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Security Cling

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Chief Wiggum: There are ghost cars all over these highways!
Homer: Hold me...
Chief Wiggum: Only if you'll hold me.

Being scared is normal. Being terrified is common. Feeling desperate fear is understandable.

And what's more natural than seeking comfort and protection from someone bigger and stronger than you?

The original version has a woman glomping a man in fright, and it's Truth in Television; why do you think guys want to take their girlfriends into Haunted Houses or to horror flicks? Heck, why do girls want to go to haunted houses or horror flicks with their boyfriends? They want to invoke this trope. Also a way to Ship Tease and play up Will They or Won't They? and get some Ho Yay in for characters of the same sex. Occasionally both characters are scared and cling to each other.

A common variation is to have a larger, stronger character hold on to a weaker, smaller character (the man is scared and wants the girl to protect him) or for the braggart who claimed to be brave to be the more terrified.

Another variant is a child hiding behind a teenager or adult (typically their parent or older sibling) and peeking around their leg fearfully/suspiciously. This last one is played more for adorable factor than Fanservice.

Sometimes, an impending danger will approach and disturb fighting/arguing characters into hugging each other in fear. Bonus points if the characters were mortal enemies or are normally very tough and fearless.

In extreme cases, the scared person will leap into the other person's arms or onto their back (usually catching them by surprise). Going in the other direction, a more restrained form of this might have the fearful person reach out and hold tightly onto the sleeve of their companion. A Clingy Child might do this all the time with their parents or any other older figure.

Cry into Chest is a sister trope.

See also Cat Scare and Eek, a Mouse!!. Compare Cower Power.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • The couple in Fugitive Love by Auguste Rodin are in clear distress as they strangely embrace for comfort. It also seems like they're being torn apart. Given they were included on The Gates of Hell as an adaptation of a couple eternally blown apart by a whirlwind, odds that's what Rodin was going for.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993):
    • Ives grabs Tim's arm and pulls him back a little so Ives is in front of him when they're confronted by bullies, but hesitates to let go of Tim's sleeve. Ives is terrified of the bullies in question, rightly so since they murder a fellow student within hours of the confrontation, and is worried that Tim is going to get their attention and they'll start targeting his friend with their cruelty.
    • Ives and Hudson cling to each other's arms when they run afoul of Steeljacket in the ruins of a laundromat that was damaged during the earthquakes and then ruined during Batman: No Man's Land.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Subverted with the tearjerker ending of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Knowing she's about to be executed, Kei throws herself against Fuse's chest moments before he shoots her.
  • In Luca, the titular character and Alberto were quick to cling onto each other once Giulia unexpectedly yells at them.
  • A rare villain example with Honest John and Gideon in Pinocchio when they cling to each other in terror after the Coachman reveals his Evil Plan.
  • In Turning Red, a few classmates of Mei cling to each other after she attacks Tyler.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Exile's Violin: Jacquie will grab Clay's arm when feeling unsure or vulnerable.
  • A Mage's Power: After nearly being raped, Annala clings to Eric's arm because she's rattled and in need of security.
  • The Murderbot Diaries
    • In "Artificial Condition", while posing as a human cyborg 'security consultant', Murderbot and the woman it's protecting take refuge in the small room of a transit hotel, and Murderbot freaks out when the woman lies down next to it. Sentient spaceship ART points out she's simply taking comfort in 'his' presence, so Murderbot raises its body temperature and pretends to sleep until she eventually rolls over to her own sleeping pad.
    • Because it Hates Being Touched, Murderbot being willing to let someone hug it is presented as a Friendship Moment.
  • In Xuthal of the Dusk, Conan the Barbarian is not amused when a Beautiful Slave Girl does this trope while they're searching a Ghost City, as grabbing hold of his sword arm when he might need to use it could get him killed.
  • In The Indian in the Cupboard, when the tiny toy-sized Boone and Little Bear, who had been enemies up to that point, are suddenly frightened by a full-sized adult who shouts in disbelief at the sight of them being alive and moving, they do this.
    Little Bear and Boone were sitting there, absolutely terrified. They were actually clinging to each other.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Angel episode "That Old Gang Of Mine", Cordelia gets Fred to go out to a bar with her and Wesley, after spending all her time inside, fearing the outside world because of past bad experiences. The bar gets attacked by a gang of demon hunters, and Fred spends most of the rest of the episode clinging to Wesley's arm.
  • The pilot episode of The Astronaut Wives Club has a very mild example, since the character doing the clinging is Louise. Although she refuses to let any of the other wives in to watch Alan's first launch with her, Max is there because he has to be for his job. He tries to discreetly leave the room, but Louise grabs his hand, and they remain that way for the duration of the mission.
  • Kara Thrace and Lee Adama during a particularly tense moment in Battlestar Galactica (2003), when they've just decided to take on a joint secret mission to assassinate an Admiral, and know they'll probably die for it.
  • Bones Brennan does it to Booth when she sees a snake in one episode. Later, in another episode, she’s not afraid and remarks that she’s only afraid of snakes when Booth is around to be jumped on.
  • In the Broad City episode "Hurricane Wanda", Bevers grabs onto his older sister Marla in a panic when the power goes out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Graduation Day, Part 2", Coredlia flings herself into arms of the much shorter Jonathan when Sunnydale High is blown up. According to Danny Strong, who played Jonathan, the moment was Charisma Carpenter's idea, as it was her last episode and the two had never had any significant scenes together.
  • A variation in the classic series of Doctor Who: Sarah Jane occasionally clings to the Fourth Doctor's ridiculously long scarf when the two are in danger.
  • In Emmerdale, Robert Sugden clings to his love interests for comfort in two particularly emotional moments.
    • He clings to wife Chrissie after returning home from holding his secret lover Aaron hostage and threatening to kill him when Aaron tried to force his hand and reveal his secrets.
    • He clings to husband Aaron after Aaron tells Robert that he would like to try to forgive Robert for sleeping with Rebecca while he was in prison.
  • Played for Drama in Forever Knight. In the pilot episode, Nick Knight gives a scare to a woman who then asks to be hugged. He does so, but finds himself struggling with the urge to feed with her neck so temptingly close.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Nico nearly always clings to her doctor, Taiga, when creeped out. This is justified behavior on occasion, like during an encounter with a psychopathic god wannabe. While their relationship is played ambiguously, they get called out on the Ship Tease vibes it gives off anyway.
  • In Smallville, Chloe Sullivan does this to Clark Kent on occasion.
  • During the final moments of Supernatural Season 4, in the episode "Lucifer Rising", Sam and Dean react to Lucifer's imminent appearance this way. Especially heartwarming considering all of the crap their relationship has been going through, all the lies and mistrust and whacked-out junkie behavior in the past season, and the fact that Sam is actually directly responsible for freeing Lucifer and betrayed and abandoned Dean to do it. However, their first instinct when they're desperate and terrified is still to cling to one another.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • Awaiting the impact of a possibly deadly missile, Kirk feels Yeoman Rand at his back and reaches behind to put an arm around her. (This is especially notable as, according to David Gerrold, there was a preproduction memo saying this shouldn't happen on Star Trek.)
    • In "And the Children Shall Lead", a frightened Kirk, under the influence of the brainwashed children and going on full-on panic mode, clings to Spock's arm in the elevator. And the Vulcan who Hates Being Touched has no problem with practically hugging him back reassuringly. Ho Yay, anyone?

    Video Games 
  • In the "An Eye for an Eye" update trailer for Don't Starve, Wilson and Wortox fearfully grab hold of each other's shoulders when the group gets attacked by the Eye of Terror.
  • In The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, there is a book in which a boy is frightened and grabs his stepfather's arm. Said stepfather sensibly points out: "If you want me to protect you, don't grab my sword arm."
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, Hope does this a few times with Vanille early in the game—he shyly takes hold of her wrist before they follow Snow to the Pulse Vestige; he fearfully grabs her hand as PSICOM attacks the Vestige, and then the terrified Hope hides behind Vanille while holding her arms after the door to Anima's Throne opens.
  • Love & War has an example played for laughs. When Ryan and Lavie have to explore Blackwater Park, Lavie hears animal sounds, probably those of a hooting owl, and is instantly scared. She grabs hold of Ryan's arm, but he is far from pleased:
    Lavie: [almost in tears] But I'm scared!
    Ryan: [deadpan] I know, but how is twisting my arm off going to help?
  • Nanako is introduced in Persona 4 peering shyly around Ryotaro Dojima's leg at you, and it's about as adorable as you'd expect.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends: Toothy and Cuddles cling onto each other in "Camp Pokeneyeout" when they're about to be crushed by a boulder.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: When the group enters the cave, Arthur is shown cowering behind Lewis and gripping his shoulders in fright, which makes it easy for the evil spirit that possesses Arthur to get the drop on Lewis and murder him.

  • Trevor (2020): After being let into the safe room by Dr. Stern, Purdy clings to him as Stern gently leads the terrified man to the operating theatre where he and Dr. Binns have been hiding from Trevor.
  • Unsounded: When the stormies and waterwomen are causing a violent storm and grabing the bodies of the dead from a recent battle Matty clings to Duane's arm in fear, which makes his father realize he's not helping matters.

    Web Original 
  • In Void Domain, a rescued young girl clings to the arm of a vampire for comfort after being rescued from a pack of vampiric thralls.
  • In Worm, after Skitter rescues Dinah, Dinah spends much of the time they are around each other holding Skitter's hand.

    Web Videos 
  • On Critical Role, this is a regular reaction of the players to something stressful or frightening happening in-game — most often between Taliesin Jaffe and Marisha Ray, though all of them get involved at some point or other.
  • On DanAndPhilGAMES, for Halloween 2023, the guys played Don't Scream, a horror game that's connected to the player's mic and has one simple rule: if you scream, you lose. Since they were desperately trying to keep quiet in the face of several jumpscares and terrifying imagery, Dan and Phil defaulted to clinging to each other when things got especially spooky.

