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Taking the Bullet

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"That's how you recognize true heroes, my dear Anathar. They spend their time taking hits that aren't meant for them!"
Qilby, Wakfu

A form of Heroic Sacrifice where, when a villain fires a weapon at someone and another character leaps into the path of the weapon, receiving the injury instead.

Time often slows to a crawl, and the shielded one will shout a Big "NO!". The leaper will then have a scene where they weeping-ly tell the character how important they are before losing consciousness, while cradled in the arms of the survivor. Sometimes they get better, sometimes they don't, but it's close, either way. Usually results in tears and/or an angry How Dare You Die on Me! moment, especially if the person they took the bullet for loved them in any way. A More Hero Than Thou dispute may result, even though it's obviously too late.

This may be a minor character protecting a major one, or sometimes a villain will do this following a Heel–Face Turn, in which case they're probably not going to pull through.


This turns into a Diving Save if the rescuer pushes the victim out of the way without being hit by the shot. Can be done with any other projectiles: a common gag is to do it with something utterly harmless, and really ham up the shot.

For some reason, the Big Bad rarely succeeds at any attempt to empty the next bullet into his original intended target. Nor will the diver not get there in time to stop the bullet, or the bullet continue through the diver to the original target. Considering how much could theoretically go wrong with this trope, it's almost surprising how (relatively) rarely it gets played with.

There might also be the possibility that the character who took the bullet is Immune to Bullets (or whatever it is that's thrown at them), has certain protection (usually a Bulletproof Vest) or at least can recover from the injury by themselves.


The United States Secret Service (which protects the president) calls this "catching the bullet", although it is rarely actually performed. In real life, the technique is obviously different, as bullets are far too fast to react to. Instead, the human shield will stand in front of the defended individual (hopefully) prior to the shot being fired. For instance, when Kennedy was shot, the agent with Johnson (the vice president) threw him to the floor of the car and then threw himself on top of him until they reached a secure location.

If this trope is executed poorly, usually because there were more intelligent alternatives to Taking the Bullet, it can come off as a Stupid Sacrifice. On the other hand, there may very well have been No Time to Think.

Compare Go Through Me, Jumping on a Grenade, Load-Bearing Hero, Draw Aggro. Human Shield and Bulletproof Human Shield are the unwilling versions that often happens in hostage situations. Misguided Missile is when you do this with air-to-air weaponry.

In Real Life, this is another term for Taking the Heat. Try not to confuse the tropes, though. Note also that modern small arms munitions, especially military grade, are perfectly capable of penetrating right through someone and retaining sufficient energy to kill or severely injure the person being shielded, so this is very much a last resort tactic if trying to stop someone else being shot.

Due to the nature of this trope, spoilers are likely. You have been warned.


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  • In Akagami no Shirayukihime Tariga takes an arrow intended for his brother Tsuruba when Kiki's suitors start being attacked. It ends up in his arm which greatly reduces his abilty to fight later on. In an interesting twist their family is behind the attacks on Kiki's suitors and the framing of Mitsuhide for them in order for Tariga and Tsuruba to replace Kiki and Mitsuhide as Zen's retainers. They didn't realize beforehand that their brother was going to have Tsuruba attacked to divert suspicion though.
  • Berserk
    • Guts does this for Casca early in the series taking multiple arrows and a stab wound for her in battle, (despite her and Guts always bickering) this selfless protection of her causes Casca to start harbouring feelings for Guts leading to a new explicit romance where she kisses and even licks his scars in thanks.
    • Judeau protects his female commander Casca from a demon set on killing and eating them as everything is literally going to Hell for them and the rest of the Hawks. He throws himself right on top of her and takes multiple blows from the demon's whiplike tentacles followed by two spikes right through his body for her before putting its eye out with his last throwing knife, setting it up to be finished off by Casca. The wounds are fatal and he dies soon after.
  • Takashiro of Betrayal Knows My Name does this in episode 13, taking some ice spears that Reiga had thrown at Yuki.
  • Bleach
    • Grimmjow, during a fight with Ichigo, fires five darts which can knock down buildings at Orihime, which Ichigo has to block with his body. Counts as an Invoked Trope, as Grimmjow did it specifically because he knew how Ichigo would react and was trying to get him to stop holding back.
    • In a straighter example, Byakuya does this for Rukia when Gin tries to kill her with his shikai.
    • In the manga, Ginjo does this for Ichigo. A somewhat unusual example, as taking the stab reverted Ginjo's memories back. In the following chapter, Ginjo stabs Ichigo himself.
    • Riruka took a slash to the shoulder and a Close-Call Haircut from a maddened Tsukishima to protect Ichigo (and Rukia, whose body she was temporarily inhabiting until then on) and get the attacker to listen to her as well. She's later healed by Orihime.
  • Blood+: David does this for Julia when Professor Collins attempts to kill her, which is a key factor in Julia's decision to return to the Red Shield.
  • In Blue Seed, Momiji receives her mitama when she attempts to shield Kusanagi from Orochi's attack, complete with a Big "NO!" and stuff.
  • In Brave10, the Head Priest of Izumo takes a Flechette Storm to save Isanami at the opening of the series.
  • Code Geass
    • In the first episode, C.C. takes a headshot meant for Lelouch. She gets better since she's pretty much immortal.
    • Happened in R2 too, where Kaname Ohgi takes several kunais to the chest in an attempt to save his ex-girlfriend Villetta from Sayoko's attack.
    • Suzaku arguably tries to invoke this trope in Turn 18 by firing his Hadron Cannon at Zero while telling Kallen to move out of the way, apparently having hoped that she'd take the shot for him and be knocked out of the fight. Boy is he surprised when she blocks it and isn't even scratched.
    • A random soldier did this to save Cornelia from Todou during the Black Rebellion.
    • Marianne, the mother of Lelouch and Nunally, protected the latter during a terrorist attack on their mansion. This saved the girl's life but left her blind and bound to a wheelchair, in part fueling Lelouch's thirst for revenge. Not really: Marianne was gunned down by her brother-in-law V.V, who was jealous of her influence in the Emperor's life. Then, the about-to-die Marianne used the opportunity to put her Grand Theft Me Geass to good use, switch into the body of Innocent Bystander Anya and remain in the game, so to say. Also, Nunally is blinded because her father used a Mind Control spell to force her to keep her eyes shut. The "crime scene" was then altered to make everyone believe Marianne had died protecting Nunnally from assassins targeting her and Lelouch.
  • In Count Cain Riff takes bullets (and other things that would have the same effect) for Cain quite frequently (well to a point where antagonists are annoyed he keeps getting in the way)
  • Kimihito Kurusu of Daily Life with Monster Girl does this frequently for the sake of his girls. It does not exactly help that the human world does not look too highly upon monster girls of their species.
  • In Darker Than Black, Hei takes bullets (he's armored) to shield a girl he assumed to be the assassins' target. It sort of backfired. Later the girl jumped before him, intercepting a Tele-Frag power aimed to tear his heart out. Another time he knocked prone his partner and covered her with himself from falling rubble. Which, yes, looked not like what it was.
  • In Date A Live, Shido Itsuka seems to love doing this. He did this for Tohka in Volume 1 (he got better), attempted this for Kurumi in Volume 4 (the targeter's aim shifted at the absolute last possible moment and missed; worth pointing out in this instance it would've been a genuine Heroic Sacrifice on his part if it hit, no healing or cheating death from this one), and in Volume 11 when he does this for Origami's parents.
  • The above Daily Life With Monster Girl example's fantasy Expy, Mamoru Onodera of Deadline Summonner does not fare much better. That it helps activate his Desperation Attack (if he can calculate the damage and damage adjustment right), and that he doesn't take much permanent damage from it makes it less dramatic than most examples.
  • Detective Conan
    • During the first Osaka mini-arc Conan takes a knife to the gut for Ran when a lunatic with a knife attacks them. He gets better because the blade hit a metal amulet he was wearing, thus he got just a bruise on his chest. Though this was actually a double Taking The Bullet: Heiji lent Conan that amulet because he had a nightmare where they both died, and the amulet is a good luck charm that seems to work. So the knife bounces off the amulet and Conan is relatively unharmed, but while confronting the real murderer Heiji is shot.
    • Just before the Desperate Revival arc, while the Shounen Tantei are trapped in a cave by a group of murderous bankrobbers, Conan takes a bullet for Genta and nearly bleeds to death.
    • In the 13th movie, Inspector Megure took a knife wound on the belly from a charging woman who then realized her mistake. Good thing Megure is overweight. And in the proper series/manga Megure took a metal pipe to the head to protect Sonoko from a Serial Killer targetting girls who wore special footwear, since one of them accidentally ran his son over due to said footwear. (Sonoko had purchased similar shoes, so that made her a target). Her's so Made of Iron that he doesn't get knocked out (though to be fair, he was wearing his Nice Hat), and even manages to deal a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the killer.
    • In the fourth movie, the reason for Ran's Laser-Guided Amnesia is that her mind was temporarily broken when Sato took at least four shots for her to save her from the movie's Big Bad. They both get better: Sato survived, and when Ran saw the killer threaten Conan similarly, Ran got her memories back and kicked his ass.
    • In the 14th movie The Raven Chaser, the one who protects Conan from being shot to death and dies in his place is Irish, a member of the Black Organization. Then again Irish's cover had already been blown so he wouldn't live for too long anyway.
    • In the 18th movie, Dimensional Sniper Sera Masumi shields Conan from a sniper targeting him and gets shot in his place. She makes it.
  • Digimon Adventure
    • Myotismon aims his deadly Grisly Wing attack at Kari and Gatomon, but Wizardmon gets in the way, and is killed instead.
    • This happens a few more times in Adventure first when Chuumon takes a dagger from Piedmon who was going to kill Mimi and when SabreLeomon takes a hit from MetalEtemon meant for Mimi and Joe. As a bit of a partial subversion, he manages to kill MetalEtemon before expiring.
    • Another example is when DemiDevimon fires a toxic dart at Sora and Biyomon takes it for her. In this case, Biyomon is actually not in danger of directly dying from the attack, as it's only fatal to humans (though it makes Digimon extremely sick.) Still, she did save Sora's life in the process and probably didn't care rather it'd kill her or not.
    • Baring a certain resemblance to Wizardmon, Baalmon does this in Digimon Xros Wars.
  • Digimon Frontier Lancer Kouji does this for Team Leader Takuya, diving between Takuya and their enemy Duskmon's sword, taking enough damage to not only turn Kouji back into human form but knock him unconscious as well, to Takuya's clear horror.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
  • In Durarara!!, volume 9 reveals that Izaya didn't stab Shinra like a lot of people think he did. Shinra took a knife wound for him when a student named Nakura demanded that Izaya give his money back in a bet he lost. Naturally, this incident seems to start something inside of Izaya as he declares that Nakura will suffer for hurting Shinra. Many years later, it comes off as Izaya stalking Nakura and then declaring to him at the end of volume 9 that he framed him for two major incidents that had been going on in that volume and that those people will hunt him down.
  • Almost happens twice in Eyeshield 21 when a psycho's about to start attacking everyone in the stands. Mamori steps forward to shield Suzuna from any prospect harm — shortly followed by Hiruma stepping up to shield Mamori as well. Luckily the situation is soon defused.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Laxus shoots a lightning bolt at Levi that probably would have killed her had Gajeel not jumped in front of her to take it. He does something similar at the end of the final battle to stop Laxus from finishing Natsu off; he turns his arm into iron and uses himself as a lightning rod.
    • Simon takes a bullet for Natsu and Erza. About fifty chapters later Jellal, who shot the first "bullet" takes a bullet for Natsu as well.
    • And in chapter 334, Gray shoves Juvia out of the way of a laser beam and gets shot multiple times in the chest and head as a result.
  • Played with in the FAKE OAV: when Ryo is cornered by a Serial Killer Knight Templar Parent who kills Japanese people in revenge for the rape and murder of his daughter at the hands of Japanese tourists, the one who stands between killer and victim is the dead girl's ghost, which has been seen intermitently around.
  • In the Fatal Fury first animated special, Joe Higashi is gravely wounded when he takes a bullet for Terry Bogard.
    • Terry himself protects Suila from a explosion, she repays him with Intimate Healing.
  • Sure, in Freezing, none of the readers liked Smug Snake Atia Simmons for being such an unlikable bitch, but you gotta feel something for her when her battle partner sacrificed himself for her. Cue Berserker Tears and Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist does this in the 2003 anime version. When military troops notice Lust and open fire on her, Scar instinctively leaps in front of her and takes the hits, despite knowing fully well that Lust wouldn't have died. She gently reprimands him for this afterward.
    Lust: You fool. You know it takes more than bullets to stop me.
    Scar: It wasn't for you. This damn body has a will of its own.
  • Played straight with Ginga Densetsu Weed when Jerome manages to alert the other dogs of the humans shooting at them. Poor Jerome literally takes a bullet for the pack. Heroic dog, indeed
  • Gundam
  • Katokk does this for Garrod in Gundam X.
  • Gungrave: In his mortal life Brandon Heat takes a bullet for Big Daddy. Later, being resurrected as Grave, the deadman he is doing that couple of times for Mika.
  • Gunslinger Girl:
    • In the manga, Angelica dies in hospital after taking a carbomb blast for Marco. Henrietta knocks a Bouncing Betty mine away from her handler Jose. The cyborg girls are conditioned to instinctively protect their handlers, and get distraught over the minor injuries Marco and Jose suffer in comparison to their own.
    • Triela does the literal version for Roberta during vol 7 of the manga. Later she takes a smoke grenade to the head while shielding fellow cyborg Beatrice. She survives both, as does Roberta (though still wounded), Beatrice however..
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki Nagato takes an awful lot of flying metal spears in order to shield Kyon in her fight against Asakura. She doesn't seem to mind, though.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de
    • In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 2 - Shiroki Ryuu no Miko OAV, Yoritada shields Karin from a flying sword — although because of the way he does this, he only gets a non-fatal arm injury. Nevertheless, still dramatic.
    • In the Hachiyou Shou TV series, Yorihisa protects Tenma from a sword-wielding mook this way, mirroring an incident from his past where his brother Sanehisa did the same to him. Unlike Sanehisa, Yorihisa survives, although the wound makes the subsequent battle significantly more difficult (at least until they get a power-up).
    • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 - Owarinaki Unmei has Masaomi taking an arrow for Nozomi; at first, it looks like he might have simply pushed her away without getting shot, but no...
  • Heartcatch Pretty Cure is loaded with these for a magical girl anime.
    • Yuri's Weasel Mascot Cologne takes a shot from Professor Sabahku to save her, leading him to be Killed Off for Real
    • Sabahku does one himself in the end, saving Yuri and Tsubomi from Dune.
    • A non-fatal version occurs in The Movie "Fashion Show in the City of Flowers?!" as Cure Blossom takes a shot from her own partner, Cure Marine to save the Brainwashed and Crazy Olivier. She loses her hairbow, her now-loose hair snapping him out of it as he recognizes Cure Blossom as Tsubomi.
  • Hellsing: At his first meeting with Integra, Alucard protects her from a gunshot with his own hand. Of course, for him, it's not that big a deal.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of InuYasha. Soten, the younger sister of the two Thunder Brothers defeated by Inu-Yasha earlier, sends her dragon minion to incapacitate Kagome and Inu-Yasha using Kagome's arrows. When Inu-Yasha jumps in front of Kagome in order to save her, it's revealed the arrows don't even harm anyone.
  • Jyu-Oh-Sei
    • Yuuki does this for Chen.
    • And Tiz takes a bullet for Zagi of all people, and dies, resulting in Face Death with Dignity for him, as he also ends up dying with her in his arms.
  • In one of the old The King of Fighters mangas (the one by Tatsuya Shinjyouji), the deaths of Sandra and Clara Heidern happened because of this trope. Rugal had kidnapped them and beaten Heidern to near death (including putting out one of his eyes), and when he moved for the final hit both of them shielded Heidern with their own bodies.
    • Similarly, in the KOF: G manga's third volume an already injured Kensou shields Athena from Goenitz. He lives to tell, but barely.
  • In Last Order: Final Fantasy VII Zack takes a sniper bullet that was aimed at Cloud before it cuts to black... some fans dispute this as it messes up the continuity of the games where Zack was shot by three soldiers. Though since it's 30 minute adaptation and played off as Rule of Drama it can be forgiven.
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, Paul von Oberstein jumps in front of Reinhard when an assassin fires a bazooka at the latter. Fortunately, Reinhard's best friend Kircheis manages to deflect the blow aside. In the very end of the series Oberstein in some way does it again, misguiding the Earth Cult terrorists to attack his office instead of the Kaiser's bedroom.
  • The Lupin III special Memories of the Flame ~Tokyo Crisis~ plays it straight in Maria's flashbacks. Zenigata also does this later on to protect her, but instead of killing him, the bullet only injured his leg.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, Nanoha does this to protect the helicopter carrying Shamal, Vice, and Vivio from a massive beam. Of course, since Nanoha's Exceed Mode is a lot tougher than a helicopter, she survives, much to the shock of the Cold Sniper that fired the shot.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Setsuna does this for Konoka during the Class Trip. Odd in that she managed to do this atop a 30-something story castle when she was on the ground seconds earlier. Maybe justified by her later Wing Pull. Or, considering that she had, earlier in that storyline, demonstrated the ability to jump over buildings in a single bound, it's not that weird.
    • Asuna makes use of the 'bulletproof' variant in the next volume. Having learned that their enemy's petrification spells only cause her public embarrassment (she is largely immune to magic, her clothes aren't) she puts herself between Negi and an impressive beam of power at the cost of yet another top.
    • Later in the same arc Negi tried to do this for one of his students. She swatted him aside upon spotting the danger and took the incoming stone spear through the midsection rather messily, but that merely irritated Evangeline... as the attacker promptly regretted.
    • Also, near the very beginning of the manga, in a game of dodgeball Asuna catches a ball aimed (with enough force to hurt) at Negi, and he does the same for a fallen Asuna later.
    • Next Arc Nodoka gets to do this for Negi with a bullet that sends the person hit forward in time by 3 hours. However before Chamo reminds Negi and Yue of this, they do the standard grief sequence.
    • In later chapters, Aisha, Mama (the bear woman), Tosaka, and Emily all do this; Taking the Bullet for Nodoka, Natsumi, Ako, and Yue, respectively. Although it turns out that all of them would actually have been just fine if they hadn't done it. Well, it's the thought that counts. They are revived later, too.
  • Mai-Otome
    • Erstin does this when a bottle of acid gets dropped on Arika, and gets away with just a burn on her leg.
    • And then does it later, throwing her slave in the way to save Arika from Nina's attack. This time, she doesn't fare as well.
  • In Mamotte! Lollipop Zero gets in the way of an attack meant for Nina
  • My Bride is a Mermaid plays this for laughs, as Nagasumi constantly has to "take the bullet" for various mermaids whenever something threatens to splash them with water (they revert to mermaid form if they get wet, and he has to maintain The Masquerade). It's played seriously in the series finale when he takes a literal bullet for Sun. Fortunately, he's also capable of catching the bullet.
  • Naruto:
    • Iruka has a Taking the Shuriken moment in the first episode when he jumps in front of Naruto to save him from Mizuki's giant shuriken. This was mirrored later in the series when Mizuki throws a giant shuriken at Iruka and Naruto protects him the same way.
    • In Shippuuden, Chouza Akimichi is nearly killed after taking a hit from Pain to protect Chouji. He later turned out to have survived. Which was proceeded by one of Pain bodies taking the Raikiri for the other. And Kakashi's sacrifice with the whole using his Kamui to save Chouji straight afterwards, and dying from the efforts himself.
    • Chouza does it again against zombie Asuma, jumping in front of a giant burning ash cloud and getting badly burned.
    • And then there's poor little Haku, who was impaled through the chest protecting Zabuza.
    • Sasuke jumps in front of Haku's attack to protect Naruto in one memorable scene. Cue Sasuke's claims of "My body moved on its own" and Naruto's Unstoppable Rage.
    • Tsuande imitates Kushina and lets herself get impaled and badly slashed protecting Naruto from Orochimaru, since she know he's Worth It. Oh and what even more awesome? (A Tsunade was ironically Afraid of Blood at the time and (B her Medical Jutsu activated because of it allowing her to kick Orochimaru's ass.
    • Sakura lets herself be impaled to protect Chiyo.
    • Obito does this for Kakashi pushing him out of the way of a falling boulder and getting crushed as a result. But this actually doesn't kill him as Big Bad Mandra saves him and makes him his right hand man.
    • Suigetsu takes a giant ass chakra blast from a transformed Killer Bee to protect his team. Naturally, this only renders him unconscious, since Suigetsu was a lake at the time.
    • One truly tragic example is Naruto's parents Minato and Kushina jump in front the nine tails's attack aimed for baby Naruto and get impaled as a result. as if this wasn't sad enough, Minato and Kushina then tearfully say goodbye to their baby boy and give him advice for the future and apologize for not being in it.
    • And in what is probably one of the most Tear Jerker example of them all, there's somewhat of a subversion. Hinata was ready to pull this trope on Naruto to protect him from the Ten-tails' fatal Mokuton -Sashiki no Jutsu... but the one who does it in the end is actually Neji, shielding the other two. He ends up Impaled with Extreme Prejudice... and very much dead, much to the sadness of both Hinata and Naruto.
    • Kakashi and Obito do this for Naruto and Sasuke respectively, using their bodies to block Kaguya's All-Killing Ash Bones. Kakashi's is immediately subverted when Obito uses the last of his strength to teleport away the bone heading for Kakashi.
  • In Noir, Kirika takes a bullet meant for Mireille during the final confrontation with Altena. In a Moment of Awesome, she gets back up, tells Altena that she's rejecting her destiny as Noir, and charges her, hurling them both into the nearby lava pit. Though she doesn't much want to, Kirika survives, thanks to Mireille's last-second intervention.
  • In Onegai My Melody, Hiiragi grabbed Uta and tried to give her a Forceful Kiss, which would have severed her spiritual connection to My Melody and taken away most of My Melody's power. Kakeru tries to save her and lunges, intending to tackle Hiiragi away, but ends up between them and gets kissed instead. Both men are disgusted and Hiiragi retreats.
  • One Piece
    • At the start of the series Shanks did this for Luffy at the cost of his arm. It's even implied he could've avoided this outcome, but Shanks sacrificed his arm as he "made a bet on the new age" i.e Luffy becoming Pirate King.
    • Luffy does this at least once (although he's immune to the bullets due to his Gum-Gum Fruit powers).
    • Later exploited by Wapol's Quirky Miniboss Squad member Chess, who shoots three arrows (very large ones at that) at a group of innocent bystanders, causing Dalton to hurl himself into their path. It works, but, like every other non-flashback character, he gets better later.
    • Frank pulls it off spectacular fashion when Spandam orders the Marines to open fire on Robin. Being a Cyborg helps dissuade bullets from hurting him or Robin.
    • Sanji does this a number of times (usually when Nami is involved), in Skypeia when facing lighting powered Enel he kicks Usopp out of the way of a massive lighting blast that was aimed for Usopp and Nami. Sanji took the blast head on giving time for his crewmates to escape despite Nami's reluctance to abandon him, after he'd been electrocuted Sanji says a One-Liner before collapsing. Lucky Usopp comes right back and takes the unconscious Sanji away to safety.
      • Later in Thriller Bark, Sanji keeps Nami out of Absalom's reach and lets the latter just wail on him to protect her. Sanji only drops Nami so he doesn't get his blood on her wedding dress.
      • In Whole Cake Island when rescuing Luffy, Sanji gets smashed into the ground and even shot in the arm all while shielding his captain, yeah Sanji is a fan of this.
    • Portgas D. Ace takes a magma fist for Luffy to protect him from Akainu. This marks a turning point for the manga because this moment finally subverts Death Is Cheap. Unlike the other examples, Ace is the first character to die in the present story and Luffy has to face that trauma.
      • Jinbe also gets himself badly burned protecting Luffy from Akainu though he survives.
    • Happened also with Queen Otohime, who jumps to save a Tenryuubito at the Fishmen Arc.
    • Subverted villainous example with the Vinsmoke family, as they have their Clone Army jump in and block attacks on their command. This results in death of said clones who are dispensable to the family.
  • In Requiem for the Phantom, Zwei's assassination run on Scythe Master ends in failure when Ein takes a bullet for Scythe, who responds by shooting a despondent Zwei in the back and leaving him for dead.
  • Pokémon:
    • Ash Ketchum actually does this at the end of Pokémon: The First Movie as an attempt to end Mew and Mewtwo's battle.
    • Ash's already injured Fletchinder gets between him and an angry Moltres's Fire Blast. Instead of getting trashed, it evolves into Talonflame and gains Brave Bird, dueling Moltres long enough for it to calm down.
    • Ash does this a lot. If he's afraid an attack could really hurt a Pokemon, he'll jump in and take the attack instead.
  • Rosario + Vampire
    • Though literal bullets are rarely used, Tsukune is very notable for his habit of throwing himself in front of attacks to protect his friends. He is (or was) technically the weakest among them, leading to his Emergency Transformation.
    • Ginei did this once as well... damn near killed him.
  • In Rose of Versailles, this is how Andre dies, while trying to protect Oscar.
  • Rurouni Kenshin
    • Tomoe steps in to try and wrestle the knife out of an enemy's hands, but thanks to Kenshin being blinded earlier in the fight he can't see her and accidentally kills them both.
    • There's a sort-of nonlethal example inh the episode that introduced Sanosuke. Kenshin, Kaoru and Yahiko are in Tae's restaurant and a bunch of drunkards on a nearby table start fighting, then Kenshin tenses up without reason as they try to just eat their meal. The following moment, one of the drunkards tosses a pot and hits Kenshin on the back of his head, almost knocking him out cold...
    Sanosuke: "You knew this would happen. And had you moved, this girl [Kaoru] would be covered in her own blood"
    • It happens once more in the end of the Shishio battle where Yumi steps in front of Shishio to shield him from Kenshin's attack only for Shishio to stab Kenshin through her, resulting in Yumi's death in Shishio's arms.
    • Also happens again at the end of the fight with Enishi, where Kaoru tries to take a bullet for Kenshin, but is stopped by Enishi himself, who delivers a blow to the person firing, knocking the gun out of his hands. In the Seishouhen OAV, it's played differently: Enishi and Kenshin are fighting alone, Enishi is about to stab Kenshin when he's on the ground but Kaoru throws herself on top of Kenshin and Enishi stops attacking.
    • Aoshi Shinomori took a bullet for one of his followers in the Anime. (In the manga it was already aimed at him) Aoshi's followers later took several bullets to save Aoshi and allow Kenshin to defeat the shooter.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Tuxedo Mask does this for Sailor Moon at least once in each season, and it usually results in his death/capture, eliciting from Sailor Moon a Big "NO!". Also, in the Marine Cathedral episode, Neptune sees Eudial threatening Uranus with a gun and proceeds to run towards them while being shot from all directions and ultimately takes the shot intended for Uranus, who goes on to kill herself anyway. Also, Neptune was captured previously in the same episode by taking a hit from a stone that would have hit Uranus otherwise.
    • DiC apparently disapproves of this trope, as they recut the first season example (where he gets between Sailor Moon and Zoisite's ice crystal) to look as though Tuxedo Mask was the intended target all along; though it's possible that they only did this for established heroes, since they don't edit out Prince Diamond doing the exact same thing as mentioned below.
    • In the R movie, Usagi saves Chibiusa from a plant this way, and Tuxedo Mask does the same thing when Fiore tries to stab Sailor Moon.
    • Similarly, in the series Neo Queen Serenity does this to protect Chibi-Usa during the Black Moon invasion. She's severely injured and thus must be frozen into crystal for her own sake; Chibi-Usa goes to the past to seek Sailor Moon's help and the Silver Crystal unaware that she is Usagi's Kid from the Future, as the Neo Queen is Usagi's adult self.
    • All four inner scouts die in this way in the last season when they take hits from Galaxia in order to protect Sailor Moon, Chibi Chibi and the Starlights.
    • An also does this, throwing herself in the path of one of the Makaiju's branches to save Ail.
    • Prince Diamond does this for Sailor Moon when Wiseman fires an attack at her.
    • Hawk's Eye in the fourth season does this for Fish Eye, when Mr. Magic Pierrot tries to kill him with a projectile from his hat. We even see the smoking hole where it hit. And then he gets better about several minutes later.
  • Saint Seiya
    • Pegasus Seiya will do this for Saori every chance he gets. Most notable of all: stopping Aiolia's special technique with his hands when Saori actually demands for Aiolia to gang up on her so she can block his attack and gain his favor; taking Poseidon's Trident to the chest for her (he waved it off by claiming it was the will of the Sagittarius Cloth he was wearing, but no one was fooled); and then taking Hades' Sword in the heart. It didn't kill him, but it destroyed his Cosmo and left him as little more than a vegetable for more than a while.
    • Sometimes, Seiya's best friend and partner Dragon Shiryu will do this for his friends, but he has the advantage of wielding the Dragon Shield (said to be one of the strongest shields ever) on his forearm, making it a much more reasonable act.
  • In the final episode of Sands of Destruction, Kyrie shields an unconscious Morte from falling rocks using his back. It smarts a bit, but he quickly brushes it off.
  • Uesugi Kenshin of Sengoku Basara goes one step further and takes three bullets in order to save his Ninja love interest. And she's meant to the bodyguard!
  • Soul Eater
    • Crona ends up taking the bullet for Maka during a battle with Medusa.
    • Later on, Asura uses this to his benefit during a battle with Shinigami-sama and intentionally aims for bystanders during the fight to make his opponent take the bullet.
    • Earlier than both those examples, and not technically a bullet, but Soul puts himself between Maka and Ragnarok after Maka can't bring herself to use him to defend against the sword (Ragnarok at the time being the vastly superior Weapon).
    • Fridge Logic in the Shinigami example, because while the bystanders — and Asura appears to be aiming specifically for Kid — obviously would be harmed by the Kishin's attack, what Asura does doesn't look much different from his other attacks which Shinigami avoided or blocked with Spirit. And yet on that occasion he threw himself into the path of the "bullet", also placing his Weapon out of the way of a direct hit.
  • In episode 14 of Sword Art Online, Asuna does this to save Kirito from a fatal sword strike. It very nearly breaks him. She survives, though.
  • In the last episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Lord Genome takes the bullet for the heroes' mecha. By bullet, I mean a Big Bang powered beam, and by taking it, I mean hurling himself to it, transforming said beam into a freaking galaxy-sized drill, with his head on the tip!
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu takes a superheated crossbow bolt to the chest for Barnaby. Seeing the lengths the other hero is willing to go in order to protect him, Barnaby begins to drop the Jerkass act and let himself trust Kotetsu.
  • In the manga version of Tokyo Mew Mew, immediately before the final battle with Deep Blue, Pie and Tart aim a powerful attack at Ichigo — all four other girls jump in the way and take the huge bullet themselves. Mint actually manages a laugh about how "we're all thinking the same thing," and they send Ichigo ahead while they stay and fight.
  • In the web series of Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu, Taiga takes a missile to protect White Crystal Hope. As a result, Brave Backdraft is totaled.
  • Matsuka for Keith in Toward the Terra.
  • Semi-minor character Brad does this for Vash in episode 21 of Trigun, and dies in front of him and his friends. Vash is, understandably, horrified.
  • In the episode 72 from UFO Robo Grendizer (one of the Mazinger Z sequels), during an aerial duel between Grendizer and another starship, Rubina flies her own ship between Grendizer and an energy beam to save Duke. She dies shortly after. Her Heroic Sacrifice is done more tragic because Duke had accused her of betraying him shortly before. The whole episode was a Tear Jerker.
  • In Vampire Game, Hume takes a sword for Illsaide.
  • In the 9th episode of The Vision of Escaflowne when one of Dilandau's spike's goes out of control on his Guymelef, one of them heads straight for Hitomi, Allen dives in front with his Guymelef and takes the hit, he survives but he's seriously injured.
  • Wolf's Rain has a particularly cruel twist on this trope: Toboe sees Quent and Darcia pulling guns on each other and leaps between them in an attempt to take the bullet for Quent — but ends up taking Quent's bullet instead. Especially ironic since Quent has previously tried to shoot Toboe on several occasions. The irony is compounded because the shock of having shot the wolf who tried to save him causes him to drop his guard and get shot anyway. The only small consolation is that the wolf and wolf-hunter share a brief moment of reconciliation before they die.
  • In the X1999 movie, Yuzuriha Nekoi dies like this. More exactly, she shields Kamui from two massive electric cables and is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice for her trouble, then dies in Kamui's arms.
    • In it's prequel Tokyo Babylon Seishirou gets between Subaru and a desparate mother with a knife needing a healthy kidney for her severly ill son and loses one of his eyes (or at least goes blind in it) in the process
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Kisara does this for Priest Seto.
    • Much earlier, When Mai is trapped and about to be attacked Yami Marik's Winged Dragon of Ra, Joey jumps in tries to free her from the chains. Marik then decides to attack them both. Just when the attack is about to connect, Yugi jumps in front of them in time and takes the brunt of the attack. He's temporarily knocked unconscious.
      • The poses for that scene neatly mirror My Body as a Shield, an actual card that sacrifices some of the player's life points to protect monsters from a Spell or Trap that would otherwise destroy them.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, one of Asuka/Alexis's signature cards is the Trap Card Doble Passe, an anime-only card (at the time) that is activated when her monster is attacked, protecting the monster by letting the attack hit her. In return for that, the monster is then able to make a direct attack against the opponent. Asuka used this Trap frequently, and in the Series Finale it was a symbolic card that she used to escape the World of Darkness.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, after Yuma and Astral used their Zexal II form to defeat Number 96 to prevent the three worlds from being destroyed, Number 96 decides to try to take control of Astral. As Number 96 charges at them as a spear-shaped bolt of energy, Astral quickly undoes Zexal so that Yuma wouldn't get hit by the attack too.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Yami does this for Tea and Joey when they're targeted by the Five-Headed Dragon, though he's just badly hurt rather than killed. In the final battle, Baby Dragon, Thunder Kid, and Happy Lover do a fatal example to save Solomon Muto.
  • In Macross Delta, Makina does this for Freyja when a Windermerian sniper aims for her in Episode 24.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman has done this a few times, but being Immune to Bullets, it's not quite as dramatic.
    • In The Death of Superman; The Return Of Superman, the Eradicator does this for Superman, and as the bullet in question is a ridiculously huge dose of green kryptonite, it's thoroughly dramatic.
    • Then there's the example used as the page picture for Stupid Sacrifice, which is more ridiculous than dramatic.
    • Kryptonite Nevermore: Superman dives in front of a torpedo heading towards a freighter. Since he has lost most of his power it's thoroughly dramatic. The explosion doesn't kill him but it leaves him dazed.
  • Supergirl has also done this fairly often. Some examples:
  • Booster Gold does this for Blue Beetle (Ted), "Nooooo" and all. The bullet passes though his goggles harmlessly but they let you think that he's dead for a second.
  • In an Establishing Character Moment early in Batgirl (2009), Cassandra Cain takes several rounds while reaching a gun-wielding thug rather than dodge and endanger... another of the gang she and Batman are facing. Thus taking Thou Shalt Not Kill to a new level.
  • Sabretooth does this for Monet in Uncanny X-Men (2015). He & Monet are on a mission to find & protect Elixir. Sabes, sensing their attackers, tackles Monet & Elixir to the ground. Elixir starts to get up, but Creed continues holding on to Monet, shouting in pain while he's shot in the back.
  • In the ElfQuest series Kings of the Broken Wheel, Cutter takes two arrows meant for the High One Timmain. He survives, but not without difficulty.
  • The first Crimson Dynamo, Anton Vanko, does an inverted version of this for Tony Stark after defecting from Russia and working for/becoming friends with him. Vanko deliberately fired an unstable, experimental laser pistol at the second (and evil) Crimson Dynamo in order to kill him before Dynamo could kill Iron Man, even knowing that doing so would probably mean his own death as well. It does.
  • Has happened at least twice in the comic book version of W.I.T.C.H.. During the fifth saga, Cedric gets in the way of a beam which would've killed Orube, and in the seventh saga Liam is killed by a sword that the White Queen threw at Mariko.
  • In the Chick Tract "Murph," Murph's partner, Officer Donovan does this for him, since he believes he, being an "unsaved" Catholic, isn't ready to die. Interestingly enough, Donovan gets off with flesh wounds while Murph is mortally wounded.
  • In Birds of Prey a young teleporter calling herself Batgirl (complete with homemade Batgirl outfit) teleported herself in front of a bullet meant for Huntress. Fortunately her teleportation came with a Healing Factor and she teleported herself to Barbara in time to save herself.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark does this far too often for good sense during battles, especially for Captain America. Granted, his protective armor does give him some logical basis for this, but he still frequently winds up badly injured.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, we have the eponymous Spidey doing this to save Captain America from a sniper's bullet. He dies, yes, but not before going out in a blaze of glory by fending off the Sinister Six.
    • That deserves a bit more detail: After taking a bullet for Cap and being left to be found by paramedics, Spidey starts making his way to a hospital. Unfortunately, he realizes the Sinister Six are going after his family and friends, so he makes a detour to save them. After repeated hope spots and barely managing to fend off and defeat the Sinister Six while bleeding out, he is actually rescued by Aunt May and Gwen Stacy. But, after seeing Norman Osborn get back up, Peter uses the last ounce of his strength to stop Osborn and save his family and friends before bleeding out on the front lawn of his own house with all of Queens watching. So one physical bullet and dozens of metaphorical ones.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, a heart-broken Mina Mongoose throws herself between Princess Sally and Sonic (who had just reconciled and admitted their feelings) and a bullet from Nack the Weasel. The comic makes it seems she died, but then she's seen in a hospital room recovering.
  • In Uncanny X-Men, Rogue took a sustained laser blast meant for Wolverine and Mariko. This after Wolverine had said to her face that he would have liked nothing better than to cut out her heart for what she had done previously to Carol Danvers. The blast was enough to nearly kill even her; since she won his respect by this sacrifice, Wolverine risked his own life (he had been poisoned and badly wounded earlier on in the issue) to let her absorb his Healing Factor.
  • Towards the end of both continuities of Life with Archie: The Married Life, Archie saves Kevin Keller's life from assassination by getting in the line of fire and charging at would-be assassin and busboy Wendell... and ends up taking the bullet for Kevin before dying.
  • In the first issue of All-New Wolverine we see Laura take several sniper rounds getting the target of an assassination attempt to safety, ending with a Boom, Headshot! as she is shoving the man into his armored limo. She shakes the damage off within minutes, but it is clearly not fun.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When a mobster she's set to testify against sends a mook to kill Officer Isabelle Modini the junkie that put her in the hospital in the first place is in her room trying to apologize to her while she belittles him, and he jumps in between her and her attacker, saving her life but dying at the foot of her bed.
  • In Young Avengers, Patriot takes a shot from a Kree blaster meant for Captain America much to Cap's horror. Steve is all set to donate his blood to save Eli, but Eli's grandfather Isaiah beat him to it.

    Fan Works 
  • In Power Girl fanfic A Force of Four, Kara shields both Hippolyta and Fury from a heat beam barrage. The pain is unbearable even for Power Girl, but she stands her ground and takes it.
    The three women surged forward again, wearing grim battle-faces that might have been those of Greeks in the Trojan War.
    Before they had covered half the distance, all three felt the pain of searing heat along their bodies.
    Power Girl halted, grabbed her two allies, and tossed them to the ground. Then she spread her body over the both of them and stretched her cape to its full extent, shielding them as best she could. "Stay down, you two," she warned.
    "We've gotta fight ‘em!" wailed Fury.
    "They'd... broil you like a hot dog," grated Kara. "Stay down, and I mean it!"
    The three outlaws of Krypton were standing in a circle about Power Girl, sending six beams of heat from their eyes at her caped back. One Kryptonian could cause pain. Two could injure. Three could destroy.
    But Hippolyta and Fury lacked the Kryptonian durability to withstand heat vision for a time. Without her protection, both women would soon burn to death.
    Kara bit her lip to keep from screaming. The terrible beams seared her back like a grid of white-hot iron. That, despite her protective cape. There was only so much longer she could take it.
    Her brain rushed to formulate an escape stratagem before the three of them could die.
    But all she could really come up with right then was to lie there and take it.
  • In this fanart it's Batgirl who shields Supergirl.
  • In the Mass Effect fiction Another Realm, the protagonist Cieran has the job of taking the bullet repeatedly, most often to save his friends or his lover, Nynsi Shaaryak. He has power armour, but it remains outside the realm of Plot Armour, resulting in near-fatal injuries.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, Gallantmon recieves a Trump Sword meant for Taomon and later, Kazu receives a Flame Inferno attack meant for Suzie
  • An ER fanfic had Doug doing this for the two people he loved most—girlfriend Carol and best friend Mark. Video footage of the incident shows that indeed, Carol would have been the one shot had he not pushed her and Mark out of the way.
  • A variation in Reality Is Fluid. In an Offscreen Moment of Awesome (Eleya, the viewpoint character, was on another deck at the time) Gaarra tackles a civilian scientist out of the way of an exploding EPS conduit and takes the full blast on his back, coming out with severe burns and shrapnel injuries. Still sorta fits here, as the conduit had exploded due to sabotage.
  • Another variant in The Wrong Reflection. In the midst of a big Space Battle, a Terran Empire Defiant-class ship tries to ram the USS Bajor. T'Var, Eleya's former operations officer and now the commander of an Ushaan-class starship, flies her ship in between and takes the ramming attack herself.
  • In the fanfic Prison Island Break. Sonic the Hedgehog defeats Metal Sonic, but the robot shoots at him in its death throes while he is distracted by his own awesomeness. Manic jumps to take three bullets for him.
  • In Being Dead Ain't Easy, while already banged up from an exploding limo, Joey officially dies taking a bullet for Seto Kaiba.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Cutie Bloom, Applejack, who is angered that Apple Bloom ran away because of Diamond Tiara, chews out her father Filthy Rich for "raising a monster" and tries to buck him in the face. Fluttershy, who doesn't want her to lose her head, jumps in front of him to take the buck.
  • Thousand Shinji: During the Geofront Siege, an enemy squad shot at Shinji right when he got distracted and careless, and Misato leapt in the path of the bullets and shielded him with her body.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: When a death squad attempts to kill Rei, Gendo shields her with his body.
  • In the Frozen fanfic Becoming Free, Freya takes an arrow to the shoulder for her girlfriend Elsa. This turned out to be a Career-Ending Injury however Elsa assigns Freya as her personal bodyguard in return.
  • The Changelings Have a King:
    • During the Battle of Ponyville, Cup Cake takes the strike of a newborn changeling for her filly Pumpkin. Later, Crescendo attempts to do this for Rarity, but Spike jumps in front of them both.
    • Shortly thereafter, Chrysalis jumps in front of Shining Armor's final strike at Carapace- but it's played with in that she did it not simply to save him but to strip him and her surviving drones of their changeling forms with her death, after he drained her of love.
  • In Dreaming of Sunshine, Shikako uses the replacement technique to protect Sasuke from Itachi's Tsukuyomi, which means she gets hit by it instead.
  • During the climax of Old West, Rango of all people takes the bullet Dufayel aims at Grace Glossy and her son. He survives and comments "Wounded Bird was right... ow... that was a bad idea..."
  • The Planets takes place during wartime. Riza's Plot-Triggering Death occurs off-screen prior to the start of the fic. It's shown that she took several bullets from a sniper who was trying to hit Roy.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic ResurrectedMemories: In the chapter "The Value of a Life", Skulker is fighting Danny and ends up sending a missile to a pair of civilians, unaware that it is Ember as Amberline Lain. Ember is saved from near death when Danny willingly steps in and takes the missile blast in her place. Ember was so stunned that Danny nearly risked his life to save hers and it's what causes her to permanently give up her original “Evil Plan” and see Danny as a real friend.
  • In 25m Distance Between Us, Pauline is shot at during the climax, but Mario takes the Bullet Bill for her. He would have died if not for both Cappy's help and later a 1-Up Mushroom fixing his wounds.
  • In Of Quirks And Magic, Izuku takes a blade of spacial energy to the chest for Kaminari and subsequently collapses.
  • In Severance, the already injured Delia jumps in front of Professor Oak to save him from Giovanni. She gets hit point-blank by a Hyper Beam but survives.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton (Danny Phantom, Western Animation, TV Series, and Comic Books.): Non fatal example. Danny takes a kryptonite missile that Skulker fired at Kara Kent, which doesn't hurt him, since he is not from Krypton.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic A Rose And A Thorn 4: Origins, during the Downfall of ARK chapter, the echidna-clone Midnight takes a missile from a GUN Mech for Mirage by tossing her into an adjacent hallway, and loses about half his body in the explosion. In the Epilogue you learn that he survived by crawling into a stasis tube.
    • Word of God is that as the clone of an echidna killed by the god Chaos, Midnight is no longer fully mortal as the DNA the scientists retrieved was mutated.

    Films — Animation 
  • Something of a reversal in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie: Optimus Prime has bested Megatron, and is about to finish him off with his gun. Megatron begs for mercy to buy time to try and get a nearby gun. Just as Optimus Prime is about to finally blast Megatron, Hot Rod jumps in the way to stop Megatron getting to it. Megatron simply overpowers Hot Rod, gets the gun, and mortally wounds Optimus Prime.
  • King Harold on Shrek 2 jumps in front of Shrek when the Fairy Godmother shoots her wand at the ogre. The spell bounces off his armor and hits her, turning her into a mass of bubbles. Rather than killing Harold, the spell just turns him into a frog, which is what he really was to begin with.
  • 9
    • 1 pushes 9 out of the way of the soul-sucking ray... thing that the Fabrication machine unleashes.
    • And earlier, 2 does the exact same thing, pushing 9 down as the Fabrication machine initially powers up.
  • In the Hungarian animated film Vuk, or The Little Fox as it's known in the U.S., Vic or Vuk's uncle Karack sees a hunter from the distance pointing a gun at Vuk and his mate Foxy he dives in front of the bullet taking the hit for them.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shen fires his cannon at Po, only to have Tigress push him out of the way and take the blast herself. She survives, but is badly wounded.
  • The Incredibles has Mirage trying to pull this on Syndrome when Mr. Incredible, consumed with grief with the possible death of his entire family, and enraged at Syndrome shooting down their plane, lunges at him while confined to energy wires. Syndrome repays her by daring Mr. Incredible to kill her when he claims that he could crush her like a toothpick.
  • At the end of The Iron Giant, the title alien robot's original programming as a killing machine is restored, and he goes apeshit on the US military. The paranoid government official who calls in the troops grabs the general's radio and orders the nearby submarine to launch a nuke at the giant, not realizing that the giant is right in front of him. Realizing what the nuke is going to do, the giant flies off and intercepts the nuke on its way down. Slightly different in that the nuke was meant for him but was going to destroy the entire town.
  • The first Ice Age movie has Diego taking the blow for Manny during the battle with Soto after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Disney's Pocahontas, John Smith does this for Chief Powhatan, who was about to be shot by Governor Ratcliffe. Although the shot itself ends in Bloodless Carnage, John is injured badly enough to warrant his return to Europe if he wants to have a chance at survival, forever separating him from Pocahontas.
  • Anna does this in Frozen when Hans is about to cut down her sister, Elsa, with a sword. She rushes over in the nick of time while turning into solid ice. Instead of shattering from his sword, it's the sword that shatters and it knocks him backwards.
  • The Book of Life:
    • When Xibalba's snake first attacks Manolo, Maria pushes him out of the way and gets bitten herself, resulting in her apparent death.
    • Word of God confirmed that Sacrdelita lost her eye (and possibly her life) from taking a bullet for her sister.
  • Open Season: Shaw has Boog cornered and prepares to shoot him when Elliot leaps in front and the bullet hits him instead. Enraged, Boog pins Shaw to the ground and roars fiercely in his face, before tying him up with his own gun. Elliot's fine; the bullet only shot off his remaining antler.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017):
    • Derpy/Muffins pushes Twilight out of the way of a petrification grenade, allowing the Princess of Friendship to escape with her friends.
    • Tempest Shadow/Fizzlepop Berrytwist dives toward one to prevent the Storm King from petrifying Twilight and her friends.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Air Force One
    • When a MiG fires a missile at the title aeroplane, one of the escorting F-15 pilots flies his aircraft directly in the way, destroying it and dying while saving everybody on board the 747. In a subversion, shrapnel from the destroyed jet tears up the tail of Air Force One, making it unable to continue flying. Although this is still less damage than the missile itself would have caused.
    • A more traditional example happens earlier, when a cowardly official gets his heroic redemption.
  • Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. She was trying to use her forcefield to stop the javelin thrown by Doom on the Silver Surfer, but it went right through it since it was formed from the energy of the Surfer's surf, which was shown to be able to go right through it earlier in the movie.
  • Parodied in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold when Jon Lovitz' character takes a bullet for Billy Crystal's character, shares some tearful last words with his brother, and black out... then immediately revives upon discovering the bullet was a blank.
  • Subverted in an intense scene of The Cavemans Valentine when Romulus tries to do this for his daughter. He throws himself on top of her as a badguy starts shooting. She then continues firing at the bad guy while pinned under her hysterically yelling father. Romulus, seconds later: "Are you shot? Am I? We're alright? We're not shot? You're alive? I'm alive? How can that be?"
  • Though it never happens, in Dave, Ving Rhames' job is essentially to take a bullet for Kevin Kline. He later admitted he'd do it for Dave as well.
  • Inverted in Supertweak, where a Secret Service agent jumps in front of the President. The shooter just waits for him to hit the ground, and then takes the shot.
  • In Big Game, Agent Morris took the bullet intended for president before the start of a movie, leaving him with shrapnel dangerously close to his heart and a foul opionion about Moore, leading directly to his Bodyguard Betrayal.
  • Clint Eastwood's Secret Service agent from In the Line of Fire, at the last possible second, figures out who the assassin is, and jumps in time to take a bullet which was aimed at the President.
  • Agent Sam Simms (Sinbad) jumps in time to take a bullet for the President's son in First Kid.
  • In Spider-Man 3, Harry is impaled by Venom with his own glider saving Peter, much like his father was while trying to kill Peter.
  • Kate takes a dodgeball strike for Peter in the final match in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. Complete with slow-motion dive and long, drawn-out "nooooo".
  • In The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc a French knight takes an arrow for Joan of Arc.
  • Occurs near the end of the Fatal Fury motion picture. The newly resurrected god of war immediately launches a blast of fire at the nearest person, which happened to be Mai... until Andy leaped in front of her... until Laocorn leaped in front of ''him'', screaming his sister's name. Powerful... but marred by the vaguely irritating fact that Sulia had already died to redeem him.
  • In the Oscar scene of The Bodyguard Kevin Costner's character does this for Whitney Houston's character.
  • Hot Fuzz, Danny takes a blunderbuss shot to the chest to protect Nicholas. He gets better.
  • Played straight... no, inverted... no, subverted in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Gay Perry takes a bullet for Harry, allowing him to save the day and the girl! But then, the girl notices a bullet hole in his jacket. Turns out that the bullet went straight through Perry and still hit Harry. But not to worry! The bullet hit a paperback book in his pocket! Aaaaand went straight through. Harry sticks his finger through the hole in the book, wiggles it, pokes at the hole in his chest, then faints.
  • In Turner & Hooch, the title dog saves the hero by Taking the Bullet, with obvious consequences.
  • X-Men Film Series
  • Murder at 1600 has this happen at the end of the film, with a disgraced Secret Service agent protecting the President from his National Security Advisor. It was a weird movie.
  • In a manner of speaking, this is how Randy Quaid saves the Earth in Independence Day, by flying his plane into the "barrel" of a Death Ray and causing it to backfire into the ship.
  • In Crash, Daniel, the locksmith tells his young daughter that she has an invisible cloak that protects her from bullets, because she's too scared to sleep after hearing gunshots. Later, she jumps in front of him to protect her father from a gunman with her invisible "invincible cloak." In reality, the gun had been loaded with blanks, unbeknownst to the shooter, and the little girl lives, convinced that she really saved her daddy's life.
  • In The Golden Child, Action Girl and Love Interest Kee Nang takes a crossbow bolt for The Chosen One, Chandler Jarrell. Fortunately, she's Only Mostly Dead, giving Jarrell an additional incentive to rescue the Golden Child.
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Rawhide interposes his body to take the poisonous mini-starfish a Red Lectroid spat at Buckaroo. He ends up dying as a result.
  • Batman: The Movie (1966). Batman and Robin are trapped on a buoy with a torpedo coming toward them and there's an explosion. Later:
    Robin: Gosh, Batman, the nobility of the almost-human porpoise.
    Batman: True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours.
  • In Stargate, Daniel Jackson takes a staff blast meant for Colonel O'Neil, and dies. Ra resurrects him with his sarcophagus.
  • Jim Gordon in The Dark Knight pushes the mayor out of the line of fire when the imposter honor guard turns their weapons on him and is shot in the back. He gets better.
  • Archie Moses (Adam Sandler) takes a bullet for Jack Carter (Damon Wayans) in Bulletproof. He gets better.
  • One of the Haters in the Christian movie Revelation from the Apocalypse film series sacrifices himself to block a bullet Willy Spino fires at his half-sister Helen Hannah after he receives the Mark of the Beast and ditches the wheelchair. Her protector, though, gets better.
  • Subverted in The Scorpion King. Cassandra, upon prophesizing the future, realizes that the Scorpion King is most likely to die at the hand of one of Mammon's archers, and that it is about to pass, attempts to take the arrow for the Scorpion King, but instead, he ends up getting her out of harms way, thus getting himself hit anyways. Luckily, he's just that tough and survives.
  • In Young Sherlock Holmes, the villain shoots at Sherlock, but his love interest Elizabeth takes the bullet, and her death ends up being a Freudian Excuse for Sherlock's famed status as a bachelor.
  • The Last Starfighter. When Centauri sees the Zandozan's arm aiming the energy pistol at Alex, he moves in front of Alex and takes the energy bolt. He's mortally wounded by the shot and dies after returning Alex to the Starfighter base. At the end of the movie it's revealed that Centauri wasn't killed, but was just dormant while his body healed itself.
  • In Skyfall, Mallory takes a bullet meant for M, although he survives. It helps to prove he's more badass than he first appeared and worthy of being her successor.
  • Welsh saves the life of Pvt. Doll in this fashion in The Thin Red Line (1964).
  • In Machete Kills, former villain Osiris redeems himself by taking a disintegrator ray meant for Machete.
  • Parodied in 22 Jump Street, where in a callback to the first film, Schmidt tries to take the bullet for Jenko just like Jenko did for him. He ends up diving past him while Jenko gets shot in the arm.
  • When Rabid Cop Mannix challenges Captain Thunderbolt to a duel, fellow Bushranger Alan Blake goes in Thunderbolt's place, and ends up shot dead.
  • The Prince and the Pagoda Boy:
    • Ly Cong Uen's superpower is apparently making people do this for him. Of course, given the fact that he survived the events of the film historically, his survival was a given:
    • An officer takes a spear thrown at Uen, and before dying remarks that it does feel better to save a life than take one.
    • Uen's love interest somehow appears to take an arrow meant for him at the climax.
  • In Winnetou III, the villain fires at Old Shatterhand who stands up to warn soldiers who are coming to help them fight the bandits — they don't know they'll get attacked immediately, but Winnetou leaps on the bullet. It's too close to his heart and an Army doctor can't remove it.
  • Marion in Robin Hood Czwarta Strzała tries her best, but bolt out of Ginsburne's crossbow hits Robin anyway.
  • Rancho Notorious: During the final gun battle, Altar steps in front of a bullet Wilson fires at Frenchy. However, due to the chaos of the gunfight, no one realise what she has done or that she has been fatally wounded till after the fight is over.
  • A Black Comedy version in the opening scene of Logan when a carjacker starts firing wildly at Wolverine and threatening to hit his limousine, he tries to put himself in the path of the bullets as he's less vulnerable than the vehicle that's his only source of income.
  • Dead Again in Tombstone: When Col. Boomer throws his cavalry sabre at Alicia. Dr. Goldsworthy steps in the way and is impaled instead of her.
  • In Mortal Engines, even though he's shown to be shocked at Valentine's actions, the commander of the Beefeaters gives his life as a human shield when Fang tries to kill Valentine.
  • Lethal Weapon 4: Butters does this during the final shootout when a Chinese soldier is about to shoot Murtaugh from behind. Thankfully, it's not fatal.
  • In Shaft (2019), at the end of the final battle, Gordito tries to shoot JJ to spite Shaft II, but Shaft II jumps in front of JJ and shoots Gordito out of a window to his death. Shaft collapses from his wounds, but later recovers in a hospital.

  • In Deryni Checkmate, Duke Alaric Morgan is sailing to a meeting with the Hort of Orsal aboard his ship Rhafallia when the auxiliary helmsman, a partisan of rebel Warin de Grey, attacks him with a poisoned knife. A royal squire named Richard Fitzwilliam happens to turn at the right moment to see the helmsman leap at Morgan, and he throws himself between them while shouting a warning. Richard takes the dagger in his side, and he asks to be allowed to swear the oath of fealty so he can die as Morgan's liege man. Morgan grants his request, and Richard just manages to recite it before he dies. The assassin had taken poison himself before attacking, and he defiantly resists Morgan's questioning until he also dies. Morgan gives orders to have Richard's body buried with full honours at his capital Coroth, while the assassin's remains are dumped overboard.
  • In The Last English King, a novel about 1066 and the Norman Conquest, Harold Godwinson's housecarl Walt puts out his arm to stop a sword slicing down at King Harold. The sword lops Walt's arm clean off and strikes Harold anyway. Walt later bitterly regrets not taking the sword strike with his whole body.
  • In the first Xanth novel, A Spell for Chameleon, Bink's to-that-point unknown talent was revealed when an increasingly implausible string of obstacles kept intercepting Trent's transformation spells. Turns out Bink can't be hurt by magic means. Which simply caused the ever-pragmatic Trent to draw his completely un-magical sword and try to run Bink through. Leading to a second bullet catch, as Chameleon (changed into a deer by Trent's spell) took the blade instead.
  • Subverted for the premise of David Allan Greer's short-lived sitcom, D.A.G.: Greer's Secret Service agent dove to take a bullet aimed at the President, but dove the wrong way, leading everyone to assume he was diving out of the way and to his demotion to the First Lady's security detail.
  • Discworld
    • In the novel Making Money, Moist von Lipwig saves Lord Vetinari from public embarrassment by taking a Pie in the Face for him.
    • Done with a crossbow bolt in Feet of Clay, and several times with actual gun-fired bullets in Men at Arms as well. Detritus proudly says that there's five shots in his breastplate but not his backplate because his body got in the way. He oozed quite a bit though. Carrot takes a shot in the shoulder for the Patrician. Angua takes four shots to her body for Carrot and Vimes.
  • Ciaphas Cain
    • A minor tech-priest does this to protect Ciaphas from a Necron shot. Unfortunately, given the power of Necron weapons, he is instantly torn apart and vaporized, but he manages to save Cain, even if Cain loses a couple fingers from the sheer proximity of the horrible weapon fire.
    • A villainous version in "Cain's Last Stand", where the defenders nearly managed to take out a Chaos battleship with an explosive-filled shuttle. Unfortunately, one of the escorts got in the way before it hit, destroying itself.
  • Rockjaw Grang in the Redwall novel The Long Patrol, right before his You Shall Not Pass! moment. Also, Veil took a spear to protect his adoptive mother. It's unclear if this was a Heel–Face Turn or not, because even as he's dying he bitches her out and won't accept comfort, and she decides that everyone who said he was bad to the bone during his life was right.
  • Happens in the third Artemis Fowl book, The Eternity Code.
  • Inverted in Airman, by Eoin Colfer; Victor performs a dramatic leap in front of a bullet to save King Nicholas, but, because he's just that bit too old, the bullet hits the webbing between his outstretched fingers and hits its intended target anyway. And then Victor gets shot, too.
  • In the Honor Harrington novels, taking a shot for someone would probably be a bad idea given the speed and force an average pulser dart moves at — you'd both just die. The beloved head of Grayson's church does take an old-style slug for Honor, which causes the assassin sent to kill her to break down.
    • Even with an old-style slug, throwing himself in the path doesn't entirely stop the bullets. It just slows them down enough that Honor just ends up with bruised ribs instead of getting killed (her outer clothes are made of a lightly armored material to stop Nimitz from clawing through them).
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In I, Jedi, Mara Jade and Corran Horn spend some time honing their Jedi laser-deflection skills on several remotes. If a remote's laser hits flesh, it really stings, but there's no permanent damage. At one point while the two are engaging in Casual Danger Dialog Mara is almost shot in the face, but Corran intercepts with his hand. Amused, Mara says she owes him one. She delivers in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • In Galaxy of Fear: Ghost of the Jedi, DV-9 takes a blaster bolt for Tash Arranda. He lives—er, "lives," being a droid—and just needs some new parts, later claiming that he will bear the scar forever. Even though as a droid he should be able to replace that battered outer shell.
    • In Razor's Edge, Captain Metara shoves Leia out of the way of the Space Pirate Viest's sonic pulse weapon, and is killed by it.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Grey Knights, one of Ligeia's death cultists takes a plasma blast for the Big Bad.
  • In The Silmarillion: the elf lady Aredhel takes a javelin thrown by her husband and meant for their son. It's only a flesh wound, so she asks of the king her brother that her husband be spared... and then she dies in the night, because the weapon was poisoned.
  • In Les Misérables, Eponine takes a bullet for her unrequited crush Marius. Ironic, because she deliberately led him to the barricades so that he would be killed and wouldn't be with his love Cosette.
  • The Action Hero's Handbook has a chapter on how to properly take a bullet (so you can survive with minimal injuries to yourself).
  • In Tigana, Dianora combines this trope with Human Shield by jumping in front of a crossbow bolt.... but yanking a guy she doesn't like along with her. He winds up taking the shot in the shoulder.
  • In the climatic battle at the end of the first Safehold book Off Armageddon Reef, a midshipman tries to Take The Crossbow Bolt for his king. King Haarahld instead grabs the midshipman to Take The Bullet for him instead. The king dies from bloodloss soon after, though his Heroic Sacrifice makes him a martyr and hero to his people.
  • In Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! series novel, The Widow's Son, the elderly schemer Pietro Maldonado intervenes in a duel where his nephew Sigismundo, a hothead who knows nothing about guns, has trapped himself into a duel with the best pistol-shooter in all of Napoli. Pietro, in his intervention, surprises the protagonists and takes the bullet meant for his nephew. Who, on his very first go with a firearm, has Beginner's Luck in that he shoots the best gun in town full in the groin.
  • In Warrior Cats, throughout the book SkyClan's Destiny, Stick believes that a cat named Harley "stole" his daughter when she really does love him. In the ending Stick is about to kill Harley when his daughter Red leaps in front of him and dies because of it.
  • Prince Almorante in The Chronicles of Magravandias dies taking a sword for his enemy Valraven. People who hated him only minutes before were moved to tears by his sacrifice.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: The Fall of Reach, the orbital shipyard Cradle pulls an epic one, maneuvering into position between the UNSC and Covenant fleets and using its massive bulk to absorb the Covenant fire.
    • In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Holly saves Kelly from two Hunters by jumping in the way of their fire, getting completely vaporized in the process.
  • In Malinda Lo's Adaptation. Amber takes a bullet for Reese. She gets better, thanks to her healing powers.
  • Happens twice in Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. In the second book, Alanna takes an arrow for Prince Jon, but it only results in a painful arm wound. In the fourth, Liam Ironarm dies by taking several arrows for now-King Jon during the coronation coup.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Fawkes (a phoenix) is able to swallow an Avada Kedavra curse, expire as a result, and then return to life.
  • In Blackout, Shaun does this to protect President Ryman from a dart loaded with live Kellis-Amberlee virus. He's the only one in the room at the time who knows he's immune to KA.
  • Young James Bond's life is saved in By Royal Command when the girl he loves pushes him aside when he is shot at. She is mortally wounded, and he accompanies her in her last moments.
  • In Last Sacrifice, Tasha Ozera fires bullets at Lissa. Both Rose and Dimitri throw themselves before her. Rose takes the bullet.
  • In the Doctor Who novel "Engines of War", Cinder jumps in between a shot fired by Karlax and the Doctor. "You said I'd only get in the way."
  • In Pan Tadeusz, father Robak who is The Atoner, does it for a distant relative of the person he's atoning for murdering.
  • The Hunger Games: During the Quarter Quell, one of the morphlings is killed by an attack from a vicious monkey that was meant for Peeta.
  • In the Nightrunner novel Shadows Return, Alec takes the arrows meant for Seregil and dies. Fortunately, they were traveling with a magical creature that could bring the dead back to life at the time.
  • The Young Ancients: While lacking in actual bullets, Tor does often throw himself between others and various attacks. Justified, in that he is almost always wearing a personal forcefield of his own design and is much more likely to survive.
  • The Infected: By the same author as the above, has a number of bulletproof or armored characters doing this at various points. One standout is Marcia Turner, Quartz, sprinting at a rocket-propelled grenade, so none of her friends will be in the blast radius when it explodes.
  • In John French’s Thousand Sons trilogy, Sanakht took a psychic attack from a rival sorcerer on behalf of his master Ahriman at some point in the backstory. Sanakht survived, but the attack burnt out much of his psychic potential, and now he struggles to perform the most basic psychic feats like Telepathy, though he remains a deadly Master Swordsman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ace Lightning. Lady Illusion takes the bullet for Ace. Interesting in that she actually knocked him out and morphed into him prior to the battle.
  • The A-Team: Howlin' Mad Murdock jumps in front of a mook trying to shoot Hannibal in Season 2's "Curtain Call".
  • Babylon 5
    • "Into the Fire", Season 4 Episode 6: Happens with two coalition ships (one Drazi and the other a full-on Minbari cruiser) taking missiles meant for the White Star (well, really meant for Sheridan, Delenn, and Lorien; not that a missile would do much to Lorien). This immediately after the Vorlons and Shadows bragged about how the other races would fall in line. Oops.
    • Delenn twice surrendered her life to fate to protect Sheridan. Once by asking a Vorlon inquisitor to kill her instead and again walking into a thrown knife.
    • Make that three times — when he temporarily returns to his proper time frame after becoming Unstuck in Time, she gives him her time stabiliser, becoming lost in his place.
  • Near the end of the Bones Season 3, Booth steps in front of a bullet meant for Brennan. We get the tearful pleading to hang on and not leave, but it's worth noting that first, Brennan grabs Booth's gun and shoots the attacker dead, in the throat.
    • Season 11’s “The Doom in the Boom” has a bomb variant. Aubrey realizes a body has a bomb inside. He yells at everyone to run, then he runs, grabbing Hodgins and throwing him to the ground before jumping on top of him. Hodgins later ends up paralyzed, but Aubrey is riddled with shrapnel and nearly dies.
  • In the Grand Finale of Breaking Bad, Walter White has an M60 in the trunk of his car that he is set to activate to kill off former Neo-Nazi business partners. He also has every intention of killing former protege Jesse Pinkman, until seeing what they had done to him brings a change of heart. He tackles Jesse to the ground to distract the others and then activates the gun while shielding Jesse's body, taking a hit that eventually kills him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • In the Alternate Reality Episode "The Wish", Angel throws himself in the path of Vampire!Xander as he's about to stab Buffy with a crossbow bolt. As Wishverse!Buffy is a cold-blooded killer without loved ones of any kind she just walks through Angel's dust to stake Xander without even changing expression.
    • When an assassin starts shooting inside Sunnydale High, Oz pushes Willow out of the way and gets shot in the arm himself. Luckily it's just a scrape, and eventually leads to their relationship.
  • In the Korean Drama The City Hunter, Kim Na Na makes a Diving Save to protect Yoon Sung, ending up with the bullet in her shoulder.
  • CSI has Ecklie do this, pushing himself in between his daughter Morgan and a drive-by shooting. However, this could or could not be an example, because it's unclear whether he was the target or her.
  • CSI: New York
    • Stella's mentor and father figure shields her with his body from a gunfight between his brother and Mac. He's fatally shot, while Stella's uninjured.
    • Also done when the characters are all in a bar that's shot up. Danny was sitting nearest the window, but the other main contributing factor to his being shot in the back was that he threw himself over his wife, Lindsay, to protect her from the flying bullets.
  • Omen of Dark Oracle, a reformed villain, jumped in front of a magical blast that was aimed at Cally in the Grand Finale, getting himself erased from existence for his trouble.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: In "Hear the Angels Sing", Munro sees a gunman in a car aiming at Lucien and pushes Lucien out of the way; taking the bullet intended for Lucien.
  • Doctor Who
    • The episode "The Doctor's Daughter" has an example of this in Jenny, who jumps in front of a bullet for the Doctor. She comes back to life later.
    • Dalek-Human Sec does the same thing, except it's a Dalek laser instead of a bullet. Seems the Doctor forgot about it in the series finale Journey's End, when the Doctor has flashbacks of all the people who gave their lives for him in the past.
    • And AGAIN in Eleven's first series where Rory takes the bullet for the Doctor, and expires. He is also immediately deleted from history having had the misfortune to die near a timey-wimey crack of doom. Fortunately, he got better several episodes later, albeit in a very complicated manner.
  • In the Firefly episode "Jaynestown", a character in the town of Canton takes a shotgun blast meant for Jayne, whom the town has idolized as their hero. In a twist, Jayne tells him it was a stupid thing to do, and fully means it. It's interesting that Jayne is so clearly troubled by this, given that he's been shown to be an amoral son of a bitch in previous and subsequent episodes. His distress is evidently because the man died for someone like him. Due to how troubled he was by it, his method of dealing with the the one who pulled the trigger (an old partner no less) is especially brutal.
  • In the pilot episode of Earth: Final Conflict, the wealthy enterpreneur Jonathan Doors jumps in front of a sniper's bullet meant for the Taelon ambassador Da'an. He's pronounced dead at the scene, and the shooter escapes. Halfway through the episode, the season's protagonist William Boone discovers that Doors faked his own death in order to lead La Résistance against the Taelons. The shooter and the doctor who confirmed his death are working for him. Later on, we find out that the Taelons are, in fact, Energy Beings and can't be harmed with bullets.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Bullets Over Bel Air", Will takes a bullet for Carlton after the two are caught in an attempted mugging. Will ends up using this to force Carlton to give up the gun he purchased.
  • Played with in Friends, when Joey appears to try to do this for Ross when the boys mistake the sound of a car backfiring for a gunshot. Turns out he was actually trying to save his sandwich, which was right next to Ross.
  • In the third season episode of Glee, "Michael", Blaine shoves his boyfriend, Kurt, out of the way of a slushy being thrown by his Smug Snake Stalker with a Crush to keep him from being humiliated. (Little did he know he was also saving him from taking rock salt to the eye).
  • In the series finale of Hannibal, the titular character knows that Dolarhyde, aka the Red Dragon, is standing right behind him, but he purposely stays in front of the window to shield Will from being shot. Hannibal ends up taking a bullet to the stomach, although that doesn't stop him from charging back into the fight to defend Will.
  • Heroes
    • DL takes a bullet for Niki. Sort of.
    • Claire does this in the episode "Trust and Blood" when she shields Matt and Daphne from Danko's goons after Daphne is shot. Of course, Claire can regenerate.
  • In the Season 2 finale of Highlander, Richie shields Joe from a drive-by shooting. Being an Immortal, Richie got better.
  • In the first episode of Highlander The Raven, police officer Claudia Hoffman does this for Amanda, not knowing Amanda is Immortal.
  • In the season six finale of Homicide: Life on the Street, during a shoot-out, Bayliss ends up taking a bullet for Pembleton after the latter freezes in the middle of firing at an armed suspect. The heartbreak and guilt he feels from causing his partner/best friend/ only friend's resulting injuries that leaves him in a coma (especially since he spent years rebuffing Bayliss' attempts at friendship) drives Pembleton to quit the force.
  • Joy, in House of Anubis, ends up taking a lightning bolt for Fabian that Nina (possessed by Senkhara) hurled, nearly dying in the process. This one action was a big help in getting her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • In The Invisible Man, the protagonist's brother pushes him out of the way of a gunman (they're running side by side at the time) and takes a full spray of machine gun bullets in the chest. Obviously, he doesn't make it.
  • In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, this is part of Fin's backstory: his partner took a bullet that was meant for him. The details are eventually explained: Fin was undercover for Narcotics and his cover was apparently blown; the drug dealer was going to execute him, but his partner, Luis, threw his own body on the gun, sustaining two non-fatal but career-ending injuries. The episode in which this is revealed suggests that Fin has never fully forgiven himself for Luis' fate.
  • In the Series 5 finale of Law & Order: UK, "Deal", DS Matt Devlin takes several bullets for friend/colleague Alesha and Kaden (the young man he was about to escort into Witness Protection.) He doesn't execute the purest form of the trope; instead, he pushes both them down/out of the way first, resulting in no time to duck himself. We are told in the beginning of the next episode that he took two bullets directly to the chest, dying of his wounds off-screen. The person giving us this information, his partner Ronnie, expresses regret that he was not able to get to Matt in time to do this for him.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • Panis Rahl does it to save Zedd from a thrown Dacra. He's the previous Lord of D'Hara, who has learned the error of his ways. Also, he killed Zedd's father, after the latter plotted to have his infant son Darken killed.
    • In another episode, temporary-replacement Seeker Leo dives in front of a lightning bolt meant for Kahlan and is killed.
  • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Compromised", Obsidian teleports in front of Amaya and takes a bullet meant for her. He survives.
  • In the Merlin (2008) episode, "The Disir", Mordred jumps in front of Arthur to take a spear that was thrown by one of the Disir.
  • Miami Vice: The OCB's original commander, Lou Rodriguez, dies taking a bullet for Crockett early in the first season.
  • In one episode of Misfits, future Simon jumped down in front of Alisha to save her from being shot by a crazy dude as in his timeline she died.
  • In an episode of Monk, Harold takes a bullet for Dr. Kroger. Slightly subverted in that Harold decides to gloat to Monk about his action by telling him to "beat that", causing distress to Monk.
  • Handled realistically in the last episode of NCIS Season 2. Kate dives in front of Gibbs, but it's not done in slow-mo, and she yells "Shooter!", not "Nooooo!" She is hit in the chest but is unhurt because she's wearing a vest. She stands up, the team congratulates her and then she gets promptly sniped in the head by Ari, the main recurring bad guy for that Season.
    • In the episode "Seek", Dex the bomb-sniffing dog does this for Gibbs, simultaneously avenging his handler who was murdered in the opening sequence. he has a much better outcome than Kate, recovering from his injuries.
  • Oz. Kareem Said's life is saved when one of his Muslim followers throws himself in front of a knife wielded by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Ironically that same inmate had joined the Muslims to kill Said, but ended up converting to Islam for real. Likewise Augustus Hill takes a blade meant for surrogate father Burr Redding. These acts cause both characters to suffer a Heroic BSoD.
  • During the climax of one episode of Person of Interest, Detective Fusco dives in front of a bullet to save the life of the POI of the Week. But the Heroic Sacrifice part is subverted: the bullet hits him in the rear, and he's basically fine (gets taken to the ER by the paramedics). As they roll him into the ambulance, he says he can already hear the guys back at the station laughing at him for getting Shot in the Ass.
    • Justified in "Prophets" where Root uses God Mode (letting the Machine plot the course of the bullets) to act as a Human Shield for the Victim of the Week against an assassin who's also using God Mode. Root is firing back at the time, rather than the usual Diving Save version.
    • In "The Day the World Went Away", Root is driving a car with Finch in the passenger seat. She spots a sniper taking aim at Finch and swerves the car. Finch is fine but Root takes the bullet meant for him. She dies from her wounds.
  • The paintball version (including a parody of the Pietà Plagiarism scene) also occurs during an MI-5 training exercise in the spy comedy The Piglet Files.
  • Alia, the "Evil Leaper" of Quantum Leap completes her redemption by throwing Sam to the ground before the also-Leaped Zoey can shoot him. She Leaps just as the shotgun blast hits her. It's never explicitly stated that she survives, but most fans assume so.
  • In the Sanctuary episode "Hero II: Broken Arrow", Walter makes the whole diving save to protect Kate (and the living superhero suit she's wearing) from an energy bolt coming from an Ultraviolet Gun.
  • In the "correct" timeline in the Sapphire and Steel story "Assignment Five", Dr. McDee died this way when his adulturous lover tried to shoot his wife.
  • Not as serious as an actual bullet, but the scene itself was very traumatic for Seira in the Japanese drama Shōkōjo Seira. After losing heart and begging down on her knees in front of the Alpha Bitch, Maria decides it would be funny if they started throwing tomatoes at the despairing Seira. She then bullies the rest of the class to do so, including Seira's close friend Masami. When Masami reluctantly was about to do it, Kaito the servant boy runs in and shields Seira, getting hit instead.
  • In an episode of Sliders that first shows that Anyone Can Die in this series, the following season's Big Bad extracts a chemical he needs to survive from Professor Arturo's neck, rendering him half-conscious. He then plans to shoot Quinn, Arturo's brilliant student, only for Arturo to step in front of him. As this Earth is about to be destroyed by pulsars, they end up having to leave Arturo's body behind to be incinerated with everything else. Interestingly, they never encounter any other double of Arturo, presumably because John Rhys-Davies left the show for good.
  • Smallville:
    • Clark Kent, whenever he isn't catching the bullet, instead takes it in the chest or back.
    • An unusual example in "Pariah": Alicia (who is not bulletproof) takes a (normal) bullet for Clark because she promised to always keep his secret.
    • In the episode "Stiletto" Clark takes the bullet for Lois. This is an especially heroic move, since he's surrounded by kryptonite and so the bullet actually hurts and wounds him.
  • Spaced: Mike takes a paintball pellet for Tim, complete with side dive and long "Noooooo". The parody also includes the fact that Mike was a good twenty feet away and loudly announced his presence, making it seem like the shooter was willing to patiently wait while Mike ran in the way of the shot. And Mike starts coughing up paint. (Because he'd been eating paintballs.)
  • In the first season finale of Space Cases, Bova jumps in front of a (harmless to him) Lightning Gun blast meant for the ladies, before retaliating with his own electricity powers.
  • In Spin City, Mike has to deal with endless flack when TV footage shows him running away from the Mayor during a shooting. Subverted in that the shooting was simply balloons popping and Mike was actually rushing to shield Nikki with his own body.
  • Stargate SG-1: In the second episode of Season 7, Jonas Quinn takes a staff weapon blast aimed at Daniel Jackson, expiating for having caused Jackson's death (and ascension) at the end of Season 5. He survives, though.
  • Happens in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the episode "The Siege" when Li Nalas takes a phaser shot aimed at Sisko..
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Apple", Spock pushes Kirk out of the way of some lethally poisonous thorns and takes them in the chest in his stead. Luckily, it turns out that the toxin isn't all that harmful to Vulcans, and Spock claims to be in more distress from the antitoxin McCoy gave him before he woke up.
    • In "The Conscience of the King", Anton Karidian/Kodos's daughter, Lenore, grabs a phaser while revealing that she killed the seven witnesses and later attempted to kill Riley and Kirk in order to protect her father. She then tries to shoot Kirk, but Karidian, wracked with guilt over everything that's happened, takes the phaser shot to save Kirk.
  • The Vampire Diaries, Damon does this for Elena in 02x03 then tries to deny this is because he cares about her. Of course, he's a vampire and has a Healing Factor.
  • This happens in The Wrong Mans after a case of Dragon Their Feet puts Phil in danger. Sam jumps in front of him and takes a bullet to the arm, the police gun down the dying criminal and all appears well... and it turns out Phil had a bulletproof vest, which Sam laments not knowing.
  • The X-Files, "Monday". The girlfriend of a bank robber saves Mulder's life this way. Her death breaks the "Groundhog Day" Loop in which they are all trapped.
  • In The Flash (1990) episode "Twin Streaks", when the scientist who created Pollux attempted to kill Barry Allen by shooting him, Pollux leaps in front of Barry to take the bullet so that it would kill him instead of Barry.
  • Parodied in Another Period. Beatrice and Fredrick try to take the bullet for each other... but neither get shot. President Roosevelt gets shot.
  • In The Strange Calls, Banks and Gregor are trying to escape being held hostage by a guy with a serum to turn people into trees. Banks makes a sudden move and their captor turns the spray on him, but Gregor jumps forward and takes the brunt of it instead, developing a painful rash that threatens to turn him into a tree.

  • In Orange Marmalade Ma-ri and Soo-ri have a conversation under a group of pipes badly tied up, it snaps and Ma-ri pushes Soo-ri out of the way, taking the entire lot herself. While badly hurt, Ma-ri's fast acting healing kicks in which reveals her to be a vampire.
  • In Tower of God, to protect Miseng, who just jumped into the fray between Viole and Urek, Viole grabbed her and took Urek's One-Hit KO technique to the back, causing a bloody mess.

  • Helloween's song, (The Departed) Sun is Going Down.
    I would die for you would you die with me?
    No, you can't deny!
    Would you catch the bullet that was meant for me?
    Blaze across the sky!!
  • The whole point of the song by The Rasmus called "Shot". Sample lyrics:
    ''I'll take the shot for you
    I'll be the shield for you
    Needless to say
    I'll stand in your way
    I'll take the shot for you
    I'll give my life for you\\"
  • The song "San Francisco Fan", performed by Cab Calloway among other singers, is about a female performer who takes 'a dozen slugs' for her no-good gambling boyfriend after he's caught cheating at a game and someone tries to shoot him for it.
    Once they caught him cheatin'
    And he knew that he was beaten
    When a miner aimed a pistol at his head.
    Fanny when she seen him
    Ran and jumped right in between 'em
    And she stopped a dozen slugs of poison lead.
  • The Smiths in "What Difference Does It Make?"
    But still I'd leap in front of a flying bullet for you
  • The Bruno Mars song "Grenade" references this trope in every chorus
    I'd catch a grenade for ya
    Throw my hand on a blade for ya
    I'd jump in front of a train for ya
    You know I'd do anything for ya
    I would go through all this pain
    Take a bullet straight through my brain
    Yes, I would die for you, baby
    But you won't do the same
  • The tragic conclusion of the David Geddes song "Run Joey Run" has Julie taking a bullet from her enraged father meant for her boyfriend Joey.

    Music Videos 
  • In the official video clip for Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'", three of the quarterbacks throw themselves before the fire of a Tommy gun to save the singer.
  • Happens in One OK Rock's music video for Cry Out at the 3:20 mark, when the guy jumps in front of the girl and takes in the back a bullet intended for her.

  • This is parodied several times over in Bleak Expectations:
    • Aunt Lily takes a sword blow meant for Pip in the first series finale and admits as she dies (for real this time) that she probably wouldn't have if she'd known it would hurt this much.
    • In the penultimate episode of series 3, Harry Biscuit steps in front of a bullet for Pip. Or, as he admits, slipped on a piece of custard, but Pip's version sounds more heroic. He gets better anyway.
    • Pip's wife Ripley, rather than throw herself in front of Gently Benevolent's shot, sensibly shoves his minion Grimpunch in the way instead.
    • Harry Biscuit intercepts another bullet himself seconds later, but he's covered in yogurt which is solidifying into cheese, protecting him from injury.
    • A couple of episodes later, Harry flings himself onto an operating table that Pip was strapped to and therefore has his own brain removed and placed in a dinosaur.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Mirielle attempts to take a slew of attacks that are aimed towards Benjy. The attackers soften their blows when they realise they'll hit her, and Benjy ends up leaping forward to take the now lessened hits for her anyway.
    • Ciro urges a civilian to get to safety before him, leaving himself vulnerable to attack from Daigo's monster.
  • Survival of the Fittest:
    • Subverted in v1 with baseball players Michael Suarez and Scott Jameson. Barry Coleson High's baseball team was so close to each other that they were almost like brothers to each other, so when the two finally meet up and start to talk, Mike pushes Scott out of the way when he hears someone behind him, taking the bullets that would've killed Scott and being paralyzed by them (though he says "Scotty, look out!" not, "No!"). The subversion comes when Scott doesn't run like Mike tells him to, transfixed due to fear, and gets fatally shot anyway.
    • Played more straightly in v4, when Jonathan Jarocki shoots at Charlene Norris. Alex Campbell does indeed jump in front of her, getting a bullet to the shoulder. Charlene, however, was injured, but not as bad as Alex.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Legacy from Sentinelsof The Multiverse has two abilities that work like that. Heroic Interception, where Legacy takes 3 points of damage and the rest of his team is immune to any damage (the art shows Legacy taking a missile headed for the White House in mid-air) and Lead From The Front, which allows him to redirect any damage his team take to himself. But don't worry, Legacy is a Super Hero with Super Toughness, so he can take it.
  • The BattleTech TCG had a card called Taking The Hit that redirects all damage from one target to another. Its card art shows a tiny 30-ton Spider taking several shots for an 85-ton Gunslinger. The Gunslinger is better equipped to take damage than the Spider, possessing something around five times the armor of the lighter 'Mech and is in cover to boot. The card text even lampshades the lack of sense in the decision, though in the game itself it was quite useful to be able to save your expensive assault mech by forcing your opponent to massively overkill the cheap scout mech and wasting all that extra damage.
    You've got to be pretty suicidal to pilot a Spider anyway.
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement "The Asylum and Other Tales", adventure "The Mauritania". A Russian count has six bodyguards who all have Block (a special skill appearing only in this product). It allows them to hurl their body in between an attacker and the person they're protecting to absorb the attack.
  • In d20 Modern, the Bodyguard advanced class gains an ability called Harm's Way, allowing him to take a hit meant for an adjacent ally as if he was the target instead. It's a Zig Zagged Trope, as he takes the attack is made against his Defense instead of the target's, meaning that on a miss he probably just shoved the target out of the way, and on a hit you have this trope. Also interesting to note is that the Bodyguard has the highest amount of Hit Points out of any class in the game, and has a lot of synergy with the Trasher advanced class from the Urban Arcana setting (who get Super Toughness as a class feature) meaning that even if the attack is a hit, it may fail to inflict damage.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Edition 3.5 contains the "Shield Other" spell, which shunts most of the damage the target takes onto the caster.
    • In the supplement Drow of the Underdark, the illustration for the feat "Constant Guardian" shows a drow male taking a crossbow bolt for a female. The feat doesn't actually consist of this, though it is a prerequisite for a feat that does. (Which probably means the illustration's caption is wrong.)
  • Can be done in GURPS where it is called a "sacrificial dodge". Unless you are playing in a cinematic campaign, or wear heavy body armor, or have at least some degree of Super Toughness, it's usually just a good way for the enemy to pull off a One Hit Poly Kill though due to overpenatration rules.
  • In Hero Clix, this is the Titans' "team" ability. A Titan character can take damage meant for another one of their True Companions onto themselves.
  • In addition to bringing back the "Shield Other" spell from Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder introduces the Oracle class, and one of the paths for this class allows the user to absorb damage that has afflicted their allies.
  • In In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas, Jean-Luc, Archangel of Protectors, grants his servants the power "ultimate sacrifice", allowing them to magically redirect any harm from a single target to themselves, with some damage reduction at high levels.
  • There is also the "look out sir!" rule in Warhammer Fantasy Battles where a rank and file unit will do exactly this for a leader who is in the same formation.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Imperial Guard has the "look out— ARGH!" rule to protect some of their COs.
    • Then you've got the Ogryn bodyguard Nork Deddog. Nork can take the bullet plus goes into a mad rage trying to protect his commander if Nork dies in close combat. The codex actually has IN HIS RULES "desperately attempts to 'smash dem wot is tyrin ta 'urt da kernul'... slumps to the floor asking his officer 'did we win?' before passing out form his wounds."
    • In Dark Heresy, the Crusader class can shield an Inquisitor from any attack if they are within range.
    • Tau shield drones are programmed to get in the way of incoming fire to protect their user. They have Deflector Shields. Sometimes they don't effectively deflect the shot, but hey, a destroyed drone is better than a dead Tau.
    • As of Sixth Edition and Seventh Edition, Warhammer 40k has gotten a "Look Out, Sir!" rule similar to the rule in Warhammer Fantasy. In brief, when a character is hit, there is a die roll representing the chance for some sap in his unit to take the bullet. When protecting named characters, the mooks succeed with a 5 in 6 chance, while nameless squad leaders have a 1 in 2 chance of someone taking the hit for them. There are ways to alter the odds.
  • In X-Wing Miniatures, Biggs Darklighter has to be the target of enemy attacks if he's near an ally. You can also take slightly less of the bullet with Draw Their Fire. Prince Xizor approaches it from the other end by making nearby allies take damage for him, generally leading to his nimble StarViper flying in formation with a pair of Y-wings or the like.

  • In The Complete History of America (abridged), Uncle Sam fires a bullet at Spade, and Flush takes it. The bullet is an oversized prop on a stick—the same one used in the Lincoln assassination, in fact.
  • In The Golden Apple, when Circe hands the apple out to Ulysses, he turns to make his back an easy target for Paris's knife. Seeing this, Achilles calls out to Ulysses and intercepts the blow for him, dying in his place.


    Video Games 
  • If you've played an Escort Mission, chances are you've tried this at least once.
  • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has Captain Bartlett draw a missile away from Nagase.
  • The Squire card in Armello functions as this: if you were to die with one equipped, they will die instead.
  • Baldur's Gate
    • If you romance Jaheira in Baldur's Gate II, a band of thugs will hold her hostage and demand your valuables during your travels. You have the option of offering to take her place as a hostage. If you do, the bandits shoot you instead and boy does this piss off Jaheira. After your party demolishes the bandits (they aren't that tough) Jaheira will be absolutely furious with you for risking your life for her this way.
    • If your character is equipped with the Shield of Arrow Reflection, the shot will instead bounce back at the bandit, inflicting major damage on him. Jaheira still throws a fit.
  • Just before the final battle of Batman: Arkham Asylum Batman takes a dart full of Titan meant for Commissioner Gordon.
  • Bloodline Champions used to have this effect for the Guardian's Thrust ability when hitting an ally with it — part of the damage the ally would take while the effect lasted would be done to the Guardian, the amount of damage the Guardian taking from that effect also being reduced. Also was an example of Synchronization.
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, during the mission aboard the U.S.S. Obama, assuming Chloe Lynch is rescued by killing DeFalco and Farid survives his playable section, Farid saves Chloe from Salazar's betrayal in this manner.
  • Helena's mother in Dead or Alive does this to save her daughter. Dead or Alive 2 has her pushing Helena out of the way while 4 has her run in front. Dimensions uses both.
  • Disgaea
    • Subverted in Disgaea 2 when Adell takes an energy blast meant for Rozalin, fulfilling every aspect of the trope... Except for the fact that, in an incredible example of Cutscene Power to the Max (the blast-ee is a Hopeless Boss Fight), the blast doesn't so much as faze him.
    • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice does this three times in total:
      • First when Gold Knuckle, a minor character, does it because he wants more time in the spotlight. He appears to die, but gets better...after about 10 seconds. Naturally, it get a Lampshade Hanging courtesy of Almaz.
      • Second time this happens is with Geoffrey, who takes an actual bullet from Salvatore for Mao. Where this is taken dramatically, he gets better because he was actually prepared to take one wearing a Bulletproof Vest at the time.
      • The third time happens with Almaz, who takes a blunt of a trap made to Sapphire. This is again taken with drama until Almaz points out that he is perfectly fine. Unlike the other two examples, however, the trap was an poison needle inside a doll, and he started to suffer from the effects later.
    • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten has Valvatorez pulling this off to defend Emizel from Desco's energy blast. Similar to Adell above, it doesn't faze him at all and then he proceeds to lecture Desco on how poor form that is for a final boss.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the real Warden-Constable Blackwall died doing this for Thom Rainier, a man he had conscripted for the Grey Wardens and who would go on to assume his identity.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z video game Burst Limit, the technique "Risking It All For A Friend" is one of the various Partner Skills. This can head into Narm territory when you see characters like Broly charge in to save your character, especially if it's Goku.
  • In Dragon Quest IX, the Warrior class can learn Whipping Boy which lets a warrior take blows meant for a teammate. And, better yet, the Paladin class is the master of this, with high defense plus the ability to deflect all attacks for all party members. Both classes make great meat shields for your magic users.
  • In Eternal Daughter, Hume dies doing this to save his half-sister, Mia.
  • Near the end of Fable II, Your dog does this when the Big Bad captures and tries to kill you. The Big Bad then subverts things by shooting you anyway.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The series often gives Paladins and Knights the ability "Cover," which, when active, will make the character automatically receive any physical attack aimed at a weakened teammate. Especially if said attack would have killed the target. Even if the attack will kill the Paladin/Knight.
    • Those classes also typically have the "Counter Attack" ability, which lets them retaliate for free whenever they're hit. This, combined with Cover, makes these characters into excellent meat shields, taking the pressure off your weaker party members while also dealing extra damage.
    • In Final Fantasy III, Aria shoves Luneth before he can be hit by a poisoned arrow. She's hit herself, and an earthquake collapses the cavern they're in before any attempt can be made to save her. Everyone is knocked out and when the party wakes up, they're in a completely different town, the world has changed shape, and Aria is gone.
    • In Final Fantasy IV, as soon as he sees him, Tellah starts beating up a Spoony Bard named Edward. His daughter, Anna, ran away to be with Edward because she loved Edward. Sadly, when King Baron attacked, we find Anna played this trope straight (with arrows) at the cost of the person's life.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, Zidane has the Protect Girls ability, which, as the name implies, is a variant of Cover that only protects female characters.
    • Tidus takes one of The Emperor's Flare attacks for Yuna in Dissidia 012: Duodecim, despite him being on Chaos' side and not holding any memories of being with her on her pilgrimage in their original game. This prompts Jecht to transfer his own energy to Tidus in order to save his life, allowing the Emperor to abduct Jecht and use him in the following cycle.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV this is the fate of Haruchefant in the Heavensward expansion. In an attempt to stop Archbishop Thordan VII before his escapes, the Warrior of Light and Haruchefant chase after him. However, one of Thordan's Heavens Ward, transformed into a Primal Knight of the Round, attempts to snipe the Warrior with a lance of light. Haruchefant blocks the lance, but it proves to be too powerful and shatters the shield, piercing Haruchefant instead.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has two examples. First, Jarod's friend jumps in the way of the Black Knight's sword, prompting Micaiah to tell the Black Knight to let Jarod escape and bury his friend. Later, if this is not the first play-through, Micaiah has the option of jumping in front of the knife meant for King Pelleas — a rare case of Taking the Bullet for someone who actually wants the bullet.
    • There is also the skill Guard, which allows a character to protect a character that they have a support with if they are next to them, though it doesn't always work.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • In the Prologue, right before the action properly kicks in, a cutscene shows how a hooded man steals the Avatar's sword Ganglari and uses it to attack him/her with explosive force. The Avatar's mother Queen Mikoto shields him/her with her own body, taking the hit and dying in the Avatar's arms, using her Famous Last Words to ask him/her if they're unhurt and say she's glad when he/she says they aren't.
      • In the Birthright path, Prince Xander challenges the Avatar to a duel, and they are overpowered by him after a while. A movie cutscene starts as they are at his mercy, and as Xander unleashes the final blow, the cutscene enters slow motion as... Xander's half-sister Elise jumps in the way and takes the hit. She dies almost instantly in Xander's arms after asking him and the Avatar to find peace. Needless to say, Xander... doesn't take this well.
      • In the Revelations path, Cool Big Sis Scarlet ends up taking a fire attack from an Anankos-possessed Gunter to protect the Avatar. And like Elise in the Birthright example, Scarlet also ends up dead.
      • In one of the Revelations-exclusive supports, this is how Effie and Azama's support chain begins. Thankfully, it's not fatal: after she shields him from an attack, he is rather baffled by her self-sacrificial nature but uses his White Mage powers to return the favor. If the whole support chain is pursued, Azama tells Effie that he wants to protect her from now on, and proposes to her.
      • A flashback to the Avatar's kidnapping as a child shows that his/her adopted father Sumeragi took a volley of arrows to the body to protect him/her.
      • In both the Birthright and Conquest routes, Lilith takes a strike meant for the Avatar that kills her.
  • Hearthstone: While there aren't as many cards that allow for this, the Paladin Secret Noble Sacrifice summons a "Defender" that will intercept the next attack your opponent launches. The Defender will then immediately die, as it only has 1 health.
  • In the Flash game Immor Tall you spend the entire game doing this as an alien trying to protect the family it befriended during a war. As you shield them from machine guns, tanks, and bombers, your movements become slower and slower, until you finally succumb to your wounds and die.
  • In Kantai Collection, any ship with at least 50% of their health can do this for attacks aimed at their fleet's flagship. Making a fragile or low-level ship the flagship can prevent them from being taken down to critical health (and gives them a 50% EXP boost). However, like everything else in this game, the chance of this protection kicking in is up to the Random Number God based on the fleet's formation: more compact formations like Double Line and Diamond are better than Line Ahead or Line Abreast. When this doesn't happen and your flagship is knocked down to critical health, you will be forced to return to base after the battle.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, a boulder is hurled towards King Mickey and Goofy pushes him out of the way, taking the full force of the giant rock. Feeling sad and full of angry vengeance, Sora, Donald, and the King run forward, battling through hordes of Heartless only to find that Goofy was only knocked out the whole time.note 
    • A non-lethal example happens in a cutscene near the end of the Xemnas boss fight. Riku takes a blow to the side for Sora, and hands off his Keyblade for him to hand Xemnas a dual wielded curb stomp battle for his trouble.
  • In the The King of Fighters 2000 game, the Psycho Soldiers ending has Bao jumping in the air and taking a huge blast from a Kill Sat to protect his teammates. Kensou retrieves the fatally wounded Bao and absorbs the remaining energy through a Kiss of Life, both recovering his lost powers and saving Bao from a fatal Superpower Meltdown.]
  • Near the end of King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!, Cedric accidentally takes a magical bullet for Graham (at least in the PC CD-ROM adaptation; all other versions had him being accidentally Taken for Granite). And in King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, the Troll King takes magical lightning for Rosella.
  • In the backstory to Kult: Heretic Kingdoms, the Ancient Conspiracy's attempt to assassinate its renegade member, Quova, was prevented when Kjellin Malfagon took the blow instead. It's generally agreed that Malfagon was a decent guy, but whether or not Quova deserved to be saved is definitely a contested matter.
  • Most skillshots in League of Legends can be intercepted by another body, so this is an option, although one you only want to use if you're more expendable and you're sure your target wasn't going to dodge it anyway. A number of spells that aren't blocked outright also have their damage reduced for each target they pass through, so this can be used to mitigate the effect. Of particular note is Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole attack, a long-range sniper shot that locks onto a target and never misses, but can be intercepted by a nearby teammate. Elise is also noted for being extremely difficult to skillshot in spider form because of the spiderlings that follow her around. Braum heavily invokes this trope with Stand Behind Me and Unbreakable, the former consisting of Braum jumping in front of an ally, giving them both a temporary bonus to armor and magic resist, and the latter having Braum raise his shield, destroying all projectiles that hit it while he nullifies the damage from the first attack and reducing damage from following ones.
  • When the party defeats Idura in Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, his spirit then attempts to cast them into a hellish otherworld—starting with Tia. Dekar takes her place and yanks Idura through as well, leading to an epic Tear Jerker—for the player and Tia.
  • The encounter with Conrad Verner in Mass Effect 3 has him dive in front of a gunshot to save Shepard from an assassin. Provided you finished a certain sidequest in the first game, said "gunshot" was instead a previously-met character sabotaging the assassin's gun. If not, then the Heroic Sacrifice gets played straight.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: At the mid-point of Drack's loyalty mission, Vorn leaps in front of a gunman shooting at Drack. Who, we should note, is an old, armored krogan who's just been killing his way through many disposable henchmen, and probably would've been fine, and Vorn is a botanist. Drack promptly yells at Vorn for risking his life, which Drack considers far more valuable to the krogan than his own.
  • Metal Gear
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Naked Snake ends up pulling this in order to save Tatyana from Ocelot's bullet. It also had him knocking into Ocelot as well, causing his aim to awry, and resulted in Big Boss getting a muzzle flash burn on his right eye.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Jonathan ends up rushing to Big Boss, warning him of an attack from one of the paranoid soldiers (Gene had earlier driven his own men into a mass panic about being executed by an inside man by Gene for "betraying" him using his voice.), and ended up taking a bullet in the head and the chest for Big Boss. This action was more than enough to have Big Boss screaming in anguish.
  • In Miitopia, during battles when it’s the enemy’s turn, there’s a chance a Kind Mii will stand in front of another and take the blow. This causes damage, but it’ll also cause their relationship meter to go up in return. Miis of other personalities can also do this specifically for teammates with whom their relationship is high enough to earn the Sacrifice assist.
  • In MOTHER 3 Flint winds up taking two extremely powerful psionic attacks for his son Lucas.
  • In Onmyōji, equipping a shikigami with at least four Teikon (Cutting Soul) mitama gives them a 50% chance to do this when one of their teammates is attacked. However, the former does not take all of the damage, meaning the latter would still receive damage, but greatly reduced.
    • Kingyo-hime can summon a goldfish that functions the same way, with the added bonus of automatically shooting water missiles at a random enemy.
  • Overwatch allows more agile tanks such as Winston and D.Va to do this, but the tiny and adorable Hammond piloting the spherical Wrecking Ball is practically designed for this. He has the highest mobility among tanks but also the largest hitbox, and has the passive ability to deal knockback just by moving into an opponent at-speed. As a result, Hammond players are encouraged to respond to troubled support heroes immediately, often by throwing themselves bodily into said trouble. This tactic is often called the "Get down Mr. President" by fans and players alike.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 4, party members with high-enough Social Link rankings will do this for you. This comes to play in the True Ending's final boss fight, where each party member knocks you out of the way to take Izanami's lethal attacks in your place. A very amusing version happens if Kanji is on your team. In true Kanji style, he leaps into the air, kicks you IN THE HEAD, and takes the blow for you. Fortunately this doesn't cause you any damage even though you would think it should.
    • In Persona 3, Shinjiro takes a bullet meant for Ken as an apology for having caused his mother's death, and later, Junpei takes a bullet for Chidori. As a result, Shinjiro dies (unless you've maxed his Link in Portable), but Junpei survives when Chidori sacrifices herself to heal him. Persona 3 Portable will also have party members take a fatal hit for you, a la Persona 4's combat system.
    • Persona 5: At Rank 9 of their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 Confidant sub-plots, non-Protagonist party members gain the ability to tank one lethal hit for the Protagonist per battle.
  • In Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium, Alys does this for Chaz, taking the hit from Zio's Dark Wave and leading to what may be one of the saddest video game deaths of all.
  • The game Puppetshow: Destiny Undone ends with Cricks, the insane Big Bad with a vendetta against the Puppetmaster, throwing a vial of acid at him with the intention of blinding him. However, the Puppetmaster's young daughter Felicia jumps in the way and takes the acid intended for her father.
  • In Resident Evil 2, Leon S. Kennedy jumps in front of a bullet for Ada Wong when Annette Birkin tries to shoot her.
  • Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure has this done on a couple of occasions. The most notable instance is done by Elisabeth to Marie.
  • Completing the romance sidequest with Anera in Shadowlords requires taking a death effect attack for her. Though the Power of Love keeps you alive at 1hp instead of killing you.
  • Skullgirls gives Parasoul (a princess and leader of the Black Egrets military squad) the ability to call in one of her soldiers, who makes a diving leap in front of her, blocking any projectiles. The rare on-demand bullet-taker (though the attack has a cooldown between uses).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic is quite adept at these in all continuities, having taken the bullet for Shahra the Genie in Sonic and the Secret Rings and Cream and Chris in Sonic X.
    • Speaking of Shahra, she pays Sonic back for the deed when Erazor offers up Sonic's life in sacrifice to gain the power to control the World Rings. Rather than slicing the hedgehog in half, Erazor lands the blade in Shahra's back.
    • Maria did this for Shadow. Shadow was traumatized, although not as much as his creator and Maria's (and Eggman's) grandfather, Professor Gerald, who in a fit of nihilism altered Shadow's memories and a few other things so that Shadow would destroy the world. Ironically, Gerald had earlier set up a Xanatos Gambit to allow Shadow to defend the world.
    • In Sonic Colors, Tails pushes Sonic out the way of Eggman's mind control beam.
  • At the very end of the Terran campaign in Starcraft II, protagonist Jim Raynor does this for his Tragic Monster Love Interest Sarah Kerrigan in one of the rare examples of Taking the Bullet where the one doing the shielding is not physically harmed. (In this case, grace of Raynor's Power Armor not being useless.)
  • During Super Adventure Rockman, one of the cutscenes has Quick Man taking a Shadow Blade in the back to protect a vulnerable Rockman and being Killed Off for Real after his Heel–Face Turn. This is very much Played for Drama, complete with a somber burial scene afterwards.
  • In the final chapter of Super Paper Mario, Nastasia takes an attack meant for Count Bleck. She gets better.
  • Super Robot Wars
    • Defensive support in the Super Robot Wars series, in which a character with the ability has the option of jumping in the way of an attack aimed at an adjacent ally, they took less damage overall, and used a shield if they had it. Russel Bergman from the Original Generation games has this as his specialty.
    • In Super Robot Wars Gaiden, this happened to Ricardo in an attempt to save Tytti from imminent death from her arch-nemesis. As a result, she became Allergic to Love.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    • Ness and Lucas are being attacked by Wario. Wario fires his trophy gun at Ness a few times, and Ness dodges all the shots easily. An irritated Wario then changes his target to Lucas. Lucas, being the cowardly little brat he is, doesn't even try to dodge, so Ness pushes Lucas out of the way, complete with slow motion camera panning, and is turned into a trophy in the process. It should be noted that in this world, being turned into a trophy is like death.
    • And Donkey Kong for Diddy Kong (in their case, Donkey Kong actually had to punch Diddy Kong out of the way).
  • Tales of Symphonia:
    • Kratos takes an energy blast in the back for Lloyd. It's also right after it's revealed he's Lloyd's father, so it makes a lot of sense. And a lot of ouch. Luckily it doesn't kill him.
    • In the backstory, Zelos Wilder's mother pulled this to protect him from an attack coming from the mother of his half-sister Seles, who wanted him dead so Seles would be The Chosen One instead. She still tells him that he shouldn't have been born.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Tear does this while jumping in front the petrified Luke and gets slashed in the arm instead.
  • The patient of a Medic in Team Fortress 2 is expected to do this: that way, the Medic stays alive, hopefully continues to heal the patient if they live, and gains uber-charge, which builds faster on injured team-mates. This is especially seen on Arena "sudden death" matches, where Medics are necessary to keep the team alive.
  • Tekken 2 : during Kazuya's FMV at the end of Arcade Mode, Heihachi does this in order to protect his son from a certain death. Kazuya doesn't seem especially grateful, though, and uses his father as a Human Shield to run up and deal a knockout punch to the attacker.
  • Tears to Tiara 2: Tarte takes Metronius' Wave Motion Gun for Hamil. She survives through Divine Intervention from her mother.
  • Touken Ranbu: Uchigatana who have undergone a Kiwame upgrade gain the ability to take projectiles for adjacent swords.
  • Bumblebee takes a blast from Megatron that was meant for Optimus at the end of the first level of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Cue Optimus going to town on Megatron.
  • In True Crime: Streets of L.A., Rafferty took the bullet for Nick when Rocky was about shoot him cuffed to the chair.
  • Undertale has the No Mercy Route, where Hot-Blooded Action Girl Undyne shoves Monster Kid out of the way of the player's attack, causing her to be split nearly in half by a fatal blow. However, she is such a Determinator that she stops fading into dust out of sheer willpower, and instead goes One-Winged Angel as the phenomenally badass Undyne the Undying. Cue punishing boss fight.
  • In The Walking Dead, when Lily suspects Ben (If you saved Doug in Episode 1 instead of Carley) being the one giving the bandits supplies and tries to shoot him, but Doug jumps in the way and takes the bullet instead.
  • The World Ends with You
    • Beat attempts what may be the stupidest examples of this trope ever when he tries doing this, instead of a more appropriate Diving Save, to save Rhyme from being hit by a car.
    • He also does it again later for Neku. A mind-controlled Shiki is attacking the pair; Beat sees no choice but to take her out. Neku turns to face him as he angrily says they'll do no such thing. He gets attacked by Shiki from behind for his trouble. Beat is quick to take the hit for him.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Warriors can learn an ability called Intervene which allows them to take a shot or melee attack for a party member, thereby preventing the Squishy Wizard or even squishier Priest from being... well, squished.
    • There's also a warrior protection talent Vigilance which allows the warrior to transfer threat generated by another character to his/herself and redirect the path of attacks from the enemy.
    • Paladins also have an ability named Hand of Sacrifice, which will redirect 30% of incoming damage from the target to the paladin, up to 100% of the paladin's hit points. Like Superman above, they have the ability to become (briefly) invulnerable...
    • Paladins also used to have an ability called Divine Intervention, which instantly killed the Paladin in return for giving its target full invulnerability for up to three minutes at the cost of immobilizing them. Mostly used when defeat is certain and everyone is going to die, since they don't take durability damage by dying this way and the invulnerable player can then hearthstone out to avoid said damage as well.
    • In the end of the Gilneas storyline, Liam Greymane is killed by Sylvanas Windrunner when he takes a poisoned arrow intended for his father, king Genn Greymane.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Yarudora series vol.3: Sampaguita, when you storm the Yakuza Headquarters with Boy and pals in order to save the kidnapped Maria, and you finally find her, the wounded Yakuza boss will try, in his last breath, to shoot her as she's running towards you. Depending on if you still have bullets in your gun or not, you will be treated with two possible Endings: Good End 3, where you have no choice but to perform this trope, and succeed in saving Maria, but at the cost of your life; however, you awake as a ghost 2 years later, and discover, to your joy, that Maria now lives a happy life with the baby boy born from you and her; or Normal End 2, where you can shoot the Yakuza boss, but choose to perform this trope instead: as a result, Maria is safe, but the game ends as you die, without the ghost story.
  • In Fantasia: Requiem of the Abyss, Faye jumps into the line of fire to save Cyrus and Valen from certain death.
  • In Ace Attorney Investigations, Shi-Long Lang takes a bullet meant for Shih-na, despite the fact that she's just been revealed as The Mole and as a murder they've been tracking for years. The reason? Lang still considers her part of his 'pack', even though she's a traitor. Don't worry, he was only shot in the leg and he's Made of Iron so it's not even mentioned again.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
    • During the BBL route, Yuuya takes the blade that cut at his brother. The attacker tried twice and was intercepted twice. Analysis of handedness and which shoulder the blood appeared on leads fans to believe that Yuuya basically acted a shield and covered Sakuya with his back turned on the attacker, focused purely on defense. Semi-official fanart of Yuuya's gijinka, created by someone who collaborates with the creator, shows a multitude of scars, but the attacker did decide to just leave after that.
    Suddenly, Sakazaki Yuuya blocks out the sun.
    • In the sequel AU game, Holiday Star, Yuuya pushes Hiyoko out of the way of a tank shell and is burned too badly to stand for his efforts.
  • Jessica in Umineko: When They Cry takes a flying stake in the back to protect Kanon. Touching, but ultimately senseless.
  • During Chapter 3 of Super Danganronpa 2, Nekomaru Nidai takes a bazooka meant for Akane and lives to tell the tale (though he had to be converted into a Cyborg by Monokuma. As Nekomaru hadn't broken any rule, Monokuma couldn't just let him die).

    Web Animation 
  • Subverted in the Space Tree episode "Kill or Kick": When Space Tree hears that Ghost Spider's plan went off without a hatch, Space Tree executes his plan. With a gun. The Commander leaps in front of Ghost Spider, slow motion, "NOOOO!" and all, but the gun hasn't even fired. Turns out Space Tree's plan was just to kick Ghost Spider.
  • During the final Dragon Shrine showdown of Bunnykill 4, Snowball, after defending an unconscious Ruby from a storm of giant shurikens hurled by Flint, gets his sword knocked out of his hands when Flint hurls a powered-up shuriken at him. Ruby wakes up as Flint hurls his final shuriken at him (complete with the requisite slow-mo), and sacrifices herself to save his life by taking the shuriken in the back. Snowball proceeds to go into "White Avenger" mode and proceeds to kick seven shades of hell out of Flint.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-999 ("The Tickle Monster"). SCP-999 loves all animals (including humans) so much that it will leap in front of a person to take a bullet fired at them.
    • SCP-2325 is peaked cap and several accompanying security headsets. If a person wearing the cap is shot at, anyone wearing the headsets will automatically leap to shield them from the bullet, regardless of distance or obstacles. To do so it moves the "taker" at the speed necessary to make the intercept, however it does not shield them from the laws of physics, which means after a certain distance, the taker will literally be vaporized by the forces exerted on them and therefore not be able to stop the bullet, since they've been turned into a red mist.
  • In the final battle of There Will Be Brawl, the End of Days (a Game and Watch octopus) starts spearing everyone in sight. Fox pushes Marth out of the way of one tentacle, getting himself speared in the process. Made all the more significant because until that final battle, they were on opposite sides of the law.
  • Subverted in the final chapter of Sailor Nothing, as Aki is merely wounded, not killed, in the process. It's also toyed with in that two people dive for the same bullet, the second pushing the first out of the way in addition to the original target.
  • In Interviewing Leather, when Todd Chapman is exploring the scenes of Dynamo Girl's heroics, he mentions seeing the city councilman she caught a bullet for.
  • In the Downfall parody series Llama Priest by YouTube user The Silver Universe, Gunsche does this to protect Hitler from being killed by Goebbels.

    Western Animation 
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Forgotten Friendship, Sunset Shimmer takes a proverbial bullet for her friends at the climax of the story. Wallflower Blush uses the Memory Stone to cast a spell that would have wiped out all of the Humane Six's memories of high school. Sunset jumps in the way to take the hit instead, losing not just all her memories of being a high school student, but also her memories of being human. However, this act of sacrifice was so selfless that it convinced the Humane Six that Sunset was worth befriending, allowing them to destroy the Memory Stone and recover their memories.
  • The Simpsons
    • Apu takes a bullet for James Woods, only to find it bounced off another bullet that was still in him from a previous robbery.
    • Another episode had Homer attend bodyguard training, where he was tested for this. Attendants were marked on the effort put into their "Noooo!" among other things. The trainees were given melons with celebrity names on them to protect (Homer promptly ate his).
    • And yet another episode had elderly Springfieldian Cornelius Chapman, who won an award for being Springfields oldest resident (well into his 100's). Among his accomplishments (building Springfields first log cabin and introducing the tooth brush), Chapman once took a bullet for Huey Long. Unfortunatly, he only took ONE bullet, as Long was shot several times and Chapman only caught the last one.
    • Also parodied in an episode where Ned Flanders is going to baptize Bart and Lisa, only to have Homer leap in the way of the water at the last second, complete with slow-motion dive and Big "NO!".
    Bart: Homer, you took a baptism for me. How do you feel?
    Homer: Oh, Bartholomew, I feel like Saint Augustine of Hippo after his conversion by Ambrose of Milan.
    Flanders: (astonished) Homer, what did you just say?
    • In "Saturdays of Thunder", a McBain movie has McBain's sidekick Scoie protect McBain from an assassination attempt. This happens right after Scoie discusses his plans for retirement. It should be noted that this was a case of ACCIDENTLY taking the bullet, at Scoie was shot because he leaned in front of his partner to grab his wallet photo back, right when the assassin pulled the trigger.
  • Futurama
    • In a subverted example, Fry saves Leela by taking a giant space wasp sting meant for her. Fry ends up dying from this, and Leela starts to have hallucinations of him telling her to wake up. Ultimately it is revealed that the space wasp's stinger pierced right through Fry and nicked Leela, thus injecting its venom into her instead of him. She's been in a coma ever since, and the hallucinations were the real, healed up, Fry. He's been at her bedside trying to wake her up. Quite touching, really.
    • In "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences", Fry leaps in front of Leela and takes it when she was about to be shot by a vaporizer. Subverted when everyone realizes it was actually a teleporter. Though at the time Fry was unaware of this.
  • In the final battle against Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko takes a full-on lightning blast (complete with a Big "NO!" in Slow Mo) meant for Katara. He had been taught to redirect lightning, however, which meant that he was just badly injured instead of killed outright, since he couldn't fully redirect it in the middle of a Diving Save.
  • The climactic moment of the The Legend of Korra series finale involves this with Korra against the Spirit Ray Cannon to save Kuvira when the cannon goes awry... except that Korra has the (correct) notion that she can withstand the beam in the spur of the moment.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants. An interesting inversion of this was played when SpongeBob leapt in front of Patrick just as a speeding car was about to spatter mud all over him, protecting the ultra rare and super valuable Mermaid Man trading card he was holding in his hand.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • In season 1, it is frequent for the Lyoko Warriors to be taking a laser beam to protect Aelita — especially Odd, since he is unable to block them at the time. Quite justified, since a devirtualization isn't fatal for them, while it would be for Aelita (and even if it weren't, only she can deactivate XANA's current scheme, often with mere seconds to spare). Much less prevalent starting season 2, since XANA wants Aelita alive at this point.
    • In season 3, it is Aelita's turn at taking the laser beam to save the Lyoko Core. (At this point, protecting her this way isn't always necessary, as she is no longer in danger of ceasing to exist if she "dies" on Lyoko.)
  • Winx Club:
    • In the second season, Riven almost dies when he takes a blast from the Brainwashed and Crazy Bloom to save an already injured Musa. When Sky talks Bloom out of it, she uses her powers to heal him.
    • In an episode of the fifth season, Musa got turned into a giant mutant seal after getting hit by one of Tritannus' spells that was meant for Aisha.
    • In another episode of the fifth season, Icy actually takes one of Bloom's attacks that were meant for Tritannus, which Bloom considers an Out-of-Character Moment for Icy as she had clearly not expected her to do so.
  • In Justice League Superman takes a ball that apparently annihilated matter for his friends. Luckily for him, it turned out to only be a time travel portal.
    • Then, in Justice League Unlimited, Batman says this verbatim when he chews out Superman for sending Doomsday to a Prison Dimension. Granted, it wasn't a literal bullet that he took for him. He actually saved Superman from a kryptonite-lined nuke and nearly died himself in the process. Effect's the same though.
  • Transformers Animated
    • Bumblebee takes a blast of Meltdown's acid (which melts through basically anything ever, including Cybertronians) for Bulkhead. Fortunately, the Autobots have Sari's key to repair him.
    • He did it in the three-episode pilot too, shielding most of the human supporting cast from Starscream.
  • Rock & Rule has Zip do this as a Mook–Face Turn when the demon tries hurling a blast of... um, something at the heroes.
  • An episode of Care Bears has this. Wish Bear saved the distressed kid of the week by taking a blast from one of Professor Coldheart's inventions for him. It didn't kill her, just turn her grey and apathetic. Cue the Swiss Army Tears.
  • Leonidas Van Rook does this to save Drew Saturday in The Secret Saturdays.
  • King of the Hill
    • Parodied when Peggy starts throwing tomatoes at King Phillip at the Renaissance fair one of his men dives in front of him and takes a few hits.
    • In another episode ("Dog Dale Afternoon"), after Hank successfully escorted Dale out of the college watch tower in which the police mistaken him for a sniper when he was actually exterminating bugs, a vigilant sniper locked in at Dale and Hank jumped in taking the bullet for him. Good thing Hank was wearing a bulletproof vest.
  • Done in the Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers episode "One Million Emotions". An alien artifact that is charitably described as "the emotional electric chair" essentially subjects anyone who touches it to Mind Rape as the stored emotions within blast into that person's mind and drive them insane. The object goes flying straight at Niko, causing Shane to leap in front of her and intercept it. He takes the full brunt of the emotional blast, but manages to retain his sanity because his altered genetics offered some protection. Fanon speculates that it changed him more than he admits.
  • The Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon sees Proto Man invoking this trope. Mega Man keeps dodging Proto Man's shots, so Proto Man takes aim at the Lincoln Memorial instead. It works.
  • In The Boondocks, Uncle Ruckus did for the mall Santa when Riley shoots multiple BB rounds.
  • American Dad!
    • In the episode "Stannie Get Your Gun", Stan (paralyzed by a gun accident) took the bullet for Hayley when a fired gun mascot aimed a sniper at her upon singing an anti-gun song. The bullet helped cured his paralysis when it dislodged first bullet that hit him before.
    • A suicidal lemur takes a bullet for Francine in another episode.
  • In the episode "You Made Me" in Adventure Time, Finn takes a blow from Lemongrab's Sound Sword for Princess Bubblegum. The resulting attack knocks him out and tears apart his hat.
  • Though not exactly lethal, in Total Drama, Cody leaps in front of a dodgeball (in slow-mo) for Gwen. Sierra later does the same thing for him two seasons later, except with a meatball.
  • In a flashback for an episode of Duckman back when Cornfed and Duckman first met, Cornfed takes many hits from a criminals gun, he survives.
  • Played for Laughs in The Penguins of Madagascar, with Skipper blocking an angry pigeon's droppings for the park commissioner.
  • Parodied in the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: T.O.M.M.Y.", where Numbuh Two make a slow-motion dive to save his little brother Tommy from a snot bullet.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien:
    • Squire Winston takes a lethal energy blast for Sir George.
    • In the episode "Enemy of My Frenemy", Kevin takes a blow for Gwen; he recovers.
  • Metalocalypse. At the end of "Klokblocked", the extremist faction Succuboso Explosion fires their electrically charged "loin extractor" at Nathan — Murderface heroically dives in front of him and takes it full in the crotch.
  • Terra in Teen Titans deliberately invokes this by aiming a boulder towards Robin and Starfire, knowing that one or the other would inevitably take the hit and only leave one titan to deal with afterwards.
  • The first episode of Black Dynamite parodies the trope by having Cream Corn take a bullet for Michael Jackson. He survived; his timing was a little early and the bullet got lodged in his rear. Michael returned the favor towards the end.
  • In the Dan Vs. episode "Elise's Parents", Dan takes a poisoned dart for his best friend's father-in-law, but is saved by several layers of duct tape he used to tape on the tape recorder the use of which got them into that mess to begin with.
  • Happens quite a few times in Wakfu:
    • During season 1 episode 25, Sadlygrove takes a lethal shot from Razortime aimed for Eva and Amalia.
    • Yugo and Phaeris do this to each other a whole season later while fighting Quilby, which lampshades it with the quote above.
    • During the last episode, Evangeline intercepts a shot from Remington Smisse meant for her sister Cleophelia. Fortunately, it just hits her shoulder.
  • Camp Lakebottom: In "Late Afternoon of the Living Gitch", Gitch (who is a pair of Squirt's underpants that has been brought to life) leaps in front of McGee to take a shot of super-strength fabric cleaner fired by Buttsquat. This is played exactly like this trope, including the dramatic slo-mo.
  • Parodied in Dave the Barbarian. Candy had been kidnapped by a giant zit, brought to life by magic, and Dave was about to kill it with acne medication. Candy, having developed concern for the zit, attempted this, but timed her dive wrong, leaving the zit time for a Flat "What" facial expression as he is struck and killed by the cream.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Parodied in "Together Breakfast" when Steven takes a squirt gun blast for a stack of waffles.
    • Parodied again, while also subverted, in "Shirt Club." When one of Major Dewey's bodyguards sees someone training a gun (well, shirt cannon) on him, he calls out, runs in front of his charge.....and then keeps right on running until he's out of sight.
  • In Gravity Falls, in the episode "Society Of The Blind Eye", Old Man McGucket jumps in front of Dipper to protect him from getting his memories erased by the Society of the Blind Eye. Since McGucket's already nuts from having his memories erased so many times, nothing happens to him.
    • To clarify, the Society used a memory-wiping gun to erase people's memories of anomalies in Gravity Falls. They were trying to make Dipper forget pretty much his entire summer, and were going to do the same to Mabel, Wendy and Soos.
  • Kaeloo had an episode where Kaeloo, Stumpy and Mr. Cat almost got impaled by a variety of sharp objects, but Quack Quack the indestructible duck jumped in front to save them. Mr. Cat responded by calling Quack Quack a show-off.

    Real Life 
  • Alexis Goggins was a Real Life seven-year-old who took six bullets for her own mother. She also managed to survive.
  • Dr. Liviu Librescu, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor, scientist and academic professor. During the Virginia Tech massacre, Librescu personally kept the door shut to prevent gunman Seung-hui Cho from entering the classroom while his students escaped out the windows. He was shot through the door five times before finally succumbing to a shot to the head. Only one of his 23 students failed to escape.
  • The attempt on Ronald Reagan's life by John Hinckley Jr. might have succeeded had it not been for the actions of Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, who leapt in front of Reagan, receiving a wound in his abdomen. He survived. This remains the only time since the Secret Service was officially charged with protecting Presidents in 1906 that a Secret Serviceman has actually taken a bullet for the President.
  • All personnel recruited as agents in various police/military-based VIP protection units (with some exceptions like the Secret Service) are trained to do this if the worse should come to the worst when the VIP is in danger. Hence the nickname "Bulletcatchers".
  • A somewhat extreme example is Alexander Matrosov, a Red Army soldier during World War II. During an assault on Chernushki village, the Soviets were held off by a German MG 42 (which is the fastest firing single barreled machine gun in history) firing from a pill-box. Matrosov threw himself in front of the massive amount of dakka, blocking the fire and allowing his unit to advance. He was posthumously awarded Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest honour that can be bestowed by the USSR.

    Matrosov's deed was praised and exemplified as a device for motivation and morale via newspapers, and afterwards entered the Soviet\Russian culture via the history books and propaganda (like several other greatly romanticized, though largely non-invented acts of heroism). What's interesting is the surfacing number of "firing-port jumpers" both before and after Matrosov. The rough estimate puts them at between 200 and 400. Note that the very definition of the feat means it was voluntary and by all means "above and beyond the call of duty" — which, combined with other realistic considerations, kinda goes against the whole "cannon fodder peasants 'motivated' into frontal assaults by machine-gun-armed NKVD squads" tripe that was once widespread in the USA and is occasionally touted as "the grim truth of the Eastern Front".
  • During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Soviet aerial convoys were protected from Stinger-wielding Mujahideen fighters by Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunships. According to some, the pilots were instructed to use their helicopters to physically block the missiles should they get too close to the planes, earning them the nickname "Mandatory Matrosovs". Not as bad as it sounds, however; the Hind is built to stand up to considerable punishment.
  • After the July 20 Plot to kill Hitler failed, the plot's conspirators were arrested and placed in front of a firing squad. When Claus von Stauffenberg (one of the plot's ringleaders) was about to be shot, his adjutant, Werner von Haeften in a crowning moment of awesome defiantly placed himself in front of von Stauffenberg, taking the bullets intended for von Stauffenberg. Though the truth of this is disputed somewhat, as the bullets would have gone straight through him and still injured Stauffenberg.
  • Late in World War II, the Japanese destroyer Akikaze escorting the aircraft carrier Jun'yo, deliberately charged between the carrier and the attacking submarine USS Pintado, taking six torpedo hits in the process. Akikaze was lost with all hands, but the Jun'yo would remain afloat pass the end of the war until finally scrapped in 1946-1947.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Takes The Bullet, Took The Bullet


Lucifer - Marcus takes a bullet for Chloe

Marcus notices a shooter coming up behind him and Chloe and decides to use himself as a shield.

Example of:

Main / TakingTheBullet
Main / TakingTheBullet