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I Surrender, Suckers

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I guess you could say he was pulling Tintin's leg.

"If you cannot win with grace, lose with glory."

This trope is used by both villains and badass heroes or Anti Heroes, particularly the loner action-hero kind.

They're cornered. They know it. They surrender. They may even Kneel Before Zod. In more family-friendly works, they might have just been told that what they're doing is wrong and that they should simply stop their current behaviour. Either way, our character is at the mercy of whoever's caught them...

Except, when the offer is accepted — surprise! They launch an attack when the opposition drops their guard. This move may let them completely blow away the opposition, or it may only provide enough confusion to allow a timely escape, depending on just how badly taken in the opposition was.

One variation involves the one surrendering intentionally allowing themself to be captured in order to undermine the enemy from within. Often they must rely on The Mole to break them out of their prison, though sometimes they can manage this on their own.

This is the exact opposite of the Graceful Loser. It's also a favorite tactic of the Dirty Coward.

Note that in Real Life, this is a genuine war crime, as of the signing of the Hague Convention. Fake surrenders are "perfidy" and are outlawed because they lead to paranoia and mercilessness by belligerents, and greatly increase the likelihood that soldiers genuinely trying to surrender will simply be shot. See the Real Life section for how such fears are justified. Similarly, the flag of truce is one of several protected symbols, and its misuse or abuse by either party (the ones offering or being offered surrender) is also a violation of international law.

Sister Trope to Truce Trickery. Compare Trojan Prisoner, Defensive Feint Trap, Aggressive Negotiations, and I Lied. Wounded Gazelle Gambit is similar, but even more pathetic, since they're transparently and/or clumsily ensnaring actual self-pity (while it's common to see the person pulling a fake surrender feeling sorry for themself in some way, many of them will rely on little more than calmly "admitting" defeat). See also Playing Possum, Sick Captive Scam (which also relies on faking vulnerability to get the drop on someone), In the Back, and Dirty Coward.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is how 8 Man (1963) started. The leader of the gang that police detective Azuma was going after pretended to surrender so that his other henchmen can run him over with their car while he was distracted, killing him. This lead to the scientist retrieving his body and rebuilding him as 8 Man.
  • In Berserk, when Adon finds himself outclassed by Casca, he immediately starts to show contrition and begs for his life. When Casca lowers her guard—albeit not because she fell for it but out of sheer surprise and disgust—Adon shoots her with a poisoned crossbow bolt, a technique that has been passed down in his Corbowitz family for over a thousand years!
  • Captain Harlock opens with an Earth merchant ship trying to surrender to Harlock for real when the Earth Garrison officer on board orders to pull this. As Harlock knows the Earth Garrison officers, he gets them to open fire early and then freezes everyone on board.
  • Death Note: When Matt is surrounded by several thugs, he fakes a surrender, saying their bosses probably want to question him, while slowly reaching for a gun, only to immediately get filled with lead. Everyone knows who he is, and that's probably why. Except in the manga, where the point was that nobody there knows who he is... or really cares what he's done... or thinks he might try to escape. He's simply trying bluffing or reason (it's ambiguous) on the wrong people.
  • Digimon Ghost Game:
    • Early on the group defeats the Virus-attribute Rookie Digimon Dracmon, who swears to undo the damage he caused and not cause any more trouble if they spared his life. The Stinger revealed he was lying through his teeth about the latter, and he returns a little over 20 episodes later as a mook for Myotismon.
    • Attempted by a Witchmon in the second Halloween Episode after Cannoweissmon proves to be much of a force against her. Thankfully for the main trio, Halloween ends the moment she pulls it off and since she was banking on a Hour of Power all the time, she's reduced to being no stronger than a typical Champion-level and had to surrender for real.
  • Also done in one of the final episodes of D.N.Angel, when Dark surrenders himself to the army in the snow so he can get captured, thus getting closer to the painting..
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Tao Pai Pai (Mercenary/General Tao) does this when he's losing his rematch against Goku—following up his "surrender" by throwing a grenade. Unfortunately for Tao, Goku deflects it right back at him...
    • Raditz pulls this off at the very beginning of Dragon Ball Z (and, conversely, in Dragon Ball Z Kai as well), when Goku gets a hold of his tail. Since doing this weakens a Saiyan, Raditz tries to convince Goku to let go by saying that, if he does, he'll leave Earth without causing any damage to it. Despite Piccolo's warning, Goku believes him... and just as soon as he lets Raditz go, he is struck in the stomach. Later, when Goku traps him again and Piccolo prepares to kill him, Raditz begs for mercy again, but Goku is not dumb enough to fall for the same trick twice.
    • Frieza tries the same after losing to Goku. Goku gives him enough energy to get away from the soon-to-be-exploding planet (since he can survive in space), but Frieza uses it to attack as soon as Goku's back is turned. Subverted as this time Goku just turns around and blows him away.
    • Even the Z-Fighters, or at least Piccolo, aren't innocent of this. When Cell managed to drain Piccolo's arm, Piccolo apparently seemed resigned to his fate of being absorbed by Cell and instead asks that Cell at least explain to him what he is, what his plans are, and how he came to be. Turns out, this was a gambit thought up by Piccolo (or rather, the Kami half of him) to not only get Cell to tell him everything but also buy enough time to recharge his Ki energy so he could remove his arm and regenerate without weakening himself even further. Later in the Buu Saga, Majin Vegeta defeated Goku by agreeing to stop the fight to help him stop Buu, only to sucker-punch him when his guard was down.
    • Eis Shenron pulled this off when defeated by Nova Shenron and Goku, successfully blinding Goku as well. Unfortunately, he didn't dull Goku's other senses.
  • And in Fantastic Children; Tohma makes it look like he is allowing Dumas to go into the 'spirit world' to save Helga by simply walking away...then punches him in the face to knock him unconscious so that he (Tohma) can go instead.
  • In the Full Metal Panic! "Into the Blue" arc, Big Bad Gauron surrenders and intentionally allows himself to be captured as part of a plan to infiltrate and take control of the Tuatha De Danaan. Notably, the De Danaan's captain and crew are aware of the risk and take precautions, but even in spite of that Gauron manages to cause a whole lot of trouble with his ploy.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), the Lior plot has Ed willingly surrender to Cornello, knowing that Cornello was clueless enough to underestimate him and Al, leaving open many opportunities to escape and defeat the false prophet.
    • In Brotherhood, the Ice-Alchemist surrenders to the military — and then he transmutes steam and escapes.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • In CAPTIVATED, Motoko confronts a female ex-KGB cyborg, who wearily raises a single arm in surrender. It turns out to be a triple-barreled Arm Cannon — only the Major's quick reflexes and a *Click* Hello from Batou averts disaster.
    • The same thing happens to Batou in the second season, when he's arresting a terrorist called Angel Feathers.
  • Gunslinger Girl: In a rather clever move, Henrietta pretends to be a little girl who is running away from "the scary men downstairs". The two Mooks, who had her pinned behind a corner, figure they can take her hostage. Once she's next to them she kills both of them. Justified because she is a little girl and one wouldn't expect a little girl to be a killing machine. Too Dumb to Live because their organization knew that little girls were being used as assassins.
  • Done by Poland in Hetalia: Axis Powers. He's cornered by Prussia in the Battle Of Tannenburg, so it looks like he's just gonna let himself die... but it was all an act to allow his partner, Lithuania, pull a Diving Save and pwn Prussia.
  • Hoshin Engi:
    • The Hero Taikobo does exactly this when fighting Okijn. TWICE. In the same battle. The first time, he pretends to give up fighting, saying that she's too strong for him, and laments about how he should have been loyal to Dakki. He then requests that Okijn allow him to do a wood fortune reading for Dakki's future, which turns out to be a trick so that he can set fire to her Shiju Hagoromo. The second time is when she tries to do the same trick to him, "surrendering" - to which he pretends to "accept", only to once again sucker-punch her.
    • During the Kingo Island arc, Entenkun and his frost-based dimensional paope are defeated easily by Fugen's superior paope, but the latter, being a pacifist, tries to talk Entenkun into surrendering and even puts down his paope. Entenkun is seemingly ready to give up... only to mistake Fugen's goodness for foolishness and attack one more time. Unfortunately for him, Fugen made preparations for this.
    • Near the end, after Nento Dojin wipes the floor with Dakki's remaining minions and wins the tournament, Dakki surrenders her paope and shows up in manacles in front of the heroes, claiming to be willing to help them, much to the disbelief of the heroes. And in spite of everything... she doesn't try anything funny against them, but rather against her boss Joka.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders provides some examples of fake surrenders backfiring on the villains doing it.
    • After being weakened in battle by Jotaro, Rubber Soul starts begging for mercy while planning to sneak-attack Jotaro with his Stand, Yellow Temperance. When the attack doesn't work and Jotaro successfully counters it, Rubber Soul surrenders for real, claiming that he was just kidding around. Jotaro's not in a forgiving mood, and a beatdown ensues.
    • Once the heroes have defeated Steely Dan as a threat by dislodging his pain-transferring Stand the Lovers from Joseph's body, Dan pathetically begs for Jotaro's forgiveness (having bullied and pushed him around all episode while using Joseph's life as a bargaining chip) while setting up the Lovers to take control of Jotaro's body instead. When Jotaro immediately catches the Lovers and stops it before agreeing to part ways with only minor incident, Dan tries to regain the upper hand by sending the Lovers after a little girl instead... which fails since the other heroes anticipated he'd do such a thing. Dan begs forgiveness again, even offering to bribe Jotaro into letting him go. Jotaro — whose patience was already wire-thin even before the fake surrender — scoffs that he never intended to forgive his enemy, turns down the bribe, and proceeds to break every bone in Steely Dan's body.
    • Funny Valentine attempts to pull this in the climactic battle of Steel Ball Run. His powers nullified by Tusk ACT4, he surrenders and offers to bring another version of the deceased Gyro Zeppeli from another universe, in exchange for Johnny sparing his life and giving him the Holy Corpse. He then launches into a speech about how everything he did was morally justified and for the greater good of his country. Unlike the above examples, Johnny seems to genuinely believe him... but still decides to test Valentine by telling him to pick up an empty gun on the ground in front of him. Valentine hesitates, then reaches for gun, causing it to fly towards the other gun he had brought from another universe and had hidden in his pocket, showing that he was going to kill Johnny all along. He is finished off soon after.
  • Medaka Box: Kumagawa Misogi, when he was first defeated (as in, beaten into a bloody pulp) by Kurokami Medaka in middle school, he broke down in tears and begged her to spare his life, promising to change his ways and never hurt anyone ever again. He, of course, didn't mean a word of it, and Medaka herself knew full well how untrustworthy every one of his words was. However, perhaps in order to stay true to her role as someone who lives to help other people, she forced herself to take him at his word. As a result, Kumagawa's loss amounted to absolutely nothing, as he went back to a life of losing in ways that make other people lose until he and Medaka crossed paths again in high school.
    • He pulls this again during the Election Battles, in his match against Hitoyoshi Zenkichi over the snake pit. After the battle forces their foothold halfway down that pit, Kumagawa abruptly concedes the match to Zenkichi... then keeps attacking him anyway. By surrendering, Kumagawa turns this official match into a private quarrel that the Election Committee can't interfere with, and no one can safely jump down into the pit without making the foothold fall all the way down into the venomous snakes.
  • In the manga adaptation of Mega Man X, X blasts off the leg of a lion Maverick, who pretends he's gonna turn himself in so X lowers his guard. X falls for it and Zero needs to intervene before the Maverick finishes him off.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Ali Al-Saachez is cornered by Lyle "Lockon Stratos" Dylandy in Episode 49, and briefly releases his weapon. Being in zero gravity, it floats right next to him. When Lyle hesitates and tries to give him a Last-Second Chance, Ali grabs the gun, yells "SUCKER!", and spins around... only to get nailed right between the eyes as Lyle never lowered his gun. Then Lyle shoots him a couple more times just to make sure he's dead.
  • Monster Rancher: Hare is introduced this way; when Tiger of the Wind pins him during their match, he panics and surrenders, only to launch a sneak attack when Tiger turns away. The judges don't call him on it, though Tiger's reputation as an infamous bandit might have influenced their decision to let that slide.
  • Occurs in Neji and Hinata's backstory in Naruto; when they were small the Hidden Leaf Village was at war with the Hidden Cloud Village, who sent their head ninja to offer a treaty. It's revealed the next day that the treaty was just a ploy to kidnap Hinata for her Byakugan, but when her father kills the Cloud ninja in the act, the Cloud Village plays dumb and instead doubles down and demands Hinata's father's life as compensation.
  • In One Piece, one of the many things "Foul Play" Don Krieg has been said to do is to fly a Navy flag, or a white flag of surrender, and then open fire without warning.
    • Played with during the Arabasta arc: Vivi attempted to quell a rebellion by having the Royal Army surrender. Crocodile turned this against her by having his agents open fire, leading the rebellion to think that the army's surrender was a trap, which in turn lead to an even fiercer battle.
    • When Capone Bege's wife Chiffon is taken hostage by Charlotte Oven, under the threat that if he doesn't surrender right now he'll kill her, Bege's answer is to approach in apparent surrender, then blasting Oven right in the face with an explosive round when he's close enough to do so. Oven does survive, but Chiffon still escapes with Bege as a result.
  • In One-Punch Man, the monster Withered Sprout uses this tactic, allowing him to defeat several heroes. At least, until Saitama no-sells his ice powers and punches him in half.
  • In an episode of Outlaw Star, Suzuka fights a foe who prostrates himself before her... then opens fire with two automatic weapons. She calmly deflects every shot.
  • Rokudo Mukuro from Reborn! (2004) does this during his fight with Tsuna. He pretends that he has given up and been defeated, asking Tsuna to kill him. After Tsuna refuses and turns his back on him, Mukuro attacks him.
  • Rebuild World:
    • Subverted when Elena and Sara get ambushed by raiders after their equipment. They hold Elena hostage and demand Sara come out of cover. Sara surrenders planning to use her Cyborg Super-Strength to surprise attack them in melee. They think she’s going to use Powered Armor to do that and so demand she strip. After she complies, one of them shoots Sara’s legs anyway figuring out her plan.
    • When The Mole Selba in Sheryl’s gang takes Sheryl hostage, and tells Akira to Put Down Your Gun and Step Away, Akira complies planning to Dodge the Bullet in a successful Distract and Disarm gambit.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: In a filler episode, Shura battles Ginjo and manages to shatter his weapon. Ginjo says he surrenders and begs for mercy. As soon as she drops her guard, he pulls out a hidden knife and stabs her in the leg.
  • A couple of instances occur in Sailor Moon:
    • In the second season, R, after the Sailor Guardians, with exception of Usagi herself are abducted by Crimson Rubeus, she voluntarily surrendered herself, but it's to get onto to Rubeus's ship to go try to rescue her comrades.
    • In the 5th Season, Sailor Stars, Sailors Uranus and Neptune pretended to do a Face–Heel Turn, submitting to Galaxia's will and even killing Saturn and Pluto, and then, when the going got good and they did enough damage, made an attempt on her life. Subverted in that Galaxia is seemingly immortal, and both Sailor Senshi are instantly destroyed upon the revelation of her immortality.
  • Kuradeel from Sword Art Online begs for mercy after Asuna kicks his ass, all to buy enough time to disarm her. He gloats about Asuna having fallen for such an obvious trick as he attempts to cut her down... only for Kirito to sacrifice his arm in a Bare-Handed Blade Block, then run the bastard through with his remaining good hand.
  • The first episode of Tenchi Universe has Ryoko pull this stunt. After being confronted by Tenchi, she decides to hand herself over to Mihoshi of the Galaxy Police, only for Ryoko to torch the portable computer Mihoshi was using to read her (Ryoko) the Intergalactic equivalent of the Miranda Rights. Since Mihoshi isn't exactly the brightest bulb on the tree, she can't remember the rest, thus making any attempts to take Ryoko prisoner risks violating her rights, leaving Ryoko free to crash at Tenchi's place without fear of arrest.
  • Serial killer Benoit "Lady Killer" Depardieu in Tiger & Bunny tries pulling this one on Lunatic. Unfortunately for Depardieu, it seems he didn't get the memo on Lunatic's standard operating procedure.
    • Kotetsu's fight with Barnaby late in the series plays with it a bit. Kotetsu hits him in an attempt to jog his memory after it looks like he's given up on arguing, but this only leads to Kotetsu getting accused of pulling this trope.
  • Number 96 uses this trick in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. It purposely lets the duelist using its card lose to Yuma so that Astral will absorb its card so that it can later take control of Astral. Fortunately for all involved, the plan fails, and Astral reabsorbs Number 96, making it, in effect, a real prisoner.

