Axis Powers Hetalia
The Black Cauldron
- The Green Glade: When the unarmed Taran, Gurgi and Fflewddur Fflam are about to be killed by four armed thugs of the Horned King, two hooded, armed and trained warriors appear to even the odds. They're afterwards revealed to be Coll and Prince Gwydion.
- Downfall: Ichigo sure thinks he's one when he arrives moments before Orihime's kidnapping is completed. Then Nell shuts him down, hard. Makes sense, she is the Primera, after all.
Calvin and Hobbes
The Chronicles of Narnia
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
- Tiberium Wars has an epic moment when the GDI Marines appear at the Langley AFB battle.
- Havoc does this for Sandra Telfair in Chapter 16, as she escapes from Nod.
- During the battle for the Pentagon, GDI forces are being worn down by Nod's superior numbers and seven Avatars. And then the Mammoth tanks and annihilate Nod's forces.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- In And Again, Asahina gets one when she jumps in and kicks away Monobear when he tries to murder Chihiro while their strongest classmates are off gathering weapons. This is followed quickly by Mukuro, Sakura and Mondo getting back and opening fire before he can retaliate.
- Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns:
- Sten gets one and it overlaps with a Journey to the Center of the Mind and Battle in the Center of the Mind, since he is helped inside the mind of the resident Guile Hero / Magnificent Bastard dwarven prince Warden Commander, by a spell of the elven mage. Once inside, he helps him fight off a psychic attack on the Archdemon's part that would have lobotomized the Warden otherwise, if not killed him.
- A later chapter has not just Sten, but also Alim Surana (the elven mage Warden) and Leliana doing something quite similar, although, in this case, they have to save him from his mind breaking down since the Archdemon's psychic attack is already over.
- In the Dragon Ball Z story Honor Trip, this is best described as when Goku comes from otherworld and rescues Trunks from Future Cell just before the latter kills him.
- In Never Had A Friend Like Me, Norm rescues Amanda, Timmy and his godparents from the Anti-Fairies and Pixies before putting Anti-Cosmo and HP in their place.
- And then later, Anti-Cosmo and HP get to be The Cavalry themselves against Bob.
Final Fantasy VII
- In The Fifth Act has many examples:
- When Kunsel is too exhausted to kill the last Nibelian wolf, Angeal swoops in and finishes it off.
- Just as he is about to kill Zack, Aeris contacts Cloud through the Lifestream and breaks Jenova's hold on him.
- Genesis saves Cloud and Sephiroth's lives when he reflexively casts a Sleep spell on Cloud.
Final Fantasy X
- In Guardian, young Lulu and Yuna are trapped in a cave by a wolf-fiend, and Lulu's one gambit of throwing her moogle doll has been... ineffectual. Then Kimahri comes roaring in.
- Memento Vivere uses this trope when Team BARJ saves the Crusaders at Mushroom Rock.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening fanfic Golden Threads Tie Us, Grima's troops have apparently defeated and routed the Shepherds, and he's getting ready to finish Lucina off, when Chrom and his army arrive and turn the tables on Grima.
- Forward uses this extensively, but being a Firefly fanfic, that's no surprise, and its lampshaded and subverted as often as it is played straight.
- Enemy of My Enemy has two good ones: Vtan & Zerat saving Perry from the desperate Outlander Elites, and later the Hunter pair busting in to save a group of children from a Brute pack.
- Happens in the Golden Age series when Queen Jane shows up to repel the Alternian Empires's attack.
Kung Fu Panda
- In The Vow, Jade knocks down the guards who are about to kill Po and the Furious Five. Then she frees the sextet and leads them to the trapped nobility of China, allowing them to free them from Lord Shen's forces.
The Lion King
- The Day Everything Changed has Konata pulling this off by saving Kagami's life by fighting against her attacker, Sakura Takahashi, who had just given her the beatdown of her life. Despite taking more than a few brutal hits, Konata still ends up on top at the end of the battle.
- In Dial, Thor arrives just in time to both assist Tony with a barely-recovering Abomination, and save Dial from a nasty plane crash.
- In A Prize For Three Empires, the Avengers, The X-Men, the Shi'ar Imperial Guard and the Starjammers arrive just in time to rescue Carol Danvers from the Kree Empire.
- Mega Man Recut has Duo slamming down to the moon to take out Wily and his minions in "The Mega Man in the Moon".
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, ProtoMan borders on this when he saves Mega Man from Bass in Episode 7.
- Bass inadvertently saves Mega Man from the Killers in Episode 10, restating his claim that he is the only one that is going to kill Mega Man.
- Bass does this again in Episode 11, saving Roll from a collapsed building.
- In Episode 11, chapter 11, Mr. Black saves the President from Wily's execution.
- Also in Episode 11, ProtoMan saves Mega Man and the world by turning on Wily and detonating the Mad Grinder.
- Mega Man Reawakened has Rush and Bon Bonne save Mega Man in Arc 4, chapter 2.
- In Arc 4, chapter 4, Wily, Glyde, and Protoman help save Mega Man from a rampaging Quentin Emerald.
- Arc 5, chapter 1, has Roll save Robert from Magnet Man's Gravity Squeeze.
- World As Myth: Zenkichi comes to Kumagawa's rescue during his fight with War God Mode Medaka, and later Hyuga does the same.
My Hero Academia
- Crimson And Emerald: Hawks' arrival turns the tides of the battle against Stain.
- Just when a Noumu kidnaps Izuku, Hawks reacts before anyone else. Hawks gets in the air, slays the Noumu and rescues Izuku before anyone could even process what happened.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Actually, I'm Dead:
- When The Dark Force is about to kill the Mane Six, Lightning Dust jumps in and knocks it into the sky, before pile-driving it into the ground.
- To return the favor, Pinkie Pie and Discord come in and blast it with the former's party canon, just as The Dark Force is about to kill Lightning Dust while Rainbow Dash sloops in the save her, before she and Applejack jump in and join the fight alongside Pinkie and Discord.
- Occurs a few times in Loved And Lost.
- There are a couple of examples in The Lunar Guardsman.
- Raegdan does a couple. Once before the story started when he saved Twilight from kidnappers, and once when he saves Rarity from an assault that might have turned into a rape.
- The Mane Six and the Lunar Guards do one when they save Raegdan and Luna from Griffin assassins.
- A few of the girls are in a burning building, and Rarity has been trapped by debris which they can't move. Raegdan and Luna appear just in time and are able to move them with their help.
- The slaying of the Leviathan is this in terms of saving the coastal line of Equestria from destruction.
- Friendship is Magic: The Adventures of Spike: There's one early on when Spike saves Fluttershy from a group of Timberwolves.
- Rainbow Dash and Princess Luna save Spike from the Diamond Dog grunts harassing him.
- The Doctor saving Ditzy from a group of changelings during their invasion.
- The Immortal Game, being a War Fic, naturally is full of these. The crowner, however, belongs to Fluttershy of all ponies — in the third-to-last chapter, during the Battle of the Everfree, she saves the remainder of the Loyalists from Titan's monster army by showing up riding the oldest and most powerful dragon alive and scaring the monsters away.
- Happens several times in Inner Demons:
- First, adult Apple Bloom, Lezard, and Spike save Applejack from a group of Neo Canterlot soldiers that have captured her.
- Likewise, Fluttershy saving Rainbow Dash from another group of soldiers about to finish her off after Scootaloo left her for dead.
- Shortly after, it looks like Scootaloo's forces are going to finish off the remaining protagonists, only for Rainbow Dash to save Pinkie Pie, causing their Elements of Harmony to evolve to armor, which is followed by destroying the soldiers and sending Scootaloo running.
- Applejack breaks Rarity out of the dungeon and as they're escaping they're cornered by the brainwashed Princess Luna, who begins to wipe the floor with them before the other Element bearers burst through a window, and turn the situation into a successful fighting retreat.
- The Element bearers confront Queen!Twilight in Fillydelphia just before she — in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown — can execute Cadence in an incestuous, jealous rage.
- In the Pony POV Series, The Final Battle with Fluttershy's Superpowered Evil Side, Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper, is going badly. The group are battered, beaten, and bloody, Rarity's pretty much completely out of it with broken legs and no energy left to use magic, and the only way to stop Nightmare Whisper seems to be Rainbow Dash performing a Mercy Kill. Thankfully, Fluttercruel fights her way out of the Jury of the Damned she was being tried by and manifests in the physical world. Not only does she give the others the motivation to summon the Elements, she fills in for Fluttershy as the Element Of Kindness, allowing them to defeat Nightmare Whisper with them.
