Follow TV Tropes


Bring Help Back

Go To

When a group of people in distress are stuck in one place, they will usually send someone to Bring Help Back. They might be suffering through The Siege, stuck in a Closed Circle, or they're too sick to travel and need someone to Find the Cure!. For whatever reason, people are in danger and no one is coming to save them. So what do they do? If no Epic Hail is available, then they'll have to send one of their own out to get the help they need.

Similar to Gondor Calls for Aid, except that the process of calling is an adventure in and of itself. Typically, the nature of the threat is such that securing help is an Instant-Win Condition — provided you reach them in time, anyway. Compare Pet Gets the Keys for another task commonly accomplished by the Non-Human Sidekick. See also Bring News Back, which is sort of an inverse (bringing news to someone to help them instead of bringing them news that you need help).


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Pretty much the basis of the beginning of Samurai 7, the anime reboot of Seven Samurai. Three people are tasked to go to a big city and enlist some samurai to help them fight off bandits who routinely steal their crops.
  • In the My Hero Academia USJ arc, the League of Villains attacks the class while they are on the outskirts of the campus on a training exercise. As part of this, all of their communications were cut off, but Thirteen, one of the pro heroes on the scene, was able to crate an opening, and she tells Iida to get out and get the rest of the heroes on staff. He initially hesitates, thinking it cowardly, but she convinces him that it's the best thing for his classmates, and he agrees, promising to return. He soon comes back, just in time for a Big Damn Heroes moment.

    Films Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: The first half of the film has Flik venturing out to find "warrior bugs" to bring back to help defend the colony from the grasshoppers.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (1986): The main struggle is the journey to Flutter Valley to petition the Flutter Ponies for aid against the Smooze.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): In similar vain to the above, is the plot revolves around the Mane Six and Spike trying to find the Hippogriffs to have their armies help fight against The Storm Kings' invasion of Equestria.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: To protect the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser, Princess Peach, with Mario and Toad accompanying her, travels to the Jungle Kingdom to ask Cranky Kong to lend his Kong army for defense.
  • Thumbelina: The protagonist has to send for the Prince so he can fix the dam.
  • Yellow Submarine: In the beginning, the attack on Pepperland, courtesy of the Blue Meanies, compels the country's lord mayor to send Old Fred off in the titular submarine in search of help.

    Films Live-Action 
  • Alive has two of the survivors crossing the Andes mountains in search of rescue after it's clear that no one is coming for them.
  • Cyclone (1978): After more food becomes available, two of the fishermen, the newborn baby, and the baby's parents feel well-supplied enough to fashion a sail and use the fishing trawler's lifeboat to try and reach shore or the shipping lanes and get help for the drifting tour boat. They succeed, and a rescue party is just in time to save about half of the others from sharks after the tour boat sinks.
  • Seven Samurai has a couple of farmers go to a city in order to enlist help from masterless samurai. Because they're poor, the elder advises them to find "hungry samurai", and eventually they do.
  • The Killing Box: Colonel Thalman eventually leaves to get The Cavalry after seeing how hard the zombies are to fight. The others learn about his failure to make it past the zombies when he returns as one of their number.
  • A Taxi Driver has the besieged citizens of Gwangju pleading with Peter (actually Jürgen Hinzpeter, journalist for West German broadcaster ARD) to take the footage of the ROK military massacring them out of the country and tell the rest of the world, as the South Korean broadcasters are censoring all of the events at the behest of the military dictatorship as merely communist-provoked rabble and vastly downplaying the kill count.

  • In With Fire and Sword, the first book of the Sienkiewicz Trilogy, two main characters end up on a virtual suicide mission to get through enemy lines in order to summon the Polish army to help their position under siege.
  • In the Knight and Rogue Series when Michael and Fisk realize there's no way the two of them will be able to escape capture by Ceciel's guards Michael makes himself the most noticeable thing imaginable after giving Fisk the orders to run for it and let someone know he's been abducted.
  • Rats, Bats and Vats: When an Armchair Military officer tries to drag Fitzhugh out of the hospital and arrest him as quickly as possible, another patient (who, like most of the men on the line, is likely only still alive due to Fitzhugh's actions) asks to use the restroom and leaves. He quickly returns with several armed, uninjured, and stone-faced soldiers who put the fear of God into Fitzhugh's would-be persecutor and force him to flee the camp in disguise and empty-handed, due to how mad they are.
    Corporal: He walked into out platoon a few minutes ago, sir. Said it was an emergency, sir. Said some jackass was here trying to pull a field court-martial and execute Major Fitz, sir. Is it true, sir?
    It was said loudly and clearly. It was also said in a tone that suggested that if it was true, the aforementioned "jackass" was a dead man walking.
  • Sky Jumpers: Hope and her friends flee White Rocks to find the twenty able-bodied men who left town on a foraging expedition and bring them back to fight the bandits. They succeed. 
  • In This Rough Magic, Benito slips out of the impenetrable fortress of Corfu, past the Hungarian siege lines, and all the way north to Venice to summon help. Then back south and past the siege and into the impenetrable fortress again to tell them help is on the way. Then back out again...
  • Happens in Warrior Cats. In Dawn of the Clans: The First Battle, Clear Sky and his cats trap Thunder, Gray Wing, Tall Shadow, and Jackdaw's Cry on top of the Great Rock at the Four Trees. Thunder manages to escape, and has to get back to the Moor Group so that he can bring cats back to save the other three. This involves a harrowing Chase Scene.
  • In This Immortal, when Conrad and Hasan are stuck in a Hot Spot while tied to stone pillars with no way to free themselves, Conrad manages to talk his dog Bortan into going and fetching help. Or at least he hopes the dog understood him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A variation in Galavant: Sid decides he has to atone for killing Galavant (he gets better), although he isn't sure what he must do. In the finale, he returns to the battle between Richard and Galavant, the Hortensians, and the Valencians with reinforcements made up of the various Wacky Wayside Tribes Galavant and co. found throughout the season (although not the guest stars who headed said tribes, because as Sid pointed out, that would be too expensive for the network).
  • Game of Thrones. In "Beyond the Wall", our heroes are trapped in the middle of a freezing lake by the Night King's army of undead wights. Gendry, the least experienced fighter, is sent to Eastwatch so an Instant Messenger Raven can be dispatched to Queen Daenerys in the hope that her dragons can pull a Big Damn Heroes before the lake freezes over. They do, sparking off a massive fan debate over whether the math works out.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Basics", our heroes are under attack by the Kazon (a common occurrence for the first two seasons, but this time it's worse than ever). Tom Paris is able to take a shuttle out of the battle zone and call for reinforcements from their Talaxian allies.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Red Hand of Doom: As this module focuses on fighting a whole army of villains, this is necessary. The heroes can ask the elderly forest giant Old Warklegnaw to gather his relatives to delay the Red Hand's advance. They can also recruit a tribe of elves with giant owls and protect a gold shipment to pay for dwarf mercenaries; if successful, these two allies will aid in the Battle of Brindol later.

    Video Games 
  • The primary goal of the Player Character in Fallout and Fallout 2. In the first game, the player is sent to find a new chip to repair the Vault's water purification system to ensure their community doesn't die of thirst. They can buy everyone time by negotiating a deal with the Water Merchants, but this has the unforeseen consequence of making the Vault easier for the Super Mutants to track down. In the sequel, the player is sent to find a terraforming device known as a Garden of Eden Creation Kit to save their crops.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lets you do this in an optional quest; the city of Bruma is under attack by an enormous Oblivion Gate, and you can request help from the other cities in the province (which they'll send, but only after you close the gates threatening them, first).
  • Mass Effect 3 is pretty much Bring Help Back: The Game. You spend much of the game rallying any help you can think of and also solving several conflicts along the way to free up the conflicting parties' war resources, so you can take back Earth from the Reapers.
  • Partly the case in Dragon Age: Origins, although there's no one particularly waiting for you to bring allies, as the original defenders are dead, and no one trusts the Grey Wardens anymore thanks to Loghain. Much of the game, however, does revolve around going around Ferelden and securing help, including Dalish elves (or werewolves), dwarves, (possibly) golems, magi (or templars), etc. Naturally, these will agree to send help only if you help them first. Oh, and you still have to convince the Fereldens to trust you again, so that the Ferelden army can join you.
  • This is revealed to be T3-M4's goal in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, but you can only get him to talk about it with a high Intelligence score and influence level. Prior to the events of the game Bastila left T3 instructions that if he were to lose contact with Revan he would return to the Republic and seek out her or any other Jedi he could find. After Revan's capture by the Sith Empire, T3 returned to Republic space but could only find one Jedi after the First Jedi Purge: The Exile.
  • In Temtem, your Global Airship is shot down by the Belsoto Clan and crash-lands on the toxic Death World of Tucma, injuring several of your crewmates. The story arc revolves around trying to find medical supplies and repairmen in the Underground City of Quetzal past the badlands.
  • Basically the goal of every playable character in season one of Game of Thrones (Telltale). House Forrester is on the verge of war with House Whitehill, and after Lord Forrester is slaughtered at the Red Wedding his squire and children desperately try to get help wherever they can. His squire Gared joined the Night's Watch in an attempt to find a legendary grove said to hold the secret to saving their house, his eldest son Rodrick attempts to marry into a stronger house to gain an army while dealing with Whitehill occupation at home, his eldest daughter serves as Queen Margaery's handmaiden and attempts to enlist the aid of the Tyrells and Lannisters, and his second son Asher attempts to return with an army after having been exiled.
  • The only way to unlock the Golden Ending of A Dance with Rogues is to give your word to bring back help to the Delberg Castle, besieged by the orcs in the endgame, and make good on that promise.
  • The objective of most of your journey in Metro 2033 is to travel through dangerous tunnels to reach the largest station in the metro in order to ask the Rangers for help against the mysterious Dark Ones that threaten your small home station. They aren't willing to help as much as you hoped, though.

  • Drowtales has a villainous version. As of the Time Skip, the ruling clan of Chel'el'sussoloth, the Sharen, has angered so many people and built up so many enemies, that they are being overwhelmed by the Sarghress and Sullisin'rune clans. In order to preserve their crumbling empire, Zala'ess Vel'Sharen goes on a diplomatic mission to the city of Nuqrah'shareh in hopes of recruiting like-minded Blue Bloods with promises of conquest. Her mission is ultimately a success, and picks up enough allies to completely turn the tables on the rebels, just as her sister, Sarv'swati, is about to face her Last Stand.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles: In "Enter Macbeth", the titular character kidnaps Brooklyn, Lexington, and Bronx, and places them in cages with electrified bars. Brooklyn and Lexington allow electrocute themselves so Bronx can break through the weakened bars and bring help back.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "R2 Come Home", Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu are trapped in the precarious wreckage of a downed Jedi Cruiser by a Booby Trap laid by an enemy. R2-D2 is thus sent to go get help, but the droid has to contend with the bounty hunters whose scheme brought the ship down, as well as gundarks crawling the wreckage, on his way there.
  • Star Wars Rebels: During the Battle of Atollon in "Zero Hour", the Rebels are pinned down by an Imperial fleet commanded by Grand Admiral Thrawn. Commander Sato launches a kamikaze attack on an Imperial Interdictor, allowing Ezra Bridger to escape and get their Mandalorian friends to come to their aid.

    Real Life 
  • During the siege of the Alamo, a number of couriers were sent out of the fort to bring back reinforcements. They didn't make it back in time.
  • Before the Battle of Marathon against the invading Persians, Athens sent Pheidippides, their fastest runner, to Sparta for reinforcements, a considerable distance which he covered in two days, allegedly with a time out to stop and chat with the terrifying wilderness god Pan. The Spartans didn't actually show up in time for the battle, so the Athenians defeated the Persian force with the help of only the tiny city of Plataia (and Pan, apparently.) An embroidered account claims that Pheidippides subsequently ran from Marathon to Athens and expired with the news of the victory on his lips, which probably apocryphal story eventually gave us the modern English word "marathon" in the sense of 'long-distance run'.
  • The Alive example was a dramatization of a true story that occurred in 1972.
  • The Donner Party, snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas, running out of food and losing people to malnutrition, sent a group called the Forlorn Hope to Sutter's Fort in the Sacramento Valley to seek help. The 100-mile trek... did not go well. It's debated among historians how much the Donner Party really did resort to cannibalism and how much was sensationalized in the newspapers, but the Forlorn Hope is generally agreed to have done it.
  • During the lynching of Jim Averill and Ella Watson, during the Johnson County Cattle War of Wyoming, a young ranch hand named Gene Crowder who witnessed their abduction rode to the home of a neighbor, Frank Buchanan to warn him. Buchanan rode up as the lynch mob was putting nooses round their necks, firing upon them from a distance and wounding one but was unable to stop the hanging.


Video Example(s):


The Digidestineds' Plan

When Cody refuses to use the only available escape pod to get out of a flooded underwater oil rig, the other Digidestined agree to draw straws to see who gets to escape. Sort of...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrawingStraws

Media sources: