Simon Gruber: John, in the back of the truck you're driving, there's 13 billion dollars worth of gold bullion. I wonder, would a deal be out of the question?
John McClane: Yeah, I got a deal for you. Come out from that rock you're hiding under, and I'll drive this truck up your ass.An Affably Evil villain (or a Punch-Clock Villain, or even a Well-Intentioned Extremist that hasn't gone Ax-Crazy) may very well at some point offer The Hero the opportunity to run away or not interfere in the villain's plans. Because he/she may very well not actually wish to harm the hero, they simply want to complete the robbery/rule the world/raise the undead, what have you. A Magnificent Bastard or Smug Snake might do this to highlight just how assured their victory is. Thus, this can be a type of Evil Gloating. Alternatively, a practical-minded villain may simply prefer to avoid the risk and trouble of a fight if possible. Expect some sort of bribe: usually a cut of the stolen goods, a sip of the forbidden elixir if it's a fantasy or sci-fi story, or a Shiny New Australia. In the majority of cases, The Hero will refuse to quit their crusade against evil, some might even be insulted by the villain's audacity and self-assuredness. Thus, this can also be a type of "The Reason You Suck" Speech. A number of things may happen after getting a Last Chance. If the villain's cockiness is rightfully assured, chances are the good guys are in for a Curb-Stomp Battle. Otherwise, the good guys may respond with a Screw Your Ultimatum!. The opposite use is when someone is Bullying a Dragon, or bullying someone who will let it go, but has less forgiving friends. Then there's a reasonable warning along the lines of "Leave it. Just walk away now." If that's not taken, there's trouble. A slightly more generous (or desperate) villain will up the ante to We Can Rule Together instead. Compare Line in the Sand, where the hero gives their allies a chance to quit before the big showdown, and "Leave Your Quest" Test, which isn't necessarily offered by the villain. As indicated by some of the examples, the trope is not necessarily limited to villains. A hero might offer a villain (or another hero with whom he is fighting for some reason) a chance to back down if the hero prefers to avoid unnecessary violence or simply wants the problem resolved as quickly as possible.
open/close all folders
Anime And Manga
- The Magical World arc climx of Mahou Sensei Negima! has Fate give Negi two chances to walk away from the conflict offering safe passage back to the non-magical 'real' world for our hero and his friends. Negi seriously considers it.
- God does this repeatedly in Preacher: First by using Tulip as an intermediary, then Cassidy, and finally appearing to Jesse in person. He is denied three times.
- A non-lethal, but still serious, variant from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series - Calvin offers Socrates a chance to apologize after a scuffle goes wrong. He refuses, as "he doesn't apologize."
- In 300, Xerxes' initial offer to Sparta is to not interfere and be left alone as a vassal state. He later goes to We Can Rule Together by promising to make Leonidas a king.
- Xerxes really did offer Leonidas the job of ruling all of Greece on his behalf. But unlike in the movie, the offer wasn't made in person.
- A notable case of good guy giving this to the good guys: in the movie Glory, Col. Shaw announces to the soldiers that the Confederate Army has declared it will execute any armed Black soldier and any white officer commanding them. Shaw states that in light of this information, anyone who wishes so will receive a full discharge from the Army. Nobody accepts, and like most things in the movie this actually happened.
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, when Simon Peter Gruber realizes that once again, John McClane simply won't die, he attempts to bribe him with some of the stolen gold. John's response, "Or you can come out from that rock you're under and I'll drive this truck up your ass."
- The Operative in Serenity offers Mal the chance to turn over the Tams and leave unmolested. Because he's pretty intelligent, he knows that Mal, being who he is, will refuse ahead of time, and even knows that neither money nor an appeal to principle will work - but he has to try first.
- Elizabeth to Mary in Mary, Queen of Scots.
- The Rock has an unusual example of a villain giving one to another villain. General Hummel's subordinate Major Baxter wants to extend the deadline given to the Pentagon due to the failure of one rocket. Hummel attempts to...dissuade him.
