Any injury which causes a fleeing victim (call him Bob) to fall or become slowed, giving his pursuer a better chance to catch up. If the injury is crippling, other characters must decide whether to abandon Bob or assist him, knowing that supporting or carrying Bob will slow down other members of the group and put them in greater danger as well.
- This happens to Levi in Attack on Titan when he saved Mikasa from the Female Titan before taking Eren and retreating. This results in him being sidelined for the next couple of story arcs as he recovers.
- Happened to Teana on the first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers, adding some complications to her B-Rank qualifying mage exam. Later gets mirrored in the last episodes of the season, though that one was less of a twisted ankle and more of a slashed up one courtesy of Deed.
- In the Library Island Story Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima!, this happened to Yue while the group was trying to get out of the place. Negi tried to give her a piggy-back only to immediately collapse under her weight. Huge Schoolgirl Kaede carried her instead.
- In Pokémon, this happens (in a literal sense) to Ash (who could still run just fine after falling multiple times his own height onto a stone staircase and then falling some more onto a sand battlefield earlier in the anime) when he slides down a cliff while saving Serena. He recovers by the next episode.
- In Igor, Heidi fakes a twisted ankle to get Igor away from Eva.
- In The Last Unicorn, the main characters are forced to confront the Red Bull when Lady Amalthea (the eponymous unicorn in human form) falls down and is unable to continue running.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens a teenage boy twists his ankle (with the foot turned all the way around!) and has to be carried by his date.
- Alien: Covenant. A crewmember panics on encountering an alien, slipping in blood and falling to the floor, then slamming the airlock door on her foot when she tries to seal the room. She's able to free her foot in time but her ankle has been crushed, hobbling her efforts to flee when the alien breaks through the door.
- Bloody Homecoming: In a Reality Ensues moment, Nora twists her ankle when she jumps out of the bed of a pickup truck while wearing a pair of stiletto heeled ankle boots, which severely restricts her ability to run away from the killer. She is reduced to crawling under parked cars in an attempt to hide.
- Carve Her Name with Pride. Violette Szabo twists her ankle while being chased by German soldiers. As I Will Only Slow You Down, she stays to give covering fire so her compatriots in La Résistance can escape. This was Truth in Television, as she'd already damaged her ankle during a parachute drop.
- In the Misery-esque 2009 thriller Homecoming, a broken ankle is the injury that first leaves Elizabeth at the psychotic Shelby's tender mercies. In the process of "caring" for her "patient," Shelby intentionally aggravates the injury in order to torment Elizabeth, which significantly hampers Elizabeth's attempts to escape. After she fails to do so, Shelby further hobbles her by severing both her Achilles tendons with a pair of sharpened pruning shears.
- Happens in Predators to Edwin. He blunders into a trap designed to maim, and gets his leg messed up. However, the hero Royce knows the point of the trap is to wound one person to slow the group down as they try to help him. Royce refuses to make himself vulnerable that way and leaves Edwin to be hobbled around by the sniper Isabelle.
- In The Horror of Party Beach, female lead Elaine is searching for evidence of the film's monsters in a flooded quarry when said monsters suddenly appear from the water. As she attempts to flee, Elaine stumbles and gets her foot caught between two rocks; even after getting loose, the resulting injury prevents her from fleeing quickly enough to escape the monsters, and she only survives because the other characters show up in the nick of time.
- When Elena, Steph, and Scott are trying to catch up the the search and rescue chopper in Indigenous, Steph trips and breaks her ankle, necessitating Elena running to intercept it while Scott has to carry her away from the attacking monsters.
- Resident Evil: Retribution. The housewife version of Alice hobbles out of a crashed car more slowly than the zombie horde charging up behind her, yet escapes into a nearby house due to a handy scene cut.
- In Rovdyr, Jorgen twists his ankle when he and Camilla are fleeing through the woods: greatly slowing his pace and forcing the pair of them to hide rather than run when one of the hunters gets close.
- In Scarecrow Slayer, Mary sprains her ankle when she falls out of the upper storey of the frat house while escaping the Scarecrow. This leaves her badly limping and easy prey for the Scarecrow when he catches up with her.
- Parodied in Scary Movie, where a very Genre Savvy victim mocks this trope while demonstrating it in a very extreme manner to the increasingly horrified killer, complete with a sickening snap and a protruding fracture.
- In Siren (2010), Ken trips while chasing after the phantasmal Silka and sprains his ankle, making him easy prey for the dead sailor. The next morning, his ankle is fine, calling into question how much of those events was real.
- Both heroes and villain experience this towards the end of The Terminator. Kyle has a gunshot wound that slows him down; fortunately the Terminator has also damaged a leg, slowing down its pursuit. Then Sarah catches a piece of shrapnel in her thigh in the same explosion that blows the Terminator's legs off.
- V/H/S features two men in different segments (Clint in "Amateur Night" and Gary in "Tape 56") taking a tumble down the stairs and suffering a severe break while fleeing.
- Complained about in a Discworld book or two, generally by a female character who hates the cliché of the pretty heroine twisting her ankle and getting carried off by the hero and is determined not to be so soppy herself.
- Invoked in "The Gypsies in the Wood". Would-be Kid Detective Dickie and his friend Maeve are following a trail of clues when Maeve twists her ankle and has to stop behind while Dickie goes on alone into what turns out to be a trap. Maeve is in league with the antagonists, and faked the injury so she could stop behind and distract the adults who are following after to get Dickie out of trouble. She knew Dickie would buy it because it's the kind of thing that happens in the detective stories that inspire him, and he does, though he notes to himself that the self-reliant Maeve isn't the kind of girl it usually happens to in the stories.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ginny injures her ankle while fighting in the Department of Mysteries. Luna helps her along for a while, but when most everyone in the group is incapacitated, Ginny's left on the ground, SOL.