    Board Games 
  • Believe it or not, there is a way to do this in chess. When in a losing position, some unscrupulous players have been known to silently offer their opponent a handshake, a universally recognized symbol of resignation. The problem is that a handshake offer can also mean an offer of a draw. After the opponent accepts, the losing player would then claim they were not resigning, but offering a draw, and by shaking their hand their opponent had accepted. This trick is considered to be very poor sportsmanship, but it's not technically against the rules. Of course, an astute way to avoid it is to ask your opponent "are you resigning?" if they offer a handshake, before taking their hand.

    Comic Books 
  • Played for Laughs in Asterix; according to the comics, Vercingetorix surrendered to Julius Caesar by dropping his weaponry on Caesar's toes.
  • A "deliberately allowed oneself to be caught" variation occurred in the Batman short story "Cracks." The Penguin kidnaps Commissioner Gordon's wife Sarah and locks her in a gas chamber, into which he will release poisonous gas at midnight. He then has himself deliberately arrested so that he will be taken to Gotham Police Headquarters and can taunt James Gordon about his inability to save his wife and generally gloat about how inferior Gordon is. (The Penguin has recently been all but ignored by Batman and the police, and he's desperate to prove to the city how much of a "tough guy" he thinks he still is.) The scheme backfires: Gordon becomes so enraged by the Penguin's taunts and his refusal to reveal Sarah's location that he delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the bird-man, even scorching his face with his own trademark cigarette holder. He then drags the Penguin by the collar up to the roof of the police building and threatens to throw him to his death, while the Penguin begs and blubbers. But before anything else can happen, Batman shows up with the rescued Sarah and persuades James to get a hold of himself.
  • In the final issue of Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen, Dr. Sweikert cripples Laurie for life by severing her Achilles tendons then fakes surrender to try to murder Kelly himself.
  • Gambit (Marvel Comics): Gambit occasionally does this to lure his opponent closer to him, within grabbing range — said opponents always forget he can turn anything he touches into a high explosive...
  • Just when Green Lantern is about to pummel the living daylights out of Sinestro, Sinestro surrenders and even gives Green Lantern his ring. He poofs away a second later, along with his ring, which Green Lantern can't even remember if he really held.
  • In the Groo the Wanderer graphic novel The Death of Groo, Groo used to work for King Krag, who took cities by marching up under a flag of truce and then surprise-attacking. But at one city, Groo accidentally stains the white flag, so that the defenders mistook it for a battle standard. "See how King Krag carries his banner at the head of his troops! You have to admire courage like that. Kill him." Krag lived, but with a lifelong grudge against Groo.
  • During Infinity, Captain America suggests surrendering to the Builders, and sends his best negotiator: Thor. At this point, you can guess Aggressive Negotiations are to be expected. But Thor doesn't switch to violence until the enemy makes it clear there would be no negotiation, and they'll destroy Earth anyway.
  • In New Mutants, Belasco pulls something like this a couple of times. Trying to kill a surrendered enemy puts a black mark on your soul that puts you in his power. Stopping when he surrenders lets him get you again. Being good enough to boot him elsewhere lacks something in the way of permanence. (Of course, given the nature of Limbo, killing him might too.)
  • Averted in the "Valley Forge" arc of The Punisher MAX: Frank is surrounded by a bunch of Special Ops guys, and is tased over and over again by a guy who knows you do not take chances with him.
  • Red Sonja gets a chance when her enemy offers to kill her quickly if she kisses the tip of his sword. With his blade outstretched it's easy for her to get inside his reach and run him through.
  • In Serenity: Those Left Behind, Mal is held up and told to drop his gun. He does, but before it hits the ground he kicks it into the face of his attacker, and it turns into a shoot-out.
  • Played with in the opening sequence of DC Comics' famous 1971 Sgt. Rock story "Head Count", which follows Easy Company as they're fighting the Nazis from town to town in rural France. As the story begins they are charging a German pillbox, which quickly gets taken out with the help of a grenade. Two wounded German soldiers then emerge from the pillbox, staggering about aimlessly and holding up their arms. Sgt. Rock orders his men to take them captive, but just then someone opens fire and kills the two would-be prisoners in cold blood. Sarge angrily demands to know who fired, and is confronted with the same soldier who had hurled the grenade: Private "Johnny Doe", an orphaned child who had been drafted into the Army when he turned 18 and soon discovered he had a talent for ruthlessly butchering Nazis. Sarge accuses Johnny of murdering surrendering men, but Johnny points out that they never threw down their guns, so they didn't officially surrender. He further argues that the Germans could have just been faking surrender and that if he hadn't cut them down, they could have wiped out all of Easy Company. Sarge lets the matter drop after that, but things get worse as Johnny Doe grows bolder and bolder in his vigilantism.
  • Silent War: The US government's batch of terrigenesis-enhanced marines do this, allowing one of their number to get inside Attilan and detonate, in the hopes it'd wipe out the Inhumans. Note the above bit in this article's opening about how this is what we call a war crime?
  • Used to glorious effect by The Foreigner in an issue of Spider-Man. Forced into an Enemy Mine, The Foreigner promises Spidey that he'll hand himself in if Spidey helps him out. Spidey does, Foreigner survives... and then really does hand himself in. Of course, since he's not on any records anywhere and there's zero evidence to link him to any of his assassinations, the cops assume he's a lunatic and promptly turn him loose.
  • In Spider-Verse, this is how Amazing Spider-Man grabs leadership of the Spider Army from Superior Spider-Man. After a throwdown during which they debate the relative merits of ruthlessness versus compassion, Amazing Spider-Man surrenders and challenges Superior Spider-Man to kill him; Superior Spider-Man, thinking Amazing Spider-Man is a past version of himself (it's actually the other way round... long story) hesitates, not wanting to create a paradox. This lets Amazing Spider-Man knock him out and thus prove he really should be in charge, pointing out that killing their current foes isn't a practical solution so they need a less ruthless solution (their foes, the Inheritors, come back in cloned bodies if any of them are killed).
  • The Thunderbolts arc "Caged Angels" had four psychics intentionally surrender themselves to the Thunderbolts so that they could get locked up in Thunderbolts Mountain. Once there, they used their psychic abilities to cause havoc (read: Green Goblin crucifying Swordsman).
  • The honorable version of this trope was perhaps The Golden Age Wonder Woman's favorite stratagem. Typically, she would intentionally allow herself to be captured by foes she could easily defeat, in order to learn the villains' plans and/or be led to their hideout. After being Bound and Gagged and taken to the appropriate location, she would get free and kick everyone's ass. (Unless she messed up and let herself get tied up with her own lasso, or have her bracelets welded together by a man, in which case complications would ensue.)
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Hercules pretends to take his defeat by Hippolyta in stride and tells his men to stand down and accept the Amazons' offer of an allegiance, all so that he can drug and enslave the Amazons once their guard is down.

    Fan Works 
  • In Black As Night, a blind Hiccup uses this when Astrid is captured by the Outcasts, feigning surrender to Alvin so that he can attack the Outcast leader up-close.
  • Calvin submits to Electro and builds him a better power strip in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series. Said strip ends up sapping him of his power, defeating him.
  • Daystar: When Taylor is ambushed by four Merchants gangers, her reaction is scared and pleading, until it's not. By the time they figure out what she actually said, though, it's too late for most of them.
    "Please don’t hurt me!" I said, faking a tremor in my voice. "Please, I'll do anything, just don't get your blood all over my nice new jacket!"
  • In Did I Make the Most of Loving You?, this is basically the Cylons’ new plan; with the first six models exposed and undercover infiltration impossible, the Cylons pretend to be willing to sign an official peace treaty with the Colonials, when in reality they just intend to use the new access opportunities to devise stealth technology to bypass the Colonials’ systems and attack them directly before they can fight back.
  • While an example doesn't directly appear in Embers, the canon example from Avatar is brought up a lot as a grave offense by Aang against Zuko. When Zuko tries to confront Aang over it, his response implies that it was okay because Zuko had no honour - an insult so serious that Zuko immediately storms off to vent through firebending, and Iroh gives the Gaang a Breaking Speech explaining exactly what he'd said. Katara, for her part, sees nothing wrong as Zuko was outside her tribe, and deceiving them is not considered bad in her culture.
  • In Season 2 of Erika the Radical, a BC Freedom girl tries to backstab Kuromorimine sailor Obama Kobayakawa immediately after the former lowers her weapon and convinces the latter to let her go peacefully. Obama parries the attack and then Sparta-kicks her off the hijacked Saint-Chamond tank for her treachery.
  • FFS, I Believe in You: In the sequel, the Yiga call for a parley with the Gerudo, claiming to have been left purposeless by the Calamity's defeat and Kohga's death and to want a truce, but this is simply a ruse to attempt to ambush Riju.
  • A Force of Four: Power Girl has just punched U-Ban out when Mala and Kizo show up. Kara pretends to surrender so they take her to their headquarters. Nonetheless, she warns that if they don't accept her surrender and try to rape her, she will take her chances and fight anyway.
    Power Girl held up her hands. "Okay. You want me to go with you? I'll go. I surrender."
    The two Kryptonian men stopped, as she had hoped they would, and peered at her curiously. "You what?", asked Kizo.
    "I surrender," repeated Kara. "Look at it this way. You guys beat the hell out of me last time we met. I was fresh, then. Right now, I've just had a fight with your brother. I'm not a glutton for punishment. Let's just go wherever you want to take me and be done with it. It'll be easier on all of us."
    Mala looked at U-Ban. "You beat him thoroughly. And he is our brother."
    "Your brother tried to rape me," she said, evenly. "And if you try the same, all bets are off."
  • Heroes of the New World; at the climax of the Doyle Arc, King Reichen Bach agrees to surrender the kingdom to the Finalem Pirates, who have been besieging them for several weeks now. He invites the pirates to his palace to sign an official treaty that will give them free reign of the kingdom, which the two brothers happily agree to before marching their forces to the palace. Just as they go to sign, Bach springs his trap- Izuku Midoriya and Yamato ambush the two in the throne room, driving them into the palace and away from the main body of the pirates, and when the rest of the Finalem Pirates try to escape they run straight into the Doyle army and police force, which had secretly surrounded the palace while the pirates were distracted.
  • Mastermind: Strategist for Hire: Izuku goes limp like he's given up when bound by Kamui Woods' branches, only to suddenly set him on fire with a miniature flamethrower.
  • My Little Avengers: When Loki is defeated by Big Mac/Thor in the Final Battle, he tells Thor he surrenders... and as soon as Thor changes back into the more vulnerable Big Mac, Loki fires his One-Hit Kill spell at him. Big Mac instantly changes back into Thor and reflects the spell back at Loki, killing him.
  • In The Night Unfurls, a thug hurriedly obeys Lily's order to sheath his weapon, only for him to try to grab her. It doesn't work, and the thug has his guts slammed by the pommel of her Church Pick.
  • In Origins, David Vance allows himself to be Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee... right before assassinating said committee.
  • The Peace Not Promised: Alastor Moody suggests this approach as a way of getting close enough to attack Voldemort, calling it "A muggle tactic, and one that proved so effective in their history that they classed it as illegal." Reactions are mixed, but centered mostly on how to deal with the fallout if they actually pull it off.
  • The Red Dragon Samurai: Kenny handily defeats Raynare with Samurai Jack's sword and is about to finish her off when she falls to her knees and begs for mercy. He tells her to leave and never return, but then she stabs him in the gut and calls him a fool for falling for her ploy. Fortunately, Rias shows up and revives him as a Devil.
  • In Remnant's Bizarre Adventure, Ruby has Oyecomova on the ropes, and she tells him to surrender. He seemingly accepts, and she moves to restrain him…then she realizes she has no way of safely restraining someone who can turn anything he touches into a bomb. Oyecomova notes that a lot of people didn't have that realization in time before he continues trying to kill her.
  • In the The Familiar of Zero fanfiction,The Steep Path Ahead, Louise does this three times before putting a group of guards to sleep. They eventually call her out on it.

