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Picture this: You're one of the heroes of the story, and you and your allies find yourselves stuck between a rock and death by fiery explosion. What do you do? You can't Outrun The Fire Ball
, Bomb Disposal
isn't an option, and Jumping on a Grenade
won't do much good either. Then, you remember that you're the only one who can fly (or is the only one thinking fast enough), and that there's only one real thing left for a hero to do... Relocating the Explosion
far away from your friends. Be it a missile, a bomb, matter eating nanomachines
, or some other form of mass death, it's up to you take it somewhere it can detonate "safely." Cue a distant explosion, and the nagging question the viewers are left concerning your ultimate fate.
This trope is often used near (or is) the climax of a story, and one of the ultimate (and easiest) methods of providing immediate suspense. Did the hero make the ultimate sacrifice
, ensuring the villain's last resort would only have one casualty? Or did they get away in one piece, and are just on their way back to their friends? Often times, you'll find out within the same episode/chapter. Other times, you'll be waiting for the sequel. Occasionally, their survival isn't a question at all, and the suspense comes from whether or not the hero can make it in time.
This trope can come in many forms. If it's a missile, the hero will fly up to meet it head-on, detonating it high in the sky. If it's a Time Bomb
, they'll have to move it far away before the timer expires. Sometimes the hero is the bomb themselves
! Of course, flying isn't always possible in a given setting, so there'll be times when someone just runs really fast (or drives) into the distance.
A subtrope of Stuff Blowing Up
. Compare Misguided Missile
and the tropes mentioned above. Potentially spoilerrific.
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Anime & Manga
- Near the end of one of Project ARMS's story arcs, Takeshi courageously decides to take a bomb and run straight to the ocean. Beyond the speed of sound.
- In Dragon Ball Z Goku relocates Cell to King Kai's Planet in order to save the Earth.
- In One Piece Pell uses his falcon transformation to take a huge bomb away from the capital city.
- One episode of the Pokémon anime had Riley and his Lucario trap a large explosion inside a sphere of Aura and then force it into the sky to detonate harmlessly. A similar thing happened in Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure, but with Hareta using Empoleon's Hydro Pump to force the (as of yet unexploded) bomb into the air and many Pokemon containing the blast with Light Screen.
- In the third episode of Tiger & Bunny, Barnaby defuses the bomb down to the last 2 wires but can't decide which one to cut. That's when he and his partner Kotetsu decide to just kick the annoying contraption through the roof instead.
- In Naruto, teleporting large explosions off to remote areas was one of the signature tricks of the Fourth Hokage, who was an expert in teleportation jutsus.
- During the Kazekage Rescue arc, Kakashi teleports away Deidara's explosion.
- In one episode of Senkou No Night Raid, the heroes have to disarm/dispose of three bombs. Two of them are taken care of this way.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd As, Clyde Harlaown's Heroic Sacrifice was changed to this, with him bringing the unstable Book of Darkness to a one-man spacecraft, then piloting it away from the Cool Starship containing Lindy and the rest of his crew and into deep space, so that it will only consume him once it's completely unsealed.
- The first volume of The Ultimates had Thor disposing of an alien bomb that would have destroyed the entire solar system by teleporting it to the wastes of Nastrond, where its detonation won't cause any significant damage besides some small ripples in timespace. Included a humorous scene of Black Widow moaning that they were doomed, since she disbelieved Thor's claims of godhood and thus figured that he just teleported the bomb to another location on earth.
- Superman's solution to a nuclear reactor meltdown in Superman/Batman World's Finest? Simply dismantle the reactor and fly it into outer space before it explodes.
- In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, this this maneuver doesn't end as well for the Man of Steel. As Batman points out in his inner narration, Big Blue doesn't really understand how this advanced weapon works: knocking it off course didn't do much to lessen the devastation it caused across the hemisphere (such as blocking out the sunlight the solar-powered Superman relies on).
- In Quarter-Life: Halfway To Destruction, the destruction of Dallas is averted by shoving the entire building containing the bomb through a portal "so it would only go off harmless in Atlantic Ocean."
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Rip allows a warhead containing deadly nanomachines to detonate above his jet, at which point he flies off into space so that the little machines can't devour Washington, DC. He survives.
- At the end of The Iron Giant, the titular hero sacrifices himself by flying into the sky to meet an oncoming missile head-on. He manages to survive, barely.
- Angels & Demons had the Magnificent Bastard fly an anti-matter bomb away from Rome in a helicopter. He survives, Just as Planned.
- Superman II: Superman flies out into space with a hydrogen bomb so that when it detonates it won't harm the Earth.
- Voyage Into Space. At the end the giant robot flies out into space with Emperor Guillotine's ship to save the Earth. It's not clear whether he's destroyed or not.
