscomic.com/12082008/ this]] ''{{Webcomic/Goblins}}'' strip, when one of the Brassmoon guards tells Complains [[TemptingFate "The bigger creatures always kill the smaller creatures, it's just the nature of the world!"]] Then he hears a loud footfall behind him and looks up at the soulspike devourer towering above him... Then they are both killed by an even bigger "fish": a magic effect created by the Shield of Wonder.
* Seen in [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2014/10/03/ this]] ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' strip about ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for 3DS'', with Mega Man getting eaten by Yoshi, who is eaten by Kirby, who is eaten by Pac-Man.
* In [[http://terminallance.com/2014/10/07/terminal-lance-348-the-bigger-fish/ this]] ''Webcomic/TerminalLance'' strip, a bunch of lower-level enlisted personnel get to enjoy seeing their Gunnery Sergeant being chewed out by a more senior NCO[[note]]Non-Commissioned Officer[[/note]] instead of being the one giving the chewing-out to the lower-level enlisted. The title for that page is, to make the point of the strip obvious, "The Bigger Fish".
* ''Webcomic/{{Scurry}}'': Wix makes a run for the forest, because he knows the cats won't follow him in. Titan decides he hates Wix more than he fears the forest and chases him in. [[spoiler: Titan is immediately killed and eaten by the wolves that live in the forest.]]
* [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2010-12-15/ Gulpo, the fish who eats concepts]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''WebVideo/KateModern'' episode "Answers", Michelle Clore orders her Shadow to carry off Lauren. As he is doing so, [[spoiler:Terrence]] arrives and beats the Shadow in the face repeatedly with a golf club, apparently just for the hell of it. Lauren escapes.
** In "Love on the 436", [[spoiler:Terrence]] advances on the K-Team, only to get beaten up by the Shadow.
* ''WebVideo/AskThatGuyWithTheGlasses'': Ask That Guy is a thoroughly depraved, devil-worshipping murder-rapist who prides himself on answering every question in the most disturbing possible way. In Episode 44, he gives Bennett the Sage the chance to answer some questions for him, which ends with Ask That Guy lying on the floor in the fetal position as [[spoiler:Sage rapes him]].
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'' feature Lord Vyce, an interdimensional conqueror who has been slowly accumulating [[AlternateUniverse alternate realities]] into his multiversal empire. It later turns out that Vyce was a WellIntentionedExtremist who was conquering realities specifically to protect them from something called [[EldritchAbomination the Entity]]. Which means that since Vyce was the only one who could go toe-to-toe with the Entity in a physical battle, when Linkara takes Vyce out, he attracts the Entity's attention...
* ''WebVideo/BreakingTrail'''s most popular videos are an ever-growing escalation of "What stings harder than the last animal?", which started at fire ant level, and kept going to velvet ants, tarantula hawks, bullet ants, and as of this writing viewers are still waiting for him to find a warrior wasp to finally top it off.
* [[DreamWalker Princess Luna]] proves herself to be this to ''[[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet Freddy Krueger]]'' in ''WebAnimation/MyLittlePonyMeets'', first in his cameo in ''Superman Meets'', where she is shown delivering a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown to him in the dream world and later in his own episode, where she [[spoiler: pulls a BigDamnHeroes moment, as he's about to kill Applebloom and [[DraggedOffToHell casually throwing him through a portal to hell]].]]
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': In 'Untamed and Uncut', an Ice Beast ends up getting squahsed by K-Seal before it can really do anything.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/BlackDynamite'' the titular hero is on an island lost to time similar to King Kong's when he's attacked by a giant white wolf. He pulls his weapon but waits until the wolf is eaten by a bigger raptor. Then waits for the raptor to be eaten by a giant spider before finally taking said spider down with a single bullet. Now THAT is how you conserve ammo.
* In the fourth episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang stops at Kyoshi Island to ride the elephant koi, koi-like fish at least 15 metres long. Later, we meet the Unagi, the sea serpent that eats them.
** In the first episode of the third season, a giant serpent attacks the ship of the group, and then goes after the enemy ship that was attacking them, after a TemptingFate phrase by Sokka.
