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[[caption-width-right:350:"[[PretentiousLatinMotto Stercus, stercus, stercus moriturus sum!]]"[[note]]"Shitshitshit I'm gonna die!"[[/note]]]]
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->''"A little piece of advice. You see an Agent, you do what we do. You ''run''. You run your ass off."''
-->-- '''Cypher''', ''Film/TheMatrix''

Sometimes our heroes are faced with a foe they simply cannot withstand. Not only is it a fight they cannot ''win'', it's a fight they have no hope of even ''surviving''. There isn't even a way to [[TakingYouWithMe win by dying.]] They have two options: run away, or be butchered.

This enemy is usually rare and always notorious. Its very presence may inspire panic. Perhaps they're TheDreaded, or even the HeroKiller. Perhaps it's not an individual, but TheSwarm or TheCorruption. In any case, anyone who fights it is screwed, and anyone who could possibly end up fighting it ''knows it''.

The key to this trope is that the threat is very powerful, but also impossible to predict. After all, if you can see it coming and avoid it, then it's not very scary, is it? But when it could show up almost anywhere, virtually without warning, and there's nothing you can do but hope to escape, then ''that's'' terrifying.

Of course, none of this will keep our heroes from fighting it sooner or later. If encountered early in the story, it may require a HeroicSacrifice from one character to allow the rest to escape. If the sacrificial character is wounded, he may insist that IWillOnlySlowYouDown; either way, expect him to tell the enemy that YouShallNotPass before making his LastStand. If no sacrificial characters are available, then [[BigDamnHeroes someone may show up unexpectedly]] and tell the heroes to ComeWithMeIfYouWantToLive. If the foe isn't fought until later in the story, it will probably be after the heroes have discovered its AchillesHeel, or somehow dramatically increased their PowerLevel (through a SuperMode, DangerousForbiddenTechnique, or whatever), and it will ''still'' be a difficult fight. If it's fought both early and late, then the latter fight will be a HeroicRematch.

In VideoGames, may be a HopelessBossFight where dying doesn't result in the plot continuing. If the ''only'' option you ever have is running, then it's probably an EndlessRunningGame. Compare DontAskJustRun.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Anime/{{Pokemon}}:
** While Ash and co. are seasoned Trainers and well capable of defending themselves against wild Pokemon, there are two Pokemon that, when faced with, they'll run their asses off away from: [[BearsAreBadNews Ursaring]] and [[BeeAfraid Beedrill]]. It's notable that other, often stronger Trainers usually share this philosophy as well. The one time Ash tried to fight back against a wild Ursaring, Pikachu landed one solid hit and the bear went '''''ballistic'''''. At that point, the heroes booked it out of there.
** They also have this reaction in an early episode when they come up against a [[SeaMonster Gyarados]]. To make things worse, it just evolved from a Magikarp that James had angrily kicked, and it is ''pissed''.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** During the Soul Society arc, Yoruichi advises Ichigo and friends to run if they meet up with a Soul Society captain. Chad ignores the advice and ends up getting captured. Uryu uses a DangerousForbiddenTechnique to beat one, then loses immediately afterwards, in front of a second. Yoruichi, being a former captain, should have realized it'd be impossible for them to run from any captain that actually cared to follow. Indeed, when fighting Kenpachi Zaraki, Ichigo noted that running away is pointless because anybody strong enough to beat him is also going to be fast enough to chase him down.
** During the [[spoiler:Fake Karakura Town]] Arc, [[spoiler:Gin Ichimaru]] informs Ichigo (who's been in a quite a bit of a slump up to that point) that he's in one of these situations.
** This is the Karakura crew's entire strategy when Aizen busts into the real Karakura Town. With no spiritual powers whatsoever, Tatsuki, Keigo and others have no option but to run as Aizen slowly chases them down. Worst part? The only reason they survived was because Aizen was toying with them. If he had decided to kill them instantly, ''they would be dead''.
---> "You. '''Run.'''"
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' had one of these come out of virtually nowhere during the Saboady Archipelago arc. It was probably the biggest PlotTwist ever seen since the manga started back in TheNineties.
** Done even more significantly in the following arc, Impel Down. Luffy and the prisoners he's broken out are making their escape. Hot on their tails is the prison warden, Magellan. Normally taking on one guy wouldn't be a problem for Luffy and his allies, except Magellan's power is generating poison, and he's one of the most powerful characters seen at that point in the series, on his own domain, which he would protect at all costs.
** Done to a less extent with [[SuperSmoke Smoker]]. Before the timeskip his intangibility made him invulnerable to the Straw Hats and a very dangerous threat to them, so much that they just ran whenever they encountered him.
** Basically, AuthorityEqualsAsskicking is usually in effect among both pirates and the Marines. Pre-TimeSkip, any rank below Captain was little more than a {{Mook|s}}, while a Captain would be a tough one-on-one fight for most of the Straw Hats. A Vice-Admiral could beat an individual crew member, but could be taken down by most or all of the crew working together. A full Admiral? ''Run. Just '''run'''.''
* High-ranking demons in ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''. Short of employing a DangerousForbiddenTechnique, they're {{Physical God}}s that can shrug off any attack and kill you with a snap of a finger.
* Serena Rinnen from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' gives Phonsekal Laure this gem:
---> ''Because I am not great or powerful like you, I spent 80% of my life just running away. Hundreds, no, thousands of times I have run, and because I have, I can be even more sure: Now is the time to run!"
