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Big Guy Rodeo

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A person fighting a much bigger opponent attempts to disable the big guy by jumping on their back and wrapping their arms around their neck; it looks sort of like a rear naked choke combined with an uncooperative piggyback ride. This move is usually performed in the midst of a fight while the big guy is occupied with someone else and doesn't notice the little guy creeping up behind him. Often the little guy is trying to protect an ally in distress by distracting the big guy before he can deliver the finishing blow.

Since the big guy will do everything in his power to get the little guy off of him—whether by bucking like a bronco, attempting to grab the little guy and throw him over his head, or by slamming his back against a wall—the little one needs to somehow hang on and endure until oxygen deprivation causes the big guy to pass out, or at least until the distraction has served its purpose. It's not a move associated with elegance or technical skill. Depending on what's at stake, this sort of struggle can be made to look either desperate and dramatic, or clumsy and comical.

May overlap with Cranium Ride. Compare Colossus Climb, when the Big Guy is much bigger.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chiaotzu from Dragon Ball Z might be the midgiest midget in midgetville and his arms don't quite, like, reach around a person's neck, he's stuck to the back of Nappa. He eventually tries to end it by blowing himself up and taking Nappa with him, but Nappa is more powerful than anything the Z Fighters have faced, and No Sells the attack.
  • Goblin Slayer does this with the huge Goblin Champion by means of a garrote of human hair in a furious moment of Unstoppable Rage. He doesn't let go even after the Goblin Champion slams him into several walls in an attempt to dislodge him, and it eventually ends with Goblin Slayer punching and ripping out his eye.
  • Rookie Investigator Takeomi Kuroiwa does this in Tokyo Ghoul:Re, after the enormous Ghoul he's fighting breaks his Quinque in half. He jumps on the Ghoul's back and hangs on for dear life.....then subverts the trope by breaking the Ghoul's neck with his bare hands. Rumors about this feat quickly spread, and morph into epic tales of him tearing heads off with his bare hands. The ever-humble Takeomi is mortified.

    Comic Books 
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Quatermain attempts this against Mr Hyde. It doesn't work, so he feeds him a mouthful of laudanum.
  • Spider-Man is famous for going up larger opponents, so it's no surprise that he has pulled this move. The most famous example being his first fight against The Juggernaut. He did it as a distraction to trick Juggy into sinking in wet cement.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): While freeing political prisoners from a Nazi camp the diminutive Etta Candy jumped on one Nazi's back and tried blocking his vision before knocking him out with a piece of wood.

    Fan Works 
  • Paul's not that much bigger than the mugger who tries this on him in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, but he's a hell of a lot stronger. And tougher. As the narration says, "The mugger found that trying to choke Paul was roughly equivalent to choking a steel pipe."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Hot Fuzz, this is Angel's move of choice during the battle with Lurch in the supermarket. It works after a couple of tries, sending him crashing into a bin of frozen treats.
  • In Judge Dredd Rob Schneider does this to Rico's ABC robot.
  • You'd expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to have done a few of these in his career. What you might not expect is for him to be the little guy. Admittedly the big guy in that scene (in Conan the Destroyer) was played by André the Giant.
  • Total Recall has Schwarzenegger as the big guy and Sharon Stone as the little... er, girl, trying to choke him.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: Iron Man jumps on the back of the Iron Monger to pulls out the cable connecting the helmet to the rest of the armor, blinding Obadiah Stane and forcing him to open the chest piece to see.
    • A subversion occurs in The Avengers when Thor jumps on Hulk's back and begins choking him with his hammer. The subversion comes from the fact that, despite the size difference, the two are very close in strength.
    • Avengers: Endgame: As the final brawl starts, Drax the Destroyer jumps on Cull Obsidian's back to stab him.
  • The Princess Bride: As in the Literature example below, The Man in Black uses this technique when he fights Fezzik (played by André the Giant) after everything else turns out to be a No-Sell. They continue their conversation even while Fezzik struggles to breathe and the Man in Black endures Fezzik repeatedly slamming him against big rocks while trying to get him off.
  • Raising Arizona: Hi (Nicolas Cage) tries to take down Gale (John Goodman) this way, destroying Hi's and Ed's trailer in the process.
  • In RoboCop 2, RoboCop jumps on and rides RoboCain like this in order to rip out his brain and spine while the criminal-turned-cybercop is distracted with his Nuke high.
  • Julia X: Used by both Jessica and Julia against the much larger Stranger. When The Stranger attacks Julia in the bathroom, Jessica leaps on his back and wraps a towel around his throat in an effort to choke him. He manages to throw her off fairly easily, but it gives Julia time to get away. Shortly after, as The Stranger is attempting to kill Jessica, Julia leaps on to his back. While trying to shake her off, he crashes through the balcony and the two of them fall to the ground floor.
  • During the fight in the gym in Tragedy Girls, McKayla jumps on to Big Al's back in a desperate attempt to pull him away from Sadie.
  • Jack the Reaper: As Railroad Jack swing his Powerful Pick at Shawn, Maya jumps on to his back in an attempt to distract him and through his aim off.
  • In The Black Balloon, Charlie takes a tampon from Jackie's backpack and runs away with it in his mouth. Thomas chases after him and jumps on his back in an attempt to grab the tampon, but Charlie easily pushes him off.
  • The Odd Way Home: During a fight in a diner, Maya jumps on a man's back to stop him from attacking Duncan.
  • In Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, the Baron saves Simon from the monster by jumping on the monster's back and holding his ether-soaked coat over the monster's head till he passes out.
  • In Tuff Turf, Frankie does this to Nick twice: once after he shoves her father into a display, and once during Nick and Morgan's final showdown.
  • Transylvania 6-5000: When Jack is attacked by the Wolfman, Gil jumps on the Wolfman's back in attempt to pull him off. The Wolfman then runs off with Gil still clinging to his back.
  • Snatched: When Morgado is about to attack Emily, Linda leaps onto his back.
  • Freebie and the Bean: When Freebie and Bean try to arrest a suspected assassin, his girlfriend leaps onto Bean's back, then tries to grab onto a telephone pole with her free arm. She ends up with her arms wrapped around the pole and her legs around Bean's waist, holding him in place until uniform cops pry her off the pole.
  • In The Butchers, Daisy tries this twice when John Wayne Gacy is attacking Simon. She doesn't really accomplish much, but at least she's trying, not just playing the Neutral Female.
  • Getting Straight: During a protest, a cop beats a man who's lying on the ground. A woman jumps on the cop's back and pummels his helmet with her fists. The cop pushes her off and is about to start beating her when the man jumps on the cop's back, knocking him to the ground.

  • In the BattleTech Expanded Universe "Blood of Kerensky" trilogy novel Lost Destiny, captured Inner Sphere Mechwarrior Phelan Kell is eligible to battle for a Clan Bloodname, their highest honor. His first combat trial requires him to fight an Elemental barehanded. Phelan is by all accounts a normal young man of respectable fitness. An Elemental is a nine-foot-tall brick shithouse of a Super-Soldier genetically engineered to wear Powered Armor. Phelan's answer is to request the combat trial be held in zero-gravity, giving him ample opportunity to climb onto the Elemental and hold on for dear life; without some form of leverage, the Elemental's impressive musculature was ultimately not an advantage. Phelan eventually blood chokes his opponent to win the trial.
  • Happens in The Princess Bride, with The Man in Black doing this to Fezzik. It works, too; according to Fezzik, it's because he's got used to fighting crowds (battling gangs for local charities — that kind of thing) and is out of practice with one-on-one duels.
  • In the very first of Robert B Parker's Spenser novels, this is how Spenser kills Joe Broz's huge bodyguard, Phil.
  • Xandri Corelel: In Testing Pandora, Xandri does this to a trafficker to stop him from stealing the Psittacans' eggs.
  • In Kea's Flight, Kea temporarily disables a robot's camera by reflecting its blinding light back at it, then jumps on its back and ties up its limbs one by one until Draz can get into its control panel and destroy it.
  • Attempted on Cord in ColSec Rebellion: A husky Streeter girl tries to tackle him from behind in a dark building and knock him down. This does not go well for the Streeter: Cord lands on his hands and knees, grabs his assailant by the back of her shirt, and first slams her against the floor and then throws her across the room. (She's entirely gracious about it later, and even jokes about how effortlessly he was able to toss her around.)
  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, Kasim tries to stab Mahabet. Nisha jumps on his back, bites him, and claws at his eyes.
  • Fractured Stars: During a prison brawl, McCall jumps on the back of the man attacking Dash.
  • The Real Boy: When a monster suddenly attacks Caleb's shop, Crow the cat leaps onto its back, but the monster throws Crow off.
  • Twelve Days: During a demonstration at Golden Dream, Madame Gupta fights with Terry, and effortlessly beats him. At one point she vaults between his legs and leaps onto his back.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In CSI: NY, a boy is able to successfully strangle his father using this technique.
  • On Balls of Steel, this is one of Neg's Urban Sports.
  • Burn Notice:
    • Michael does this to a Russian Giant Mook.
    • He later does this to a large biker as his voiceover describes how long it takes to render someone unconscious with the move...and how painful that time can be.
  • Xander does this in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Reptile Boy," jumping onto one of the frat guys. Punctuated Pounding ensues.
  • Death in Paradise: In "Beyond the Shining Sea - Part 1", Ruby stops an overweight Loan Shark nicknamed Peewee by jumping on to his back as he runs past and clamping her hands over her eyes. Both Peewee and Ruby end up going off the jetty into the harbour.
  • Utopia (US): Jessica Hyde briefly rides on the back of Artemis during their fist fight.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • 1950s British TV star Jackie Pallo would do this, only instead of grabbing their neck he would chicken wing their arms and squeeze their midsection. It became known as the "Paro special".
  • As he was smaller than most other heavyweights, Minoru Suzuki found much of his success in both pro wrestling and mixed martial arts choking out his opponents this way.
  • During Cheeseburger's debut match for Ring of Honor, Roderick Strong was about to make him a Tag Team champion right off the bat by submitting Bobby Fish in a Boston Crab, but Kyle O'Reilly had entered the ring to break it up. Cheeseburger cut him off by jumping on O'Reilly and applying a Christo hold, which caused O'Reilly enough pain to collapse into Strong, breaking his hold and rendering Cheeseburger's effort useless.

    Video Games 
  • Halo 3: ODST: When his squadmate Romeo is attacked by a massive Brute Chieftain, Buck leaps on its back and starts stabbing it in the neck. It takes several stabs and Dutch knocking it over for the alien to die.
  • In Meet the Scout, the Scout is seen doing this to a Heavy, with the added help of his baseball bat.
  • Sort of played in Resident Evil 4, where killing a Gigante involves riding its back.
  • Batman can do this to Titan inmates in Batman: Arkham Asylum, causing them to flail wildly. You can even get an achievement for smacking enough goons while doing this; appropriately enough, the achievement is named "Freakshow Rodeo".
  • The Jockey from Left 4 Dead 2 does this to survivors to force them into inconvenient places (such as other zombies).
  • Spidey does this to Rhino, complete with steering through concrete walls and hordes of Mooks, in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows in order to break into a prison.
  • In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Talion can mount a stunned Olog and steer it into things like explosive barrels and other orcs. Or just repeatedly shank it with his dagger.
  • A possible Back Stab animation in Warframe features your warframe hopping on an enemy and slicing their throat with dual-blade weapon.
  • Dead to Rights features this as the main way to defeat Mayor Pinnacle, a giant of a man whose fists are the size and strength of bowling balls, making fighting him directly a bad idea. The only way to put him down is to bait out enough of his punches that he gets winded, then to jump on his back and gradually strangle him. Conveniently, he chomps on a cigar during the battle and never thinks to let go of it as he's getting choked to death.
  • At a few points in LEGO The Lord of the Rings, you get faced against trolls that are too big and tough to be beaten normally. The only reliable way to kill them is to Attack the Mouth using Legolas' special arrows, and most of the time that requires a Hobbit to get on its back and whack its head until it gets stunned into giving an opening.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Properly applied, this move is usually called a "rear naked choke" and is common in Mixed Martial Arts. Of course, it's much easier to pull off as the bigger guy against the smaller one without the whole rodeo business but Minoru Suzuki was very successful with it.


Video Example(s):


Big Stranger Rodeo

One of Neg's Urban Sports is the Big Stranger Rodeo, where he tries to stay on random strangers as if it were a rodeo. For laughs, obviously.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / BigGuyRodeo

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