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  • In The Batman Adventures, Eel O'Brian does this twice. Once in an actual serious, people-might-die situation, and once jokingly, when in order to conceal Batman's secret identity, Dr. Thompkins kisses Alfred in front of him.
  • During the 1999 Bat Family Crossover Batman: No Man's Land, The Riddler was the only one of Batman's various rogues to flee the city (everyone else stayed). 'Course, then poor Eddie got his ass handed to him when he decided to fight Green Arrow.
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  • In Gotham City Garage, Catwoman gets Nightwing and Supergirl to help her break into a secret facility and then uses them as a bait to keep a robot guardian busy. Both Dick and Kara decide to hightail it.
    Nightwing: You want to go in alone, Catwoman? You do you. I'm out.
  • In Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Hellboy runs into Ilsa Haupstein and two of her mooks. Ilsa orders them to attack; one of them instead shouts "No no no no!" as he runs away and jumps out a window. We never see him again.
    • Helps Hellboy just crashed through the roof because his jetpack was out of gas.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Count Dooku's pupil Asajj Ventress was severely injured, then disavowed the Dark Side just before her apparent death. She was placed aboard a medical freighter, where she regained consciousness and ordered the pilot to fly as far away from the Clone Wars as possible. She was never seen again.
  • In one of the early appearances of the Shi'ar in X-Men, a patrol ship is checking out Earth, finding it a backward planet. When they scan the records to find Earth has beaten back Galactus five times, the captain immediately orders the ship to be turned around to get some major backup.
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  • The Earth-2 Catwoman recovered from Amnesia, was horrified by her own crimes, and gave herself up. However, this was later explained as a story she made up to make her reformation plausible; in reality, she had just wanted to give up a life of crime.
  • The Midnighter convinces a guy to do this in The Authority #14.
    Midnighter: I've been there, man. I know what's it's like in one of those black ops units where you can't even remember your name. I didn't have a conversation in years. Nobody cares if you live or die. If anything happens to you, they'll just make another one. Nobody's interested in what you've got to say. You're just a weapon with a larynx. God, you're probably between thirty-five and forty years old and you've never even been held, have you?
  • This is the backstory of Manhunter from Power Company; he's one of the army of brainwashed clones from the '70s Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter storyline. Apparently, he decided that he didn't care which side won (and that taking on the hero would not be good for his personal life expectancy) and lit out on his own.
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  • In the Marvel UK Transformers Generation 1 comic, one massive time travel epic involved groups of both Autobots and Decepticons from both Earth and Cybertron teaming up to destroy Galvatron, whose presence on Earth in 1989 was screwing up the timeline and threatening to destroy the entire universe. Adding to the temporal mayhem was that Galvatron had recruited his former self, Megatron, to help him out. However, after several issues of non-stop utter carnage and having dispatched half a dozen or so named characters (including a fusion cannon blast to Topspin's face), Megatron just got bored with the fight and wandered off with only an interior monologue to explain why he was leaving when they were winning. This seemed to be down to the writer trying to find a way of killing off Galvatron for good without having to kill off Megatron, whom he needed for future storylines.
  • In 100 Bullets, Loop, Victor Ray, and Mr. Slaughter pull this and walk away from the climactic battle in the finale. They live. Nobody else does.
  • Nextwave:
    Broccoli Man: No no no not doing this this is my special run away song so I do not get killed by scary girl.
  • In an issue of Wonder Woman, Diana finally tracks down The Society's base and starts destroying their various giant security robots. As the Society members watch her tear apart their various "ultimate weapons", Felix Faust turns to them and says: "Well hmm, I'm out. I agreed to this experiment. I agreed to help power your monster, I did not agree to facing that." And then he magic-teleports away. Some of his aversion to fighting Wonder Woman may be due to the fact that the last mythically powered woman he fought ripped his nuts off.
    "Good luck, may the dark Gods bless you. I am gone."
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman In "Gothamazon" by Gail Simone, Wonder Woman is taking on most of Batman's rogues gallery with the assistance of Harley Quinn and Catwoman. As we see The Penguin, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, and Man-Bat all get taken down, we see The Joker... hailing a cab.
  • 52: A very similar situation arises when the Justice Society attacks Oolong Island in order to seize Black Adam. An irritated Doctor Sivana picks his stuff, ignoring everybody, and starts looking for his teleport remote. He doesn't find it in time - Doc Magnus had already taken it and used to give T. O. Morrow an escape route.
