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Heroes Gone Fishing

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What's the bag limit on Gaghiels?

"Ahhh... that's it! A little sonar-wave pulse through the waters should attract the big fish. Science, you win again!"

Sometimes when the bad guys aren't feeling all that bad, when they don't feel like terrorizing the locals, they go shopping. But what do good guys do when they don't feel like fighting evil at the moment? When they just want to get away from it all? Everybody deserves some free time after all! Even superheroes deserve a holiday!

They go fishing, of course. "Fishing" being a general euphemism for things like chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool and all, shootin' some b-ball outside of the school. Obviously, the story probably won't just be about them enjoying some downtime - there's no drama in that, so trouble is likely to follow them, although they might get a Beach Episode or a Breather Episode.

If on vacation, this can be related to a Busman's Holiday. Often featured in a Fishing Episode. In video games, this is very often shown in Wide-Open Sandbox and Role-Playing Game genres, but other genres don't lack in this trope either.

Compare this trope's Evil Counterpart, Villains Out Shopping.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sound Stage M4 of Lyrical Nanoha focuses on Hayate and the rest of the "Yagami Family" taking a day off from their jobs to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Hayate's legs healing.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Evangeline A.K. McDowell enjoys Curb Stomping ancient immortal demon gods, inflicting Training from Hell on her erstwhile students, and playing retro video games in her birthday suit.
  • Kenren of Saiyuki Gaiden says his favourite pastime, while not being general of the western army, is to go fishing in the lower world.
  • Subverted in a spiritual sense in Sky Girls. While the heroes do fish using their multibillion Yen Mini-Mecha, they weren't relaxing so much as trying to compensate for lack of food after the last enemy attack until the next resupply vessel comes in.
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang sits in his office, talking on the official phone line with his girlfriend Elizabeth about a fishing trip he's planning to take, inviting her to join him. The truth is that he's actually talking to his adjutant, Riza Hawkeye, and the "fishing" they're doing is for the person who murdered Mustang's best friend. The entire dialogue is encoded.
  • Claes from Gunslinger Girl used to go fishing with her handler frequently (it was the only time they actually had conversations). Now he's dead and she doesn't remember him, but she has a subconscious reaction to water (and in the manga, to A River Runs Through it).
  • Fate/Zero: The only other notable survivor of the Fourth Grail War, Waver Velvet, later Lord El-Melloi II, respected lecturer of the Magi Association, is an avid videogame player, a hobby he took up in memory of his Servant, Alexander the Great, whose games and t-shirts he treasures.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura once meets with Kyouko when she's playing a dancing game in an arcade.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, at the end of the "Into the Blue" story arc,note  Sosuke reveals that the real reason he invited Kaname on the trip is because he wanted to show her his Happy Place, a quiet niche on Mithril's private island where he likes to fish. Despite the fact that the whole affair went crazy and they both almost died, she's happy because she gets to see Sosuke lowering his "shields" and honestly enjoying himself for once.
    • This doubles as a Brick Joke, since when Sosuke first introduces himself to Kaname's class, they ask what his hobbies are and when he says he loves to fish, it marks the first time they (or the audience) see some flashes of humanity beneath the firm, military exterior.
  • In the first chapter of Kinnikuman, the Earth defense force learns that monsters from space are about to attack Japan. Unfortunately, all of the superheroes are out busy partying or sick to help out! Which means that the only one the defense force can turn to is the titular Hero with an F in Good, though that also works out... to a degree.
  • The titular VRMMORPG of Sword Art Online includes several non-combat skills, which comes in very handy when the game kills you if your avatar dies and not everyone wants to risk their lives to get out of it. Asuna Yuuki (ID: Asuna) has a maxed-out cooking skill before the game ends, and Kazuto Kirigaya (ID: Kirito) eventually takes up fishing.
  • Natsu and Happy from Fairy Tail have occasionally gone fishing, mainly because fish are Happy's favorite food.

    Comic Books 
  • Half the stories in Marvel Adventures: Avengers or Super Heroes are of the Avengers hanging out somewhere until accidentally encountering a supervillain or superpowered being.
  • Brian Michael Bendis' New Avengers run would show the heroes occasionally eating breakfast.
  • In the Avengers issue following the Avengers vs. X-Men event, the heroes are shown chilling. Wolverine passed out with dozens of beer cans surrounding him, Tony Stark sleeping in the couch, Spider-Man lying in a web hammock, and Hawkeye and Spider-Woman doing their business.
  • X-Men:
    • The X-Men regularly play mutant baseball. Which is like regular baseball, with mutant powers. On one occasion, they also played basketball (with a "no powers" rule, but they didn't keep it). Strictly speaking, every baseball game the X-Men have played is "no powers". This works until someone accuses a telepath or someone with a passive power (such as Super Strength) of cheating at which point everyone starts using their powers resulting in baseballs catching fire, 2000 yard home runs and people running the bases in under two seconds.
    • In Uncanny X-Men #98, Professor X actually goes fishing...on the Deja Thoris no less.
    • In between two major story arcs, the X-Men split off into groups for a couple issues to relax. The men head off to one of Wolverine's favorite bars to play poker, only to accidentally foil an alien invasion, and the next issue the ladies go shopping.
    • Excalibur's equivalent is going to a little pub which Moira's father used to own in mainland Scotland, just a ways across Muir Island. No one there even looks at mutants funny, much to Nightcrawler's relief.
  • There was an old Fantastic Four story, the one that first introduced Black Panther. Black Panther lures the Fantastic Four to his hidden jungle hideout and hunts them down one by one, basically 'playing the villain', and only when he's finally defeated does he reveal that he's actually one of the good guys, and that he was just hunting them to test himself before going up against his archnemesis, Klaw. After Black Panther makes it up to them with a grand welcome to his kingdom, they all play baseball together. The Thing pitches, Johnny swings a Vibranium Bat, and Mr. Fantastic catches the ball - 30 feet up in the air. As for the Invisible Woman, she trips up her husband to give the mere mortals a fighting chance...
  • Golden Age Batman stories often began with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson on vacation where they would invariably stumble across some crime or mystery that needed solving.
  • Once, Empowered had to deal with a supervillain who was enraged that nobody but a "lame-ass superhero" (her) came to stop him and inquired what the other heroes were doing. Emp: "They're doing... superhero-ey stuff?" Cut to the other Superhomies watching "Dancing with the Superheroes".
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake hangs out with his civilian friends outside of school doing things like watching movie marathons, going to arcades, or playing Tabletop RPGs. He and Stephanie Brown go on several dates as Robin and Spoiler, including going to the movies once.
  • In Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, Clark Kent deems his cousin Kara is severely distressed and on the verge of a breakdown, so he takes her on a vacation to a deserted jungle planet so she can chill out and clear her head.

    Fan Works 
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon goes fishing (literally) when visiting his uncle for Golden Week.
  • Outworlders in The Keys Stand Alone party when they're not adventuring. A lot. By way of example, Tevri'ed turns into a party town at night for the most part. The four are invited to participate, but they're not interested (and “they had better ways of having fun anyway”).
  • In the Cardcaptor Rad chapter Flower Child, both the Autobots go on a town tour with Alexis, while Carlos takes the Mini-Cons to a science fair, to which has an instance of High Wire literally taking the other mini-cons to go to the fishing booth.
  • In The Ghost of Ochs, Byleth takes a rare day off from her teaching duties to bond and go fishing with Jeralt and Leonie before the Black Eagles and Golden Deer take on their next big missions outside of the monastery. She invites a few other students to join in, but only Linhardt (on account of it being his birthday) and Monica (who's never gone fishing before) accept.
  • The Last Seidr: After the Battle for New York, Tony starts inviting all of the Avengers over for dinner-and-movie nights (ostensibly to help Cap, Thor, and Harry adjust to the MCU 2012). Harry notes that he especially enjoyed pizza night.
  • In The Unexpected Rookie, Optimus Prime notes that, for the Autobots (who spend most of their time fighting the war against the Decepticons), spending a week in Radiator Springs is practically a vacation.
  • In the crossover fanfic Unity, the heroes of Big Hero 9 dedicate a lot of time to schoolwork, their jobs, and their secret lives as vigilantes. So, in Chapter 11 and 12, they all take a night off: Go-Go takes Honey Lemon, Violet, and Susan to a club, Riley, Tip and Baymax have a sleepover, and the guys spend the night playing video games.

    Films — Animated 
  • Despicable Me: Margo, Edith and Agnes persuade Gru to take them to the amusement park Super Silly Fun Land, which he decides to do just so he can try and abandon them. However, he eventually starts to do this after he wins Agnes the unicorn from the spaceship stand.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Some of the other superheroes took time off from fighting crime and saving the world to attend Bob and Helen's wedding. Edna and Rick Dicker are also in attendance.
    • During the Good-Times Montage after Bob defeats the Omnidroid, Bob and Dash are seen racing toy cars together and then playing catch in the park.
    • At the end, the Parrs are watching Dash compete at a track meet, and a newly-confident Violet asks Tony out to the movies.
  • At the end of Incredibles 2, the Parrs go to the movies with Tony, being Violet's second attempt at a date with Tony.
  • Toy Story 2:
    • Andy does this early on with Woody before accidentally ripping his arm.
    • Rex is also anxious to defeat Zurg in Andy's Buzz Lightyear video game. Hamm is seen playing the same video game at the end.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In The Stinger (the second one) at the end of The Avengers the exhausted Avengers actually go to the shawarma joint that Tony mentioned and sit around a table eating in silence.
    • In the sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, the gang takes down a Hydra base and celebrates with a party. Thor shares Asgardian liquor with Steve, Natasha jokes around with Bruce, and everybody makes a game out of trying to lift Mjölnir. Then Ultron shows up to the party, and things go downhill from there.
    • While waiting to meet with a contact to sell the orb in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Drax, Groot, and Rocket decide to hit a bar/gambling hall and are shown drunkenly partying it up. This is our first hint at Drax's lighter side.
  • Red Tails: After returning to base, Lightning becomes infatuated with Sofia, an Italian woman, and starts a relationship.
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: Kirk, Spock, and McCoy go camping together. It doesn't end very well.note 

  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry wonders what Dumbledore does during the summer holidays and "amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full length wizard's robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose."
  • Miles takes Illyan fishing during his convalescence in Memory; after having no luck, they rig a stunner to go off, "catching" most of the fish in the lake.
  • There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns: When expanding her Dungeon, Delta comes across a natural spring, and turns it into a fishing hole, adding a variety of respawning fish, a starry sky, and a stack of firewood. Reactions vary depending on whether the adventurers realise that they're being pushed toward a Pacifist Run, but Ruli is thrilled.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Superman episode "The Evil Three", at the beginning of the episode, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen are on a fishing trip. Then they run into trouble at a rural hotel.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Captain's Holiday", Picard reluctantly goes to Risa for a relaxing vacation which turns into an Indiana Jones adventure. On another occasion the ship's amateur dramatic society ropes Commander Riker into playing a role in their current theatrical performance, which kicks off the whole plot when he starts seeing props and characters when he's not rehearsing. It turns out to be All Just a Dream as a result of him suffering a head injury when an away mission went awry.
    • The novel I, Q introduces Picard and Data (or, as Q calls them, "a boy and his computer") while they're fishing on the holodeck.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine carries on the tradition, and actually introduces the primary antagonists for the whole series in an episode that started out with Captain Sisko taking his son camping. They also had an episode involving Space Sailing and a quite literal Baseball Episode, the latter taking place in the middle of the Dominion War arc no less.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise never had a whole episode built around this trope, unless you count everyone on an away team except an increasingly exasperated T'Pol goofing off when they were supposed to be doing actual work one time, but regular movie screenings in the mess hall were a regular source of Fish out of Water and Culture Clash humour.
  • Stargate SG-1: Jack O'Neill has a fish pond (which may or may not contain actual fish) next to his cabin in Minnesota. At the end of Season Eight, the whole team fishes there.
    • The fact that it doesn't contain actual fish is a running gag, to the point that, when time travelling, he once set a video back to verify that time hadn't been changed and included that fact. At the end of that two parter, the team finds out that there really are fish in his pond... but apparently decide that it's not important and move on.
    • They also make a Running Gag out of O'Neill inviting Carter to come fishing, which she always politely declines with the excuse that she'd rather mess around with whatever new piece of alien technology the team has come up with. note 
  • In season 2 of 24, the President is literally seen fishing with his son in the first episode. Of course, this being 24, their trip didn't last long.
  • Lost. Hope you like golf, because it is the only recreational activity on the island.
  • Christopher Foyle is often shown fly fishing in Foyle's War.
  • In Doctor Who, a good portion of the Doctor's adventures begin with him just kicking around in the TARDIS tinkering with things or trying to find a cool place to go on holiday (Blackpool or Brighton seem to be popular choices) before being somehow diverted to the location of the adventure of the week.
    • In "The Androids of Tara", the Doctor decides to leave the search for the Key to Time entirely to Romana, so that he can spend the afternoon fishing...
    • "The Leisure Hive" started out with the Doctor and Romana at Blackpool beach.
    • "Midnight" starts out like this (we get the impression that they've come to the planet Midnight specifically to have a relaxing holiday) with Donna having a nice day in a spa sort of place while the Doctor decides to go on a fun day trip. Of course, this is Doctor Who, so the episode quickly descends into horror. But it was nice while it lasted.
    • The Sixth Doctor portion of "The Two Doctors" begins with him and Peri fishing on an alien planet. The Expanded Media actually makes fishing a regular pastime for the Sixth Doctor.
    • "The Five Doctors" started with the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough on the Eye of Orion for a bit of relaxation thanks to "the high bombardment of positive ions."
    • "Silver Nemesis" opens with the Seventh Doctor and Ace contently enjoying some outdoor live jazz and reading the Sunday newspapers.
  • On Supernatural, Dean Winchester's idea of a peaceful dream is fishing.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena goes fishing a few times; one notable occasion ends with her returning with a cart full of fish for the end-of-episode fight. Another memorable case has her use the MacGuffin of the week as fish bait.
  • Jonathan and Mark go fishing in Highway to Heaven. What's supposed to be a vacation for Mark turns into Jonathan the angel playing holy matchmaker to a woman and a shy man for some reason.
  • Emergency! has Roy and John go fishing in "Welcome to Santa Rosa County". And it turns into a Busman's Holiday.
  • You could practically start another Trope for examples of this happening on Power Rangers; in fact, only too often, the good guys are in the middle of either participating in or running some recreational activity or event, when the current Big Bad decides to ruin it. (Often in a way that was inspired by it.)
  • Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, a laid back BBC comedy and Scenery Porn show, which is essentially just comedians (and real-life friends) Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer going fresh water angling, and having a Seinfeldian Conversation in various picturesque locations.

  • Matenrou from Hypnosis Mic like to chillax with some literal fishing, best exemplified by the song Papillon. On one of these outings, Doppo catches a boot.

    Video Games 
  • In Fable, it's possible for your hero to literally go fishing. He can also get married, play various games, take part in local brawling competitions, and generally act like a normal person. He can't get a job though. On the other hand, in the sequel, you can get a job, filling the list of normal, everyday activities your hero can get up to. (Though you can't go fishing any more...)
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Link - Hero of Time, wielder of the Master Sword, and current record-holder at the local fishing hole.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The gift of completing part of the tutorial is a handmade fishing rod. This game gives you two types of fishing to play with. Fishing can net you some surprisingly handy results, including one of the four bottles, bags of money, and a smelly fish required to advance the plot. You can even boast of your fishing achievements to the final boss by shaking your fishing rod in his face, which shocks him so much that he leaves his guard open to attack.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has several examples that don't involve literal fishing. First is a flashback showing Link and Zelda analyzing the various flora and fauna of Hyrule Field in between their various quests to prepare for Ganon's return. Second is Riju: after resolving all the problems the inhabitants of Gerudo Town, she'll be shown playing with her stuffed sand seals in her bedroom or with her actual sand seal Patricia in the latter's pen.
  • Each Ryu in the Breath of Fire series goes out in a fishing minigame. It's only mandatory in the ''fourth game, when the party is temporarily caught on a island by high tides, though you only have to catch one fish (edible or not) to proceed.
  • The entire premise of the crossover game Poker Night at the Inventory, where four characters from wildly different works get together when they're off the clock to play poker.
  • "What's that? Team Rocket / Magma/Aqua / Galactic / Plasma / Flare / Skull is plotting something evil? I'll get on it after I catch a Feebas."
  • Ōkami: This is actually a plot event in the game.
    • You have to catch a giant catfish, which devours the moon's reflection in the water, thus stopping the moon from coming out. Once you nab this guy, you get a brush power that lets you draw a moon in the sky to turn day into night.
    • One of the sidequests is to help a sword collector by fishing. Why? He is fishing for a specific catch, the Cutlass fish, also known as the living sword.
  • Done quite literally in Fate/hollow ataraxia, where quite a few of the Servants (read:legendary historical and mythological figures) have incredibly mundane day jobs and hobbies. For example: Cu Chulainn, Ireland's Man of Light, fishing on the docks (with Gilgamesh in the background, no less).
  • Falcom of Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk II likes to fish in her off-time. She gets a little competitive when Nepgear proves to be good at it too.
  • In the Trails Series, Estelle Bright, Lloyd Bannings, and Rean Schwarzer can take time off from their tasks at hand and saving the world to go fish. This is acknowledged in The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie where the three of them are the only ones who are allowed to fish the final fish of the game.
  • The Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 once you finish the plot of dealing with Shepard's evil clone, the rest of the DLC consists of Shepard and crew simply goofing off on the Citadel—gambling, playing video games, shopping, engaging in simulated VR combat games, and partying.
    • In the main game itself, at one point Garrus takes you to a normally prohibited location above the Presidium for no reason other than to have a bottle-shooting contest to finally determine who is the better sniper. At several other points in the game you encounter people just trying to relax and forget for the moment the terror of the war they've found themselves in.
  • One of the later story missions in Infamous 2 is just a cutscene of Cole and Zeke kicking back, drinking beer, and watching Spaghetti Western movies until they fall asleep.
  • In Persona 5 there's a wide variety of activities for the protagonist to do with his friends, from going to amusement parks, browsing bookstores, and going out to eat. You can even go fishing.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon: If you don't feel like getting on with the main plot, you can try kart racing, golf, baseball, Mahjong, video game arcades, not falling asleep in the cinema, and many more. No fishing, though.


    Web Original 
  • In one of the early Whateley Universe stories, Tennyo literally takes time off and goes fishing. With her friend Harry, who happens to looks like a seven-foot-tall werewolf. They end up rescuing an injured kid. Then there's Phase, who (being the scion of a filthy rich family before getting disinherited for being a mutant) spends her spare time marketing inventions of gadgeteers, building major IPOs of newly-created conglomerates, studying the stock market... Phase is not quite fifteen.
  • One of Cracked's 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games is that "your princess can always wait a little longer" to complete a Fishing Minigame.
  • Deviant: The Newborns play Dungeons & Dragons in one scene.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: In "Destroyer," Fire and Ice are taking some time off for a leisurely Pool Scene when the invasion alarm sounds.
  • The Teen Titans are regularly seen eating pizza or playing video games, among other "normal" social activities. Though almost every time they go out to the local carnival or something, trouble soon follows.
  • One episode of ReBoot opened with Bob fishing in the middle of a war game. He even took a nap during that time and wanted someone else to deal with the User this time.
    • Interestingly, this actually has a reason within the war game: the game was actually being used as a training sequence for a few of the Mainframers, and Bob was actively wasting time to give them a chance to get the feel for playing the games without getting nullified. The User's avatar was even a tank that had managed to get itself stuck between two obstacles.
  • Bumblebee of Transformers: Animated likes playing videogames with Sari (also in Transformers: Prime, 'Bee with Raf). Rattrap from Beast Wars was once shown playing what looked like a Doom clone with Waspinators for enemies.
    • Hot Rod and Daniel are first seen out fishing in Transformers: The Movie, before Daniel gets distracted by the arriving shuttle. Later in a season 3 episode ("Grimlock's New Brain"), the Dinobots go fishing together, except for the big G himself, because he's caught up in his newfound superintelligence. In general, the Autobots are often shown enjoying Earth culture and past times from snowball fights to basketball games.
    • One episode of Transformers: Cyberverse features Hot Rod and Bumblebee on leave to the racing destination planet Velocitron. Disaster soon strikes.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Hulk allows Bruce Banner control of their shared body for one day a month. In "Nightmare In Red", Banner chooses to spend one of those days fishing, accompanied by a reluctant Hawkeye.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, the episode "Turner Classic Birdman" acts as a flashback to his pre-attorney superhero days. Being a parody of the original Birdman (1967) series it's based on, this means Falcon Seven frequently calls Birdman when he's eating dinner or découpaging.
  • The fourth episode of Ewoks (To Save Deej) starts out with the Warrick males and Princess Kneesaa fishing. But it soon turns into a story where Deej's life is in danger.
  • One episode of Atomic Puppet was about Joey going on a fishing trip with his dad. Naturally, it went sideways when the villainous Megalo-Don showed up and tricked Joey and AP into helping him oppose the lake's ruler, King Hydronomous.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002), a lot of the heroes have hobbies. Adam and Teela play a game that's sort of like volleyball in one episode, Ram-Man literally likes to go fishing, while Roboto plays holographic chess with Man-E-Faces, Orko, and Sy-Clone in various episodes.
  • Initially the premise of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The Aqua Teens were originally portrayed as superheroes, with the opening having them fighting a giant space alien and foiling a bank robbery. After the first few episodes, the series focused more on their misadventures in their Jersey Shore neighborhood. Subverted by Season 2, at which point the series cut out their heroism all together.
  • A recurring staple in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories is the brothers just goofing off and having fun being crashed by villain interference. In fact, their first encounter with Renet is often sparked by her viewing multiple timelines and noticing the turtles having a water balloon fight on a rooftop and deciding it would be fun to drop in.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Invoked in "The Boiling Rock Part 1" when Sokka and Zuko leave, claiming they've gone fishing while they're really going to break Sokka's father Hakoda out of the titular prison.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Short Story", Rocko becomes giant and inadvertently destroys a city. Really Really Big Man is called about it while he's in the middle of watching a soap opera, bemoaning that these things always happen when the good shows are on.
  • A Wing Dings blackout on Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines has the Vulture Squadron playing baseball. Dick Dastardly cheats... and gets away with it! (He tags Muttley out at home by yanking home plate off the ground.)

    Real Life 
  • Just about every person with a high-responsibility job has some kind of hobby to help them relax in their down time.
  • Legend has it that British naval hero Sir Francis Drake was playing a game of bowls (lawn bowling) at Plymouth in 1588 when word came that the Spanish Armada had been sighted. Being a veteran sailor and knowing full well that the tidal conditions would be working against the Spaniards, Drake is said to have replied that there was time enough to finish the game, and did just that before returning to his ship.


Max and Goose's Time Off

Max and Goose are seen eating and chatting in a restaurant.

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Main / HeroesGoneFishing

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