King Théoden: And Rohan will answer. Muster the Rohirrim!
The heroes may have The Plan, but they just don't have the manpower. So, against all hope, they have to call on the sorts of people who may not want to help or even like them. There is definite potential for overlap with a Last Stand.
Then the help comes. Whether or not it's successful, it's a good display of the ultimate community spirit. It's also a nice Continuity Nod if it features characters the heroes have helped in the past.
Named after The Lord of the Rings, wherein the nation of Gondor calls the neighbouring kingdom of Rohan for aid in the war against Sauron. Ironically, even in this desperate time, most of Gondor's armies are hanging around in the South, waiting for the Corsair raids (partly because of southern lords refusing to send men north, partly because of Denethor's defeatism).
If the act of making the call is an adventure unto itself, that's Bring Help Back. Compare/contrast with the last resort version Enemy Mine, the more metaphysical Combined Energy Attack, and the mandatory version Binding Ancient Treaty and Hero Secret Service. For when the party that is called could beat the living shit out of either side, see Awakening the Sleeping Giant. When you are truly desperate, you Summon Bigger Fish. For drama related to the physical act of calling for help, see Epic Hail. May lead to Climactic Battle Resurrection. Big Damn Heroes and Gunship Rescue are smaller versions of this trope. Crowded Cast Shot is similar, but played for laughs and (usually) not as urgent.
See Cavalry Refusal when the allies refuse to help.
- Anime and Manga
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- Real Life
- In Magic: The Gathering, the Invasion block had a major multicolor theme, to show people putting aside their differences. Tellingly, the last one, Apocalypse, reversed the traditional color pie, with enemy colors being allies and vice versa. For instance, white is about society, whereas black and red are about the individual.note Suffice it to say, they don't get along. Yet they did in this one. As did blue with red and green (logic vs. emotion); black with green and white (death vs. life); red with white and blue (anarchy vs. rules); and green with blue and black (nature vs. progress).
- In 1992, Genichiro Tenryu departed from All Japan Pro Wrestling to become the spokesman of Megane Super, an eye glasses company. Megane Super executive Hachiro Tanaka had interest in running a pro wrestling promotion however and so Tenryu became one of the faces of the "Super World Of Sports", which in turn lead to Yoshiaki Yatsu, Ashura Hara, Shunji Takano, The Great Kabuki, Hiromichi Fuyuki, Tatsumi "Koki" Kitahara, Masao Orihara, Isao Takagi and even referee Hiroyuki Unno to also depart from All Japan to join Tenryu in the new promotion. Giant Baba felt betrayed and proclaimed he would never allow Tenryu to return to All Japan, pushing Mitsuharu Misawa in his place and leading Tenryu to start his own promotion, WAR, when Megane Super pulled the plug on SWS. After Giant Baba died his wife demoted Misawa, who in turn also left All Japan and took 92% of the native roster with him to form Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2000, whom All Japan's distributor, NTV, decided to broadcast instead of All Japan while using its shares in AJPW to keep it from shopping for another television network spot. The situation became so dire Mokoto Baba called on Tenryu, who closed down WAR and took the roster back to All Japan. WAR was the first promotion in the history of Japanese pro wrestling that shutdown for a such a practical reason, rather than monetary failure, political in fighting, mismanagement or the like.
- Pro Wrestling loves this trope, and tends to use it interchangeably with Everyone Join the Party. The most famous recent example happened on Monday Night Raw in the summer of 2010, when John Cena was being victimized by the fifth-column terrorist group The Nexus. For a terrible moment it looked as if Cena was going to tuck tail between legs and walk out of the arena in defeat....but then turned around and announced: "You've sealed your fate 'cause guess what: I got me some help." Right on cue, every Raw Superstar who had been attacked by the Nexus in the past few months came out to join Cena in a Moment of Awesome: Edge, John Morrison, R-Truth, the Great Khali, Chris Jericho, and....wait for it....Bret Hart! What really made this moment splendid is that all these guys often had only negative associations with each other in the past if they had associations at all, and two of them (Edge and Jericho) had been Heels up to this point. The "seven samurai" (as Morrison referred to them) then rushed the ring to chase off the Nexus villains, and Cena shouted: "At SummerSlam, the Nexus IS HISTORY!!!"
- In Realms of Hyrule, after ascending to the throne after the death of his predecessor, Prince Regent Victor makes an appeal to the citizens of Hyrule during his coronation ceremony to take up arms and fight to reclaim Kakariko.
- Warhammer: The nations of Estalia and Tilea were being invaded by the armies of the Araby Sultan Jaffar. The combined armies of Bretonnia and The Empire soon came to their aid and drove their armies all the way back to Jaffars stronghold and slew the evil Sultan.
- Happens hourly in Warhammer 40,000, across all media, usually with the Space Marines playing Rohan. The typical version of this is for the flavor-of-the-month faction to come in and save the day. When done well, it can be awesome. When done badly, such as an infamous section of the 5e Grey Knights codex when the Grey Knights answer the call and proceed to wipe out the Sisters of Battle who held the line in order to use their blood as holy armor lubricant, it can be a real stinker.
- The goal of the Planetary Defense Force of a given Imperial world is to be the first on the ground, engage the enemy as soon as possible, learn what they can, and above all stall for time. While they're dying in droves to accomplish that, the astropaths call for reinforcing units of Guardsmen and, if necessary, Space Marines (although they aren't always available, and don't always get there in time.)
- In some cases, it's actually standard procedure. Some Forge Worlds are used as resupply stops by other Imperial forces, so the Adeptus Mechanicus figure they might as well cut defense funding to the minimum to make more room for workers since there'll always be a fleet or two in orbit. Turns against them in The Greater Good, where a difficult start to negotiations ends when Cain points out that if the Mechanicus doesn't want the Guard's help against the Tyranids on the Guard's terms, there's probably another system around that could use it.
- In Hamilton, the eponymous "Guns and Ships", courtesy of France and Lafayette, arrive just after "Stay Alive", the lowest point of the war for the revolutionaries. Just two songs later, they've won the war at "Yorktown".
- Averted in Les Misérables. Enjolras expects the help of the French army and the people of Paris in his revolution; however, he can no longer count on the help of the former when ally and military General Lamarque dies of an unspecified illness, and "The Final Battle" begins with Enjolras's somber realization that they have been abandoned by the people of Paris as well. They are quickly overwhelmed by the French forces and only two — Marius and Valjean — survive.
- As mentioned on the Film page, this trope saves the day at the end of The Music Man. After Professor Harold Hill is exposed as a con artist and fraud who never planned to form a children's band in the first place, all of River City gathers to see him tarred and feathered. Marion Paroo turns on the crowd and reminds everyone of how Harold's positive energy and joy have genuinely improved their lives; Mayor Shinn then snaps that anyone who thinks Harold shouldn't be run out of town should step forward. After a tense moment, Marian's mother Mrs. Paroo does just that...followed by the rest of the citizens, the School Board (who've served as the Mayor's lackeys throughout the show), and even Eulalie Shinn, the Mayor's wife. Though the Mayor tries to win back the crowd by saying that Harold still ripped them off, Marion's diversion buys enough time for the children of River City to assemble with their instruments and begin playing. They're absolutely horrid, of course, but the parents love it, the Mayor is won over, and Harold gets to stay with Marion.
- Even William Shakespeare used this trope, making it Older Than Steam. In Henry IV Part II, a rebellion against the titular king begins to brew. John Falstaff, a friend of Prince Hal, decides to join the Loyalist army in hope of gaining favor from Hal, Henry IV's son and the future monarch. To that end, Falstaff heads to the country and tries to gather up some farmers to join the cause, but given that he's dealing with rubes, the elderly, and people who would rather pay him off than enlist, it's definitely Played for Laughs.
- Red vs. Blue: The Reds and the Blues hear a distress signal coming from Church, at first most of them don't even think about going to help Church, but Sarge was able to convince everyone to go in and help Church and Wash and save them just in time from the Meta.
- Oasis and Dr. Schlock play this role during the "Dangerous Days" arc of Sluggy Freelance (though with shades of Enemy Mine). The same can be said of just about any time Bun-Bun agrees to help anyone.
- Just before the final battle against the God Machine in T. Campbell's Fans! Book 5, Will informs team leader Rikk that some volunteers have arrived.
Rikk: How many, Will? If it's two or three, send 'em home. I won't sacrifice—
- In Sinfest, when the drone attacks the Friend Zone, the Trike Girl blows on a conch shell to summon aid.
- Tower of God: When Ja Wangnan tried to get Viole's help, he did it as a last resort and tried to bargain with him and ultimately had to rely on his goodwill — while trying to trick him into entering his team. He succeeded, but that's because Viole decided to join anyway after seeing through it.
- Schlock Mercenary has one of these at the climax of the Resident Mad Scientist book. After the Milky Way is doomed by a superweapon so powerful it breaks causality, a time traveling Kevyn Andreyasn escapes to the past to try again. Upon his return, resident super-AI Petey convinces basically every sentient, starfaring race in the galaxy to aid in a battle against the dark matter entities at the galactic core who set the weapon off.
Petey: I just said "everyone." What part of that didn't you understand?
- Finally happens at the very end of Errant Story, when the elves figure out that they are utterly screwed and ask Tsuiraku for help. Of course, what really matters isn't that they get the Tsuirakuan battlemages, but rather, that they get the Five-Man Band (Meji, Ellis, Jon, Sarine and Sara), whom they did not actually ask for.
- Ynglinga Saga, once in each run-through.
- This Chairman Nuke video.
- When held at gun point by a masked villain, Sideburns calls on fellow Youtuber Julz Chan for help. Which he does, at the end of the video.
- In the Black Jack Justice episode "The Late Mr. Justice", an old enemy of Jack's, Rick Morales, gets released on parole and immediately sets out to kill Jack. To do so he kidnaps Jack's girlfriend Dorothy and threatens to kill her if Jack doesn't give himself up. Jack agrees, but during the confrontation Jack reveals Morales gave Jack enough time to assemble as many allies as he could on short notice. What Morales intended as a massacre turns into a shootout between his gang and Jack, his partner Trixie, fellow detectives "Button-Down" Theo and Alf McKinney, and police officers Lieutenant Sabien and Sergeant Nelson, during which Jack's long time friend and small time hood, Freddy "the Finger" Hawthorne locates Dorothy and gets her to safety.
Dorothy (witnessing the aftermath): Thank you all. You... you killed... Wow, look at how many people you killed...
Trixie: Only because there weren't more.