  • Robin Series: Fright Knight got caught up with some other O.M.A.C. escapee villains in Bludhaven who tried to pick a fight with Robin and Shadowpact. They stuck around for a bit, and scared the heck out of Ragman but hightailed it out of there as soon as the coast was clear, becoming one of the few to escape both O.M.A.C. and the heroes trying to clean up the mess O.M.A.C. left behind.
  • In Sonic Universe's "30 Years Later" storyline, the Dark Presence decides to abandon their plans after King Shadow unleashes Tikhaos.
    • And in the main comic, when the Destructix starts falling apart, Sleuth Dawg hands control over to Fiona and retires.
      • Fiona pulled one earlier during the Brave New Mobius arc when the Freedom Fighters and the Suppression Squad started fighting one another.
    • The Four Houses do this to the Iron Queen after Ken informs them their leaders have broken ties with the Iron Dominion. Likewise, the Dark Egg Legion that was working under her flee when Lein-Da is quickly taken out during her attempted on-the-spot coup. Heck, even Snively hits the bricks back to Eggman when he realizes how bad things are getting for his side.
    • In the Team Tango arc in the Universe series, Wave of the Babylon Rouges forces her team to quit the battle for the Sol Emerald after they get caught in the blast of one of Bean's bombs and she has had enough of the scramble.
    • In the Universe storyline "Scrambled", Snively finally bails on Dr. Eggman after he decides to leave a broken and devastated Freedom Fighters instead of finishing them on the spot. Though it should be noted that Snively had been plotting against Eggman for a while, and this was just the final straw for him before putting his plan into action.
    • When everyone but himself on the Acorn Council vote to banish NICOLE to Freedom HQ, even though Ixis Naugus is now on the throne and this is all part of his plan, on the grounds that it's "what the people want," Rotor is so disgusted and upset that he resigns from the Council right then and there.
    • Naugus pulls this in the first post-Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide comic: haunted by visions of the past universe, Naugus throws himself out of a window of Castle Acorn and run past Sonic and Tails, saying they can have the castle back.
    • This is part of Razor's backstory when we learn of his past. He was part of a pirate crew along with his sister, but when the crew started stealing medical supplies meant to help the sick and ransoming them. He was not okay with it and literally jumped ship when his complaints fell on deaf ears and the crew (including said sister) turned against him.
  • In the "Sky-Raker" story arc that Disney did in their TaleSpin comic some years back, Baloo and his allies are trying to keep a futuristic airplane prototype (one that can fly on automatic pilot in response to someone's voice) out of the hands of both Don Karnage's pirate gang and the evil industrialist Shere Khan. (Karnage wants the Sky-Raker as his own personal pleasure craft; Khan, apparently, simply wants it for its monetary value.) While trying to escape from the Iron Vulture (Karnage's flying prison fortress), Baloo and his people find themselves caught between Karnage's crew and a squadron of gangland fighter pilots led by Khan's hired goon, Captain Quarry. Cleverly exploiting the Sky-Raker's vocal mimicry program, Baloo first tricks Quarry into thinking he is hearing Khan ordering him to call off the attack. Then, to get Karnage off their backs, Baloo impersonates Karnage over the radio traffic (into which every pilot in the vicinity is tuned) and goads an angry Quarry into a dogfight to the death. ("Let's have it out, man to man!") The other pirates, seeing that their leader has effectively committed suicide, immediately flee, with Karnage fruitlessly trying to persuade them that he hadn't actually said that and screaming "DON'T LEAVE ME!" Humorously, the pirates don't seem to care much anymore, and act as if their boss is already dead. ("I get his bedroom!") Fortunately for Karnage, he managed to escape the scene, Dirty Coward that he is, before Quarry could take his revenge.
  • Captain Boomerang would frequently respond to Suicide Squad missions like this. Subverted, in that the team rarely let him get away with it (they'd usually get him blackout drunk and he'd wake up on the plane.)
  • Daredevil #86: This was Hammerhead's response to encountering Bullseye during a prison riot.
  • In Transmetropolitan's climax, Callahan's last secret service bodyguards walk out on him when he orders them to kill Spider, noting that if he wanted Spider killed, he could go ahead and do it himself. The prospect of having to kill someone with his own hands causes Callahan to have a minor breakdown.
