[[quoteright:330:[[Film/{{Speed}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/speedhostage25.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:330:Unfortunately for him, Jack [[ShootTheHostage doesn't play by that rule]].]]-]

->'''Dobson''': ''[holds a gun to River's head and uses her as a shield]'' I'm not playing anymore. If anyone so much as moves-\\
'''Mal''': ''[walks in and shoots Dobson in the eye]''
-->-- ''Series/{{Firefly}}''

A shield is a protective device, meant to intercept attacks. Attacks are usually accomplished with things such as bullets and swords, both of which are designed to penetrate flesh. So using a shield made out of flesh would seem like a fairly silly idea. However, make sure that [[HostageSituation the flesh belongs to someone important to your attacker]], and all of a sudden, they become strangely reluctant to attack you.

If your attacker is [[TheHero heroic]] enough, then any old InnocentBystander will do; [[FlawExploitation their contract states that no matter how evil you might be, they can't even hurt the poor victim in order to get to you]]. For [[AntiHero less idealistic opponents]], you might need to go one better and capture their {{Sidekick}}, [[BuddyCopShow partner]], [[TrueCompanions friends]] or [[ThickerThanWater family]]. If you want to make '''[[AlwaysSaveTheGirl really]]''' [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl sure]], make it their [[LoveInterests Love Interest]].

If you've chosen wisely, then TheHero will now be unable to attack you without risking harm to your hostage. Hold a knife to their throat, and they can't even risk looking like they're going to attack. You now have the power to demand the hero [[PutDownYourGunAndStepAway disarms themselves]], [[HostageForMcGuffin hands over anything you demand]] or even to [[HeroicSacrifice die to save the hostage]]. And all you had to do was use some good old CowerPower. Hey, whatever works.

Don't let the power go to your head though. The [[AntiHero Anti-Hero]] might just be tempted to [[ShootTheHostage shoot you anyway, even if it means a little collateral damage]]. And if TheHero is [[ImprobableAimingSkills skilled enough or a good enough shot]], they might just be able [[ShootTheHostageTaker to take you out]] without harming your hostage. Also, actually following through with your "stop or I'll shoot" threat is seldom a good strategy, as this might lead to [[DeadSidekick unfortunate]] repercussions; not only have you enraged the hero even more, but now you've literally wasted the one thing keeping him at bay (though for some reason the hero will almost never call your bluff on this one). And last, but not least, keep in mind that your "shield" is actually a living and usually hostile being, eager to [[ManBitesMan bite you in the back of the hand]] or [[GroinAttack kick you in the groin]] the moment you lower your guard. Indeed, a knowledgeable hostage can feign fainting, and force you to not only control your weapon but a heavy chunk of deadweight; this is very effective but very rare, both in fiction and, alas, in RealLife.

Villains aren't the only ones who make use of Human Shields -- {{Antihero}}es are prone to using {{Mooks}} this way, especially as cover during the heat of a shootout, and the most vicious of them will use their enemy's loved ones to stay their hand long enough to get a shot in. A hero who tries this is apt to use it to try to defuse a villain's use of this by taking one of the villain's associates hostage, but as villains are a callous and vicious lot, expect the villain to put a bullet through the skull of the hero's hostage, just to [[KickTheDog illustrate just how evil he or she is]].

A SisterTrope is BulletproofHumanShield, where your attacker(s) callously open fire ''anyway'' -- only to have their shots blocked by the victim you're holding. The distinction is psychological protection ("You wouldn't dare hurt this innocent victim!") versus physical protection. See also SafetyInMuggles, where the mere presence of non-{{Masquerade}} persons stops a confrontation cold.

You don't have to be directly hiding behind someone for them to be a human shield. For example, filling your SupervillainLair with [[HeartWarmingOrphan kidnapped orphans]] is a good way of stopping the good guys from bombing it, so long as you remember to tell them about it. And if you want to pull a WoundedGazelleGambit against TheHero to turn the forces of good against him, you might use your ''own'' civilians as shields for something the hero cannot afford to let stand.

If someone suddenly volunteers to be a human shield by flinging themselves between what's shooting and what's being shot at, it's GoThroughMe. This trope is the less deliberate cousin to HostageSituation.

Contrast DrawAggro (characters using themselves to get others out of danger).


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Subverted in ''Anime/CowboyBebop'', where one of Vicious' henchmen thinks he can convince Spike to surrender by using Faye as a human shield, without realizing Spike has no qualms about such things. [[KilledMidSentence He ends up with a bullet in his head mid-sentence]]. It happens again at the beginning of the movie.
* Subverted in ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}''. The first baddie we're introduced to takes future co-star, Seras Victoria hostage as a human shield... only to have BadassLongcoat Alucard blast a gaping hole through her chest to kill him, and then turn her into a vampire afterwards.
** Granted, he did have to confirm that she was a virgin first. If she wasn't, she would've become a ghoul instead.
* Subverted in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', [[spoiler:where a weakened Envy tries to take over Yoki's body, but finds that everyone else simply ''does not care'' about his fate, with even the cheerful Al and May Chang cheering his "heroic sacrifice"]].
** Also used twice in later chapters as a subterfuge, [[spoiler:with Scar pretending to run off with Winry]] and [[spoiler:Edward's 'bodyguards' taking him hostage in front of soldiers who couldn't recognize him. ("How could you involve such a small child!")]]
* Used twice in ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'': [[spoiler:Shiro is Ganta's human shield during the Dog Race (he doesn't realize it and is shocked when he sees how much damage she took for him); Minatsuki uses ''her own brother'' as a human shield during her Carnival Corpse match against Ganta.]]
* Subverted in the manga ''Manga/BlackCat''. Eve ([[TykeBomb a nanomachine bioweapon who also happens to be a 7 year old girl]]) convinces a criminal to let go of an infant and take her hostage instead, quickly saving the day.
* A FlashBack in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' shows a desperate knife-wielding thug using a little girl as a HumanShield to hold back the police. The police do the smart thing and lets the sniper with ImprobableAimingSkills secretly take him out with a [[StunGuns bullet that does Magical Damage]]. [[spoiler: Unfortunately the guy turns at just the wrong moment and the sniper hits the little girl [[EyeScream in the eye]]. Worse, the hostage was the sniper's little sister, causing much emotional trauma.]]
* One of the key combat moves of Anime/AfroSamurai is to grab one enemy, throw him into oncoming attacks, and then charge the now-distracted attacker. In the manga, lacking enemies at hand, [[AntiHero he uses a random boy and, later, his disabled sister]].
* In the manga of ''Manga/ElfenLied'', Lucy uses the CuteClumsyGirl secretary Kisaragi in this fashion just before [[spoiler: decapitating her]]. In the anime, [[spoiler: it's reversed: she kills poor Kisaragi, ''then'' uses her corpse as a shield. Of course, in both cases this is merely an act of cruelty, as her vectors protected her from gunfire.]]
* During the Kyoto Arc of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Chigusa tries to use a kidnapped Konoka as a human shield. Unfortunately for her, it backfired in a rather spectacular fashion, as threatening Konoka just so happens to be [[BodyguardCrush Setsuna's]] BerserkButton.
** It happens again much later in the manga when Tsukiyomi [[spoiler: Attacks the crew on Haru's airship, but is stopped by Negi, fresh from his training to complete Magia Erebia. She escapes Negi's grip by trying to cut his arm off, which he dodges by turning into lightning. She then tries to use Nodoka as a HumanShield, but before the can follow through is [[RocketPunch punched in the gut]] by the arm she just tried to sever.]]
* In the manga of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' [[AntiHero Guts]] has used kids as a shield and/or hostage in at least two separate occasions, such as the Guardians of Desire arc when he used the Count's daughter Theresia to ward off an attack by her monstered-out father, as well as the Lost Children arc when he used a kid to lure a bunch of Apostle-spawn away from a village so he could kill them. Puck objects quite strongly to both instances.
* An interesting twist in City Hunter. Ryo Saeba gets the drop on a bad guy in a restaurant with his .357 Magnum. The Mook opens the curtains behind him, pointing out the crowded Tokyo street and taunts Saeba with the fact that if he opens fire, the bullet will cut through the mook and undoubtedly hit a passer by. Ryo proves how badass he is by [[spoiler:shooting THROUGH his own hand, slowing the bullet down just enough to kill the bad guy and still not hurt any bystanders]]
* The first episode of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' has Revy using one of the Extra Order mercs as a shield during the shootout at the Yellow Flag, then killing him as they made their escape. Judging by the fact he was apparently uninjured until that point, the slightly-more-bad guys were probably reluctant to shoot him, or had poor aim.
* During the FinalBattle of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' Lelouch uses a large group of world leaders he had kidnapped during a peace meeting (including women and children) as human shields to prevent Schneizel from using his super weapon on him right from the start of the battle. The twist is that while Schneizel couldn't care less about the hostages, his new allies, The Black Knights, do. In the end, The Black Knights get Schneizel to refrain from using his super-weapon in favor of more conventional tactics, while Lelouch is sitting on the bridge of his flagship sneering with glee.
* Subverted in the beginning of ''Manga/BeetTheVandelBuster'' Beltorze grabs Beet during a battle with the Zenon Knights. They think he's trying to use Beet as a hostage. Beltorze dismisses that notion rather quickly when he mortally wounds Beet right off the bat and uses the distraction to launch a powerful attack against the Knights.
* ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'':
** Marco finds himself facing a Padania terrorist holding his ex-girlfriend, knowing that Marco's eye damage will prevent him risking a shot. Angelica blinds the terrorist with a [[GunAccessories torch attached to her handgun]], providing a distraction so the hostage can break free.
** When Dante uses Jean as a shield, [[spoiler:Jean orders Rico to kill him so she can get her shot at killing the most wanted man in Italy as well in the process.]]
* Played for laughs in ''Manga/BoboboboBobobo'': Bobobo usually uses his ''own'' allies as the human shields, and the villains, more often than not, aim directly for their faces or completely ignore them and punch Bobobo (Usually the former, since the two he uses are the {{butt monkey}}s).
* Luffy from ''Manga/OnePiece'' is a rare example of a protagonist who has done this on occasion. But then again, he IS a pirate. Even one of his attacks is called Gomu Gomu no Human Shield, where he grabs someone by random to block an attack.
** When Luffy uses his Gomu Gomu no Baloon to bounce one of Buggy's town-destroying cannonballs back, Buggy and Cabaji use ''their own men'' as shields to take the brunt of the explosion.
** Not quite "human", but Nami uses Chopper as a shield when she thinks Zoro is about to attack her in the Punk Hazard arc.
** To show just what [[AristocratsAreEvil kind of people]] the Vinsmokes are, they have a technique called "Shield", where one of their men will automatically ''leap in front'' of them to take whatever blow is coming their way.
* Ayano uses Ren as a human shield against Kazuma in episode 7 of ''LightNovel/KazeNoStigma''. However, the scene is largely played for laughs, and neither Ren nor Kazuma take her seriously.
* In the ''Manga/DragonBall'' anime, Goku once went to rescue the leader of a village. At some point, the villain used the leader as a human shield. Said leader then delivered a "Don't mind me" speech but changed his mind upon seeing Goku's reaction.
** Done in the ''Manga/DragonBallSuper'' manga by [[spoiler:Zamasu]] during the final showdown with Goku. As the former is slowly being disintegrated by an imitation of a God of Destruction's Hakai technique, he takes Future Mai and places her in front of him, forcing Goku to cancel the attack and back away.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'': During the Poseidon arc (at least in the anime), every time Seiya tried to hit Poseidon with an arrow, the arrow came back at him. At some time, Shaina volunteered herself as a shield but he switched positions so ''he'd'' be ''her'' shield. Shiryu then served as a shield for both while complimenting Seiya for refusing to use a woman as a human shield.
* Hougen does this in ''Anime/GingaDensetsuWeed'' by using another dog from his pack as a shield to stop Weed's Battouga. [[spoiler:Hougen survives the attack. His packmate, however...doesn't.]]
* Cattleya of ''Anime/QueensBlade'' often uses a small boy as her shield. Said small boy is ''her son Rana''. The weird part is that Rana ''agrees'' to this tactic.
* A favorite tactic against Mikoto in ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'', who is sufficiently idealistic that people have successfully used ''their own {{Mooks}}''
* [[SerialKiller J. Geil]] in ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders'' is somewhat fond a variation on this tactic. Since his stand, the Hanged Man, can only manifest and attack people through reflections, he causes his stand to jump into the reflections in ''people's eyes'', holding them hostage and allowing him to attack his victims with impunity unless they're fine with killing innocent people. Fortunately, when he tries the same stunt on Polnareff and Kakyoin, they eventually just kick sand into the hostage's eyes, causing them to close their eyes and forcing the Hanged Man to jump to a different reflection (while being vulnerable in-between reflections.)
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' had the unusual twist of Shinn Asuka using ''himself'' as a Human Shield during his attempt to defeat Kira Yamato. Shinn's friend and teammate Rey, after [[AwesomenessByAnalysis studying data from past battles]], realized that Kira has a [[ThouShaltNotKill no-kill policy]], instead trying to disable enemy mecha. Shinn takes advantage of this by deliberately positioning his Gundam so that Kira's attacks would become deathblows if they connected, which forced Kira to constantly second-guess his actions and contributed to his defeat.
* In ''{{Anime/Noir}}'' Kirika grabs a Soldat {{mook}} for this while dispatching his comrades, and then once they're all dead offs him with a bullet to the head without missing a beat or even bothering to glance at him. Given Kirika is in "[[SuperPoweredEvilSide True Noir]]" mode while this happens it clearly communicates that she's not fucking around.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'', BigBad Winnowill uses the main character's child this way. Amusingly, she goes on insisting her elfin shield is foolproof even after series badass Strongbow has proven otherwise in a fairly significant manner.
* In ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', the Judges' standard sidearm has a special ammunition for this situation, Ricochet, which is specifically designed to do special trick shots to hit a hostage taker by bouncing the rounds off a back wall to hit the assailant. Depending on the writer, they might not even care. Taking down a perp is more important than not hurting a bystander (most judges consider non-judge citizens "potential perps" anyway). And, of course, its usefulness depends on the judge. While Dredd is able to get this trick to work every time he tries it, to a point where it's considered a trademark shot of his in the department, other judges are not guaranteed to pull this off.
** Judge Heller, for example, totally messes this up and hits a seemingly random bystander, who turns out to be the perp's accomplice by sheer luck.
** Judge Anderson is so concerned about protecting innocents that she didn't dare it when Judge Death (who requires some extraordinary firepower to take down to begin with, being undead) used a mother and her baby as a meat shield, which ended quite badly.
** Dredd himself is one of the rare cases to call the bluff, as mentioned above: if the hostage dies, the hostage-taker has no protection and another murder rap.
* ComicBook/{{Morbius}} the Living Vampire did this once when he faced off with the ComicBook/XMen. He snatches Jean Grey and threatens to [[NeckSnap snap her neck]] unless Cyclops backs off. Scott just adjusts his glasses a bit and fires behind Morbius, striking a mirror and causing his eye-beams to re-direct into the vampire's back.
** The situation was reversed in ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', when Cyclops was taken as the HumanShield. This time, he bounces the beam off of [[MadeOfIron Colossus']] face.
** Another baddie tried to use Cyclops' brother, Havok, as a hostage which resulted in Cyclops [[ShootTheHostage blasting both of them]] without hesitation. The brothers are immune to each other's powers.
* One of the superheroes trying out for the team in ''Wildguard: Casting Call'' is ''called'' Human Shield, an invulnerable man who can create powerful forcefields.
* Subverted in the back story of the Saint of Killers from Garth Ennis's ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''. When the Saint ([[NoNameGiven not yet known as such]]) tracks down the gang leader indirectly responsible for the death of his family, the gang leader shields himself with an InnocentBystander. However, by this time the Saint has become so completely consumed with hate that he [[ShootTheHostage shoots the bystander anyway]]. Doubly subverted when it turns out that was his last bullet, and the gang leader shoots him dead, sending him to Hell to become the Saint.
** When he comes back as the Saint he butchers ''the entire town''. One guy even shoves his own daughter in front oof him, begging the Saint to take her and let him live. Doesn't save any of them.
* Creator/GarthEnnis' run on ''Comicbook/ThePunisher'' featured two notable instances: the first from "Comicbook/WelcomeBackFrank" where a mook in a morgue hides behind a dead body (Frank shoots up both), and later when facing the Russian on a skyscraper and SpiderMan keeps trying to intervene, getting knocked out. Frank grabs Spidey and uses his MadeOfIron body to absorb the Russian's blows until he can get him off balance.
* ''Comicbook/{{Nexus}}'''s beam power has a special property to deal with a human shield: the beam can literally steer around any obstacle to hit its target.
* Played straight and subverted in the ''Comicbook/AstroCity'' "Confessor" story arc. Kevin, the protagonist, is working as a busboy when a C-rate villain attacks and grabs him as a HumanShield. The patrons (who are all superheroes in civilian guise) hesitate to attack, but Kevin breaks free and knocks out the crook with a roundhouse kick.
* In the Franchise/{{Batman}} story arc ''Lovers and Madmen'', Jack, a new and upcoming criminal, and his gang are robbing a fundraiser when Batman arrives. Jack rushes to find a human shield, taking care to choose. By complete coincidence, the person he finally chooses is Bruce Wayne's current LoveInterest. [[spoiler: Batman backs off, but Jack stabs her anyway, then flees. Batman doesn't give chase, instead rushing to the injured woman's side, but, in a fit of rage, he uses a Batarang to give Jack a large GlasgowSmile. Guess which well-known villain Jack soon becomes?]]
* Victor Ray from ''ComicBook/OneHundredBullets'' uses the dying body of one of his criminal partners as a human shield while fighting off numerous armed thugs.
* In ''ComicBook/RatchetAndClankComic'' Artemis Zogg threatens to shoot Talwyn Apogee, (in front of the galactic authorities and Ratchet) whom he just escaped with along with Vorn Garblak, in an escape pod which crashed in her space station moments before the ship it came from got blown up by missiles.
* ComicBook/RedSonja often fights outnumbered. She uses this trope tactically, keeping a melee-fighting enemy between herself and archers in the back row. She will sometimes hold an enemy body to block such fire, but usually after she's killed it herself.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Copperhead}}'' Clay takes his interviewer Martineau hostage and menaces her to get past the guards and escape. It's made all the more frustrating because she specifically signed away her right to protection so ''exactly this'' wouldn't happen.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/AeonEntelechyEvangelion'' the soldiers are trained to ignore human hostages.
* In ''FanFic/GettingItRight'' Aizen tries to use Orihime as a shield against Ichigo, it works but his plan still backfires on him when [[spoiler:Orihime grabs Zangetsu and plunges it through her chest into Aizen leaving him seriously wounded. Sadly Orihime's wound is fatal and soon dies afterwards.]]
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' fanfic ''Black Rose Admirer'' the title team arrives at a bank robbery and proceeds to beat the thieves. One is left standing and takes one of the hostages as a shield. Ruby uses her semblance to neutralize the criminal. [[StalkerWithACrush Unfortunately for her this has a downside.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', where Mr. Incredible takes Syndrome's right hand woman hostage in retribution for the "death" of his family. Syndrome, being a narcissistic and sociopathic villain [[KickTheDog showed his true colours]] and called his bluff, [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness saying she meant nothing to him.]] Of course being a hero Mr. Incredible didn't kill her, and she went on to betray Syndrome for total lack of caring by helping Mr. Incredible and his family escape. When she calls Syndrome out on this his response is basically to shrug and say that he knew Mr. Incredible wouldn't really hurt her, but his callous attitude cements her later decision to [[MistreatmentInducedBetrayal betray him]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', the General of the American forces reveals that he's planning to use all colored soldiers as human shields to protect them from the Canadian forces. Chef obviously takes offense at that and commands his men to ''duck''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', Megatron does this with [[TheUnchosenOne Hot Rod]] when he foolishly tackles the bigger and stronger Decepticon leader to prevent him from pulling a concealed weapon on Optimus Prime. This causes Optimus to hesitate and allows Megatron to fatally wound him.
** In the IDW Transformers graphic novel Autocracy, an almost exact duplicate of the above scene occurs. However in this continuity Hot Rod has SuperSpeed, and ducks out of Megatron's grasp after sticking about a dozen grenades to him. The author also worked on the movie and felt bad that he'd made Hot Rod look like an idiot.
* In ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', to prevent from being captured by Jumba, Stitch disguises himself as a dog and gets himself adopted by Lilo, knowing that Pleakley wouldn't let Jumba use his PlasmaCannon while he was with a human.
-->'''Jumba''': Using that little girl for a shield. ''(to Stitch)'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards THIS IS LOW EVEN FOR]] ''[[EvenEvilHasStandards YOU!]]''
* At the climax of the ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirlsMovie'', Mojo Jojo drags Professor Utonium back to his lair in order to use him for this purpose after realizing that the girls are quickly discovering the full, butt-kicking potential of their powers and there's no way he'll stand a chance against them in his current state. He even refers to the man outloud as a "good Powerproof vest." It ends up working, as the girls are scared enough to not attack, and Mojo buys himself enough time to [[spoiler:inject himself with a ton of additional Chemical X, becoming an gigantic, all-powerful beast that's more than strong enough to fight them. ]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Played with in ''Film/TheNakedGun'' movies. In one scene, the villain grabs the hero's girlfriend and places a gun to her head prompting Leslie Nielsen (the hero) to grab a random woman and place a gun to ''her'' head, as if such an act would stop the villain. In another scene, the heroes interrupt a formal banquet and announce their intention to capture the villain. This prompts about a half a dozen suited men in the audience to stand up and grab the women closest to them to use as human shields. When the suited men finally realize the heroes aren't talking about ''them'' they release the women and sheepishly sit back down.
* In ''Franchise/RoboCop'', the titular hero has a great targeting system to deal with this kind of situation. For instance in the [[Film/RoboCop1987 first film]] when a male assailant is using a woman as human shield, Robocop carefully shoots the crook between the hostages' legs in a successful gamble to [[GroinAttack hit his groin]] with just enough clearance with female human anatomy to miss her. The [[Film/RoboCop2 second film]] has him dealing with the similar situation by arranging a ricochet shot to hit the assailant from behind.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', Indy's love interest (Dr Elsa Schneider) is used as a human shield by one of the Nazis, prompting Indy to drop his gun and surrender. She is immediately revealed to be a 'Nazi Stooge'.
* No list of this trope's examples would be complete without ''Film/{{Speed}}'', where, when one of the main characters asks what Creator/KeanuReeves's character would do in a Human Shield situation, Keanu replies, "ShootTheHostage, take her out of the equation." He later faces the human shield situation twice in the movie, and one of those times he actually does shoot the hostage, but only in the leg, which surprises the villain enough to get the drop on him. It's worth noting that by the second human shield scenario, the villain's put explosives on the hostage and is carrying a dead man's switch to stop him from doing this.
* One of the most brilliant subversions is ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. To escape the bigoted mob of the town that he has just been appointed sheriff of, Bart ''[[RefugeInAudacity takes himself hostage]]''. The townspeople, of course, believe that he'll actually do it and stand down. "Ooh, baby, you are so talented! And they are so ''dumb!''"
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1990'', the Shredder holds a spearpoint to Leonardo's throat and forces the other turtles to throw aside their weapons. After they do so, he says, "[[YouFool Fools]]! The three of you might have overpowered me with the loss of but one. Now your fate... shall be HIS!"
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''':
** ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'':
*** Jack takes Elizabeth hostage to use her as this.
*** Played with when Will Turner takes ''himself'' hostage. Since his blood is needed to break the Aztec curse, if he dies the curse will be permanent.
** Played with in the beginning of ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd''. Sao Feng grabs a spy and threatens to kill him if Barbossa and crew don't stand down. His response: "Go ahead, he's not our man."
* Subverted in ''Film/IronMan1''; when Tony starts laying into the terrorists attacking Gulmira, a bunch of them grab some nearby unarmed women and children and hold them at gunpoint. Unfortunately for them, Tony designed his armor with such a situation in mind, and, in one of the movie's many [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Crowning Moments of Awesome]], promptly uses his targeting system to shoot them all without touching the hostages at all.
* What about Lieutenant Sheckil, using Princess Leia as a shield during ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', while she screamed, "Luke, don't, it's a trap!"
* Subverted in ''Film/LethalWeapon'' when Riggs is taken hostage during a drug bust by one of the dealers. Riggs immediately starts shouting at the officers to just shoot him, which caused the situation to get chaotic enough to distract the dealer enough for Riggs to take him down. (Of course, it bears mentioning that Riggs is suicidal...)
* ''Film/AustinPowersInternationalManOfMystery''. Alotta Fagina captures Vanessa Kensington off-camera and brings her along to use as a shield while facing off with Austin. Austin retaliates by taking Dr. Evil's son Scott Evil as a hostage, whereupon Dr. Evil tells Austin to [[ParentalAbandonment "Kill the little bastard. See what I care".]]
* [[spoiler:Simon Skinner]] from ''Film/HotFuzz'' tries this by grabbing a random child and pointing a gun at his head. The kid promptly bites him on the hand, whereupon Angel jumps him.
-->"Don't move or the ginger nut gets it...ARRGH, YOU LITTLE FUCKER!"
** There's a couple of these. [[spoiler:Angel tries taking Danny hostage when the truth about the NWA is revealed, but Danny's father the Chief Inspector calls his bluff. After his FaceHeelTurn the Inspector does the same thing to his son. Angel also doesn't think he'll do it; instead CI Butterman tries to shoot Angel, giving Danny a chance to disarm him.]]
* ''Film/DirtyHarry'':
** At the end of the first film, the AxCrazy Scorpio Killer uses a boy as a human shield. Detective Callahan simply shoots him in the shoulder (given the range and the fact that the boy was too small to provide a lot of protection, Callahan could've put a bullet in Scorpio's chest or his head). Callahan then proceeds to give Scorpio one last chance to surrender, and then puts a bullet through him.
** In ''Film/TheEnforcer'', the terrorist leader tries using the Mayor as a human shield, dragging him up a guard tower on Alcatraz. Fortunately the Mayor refuses to go all the way up the ladder, enabling Dirty Harry to blow the terrorist up with a LAWS rocket.
* Cornelius ends up being one of these in ''Film/TheFifthElement''. He was saved by Korben's ImprobableAimingSkills.
** "Anybody else want to negotiate?"
* Played with by Phoenix in ''Film/DemolitionMan''. Rather than let the militaristic LAPD of the time [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim just blow up]] his absurdly conspicuous mansion hideout, he takes a BusFullOfInnocents hostage. He uses this to stay Spartan's hand when they encounter one another. When Phoenix blows the building, Spartan gets the blame for killing the civilians. [[spoiler:Turns out the hostages were already dead. But given that it just results in Spartan being available to release and [[WeWillMeetAgain fight him in the future]] it [[HoistByHisOwnPetard didn't go so well for Phoenix]].]]
* ''Film/EscapeToAthena'' (1979). During the uprising in the village, the SS officer [[KickTheDog seizes a young Greek boy as cover]], only to have him saved by the German officer played by Roger Moore, who's so outraged he knocks out the SS officer and herds the boy to safety.
* At the end of ''Film/{{Taken}}'', Mills's daughter Kimmy is being held hostage by an evil old rich dude who had her purchased from the Human Traffickers; Mills has a handgun aimed. The old man tries to say "We can negotiate.", but Mills puts a slug in his head mid-sentence.
* While not exactly a HumanShield, in ''Film/FortyEightHours'', Ganz gets Jack to drop his gun by threatening a wounded cop. Since Ganz kills the cop anyway, when he uses Reggie as a true HumanShield at the end of the movie, Jack just kills him.
* Same situation in ''Film/AnotherFortyEightHours'', Jack shoots the bad guy through Reggie.
* In the Kurt Russell movie ''Film/{{Soldier}}'', someone tries to use a woman as a shield, but the titular, emotionless soldier empties his machine gun into both of them, then moves on.
* Very much subverted in ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma2007'', where a PinkertonDetective FakingTheDead attempts to use a member of MagnificentBastard Ben Wade's gang as a human shield. Since Wade figures that the {{mook}} should have checked to be sure the Pinkerton was dead before he started looting and made himself vulnerable, he calmly shoots them both.
* ''Film/TheGreenMile'' - a well done adaptation from its entry in 'literature', below. It features Tom Hanks as the guard captain (who also receives a GroinAttack to ensure his aim is spoiled) and David Morse as "Brutal" Howell.
* In a notable action scene from the original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' Douglas Quaid (Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) uses one of these to protect himself against enemy fire.
* A minor criminal tries this at the start of ''Film/TheShadow''. He even points out that the guards aren't good enough shots to hit only him. Ying Ko's response is to complement the human shield on his years of service, then says "shoot through him".
* The leader of the raiders in ''Film/TheRoadWarrior'' decorated his vehicle with a pair of living captives, both as a show of power and human shields. One of the captives defiantly attempts to subvert this trope, calling for his comrades in the compound to fight on, while the other is more cowardly and begs them not to shoot.
* In ''Film/{{Heat}}'', Michael Cheritto attempts this as a means of last resort during a chase. [[spoiler:Lt. Hanna shoots him anyway.]]
* ''Film/MenInBlack''. In the morgue the Bug grabs Laurel (the medical examiner) and uses her as a shield to prevent being shot by Agents J and K.
* ''Film/TheFugitive''. While the U.S. Marshals are searching a house for one of the fugitive prisoners, the prisoner grabs one of them and uses him to prevent Gerard from shooting him. Gerard uses basic tactical skills to flank the hostage taker and shoot him from the side not covered by the hostage.
* ''Film/BeverlyHillsCop''. Axel Foley finds the BigBad Victor Maitland holding Axel's friend Jenny Summers in front of him.
-->'''Maitland''': Be careful, old boy. You might hit me.
* Evil candidate Stillson in ''Film/TheDeadZone'' does this by holding a ''baby'' in front of himself to stop Johnny from assassinating him (in an attempt to save humanity, as Stillson was going to start WorldWarThree once in office). This both saves and dooms him, with an iconic photo of the incident appearing on the cover of ''Newsweek'' under the headline "No Future for Stillson", leading him to commit suicide.
* In ''Film/DieAnotherDay'', Film/JamesBond is using a virtual reality training simulation in which a terrorist uses M as a HumanShield. [[TakeAThirdOption His solution]] is to shoot M in the arm, causing her to jerk out of the way enough for him to get a clean shot at the terrorist.
* Cato manages to do this with the implied intention of invoking a TakingYouWithMe to Peeta against Katniss in the film adaptation of ''Film/TheHungerGames'' near the climax.
* In ''Film/{{District 9}}'', Wikus grabs a scientist [[spoiler:who was about to eviscerate him]] around the neck and keeps him there under the threat of [[EyeScream cutting out his eyes with a scalpel]]. The guns that are trained on him are put down.
* An interesting variant in ''Film/CaptainKronosVampireHunter'', in which Kronos finds himself in a swordfight with a vampire while his opponent's mesmerised daughter is standing motionless nearby. After losing his sword, Kronos dodges behind the daughter and uses her as cover.
* Discussed and applied in ''Film/ConAir'' by Cyrus during the shootout between him and the DEA agent on board.
-->'''Cyrus:''' "You know, the next time you choose a human shield, you're better off not picking a two-bit negro crackhead."
* Lampshaded in ''Fear is the Key'' (1973). The VillainProtagonist is in a parking lot with the woman he's just taken hostage. She gets her hopes up when she sees two policemen checking out the cars. The villain promptly does a FakeoutMakeout, whispering in her ear, "First I'll shoot the fat one. And when the other's trying to figure out how to shoot me without hitting you, I'll shoot him." As a result she doesn't shout for help.
* The 1988 film ''Deadly Pursuit'' (aka ''Shoot to Kill''). The antagonist has the elderly wife of a jeweler hostage, threatening to kill her unless he gets a cache of diamonds. FBI agent Warren Stantin walks over to make the exchange, tossing the bag towards the door, but only a short distance so he'll be forced to leave cover to get it. Instead the villain picks up the [[MiniatureSeniorCitizens small, frail woman]] and carries her to the bag. This has the added advantage of preventing the police (and the audience) from seeing his face, saving TheReveal for later on in the film.
* Played for laughs in ''Film/SleepyHollow'', in which Ichabod Crane -- who is something of a LovableCoward -- has a tendency to subtly position himself behind other people or gently manoeuvre them in front of him in times of crisis. This includes women and children. And did we mention that Ichabod is the ''hero''?
* Both [[NotSoDifferent heroes and villains]] use this tactic in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''. The most notable occasion is when Splendid Angharad opens the War Rig's door and displays her pregnant body, knowing Immortan Joe won't risk shooting his unborn child. Max uses the opportunity to shoot Joe instead, [[BadBoss who pulls one of his own mooks]] in the [[BulletproofHumanShield path of the bullet]]. Another notable occasion is in the FinalBattle, where Max uses the People Eater as his human shield when Joe shoots at him.
* In the final battle in ''Film/MissionImpossibleRogueNation'', Ethan knows Lane wants him alive so [[spoiler: Ethan makes ''himself'' the shield between Lane's men and Ilsa, shielding her while she stands behind him picking them off until they get the room to make a break for it.]]
* In the 1922 ''Film/{{Robin Hood|1922}}, Robin is choking out one of Prince John's mooks when another mook appears on the wall with a bow and arrow. Robin whips the mook around just in time for the mook to take the arrow in the back.
* In ''Film/NightOfTheComet'', two Valley girls help themselves to some merch in a department store, not knowing that the former stockboys, now "owners of the store," can see them. When one of the girls is taken hostage, the other takes one of the stockboys hostage, using him as a shield. When their leader mentions "I can't have you holding one of my men hostage," he proceeds to kill the guy.

* Horribly subverted in ''Literature/HiveSeries'' book eight with [[spoiler:Tom and Nigel.]] [[spoiler:Tom]] takes [[spoiler:Nigel]] hostage and threatens to kill him unless he is let out of [[spoiler:the Glasshouse.]] Unfortunately, he overestimates his own value to [[spoiler:Anastasia Furan]], who just [[spoiler:shoots Tom in the chest.]]
* In Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Literature/TheDeadZone'', the protagonist tries to assassinate an evil politican, Greg Stillson. He fails, because Stillson uses [[ChildrenAreInnocent a child]] as a human shield; however, a photographer takes a picture of this moment and publishes it, ending Stillson's career.
* In ''Literature/TheGreenMile'', psychopathic prisoner William Wharton plays drugged during an interprison transfer until his new guards fail to pay attention. At which point he jumps up and starts beating the crap out of them. The guard captain draws his service pistol, so Wharton uses a guard as a human shield while continuing to wreak havoc. The stalemate is broken when [[spoiler: an additional guard appears on the scene and ambushes Wharton from behind with a baton to the head. Extra balls points to Brutal Howell for advancing into his boss's gun.]]
* From the Literature/{{Deryni}} works by Creator/KatherineKurtz:
** ''Deryni Checkmate'': While fighting his way out of St. Torin's shrine to rescue Morgan, Duncam grabs Gorony, holds him at swordpoint and demands Warin unlock the door. Warin refuses, so Duncan [[spoiler: uses his Deryni powers on the lock]], and he and Morgan take Gorony with them, leaving Warin and his remaining men locked inside.
** ''The Bishop's Heir'': Dhugal [=MacArdry=] leads a band of men to investigate another band of armed trespassers on Transha land. The two groups get into a skirmish and the leader of the other group, Brice of Trurill, grabs an injured Dhugal and holds him as a shield with a sword to Dhugal's throat to end the skirmish and allow him to escape with his men. Brice brings Dhugal all the way to Ratharkin, where he's held captive by Loris and the Mearan Pretender.
** Also in The Bishop's Heir: Dhugal uses Sidana as a shield, taking her before him on horseback as he's fleeing the city of Ratharkin after Judhael's consecration as bishop. Her father and brothers lead some of their troops in pursuit until [[spoiler:they unexpectedly encounter Kelson and his forces]].
* In ''Literature/OutboundFlight', Commander Thrawn is coldly angry to see that his newest enemy likes to station captives in clear bubbles on the outsides of their ships; despite the pleas of the WideEyedIdealist who likes him, he [[ShootTheDog fires anyway]].
