Screw This, I'm Outta Here!

"Screw you guys, I'm going home."
Eric Cartman's Catch Phrase, South Park

Henchman Bob is beginning to have second thoughts about his career with the Evil Overlord. Maybe he's dissatisfied with the lack of advancement opportunities, what with the Big Bad's tendency to kill subordinates for no reason or personal utilitaristic reasons. Maybe he's smart enough to realize that the next visit from the good guys won't end well for Team Evil. Or maybe Bob's just sick and tired of kicking puppies for a living.

Whatever the reason, Henchman Bob's had it up to here with Team Evil, so he washes his hands of the conflict and walks away.

Allies of the Good Guys can pull this as well, but they're much more likely to return and save the day in the nick of time. If not, then they'll be branded a Dirty Coward or a Dangerous Deserter. Granted, this happens to deserters from Team Evil in a lot of cases, but since the audience will probably side with the good guys anyways...

When this is done by children — or by childish adults — it's considered more contemptible than truly evil, and mockingly referred to as "taking your ball and going home" (in reference to the deserter taking the ball so the game couldn't continue without him).

Not to be confused with Line in the Sand, where a general gives his troops the opportunity to leave before a suicidal battle. Nor Opt Out, in which someone quits for reasons of principle rather than mere frustration or cowardice. This trope is only for characters who cut and run without their superiors' knowledge, permission, or both. Also not to be confused with Heel-Face Turn or Mook-Face Turn, where someone on the bad guys' side decides not just to walk away, but actively to join the forces of good. If they resort to a violent solo career (or in company with other deserters), they're a Dangerous Deserter.

Inverse of Attack! Attack! Attack! Contrast with Villain Exit Stage Left, which is when the Big Bad or other high-profile villain pulls this stunt, rather than a simple insignificant Mook. Compare with Opt Out, when the character isn't given a Line In The Sand but still makes the willing choice to leave of their own volition. If a character (especially a minor one) is going to drop a Precision F-Strike, this is one of the most likely places. When the character does this specifically as an act of betrayal (i.e., wanting whoever is with them to suffer) and not just them saving their own hides, it's Betrayal by Inaction. Related to Know When to Fold 'Em, though this trope might be seen as less honorable. Refusal of the Call occurs when the consequences of doing this are especially dire. When players of a video game do this, it often doubles as a Rage Quit.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • A famous UK advert for Weetabix breakfast cereal had the Lone Ranger and Tonto finding themselves surrounded by Indians. The Lone Ranger is unconcerned until they find evidence that the Indians have eaten Weetabix for breakfast, at which point the following exchange occurs:
    Lone Ranger: (gulps) Now we're in trouble...
    Tonto: What's all this "we", paleface? (and gallops away)
    • This is, in turn, based on an old MAD cartoon; American readers know the joke more commonly as "What you mean 'we', kemosabe?"
  • One Honey Nut Cheerios commercial has Buzz the honeybee do this when he realizes the woman he's giving his product to is an entomologist. She kills and puts insects on display.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Cowboy Bebop episode "Black Dog Serenade"; one of the convicts that took part in hijacking a prison ship tries to flee through an airlock when things go bad. Unfortunately, the section he escapes to is open to space, and though there's no Explosive Decompression, he's still as good as dead.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, during the Dark Tournament Arc, tournament commentator Juri barely manages to escape the section of the ring where Shishiwakamaru strikes with his cursed sword and puts a huge crater into the ground. In addition to that, the same attack sends spirits out from the sword, which attack and kill numerous spectators. When Shishi goes to use the same attack again, spectators start trying to flee the arena in terror. Koto, reporting from ringside, mentions that as commentators, she and Juri have to stay out of professionalism (credit to Koto; as a fox demon, the last attack hurt her ears). When she turns to get Juri to confirm this, we see that Juri is already standing by the exit saying, "Screw this, they don't pay me enough!"
  • In Ranma ˝, Principal Kuno hires three champions to subdue a rebellious Miss Hinako (and Ranma, natch): Happosai, Tatewaki Kuno... and Nabiki. While the two others actually try to engage in battle and are easily routed, Nabiki just takes the money and runs.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Manjyome (Chazz) tries to do this right before Judai (Jaden) is about to duel Kagemaru. (Seeing as Kagemaru plans to use all three Sacred Beasts, it's hard to blame him.) He changes his mind after Asuka (Alexis) scolds him, however.
  • In Afro Samurai Resurrection, Ninja-Ninja pulls this on Afro as he heads off to the final fight.
    • Brother Three does the same in both the original series and the video game, making him the only character other than Afro to appear in all Afro Samurai media and survive.
  • The titular character of Kino's Journey practically embodies this trope, especially when a country she's visiting becomes too dangerous, too unpredictable, or too downright weird.
  • In Pokemon Special, Karen and Will bail out on the Masked Man once a huge army of Pokémon come charging in. They do not appear to be remotely sorry for trying to kill Blue and Silver, and the two later show up as part of the Indigo Plateau Elite Four with nothing to show that they got punished for willingly being part of a criminal group.
    • Black's Munna abandoned him once it didn't like its trainer's dreams anymore. It eventually returned to him as a Musharna though.
  • In Pokémon, if Paul is watching Ash or another trainer having a battle, often he will get bored and leave before it is finished, calling them pathetic. This was especially problematic when his Chimchar's fear of Zangoose led to him pulling this trope in the middle of a Double Battle.
    • In Pokémon 4Ever, all of the Iron-Masked Marauder's Pokémon abandoned him. This shows just how vile a villain he was — it is almost unheard of for Pokémon to abandon their trainers, even ones who are evil or abusive. And true, he was a monster compared to most other members of Team Rocket.
  • One of the omakes in Black Lagoon features younger versions of all the main characters... all except Dutch, that is. He simply left a note saying "Don't bother looking for me" before running off. Apparently there's things in his youth he'd rather keep secret.
