Follow TV Tropes


Shoot the Rope

Go To

The hero's been led to the gallows and is about to do the metaphorical "hemp fandango". He looks pretty much boned, right? Nope, The Cavalry! They'll save him by splitting the rope on the noose with a well-timed arrow (or a blade, or a bullet, if the time period's a bit later), just as he's about to take a long drop on a short rope. Oh, and bonus points if this dramatically super accurate shot comes directly after a firefight in which A-Team Firing was in full effect. A subtrope of Improbable Aiming Skills.

Well, you know what they say. No noose is good noose.

A comedic subversion of this has the arrow not quite split the rope all the way, leaving the victim dangling (and strangling) until his rescuers can finish the job.

In Real Life, this is much less likely to happen than in fiction. First of all, in the nineteenth century, we figured out that hanging from a higher altitude can kill instantly by breaking the neck, and since then the majority of hangings are done in this way, with only particularly sadistic or incompetent executioners using short drops. Second, even if the victim survives the initial drop, they may struggle or convulse while suffocating, causing the rope to twitch and bounce around and making the already thin target even harder to hit. Despite all this, cutting a rope with a bullet is not completely impossible... so long as you manage to hit the rope in the first place. A better solution is just to shoot the hangman.


    open/close all folders 

  • Done in an Australian TV ad for fencing wire from the early 80s (the ad being a homage to the 'Man With No Name' movies).

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the 3rd volume of the comic book series De Cape et de Crocs, a villain shoots the rope the good guy is hanging from, effectively sending him into the shark infested ocean. When congratulated on his skills, he answers "Well, I was aiming for his head..."
  • In Detective Comics #20, the Penguin saves Batman by using his umbrella gun to shoot the chain Ogilivy was using to hang him.
  • Doctor Who Magazine: In "The Parliament of Fear", the Doctor and Bass Reaves come charging in on horseback to the camp where Bill has been taken. Bass uses the a rifle to shoot the rope that is holding Bill trussed to a totem pole; while still mounted and at the gallop.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #27, a Cossack attempts to kill Indy by tying his four limbs to four horses and driving them off in different directions. His companion Beth Cody saves him by shooting out three of the four ropes. However, she cannot get a clear shot at the fourth rope, leaving Indy being dragged by his leg behind a panicked horse.
  • In Issue 12 of Knuckles the Echidna, an echidna is going to be hung at the gallows. Archer Rob o' the Hedge shoots an arrow to cut the rope at the last second, while Sonic catches the echidna as he falls through the hole in the floor of the gallows.
  • In Judge Colt #2, Colt saves an Indian who is being lynched by a rancher by shooting out the rope around his neck.
  • Red Arrow does this (from horseback) to save Green Lantern's life when they are trapped in the Old West and Green Lantern is about to be lynched in Justice League of America 80 Page Giant.
  • Nikolai Dante pulls one of these to save Elena Kurakin from being executed as a deserter.
  • In Robyn Hood: Vigilante #1, Robyn is escaping from her former allies in the Underground in the Peacock's banquet hall. She shoots the rope holding up the ornate chandelier, sending the chandelier plunging down on top of her pursuers.
  • Malcolm Lightbourne shots himself free of a snare in Ruse #4 (the Marvel revival version).
  • Jonah Hex does this to save his friend Redeye Charlie from being hanged in "The Hangman" in Weird Western Tales #35.
  • In Wynonna Earp: Season Zero #4, Dolls is strung up on the front of a vehicle by the bad guys who are using him as a bargaining chip. Haught (with a sniper rifle) and Doc (with a revolver) shoot the rope at the same time. It is not clear which one succeeds, but Dolls is cut loose.
  • Arrowette does this in the Young Justice 80 Page Giant.
  • After the Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! storyline, this was revealed as Dick Grayson's Greatest Failure. In his early days, Dick as Robin had to save Batman and the DA who replaced Harvey Dent after his transformation into Two-Face from a deathtrap the aforementioned villain had made. Dick thought it was easy - cut the rope when the trap was sprung. He didn't realize that Two-Face's deathtraps followed his modus operandi - he saved the DA from hanging, only to drop him into the ocean below.

    Fan Works 
  • A Different Lesson has a variation. As the citizens of the Valley of Peace become victimized by Heian Chao's corruption and manipulations, they ultimately start a mob that captures Tai Lung and prepares to sentence him to hanging. Despite Shifu and Mei Ling's best efforts to talk them down, they try to go through with said hanging - but Crane, who has put two and two together, swoops in Just in Time and cuts the rope with his beak, allowing Tai Lung to escape and beginning the process of undoing the villain's plans.
  • In the Firefly fic The Execution of Jayne Cobb,(rest of chapters on right sidebar) Mal saves a condemned Jayne this way. Except he totally misses shooting at the rope itself and ultimately uses an incendiary round to destroy the part of the beam that holds the rope. He didn’t know the special round was there, River had secretly anticipated him missing the rope and trying to hit the beam and put it in.
  • In Loved and Lost, Celestia is saved from being hanged by the orders of the fic's petty, sociopathic Big Bad when Luna severs the noose with a magic blast.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: In The Wind in the Willows, the main characters lower Mole down on a Bedsheet Ladder to take back the deed to Toad Hall from a sleeping Winky. As they're pulling him back up, a weasel guard spots them and throws a knife at the rope, causing Mole to fall onto Winky and kick off the climax.
  • Mater does this near the end of Cars 2 to escape from Big Bentley, when the villains tried to kill him, Finn McMissile, and Holly Shiftwell by crushing them with the clock's gears.
  • Done by the villain of The Rescuers Down Under. It takes him a couple of shots.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The A-Team: Hannibal Smith goes against the norm by cutting through Face's noose in the film with three or four bullets in rapid succession.
  • Doc saves Marty like this in Back to the Future Part III using a gun of his own construction, with a big scope. He claims it can shoot the fleas off a dog's back at 500 yards.
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. In "Near Algodones", a lynching party is killed by an Injun raiding party, but they consider it a laugh to leave the victim tied up on his horse with the noose around his neck. Then a cattleman comes along and—rather than just cut him loose—does this trope instead. He misses and the gunshot causes the horse to bolt, leaving the victim to swing back and forth while the cattleman tries to hit the rope, which fortunately he manages before the victim chokes to death.
  • In The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, Robert saves a peasant from being hanged by the Sheriff by severing the rope with an arrow and then riding and scooping him on to his horse before the Sheriff's men can react.
  • In Black Scorpion II, the Black Scorpion saves Rick from being hanged by the Gangster Prankster by shooting the rope with her scorpion sting.
  • In the original The Blob (1958), a policeman shoots a power cable to drop its charged ends onto the titular monster in hope of electrocuting it.
  • The Bold Caballero: As the Commandante is about to hang Isabella's duenna, Zorro and his Indians shoot flaming arrows into the scaffold, where they burn the rope so that it snaps when the trapdoor is opened.
  • Cat Ballou gets rescued in this manner in the eponymous movie.
  • In Circus of Fear, Mario uses a thrown knife to cut through the rope ladder the killer is using to attempt to escape.
  • In Gang of Roses, Rachel and her gang recruit Kim by riding into the town where she is scheduled to be publicly hanged. The trapdoor has already been sprung and Kim is slowly strangling when Jesse Lee fires the bullet that severs the rope.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly had this as part of a scam with the hero turning in his partner for the bounty and repeatedly saving him from the gallows before the sentence could be carried out in this fashion. The comedic variation also occurred at one point. It's a Rule of Threes: first time played straight, second time the rope is only partially severed; by the time the rope breaks, the horse has run off and Tuco has to catch a lift on Blondie's horse; this incident leads to an acrimonious breakup. By the time Tuco catches up with him intent on revenge, Blondie is about to do the scam with a new partner. Tuco refuses to allow Blondie to shoot, and the man is hung.
  • Inverted in House, in which a flying skeletal monster steals Roger's shotgun as he's dangling from a rope, then fires it (after a Gun Twirl, no less!) to break the rope and send him plummeting into danger. Unlike most examples here, it's plausible that the line would break, as a shotgun can damage a whole section of the rope rather than just one small spot.
  • In Gunless, Sean saves Mr. Kwon from being lynched by Cutter's men by shooting the rope (although in this case he actually shoots the pulley the rope is attached to).
  • The Lone Ranger: In the 1956 film, a mob is lynching Tonto and has gone so far as to hoist him up via the noose, but the Ranger severs the rope with a bullet and rides by on Silver, rescuing his friend.
  • Lust in the Dust: When a lynch mob tries to hang Abel, Big Ed shoots the rope, allowing him to escape.
  • Machete Kills. Our Made of Iron hero is hung by a redneck sheriff, but it doesn't kill him. The sheriff then gets a phone call, draws his pistol in an apparent attempt to finish off Machete, shoots the rope and hands him the phone. It's the President of the United States, offering a pardon for Machete.
  • The Mountie: When Grayling first meets Cleora, she is attempting to shoot the body of the mountain man down from a tree. Grayling takes the rifle off her and shoots through the rope with a single shot. Later, Cleora saves Grayling from being lynched by shooting the rope.
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales sends a posse for a "Missouri Boat Ride" by severing a ferry cable with a rifle shot.
  • A variant was used toward the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Will Turner throws his sword, not to cut the rope, but to give Jack a foothold so he doesn't drop far enough to die.
  • In Plunkett & Macleane, Plunkett does this to save Macleane from hanging in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • When Robin is about to hanged in The Prince of Thieves, Little John hides under the scaffold and cuts the rope with a dagger when Robin drops through the trapdoor.
  • In The Quick and the Dead, "The Lady" Ellen pulls this to save the Preacher from being hanged by his ex-colleagues. Then it's subverted in her flashback to when she was 8 years old: the Big Bad is about to hang her father, but tells her to shoot the rope, promising to release him if she manages to hit it. She hits her father instead.
  • In Quigley Down Under, Quigley sets off a dead fall trap on one of his pursuers by shooting a rope.
  • In Return of the Jedi, Han does shoot the tentacle trying to drag Lando into the Sarlacc's mouth on the first try while nearly blind. While his near-blindness at the time makes the accuracy quite implausible, the fact that it's a tentacle rather than a rope means severing it wasn't necessary; merely inflicting pain was enough to make it release its grip.
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights also has this (when someone comments on the improbable shot, the shooter admits he was really aiming for the hangman). This may have been a parody of a similar scene in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
  • Not exactly a hangman's noose, but Mal does shoot the rope that connects a harpoon in Jayne's leg to a Reaver vehicle in Serenity. It only worked on the third try, though, and was Played for Laughs with Jayne thinking that Mal was going to shoot him so the Reavers wouldn't get their hands on him.
  • Done in Shanghai Noon by Chon's new wife.
  • During the ambush scene in She Shoots Straight, one of the heroines narrowly avoids getting hung after having her leg caught in a noose trap. Her brother, a police inspector, managed to snap the rope by shooting it.
  • Shoot 'Em Up. As Mr. Smith rappels down the center of a stairwell while simultaneously firing on the mooks running up the stairs, their leader Hertz fires a shot to cut his rope, sending Smith crashing to the floor where fortunately his impact is absorbed by the body of a mook he shot moments before. Earlier Smith had cut the umbilical cord of a newborn baby by shooting it as he was in the middle of a shootout. Then again using guns for Mundane Utility is something of a Running Gag in the film.
  • At one point in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Leo, Mikey and Donnie walk into a trap, where they are caught in a net, dangling from a rope and hauled upwards. Shredder plans to drop them on top of some homemade spikes, but Splinter shoots the rope with an arrow, freeing the turtles before they can be moved above the spike trap.
  • In Terminator Salvation, a T-600 is strung up by a rope trap. After firing unsuccessfully at its targets, it points its gun up as if to shoot the rope... only to blast its own foot off instead.
  • Heather from Tremors saves her husband Burt from being dragged into a Graboid's mouth by shooting its tentacle repeatedly with a shotgun until it's severed.
  • Wild West Days: An extraordinary example of Improbable Aiming Skills. Larry is being dragged to his death by a horse. The hero, Kentucky Wade, sees this happening, and shoots through the rope with a rifle—from the next hill, at least a couple hundred yards away.

