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Diving Save

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A toddler toddles out in front of a speeding semi-truck and a character rushes out to snatch the child from impending doom. Or one character one has an attack shot at them and another character dives to push them out of the way. Extra points for Slow Motion and a Big "NO!", and/or if the person doing the saving takes the bullet instead, turning it into a Heroic Sacrifice.

Usually the person in danger is:

  • Not intelligent or mature enough to know they're in danger, such as a little kid.
  • Totally oblivious, like someone reading a book.
  • Frozen in terror, à la "deer caught in the headlights".
  • In the middle of tripping, or is otherwise unable to change course.
  • Someone too slow to get out of the way in time, due to old age, an injury or a handicap.

Their response to being saved is:

Can result from Look Both Ways.

A sister trope of Tuck and Cover. If a villain or Anti-Hero does this, it can be a Pet the Dog moment. If you want to prove your character is extra badass, have them push the attacker/blast/projectile off-course instead. If it's an item rather than a person being intercepted as it falls, it's a Desperate Object Catch. If it's jumping in front of someone to take the blow instead of plowing them away, then it's Taking the Bullet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach anime examples:
    • Episode #10: Ichigo pulls Don Kanonji out of the way of a charging Hollow.
    • Episode #12: Chad leaps and grabs Karin to get her out of the way of a Hollow's attack.
    • Episode #224: When the arrancar Apache fires a cero blast at Momo, Rangiku dives in and pulls Momo out of the way.
    • Episode #256: Rukia does this to her zanpakuto's spirit to get her out of the way of another zanpakutos spirit's attack.
    • Episode #257: Rangiku Matsumoto's zanpakuto's spirit Haineko runs over, grabs her and pulls her out of the way of falling metal beams.
    • Episode 332: As Reigei!Komamura's giant warrior Bankai is about to hit Nozomi, Uryu dives in and grabs her, pulling her out of the way of the attack.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: In order to save Beauty from any situation (ranging from truly dangerous to "why the hell doesn't she move?"), Heppokomaru/Gasser usually does this.
  • Ken Wakashimazu saves a puppy being run by a truck like this in the first Captain Tsubasa series. He still got hit on the shoulder, creating a serious Game-Breaking Injury that would haunt him for quite a while.
    • Also, Gino Hernández and Taro Misaki save the lives of Schneider's sister Marie and Misaki's half-sister Yoshiko like this. In the second case, though, Misaki also got injured, which prevented him from playing in almost the whole WYC.
  • In Case Closed, Conan pushes a Trauma-Induced Amnesia-affected Ran out of way of a train in whose path she was pushed into by the movie's Big Bad in the fourth movie.
  • Used in The Cat Returns, where Haru saves Prince Lune from getting hit by a truck (as he fumbles with his proposal gift), by scooping him up with a lacrosse stick.
  • The protagonist of Charlotte uses his powers to cause a truck to veer off course towards a classmate, so that he can invoke this trope and foment a Rescue Romance.
  • Subverted back and forth so many times there isn't even a name for it in Darker than Black. In the second episode, before the real tenor of the series has become clear, Hei dives in front of Chiaki when one of the bad guys shoots at her. However, 1) "Chiaki" (actually a doll programmed with her memories) was the one who shot him. 2) His Badass Longcoat is bulletproof, so his getting in the way wasn't actually putting him in much more danger. and 3) He had absolutely no compunction about using her as a shield when dealing with another contractor with a Tele-Frag power. Nevertheless, he was still having an unexpected attack of Chronic Hero Syndrome, trying to rescue her even though there was no rational reason to do so. Maybe we should just say they broke the trope and leave it at that.
    • Yin's Mom also makes one to save Yin from a truck.
    • And November 11 tackles Misaki when an explosion occurs; however, it's debatable how much more danger this would put him in.
  • This is how Misato gets isekaied in Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?. She gets hit by a truck after a little girl falls into its path and she pushes her out of the way.
  • Digimon:
  • FLCL
    • Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly". While Haruko is abusing Naota, Mamimi jumps and grabs him out her arms, taking him to safety.
    • Episode 2 "Firestarter". Naota saves Mamimi by pushing her out of the way of a falling Canti during the final battle.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist , Ed tries to stop Ling from being eaten by a rampaging Gluttony by doing this. It doesn't work and they both get eaten, along with Envy, who was trying to stop Ed from being eaten. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Full Metal Panic!: Sousuke rescues Kaname from an incoming truck. Up to then she'd regarded him as some weird military otaku, so she's notably affected by this act... until she realizes he's inadvertently grabbed her breast which he keeps giving a reassuring squeeze, causing her to deck him. In a subversion, it is immediately shown that Sousuke's backup Humongous Mecha had stopped the truck immediately following the save, meaning he could have spared himself the effort.
  • Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Minami's awakening as Cure Mermaid is triggered by her diving in to save Cure Flora, who has an injured ankle, from being crushed by the Monster of the Week.
  • Gundam:
    • This trend started with Lalah's legendary Heroic Sacrifice doing this in the original Mobile Suit Gundam.
    • Which was repeated in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, with Four shielding Kamille from Jerid and losing both the Psyco Gundam and her life for it.
    • Then this trope was subverted twice in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
      • In the first instance, Kira Yamato tries to perform a Diving Save with his Strike Gundam's shield to prevent a shuttle full of civilian refugees from being blown up by Yzak Joule and the Duel Gundam, who thought the ship was full of escaping soldiers, not civilians. Sadly, Kira can't reach the shuttle before Yzak blows a hole in it, and Kira only gets to the shuttle when it explodes, going into a Heroic BSoD as a result.
      • Later, near the end of the series, a nearly-identical scene occurs in which Kira once again tries for a Diving Save to keep Rau Le Creuset from destroying an escape pod from another ship (where his ex-girlfriend Flay Allster is, among the Bridge Bunnies of the recently destroyed Dominion), and this time he succeeds by blocking the shot that Rau's Providence Gundam fired at them... except Rau uses one of his Providence's DRAGOONs to fire again from another angle and blows the escape pod up, killing Flay and the others. Kira flips out and slips into a state of tearful defeat as Rau and the Providence retreat to go attack the Eternal, until a Dead Person Conversation with what is assumed to be the ghost of Flay herself revitalizes him. Going into SEED Mode, Kira decides to hold nothing back and flies into an Unstoppable Rage as he darts after Rau and the Providence with murderous intent, leading to a savage final fight in front of the GENESIS.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Yuuhi happens to hit Kazuki's Berserk Button at the same time as Shouta tries to interfere in their fist fight. Yuuhi ends up diving to protect Shouta and gets a harsh blow to the head for it.
  • In Kaleido Star, Leon pulling this to save Sora from a car is the first sign of him starting to become defrosted.
  • In KonoSuba, Kazuma attempts one of these when he thinks that a classmate is about to be run over by a truck. When he wakes up in the afterlife, he assumes that he pulled off the Heroic Sacrifice variant of the trope. It turns out that three consecutive all-night gaming sessions had left him addled enough that he saw a slow-moving tractor in the corner of his eye and mistook it for a speeding truck. His classmate had never been in any danger, and Kazuma himself only died of shock because he thought that he was about to be run over by a truck.
  • Vita does the badass version of this trope in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS by walloping one of Teana's wayward energy bullets off course at the last second before it hits Subaru's head. Garyu does something similar later, only he catches the Energy Ball headed for Erio and Caro when they were bringing Lutecia to safety and crushes it in his hand instead.
  • Mekakucity Actors: At the end of episode 4, Hibiya pulls Hiyori out of a speeding truck's way... the momentum carrying him into its path instead.
  • Near the start of My Younger Senpai, Nanasawa, after traveling back in time, saves her sempai Seto by tackling her out of the way of a motorcycle.
  • Happens pretty often in Naruto.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Asuna discovers that Negi is a mage when he uses his magic to help him catch Nodoka when she falls off a staircase. Negi was too far away, and he had to levitate her so he could dive in time.
    • Negi rescues a kitten this way in by diving in, grabbing the cat, and flipping the car through the air (which lands right-side up).
  • Iki saves Yato from a truck in the beginning of Noragami. Ironically, Yato would have been fine if the truck hit him.
  • Shouma pulls this for Ringo in Penguindrum. He's so Made of Iron that he survives with little more than some bumps and bruises.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In "Bulbasaur the Ambassador", Bulbasaur jumps to push another Pokemon out of the way of a falling boulder and has it fall on him instead. He digs into the ground to escape injury.
    • In "Just Waiting on a Friend", a Ninetales pushes Brock out of the way of James's attacking Victreebel.
    • During "Double Team Turnover", Chimchar pushes Pikachu out of the way of Saturn's Toxicroak and takes the hit.
    • In "A Guardian Rematch", Pikachu accidentally gets knocked through a railing and over a cliff by Tapu Koko; Ash immediately jumps after him. Fortunately, Tapu Koko rescues the two.
    • In SM053, Ash pushes Lillie out of the way of Mother Beast Lusamine's attack.
  • Ranma ½: In the 5th OVA, Ranma dives to keep Akane from being hurt by a blast that goes straight through the wall of the dojo.
    • In the live action special, when Ranma sees a sharp weapon flying towards Akane's head, he tackles her.
  • In the movie sequel of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, Mai pulled this on Sakuta and was killed in the process. Cue Time Travel and Mai's death was prevented, though instead it's Sakuta pulling this on himself.
  • Done in RRR by Rikitarou to his nephew Aozora. He needs that protective instinct later on.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In the S season, upon learning Hotaru is Sailor Saturn, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune both launch their attacks at her in a desperate attempt to avert The End of the World as We Know It. Chibiusa just jumps in front of her, but Usagi takes the more logical move and rushes in to grab them and push them both out of the way.
    • Sailor Moon really loved this trope. Umino saving Naru in episode 26, Mamoru saving Usagi from Queen Beryl, Mamoru jumping in the way for Usagi again — while Luna and Artemis simultaneously try to do the same thing — in the R Movie, Umino jumping in the way to protect Naru again in S (after which she gets in the way, trying to protect him), and various other occasions, perhaps too many to count. Not to mention Nephrite saving Naru by jumping in the way of a spike attack in episode 24.
    • Let's not forget Neptune pushing Uranus away from a Death Trap in the Marine Catedral, which causes her to be caught in said trap and then captured by Eudial.
    • In the third season of Sailor Moon Crystal, Chibimoon tackles Hotaru out of the way of a huge tentacle,
  • In Saint Beast, Luca saves Rey from falling rocks (that Rey blew up) in both anime versions. In the first it's played off as something of a Meet Cute Rescue Romance whereas the second retconned it into happening during training practice, long after they had met.
  • In a memorable episode of Slayers NEXT, Amelia tries to enforce her motive of justice on the Mazoku general Gaav, who promptly gives her a brief and harsh Breaking Speech and then gets ready to kill her. A borderline BSOD-ing Amelia would've been brutally stabbed by him at that point if Zelgadis hadn't dived in and shielded her at the last second. It's also the first time at that point in the series that Zel, normally Nigh-Invulnerable, was severely wounded.
  • In Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream episode 11, Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi, while they are transformed into baseball players from their Yume Kira bags, do this to save the D2 duo from the out-of-control dino-like robot, sliding them safely out of its way.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: In one episode, Zakuro Fujiwara leaps and grabs Mint Aizawa, pulling her out of the path of an energy beam.
  • Vash of Trigun proves he's the real Stampede when he does the badass version of this trope using five bullets. To explain, His opponent is a giant (to give an idea of scale, whose foot is about slightly smaller the size of a car) and his attack is a Spinning Rocket Punch with retractable cable, capable of and shown destroying a building into rubble earlier. Vash stopped that punch, already in flight, reaching its target with only 5 pistol shots, and in the middle of a dive in between the opponent and the people he's saving too (thus fulfilling this trope only technically). What he did with the 6th and last shot in his pistol simply cemented the awesome.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne, Hitomi sees Dilandau using his Guymelef to spy on Van. Since Dilandau is using an Invisibility Cloak no one can see him, but Hitomi is immune to such effects. She then makes a massive run for it and tackles Van right before Dilandau moves in for the kill.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: The Battle Beast traps Crow inside a card and then attempts to kill him by stomping on it. Shingo Sawatari leaps and manages to snatch the card away in time.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • In the first episode, Yusuke dies saving a little boy by pushing him out of the way of a car. He is later informed that despite how it looked, the car would've swerved out of the way at the last second, making his sacrifice completely meaningless. He gets points for trying, though, and is resurrected shortly after because of it... and because him sacrificing himself to save the kid was so unlikely, The Powers That Be were completely unprepared for him. The original manga renders this a little bit differently. Here, the little boy was supposed to be hit by the car, but would have miraculously pulled through.
    • Botan later saves Mitarai by pushing him out of the way of a falling bookcase, helping cause him to question his view of humanity - although Botan is not human, he wasn't aware of her role in Spirit World back then.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Kiichi attempts this when he think Yugiri is about to be hit by an oncoming wagon. She leaps out of the way first, leaving him to fly into a nearby river.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Flying Island: The Sky Adventure episode 28, a balloon person pushes Wilie out of the way of an oncoming vehicle... only to end up caught on the vehicle himself.