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Beast spares Gaston after Gaston begs for his life and Belle shows up. As Belle and Beast are about to embrace, Gaston stabs Beast in the back, all wearing a very nasty Slasher Smile on his face, leading immediately to Gaston's Karmic Death. Probably justified, however, as while Gaston knows that Belle loves the Beast and tries to kill him for it, seeing them actually embrace is more than Gaston can stand.
  • Bolívar, el Héroe: Tiránico begs Américo for mercy in the name of Rosa, whom he sworn not to harm Tiránico. The latter gets distracted remembering it and Tiránico exploits it to kill him.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup gleefully surrenders himself, Astrid, Toothless and Stormfly to Eret and his dragon-hunters, hoping that this will lead to a meeting with Drago. Stoick and the other dragon-riders "rescue" them before Hiccup's plan can get off the ground.
  • Frozone uses this during a scene in The Incredibles: he and Mr. Incredible are rescuing civilians from a burning building, and they escape by crashing through a wall... into an adjacent jewelry store. Cornered by an extremely nervous and trigger-happy cop, Frozone fires a blast of ice that freezes the officer (and the bullet he just fired) in his tracks.
    Cop: Freeze!
    Lucius: I'm thirsty.
    Cop: I said freeze!
    Lucius: I'm just getting a drink.
    [takes the cup to his lips and drinks]
    Cop: Okay, you had your drink. Now, I want you to...
    Lucius: I know, I know. Freeze.
    [freezes the cop]
  • Po and the Furious Five get surrounded by Lord Shen's guards in Kung Fu Panda 2, at which point they surrender instead of fighting them off, allowing them to infiltrate Shen's tower and destroy his ultimate weapon (a cannon). It comes to naught when Shen reveals he has way more cannons than they first thought.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, just before what appears will be an epic showdown between Batman and The Joker's Legion of Doom, The Joker hands himself in to Barbara Gordon, meaning Batman can't touch him. It all turns out to be a gambit to trick Batman into stealing the Phantom Zone projector and use it on The Joker, helping him make allies with some of the worst villains in the universe.
  • Scar, in the climax of The Lion King (1994), begs Simba for mercy, calls himself family, and promises to do anything to make it up to him (run away), only to fling hot ashes in his face before fighting viciously. It fails just as badly since Simba manages to throw Scar off the edge and leave him to face the hyenas, whom he had just made the fatal mistake of betraying.
  • In Peter Pan, Captain Hook tries to do this to Peter, after the latter spared Hook's life (but adding that he must admit that he is a codfish) and turns his back, with Hook attempting to use his hook since Peter threw his sword aside (even though he promised never to lay a finger or a hook on him). Wendy calls out to Peter to look out, and he promptly sidesteps the attack, causing Hook to lose his footing on the topsail, and it's down into the waiting jaws of the crocodile he goes.
  • Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World: In the final battle, John Smith manages to disarm Ratcliffe of his sword and then hold his sword to his neck. Ratcliffe begs for mercy, then as soon as Smith drops his guard, draws a pistol on him. Fortunately, John Rolfe intervenes before he can shoot Smith by using the ship's mast to knock Ratcliffe overboard.
  • Narrowly Averted by Obi-Wan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Movie), during the first battle scene of the pilot movie. Strictly speaking, he avoids it through various factors including not actually offering a flag of truce, the enemy general holding him at gun point and thus not taking his surrender at good faith or offering Obi-Wan protection, delaying even setting surrender terms until his allies launch their sneak attack, and being subsequently assaulted and threatened, but it came close enough to a fake surrender that Separatist propoganda could spin it as one. Needless to say, while his actions would ultimately be classified as a ruse of war, Obi-Wan did not use the same ruse again.
  • In Transformers: The Movie, Megatron resorts to this when facing imminent death at the hands of Optimus Prime, while reaching for a gun. Optimus doesn't buy it, but he wastes time chastising Megatron for his lack of dignity, and then Hot Rod tries to intervene, which gives Megatron an opening.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 3 Ninjas Kick Back, the old mentor kneels before his enemy before striking him low.
  • 71: Into the Fire ends with an impending siege scenario, where the North Korean captain offers the student soldiers — from a team of 71 down to less than thirty of them — a chance to submit, by hoisting a White Flag on top of their base. The students responds by hoisting the South Korean flag instead as a middle finger at their captors.
  • In Above the Law (1988), Steven Seagal "surrenders" to a CIA torture specialist, who has Seagal strapped to a chair and injects some horrible brain-destroying drug directly into Seagal's corroded carotid artery—then has him released. But naturally, Seagal is too high on his own ego to be affected by any puny drug; and so Seagal is able to take out the whole army just by girly-fighting them.
  • American Flyers offers a rare example of this trope that doesn't involve fighting. Near the end of the final stage of the Hell of the West bicycle race, hero David Summers and antagonist Barry Muzzin are the two leading riders when they see that Sergei Bellov, their only serious threat, can't keep up with them because of the thin Rocky Mountain air. Muzzin says to Summers, "Okay, we got him. Just sit back, and you've got second place locked up, okay?" Summers agrees, but when Muzzin is busy drinking from his water bottle a few seconds later, Summers charges ahead, providing the dramatic tension necessary for the race's ending.
  • The Avengers (2012):
    • Black Widow does this in her establishing moment in the movie, combining this trope with Wounded Gazelle Gambit. She is tied to a chair, being interrogated by thugs... and then a thug's cell phone rings. For her.
      Black Widow: I'm working. I'm in the middle of an interrogation here, these morons are telling me everything. You can't just pull me out...
      Coulson: Natasha. Barton's been compromised.
      Black Widow: Let me put you on hold. [cue curbstomp]
    • Loki, to sow discord among the good guys. They even notice he doesn't seem particularly bothered about being captured but are pretty much stuck with him, since the alternative is leaving him on the loose to continue a rampage that, according to Black Widow, has already killed eighty people in two days.
      Thor: Loki is a prisoner.
      Nick Fury: Then why do I feel like he's the only person on this boat who wants to be here?
  • In Black Widow (2021), Faceless Goons have Melina Vostokoff surrounded, so she puts her hands up...and fires the grenade launcher in her hand into the massive engine above her that's keeping the airborne base aloft. Well the goons did tell her to "Drop it to the ground!". She replies, "Precisely what I was thinking" before firing.
  • In Blazing Saddles, main villain Hedley Lamarr refuses to duel hero Bart, claiming, "But I'm unarmed!" Then when Bart throws down his gun and puts up his fists, Hedley says "Sorry, I just remembered—I am armed!" and goes for his Derringer.
  • The Bourne Series:
  • In Braveheart, William Wallace begins his Roaring Rampage of Revenge by doing this to the local English garrison.
  • Double Subversion in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004). Riddick surrenders to the mercs and allows them to take him to the prison although he could easily slip from his bonds and gut the whole crew. But he doesn't need to as his capture is just a part of his plan.
  • In The Dark Knight, this is part of Harvey Dent's Batman Gambit against The Joker, which hinges on Batman doing the right thing (saving Dent's ass).
  • In the original Die Hard, John McClane pretends to surrender to the thieves, but the audience can see that he has a gun taped between his shoulder blades. Sure enough, as soon as the thieves relax because McClane has his hands up and empty, McClane grabs the gun and opens fire.
  • Dirty Harry subverts this with a robber at the beginning of the film. He faked a surrender after being wounded by Harry's .44 Magnum, but instead of fighting back, he is curious as to whether Harry does have one bullet left. Much to his shock, though, the Magnum is empty.
  • In End of Days, Jericho is dangling from a window. Satan offers to save him in exchange for his soul. Jericho appears to agree, but when Satan reaches over to pull him up, Jericho screams, "Fuck you!" and yanks Satan out the window, where he falls into the street.
  • The Fifth Element. In his role as Korben Dallas, Bruce Willis enters a room full of Proud Warrior Race Guys claiming he's going to negotiate, and shooting the leader on the spot.
  • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation Storm Shadow willingly gets himself caught as Snake Eyes, and even after being revealed to be Storm Shadow, he pretends his heart rate has gone down so that he can get out of the capsule and free Cobra Commander.
  • In Green Lantern (2011), Hal Jordan gives his ring to Hector Hammond in exchange for Carol Ferris' life. After playing around with the ring for a bit, this happens:
    Hector: Hal, I Lied! [tries to blast him, but the blast stops inches from Hal's face]
    Hal: I Lied, too. [sends the blast back at Hector]
  • In Hacksaw Ridge a group of Japanese soldiers emerge from the tunnels waving a white flag, but as soon as they are above ground they toss grenades at the Americans.
  • The title character of Hook attempts this on Peter Pan after Peter simply doesn't bother to kill him after their battle.
  • Early in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, when the Soviets (with thanks to their mole Mac) point their guns at Indy after his first attempt to escape, during his surrender and "last words", Indy simply says "I like Ike!" note  and proceeds to drop his rifle, the impact shooting a mook in the process and allowing Indy to escape. Though this may have been entirely by accident.
  • Jagged Mind: Billie manages this twice in the space of a few minutes. First, she gives in to Alex's demand to return the crystal, but not before retrieving the small knife inside and stabbing Alex in the back. After Billie's knocked to the ground by Alex with her wine bottle, she again appears to play the role of docile girlfriend before stabbing Alex in the stomach with the broken end of the wine bottle.
  • Examples from the James Bond series:
    • In Die Another Day, when Bond Girl Jinx is cornered on top of an embankment, she raises her hands in surrender... and executes a perfect backwards swan dive into the water below, then escapes on a waiting speedboat.
    • In Casino Royale (2006), Bond is surrounded by embassy guards. After the ambassador tells him to drop his gun, Bond drops the gun he'd taken earlier from the hostage, throws his hostage (and target) at them, then pulls out his own gun from behind his back, shoots the hostage and then some convenient fuel tanks. He escapes in the confusion.
    • Done again in Skyfall, where Silva allows himself to be captured so he can cause maximum damage on his weay out. In fact, the film was called out because it was already done by two other films in the same year.
    • In No Time to Die, Safin holds Bond's daughter at gunpoint and threatens to have his guards shoot her unless Bond complies with his demands. Bond proceeds to prostrate himself before Safin and beg for forgiveness... only to covertly pull a gun and abruptly shoot Safin's guards dead.
  • Similarly in The Karate Kid Part II, Daniel lets Chozen take his money, then throw Daniel's wallet down on the ground; Daniel picks up the wallet, and then nails Chozen with a Groin Attack (a trick which, coincidentally, Mr. Miyagi had taught him earlier that day), causing Chozen to drop the money so Daniel can grab it and run.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, the Beast, a villainous Retired Badass employed this tactic twice in the film. The first time, he kowtows to the Landlady after she uses a bell to augment her Lion's Roar technique... but this only allows him to get close enough to use one of his poisoned flower weapons on her. He tries the exact same tactic in the finale when he's losing against an enlightened Sing, but his opponent casually disarms him and wafts the flower weapon away as if it were a child's toy. After being completely dominated in their fight, the Beast finally surrenders for real.
  • Played straight and then subverted in Last Man Standing. Midway through the film, Hickey asks another gangster if they'd kill an unarmed man, then pulls a hidden gun and shoots the other guy. He does the exact same thing again at the end of the movie, but protagonist Smith draws faster and kills Hickey.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: During the climactic chase, Cheedo the Fragile calls out to Rictus Erectus and pretends to surrender herself. Rictus jumps onto the War Rig and helps her over onto Immortan Joe's vehicle. This puts Cheedo in the perfect position to help Furiosa, who'd been struggling to climb up alone, onto Joe's car and also traps Rictus with Max and the remaining Vuvalini.
  • A form of this in Man of Steel: Superman voluntarily turns himself over to the US Army, but then demonstrates he can break free whenever he wants to. He doesn't attack them, but does demonstrate he could.
  • Mission: Impossible (1996): Ethan puts up his hands and turns in surrender to the traitor, but he's only doing this so his Spy Cam gets a clear unobstructed view of him and reveals his survival and betrayal to Kittridge. This nearly gets Ethan killed.
  • The second The Omega Code movie has this trick being pulled against (against, mind you) the Antichrist, Alexander Stone. The final battle starts off as a fight between the forces Stone has on hand and those of the United States and Latin America (who were supposedly there to finally give in and join the One World Order), backed by China (who have been waiting for the right moment to strike back after being forced under).
  • This happens three frickin' times in The Outlaw Josey Wales. It's played straight twice by The Hero and inverted by the Union troops at the beginning of the film, who accept the Border Ruffians' surrender and promptly begin to gun them all down.
  • Predator 2: When Harrigan realises the Predator has made the special forces team stalking it, he goes to leave Mission Control but the soldiers try to stop him. Harrigan raises his hands in surrender, only to knock out the soldiers between him and the door and draw his gun on the others.
  • In Private Benjamin, the Red and the Blue side are holding simulated war games. So Judy and her teammates in the Blue team go over in a truck to the Red team and tells them that the Blue team has surrendered, and they can get in the truck to go back to base. Amidst the cheering and applause, they get in, at which point they are disarmed at gunpoint; they've been tricked into allowing themselves to be captured!
  • Non-combat example: In Revenge of the Nerds, the all-nerd Tri-Lambda team is due to face the macho Alpha Betas in a tug-of-war, for which it's a foregone conclusion that they'll be dragged off their feet and fall in the mud. The instant the whistle is blown to start the contest, all the Tri-Lams drop their end of the rope, forfeiting the match but causing the Alphas, pulling too hard on a now-loose rope, to topple backwards into the mud.
    Wormser: "...You win!"
  • A variation occurs at the climax of Se7en. John Doe turns himself in, but only to ensure that his master plan of completing his Seven Sins goes off without a hitch.
  • In Sergeant York, when York captures several German soldiers, one of them manages to keep hold of one of his grenades and throws it after giving up, killing York's best friend Pusher.
  • The Soldier: The Renegade Russian has a sawn-off shotgun up his sleeve with a wire attached to the trigger, so it fires as he raises his hands in surrender when confronted by a police officer.
  • Spider-Man:
    • During the Green Goblin's first attack in public, a few cops get the drop on him. He immediately "surrenders". They lower their guns and approach him, and he immediately beats them up. Spidey himself isn't fooled for an instant but is too far away to do anything.
    • Then there is the moment where the Goblin unmasks to reveal he is Norman Osborn... while preparing the glider to attack Spidey. Too bad he forgot about the Spider-Sense.
  • Stardust:
    • The movie opens with Dunstan Thorn trying to talk his way past the shepherd who guards the gap in the wall separating England from the magical kingdom of Stormhold. Realizing the guard is pretty firm and won't just let him through, Dunstan feigns defeat and starts to walk away....all of a few paces, before abruptly turning around and running through the gap before the guard can stop him. 18 years later, Tristan tries the same trick, but the guard wisely knows what he's doing and takes him down with proficient kung fu.
    • In the climax, Lamia pulls a variant. After seeing her sisters dead, she pretends to let Tristan and Yvaine go... then catches them just as they're about to leave, and explains that she was just giving them space for a joyful reunion because if she'd killed Tristan outright while Yvaine was still broken-hearted, Yvaine would have been no use for the ritual. (And her sisters? Eh. More for her!)
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: In the initial confrontation between the Enterprise and the Reliant, Kirk pretends to accept Kahn's surrender demand. This is just a ploy to stall for time while his crew looks up the command codes for the Reliant. Once found, he uses the codes to deactivate the Reliant's shields and force them to withdraw.
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: When he surrenders the Enterprise after his son David is executed, Kirk asks for a minute "to inform his crew". Kruge gives him two minutes. More than enough time to set the auto-destruct sequence, taking most of Kruge's crew with the ship.
  • Star Wars:
    • C-3P0 does it in Return of the Jedi, signaling for the Ewoks to start their attack on the Imperial ground forces. This is also the crux of Luke's plan once on Endor, letting himself be captured so they'll take him onto the second Death Star, where he can get a direct shot at the Emperor.
    • In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren pretends to consider going to the light side of the Force at the urging of his father, Han Solo in an "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight. Instead, once his target is close enough, Ren impales Han on his lightsaber and throws Han's body down the maintenance shaft.
  • In Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, Capt. Sherrypie surrenders to lure Emperor Pirk onto the space station Babel 13 where he intends to kill him. Pirk falls for it. He escapes, but now the two sides are evenly matched, and everyone dies.
  • Suicide Squad (2016): In the climax, Enchantress promises to spare the life of and grant the wishes of anyone who kneels and pledges their loyalty. Harley Quinn appears to do so and pick up Katana's dropped sword and slash out her heart.
  • In Superman II, a supposedly depowered Superman is forced to Kneel Before Zod. However, when he seemingly holds Zod's hand to swear allegiance to him, he proceeds to crush it, revealing that he deprived Zod and his cohorts of their powers while keeping his own, and proceeds to toss the helpless general away.
  • The Town: Jem Coughlin does this when committing Suicide by Cop. Surrounded by a firing squad of cops, he announces that he's giving himself up, then leaps from cover with guns cocked. Only after the police gun him down does anyone notice that the guns were empty.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Ironhide and Sideswipe get into a Mexican Standoff with the Dreads (which Sideswipe lampshades) and tell them to 'put down their guns and leave with their dignity still intact'. The Autobots and Decepticons all drop their weapons only for the Dreads draw hidden weapons and attack...and promptly get the metal shit kicked out of them.
    Ironhide: Class Dismissed.
  • Undercover Brother. Undercover Brother puts his hands up and pretends to surrender to the golf course guards, then throws metal hair combs to pin them to the wall.
  • Under Ten Flags. Captain Rogge always gives the merchant ships he's attacking a chance to surrender before sinking them, which is regarded as Honor Before Reason by some. The captain of one vessel shows the white flag, then orders his crew to open fire, hoping to claim the prize money. His civilian passengers are still abandoning ship and get caught in the return fire. Captain Rogge is furious and threatens to have the captain tried for violating The Laws and Customs of War.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes: Rocket allows himself to be captured by Alpha Omega in order to formulate a plan with the already captured Caesar.
  • A variation occurs in Who Framed Roger Rabbit: when Judge Doom captures Roger in the bar and is about to execute him with the Dip, Eddie Valiant asks to let Roger have one last request: a glass of bourbon. Roger, knowing how he reacts to the stuff, tries to refuse, but Eddie, using Toon logic, tricks Roger in to taking the bourbon, which causes him to go into a Wild Take that allows Eddie — and the other bar patrons — to attack Doom's henchmen and then save Roger's life, knocking over the barrel of Dip in the process, after which they flee for their lives.
    Roger: That was quick thinkin', Eddie! Nothing like using the old spine flower, the wise noodle, the smart puddin'!
  • Used by Magneto to terrifying effect in X-Men.

