Follow TV Tropes


Ankle Drag

Go To
Alice is walking alone through the forest/haunted house/whatever when suddenly she hears a noise. Ominous music starts playing as she looks around, obviously scared. Then suddenly, something knocks her down and starts to drag her away by the ankle. She screams for help, kicks at whatever it is and tries to grab hold of something, desperately digging her fingernails into the ground as she goes. Expect a final scream as she disappears into the shadows.

A variation occurs in a swamp or lake, where something suddenly latches onto Alice's ankle and instantly pulls her beneath the surface. This is often followed by an underwater shot showing Alice struggling and flailing before she either drowns or manages to break free.

The key point here is the fact that Alice is always dragged away by her ankle, never by any other body part.

May lead into a horizontal Take My Hand!-like scenario as Bob tries to rescue Alice. Sometimes subverted via Giving Them the Strip if the victim's footwear comes off in the attacker's grip.

Alternatively, a hero or antihero who intends to be Dressing as the Enemy may haul off a knocked out mook in this way, so that he can hastily steal their uniform.

See also What a Drag for when someone is dragged behind a vehicle, sometimes by their ankle.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Pokémon Adventures, just as Courtney tries to tell Ruby about the truth about his father, a tentacle grabs her ankle and drags her into the Cave of Origins just as said cave collapses on her.
  • R.O.D the TV: After collapsing a passageway, Maggie gets pulled into the chasm by a paper whip via her ankle.
  • This is how Kanoe takes a hold of Kotori in The Movie version of X/1999, with the help of a sort-of warp passage formed under the victim's feet. Subverted when Fuuma notices, tries to grab Kotori by the hand — and ends up pulled too, which is how he gets snared by the Dragons of the Earth.

    Comic Books 
  • The Closet (2022): Issue #2 ends with Jamie being dragged away by one of his ankles by the monster from his closet.
  • In a DuckTales story, Huey grabs hold of Launchpad's ankle when he's climbing out of Laird's lair. Launchpad thinks a troll has grabbed him and is pulling him down.
  • The cover of The Powerpuff Girls #60 (DC run, "The Purple Pages of Peril") has a menacing hand emerging from a book and trying to pull Blossom in by her foot. Bubbles and Buttercup strain a sinew to keep her from being yanked in.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction, an enraged San and Vivienne Graham at one point pull a nasty variation of this trope off — specifically, San uses their shared body's claw as a meat hook in the leg of the Mook Lieutenant who pissed them off and drags him back.
  • All three members of the trio in The Egg Team get dragged by the ankle back to Eggman's base by Eggpawns after being incapacitated and nearly killed by Metal Sonic.
  • In The Lion King Adventures, during the climax of Friends to the End, Hago ends up dangling off the edge of Pride Rock over a raging fire and grabs Simba in an attempt to drag him down too. It doesn't work, as the pain from the flames makes Hago let go instinctively, and he plummets to his death.
  • Inverted in the Worm fic Security!, when the self-insert protagonist Mike Allen does it to deliver the villain Bakuda to the police.
  • Shadows over Meridian: When the Shadowkhan are clearing out the Infinite City's dungeons of guards in the first chapter, one Ninja Khan emerges from a guard's shadow, grabs his ankles and pulls him into his shadow.
  • Sixes and Sevens: When Mark tells the others about his encounter with Moloids, one of his friends is killed this way while trying to flee.
  • The Ultimate Evil: In this Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction, an Ox Talisman-empowered Valerie grabs Hsi Wu by the ankle when he's flying over her and attempts to throw him to the ground. Bai Tza later grabs Valerie's ankle during the showdown on the subway platform.

    Films — Animation 
  • Just right before attacking Bruton, the Carnotaurs from Dinosaur actually drag a small Iguanodon to its doom.
  • Done to Helen in a deleted scene from The Incredibles; thankfully for her it was All Just a Dream.
  • Done to Sango in Inuyasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler, but she is saved by Kagome.
  • Night of the Animated Dead: After killing a zombie, Ben drags it out of the house by its ankles.
  • Dr. Facilier and Naveen in The Princess and the Frog.
  • Rattlesnake Jake actually does this to the Mayor at the end of Rango after everyone finds out that he was the villain.
  • In The Rugrats Movie, Angelica sings a cover of Blondie's "One Way Or Another" as she looks for her missing doll. She stomps her foot gets in the handstrap of Spike's leash, startling him and causing him to run, dragging Angelica through the forest with him.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: The Prowler grabs Miles' ankle when he's running upstairs in Aunt May's house, halting his escape and forcing Miles to kick at the Prowler to get away from him.
  • In Tangled, Maximus dragging Flynn away by his boot evokes this. Unlike most examples, Flynn isn't hurt and it is Played for Laughs.
  • In Toy Story 3, Lotso catches Woody's ankle and pulls him into the garbage container at Sunnyside.
  • In Turning Red, in a Blink-and-You-Miss-It moment, during Tyler's birthday party, a trio of Mei's classmates are sitting on a couch when Mei grabs on to the one on the end and pulls her onto the dance floor. The one sitting in the middle grabs on to the one being pulled by the arm and the one on the other end by the ankle resulting in all three being pulled with the one on the end being ankle dragged. All this takes place in the space of a second.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Abandoned Mine: At one point, when the group has been whittled down to Laurie, Ethan, and Sharon, Sharon starts stating that there is indeed something in the mine with them. Then she starts getting dragged back by some unseen force. Said "unseen force" was actually Brad pulling her back with a rope that she let him tie around her ankle.
  • Happens to Ripley at the end of Aliens, when the xenomorph queen latches on to her leg, but she manages to get free at the last moment.
  • In Alien: Resurrection, a xenomorph crawls into a lifepod and starts tearing apart the helpless occupants. One of them tries to climb out of the pod, but is dragged back inside screaming.
  • Axe Murdering with Hackley: Sometimes, in RKS' office, a guy can be seen walking by, dragging a human leg by the ankle.
  • Coming Soon: In the film within a film "Evil Spirit", the villain Shomba does this to a child she kidnapped after the child went into the other room.
  • Crawl: Haley gets grabbed and dragged away by an alligator at one point.
  • Cthulhu. Happens to the protagonist; he's knocked out by a villain and wakes up to find himself being dragged into a dark doorway by something, but manages to break free.
  • According to its trailer, this will happen at least twice in The Darkest Hour.
  • In The Descent, a monster drags off one of the victims by her feet.
  • Elves (2017): After killing most of the members of a Tropaholics Anonymous group, the red-haired girl grabs the last surviving member by his feet and drags him away.
  • In Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain, Barbara is grabbed by the ankles and dragged under the bed by the inbred cannibal hiding there.
  • Grandmother's Farm 2: When Mr. Murshed finds Noora in a small room in the farm, possessed by the djinn, it appears behind him and drags him away by his ankles.
  • In the school dance in Grease, a girl is dragged along the floor by her ankle, flailing her arms and free leg wildly.
  • In Hollow Man, Elizabeth Shue's character is grabbed and pulled off a ladder by Kevin Bacon's character and falls on top of an elevator.
  • Home Alone: Marv manages to grab Kevin by his ankle to stop him getting away and tries to drag him back, until Kevin plants a tarantula on Marv's face.
  • At the start of It (2017), Georgie is dragged into the sewers this way by Pennywise.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Merry and Pippin climb in a tree in Fangorn Forest to escape the orc Grishnákh. Just when Merry thinks the orc is gone, the orc grabs his ankle and drags him down. Merry is only saved when the "tree" reveals itself to be the Ent Treebeard, who promptly crushes Grishnákh under his foot.
  • Eddie the mechanic is captured by his ankle by two T. rexes in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and is eaten.
