Follow TV Tropes


Take Me Instead

Go To

Leela: Take me first!
Bender: Yes! Take her first!

A character offers themself in exchange for the freedom of another, willingly turning himself over to the villain in order to buy the safety of someone who will most likely be a love interest or a friend, although sometimes it's a complete stranger that the hero just met but has nevertheless decided that it's his job to save. And so a trade takes place, but this time the hero is using himself as a bargaining chip. (If the other character is aware of what is going on, a More Hero than Thou dispute may arise.)

This is a specific kind of Heroic Sacrifice that may or may not end in death. Sometimes the Damsel in Distress, the Distressed Dude or the Badass in Distress is rescued by their friends or manages to escape by the end of the story, if they're lucky, but they usually won't try to escape on their own. As long as the villain keeps his end of the bargain, they're content to suffer in the other person's place.

Sometimes the villain has requested that the hero turn himself in, offering to free his hostage in exchange for the person he really wants. Often in such cases this was the villain's plan all along for getting his hands on the hero, as he is able to predict that the hero would sacrifice himself for the hostage. In other cases where the original hostage is the intended target, the sacrificer will shock the villain because Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.

In situations where Balancing Death's Books comes into play, a character makes this kind of deal with Death in order to save someone who is scheduled to die.

Character types most likely to perform this action are the All-Loving Hero, who really can't help it, and The Atoner, for whom Redemption Equals Death. More than once, also, this is how the Damsel in Distress or Distressed Dude enters the scene, by trying futilely to protect someone else in their surroundings.

False Confession is a variant seen in Police Procedurals involve someone confessing to murder or something comparable in the hope (or perhaps unspoken agreement) that the investigation stops there rather than lead to the arrest of a loved one.

Compare and contrast Silent Scapegoat and I Am Spartacus, which both differ in that a character is specifically taking the blame for the actions of another by claiming to be them, More Expendable Than You, in which the character is protecting someone he considers more important, Draw Aggro which is basically "come after me instead", Go Through Me which is basically "you'll have to defeat me to get to them", Prisoner Exchange, in which someone from the villain's team is captured and traded for the hostage, and Offering Another in Your Stead, where the character willingly sacrifices someone else for their own safety.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Ace Attorney anime adaptation of "Turnabout Big Top" had this in the ending. When the murderer, Acro is caught, Regina orders the arresting officer to wait. She then states that, if someone should be arrested, it should be her, because she was the one responsible for everything. Acro corrects her, and points out that it was him, not Regina, who murdered the Ringmaster.
  • Belldandy in the "Lord of Terror" arc in Ah! My Goddess, offering to be the host for the Big Bad rather than destroy Keiichi. Turns out that was exactly the right move, since the evil force can't possess a Goddess and has to release both of them.
  • Armed Girl's Machiavellism: When Kirukiru Amou starts beating up Warabi Hanasaka's friends and is about to kill them, Warabi tearfully begs her to kill her instead. Amou slashes her across the eyes and calls her a fool because she is going to kill them anyway, but she'll give Warabi the small mercy of not having to watch them die. However, Amou decides to leave without killing any of them because she wants to fight stronger opponents.
  • Bleach: In the first chapter/episode, Ichigo screams at Fishbone D, the Hollow attacking and trying to eat his family, to take him instead and charges at him. Rukia saves him from being killed and calls him a fool, as the Hollow would have continued eating people after eating him.
  • Bokurano plays it straight when Kokopelli asked Koyemshi to let him do the demo battle and the last battle on their Earth so Yuu wouldn't have to battle and/or die. Being the kind of anime that it is, though it's subverted in that Koyemshi just decides to select Yuu as the last battle's pilot anyways, disregarding his promise, and sentencing her to death. In the manga, something similar happens when Kana Ushiro's father learns that his child will be the next to pilot and die. He asks if he can fight in his child's stead, but Tanaka sadly tells him that it isn't possible- anyone who joins after the first crop ends up in the next "magazine," and can't be selected until all the initial pilots are dead.
  • Milly Ashford tries this in Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally when the terrorists occupying the hotel come to take Nunnally to Kusakabe, claiming that as the eldest daughter of the Ashford family, she has more value as a hostage. The terrorist tells her that the Ashfords don't have much political value any more, and takes Nunnally anyway, causing Milly to suspect that they know Nunnally is a princess.
  • The Demon Girl Next Door: Somehow, Yuko took on the share of her family's curse that was meant for her as-then-unborn younger sister Ryoko ten years before the Present Day. Being already Delicate and Sickly since birth, this put Yuko in critical condition, and she only survived through extraordinary sacrifices made on her behalf.
  • Davis/Daisuke says this in Digimon Adventure 02, trying to save his captured friends when the villain gives him a Sadistic Choice of which ones will be eaten and which spared. It turns out the "friends" are actually the villain's shapeshifting minions, and the villain was trying to trick the hero into sacrificing himself needlessly via this trope. Luckily, the real friends show up just in time.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, when Beerus is rearing up to slap Bulma, Vegeta begs him to reconsider, even stating "Whatever you plan to do, do to me instead!" When Beerus slaps her anyway, Vegeta freakin' snaps!
  • Saito, from The Familiar of Zero, doesn't give Louise an option. He drugs the wine used in their wedding, and passes off to an ally before taking off to fight the entire Albion army of 60,000.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric is willing to offer his life in exchange for his brother Alphonse, whose body was obliterated in their failed attempt to use alchemy to bring back their mother.
    Edward: "No, dammit. You won't take him too. Give him back! He's my brother! Take my leg. Take my arm! Take my heart, ANYTHING, YOU CAN HAVE IT! Just give him back! HE'S MY LITTLE BROTHER! HE'S ALL I HAVE LEFT!"
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Kaname's teacher Ms. Kagurazaka offers to be the hostage in place of Kaname when Gauron hijacks the airplane they're on. Of course, Gauron refuses, because the teacher isn't a Whispered, and is therefore useless. In fact he's about to shoot Kagurazaka after she continues to object, when Sousuke provides a distraction by 'accidentally' dropping a tray. Gauron stares at him for an uncomfortably long time, clearly suspicious, before leaving with Kaname. Kagurazaka promptly collapses in shock, and blames herself until Kaname turns up alive in hospital later.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Shion begs Takano to kill her instead of Satoko.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Relena does this when the new Cinq Kingdom is attacked. She agrees to go with the Romefeller Group in exchange for the few civilians there being spared. (And she secretly hopes to start in-fighting — which she does a few episodes later).
  • Maria no Danzai: Kiritaka first gained Okaya's attention after he stopped his gang from strangling another student with a rope (they were making bets on how long he would take before begging them to stop). Okaya offered to leave the other student alone if Kiritaka took his place, though it's never shown if he kept his word.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In the second part, Stroheim needs human blood to awaken Santana, the first Pillar Man. He gathers a group of prisoners and tells them to choose one to die; when they're hesitant, he threatens to kill an innocent woman. A young boy steps forward and offers his own life. Stroheim praises his courage, and then tells his men to kill all of the prisoners except the boy.
    • Dio in the first arc carries out a plan to turn the entire population of a village into his vampire servants when a woman offers herself without resistance only if Dio will leave her child unharmed. He agrees, vampirizes her, and leaves the unharmed child in the arms of his newly blood-ravening mother.
  • Hazuki does this in Moonphase at some point in the series to spare the others from the antagonist's torture.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has Ako Izumi offering to be Tosaka's slave for life if he won't blackmail Negi into slavery, proving that you don't have to be physically badass to be awesome. For the record Tosaka turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who agrees to just let Negi go. She didn't know at the time, but it's implied the actual agreement she was making would have gotten her raped, among other things. Legally. It's all but stated outright that it would have led to legal rape (or at least rape the government has no power to stop). Turns out Ako was pretty sure Tosaka was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but that doesn't make it less badass.
  • One Piece:
    • Seen in the Thriller Bark arc when both Zoro and Sanji offers themselves up instead of Luffy. Zoro 'wins.' Possibly one of the examples where the scene is literally MORE moving because he SURVIVES. And through One Piece logic, Kuma is actually able to put all the pain and suffering Luffy endured in an entire arc into Zoro's body. One touch makes the stoic (for this show, anyway) Zoro scream. So he relocates to a place away from the others, where Sanji later finds him amid blood-splatter and wearing the Thousand-Yard Stare. It really looks like a case of Died Standing Up until Zoro speaks. What's he say? "Nothing happened!!!"
    • Also pulled by Princess Shirahoshi in the Fishman Island arc.
    • For a torture example, Donquixote Homing begs the townspeople who are taking revenge on him for the other World Nobles' crimes to spare his sons Doflamingo and Rosinante. But they don't listen.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Ash tries this in episode 1 to give Pikachu time to escape, after Ash had angered a flock of murderous Spearow. Pikachu saves him, having been moved by Ash's selflessness.
  • In Princess Tutu, when Mytho is fully transformed into a raven and abandons her to have his heart eaten by the Raven King, said King's daughter (Dark Magical Girl Rue) offers to have her own heart eaten instead. This breaks the Mind Control on Mytho and he's released, but Rue is taken captive instead of him. Mytho has to go rescue her, and once she's free, they finish off the Raven King together.
  • Rosario + Vampire has Tsukune do this for his friends who had just been on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Sailor Moon Stars: In the Darkest Hour whence the Big Bad of the prologue arc, Nehelenia, has effectively sealed away all of Usagi's friends and her lover's curse is about to be made permanent. Nehelenia gives her a heart-breaking Motive Rant explaining her backstory (and how she endured many years of solitude). Usagi understands what it must have felt like since she is experiencing the same situation currently and tells Nehelenia to focus her raging revenge on her and sweetly asks her to let her friend go. She even tops it all off by explaining that they can be her friends in her place. By far this is one of the major Tear Jerker moments in all the series seeing Usagi offer up her life like that.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • During the Yu-Gi-Oh! Doma arc, Yugi lets the Seal of Orichalcos take his soul, sparing Yami's.
    • In the one-shot episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX the evil duel monster, Jinzo, is resurrected, but to gain full physical form, he has to sacrifice the souls of those that summoned him. One managed to make it to the Slifer Red dorm where he meets the main characters. Jaden willingly offered himself up to act as the poor boy's replacement (even though Jaden had only known the kid's name for barely twenty minutes). Jaden then wagers his life and those that Jinzo had already taken on a duel. Jaden wins, and the two Jinzo had already consumed are restored. It's hilariously played with in Shadyvox's abridged series. Jinzo responds by quickly accepting and pulling out a chainsaw. Jaden then says that they should have a duel.
    • The Special Effect of Yusei's Ace Monster Stardust Dragon on Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is essentially this trope — it can be sacrificed to prevent any card-destroying effect, destroy the card responsible for the destruction, and revive at the end of your turn.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, they seem to be building up to such a life-for-life scenario when Kurama uses a magic mirror to offer his life in exchange for his Delicate and Sickly mother Shiori's. Yusuke was already deeply affected by how brokenhearted losing a son could be, so he intervenes by offering up his own life instead. In the manga, the mirror takes half the life force from each of them, fulfilling the request without either one actually dying. The mirror seemed pleased that it had had the opportunity to grant a wish without killing anyone, too. Apparently it's depressing being a cursed object. In the anime, the mirror is so impressed that Yusuke would sacrifice himself for a woman he's never even met that it simply fulfills the request for free.