  • Waco does this to save the Apache scout Johnny No-Legs from being lynched by a wagon train in "A Rope for Johnny No-Legs" in Sagebrush Sleuth by J.T. Edson.
  • Firefly Big Damn Heroes has Jayne shooting a rope to save Mal, who’s being hanged by some angry Browncoats with a grudge. He misses the first shot and has to shoot again to get Mal loose.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow. In "Draw Back Your Bow", Oliver finds Cupid holding someone hostage with a noose around his neck, and strapped to a bomb vest. He goes to shoot the rope only for Cupid to reveal the rope is laced with a tripwire that will activate bomb vest. Oliver does it anyway, tears off the vest and throws it into the air where it's detonated with another arrow.
  • This occurs to Murdock in The A-Team. Some mooks are trying to get information out of B.A., though he has said all that he knows already, so they try to hang Murdock to get him to talk more. As soon as the car Murdock was stood on reverses away to leave him dangling, Hannibal and Face drive in and Hannibal shoots the rope.
  • Bones: When the Serial-Killer Killer Booth and Bones have tracked down tries to hang himself, Booth pulls out his pistol and shoots the knot around the support beam, weakening the rope just enough that it breaks instead of the guy's neck so he can be arrested. Notably, Bones mentioned that the distance of the fall would be enough to snap the neck just before he jumps.
  • In the final episode of Cowboy Bebop (2021), Faye Valentine does a Big Damn Gunship to free Spike and Jet who are tied to the pillars of a derelict church, shooting them free with the machine guns on her Red Tail. Thanks to Plot Armor they aren't killed by ricochets.
  • More correctly Unwind The Rope, in episode three of the Channel 4 miniseries The Devil's Whore Sexby unties Angelica from the gallows after she is hanged by Joliffe.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor has to do this during his Trial by Ordeal in "The Face of Evil". In this case he's standing on a plank over a pit of nasty biting creatures, holding a crossbow with only one quarrel. The rope is attached to a weight, pulling machinery that's opening the pit beneath him. The rope gets thinner the longer you wait (making it easier to cut) but the weight moves faster.
  • The History Channel show Extreme Marksmen noted that there were no documented examples of this trope actually being done (or even attempted) with a gun. But they had expert shooter attempt to do it anyway, just to see if it was possible. On his first attempt he eventually broke the rope, but it took about 5 or 6 shots. Naturally, that wouldn't have been fast enough to save the victim. He tried again, this time using wadcutter bullets (normally used only for shooting paper targets) which hit a slightly wider area than pointed or rounded bullets, and this time took only 2 shots to break the rope. Since he fired the first shot at the exact moment the "victim" (a sack of potatoes) was dropped, this left at least a slight chance that he could've survived, as the follow-up shot came very quickly due to the shooter's great skill. So with the right ammo and an exceptional shooter, it was possible (though extremely unlikely) that it could be done. It was mentioned that hangman's rope is roughly a half inch wide, which is wider than most bullets. And aside from some machine guns, sniper rifles and super-magnum hunting rifles (that almost all came onto the scene after hanging had begun to fall out of favor and was certainly no longer used in in places public enough to be disrupted), most guns with bullets larger than a half-inch in diameter have poor accuracy. So there's no realistic way to take out the rope in a single shot.
  • One scene in Intelligence (2014) has Gabriel and Riley practicing in the the shooting range. Then Chris Jameson, who up to now has just been presented as a techie, comes up to the bar and knocks down his entire target sheet by shooting the strings it's hanging from. Lest the full implications escape you, Riley is a US Secret Service agent, and Gabriel is former Delta Force and a Cyborg.
  • Done fantastically in the Jonathan Creek episode "Black Canary". A very decrepit old man manages to snipe the rope of someone who attempted to hang herself from at least 300 feet, and finishes off by nonchalantly saying "Well, my eyes still work."
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Outlaw Country", Sara saves the hanging Jonah Hex by shooting the rope, while it's swinging, no less.
  • The Lone Ranger does the shoot-with-a-bullet type to save Tonto in one episode.
  • In one episode of Lost, Jack and Kate shoot themselves out of a net by shooting the rope holding it up. It takes several shots to manage the trick, though.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "The Death of the Small Coppers", a halfblind old woman with a shotgun shoots through the rope holding Winter in a Death Trap just in time for him to free himself before the crossbow trigger.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In "Framed for Murder", Phryne shoots the rope holding a sandbag, causing it to drop and extinguish a fire.
  • Busted on MythBusters. In order to shoot the rope you either need a really really big gun, or multiple shots. Either way, it's more effective to just take out the executioner.
  • The New Avengers: Done as part of a *Twang* Hello by a bow-wielding assassin in "Faces". He uses an arrow to sever the the rope holding up a training dummy next to Purdey as a way of announcing his presence.
  • A 'Slash the Rope' variant happens in the pilot episode of Queen of Swords, with the masked heroine charging the gallows on a galloping horse to cut the rope with her sword as the executioner is kicking the stool out from under the victim.
  • Every version of Robin Hood features this in some fashion. It is very much a staple of the BBC Robin Hood series.
  • An episode of Smallville has a variation, not with a bullet but with Clark's heat-vision in an attempt to save his girlfriend Alicia. It didn't work.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Warrior", Carter demonstrates the capabilities of the FN P90 (as opposed to a staff weapon) by first cutting a hanging tree trunk in half with the gun on full-auto, then switching to single shot and cutting the rope with one bullet.
  • Wild Boys: Cool Old Guy Captain Gunpowder does it to save Jack from being lynched in the miners camp.
  • Wynonna Earp: Wynonna does to this save Waverly from being lynched by the revenants in "Purgatory" using Peacemaker to shoot out the block and tackle they are using to string her up.
  • Zorro: In an episode, Zorro saves an old friend of Don Diego from hanging by shooting the rope with a flaming arrow. He does so before the trapdoor is opened, though, leaving time enough for the fire to burn the rope. He also pins the executor's sleeve to the gallows by firing another arrow to prevent him from interfering.

