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Draw Aggro

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This takes "chase the red dot" a bit too far.

Stoick: Gobber, go with the men!
Gobber: I think I'll stay, just in case you're thinking of doing something crazy.
Stoick: I can buy them a few minutes if I give that thing something to hunt!
Gobber: Then I can double that time.

When a group of characters face a threat, one or more characters will make that threat focus on them to the exclusion of the other characters.

This trope varies depending on the nature of the threat.

  • If it's a deadly threat (often a monster), then often one or more characters will draw aggro when other characters are trapped. While those characters get away, the characters drawing aggro either already have a way out or they are making a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • If all the characters are actively fighting a threat, then the character drawing aggro will be constantly doing it to keep the focus on him/her and not the other characters, and then tank the attacks from the threat. This is common in video games, particularly when the AI will otherwise Shoot the Mage First, Shoot the Medic First, or go Straight for the Commander.

Often this is done intentionally, but it also can be done by accident. The Butt-Monkey is one of the most likely characters to accidentally draw aggro. Some online multiplayer games have plenty of player stories of the weakest character drawing aggro, thus ruining the party's battle strategy. A Leeroy Jenkins will almost always end up doing this whether they intend to or not.

Some games have spells and abilities which make enemies target one character. A Practical Taunt is a common form of this. Shield Banging can also be used.

The trope name comes from the fan term for these gameplay tactics in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.

Compare Taking the Bullet, Take Me Instead, Encounter Bait (making enemies attack you, just for the sake of fighting them), I Am Your Opponent, Fishing for Mooks (drawing the aggro of just a small part of an enemy group, to pick them off).

See also We Need a Distraction, Stone Wall (a character who can tank well and often has this ability).

Contrast Encounter Repellant (which keeps dangerous battles away entirely), Human Shield (characters hiding from danger behind other people).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, a few squads from the Garrison act as live Titan bait on the ground (where the effectiveness of their maneuver gear is severely impeded) to make sure nothing stops Eren from plugging the breach in Wall Rose. It works, at the cost of their lives.
  • In Future Card Buddyfight, Athora's Overturn makes him invincible for a turn while drawing incoming attacks to himself.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, General Revil, upon learning of how successful the White Base has been despite being manned primarily by civilians (the highest ranking officer is an Ensign), decides to use Zeon's fixation on the ship to draw their attention away from the Earth Federation's preparations for a counterattack. Sure enough, while Zeon dispatches several aces to hunt down and destroy "The Trojan Horse", the Federals are able to muster their forces and push Zeon completely off of Earth. Once the war shifts to space, Revil continues to use the White Base to draw out enemy forces while also calling upon them to join the main fleet when it becomes time to attack Zeon's main space fortresses of Solomon and A Boa Qu.
  • In My Hero Academia, towards the end of the first half of the provisional license exam, Yuga fires his Navel Laser into the sky to draw other contestants towards him and Tenya, intending to sacrifice his chances of progressing so that Tenya can ambush the contestants from behind and progress himself. As it happens, the beacon also attracts every other remaining U.A. student, allowing them to regroup, and they all subsequently pass - including Yuga.
  • Rebuild World: When Akira is fighting an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever Tiol, he has just been proven to be seriously under-gunned for the conflict, barely staggering much smaller monsters and being reduced to a supporting role for a much more deadly Badass Minds Think Alike teammate. Since the opponent Tiol is a Green-Eyed Monster driven by The Power of Hate facing Sanity Slippage, he can't help but scream and charge at Akira when he sees him, which Akira takes advantage of to save and create openings for his teammate.
  • In Overlord (2012), the Death Knights summoned by Ainz Ooal Gown have the useful ability to draw aggro toward themselves and away from their summoner. But what makes them truly useful is that they can survive any attack with 1HP remaining, making them very useful meat shields.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Naofumi's "Hate Reaction" spell is literally comprised of this trope, as it aggros all selected (he can select the amount of foes to aggro) foes to focus on him, usually used to draw attention off of Filo and Raphtalia so that they have less foes to deal with when facing a boss-type monster and so forth.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: When the Silver Agent, Mirage, and Hellhound are fighting a crowd of mutated Mooks in Las Vegas, Mirage offers to fly off and draw their attention so the others can break into a hidden base and disrupt their power source.
  • In Monstress, little Kippa, of all people, does this when she realizes that the Cumaea are threatening to kill Emilia's baby. She breaks off a thorny branch and beats the Cumaea's horses (unicorns, actually) so that they run and the Cumaea have to run after them. Master Ren does it later in the same scene, attacking a Cumaea mook to give Kippa time to run as the Cumaea come back.
  • Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader?: One version of Batman's fate has Superman warning him that his enemies have made a pact to put aside their differences and focus on killing him. Batman responds that while they're trying to kill him they'll be too busy to hurt anyone else, and insists on returning to Gotham City to protect it one last time.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When Artemis, who is already injured and having a hard time even sitting up, realizes that Diana is being overpowered by the White Magician and his magically enhanced mooks she tells herself she needs to give the villains something else to pay attention to so that they're not all focusing on Diana. She knows she can't survive fighting any of them but manages to draw the magician's attention from Diana with a final arrow.

