Dog Pile of Doom

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. (This one is pretty rare, actually.)

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 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.


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     Anime And Manga  

  • Naruto attempted to do this to Zabuza in one episode, using his shadow clones. Unfortunately, Zabuza escaped, this being a Type A.
  • Durarara!!: The Saikas tried this on Shizuo, who just lifted them up and tossed them off.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z movie The Return of Kooler, both Vegeta and Goku are barely able to destroy one Metal Kooler, when they are overwhelmed by an army of them. After that, they were captured by Kooler. This makes it a Type C.
    • In another Dragon Ball Z movie, Bardock: Father of Goku, Frieza's minions try a unique, mid-air variant on Bardock as he flies out of Planet Vegeta's atmosphere. Being a type A situation, it fails.
  • Mooks have attempted this trope on Zoro of One Piece...with little success. In fact, Zoro's first display of Badass was to block a dogpile of Marines — all armed with swords — with his Santoryu.
    Zoro: The first one who moves...dies.
    Marines: (Thinking) He's so scary...
  • Type C happens to Germany in the Axis Powers Hetalia movie.
  • A filler episode of Bleach has this happen to Ichigo by a group of Hollows. Humorously, one is picking its teeth until Ichigo pulls a Type A and sends them flying.
  • Played for drama in Berserk. During the Eclipse, when Guts sees the only other survivor of the massacre, his lover Casca, in the perverse grasp of some demons, he rushes in to save her from the swarm, but gets his arm caught in the jaws of a demon. Then, to make matters more horrifying, his former commander and friend Griffith, who was the one who enabled the Eclipse in order to become a demon lord, is reborn as the fifth member of the Godhand Femto, flies down and starts having his way with Casca. Desperate to save her, Guts resorts to hacking off his own arm with a broken sword in order to escape from the demon's grasp and continues his rampage... only to be dogpiled by a mess of demons, mere feet away. And then he was Forced to Watch...
  • A common tactic used by the Fang Clan of Fist of the North Star, it often results in both Type A and Type D whenever they met their doom by either Kenshiro or Rei.

  • Subverted in Scott Pilgrim, 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 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.
  • We get a big one in The Mighty Thor, in which Thor and Captain America are under assault. Thor is separated from Mjolnir, and as Cap tries to get to it, he's dogpiled by a bunch of Grog's mooks. Unfortunately for said mooks, the Captain just happens to be worthy, resulting in a Type A outcome, followed shortly by a Curbstomp Battle.

  • 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 - after Smith beats him into submission, his human thugs surround Morpheus and beat him even though he's already on the ground.
  • 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.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 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.


  • 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.

     Live Action TV  

  • In CSI, "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 undiagnosed encephalitis, which combined unfavorably with altitude and air pressure changes.

     Professional Wrestling  

  • 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.

     Video Games  

  • 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.
  • In Sengoku Basara 4, some groups of enemy soldiers will attempt to do this. Since the character you're controlling is always a One-Man Army, this leads to Type A a moment of button mashing later (assuming you don't just swat them away before they can even land on you).
  • In Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, one of Scorpion's fatalities is to teleport the opponent into Hell and dogpile them with countless doppelgangers of himself.
  • Mario and Goombella pull a Type D at the start of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, leaving Lord Crump to be pummeled in their place.

     Web Video  


     Western Animation  

  • 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 Macintosh has it, and he gets dogpiled by nearly every background pony. Type A then occurs as Big Macintosh 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.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Watermelon Steven", the Steven Melons start doing this when they turn against the Crystal Gems in an overzealous attempt to "defend" Steven. Garnet does the Type A reaction a few times, but the Steven Melons keep overwhelming her with sheer numbers, while Amethyst suffers Type C.

     Truth In Television  

  • 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.
  • This is the method that Japanese Honeybees use to kill Asian Giant Hornets scouts. After luring the hornet towards the nest, a whole bunch of them jump on the hornet and literally cook it to death. (The honeybees survive as they have a higher temperature tolerance than the hornet)
  • A common tactic during the crusades that allowed Saracen warriors to overwhelm the "Christian Walking Towers" AKA fully armored knights