    Music Videos 
  • Happens in Muse's "Knights of Cydonia" music video. The rope is shot by someone wielding an energy weapon, though, so it makes sense.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons boasts "Serpent's Tongue Arrows", special arrows with a wide, forked head that do slashing as well as piercing damage. They are mentioned as being effective for cutting ropes, but cost twice as much.
  • While this is normally a very hard shot in GURPS (most ropes are at -13 to hit at take reduced damage from bullets) a special perk makes it so that any shot that hits a rope automatically succeeds in breaking it.
  • The Legend of the Five Rings manual's weapons section depicts some arrows made specifically for this.

    Video Games 
  • Among other things the Bond Focus mechanic in 007: From Russia with Love allows Bond to shoot rappelling lines, causing the unfortunate Mooks to plummet to their deaths.
  • In Anaksha: Female Assassin, this is how you beat the last stage. Your target is fully armored and can't be killed by your bullets, but there's a steel girder tied to a rope that's hanging over the street...
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has an early mission in which you run around Nassau saving pirates from British soldiers in order to recruit them into your crew. The final pirate you're made to save is about to be hanged; one of the missions' bonus objectives is to shoot the rope to free him. Definitely a Moment of Awesome if done correctly.
    • Shay, from Assassin's Creed Rogue, can do this to save Gist from being hanged by the gangs of New York. Just like in Black Flag, the bonus objective demands it for the 100% Completion.
  • This is done at the starting of Brave Fencer Musashi, although they were magic machine gun bullets coming straight from your hand.
  • Averted in Desperados. Trying to shoot the rope off Doc's neck in his rescue mission is a surefire way to get a Game Over. John has to get up there and cut it with his knife to free him.
  • Die Hard: Vendetta have the police station massacre, where some terrorists will hang surviving policemen by their necks for shits and giggles. After killing the mooks, you release the officers by shooting the rope.
  • Happens in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, when Lucia is rescued from being hanged.
  • The Western Wide-Open Sandbox game GUN uses this in one mission, where you have to save a safe cracker you met earlier in the game.
  • In the Interactive Fiction game Gun Mute, the PC has to do this to save his boyfriend.
  • The second level of Gunfighter: The Legend of Jesse James starts with your friend Cole all tied up to a horse, with his neck attached around a noose. You will need to execute a Quick Time Event by shooting the rope in 5 seconds using only one bullet, or else Cole dies and you get an instant Non Standard Game Over.
  • One of the many possible opportunities to increase your Good Karma in inFAMOUS 2 is freeing civilians from being hanged by the Militia by blasting the rope with your electric powers. Walking away gives you Evil Karma instead.
  • This is one of the methods used to rescue dangling POWs in Metal Slug.
    • In Metal Slug Code J. This is how Marco rescues Fio who is unconscious and hanging by her wrists.
  • Pirates of the Carribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow: When Jack Sparrow and Will Turner are about to be hanged, they're saved by Elizabeth Swann who cuts the ropes with a well-aimed hatchet just as the trapdoors are opened.
  • Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar's spiritual successor to Red Dead Revolver as well as its prequel, uses this often in some side missions and at least once in the story campaigns.
  • Silent Scope 2 has a variant as its final shot - the Big Bad has handcuffed himself to the hero's girlfriend and climbed to the top of Big Ben. After shooting him a few times, he falls out of the tower while the girlfriend tries to drag him (and herself) back - to win the game, you must shoot the handcuffs.
  • Spec Ops: The Line:
    • Around the midgame, Colonel Konrad starts contacting Walker over a walkie-talkie, and in one instance offers Walker a Sadistic Choice of choosing which of two men dangling from streetlights to save: a civilian convicted of stealing water, or a soldier who massacred the other man's entire family for the crime. You can Take a Third Option and instead shoot the ropes to free them, or for a Fourth Option win a Sniper Duel against the enemy soldiers waiting for Walker to choose. None of it matters - the whole exchange is taking place in Walker's head as he stares at some strung-up corpses.
    • Later, this trope comes into play when Walker encounters a lynch mob in a refugee camp. While he's able to shoot the rope, Lugo dies anyway.
  • Colette of Tales of Symphonia uses her chakram(which makes a little more sense) to save Chocolat's mother Cacao when the Desians try to hang Cacao to send a message to Palmacosta's citizens.
  • Proper use of this trope is the only way to win You Have to Burn the Rope. When you confront the Big Bad you have to burn the rope to win.

  • Dominic Deegan features a variant where Dominic is about to be hanged by a group of evil wizards - one of whom is holding him up with one hand. After he drops Dominic, a stray magic bolt ricocheted off a wizard's hand in the melee cuts the rope - right next to Dominic's neck, no less.
  • Quadruple-subverted in The Order of the Stick. Roy throws his sword — which is broken — at his assembled, about-to-be-hanged teammates, and ends up freeing all of them... except Belkar, whose rope he misses. However, it does hit the hangman... who falls over and pulls the switch as he dies. Fortunately, Belkar is too light for the fall to break his neck or even strangle him (the non-human Belkar notes the absurdity of assuming the same execution methods will work on all species), so he just ends up hanging upside down for a while.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "The Predator", Wheeler burns through Bleak's harpoon line after the group gets close enough, keeping Bleak from reeling in the basking shark he speared and allowing the shark to escape.
  • Done by Elisa in Gargoyles when Broadway turns to stone in mid-glide, and Elisa shoots down a crate full of carpets hanging from a crane in order to cushion Broadway's fall. To the series' credit, the reawakened gargoyles are astounded by this feat the next night and call Elisa a miracle for pulling it off. Also, it took about six shots to break the rope.
  • Done by Calamity Jane as her very first act in the series in The Legend of Calamity Jane, to rescue a Comanche who is about to be lynched. It helps that it was an impromptu over-the-branch hanging, at a height that required a barrel to be kicked out from under the (innocent) victim's feet.

    Real Life 
  • Supposedly during Operation Enduring Freedom, Spanish Navy Marine snipers shot cables hanging from the mast to the bridge of the North Korean freighter So San. The shots were made at a range of 400 yards (370 m), with rough sea, from the deck of SPS Navarra (F85), and the Marines were armed with Barrett M95 rifles. Which makes sense. The M95 shoots a .50 caliber round, so it could theoretically be used to sever a rope. On the other hand, if you're using that big a round, it'd probably be an easier shot to just shoot the beam the rope is hanging from.
  • The Japanese frog crotch arrow head was designed specifically for cutting ropes and poles.
  • In Minnesota in 2016, a U.S. Army veteran named Jason Galvin did this to rescue a bald eagle that was found dangling from a tree with its foot caught in rope, but not quite so elegantly. With windy conditions and only four inches of rope to work with, it reportedly took 150 shots with a .22 caliber rifle and almost 90 minutes to trim away other branches and eventually whittle away the rope.
  • Jerry Miculek actually tested this trope and found that a rifle bullet could cleanly sever the rope but a handgun bullet would not.


Video Example(s):


Old Shatterhand to the Rescue

Old Shatterhand rescues Winnetou's adopted son Tujunga by shooting the rope tied around his neck to hang him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShootTheRope

Media sources: