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Just You and Me and My GUARDS
aka: Just You Me And My Guards
"So it's come to this, has it? A fight to the death, mano a mano, man to man, just you and me ... and my GUARDS!"
Sheriff of Rottingham, Robin Hood: Men in Tights

This trope generally arises in situations where The Hero and the Big Bad (or some other substitute boss villain) are staring each other down, ready to engage in mortal combat. The Big Bad challenges the Hero to a duel, but then instead of said fight being one-on-one, as the viewer and the Hero might expect, the villain promptly yells for his ... GUARDS!

May result in the invocation of Big Damn Heroes if the good guy is in too deep. Conversely, should the hero do better than expected, the villain may realize that he needs reinforcements and act accordingly. At any rate, the use of this trope can demonstrate that the villain is sufficiently Dangerously Genre Savvy to know not to fight the hero one-on-one when he can bring in his minions to support him.

Can overlap with Bait-and-Switch Boss in video games; however, more often the Flunky Boss fights alongside his Mooks or at least remains present to observe the fight. May even cross-pollinate with Summon Bigger Fish if the hero seriously outclasses the villain and/or the Mooks are sufficiently powerful in their own right.

The villain may be disappointed if the fight is subject to Conservation of Ninjutsu and/or Mook Chivalry, or if he's dealing with an Invincible Hero. This is the antitrope of Leave Him to Me.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • During the battle between Yoruichi and Sui Feng, the latter unleash all the members of her special assassination corps on Yoruichi. Who proceed to beat them all senseless in the blink of an eye.
    • When Yhwach invades the Soul King's realm, he's attacked by the elite guardians. However, every single time one of them tries to attack him directly, Yhwach reveals that there is an unseen minion still protecting him.
  • Occurs during the Dragon Ball Z Abridged: The Christmas Tree of Might. Turles, the weekly villain of the piece, attempts to overwhelm Goku with all five of his supporting minions. It doesn't end well for the minions.
    Goku: Now it's just down to you and me!
    Turles: Yes, me and you. Oh, and my five misfit minions.
    Goku: But, what about my friends?
    Goku: Really?
    Reese: Nope. Wasted them like figgy pudding.
    Goku: You never waste figgy pudding! (beatdown ensues)

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights: The Trope Namer, though it is actually Played for Laughs.
  • Neo's first fight with Agent Smith in The Matrix Reloaded plays a subversion of this, as Agent Smith makes numerous copies of himself rather than calling for subordinates.
  • Grievous tries this when Obi-Wan tracks him down in Revenge of the Sith. When it doesn't work, he defaults to Leave Him to Me.
  • In Kill Bill Volume One, O-Ren Ishii seems ready to take on the Bride in single combat, but then has her personal army, the Crazy 88, soften her up first.
  • Inverted in the film version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where after Harry reveals himself to then-headmaster Snape, the Order of the Phoenix are the ones barging in en masse when Harry seems set to face down Snape alone.
  • The Avengers has Black Widow visiting Bruce Banner with assurances it's only the two of them. Then he shows a flash of anger because he "wanted to see what she'd do." (What she does is immediately point a handgun at him.) Once it's clear he's not turning into an enormous green rage-monster, she tells the veritable SWAT team outside that they can stand down.
    Bruce Banner: "Just you and me", huh?
  • In Blade II, Reinhardt confronts Blade after spending most of the film in an uneasy Enemy Mine situation. With the situation over, they now have no reason to play nice and can kill each other. The villain sends in a team of mooks instead.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: In Judgment, Ambassador Laquatus pulls this on Kamahl, shouting a challenge in order to lure the barbarian into an ambush.