  • Explicitly a violation of the laws of war in the Alexis Carew series: if you strike your colors or otherwise explicitly communicate your surrender, you may not resist capture or resume hostilities, and if you give your parole you may not attempt escape. But it still happens:
    • In Into the Dark a Space Pirate pinnace strikes its colors when attacked by HMS Merlin, then, seeing Merlin hard-pressed against a larger pirate ship, rejoins the fight, which Alexis regards as dishonorable. Merlin wins anyway and forces both ships to surrender.
    • In Mutineer, Alexis herself goes for Loophole Abuse:
      • Stuck in a non-FTL shuttle when her sexist captain deliberately leaves her behind, she plays a Wounded Gazelle Gambit on a Hanoverese customs cutter by pretending to be a terrified sixteen-year-old girl with a drunken crew (which is partly true: she is only sixteen), but doesn't explicitly surrender, only says that "It would appear I have little choice in the matter." She and her crew then board and capture the cutter.
      • Imprisoned by the Hanoverese after the crew of her frigate mutiny against the captain, Alexis refuses to give her parole out of concern for the men, then, faced with the prospect of them all being transferred to crueler captivity, orchestrates a breakout and rescues the officers who did give parole (and refuses to let them take an active part in the escape).
  • Animorphs: In book 18, Ax is surrounded by Controllers and asks to surrender. When he's taken to a smaller room, he immediately attacks the Controllers, pushing them back in order to dive out a window.
  • Ascendance Series: Early in The False Prince, when questioned on what he would do in a losing duel, Sage gives this as his answer. Comes back at the end when he carries it out against Roden.
  • The Belgariad: A heroic example occurs in The Malloreon during a tense confrontation between two groups of sorcerers. Liselle, nascent assassin, suddenly breaks down and collapses in front of the head villain, begging him not to kill them. While everyone is reeling from this uncharacteristic show of cowardice, she pulls a venomous snake out of her bodice (having trained it to live there in preparation for just such an occasion) and hurls it in his face.
  • A Brother's Price has Jerin captured by women who want to forcibly marry him in order to take the throne of Queensland. They aren't going to kill him if they can at all help it, but they could definitely do some unpleasant things to him, and they will kill his friend. So... he thinks quickly and claims total surrender, that he will be a good lover and husband, if they just don't kill his friend. Said friend is very surprised to find he was lying to get their guard down.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: House Paratheen gives Tasia an assassin whom they caught while presenting gifts to her. It turns out that the woman actually let herself be caught, promptly frees herself, kills two guards and tries to kill Tasia before Joslyn stops her.
  • In the Dirk Pitt Adventures novel Flood Tide, our hero Pitt and his sidekick face the enemy with their hands up... then pull out machine pistols from under their coats, revealing that the arms up in the air were fake.
  • Dragaera: One of the Khaavren Romances has an occasion of this. The narrator tells of a battle wherein the fearsome Sethra Lavode threw her headgear, the badge of rank for the commander-in-chief of the Dragaeran Empire, to the opposing army without any effort to fight them. She then turned to her troops and said, "The enemy has acquired one of the sacred relics of the Empire. Let us go and retrieve it." And her troops fight ferociously to recapture it.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Death Masks, one of the Denarians removes his coin and surrenders right before the righteous heroes were going to kill him, knowing that the good guys won't kill him if he's no longer being demonically possessed. Harry, good Anti-Hero that he is, asks the Knights of the Cross to leave the room and then proceeds to take a baseball bat to the guy's kneecaps. Of course, even Michael didn't exactly object. The bastard deserved it. This act of "mercy" backfires when this particular Denarian returns in Dead Beat and begins to exact revenge with a dull linoleum knife. He would have tortured Harry to death if Butters and Mouse hadn't pulled a Big Damn Heroes.
    • In Skin Game, Nicodemus (the head Denarian... there may be a pattern here) pulls one of these to get a shot at unmaking one of the Swords of the Cross by "surrendering" to its current wielder, dropping his own sword and coin, and at the same time ordering his minion, who happens to have Harry Dresden at his dubious mercy right then, to kill the latter. Thanks to Karrin Murphy's temper and feelings for Harry, it works like a charm and the Sword of Faith is duly destroyed...for a while, anyway.
  • In Frostbite, Christian seemingly surrendered to Isaiah's sadistic choice and drank the blood of Rose to turn Strigoi. He actually used the proximity to burn her restraints and release her, initiating an escape attempt.
  • Halo: Evolutions: In The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole, a nasty space battle with a clever rebel ship results in Cole receiving command of the crippled Las Vegas. Cole signals the rebel ship Callisto, declaring the crews' surrender. However, he then orders his crew to place their last missile in the docking bay. When the Callisto docks with the Las Vegas the missile is fired directly into the corvette. Cole's faked distress signal is both a stroke of genius and breach of protocol so severe that UNSC CENTCOM dithers over whether to award him the Legion of Honor or to have him court-martialed. Ultimately, they do neither, to avoid setting precedent. However, from that point on, Cole resolves to never again send a distress signal in enemy territory; no one would believe it. As he states in his personal log: "Surrender, quite literally, is no longer an option for me."
  • Even though most of the fights in the Honor Harrington series are among military personnel with every reason to avoid the trope, it does come up a couple times:
    • At Blackbird Base in The Honor of the Queen, the Royal Manticoran Marines lose several troopers to Masadan soldiers who concealed grenades. Some even do it to the RMMC field medics attempting to treat their wounds.
    • In Storm From the Shadows, the trope is ZigZagged: When, at the end of the Battle of Solon, Henke's HMS Ajax has been badly damaged, unable to flee and unable to abandon ship, she sets up a sneak attack hoping to take out some of the pursuing ships before she is destroyed. Then, unexpectedly, her engineering crew manages to clear one of the boat bays and the remaining crew starts evacuating using its small craft ... just minutes before the trap is sprung. Sadly, Henke realizes the problem too late, and loses two-thirds of her crew to their pursuers' counterattack.
    • In The Shadow of Saganami the captain of a slaver ship surrenders and agree to allow the Manticorans to board them. However one of his subordinates refuses to accept this and uses the ship's concealed weapons to destroy the pinnace carrying the boarding party. The Manticorians immeadiately retaliate using their point defense lasers to wreck the slaver ship and kill most of the crew before sending over a second pinnace.
  • In the Humanx Commonwealth novel Dirge, when describing the final events of the Humanx-Pitar War, the narration notes that the Pitar resisted to the last — many, when confronted by attackers, pretended to surrender, then attacked their 'captors' or committed suicide.
  • Lord Vetinari pulls off a fairly unusual version in Jingo. He signs a treaty to surrender all ownership of the newly risen, strategically valuable island of Leshp because he knows that Leshp is going to sink back into the ocean within twenty-four hours anyway. The leader of the rival army, far from having a convenient excuse to raze Ankh-Morpork to the ground over Leshp, ends up looking like a complete fool for accepting Vetinari's surrender.
  • The Kingdom Keepers: In the first book, the plan for defeating Maleficent was essentially saying "We give up," then stabbing her with Disney's Pen.
  • In the last book of Knights of the Borrowed Dark, the final confrontation between Grey and the Opening Boy ends when the Boy drops to its knees and pleads for mercy, and Grey stays his sword... and the Opening Boy drives both claws through his stomach.
  • Laszlo Hadron and the Wargod's Tomb: The Corsair is cornered and soundly defeated by a Solar Navy battlegroup seeking the artifact shards they're carrying. After being towed into a cruiser's hangar, by hooking their reactor ignition to emergency power, the crew can start up the ship quickly and capture the last of the artifacts before getting away.
  • In Malevil, an Evil Poacher attacks the heroes from hiding, forces his son to surrender to them as their "lone" attacker, and lead them into an ambush. His son is too afraid to lie effectively and is quickly revealed to be too incompetent to have been the unseen archer. He gives up his father's plans.
  • The Man with the Golden Gun has a wounded Scaramanga do this. He pleads with James Bond to let him say his last prayers, which Bond does. As he prays, he pulls out a Derringer and shoots Bond in the gut; Bond quickly kills Scaramanga, but has to be hospitalized because the bullet was poisoned.
  • The Once and Future King has a comical jousting match between Sir Pellinore and Sir Grummore early in the novel. Grummore quickly knocks Pellinore from his horse and strikes his armored head repeatedly with his sword until Pellinore agrees to cry "Pax!" ("Peace!"); Pellinore finally realizes he's beaten and says "Pax"... but then quickly adds "Non!" ("Not!") under his breath and overpowers the unsuspecting Grummore. He soon has Grummore lying helplessly on his back and is trying to decide whether he should slay him. Grummore angrily orders Pellinore to kill him, since he refuses to live with the shame of having been bested by a cheater. Pellinore considers it, but then spares Grummore's life.
  • Brian Jacques enjoys using this trope to show just how dastardly a character is, and as such it's a favourite tactic for the Big Bad characters in the Redwall series. They're nearly always successful, too - but usually against other baddies or their own disobedient Mooks rather than on the good guys. Here's a list:
    • Kurda with Slitfang in Triss; it works.
    • Sawney with Gruven the Elder in Taggerung; it works.
    • Mokkan with Lantur in Marlfox; it works.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Dark Rendezvous, Scout sort of pulls this to win a match in an apprentice competition, dropping her lightsaber and bowing to her opponent, then grabbing him when he goes to shake her hand. "Sort of" because she doesn't give the actual surrender signal, which would of course automatically end the match. Her opponent, being a friend and a gracious type, takes this as a useful lesson in paying attention.
    • Shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith, Darth Vader is lured to Kessel by rumors of Obi-Wan's presence. Instead, he finds nine Jedi Knights and Masters. He kills three of them before being disarmed (literally as well as figuratively), and while the others are closing in for the finishing blow he pulls this trick. Naturally, because they're Jedi, they fall for it.
    • In the X-Wing Series book Iron Fist, Lara meets up with some Imperials to discuss continuing her role as The Mole for them. However, she's also Becoming the Mask, so when they discover that her wingman and love interest Donos is close enough to be observing and plan to kill him, she tries to get them to surrender. When that doesn't work, she raises her hands — then closes them into fists, the signal for Donos to take the shot.
    • In The Thrawn Trilogy, prompted by a Force suggestion from Mara, Leia surrenders to the Imperial commandos attempting to kidnap her and her newborn twins early in The Last Command. Once the shooting stops, Mara is able to come in behind the commandos and gun them down without getting herself caught in the crossfire.
  • In the book-in-a-book in the novel The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, the Outlaw surrenders to Rangergirl so that (under her own code), she couldn't gun him down. The next day, he busts out of jail, slaughtering the many Texas Rangers assigned to keep him under wraps. (This is double-subverted when the fictional Outlaw tries it on his book's author.)
  • In This Rough Magic, Chernobog/Caesare pulls this on Giuliano. However, the ordinary soldiers he brought with him are also fooled, and drop their weapons. Once Caesare breaks his word, the enemy massacres his now unarmed soldiers.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Silmarillion: Melkor/Morgoth did this multiple times as well. After almost wiping out the Valar, completely ruining Arda itself, and waging a devastating war against Valinor which he eventually lost, he swallowed his pride and made false pleas that he be given mercy, and most of the Valar believe he might be actually since and give him the chance to redeem himself. He tries it again much later after yet another devastating war, but the Valar didn't fall for it a second time.
    • The Fall of Númenor: After Sauron had been running around causing trouble for a while, the mighty Númenoreans get wind of this and gather up an enormous force to utterly annihilate him. When they form up to attack, Sauron's forces are so overwhelmed by the mere sight that they break ranks and desert him. Sauron, being a silver-tongued snake, surrenders and persuades them to take him prisoner. Taken back to Númenor in chains, he eventually ingratiates himself to the point where Númenor begins to worship Morgoth a mounts an invasion of Valinor which lead to the destruction of Númenor.
  • The climax of Tyrannosaur Canyon has one of the protagonists pull this against the final villain. It's a truly desperate gambit since it relies on a) choking key information out of the target and b) hoping said information is enough to change the allegiance of the villain's Knight Templar backup.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In the Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand, Cain uses this on the Warmaster. Well, technically, he suggested they meet to discuss surrender terms, and only at the meeting said it was for the Warmaster's surrender, but given the relative condition of their forces...
    • In The Emperor's Gift, Logan Grimnar surrenders himself to the Grey Knights, only to kill the Grand Master in charge and immediately teleport away. Granted, the Grey Knights opened fire on outnumbered and outgunned Space Wolves' fleet during the middle of parley in order to exact his surrender, so the Space Wolves didn't consider it a true offer of surrender in the first place.
  • In Wilbur Smith's novel Warlock, the villain Lord Naja pulls this on the hero Prince Nefer after being defeated in battle. Nefer evades the attack, comments that he admires Naja for staying true to his nature, and kills him.
  • This is one of Firestar's favorite tactics in Warrior Cats. Even he is surprised that his enemies keep falling for it after a while. Other warriors throughout the series use it on occasion, though it's usually subverted when their opponent doesn't fall for it and dodges the surprise attack.
  • A similar example to the above happens in The Wheel of Time. In a confrontation within the World of Dreams, where anything you imagine can become real, one of The Dreaded is kicking all kinds of good-guy ass. One of the heroes gives up and starts begging for mercy, which is really just a way to get close enough that she can imagine an unbreakable Power Limiter collar around the enemy's neck.
  • In the Wing Commander novel Fleet Action, the Kilrathi propose a peace treaty in order to buy time for them to finish building their Hakaga fleet and to lure the Terran Confederation into a false sense of security. The treaty is granted and would have worked if not for a supposedly disgraced Admiral Tolwyn actually being sent as part of a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines that exposes the fleet, forcing the Kilrathi to launch their campaign early.
  • In the World of the Five Gods novel Paladin of Souls, the protagonist Ista surrenders to a besieging army of sorcerers. Once they bring her before their leader, Ista proceeds to send the demons possessing her captors back to the Bastard's Hell, removing her captors' sorcerous powers. And also killing her, but that was more or less incidental.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andor: When the corrupt Corpos catch up to Cassian he puts his hands up and says he doesn't want any trouble or to make any sudden moves when two guys have guns on him. When they approach to try to steal all of his credits from his pocket he uses their proximity to attack them.
  • Dylan does this in an episode of Andromeda. He even throws away his weapon. Towards the enemy. Set on overload...
  • In the Babylon 5 prequel "In the Beginning", Sheridan uses a false distress signal to lure a Minbari ship into a mined killzone. Subverted in that the Minbari were not accepting surrenders in any case, and the "distress signal" was simply a lure to come and destroy a supposedly defenseless enemy. However, Sheridan's ship was in fact in distress, having suffered severe damage and lost its Hyperspace capability, so it wasn't the more traditional "fake injuries to sucker the other guy" version of this trope.
    • Sheridan and crew were on that situation in "In the Beginning" because the Minbari themselves employed a variation of this (combined with the Wounded Gazelle Gambit). A Minbari Flyer pretends to be stranded, wounded, and fleeing the Earth fleet that Sheridan is part of, only to trick them into a pre-planned position where its mothership, the Minbari warship Blackstar, jumps out of hyperspace IN THE MIDDLE of the Earth fleet, using the jump point to destroy or damage the fleet while the Blackstar finishes any stragglers. Sheridan's ship managed to slip away, and then turn the tide by employing the scenario above.