* In ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', Kenichi's masters are furious when Kenichi tries to take on a [[LightningBruiser Master-Class sword-fighter]] by himself, claiming that the only acceptable course of action in that situation would have been to run for his life. Seeing as how even the most worthless Master-Class fighter could easily [[OneHitKill kill Kenichi in one hit]] and that he survived that fight mostly through sheer luck, this is an understandable reaction on their part. Though in his absence they praise him for being able to survive that and for having the guts to try that.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', during the Third Ninja War there was a "Flee on sight" order on the Fourth Hokage, with this heavily implied.
* Invoked in ''Manga/{{Sekirei}}''. When the [[RedBaron Black Sekirei]], [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Karasuba]], decides to fight the weaker duo of Mitsuha and Akitsu, the latter tells the former to run or she'll die. Mitsuha ignores the warning and is [[CurbStompBattle quickly killed]] while Akitsu [[KnowWhenToFoldEm ran away and lived]].
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' has two legendary figures that bring this trope into play.
** The One-Eyed Owl, a legendary Ghoul that rarely leaves survivors when fought. The mother of Akira Mado and the father of Kuki Urie each died performing a HeroicSacrifice to allow their respective squads to escape the Owl, as simply ''running'' isn't possible. Without someone to stay behind and fight, there would be no way to outrun the Owl's SuperSpeed and FlechetteStorm.
** Special Class Kishou Arima, a legendary Investigator known as the "Undefeated Investigator". He is the one person even the Owl cannot defeat, causing it to flee rather than continue fighting. His other alias, "CCG's Reaper", explains perfectly how feared he is among the Ghoul population. Even [[spoiler: protagonist Kaneki cannot accomplish more than ''scratching his cheek'', and is left on the verge of death after encountering him]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* An early [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' story has Rick Jones seeing Cap is in trouble and a {{Mook|s}} tries to silence him. Rick manages to take him down and a mate with a club as well, but as others are approaching, Rick remembers Cap's lesson that only a fool fights impossible odds. So, Rick decides he must make a break for it to get help and manages to escape. Just as the goons decide that they can subdue Captain America and get away before TheCavalry can arrive, Cap appears and takes them on considering for a OneManArmy like himself, two dozen to one is hardly impossible odds to him.
* This is pretty much the only option that most people have when ComicBook/LadyShiva is after them. Even then, running isn't always enough, and one just has to hope against hope that she decides to spare them [[BlueAndOrangeMorality for her own inexplicable reasons.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Bird}}'', the mysterious masked man forces Taylor and Mimi to run and hide the first time they encounter him. The man is actually [[spoiler: Hatchetface]], possesses super strength, and his aura shuts down other parahuman powers. As Taylor and Mimi are both unarmed teenage girls, without powers they are completely helpless.
* ''Fanfic/FallOfLiberty'': The undead hordes are so large that anyone who attempts to fight them head on is quickly overrun or infected themselves. The main reason Niko and the gang manage to survive is because, when they face the undead, they are prepared to run rather than fight and die pointlessly.
* ''Fanfic/FateReachOut'': Yomotsu-Ikusa and Yomotsu-Shikome merits this reaction from Izanagi. Makes sense given his myth. [[spoiler:They were mythological demons sent by Izanami to chase after him once he abandoned her, and Fuyuki Park is basically an entrance to Yomi.]]
-->'''Izanagi:''' ''Run. For thine sake, RUN!''
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'': When Ash is captured by Hunter J, Misty tries to brave her fears against some Beedrill (she's still afraid of Bugs). She quickly dispatches a few of them, but when a swarm of ''hundreds'' shows up, she has no choice but to run away. Even though she berates herself for it, Ash's Pokédex points out that she wouldn't have been able to do anything if she got herself killed, and now she has a chance to find Ash safely.
* ''Fanfic/WakingNightmares'': When Medic and Engineer first face Nightmare [[spoiler: Doctor]], they turn and run.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Phantoms from ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin''. They're limitless in number and their touch is instantly lethal (via ''pulling out your soul''); any fight against them is necessarily a delaying action until you can retreat... or a LastStand.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the various ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' films, this is about the only thing the heroes can do against the most dangerous dinosaurs, particularly the ''TyrannosaurusRex''.
* In the original ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Gandalf simply says of the Balrog "The counter-spell was terrible. It almost broke me... swords are no use here!" and a little later "this foe is beyond any of you." In [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings the film]], [[TalkingIsAFreeAction after explaining to them]] [[MrExposition what a Balrog is]], he helpfully adds ''"...RUN!"''
* The Agents from ''Film/TheMatrix'', providing the page quote. The sequels [[VillainDecay downgrade]] most of them to EliteMooks at best for Neo after he's become the One, though they still remain significant threats to humans other than him and [[BigBad Smith]] remains the most dangerous of them all. It's implied that no one ever managed to kill an Agent before the movie, but even if you do it's ''pointless'' because death is a NoSell to them: even if a normal non-Neo rebel manages to kill an Agent (taking it by surprise with a contact-shot to the head, luring it in front of a subway train, unloading a helicopter-mounted minigun at it, etc.) all this does is kill the bluepill human body they were downloaded into at the time. The actual Agent program then simply body-hops into another nearby bluepill human within a minute or two.
* In ''Film/{{Suffragette}}'' the police are this. Though the main cast don't want to use violence anyway, it is likely that they, being unarmed, wouldn't stand a chance against the police.
* In the original ''[[Film/TheTerminator Terminator]]'', though the sequels tend to focus more on the Terminators fighting ''each other''.

* Steel Inquisitors from ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}''. Nigh-invincible {{Blood Knight}}s who are definitely fighting at a higher SuperWeight than TheProtagonist. The fight against one at the end of the first book is a CrowningMomentOfAwesome, and they remain the single biggest threat for the rest of the trilogy. One of Kelsier's {{Establishing Character Moment}}s comes when he riles one deliberately in order to draw its attention away from Vin, though even he escapes as quickly as possible after that.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Literature/IronShadowsInTheMoon'' and ''Literature/ThePoolOfTheBlackOne'', Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian faces this. But then, both times he was dealing with what were effectively {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* The Bugs in Creator/DavidWeber and Steve White's ''In Death Ground''. Given the colonies the military had to protect, [[ToServeMan running was the worst option.]]
* In some version of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', King Finwë was the only inhabitant of Fëanor's fortress of exile who did not run for it when a hostile Melkor approached to steal the Silmarils. He is slain for his trouble, and no surprise, since Melkor is the ''most powerful being ever created by God''. Fighting him, for an Elf or a Man, is a losing proposition.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'':
** It introduces ''several'' enemies like this in the first book alone. People don't enter the abandoned city of [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Shadow's Waiting]] unless they're forced to, because the evil that killed it is still trapped there and looking for new victims. People don't enter [[PortalNetwork the Ways]] unless they're desperate, because the magic that created them was corrupted, and now they're haunted by the Black Wind That Steals Souls. And people don't enter [[GardenOfEvil the Blight]] unless they're suicidal, because, [[EverythingTryingToKillYou well...]]
** Subverted gloriously in the fourth book. [[TheMedic Nynaeve]] finds herself unexpectedly confronted with Moghedien, one of [[QuirkyMinibossSquad the Forsaken]] and someone Nynaeve has been raised to believe is a {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le evil demigod. Moghedien seems to be toying with Nynaeve, who is determined to escape knowing that she'll die when the Forsaken gets serious and turns her full strength against her - and then Nynaeve realizes that Moghedien ''is'' [[TheManBehindTheCurtain using her full strength]], she's not actually any stronger with [[FunctionalMagic the One Power]] than Nynaeve herself, and she's not toying, she's ''stalling''. Cue beatdown that ends with ''Moghedien'' being the one to run with her tail between her legs.
* The Labyrinth dragons in ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' are so dangerous (Even by the standards of a DeathWorld where the inhabitants face EverythingTryingToKillYou -- including the geography) that most people run for their lives if they even ''think'' that there's one in the area. If they do fight, it isn't to kill the dragon, it's to force the dragon to kill them quickly instead of slowly torturing them to death. The only Patryn in the history of the Labyrinth to fight a dragon and ''win'' is Xar.
* The Balrog from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is far beyond the power of the Fellowship to defeat, making running the only option. The only character who actually manages to kill it is Gandalf himself, but only because [[spoiler:he is a Maia like the Balrog, and even then he dies too (he gets better)]].
* All over the place in ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. If you're a twelve year-old coming face to face with one of the careers, running is your only option. Heck, if you're ''Katniss'' coming face to face with the careers, running and hiding in a tree is your only option. The trope is almost flat-out mentioned when Haymitch warns his tributes from trying to snatch supplies at the cornucopia, telling them they won't survive the initial bloodbath (though Peeta actually does in the book - in the movie he runs).
* The tagline for the Literature/{{Goosebumps}} book "How to Kill a Monster" is "Step One: Run. Step Two: Run Faster."
* In ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'', hearing that TheDragon of [[ReligionOfEvil Abolish]] was coming caused a [[TheAlliance Vanguard]] general ([[AsskickingEqualsAuthority herself no slouch]]) and her squad to instantly abandon the country they were defending, even though backup was less than a day away. [[TheDreaded They talk about him like a freaking natural disaster]].
-->''From all reports, progress was good. Jacksonís men were estimated to arrive in less than ten hours. Salazarís troops had not even seen any fighting yet. \\
Then a name reached them.\\
Gohvis. Bearing down on them from the north.''
* The [[KnightOfCerebus Osthan]] of ''Literature/TheFirstDwarfKing'' are MadeOfIndestructium SuperSoldiers who [[TheDreaded inspire fear]] in their enemies. The heroes literally stand ''no'' chance against them in combat; it's made clear from the start that fighting them is suicidal. Their EstablishingCharacterMoment shows them [[MookHorrorShow ruthlessly murder more than one hundred opponents]] [[CurbStompBattle without breaking a sweat]] -- and there are only ''three'' of them!
* The main characters in ''Literature/EdenGreen'' are infected with an alien needle symbiote that renders them immortal. They decide to team up and use their new HealingFactor to fight the monsters invading their city. But more than one species, especially the nausea-inspiring Exes, cause them to turn tail and run screaming in the other direction.
* Shagnasty the Skinwalker swiftly becomes this in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Harry himself backed up by a trio of heavily armed vampires and an army of mooks with machine guns can't stop it. It takes Harry using Soulfire, on an island giving him a power boost, and backed up by a member of the White Council (the most powerful wizards in the business) to fight the thing to a draw, and even then it's still alive. One has been killed by a wizard... who kept running until he lured it into the blast zone of a ''nuclear bomb''.
* This occurs when Ryoka tries to make her delivery to the High Passes in {{Literature/The Wandering Inn}}. She tries to fight off the goblins and Carn Wolves. But when carnivorous goats arrive and start to eat the wolves and then gargoyles arrive and start to eat the goats it becomes apparent that she is the very bottom of the food chain.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Near the end of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' season 5, the Scooby Gang decide this is all they can do against [[PhysicalGod Glorificus]].
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E8SilenceInTheLibrary Silence in the Library]]"/"[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead Forest of the Dead]]": This is all you can do against the Vashta Nerada. Seriously, the characters are never once able to take offensive action against them. The Doctor only gets them to back off by ''threatening'' to do something unpleasant based on his reputation, with no evidence in sight of how he would actually make good on it.
** Your odds against the Weeping Angels from "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink Blink]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E4TheTimeOfAngels The Time of Angels]]"/"[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E5FleshAndStone Flesh and Stone]]", also Creator/StevenMoffat episodes, are only slightly better. By being very lucky, our heroes trick them into being stuck in the former and being destroyed in the latter.
* This is a universal reaction from ''any'' character in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' when Reavers are encountered. Given what they do to those whose ships they take, it is very, very justified.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', this initially looks like the only possible chance the Enterprise crew has to survive their first encounter with the Borg. It is {{subverted|Trope}} when the Borg are shown to be capable of running just a little faster and slowing the Enterprise down.
* In ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', at the start of the second season, [[RobotGirl Cameron]] takes damage to her processor and reverts to her default orders to kill John Connor. Through the entire episode, the only thing the Connors can really do is run the hell away from her as she doggedly pursues them. [[spoiler:The only thing that ''stops'' her is pinning her between two tractor trailers and cutting her central processor out of her head.]]

* From "Sonic Attack" by Music/{{Hawkwind}}:
--> In the case of sonic attack, survival must mean every man for himself. Statistically, more people survive if they think only of themselves. Do not stop to rescue friends, relatives or loved ones, or you will inevitably die.

* Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac: At act I, [[GiftedlyBad Actor Montfleury]], who has dared defy Cyrano's prohibition to act, makes his choice after [[SociopathicHero Cadet]] [[{{Jerkass}} Cyrano]] claps a third time: He runs for his life. Later, The Bore also makes his choice, when after bothering Cyrano too much, he literally kicks his ass. It was the correct choice for both of them.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Bahamut from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII''. You encounter him very early in the game, and if you don't run then he'll kill you on turn one.
** The "Guardian" mecha in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' is used as BorderPatrol. You can finally fight and defeat it in the endgame.
** The spider robot during the Dollet mission in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', which appears unexpectedly and chases the party all the way back to the evacuation point. It doesn't have a particularly powerful offense, but it's impossible to kill (except at [[GuideDangIt one point]]) and it appears during a TimedMission so you can't waste too much time fighting it.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776 Thracia 776]]'', as soon as [[TheDreaded Galzus]] steps out of the castle in chapter 6, it's time to haul ass in the other direction. Your units at this point have no business even starting to fight a swordfighter with [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown Astra]], [[DamageIncreasingDebuff Luna]], and the three most relevant combat stats maxed out. (Besides, killing him with [[LordBritishPostulate precipitous RNG abuse]] now prevents you from [[spoiler:recruiting him at the end of the game]].) The trick is in finding time to visit the houses in town for loot, and not letting your party get log-jammed too much trying to escape, before Galzus starts hunting you down.
** Similar to Galzus, Vaida in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Blazing Blade]]'' first appears as a ridiculously overpowered enemy thanks to her Spear being enchanted with [[BigBad Nergal's]] magic. It's highly recommended that you stay out of her attack range and focus on defense, since the mission only requires you to survive for 12 turns rather than defeat every enemy. And also like Galzus, while she is killable if you're clever and/or over-levelled enough, [[spoiler: doing so prevents you from recruiting her later on]].
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Path of Radiance]]'': Stepping past a certain threshold in chapter 11 prompts [[HeroKiller the Black Knight]] to mosey onto the field. Due to his stats and literal PlotArmor making him an [[ImplacableMan walking wall of death]], it'd be best to run to the escape point. Subverted the next time he pops up in chapter 24, where he will stand at the start of the map and just observe so long as no one goes into his range. [[spoiler:Can possibly be played straight again when the time comes for Ike to [[DuelBoss duel with him]] - if his stats are simply not good enough to survive 5 turns with the Knight, you have the option of just booking it.]]
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight Shadow Dragon]]'': Once you reach the prison in Prologue 4, the Sable Knights arrive. They're all Level 11 [[MightyGlacier knights]], when you'll be lucky to have a Level ''6'' character. In-universe, Malledus suggests leaving a decoy to draw them off (and you have to in order to open the door to the end of the map). They ''can'' be kept from arriving at all by killing Gordin instead of recruiting him, which given his miserable growths isn't a loss, but otherwise, ''run''.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'':
** On a typical match, if you see a Pyro taunting with the phlogistinator, in the middle of battle, and the weapon is glowing, run away. The Pyro is literally invincible until the taunt is finished, and when it's finished the Pyro will unleash [[CriticalHit crits]]. Which means if you're dumb enough to stay right next to him, you die. Pretty much instantly. Your body will become ashes.