    Spider: Well, that was interesting.
  • Destro finally decides he's sick of Cobra in one storyline from the Marvel Comics version of G.I. Joe, as seen here.
  • In the climax of "Welcome Back, Frank", after The Punisher defeats The Russian and brings his sawed-off head to the Big Bad's lair, it's enough to convince all of Ma Gnucci's remaining mooks to put down their guns and go home, leaving their boss at Frank's mercy.
    • Mooks tend to do this a lot when they realize they're up against the Punisher. However, they usually find out the hard way that he's already anticipated this and placed Claymores on all the escape routes. Not for nothing is Frank known for being crazy-prepared.
  • Batman is really not in the mood for a cookout.
  • Even though they'd been servants of the Zombie Priest for decades due to their curses, the elder Grave and his two sons believed a line had been crossed when the Zombie Priest turned a pregnant zombie into Mother Corpse. They packed up and hauled out before things got a lot worse.
  • One For Better or for Worse comic had Michael stand up to a bully by saying "At least I've got friends who'll stand up for me!" Both his friends walk off with a "See ya, Mike."
  • Used twice in the Duke Nukem Forever comic book story "Another Hole in the Wall," included with the "Balls of Steel" edition of the game. First attempted by the leader of the S.M.A.R.T. Sharks with a cry of "All is lost! Retreat!" He fails, as Duke (who claims not to know what "retreat" means) uses a fishing rod to hook and reel him in, and thereafter he's cooked and eaten by Duke and his babes. Later, at the bar, two Pig Cops appear through a portal. They take one look at Duke and realized they're doomed. Duke kills the first one. The second one invokes this trope with a cry of "Screw this!" He drops his gun and escapes through the portal.
  • In The Walking Dead, Andrea, Dale, Maggie, Glenn, and Sophia flee the prison after the Governor's first attack for fear of losing their lives.
  • In Green Lantern: The New Guardians, all of the Lanterns (save Kyle) do this once Sayd is revealed to be the one responsible for the theft of rings from different Corps (which brought the team together). Even Saint Walker states that the team was built on lies and deception.
  • In an Empowered flashback, Thugboy has this reaction when his current employer reveals his intention to cause city-wide carnage with his freeze weapon, instead of sensibly holding the city for ransom. Of course, he and his friends respond by killing the boss and stealing his stuff, as is their modus operandi instead of just walking away, but the same attitude is present.
  • Death of the Family: Catwoman. Penguin, Harley, and Ivy all try and fail for different reasons.
  • The Transformers: Drift: Lockdown has a reputation for this. When the job goes south and he's out numbered or outgunned, there's no sense carrying on the fight. He abandons Braid and the rest of the Slavers at the stories climax. The carries over to Trailcutter's Spotlight and The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. In the former, he abandons the Lost Light after being tricked by Trailcutter into thinking they'll all be killed by internal force fields, and in the latter, he runs after the Big Bad and the Keystone Army are all defeated.
  • Fantastic Four: Valeria Richards did this to her own family after discovering the reason for their long time-traveling trip was because the four of them were dying and Reed was using the travels to search for a cure. She was so disgusted by this, she left New York, headed for Latveria and decided to help her godfather Doctor Doom be more helpful.
  • In Fantastic Four: The End future-set story, a massive armada of various alien races is about to attack Earth to wipe out any threat it can pose. Suddenly, a massive hologram of Galactus appears, warning that Earth is under his protection and the first race who tries anything is next on his menu. The alien ships are soon racing to see who can get away from Earth fastest.
  • In Star Wars: Darth Vader, when Boba Fett gives Vader the name "Skywalker", the bounty hunter turned and walked off, saying "Looks like I'm done here." He knew Vader's silence meant something bad was going to happen and he didn't want to be there when it happened.
  • Spider-Man had this briefly in Marvel’s Two In One Annual #2 (which wraps up the 1st Thanos storyline). Spiderman teams up with The Thing to fly a craft to Thanos’ warship to rescue the Avengers. During the battle, Spiderman realized he was vastly outclassed by Thanos. (The fact that he had seen him trash The Thing didn’t help) However, as he flees through the ship, he realized if he doesn’t stop, Thanos Earth will be the next target and escaping won’t matter. He returns and rescued the Avengers by bravely throwing his body into the machine that held them in stasis. The impact destroyed the machine, freeing them. (He’s knocked unconscious, but recovers)
  • Supergirl:
    • In 2014 storyline Red Daughter of Krypton arc, Skallox is incredibly tempted to do this after hearing about Atrocitus's army growing in numbers, but his friend Zilius dissuades him from it.
    • In Day of the Dollmaker, Cat Grant blackmails Supergirl into working with her to find a child-kidnapper... and spends the whole time belittling her. Kara finally has had it with Cat and decides to leave the older woman and work on the case on her own.
      Supergirl: That's it. I'm gone.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth) story arc "The Girl of No Tomorrow", the sorceress Selena joins the Fatal Five to take Supergirl down. She and Magog raid a Government building where the Girl of Steel is resting but they run into a Supergirl's ally. Selena chooses to flee instead of being curbstomped and captured.
      Selena: Well. This fight is certainly going in a direction. I think I will, too.
      Magog: Selena! You can't just desert me! We're in this, coward!
      Selena: Read the fine print, Magog. I didn't sign up for werewolves. Have fun.
  • In The Killing Joke, the Joker's circus troupe decided to get the hell out of dodge at the mere sight of Batman pulling up, likely being clever enough to realize he'd been on a war path because of their boss crippling Barbara Gordon and kidnapping Commissioner Gordon and would likely resume it the moment he got out. This is also one of the differences in the animated version, where they decided to decided to make a stand and delay Batman instead.
  • Button Man: After Harry has killed nearly all of the thirteen other Button Men sent against him, one of the last three decides to get the hell out of dodge and even tells his handler to stick it when he gets a call. This is immediately subverted when mere seconds later Harry shoots him with a sniper rifle before he can even attempt to escape.
  • Black Moon Chronicles:
    • The most notable ones happen towards the series' end: First, God, when it's obvious that with Lhynn in the hands of a puppet of Haazheel Thorn, the latter has a free hand in bringing about Hell on Earth, calls out for all his true faithful to go to Lord Parsifal's realm, and when the last of them passes through the gate, takes the land away to Another Dimension of prosperity and security.
    • Then in the very last volume, when The End of the World as We Know It is about to happen by way of Moon Drop, Methraton organises the evacuation to another world of the population of humanity's greatest, most organised nations from all continents. The Winds go through with minimal fuss; The dragons are let through by Methatron out of pragmatism, as it's not certain the human forces would be able to stop them or survive trying (a few dozen dragons? Messy, but doable. The entire species? Good luck); everybody else who tries (orcs and other savage humanoids, barbarians, what-have-you) is screwed unless they're among the small minority allied to the protagonists. The elves/fairy folk and the dwarves choose another path.
  • In West Coast Avengers, this is Hawkeye's reaction to the government's decision of making U.S.Agent the new leader of the team. Mockingbird follows him.
  • My Little Pony: Legends of Magic: Rockhoof is called to investigate activity in the volcano near his village and discovers that a cherufe has been tossing lava inside. When his lack of fitness makes him easily overpowered, he retreats.
  • The 2015 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Holiday Special has an adaptation of The Nutcracker with Rarity as Clara. Upon the introduction of the Mouse King, Rarity storms off.
  • Victorian Undead 2 had Lucy Westenra doing this in the fourth issue when the vampire hunters start dispatching Dracula's brides whom she was leading. When it's only down to one last bride and her, she kills the bride for them in exchange for them letting her go. Stating while she likes being a vampire, she has no loyalty to Dracula if it'll just lead to permanent death.
  • Grim Tales Presents Helsing had Lisel Van Helsing getting ambushed by three of Dracula's brides at a book store. She dispatches two easily but when just as she's about to focus on the third, she sees that the bride has wisely decided to flee.
  • The Flintstones: In spite of Fred's warnings, a newbie decides to use dynamite inside the quarry. Upon seeing how short the dynamite's fuse is, the pterodactyl carrying the newbie decides his chances to escape the explosion are better off if he leaves the newbie behind.
  • In Red Robin Prudence, a member of the League of Assassins, actually listens when Tim says that the league should give up their base and leave when it's being attacked by the Council of Spiders and Tim reveals he's hacked their system and she creeps away while the rest of the remaining league members fight.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Ben and May complained Peter about his grades, that are suddenly dropping. He was angry and not in the mood to listen, so he ran away from home.
    • All-New Ultimates: Bombshell left the team as she almost died in their first outing.

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