    Comic Books 
  • Happens a few times in Astro City; they're basically distilled superhero comics, so it's not surprising.
  • In Avengers: The Initiative, one of the early issues has Charles Atlas superhero MVP push push Cloud 9 out of the way of an energy blast, at the cost of his own life.
  • In Book 7 of Bone, Grandma Ben makes a diving save to save Thorn when she shows no sign of actually being alarmed by having Kingdok (giant slobbery toothy rat-like monster with no tongue left at this point) charging her.
  • Plays a crucial role in Daredevil's Super Hero Origin: he saved a blind man from a truck, only to be struck blind himself when a container of radioactive waste hit him in the face.
  • Dynamite Comics' version of The Lone Ranger has this. A cornered baddie, with only one shot left, has to choose which one to kill; he picks Tonto, but the Ranger does a flying leap and takes the bullet. In the chest. When Tonto, upon catching up to the shooter, finds that he has reloaded his derringer in the interim, his reaction is to grab the gun with his hand, taking a bullet to the palm, and use his other hand to punch the living crap out of the outlaw. This version of Tonto is more of a badass than the titular hero.
  • Spider-Man: In The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #90, Captain George Stacy saves a child from falling rubble while Spider-Man is battling Doctor Octopus. He doesn't make it.
  • Strangers at the Heart's Core: When a gang of alien criminals sneak into the Danvers' household and fire at Edna Danvers, Supergirl dives in and pushes her adoptive mother out of the way. She gets hit by the energy blasts, but fortunately, they cannot hurt her seriously.
  • Super Mario Adventures: An exhausted Luigi sits down on what he thinks is a log, but is really a Bill Blaster. Mario shoves him away, but too late! The cannon shoots a Bullet Bill toward the tower, with Mario holding onto it.
  • In The Blue Lotus, Tintin, while walking around a bad neighborhood of Shanghai, is suddenly assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by a stranger. Tintin hears gunshots and realises the man just saved him from becoming the victim of a Gangland Drive-By.

    Fan Works 
  • Betray Me Not: At Brian's first attempt to shoot Biscoe, Brandon, despite wearing a defective artificial leg, is able to launch himself at Biscoe just to push him out of harm's way.
  • Crimson And Clover: Paine does one over Big Mack when a car pulls up in the street and someone opens fire to kill Gippal while the little girl is near him. Paine ends up taking the bullet.
  • Kirito from Fairy Dance Of Death managed to save two other Clearers this way, but he couldn't get the third...
  • Chie to Yosuke in Fate/Reach Out when he pushes him out of the way of his Shadow's attack.
  • In Golden Threads Tie Us, Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening dive-tackles her partner Severa to shield her from a flying arrow.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: At an early chapter, Supergirl dives to catch a child whom Satan Girl has thrown against a wall.
  • The Miracle at Palaven:
    • A krogan commando does this to get a turian soldier out of the area of effect of a Thanix cannon blast.
    • A short turian infiltrator also does this on a krogan to prevent him from being spotted by the enemy. She doesn't succeed until she desperately latches onto his tail.
  • In Mirai SMP, Joko saves Travis from the garage explosion by grabbing him with a flame retardant blanket and pulling him out of the way in time.
  • In Of the Dragon, of the Stars, Akera does this to Lanore; up in Orbis, the problem being that Lanore; isn't in a lucid state, strictly speaking. She takes the second response, i.e. "Why'd you push me over?"
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: How Wind Breaker and Page Turner meet, when he knocks her out of the way of some falling construction material.

    Films — Animated 
  • Hercules gets one of these when Meg pushes him out of the way of a falling pillar, being crushed herself.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Violet saving her brother from Syndrome's mooks' gunfire via Diving Save is how she mastered another use of her powers: creating spherical force fields.
    • When Mr. Incredible looks about to attack Syndrome in a fit of rage, Mirage shoves him aside and gets caught in Incredible's grip instead. This likely fuels her anger when Syndrome is willing to risk her death to call Incredible's bluff.
  • In The Iron Giant, Dean tackles Hogarth out of the path of the giant's Eye Beams which were an automatic reaction to Hogarth brandishing a gun-shaped toy in the giant's view.
  • My Little Pony: A New Generation: During the climax, Queen Haven pushes Alphabittle out of the way of Sprout's war machine when it backs up, saving both him and the critters he was trying to shield from the splatapult.
  • At the beginning of The Mythical Ark: Adventures in Love & Happiness, Weslie pushes Mr. Slowy out of the way to save him from shattered chunks of the forcefield he invented.
  • Trolls: In the climax, when Chef tries to force-feed Branch to Gristle, Poppy dives into him to push him out of the way, saving his life.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The scene that sets up the plot of Annie (2014) is Will Stacks saving Annie from the onrushing truck by pulling her off the street.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Loki returns the favor by pushing Thor out of Thanos's grip so that the Hulk can take care of Thanos, which is unfortunately to no avail.
  • In Back to the Future. Marty McFly pushes his future father, George, out of the way of an oncoming car. It saves George from being hit, but alters history and nearly wipes Marty from existence.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: In the Call-Back scene of Zod's attack on Metropolis, Bruce Wayne saves a little girl from being crushed by rubble.
  • Big Trouble in Little China. After kidnapping Miao Yin, the Lords of Death are escaping in a car. Jack Burton pulls a frozen Wang Chi out of the way of the oncoming car.
  • Happens several times in Edge of Tomorrow, but always subverted in that the person whose life Cages saves, or Cage himself, is killed shortly after. On one occasion he saves Rita from the blast that kills her in a previous "Groundhog Day" Loop, only to get wounded himself; Rita responds by stealing his powerpack, leaving him defenseless against an alien that attacks moments later. On another occasion Cage shoves a soldier out of the way of a crashing airplane, only to get squashed himself. In the next time-loop he moves faster.
  • The whole point of the Final Destination series. Everyone jumps to save everyone else, with the characters hoping to break the chain this way. Most of the time however, all it does it avoid the inevitable. The ways to actually stop (or delay longer) Death are different.
  • In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jillian dives for her little son when he is about to be run over by Roy's truck on the road at night.
  • In the Fantastic Four (2005) movie, Ben (who just became The Thing) is sitting on the edge of a bridge, when a suicide jumper is just about to go. After getting his attention ("You think YOU got problems?"), the man falls onto the less-deadly side of the bridge. "Less" deadly because they'd somehow gotten on top of a freeway. And now there's an 18-wheeler coming at them. Ben shoulder-checks it.
  • In Footloose, Ren jumps and pushes Death Seeker Ariel out of the way of the onrushing train.
  • GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra: Ripcord catches Scarlett when a pulse blast destroys her bike.
  • Gladiator. Maximus shoves fellow gladiator Hagan out of the way of a chariot after he catches an arrow in the leg. As they fall to the ground, they barely miss being diced by the blade attached to the chariot wheel. The crowd is suitably impressed.
  • A flashback in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) shows that Arthur and Ford met when the former did this to keep the latter from getting hit by a car...that he was attempting to greet. Note, this is a Pragmatic Adaptation explanation of Ford's Earth name for American audiences, since the car from which he took the name was sold exclusively in England.
    Ford: Didn't you think it was strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?
    Arthur: I assumed you were drunk.
    Ford: I thought cars were the dominant lifeform. I was trying to introduce myself.
  • Hudson Hawk. During the auction, the auctioneer' gavel explodes, causing a giant sculpture to swing down toward Anna Baragli. Seeing her in danger, Hudson dives toward her and pulls her out of the way just in time.
  • This is a common trope in older movies. In the original King Kong (1933), villagers are trying to get away from Kong, scurrying to and fro, while a crying baby is prominently in the foreground. Eventually, one of the villagers carefully picks up the baby and runs off screen to safety.
  • The Running Man. When Ben Richards and Laughlin are attacked by Buzzsaw, Laughlin pushes Richards out of the way of Buzzsaw's attack. As a result, he's mortally wounded by Buzzsaw's chainsaw attack.
  • Bugs Bunny does this for Lola when she is about to get literally crushed by the Monstars in Space Jam.
  • Star Wars: This trope is the reason why Jar Jar Binks followed the main characters around the entire movie, out of gratitude for saving him.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. As Captain Terrell is about to fire at David Marcus (Kirk's son), Lieutenant Saavik rushes forward and pushes David out of the way. As a result, Terrell's phaser blast kills a Red Shirt scientist, one of David's colleagues.
  • Happens at the end of Stranger Than Fiction, with the main character saving a little kid. The main character was supposed to die in the attempt while still saving the kid, and he knew this ahead of time. The author writing his story has a change of heart after meeting him, and makes an alteration. He gets better.
  • Happens in Superhero Movie. Unfortunately the old lady the hero pushes lands in a grinder, but the thought is there.
  • Thor: The Dark World: Loki pushes Jane out of the way of a black hole grenade but has not enough time to get out of the danger zone himself and is almost suck into the black hole. But then Thor comes flying in and pushes him out of the way in the last nick of time.
  • Tremors. In the first movie, Valentine grabs Mindy off her pogo stick and jumps to safety to get her away from an attacking Graboid.
  • In Vantage Point, Forest Whitaker's character saves a little girl from an onsliding ambulance this way.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), Lawrence saves a Romani child by doing this right before the first werewolf attacks her.
  • Done twice, one with hair and a vacuum, and another with hair and a dustpan in You Don't Mess with the Zohan.

  • In Sydney Taylor's All-of-a-Kind Family's More All Of A Kind Family children's novel, the family first meets their eventual Aunt Lena when she pushes toddler Charlie out of the way of an oncoming wagon (this took place in the 1910s).
  • Subversion in Animorphs: A woman who claims to be Tobias's cousin pushes a child out of danger, causing the Animorphs to decide she's not a Controller, because no Controller would risk their life for a child. The woman is not only a Controller, she's Visser Three in disguise, and he suspects Tobias to be on the side of the Animorphs.
  • In A Brother's Price, while they're investigating a smugglers' camp Eldest Whistler comes over a low wall in a flying tackle, slamming Ren into the ground. Initially Ren thinks it's an attempt to kill her for ruining Eldest's brother and gets ready to fight, but soon sees there was a Booby Trap, and thanks to Eldest the worst that came of it was some Hat Damage. Ren is embarrassed - "You startled me" - and grateful.
  • Bel Thorne does this to save Miles in Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold.
  • Subverted by Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files when he saves Michael Carpenter's newest son from a Denarian - by grabbing the coin instead of the kid. Guilt ensues.
    • Dresden pulls a young girl out of the way of an incoming car in the short story "The Warrior" (and inadvertently alerts her mother to the Abusive Parents situation that her father is beating her). Although she's an irrelevant tangent to the overall story and Dresden thinks nothing more of it, she's used as an example in the ending's You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech on how seemingly minor actions can have a major impact.
  • Happens in Stephen King's Insomnia. The main character pulls the Heroic Sacrifice version at the climax, to save his friend's daughter from a speeding car.
  • Limbo by Bernard Wolfe. Helder, the President of what's left of the United States after WW3, saves his colleague Theo by pushing him down when the Eastbloc athletes at a cyborg Olympic Game reveal their limbs are actually Arm Cannon and gun down the Western leadership at the award ceremony. It's the protagonist who asks how Helder had the presence of mind to do this when everyone else died. Turns out the West had been secretly developing their own cyborg Arm Cannon, despite publicly advocating a policy of total pacifism, so Helder realised what was about to happen the moment the athletes all pointed at them.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Robbie": Robbie saves Gloria from an oncoming tractor that is going to run her over because she is too overcome with joy at finding him to notice.
  • Played with in the Star Trek: The Next Generation book "Metamorphosis" where Data gets turned human temporarily. At one point, a cabinet is about to fall on Dr. Pulaski. Acting on reflex, he slammed himself into the cabinet to knock it off course, hospitalizing himself in the process. Afterwards, he explained that normally, his android body would have suffered no damage, and pushing Dr. Pulaski would have injured her.
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • Willowpelt leaps in front of her young son Sootpaw to save him from a badger in front of her. The blow meant for her son breaks her spine and kills her.
    • In SkyClan's Destiny, Red leaps in the way when her father Stick aims a killing blow at her mate Harley, and she's fatally wounded.
    • In Pinestar's Choice, Pinestar dives to try to get Shanty out of the way of an oncoming car. He loses a life and upon awakening realizes that he'd been too slow.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow:
    • Renee is shot and stumbles backwards over the side of a bridge. Oliver dives over after him, shooting a grappling hook arrow as he goes and swooping in to catch Renee and lower him safely to the ground.
    • Subverted in "Green Arrow" when a man gets a Laser Sight on his chest only for Thea Queen to tackle him to the ground...then she finds the bullet has already killed him.
  • Batwoman (2019): Played for laughs in "How Queer Everything Is Today". Kate Kane as the title character stops a runaway subway car with her cable hook but it breaks and would have taken her head off but for a Diving Save by handsome GCPD officer Slam Bradley. Their Suggestive Collision leads to widespread Shipping to Kate's annoyance. In the climatic scene it's Kate who does the Diving Save to rescue Bradley from a bomb blast. The crowd of bystanders start chanting: "Kiss! Kiss!" and Bradley eagerly leans in for a Smooch of Victory only to Talk to the Hand.
    Batwoman: Not... happening.
  • Blake's 7: In "The Web", Avon tackles Blake away from a bomb and is afterwards visibly embarrassed by his action (not to mention the rather awkward position the two end up in).
    Blake: Thank you. [after a pause] Why?
    Avon: Automatic reaction. I'm as surprised as you are.
    Blake: I'm not surprised.
    Avon: [thoroughly creeped out]
  • The Book of Boba Fett: When the cart they're riding in flips over, Peli Motto, Mando, and Grogu are sent violently flying through the air. Mando uses his jet pack and momentum to grab Grogu and twist around to take the brunt of their fall.
  • Being the go-to Damsel in Distress in the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow is the subject of several of these. Oz saves her from an assassin's bullet (getting shot himself in the process) in "What's My Line, Part 2"; Angel saves her from Gwen Post's lightning attack in "Revelations"; Riley pulls her out of the way of a car when (in a complete haze after catching Oz with Veruca) she wanders into the road in "Wild At Heart". Other examples include Xander being pushed out of the way of falling debris in "The Gift" by Anya (who takes the hit herself, but survives); Cordelia being pushed out of the way of a truck by Buffy in "The Witch" when (having been blinded by the titular witch) she wanders into traffic (they both dodge the truck); and Buffy pushing a homeless man out of the path of a car in "Anne" — Buffy is thrown up onto the hood, and everyone gapes when she brushes off the injuries thanks to her Made of Iron superpowers.
  • In Castle, Beckett and Castle do this for each other a fair number of times throughout the series. Most recently, in "Knockout," Castle tackles Beckett out of the way when he realizes there's a shooter at Montgomery's funeral. Subverted in that he fails to keep Beckett from getting shot.
  • Used multiple times in Charmed (1998). The most notable instances are Piper pushing Prue out of the way of Rodriguez's energy ball in "Deja Vu All Over Again" (which saves them both, but knocks Prue unconscious long enough for Rodriguez to kill Andy) and "All Hell Breaks Loose", where Prue is killed when she pushes the Innocent of the Week out of the way of Shax's wind attack. (Futilely, since Shax murders the innocent anyway a few seconds later).
  • In an early episode of The City Hunter, Yun Sung tackles love interest Na Na to protect her from a sniper; and later, does it again to shield her from an approaching motorcyclist (she'd moved out of the way, but didn't realize the biker had a gun).
  • Daredevil (2015): Twice in "The Man in the Box": in the first case, D.A. Samantha Reyes is confessing to Matt Murdock, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson and Blake Tower to covering up the botched police sting that got Frank Castle's family killed. Matt's heightened senses cause him to hear a gun being readied to fire. Matt promptly pushes Foggy sideways and tackles Karen to the floor, a split second before one of the Blacksmith's men opens fire on the office with an automatic rifle. Matt, Karen, and Tower are uninjured, but Foggy is hit in the right shoulder and Reyes is killed instantly. Later in the episode, Frank Castle flings himself on top of Karen to shield her again when the Blacksmith's men shoot at her in her apartment.
  • Farscape. In the climax of "The Maltese Crichton", a Bound and Gagged Chiana is about to fall into an Acid Pool when D'Argo dives across it to grab her and land on the other side. Crichton is impressed, exclaiming "How Batman was that!" Chiana is grateful as well.
  • Happens in the Firefly episode "Out of Gas". The engine explodes and as Kaylee stands at the doorway watching the approaching fireball, she's pushed out of the way by Zoe, who spends most of the episode unconscious. This was fortunate, as Gina Torres was able to go on her honeymoon instead of having to act.
  • In Forever when Henry stands in the road in front of a speeding car in "The Wolves of Deep Brooklyn", Jo makes one of these to get him out of the way in time.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "The Spoils of War", Queen Daenerys has to land her dragon after it's struck by a ballista bolt, and Ser Jaime Lannister sees his chance to kill her while she's vulnerable. He rides down on her with a lance, only for her dragon to suddenly shield her with its neck and open its jaws to roast Ser Jaime alive. Suddenly Ser Bronn tackles Jaime off his horse and the fireball misses him as they both fall into the river. In a subversion, Jaime then sinks under the water due to his armour... cue credits.
    • After Viserion gets speared by the Night's King, Rhaegal swoops after him in a desperate attempt to help. It doesn't work.
  • In the 5th season Grey's Anatomy finale, a man saves a girl from getting hit by a bus, but is hit full-on himself, destroying his face, among other things. Which is key because it prevents Grace's staff from figuring out his identity: George O'Malley.
  • In Heroes when Hiro pushes the little girl out of the way of the truck, and when he pushes DL and the random woman out of the way of the car exploding. He doesn't get any of the above reactions, though, due to using his powers to do it between seconds.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Gai Ikari does this to save a little girl and is put into a coma when he's hit instead. His heroic actions end up leading him to be visited by Dragon Ranger, Time Fire and Abare Killer, who give him the means to become Gokai Silver.
  • The Professionals. In "Long Shot", Cowley sees sunlight reflecting off a sniper scope and tackles the American politician whom he thinks is the intended target, causing the shots to miss. What Cowley doesn't know (until he examines the forensic evidence afterwards) is that he was the target, and in doing a Diving Save he actually saved himself.
  • In the first episode of The Sentinel, Jim Ellison's heightened senses cause him to "zone out" in the middle of the street, directly in the path of an oncoming truck. His soon-to-be partner tackles him to the ground, and the truck passes harmlessly over them.
  • Sherlock: Invoked in "The Reichenbach Fall". Sherlock is distracted by Moriarty and fails to notice an approaching car, but a bystander yanks him out of the way. Later Sherlock sees the same man following him and realises he has orders to keep him alive, so Sherlock (and Watson who's currently handcuffed to him) stand in front of an oncoming bus so he'll do a Diving Save; Sherlock uses the opportunity to grab the man's gun and interrogate him.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series
      • In "Balance of Terror", during an attack by the Enterprise on the Romulan ship, the Centurion sees that the ceiling is about to fall on his friend the commander. He rushes forward and pushes the commander out of the way, and the ceiling falls on him instead.
      • In "The Apple", when a plant is about to shoot poisonous thorns into Captain Kirk, Spock pushes Kirk out of the way and takes a chestful of thorns himself.
    • Star Trek: Picard: A split second after Narissa begins firing her disruptor in "Nepenthe", Elnor lunges at Hugh in order to shove the latter out of harm's way. Luckily for Hugh, he avoids getting shot because Elnor can Dodge the Bullet due to his Super-Reflexes.
    • Star Trek: Discovery: One of the young colonists of Terralysium is curious about Pike's phaser, not realizing it is a weapon. She presses a button and triggers the ominous whine that means it's overloading and about to detonate. Pike sprints across the room, grabs the phaser from her hands, and uses his body to shield her from the ensuing detonation which is powerful enough to sent him flying across the room like a rag doll, breaking several ribs, severely burning his chest, and knocking him out.
  • Played straight with a minor exception in the Torchwood episode "Random Shoes" — Eugene pushes Gwen out of the way of a speeding vehicle to save her life. The minor exception? He was a ghost throughout the episode, and it was the first and only time he was able to interact physically with anything. It's implied that this was somehow his unfinished business, since he ascended (or something) immediately afterwards.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): Near the end of "I Sing the Body Electric", the robot grandmother shoves a young girl out of the way of an oncoming van and is hit herself.
  • The Wild Wild West: In the episode "The Night of the Gruesome Games", a woman is trying to get some pearls that are a prize in a treasure hunt, but they're part of a trap. As she grabs them a cannon swivels and is about to fire at her. Artemus Gordon sees her danger, runs over and pulls her out of the way just before it fires.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: There are charms that allow you to do this for others. There are also charms that force others to do this for you.
  • Represented in Warhammer with the "Look Out, Sir!" rule, which means a character about to be hit by a falling rock, cannonball, or ballista bolt can be pushed out of the way by a handy Red least in "good-guy" armies. (In bad-guy armies, this rule is more likely to represent the targeted character shoving someone into the threatened space while moving out of the way).

    Video Games 
  • In Black Shades, an experimental concept FPS made for the iDevGames contest, you play a bodyguard with all the classic moves: Tackling a your client to push them out of the way at the last moment, leaping at a sniper just before the shot, diving to take a bullet for the client, wresting a weapon from an assassin...
  • In Dark Parables: Goldilocks and the Fallen Star, Jack saves the Fairytale Detective by doing this. He's the only one in the crowd who realizes that everyone is about to be Taken for Granite, and they're old friends so he makes a point of rescuing her while saving his own skin.
  • In Deadly Premonition, York saves Diane by making a practically superhuman one from a second-story balcony. Subverted as she's crushed by a falling sculpture about thirty seconds later.
  • This is one of the various ways Connor can save Emma from Daniel in Detroit: Become Human's first scenario and its demo.
    • He may also do this to keep the Deviant mole from shooting Hank in the broadcast tower.
    • Hank will attempt this to save Markus or North, if Connor spares the Chloe android; chooses to remain obedient to CyberLife; and also spares Hank on the rooftop.
  • During the Stormblood story in Final Fantasy XIV, Alisaie confronts the primal, Lakshmi, and said primal attempts to blast her with aether that would make her tempered. Alphinaud dive tackles into Alisaie in the nick of time and they both avoid being hit.
  • In the Gold Box game Buck Rogers: Matrix Cubed, this is one of the options your party has when you spot a group of assassins getting ready to attack the newly appointed leader of Mercury. Choosing either of the other two options results in the assassination attempt succeeding.
  • Ethan in Heavy Rain tries one of these when his son wanders in front of traffic in the prologue. It doesn't work—Jason dies anyway, and Ethan is badly injured, lays in coma for six months, and is still having blackouts two years later.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: When Beth is frozen by fear like a Deer in the Headlights as she sees King Bulblin charging her way, Colin notices it just in time to take a level in badass and do one of these, getting captured in her place.
  • Mass Effect:
    • With the addition of quick-time events to Mass Effect 2, a Paragon Shepard gets a few opportunities to yank people out of the way of danger. If the player's on the ball, anyway, otherwise...
    • In Mass Effect 3 Conrad Verner pulls this assuming the player didn't scare him off in either of the previous games. Whether he lives or not depends on an optional side mission the player can do in Mass Effect. Cruelly subverted on Rannoch, if you side with the Geth. Tali crosses the Despair Event Horizon at seeing the death of her race and throws herself off a cliff. A Paragon Interrupt allows you to dive and try to grab her hand, but it doesn't work and she dies.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 4 lets your fellow party members do this for you if you would have died to the attack and have a high enough Social Link with them as long as they have more then 1 HP, haven't already done it this combat round, and it's a single target attack, and they will always survive whatever they blocked, even if the rules say it should kill them, except during the True Final Boss where no matter the Social Link value, they will all attempt to save the MC from the boss's insta-kill attack and then be absorbed by it themselves. This feature has since been included in all subsequent mainline Persona games (including the PSP version of Persona 3).
    • Persona 5: At one point during the fight against the Sphinx in Fubata's Palace, the protagonist does this to push Makoto out of the way of flying debris.
    • In Persona 5 Royal, around one month before the protagonist arrived, Sumire Yoshizawa's growing inferiority complex and nigh-suicidal tendencies caused her to run from her sister, not realizing that she had run into the middle of the road. Her older twin sister, Kasumi, ends up doing this to keep Sumire from being struck by an oncoming vehicle, taking the hit instead.
  • Played for one of the more tragic instances of the Heroic Sacrifice variant in a video game when, in Phantasy Star IV, Alys does just this to save Chaz from the Big Bad 's Soap Opera Disease-inflicting Black Wave, dooming her to a slow, painful death. Not that anyone knew the effects very well at that point, but nonetheless.
  • Professor Layton: The titular character does a few of these in order to save people from collapsing marble slabs, runaway Ferris wheels and crash-landing home-made hang gliders. A true gentleman always makes diving saves extravagant.
  • Skies of Arcadia Legends reveals in a flashback that this is how Vyse got the scar under his eye.
  • Ness saves Lucas in this manner from a Trophy-transforming beam from Wario, in the Subspace Emissary part of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Subverted in Tales of Symphonia when instead of diving, Zelos shoves Colette out of the way and pushes himself out of the range of fire in the same motion. Played straight when Mithos saves Tabatha from a rockslide, being injured in the process. After shooting Tabatha during The Reveal, and being asked how he could do it to someone who saved him, he admits that he hated her all along, and in the manga adaptation, said he saved her so that the heroes would not realize who he really was.
    • Mithos does it twice, actually. The first time is after fighting the party as Yggdrasil, and before The Reveal, he shoves Genis out of the way of Pronyma's attack and takes it himself.
  • In The World Ends with You Rhyme knocks Beat out of the way of a shark noise. Later we find out the two of them died in the first place when Beat dived to save Rhyme from being hit by a car, but he didn't push her out the way of it, he tried to shield her with his own body. He admits this was really stupid in retrospect.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: In chapter 5, the Player Character saves Tatsu from being blasted to kingdom come by a Not Quite Dead Prone Skell in this manner. This leads to a Robotic Reveal when the PC's left arm is blown off in the process.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Shirou shoves Saber out of the way of both Berserker and Archer's attacks in the Fate route, although he has a nasty habit of getting massively wounded in the process.
    • In the Unlimited Blade Works route, Shirou saves Rin from Rider in a similar fashion. Again, terrible injuries occur.
  • Psycholonials: In Chapter 8, as bombs go off at Abby's mansion, Mizzlebip tackles Z to protect her leader, though Z quickly shrugs her off in annoyance.

    Web Animation 
  • Dead Fantasy
    • Dead Fantasy I. While Yuna is standing on a large block firing, Rikku sees another block coming at her and pushes her out of the way just in time.
    • Dead Fantasy VI. Ryu Hayabusa flies in and pulls Momiji out the way of one of Naminé!Kairi's attacks.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, when the Emperor has the most epic of his Unstoppable Rage phases up to date, Magnus pushes Kitten on the ground to cover him, and then the two presumably perform a disappearing act in the face of Emperor's wrath.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues. Bobcat Socrates does this to grab Annie by the shirt collar in "Responsibility" when Annie slides down the cliff after she falls off her bike.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Subverted when Sokka pushes Suki out of the way of a rockslide, but Toph diverted the avalanche with Earthbending so it didn't really matter that he did it.
    • Played straight during the Grand Finale when Zuko somehow manages to dive in front of a lightning bolt to save Katara's life.
    • And in "The Southern Raiders", when he knocks her out of the path of some falling debris.
  • In a spoof of the Back to the Future example above, in an episode of Futurama Fry pushes his future grandfather out of what appears to be the path of a very slowly oncoming Jeep, only for the Jeep to turn in a different direction some distance away. And Fry pushed him onto a pile of rusty bayonets.
    • He does it more successfully to save paleontologist Ben Beeler from a rolling piece of a parade float in "The Ghost in the Machines" (while unfortunately letting a nearby robot get crushed, pissing Bender off), an action which is echoed later by Bender pushing Fry out of the way of a giant rolling barn. Although Bender's ghost is possessing the Robot Devil at the time, meaning that the body which gets flattened is not his, it's just as much of a Heroic Sacrifice in that Bender had earlier made a Deal with the Devil that would have brought him back to life if he killed Fry or condemned him to an eternity in Robot Hell if he failed, and he himself had accidentally caused the barn to tip, which would have fulfilled the terms of the bargain.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door. Numbuh 4 saves Numbuh 3 in most episodes, most notably in "Operation: B.E.A.C.H.".
  • Tucker in Danny Phantom where he dives and pushes the Fauxreigner Gregor out of harm's way from falling debris. Bonus point since Gregor insulted Tucker prior. Looks like somebody owes an apology.
    • Tucker does it again with Jazz in a latter episode. Not bad for a Non-Action Guy.
    • Danny also does this with a younger Vlad when he time travels to the past, not so much as to save him but to change the future for the better.
  • Fantastic Voyage. In "The Magic Crystal of Kabala", when the protagonists enter the title magic item they are each exposed to a fantasy that fulfills their heart's desire in an attempt to entrap them. Erica Lane's fantasy is to be married to teammate Jonathan Kidd. Outside her fantasy a rock falls toward her and Kidd grabs her and pulls her out of the way.
  • Futurama. In "Roswell That Ends Well", Fry is paranoid that his future grandfather Enos will get killed, thereby erasing Fry from existence. At one point he dives on Enos to 'save' him from an oncoming vehicle, knocking Enos into a pile of rusty bayonets. The vehicle then turns off into a side street without coming anywhere near Enos.
  • The Herculoids. Dorno does one to save a frozen-in-terror Gleep from the title creature in "Swamp Monster".
  • The Inspector: In Le Escape Goat, the Inspector sees criminal Louie Le Finke try to hit the Commissioner with a car, so he pushes him out of the way...and into a manhole.
  • In the Justice League episode "Paradise Lost", Superman rescues a distracted Wonder Woman from a falling lamp-post with a Diving Save. (It's interesting to note, by the way, that when, later in the same story, Batman is in danger from a falling stone pillar, Superman rescues him by crash-tackling the pillar.)
  • Kim Possible is constantly doing this for Ron... but he's the secret to her success, we're told.
  • Looney Tunes: In Scaredy Cat, Sylvester sees a mouse about to roll a bowling ball down a banister and onto an unsuspecting Porky, so he pushes his master out of the way and gets hit with the ball himself.
  • Mighty Mightor. Tor does this to save Sheera from an oncoming boulder in "Mightor Meets Tyrannor".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", Twilight manages to do this with Owlowiscious, just barely managing to get themselves clear of the library before Tirek blows it up.
    • In "Made in Manehattan", Applejack saves an actress from a collapsing stage by tackling her.
  • Samurai Jack gets one from Da Samurai, a sort of poser you could debatably expect on MySpace, when he's too distracted by his having needed to be freed seconds before.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Pizza Delivery", while they attempt to hitchhike, Squidward does this to Spongebob after the latter is nearly run over by a passing boat. Both of them turn out fine, but covered in sand.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Moist Vessel":
    • Mariner saves Freeman from being impaled by a jagged rock by shoving her forward.
    • O'Connor pushes Tendi out of the way of a falling piece of debris.
  • Filmation Superboy episode "The Capricious Crony". When an avalanche threatens Krypto the Superdog, the title creature jumps and pushes him out of the way, causing him to be trapped by the falling rocks. He didn't know that Krypto had Nigh-Invulnerability and wouldn't have been harmed by the rocks.

    Real Life 
  • Many cases, but one prominent one involved a man who saved a child and credited the save to "playing Quake and learning to act quickly without thinking."
  • Bottom of the 7th inning, Game 5 of the 2002 World Series. With teammates J.T. Snow on third base and David Bell on second, the San Francisco Giants' Kenny Lofton hit a triple to center field. Right as Snow was running for home plate, then-three-year-old Darren Baker (son of Giants manager Dusty Baker) ran out to home plate to retrieve Lofton's bat as he was acting as batboy - Snow swooped him up into his arms as he crossed home plate to get him out of the way before Bell arrived and avoided a nasty collision.


Video Example(s):


Jimmy's Keen Eyes

Jimmy rushes into oncoming traffic while trying to take pictures, forcing Clark to use super speed to push him to the safety of the sidewalk before Jimmy or anyone else notices.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DivingSave

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