- Parodied in the Adam West Batman film. Batman finds a classic comedy bomb in a waterfront restaurant — a black sphere complete with huge, burning fuse — and runs it outside to get rid of it. Everywhere he goes, however, there's some innocent blocking his way: nuns walking slowly down an alley, a woman pushing a baby carriage, a marching band blocking a gangway, lovers in a rowboat at the pier where he intended to toss the bomb into the water, a mama duck and her ducklings at another pier! He sprints up one side of the dock and down the other, occasionally running into the same moving barricades over and over again. Exasperated, he eventually groans, "Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb." Of course, the trope is spun into Bomb Disposal at the last second, but the scene was meant to make the audience think Bats was still holding the bomb when it went off.
- Iron Man does it with a nuke in The Avengers, taking it through the portal to the world of the Chitauri.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman does it with the destablizing fusion reactor core-turned bomb using the Bat to fly it out of range of the city.
- In Stargate, Daniel and Jack do this with the phlebotinum-enhanced nuke, using the ring teleporter to send it to Ra's ship at the last second.
- In Medusa's Child, the cargo plane is free to go anywhere since one of the nuke's tracking devices (the one to ensure it wasn't moved from the Pentagon) failed, so they decide to fool the second one (the one to ensure its creator's ex-wife didn't move away from it) by taping the wife's pacemaker to it and drop it to the ocean.
- In Angels and Demons, the Camerlengo takes the antimatter bomb straight up in a helicopter to detonate at altitude. Of course it was his fault to begin with.
- Done in a Heroic Sacrifice in Destroyermen: Crusade. Chief Donaghey discovers an attempt to sink USS Walker with an IED in a rowboat, so he climbs into the boat and rows it away, ignoring the calls of his shipmates to come back. Instead of a fuse, the saboteurs set the whole boat on fire, so he's burning alive as he does this.
All he knew, as the flesh on his face and hands began to sear and his vision became a red, shimmering fog, was that he had to row. Nothing else in the entire world mattered anymore except for getting that crazy, stupid bomb the hell away from his ship.
He made it almost forty yards.
Live Action TV
- In the Heroes season 1 finale, Nathan flies Peter up into the sky so that his brother's nuclear detonation doesn't level the city.
- At the end of an episode of Chuck, Chuck takes a bomb into his car and drives away with it to save Sarah and John. It explodes in the distance, while a horrified Sarah looks on. Fortunately, he was never in the car to begin with, having stepped out to remote control it from a distance.
- This results in the death of Carson Beckett in Stargate Atlantis.
- 24 Season 2. A nuclear bomb is flown out into the Mojave Desert so its detonation won't kill civilians.
- In LOST, Sayid picks up the recently discovered detonation device to take it away from the other Losties on board the submarine. The sub still sinks however and Jin and Sun get trapped in the process.
- Stargate SG-1:
- "Redemption, Part 2", where O'Neill had to use the X-302 Space Fighter prototype to fly the stargate away from the Earth because Anubis had a device that turned it into a bomb with an explosion large enough to destroy the entire planet.
- "Ex Deus Machina" saw Ba'al hold earth to ransom by filling a skyscraper full of naquadah and turning it into a bomb with a yield probably well beyond the city-buster range. Since the Prometheus was on station, once Carter tracked down the bomb she just had them beam the whole building into orbit.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", Jack saves the Doctor, Rose, and a whole group of other people from being blown up by a WWII German bomb by tractor beam-ing it into his own ship and flying away. The Doctor and Rose are able to save him before the bomb's stasis breaks and blows up Jack's ship.
- In Barney Miller, one first-season episode has Fish banishing stragglers from the squadroom when he realizes that a threatened bomb is in a suitcase. However, the suspense is only with the other characters, because the camera stays with Fish. He shoves it in the safe, which limits the damage to its door.
- In an episode of Criminal Minds, an ambulance has been rigged with explosives and left in a hospital's basement garage, to be detonated via cell phone. Penelope can only jam the cell towers for so long, so Derick has to drive the ambulance out to an empty city park and ditch it before the unsub gets his service back.
- In the series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, there was an episode where the Searcher encounters a ship filled with decaying "solar bombs". The ship was en route to a star for disposal, but got off course, so the Searcher essentially had to do this trope with their tractor beam (since the bombs were decayed there were extremely unstable, requiring delicate course changes).
- Paranoia supplement Acute Paranoia, adventure "Me and My Shadow Mark IV". When some Commies park a MegaBomb in a vehicle near the Mark IV, a PC can drive the vehicle down a tunnel far enough to save the Mark IV (and their teammates) from the resulting explosion.
- At the end of Prototype, Alex Mercer flies a nuclear bomb away from New York in a helicopter to save the city from destruction.
- In one of the driving missions in Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas, McClane has to ferry a time bomb out of the Hoover Dam before it detonates.
- This, ultimately, is the culmination of the main story of Blast Corps (until you blast off into space, of course). A runaway carrier hauling defective nuclear missiles needs to get to a safe detonation point before it bumps into something.
- Multiple times in ''Star Wars: The Old Republic.
