"It's a damsel for the space age!"
The Distressed Damsel
(or Distressed Dude
) is in the clutches of the Evil Villain
. Now to dispose of them
. A classic way is to strap them to a rocket just before shooting them off.
This, like most death traps
piles on the drama and allows the hero to escape just in the nick of time.
A related trope is Strapped to a Bomb
and occasionally overlaps. A favorite of evil mad scientists
everywhere. Compared Rocket Ride
and Riding the Bomb
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- This how Captain America's side kick Bucky "dies" in the Marvel Universe (the first time).
- The Human Torch ended up glued to a missile (that launched) during his first battle against Paste-Pot Pete in Strange Tales #104.
- In the Takeshi Kovacs novels this is the Harlan's World equivalent of Cement Shoes, because the planet is orbited by a bunch of Kill Sats that vaporize any advanced technology above a certain altitude.
- One of the Captain Future Pulp Magazine covers involved the hero's Love Interest strapped to a small Retro Rocket while his Robot Buddy tries to cut her free. A later edition had her inside the one-woman rocket, peering out through a transparent plate as Captain Future fired his raygun at a villain about to pull a large lever, presumably to send her off.
Film — Live Action
- In Captain America (1990), the Red Skull ties Captain America to a rocket and launches it towards the White House. Captain America kicks the flaps on it redirecting it to Alaska.
- General Rancor's eventual fate in Spy Hard.
Film — Animation
- In Toy Story Sid duct-tapes Buzz to a large firework, intending to launch him into the air to explode. Woody and Buzz eventually use the rocket to catch up to Andy's minivan.
- In the climax of Despicable Me 2, El Macho straps Lucy (Gru's colleague and love interest) to a rocket which is also laden with explosives (and a shark) which he plans to fire into a volcano.
- In Genius The Transgression there's a short snippet of one genius tying another to a rocket. The twist is, along with the rocket not having enough fuel, there are a number of other things wrong with it, and the genius strapped to the rocket is expected to fix those issues mid-flight if he doesn't want to go 'splat'.
- In Metalocalypse, the Dethklok band is offered to perform at a mass inmate execution. They couldn't refuse after being told they get to choose the method. Their choice: getting strapped to a rocket and exploding hundreds of meters in the sky, creating fireworks. Some of the prisoners are even glad to be part of such a "metal" way to go.
- Batman and Steve Trevor are chained to rockets by Baroness Paula Von Gunther in the teaser to the Batman: The Brave and the Bold epsiode "Scorn of the Star Sapphire!".
- Space Ghost episode "Zorak". The title villain ties Jan and Jace to the seats of his Flying Time Bomb (a spaceship with a Time Bomb inside) and sends it away. Space Ghost rescues them Just in Time.
- Doofenshmirtz straps Perry to a giant firework rocket in the Phineas and Ferb episode, "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together!". Given Doof's Butt Monkey status, it's no surprise that a few minutes later, Doof has ended up Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Tom Cat tries to tie Jerry Mouse to the anchoring rod of a fireworks rocket in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Yankee Doodle Mouse." Holding Jerry in place while tying the knots is more than Tom can manage, so Jerry obligingly helps with the knots. Jerry then squirts free, leaving Tom's hands tied to the rod. The rocket ignites and launches Tom high into the sky, exploding in a perfect stars-and-stripes display.
- Mad Scientist Doctor Strangemoon has built a rocket which will carry a capsule that can attract fiery comets toward the Earth in the Josie And The Pussy Cats cartoon "Strangemoon Over Miami." Believing the Pussy Cats are spies, Strangemoon captures them, and stows Melody, Alexander and Alexandra aboard the capsule. The rocket is then launched successfully.
- When the Loonatics Unleashed launched missiles against three of Black Velvet's fighter craft, the fighters broke off their attack and returned to the Airborne Aircraft Carrier. Knowing that Tech Coyote had been taken there earlier, the Loonatics had to destroy their own missiles, because the "genius" coyote never put a destruct mechanism in them. Rev Runner takes out one and Lexi Bunny blasts another. Danger Duck teleports onto the third, rips off a service panel, and starts yanking wires. Duck gets pulled off the missile moments before it explodes.
- In the opening of Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Goldie is shown strapped to a rocket in one of the clips.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Bye, Bye Bluebeard", Porky Pig is tied to a rocket by the title character.
- Tex Avery's Billy Boy is a goat who threatens to eat literally everything in front of him. His owner straps him to a big firework rocket which goes all the way to the moon - then his owner watches the moon getting munched out of existence.