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Ankle Drag

Alice is walking alone through the forest/ghost mansion/whatever when suddenly she hears a noise. Ominous music starts playing as she looks around, obviously scared. Then suddenly, something jerks her down to the ground and starts to pull her away at her ankle, likely to a shadowy place. She screams for help, kicks at whatever has grabbed her and tries to get hold of something, dragging her fingers over the ground as she goes. Expect a death scream as she disappears in the shadow.

A variation occurs at a swamp or lake, where something suddenly latches around Alice's ankle and instantly drags her down under. This is often followed up by an underwater camera shot showing Alice struggling and flailing as she inevitably drowns.

The key point here is the fact that Alice aways gets dragged by her ankle, never by any other body part.

May lead into a horizontal Take My Hand-like scenario as Bob tries to rescue Alice. Sometimes subverted via Giving Them the Strip if the grabbed person's footwear comes off in the attacker's grip.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Pokémon Special, just as Courtney tries to tell Ruby about the truth about his father, a tentacle grabs her ankle and drags her into the Cave of Origins just as said cave collapses on her.
  • Done to Sango in the third InuYasha movie, but was saved by Kagome.
  • ROD the TV: After collapsing a passageway, Maggie gets pulled into the chasm by a paper whip via her ankle.
  • This is how Kanoe takes a hold of Kotori in The Movie version of X/1999, with the help of a sort-of warp passage formed under the victim's feet. Subverted when Fuuma notices, tries to grab Kotori by the hand — and ends up pulled too, which is how he gets snared by the Dragons of the Earth.

Fan Works

Film
  • Dr. Facilier and Naveen in The Princess and the Frog.
  • This is the last frame of Quarantine.
  • Taken: The girl is under the bed, panicking, on the phone, when suddenly she is dragged out by her ankles. Not to her doom, but... yikes.
  • The bag boy in The Mist.
  • Eddie the mechanic is captured by his ankle by two T. rexes in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and is eaten.
  • Happens in Spider-Man 2 movies when Doctor Octopus' tentacles first go nuts.
  • Happens to Ripley at the end of Aliens, when the xenomorph queen latches on to her leg, but she manages to get free at the last moment.
  • According to its trailer, this will happen at least twice in The Darkest Hour.
  • Just right before attacking Bruton, the Carnotaurs from Dinosaur actually drag a small Pachycephalosaurus to its doom.
  • Rattlesnake Jake actually does this to the Mayor at the end of Rango after everyone finds out that he was the villain.
  • In The Descent, a monster drags off one of the victims by her feet.
  • In Tangled, Maximus dragging Flynn away by his boot evokes this. Unlike most examples, Flynn isn't hurt and it is Played for Laughs.
  • In Sorority Row one of the main characters is sent to turn off the overheating jacuzzi, which has created a giant mass of bubbles, while her sorority sisters go into the house. Soon thereafter, appears at a glass door, begging to be let inside after apparently being chased by the Killer. Unknown to her, a thick wire has become tangled around her ankle, and before the other characters can get to her, she is violently dragged off to her doom.
  • Cthulhu. Happens to the protagonist; he's knocked out by a villain and wakes up to find himself being dragged into a dark doorway by something, but manages to break free.
  • While the dragger is not seen either time, the demon in the Paranormal Activity films drags Katie out of bed by an ankle in the first movie and Kristi out of Hunter's nursery, down two flights of stairs, and into the basement in the second.
  • This is done to Woody by Lotso in Toy Story 3.
  • A variant occurs in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock when Kruge attempts a Taking You with Me on Kirk, to which Kirk gives his face a Punctuated Pounding in response, using his free foot.
  • A variation occurs in Tremors as, when running away from one of the Graboids, Rhonda trips over a line of barbed wire which gets tangled around her ankles. As she tried to get it off, one of the monsters grabs the pole the wire is attached to and begins to drag her towards its open mouth. Thankfully, she is saved by Val who pulls her boots and pants off to help her get free and escape.
  • In Alien: Resurrection, a xenomorph crawls into a lifepod and starts tearing apart the helpless occupants. One of them tries to climb out of the pod, but is dragged back inside screaming.
  • In Starship Troopers, one soldier loses her nerve after seeing another soldier torn apart by several Bugs and flees for her life. As she runs, the ground collapses beneath her and she lands in one of the Bugs' tunnels and is confronted by one. She tries to crawl away but the Bug grabs her ankle and drags her deeper into the tunnels to an undoubtedly grisly end.
  • Happens a few times in Pirates of the Caribbean; the first time in "Dead Man's Chest" where the men are attacked by the Kraken - with one at least been held up by the ankle. Happens later when the Kraken attacks the Black Pearl and Elizabeth is nearly dragged off by one of the tentacles. In "On Stranger Tides", it happens when Captain Black Beard takes telepathic control of the ropes on his ship, with at least one man been grabbed by the ankle, while later Angelica is nearly dragged underwater when a Mermaid grabs her with a seaweed lasso - but Jack saves her just in time.
  • In The Hollow Man, Elizabeth Shue's character is grabbed and pulled off a ladder by Kevin Bacon's character and falls on top of an elevator.
  • Happens in Wait Until Dark when Alan Arkin's character leaps and grabs Audrey Hepburn's ankle as she tries to get out of her home.
  • In A Perfect Murder at the end of the movie, Steven and Emily get into a fight and he grabs her ankle to trip her up. Also occurs only seconds later when she's on the ground and he grabs her and pulls her to him but Emily is still able to grab the gun and kill him.
  • Also happens in The Thing (2011) when Kate falls into the ship and is hiding from the thing, when it finds her, grabs her ankle, and drags her to another part of the ship but Kate manages to grab the explosive and is able to kill the creature.

Literature
  • Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when he gets kidnapped by the Grim/Sirius Black.
  • In Xanth, the hairy-armed (and he's nothing but hairy arms) Monster Under the Bed lives for this.
  • This happens to Gandalf after the battle with the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings, though he was actually grabbed at the knees.
    • When Frodo is grabbed by the Watcher in the Water.

Live-Action TV
  • Being Human: Among other resistant ghosts in the series, this happens to Annie at the end of season two. Strangely, the viewer can see the character's ankles and there's visibly nothing physically pulling the victim through the door.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Supernatural: This happens quite often to the victims of the week, usually into sewerage systems or under cars. Or both.
  • The X-Files. In the opening of "Nothing Important Happened Today" a man picks up a woman at a bar; while driving home she forces the car off a bridge into the water. As he tries to swim to safety, the woman (still sitting in the passenger seat) reaches up and holds his ankle until he drowns. This is our introduction to the Super Soldier plotline, showing they can breathe underwater.

Professional Wrestling
  • Jack Swagger drags Rey Mysterio away from WWE Smackdown in his ankle lock finishing move with intent to throw Mysterio into the Gulf Of Mexico.(Jack ends up taking a dive instead)

Video Games
  • In Dead Space, there is a monster that grabs its victims by the ankle and pulls them down corridors. The player has to kill it before it drags Isaac to its mouth and eats him.
  • This is how you meet Sigrun in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, as she's being dragged away by darkspawn. Unlike most examples, she manages to kick free and get back up.
  • If Heather dies in Silent Hill 3, her corpse is sometimes seen to be dragged off screen by Valtiel via the ankles, presumably to resurrect her.
    • If you try to cross a bridge over water inhabited by...something without first killing it, Heather will also be dragged off the bridge and die this way.
  • Early on in Resident Evil: Code: Veronica you see a zombified soldier dragged under a hut by something.
  • Quite a few people suffer this in FEAR.
  • Prototype: When Alex Mercer hijacks a tank, a possible animation sees him rip the hatch open, leap inside, and a member of the hapless tank crew crawl from the hatch and almost make it over the edge of the tank before Alex reaches out and drags him back inside by the ankle. Then screaming happens. And a lot of blood.
  • Happens to the second-to-last SWAT member in Nightmare House 2 when he's standing near a semi-open shutter.
  • Done twice to Lara in the E3 demo of the Tomb Raider reboot. If you fail, it's an instant death.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, an anacondaur monster does this with a wounded Dollet soldier in the Dollet Comm Tower mission.
  • In Dead Space: Extraction, Karen Howell is dragged away by a tentacle, she doesn't make it because Warren abandoned her when she called him out for seeding Unitologists in Ishimura's ranks.

Western Animation
  • Code Lyoko: Done to Yumi right after the infamous vine scene.
  • In the DuckTales episode "Armstrong", Armstrong grabs Launchpad by his foot as the pilot attempts to get into his plane and begins pulling him down. He's only stopped by being soaked in the water Launchpad uses when he's helping Duckburg's fire department.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Happens to Will three times across the series, once by quicksand and twice by the Tracker.
  • Happens a fair amount in Godzilla The Animated Series although it is mainly the secondary characters who are grabbed and dragged.

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