201. Must not valiantly push officers onto hand grenades to save the squad.Someone has just chucked a grenade into the room where The Squad is. One of the squad throws their body over the grenade and makes a Heroic Sacrifice. The Mythbusters examined this in 2007 and confirmed the myth; jumping on a grenade will significantly reduce the injuries to those around, but it's still a very good idea to get clear. Note that this confirmation only applies to soft, squishy things like a human body — placing a grenade in a harder object, like, say, a refrigerator, will actually increase the damage done, as the hard object turns to even more fragments that can kill. Human bodies are much more effective at absorbing the released energy and shrapnel without fragmenting. In reality, this is zig-zagged, like everything else in war. Officially, the proper course of action when a grenade lands near is to get as far away as possible before detonation, followed by jumping on it, then by grabbing it and throwing it away as a final resort. Fortified positions, from concrete bunkers to hand dug foxholes, generally have depressions so that grenades that get thrown in can be kicked aside into the depressions and ignored while they detonate safely. On the other hand, the enemy may have cooked itnote before throwing it in the first place, giving anyone nearby little chance to react. Compare with Pineapple Surprise (for when a character is blown up by their own grenade), Rocket Jump (when a videogame character creates an explosion to jump higher), Taking the Bullet, and Tuck and Cover. Contrast Explosive Stupidity, where the subject unintentionally blows themselves up.
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Anime and Manga
- The Punk Hazard arc in One Piece has a variation, in that it doesn't feature an actual grenade. In order to prevent the other giant children from eating more of the drugged candy that Caesar Clown has been feeding them, Mocha swallows the entire batch she was carrying at once; to Chopper's horror, as it is a very dangerous drug. This brings her to the brink of death, but snaps the other kids back to their senses, but fortunately, Chopper was able to stabilize her condition and save her.
- In the Chick Tract "The Chaplain", an evangelist soldier jumps onto a grenade and sacrifices himself to save his unit, prompting a previously violent soldier to convert. Notably, not only were his squadmates so close that they probably would have been killed anyway, the soldier survives long enough to deliver touching last words.
- Inverted in The Darkness. A grenade is thrown into a mafia meeting and Jackie instantly pushes one of his mooks on top of it.
- A one-shot Legion of Super-Heroes villain was created when a soldier threw himself on top of a high-tech grenade to save his unit. The Applied Phlebotinum grenade threw him centuries into the future and put him out of phase with the universe.
- The final fate of Captain Storm, the leader of the World War II incarnation of The Losers in The DCU.
- In issue 28 of Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, Tripwire attempts to save the lives of other Joes by throwing himself on top of a makeshift bomb. Roadblock safely disposes of the bomb and lectures Tripwire on uneeded heroism.
- One issue of the Special Missions series has a homeless veteran team up with the Joes while they investigate a Cobra operation. Near the end, a Cobra agent throws a grenade at them. The veteran throws himself on the grenade to protect the Joes. The grenade turns out to be a dud, but the vet dies of a heart attack anyway.
- Geiger does this Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt #2, catching a grenade thrown by Crossbones and using her body to shield her team mates from the blast. Being super tough, she survives the experience, but it is enough to hospitalise her.
- Rocky from Jurassic Strike Force 5 hops on a grenade after Tyler throws it back at the Reptilians. Due to all his heavy armor, he doesn't get a scratch.
- In one issue of The Simpsons, Krusty the Klown is taping a show at the family's house when Fat Tony's goons send a lit stick of dynamite in through the window. (No, no one douses the fuse) Homer tries to solve the problem by putting the stick under a vase, but Krusty screams that they have to put something heavy over it, so Homer sits on the vase. The resulting blast doesn't kill Homer, but it does send him through the ceiling.
- Played with in The Pulse; Spider-Man and Luke Cage have to get rid of some of the Green Goblin's pumpkin-bombs. Spidey webs his high into the air, but Luke manages to contain the blast in his hands with the only damage being to his clothing.
- In Tiberium Wars when Lieutenant Cristos, a Nod Commando, ambushes Colt's fireteam, she disables one of the soldiers while he's securing the front of a building, and shoots out his arms and legs and breaks his jaw, then leaves him on top of an explosive charge. When Colt finds him, he tries to pick the soldier up, only to for the trooper to spasm and throw himself back on the explosive before it can go off.
- In Mass Effect: End of Days, an AI piloted robot does that during a slave rescue operation. The AI managed to upload into another body... something the quarian slaves present aren't too happy to hear.
- In Act of Valor, Lt. Rorke does this to save his SEAL team, as the grenade is dropped from overhead into the middle of the team, and there's no cover for them to reach.
- During the Action Prologue of Ah Boys to Men, a dying OPFOR soldier releases a grenade in a room full of cowering civilians. A nearby Singaporean infantryman heroically dives over it, getting killed in the process..... only said soldier was actually the player character of a video game simulation.
- In The Thin Red Line, a soldier does it with his own grenade, which he had accidentally unlocked while it was still strapped to his vest.
- The film Top Secret! spoofs this: a character jumps on a grenade, and several characters near him explode instead.
- Also happens in the German movie Napola (about an elite boarding school run by the Nazis). A group of young students are learning how to properly use stick grenades; one student balks and drops the grenade, staring at it in horror. We see every other boy in that trench splattered with thick dripping gore, absolutely stunned.
- The Big Bad of Crank uses his bodyguard to do this. The bodyguard didn't notice the grenade and thanks his boss before he dies, because he assumed the boss knocked him down to save him from being shot.
- The Serbian film No Man's Land had something similar occur - a person presumed dead was set up with a bouncing mine underneath them. Then they woke up and, well....
- Happens near the end of the first battle in Starship Troopers 3: Marauder with a Bug designed to act as a grenade.
- Parodied in Mel Brooks Silent Movie, with a very shaken-up soda can instead of a grenade. It didn't do much damage to the man besides the can bursting and just hurting, not killing him, but it was treated like he had died.
- Even worse ... the brave man was ordered to jump on the can.
- Done in Child's Play 3 where one of the nebbish cadets realizes that someone's replaced their training munitions with live ones and sacrifices himself to protect his squad, jumping on a grenade thrown by Chucky who was aiming for Andy..
- For a horror film death, this one was surprisingly un-gory. The character stays in one piece and all we see is a little blood and a broken pair of glasses.
- Occurs in Hobgoblins as part of a soldier's action-carnage-glory hallucination caused by the titular critters. Because the movie's of MST3K quality, the frag grenade somehow sets him on fire and lets him stagger around for a bit before collapsing... and at the end he miraculously recovers with nothing but a few bandages and some crutches to show for his ordeal.
- Invoked in Captain America: The First Avenger. Colonel Phillips throws a fake grenade into a soldier's training exercise, and all of the soldiers run for cover— except Steve Rogers, who didn't know that the grenade was a fake and jumps on it. This only serves to reinforce Erskin's point that Steven has the ideal psychological profile for the Super Soldier program.
Col. Phillips: He's still skinny.
- In Kingsman: The Secret Service, this is how Eggsy's father performs his Heroic Sacrifice, saving his mentors and fellow recruit.
- In Welcome To Dongmakgol a South Korean officer does this after a Mexican Standoff ends with a North Korean soldier dropping his grenade. It doesn't explode. The officer then gets up and contemptuously chucks the dud grenade away—only for it to finally explode, wrecking a storehouse.
- In a side story in the Republic Commando novels, clone commando Fi does this in order to save a few dozen unarmored cops. Unusually for this trope, Fi himself survived too, because Republic Commandos have very good armour.
- Subverted in the Star Trek: New Frontier short story "Pain Management", Captain Shelby threw herself on a grenade to protect Soleta from Orion mercenaries. She then is annoyed when Soleta shoots her a pitying look, until she realizes that the grenade should have gone off by that point. Soleta deduced that the Orions had removed the detonator since they had stated they wanted both Starfleet officers alive.
- Lampshaded and subverted in one of the short stories in The Things They Carried, entitled How to Write a True War Story. The author first tells the straight version, and then a version in which everyone nearby dies from the blast anyway and the would be hero dies with a pithy remark about this being typical of his life. Among other troperific examples of stories from combat, the author concludes that one need only ask whether it matters if the events really happened to know if a war story is "True".
- Played almost completely straight in A Prayer for Owen Meany as Owen's Heroic Sacrifice, although several others nearby are injured.
- Francis Cassavant does this in Robert Cormier's Heroes, leading to his horrific disfigurement. Though it's later revealed that he was trying to kill himself out of guilt.
- In the fourth Artemis Fowl book, Holly Short arrived at the hotel Artemis and Butler were staying in during a heist, only to find out that the bio-bomb that she had been trying to stop has already detonated (Unknown to her, Butler had the sense to grab Artemis and fling them out the window before the bio-bomb hit) After briefly crossing the Despair Event Horizon, Holly notices another bio-bomb and a transmission from Big Bad Opal Koboi. After the transmission, Holly does this using her helmet, which understandably is destroyed, but buys her enough time to start outflying the blue-rinse
- At the end of the novel Supreme Commander by Nikolai Gudanets (inspired by X-COM), the task force has discovered the location of the alien base on Earth. An abandoned submarine pen in the Arctic, built by the Nazis. They are warned that some aliens are capable of mind-controlling humans, and their armor includes an additional indicator on the HUD, showing a mind control in progress nearby. A squad of four enters a pool area, where the main antagonist is swimming. He mind-controls one of the soldiers and has him throw a grenade in-between his squad. Realizing this, one of the squad members (and a secondary character and possible Love Interest of the protagonist) falls on the grenade. Her own armor protects the squad from damage, but she dies instantly. The alien manages to escape by swimming through an underwater tunnel into the ocean, where he's promptly eaten by a shark.
- In one of the Able Team books, a raid on an outlaw biker gang goes wrong when the bikers turn out to have More Dakka. The last thing Carl Lyons sees before an explosion is a police colleague hugging a grenade to his chest so the blast will be absorbed by his ribcage rather than the soft flesh of the abdomen.
- In one of Leo Kessler(Charles Grayling)'s pot-boilers about Waffen-SS Assault Battalion Wotan, the brutal nature of SS combat training is lampshaded when the mandatory crazy Nazi officer leads a lesson in grenade skills. The fanatical Nazi conversationally explains to his men that the fact the top of the German helmet is flat, as is also the base of the standard potato-masher grenade, fortuitously allows for a training exercise that will separate the men from the boys. He pulls the fuse on a hand-grenade then balances it on the top of his helmet and steels himself. He staggers a little from the resultant explosion, but is unharmed.
Now. We will all space ourselves out at ten-yard intervals. We will each take a grenade. Including you, sergeant-Major Metzger...
- Apparently this was known in the German armed forces - not just the SS - but was officially considered too wasteful of recruits to be standard practice and was frowned upon. Perhaps with good reason!
- Reyna does this in the last book of The Heroes of Olympus, although she survives when Athena makes her cloak magic.
- In The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus enjoys doing this in video games to save the fictional schoolchildren. In a more poetic sense, when Hazel doesn't want him to love her because she is a "grenade" and her death will hurt him, he does anyway.
- Clockwork Century: In Dreadnought, Fenwick is killed when he jumps on a concussion bomb the Confederate raiders manage to throw on to the train.
- Horatio Hornblower novel Hornblower and the Hotspur has a variant when the ship is fired on by land-based howitzers. The shells detonate when their fuses burn down, similar to grenades. It strikes aloft and lands on the deck near Hornblower, and he instinctively jumps to extinguish the fuse only to realize with dismay that everyone is looking at him in awe. Despite his refusal to report the incident in terms beyond "a five-inch shell which fortunately failed to explode," word gets out anyway. And in the earlier-written book Commodore, Hornblower and one of his junior officers discuss the proper length for fuses to prevent brave enemy soldiers from extinguishing them.
- In Smallville, Clark has done this, but being Nigh Invulnerable, the bomb doesn't even scratch him.
- Done by proxy (using an Islamist terrorist) in The Grid and probably understated the damage it would still cause — all that happens is the terrorist's internal organs get scrambled.
- In Red Dwarf, Rimmer jumps on a polymorph who has turned into a grenade. He was Nigh Invulnerable at that point (though he didn't quite know that), though, not to mention Not Himself — in one of the books, it's noted that Rimmer is normally the sort of person who would throw someone else onto the grenade in order to save himself.
- Parodied in an episode of Main/Mystery Science Theater 3000 where Professor Bobo throws not himself, but someone else (Observer/Brain Guy) on a grenade to protect Pearl. Fortunately for Brain Guy, his people have evolved beyond bodies, so he's not even hurt.
- There is an earlier episode where Joel and the 'bots test the Between-Meal Mortar, only to have the Twinkie they launched ricochet back. Joel jumps onto it, but everything gets covered in filling anyway.
- Monk puts a grenade inside a refrigerator in the episode "Mr Monk and the Election", and off course, being Monk, opens the door again to put it in straight.
- For the record, that grenade had a forty-five second fuse. And this episode was used by MythBusters to bust the TV myth that a refrigerator can contain a grenade blast.
- Done in an episode of M*A*S*H. Sgt. Rizzo has a dummy grenade that he is using to play practical jokes on people. He is astounded when Maj. Winchester throws himself on top of the grenade to save Rizzo's life. It turns out Winchester knew the grenade was a dummy and wanted to turn the tables on Rizzo.
- Subverted in Star Trek: Voyager. One episode had a holo soldier try to do this, but the grenade in question was designed to specifically destroy all holograms in a certain radius, so his jumping on it was completely pointless.
- Battlestar Galactica "The Plan" has a different take on this. A Cylon Centurion has its legs blown off but its gun-arm is still working; a woman throws herself on the muzzle to protect her fellow resistance member.
- A stick of dynamite was accidentally fetched by the family's dog in Monarch of the Glen. The family patriarch threw himself on it.
- Malcolm in the Middle uses the 'grenade in the fridge' variant after the boys' grandfather gives Reece a live hand grenade and he immediately pulls the pin.
- In season 2 of Flashpoint, Sam jumped on a grenade to protect a customs agent. Luckily for him it was just a flashbang.
- In an episode of Baywatch, after annoying everyone with his safety precautions due to an impending visit from the President, a Secret Service agent throws himself on top of what he thinks is a bomb. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a kid's toy. The agent is humiliated by his mistake and apparent incompetence until Mitch truthfully points out that he didn't know that it was merely a toy and his obvious willingness to sacrifice himself to ensure the President's safety proves how good an agent he really is.
- In an episode of CSI a bomb tech jumps on top of a bomb that is about to explode. The cops were trapped in a confined space and the bomb might have killed them all. He realized too late that the bomb was booby trapped and he really did not have the time to get away.
- The Carol Burnett Show had a sketch where Tim Conway plays a soldier who saved his unit by swallowing a live hand grenade. He survived, but now has no internal organs.
- Spoofed on Modern Family when a can of Luke's body spray breaks and can't stop spraying. Unable to throw it out the door, Phil jumps over it until it's empty. To further empathize the trope, the brand name of the spray was Sex Grenade.
- In Night and Day, Steph McKenzie heroically does this following a tense confessional with a suicidal Duncan Harper at the vicarage. The grenade doesn't go off.