--> "Understand the reality of the situation. The Vagaari have killed them, all of them, if not in this battle then in battles to come. There's nothing we can do to help them. All we can do is focus our resources toward the Vagaari's ultimate destruction, so that others may live."
** Notably, he despised having to go through with it - so in his rematch with the Vagaari, he arranges for an entire swarm of Trade Federation droid starfighters to close to point-blank and ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome shoot between the cells]]''.
** In ''Literature/{{Allegiance}}'', the corrupt administrator being confronted by five stormtroopers tries to pull this with one of his subordinates. Grave, the sniper, just shoots past the hostage's ear.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Blood Pact'', Xomat takes Elodie hostage against Daur. Daur declares his indifference and that he just might [[ShootTheHostage shoot Xomat]] ''[[ShootTheHostage through]]'' [[ShootTheHostage Elodie]] -- which distracts him enough for Daur to get off a head shot. Elodie is muchly upset; Daur tries arguing before resorting to a ShutUpKiss -- their FirstKiss.
* A captured enemy officer tries to pull this one on Sergeant Jackrum in ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' after he tricks Blouse into making Polly untie him. Using Blouse as his human shield, he tries to force them to let him go ... However, he underestimates Jackrum, and the sergeant puts an arrow into him--barely even wounding Blouse in the process.
* In the climax of ''Literature/{{Gone}}'', Caine realizes he is losing the fight, so he uses his telekinetic powers to move Astrid between himself and Sam. He tells Sam to kill him, but he'll have to kill Astrid, too, because she is in the line of fire. Litterally, the line of fire, considering his powers.
* In their final fight against the mercenary unit Avanti's Angels in the ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' novel ''Double Blind'', the antagonists' leader and two of his underlings chain captive members of said unit to the outsides of their [=BattleMechs=], gambling that the mercenaries won't fire on them for fear of killing their comrades. The tactic works painfully well, too, until the mercs' native allies show up and manage to swarm and climb the 'Mechs (at considerable cost to themselves, but that's a price they're already used to paying for a shot at capturing new war machines for their own tribes) and free the hostages.
* In the climactic battle in Creator/AndreNorton's ''Star Man's Son'', the hero is used as this, tied to the barricade the mutant Beast Things have set up for their LastStand. He manages to get loose and crawls [[NoOneGetsLeftBehind to rescue another fellow in the same situation]], but finds the man already dead.
* ''Literature/SomeoneElsesWar'': The LRA uses ChildSoldiers to do the bulk of their fighting because they know that most people will hesitate to hurt a child. Sad case of TruthInTelevision.
* In ''Literature/TheKingdomAndTheCrown'' when the bandit Moeshe Ya'abin's raid on a traveling camp is interrupted by an arrow announcing the presence of Zealots, he holds the girl he was dragging to a tent in front of him.
* In ''Naked Empire'', the eighth book of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, the Hero has a problem. He has to get a MacGuffin from a fortress that the Bad Guys are occupying, but it's surrounded by unarmed "peace protesters" from a society of [[StrawmanPolitical Straw]] [[ActualPacifist Pacifists]] that the Bad Guys have persuaded to act as human shields. After all, a hero wouldn't kill unarmed civilians, right? [[DesignatedHero Wrong!]] The hero decides to take the small group of soldiers he has with him and mount a surprise attack on the fortress, killing any of the "peace protesters" who don't get out of the way in time. Which, as it happens, turns out to be nearly all of them. The resulting slaughter is portrayed not as a tragedy, but as the ''morally correct'' outcome: they chose to side with the Bad Guys, so they deserved to die along with them.
* In ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Mockingjay]]'', [[spoiler: President Snow puts a shield ''made of Capitol children'' around his mansion to deter attack. It didn't work out too well...]]
* In ''[[Literature/TakeshiKovacs Woken Furies]]'', when the villain Anton comes under fire, his first reaction is to grab one of his own allies and use her as a human shield.
* In ''[[Literature/TheAlloyofLaw Alloy of Law]]'', multiple baddies do pull this on Waxillium, with various women.
** A serial killer in the beginning pulls this on [[spoiler: his wife, Lessie]]. Wax takes the shot, and [[spoiler: the killer twists Lessie in the way, killing her and traumatizing Wax. He then shoots the killer in the head]].
** [[spoiler: Marasi]] also gets a gun to her head multiple times. It never really stops Wax from taking action. Especially the second time, when Wax just [[spoiler: [[CrowningMomentofAwesome ricochets a bullet off another bullet to kill the man holding her]]]].
* In ''Literature/LastSacrifice'', when [[spoiler:Tasha Ozera is exposed as the new main suspect for regicide]], the guardians present are ordered to arrest her. She manages to take possession of a handgun and chooses a hostage (Mia Rinaldi) to use as her Human Shield. This works well enough to make the guardians stop moving. But Mia knows self-defense and manages to get out of [[spoiler:Tasha]]'s grasp.
* Literature/CiaphasCain subverts this twice:
** In ''Cain's Last Stand'', once he realizes [[spoiler:Varan is a psyker with the ability to make '''anyone''' serve him loyally]], he sets up the final confrontation so no one but [[AntiMagic Jurgen]] will be around. Having extra bodies to hide behind, his favored tactic for decades, would backfire [[spoiler:the moment Varan told them to arrest/kill Cain]].
** A ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' subversion in the audio drama ''The Devil You Know''. Cain is dueling a Dark Eldar who's freely admitted she intends to capture Cain for torture. Cain points his laspistol at his head and pulls the trigger. The Eldar [[note]]who has much better reflexes than any human, for the record[[/note]] lunges forward to deflect the lasbolt, and leaves herself wide open for a chainsword through the chest. (From Cain's viewpoint, he won either way -- he'd been a captive of the Dark Eldar before; either she dropped her guard to prevent his suicide and he killed her, or she didn't and he got a clean and painless death.)
* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', once TheMole in Garden's ranks is outed, he takes the nearest Gardener hostage. Unfortunately for him, one of the men present has ImprobableAimingSkills.
* Rare heroic example in ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'' where hostages and human shields are used in abundance to prevent the US Government from invading Maine and deter a bombing campaign.
* Another heroic example shows itself in ''Literature/DanceoftheButterfly'' as the vigilante often uses this tactic, employing a held or semi-conscious enemy as obstacle or distraction against other targets.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Fed at the end of the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' tries this, taking River hostage with one gun, holding his other out, and yelling at the crew on the ship that if anyone moves...well, [[KilledMidSentence he doesn't get to finish his sentence]], because right at that moment, [[BadassLongcoat Mal]] comes aboard, pulls out his heavily-used revolver, and puts a round in the Fed's head without a word. Or breaking stride.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has one of the Genii use Dr. Weir, commander of the Atlantis expedition, as a human shield so he can get safely to the gate and escape. Shepherd, being a good marksman, puts a bullet into his shoulder, allowing Weir to get clear. [[spoiler:And it turns out he survives in a later episode.]]
* Used in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' where a hero and a villain stand off, holding hostages they think is the other's child.
-->'''Villain''': Not my kid.
-->'''Hero''': Not mine either.
* In ''Series/{{Vikings}}'', Ragnar uses himself as one of these to protect [[GoodShepherd Athelstan]] from Horik's hidden archer in "The Choice". He knows that Horik will attempt to kill the priest as soon as he's out of sight, so Ragnar offers to escort Athelstan back to King Ecbert's territory and physically shields him from any kind of attack.
* Hilariously done in ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' once. "Love is never using your girlfriend as a human shield!"
* Based on the RealLife point below, ''Series/HogansHeroes'' frequently used the "If it's close to a prison camp the Allies won't bomb it" reasoning to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] putting the target of the week in Hogan's reach, sometimes even inside the camp.
* Done by the Doctor of all people in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E4TheFaceOfEvil The Face of Evil]]''. When confronted by the savage Sevateem tribe, the Doctor threatens to kill one of them "with this deadly jelly baby" if they don't back off. The Sevateem surprise the Doctor by responding, "Kill him, then." Determined not to be upstaged, the Doctor simply eats the jelly baby instead. "I don't take orders from anyone. TakeMeToYourLeader."
** In "The Caves of Androzani" the MechaMooks are programmed not to fire on anyone wearing a belt transmitter, so Peri (who is wearing one of the belts) is used as a shield by someone firing at an android soldier.
* The second series of ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' starts with this. It almost works.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'' has done it once or twice and Michael gives a tip on what to do if take hostage in this manner: go limp -- it's hard to both lift and carry a body.
** Also happens in a cliffhanger season finale, with a bad guy holding Michael hostage. How does [[spoiler:Jesse]] save him? By shooting Michael in the shoulder with a high-powered sniper rifle, so that the bullet would pass through the shoulder and kill the bad guy.
* ''Series/{{Rizzoli and Isles}}'' at the end of Season 1 an un-armed Rizzoli was [[StandardFemaleGrabArea grabbed]] by the bad guy and used to protect him from several dozen cops, including many of her close friends. She is screaming at them to "Shoot him!", apparently believing that if both she and the bad guy were shot, the [=EMT=]s in the group would save her. She and the bad guy were shot, and we have to wait for the Season 2 opener to find out what happens...
* In one episode of ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'', the hostage situation ends when the hero shoots the hostage, distracting the baddie long enough to then shoot him too. This only works because of the setup: The heroes use phasers on stun, while the baddies use projectile weaponry and have never considered weapons that don't actually harm people.
