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Chased by Angry Natives

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"We're not leaving without Jack... never mind, let's go!"

Stock scene for the Adventurer Archaeologist and Evil Colonialist types, the Hollywood Natives are angry at the adventurer (or Big Bad) stealing their sacred idol, refusing to be their dinner, selling them to his Human Traffickers, or even merely trespassing in their territory. Expect there to be hilariously ineffectual thrown spears and arrows, and hooting and jumping as he makes a clean getaway via plane, boat, car, or train.

Of course, this amounts to nothing so much as Mighty Whitey "preserving for posterity" the ancient sacred objects of a "lesser" culture to a place they'll be truly appreciated: a public museum, if not involving Human Traffickers who trade natives for profits. The natives on the other hand, usually see these as "theft" or "desecration," and hence the pursuit.

Perhaps one of the most cliché things in these adventure movies. But hey, it sets the adventurous, peril dodging tone rather well.

If the villain sets them on the hero, it's Give Chase with Angry Natives. See also Captured by Cannibals.

Compare the Thundering Herd, a more comedic version, and Torches and Pitchforks.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil have Doraemon and friends, on an excursion in Africa to find the legendary kingdom of Bauwan, attacked by crocodiles in the Zambezi River before they're rescued by a friendly tribe. The tribespeople are nice enough to offer them dinner, but Doraemon then enquires about the myth of Bauwan, only for the tribe to warn them to stay out. When Gian insists that they're still entering Bauwan, the gang ends up accidentally pissing off the natives, who believes "disrespecting the myth of Bauwan will curse the village"... cue Doraemon and gang fleeing the village as spears start flying behind them.
  • One Piece.
    • Subverted in the Skypeia arc. The Straw Hat pirates think this is what's happening, since they were attempting to make off with the Skypeian's gold... However, gold is absolutely worthless to Sky Islanders and the Straw Hats had just defeated their false god. They were, in fact, going to give the Straw Hats even more gold, in the form of a gold pillar. But the size of it and the fact it was covered by a tarp made the pirates mistake it for a cannon and sent them scurrying.
    • However this is the case with Chopper. In the manga chapter and cover story (as well as the anime adaption of said cover story) Chopper IS chased by the very very native looking natives of Torino Kingdom (obese people wearing nothing but straw skirts), attacking with spears.....that get fired out of a cannon.
    • Also played straight very early in the series, at the end of the Buggy the Clown arc. Luffy and Zoro had just successfully defeated the pirates that had been occupying the town. However, when the rest of the townspeople show up, Luffy admits to being the one to knock the mayor of their town unconscious, without mentioning why he did it (to keep him from interfering in the fight and getting himself killed), which angers the people...and then follows it up by admitting that they're pirates (without bothering to explain that they're not with Buggy, but defeated him). Result: Luffy (cheerfully carrying a passed-out Zoro) and Nami (fearfully carrying a bag of treasure) running for their lives from the angry townspeople.
    • In the anime rendition of the Amazon Lily arc, Luffy gets hilariously chased around by the Amazons themselves.

    Comic Books 
  • The Dead Boy Detectives (2014 run): Since Persephone's grandfather dies shortly after Persephone and Beatrix arrive, the villagers suspect them of being cursed with death and chase them out. In the escape attempt, Beatrix is killed while Persephone is partly stuck in the teleporting mirror.
  • In the Excalibur story arc The Crosstime Caper, we get a few short vignettes of strange dimensions our heroes passed dimension-hopping, and one is a weird world where Europe was colonized by the Native Americans and is, essentially, the Wild West. We see them chased by angry warpainted British "braves" wearing bowler hats and swinging umbrellas.
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #11 opens with Indy fleeing through the Gibson Desert being chased by an angry tribe of Aborigines: upset because Indy has just stolen one of their sacred artifacts.
  • This happened once or twice to Tintin

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: Inverted when the cliched native is fleeing from a stampede of angry suburbanites, having stolen their "idol" (a TV). He apparently escapes, their treasure now his... as well as the curse.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • In Lucky Luke: Ballad of the Daltons, the derailed train of Bud Bugman passes through a Native American village, and the vibrations cause all the tepees to collapse. The Dalton Brothers, chasing after the train on horse, arrive at the village and Joe asks the Natives if they've seen the train. Averell, of course, makes the dumb mistake of saying the train is "theirs" (the Daltons'). Cut to the Daltons fleeing on their horses, with a Rain of Arrows shot at them.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Disney 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has Ned Land following the "research trip" onto a nearby island, disturbing the local cannibals, which becomes an outrage to all logic and logistics, but does allow Nemo a reason to point out the Nautilus' defenses.
  • Ace Ventura at the end of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls when the Wachatis and Wachootoos find out that the princess is not a virgin.
    • The villain of the movie also has to get away from pissed-off natives when his plan to start a war between the two aforementioned tribes comes crashing down around his ears. He manages to get away, only to be cornered by a silverback gorilla with...amorous intentions.
  • Relatively closer to home, but same execution: After Hours is Paul Hackett's crusade to either make it home or at least survive One Crazy Night on New York's SoHo district, when every single decision he makes or word he says seems to piss off one more of the local residents in some way and escalating to the point that Paul ends up having to dodge a lynch mob composed of said residents.
  • Jackie Chan's movie Armour of God starts with our hero stealing a sword from a bunch of natives, during while the natives are worshiping the said sword. After being chased by the angry natives, he flies away with an ultralight aircraft, natives awed by this wonder start worshiping the flying thing.
  • In Back to the Future Part III, the arrival in 1885 is immediately followed by the DeLorean time machine being chased by Native Americans on horseback, setting the film's tone as a takeoff on The Western.
  • The beginning of Peter Jackson's Braindead (known to American audiences as Dead Alive), in which angry natives from Skull Island (yes, that one) pursue a New Zealand zoo official as he makes off with the indigenous rat monkey. This is at least one case where it probably would have been for the best if the natives did catch their target.
  • The cannibal natives of the film Cannibal Holocaust, after getting fed up with the film crew's treatment of them, chase them down and take vengeance upon them in horrific fashion.
  • Doomsday, where the "natives" are Violent Glaswegians after a viral epidemic turns them into post apocalyptic survivors.
  • Gentlemen Explorers opens with Riley and the Magician being chased by an Eskimo warrior as they attempt to escape with skull of John the Baptist. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • In Green Mansions, the tribe of South American jungle natives want Rima (Audrey Hepburn) and her grandfather dead, and the last third of the film is Rima, her grandfather and Abel (Anthony Perkins) running away from the tribe.
  • Not a literal native example, Shooter Gavin in Happy Gilmore gets chased by angry spectators after he steals the golden blazer when Happy manages to beat him.
  • Indiana Jones:
    • Raiders of the Lost Ark, in the beginning after Indiana Jones steals an idol from a temple, he is chased all the way to his sea plane by the idol's rightful owners.
    • And Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Heck, since Indiana Jones is a franchise based on the movie serials of the 30s-50s it's not a surprise that this trope also arises once in the TV series and quite a few more in the comics.
  • Jane and the Lost City starts off with natives chasing after a British agent who has a diamond from the Lost City. He gets away from the natives but falls into the hands of the Nazis instead.
  • Kinda what happens in the middle of The Mummy Returns, though said natives are undead pygmies.
  • The Naked Prey is about 90% this although the group chasing him is about ten people, tops. The clients of a guide in Victorian Africa dis the locals so they are captured and killed horrifically, but they respect him enough to give a running start then try to run him down.
  • Pretty much the whole third act of The Navigator. The titular boat is running aground outside some island, followed by Rollo and Betsy being chased by the angry natives therein.
  • Played with in the sequel, Operation Condor, sneaks in and goes for the big, expensive looking gems built into the natives' idol. Their witch doctor seems OK with it. He's quite displeased when he takes some of the water from the spring at the base of the idol, but even then he's willing to let it slide if he marries the chief's ugly daughter. Cue chase scene.
  • Happens to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In fact, the image of him running away from them was one of the first things released about the movie, prompting many fans to wonder just what he's done this time. It was the refusing-to-be-dinner scenario, but with a twist: the natives believed Jack was a flesh-imprisoned god yearning to be set free.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness starts this way, with Kirk and Bones being chased by angry native Nibiruans after Kirk steals a sacred scroll (he's not really sure what it is). In fairness, he wanted this to happen in order to get them out of the area because a volcano was about to explode.
  • Happens to Tugg Speedman in Tropic Thunder. Both in the Movie and in the Movie Within The Movie.

  • Turns up in a few Fighting Fantasy adventures.
    • The Forest of Doom begins with you coming across a dwarf across the edge of the deadly Darkwood Forest, having barely surviving an encounter against the hostile wild hill men in the forest. Succumbing to his injuries, his Last Words are to implore you to seek the magical Warhammer of Stonebridge, lost in the forest. During your quest, you risk encountering the same band of hill men and must run like crazy to avoid getting killed by their arrows.
    • Island of the Lizard King have an encounter in the jungle where you save a man from some headhunters, and both of you end up fleeing from the woods, chased by pissed off headhunters. Depending on a luck roll, the man you rescued may or may not survive; if he lives, he will give you a powerful LUCK amulet before bidding farewell.
    • Space Assassin, despite it's sci-fi setting, have you encountering a tribe of pygmy-like space natives. You can try offering them a gift, but giving them the wrong item (for instance, giving them a can of Aerosol Nerve Spray results in the tribe's leader blasting himself with the spray to death) will have them chasing you relentlessly out of the area.
    • Stealer of Souls have a tribe of wild men living in the Isle of Despair, but they're not hostile... unless you attack them first. Killing a couple will draw the attention from the rest, forcing you to bolt while several angry tribespeople pursues after you.
    • Island of the Undead have the totular island, which besides being infested by the, uh, undead, also contains a tribe of Lizard Folk which are neutral. If you attack them first, however, the native lizard tribe will chase you out of the area.

  • Used in the first Age of Fire book, as the starving dragon Auron flees from an angry fishing village after eating a child for nutrition. In a clever ploy, he leads them to another, more hostile dragon, and takes up the dragon's home after the fishermen kill the surprised drake.
  • Heimskringla in the "Saga of Saint Olaf" (13th century) relates how a party of Norwegians loots a sanctuary of the god Jomali in "Bjarmaland" on the White Sea Coast. When they rob the precious collar worn by the statue of Jomali, the Bjarmians are mysteriously alerted, leading to the Norwegians getting chased back to their ships by the locals and escaping by a hair's breadth.
  • Mentioned in The Ship Who... Searched as a peril of doing archaeology on planets that have native sapient species. Tia skips right over any justifications local people might have for not wanting outsiders mucking around with their cultural artifacts to complain that they're brainless fundamentalists.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Illustrated Star Wars Universe: The chapter on Tatooine ends with Senior Anthropologist Hoole getting caught infiltrating a tribe of Tusken Raiders and being forced to run like hell across the desert with the Tuskens in hot pursuit. He only survives when his path leads him into a Stormtrooper patrol, allowing him to gain their protection by impersonating one of them.
    • In The Essential Guide To Alien Species, this happens to Hoole again while investigating the Amani. As the Amani are extremely territorial and prone to inter-tribal violence, Hoole has to not only shapeshift into an Amanin but also use his telepathy to make him smell like an accepted member of the current tribe... resulting in disaster when his concentration slips. Once again, he's left fleeing for his life.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon steals the film reels for an extended version of Raiders of the Lost Ark from a movie theater after not being able to get in. He and the others are then chased through the streets by a horde of angry moviegoers led by Wil Wheaton, Captain Sweatpants, and Lonely Larry as the Raiders theme plays.
    Sheldon: "Why is there never a pontoon plane when you need one?"
  • In Star Trek: Voyager "Basics, Part II", a part of the marooned crew is chased by angry stone-agey aliens. This particular part of the crew getting chased, oddly enough, is led by Chakotay. The whole thing turned out to be a misunderstanding and the crew and the local residents eventually parted on amicable terms.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Parodied in The Far Side where a rainforest tribesmen cuts the rope bridge sending pursuing suburbanites to their doom, the idol (a TV) and its curse were now his.
    • Another one has two explorers frantically paddling their canoe downstream, with one of them saying "Are they gaining, Huxley?" Huxley is looking over at another canoe right alongside them, filled with half-naked spear-toting natives.. and being powered by an outboard motor.

  • Seen in the "Prime Directive" Mode of Stern Pinball's Star Trek, with Kirk and Spock being chased by a pack of angry native aliens.

  • After accidentally killing a sacred python, the adventuring party in Moon Over Africa flee in a hurry to avoid being hunted down by the angry snake-worshiping tribe.

  • In Dino Attack RPG, Dust and Zachary had to work together to escape angry TumTum tribesmen, since the former was a fugitive and the latter was helping him escape. This an interesting variation on the trope, since they could not afford to attack the natives, even in self-defense, or else risk forever losing their chances of gaining Achu's allegiance.

    Video Games 
  • This happens to Crash Bandicoot near the end of the Totem Hokum level in Crash Twinsanity.
  • In LEGOLAND, Johnny Thunder is seen running away from a group of angry Islanders, most likely as a Shout-Out to the famous scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • The "natives" in this case aren't primitive, but the Modern Warfare 2 level "The Hornet's Nest"'s ending probably counts too. Especially since it features a surprising amount of rooftop-jumping for a FPS. To clarify, your character has to track down an informant for the villains of the story then have to fight their way through a Rio shanty town to the extraction point. Just as your in reach, your character misses a jump and falls to the streets just as guerrilla soldiers start rounding a corner. You have to literally run for it with them at your heels to reach the escape copter.
  • Referenced in a cutscene in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, with a swarm of angry zerg standing in for the "natives". Raynor has other plans, though.
    Tychus: (As spent shell casings on the ground begin rattling) "Uh, boys, the natives are gettin' restless..."

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: Elan, Durkon, Daigo, Therkla and Lien are chased away by orc natives at various times.

    Western Animation 
  • The Angry Beavers: When the girl racoons shockingly realize that Daggett is not the Mighty Knothead they imagined, both Dagget and his brother Norbert are chased down.
    The Girl Racoon Chieftain: "Bring me their teeth on a plate!"
  • This happens to the entire Griffin family in Family Guy, when the natives in the South American region where Chris is working as a missionary find out that he's a freshman. Cue the entire family being chased to their seaplane with the natives firing poison-tipped darts from blowguns. Just as the family takes off, Brian reveals that they had left behind Butt-Monkey Meg... who then drops dead. She gets better.
  • Jonny Quest TOS had this at least twice:
    • A piece of animation in the closing credits, with two people in a hovercraft escaping a group of savages shaking their spears.
    • "Pursuit of the Po-Ho". As Race and the boys rescue Dr. Quest, the natives throw spears and pursue in their canoes.
    • Implied in the opening credits in the first two shots: tribesmen in a canoe, and a youth on the run.
  • The Superfriends story, "The River of Doom," has some scientists who inadvertently violated an Amazon tribe's burial ground and Wonder Woman and Rima have to save them, with some requisite chasing. However after the immediate crisis is resolved, the tribe is convinced by the heroes that it was all a misunderstanding and they agree to help the scientists in their research with no hard feelings.

    Real Life 
  • The natives of North Sentinel Island are among the last tribes on Earth not to have made peaceful contact with the outside world. They are downright hostile to anyone who sets foot on the island or gets too close to its shores. Anthropologists/ethnologists have tried to establish contact in vain and several people died. There were also reports of helicopters being shot at with arrows. The Indian government considers the island as sovereign and handles its protection, forbidding anyone to come close of it, for the protection of both curious would-be-intruders and the natives themselves, as they have high risks of not being immune to common sicknesses intruders could unwittingly bring to the island.
    • John Chau, a young American missionary, snuck onto the island in 2018 to bring the people to Jesus. He ended up speared to death; the Indian government figured it was his own fault.
  • This happened to David Attenborough in his youth while filming in Papua New Guinea - in fact, while on camera. His response was to turn around and extend his hand to the chief with "How do you do?", upon which it turned out that the chief was Oxford-educated and his people had mistaken Attenborough for Prince Philip. No, really.
  • GG Allin's concerts mostly lasted about 20 minutes thanks to his onstage behavior and had a tendency to set off riots. In one instance this led to the band being chased out of town in a bonafide car chase, by angry fans.


Video Example(s):


The Dragonmaw Clan

While passing through the Wetlands, Ellers and company run afoul of a group of Dragonmaw Orcs and are chased out of their territory.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChasedByAngryNatives

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