Something is scary. Something is terrifying. Something makes one character desperately afraid.
What better response than to grab a hold of someone bigger and stronger than you to protect you?
The original version has a woman glomping
a man in fright, and it's Truth in Television
; why do you think guys want to take their girlfriends into Haunted Houses
? Heck, why do girls want to go through haunted houses with their boyfriends? They want to invoke this trope
. Also a way to Ship Tease
and play up Will They or Won't They?
and get some Ho Yay
in for characters of the same sex. Occasionally both characters are scared and cling to each other.
A common variation is to have a larger, stronger character hold on to a weaker, smaller character (the man is scared and wants the girl to protect him) or for the braggart who claimed to be brave who is the more terrified
Another variant is a child hiding behind a teenager or adult and peeking around their leg fearfully/suspiciously. This last one is played more for adorable factor
When turned Up to Eleven
the scared person will leap into the other person's arms or onto their back (usually catching them by surprise). Going in the other direction, a more restrained form of this might have the fearful person reach out and hold tightly onto the sleeve of their companion.
Cry into Chest
is a sister trope. Depending on the situation, can result in Instant Seiza
See also: Cat Scare
, Eek, a Mouse!!
Compare Cower Power
open/close all folders
Examples of clinging to another person's sleeve/arm:
Anime and Manga
- Haruhi Suzumiya does this to Kyon when trapped in the sealed reality. Kyon lampshades it by suggesting that if she's really that scared she should just hold onto his arm. Haruhi's response? "Idiot!"
- Nagi does this several times in Hayate the Combat Butler, mostly to Hayate. Hinagiku is another favorite target for this, sometimes even when Hayate is also present. Most often it's someone hiding behind one of them for protection but the clingy-ness is definitely there.
- Hinagiku once did it to Hayate but she was just kidding and was messing with him due to her intense dislike of losing (triggered by getting scared earlier and getting saved by Hayate). Hayate even makes a Call Back to this around 200 chapters later, though he claimed he was also kidding, it's a cover for it actually being a Security Cling but instead because he was scared and wanted to protect her from Tama.
- In the Blood+ manga, Haji notes that it's something Saya has a habit of doing whenever she's nervous.
- Megaman NT Warrior: Yai and Chaud ride an elevator, and when the lights go out and the elevator stops, she grabs his arm. His comment? "You're cutting off the circulation to my hand."
- Gau from Nabari No Ou has a rather cute tendency to cling onto Raikou's arms when he's nervous.
- Dai Mahou Touge: After ambushing her and attempting to kill her in the street with a giant pair of scissors, Punie's sisters abruptly find themselves disarmed and facing their now-rather-angry big sister. They cling helplessly to one another, trembling as she draws near... and get a spanking for running in the street with scissors.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- When Russia came to visit, (North) Italy and Romano (South Italy) were shown clinging to each other in fear.
- Italy was shown holding on to Germany when he got scared while they were watching horror movies.
- The Exile's Violin: Jacquie will grab Clay's arm when feeling unsure or vulnerable.
- A Mage's Power: After nearly being raped Annala clings to Eric's arm because she's rattled and in need of security.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, Chloe Sullivan does this to Clark Kent on occasion, but when you're dealing with Superman level threats, it's okay to be scared.
- During the final moments of Supernatural Season Four, in the episode "Lucifer Rising", Sam and Dean react to Lucifer's imminent appearance this way. Especially a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming considering all of the crap their relationship has been going through, all the lies and mistrust and whacked-out junkie behavior in the past season, and the fact that Sam is actually directly responsible for freeing Lucifer and betrayed and abandoned Dean to do it. However, their first instinct when they're desperate and terrified is still to cling to one another.
- In the Angel episode "That Old Gang Of Mine," Cordelia gets Fred to go out to a bar with her and Wesley, after spending all her time inside, fearing the outside world because of past bad experiences. The bar gets attacked by a gang of demon hunters, and Fred spends most of the rest of the episode clinging to Wesley's arm.
