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The Rest Shall Pass

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"You two go on ahead. This one's mine."
Yang Xiao Long, RWBY, "No Brakes"

The good guys are on their way to kill the Big Bad, foil the Evil Plan, or rescue the Damsel in Distress, but they only make it so far before a bad guy pops up and gives them the old You Shall Not Pass! Inevitably, one of the team members (Usually The Big Guy out of Big Guy Fatality Syndrome) will step up and say, "You guys go on ahead. I'll take care of this guy." He then stays behind to fight the villain while the rest of the group moves on.

Often, this process will repeat itself until only one team member is left... and he has to face the Big Bad alone! ...Or not.

This happens often in anime probably because of the concept of Japanese Spirit, which despite supposedly and nominally encouraging teamwork it paradoxically also encourages each member of the "clan" to take on their opposite counterpart alone.

Contrast with Leave Him to Me! and You Shall Not Pass!, the difference being that the bad guy gets in the way of the heroes in this trope, whereas a hero will turn to fend off a pursuing bad guy in the other. Usually leads to massive amounts of I Am Your Opponent. May overlap with The Only One Allowed to Defeat You.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • In the Soul Society arc, Ichigo fights Kenpachi Zaraki so Ganju and Hanataro can continue on to rescue Rukia. Later, Kenpachi himself fights against Captains Komamura and Tousen so his division and Ichigo's group can continue on to save Rukia.
    • Happens multiple times in episode 185 of the anime: Captain Amagai fights a ninja mook so Ichigo can pursue the mook who apparently has Rurichiyo. He does it again with Hitsugaya so Ichigo and Rukia can enter the palace. Finally, Rukia fights Matsumoto so Ichigo and Shu Kannogi can get past her.
    • In episode 214, as Kon and his team try to fight their way into the Hollow fortress, Tatsuki tells him that the rest of the team will take care of things at the entrance and that he should proceed to the core of the fortress and attack the nucleus.
    • Late into the Arrancar Arc, Ichigo is fighting the Exequias and their leader, Rudbornn Chelute when Renji, Chad and Rukia show up. They deal with the Arrancar so Ichigo can continue on and save Orihime.
    • Happens in the Gotei 13 Invading Army Arc as well:
      • In episode 324, while Captain Komamura and three other captains are passing through the Precipice World to return to the Soul Society, they are pursued by the restrictive current. Komamura uses his Bankai to slow down the restrictive current so the other captains can continue on their mission. He is swallowed up by the restrictive current and his fate is unknown at the end of the episode.
      • In episode 336, when Ichigo and Urahara are trapped by many enemy Reigai, Urahara tells Ichigo that he'll handle the opponents and that Ichigo should go on.
      • In episode 337, when Urahara and Kon are faced by two Reigai, he says he'll take on the Reigai and for Kon to go on and complete the mission.
  • Happens in D.Gray-Man during the Ark arc.
  • In the Dark Masters arc of Digimon Adventure, Andromon attempts to fend off Piedmon to help the remaining Digidestined escape. Of course, Piedmon had just taken down the team's heaviest hitters (WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon, alongside Tai and Matt), so Andromon likely knew he wouldn't be much more than an obstacle. Sure enough, he also ends up adding to Piedmon's keychain collection.
  • In Durarara!! Shizuo tells Celty to go on ahead while he deals with Seiji, and cheerfully points it out with an "I always wanted to say that!"
  • Fullmetal Alchemist. Roy Mustang uses it when he finally comes face to face with Envy, his best friend's killer. He wanted to have the Roaring Rampage of Revenge all to himself but Ed and Scar come back for him before he can lose himself in his anger.
  • Almost required in any given fight of Get Backers.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team La Verite episode 11. As Taro, Konoe and Yashima use the elevator to go down and save Mariel, Ryuuka, Ikuyo Suzuki and Grace stay at the top to hold off the mansion's security maids. When Taro, Konoe, and Yashima confront Konoe's sister, Konoe and Yashima fight her to give Taro a chance to rescue Mariel from her People Jar.
  • In Mazinkaiser, Tetsuya does this to allow Kouji to go fight Dr. Hell in the end.
  • Several times in rapid succession in the Finale of My-Otome.
  • Naruto uses this trope during the Sasuke Retrieval arc and in the third movie. In the first, Shikamaru's rescue team stay behind one by one to deal with the Sound Four so the rest can continue chasing Sasuke. Eventually it's down to just Naruto and Sasuke himself...
  • Happens multiple times in almost any given arc in One Piece. Usually the protagonists square off against a group (be it another pirate crew, a group of Marines, or whoever), and it inevitably comes down to Luffy taking the leader and his crew taking care of the subordinates. This also happened constantly in Marineford, with everybody clearing a path for Luffy to get to Ace.
    • Most of the time (notably in Alabasta and Enies Lobby), the Straw Hats were split up from the very beginning in order to take on the entire Quirky Miniboss Squad at once. One of the few times this trope specifically comes into play (and not just I Am Your Opponent) is on Thriller Bark, where one of the groups of Straw Hats leave Usopp to fight Perona. This one does have some justification, as Usopp was the only one capable of fighting her at all.
  • Near the end of Wolf's Rain Tsume tells Kiba and Cheza to go on ahead while Tsume holds off the Big Bad, Darcia. Kiba and Tsume exchange a Look because they both know Darcia is much more powerful and has already killed several of their party.
  • This happens on two separate occasions in the third season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, when the heroes are Trapped in Another World and about half the school has been turned into Duel Zombies. On the first occasion, Jim has to hold off the horde to let the others get by, then Adrian has to do the same; fortunately, both of them escape. The next time, however, when a bigger horde is attacking due to The Virus spreading, Professor Chronos and then Napoleon have to do it, and they aren't so lucky — both are among the horde that the remaining heroes have to fight at the end of the arc.
  • The final showdown in Outlaw Star is a great example of this.
  • This happens in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon when the cast splits up to take on Lusamine's Pokémon, leaving Ash to deal with Lusamine herself.
  • Used blatantly in the last episode of Record of Lodoss War, when one after another Parn's allies stop to fight lesser monsters so he can have his inevitable one-on-one duel with Ashram.
  • A few times in Rurouni Kenshin:
    • The manga version of the Oniwabanshu fight explicitly invokes this, as Shikijo lets Kenshin and Yahiko continue their rescue of Megumi because he specifically wants to fight Sanosuke.
    • Played with in the Kyoto arc; Saito tells Kenshin and Sano to go on ahead while he takes care of Usui of the Juppongatana. When Usui comments that Saito is being nice to Kenshin, Saito explains that he only did it to make sure Kenshin was out of the room so that Saito could kill Usui.
  • The end of the first Sailor Moon series did that so that Sailor Moon would be on her own when she finally encounters Beryl.
  • Saint Seiya abused this trope in every single arc. The Poseidon arc spiced things up by splitting everyone up to head in a different direction, instead of following them along a linear path, but the principle is the same. It gloriously backfires on the Bronze Saints at the end of the Twelve Temples, as Pisces Aphrodite, guardian of the final Temple, expected this trick and seeded the path after his Temple with roses that emit deadly gas, allowing him to deal with both Shun, who had stayed back to face him, and Seiya, who had gone through and only survived because Marin, who wore a mask that protected her, came to the rescue.
  • Soul Eater uses when the bad guys have a headstart to an evil can. Stein makes the plan based on his unit's strengths compared to theirs. As per the Description, there are two I Am Your Opponent moments.
    • This plays out even though Stein's plan is ignored by Maka and Black☆Star, and results in all Kid Heroes facing the evil 'can' together even though their efforts are dashed once its occupant wakes up.
  • Possible variation in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: during the final battle, the titular mecha is being fried by the Grand Zamboa's Infinity Big Bang Storm. The heroes open up a can of Heroic Resolve... then Lordgenome steps up and says "Simon, leave this one to me." He summons the Lazengann and sucks the attack into himself, converting it into enough spiral energy for the heroes to turn the tables on the Anti-Spiral.
    • In the movie, this energy is used to summon the Super TTGL instead.
    • Both the series and the movie play with this, each larger mecha taking the brunt of an attack which allows the smaller mecha piloting it to advance. Viral and Lagann also get one in via Fastball Special.

    Comic Books 
  • The Mighty Thor: Thor and some allies are escaping from Hel with some unjustly trapped souls. The minions of Hel are rapidly approaching, and Thor decides to stay behind to buy time for everyone else to escape. Balder points out that Thor will surely perish if he does this, and Thor responds that he might not die, and no one else can possibly hold them off long enough. Then Skurge knocks him unconscious, picks up a pair of assault rifles, and turns the situation into You Shall Not Pass! instead.
  • Done in Teen Titans during their first battle against Raven's father Trigon. Arriving in his stronghold, the Titans are confronted by a giant dog. Changeling tells the others to go on and stays behind to deal with the dog.

    Fan Works 
  • Back to the Beginning sees Kendo Rappa, in spite of being horrified when he learns about Eri, still demand that one of the Pro Heroes raiding the Shie Hassaikai fight him so he doesn't lose face. He initially wants All Might as his opponent, but Gran Torino offers him a juicier target: The old man who trained All Might.
  • Happens in the Pokémon fanfic Blood In The Water:
    • All of the 'Dex Holders appear as The Cavalry, but then it is revealed that Franz has sent the remaining Elite Four members and the hypnotized Gym Leaders after the protagonists. This changes the possible outcome of the scenario entirely, as now the inexperienced Trainers are the only ones left to face the Big Bad. As the three protagonists leave, the audience is greeted with this badass scene:
      Blue: [draws a Pokeball from her pocket] Do you think they'll be okay?
      Green: They're decent enough trainers. [enlarges a Pokeball in his hand]
      Gold: Not as good as us though, right? [grins]
      [Silver scoffs]
      [Red silently stares at the approaching enemy]
      Green: Go! [all Dex Holders throw their Pokeballs simultaneously]
    • It later happens again: Anna and Siobhan are forced to stay behind and battle Franz himself, while Haleigh goes on to fight Josh.
  • Fate/Parallel Fantasia: The final battle has the heroes charging down a tunnel to try to reach the Greater Grail. True Avenger stays behind to hold off False Avenger. Rin, Luvia, and Bazett stay behind to hold off False Berserker. False Saber stays behind to hold off True Rider. False Archer stays behind to hold off False Lancer. True Saber and True Archer stay behind to hold off True Berserker. False Caster stays behind to hold off Gilgamesh. Finally, Shirou alone reaches and battles Kotomine.
  • Jewel of Darkness: When the Titans are trying to intercept Midnight's Chronoton Detonator, they're attacked by Guerra, and Robin tells the others to go on while he fights him. Which is exactly what Midnight wants.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev: During the finale, Fauxy splits off from the rest of the group in order to distract Hawk Moth's last akuma with his illusions. Oudragon, meanwhile, plays with this concept: when they see that there's not enough room on the elevator leading down to Hawk Moth's secret lair, she lets the others use it while racing ahead to attack him first.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: When the girls storm the castle, they end up running into each member of Nightmare Moon's Quirky Miniboss Squad one after another; they end up peeling off one-by-one to deal with each new threat until Twilight is the only one left to confront Nightmare Moon herself (the others catch up in time for the actual Final Battle).
  • In The Night Unfurls, this is what Kyril does whenever a stronger threat suddenly appears, or whenever he senses that the Arc Villain is near. The reason is either because he puts a more personal stake on the act, or more pragmatically, he aims to quell the larger threat as quick as possible, for the sake of preventing unnecessary casualties in his company (defying the Redshirt Army trope).
  • No stars in sight: While climbing up an underwater cliff to reach the surface, Ikharos and his Cabal soldiers are attacked by a Nïdhwal. Ikharos chooses to stay behind and insists on fighting the sea beast by himself while his men continue on without him.
  • Queen of All Oni: During Operation Steel Lightning, Jackie, Viper, and Tohru keep Ozeki busy while Uncle goes after Jade to stop her from stealing the other masks from the Vault.
  • This has happened in The Tainted Grimoire. When Crow appears while Clan Gully and their comrades is trying to rescue Baron Beltorey and Cid, Luso takes him on alone and the rest of his group moves on.
  • Skewed sideways in Worm - Justice For All. Justitia is trying to rescue a group of capes from Hamelin's pocket dimension, but is given a Sadistic Choice: Either Justitia can escape on her own and leave the others, who are already exhausted and have had their powers stolen, to face the mad parahuman, or she can face him alone and allow the others to escape. Naturally, Taylor chooses to be the one to stay behind and face the madman alone.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Chicken Brent fights off the giant chickens while Sam and Flint got to stop the food-making machine.
  • In Coco: Miguel and his entire dead family — It Makes Sense in Context — arrive to confront the villain. He recognizes who they are and that they outnumber him; he flees, calling for his security Mooks. Papa Julio, boxing like a prizefighter, takes out the first couple. Oscar and Felipe work together to take out the next few, so Miguel and his remaining relatives can give chase. It is Imelda who faces off against the bad guy alone as she ends up on his stage, leaving Miguel and the remaining family members to watch helplessly.
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes: While the main cast is traveling up the inside of the tower to get to the security controls on the top floor, a couple of times they leave several of their number behind to fight against encountered opponents so the rest can press on.
  • In Pokémon 3, Brock and Misty do this while Ash goes off to find his mom.
  • The first Ranma ½ movie, Big Trouble in Nekonron China, has this. There are a series of gates that lead up to where the kidnapped Akane is being held. Each gate is guarded by one of the Seven Lucky Gods martial artists. Members of Ranma's group gradually break off to deal with these guardians. This is a blatant parody of said trope happening in Saint Seiya (in the Anime & Manga folder), up to one of the Lucky Gods, Monlon, fighting with Razor Floss just like Benetnasch Eta Mime.
  • Shrek:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Also, in Aliens, Lt. Gorman tells Hicks to go on to landing craft while he goes back to try and help the injured Vasquez.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: Neo versus the new Agents. Later, Neo versus the Merovingian's goons.
    The Merovingian: Handle us. You'll handle us? You know, your predecessors had much more respect.
  • The Phantom Menace: This trope is how Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi react to Darth Maul during the liberation of Naboo.
  • In Prince Caspian, Susan stays behind to shoot down Telmarines while Lucy gallops on to reach Aslan.
  • In Predator, Billy stays behind to let the rest of the team go to the chopper while he holds the eponymous Predator at bay on a bridge. In this situation, the hero knew he had no chance against the alien monster but was simply buying his allies some time. Given how Bill dies offscreen and they're still close enough to hear his death cry it might have only bought them seconds.
  • This happens in Rush Hour 2 when Carter tells Lee to go after Ricky Tan while he fights Hu Li.
  • In Sky High (2005), when faced with Lash, Speed and Penny, the heroes have Will go on ahead and fight Royal Pain while Warren, Ethan, and Layla stay to fight and Zach and Magenta take cover.
  • The Three Musketeers (1973). D'Artagnan and the three musketeers (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) are on a mission for the queen. Along the way, they're attacked by various groups sent by Cardinal Richelieu. In one encounter, while fighting a Mook, Athos orders d'Artagnan to keep going while he stays and keeps the opponent busy.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Ron takes charge of the chess game and sacrifices himself, Hermione solves the potion riddle, leaving Harry to deal with the Mirror and Voldemort.
  • Older Than Radio: In The Three Musketeers (1844) when D'Artagnan and his friends are on a secret mission to London, the Cardinal's agents try three times to ambush or derail them in different ways. Each time one of the musketeers is left behind taking care of the enemies while the rest carry on until at the end d'Artagnan is the only one who arrives to London.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: In "The Do-or-Die Tower Break-In Strategy!", the heroes team up with Ryoma so they can use Ryoma's secret tunnel to sneak into Yggdrasill Tower. On the way there, Oren and Jonouchi stay behind to hold off a group of Inves blocking the road to the entrance, then Kaito, Zack and Minato hold off the automated guards in the tunnel, leaving Kouta and Ryoma to enter the tower.
    • Kamen Rider Build: In the final battle, the Big Bad challenges the heroes to climb up his tower while he destroys a part of Japan for every 10 minutes they spend climbing. During the ascent, the Big Bad sends clones of Grease's friends, so Grease stays behind to fight them. Then, the Big Bad creates clones of past enemies Remocon and Engine Bro's, so Rogue fights them while Build and Cross-Z go on and reach the top.
  • Done in the finale of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger. First Nossan stays behind to hold off a squad of Elite Mooks, then Ucchi stops to confront his personal nemesis once and for all, then Ian and Souji hold back another group of Mooks, leaving King and Amy to face the Big Bad together.

    Video Games 
  • Arcana has your companions hold off one encounter within the last dungeon because there's not enough time.
  • Happens in Astro Boy: Omega Factor, as part of the Boss Rush. After Astro defeats the first copy of a boss, the Big Bad just pulls in another copy from another timeline, triggering one of Astro's friends to step in and keep it busy so he can move on.
  • In Digital Devil Saga, Gale and then Cielo do this with Angel and her remaining loyalists in fighter jets as they attempt to stop the group from going to the HAARP Facility. Neither of them survive, but Gale takes Angel with him and Cielo is able to wipe out a good chunk of the forces on his own before biting the dust.
  • In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny this goes in the order of Dahlia, Kaede, Berio, Nanashi, and finally Lily and Muriel until only Mia and Selbium are left to confront the Messiah Armor that contains Taiga.
  • In Final Fantasy X this happens both ways. First, when the party is going to climb Mt. Gagazet, home of the Ronso people, two ronso, who always bullied party member and fellow ronso Kimahri, stop them and say "Summoner may pass. Guardians may pass. Kimahri not pass". This leads to a 1 on 2 boss fight with Kimahri against Biran and Yenke. The second instance once again involves Kimahri, this time holding off the once again resurrected Seymour Guado, who has absorbed the pyreflies in the area, transforming into the monstrous Seymour Natus. Kimahri stands vigil and tries to hold off Seymour so the rest of the party can run off to safety. They decide not to run away and to join the fight instead.
  • GreedFall: Leading up to the final battle, De Sardet and all of their companions must fight their way up a mountain, aiding whatever faction allies they've recruited. As De Sardet meets these allies (or certain checkpoints if they weren't convinced to help), a companion will decide to stay back and Hold the Line until, eventually, De Sardet is left by themselves.
  • The stock response from any security guard in Half-Life. Well, one of the stock responses.
  • La Pucelle: Right before the party can ascend into the second half of the final area, the Angel Gate, they are stopped by Veloute Normande, the Demon Lord that grievously wounded Homard's father and attacked Mayonnaise Harbor in the previous chapter. Homard stays behind to fight said Demon Lord as the rest of the party heads off to combat Noir. In a rare example of this trope, the player gets to control Homard.
  • In a rare villainous example, Last Scenario has Helio do this for the rest of the Omega Team following Castor's Villainous BSoD so that they can escape and let Castor recuperate. He actually does buy them enough time to escape even though he dies in the ensuing battle with the party.
  • Bill says this in Left 4 Dead's online comic "The Sacrifice" before jumping into a horde with 3 tanks. He doesn't make it back, but it's called The Sacrifice, you should know this already.
    • In the game, if you choose to sacrifice Zoey, most of her lines are something like this, "I got this, guys! No big deal! ... Shit, shit!"
  • Master Detective Archives: Rain Code: At the end of Chapter 3, Halara Nightmare, after saving Yuma, Fubuki, and Kurumi from Guillaume Hall and her incrimination of Yuma as a terrorist due to being framed by the case's culprit, Icardi, proposes they personally take Yomi and his underlings down themselves when Yomi surrounds the detectives and attempts to execute them with the excuse of Yuma planting bombs around Kanai Ward under the culprit's manipulations. However, it gets subverted when Makoto Kagutsuchi intervenes and saves the detectives himself, and Halara doesn't get the opportunity to actually do this.
  • This tends to happen at the end of Mega Man Battle Network games, with your friends stopping each sub-boss out of nowhere and telling you to go on ahead.
  • In Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, the four characters storm the Definitely Final Dungeon. After some initial skirmishing, each character finds an arch-enemy and stays behind to fight him, leaving the main Player Character to carry on alone.
  • In Shuyan Saga, Shuyan tries to do this to cover her allies' escape from the Guer. Jian isn't impressed:
    Shuyan: Get to the tower. I'll keep them occupied.
    Jian: With what? Your slow painful death?
  • This is how Super Paper Mario gets Mario alone for the final boss: Bowser stays behind to fight O'Chunks, Peach fights Mimi, and Luigi goes up against Dimentio.
  • Happens literally five times in a row in Tales of Symphonia, taking out one party member at a time until only Lloyd is left. The remaining two members of your eight-man party are the Fake Defector and his kidnappee, respectively.
  • Trails of Cold Steel III: This happens in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. You start off with a party consisting of both Old and New Class VII, but fight a series of battles against groups of enemies. After each battle two or three of the party will stay behind to keep the enemies occupied while the rest of the party continue. By the time you reach the Final Boss, the active party has been reduced to four.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In Volume 2's penultimate episode, Weiss, Blake and Yang fight their way through the train. They're stopped by Neo, so Yang tells the others to carry on while she fights Neo. The next opponent sees Weiss staying to fight the White Fang Lieutenant so that Blake can continue. Blake is therefore the only one who reaches Roman Torchwick. Only Blake wins her fight, and no-one can stop the train on time to prevent it from crashing into Vale.

    Web Comics 

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in the The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Club". When a club of nerds threatens to upload an embarrassing video of Gumball if he won't join their club, the Wattersons set out to stop them. Obstacles come up that are each perfectly suited to be handled by each member of the family until only Gumball is left to confront the leaders of the nerd club.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "Don't Drink the Water", two henchmen turn up as Gi and Wheeler are in the middle of escaping and flip the door-close switch. Wheeler tells Gi to keep going and then drives straight at the pair. When they dive out of the way, he turns to the side and grabs the switch, allowing Gi to escape. He gets captured immediately after.
  • Used in Pryde of the X-Men. What's funny is that Magneto actually has enough minions to keep all the X-Men from him, as Nightcrawler ends up the final X-Man and finds Blob waiting for him. Nightcrawler simply teleports around him and makes a game attempt to stop Magneto by himself.

Alternative Title(s): I Got This