  • Blake's 7. In "Terminal", Servalan comes up with a Hostage for MacGuffin plan to seize the Liberator. Unknown to her, the Liberator has become infected by a substance that's eating away at the hull. Tarrant agrees to her terms and they all teleport down to the planet letting Servalan have the ship, which tears itself apart when Servalan engages "Maximum power!"
  • In The Book of Boba Fett, when the Pyke Syndicate confront Boba, the mayor's aide offers to negotiate a surrender on Boba's behalf. Boba seemingly agrees, and sends the aide out with a tablet containing his terms. The aide is halfway through reading the terms aloud to the Pikes when he realises they're not terms of surrender at all, but a demand for the Pykes to leave Tatooine, coupled with a barrage of threats. The Pykes' stunned reaction allows Boba and The Mandalorian to launch a surprise attack that decimates their numbers and keeps them at bay until help arrives.
  • Castle: In "Hunt", Castle is captured by Volkov, the Russian crime boss who had kidnapped his daughter Alexis. Turns out it was all part of the plan; Volkov confiscates a two-way radio from Castle and demands that CIA agent (and Castle's father) Jackson Hunt surrender himself or he will shoot Castle. Hunt replies via the radio, "You won't kill my son, Volkov. Because you'll be dead!" before the radio explodes in Volkov's hand. Cut to a flashback scene where Hunt outlines his plan; when the radio explodes, Castle uses a smaller explosive he smuggled in a watch to blow the lock off Alexis' cell, then grabs her. The two then head for the back exit and run like hell until they get to the US Embassy.
  • One episode of Cheers has Diane pulling this on Sam in a game of ping pong. Sam is not amused.
  • In the Cold Case "Justice", the Asshole Victim Of The Week is a serial rapist Jerk Jock who is cornered by the group of girls he assaulted, one of which packs a revolver. The jock pulls off a very impressive act of feigning he's pissing his pants and begs to be spared, so impressive that the girls (who were most definitely looking for his blood come hell or high water) decide he's Not Worth Killing and talk the girl who brought the revolver out of it, so she tosses it away. When they leave, he's confronted by the actual killer the revolver girl's younger brother, who picked up the gun from where the girls tossed it away, who listens to the jock flaunt his act and his oath that he will get back at the girls for this, so he blows the jock away. The detectives are all so damn disgusted by what the jock did that they coach the kid and his sister so they can lie that the jock was killed in self-defense so they won't go to jail.
  • Copper:
    • In the series premiere, a bank robber tries to pull this on the detectives. With his accomplices dead or dying, he throws away his gun to show he is surrendering. He then pulls out a second revolver and tries to kill the coppers but they anticipate this and shoot him dead as soon as he stands up.
    • A variation is used by Corcoran in the second episode. He lets his enemies think that he has given up protecting Annie after Haverford's thugs break his leg but when Haverford tries to rape Annie Corcoran is waiting behind the curtain and kills him and the Contessa
  • In Criminal Minds: Part of Gideon's backstory is a bomber taking out six of his agents this way.
    • It nearly happens a separate time in the episode that reveals this. Two agents have cornered the supposed UnSub in a storage room. He throws his gun to them and is about to come out, but then Gideon, in another building, puts all the pieces to the puzzle together, and realizes that the cornered guy is strapped with bombs. He tells the agents to get out, and they do so, right before the bombs strapped to the guy detonate and he becomes paint on the walls.
    • One of the UnSubs from "Identity" also pulls this.
    • The Reaper surrenders in "Omnivore" because he's memorized the layout of every prison, courthouse, and hospital in the area, and then escapes. He makes an attempt at this at the climax of "100", but Hotch doesn't buy it (or is too far past the Despair Event Horizon to care) and beats him to death. With his bare hands.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Subverted in "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel": the Doctor surrenders to the Cybermen, under the pretence of being willing to undergo cyber-conversion. However, these Cybermen aren't the ones he's used to, and are programmed to "delete" anyone who didn't immediately surrender.
    • Used against the Family in "The Family of Blood". The Doctor surrenders the fob-watch that had previously contained his Time Lord form while he lay disguised as a human, and while surrendering it, trips and switches a whole bunch of switches, which cause the ship to explode soon afterwards.
    • Used by the good side in "Last of the Time Lords", in which Martha is apparently forced to surrender to the Master after her location is betrayed. Once she is taken back to the Master's base, she briefly submits to his order to kneel before telling him that it was part of the plan all along and just a way of distracting him while the plan was being put into motion.
    • "The Pyramid at the End of the World": The colonels in charge of the American, Russian and Chinese military contingents attempt to do this to the Monks. The Monks realize their consent is not pure because they have this gambit in mind and vapourize them.
    • "Resolution": When the Dalek recon scout takes Ryan's estranged father Aaron hostage, the Doctor appears to accept its offer to take it to the Dalek fleet in exchange for it not hurting Aaron. Instead, she kicks it off the TARDIS into a supernova.
  • In one episode of Frasier, Frasier and Niles' Sibling Rivalry has finally spilled over into physical violence, and Niles has Frasier in a headlock. Made even funnier when Niles immediately tries the same trick on Frasier, who is not fooled.
    Frasier: Niles, stop! What are we doing? We're psychiatrists, not pugilists!
    [Niles lets up]
    Frasier: I can't believe you fell for that! [Frasier gets Niles in a headlock]
  • House of the Dragon: Daemon waves a White Flag at the Crabfeeder's army to draw them out. He keeps up the pretense until Dark Sister is taken from him, then goes on a killing rampage through their ranks.
  • Kirby Buckets: In the episode "The Legend of Prank Williams, Jr.", Kirby and Dawn are in a race to find a 200-year old prank from legendary prankster Prank Williams, Jr. called "the Geoffrey". When Kirby goes to Williams' tomb in the city cemetery, he realizes Dawn had beaten him there, but she had fallen into a booby trap. Dawn admits defeat and states that pranking was the one thing she excelled at over Kirby, and pleaded that Kirby let her have that specialty area to herself. At first Kirby doesn't fall for it, but he eventually relents and rescues her. Turns out Kirby should have listened to his gut, as Dawn threw him into the trap she was just released from, bragged she is better than him at everything, and went on to take "the Geoffrey" for herself. Unfortunately for Dawn, it turns out "the Geoffrey" was itself a trap that blew up in her face.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: When Inspector Brackenreid and Constable Crabtree find James Gillies' hiding place in "The Murdoch Trap", the criminal extends his hands out as if allowing himself to be handcuffed, but it turns out that he has a small gun concealed beneath his right sleeve. Before he can use it, though, Crabtree shoots him in the shoulder with his rifle.
  • The New Avengers: In "Trap", Purdey walks up to the captain of Soo Choy's men and gives herself up. While he is securing her, Steed gets the drop on him and knocks him out.
  • Nichols: In "The Siege", Nichols arranges for the US Army to accept the surrender of Colonel Alcazar and his forces as part of a plan to allow Alacazar to escape and cross the Mexican border.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Ms. O Uh-Oh", Olive, realizing that Oscar's attacks against the Oprah from the past are having no effect and are instead destroying the office as well as putting everyone in danger, stops the battle by standing between them and ordering them to surrender by putting their weapons down. Oscar attempts to protest, but Olive tells him to give her the Day-inator instead and places it down on the ground by her feet while Oprah puts down the tray that she is using as an improvised shield, demanding to know what's happening. This leaves Olive with an open opportunity to subtly press the activation button of the gadget with her foot, sending her back to the day she came from, December 17.
    • In "Flawed Squad", as Olympia and Otis order Jamie Jam, Evil Mime, Fladam, Father Time and the Noisemaker to exit the Arts and Crafts Room and surrender themselves to Odd Squad, each one of them comes out one by one in defeat. However, when the Noisemaker exits the room, he blindsides the agents by shoving a bunch of instruments into their hands as he and the other villains make a run for it.
    Olympia: Why did we take these?
    Otis: They looked expensive.
    Olympia: Oh.
    • In "Oscar Strikes Back", Obbs tells Oona to give up and surrender to him now that he has every single Scientist, as well as Oprah, under his mind-control. While it's not visible to the audience at first, she bows her head down and gives a knowing smile before a look of defeat settles on her face as she tells him that she'll be at his office shortly. Upon arriving, he thanks her for giving up before she turns the tables on him and says that he'll be the one giving up, activating her own version of the mind-control gadget and ordering Oscar and Oprah to restrain him. She then explains the reasoning behind her false surrender — when Obbs told her to give up, he held up his gadget in a way that made the number on it clearly visible to Oona, which gave her an idea to use the gadgets she had in her possession to make the same gadget he had so it could override his. With her new weapon, she is able to free everyone from mind-control and stop Obbs' plan.
  • In The Pacific, a Japanese soldier surrenders to the US forces. As the Marines frisk him, he pulls the pin on the grenade he had hidden behind his back.
  • In the Person of Interest episode "Aletheia" a mook from the anti-government surveillance group Vigilance is held at gunpoint by mooks from the No Such Agency that runs the Machine. He quotes Thomas Jefferson's line, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants," as a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner and pulls the pin on a frag grenade he had behind his back.
  • In one episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Goldar has Tommy trapped in a field, forcing Tommy to pledge allegience to him. Just when he is about to...
    Tommy: "You are..."
    Goldar "Yes?! Go on!"
    Tommy: "...OUT OF YOUR MIND!" [He jumps into the air.]
  • In Power Rangers Zeo, the power-draining robot Main Drain is battling the Power Rangers after draining all the electricity in the city. During the zord battle, he vastly overpowers the Zeo Megazord, even being mostly unfazed by getting hit a few times with the sabre. After the Rangers finally get in a punch and push him back, rather than immediately resume attacking like most monsters of the week would do, he gets on his knees and begs for mercy, King Mondo is also seen begging for his robot to be spared. The Rangers fall for it even though the monster was winning and would have no reason to surrender when monsters who were actually losing would continue fighting. Of course, Main Drain takes care of their stupidity and burrows his tentacles underground to attach to the Zeo Megazord, suck out all its power and temporarily break the sabre in half. Later, Main Drain tries the same thing with the new Red Battlezord but Tommy doesn't fall for it and finishes him off.
  • In Smallville, Clark surrenders and kneels before Zod (who was possessing Lex). When Zod holds out his hand to be kissed, Clark grabs it with the phantom-absorbing crystal.
  • The alternate version of Carter in the Stargate SG-1 episode "There But For The Grace of God" surrendered to a squad of Jaffa so she could get close to them to suicide-bomb them.
    "Thank you. [holds up grenade] I also wish to blow us all to hell."
  • Star Trek:
    • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Day of the Dove", Kirk and his landing party are captured by Klingons who order them to beam them all, at gunpoint, up to the Enterprise. Kirk agrees, but secretly signals Spock on the ship. Both the good and bad guys dematerialize, but in the transporter room, only Kirk's people are rematerialized. They then surround the transporter pad with armed security and rematerialize the Klingons, who are now outnumbered and easily captured.
      Kirk: I said "no tricks" after we got back on board.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Deadlock", a Vidiian ship latches onto the duplicate Voyager and boards it, intending to harvest everybody on board. While Harry Kim manages to escape to the original Voyager with Naomi Wildman since they will become replacements for their deceased counterparts, the rest of the duplicate crew mostly sits back and lets the Vidiians come on board... only to find out that the self-destruct has been activated!
    • In the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Villains of the Week board Enterprise and manage to get Trip Tucker and Capt. Archer at gunpoint. Trip tells them he'll help them disable Enterprise and decks Archer, then opens a wall panel in the next hallway and starts fiddling with the plasma relays. He then delivers an epic Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
      Trip: I gotta tell you one more thing. [Beat] You can all go straight to Hell. KABOOM!
    • In a season four episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dukat, Kira, Damar, and a crew of Cardassians employ a fake surrender in order to defeat a Klingon Bird of Prey and commandeer it. During the Dominion War, it was shown that the Defiant would often pretend to be disabled and limping to lure Jem'hadar ships in, only to have the Rotarran decloak and destroy the Jem'hadar (with an assist from the Defiant). Dialogue indicates they've done this multiple times, with the Defiant and Rotarran switching roles every time.
    • Star Trek: Discovery: In "Battle at the Binary Stars", when Admiral Anderson's USS Europa arrives in the middle of the battle, Anderson contacts T'Kuvma and offers a ceasefire before any more people are killed. T'Kuvma agrees and tells Anderson to prepare to receive a delegation. A few seconds later, Anderson is disconnected, and a Klingon vessel with a giant prow decloaks, while ramming the Europa. The crew of the Europa manages to launch a few escape pods, before triggering a warp core overload, which destroys both ships. This results in both sides resuming hostilities.
  • Super Sentai:
  • Occasionally in the Ultra Series, the Monster of the Week will feign defeat or promise to retreat... before suddenly ambushing the Ultra they're fighting. Predictably, this only ends up biting them back in the ass.
    • The first Alien Bado from Ultraseven, realizing he's hopelessly outmatched against Ultraseven, slowly backs away... before pulling out a pair of spikes and suddenly pouncing on Ultraseven, poking the Ultra repeatedly in the face. Ultraseven retaliates by breaking Bado's neck.
    • King Maimai from Return of Ultraman, being a hibernating, underground monster who awakens unexpectedly before going on a rampage. When Jack beats him down, Maimai begs for mercy and prepares to tunnel back underground, seemingly intending to return to hibernation, so Jack complies to Maimai's pleas and turns around. Which only results in Maimai ambushing Jack with his sticky silk spit, promtping Jack to turn his Ultra Bracelet into an explosive and chuck it into Maimai's mouth.
    • Daidarahoshi from Ultraman Ace is on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle against the Ultra, and was eventually knocked flat to the ground. But when Ace tries getting closer to check on the monster, Daidarahoshi instead stood back up and strangles the Ultra to near-death until Ace kicks him off, and then blasts Daidarahoshi into bits from a distance before the monster could get back up a second time.
    • Kuwaganda from Ultraman 80, having been beaten down, tries begging for its life, and then smashes Eighty into a pile of dirt when the Ultra complies. Unlike other examples on the list though, when Eighty beats down the monster once more, Kuwaganda actually begs for a second chance to tunnel back into the soil it came from, which the Ultra agrees, and this time the monster actually does what it promised and returns to hibernation, never to be seen again.
    • Alien Regulan from Ultraman Tiga, after battling the Ultra in an aerial battle, ends up losing and crashing in the middle of a turbine field. As Tiga approaches the fallen alien, Regulan is on his knees... and suddenly rips out a nearby turbine and use it to bash Tiga to the ground, nearly killing the Ultra if not for GUTS' intervention.
    • Ultraman Cosmos, being one of the most forgiving Ultras, inevitably runs into more than one of these situations, notably against the monster Gragas who tries to flee before suddenly blasting Cosmos with his palm lighting blasts.
    • Alien Barossa from Ultraman Z, when battling against Z, gets his weapon stuck into the side of a building, and is seemingly helpless and ready to give up. But instead, the alien decides to grab dirt from a nearby construction site and fling it into Z's face. It backfires big time when Z retaliates by combining the powers of Ultraman Jack, Zoffy and the Father of Ultra, creating a powerful Laser Blade that shreds Barossa into ribbons.
  • In the premiere of the second season of Warrior Nun, "Galatians 6:4-5," Lilith is trapped by Vincent and confronted by four of Adriel's followers. She takes them all out, only to be confronted by around a dozen more. She raises her hands, then teleports behind one of them, slaughters them, then takes out the rest.

  • In Rush's song "The Necromancer" a group is on an adventure to find and stop said necromancer. When they find him they immediately surrender in awe of his power only for By-Tor to attack while he isn't paying attention.

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  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown: In the DLC mission "Ten Million Relief Plan", after dealing enough damage to the Alicorn, Matias Torres fakes surrender to buy himself just enough time to launch a last second nuclear attack. It almost works, with most of your allies arguing about whether or not they should attack and risk committing a war crime, or risk the clearly insane Torres launching the nuke. Fortunately, your intelligence analyst ally sees through the ruse and has you fire on the rail cannon, making it miss its target, and the battle continues in earnest.
  • In one of the Campaign scenarios from Age of Mythology, the opposing army gives Arkantos the option of surrendering in exchange for a quick death. Ajax responds by shooting one of their soldiers with a ballista and then saying "We surrender, move a little closer!".
  • Specter pulls this off in the real final battle of the third Ape Escape game after capturing all the remaining monkeys, Freaky Monkey Five included. Yumi thinks this is legit and steps forward to capture him, but just as Kei warns his sister, Specter reveals his façade and captures them instead.
  • Also a useful but dangerous tactic in Army of Two: The 40th Day. One player pretends to surrender, while the other gets into position. When they're ready, either the surrendering player quickdraws or the other player opens fire. Or both players surrender at once, and the team gets a few seconds of Bullet Time to kill all the forces approaching them.
  • Jon Irenicus' "surrender" to the Cowled Wizards in Baldur's Gate 2—though he waited much longer than the standard I Surrender Suckers; specifically, until he was brought into prison. Then he broke out and slaughtered every Cowled Wizard he could find.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • The Joker is master of this trope in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Joker lets Batman capture him after a failed hostage scenario with the Mayor, just so he can get back into the Asylum. When he gets to where he needs to be, Joker easily defeats his armed guards and releases his minions from their cells. The only character who wasn't carrying an Idiot Ball in letting Joker get that far was Batman, of course. In the final scene, he claims his plans were for naught and shoots himself under the chin... with a syringe full of Titan.
    • Batman: Arkham City invokes the trope a few times as well: First is when Penguin begs for Batman to not hurt him, but then detonates the iceberg monument while Batman was still on it (although in this case, given that Batman implies that he might end up hurting him, it's probably more closer to responding in kind), and the Joker/Clayface also arranges for his mooks to arrive after claiming that Batman won.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight: Batman is forced to surrender to Scarecrow because the latter has Robin hostage. Except, Batman spent hours studying both Scarecrow and Joker, giving him enough information to realize what both were guaranteed to do when they finally had Batman in their clutches, and would end up dooming each other. Sure enough, Scarecrow injects his perfected version of Titan-laced fear toxin into Batman, which causes Joker to take over and start maniacally laughing instead of cringing, which greatly confuses Scarecrow, which gives Red Hood enough time to line up a shot.
  • The Japanese do this in Call of Duty: World at War near the end of the campaign, resulting in the deaths of either Polonsky or Roebuck. You can save only one of them.
    • As a subversion, the Red Army (Sgt. Reznov in particular) have become wise to this kind of behavior from the Nazis, and just kill them anyways, even against The Remnant a few months after the war's end in the Call of Duty: Black Ops flashback mission:
      Soldier: They are trying to surrender!
      Reznov: They have tried before. Do not let them.
  • A very common tactic in Civilization, regardless of whether you're on the winning or losing side of a war, is to declare peace for between 10-30 turns (depending on the game) and then re-declaring war the moment the peace treaty expires. If you're winning, it lets you extort resources from your opponent that would be lost if you annihilated them right away, and it gives you time to scout out any key cities that you haven't located already. If you're losing, it gives you time to build a tech advantage and retaliate with a stronger army or set up a diplomatic alliance against your opponent that will bog them down with other wars while you prepare to attack them yourself.
    • In later games, the AI-controlled civilizations will remember your actions and be more wary in their dealings with you.
  • During the Rookie level of American Laser Games' Crime Patrol, a robbery suspect drops his gun and sticks his hands up, only to quickly pull another gun out of his inner pocket.
    Mook: I give up! I give up! Don't shoot me! [draws gun]
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair The Reveal is that the cast when they were Ultimate Despair allowed themselves to be captured by Makoto so they could sabotage his deprogramming attempt and allow the Junko AI to take control of their bodies.
  • In the Sega Genesis shooter Death Duel, upon defeating the Final Boss, he waves a White Flag from his disabled mech, and the game appears to tally your score as per usual. After a few moments, however, the boss will open up his mech's chassis and unload one last barrage on you. Unless you quickly destroy what remains of his mech, he will kill you, and it will be an instant Nonstandard Game Over.
    I lied, you gullible scum!!
    A cyborg never surrenders!!
    Next time finish the job...
  • In Deltarune, King pulls this on the party at the end of Chapter 1 after being defeated in battle. After pretending to have a Heel–Face Turn and convincing Ralsei to heal him he immediately attacks the party, resulting in either Susie or Lancer intervening.
  • A legitimate and rather useful if dangerous tactics in Desperados (Think Commandos on the Wild West). Unlike its predecessor, here enemies who spot an unarmed and motionless PC sometimes will not shoot right away but will instead draw a bead on him and slowly approach in order to knock the hero down. Naturally their approach route will just happen to pass an ambush with your knife-thrower at the ready. Can be played even straighter with your Action Girl as bait as she is fast enough to kick an approaching croon right in the forbidden zone.
  • In Donkey Kong Country, King K. Rool pulls this. Just after you defeat him, fake credits start to roll across the screen. They're pretty obviously fake, but seconds after they finish, K. Rool gets back up and continues to fight. Subsequent tries have him just fall over and then get back up, though the first time it happens is likely to catch a player off-guard.
  • The last cutscene of Eastern Exorcist for players who chose Lu Yun-chuan's campaign. You confront your Evil Former Friend, Zhang Huai-zhou, now that you outed him as a traitor, and Zhang pleads for you to give him a chance over several years of brotherhood. You agree to spare him, and Zhang repays you by drawing his jian in an attempt to skewer you with it - your hulijing companion, Xiaoyu, saves your life via Taking the Bullet, and you'll need to fight Zhang as a Post-Final Boss.
  • Hostile NPCs in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will occasionally beg for mercy when they're down to their last bit of health, but even if you stop attacking them, it usually doesn't take more than ten seconds before they're back on their feet trying to kill you again. Naturally, the savvy course of action is to always go for the kill.
    • This is sometimes averted in outdoor fights. A bandit or what-have-you that begs for mercy might just keep on running.
    • This is basically what the Empire are trying to do with the Thalmor: sign a cease-fire on their terms and pretend to be a Vichy-esque nation while secretly and slowly building up strength so they can turn around and deliver a decisive defeat to the elves later on when an opportunity presents itself. Not everyone agrees with this idea.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Gilgamesh crosses this with NOT! in Final Fantasy V after getting badly beaten:
      "I suppose I misjudged!"
      Casts Haste on self
      "Fighting all four of you..."
      Casts Protect on self
      " just too tough for me..."
      Casts Shell on self
      "NOT! Ha, I lied! Like a rug! Oh, I kill myself!"
      Attacks heroes with Jump
      • You can derail this by casting Reflect on Gilgamesh before he starts buffing himself, which will give your team the buffs instead.
    • Emperor Gestahl pulls one of these with his entire empire in Final Fantasy VI. Or so he planned to do until Kefka promptly turns the tables to his favor.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: In the Lake Bresha section of the game, the newly turned l'cie are surrounded by a PSICOM troop and ordered to surrender. While the rest of the party nervously do as they're told, Lightning clearly has an agenda. She drops her weapon and puts her hands behind her head as ordered, but then goads an officer into approaching her, where she proceeds to incapacitate him and rearm herself to cut down the rest of the troop.
    • Gilgamesh will pull this stunt again in Final Fantasy XIV. Same lines, same buffs, same attack, same Greg... er, Gilgamesh. It only doesn't work because the spear he's using is a toy and he doesn't realize it.
  • In For Honor, during the Knights campaign, a group of Blackstone Legion deserters surrender when cornered by Apollyon. However, several of them have hidden daggers and try to kill Apollyon while her guard is down. Surprisingly, however, Apollyon has these men spared because they are ruthless and spirited enough to try to kill her in this manner, and orders the deserters who legitimately surrendered to be killed for being weak.
  • Many of the mooks will do this in the game God Hand. The men will kneel and beg for mercy, and the girls will sit down and cry. This is a variant though since Gene can't actually arrest them or anything, his only option in this scenario is either ignore them until they stand up again, use the opportunity to perform a running attack on them, or somehow approach them and perform Gene's finishing move (suplex or spanking). Beware that getting too close to them will cause them to sucker punch Gene.
  • Used in God of War II by, you guessed it, Kratos. Being no match for Zeus's godly powers, Kratos pretends to surrender in order to strike Zeus when he let his guard down. It would have worked too if Athena didn't shield herself for Zeus when Kratos is about to impale the mighty god to death.
  • Griftlands: Enemies (and allies) who are panicked will surrender... for three turns. If any other enemies are still in the fight when their surrender stack reaches 0note , they will heal some damage and continue fighting. Not helping matters is that both sides can murder surrendering enemies, especially when one side has a rocket launcher. So the player has to consider the risk and reward of sparing enemies who only surrender temporarily, and pissing people off by intentionally committing murdernote .
  • One of the missions in Guild Wars: Nightfall has you surrendering to an enemy force in order to pull off a rescue/jailbreak.
  • Used in Gunstar Heroes, after defeating Black. The first power gem he throws you is a fake which explodes in your face when you try to pick it up, possibly making for nasty Kaizo Trap if you're low on health after the bossfight, and getting him to cough up the real one involves shooting him some more. It's caught at least one newbie totally off-guard.
  • In every Hitman game from Absolution onwards, 47 can do this when detected by enemies, feigning surrender by holding his hands in the air before disarming and knocking unconscious whoever is holding him at gunpoint when they approach him. In Absolution, if other enemies are nearby, 47 will instead take them hostage as a human shield, giving the player an advantage in the gunfight to follow.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, after ending up in the Alternate Universe and beating the Joker, Batman finds himself surrounded by police. He slowly raises his hands... then presses a button, emitting a loud screech that disorients the entire force long enough for him to escape.
  • In Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, after being defeated by Kyle Katarn, The Dragon Tavion begs for her life and swears to turn over a new leaf. She then returns as the Big Bad of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy after starting a new Dark Side cult, forcing Kyle's apprentice Jaden to finish what he started.
  • In Jet Force Gemini, there are Yellow Drones, who, immediately after seeing you, will surrender. Usually, they'll just stand there, being an open invitation to the Video Game Cruelty Potential, but on occasion, when you turn your back, they'll lob a grenade at you... which will then blow up in their face because you're right next to them, damaging you, but blowing them to Ludicrous Gibs. Regular Blue Drones will do this too if caught completely off-guard.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, Roxas "falls on his knees and begs", at a foe's request, getting him within reach of a weapon. The leisurely "pick a weapon" phase after it, however, defeats the point.
  • In Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal, after Janga is defeated by Pango, Klonoa and Guntz, he fakes an apology that convinces the latter to spare him. Once their backs are turned, Janga then attempts to poison Guntz with his venom-tipped claws; Klonoa sees him approaching, though, and pushes Guntz out of the way to take the blow.
  • Heroic examples in Knights of the Old Republic on the Leviathan mission. the Hawk and crew are captured. Player Character, Bastila, and Carth are busy being "interrogated" by Carth's treasonous former boss. You pick one of your party members to escape and bust you all out. Mission and Jolee are particularly funny options.
  • At the end of the West Luterra arc in Lost Ark, the Arc Villain you've been fighting against throughout the region offers you a place at his side in recognition of your strength. You're actually given a choice as to whether or not to accept his offer, but if you do, it turns out that it was all a ruse so your character could get close to the villain and attack him while his guard was down.
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has both the main villains, Cackletta and Fawful, pull a sneak attack on the Bros after their in-battle defeat. In Fawful's case, the Bros are only saved by a Big Damn Heroes moment from Prince Peasley...except Fawful planned for that and shot him as well...except that bought enough time for the Bros to finish him off. Final Boss Cackletta is more devious, going into her Technicolor Death pose and hitting them with a Bob-Omb right as the Bros are doing their victory spin, letting her swallow them whole. This is where the true final battle begins, but merely surviving the first attack is a challenge since they got hit with HP to 1 in the process.
  • In the classic Mega Man games, Dr. Wily used to do this a lot. By the 7th game, Mega Man gets so tired of it that he stops Wily's "I surrender" routine and prepares himself to blast his head off.
    • A possible subversion occurred in Mega Man 8, where Mega Man tells Wily that he's pulled this trick on him multiple times beforehand before Mega Man ends up infected by the Evil Energy. It's unknown what exactly Wily intended to do, but his reaction when Mega Man was being infected with Evil Energy implies that his surrender was genuine, or at the very least that if he was planning to pull off the trope, he certainly didn't intend for it to happen that way. Also averted outright in regards to 10, where after Wily was beaten by Mega Man, he ends up genuinely needing to surrender in such a way that even Mega Man seems to see it as genuine now (Wily caught a cold).
    • And at the end of 9, this is actually lampshaded in one of the most humorous moments in the game.
    • Dr. Wily also does this in Rockman 4 Minus ∞ In this case, he even tricks Mega Man into looking in another direction before making his getaway.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has Raiden pull one of these on Senator Armstrong shortly before the final boss battle, with Raiden inititally appearing to side with Armstrong after his Motive Rant, claiming he isn't greedy and shaking his hand, before stating instead that he's "bat-shit insane".
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Enemy guards with a high stealth preparation level (caused by repeatedly drawing suspicion while sneaking around enemy outposts) will occasionally resist being held up; they will drop their weapon and raise their hands as usual, but then pull out a knife and slash you. If you notice one of the several warning signs that a guard is feigning surrender, you can easily counter their counter-attack, either by stepping out of their melee range or by tackling them before they can reach for their knife.
  • Done by the good guys in the intro to Mission Critical. Captain Steven Dayna's USS Lexington is ambushed and crippled by the UNS Dharma, whose captain demands that the crew of the Lexington surrender and take a shuttle to the Dharma. Dayna knocks out a low-ranking supply officer and loads everyone up into a shuttle, along with a nuke. The nuke detonates when the shuttle docks to the Dharma, obliterating the shuttle and the UN cruiser. The supply officer comes to and receives a pre-recorded message from Dayna, who tells him to complete their mission.
  • The fight against Destroyman in No More Heroes ends this way: after Travis stabs him through the chest, he weakly cries for help, causing Travis to pull out his sword and turn away in disgust. Destroyman promptly whirls around and opens fire with dual chest-mounted machine guns, only to get sliced in half.
    • In the cutscene that plays after defeating Bad Girl, she throws a tantrum and has Travis Pinned, bashing him with her bat in the same way she does in her Non-Standard Game Over. Travis tells her he admits defeat and that she won, which causes her to stop beating him long enough to die of blood loss. Travis admits after that it was close.
  • In New Horizons, boarding a ship that has surrendered, with a too low level compared to the enemy captain will lead him to challenge the assaulting captain with a duel. This can’t be declined.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • Helgenish attempts to trick Primrose into thinking he surrendered after the boss fight. It's subverted because she sees this coming and cuts him down.
    • In Alfyn's story, this is also subverted. Vanessa attempts to sneak away after her defeat, but Alfyn notices and uses a sleeping potion on her before she flees.
    • Also in Alfyn's story, Miguel pleads for mercy in the middle of his boss fight... but even as he says it, he gains the purple Battle Aura that indicates a boss charging up their ultimate attack, so it's an obvious lie.
  • Subverted in Odin Sphere when the defeated wise man Skuldi tells Oswald where his wife Gwendolyn is and begs for mercy. Oswald turns away from Skuldi and the treacherous wizard rises up again with the intent of blasting him with magic... only for Oswald to turn back and cut him down with one blow, enraged that he'd been willing to use Gwendolyn as a tool and regarding him as too dangerous to spare anyway.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Hooktail attempts this when she runs out of HP, and tries to bribe you with coins, badges, and smelling her feet. If you fall for it, she will attack you for massive damage. Regardless of whether you fall for it or not, she will eat members of the audience, and the battle will continue without an audience.
  • This can happen to you in PAYDAY 2. If a player convinces a cop to drop his gun but neglect to make him handcuff himself, he may grab his weapon and start shooting again while their back is turned.
    • The player can also deploy this to a degree; if a guard spots the player and doesn't move, the guard will approach in an attempt to arrest you. At any point the player can shoot and kill the guard. This is typically used to move a guard to a more favourable position to kill and hide them.
  • In Persona 5, once the Phantom Thieves catch up to Shadow Okumura, he drops to his knees and announces he'll renounce his actions while apologizing to Haru for his actions as a father. The team approaches him with caution, giving him the opportunity to activate an energy field to trap them just as Morgana and Haru dodge it.
  • Pokémon:
    • Feint Attack, False Surrender and Kowtow Cleave are these, and are appropriately enough Dark-type moves that never miss. Feint Attack has user approaches the target, gets it to drop its guard, then throws a punch. False Surrender has the user bow its head in a submissive pose, before stabbing the target with its Prehensile Hair. Kowtow Cleave has Kingambit perform a Pose of Supplication, before stabbing the target with the huge blade on its head.
    • Of note, Morgrem, a Dark/Fairy type who has the aforementioned False Surrender as a Secret Art is noted to beg for forgiveness in its Pokédex entry, then stab their opponent with their hair once they let their guard down.
  • The Punisher (THQ):
    • Various enemies, beaten into submission or just scared silly by overwhelming firepower, will surrender or even seemingly turn against their own side. Don't be fooled. About half of these will grab a weapon as soon as the Punisher's back is turned. Canon-wise, this makes sense as the Punisher is rarely willing to leave a mook alive.
    • A better example from the same game: all but the final mission is a flashback of Frank's rampage through New York City (and an island in the South Pacific). At the end of the second last mission, after killing a lot of Yakuza, he uncharacteristically unloads his guns and walks out to face the police, who arrest him. This is, of course, his gambit. The goon behind all the chaos in the city that Frank isn't directly causing is Jigsaw, who's incarcerated at Riker's Island. Frank gets arrested so that, when Jigsaw's escape plan hits the prison like a ton of bricks, Frank can also escape and kill Jigsaw.
  • Used in the first quarter of the final battle against Dr Nefarious in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal:
    Dr. Nefarious: [melodramatically] [gasp] I am defeated! I have no choice [laughs to himself] but to throw myself on your mercy!
    Ratchet: [surprised] Really? I mean... [sternly] That's right, Nefarious! Your rein of terror is finally—
    Dr. Nefarious: [flying away] SUCKER! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Ratchet: [furious] Grrrrrrr...
  • Ready or Not: Suspects will sometimes pull this when ordered to surrender, seemingly getting on their knees with their hands raised, only to suddenly pull out a gun or knife and attack.
  • You can do this yourself in Red Dead Redemption 2 when lawmen/bounty hunters attempt to arrest you, or when outlaws try to mug you. It's also used sometimes by other characters in cutscenes along the story.
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Claire is confronted by Umbrella troops standing in front of a wall full of Exploding Barrels. So she drops her gun in "surrender"... then sweeps down, grabs it, and opens up on the barrels, blowing the troops away. She ends up being captured, though.
    • Notable not only for this reason but because Claire shows Neo-like speed— she ducks so fast she catches the gun before it hits the ground.
    • The same maneuver is pulled by Alice in Resident Evil: Apocalypse but without the barrels.
  • Rise of the Triad: When low on health, Lightning Guards can feign surrender and beg you not to shoot, but will steal one of your missile weapons and use them against you if you get too close. If you avoid them completely, they'll drop and play possum for a short time, then get back up and keep shooting at you.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: After you deal the first deathblow to the Owl, he will beg for mercy. Hesitate to strike him, and he'll pounce on you while mocking your gullibility. Attack him while he's still talking, and he'll compliment you for seeing through the bluff.
  • Shin Megami Tensei has this as a very annoying tactic of demons: should you wipe out a demon squad, with the last one on the ropes, he might throw in the towel and just ask to be spared. Should you grant mercy, they might run away with no further fuss while muttering an apology for bothering you, offer you some trinket or cash, maybe decide you're cool enough to sign up with... or they might decide they have one last chance for revenge...
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Eggman does this quite a few times, pleading that he'll reform provided Sonic doesn't beat him to a bloody pulp, just before activating a new machine. Most notable is that in Sonic Unleashed he does this at the end of the Cold Opening, right at the beginning of the game. Sonic doesn't really buy it but he's willing to stand around joking about it because he's currently high on God Mode as Super Sonic and theoretically nothing can hurt him. Sadly, that was an important requirement of the trap.
    • Sonic, himself, tries to pull this in Sonic Adventure 2 when Eggman takes Amy hostage and demands Sonic relinquishes his Chaos Emerald. Since Sonic had a fake Emerald created to sabotage the Eclipse Cannon, he acquiesces to Eggman's demands. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a trap: Eggman suspected beforehand that the Emerald might be a phony, and tricked Tails into saying so.
  • In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, after the first battle with Hammerhead, he says that he "gives" when Noir Spidey has him pinned. However, the moment he lets his guard down Hammerhead shows us one of three reasons why he got his name.
  • Splinter Cell:
    • In the penultimate level of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Face–Heel Turn Doug Shetland lowers his weapon after delivering a Motive Rant, claiming that "I know you wouldn't shoot an old friend." At this point, you're meant to prove him wrong; if, however, you lower your own gun in turn, he pulls a gun on you and meets his Karmic Death. The protagonist then says: "You're right Doug. I wouldn't shoot an old friend." Which either means he doesn't consider him as a friend anymore or he doesn't literally shoot him (he knifes him).
    • At the end of Splinter Cell: Conviction, to rescue the president, Sam allows Grim to take him prisoner, you are to Mark the quintet of Splinter Cells holding the president hostage. Once the Big Bad, Tom Reed, gives their Motive Rant, you get to steal his gun, and you and Grim take out the Cells before Sam beats some information out of Reed.
  • Hostile quest-based NPCS in Starbound will pull this at times, declaring surrender and begging the player character to put away their weapon, only to mock them and continue attacking the unarmed player. Some of them are sincere, though, and will become friendly or even join the player's crew.
  • One boss in Star Fox 64 says he "admits defeat" halfway through the battle... then promptly turns his Humongous Mecha around, revealing that the back of it is a Wave-Motion Gun. Not like he's fooling anyone unless two members of the squad are absent: Slippy, who provides the shield bar for bosses, and Falco, who doesn't trust him.
    Boss: I'm no match for you! I admit defeat.
    Falco: Are you gonna listen to that monkey?
    Boss: Haah! You're not as stupid as you look!
Alternatively, if Falco's not there:
...If this does not work!
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, this is an actual Ability of the 'Smuggler' class — they can use a 'Fake Surrender' to greatly reduce their Aggro, essentially drawing fire away from them and onto their (presumably more robust) teammates. With the right skills, it can also free them from any movement-restricting effects. Combine it with their 'Dirty Kick' and another skill that lets them move much faster for a short while after using THAT, and you've got the recipe for the picture-perfect 'I Surrender, Suckers'.
    • The Sith Warrior has an opportunity to pull one of these in a cutscene when a group of Selonians on Corellia demand you surrender your lightsaber. You can pretend to comply, only to activate it when one comes close to take it and run them through.
  • Some perps in SWAT 4 are prone to doing this. After telling them to drop the weapon and get down, the perp will slowly do this... and then suddenly open fire on you.
  • The first boss in Tenchu 2 will sometimes pretend to beg for mercy before attacking.
  • In Undertale, if you get any monster you encounter to the point where you can Spare them, you can attack them for massive damage that will One-Hit Kill them more likely than not. Granted, it's usually just as easy to kill them normally, if not moreso, so the only real reason to do this is to twist the knife. However, one boss in a Genocide playthrough will pull the same trick on you given the opportunity.
  • In Unleash the Light, Hessonite's Disregard and Retaliate abilities work this way. Disregard has her temporarily lower her defense by pretending to lose interest in fighting, and any enemies who hit her during that state powers up Retaliate, her follow-up attack.
  • In Wasteland 2 when you get Tinker's health low enough she'll end combat and offer to tell the player whatever they want to know about the Big Bad. When you try talking to her afterward she'll apologize, saying that she must die for the sake of the mission and explodes (giving Echo One just barely enough time to call her a metal motherfucker), causing any of her robots that the party failed to destroy beforehand to attempt to finish them off.
  • An example of this could be the way Deathshead dies at the end of Wolfenstein: The New Order, just when the player thinks Deathshead actually surrenders when he grabs BJ's arm, he pulls out a grenade and pulls a Taking You with Me.
  • One quest in World of Warcraft has you do this with a group of murlocs so you can more easily get at their leader to kill him.
    • Another quest in Cataclysm asks you to subdue rather than kill an ogre mage, who pretends to surrender but then suddenly grabs you and dangles you from a high place until he's surprised in turn from behind.
    • Speaking of Warcraft, in Warcraft II Ogrim Doomhammer pretended to surrender to Anduin Lothar. When Lothar arrived to talk terms, Doomhammer and his Orcs ambushed and killed him. Doomhammer believed this would break the Alliance's will to fight, but its effect was exactly the opposite: After Lothar's death, his most trusted general, Turalyon, took up his shield and sword and led the armies of the Alliance to victory over Doomhammer and his Orcs. In Warcraft III, this was retconned to Doomhammer defeating Lothar in single combat in order to make the former seem more honorable and sympathetic.
    • Continuing on Warcraft, one of the Pandaren male's jokes can be interepreted as this:
    Pandaren male It is said: If you cannot beat them, join them. I say, if you cannot beat them, beat them. Because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.