  • Main Street Meats: After killing his first victim, Neddy drags her carcass into the backroom by her ankles.
  • No One Gets Out Alive: In one of the ghost appearances in the boarding house, Ambar witnesses one of them get dragged by the ankle into the door next to it.
  • While the dragger is not seen either time, the demon in the Paranormal Activity films drags Katie out of bed by an ankle in the first movie and Kristi out of Hunter's nursery, down two flights of stairs, and into the basement in Paranormal Activity 2.
  • In A Perfect Murder at the end of the movie, Steven and Emily get into a fight and he grabs her ankle to trip her up. Also occurs only seconds later when she's on the ground and he grabs her and pulls her to him but Emily is still able to grab the gun and kill him.
  • Happens a few times in Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • The first time in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, where the men are attacked by the Kraken - with one at least been held up by the ankle. Happens later when the Kraken attacks the Black Pearl and Elizabeth is nearly dragged off by one of the tentacles.
    • In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, it happens when Captain Black Beard takes telepathic control of the ropes on his ship, with at least one man been grabbed by the ankle, while later Angelica is nearly dragged underwater when a Mermaid grabs her with a seaweed lasso - but Jack saves her just in time.
  • This is the last frame of Quarantine (2008).
  • Return of the Scarecrow: The scarecrow grabs Janelle and drags her off to her doom in the story Jolene is telling the campers.
  • A non-supernatural version appears in the spy thriller The Soldier, when a terrorist being held by Mossad gets dragged out of his cell and down the corridor to the interrogation room by his feet.
  • In Sorority Row one of the main characters is sent to turn off the overheating jacuzzi, which has created a giant mass of bubbles, while her sorority sisters go into the house. Soon thereafter, appears at a glass door, begging to be let inside after apparently being chased by the Killer. Unknown to her, a thick wire has become tangled around her ankle, and before the other characters can get to her, she is violently dragged off to her doom.
  • In Species, Sil grabs Laura's ankle at the end before being tossed back into the fire pit.
  • Happens in Spider-Man 2 when Doctor Octopus' tentacles first go nuts.
  • Spiders II: Breeding Ground: After Alexandra sinks the Giant Spider-infested ship and she and Jason are both rescued by a helicopter, a spider jumps out of a crate and tries to drag her down. She throws a grenade into its mouth in response.
  • A variant occurs in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock when Kruge attempts a Taking You with Me on Kirk, to which Kirk gives his face a Punctuated Pounding in response, using his free foot.
  • In Starship Troopers, one soldier loses her nerve after seeing another soldier torn apart by several Bugs and flees for her life. As she runs, the ground collapses beneath her and she lands in one of the Bugs' tunnels and is confronted by one. She tries to crawl away but the Bug grabs her ankle and drags her deeper into the tunnels to an undoubtedly grisly end.
  • The eponymous kidnapping scene from the movie Taken plays out like this. Kimmy is under the bed, panicking, on the phone, when suddenly she is dragged out by her ankles. Not to her doom, but...yikes.
  • Talon Falls: The employees of the park tend to drag their victims from their cages to the torture rooms by their ankles.
  • Played for Drama in the climax of The Terminator, as the legless cyborg keeps grabbing for Sarah Connor's ankle as she crawls away from him, staying barely ahead.
  • Also happens in The Thing (2011) when Kate falls into the ship and is hiding from the thing, when it finds her, grabs her ankle, and drags her to another part of the ship but Kate manages to grab the explosive and is able to kill the creature.
  • A variation occurs in Tremors as, when running away from one of the Graboids, Rhonda trips over a line of barbed wire which gets tangled around her ankles. As she tried to get it off, one of the monsters grabs the pole the wire is attached to and begins to drag her towards its open mouth. Thankfully, she is saved by Val who pulls her boots and pants off to help her get free and escape.
  • Happens in Wait Until Dark when psychotic Roat leaps and grabs Susy's ankle as she tries to get out of her home.
  • Werewolves Within: The man in the prologue, , who is Dave, Jeanine's husband, gets drug off by his unseen attacker.

  • Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when he gets kidnapped by the Grim/Sirius Black.
  • This happens to Gandalf after the battle with the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings, though he was actually grabbed at the knees.
    • When Frodo is grabbed by the Watcher in the Water.
  • In The Orphan Train Adventures book "A Dangerous Promise", after Mike gets the watch from Jiri, Jiri ultimately finds Mike on a ship. A fight starts in which Jiri tries to take the watch back, but his ankle gets caught in the rope, causing him to fall into the Missouri River.
  • In Rose Madder, Norman tries this on Rosie as she's climbing stairs to get away from him. She kicks him in the face with her other foot hard enough to break his nose and knock him back down the stairs.
  • In Xanth, the hairy-armed (and he's nothing but hairy arms) Monster Under the Bed lives for this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow. In "The Promise", the plan to seize the prison freighter has failed so everyone jumps over the side to swim to the island. Slade however grabs Oliver's ankle just as he's diving overboard and hauls him back with his Super Strength.
  • Being Human (UK): Among other resistant ghosts in the series, this happens to Annie at the end of season two. Strangely, the viewer can see the character's ankles and there's visibly nothing physically pulling the victim through the door.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • One of the Hellmouth's tentacles slithers up Willow's ankle. ("Prophecy Girl")
    • A ghost tries to grab Willow's ankle to the floor. ("I Only Have Eyes For You")
    • Buffy, wracked with guilt over her role in the death of Deputy Mayor Finch, has a nightmare of his corpse dragging her underwater. ("Consequences").
  • Doctor Who: In "New Earth", Matron Casp grabs Rose's ankle this way on a ladder in an elevator shaft, pissed off at Rose and unaware that she's no longer possessed by the person she blames for ruining the Sisterhood's work. Then one of the lethally-infectious zombies comes up behind (or rather below) Casp on the ladder and grabs her ankle, leading to her death.
  • A comedic version of this is done in the Even Stevens episode "Secret World of Girls". After the girls realize the boys have been spying on their slumber party all night, they rush down to the basement to confront them. All of the frightened boys manage to scramble outside through the open window except for Louis; Ren grabs his ankle just as he's about to escape, and drags him back in as he screams.
  • Ghost Writer had a miniature version of Gooey Gus try this, but is kicked away before he could succeed.
  • Noah Bennet in Heroes gets knocked over by a sandstorm, then dragged kicking and screaming by some terrifying, inexorable force... which is just a mildly-pissed-off Mohinder, using his Super Strength.
  • Stranger Things:
    • Barb becomes yet another victim of the Demogorgon, as it drags her kicking and screaming to her death.
    • Steve is grabbed by the ankle while swimming, and then yanked into the Upside Down and left to some of the local creatures by a tentacle reaching through the gate at the bottom of the lake.
  • Supernatural: This happens quite often to the victims of the week, usually into sewerage systems or under cars. Or both.
  • The X-Files. In the opening of "Nothing Important Happened Today" a man picks up a woman at a bar; while driving home she forces the car off a bridge into the water. As he tries to swim to safety, the woman (still sitting in the passenger seat) reaches up and holds his ankle until he drowns. This is our introduction to the Super Soldier plotline, showing they can breathe underwater.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Jack Swagger drags Rey Mysterio away from WWE Smackdown in his ankle lock finishing move with intent to throw Mysterio into the Gulf Of Mexico.(Jack ends up taking a dive instead)

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, a Fog of Doom descends on Rogers High and takes on the form of deadly snakes. One of them grabs Jessica by the ankle, yanking her to the ground and then dragging her into the fog. The other students can only watch helplessly until more snakes appear, forcing them to run.

    Video Games 
  • Alone in the Dark
    • Dying in Alone in the Dark (1992) leads to a cutscene of your chosen character's corpse being dragged away by a zombie and laid atop an altar.
    • Alone in the Dark 2 has a similar clip, showing Carnby's body getting dragged out and tossed off of a seaside cliff.
  • In Battlefield 1 Tilkici does this to Zara as he's getting ready to kill her but she turns the tables BIG TIME.
  • In Dead Space, there is a monster that grabs its victims by the ankle and pulls them down corridors. The player has to kill it before it drags Isaac to its mouth and eats him.
  • In Dead Space: Extraction, Karen Howell is dragged away by a tentacle, she doesn't make it because Warren abandoned her when she called him out for seeding Unitologists in Ishimura's ranks.
  • This is how you meet Sigrun in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, as she's being dragged away by darkspawn. Unlike most examples, she manages to kick free and get back up.
  • Quite a few people suffer this in FEAR.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, an anacondaur monster does this with a wounded Dollet soldier in the Dollet Comm Tower mission.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V After Michael goes through a bad trip due to his son getting him high, someone off screen drags him away.
  • During one quest in GreedFall, Síora uses magic to summon a root out of the ground and grabs an enemy soldier this way and suspended him mid-air to prevent him from killing her sister, Eseld.
  • In The Last of Us Part II, an enemy does this to Ellie after she kills one of his teammates while hiding under a car. It doesn't end well for him though.
  • Happens to the second-to-last SWAT member in Nightmare House 2 when he's standing near a semi-open shutter.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: When Alex Mercer hijacks a tank, a possible animation sees him rip the hatch open, leap inside, and a member of the hapless tank crew climb from the hatch, almost making it over the edge of the tank before Alex reaches out and grabs him by the ankle.
  • In Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Percival Tachyon does this to Ratchet with his robot walker out of a portal when Ratchet thought he was defeated.
  • Early on in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica you see a zombified soldier dragged under a hut by something.
  • If Heather dies in Silent Hill 3, her corpse is sometimes seen to be dragged off screen by Valtiel via the ankles, presumably to resurrect her.
    • If you try to cross a bridge over water inhabited by...something without first killing it, Heather will also be dragged off the bridge and die this way.
  • Done twice to Lara in the E3 demo of the Tomb Raider reboot. If you fail, it's an instant death.
  • Vanish: The game over screen has the protagonist get dragged down a hallway while retaining their POV.
  • In The Walking Dead a jerkass does this to Clementine when she tries to run away from him and in a log. The player then has to do a button mashing sequence to try and get away.

  • Girl Genius: Something in a picture frame tried to drag Zola off to her doom by her ankles in Castle Heterodyne but Gil rescued her before it was able to pull her past its frame, to which she was clinging for dear life.
  • Trevor (2020): At one point Trevor draws Purdy towards him with a tentacle wrapped around the man’s ankle.
  • Unsounded: When Sette in her greed manages to actually tick off the Mamalen Entak trying to get at the supposed treasure inside, she hides from it behind a rock for a minute only for it to snake one of its limbs around an grab her by the ankle to drag her from her hiding spot. She ends up knocked out, bloody and only avoids death because she's traveling with a powerful wright.

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko: Done to Yumi right before the infamous vine scene.
  • In Dragons: Race to the Edge, Toothless grabs Hiccup's ankle in an effort to alert him to a new threat. Unfortunately, he grabs Hiccup's peg leg which promptly detaches from the rest of him.
    Astrid: How far do you think he'll go before he realizes...
    Hiccup: I dunno. He seemed pretty committed.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Armstrong", Armstrong grabs Launchpad by his foot as the pilot attempts to get into his plane and begins pulling him down. He's only stopped by being soaked in the water Launchpad uses when he's helping Duckburg's fire department.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "This Won't Hurt An Ed", after Eddy's plan to scare Kevin with shots fails, he himself gets dragged by Ed into the nurse's office to have a shot which he's afraid of. Oh the irony!
  • Happens a fair amount in Godzilla: The Series, although it is mainly the secondary characters who are grabbed and dragged.
  • In T.U.F.F. Puppy in the episode "Watch Dog" when Dudley is discovered by "Snapbots" in an alternative future he gets dragged this way to be captured.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Happens to Will three times across the series, once by quicksand and twice by the Tracker.


Video Example(s):


Gabi Drags Nigel

Near the end of the movie Rio 2, Gabi drags Nigel off into the jungle to shower him with affection after finding out that she is not actually poisonous.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnkleDrag

Media sources: