"I suppose I should thank you, but don't think I couldn't have handled them meself! Still, you done right by me. I'll see that the favor is returned."
Heroes have it rough, people are Too Dumb to Live
and Die Like Animals
because of it. So when they get unexpected help from the populace they're trying to save, be they Heroic Bystanders
, helpful NPC
's, or even the villain's own henchmen
, the hero counts his lucky stars that the common man will help, and are Fighting for Survival
Go to the Analysis
page to see examples of different archetypes of behaviour.
Compare to its opposite Dying Like Animals
, which also uses various animal-based character archetypes.
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball Z had the Spirit Bomb, which could grow stronger the more people focused their energy on it... even if they were just Innocent Bystanders or comic relief. Special mention goes to Mr. Satan for rallying the masses to help Goku - Sheepdog style.
- Anytime Sesshomaru in Inuyasha helps the heroes, he's usually the Hippo, not interested in fighting, helping, or hindering them, but quite interested in killing the villain.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has multiple examples of these:
- Tortoise (Riccardo, Seras)
- Bulldog (Tosaka)
- When everyone in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni actually starts working together in Minagoroshi-hen and Matsuribayashi-hen/Miotsukushi-hen, the characters metamorphosize spectacularly. Keiichi goes from Boar to Lion, Rena from Wolf/Boar Chimera to Owl/Soldier Ant Platypus, Shion from Wolf/Boar Chimera to Beaver/Soldier Ant Platypus, and Satoko from Rat to Bloodhound.
- When the Green Goblin attacks a baseball stadium during a double-header, Spiderman gets assistance from both the pro players and the members of the halftime act.
- The Narnia books have several of these. Some are actual animals.
- The Sword of Truth series is practically made of this trope in book six, Faith Of The Fallen.
- Matthew Reilly's Contest is one giant fight for survival.
- Redwall has lots of Soldier Ants.
- The Dresden Files, although humanity normally function as Ostriches, there is a very real understanding that without the Masquerade, humanity would quickly become a swarm of angry hornets, armed with plenty of firepower.
- To a degree, the ever-increasing eagerness of the Little Folk to fight on Harry's side under Toot-toot's command seems like they're actually playing this trope straight because they like Harry: the pizza bribery just gives them the excuse to do so without breaking faerie prohibitions against unpaid favors.
- War of the Dreaming features Lions Pendrake, as well as various platypi.
- All over the place in Necropolis, with heavy resistance from the Vervunites, particularly the resistance forces caught outside the walls. Some of them offer such fierce resistance they receive field commissions from the Guard. Fittingly, many of the survivors join the Guard after Vervunhive falls.
Live Action TV
- The season 3 finale of Buffy, in which the high school students join the scooby gang in defeating the Mayor in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for pretty much all of them.
- In a climactic attack on Kingsbridge in The Pillars of the Earth, the main characters mobilise the village to defend themselves. Jack is the Owl, suggesting they build a quick-and-dirty palisade wall in the two days they have to prepare; Richard the Lion (ha) trains them in basic combat; Friar Philip is the Sheepdog; Remegius and Elizabeth are Beaten Dogs with some useful inside information to share, and the rest of the villagers are Soldier Ants.
- Power Rangers in Space: The citizens of Angel Grove are Soldier Ants as they rush to the Rangers' aid during the final battle in "Countdown to Destruction", led by Bulk and Skull.
- On My Name Is Earl, Earl is stumped because after doubting karma, he went on a bender and wound up drunkenly tipping over his ex-wife's trailer, but he doesn't have any money left to rent a crane. Randy makes a comment about ants, and that gives Earl an idea. He asks all the people he befriended doing list items to help him flip the trailer back onto its foundation.
- The Matoran of BIONICLE are Platypi with examples all over the list. The race's hat as a whole seems to be a mix of Badgers and Soldier Ants, preferring to live in peace but willing to back up the Toa heroes or even fight without them if necessary. Some Matoran have also aided Toa by being Bloodhounds, Beavers, Owls, and Mockingbirds. Turaga elders (Matoran who were empowered as Toa, then gave up their powers and retired) tend to be Tortoises and Sheepdogs as well.
- Meta Knight from Kirby can be very much a Raven, especially in the anime.
- The countless random citizens in Half-Life 2, and probably the rebels as Soldier Ants or Beavers.
- The Suikoden series has a population that exceeds some small towns, so a full list of examples would be a fool's errand.
- As does any BioWare game. Jade Empire seems especially populated with people looking to help you out. Some of those were part of The Plan that the games's Chessmasters decided to enlist in order to keep you on the board...
- Mass Effect shows this a LOT. Feros is attacked by geth, but the colonists are actually holding out against repeated geth assaults by the time you show up. Noveria has a whole group holding out against the Rachni outbreak in the labs. And then you have the turians, who are all given basic military training, and the krogan, who are a race of near-universal badasses.
- Shepard's various attempts to foster this are also a theme throughout the games, culminating in the War Assets system in Mass Effect 3, which is a numerical rating of how much badassery you can expect from the rest of the galaxy in the endgame.
- In Mass Effect 3, we discover the Leviathan, the race who inadvertently created the Reapers, and enslaved the galaxy prior to that. They don't particularly care for the suffering of the lesser races, but they're pissed at the Reapers for displacing them, and they can't hide anymore since Shepard forced their hand... er... giant tentacle.
- Solatorobo eventually turns anyone with an airship or a robot (given the setting, that's pretty much everyone, period) into a giant nest of Hornets for the final battle against Tartaros.
- Happens sometimes in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when a dragon attacks near a village, with frequently amusing results. While some of the common people in villages are minimally armed, many of them are not. This sometimes results in a mob attacking a dragon with bare fists.