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Shoo the Dog

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"But in my heart's a memory, and there, you'll always be."
Widow Tweed upon being forced to leave her adopted fox in The Fox and the Hound

You know I really love you, don't you Tropey? We've had some real good adventures together, but...

Well, Poppa says times is gettin' tough, Tropey. Real tough. The Government is comin' after you, and... well, I gotta let you go back to the forest where you came from.

Don't look at me like that, Tropey! You know what'll happen if we keep you! Go on, get out of here! It's for your own good, damn it! Shoo! I gotta leave you behind, and there ain't two ways about it! Go!

... Goodbye, Tropey. I'll miss you. *sniffle*

When a character or animal is sent away, it's this trope. Subtrope of Shoot the Dog and sometimes Unsuccessful Pet Adoption and Not Used to Freedom. Compare to Break His Heart to Save Him, But Now I Must Go, It's Not You, It's My Enemies, Line in the Sand, Shoo Out the Clowns. (Get out of the plot while you can, Tropey, Anyone Can Die now!)

Some specific reasons for sending an animal/friend away, drawn from the examples below:

  • To send an animal back to live in the wild where it belongs.
  • To put someone in a better situation for them.
  • To get them out of a dangerous situation.
  • To keep them from following you into a dangerous situation.
  • The animal itself is dangerous, such as an exotic animal, beast god, space alien, etc.

Don't be surprised if, despite your best effort to spare them, they decide that You Are Worth Hell.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Sakaki takes a trip to Okinawa and bonds with a young Iriomote cat, a reclusive and highly-endangered species native to Iriomote Island. While this brings her great joy, since up to this point cats have seen her as their enemy, she's forced to part ways with him once her trip is over, since she can't have cats at her house (especially not an endangered, wild one). The Iriomote cat ends up following Sakaki back home, where he saves her from a gang of alley cats, and she decides to secretly keep him.
  • A human example in Godannar. Lou was just about ready to defend her base alongside her father... who suddenly set her mecha to launch to Earth, abandoning him to die in a hopeless fight. He still has time to say about the things listed in this trope, much to her dismay.
  • In Kanon, Yuuichi remembers caring for (and becoming quite attached to) a fox that had broken its leg, but once healed he has to take it back in the wild because he has to leave town. Needless to say, both parties are quite distraught. The fox finds Yuuichi upon his return as the human girl, Makoto. Her feeling of loss at their parting is why she is so beset by irrational anger at him.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch does this a couple of times to Kallen in R2. In the first instance, he pretends that he was merely using Kallen as a pawn to drive her away, when in reality he was trying to save her from being killed by the rebelling Black Knights. He betrays his intentions with a soft, barely audible, "Live on, Kallen." In the second instance, when Kallen confronts the newly-crowned Emperor Lelouch about his parting sentence and kisses him, he feigns a lack of emotion to again drive her away and make sure that when he dies as part of his planned Zero Requiem, Kallen will not die with him.
  • This happens once in Final Fantasy: Unlimited when the party runs into a herd of wild chocobo. Yu, upon realizing that his pet chocobo will probably never see the herd again, encourages him to go off with them. Chobi returns triumphantly at the end of the episode to save Yu's life. Aww.
  • Ace attempts to do this for Luffy in One Piece as Luffy plunges headfirst into the battle at Marineford and is attacked on all sides by the Seven Warlords of the Sea and Marine officers in an attempt to rescue Ace from his execution. Ace shouts for Luffy to go away, stating that they have their own crews and Luffy is under no obligation to rescue him. He even states that it would be "humiliating" to be saved by a "weakling" like Luffy, all the while silently begging for Luffy not to involve himself in Ace's mistake. Luffy of course just ignores this and shouts that he's Ace's little brother and promises to save Ace even if it killed him. Awww!
    • Done even earlier with Nami and Robin, who, despite having become attached to Luffy and the rest of the crew in spite of being inclined to view their association with him as a temporary alliance, don't think he is willing or able to overcome their problems. Nami in particular does this by stealing the ship and pretending to kill Usopp to save his life from Arlong, which actually temporarily succeeds in convincing Zoro into thinking that Nami is truly evil (but by the time Robin is thought to have betrayed the Straw Hats, he remains open to either possibility being true).
    • Chopper gets this from Hiruluk in his backstory after he recovers from his injuries, as Hiruluk is Secretly Dying from an uncurable disease, and to avoid having Chopper see him die, he kicks him out of his house and even shoots at him when he tries to return. After learning this, Chopper sets off to find a cure, only to end up accidentally fatally poisoning Hiruluk, who goes off into a trap and chooses to die on his own terms.
    • Sanji has a Break His Heart to Save Him act with the Straw Hats in the Whole Cake Island arc, which works with Nami (hypocritical as it is) but doesn't do anything against Luffy. A bit justified, since staying by his side would invoke the wrath of one of the Four Emperors. Luffy disagrees.
  • Utakata, host of the Six-Tailed Slug does this to his student Hotaru in the Naruto filler arcs because he is a fugitive for killing his master. He eventually comes to terms with his issues, then when he's prepared to train her, gets captured by Pain and has his Tailed Beast extracted, killing him.
  • Misato decides to send Pen Pen off to live with Hikari's family in episode 24 of Neon Genesis Evangelion because she doesn't know if their apartment will stay safe from another incident like EVA-00's self-destruction.
  • In The Ravages of Time, after the Sima merchant clan suffers under the "patronage" of Prime Minister Cao Cao, Sima Yi eventually cuts the clan's ties to his business partners and even his clan's assassin coterie so as to protect them from collateral damage. In the end his clan is indeed subsequently purged, but while said assassin coterie gets it too it seems that his business partners were indeed spared.
  • Olivier Mira Armstrong does this to her family in the manga and Brotherhood anime of Fullmetal Alchemist. She travels from Fort Briggs, in the frigid north, to the family mansion in Central City and demands that her father retire and name her head of the family. She further bullies him into taking his wife and younger daughters on an extended visit to the distant country of Xing. As Olivier's brother Alex later realizes, she knows that terrible things are about to happen in their home country of Amestris, and wants her family as far away from it as possible.
    • Edward Elric attempts to do the same thing with his Love Interest Winry, telling her to take her grandmother and their dog and get out of the country. In this case, however, it doesn't work; Winry is every bit as stubborn as Ed, and will not budge.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In "Pikachu's Goodbye", Ash tries to pull this on Pikachu because he thinks Pikachu'll be much happier with other Pikachu than he would be travelling around with him. Pikachu has none of it and chases after Ash.
    • In "Charizard's Burning Ambitions", Ash does this with Charizard so that he can stay in Charicific Valley and train — while he remains extremely loyal to his trainer, Charizard does stay there with occasional guest appearances until Black and White has him back as a reserve at Professor Oak's lab.
  • In the Strike Witches episode "Thanks", Gertrud Barkhorn attempts to shoo Yoshika Miyafuji when the former gets injured, given how much her sister Christiane suffered. Yoshika disagrees.

    Comic Books 
  • The Mall Rats in the Gold Digger miniseries Throne of Shadows. Lydia McKracken sends away her friends Moisha Rich and Romeo Ellis by insulting them. She knows that as Gothwrain's heir she's the target of every criminal overlord on the planet, and that her friends are as doomed as she is if they stay with her.
  • New Mutants: When Karma goes missing in issue #5, the other New Mutants desperately want to keep up the search, but Professor X says there's nothing they can do and Xi'an is most certainly dead. Privately, he reveals to the X-Men that he thinks Karma is alive, and in the hands of a villain he thinks is too dangerous for the teenagers to face. Which she is.
  • Twisted in the Richard Corben story "Bowser" (Vampirella #54, Sept. 1976). Little Timmy shoos Bowser away when his parents fear he's going to have to be put down because Bowser is an Eldritch Abomination and just ate a couple people. Turns out Bowser was extra hungry because he-- she?-- it was getting ready to have a litter of "puppies"! You can read this disgusting yet strangely heartwarming story here.

    Comic Strips 
  • Pooch Café's strip for March 20, 2014. Poncho and Hudson have saved a mailman from death.
    Poncho: Look! There's a pack of other mailmen. It's time to return him to the life he was born for.
    Hudson: [to the mailman] Well, there you go. Go on. Look, one of them is a female. Doesn't she look enticing?
    Hudson: [shouting] Go! We don't love you anymore! Don't turn back! Just go! Go! [mailman leaves]
    Poncho: You did the right thing, Hudson. He's back where he belongs.
    Hudson: [sniff] Goodbye, mailman. May all your letters have correct postage...

    Fan Works 
  • Gensokyo 20XX:
    • Facing down danger, Yukari hands Reimu and Chen over to Ran, then severs her shikigami contract, telling her that "Right now, I need you all to be brave and, Ran, take care of Reimu and Chen. When I gap you, I need you all to run and don't ever look or come back."
    • Later on, Reimu convinces Ran and Chen to leave her behind in Gensokyo while fleeing to Tokyo.
    • In Gensokyo 20XXI, Yukari orders Ran to run away with the babies she's holding so that they won't be captured. Ran refuses to go.
  • in dreams you follow (but I dream in the dark): Rather than taking Akamaru along with him when he becomes a Fake Defector Deep Cover Agent, Kiba deliberately leaves him behind. Later, when confronted by Naruto and his old teammates, he claims not to care about Akamaru, and accidentally hurts him while fighting Naruto.
  • In Pokémon Black & White: Tale of a Legend, Hugh listens to Team Plasma's lies and releases Grunge the Garbodor, thinking it'll improve the Pokémon's life by leaps and bounds.
  • Prodigal Son: After freeing the Deadly Nadder from a netting of ropes, it continues to follow Astrid around, having bonded with her from the experience whether she likes it or not.
  • In one of the special chapters for Wonderland, after seeing the servant girl, Lucy, endure at least two years of abuse from his mother, Gray, along with her imprisoned brother, plan to help her escape after one of the beatings left her bleeding. Their plans gets thrown out the window when Gray sees that his mother is so angry that she will likely kill Lucy in a fit of rage. He quickly finds the girl and pulls her to the entrance and tells her to run. She hugs him thanking him for his kindness before hightailing it out of there.

    Films — Animation 
  • In BIONICLE: Mask of Light, Takua tells his pet crab Pewku to go home as he and Jaller fly off on a Gukko bird, as she wouldn't be able to fit. They reunite later on.
  • In The Illusionist (2010) the titular character decides to give up being a magician and abandons his faithful rabbit on a hillside, where there are a lot of similar looking rabbits. The rabbit looks at his leave in confusion, having no idea what to do.
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron's invokes this briefly with Spirit and Little Creek. It comes up again towards the end, this time with Little Creek and his own mare, Rain.
  • In Bolt, the dog's owner tries to get him to leave her behind in a burning building and he refuses, eventually collapsing next to her.
  • In Help! I'm a Fish, Stella has to send Sasha away (who for a good part of the movie had acted as Stella's Horse of a Different Color and Team Pet), before going back into Professor MacKrill's labratory. What makes it sadder though, is that Stella is a little girl, about five.
  • From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
    Huntsman: I can't! I can't do it! Forgive me. I beg of Your Highness, forgive me.
    Snow White: I don't understand.
    Huntsman: She's mad! Jealous of you! She'll stop at nothing!
    Snow White: But... but who?
    Huntsman: The Queen!
    Snow White: The Queen?
    Huntsman: Now, quick, child, run! Run away, hide! In the woods! Anywhere! Never come back! Now, go! Go! Go! Run! Run! Hide!
  • Maurice attempts this with his daughter Belle in Beauty and the Beast once she finds him in the Beast's castle. He begs her to leave him and get away before the Beast discovers her presence, but she refuses to leave him.
  • One of the saddest moments in The Fox and the Hound has a teary-eyed Widow Tweed leaving Tod in the wild, silently gesturing at him not to follow her back as she leaves.
  • Frozen:
    • Elsa from Frozen shuts her little sister Anna out for 13 years after a troll's warning leads their parents to worry enough about what people might do to her if word of her magic powers gets out that they want to keep it secret even from Anna. Elsa also worries that her powers could kill Anna like she almost did when they were children.
    • In Frozen II, she pushes Anna and Olaf away by sending them sliding on an ice boat before trying to cross the Northern Sea which had claimed their parents all by herself.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ends on a note similar to the book; Hiccup realizes that as long as there are dragon hunters like the remains of Drago's empire, dragons will always be in danger. So he has Toothless take all of the dragons away from Berk to the Hidden World so they'll be safe, and wait for the day when humans and dragons can coexist together in peace. However, an epilogue shows that they can visit each other occasionally...
  • The Jungle Book (1967) has Mowgli's adoptive wolf family and Bagheera deciding during a council meeting to send Mowgli to live in a nearby man village for his own safety after learning that Shere Khan has returned to his..and their...hunting grounds. Closer to the climax, Baloo also agrees with Bagheera that it's too dangerous for Mowgli to remain with him in the jungle. Of course, Mowgli sees this as a betrayal and runs off instead, which nearly gets him eaten/killed by first Kaa, and later by Shere Khan himself.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, in a misguided attempt to protect his new family, Batman locks them in the Scuttler and tells the Batcomputer to take them to a taco stand on the border of Gotham and Bludhaven until the Joker's attack on Gotham is over. When they protest about it, Batman has to shoo the Scuttler away like a dog.
  • In Wolfwalkers, Robyn attempts to free her hunting falcon Merlyn into the wild when she feels unable to help Mebh reunite with her mother, urging Merlyn to tell Mebh to leave the forest with the wolf pack and go with her to somewhere safer before the woods are burned down. Merlyn's expression makes clear that he doesn't want to leave Robyn, and he later leads Mebh into town to confront Robyn instead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in The Jerk, where the dog very clearly wants to leave, but poor Navin is too overcome with emotion to let him go.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids did this with a (comparatively) giant ant, who eventually came back to pull a Heroic Sacrifice and save the titular kids from a (comparatively) giant scorpion.
  • Happens in Equilibrium, but the goddamn dog refuses to leave, leading directly to the hero's first act against the government..
  • Air Bud: Josh attempts to do this with Buddy in order to protect him from his abusive former owner. Buddy of course returns to help him play basketball and eventually, Josh is granted custody of him.
  • At the end of the movie Hidalgo the main character releases the titular horse back into the wild, but without either of them being upset (in a good way).
  • In the Film of the Book Day of the Dolphin, Dr. Terrell has taught several dolphins to speak English, and has come to love them as if they were his own children. At the end of the movie the evil government representatives are coming to take them away. He has to tell the dolphins that he doesn't love them any more to get them to leave him, so they can be safe. A real Tear Jerker moment.
  • Parodied in Kung Fu Hustle, when the hero has to follow the trope to get rid of his dim-witted but well-meaning sidekick.
  • The Hendersons have to do this to get rid of their lovable Sasquatch Harry in the movie of Harry and the Hendersons.
  • There's a human example in A Man for All Seasons. Thomas More is in serious trouble with the King, and his friend the Duke of Norfolk is feeling the heat. More can't convince Norfolk to break off their friendship, so instead, he attacks him verbally until Norfolk actually lashes out. It pains More terribly to do this, but it works: his friend stays away from him after that and is spared the King's wrath. Of course, Norfolk is no dog (he's just fond of water spaniels), but the scene hits all the same beats as the examples above.
  • In a cruel twist of Spared by the Adaptation, in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry lets Hedwig fly away. She comes back later when there are Death Eaters chasing after the rescue crew and takes a blow for Harry. Still, it is better than in the book. In the book, all the other Harrys had stuffed owls in cages and Harry had Hedwig with him. She takes a Killing Curse, but as collateral damage. At least in the movie, she chooses to save Harry.
  • Near the end of The Journey of Natty Gann, Natty encourages her wolf friend to follow the call of another wolf back into the wild.
  • Parodied in the mockumentary The Independent, during a scene from the fake movie Whale of A Cop. The in-universe story goes that the movie was scripted as a Free Willy rip-off, but the producers wanted the whale to be changed to a cop, so we see a scene from the movie where a kid has to let the title character (played by Ben Stiller) go "to be with the other cops". The cop is acting like a whale for much of the scene, then stands up and begins exhibiting human behavior...up until the point where he spits water like Flipper.
  • Final Destination: Despite being in danger, Clear Rivers makes sure her dog doesn't get electrocuted by shooing him away.
  • Final Destination 4: People are dying in the same order they did in Nick's premonition, and about two thirds of the way through the movie, Nick's girlfriend Lori's turn is coming up. She urges Nick to go far away from her so that he'll have a chance of surviving longer. He refuses and they both make it to the final scene, although that doesn't mean much in a series known for Bolivian Army Endings or flat out Downer Endings.
  • Attempted in a climatic battle scene in John Carter but Woola chooses to stay and fight beside John Carter.
  • From Yojimbo, when the family he's helping is too shellshocked to do anything but thank him:
    Sanjurou: Take the gold and run. Start a new life. [the family can hardly move for emotion, but all bow in respect] Just go! Stop groveling, I hate beggars. Run now or I swear I'll kill you myself!
  • In The Shawshank Redemption, Brooks has to send his pet crow, Jake, away.
  • Bicentennial Man: When Andrew asks for freedom, Sir banishes him from the house, giving him total independence rather than pseudo-freedom. The trope is played super-straight, as Sir looks like he's cutting off his own arm having Andrew leave for good. When he's dying, he apologizes for sending Andrew away.
  • In Maleficent, the titular character tries to send her servant/companion/The Dragon Diaval away before the assault on the castle. He shoots the suggestion down and she doesn't bring it up again.
    Diaval: If we go inside those walls, we're never going to come out alive.
    Maleficent: Then don't come. It's not your fight.
    Diaval: Well, thank you very much. "I need you, Diaval! I can't do this without you, Diaval!"
    Maleficent: [dryly amused] I can hear you.
  • In The Mask, when Stanley is arrested, he sees his dog Milo from the jail cell window, and sadly tells him to find himself a new home.
  • In The Killing, Nikki befriends the black parking lot attendant a little too well, causing the attendant to keep showing up to chat when Nikki is getting ready to take his shot. Nikki eventually has to call him a nigger to get rid of him.
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), after learning from Bagheera that Shere Khan is hunting Mowgli, Baloo tries to make Mowgli go to the man village by telling him that they were never friends, that he was just using him to get extra food for the winter. Mowgli storms off as a result, and Baloo tells Bagheera that this was the hardest thing he had ever done.
  • In Jojo Rabbit, eleven year old Jojo is rounded up with the other German soldiers because he's wearing a Nazi jacket. Captain Klenzendorf takes Jojo's jackets, spits at Jojo and claims Jojo is Jewish to the Allied soldiers in order to spare him from being executed.
  • A mild example in A Dog's Purpose: When Ethan leaves for college, he tells his mom to hold his dog Bailey because he'll think he can go for a ride in the car and won't understand why he can't. The dog breaks away, tears through a field and catches up to Ethan, jumping in through the open car window. Ethan stops and throws a football for Bailey to fetch, and when the dog brings it back to the road, the car is too far away for him to follow.
  • In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Ron and his family nurse the baby shark Doby back to health and release it into the wild, complete with a musical number.
  • War (2007): Surprisingly, the Big Bad gets to do this. Yakuza boss Yonagawa is an awful excuse for a person and Would Hurt a Child. However, he does care about his loyal daughter and lieutenant Kira, and makes an excuse to send her back to Japan, out of harm's way, before his final confrontation with Rogue.