    Video Games 
  • In Angband some monsters have the tag "Usually appear in groups" which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. If a unique version of said monster spawns, it will instead say "Usually appears with reinforcements." Orcs in particular like to appear in large numbers and unique orcs can be a severe challenge at low levels due to bringing dozens and dozens of allies to surround you with.
  • Assassin's Creed I: When King Richard decides he will learn the truth from Trial by Combat, Altair fights a mess of guards along with the head Knight Templar.
    • The end boss also does this after a fashion.
    • In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio does this in the second-to-last boss fight, in the same fashion to the final boss of the previous game.
    • In the trailer for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Ezio makes his way through a cordon of guards to confront the son of Rodrigo Borgia, the Big Bad of the previous game. Borgia Jr. mocks Ezio and promptly summons a dozen heavily-armed Papal guardsmen, whereupon Ezio's allies also emerge from the crowd and the two groups charge at one another in combat.
    • It's played straight when you finally track Cesare down, though Ezio's Assassins being unavailable is justified, what with him being in Spain.
  • Prototype: When Alex Mercer is battling Specialist Cross, Cross gets reinforcements in the form of Special Forces Soldiers (like it makes a difference).
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess does this wordlessly before the mounted combat sequence against King Bulblin. The King stands alone on a hill and beckons Link to join him in what appears to be single combat. When Link moves in to attack, King Bulblin blows a horn, summoning hordes of mooks to join him in the fight.
  • World of Warcraft: In the Culling of Stratholme instance, Arthas faces down Mal'ganis, proclaiming the fight will be "Just between you and me." Which usually leads the five people who have been shepherding Arthas through the entire instance and doing the lion's share of the fighting to go "Hey!"
    • This is particularly absurd because Mal'ganis will spend the entire fight not only ignoring Arthas and attacking the tank, but if the tank's doing their job, actually facing in the opposite direction from Arthas so that the rest of the party doesn't get blasted with his Carrion Swarm spell.
    • To be fair, this was a Time Travel revisit of an event that already took place, and in the original battle Arthas did indeed fight Mal'Ganis one-on-one.
  • Lord Tod from Tenchu 2.
  • Played with as a part of the sequential end boss of Final Fantasy VIII. The last boss' first One-Winged Angel act is to summon a GF for the party to fight; then, as her second form, she merges with it into a horrible half-breed.
  • In Final Fantasy X, in the first boss battle with Seymour, he fights alongside two of his guado servants. When you defeat them, he relies on summoning Anima to fight for him, though that is justified since he's a Summoner.
  • Judge Ghis in Final Fantasy XII; he also comes with a couple of mooks for your inconvenience.
  • In single-player Diablo, the Archbishop Lazarus is accompanied by two named witches; while this alone might not count as this trope (seeing as it can be considered a trio of bosses), the pack of Hell Spawn and Advocates that emerge from a disappearing wall does most definitely count.
    • Also worthy of a mention: Diablo himself is in a room with lots of high-level mooks, though he can be triggered by way of ranged attacks that leave the mooks out of the fight.
    • Actually, most of the unique monsters tied to quests come with a cohort, notably including The Skeleton King and The Warlord of Blood. All of the regular uniques come as part of a group of regular monsters of their same type, though that's more of an inversion as the mooks come with a boss rather than the boss bringing along some mooks.
  • Security Chief Vince, from Metal Gear Acid 2. When Snake and Venus encounter him for the second time, he mentions before the fight that this time he brought backup, at which point several of his men enter the battlefield.
  • An interesting inversion can occur in Fallout: New Vegas. You can challenge the Big Bad to a climactic duel, and he'll tell his flunkies to step off, so that he may fight you in honorable combat. Your party members, however, will happily stick around and participate in the fight.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has a somewhat lengthy set of sidequests that involve killing off the three leaders of the Genoharadan, a shadowy organization that influenced the galaxy through assassination, among other things. After killing the leaders, the man who gave you the quests, Hulas, reveals that he was the fourth leader and that he used you to consolidate his power by killing his rivals. If you don't take kindly to being used like that, you can challenge him to a duel, for which he insists you come alone. Hulas brings two lackeys with him, but you can display some Genre Savviness of your own and bring your party members. Hulas actually expects you to not play by the rules, expressing surprise if you show up alone, and saying "I hoped you'd be gullible but clearly you're not" if you bring your friends.
    • Likewise in The Old Republic, many bosses summon reinforcements during their cutscene. Generally, these reinforcements are significantly weaker, but sometimes you'll wind up fighting an Elite and two or three Strong enemies.
  • In Portal 2, when you arrive in GLaDOS's chamber for a confrontation with her, she reveals that she has several turrets standing by to kill you dead. Good thing you already replaced them with the Defective Turrets.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, when Batman seems to have Joker on the ropes:
    Joker: Please! Stop! I can't take anymore! You win, ya beat me! ... Hang on, did I say "me"? I meant me and these guys!

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 


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alternative title(s): Just You Me And My GUARDS
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