    • May or may not tie into his unknown past.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Alabasta arc, Usopp tries to pull this after Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas escape from a massive explosion practically unscathed and come after him and Chopper. Then they insult Luffy. Usopp promptly changes from this trope into Let's Get Dangerous.
    • Usopp has one of these when he hears that they need to get a new ship.
    • Gothic Lolita Perona, one of the Co-Dragons in the Thriller Bark arc, has this after Usopp defeats her; when she comes to, she finds out that Oars (a giant giant that was Moria's greatest trump card) was rampaging through the island, apparently out of control, and that fellow Co-Dragon Hogback had been crushed by him. She reasons that between Oars and the Straw Hats, Thriller Bark wasn't going to last long, and decides to quite literally abandon ship.
    • In the Marineford Arc, Mihawk leaves as soon as Shanks and his crew appear, stating that fighting Shanks wasn't part of the deal.
    • Aokiji was strongly opposed to Akainu becoming Fleet Admiral, so much so that they ended up having a fight to the death for the position. Ultimately, Akainu won, but spared Aokiji's life. Aokiji was so adverse to serving under Akainu that he ended up ditching the Marines and giving up his position as an admiral.
  • In the anime of the Red Ribbon arc in Dragon Ball, Colonel Violet does this once Goku starts his invasion of the base. But not before raiding the army's vault and grabbing as much cash as she can. This turns out to be a smart move.
  • Pulled by Kuzzey Buzzkirk in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Realising he's The Load, he does the sensible thing and leaves the ship.
    • Also pulled by a Space Colony of mixed population (Coordinator and Natural) in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray. They convert their colony into a giant spaceship and head for Jupiter, where there are no colonies, no people, and no one to tell them that half their population needs to die.
    • It's strongly hinted in the backstory of Turn A Gundam that at some point during the Dark History before the Moonlight Butterfly apocalypse, the Spacenoids simply packed up and left the Earth Sphere for the stars, the Colonies turning into impromptu Generation Ships. This in turn explains why there aren't any left. Except for the Moonrace.
      • For a more direct example, Colonel Michael decides to ditch Guin Sard Lineford during the final battle, finding it insane that Guin is still trying to play the long game rather than deal with the fact that the ship is going down in flames.
    • In Gundam ZZ, our hero Judau — fed up with the politics and other bullcrap about Earth and the space around it — quits after ending the threats to the Earth. He packs up and leaves for the Jupiter colonies to leave the madness behind and start a new life.
      • A Mobile Suit Victory Gundam side manga expands on this: since Jupiter got itself involved in the Earth Sphere's wars, even this was not enough for him. So Judau got together a large group of like-minded people, converted a couple of space colonies into a spaceship, put everyone in stasis, and launched for Alpha Centauri. The manga ends on a note that, 400 years later, the ship successfully arrived and humanity's first interstellar colony was established.
    • Both Amuro and Kai bail from White Base in Mobile Suit Gundam due to having enough of fighting in the war. They do end up coming back, though.
    • Rain Mikamura does this twice in the same story arc in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the first time because she got tired of Domon's bullheadishness (not helped by how she couldn't do anything to keep Allenby from being abducted, which she took as not being worthy of staying around), the second time because she found out her father was responsible for Domon's troubles, which totally crushes her mindset and makes her the thing she's to blame too.
  • Holyland: Some of the thugs in chapter 162 chose to flee than try taking on Yuu.
  • A rather funny example happens in GEAR Fighter Dendoh: Hokuto and Ginga, who have been kidnapped by the titular robot to serve as its pilots, are instructed on how to move it, and, being children caught in the middle of an Alien Invasion, start running away with the robot, surprising even the Robeasts they were supposed to fight. Then subverted as soon as they're informed that they're supposed to fight, at which point they annihilate the monsters in a single kempo move.
  • Bunbee pulls this twice during the Yes! Pretty Cure 5 series to both villain groups. The second time, he pulls something of a Heel-Face Turn.
  • One of the happiest and more awesome moments in Revolutionary Girl Utena revolves around this trope. It happens in the Grand Finale when Anthy, finally released from her older brother and Big Bad Akio's influence by the apparently ret goned Utena, calmly goes to his office all dolled up for a travel and tells him that she no longer will be the Rose Bride and that she's bailing out of Ohtori Academy, much to Akio's sudden distress as this completely derails his plans from then on. She then leaves the Ohtori campus only in Chu-Chu's company, determined to find Utena again and finally have her own life.
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, Walter von Schönkopf and his Rosen Ritter often rout their opponents simply by announcing themselves (or, even more often, by mowing them down until someone notices the regimental shoulder badges, at which point they lose all heart and run for it).
  • Attempted by a bunch of soldiers in Attack on Titan during the Battle of Trost. Commander Pixis announces an insanely risky plan to halt the Titan advance, and a large number of soldiers simply give up and decide to leave, despite desertion being punishable by execution. Pixis stops this by telling them that "Fighting the Titans is a terrifying thing. Some who have experienced it cannot continue. Therefore, those who wish to leave will not be punished. Go ahead and leave... if you are willing to allow your loved ones to witness the terror of the Titans." That stops the deserters in their tracks, and convinces them to fight.
  • Bunbee of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! does this after spending two years of fighting Nozomi's team and getting screwed out of his pay for it. He's next seen at Fairy Park, telling Tsubomi and Erika to stop holding up the line.
  • Kurokami: Riona fled the Kaionji Group, after learning they were planning to experiment on her because she was a Main Root. Then she became Yakumo's contractee, in order to protect herself from them.
  • This happens 3 times in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. First two times where in Part 2: Joseph runs away from two fights Vampire!Straizo and the Ultimate Lifeform screaming "Nigeru da yo! (Run away!)." His grandson, Jotaro does this in the fight against Rubber Soul and his stand Yellow Temperance. Both do it not out of cowardice but as an excuse to get some time to think out their next plan of action.