  • In The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, Adrian plans to take the dog with him when he runs away from home, perhaps because he fears his parents would neglect the dog. When he has packed all the dog's things, he cannot carry his suitcase, so he decides to leave the dog behind. But when the dog cries and his parents shout at it to be quiet, Adrian decides to take the dog after all.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, nine-year-old Arya Stark parts ways with her pet direwolf, who's been sentenced to death for defending her from Prince Joffrey. She has to throw rocks to make it stop following her. She still becomes the direwolf when she dreams, though, as all the Stark children share a Psychic Link with their wolves.
  • In Honored Enemy from The Riftwar Cycle, the elf Tinuva must go and duel his brother to put an end to a centuries-long vendetta and buy time for his human allies to escape. His friend Gregory refuses to leave him, even when Tinuva points out that there is no possible way he could help and that he would only be killed out of hand. Tinuva goes as far as slashing his hand to keep him from using his bow and threatening to cut his other hand so badly that he'll never draw a bow again - and only then does Gregory accept that there's no way he'll be able to accompany Tinuva.
  • In The Yearling the protagonist has to do this to his pet deer to save its life after it's eaten a corn crop. Unfortunately, the deer in question comes back and eats another corn crop, so the kid finally has to shoot the deer, which he insists on doing himself.
  • Richard and Kahlan from The Sword of Truth series when Kahlan tells him she doesn't love him in order to save his life by forcing him to leave with a priestess of the light, Verna. Later on, Richard breaks out of his depression when he does the same thing to his pet Gratch and realizes Kahlan was doing the whole thing for Richard's sake.
  • Sam does this to Bill the pony in The Lord of the Rings when the Fellowship has to go through the Mines of Moria. Subverted, though - at least in the books - as before this actually happens the Watcher in the Water attacks, and Bill promptly flees rather than needing to be sent away. Also, he finds his way back to Bree, where they pick him up on their way back to the Shire, and proves to still be the most awesome pony in Middle-earth. And that's saying something.
  • Unit 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course is set in Pompeii, so it could only have ended one way. As the main character, Caecilius, lies trapped under a fallen wall, he convinces his slave Clemens to escape... but Cerberus, the family dog, won't budge. He watches over his master till the end.
  • The Hypnotists: Each of the first two books ends with Jax hypnotizing his best friend in his current school into forgetting about most of their friendship and shared secrets due to being involved with dangerous forces, although Tommy from the first book comes Back for the Finale.
  • Happens in Of Mice and Men, when Lennie has just killed Curly's wife by accident, and George shoots him to save him from the angry mob which would have pretty much lynched him.
  • Inverted in The Neverending Story: When Atreyu's pony gets stuck in the swamps of desperation, he wants to save it, but it tells him in no uncertain terms that the mission (saving Phantasia) is more important and he must move on alone.
  • Averted in Caroline Norton's romantic poem "An Arab's Farewell to His Horse", in which the Arab tries to do this... and fails, beautifully.
  • Gerald Durrell was once forced to let some animals his expedition captured go. Most of the animals promptly sat on top of their cages and demanded to be fed, until he was eventually forced to let them back inside.
  • Happens in the Dickens novel Barnaby Rudge, in possibly the earliest example of the trope on this page. The title character must leave town, and has to say goodbye to a group of vagrant dogs that have served as his companions for several years.
    One of the dogs — the ugliest of them all — came bounding up, and jumping round him in the fullness of his joy. He had to bid him go back in a surly tone, and his heart smote him while he did so. The dog retreated; turned with a half-incredulous, half-imploring look; came a little back; and stopped.
    It was the last appeal of an old companion and a faithful friend—cast off. Barnaby could bear no more, and as he shook his head and waved his playmate home, he burst into tears.
  • Grass and Sky: Timmi's family used to have a beagle named Charlie, but Rebecca was allergic to him, so they sent him away to live with Grampy. He's elderly, but still alive when they visit six years later.
  • John Putnam Thatcher: In The Longer the Thread, an innocuous freight forwarder helps the police gather evidence against the murderer. He's taking his grandsons on a trip to a historical site when he finds out that the killer has decided He Knows Too Much (although Thatcher and the cops are racing to be Big Damn Heroes).
    Suddenly a shadow fell across his path. Moreno turned, then stiffened. The murderer stood there, ten feet away. Nothing was said. "Boys," said Moreno, his voice suddenly lifeless. "Go down to the courtyard." He saw the murderer shift. "Go look at the cannonballs." Armando and Felipe scampered off. Moreno remained where he was. He knew quite well he was looking at death.
  • Star Wars: Kenobi: Near the end of the story, Obi-Wan tells Annileen and her family to leave Tatooine, for fear that the townsfolks' ire will be raised towards her as an associate of the embezzler Orrin. He arranges with Bail Organa to have an Alderaanian university accept Annileen's long-dormant application to their xenobiology satellite program on Naboo. This inverts Ben's character role of The Drifter; because he has to stay to look after Luke Skywalker, he can't simply say But Now I Must Go.
  • Serge Storms: Early in the B-plot of The Maltese Iguana, a cop in Honduras frames a U.S. State Department bureaucrat friend of his for drug possession but agrees to drop the charges if he leaves the country immediately. He does this not out of corruption or contempt for the bureaucrat, but in an attempt to get him out of the country before he gets killed trying to investigate a notoriously violent cartel.
  • In The Monster Garden: When Monnie first comes to life, it can live comfortably on dry land, but as it grows it starts to shed its gelatinous coating, revealing skin that quickly dehydrates if it doesn't get to swim regularly. Frankie knows it can't live in her garden much longer. She runs away with it to Mendicote Woods, planning to set it up in the summer cottage near the creek and teach it how to fish. But just outside the forest, some boys start throwing rocks at Monnie, and by the time Frankie chases them away, Monnie has run off. Frankie runs into the woods and finds signs that Monnie has been near the mouth of the stream. She swims into the sea to look for it, but accidentally goes too far from shore, loses strength, and passes out. Monnie carries her back to shore before swimming away forever.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied in 3rd Rock from the Sun when Dick orders Harry to get rid of a dog he's become rather fond of.
  • The Book of Boba Fett: During his time living among the Tusken raiders Boba Fett used a Bantha as a mount. Before reclaiming his Cool Starship he releases the Bantha into the wild, telling her to go find others of her kind and "make baby Banthas". The Bantha is reluctant to leave so Boba has to throw a chunk of meat into the distance to get her to go.
  • Attempted by Buffy at the end of the series, when she sends Xander and Dawn out of town before The End of the World as We Know It hits. Dawn promptly tasers Xander, drives back to Sunnydale, and kicks Buffy in the shin.
    Dawn: Dumbass.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor is very fond of using this trope.
    • "The Parting of the Ways": The Doctor tricks Rose into getting into the TARDIS, which takes her back to her own time and away from the Dalek armada.
    • "The Vampires of Venice": The Doctor yells at Amy to make her go back to the TARDIS where she will be safe during the episode's climax.
    • "The Doctor's Wife": The Doctor lies to Amy and Rory to send them back to the TARDIS, then locks the doors remotely. This is either to keep them safe or to keep them from interfering (or both).
    • "The Time of the Doctor": The Doctor does this to Clara twice to get her away from the Siege, and later Battle, of Trenzalore. The first time it doesn't work because Clara accidentally does an Outside Ride of the TARDIS, arriving 300 years after she left.
    • "Listen": The Doctor orders Clara to go into the TARDIS, again to keep her safe, as he waits for possible monsters at the end of the universe.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In season 4, Tyrion has to shoo both Shae (his mistress) and Podrick (his squire) after his father and Cersei find out about Shae, and after Pod refuses to falsely testify in court that Tyrion murdered Joffrey, even turning down a knighthood, as Cersei is bound to take her revenge. Pod leaves after a simple dismissal, but Shae refuses to believe Tyrion's warnings since he's repeated them many times before, so Tyrion has to lie and claim he doesn't love Shae anymore.
    • After Nymeria bites Joffrey, Arya shoos her away to protect her from the Lannisters.
  • In one episode of Kamen Rider Den-O, a Monster of the Week is attacking a teen model, and initially she blames her father since he kicked her out a year ago. As it turns out, the father was pulling this trope because, as he saw it, she was damaging her own career by helping him rather than focusing on modeling.
  • In Kamen Rider Gotchard, Koichi Asahi tells Wrestler G to stay with Hotaro because he knows that the Chemy belongs in Hotaro's care, not to mention the Dark Sisters will continue to assault Koichi so long as they're together, and that Koichi will forget seeing them. Hotaro begs Rinne to reconsider, but Rinne sadly states how this is one rule that can't be bent.
  • Walt has to do this as Vincent swims after the raft on Lost.
  • Lost in Space episode "The Space Pirate". At the end of the episode Will wants to go with the title character and be a pirate, but the pirate insults him and refuses because he doesn't want to take Will away from his family.
  • Dewey does this to a hamster in Malcolm in the Middle. Which promptly became a Running Gag. Every episode for the rest of the season, there was a quick cameo by that hamster, and it was last seen heading for the Canadian wilderness.
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger has a minor one. During Dayu/Tayu's existential crisis, she carries around with her one of the little baby puffball demon things from the Sanzu River. Upon her death, she tosses it aside, telling it to flee. The furball simply sits there repeatedly calling her name to the discarded kimono until Dokoku steps on it.
  • Parodied in the Saturday Night Live sketch "Tiny Horse", where a young man (Timothée Chalamet) whose parents' farm is having financial trouble is forced to let go of his tiny horse. In the musical number, he imagines the tiny horse going off to university and graduating valedictorian, getting a job in the Cabinet, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, marrying Cong. Ocasio-Cortez, and appearing on Jimmy Fallon. All while the horse runs out of the stable very very slowly (because he is tiny). In the end his father says he can keep the horse, but the young man decides to let him go free anyway.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • Subverted on an episode; when times are getting serious, she rather viciously shoos off Joxer, the useless tag-along. He thinks it's a joke at first until she gets violent to punctuate her point, claiming that he would just slow them down. We as the audience might likely assume she's performing this trope to protect him from the coming confrontation, but actually she's trying to convince someone else that she's getting rid of him for real, so he can carry out a mission for her without being suspected.
    • Played straight in a different episode, where Xena must defend a deathly ill Gabrielle from invaders inside a ramshackle fortification. As part of her preparations for the defense, she orders her horse Argo to run away so she'll be safe, yelling at her to "get out of here!". (They reunite later, once the danger has passed.)
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Math Emergency", Mary goes to visit Mr. Gilford, a shut-in hermit. Mary brings him dinner (which is all he expected from her), and then she tries to socialize with him. Gilford refuses, coldly stating, "I'm old, I'm alone, I'm gonna die soon." He is blatantly rude and even misogynistic to Mary, and they argue with each other because of this. The next morning, Mary does return hoping things will go better this time, only to find that he passed away. Mary laments his death, and presumably arranged a funeral for him.

    Video Games 
  • In the first Halo game some were doing this. A few were doing this with the Marines, but many were doing it with their armless Flood Buddies. Yes, Flood.
  • Done in Fallout 3, when telling Dogmeat to leave your party.
    • Made even more heartwrenching near the end of the game should you choose to activate the purifier yourself. Before you enter and seal your final fate, if he is with you, you can tell him goodbye one last time before entering the room. The whimper that Dogmeat does when you tell him this only makes you feel worse.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In the ending of Final Fantasy VI, if you saved Shadow at the Floating Continent, his segment in the final cinematic of the game will show him leaving to die alone in the collapsing final dungeon. When his dog, Interceptor, tries to follow him, he shoos it. Later, the dog enters the heroes' airship, but its owner doesn't.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, Sazh keeps a chocobo chick in his afro. He bought it as a present for his son, Dajh, but was never able to give it to him. When the party comes across a group of chocobos on Gran Pulse, including more baby chocobos, he suggests to the chocobo "Maybe it'd be best if we just say goodbye here." The chick, however, won't have any of it and returns straight to Sazh. Something similar happens with Chobi in Final Fantasy: Unlimited.
  • The good ending to Rule of Rose can be seen as this in a metaphorical sense. Over the course of the game, it's revealed the player's best friend is in fact the Big Bad, having arranged the deaths of every other character because she felt abandoned because the player was spending more time with her pet dog than with her. The epilogue is a flashback/dream sequence where the player is sent back before the whole thing began and chains the dog inside a shed to metaphorically protect him, along with her other precious memories.
  • The Chao in Sonic Adventure give you a tremendously sad sequence when you're ready to get rid of one or a few.
  • The Boss does this to Naked Snake for all of Metal Gear Solid 3 (complete with him trying to follow her like a lost puppy). She breaks his arm, stomps on his foot with her horse, shoots him in the leg... she even chucks him off a bridge. However, this is all because if she didn't do these things, he would have surely been killed by Volgin; compared to that, he actually has a chance to survive the other things she does. This is only made worse when the player and Snake find out that she was the good guy all along and presumably wanted to protect you from being hurt/test you by hurting you.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if you leave Dog behind for the final battle, every line you can give it is a nod to this trope.
  • From Ōkami, Exposition Fairy and general inch-high annoyance Issun leaves Amaterasu (the player character) just before the final dungeon, and drives her away with his sword when she tries to follow. Since you're the dog, you're not amused.
    • In the sequel, Kuni and Chibi are being dragged away by a flood, and Kuni is trapped under a floating tree. Chibi reaches him, but he knocks him off the trunk with his sword.
  • Dragon Quest:
  • In Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, a "Blind Idiot" Translation of Pokemon Crystal Version, whenever a battle is started, the Pokemon that you send out is told to GO AWAY.
  • Kratos finally reunites with his long dead daughter in God of War: Chains of Olympus but realizes that staying with her will destroy the world and eventually her along with it. What follows is a long and painful series of button-mashing mini games to shove the crying little girl away as she desperately clings to her father.
  • In Devil Survivor: Overclocked, at the beginning of Naoya's 8th day, you have a choice about whether to kill opposing demon tamers or not. Choosing to do so will cause Kaido to kick Mari out of the party so she doesn't have to sully her honor with such Dirty Business (despite being willing to go through with it).
  • Jungo does this in Devil Survivor 2 at the 5th stage of his FATE route with a stray cat he took care of when it was wounded. When the cat is fully healed he sets it free — as keeping the animal with him would only needlessly endanger it — and quickly runs off, while the cat frantically looks and cries for its master until it eventually realizes that he's gone...
    • The next and final event in his FATE route has Jungo secretly check up on the cat. The Protagonist can then suggest that he adopts the cat... which Jungo does, but only in the Golden Ending.
  • Preposterously common throughout the Pokémon franchise, even besides the video games. This is mainly because there is no reason to release a Pokémon in the game unless you bottlenecked on your limit and really have no more use for them. Most people who release Pokémon are releasing either early-route com mons obtained from the Wonder Trade (Zigzagoon was a notorious example) or the ones that they bred (at level 5 or 1 depending upon which generation you are breeding) and waiting for the one that they really want. In the Pokémon world, it would be like throwing helpless Pokémon out onto the street and/or to be killed by other wild Pokémon. However, given that you can breed for moves, it can take care of itself.
  • Often has to be done with excess Heroes in Fire Emblem Heroes due to limited barrack space, where shooing Heroes you summoned back to their world will give you a Combat Manual or hero feathers.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, you can save the life of a girl in the clinic who becomes basically your petnote . Near the end you have the option of sending her away, because things are becoming too dangerous. If you don't, she'll be kidnapped and killed.

    Visual Novels 
  • In War: 13th Day, Night blackmails Ambrosia into giving her body to him in exchange for Arsenik's safety. Feeling like it's a form of cheating, she breaks up with Arsenik. Since she still has feelings for him, she tries to keep away from him because it hurts her to see him, especially when he's so clearly hoping to get back together with her.
    Arsenik: You will not deny me the privilege of courting you, will you? But if you will not accept that, then at least allow me the pleasure of your company as your friend.
    Ambrosia's Narration: I could not turn him away, but each time, it was torture to see him.
  • Lana Skye tries to do this to her younger sister Ema in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, but Ema refuses to accept that her sister is guilty, and together, she and Phoenix find the truth behind the murder and the reason for Lana's cold actions.

    Web Original 
  • Dream SMP: In Tommy's April 29th stream, he and Ghostbur visited Pandora's Vault to try and kill Dream. Upon visiting the prison, Friend, Ghostbur's pet sheep, was kept in the Nether entrance hall of the prison, with Ghostbur promising he would be back for him. When Tommy was forced out of the prison after his attempt to kill Dream failed, with Ghostbur "dying" in the process of reviving Wilbur, he comes across Friend again in the entrance hall. Cue the waterworks.
  • Neopets. Go try to give one of your pets away at the adoption center. Be prepared for guilt tripping and sad tearful Neopet images out the wazoo.

    Web Videos 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: After freezing Captain Hammer with his Death Ray, Dr. Horrible expresses relief that Penny isn't there to see him commit this act of villainy, and possibly because he doesn't want her to get hurt. Unfortunately, he'd accidentally outed himself as Billy in the process, which has tragic consequences: Hammer, whose paralysis has worn off due to Horrible's failure to finish him, destroys the ray, which explodes and results in the death of Horrible's Love Interest and Morality Chain.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob had to give up his seahorse, Mystery, who seemed rather apathetic about the whole thing. And after it, accidentally, Patrick.
    SpongeBob: I know it's hard for you to understand, but Mr. Krabs is right. You belong in the wild.
    [Mystery just casually trots off]
    SpongeBob: (while looking in the opposite direction) Well, what're you waiting for? Can't you see I don't want you anymore?
    [Patrick walks up to a sobbing SpongeBob with a board on his head]
    SpongeBob: Just get out of here, you stupid, dumb animal!
    [Patrick walks away with the same look on his face]
  • Brock Samson of The Venture Brothers tries to do this to the Venture family in the season 3 finale to get rid of them. Hank sees through it.
    • On the other hand, Brock watches Hank and Dean die on a regular basis, and is he prepared to kill Dr. Venture. This might actually be an inversion of this trope because Brock legitimately doesn't care.
      • Note that while he is prepared to kill Dr. Venture, he's noticeably relieved when he doesn't have to, and tries to get them to safety soon afterward despite the termination of his mission. Although his nonchalance about Hank and Dean's repeated deaths because of the existence of their clones is misleading, it's quite clear that he does care about the Venture family.
  • In a Crowning Moment Of Tearjerking for The Fox and the Hound, Widow Tweed realizes that her pet fox Tod is no longer safe with her and releases him into a part of the forest where hunting is not allowed. The accompanying song makes it a hundred times sadder.
  • Batman Beyond: In the episode "Lost Soul", using his camouflage gear, Terry (aka Batman) goes into a station monitored by laser shooting cameras. He ends up compromising his position when he tries to shoo a curious cat away from the building. Also reinforces his position as a hero.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Kyoshi Warriors find Appa injured in the woods after he's separated from Aang and nurse him back to health... and then Azula finds them, forcing Suki to shoo away Appa with a torch.
    • Avatar Roku also tried to shoo his dragon Fang away from an erupting volcano, but the dragon instead curled up around his beloved master and died with him.
  • Subverted at the end of the Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures episode "Fish Out of Water." Orange Blossom finally realizes that the best way to care for her pet frog, Tad, is to let him to back to the wild. She gears herself up for a heartfelt goodbye, only for Tad to hop away happily the moment she takes off his leash.
  • Subverted in Camp Lazlo. The campers have adopted a llama, (who's cranky and always spitting and hitting everyone) and eventually have to give it up. Lazlo tearfully tells it to just get out of there, but any sweetness is sucked out of the scene by the llama kicking him in the head repeatedly.
  • One episode of Futurama has Fry do this with his pet monster Mr. Peppy, who was trying to leave but Fry literally wouldn't let go.
  • Hilariously played with in DuckTales (2017). In the episode The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!, Huey seemingly helps out a hurt bigfoot in the forest. Said bigfoot, who Huey named "Tenderfeet," acts like a Gentle Giant with animal-like intelligence, but is actually a fratbro named Gavin who is conning the nephews into giving him free food and luxury, with only Louie catching on. Trying to con a con didn't work out though, and Louie makes his brothers think that "Tenderfeet" needs to leave or else he would begin to die, making up a sappy fake aesop and pretending to pull off this trope when setting "Tenderfeet" free... by slapping him in the face. Multiple times.
    Louie: [crying Crocodile Tears] Now go back from whence you came! This is for your own good! [slap] Go on! [double slap] Get out of here! Go! [Gavin runs off and Louie swings at air] Go! [waterworks stop] Bye, Tenderfeet, I love you, have fun living in the gross woods and not our awesome mansion anymore!
    Gavin: [grumbling as he sulks off] Stupid duck with a hoodie...
  • In Teen Titans, after Team Pet Silkie grows into a giant monster Starfire is forced to take him away to a remote island and leave him there. When he tries to grab her to stop her from leaving, she's left with no choice but to shoot him with her powers to make him let go.
  • This sort of shameless emotional manipulation is spoofed HARD in the South Park episode "Helen Keller: The Musical". Timmy adopts a turkey named Gobbles near Thanksgiving, then is forced to chase him out of town so that he won't be taken away by animal control. The scene then pans to a father and son crying over their dead mother and wife, an old man being comforted by his son over his wasted life, a young girl crying over a dead dog, and a couple struggling with infidelity crying over their shattered marriage. The scene ends with a woman asking the audience, "Have you done the right things in your life?"
  • In the Grand Finale of Gravity Falls, when Mabel and Dipper were leaving to go back home, Mabel had a hard time telling Waddles that he couldn't come with her back home, until Stan (with Ford's help) convinced the bus driver to let Waddles on, under the claim that since he had to deal with the pig all the summer, now it was the twins' parents turn.
  • The Mickey Mouse short "Mickey's Good Deed" has two:
    • A heart-wrenching moment where Mickey sells Pluto to a rich pig so he can afford to buy presents for the children of a poor family.
    • The rich pig deciding to throw Pluto out of the house, as a punishment to his spoiled child Adelbert and to spare him from Adelbert's torment.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "Rock 'n Roar", Buster loses his soccer ball in a cave and picks up what looks like it, only to discover that it's an egg that hatches into a dinosaur. He tries keeping him as a pet, naming him "Rover" and raising him to be a vegetarian, but Rover's massive size makes a mess of Acme Acres and Montana Max tries to trap him. Near the end of the episode, Buster returns to the cave where he found Rover's egg. When Rover roars, he opens a door leading to a prehistoric paradise where his brothers and sisters live. Wanting to protect Rover from Monty, Buster tells Rover that's where he belongs. Rover wants to stay with Buster, but Buster tells him that if he does, Monty will hunt him for the rest of his life, leading the two to have a tearful good-bye.

Tropey! I missed you so much- No, no... don't go, Stay, Tropey. Stay. Good dog.


Fluttershy evicts the Breezies

Fluttershy shoos away the Breezies.

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Main / ShooTheDog

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