    Western Animation 
  • The Joker does this to Batman in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Beware the Creeper". There's no deception or ulterior motive on the Joker's part, he's legitimately relieved that Batman showed up — the Creeper is too crazy even for him.
  • Invariably, Mabel and Dipper from Gravity Falls reach for each other's arms or hands in frightening situations. This even leads to a heartbreaking moment in "Gideon Rises" when Gideon's Giant Mecha forcibly pulls them apart, breaking their grip on each other's hands.
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Frosted Christmas - Part 2", Kaeloo holds on to Mr. Cat's arm when they are Exploring the Evil Lair.
  • Arguably the most heartwarming episode of South Park, of all things, "The Poor Kid", uses this extensively with Karen clinging to her older brother Kenny's arm throughout most of the episode.
  • In Steven Universe, Pearl clings onto Garnet's arm when the former feels stressed (which is more often than you think). And then there's this moment of strong Hypocritical Humor from "An Indirect Kiss".
    Pearl: [clinging onto Garnet's arm] Our memories of Rose can't be tainted by some overgrown brambles! [chuckles] Look at them. They're a mess without her guidance. Directionless, pathetic, [yanks Garnet by her arm] clinging things. [lets go] It's going to be okay, Garnet.
  • In Total Drama Action, a reluctant Courtney is forced to cling onto Duncan while they're balancing on a very narrow column during one challenge.
  • In one episode of Transformers: Prime, Bumblebee briefly grabs onto Ratchet's arm as they inspect an empty scraplet trap. Poor 'bot just had a close shave with one of the little beasties, so you can hardly blame him, even if he is a giant robot.

    Real Life 
  • Humor writer Dave Barry describes watching a horror movie that made him whimper and cling to the person next to him: horror writer Stephen King, who in turn was whimpering and clinging to his wife.

Examples of a simple glomp (they grab onto the person):

    Anime & Manga 
  • In A Centaur's Life, Hime and Sasasul cling to each other during a scary movie. Notably, an Antarctican (like Sasasul) is the villain and a centaur (like Hime) is the victim, and Hime was previously afraid of Sasasul due to watching the same movie as a child. And everyone learned an important lesson that chapter.
  • Kirie from Girls Bravo often does this to Yukinari whenever she's afraid.
  • Gundam:
    • Played for Laughs in Mobile Fighter G Gundam — Allenby and Rain glom onto each other when Domon starts talking about rats, and then look really embarrassed when they realize that he's talking about the metaphorical kind.
    • After Dr. Farzenberg recites a Ghost Story poem in After War Gundam X, Kid messes with them by killing the lights. When he turns them back on, Toniya has glommed onto Sara, Garrod is holding Tiffa protectively... and Witz has grabbed onto Roabea with all four limbs.
      "I should have stood next to the girls."
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team La Verite: In episode 7, after Konoe regains consciousness in an underground room, her terrified assistant Yashima Sanae runs into the room and performs a full-body (arms and legs) frontal glomp on her.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Mikuru does this to Kyon during the Mysterique Sign episode in response to seeing the giant cricket that's about to attack them.
    • There's a moment in "Remote Island Syndrome" where Mikuru clings to Yuki after hearing Haruhi speculate that the former will be a murder victim. This was censored in the anime.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: During the exploration (and escape from) the ruins of the Sanzenin Mansion in the Golden Week arc, Hayate holds onto Nagi and Ayumu's hands, claiming that they're "frail girls", leading Hinagiku to think that Hayate likes frail girls. But Fridge Logic dictates that this is actually the opposite; Hayate himself is clinging to the girls because they're frail and it's important that he knows that they're alright, and Hinagiku, who he knows is strong enough to take care of herself, doesn't need to be protected for him to know she's safe. Much Ship Tease leads and follows in the arc.
  • America does this to Japan in episode 51 of Hetalia: Axis Powers while watching a scary movie.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School's flashback arc, Tatsuya pulls Miyuki into a hug so it will be more difficult for the soldiers advancing on them to hurt her.
  • K:
    • When HOMRA takes over the school, students Sumika and Kukuri spend a good amount of time in an intimate Security Cling, as do Sakura and Chiho.
    • Neko to Shiro, and Shiro to Kuroh, fairly often.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, while the club is at Kyouya's (or Nekozawa's in the manga) private beach, Tamaki and Haruhi have an argument. Things are quickly patched up after Haruhi first grabs the bottom of Tamaki's shirt when he turns to leave the room after she hears a clap of thunder. She then climbs into a nearby armoire, and Tamaki opens the doors trying to coax her out. Cue another loud crash of thunder to send Haruhi right into Tamaki's arms.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
  • Ranma ½:
    • Akane glomps onto Ranma when she becomes scared by ghosts in The Cursed Tunnel of Lost Love. It also gets discussed earlier in the arc.
      Man: It's really scary in there, you know. Your girlfriend will squeeze you for dear life!
      Ranma: Well, I don't want to be hugged by Akane. That's for sure!
      Akane: Who would want to hug you, anyways?!
    • In the manga, when Ranma and Akane are cornered into a wall by a tiger, she grabs onto him. He has a major fear of cats, so he isn't doing too hot either.
    • Played for Laughs shortly after. The tiger Gosunkugi used to scare Ranma is in return scared of Ranma's Cat-Fu. The tiger's so terrified that it jumps into Kunō's arms, which makes Kunō think it's attracted to him, then clings to and hides behind him.
      Kunō: I'm sorry, but my heart belongs to another.
      Random guy: I don't think it's asking you for a date!
    • Invoked in the Battle Dogi arc. While Ranma tries to seduce Akane in a closet to prevent her from wearing a powerful suit, Genma and Sōun attempt to help things along by throwing some snakes and frogs at Akane. It works, until the suit itself interrupts.
    • Invoked but subverted in the Lenses of Invincibility arc; Mousse buys tickets to a horror-themed waxworks exhibition, hoping that when he brings Shampoo there, she will cling to him in fright. Instead, she just finds them disgusting and beats Mousse up for bringing her to such a place.
  • Rebuild World:
  • In Roll Over and Die, Flum does this quite a bit with Milkit.
    • After preventing Milkit from being raped and killing her attackers, Flum clings into her while assuring her that nothing that happened was her fault. Flum reflects on how fortunate it is that Milkit is alive.
    • After rescuing Milkit from the deprivations of Satils, Flum has Milkit sleep in her bed and clings to her as much as humanly possible, so she's never taken away again.
  • One episode in Sailor Moon has Usagi going to an arcade with Mamoru, Ali, and Ann. (Ali and Ann are actually aliens, Ali has a crush on Usagi, and Ann has a crush on Mamoru). Both Usagi and Ann cling to Mamoru, and when things get a little scary inside, Usagi freaks and is thrown out of the ride and into the arms of Ali, who was thankfully nearby.
  • She's My Knight: Mogami hugs Ichinose tightly when she hears a scary noise (it turns out to be a cat) and when it starts thundering.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails does a full-body glomp onto Sonic every time lightning strikes.
  • Umineko: When They Cry: The Chiester Sisters do this when they realize that Battler's Anti-Magic is Over Nine Thousand!