** The cowboy is also shocked that Reed would shoot one of his own.
* During TheMutiny in Season 4 of the rebooted ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', President Laura Roslin, currently resident on a Cylon Basestar, uses the entire Colonial Fleet as a massive HumanShield - and then has the gall to sneer that Gaeta, the commander of the mutineers, hasn't got enough guts to shoot through the fleet to get to her. This despite knowing that the whole point of the mutiny is to protect the survivors of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica from a new, Roslin- and Adama- sponsored Cylon occupation of the only homes they have left... Her tactics work, but that fact is to Gaeta's credit, not Roslin's.
* Happens on ''{{Series/Numb3rs}}'' at least twice, both times to Colby Granger. Both times he tells a fellow agent to shoot, but neither does.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Done several times.
** In "War Cries", one of the Marines throws himself over the Ambassador in the car to shield her during the ambush while they make their escape.
** In "Tribunal", Mac is made a human shield by a suspected Taliban in Afghanistan with a knife aimed at her throat. She manages to get of his grip and beats him up.
* ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' has these occurring from time to time.
* ''Series/StrikeBack'' generally has terrorists employ this from time to time, as a means of gaining an advantage over Section 20. That said, Scott has absolutely zero problems with using a terrorist leader as a human shield.
* Bulldog, in an episode of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', used Roz (who was pregnant at the time) as a shield when someone pulls out a gun. It ends up looking like he tried to push her out of the way and is hailed as a hero. Only Frasier knows the truth but is unable to get him to confess. It all comes to a head at the ceremony in Bulldog's honor. Martin, who was just tired of listening to Frasier complain about it, randomly shouts, "HE'S GOT A GUN!" Sure enough, Bulldog does it again, this time, using his ''own mother'' as a shield.
* In the Australian mini-series ''For the Term of His Natural Life'' there's an attempted breakout on the convict ship. The marines bring up a small cannon, only to find their sergeant being held in front of them as a hostage. [[TakingYouWithMe The sergeant orders his men to light the cannon's fuse.]] When the marines reluctantly obey the order, the convicts are forced to surrender rather than be blasted to bits.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''. A vampire cult wants to worship Darla's baby, and intend sacrificing everyone in the room to it, including Darla. [[BewareTheNiceOnes Fred holds a knife to Darla's stomach and threatens to kill the child]] even though it's protected by a spell that prevents harm, as Fred whispers in Darla's ear. It's a good thing those vampires don't know that, eh?
-->'''Darla:''' They do ''now''. Vampires have great hearing.
* Parodied in ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' where Jake becomes a human shield by an ATF officer...''in a game of paintball.''
* Done in an episode of ''Series/{{Alias}}'' in Mexico, where a criminal grabbed a daughter away from a mother and threatened to shoot her, if Sydney didn't comply. Luckily the CIA was able to hack into the guy's earpiece to make it shriek in order to daze him giving her the chance to shoot the other guys and rescue the girl.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', the heir to a planet's throne ends up aboard the titular ship and arrives to his planet, which is currently in the hands of the corrupt aristocrats (who have orchestrated his father's death). Since the planet's SpaceNavy is horribly primitive compared to the ''Andromeda'', he threatens the aristocrat, prompting the aristocrat to order that civilian observers be posted on all of his ships and on all military bases from now on, knowing that Dylan would never fire on innocent civilians. Tyr praises the aristocrat on his choice of tactics.
* In the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Alphas}}'', the [[VillainOfTheWeek Ghost]] uses Rachel as a human shield to prevent Hicks from shooting him. Unfortunately for him, Hicks' superpower gives him ImprobableAimingSkills, allowing him to [[spoiler: shoot a metal sign behind the Ghost, the ricochet hitting the villain InTheBack and killing him]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The signature martial arts style of the Infernal ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', Infernal Monster Style, includes the charm Screaming Meat Shield, redirecting even magical attacks.
* The Dread Emperor in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has a version which goes significantly ''beyond'' this trope. That's right, he's taken one of the most contemptible things people can do and ''made it worse''. How so? Not only is he hauling around children chained by the neck to his armor, he ''drains their health when he's injured''.
** Or to ''[[CastFromHP cast spells]]''.
** Oh, and [[FridgeHorror he never appears with the same children twice.]]
* TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse [[PlayedWith plays with]] this for resident [[EvilOverlord evil alien overlord]] Grand Warlord Voss. For each Minion he controls, Voss takes 2 less damage on his front side (Conquering Alien Warlord) and 1 less on his back side (Super-Thoranian Warrior). However, Voss's minions are capable of attacking the heroes so it's less like Voss is using them as a shield and more like Voss simply standing behind them while still allowing them to soak the hits for him like meat shields until they die and Voss has to fight on his own.
* In early editions of ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech''s Clan Invasion, [[HumongousMecha BattleMechs]] could carry friendly [[PoweredArmor BattleArmor]] into battle, at the cost of being unable to fire their torso-mounted weapons, and the battlearmor were vulnerable to being shot off. Players quickly realized that you could [[NotTheIntendedUse pile battlearmor onto your mech and use them as free torso armor]], because the mech's torso would take not damage until all the battlearmor were shot off. Rectified in an ObviousRulePatch, which placed a limit on battlearmor carrying capacity.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Theatre/WaterworldALiveSeaWarSpectacular'' at Ride/UniversalStudios, when the Deacon begins firing at the Mariner with a bazooka, the latter attempts to use one of the Smokers (named Chuck) as a shield. The Deacon simply remarks that he never liked Chuck anyway and shoots the both of them.

* Justified in the Day of Sigma OVA in the remake of the first VideoGame/MegaManX game, ''VideoGame/MegaManMaverickHunterX''. Although more like "robot shield", BigBad [[spoiler:Sigma]] used [[spoiler:Zero]] as a shield and even taunted TheHero X about it.
-->[[spoiler:'''Sigma''']]: If you really want to stop me, you'll have to shoot, destroying [[spoiler:Zero]] in the process!
** The BigBad took advantage of X's tendency to hesitate in attacking due to circumstances that can destroy an ally/innocent one if he does so. It's also some sort of test that proves that he really is a special reploid, capable of worrying and portraying other various emotions that a common reploid can't.
* Taken UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry4''. It's more like "monster shield" actually. Nero can use a demon as a shield. Although since demon {{mook}}s are mindless, they don't care about the "hostage" and still attempt to attack him. ''The demon shield takes the damage instead.''
* ''Videogame/FireEmblemTellius'' in Ch. 22 (Solo) of Path of Radiance, the enemy pulls this off by using priests as these.
* Possible to pull off in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' with the meat-shield function. Your enemies don't take kindly to it.
** Amusingly enough, in respawning gametypes you can easily come up against an opponent using ''you'' as a human shield.
* ''Videogame/MassEffect2'' in Lair of the Shadow Broker, Shepard has to deal with a hostage situation against [[spoiler:Tela Vasir, another Spectre agent.]] You can do what she says(drop your thermal clips and power cells), harm the hostage and [[spoiler:Tela]], gloat about your accomplishments and ask if her plan involves hesitating to shoot a hostage, or to use faux racism against her.
--> '''Shepard:''' Is that it?\\
[[spoiler:'''Tela:''']] What?\\
'''Shepard:''' [[spoiler:Vasir, I sacrificed hundreds of human lives to save the Destiny Ascension. I unleashed the Rachni on the galaxy. So for your sake, I hope your escape plan doesn't hinge on me hesitating to shoot a damn hostage.]]
** By the way, [[GoodIsNotNice this is the paragon speech you can use against her hostage.]] The hostage does live.
** And done again in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''[[spoiler:, with Miranda's father holding her sister to stop both Miranda and Shepard shooting him. You can talk him down, [[ShootTheHostage shoot Oriana in the leg]], or Oriana will turn the tables, and throw her father and herself out the window, killing them both.[[note]]The last outcome will only occur if Miranda is [[KilledOffForReal dead]] by this point.]][[/note]]
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'' use both this trope and BulletproofHumanShield, depending on who you capture. In ''Portable Ops'' and 3, attempting to shield yourself with a higher-ranking officer gave you a better chance of success, as the enemies would hesitate for a lot longer - and shielding yourself with a scientist does ''nothing'' and they'll still shoot you freely.
** However, in Portable Ops Plus, they pull out a knife and slash you, freeing their comrade and knocking you down.
** Interestingly, you can ''interrogate'' your hostage while you're staring down other goons. ''And'', in some cases, you can ''gun down the other mooks without retaliation'' if your hostage is of a high enough rank!
** In a cutscene midway through 4, Snake pulls off a decidedly elaborate variation. He chicken-wings a mook by threading a rifle through the guy's arm. Not only that, but he has a knife to the mook's throat using his other hand. He's thus able to compromise his balance ''and'' advance on the other mooks, remaining a deadly threat to everyone concerned.
* All of the ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' games. Though for some reason, guards never hesitate to shoot you when you have one of their own held hostage.
** With one notable exception: the end of ''Pandora Tomorrow'' requires Sam to [[spoiler: sneak into a TV studio and capture the terrorist leader ''while he's recording a speech in front of his own goons''. This audacious act causes all the goons to point their guns, but not fire...unless Sam makes the mistake of turning his back on them to see where he's going.]]
* ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'' lets you use anyone, including {{Innocent Bystander}}s, as human shields. However, the ability to take a human shield is far more useful to the stealthy player as a way to knock someone out when you want to take their clothes without taking their life. That is, it's not very common to use your shield to, you know, actually ''shield'' you.
* Many of the levels in the ''VideoGame/SilentScope'' games require you to take out Bosses who have taken [[HumanShield Human Shields]] with a single headshot.
* Similarly, the Boss of the 2nd Mission of the arcade game ''VideoGame/GHOSTSquad'' requires you to take him out with a single headshot while he's holding the President of the USA as a HumanShield.
* In the {{FPS}} version of ''VideoGame/{{XIII}}'', the titular character will use human shields without missing a beat.
* In the ''VideoGame/ReservoirDogs'' video game (based on the film), you can take human shields and hit or threaten them to disarm cops. An even more notable example is when you are confronted by multiple cops and your [[ManaMeter adrenaline meter]] is full you can preform a special torture (offscreen of course) called a "Signature Move" (which range from PistolWhipping the hostage to cutting off the hostage's ear) that is so brutal that it will cause every cop in the area to [[PutDownYourGunAndStepAway drop their weapons and surrender.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}} 2'', during one scene, TheHero, Nowe, is about to stab the BigBad, when he pulls Eris, TheHero's UnluckyChildhoodFriend, directly into the path of TheHero's attack, [[PlayerPunch causing him to kill her instead]]. (However, considering her name, and who makes the game, [[Videogame/FinalFantasyVII it was expected that poor little Eris would die...]])
** [[spoiler: Until you learn that [[DisneyDeath she didn't die.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' allows you to use just about anyone as cover. Taking a civilian (or a cop) hostage generally means the cops will look for a way around you. Gang members treat the hostage as a BulletproofHumanShield instead.
* ''VideoGame/TheBourneConspiracy'' allows you to more subtly use a human shield when engaged in melee - enemies with fire discipline will cease fire if you put a friendly between you and them. Enemies ''without'' fire discipline use the BulletproofHumanShield trope instead.
* In ''Nexus'', the titular hero's main blast power is steerable which means the beam can maneuver around a shield person to hit the target cleanly.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', [[spoiler: Hawk attacks Emil and just as it appears Brute is going to use the opening to kill Emil, Emil actually ''throws Hawk at Brute's sword''. The result is that Brute has just killed Hawk and there is an opening for the heroes to escape.]]
* A quest in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' sends you off to rescue some webbed-up friendly soldiers being used as "living shields" (not all of them being ''human'', you see.)
** It gets worse - the webbing they're trapped in is opaque and disguises silhouettes, and many of the "shields" are fakes, i.e., genuine hostiles. The only way to discover this is to open one up...
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty4ModernWarfare'' has the last terrorist grab the anonymous [=VIP=] as a shield at the end of ''Mile High Club''. The player has a few seconds to shoot one of his exposed body parts as he jerks around, and if you're playing on the hardest difficulty, you have to go for the headshot.
* A few players have had this happen in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress''. One story goes that one of their best soldiers GAVE BIRTH, quite literally whilst still fighting, they then promptly held up the child and used it to block an incoming arrow.
* The ''SpiderMan 2'' game you could use the grapple ability to perform this.
* Toad serves as one (apparently unwillingly) for Princess Peach in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''.
* In ''VideoGame/ClaDun'', party members serve as human shields for your PlayerCharacter, providing an extra layer (or two, depending on the layout of the Magic Circle) of HP protection. Once they're all defeated, the player takes direct damage, and will lose if he/she is incapacitated.
* ''VideoGame/TheGetaway'' plays this trope to the letter. Mark Hammond can grab anyone as a hostage if he is close enough, and if you grab a gang member or PC their faction will cease fire and plead for you not to shoot - until you start picking them off like a coward. Once the hostage has outlived their usefulness you can choose to shoot them, snap their neck, or let them go.
* The Umbrella Security Service, in ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity Operation Raccoon City]]'', are bad enough dudes to use zombies and Army Specialists like this.
* Thuris from ''Videogame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' attempts this in both the Normal Path and the alternate Demon Path. [[spoiler:Both fail spectacularly, the former being ruined by an AppliedPhlebotinum and in the latter, the [[VillainProtagonist protagonist]] couldn't give two shits about the hostage.]]
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands2}}''. A [[ShieldBearingMook Nomad]] variant called the Torturer wields a riot shield with a hole in the center, which their idea of repairing involves tying a [[MiniMook midget]] to the front. It's totally unnecessary-bandits are capable of metalwork-they just have it in for midgets. If you manage to shoot off the chains holding down the midget, they will immediately go after the Nomad, leaving him vulnerable as he's distracted by the angry midgets.
* In ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'', Drake decides to take a {{Mook}} as human shield when cornered by [[BigBad Lazarevic.]] [[spoiler:It doesn't work.]]
* Now that guns are standard by the time of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'', this becomes a tactic to use. Whenever soldiers with muskets line up in a firing line or a commander or Jäger pulls out a pistol, you can run up to a different enemy, grab them, and let them take the bullets. Since this is instant, unavoidable death for the poor sap you grab, this is a great way to kill stronger enemies. And yes, this tactic carries over into ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Black Flag]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRogue Rogue]]''.
* While feeding, Rayne in ''VideoGame/BloodRayne'' can turn her victims around to shield herself from attackers. In Blood Rayne 2 she can do this while refilling her [[AbnormalAmmo blood guns]], can flip over the victim in either direction or even slide underneath the draining body for more defensive coverage.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', Marluxia teleports Namine into his arms to try to ward off Axel from attacking him, but Axel laughs and says he doesn't care. At that moment, Sora, Donald, and Goofy show up to stop Axel.
* To capture Noriko and the ''Anime/{{Gunbuster}}'' in ''Third VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ: Tengoku-hen'', Barbiel used human shields to force a surrender from Noriko. As a result, Noriko (like the rest of Z-BLUE) has a grudge against Barbiel.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' Joel can grab hostile survivors and use them as shields, keep in mind though you have to rotate the right analogue stick accordingly to keep them in line otherwise they'll break free and attack you. When Joel grabs someone he can shoot them, shoot other enemies while holding them, or do an instant finishing move when the other enemies are alerted, or silently strangle them, or slit their throat with a shiv when not alerted.
* In ''VideoGame/{{LaNoire}}'' criminals will do this to hostages sometimes in which Cole Phelps will have to shoot them at his current distance in the head when they peek themselves out.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'' Brenda St.John did this to Katja in which Lee would have to slowly walk up to her and talk each time, until she finally got too close to Mark who is now a walker, from having his legs cut off and eaten who then proceeds to bite her and turn her into a walker.
** Kenny did this to Arvo in season 2 episode 4 to try and get the Russians to back off.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' A MerryWeather soldier did this to Michael's daughter Tracey which requires him to get a careful headshot to the soldier.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fuse}}'' Dalton Brooks former mentor Meilin Mao does this to a target his team is supposed to rescue.
* Din gets used as one during the final battle of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons]]''. Attacking her [[HostageSpiritLink shocks you]], so you have to use the Rod of Seasons to knock her away. [[spoiler: Or you could just transfer a Green Holy Ring (which grants immunity to electricity) over from ''Oracle of Ages'' and ignore her completely.]]
* Laid-back Miis in ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'' tend to hide behind their ''own teammates'' so they receive the blows meant to themselves. Needless to say, [[WhatTheHellHero it is less than appreciated]].
* The [[BodyHorror Wyrm]] [[BadBoss Master]] demon from ''VideoGame/NexusClash'' can order its imp minions to position themselves in the path of incoming attacks, forcing enemies to mow through dozens of {{Mooks}} to attack the demon. Given the [[HeavenAndHell setting]] most enemies aren't likely to care about the body count, but the Wyrm Master is aiming to ''[[WeHaveReserves exhaust]]'' attackers, not guilt-trip them.
* In ''VideoGame/KirbyStarAllies'', [[BigBad Hyness]] will summon his three defeated and unconscious minions to use them as weapons/shields after he gets roughed up, though after placing some manner of protective enchantment on them that makes Kirby's attacks glance off them harmlessly. They mostly block things indirectly while Hyness throws and swings them around, but if the fight drags on long enough, he'll eventually have them form a wall and start hiding behind them, occasionally popping out to lob projectiles. However, applying enough abuse will break the formation and expose the cowardly mage to attacks.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'': In the final GDI cinematic Kane holds Umagon hostage when Michael [=McNeil=] storms his HQ to rescue her. She manages to break free after an outside explosion shocks the building.

* Used in the ''Webcomic/{{Insecticomics}}'' when Thrust protects Dreadmoon from the brunt of the Fallen's blast.
--> '''Starscream''': You used her as a shield, didn't you?
--> '''Dreadmoon''': I'm a Decepticon! It was reflex!
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound''. Liquid Snake is taken hostage by a random Mook, in the hope that it will stop Revolver Ocelot. Ocelot, being the MagnificentBastard he is, simply shoots through Liquid ''without actually hitting him!'' Liquid is of course perplexed by the ballistics of this.
