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Basic Trope: The heroes make or are the object of a very last minute rescue.

  • Straight: Moments before his execution by firing squad, the main character is rescued by his allies.
  • Exaggerated: 0.000000000000000001 seconds before the bullets hit, a Flying Brick gets between the bullets and the target.
  • Justified:
    • The heroes weren't sure that he was innocent of the crime he was about to be executed until very recently.
    • Alternatively, they had a hard time defeating Big Bad's Mooks while trying to save the hero.
    • Or the heroes are held up trying decide what to do (i.e. which wire to clip on the bomb) and when times runs out they act because they have to do something.
  • Subverted:
    • The Big Damn Heroes burst in, only to find that a rescue is unnecessary.
    • Alternatively, heroes think they're pulling a dramatic rescue, but the villain informs them he already executed his partner 35 minutes ago.
    • The hero is really a Jerkass, he can help the captive out much earlier and save him from all torture before the execution. He only wait until last moment for dramatic effect.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...except that the guy the heroes found was really a bad guy and this whole thing was a setup to get him in with the heroes, but fortunately someone reveals what's going on to the heroes moments before the bad guy tricks the heroes into making a mess of things.
    • Alternatively, heroes think they're pulling a dramatic rescue, but the villain informs them he already executed his partner 35 minutes ago. The heroes then proceed to reveal they had already rescued the partner but tricked the guards into thinking he'd been executed; when the villain emerged to gloat, it gave the heroes the opening they needed.
  • Parodied:
    • The Big Damn Heroes are rescued by Bigger Damn Heroes during their botched Big Damn Rescue.
    • The Big Damn Heroes arrive too early, then leave and come back again just in the nick of time.
  • Inverted:
    • Mooks come to reinforce just when the Big Bad is about to be teleported into the hero's stronghold.
    • The heroes leave the main character alone when he needs them the most, which somehow saves him.
    • The main character is doing fine, but then the others burst in dramatically and cause him to fail.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The Heroes get into a gunfight with the firing squad, which results in the intended rescuee being killed in the crossfire.
    • Alternatively: The heroes show up three seconds too late.
    • Another alternative: The rescue had been planned well in advance, including the heroes arriving in the "nick of time."
  • Reconstructed:
    • Instead of getting into a gunfight, the Heroes create a distraction elsewhere causing the squad to delay the execution in order to intervene, and the Heroes pull of the rescue in the meantime.
    • Alternatively: The Heroes attack the execution so the guards will retreat with the prisoner into an ill-used corridor where additional Heroes have staged an ambush.
  • Zig Zagged: There are so many consecutive B.D.H moments that you aren't sure who's the hero, who's the near-victim, and who's the bad guy.
  • Averted: The Heroes save the guy several days before his scheduled execution.
  • Enforced: The writers find the trope to be cliched and want to avert it, but the editors demand they use it for dramatic purposes.
  • Lampshaded:
    • The condemned laughs as his sentence is about to carried out because he knows his allies will rescue him.
    • Alternatively: "What the hell took you so long?!"
  • Invoked: The Heroes purposely wait until the last moment because they know that's how these stories go.
  • Defied: Rather than sentencing him to be executed at dawn, the Big Bad simply shoots him in the head.
  • Discussed: The prisoner's last words: "It sure would be nice if a bunch of heroes showed up. Like right now."
  • Conversed: "Oh come on, if it was real life, they couldn't have rescued him in time."
  • Played For Laughs:
  • Played For Drama: The rescued person is speechless with relief and disbelief that the Heroes arrived in time.
    • When the Heroes arrive, they're battered, bruised and bloodied, but refuse to give up. The rescuee sheds tears of joy at their valiant display.

"Any last words?" "Big Damn Heroes!"

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