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Hunting the Most Dangerous Game

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Typical company picnic for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.note 

"Gentlemen, they're large, they're fast, and fucking you up's their idea of tourism."
Will Traeger, speaking about... well, guess who, The Predator

Subgenre of The Chase where the villains are hunters and the hero is the prey — the game — in a formalized hunting motif.

Most action series have a Hunting the Most Dangerous Game episode as well as a Forced Prize Fight. Villains may get victims from any walk of life, typically kidnapping Innocent Bystanders, buying Condemned Contestants, or tricking friends/enemies/the soon to be ex-wife into an isolated spot. The hunter is likely to do things that will give the victim more of a "fighting chance" to survive for a while, whether this means releasing them from a cage into that isolated spot in the wilderness (with a "head start" like "You have one hour to prepare before I start tracking and hunting"), or, often enough, providing them with a weapon or tools. Aside from providing a good dramatic sequence, this type of episode can also become a Green Aesop about sport hunting.


If it's an actual contest, you're talking about Deadly Game, though it should be noted that the term "game" as it is used in this trope refers to the hunted species, rather than the hunt itself. The villain often is an Egomaniac Hunter for whom sapient game is the ultimate hunting thrill, or an evil aristocrat or other rich guy who gets off on the sadistic thrill of hunting down and killing those they consider inferior. In science fiction works, this is frequently the modus operandi of a Predator Pastiche.

The Trope Namer is "The Most Dangerous Game", a classic short story in which a big game hunter becomes the prey of a retired Russian general who hunts humans for sport on his private island.

Expect the villain to motivate his prey by promising he can "Win Your Freedom" by surviving X amount of time. Whether he's being truthful or not, the story rarely actually ends with the hero simply winning his freedom and leaving, because then the villain would get away with it — true resolution of this deadly game will usually only come with the villain taken down and either arrested or killed, often after the protagonist turns the tables on his pursuer.


The Wild Hunt may be one of these. See also Blood Knight for someone who is more of a warrior than a hunter. When this is someone's job instead of a sport or hobby, see Bounty Hunter and Professional Killer. Villains who go so far as to have an MO and do this often enough are practicing Industrialized Evil. See also Serial Killer, who usually drops the overt hunting motif but still maintains the spirit of the trope, especially if they engage in cat-and-mouse games with their victims.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chelsea's past from Akame ga Kill! shows that she was the employee of a minister who funnily chased and killed people. He was also the first person she killed to make the world better.
  • Attack on Titan: How did King Fritz I decide to punish Ymir for supposedly freeing a pig? He set her "free" and then loosed his hunters and hounds on her for fun.
  • In Lupin III: Dead or Alive, Zufu prison holds an annual event, selecting a few prisoners to attempt to escape. So far, the guards boast that no one has succeeded, and call it "target practice".
  • Moriarty the Patriot: one of the arcs revolves around Moriarty orchestrating the downfall of a nobleman who does this as a hobby.
  • In One Piece's sixth movie Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, the third game for the Straw Hats to play involved the Baron's crew hunting down the remaining Straw Hats through the island.
  • In Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix: Life, a TV producer plans to create a gameshow based on this concept using human clones created with technology from a mysterious Mayincatec civilization given to them by the titular bird-god's daughter. Of course, things quickly go pear-shaped for him when he himself is used as the template for the clones and then gets mistaken for one.
  • Godly Pond in The Promised Neverland is a hunting ground for the demon elite. These rich demons have grown tired of eating farm meat and long for the days where demons hunted humans freely. So they kidnapped children from the farms and placed them in Goldy Pond: a place where every few days the demons come and hunt down this free-range meat. However, Archduke Leuvis insists that even this is not exciting enough for him, like "hunting rabbits." Then Emma came along...
  • In Psycho-Pass, a cyborg who has taken the final step of having his entire brain copied into a digital form in order to achieve immortality takes part in underground human hunts. He claims it makes him feel alive again, and he takes grisly trophies from his kills, such as a smoking pipe carved out of human bones.
  • Pumpkin Scissors has a Monster of the Week (well, a human, actually, but considering what he does...) in the form of Viscount Wolkins, an egomanic evil noble who promises a vast reward to anyone winning his game...that consists of shackling the challengers together and letting them loose on his grounds, after which he hunts them with a freaking tank, cannon and all. When Section III turns up to investigate and, upon finding out the nature of his game, arrest him, he then subjects The Hero and Those Two Guys to the same treatment. Unfortunately for him, The Hero happens to be a chemically enhanced giant armed with a 13mm, armor piercing handgun who was trained and conditioned specifically to fight tanks on foot.
  • In Tenkuu Shinpan (High-rise Invasion) a girl wakes up in a world of skyscrapers where she witnesses the violent murder of a man by another man in a mask. She soon realizes that she is unable to make it to the ground floor of the buildings and must make her way from building to building via suspension bridges precariously built seemingly at random between the buildings. She finds the masked people are there to cause distress on the inhabitants and either push them to commit suicide by jumping or by murdering them if they fail to do so.
  • An episode of Weiß Kreuz had Hirofumi Takatori drug people in a nightclub, ship their unconscious bodies to a forest, then release them for his friends to kill for fun.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has the Academia students engage in what they call "Hunting Games" when conducting their onslaught on the Xyz Dimension: It's a Body-Count Competition in which any Xyz Dimension denizen qualifies as "prey" to be sadistically hunted and carded. Everyone - even non-dueling adults (this world's equivalent of defenseless civilians) and infants - is fair game.

    Comic Books 
  • A villain called the Stalker subjects Batman to being hunted in Detective Comics #401.
  • Cavewoman: Raptorella: Raptorella captures Miriam and uses her as the prey in the game - having started with Disposable Vagrants and working way up to Miriam as the ultimate prey.
  • Eerie #9's story "Isle of the Beast" has the hunter specifically mentioning the original "The Most Dangerous Game" as his inspiration to set up such an island. To make things more interesting, he also mutates himself into a kind of beastman while hunting. Unfortunately for him, his quarry is a werewolf. Eerie's writers were fond of this kind of twist ending.
  • The French graphic novel Exit (with a scenario by the sci-fi author Bernard Werber) revolves around suicide pacts that turn out to be this.
  • The Sportsmen, in Firearm. And they don't stop at hunting and killing, either.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: 1993's "A-Hunting We Will Go" by John Kane (re-published in the United States as "Danger Island") features Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and his nephews being shipwrecked on a private island owned by an exiled Brutopian nobleman who amuses himself hunting other "humans" (including ducks). The story is a rather obvious parody of Connell's short story.
  • A story ("The Ferryman") in an issue of Clive Barker's Hellraiser once featured a rich KKK member who would routinely capture homeless black people to torture on his ship, occasionally letting some loose on deserted islands in order to hunt them for sport alongside his fellow Klansmen.
  • In The Invisibles, a group of English nobles take great pleasure in hunting down the homeless and poor. It's shown in detail in "Royal Monsters".
  • One Judge Dredd story features a hunting club for bored rich men who hunt people for sport, whose next game is Dredd himself.
  • Superman:
    • In Action Comics (Volume 2) #10, a big game hunter who has gotten bored of hunting animals (in his introduction, he casually kills a dinosaur) learns of Superman and considers him a worthy test of his skills. His friend warns that Superman is bulletproof, but he boasts, "There is no such thing as bulletproof!" He obtains high-powered weapons, somehow learns of Clark Kent's secret, and lies in wait in Clark's apartment. Superman easily takes him down, with the man suffering a Villainous Breakdown when all his weapons prove useless.
    • In Reign of Doomsday, Lex Luthor traps the Superman Family in a dimensional maze so they may be hunted by a pack of Doomsday clones.
    • There's a minor Legion of Super-Heroes villain called the Hunter who operates like this. In his first appearance he kidnapped some Legionnaires he felt would make especially difficult prey, set them loose on a jungle planet, and hunted them down one by one until Karate Kid beat his challenge.
  • Ramba #7 — "The Hunters and the Prey". Ramba has received an invitation to a party on the island of Elba, with a rich bounty in it if she survives the experience. Three men want to play a hunting game. The whole island is the playing field, and she agrees to become prey. Each hunter has part of a clue to the whereabouts of a large cache of money. If she is caught, she loses the money she already has and submits to their "most perverse wishes". If she catches them, she gets the money. Ramba agrees. She quickly catches and seduces several of her would-be hunters and a female bystander. She demonstrates her own perverse wishes and gets their clues, which lead her to the vicinity of the money. The third man is guarding it in an old German bunker and manages to get himself impaled on the wall. Her third perverse wish is a necrophiliac one, after which she takes the money and leaves.
  • Rivers of London: In Cry Fox, Abigail Kamara and DC Sahra Guleed are kidnapped and forced to take part in a sadistic human hunt, styled after a fox hunt, run by the mother and son Robinettes. Alaric Robinette is actually obsessed with The Most Dangerous Game and has a collection of every separate printing of the story he's been able to get his hands on. Abigail and Guleed were kidnapped as specific targets, however, at the instigation of criminal Reynard Fossman, who was attempting to get revenge on the Folly and considered them the most vulnerable targets.
  • Robin (1993) villain Jaeger sells recordings of himself hunting meta-humans.
  • In Robyn Hood: I Love NY series, Robyn is captured by Natalya who plans to subject her to this.
  • In "Hunter's Moon" in Savage Sword of Conan #171, Conan is nursed back to health in a village. He learns the village has a deal with the local lord who provided the land for the village. Each year, he takes a villager and turns them loose in the forest while he hunts them. If the villager ever makes it to the edge of the forest without being killed, the village will own its lands free and clear. Naturally Conan ends up being the 'prey' for this year and things end badly for the lord.
  • In Secret Six #23, a group of hunters try this with the Six. They find out this is not a good idea.
  • The Nesting Ones do this to Jon Sable in Shaman's Tears #8; giving him a gun and a single bullet to make things 'sporting'.
  • Spider-Man
    • This is Kraven the Hunter's big schtick in various Spider-Man media — hunting Spider-Man, whom he considers the most elusive prey of all and the only one capable of presenting him with any challenge. The "Kraven's Last Hunt" storyline features him not only succeeding at this goal, but impersonating and outperforming Spider-Man before committing suicide. He returns in Scarlet Spider to do the same.
    • Kraven's son Alyosha once kidnapped dozens of villains with Animal Motifs (like Man-Ape and the Rhino), set them loose on a remote island, and went on the prowl. He had seemingly lost his mind at some point prior to this, as this was a dramatic departure from his usual M.O. and he was extremely irrational throughout the ordeal.
    • Hunted, the 2019 story event from The Amazing Spider-Man (Nick Spencer), has Kraven back to stage the ultimate version of it which he calls The Grand Hunt — gather as many villains with Animal Motifs as he can, find a bunch of remote operated drones attached to a bunch of rich jerks, and see who kills and who lives, all underneath a Domed Hometown over Central Park keeping them from getting out and others from getting in.
    • The Ultimate Spider-Man version of Kraven, by contrast, is a devoted celebrity hunter, sort of like Steve Irwin in leather pants. He declared his intention to catch and kill Spider-Man, often believed to be a mutant. He successfully tracked Spider-Man down, but since Kraven is just a normal human who happens to wrestle alligators or whatever, Spider-Man completely wipes the floor with him (less than a minute after a much tougher fight with Doc Ock). Moral of the story: Hunting The Most Dangerous Game is no fun for anyone if the hunter is unarmed.
    • Later, Kraven returns claiming to be ready to hunt down Spiderman for real, only to be immediately arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. for obtaining black market superhuman enhancements... and then bragging about it on TV.
    • This once happened to Spider-Man in his Peter Parker identity after he barely survived escaping an exploding villain base and was picked up in a Corrupt Hick's town for being a vagrant. After all the times he's dealt with Kraven, Peter figured being chased by some wealthy old man with a thing for hunting people would be no big deal until he found out the hunter had a multi-million dollar surplus super-villain battle platform instead of a rifle. With the help of a honest cop who finds out what is going on, Peter beats the hunt and brings the villains to justice.
  • Star Wars:
    • Darth Maul. Maul hears that a gangster has captured Jedi Padwan Eldra Kaitis and is auctioning her off, so he kidnaps her off the winner so he can fight a Jedi without giving away the existence of the Sith. However the auctioneer has planted a bomb on the winner's ship to force it to crash on a nearby planet, so she can make even more money off the losers of the auction for a chance to hunt the Padwan and those who took her.
    • Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith has Tarkin leading a team of expert bounty hunters to hunt down and kill Darth Vader. The best bit is The Reveal that Vader organized this himself, because he'd run out of Jedi to fight and needed a challenge.
  • One arc of The Trigan Empire features a rich maniac who keeps a whole island set up for "sporting" manhunts.
  • The Ultimate Riddle involves Batman being pursued by seven great warriors from across space and time (and a criminal who Judge Dredd was in the middle of arresting).
  • One Story Arc of Ultimate X-Men actually has this as its title. Naturally, it's about a media mogul who has a TV show in which mutants convicted of capital crimes (often falsely, but, as it turns out at the end, not in the case of the guy our heroes wound up protecting the whole time) are hunted and killed.
    • And Ultimate Spider-Man did it later, with Deadpool as the hunter and Spiderman as the hunted. Deadpool was going after the X-Men and, thanks to Shadowcat trying to get help, Spider-Man found himself tangled up in that mess.
  • The second issue of EC Comics' The Vault of Horror comic book featured a story blatantly ripped off from "The Most Dangerous Game" called "Island of Death".
  • Subverted in The Walking Dead where a group of survivors reveal that they kill and eat people because it is less work than hunting animals.
  • Rogue CIA agent Stryker subjects Travis Morgan to one of these in The Warlord #13.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Circe creates a twisted hunting game for as many villain women as she can gather with her magic, by taking the world's top male heroes, transporting them to New York City, transforming them into human-animal mashups (thereby preventing them from using their powers and/or gadgets), and putting a magical barrier around New York while the villains hunt down the heroes and slaughter any civilians in their way.
  • X-Men: The Crimson Commando, Stonewall, and Super Sabre were World War II-era superheroes who, after retiring from active duty, grew disgusted with the amount of ordinary crime that was occurring, so they played this game with criminals they plucked off the streets and hunted and killed them in Adirondack State Park. Then they inadvertently caught Storm, and despite realizing their mistake tried to kill her anyway so she wouldn't reveal their secret. She beat them, and they turned themselves in, though they'd later be pardoned into Freedom Force.
  • Fall of Cthulhu kicks of because Nodens, Elder God of the Hunt wans to hunt the most dangerous game of all: Cthulhu. Meanwhile, Nyarlathotep is orchestrating things behind the scenes. Except that Cthulhu is merely the bait. Nodens is actually going after much larger prey: Nyarlathotep.

    Comic Strips 
  • Doctor Who Magazine: In "Bloodsport", a pair of alien hunters arrive on earth in search of sentient prey to hunt because the practice has been outlawed on their home world.
  • Happens to Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin in "The Killing Ground" arc.

    Fan Works 
  • Cheating Death: Those That Lived: Multiple chapters mention that a few wealthy Capitol thrill-seekers make a sport out of "district hunting," when they travel outside of the Capitol to hunt and kill citizens of the the Districts.
  • In The Owl Coven, Luz is hunted by a game hunter named Sergei Yagoff, who firmly believes that the weak only exist to pleasure the strong.
    Sergei: A normal animal has legs and instinct. But a creature that can think and plan, that can reason, that has courage and cunning... why, that is the most dangerous game of all. That is the greatest hunt.

    Film — Animated 
  • In the end of Disney’s Tarzan, Clayton gets fed up with Tarzan and hunts him down like the animal he sees him as.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avenging Force: The bad guys have a "hunting club" for this purpose. The main character is forced to participate in it as the prey after his sister is kidnapped.
  • Brazilian movie Bacurau is about a remote village whose inhabitants start being hunted by rich and sadistic foreigners.
  • Battle Royale: This is the main premise of the film and the book it's based on: a totalitarian Japanese government dumps a bunch of Japanese high schoolers on a deserted island and forces them to kill each other for sport.
  • Betrayed: Cathy is taken on a hunting trip by Gary. To her horror, she learns they're hunting a black man (he's given a gun with six bullets as a "sporting chance" presumably, while they all have automatic weapons). This makes her certain Gary's behind the murder in Chicago she's investigating.
  • Bet Your Life: This 2004 made-for-TV movie.
  • Blood and Chocolate: Werewolves set humans free on an island and proceed to hunt them.
  • Blooded: An Animal Wrongs Group kidnaps a group of hunters, strips them to their underwear, and releases them in the moors to be hunted by members of the group.
  • Bloodlust!: This MST3K-featured ripoff.
  • Bloodthirsty: Vaughn hunts down a female hitchhiker his housekeeper Vera procured while in wolf shape, then kills and eats her.
  • The Conspiracy: The ritual hunting and slaying of the bull at the secret Tarsus Club meetings is revealed to be the way they murder outside infiltrators after forcing them into a bull mask and loosing them in the woods.
  • Deadly Prey (1987): A group of sadistic mercenaries kidnap people off the streets and set them loose on the grounds of their secret camp, so the "students" at the camp can learn how to track down and kill their prey.
  • In Big Game, this is Hazar's mindset: he's hunting the "big game", the US president. Moore, however, the man in question, is hardly "the most dangerous".
  • In Confessions of a Psycho Cat, a deranged, wealthy woman offers $100,000 to three men if they can stay alive for 24 hours in Manhattan, and then hunts them down.
  • Death Ring (1992): Ex-Green Beret Matt Collins is kidnapped along with his fiancée, Lauren Sadler, by crazed hunter extraordinaire Danton Vachs. Every year he holds a contest where people can purchase the right to hunt down and kill a human being. This time, Collins is to be the hunted. Vachs uses Lauren as motivation for Collins to really fight to survive and thus provide the buyers with a truly exceptional hunt. Collins is turned loose on an uncharted island and four killers set out to find and kill him.
  • Dominion: In this 1995 movie, members of an expedition are hunted by a deranged man.
  • The Eliminator: In this 2004 film, a hunting expedition goes awry when another hunter decides to make the hunters the hunted.
  • Fair Game: The Evil Poachers stalk the protagonist, "skin" her by ripping off her clothes, rape her, then tie her to the hood of their truck like an animal carcass. The roles are then reversed when Jessica constructs traps to immobilize and kill her tormentors.
  • The Frozen Ground is based on the story of Robert Hansen, a serial killer who hunted down women in the Alaskan forest.
  • Fugitive X: The premise behind this film. A casino even takes bets on how long the "game" will survive.
  • A Game of Death: The Most Dangerous Game was remade in 1945 into this film, with Zaroff recast as a Nazi named Erich Kreiger.
  • Gymkata: Somehow combines this trope with gymnastics!
  • Hard Target: In this film directed by John Woo and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Big Bad is the head of a hunting business which allows rich men to hunt homeless or down-on-their-luck war veterans.
  • The Hunt (2020), in which wealthy elites who look down their noses at everybody else kidnap a group of poor people to participate in some human-hunting. The twist here is that the villains are specifically "blue state" liberal elites who picked their targets for their politics, while said targets are themselves caricatures of "red state" right-wingers, save for the protagonist Crystal, who got dragged into it due to Mistaken Identity. (The Working Title was even Red State vs. Blue State.)
  • Hunter Prey: This sci-fi film.
  • Jumanji: This movie has a nineteenth-century big game hunter come out of the game and try to hunt one of the main characters, and only him, because "He rolled the dice". It's heavily implied that Van Pelt (the hunter) had already been pursuing Alan over the years that they were inside the game, based on Alan's reaction when he read Van Pelt's description after rolling. He is also a representation of Alan's fear towards his father (both characters are played by Jonathan Hyde), aware that he's part of a game, and not above trading his old elephant rifle for a more modern weapon.
  • The King and the Clown: The lords see the mock hunt held in honour of Gong-gil's entitlement as the perfect opportunity to get rid of him. They only actually end up killing Six-Dix as they are disrupted by Jaeng-sang and then the King.
  • Kristy: A gang of masked teens who are part of an internet cult hunt a girl on her deserted university campus while she's staying over Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Lethal Woman (Also titled The Most Dangerous Woman Alive): In this 1989 film, a group of men are told that they have won an "erotic vacation" at a fantasy island. In reality, they are being lured to the island by women they have wronged, and once there, they are captured and set loose on the island to be hunted down.
  • Maverick: As part of Maverick's scheme to get the money he needs to enter a poker game, a visiting Russian Grand Duke is swindled by offering him a "genuine Indian hunt", with Maverick playing the role of a sick old man that nobody will miss. When he "kills" Maverick, they blackmail him with the threat of exposure.
  • Mean Guns: Not to mention somewhat reversed by this knock-off Battle Royale-esque film. The Busey-who-is-not-Busey knew it was a trap but pretty much went there with this intention in mind, and to settle an old score with the John Wayne-meets-Mick Jagger lead 'cowboy-style' gunfighter. The reversal is that the majority of the crooks led there by the syndicate do various mafioso-style versions of this in their daily lives, but the Syndicate simply doesn't want them anymore for various reasons. So it stages a false contest to make them hunt each other. At the end, Ice-T lets the winners know this and intends to kill the 'winners,' but cowboy gets them both. And hoists the Busey-clone by his own petard while at it.
  • Mindhunters: This is the sole motivation for the villain in this Renny Harlin movie as he considers FBI Profilers to be a good match for his intellect.
  • The Most Dangerous Game: This is the movie version of the Trope Namer.
  • Naked Fear: Where a serial killer hunts women he abducts from a nearby town, but he first strips them completely naked and offers them no tools, rendering them as close to wild animals as possible.
  • The Naked Prey (1966): Cornel Wilde gets hunted by warriors of a native African tribe.
  • Octopussy: In this James Bond movie, Kamal Khan uses a tiger hunt from elephant back to hunt down the escaped spy.
  • Open Season (1974): A trio of Vietnam veterans have an annual camping trip, where they choose a couple and torture them, then hunt them through the woods. This year, they are stalked and killed by the father of a girl they raped during their college years.
  • The Pest: Spoofed with a rich man hunting the main character, a slick-talking obnoxious grifter he selected by accident but then choose to hunt anyway due to "Pestario" being too obnoxious for him to bear, together with his effeminate son.
  • Predator:
    • This is the premise of this franchise, except the hunters are aliens and the game is specifically armed humans. They have a code of honor and, among other things, do not hunt/kill unarmed targets, children, or pregnant women. They also respect Worthy Opponents, and at the end of the second film, when the protagonist kills a predator, the others give him an 18th-century flintlock pistol, implied to be a trophy from a previous hunt.
    • In AVP: Alien vs. Predator, the predators take it even further by hunting the Aliens. While they're animals (and therefore technically not this trope), the Aliens are even more dangerous than humans, and throughout the Alien franchise they clearly show intelligence. The last surviving Predator gives the last surviving human an honor mark (apparently) for killing an Alien with a spear. When the other Predators come to pick up the hunt team, they appear to respect the human survivor because of the mark.
    • Predators takes this to the extremes, taking place on what is essentially a Predator game preserve and featuring choice human soldiers, criminals, etc. as the game. The lead character is a mercenary implied to be/have been an assassin of some sort, and he directly uses the Hemingway quote on the subject (see this trope's quote page).
  • In Preservation, an anesthesiologist must awaken her animal instincts when she, her husband and her brother-in-law become the quarry of unseen hunters who want to turn them all into trophies.
  • In Ready Or Not, the wealthy and eccentric Le Domas family has a tradition of playing a randomly-selected game whenever someone new joins the family. If the new member selects the "Hide and Seek" card, the family believes the target has to be killed before sunrise to satisfy a legendary curse. Guess which card newly-married bride Grace picks? (Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, however, in that the Le Domases are a group of Upper-Class Twits with only the barest idea what they're doing. Even armed to the teeth, they're not effective killers. Even the more competent ones are either out of practice or using weapons they're unfamiliar with.)
  • Revolution (1985): A group of British soldiers come to a rope factory and explain that they want to hunt foxes but there are none to be found. So Tom and a big man are chosen to be the foxes they'll hunt. Tom barely survives this with his life.
  • Rovdyr (Translated as Predator and marketed as Manhunt): This 2008 Norwegian film features this trope. It can be a little too easy to confuse this with a different movie or with a video game.
  • Run for the Sun: The Most Dangerous Game was remade again in 1956 in this film, with the villain still a Nazi.
  • The Running Man: Here, the Most Dangerous Game is also the Most Popular Gameshow, and convicts are given their chance to fight for their freedom in a somewhat one-sided battle arena (or in the populace at large in the original book). Rather a lot of carnage ensues.
  • Slashers: Inverted Trope in this Japanese game show in which contestants enter a closed-course of Axe-Crazy murderers to survive for cash and prizes. The production's stable of variously villainous killers have their own stage personae and fandoms, and many contestants are excited to be hunted by them.
  • Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity: This is a 1987 direct-to-video film that transports “The Most Dangerous Game” to an alien world and populates it with bikini-clad space prison escapees and weird space monsters.
  • Star Hunter: In this 1995 film, the hunters are horrible aliens.
  • In The Suckers (1972), a big-game hunter invites employees from a modeling agency to his estate, where he hunts them.
  • At the end of Summer of '84, the Cape May Slayer has captured Davey and Woody after they revealed his identity and drops them at his dumping ground with the intent to hunt them down and kill them.
  • Surviving the Game: This forms the plot of the Ice-T/Rutger Hauer/Gary Busey movie.
  • TAG: The Assassination Game, starring Linda Hamilton, involves a game played on a college campus where the students playing the game are each assigned a target whom they then hunt down and "kill" with guns that shoot rubber darts. (The targets are free to defend themselves, naturally, and the winner of the game is the last "assassin" standing.) It's all fun and games until the game's obsessive current champion — who has gone undefeated over the last five rounds of the game — goes on a homicidal rampage and starts hunting his competitors for real when his target — a clumsy, timid oaf who came in dead last over the same number of rounds — accidentally "kills" the champion when he drops his dart gun while panicked.
  • Tender Flesh: A stripper and her boyfriend are hunted on an island.
  • Turkey Shoot:
    • This 1982 Ozploitation movie, also known as Escape 2000 or Blood Camp Thatcher. 20 Minutes into the Future delinquents and political dissidents are herded into prison camps where they are hunted for sport by VIP's.
    • The 2014 version turns it into a TV show where convicted killers are hunted instead.
  • Utu: The Evil Brit Colonel Kilgore treats his pursuit of the rebel Maori like a fox hunt.
  • The Woman Hunt (1973): Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