- CHIKARA Pro Wrestling once saw a match in which Chuck Taylor threw a "grenade" at The Colony (three masked wrestlers who had an ant colony theme). Soldier Ant shoves his teammates Fire Ant and Worker Ant out of the ring and dives on the "grenade", taking the "explosion" and saving his teammates. As you can imagine, the spot was played totally for laughs (the grenade throw to the explosion is done in Slow Motion, for Andre's sake!).
- Can be seen here.
- Jumping on an explosive in GURPS causes maximum possible to the jumper but it will protect those around him a bit.
- Variant in Warhammer 40,000: a Space Marine jumped onto an emerging shell that had burrowed itself underground to save his squad. They lived, he didn't.
- Ogryn (Ogre IN SPACE) Nork Deddogg saved his commander in this fashion, by jumping on a live grenade (and the enemy grenadier holding it) before it went off. His bulk completely contained the explosion, and being Made of Iron he only gave passing curiosity to his wound (indeed, Deddogg is one of the few characters in the game to manage to die of old age).
- During a Dark Heresy campaign Seargent Darius Vale has performed this twice in order to protect squadmates too slow to avoid the blast fully (both resulted in receiving extra damage), but survives both times due to being Made of Iron.
- Enemies sometimes jump on your grenades in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault at least, even if they are alone and in perfectly good cover.
- They do it in almost all of the games. Sometimes you get ones who are smart enough to kick it away. Don't do it near dogs though, unless you have high cover, because they'll bring it back.
- Princess Victoria does this in Tribes: Vengeance to save several tribeswomen and children, earning the Tribe's respect. However, since she is wearing armor at that moment, she gets better (too bad it's light armor: a heavy suit would have taken the whole blast without a scratch). Still, the next mission revolves around her love interest Daniel stealing an Imperial truck full of medical supplies to treat her against heavy odds.
- In America's Army 3 you earn an achievement if you manage to pull this off and prevent a teammate from being injured by that grenade.
- Team Fortress 2
- The Soldier claims he jumped on no less than 1,455 live grenades during his service in World War II. Since he was barred from actually serving in the military (he bought his own plane ticket to Europe and "fought" the war until someone found him in 1949 and told him it was over), it's unlikely that these were Heroic Sacrifices. Or that they happened at all, for that matter.
- Play as the Demoman, and you will do this repeatedly, though not for reasons pertaining to sacrifice.
- A Pyro can do this if he's in proximity to grenades launched by a Demoman at him or his teammates. The pyro will render the grenades as his by "reflecting" them with his airblast. His teammates will not be harmed (unless the server breaks the game by having friendly fire on), but if he's too close when they finally detonate, the pyro will be harmed.
- The last thing the Vato Bros. do before they are cleared of brainwashing in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is deploy a Prinny bomb to kill the cast. Mao does this trope after some split-second calculation and survives. That's a 1.8 million EQ for ya.
- This and, occasionally, eating a grenade, are frequently solutions in the puzzles of McPixel. Only about 50% of the time are they successful solutions. A specific example would be an level in a foxhole. You steal a soldier's helmet then yell at him until he grabs the bomb and runs away with it.
- Unintentionally invoked in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The master level spells Firestorm and Mass Paralysis (basically large circular waves emanating from the caster) respect line of sight, so enemies standing behind other enemies are unaffected. The problem: it also considers you, the caster an obstacle, making it hard to hit enemies behind you, even though the spells are supposed to radiate out from you. Essentially you jump on your own grenade to protect your enemies.
- Possible to do in Battlefield 4. You can dive on any explosive, not just a grenade and save your teammates from the explosion.
- Some Call of Duty games allow for it as well, and with the use of a flak jacket (either a perk or equipment depending on game) you can even survive the blast (there's a challenge in a pair of levels of Call of Duty: Black Ops II requiring you to do just that).
- Star Trek Online, episode "From the Ashes", mission "Turning Point". While Klingon Ambassador Woldan is speechifying about how they can't trust D'Tan's nascent Romulan Republic, Colonel Hakeev of the Tal Shiar beams a bomb onto the podium directly behind him. D'Tan's second-in-command, Commander Temer, rushes forward and extends and inverts his personal Deflector Shield around the bomb, and is vaporized when it goes off. This astonishes the Klingons, proving once and for all that Romulans can be honorable, too, and paves the way for the Romulan Republic to get political recognition, and therefore military protection, from the Federation and Klingon Empire.
Temer: Remember this!
- A raid mechanic in World of Warcraft: During the Iron Juggernaut encounter of the Siege of Orgrimmar instance, the boss will periodically deploy Crawler Mines near itself. The DPS members of the group have to jump on them to prevent them from causing raid-wide damage.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Sergeant Schlock accidentally saves his entire team from a flying plasma grenade by eating it. He loses the majority of his body mass, but thanks to some judicious time-travel, he gets better.
- Karate Bears jump on grenades if they want to.
- in General Protection Fault, during a snowball fight, a man from India jumps on a snowball, thinking it could explode.
- The Simpsons: Abe Simpson once saved the life of Mr. Burns during World War II by clamping his helmet over an artillery shell that had landed in their foxhole and not yet exploded. Since it's one of Grandpa's stories it's best to take it with a grain of salt.
- Bender covers a bomb with his body in Futurama episode to save the other soldiers, and as he is a robot he survives and is decorated for his actions.
- In The Mask, the Mask sits on a bomb. When it explodes, his butt simply expands and that's the extent of the damage.
- He also saved the city from an atom bomb by swallowing it and letting it explode in his stomach. Being cartoonishly indestructible is handy.
- Secondary material tells us that this is how Rodimus Prime impressed his drill sergeant in Transformers Animated - the grenade itself was a dud, but neither he nor the sergeant was aware of that.
- In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Plague of the Prototypes!", G.I. Robot saves Batman and Easy Company by jumping on top of a landmine while Storming the Beaches on D-Day.
- The Secret Saturdays: In "Where Lies the Engulfer", Zak jumps on one of Doyle's grenades (presumably a stun grenade) and uses the resulting blast to propel himself through a skylight.
- Truth in Television, as a number of U.S. soldiers have been documented sacrificing themselves in this manner in the Korean, Vietnam, and other wars. A few of them have actually survived it.
"For saving the lives of Canadian infantrymen during the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island in December 1941. On three documented occasions, Gander, the Newfoundland mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada, engaged the enemy as his regiment joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers, members of Battalion Headquarters "C" Force and other Commonwealth troops in their courageous defense of the island. Twice Gander's attacks halted the enemy's advance and protected groups of wounded soldiers. In a final act of bravery, the war dog was killed in action gathering a grenade. Without Gander's intervention, many more lives would have been lost in the assault."
- Navy SEAL, Master-at-Arms Second Class Michael A Monsoor; received the Medal of Honor posthumously for doing this in Iraq in 2006 to save the lives of 3 fellow SEALs and 3 Iraqi soldiers.
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
- In addition to the Medal of Honor, his heroism is also being commemorated by the second (of three) destroyer of the Zumwalt class being commissioned, DDG-1001, the USS Micheal Monsoor.
- Company Sergeant Major John Robert Osborn did this during the Battle of Hong Kong and was awarded the VC. His fate was later immortalized in a Canadian Heritage Minute.
- A canine example of this trope. Gander was a Newfoundland dog who was the mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada who were sent to defend Hong Kong during WWII. During a Japanese attack, Gander picked up a thrown Japanese hand grenade and rushed with it toward the enemy, dying in the ensuing explosion, but saving the lives of several wounded Canadian soldiers. Gander was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal (basically the non-human equivalent of the Victoria Cross), the citation of which reads;
- A British soldier who did this in Afghanistan received the George Cross, the VC's equivalent for acts of valour performed while not in contact with the enemy. Like the VC, it's an award that most people receive posthumously. His only injury? A nosebleed. The Royal Marine had the time to throw a rucksack over the grenade first, and 'then his own body.
- Jack Lucas did this twice at seventeen because he lied about his age to fight in World War 2. He survived and earned the Medal of Honor, the youngest Marine to earn it.
- Navy SEAL, Master-at-Arms Second Class Michael A Monsoor; received the Medal of Honor posthumously for doing this in Iraq in 2006 to save the lives of 3 fellow SEALs and 3 Iraqi soldiers.
- Lieutenant Colonel Anthony B. Herbert in his autobiography Soldier, stated that he felt anyone who jumped on a grenade was an idiot, as they should instead either kick it aside, drop to the ground away from it, or if necessary, pick it up and throw it away. Jumping on a grenade was an unnecessary sacrifice most of the time. He especially lambasted the stories and movies and awarding medals for it as it being heroic as very bad examples that numerous people followed to their deaths.
- Nevertheless, some real-life examples of this trope are justified as the person jumping on the grenade is often experienced enough to evaluate the situation and consciously exclude other courses of action.
- In David Hackworth's autobiography About Face he mentions a technique used to test candidates for a raiding company in the Korean War. One of his officers would be fiddling with a grenade (with the explosive removed) during the interview and would 'accidentally' drop it. If the man froze, they didn't want him. If he jumped on the grenade he was crazy or suicidal and the same applied. But if he had the presence of mind to toss the grenade outside or high-tail it out of there, then he was Raider material.
- A CIA agent demonstrating the use of thermite bombs for the impending Bay of Pigs invasion had one explode prematurely. He grabbed the bomb and carried it away from the other explosives, inflicting fatal burns on himself.
- Corporal Dunham.
- Private McFadzean.
- There was a story circulated in an Army magazine about a Drill Instructor who was demonstrating a grenade to his recruits. He pulled the pin, counted to three, and tossed it into the middle of the group, who panicked and dove for cover. The grenade was a dummy, of course, and the DI berated the recruits because none of them were willing to give their life for another's. A few minutes later he did the same thing, and almost every recruit tried to dive onto it, resulting in a dogpile on the dummy grenade. One single recruit had taken cover, and when the DI asked him why he hadn't dived onto the grenade, the recruit answered, "Sir, someone had to live to tell the story."
- Roi Klein, an IDF major did this in the 2006 Lebanon War to save his fellow soldiers and died. He was totally aware of what he was doing and its consequences as he recited the "Shema Israel" (a Jewish prayer that reaffirms one's belief in God) while launching himself on the grenade.
- With recent advancements in body armor it is becoming more probable to survive jumping on a grenade.
- An utterly cinematic example: Russian police staked out a known dangerous criminal in his apartment for two days and ended up chasing him to a bus stop. The guy took his own girlfriend (and a mother of his child) hostage, and entered the crowd holding a live grenade in one hand and a pistol in the other. Three-man SOBR (SWAT) team almost apprehended him (one of them would clutch the grenade's spade to stop it from priming), but the guy opened fire and was cut down instantly with four hits. SOBR captain Okhrimenko, a 28 y.o. Chechen war veteran, heard the primer click and just plunged onto the damn thing, shielding around 50 civilians from the blast. Even the girlfriend survived. Another Russian officer, an infantry major and batallion commander Solntzev (nicknamed Sun), shielded his troops from the explosion when a rookie's grenade hit the trench parapet during training exercise, shoving the thrower out of the way and jumping towards the grenade.
- Hilariously inverted in the case of the attempted assassin Abdullah Asieri, who packed his own rectum with an estimated one pound of explosives in an attempt to kill Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. The "smothering" effect that this trope employs was present and correct; the Prince was only slightly injured, while the assassin died. The Prince was quoted as saying "he surprised me by blowing himself up", which is surely something of an understatement. Much humour has of course been derived from the fact that you can't say assassin without saying ass.