A textbook example. The victim is in the middle, underneath all the clones.
A large number of mooks
jump on the hero, pinning him down.
Usually it's a climactic battle scene. The hero is facing down dozens, no, hundreds, no, THOUSANDS of Mooks
. At first, the hero's doing well
. He's smiting them one after another
. But then he begins to get tired, and first one, then another, then another and another and another leap onto him, dragging the poor guy to the ground.
Often, a bigger villain, such as the Big Bad
or The Dragon
, stands by and watches.
There are several ways that this scene can turn out:
Type A: The hero activates a super mode, has an epiphany, or otherwise becomes more Bad Ass
. He explodes out of the pile, minions scattering to the four winds, and rises as an epic figure. At this point the fight might continue, or the mooks might run away.
Type B: The hero is killed at the bottom of the pile.
Type C: Similar to B, except that the hero is captured instead of killed. This can mean assimilation, frozen in stasis, knocked unconscious, or simply dragged off to a prison cell.
Type D: A more humorous version, the hero simply gets out of the dogpile. This may involve Offscreen Teleportation
, with the hero suddenly appearing to the side somewhere (or even on top of the pile), before the mooks even realize that he's gone and they've just been mobbing each other.
In order to qualify as a Dog Pile of Doom, the hero should be completely covered in mooks. Just couple of guys jumping on top of the hero is not enough to qualify. Have you ever dropped a piece of food on an anthill? It's something like that.
Differs from the glomp
, because the glomp is a sign of affection (even though the victim might not like it). The Dog Pile of Doom
is malicious, intended to kill or capture.
Technically, it doesn't have to be the he hero at the bottom of the pile. A whole bunch of good guy civilian mooks jumping on the Big Bad
would also count as a Dog Pile of Doom
Anime and Manga
- Subverted in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, during the fight with Lucas Lee's stunt team.
- This is a common occurrence in the comic Astérix.
- When Sal Buscema drew ''Spectacular Spider-Man'' in the 90's, he loved having fight scenes that depicted Type A.
- Type D occurs in ''Tintin in America''. Tintin is falsely accused of being a bandit, and a group of yokels try to lynch him. After failing to do so repeatedly, they all descend on him in a dogpile, each wanting to be the next one to try. Tintin escapes by crawling out from underneath.
- In one Knights of the Dinner Table story, Brian comes up with the idea of hiring a gang of ten NPC peasants to follow the party around and dogpile their enemies, exploiting a flaw in the melee-combat rules to give them an easy victory regardless of the foe's strength.
- The Smiths do this to Neo in The Matrix Reloaded, leading to a Type A.
- Morpheus gets fairly well Type C'd in the original.
- In Mars Attacks!, Byron takes on the Martians hand-to-hand in order to buy time for the others to escape. This appears to be a type B, but he later appears with no explanation as to how he survived. It's notable that in the original script, he did die.
- The second Ninja Turtles live-action movie has a Type D. A group of mooks do the dogpile on Michelangelo, only for him to climb out and look at the pile of still attacking thugs and mutter, "pitiful."
- Cleon of The Warriors gets dogpiled at the gang conclave. It's Type B, above.
- It's hard to categorize in an area of animation, as it is technically an Eastern, non-anime animation, but the Hong Kong animated film Color Old Master Q has this happen with the eponymous protagonist in a martial arts match, when a trio of robbers pile on him and start beating him up... only for the scrawny old man to slip out of the Big Ball of Violence wearing only his underpants and leave the robbers punching his clothes.
- Strange Psycho Kinetic Strategy has a group of "nuns" attacking Lupin, hitting and kicking him. Lupin seems to easily slip out between their legs, while they're so intent on hitting him that they don't notice he's disappeared.
Live Action TV
- In the prologue of the novelization of Robotech the Invid are attacking a Zentraedi outpost, where a variation occurs. Dolza, who is at the base at the time, says that the base would undoubtedly be covered completely in Invid mecha "Like a lethal blanket of death."
- In Friday by Robert A. Heinlein the eponymous Friday is captured in this way. Later "Boss" Baldwin says, "You killed two and injured three before they piled enough bodies on you to hold you down by sheer weight."
- The eponymous character of Brian Jacques' Martin the Warrior is mobbed by mooks when he attempts to help Feldoh's elderly father, who is being badly treated by the vermin overseers (as they are all three slaves at this point). Martin is literally described as having "disappeared" amid the mass, and the result is a Type C pile - dragged off to worse imprisonment than before.
- In HIVE, Raven gets taken down this way by ninja robot assassins. No, really. It's really the only acceptable way for a character as badass as she to get taken out.
- In CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 'Unfriendly Skies', a victim of the week dies in a Type B when he starts acting erratically on a plane and a large number of passengers dogpile him. They thought he was drunk or drugged, but he really had low blood sugar.
- This seemed to be the bread and butter for attacks carried out by The Nexus during their reign of terror in WWE during the summer of 2010.
- In God of War III, enemies will frequently attempt this on Kratos, leading to Type A.
- A cutscene in Prototype has the basic infected do this to Alex. They get hit by Type A as he busts out the Armor and Blade powers. In gameplay, you can do something similar with the Knuckle Shockwave and a decent-sized group of infected.
Truth in Television
- Transformers Prime: Optimus and Ratchet are fighting an army of robot zombies, when this happens. Optimus bursts out and saves Ratchet.
- Danny Phantom: when Danny steals the exo-suit and fights the ghost army in Reign Storm, the ghost skeletons do this to Danny before he breaks out.
- Bugs Bunny pulled a Type D, naturally. He was jumped by several large dogs in an alley in the episode "A Hare Grows in Manhattan." They attempt to dog-pile him, but in the end, it shows Bugs jumping up and down on top of the pile, leaving the leader of the dogs at the bottom.
- In It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown during the Homecoming Game every down where CB's team has the ball ends up in a big pileup, usually with Charlie on the bottom. Including when he attempts to kick the ball, misses because Lucy pulls it away, and then they jump on him. This would be a roughing the kicker penalty at minimum if Charlie weren't such a Butt Monkey.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, several mooks try this on a young lady... which leads to the reveal that this young lady, is, in fact, Supergirl in her first appearance.
- A particularly hilarious example occurs in Codename: Kids Next Door episode Operation I.T. Numbuh 362 gets tired of being the supreme commander, and starts up a game of tag where whoever is "it" by noon gets to replace her. Strangely, nobody actually wants this position, so everyone begins to run and try to escape, however, once Numbuh 13 gets tagged, everyone around him immediately dog-piles onto him, screaming, "ANYONE BUT HIM!" because they'd rather tag themselves than let him become their leader.
- On an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a doll gets turned into an Apple of Discord * . Big McIntosh has it, and he gets dogpiled by nearly every background pony. Type A then occurs as Big McIntosh literally sends them flying over the horizon after it's taken by the Mayor. In fact, it doesn't even really work in the first place; Big Mac is clearly standing on the bottom half of the dogpile, and the top half can only cover him up to his neck.
- In the Disney version of Robin Hood, this is how the hero gets captured after his disguise is revealed at the archery tournament.
- American Football. There will often be one guy who gets dogpiled by everyone else because he has the ball.
- In Rugby, this is called a Maul.