  • A trucker is hauling a load of computers through Silicon Valley and gets lost. He walks into a bar and asks the bartender where he is. The bartender starts to answer but at that moment a guy with taped glasses and a pocket protector comes through the door. The bartender grabs a shotgun from under the bar and blasts the guy right in the chest, dead. The trucker is shocked by this, but the bartender explains "It's okay - we have too many nerds here in Silicon Valley. They declared open season, there's no limit!" The bartender gives the trucker a map to get him where he needs to go and the trucker drives off. A few blocks later the trucker takes a turn too sharply and all the computers fall off the back. He gets out to survey the damage and sees hundreds of nerds coming out of the woods and helping themselves to the computers! The trucker remembers what the bartender said, so he grabs a gun from the truck and starts picking the nerds off. Suddenly he's slammed to the ground by a cop. "I'm sorry!" the trucker says, "I was told it was open season!" "Yes," says the cop, "but you can't bait them!"
  • A rich old hunter is showing off his trophy room and describing the exotic animals he's hunted. At one point the visitor points at one and asks "What is this?" "Oh, it's a Notmebwana" the visitor looks confused at says he's never heard of something like that. The hunter tells him "Oh, that's how I named it, because that's what it kept shouting as I was trying to shoot it".



By Author:

  • A short story by Isaac Asimov features a man who traveled into the past and discovered how the dinosaurs died. Apparently, there was a race of sentient dinosaurs who first killed all the dinosaurs (the tiny mammals were spared). The trope should give a perfectly good explanation to the fact they didn't survive themselves.
  • Robert Sheckley has a few examples:
    • An unusual version in Immortality, Inc. In this novel, a rich guy, wishing to die in style, hires hunters to hunt and kill him. He can hunt and kill them back. The catch is, there's the scientific (and very expensive!) process to ensure that someone will have an afterlife - and without said process, to have one's soul survive death is almost a Million-to-One Chance. The rich guy has guaranteed afterlife and doesn't fear death, while the hunters mostly don't.
    • The short story "The Prize of Peril". (Got filmed in Germany under "Das Millionenspiel".) A gameshow candidate has to survive contract killers, while the audience may help him.
    • "The Seventh Victim" (made into the movie The Tenth Victim) and its sequels feature a world where this has been legalized, as long as the participants agree to take turns being hunter and victim.
  • While not using it as the plot of any work, J. R. R. Tolkien mentions this in two stories to explain distrust between peoples:
    • In The Silmarillion, the first Dwarves to come to Beleriand were disorganized exiles called the Petty-dwarves. The native Elves assumed that they were just particularly strange animals and hunted them the same as any other. When the Elves made contact with the main Dwarven kingdoms, they realised their mistake and ceased such activities, but by then the Petty-dwarves were on their way to extinction.
    • In The Lord of the Rings, Ghân-buri-Ghân, chief of the Woses, says that the Rohirrim have hunted his people like beasts. His only real demand for helping them in the War of the Ring is that they stop doing this.

By Work:

