"You go on ahead. This one is mine." noteThe good guys are on their way to kill the Big Bad, foil the Evil Plan, or rescue the Distressed Damsel, but they only make it so far before a bad guy pops up and gives them the old You Shall Not Pass. Inevitably, one of the team will step up and say, "You guys go on ahead. I'll take care of this guy." He then stays behind to fight the villain while the rest of the group moves on. Often, this process will repeat itself until only one team member is left… and he has to face the Big Bad alone! ...Or not. Contrast with Leave Him to Me and You Shall Not Pass. Usually leads to massive amounts of I Am Your Opponent. May overlap with The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.
— Yang Xiao Long, RWBY
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Anime and Manga
- Naruto uses this trope during the Sasuke Retrieval arc and in the third movie. In the first, Shikamaru's rescue team stay behind one by one to deal with the Sound Four so the rest can continue chasing Sasuke. Eventually it's down to just Naruto and Sasuke himself...
- Bleach anime
- In episode 36, Ichigo fights Kenpachi Zaraki so Ganju and Hanataro can continue on to rescue Rukia.
- In episode 51, Captain Zaraki Kenpachi fights against two other Captains so the rest of the party can continue on to save Rukia.
- Happens multiple times in episode 185.
- Arrancar: Decisive Battle of Karakura arc
- Episode 214. As Kon and his team try to fight their way into the Hollow fortress, Tatsuki tells him that the rest of the team will take care of things at the entrance and that he should proceed to the core of the fortress and attack the nucleus.
- Episode 215, Ichigo is fighting the Arrancar Exequias and their leader, Rudbornn Chelute when Renji, Chad and Rukia show up. They deal with the Arrancar so Ichigo can continue on and save Orihime.
- In episode 324, while Captain Komamura and three other captains are passing through the Precipice World to return to the Soul Society they are pursued by the restrictive current. Captain Komamura uses his bankai to slow down the restrictive current so the other captains can continue on their mission. He is swallowed up by the restrictive current and his fate is unknown at the end of the episode.
- In episode 336, when Ichigo and Kisuke Urahara are trapped by many enemy reigei, Urahara tells Ichigo that he'll handle the opponents and that Ichigo should go on.
- In episode 337, when Urahara and Kon are faced by two reigei, he says he'll take of the reigei and for Kon to go on and complete the mission.
- The final showdown in Outlaw Star is a great example of this.
- This happens on two separate occasions in the third season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, when the heroes are Trapped in Another World and about half the school has been turned into Duel Zombies. On the first occasion, Jim has to hold off the horde to let the others get by, then Adrian has to do the same; fortunately, both of them escape. The next time, however, when a bigger horde is attacking due to The Virus spreading, Professor Chronos and then Napolean have to do it, and they aren't so lucky - both are among the horde that the remaining heroes have to fight at the end of the arc.
- The end of the first Sailor Moon series did that so that Sailor Moon would be on her own when she finally encounters Beryl.
- Near the end of Wolf's Rain Tsume tells Kiba and Cheza to go on ahead while Tsume holds off the Big Bad, Darcia. Kiba and Tsume exchange a Look, because they both know Darcia is much more powerful and has already killed several of their party.
- Saint Seiya abused this trope in every single arc. The Poseidon arc spiced things up by splitting everyone up to head in a different direction, instead of following them along a linear path, but the principle is the same.
- It gloriously backfires on the Bronze Saints at the end of the Twelve Temples, as Pisces Aphrodite, guardian of the final Temple, expected this trick and seeded the path after his Temple with roses that emit deadly gas, allowing him to deal with both Shun, who had stayed back to face him, and Seiya, who had gone through and only survived because Marin, who wore a mask that protected her, came to the rescue.
- Soul Eater uses when the bad guys have a headstart to an evil can. Stein makes the plan based his unit's strengths compared to their's. As per the Description, there are two I Am Your Opponent moments.
- This plays out even though Stein's plan is ignored by Maka and Black☆Star, and results in all Kid Heroes facing the evil 'can' together even though their efforts are dashed once its occupant wakes up.
- The first Ranma ˝ movie has this. There are a series of gates that lead up to where the kidnapped Akane is being held. Each gate is guarded by one of the Seven Lucky Gods martial artists. Members of Ranma's group gradually break off to deal with these guardians.
- Almost required in any given fight of Get Backers.
- Several times in rapid succession in the Finale of Mai-Otome.
- In the third Pokémon movie, Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown, Brock and Misty do this while Ash goes off to find his mom.
- Happens in Sun & Moon, where the cast splits up to take on Lusamine's Pokemon, leaving Ash to deal with Lusamine herself.
- Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang uses it when he finally comes face to face with Envy, his best friend's killer. He wanted to have the Roaring Rampage of Revenge all to himself but Ed and Scar come back for him before he can lose himself in his anger.