    Comic Books 
  • All-New X-Men: X-23 does this to a time-displaced teen Cyclops after Stryker reveals to her that Arcade released his Murderworld footage on the internet. Including, quite prominently, imagery of Laura in a trigger scent-induced rage. The moment shows just how badly she's struggling to keep herself together after the one-two punch of Murderworld and her previous torture at Stryker's hands.
  • Superman:
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: When Glitch learns that not only did the Ytirflirks complete a prototype of their atmosphere-burning Phlogiston Bomb but that it is also somewhere on Earth, he goes from casually sitting on Eloise's shoulder to desperately clinging to her in fear.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Harry prone to an after-action variant of this, with his being fond of snuggling with people he cares for, often for comfort — however, one example, with Thor (his dad) and Wanda (his godmother and maternal substitute), after the hideously traumatic events of chapter 72 is a) more conventional and b) overlaps with Cry In To Chest.
  • Evangelion 303: In Chapter 6, Asuka clings to Shinji because she's frightened of losing him when they engage the enemy since he doesn't value his own life.
  • Happens to Kyon three times at once in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, with Haruhi taking Mikuru to see Saw specifically to invoke this trope. Mikuru ended up in Kyon's lap, with Haruhi and Miyoko clinging to either arm.
  • In Let Me Warm Your Heart, Heike clings to Narcis to avoid getting knocked off the bed by the latter's loud sneezes.
  • Sofia from The Glaceon and the Shadow does this to Larissa all the time; it's practically her first reflex whenever in danger from the day they meet on.
  • ToyHammer has Sanctioned Psyker Ishabeth hug and cling to Commissar Tomas after he performs a fatal *Click* Hello to her evil counterpart.
  • In the very beginning of With Strings Attached, when John and Paul see the second moon and realize that they're not just kidnapped but kidnapped onto another planet, they grab onto each other, "the only familiar things left in the universe," and start to scream. After they calm down, John detaches from Paul because he's clawing the crap out of Paul's arm.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the movie 9, 5 and 9 cling to each other while hiding from the Fabrication Machine.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: At one point during their Chase Fight, Po and Wolf Boss are hurled high into the air and stop pounding on each other to engage in this trope out of mutual terror.
  • In The Lion King (1994), when the Hyenas are cowering before Mufasa, Shenzi and Ed are momentarily seen doing this just before they and Banzai run off scared.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact: The ship's nutritionist, Irina Yakunina note , goes to Floyd's quarters so that they can spend the harrowing aerobraking maneuver in each other's arms; when it's over, she kisses him on the cheek (though in the novel, she falls asleep).
  • Alien: During the search for the Face Hugger in the infirmary, it falls onto Ripley. Dallas runs over to help her and she throws her arms around him as Ash examines the creature.
  • Blazing Saddles: Taggart does a "single glomp" version on Hedley Lamaar when he's frightened by a scaffold trap door releasing outside.
  • The Cabin in the Woods: As Marty and Dana descend in the elevator to the Elaborate Underground Base, Marty stands behind Dana with his arms around her. This inadvertently saves his life when a gun-toting guard bursts into the elevator; he can't shoot him as Dana is in the way and as the Final Girl she has to die last.
  • D-War: The climax involves a lot of this, as most of it is giant dragons fighting each other and the two leads are left with nothing to do but cling to each other while staring up into the middle distance in terror.
  • Juggernaut: There are several Time Bombs on a passenger liner and bad weather prevents anyone from being evacuated. The entertainment officer tries to rouse their spirits before giving it up because no-one is singing along. On confessing his own fear to a female passenger, she suggests that everyone just wants to be held right now. As the band starts to play a Convenient Slow Dance, he asks her to join him on the dance floor, and soon the other passengers follow suit.
  • O Youth!: The shy courtship between Ki Ho and Un Gyong takes a step forward when a bolt of lightning leads her to jump into his arms.
  • Pixels: British and American commanders cling onto each other when Centipede is about to eat them.
  • When the Last Sword Is Drawn: Having lost both her father and her older brother to the Boshin War, Shizu clings tightly to her husband Chiaki (her deceased brother's best friend) in her sleep.
  • Woman in the Moon has the Little Stowaway do this to the pilot of the rocketship as they're about to crash on the Moon and there's nothing else to do but hold on tight.