  • Atrocity Week by Andrew McCoy. Rich foreigners travel to a camp in South Africa to hunt natives from helicopters. Those hunted are actually volunteers from a Proud Warrior Race, but it's still men with rifles in a helicopter vs spears. Things go badly when communist guerillas attack and the hunters turn against the mercenaries running the camp.
  • In The Book of Lost Things, the Huntress surgically combines children with animals to heighten the thrill of the hunt.
  • The Devils of Langenhagen, a short story by Australian sci-fi author Sean McMullen. In the last days of the Third Reich, an Me262 interceptor squadron is visited by some strange and elegant guests — a couple of high-ranking pilots (and their wives) flying the very latest aircraft (a Horten 229 and a Japanese Shinden canard fighter). It turns out that they're time-travellers, seeking to shoot down Allied fighters for thrills.
  • In the Dirk Pitt novel Dragon by Clive Cussler, Dirk makes a direct reference to the original "The Most Dangerous Game" and even uses the same method as the hero of that story in order to win. Genre Savvy indeed...
  • In the Discworld novel The Fifth Elephant, it's stated that this was a tradition in one barony in Uberwald, which is ruled by a werewolf pack. In the good old days, anyone could volunteer to be the quarry in "The Game", as it was known (participation was strictly voluntary) and was released into the woods unarmed but with a head start and told to get to town without getting killed. If the quarry survived (the odds weren't particularly good, but if you were in good physical shape, could think on your feet and knew your way around the woods it was definitely doable) he/she would be presented with a meal at the castle and enough money to start a small business, and it's mentioned that well over half the workshops and stores in the nearby town were founded using prize money from The Game. By the time of the novel, the current heir, Wolfgang, decided to pervert the rules of The Game, primarily by "volunteering" people who he didn't need or want around and sending advance parties into the woods to lie in wait. Then he decided to hunt Sam Vimes, which was one of the last mistakes he ever made.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe: In The Doctor Trap, the Doctor is taken to a planet where the galaxy's greatest hunters (the Endangered Dangerous Species Society) are in competition to kill him.
  • The Dragonlance short story "Lord Toede's Disastrous Hunt" involves the eponymous hobgoblin going hunting for poachers.
  • "Feral" humans in the ruins of what was once the USA are hunted for sport after The Final War between the Draka and the Alliance for Democracy in the Drakaverse. The rest of humanity is even worse off.
  • Recycled IN SPACE! with Duel on Syrtis, by Poul Anderson. A Great White Hunter decides to hunt a Martian before it becomes illegal.
  • Judgment Of Corruption: Loki invites Gallerian up on a snowy hunting trip with the intention of hunting the latter.
  • Used as the plot of the Executioner novel Murder Island. The main villain is an elderly British man (who just so happens to share his last name with The Most Dangerous Game's protagonist), who arranges for men to be sent to his island so he can hunt them. He also has a room full of the skulls of people he killed, and even talks to one of them near the end.
  • The Extinction Parade has a variation. For vampires, hunting humans comes naturally, so when they want to change it up, they hunt rich people, those who can't just "disappear" so easily without somebody noticing. (Normally, they just drink the blood of poor people, expecting society to chalk up their deaths to street crime.) The real "game" is in covering up their deaths, making them look like accidents, suicides, muggings gone wrong, or crimes of passion.
  • One set of villains in Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant series is a cadre of senior military officers who abuse their positions to hunt people.
  • Flashman and the Redskins. Flashman finds himself inadvertently joining a party of Bounty Hunters illegally hunting Apache raiding parties for their scalps at $300 each (more than beaver pelts are worth). Flashman mentions that he later submitted an article to The Field called "The Human Quarry as Big Game, and the case for and against Preserving", arguing that to the scalp-hunters it was no different than any other animal. Said article was (needless to say) not accepted.
  • In the Forgotten Realms novel Elminster: The Making of a Mage, one member of the book's main group of antagonists — the Magelords of Athalantar — is introduced this way; he's a wizard who likes to enjoy the thrill of a hunt while using magic that lets him change shape into various creatures at will and certainly isn't above going after people he's imprisoned first for annoying him. Because he isn't aware at first that he is also being targeted rather less formally that night in one of the opening attacks against the Magelords as a group, he ends up as something of a one-chapter wonder.
  • Fox Demon Cultivation Manual: Demons are captured and brought to Sihuang Mountain to be hunted during the Divine Hunt Meet. When he goes back in time Song Ci is one of the people captured.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Genome, the Blue Bloods on the planet Heraldica are shown to engage in an old-fashioned horse-mounted hunt, except they're hunting their genetically-engineered servants, who obey their every wish. When they catch up to a peasant girl, they stun her and then proceed to gang-rape her while the others cheer them on. After the act, she gets up, gets dressed, and walks back to the village as if nothing happened.
  • In the Friday the 13th novel The Jason Strain, Jason Voorhees is one of a dozen serial killers who are released onto an island as part of a twisted reality TV show where the killer who survives after eliminating the others will be allowed to go 'free'. Things go wrong when a scientific research team trying to analyse Jason's immortality accidentally turn him into Patient Zero of a zombie plague, forcing the remaining killers to join forces to try and escape Jason and find a cure for the plague.
  • This happens twice in The Hardy Boys: once in the Digest series ("The Search for the Snow Leopard"), where Frank and Joe are hunted with Chet and the Girl of the Week, and once in the Casefiles ("Deathgame"), where the brothers are hunted with Biff, the Girl of the Week, and another guy. Of course, due to Plot Armor, all the good guys make it out alive both times.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it is mentioned that Araminta Meliflua, a cousin of Sirius Black's mother, tried to have a Ministry bill passed that would make it legal to hunt Muggles.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Hunters of the Red Moon is The Most Dangerous Game - In Space! With a twist ending, no less.
  • "Huntress", by Tamora Pierce, involves The Reveal that the group of popular kids that Corey has befriended regularly does this, usually to Disposable Vagrants or low-level criminals and thugs. They try to hunt her when she refuses to participate, only for the Goddess that Corey's family worships to appear and hunt them instead.
  • Hurog: In Dragon Bones, the protagonist's father took him bandit-hunting. While the bandits did raid the farms on their land, the motivation for hunting them down seems to have been sport rather than a sense of justice - the protagonist, Ward, later mentions that his father fought in the king's wars despite detesting the king - simply because he liked to kill people.
  • A variation occurs in the Joe Pickett novel Blood Trail. Rather than capturing people and releasing them to hunt, the killer stalks and kills hunters while they are out hunting.
  • Kitty's House of Horrors contains several plot elements from a common version of this trope (targets lured to a remote location under false pretenses, elaborate traps, film as trophies, etc). The fact that most of the targets were not normal humans in the strictest sensenote  was the hunters' motivation.
  • The Bandersnachi of the planet Jinx in Larry Niven's Known Space series are hunted by humans, with very specific and rigidly enforced limitations on allowed equipment (which includes what amounts to a tank, as the environment is unsurvivable to humans and Bandersnachi take a LOT of killing). The Bandersnatchi do this for two reasons: They need the money, and they're BORED. The humans get a trophy about 60% of the time. The rest...well, there's a LOT of squashed tanks down near the ocean.
  • The Trope Namer is The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. The story's main villain, General Zaroff, has spent his life hunting every kind of animal imaginable and has grown bored of his hobby. To keep his interest in hunting, Zaroff resorts to hunting the most dangerous game of all — humans.
  • In Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, the villains hunt humans for a hobby. The protagonists, who have infiltrated them, are asked to take part in the hunt.
  • Shadowplay in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space universe; in the post-Melding Plague Chasm City, the effectively immortal residents of the Canopy arrange for "contracts" on their life as a way to break up the monotony of life, with specific restrictions (such as a killing weapon) and time restriction. The assassins are followed by the media, who record the events. Most contracts are set up to allow a high survival rate, but someone has to die every once in a while to keep people coming.
  • The hero of Rogue Male is a big game hunter whose stalking of an unnamed Great Man (implied to be Hitler) is presented as an exercise in stealth; he wasn't actually going to shoot. Only later is it revealed that he had a motive (revenge for the execution of a lover) and would have shot if he'd had a moment longer.
  • One of the short stories in the Shadowrun inspired novel Wolf & Raven features a woman from a bunch of jaded upper-crust hunters, who play out this trope on the streets of the Sprawl rather than in the wilderness. With cybernetic dogs to flush the game, no less. It's notable in that the protagonist Wolf turns the tables on the hunt club, pointing out that if they don't cut it out and pay reparations to their victims' families, he'll tell every street-dweller in the Sprawl what they look like and what they've been doing and start passing out hunting licenses so the riffraff can hunt them. Needless to say, everybody who survives at all on the Shadowrun streets tends to be well-armed, so the hunters back off rather than confront prey that shoot back.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Ramsay Bolton likes to kidnap women, release them naked and unarmed into the forest, give them a head start, and then come after them on horseback with a pack of hounds. When he catches them, he rapes them, kills them, and skins them (in that order, if they have given him good sport. If they haven't...). It is worth noting that, unlike some of the other examples on this page, Ramsay has no sense of pride, honour, or good sportsmanship in his hunts, and his victims have no chance whatsoever of winning. Though the term is never used (since it's a Medieval Stasis fantasy setting), it is clear that the readers are meant to see him as a Serial Killer with a particularly horrific M.O. Occasionally women do escape, meaning Ramsay has a reputation as The Dreaded in the North.
  • The obscure novel The Sound of His Horn features the hero being captured by a sadistic Nazi Nobleman who hunts human beings for sport.
  • The Stormlight Archive: A non-murderous variety. Adolin finds hunts against beasts positively boring, due to how the prey has little chance of countering the elaborate hunting methods humans can come up with. He much prefers one on one duels, where warriors can pit their wits against an opponent of equal intelligence and strength.
  • In Supreme Commander (loosely based on the original XCOM, the Alien Invasion is eventually revealed to be little more than an alien safari (the hunting kind), with the aliens enjoying the taste of human blood. When the humans finally take out the hidden alien base in the Arctic (originally built as a Nazi sub pen), they seem to decide that Earth is simply not worth the effort and stop coming.
  • Played with in "Novice", the first Telzey Amberdon story. While humans were hunting the creatures known as "Crest Cats" without realizing they were sapient, it turns out that the Crest Cats were hunting the humans right back, and having considerable fun doing it.
  • One of the Terran Trade Authority books has a short story about a bunch of bored rich guys who decide to get their thrills by hunting each other.
  • Warhammer 40,000: One of the short stories reveals that Ravenor took Patience Kys into his retinue after rescuing her from one of these hunts.
  • In the Women of the Otherworld novel Stolen, Elena and other supernaturals are kidnapped to be experimented on and the major funder of this project is a millionaire video game designer who likes to hunt them when they've outlived their usefulness.
  • In Poison Study the protagonist, Boxed Crook Yelena, is the subject of one of these; however it's a non-lethal variant, designed as a training exercise for a military squad (and Break the Haughty for the upper-class trainees, that a commoner woman can leave them all chasing their tails). When Yelena stays un-captured for the whole day, she gets extra privileges.
  • Ghost Roads: The Halloween rites are a twisted version in which living humans hunt temporarily incarnated ghosts. If they kill a ghost, they get an extra year of life, and the ghost ceases to exist. However, ghosts can fight back (though they only have farm tools against guns), and if they kill one of the living, they get to stay alive for another year. However, they must repeat this the next year, or they will also cease to exist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stephen Colbert often asks guests who hunt whether they do this.
  • Subverted in the 30 Rock episode "Apollo, Apollo":
    Jack: I've hunted the world's most dangerous game: man. [coughs] Excuse me, manatee.
  • The Adventures of Sinbad episode "The Beast Within", where Sinbad is forced to play a game of hunter and prey with one of Rumina's monsters.
  • An episode of Airwolf features a corrupt small town sheriff who has set up a man hunting club using prisoners from the local jail, often vagrants arrested for no actual reason.
  • In The A-Team episode "Children of Jamestown", Martin James sentences the team and Amy to a trial, which involves running on foot from the cultists in jeeps while the cultists try to shoot them down. They manage to give them the slip by hiding against an embankment until the cultists pass.
  • The Scythians in Atlantis are bandits who capture travellers, take all their belongings, including weapons, then release them to be hunted.
  • The Avengers (1960s) episode "The Superlative Seven". A mysterious invitation that strands him on a remote island, with six companions who are murdered one by one, makes Steed a Little Indian.
  • Babylon 5 is from an odd angle a quirky version of this. Both the Vorlons and the Shadows seem to have, in different ways, regarded themselves as gamekeepers and the Younger Races as stock that had to be culled from time to time. It is not about a chase scene per se, though.
  • Parodied on black•ish, where Charlie makes yet another reference to his bizarre childhood:
    Charlie: My father and I loved to spend time together. I always remember when he took me into the forest to hunt for the most dangerous game... deer.
  • Bonanza - The final episode of the long-running western titled "The Hunter" featured "Little" Joe Cartwright, played by Michael Landon, being hunted by a war-deranged ex-Army officer. The villain, who fancies himself as a hunter, steals Joe's supplies, water, and wagon, then allows him to flee as his "prey", before later going after him to kill him. Joe is forced to rely on his wits and luck to defeat the villain.
  • Bring 'Em Back Alive: While on a safari in "The Chase", Buck and a photographer are tracked by a tribe of hunters led by a sadistic escaped convict.
  • Buffyverse
    • "Homecoming" (with "Slayerfest '98"). And in the Buffyverse, there is no game more dangerous than a Slayer. They all got killed, either by each other or by Buffy, and it's frankly astonishing that they expected anything else to happen. This seems even dumber when one considers that Faith was supposed to be there as well, but Cordelia ended up there instead. So instead of two Slayers, they were facing one Slayer preoccupied with looking after a normal, basically noncombatant human - and they still all died.
    • Genevieve hunts other Slayers, as training to kill Buffy.
    • One of Spike's initial reasons for coming to Sunnydale was to explicitly hunt Buffy; he had killed two previous Slayers and wanted to make her his third victim.
    • In the Angel spin-off, a comment is made of the existence of paranormal hunting groups. "Vampire hunting in Eastern Europe. That kind of thing."
  • The Charlie's Angels episode "Angel Hunt". The Angels are lured to Diablo Island by an old enemy of Charlie's who plans to hunt them down and kill them in order to avenge himself on their boss.
