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Heroes Gone Fishing
Just what kind of monster is he hoping to catch?

"Ahhh...that's it! A little sonar-wave pulse through the waters should attract the big fish. Science, you win again!"

Sometimes when the bad guys aren't feeling all that bad, when they don't feel like terrorizing the locals, they go shopping. But what do good guys do when they don't feel like fighting evil at the moment? When they just want to get away from it all? Everybody deserves some free time after all! Even superheroes deserve a holiday!

They go fishing, of course. "Fishing" being a general euphemism for things like chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool, shooting some b-ball outside of the school. Obviously, the story probably won't just be about them enjoying some downtime - there's no drama in that, so trouble is likely to follow them, although they might get a Beach Episode or a Breather Episode.

If on vacation, this can be related to a Busman's Holiday.

Compare this trope's Evil Counterpart, Villains Out Shopping.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Sound Stage M4 of Lyrical Nanoha focuses on Hayate and the rest of the "Yagami Family" taking a day off from their jobs to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Hayate's legs healing.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Evangeline A.K. McDowell enjoys Curb Stomping ancient immortal demon gods, inflicting Training from Hell on her erstwhile students, and playing retro video games in her birthday suit.
  • Kenren of Saiyuki Gaiden says his favourite pastime, while not being general of the western army, is to go fishing in the lower world.
  • Subverted in a spiritual sense in Sky Girls. While the heroes do fish using their multibillion Yen Mini-Mecha, they weren't relaxing so much as trying to compensate for lack of food after the last enemy attack until the next resupply vessel comes in.
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang sits in his office, talking on the official phone line with his girlfriend Elizabeth about a fishing trip he's planning to take, inviting her to join him. The truth is that he's actually talking to his adjutant, Riza Hawkeye, and the "fishing" they're doing is for the person who murdered Mustang's best friend. The entire dialogue is encoded.
  • Claes from Gunslinger Girl used to go fishing with her "Handler" frequently (it was the only time they actually had conversations). Now he's dead and she doesn't remember him, but she has a subconscious reaction to water (and in the manga, to A River Runs Through it).
  • Fate/Zero: The only other notable survivor of the Fourth Grail War, Waver Velvet, later Lord El-Melloi II, respected lecturer of the Magi Association is an avid videogame player, a hobby he took up in memory of his Servant, Alexander the Great, whose games and t-shirts he treasures.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura once meets with Kyouko when she's playing a dancing game in an arcade.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, at the end of the "Into the Blue" story arcnote , Sosuke reveals that the real reason he invited Kaname on the trip is because he wanted to show her his Happy Place, a quiet niche on Mithril's private island where he likes to fish. Despite the fact that the whole affair went crazy and they both almost died, she's happy because she gets to see Sosuke lowering his "shields" and honestly enjoying himself for once.
    • This doubles as a Brick Joke, since when Sosuke first introduces himself to Kaname's class, they ask what his hobbies are and when he says he loves to fish, it marks the first time they (or the audience) see some flashes of humanity beneath the firm, military exterior.
  • In the first chapter of Kinnikuman, the Earth defense force learns that monsters from space are about to attack Japan. Unfortunately, all of the superheroes are out busy partying or sick to help out! Which means that the only one the defense force can turn to is the titular Hero with an F in Good, though that also works out...to a degree.