- Possible variation in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: during the final battle, the titular mecha is being fried by the Grand Zamboa's Infinity Big Bang Storm. The heroes open up a can of Heroic Resolve... then Lordgenome steps up and says "Simon, leave this one to me." He summons the Lazengann and sucks the attack into himself, converting it into enough spiral energy for the heroes to turn the tables on the Anti-Spiral.
- Used blatantly in the last episode of Record of Lodoss War, when one after another Parn's allies stop to fight lesser monsters so he can have his inevitable one-on-one duel with Ashram.
- A few times in Rurouni Kenshin:
- The manga version of the Oniwabanshu fight explicitly invokes this, as Shikijo lets Kenshin and Yahiko continue their rescue of Megumi because he specifically wants to fight Sanosuke.
- Played with in the Kyoto arc; Saito tells Kenshin and Sano to go on ahead while he takes care of Usui of the Juppongatana. When Usui comments that Saito is being nice to Kenshin, Saito explains that he only did it to make sure Kenshin was out of the room so that Saito could kill Usui.
- Happens multiple times in almost any given arc in One Piece. Usually the protagonists square off against a group (be it another pirate crew, a group of Marines, or whoever), and it inevitably comes down to Luffy taking the leader and his crew taking care of the subordinates. This also happened constantly in Marineford, with everybody clearing a path for Luffy to get to Ace.
- Most of the time (notably in Alabasta and Enies Lobby), the Straw Hats were split up from the very beginning in order to take on the entire Quirky Miniboss Squad at once. One of the few times this trope specifically comes into play (and not just I Am Your Opponent) is on Thriller Bark, where one of the groups of Straw Hats left Usopp to fight Perona. This one does have some justification, as Usopp was the only one capable of fighting her at all.
- Happens in D.Gray-Man during the Ark arc.
- In Durarara!! Shizuo tells Celty to go on ahead while he deals with Seiji, and cheerfully points it out with an "I always wanted to say that!"
- In Mazinkaiser, Tetsuya does this to allow Kouji to go fight Dr. Hell in the end.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite episode 11. As Taro, Konoe and Yashima use the elevator to go down and save Mariel, Ryuuka, Ikuyo Suzuki and Grace stay at the top to hold off the mansion's security maids. When Taro, Konoe and Yashima confront Konoe's sister, Konoe and Yashima fight her to give Taro a chance to rescue Mariel from her People Jar.
- Ranma ˝: At least two of the movie length anime have the entire cast pull this so Ranma, still the strongest fighter of them all, can handle the bad guy.
- Done in Teen Titans during their first battle against Raven's father Trigon. Arriving in his stronghold, the Titans are confronted by a giant dog. Changeling tells the others to go on and stays behind to deal with the dog.
- Thor and some allies are escaping from Hel with some unjustly trapped souls. The minions of Hel are rapidly approaching, and Thor decides to stay behind to buy time for everyone else to escape. Balder points out that Thor will surely perish if he does this, and Thor responds that he might not die, and no one else can possibly hold them off long enough. Then Skurge turns it into You Shall Not Pass instead.
- This has happened in The Tainted Grimoire. When Crow appears while Clan Gully and their comrades is trying to rescue Baron Beltorey and Cid, Luso takes him on alone and the rest of his group moves on.
- Happens in the Pokemon fanfic Blood In The Water: All of the 'Dex Holders appear as The Calvalry, but then it is revealed that Franz has sent the remaining Elite Four members and the hypnotized Gym Leaders after the protagonists. This changes the possible outcome of the scenario entirely, as now the inexperienced Trainers are the only ones left to face the Big Bad. As the three protagonists leave, the audience is greeted with this badass scene:
Blue: *draws a Pokeball from her pocket* Do you think they'll be okay?Green: They're decent enough trainers. *enlarges a Pokeball in his hand*Gold: Not as good as us though, right? *grins*Silver: *scoffs*Red: *silently staring at the approaching enemy*Green: Go! *all Dex Holders throw their Pokeballs simultaneously*
- It later happens again: Anna and Siobhan are forced to stay behind and battle Franz himself, while Haleigh goes on to fight Josh.
- My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: When the girls storm the castle, they end up running into each member of Nightmare Moon's Quirky Miniboss Squad one after another; they end up peeling off one-by-one to deal with each new threat, until Twilight is the only one left to confront Nightmare Moon herself (the others catch up in time for the actual Final Battle).
- Queen of All Oni: During Operation Steel Lightning, Jackie, Viper, and Tohru keep Ozeki busy while Uncle goes after Jade to stop her from stealing the other masks from the Vault.
- Jewel of Darkness: When the Titans are trying to intercept Midnight's Chronoton Detonator, they're attacked by Guerra, and Robin tells the others to go on while he fights him. Which is exactly what Midnight wants.
Films — Animated
- Shrek: Shrek stays behind to "take care of the Dragon" while Donkey and Princess Fiona make for the exit. Like most everything else in the movie, this is a Subverted Trope: Shrek only stays behind long enough to set a trap so that the dragon can't follow them out of the castle, which is a far more sensible choice than fighting a fire-breathing dragon one-on-one with a rusty sword.
- In Shrek 2, Puss in Boots stays behind to fight off the guards while Shrek runs to save Fiona, also falling into You Shall Not Pass territory.
- In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,
BabyChicken Brent fights off the giant chickens while Sam and Flint got to stop the food-making machine.
- In Coco: Miguel and his entire dead family—It Makes Sense in Context— arrive to confront the villain. He recognizes who they are and that they outnumber him; he flees, calling for his security Mooks. Papa Julio, boxing like a prizefighter, takes out the first couple. Oscar and Felipe work together to take out the next few, so Miguel and his remaining relatives can give chase. It is Imelda who faces off against the bad guy alone as she ends up on his stage leaving Miguel and the remaining family members to watch helplessly.
Films — Live-Action
- The Phantom Menace:This trope is how Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi react to Darth Maul during the liberation of Naboo.
- This happened in Rush Hour 2 Carter tells Lee to go after Ricky Tan while he fights Hu Li.
- Also, in Aliens, Lt. Gorman tells Hicks to go on to landing craft while he goes back to try and help the injured Vasquez.
- In Sky High (2005), when faced with Lash, Speed and Penny, the heroes have Will go on ahead and fight Royal Pain while Warren, Ethan and Layla stay to fight and Zach and Magenta take cover.
- In Prince Caspian, Susan stays behind to shoot down Telmarines while Lucy gallops on to reach Aslan.
- The Matrix Reloaded: Neo versus the new Agents. Later, Neo versus the Merovingian's goons.
- The Merovingian: Handle us. You'll handle us? You know, your predecessors had much more respect.
- The Three Musketeers (1973). D'Artagnan and the three musketeers (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) are on a mission for the queen. Along the way they're attacked by various groups sent by Cardinal Richelieu. In one encounter, while fighting a Mook, Athos orders d'Artagnan to keep going while he stays and keeps the opponent busy.
- In Predator, Billy stays behind to let the rest of the team go to the chopper while he holds the eponymous Predator at bay on a bridge. In this situation, the hero knew he had no chance against the alien monster but was simply buying his allies some time.
- Older Than Radio: In The Three Musketeers (1844) when d'Artagnan and his friends are in secret mission to London, the Cardinal's agents try three times to ambush or derail them in different ways. Each time one of the musketeers is left behind taking care of the enemies while the rest carry on, until at the end d'Artagnan is the only one who arrives to London.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Ron takes charge of the chess game and sacrifices himself, Hermione solves the potion riddle, leaving Harry to deal with the Mirror and Voldemort.
- Arcana has your companions hold off a one encounter within the last dungeon, because there's not enough time.
- Happens literally seven times in a row in Tales of Symphonia, taking out one party member at a time until only Lloyd is left.
- Bill says this in Left 4 Dead's online comic "The Sacrifice" before jumping into a horde with 3 tanks. He doesn't make it back, but it's called The Sacrifice, you should know this already.
- In the game, if you choose to sacrifice Zoey, most of her lines are something like this, "I got this, guys! No big deal! ... Shit, shit!"
- This tends to happen at the end of Mega Man Battle Network games, with your friends stopping each sub-boss out of nowhere and telling you to go on ahead.
- This is how Super Paper Mario gets Mario alone for the final boss: Bowser stays behind to fight O'Chunks, Peach fights Mimi, and Luigi goes up against Dimentio.
- The stock response from any security guard in Half-Life. Well, one of the stock responses.
- In the last Onimusha game, the four characters storm the Definitely Final Dungeon. After some initial skirmishing, each character finds an arch-enemy and stays behind to fight him, leaving the main Player Character to carry on alone.
- Happens in Astro Boy: Omega Factor, as part of the Boss Rush. After Astro defeats the first copy of a boss, the Big Bad just pulls in another copy from another timeline, triggering one of Astro's friends to step in and keep it busy so he can move on.
- In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny this goes in the order of Dahlia, Kaede, Berio, Nanashi and finally Lily and Muriel until only Mia and Selbium are left to confront the Messiah Armor that contains Taiga.
- In Digital Devil Saga, Gale and then Cielo do this with Angel and her remaining loyalists in fighter jets as they attempt to stop the group from going to the HAARP Facility. Neither of them survive, but Gale takes Angel with him and Cielo is able to wipe out a good chunk of the forces on his own before biting the dust.
- In the RWBY episode "No Brakes", while fighting their way through a train, Yang stays behind to fight Neo, while Weiss stays behind to fight a Mook Lieutenant, leaving Blake to fight Roman at the front of the train. Reality Ensues: Weiss and especially Yang are thoroughly beaten by their opponents, and the girls run out of time, failing at their objective of stopping the train.
- NoNeedForBushido has an instance of this... done by a random enemy mook, with predictable results.
- Used in Pryde of the X-Men.
- What's funny is that Magneto actually has enough minions to keep all the X-Men from him, as Nightcrawler ends up the final X-Man and finds Blob waiting for him. Nightcrawler simply teleports around him and makes a game attempt to stop Magneto by himself.