  • The Charmed episode "Witch Wars". Aware that Piper, Phoebe and Paige are on the verge of discovering that he is after Wyatt, Gideon conspires with two demons to make the girls part of Witch Wars, a new demonic reality television show where demon contestants compete to hunt down the Charmed Ones, with the winning demon acquiring the witches' powers
  • Premise of the Sci-Fi Channel Game Show Cha$e. 10 contestants are released onto a playing field (called a "game board" in the context of the show). They are set a series of challenges, called "missions," for which they may earn "utilities" (see below). All the while, they must avoid being tagged by the show's resident hunters, more of whom are introduced onto the board as the game progresses; if tagged by the hunter, the contestant is "captured" and eliminated from the game, without winning any money.
  • Cold Case - The character of George Marks, played by John Billingsley, is shown hunting his victims in forests, much like the real-life serial killer Robert Hansen (see below). He even chose women who had previously been assaulted and fought back so they would give a good fight. Ok it was probably because his mother didn't fight back when she was assualted and "offered" him in her stead.
  • Conversed in Community. Pierce believes it's badass. Jeff, not so much.
    Jeff: Britta, you're not a whore. Shirley, Jesus turned the other cheek, he didn't garnish wages. Pierce, do I need to say this? IT IS WRONG TO HUNT MAN FOR SPORT.
  • In Criminal Minds there's a personality profile that fits people who do this, referred to as "human predator".
    • "Open Season" had two UnSubs who would kidnap people, set them free in the woods, and then hunt them with bows and arrows.
    • "Rite of Passage": instead of a more traditional green setting, the UnSub hunted his victims in the desert.
    • The UnSub in "The Eyes Have It", while not treating his hunts as sport like the ones in the former two episodes, used hunters' tactics (such as tripwires) to snare his victims.
    • The UnSub in "Exit Wounds" had a hunter's mentality, but tended to just walk up to people and kill them rather than set up elaborate chases.
    • They did it again in "Middle Man", with cornfields this time.
    • A variant was done in "The Wheels on the Bus..." with a pair of Psychopathic Manchild brothers who use high school students as players in a live version of the fictional video game, "Gods of Combat".
  • CSI: Miami: "Hunting Ground". When a man is shot and killed by a bow and arrow, Horatio goes against the clock to solve the case involving an exclusive hunting club that hunts humans for sport.
  • The Dark Angel episode "Pollo Loco". Max searches for a fellow X5 named Ben who has been tattooing his barcode onto the necks of his victims then ritualistically killing them and pulling out their teeth for the 'blue lady'.
  • In the Syfy adaptation of Deathlands: Homeward Bound the mad Baron enjoys this and ends up hunting Ryan and his True Companions, who are given only knives against mutant hunting dogs and Sec Men with assault rifles. Needless to say, the hunting party doesn't have a chance.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", the antagonist is an alien participating in a ritual hunt in order to be made the leader of his species, the Stenza, by tracking down and capturing a randomly designated human as a trophy. The trophies are kept preserved on the Stenza homeworld in a state between life and death.
  • Richard, a client in the second episode of Dollhouse, pulls this on Echo, who is programmed into a super outdoorswoman. Specifically, he approached the Dollhouse saying that he was interested in a hunting/hiking trip with a beautiful woman who was a highly-skilled outdoorswoman, and they obliged, thinking it was just a variant on the usual "engagement". It wasn't until after he slept with Echo that he sprung the real meaning of the "hunting" trip on her. However, at the end of the episode, it turns out that Connell was actually a sociopathic lunatic hired by Alpha to hunt Echo in a brutally Darwinist attempt to make her stronger. Lampshaded, since the baddie's fake name is "Richard Connell", the author of the Trope Namer story.
  • Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger: The Deathgaliens host an event called "Blood Game" where a Player is sent to a planet to wreak havoc, killing as much of the population as possible, eventually culminating with the destruction of the world, all for the amusement of their "owner" Ginis. Having annihilated 99 planets this way, Earth was supposed to follow until the heroes stepped in.
  • In Falling Skies, Pope seems to view the alien invasion mainly as a chance to kill things that can fight back without attracting any legal attention.
  • In the pilot episode for Fantasy Island, guilt-ridden bounty hunter Paul Henley's fantasy is to be killed, so that he no longer feels remorse for the deaths he caused. So Mr. Roarke sends Henley on a hunt on the island, with a beautiful young companion named Michelle along for the journey.
  • Father Brown: An Egomaniac Hunter does this to Father Brown at the end of "The Lair of the Libertines".
  • Forever Knight episode "Hunted". Nick and Schanke track a vigilante killer who offers two million dollars to any criminal who escapes her hunt alive. When she discovers that Nick is a vampire, she kidnaps Schanke and holds him hostage to force Nick to play along. So in this case it's Hunting The Even More Dangerous Game.
  • In the Game of Thrones episode "The Lion and the Rose", Ramsay Snow and Myranda hunt a peasant girl for sport, because the latter was jealous of her, shooting her through the leg and allowing the dogs to rip her to pieces. It's even more horrific in the books. The women are stripped naked and then hunted down. When Ramsay catches them, he rapes them. If they "give him good sport" he'll cut their throats before flaying them, and name a bitch after her. If she doesn't, he flays her first.
  • Get Smart episode "Island of the Darned". 86 and 99 are stranded on a KAOS-controlled island where they must fight for their lives as they are hunted by a sadistic KOAS Agent armed with guns, tracking dogs, and KAOS killers.
  • Gilligan's Island did an episode where Gilligan is the prey of a big game hunter. Like the usual Jerkass guest character visiting the island, he leaves with no intention of letting anyone know that there are people stranded on there since he would be surely arrested for his hunting. Fortunately, the hunter later has a psychotic breaker after a shooting competition, mumbling only "Gilligan" to the complete puzzlement of the others around him, but to the satisfaction of the Castaways.
  • Harrow: In "Ex Animo" ("From The Heart"), Harrow unravels a confusing set of clues to determine that this is what had happened to the Victim of the Week.
  • The Hart to Hart episode "Hunted Harts". While visiting a wildlife reserve, Jonathan and Jennifer are hunted as prey by a competitor of Hart Industries.
  • A non-lethal variant occurs the Have Gun – Will Travel episode "The Great Mojavo Chase". Paladin accepts a bet that he can avoid a team of man-hunters on their own turf for a certain period of time.
  • In the Here Come the Brides episode "The Soldier," Sergeant Todd tries to get revenge on Jeremy for the death of the regimental bear by shackling his ankles, giving him a five-minute head start, and then tracking him down, planning to shoot him the way Jeremy shot the bear.
  • Heroes
    • Sylar hunts evolved humans for their brains.
    • And then there's Emil Danko, who is an operative of the US government. And although he doesn't hunt for fun, he does enjoy his job and hates the people he hunts.
  • Highlander
    • Duncan plays the part in the episode "Black Tower" as he is hunted by the Mooks of the Big Bad in an office building.
    • In "Patient Number 7", the Big Bad is shown to be an Egomaniac Hunter with a vast Trophy Room, who uses a lot of hunting metaphors when instructing his thugs to kill Kyra.
  • Human Giant - One sketch featured astronaut Cliff Tarpey who created his own reality TV show called "Lunatics" in which he and two other astronauts capture people, hunt them down, and kill them on the moon, for entertainment purposes.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1977), "The Snare": This hunter is so loony that when he discovers Banner's Hulk form, he is delighted at the special challenge with his quarry.
  • This is the premise of Interceptor, where the (presumably) human contestants are mercilessly hunted down by the titular Interceptor trying to "zap" them (nonlethally jamming the locks on their backpacks) with his infrared Arm Cannon.
  • I Spy, "The Name of the Game". Kelly and Scott are the quarry in a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The hunter: a general obsessed with the idea that he's been betrayed.
  • Parodied in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "Mac and Dennis: Manhunters": not only are the protagonists the ones doing the hunting, they intend only to humiliate their quarry by doing something involving testicles (they spend the episode arguing over just what).
  • In the Kraft Suspense Theatre episode "The Hunt", a Corrupt Hick sheriff occasionally allows inmates to escape from the local jail so he and his posse can have fun tracking and killing them.
  • Logan's Run: In "Capture", the bored, Crazy Survivalist husband and wife team James and Irene Borden made a habit of killing Runners that passed by their estate and have the keys mounted as trophies. They learned about Sandmen from these Runners. Longing for a greater challenge, James hunts Logan and Francis with a Ray Gun. After Jessica escapes from their custody, Irene begins hunting her with an antique 20th Century rifle.
  • A version in Lost Girl where a prisoner is given a chance for freedom by being the prey and the contestants for the position of the Ash (the local leader of the Light Fae) must kill them before they reach their symbol of freedom.
  • After killing a hostile alien, Professor Robinson comes across a "hunter" and he must replace his dead prey in the Lost in Space episode "Hunter's Moon".
  • Manhunt (not to be confused with the video game) was a short-lived reality show airing on UPN in 2001 that featured "Big Tim Kingman" and a bunch of actors pretending to be bounty hunters, all of whom chased after hapless contestants. Why was it so short-lived? Producers rigged the game in favor of certain contestants, a deal with WWE that would've seen more talent cast as "manhunters" fell through, and the show was filmed in California instead of Hawaii, as advertised.
  • The Outdoor Life Network show Mantracker is essentially a nice version of this. A professional tracker and a local expert must hunt down two people on the show. Terry Grant (always referred to as Mantracker!) and his partner have no idea what their prey look like or where their finish line is. The Prey have about 36 hours to travel through 40KM of Canadian Wilderness (recently, a few episodes have been done in California), while evading Mantracker. They're on foot, Mantracker's on horseback, which is both blessing and curse based on terrain. No weapons are involved.
  • Played for Laughs on Married... with Children episode "The Gas Station Show". After the "Sunday Bundy Fun Day" Al plans with the family ends him the family eating him into debt and abandoning him to work at the gas station alone, he then says that next Sunday they'll all go hunting, but he'll be the only one with a gun.
  • The '80s crime/action series Matt Houston had an episode in which a sporting-goods magnate hunted athletes in this manner.
  • The Middleman episode "The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum". When the intrepid duo are sent to solve the mysterious disappearances of a benevolent alien race with a sweet-tooth for precious gems, Wendy is inadvertently teleported to a deserted hunting reserve where Dr. Gil, a usually affable TV psychiatrist is looking for something fresh to put on his mantel (it's 'The Most Dangerous Game'...with aliens).
  • The Murdoch Mysteries episode "The Artful Detective" is about a Deadly Game being fought on the streets of Toronto. When Murdoch starts getting too close to the truth, he's added to the listings without his knowledge. One of the survivors, a Egomaniac Hunter who was the only one not desperate for money, even says he wanted to hunt "the most dangerous game".
  • The New Adventures of Robin Hood. Robin is hunted by evil aristocrats in "The Prey".
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • "The Hunt" had humans hunting androids that looked indistinguishable from humans. The androids were programmed to be unable to harm humans, though, until they found schematics detailing how to disable that feature.
    • In "Judgment Day", the titular Immoral Reality Show gives convicted murderers the choice of having their death sentence performed by the state or being hunted down and killed by a relative of the victim. The relative is given 24 hours to find the killer. If they fail to do so within the allotted time, the killer's sentence is automatically commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The killer is implanted with a chip which is tuned to the same frequency as a 10,000 volt taser given to the relative. The taser can shock the killer at 50 feet and kill them at 3 feet.
  • A non-lethal variation in The Partridge Family: A detective/author bets the Partridges (for charity) that they cannot elude him for 24 hours. He cheated by bugging their car. When he does catch them, they tell them that he's lost since he didn't find them all — they let the two youngest children spend the night at a friend's house. He pays up. Zigzagged: The kids later reveal that he had found them, and even read them a bedtime story.
  • Princess Agents: Yuwen Huai kidnaps girls, including Chu Qiao, then he and his friends hunt them for sport.
  • In Red Dwarf episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", a group of rogue simulants attempt to hunt the crew of Starbug. They even upgrade Starbug's armor and engines and fit it with a laser to make it more worthy prey.
  • The Relic Hunter episode "Run Sydney Run". On a mission in Russia, Syd becomes the prey of a crazed hunter who has taken to tracking the most elusive animal—-humans.
  • Renegade - one episode featured convicts being hunted for fun/as target practice by novice/wannabe assassins.
  • Used on Scare Tactics, when the "threat" is a deranged trophy hunter who keeps humans in small cages and releases them to chase down.
  • The Smallville episode "Extinction". Clark discovers Van McNulty has been killing green meteor rock-infected people. When he confronts him, the green kryptonite rock Van is carrying stops him. Knowing Clark's weakness, Van manufactures meteor rock bullets, and almost kills Clark, using Lana as bait. Van McNulty was more of a racist bastard than a hunter, but the imagery was still there.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith occasionally capture humans and, instead of feeding on them, release them as "Runners". Runners have a tracking device planted within their bodies and are hunted from planet to planet. They do it both for fun and to use the Runners to find any isolated groups of humans that might be hiding from the Wraith but might help a Runner, not knowing what's on his trail.
  • Star Trek
    • Kirk manages to invoke this trope to escape in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Squire of Gothos". He asks his captor, "Where's the sport?" in simply hanging him, as he had planned. Instead, Kirk talks his captor into staging a "royal hunt". This bought Kirk enough time for a Deus ex Machina rescue.
    • In the Deep Space 9 episode "Captive Pursuit", one of the station's first contacts through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant is Tosk, who was a reptilian humanoid bred to be hunted by another species, with a body and mind highly optimized for that purpose. The hunting party chasing him shows up in act three.
    • When Dr Bashir and Chief O'Brien are captured by Jem'Haddar soldiers, they recognise from O'Brien's uniform and insignia that he's an experienced NCO, so propose using him for a 'tactical exercise' as a means of execution. However the trope is not played out as their leader has an urgent need for a doctor, so orders both men kept alive.
    • And in Star Trek: Voyager, this is the hat of the Hirogen. Their whole culture revolves around it, and the Voyager crew winds up in their sights every so often. (Yet, they're not Always Chaotic Evil.)
  • Served as the basis for a sketch on Thank God You're Here where Angus Sampson found himself playing the Egomaniac Hunter (and romance novelist) addressing his unwilling prey.
  • Top Gear riffed on this trope heavily when reviewing a new 4x4, which Jeremy put through its paces with the aid of a local Hunt and a scent-marker tied to the back bumper. He didn't quite manage to give them the slip, but it was a close-run thing.
  • The Torchwood episode "Countrycide". Set in a small Welsh village, the episode involves a village full of cannibals harvesting and butchering passing travellers every ten years.
  • The Ultraman Tiga episode "The Released Target". In it, GUTS encounters two Human Aliens called Rucia and Zara being pursued by a beetle-like alien named Muzan. They soon find out that Rucia and Zara have been sent down to Earth to be freely hunted for sport by Muzan, and work towards trying to save the pair.
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Dangerous Prey", an evil prince named Morloch hunts the Amazons as if they were animals.

