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Anime And Manga
- Monkey D. Garp from One Piece asks Sengoku to deliberately invoke this trope after seeing Akainu kill Ace, his adopted son from Gold Roger saying that if Sengoku didn't, then he would kill Akainu.
- In Pokémon, when Ash's Scraggy is born, he tries introducing it to the rest of Ash's team. Scraggy, unfortunately, has a habit of using Headbutt to say hello. When Oshawott gets hit, it took the combined might of Tepig and Pikachu to keep the extremely agitated otter from Scraggy.
Films — Animated
- In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Timon tells Pumbaa to hold him back, and Pumbaa does so. He then yells "Let me at him, let me at him!" and Pumbaa does so.
Pumbaa, I think you're missing the basic point here.
- Gus in Cinderella does this when the stepsisters tear up Cinderella's dress and later when the stepmother locks Cinderella in her room. Jaq has to hold him by his tail both times.
- In Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Stitch has to hold Lilo back when Mertle taunts her, but when the latter tells her she won't be as good a dancer as her deceased mother, Stitch lets her go and photographs the ensuing smackdown.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, as a result of a Hate Plague, Derpy picks a fight with Bulk Biceps of all people. Lyra and Bon Bon hold her back.
- In Mulan, Crickey has to hold Mushu back by his tail after Shang angrily gets in Mulan's face.
- The Swan Princess: The first time Puffin sees Rothbart, he tries to go give the (much larger) human a good roughing up. Jean-Bob physically holds him back, while Speed just tells him to chill.'
- In Sleeping Beauty, Merriweather has to be repeatedly restrained from attacking Maleficent...including after she'd turned into a dragon.
Films — Live-Action
- The movie Se7en.
- Parodied in There's Something About Mary. Ted is suspected of being a twisted Serial Killer by a pair of detectives, but it's in fact a huge mix-up and Ted only ran into the real culprit without even knowing. This starts a Mistaken Confession where Ted casually admits his habit of "picking up hitchhikers". When he says that he might have had up to fifty hitchhikers in his life and makes light of this fact, the more unnerved of the two cops bashes Ted's head into the table in rage.
- Played straight in Mad Max when one of the bikers is let go on a "No Contest" plea.
- Lethal Weapon, where they let Riggs fight with Mr. Joshua at the end.
- Dirty Harry, although it is more of a statement than done in anger.
- Sgt. Kelloway from the movie version of The Mask. Granted, it had definitely become personal at that point, what with them finding a picture of Kelloway's wife in Stanley's pants.
- In L.A. Confidential, Bud White's Berserk Button is triggered as he listens to a black suspect confessing to the incidental crime of kidnapping and raping a Mexican woman. He shatters the back of the chair he is leaning on, storms into the interrogation room, violently pushes the suspect against the wall, and places the barrel of his gun into his mouth. Go 50's!
- One of the methods of dealing with bullies that Drillbit Taylor teaches the boys is the Holdback Technique, which is faking this trope to make the other party think you want to fight, ideally making them back off. When the boys try it at school, the one being held back is punched. Drillbit is surprised they actually tried it.
- In several Three Stooges comedies, one of the boys will demand that a woman holding them back release them so they can assault some obnoxious third party. Typically ends with them being released and deciding to allow the lady to handle it.
- Conquest Of Space (1955). The Ms. Fanservice wife of the Plucky Comic Relief sends a message via newsreel to her husband on the Space Station. Unfortunately she inadvertently gives away that she's having an affair. The man has to be restrained from attacking the screen.
- Insomnia: Invoked by Detective Dormer, who is being blackmailed by Kay's killer for an incident in which he accidentally shot his partner. During the interrogation the actual killer tries to steer the cops to suspect Kay's abusive boyfriend with a "smoking gun" piece of evidence. Dormer has to get out of the interrogation room so he can plant the weapon before the cops search the boyfriend's apartment, so he aggressively questions and tries to hit him so his colleagues will think he's overworked and let him out for a while.
- When Honor Harrington learns, in The Honor of the Queen, that a P.O.W. prison guard has been ordering prisoners raped and beaten, she goes after him with murderous intent. Only the intervention of one of her subordinates, who shoves her arm aside as she's pulling the trigger, keeps her from killing him. Rather than an If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him speech, though, she's told that there's no need to commit career suicide by killing him without a trial, when there's plenty of evidence to convict him and hang him after a full court-martial.
- Inverted, subverted, and played straight to different degrees in J.D. Robb's In Death series. Most of the time Eve, the Bad Cop in almost every interview, intentionally provokes this reaction, sometimes even letting them land a blow to justify Epic Battle Boredom. At the same time, some of the series' villains and their Sympathetic Murderers will elicit this reaction from Hot-Blooded cops if it's personal. Sometimes it looks like one party or the other will snap and lunge... only to cool down and call a lawyer or point out a flaw in the suspect's story.
- In Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets, one of the detectives, having brought in a suspect who raped and beat to death his toddler stepson, contemplates giving him a serious station-house beating with the knowledge that no one in the building would blame or implicate him in any way. He doesn't do it, but not out of compassion: he realizes that, tomorrow, somebody just as bad or worse will be in the same interview room and in the end it doesn't accomplish anything. He convinces another detective to conduct the interview instead while he regains his composure.
- An Exbrayat story has this: the inspector in in the interrogation room with the smug little drug dealer, along with a huge, middle-aged cop whose only daughter died of an overdose. When the dealer starts taunting the inspector, he starts to look as though he's going to punch the smartass... only to turn around and deck the other cop in the face. As both stare dumbfounded, he delivers this awesome line: "You disappoint me, Gunther. A two-bit drug dealer lays a hand on you and you just sit there?" Understanding dawns in the cop's face eyes just before fear does in the dealer's. Later we're told that the official version was that the cop saved the inspector from a violent criminal.
Live Action TV
- In the pilot episode of Kojak, "The Marcus-Nelson Murders", Kojak has to be restrained from clobbering the killer, Teddy Hopper, a man who he had been mentoring and defending, convinced of his innocence.
- Elliot Stabler of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has had trouble controlling himself before.
- Subverted in Law & Order: Criminal Intent: in Season 6, Det. Goren is interviewing convicted serial killer Mark Ford Brady in an effort to find more of his victims before he is executed, and when it becomes clear that Brady raped Goren's mother and may well be his own father, Goren snaps and goes for his throat. There's a prison guard right there in the room, but he doesn't interfere in any way; Goren just gets control of himself.
- Criminal Minds:
- Happened in an episode, but it was not one of the team who went across the table at the unsub; it was in fact the priest of the local church, who had helped organize a search for a missing woman in the community, and had been asked to talk to the suspect after they captured him as he was a parishioner and might talk to the priest. The priest — who has remained calm and composed the entire episode — finally loses it when the suspect reveals he chopped up the woman and made her into a stew that he then fed to the search parties.
- Subverted by the episode "Masterpiece", where it's after Rossi's Crowning Moment of Awesome that Jason Alexander's UnSub lunges across the table at Rossi - who promptly gains the upper hand, slams his head against a plate-glass window a couple times, and then calmly lets him go.
- Deconstructed in an episode of CSI where the murderer was a cop who ended up accidentally killing an innocent eighteen year old teenage suspect in interrogation who wouldn't confess by not so accidentally knocking him over onto the concrete floor and let him die of head trauma.
- In The X-Files, Mulder faces a serial child murderer who claims Mulder's sister as a victim. Driven over the edge, Mulder smacks him out of the seat. When the perp yells, "He hit me!" the guard shrugs and says, "I didn't see it."
- Parodied in an episode of The Last Detective, where the protagonist, who is as far from being a Rabid Cop as is possible does this against a criminal who beat up his best friend. It's a rather ineffectual lunge and Dangerous' boss, an Old-Fashioned Copper, finds it amusing.
- The Phil Silvers Show: A variation of this trope, where Bilko ordered his men to hold him back in a serious and threatening tone, then proceeded to struggle against them trying to get at the guy who pissed him off. As he starts to break free, he urges them with greater and greater urgency to hold him back better (so he doesn't have to actually fight).
- This got played again in the Steve Martin Sgt. Bilko film. Bilko commands that he be held back, then begins shouting "Lemme at 'im!" Of course, this was all for show.
- CSI NY:
- Danny after Aiden's death. He's wanting very badly to rough up the guy he thinks did it, but Mac is admant he can't because it has to go by the book. It was someone else who killed her anyway in the end.
- There was one that initially appeared similar to the CSI example above, but it turned into a subversion. Flack has the misfortune for a kid to die in custody, during interrogation. It appears he might have gotten overzealous with the kid, but it later turns out the death was drug induced.
- Often happens with Bill Oddie in The Goodies, though there it's played for comic effect.
- A rare comedic example is Married... with Children, where Marcy is frequently having to be pulled off Al, usually as a result of him making fun of her figure or her feminist beliefs.
- The George Lopez Show: In "Now George Noah's Ex-Zack-ly What Happened", Ernie has to restrain George from attacking Carmen's delinquent boyfriend Zack when he makes a comment of how he plans to love her and leave her.
George: NEXT TIME, ERNIE'S NOT GONNA BE HERE!
- When Gadreel enters the bunker to work with Sam, Dean, and Castiel on bringing down Metatron, Dean gets close enough to nearly fatally injure him with the First Blade and then has to be held back by Sam and Castiel while he growls angrily at the angel.
- In Warcraft III, the Human Footmen say the line when ordered to attack.
- Scooby-Doo: It's Scrappy-Doo's Catch Phrase.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: When Rainbow Dash is ready to charge headfirst into a problem, Applejack's normally the one who holds her back by her tail, prompting this reaction.
- Almost every time Spinelli tries starting a fight in Recess
- A pretty weird one happens in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Los Dos Mojos". When a knock on the head makes Bubbles think she's Mojo, Blossom is about to fight her, but Buttercup holds her back, reminding her that it's Bubbles. Then Bubbles insults Buttercup... And then Blossom has to hold Buttercup back.
- In "Fallen Arches", when the elderly supervillains insult the girls, Blossom holds back Buttercup and Bubbles, saying they have to respect their elders.
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy:
- "Is There An Ed In The House" has Edd wanting to get at Sarah for giving him a cold. Ed has to hold him back.
- In "Cool Hand Ed", the Eds are trying to escape school and Jonny and Plank want to join them. When Eddy refuses, Plank threatens to snitch on them for revenge. Then Eddy tries to attack him but Ed holds him back. Eddy even yells "Let me at him!! I'll—I'll—"
- In the movie, Lee does this when Eddy's Brother beats up her "boyfriend" Eddy in front of everyone. Her sisters have to hold her back.
- Justice League Unlimited - In "Double Date", Green Arrow and Black Canary are assigned to Mandragora, a crime boss offering to testify against others, who's being as crass about Black Canary as possible. Arrow needs the feds to hold him back while Canary just stands there, confident that he can't get under her skin. Then he asks her if all the real men in the League were taken. Cut to them both being ordered out of the house.
Black Canary: I hope you're proud of yourself. Now we have to do guard duty from outside.
Green Arrow: Hope I'm proud of myself? You're the one that punched him!
- In the Hey Arnold! episode "Bag of Money", Gerald has to drag away a kicking-and-screaming Sid when he accuses Arnold of being a thief.