- On Dromund Kaas, Imperial players will have to carry strange clawed devices that beep menacingly with red lights attached to locations in a public plaza and put them in a strangely-convenient bomb disposal machine before they go boom.
- For Republic players on Corellia, an Imperial bomber was shot down but managed to jettison its payload. The detonators failed, but the shockwaves from all the fighting threaten to detonate them, so players need to disengage the warheads and carry them to a portable bomb-disposal unit before they go the way of the Death Star.
- Dead Fantasy: In episode two, as Tifa is about to punch Ayane, who is powering up, Kasumi takes the hit, teleporting Tifa and herself away so Ayane can concentrate on finishing her spell.
- In the Friendship is Witchcraft episode "Cherry Bomb", Applejack gets the hell out of Dodge but her friends chase her down. Once caught, AJ reveals that she was trying to carry a timebomb far away, so her friends wouldn't be caught in the explosion, but now they're all going to die instead. Then, with less than a minute left on the bomb's timer, Raincloud swoops in and carries the bomb into the sky, while the music from The Iron Giant plays.
- In the Terminator vs Robocop episode of Death Battle, Robocop attempts to do this during the battle itself when the Terminator tries to blow them up together with its ruptured fuel cell. He succeeds by strapping the damaged Terminator onto his discarded Flightpack and launching him into the sky.
- In Schlock Mercenary, the Toughs' first ship, the Kitesfear, was destroyed with massive conversion bombs while docked on Luna, but fortunately the Toughs were able to cut the ship loose and teraport it away on time.
- In an episode of Justice League Unlimited, Captain Atom's suit gets breached during combat, forcing him to fly into space so that his subsequent detonation doesn't kill his fellow heroes. He gets better.
- In the episode "Wild Cards", the Flash is attempting to defuse a bomb in the middle of Las Vegas. Since there's only a few seconds left on the timer, and he can't remember which wire to cut, he simply grabs the bomb and runs into the desert with it.
- In the Justice League: The New Frontier animated movie, Green Lantern uses his ring to take the exploding Centre out into space where it can safely explode. The Flash may have done something similar.
- The Batman: The Animated Series episode "Time Out of the Joint" has Batman use a device that slows time for him, effectively letting him move at Flash-like speeds. He uses the device to take a bomb out of Gotham city as it explodes and throw it into a nearby river.
- In the 1964 puppet series Stingray episode "Countdown", using a voice recording of Troy and Phones entry request into Marineville, X20 manages to get his craft into Stingray's pen inside Marineville while the real Stingray was still out on patrol and primes a bomb with a 15 minute countdown with Marina tied up as hostage. When Stingray returns, they find the enemy craft, rescue Marina, and Troy tries to get the craft out of Marineville and use the ejector seat. Everyone wait with baited breath as the craft slowly makes its way through the launch tunnel. Eventually it reaches the end of the tunnel and Marineville is saved, then after a few seconds of silence inside the control tower, cut to the bomb as the countdown completes, cue nasty explosion on the ocean surface. We didn't see Troy escape but in the next scene at Marina's house-warming party, we see Troy with the rest of the main cast having apparently escaped unscathed.
- In the climactic Teen Titans episode, "Titans Together," Herald averts disaster by teleporting a fusion bomb into space.
- Also in an eariler episode. Red Star, whose powers were notorious for backfiring, were about to backfire bigger than they ever had before. So he flew up to the other atmosphere and self-detonated.
- In episode one of The Tick, the Tick carries a time bomb planted in a dam by the Idea Men, up onto the top of the dam where it more or less explodes safely (except for destroying the Idea Men's blimp). The Tick himself is, fortunately, nigh indestructible.
- The early stages of the bomb scene in Franchise:Wallace & Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death follow this trope. Similarly to the Adam West Batman example, the first few places Gromit finds to dispose of the bomb have innocents he can't endanger in them, but then he sees the Yorkshire Border and tries to leave the bomb there.
- Towards the end of World War II, the Germans were launching their V-1 weapons on London. Basically a medium-fast robot plane with primitive pulse-jet propulsion, with a ton of high explosive in the warhead. Shooting them down usually resulted in a ton of high explosive detonating prematurely in the air instead of on the ground. However, this created a massive explosion in the air that the pilot of the shoot down plane was flying directly into. A safer, but perhaps more nerve wracking, tactic was evolved. The fighter pilot would fly next to the V-1 and use his wing tip to lift up the tip of the V-1's wing. The V-1 had no aileron control, relying on the rudder for directional corrections. Once tipped past a critical angle, the rudder could not recover it, and so the V-1 would spiral into the English Channel, moving the detonation from land to water (or at worst into an empty field rather than an urban area).
- Ironically pioneered when the pilot of the first Gloster Meteor jet fighter to engage one had a gun-jam problem, but really only available to Meteors and to the fastest prop fighters (Hawker Tempests, Griffon-engined Spitfires, Mustangs and the like) that could catch up to the bomb in flight and stay alongside it.
- 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.