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When the bad guy is finished off by a large, vicious animal.
This is a method to keep the hero's hands clean
while still dispatching the villain. The difference is that that trope is more removing an obstacle without losing karma for the heroes. Often, the death happens entirely off screen, with the villain's gruesome mauling being implied instead of shown, though sometimes you will hear sounds or see a silhouette of the carnage
. Can also be used to bring the villain Back from the Dead
, since really, did you think a mere bear would stop him?
Though it doesn't have to be a bear, these Bears Are Bad News
. If it's another creature rather than an outright villain that gets chased away by the bear, it's because there's Always a Bigger Fish
. If the heroes called the bear here themselves, then it's Summon Bigger Fish
. If it was the villain's own mistreated pet doing the mauling, that's a case of The Dog Bites Back
Inverse of Villain Exit Stage Left
. Compare We Will Meet Again
, and see also Just Desserts
. May invoke Offscreen Inertia
Related to Disney Villain Death
, which serves a similar 'kill the villain without the hero doing it' purpose.
As this is an Ending Trope
, there may be spoilers
ahead. Be warned.
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Anime and Manga
- Ms. Goldenweek in the manga of One Piece was last seen being pounced on by a giant riding duck and not seen again until about 250 chapters later in a mini-arc.
- In Princess Mononoke, Eboshi is finally taken out by the decapitated head of the giant wolf spirit she just fatally shot. While she survives having her entire arm bitten off, she won't be using any of the guns her factory produced again.
- The graphic novel La Débauche. The fact that it is set in a zoo provides a convenient tiger.
- Doctor Doom once got assaulted by his own attack dogs, because he got in the way of a fox and them, long long long story, because Doom was fighting a Batman analogue he'd lost part of his armor, so he instead fell off a cliff.
Film - Animated
- In A Bugs Life, the ants discover that main villain Hopper is afraid of birds, so they build a fake one to try and scare him away. He sees right through their ploy; so when Flik and Princess Atta lead him to an ACTUAL bird in the finale, he doesn't realize it's not a trick until it's too late.
- In Rock-A-Doodle, a shrunken Grand Duke is chased by his own nephew.
- Captain Hook, from Disney's original film of Peter Pan, exits pursued by the crocodile. Depending on which sequel you go by (the animated sequel or Hook), it may have gone badly for the crocodile.
- In All Dogs Go to Heaven, Carface is chased by the Big Lipped Alligator. Next time we see him he's in Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
- At the end of Watership Down, Big Bad General Woundwort is last seen facing down one of the dogs that was killing the rest of his warren. He leaps at the dog, and then the narrator says "And General Woundwort's body was never found." We never do find out whether or not he's actually dead.
- Invoked in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, where Saddam Hussein is mentioned to have been killed by a pack of wild boars (just to clear things up, the movie came out 5 years before the invasion of Iraq).
- Botticelli from The Taleof Despereaux is ultimately done in by his own pet cat.
- Happens to Felicia near the end of The Great Mouse Detective.
- In The Thief And The Cobbler, Zig Zag is eaten by crocodiles and by his own pet vulture Phido.
Film - Live-Action
- In the Nicolas Cage/Samuel L. Jackson film Amos & Andrew, the bloodhounds from earlier in the movie go chasing after the police chief near the end.
- In The Naked Gun 2 1/2, Robert Goulet's character survives a fall from a building unscathed, only to be mauled by a lion seconds later.
- The climax from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls seems to imply the villain is not so much pursued by the gorilla as pursued by it.
- Happens to a minor Villain in Trading Places.
- Galaxy Quest: Fred uses the transporter to bring the rock monster on board the ship to attack Serras' minions.
- Jurassic Park:
- The first film ended with the raptors getting eaten by the T-Rex from earlier in the movie.
- The main villain in the sequel is ultimately devoured by a baby T-Rex.
- Mola Ram, the villain of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, falls into a river full of crocodiles and gets torn to bits.
- In Beetlejuice, Betelgeuse is apparently swallowed by a huge sandworm.
- Shaft knockoff A Low Down Dirty Shame has one mook being cornered & mauled by a pair of Rottweilers that the protagonist sics on him.
- At the end of the film adaptation of The City of Ember, Mayor Cole is eaten by a giant mole.
- The loathsome Ser Amory from A Song of Ice and Fire meets his end when his captors throw him, naked and unarmed, into a pit with a starving bear.
- In The Druid of Shannara, Psycho for Hire Pe Ell is killed by the Koden, a gigantic bear. It's implied to have been set up by the King of the Silver River, as revenge for the death of his daughter. In High Druid of Shannara, the Shapeshifting Moric is last seen lying on the ground as an actual Dragon approaches it. Meta-irony much?
- Happens in The Space Trilogy, of all places, with Mr Bultitude, an actual bear.
- The Judge Dee story The Haunted Monastery ends like this, involving an actual bear.
- In Kenneth Oppel's novel Airborn, Szpirglas, the infamous Sky Pirate, is killed, not by the main character, Matt Cruse, but by a pride of the huge, flying, predatory felines aptly named 'Cloud Cats'. Interestingly, despite pursuing some of the protagonists, the Cloud Cats never seriously injured any of the "Good Guys".
- The villainous bandit Dorath is torn apart by wolves just as he's about to "remove the charms" of the princess Eilonwy in The Chronicles of Prydain.
- In the Doc Savage story Fortress of Solitude, the escaping John Sunlight is followed to a point where his tracks meet those of a polar bear next to an open lead in the ice. Since there's a lot of blood and no tracks leading away, they draw the obvious (and incorrect) conclusion.
- At the end of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Umbridge is captured and carried away by a herd of centaurs. Dumbledore somehow persuades them to let her go between chapters, and she turns up in the hospital wing relatively unharmed, though she jumps if someone mimics the sound of hooves. (What exactly happened to her while in their custody is never revealed, though the usual suspects put forward their own theories.) When she tries to sneak out of the castle, Peeves catches on and she ends up exiting, Pursued by a Poltergeist with a Walking Stick.
- At the end of Peter and the Sword of Mercy, O'Neal and Nerezza are eaten by the giant crocodile Mr. Grin.
- In the Sister Mary Helen mystery Death of an Angel, the B plot covers an alumna's plan to murder her domeineering, abusive mother. Her plan for disposing of the body is to underfeed her mother's standard poodles, and then set them on the dead body so that there will be nothing to implicate her. However, in the confrontation, Mama injures her face. Then the rapist-murderer from the A plot invades the house, and then the two nuns who are the amateur sleuths in the series arrive, as do the police. The rapist is stopped but then dogs come from the basement and smell the blood on Angelica's face and attack her. Inspector Gallegher shoots them dead, but Angelica is mortally wounded and succumbs to her injuries the next morning.
- In The Cat Who Said Cheese, an abusive ex-husband tracks his ex-wife to Moose County, using the fact that back in the navy he saved a shipmate's life (said shipmate still suffered brain damag)e as leverage to coerce the local, now a beekeeper into becoming an accessory to the bombing of said frightened ex's hotel room. When he comes back to try and cover his tracks and finish the job—the intended target was out and about but someone else died—the beekeeper inadvertently gives him a wool blanket and the bees swarm the murderer, who is found dead the next morning.
- As stated above, General Woundwort at the climax of Watership Down, though it was less "exit pursued by a dog" than "exit preparing to go down fighting while his minions run like hell".
- In Mariel of Redwall, Gabool falls into the pit where he keeps his pet scorpion.
- In the Live and Let Die novel, Mr. Big tries to feed James Bond and Solitiare to sharks and barracudas, by dragging them behind his boat. However, the bomb Bond had planted in the boat detonates, and Mr. Big falls in the water, to be eaten by the sharks and barracudas.
Live Action TV
- Series.Buffy The Vampire Slayer:
- In "The Zeppo", the villain is making a speech about how he will be coming back, when he opens a door on Werewolf Oz. He is not seen again, and in the next scene Human Oz remarks that he feels full for some reason.
- In "The Pack", the evil zookeeper ends up being eaten by hyenas after Buffy hurls him into the hyena pit. Knowing her, she probably didn't mean for him to end up in the pit, but she doesn't shed any tears about it later.
- The Master and The Rani end one episode of Doctor Who trapped in a malfunctioning TARDIS with a rapidly-growing T. Rex bearing down on them. They come back later with no explanation, natch.
- In the Merlin episode "Lancelot and Guinevere", Hengist is trapped in the widderen's cage and eaten alive before he can pursue the main characters.
- Helen Cutter's death in Primeval is between this and a Shut Up, Hannibal!. Her Breaking Speech to Danny is rudely interrupted by a velociraptor which knocks her over a cliff.
- In the Good Eats episode about dried fruit, Alton offers his homemade trail mix to two hikers, then warns them to run. The hikers are chased off by a guy in a bear suit.
- Carcassonne: In variation Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, meadows contain deer, aurochs, and mammoths that contribute to the scoring. However, each tiger devours one deer, and negates the points.
- In Turok: Evolution, Tal Set defeats Bruckner but will not kill him because he "does not deserve a warrior's death." The compsognathus eat him instead.
- Mr. Kincaid in Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is pursued by a Wailord.
- During the credits of Mega Man 9, you see what happened to the 8 Robot Master bosses; the Mighty Glacier Concrete Man is seen chasing Dr. Wily. Whether his programming would allow him to actually hurt the weak, human man remains to be seen.
- In Paper Mario, Chapter 2's boss, Tutankoopa, exits pursued by his pet Chain Chomp.
- An In-Universe example can be found in a fairy tale book in Drakensang: in the tale, a jerkass kraken keeps all the treasure from a sunken ship for himself, and won't share it with his friends. Later, a massive Water Dragon arrives (enticed by the Kraken's treasure) and chase him "so far away that noone ever saw him again".
- In an animated version of one of The Brothers Grimm's lesser known fairy tales, Jorinda and Joringle, the witch is subject to a Baleful Polymorph into a rat and pursued offscreen by her Right-Hand Cat.
- A Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? episode had Zack and Ivy chased by jaguars in a Mayan temple before running into VILE henchmen. The bad guys ended up at the bottom of a pit with the jaguars drawing near.
- Snidley Whiplash ends one episode of Dudley Do Right being pursued by the rotating blade of his own sawmill.
- Considering that Wild Kratts is a lighthearted kids show focused on animals, this happens all the time to the three main villains.
- A couple of Kim Possible episodes end with Dr. Drakken fleeing from an enraged Shego.
- In an episode of Garfield And Friends, Garfield is working on a movie as a stunt cat and put in several dangerous stunts. Garfield looks through the script to see what's next and finds out it involves him apparently being mauled by a bear. Garfield pours honey on the director's chair and when he sits down he gets stuck. The bear is attracted by the honey and chases the director who has to hop off set.
- The Veggie Tales short "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps" literally has a bear chasing the titular character (played by Larry) off the stage at the end. Because singing to him didn't cure the bear trap on his paw.
- Several episodes of the '70's Jaws cash-in cartoon Misterjaw ended with the eponymous shark either doing the chasing or being chased.