    Comic Books 
  • Death, Lies, and Treachery: When Gorga sees Ry-Kooda trying to kill his pregnant wife, he tries to take responsibility for killing Ry-Kooda's brother and turn the killer's attention toward himself.
    Gorga: Unhand her! She is innocent. She is with huttlet. Please! Take me, not her!
  • In Death: The Time of Your Life, Death's lingering fondness for the protagonists leads her to agree to bring their baby back to life, but, she warns, she'll be back, and someone will be leaving with her...
  • Judge Dredd: In Dark Justice, Judge Dredd offers himself up to Judge Death in exchange for letting his hostage go. Death just murders her anyway and moves on Dredd, figuring he can have them both.
  • Parodied by Dirty Coward Boomerang in The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, who drags his girlfriend out of hiding in order to beg Bullseye not to kill her and leave him alive with the guilt "like that totally awesome thing you did to Daredevil that you're so proud of". Both Bullseye and the girl are disgusted by this blatant Briar Patching.
  • In Swamp Thing, Zatara sacrifices his life to save his daughter Zatanna from an evil power.
  • In The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, at the end of the Shadowplay arc, Orion Pax's friend, the Senator, allows himself to be taken away by a group of government heavies instead of their mutual friend, Roller. Doubles as a Tear Jerker, as he has his formerly colourful body replaced with a spartan, purple one and his face replaced with a single, yellow eye, revealing the arc to have been the origin story of Shockwave.
  • In Usagi Yojimbo, Kitsune the pickpocket pulls this trope when her accomplice, Noodles, is caught and is about to be crucified. She starts crying and screaming through the fence that she's the guilty one and that she should die. Sadly, her pleas are ignored.
  • What If? #9 sees the hostage Dwight D. Eisenhower beg the Yellow Claw to kill him instead of Jimmy Woo. While the Yellow Claw admires the President's bravery, it would be ridiculous to get rid of his trump card like that.

    Fan Works 
  • Fear the Superhero (Fate/stay night & Sekirei): A teenaged apostle offers himself up in hopes of saving his girlfriend. Karasuba offers to let them both go free; however, Shirou immediately snipes them both.


  • Lost and Found: John Gage does this when a kidnapper targets Roy DeSoto. John knows what the guy did to his previous victims and likely feels it will spare Roy and his family the same stuff. The guy still shoots Roy and John spends 18mo of captivity thinking his friend is dead.

Fusion Fic


  • Abraxas: Empty Fullness: During Ghidorah's creation, Ichi desperately pleads for the Makers to leave his two younger brothers alone and stop cutting them open, offering himself up instead. Sadly, the Makers can't understand what he's saying, and they probably wouldn't care even if they could. Then the Makers start cutting up Ichi too once it's time to add him to Ghidorah's body.


  • Owl's Hell That Ends Well: During Octavia's disastrous reunion with her long-lost father Stolas, who she still believes would happily kill her to cover up a scandal, she begs him to leave her adoptive father Blitzo alone and offers up herself instead. Stolas is horrified that she thinks he wants her dead.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • The One to Make It Stay: The intern who accidentally ruined Juleka's figures confesses what happened and offers herself to Reflekdoll in order to protect Jagged Stone.
  • Spellbound: Bridgette offered herself in her sister Laoise's place when The Fair Folk abducted Laoise to be a "bride" (i.e. Sex Slave) for seven years. Since Bridgette was the holder of the Ladybug Miraculous, Tikki's chosen, she was a curiosity to the fae, and her deal was accepted. It did not go well for her, but Laoise lived out a happy life.

Mob Psycho 100

  • A Breach of Trust: In an effort to get Mogami out of Tetuso's body, Reigen offers himself — on the condition that he gets to make one last attempt at attacking the powerful esper first.

Monster Rancher

  • Phoenix's Tear: Reignition: In Eigengrau, Gray Wolf offers Tiger of the Wind the opportunity to trade away one of his allies in order to save himself and the rest, mirroring how he believes Tiger previously offered his brother to Muu. Tiger insists on sacrificing himself instead.

My Hero Academia

  • Gentle and Explosive has Bakugo do this when he gets taken hostage in a trap meant for Aizawa and the villains make a grab for Eri. It’s part of a series where he’s adopted by Aizawa and sees Eri as his little sister. Given that he gets beaten, has a knife stabbed through his hands and a bomb strapped to him, it’s a good thing he did it.
  • My Hero Academia: Entropy: Faced with a Hostage Situation, Kendo offers to trade herself for everyone the Syndicate has captured. Seraph mocks the idea, twisting it around and loudly declaring that she's just admitted that she considers herself more important and valuable than anybody else.

My Little Pony

  • Grogar A Hearths Warming Horror Story: During the climax, Applejack offers to give herself up to Grogar so long as he spares her little sister Applebloom. Grogar doesn't keep his end of the bargain.


  • The Evil Queen: When Shadow Makoto intends to imprison Ann within her Palace — something that would effectively erase Ann from the real world without a trace — Akira offers himself up as her servant. Makoto makes a show of humoring him before rejecting his offer, declaring that as Queen, she can take whatever she wants.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • A Vow Without Honor: During the Red Wedding, Catelyn offers herself to Walder Frey as a hostage in exchange for Myra and Robb's freedom. Walder refuses, declaring he won't take the chance that "two young highborns" could potentially rally the North against him. Myra then offers herself as a hostage in exchange for her brother's life, only for Walder to smugly declare she already vowed to marry whichever of his sons he wished, and will be forced to honor it.

Steven Universe

  • Rose Redemption AU: When Bismuth finds Rose deep within Steven's gem, Rose pleads that if she has any intention of seeking revenge on her, then she should take vengeance on her and not Steven.

Warrior Cats

  • Draikinator's Aldershadow AU: When Rowanstar insists on taking one of the two orphaned kits Violetkit and Twigkit to ShadowClan, rather than going through with it as in canon, Alderheart offers to be taken instead, not wanting to separate the two sisters and knowing that ShadowClan's only medicine cat is dying and they desperately need a new one like him.


  • XCOM: The Hades Contingency: In the backstory, after winning the War on Terror, the Commander willingly surrendered himself to the UN to be executed for his war crimes, in exchange for sparing the lives of his team. The UN took him captive, then proceeded to capture and execute his men anyway... or they would have if EXALT didn't intervene. This is just one of many reasons why he holds them in low regard (and, by extension, the Council).