    Fan Works 
  • A Diplomatic Visit: During the first sequel, Diplomat at Large, on the advice of Discord, Princess Luna orders an assault on the Storm King's base of operations for the sake of providing a distraction and drawing out his forces while a smaller team (Twilight Sparkle and a now reformed Tempest Shadow, though Luna wasn't aware that they were the entire team until after the fact) enters the fortress and steals his principal weapon, the Staff of Sacanas.
  • Obsessions from Later, Traitor draw all of the attention on a battlefield to it, with its presence alone causing Frazie to focus on it instead of the Censor she meant to attack.
  • Kyril from The Night Unfurls points his Saw Cleaver at the bigger orc out of the band during Chapter 1, remastered version. The narration described this gesture as "a brazen challenge to any orc that saw it". The orc, as dumb as it is, bellows and goes after him, to no avail.
  • In The Progenitor Chronicles, the MC shoots an arrow into a Tyrant and yells insults at him to get his attention away from Rebecca.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K: This is basically the strategy employed by the Republic Navy when it has its rematch with the Imperial Navy at the Second Battle of Axum. The Republic fleet brings a trio of Mandator-II-class dreadnoughts, which are heavily shielded and comparable to Imperial Battleships in size, that they use to draw fire from the Imperial battlefleet and soak up all the damage while swarms of smaller Victory and Venator-class Star Destroyers slowly whittle down the Imperial warships one-by-one.
  • Accidentally done in Sword Art Online Abridged more than once by Kirito's companions of the week, much to his annoyance.
    Kirito: Yeah, maybe you should stick behind me. You're so low level, you're aggroing everything in this place.
    Silica: Don't worry about me, Mister Kirito! I can take care of myself!
    (Cue ominous purple glow underneath Silica's feet as she runs forward, causing offscreen panic.)
    Kirito: Sigh... This is gonna be my whole day, isn't it?
  • With This Ring gives this as a partial explanation for why superheroes (notably Superman) wear bright primary colours: to get the villains' attention on them instead of squishier targets.

    Films — Animation 
  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget: Some time after the original film, Ginger has a daughter, Molly, who wants to explore the dangerous world against her mother's protests. This ends up with Molly being captured by Fun-Land Farms and Ginger and her friends infiltrating the place to find her. While trying to convince Molly to escape, Ginger gets spotted by Mrs. Tweedy, who instantly recognizes the bane of her existence. Glancing quickly to the side, Ginger guesses that the villain hasn't seen Molly and races towards her to distract her.
  • In Cinderella, one of the mice has to distract the cat Lucifer while the others go to the yard for breakfast. Jacques gets the job this time, which he does by hiding in a hole and sticking out his hat for Lucifer to swat.
  • At the climax of How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Stoick the Vast plans on doing this to buy time for his fellow Vikings to escape the monstrous dragon.
  • The Kung Fu Panda sequels reveal that Po's mother did this as part of her Heroic Sacrifice for him when he was a baby: after Lord Shen ordered for the pandas to be wiped out and their village was attacked, Po's mother hid him in the woods, ran back to the main trail, and purposely attracted the attention of the wolves who were pursuing them, getting them to chase her so she could lead them far away from Po.
  • The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water: When the kids are cornered by the sharptooth, Mo leads it away from them by letting it chase him.
  • In Turning Red, when Ming goes on a rampage, Mei is instructed by Grandma Wu to keep Ming busy while Wu and Mei's aunties perform the ritual to reseal Ming's panda spirit.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Aliens, when the Alien Queen reveals itself on the ship, Ripley waves her arms and yells "Here! Over here!" When the Queen focuses on her, Ripley tells Newt to run away. (Newt hides in the vents, and then Ripley runs the other way.)
  • Back to the Future: Doc runs into the terrorists' view and tries to shoot at them in order to get their attention off Marty. In the original timeline, it costs him his life.
  • Freddy vs. Jason: In the climax, Kia taunts and insults Freddy to distract him from the others.
  • Godzilla:
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): At the end of the film, Dr. Emma Russell sacrifices her life distracting King Ghidorah long enough for Godzilla to get back up and kill the three-headed dragon.
    • Godzilla Minus One: This is Shikishima's pivotal role in the operation to kill Godzilla, as he uses his fighter plane to aggravate Godzilla, draw him out to sea, and keep the monster's attention on him, while everyone else on the warships (which have no guns on them due to Japan's post-WWII disarmament) tangles Godzilla up in the buoys as the monster is distracted.
  • The Hunt for Red October: During the climactic battle, Konovalov has Red October dead to rights with a torpedo launched from dead astern. Suddenly the smaller and more nimble Dallas veers between Red October and the torpedo, overlapping their sonar silouhettes and banging away with her own sonar to draw the torpedo off of Red October before launching countermeasures and blowing their emergency ballast to rapidly surface in order to dodge the torpedo at the last moment.
    Thompson: I hope to Christ this works. Alright Chief, put us on the roof.
  • In Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), when hopelessly outnumbered by the body snatchers at the pier, Jack draws their attention long enough for Matthew and Elizabeth to escape. This ends up being a Heroic Sacrifice for Jack.
  • In Jurassic Park (1993), both Alan and Ian try to get the T. rex's attention when she's attacking the kids. Alan methodically draws Rexy's attention to a flare that he waves deliberately back and forth before throwing it, while staying still himself; it works, and Rexy chases the moving object while ignoring both the kids and Alan. Ian, taking exactly the wrong lesson from this, frantically waves his arms with a flare of his own and yells at Rexy before running away. The rex, recognizing prey, ignores the flares and attacks Ian directly. Ian is badly injured worse, he gets Gennaro killed accidentally and probably made the situation worse for Alan and the kids because now the T. rex isn't drawn away from the scene.
  • Kong: Skull Island: At the climax, the cast use gunfire to draw the Alpha Skullcrawler's attention to them so that Kong can kill it before it kills him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Merry and Pippin call out to the Uruk Hai to distract them from Frodo's hiding place.
    Pippin: It's working!
    Merry: I know it's working, RUN!
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Aragorn and Gandalf lead the armies of Gondor and Rohan to the Black Gate of Mordor to challenge Sauron to battle, for the only reason of making Sauron believe Aragorn has the Ring so he will shift his focus from guarding his domain to wiping out the challenger, and thus increase Frodo's and Sam's chances of reaching Mount Doom and destroying the Ring.
  • In The Running Man, Richards taunts Dynamo to draw him away from Amber.
  • Shaun from Shaun of the Dead draws off a huge crowd of zombies before they can break into the group's bolthole by running off and screaming to get their attention.
  • In Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity, Shala sacrifices herself to save Tisa from Zed; deliberately making herself a target and drawing Zed's fire so Tisa can escape.
  • Star Wars:
    • At the opening of the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope, Garven Dreis (Red Leader) leads Red Squadron in several strafing runs across the Death Star's surface to draw Imperial fire away from Gold Squadron's slower Y-Wings. However, Darth Vader sees through this, ordering all TIE Fighters to attack the X-Wings while he and his personal squadron attack the Y-Wings.
    • Occurs in The Last Jedi as the First Order's fleet bombards the Rebellion main cruiser, the Raddus, with a relentless barrage, General Leia and Vice-Admiral Holdo devised an evacuation strategy by having almost everyone stealthily leaving the Raddus in a number of small shuttles, while Holdo alone remained behind to pilot the Raddus to continue to draw the First Order's attention on the larger ship. It's subverted when the plan fails and the First Order starts firing on the escaping shuttles, but unwilling to see her allies mercilessly picked off, Holdo turns the Raddus towards the First Order's immense flagship and activates the hyperdrive, effectively ramming the ship at light-speed.
  • Near the end of the first Tremors, three characters are stuck on the sand where the graboids can get them. While they are forced to stand still, other characters on a rock make noise to get the graboids to come to them. Unfortunately, the graboid doesn't fall for it (but fortunately, Val comes up with a plan).