- Kara Thrace and Lee Adama during a particularly tense moment in the 2000s Battlestar Galactica , when they've just decided to take on a joint secret mission to assassinate an Admiral, and know they'll probably die for it.
- Example from Star Trek TOS: Awaiting the impact of a possibly deadly missile Kirk feels Yeoman Rand at his back and reaches behind to put an arm around her.
- Love And War has an example, played for laughs. When Ryan and Lavie have to explore Blackwater Park, Lavie hears animal sounds, probably those of a hooting owl, and is instantly scared. She grabs hold of Ryan's arm, but he is far from pleased:
Lavie: (almost in tears) "But I'm scared!"
Ryan: (deadpan) "I know, but how is twisting my arm off going to help?"
- In Daggerfall there is a book in which a boy is frightened and grabs his stepfather's arm. Stepfather sensibly points out: "If you want me to protect you, don't grab my sword arm."
- In Worm, after Skitter rescues Dinah, Dinah spends much of the time they are around each other holding Skitter's hand.
- In Total Drama Action a reluctant Courtney is forced to cling onto Duncan while they're balancing on a very narrow column during one challenge.
- Double Subversion in The Simpsons Season 14 finale "Moe Baby Blues". In one scene after baby Maggie takes a liking to Moe, he feels his sleeve being tugged upon, thinking it's her, but it turns out to be a branch from a bare bush. Later it happens again, in reverse: he thinks his sleeve caught on the branch again, but it turns out to be Maggie.
- In one episode of Transformers Prime, Bumblebee briefly grabs onto Ratchet's arm as they inspect an empty scraplet trap. Poor 'bot just had a close shave with one of the little beasties, so you can hardly blame him, even if he is a giant robot.
- The Joker once did this to Batman in the Batman: The Animated Series episode, Beware the Creeper. There's no deception or ulterior motive on the Joker's part, he's legitimately relieved that Batman showed up — the Creeper is too crazy even for him.
- Invariably, Mabel and Dipper reach for each other's arms or hands in frightening situations. This even leads to a heartbreaking moment in the Season 1 finale when Gideon's Giant Mecha forcibly pulls them apart, breaking their grip on each other's hands.
- Humor writer Dave Barry describes watching a horror movie that made him whimper and cling to the person next to him: horror writer Stephen King, who in turn was whimpering and clinging to his wife.
Examples of a simple glomp (they grab onto the person):
Anime and Manga
- Kirie from Girls Bravo often does this to Yukinari whenever she's afraid.
- One episode in Sailor Moon has Usagi going to an arcade with Mamoru, Ali, and Ann. (Ali and Ann are actually aliens, Ali has a crush on Usagi and Ann has a crush on Mamoru). Both Usagi and Ann cling to Mamoru, and when things get a little scary inside, Usagi freaks and is thrown out of the ride and into the arms of Ali, who was thankfully nearby.
- Jessie and James from Pokémon. Fandom calls it the "Fear Hug". Misty also does this with Ash and Tracey a few times.
- Also from Haruhi Suzumiya, Mikuru did this to Kyon during the Mysterique Sign episode in response to seeing the giant cricket that was about to attack them.
- In Centaur no Nayami, Hime and Sasasul cling to each other during a scary movie. Notably, an Antarctican (like Sasasul) was the villain and a centaur (like Hime) was the victim, and Hime was previously afraid of Sasasul due to watching the same movie as a child. And everyone learned an important lesson that chapter.
- The Chiester Sisters from Umineko no Naku Koro ni do this when they realize that Battler's AntiMagic is Over Nine Thousand!.
- In Ouran High School Host Club while the club is at Kyouya's (or Nekozawa's in the manga) private beach Tamaki and Haruhi had an argument. Things are quickly patched up after Haruhi first grabs the bottom of Tamaki's shirt when he turns to leave the room after she hears a clap of thunder. She then climbs into a nearby armoire, and Tamaki opens the doors trying to coax her out. Cue another loud crash of thunder to send Haruhi right into Tamaki's arms.
- To up the Ho Yay factor, America does this to Japan in episode 51 of Axis Powers Hetalia while watching a scary movie.
- During the exploration (and escape from) the ruins of the Sanzenin Mansion in the Golden Week arc, Hayate holds onto Nagi and Ayumu's hands, claiming they're 'frail girls', leading Hinagiku to thinking that Hayate likes frail girls. But Fridge Logic dictates that this is actually the opposite, Hayate himself is clinging to the girls because they're frail and important that he know that they're alright, and Hinagiku, who he knows is strong enough to take care of herself, doesn't need to be protected for him to know she's safe. Much Ship Tease leads and follows in the arc.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite episode 7. After Konoe regains consciousness in an underground room, her terrified assistant Yashima Sanae runs into the room and performs a full body (arms and legs) frontal Glomp on her.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails does a full-body glomp onto Sonic every time lightning strikes.
- Ranma ˝: Akane glomps onto Ranma when she becomes scared by ghosts in The Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love. This trope was also discussed earlier in the arc.
Man: It's really scary in there, you know. Your girlfriend will squeeze you for dear life!
Ranma: Well, I don't want to be hugged by Akane. That's for sure!
Akane: Who would want to hug you, anyways?!
- In the manga, when Ranma and Akane are cornered into a wall by a tiger, she grabs onto him. He has a major fear of cats, so he isn't doing too hot either.
- Played for laughs shortly after. The tiger Gosunkugi used to scare Ranma is in return scared of Ranma's Cat-Fu. The tiger's so terrified that it jumps into Kuno's arms, which makes Kuno think it's attracted to him, then clings to and hides behind him.
Kuno: I'm sorry, but my heart belongs to another.
Random guy: I don't think it's asking you for a date!
- Invoked in the battle dogi arc. While Ranma tries to seduce Akane in a closet to prevent her from wearing a powerful suit, Genma and Soun attempt to help things along by throwing some snakes and frogs at Akane. It works, until the suit itself interrupts.
- In episode 15 of D.N.Angel Risa does the Security Cling to Riku. And in episode 18 Riku does it to Daisuke.
- Played for Laughs in Mobile Fighter G Gundam—Allenby and Rain glom onto each other when Domon starts talking about rats, and then look really embarrassed when they realize he's talking about the metaphorical kind.
- Toy Hammer has Sanctioned Psyker Ishabeth hug and cling to Commissar Tomas after he performs a fatal Click Hello to her evil counterpart.
- Happens to Kyon three times at once in Kyon Big Damn Hero, with Haruhi taking Mikuru to see Saw specifically to invoke this trope. Mikuru ended up in Kyon's lap, with Haruhi and Miyoko clinging to either arm.
- Interestingly and heartwarmingly combined with Sex for Solace in Relax.
- In the very beginning of With Strings Attached, when John and Paul see the second moon and realize they're not just kidnapped but kidnapped onto another planet, they grab onto each other, “the only familiar things left in the universe,” and start to scream. After they calm down, John detaches from Paul because he's clawing the crap out of Paul's arm.
- Sofia from The Glaceon and the Shadow does this to Larissa all the time; it's practically her first reflex whenever in danger from the day they met on.
- At a certain point in A Brother's Price, Jerin is trying to escape on horseback. A woman on another horse comes up alongside, grabs him by the waist, and tries to jerk him onto her horse. He could fall to the ground and possibly be trampled, or he could end up in front of her on the saddle; to his shame his body chooses the latter and he clings to her, terrified.
- Occurs between a pair of male police officers in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter prequel vignette, who are terrified by being caught in the middle of a confrontation between James and Sirius on one side and three men on broomsticks on the other.
Live Action TV
- Sam fright glomps Carly during the Halloween Episode. Leads to Getting Some Les Yay Under The Radar.
- In "iMove Out", Carly grabs onto the back of Freddie and pulls him toward her when a loud noise is heard in Freddie's apartment. And again in iBelieve in Bigfoot, Carly backs off and holds close onto Freddie's arm when the gang encounters the alleged "Big Foot".
- In Happy Days, Richie, Ralph and Potsie are talking to a scientist who tells them a tornado is about to hit the lab they are in. Ralph goes into full panic and screams, "Everyone, grab something heavy!" and instantly glomps on to the heavyset scientist who notes that the boy has one really strong grip.
- In Doctor Who, Jamie McCrimmon and the Second Doctor do this a lot. Occasionally Victoria or Zoe will get in on the act, too.
- The Eleventh Doctor and Amy have a variation. Because Amy's story is one traumatic Break the Cutie moment after another, the Doctor develops a habit of clinging tightly to her and rubbing her back while delivering each new piece of bad news. Asking permission from her husband Rory every time, of course.
- Mert and Tommy on Big Wolf on Campus. So very much.
- Dick & Dom are always prone to this (Played for Laughs) when threatened by mild peril, or gunge. And it is adorable.
- In the Angel episode "Heartthrob," Cordelia and Angel are underground, and Cordelia grabs Angel in fear because she thinks there's an earthquake, but it's just the subway.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, DS Barbara Havers is held hostage at gunpoint. Scary enough in itself, but she was on her first case back after being shot in the abdomen the previous episode, and worse yet, the gun pointed at her was the same kind that had shot her before. Needless to say, she freaks out. Her partner, the eponymous Inspector Lynley, finally manages to get her out of there, and in a slow version of the glomp, she curls into his chest and sobs hysterically as he rubs her back. They end up doing this to each other — she's terrified because she's just been held hostage, and he's terrified because he nearly lost his partner for the second time in a handful of months.
- Played for Laughs in the M*A*S*H episode "The Sniper". Radar is leaving the shower tent when a North Korean sniper starts shooting, at which point he panics, sprints back into the shower tent and straight into the arms of Colonel Blake. Who was still showering at the time.
- Example of a glomp from Star Trek TOS: Kirk and the Girl of the Week are caught in a suddenly plunging elevator and grab onto each other.
- Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth do a double security cling during She-Hulk's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, when Jen whacks her gavel on the judge's bench a little too hard.
- In Final Fantasy VIII Rinoa does this three times to Squall. First, after being rescued from the Iguions, she grabs onto him and doesn't want to let go. Later, while on the Ragnarok, after the intense sequence of events that's just occurred, she takes advantage of the gravity being turned off to float down into Squall's lap and puts her arms around him, telling him that it makes her feel safe. The third time is when she hugs him after he rescues her from the sorceress memorial.
- In Tales of Symphonia, Regal attacks Zelos in the Meltokio sewers, and pins him to the ground with his foot. Presea knocks Regal back, and Zelos is freed. Cue Zelos scurrying around and glomping Lloyd from behind, literally shaking with terror.
- In one Strong Bad Email segment, Strong Sad makes a fake version of himself, whose head rolls off and shatters on the ground. Before this sinks in to Strong Bad, the real Strong Sad sneaks up behind him, causing Strong Bad to glomp the fake Strong Sad.
- In Worm, when Skitter finally rescues Dinah, Dinah hugs her. She spends much of the time they are around each other holding Skitter's hand after that.
- The Fairly OddParents - Crocker spazglomped Norm the Genie. Norm did not like it at all.
- A Teen Titans episode has this with Raven and Starfire, complete with freakout-screams. Given how powerful they both are, it's hilarious.
- Just before boarding the Lowardian ship in the Kim Possible Grand Finale, Shego warns Ron to "Hold on!". He latches onto her, and she snaps "Not to me!"
- Mrs. Bighead does this to Rocko in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Cabin Fever" when Heffer tells them a scary story.
- In the movie 9, 5 and 9 cling to each other while hiding from the Fabrication Machine.
- Total Drama has a few moments like this:
- When their bus falls off a cliff in the TDA special Justin can be seen hugging Noah. Same goes for Tyler and Lindsay and Geoff and Bridgette.
- While the cast fall from the plane in the Japan episode Harold and Tyler can be seen semi-hugging during the song.
- In "I See London...", Sierra grabs onto Cody when the Ripper attacks them, funnily, he appears more horrified about Sierra than the actual Ripper.
- Nancy and Mimi are quite prone to this on The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Stanley also does this a few times to Henry (who, strangely enough, doesn't seem to take issue with it despite having limited patience with his brother).
- Probably the most memorable scene of TMNT that Mikey and Donnie were a part of— which isn't saying much, since it was part of a trailer. If memory serves, each grabbed onto the other.
- In the ending of one of the many chases that Pepe Le Pew conducts on Penelope they both fall off of a cliff and in response Pepe draws a parachute that saves both of them. On their way down Penelope is holding onto Pepe for dear life, while Pepe is viewing this as a matter of affection rather than necessity. Still a cute exchange regardless.
- In one episode of Monster Buster Club, Danny and Cathy hold onto each other when they think they are about to be turned into statues.
- Spongebob Squarepants: From "Graveyard Shift" Squidward and SpongeBob hug each other because they're terrified of the Hash Slinging Slasher.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this a few times, especially in "Look Before You Sleep". In this case, it's Rarity and Applejack, who have been on each others' nerves through the whole episode, clinging to each other in moments of weakness.
- Vinnie and Sunil from Littlest Pet Shop (2012) do this a lot due to their shared love of horror movies.
Examples of leaping into another person's arms (or on their back):
Anime and Manga
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite. Yashima Sanae jumps into Konoe Tsurugi's arms in the opening titles.
- In the Anime/Pokemon episode, "Charmander the Stray Pokemon", Brock tells Misty that there's something crawling up her arm. Misty freaks out thinking it was a bug causing her to leap on top of Ash. It turned out it was just a little plant.
- Pretty much played straight in Raiders of the Lost Ark with Marion jumping into Indy's arms (and then climbing onto his shoulders) when they realize they are standing in a snake pit.
- Is a Running Gag at the beginning of The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 as beautiful hotshot lawyer is spooked by savannah critters while in the company of a strong researcher. Also, she's wearing a long skirt, which makes it even funnier in practice.
- An extreme version in Toy Story. When Woody and Buzz are facing the mutilated toys in Sid's room, Woody climbs on top of Buzz's head.
- The Man Called Flintstone. When Barney confronts the Green Goose, the villain's Right-Hand Attack Dog Ferocious snarls at him, causing him to jump into Fred's arms.
- Happens more than once in Yellow Submarine during Blue Meanie attacks.
- In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, when Lady Tremaine shows up behind Cinderella preparing for her wedding, Gus jumps into Jaq's arms.
- During Dinoverse Candacye (a Leptoceratops) leaps up into the tiny arms of Mike (a Tyrannosaurus rex) several times when menaced by other dinosaurs.
Live Action TV
- In an episode of Boy Meets World, the one with the serial killer that turns out to be All Just a Dream, Eric jumps into Jack's arms like this.
- Happens on a regular basis on Gilligan's Island, with Gilligan jumping into the Skipper's arms.
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Cody gets frightened in a supposedly haunted room and leaps into Maddie's arms. Maddie promptly drops him. When he tries it again with London later, she doesn't even try to catch him.
- In one of the Jack Hanna interviews on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, a particularly vicious animal scared Johnny so bad he leapt into Ed's arms...
- Chandler jumps into Joey's arms in the Friends episode The One After The Superbowl.
- You can pretty much find Chandler in Joey's arms and vice versa about 75% of the time, really.
- In the British version of Splatalot, Dick & Dom purport to be frightened of two of the Attackers in one episode; Dom leaps into Dick's arms. Dick leaps into Dom's a few minutes later. Then they both try to leap into each other's arms at the same time.
- In Fabulous Boys, the Taiwanese version of You Are Beautiful, Mei Nan is frightened by a bunch of fake cockroaches Jeremy is throwing at her during a photoshoot and jumps into Xin Yu's arms.
- The 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide has a picture of a fighter jumping into a wizard's arms after encountering a rust monster. Here's the pic.◊
- Scooby-Doo leaping into Shaggy's arms is probably the Trope Codifier.
- One episode features a double-decker version. Expanding on the classic version whereby Scooby jumps into Shaggy's arms, Shaggy was in turn so terrified that he (along with his cargo) jumped into Fred 's arms.
- There's a similar gag in another episode, but with Shaggy leaping into Velma's arms. That she can run from the monster of the week with both of them in her arms is certainly impressive.
- During a Johnny Bravo episode where he meets the Scooby-Doo gang, there's a running gag where Johnny jumps into Daphne's arms. Near the end of the episode, Daphne jumps into Fred's arms, he then winks in approval to the screen. Then Velma and Shaggy end up in his arms too and they crash.
- In the "Where Are You" episode "Spooky Space Kook", Scooby jumps into Shaggy's arms after a chicken mistakes his tail for a worm and bites it.
- Cartoons — elephants leaping into the arms of either another animal or a human at the sight of a mouse was a standby.
- Have them there for a bit, then realize the laws of physics still apply, and then splat.
- Twice in the episode linked from the Kidd Video page quote.
- Helga did this to Arnold in Hey Arnold! in the episode "Wheezin Ed". Sid did it to Rhonda as well for a bit of temporary Ship Tease.
- Helga does this to Arnold again in another episode when an out of control bulldozer is going to tear down the tree they're in. Arnold is too busy thinking about how to stop the bulldozer while Helga is thinking about how good he smells.
- Jonny Quest episode "Terror Island". After being frightened by an exploding firecracker, Bandit jumps into Jonny's arms.
- Total Drama World Tour has Cody clinging desperately onto Owen's shoulders as an angry polar bear comes towards them.
- Geoff also leaps into Bridgette's arms in one of the Aftermaths after an anvil nearly hits him.
- Justin leaps into Courtney's arms after an alarm goes off in "Dial M for Merger".
- Happens often between Jimmy and Beezy on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- Superfriends (1973-74) episodes.
- "The Planet Splitter". When Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are surprised by Doctor LeBon's assistant aboard the space ship, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms.
- "The Baffles Puzzle". When one of the bad guys slams a door and traps Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in a room, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms again.
- "The Power Pirate". When Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are trapped in a dark room and a door suddenly opens, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms yet again.
- The Cartoon Network Groovies episode "Jabberjaw". When Jabberjaw is frightened by a giant robot he jumps into Clamhead's arms.
- Bobcat Socrates does this to Zach in Adventures from the Book of Virtues in the episode "Perseverance".
- A startled Booster leaps onto Buzz's shoulders in one episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Buzz's completely deadpan "Can I help you" makes it a Crowning Moment of Funny.
- Starfire jumped into Robin's arms when frightened by Beast Boy's enthusiasm in Teen Titans.
- Happens twice during a play of how equestria was created in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rainbow Dash even comments on this.
- In the first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Shop Around The Clock", Butch fearfully jumps into the arms of his partner Jake in response to hearing the fisherman dummy, controlled by Bogus, speak.
- Several times in Cow and Chicken, Dad has leaped onto Mom in fear.
- In the Pound Puppies (2010) episode, "Lord of the Fleas", after Lucky and Cookie had just barely escaped a quicksand trap and a giant spider web, Niblet greets them from behind. This startles Lucky causing him to jump onto Cookie's back; he thought it was a spider.
- The 7D episode "Buckets" has a Running Gag of the dwarfs getting scared and jumping into Lord Starchbottom's arms. Happy thinks it's pretty fun.