** You are doing good on the game and you turn around a corner and see... An ubercharged Heavy. What makes this worse is the visual effect that it gives to both the Medic and his partner, which is their entire body with it's team color with a very, very terrifying eye and expression.
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' when you first encounter [[TheVirus the Flood]]. After the cutscene introducing them, the game changes your mission objectives to, quite simply, "Escape!". You can ''try'' to kill every Flood you see, but the cost in health and ammo will be high; you're better off running from most of them and fighting only when you can't avoid it.
* Anyone who's played the ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' games long enough to encounter a [[BeefGate FOE]] (which [[NintendoHard isn't very long]]) will tell you that unless you're massively overleveled for the floor you're on, you ''run the hell away'' from them. One particular case in ''Heroes of Lagaard'' is [[BonusBoss Salamox]], who's nest you need to steal a MacGuffin from for a mission early on in the game. The chancellor, as well as the game itself, warn you that if you try to fight past it, you will die. [[CurbStompBattle They aren't kidding.]]
** ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'' (which is a spiritual crossover between ''Etrian Odyssey'' and ''Persona'') has your advisors freak out the first time they spot an FOE and beg you to run if you get caught. They aren't being overly cautious - you need to be at levels appropriate for midway through the next ''labyrinth'' before an FOE becomes less of a struggle.
** ''Persona Q'' has a special story example in the Old Doll, a special FOE which appears in the Evil Spirit Club. There are a few enemies which chase the party, but only the Old Doll will do it across multiple rooms. [[OhCrap And it's faster than you.]] Faced with it chasing them, the party have no choice but to run like hell and try to find a way to trap it. [[spoiler:You actually ''have'' to get into a fight with it in order to trap it, as in order to lure it into the trap you have to let it get close enough that it ''will'' catch up. Unless you're on a New Game+, you can't kill it - you have to escape from the battle and ''keep running''.]]
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'':
** The series' infamous Pyramid Head is an example in all of his incarnations. He's completely invincible to any form of attack the characters have access to. [[spoiler:Even when he is finally "defeated", it's less because anyone harmed him and more because his purpose was complete, so he committed suicide.]]
** ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' has no combat at all. You are told early on that running away from the enemy monsters is your only means of escaping the Otherworld. You also have the ability to hide, but it's [[UselessUsefulStealth pretty darn useless]].
--->"You have to run, Daddy. You can't fight them. Run!"
** ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' channels the Otherworld Chases of Shattered Memories with the Void chases; When it appears you pull a 180 and run, throwing anything you can in its path to slow it down.
* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' has "ZERO", a robot that pursues Amy Rose and her avian companion "Birdie" throughout her stages. With the exception of their final encounter as a boss, "ZERO" cannot be defeated: hitting it with Amy's hammer will knock it over, but it will eventually get back up; and it will keep getting up more quickly the more it is hit until it becomes impervious to Amy's hammer strikes. The only way to survive an encounter with "ZERO" is to high-tail it to the end of the stage.
* ''VideoGame/SpiderMan'' features Monster Ock as the game's final "boss", which is used very loosely, because to beat him, there's only thing you can do, run and webswing out as fast as you can before the base completely blows up, or you die.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'':
** In ''Prophecies'', the last part of the "Great Northern Wall" mission has the character running away from a large group of Charr.
** Later, one mission has you running from an army of Mursaat. If you attempt to fight, the party will die in ''seconds'', due to the Mursaats' ridiculously powerful Spectral Agony attack. It is only after you have your armor "Infused" with spells to neutralize that attack that you can fight them on equal terms.
** In Eye of the North, the quests in Kamadan, Kaineng, and Lion's Arch that take the character to the Eye of the North areas end with the player running away from destroyer groups.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' has your encounters with the Dahaka [[spoiler:except in the true ending, by which point you'll have a weapon that can kill it]]. All you can do is run away and try to find somewhere where it can't get to you.
* In ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'', the SA-X is ridiculously overpowered compared to Samus, being comparable to your power level at the end of ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' and Samus being gimped by her new weakness to cold and a suit that doesn't protect her much. Your friendly AI commander actually gives you this instruction in as many words. As you progress through the game, you go from hiding, to running from, to preventing from following, and finally fighting at the very end of the game.
* True to the film series, the video game adaptation of ''VideoGame/TerminatorSalvation'' treats the T-600 series like this, especially the first few times you run into them. They're insanely durable, have [[GatlingGood mini-]][[MoreDakka guns]] as their default weapons, and just ''keep coming''. If you try and stay and fight the first time just ''one'' shows up, it ''will'' kill you. Later battles are only possible to win because you have lots of cover, [[StuffBlowingUp explosives]], and [[MoreDakka gun emplacements of your own]].
* Every enemy in ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent''. You have no means of self-defense, so if you encounter a monster, your only hope is to run as fast as you can and hide until the monster stops chasing you.
* The "Tycoon Wil" scenario in ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier2'' - it's a HopelessBossFight in which all you can do is defend until the "Run" option comes up enough times for the ending cutscene to trigger.