  • In German, the word "Diplomatenjagd" exists, but it doesn't actually mean to hunt ambassadors, even if it can interpreted grammatically as such. Chansonnier Reinhard Mey uses this double meaning for good measure in the likewise titled song. (The state secretary gets shot only *accidentally*, though.)
  • Macabre's "The Ted Bundy Song" tells how the titular killer would seduce women, abduct them, and hunt them in the woods.
  • Tom Lehrer in "The Hunting Song", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, which takes the potential for hunting accidents to its obvious conclusion:
    I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow
    Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow

  • Behind the Bastards has a running gag about a certain meal kit delivery company (the name is always Censored for Comedy except for one instance showing it's Blue Apron) that has a private island for child hunts.
  • The Last Podcast on the Left describes this as Robert Hansen's M.O. He would kidnap women, set them loose in the wilderness, and hunt them down. Despite the similarity to the trope naming story, the hosts think it unlikely Hansen ever actually read it, as the man was a dullard.
  • The Magnus Archives: in "First Hunt" two men on a hunting expedition suddenly find themselves hunted by a savage Ambiguously Human hunter.
  • Plumbing the Death Star's answer to "How Would You Use The Suicide Squad?" is to execute the Squad members by putting them in the wild, giving them some sort of handicap, and allowing eager citizens to hunt them to death. James compares it to The Most Dangerous Game, although with the addition of the even more dangerous game of superhumans like Enchantress that complicate things. They conclude that the best member of the Suicide Squad to hunt would obviously Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, despite not being a member of the team, because he's the more annoying than any of them.
    James: What about Slipknot?
    Duscher: Slipknot just kills himself.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Not a literal example, but wrestler Monty Brown had a gimmick as a hunter from the Serengeti, referring to his opponents as "prey" and "big game".
  • In Lucha Underground, King Cuerno's gimmick is that he's a hunter who got tired of normal animals and aims to make his opponents into his trophies. He fights like a hunter; he observes other matches to learn how future opponents fight, then in his matches, he moves slowly and makes his opponents come to him until they become tired or make a mistake.

  • In The Shadow episode "Death in the Deep", a big-game hunter invokes this trope in a submarine, stalking ships and slaughtering their occupants for the thrill of it.
  • "The Most Dangerous Game" itself was adapted to radio several times, including on such series as Suspense (in a version starring Orson Welles as Zaroff) and Escape.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Downplayed with gray dragons, who strongly favor sapient humanoids as prey; they can eat animals fine, but prefer their food to be intelligent enough provide at least some semblance of a contest in finding or in killing. They still favor targets that they overpower, however, and will quickly turn tail and run from persistent opposition.
    • Forgotten Realms: The Priests of Malar have an annual ritual called the High Hunt, which involves capturing a sapient being and releasing them into the wilderness to be hunted for sport.
  • Hunter Planet: Players take on the role of alien hunters, enjoying the dangers and delights encountered hunting on a newly discovered hunter planet, called Dirt by its local semi-intelligent inhabitants.
  • Garruk Wildspeaker from Magic: The Gathering started out as an ordinary, if powerful, hunter but after being driven mad by Liliana's curse he turned his attention toward hunting other planeswalkers (tremendously powerful, dimension traveling, mages).
  • Necromunda: One of the factions are the Spyrers, small groups of rich teenagers who don high-tech battlesuits and come down to the lower levels of the Hive City in order to hunt the violent gangs that inhabit the area. For the underhive denizens, Spyrers are terrifying boogeymen and figures of legend. The hunters themselves either view the activity as sport ("No-one hunts like House Ty!") or as a Rite of Passage (sometimes even objecting that the poor victims would dare fight back against their aristocratic betters).
  • Rifts: The Splugorth keep a large tract of Atlantis as a wild hunting preserve chiefly to hunt down sapient humanoids, including humans alongside orcs, ogres, goblins, wolfen and failed experiments in altering slaves into more useful forms. These aren't typically given greater chances at survival than game in orchestrated safaris or fox hunts, but some hunters prefer to go after warriors, mages and people who have already fought off or killed previous hunters in order to enjoy greater challenges.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: The villain Ambuscade spends his time trying to hunt immortal Maori superhero Haka. Haka himself seems more bemused by this than anything else, at one point foiling Ambuscade through wacky hijinks without even realising he was there.
  • Shadowrun 1st Edition supplement Sprawl Sites. One of the "Rich Folks Encounters" is a wealthy big game hunter who's bored with hunting animals and has decided to hunt human beings in the Seattle Sprawl. If not stopped he will kill the PC he has targeted.
  • It's not uncommon for players in The Splinter to be ordered to stalk and kill other players. Keep in mind, if you die in the game, you die in real life.
  • Traveller. Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #19 Amber Zone "Pride of the Lion". An anti-alien bigot captures a group of Aslan and organizes a hunt, with the Aslan as the quarry.
  • Trinity Universe: The present-day setting of the reboot has an entire villainous organization, the Society of Minos, who revolve around this trope: they're a secret society of aristocrats, wealthy businessmen, and others of excessive privilege devoted to proving their superiority by the hunting and killing of human beings. They're most vehemently opposed by the Theseus Club, outraged hunters, police officials and others who seek to hunt down and kill the Minoans due to their sense of outrage. In a blatant Shout-Out, the events of "The Most Dangerous Game" literally happened in this universe; General Zaroff was a Minoan, and Rainsford founded the Theseus Club after killing him and finding out about the Society whilst rifling through Zaroff's belongings.
  • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, the Glaivewraith Stalkers of the Nighthaunt faction enjoyed this in life. As punishment, they are set to eternally hunt the enemies of Nagash, while gaining no joy from it. They're some of the few Nighthaunt who actually deserve their punishment.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Hunter: The Vigil
      • This is the major shtick of the Hunt Club. They're made up of a bunch of aristocrats who got tired of fox hunting and decided to try their hand at...different game. As they're a bunch of wealthy, well-connected individuals living in the World of Darkness, they also have the resources to make sure they never get caught.
      • The members of the Ashwood Abbey are of a similar make-up, only they do it using supernatural creatures (such as werewolves and vampires) and only after making sure they've "had their fun" with the critters first. The Hunt Club thinks they're pussies.
      • The Bear Lodge works similarly, but is an actual hunting lodge with its crosshairs on the supernatural, especially werewolves.
    • In Hunter: The Reckoning, this was actually one nickname given by Hunters to what they were doing.
  • Urban Manhunt from Spectrum Games is all about this. Meant to emulate the dark future movies of the 80's (The Running Man, Escape from New York, etc). By 2049, Urban Manhunt has become the world's most popular sport. Players take the role of larger than life Hunters, heavily armed mercenaries who compete for points by hunting and killing criminals in the walled off prison cities.

    Video Games 
  • In ARK: Survival Evolved, the only way to tame a Troodon is to allow it to hunt your tame creatures this way. The in-game Dino Dossier even speculates that it's purely for the thrill of it.
  • Bodhi in Baldur's Gate II loved that game.
  • In Bloodborne, most Hunters hunt the Scourge Beasts, but the Hunter of Hunters covenant hunt other Hunters, though it's played with as they're not doing it for the challenge; their duty is to give a Mercy Kill to Hunters who've fallen to bloodlust and are close to becoming beasts themselves.
  • Inverted in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, where Nigh-Invulnerable vampire Walter Bernhardt kidnaps and converts the loved ones of strong humans to incite them to hunt him in his castle for his amusement, since they can't actually kill him...
  • In Darkest Dungeon, the Bounty Hunter class has shades of this, as he specializes in hunting down human opponents, with several of his skills doing bonus damage against enemies with the "human" tag. His motivations for joining the heroes at the Hamlet boils down to the thrill of the hunt and the promise of payment.
  • Naturally, the Huntress in Dead by Daylight targets humans for her hunts, post-Sanity Slippage. Specifically, she hunted adults, sometimes to kidnap their younger daughters for companionship and in an attempt to raise them, although her inability to raise a child kills them anyway. And now she has a group of people to endlessly hunt to please the Entity.
  • Derrick Duggan, Big Earl Flaherty, Deetz Hartman, and Johnny James, a team of psychopaths referred to collectively as the Hunters in Dead Rising 2. They hide on rooftops and snipe anybody below them for fun. While they occasionally kill zombies, they concentrate on humans, saying they provide more of a challenge and are "worth more points". They may or may not be Expies of the Halls from the first game, who themselves had shades of this that weren't played up as much as their Crazy Survivalist ones.
  • Deer Avenger and its sequels revolve around a bipedal, talking deer which hunts humans, especially hunters, in order to avenge his fellow deer which have been hunted.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, the were-creatures, especially werewolves, exemplify this trait. The disease which causes the transformation was created by the Daedric Prince of the Hunt, Hircine, and the were-creatures are his minions. For most were-creatures, this is an Involuntary Transformation at nightfall, with the exact frequency varying depending on the particular strain of the disease. They are overcome with an intense bloodlust and typically must hunt and kill at least one sentient being while transformed. If they fail to do so, they will return to their original form in an extremely weakened state.
    • This is a trait of the Dremora, an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell. Every Dremora sees himself as a huntsman, with puny mortals as his prey.
    • The endgame of the Morrowind expansion Bloodmoon has such a situation, with the greatest warriors in the land as the prey, and Hircine as the hunter. As a Daedric Prince, he could easily crush any mortal, so he makes it more fair by allowing the prey to choose one of his aspects to face. (It isn't really a proper hunt if there is no chance for the Hunter to Become the Hunted, afterall.)
    • Played straight but later inverted in one of the sidequests of Oblivion. When you are trying to save an impoverished old man from a cruel loan shark, you end up as prey in a hunt set up by the loan shark. However, the trope is soon inverted, as it's your character who ends up hunting down the hunters.
    • Skyrim:
      • Hircine is at it again. This time he has sent out the call to hunters in Skyrim to hunt down and kill a rogue werewolf who stole his Ring. You can join in the hunt and skin the werewolf. Hircine will reward you by turning the skin into his Daedric Artifact the Cuirass of the Savior's Hide. You can instead side with the remorseful werewolf and hunt his hunters. Hircine will consider this a worthy hunt as well. In this case he will reward you by removing the curse from his Ring, turning it into an artifact that grants werewolves the power to transform multiple times a day.
      • The Companions, more specifically, the Circle of senior members, are composed of werewolves split nearly down the middle on the issue of going to Hircine's Hunting Grounds when they die, which is implied (and outright stated to be, though this is only within in-game texts which may be factually inaccurate) to be a realm centered entirely around this trope.
  • Fallout 3 has random encounters with Wastelander-hunting cannibals, which will also attack the player if they stick around too long.
  • Fisher-Diver foreshadows it with a character whose namesake is the author of the Trope Namer. Unlike in the Trope Namer, though, you are unable to turn the tide in your favor when said character eventually comes after you at the game's end.
  • The Corn Maze level in the Curse of Dreadbear DLC of Five Nights At Freddys VR Help Wanted, in which the player has to try to reach one of five exits, hiding behind props, before Grim Foxy hunts them down.
  • Ozzik Sturn from The Force Unleashed likes to release creatures into his preserve and hunt them for sport, often Wookies. When Starkiller runs into him, he goes, "A Jedi. I've always wanted to hunt one of your kind." and attacks him.
  • Heavily implied in Heroes of Might and Magic V. One of the Inferno towns (where ammo carts are sold at a discounted price) is described as being the former home of Demon-Sovereign Kha-beleth, where the town's workers became particularly skilled at manufacturing ammunition to allow their lord to practise his favorite sport - hunting, preferably of two-legged prey.
  • Hitman: Contracts contains a level where the protagonist must rescue the potential victim of a human hunt from an English manor.
  • Safari Jack, The Dragon of Stella the turtle poacher in Kingdom of Loathing, does this with your character if you play as a Turtle Tamer.
  • Present within the slots of Luck Be A Landlord. In fact, General Zaroff himself is the symbol that dispenses this, dispatching any and all humanoid symbols near him. In addition, Zaroff's Contract allows Bounty Hunter symbols to behave the same way. Just be careful not to put two or more Zaroffs or contracted Bounty Hunters in the same pool...
  • Manhunt and its sequel Manhunt 2.
  • Parodied in Psychonauts. There comes a point when Vernon is wandering around the cabin area purposefully, but at random. If you ask him what he's up to, he'll respond: "I'm hunting the most dangerous" It's a game of hide-and-seek.
  • The boss at the end of the "Bog of Murk" level in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is Razoff the Hunter, the son of Count Zaroff and a descendant of Nimrod and Artemis, who decides to hunt down Rayman, who wanders into Razoff's house.
  • Slayer assignments in RuneScape can include human mages and druids, as well as nonhuman sapients like elves, demons, TzHaar, and kurasks. In this case, you are the hunter. Even more ambitious players can ask Death (or Morvran) to assign them battles with boss monsters, many of whom are quite intelligent. Most ambitious of all, Slayer Master Kuradal shows interest in adding the Dragonkin to her repertoire.
  • Sir, You Are Being Hunted, funnily enough, has the player being hounded across a procedurally-generated archipelago by very British robots (who wear hunting caps, smoke pipes, and may even be accompanied by robotic hunting dogs). True to the trope-naming story, it is quite possible to turn the tables on your pursuers.
  • One mission in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy also puts the player in the role of the hunted. You are locked in a cell, stripped of all your weapons, and then released to try to escape while a sadistic fat man blasts at you with a concussion rifle, because he's "never hunted a Jedi before." Your goal is to survive long enough to get to your ship, but when you reach the hangar, the hunter reveals he wasn't going to let you go anyway, and starts shooting at you from six stories up. Up until that point, even without your lightsaber, it's been pretty easy to just go through slaughtering the stormtroopers. Nope, this guy has to be killed from close-up or sniped somehow under horrible conditions, and either way, he keeps blasting the walkway out from underneath you.
  • Turok is most famous for the protagonists providing an extremely rare heroic example by not only hunting dinosaurs such as giant raptors, Dimetrodons and Tyrannosaurus rex some of which are modified to be Cyborgs, but also humans, some of which whose occupations are clearly labeled as poachers and soldiers by using even more firepower. In the earlier games, they also fought against foul demons and giant robots that could slaughter a squad worth of soldiers on their own! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Turok has enough firepower to hunt down and survive not only people who carry enough firepower to hunt dinosaurs, and bone rending dinosaurs, but also hellfire casting demons and humanoid tank robots!
  • Catfish, the driver of Hammerhead in Twisted Metal: Head-On, has this as his wish from Calypso: the chance to have a full-scale one-on-one hunting duel-to-the-death against Calypso. Calypso being Calypso, Catfish's 'target' turns out to be a scarecrow that happens to be called Calypso. Angered by this, he realizes too late that he shot a decoy, and Calypso quickly shoots Catfish from behind, then mounts Catfish's head on his wall.
  • Cold Sniper Marina Wulfstan from Valkyria Chronicles constantly invokes this trope in her dialogue. She was a hunter before joining the military, and regularly refers to battles she takes part in as "the hunt" and her opponents as "prey".
  • In Watch_Dogs, when Aiden is infiltrating the sex slave auction, one of the auctioneers texts his accomplice he's found a girl worth taking down to the woods.

  • In Dead Winter, a large group of rich people is apparently behind a game of world-renowned assassins hunting each other for sport, with the assassins and their sponsors getting the bounty when they kill one of the other participants. Apparently, not all of the assassins are in the game because they want to be.

  • Dinosaur Comics Has this strip, in which T-Rex says that dinosaurs are in fact the most dangerous game, because humans don’t have claws.