Baxter (on phone): I want to talk to General Kramer.
Hummel: You're being asked by an old friend.
Baxter: Put him on the phone right now.
Hummel: You're being ordered by a superior officer.
Baxter: This is Major Baxter—
Hummel (drawing and aiming his sidearm): And now you're being given your last chance by a man with a gun.
- In Hackers, The Plague calls up Dade, while he and the hero hackers are hacking the Gibson, and tells him, "Last chance to get out of this without a prison sentence. You're not good enough to beat me, you little shit." Dade tells him, "Yeah, maybe I'm not, but we are, you asshole."
- Thor barges in on King Laufey's domain of Jotunheim in order to settle an illegal invasion of Asgard. Before letting loose his Frost Giant forces, Laufey tells Thor and his band of warriors to return home without further conflict. Thor almost accepts...but then that one guy just HAD to poke fun...
- In The Running Man, after Ben Richards has killed two of the game's four stalkers, Killian offers Richards the chance to be a stalker. Richards' response is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Ben Richards: You cold-blooded bastard! I'll tell you what I think of it! I live to see you eat that contract! But I hope you leave enough room for my fist, because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and break your goddamn spine! *rips the monitor off the wall and smashes it on the ground*
- In Face/Off, Castor Troy asks Sean Archer if he'd consider having them restore their faces and call a truce. He's not surprised when Archer dismisses the idea instantly. "Oh well. Plan B: let's just kill each other".
- In Spider-Man: Homecoming, after Adrian Toomes (aka the Vulture) realizes that Peter is Spider-Man, he gives him a chance to back off and avoid any further conflict, apparently out of gratitude for Spidey rescuing his daughter Liz and perhaps also approval of Peter as a suitor.
Adrian Toomes: You saved my daughter's life, and I could never forget something like that, so I'll give you one chance. You ready? You walk through those doors, You forget any of this happened. And don't you ever, ever interfere with my business again.
- 3:10 to Yuma (2007). Dan Evans is part of a posse transporting the dangerous outlaw Ben Wade to a prison train. Evans is motivate partly by wanting to prove his honor, and partly because his family needs the $200 reward. When they're alone together, Wade offers Evans $400 to give up and let him go. Later, while waiting for the train in Contention, Wade increases the offer to $1000, explaining that this is Evans' last chance to walk away from the situation. Dan just laughs at the utter impracticality of accepting that much cash. Specifically, if he tried to actually spend any of it, everyone would know where he got the money from.
- Taken has an example of the hero giving the villain the chance to back off, with Bryan Mills telling the people who kidnapped his daughter that he'll leave them alone if they release her, but will hunt them down and kill them if they don't.
Live Action TV
- The new series Doctor Who lives on this trope. It is rare for someone to listen to the Doctor, which is a bit stupid considering his reputation. It occasionally occurred in the classic series, such as when he gave the Sea Devils one last chance.
- Babylon 5:
- In a brilliant scene in one episode, Minbari warrior Neroon offers Ranger Marcus Cole the chance to back off and let him continue on his mission to assassinate Delenn. Marcus responds with a You Shall Not Pass (which is, after all, what the Rangers are all about).
- In 4x18, Intersections In Real Time, the Interrogator asks the question "Do you understand that this is your last chance?" in a desperate tone both to another prisoner and later to Sheridan before sending them away presumably to their deaths. However, at least in Sheridan's case, he's simply sent to another room with a different interrogator, implying that the previous guy's tone wasn't motivated by concern for Sheridan's life.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- The famous There are FOUR lights!!!! scene from the episode "Chain Of Command, Part 2", where Cardassian Torture Technician Gul Madred made Picard believe that Starfleet had given up on him and offered him a life in a Luxury Prison Suite if he gave in to Madred's Two Plus Torture Equals Five demands; the alternative was death. Made all the more badass during Picard's debriefing afterwards when he admits that there were times during his interrogation and torture when he really did think he could see five lights, but he wouldn't give his interrogator the satisfaction of admitting it.