* Similarly subverted in ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'', when Jon takes Meji hostage to try to stop a bunch of RedShirt Veracian militia. This starts to go badly when the red shirts decide to shoot him ''through'' Meji -- although they ''apologize to her first''. But then comes the big OhCrap, when Meji remembers she's incredibly good with destructive, violent magic...
* In ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}'', Rowasu does this with Juinn. He still insists he's not a hostage.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Dave uses Jade for this purpose at one point, since [[spoiler:Bec Noir is psychologically incapable of hurting her directly]]. AUTO-HARLEY!
* Ariel in ''{{Webcomic/Drowtales}}'' winds up using Ydna, the "pet" of the AxCrazy Kalki [[spoiler:who is also her half-sister]] this way [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=10263 against a tainted mana attack]]. For bonus points normally tainted mana can't be blocked at all, even by solid walls, yet Ariel manages to improvise a perfect defense on the spot. Earlier she was holding Ydna ByTheHair away from her body in an attempt to use her as a hostage instead of a shield.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', quite a few characters--heroic, villainous and anything in between--have no problem using people (whether humans or other races) as shields to get out of sticky situations. Sometimes it works, sometimes it...doesn't.
* Completely subverted in "Boston Brawl 2" in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. The heroes (a bunch of teenagers from the SuperHeroSchool Whateley Academy) are fighting a BigBad, his [[FiveBadBand hardened super-criminals]], and some mercenaries the BigBad brought along too. One mercenary with flying power armor grabs the weakest-looking heroine (Generator is 14, but looks like a short 11-year-old girl) and threatens her with a knife. Generator's powers are a phenomenal healing rate and the ability to cast a psychokinetic copy of herself into objects. She embeds herself on the knife and casts a copy of herself into Ironhawk's armor, taking it over and using it as a weapon against the other badguys.
* Used by Basilisx in ''WebAnimation/SuperMarioBrosZ'' episode 8. He uses Luigi, whom he [[TakenForGranite turned to stone]] earlier, to stop Hammer Bros. Mario from striking him.
* Occurs early on in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' v4, where Gracie Wainright attempts to rob Anna Chase (who is [[BlindWithoutEm not wearing her glasses]]) and Kitty Gittschall, and after being threatened by Kitty and hit by Kyle Portman, Gracie is just distracted enough for Anna to attempt to run away. However, she is quickly caught and held by the hair by Gracie, as an attempt to get Kitty and Kyle to stop attacking her and to rob Anna in peace.
* Used as a stalling tactic in the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin appropriately named]] "FightScene" chapter of ''Literature/FineStructure''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' by Captain Hero, after shouting "Activate Hero Shield!" He probably could have survived the gunfire anyway.
* While not exactly "human", Hot Rod tried to tackle Megatron in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'' during Optimus' fight with him, [[WhatAnIdiot with predictable results]].
** Megatron does this in ''VideoGame/TransformersPrimeTheGame'', using Starscream to take the full force of an energy blast.
* In a {{flashback}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Gilcomgeigne uses Gruach as such a shield to force [=MacBeth=] to surrender.
* During ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' Christmas special "[[Recap/TheBoondocksS1E7AHueyFreemanChristmas A Huey Freeman Christmas]]", a {{mall Santa}} uses a little girl as a human shield against Riley, who went on rampage firing airsoft guns at Santa, in retaliation for years of [[ItMakesSenseInContext Riley not getting what he wanted for Christmas]].
* A more harmless version on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'', [[DumbBlonde Chester]] uses [[GadgeteerGenius AJ]] for one to guard against a barrage of spitballs.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'':
** Similar to ''Film/TheNakedGun'' example, Archer responds to the villain of the pilot episode taking his mother hostage by doing the same to [[ActionGirl Lana.]]
** In season 2, Archer reacts to a firefight by hiding behind Cheryl. She's pissed until he reminds her that the vest she's wearing is bulletproof. [[{{Irony}} She's immediately shot in the shoulder]].
---> '''Archer''': But it is, ya know, a ''vest''.
* Happens in ''World's Finest'', the ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Batman]] / [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries Superman]]'' crossover film. After being knocked out by Harley Quinn, Mercy Graves is briefly shown tied up with her mouth taped shut, and taped to some strange object. During the movie's climax, we discover that she has been strategically taped to a killer android so that Superman cannot destroy the machine without killing Mercy as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': [[PrinceCharmless Prince Blueblood]] uses Rarity to shield himself from a falling [[CarryingACake layer cake]]. Rarity, [[RageBreakingPoint her last nerve snapped]], [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech chews him out for it]] and then shakes herself at him so he ends up CoveredInGunge anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': In "The Last Patrol", the Comicbook/DoomPatrol broke up after the supervillain General Zahl took a woman hostage and threatened to shoot her if the Patrol didn't let him go. The Patrol refused to let him go, and he followed through. The Patrol felt so guilty about letting an innocent person die that they went their separate ways and resigned themselves to languishing in obscurity.
* ''WesternAnimation/MonSuno'': Early in the series, Bren once hid behind [[ActionGirl Jinja]], who stated she always [[SarcasmMode wanted to be a human shield]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', [[GeneralFailure Zapp]] does this with [[BeleagueredAssistant Kif]] when some aliens hold them at gun point. Kif is so lightweight that Zapp easily picks him up and holds him in the air.
* A three-way battle in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' at one point features Optimus Prime and Megatron fighting as BackToBackBadasses until Megatron grabs Optimus and uses him to absorb a hail of laser fire.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': In "Love Thy Trophy", Peter tries to use Stewie as a shield when his new foster parents point a gun at him.
-->'''Stewie:''' Don't shoot! [escapes from his clothing and runs away naked] ''Now'' shoot!
* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'': In a case of a hero doing this, Jonny once grabbed Jeremiah Surd (who while evil is wheelchair-bound) and used him as a shield to stop Lorenzo from shooting him. Lorzeno backed down rather than risk hitting Surd.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Countless TruthInTelevision examples during bank hold-ups and various hostage situations. Also, unfortunately, used by terrorist groups, who will occasionally launch attacks from civilian areas in the hope that the attacked nation will withhold retaliation.
** Or just as often in the hope that they ''will'' retaliate; the deaths of civilians gaining them sympathy and recruits for their cause.
*** Or [[XanatosGambit hoping for either situation]].
** Also a favored tactic of dictators facing superior air power and/or artillery. They grow fond of parades and refugee camps, trusting the other nation to become enough of a SlaveToPR to not simply bomb them.
*** There is also a more sympathetic version of just keeping your troops so close to enemy forces (especially while engaging) that the enemy can't risk the use of air strikes or artillery as it'll get just as many friendlies as hostiles. This has led to the occasional subversion of ShootTheHostage where the "hostage", about to be overrun, requests an artillery strike of his own position, knowing that he can take a great deal of attackers down with him.
** Probably the weirdest example was various American and British anti-war activists volunteering as human shields during the Iraq war. They gave up on the idea when it became clear Saddam Hussein was only prepared to let them shield military and government facilities rather than civilians, almost as if he was some kind of evil dictator.
** Doing this with civilians under your control (either physically forcing them or ordering them in a situation where they must obey) in a war situation [[CaptainObvious is a war crime]]; people have been tried for it before the Yugoslavia war crimes tribunal. Of course, ''so is shooting them from the offending side'', making the whole deal DirtyBusiness for everyone involved.
** Similarly, any otherwise protected place (hospitals, churches, etc.) lose their protection when armed forces are based in them (such as putting an anti-aircraft gun on a hospital).
* Early reports soon after his death indicated that UsefulNotes/OsamaBinLaden tried this with one of his wives just before he was killed. Later clarified that while there were two women present ''they'' apparently were trying to protect ''him'', though they may also have just been trying to give him enough time to grab the two guns next to him. When the [=SEALs=] burst in, the women were just pushed aside and bin Laden was shot.
* Lifeguards and rescue divers who work in choppy waters are ''supposed'' to resort to this trope if they're about to be dashed against rocks or other obstacles, while hauling an unconscious person to safety. It makes sense in theory -- if the rescuer gets knocked out also, both of them will surely drown -- but most people in that line of work admit that they doubt they could go through with it.
** Addressed in an episode of ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'', when Mitch reveals that when faced with a situation like this, he couldn't bring himself to let the victim take the hit. Sure enough, he was knocked out, nearly drowned himself, and the victim died. Years later, he still had trouble dealing with it and FridgeBrilliance kicks in as the viewer realizes just why he was so stern a few episodes earlier when lecturing a rookie lifeguard about this, obviously not wanting him to repeat his mistake.
* When advancing on a city, a tactic the Mongols often employed was to force hostages to march ahead of their regular forces. From a distance, they just looked like part of the army, thus confusing the city defenders as to the size of the force advancing on them. And those hostages were pretty handy when it came to [[PragmaticVillainy absorbing the first round of arrows]]...
* One of the techniques taught to the Russian Spetsnaz is how to use their rifle's sling to disable and use someone as a human shield.
* The Westboro Baptist Church employs these, usually [[ProtectedByAChild children]], because they know vigilantes can and will try to kill them whenever they demonstrate. Innocents tend to get caught in the crossfire, anyways. Many of the documentaries about them point out this only victimizes the civilians, not demonizes the attackers.