->''"We could stop 'em, but [[GenreBlindness I'm sure today's events put a complete end to his megalomaniac tendencies forever.]]"''
-->-- '''[[WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}} Diabetus]]''', ''[[{{MST}} Let's Watch]] WesternAnimation/MegaMan''

Once their plot is foiled the villain (less often, a hero) will ''always'' get away in the [[ATwinkleInTheSky most undignified]] and [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] fashion imaginable. If they didn't, who would the hero fight next episode? This [[WildMassGuessing is probably why]] the heroes either don't even bother chasing them, or else send {{Red Shirt}}s after them with predictable results, or even ''[[OutOfSightOutOfMind help them get away]].'' Other times, they're [[MercyLead just being sporting]].

No blockades, no manhunts, not even [[ExitPursuedByABear pursued by a bear]]. After all, it's at the end of the episode.

Regardless of the means, the escaped SmugSnake will [[EvilGloating gloat]] about how it [[JustAsPlanned "all went according to plan"]], maybe set off the SelfDestructMechanism in the CollapsingLair, and return "triumphantly" next episode. Less often, you'll see them lick their figurative and literal wounds at having not only been beat, but forced to show the better part of valour and try to come up with a ''new'' Plot Of The Week that will work, throwing in a [[WeWillMeetAgain "Next Time, Tropeworthy!"]] for good measure.

Most villains who exit stage left also favor the FriendOrIdolDecision and SadisticChoice as backups, setting off small bombs or traps on loved ones to force the hero to choose between their capture or their friends' lives.

See also ScrewThisImOuttaHere for when the {{mooks}} try this. Compare SoLongSuckers and KarmaHoudini. Contrast with LastVillainStand where the villain decides to stick around and fight to the end.

'''There may be unmarked spoilers ahead!'''
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Gin walks away from his fight with Hitsugaya after Rangiku persuades him to stand down. Hitsugaya initially wants to continue, but Gin tells him he should tend to the unconscious Momo first.
* Naraku of ''Manga/InuYasha'' had an irritating habit of doing this. Every episode Naraku was directly involved in ended with him either running away after getting his ass handed to him or him doing something that made it impossible for him to be directly attacked. And ''every single incarnation'' he created would inevitably run like hell when things got sticky. Honestly, how many times can the BigBad get savaged and [[BadassDecay still claim to be all powerful?]]
** Thankfully inverted with the Band of Seven. Except for maybe once or twice, they all fight to the death. Inuyasha even tells the leader that he can leave, but he refuses because he wants to avenge his friends. Is it any wonder why a group of specters who got curb-stomped in only a handful of battles are seen as more bad-ass than the BigBad of the entire story?
* In the ''{{Mai-Hime}}'' manga, Nao leaves her fight with Mai and Yuuichi after Yuuichi knocks Nao's key away, preventing her from using her Child. Mai and Yuuichi demand an apology for remarks Nao made about the other.
* ''MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'': Every time after the heroines perform their [[MagicMusic song]], which end with a "Love Shower Pitch!" (and followed with "How about an encore?"), the villains (most of them) they just beat always teleport away afterwards.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Itachi Uchiha is a master of [[MemeticMutation the Art of Run]]. Most likely explained by the revelation that [[spoiler:he was a double agent who wanted to limit any damage done to the good guys.]]
** Kabuto and Orochimaru seem to be impossibly good at escaping when at a disadvantage, especially when compared to the majority of other villains. A fair amount of the time, their opponents are also badly injured or out of chakra, though.
* A rare villain-villain example: [[spoiler:Gecko Moria]] in ''OnePiece'' at the end of the Marineford arc was supposed to be killed as his performance simply wasn't impressive enough. However, [[spoiler:Doflamingo]] reports that he used his abilities in a way he hadn't been seen to before in order to escape.
* No one in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' ever bother to chase Team Rocket after they "blast off again". This was addressed in one episode, an Officer Jenny blasted them off, disappointed that they got away but remarking that there were more powerful members of Team Rocket around that the police force should occupy their time with catching.
** As of ''Black and White'', instead of "blasting off", they simply escape, usually by jetpack, when they lose.
* Pixy Misa in the ''PrettySammy'' series always leaves just before her MonsterOfTheWeek gets vaporized. One particularly weird exit was when she left on a huge cruise ship that randomly appeared in Pretty Space.
* In ''Anime/SailorMoon'', after the MonsterOfTheWeek is deployed, the member of the QuirkyMinibossSquad who did it virtually always teleports, drives or runs away while the main characters are distracted by the monster. In some cases, they actually watch the battle without participating, and then escape after the monster is defeated. Of course, nobody bothers to stop or chase them; except ''once'' when the Outers try attacking Kaolinite. She summons up incredible power to beat them all...and then runs away anyways.
** Averted in episode 3. After the monster is defeated, Jedite takes on Sailor Moon in combat and almost defeats her before Tuxedo Mask shows up.
* In ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'', this trope is subverted in "Get Berg Katze" where the episode begins where the stories typically end, with the destruction of the Galactor [[MonsterOfTheWeek mecha of the week]] and Katze escaping in his personal craft. Afterward, Professor Nambu orders the team to actually pursue Katze for once, and the villain is shocked (''Shocked!'') to see the team do so. But he must have thought about it at some point, since he escaped his escape craft via smaller escape craft. Then things got really weird.
** You mean the exploding bananas? Katse was king of this trope, what with the mooks blocking the heroes, the innocents needing to be rescued, the sliding doors, and the bombs.[[note]]Small personal and medium bombs, as well as the blow-up-the-base variety.[[/note]]
* Eggman tended to pull this in ''SonicX'' episodes.
* Quartz Christie runs away at the end of the ''LightNovel/BodaciousSpacePirates'' series after the Grand Cross was curbstomped due to mostly her overconfidence. To make matters worse, she promised Kato Marika that she would not "run and hide", but a minute later, heads to her escape craft and activates the self-destruct mechanism. She is later shown in her escape craft, pleased to save the battle strategy data that may have led to her easily being defeated, and that she destroyed the last Grand Cross ship to eliminate any evidence of her humiliation... but points out what a humiliating defeat it still was, though she still hopes to face Marika once again.