- Part 6 of Shining Armor's Arc has a moment that combines this with Gunship Rescue. When Shining and his griffon allies are about to be killed by General-Admiral Makarov's forces, the rest of Shining's squad shows up, followed shortly thereafter by the rest of the forces under his command, including several attack shuttles. Makarov wisely retreats at that point.
- Directly before that, Thunderchild, one of Shining's squad, saved Shining from Makarov, who had him trapped in an Anti-Magic force field spell and was going to beat him to death.
- Similarly, in Part 15, a Hooviet army is about to wipe out the village that Misfit Actual and the Anti-Hooviet Rebels are protecting, when Commander Shepherd shows up with every armed ship in Cadence's flotilla and scares them off.
- The Battle of Cloudsdale in The Abundance. The abstract Loyalty has brainwashed the masses, Twilight is down for the count and just for fun he decides to drop The Doctor and Dinky to their deaths. Cue two heroic arrivals: first, Derpy Hooves performs a SONIC RAINBOOM to save her daughter and The Doctor... then Trixie arrives with Faith, an army of former prisoners, and a massive airship to turn the tide and win the battle.
- The Powers of Harmony: Luna saves the Mane Six and their allies from Cetus and Eclipse with a Death from Above attack (they survive), followed by teleporting them away and scattering them.
- Rainbow Dash pulling off the Sonic Rainboom (in this continuity, for the first time since she got her cutie mark) in order to save Esra and Tastar from a giant dragon.
- Subverted in The Mixed-Up Life of Brad; when Twilight's boyfriend is being held imprisoned, she arrives and knocks out the guards. Brad imagines that any minute now she'll burst dramatically through the door and deliver a badass one-liner, but it turns out she just wants to talk to him—there's no point in freeing him anyway, as there's nowhere they can escape to. He has to persuade her to burst dramatically through the door (and deliver the one-liner).
- Since she's constantly racing the clock, Pinkamina from Seeing the Pattern gets a number of these moments. The most impressive is when she saves Apple Bloom from a burning barn by launching herself out of the Party Canon.
- The fanfic collection The Monster Mash features a number of Big Damn Heroes moments particularity in Rarity: Blood and Water and Rainbow Dash: The Big Battle.
- In Paradise, the Shaman came just in time to save Celestia before a pack of hungry wolves killed her.
- In Marionettes, Rainbow Dash ends up coming to Trixie's rescue from Lightning Dust due to being sent by the Cutie Map.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
- Wind Breaker gets this in his debut, saving Page Turner from falling construction material. Later, Page herself is this when she steps in to protect a Changeling from a group of bigots, and all five of her future teammates fill the role when they come to her aid.
- Night Blade comes to the rescue during the climax of chapter 30, saving Xvital in the nick of time.
- The Questioning Order also comes to the rescue when they're found by Page and see she's one of the Elements.
- Xvital, her fully restored Element on her head, arrives at the last second to save her friends from the Nightmare.
- In The Meaning Of Harmony, Celestia saves the Mane Six and Sunset from being frozen in the blizzard of the Windigos, just when Sunset is about to succumb to the cold.
- In Circus Days, The Mane Six come back at climax to save Spike, after they had falling out do to their neglect of him, rekindling their relationship in the process.
- A Growing Affection has multiple examples, but most notably: the Jonin backup teams save the Naruto Rescue Squad from the One and Three-Tails. Team Kakashi saves the original Ino-Shika-Cho from the Paths of Pein.
- Drifting has plenty of these moments. They usually result in Naruto earning friends or having another girl fall in love with him.
- Two of these happen in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox. Sasuke and Kushina lead a group of Naruto's schoolmates to rescue Naruto when he's taken captive by Mizuki's gang and Akatsuki to be tortured. In a later arc, Sai comes just in time to rescue Ino from being raped by Aoi.
- In Catch Your Breath, Minato's Teleport Spam powers allow him to easily act as this. While he missed his cue in the Kannabi Bridge mission, the circumstances surrounding the mission where Rin originally lost her life changed substantially. A sudden revelation, Split-Personality Takeover, and averted FaceHeel Turn later, and Minato successfully rescues his team from Spiral/Swirly Zetsu.