- The episode "The Defector" features the Enterprise surrounded by Romulan warships. The smug Romulan commander Tomalok orders Picard to surrender and offers him this trope. It turns out that Picard doesn't need to quit because Tomalok is surrounded by cloaked Klingon warships.
Tomolak: I give you 30 seconds to reconsider, Captain.
Picard: Tomolak, I do not require one.
- Game of Thrones: The ambassador of the Slaver City of Yunkai offers Daenerys Stormborn the ships she needs to sail her army to Westeros (one of them filled with gold) if she leaves Slaver's Bay. She makes him a different offer: his life, on the condition that the Masters abolish slavery.
- Toward the end of Deus Ex, Bob Page gets increasingly desperate as you hinder his "preparations."
Bob Page: All right. I get the picture. You want a piece of the pie, or you're going to toss the whole pie out the window. Fair enough. You can have anything you want. How about Europe? Your own continent. Just let me complete my preparations.
- In Planescape: Torment, the Big Bad gives this offer to your party members — but not to The Nameless One himself — when you finally reach its lair. There are no takers. It leaves no survivors.
- The backstory implies it did the same thing to The Practical Incarnation and his party. Of the people left over from that party at least two are alive (though in Morte's case that's figurative), which implies that some of them took it.
- In the Dragon campaign of Battle Realms, Zymeth offers Kenji a peace between the Dragon and Lotus clans because he believes The Serpent's Orb will make him invincible once he's unlocked its power. Kenji, who knows the orb is useless except as a Magic Feather, doesn't take it.
Zymeth: I'm giving you a chance to walk away, boy.
Kenji: You're wasting your time.
- At the climax of Jade Empire, the Big Bad Sun Li offers you a once-in-a-lifetime deal: allow him to continue reigning as a god and he'll not only keep the peace, put all the ghosts that have been bothering people back to rest, and keep the water flowing, he'll also make sure you become famous as the hero responsible and spare your companions. You can actually accept.
- Fallen London: While pursuing the Light Fingers ambition, your main enemy for a certain part of the storyline, Poor Edward, will make you this offer: Have a drink of Laser-Guided Amnesia tea, and forget what you were looking for, and let everything stay where it is, or keep prowling, and get Buried Alive for your trouble (mentioning he'd kill you if if weren't for the fact Death Is Cheap in the Neath). It's up to the player to decide, but if you want to continue this particular ambition you're going to have to risk it. Even getting trapped in a coffin is a simple, if nightmarish inconvenience.
- Sarda gives the Dark Warriors this offer in 8-Bit Theater because he feels sorry for them.
Sarda: Look, I don't do this... uh, ever. But you guys are basically like kittens stuck on a leaking lifeboat in a typhoon. Just run.
- They accept. Wisely.
- The Order of the Stick
- Xykon offers a twist on this — it's not that he doesn't want to hurt Roy, but that he doesn't feel Roy's worth his time and effort. He actually suggests that Roy try again when he grows powerful enough to present a real challenge. When Roy refuses, Xykon very quickly decides to show him just how outclassed he is.
- The fiends that are offering Vaarsuvius a Deal with the Devil point out that, instead of taking their offer, V could kill themself, have Qarr bring their head to the Azure City fleet, get resurrected, and Send to their master, who would defeat the ancient black dragon before she could steal V's children's souls. The purpose of pointing this out is twofold: first, to make sure V knows that they only accepted the deal out of Pride, as this alternative would require them to admit that they couldn't solve the problem on their own. And second, to remove their ability to claim I Did What I Had to Do, as they were about to do before the fiends spoke up.
- The Goblin Regent gives one to the attacking army's commander in Roommates. She takes it after realizing that they are Not So Different and also that the sword pointing at her chest very convincing. For a twist: Both of them are good just not agreeing on what is unforgivable or unavoidable.