  • In The Avatar Chronicles - Epic by Conor Kostick, in the eponymous game, Erik discovers that smaller creatures will switch the person they're aggroing to whoever's doing the most damage, and that if a team does an equal amount of damage to a creature - enough that one hit changes the person it targets - the creature will stay in place, doing nothing but turning toward whoever hit it last. Dragons are supposed to be nigh-unbeatable, but given several hours and a couple thousand arrows, they're able to apply this strategy to the Red Dragon and bring it down.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): When Anthony needs just two more levels to evolve, he decides to kill two birds with one stone and attack Garralosh's horde from behind, in a way that will draw the ire of her backers — thus making it easier and safer for the Colony to hit the horde from the front.
    Isaac: You want to draw the attention, and lightning, of the Ka'armodo onto your head?
    Anthony: That's right.
    Isaac: I love it. I won't stand next to you, but I love it.
  • Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) and Jurgen confuse a combat servitor in Death or Glory by alternating shots at the thing. Each time it targets one of them, the other attacks and the servitor's targeting systems reset onto the new threat.
  • The Discarded, Half-Eaten Apple Core New Life: The protagonist deals with a Zerg Rush of demonic flies by building large frisbee launchers, firing metal discs infused with a small amount of dungeon mana. The flies are irresistibly attracted to the mana, causing them to follow the discs far away from the city walls, and giving the defensive emplacements all the time they need to shoot the flies down.
  • Egil's Saga: Twelve-year-old Egil and his friend Thord are playing a ball game against Egil's father Skallagrim when Skallagrim suddenly goes into a berserk fury, grabs Thord and kills him by dashing him into the ground. When Skallagrim seizes Egil, with the apparent intent of killing him in a like way, his serving-woman Thorgerd Brak "who had fostered Egil when he was a child" shouts at him that he is attacking his own son "like a mad beast". Skallagrim lets go of Egil and charges at Thorgerd, who runs away and dives over a cliff in order to escape swimming, but Skallagrim hurls a boulder after her which kills her. Skallagrim's fury then wears off, and he reverts to his normal self.
  • Gor: In Priest-Kings of Gor, Parp, Vika (his daughter), and Tarl are trying to escape the Collapsing Lair of the Priest-Kings, only to be met by two larls (basically, tigers the size of a small elephant). Parp flames one with his pipe-lighter, using up all its energy in one go, then asks Tarl to confirm that he can kill a larl with his sword if he is given a free shot at it. Tarl agrees that it's possible - and Parp gives him that free shot by flinging himself into the monster's jaws.
  • In the Hank the Cowdog book "The Case of the One-eyed Killer Stud Horse", Hank gets Tuerto's attention so Little Alfred's cousins Amy and Ashley can get to safety. He originally plans to do this in such a way that he can stay out of Tuerto's range, but when the horse says he wants the girls, Hank goes for the jugular.
  • In The Hope of Elantris, the nanny Matisse draws the Aon Ashe in order to blind the attacking Dakhor monks and lead them away from the fleeing children.
  • In the fifth novel of RPG Mechanics 'Verse Light Novel Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? franchise (episode S1E10 of the anime), Yamato, facing injuries within her own parties, accidentally lures a large group of monsters onto Bell's group while attempting to run away. Since Bell and the others were already fighting several, this forces them to run away as well, and they end up even deeper in the dungeon as a result.
  • Journey to Chaos: this tactic is part of the Triple Orbit Layers strategy used by adventurers. When confronting a large fire monster, Tiza screams at it, waves her water-attribute weapon and inflicts minor damage to keep the monster's attention.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • This is Robb's plan for dealing with Tywin Lannister's army in A Clash of Kings, as revealed in A Storm of Swords. He plans to lure him into the Westerlands where he'd be stuck fighting a running battle with Stark and Frey cavalry instead of helping the Lannister and Tyrell forces to fight off Stannis Baratheon's attack on King's Landing. Unfortunately, Edmure Tully is unaware of this plan and mounts a strong defense, preventing Tywin from crossing into the Westerlands long enough to receive word that his army is needed in King's Landing.
    • In A Dance with Dragons, when Daenerys' untamed dragon Drogon starts attacking the pit and is a threat to everyone there, (including Dany), Ser Barristan, who has swore his life to serve Dany, jumps down a ten foot wall (which in itself is no small feat for a man his age) and begins shouting at the dragon to draw its attention away from Dany. He's earned his sobriquet "Barristan the Bold".
  • The Way of Kings (2010): After Kaladin's first attempt to protect the bridgemen from Parshendi arrows fails horrifically, he comes up with another one. Instead of trying to protect his crew at the expense of others, he makes armor out of Parshendi bones and tries to draw their attention. Since the Parshendi have a race-wide Berserk Button about even moving the dead, the entire army focuses on him, even as they are being cut down by the army Kaladin belongs to.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mal does this on Firefly in "The Train Job" when he's at a bar, picking his annual Unification Day fight.
    Mal: Say that to my face.
    Lund: I said, you're a coward, and a pisspot. Now what are you gonna do about it?
    Mal: Nothin'. I just wanted you to face me so she could get behind ya.
    (Zoë hits Lund with the butt of her rifle.)
    Mal: Drunks are so cute.
  • Game of Thrones: This is Robb Stark's plan for dealing with the army led by Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane. He wants to draw him into the Westlands, coaxing him into chasing Robb's horsemen across the countryside and sapping his strength with hit-and-run attacks. Instead, Edmure Tully gives him a bloody nose and captures Stone Mill, a village of no strategic importance, causing the Mountain to fall back and regroup. Robb is not pleased.
  • Heroes, Volume 4: Danko's team is closing in while Matt is still telepathically interrogating Noah, so Mohinder volunteers to go hold them off (it seems implied that he got some additional motivation to go show some bravery from Matt having accused him of being a coward for hiding information from his friends).
    "Come on. I said come on, all of you!"
  • Loki: Near the end of the first season, Loki attempts to distract Alioth so Sylvie will have time to enchant him. It doesn't work, forcing Old Loki to do it on a grander scale, culminating in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Ted Lasso: In the season 2 episode "Doing the Right-est Thing," Ted transforms into his Drill Sergeant Nasty persona Led Tasso in an attempt to get the team to stop ostracizing Jamie for his past behavior.
  • Thunderbirds: Alan lures a giant alligator away by riding his hover bike nearby, to lure the alligator away from the house it is attacking.

    Tabletop Games 
  • While directly drawing aggro isn't a thing in Dungeons & Dragons in 4th and 5th Editions, classes like Fighters and Paladins began to get powers that would make enemies take substantial penalties if they tried to attack a different target.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 meta, DISTRACTION CARNIFEXES are units used to draw enemy attention to it. They are usually big, scary, tough, and may be able to deal good damage themselves, but ultimately expendable. Obviously, if you know the unit is a distraction, you should ignore it and aim for the real threats. This is in contrast with Death Star units where you can't afford to lose them.

    Video Games 
  • An unusual text-adventure example comes from 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds. Guile Hero Lucy has the option of performing a specific sequence of flirty moves to get the vampire's attention off the cashier and onto herself. There are other, more hostile ways to get the vampire's attention, but those tend to fail or backfire.
  • Age of Empires: Castle Siege had Charles Martel able to attract enemy attack onto him with the ability "Taunt". The ability also boosts his defense so said attacks make less damage.
  • Anarchy Online:
    • Enforcers specialize in this. They have single target and area-of-effect taunts that pull aggro towards them. Soldiers and Martial Artists possess single target taunts as well.
    • Inverted with Agents, who possess programs that reduce the target's aggression towards them.
  • In Anthem (2019) the the super tough Colossus power armor can use a taunt as it's support ability foring enemies to target it.
  • A core mechanic of the Army of Two games. Using bigger guns, More Dakka, or guns with garish paint jobs covered in bling will draw more attention to you and away from your co-op partner. Max out your aggro meter and your partner will be practically invisible to the enemies.
  • The Banner Saga. Fasolt has this ability, called Malice. Don't worry though, he has the highest armor stat of any playable character and will probably be fine. In the sequel, The Banner Saga 2 all shield bearing Varl can get this ability once they reach level six. Malice is particularly useful for protecting your archers and glass cannons, and all characters that learn it have the passive ability to give as good as they get. Some items in both games also draw aggro to their wielder, but they usually boost armor, damage resistance, or evasion too, and are best given to tanks like Fasolt.
  • Bleeding Sun: If Kenzou's barrier percentage is at 80% or more, he can increase enemy aggro on himself. However, this only works for single-target melee attacks.
  • Bloons Tower Defense series:
    • Dreadbloon in 6 can summon Dreadrock Bloons that have the highest "Strong" ranking that will force towers with a strong target priority to target them instead of Dreadbloon itself or other bloons that may slip by.
    • Agent Jericho from Battles 2 can summon a decoy MOAB with his level 10 ability that has the highest "Strong" ranking on his opponent's side.
  • Borderlands 2: Salvador's "Come At Me, Bro!" skill lets him taunt his enemies while he's in Gunzerker mode, drawing fire away from his team-mates while restoring his health and temporarily boosting his damage resistance.
  • Crying Suns: Magneto-class Frigates have a passive trait which forces adjacent enemy squadrons to attack them and prevents those squadrons from disengaging.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Through the series, tough players (such as those starting with the Knight class) and NPCs can get bosses to go after them while the ranged characters shoot them from afar.
    • The Redeye Ring in Dark Souls II and the Skull Ring in III cause enemies to go after the wearer. They can be quite useful for advancing the questlines of certain NPCs who require you to summon them for bosses, since they must survive for it to count. There's also an NPC summon available for the (intended) first boss of Dark Souls II who wields two greatshields and wears massive heavy armor along with the Redeye Ring whose purpose is to stand there and let the boss beat him up so that you can attack it without much resistance.
  • Most of the time in Dead by Daylight, the Killer will cause some action which forces the Survivors to scream out, announcing their location (something you very much want to avoid). Nicolas Cage, meanwhile, has the unique perk Scene Partner, where he can willingly enter the Killer's terror radius and look at them to make himself scream out, possibly even doing so twice in a row depending on RNG. Considering its other effect of giving him the Killer's aura is basically superfluous in such a situation, you're taking a perk to scream on command by equipping Scene Partner.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening has an enemy type called the Decoy which provides an Invisibility Cloak on all non-Decoy mooks around them. This forces most towers without stealth-detecting capabilities to attack the Decoy instead, allowing the cloaked mooks to slip through.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Warfare skill "Provoke" theoretically taunts nearby enemies into attacking the user on their next turn, though the way it's processed by the combat AI makes it much more debilitating against Player Characters than against most Non Player Characters.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has the ability "Threaten", which causes enemies to flock around the user.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse and its sequel, Mr. Satan has the Ultimate Attack "The Savior Has Come!", which causes the user to perform a victory celebration that forces all enemies in the area to target them for a set period of time. Since it's the only aggro-drawing skill in the game, it can be highly useful.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Games in the series often have a move (such as Whistle) that enrages a single enemy into attacking only the caster. It also summons a fight when used out of battle.
    • The Forbearance skill in Dragon Quest IX makes one character take all attacks for the next turn. It's possible to spam this move with one character, letting the other three concentrate on damage, but it can be interrupted by a Disruptive Wave.
  • Elden Ring has the spell Howl of Shabriri and the talisman Shabriri's Woe. Lore-wise, this works because Shabriri the person is so hated that literally everything, from knights to giant enemy crabs, in the Lands Between wants to kill him, and using his spell or carrying around a trinket shaped like his face transfers some of that aggression to you. Likewise, wearing pieces of the Duelist or Rotten Duelist armour sets that show off the snake motif will bestow the same effect, since snakes are viewed as blasphemous heretics in the Lands Between, hence why the Duelists wear armor depicting them, because the spectators who used to watch them fight in the coliseums loved seeing them get beaten up.
  • The Elder Scrolls Online features a strange case. Aggro exists in the game as much as any other MMO using a Damager, Healer, Tank combat system, but only two skills exist to manipulate it: Inner Fire and Puncture. This makes having one of them a must for any tank, as healers will be easily squished if bosses ever attack them.
  • Elsword: Elesis as Grand Master has the skill "Provoke" which affects all enemies at a certain range in front of her. Under the "provoked" status effect, monsters will selectively attack her (as well as having their defense lowered).
  • Empire at War has the Rebellion's A-wing squadron with the special ability to draw fire from enemy fighters.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 5 has the Target status effect, which redirects all single-target attacks onto the afflicted player, including attacks that target randomly. Only one player may have Target at a time.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy X: Every character can eventually learn this, with everyone having a different animation for it (Yuna waves, Rikku slaps her ass, Kimahri does an Eye Am Watching You...).