- In Reaching for a Dream Naruto has completely exhausted himself fighting Orochimaru then killing Kisame. Itachi manages to survive though critically injured, leaving Naruto to limp away in the hopes Itachi collapses before he does. Then after Itachi dies of his injuries, Zetsu appears to capture Naruto. Fortunately, Jiraiya arrived and Zetsu decided grabbing the last remaining pair of Mangekyou Sharingan was more urgent than grabbing Naruto.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
- A Crown of Stars: In an early chapter Asuka and Daniel travel back in time to rescue or save several people, including Asuka's mother. Asuka shot the death squad was going to execute Kyoko and then retrieved her mother before returning to the present.
- Advice and Trust: In chapter 7 Rei was fighting Zeruel, alone. And she was losing badly. The Angel was about to blast her in pieces when Shinji and Asuka came along riding Unit 03 and knocked it to the ground before saying simultaneously: "Get away from my friend."
- The Child of Love:
- In chapter 3 an Angel is threatening with crushing Shinji and Rei. Then Asuka shows up, breaking her previous synch records and stops the Angel with one hand.
- In chapter 9 Gendo is about to carry out his plan. Then Rei shows up in full Mama Bear mode and slams him with her A T Field. Then Shinji, Misato and Kaji arrive on the place.
- HERZ: When the MP-Evas were devouring Asuka, Shinji and Rei showed up to fight them and save her. That act spawned this story's alternate universe.
- Higher Learning:
- The final encounter with Kaworu Nagisa plays out much differently, thanks to this. While Rei, in Unit-00, is watching from above with a sniper rifle, Toji Suzuhara in Unit-03 leaps down and flattens Unit-02, taking it out of Kaworu's control and forcing him to face Shinji alone.
- The arrival of Kaoru and Kaji in the restored Unit-04 helps change the course of Asuka's infamous last stand against the MP Evas.
- Once More with Feeling: In chapter 17 Asuka fought Sandalphon inside a volcano and killed it, but she was sinking to her death... until Rei leapt inside the ocean of burning magma, dove towards her and rescued her.
- The One I Love Is: Shinji performs two: the first in chapter 7 to save Rei and Asuka from Zeruel and the second in chapter 12 to save Asuka from the MP-Evas. He arrived too late to save Unit-02 but right on time to save Asuka's life.
- The Second Try: Touji comes along during the battle against the MP-Evas piloting the Jet Alone to help Shinji and Asuka. Unfortunately he was unable to fight effectively.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka saves Shinji just in time when he's about to be killed by Samael.
- In This Bites!, this is quoted in full by Boss, Franky, and Cross/Soundbite as they join the battle on the Bridge of Hesitation.
- In The Sun Soul, there are more than a few moments when the heroes swoop in to save the day at the last possible second. Although the author seems to like making them pay for their constant heroics.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Reflecting Balance, the main characters end up walking unprepared into a Monster House in Chapter 14 while looking for the Flygon who can help them find one of the missing crystals that is hidden somewhere in the desert. Luckily, the other two rescue teams that came along to help with the search show up, and distract the wild Pokémon while the main characters look for the exit to the dungeon.
- In Chapter 19, the main characters end up in a Monster House again, and while better prepared this time, still find themselves in a difficult spot. Luckily, their friend Azure, who had recently evolved into a Marill, shows up and helps them fight off the wild Pokémon.
- In Pokémon: The Mew-sical, Misty and Brock save Ash from Giovanni at the end.
- Earlier, Mr. Mime saves Ash and Gary.
- Rebirth shows Ethan saving Whitney from Team Rocket in the nick of time.
- In the fourth book of the Harry Potter: Pokémon Master series, Harry and Jasmine are down for the count. Voldemort has captured them, Jasmine has been beaten and restrained, and Harry's right hand has been cut off and he is suffer blood loss. Cue Barty Crouch Jr. (a hero in this series) revealing himself in the faceless mob of Nocturne Grunts and using a teleporter to bring in the entire Hogwarts Staff, Remus, Sirius, Tonks, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Hermione's parents, Neville's grandma, Xeno Lovegood, every headmaster from the tournament, a battalion of Kalos and Johto police officers, Jasmine's parents and her uncle, and Cynthia and Diantha Malfoy. Each of whom swears to protect Harry and Jasmine with their lives.
- Two Weeks Notice: Raccoon City Mosh Pit]] invokes this trope. Matt, who has not been seen for the whole story up until now appears out of nowhere to save Kate from Nemesis at the Clock Tower. The best part? They even say the dialogue, with Matt as Mal and Kate as Zoe. Plus the chapter is titled 'Written by Joss Whedon'.
- Ruby and Nora: Team CFVY and Port in the last chapter of Field Trip.
- Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm: Right as Zoisite is about to kill a captured and beaten Lightstorm, Sailor Jupiter transforms without a Transformation Trinket and gives the bad guys a truly epic beatdown. The battle continues to escalate as more and more Sailor Scouts arrive on the scene to kick ass.
A Song of Ice and Fire
- In Robb Returns, Gendry puts his strength to good use to cut off the cables of the mast in the ship taking him to Storm's End, preventing the ship from sinking.
- The Wrong Reflection, in a chapter actually titled "Big Damn Heroes", has the USS Bajor arrive at a skirmish between Terran Empire and Klingon-Cardassian Alliance patrol forces and announce its allegiance (the Alliance thought it was another Terran ship) by smashing up a Terran Sato-class* cruiser. Also an example of The Cavalry, since the scene is partly written from a Cardassian officer's perspective.
- "Frostbite" uses it twice, once offscreen when the Bajor has to go rescue a freighter from the True Way, and later when it curbstomps Ruul's ship and deploys an assault unit, led by Captain Kanril, to rescue the Breen-captured away team.
- The Burning Of Beruns World: Berun's World is in civil war and under attack by Orion slavers, with only a badly damaged Starfleet cruiser and an old Gorn-built science vessel to defend it. Then Kanril Eleya arrives commanding a fresh crew with a Galaxy-class battleship and four escorts, rapidly turning the space fight around before landing a battalion of ground troops to start restoring order on the surface. Complete with the epigraph for the chapter being the lyrics of Sabaton's "Winged Hussars".
- At the climax of Hellsister Trilogy, Darkseid is about to obliterate a defeated Supergirl when his son Orion bursts into the place and blasts Darkseid to atoms. Or so Orion believes.
Super Mario Bros.
- Clash of the Elements: Gemini, Geno, and Alpha pull off one of these moments in the very chapters that they end up joining the group in, saving the heroes from the outer guardian of the Lightning Palace, Joe Dark and The Dark Crystal King respectively.
- Rosalina does this as well in Chapter 46, saving Mario from dying at the hands of Joe Dark
- In return, Mario does this for Alex in Chapter 54 by stopping and destroying Joe Dark's sword from killing him in one-blow
Team Fortress 2
- Respawn of the Dead gives us Scout rushing in whacking the traitorous RED Spy over the head with his bat, when the latter had the Engineer and Sniper at both gun and knifepoint, and had just before been suggesting that he and the Engineer gang-rape Sniper.
- The cliffhanger that was famously left unresolved in Hergé's rough draft of Tintin and Alph-Art, whereby Tintin is marched off by one of the villain's mooks to be covered in plastic and turned into a work of art, is resolved in the version finished by fan artist Yves Rodier by having Snowy find Captain Haddock, who shows up just in time to stop the bad guys before Tintin gets completely drowned in molten plastic.
- The beginning of the "Big Damn Heroes" moment in chapter 20 of Warhammer 40,000 fanfic Toy Hammer starts off with the main character running over a Daemonhost (an Eldritch Abomination that has been summoned from a Negative Space Wedgie to possess an already unlikeable monster) with a battered pickup truck. Then offloading the elite of the Warhammer 40,000 universe's armies (who have been miniaturized).
- Semi-subverted in that he still gets his ass handed to him about five minutes later, giving way to a second Big Damn Heroes moment in the same chapter by a 10 year old girl (who has the unmodifiable psychic 'fingerprint' of The God Emperor of Mankind.).
- Tales of the Emperasque has several moments when the Emperor saves the day, most notably when rescues Eldrad from being eaten by Slaanesh and proceeds to take Isha from Nurgle's captivity, starting with:
- In Transformers Meta, Wheeljack has one of these moments in the pilot episode, shortly after Hound was contemplating having the team evacuate the ship while they were getting attacked by the Darksyde.