  • Subverted in Sakura Gari Masataka attempts to run away in the middle of the night after Souma rapes him in the warehouse. Souma puts a stop to that plan by blackmailing him with his brother's debts.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Iron Giant, Agent Mansley tries to do this when he realized that his attempt to destroy the Giant was going to get himself killed as well. This gave us this hilariously great exchange:
    Mansley: You mean we're all going...?
    General: To die, Mansley. For our country.
    Mansley: Screw our country! I wanna live!
  • Bartok the Bat in Anastasia, Rasputin's Minion with an F in Evil, decides to get the Hell out of Dodge before the Final Battle. Prior to this, he vainly tried to convince Rasputin to forget revenge and Anastasia and get a life. (Of course, being undead, that might not have been feasible for Rasputin.) In the end Bartok just leaves because he's savvy enough to realize that this can't end well for Rasputin. This proves to be a wise decision that allows Bartok to star in his own spinoff movie as the hero.
  • Corpse Bride (also an Ironic Echo):
    Lord Everglot: Fetch my musket!
    The Butler: Fetch your own musket. I'm off!
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma's potions turn the soldiers chasing Kuzco and Pacha into various animals. As Yzma yells at them to chase the duo, one soldier states "Uh, I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?" Uncharacteristically, Yzma politely allows him to, asking if anyone else wants to opt out as well. They choose not to.
  • Ramon pulls this in Happy Feet 2. While trying to console Mumble's son, Erik, Ramon remarks "For two wild mavericks like us who cannot be tamed.....THIS! PLACE! SUCKS!!!" and then immediately declares he's going home.
  • Sarge and the two other remaining green army men pull one of these in Toy Story 3 since they think they'll be the first of Andy's toys to be thrown away. Granted, Sarge justifies it by reminding the other toys that Andy has already outgrown them, but still... It also doubles as a Brick Joke, since they end up at Sunnyside Daycare.
  • During Ratatouille, when Linguini reveals to his kitchen staff that he hasn't been really cooking, but controlled by Remy, they all wordlessly toss their aprons down, and quit on the spot.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie:
    SpongeBob: Don't worry, Mr. Krabs. Squidward, Patrick, and I...
    Squidward: Pass. (leaves)
    • He later tries to escape from Plankton's bucket helmet army, but they close in on him and force a bucket on his head, turning him into one of the slaves.
  • During the climactic fight in Peter Pan, Mr. Smee is seen loading his bags into a lifeboat, knowing that Hook is just going to lose again, and is also fed up with his obsession with Peter. The other pirates join him, but only because they have fallen overboard and landed on the lifeboat.
  • In Shrek 2, after Shrek and Fiona get off the carriage and the townspeople get shocked:
    Donkey: Uh... Why don't you guys go ahead. I'll park the car.
  • Done twice in The Rugrats Movie. After Tommy's preoccupation with trying to protect his baby brother Dil pushes their buttons one too many times, Phil and Lil decide to leave Tommy and Dil in the woods, Chuckie coming along for the same reasons. Granted, it was Phil and Lil's fault in the first place they were stuck out there and karma does bite them back. The second time is Tommy's Heroic Breakdown where he decides to just leave Dil with the monkeys after his buttons are pushed. Thankfully, he reconsiders.
  • In Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket is more than a little pissed off to see Pinocchio smoking and playing pool on Pleasure Island with Lampwick, who then starts laughing at the cricket's expense:
    Jiminy: Go on, laugh, make a jackass of yourself! I'm through! This is the end! (storms off in a huff)
    Pinocchio: But Jiminy, Lampwick says a guy only lives once.
    Jiminy: Lampwick, hmph!
    Lampwick: Come on, come on! Let him go.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Belle goes against the Beast's orders and enters the west wing, where the Beast's room is. When he catches her near his enchanted rose, the Beast rages at her. She decides that in spite of her promise, she's not willing to stay at the castle any longer.
  • Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman gives us the smartest mook ever: after spotting Batman rummaging around in a room (who gives him a rather displeased look), he quietly leaves the room and won't admit to seeing anything out of place when his buddy asks.
  • The LEGO Movie: Abraham Lincoln's reaction when Emmet fails his inspirational speech.
    Lincoln: A house divided against itself would be better than this! (Flies away on his rocket chair)
  • Disney's The Return of Jafar, the sequel to Aladdin, turns this into a whole musical number, "I'm Looking Out For Me", when Iago finally gets fed up with Jafar bossing him around.
  • In The Lion King, Zazu says this in part of "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" as he's getting quite tired of Simba's childish behavior. Of course, he doesn't follow through with it.
    "If this is where the monarchy is heading,
    count me out!
    Out of service, out of Africa,
    I wouldn't hang about!
  • In Hercules, Phil walks out on Hercules after the latter refuses to listen to the fact that Megara was working with Hades.

    Literature 
  • In The Ashes Series, this becomes more and more common as the Rebel army (not those Rebels) goes from a guerrilla force to an unstoppable international army. Eventually most minor-league baddies will run away or surrender without firing a shot.
    • The author also makes it a point to show this at a personal level; often with the deserter(s) giving a short speech to their companions about expecting to live longer.
  • The white-faced women do this in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Apparently, so do Fernald and Fiona (albeit off-screen).
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, best mate Ron walks out on Harry and Hermione after an argument about the safety of his family (with a little help of the locket-Horcrux that was influencing his behavior). He comes back, though, and just in time to save Harry's life.
    • Also, Mundungus Fletcher pulls this on Mad-Eye Moody during the escape from Privet Drive in the same book. Moody ends up taking an Avada Kedavra to the face as a result.
    • The Malfoys' defection from the battle of Hogwarts in the film has shades of this trope.
    • When Voldemort and his followers return to Hogwarts in their triumph, he claims that he killed Harry Potter as the latter was fleeing like a coward. Nobody buys the explanation.
  • In Halo: The Flood, a grunt named Yayap goes AWOL just before the final battle. He knows that someone's going to destroy the Halo and kill everyone on it, so continuing the fight would be pointless. He is, of course, right. Halo blows up, and kills everyone on it, including him.
  • Both Marco and Cassie do this in Animorphs. Of course, both return, either because It's Personal now or because their conscience won't let them go off the hook so easily.
    • Elfangor does it too, in The Andalite Chronicles. He doesn't go back until the Ellimist makes him, several years later.
    • And David in The Threat.
  • Discworld:
    • Part of being an Igor is "getting out before the angry mob arrived." Igors often have long resumes, with all previous employers deceased. As one clan elder said to his soon-to-be-former boss, "We belong dead? Excuthe me, where doeth it thay we?" Igors will also sometimes suggest to other servants that it might be time to take a vacation.
    • In Making Money, Cosmo's secretary Heretofore gets the hell out once Cosmo's madness reaches its peak.
    • Lovable Coward Rincewind has an entire philosophy based around running away from the plot. It never works.
      Rincewind: I know what's going to happen. I'm going to be dragged into things that shouldn't concern me. And you're just a hallucination caused by rich food on an empty stomach, so don't try to stop me!
      Scrappy': Stop you? When you're heading in the right direction?
  • This is your best chance if you're vermin in a Redwall book. Many books see two rank-and-file vermin given names and personalities decide their boss is screwed and take off. It doesn't necessarily work, though; sometimes the boss finds and kills them for being cowards. As for the two in Salamandastron who ran away at the beginning of the book instead of the end, they would probably have had a higher chance of survival if they'd stayed.
  • Kelven Solanki is a major POV character in Peter F. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction, but vanishes without a trace after leading the evacuation of the planet Lalonde and fails to reappear in the two sequels, whilst a friend of his who had a smaller role in the first book, Ralph Hiltch, goes on to have a major role in the later books. According to Hamilton, he had far too many characters running and literally just forgot about him.
  • After Nellie Dean finishes telling Mr. Lockwood the horrifying story of Wuthering Heights, the tenant loses no time finding accommodations elsewhere and getting as far away from Heathcliff as he can.
  • A mercenary captain's reaction upon learning that a Bolo is active. Though he can't leave as he's already taken delivery of his payment, and his employers would be... unhappy.
  • In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming, a minor character realizes that a) there are weird things happening, and b) where weird things are concerned, she is completely helpless. As soon as she's rescued, she gets in her car and floors it.
  • The French soldier Nicholas in Seven Men of Gascony does this, on the reasonable ground that it is more important to support his wife and child than to prolong the glory of a Corsican mobster for another year. He ends up caught and executed.
  • Opera co-managers Poligny and Debienne at the very start of The Phantom of the Opera. Once a Phantom starts skulking around their opera and delivering blackmail demands, they waste no time passing the buck and getting out of the opera business as fast as they can.
  • In World War Z, the mercenary protecting the celebrities in their fortress decides to sneak out the back door when desperate survivors storm the place, on the grounds that he was hired to kill zombies, not people. And while he's leaving on a stolen jewel-encrusted surfboard, he runs into one of the celebrities' miniature dogs, who evidently had the same idea.
    T. Shawn Collins: I like to imagine that if he could talk, the conversation would have gone, "What about your master?" "What about yours?" "Fuck 'em."
  • Punch Clock Villain Washington Reed does this at the end of Boris Akunin's Dream Valley.
  • Atlas Shrugged: The job deserters after Directive 10-289.
  • Subverted in Deathlands Homeward Bound. When their mad leader, Baron Harvey Cawdor, comes back without his Elite Mooks from Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, his Sec Men realise that his successor will soon be turning up and quietly slip away. They should have stayed and fought it out, as the Baron's men are so hated by the locals they're all tracked down and killed by the end of the day.
  • In Macbeth, the doctor tending to Lady Macbeth contemplates this while realizing that both of the Macbeths are stark raving insane (and that armies from England and Ireland are about to invade Scotland).
    Doctor: Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, Profit again should hardly draw me here.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: In the book Final Justice, Stu Franklin ends up pulling this. On his way out, he warns Isabelle Flanders that they're going to get caught and that they should flee. This may qualify as a Heel-Face Turn. Then, again, maybe not, if the book Cross Roads is anything to go by.
  • In The Book of the Dun Cow, Scrape the Otter attempts to get the other animals to desert Chauntecleer's army because he is afraid of fighting Cockatrice. Chauntecleer defies the trope by dealing with Scrape immediately, picking him up and dropping him in with the Weasels, persuading him to abandon the plan.
  • Trout of the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy tries to do this shortly after falling in with the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. They don't let him.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — A Stitch in Time, which presents the life story of Elim Garak. By the end of the novel, Garak no longer cares for the manipulative politics of his people, and chooses to walk out on a meeting between reactionary officers and would-be-politicians, declaring that he has no place among them.
  • Flashman mentions running away is his default plan B in Flashman's Lady. He mentions in another story that almost all his wounds are on his back, inflicted while escaping, and supposes elsewhere that he's had more fast exits than hot meals.
...suddenly I saw that there was only one way, and a slender hope at that, but it was that or unspeakable death. The Flashman Gambit — when in doubt, run.
  • In Moon Over Soho, Peter tells an ambulance driver that a patient has been wired to a bomb, then is thrown into the dashboard as the driver slams on the brakes before legging it out the door before Peter even has a chance to recover from the sudden stop.
  • In Star Carrier: Deep Space, the Slan decide that the Sh'daar deliberately lied to them both about the nature of their current enemy (humanity), and about the nature of the universe. Lying is a big no-no in Slan culture, and their CO tells the Sh'daar equivalent of a Political Officer to STFU. They jump out to present their findings to their government, with the implication that the Slan may be reconsidering their allegiance.
  • Near the end of Murderess, Hallwad tries to tell Déaspor he's had enough of her attitude and wants out, expecting her to say that if he wants to go so bad, so be it. Instead, she reacts violently and tells him that his mission is far too important for him to be in any position to do anything like that.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • This is Harry's standard response when he runs into something out of his weight class, without anything to even the odds.
    • At the climax of Grave Peril, when Harry is facing down Bianca, she starts by sending her mortal security after him. After a quick display of his power destroys their weapons, they all run away. Considering what happens next, this is probably the smartest thing anything of them has ever done.