  • At a certain point in A Brother's Price, Jerin is trying to escape on horseback. A woman on another horse comes up alongside, grabs him by the waist, and tries to jerk him onto her horse. He could fall to the ground and possibly be trampled, or he could end up in front of her on the saddle; to his shame, his body chooses the latter and he clings to her, terrified.
  • Occurs between a pair of male police officers in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter prequel vignette, who are terrified by being caught in the middle of a confrontation between James and Sirius on one side and three men on broomsticks on the other.
  • Played straight in Touch (2017) after James has a Flashback Nightmare of his rape. The following sequence is his father waking up to find the kid clinging to his chest.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Angel episode "Heartthrob", Cordelia and Angel are underground, and Cordelia grabs Angel in fear because she thinks there's an earthquake, but it's just the subway.
  • Merton and Tommy on Big Wolf on Campus. So very much.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Doctor Who:
    • Jamie McCrimmon and the Second Doctor do this a lot. Occasionally Victoria or Zoe will get in on the act, too.
    • In "The Caves of Androzani", Peri throws herself into the Doctor's arms with a terrified squeal in response to Mad Scientist Sharaz Jek Suddenly Shouting. Because Jek is strongly implied to have sinister designs on Peri, the Doctor makes a point of placing himself between her and Jek whenever they're in the same room.
    • The Eleventh Doctor and Amy have a variation. Because Amy's story is one traumatic Break the Cutie moment after another, the Doctor develops a habit of clinging tightly to her and rubbing her back while delivering each new piece of bad news. Asking permission from her husband Rory every time, of course.
    • Series 9 of Doctor Who is more or less bookended by these. In "The Magician's Apprentice", the Doctor, terrified of facing potentially his death (or facing up to a very, very bad mistake), envelops his companion Clara Oswald in one (doubling as O.O.C. Is Serious Business as up to this point he usually refused to hug or be hugged). In "Face the Raven", which kicks off the trilogy that ends the season, Clara hugs the Twelfth Doctor in an attempt to comfort him before she goes to meet her death.
  • Dick & Dom are always prone to this (Played for Laughs) when threatened by mild peril, or gunge. And it is adorable.
  • Forever Knight: Vampire detective Nick Knight startles a woman alone in a museum at night. So she asks to be hugged, whereupon he struggles with the urge to feed her, given that he's in close proximity to her neck.
  • Full House:
    • Early in "Room for One More?", Stephanie and Michelle, who are taking care of a neighbor's pet pig, try to convince Danny to let the pig stay inside the house. Joey is on board with the idea, but Danny is unwilling and asks Jesse for his opinion when he turns up. Jesse assumes that Danny is referring to Joey until Danny points to the pig in question, at which point the shock of seeing the pig causes Jesse to grab onto Joey, if only for a second, as Joey happens to be next to Jesse at the moment.
    • Late in "All Stood Up", Rebecca convinces Jesse and Kimmy for a truce with each other to help Jesse keep his blood pressure low. Kimmy agrees, but only on condition that Jesse gives her a hug, to which Jesse obliges, if reluctantly. The hug is broken up at once when an ostrich Kimmy keeps in her yard turns up, and Jesse calls Rebecca for emotional support, only to grab onto Joey because he's distracted by the ostrich, requiring Joey to point to Rebecca's location for Jesse.
  • In Happy Days, Richie, Ralph, and Potsie are talking to a scientist who tells them that a tornado is about to hit the lab they are in. Ralph goes into full panic and screams, "Everyone, grab something heavy!" and instantly glomps on to the heavyset scientist, who notes that the boy has one really strong grip.
  • iCarly:
    • In "iMove Out", Carly grabs onto the back of Freddie and pulls him toward her when a loud noise is heard in Freddie's apartment.
    • In "iBelieve in Bigfoot", Carly backs off and holds close onto Freddie's arm when the gang encounters the alleged "Big Foot".
  • In The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, DS Barbara Havers is held hostage at gunpoint. Scary enough in itself, but she's on her first case back after being shot in the abdomen in the previous episode, and worse yet, the gun pointed at her is the same kind that shot her before. Needless to say, she freaks out. Her partner, the eponymous Inspector Lynley, finally manages to get her out of there, and in a slow version of the glomp, she curls into his chest and sobs hysterically as he rubs her back. They end up doing this to each other — she's terrified because she's just been held hostage, and he's terrified because he nearly lost his partner for the second time in a handful of months.
  • Played for Laughs in the M*A*S*H episode "The Sniper". Radar is leaving the shower tent when a North Korean sniper starts shooting, at which point he panics and sprints back into the shower tent and straight into the arms of Colonel Blake. Who's still showering at the time.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In "Dagger of the Mind", Captain Kirk is embarrassed to realise that the pretty officer beaming down with him is someone he had a one-night stand with after a staff Christmas party. He makes a point of keeping his distance, until they're startled by the sudden drop of a high-speed elevator and instinctively grab hold of each other.

  • Captain Kremmen Our hero has bad news for the President of Earth, so tells him in advance to hold on to something tight! Cue alarmed shriek from the President's Sexy Secretary.


    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In the opening of Farnham Fables' third episode, Theresa accidentally stumbles upon an escaped manticore in her classroom, and is absolutely terrified of the creature. When her brother Vincent picks her up to bring her to safety, she is shown tightly hugging him. It's not quite the "leaping into his arms" variation since he's the one who picked her up in the first place.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cloud is treated to a double glomp in the train graveyard: Aerith first, reminding Tifa whose bodyguard he is, while Tifa then jealously grabs his other arm, trying to make her own claim on him.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa does this three times to Squall. First, after being rescued from the Iguions, she grabs onto him and doesn't want to let go. Later, while on the Ragnarok, after the intense sequence of events that's just occurred, she takes advantage of the gravity being turned off to float down into Squall's lap and puts her arms around him, telling him that it makes her feel safe. The third time is when she hugs him after he rescues her from the sorceress memorial.
  • Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth do a double security cling during She-Hulk's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 when Jen whacks her gavel on the judge's bench a little too hard.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Regal attacks Zelos in the Meltokio sewers, and pins him to the ground with his foot. Presea knocks Regal back, and Zelos is freed. Cue Zelos scurrying around and glomping Lloyd from behind, literally shaking with terror.

    Web Animation 
  • During the DEATH BATTLE! "Donkey Kong VS Knuckles", both of them grab hold of each other when they realize that the mine cart they're on is about to jump the tracks into a giant chasm.
  • In one Strong Bad Email segment, Strong Sad makes a fake version of himself, whose head rolls off and shatters on the ground. Before this sinks in to Strong Bad, the real Strong Sad sneaks up behind him, causing Strong Bad to glomp the fake Strong Sad.

    Web Comic 

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, when Skitter finally rescues Dinah, Dinah hugs her. She spends much of the time they are around each other holding Skitter's hand after that.

    Western Animation 
  • In the 3-2-1 Penguins! episode "Compassion Crashin'", Zidgel and Midgel grab onto each other when they accidentally break off the Rockhopper's steering wheel.
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan:
    • Nancy and Mimi are quite prone to this.
    • Stanley does this a few times to Henry (who, strangely enough, doesn't seem to take issue with it despite having limited patience with his brother).
  • Lydia does this in several episodes of Beetlejuice, ranging from just clinging to the title character's arm while watching a scary movie to outright running to his embrace for protection from giant anthropomorphic cookies. (It Makes Sense in Context. Mostly.)
  • The Crumpets: The twins Bother and Blister do this after their mother forces them to stop their dog's endless Tornado Move (caused by the twins shooting a hungry flea to the dog) by dropping them to the tornado.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "In Like Blunt", Launchpad and Blunt grab ahold of each other when Darkwing loses control of his foliage-clearing device and it runs riot around the area, getting close enough to slice into their clothing.
  • DuckTales (1987): In "Launchpad's First Crash", Launchpad and Scrooge grab ahold of each other simultaneously when some dynamite begins going off.
  • Hilda:
    • Happens in "The Hidden People" with Hilda and Johanna when the hidden people attack and trash their house.
    • Hilda, Frida, and David engage in one when trying to contact ghosts for the first time in "The Ghost".
  • Played for Laughs in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! when Max tightly glomps onto the Grinch's head in a moment of terror.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Stumpy, Quack Quack, and Mr. Cat do this when they think Bad Kaeloo will beat all three of them up.
    • During an earthquake, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat hug each other to prevent themselves from falling over or getting hurt.
  • Just before boarding the Lowardian ship in the Kim Possible Grand Finale, Shego warns Ron to "Hold on!" He latches onto her, and she snaps "Not to me!"
  • Vinnie and Sunil from Littlest Pet Shop (2012) do this a lot due to their shared love of horror movies.
  • In one episode of Monster Buster Club, Danny and Cathy hold onto each other when they think they are about to be turned into statues.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this a few times:
  • In the ending of one of the many chases that Pepé Le Pew conducts on Penelope, they both fall off of a cliff, and in response Pepe draws a parachute that saves both of them. On their way down Penelope is holding onto Pepe for dear life, while Pepe is viewing this as a matter of affection rather than necessity. Still a cute exchange regardless.
  • Mrs. Bighead does this to Rocko in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Cabin Fever" when Heffer tells them a scary story.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Graveyard Shift", Squidward and SpongeBob hug each other because they're terrified of the Hash-Slinging Slasher.
  • Happens to Spot/Scott and Leonard in Teacher's Pet half-episode "Let Sleeping-Over Dogs Lie" twice, upon seeing someone through the peephole on the door when they are invited to Ian Waszelski's place for his birthday as well as the sleepover. Cue Hilarity Ensues. Also, when the duo are about to go to sleep with Ian, who is trying to scare them out of their wits.
  • The Teen Titans episode "Switched" has Raven and Starfire doing this after a "Freaky Friday" Flip, complete with Freak Out screams. Given how powerful they both are, it's hilarious.
  • Total Drama has a few moments like this:

Examples of leaping into another person's arms (or on their back):

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Gundam Build Fighters Try, it is eventually revealed that Yuuma is afraid of ghosts. This leads to a comical scene where his Lightning Gundam of all things climbs on top of Sekai's Try Burning Gundam in fright. Yes, a Humongous Mecha does this to another Humongous Mecha.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In the All Guardsmen Party, Aimy (part terrified of her team leader and part really happy to see the other Guardsmen) jumps into Sarge's arms when they meet again, and it takes some work to get her disentangled.
  • A Crown of Stars: When the dimensional portal is destroyed, cutting Shinji, Asuka, and the Avalon troops off and leaving them all trapped in the post-apocalypse Evangelion Earth, Asuka clings to Shinji tightly because she's terrified that the universe is about to mess them up and ruin their lives again.
    Shinji had just enough time to turn around before he was nearly tackled onto the bunk by a flying Eva Pilot. Asuka wrapped her arms around him and clung fiercely tight. "Wha-?" Shinji blurted in surprise.

    "I just know this is going to go to Hell somehow. It always does. Something good happens, and then the world shits all over us again. You and I meet, then spend years missing each other's signals. We're beating the Angels easily, coming together as a team, and then your asshole father springs the Dummy Plug system on us. We survive the Third Impact, then get a world of thugs, rapists, and warlords. And now we finally... talk to each other, and then this... I just know something more is going to go wrong here because this world hates us," Asuka said wearily into his chest.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità, after a bully pops out of nowhere with a terrifying mask on and scares Italy, the latter pretty much leaps into Germany's arms.
  • During the Thriller Bark saga of This Bites!, Usopp leaps into a crewmate's arms in fear as a Shout-Out to Scooby-Doo.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Bambi, as Friend Owl is explaining what "twitterpated" means, he startles Flower, who leaps into Thumper's arms. Thumper promptly throws him to the ground.
  • In Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night, when the titular duo get scared by their own reflection, Buster leaps up into Chauncey's arms.
  • In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, when Lady Tremaine shows up behind Cinderella preparing for her wedding, Gus jumps into Jaq's arms.
  • The Great Mouse Detective: Dawson jumps into Basil's arms when Olivia sets off a (very noisy) toy.
  • The Man Called Flintstone: When Barney confronts the Green Goose, the villain's Right-Hand Attack Dog Ferocious snarls at him, causing him to jump into Fred's arms.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel scrambles onto Flynn's back when something rustles in the bushes. It's a rabbit.
  • An extreme version in Toy Story. When Woody and Buzz are facing the mutilated toys in Sid's room, Woody climbs on top of Buzz's helmet.
  • Happens more than once in Yellow Submarine during Blue Meanie attacks.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Is a Running Gag at the beginning of The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 as a beautiful hotshot lawyer is spooked by savannah critters while in the company of a strong researcher. Also, she's wearing a long skirt, which makes it even funnier in practice.
  • Pretty much played straight in Raiders of the Lost Ark with Marion jumping into Indy's arms (and then climbing onto his shoulders) when they realize that they are standing in a snake pit.

  • During Dinoverse, Candacye (a Leptoceratops) leaps up into the tiny arms of Mike (a Tyrannosaurus rex) several times when menaced by other dinosaurs.
  • In John Ringo's Ghost, some soldiers are rescuing a group of girls who have been kidnapped, with some of them raped and tortured to death while the others watched. One of the girls is pretty much catatonic during the rescue and initially shrinks back from her rescuers. One of the soldiers gently goes up to her and asks that she climb onto his back, as it is impossible for him to harm her in that position. He swears that he will carry her to safety, he will carry her all the way home if she wants. The soldier (and most of his mates) are almost in tears seeing her in this condition. She leaps onto his back and clings so hard in her terror that she almost strangles him. There is a scene where the two of them are shown getting off of the airplane which flew them home (implied as many hours later), with her still on his back.
  • The Jean de La Fontaine fable "The Husband, the Wife and the Robber" concerns a husband who passionately loves his wife, but she never shows any affection towards him. One night, while he's complaining about this in bed, a robber breaks into the bedroom, causing her to jump into his arms in fear. The overjoyed husband tells the thief to take whatever he wants as a reward, with the thief only too happy to comply.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Boy Meets World, the one with the serial killer that turns out to be All Just a Dream, Eric jumps into Jack's arms like this.
  • In Fabulous Boys, the Taiwanese version of You Are Beautiful, Mei Nan is frightened by a bunch of fake cockroaches Jeremy is throwing at her during a photoshoot and jumps into Xin Yu's arms.
  • Happens on a regular basis on Gilligan's Island, with Gilligan jumping into the Skipper's arms.
  • In the British version of Splatalot, Dick & Dom purport to be frightened of two of the Attackers in one episode; Dom leaps into Dick's arms and Dick leaps into Dom's a few minutes later. Then they both try to leap into each other's arms at the same time.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Cody gets frightened in a supposedly haunted room and leaps into Maddie's arms. Maddie promptly drops him. When he tries it again with London later, she doesn't even try to catch him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide has a picture of a fighter jumping into a wizard's arms after encountering a rust monster.
    • Dungeon magazine #5 adventure "The Trouble With Mylvin Wimbly". The title NPC Mylvin Wimbly has severe arachnophobia and jumps into the arms of the nearest person if he sees even a common (tiny) spider.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Being a coward, Frog has a habit of this.
  • In the Eddsworld episode "Ruined", Matt does this to Tord upon seeing two mummies.
  • Happy Tree Friends: In "Happy Trails Part 1", Lumpy jumps into Petunia's arms when the bus they're on is about to go off a cliff.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: Arthur and Mystery grab each other and jump into Vivi's arms when the paintings around them lean out of their frames to scare them, in a reference to Scooby and Shaggy jumping into Velma's arms on occasion in Scooby-Doo.


    Web Novel 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: When Jamie encounters a mall security guard, he tightly clings on to Graham, begging him to not let the guard take him.

    Western Animation 
  • In general, since Elephants Are Scared of Mice, elephants leaping into the arms of either another animal or a human at the sight of a mouse was a cartoon standby in the old days. Have them there for a bit, then realize the laws of physics still apply, and then splat.
  • The 7D episode "Buckets" has a Running Gag of the dwarfs getting scared and jumping into Lord Starchbottom's arms. Happy thinks it's pretty fun.
  • At the beginning of the Adventures from the Book of Virtues episode "Perseverance", the kids let Bobcat Socrates use their binoculars so he can see Plato's Peak using it, but then Plato steps up in front of him and asks Sock what he is looking at. This startles Sock, who jumps into Zach's arms screaming as Annie catches the binoculars.
  • The Backyardigans: In the episode "The Funnyman Boogeyman", Pablo leaps into Uniqua's arms after the Boogeyman (a.k.a Austin) breaks out of their trap.
  • A startled Booster leaps onto Buzz's shoulders in one episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Buzz says, completely deadpan, "Can I help you?"
  • In the Cartoon Network Groovies short "Jabberjaw (Running Underwater)", when Jabberjaw is frightened by a giant robot, he jumps into Clamhead's arms.
  • Several times in Cow and Chicken, Dad leaps onto Mom in fear.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "The Haunting of Mr. Banana Brain", after she tries (and fails) to throw Paddywhack's jack-in-the-box into a safe, Gosalyn screams and jumps into Launchpad's arms. He hugs her, looking visibly unnerved himself.
  • Dennis the Menace: In "Ghostblusters", after hearing a spooky noise from a haunted house, Margaret jumps into Dennis's arms, clinging to him out of fear. The ending result is Dennis shrugging, thus dropping her in the process.
  • Fireman Sam: In "Halloween", when a thunderstorm causes a blackout, Fireman Elvis Cridlington is in Trevor the Bus's arms, clinging to him in fear, saying he could "feel the bats flapping!".
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga does this to Arnold in one episode when an out-of-control bulldozer is going to tear down the tree they're in. Arnold is too busy thinking about how to stop the bulldozer while Helga is thinking about how good he smells.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Get That Bigfoot Outta My Face!", when the protagonists and their friends are telling scary stories around the campfire and are suddenly attacked by three Bigfoot (actually a prank set up by Ferb), Buford leaps into Baljeet's arms.
  • PJ Masks:
    • In the episode "Lionel-Saurus", when they first see a giant-sized lizard, Catboy jumps into Owlette's arms, and then she (while still holding Catboy) jumps into Gekkos's arms.
    • In another episode, "Wolfy Mountain", Rip howls loudly into a cave, it echos back, and Howler jumps into her arms.
  • In the Pound Puppies (2010) episode "Lord of the Fleas", after Lucky and Cookie have just barely escaped a quicksand trap and a giant spider web, Niblet greets them from behind. This startles Lucky, causing him to jump onto Cookie's back; he thought it was a spider.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby leaping into Shaggy's arms whenever the two are frightened by something is probably the Trope Codifier. As for more specific examples:
      • One episode features a double-decker version. Expanding on the classic version whereby Scooby jumps into Shaggy's arms, Shaggy is in turn so terrified that he (along with his cargo) jumps into Fred's arms. There's a similar gag in another episode, but with Shaggy leaping into Velma's arms. That she can run from the monster of the week with both of them in her arms is certainly impressive.
      • In the Where Are You! episode "Spooky Space Kook", Scooby jumps into Shaggy's arms after a chicken mistakes his tail for a worm and bites it.
    • During a Johnny Bravo episode where he meets the Scooby-Doo gang, there's a running gag where Johnny jumps into Daphne's arms. Near the end of the episode, Daphne jumps into Fred's arms, and he then winks in approval to the screen. Then Velma and Shaggy end up in his arms too and they crash.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • In "Sunday Drive," Jet is scared by a lizard and jumps into Sunspot's arms.
    • Sean and Carrot do this to each other in a few episodes, like "How Come the Moon Changes Shape?" where they get scared by Earth, and "Which Moon is Best?" when the flying saucer does a rough landing on Enceladus.
    Sean and Carrot: AAHHHH!! EARTH!! LOOK OUT!!
    Celery: Boys, I got this! Relax, enjoy the ride!
    (Sean and Carrot realize they've clung to each other and pull away in embarrassment)
  • Occurs quite a bit in the 1973-74 Superfriends episodes:
    • "The Power Pirate": When Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog are trapped in a dark room and a door suddenly opens, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms.
    • "The Baffles Puzzle": When one of the bad guys slams a door and traps Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in a room, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms again.
    • "The Planet Splitter": When Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog are surprised by Doctor LeBon's assistant aboard a space ship, Wonder Dog jumps into Marvin's arms yet again.
  • Starfire jumps into Robin's arms when frightened by Beast Boy's enthusiasm at one point in Teen Titans.
  • Total Drama:
  • In the Voltron: Legendary Defender episode "The Rise of Voltron", Pidge leaps onto Shiro's head when they run into an alien.

Alternative Title(s): Fright Glomp, Fear Hug



That's not an erroneously white Balthazar statue. That's Ted's corpse.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HiddenInPlainSight

Media sources: