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Rescue Introduction

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"Hooray! Thank you for rescuing me. My name is Yoshi. On my way to rescue my friends, Bowser trapped me in that egg."
Yoshi, Super Mario World

A new character is met when the protagonists rescue them from a tricky situation, or when they rescue the protagonists. Often creates a strong emotional bond with a new character, as said rescue adds instant dramatic tension to any first impression. Depending on attitude and reaction of the character, it can act as an Establishing Character Moment.

Will sometimes result in a Rescue Romance or Recruitment by Rescue. Compare to Come with Me If You Want to Live, which has a similar introduction dynamic. The rescuer can act as The Cavalry, or Big Damn Heroes depending on the situation.

While this meeting may often overlap with introducing the character to the audience as well, it does not necessarily have to — this is an in-universe trope about how the protagonist(s) meet the character.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Buso Renkin: Kazuki first met Tokiko when he tried to save her from a man-eating homunculus. The rescue didn't go to plan, however, as Kazuki suffered a mortal wound, forcing Tokiko (who was only pretending to be in danger to lure the homunculus into a trap) to bring him back to life with a Magitech kakugane, making it a mutual rescue introduction.
  • Richard is rescued by Seigi when he is introduced in The Case Files of Jeweler Richard.
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto — in an inversion, the titular Cesare Borgia first appears when he saves The Watson Angelo from a runaway horse. The musical plays it straight, with Cesare singing his "I Want" Song before, and the rescue as Angelo's first appearance.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha rescuing Subaru in the first episode of StrikerS. Interestingly, the series ends with Subaru rescuing Nanoha, in turn.
    • Rinne first met her mentor Jill in ViVid Strike! when the latter saved her from a kidnapping.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Misato rescues Shinji from getting squashed by the First Angel/blown up by JSDF the very first time he sees her.
  • One Piece: Plenty of characters are introduced like this:
    • The first one is Roronoa Zoro, the bounty hunter. While his name is mentioned quite a few times beforehand, we only get a clear shot of Zoro when Luffy sees him from over a wall. Luffy is already intent on rescuing and recruiting him by then.
    • Chopper is technically introduced while rescuing a frozen, exhausted Luffy and his friends atop a mountain, although we only learn his name in the subsequent chapter.
    • Camie the Mermaid is introduced in Hachi's cover story, having been eaten by a huge sea boar and then spat out thanks to Hachi. She is reintroduced in the main story pretty much the same way, except she is eaten by a sea rabbit this time.
    • Gan Fall the Sky Knight is introduced early during Skypiea by saving the Straw Hats from a resident native warrior (Wyper).
  • In the anime Romeo Juliet, this is how Juliet meets both Romeo and Tybalt.
  • Sailor Moon: Makoto is introduced saving Usagi from either getting hit by a car (manga and Sailor Moon Crystal) or from Japanese Delinquents (1990s anime) depending on the version.
  • Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny is introduced partway through the first episode when he swoops in and rescues protagonist Kotetsu by snatching him out of a fall, bridal-style. This is Played for Laughs in that episode itself, soon becomes a Running Gag, and is even used as a Book-End.

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk (1962): Bruce gets hit by his own Gamma Bomb because, moments before the bomb was to go off, he saw a teenager had managed to drive right up to it and rushed out to save him (he had told his assistant to cancel the detonation, but the assistant was a spy who let the bomb go off so it'd kill Banner). And that's how Bruce met Rick Jones.
  • In Runaways, Karolina first encounters Klara while rescuing her from a factory fire.
  • Sonic the Comic: Best friends Tails and Sonic first met when Sonic saved Tails from drowning in a swamp. He saw the two tails and thought that two foxes had fallen in, but it was just one boy with two tails.
  • Spider-Man's parents were spies working for S.H.I.E.L.D.. In the special -1 issue of Untold Tales of Spider-Man, the audience is treated to a case in which they have to save a fellow agent. When they rescue that agent, it's revealed to be Wolverine whom they were meeting for the first time.
  • In The Blue Lotus, Tintin meets Chang Chon-Chen by rescuing him from drowning in a flood.
  • Wonder Woman first met her eventual adopted sister and first Wonder Girl Donna Troy when she rescued Donna as a toddler from an apartment fire. She also first met her eventual husband Steve Trevor when she pulled him from the burning wreckage of his crashed plane.

