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What a Drag

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Ted: So how about you and Groovy go and start looking for some clues!
Sonny: Clues to what? What is your trip?
Ted: Clues to why I don't chain you to the back of my van and road-haul you until you're nothing but a pelvis wearing a belt!

It's not uncommon in fiction for one character to offend or otherwise anger another character (or group). The act of provoking a foul and violent response from someone is a trope as old as fiction itself. But what happens when it's not enough to beat the tar out of someone? Heck, what happens when it's not even enough to just shoot someone dead? Why, you do something that will inflict the pain of having one's skin torn off by fast-moving asphalt while being flung around chaotically, occasionally being thrown, at high speed, into stationary and possibly immovable objects!

When a character is mangled or killed by being tied or attached to something fast moving, like a car, this trope comes into play. The victim is dragged along the ground like a bag of screaming meat. This is a form of Cruel and Unusual Death and Cold-Blooded Torture, to say the least.

Of course, there are versions of this trope that aren't portrayed as quite so extreme. It is possible for a character to be dragged at lower speeds by methods of transportation less powerful than the average automobile. Not that getting a face full of dirt is much fun, either. Often Played for Laughs with Amusing Injuries in cartoons, with nonfatal examples of characters being dragged on a leash or rope across pavement, into trees and lampposts, and through openings much smaller than the victim.

Has nothing to do with dressing in drag.

See Dragged by the Collar for a Lighter and Softer version. Compare Wipe the Floor with You and Body Sled.


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  • In one of the Barclaycard ads by Rowan Atkinson, the bumbling British spy decides to capture the villain by swimming under his boat and attaching a high-tensile steel cable to it, then fastening the other side to a bollard. It would have worked if he hadn't been Distracted by the Sexy and attached the other end to his own scuba gear, leading to this trope when the villain sees him and flees.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Baccano!: Claire Stanfield, pissed off and in need of information, shoves one goon's limbs onto some railroad tracks from a moving train. Before eventually killing him by giving his head the same treatment when he figures out that said goon killed his friend. Ouch. He does the same thing to Czeslaw, though the missing flesh returned... eventually.
  • Attempted in Boys over Flowers. Thanks to Sakurako's machinations, Tsukushi finds herself taken for a drag in a speeding car while Kazuya is Forced to Watch. Tsukasa arrives and bails her out, but barely.
  • In the Gate manga, the Rose-Knights tortured Itami, which included them tying him to a horse by the neck and making it run. This didn't make it into the anime.
  • In GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, One of the thugs Miki summoned lassoes Onizuka around the neck and drags him behind a car.
  • GTO: The Early Years: In Chapter 46, Fumiya drags Eikichi on a rope behind his bike. Amazingly, Eikichi started climbing up the rope and almost made it to Fumiya before he swerved and made Eikichi hit a concrete block.
  • This is how Seras kills Zorin Blitz in Hellsing. No vehicle was involved here — just a vampire who has just been awakened to her true abilities and is supremely pissed grinding Zorin's face into the nearest wall at Super-Speed.
  • Discussed in Silver Spoon: when Hachiken is learning to ride a horse, he's told that if he starts to slip off he should try to climb back up unless some part of him starts dragging along the ground. At that point hanging on becomes even more dangerous than letting yourself fall off.
  • In the anime of Trigun, some villagers take Vash for a drag after they find out who he is. Fortunately, Meryl intervenes before they get around to shooting him.

    Audio Plays 
  • On We're Alive, Riley and Burt tie Tardust to the back of their vehicle and force him to run along behind until he falls. They then threaten to just keep dragging him if he doesn't tell them where Scratch is hiding.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: Wormy tries to kill Tracy by chaining him to the back of a car and dragging him along the road. Tracy is able to unhook the chain, but not before he is pretty badly banged up by the ordeal.
  • Parodied in one panel of The Far Side, where three cowboys attempt to drag a varmint through the desert — but they've tied him to themselves instead of the horse.