    • In Changes, when Harry confronts the Red Court team in his office building, one of them takes one look at him and runs away screaming. Even more impressive, this later turns out to have been one of the Eebs, the Red Court's two most dangerous assassins.
  • Prior to The Mortal Instruments, after the Circle uprising, Jocelyn Fairchild fled Idris with no intention of ever returning.

    Music 
  • "I Ran Away" by the The Arrogant Worms is a whole song about this trope:
    Whenever I was challenged, I'd collapse like a souffle,
    But I'm still alive to sing this song 'cause I ran away!
  • The second verse of Lupe Fiasco's song "Hello, Goodbye" is about a general who deserted a war because he didn't believe in the cause. In the end, "He stands, to find himself surrounded by thousands of soldiers, who he once trained to never miss their targets."
  • A more humorous example can be found at the end of Liam Lynch's "Happy Song". The singer, disgusted by all the Tastes Like Diabetes he's been forced to sing about, says "I'm outta here! Screw you!"
  • Take This Job And Shove It, I ain't workin' here no more / Don't you try to stand in my way as I go walkin' out the door! Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and a case of Covered Up (by Johnny Paycheck, it was written and first performed by David Allan Coe. Not to mention another cover by Dead Kennedys.)
  • "Art" by DJ Damien, a song made for a StepMania competition, consists of a heartbeat-like drum beat for one minute with just three steps held for the duration. "A2 (Art 2)" is a more conventional angry rap song about people who misunderstood the message intended in "Art". The trilogy ends with "The legend of ART", where DJ Damien raps over trance instead in an attempt to please StepMania players until three-fourths of the way through, when after a short Daft Punk sample, it goes back to angry rap. The first lyrics of the coda: "Screw this shit, I'm done / Making trance ain't fun."
  • There's a humorous — and vulgar — version of Jingle Bells where Santa's elves quit, citing that "they do all the fucking work/while he stars in the show"
    • Another humorous song parody, "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" by Bob River, has the guy with the fourth pain, sending Christmas cards, give up and say he's not sending them this year while the guy with the second pain, rigging up the lights, blow up and tell a person that if they're so smart, they do it.
  • "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John is one. Lyricist Bernie Taupin, born in the English countryside mentioned the song was about Bernie having difficulty in relating to upper-crust city life (and in particular, Elton's pre-fame pickle-heiress girlfriend immortalized in "Someone Saved My Life Tonight") and Bernie's desire to revert to the simplicity of small-town life.
    • The obscure 1973 B-side "Screw You", bowdlerized as "Young Man's Blues" in America, is a more humorous take on the trope.
  • The Theme Song:
    I don't know what the fuck just happen
    But I don't really care, Imma get the fuck up outta here,
    Fuck this shit I'm out.
  • Diamond D's "I'm Outta Here", in which the narrator keeps finding himself in dangerous situations he needs to get away from.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • "The Big Cat" Ernie Ladd may not have been the first wrestler to do this, but he was the first one to make an art form of it. If he was in a match he didn't consider important and it started to go poorly for him, he'd just leave the ring and walk to the back. He did it so often that for a time the whole act was called 'pulling an Ernie Ladd.'
  • EMLL ditched the NWA rather than help them deal with the WWF, although CMLL would return to help the NWA later. Disgruntled talent packing up and leaving CMLL lead to the birth of both Lucha Libre Internacional (and by extension, the Mexican UWA) and AAA.
  • Wrestlers departing from JWA lead to the birth of All Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling, who would in turn be deserted by disinters who would for Pro Wrestling NOAH and The Universal Wrestling Federation.
  • It's not uncommon for the Heels to fall back on this if they're losing the match, especially if they're defending championships (since you can't lose a title by being counted out). Often this plan will be foiled by 1) the Face grabbing the Heel and dragging him back into the ring; 2) an authority figure intercepting the Heel and telling him to get back in the ring; or 3) the authority figure declaring losing this match in this manner would count as a forfeit (which does allow the title changing hands). Occasionally the reverse will happen, with a Heel trying to win a title from a defending Face just giving up and walking away, like Test did in his ECW title match with Bobby Lashley.
  • Bobby Lashley tried to do this himself, wanting to leave TNA. The official reason in real life was to focus on Mixed Martial Arts, but in-story, he was really frustrated with TNA's failure to protect his wife from Scott Steiner and she wanted him to ditch wrestling for MMA.
  • In 2002, when WWE wanted him to put over Brock Lesnar on Raw with no buildup, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin "took his ball and went home".
  • Also common amongst tag-team partners turned enemies. Examples:
    • Edge had his Start of Darkness by abandoning Chris Benoit to be pinned by La Résistance.
    • At WrestleMania 5, when Tito Santana accidentally hit his own tag team partner, Rick Martel, Martel left him mid-match.
    • At The Main Event in 1989, Hulk Hogan abandoned Randy Savage during their tag team match against the Twin Towers (Akeem and the Big Bossman) to take Elizabeth to the locker room for medical attention. When Hogan returned to the ring, Savage smacked him in the face and left him alone to face them, returning only briefly to get his WWF World title belt.
  • In 1988, the Powers Of Pain did this to WCW. They were slated to be in a series of scaffold matches (wrestlers fight on a scaffold several feet above the ring, the object being to knock their opponent off the scaffold down to the ring below) against the Road Warriors, and they were booked to lose. Not wanting to risk their careers on this, they walked and went to the WWF.
  • A rare non-villainous, purely comedic example had Jackie Gayda attempting to ditch Stacy Keibler just before their Evening Gown Tag Team Match against Torrie Wilson and Sable at WrestleMania XX. All four Divas had to strip down to their bras and panties before the match began, and Miss Jackie decided at the last minute that she didn't want everyone to see her in her underwear. She tried to leave - but Torrie and Sable would have none of it, grabbing Jackie and ripping off her gown so that she'd have to wrestle in her underwear. Although, to be fair, Jackie didn't know about the "wrestling in underwear" stipulation until just a few minutes before the match; she thought that the winners would strip the losers, like in a traditional Evening Gown Match. Oddly, the match happened because Stacy and Jackie wanted to pose in Playboy instead of Sable and Torrie. The match originally was to be a traditional bra & panties match, but one of Sable's breast implants burst a few days before the match, meaning she couldn't get as physical as they had planned.
