'''Basic Trope''': The heroes make a ''very'' last minute rescue.
* '''Straight''': Moments before his execution by firing squad, the main character is rescued by his allies.
* '''Exaggerated''':
** A tenth of a second before the bullets collide with Bob's skin, a FlyingBrick intercepts.
** KingInTheMountain
* '''Downplayed''': The danger wasn't very deadly; for example, the hero was rescued from a particularly bad date.
* '''Justified''':
** The heroes weren't sure that he was innocent of the crime he was about to be executed for until very recently.
** Alternatively, they had a hard time defeating the BigBad's Mooks while trying to save the hero.
** Or the heroes are held up trying to decide what to do (i.e. which wire to clip on the bomb), and when time runs out, they act because they have to do ''something''.
* '''Inverted''':
** Mooks come to reinforce just when the BigBad is about to be teleported into the hero's stronghold.
** The heroes leave the main character alone when he needs them the most, [[MindScrew which somehow saves him]].
** The main character is doing fine, but then the others burst in dramatically and cause him to fail.
** [[TheCavalry The heroes are rescued by someone else.]]
* '''Subverted''':
** The Big Damn Heroes burst in, only to find that a rescue is [[AlreadyDoneForYou unnecessary]].
** Alternatively, the heroes think they're pulling a dramatic rescue, but the villain informs them he already executed his partner [[YouAreTooLate 35 minutes ago]].
** The hero is really a {{Jerkass}}; he can help the captive out much earlier and save him from all torture before the execution. He only waits until the last moment for dramatic effect.
** The rescuee was in the middle of a peaceful negotiation when the heroes burst in, thus [[NiceJobBreakingItHero mistaken by the villains as an ambush]].
* '''Double Subverted''':
** ...except that the guy the heroes found was really a bad guy and this whole thing was a setup to get him in with the heroes, but fortunately someone reveals what's going on to the heroes moments before the bad guy tricks the heroes into making a mess of things.
** Alternatively, the heroes think they're pulling a dramatic rescue, but the villain informs them he already executed his partner 35 minutes ago. The heroes then proceed to reveal they had already rescued the partner but tricked the guards into thinking he'd been executed; when the villain emerged to gloat, it gave the heroes the opening they needed.
** The villain thinks the partner was executed 35 minutes ago, but the news that the hero was on his way distracted the executioner just long enough for the partner to free himself.
* '''Parodied''':
** The Big Damn Heroes are rescued by [[SerialEscalation Bigger Damn Heroes]] during their botched Big Damn Rescue.
** The Big Damn Heroes arrive too early, then leave and come back again just in the nick of time.
* '''Zig Zagged''': There are so many consecutive B.D.H. moments that you aren't sure who's the hero, who's the near-victim, and who's the bad guy.
* '''Averted''': The Heroes save the guy several days before his scheduled execution.
* '''Enforced''': The writers find the trope to be cliched and want to avert it, but the editors demand they use it for dramatic purposes.
* '''Lampshaded''':
** The condemned laughs as his sentence is about to carried out because he knows his allies will rescue him.
** Alternatively: "What the hell took you so long?!"
* '''Invoked''': The Heroes purposely wait until the last moment because they know that's how these stories go.
* '''Exploited''': The BigBad turns out to be smart and planned for this exact situation, capturing or killing the BigDamnHeroes as part of their EvilPlan.
* '''Defied''': Rather than sentencing him to be executed at dawn, the BigBad simply [[BoomHeadshot shoots him in the head]].
* '''Discussed''': The prisoner's last words: "It sure would be nice if a bunch of heroes showed up. Like right now."
* '''Conversed''': "Oh come on, if it was real life, they couldn't have rescued him in time."
* '''Deconstructed''':
** The Heroes get into a gunfight with the firing squad, which results in the intended rescuee being killed in the crossfire.
** Alternatively: The heroes show up [[YouAreTooLate three seconds too late]].
** Another alternative: The rescue had been planned well in advance, including the heroes arriving in the "nick of time."
** The rescue operation is successful, but ends up [[NiceJobBreakingItHero causing a serious diplomatic incident]].
* '''Reconstructed''':
** Instead of getting into a gunfight, the Heroes create a distraction elsewhere, causing the squad to delay the execution in order to intervene, and the Heroes pull off the rescue in the meantime.
** Alternatively: The Heroes attack the execution so the guards will retreat with the prisoner into an ill-used corridor where additional Heroes have staged an ambush.
* '''Played For Laughs''':
** The person is "saved" from a paper cut, but everyone acts like it was a nearly fatal event.
** The heroes arrive in dramatic manner... [[WithFriendsLikeThese only to ignore the rescuee]] and just fight the BigBad. Turn out that they weren't aware of the execution at all, [[TheUnfavourite otherwise they would have waited for it to be over]]. The rescuee crawls over into his CornerOfWoe upon learning of this.
* '''Played For Drama''':
** The rescued person is speechless with relief and disbelief that the Heroes arrived in time.
** When the Heroes arrive, they're battered, bruised, and bloodied, but refuse to give up. The rescuee sheds tears of joy at their valiant display.
"Any last words?" "Just three: BigDamnHeroes!"
%% Optional items, added after Conversed, at your discretion:
%%* '''Implied''': ???
%%* '''Plotted A Good Waste''': ???