No, I Am Behind You

Alice suddenly appears behind Bob, and is ready to attack him. When he notices, she says "I am behind you!" Bob then performs a Flash Step, reversing their relative positions. "No, I Am Behind You."

A subtrope of Flash Step. Almost certain to cause a Snap to the Side or an Oh Crap! expression. Not to be confused with Right Behind Me, which is about having someone surprised about who is right behind them in a non-combat situation.


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  • Bleach is renowned for doing this. Repeatedly. To meme-creating levels, in fact. It even has a montage dedicated to it.
    • The anime creators even noticed and created a comedy sketch at the end of one episode showing a Flash Step grudge-match between Byakuya and LeRoux. Through repeated application of this trope, they end up travelling backwards out of the room they started in, all the way through Las Noches, and right across the desert outside. Observe.
  • Naruto:
    • Kakashi does this to Zabuza during the fight on the river, although with the number of doppelgängers and illusions the characters throw about you'd expect this to be really frequent...
    • Some Naruto video games permit you to do this with the push of a button, usually the same one as block. With careful timing, a fight can turn into an endless repetition of Smoke, Log, Punch!
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin defeats an early opponent this way, by baiting the much bigger opponent into a round of chasing each other into circles with a game of "behind you!", and each time they go around Kenshin made the circle smaller. Eventually, the much larger opponent's body couldn't take it any more and his knees gave out. Cue one very painful ankle-snapping.
    • Kenshin flashes behind his opponent, who then calls him out on dishonorably preparing to attack from behind. This causes Kenshin to hesitate, giving the surprisingly swift guy the opportunity to eat his own words and flash behind him.
  • Dragon Ball Z did this all the time. Character A would attempt to punch Character B, only to have Character B vanish and reappear behind Character A aiming a punch at him. Depending on how evenly matched the fight was, characters might dodge each others' attacks like this multiple times in a row. Possibly the Trope Maker.
    • This is an actual mechanic in some of the later video games.
    • There's a scene during the fight between Goku and Tien where this is competently Played for Laughs. It goes something like "I'm standing behind you!" "No, I'm standing behind you!" "No, I'm standing behind you standing behind me!"
  • There's this famous parody of Death Note.
  • Busou Renkin plays with this in the manga version, where Kazuki and his opponent chain a long string of flashes behind each other's backs... to the point where they've wound up somewhere else entirely when they stop. (Kazuki did it on purpose so that the fighting wouldn't destroy the school, and the opponent did it to humor Kazuki.)
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch walks up behind Rolo and points a gun at his head. Suddenly, Rolo uses his geass to pull this trope, and steals Lelouch's gun while he's at it.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Dio Brando is very, very fond of this, and his ability to use it was the first major clue as to the nature of his Stand ability.
  • Used fairly often by fighters in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!! most notably Tsuna after his Next Tier Power-Up.
    • This is also the ability of the Vindice, combined with a side order Portal Cut, thanks to their eight type of flame.
  • Homura does this a few times in Puella Magi Madoka Magica using her ability to teleport short distances, though admittedly, in context it's less that she was trying to gain a vantage point to attack from and more that she was trying to intimidate others into backing down. It later comes to light that the power she used to do this wasn't actually teleportation, but rather a similar-looking application of Time Stands Still powers.
  • In episode 22 of Kill la Kill, during the battle between Ryuko and Nui Harime, after Ryuko reclaims both Scissor Blades, Nui tries to take control of Ryuko's friends, and when Ryuko slashes the Life Fibers she uses apart to stop this, Nui Flash Steps behind Ryuko and drives a needle through the back of her neck — only for Ryuko to appear behind Nui, the stabbed Ryuko turning out to have been an afterimage, shortly before slicing both of Nui's arms off.
  • In Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!, Crab Guildy has a fetish for the back of girls' necks. As a result, he specially trained to get behind people.

    Fan Works 
  • In the story Invisible Fox, Shisui and Naruto pull this by prior agreement during the opening of the Chunin Finals. While Shisui plays it straight, using his Shunshin, Naruto uses his naturally-invisible clones, pre-positioning them and having them switch with him to make it look like he's doing the same.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Done by Bruce to Ducard through trickery during his final test in Batman Begins.

  • In one of the earliest examples predating all other works on this page, Creatures of Light and Darkness by Roger Zelazny has the Steel General, Wakim (Set), and several other characters practice a martial art known as "temporal fugue", which has the practitioner project himself through space and time behind his opponent to strike. Unfortunately, duels between two practioners invariably degenerate into recursive replications of hundreds of consecutive duplications, straining the time-space continuum.
  • In the Time Wars series, a common technique in one-on-one fights between time travelers is to teleport behind one's opponent a few seconds ago so you can stab them in the back — hopefully before they notice, or they'll do the same to you. If both fighters are on the ball, the result will be, for a moment, a long alternating line of fighters each trying to stab the one in front of them. The technique is called "temporal fugue", probably in homage to Creatures of Light and Darkness.
  • In the Wheel of Time books this is a staple of the duels between Perrin and Slayer, due to their ability at shifting from one place to the other immediately when in Tel'aran'rhiod. ...Or outside of it.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • Dirge of Cerberus plays it completely straight in the battle between Chaos!Vincent and Weiss (after Weiss had already impaled Vincent with twin katana, no less).
  • In God Hand, some mooks may attempt to grab Gene, upon which you see them appear behind him and get ready to suplex him. If you hit the Action Commands in time, Gene will somehow get free and appear behind them to use his own suplex. The enemies can also try to counter your counter-suplex, which can cause this to be repeated several times.
  • A crucial element of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon: when you are behind an enemy in dogfight range, particularly skilled pilots can "reverse" the manuever (generally by applying the brakes and doing a barrel roll or a really fast loop) and get behind you. However, there is a very brief moment where you can reverse their reversal, which not only allows you to stay behind them, but also gives you a free critical hit missile shot.
  • Possible in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC - Vampire Lords can disintegrate into swarms of bats and reintegrate anywhere they wish. Say, right behind an enemy.
  • One of the most common maneuvers in the "Assistance OFF" mode in H.A.W.X. is a somersault to get behind an enemy.
  • Can happen in World of Warcraft when two rogues duel - near simultaneous shadowstep use can make for a very dramatic, if confusing, melee.
    • Even better is when they use it at exactly the same time; because of lag, both rogues will appear behind where the opponent used to be, so they are still apart from each other.
  • Two advanced players trying to gain advantageous position by repeatedly Flash Stepping past each other in Super Smash Bros.. series will end up doing this.
  • The ultimate spell of the character Vengeful Spirit in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars can have this effect.
  • In Dishonored, the Assassins' main method of attack is to teleport behind Corvo and backstab him. After the prologue and first level are done, Corvo can do it too.

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