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Big Damn Heroes / Tabletop Games

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  • Most RPGs have you appear in the villain's lair just in time, after fighting your way past all his henchmen. This occurs even if you Take Your Time getting there.
  • It could be said that Exalted takes this to an extreme, as not only do you show up in the nick of time, but you are all but guaranteed a flashy, even gaudy entrance that defies all logic.
  • The ridiculously extensive battle history of Warhammer 40,000 has hundreds of these moments on every side, to the point where in the latest Space Marine codex, Vanguard Veteran Squads have a 'Heroic Intervention' ability exclusively to pull off these moments... though it doesn't always work.
    • Though if you have them show up to help a Scout squad (the second wimpiest unit in the Codex) equipped with a teleport homer, it does always work.
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    • The Legion of the Damned is a Space Marine chapter with this as their schtick. Despite losing most of their chapter and being horribly mutated by a freak warp storm, the surviving members of the Fire Hawks chapter remain loyal to the Imperium, and have since then dedicated themselves to teleporting onto the battlefield when all hope of victory for the forces of the Empire has been lost, and soundly beating the crap out of the enemy before disappearing back into the warp only to show up somewhere else.
    • Fear of this trope was the reason Horus dropped the deflector shield on his flagship at the Siege of Terra (and thus allowing the Emperor to attack him) - the entire Ultramarines legion (that's 250,000 Astartes) were on their way. The Space Wolves and Dark Angels (nearly as many marines again) were on their heels. And they were pissed.
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    • Played awesomely by the Eldar hero Prince Yriel. He was an admiral of Craftworld Iyanden's fleet, but he angering the craftworld's seer council with a rash tactical decision, and was exiled, leaving on his flagship, the Flame of Asuryan. Years later, Iyanden came under attack by a Tyranid Hive Fleet, and the Tyranids swept across the craftworld destroying all in their path. Just as all hope seemed lost, the Flame of Asuryan reappeared over the craftworld followed by a huge fleet of Eldar Corsairs. Yriel's pirate fleet turned the tide back against the Tyranids and Yriel slew the Tyranid Hive Tyrant himself, breaking the hive fleet's back and saving Iyanden from certain destruction.
  • Nobilis has a fairly basic power available to starting characters which ensures they always show up in the nick of time. The more powerful version ensures they ALWAYS show up in the nick of time...even if the bad guys did it 35 minutes ago, or sacrificed the princess last week.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the aptly-named instant Dramatic Entrance lets you turn any given massive creature into your very own Big Damn Hero.
    • There's also Avatar of Hope, which can block anything. What's so big damn heroic about it? It costs only two mana to play when you have three life or less.
    • Angel of Salvation, which not only makes a sudden appearance to haul you out of trouble, but can also protect you from potential serious harm.
    • Heroic Intervention depicts one of these, and it also protects your stuff from being destroyed for one turn.
  • Some cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game have effects that emulate this trope.
    • For example, Gorz - Emissary Of Darkness is special summoned when you take damage while having nothing on your field.
    • Starlight Road negates the destruction of two or more cards and special summons a Stardust Dragon from you extra deck.
    • Not surprisingly, both cards are part of the Meta Game for that exact reason.
  • In Rifts' galactic setting, Phase World, this is the origin of one of the major interplanetary alliances. A group of Space Elves made an alliance with a group of wizards and other arcanists that called themselves The Warlock Council. Despite the name, the two groups weren't interested in conquest, but in exploration. What separated them was how they traveled to different worlds. The Elves used straight-up Magitek space ships, while the Warlocks just opened up portals to new worlds. Unfortunately, the explored too close one of the worlds controlled by the Splugorth, an evil slaver race. Upon seeing that these groups were easy prey, the Splugorth attacked major colonies. The two groups raised their fleets to defend themselves, but they were about to be overwhelmed, so they send a desperate SOS across the Ley Lines hoping someone, anyone would help. That's when the Dwarves, in riveted ships magicked to be space-worthy, came in, guns blazing, allowing the warlocks and elves to turn the tables of the battle.
  • The opening fiction of Hunter the Vigil: Dark and Light features a Hunter group risking themselves into a Dark Cult's lair and promptly get assaulted by Darkspawns, to then be rescued just in time by a Princess.