Henchman Bob is beginning to have second thoughts about his career with the Evil Overlord. Maybe he's dissatisfied with the lack of advancement opportunities, what with the Big Bad's tendency to kill subordinates for "motivational" reasons, personal utilitaristic reasons, or no reason. Maybe he's smart enough to realize that the next visit from the good guys won't end well for Team Evil. Or maybe Bob's just sick and tired of kicking puppies for a living.
Allies of the Good Guys can pull this as well, but they're much more likely to return and save the day in the nick of time. If not, then they'll be branded a Dirty Coward or a Dangerous Deserter. Granted, this happens to deserters from Team Evil in a lot of cases, but since the audience will probably side with the good guys anyway...
When this is done by children — or by childish adults — it's considered more contemptible than truly evil, and mockingly referred to as "taking your ball and going home" (in reference to the deserter taking the ball so the game couldn't continue without him).
If a character (especially a minor one) is going to drop a Precision F-Strike, this is one of the most likely places. When the character does this specifically as an act of betrayal (i.e., wanting whoever is with them to suffer) and not just them saving their own hides, it's Betrayal by Inaction. Related to Know When to Fold 'Em, though this trope might be seen as less honorable. Refusal of the Call occurs when the consequences of doing this are especially dire. When players of a video game do this, it often doubles as a Rage Quit.
Not to be confused with Line in the Sand, where a general gives his troops the opportunity to leave before a suicidal battle. Nor Opt Out, in which someone quits for reasons of principle rather than mere frustration or cowardice. This trope is only for characters who cut and run without their superiors' knowledge, permission, or both. Also not to be confused with Heel–Face Turn or Mook–Face Turn, where someone on the bad guys' side decides not just to walk away, but actively to join the forces of good. If they resort to a violent solo career (or in company with other deserters), they're a Dangerous Deserter.
Inverse of Attack! Attack! Attack!, but the former followed by this trope can result in Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!. Contrast with Villain: Exit, Stage Left!, which is when the Big Bad or other high-profile villain pulls this stunt, rather than a simple insignificant Mook or cowardly sidekick. Compare and contrast Tactical Withdrawal for more organized, strategic decisions, and Run or Die and Don't Ask, Just Run for when everyone agrees that running away screaming is the appropriate response. Contrast Resignations Not Accepted where one tries to flee, but can't.
- McGruff the Crime Dog is driven to this by his colleagues, who only baby-talk him, in an GEICO ad.
- A famous UK advert for Weetabix breakfast cereal had the Lone Ranger and Tonto finding themselves surrounded by Indians. The Lone Ranger is unconcerned until they find evidence that the Indians have eaten Weetabix for breakfast, at which point the following exchange occurs:
Lone Ranger: (gulps) Now we're in trouble...
Tonto: What's all this "we", paleface? (and gallops away)
- This is, in turn, based on an old MAD cartoon; American readers know the joke more commonly as "What you mean 'we', kemosabe?"
- One Honey Nut Cheerios commercial has Buzz the honeybee do this when he realizes the woman he's giving his product to is an entomologist. She kills and puts insects on display.
- Several of the old seat-belt safety commercials (like this one) with the Crash Test Dummies involved Vince wanting to quit, as he felt he was taking abuse for no reason because nobody was listening; Larry was always able to convince him otherwise.
- COBRA mooks show a rare case of the Smart Ball in this commercial, deciding to flee from Sergeant Slaughter.
- The Adventures of Mini-Goddess had a Baseball Episode that saw Urd and Skuld use clones of themselves to form teams and play against each other. In the final inning, when it seemed like Urd's team didn't have much of a chance to win, she used a "special technique" called "Vanishing Pitcher". Skuld then follows her lead by employing "Vanishing Catcher". Before long, every position on both teams is gone, and only Mr. Helper and Gan are left... until:
Mr. Helper: Departing umpire. *leaves*
- In Afro Samurai Resurrection, Ninja-Ninja pulls this on Afro as he heads off to the final fight.
- Brother Three does the same in both the original series and the video game, making him the only character other than Afro to appear in all Afro Samurai media and survive.
- Attempted by a bunch of soldiers in Attack on Titan during the Battle of Trost. Commander Pixis announces an insanely risky plan to halt the Titan advance, and a large number of soldiers simply give up and decide to leave, despite desertion being punishable by execution. Pixis stops this by telling them that "Fighting the Titans is a terrifying thing. Some who have experienced it cannot continue. Therefore, those who wish to leave will not be punished. Go ahead and leave... if you are willing to allow your loved ones to witness the terror of the Titans." That stops the deserters in their tracks, and convinces them to fight.
- Black God: Riona fled the Kaionji Group, after learning they were planning to experiment on her because she was a Main Root. Then she became Yakumo's contractee, in order to protect herself from them.
- One of the omakes in Black Lagoon features younger versions of all the main characters... all except Dutch, that is. He simply left a note saying "Don't bother looking for me" before running off. Apparently there's things in his youth he'd rather keep secret. May or may not tie into his unknown past.
- In Brave10, this happens at least three times:
- Saizo almost does this after being curb-stomped by Hanzo and fearing he Can't Catch Up. The anime replaces this with Saizo doing it after Masamune captures Isanami. He stays in the end, thanks to some Get Ahold Of Yourself Man peptalks.
- In the sequel, Hanzo doesn't take so well to being replaced by Tokugawa and goes looking for work with the Braves.
- As a result of the above example, Jinpachi gets fed up at leaves, angry on behalf of Anastasia.
- Subverted in Cowboy Bebop episode "Black Dog Serenade"; one of the convicts that took part in hijacking a prison ship tries to flee through an airlock when things go bad. Unfortunately, the section he escapes to is open to space, and though there's no Explosive Decompression, he's still as good as dead.
- In Dragon Ball Z, General Tao/Tao Pai Pai is asked to guard a special building that is (supposedly) designed to protect people from Cell and can only be entered if you're stinking rich. Tao is called in to take care of the a little girl's grandfather who fought off the guards, only to have Gohan save him. Tao's ready to fight Gohan, but panics once he learns his name and that he's the son of Goku. Not wanting to lose MORE of himself, he kicks down the nearest tree, launches it into the sky and hops on, leaving for parts unknown.
- A rather funny example happens in GEAR Fighter Dendoh: Hokuto and Ginga, who have been kidnapped by the titular robot to serve as its pilots, are instructed on how to move it, and, being children caught in the middle of an Alien Invasion, start running away with the robot, surprising even the Robeasts they were supposed to fight. Then subverted as soon as they're informed that they're supposed to fight, at which point they annihilate the monsters in a single kempo move.
- In Guilty Crown, Haruka Ouma decides she's had enough of the GHQ after learning that her brother Keido is responsible for Kurosu's death, steals a motorcycle and hightails it out of there.
- Holyland: Some of the thugs in chapter 162 chose to flee than try taking on Yuu.
- This happens 3 times in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. First two times where in Part 2: Joseph runs away from two fights Vampire!Straizo and the Ultimate Lifeform screaming "Nigerunda yo! (Run away!)." His grandson, Jotaro does this in the fight against Rubber Soul and his stand Yellow Temperance. Both do it not out of cowardice but as an excuse to get some time to think out their next plan of action.
- The titular character of Kino's Journey practically embodies this trope, especially when a country she's visiting becomes too dangerous, too unpredictable, or too downright weird.
- In Legend of Galactic Heroes, Walter von Schönkopf and his Rosen Ritter often rout their opponents simply by announcing themselves (or, even more often, by mowing them down until someone notices the regimental shoulder badges, at which point they lose all heart and run for it).
- Pulled by Kuzzey Buzzkirk in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Realising he's The Load, he does the sensible thing and leaves the ship.
- Also pulled by a Space Colony of mixed population (Coordinator and Natural) in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray. They convert their colony into a giant spaceship and head for Jupiter, where there are no colonies, no people, and no one to tell them that half their population needs to die.
- It's strongly hinted in the backstory of ∀ Gundam that at some point during the Dark History before the Moonlight Butterfly apocalypse, the Spacenoids simply packed up and left the Earth Sphere for the stars, the Colonies turning into impromptu Generation Ships. This in turn explains why there aren't any left. Except for the Moonrace.
- For a more direct example, Colonel Michael decides to ditch Guin Sard Lineford during the final battle, finding it insane that Guin is still trying to play the long game rather than deal with the fact that the ship is going down in flames.
- In Gundam ZZ, our hero Judau — fed up with the politics and other bullcrap about Earth and the space around it — quits after ending the threats to the Earth. He packs up and leaves for the Jupiter colonies to leave the madness behind and start a new life.
- A Mobile Suit Victory Gundam side manga expands on this: since Jupiter got itself involved in the Earth Sphere's wars, even this was not enough for him. So Judau got together a large group of like-minded people, converted a couple of space colonies into a spaceship, put everyone in stasis, and launched for Alpha Centauri. The manga ends on a note that, 400 years later, the ship successfully arrived and humanity's first interstellar colony was established.
- Both Amuro and Kai bail from White Base in Mobile Suit Gundam due to having enough of fighting in the war. They do end up coming back, though.
- Rain Mikamura does this twice in the same story arc in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the first time because she got tired of Domon's bullheadishness (not helped by how she couldn't do anything to keep Allenby from being abducted, which she took as not being worthy of staying around), the second time because she found out her father was responsible for Domon's troubles, which totally crushes her mindset and makes her the thing she's to blame too.
- In Nisekoi Marika's mother begins forcing her into an arranged marriage as part of an earlier agreement where if Marika couldn't get Raku to fall for her she'd agree to marry someone that Chika picked out for her. Marika tries to bail and the main cast come to rescue her. Everything gets blown ridiculously out of proportion by the end and multiple serious felonies are committed by Chika. The groom, who is actually a rather decent guy, backs out the moment he realizes that Marika doesn't want to marry someone twice her age after her friends come for her. He only agreed as a favor to Chika in the first place and because Marika seemed okay with it earlier on. After he walks out the arc then continues on for a few more chapters even though the groom has already left.
- One Piece:
- In the Alabasta arc, Usopp tries to pull this after Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas escape from a massive explosion practically unscathed and come after him and Chopper. Then they insult Luffy. Usopp promptly changes from this trope into Let's Get Dangerous!.
- Usopp has one of these when he hears that they need to get a new ship.
- Gothic Lolita Perona, one of the Co-Dragons in the Thriller Bark arc, has this after Usopp defeats her; when she comes to, she finds out that Oars (a giant giant that was Moria's greatest trump card) was rampaging through the island, apparently out of control, and that fellow Co-Dragon Hogback had been crushed by him. She reasons that between Oars and the Straw Hats, Thriller Bark wasn't going to last long, and decides to quite literally abandon ship. She would've made off with the Straw Hats' ship, but Kuma intervened and granted her wish in a different way by using his powers to send her elsewhere.note
- In the Marineford Arc, Mihawk leaves as soon as Shanks and his crew appear, stating that fighting Shanks wasn't part of the deal.
- Still in Marineford arc, a random marine grunt tried to run away from his post after seeing the Whitebeard Pirates' strength, but the deserter was quickly dispatched by Admiral Sakazuki.