    Fan Works 
  • Fates Collide: Jaune Arc lassos Jaune Alter and drags him out of town with a horse, until Alter manages to cut the rope.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, the little goblin Creeper is dragged throughout the castle courtyard and outside by the recently born gwythaint Gethin.
  • Lost to Dust: Billy the Kid lassos Yang Xiao Long and drags her along with his horse, until Yang manages to grip the ground to pull him off his horse.

    Films — Animation 
  • Tiger in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West gets dragged along the rear of a stagecoach from somewhere not far from New York state to the Badlands. He makes little squeaky-toy noises right up until his unceremonious disembarkment.
  • In The Return of Hanuman, this is Played for Laughs, as Maruti's father gets pulled by two buffaloes, hitting poles and even causing instant destruction of part of the village.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 5 Card Stud, Marshal Al Dana gets shot and falls off his horse. As he does so, his foot gets caught in the stirrup and he gets dragged along behind the horse.
  • The Pharaohs, a gang of greasers in American Graffiti, threatens to do this to one of the protagonists for sitting on their car.
  • Antebellum: During her escape, Veronica manages to lasso Elizabeth. Following their hand-to-hand fight, Veronica jumps on her horse and gallops off; still holding the rope. Elizabeth gets dragged only behind Veronica's horse before suffering Death by Irony when her head slams into the base of a statue of General Robert E. Lee
  • During the arena battle in Attack of the Clones, Artoo rips Threepio's head off the battle droid body and drags it behind him to his real body to reattach it. With Threepio delivering a series of really bad puns along the way.
  • Back to the Future Part III had Marty McFly taking a dirt-ride from Buford Tannen, after insulting Buford by calling him "Mad Dog." Considering that Buford tries to hang Marty immediately following this, it was the least of Marty's worries.
  • The Beast of Hollow Mountain: When Pancho's horse is startled by firecrackers, it bolts and Pancho falls off. He gets his foot caught in the stirrup and is dragged along behind the horse until he is saved by a passing American.
  • In Robert Rodriguez's short student comedy Bedhead, the protagonist goes nuts trying to flatten her brother's Stubborn Hair, and ends up tying him by the ankles to her bicycle and riding off at "ninety miles an hour".
  • Beethoven: The titular dog tangles his leash rope around the chairs and table of the two con artists who are about to scam George out of his company. When he runs off to fetch a ball, he drags them both around the entire neighborhood.
  • Messala's death in Ben-Hur (1959) comes as a result of being dragged behind his chariot in the sand of the chariot race-course. Ouch.
  • Played for laughs in the Chris Farley movie Black Sheep (1996) - he's enthusiastically campaigning for his politician brother, loading groceries in an old couple's car and putting them off with his overbearing zeal. He closes the trunk and realizes he's caught his tie in it, and his terrified screams only get the couple to drive away faster.
  • Played for laughs in Blazing Saddles when a townsman is lassoed and dragged in the mud.
    "Well, that's the end of this suit!"
  • The Bravados: When Douglass catches up with Taylor, he drops a lasso around Taylor's feet and then drags him behind his horse to take the fight out him before hanging upside down from a tree.
  • The pimp King George from the blaxploitation flick Coffy meets his untimely demise in this manner. Not only do the hitmen drag him down a dirt road at high speed (and behind his own car, to add insult to injury), but they take special care that he hits some big boulders by the road.
  • In the John Wayne movie The Cowboys, the young boys send off the villain who has trapped his foot in a stirrup, his body dragging on the ground, by firing in the air to frighten the horse and letting it run off. Would have been kinder to just shoot him dead.
  • In Cowboys & Aliens, Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (wrongly) punishes a hand for killing his cattle by letting him be dragged behind a horse.
  • In Crank: High Voltage, some mooks drag Chev along the water in their motorboat. To add insult to injury, one of them stands up and pees on him.
  • Draw!: After falling off the runaway stagecoach while trying to stop it, Harry Holland gets dragged along behind it as he clings to the underside of the coach for dear life.
  • In Even Lambs Have Teeth, Katie and Sloan punish the Pastor by chaining him to the back of Boris's pickup and going for a long drive.
  • Final Destination 4 has this combined with Kill It with Fire and a heavy dose of irony, when a racist wannabe is dragged by his own tow truck and burned alive in the process after trying to burn a cross KKK-style on the black lead's front lawn. All while War's "Why Can't We Be Friends?" plays on the tow truck's radio.
  • The James Bond film For Your Eyes Only adapts the keelhauling scene from Live and Let Die. Bond and Melina are tied together to a paravane and dragged across a coral reef as shark bait. They're able to snag the rope on a large lump of coral while the boat is turning for another pass. The rope breaks and the paravane goes flying through the air, knocking a mook off the boat to be eaten by the sharks instead.
  • Forty Guns: During the tornado, Jessica falls from her White Stallion. Her foot get caught in the stirrup and is dragged for a considerable distance along the ground. (Notably, Barbara Stanwyck did this stunt herself after her stunt double said it was too dangerous.)
  • Ghost Town (1988): During their final showdown, Devlin lassoed the sheriff and dragged him along the main street behind his horse.
  • Gun Fury: After Curly tries to betray the gang and ride off with Jennifer, Doc ropes him and drags him out of the river across the rocks before staking him out in the desert.