  • Halloween Unspectacular: In This is fine, E350 begs to be killed in Timmy's place. It doesn't work.
  • The Night Unfurls: Upon witnessing the Hunter savagely killing all the Black Dog mercs who are busy enjoying themselves with the female villagers in a church, Sanakan comes to the conclusion that he is one of the Black Dogs who wants all of the women to himself. Her response is to demand the grey-coated killer to take her first and leave the others alone. Luckily, the Hunter is obviously not here for that, instead calling for a sergeant to get a healer and defend them, though he does "take her" as his apprentice afterwards.
  • With Pearl and Ruby Glowing:
    • Timon offered himself to Shenzi this way to keep the Hyenas from hurting his family. Since he volunteered, he believes this doesn't really count as rape, though everyone else tells him otherwise.
    • Kowalski offers himself to Giovanni's men in order to protect Skipper from going through that trauma himself. Unfortunately, this also results in Private learning about the previous incident.
    • During their time in the county jail, Bugs protected Daffy this way. Daffy's traumagenic amnesia prevents him from knowing the cops actually did anything.
    • Flam uses a rigged coin trick to keep the sheriff away from Flim.
    • Mr Schneider and Reggie beg the corrupt cops to hurt them instead of Vinnie, since he suffers from Von Willebrand Syndrome and could easily die from blood loss.
  • Done in Responsibility where, after the guards arrest Jason for stealing bread, Pythagoras takes Jason's punishment, claiming that Jason didn't know the law. (Luckily the guards didn't cut off his hand, as they would have done for Jason).
  • System Restore:
    • Togami offers himself up in place of the first culprit, claiming that as the group's self-declared leader, it was his responsibility to keep them all safe, and his failure that should be punished. Monobear makes a show of considering it before refusing, just to give the blackened a bit of hope before yanking it away.
    • A more subtle, subdued version occurs in the second trial: When the second culprit is identified, Monobear notes that there were two votes cast for Tanaka Gundam, and that one of them came from that same student.
  • Heroes of the Digital World: After Barbamon kidnaps Tai and TK, Kari begs him to take her in their place. He just laughs off her offer, declaring there wouldn't be any fun in doing things that way.
  • Attempted by Goku in Dragon Ball Z: A Good Man. He tries to convince a group of lawmen called The Justice, who are holding Vegeta captive to let him take Vegeta's place. So that Vegeta wont be punished for all the crimes he had committed while working under Frieza. Goku's plan fails when Vegeta outright refuses to let him go though with it.
  • In the Law & Order: UK story Delayed Shock, (the first in a series that's been running for a decade), Matt tells his girlfriend (in this universe) Alesha that his sister never got hurt by their abusive stepfather because, "I made sure she was never alone with him. I made sure to get in between them so that I'd take the beatings instead of her."
  • Ace In The Hole: In order to protect Futaba, Ken surrenders to Shido's men. Shido was banking on this.

    Films — Animated 
  • Beauty and the Beast has Belle using this exact line when she begs the Beast to imprison her instead of her father. At first, the Beast was unsure about this, but agrees to release her father if she agrees to stay, to which she accepts.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Stoick and Gobber each try to lure the Green Death away from the rest of the tribe, shouting "ME!" "NO, ME!" Then Hiccup and his newly-minted dragon riders get to play Big Damn Heroes.
  • This is the essence of King Triton's offer to Ursula in The Little Mermaid. His daughter, Ariel, has signed her soul over to her and in order to break the Magically-Binding Contract he has to put his signature in place of hers.
  • Strange Magic has Sunny trying to offer himself up as a hostage in exchange for Dawn by pointing out that he was the one who stole the Love Potion that the villain is trying to ransom for. Since he doesn't actually have the love potion and isn't as useful as a hostage as the King's daughter, he's rejected.
  • Hercules has Herc offer Hades his soul in exchange for Meg's. Hades agrees, if he can get her out...which he doesn't think for a second is possible, as the River Styx will age Hercules to death before he can even reach Meg's soul. Unfortunately for him, Hercules' selfless act transforms him into a god, enabling him to walk out with Meg's soul.
  • In Space Jam, Michael Jordan orders that should he and the Looney Tunes lose the game, then the aliens' boss must not enslave the Looney Tunes but may enslave him instead. The boss eagerly accepts the conditions.
  • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Vanellope Von Schweetz begs that Mega-Ralph virus spare Ralph when the real Wreck-It Ralph fought with it over her and that she'll agree to be its friend forever if it means Ralph won't die.
  • In Joseph: King of Dreams, Judah and his brothers beg for Joseph to let him take them instead of Benjamin who was going to be arrested for a crime he didn't commit.
  • SCOOB!: It is learned that Scooby-Doo is the key to opening the gates of Hades due to his lineage to Peritas. It is also up to him to enter the portal and keep it closed so Dick Dastardly cannot get to it. Shaggy takes the task in Scooby's stead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Father Damian in The Exorcist: "Take me!"
  • Star Wars: Captain Needa decides to apologise in person to Lord Vader to minimise the fallout from his ship losing track of the heroes', knowing full what's going to happen to him.
  • Batman Returns: Max Shreck asks the Penguin, who has just crashed his fancy ball, to take him instead of his son, convincing him that he hates him more than anyone else. The Penguin agrees, after some deliberation.
    The Penguin: I've personally come for Gotham's favorite son, Mr. Chip Shreck! You're coming with me, you great white dope — to die, way down in the sewer!
    Max Shreck: Not Chip, please. If you have one iota of human feeling, take me instead.
    The Penguin: I don't. So no.
    Max Shreck: Please, ask yourself...isn't it Max Shreck who manipulated and betrayed you? Isn't it Max...not Chip...whom you want to see immersed to his eyeballs in raw sewage?
    The Penguin: OK, you've got a point. I'll let the little prince live for now. In the Duck!
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Kirk offers himself up as a prisoner in exchange for Khan letting the Enterprise go. Khan then demands the Genesis data as well, setting up a Hollywood Hacking Indy Ploy that Kirk uses to even the odds.
    • Star Trek: Generations: Captain Picard offers himself to the Duras sisters as a hostage if they will release Geordi La Forge (over Data's offer to be the hostage himself). In First Contact he offers himself to the Borg Queen in exchange for Data. Fortunately, Data made other plans.
    • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk pleads with Admiral Marcus to punish him alone and spare the Enterprise crew after disobeying orders and attempting to flee to Earth. Notably, Kirk offered Khan the same deal in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan at least acted like he would accept (and might have); Marcus just laughs it off. Who's the real monster?
  • In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Darby uses his third wish to go in his sick daughter's place when Death comes to claim her. His fourth wish is made on accident. The leprechaun shows up in Death's coach and says "I wish I could go with you." Darby casually says "Me too." Making a fourth wish negates all three previous wishes.
  • In The Muppets Take Manhattan, a con artist cornered by police takes Camilla the chicken hostage. Gonzo says "Please don't hurt her, take me!". He takes Camilla ''and'' Gonzo.
  • At the end of Jeepers Creepers Darry has been captured by the Creeper and is considering flying away with him to eat, Trish tearfully begs him to take her instead of her brother and that she is the one he wants. The Creeper pauses to consider it, then breaks out and flies away with Darry anyway. What happens afterwards isn't pretty.
  • Captain Miller of Event Horizon offers himself in exchange for his crew to the possessed Dr. Weir, who responds, "No. There is no escape. The gateway is open, and you're all coming with me!"
  • Phone Booth:
    The Caller: ...Then I have to take somebody with me don't I? And since Kelly is the most important thing in your life, I'll take her.
    Stu: No, take me! Take me! I'm the one you want!
  • Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control
    Lloyd: Let them go, I'm the one you want.
    Bruce: No I am, I'm the brains, I went to MIT.
    Lloyd: You know what? He did, take him.
  • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen:
    Megatron: Come here, boy. You remember me, don't you?
    Sam Witwicky: Just let them go, okay? It's me you want.
  • The Dark Knight:
    • The Joker kidnaps Rachel and Harvey and leaving them in building rigged to explode, and with Batman only able to rescue one. He chooses the location that Joker claims Rachel is at. Batman arrives to find Harvey instead and rescues him, but he reacts in horror that Rachel will die. Rachel however accepts her fate, knowing that Harvey is saved.
    • Gordon begs that Two-Face punish him instead of his son for Rachel's death.
  • Max uses a variation on this line to save his little sister in Hocus Pocus. Big brother Max takes a life-draining potion that the evil witch Winifred was trying to force his younger sister to take, forcing her to drain him to survive coming morning.
  • Inverted in Penn & Teller Get Killed. When Penn & Teller and their female manager are abducted by thugs, Penn yells "Do what you want to the woman, but leave us alone!"
  • Gomez said this to God in Addams Family Values when he's horrified at the things his newborn son might become now that he's becoming normal.
  • At the end of The Lost Boys, Lucy is willing to let Max bite her in order to spare Michael and Sam. Grandpa saves her from this fate at the last second by crashing his jeep into the house.
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, when the dwarves were captured by the goblins, they are ordered to kill the dwarves, starting with the youngest. Ori understandably looked terrified. Immediately, Thorin stepped forward and revealed his identity to the Goblin King.
  • Non-lethal example occurs in Red Sonja. The heroine gets fed up with Prince Tarn and decides to spank him, causing the prince's servant Falkon to plead with her not to, saying that if she must hit someone, to hit him. Sonja decides not to do either, instead scolding the young prince by telling him that Falkon knows more about loyalty than he ever will. Actually, Sonja is wrong. Tarn does learn from this, and is willing to make a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the movie; fortunately, he survives.
  • Rev. Scott yells this to God in The Poseidon Adventure during his rant after Linda's death. Then he falls to his own death once he's turned off the valve controlling the hot steam that blocked the group's escape.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, when Katniss contacts President Snow as a means to try to serve a distraction from the rescue mission to free Peeta and the other Tribute hostages, she offers herself, telling him "release Peeta and take me instead." He replies that they're long past the point for noble sacrifices.
  • The Undefeated (1969, John Wayne, Rock Hudson). The titular band of Confederates have been captured by Mexican revolutionaries. Ludlow, who has been shunned by his companions because he refused to join the Confederate Army during the Civil War, is selected to face a firing squad for the second time (the first was averted). Captain Anderson stops him; "My turn."
  • In This Is the End, Craig Robinson volunteers to distract the demon so that Seth, Jay and James can flee. Craig accepts the fate that the demon can rip him to shreds as long as his friends survive.
  • In Kopps, Benny the Cop pretends to exchange himself for a child in order to prevent the by him faked hostage-taking from escalating, after an alerting of a SWAT-team from the capital.
  • In Black Panther (2018), Erik is ready to kill T'Challa over the Sins of Our Fathers, but Zuri stops him and offers his own life instead as T'Challa's father killed Erik's father to protect him. Unfortunately, Erik furiously refuses by declaring that he'll kill them *both* as he fatally stabs Zuri and throws T'Challa off a waterfall, declaring himself as the new King.
  • In Captain Marvel (2019), as Yon-Rogg and his enforcers are preparing to round up the Skrulls for detention and eventual extermination, Talos orders Yon-Rogg to let them go and take him instead.
  • Fast Color: Bo offers herself in place of Ruth and Lila to the government men near the end.
  • The Last of the Mohicans: in the 1992 version, when Cora is about to be burned alive, Hawkeye yells for the Sachem to take him instead. However, Heyward deliberately mistranslates, so he is exchanged for Cora instead of Hawkeye. As Heyward is being burned alive, Hawkeye ends up shooting him.
  • Against the Wall: When Smith is taken away from the rest of the captive corrections officers by the prisoners, his cruel and abusive superior Weisbad has a Pet the Dog moment when he - believing they are going to kill Smith - demands they kill him instead, since he was the ringleader behind most of the abuse they suffered. Fortunately for Smith, the prisoners only wanted him to deliver a statement to the news media.
  • Women on the Run, an Exploitation Film, has a Rape Me Instead when Su-Yin (the protagonist who went from a budding martial arts champ to a whore) tries saving her friend, Mandy, from a bunch of hookers by stripping down to her underwear.
    "What are you waiting for, I'm a hooker, come over here and rape me!"

  • Painfully inverted in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Those captured by the Ministry of Love inevitably give up their friends and family, some before being tortured, at hearing the threat. At the end, during the completely terrifying Room 101 sequence, Winston tells O'Brien to take Julia instead, and do anything to her, to avoid having his face eaten off by rats. It later turns out that Julia betrayed him too.
    Under the spreading chestnut tree,
    I sold you and you sold me.
  • In After the Golden Age, police officer Mark Paulson offers himself as a hostage in place of Damsel in Distress Celia West. This actually exasperates Celia; she's been taken hostage many times before and knows how to handle it, while Mark is likely to try something stupidly heroic and get himself killed.
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents:
    • Maurice offers one of his nine lives to Death in exchange for Dangerous Beans'. Not a completely straight example, since he knew well enough that he wouldn't be going anywhere that moment, but still astonishingly selfless for a cat.
    • Granny Weatherwax (a witch) plays a game against Death for the life of an infant, with herself as the stakes should she lose. It's heavily implied he was deliberately playing to lose, with both he and Granny tacitly agreeing to pretend otherwise (Death in the Discworld is actually a pretty nice guy).
  • Beauty offering her life for that of her father is a standard scene in adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, going all the way back to Mme Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's 1756 version. Indeed, if a version does not have this scene in it, it's arguably not "Beauty and the Beast" at all, but a variant of some other fairy tale.
  • Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks. After SOE agent Yeo-Thomas has volunteered for a Suicide Mission into occupied France to rescue a Resistance leader who's been captured, Marks has a nightmare in which Winston Churchill is dying, so Marks offers God all his top secret codes in exchange for Churchill's life. He's told that it's not necessary, as Yeo-Thomas has already offered his life.
  • During The Color of Distance Anito is told she will have to be called away from home, essentially exiled, to become a wandering enkar. Her sort-of-sister offers to become an enkar in her place and is gently refused. After some consideration she decides to become an enkar to come with her.
  • Also done by Zak in The Dark Elf Trilogy's first book, Homeland to save Drizzt's life.
  • In The Dresden Files novel Death Masks, Shiro appears to do this by offering to trade himself to Nicodemus in exchange for Dresden. However, at the end of the story, it's revealed that Shiro had terminal cancer and would have died soon regardless.
  • Fire & Blood: During the "Blood and Cheese" incident, Queen Helaena Targaryen tries doing this when Blood and Cheese hold her children Jaehaerys and Jaheaerya hostage and make her chose which one they'll kill. She's immediately refused and told she must chose one of her kids.
  • The first of the The Five Chinese Brothers was being executed for murder (he had to expel the sea from his mouth), but was permitted to return home to say goodbye to her mother. Because the brothers look identical, they were able to take the place of the first brother during the execution without people noticing. The second brother couldn't be beheaded. The third brother could stretch legs and avoid drowning. The fourth was immune to burning and thus couldn't be burned. The fifth could hold his breath indefinitely, and thus survived the night in the oven of whipped cream. After multiple failed executions, the judge decrees that the first brother was innocent.
  • In Frostbite, Rose volunteered to let Isaiah drink her blood, rather than let him drink from Mason Ashford and Eddie Castile. She argued that she had experience having her blood offered to Moroi.
  • In Dean Koontz's The Good Guy, Timothy Carrier encounters a hitman at a bar who mistakes him for the man who ordered the hit. The killer hands him $10,000 and a picture of a woman, promising the rest when she's gone. After Tim locates the woman, they are both hounded by the killer on a harrowing chase, and eventually he offers himself in the exact words, "take me instead'" so that she might go free.
  • Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi:
    • When the Wen clan demanded each clan send twenty disciples for "re-education" (basically an excuse to hold the young masters hostage), including at least one blood member of the clan, Jiang Cheng quickly volunteered so his sister Jiang Yanli wouldn't go. His mother instantly made it clear that he was getting volunteered whether he wanted to or not.
    • Both Wen Qing and Wen Nin offered themselves to the Jin Clan so Wei Wuxian wouldn't be persecuted for Jin Zixuan's death. It ended being All for Nothing as the clans still launched an attack on the Burial Mountains and Wei Wuxian would end up dead.
    • Jiang Cheng offered himself to be used as hostage in Jin Ling's place when Jin Guangyao holds Jin Ling hostage. Jin Guangyao however knew Jin Ling makes a better hostage than Jiang Cheng.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Mama Bear Lily Evans-Potter offers her life to Voldemort so he would let baby Harry live. He doesn't listen to her of course. And ultimately it was her Heroic Sacrifice that saved Harry by triggering a powerful ancient magic that protected him and destroyed Voldemort's body. This same magic is activated again when Harry allows Voldemort to kill him to save the world. When he comes Back from the Dead, he notices that none of the spells Voldemort tries to cast on anyone at Hogwarts affect them for very long.
    • In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore yells this while drinking the potion in the cave, which sends him back to his sister's death, wanting to be killed in her place.
    • In Deathly Hallows, when Bellatrix gets Hermione to torture her, Ron desperately offers himself to be taken instead of her. Bellatrix responds by slapping him hard across the face and answering that he can take her place... if Hermione dies under questioning.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss offers herself to possibly die in the place of her sister Primrose in the Hunger Games.
    • Peeta does something similar for Katniss, encouraging Haymitch to put all his focus on saving her at the expense of Peeta's own life (as well as putting himself in harm's way numerous times in the arena to save or protect Katniss). In Catching Fire Peeta and Katniss both do this for each other, each making a pact with Haymitch that he will save the other. At one point in the arena when they are separated Katniss begins to scream Peeta's name to lure any enemies to her so that he can have a chance to live.
    • Haymitch is willing to volunteer in order to save Peeta but when his name is drawn and Peeta volunteers instead, there's nothing he can do.
    • Mags volunteered to take Annie's place in the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire.
  • In I, Claudius, when Caligula falls ill, some of his subjects make grandiose public announcements that if Death spares the Emperor, they'll kill themselves in his place. Later, when Caligula gets better, he forces them all to follow through on it.
  • In The Last Command, Luke offers to stay with Joruus C'baoth if he lets Leia, Han, Mara, and Talon go. Fortunately for him, Joruus is power-hungry enough to refuse the offer.
  • The Licanius Trilogy: Near the end of the book, Caeden begs the real El for a chance to go back and sacrifice his own life in order to prevent Davian's predestined death. As it turns out, it was a disguised Caeden who was predestined to die all along.
  • Aslan secretly tells the White Witch this when she comes back for Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • On the Run: Meg is taken hostage by the big bad, and her brother tries to take her place. The two fight over it, leading the big bad to laugh, and reveal that yes, he framed their parents; the Falconers are such loyal people, they'd do anything for family. Too bad for him Meg has a guardian guard pig, and the farm is bugged.
  • In Outlander, the villain captures the heroine, Claire, as she tries to rescue her husband Jamie from prison and hanging. Jamie offers himself to the villain, to torture and rape as he pleases without crying out or exposing him, if he'll let Claire free.
  • In The Quest of the Unaligned, Nahruahn forces the villain to accept this trade by a form of Loophole Abuse. The villain has captured Alaric and is torturing him to death, when Nahruahn appears on the scene and challenges the villain, who is a far more powerful mage than he, to a duel of power. Since Nahruahn does have a genuine grievance against the villain (who stole a precious artifact that was in Nahruahn's trust), the rules of magic render the villain physically incapable of refusing this challenge. Furthermore, it is impossible to use magic on anyone else when you are in a duel, so the villain has to release Alaric.
  • In the Star Trek: The Lost Era novel Well of Souls. The spirit lifeform Uramtali wants to use the telepathic civilian Ven Kaldarren as a host for her consciousness. Unfortunately for her, he's instinctively blocked her telepathic summons, and she can't reach him. As a back up plan, she lures his young son and another child instead, trying to possess them. She still wants Kaldarren, though; they're just bait and "incentive". She attempts to take the son (knowing Kaldarren would surrender himself for his child), but his mind is not suitable, so she's left possessing the other boy. This isn't quite so certain, but Kaldarren soon offers a Take Me Instead anyway.
  • In Watership Down, in the last legend of Prince El-ahrairah, the Prince of Rabbits went to bargain with The Black Rabbit because his warren was under siege. The Black Rabbit refuses to help the rabbits, but El-ahrairah bargains for playing Chess with Death for the fate of his people. After he loses three times, losing his tail, whiskers, and ears, he instead pleads with the Black Rabbit and asks asks to die in the place of his people. The Black Rabbit refuses, commenting that other rabbits offer him bargains like that all the time, but El-ahrairah tries to enforce his decision by jumping in one of the pits full of plagues, intending to catch a deadly disease and carry it home to the enemies besieging his warren. Then the Black Rabbit informs him that he is immune to that plague and cannot carry it, because the plague is carried by ear-mites and El-ahrairah no longer has ears... but spares El-ahrairah and frees his people for his own Blue-and-Orange Morality reasons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the first season of 24, one of the thugs that has kidnapped them tries to drag Kim out of the room to rape her. Terri offers herself instead, promising not to fight, and the guy agrees. Terri uses the opportunity to steal his cell phone.
    • Later in the same season, Jack offers himself to the Drazens in Kim's place, knowing they'll kill him. They accept the offer, but obviously, things don't go as planned.
    • In Live Another Day, Jack hands himself to the Russians in exchange for Chloe.
  • At the end of The 100's first season, Murphy takes Jasper hostage after he catches Murphy killing one of the people who had tried to lynch him. Bellamy, another one of the people who had tried to lynch Murphy, manages to free Jasper by agreeing to become Murphy's prisoner and accept whatever revenge he has planned.
    • In the second season, the Grounders demand that Finn be executed for the murders he's committed, and Clarke tries offering herself up in his place, pointing out that she's killed more of their people than Finn has. The Grounders' leader doesn't accept this, though: Clarke killed their soldiers during the war, but Finn murdered unarmed civilians without provocation.
  • Angel:
  • One episode of The A-Team dealt with a plane hijacking. The president of the airline (actually Hannibal in disguise) offers himself in place of the hostages aboard the plane.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Surprise", Buffy and Angel are caught by Spike and about to be killed by the Judge, Buffy first. When Angel offers "Take me instead of her" Spike replies, "You're not clear on the concept, pal. There is no 'instead.' Just 'first' and 'second.'"
  • Batwoman (2019): In the pilot episode, Kate Kane is captured trying to rescue her former love interest Sophie Moore. Alice, the leader of the Wonderland gang, tells Kate she wants revenge on Kate's father, so Kate tells Alice to keep her and let Sophie go. Alice however taunts Kate by telling her that Sophie's loss will be more devastating to her father, as he regards Sophie as the daughter he never had in Kate.
  • A variation occurred on Cold Case, when the investigation of a drive-by shooting that killed a young girl over a decade ago revealed that her then-12 year old brother had done so (he was aiming at the man his mother was having an affair with). When they came to arrest the young man his middle-aged father tries to confess rather than let his son go to jail for murder.
  • Doctor Who: The number of times the Doctor has uttered this line or something similar to try and spare someone else's life. Let us count the ways...
    • Arguably the most notable example in the series: during "The Dæmons", when the Dæmon Azal (a godlike alien being who influenced Earth's legends of devils and demons) is about to kill the Doctor, Jo Grant literally shouts the trope name. Azal's inability to understand the concept of Jo's Heroic Sacrifice causes the logically-minded Dæmon to vanish in a Puff of Logic.
    • "Doomsday": When the Cult of Skaro demands that one of their three prisoners give information about the current state of Earth, Dr. Rajesh Singh volunteers instead of Rose or Mickey. It turns out that the extraction process is, unsurprisingly for Daleks, fatal.
    • "Journey's End": When the Daleks drop the TARDIS, with Donna inside, into the core of the Crucible to destroy it, the Doctor tries to save her by insisting they put him in her place. They refuse, and the TARDIS is apparently destroyed, as the ship and Donna are saved through other means with everyone else none the wiser.
  • In the Firefly episode "Safe", Simon says this when River is about to be burned at the stake by over-zealous backwoods villagers, asking them to kill him in her place. They refuse and are about to burn them bothnote  (even though Simon just healed some sick villagers and he's the only doctor for miles around). They are only saved when the Big Damn Heroes show up in the moment that named the trope.
  • The Following: Ryan Hardy makes this offer to Joe Carroll on more than one occasion, but since everything Carroll does is designed to torment Hardy, he never takes him up on it.
  • Get Smart: In "The Spirit is Willing", Les Vogel begs his boss to shoot him instead of his accomplice/lover Ann after they get caught selling KAOS secrets to Max.
  • The Haunting of Hill House (2018): Hugh asks Olivia to take him instead rather than murdering any more of their children. She does, but she still stares longingly at the surviving kids, implying that she isn't fully done with them.
  • In the finale two-parter of the Highlander series, Duncan offers his head to the villain (who has Joe and Amanda hostage) in exchange for their lives. He has every intention of going through with allowing himself to be killed, but then Methos shows up.
    • He also does it in the season 1 episode 'Bad Day in Building A', but it's a subversion. The hostage-takers don't know he's immortal, so shortly after they shoot him to death, he secretly comes back to life, now with the freedom to move around the courthouse, hunting them one by one.
  • In the two-part miniseries House of Frankenstein (1997), a vampire holds a woman's child hostage and has her call the protagonist (whom she is friends with) to lead him into a trap. After she reluctantly does so, the vampire proceeds to try to bite the child which the mother frantically offers herself. Of course, the vampire is a jerk and was looking to kill both of them anyway but luckily some ashes from her dead husband are enough to take the vampire down.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart", Claudia volunteers to replace Louis as Lestat's punching bag (she was initially the target of Lestat's wrath), but he's now only interested in punishing Louis for not loving him enough.
    Claudia: (crying) Let [Louis] go. He didn't do nothin', let him go. It's me you want.
    Lestat: Listen to me, and listen very carefully, my infant death. It was never you. (looks at Louis) I chose you.
  • In the Dark: Josiah offers himself instead of his wife and kids when they're threatened by cartel hitmen, to no effect.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • S02:E3 ("Closure, Part 2") ends with an acquitted rapist murdered, and the only two people who know what happened are the man's wife and a previous victim, who had been stalking him. The wife claims she shot him in self-defense. While the truth is never conclusively established, it's strongly implied that it was actually the victim who killed him and that the wife is covering for her.
    • S14:E7 ("Vanity's Bonfire") ends with a woman whose terminal brain tumor left her reliant on a cane to walk and too weak to handle a pitcher of water confessing to beating the head of her husband's physically healthy mistress in with a 20 pound hunk of crystal, while also swearing under oath that her 15-year-old daughter came straight home from school that afternoon and never left the townhouse.
    • S14:E22 ("Poisoned Motive") sees this attempted when Fin speaks with his old Narcotics partner concerning multiple sniper attacks connected with them only to be presented with the weapon and a convincing Motive Rant centering on abandonment and betrayal. However it is rapidly made evident that all the motivation and marksmanship skill would not have let a man with a half-crippled leg escape the scene of the first shootingnote  as swiftly as the shooter did; whereas his twenty five year old daughter, Gloria, who was living with him, washed out of the U. S. Army and NYPD Academy due to emotional problems, and was still at large was a different matter entirely.
      • Later in the same episode, Gloria confronts Fin and threatens to shoot two people she had taken hostage. Fin tells her to shoot him instead.
    • There's more than a few episodes where one of the detectives offers him-or-herself in place of a civilian hostage.
  • In the series finale of Life, Crews offers Roman to exchange himself for Dani. He then kills Roman with a punch to the throat and walks away unharmed.
  • A MADtv sketch takes place at a funeral, with a woman mourning her husband, screaming "Take me, Jesus! Take me instead!" Sure enough, Jesus shows up, brings the woman's husband back to life, and then asks the woman to go with him. Naturally, the woman wasn't expecting her wish to be granted, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • An episode of M*A*S*H had a soldier going off his nut and taking Charles hostage in exchange for safe passage to the United States. Klinger hears this and offers to take Charles' place as hostage, but only because it means his ticket out of the Army. Unfortunately for Klinger, his captor collapses from blood loss and the escape never takes place.
  • Patrick Jane does this during a hostage situation in "Nothing Gold Can Stay" on The Mentalist, after he decides he can't let a risky plan to attack the hostage-takers go through. He even specifically uses the phrase "take me instead."
  • Merlin spends most of 1X13 offering his life in exchange for Arthur's after Arthur suffered a mortal...bite. In the same episode, we have Merlin trying to offer himself for his mother, Gaius doing so instead to protect Merlin, Merlin offering himself in exchange for Gaius, and ultimately the price paid is the life of the big bad of that season. Balancing Death's Books indeed.
  • In the NCIS episode "Kill Ari", Ducky learns that Ari has taken Gerald hostage, and goes to meet with Ari in order to prevent him from killing Gerald. Ducky, fully expecting Ari to kill them both, tells Gerald to get in his car and get away. Shortly after that, we learn that Gerald has absolutely no experience Driving Stick. Ari lets Gerald escape in his own car, seemingly out of pure unbridled pity at the attempt.
  • In the NUMB3RS episode Chinese Box, David trades himself for a woman who had been taken hostage by a gunman.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Quality of Mercy", during a future space war, Major Skokes and young female Space Cadet Bree have been captured by the alien enemy, who are turning her into one of them in some mad science experiment. At the end of the episode, Skokes tells his captors to transform him instead. Whereupon Bree reveals that they're actually changing her back into an alien, as she's a spy they've planted on him to get information by playing on his sympathy.
  • Slasher: In the penultimate episode the Executioner is about to make Sarah herself his last victim for the sin of pride, but Tom Winston offers himself in her place. He's really her father, after all.
  • Cameron Mitchell tried this in one episode of Stargate SG-1. Of course, the bad guys of the episode just grabbed everyone and ignored him. O'Neill tries this too, it doesn't work for him either.
    O'Neill: You can do anything you like with me.
    Nirrti: (purring) I know.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Ben Sisko says this exactly in "The Reckoning" when the Pah-Wraith arrives in his son's body. The Pah-Wraith simply mocks the Prophet for its Emissary offering himself to its enemy before hurling him across the Promenade.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In "The Thaw", several people are trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine that has turned malevolent, creating a Monster Clown that torments them For the Evulz. Captain Janeway offers herself as a fresh victim in exchange for the ones he already has. In an inversion, the villain accepts the offer, while the heroine has no intention of keeping her word.
  • This is discussed in Star Trek: Picard between Picard, who had just died in a Heroic Sacrifice to save Soji and the other synths; and Data, who sacrificed himself in the Scimitar incident years before. Picard mentions to Data that his only regret was not knowing Data's intentions, and making sure he sacrificed himself instead. Data replied by saying that if Picard did not regret sacrificing himself for Soji, then he should not expect Data to regret sacrificing himself for Picard and his fellow crew.
  • Supernatural:
    • John Winchester, Dean Winchester, and Sam Winchester all offer up themselves in exchange for a member of their family who has died. John summons a demon to exchange himself for Dean in early Season 2, Dean does the same thing when Sam dies late in Season 2 and Sam tries the same trick when Dean is in Hell between Seasons 3 and 4 but the demons won't deal.
    • In the episode "The Rapture", Castiel's former vessel, Jimmy, gets shot while trying to rescue his wife and daughter from demons. However, Castiel has taken up residence inside Jimmy's daughter Claire, and takes down the demons with ease. Castiel-in-Claire then tells the dying Jimmy that he can now be at peace. Jimmy begs Castiel to possess him again, instead of his daughter. Castiel says to Jimmy, "I want to make sure you understand. You won't die, or age. If this last year was painful for you, picture a hundred, a thousand more like it." Jimmy responds, "It doesn't matter! You take me! Just take me."
    • In season 14, Castiel offers the Empty his life in exchange for his adoptive son Jack's. The Empty accepts, but doesn't take him in the moment, instead promising to kill him when he experiences a moment of true happiness. He deliberately activates his deal in season 15 in order to save his best friend Dean's life by confessing his love for him, which summons the Empty.
  • The Thin Blue Line episode "Fire and Terror" ends with a double Take Me Instead, the second instance throwing Gary the gay fireman out of the closet.
    Lunatic: I'm armed, and I'm dangerous, and I'm gonna take a hostage.
    Habib: Take me!
    Goody: No Maggie! you're too beautiful to die! Take me!
    Gary: No Kev! you're too too beautiful to die! Take me!
  • In The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "One For The Angels": A salesman convinces Death to take him instead of a little girl who is sick. The street vendor was supposed to die that day, but he pleads with Death to let him live long enough to make one last great sales pitch. Death agrees. The man swears off making any more pitches and believes that he has cheated Death. Death then mentions that Someone Has to Die that day, and a little girl that the vendor knew is hit by a car. The vendor immediately offers to die instead, but Death refuses and leaves, promising to return to take the little girl before midnight. In an effort to stall him when he arrives, the vendor pitches himself as an assistant to the overworked Death. It's a great pitch that enthralls Death, and he misses the deadline to claim the little girl. The vendor then willingly goes with Death, having made his last great pitch. A more complicated example than most.
    • "In Praise of Pip": The wounded (possibly dying) bookie Max Phillips pleads with God not to let his son Pip die in Vietnam. He offers his own life instead, and immediately falls to the ground lifeless. The next scene shows Pip walking with a cane visiting the amusement park.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Welcome to Winfield", the people of Winfield plead for The Grim Reaper Griffin St. George to take them instead of Matt Winnaker as most of them are over 100 and Matt is only 20. However, Matt will have none of it and asks St. George to take him. Eventually, St. George decides to let them all go.
    • In "Rendezvous in a Dark Place", Barbara LeMay pleads with Death to take her instead of Trent, a young robber who is dying from a gunshot wound. However, Death tells her that it is Trent's time and that he can't take life where it doesn't exist, referring to Barbara's obsession with death.
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • There's an interesting example in season 4: Daryl attempts to pull this with the Claimers, offering his own life in exchange for them letting Rick, Carl and Michonne go free. It doesn't work, as they simply decide to kill him as well. Thankfully our heroes manage to save themselves and kill the bad guys anyway.
    • In season 7, an alternate version of Negan's hostage lineup was leaked, where Maggie is among the members of Rick's group chosen to be killed instead of Glenn. Glenn desperately offers to take her place after a moment of shock, and has to be knocked out by a Saviour.
  • In Without a Trace, Jack Malone offers to trade places with Love Interest and fellow FBI agent Samantha Spade when she is taken hostage and wounded.
  • In the Workaholics episode "Old Man Ders", Ders steals Montez' car and the guys cruise around in it. At the end of the episode, cops have found the car and confront the guys, who are drunk. One of them asks, "You guys are driving the convertible, right?" Ders is about to fess up, but Adam (who didn't get Ders anything for his birthday) stops him and says "You know what? Happy birthday, bud."
    Adam: Yeah, I was driving it, what's it to ya? I've gotten plenty of DUIs, give me another one. I don't care, I don't care copper!
    Cop: The car's been reported stolen, and you've been driving it drunk?
    Adam: Really, I didn't know that, I didn't know it was reported.