- Aokiji was strongly opposed to Akainu becoming Fleet Admiral, so much so that they ended up having a fight to the death for the position that went on for ten days!note Ultimately, Akainu won, but spared Aokiji's life. Aokiji was so averse to serving under Akainu that he ended up ditching the Marines and giving up his position as an admiral.
- In the anime of the Red Ribbon arc in Dragon Ball, Colonel Violet does this once Goku starts his invasion of the base. But not before raiding the army's vault and grabbing as much cash as she can. This turns out to be a smart move.
- In Pokémon, if Paul is watching Ash or another trainer having a battle, often he will get bored and leave before it is finished, calling them pathetic. This was especially problematic when his Chimchar's fear of Zangoose led to him pulling this trope in the middle of a Double Battle.
- In Pokémon Special, Karen and Will bail out on the Masked Man once a huge army of Pokémon come charging in. They do not appear to be remotely sorry for trying to kill Blue and Silver, and the two later show up as part of the Indigo Plateau Elite Four with nothing to show that they got punished for willingly being part of a criminal group.
- Black's Munna abandoned him once it didn't like its trainer's dreams anymore. It eventually returned to him as a Musharna though.
- In Ranma ½, Principal Kuno hires three champions to subdue a rebellious Miss Hinako (and Ranma, natch): Happosai, Tatewaki Kuno... and Nabiki. While the two others actually try to engage in battle and are easily routed, Nabiki just takes the money and runs.
- In an anime story where Azusa returns, she gets interested in Kuno and ends up visiting his house. Later Kodachi sees the mess she's causing including taking her stuff. After trying to fight her she gives up and announces that she'll live outside for a while. Meanwhile after Akane told P-Chan about Azusa's return offscreen, he refuses to leave the closet.
- One of the happiest and more awesome moments in Revolutionary Girl Utena revolves around this trope. It happens in the Grand Finale when Anthy, finally released from her older brother and Big Bad Akio's influence by the apparently ret goned Utena, calmly goes to his office all dolled up for a travel and tells him that she no longer will be the Rose Bride and that she's bailing out of Ohtori Academy, much to Akio's sudden distress as this completely derails his plans from then on. She then leaves the Ohtori campus only in Chu-Chu's company, determined to find Utena again and finally have her own life.
- Subverted in Sakura Gari Masataka attempts to run away in the middle of the night after Souma rapes him in the warehouse. Souma puts a stop to that plan by blackmailing him with his brother's debts.
- Sgt. Frog:
Narrator "Last episode had two Momokas, now there's two Angol Mois? If we get two Keroros, I quit!"
- In the English dub, the narrator makes notice of the show recycling the 'multiple of one character' gag, and gets tired of it.
- Later in episode 23, Where there actually ARE more than one Keroro, he keeps his word.
- An episode of Shinryaku! Ika Musume has the characters trying to learn English. In one scene Cindy decides to take various things Eiko says (in Japanese) and associate them with similar-sounding English words/phrases. Eventually, she "mishears" "arigato" as "alligator", freaks out, makes up some excuse to leave, and bails.
- Transformers Headmasters had a rare example of the main hero doing that without ever returning. That episode featured the destruction of Cybertron while under Rodimus Prime's leadership. Rodimus Prime decided he had enough of the war. He quickly and casually passed on his leadership to Fortress, and leaves the Autobots with Kup and Blurr to find a new homeworld for their race. The manga has him eventually return after Scorponok's final defeat, and he later reappears in the "Return of Convoy" manga and story pages, having reverted to his Hot Rod self and become a Micromaster.
- Bunbee of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! does this after spending two years of fighting Nozomi's team and getting screwed out of his pay for it. He's next seen at Fairy Park, telling Tsubomi and Erika to stop holding up the line.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Manjyome (Chazz) tries to do this right before Judai (Jaden) is about to duel Kagemaru. (Seeing as Kagemaru plans to use all three Sacred Beasts, it's hard to blame him.) He changes his mind after Asuka (Alexis) scolds him, however.
- In YuYu Hakusho, during the Dark Tournament Arc, tournament commentator Juri barely manages to escape the section of the ring where Shishiwakamaru strikes with his cursed sword and puts a huge crater into the ground. In addition to that, the same attack sends spirits out from the sword, which attack and kill numerous spectators. When Shishi goes to use the same attack again, spectators start trying to flee the arena in terror. Koto, reporting from ringside, mentions that as commentators, she and Juri have to stay out of professionalism (credit to Koto; as a fox demon, the last attack hurt her ears). When she turns to get Juri to confirm this, we see that Juri is already standing by the exit saying, "Screw this, they don't pay me enough!"
- Earlier in the same arc, the remnants of Team Jolly Devil Six rush to the stage exit in a panic after one of their aces, Zeru, is incinerated by Hiei's Darkness of the Dragon Flame attack, leaving Rinku to fight Team Urameshi by himself. Their leader, Chu, shows up and promptly kills them for their cowardice.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: After Germany pulled out a Browning Hi Power on Japan and Japan pulled out his katana on Germany toward the end of their cock fight, Italy had had enough. Irate and miserable, he fled the scene whilst bawling all the way.
- In An Entry with a Bang!, after learning that C-Earth has nukes and is willing to use them, one pirate crew tries to bug out, but runs into another nuke launcher in the process...
- In this spoof of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon episode "The Ugly Mermaid", Mario decides on this when he sees that the anthropomorphic fish-people of Mertropolis are somehow afraid of the water Bowser is flooding their city with.
- In episode 45 of Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy, a boy named Tsumuji, who is performing a magician act, becomes annoyed when he realizes that the audience isn't even paying attention to him.
Tsumuji: [puts hands on hips] Seriously, I haven't done anything yet, and you're already 'oooh'ing? (rips off bowtie and storms off the stage) Screw This I'm Outta Here.
- Uninvited Guests:
- Gin gets sick of Aizen claiming to be responsible for everything and defects back to Soul Society.
- Starrk invokes this trope by preferring to walk away from the incoming battle royale rather than having his ass landed by Hitsugaya again. His companions minus Haribel, however, lacked that common sense.
- In Through A Diamond Sky, Melodia throws down her gun and tells The Baron she's through after Flynn barges in the room. Justified as she was already starting to think it was a bad idea to try and challenge a User.
- This is a Running Gag with Hobbes in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: The Abridged Series Jaden tries to quit being the hero and surrender his Winged Kuriboh card; by trying to do this, he accidentally reforms the villains of the week. He eventually gives up on trying to leave.
- The entire second half of Cuanta Vida, a very dark Deconstruction Fic of Team Fortress 2, is devoted to the saner team members doing just this. Most of them make it.
- Slip attempts this in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, but Night Raven makes a Defied case of this trope. In other words, he kills Slip by accusing him of desertion.
- Getting Back on Your Hooves: Following Checker Monarch's Engineered Public Confession in chapter 11, her servants decide to abandon her. Unfortunately for them, Trixie's grandmother Helena overhears them discussing their involvement in Checker's plans to ruin Trixie's life, and decides to teach them a lesson about messing with her granddaughter.
- My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: Almost everyone in Magiville has this exact same thought (with almost this exact same wording) when Nightmare Moon No Sells their combined attacks.
- Earth and Sky: In chapter 37, Professor Destiny and Doctor Insanity's Beleaguered Assistant Otto finally has enough of working for them when Destiny convinces his brother to continue racing the Pegalathon even after they've been disqualified and nearly arrested. He ditches them in the desert with their supplies, then takes his balloon and heads for Mexicolt. And ends up as an unwilling decoy for the pursuing Royal Guard.
- Extended Stay: In chapter 13, following the Mistress going into sudden labor during her and the Warden's wedding, the inmates start to riot. This prompts the priest marrying the two lovers to flee for his life, only to be caught and killed by a female inmate seconds later.
- The Pony POV Series has an example in the Dark World: Discord's sister Rancor, upon completing her mission to steal Destruction's power from Discord, immediately leaves to return to the Draconequus dimension, walking out on what should be the Final Battle because she's just not interested in it.
- The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds: According to a blog post by the author, Serpentor ordered Cobra's attack on the Decepticons. Cobra Commander realised exactly how badly this was going to go, emptied the safe in his office, hopped on a hydrofoil with a half-dozen loyal soldiers, and got as far away from Cobra Island as possible. They were the only survivors. Cobra Commander has since got out of the supervillain business and is now enjoying a very comfortable retirement in New York City under an assumed name. This has since become the focus of a side-story, Day of the Broken Fang.
- In Blood Is Thicker Than Bone, Dosu, Zaku, and Kin do this when they've learned from Haku that Orochimaru plans on using them for Edo Tensei (which means that he's planning on sacrificing them for his fight against Sarutobi).
- Queen of All Oni: After Jade fires them, the Enforcers decide to skip town (with plans to flee the country altogether) in order to finally get away from the magic business and the Humiliation Conga they've been suffering ever since they got involved in it. They get arrested before they get too far.
- In Harry Potter and the Shell of the God-King, Narcissa announces her plans to divorce Lucius the moment she hears that Harry has become Qwa'ha Xahn of an Old One. In her words, "This was a marriage of convenience for both of us and, well, you're no longer convenient."
- At the climax of Families, Twilight Sparkle is captured by several of Olive Branch's conspirators, who restrain her with a Power Nullifier. However, after they threaten Spike, she overpowers it and quickly renders one of the goons unconscious, at which point the others all run away.
- Where Hivefled's title comes from; it starts with the troll gang fleeing the empire.
- At the end of What's Done in the Dark..., Discord abandons the Equestrian dimension, as he believes events are getting "too serious". A few readers agreed.
- The Golden Griffin in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor is fine with guarding a room in the Third Floor Corridor... but not if he has to guard it from Hermione Granger.
- In Crisis of Infinite Batmans, half of the Mooks run away and leave when they notice their opposition is a large army of Batmans from multiple dimensions. Given the Batmans include the Crazy-Prepared Adam West version, Clark Wayne the Kryptonian Batman, Bat Lantern, Wonder Bat, Batman 1/2, Evangelion Unit B.A.T., Batgundam, Lyrical Magical Batman, a multiplying Batman, a Batman using a wand to disarm his foes, a child Batman with a harem of teenagers including a female version of The Joker, a stretching Batman with a straw hat, a Batman fighting by summoning infinite swords and a mysterious armoured woman, and at least three Batgods, their reaction is understandable.
- The Rise of Darth Vulcan: When Discord realizes that his and Vulcan's powers cancel each other, and that unlike Vulcan this puts his health and life at risk, he abandons the fight, leaving the Mane Six to deal with him themselves.
- Equestrylvania: When the captive Wharg gets loose in their base, many of Rose Blade's minions run away, fearing it more than they do him.
- In Origin Story, Moonstone retires to be a teacher after becoming the only survivor of Thunderbolts fight with Alex Harris.
- In Three Pawns Benjiro, Zaku's Rooster Summon he has obtained is told to help them against Gaara during the attack. Taking one look at how unhinged Gaara is becoming, The Summon decides to do a hasty retreat and disappears.
Zaku: What the?! Get the hell back here you fucking chicken!
Dosu: Face Palm
- A Shadow of the Titans:
- Susano and his team try to corner Jade for a beating at one point, only for Gadjo to show up and curbstomp one of them. The other teammate runs off, and Susano wisely leaves too after a few parting insults.
- For a more comedic example, when Jinx and Jade are attending a seminar on minion management, there's a video of Gadjo killing a previous employer for threatening his pies. Around the time he rips off the guy's head and throws it at the camera, the girls decide to ditch out on the rest of the seminar.
- When Jade finds herself facing a Green Lantern rather than the Titans, she runs away without even trying to fight.
- At one point in Yet Again, Naruto and Jiraya are sparring, and trading escalating Trash Talk with one another. Jiraya at this point had summoned a rather large toad, who tries to eat Naruto, while Naruto replies by threatening Jiraya with his biggest anti-pervert technique he knows. Sensing Naruto's Harem Jutsu coming, the toad politely excuses himself and unsummons, leaving Jiraya to his fate.
- Death Note Equestria: After L's death, Jazz quits the team and walks away, his reasons being that he was loyal to her, not the mission.
- Whenever Sasuke comes across an awkward social situation in he uses the Substitution Jutsu to get away, usually via a potted plant from a different floor. In extreme cases he can rip up a mailbox from several blocks away.
- Also, Hinata gets sick of her clan's abuse and files paperwork to cast off her last name.
- When Stan walks into the kitchen in Anywhere but Home and sees Pacifica crying at the table while Mabel and Dipper are frantically trying to figure out why, he immediately turns around and walks back out.
- The Elements of Friendship:
- As soon as the Headless Horse shows up, Moondancer teleports away and abandons the group.
- The Headless Horse itself pulls this twice — first, when Twilight scares it off with a miniature sun, and later when she gives her "World of Cardboard" Speech against NightMare Moon during the Final Battle, showing her full power. Both times, the Headless Horse flees.
- After they've captured Naruto in The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor, Yu is the only one of the System Lords to realize he's far too confident for a prisoner. He promptly makes an exit, and as a result is one of the few to survive the encounter.
- Ashes of the Past:
- This is Karen's Absol's reaction to encountering Ash Ketchum. Too bad for her the window she tried to escape through was made of safety glass.
- It happens to two other Absols as well. That should tell you all you need to know about Ash.
- The Infinite Loops sometimes has loopers decide they aren't going to play along with canon events this loop and are instead going to have a "vacation loop" simply annihilating everything in their path with extreme prejudice or taking a literal vacation. This was also Twilight Sparkle's reaction to looping into a variant version of Equestria based on Nineteen Eighty-Four, she let Pinkie Pie loose on it and spent the next year studying the moons of the outer planets.
- Saetwo's Story: When Romelau seemingly dies during the Final Battle, his Fleen minions — who were only following his orders out of fear and manipulation — immediately abandon their fight with the Zoombinis and leave.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: When Misato finds out that Commander Gendo is still using her wards as guinea pigs and Ritsuko intentionally hurt Asuka again, she decides to pick her kids up and hightail it. When SEELE attacks the Geofront, she and pilot Keiko's guardians take advantage of the ensuing chaos to run from NERV and leave Japan together with the pilots.
- The Last Spartan:
- A few of Doctor Saelon's mercenaries get the hell out of dodge when the Arbiter shows up to rescue Chief, citing that the doctor doesn't pay them enough for that kind of risk.
- Ustrina bails out after Horridus is killed, but not without rigging the ship to explode on her way out.
- Chief does this in the next chapter when Vanderloo suggests that Chief is trying to find and sleep with the Angel of Akuze.
- A professional assassin hired to kill Harry Potter in For Love of Magic decides the money isn't worth fighting someone of Harry's level when it quickly becomes clear his superior mobility is the only thing keeping him alive. After the two work together to survive a trio of Death Eaters who attack them, he offers Harry a curt nod and leaves.
- This Bites!:
- Sanji and Luffy escape a group of Marines when the former yells, "Jessica just found out Jonathan threw away a meal she made for him!" Every marine present promptly sprints out of there.
- Terry and Isaiah decide to stay at Marine Base G-8 when the Straw Hat insanity grows too much for them.
- During the attack on Enies Lobby, roughly half the Marines run away yelling things like, "I didn't sign up for this."
- Cross and Leo try to "de-ass the area with the quickness" when Sanji, Usopp and Zoro go after them (Cross for making them all see Kokoro's mermaid body and Leo for holding back in their fights). They don't escape.
- After being warned of the sheer insanity of Cross's explanation for how he knows so much Mizu, Kiwi, Lulu, and Tilestone all haul ass out of there.
- After briefly returning to Sunnydale in Xendra, Spike and Drusilla leave again with Spike swearing to himself to never return when Dru tells him to remember she loves him if he ever returns, having foreseen his death.
- Akira Kurusu in The Evil Queen just managed to survive an accidental entry into the Metaverse and decides he's not going to risk his life to try to change the heart of a third year high schooler on a power trip. He eventually goes back because he can't leave his new friend Ann in danger alone.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, a vampire tries to hightail it when he sees what kind of Eldritch Abomination their mob is summoning. Vladislav executes him immediately.
"Mr. Vladislav," shouted one of the vampires, "I'm gone!" He shifted into bat-form, tried to get away. Vladislav snapped his fingers. Two others, gifted with form-shifting, turned into bats, went after him, grabbed him, dragged him back to the gangboss.
With terrible efficiency, Vladislav tore the offending bat to pieces with his bare hands.
- Out of the Corner of the Eye:
- Upon learning of the horrors hidden in Miskatonic University, Ratso quits his job there and joins the Chans in fleeing Arkham.
- After coming into his new powers and gaining a significant financial base, Valmont flees for a remote part of Russia, in order to safely sit out the coming end of the world.
- The Somewhat Cracked Mind Of Uchiha Itachi:
- Gaara found himself being treated better in Konoha than Suna. So in regards to the upcoming invasion, he tells his siblings the following: "I abandoned the plan a week ago, I'm staying here." His siblings agree with him, switch sides, and effectively ditch Suna after the chaos is over, refusing to return home unless their father is removed from power.
- The Invasion goes so badly that eventually every able-bodied invader books it once it becomes obvious that they're screwed.
- Summer Crowns:
- Young Aeron Greyjoy pulls this on the Ironborn after an informative talk with Rodrik Harlaw. Namely that this Greyjoy Rebellion is doomed like canon, but its greater success means every great lord wants Ironborn blood by the buckets. So he grabs his niece and nephews, loads them on a ship, and sails for the Stepstones.
- Unlike in canon, Varys fled King's Landing after Robert's Rebellion.
- The reason that Rhaegar is called the King Who Ran in this timeline is his habit of this. He fled Westeros for Pentos after his family was overthrown, and Pentos for Volantis after it looked like the Dragonhunt were going to catch him.
- When the Dragonhunt assaults Myr, those magisters who are in a position to flee the city by ship with their wealth and kin do so.
- Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
- During the Battle of Torus Filney, Frost and his forces flee the battlefield after the rebels bust out the guns from Earth.
- After Rhouglar is executed by Caleb, his men abandon the Rebellion in droves.
- Quentin Ross quits Section 13 and storms out of working with the Chans and Guardians after they decide to use Harold to replace Chang, since as far as his moral inflexibility is concerned, anything short of utterly wiping out the Dark Hand down to the last member is unacceptable.
- Chang's lackey Crane abandons the fight against the Chans and Guardians in the hidden subway tunnel after Caleb uses the Sword of Thanatos and enters Berserker Form.
- A Chance Meeting Of Two Moons: When the six alicorns (Twilight, Celestia, Luna, Dusk Shine, Solaris and Artemis) catch Discord and Eris watching them in the dream realm and start raging at them, the two draconequui decide it would be best to make a run for it.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
- Vix-Lei's reaction, shared by the rest of the group, when she realizes that Sweet Surprise, the Full Moon of the Luna Guard, has shown up to arrest them.
Vix-Lei: CHEESE IT! [she promptly grabs Rex and runs, with the others right behind them]
- Night Blade does this when he thinks Xvital is siding with Wind Breaker in their fight, abandoning the group and the quest. He changes his mind and comes back in the nick of time.
- Vix-Lei's reaction, shared by the rest of the group, when she realizes that Sweet Surprise, the Full Moon of the Luna Guard, has shown up to arrest them.
- Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, it's revealed that the Great Old One Azathoth once resided in Spliced Genome's world, but the locals kept resisting its control, to the point where Azathoth decided it wasn’t worth the effort and moved on to go after some other planet or dimension.
- Crookedstar's Chance is an AU Warrior Cats fic in which Shellheart and Crookedkit leave RiverClan because its leader allowed Rainflower to abuse the latter.
- In a terrifying clamour of trumpets, Edward and Izumi team up to kill the homunculi, but if you look closely, they only find six of them. According to the author’s notes, this is because Greed decided he didn’t want to deal with this shit and opted to skip town.
- At the very end of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Voldemort demands his Death Eaters explain why they didn't carry on the fight in his absence. He rejects excuse after excuse (and torturers the men who make them) until one of them simply says he saw that they were losing and fled the country; that one Voldemort accepts as perfectly reasonable.
- A minor Running Gag in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has Ash's Bulbasaur leaving the premises on Oak's ranch whenever he notices things are about to/could get bad for him.
- The Ravens Plan has a few examples:
- Upon realizing that the ritual to send their minds back in time has Gone Horribly Right (allowing many more people than was intended to remember the future), Jaime, Bronn and Sandor grab Tommen and Myrcella, as well as a few others who remember and that they can trust (most notably Barristan) and flee King's Landing.
- Talisa gets on a ship to head for the Free Cities, out of shame for her part in how things turned out in the original timeline.
- After chewing out Stannis for everything he did, Davos grabs Shireen and abandons Dragonstone. It later turns out that practically all of Stannis' men ditched him.
- Subverted: Lightning McQueen, who has been sentenced to community service for destroying the road in Radiator Springs, takes off for California when Mater takes his parking boot off without first hooking him up to a road-paving machine called Bessie, only to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere (his gas was siphoned while he was impounded). Defied, too, by the town gang until he finishes paving the road.
- Played straight earlier, though, when McQueen's pit crew, led by "Not Chuck", up and quits when they get fed up with his "one-man show" attitude.
- In The Iron Giant, Agent Mansley tries to do this when he realized that his attempt to destroy the Giant was going to get himself killed as well. This gave us this hilariously great exchange:
Mansley: You mean we're all going...?
General: To die, Mansley. For our country.
Mansley: Screw our country! I wanna live!
- Near the end of The Prince of Egypt, as the Jews are leaving, you can see several Egyptian soldiers drop their weapons and join them.
- Bartok the Bat in Anastasia, Rasputin's Minion with an F in Evil, decides to get the Hell out of Dodge before the Final Battle. Prior to this, he vainly tried to convince Rasputin to forget revenge and Anastasia and get a life. (Of course, being undead, that might not have been feasible for Rasputin.) In the end Bartok just leaves because he's savvy enough to realize that this can't end well for Rasputin. This proves to be a wise decision. He also gets a chick-bat that comes right outta nowhere. Because karma will get you laid.
- Corpse Bride (also an Ironic Echo):
Lord Everglot: Fetch my musket!
The Butler: Fetch your own musket. I'm off!
- In The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma's potions turn the soldiers chasing Kuzco and Pacha into various animals. As Yzma yells at them to chase the duo, one soldier states "Uh, I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?" Uncharacteristically, Yzma politely allows him to, asking if anyone else wants to opt out as well. They choose not to.
- Ramon pulls this in Happy Feet 2. While trying to console Mumble's son, Erik, Ramon remarks "For two wild mavericks like us who cannot be tamed.....THIS! PLACE! SUCKS!!!" and then immediately declares he's going home.
- Sarge and the two other remaining green army men pull one of these in Toy Story 3 since they think they'll be the first of Andy's toys to be thrown away. Granted, Sarge justifies it by reminding the other toys that Andy has already outgrown them, but still... It also doubles as a Brick Joke, since they end up at Sunnyside Daycare.
- During Ratatouille, when Linguini reveals to his kitchen staff that he hasn't been really cooking, but controlled by Remy, they all wordlessly toss their aprons down, and quit on the spot.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie:
SpongeBob: Don't worry, Mr. Krabs. Patrick, Squidward, and I...
Squidward: Pass. [leaves]
- He later tries to escape from Plankton's bucket helmet army, but they close in on him and force a bucket on his head (offscreen), turning him into one of the slaves.
- During the climactic fight in Peter Pan, Mr. Smee is seen loading his bags into a lifeboat, knowing that Hook is just going to lose again, and is also fed up with his obsession with Peter. The other pirates join him, but only because they have fallen overboard and landed on the lifeboat.
- Shrek 2:
- After Shrek and Fiona get off the carriage and the townspeople get shocked:
Donkey: Uh... Why don't you guys go ahead. I'll park the car.
- Subverted later when an argument between Shrek and King Harold escalates:
Donkey: Uh... I gotta go to the bathroom.
Waiter: Dinner is served!
Donkey: Never mind. I can hold it.
- Fiona in a heartbreaking way when she's had enough of her parent's prejudice against Shrek decides to cut her parents out of her life and return to the swamp with Shrek.
- After Shrek and Fiona get off the carriage and the townspeople get shocked:
- Done twice in The Rugrats Movie. After Tommy's preoccupation with trying to protect his baby brother Dil pushes their buttons one too many times, Phil and Lil decide to leave Tommy and Dil in the woods, Chuckie coming along for the same reasons. Granted, it was Phil and Lil's fault in the first place they were stuck out there and karma does bite them back. The second time is Tommy's Heroic Breakdown where he decides to just leave Dil with the monkeys after his buttons are pushed. Thankfully, he reconsiders.
- In Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket is more than a little pissed off to see Pinocchio smoking and playing pool on Pleasure Island with Lampwick, who then starts laughing at the cricket's expense:
Jiminy: Go on, laugh, make a jackass of yourself! I'm through! This is the end! [storms off in a huff]
Pinocchio: But Jiminy, Lampwick says a guy only lives once.
Jiminy: Lampwick, hmph!
Lampwick: Come on, come on! Let him go.
- In Beauty and the Beast, Belle goes against the Beast's orders and enters the west wing, where the Beast's room is. When he catches her near his enchanted rose, the Beast rages at her. She decides that in spite of her promise, she's not willing to stay at the castle any longer.
- Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman gives us the smartest mook ever: after spotting Batman rummaging around in a room (who gives him a rather displeased look), he quietly leaves the room and won't admit to seeing anything out of place when his buddy asks.
- The LEGO Movie: Abraham Lincoln's reaction when Emmet fails his inspirational speech.
Lincoln: A house divided against itself would be better than this! [flies away on his rocket chair]
- Disney's The Return of Jafar, the sequel to Aladdin, turns this into a whole musical number, "I'm Looking Out For Me", when Iago finally gets fed up with Jafar bossing him around.
- In The Lion King, Zazu says this in part of "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" as he's getting quite tired of Simba's childish behavior. Of course, he doesn't follow through with it.
"If this is where the monarchy is heading,
count me out!
Out of service, out of Africa,
I wouldn't hang about!"
- In Hercules, Phil walks out on Hercules after the latter refuses to listen to the fact that Megara was working with Hades.
- A few examples in Inside Out
- When initially confronted with broccoli pizza.
Disgust: That's it! I'm done! (Walks away from the console.)
- After a failure of a day trying to keep Riley functioning without Joy or Sadness, Fear attempts to leave via the memory tube. It doesn't go as planned.
Fear: Sure, it's the coward's way out, but this coward's gonna survive! (activates the memory tube, only for it to clog with him and all of that day's memory orbs, ultimately spitting everything out.)
Disgust: Emotions can't quit, genius.
- In the accompanying short Riley's First Date?, when Mrs. Anderson tries to probe Riley with "cool words the kids say."
Disgust: Ugh, this is just embarrassing! (leaves the console) I can't! I c-can't!
- When initially confronted with broccoli pizza.
- In Astro Boy, President Stone fails to learn from experience and places the Red Core into a robot and activates it. One of his soldiers immediately runs away when the robot doesn't obey Stone's first command.
- In Kung Fu Panda, Po actually feels terrified and runs away from the Jade Palace when he hears of Tai Lung's escape from prison. This is justified because he lacked any real training experience at the time.
- In Winnie-the-Pooh, once it become clear that Owl had made a mistake with the note Christopher Robin left, he promptly runs away.
- The Sword in the Stone: "BLOW ME TO BERMUDA!!!"
- Robin Hood, along with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Little John leave the archery tournament when a pillar holding two elephant guards collapses.
- Madagascar: The plot is kicked off when Marty, tired and bored of being an average zoo zebra, leaves Central Park Zoo to experience a day in the wild. Alex the lion, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippopotamus and the chimps leave later to find him and fling poop at Tom Wolfe respectively.
- Alice in Wonderland: Alice leaves the unbirthday party after the White Rabbit gets kicked out. This proves to be a bad decision when she gets lost in Tulgey Wood and encounters strange looking animals such as momeraths, a broom dog, an accordion owl and instrument frogs.
- Pocahontas: Meeko has a habit of doing this, especially when being chased by Percy. Also, Ben and Lon when Indians attack the camp.
- Piglet's Big Movie: Rabbit, Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore when the bees break out of the fake hive.
- The Lion King 1½: Timon and Pumbaa, during the Be Prepared scene, when they first see the goosestepping hyenas.
- Horton Hears a Who!: Morton, when Kangaroo rallies the jungle animals to attack Horton.
- In Animal Farm, Upper/Middle Class stand-in carriage horse Mollie runs away from Animal Farm so she can enjoy sugar and ribbons in her mane, both of which are not allowed at Animal Farm. Given how Animal Farm turns out, one could make a definite case for her being Smarter Than She Looks.
- It's implied that the Cat (who disappeared a few chapters in) also did this.
- In The Ashes Series, this becomes more and more common as the Rebel army (not those Rebels) goes from a guerrilla force to an unstoppable international army. Eventually most minor-league baddies will run away or surrender without firing a shot.
- The author also makes it a point to show this at a personal level; often with the deserter(s) giving a short speech to their companions about expecting to live longer.
- The white-faced women do this in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Apparently, so do Fernald and Fiona (albeit off-screen).
- Harry Potter
- Percy breaks all ties with his family in Book 5 over an ideological disagreement, while also thinking they've all fallen for a ploy by Dumbledore to take over the Ministry of Magic, or at least remove the current Minister of Magic. He regrets it later and eventually reconciles with them.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
- In Halo: The Flood (the official novelization of Halo: Combat Evolved), a Grunt named Yayap goes AWOL just before the final battle. He knows that someone's going to destroy the Halo and kill everyone on it, so continuing the fight would be pointless. He is, of course, right. Halo blows up, and kills everyone on it, including him.
- Both Marco and Cassie do this in Animorphs. Of course, both return, either because It's Personal now or because their conscience won't let them go off the hook so easily.
- Elfangor does it too, in The Andalite Chronicles. He doesn't go back until the Ellimist makes him, several years later.
- And David in The Threat.
- Part of being an Igor is "getting out before the angry mob arrived." Igors often have long resumes, with all previous employers deceased. As one clan elder said to his soon-to-be-former boss, "We belong dead? Excuthe me, where doeth it thay we?" Igors will also sometimes suggest to other servants that it might be time to take a vacation.
- In Making Money, Cosmo's secretary Heretofore gets the hell out once Cosmo's madness reaches its peak.
- Lovable Coward Rincewind has an entire philosophy based around running away from the plot. It never works.
Rincewind: I know what's going to happen. I'm going to be dragged into things that shouldn't concern me. And you're just a hallucination caused by rich food on an empty stomach, so don't try to stop me!Scrappy: Stop you? When you're heading in the right direction?
- This is your best chance if you're vermin in a Redwall book. Many books see two rank-and-file vermin given names and personalities decide their boss is screwed and take off. It doesn't necessarily work, though; sometimes the boss finds and kills them for being cowards. As for the two in Salamandastron who ran away at the beginning of the book instead of the end, they would probably have had a higher chance of survival if they'd stayed.
- Kelven Solanki is a major POV character in Peter F. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction, but vanishes without a trace after leading the evacuation of the planet Lalonde and fails to reappear in the two sequels, whilst a friend of his who had a smaller role in the first book, Ralph Hiltch, goes on to have a major role in the later books. According to Hamilton, he had far too many characters running and literally just forgot about him.
- After Nellie Dean finishes telling Mr. Lockwood the horrifying story of Wuthering Heights, the tenant loses no time finding accommodations elsewhere and getting as far away from Heathcliff as he can.
- A mercenary captain's reaction upon learning that a Bolo is active. Though he can't leave as he's already taken delivery of his payment, and his employers would be... unhappy.
- In John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming, a minor character realizes that a) there are weird things happening, and b) where weird things are concerned, she is completely helpless. As soon as she's rescued, she gets in her car and floors it.
- The French soldier Nicholas in Seven Men of Gascony does this, on the reasonable ground that it is more important to support his wife and child than to prolong the glory of a Corsican mobster for another year. He ends up caught and executed.
- Opera co-managers Poligny and Debienne at the very start of The Phantom of the Opera. Once a Phantom starts skulking around their opera and delivering blackmail demands, they waste no time passing the buck and getting out of the opera business as fast as they can.
- In World War Z, the mercenary protecting the celebrities in their fortress decides to sneak out the back door when desperate survivors storm the place, on the grounds that he was hired to kill zombies, not people. And while he's leaving on a stolen jewel-encrusted surfboard, he runs into one of the celebrities' miniature dogs, who evidently had the same idea.
T. Shawn Collins: I like to imagine that if he could talk, the conversation would have gone, "What about your master?" "What about yours?" "Fuck 'em."
- Punch-Clock Villain Washington Reed does this at the end of Boris Akunin's Dream Valley.
- Atlas Shrugged: The job deserters after Directive 10-289.
- Subverted in Deathlands Homeward Bound. When their mad leader, Baron Harvey Cawdor, comes back without his Elite Mooks from Hunting the Most Dangerous Game, his Sec Men realise that his successor will soon be turning up and quietly slip away. They should have stayed and fought it out, as the Baron's men are so hated by the locals they're all tracked down and killed by the end of the day.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: In the book Final Justice, Stu Franklin ends up pulling this. On his way out, he warns Isabelle Flanders that they're going to get caught and that they should flee. This may qualify as a Heel–Face Turn. Then, again, maybe not, if the book Cross Roads is anything to go by.
- In The Book of the Dun Cow, Scrape the Otter attempts to get the other animals to desert Chauntecleer's army because he is afraid of fighting Cockatrice. Chauntecleer defies the trope by dealing with Sc rape immediately, picking him up and dropping him in with the Weasels, persuading him to abandon the plan.
- Trout of the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy tries to do this shortly after falling in with the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. They don't let him.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — A Stitch in Time, which presents the life story of Elim Garak. By the end of the novel, Garak no longer cares for the manipulative politics of his people, and chooses to walk out on a meeting between reactionary officers and would-be-politicians, declaring that he has no place among them.
- Flashman mentions running away is his default plan B in Flashman's Lady. He mentions in another story that almost all his wounds are on his back, inflicted while escaping, and supposes elsewhere that he's had more fast exits than hot meals.
Flashman: ...suddenly I saw that there was only one way, and a slender hope at that, but it was that or unspeakable death. The Flashman Gambit — when in doubt, run.
- In Moon Over Soho, Peter tells an ambulance driver that a patient has been wired to a bomb, then is thrown into the dashboard as the driver slams on the brakes before legging it out the door before Peter even has a chance to recover from the sudden stop.
- In Star Carrier: Deep Space, the Slan decide that the Sh'daar deliberately lied to them both about the nature of their current enemy (humanity), and about the nature of the universe. Lying is a big no-no in Slan culture, and their CO tells the Sh'daar equivalent of a Political Officer to STFU. They jump out to present their findings to their government, with the implication that the Slan may be reconsidering their allegiance.
- Near the end of Murderess, Hallwad tries to tell Déaspor he's had enough of her attitude and wants out, expecting her to say that if he wants to go so bad, so be it. Instead, she reacts violently and tells him that his mission is far too important for him to be in any position to do anything like that.
- The Dresden Files:
- This is Harry's standard response when he runs into something out of his weight class, without anything to even the odds.
- At the climax of Grave Peril, when Harry is facing down Bianca, she starts by sending her mortal security after him. After a quick display of his power destroys their weapons, they all run away. Considering what happens next, this is probably the smartest thing anything of them has ever done.
- In Changes, when Harry confronts the Red Court team in his office building, one of them takes one look at him and runs away screaming. Even more impressive, this later turns out to have been one of the Eebs, the Red Court's two most dangerous assassins.
- Prior to The Mortal Instruments, after the Circle uprising, Jocelyn Fairchild fled Idris with no intention of ever returning.
- At the end of The Wild Ones, the Flealess have seemingly won, and Titus orders his army to slaughter everyone. Then Gayle comes out the sewer and eats Sixclaw alive. Cue a whole bunch of animals sprinting away with their tail between their legs.
- The Stormlight Archive:
- For countless eons, the Voidbringers attacked humanity on Roshar in great Desolations, stopped only with the help of the ten Heralds of the Almighty. At the end of every Desolation (or if they died before the end), the Heralds were forced back to Damnation, where they were tortured for centuries until the next Desolation came, at which point they were resurrected to fight again. At the last Desolation, nine of the ten finally gave up, abandoning their oaths and leaving Taln (the only one who had died that time) to suffer the tortures alone.
Kalak: What do we tell the people, Jezrien? What will they say of this day?
Jezrien: It's simple. We tell them that they finally won. It's an easy enough lie. Whoe knows? Maybe it will turn out to be true.
- Hundreds of years after the Heralds abandoned their oaths, the Knights Radiant discovered "some wicked thing of eminence" that caused every single one of them to betray their oaths and centuries of tradition to turn their backs on humanity and cast aside their Shardblades and Shardplate like trash. By the time the story starts, it is believed that the Radiants (now called the Lost Radiants) actively tried to destroy mankind, but the truth is they just abandoned them to their fate.
- For countless eons, the Voidbringers attacked humanity on Roshar in great Desolations, stopped only with the help of the ten Heralds of the Almighty. At the end of every Desolation (or if they died before the end), the Heralds were forced back to Damnation, where they were tortured for centuries until the next Desolation came, at which point they were resurrected to fight again. At the last Desolation, nine of the ten finally gave up, abandoning their oaths and leaving Taln (the only one who had died that time) to suffer the tortures alone.
- Gentleman Bastard: When gang leaders loyal to Capa Barsavi start getting assassinated, the Gentleman Bastards seriously consider skipping town with their fortune of stolen booty and living like nobles in some distant city, but Locke is convinced that he'll be safe enough to finish their latest grift. He comes to greatly regret that decision.
- The Great Gatsby:
- Rather than deal with the many consequences of their actions throughout the novel, Tom and Daisy Buchanan choose to head to Chicago from New York, leaving no forward address.
- Downplayed with Nick Carraway. Despite leaving to go back to the Midwest, he still waits a few months before heading back, due to planning for Gatsby's Lonely Funeral, tying up loose ends at his job, and giving some closure to his situation with Jordan Baker
- In Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence, the Xeelee, masters of the baryonic universe, face a Hopeless War against the dark matter Photino Birds that are slowly but steadily transforming all the stars into red dwarfs. The Xeelee eventually throw their hands up and build a portal to another universe - what scientists today call the Great Attractor - and flee, but not before scattering their toys around so that the lesser species can flee too.
- Sleeping Beauties: The night before Frank Geary and his posse will attack Dooling's Correctional Facility to get Eve Black, Terry Coombs decides to bail out, realizing he really isn't up to the task as acting sherriff. Frank watches him go, not sure whether to feel pitty for Terry because he isn't man enough to handle the situation, or envy him because he gets to leave before things turn ugly. A more tragic example than most since Terry proceeds to go home and commit suicide.
- Clue: In book 5, chapter 2 ("Midnight Phone Calls"), Mr. Green abandons his duel with Colonel Mustard partway through and leaves to go to bed. Some of the guests also try this in book 7, chapter 9 ("Mr. Boddy's Wild Ride"), as they're terrified out of their wits from the "Monsters of the Caribbean" theme park ride that they're on, but it doesn't work out like they planned.
- "I Ran Away" by the The Arrogant Worms is a whole song about this trope:
Whenever I was challenged, I'd collapse like a souffle,
But I'm still alive to sing this song 'cause I ran away!
- The second verse of Lupe Fiasco's song "Hello, Goodbye" is about a general who deserted a war because he didn't believe in the cause. In the end, "He stands, to find himself surrounded by thousands of soldiers, who he once trained to never miss their targets."
- A more humorous example can be found at the end of Liam Lynch's "Happy Song". The singer, disgusted by all the Tastes Like Diabetes he's been forced to sing about, says "I'm outta here! Screw you!"
- Take This Job and Shove It, I ain't workin' here no more / Don't you try to stand in my way as I go walkin' out the door! Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and a case of Covered Up (by Johnny Paycheck, it was written and first performed by David Allan Coe. Not to mention another cover by Dead Kennedys.)
- "Art" by DJ Damien, a song made for a StepMania competition, consists of a heartbeat-like drum beat for one minute with just three steps held for the duration. "A2 (Art 2)" is a more conventional angry rap song about people who misunderstood the message intended in "Art". The trilogy ends with "The legend of ART", where DJ Damien raps over trance instead in an attempt to please StepMania players until three-fourths of the way through, when after a short Daft Punk sample, it goes back to angry rap. The first lyrics of the coda: "Screw this shit, I'm done / Making trance ain't fun."
- There's a humorous — and vulgar — version of Jingle Bells where Santa's elves quit, citing that "they do all the fucking work/while he stars in the show"
- Another humorous song parody, "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" by Bob River, has the guy with the fourth pain, sending Christmas cards, give up and say he's not sending them this year while the guy with the second pain, rigging up the lights, ends up yelling "Fine! You're so smart, YOU rig up the lights!"
- Billy Joel's "My Life" is basically a song about this. The narrator starts off by telling about an old friend of his who "Said he couldn't go on the American way. Closed his shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast." The narrator then goes on to indicate he's done something similar, as he tells off someone who's apparently trying to convince him to return to a home he abandoned.
- "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John is one. Lyricist Bernie Taupin, born in the English countryside mentioned the song was about Bernie having difficulty in relating to upper-crust city life (and in particular, Elton's pre-fame pickle-heiress girlfriend immortalized in "Someone Saved My Life Tonight") and Bernie's desire to revert to the simplicity of small-town life.
- The obscure 1973 B-side "Screw You", bowdlerized as "Young Man's Blues" in America, is a more humorous take on the trope.
- "Fuck This Shit (I'm Out)", by The Theme Song, centers around this trope...though it leaves the actual situation unspecified, because listeners find the song more applicable that way. This has made it a popular choice for AMVs. It is also a frequently occurring song in SuperMarioGlitchy4's bloopers.
I don't know what the fuck just happened
But I don't really care, I'mma get the fuck up outta here,
Fuck this shit, I'm out.
- Diamond D's "I'm Outta Here", in which the narrator keeps finding himself in dangerous situations he needs to get away from.
Gotta get away, gotta get away nowAnd I'm outta here
- In "Rock This Town" by The Stray Cats, the narrator takes his girlfriend on a date and they do just this at their first stop:
Well, we found a little place that really didn't look half bad
I had a whiskey on the rocks, and changed half a dollar for the jukebox
Well, I put a quarter right into that can
But all they played was disco, man
Come on, baby, baby, let's get out of here right away
- Daniel Amos's "Horrendous Disc" (from the album of the same name) is about a musician whose hidden wrongdoings inexplicably get broadcast for the whole world to see. In the third verse, he jumps in his car and just drives away from the situation. It doesn't work, because he just finds a billboard displaying his misdeeds.
He puts his car in gear
Got to get out of here
Going somewhere far away
But through the headlight beam
He sees a billboard scene
His fight last night is on display
- "Banned from Argo" by Leslie Fish (the former Trope Namer for Persona Non Grata) has a gang of Klingons arrive on the planet where the crew is enjoying shore leave, and promptly flee horrified from the carnage.
- The Ramones' last album, titled We're Outta Here!, is a live album of their final show. Recorded in Los Angeles in 1996, it was the last time the band played together. By 2014 all of the four original Ramones (Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, and Tommy) had died.
- Many old-time wrestling fans remember the famous confrontation between Gorilla Monsoon and Muhammad Ali. But before Ali entered the ring and the legendary exchange took place (Monsoon picking up Ali and putting him in an airplane spin before throwing him to the mat), Monsoon had a match, against stalwart Baron Mikel Scicluna. Monsoon was dominating Scicluna and was knocked from the ring after taking a heavy "Manchurian" chop ... before Ali stepped into the ring to taunt Monsoon. Scicluna regained his senses and threw up his arms in disgust as he left ringside, as if to say the trope's name.
- "The Big Cat" Ernie Ladd may not have been the first wrestler to do this, but he was the first one to make an art form of it. If he was in a match he didn't consider important and it started to go poorly for him, he'd just leave the ring and walk to the back. He did it so often that for a time the whole act was called 'pulling an Ernie Ladd.'
- EMLL ditched the NWA rather than help them deal with the WWF, although CMLL would return to help the NWA later. Disgruntled talent packing up and leaving EMLL lead to the birth of both Lucha Libre Internacional (and by extension, the Mexican UWA) and AAA.
- Wrestlers departing from JWA lead to the birth of All Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, who would in turn be deserted by disinters who would form Pro Wrestling NOAH and The Universal Wrestling Federation.
- It's not uncommon for the Heels to fall back on this if they're losing the match, especially if they're defending championships (since you can't lose a title by being counted out). Often this plan will be foiled by 1) the Face grabbing the Heel and dragging him back into the ring; 2) an authority figure intercepting the Heel and telling him to get back in the ring; or 3) the authority figure declaring losing this match in this manner would count as a forfeit (which does allow the title changing hands). Occasionally the reverse will happen, with a Heel trying to win a title from a defending Face just giving up and walking away, like Test did in his ECW title match with Bobby Lashley.
- Bobby Lashley tried to do this himself, wanting to leave TNA. The official reason in real life was to focus on Mixed Martial Arts, but in-story, he was really frustrated with TNA's failure to protect his wife from Scott Steiner and she wanted him to ditch wrestling for MMA.
- In 2002, when WWE wanted him to put over Brock Lesnar on Raw with no buildup, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin "took his ball and went home".
- Also common amongst tag-team partners turned enemies. Examples:
- Edge had his Start of Darkness by abandoning Chris Benoit to be pinned by La Résistance.
- At WrestleMania 5, when Tito Santana accidentally hit his own tag team partner, Rick Martel, Martel left him mid-match.
- At The Main Event in 1989, Hulk Hogan abandoned Randy Savage during their tag team match against the Twin Towers (Akeem and the Big Bossman) to take Elizabeth to the locker room for medical attention. When Hogan returned to the ring, Savage smacked him in the face and left him alone to face them, returning only briefly to get his WWF World title belt.
- In 1988, the Powers Of Pain did this to WCW. They were slated to be in a series of scaffold matches (wrestlers fight on a scaffold several feet above the ring, the object being to knock their opponent off the scaffold down to the ring below) against the Road Warriors, and they were booked to lose. Not wanting to risk their careers on this, they walked and went to the WWF.
- A rare non-villainous, purely comedic example had Jackie Gayda attempting to ditch Stacy Keibler just before their Evening Gown Tag Team Match against Torrie Wilson and Sable at WrestleMania XX. All four Divas had to strip down to their bras and panties before the match began, and Miss Jackie decided at the last minute that she didn't want everyone to see her in her underwear. She tried to leave - but Torrie and Sable would have none of it, grabbing Jackie and ripping off her gown so that she'd have to wrestle in her underwear. Although, to be fair, Jackie didn't know about the "wrestling in underwear" stipulation until just a few minutes before the match; she thought that the winners would strip the losers, like in a traditional Evening Gown Match (the match originally was to be a traditional bra & panties match, but one of Sable's breast implants burst a few days before the match, meaning she couldn't get as physical as they had planned). Oddly, the match happened because Stacy and Jackie wanted to pose in Playboy instead of Sable and Torrie.
- In a behind-the-scenes example, Molly Holly asked the WWE management in 2005 to let her do a Heel–Face Turn. When they denied her request on the grounds that it would never work, she asked for her release and retired from wrestling.
- Subverted when Triple H apparently abandoned Shawn Michaels in the middle of a "weapons" match against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Turns out, he was just running to fetch his trusty sledgehammer. (One wonders why he didn't bring it to the ring to begin with, or just stash it under the ring before the match.)
- The 10/3/11 episode of Monday Night Raw ended with this - by about half of the WWE Roster, as well as the announcers, the refs, the cameramen...and the guy that rings the bell.
- Fandango used to be known for refusing to wrestle until someone pronounced his name correctly, which didn't happened until he was introduced by Jerry Lawler.
- The 6/18/12 edition of Raw featured a 3-on-1 Handicap Match of John Cena versus the team of The Big Show, David Otunga, and (former) General Manager of both Raw & SmackDown John Laurinaitis, which essentially dwindled down to a mere one-on-one match. This came thanks to both Big Show and Otunga ditching Laurinaitis during the match, leaving the People Power proponent to have to fight Cena alone. It went about as well as you might expect for him.
- On the Labor Day 2012 edition, CM Punk decided to take a "personal day" instead of facing Sheamus. Subverted at the end of the show when he came back to cost John Cena his match with Alberto Del Rio. On the same show, Jack Swagger decided to go on leave. Subverted again a week later when Punk tried this again with Randy Orton, only for Orton to chase him and bring him back to the ring. In early-2014, Punk had another one. After being passed over to be in the main event of WrestleMania for the third year in a row, he walked out and has not been heard from since.
- Tyler Reks was already tired of being a rarely utilized jobber-to-the-stars when he and tag partner Curt Hawkins got assigned a male stripper gimmick. One week later he quit pro wrestling. To be fair, he had already been battling with the decision for a while, as he had a newborn at home, and decided to leave wrestling before the gimmick went any further.
- In a battle royal, Santino Marella sees that he doesn't have a prayer of eliminating Triple H and John Cena, and decides to eliminate the one guy he knows he can: himself!
- Gail Kim did this at her last appearance in WWE. Upset with the way she had been booked and realizing she wasn't going to be doing anything there, Gail gave her notice that she quit when at a Battle Royal she eliminated herself as soon as the match began. Apparently she was told to be eliminated from it in under a minute they just didn't expect her to eliminate herself. A few months later she had made her return to TNA.
- At Survivor Series it's not uncommon for a Heel to decide to do this, whether it's being outnumbered or an argument with his teammates he walks out on them and heads to the back. Bad News Brown did this two years in a row because he accidently got hit by his teammates, and was named the worst teammate ever in Survivor Series history.
- One of the rumors surrounding the Rock's departure from WWE after Wrestlemania 29 is this due to the way WWE booked his match with John Cena. His open dissatisfaction with Cena's storytelling skills and the fact that Cena's non-athleticism during the match led to the Rock's legitimate injuries as well have done nothing to quell the rumors. Cena fans, on the other hand, have tried very hard to shove down people's throats the idea that the Rock walked out simply to spite the pro-wrestling fandom, under the assumption that the pro-wrestling fandom and John Cena fandom are one and the same.
- The night after WWE Payback 2014, Batista had had enough of being denied a match for the WWE championship since Triple H and Randy Orton were focused on ending the Shield. He then left the ring, leaving Triple H screaming at him.
- Nearly any time during Honky Tonk Man's Intercontinental Title run where he was in a fight he knew he couldn't win, he typically just grabbed his belt and left. He would lose the match by count-out, but he would keep the title.
- The Omega Isaac Zercher's reaction to Jimmy Havoc and Paul Robinson trying to get him to side with either of them during the hardcore match between Havoc and Robinson at Progress Wrestling Chapter 21.
- The Rapture.
- A few examples from The Bible:
But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your heads. I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6)
- Most of Jesus' apostles resorted to this when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (which wasn't even necessary, because Jesus had insisted that the mob let his followers go). They eventually made up for their disloyalty — and then some — after the Resurrection.
- Paul's attitude to the Jews in Macedonia who blasphemed him and Silas in Acts chapter 18 when he was presenting the Gospel to them:
- Some (definitely not all) schools of Buddhism has leaving the cycle of reincarnation without turning back as the ultimate goal. Others simply seek to become an enlightened being, free from the sorrows of the world, that helps others reach enlightenment from time to time.
- According to 60 Minutes: One of the possible reasons for Pope Benedict XVI resigning — in addition to his official reasons, poor health due to advancing age — was learning how corrupt the Vatican was (pedophilia and financial cover-ups, plus hard-partying, promiscuous priests).
- The British Tolkien Radio parody Hordes of the Things begins with the Crown Prince Veganin giving the mighty hordes of Albion a rousing speech about how they will stand fast though Albion is surrounded by the hordes of evil. His speech is interrupted by the wizard Radox, who informs him that the mighty hordes of Albion can't make it today, but have left a sick note.
Veganin: Well, then, old Radox, but you and I...
Radox: Umm... (horse gallops away)
Veganin: So. Farewell, thou cowards. Know you I would scorn to die in your company. To horse unto the King, to raise another force of men who would rejoice to die!
- The opening fiction to Night Horrors: The Wicked Dead has a recurring character rooming with an up-and-coming supermodel, trying to see if she'd be a good candidate for initiation into a cult. She comes home a bit early one night, and finds some hideously bloated thing sucking what looks like the supermodel's life out from her thigh... and the supermodel enjoying it. Her reaction? "Yeah, I'll just... see myself out."
- The Fate system, as used in Spirit of the Century or The Dresden Files, comes with explicit rules support and even some mechanical rewards for conceding a conflict before it gets too far out of hand, which helps encourage both players and Game Masters to remember that enacting this trope instead of always fighting to the bitter end is in fact an option.
- In the backstory of BattleTech, this was essentially General Aleksandr Kerensky's reaction to the Succession Wars starting up: he took his massive fleet and army and flew out into uncharted space, and vanished. The descendants of that fleet reappear hundreds of years later as the Clans, one of the only threats large enough to make the Successor States (who are still fighting each other) team up to fight back.
- When Ice Hellion saKhan Connor Rood discovered that their supply lines have been intercepted by Clan Jade Falcon, he knows that his Clan is doomed by the combined wrath of the Falcons and Hell's Horses (which their Clan just ticked off). So he immediately set about saving as much of his Clan as he could and escaped the Inner Sphere. Meanwhile, his Khan continues to lead her forces in a hopeless war against the two Clans.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Uktena (the totem spirit of the Uktena tribe) was once a servant of the original Wyrm of balance. When the Wyrm went insane, Uktena defected to the Wyld.
- Games Workshop games:
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Certain circumstances such as losing more than 25% of the unit in one phase, losing in close combat, tank shocking or getting hit with some kinds of special weaponry or psychic powers, will cause a unit to have to take a Morale check. If they fail the check, they will pull this trope. Certain units are more vulnerable to Morale hits than others: generally, rank and file grunts such as Conscripts and Gretchen will run away the moment things start going badly, but some units are just so fearless, psychotic and/or fanatical that they will only retreat in the most dire of circumstances... and even then only maybe. Codex-compliant Space Marines Take a Third Option with a special rule (And They Shall Know No Fear) that avoids both total routs and the extra losses fearless units suffer, allowing them to make tactical retreats but then reform regardless of casualties.
- As Slaanesh and Khorne tore apart the rest of the Aeldari Pantheon, Cegorach the Laughing God went "oh, screw this!" and fled into the Webway.
- The Aeldari Craftworld of Lugganath have this as their hat, this and close ties with the Harlequins, the badass devotees of said Laughing God. The Eldar of Lugganath are so horrified and disgusted with the state of the galaxy that they want to flee into the Webway and form a brand new civilisation. This probably qualifies them as the most sensible people in the whole setting. The only problems with this plan are 1) they have to find a Webway portal big enough for an entire Craftworld and 2) they have to get rid of the Webway's infestation of Dark Eldar first.
- In Necromunda Spyrers fight for fun and glory but should their prey put up too much of a fight they will retreat to find easier game. To represent this, 2nd Edition Spyre hunter teams had to start testing to see if they would retreat from a battle after they lose a single member rather than 25% of their number as with other gangs.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- In Earthdawn, the stone-age prequel to shadowrun, bards have a talent called "graceful exit". It even gives them a head start!.
- In Into the Woods, the Witch, fed up with all the arguing about blame in the "Your Fault" song, interrupts it to sing "Last Midnight," then removes herself from the story, declaring that if everyone wants to assign blame, they can blame her, but she's leaving them to their own problems.
Witch: It's the last midnight / It's the last verse / Now, before it's past midnight / I'm leaving you my last curse! / I'm leaving you alone / You can tend the garden, it's yours.
- In the Franklin stage show Franklin's Class Trip, Franklin has this reaction when he and his class visit the science museum and are greeted in song by their "highly respected and professional" but nevertheless somewhat eccentric guideperson, Miss Carbunkel. He's already scared because of an incorrect belief that they're going to see a real live dinosaur there and Miss Carbunkel's oddness doesn't do anything to help. He tries to rope Snail into his plan to leave as well, but Snail is actually the voice of reason who puts the kibosh on the plan, noting that the bus back doesn't come until well after lunchtime and they need to just have courage and "do this."
- In Macbeth, the doctor tending to Lady Macbeth contemplates this while realizing that both of the Macbeths are stark raving insane (and that armies from England and Ireland are about to invade Scotland).
Doctor: Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, Profit again should hardly draw me here.
- In Death Battle, Wily tries to bail when Metal Sonic starts killing everyone. Keyword "tries".
- The premise of the music video "Fuck this shit I'm Out".
- In Red vs. Blue, Simmons and Grif plan to flee from the tank that's threatening to attack them and try to make it to the Warthog, agreeing to start running together on the count of three. Although they spend a fairly ludicrous amount of time staring down the tank making sure they are on the same page with regard to "on the count of three", Grif deliberately sneaks away from him and starts running early while Simmons is still counting.
- "Oh, you backstabbing cockbite!"
- Happens later with Donut and Grif. They are hiding behind the warthog as Tucker approaches in an out of control tank.
- This time Donut sneaks off while Grif is counting.
- In Season 10, the Reds and Blues pull a collective one when Carolina's plan involves them serving as cannon fodder (with her ending up pointing a gun at Tucker when he questions it) and Church angrily declares that every problem he's ever had stemmed from the Blood Gulchers.
- In season 15 Grif quits the team. He decides that he's had enough, and that he hates everyone.
- At the end of the Bowser's Kingdom movie, Jeff and Hal are seen squashed and defeated:
Hal: That's it, I quit.
Jeff: Yeah, screw this!
- Ultra Fast Pony.
- In "Hippocratic Oafs", after seeing how poorly Ponyville is treating Blue Twilight, Purple Twilight decides she wants nothing more to do with them. "That's it. I'm out. I hope a bear eats you all."
- In "The Penny and Clyde Show", Pinkie Pie breaks the fourth wall and tries to walk out of the series after Discord makes his introduction. "Ultra Fast Pony, season two, everybody! I hope you all enjoyed it. I'm going home."
- In "Reading to Rainbow", Twilight is the only pony willing to visit Rainbow Dash in the hospital. Until Dash cracks a racist joke, at which point Twi replies, "Okay, that's it, I'm out! I'm done. You have fun by yourself."
- Bravest Warriors
- In the episode "Time Slime", the team is trying to help a space station where time is overlapping on itself, meaning that there are actually three versions of the team performing different stages of the mission. BW #2 find the source of the problem, as well as the corpses of BW #1. They try to keep the same events from playing out again—and fail, winding on the ground right next to their "past" selves. Then BW #3 show up, see a pair of each of their bodies on the ground, and realize that it's probably better to let the people on the station figure this out for themselves.
- In "Memory Donk", the guy driving the rocket bus can't remember how to fly and bails out... into the vacuum of space. Later, as the bus is flying over Neo-Mars City, Chris asks Jelly Kid for help fighting the rampaging Memory Donk, only for Jelly Kid to make himself a parachute and bail out as well.
- RWBY: Bookstore owner Tukson defects from the White Fang for unknown reasons. He has plans to sneak away to Vacuo in the hopes of putting as much distance between himself and White Fang as possible. Unfortunately, Cinder's people catch up to him before he can escape. When Mercury and Emerald report back to Cinder, they state they've killed him and that he's no longer a problem.
- In the episode of How It Should Have Ended for Logan, Wolverine, who was saved by Deadpool, leaves after the first thing Wade does after saving Logan is to bring him along to watch as he mocks and moons Superman and Batman. After Wade mocks Bruce's catchphrase of "I'm Batman", the Dark Knight decides to also walk in disgust.
- DSBT InsaniT: When Portica and Kayla run into an Ice Beast in 'Untamed and Uncut', Kayla tries to make a break for it, but Portica stops her and tells her they have to defeat it.
- Looking for Group: Richard pulls one of these in this strip. Until Cale bribes him with a "Blow up a mountain" mission.
- This strip of Irregular Webcomic! speculates about the fate of one character from Star Wars.
- The Order of the Stick proves that there's a limit to how far minions are willing to take Attack! Attack! Attack! here. It holds true for Red Shirts as well, as in this strip.
- And for a raven in this one.
Blackwing: Caw CAW! Caw caw caw caw, caw! (POP!)
(Translation:) "Screw THAT! You're on your own, mammal!"
- "Screw this! I'm not getting rubbed out by magic-wielding hookers!!"
- Monster: "Eh, screw this. I'll order Thai."
- Laurin Shattersmith does this during her duel with Vaarsuvius. While the more powerful spellcaster of the two, Laurin had already expended a great amount of power fighting other characters, and when V points out that (s)he still has more than two dozen spells remaining, Laurin teleports away without another word.
- And for a raven in this one.
- In Sluggy Freelance Oasis inspires this in several Hereti Corp henchmen, prompting Torg to remark, "Well, that was too easy!"
- Coga Nito: Eric's first reaction to the robot BB is to scoop Niko up and attempt to flee.
- Leo, the genetically enhanced lion in Skin Horse: "I guess he wanted me to rush 'em or something, but I was all, screw that, Master, they've got guns, man!"
- Tycho's brain does it when confronted with Live Free or Die Hard's interpretation of the Internet.
- A literal meaning of "one's senses taking leave".
- In Sonichu, Jason Kendrick Howell and Beel pull this when Chris goes to bring down the 4-cent Garbage building, leaving Clyde Cash and Jack Thaddeus to die.
- Last Res0rt — Xanatos peels off after Cypress panics from coming out of her hypnotic Tone and dives into a pool of nanotech. He escapes during the collective Freak Out! that ensues.
- Given everything that went wrong after that point, it's hard to imagine him staying could've made the situation any WORSE, at least...
- 8-Bit Theater's Black Mage has attempted to, on multiple occasions, opt out of the quest to save the world Fighter signed him up for. However, numerous elements keep forcing him back into the game, such as Thief's blackmail or Sarda's reality-warping power.
- Rusty and Co. introduced the mook Sir Malevolus, likely a mini-boss in his own right. As he begins to make his Badass Boast, he suddenly realizes that between Rusty and Cube, he doesn't stand a chance. After giving them directions to the boss, he books it.
- Later on, he meets with The Dragon of the arc. The Dragon tells Malevolus the protagonists are one direction; Malevolus heads in a different direction because that's where the ''exit'' is.
- In Our Little Adventure, the drow duck out of the fight.
- In Bob and George, Megaman pulls this on the comic.
- A member of the Karate Bears does a Doug (Michael Showalter) in this strip, and actually leaves the page.
- Schlock Mercenary:
"We're going to do the opposite of get closer.""What are you saying?""Probably 'good bye'."
- The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries. Similar to one of the Real Life examples, Maxim 3 is "An ordnance technician at a dead run outranks everybody".
- One spaceship commander upon realizing how hopelessly outclassed he is.
- Homestuck has a lot of characters pull this off at once in Act 6 Intermission 5. Upon realising that the Ring of Life, a ring that can revive a dead person, has just been lost, Vriska starts yelling at Tavros, the last one who (she thinks) had it, about losing it. At this point, he grows sick of her crap and flies off to parts unknown, flipping the bird and yelling a taunt previously used against him at her. Sollux then follows suit, taking Nepeta and Feferi with him.
- Near the end of the Battle for Gobwin Knob in Erfworld, the chief warlord for the Royalist faction was croaked during a parley. Superfluous Elves, as their name suggests, aren't particularly good units and don't have any impressive abilities, but they do know when they aren't needed and should just leave. So their chief, who was also the chief of all the elves at the battle, gave the elves the order to retreat. Most of the elves stayed and croaked when the volcano erupted, but everyone that went with him survived and eventually sided with Stanley thanks to their grudge against Jetstone and the need for a patron.
- All of the Mandragora initially reject Willow's offer of freedom and forgiveness in Earthsong. But Neuria and Jormand decide later that they actually would like to ditch Beluosus after he eats two of their comrades to sustain himself.
- When a mook in We Are The Wyrecats realizes Your Head Asplode doesn't work on Mela, he decides to ditch his partner and book it.
- Dracula: Ruler of the Night: After Dracula and the brides are killed, Lucy Westenra and her mother, Minerva, both now vampires and still under the curse, decide to flee and live on in their undead states rather than continue the fight.
Minerva: I was already elderly before the bite, and that death was plenty scary enough. Forgive me gentleman, I know you mean well. But I much rather continue being a so called "walking corrputed abomination" then go through that again.
- Some of the Annotators will preemptively threaten to quit if their current video looks to be going in a particularly stupid direction.
- Chip from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes completely abandons his ally after discovering his Guardian Band, wanting nothing to do with the conflict, despite the fact that he's involved whether he wants to be or not.
- Atop the Fourth Wall Has quite a few of these. Probably one of the most infamous is the Star Wars Holiday Special.
- From The Dark Knight Strikes Again part 3: "Hello and welcome to Atop The Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn! Say... *Pulls out his pocket watch* It's Mill- [makes a break for it]
- During the conclusion of the Mechakara Arc, Harvey Finevoice, 90's Kid, and Ninja Style Dancer comes to aid Linkara against the villain. They get some good hits in at first, but then Mechakara starts adapting to their weapons and can't be harmed. They all promptly flee to leave Linkara to fend for himself.
- "Fuck this, man. I'm going into Anime"
- Viga's response to being told there were malevolent ghosts in the house was the promptly leave, since she didn't want to be another victim of Black Dude Dies First.
- Todd in the Shadows announces his retirement from TGWTG after seeing that he's reviewing "Blah Blah Blah" by Ke$ha for his debut episode.
- The Shredder, during the TMNT parody by My Way Entertainment: "Man, fuck this shit; you're gonna kick me in the nuts! I'm off this motherfucker! Sheeeeeit... fuck you!"
- Becomes something of a running gag for Brad of 4 Player Podcast when he plays Just Cause 2, using gas canisters as miniature escape rockets.
- Bum Reviews: "Change?! Ya got cha— Oh my God, they're filming a Shaq movie! I'm out of here!"
- The Nostalgia Critic
- During his review of Rock-A-Doodle: "Screw this movie, I'm going home." [...] "No, no, no. Screw this movie. Home."
- The Star Wars Holiday Special: "Hi, I'm The Nostalgia Critic, I remember it..." [legs it]
- He and The Nostalgia Chick both try to run the fuck away when Robin Williams starts rapping in FernGully.
- When Equius is first introduced in Homestuck, the narrator doesn't want to spend too long on him.
Vriska: I'm sick of this shit. I'm sick of being dead and useless and bored, and I'm not going to take it anymore. You're with me, right?Tavros: No way.
- Also, at one point, an enemy absconds off John's roof with an umbrella. Because that's what weak enemies do when they are vastly outclassed.
- In the afterlife, Tavros attempts to do this when Vriska declares her desire to start fucking shit up so that they'll be relevant to the narrative again. Unfortunately, Vriska brainwashes him into obeying.
- The Abandon Thread meme, also known as 'Fuck This Thread, I'm Outta Here'.
- There have been a number of Retsupuraes that have the Retsupuraers throw their hands up and bail for different reasons. Two of the more notable ones were Let's Play This!note and The Legend of Sweatnote .
- This happened to Hadriex in his DT3 playthrough. After making it past a series of near impossible challenges in the second nightmare gate, and a long difficult boss battle, the boss suddenly heals and changes form, becoming the Shroud Lord from DT1. Cue a lot of NOPE
- In an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show podcast, Karl is trying to explain his latest bizarre train of thought; that the world is better if you're a midget because there's more of it to see. Halfway through, Ricky leaves to make a cup of tea, asking Stephen to call him when Karl's finished.
- Sips, completely cornered in a game of Worms Reloaded, just gives up and has his last worm jump into the water.
Sips: You know what? Fuck you guys. Fuck this game. Fuck you. *jumps*
- In Everyman HYBRID, when coming face to face with the Rake in the episode "Jessie", Jeff's only response is to announce "Fuck this shit," and run like hell. Granted, he was running to find something to chase it off with, but still.
- Resident Evil Abridged: The Mystery Gang shows up about 18min. in to investigate the homocides at the Spencer Mansion. But the moment Daphne finds the Nemesis hiding in the closet, the gang calls it quits and hauls ass.
- Suburban Knights
- The last surviving Black Cloak aka The Last Angry Geek says "Oh, screw this!" and flees for his life when Malachite kills his allies.
- Likewise when Brad (a.k.a The Cinema Snob) tries to attack Malachite and fails. He runs for the hills.
- In Yahtzee's review of Alone in the Dark (2008), he finally reaches his breaking point when, after an hour slaying monsters, the game spawns thirty more and tells him he has to kill them too.
Yahtzee: "No." I replied, "No, I do not. I reject your stupid, fucking, arbitrary, gameplay-lengthening World of Warcraft grind quests, and I'm sick of putting up with your bullshit!"
- When discussing how the ESC key immediately closes out of Five Nights at Freddy's, he then muses that he would want one for awkward situations in real life.
- Epic Rap Battles of History has this awesome example from Christopher Columbus.
Arrivederci! Imma leave before this battle begins! ... Cos we both know in the end which of these captain's going to win!I built a legacy, son, You could never stop it. Now excuse me, while I turn heaven a profit. (disappears)
- Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons:
- Minerelle gets hit with a -2 to Int. checks and skills in the Tomb of Horrors, at which point she's had enough and tries to leave. This works out pretty well, since she's the only one not cloned for a Mirror Match, but returns in time to help with it.
- At Paragon tier, Minerelle bursts through a window, advises everyone to take a nap soon, blasts an illithid with massive psionic damage, is almost instantly killed by the backlash, is healed from the brink of perma-death by Kodrinscheiner, and immediately flees screaming into another dimension. All in one turn. Leaving everyone else in the room completely bewildered.
- Occurs in Worm when the remaining Travelers that aren't dead or in jail get a chance to return to their home dimension. Also an option allowed for the teenaged Wards when the Slaughterhouse Nine show up.
- One episode of Rooster Teeth's Podcasts, and animated in Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures, tells the story of how Gus, fed up with Burnie constantly mentioning that Las Vegas was only a short drive awaynote , hopped out of the van, headed back to their hotel, packed up, and wrote a note, declaring "See you in Austin, assholes!" Of course he couldn't find a flight that left L.A. that night and he had to get picked up to make it to the airport the next day.
- "See you later, fuckers!" is one of Matt's catchphrases on Two Best Friends Play, usually uttered when running away from a group of enemies.
- Subverted in Smashtasm Episode 5, during 1337f0x's flashback of his battle with Greg. While the present 1337f0x says "So I decided the only way to defeat Greg was to stop him on my own". However the past 1337f0x is less than willing.
- Brad Jones has this reaction near the end of "Rock, It's Your Decision" in his DVD-R Hell episode when the Designated Hero starts making very homophobic remarks. This doubles as a Moment of Awesome after he gives a nice "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the protagonist. This film comes up later as an "at least it's not this" anytime he reviews a bad Christian propaganda film.
- In Brad Jones' Demo Reel, Gretchen, and later Henrietta, bluntly bow out of being in Braddie's remake of E.T. The Porno.
- Michael Moorer pulls one of these on his trainer in an episode of What If when fighting Mike Tyson.
- In the "10 weirdest foods" video by Matt Santoro, after having barely gotten past balut (developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell), he realizes that the next food is deep-fried tarantulas, which immediately makes Matt jump out of his chair and leave the room, trying to end the video right then and there.
- Wowcrendor has an installment of the "Orc vs. Wild" video where his gnome character wanders through World of Warcraft's infamous Moonguard RP server. He quickly runs away after spying two guys and a gnome on a bed, again after finding a strange danceoff in the basement and one last time after meeting a girl with a man's voice.
- In ''Furry Superheroes are Super Gross, after the Furry Force activates Yiff Mode and turns into a giant furry tranny, Vivisector just says "Nope" and uses his jet pack to fly away.
- Embodied in song form here. Also with music video (NSFW warning).
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged: At the end of episode 10:
Vegeta: All right, I’ve just gotta find one of the Ginyu’s ships, and get the hell out of here! I’ll just go to Freeza Planet 419. No one ever goes to Freeza Planet 419. Not since its species miraculously repopulated.
- As Freeza and Vegeta are fighting, Freeza's scouter keeps counting higher and higher before reading, "F**k this, I'm out" and exploding.
- In Episode 26, Vegeta attempts to pull this while Piccolo is fighting Frieza in his second form. Frieza stops him before he can get far.
- In episode 49, after Vegeta compliments Bulma's work creating new Saiyan-style armor. Then Goku chimes in...
- In Ross's Game Dungeon, Ross has this reaction when reviewing Revenant. After struggling through the game's increasingly tedious and maze-like dungeons, he looks up a walkthrough just to check how much of the game he has left, and finds out that he still has seven dungeons left to go, all of which have the word "Labyrinth" in their name. He immediately ends the review and skips to the ending cutscene.
- Wrestling With Wregret
- Brian Zane does this in his review of The Jesse Ventura Story after they reenact the Montreal Screwjob... which Jesse had no part of whatsoever.
- Pulls this on Grandmasters of Wrestling, not wanting to sit through another Mighty Macabe Match.
- The Falcon Cannot Hear: After the death of MacArthur, Admiral Fletcher, not wanting to join the fascist Whites, takes the Atlantic Squadron and creates an American community at Guantanamo Bay with Admiral Bloch, the local commander there. They keep to themselves, not getting involved in the Civil War at all, their goals being “to remain apart from whatever tyrannical regime, of whatever color, that may come to power on the mainland” and to “preserve a small fragment of American liberty.” This lasts until the invasion of the West Coast by the Whites' Japanese allies; like all the other American factions, they're infuriated by this, abandon their neutrality, and join The Alliance against the Whites.
- After growing disgusted with the corruption and oppression of the Whites' leadership, and surviving partaking in a failed coup against them, Dwight Eisenhower defects to the American Soviet Republic... after manipulating events to give several thousand troops the opportunity to follow him. They do.
- Noob: La Croisée des Destins: Gaea, who's known to have a Dirty Coward side to her, eventually does this when things are looking bad during a very hard battle. She's actually taking advantage of the fact that both her teammates and her opponent know her well enough to more or less expect this from her, so she can pull a surprize attack later.
- In the Humanity, Fuck Yeah short story The Passenger a species of pirates have a code that they always allow for Combat by Champion to determine whether they leave empty-handed or sell their victims into slavery. Using a device that emits an alarm if someone lies, the leader of the pirates boasts of being from a "Class 7 Rough World" and training in 1.4 times galactic standard gravity to toughen himself up. The opposing champion is an ordinary human from Earth: a "Class 12 Death World" with gravity 1.6 times galactic standard. After hearing that, the pirates all leave without uttering a word.
- A More Personal Union:
- After Henri III grows tired of being a Puppet King and seizes power in Paris, his mother Queen Mary quickly flees back to Scotland before she can be imprisoned.
- As the English-backed slave revolt in Cuba overruns Havana, the Spanish governor leaps from his mansion into the sea, taking his chances with swimming to safety over being captured.
- Bill Wurtz's history of the entire world, i guess spoofs this when he mentions "every".
Bill: A long time ago (actually never and also now) nothing is nowhere. When? Never. MAKES SENSE, RIGHT? Like I said, it didn't happen. Nothing was never anywhere. That's why it's been everywhere. It's been so everywhere you don't need a where. You don't even need a when. That's how every it gets.Pause for 10 secondsBill: Forget this. I wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. I want things to change. I want to invent time and space. And I know it's possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. I just don't know when to start. And that's exactly where it started.
- Taako of The Adventure Zone 's Balance Arc does this constantly, so often that the line "Taako's good out here" has become something of a catchphrase for him.
- PlayStation Access: Delsin eventually leaves after being mistreated. Then goes to see a monkey doll martial arts master, to learn how to get revenge.
- New Deal Coalition Retained:
- When it becomes clear that the Warsaw Pact is starting to lose World War III, and facing popular uprisings, Markus Wolf — who had seized power in East Germany years earlier — flees the country, striking a deal for asylum in Chile.
- With Brazil, the last Communist nation in South America, on the verge of being overwhelmed by the Allies, President Carlos Marighella flees to the jungle and countryside in order to undertake partisan resistance.