    • Final Fantasy XII: Lure is a status buff that causes all enemies within detection range to attack the character it's been applied to. It is applied via the Decoy spell and its duration depends on the character's vitality stat; Decoy is technically considered a negative status effect, so lower vitality means a longer duration.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Half of the Sentinel role's job is this, the other half is to take damage for the party. There's even two different versions of the skill; one with an area of effect and one that has a high chance of working.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has tank jobs whose purpose is to yank aggro(called "enmity" in-game) off other party members and keep it upon themselves, since tanks have the highest HP and defense naturally. However, some bosses rely on scripts instead of the aggro table and will attack whoever they please.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia has characters who can fill the tank role by inflicting the [Lock] debuff which forces that enemy to target them, most of these characters have some form of defence against Brave damage (a shield or BRV refund) and usually HP regen to help.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Generally, the AI prioritizes units who are unable to strike back above all else — which means it tends to go after healers (especially before they promote) and archers (with close-combat units, anyways), but you can easily exploit its priorities and use pretty much anyone you want as a meatshield by stripping them of their weapons. If it can't attack a helpless unit, the AI will go after the unit it can deal the most damage to — even if it has no chance whatsoever of actually landing a hit and/or will get itself completely shredded by your counterattack. Basically, the Fire Emblem AI is pretty stupid.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn have the Provoke skill, available by default on Shinon (in both games) and Skrimir (in Radiant Dawn). This causes enemies to prioritize attacking the character with the skill, and can be moved to tanks for good effect.
    • Fire Emblem Engage: As a nod to his home game's Provoke skill, Emblem Soren (who is among the Emblems obtained via Downloadable Content) has Assign Decoy, which shifts foes' attack focus onto an ally of his Emblem bearer's choosing.
  • In Genshin Impact, several ranged characters have Elemental Skills that create constructs to take the heat off of them and allies, allowing the creator to attack enemies with impunity. Amber's Explosive Puppet creates an Action Bomb dancing doll that deals Pyro damage when detonated, Mona's Illusory Torrent creates a projection of her doing an Eyelid Pull Taunt that continuously pulses for Hydro damage, and Ganyu's Trail of the Qilin creates an ice lotus that functions similar to Amber's skill but deals Cryo damage instead.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, characters with the "Substitute" buff will take in all incoming damage for themselves during the next turn. Additionally, the "Hostility" buffs determine the chance for a party member to be targeted. high Hostility characters will be targeted more than those with low Hostility. However, this Hostility mechanic does not work for enemies who can attack all allies simultaneously.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Taunt Deck Command will cause enemies to attack the user instead of their allies.
  • Last Scenario: The Party Hat increases the wearer's chances of being targeted. This can be used along the Barrier bugnote  to transform Matilda, the party's resident tank, into an unkillable Stone Wall that will effortlessly shrug everything the game throws at her.
  • In The Last Story, Zael has the ability Gathering, which causes enemies to focus on him. This can be turned on and off at will.
  • Taunt abilities in League of Legends force the target(s) to attack the user for a few seconds. Just long enough for the user's allies to get ahead of their attackers, though not necessarily long enough to keep them ahead.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails through Daybreak has Van's Coin Bullet that makes enemies go attack him.
  • Library of Ruina has this as a gameplay mechanic. If your Librarians are fast enough, they can intercept enemy attacks, forcing the enemy to clash with the Librarians in question instead of attacking the original target. The "Eternally Lit Lamp" card allows a Librarian to intercept any attack regardless of Speed.
    • There are also two status effects, "Allured" and "Enchanted", which force affected enemies to target a specific Librarian. Those enemies inflict more damage on the Librarian, but the Librarian gains a bonus when they clash against enemy attacks. If the enemy is "Enchanted", the Librarian is also healed when they win a clash against them.
  • In Monster Hunter: World, the Challenger Mantle cloak can draw a monster's attention, but it only lasts until they get attacked. Behemoth, the Crossover monster from Final Fantasy XIV, makes use of an MMO-style aggro mechanic where he'll laser-focus on whichever hunter attacks its head the most, but doing so makes him take increased damage. The Iceborne expansion's raid boss Safi'jiiva (who's something of a Final-Exam Boss) uses a similar mechanic during its second and third phases, except that the player draws aggro either by using a Flinch Shot on its head or being the team's top damage-dealer.
  • The Guardians in Nova Drift can learn Decoy Signal, which lets them draw enemy fire away from the player. Should the player’s ship get too close to enemies, they will then switch their focus to attacking the player instead of the Guardian.
  • In Onmyoji, the Red Amanojaku has a skill that allows it to "taunt" one member of the opposing team, causing that enemy to lose control and automatically fire their basic attack at it on their turn. Heiyō takes it one step further with a skill which allows him to taunt all members on the opposite team while strengthening himself so he can take all the attacks fired at him. Neither skills work when the opposite team is protected by Seimei's Deflector Shield.
  • In Overwatch, Tanks largely fulfill this role in team compositions to balance out the damage-dealers and support characters, especially in Overwatch 2 where compositions are locked off and balanced around the specific distribution (1 Tank per 2 Damage and 2 Supports). Tanks are the anchors that teams move and fight around, with presences that make them giant attention magnets, offset by their high health pools and own disruptive capabilities. Exactly how this is achieved depends on the individual hero — Reinhardt advances forward with a massive barrier for himself and his team to stand behind, Roadhog and Doomfist have significant windows for burst damage and kill pressure, Winston and Wrecking Ball can launch themselves into the enemy team for calculated bursts of close-range chaos, etc.. Rarely are they actually the priority that enemy teams should be focusing (that's usually the actual Damages or Supports), but they are almost always the frontline to make getting through even harder.
  • Planescape: Torment has Morte's Litany of Curses ability, which causes him to insult an enemy. If they fail the save against the effect, they're not only forced to only attack Morte until it wears off, their attacks are also weakened (on top of Morte's already formidable resistance to physical damage).
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time:
    • This is Sweet Potato's ability. She attracts nearby zombies in the lane above and below into her own lane. When given Plant Food, she attracts zombies in a large area, even behind her.
    • Hot Date also has this ability and is very similar to Sweet Potato, up to having the same Plant Food powerup. However, he also has the added effect of exploding into a powerful line of fire when eaten.
  • In the Pokémon series, the moves Follow Me and Rage Powder force opponents to target the user in Double and Triple Battles. However, from Pokémon X and Y onwards Rage Powder does not affect Grass-types or Pokemon holding the Safety Goggles item. The abilities Storm Drain and Lightning Rod are type-specific versions, drawing all Water and Electric attacks, respectively. Handily, those two abilities also make the user immune to damage from those types, even if they'd ordinarily be weak to them.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: Amalie's Provoke does exactly that:
    Amalie draws enemy aggression to herself.
  • QUESTER: Taking any offensive actions accumulates Hate, which draws the enemies' attention towards the attacker. Certain skills enable Questers to manipulate their Hate levels; Advance-Guard, for instance, is a purely defensive skill that gives the user a high amount of Hate, while Bodyguard can transfer Hate from other Questers whose Hatred is higher onto the user.
  • Rave Heart: Zazir's Protector buff increases the chances of the enemies targeting him with single-target moves.
  • Rise of the Third Power:
    • Rowan and Gage can inflict the Taunt status on enemies to draw their aggro. Rowan's version of the skill can be upgraded to have a longer duration while Gage's version of the skill also refills his Rage points. However, some enemies can overcome the Taunt mechanic by dispelling all debuffs on themselves or using Orders: Focus to grant Taunt immunity to the enemy party.
    • Rashim has the Lure buff, which increases enemy aggro chance on himself by 20% for each stack. This means his aggro mechanic cannot be circumvented by anti-Taunt enemies.
  • RWBY: Amity Arena has Neon Katt, who upon deployment dashes towards the enemy tower while drawing the attention of enemy units who go for her (aside from the ones who are locked onto attacking the tower as well).
  • South Park:
    • In South Park: The Fractured but Whole, certain classes and characters can taunt enemies while also putting up a shield that blocks most forms of damage. Super Craig does this by Flipping the Bird, Call Girl "blocks" enemies on Social Media. For the player character, the Cyborg class can draw aggro by blaring annoying music at the enemies while the Martial Artist class has the "Dragon Swagger" ultimate, which summons a dragon to flip off all enemies on the field.
    • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, Butters has the "Born Victim" passive ability that makes enemies more likely to attack him than you. The explanation given is that he is just so pure and innocent that it's disgusting to every other living thing on the planet, and they just can't help wanting to beat the crap out of him.
  • Star Trek Online allows players to invest skill points into Threat Generation, increasing the likelihood an NPC enemy will target them instead of teammates. Romulan embassy science consoles can also increase or decrease threat generation, and normal cruisers come with an Attract Fire aura that can be switched on to further increase threat gen.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In Save the Light, Garnet's Taunt makes her redirect enemy attacks towards her.
    • In Unleash the Light, putting a party member at the front of the team makes enemies more likely to attack them, which is useful for drawing them away from weaker members. The Wailing Stone also draws enemies towards the user for the next 3 turns, but doesn't stop Area of Effect or lane attacks from hitting teammates.
  • In Symphony of War, the "Imposing" trait makes enemy units more likely to target the specific unit who has it.
  • In Temtem, the Water Custodian and Electric Custodian traits cause all of the opponents' Water and Electric attacks, respectively, to hit the holder if their ally was targeted.
  • Titan Quest:
    • The Core Dweller pet has the skill Provoke, which lets it take hits for its squishier summoner.
    • The Monster Lure skill draws the attention of monsters to a scarecrow, which can be rigged to explode after destruction.
    • The Defense mastery's Shield Charge has a hidden Taunt, most effective for tanks in multiplayer.
    • The Raging Bull and Torment axes give the player a Taunt effect when equipped.
  • Wizard101 has the card "Taunt" that, when cast on an enemy, makes them more likely to target you than the rest of the people you're battling alongside.
  • World of Warcraft
    • <any player parties use knowledge of enemy AI to have the toughest character take the hits while the other players support the tank or go after the enemy. In single player characters can use pets and familiars to draw aggro from enemies.
    • Warcraft III:
      • The Taunt ability forces all nearby enemies to attack the caster, used by the Stone Wall Mountain Giants.
      • The Shadow Hunter's Big Bad Voodoo turns all other units around invulnerable except the caster, meaning the enemy has no choice but to attack the Squishy Wizard casting the spell.
  • Video Game/XCOM:
    • In X Com Enemy Unknown, the enemy AI usually prioritizes easy-to-hit targets. One tactic is to place units with high HP, Damage Reduction skills, and/or a Healing Factor, such as a MEC trooper, in the front of the formation to attract enemy fire. Additionally, if the player knows that an enemy is in Overwatch (which grants a reaction shot if a target in range moves), they can move an Assault with the Lightning Reflexes skill (which forces the first reaction shot that targets them to miss) or a unit far enough away to be difficult to hit first, triggering the reaction shot so that other units can move into position safely.
    • In XCOM 2, enemies mostly behave the same way by shooting what's easiest to hit. This makes the ridiculously tough Stone Wall-specced SPARK combat robot the ideal point man. Seeing how SPARKs are this game's Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Enemy Within's MEC Troopers, this shouldn't come as a surprise. With some clever positioning and a bit of favor from the Random Number God, a single SPARK can focus the majority of enemy fire on itself without taking too much damage while its squishy comrades take care of paying the aliens back in kind.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles series in general has several abilities related to drawing aggro and getting bonuses from how many enemies are aggroed. Conversely, there are moves that lower character's aggro, to keep the attacker's aggro from getting too high.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 Reyn has the most of these, including his Talent Art "Mad Taunt", since his high hit points and defense make him the main tank of the party. Dunban also has a couple, including a "lock-on" art, that forces enemies to attack him.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles X has less of these, but still, Assault Rifles and Shields provide arts that focus the enemy on the user. The game calls this effect "taunt".
    • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Tora and Morag have aggro-raising arts with their default Blades, and are designed to be tanks. Other "aggro up" arts can be used with Chroma Katanas and Shield Hammers. There's also two New Game Plus-only Blades Cressidus and Sever and Korvin, a DLC Blade, whose weapons also has arts with "aggro up" effect.
    • Torna ~ The Golden Country expansion for 2 has Hugo, whose Talent Art forces enemies to focus on his team (him or one of his Blades).
  • In zOMG!, healing yourself and other players is one of the best ways to divert attention away from your crewmates, by deliberately exploiting Shoot the Medic First. In certain areas and boss instances where mobbing is the best or only strategy, doing this is a key part of that strategy. That is why the "heal-tank" build - a healer who beefs up with Meat (and Sweetheart, if possible) so they can tank on the side - exists. Another ring that's good for this is, of course, Taunt.

  • Knights of Buena Vista is a Campaign Comic about Frozen (2013). When the characters are chased by Marshmallow, Olaf insults him so that Marshmallow will go after him instead of Anna and Kristoff.
  • unOrdinary: Even though he knows he has no chance of winning or escaping on two occasions Blyke attacks John while John is attacking weaker Safe House members and then draws him away in order to make sure the attack is focused on him and the others have a chance to escape even if it might put him in the hospital again. He does something similar with Volcan to save Remi's life, but that time had an escape lined up since he and Remi would have died otherwise.
  • In Weak Hero, while hiding from Hyeongshin students, Teddy's cell goes off and accidentally exposes his and Alex's location. Since the students believe that the two split up, Alex runs out of the hiding place and draws their attention so that Teddy will be safe. It seems to work, until Teddy tries to leave and runs into the group's leader.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role Campaign 3: Orym uses Goading Attack, a move designed for Draw Aggro, in almost every fight.
  • When Spoony talked about the Artificial Stupidity in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, he mentions trying to turn it to his advantage by invoking this trope, by trying to use the aggressive NPCs in the squad to draw fire to them while he moved to the objective. Unfortunately, the AI just followed where he went, drawing fire to the group and his player character.
    • In Counter Monkey, Spoony discusses when players can have their characters act Lawful Stupid, and using it to the other players' advantage, such as having the lawful player call out enemies to fight directly, and the other players can sneak around while the enemies are focused on the first player.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "Beast of the Temple", Wheeler and Linka encounter the dragon devastating the countryside and Linka gets her foot stuck in some tree roots. While attacking the dragon with fire doesn't work, it does focus on Wheeler after he does so. He takes advantage of this to lead it away from Linka so she can free her caught foot.
  • DuckTales (1987): In the episode "A DuckTales Valentine", a shark attacks while Scrooge and company are in a sunken temple. Launchpad attempts to distract it, telling Scrooge to save the boys and Webby.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "To Where and Back Again," Trixie deliberately walks into the changeling trap to let Thorax and Starlight Glimmer race to the throne room.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Catra walks straight into the Princess Prom in full view of Adora and the others, and outright challenges Adora to work out her evil plan and try to stop her. It's only after Adora has spent the whole night watching her nemesis like a hawk that she realises that this entire time Catra's been acting as a distraction for the rest of her team, who have been busy rigging the building with explosives, kidnapping her friends, and stealing her sword.
    • Catra repeats this during the Battle of Bright Moon, using her speed, agility, and personal connection to keep the far more powerful She-Ra focused on her rather than the siege weapons directed at the castle's runestone.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Super Watermelon Island", the Watermelon Stevens' can't seriously harm Malachite, but they can go for her eyes and distract her enough for the Crystal Gems to finish the job.
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?:
    • In "There's No Creature Like Snow Creature", the gang encounters the spook of the week, a towering ice-man. Velma, who bundled herself in winter clothes to the point that she looks like a ball, can't keep up with the others. Fred comes back, shines his flashlight at the creature's face, and yells at it to pick on someone its own size, drawing it away from Velma.
    • In "Mummy Scares Best", after the zombies corner Scooby, Daphne, and Velma, adventurer Melbourne O'Reilly makes a boomerang out of a bread loaf, which he uses to smack the back of the monsters' heads. Once they turn around, he yells at them to follow him.