* In several classic Creator/WarnerBros & MGM cartoons, one throwaway gag would be for a fish to eat something, then a bigger fish would eat that fish, then a bigger fish would eat ''that'' fish, [[RuleOfThree then a punch line to the bit]]. Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where the 3-eyed fish is eaten by a 6-eyed fish, which is then eaten by a 9-eyed fish. Which is then eaten by a swimming Homer. Parodied even earlier by ''WesternAnimation/FelixTheCat'' in "Neptune Nonsense": When the goldfish Felix was trying to catch has this happen to it, Felix manages to free the goldfish, only for it to turn around and eat all four fish that ate it. Felix quickly decides to find another fish.
* The Creator/TexAvery classic ''WesternAnimation/KingSizeCanary'' has an alley cat, bulldog, mouse, and canary all squaring off against each other, and thanks to a bottle of miracle-growth tonic, they all take turns being the bigger fish and even growing bigger than the Earth itself...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Lois Kills Stewie", Lois describes via flashback that she took a job at a fat camp. At one point she has to take one of the campers out of another camper's mouth ([[DontExplainTheJoke 'cause he's fat see, so he'd want to eat whatever he could]]), and then she has to pull another camper out of the mouth of the camper she'd just rescued.
* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' where the zombies attack, Billy is attacked by a rope of zombie sausages, which were then eaten by a zombie dog.
* There's always the classic gag from ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', in which Granny picks up the dog and hits it until it spits out Sylvester, only to then pick up Sylvester and hit him until he spits out Tweety.
* ''WesternAnimation/WildKratts'': This happens no fewer than ''two'' times in quick succession in an almost Xanatos-like way. A giant squid and a mama sperm whale are battling it out over the baby sperm whale, when a net comes out of nowhere and takes Mama out of the fight. So Big Daddy Sperm Whale shows up and promptly makes calamari of the squid. Enter ''colossal squid''.
* Played with in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBeavers'' where Norbert is admiring a rare fish in the river where their dam is. The fish is promptly eaten by a larger fish, which is eaten by another. This continues until the largest fish is eaten by a fish that was even smaller than the first one. Then that one is eaten by a orca whale. That episode centered all around the orca/killer whale Daggit brought to their pond after seeing it perform at a water theme park. It eventually started eating everything and everyONE, including the beavers. They were saved by [[DeusExMachina a T-rex]] that happens to eat it... and this one too was brought home by Daggit, ready to eat them in the whale's place.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' episode "Child's Play" begins InMediasRes as the Decepticons capture a bunch of humans and treat them like toys before the Autobots arrive to save the day. Then, both sides end up on a planet where the inhabitants are so huge that Transformers are like toys to them.
* At the end of the ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' episode "The Egg", a dragon-like creature tries to eat the newborn Bug-monster . . . until its much larger mother scares him off.
* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Anatomy Park", where Morty and Annie are rescued from a rampaging Hepatitis A when a larger Hepatitis C snatches it in its jaws; it then gives them both a friendly thumbs-up before going on its way. The pair is somewhat confused as to why it saved them, and Annie theorizes that Hepatitis C is just a really swell virus.
* One amusing sequence in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' has the girls falling into a swamp and being subjected to this repeatedly. First they run from a huge monster. Then they and the monster start running in the opposite direction from a bigger feline monster. Then all of them start running from an even bigger dinosaur. The dinosaur is puzzled when its prey suddenly run past it...only to get crushed underfoot by a much bigger dinosaur.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' has this happen in ''musical form'' after Gumball and Darwin ask a squirrel about the meaning of life.
--->'''Squirrel:''' The meaning of life has a single rule,
--->I know it makes sense though it may seem cruel.
--->The logic of the rule cannot be beaten,
--->but the meaning of life is to eat or be -
--->'''Snake:''' [Eats squirrel] The truth our friend was trying to sweeten,
--->but the meaning of life is to eat or be -
--->'''Bird:''' [Eats snake] Alas, poor snake! His life was fleeting.
--->For the meaning of life is to eat or be -
--->'''Small creature:''' [Eats bird] Allow me to finish what the bird was tweeting
--->the meaning of life is to eat or be -
--->'''Large creature:''' [Eats creature] I'm sorry our song just keeps repeating,
--->but the meaning of life is to eaaat, or be- ({{Beat}}) [[LampshadeHanging Well I guess that the biggest remains unhurt]].
