Our hero has to get to his destination ''yesterday'', and he's on foot. Unfortunately, there's a huge crowd between him and his goal, and for whatever reason, shouting at them to get out of his way just isn't cutting it. His only option is to weave his way through the crowd VideoGame/{{Frogger}}-style; changing speeds, cutting left and right to avoid clumps of people, and sometimes even ducking under carried objects and jumping over the incidental obstacles like benches and garbage cans. Generally, if the person is being chased or is fleeing a scene, they'll not even bother dodging, preferring to just bull their way through a crowd as best they can. (Naturally, the hero has to be nicer about it than the villain.) Of course, if the person being chased does this right, they tend to be LostInACrowd. If the hero is holding onto a MacGuffin, odds are he'll lose it, and have to play a game of CrowdHockey in order to get it back.

If one half of a couple is about to leave on a plane/boat/train/whatever, the odds that the other person will have to run the Mobstacle Course increase exponentially.

This can often be in a [[NightmareSequence scary dream sequence]]: the character is doing their best to move forward in the crowd, only to find that said crowd is getting denser and denser, resulting in the character being swept away as if in a tidal wave. Happens quite a bit in CrimeAndPunishmentSeries with the "Cop(s) chasing Suspect(s)" version.

See CardboardBoxes when the hero start knocking over random object behind him in order to hinder his pursuers.

Often a case of TruthInTelevision. Occasionally PlayedForLaughs. Compare to ExcuseMeComingThrough, where the crowd parts just when the hero or villain needs it to. If the character chooses a more direct path through the masses, it's a FoeTossingCharge. See also LeParkour.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/PsychoBusters'', one character is trapped in a [[MasterOfIllusion illusion of a town]] [[NightOfTheLivingMooks full of zombies]]. He uses this trope to avoid the zombies.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Nami went through one of these to get to the [[CoolBoat Going Merry]] at the end of the Arlong Arc, though this example is a bit different from the norm in that the crowd is an issue because they're trying to ''thank'' her. Being Nami, she not only gets through the crowd with ease, she steals all their money in the process.
* In the ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' manga, while training for the fight with Pollux, Kenichi's TricksterMentor Hayato Fuurinji made him use this as a training technique.
* Sena in ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' has been doing this since he was a kid, so his dodging skills are insane: Even while holding cellphones or other loads he can easily weave through crowds while not noticeably hitting many of them. This is actually his main EstablishingCharacterMoment and the moment that kicks off the whole plot: Hiruma watches him run away from the Ha-Ha Bros as they continue their usual bullying routine, even weaving through a rush hour mob, and sees a perfect football player.



* In Creator/DonRosa's DonaldDuck story "On Stolen Time", Donald and his nephews chase the Beagle Boys atop the heads of a crowd of people who have been frozen in time.


[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', our introduction to the titular character occurs as he dashes with a stolen piece of bread through crowds, fakirs, and herds of sheep with ease while his pursuers take the "toss-everyone-aside" approach.
* This is how Kronk loses the bag holding the unconscious Kuzco in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Hackers}}'', where the heroes are able to not only weave through the crowded conditions around Grand Central Station easily, they use the crowd (and the traffic) to keep the FBI at bay for a while.
* Used in ''Film/BatmanTheMovie'' as they attempt to reach the United World building.
* Deckard bumps into several pedestrians while pursuing Zhora in ''Film/BladeRunner''.
* Subverted in ''Film/OngBak: The Thai Warrior'' in which Tony Jaa, confronted by a crowd, ''runs across people's heads''. The {{Mooks}} chasing him are unable to duplicate the feat and must push through the MobstacleCourse.
* Likewise in ''Film/CrocodileDundee'', Mick Dundee "takes the high road" across people's shoulders when he can't make his way through a crowd to get to [[LoveInterest Sue Charlton]], getting a EurekaMoment when it's pointed out everyone is crammed in like a flock of sheep -- so he crosses the way a sheepdog would.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' movie, Inigo attempts this, but quickly becomes frustrated. Good thing he has Fezzik next to him to shout "Everybody ''move''!"
* ''Film/TheMatrix'':
** During the "Agent Training Program", Neo is continually bumping into people as he and Morpheus walk against the flow through a crowded New York City street. Conveniently, the crowd parts for Morpheus.
** Later, Neo is forced to do this while running through crowds of people in the streets while escaping from the three Agents near the end of the movie. The Agents tend to just throw people out of their way. Or shoot them. Or simply [[BodySurf change places with them]].
* In ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'', Indy does this for a bit while chasing the basket Marion is in, as soon as he realizes she's LostInACrowd.
* In ''Film/BroadcastNews'', Joan Cusack's character must cross a MobstacleCourse to get a badly needed newstape to the broadcast booth in order for the tape to be included in that night's news broadcast. She barely gets it there in time, but she gets it there.
* ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'': John Preston does this at least twice. He didn't have any place in particular to go one of the times, he was just running to blow off some steam or possibly to be alone and he floored a random citizen onto his back!
* ''Film/JamesBond'' examples:
** ''Film/{{Thunderball}}'' features the classic chase in the Junkanoo parade, where an injured Bond is desperately trying to get away from [[FemmeFatale Fiona Volpe]] and her {{Mook}}s. He fails, and makes it out alive only thanks to some DeadlyDodging.
** The ski chase in ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' has this right in the middle, at Bond's DarkestHour after escaping from Piz Gloria...which is when [[GirlOfTheWeek Tracy di Vincenzo]] re-enters the plot to save his bacon.
** ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'': Mollaka, the bomb-making LeParkour villain, gets chased by Bond in Madagascar through a construction site and an embassy. He practically goes out of his way to push and shove bystanders aside as well as kick one off a superstructure quite ruthlessly, even though he demonstrates several times that he can avoid obstacles with ease with his free running skill.
** ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'': Bond chases a bad guy through the audience of a horse race.
** ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'': Bond chasing Silva through the London Underground during rush hour.
** ''Film/{{Spectre}}'': Bond chases Marco Sciarra through a whole parade of people celebrating the Day of the Dead in the pre-title sequence.
* ''Film/TheWindAndTheLion'': While the U.S. Marines are trotting through the streets of Tangier, they run into a crowd of people and push them out of the way, including throwing two people into market stalls along a wall.
* ''Film/{{Wanted}}''. One of the various climactic scenes is this trope [[IncendiaryExponent on fire.]] The main character runs through a huge loom hallway covered with explosive rats, shooting the hell out of everyone that gets in his way, never once reloading his weapons- instead, he catches the guns his enemies drop out of the air. And he doesn't stop moving.
* The climax of ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' takes place in such a scene at the airport.
* ''Film/{{Inception}}'': After meeting Eames, Cobb is chased through the streets of Mombasa by {{Mooks}} sent by Cobal Engineering, and must shove his way past bystanders. Luckily, when the people chasing Cobb start shooting, [[ImperialStormTrooperMarksmanshipAcademy their aim is all over the place]]
* In the Hungarian film ''Film/{{Kontroll}}'' Bulsco's gang chase a graffiti artist, which requires pushing past and through random people.
* In ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'' The Joes use the Accelerator suits going through traffic chasing after Cobra, causing massive crunches in cars that get in the way and ending with them stopped cold on their backs a couple times.
* In ''Film/{{Unknown 2011}}'', during an on-foot chase scene through a hospital, the assassin is constantly blocked by people in his path, which prevents him from catching on to the hero who can escape.


* The main character of Creator/CoryDoctorow's ''Literature/DownAndOutInTheMagicKingdom'' does this all the time, which leads directly to his employment at Disney World.
* Done by Rincewind in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', in a ShoutOut to the ''Film/CrocodileDundee'' example above.
* In one of Creator/EEDocSmith's books (an early ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' one, if memory serves) our hero is undercover with some criminals on a very highly populated planet - the criminals are experts at running the crowds, and the hero has to barge people aside and generally rush to keep up, and hope that the villain doesn't turn back to check on him. The expectation was that a guy in the position he was claiming to hold would know how to run the crowds, and it was a sort of SecretTestOfCharacter.
* ''Literature/NewMoon'' does this in the big Italy scene. You've got to get to the other side of the square before the clock stops tolling in order to save your beloved from a successful suicide they really don't want to do..... did I mention we're having a festival?
* 'Strip Running' in ''Literature/TheCavesofSteel'' is based on this, complicated by walkways of increasing and decreasing speed.
* In ''Literature/{{Uncle}}'', the Old Monkey has to travel through crowds very often. His favorite way is going over people's heads.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' does this with George while trying to get a ''Frogger'' arcade console across a busy New York City street. HilarityEnsues. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-FbktgqCqY Video]].
* In the ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' episode, ''Turn and Face the Strange'', the ordinarily calm and collected Mr. Bennet has to make a desperate on-foot escape through a city street, comically knocking over just about every pedestrian in his way.
* In the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS2E09ConspiracyTheoriesAndInteriorDesign Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design]]" a ChaseScene occurs that includes examples of ExcuseMeComingThrough and MobstacleCourse in the form of a Latvian Independence Parade... all within the confines of a blanket fort.
* Happens when ''Series/TheAmazingRace'' visits big cities, especially in India. Sometimes used as a task where teams have to find a specific person within the mob.
* In the fifth episode of ''Series/WolfHall'', Henry VIII is proclaimed dead after a jousting accident and Thomas Cromwell rushes to the scene to find a tent crammed with Howards and Boleyns and other panicking or opportunistic individuals, all yelling their heads off. He has to push and shove his way through to get to Henry and do some proto-[=CPR=] on him. (There's a bit of EnforcedMethodActing during the scene, as the other actors were ''supposed'' to make it easier for Mark Rylance to get through, but were too caught up in acting the mob that he really did have to grab them and shove them aside.)


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' lets you do this through crowds of zombies if you position your jumps right. Not in the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} version, where [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer you instead just blast your way through with your guns]].
* One of the highlighted features of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' was the protagonists capacity to make his way unnoticed through [[MobstacleCourse crowds]], weaving in and out, and gently pushing people aside without breaking pace.
* Ryo ends up having to do this a few times while chasing various people in ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}}''.
* You do this automatically if someone's in your way in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}''. If you're sprinting then the crowd is sent flying. In the former case they'll get annoyed and confront you if you stick around, in the later case they'll start running and screaming (or shooting if they're a soldier or policeman). This can be an annoyance though, when trying to do stealth.
* The ''VideoGame/BackToTheFuture1989'' game for NES. And what's better, [[EverythingTryingToKillYou everyone wants Marty dead]], including [[SheetOfGlass guys carrying windows]] and hula hoop girls.
* ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' invokes a tragic version of this while you're trying to get to Jason.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "A Taste of Freedom", during Freedom Day (the day for doing whatever you want with no regard for consequences) Bender attaches a cowcatcher to himself for pushing through crowds.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* TruthInTelevision, of course, especially in large cities.
* There's an actual tag-like game involving this and LeParkour: when in areas with very little people, you're allowed to move any way you like, even RoofHopping, but when in a crowded area, your objective is to cause as little commotion as possible and still move as fast as you can. Usually, the one with the best "crowd intuition" wins.
* The employees of theme parks (especially the larger ones, like the Ride/DisneyThemeParks) become World Champions at the art of navigating a Mobstacle Course. Having to get from Point A to Point B through a crowd of 80,000+ people gets them lots of practice.
* The entire sport of roller derby could be summed up as a) making the most impassable MobstacleCourse possible for the opposition and b) helping your team pass through the opposition's MobstacleCourse as quickly as possible.
* This is essentially what bicycle messengers in big cities do (the most famous are in New York.) They navigate between people on the sidewalk and cars on the street. Their entire selling point is being faster than on foot, and faster than a car since they can dodge in between them on the road.
* Anyone who busses tables at a buffet-style restaurant has to learn to do this while [[DishDash carrying a stack of plates.]]