    Real Life 
  • In 2010, a 12-year Norwegian boy named Hans Jørgen Olsen was credited with saving himself and his sister from an attack by a moose in a forest. Crediting his tactics to many hours of playing World of Warcraft, Olsen taunted the moose away from his sister, allowing her to flee to safety. Then he "feigned death", another technique he learned from the game, causing the moose to lose interest and leave the scene.
  • The Japanese battle plans for the massive naval battle of Leyte Gulf included a decoy fleet centered around their remaining carriers — which, with few and untrained airmen, were little more than sitting ducks — that would basically taunt the US one while their main battle force would attack the now unprotected beaches of Leyte. It worked, leaving there just a bunch of small escort carriers and destroyers... that managed to repel a far more powerful fleet.
  • "Wild Weasels", fighters and attack aircraft that hunt enemy Anti-Air by flying at top speed over the target and then firing radar tracking missiles at anything that shoots back. Wild Weasel missions are extremely dangerous (verging on Suicide Mission), but a necessary operation to ensure the safety of bombers and fighters operating in the area. It's basically playing chicken with targeting radars. Occasionally, reputation precedes them enough that the enemy anti-air radar stations just shut down instead of risk getting nailed by a Wild Weasel's anti-radar missiles.
  • Along with being Plucky Comic Relief, this is the purpose of a Rodeo Clown. When a bullrider is thrown from the bull, the clown will attract the attention of the bull and keep it occupied long enough for the rider to be rescued.
  • The Wounded Gazelle Gambit is named after a form of this (known as "distraction displays") practiced by some nesting animals. When a predator is close to discovering the hiding place of its young, the parent will intentionally make itself conspicuous, usually by pretending to be injured, to draw the predator's attention away. Once the parent judges the predator is a safe distance away, it drops the act and flees, leaving the prospective hunter in the dust.


Video Example(s):


Kaiba Saves Yugi

Marik's Rare Hunters fail to comprehend that Kaiba's taunts aren't just the anti-hero loner's usual arrogance but that he actually wants to save Yugi, nor do they consider that Kaiba would ever willingly sacrifice his beloved Blue-Eyes for anyone. Lumis falls for his trap, never suspecting he's doing exactly what Kaiba wanted.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / EvilCannotComprehendGood

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