- In The Heroes of Olympus, Annabeth Chase injures her ankle chasing down the Mark of Athena.
- Septimus Heap: In Flyte, it's a twisted ankle that slows down Septimus to the point that he gets almost taken by the wolverines.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Willow twists her ankle after her Crash-Into Hello with Tara while fleeing from the Gentlemen. The injury is not emphasised, but is just one more thing to add to the terror of the scene.
- Also regularly faked by Buffy once the vampire of the week has chased her far enough that they are out of sight of any witnesses. Lampshaded in "Earshot" when she announces that the stumble-and-fall gets them every time. After knocking down the demon, Buffy is ambushed by a second demon, implying they were trying their own version of her trick.
- Doctor Who: Twisted ankles are stereotypically the main method the Doctor's companions used to advance the plot and increase the tension in an episode: when being chased through the BBC Quarry by People in Rubber Suits, the girl could be counted on to twist her ankle at just the right moment. This doesn't actually happen half as often as people remember it was played straight with Susan, and parodied by Sarah Jane in "The Android Invasion" in a scene where she twists her foot while running, goes down and then immediately turns out to be okay.
- In "Terror of the Autons", Jo injures her ankle escaping from a moving vehicle, but it doesn't slow her down much, she just limps for a while. (That wasn't in the original script, but was added during shooting because the actress actually did hurt her leg.)
- Happens to male companion Adric in "The Visitation" while the TARDIS crew are fleeing from hostile locals on 17th Century Earth. He limps away with Nyssa's help, but his race's Healing Factor means the injury soon ceases to be an issue.
- When it happened (yes, to Susan) in "The Five Doctors", it was a deliberate bit of Self-Parody, with no dramatic effect. Although the same can't be said of Sarah Jane's "needing" to be hauled up the gentlest slope in Wales with a rope and Bessie the car.
Say you'll stand beside me
Say you'll help me save the world
Fall and twist your ankle
Be my Doctor Who Girl
- Happened to a male companion of the Eighth Doctor in the Expanded Universe, due to a gunshot wound to the leg, and the Doctor proceeded to carry him around bridal-style.
- In the fourth Horatio Hornblower telefilm, Temporary Love Interest Mariette breaks her foot when she and Horatio jump out a window to flee the French Republican forces overtaking the village, forcing her to hop along slowly towards a bridge that needs to be blown up in a few minutes. She's shot and killed before reaching it.
- This happens to Dr. Keller while evading hostile aliens in the woods in one episode of Stargate Atlantis.
- Marion sprains his ankle jumping out a window in The Swamp Fox, though once on his horse, he's fine.
- Tony sprains his ankle in an episode of The Time Tunnel right before they become participants in a private war against two Japanese men. Naturally, he tells Doug (who he ends up leaning on for almost the entire rest of the episode) to go on without him; the latter doesn't comply.
- In the Zoey 101 episode "Curse of PCA", the group accidentally awaken an angry spirit outside of the school and during the ensuing panic, Zoey sprains her ankle and has to be carried back to school by Chase.
- Happens to Naomi from Corpse Party when she falls into Heavenly Host Elementary School.
- Happens at least twice to Fiona Belli in the game Haunting Ground as part of her massive amounts of Cutscene Incompetence.
- Kinda justified because she actually gets up and runs even if hurt. The second time she tries to get away on all fours. She also trips a lot when scared in gameplay, too.
- Waylon Park, the hero of Outlast: Whistleblower, goes from spry to hobbling after he gets a gigantic splinter on his leg falling on an elevator shaft. The crippled limping speed makes escaping from Variants far more difficult from then on, and it gets worse after he falls on it a few more times.
- In the Umineko: When They Cry VN, this was originally the reason Rosa decided to stay put and try to fight the goat-headed butlers. While she and Maria were running through the rose garden, Rosa tripped on the steps and broke her ankle, so she couldn't make it to the beach as she had initially planned.
- In one Valkyria Chronicles mission, Alicia (who, as a Scout, is usually one of the fastest characters available) twists her ankle after being thrown off a cliff by an artillery bombardment, drastically reducing her foot speed and cutting her action bar to a fraction of its normal length. For some reason, the magic healing rocks that can fix bullet wounds don't help with this, but some ground-up flowers will. We later learn that Alicia's a Valkyria with an innate Healing Factor, and has "always healed quickly"; while this does explain how she's back up to full speed the next day, by and large it only raises more questions.
- Starslip Crisis:
- Zillion: O'ch! My foot-knee most tender!
- The Angry Beavers: Parodied in Halloween Episode "The Day the World Got Really Screwed Up". In one scene, the beavers and B-movie damsel-in-distress Taluca Lake are trying to flee a horde of monsters, only for Taluca to injure one ankle, then the other, then both at once somehow as the beavers try to help her along. Dagget lampshades this by asking if they can just cut off her feet.
- Happens near the end of the Arthur episode "Muffy's Soccer Shocker" when Brain as the soccer team goalie tries to catch the ball but only to crash into the grass and injures his left ankle, thus Muffy takes his spot for the rest of the game.
- Beetlejuice takes Lydia to a Neitherworld hospital after she injures her foot in "Generally Hysterical Hospital."
- A Staircase Tumble while being chased by Jim lands Jeremie Belpois of Code Lyoko with a pretty severe example of this trope; he does try to jump up after the tumble but immediately goes down with a loud cry of distressed pain.
- It happens to Carly in one episode of The Transformers.