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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

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Whatever you do, don't say Polo.

"Could you come over here?"
Turrets, Portal

The boy fled, his breath coming in short pants. This room seemed perfect. An old metal staircase gave ample cover from the man chasing him.

His pursuer entered the room. The giant sword dragged along the ground behind him, drawing sparks.

"I know you're here, little boy," sing-songed the monster in the shape of a man. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

Like a deadly game of hide-and-seek, sometimes a villain will search for a hidden character. The villain will often be walking slowly, to increase dramatic tension. We may flash to their quarry, hidden inside an air vent, behind crates, under a table or inside a bathroom stall.

Named for the line often spoken in a mocking singsong tone by the chaser, either to taunt the chased out of hiding or just to scare them. The line itself originates from the more innocuous context of the children's game Hide-and-Seek. A related trope is Hide-and-Seek Horror.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Digimon Adventure, the climax of the showdown with Piedmon involves the children and Digimon running from him to avoid being turned into keychains.
    Piedmon: Ale ale oxen free!
  • Hellsing: Opening scene of volume 1. Jan also does this when searching for Integra.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Done by protagonists to antagonists and vice versa. This line is also used in the first opening theme of the anime.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: Three Number Cyborgs do this to an isolated Badass Normal Teana during the final battle. As noted by Teana, they just need to spot her back once for all of it to be over.
  • My Neighbor Totoro: Mei and Satsuki say the phrase when trying to make the soot sprites (or "soot gremlins" or "dust bunnies," depending on which version one watches) in the attic appear. The English version is toned down from the Japanese language track, where they also say, "Or we'll pluck your eyeballs out!"
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yuri stalks Yuzu along an ice field and comments of how they are playing hide and seek. When she won't come out, he summons a dragon that starts smashing the ice.

    Comic Books 
  • Red Robin: The already horrifying member of the Council of Spiders code named Sac calls out to Tam in a sing song voice while following her through the facility she's trying to hide from him in with his flesh eating spiders fanning out in front of him and a sickle in each hand.
    "Little girrrrl... come out, come out, wherever you are. I promise you'll be just fiiine."
  • It happens in Superman story Who is Superwoman?. Supergirl has been depowered by Reactron in mid-flight and forced to crash-land into a rooftop. As she's hiding behing a wall, looking for something she can use as a weapon, she can hear Reactron searching for her and taunting her by reminding her that he already murdered her father.

    Fan Works 
  • Bad Future Crusaders: Dinky does this during her fight with Silver Spoon, while calmly blowing up all the places to hide one by one.
    "You asked for a fight, so come out and get one you will never forget for as long as you live! *BOOM* However long that might be, mind you."
  • Shadows over Meridian:
    • When Jade realizes that whoever the Frostbiter chased to the rocky maze is still around, she orders her troops to find them while also calling out loud to give the trespassers a chance to show themselves. She ends up finding Caroline and the wounded Philip when the former speaks too loudly in her worry over the latter.
    • After dispatching a group of escaped prisoners in Chapter 31, Jade senses that Vera is hiding nearby and tells the madwoman to show up before she counts to three. When she gets to three, Vera pulls a Super Window Jump in an ultimately futile effort to escape.
  • War of Remnant: A RWBY Anthology: After killing Ren’s parents, Wendigo calls out to him and Nora and begins searching for them. Thankfully, Ren’s ability to mask their negative emotions from the Grimm kicks in, and Wendigo is left throwing a tantrum while unable to find them.

    Films — Animated 
  • 101 Dalmatians: Jasper whistles and says "Here, puppies, come on out" while he and Horace are looking for them in the mansion.
  • Tarzan: The variation "Hiding are we?" is used by vicious killer Clayton in a very psychotic and playful tone towards Tarzan.
  • The Transformers: The Movie when Galvatron is searching for Hot Rod in the dimly lit innards of Unicron.
    Galvatron: You lack even Prime's courage! Come out, Autobot! We all must die sometime!
  • Zootopia: The criminal mastermind Dawn Bellwether says "Come on out, Judy..." in a very trembling and disturbing tone during the hide and seek at the museum.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Assassins. A Professional Killer says this when searching through a hotel's computer database, to track down which room his target is using.
  • In Black Christmas (2019), Riley and Kris are fleeing from the killer in the sorority house. The run into kitchen and crouch down at the far end of the kitchen island, out of sight of the door. They hear the killer enter and his footsteps slowly advancing towards their hiding spot. However, before he reaches the end of the island, he stops, turns around and walks out. It is actually a trick to make them think it is safe to come out.
  • Stated word for word by Cady in the 1991 version of Cape Fear when looking for Bowden who hides behind a dumpster.
  • The mall scene in Der Clown Payday.
  • The climax of The Faculty.
  • In Fantastic Four (2005), Sue turns invisible to hide from Doom, who begins pacing the room while mockingly calling out "Marco... polo..."
  • Used by the hero in The German, as he stalks his downed enemy through the woods:
    Red Leader: It's no use. There's a truck there now, they'll send another five. The whole town saw us come down. You can't stay out here forever.
  • A rare non-villainous example occurs in the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Just when The Reveal has occurred that Sirius Black did not help to kill Harry's parents, he begins calling out for...
    'PETER! PETTIGREW!' And he's in this room, right now! Come out, come out, Peter! Come out and play!!
  • Another non-villainous example takes place in The Third Man, when Holly Martins tries coaxing some mysterious onlooker who's been tailing him out of the shadows, with the words, "Come out, come out whoever you are"; He can see where the person is standing, but not who it is.
  • Appropriately enough, in the horror movie Hide and Seek. Emily is hiding in her room from her father, who's been possessed by his Split Personality and Charlie comes in, doing an Ironic Echo of the game Emily used to play with her mother.
    That's funny... I could have sworn I saw a little girl named Emily go in here...
  • In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, when Smaug awakens, he can sense Bilbo's presence, but cannot see him thanks to the ring's protection.
    Smaug: Well... thief? I smell you, I hear your breath, I feel your air. Where are you? Where are you? ...Come now, don't be shy... Step into the light...
  • Marv and Harry in Home Alone: "We know that you're in there, and that you're all alone..."
  • The female protagonist in the Charles Bronson film Murphys Law calls this out when walking through the judge's house who unknown to her is already dead. At that point the door slams behind her and she's seized by his killer.
  • North By Northwest also has a non-villainous example, and a nicer version - Eve says this word for word to Roger after the porter leaves her room to let him know it's safe to come out from hiding in her bathroom.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Pintel and Ragetti talk to the air in this manner while methodically searching the room where Elizabeth Swann is hiding.
    Pintel: We know you're 'ere, poppet...
  • Queen of the Damned. During his video interview, when asked if he's worried about how other vampires will react to him being a vampire in the spotlight, Lestat says he only has one thing to say to them.
  • In the climax of Return of the Jedi, Luke doesn't want to fight his father, so he hides in the poorly lit corners of the throne room, Vader taunts him by reading his mind and finding out about his sister.
  • In The Rock, one of the marines says something similar to this while looking for Nicholas Cage's character.
  • The first Spider-Man film, spoken by the Green Goblin. "Heh heh... Can Spider-Man come out to play?"
  • Stated word for word in The Truman Show by Truman's best friend looking for him in his basement. Amusingly, the director commends the actor for "keeping the scene light", despite it coming across as horribly creepy.
  • The Warriors: "Warriors.... Come out to playyyyay...". That line and the clanking of the empty bottles on each of his fingers were ad-libbed.
  • In Star Trek: Insurrection, Picard actually sings this while searching for Data (who has been damaged and rendered temporarily 'insane'), drawing an odd look from Worf.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, after the Munchkins hide in fear when the house falls on the Wicked Witch, Glinda cajoles them into the open with a song that begins "Come out, come out, wherever you are, and meet the young lady who fell from a star!"
  • Something like this occurs in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Roger is hiding in a concealed room in a bar. Big Bad Judge Doom enters and toys with the customers for a while, then starts tapping out "Shave And A Haircut" on the walls, knowing full well that it drives Toons batshit crazy when somebody leaves the "two bits" part off the end. Eventually Roger can't stand it anymore and bursts through the wall singing "Twoooooo biiiiiits!", allowing Doom to grab him.
    • Referenced in an issue of the comic, where Roger is hiding in a hollow tree stump until the villain knocks it twice, which makes Roger jump out and shout "Who's there?"
  • In Z-O-M-B-I-E-S (2018), in the third film, the werewolves find out that the forcefield protecting the moonstone is down, meaning that the aliens tried to steal it and they chase them down to the song "Come on Out".
    Come out, come on out, come out, come on out now (Hey, come on out now)
    In the dark, in the park, in the wild
    Hey, come on out now (hey, come on out now)
    In the streets, in the trees, in the night
    Hey, come on out now

  • In Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry ducks behind a tombstone in the Graveyard, avoiding Voldemort's curse. Softly, Voldemort tells him:
      "We are not playing hide and seek, Harry. You cannot hide from me. Does this mean you are tired of our duel? Does this mean that you would prefer me to finish it now, Harry? Come out, Harry... Come out and play, then... it will be quick... it might even be painless... I would not know... I have never died..."
    • Bellatrix also does this in the Department of Mysteries: "Come out, come out, little Harry..."
  • Magrat in Lords and Ladies when the elves hunt her down in her own castle. At least, until she finds Queen Ynci's armor and proceeds to kick elf ass.
  • Maya the Bee:
    • Maya and Willy would mostly play hide and seek throughout the show.
    • The Studio 100 CGI series has a song called "Verstoppertje" which is sung by Maya about her playing hide and seek with Flip and Willy. This song can be heard in the Maya show at Plopsaland, where Maya is searching for Willy and Flip when she learns that they are planning a surprise for her birthday. But Flip and Willy have to keep it a secret between the female host.
  • Ammet the marid does this with Bartimaeus in The Ring of Solomon. It also happens when Honorious the afrit is trying to catch Kitty in Gladstones tomb in The Golems Eye.
  • The Saga of the Sworn Brothers: Having killed Thorgrim and three sons of Thorgrim's sister Thordis, Thormod is planning to leave Greenland, but Thordis gets wind that Thormod is rowing across a fjord near their farm at night and sets out with her last son and five farmhands in order to kill him. When Thormod gets aware of the pursuers, he capsizes his boat and swims to a low-lying islet nearby, digs himself a hole between two rocks and covers himself with sea-weed. Thordis guesses correctly what Thormod has done and orders her posse to search the island and make sure to stab around in the sea-weed with their spears. When they do not find him, Thordis shouts that if Thormod can hear her, he must come out to prove he is truly manly and not a coward ("if he has a man's heart and not a mare's"). Thormod keeps lying still, and the searchers leave without having found him.
  • Danny and the monster in the climax of The Shining.
  • During a memorable scene in Something Wicked This Way Comes, evil carnival owner Mr. Dark searches the town library for young protagonists Will and Jim, alternately guessing aloud where they might be hiding and trying to trick them into revealing themselves (and tempt Will's father into betraying them) by offering each of them their greatest secret desires.
  • In the Star Wars novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Asaaj Ventress is searching a mansion for two padawans who accompanied Yoda when she senses two Jedi hiding in a nearby closet. She teases them unpleasantly for a while, before wrenching open the door and shouting, "I have you now!". Only it wasn't the padawans, but Obi-Wan and Anakin. Obi-Wan remarks, "So you have. Now what do you intend to do with us?". Anakin ignites his saber. Ventress runs.

    Live Action TV 
  • A non-villain example occurs in Batman (1966). Batgirl says it word-for-word to Catwoman after chasing her into a changing room; this, of course, is Catwoman's cue to appear behind her and capture her.
  • Blake's 7. The line is delivered verbatim in "Ultraworld" when Vila is alone on the Liberator and aliens start sending Mind Control waves onto the ship. However the most chilling example is in "Orbit". Avon and Vila are on a shuttle that can't reach escape velocity because it's too heavy. They strip the shuttle of everything they can throw out the airlock, but are short 70 kilos. Which happens to be just under Vila's weight. As Vila crouches terrified behind a hatch, Avon stalks through the shuttle with a handgun, calling softly, "Vila? Vila, I need your help..."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "School Hard", Spike does this to Buffy, complete with singsong tone (though he doesn't actually say the line; instead it's "Someone's in the ceiling...") He does say "Here kitty-kitty" which may as well be an alternate title for this trope.
    • In "Ted" we're treated to Buffy sitting on a playground swing in the middle of the night saying, "Vampires, heeerrre vampires..."
    • In "Helpless" the Serial Killer-turned vampire stalking Buffy through the house says, "Hide and seeek, hide and seeek..."
    • Buffy vs. Angel in his eponymous episode.
    • Buffy and the Master in "Prophecy Girl".
    • Becomes a Failed Attempt at Drama in "Living Conditions".
      Buffy: Alright. Why don't you quit hiding and come out and face me like a ... thing.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In an inversion of this trope, a little child in a gas mask is looking for his mother. Thing is, the kid infects people so that they grow a gas mask over their faces, so when he meets his sister Nancy on the streets, he begins doing this.
      "Mummy! Where are you?... Mummy! I'm coming to find you!"
    • Of course in reality she is actually his mother, thus justifying his questioning of her (even if unintentionally.)
    • It also plays the trope straight in "Last of the Time Lords":
      Master: Out you come, little girl. Come and meet your Master.
  • Farscape
    • In "Won't Get Fooled Again", John Crichton is apparently on Earth but, knowing full well he's being deceived, calls on whatever hidden enemy is running the show to reveal themselves. Being Crichton, he gives the line from the song in The Wizard of Oz.
    • In "Twice Shy", Crichton gives the line while searching for a Decoy Damsel. She does come a giant spider creature that attacks them.
  • Fawlty Towers- In the "The Psychiatrist" when Basil is convinced that a guest is hiding young woman in his room. He thinks he's finally cornered the offenders, triumphantly calls out this trope... and out comes the guest's wizened little mother. This, for once, is a non-creepy example.
  • Done ironically in Firefly episode "Objects In Space". "Come on out, River. Nice man wants to kidnap you."
  • Used twice by Rufus Zeno in House of Anubis. Once was to Patricia in the Season One episode House of Hazards. The second time was to Jerome in Season Two.
  • Luke Cage (2016) has Diamondback name drop The Warriors before delivering the corresponding Shout-Out.
    Diamondback: Caaaaarl, come out and playyyyay...
  • Used by a minor villain in Merlin. He uses it after coming upon a village he planned to raze and finding it seemingly deserted.
  • A rare example done by a protagonist occurs in New York Undercover: going in to arrest an ex-con sex offender on suspicion of an attack. "Come out come out wherever you are! little pervert."
  • A comic and (sort of) heroic example: The Cat in Red Dwarf, hunting for mice: "Here, mousey, mousey! I've got some cheese! I only wanna be your friend!" *Hits things with a baseball bat*
  • Supernatural:
    • Realising he's being stalked by a not-so-friendly ghost, Dean says, "Come out come out whoever you are."
    • Soulless!Sam says this while stalking his other self in a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Done comically in V: The Final Battle from 1984: a not-so-bright Visitor starts softly calling "Mousiiiieeeeee. Mousie. Here, mousie" to a dumpster as he scrounges for mice to eat.

  • "Ode to a Centipede" from the album Pac-Man Fever has the singer doing this to the centipede, bordering on Stalker with a Crush levels.
    You can't get away little centipede.
    I'm right behind you.
    Don't try hiding behind the mushrooms.
    I see you!

    Music Videos 

  • Becky, infected by the Hate Plague, does this to Hannah in Black Friday with her song "Do You Want to Play With Me?", searching for Hannah while serenely singing to her and calling her "lovely girl" and offering to play games with her... while hiding a syringe full of knockout drugs behind her back. Brr...
  • Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett searching for Toby near the end of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Mrs. Lovett sings a Dark Reprise of "Not While I'm Around" for maximum creepiness.

    Video Games 
  • In Alpha Protocol, Brayko uses this line verbatim when you try hiding from him (in contrast to Omen Deng and Marburg, who can sniff you out wherever you are).
    Brayko: Come out, come out, wherever you are... Olly olly oxen free, whatever the fuck that means.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: Although this line is never said, its typical follow-up line is used by Scarecrow if Batman is seen by the good doctor's hypodermic-needle-gloved Freddy Krueger-esque monster self in his fear-gas-induced visions of DEATH. Batman must avoid him by hiding in the shadows, but if he's seen, the follow-up line is spoken:
    "Oh, there you are... (SLASH)"
  • Blood
  • In Borderlands, the Mooks say exactly this (often followed by a "What are you, scared? Or something?).
  • During Merrill's second-act personal mission in Dragon Age II, you encounter an elf named Pol hiding in the Varterral caverns, prompting Hawke to use a similar line.
    Silly!Hawke: Whoever's hiding around here had better come out. Unless you're a dragon. Then feel free to keep hiding.
  • I Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, Duke has one before the fight with Morphix.
    Duke: Come on out, Morphix. There's just two ways this can end, and in both of them, you die!
  • The super mutants in Fallout 3 sometimes say exactly this when you hide from them, complete with a short, almost sarcastic laugh.
  • Sky Captain, AI opponent of the old Electronic Arts game Future Cop: L.A.P.D. says it when hunting for the player.
  • Coming from possessed Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, this has a definite potential for nightmare fuel.
  • Used by Filch in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when you're sneaking around the library.
  • In League of Legends, one of Annie's lines playing randomly during a game.
    "Come out, come out, wherever you are..." with a long "a" and singed in her childish voice.
  • Left 4 Dead sees Francis, one of the survivors, deliver one of these in a rather blunt fashion when he hears a Hunter nearby: "I hear a Hunter! Come on out, wussy!"
  • In the last section of Mad Father, while Aya is being chased with a chainsaw by her titular father.
    Aaaayaaaa... Doko ni iru no kanaaaa~?
  • The Manhunt series likes to invoke this whenever the protagonist is hiding in the shadows and the Mooks are looking for him.
  • From Max Payne, during the battle with B.B.: "Maxey, Maxey, Maxey...Come out, come out wherever you are! You know, I really hate people who refuse to see the inevitable, refuse to do the smart thing..."
  • Khamsin of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will sometimes unleash an attack that kicks up big chunks of the ground around him. He is less than pleased when the player uses these as hiding spots, shouting the common example as well as a few other taunts.
    Khamsin: Hidden or in plain sight, you're dead just the same!
  • Spider-Man (2000):
    • Venom has a moment after a chase scene, though ironically, it was Spidey chasing him rather than the other way around.
      Venom: Where'd Spider-Wuss go? Spider-Wussss! Come out and plaaaaaayyy!
      Spider-Man: [lands on Venom's head] TAG!
    • During Scorpion's boss fight, he goes around looking for J. Jonah Jameson, calling out to him.
  • Splinter Cell: The mercenaries in the Kalinatek level say this line.
  • This describes the entire gameplay of Thief, though some pursuers hew to it more closely than others.
  • Appears verbatim in Valkyria Chronicles II in the Enemy Chatter.
  • When Emilia is looking for the Pope in Yggdra Union, she starts calling out the traditional Japanese hide-and-seek lines in frustration ("Olly olly oxenfree!" in the English version). It doesn't come off as particularly frightening because it takes her a very long time for her to find him, on top of which Emilia is fourteen.

    Web Works 
  • In Godslave, Edith and Turner play this briefly when she tries to escape from him at the museum, although Turner choses this moment to play Affably Evil card.
  • In the RWBY episode "Black and White", Blake Belladonna takes cover from Roman Torchwick's Gun Cane. Roman wanders the area while saying, "Here, kitty-kitty."
  • In Tribe Twelve, Noah uses this to taunt The Administrator.
    Noah: Come out, come out, wherever you are!
    The Administrator is seen on the top of the observation tower, flailing his tentacles.
    Noah: Oh shit! You're up there, huh? I'm fucking coming!

    Western Animation 
  • Said by The Joker in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, "Be A Clown". Joker ends up chasing a child he inadvertently kidnapped (after an attempt to blow up everyone at said child’s birthday party, no less) in a dark, creepy amusement park which seems to have been abandoned. Yes, the scenario is just as scary as it sounds. Especially chilling when he takes a stick and drags it along the gating.
  • Beany and Cecil had Dishonest John as Singood the Sailor summoning an inebriated genie from a bottle with "Come out, come out, whatever you are!"
  • The second BIONICLE film did a variation of this: Vakama was hidden using his invisibility power, and at some point, Makuta tried to taunt him out of hiding using the tactics described in this trope.
  • On The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Barry the baracuda sings a rap song that includes this as part of its lyrics while he's hunting for his prey.
  • Used innocently in an episode of Danger Mouse by Penfold, as he searches for the titular hero.
  • The Lumberjack ghost says this word for word when hunting Dipper and Pacifica in the Gravity Falls episode "Northwest Mansion Mystery".
  • In an episode of Littlest Pet Shop (2012) the museum's security guard chases after Zoe, saying "Here, doggie, doggie, doggie!"
  • Max and Ruby: Ruby does this to Max in the "Max, Where Are You?" song in Bunny Party. Her tone of voice indicates that it's serious - she's not in the mood for Max's games.
  • Men in Black: The Series has Jay do this while searching a sewer for the Alien of the Week.
  • In Mighty Mouse Meets Deadeye Dick, our hero defeats and humiliates Deadeye. The outlaw returns with a gang of thugs as they call Mighty Mouse out from a saloon.
    "Whoever crosses me," said Dick, "is bound to face disaster.
    Come on out, you yellow polecat. Come out and face your master!"
  • Mr. Tod says it in "The Tale of the Unguarded Garden" from Peter Rabbit after Peter, his sister and friends elude his grasp and hide from him.
  • Used in a Rugrats episode in which Angelica has a nightmare that her new baby brother is evil and can talk to her.
  • In Samurai Jack's "Jack and the Zombies", Aku got hold of Jack's sword and sought the terrified hero throughout a cemetery, while mockingly saying: "Oh Samurai! Where are you, Samurai? You can run but you cannot hide, `cause I can smell your blood!"
  • Said by Gargamel in The Smurfs (1981) episode "Hogatha's Heart Throb" when he just got his hands on her magic whistle actually, her bird call.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars,, "Duel of the Droids": Grievous tries taunting Ahsoka into giving up her hiding place in the storeroom where he corners her.
  • Teen Titans
    • The episode "Final Exam". Jinx does this while chasing Beast Boy through the Titans Tower.
      "Here, kitty, kitty. What's the matter? Afraid of a little bad luck?"
    • Mother Mae-Eye says this when chasing the Titans.
  • Used by The Monarch on The Venture Brothers, lampshaded with his comment afterward of "Cliched I know. Trust me, it sounds extra creepy over the PA".


"Come out to plaaay-ay!"

"Warriors! Come out to plaaay-ay!"

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