"That's how you recognize true heroes, my dear Anathar. They spend their time taking hits that aren't meant for them!
A form of Heroic Sacrifice
where, when a villain fires a weapon at someone and another character leaps into the path of the bullet, receiving the injury instead.
Time often slows to a crawl
, and the shielded one will shout a Big "NO!"
. The leaper will then have a scene where they weeping-ly tell the character how important they are before losing consciousness, while cradled in the arms
of the survivor. Sometimes they get better, sometimes they don't, but it's close, either way. Usually results in tears and/or an angry How Dare You Die on Me!
moment, especially if the person they took the bullet for loved them in any way. A More Hero Than Thou
dispute may result, even though it's obviously too late.
This may be a minor character protecting a major one, or sometimes a villain will do this following a Heel-Face Turn
, in which case they're probably not going to pull through
This turns into a Diving Save
if the rescuer pushes the victim out of the way without being hit by the shot. Can be done with any other projectiles: a common gag is to do it with something utterly harmless, and really ham up the shot.
For some reason
, the Big Bad
rarely succeeds at any attempt to empty the next bullet
into his original intended target. Nor will the diver not get there in time to stop the bullet, or the bullet continue through the diver to the original target
. Considering how much could theoretically go wrong with this trope, it's almost surprising how (relatively) rarely it gets played with
The United States Secret Service (which protects the president) calls this "catching the bullet", although it is rarely actually performed. In real life, the technique is obviously different, as bullets are far too fast to react to. Instead, the human shield will stand in front of the defended individual (hopefully) prior to the shot being fired. For instance, when Kennedy was shot, the agent with Johnson threw him to the floor of the car and then threw himself on top of him until they reached a secure location.
If this trope is executed poorly, usually because there were more intelligent alternatives to Taking the Bullet
, it can come off as a Stupid Sacrifice
. On the other hand, there may very well have been No Time To Think
Compare Go Through Me
, Jumping on a Grenade
, Load-Bearing Hero
. Human Shield
and Bulletproof Human Shield
are the unwilling versions that often happens in hostage situations. Misguided Missile
is when you do this with air-to-air weaponry.
In Real Life
, this is another term for Taking the Heat
. Try not to confuse the tropes, though.
Due to the nature of this trope
, spoilers are likely
. You have been warned.
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Anime & Manga
- Superman has done this a few times, but being Immune to Bullets, it's not quite as dramatic.
- In The Return Of Superman, the Eradicator does this for Superman, and as the bullet in question is a ridiculously huge dose of green kryptonite, it's thoroughly dramatic.
- Then there's the example used as the page picture for Stupid Sacrifice, which is more ridiculous than dramatic.
- Booster Gold does this for Blue Beetle (Ted), "Nooooo" and all. The bullet passes though his goggles harmlessly but they let you think that he's dead for a second.
- In an Establishing Character Moment early in the Batgirl book, Cassandra Cain takes several rounds while reaching a gun-wielding thug rather than dodge and endanger... another of the gang she and Batman are facing. Thus taking Thou Shalt Not Kill to a new level.
- In the ElfQuest series Kings of the Broken Wheel, Cutter takes two arrows meant for the High One Timmain. He survives, but not without difficulty.
- The first Crimson Dynamo, Anton Vanko, does an inverted version of this for Tony Stark after defecting from Russia and working for/becoming friends with him. Vanko deliberately fired an unstable, experimental laser pistol at the second (and evil) Crimson Dynamo in order to kill him before Dynamo could kill Iron Man, even knowing that doing so would probably mean his own death as well. It does.
- Has happened at least twice in the comic book version of W.I.T.C.H.. During the fifth saga, Cedric gets in the way of a beam which would've killed Orube, and in the seventh saga Liam is killed by a sword that the White Queen threw at Mariko.
- In the Chick Tract "Murph," Murph's partner, Officer Donovan does this for him, since he believes he, being an "unsaved" Catholic, isn't ready to die. Interestingly enough, Donovan gets off with flesh wounds while Murph is mortally wounded.
- In Birds of Prey a young teleporter calling herself Batgirl (complete with homemade Batgirl outfit) teleported herself in front of a bullet meant for Huntress. Fortunately her teleportation came with a Healing Factor and she teleported herself to Barbara in time to save herself.
- Iron Man: Tony Stark does this far too often for good sense during battles, especially for Captain America. Granted, his protective armor does give him some logical basis for this, but he still frequently winds up badly injured.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, we have the eponymous Spidey doing this to save Captain America from a sniper's bullet. He dies, yes, but not before going out in a blaze of glory by fending off the Sinister Six.
- That deserves a bit more detail: After taking a bullet for Cap and being left to be found by paramedics, Spidey starts making his way to a hospital. Unfortunately, he realizes the Sinister Six are going after his family and friends, so he makes a detour to save them. After repeated hope spots and barely managing to fend off and defeat the Sinister Six while bleeding out, he is actually rescued by Aunt May and Gwen Stacy. But, after seeing Norman Osborn get back up, Peter uses the last ounce of his strength to stop Osborn and save his family and friends before bleeding out on the front lawn of his own house with all of Queens watching. So one physical bullet and dozens of metaphorical ones.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog, a heart-broken Mina Mongoose throws herself between Princess Sally and Sonic (who had just reconciled and admitted their feelings) and a bullet from Nack the Weasel. The comic makes it seems she died, but then she's seen in a hospital room recovering.
- In Uncanny X-Men, Rogue took a sustained laser blast meant for Wolverine and Mariko. This after Wolverine had said to her face that he would have liked nothing better than to cut out her heart for what she had done previously to Carol Danvers. The blast was enough to nearly kill even her; since she won his respect by this sacrifice, Wolerine risked his own life (he had been poisoned and badly wounded earlier on in the issue) to let her absorb his Healing Factor.
- Towards the end of both continuities of Life With Archie: The Married Life, Archie saves Kevin Keller's life from assassination by getting in the line of fire and charging at would-be assassin and busboy Wendell... and ends up taking the bullet for Kevin before dying.
- In the Tamers Forever Series, Gallantmon recieves a Trump Sword meant for Taomon and later, Kazu receives a Flame Inferno attack meant for Suzie]]
- An ER fanfic had Doug doing this for the two people he loved most—girlfriend Carol and best friend Mark. Video footage of the incident shows that indeed, Carol would have been the one shot had he not pushed her and Mark out of the way.
- A variation in Reality Is Fluid. In an Offscreen Moment of Awesome (Eleya, the viewpoint character, was on another deck at the time) Gaarra tackles a civilian scientist out of the way of an exploding EPS conduit and takes the full blast on his back, coming out with severe burns and shrapnel injuries. Still sorta fits here, as the conduit had exploded due to sabotage.
- Another variant in The Wrong Reflection. In the midst of a big Space Battle, a Terran Empire Defiant-class ship tries to ram the USS Bajor. T'Var, Eleya's former operations officer and now the commander of an Ushaan-class starship, flies her ship in between and takes the ramming attack herself.
- In the fanfic Prison Island Break. Sonic the Hedgehog defeats Metal Sonic, but the robot shoots at him in its death throes while he is distracted by his own awesomeness. Manic jumps to take three bullets for him.
Films — Animation
- Something of a reversal in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie: Optimus Prime has bested Megatron, and is about to finish him off with his gun. Megatron begs for mercy to buy time to try and get a nearby gun. Just as Optimus Prime is about to finally blast Megatron, Hot Rod jumps in the way to stop Megatron getting to it. Megatron simply overpowers Hot Rod, gets the gun, and mortally wounds Optimus Prime.
- King Harold on Shrek 2 jumps in front of Shrek when the Fairy Godmother shoots her wand at the ogre. The spell bounces off his armor and hits her, turning her into a mass of bubbles. Rather than killing Harold, the spell just turns him into a frog, which is what he really was to begin with.
- 1 pushes 9 out of the way of the soul-sucking ray... thing that the Fabrication machine unleashes.
- And earlier, 2 does the exact same thing, pushing 9 down as the Fabrication machine initially powers up.