[[folder:Real Life]]
* The food chain, or more accurately the food web. However, fictional depictions often [[ArtisticLicenseBiology do it wrong]] by having the bigger fish be not ''that'' much bigger than the one it takes out. In real life, a predator will rarely attack another predator that's close to its own size (aside from pack predators), because even if it's successful, [[DirtyCoward the odds of getting injured are high, and thus, hunting something that can put up a credible fight is high risk for low reward]].
* There is a [[http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/11/071108-fossil-foodchain.html Permian fossil]] of a shark that ate an amphibian that had eaten a fish.
* In 2009 off the eastern seaboard of Australia, a three metre (ten feet) great white shark was found entangled in shark nets. The nets hadn't killed the shark, in fact, the shark had been ''bitten clean in half by something twice as large''. Only in Australia, folks.
** If you're wondering what could have done that: Another Great White, a Saltwater Crocodile, or an Orca.
** Point of order: [[http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2009/10/26/2009-10-26_10foot_great_white_shark_bitten_nearly_in_half_by_20foot_monster_shark_near_aust.html The shark]] was still alive when it was hauled out of the water. Great whites are amazingly tough to survive a wound like that.
* Speaking of Orcas, they are almost the perfect example of this trope in real life. Nigh-universally feared by people, the mighty great white shark is little more than prey for the even bigger and stronger Orca. In fact, when scientists tagged a group of great whites around the Southern California coastline in 2000, they all vanished very quickly after a local pod of Orcas decided to snack on them. One of the great whites was satellite-tracked, and was found to have pretty much immediately high-tailed it to ''Hawaii'', over two thousand miles distant.
** In an inversion, it's hypothesized that early Orcas drove the Megalodon, the infamous monster shark, into extinction. Being half the size of Megalodon and pack hunters they would have been competing for the same prey (baleen whales and large fish) and even possibly hunting the sharks themselves.
* Another animal that's often considered to be a terrifying sea monster are Giant Squids, but even they're preyed on by the largest predator, living or extinct, the Sperm Whale. The only animals larger then it are the filter feeding baleen whales.
* Proponents of globalization and similar trends point to this as a way to ensure world peace. The bigger fish in this case is economics. If two or more countries are intimately tied together economically, then they can't attack each other because even the victor would be greatly damaged by the economic repercussions. This was one of the driving forces behind the founding of the European Union and is cited as a major (if not predominant) reason why war between China and the United States is almost impossible in the current economic climate -- which is one reason China is working hard to find other markets for its products so it has more options in its foreign policy, especially when it comes to such hot topics as Taiwan. Whether this will work in practice, only time will tell; after all this same theory was applied to Europe between roughly 1870 and 1914. [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI Didn't work out so well.]]
** War between Canada, the United States, and Mexico was once a likely scenario and became reality in the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War of 1848. Nowadays, war between the three countries is almost unthinkable, mainly because large percentages of their imports and exports circulate among each other-in Canada and Mexico's cases, the overwhelming majority of exports go to the US. Only 21% of the US's exports go to Canada and Mexico, but that's still 5 times more than goes to China.
* In 2016, [[http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2016/06/22/morel-hunter-escapes-wolf-leading-bear/ a Canadian woman was stalked for hours by a starving wolf.]] She escaped by [[GiveChaseWithAngryNatives leading it]] between a [[MamaBear mother bear and her cub.]] No more wolf!
* Starting in the 1st century and continuing until the 5th, the UsefulNotes/RomanEmpire was almost constantly being invaded by Germanic tribes with names like the Vandals, the Goths and the Alans. It turned out that all of these barbarians, who inspired fear and loathing in the Roman mind, were in fact [[InvadingRefugees fleeing]] from ''their version'' of big, scary barbarians: the Huns.
* In the 1220s and 1230s, Hungary had a dire problem with a nomad incursion, the Cumans. Turned out the Cumans were themselves [[InvadingRefugees fleeing even bigger fish]]: ''the Mongols''.
* In the 260s BC, a group of mercenaries called the Mamertines holed themselves up in the Sicilian city of Messana, having seriously pissed off Carthage, the closest thing that the Mediterranean had to a superpower at the time. The Mamertines asked an up-and-coming Italian city state called Rome for help. Cue twenty years of the Romans proving they are the bigger fish in that particular pond, and Carthage was forever after relegated to "slightly smaller fish."