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Third Party Stops Attack

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This trope is about an action, in which someone interrupts someone else's attack meant for a third party. The attacker, the attacked and the interrupter can be a bad guy, good guy or neutral, and they may or may not have relation to each other. The interrupter may be a Threatening Mediator.

Ways of accomplishing this include:

  • The interrupter disables the attacker's means of attacking (such as holding off the attacker's limb before the latter managed to punch/kick the would-be victim) or paralyzing them entirely.
  • The interrupter defends the would-be victim against the attacker's attack, be it close or ranged. The defending move may be as simple as blocking/parrying the attack, to the more complex ones such as shooting a flying bullet away or casting a protective spell on the would-be victim.
  • The interrupter assaults the attacker before the latter manage to harm the would-be victim.

Compare Diving Save, when the third party instead moves the would-be victim out of harm's way, and Taking the Bullet or Tuck and Cover, when the third party absorbs the attack themselves. Also see Thwarted Coup de Grâce and Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind. For a variation where no physical action is taken to stop the fight, see Battle-Interrupting Shout.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • During Rukia's execution, the firebird-form of the Sokyoku flies towards Rukia to kill her with its practice swing. The weapon is stopped in its tracks by Ichigo blocking it with his sword. When the firebird swings again for a proper strike that even Ichigo won't be able to block, it's stopped in its tracks again, this time by Ukitake activating the shield that seals it.
    • During Ulquiorra and Yammy's reconnaissance mission to the World of the Living, Yammy tries to kill Orihime who is protecting Tatsuki and Sado from him. Ichigo appears from nowhere to block Yammy's attack with his sword. When Ichigo finds that's the limit of what he can do against Yammy, Urahara appears from nowhere to save Ichigo's life by blocking Yammy's killing blow with an energy shield created by his sword.
    • After Nnoitra thrashes Ichigo and Nel, he leaves his subordinate Tesla to finish off Ichigo. Zaraki appears from out of nowhere to block Tesla's killing punch with his blade. He instantly defeats Tesla and then takes on Nnoitra.
  • In season 2 of Code Geass, Lelouch intercepts a coup de grace by Gino aimed at both Xing-ke and Empress Tianzi by arriving just in the nick of time in his new Shinkiro.
  • Cross Ange:
    • A subverted example: Embryo appears from nowhere to intercept a killing blow from Ange against her traitorous brother Julio, but only to do the deed himself and spare her the burden of dirtying her hands, as he puts it.
    • In more a case of Third Party Stops Battle, as Rosalie prepares to go one on one with her former friend Chris after the latter just killed new recruit Marika in cold blood, Sala appears out of nowhere and fires off a blast between the two, forcing Chris to retreat and averting a bigger bloodbath.
  • One Piece:
    • In Marineford arc, Shanks stops Sakazuki's attempt to kill Coby by a sword.
    • In Dressrosa arc, Luffy stops Doflamingo from delivering a Finishing Stomp to Law by holding out his leg and stopping the attack cold.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: When Homura is about to kill Sayaka to prevent her from turning into a witch, Kyoko pins Homura with her spear, and orders Sayaka to run away.

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel Comics' GI Joe issue #15 "Red-Eye To Miami" Snake Eyes, Doctor Venom and Kwinn escape from crazed mercenaries in Sierra Gordo aboard an old but functional Lancaster bomber. During the flight, Dr Venom tries to drop Snake Eyes out the bomb bay doors but fails. An angry Kwinn then lifts Dr Venom over his head and is about to throw him to his doom. Snake Eyes puts a hand on Kwinn's elbow, belaying the execution, because Venom is the only one who can land the damaged aircraft safely.

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: In "What a Mess", Roselle stops Juzint's assassination of Melissa, with lightning that threw off her aim:
    The pinkish-white arcs of lightning from the hurried shot fanned out, raking the left arm of the blurring shadow, just before she could reach her target [...] A spasm went through Juzint's leg, just at the wrong instant. The flow of time seemed to return to normal, but instead of intestines spilling out of the blue-haired girl's stomach, only blood surged from the four crimson lines drawn across her belly.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: Subverted when the Wolf shows up just as Jon Snow and Grey Worm are about to come to blows over whether to execute the surrendered Lannister soldiers. The Wolf starts butchering them in so needlessly cruel and sadistic a fashion that Grey Worm declares Daenerys will decide their fate, just to spite him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alita: Battle Angel: Zapan raises his sword to attack Hugo, but just before he can finish his downswing, Alita skates in and grabs his arm by the wrist.
  • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Thranduil's and Ironfoot's armies wave their weapons and beat their chests until they're interrupted by Azog's arrival. In the Extended Cut, they actually come to blows and viciously tear each other's lines. In an ironic twist, the dwarves overwhelm the elves using ranged weapons, and elven spears cut down a dwarven cavalry charge. When Azog the Defiler arrives, however, they immediately put all differences aside and launch a joint, if poorly coordinated, effort to defeat the orcs.
  • In Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu is about to finish off Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious when Anakin Skywalker, who wants Palpatine to stay alive to help him save Padme, attacks Mace and cuts off his hand.

  • Dragon Jousters: Khefti-the-Fat is whipping Vetch and Ari grabs his wrist to prevent him from continuing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Tricked by the Big Bad into killing Angel before he could be converted back to good, Connor raises the stake and finds out the hard way that Slayers are much stronger than he is when Faith seizes his arm, followed by tossing him across the room.
  • Best Friends Whenever: Sebastian is about to kill a defenseless Shelby when Cyd picks up the sword lost earlier and blocks his swing. After being trounced mightily, Sebastian tries to stab Cyd in the back with a dagger and is knocked out by Shelby with a steel mug.
  • Dark Angel: A Breeder Elite Soldier is beating on Logan when Joshua intervenes in this manner.
  • Dark Matter (2015):
    • Olric pulls his fist back to punch Tabor, when Two grabs his arm, beats him unconscious and he is dragged away in that state.
    • Misaki raises her poisoned dagger to stab Ryo when Two appears behind her and grabs her wrist. Followed by a bone-crunching sound as her shoulder is broken for extra pacification. Then gets a Karmic Death with the dagger because she used it to kill a member of the crew in a previous episode.
  • Mech-X4: The dinoscorpion monster tries to crush a soldier rescuing a civilian when MechX4 catches the descending limb and pushes the monster away.
  • Once Upon a Time: In a rare weaponized variant, Bo Peep raises a meat cleaver to attack Prince Charming and this is how she discovers Captain Hook is behind her.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Errand of Mercy", the Organians stop an entire war between The Federation and the Klingon Empire.

  • Stan Ridgway's "Camouflage": "Then a bullet with my name on it came buzzin' through a bush. And that big marine, he just swatted it with his hand, just like it was a fly."

  • Happens twice in quick succession in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues. The vampire Daigo grabs Harriet while she's in a school hallway and attempts to strangle her, only for Hyeon to come in and whack him away with a guitar case. Daigo then grabs Hyeon and attempts to sink his fangs into him, only for Hyeon's back-up Carlie to duck in and punch him right in the nose.

    Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry 5:
    • Because the heroes mostly split up on the way to Urizen in the prologue, Nero arrived late as Dante, Lady and Trish are already on the floor, but he still manages to shoot a Qliphoth Root that Urizen aimed at Dante.
    • Near the beginning, an Empusa's leap towards an unnamed soldier gets interrupted by Nico and Nero arriving at the scene, with their van bumping the Empusa in mid-air.
    • In Mission 8, Nero loses his rematch against Urizen. Just as he's getting crushed by Qliphoth Roots, Dante arrives (in a newly-acquired Sin Devil Trigger form) to sever the roots and save him.
    • In the climax, as Dante and the Final Boss Vergil charge towards each other for an attack, suddenly Nero in his new Devil Trigger form stops them and their weapons in their tracks, as he doesn't want the two of them to fight to the death anymore.
  • The King of Fighters: In the K-Team ending, K' is surrounded by enemy soldiers aiming their guns at him, only to have Maxima block the bullet with his hand and cover K's retreat.
  • Love of Magic: After MC is attacked at the summit in Book II, his finishing blow on the attacker is blocked by Odin and the Horned Lord.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: After Travis reached Rank 5, it's revealed to the player that the fight between Travis and Henry at the very end of the previous game was ceased by Sylvia, much to Travis's annoyance. The fight was about to reach a climax during a Blade Lock between the two combatants.
  • In Resident Evil 4, during the knife fight between Leon and Krauser, Ada stops Krauser from killing Leon by shooting his knife out of his hand.
  • Super Mario RPG: Mario and Mallow find Geno in a confrontation with Bowyer, one of Smithy's minions, in the Forest Maze. When Bowyer fires an arrow at Geno, Mario jumps in and knocks it away.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Just before Sheik and Fox fight on the Halberd in the Subspace Emissary, Peach stops them... for teatime.

    Western Animation 
  • Symbionic Titan: When one of the unstoppable monsters from the finale raises its hand to slash at the G3 Aerial Squadron, the Titan stops it. And then introduces the monster to death by swordgibbing with its Big Freaking Sword.
  • 3Below: When Steve tries to punch Krel, his fist stops moving mere centimeters away from impact, because Aja has grabbed his arm, then she tosses him at the nearest garbage bin to make sure he understands to back down.
  • The Transformers: Ravage leaps to attack the humans near the unconscious Skyfire and finds his jump interrupted as Skyfire awakens just in time to catch him one handed and then tosses him aside. Considering that Skyfire is big enough to hold him inside his closed fist, Ravage decides a prompt exit is the best course of action.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise: A turbocharged Overbite defeats three Autobots and Grimlock, then taunts them by slowly crushing the truck with their human ally inside. Then a hand lands on his shoulder and he turns around to see the one Autobot no Decepticon ever wants to meet alone: Optimus Prime! Who then tosses him into the nearby quarry one handed, knocking Overbite out (he gets to say "Ow" before passing out) and catches the truck with his other hand.
  • Transformers: Cyberverse: Shadowstriker is pummeling Bumblebee hard and as she raises her right arm for another punch, Grimlock bites her arm, then tosses her aside.