  • Nonlethal variant in Never Satisfied: One round of the Tournament Arc sees the participants paired up with civilians (mostly local vagrant kids), sent to a secluded island, equipped with the magical equivalent of toy guns, and tasked with protecting their own quarry while hunting each others'. It becomes more dangerous than anticipated when one group encounters Su-Yeong, a Husk that had taken refuge on the island.
  • In Our Little Adventure, Bruce Moriatos of The Empire has organized a 'practice dungeon' where low level soldiers can train for 'real world experience.' The Souballo Empire often capture Elves and dump them in the dungeon for the trainees to fight and kill.
  • Naturally, subverted by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The bad guy says "We must play the most dangerous game," but it still seems he's talking about hunting a person and just using the misunderstood version of the expression...but no, they play tennis with a bundle of live dynamite while riding angry bears.
    • Subverted in this strip as well. A hunter yearns to hunt his fellow man, the "deadliest prey", only to be told that the average man spends his days on the couch: "Hunting man is like hunting a chimp with no legs".
  • In Super Stupor a pair of minions are hired by a supervillain so he can hunt "the most dangerous game", which the minions think is gonna be this trope and he plans to hunt them, but it turns out the most dangerous game is actually "Rocket Tigers" and they are just there to help him with that.
  • In one story in Spying with Lana, Lana's antagonist throws her into his private game reserve with intent to hunt her down. Lana immediately identifies the trope by name, and is very annoyed, because "every two-bit crackpot in the world" seems to be fixated with it; she regards it as contemptibly lame. She leaves the house to get her head start, then hides next to the door and brains the guy with a stick the moment he sticks his head out.
  • Rak Wraithraiser from Tower of God is a warrior hunter. He tracks down the strongest people he can find and kills them to become stronger. His prey is human (or humanoid), but to him, they are all turtles. Did we mention Rak is a giant bipedal alligator?
  • In Two Guys and Guy, Wayne Got Volunteered when Frank needed funding. Frank doesn't understand why Wayne would call the police over this.
  • The Wotch: An arch-mage Battle Couple kidnaps random heroes from the multiverse to hunt down for sport, including Anne and Robin. Mostly by disabling their magic, then shooting them with magic-powered guns. It ends badly for them when they push Anne so far she shows what a Wotch actually does.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "The Power Within", the heroes find themselves in this situation, with the added twist that the villain removes the Rangers' badges to prevent them from accessing their Applied Phlebotinum powers. The episode's dialogue uses the phrase "most dangerous game" as a Shout-Out.
  • The American Dad! episode "The Vacation Goo" had the Smiths (and the busty activities director who wanted to bed Steve) end up on an island that looks like this. In the end, it turns out to just be a theme park attraction where the "hunters" use paintball guns. Of course, the Smiths don't learn this until after they spent three days hiding in a cave and had to eat the girl to survive. In an amusing Shout-Out, one of the men is dressed as Spider-Man antagonist Kraven the Hunter (see above).
    • In another episode CIA chief Avery decides to hunt and kill Jeff to eliminate him as a rival for Haley. He tells Jeff he's about to hunt "The Most Dangerous Game" and Jeff begins guessing the most absurd possibilities, some more than once. Finally Stan screams that he's the prey and then apologizes to Avery because it would have gone on all day.
  • The American Dragon: Jake Long episode "The Hunted" had Jake among the several magical creatures captured by the Huntsclan for their Grand Equinox Hunt, where they're to be released at dawn and hunted down.
  • Comes up in the episode "El Contador" of Archer, with Archer and Lana being hunted by a South American drug lord and... Cyril (long story). Archer, being who he is, hears the phrase "The Most Dangerous Game" and replies, "Jai-Alai?".
  • Batman Beyond had the Stalker, an African hunter whose spine had to be cybernetically replaced after a run-in with a jungle cat, granting him such unnatural strength that he was able to exact his revenge with his bare hands and soon tired of hunting normal animals. His intro episode had him playing this trope with the show's titular character, believing him to be the inheritor of some sort of "bat totem" that would be the ultimate test of his strength.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Catwoman does this to Batman and Robin in the teaser to "Shadow of the Bat!".
  • Professor Pyg and Mister Toad practise this in Beware the Batman, rounding up corrupt businessmen who've damaged nature in some way and hunting them.
  • The Birdman (1967) episode "Hannibal the Hunter" pitted Birdman against the titular hunter. Amusingly, the villain crows that he has "succeeded where all others have failed" by capturing Birdman, evidently unaware that he is captured roughly every other episode.
  • Camp Lakebottom: In "The Great Tiki Hunt", McGee and his friends find an old Tiki idol and accidentally unleash an ancient Tiki deity. Although the deity initially seems nice, he soon gives the campers the "honor" of being his prey in the Great Tiki Hunt.
  • The Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation S.A.F.A.R.I"; Numbuh One is taken to the doctor's for moose bumps shots, but the doctor thinks it's unsporting to hold a kid down and allows him to get a running start and acts like a Great White Hunter, shooting shots from a rifle as they run through a jungle. And THEN it gets weird....
  • The Critic: In one of the running gags during the main credits, Jay's boss Duke calls him, inviting Jay to his ranch upon the news that Duke has received a license to hunt man. Jay is advised to bring "comfortable shoes".
  • Danny Phantom has the villain Skulker chasing the hero and his rival/enemy in conjunction with the Egg Sitting plot.
  • One of the "Dial M For Monkey" vignettes from Dexter's Laboratory featured this. It's a parody of Predator, complete with Monkey stripping himself and preparing primitive traps to defeat the hunter.
  • The Di-Gata Defenders episode "Hunter and the Hunted".
  • Done in one of the early episodes of Family Guy when the last game during a company picnic involved the employees being hunted by their boss, Mr. Weed. Of course in this case, he was just using tranquilizers and the object of the game was to be the last man standing. Peter wins as he managed stay on his feet despite being hit by multiple tranqs and only dropped after he was declared the winner.
  • In Frisky Dingo, Xander Crews goes on an annual hunting trip where he kills, skins, and eats a mother panda, which he claims to be ''the most dangerous game.
  • In an episode of Futurama, Bender frees the robot fox from a New Jersey fox hunt, so the hunt master decides that they will hunt Bender instead, declaring him to be "the most dangerous game, apart from lawn darts."
  • The Pack does this to Lexington and Goliath in an early episode of Gargoyles. A bit of a subversion, as the "most dangerous game" in this case was gargoyles rather than humans.
  • Parodied in an episode of Johnny Bravo, where the hunter was constantly annoyed by Johnny's inability to survive in the wilderness or even find a decent hiding place.
  • In the Jumanji cartoon spin-off, the game hunter is one of the frequent villains. The protagonists eventually just get used to him, even using him against other adversaries on occasion. The one time they get rid of him, Peter starts turning into his replacement — he's as much a part of the setting as an actual person. There must always be a Van Pelt, and if You Kill It, You Bought It. They figured out how to cure Peter... and elsewhere, the real Van Pelt climbed out of the Death Trap they'd set for him unharmed.
  • Justice League Action: In "Under a Red Sun", after transporting Superman and himself to a planet with a red sun, negating Superman's powers, Steppenwolf hunts Superman across the wilderness. He cheats by bringing several mooks with him. Superman defeats them by setting booby traps.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: In "The Most Dangerous Po", the Insane Admiral General Tsin has taken to hunting China's most dangerous villains and imprisoning them in his private collection. He invites Po to join him and, when Po refuses, Po becomes his next prey.
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series had an episode involving a hunter played by David Hyde Pierce and a bunch of robotic animals menacing the Ducks.
  • Phineas and Ferb does this in the episode "Primal Perry," where Perry and Doofenshmirtz must escape a platypus hunter named Liam who is chasing them through the Botanical Gardens.
  • Roger Ramjet and his sidekicks meet up with one of these hunters. They deduce that the hunter is, in fact, afraid of animals, and they defeat him by wearing animal costumes. Ramjet wears a bunny suit. It works.
  • One episode of Samurai Jack featured Aku sending some cat-like aliens from a Proud Hunter Race planet after Jack. After a long, arduous chase, they finally subdue him. Unfortunately for Aku, however, their people have a custom that any prey who can give them such a challenging hunt deserves to run free.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Rainier Wolfcastle expresses his desire to hunt his fellow man in "Children of a Lesser Clod", having bought the local YMCA to tear it down and use the land as a hunting ground. After Lenny says he's taking home a basketball that belongs to the court, Rainier is shown grabbing a gun and chasing after him, so it looks like he was serious.
    • The "Treehouse of Horror XVI" skit "Survival of the Fattest" has Mr. Burns doing this, as shown in the page image. He even televises it, complete with sports commentators and guest analyst Terry Bradshaw.
      Terry: [watching as Mr Burns repeatedly shoots the already-dead Krusty] Aw, you hate to see that! That's the kind of showboating that'll turn people off this sport.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man did this with Kraven again, although Kraven was also hired by the Master Planner to "hunt" Spider-Man. Kraven's first battle with Spider-Man was a bust, given that Spider-Man had superpowers while Kraven was just a Badass Normal. The second half of Kraven's debut episode centres around him gaining superhuman powers of his own derived from deadly predator animals to even the odds against Spidey.
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series was an exception, of sorts — Kraven was given a different role in the finale, while an original villain, Shikata, subjected Spider-Man to Hunting The Most Dangerous Game partway through the series. Well, according to the commentary for the Shikata episode on the DVD, the original idea was to use Kraven.
  • An arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars revolves around this, with Ahsoka being captured by Trandoshans, dropped in the middle of a jungle, and hunted down along with several others.
  • The Super Globetrotters episode "The Super Globetrotters vs. Bwana Bob".
  • In the Thunder Cats episode "Safari Joe", the title character is a big game hunter who goes after the heroes. And he does so with gusto.
  • Todd McFarlane's Spawn's main plot point for half the series is about how Jason Wynn tries to cover his tracks after he loses a shipment of high powered guns that he was planning on selling on the streets for a profit, because Spawn broke in a military base and stole them to arm himself unknowingly. One of his employers, Terry is determined to track down the guns much to Wynn's annoyance and eventually sends corrupt government assassins after him to silence him. A full episode shows Terry getting hunted by the assassins with him discovering that Wynn stole the weapons, and the assassins are his men. Spawn saves him after questioning if he should kill Terry himself for getting with widowed wife Wanda after he died.
  • In an episode of The Transformers, the Great White Hunter Lord Chumley decides that he wants Optimus Prime's head hanging on his wall. When one considers that Optimus is about ten times his size, more heavily armored than any Earth battleship, strong enough to plow through concrete walls as if they were wet tissue paper, and carries an energy blaster with a barrel wide enough for a human to crawl into, one suspects that the hunter is suicidal... but it turns out that he's actually cunning enough to give Optimus a real challenge, though once Optimus makes it past Chumley's traps and Killer Robots, things quickly swing back into Optimus' favor.

    Real Life 
  • Man-hunting was common practice in ancient Sparta, by the Spartiate elites against their helot slave population.
    • As part of the agoge training regimen, trainees were required to stalk and kill a random helot, the object of the test being to do so without getting caught.
    • Helots were also regularly murdered at random by the Crypteia (secret police), as a means of keeping the helot population cowed and unlikely to revolt.
  • In Ancient Rome, during the reigns of Sulla and Augustus, "proscription" was a common way of eliminating political enemies; the dictator's men would simply post a list of names, with bounties payable to whoever brought those persons' heads in.
  • It was not only legal, but encouraged to do this against Native Americans during the Gold Rush. Many communities in California offered rewards of something around $25 for a male body part — or the whole body — and $5 for a child or a woman.
  • During the French and Indian War, the French and British took advantage of the Native American practice of scalping their enemies and began offering bounties for the scalps. This resulted in some Native Americans killing civilians to get scalps to trade in.
  • A number of serial killers and mass shooters have invoked this trope.
    • Robert Hansen, a serial killer who was active in the early 1980s, would kidnap women and then release them in the Knik River Valley in Alaska. He would then hunt them, armed with a knife and a Ruger Mini-14 rifle. The films The Naked Fear and The Frozen Ground were based on him.
    • In one of his decoded letters, the Zodiac Killer wrote, "I like killing people because it is so much fun it is more fun than killing wild game in the forrest because man is the most dangeroue anamal of all".
    • Before leaving home and going on a shooting spree, James Oliver Huberty was asked by his wife where he was going. His response was simply "hunting humans".
    • Eric Harris, one of the Columbine gunmen, stated in his diaries that his wish was to take everybody and throw them into a massive game of real-life Doom, where only the strong would survive.
  • Paintball, airsoft, and lasertag enable people to hunt The Most Dangerous Game without inflicting serious injury, at least not as long as all participants follow the safety briefing. Likewise with the digital equivalent, the multiplayer First-Person Shooter. Various mock-assassination games and Humans vs. Zombies games played on college campuses could also rate as examples, depending on the game's motif.
  • One of the substitutes for fox hunting that has become mildly popular in Britain is to chase a runner instead. A runner who is competing totally of their own free will, we hasten to add, and who is not harmed in any way.
  • A somewhat common attitude in warfare, though since the targets are (usually) declared enemies who can typically shoot back, it avoids the more unsavory aspects of other portrayals:
    • Invoked in the Battle Cry of fighter pilots "Tally-ho". Similarly the Germans used "Horrido" (literally "victory") which is an old German hunting call.
    • Manfred von Richthofen, the Ace Pilot better known to most as the Red Baron, was an avid sportsman in his civilian life. He often spoke of his aerial combat prowess in terms of hunting Englishmen.
    • Some hunters in northwest Nigeria have switched targets from traditional big game to Boko Haram militants.
  • Daniel Wright, a tourism expert, believes that human hunting will become a televised pastime among wealthy people within the next 200 years, as resource depletion and the need to control population growth intersects with a desensitization toward violence.
  • Real life man-hunting has been common for centuries, used mostly to track down criminals, insurgents, or escapees. One of the most famous of these manhunts was the search for John Wilkes Booth who murdered president Lincoln. Notably, the intended purpose of these hunts aren't always to kill the target, but to capture instead. Depending on if the target is armed or not, capturing the target alive tends to be much more dangerous. This is one of the reasons that people like Booth end up dead at the end of the hunt.
  • Mercenary hunting involves tracking down leads and bringing in criminals and bail dodgers for decades. While stories of "Dead or Alive" posters have been exaggerated over the years, even today in the USA, legally contracted bounty hunters still exist to make informal arrests for bail dodgers having much less restrictions on them than police officers. That being said, the moral and physical standards of modern bounty hunters is ludicrous, which is why less than 4,000 positions exist today.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hunt The Most Dangerous Game


Tarzan vs Clayton

In the final to Disney's Tarzan Clayton gets so fed up with Tarzan he hunts him down like the animal he sees him as.

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Main / HuntingTheMostDangerousGame

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