  • Said word-for-word in Insane Clown Posse's "Crossing Thy Bridge," offering themselves to God so that little children don't have to go to Heaven so early.
  • "Bad Bad Things" by Music/AJJ has a murderer recounting the slaughter of a family to the only member he left alive, and tells them that their mother begged for him to leave everyone else alone and hurt her instead.
    "She said, 'Do with me what you want, but please don't hurt my family/Take my pride, take my life, take my body, but don't take the ones that are close to me'/And I continued without mercy"
  • Invoked in Pip King's Jolene series but with a twist. Both the original song and its sequel follow the tune and lyrical setup of "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, wherein the singer is begging the beautiful Jolene to not seduce her lover. Part one, entitled [["Jolene (A Cautionary Tale),"]] has the same initial setup as the original song, but here the singer sings about Jolene's captivating beauty, horrible eldritch capabilities, and how she's been terrorizing the town with her immense powers. She begs Jolene to not take her man away, presumably to eat him, and ultimately resolves that if she tries to take him, she'll go after Jolene herself for revenge. In part two, "Jolene Part 2 (Take Me Instead)" we hear the singer again describing Jolene's unfathomable power and bewitching features, and she now begs Jolene to take her in his place, but as she begins to wax poetic about how she's been dreaming of "lying bare" beneath her "unblinking, countless eyes" and how she longs to be held in her embrace, the she invokes Take Me Instead verbatim, but only to mean that she wants Jolene to forget her man because she wants the two of them to be together.
  • In the song Don't Take The Girl by Tim McGraw, the singer/narrator offers his wealth to a mugger in one part, but when his bride and expectant wife is facing a Death by Childbirth situation, he begs God and Death to take him instead. She recovers afterwards.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In 2001, during the time Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley were regularly putting women through tables. Their intended victim that night was Molly Holly, the girlfriend of their younger brother, Spike. Spike laid across the table, begging Bubba to spare her and do him instead. Bubba drove Molly through the table AND Spike.

  • In the first part of the Adventures in Odyssey episode "The Perfect Witness" Katrina Shanks speaks this trope verbatim to the criminals who were robbing the bookstore where she worked and were kidnapping young, blind customer Jenny.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In The Bible, the ten oldest sons of Jacob, led by Judah, sold their younger half-brother Joseph as a slave. Jacob was heartbroken, and grew more attached to his youngest son, Benjamin. Years later, Benjamin is falsely accused of stealing from the Egyptian vizier and is going to be taken as a slave as punishment. Judah, realizing how much this will destroy their father, offers himself as a slave instead. The story ends with the vizier revealing that he's actually Joseph, who brought this whole situation about to see if his older brothers had changed.
    • One reading of the Passion of Christ, called the Ransom View or Christus Victor; basically, Jesus offers himself over to Satan in place of humanity, thus exhausting the Devil's power and breaking his hold on us for all time.
  • Making this one Older Than Feudalism is the myth of Admetus and Alcestis. Admetus is a beloved king; and, when he is due to die, Death agrees to allow him to live if he can find another willing to die in his stead. However, he is unable to find anyone - for all that his subjects love him, they don't love him enough to die for him, with even his father refusing to do it. Finally, believing himself doomed, he returns to his room - to find that his wife, Alcestis, has already agreed to die in his place, and promptly expires. Admetus lives - but in the knowledge that he has lost the one person who loved him enough to die for him. Then, in a surprise twist happy ending, Admetus's Hot-Blooded friend Heracles arrives and punches out Death to bring Queen Alcestis back.

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Inverted in George Carlin's list of things people have never said before: "Do what you want to the girl, but leave me alone!"

  • Tamamo-no-Mae Asahi no Tamoto: When Lady Katsura is ordered to trade her head for her family's stolen relic, her adoptive sister Lady Hatsuhana is willing to take her place. Subverted as Katsura is still killed anyway. By her birth father, no less.

    Video Games 
  • There is one instance in Baldur's Gate where you can offer yourself instead of your love-interest.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, if Zsasz finishes telling his story before Batman can trace the call, then the next time he calls, Batman will stall for time by offering to replace Zsasz's hostages with himself.
  • The raffle scene at the beginning of Bioshock Infinite, where an interracial couple is about to be executed by having baseballs pelted at them until they die, has the man pleading with the crowd: "let her go, I'm the one you want!" since it's possible that he began the relationship by courting her, and thus feels responsible for their predicament.
  • In Crash Twinsanity, when Nina is kidnapped by Evil Crash, Cortex attempts to trade himself for her safety - only to immediately change his mind and run screaming when Evil Crash takes up his offer.
  • Darkest Dungeon: When faced with the One-Hit Kill Sadistic Choice ability used by the Final Boss, some of the heroes will actually ask to be chosen over the others, like the Leper ("Spare the others, I am ready.") and the Flaggelant ("I've waited long for this! DON'T TAKE IT FROM ME!")
  • Laharl desperately tries to invoke this when Flonne gets flower-ized in Disgaea's endings.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: One of the Forsworn only joined up because he lost his daughter to the CHOPPING BLOCK in his place, where he says that he had to watch, and then they threw him in the mines anyway. According to the Forsworn, he's far from the only one. Although the Forsworn are a gang of fanatical butchers who strong-arm the working class into performing assassinations, their opposition is a corporation that uses this trope to kill the families of those who are strong enough to mine and initially too stubborn to stay jailed.
  • Early in Final Fantasy XIII, Snow offers himself as a l'Cie in return for the Pulse fal'Cie turning Serah back to normal. It doesn't listen. And subsequently makes him (and the rest of the party) l'Cie regardless.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Ninian offers to go with the Big Bad in exchange for him sparing the lives of the heroes and her little brother. It does work, but it still ends up getting her (temporarily) killed.
  • In Ib, if the Big Bad Mary finds Ib's rose in the toy box, Garry will offer his own rose in return for Ib's back. Since the two roses are directly linked to Ib and Garry's health, he is voluntarily handing over his life to a malicious little girl just to save Ib.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, there's the end of the first trial day of the third case. When the defendant is about to be handed a "Guilty" verdict, one of the witnesses suddenly claims to be the killer because it couldn't have been the defendant, but then the defendant herself confesses to the crime, only for another witness to claim to be the killer on the same grounds as the first one. It's such a mess the Judge is forced to delay the verdict for the next day. All three are innocent, and besides are such close friends they'd rather anything else than see each other hurt.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker):
    • In the My Sister ending, Akemi allows Alice to take her soul in exchange for letting her little sister Inago escape the castle.
    • In the My Brother ending, Suu allows Alice to take her soul in exchange for letting Akemi and Inago live.
  • Quest for Glory:
    • In Quest for Glory IV, one of the main quests involves making a Heroic Sacrifice in order to bring a little vampire girl back from the dead, exchanging her life for the hero's. Instead of the Hero dying, the girl's Pet Monstrosity ends up exchanging his own life, in a particularly tear-jerking scene.
    • In Quest for Glory V, the Hero finally gets his chance: One of the quests takes you to Hades, where you can give up your life to restore either Katrina or Erana to life. You still manage to escape Hades because you're that badass, but this trope is in full effect. Word of God is that the Hero's sacrifice saved both women.
  • Heiss does this in Radiant Historia, in a truly tearjerking moment, in a desperate effort to save the one person they gave a damn about.
  • Parodied in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time when Captain Qwark tries to trade his life for that of the War Grok.
    Captain Qwark: Please, take me instead! All I ask is that you name something impressive in my honor! Perhaps a school, or a food court.
  • In Recess in Greece's rendition of the abduction of Helen, the mild-mannered Menelaus is present and tries to offer himself in her place, to which Paris scoffs, "Hey, I'm not that desperate."
  • In Reflections on the River, when Zheng (the protagonist) moves to abduct one of the royal children in retaliation for not being paid, players decide which one to target, but regardless of choice, the other will try to intercede. They're successful, so players always get the opposite to their selection.
  • In Resident Evil 6, Helena offers herself to Simmons in order to save her younger sister Deborah. It doesn't work, and she ends up having to kill her in the end after she is infected with the virus.
  • The 'Ritual of Soul Transfer', appears in several places in the Valkyrie Profile series of games, and allows anyone to sacrifice their own life to resurrect a recently deceased. You get a couple of... 'recruits' that way.

    Web Comics 
  • In Weak Hero, when Donald says that he might actually end up killing Ben, Alex steps up and begs Donald to fight him instead, taking his best friend's place. It's only a conveniently timed phone call that stops either of them from facing Donald's wrath.

    Web Original 
  • In one episode of Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, the characters are attempting to sneak deeper into Freelancer Command and come up with the plan for Washington to pretend to take Church prisoner to get past the guards. Caboose, being stupid, doesn't understand the "pretend" part, and attempts a Take Me Instead.
  • Invoked verbatim in "Jolene, A Cautionary Tale" by Pip King, but turned onto its head. A series of re-imaginings of the Dolly Parton song "Jolene," where in the original, the singer was begging the beautiful Jolene to not seduce her lover, this version has the singer telling of Jolene, a Humanoid Abomination, with terrifying beauty and horrible abilities, and how for years she's been terrorizing the town with her terrible power. In part two of the series, "Jolene Part 2 (Take Me Instead)" we hear the singer again describing Jolene and how horrifyingly powerful she is, but as she begins to wax poetic about how she's been dreaming of her "unblinking, countless eyes" and how she wants to be by her "icy side," she begs her to take her instead of her man, but only to mean because she wants to be with her.
  • We Are Our Avatars: After fighting the creator of Sword Art Online in a final battle, Kris decides to sacrifice himself to revive Kirito because Kirito's virtual avatar died during the fight.
  • The eponymous A_J of AJCO requests that the Liaison Officer hand herself over - if she does, her friends and allies trapped in the hangar with her will be granted what they need to survive. She agrees almost immediately, even though she hasn't yet heard the full terms and conditions.
    <Egg> …I’ll do anything if you let them live.
    <Facilitator A_J> Quite agreeable.
    • She doesn't change her mind even when she finds out that she is extremely likely to die a slow and painful death to irradiation or chlorine poisoning, or be forced to commit suicide.
  • Said word for word by Vax'ildan in episode 44 of Critical Role, - to the Raven Queen herself no less - when Vex dies and the party attempts a resurrection ritual. She accepts his offer. When he dies, she brings him back to life as a revenant who cannot die until Vecna is vanquished, after which he will be her eternal Champion. At the end of their journey, the Raven Queen comes to collect her debt.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: League of Legends:
    • A serious example where first Vi and then Vander offer themselves as scapegoats so Piltover will withdraw its Enforcers out of Zaun to prevent violence from breaking out by the increasingly frustrated people of Zaun.
    • A comedic example where Caitlyn begs Ekko to let Vi go and punish her instead. Vi is actually fine and listening in pure amusement.
  • American Dad!:
    • While in Saudi Arabia, Stan offers to take Francine's place in being stoned to death. He ends up joining her... along with Steve and Hailey, who were there for different reasons (Hailey because she beat a food vendor into a coma because he lied about his job to get her to sleep with him, and Steve who briefly became a prophet until his followers turned on him for claiming God is a woman).
    • Happens again in an episode where the Smiths agree to give up their various bad habits for lent (Stan has to give up yelling, Francince smoking, Hailey junk food, Jeff hugging and Steve crying), and, while at Rogers Mardi Gras party, drunkenly sign a binding contract with Deputy Bullock saying that he gets to chop off a finger off the first person who breaks their promise. The family barely makes it two days before almost being driven insane by the pact, and resort to tricking Francine into smoking since it was her idea in the first place. However, when the moment finally arrives, the rest of the family breaks down in guilt and begs Bullock to take their fingers instead. Touched by their sacrifice, Bullock absolves them (though Stan cuts off his own finger anyway so they'd finally follow through on something, which had been Francine's desire the whole time).
  • Avatar:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • Aang volunteers to surrender to Zuko if he agrees to stop attacking the Water Tribe village. Zuko agrees and, in an early sign of his more noble nature, keeps his word even after Aang escapes.
      • Some years earlier, a woman named Kya confessed to being a waterbender and offered herself to the raiders attacking them as a prisoner. Unfortunately the commander of said raid did not see fit to take prisoners and murdered her on the spot. Unfortunately for him, Kya was covering for her young daughter Katara, the last Waterbender of the Southern tribe, who eventually tracked him down to correct the misunderstanding.
    • In The Legend of Korra's Grand Finale, Prince Wu, of all people, does this when some Earth Empire soldiers arrest a large group of evacuating Republic citizens. Being the heir to the Earth Kingdom throne, after all, he's a far more valuable prisoner. It's actually a subversion; Wu was stalling for time until his badgermole allies could take down the soldiers.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy plays a prank on Ed making him think that Double D is an evil "lizard man" who just turned Eddy into a cockroach and lays out his clothes on the floor to fool Ed. Ed is devastated and shouts to "Lizard Man" to restore Eddy and take him instead. He later invokes the trope in the movie when Ed thinks the cul-de-sac kids are going to attack Eddy while he's down and finish what they set out to do.
  • Family Guy:
    • Inverted in an episode when Death comes for Quagmire after he fakes his own death and his new wife (who he faked the death in the first place to get away from) tries to block death from getting (Glenn) Quagmire. After being touched by death, she dies. When Death tells everyone he needs to take someone, everyone convinces him to take her, noting that she was suicidal and her (last) name WAS Quagmire.
    • The time Big Fat Paulie had a hit put on Lois, thinking that Peter wanted him to. Peter tries to convince the mob boss to have him killed instead, only for the mob boss to point out that if he doesn't want the hit, they can just call it off.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), a wizard named Mallek foolishly makes a deal with an imp in order to win Teela's love, not knowing that the price is his soul. When a demon calling itself the Spirit of Evil appears to collect, even He-Man can't fight it to more than a stalemate. Then, however, Mallek's assistant (who secretly loves him) pleads with the being to take her soul instead. It agrees, but when it tries to, it cries in pain, as the very offer of self-sacrifice powered by love repels it; it curses the heroes and flees.
  • Hilda: In episode 6, to make the Marra (a nightmare causing creature) stop bothering David, Hilda calls her out for picking on an easy target, and challenges her to try and scare someone who isn't so easily frightened; herself. The Marra agrees. When David sees Hilda struggling with a nightmare, he offers to take the Marra back. This prompts her to leave both David and Hilda alone since it's no fun to torment a willing victim.
  • Invader Zim: In "Gaz - Taster of Pork", Dib falsely assumes Gaz failed Shadowhog's test to undo her curse and begs to be punished instead as it's his fault she was cursed. He is then sentenced to The Dreaded Toilet Duty.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: In "Mute-Eat-Mute World", when the Mutes are about to capture her friends, Kipo bursts in and demands that they take her instead, since she's the one that they were searching for to begin with. The Mutes reply that there's no "instead" involved and try to capture them all.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: After Vex'ahlia is killed, Vax'ildan has a vision of the Matron of Ravens approaching her body to take her soul to the afterlife, and shouts "Take me instead, you raven bitch!" The Matron grants his wish, but at a price: Vex is brought back to life, but Vax is now bound to the Matron as her Champion.
  • The Lion Guard: In "The Golden Zebra", Makucha the leopard has Dhahabu the golden zebra taken hostage. Bunga (who's developed a brief Precocious Crush on Dhahabu) offers himself in her place, but Makucha just growls, "No thanks".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Inverted when deciding who should get the last ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, at which point each character offers to take herself out of consideration so that the others can get the prize.
    Applejack: Twilight, sugar, I... I didn't mean to put so much pressure on you. And if it helps, I don't want the ticket anymore. You can give it to somepony else; I won't feel bad. I promise.
    Fluttershy: Me too. I feel just awful that I made you feel so awful.
    Pinkie Pie: And me too. It's no fun upsetting your friends.
    Rarity: Twilight, it was unfair of me to try to force you as I did.
    Rainbow Dash: YES! That means the ticket is mine! Ha, ha, ha; ♪I got the ti-cket, I got the ti-cket!♪
    [Beat disapproving glares]
    Rainbow Dash: Y'know... I haven't perfected my signature moves for the Wonderbolts anyway... I don't need that ticket either.
  • The Owl House: In "Clouds on the Horizon", Kikimora gloats that she'll be taking Hunter to Belos to be killed and that the Emperor is already aware of the rebels' plot. Luz has Gus switch her and Hunter's appearances and goads Kikimora into capturing her by mistake. This serves two functions: it protects Hunter from being killed by Belos, and allows Luz to try to stop Belos herself.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Knock It Off", Professor Utonium offers to take the girls' place after he sees his former college roommate draining the girls' Chemical X out of them, causing them to look sickly and weak.
    Professor Utonium: Please, take me instead. I'll do anything you want.
    Dick Hardly: Am I to understand that you're sacrificing your life for theirs, and you'll stay here and make X forever?
    Professor Utonium: Yes. Just don't hurt the girls. They're my family.
    Dick Hardly: You fool! Why should I let them go when I have you both?! (to his Powerpuff Girls rejects) Take him away!
  • In "How the Water Was Won" on Sheriff Callie's Wild West, a couple of beaver bandits dam the water supply of Nice and Friendly Corners and imprison Toby, Peck and Mr. Dillo in a makeshift jail of logs. When Callie shows up, she offers herself in exchange for them. The male beaver isn't sure it's a good idea because it's one for three, but the female beaver thinks it's a good trade because she's the sheriff and they'll easily to give in to giving up the town's gold to get her back. Instead, the group devises a plan to burst the dam and thus flood out the makeshift jail and restore the water supply. It's strongly implied that Callie gave herself up because she wanted to give her friends a chance to shine like this.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Used and inverted in different Treehouse of Horror episodes. In one Homer stands in front of a group of brain eating zombies, saying to take him and leave his family. The zombies crowd around, feeling his head... then go "no brain" (to Homer's annoyance) and chase after the rest of Homer's family. In another Homer says, "Please don't eat me, I have a wife and kids... eat them instead!"
    • Parodied in an early episode when Mr Burns accidentally ran down Bart with his limo, and Mr Burns makes up a ridiculous story in court about him begging God to take him instead of Bart because he's an old man. The jury doesn't believe him for a second.
  • South Park:
    • In "Coon vs. Coon and Friends", Cartman has Cthulhu banish his friends to the sunken city of R'Lyeh fallen from the stars. Mysterion, who wakes up in bed after he is killed, commits suicide there to confront the Coon and Cthulhu. He tells Cthulu to take him instead of his friends and rid him of his Immortality Hurts curse as only an immortal can kill another immortal. His friends are saved... by Mintberry Crunch.
    • Inverted when Burger King robbers take the fourth grade class as hostages in "Super Fun Time." Mr. Garrison tells them, "Please, if you must take anyone, don't take me. These kids are worth more to you." Stan however does throw himself onto the field to save Kenny by serving as a distraction.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Visions and Voices", Ezra and Maul perform a ritual drawing on the power of fallen Nightsister spirits, who take over the bodies of Sabine and Kanan as payment. While Ezra manages to free Sabine, he offers himself to take Kanan's place.
  • Steven Universe: At the end of the fourth season; "I Am My Mom", when Aquamarine immobilizes the Gems and everyone else, Steven offers himself as a superior replacement since he has Rose's gem, making them believe he's Rose Quartz and gets taken to Homeworld. Even though Steven managed to find a way back home, his decision ended up putting a temporary strain on his relationship with Connie.
  • In Transformers: Animated episode "Transwarped Part 2", Issac Sumdac, after hiding his daughter Sari, orders the Headmaster (who is looking to kill Sari) to leave her alone and kill him instead. Sari refuses to let that happen and throws plasma bolts at Headmaster, albeit puny ones though they do buy enough time for Optimus to get up again and tackle Headmaster.
  • In Transformers: Prime, when Shockwave prepares the cortical psychic patch to extract information from Arcee, Cliffjumper says something to this effect. It doesn't work, but he did try.
  • Young Justice (2010) actually goes through with it, though it's a non-fatal example: Zatanna puts on the Helmet of Fate and gets possessed by Nabu, who refuses to release her. In exchange for her freedom, her father Zatara offers himself instead, and is still possessed by Nabu five years later.

    Real Life 
  • During a Somali pirate situation the captain said "take me and let my crew go" or words to that effect.
  • Saint Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest was sent to Auschwitz in 1941 because he sheltered Jews. When one man from his barracks was missing, the Nazis decided to kill ten random people by starvation. One of them, the Polish woodworker Franciszek Gajowniczek, worried about what would happen to him since he still had a family outside, so Kolbe volunteered instead, and led the other condemned prisoners in song and prayer for three weeks. The Catholic Church canonized him in 1982, and Gajowniczek attended his canonization. The worst part? After Kolbe and his group had died, the Nazis found the missing man - he had drowned in one of the latrine pits.
  • During the West Nickel Mines School shooting, 13-year-old Marian Fisher, the oldest of the hostages told the shooter to shoot her first, in what police believe was an attempt to buy time so the other hostages would have a better chance of being rescued. At least two other girls, including Fisher's 11-year-old sister, followed suit.
  • At about 11 a.m. on 24 March 2018, Redouane Lakdim, a terrorist claiming allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) stormed a supermarket in Trèbes armed with a handgun, a hunting knife, and three homemade bombs. He shot two people dead and took others hostage. Police negotiated for release of the hostages, and Arnaud Beltrame of the National Gendarmerie offered to take the place of the final one, a female cashier. Beltrame set his mobile phone on a table with its line open so that police outside could monitor activity inside. After a three-hour stand-off, Lakdim stabbed and shot Beltrame. In response, GIGN operatives stormed the supermarket at 2:40 PM and killed the assailant. An autopsy revealed that Beltrame had sustained four bullet wounds but died from stab wounds to the throat.


Video Example(s):


D'Erika's Deal

When Dr. Migleemo unexpectedly loses the Barter by Combat and Freeman is obligated to surrender the Cerritos, Tendi offers to return to her role as Mistress of the Winter Constellations if D'Erika gives them a battlecruiser. But they get screwed over when the ship is inoperable.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / TakeMeInstead

Media sources: