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 HeelFace Turn or MookFace 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!. 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.
- Anime & Manga
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- Video Games
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- Western Animation
- Real Life
- 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.
- In episode 16 of Happy Heroes, the robots in Doctor H.'s internet router copy the abilities and appearances of the heroes' Car Knights and put up a fight. Smart S.'s one course of action when they do this is to say "According to me, there's only one way to fix this. And that's... getting out of here!" before flying away.
- "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.
- Another Billy Joel example is "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", where he decides he would rather move out than live with his crazy mother.
- "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 SMG4's Mario 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.
- Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" ends on this.
I started out on burgundy, but soon hit the harder stuff
My friends all said they'd stand behind me when the game got rough
But the joke was on me, there was nobody even there to bluff
I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough!
- The Rapture.
- Some 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)
- In the book of Exodus, God knew that if He led His people into the Promised Land through the way of the Philistine territory, since that was the shortest route there, the Israelites would be afraid and then turn tail and head back to Egypt. So, in order to avert that, God led them by the longer route of the Red Sea and the desert.
- In the Book of Numbers, the Israelites sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to check it out and they return with a report that, though it is land that is fertile and good for farming, ten of the spies said it is also filled with fortified cities and that the Anakites, the "sons of the giants", lived there. The Israelites, disheartened by the news, decide that they would be better off returning to Egypt instead of relying upon God's help to conquer the land as Caleb and Joshua had suggested. For their cowardice, God decided to punish the Israelites by having them wander around in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation from twenty years old and upward had all died, except for Caleb and Joshua, and that God will bring their children into the Promised Land through Joshua's leadership after Moses died.
- In the Book of Ezekiel, the Judaic religious sytem at the time of Ezekiel's ministry was so corrupt, with the priests worshiping idols even in God's holy Temple, that the glory of God decided to vacate the premises with Ezekiel watching.
- In Jesus' teaching to the disciples, He says that if a town they enter into doesn't receive them or the words that they speak that come from God, then they are to wipe the dust of their feet when they leave town as a sign of judgment upon them, saying that it will be more tolerable for the city of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for that town.
- 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).
- After the trio in the Cool Kids Table game Bloody Mooney find Mooney slaughtering and devouring Keri's mother, they immediately decide to get everyone out of the house and burn it down.
- Becomes something of a running gag for Brad of 4Player Podcast when he plays Just Cause 2, using gas canisters as miniature escape rockets.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taako also causes one of these in Leon, being such a nuisance at the Fantasy Gachapon that Leon just eventually leaves.
- 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 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 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 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.
- In the RWBY episode "Best Day Ever," a Subverted example occurs when Tukson attempts to get as far away from the White Fang as possible by escaping to Vacuo. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work out as Cinder's henchmen corner and eventually kill him offscreen.
- RWBY Chibi has two skits where Yang and her dad Tai start trading puns (and in the first one on Tai's side, dad jokes) with each other. Both times, with the exceptions of one character (Nora in the first one, who's so engorged on waffles that she can't leave, and Weiss is the second, who simply rests her head on her desk in resignation), everyone decides to get the hell out of dodge before they get too far. A season 1 episode saw Sun attempt to do this when Yang is doing puns as a comedy act, but Ren stops him.
- 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.
- K-Seal gives up and leaves after the Icers help Portica and Kayla escape.
- In 'VRcade', right after she and Julie finish the game, Asia is quick to exit...That is, if Psycho Man hadn't shown up.
- After his Villainous Breakdown, Psycho Man does this at the end of 'VRcade'.
- Zero Punctuation:
- 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.
- 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.
- The aptly-named Fuck This Shit I'm Out is this trope in musical form. Perfect to send to your boss in lieu of a resignation letter if the job was terrible and/or he treated you badly.
- 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.
- Our Little Adventure:
- A group of Punch-Clock Villain Drow duck out of the fight when one of their number gets dropped and they decide they like the protagonists better than the Child of Angelo who hired them.
- The succubus Yo-Lee gets unleashed on the Material Plane to balance out a Celestial Paragon's direct intervention, but sidelines her plans to play The Corrupter and asks a mage to send her back to the Abyss when she senses a vastly more powerful Demon Lord wreaking havoc nearby.
- 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:
- 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".
- In the Haven Hive arc, when Kathryn finds out that the mercenaries have had their memories altered by the UNS, she decides to leave both because they're too dangerous for her and she might be too dangerous for them (she's a former UNS agent). They end up working together again later.
Kathryn: Ficus foxtrot! You people! When I ditched you earlier all I knew was that you'd crossed the U.N.S. and I'd have to be crazy to associate with you. But if you had dealings at Xinchub's level it's so very much worse than I thought.
Bunni: You're not running away right now.
Kathryn: Twenty minutes ago I killed a U.N.S. agent and accidentally stole his intel. I may have relaxed my standards a little.
- During the Oisri arc, the mercenaries realize in the middle of a huge emergency that all their clients are already dead due to a mistake said clients made. They're just about ready to happily pack up and go home when they realize there is a survivor, so they go back to rescue her.
Schlock: [Puppy-Dog Eyes]
Tagon: Is that the "please let me kill things" face or the "please let me rescue the nice lady" face?
Schlock: Those are the same face.
- Near the end of the worldforge arc, things are mostly resolved, but there's still a big mess to clean up and the commodore is unconscious. Kevyn half-jokingly suggests just going home.
Kathryn: If the commodore wakes up at home he might not yell at us.
- One spaceship commander upon realizing how hopelessly outclassed he is.
Pirate: We're going to do the opposite of get closer.
Srabbin: What are you saying?
Pirate: Probably 'good bye'.
- When Equius is first introduced, the narrator doesn't want to spend too long on him.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Unsounded: One overambitious crime boss uses a brothel as a front; the employees flee the city as soon as the situation with the First Silver superweapon and a General Ripper spirals out of control.
Male Prostitute: I'm too twink for this crap.
- Mieruko Chan: In chapter 6, Miko's predicament attracts the attention of a Not-So-Phony Psychic, the "Godmother of Downtown". She tries to help Miko with her habit of attracting powerful monsters, but when her strongest ward is overwhelmed by the presence currently haunting Miko and her friend Hana, the Godmother decides it's time to get out of fortune-telling and accept her son's offer to come back to the family farm.