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Playing With: Taking the Bullet
Basic Trope: Shielding someone else with your own body. Usually fatal.
  • Straight: Charlie shoots Alice but her friend Bob jumps between them and is shot instead.
  • Exaggerated: Bob stops a laser beam with his body after making a ten-meter leap. In slow motion. Accompanied by the biggest Big "NO!" ever.
  • Downplayed: Charlie shoots Alice, but Bob, standing nearby in armor, moves in front of her and is not seriously wounded.
  • Justified:
    • Charlie shoots Alice in the back and Bob is the only one who sees him aim. Also, Bob is wearing a bulletproof vest.
    • And/or Alice is a MacGuffin, or Bob is her bodyguard, so he has to protect her.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob shoots Charlie first.
    • Charlie attempts to body slam Alice and is shot (shielding someone from a body with your own bullet).
    • Also, the rather unlikely scenario where one character tries to shove another into the path of a bullet. A reverse Taking the Bullet, if you will.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is too slow to intercept the bullet.
    • A fourth character Danielle interrupts Charlie while Bob takes a dive, making the bullet completely miss.
    • Bob pushes Alice out the way and neither of them get hit.
    • The bullet over penetrates Bob and hits Alice anyway.
  • Double Subverted: ...but Charlie is distracted enough to only wound Alice.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice is the only one in the packed room to not see Charlie. Everyone in the room jumps in front of the gun, creating a massive struggling huddle between them.
    • Charlie shoots Alice five times, with Bob only jumping in front of the sixth bullet.
    • Charlie is about to shoot Alice with a paint-ball gun, which Bob catches and acts as though he's actually going to die. Everybody just looks at him, confused.
    • Charlie shoots Alice, Bob jumps in front of Alice to catch the bullet, but then Danielle jumps in front of Bob and catches the bullet instead.
  • Zig Zagged: Various characters attempt Taking the Bullet throughout the show. Some succeed and die, some survive, others don't succeed at all. There's no system in that.
  • Averted: Charlie shoots Alice, then Bob shoots him.
  • Enforced: Redemption Equals Death, period.
  • Lampshaded: (with Blood from the Mouth) "Taking the bullet for someone... always works."
  • Invoked:
    • "I'm wearing a bulletproof vest and can jump quite far, you know. Now, put your gun down."
    • Alice predicts an assassination attempt and hires bodyguards who are trained to intercept any bullets headed his way.
  • Exploited: Charlie was trying to hit Bob to begin with; shooting at Alice was just a way to get Bob to stop dodging shots like he was before.
  • Defied: Charlie's gun shoots armor-piercing ammo, so it can go right through any unexpected obstacles.
  • Discussed: "He's about to be shot, so why do I feel the urge to jump in front of him?"
  • Conversed: Damn, he's about to shoot me, and in every movie I've seen, the closest friend takes the bullet instead! "Mara, step back! Charlie, get over here!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob takes the bullet, goes down, then Charlie calmly shoots again, killing Alice, as well.
    • The bullet goes through both of them.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Impressed and inspired by Bob's Heroic Sacrifice, the Innocent Bystanders throw themselves at Charlie, quickly overwhelming him. Both wounded are rushed to the hospital and resuscitated.
    • Bob takes the bullet for Alice and survives due to heavy armor being worn.

Back to Taking the Bullet

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