    Comic Books 
  • Half the stories in Marvel Adventures: Avengers or Super Heroes are of the Avengers hanging out somewhere until accidentally encountering a supervillain or superpowered being.
  • Brian Michael Bendis' New Avengers run would show the heroes occasionally eating breakfast.
  • In the Avengers issue following the Avengers vs. X-Men event, the heroes are shown chilling. Wolverine passed out with dozens of beer cans surrounding him, Tony Stark sleeping in the couch, Spider-Man lying in a web hammock, and Hawkeye and Spider-Woman doing their business.
  • The X-Men regularly play mutant baseball. Which is like regular baseball, with mutant powers. On one occasion, they also played basketball (with a "no powers" rule, but they didn't keep it).
    • Strictly speaking, every baseball game the X-Men have played is "no powers". This works until someone accuses a telepath or someone with a passive power (such as Super Strength) of cheating at which point everyone starts using their powers resulting in baseballs catching fire, 2000 yard home runs and people running the bases in under two seconds.
    • In Uncanny X-Men #98, Professor X actually goes fishing...on the Deja Thoris no less.
    • In between two major story arcs, the X-Men split off into groups for a couple issues to relax. The men head off to one of Wolverine's favorite bars to play poker, only to accidentally foil an alien invasion, and the next issue the ladies go shopping.
  • There was an old Fantastic Four story, the one that first introduced Black Panther. Black Panther lures the Fantastic Four to his hidden jungle hideout and hunts them down one by one, basically 'playing the villain', and only when he's finally defeated does he reveal that he's actually one of the good guys, and that he was just hunting them to test himself before going up against his archnemesis, Klaw. After Black Panther makes it up to them with a grand welcome to his kingdom, they all play baseball together. The Thing pitches, Johnny swings a Vibranium Bat, and Mr. Fantastic catches the ball - 30 feet up in the air. As for the Invisible Woman, she trips up her husband to give the mere mortals a fighting chance...
  • Golden Age Batman stories often began with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson on vacation where they would invariably stumble across some crime or mystery that needed solving.
  • Once, Empowered had to deal with a supervillain who was enraged that nobody but a "lame-ass superhero" (her) came to stop him and inquired what the other heroes were doing. Emp: "They're doing... superhero-ey stuff?" Cut to the other Superhomies watching "Dancing with the Superheroes".

    Fanfiction 
  • In Kyon Big Damn Hero, Kyon goes fishing (literally) when visiting his uncle for Golden Week.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry wonders what Dumbledore does during the summer holidays and "amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full length wizard's robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose."
  • Miles takes Illyan fishing during his convalescence in Memory after having no luck, they rig a stunner to go off "catching" most of the fish in the lake.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard reluctantly goes to Risa for a relaxing vacation which turns into an Indiana Jones adventure.
  • Stargate SG-1: Jack O'Neill has a fish pond (which may or may not contain actual fish) next to his cabin in Minnesota. At the end of Season Eight, the whole team fishes there.
    • The fact that it doesn't contain actual fish is a running gag, to the point that, when time travelling, he once set a video back to verify that time hadn't been changed and included that fact. At the end of that two parter, the team finds out that there really are fish in his pond... but apparently decide that it's not important and move on.
    • They also make a Running Gag out of O'Neill inviting Carter to come fishing, which she always politely declines with the excuse that she'd rather mess around with whatever new piece of alien technology the team has come up with.
  • In season 2 of 24, the President is literally seen fishing with his son in the first episode. Of course, this being 24, their trip didn't last long.
  • LOST. Hope you like golf, because it is the only recreational activity on the island.
  • Christopher Foyle is often shown fly fishing in Foyle's War.
  • In Doctor Who, a good portion of the Doctor's adventures begin with him just kicking around in the TARDIS tinkering with things or trying to find a cool place to go on holiday (Blackpool or Brighton seem to be popular choices) before being somehow diverted to the location of the adventure of the week.
    • In The Androids of Tara, the Doctor decides to leave the search for the Key to Time entirely to Romana, so that he can spend the afternoon fishing...
    • "The Leisure Hive" started out with the Doctor and Romana at Blackpool beach.
    • The new series episode "Midnight" starts out like this (we get the impression that they've come to the planet Midnight specifically to have a relaxing holiday) with Donna having a nice day in a spa sort of place while the Doctor decides to go on a fun day trip. Of course, this is Doctor Who, so the episode quickly descends into horror. But it was nice while it lasted.
    • The Sixth Doctor portion of The Two Doctors begins with him and Peri fishing on an alien planet.
    • The Three Doctors started with the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough on the Eye of Orion for a bit of relaxation thanks to "the high bombardment of positive ions."
  • On Supernatural, Dean Winchester's idea of a peaceful dream is fishing.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena goes fishing a few times; one notable occasion ends with her returning with a cart full of fish for the end-of-episode fight. Another memorable case has her use the MacGuffin of the week as fish bait.
  • Jonathan and Mark go fishing in Highway To Heaven. What's supposed to be a vacation for Mark turns into Johnathan the angel playing holy match-maker to a woman and a shy man for some reason.
  • Emergency! has Roy and John go fishing in "Welcome to Santa Rosa County". And it turns into a Busman's Holiday.
  • You could practically start another Trope for examples of this happening on Power Rangers; in fact, only too often, the good guys are in the middle of either participating in or running some recreational activity or event, when the current Big Bad decides to ruin it. (Often in a way that was inspired by it.)

    Video Games 
  • In Fable I, it's possible for your hero to literally go fishing. He can also get married, play various games, take part in local brawling competitions, and generally act like a normal person. He can't get a job though. On the other hand, in the sequel, you can get a job, filling the list of normal, everyday activities your hero can get up to. (Though you can't go fishing any more...)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Link - Hero of Time, wielder of the Master Sword, and current record-holder at the local fishing hole. (It's the most addictive minigame in the series.)
  • Each Ryu in the Breath of Fire series goes out in a fishing minigame.
  • The entire premise of the crossover game Poker Night at the Inventory, where four characters from wildly different works get together when they're off the clock to play poker.
  • "What's that? Team Rocket / Magma/Aqua / Galactic / Plasma is plotting something evil? I'll get on it after I catch a Feebas."
  • This is actually a plot event in Ōkami. You have to catch a giant catfish, which devours the moon's reflection in the water, thus stopping the moon from coming out. Once you nab this guy, you get a brush power that lets you draw a moon in the sky to turn day into night.
    • One of the sidequests is to help a sword collector by fishing. Why? He is fishing for a specific catch, the Cutlass fish, also known as the living sword.
  • Done quite literally in Fate/hollow ataraxia, where quite a few of the Servants (read:legendary historical and mythological figures) have incredibly mundane day jobs and hobbies. For example: Cu Chulainn, Ireland's Man of Light, fishing on the docks (with Gilgamesh in the background, no less).

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In one of the early Whateley Universe stories, Tennyo literally takes time off and goes fishing. With her friend Harry, who happens to looks like a seven-foot-tall werewolf. They end up rescuing an injured kid. Then there's Phase, who (being the scion of a filthy rich family before getting disinherited for being a mutant) spends her spare time marketing inventions of gadgeteers, building major IPOs of newly-created conglomerates, studying the stock market... Phase is not quite fifteen.
  • One of Cracked's 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games is that "your princess can always wait a little longer" to complete a Fishing Minigame.

    Western Animation 
  • The Teen Titans are regularly seen eating pizza or playing video games, among other "normal" social activities. Though almost every time they go out to the local carnival or something, trouble soon follows.
  • The Futurama episode "The Deep South" has the Planet Express crew go on a fishing trip when they accidentally get a mandatory fishing license.
  • The whole plot of Help! I'm a Fish starts with a fishing trip.
  • An episode of Danny Phantom has Danny go fishing with his dad for father son bonding; its peacefulness is soon interupted by Skulker. Danny defeats him without his dad even noticing. And they bring home a giant ghost sea creature.
  • One episode of ReBoot opened with Bob fishing in the middle of a war game. He even took a nap during that time and wanted someone else to deal with the User this time.
  • Bumblebee of Transformers Animated likes playing videogames with Sari (also in Transformers Prime, 'Bee with Raf). Rattrap from Beast Wars was once shown playing what looked like a Doom clone with Waspinators for enemies.
    • Hot Rod and Daniel are first seen out fishing in Transformers: The Movie, before Daniel gets distracted by the arriving shuttle. Later in a season 3 episode ("Grimlock's New Brain"), the Dinobots go fishing together, except for the big G himself, because he's caught up in his newfound superintelligence.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Hulk allows Bruce Banner control of their shared body for one day a month. In "Nightmare In Red", Banner chooses to spend one of those days fishing, accompanied by a reluctant Hawkeye.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, the episode "Turner Classic Birdman" acts as a flashback to his pre-attorney superhero days. Being a parody of the original Birdman series it's based on, this means Falcon Seven frequently calls Birdman when he's eating dinner or découpaging.
  • The fourth episode of Ewoks, To Save Deej, starts out with the Warrick males and princess Kneesaa fishing. But it soon turns into a story where Deej's life is in danger.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002), a lot of the heroes have hobbies. Adam and Teela play a game that's sort of like volleyball in one episode, Ram-Man literally likes to go fishing, while Roboto plays holographic chess with Man-E-Faces, Orko, and Sy-Clone in various episodes.

    Real Life 
  • Legend has it that British naval hero Sir Francis Drake was playing a game of bowls (lawn bowling) at Plymouth in 1588 when word came that the Spanish Armada had been sighted. Drake is said to have replied that there was time enough to defeat the Spanish, and went on to finish his game before going to his ship.


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