    Web Animation 
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: In Two Koopas for a throne (part 3), Ludwig is about to do this to Junior after he pulls him up from the lava pit, but Bowser sees what Ludwig's up to and stops it from happening.
  • Knights of the Old Republic Cinematic Universe: When T3-M4 kills two of the three Weequay thugs who attempt to steal the Ebon Hawk in Episode V: Hunger for the Force, the last one named Luutrar pleads for mercy and fakes making his escape. When he has reached a safe distance, he mocks T3-M4 for sparing him and attempts to shoot the droid with a rifle, only for Bao-Dur to knock him out from behind.
  • Monkey Wrench: Scratch accosts the Monkey Wrench crew while they're traveling through blue space, threatening to blow them to scrap unless they hand over their passenger, Nobert, who has a massive bounty on his head. Shrike seemingly relents and asks Scratch to send him the coordinates of his ship so he can send Nobert over. When Scratch obliges, Shrike promptly trains a cannon on that spot and opens fire, knocking Scratch out of the blue space tunnel.
  • Terrible Writing Advice: "Revenge Plots" proposes this trope as a means to let a hero kill a villain and have it qualify as self-defense instead of revenge, letting the writer have their cake and eat it too.

  • In Ctrl+Alt+Del's Console Wars, the Xbox one sergeant surrenders so the advancing PS4 platoon won't notice his soldier blowing up the bridge.
  • In Erfworld, Parson uses a fake surrender to lure Ansom into a trap.
  • Girl Genius: Klaus surrenders to a very surprised Gkika - while setting off his Take-Five Bomb, 'surrendering' himself, Gkika, and everyone in Mechanicsburg as permanent prisoners in a time stop.
  • In Godslave, Edith does this to lure a Blacksmith to a place where she can attack him without bothering with the Masquerade. Well, either that or she really does plan to surrender before Anpu's ba intervenes.
  • One of Rachel's former sisters does this in Guilded Age. Scipio doesn't fall for it.
  • The Bloodrage family inside Looking for Group do something like this—they their bloodlust.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Pulled in the prequel book Start of Darkness, when Eugene Greenhilt tells his son Roy about why he seeks to destroy the Big Bad of the series, Xykon. He meets Xykon when he walks in on a confrontation between him and Eugene's master, the archmage Fyron, over a crown Xykon stole from Fyron's collection of artifacts. Xykon and Fyron engage in battle, and Xykon ends up being overpowered by the wiser and more experienced Fyron. Xykon, realizing he's beat, surrenders and offers to return the crown. Fyron makes the mistake of dropping his guard, and Xykon responds by grabbing an award from Fyron's desk and beating him to death with it.
      • Subverted in that he really was willing to call it off (the crown is virtually worthless, he just thinks it looks cool) until Fyron repeatedly insulted him in an extremely patronizing manner.
    • Kubota does this when cornered by Elan. He lets himself be captured, then starts ranting about how he would subvert the legal system and come out as a winner. Eventually subverted as Vaarsuvius kills him anyway, just to avoid another side-plot.
  • Tower of God: On the Hidden Floor, when Khun Kiseia tries to fight Bam and realises she's outmatched, she surrenders. Though she doesn't get the chance to follow up on that by betrayal, the context shows that she must be bluffing. Not only is she from a family where scheming seems to run in the blood, she's really just a virtual version of the real Kiseia, generated in the virtual reality of the Hidden Floor as a "sworn enemy" to Bam's friend Khun Aguero Agnes. Sworn enemies have no free will in that they are always compelled to try to kill their target, so they're not able to surrender in a way that would mean giving up on that.

    Web Original 
  • Associated Space has Fatebane pull this trick on the Volsian battlecruiser IVS Measured Amount of Vengeance.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: Ivan the Terrible does this twice in his rap battle against Alexander the Great and Frederick the Great. After each has had a go, Ivan would immediately declare his loss and bemoan how Alex and Frederick have bested him, then offer them a celebratory drink and a comfy chair to rest in, respectively; of course, Alex is fatally poisoned by the drink and while he had meant to strangle Frederick with garrote wire while he slept, he wound up dying of natural causes during his nap anyway. He tries it again when Catherine the Great shows up, offering her a horse for her "victory", but Catherine calls bullshit on both him and the horse story and keeps ripping into him.
  • The Evil Overlord list has a particularly thoughtful one: pretending to morally reform so the hero will leave him alone for a few months.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: Jan tries this on Walter. It fails.
    Jan: Wow, gee willikers, mister. I sure am sorry for slaughtering all your guards and tearing up your mansion. I promise I learned my les- [Walter stomps on Jan's hand] AGH! Fuck, take a joke, asshole!
    Walter: And everything you say just pisses me off!
  • In Mr. Welch's list:
    18. When surrendering I am to hand the sword over HILT first.
  • In Twig, Reverend Mauer offers to give his life in exchange for his men being spared by the Crown, knowing that in fact everyone even remotely associated with him will be executed in defeat. His opponent is the Duke of Francis, who knows that Mauer is aware of his ruthlessness, and has his infiltrators defuse planted bombs that Mauer had planned to detonate at the site of his surrender. Mauer, however, being aware that the Duke would be alert for traps, was only surrendering in the first place to get the Duke out in the open, and he reveals his secret weapon: new rifles specially designed to gun down Nobles akin to the Duke.
  • In Worm, Skitter lures Echidna/Noelle into a trap this way in Chapter 19.6.
    • Later, the PRT is convinced that she is attempting something similar when she abruptly turns herself in after wiping out or assimilating every other gang in the city. She isn't, but trying to blackmail her into confessing causes her to launch a surprise attack anyways.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Jinx briefly pretends to surrender to Caitlyn complete with Puppy Eyes, putting down her pistol to lower her guard before using her Shimmer boosted speed to quickly knock her out.
  • Around the World with Willy Fog has Transfer pull a fake surrender on Rigodon while they are fighting on a runaway locomotive (which has been detached from the train it was pulling). The moment Rigodon lets his guard down, Transfer takes advantage of his lapse and quickly gains the upper hand. Tico then leaps into the fray and all three fall off the locomotive.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula's "surrender" is immediately followed by her attacking one of her opponents and making a successful getaway in the ensuing confusion. All she needed was for Iroh to glance at Toph, and she takes advantage of it.
    • Also, the Gaang thinks Zuko's doing this when he tries to let them take him prisoner if they won't let him join. Humorously inverted in the same episode: After Zuko (accidentally) burns Toph, the rest of the Gaang decides it would probably be safer to take Zuko prisoner. Sokka, however, thinks that this is some sort of trap... for Zuko.
      Sokka: First, we get him to offer himself as our prisoner... And then we jump him, and then we really make him our prisoner!
    • Aang did it himself in the second episode, allowing himself to be briefly captured by Zuko just to take the fight away from noncombatants.
    • In the sequel series, The Legend of Korra, Prince Wu does this in the second to last episode, distracting a trio of Earth Empire soldiers with songs containing hidden messages to a pair of badgermoles, ordering them to burrow around back and flank-attack.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Bronze Tiger does this to turn the tables on a trio of mystically empowered martial artists in command of an undead army.
    Bronze Tiger: You remember Wong Fei's most important lesson? What to do when you're outmatched? Cheat.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Con of Rath" had a part where Ben, Gwen, and Kevin, while carrying a peace offering in their current mission, are attacked by the Inkursians. Ben, at this point stuck in the form of Rath, just gets on the enemy ship and beats up all the Inkursian soldiers on it before asking their leader Commander Sangfroid to either fight him or leave. Aware he doesn't stand a chance against Rath, Sangfroid agrees to leave... and then start shooting at them again once Rath is back on his own ship.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch: Employed in one episode by model and actress Rebecca Romijn, not that it does her much good in the long run. (Oddly, she was playing the good guy at the outset of the feud, but in the course of the match underwent a Face–Heel Turn, cheating early and often even as her villainous opponent fought fairly.) She and fellow model Naomi Campbell were scheduled to settle a grudge match in the ring but had to fight in their underwear after commentator Nick Diamond accidentally splattered their clothes with Cheez Whiz. During the fight, someone threw a riding crop and a pair of handcuffs into the ring, which Naomi used to cuff Rebecca and whip her on her upper thighs as she lay prone on the mat. Rebecca begged for mercy, promising Naomi that she would get a gift if she let her go. Naomi liked this idea and uncuffed Rebecca, who kept her word by giving Naomi a wrapped package; Naomi opened it and pulled out a beautiful new fur coat. Rebecca urged Naomi to try on the coat, which she did - and then, just as Rebecca had predicted, a gang of deranged anti-fur protesters appeared out of nowhere to beat Naomi to a bloody pulp. Rebecca then stepped forward to kill the gravely injured Naomi, but Naomi managed to work up enough strength to vomit up her own stomach and squeeze it in her foe's direction, spraying Rebecca with lethal gastric acid that caused her to melt down into a puddle of flesh-colored liquid with her blue bra and panties floating on the top. No question about it: Celebrity Deathmatch is a weird show.
  • Danger Mouse: Danger Mouse surrenders to the Demon of the Fourth Dimension ("Demons Aren't Dull") and asks him for a last request: for DM to explain how the Demon had won and for the Demon to physically demonstrate. As per explanation, the Demon creates a door to our dimension in front of him and then a door connecting the fourth dimension in back of him. He then explains:
    DM: (to Penfold) If the door to his dimension is closed (to the Demon)...umm, excuse me...
    Demon:Oh. Certainly. (closes fourth dimension door)
    DM: And the door to our dimension is closed...(slams the door) THEN WE'VE GOT THE GREAT STUPID KNOTTER TRAPPED!! Yeah!! Whooppee!! note 
  • DuckTales (1987): In the first episode, the lead Beagle Boy takes Huey hostage and demands Scrooge hand over the map they're trying to steal. Scrooge does so, but once Huey's safe, he has Louie and Dewey let loose a vat of hot chocolate on the Beagles.
  • Futurama: A bit oblique, but:
    Zapp Brannigan: Fly the white flag of war!
  • Gargoyles: Hudson pulls one of these off in the animated series when he needs to get into an underground base to get the MacGuffin.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe:
    • Skeletor pulled this off so often it's a wonder why the heroes ever believe him in the first place. In the pilot of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002), he does it twice in the same fight!
    • He-Man did it too in one episode of the remake. In the story, Skeletor uses one of the two Legacy Stones, giving him magical armor and godlike power. He-Man uses the other one in order to fight him, but the fight quickly turns into a stalemate. Eventually, He-Man removes his helmet, deactivating the armor. Thinking he's surrendering, the villain plows into him, gloating evilly, until He-Man says, "That's the problem with thinking you're invincible, Skeletor, it makes you careless." and yanks his helmet off.
  • The Herculoids: In "The Mutoids", after the Herculoids defeat a number of the title creatures, the Mutoid leader Mutak pretends to surrender to lure Zandor into a trap.
  • Jonny Quest episode "Terror Island". Race Bannon holds up his hands and pretends to surrender to a jeep full of Mook guards. He then tosses a grenade into the jeep and dodges behind a building as the grenade explodes, killing them.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "The Ghost of Paradise Estate, Part 4", the kids and ponies pretend to surrender to Squirk's rule in order to get him to drop his guard so that they can catch him in a net.
  • Oscar's Orchestra: In the first episode, Oscar makes a deal with Thadius, who has captured a violin called Monty whom the orchestra knows, that he will give himself up in exchange for Thadius releasing Monty. Oscar pulls an Oh, Crap! face when Thadius tells him he won’t keep his word, instead he’ll “keep the violin”. However, when Lucius and Tank go to grab him, he opens his lid to reveal he knew Thadius wouldn’t keep his word and had brought backup to rescue Monty.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Backyard Aquarium", Doofenshmirtz proclaims to have surrendered when Perry apprehends him and pins him to the floor, before he grabs one of his bratwursts and slaps Perry across the face with it.
    "But okay, I surrender. I'm a reasonable man. I know when it's time to FIGHT BACK!"
  • In The Real Ghostbusters episode "People Busters", the heroes are trapped in Ghost World and all except Peter are caught by the eponymous villains. Egon managers to contact Peter from within the human-holding containment unit, and tells him he has a plan to escape back to Earth; he tells Peter he has to get himself captured on purpose. Peter does so easily simply by knocking on the door to their firehouse and waving when they open it.
  • Rick and Morty: In the second season finale, Rick willingly gives himself to the Galactic Federation in exchange for allowing his family to return to Earth unharmed. In the third season premiere, it turns out it was a ruse to destroy both the Federation and the Council of Ricks in one fell swoop.
  • The Simpsons: In a similar manner to the Roald Dahl example listed below, Abe Simpson, when held at gunpoint by a journalist trying to kill him, raises his hands in the air as if to surrender, only to suddenly grab the brake cord of the train car above him, forcing it to stop unexpectedly as well as burying the journalist with several hat packages.
  • In one episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Sonic pretends to give up so he'll be taken to Robotnik and the roboticizer. When Robotnik demands to know why he's there, Sonic hams it up, saying he can't take the stress anymore and his nerves are shot. Robotnik is unconvinced, and after a little banter, orders the SWATBots that brought Sonic in to put him in the roboticizer anyway. They grab Sonic, but he quickly trashes them and takes Robotnik for a spin in his own command chair as a diversion before getting to the true purpose of his mission; stealing parts from the roboticizer to fix the deroboticizer the Freedom Fighters have been working on.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "Cloak of Darkness": When Luminara and Ahsoka corner Ventress in the detention block, she puts her lightsabers away and raises her hands when the Jedi Master demands her surrender... only for the bombs she planted earlier to go off.
    • "Storm Over Ryloth": Anakin, arriving at the Separatist blockade over Ryloth in the empty, damaged Jedi Cruiser Defender, which he intends to ram into the Separatist flagship, tells Mar Tuuk, in command of the blockade, that he's been ordered to surrender his ship and crew in exchange for the safe passage of relief supplies as a ruse so he can get close enough before Tuuk catches on to what he's really going to do.
    • In "Old Friends Not Forgotten", with Obi-Wan's forces pinned down during the Battle of Yerbana, Anakin pretends to surrender to the droid army to lure out the Super Tactical Droid in charge in a similar fashion to how his master did so on Christophsis. While the regular Battle Droids are dumb enough to believe he's genuinely surrendering, the Super Tactical Droid points out that this is obviously a trick, ironically unaware that he's stepped into it himself.
  • Star Wars Rebels
    • In "Spark of Rebellion", Kanan pulls this off on a stormtrooper on a speederbike. He pretends to be ready to be cuffed, only to be hiding a grenade in one of his hands, which he throws to the stormtrooper, blowing him up.
    • In "Call to Action", the Grand Inquisitor calls on Kanan to surrender and is surprised when Kanan turns off his saber, having expected him to reject the deal out of hand. Then Kanan's communicator beeps; he was just stalling for time until Hera could show up in the Phantom to rescue the others, at which point he holds off the Grand Inquisitor as long as possible. Around the same time, Sabine pretends to surrender to some stormtroopers in an aircraft so she can throw a Sticky Bomb onto it.
  • One of the Nightcrawlers in Storm Hawks pulls this before he and his allies invade Terra Klockstoppia. He lets them torture him so he can glean some information and, when he learns they have crystals but don't use them, he busts free and attacks.
    Nightcrawler: So you have crystals... you just don't use them. That is... unfortunate. It means your city... is defenseless.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Kyle Rayner surrenders in his guest spot, apparently depowering and giving Sinestro his ring... which promptly explodes in his face, as it was a fake.
  • In the Thunder Cats episode "The Ghost Warrior", after Jaga disarms Grune the Destroyer, Grune surrenders and offers him a handshake, then snatches the Sword of Omens from him when he accepts. It turns out Jaga saw it coming and let it happen, because Only the Chosen May Wield, leading to the Sword banishing Grune back to the afterlife.
    Lion-O: You knew Grune was lying, didn't you?
    Jaga: Better to be an honest enemy than a false friend.
  • Transformers:
    • Used in The Transformers: The Movie, where Megatron begs for mercy from Optimus as a ruse. Optimus isn't falling for it and shows every sign of being about to finish it, but Hod Rod doesn't realize this and attempts to save Optimus. Megatron promptly takes Hot Rod as a hostage, and the battle ends up killing Optimus.
    • Beast Wars brings this up before the first season finale. Megatron finds an alien artifact and needs time to plan for an alien invasion, so he seeks a truce with the Maximals so that he isn't wasting time and resources fighting them. Optimus Primal calls him out on it, saying that when a Predacon wants a truce, it means he needs time to reload. Megatron admits that is normally true.
    • Transformers: Animated:
      • Megatron does this to Omega Supreme (who he was inside of); who had disarmed him, restrained him, and identified him as justifiable to use lethal force on. Megatron then pretends to surrender in order to trick Omega Supreme to take him back to Cybertron. He then manages to take almost complete control of him.
      • Used by Blitzwing in "Velocity":
      Bumblebee: Okay, Blitzwing. Put up your hands!
      (Icy) Blitzwing: My pleasure.
      (shoots the overpass above Bumblebee)
      • The Liar Starscream clone (aka Ramjet), who had seemingly been captured by Lockdown to be handed over to Sentinel Prime, deliberately let slip that he wasn't really restrained by saying; "And here I am. Completely disarmed and helpless"- which Prowl caught on to, based on the fact that every word out of his mouth is a lie.
  • The Wizards of the Black Circle pull one of these near the end of the fourth season of Winx Club. They claim that they no longer want to fight the Earth fairies and that they would even like to give up their powers, however, they are actually planning to create a dark abyss that will eventually destroy all the Earth fairies. Nabu is able to stop this, but dies shortly afterwards as the black magic from the abyss drained him of all his energy.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series Done by Cyclops in the very first episode ("Night of the Sentinels"):
    Sentinel: Surrender, mutant.
    Cyclops: Of course. (puts hands up) Not! (takes off glasses)
  • Cyclops does this again in a Call-Back in the very first episode of X-Men '97 when a member of the Friends of Humanity takes his visor.
    No, wait! I surrender! (grins, opens his eyes) Not! (Cue optic blast that knocks out everyone'')
  • Young Justice uses this trope when the Runaways accidentally boom-tube into the middle of Reach guards. Static starts surrendering, the others go along with it, and as soon as the enemy is distracted they ambush them.