    Fan Works 

    Film Animated 
  • Seen often in the Disney Animated Canon:
    • Aladdin: Aladdin meets Princess Jasmine when rescuing her from a street vendor from whom she accidentally stole an apple and her arm is nearly slashed off.
    • Taran and Eilonwy first meet Fflewddur Fflam in The Black Cauldron when they get him out of the Horned King's dungeon.
    • Hercules: Hercules meets Megara when rescuing her from a monstrous centaur.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Phoebus first meets Esmeralda after he saves her from being arrested by his own teammates.
    • The Little Mermaid (1989): Ariel meets Eric after he is accidentally separated from his ship during a hurricane, and brings him to shore to prevent him from drowning.
    • The Rescuers Down Under: Cody rescues Marahute, a giant golden eagle, from a poacher's trap on top of a cliff. When freed, Marahute accidentally pushes Cody off the cliff with her wing, and when she sees him falling down, she swoops down and saves him.
  • In Shrek, Shrek and Donkey meet Princess Fiona when they rescue her from her tower.

    Film Live Action 
  • This is how the eponymous protagonist of Hancock meets Ray, who then becomes his PR man.
  • This is how Number Six introduces herself in I Am Number Four.
  • Kick-Ass: Kickass is about to get carved up by Razul's gang when Hit-Girl gets her Establishing Character Moment by massacring them all. This is also the first time we see her in the Hit-Girl persona.
  • In Labyrinth, Sarah comes across her second traveling companion, Gentle Giant Ludo, as he's being tortured by goblins. She tosses rocks at their helmets, which sends them off in confusion. As she approaches him to free him from the ropes that they strung him up with, he roars at her and she chides him for acting that way toward someone trying to help him.
  • Pale Rider: The Preacher and Hull first meet when the Preacher rescues him from a bunch of thugs.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope has one of the most iconic examples of this when Luke rescues Leia.
    • Finn and Poe meet in The Force Awakens when Finn helps Poe escape the New Order's prison cells.
  • The Terminator has Kyle introduce himself to Sarah J. Connor by extricating her from Tech Noir just as the T-800 closes in for the kill. This is a theme that's carried on in the other films/TV series, accompanied by the catchphrase, "Come with me if you want to live."

  • Taran and Eilonwy meet in the first book of The Chronicles of Prydain when he's imprisoned in Spiral Castle. All she really wants is for him to throw her bauble back to her, as she's accidentally dropped it into his cell; when he explains that his hands are bound, she instead breaks into the cell and unties him. He then asks her to also rescue the prisoner in the other cell, whom he believes is his companion Gwydion, but is actually the wandering bard Fflewddur Fflamm. Eilonwy then helps both of them escape and ends up joining the quest.
  • Dream Park. The players first meet Alex Griffin's character when they find him sinking in quicksand. One of them teases Griffin by making him prove that he's worthy to join the party before they rescue him.
  • In The Dreamside Road, Enoa and Orson meet when he saves her from two Liberty Corps Shapers disguised as Sight-Stealers.
  • Murtagh rescuing Eragon in Inheritance Cycle.
  • In Much Fall of Blood Erik and Bortai first met when she was escaping from Gatu's forces, and he offers her shelter, with unintended consequences.
  • Neverwhere: How Richard meets Door when he takes her home after finding her lying and bleeding on a cold London Above street.
  • Safehold:
    • How Merlin Athrawes introduces himself to then-Crown Prince Cayleb in Off Armageddon Reef.
    • Merlin does it again in How Firm a Foundation when he shows up at Talkyra Castle to rescue Earl Coris, Princess Irys, and Prince Daivyn.
  • Stray: Sister Caroline Mary is introduced when she saves Pufftail after he's thrown out of a car. She's one of the very few humans that Pufftail has ever truly trusted.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: How Miles meets Taura in "Labyrinth". However, he's also on a mission to kill her. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • In The Warded Man, Leesha and Rojer meet the titular Warded Man when he saves them from being killed by demons and gets them to safety.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In Firestar's Quest, Firestar and Sandstorm meet Clover and Scratch when they find Clover trying to defend herself and her kits from a fox; the two of them rush over to rescue her, and Scratch joins in shortly afterward.
    • In Midnight, the Clan cats meet Purdy when they're fleeing from a dog and he calls to them to climb the tree that he's in.
    • In Hollyleaf's Story, Hollyleaf meets Fallen Leaves after she is injured in a rockfall and falls unconscious; he found her and began tending to her injuries.
    • In The Apprentice's Quest, Needlepaw and Alderpaw rescue two orphaned, starving kits that they name Violetkit and Twigkit, and end up becoming adopted older siblings to them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several times throughout Doctor Who, but explicitly in "Rose", where Rose's first meeting with the Doctor is him grabbing her hand and yelling "Run!"
  • In Haven, Duke is introduced after having rescued Audrey from drowning. Earlier in the episode, Nathan is introduced just prior to saving Audrey from going over a cliff in her rental car. It was a tough episode to be Audrey.
  • Lost Girl: How Bo meets Kenzi. And how Bo meets Dyson's New Old Flame Kiara. And how Dyson re-connects with her after several centuries of separation.
  • How Dov meets his girlfriend in season 2 of Rookie Blue. She's a bomb disposal expert called in to help him after he steps on a bomb-trigger trap and rescues him from said trap.
  • In Suits, Harvey and Mike meet this way when Harvey and Donna conspire to rescue Mike from the police chasing him in the pilot.
  • Although we never see it (and Dean doesn't seem to remember it), Dean and Castiel from Supernatural first meet when Castiel rescues Dean from Hell.


  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, Angelo first appears when the titular Cesare Borgia rescues him from a runaway horse. In the manga source material, it was inverted — we see Angelo's point of view for a few scenes and the rescue is Cesare's first appearance. In the musical, it comes after Cesare's "I Want" Song, and it's Angelo's first appearance.

    Video Games 
  • BioWare likes this trope for party members:
    • Mass Effect: Ashley, Liara, and Tali from the first game. The second game has Archangel and Legion, while Jack and Grunt qualify to a lesser extent. The third game has Javik in the From Ashes DLC, while Vega takes part in the Normandy's Gunship Rescue to evacuate Shepard during the prologue. Subverted with Wilson from the second game and Maya Brooks from the third game's Citadel DLC respectively, who are both revealed to actually be The Mole and responsible for the attack they were rescued from.
    • Dragon Age: Origins: The Player Character and Alistair meet Flemeth very briefly, but later have a more extensive one of these. The Warden later rescues Sten, Shale, and Wynne, leading to their Recruitment by Rescue. Unless the Warden is the Human Noble, they also meet Dog when they save him from the Blight sickness, and he later finds them and becomes their pet.
    • In Dragon Age II, Hawke and family meet Aveline by saving her and her husband from darkspawn. Flemeth again introduces herself after rescuing Hawke and company from darkspawn. Varric introduces himself after taking down the pickpocket who'd just robbed Hawke, returning his/her money before casually offering them a place in the Deep Roads Expedition.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this is revealed to be how the Iron Bull met his right-hand man Krem; Bull defended Krem, whom he didn't even know, in a bar fight. The incident cost Bull one of his eyes. Right after it was over, he introduced himself and invited Krem to join his mercenary company. Naturally, Krem has Undying Loyalty to "the big idiot."
    • Baldur's Gate 2: Branwen, Dynaheir, Viconia, Yeslick, and Xan in the first game; Aerie, Cernd, Haer'Dalis, Viconia (again!), Mazzy and arguably Minsc and Jaheira in the sequel.
    • Knights of the Old Republic has you rescuing Bastila (or, as she'll insist, her rescuing you)...
  • In the sixth installment of the Dark Parables, the Fairytale Detective meets Jack when he saves her from being killed by Prince Leonard.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, Celes is introduced just as Locke rescues her from the jail cell.
  • The videogame adaptation of The Godfather has you meet Frankie when she's taken hostage by Vito's would-be assassins. The same event also leads you to become personally acquainted with Vito.
  • GreedFall: De Sardet meets Aphra after they deal withnote  a couple of natives looking for her. She then holds them at gunpoint, then asks that they help her rescue the rest of her colleagues.
  • In Half-Life 2 you meet Alyx Vance after she rescues you.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In the first Metal Gear Solid, Snake meets Otacon by rescuing him from the Cyborg Ninja.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Raiden meets the President of the United States and Emma Emmerich while trying to rescue them from the terrorists that have taken over the Big Shell.
  • Medal of Honor: Vanguard: The first time the player sees the Bazooka Operator, he is trapped in a tree by his parachute, the player then gets to cut him down from the tree.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, this is how the main protagonist meets Sophia (punks harassing her), as well as one of the two ways to meet Laury (dangerous dog about to attack her). Depending on if one of them is the girl you target the ending of on your playthrough or not, it can evolve into Rescue Romance.
  • In Pop'n Twinbee, Light and Pastel first meet Madoka when she begs them to rescue her grandfather Mardock, a benevolent scientist whose personality changed into a deranged megalomaniac world-conqueror after he hit his head on a pole. They ultimately manage to turn him back to normal, making the three youngsters the best of friends ever since, and Mardock one of Light and Pastel's most trusted allies.
  • In the main story of I=MGCM, Akisa Higashiyama, who was Ret-Gone after a demon ate her existence, is rescued by Omnis and the magical heroines by killing the demon who ate her existence. They first meet her after rescuing her. Her restoration and rescue pushed her to join the fight against them in order to prevent this from happening to others. Completing this episode will have SR-rare Akisa and unlocking her in the home menu as a reward.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: Sean MacGuire was captured by the law as the Van der Linde gang escaped Blackwater. A Chapter 2 mission has the gang rescuing him while he is being transferred, giving him a formal introduction to the player.
  • Resident Evil 2 (Remake): Leon first meets Ada while he's pinned down by a zombie dog and she shoots it, saving his life.
  • Turtle Head: Unmasked mentions Kay Brown in documents, but she is first seen in person when Detective Mason Camdenburg breaks into the room in the Old School Building where she has been left tied up by the titular Serial Killer and busts her out, showing her to the emergency exit.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the player is introduced to Akira and Kaoru when the latter is being harassed by Maruhashi. Upon seeing Akira, she pretends that they're together to try and get away from the situation. Akira reluctantly goes along with it, beats down Maruhashi, and they both escape.


    Web Games 
  • In the Mata Nui Online Game, Gali, Pohatu, Onua, and Kopaka are introduced when they make a sudden appearance to save the player and others, and a lot of the other characters (most of the Ga-Matoran and Le-Matoran, Nokama and Matau, and Kopeke) are introduced when you have to save them.

    Web Original 
  • A 2020 video of Cream Heroes has a pet example when Claire starts fostering a mother cat and her twin babies facing euthanasia, which became their permanent home in around a month when the rest of the cats warmed up to the now-named Nana, Dodo, and Toto.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Team Kimba first meets Skyhawk when he swoops in and plucks Chaka off the roof of a car of bad guys just before it crashes. They first meet Anti-Hero The Lamplighter when he mistakes Chaka and Dyna-Man for supervillains and tries to kill them.

    Western Animation 
  • Star Wars Rebels: Ezra first meets the Ghost crew when he steals some items they were in the process of stealing from the Empire's garrison on Lothal and is subsequently rescued from the Empire by the crew.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Superboy is introduced in the first two episodes as a clone from Cadmus that Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad try to liberate. Though he does attack them at first, he turns against Cadmus and then saves them from being Kill and Replace.
    • Though she debuts in "Infiltrator", Artemis's is first hinted at in the previous episode "Schooled" when she fires an arrow at Amazo to save Kid Flash.
    • In season 3, Artemis first meets Halo when she saves her from being buried alive by Metahuman traffickers.

    Real Life 
  • A standard trick by private investigators or spies to gain someone's trust is to stage a fake bar fight or street mugging, with the investigator as the Good Samaritan coming in to "save" him or her.


Video Example(s):



Ashima, the Indian tank engine, is introduced rescuing Thomas from falling into the water after she almost knocks him in.

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Example of:

Main / RescueIntroduction

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