  • The leader of the renegade Posse in Hangman's Knot is last seen being dragged away into the storm by his panicked horse with his foot caught in the stirrup.
  • In Hoboken Hollow, Weldon drags Archie behind his truck by a noose he has tied around Archie's neck.
  • In Hot Shots!, Wash-Out gets dragged along by his parachute cord by an ambulance taking Pete "Dead Meat" Thompson to the hospital. Once the ambulance stops, he makes a Non Sequitur, *Thud* but is shown to be alive and well, working as a radar operator.
  • In the Line of Duty 4: Witness: Donnie (played by Donnie Yen) gets attacked by two Badass Biker henchmen, who proceeds to tie him up and drag him behind their vehicles down the road until a conveniently-placed ax on the sidewalk allows Donnie to cut his ropes.
  • In the Action Prologue of Mad Max: Fury Road, Max is captured and forced to walk behind the War Boys while tied on a rope to one of their vehicles. He survives as they're not driving fast, but only because they need his body for Human Resources.
  • The Man from Laramie: Dave does this to Will on their first meeting. Through a fire, no less...
  • In The Man Who Came Back, Paxton kills Judge Duke by dragging him behind a galloping horse from the plantation to the middle of town.
  • A non-malevolent variation in The Meg. Jason Statham's character has to swim out, attached to a long line, and shoot a Tracking Device into the megalodon. It works, but when they start reeling him it attracts the Meg's attention, so they have to start reeling him a lot faster as the Meg heads straight for Statham while he's being dragged through the water like fishbait.
  • In Metallica: Through the Never, a cop wearing a gas mask and riding a horse lassos Trip by the neck and drags him around the roof of a parking garage.
  • An accidental version of this happens to an old lady's vicious pet dog in National Lampoon's Vacation.
    • The same gag was used in the successful Italian comedy film Tre uomini e una gamba.
  • In Passion in the Desert, Mamluks attack Augustin's regiment. One of them drags a French soldier by a rope behind his horse.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is dragged under the truck. Of course, being Indy, he is barely scratched. For filming the scene, they dug a trench in the road and the driver had to be careful to keep it in the center of the truck and the stunt man had to be lucky. If you look closely, you can see the trench.
  • Resident Evil Film Series:
    • Resident Evil (2002): The monster that attacks the heroes in the train falls through a trap door in the floor and is dragged to death by its tongue along an electrified track while bursting into flames.
    • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
      • Umbrella is seeking to destroy the last human enclaves, and we see armoured vehicles from which captives, attached to a rope, are forced to run behind and try to keep up to avoid being devoured by the horde of zombies chasing them, the idea being to draw these zombies to these enclaves. After capturing Alice, she's also forced to run behind the tank, but she eventually manages to catch up to the tank and jump on, then free herself and escape.
      • Dr. Isaacs does the same thing to another unfortunate woman. She manages to remain running until the tank reaches its destination, but Isaacs sadistically frees her and lets her try to run away from the zombies before shooting her in the back. After the survivors defeat the tank, they shackle a mook behind the tank and force him to run to draw the rest of the zombies away.
  • The titular character from Rob Roy is dragged behind Cunningham's horse after he's captured and being returned to the Marquis. By the time he makes it back, he's battered, bruised, and probably only needed another day or two like that before he would have died.
  • Parodied in Rustlers' Rhapsody. The Cattle Baron's daughter is dragged behind a galloping horse for miles. This results in not one bruise, broken bone, or scratch, just a single smudge on her face for the hero to clean off.
  • Happens in the live-action version of the Scooby-Doo movie. Scooby and Shaggy are escaping from creatures in human bodies by riding on a pair of Quadbikes. After picking up Shaggy's girlfriend Mary-Jane and driving on, one of the creatures grabs onto the back of Shaggy's Quadbike and is dragged along a short distance before been thrown off when they go around a bend. (It's interesting to note that during this short sequence, Shaggy even yells "Like, what a drag!")
  • In Sheba, Baby, a gangster who has become a liability to his boss is drowned by being dragged at high speed through the river behind a speedboat.
  • Silent Tongue: When Awbonnie's ghost rides off with his horse, Prescott grabs the saddle in an attempt to stop it and gets dragged along beside the horse.
  • Accidentally happens in the original Stargate film. A giant pack animal called a mastadge drags Daniel a good distance... back home. This is how the team eventually meets the people of Abydos, and the whole ball gets rolling.
  • Stripped to Kill: After the killer ties Cinnamon's body to the underside of the semitrailer, she gets dragged for about 100 miles.
  • Happens to a victim in Theatre of Blood. After murdering Snipe, Lionheart ties his body to the tail of a horse and sends the horse galloping into Maxwell's funeral.
  • Michael Rooker's character dies this way in Tombstone.
  • In The Unknown, Malabar and Nanon have an act, where the strongman's arms are seemingly pulled in opposite directions by two horses (who are actually on hidden treadmills). Alonzo attempts to sabotage this act so Malabar is really ripped apart by the horses.
  • The Colonel does this to Ron in The Warrior's Way: wrapping a whip around his neck and then dragging him behind a horse.
  • The Wild Bunch has Mapache and his people torturing Angel this way in a truly despicable Kick the Dog moment.
  • Kevin Kline's character in Wild Wild West is dragged across the ground by a gigantic magnet he happened to be holding.

  • Gatling: In Border War, one of the gunslingers lassos Badass Preacher Pere Mulet and starts dragging him along behind his horse. Gatling shoots the gunslinger but the runaway horse continues to charge, and Gatling puts a bullet in Mulet as a Mercy Kill.
  • In The Last Book in the Universe, Ryter is executed this way. It appears to be a common method of execution in the latches.
  • In Live and Let Die, Mr. Big intends to kill Bond and Solitaire by keel-hauling them - dragging them over a coral reef and then letting them be eaten by sharks and barracuda in open water. Just before they hit the coral, though, a mine Bond had attached to Mr. Big's yacht explodes.
  • Joe R. Lansdale's short story The Night They Missed the Horror Show delves into this with a dead dog chained and dragged by two youngins; it apparently leads to their end.
  • In the Richard Bolitho series, Bolitho realises his latest captain is a nasty piece of work when a man being keelhauled is accidentally hauled across the windows of the captain's cabin, given Bolitho a close-up look at just how torn up he is after his punishment. The captain is furious (not, of course, because of the keelhauling).
  • In Rod Serling's anthology The Season to Be Wary there is a very, very dark example of this. There is no sympathy for the victim, though.
  • SERIAL, by Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn, has two serial killers crossing paths. One uses this trope as her preferred MO.Both meet their well-deserved fate this way.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • When Daenerys Targaryen, a khaleesi (queen) of the Dothraki, is pregnant, a wine merchant attempts to assassinate her with poisoned wine. He is punished by having his neck and arms tied behind her horse as she breaks camp and being forced to run naked behind her until he inevitably passes out from exhaustion and gets dragged to death.
      Khal Drogo led them on his great red stallion, with Daenerys beside him on her silver. The wineseller hurried behind them, naked, on foot, chained at throat and wrists. His chains were fastened to the halter of Dany’s silver. As she rode, he ran after her, barefoot and stumbling. No harm would come to long as he kept up.
    • Ser Cleos Frey gets his foot caught in a stirrup while falling from his horse during an ambush. As a result he's dragged along until his head gets dashed out against a rock.
  • In the Jack Higgins novel The Wrath of God, the protagonists are tied to the horses of Mexican cavalry and taken on a forced march. They survive, but barely.
    Van Horne: I have decided to live just to spite this guy. A small victory, but my own.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Book of Boba Fett. In a flashback showing how Boba was captured by Tusken Raiders, he's tied behind a Bantha and made to walk through a sandstorm. He eventually he collapses and gets dragged along on his back, through fortunately he's close enough to their camp by then to survive.
  • The Boys (2019) has a particularly brutal example. In the wake of the chaos caused by Soldier Boy's attack on Herogasm, A-Train kills Blue Hawk by using his speed to drag him by his leg along the road for several miles until he's reduced to an eviscerated corpse with a long trail of blood behind him, something that can be only described as a fatal case of road rash. This also doubles as Pay Evil unto Evil as Blue Hawk is a virulent racist who paralyzed A-Train's older brother.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "The Zeppo", Xander is driving a car and sees the gang of zombie hoodlums. He grabs one by the collar and pulls him along at speed, demanding to know the location of a bomb they have hidden. Unfortunately, he drives by a mailbox which decapitates the guy before he can answer.
  • The Closer: In "Elysian Fields", a suspected rapist and murderer is dragged behind a car by someone torturing him to get him to reveal the location of the bodies of his victims.
  • The Unsub of the Week did this to another Serial Killer on one episode of Criminal Minds. The unsub chained him to the back of a truck and dragged him along the street.
  • Happened accidentally in an episode of CSI. A girl was pushed out of a car, but she got tangled in the seat belt, dragging her along until she died.
    • CSI also subverts it in at least one case, where the corpse of a bride's mother turns up dragged behind the couple's car, but it turns out she died earlier.
  • Frontier Circus: In "Naomi Champagne", Don Diego has Ben dragged behind a horse in order to force Naomi to acquiesce to his Scarpia Ultimatum.
  • This happened in Heroes to Jeremy, a boy who could heal or kill people with a touch.
  • One episode of The League of Gentlemen had a Running Gag where a cyclist rode past the central characters. At first, he was pulling along a reluctant dog on a leash; the next time, the dog was being yanked along struggling to keep up; next, it was being dragged along the street, and the final time we see them there's just a hunk of meat bouncing along behind the bike. It's that kind of show.
  • One Victim of the Week in the Midsomer Murders episode "Blood on the Saddle" is killed by being lassoed and then dragged along behind a horse.
  • Monk: The first on-screen murder in "Mr. Monk and the 12th Man". A driver stops at a tollbooth and asks the guy manning the booth if his name is Frank Pulaski. When Pulaski says yes, the driver demands the change to his $10 bill. When Pulaski reaches out his hand to give the driver the change, the driver suddenly handcuffs his left wrist to a long piece of rope, then floors on the gas pedal. Pulaski's partner attempts to cut the rope, but it's too late, and the partner can only watch as Pulaski is dragged to his death. It's said by Captain Stottlemeyer in the crime scene investigation that Pulaski got dragged about 0.7 miles, and the remains aren't exactly pretty.
  • The Piranha Brothers sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    Vince Snetterton-Lewis (Graham Chapman): Well, one day I was sitting at home, threatening the kids, when I look out through the hole in the wall and I see this tank drive up. And one of Dinsdale's boys gets out, and he comes in all nice and friendly like and says Dinsdale wants to have a talk with me. So he chains me to the back of the tank and takes me for a scrape round to Dinsdale's place.
  • MythBusters took a stab at this one to see if it was possible that the friction from being dragged behind a horse would make denim ignite. Tory did not enjoy the experience much (the field through which he was dragged was littered with horse dung), even covered in protective gear though his pants remained fire free. They determined the pants would fray before they would ignite.
  • A low key version in Rome. The slave girl Eirene is captured by renegade soldiers and tied behind their oxcart. When Titus Pullo arrives with a squad of cavalry and drives away her captors, the oxen start wandering off so she's forced along with them. Fortunately they're not inclined to go far without their drovers, and Pullo later tracks her down and frees her. Then he discovers the reason the oxcart didn't go far was because it was loaded with stolen gold.
  • In an episode of Supernatural, the Winchester boys had to re-kill the ghost of a man killed in this manner by... killing it in this manner. Specifically, they had to find a way to scare a ghost to death. They just figured that re-experiencing its own death might scare it enough.
  • In Taggart, a cop series set in Glasgow, a "fight" between two criminals entailed a woman chasing a man across waste-ground, trying to run him over with the Transit van she was driving. When she got out, she found her bound and gagged son attached to the van's underside. He'd been alive and well until she tried to use the van as a weapon...
    • In another episode, two men are fighting in a vehicle which, due to the struggle, starts to roll towards a cliff. Unfortunately one of the men is snagged and goes over the edge with it.
  • In Top of the Lake a family of thugs accidentally kill a guy who they were trying to frighten by dragging him across a lake in a rubber ring behind a speedboat. He got caught with his face in the water and drowned.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): In "Manhattan Night Club", due to the cursed hat he is wearing, Lazlo gets his cape stuck between the door of a taxi, and is dragged along off screen. Due to him being a vampire, he just shrugs it off though.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Season 3 'the Bitter Suite', Xena rides a galloping horse and drags Gabrielle through rocks, fire and sea. Gabrielle is covered in cuts and bruises, but she can still fight competently.
  • In the German series Zweite Heimat, one of the characters waits too long to board a tram car and gets caught in the closing door and dragged to his death.

    Myths and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Theseus' wife Phaedra tried to seduce Hippolytus, his son with Antiope, but he refused, so she pulled a False Rape Accusation on him. Theseus believed her and prayed to Poseidon to punish his son. Poseidon sent a sea monster to scare Hippolytus' horses while he was riding in a chariot. When the horses bolted, Hippolytus fell out of the chariot but his foot was caught, leading to him getting dragged to his death.
    • In The Iliad, after Achilles kills Hector, he ties his corpse to the back of his chariot and circles the city of Troy while proclaiming the greatness of the Greeks nonstop for twelve days. Even the other Greeks think that Achilles has gone too far even if it is revenge for Hector killing Patroclus. The gods themselves actually step in before it can go any further.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In 2002, after Hulk Hogan destroyed his motorcycle by running it over with a semi-truck, The Undertaker (in his American Badass biker character) attacked Hogan, tied his feet to a rope, tied the other end to Hogan's own motorcycle and dragged him through the halls of the building.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Star Fleet Battles, it's possible for a ship to grab a shuttle/fighter with a tractor beam and do a "death drag" — pulling the smaller ship at high speeds until it's destroyed.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Noted as a form of punishment for criminals among the Cossack-esque Ungol peoples of northern Kislev, called "Horserunning". The distance and speed of the horse's run and the length of rope and where it is tied can be tailored to fit the severity of the crime. Tying the rope around the waist allows the criminal to run... mostly. Tying the hands leaves them more likely to fall forward if they don't watch their footing. Tying the feet is reserved for the worst cases and guarantees the victim will be dragged. Sometimes the horse is just driven into a gallop out into the oblast, leaving the criminal's ultimate fate in the hands of the gods.

    Video Games 
  • Deep Rock Galactic: Nayaka Trawlers are terrestrial shark-like aliens that swiftly swim around in the Sandblasted Corridors, and can grab Dwarves in their mouths to drag them around the area at fast speeds. While this doesn't do damage aside from the initial bite and eventually releases the Dwarf from the Trawler's clutches, it does take the Dwarf far from their team, often into more hazards.
  • Inverted in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: In order to get a made man to talk, CJ ties him to the hood of the car facing him, then goes speeding in traffic. The trick is to pull enough crazy shit to get him to understandably panic, but not enough to kill him.
  • The Heroes of Newerth hero Rampage can do this with his rhino. Or his unicorn.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, Dehaka from StarCraft can do this with his tongue.
  • A selling point of Just Cause 2 is the ability to use Rico's Grappling Hook Gauntlet to attach anything to anything else. This includes mooks to cars, helicopters, fighter planes, and jumbo jets.
  • The Smoker from Left 4 Dead drags victims by its tongue and/or intestines, and in multiplayer the dragging will indeed damage the victim, though the real damage doesn't start until the Smoker has pulled the victim close enough to start clawing away.
  • The finisher for the leader of the Shamans from MadWorld is Jack performing this using a leash and his motorcycle.
  • Kabal's "Road Rash" Fatality in Mortal Kombat 11 has him hooking his opponent with one of his sword before he uses his Super-Speed to drag him across the ground until their face is reduced to a bloody skull and the eyes are torn out of their sockets. And then, just to end in a high note, he launches them in front, before teleporting to cut them in half.
  • One possible use of the lasso in Red Dead Redemption is using it to drag enemies nuns behind your horse.
  • The same goes for Red Dead Redemption II: one of the in-game challenges involves dragging an enemy/innocent bystander a certain distance.
  • Red Steel 2 starts off with the Hero getting tied to a motorcycle and becoming subject to this trope. Despite of being dragged over and into rocks, sand, cacti, broken glass, oil drums, and fire, not to mention hitting pavement hard and nearly getting run over by a semi however, he escapes and walks off without a scratch.
  • Subverted in Saints Row. In the final mission of the Vice Kings storyline, Benjamin King threatens to do this to Tanya's fashion consultant by dangling him out of the window of his car as you drive it, but he gives up the information King needs before he gets dragged.
  • Happens to Carlos in Saints Row 2, resulting in the player character giving him a Mercy Kill.
  • Warhammer- The End Times: Vermintide has the Packmaster Skaven, who grabs a hero by the neck with a "Things-Catcher" (basically a spiked clamp) and drags them around to their slow, painful death unless another hero kills it. However, the pain isn't from the dragging- it's from the suffocation as well as the spikes on the clamp digging into their neck.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle: The Dramatic Finish for the Naples Station stage has Pesci use Beach Boy on the loser of the fight from the train he and Prosciutto are in, causing them to be dragged away with the train as it departs.

    Web Animation 
  • Haloid: Samus does this to the Spartan with her whip, dragging her across several buildings.
  • During the big wedding fight in the Helluva Boss episode "Exes and Oohs", Millie, in full Violently Protective Wife mode, after making a mess of every one of Crimson's men to save Moxxie, proceeds to wrap some lights around the throat of the biggest of them, a big shark demon, before dragging him behind Chaz's car.

  • Lola and Mr. Wrinkles: Mr. Wrinkles invokes a non-lethal, Played for Laughs version in one strip. After Lola teases him, he talks Hugo into seeing how fast he can run around the house while carrying an item with him. The item is the end of Lola's automatic leash. As the strip ends, she's yanked off her feet.

    Web Videos 
  • Freshy Kanal: In his rap battle against Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes is tied to and dragged by two running horses under King James I's order as punishment for the assassination attempt.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In "Duel of the Double Crossers!", Mongal isn't impressed when Jonah Hex whistles for his robot horse, thinking he's trying to escape her. Instead Hex lassos her and puts the other end in the horse's mouth so she's dragged off.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: Barf & Belch have an encounter with a baby Speed Stinger that results in the Speed Stinger stinging Barf. For the rest of the episode, Belch controls their shared body, and Barf gets dragged along for the ride while drooling his flammable gas.
  • When Bender and Amy from Futurama fell in love, it was forbidden because it was robosexuality. Amy's parents came from Mars to take her home. She refused, so her father dragged her back with a lasso.
  • This happened to Claude Cat in the Looney Tunes short "Terrier Stricken" (Jones, 1952), when Frisky Puppy unraveled a sweater and Claude tried to get rid of him by tying one end of the yarn to the back of a parked truck. Claude follows the unspooled sweater to the end of the string, which has been wound around banisters, through plumbing fixtures, and all sorts of weird places. Claude is still holding the string when the truck outside takes off, dragging him along behind.
    • In the Sylvester the Cat cartoon "Mouse and Garden", Sylvester and his friend Sam fight over a mouse. At the end of the short, Sylvester has Sam tied to a motorboat and starts the engine. Sam catches on and ties the rope to Sylvester instead, but as he says goodbye, he's shaking hands and both end up being dragged away to a small harbor island, neither of them getting the mouse.
    • Happens occasionally on the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons, usually when Wile E. is trying to lasso the Road Runner (and more often than not snags a truck instead).
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears): In keeping with the Wild West theme of the episode "Showdown at Red Gulch", Dr. Wily once tied Mega Man to a horse and sent it running towards a canyon.
  • In South Park, this was one of many, many deaths of Kenny.
    Stan: Well, who didn't see that coming.
  • In the very first episode of Thomas & Friends, "Thomas and Gordon", Gordon gets back at Thomas for being an obnoxious brat — and rudely waking him up by blasting his whistle and taunting him that he should be "doing a hard day's work for a change" — by dragging him along behind the Express with him before he could be properly uncoupled. As Gordon notes himself, it works; with an exhausted Thomas vowing never to be cheeky to Gordon again on his long trip home.
    Gordon: Well, little Thomas! Now you know what hard work means, don't you?
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Cheer Up Star", Marco's jacket gets caught in the school bus' door and he's dragged to school (the driver somehow doesn't notice him pleading for help) until his jacket breaks and he's flung into trash.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    "Clues? Clues to WHAT? What is your trip?!"
    "Clues to why I don't chain you to the back of my van and road-haul you until you're nothing but a pelvis wearing a belt."

    Real Life 
  • The 1998 dragging murder of James Byrd Jr., an African-American, in East Texas by three men, two of whom were white supremacists. This incident immortalized dragging as a form of lynching.
  • The Huns liked to lasso enemy infantry around the neck from horseback and drag them until their necks snapped.
  • Keelhauling, in which the victim is thrown into the water tied to a rope and dragged across the ship's barnacle-encrusted keel. Usually just a punishment, but done wrong (or right if the captain wanted them dead) it could kill quite easily.
  • Hanging, drawing and quartering, the old English form of execution for commoner men convicted of high treason (commoner women were burned at the stake; nobles of both sexes were beheaded) typically began with being dragged down the cobblestone streets of the city, tied to a board. It goes From Bad to Worse from there. Much worse.
  • Inverted by the "Nantucket sleighride", a tactic of old-time whalers, in which a harpooned whale would drag a longboat until it succumbed to blood loss and exhaustion. Occasionally subverted if the tether broke, or played straight if the whale turned back and flipped or demolished the longboat.
  • Subverted for the survivors of the Trashman, a sailboat that sank off the Carolina coast, when they tossed a chunk of wood on a line out of their zodiac as a sea anchor. As the wood was stained by an injured survivor's blood, a big shark grabbed it and dragged the small boat several meters, but let go once it realized it wasn't food.
  • Similar to the above is 'girting,' which happens when a tugboat is suddenly yanked to the side by the vessel it's connected to. In at least one case, it's caused significant loss of life aboard a tug.
  • Equestrians as a group are very concerned about this accidentally happening if a rider's foot is caught in the stirrup if they fall off. Because of this, one saddle may have more than three different safety devices to prevent this and anti-dragging inventions are the equine world's version of a better mousetrap.
    • Similarly, there are rules regarding the type of way a rodeo rider may use to hang on. The intent is that as soon as the rider's grip loosens, the rope comes loose allowing the rider to be thrown. Occasionally, a rider will use an illegal wrap in an effort to hang on that much longer, but then get dragged along when they are thrown anyway.
  • This was just one part of the Cruel and Unusual Death of Mohammed Najbullah, the last president of communist-ruled Afghanistan, at the hands of the Taliban during the fall of Kabul.


Video Example(s):


Millie & Blitzo do a "Shrek"

As Moxxie's being forced to marry Chaz, Millie storms the wedding in order to free her husband, with some help from Blitzo. What follows is a bloody massacre, as the scorned wife kills everyone in her path to get Moxxie back.

How well does it match the trope?

4.87 (30 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeddingSmashers

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