- In the Hungarian animated film Vuk, or The Little Fox as it's known in the U.S., Vic or Vuk's uncle Karack sees a hunter from the distance pointing a gun at Vuk and his mate Foxy he dives in front of the bullet taking the hit for them.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shen fires his cannon at Po, only to have Tigress push him out of the way and take the blast herself. She survives, but is badly wounded.
- The Incredibles has Mirage trying to pull this on Syndrome when Mr. Incredible, consumed with grief with the possible death of his entire family, and enraged at Syndrome shooting down their plane, lunges at him while confined to energy wires. Syndrome repays her by daring Mr. Incredible to kill her when he claims that he could crush her like a toothpick.
- At the end of The Iron Giant, the title alien robot's original programming as a killing machine is restored, and he goes apeshit on the US military. The paranoid government official who calls in the troops grabs the general's radio and orders the nearby submarine to launch a nuke at the giant, not realizing that the giant is right in front of him. Realizing what the nuke is going to do, the giant flies off and intercepts the nuke on its way down. Slightly different in that the nuke was meant for him but was going to destroy the entire town.
- The first Ice Age movie has Diego taking the blow for Manny during the battle with Soto after his Heel-Face Turn.
- Somewhat inverted on Final Fantasy VII: Last Order, a 30-minute animated special that tells the story of Zack and Cloud's escape and how Sephiroth went bezerk on Cloud's hometown. The special is "half canon" since many things in it are changed from the original game (since it's the Turks' point of view and not the main characters'). At the end of the special Zach and Cloud are lying at the back of a pickup truck and Zack asks the driver how far is it to Midgar, the Planet's de facto capital city, then does not finish his sentence as he spots a sniper (who wanted to shoot him instead of capturing him or waiting for further orders), then orders Cloud to run. The screen goes black and we hear a shot, implying he took the bullet.
This was later cleared up on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete, an extended version of the original Advent Children movie, when Zach peeks through the truck (not asking the driver) and the bullet misses him, eventually leading into Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the original game's ending in which he is shot by 3 regular soldiers.
- In Disney's Pocahontas, John Smith does this for Chief Powhatan, who was about to be shot by Governor Ratcliffe. Although the shot itself ends in Bloodless Carnage, John is injured badly enough to warrant his return to Europe if he wants to have a chance at survival, forever separating him from Pocahontas.
- Anna does this in Frozen when Hans is about to cut down her sister, Elsa, with a sword. She rushes over in the nick of time while turning into solid ice. Instead of shattering from his sword, it's the sword that shatters and it knocks him backwards.
- The Book Of Life:
- When Xibalba's snake first attacks Manolo, Maria pushes him out of the way and gets bitten herself, resulting in her apparent death.
- Word of God confirmed that Sacrdelita lost her eye (and possibly her life) from taking a bullet for her sister.
Films — Live-Action
- Air Force One
- When a MiG fires a missile at the title aeroplane, one of the escorting F-15 pilots flies his aircraft directly in the way, destroying it and dying while saving everybody on board the 747. In a subversion, shrapnel from the destroyed jet tears up the tail of Air Force One, making it unable to continue flying. Although this is still less damage than the missile itself would have caused.
- A more traditional example happens earlier, when a cowardly official gets his heroic redemption.
- Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. She was trying to use her forcefield to stop the javelin thrown by Doom on the Silver Surfer, but it went right through it since it was formed from the energy of the Surfer's surf, which was shown to be able to go right through it earlier in the movie.
- Parodied in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold when Jon Lovitz' character takes a bullet for Billy Crystal's character, shares some tearful last words with his brother, and black out... then immediately revives upon discovering the bullet was a blank.
- Subverted in an intense scene of The Caveman's Valentine when Romulus tries to do this for his daughter. He throws himself on top of her as a badguy starts shooting. She then continues firing at the bad guy while pinned under her hysterically yelling father. Romulus, seconds later: "Are you shot? Am I? We're alright? We're not shot? You're alive? I'm alive? How can that be?"
- Though it never happens, in Dave, Ving Rhames' job is essentially to take a bullet for Kevin Kline. He later admitted he'd do it for Dave as well.
- Inverted in Supertweak, where a Secret Service agent jumps in front of the President. The shooter just waits for him to hit the ground, and then takes the shot.
- Clint Eastwood's Secret Service agent from In the Line of Fire, at the last possible second, figures out who the assassin is, and jumps in time to take a bullet which was aimed at the President.
- Agent Sam Simms (Sinbad) jumps in time to take a bullet for the President's son in First Kid.
- In Spider-Man 3, Harry takes a hurled metal spike aimed at Peter.
- Kate takes a dodgeball strike for Peter in the final match in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Complete with slow-motion dive and long, drawn-out "nooooo".
- In The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc a French knight takes an arrow for Joan of Arc.
- Occurs near the end of the Fatal Fury motion picture. The newly resurrected god of war immediately launches a blast of fire at the nearest person, which happened to be Mai... until Andy leaped in front of her... until Laocorn leaped in front of ''him'', screaming his sister's name. Powerful... but marred by the vaguely irritating fact that Sulia had already died to redeem him.
- In the Oscar scene of The Bodyguard Kevin Costner's character does this for Whitney Houston's character.
- Hot Fuzz, Danny takes a blunderbuss shot to the chest to protect Nicholas. He gets better.
- Played straight... no, inverted... no, subverted in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Gay Perry takes a bullet for Harry, allowing him to save the day and the girl! But then, the girl notices a bullet hole in his jacket. Turns out that the bullet went straight through Perry and still hit Harry. But not to worry! The bullet hit a paperback book in his pocket! Aaaaand went straight through. Harry sticks his finger through the hole in the book, wiggles it, pokes at the hole in his chest, then faints.
- In Turner & Hooch, the title dog saves the hero by Taking the Bullet, with obvious consequences.
- Subverted in X2: X-Men United when Colossus covers some young students from gunfire, telling them to escape. And then proceeds to kick ass.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Mystique throws herself in front of a dart containing the mutant "cure" that's fired at her lover Magneto. Despite this selfless act, Magneto abandons her because the dart has turned Mystique into an ordinary human.
- Murder at 1600 has this happen at the end of the film, with a disgraced Secret Service agent protecting the President from his National Security Advisor. It was a weird movie.
- In a manner of speaking, this is how Randy Quaid saves the Earth in Independence Day, by flying his plane into the "barrel" of a Death Ray and causing it to backfire into the ship.
- In Crash, Daniel, the locksmith tells his young daughter that she has an invisible cloak that protects her from bullets, because she's too scared to sleep after hearing gunshots. Later, she jumps in front of him to protect her father from a gunman with her invisible "invincible cloak." In reality, the gun had been loaded with blanks, unbeknownst to the shooter, and the little girl lives, convinced that she really saved her daddy's life.
- In The Golden Child, Action Girl and Love Interest Kee Nang takes a crossbow bolt for The Chosen One, Chandler Jarrell. Fortunately, she's Only Mostly Dead, giving Jarrell an additional incentive to rescue the Golden Child.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Rawhide interposes his body to take the poisonous mini-starfish a Red Lectroid spat at Buckaroo. He ends up dying as a result.
- Batman: The Movie (1966). Batman and Robin are trapped on a buoy with a torpedo coming toward them and there's an explosion. Later:
Robin: Gosh, Batman, the nobility of the almost-human porpoise.
Batman: True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours.
- In Stargate, Daniel Jackson takes a staff blast meant for Colonel O'Neil, and dies. Ra resurrects him with his sarcophagus.
- Jim Gordon in The Dark Knight pushes the mayor out of the line of fire when the imposter honor guard turns their weapons on him and is shot in the back. He gets better.
- Archie Moses (Adam Sandler) takes a bullet for Jack Carter (Damon Wayans) in Bulletproof. He gets better.
- One of the Haters in the Christian movie Revelation from the Apocalypse film series sacrifices himself to block a bullet Willy Spino fires at his half-sister Helen Hannah after he receives the Mark of the Beast and ditches the wheelchair. Her protector, though, gets better.
- Subverted in The Scorpion King. Cassandra, upon prophesizing the future, realizes that the Scorpion King is most likely to die at the hand of one of Mammon's archers, and that it is about to pass, attempts to take the arrow for the Scorpion King, but instead, he ends up getting her out of harms way, thus getting himself hit anyways. Luckily, he's just that tough and survives.
- In Young Sherlock Holmes, the villain shoots at Sherlock, but his love interest Elizabeth takes the bullet, and her death ends up being a Freudian Excuse for Sherlock's famed status as a bachelor.
- The Last Starfighter. When Centauri sees the Zandozan's arm aiming the energy pistol at Alex, he moves in front of Alex and takes the energy bolt. He's mortally wounded by the shot and dies after returning Alex to the Starfighter base. At the end of the movie it's revealed that Centauri wasn't killed, but was just dormant while his body healed itself.
- In Skyfall, Mallory takes a bullet meant for M, although he survives. It helps to prove he's more Badass than he first appeared and worthy of being her successor.
- Welsh saves the life of Pvt. Doll in this fashion in The Thin Red Line (1964).
- In Machete Kills, former villain Osiris redeems himself by taking a disintegrator ray meant for Machete.
- Parodied in 22 Jump Street, where in a callback to the first film, Schmidt tries to take the bullet for Jenko just like Jenko did for him. He ends up diving past him while Jenko gets shot in the arm.
- In Deryni Checkmate, Duke Alaric Morgan is sailing to a meeting with the Hort of Orsal aboard his ship Rhafallia when the auxiliary helmsman, a partisan of rebel Warin de Grey, attacks him with a poisoned knife. A royal squire named Richard Fitz William happens to turn at the right moment to see the helmsman leap at Morgan, and he threw himself between them while shouting a warning. Richard takes the dagger in his side, and he asks to be allowed to swear the oath of fealty so he can die as Morgan's liege man. Morgan grants his request, and Richard just manages to recite it before he dies. The assassin had taken poison himself before attacking, and he defiantly resists Morgan's questioning until he also dies. Morgan gives orders to have Richard's body buried with full honours at his capital Coroth, while the assassin's remains are dumped overboard.
- In The Last English King, a novel about 1066 and the Norman Conquest, Harold Godwinson's housecarl Walt puts out his arm to stop a sword slicing down at King Harold. The sword lops Walt's arm clean off and strikes Harold anyway. Walt later bitterly regrets not taking the sword strike with his whole body.
- In the first Xanth novel, A Spell for Chameleon, Bink's to-that-point unknown talent was revealed when an increasingly implausible string of obstacles kept intercepting Trent's transformation spells. Turns out Bink can't be hurt by magic means. Which simply caused the ever-pragmatic Trent to draw his completely un-magical sword and try to run Bink through. Leading to a second bullet catch, as Chameleon (changed into a deer by Trent's spell) took the blade instead.
- Subverted for the premise of David Allan Greer's short-lived sitcom, D.A.G.: Greer's Secret Service agent dove to take a bullet aimed at the President, but dove the wrong way, leading everyone to assume he was diving out of the way and to his demotion to the First Lady's security detail.
- In the novel Making Money, Moist von Lipwig saves Lord Vetinari from public embarrassment by taking a Pie in the Face for him.
- Done with a crossbow bolt in Feet of Clay, and several times with actual gun-fired bullets in Men at Arms as well. Detritus proudly says that there's five shots in his breastplate but not his backplate because his body got in the way. He oozed quite a bit though. Carrot takes a shot in the shoulder for the Patrician. Angua takes four shots to her body for Carrot and Vimes.
- A minor tech-priest in one of the Ciaphas Cain stories does this to protect Ciaphas from a Necron shot. Unfortunately, given the power of Necron weapons, he is instantly torn apart and vaporized, but he manages to save Cain, even if Cain loses a couple fingers from the sheer proximity of the horrible weapon fire.
- Rockjaw Grang in the Redwall novel The Long Patrol, right before his You Shall Not Pass moment. Also, Veil took a spear to protect his adoptive mother. It's unclear if this was a Heel-Face Turn or not, because even as he's dying he bitches her out and won't accept comfort, and she decides that everyone who said he was bad to the bone during his life was right.
- Happens in the third Artemis Fowl book, The Eternity Code.
- Inverted in Airman, by Eoin Colfer; Victor performs a dramatic leap in front of a bullet to save King Nicholas, but, because he's just that bit too old, the bullet hits the webbing between his outstretched fingers and hits its intended target anyway. And then Victor gets shot, too.
- In the Honor Harrington novels, taking a shot for someone would probably be a bad idea given the speed and force an average pulser dart moves at — you'd both just die. The beloved head of Grayson's church does take an old-style slug for Honor, which causes the assassin sent to kill her to break down.
- In I, Jedi, Mara Jade and Corran Horn spend some time honing their Jedi laser-deflection skills on several remotes. If a remote's laser hits flesh, it really stings, but there's no permanent damage. At one point while the two are engaging in Casual Danger Dialog Mara is almost shot in the face, but Corran intercepts with his hand. Amused, Mara says she owes him one. She delivers in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights, one of Ligeia's death cultists takes a plasma blast for the Big Bad.
- In The Silmarillion: the elf lady Aredhel takes a javelin thrown by her husband and meant for their son. It's only a flesh wound, so she asks to the king her brother that her husband be spared...and then she dies in the night, because the weapon was poisoned.
- In Les Misérables, Eponine takes a bullet for her unrequited crush Marius. Ironic, because she deliberately led him to the barricades so that he would be killed and wouldn't be with his love Cosette.
- The Action Heros Handbook has a chapter on how to properly take a bullet (so you can survive with minimal injuries to yourself).
- In Tigana, Dianora combines this trope with Human Shield by jumping in front of a crossbow bolt.... but yanking a guy she doesn't like along with her. He winds up taking the shot in the shoulder.
- In the climatic battle at the end of the first Safehold book Off Armageddon Reef, a midshipman tries to Take The Crossbow Bolt for his king. King Haarahld instead grabs the midshipman to Take The Bullet for him instead. The king dies from bloodloss soon after, though his Heroic Sacrifice makes him a martyr and hero to his people.
- In Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! series novel, The Widow's Son, the elderly schemer Pietro Maldonado intervenes in a duel where his nephew Sigismundo, a hothead who knows nothing about guns, has trapped himself in a duel with the best pistol-shooter in all of Napoli. Pietro, in his intervention, surprises the protaganists and takes the bullet meant for his nephew. Who, on his very first go with a firearm, has Beginner's Luck in that he shoots the best gun in town full in the groin.
- In Warrior Cats, throughout the book SkyClan's Destiny, Stick believes that a cat named Harley "stole" his daughter when she really does love him. In the ending Stick is about to kill Harley when his daughter Red leaps in front of him and dies because of it.
- Prince Almorante in The Chronicles of Magravandias dies taking a sword for his enemy Valraven. People who hated him only minutes before were moved to tears by his sacrifice.
- In Galaxy of Fear: Ghost of the Jedi, DV-9 takes a blaster bolt for Tash Arranda. He lives — er, "lives", being a droid — and just needs some new parts, later claiming that he will bear the scar forever. Even though as a droid he should be able to replace that battered outer shell.
- In the Halo novel Fall of Reach, the orbital shipyard Cradle pulls an epic one, maneuvering into position between the UNSC and Covenant fleets and using its massive bulk to absorb the Covenant fire.
- In Malinda Lo's Adaptation Amber takes a bullet for Reese. She gets better, thanks to her healing powers.
- Happens twice in Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. In the second book, Alanna takes an arrow for Prince Jon, but it only results in a painful arm wound. In the fourth, Liam Ironarm dies by taking several arrows for now-King Jon during the coronation coup.
- In Blackout, Shaun does this to protect President Ryman from a dart loaded with live Kellis-Amberlee virus. He's the only one in the room at the time who knows he's immune to KA.
- Young James Bond's life is saved in By Royal Command when the girl he loves pushes him aside when he is shot at. She is mortally wounded, and he accompanies her in her last moments.
- In the Firefly episode "Jaynestown", a character in the town of Canton takes a shotgun blast meant for Jayne, whom the town has idolized as their hero. In a twist, Jayne tells him it was a stupid thing to do, and fully means it. It's interesting that Jayne is so clearly troubled by this, given that he's been shown to be an amoral son of a bitch in previous and subsequent episodes. His distress is evidently because the man died for someone like him. Due to how troubled he was by it, his method of dealing with the the one who pulled the trigger (an old partner no less) is especially brutal.
- Spaced: Mike takes a paintball pellet for Tim, complete with side dive and long "Noooooo". The parody also includes the fact that Mike was a good twenty feet away and loudly announced his presence, making it seem like the shooter was willing to patiently wait while Mike ran in the way of the shot. And Mike starts coughing up paint. (Because he'd been eating paintballs.)
- The paintball version (including a parody of the Pietŕ Plagiarism scene) also occurs during an MI-5 training exercise in the spy comedy The Piglet Files.
- DL takes a bullet for Niki. Sort of.
- Claire does this in the episode "Trust and Blood" when she shields Matt and Daphne from Danko's goons after Daphne is shot. Of course, Claire can regenerate.
- Happens in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the episode "The Siege".
- In Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Apple", Spock pushes Kirk out of the way of some lethally poisonous thorns and takes them in the chest in his stead. Luckily, it turns out that the toxin isn't all that harmful to Vulcans, and Spock claims to be in more distress from the antitoxin McCoy gave him before he woke up.
- Doctor Who
- The episode "The Doctor's Daughter" has an example of this in Jenny, who jumps in front of a bullet for the Doctor. She comes back to life later.
- Dalek-Human Sec does the same thing, except it's a Dalek laser instead of a bullet. Seems the Doctor forgot about it in the series finale Journey's End, when the Doctor has flashbacks of all the people who gave their lives for him in the past.
- And AGAIN in Eleven's first series where Rory takes the bullet for the Doctor, and expires. He is also immediately deleted from history having had the misfortune to die near a timey-wimey crack of doom. Fortunately, he got better several episodes later, albeit in a very complicated manner.
- Handled realistically in the last episode of NCIS Season 2. Kate dives in front of Gibbs, but it's not done in slow-mo, and she yells "Shooter!", not "Nooooo!" She is hit in the chest but is unhurt because she's wearing a vest. She stands up, the team congratulates her and then she gets promptly sniped in the head by Ari, the main recurring bad guy for that Season.
- Babylon 5
- "Into the Fire", season 4 episode 6: Happens with two coalition ships (one Drazi and the other a full-on Minbari cruiser) taking missiles meant for the White Star (well, really meant for Sheridan, Delenn, and Lorien; not that a missile would do much to Lorien). This immediately after the Vorlons and Shadows bragged about how the other races would fall in line. Oops.
- Delenn twice surrendered her life to fate to protect Sheridan. Once by asking a Vorlon inquisitor to kill her instead and again walking into a thrown knife.
- Make that three times — when he temporarily returns to his proper time frame after becoming Unstuck in Time, she gives him her time stabiliser, becoming lost in his place.
- Near the end of the Bones Season 3, Booth steps in front of a bullet meant for Brennan. We get the tearful pleading to hang on and not leave, but it's worth noting that first, Brennan grabs Booth's gun and shoots the attacker dead, in the throat.
- In The Invisible Man, the protagonist's brother pushes him out of the way of a gunman (they're running side by side at the time) and takes a full spray of machine gun bullets in the chest. Obviously, he doesn't make it.
- In an episode of Monk, Harold takes a bullet for Dr. Kroger. Slightly subverted in that Harold decides to gloat to Monk about his action by telling him to "beat that", causing distress to Monk.
- Played with in Friends, when Joey appears to try to do this for Ross when the boys mistake the sound of a car backfiring for a gunshot. Turns out he was actually trying to save his sandwich, which was right next to Ross.
- Alia, the "Evil Leaper" of Quantum Leap completes her redemption by throwing Sam to the ground before the also-Leaped Zoey can shoot him. She Leaps just as the shotgun blast hits her. It's never explicitly stated that she survives, but most fans assume so.
- Oz. Kareem Said's life is saved when one of his Muslim followers throws himself in front of a knife wielded by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Ironically that same inmate had joined the Muslims to kill Said, but ended up converting to Islam for real. Likewise Augustus Hill takes a blade meant for surrogate father Burr Redding. These acts cause both characters to suffer a Heroic BSOD.
- The Vampire Diaries, Damon does this for Elena in 02x03 then tries to deny this is because he cares about her.
- The X-Files, "Monday". The girlfriend of a bank robber saves Mulder's life this way. Her death breaks the "Groundhog Day" Loop in which they are all trapped.
- Ace Lightning. Lady Illusion takes the bullet for Ace. Interetsing in that she actually knocked him out and morphed into him prior to the battle.
- CSI: New York
- Stella's mentor and father figure shields her with his body from a gunfight between his brother and Mac. He's fatally shot, while Stella's uninjured.
- Also done when the characters are all in a bar that's shot up. Danny was sitting nearest the window, but the other main contributing factor to his being shot in the back was that he threw himself over his wife, Lindsay, to protect her from the flying bullets.
- CSI has Ecklie do this, pushing himself in between his daughter Morgan and a drive-by shooting. However, this could or could not be an example, because it's unclear whether he was the target or her.
- Not as serious as an actual bullet, but the scene itself was very traumatic for Seira in the Japanese drama Shokojo Sera. After losing heart and begging down on her knees in front of the Alpha Bitch, Maria decides it would be funny if they started throwing tomatoes at the despairing Seira. She then bullies the rest of the class to do so, including Seira's close friend Masami. When Masami reluctantly was about to do it, Kaito the servant boy runs in and shields Seira, getting hit instead.
- The A-Team: Howlin' Mad Murdock jumps in front of a mook trying to shoot Hannibal in Season 2's "Curtain Call".
- Clark Kent, whenever he isn't catching the bullet, instead takes it in the chest or back.
- An unusual example in "Pariah": Alicia (who is not bulletproof) takes a (normal) bullet for Clark because she promised to always keep his secret.
- In the episode "Stiletto" Clark takes the bullet for Lois. This is an especially heroic move, since he's surrounded by kryptonite and so the bullet actually hurts and wounds him.
- The Vampire Diaries: Damon takes the bullet for Elena in 02x03. Of course, he's a vampire and has a Healing Factor.
- Omen of Dark Oracle, a reformed villain, jumped in front of a magical blast that was aimed at Cally in the Grand Finale, getting himself erased from existence for his trouble.
- In the Korean Drama The City Hunter, Kim Na Na makes a Diving Save to protect Yoon Sung, ending up with the bullet in her shoulder.
- In one episode of Misfits, future Simon jumped down in front of Alisha to save her from being shot by a crazy dude as in his timeline she died.
- In the Series 5 finale of Law & Order: UK, "Deal", DS Matt Devlin takes several bullets for friend/colleague Alesha and Kaden (the young man he was about to escort into Witness Protection.) He doesn't execute the purest form of the trope; instead, he pushes both them down/out of the way first, resulting in no time to duck himself. We are told in the beginning of the next episode that he took two bullets directly to the chest, dying of his wounds off-screen. The person giving us this information, his partner Ronnie, expresses regret that he was not able to get to Matt in time to do this for him.
- In the Sanctuary episode "Hero II: Broken Arrow", Walter makes the whole diving save to protect Kate (and the living superhero suit she's wearing) from an energy bolt coming from an Ultraviolet Gun.
- In an episode of Sliders that first shows that Anyone Can Die in this series, the following season's Big Bad extracts a chemical he needs to survive from Professor Arturo's neck, rendering him half-conscious. He then plans to shoot Quinn, Arturo's brilliant student, only for Arturo to step in front of him. As this Earth is about to be destroyed by pulsars, they end up having to leave Arturo's body behind to be incinerated with everything else. Interestingly, they never encounter any other double of Arturo, presumably because John Rhys-Davies left the show for good.
- An episode of Legend of the Seeker: Panis Rahl does it to save Zedd from a thrown Dacra. He's the previous Lord of D'Hara, who has learned the error of his ways. Also, he killed Zedd's father, after the latter plotted to have his infant son Darken killed.
- In the pilot episode of Earth: Final Conflict, the wealthy enterpreneur Jonathan Doors jumps in front of a sniper's bullet meant for the Taelon ambassador Da'an. He's pronounced dead at the scene, and the shooter escapes. Halfway through the episode, the season's protagonist William Boone discovers that Doors faked his own death in order to lead La Résistance against the Taelons. The shooter and the doctor who confirmed his death are working for him. Later on, we find out that the Taelons are, in fact, Energy Beings and can't be harmed with bullets.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- In the Alternate Reality Episode "The Wish" Angel throws himself in the path of Vampire!Xander as he's about to stab Buffy with a crossbow bolt. As Wishverse!Buffy is a cold-blooded killer without loved ones of any kind she just walks through Angel's dust to stake Xander without even changing expression.
- When an assassin starts shooting inside Sunnydale High, Oz pushes Willow out of the way and gets shot in the arm himself. Luckily it's just a scrape, and eventually leads to their relationship.
- In the 3rd season episode of Glee, "Michael", Blaine shoves his boyfriend, Kurt, out of the way of a slushy being thrown by his Smug Snake Stalker with a Crush to keep him from being humiliated. (Little did he know he was also saving him from taking rock salt to the eye).
- During the climax of one episode of Person of Interest, Detective Fusco dives in front of a bullet to save the life of the POI of the Week. But the Heroic Sacrifice part is subverted: the bullet hits him in the rear, and he's basically fine (gets taken to the ER by the paramedics). As they roll him into the ambulance, he says he can already hear the guys back at the station laughing at him for getting shot in the ass.
- Stargate SG-1: In the second episode of season 7, Jonas Quinn takes a staff weapon blast aimed at Daniel Jackson, expiating for having caused Jackson's death (and ascension) at the end of season 5. He survives, though.
- In the Merlin episode, "The Disir", Mordred jumps in front of Arthur to take a spear that was thrown by one of the Disir.
- In the first season finale of Space Cases, Bova jumps in front of a (harmless to him) Lightning Gun blast meant for the ladies, before retaliating with his own electricity powers.
- In the season 2 finale of Highlander, Richie shields Joe from a drive-by shooting. Being an Immortal, Richie got better.
- In the first episode of Highlander The Raven, police officer Claudia Hoffman does this for Amanda, not knowing Amanda is Immortal.
- In the Grand Finale of Breaking Bad, Walter White has an M60 in the trunk of his car that he is set to activate to kill off former Neo-Nazi business partners. He also has every intention of killing former protege Jesse Pinkman, until seeing what they had done to him brings a change of heart. He tackles Jesse to the ground to distract the others and then activates the gun while shielding Jesse's body, taking a hit that eventually kills him.
- This happens in The Wrong Mans after a case of Dragon Their Feet puts Phil in danger. Sam jumps in front of him and takes a bullet to the arm, the police gun down the dying criminal and all appears well... and it turns out Phil had a bulletproof vest, which Sam laments not knowing.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Bullets Over Bel Air", Will takes a bullet for Carlton after the two are caught in an attempted mugging. Will ends up using this to force Carlton to give up the gun he purchased.
- In Tower of God, to protect Miseng, who just jumped into the fray between Viole and Urek, Viole grabbed her and took Urek's One-Hit KO technique to the back, causing a bloody mess.
- In Orange Marmalade Ma-ri and Soo-ri have a conversation under a group of pipes badly tied up, it snaps and Ma-ri pushes Soo-ri out of the way, taking the entire lot herself. While badly hurt, Ma-ri's fast acting healing kicks in which reveals her to be a vampire.
- Helloween's song, (The Departed) Sun is Going Down.
I would die for you would you die with me?
No, you can't deny!
Would you catch the bullet that was meant for me?
Blaze across the sky!!
- The whole point of the song by The Rasmus called "Shot". Sample lyrics:
''I'll take the shot for you
I'll be the shield for you
Needless to say
I'll stand in your way
I'll take the shot for you
I'll give my life for you\\"
- The song "San Francisco Fan", performed by Cab Calloway among other singers, is about a female performer who takes 'a dozen slugs' for her no-good gambling boyfriend after he's caught cheating at a game and someone tries to shoot him for it.
Once they caught him cheatin'
And he knew that he was beaten
When a miner aimed a pistol at his head.
Fanny when she seen him
Ran and jumped right in between 'em
And she stopped a dozen slugs of poison lead.
- The Smiths in "What Difference Does It Make?"
But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you
- The Bruno Mars song "Grenade" references this trope in every chorus
I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I'd jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same
- The tragic conclusion of the David Geddes song "Run Joey Run" has Julie taking a bullet from her enraged father meant for her boyfriend Joey.
- In the official video clip for Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'", three of the quarterbacks throw themselves before the fire of a Tommy gun to save the singer.
- In The Complete History of America (abridged), Uncle Sam fires a bullet at Spade, and Flush takes it. The bullet is an oversized prop on a stick—the same one used in the Lincoln assassination, in fact.
- In The Golden Apple, when Circe hands the apple out to Ulysses, he turns to make his back an easy target for Paris's knife. Seeing this, Achilles calls out to Ulysses and intercepts the blow for him, dying in his place.
- If you've played an Escort Mission, chances are you've tried this at least once.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, a boulder is hurled towards King Mickey and Goofy pushes him out of the way, taking the full force of the giant rock. Feeling sad and full of angry vengeance, Sora, Donald, and the King run forward, battling through hordes of Heartless only to find that Goofy was only knocked out the whole time.
- World of Warcraft
- Warriors can learn an ability called Intervene which allows them to take a shot or melee attack for a party member, thereby preventing the Squishy Wizard or even squishier Priest from being... well, squished.
- There's also a warrior protection talent Vigilence which allows the warrior to transfer threat generated by another character to his/herself and redirect the path of attacks from the enemy.
- Paladins also have an ability named Hand of Sacrifice, which will redirect 30% of incoming damage from the target to the paladin, up to 100% of the paladin's hitpoints. Like Superman above, they have the ability to become (briefly) invulnerable...
- Paladins also used to have an ability called Divine Intervention, which instantly killed the Paladin in return for giving its target full invulnerability for up to three minutes at the cost of immobilizing them.
- In the end of the Gilneas storyline, Liam Greymane is killed by Sylvanas Windrunner when he takes a poisoned arrow intended for his father, king Genn Greymane.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic is quite adept at these in all continuities, having taken the bullet for Shahra the Genie in Sonic and the Secret Rings and Cream and Chris in Sonic X.
- Speaking of Shahra, she pays Sonic back for the deed when Erazor offers up Sonic's life in sacrifice to gain the power to control the World Rings. Rather than slicing the hedgehog in half, Erazor lands the blade in Shahra's back.
- Maria did this for Shadow. Shadow was traumatized, although not as much as his creator and Maria's (and Eggman's) grandfather, Professor Gerald, who in a fit of nihilism altered Shadow's memories and a few other things so that Shadow would destroy the world. Ironically, Gerald had earlier set up a Xanatos Gambit to allow Shadow to defend the world.
- In Sonic Colors, Tails pushes Sonic out the way of Eggman's mind control beam.
- The World Ends with You
- Beat attempts what may be the stupidest examples of this trope ever when he tries doing this, instead of a more appropriate Diving Save, to save Rhyme from being hit by a car.
- He also does it again later for Neku. A mind-controlled Shiki is attacking the pair; Beat sees no choice but to take her out. Neku turns to face him as he angrily says they'll do no such thing. He gets attacked by Shiki from behind for his trouble. Beat is quick to take the hit for him.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Ness and Lucas are being attacked by Wario. Wario fires his trophy gun at Ness a few times, and Ness dodges all the shots easily. An irritated Wario then changes his target to Lucas. Lucas, being the cowardly little brat he is, doesn't even try to dodge, so Ness pushes Lucas out of the way, complete with slow motion camera panning, and is turned into a trophy in the process. It should be noted that in this world, being turned into a trophy is like death.
- And Donkey Kong for Diddy Kong (in their case, Donkey Kong actually had to punch Diddy Kong out of the way).
- Bloodline Champions used to have this effect for the Guardian's Thrust ability when hitting an ally with it — part of the damage the ally would take while the effect lasted would be done to the Guardian, the amount of damage the Guardian taking from that effect also being reduced. Also was an example of Synchronization.
- Near the end of Fable II, Your dog does this when the Big Bad captures and tries to kill you. The Big Bad then subverts things by shooting you anyway.
- At the very end of Starcraft II, protagonist Jim Raynor does this for his Tragic Monster Love Interest Sarah Kerrigan in one of the rare examples of Taking the Bullet where the one doing the shielding is not physically harmed. (In this case, grace of Raynor's Power Armor not being useless.)
- Completing the romance sidequest with Anera in Shadowlords requires taking a death effect attack for her. Though the Power of Love keeps you alive at 1hp instead of killing you.
- Final Fantasy
- The series often gives Paladins and Knights the ability "Cover," which, when active, will make the character automatically receive any physical attack aimed at a weakened teammate. Especially if said attack would have killed the target. Even if the attack will kill the Paladin/Knight.
- Those classes also typically have the "Counter Attack" ability, which lets them retaliate for free whenever they're hit. This, combined with Cover, makes these characters into excellent meat shields, taking the pressure off your weaker party members while also dealing extra damage.
- In Final Fantasy IV, as soon as he sees him, Tellah starts beating up a Spoony Bard named Edward. His daughter, Anna, ran away to be with Edward because she loved Edward. Sadly, when King Baron attacked, we find Anna played this trope straight (with arrows) at the cost of the person's life.
- In Final Fantasy IX, Zidane has the Protect Girls ability, which, as the name implies, is a variant of Cover that only protects female characters.
- Tidus takes one of The Emperor's Flare attacks for Yuna in Dissidia 012: Duodecim, despite him being on Chaos' side and not holding any memories of being with her on her pilgrimage in their original game. This prompts Jecht to transfer his own energy to Tidus in order to save his life, allowing the Emperor to abduct Jecht and use him in the following cycle.
- Fire Emblem
- Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has two examples. First, Jarod's friend jumps in the way of the Black Knight's sword, prompting Micaiah to tell the Black Knight to let Jarod escape and bury his friend]]. Later, if this is not your first play-through, Micaiah has the option of jumping in front of the knife meant for King Pelleas — a rare case of Taking the Bullet for someone who actually wants the bullet.
- There is also the skill Guard, which allows a character to protect a character that they have a support with if they are next to them, though it doesn't always work.
- Near the end of King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!, Cedric accidentally takes a magical bullet for Graham (at least in the PC CD-ROM adaptation; all other versions had him being accidentally Taken for Granite). And in King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, the Troll King takes magical lightning for Rosella.
- In Persona 4 party members with high-enough Social Link rankings will do this for you. This comes to play in the True Ending's boss, where each party member knocks you out of the way to take Izanami's lethal attacks in your place.
- The same mechanic appears in Persona 3 Portable, which is based off Persona 4's combat system.
- In the original Persona 3, Shinjiro takes a bullet meant for Ken as an apology for having caused his mother's death, and later, Junpei takes a bullet for Chidori. As a result, Shinjiro dies, but Junpei survives when Chidori sacrifices herself to heal him.
- Subverted in Disgaea 2 when Adell takes an energy blast meant for Rozalin, fulfilling every aspect of the trope... Except for the fact that, in an incredible example of Cutscene Power to the Max (the blast-ee is a Hopeless Boss Fight), the blast doesn't so much as faze him.
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice does this three times in total:
- First when Gold Knuckle, a minor character, does it because he wants more time in the spotlight. He appears to die, but gets better...after about 10 seconds. Naturally, it get a Lampshade Hanging courtesy of Almaz.
- Second time this happens is with Geoffrey, who takes an actual bullet from Salvatore for Mao. Where this is taken dramatically, he gets better because he was actually prepared to take one wearing a Bullet Proof Vest at the time.
- The third time happens with Almaz, who takes a blunt of a trap made to Sapphire. This is again taken with drama until Almaz points out that he is perfectly fine. Unlike the other two examples, however, the trap was an poison needle inside a doll, and he started to suffer from the effects later.
- Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten has Valvatorez pulling this off to defend Emizel from Desco's energy blast. Similar to Adell above, it doesn't faze him at all and then he proceeds to lecture Desco on how poor form that is for a final boss.
- In Eternal Daughter, Hume dies doing this to save his half-sister, Mia.
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has Captain Bartlett draw a missile away from Nagase.
- In Tales of Symphonia, Kratos takes an energy blast in the back for Lloyd. It's also right after it's revealed he's Lloyd's father, so it makes a lot of sense. And a lot of ouch. Luckily it doesn't kill him.
- In Tales of the Abyss, Tear does this while jumping in front the petrified Luke and gets slashed in the arm instead.
- In Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Milennium, Alys does this for Chaz, taking the hit from Zio's Dark Wave and leading to what may be one of the saddest video game deaths of all.
- In the final chapter of Super Paper Mario, Nastasia takes an attack meant for Count Bleck. She gets better.
- In True Crime: Streets of LA, Rafferty took the bullet for Nick when Rocky was about shoot him cuffed to the chair.
- Just before the final battle of Batman: Arkham Asylum Batman takes a dart full of Titan meant for Commissioner Gordon.
- In Dragon Quest IX, the Warrior class can learn Whipping Boy which lets a warrior take blows meant for a teammate. And, better yet, the Paladin class is the master of this, with high defense plus the ability to deflect all attacks for all party members. Both classes make great meat shields for your magic users.
- Baldur's Gate
- If you romance Jaheira in Baldur's Gate 2, a band of thugs will hold her hostage and demand your valuables during your travels. You have the option of offering to take her place as a hostage. If you do, the bandits shoot you instead and boy does this piss off Jaheira. After your party demolishes the bandits (they aren't that tough) Jaheira will be absolutely furious with you for risking your life for her this way.
- If your character is equipped with the Shield of Arrow Reflection, the shot will instead bounce back at the bandit, inflicting major damage on him. Jaheira still throws a fit.
- In the Flash game Immor Tall you spend the entire game doing this as an alien trying to protect the family it befriended during a war. As you shield them from machine guns, tanks, and bombers, your movements become slower and slower, until you finally succumb to your wounds and die.
- Helena's mother in Dead or Alive does this to save her daughter. Dead or Alive 2 has her pushing Helena out of the way while 4 has her run in front. Dimensions uses both.
- Metal Gear
- In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Naked Snake ends up pulling this in order to save Tatyana from Ocelot's bullet. It also had him knocking into Ocelot as well, causing his aim to awry, and resulted in Big Boss getting a muzzle flash burn on his right eye.
- In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Jonathan ends up rushing to Big Boss, warning him of an attack from one of the paranoid soldiers (Gene had earlier driven his own men into a mass panic about being executed by an inside man by Gene for "betraying" him using his voice.), and ended up taking a bullet in the head and the chest for Big Boss. This action was more than enough to have Big Boss screaming in anguish.
- Super Robot Wars
- Defensive support in the Super Robot Wars series. Russel Bergman from the Original Generation games has this as his specialty.
- In Super Robot Wars Gaiden, this happened to Ricardo in an attempt to save Tytti from imminent death from her arch-nemesis. As a result, she became Allergic to Love.
- The patient of a Medic in Team Fortress 2 is expected to do this: that way, the Medic stays alive, hopefully continues to heal the patient if they live, and gains uber-charge, which builds faster on injured team-mates. This is especially seen on Arena "sudden death" matches, where Medics are necessary to keep the team alive.
- In Mother 3 Flint winds up taking two extremely powerful psionic attacks for his son Lucas.
- Most skillshots in League of Legends can be intercepted by another body, so this is an option, although one you only want to use if you're more expendable and you're sure your target wasn't going to dodge it anyway. A number of spells that aren't blocked outright also have their damage reduced for each target they pass through, so this can be used to mitigate the effect. Of particular note is Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole attack, a long-range sniper shot that locks onto a target and never misses, but can be intercepted by a nearby teammate. Elise is also noted for being extremely difficult to skillshot in spider form because of the spiderlings that follow her around
- In The Walking Dead, when Lily suspects Ben (If you saved Doug in Episode 1 instead of Carley) being the one giving the bandits supplies and tries to shoot him, but Doug jumps in the way and takes the bullet instead.
- One Paragon version of the encounter with Conrad Verner in Mass Effect 3 has him dive in front of a gunshot to save Shepard from an assassin. Then it turns out a quick-thinking bystander sabotaged the gun with her omni-tool, and the gunshot sound was the gun's mechanisms breaking.
- Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure has this done on a couple of occasions. The most notable instance is done by Elisabeth to Marie.
- The game Puppetshow: Destiny Undone ends with Cricks, the insane Big Bad with a vendetta against the Puppetmaster, throwing a vial of acid at him with the intention of blinding him. However, the Puppetmaster's young daughter Felicia jumps in the way and takes the acid intended for her father.
- In the The King of Fighters 2000 game, the Psycho Soldiers ending has Bao jumping in the air and taking a huge blast from a Kill Sat to protect his teammates. Kensou retrieves the fatally wounded Bao and absorbs the remaining energy through a Kiss of Life, both recovering his lost powers and saving Bao's life.]
- Bumblebee takes a blast from Megatron that was meant for Optimus at the end of the first level of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Cue Optimus going to town on Megatron.
- In Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, during the mission aboard the U.S.S. Obama, assuming Chloe Lynch is rescued by killing DeFalco and Farid survives his playable section, Farid saves Chloe from Salazar's betrayal in this manner.
- During Super Adventure Rockman, one of the cutscenes has Quick Man taking a Shadow Blade in the back to protect a vulnerable Rockman and being Killed Off for Real after his Heel-Face Turn. This is very much Played for Drama, complete with a somber burial scene afterwards.
- Tears to Tiara 2: Tarte takes Metronius' Wave Motion Gun for Hamil. She survives through Divine Intervention from her mother.
- Subverted in the Space Tree episode "Kill or Kick": When Space Tree hears that Ghost Spider's plan went off without a hatch, Space Tree executes his plan. With a gun. The Commander leaps in front of Ghost Spider, slow motion, "NOOOO!" and all, but the gun hasn't even fired. Turns out Space Tree's plan was just to kick Ghost Spider.
- During the final Dragon Shrine showdown of Bunnykill 4, Snowball, after defending an unconscious Ruby from a storm of giant shurikens hurled by Flint, gets his sword knocked out of his hands when Flint hurls a powered-up shuriken at him. Ruby wakes up as Flint hurls his final shuriken at him (complete with the requisite slow-mo), and sacrifices herself to save his life by taking the shuriken in the back. Snowball proceeds to go into "White Avenger" mode and proceeds to kick seven shades of hell out of Flint.
- Survival of the Fittest
- Subverted in v1 with baseball players Michael Suarez and Scott Jameson. Barry Coleson High's baseball team was so close to each other that they were almost like brothers to each other, so when the two finally meet up and start to talk, Mike pushes Scott out of the way when he hears someone behind him, taking the bullets that would've killed Scott and being paralyzed by them (though he says "Scotty, look out!" not, "No!"). The subversion comes when Scott doesn't run like Mike tells him to, transfixed due to fear, and gets fatally shot anyway.
- Played more straightly in v4, when Jonathan Jarocki shoots at Charlene Norris. Alex Campbell does indeed jump in front of her, getting a bullet to the shoulder. Charlene, however, was injured, but not as bad as Alex.
- In the final battle of There Will Be Brawl, the End of Days (a Game and Watch octopus) starts spearing everyone in sight. Fox pushes Marth out of the way of one tentacle, getting himself speared in the process. Made all the more significant because until that final battle, they were on opposite sides of the law.
- Subverted in the final chapter of Sailor Nothing, as Aki is merely wounded, not killed, in the process. It's also toyed with in that two people dive for the same bullet, the second pushing the first out of the way in addition to the original target.
- In Interviewing Leather, when Todd Chapman is exploring the scenes of Dynamo Girl's heroics, he mentions seeing the city councilman she caught a bullet for.
- In the Downfall parody series Llama Priest by YouTube user The Silver Universe, Gunsche does this to protect Hitler from being killed by Goebbels.
- The Simpsons
- Apu takes a bullet for James Woods, only to find it bounced off another bullet.
- Another episode had Homer attend bodyguard training, where he was tested for this. Attendants were marked on the effort put into their "Noooo!" among other things.
- And yet another episode had elderly Springfieldian Cornelius Chapman taking "a bullet for Huey Long" in his past: the assassin opens up on Huey Long, who takes a few hits before Cornelius leaps by (with the obligatory "Nooooo!"), taking exactly one bullet and then landing.
- Also parodied in an episode where Ned Flanders is going to baptize Bart and Lisa, only to have Homer leap in the way of the water at the last second, complete with slow-motion dive and Big "NO!".
Bart: Homer, you took a baptism for me. How do you feel?
Homer: Oh, Bartholomew, I feel like Saint Augustine of Hippo after his conversion by Ambrose of Milan.
Flanders: (astonished) Homer, what did you just say?
Homer: I SAID SHUT YOUR UGLY FACE, FLANDERS!
- In a subverted example, Fry saves Leela by taking a giant space wasp sting meant for her. Fry ends up dying from this, and Leela starts to have hallucinations of him telling her to wake up. Ultimately it is revealed that the space wasp's stinger pierced right through Fry and nicked Leela, thus injecting its venom into her instead of him. She's been in a coma ever since, and the hallucinations were the real, healed up, Fry. He's been at her bedside trying to wake her up. Quite touching, really.
- In "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences", Fry leaps in front of Leela and takes it when she was about to be shot by a vaporizer. Subverted when everyone realizes it was actually a teleporter. Though at the time Fry was unaware of this.
- In the final battle against Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko takes a full-on lightning blast (complete with a Big "NO!" in Slow Mo) meant for Katara. He had been taught to redirect lightning, however, which meant that he was just badly injured instead of killed outright, since he couldn't fully redirect it in the middle of a Diving Save.
- Humorously played with in an episode of Family Guy where Peter tells the family one of his relatives took a bullet for someone (a president if I remember). Cut to a scene where the intended target is being shot by a rapidly firing gun several times. Suddenly a Peter look-a-like relative jumps in between the gunner and target, takes exactly one bullet complete with bullet time slow motion and a big no and drops to the floor as the scene resumes normal speed and the target is shot several more times.
- SpongeBob SquarePants. An interesting inversion of this was played when SpongeBob leapt in front of Patrick just as a speeding car was about to spatter mud all over him, protecting the ultra rare and super valuable Mermaid Man trading card he was holding in his hand.
- Code Lyoko
- In season 1, it is frequent for the Lyoko Warriors to be taking a laser beam to protect Aelita — especially Odd, since he was unable to block them. Quite justified, since a devirtualization isn't fatal for them, while it would be for Aelita (and even if it weren't, only she can deactivate XANA's current scheme, often with mere seconds to spare). Much less prevalent starting season 2, since XANA wants Aelita alive at this point.
- In season 3, it is Aelita's turn at taking the laser beam to save the Lyoko Core. (At this point, protecting her this way isn't always necessary, as she is no longer in danger of ceasing to exist if she "dies" on Lyoko.)
- Winx Club
- In the second season, Riven almost dies when he takes a blast from the Brainwashed and Crazy Bloom to save an already injured Musa. When Sky talks Bloom out of it, she uses her powers to heal him.
- In an episode of the fifth season, Musa got turned into a giant mutant seal after getting hit by one of Tritannus' spells that was meant for Aisha.
- In another episode of the fifth season, Icy actually takes one of Bloom's attacks that were meant for Tritannus, which Bloom considers an Out-of-Character Moment for Icy as she had clearly not expected her to do so.
- In Justice League Superman takes a ball that apparently annihilated matter for his friends. Luckily for him, it turned out to only be a time travel portal.
- Transformers Animated
- Bumblebee takes a blast of Meltdown's acid (which melts through basically anything ever, including Cybertronians) for Bulkhead. Fortunately, the Autobots have Sari's key to repair him.
- He did it in the three-episode pilot too, shielding most of the human supporting cast from Starscream.
- Rock and Rule has Zip do this as a Mook-Face Turn when the demon tries hurling a blast of... um, something at the heroes.
- An episode of Care Bears has this. Wish Bear saved the distressed kid of the week by taking a blast from one of Professor Coldheart's inventions for him. It didn't kill her, just turn her grey and apathetic. Cue the Swiss Army Tears.
- Leonidas Van Rook does this to save Drew Saturday in The Secret Saturdays.
- King of the Hill
- Parodied when Peggy starts throwing tomatoes at King Phillip at the Renaissance fair one of his men dives in front of him and takes a few hits.
- In another episode ("Dog Dale Afternoon"), after Hank successfully escorted Dale out of the college watch tower in which the police mistaken him for a sniper when he was actually exterminating bugs, a vigilant sniper locked in at Dale and Hank jumped in taking the bullet for him. Good thing Hank was wearing a bulletproof vest.
- Done in the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "One Million Emotions". An alien artifact that is charitably described as "the emotional electric chair" essentially subjects anyone who touches it to Mind Rape as the stored emotions within blast into that person's mind and drive them insane. The object goes flying straight at Niko, causing Shane to leap in front of her and intercept it. He takes the full brunt of the emotional blast, but manages to retain his sanity because his altered genetics offered some protection. Fanon speculates that it changed him more than he admits.
- The Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon sees Proto Man invoking this trope. Mega Man keeps dodging Proto Man's shots, so Proto Man takes aim at the Lincoln Memorial instead. It works.
- In The Boondocks, Uncle Ruckus did for the mall Santa when Riley shoots multiple BB rounds.
- American Dad!
- In the episode "Stannie Get Your Gun", Stan (paralyzed by a gun accident) took the bullet for Hayley when a fired gun mascot aimed a sniper at her upon singing an anti-gun song. The bullet helped cured his paralysis when it dislodged first bullet that hit him before.
- A suicidal lemur takes a bullet for Francine in another episode.
- In the episode "You Made Me" in Adventure Time, Finn takes a blow from Lemongrab's Sound Sword for Princess Bubblegum. The resulting attack knocks him out and tears apart his hat.
- Though not exactly lethal, in Total Drama Island, Cody leaps in front of a dodgeball (in slow-mo) for Gwen. Sierra later does the same thing for him two seasons later, except with a meatball.
- In a flashback for an episode of Duckman back when Cornfed and Duckman first met, Cornfed takes many hits from a criminals gun, he survives.
- Played for Laughs in The Penguins of Madagascar, with Skipper blocking an angry pigeon's droppings for the park commissioner.
- Parodied in the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y.", where Numbuh Two make a slow-motion dive to save his little brother Tommy from a snot bullet.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien:
- Squire Winston takes a lethal energy blast for Sir George.
- In the episode "Enemy of My Frenemy", Kevin takes a blow for Gwen; he recovers.
- Metalocalypse. At the end of "Klokblocked", the extremist faction Succuboso Explosion fires their electrically charged "loin extractor" at Nathan — Murderface heroically dives in front of him and takes it full in the crotch.
- Terra in Teen Titans deliberately invokes this by aiming a boulder towards Robin and Starfire, knowing that one or the other would inevitably take the hit and only leave one titan to deal with afterwards.
- The first episode of Black Dynamite parodies the trope by having Cream Corn take a bullet for Michael Jackson. He survived; his timing was a little early and the bullet got lodged in his rear. Michael returned the favor towards the end.
- In the Dan Vs. episode "Elise's Parents", Dan takes a poisoned dart for his best friend's father-in-law, but is saved by several layers of duct tape he used to tape on the tape recorder the use of which got them into that mess to begin with.
- Happens quite a few times in ''Wakfu:
- During season 1 episode 25, Sadlygrove takes a lethal shot from Razortime aimed for Eva and Amalia.
- Yugo and Phaeris do this to each other a whole season later while fighting Quilby, which lampshades it with the quote above.
- During the last episode, Evangeline intercepts a shot from Remington Smisse meant for her sister Cleophelia. Fortunately, it just hits her shoulder.
- Alexis Goggins was a Real Life seven-year-old who took six bullets for her own mother. She also managed to survive.
- Dr. Liviu Librescu, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor, scientist and academic professor. During the Virginia Tech massacre, Librescu personally kept the door shut to prevent gunman Seung-hui Cho from entering the classroom while his students escaped out the windows. He was shot through the door five times before finally succumbing to a shot to the head. Only one of his 23 students failed to escape.
- The attempt on Ronald Reagan's life by John Hinckley Jr. may have succeeded had it not been for the actions of Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, who leapt in front of Reagan, receiving a wound in his abdomen. He survived. This remains the only time since the Secret Service was officially charged with protecting Presidents in 1906 that a Secret Serviceman has actually taken a bullet for the President.
- All personnel recruited as agents in various police/military-based VIP protection units (with some exceptions like the Secret Service) are trained to do this if the worse should come to the worst when the VIP is in danger. Hence the nickname "Bulletcatchers".
- A somewhat extreme example is Alexander Matrosov, a Red Army soldier during World War II. During an assault on Chernushki village, the Soviets were held off by a German MG 42 (which is the fastest firing single barreled machine gun in history) firing from a pill-box. Matrosov threw himself in front of the massive amount of dakka, blocking the fire and allowing his unit to advance. He was posthumously awarded Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest honour that can be bestowed by the USSR.
Matrosov's deed was praised and exemplified as a device for motivation and morale via newspapers, and afterwards entered the Soviet\Russian culture via the history books and propaganda (like several other greatly romanticized, though largely non-invented acts of heroism). What's interesting is the surfacing number of "firing-port jumpers" both before and after Matrosov. The rough estimate puts them at between 200 and 400. Note that the very definition of the feat means it was voluntary and by all means "above and beyond the call of duty" — which, combined with other realistic considerations, kinda goes against the whole "cannon fodder peasants 'motivated' into frontal assaults by machine-gun-armed NKVD squads" tripe that was once widespread in the USA and is occasionally touted as "the grim truth of the Eastern Front".
- During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Soviet aerial convoys were protected from Stinger-wielding Mujahideen fighters by Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunships. According to some, the pilots were instructed to use their helicopters to physically block the missiles should they get too close to the planes, earning them the nickname "Mandatory Matrosovs". Not as bad as it sounds, however; the Hind is built to stand up to considerable punishment.
- After the July 20 Plot to kill Hitler failed, the plot's conspirators were arrested and placed in front of a firing squad. When Claus von Stauffenberg (one of the plot's ringleaders) was about to be shot, his adjutant, Werner von Haeften in a crowning moment of awesome defiantly placed himself in front of von Stauffenberg, taking the bullets intended for von Stauffenberg. Though the truth of this is disputed somewhat, as the bullets would have gone straight through him and still injured Stauffenberg.
- Late in World War II, the Japanese destroyer Akikaze deliberately charged between the carrier it was escorting and an attacking submarine, taking six torpedo hits in the process. Akikaze was lost with all hands, but saved the carrier.