You Can Run, but You Can't Hide
One character is on the run from another, generally the good guy from the bad guy. The pursuer has some sort of clairvoyance, super-powers or near-omnipresent surveillance capabilities; this (or a near-identical phrase) is said to the quarry as some kind of intimidation. Of course, the bad guy could lack
such super-detecting powers, and merely using this phrase to try to scare his prey out into the open
. (The fact that this so often works
is either a sad testament to the supremacy of fear over logic, or else evidence of who is carrying the Idiot Ball
The inversion— "you can hide, but you can't run!"— shows up so frequently that it's almost a separate phrase in itself. This most often appears in super-power examples, where the quarry is far outclassed in a straight fight and literally could not run away fast enough if he were to be spotted.
Add points if it has Nowhere To Run as the sound track for the upcoming chase.
See also You Will Not Evade Me
, where you might as well not even bother
trying to run, let alone hide.
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Anime and Manga
- Voltron: "You can hide, but I'll find ya!"
- Shampoo in Ranma ½: "You can run, but you can no hide!"
- Also Kuno in a mid-series story. After somehow acquiring a massive powerup that lets him defeat Ranma easily, and a Laser-Guided Amnesia that erased his chivalrous attitude and gave him a more aggressive personality, he traps the female Ranma alone on a deserted island. His delivery of the line isn't Black Comedy Rape as much as it is Values Dissonance, with a Attempted Rape.
- Transformers Cybertron: Jetfire says this while chasing Thundercracker, then adds "Actually, you can't even run!" Cue Thundercracker getting his afterburners kicked for the umpteenth time. Amusing Injuries ensue.
- In the Ocean dub of Dragon Ball Z, Dodoria chases Gohan, Krillin and Dende and shouts out, "You can run, but there's nowhere you can hide!"
Live Action TV
- Surreal British sitcom mr don and mr george has an episode entitled "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide Your Legs". The line is used in the episode during a discussion about hiding in a cardboard box. The inverse - "You can hide your legs, but you can't run" - is also used.
- Supernatural. Sam and Dean are trying to evade Zachariah in Heaven, which he finds quite amusing. "You can run but you can't...run".
- A song by Matchbook Romance from the album "Voices," played completely straight. It is noticeably creepy.
- Loveless says this to Jim West in the music video for "Wild Wild West" by Will Smith.
- In the song by Phil Collins, "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven", the lyrics say, "You can run and you can hide, / But I'm not leaving unless you come with me" or "...But I'm not leaving 'til it's all over."
- Billy Kidman's WWE titantron came with this theme.
- Metal Gear Solid: "Hiding won't help you! I understand the bullets, you see... They go where I tell them to!"
- Resident Evil 5. Wesker puts ham into all his dialogue, including his "You can't hide FOREVER!"
- He never says it (in fact, he can't say anything but "STARS."), but the Nemesis in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis embodies it as the only monster in the series that will follow you from room to room, until you reach a save room... and then he just waits outside for you to come out.
- The Flavor Text for the Boots of Speed in Baldur's Gate uses the inversion: apparently the boots were originally owned by an assassin, who was rather fond of spouting the line as he ran down his quarry before they could actually get to the hiding part.
- A heroic example can occur in the Super Nintendo version of Star Fox when Falco shoots down an enemy fighter, taunting the Venom forces with this line.
- Halo: "Hiding will not save you", or "You think you can hide from me?"
- Bioshock: The "Wader" Splicer occasionally threatens the player with this, as well as a variant - he informs them that they can't hide from God.
- Spoken by Daphne's mother to Dirk during the first stage of Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp.
- Ur-Example: This phrase is said to have been originally coined by the boxer Joe Louis, who stated, "He can run, but he can't hide," in response to hearing that an opponent would attempt to use hit-and-run tactics against him. The opponent was light-heavyweight champion Billy Conn. Louis was right: Conn used his quickness to outpoint Louis for 12 rounds, only to get knocked out in the 13th.
- A variation frequently attributed to snipers is "You can run, but you'll just die tired."