* The members of the {{Quirky Mini Boss Squad}}s from ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'' and ''Anime/SuitePrettyCure'' have to left the battlefields without VillainTeleportation because they cannot teleport like all other villains. And they can't fly by their own either.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Subverted in ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool #49'', after {{Deadpool}} and Ka-Zar thwart one of Brainchild's latest plans to take over the Savage Land he and his minions try to escape on pterodactyls. Ka-Zar laments that Brainchild has escaped even though he's really not that far away and he could go after him on foot as it's hard to loose a flying lizard with people on it. Deadpool, GenreSavvy as he is, simply shoots the pterodactyl Brainchild is riding sending it tumbling down into the waiting jaws of some very hungry T-rexes. Deadpool then tells Ka-Zar that he should really try using guns.
* In the MarvelUniverse, The RedSkull justifies this trope by preparing his escape routes with care with obstacles that justifiably discourage the heroes from pursuing him.
** For instance, his first SilverAge appearance has him escaping through a hidden wall panel door. Bucky is all for smashing through it to begin the chase, but CaptainAmerica realizes that panel is a disguised steel door and by the time they get it open to the escape tunnel, the Skull would be long gone. As Cap says in the story "Whoever this Red Skull is, he's no amateur!"
** In a modern version, Cap pursues the Skull in one of his buildings and loses him just long enough to find a veritable maze of multiple possible escape routes the Skull prepared for this situation and decides trying to guess correctly which one he took would be unlikely and a waste of time to try.
** Subverted at the climax of ''CaptainAmerica: Reborn''. Here, the Red Skull's consciousness is forced back into his robot body after being forced out of Rogers' by Rogers himself. Unplugging himself, the Red Skull tries to make a break for it hoping the big fight around would cover his tracks. Sharon Carter stops that in a brilliantly counter-intuitive way by using Dr. Hank Pym's size changing technology to make him a giant before he got away. Yes, that means that there now is a giant Red Skull trying to stomp the superheroes, but it also means that there is no way he can sneak away now and fighting with ColossusClimb tactics is old hat for Captain America and his friends, not to mention Sharon gets the Vision to access the Skull's ship's weapons systems to hit a now ''really big'' target.
* Invoked but not carried out by Harley Quinn in volume 2 of [[Franchise/{{Batman}} "Hush"]]. As she flees Batman she quotes Snagglepuss, 'Heavens to Murgatroid, exit, stage left.' But is caught before she can fully escape.
* Invoked in ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'' issue #8. After beating Robotnik's super hero themed robots, Sonic is about to beat him up but slips on some motor oil. Robotnik then escapes riding ''Crabmeat'', after which, Sonic pulls out the Comics Code handbook and comments that the villain always gets away in the end.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' #17, the Masked Marauder slips away from view long enough to beat up a security guard and steal his uniform, escaping capture to menace New York another day.
* Parodied in ''[[ComicBook/TheSimpsons The Simpsons Comic]]'': Bart and Lisa have just survived a run-in with Sideshow Bob, Kang and Kodos. Bob sees a helicopter with a rope-ladder hanging from it and assumes his henchmen have prepared his escape. He gives the standard "We shall meet again" speech and flees - only to realise something:
-->'''Bob''' ''(halfway up the ladder)'': Wait a minute! Good Lord, I don't ''have'' any henchmen!
-->'''Wiggum''' ''(inside the copter)'': Looks like our new "hands-off" approach to fighting crime is working.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* This trope is frequently subverted in ''Fanfic/TheLegendOfSpyroANewDawn''. Commander Hades attempts this after his defeat, only to be [[spoiler:cut off by [[TheDreaded Drake]], who effortlessly [[CurbstompBattle curbstomps him]].]] Empress Tyrania's TheDragon attempts this after [[spoiler:the curse keeping the slaves from hurting him is broken and all his guards are demolished. Sparx slams his exit door in his face.]]
* Used successfully by Gaul in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4625774/1/The_Legend_of_Spyro_New_Frontier The Legend of Spyro: New Frontier]]'', assisted with a SadisticChoice.
* Kaworu in ''FanFic/ShinjiAndWarhammer40K'' does this three times, each time soundly thrashed despite the horrific casualties of the heroes and each time completely unwilling to accept that he was defeated. That he got into the habit of this might be the reason the author decided to [[spoiler:have Gendo demonstrate that he was EvilerThanThou]].
* ''FanFic/InnerDemons'': When [[spoiler: [[TheStarscream Scootaloo]]'s]] forces are defeated by the protagonists in Ponyville, she runs off and escapes, [[WeWillMeetAgain swearing revenge.]]
** When things go downhill for her in Fillydelphia, [[BigBad Queen!]][[FaceHeelTurn Twilight Sparkle]] grabs her lieutenants and flees, leaving behind a [[GiantMook Grendal]] to cover her escape.
** When Queen!Twilight [[OneWingedAngel ascends to Alicorn-hood]] following her VillainousBreakdown, she tells the Element bearers and their allies that she's giving them three days to prepare for the FinalBattle, and then teleports away.
** [[spoiler: When the Darkness is [[EnemyWithout forced from Twilight's body]], it kidnaps her and flees.]]
* ''FanFic/JewelOfDarkness'': When Midnight is defeated in her lair by the Titans at the end of the Jump City arc, [[spoiler: Slade rescues her]] and then triggers the lair's self-destruct to cover their escape.
** [[spoiler: Unlike canon, Mad Mod escapes his first confrontation with the Titans scott free, leaving only a [[WeWillMeetAgain mocking message]] behind.]]
* Subverted in ''FanFic/QueenOfAllOni''. [[EvilSorcerer Lung]] flees from his fortress when [[CoDragons Left and Right]] [[StormingTheCastle attack it to save Jade]]. However, [[spoiler: just before he can get on his escape boat, Right cuts him off (literally) and then kills him]].
** Usually played straight by Jade and her minions, however.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'': When [[TheDragon Esteem]] realizes that Twilight is too powerful for him to defeat, he flees. [[spoiler: Twilight intercepts and kills him.]]
** [[spoiler: [[EnemyMine Discord]] sticks around just long enough to temporarily reduce [[BigBad Titan's]] power -- giving the heroes a chance to prepare for the FinalBattle -- and then flees. Luna implies that he left the planet altogether.]]
* In the [[BadFuture Dark World]] arc of the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', Rancor ultimately walks away from the fight with the Elements of Harmony and returns to the Draconequi dimension after [[spoiler: succeeding in stealing Destruction's power from Discord]].
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' CrackFic ''FanFic/TheGame'' [[spoiler: Light]] makes his escape after [[spoiler: Near]] made everyone lose the Game [[IgnoredEnemy and they forget about him for a moment while they're bickering about it.]]