* The [[ImplacableMan Hunter]] in ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''. You can attack it if you want, but it won't have any effect beyond briefly slowing him down. In order to escape, you have to lead it to the appropriate place to turn it into a [[HumanPopsicle Mutant Alien Zombie Popsicle]]; later on you have to do the whole thing ''again'', but this time you get to KillItWithFire.
** Even before that, in both games, you're attacked by a swarm of Necromorphs without any weapons, stasis, or kinesis. Your only hope is to flee.
* After the planetary shield drops in ''F.A.K.K.[[superscript:2]]'', tough new enemies appear and Julie straight up declares that fighting them with her current weapons is futile. They technically can be killed, but it requires the better part of your current arsenal's ammo cap to down even one, so it's pretty awesome when [[SoLastSeason your shiny new toys later in the game can grind them to hamburger]].
* In one of the third round of missions in ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Academy]]'', a mutated rancor appears and you have to run away from it through the entire level (while fighting dozens of dark Jedi) until you can achieve an environmental kill. In an earlier level, you have to help prisoners escape from a rancor pit, usually by leading the rancor away from their group while they Run Or Die.
* The first two ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games have Clefts. If examined, you'll be warned that sometimes there's no shame in running, as they have so much defense that you can potentially find yourself incapable of harming them at all without the right items or moves ready. The truest example of this would be the "Invincible" Tubba Blubba from the first game, as if you battle him prior to finding out his weakness, you'll be completely incapable of harming him, thus making escape your only option.
** There's one fight in the second game you can't win, though losing that one instead of running away doesn't result in Game Over anyway.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}''. The Chimera Factory. The [[OneHitKill Ultimate Chimera.]] If it touches you or any member of your party, that's it. No HopelessBossFight, just a cutscene where the Chimera chomps down and the screen quickly turns red before you get to the Game Over screen. [[spoiler:It shows up again on the bathroom floor of the Empire Porky Building, just to give you a JumpScare.]]
* VideoGame/LiveALive. The Behemoth, present in Cube's chapter, acts like the above trope: facing it doesn't even prompts you a HopelessBossFight, just a grim Game Over screen. Granted, this chapter is emulating a survival horror setting, and your PlayableCharacter, being a maintenance robot, is very ill-equipped for dealing with any kind of threats. To the point that the Behemoth can be defeated eventually, [[spoiler:but by an NPC, not you. Said NPC being an armed soldier tasked with this creature's escort, so it's justified plenty.]]
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' final boss ghosts are like this whenever you encounter them prior to the end of the game. All of the games have a sequence where the main character must just run the hell away from the invincible ghost, lest she catch you and end your game instantly (interestingly, with the exception of the Kusabi, all of these ghosts are female). The third game has the FinalBoss as a {{random encounter|s}} throughout (hint:RUN!), and also reintroduces the Kusabi from ''II'' in the [[NostalgiaLevel Minakami Village]] areas. Though you can fight him off once or twice, it's really a better idea to just flee. [[BossInMookClothing He's freaking tough.]]
* In the UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation2}}S2 remake of ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'', if you run around in one place with all your party members set to Auto for grinding purposes, bonus boss and ''Tales Of Destiny 2'' antagonist Barbatos Goetia will eventually show up and exclaim that he's giving you the choice to run away or die. He's not kidding, since even if you ''do'' somehow manage to get his HP to zero, he'll just keep on fighting.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' has a Hell Lord monster infesting one area of the Slyph Mountain. If encountered, it will casts a powerful summon spell to kill off an entire party in one blow, forcing you to keep retreating until you solve a dungeon puzzle to get rid of it. Fortunately, running away from it is pretty easy to do.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': In the dungeon Halls of Reflection, after beating a couple preliminary bosses the final "boss" consists of running from the Lich King until help arrives.
** At the end of the starting zone for ''Warlords of Draenor'', [[AdaptationalVillainy Grommash]] [[BigBad Hellscream]] sends the entire Iron Horde after you and your allies. The only option left is to run for the docks at max speed before the rest of the army arrives.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2'' features the [[MurderWater Water Wraith]] in one dungeon, which cannot be killed except with a Pikmin variety that cannot be brought in and can only be created at the last floor. Once it drops down, you haul ass to the exit.
* ''VideoGame/TheEvilWithin'' helps get you acquainted with most of its boss enemies by forcing Sebastian to haul ass from them in a panic while they destroy everything standing in their path.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series, randomly encountering a stronger version of a boss you've defeated in the past when you're not prepared for it is quite likely to become a case of this, as they tend to be ''much'' tougher then the previous version.
** In a rather sadistic design choice, the option to flee was removed in the fourth game, making it entirely possible to suddenly end up stuck in a battle with something that can kill you in one or two hits on top of potentially having more HP then the final boss. They weren't nice enough to make you not get a game over for losing, either.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the Reapers, at least in the Galaxy Map. As you explore the Galaxy looking for {{Plot Coupon}}s and War Assets, you run a risk of attracting the Reapers' attention every time you use your ship's sensors (without the sensors, you can't find anything). When the Reapers finally notice you, [[HellIsThatNoise the Reaper Horn blares]], and it's time to run. Getting caught by one of the Reapers is an automatic NonStandardGameOver, no matter how good of an AcePilot [[MemeticBadass Joker]] is. There are only three missions in the game where you can directly engage the Reapers, and it's always with some kind of outside help from allied forces.
* In a secret mission in ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty'', you awaken [[spoiler:a Protoss/Zerg hybrid]] just after setting the base's generators to overload. You don't have the firepower to take it down (and even if you did, it's invincible), so you're forced to run from it as you try to make your escape from the secret base. For the most part, it's an AdvancingBossOfDoom, and it's possible to slow it down [[spoiler:using an alien-tech "Chrono Rift Device"]], and other delaying actions are also possible. At one point, however, the invincible foe disappears from sensors, which [[NothingIsScarier is actually worse than knowing where it is]]; when it inevitably reappears, it does so ''very'' close to you.
* In ''VideoGame/Persona3'', as you explore [[EvilTowerOfOminousness Tartarus]], if you linger too long on any given floor, TheGrimReaper will show up. He can be fought, but it's a very, very bad idea. One of Elizabeth's last Requests is to kill him; it's doable by that point, but unless you know how to cheat the system, you're still likely to die a few (dozen) times.
* At the end of the prologue in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', the beginning-level PlayerCharacter and their mid-level mentor Gorion are ambushed by the BigBad Sarevok and some minions. Gorion stays to fight while telling the PlayerCharacter to flee, which they do. He kills or disables the others and holds off Sarevok for a while, but hasn't really got a chance. When you actually fight Sarevok at the end of the game, at least he's got only about two to two and a half times your levels...
* At a couple points in ''VideoGame/Condemned2Bloodshot'', the interface itself says "'''RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!'''", most memorably [[spoiler:when you first encounter the [[BearsAreBadNews rabid grizzly bear]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'', there's the Session Play Instance "The Fall Of Moria". You play as a dwarf alongside Durin and break down a cave wall to find Mithril. [[OhCrap Only to end up trapped, facing the Balrog]]. Yes, the same one that Gandalf fights in the future, mentioned above under Film. Your quest objective? ''Survive'' then, ''Escape''.
* Nemesis and Tyrant T-101 come close to this in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', but you actually can fight them. The Ustanak in the sixth installment plays this ''very'' straight in his first appearance: When he shows up, you run your ass off.
* In ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' when you hear [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSMKSrnJtIo this]], you run for dear life until you find either a place to hide or a means to drive him away.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' opens with the player in Helgen as it's attacked by a dragon. There's no hope of fighting it, since being a condemned (possible) criminal, you have no weapons, magic, or armor, your hands are bound so you cannot use the weapons of those who die against the dragon, and it's invincible anyway. And if you stay in the open long enough, it'll kill everything else then notice and come after you.
* In ''VideoGame/{{OFF}}'', a few turns into your first fight with Enoch, the Batter will warn you that he's too powerful and urge you to flee. [[spoiler:When you do run, he begins chasing you down the hallway from his office, and the process is repeated if he catches you.]] Defeating him is technically possible, but he has 99999 HP (over eight times as much as the BonusBoss) and higher Defense and Spirit than anything else in the game[[note]]other than [[spoiler:Hugo]] and the Ballmen, but [[spoiler:Hugo]] doesn't attack and [[spoiler:you don't fight the Ballmen as the Batter]][[/note]], you get no experience/credits/items for doing so, and the game continues as though you fled.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.3.A.R]] features the appropriately named multiplayer mode [[PrecisionFStrike "Fucking Run"]], in which you must... well... run to escape a supernatural Wall of Death and reach safe zones. Fans and critics alike praised the mode for being downright ''intense''.
* In ''VideoGame/SpookysJumpScareMansion'', your only real option when faced with one of the Specimens (other than the harmless Specimen 01) is to keep running until you lose it. You eventually get an axe, but it's effectiveness ranges from barely flinching a foe to stunning it for a room to ''[[NiceJobBreakingItHero mutating it into a stronger form]]''.
* In ''Videogame/Fallout4'', during an early mission for the Railroad, Deacon gives the player this advice regarding Coursers, elite model [[KillerRobot synths]]. Generation 1 and 2 synths are obviously-mechanical (though [[EverythingIsAnIPodInTheFuture sleek, white, and rounded]] as opposed to the RetroFuture look of other robots) and are deployed as MechaMooks, while gen 3 models are indistinguishable from humans and used to gather intelligence in the wasteland. Coursers are gen 3s that are programmed purely for combat -- basically making them an {{Expy}} for Franchise/{{Terminator}}s.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'': If you see Lu Bu, run away. Players new to the series will be doubtlessly be cut down as though they were a mook. He is the most powerful character in the series, and once he shows up, your only hope of survival is running away and completing the mission objective before he catches up.
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar: Retribution'': The second level of the campaign sics a ''[[TankGoodness Baneblade]]'' on your heroes before there's any chance to bring troops. It also handily serves to introduce the "Fall Back" mechanic (your units move a lot faster towards the closest rally point, but are uncontrollable), as well as the CastFromMoney revival when one hero is inevitably killed. The Baneblade keeps pursuing you until the very end of the level, where you hack some heavy turrets to turn it into scrap.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': In the second level of the Blood Elf campaign, you start with several barely-defended bases on the mainland that are immediately attacked by vastly more numerous and fully-upgraded undead forces.
* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'': One Greek campaign mission starts you on a small island. The island's resources are only there to get you a few boats so you can leave, as an unstoppable army makes landfall soon after.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunTheLostAge'' with the Serpent bossfight. It can be fought as soon as you enter its lair, but it regenerates 200 HP per turn (there's only one other boss who regenerates that much, the horrifying Dullahan BonusBoss). Going through the dungeon to shine light onto it weakens it until it eventually regenerates a much more reasonable 30 HP.
* The survivors can't do any damage to a killer in ''Videogame/DeadByDaylight'', at most stunning them with a barricade or flashlight. They also run slower than the killers, forcing them to rely on misdirection and quick wits to outsmart them.
* If at any point in ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' you are the last hunter alive, this is a necessary gameplay mechanic. While certain hunters may be able to evade or slow the monster down for a while, the only real recourse it to survive long enough for the rest of your team to respawn.
* If you happen to come across Chester, a ventriloquist dummy dressed up in a business suit in ''VideoGame/EmilyWantsToPlay'', the first thing you have to do is to run to the next room before he catches you

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'':
** When facing down [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/03252011/ Mr. Fingers]], an [[EldritchAbomination undead monstrosity]] from whom [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/04082011/ one touch]] will [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/04152011/ melt you]] [[BodyHorror to purple goo]], there's really only [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/04262011/ one]] [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/04292011/ response.]] Ironically it does end up being fought... and goes down. [[spoiler: At a tragic cost.]]
--->[[spoiler: "I... told ya... I... do... the eating."]]
** Kore, a {{Curse}}d and insane paladin, is even scarier. ''No-one'' can take him in a fight. Fusing a rope with his throat isn't enough to kill him. It barely even slows him down. And since he suffers from BlackAndWhiteInsanity, monsters and even non-monsters that end up in his path can expect to die if they don't get away. And if you die at his hands, you can expect a FateWorseThanDeath since he [[spoiler:uses YourSoulIsMine]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Roza}}'': [[http://www.junglestudio.com/roza/?date=2007-05-08 "You can't beat this guy. Just run!"]]
* DoubleSubversion in ''Webcomic/AnotherGamingComic'', during a Matrix-pastiche arc. The Agents are hyped up as unkillable, unstoppable monsters who, if you do somehow manage to kill them once, will just come back again. Since the heroes are highly talented power gamers, their first encounter with an Agent results in the agent getting one (high-damage) hit in and then getting [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome vaporized.]] The heroes then proceed to run away very quickly before he respawns, [[ConversationalTroping explaining it]] to [[TheLoonie Nuclear Dan]] as they go.
-->'''Joe Chaos:''' He will win eventually, [[ImplacableMan if only by attrition.]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/01-44.html Perrault's reaction to Red's appearing.]]
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'',
** [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000701c Megaman's reaction to the regenerating Yellow Demon.]]
** [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/001220c Protoman's to Bob.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Visseria}}'', when Jack faces an [[UnstoppableRage enraged version]] of the already [[SuperStrength monstrously-strong Alchione]], who kills violent criminals even while lucid. His superior acrobatics don't help much when she simply tears through every obstacle.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Godslave}}'', the first part of Edith's and Turner's fight is mostly Edith trying to get away from a man who packs a punch strong enough to kill an adult elephant.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[OmnicidalManiac The Blood Red King]] is one of two [[PhysicalGod Omega Level Metahumans]] in the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''. Being the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Terror and Fear with NewPowersAsThePlotDemands, he's the one foe no one '''''ever''''' wants to engage in a standup fight. The only ones who have knew they were making a HeroicSacrifice so other people could get away. The only hero who ever succeeded in actually beating him was Amnesty, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Kindness and Mercy. She is the setting's ''other'' [[PhysicalGod Omega]].
* Contessa, of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', is notable in that she operates extremely quietly, acting as a censor of information about [[NebulousEvilOrganisation Cauldron]], up until the point when [[spoiler: Cauldron is exposed to the superhero community]], at which point she begins to eliminate leaks more openly, notably incapacitating Faultline's crew, an experienced mercenary team that has previously taken on [[WizardClassic Myrrdin]] and [[KnightInShiningArmor Chevalier]], in less than twenty seconds. Protectorate policy on facing her is "Just run," and when [[spoiler:Weaver]] ignores this directive, Contessa hands her a total defeat.
** Contessa herself sees the other side of this trope when faced with [[PowerNullifier Mantellum]].
* ''Franchise/KagerouProject'':
** The song ''Headphone Actor'' is about a teenage girl finding out via the radio that the world is about to end, and a voice coming from her headphones - ''her own voice'' - tells her to do this. [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding It's futile.]]]]
** Its sequel ''Yuukei Yesterday'' (and added context from the manga) reveal that the song is actually a metaphor for [[spoiler:[[{{Tsundere}} Takane Enomoto]] sprinting to her (apparently terminally ill) crush's bedside, because she fears it'll be too late. Either way, she ends up dying]].
* The CreepyPasta "Never Stop Running" is about a video game programmed so that if your character stops, for whatever reason, they are smashed to paste by an AdvancingWallOfDoom. A similar one has this happen with a pack of wild dogs, and Every time the character dies, they become slower and slower, until they are immediately eaten when the game starts.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': In the season 2 premiere, [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsTheSiegeOfLothal "The Siege of Lothal"]], our heroes have their first run-in with Darth Vader. After throwing everything they have at him without slowing him down, they realize that their only chance to survive is to run like hell.