  • In a behind-the-scenes example, Molly Holly asked the WWE management in 2005 to let her do a Heel Face Turn. When they denied her request on the grounds that it would never work, she asked for her release and retired from wrestling.
  • Subverted when Triple H apparently abandoned Shawn Michaels in the middle of a "weapons" match against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Turns out, he was just running to fetch his trusty sledgehammer. (One wonders why he didn't bring it to the ring to begin with, or just stash it under the ring before the match.)
  • The 10/3/11 episode of Monday Night Raw ended with this - by about half of the WWE Roster, as well as the announcers, the refs, the cameramen...and the guy that rings the bell.
  • Fandango used to be known for refusing to wrestle until someone pronounced his name correctly, which didn't happened until he was introduced by Jerry Lawler.
  • The 6/18/12 edition of Raw featured a 3-on-1 Handicap Match of John Cena versus the team of The Big Show, David Otunga, and (former) General Manager of both Raw & SmackDown John Laurinaitis, which essentially dwindled down to a mere one-on-one match. This came thanks to both Big Show and Otunga ditching Laurinaitis during the match, leaving the People Power proponent to have to fight Cena alone. It went about as well as you might expect for him.
  • On the Labor Day 2012 edition, CM Punk decided to take a "personal day" instead of facing Sheamus. Subverted at the end of the show when he came back to cost John Cena his match with Alberto Del Rio. On the same show, Jack Swagger decided to go on leave. Subverted again a week later when Punk tried this again with Randy Orton, only for Orton to chase him and bring him back to the ring. In early-2014, Punk had another one. After being passed over to be in the main event of WrestleMania for the third year in a row, he walked out and has not been heard from since.
  • Tyler Reks was already tired of being a rarely utilized jobber-to-the-stars when he and tag partner Curt Hawkins got assigned a male stripper gimmick. One week later he quit pro wrestling. To be fair, he had already been battling with the decision for a while, as he had a newborn at home, and decided to leave wrestling before the gimmick went any further.
  • In a battle royal, Santino Marella sees that he doesn't have a prayer of eliminating Triple H and John Cena, and decides to eliminate the one guy he knows he can: himself!
  • Gail Kim did this at her last appearance in WWE. Upset with the way she had been booked and realizing she wasn't going to be doing anything there, Gail gave her notice that she quit when at a Battle Royal she eliminated herself as soon as the match began. Apparently she was told to be eliminated from it in under a minute they just didn't expect her to eliminate herself. A few months later she had made her return to TNA.
  • At Survivor Series it's not uncommon for a Heel to decide to do this, whether it's being outnumbered or an argument with his teammates he walks out on them and heads to the back. Bad News Brown did this two years in a row because he accidently got hit by his teammates, and was named the worst teammate ever in Survivor Series history.
  • One of the rumors surrounding the Rock's departure from WWE after Wrestlemania 29 is this due to the way WWE booked his match with John Cena. His open dissatisfaction with Cena's storytelling skills and the fact that Cena's non-athleticism during the match led to the Rock's legitimate injuries as well have done nothing to quell the rumors. Cena fans, on the other hand, have tried very hard to shove down people's throats the idea that the Rock walked out simply to spite the pro-wrestling fandom, under the assumption that the pro-wrestling fandom and John Cena fandom are one and the same.
  • The night after WWE Payback 2014, Batista had had enough of being denied a match for the WWE championship since Triple H and Randy Orton were focused on ending the Shield. He then left the ring, leaving Triple H screaming at him.
  • Nearly any time during Honky Tonk Man's Intercontinental Title run where he was in a fight he knew he couldn't win, he typically just grabbed his belt and left. He would lost the match by count-out, but he would keep the title.

    Radio 
  • The British Tolkien Radio parody Hordes of the Things begins with the Crown Prince Veganin giving the mighty hordes of Albion a rousing speech about how they will stand fast though Albion is surrounded by the hordes of evil. His speech is interrupted by the wizard Radox, who informs him that the mighty hordes of Albion can't make it today, but have left a sick note.
    Veganin: Well, then, old Radox, but you and I...
    Radox: Umm... (horse gallops away)
    Veganin: So. Farewell, thou cowards. Know you I would scorn to die in your company. To horse unto the King, to raise another force of men who would rejoice to die!

    Religion 
  • The Rapture.
  • Most of Jesus' apostles resorted to this when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (which wasn't even necessary, because Jesus had insisted that the mob let his followers go). They eventually made up for their disloyalty — and then some — after the Resurrection.
  • Some (definitely not all) schools of Buddhism has leaving the cycle of reincarnation without turning back as the ultimate goal. Others simply seek to become an enlightened being, free from the sorrows of the world, that helps others reach enlightenment from time to time.
  • According to 60 Minutes: One of the possible reasons for Pope Benedict XVI resigning — in addition to his official reasons, poor health due to advancing age — was learning how corrupt the Vatican was (pedophilia and financial cover-ups, plus hard-partying, promiscuous priests).

    Tabletop Games 
  • The opening fiction to Night Horrors: The Wicked Dead has a recurring character rooming with an up-and-coming supermodel, trying to see if she'd be a good candidate for initiation into a cult. She comes home a bit early one night, and finds some hideously bloated thing sucking what looks like the supermodel's life out from her thigh... and the supermodel enjoying it. Her reaction? "Yeah, I'll just... see myself out."
  • The Fate system, as used in Spirit Of The Century or The Dresden Files, comes with explicit rules support and even some mechanical rewards for conceding a conflict before it gets too far out of hand, which helps encourage both players and Game Masters to remember that enacting this trope instead of always fighting to the bitter end is in fact an option.
  • In the backstory of BattleTech, this was essentially General Aleksandr Kerensky's reaction to the Succession Wars starting up: he took his massive fleet and army and flew out into uncharted space, and vanished. The descendants of that fleet reappear hundreds of years later as the Clans, one of the only threats large enough to make the Successor States (who are still fighting each other) team up to fight back.
    • When Ice Hellion saKhan Connor Rood discovered that their supply lines have been intercepted by Clan Jade Falcon, he knows that his Clan is doomed by the combined wrath of the Falcons and Hell's Horses (which their Clan just ticked off). So he immediately set about saving as much of his Clan as he could and escaped the Inner Sphere. Meanwhile, his Khan continues to lead her forces in a hopeless war against the two Clans.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Uktena (the totem spirit of the Uktena tribe) was once a servant of the original Wyrm of balance. When the Wyrm went insane, Uktena defected to the Wyld.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Certain circumstances such as losing more than 25% of the unit in one phase, losing in close combat, tank shocking or getting hit with some kinds of special weaponry or psychic powers, will cause a unit to have to take a Morale check. If they fail the check, they will pull this trope. Certain units are more vulnerable to Morale hits than others: generally, rank and file grunts such as Conscripts and Gretchen will run away the moment things start going badly, but some units are just so fearless, psychotic and/or fanatical that they will only retreat in the most dire of circumstances... and even then only maybe.
    • As Slaanesh and Khorne tore apart the rest of the Eldar Pantheon, Cegorach the Laughing God went "oh, screw this!" and fled into the Webway.
    • Speaking of the Eldar, Craftworld Lugganath have this as their hat, this and close ties with the Harlequins, the Badass devotees of said Laughing God. The Eldar of Lugganath are so horrified and disgusted with the state of the galaxy that they want to flee into the Webway and form a brand new civilisation. This probably qualifies them as the most sensible people in the whole setting.
  • In Earthdawn, the stone-age prequel to shadowrun, bards have a talent called "graceful exit". It even gives them a head start!.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, Simmons and Grif plan to flee from the tank that's threatening to attack them and try to make it to the Warthog, agreeing to start running together on the count of three. Although they spend a fairly ludicrous amount of time staring down the tank making sure they are on the same page with regard to "on the count of three", Grif deliberately sneaks away from him and starts running early while Simmons is still counting.
    • "Oh, you backstabbing cockbite!"
    • Happens later with Donut and Grif. They are hiding behind the warthog as Tucker approaches in an out of control tank.
    • This time Donut sneaks off while Grif is counting.
    • In Season 10, the Reds and Blues pull a collective one when Carolina's plan involves them serving as cannon fodder (with her ending up pointing a gun at Tucker when he questions it) and Church angrily declares that every problem he's ever had stemmed from the Blood Gulchers.
  • Halloween Is Grinch Night has this happen in the end. After Max was put through so much from the Grinch, he finally decides to leave his master and go with Euchariah.
  • At the end of the Bowser's Kingdom movie, Jeff and Hal are seen squashed and defeated:
    Hal: That's it, I quit.
    Jeff: Yeah, screw this!
  • Ultra Fast Pony.
    • In "Hippocratic Oafs", after seeing how poorly Ponyville is treating Blue Twilight, Purple Twilight decides she wants nothing more to do with them. "That's it. I'm out. I hope a bear eats you all."
    • In "The Penny and Clyde Show", Pinkie Pie breaks the fourth wall and tries to walk out of the series after Discord makes his introduction. "Ultra Fast Pony, season two, everybody! I hope you all enjoyed it. I'm going home."
    • In "Reading to Rainbow", Twilight is the only pony willing to visit Rainbow Dash in the hospital. Until Dash cracks a racist joke, at which point Twi replies, "Okay, that's it, I'm out! I'm done. You have fun by yourself."
  • Bravest Warriors
    • In the episode "Time Slime", the team is trying to help a space station where time is overlapping on itself, meaning that there are actually three versions of the team performing different stages of the mission. BW #2 find the source of the problem, as well as the corpses of BW #1. They try to keep the same events from playing out again—and fail, winding on the ground right next to their "past" selves. Then BW #3 show up, see a pair of each of their bodies on the ground, and realize that it's probably better to let the people on the station figure this out for themselves.
    • In "Memory Donk", the guy driving the rocket bus can't remember how to fly and bails out... into the vacuum of space. Later, as the bus is flying over Neo-Mars City, Chris asks Jelly Kid for help fighting the rampaging Memory Donk, only for Jelly Kid to make himself a parachute and bail out as well.
  • RWBY:
    • Blake's finally decided to abandon the White Fang during a mission to steal Dust off a train. Her partner was willing to detonate the train, killing humans in the process. Blake decouples the train, leaving her partner with the Dust while she departs on the rest of the train that's carrying the humans. She later confirms that White Fang's change in path from peaceful protesters to violent and aggressive terrorists was something she couldn't stomach.
    • Bookstore owner Tukson defects from the White Fang for unknown reasons. He has plans to sneak away to Vacuo in the hopes of putting as much distance between himself and White Fang as possible. Unfortunately, Cinder's people catch up to him before he can escape. When Mercury and Emerald report back to Cinder, they state they've killed him and that he's no longer a problem.
    • Neo completely curb-stomps Yang without taking a single hit and with a smile on her face. When she is about to finish Yang off, a mysterious masked female samurai appears and stops her attack. Completely terrified, Neo runs away.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Chip from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes completely abandons his ally after discovering his Guardian Band, wanting nothing to do with the conflict, despite the fact that he's involved whether he wants to be or not.
  • "Hello and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn! Say... *Pulls out his pocket watch* It's Mill- [makes a break for it]
    • During the conclusion of the Mechakara Arc, Harvey Finevoice, 90's Kid, and Ninja Style Dancer comes to aid Linkara against the villain. They get some good hits in at first, but then Mechakara starts adapting to their weapons and can't be harmed. They all promptly flee to leave Linkara to fend for himself.
    • "Fuck this, man. I'm going into Anime"
    • Todd in the Shadows announces his retirement from TGWTG after seeing that he's reviewing "Blah Blah Blah" by Ke$ha for his debut episode.
  • The Shredder, during the TMNT parody by My Way Entertainment: "Man, fuck this shit; you're gonna kick me in the nuts! I'm off this motherfucker! Sheeeeeit... fuck you!"
  • Becomes something of a running gag for Brad of 4 Player Podcast when he plays Just Cause 2, using gas canisters as miniature escape rockets.
  • Bum Reviews: "Change?! Ya got cha— Oh my God, they're filming a Shaq movie! I'm out of here!"
  • The Nostalgia Critic
  • When Equius is first introduced in Homestuck, the narrator doesn't want to spend too long on him.
    • Also, at one point, an enemy absconds off John's roof with an umbrella. Because that's what weak enemies do when they are vastly outclassed.
    • In the afterlife, Tavros attempts to do this when Vriska declares her desire to start fucking shit up so that they'll be relevant to the narrative again. Unfortunately, Vriska brainwashes him into obeying.
    Vriska: I'm sick of this shit. I'm sick of being dead and useless and bored, and I'm not going to take it anymore. You're with me, right?
    Tavros: No way.
  • The Abandon Thread meme, also known as 'Fuck This Thread, I'm Outta Here'.
  • There have been a number of Retsupuraes that have the Retsupuraers throw their hands up and bail for different reasons. Two of the more notable ones were Let's Play This!note  and The Legend of Sweatnote .
  • In an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show podcast, Karl is trying to explain his latest bizarre train of thought; that the world is better if you're a midget because there's more of it to see. Halfway through, Ricky leaves to make a cup of tea, asking Stephen to call him when Karl's finished.
  • Sips, completely cornered in a game of Worms Reloaded, just gives up and has his last worm jump into the water.
    Sips: You know what? Fuck you guys. Fuck this game. Fuck you. *jumps*
  • In Everyman HYBRID, when coming face to face with the Rake in the episode "Jessie", Jeff's only response is to announce "Fuck this shit," and run like hell. Granted, he was running to find something to chase it off with, but still.
  • Suburban Knights
    • The last surviving Black Cloak aka The Last Angry Geek says "Oh, screw this!" and flees for his life when Malachite kills his allies.
    • Likewise when Brad (a.k.a The Cinema Snob) tries to attack Malachite and fails. He runs for the hills.
  • In Yahtzee's review of Alone In The Dark 2008, he finally reaches his breaking point when, after an hour slaying monsters, the game spawns thirty more and tells him he has to kill them too.
    Yahtzee: "No." I replied, "No, I do not. I reject your stupid, fucking, arbitrary, gameplay-lengthening World of Warcraft grind quests, and I'm sick of putting up with your bullshit!"
  • Epic Rap Battles of History has this awesome example from Christopher Columbus.
    Arrivederci! Imma leave before this battle begins! ... Cos we both know in the end which of these captain's going to win!
  • Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Minerelle gets hit with a -2 to Int. checks and skills in the Tomb of Horrors, at which point she's had enough and tries to leave. This works out pretty well, since she's the only one not cloned for a Mirror Match, but returns in time to help with it.
    • At Paragon tier, Minerelle bursts through a window, advises everyone to take a nap soon, blasts an illithid with massive psionic damage, is almost instantly killed by the backlash, is healed from the brink of perma-death by Kodrinscheiner, and immediately flees screaming into another dimension. All in one turn. Leaving everyone else in the room completely bewildered.
  • Occurs in Worm when the remaining Travelers that aren't dead or in jail get a chance to return to their home dimension. Also an option allowed for the teenaged Wards when the Slaughterhouse Nine show up.
  • One episode of Rooster Teeth's Podcasts, and animated in Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures, tells the story of how Gus, fed up with Burnie constantly mentioning that Las Vegas was only a short drive awaynote , hopped out of the van, headed back to their hotel, packed up, and wrote a note, declaring "See you in Austin, assholes!" Of course he couldn't find a flight that left L.A. that night and he had to get picked up to make it to the airport the next day.
  • "See you later, fuckers!" is one of Matt's catchphrases on Two Best Friends Play, usually uttered when running away from a group of enemies.
  • Subverted in Smashtasm Episode 5, during 1337f0x's flashback of his battle with Greg. While the present 1337f0x says "So I decided the only way to defeat Greg was to stop him on my own". However the past 1337f0x is less than willing.
  • Brad Jones has this reaction near the end of "Rock, It's Your Decision" in his DVD-R Hell episode when the Designated Hero starts making very homophobic remarks. This doubles as a Moment of Awesome after he gives a nice "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the protagonist. This film comes up later as an "at least it's not this" anytime he reviews a bad Christian propaganda film.
  • In Brad Jones Demo Reel, Gretchen, and later Henrietta, bluntly bow out of being in Braddie's remake of E.T. The Porno.
  • Michael Moorer pulls one of these on his trainer in an episode of What If when fighting Mike Tyson.
  • In the "10 weirdest foods" video by Matt Santoro, after having barely gotten past balut (developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell), he realizes that the next food is deep-fried tarantulas, which immediately makes Matt jump out of his chair and leave the room, trying to end the video right then and there.
  • Wowcrendor has an installment of the "Orc vs. Wild" video where his gnome character wanders through World of Warcraft's infamous Moonguard RP server. He quickly runs away after spying two guys and a gnome on a bed, again after finding a strange danceoff in the basement and one last time after meeting a girl with a man's voice.
  • In ''Furry Superheroes are Super Gross, after the Furry Force activates Yiff Mode and turns into a giant furry tranny, Vivisector just says "Nope" and uses his jet pack to fly away.
  • Embodied in song form here. Also with music video (NSFW warning).


Alternative Title(s):

Screw You Guys I Am Going Home, Screw You Guys Im Going Home, Screw This Im Out Of Here