* ''[[Fanfic/AFutureOfFriendshipAHistoryOfHate A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate]]'': Even though [[BigBad Ruinate]] is defeated at the end of Episode 2, his [[CoDragons heralds]] manage to rescue him from being [[SealedEvilInACan resealed]], and they escape.
** The heralds always manage to escape after their episodic plots are defeated.
* ''FanFic/JusticeLeagueOfEquestria'': After Rainbow Dash/Supermare destroys his enchanted-to-cut-through-anything sword, Comicbook/{{Deathstroke}} hides from view with a smoke bomb and flees. He comments that [[PsychoForHire he's already been paid]], so there's really no reason for him to have still been there, anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Syndrome attempts a variation of this at the end of ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. It doesn't work, mostly because the hero isn't in the mood to just let him get away.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker'':
** At the end SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is apparently so used to this trope through the years tangling with Batman that when Terry destroys his KillSat control and sends the ensuing DeathFromAbove heading right towards the Joker's hideout, his only response is:
-->'''Joker:''' [[SarcasmMode Oh, good]], the beam's headed ''here''. Now I'll have to start all over again. Thanks for wrecking everything, kid. See you around...
** There's an earlier example when the Joker first confronts the elderly Bruce Wayne; when he leaves, he sets off explosives to put the civilians in danger, in order to stop Terry from pursuing him in his getaway hovercraft...knowing that Batman would have to save the civilians.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'', Jade Fox is almost killed by Li Mu Bai, but escapes the legendary warrior - who is capable of {{Roofhopping}} to the point of flight - by jumping over a wall. And he just lets her get away.
* Subverted in ''Film/SmokinAces''. The last living member of the redneck neo-Nazi assassins is accosted by the last living member of a group of bounty hunters that had run afoul of them earlier. At first, the Nazi walks away... and then the audience hears, "Fuck this" and the Nazi is brought down by repeated shots in the back.
* ''Film/AustinPowers'' does this a couple of times, with Dr. Evil flying off into space.
* The rewritten version of Gandalf vs. Witch-King in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' has major shades of this. In TheMovie, the Witch-King actually has Gandalf at his mercy, then quickly exits when TheCavalry arrives.
* In ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'', [[spoiler:a super-powered Optimus Prime doesn't bother killing a damaged Megatron after giving The Fallen a gruesome death; in fact, right after The Fallen dies, Starscream comes to Megatron and suggests that they flee, attempting to justify the villains' side of this trope with his memorable quote.]]
** Note that Prime's [[spoiler: super-armor was provided by Jetfire, who complained about being low on energon, sacrificing his body for the parts. Prime discarded that armor pretty quickly right after the fight, in which the Fallen destroyed one of the turbines, so he must've burned through what little reserves were left.]]
* The inspiration for [[Film/AustinPowers Dr Evil]], the Film/JamesBond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, does this in ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice''. He tries this again in ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' and ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', but neither ends quite as well for him.
* Count Dooku in ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/AttackOfTheClones'' does this after the clone army attacks, fleeing to his personal space craft, and though Anakin and Obi-Wan (and then Yoda) pursue him they aren't that effective, leaving him alive for the next film.
* Darth Vader does the same after the Death Star is destroyed.
* Subverted in ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.[[spoiler:At first it looks like Destro and Cobra Commander are going to do this, but Duke refuses to let them escape and catches them.]]
** Played straight in ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'': [[spoiler: Cobra Commander escapes on a helicopter near the end of the movie.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the earlier books in ''ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', Count Olaf would always get away, while Mr. Poe comically and ineffectively attempted to get the police to chase him. The first book, he literally walks off a stage after another villain turns off the lights for his escape.
** This was even lampooned in an issue of MAD Magazine, in which Count Olaf goes into a showing of ''[[LordOfTheRings Return of the King]]'' and Mr. Poe says it's too much trouble to go after him.
* Used in the ''EndersGame''-universe novel ''Shadow of the Giant'' to create a moral dilemma: in order to save a hostage, Bean promises the villain he'll let him escape, and then has to decide whether to keep that promise, knowing that doing so will probably result in many deaths.
* Parodied in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/TheLastHero''. Cohen's band of heroes would always let Dark Lord Harry Dread escape, and he would always hire stupid minions and make easily-escaped dungeons. They all refer to it as [[ContractualGenreBlindness The Code]]; either you live by the code, or you don't. If you're a villain this means being a CardCarryingVillain, and if you're a hero you benefit from PlotArmour. If you don't live by The Code, then that means that those ineffectual villains can [[TheGlovesComeOff stop playing around,]] or that the heroes don't have to let the villain escape. It's not just tradition, it's a way of life. Which means either you [[NobodyCanDie live by the code]] or, you know. [[AnyoneCanDie Not.]]
** The Old Count from ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'' benefits from a variant of this: he always makes sure that his castle is full of easily-improvised anti-vampire weapons, and the villagers who defeat him never actually ''scatter'' the ashes so he'll stay dead-dead.
* Justified in ''Literature/WarriorCats'', where the Warrior Code makes it so that the winning cats have to let the defeated cats escape, to prevent unnecessary bloodshed.
** Also played straight at the end of ''A Dangerous Path'', where Tigerstar just runs away without putting up a fight.
* In ''StarTrekTheBattleOfBetazed'', the Vorta overseer [[PragmaticVillainy Luaran]] beams out in a climatic scene using a Dominion long-range transporter. She leaves her Cardassian colleagues behind to be captured, though.
* At the end of the third ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' book, the BigBad Minty Mazata attacks Jay with her [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire fangs]] and escapes the planet in her ship before the alarm is raised.
* ''Literature/{{Malevil}}'' forces this trope to zig-zag a bit when Malevil comes under siege. With [[spoiler: Vilmain]] dead, his subordinate, [[spoiler: Jean Feyrac]], leads their men in an orderly retreat back to La Roque, Malevil's defenders watch them depart from the castle ramparts. Subverted when they mount their horses and ride along a hidden trail to cut off the survivors and set up an ambush. Double subverted when it's realized that [[spoiler: Feyrac]] is alone, riding on a bicycle ahead of the soldiers, and Emmanuel must risk letting the leader go to avoid alerting the bulk of the army to the trap. Finally subverted again they remember Colin's bow allows for a silent kill and their enemies walk blindly into the ambush a few minutes later.
* At the end of ''Literature/CurseOfTheWolfgirl'' BigBad Distikka manages to vanish unseen during the confrontation between our heroes and her [[ScaledUp Dragon]].
* In ''Literature/MoonOverSoho'' the "Faceless One" decides that having a chimney stack thrown at him is more than enough, and takes advantage of the distraction afforded by a crashing helicopter to disappear in the confusion. He'll probably be back.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': When Alther exposed [=DomDaniel=] as a necromancer and took the Amulet of Akhu in the {{backstory}} [=DomDaniel=] jumped from the top of the Wizard Tower and escaped into the Abyss.
* Happens in the end of Sukhinov's ''Emerald City'' series in a most egregious way. After the BigBad loses his army, he starts fighting the good guy's champion, then in the middle of a fight says "Oh, I don't think i can kill you!", and [[JumpingTheShark flies off into ''space'']] The End!
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, Jack Frost escapes this way in Joy's book, leaving behind a taunting message for the heroes to find.
* In the ''Literature/VenusPrime'' series, BigBad Nemo pulls this twice - first after his cover as Editions is exposed by Blake (he escapes because Blake gets injected with a drug that causes him to rant uncontrollably, meaning that even if he'd gone to the police, nobody would have believed him), and later after [[spoiler:Sparta slaughters most of the ''prophetae'' of the Free Spirit]]. He nearly escapes a third time in the last book, but [[spoiler:instead gets erased from existence]].
* At the end of ''Literature/IslandInTheSeaOfTime'', [[spoiler:Walker manages to escape from Alston's forces, albeit seriously injured]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* At the end of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "Terror of the Autons", UNIT ''do'' chase after the Master, but give up when they find his abandoned vehicle. The Doctor is completely unconcerned about the likelihood of the villain returning. "As a matter of fact, Jo, I'm rather looking forward to it." The Master would then perform this trope in almost ''every one'' of his appearances (except for those in which he [[JokerImmunity "dies"]]).
** It is actually quite rare for "non-Master" ''Who'' villains to escape; one exception is [[MagnificentBastard Count Grendel]] in "The Androids of Tara". After the Doctor and his allies storm Grendel's castle, the Count shouts "next time, I shall not be so lenient!" before [[HighDiveEscape jumping off a parapet into his moat and swimming away]].
** Lady Cassandra O'Brien in "The End of the World" attempts exit in a leftward direction via teleportation, only for The Doctor to teleport her back moments later - While she's bragging to her henchmen.
** Similarly subverted in the Ninth Doctor episode "Boom Town" when Margaret Blaine repeatedly runs away from the Doctor, only to be forcibly teleported back by her own device.
** And as far as the Daleks of the Cult of Skaro go: "EMERGENCY TEMPORAL SHIFT!"
* Subverted in an episode of ''{{Firefly}}'', when a one-shot villain mistakenly thinks he's going to get this treatment. Instead, he gets to know one of ''Serenity's'' [[TurbineBlender engines]] in a very personal and intimate manner.
** Niska pulls one of these at the end of "War Stories", somehow managing to slip past an enraged Mal and the remainder of ''Serenity'''s crew while his henchman are [[StormingTheCastle busy dying]].
** [=YoSaffBridge=] tries to pull this twice, only for her to be swiftly found by ''Serenity'''s crew - twice - who let her go unharmed - twice.
*** Unharmed, maybe. But they call the cops on her the second time, so she doesn't actually escape.
* Subverted in the ''Series/{{V}}'' regular TV series, which begins right at the moment ''V: The Final Battle'' ended where Diana made her escape. Donovan immediately realizes that she's getting away, chases her and catches her right away.
* Every episode of ''Series/LazyTown''. They don't even put Robbie Rotten in a CardboardPrison. Or even have any police force (no wonder they need a superhero!) Granted, in a town with four adults and five kids as the total population, it doesn't seem like they could spare the manpower to guard him...
* Quite a few ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episodes feature the heroes standing around and letting Spike get away. This didn't seem so bad after his BadassDecay but back when he was a legitimate threat it could really get on your nerves. Perhaps the most {{egregious}} is in the episode "Halloween", where Buffy is standing ''right next to him'' as he starts to run away in defeat and clearly could have easily killed him.
** "Crush" was possibly the most {{egregious}}; Spike declared his love for Buffy, was rebuffed, attempted to have Drusilla kill her, failed, and Buffy's response is to ''close the front door in his face''. Not, say, kill somebody who'd just proved himself willing and able to kill people again. "[[JumpingTheShark The shark,]] [[TelevisionWithoutPity she is jumped.]]", some might say.
** The instances of Harmony getting away are rather irrational, considering that they always beat her so easily. She does still drink people's blood!
*** They can't take her seriously. When Buffy learned she had assembled a gang, she ''laughed''. Earlier, Xander even confronted said gang by standing on the door of Buffy's home and telling them off due their inability to enter uninvited, and when Dawn accidentally invited her in Xander was able to kick her out. Xander, a normal human who had no cross at the moment, KICKED OUT THE VAMPIRIC HARMONY. How could they take her seriously?
** Also done humorously with the vampire Lyle Gorch in ''[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E12BadEggs Bad Eggs]]'', who keeps saying "This ain't over!".. until he sees Buffy hack a giant underground tentacle-monster to death with a pickaxe.
-->"Alright, it's over." ''(Flees.)''
* Quite often, the characters in ''Series/TheATeam'' are content at shooting at their enemies' feet until they run away, only forcing the surrender of the main boss. The opposite is also noted with the army.
* Invoked in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
-->"Exit Stage Crowley."
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' after Mr. Rad accidentally confesses onstage to killing the previous glee club he gets away by shouting "[[LookADistraction Look! Kings of Leon!]]" and running off...stage left. No one tries to chase him.
* Parodied in ''Series/{{Danger 5}}'' OnceAnEpisode with [[AdolfHitler Hitler]] escaping from Danger 5's ATeamFiring via a SuperWindowJump through [[StockFootage the same window every time]]. Our heroes then all look exasperated and never bother to chase him.
* Eagleclaw in ''TheAquabatsSuperShow'' tries to fly off after The Dude wrecks his guitar, but ends up landing not far from where he took off, still in the camera's sight. He awkwardly runs off as the Aquabats regroup.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Machinima]]
* In one of the [[MultipleEndings six endings]] (the canon one) of the hundredth episode of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', [[spoiler:Red Team lets Blue Team go without trying to kill them, because they've had enough for one day.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* The final mode of ''Pinball/JunkYard'', [[AstralFinale "Outer Space"]], always ends with Crazy Bob escaping once you're out of firecrackers to throw at him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Employed as a game mechanic in the role-playing game ''MutantsAndMasterminds'' where players are rewarded for the villain escaping by fiat with "hero points" that allow them to increase their chances of success in later encounters.
* In ''DungeonsAndDragons'', it's traditional for the BigBad wizard to have at least one teleportation spell prepared for when he drops under a certain number of hit points or his plan is spoiled. In 3rd Edition, it's usually Dimension Door, but that only gives a head start of a few hundred feet to whatever serves as an escape pod. However, a magic item, the Corrupted Unicorn Horn, takes this a step further and returns the possessor to wherever the horn was obtained. Ever since this item was published, more and more villains have been getting away easier...
** Other core spells that provide similar functions include Plane Shift, Word of Recall, and, at really low levels, Invisibility (which even comes in potion form for non-spellcasting cowards).
* Appears in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' with the Necrons. If their army is reduced to 25%, they teleport away. Problem with that in gameplay is, it means the Necron player loses automatically even if they might be winning.
** As of 2011 this rule has been removed entirely, although none of it's appearences in the "fluff" have been retcon'd out.
** Also, Cypher. If he's ever "killed", the Chaos gods just teleport him outta there.
* In superhero [=RPG=] ''[[ProseDescriptiveQualities Truth & Justice]]'', villains get a pool of Villain Points they can spend to do things like turn out to actually be a robot double, or have a secret exit immediately to hand that closes and locks itself behind them. Game Masters were in fact encouraged to do this to make a villain into a recurring character instead of a one-off thing, with several encounters and last-minute escapes culminating in the villain (finally out of Villain Points) getting captured and locked up. Only to spend the time in prison regenerating their Villain Points through devious scheming...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Nicely subverted in ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters XI''. Magaki opens a portal to escape, the entire time talking about how TheBattleDidntCount. The player's characters, meanwhile, openly mock him for abandoning the fight. [[spoiler:Just as Magaki is about to enter the portal, however, Shion, TheDragon whom was previously thrown into it, hurls a spear through Magaki's chest from inside the portal and kills him.]]
* A notable ''attempt'' at aversion is seen in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', where Sabin (and maybe Shadow) confront Kefka in the Imperial Base outside of Doma. Kefka ''repeatedly'' employs a VillainExitStageLeft after being hit, but Sabin ''does'' try to chase him down. The only reason Kefka gets away is because of conveniently placed enemies.
** Kefka employs this trope an awful lot in the early parts of the game, while he's still being portrayed as a minor comic-relief villain. Pretty much everything goes to hell when Kefka stops running.
** A couple times he also jokes as he runs. They yell at him to wait and he responds "Wait he says. What do I look like a waiter?"
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Rude's defeat animation consists of him looking at his watch and walking away, with the heroes making no effort to pursue. But then again, said animation is too badass to interrupt.
* [[RivalTurnedEvil Seifer]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' does this every time you fight him. One gets the impression that Squall really just doesn't want to kill him.
** However, unlike Reno, you do knock him out once.
* Deliciously averted in ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'': Covenant. Near the end of the game's first half, [[DiscOneFinalBoss Rasputin]] has shown his true colors and launched a full-scale attack on Petrograd. The party catches up to him on the roof of the Winter Palace, but he jumps off and begins to fly away on his [[CoolAirship giant evil blimp.]] At this point, anyone who has seen this trope in action before is expecting the standard "Well shucks. You live to fight another day, villain. If only there was a group of meteor-slinging wizards and near-superheroes who could pursue you" reaction. Instead, Yuri has the entirely sensible recollection that he's an incredibly powerful shapeshifter, transforms into [[OneWingedAngel Amon]], and beats down both Rasputin and the zeppelin itself with his bare hands.
* In ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' and its sequel, ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein}}'', the Nazi MadScientist Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse ''always'' gets away. So far it's happened four times: first with an U-Boat from Kugelstadt, then with a ''rocketplane'' from occupied Norway, then from the top of his personal castle after a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere destroyed his extradimensional battery, and lastly from a parallel dimension, through an ancient portal that led to an ''exploding Zepellin''. The producers don't seem to want to kill him off since, as far as ThoseWackyNazis go, he's actually a rather competent villain. He even gets promoted to General between the two games. However, in ''The New Order'', [[spoiler:this trope is averted and Deathshead is finally KilledOffForReal at the end of the game.]]
* This happens several times in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere''. Most notably when Cornelius allows the obviously insane and world-destruction-seeking BigBad King Valentine to stumble away after besting him, TWICE. [[spoiler: Not only that, Belial manages to survive FOUR boss fights before finally being killed, and that was only because he asked to be killed. And if that weren't enough, four characters didn't the foresight to kill Leviathan before he grows to full power, though Gwendolyn has the defense of Oswald's safety being more important to her at the time. Remarkably this IS subverted at one point though when Oswald decides to kill Skuldi rather than let him live. A good thing too, because the latter was about to attack him again. This is also partially subverted at another point when Cornelius seems to really consider killing Ingway before the latter asks him if he could deal with the guilt of killing his lover's brother.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', [[VideoGame/StarFox Falco]] lets [[SuperMarioBros Bowser]] get away after destroying his Dark Cannon.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan's'' Dr. Wily. His case is especially bad, considering one time he literally escaped through ''an ordinary Goddamned door.''
** In ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', Mega Man was about to give Wily a face full of plasma until Bass rescued Wily.
** Shadow Man in ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' does this every time you beat him until Cossack Castle Stage 1.
** ''In MegaManPoweredUp'', Dr. Wily escapes if you beat him on Easy. Beating the game on harder difficulties causes Wily to go to his usual routine of begging Mega Man to leave him alone, claiming to have learned his lesson.
** Subverted in the [[ComicBook/MegaMan comic]] during the first game adaption. It looks like Wily is about to get away, but Mega Man proves too quick.
* Present in most ''SonicTheHedgehog'' titles, especially when Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is the main (and only) boss. Every time you defeat him, he'd come back again in a bigger and sometimes-more-dangerous mecha to menace Sonic again and again.
** As are Captain Whisker and his crew, the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot pirates]] (from ''VideoGame/{{Sonic Rush|Series}} Adventure''. As the cut scenes are just character art and text on a background, they didn't have to explain ''how'' this was possible, and so the phrase "he got away again!" and variants thereof were used many, many times. This is also repeatedly [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]]:
--> Sonic: ''Argh! He ran off again!''
--> Blaze: ''Those guys just will not sit still!''
* [[EvilPoacher The Poacher]] from ''VideoGame/JadeCocoon'', who's only role in the story is to provide a mini-boss battle when it would be a good time for a mini-boss battle. Levant lets the guy run away each time he beats him and makes no attempt whatsoever to stop him. Admittedly, it leads to a damned hilarious line after defeating the poacher for the third time:
--> '''Poacher (on the brink of tears):''' I can't believe I just lost to a little kid. I guess I'm over the hill. Maybe I should just retire... See ya around, kid.
--> '''Levant:''' *shrugs*
* Giacomo, the one-man QuirkyMinibossSquad from ''Videogame/BatenKaitosOrigins'' fights you three times, and twice he flees. The third time Sagi leaves his unconscious body where it fell, admitting that he envies him for his determination. Naturally, this becomes a serious case of NiceJobBreakingItHero when you [[BioAugmentation consider what]] [[TookALevelInBadAss he]] [[FromNobodyToNightmare became]] [[BigBad in]] [[VideoGame/BatenKaitosEternalWingsAndTheLostOcean the sequel]].
* Archer vs Caster in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight: Unlimited Blade Works''.
* ''{{Pokemon}}'' villains, upon defeat, will always get away from the hero, who at the end of the game might even have a fire breathing dragon. We don't know how they do it, because the game conveniently turns the lights out.
** At the end of ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers of Time/Darkness/Sky'', BigBad [[spoiler:Darkrai]] attempts to escape through a portal, but Palkia shows up just in time and destroys said portal with [[spoiler:Darkrai]] still inside it!
** Averted with Ghetsis in Black2/White2, in which he simply goes insane and unable to function as a person.
* Lord Yuna of ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' constantly does this. Whenever someone confronts him over his monstrous deeds, he quickly teleports away like a coward. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:it seemed to work [[KarmaHoudini quite well]] for him.]]
* [[EnsembleDarkhorse Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter]] in ''DawnOfWar'' does this in both ''Dark Crusade'' and ''Soulstorm'', and implied to have done this after ''Winter Assault'' (given he managed to escape Lorn V). Both Tau commanders also do this after their Ethereal is killed.
* Lampshaded in ''WorldDestruction''. Immediately after killing someone, members of the World Salvation Front catch your party. Agan exclaims "Exit, Stage Left!" and your party proceeds to run off through the ''same door your opponents have just used to enter'' while they watch you leave.
* The Ghouls in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}'' will sometimes say [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall "Exit, stage left"]] when fleeing from a battle.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' makes an art of this. You fight and several antagonists several times, but they always get away. Sometimes as easily as just getting up and walking away, and none of the heroes feel like chasing after them. That is, until the end when they all either die or join you.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'''s has the BigBad Alduin do this [[spoiler: before you can actually kill him if you defeat him on the Throat of the World. He then spends the rest of the game in Sovngarde feasting on souls to make himself strong again. However, this also [[NiceJobFixingItVillain causes a lot of his fellow dragons to desert him]], including his then [[TheDragon second-in-command,Odahviing]] (after you defeat him) who then turns around and helps the player reach the portal to Sovngarde ensuring Aludin's defeat! The reason for the switch in sides?]] [[NoTrueScotsman No true dragon flees from a fight.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'', [[spoiler:Conrad Marburg]] attempts this at the end of the [[spoiler:Rome]] mission and [[spoiler:Sergei Surkov]] attempts this at the end of [[spoiler:Moscow]]. Depending on your choices and how you've interacted with them up to that point, they may or may not get away. [[spoiler:Marburg, if he escapes, can later be convinced to say ScrewThisImOuttaHere and wash his hands off the whole affair.]]
* Bowser Jr. at the end of ''every world'' in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'' will jump onto the airship as Mario runs up to him, stays a good four or five feet away, and just stands there watching as he flies off with the princess.
** Except for two worlds, where the airship actually ''left without'' him. This results in him running after it and Mario ''finally'' chasing him to it. An airship level ensues. You fight him at the end, [[spoiler:although he just [[DestinationDefenestration jettisons]] you each time you beat him. Stupid Kamek.]]
*** In the final world [[spoiler:(save the secret one)]] there isn't any chase scene, you just run up to the airship, infiltrate it, and engage him in his [[spoiler:really final boss fight. I mean it this time.]]
** Also used repeatedly in the ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' series; at one point, to escape, minor baddie Mimi simply floats up and apparently ''passes through a wall'', perhaps by flipping to 3-D.
* In ''VideoGame/BioShock2'', It is revealed that the Big Sister was planned to be this. Just being one Big Sister that would always flee after being defeated. However the creators believed that most players would get annoyed at the idea of the Big Sister always fleeing, so they made multiple Big Sisters.
* In ''VideoGame/InFamous2'', [[BigBad Bertrand]] does this after [[spoiler: the first time you defeat him as The Behemoth]].
* Happens with [[spoiler:Sekto]] in ''[[StrangersWrath Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath]]'', who [[spoiler:swims off in the now-un-dammed river]]. It's somewhat justified however, as [[spoiler:1). Stranger wasn't aware of Sekto's [[BroughtDownToNormal 'true form']], and 2). he and the Grubbs were generally rather distracted by TheReveal of Sekto's abandoned host body: the previous guardian Steef]].
* Iris Sepperin in {{Rosenkreuzstilette}}. Averted in the sequel.
* Giygas in ''{{VideoGame/Mother 1}}'', after your party sings the eight melodies to him. Pokey in Videogame/EarthBound, after you vanquish Giygas outright. The latter is what ultimately leads him to the time in which Mother 3 takes place.
* The enemy commander in VideoGame/AdvanceWars do this after every battle, even if you win by capturing their HQ or (In the case of days of Ruin) destroy the unit that the commander himself is traveling with. It's at least parodied with Lash, who even leaves a dummy of herself behind to distract Sami and Nell while she flees.
* During the second-to-last scenario of the Earth Route in ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'', The Daikyuu Maryuu team beats up Lu Cain and the Demon Death squadron to the point where Lu Cain and the Demon Death squadron are forced to retreat to the mothership. To find out what happened to those guys, You have to play through the Space Route and fight them in the last scenario in that Route.
* By the time the final stage of ''VideoGame/{{RefleX}}'' rolls around, with all but one of the Raiwat's ZODIAC units destroyed, the Raiwat army is retreating, leaving ZODIAC Libra, ZODIAC Ophiuchus, [[MeleeATrois and]] a pair of VideoGame/{{KAMUI}} units to duel amongst themselves.
* Bahamut does this in one of the endings of ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra: Hard Corps]]''. [[spoiler: Lance Bean]] does this in ''Shattered Soldier'' and Master Contra does this in ''Neo''. Leviathan does this in ''HardCorpsUprising''.
* In ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis'', should you take too long to defeat Kantaris in the Special Mode, she will do this. However, she also does this in the spinoff ''Project Titan'' after you rescue the VSSE agent Abacus.
* After the failure of his plan in ''VideoGame/{{Something}} Else'', The Evil Guy says that he's going home and frees the Village Elder.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', when Tarvek [[ExtremeMeleeRevenge beats the crap out of]] Zola, and is about kill her, when [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110119 Gil suddenly stops him]], which allows her to fly away. It matters little that she was unconscious by that time, and the reason she could escape is that her flying coat was already activated, and it was Tarvek's weight that were pulling her down.
* In ''MinionsAtWork'', the villain not only did [[http://www.minionsatwork.com/2006/05/minions-1-boss-betrayal.html this]], leaving his {{Mooks}} to face the enemy, the severance check bounces.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' plays this straight, subverts, and lampshades it on several occasions.
** Lampshaded and subverted in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0021.html this]] earlier comic. A minor villain attempts to exit stage left, only to be ganked by the resident HeroicComedicSociopath, who is then chided by his GenreSavvy teammates for killing off a recurring villain.
** Played straight [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0117.html here]], at the end of the Dungeon of Dorukan arc. The heroes, after defeating Xykon thanks to a DeusExMachina, completely ignore his henchman, Redcloak, allowing the latter to escape with the lich's SoulJar.
** Lampshaded again in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0394.html this]] strip, when Nale uses a conveniently timed distraction to make an exit, only to return moments later with the evil cavalry.
** Played tragically straight [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0464.html here]], where Miko's ill-timed intervention allows the nearly defeated villains to make a last second escape.
* In ''BobAndGeorge'', [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000904c Megaman lets Dr. Wily ready his escape before the fight.]]
* Averted in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' with Damien as he self destructs. However, according to the "PB Special Features" strips, in the first versions of the script of the ''Painted Black" arc, [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2004-07-14 Damien would always get away]], go into hiding and later return to cause more trouble.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', [[HarmlessVillain Dr. Doofenschmertz]] gets away [[OncePerEpisode every time]], though usually [[AmusingInjuries not unscathed]].
* Perhaps the most frequent use of this trope was in the cartoon segments of the ''SuperMarioBrosSuperShow''. After Bowser's latest plot is foiled, he would often have an exit (usually a "warp zone potion") that would allow him to duck out just before the heroes can fully defeat him. Except for one episode, this was done every time without fail.
* Spoofed by ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode about {{spinoff}}s, where Chief Wiggum and Principal Skinner [[TheyFightCrime fight criminals]]. Said criminal jumps into the water, and Skinner comments on how he's ''very slowly'' getting away (he's a FatBastard type who can barely swim), and they could probably catch him. Wiggum replies that he's certain they'll face him again, each and every week.
* Every single time, CarmenSandiego from ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'' would take to the sky via jetpack. You'd think with the almost alien technology at Acme Crime Labs' disposal, they'd think up some countermeasures.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' does this ALL THE TIME. Just about every episode ends with the Legion of Doom defeated and with no way out, but the Super Friends pretty much let them get away. At one point, the Legion of Doom can only resort to TURNING INVISIBLE. And the Super Friends just. Stand. There.
** Although subverted with a one-shot Arabaian-Nights themed villain who gives the classic "he who fights and runs away" line while seated in his escape vehicle, only to be promptly lassoed by Wonder Woman and taken into custody.
* Dr. Drakken of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' often gets away at the end of the episode (in a hovercar or other escape vehicle he and Shego conveniently had waiting). Sometimes he does go to jail, but [[CardboardPrison he never seems to stay there long]]. It was also subverted once when he tried to get away with a jetpack, but forgot he was inside and collided into the ceiling.
** Although at the beginning of the fourth season, while Kim would be fighting some other villain, an episode would sometimes end with Drakken, showing how he was coping in prison with his ridiculously annoying cellmate/FanBoy Frugal Lucre. Further twisting the knife, at least twice someone broke out Shego, leaving Drakken behind to rot.
* Skeletor in 'WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' frequently teleports away to safety whenever his schemes fail, or sometimes onto a conveniently placed vehicle.
* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode, "Super Best Friends", where the villain escapes via a Cobra Commander-like escape pod. The heroes just stand around and curse watching him get away.
* Done by Batman to the Legion of Doom at the end of ''[[JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]''. For helping save the world from Darkseid's invasion, he gave them "A five minute head start." As the last episode of the series, it was more than enough time.
* Repeatedly (and suspiciously) used in the TV series ''GIJoe''. After defeating the doomsday device of the week, G.I. Joe will often round up lower echelon Cobra troopers to presumably face prison, but the upper echelon villains such as Cobra Commander, Destro and Zartan will always escape. Sometimes, this is due to most of them being slippery masters of disguise, but on a couple of occasions the Joes will literally watch them run or drive away, which is particularly odd when you consider that the Joes usually still have plenty of working vehicles at the end of a mission. Job security, maybe?
** And it's not like Cobra Commander usually makes much attempt to conceal his intention to run away, what with his habit of loudly shouting "COOOOOOBRA! RETREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT!" in full earshot of the Joes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'' episode "Phalanx Covenant", [[EvilutionaryBiologist Mr. Sinister]] beats a hasty exit at the end of all the shenanigans. The worst part is he's less than a ''block'' away, and just running down an alleyway, and all is said is a nonchalant [[CaptainObvious "Sinister's getting away!"]] He's ''right there''. ''Catch him!''
* One of the most notable examples from Western Animation is ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'''s arch-nemesis Dr Claw, who'd flee in his FlyingCar of evil with his parting CatchPhrase "I'll get you next time, Gadget... next time!"
** In the second season, recurring MAD agents would appear for three episodes, escaping without being arrested in each episode. No one really seemed to care that the MAD agents were still loose and could strike again at anytime. Penny in particular suffered character decay, as she didn't seem to be bothered in the slightest about the escape of agents who had been trying to kill her uncle, and who would return to do so again.
* Asajj Ventress and General Grievous in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' are absolute masters of this, and never miss an opportunity to perform it. In the very first episode, when Yoda quite neatly disassembles all Ventress' attacks with his superior Force abilities, she resorts to causing an overhead mountain to explode, so while Yoda catches the boulders with his telekinesis she runs away faster than the Road Runner to a nearby escape pod.
* Shredder did this every week on the 80's ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' cartoon. No matter where he happened to be at the time, as soon as his plan went sour a great big drill-car thing would burrow up from the ground, he'd hop in and head back underground to the Technodrome, and at no point did it occur to the turtles to simply go down the hole after him. Mind you, the holes did have a tendency to fill up with lava and cool into rock pretty quickly seeing as the BigBad's [[SuperVillainLair HQ]] was at the center of the Earth. In fact, the turtles once attempted to pursue Shred-Head's escape through the driller in one episode... and were quickly rewarded by literally getting the Hot Foot within moments.
** Lampshaded in one episode where a guest character shouts "Shredder is getting away!" and Raphael wearily responds "Yeah, you get used to that."
** Averted by Shredder in The 2K3 series, but played straight by Agent Bishop.
* The ''Westernanimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' episode ''The Chase'' had a three-way fight between Aang, Zuko, and Azula that was joined by the rest of the main cast, minus Mai and Ty Lee. Everyone corners Azula, until she shoots Iroh, the rest of them attack her, she causes an explosion, and presumably runs off somewhere. In the WhoWouldWantToWatchUs episode, we have:
--> '''Actress!Azula''': ''(pointing offscreen)'' [[WeNeedADistraction What's that]]? I think it's your honor.
--> '''Actor!Zuko''': Where?
-->''(everyone turns around. Actress!Azula opens a door and walks offstage.)''
-->'''Actress!Katara''': [[CaptainObvious She got away]]! [[GenreBlind But]] ''[[LargeHam how]]''??
* Strangely enough, it was the one-shot ''Birdman'' villains who escaped capture on a semi-regular basis, sometimes by endangering others, sometimes... just by leaving the scene really fast and letting Birdman hover there declaring to [[NonHumanSidekick Avenger]] that they would meet again. In the end, only one escapee villain (Vulturo) was actually defeated and arrested in a second encounter.
** This made it all the more satisfying in "The Incredible Magnatroid" when Birdman decides there's enough time left in the episode to actually prevent Metallo from escaping in a helicopter with the following immortal line:
--->'''Birdman''': Look, Avenger! Our culprit's trying to escape! Well, he won't get far without ''propellers!''
* Happened often in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars''. In many given episodes, the Maximals would manage to often push the Predacon forces back, but would rarely follow through with a full scale attack against them, often because they themselves had sustained heavy damage as well and as such would allow Megatron and his forces to flee back to their base. This is somewhat justified insofar that Maximals are supposed to be peaceful as a rule, and Optimus as a rule wants to protect his crew and return to Cybertron rather than engage in all out warfare.
* [[InternetToughGuy Henry]] [[LeetLingo Masterson]] and his [[GrandTheftMe Headmaster Unit]] in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Animated]]''. His first appearance he manages to escape while the Autobots are busy trying to reset a solar fusion reactor. Second time is nearly [[SubvertedTrope subverted]], but [[JerkAss Porter C. Powell]] arrives on scene at the last moment to play it straight. Finally subverted without interference when he's trying to brawl Optimus with Starscream's abandoned body.
* Happens in every series in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''. Typically the reason for the Decepticons getting away in the old series was that they could fly and the Autobots couldn't, even though they could in the pilot episode. A spin on it was done in ''Anime/TransformersArmada'', where the Decepticons got away by teleporting; the episodes that revolved around getting a Minicon always had them teleporting away, regardless of whether they got it or not. This led some to some moments where they would leave even if they had the overall advantage. Although this wasn't the only Transformers series that did it, it did it the most frequently.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'', VillainOfTheWeek The Junkman has been tied to a chair on his own ship. He tricks Jimmy into freeing him, then heads over to an escape pod, and escapes, while everyone just stands there.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMagician'', while Ace Cooper would always be able to capture the minor, one shoot villains in each episode, the major baddies such as Black Jack, Sonny Boy and Faceless would always escape. In Black Jack's case, it's not that he ran away, but is that his lawyer Clockwise would always be able to twist the facts around so Black Jack wouldn't be arrested.
* [[BigBad Slade]] does this in the first season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', after his mask gets knocked off and he's decided he's had enough. He ''does'', however, trigger his lair's self-destruct so that the Titans won't be able to follow him. The season four finale has a variation, as Slade is actually [[EnemyMine not really a villain at that point]] and gets flung away by [[{{Satan}} Trigon]] from the final battle, not to be seen again. Later on, though, Robin expresses his belief that Slade survived and returned to his villainous ways.
* In one particular episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}'', the hero literally threw the villain away. He threw him about a mile, into a swamp. What makes it particularly egregious was that this was an anvilicious episode about vigilantism. Right after throwing the villain away, Bravestar turns to the strawman vigilante (who has been hunting Villain all episode) and says something like "See, justice prevails!". The really, really sad part is, the vigilante agrees, and promises to mend his wicked ways.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' that has Batgirl and Catwoman join forces to find who stole a cat-shaped artifact from a museum ends with Catwoman trying to swipe the item for herself, but then being persuaded by Batgirl to turn herself in. However, as the police cart her off, Catwoman somehow forces them out of the squadcar and drives away herself. Robin tries to give chase, but Batgirl ''grabs him by the cape'', reasoning that they'd encounter her again sometime.
* Trixie, in both of her appearances in WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic literally runs away behind a poorly executed smoke screen to make her escape. In her CrowningMomentOfFunny, she ''face plants'' during her second escape, gets back up, and keeps running as if nothing happened.
** [[http://derpicdn.net/media/W1siZiIsIjIwMTIvMTIvMDEvMThfMTNfNDVfMjRfMTY5MjAzX19VTk9QVF9fIl1d/169203__safe_animated_trixie_plot_spoiler-s03e05_adorable_magic-duel_hoofy-kicks_adorable-as-fuck_adorkable_faceplant_tripse_trip.gif.gif Worth a thousand words.]]
* WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra: Defied by Asami, The Equalist EvilGenius [[spoiler: Hiroshi]] fights her in a mechsuit, and ends up beaten and disarmed. [[spoiler: After a few family arguments, Asami stays her hand]] he uses this distraction, to shoot up a grappling hook, making her dodge it and lose pace. After that he exits the suit and gets away... so she just shoots an electrified bolo at him and takes him down.
** Played straight with [[spoiler: Varrick]] in the finale of Book 2 when [[spoiler: he and Zhu Li escape from prison during the BigBad's attack on Republic City]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Almost literally in the Episode 'The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings'. In the end the Robot Devil throws a smoke bomb and vanishes (but not really: in the shot of the baffeled audience we see the Robot Devil escaping in the background. On the stage right side.)
[[/folder]]

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