    Real Life 
  • This tactic is also known as perfidy and is defined by the Geneva Convention as a war crime, as it makes acceptance of genuine surrender impossible, thus ensuring a perpetual state of warfare.
  • Borderline "historical" example: The Trojan Horse ploy is a variation, in that the Greeks pretended to retreat rather than actually "surrendering" (i.e. giving up their weapons and putting themselves in their enemies' power). The Trojans turned out to be Made of Plasticine once the Greeks were inside their walls.
    • Ancient Greeks in general developed a tactic of false retreats to lull the enemy into a false sense of confidence.
  • In one Roman gladiator match, a group of Retiarii (gladiators armed with tridents and nets) fought a group of Secutores (gladiators with swords and shields meant to completely counter the Retiarii). The Retiarii dropped their weapons and pretended not to fight. The Secutors dropped their helmets and shields and the Retiarii killed them all. The Roman Emperor at the time was not impressed and probably had them executed.
  • According to Plutarch, a soldier under the command of Julius Caesar pretended to surrender after being severely wounded. When two enemy soldiers approached to take him captive, he cut them down despite his horrible injuries.
  • This trope led into one of the nastiest incidents during the Finnish Civil War in 1918 — the Huruslahti Lottery after the Battle of Varkaus. The Reds pretended to surrender, and while the Whites advanced over the Huruslahti bay ice with their guard down, the Reds suddenly opened fire with machine guns. Naturally, the Whites were not amused, and not only did the Reds betray the principle of surrender, it didn't even work: the Whites made an all-out charge and killed or captured all the Reds. Immediately after the battle, the remaining Red prisoners were ordered to line up on the ice. The Whites killed all the wounded Reds, and then shot every fifth man, "the lottery", as vengeance.
  • A rare real-life example is to be found in the animal world. Apparently, one species of ants uses a similar trick to gain slaves for their colony. After an attack on a neighbour anthill, a young queen remains on the battlefield, playing dead. Once the enemy carry her into their hive's food storage chambers, she 'gets better', kills and eats their queen, and copies her pheromone makeup, causing the entire hive to treat her as the queen. The ants are doomed to die out (for lack of a genuine queen) but until they do, they work in the fake queen's home colony as if it was their own.
  • A variant occurs in Roald Dahl's autobiography, Going Solo. When confronting a group of German colonists intent on returning to Germany (to fight in World War II against Britain), Dahl raises his hands... as the signal for every gun under his command to fire a single shot over the Germans' heads.
  • During the invasion of Iraq, there were reported instances of Iraqi soldiers who pretended to surrender and attacked the American soldiers when they came close.
  • At the battle of Kilmichael during the Irish war of Independence, a group of British soldiers fake surrendered before commencing fire again, causing the deaths of three IRA men. The IRA commander then ordered that they be wiped out to the last man.
  • The Battle of The Waxhaws in The American Revolution. Usually seen as a brutal slaughter of helpless Americans by the nasty British, a recent theory suggests that the British thought they were victims of this trope —their leader's (Banastre Tarleton) horse was shot down, just as a flag of truce was going up, a flag not all the Americans noticed at first. It got ugly.
  • During the American Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest, future founder of the KKK, did this a lot. Until recently, he was honored for that and other such things with a bust of himself in the Tennessee State Capitol.
  • World War II:
    • One of the interviewees in Studs Terkel's "The Good War" relates that this was a common SS tactic. They eventually stopped accepting surrender of SS troops (which in turn may have had bearing on the Malmedy massacre).
    • The Japanese were highly notorious for this, to the point that many American soldiers decided that taking Japanese prisoners was not worth the risk, and shot them instead. If they were successfully captured, many Japanese were incredulous that the Americans would actually take them prisoner and treat them decently. Japanese soldiers were often extremely cooperative; bushidō as it was interpreted during the Shōwa Statist era mandated either victory or death in battle, with no middle ground, so among the Japanese soldiery, there was no real idea of how to behave after being captured and they thus took the path of least resistance.
    • It is not known with 100% certainty that the Japanese were pulling this trope when they practically wiped out the Goettge Patrol during the Battle of Guadalcanal, but to the few surviving Americans, it sure seemed like it.
  • This is not just exclusive from the Japanese, as most Asian countries (both East and West parts of the continent) had pulled this off many times (even Sun Tzu suggests it as a viable tactic in order to achieve surprise, for example). This is one of the many reasons why the European empires were only half-successful in colonizing the Asian continent (compared with the Americas, Africa, and Oceania) and why they resorted to increasingly violent/cruel methods of warfare or simply quit when they saw it wasn't worth the effort.
  • A Nerf gun called the "Secret Shot" had a second barrel in the handle, so you could shoot your opponent as you pretended to surrender.
  • Both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict accuse one another of this, especially when the Oslo Treaties are brought up: Israelis point out Arafát’s speeches claiming the agreements were just an ‘I surrender, suckers’ stage in a plan that will eventually kick out Israel and establish the State of Palestine, while the Palestinians mention that Israel ignored its obligations to take down the Israeli-based settlements past the Green Line.
  • This is why cops are taught to have one officer cover a captured suspect while the other secures him. For the suspect, even twitching funny is a good way to get shot.
  • In Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens were at fourth-and seven (fourth down and seven yards to go), with a five-point lead and 12 seconds left in the game. They were so deep in their own territory that any hike or snap would put the ball into their own end zone. If the San Francisco 49ers got possession and scored a touchdown, they would win the game. The Ravens set up for a punt and snapped the ball back to Sam Koch, but instead of kicking it, he held on to it and ran around for as long as he could before going out of bounds, without crossing the goal line. The move used up eight seconds and scored two points for the 49ers as a safety, but it also ensured that the Ravens would be able to punt (or "free kick") from their own 20-yard line with only four seconds left. The 49ers' receiver was tackled during the ensuing runback after the clock ran out, winning the game for the Ravens.
    • In general, fake punts in American football fall under this trope.
    • There's also the fake spike play (also known as a "Dan Marino"), since while a spike isn't technically a "surrender" per se (as it's done in anticipation of running another offensive play), it is a play in which nothing of consequence is expected to happen, causing the defense to let down their guard.note  Fake spikes are rare, however, because teams only spike the ball when time is short, so faking the spike risks running precious time off the clock for nothing if the play fails.
    • The QB Kneel play allows a leading team to waste the last 2 minutes of a half. Prior to 2011, it was technically allowed for the QB to not actually touch the floor with his knee as a form of fakery to get a cheap pass off. This was patched after one too many paranoid defenders flattened QBs that were actually intending to kneel, so any use of the kneeling motion now counts as taking a knee even if the knee doesn't touch the ground.
    • There is a tactic whereby if a go-ahead score near the end of a game seems inevitable, a defense will let the opponent score right away in order to give their team's offense as much time as possible to respond. It doesn't always work, however, since it still requires the offense to mount a successful scoring drive of their own, which is why it's only used when avoiding a score altogether is basically impossible.
    • On the flip side, if the team is ahead with little enough time that a first down will allow the quarterback to kneel out the clock, a player may choose to give himself up once said first down is secured rather than scoring and giving the opponent a chance to respond. Similarly, if the team can take the lead with a field goal, the offensive player can give himself up just short of the end zone, giving his team an easy winning field goal while allowing them to run the clock down before kicking it. (Of course, this does mean accepting the possibility that something goes wrong with the field goal attempt, but that sort of thing is rare enough that most teams are willing to take that risk that rather than the risk of giving the opponent a chance to respond.)
    • In one college football game, as Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett was making a run play, he made a move as though he was going to go down on one knee and slide, causing the defenders to back off, only to instead abort the motion and continue the run all the way to the end zone. However, this particular fake is wildly unfair to defenders, who really have no choice but to treat any sign of a slide as genuine given the potential consequences if they hit a quarterback who is legitimately sliding, so the play was banned almost immediately.
  • Audie Murphy's army buddy, Lattie Tipton (fictionalized as "Brandon" in To Hell and Back) was killed this way by a German machine gun in Southern France. Murphy's Roaring Rampage of Revenge ended up earning him the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor (he would famously earn that later anyway).
  • This was point of the notorious "road agent's spin" or "border roll" used by particularly dishonourable Wild West gunfighters. The practitioner would seemingly surrender, offering his pistol to the opponent butt-first, then suddenly spin it back into firing position and shoot.
  • Following him suspending his presidential campaign and after a meeting with Trump, Ted Cruz announced that he would be speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention. When that night came, he initially congratulated the latter but rather than endorse the candidate (like Ben Carson and other fellow Republican presidential candidates did), Cruz publicly made it clear that he wasn't endorsing Trump and even told the Republican crowd to "vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution." He was expectedly booed by most of the crowd. Some but not all (Democrat and/or Republican) weren't surprised by this action, considering Trump made some unreasonable insults about both his wife and father.
  • This Remote Control Pistol found on the body of a dead British spy during WW2 was, at the very least, capable of being used for this purpose, causing the German security police to immediately change their arrest procedure.
  • Early in the Russian Civil War, Red Army commanders would set White officers free provided they swore on their honour as officers and noblemen to not fight against the Red Army anymore (regular soldiers naturally joined the Red Army of their own free will). But the officers considered any word given to "peasants" null and void and led attacks against the Red Army as soon as they got to their troops. This led to tales of the Red Army's cruelty as they understood their folly and started executing any captured White officer.
  • A lot of security systems will let you program a "Panic Code"; in the event that you're being forced at gunpoint to disable the alarm system, typing the Panic Code will disable it like the regular code, but also send a silent alarm to send the police anyway.
  • Similarly, an Urban Legend claims that typing your PIN in an ATM backwards will get the money stuck in the machine and alert the police, in the similar event that you're being forced at gunpoint to withdraw money for your robber. This is Snopes certified false (and leads to some Fridge Logic if someone has the misfortune to have a palindrome PIN, like 1001), though some bills have been introduced to try to make it a reality.
  • During the Second Seminole War, the American army failed to expel the Seminole tribe from Florida. General Thomas Jesup, under a white flag of truce, offered to have peace talks with Seminole leader Osceola. These “peace talks” were a ruse and Osceola and 81 of his men were immediately captured. Even at the time this was considered a cowardly move. Jesup suffered a loss of reputation that would follow him for the rest of his life.
  • This has been documented happening on video multiple times in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, invariably committed by the Russians. One particularly infamous video had ten Russian soldiers attempting to surrender, dropping their weapons and laying down in the dirt in front of some relaxed Ukrainian troops, only for an eleventh member of their squad to pull perfidy at the last minute, by whipping out an assault rifle and blazing away at the Ukrainians who were accepting the surrender of the other ten. The result was a shootout and, though the exact sequence of events is disputed, it is known that the gunman and the surrendering troops were all killed. Which is a pretty good example of why militaries aren't supposed to do this.

Alternative Title(s): White Frag, Heel Faux Turn, Fake Surrender


Superman kneels before Zod

A (supposedly) de-powered Superman kneels before Zod.

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Main / KneelBeforeZod

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