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The defender may expect the attacker to be stopped by this, or may expect they'll have to fight. The attacker also has options. In some cases, the attacker doesn't really care what happens to the defender, and is perfectly happy to "go through" him or her to get to the hero. In others, the attacker is somehow close to the intervening character, and will stop, if only to find out why he's been betrayed (this makes the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter a common participant in this trope). Usually, the defender is hoping their magnificent show of Friendship or Love will faze them into reconsidering. It very rarely does. Failing that, they may just be stalling for The Cavalry to arrive.
Occasionally, a whole group of characters will jump between the target and the attacker, and the attacker will either back off, intimidated by these numbers or, (if he's a Villain with Good Publicity, having underestimated the hero's popularity versus his own) simply make an incredibly impressive Foe-Tossing Charge.
Unfortunately, what works for the hero can work for the villain, too, and if the Big Bad has a Brainwashed victim or Face Heel Turn-er around that the hero is unwilling to "go through," they can put The Messiah in a very tight spot. Don't try this on an Anti-Hero, though -- you can't be sure they won't Shoot the Dog. In fact, don't try this on any hero with a gun, because they'll always find a way to slip a bullet past the victim's head and into yours.
A particularly powerful or numerous enemy in this situation usually leads to a You Shall Not Pass situation. If the defender is so powerful there's a good possibility they'll go through the person being challenged, it's I Am Your Opponent.
If this is said to (or by!) the Intangible Man, expect hilarity to ensue as he, she or it is very likely to act as a Literal Genie. Also in a rare, horror situation, expect the recipient to literally tear the speaker in half and go through.
Anime and Manga
- Pictured above: In Buso Renkin, Kazuki's little sister Mahiro does this to protect her friends Saori and Chisato.
- The climax of Tokyo Mew Mew a la mode. Would have been a very emotional moment if their protectee weren't a Creator's Pet.
- Inverted in Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin has Shishio down and Yumi throws herself between them to protect Shishio. Shishio then quite literally goes through Yumi with his katana to get Kenshin. And Yumi knew he'd do that. He still held her in his arms as she died, before retaking the fight.
- In Kiddy Grade, when Éclair's Berserk Button is triggered after the Aure military police gun down a wave of protesters, she dares the Nouvlesse to shoot her down along with the rest of them.
- In Cowboy Bebop, Lin jumps between Vicious and Spike, preventing Spike from taking his shot. This exchange ends not well for, well, really anyone.
- Sailor Moon features an episode in which Sailor Moon launches her Moon Tiara Action attack against Nephrite, but her friend Naru intervened because she's in love with Nephrite, and so she was forced to stop it.
- In Chrono Crusade (manga version), Aion attempts to attack Mary Magdalene to retrieve Pandaemonium's memories, but Chrono throws himself in the way. Aion, knowing well that demons have regenerative powers, simply stabs through him to get to his target.
- History Repeats later in the manga, when Aion does the very same thing in an attempt to kill Rosette, who is also being possessed by Pandaemonium. Yet again he stabs through Chrono, but this time his attack is blocked by the watch, a symbol of Chrono and Rosette's relationship.
- During Vash's Heroic BSOD in the Trigun anime, a whole lynch mob is taking out its frustration and despair on him, especially now that he won't lift a finger to defend himself. In the end, Meryl puts herself between Vash and a gunman to stop the mob from killing Vash, ignoring all pleas from said gunman that he will kill her too if she comes any closer.
- In Ranma ½, after being weakened by a moxibustion technique, Ranma is swarmed by a bevy of foes. He's saved at the last second when Ryouga pops in between them, blocking their attacks. He may be Ranma's sworn nemesis, but he will stand by his honour and protect the weak and helpless --to Ranma's endless irritation.
- In GaoGaiGar FINAL, the reprogrammed Repli-mobile unit breaks their brainwashing to stand in front of the still-brainwashed Gai and the Goldion Hammer and King J-Der.
- Earlier, Repli-GaoGaiGar is charging GaoFighGar with Hell and Heaven, and right before he connects... "ERASER HEAD XL!" Then the Repli-Jin tries again, and ChoRyuJin just stands there in front of Guy, soaking the attack with his Mirror Chest. Bad ass.
- Happens at least four times in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. When Shion is about to kill Satoko, Rika and Rena step in. When Shion says she's going to kill Teppei, Keiichi steps in, saying that won't work and only bring more pain. When the whole gang tries to save Rika, Rena and Mion do this. When Miyo is about to kill Mion with her last bullet, Hanyuu stands in the way, insisting she's a more appropriate target.
- Relena pulls this off to protect Heero at the start of Gundam Wing. She then pulls it again when Heero is in his Gundam and about to prance around during a ball.
- Also seen in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, when Allelujah does this protect Marie/Soma from Sergei, saying he can shoot him if Sergei doesn't let Marie/Soma fight in the future. At the last second, she leaps in front of him to take the bullet that wasn't shot in the first place. This leads to a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming between Soma and Sergei.
- A variation occurs in Soul Eater. Soul would normally be very capable of taking the attack without damage (or not as much damage) but since he was slightly harmed by Chrona and Ragnorak, Maka refuses to block with him in his weapon form causing him to switch to his human form and end up with his torso cleaved open to block the next attack.
- It was more than 'slightly'. Maka couldn't stand up to the physical force of Crona's attacks and was forced back against the door to try and escape "those doors, they open inwards". Soul was bleeding whilst having absolutely no effect on Ragnarok. Under the pressure and fear of the situation Maka had every reason to believe Soul would be very badly hurt if she used him to block Crona's last attack. In contrast, when Stein turns up all Ragnarok does to Spirit is to create sparks.
- In Bokurano Chizu's older sister Ichiko did this, when her sister, having gone into a Yandere state after all the abuse she went through, was trying to kill the teacher who molested her and was to blame for her Break the Cutie session with an Humongous Mecha. For added drama, Ichiko actually lays the blame on herself and dares Chizu to kill her. Chizu stops and focuses on battling the enemy robot, and then she dies.
- In the fourth episode of Imma Youjo, an assassin tries to kill Maya but is stopped by her servant Anne, who jumps between them. While he contemplates whether or not to kill Anne, as well, Count Pickingel sneaks around and backstabs him For Massive Damage.
- In Berserk, Jill (the village girl during the Fairy Arc) does this for Guts when Roshinu attacks him. Normally, this would be completely unnecessary (this being Guts and all), but since Guts is poisoned, and Jill ends up being the only person Roshinu cares about... it works.
- In Vision of Escaflowne Merle puts herself between Eria and Neria and Van, and stops them because she reminds them of themselves.
- In the second season of Code Geass, Urabe of the Four Holy Swords does this in order to let Lelouch/Zero and Kallen get away from the Britannian Super Prototype that's single-handedly holding all three off. Before this, Urabe was generally seen as That One Guy and the least distinct member of the Holy Swords; afterwards, the fandom gave him a posthumous promotion to Badass.
- A character inversion: Orihime's introductory arc in Bleach has her nearly getting killed by her Hollowfied brother, but Ichigo comes to the rescue. He then shouts "If you have to kill Inoue then you're gonna have to kill me first!".
- In rhe Soul Society arc, Matsumoto does this when Gin Ichimaru is about to stab an unconscious Momo. After she dares him to fight her, he leaves without a word.
Matsumoto: Please, put away your sword, captain Ichimaru. If not... I will be your opponent!
- In Mahou Sensei Negima Homura and Luna pull this on a Negi consumed by his Super-Powered Evil Side. Double points for Luna since she actually dispelled her Master of Disguise powers (revealing herself to everyone as Asuna's doppelganger, aside of Fate's group and the small group from Negi's class who knew beforehand) right before that.
- Subverted in One Piece as it nears the climax of the Enies Lobby Arc. Luffy, totally worn out from going into Gear Second twice and Gear Third once, is about to be finished by Rob Lucci. Fortunately, Usopp takes off his disguise as Sogeking and tells Luffy to either get back up, or let himself take Lucci on; both he and Luffy know that he can't win. Luffy gets back up.
- Used repeatedly throughout the Digimon series. Wizardmon does this for Gatomon, Hikari does this to help snap Andromon out of his mind control, and Tomoki does this in Frontier.
- During Touma's first fight against Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu no Index to stop the level six shift project and save the remaining 10000 or so Misaka clones after Touma was seemingly knocked out and close to dying, and the Misaka clones just used the windmills to destroy Accelerators compressed wind attack, Mikoto does this to protect said clone from Accelerator, knowing she'll likely die. While Accelerator stops to talk smack, Touma starts standing up again, to the surprise of both Accelerator and Mikoto.
- In the very first episode of Pokémon, Ash does this to defend Pikachu from a flock of rampaging Spearow, when the two just met and Pikachu hates his guts. This ultimately earns him Pikachu's respect, and Pikachu jumps into the air and launches a massive Thunderbolt that knocks out the entire flock in one shot.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse defends a Heroic BSOD-ing Hawkeye from Lust by pulling a "Go through me". It doesn't work, because Lust has no qualms about killing a sacrificial candidate, and Al and Hawkeye are only saved by Mustang's Big Damn Hero/KillItWithFire entrance.
- Rosario to Vampire has Kurumu Kurono and the rest of the gang get in between Ghoul Tsukune and Inner Moka, saying that they won't let her kill him, despite his being beyond redemption. Kurumu is promptly rewarded for her efforts via a slash wound to the chest by the defended.
- In the final battle of Mai-HiME, Yuuichi attempts to shield Mai as the Obsidian Lord advances on the two with a sword, but Mikoto then attacks him, shattering his pendant, separating him from Reito's body, and enabling Mai to destroy him and Miroku with Kagutsuchi.
- A popular variation in superhero stories is to have the hero save a bunch of Muggles, and then have them try to return the favor. It usually doesn't work.
- Also in JLA: The Nail
- Parodied in the Italian comic book Rat-Man:
Ortolani (narrating a flashback, in which he's surrounded by thugs): I thought I was done for, but then... a shadow appeared.
Rat-Man (in the flashback): If you want him... you'll have to go through me.
Ortolani (back in the present): Marvellous. Just marvellous. (pauses) They put us in the same hospital room, so we quickly became friends.
- Used very darkly in X-Men: The Age of Apocalypse. During a massive battle, Colossus sees that his little sister is in trouble and rushes to save her, with gusto. Iceman steps up and says something along the lines of "No can do pal, if you want to get out of here you'll have to go through m-"... and the next panel shows Colossus smashing Iceman into a million pieces. (Which is odd, given that Iceman is considerably more powerful than Colossus).
- Towards the end of the Marvel Civil War crossover, the duel between Iron Man and Captain America is interrupted by a bunch of civilians (including, but not limited to, a cop and a fireman) tackling them to stop the battle.
- Used in Batman Returns, with Max Shreck's son Chip stepping in to save him from the Penguin's Red Triangle gang. The gang are not impressed and pull weapons on him, prompting Chip to say "Dad, go! Save yourself!"
- Admittedly Max was never actually in any danger, since Penguin wanted him alive, but Chip didn't know that.
- In Stargate the movie, the action-y hero (Kurt Russell) almost shoots Big Bad Ra... but hesitates when a dozen young children surround their lord. Well, after all, the hero recently lost his son, so you can understand the hesitation. Of course, at the end of the film, he cheerfully sends a bomb up to the ship, destroying Ra and the children. Would have been a pragmatic and necessary yet heart-rending decision--if anyone had bothered to remember the kids. (According to the DVD commentary, the entire point of Ra having children around him was so if someone tried to shoot him, they'd stop so they wouldn't hurt the children.)
- Children of the Gods, the Stargate SG-1 première movie, all but directly reproduces this scene with Amonet (currently possessing Daniel's wife) taking the place of the kids.
- At the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Will Turner does this to protect (Captain) Jack Sparrow.
- Then Elizabeth Swann does it to protect him. Probably because it didn't look like the people he was stopping were convinced.
- Done in the first Spider-Man film: When Goblin pulls the Sadistic Choice on Spider-Man, the crowd throws things at him, distracting him for long enough for Spider-Man to catch his breath. One shouts "You mess with Spidey, you mess with New York! You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"
- Subverted in Spider-Man 2: A crowd on a subway car try to do the same thing to Doc Ock: he grins, says "Very well." and shoves them up against the subway walls.
- This is nearly played straight at the end of in Muppet Treasure Island when everyone is teaming up to protect Captain Smollett (Kermit).
Jim Hawkins: Kill Captain Smollett and you'll have to kill me!
Gonzo: Kill Jim and you'll have to kill me!
Squire Trelawney: Kill Gonzo and you'll have to kill me!
Rizzo: Kill Squire Trelawney and Mr. Bimbo and you'll have to... negotiate strenuously.
(Just for clarification: Trelawney is Fozzie, and Mr. Bimbo is
his fingerthe alleged man who lives in his finger.)
Mr White: If you kill that man you die next, repeat, if you kill that man you die next.
- Isn't that more of a Mexican Standoff? He's not risking his own life to prevent Orange's death, after all...
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring did this in the scene on Weathertop, where the Ringwraiths casually fling aside the other hobbits trying to protect Frodo.
- And don't forget the Return of the King, where the Nazgul king moves in to finish Theoden and Eowyn steps in.
- The third RoboCop movie has the Big Bad trying to shoot Robocop. The female cop, present in the series from the first movie, has the extremely smart idea of putting her soft squishy body in front of Robocop's metallic armor and declaring "You'll have to go through me first", or somesuch (this troper only watched the Italian dub). The Big Bad replies "gladly" (or somesuch) and promptly kills her with a burst of machinegun fire, followed by firing a grenade in Robocop's torso. Most audiences really didn't like such a major character dying in such a stupid way.
- McDaggett's exact words were "I don't have a problem with that." Also, it was at Nancy Allen's request that her character was killed off; she wouldn't have returned to play Officer Lewis otherwise.
- Played for laughs at the climax of the first Men in Black movie. Will Smith's character makes the challenge to the Big Bad, who promptly swats him out of the way and continues like nothing happened.
- Enchanted also played this for laughs, when Robert grabbed a sword he had no idea how to use and got between Giselle and a Scaled Up Queen Narissa. Her response? "All right, I'm flexible." Cue James Bondage.
- In Bruges: the hotel owner, a pregnant woman, stands between a hired killer and his target.
- A Day at the Races has the following exchange: You leave this room over my dead body! - Well, that's a pleasant way to travel.
- At the beginning of the Hungarian animated cult film Cat City, cats break into a mouse bank with a tank. The clerk shouts: "No! Over my dead body!" The tank promptly shoots him.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens, this is said by B.O.B. Being The Blob, however, the mook does go through him.
- In the 2009 Astro Boy movie, Tenma and Elefun tagteam this ultimatum while protecting Astro from the military. Of course, Stone was happy to have them both shot, but there was a small interruption.
"I think Metro City can learn to get along without you."
- A double in Godzilla: Final Wars, in which Minya and a kid interpose themselves between Godzilla and the badass heroes, preserving the thin truce that just defeated the invading aliens.
- The horror form occurs in Wishmaster, where a security guard says this to the Jackass Genie villain - who turns him into glass and smashes through him to get in.
- At the finale of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Doug attempts to invoke this trope to stop Leslie from getting to Taylor. Unfortunately, Leslie doesn't even break stride to smash his head against a wall and knock him out cold.
- In Neil Gaiman's book/miniseries Neverwhere:
"If you're going to hurt her," (Richard) said, "you'll have to kill me first!"
Mr. Vandemar seemed genuinely pleased by this. "Alright," he said. "Thanks."
- Used in A Clash Of Kings, when Lannister Mooks attempt to capture Gendry.
- Earlier, Jon Snow gets ordered into this after he complains about the treatment of Samwell Tarly.
- Several characters do this in respect to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, especially Samwise Gamgee.
- Still, the prime example is Éowyn standing up to the Witch King of Angmar when he's out to kill Théoden. Talk about a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Subverted in Harry Potter, Harry's dad James says that he will hold Voldemort off while his wife takes Harry, only to be killed seconds later by Voldemort. As Voldemort fully intended to kill James anyway, this blunted the heroism of James' sacrifice. James was dead the second Voldemort found him without a wand, he would had died no matter what he did.
- Lily Potter as well, who refuses to stand aside and let Voldemort kill Harry. She's cut down quickly too. However, unlike James, Voldemort did give Lily the chance to step to the side and live. Because of Snape's request. She refused. This act of sacrifice triggered the magical protection, that she could have walked away, and didn't.
- Done in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with Ron trying to threaten Sirius Black -- despite his broken leg making him unable to back up his threats. Fortunately, the one Ron was protecting wasn't the one Sirius wanted to kill.
Ron: If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!
Sirius: Lie down. You will damage that leg even more.
Ron: Didn't you hear me? You'll have to kill all three of us!
- Played with in a non-lethal fashion in the first book, where Neville tries to keep Harry and crew from sneaking out at night by threatening to fight them. Of course, Hermione apologizes before temporarily paralyzing him, but...
- In the movie Prisoner of Azkaban Severus Snape puts himself between a werewolf and his three least favorite students. Don't call him a coward.
- Crookshanks also tries to protect Black from Harry in Azkaban, by sitting on his chest.
- Not my daughter, you bitch!
- Quasimodo does this in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, protecting Esmeralda.
- Subverted in a way in Dune: After Chani dispatches a would-be challenger to her lover Paul/Muad'Dib, she says that fewer people will try to challenge him if they learn that first they have to go through (and suffer the possible disgrace of being killed by) his women.
- Near the end of the Horus Heresy, Horus has badly wounded the Emperor. Right before Horus strikes the final blow a single Imperial Army solder stands in the way. Sure, he's killed in less than a second but it gives the Emperor the opening needed to win the day. Later fluff change this to being a Space Marine
- In Temple, William Race's bodyguard does this to protect him from his own commander, Colonal Nash. Nash was armed and he wasn't, so the results were predictable. At least he distracted Nash long enough for the Cavalry to arrive.
- Invoked in the Forgotten Realms novel Elfshadow, although to protect the attacker and not the target. Near the end of the book Danilo Thann tells his comrade Arilyn Moonblade that if she wants to kill her Evil Mentor she's going to have to kill him first. Arilyn grudgingly swears to take the man alive--so he can testify to his crimes, and incidentally clear Arilyn herself--and Danilo readily steps aside.
Live Action TV
- True Blood has a hilarious literal example; when, in the fourth season, the main antagonist Marnie is confronted by Bill and Eric, Marnie's right hand Roy stands up and tells Eric to go through him first. Eric than literally goes through Roy, lunging forward and piercing into the man's chest, ripping out his heart. Counted as a Moment of Awesome to the fandom.
- Doctor Who, "The Satan Pit": "You'll have to kill me first!"
- This also happens to the Doctor in the episode Midnight. When he tells the very frightened passengers that they'll have to get past him to throw the Monster of the Week out of the spacecraft, they turn on him, and even attempt throwing him out a little while later.
- Before either of those times, it happened to him in "The Age of Steel", after the Cyber-Controller offers to convert him:
The Doctor: You might as well kill me.
Cyber-Controller: Then I take that option.
- And in "The Unquiet Dead":
Gelth: We want this world and all its flesh!
The Doctor: Not while I'm alive.
Gelth: Then live no more!
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just about the whole cast (except Spike) does this for Tara when her emotionally abusive family shows up. Especially funny because Spike had been the one who exposed her family as liars by punching her and inflicting pain on himself, to prove that she didn't have demonic heritage.
- And only a few episodes previous, a Brainwashed and Crazy Xander challenges shallow male love interest Riley Finn with this if he wants to save Buffy from Dracula. Riley's response? * POW!* "Okey-dokey." In that order. From anyone else, this would be a CMOA.
- Xander has far more success in the Season Six finale, where he tells Dark Willow, "If you're going to destroy the world, then start with me. I've earned that."
- Occurred at least five times in Babylon 5. Delenn deliberately walked into a thrown knife intended for Sheridan, drove off an attacking enemy fleet to save his neck, and offered her life to a Vorlon inquisitor to save his. Later in the series, two Alliance ships implicitly said 'go through me' by placing themselves between the Alliance command ship and incoming Shadow missiles. Also used to awesome effect by Marcus:
Neroon: My quarrel is with Delenn.
Marcus: Then your quarrel is with me.
- In a Stargate Atlantis episode Kolya threatens to kill McKay, and one by one Teyla, Ronon and Carson step in front of him, saying that they each want to be killed first.
- McKay does it himself, when Kolya is aiming a gun at Weir in "The Eye", in the first season. He downplays it uncharacteristically.
- In an episode of Flashpoint, a targeted man's wife stood between her husband and the shooter. Said shooter had no problem of shooting her. Unfortunately for the shooter, the SRU team shot her first.
- Lampshaded in Being Human, when Regus chooses to help the housemates protect Eve from a vampire hitsquad. He's fully aware that as a scholar, he's got no fighting skills and will barely slow them down, but it's the thought that counts.
- Nier Gretel who, crippled and wounded, stands against the overpowering Nier and his equally overpowering allies. Over and over she is struck down, but keeps standing up to protect her friends, knowing she can't win, just using herself as a target to tear apart so that he doesn't attack her friends. A tearjerker in itself, especially when you beat her in half a minute and gain the achievement "A True Friend"
- In Sakura's ending in Street Fighter Alpha 3, she stands in front of Ryu to protect him, telling Bison "You'll have to kill me first!" Bison just knocks her aside.
- This happens a couple of times in Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World where Emil stands between Richter killing Marta. Richter doesn't hurt Emil because Emil looks just like Richter's dead best friend.
- Several times in the Sonic the Hedgehog series:
- In Sonic Adventure, at the end of Sonic's (or Tails') fight with Gamma, regardless of who wins, Amy intervenes to convince the victor to let the other live.
- In the Sonic Adventure backstory, Tikal tries to defend the Chaos Emeralds and the Chao from her father and his soldiers. It doesn't work; they just knock her aside. Chaos, however, proves more effective...
- Amy does this again in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, to prevent Silver from killing Sonic. Since Amy had been the first person to socialize with Silver upon his arrival from the future, her intervention at this point effectively paralyzes Silver, and induces him to do some soul-searching.
- In Mass Effect 2, Thane met his wife Irika while attempting to assassinate a target. She spotted his targeting laser and jumped between Thane and the target. The instance was so jarring that Thane found himself jarred out of the mental state of a trained assassin he'd been in throughout his entire life, and found himself obsessed with finding out who she was. He even explains the exceptional circumstances of the situation to Shepard, explaining that while soldiers are trained to protect others, untrained civilians are not, and how remarkable it would be that someone would unthinkingly shield someone else that they don't even know.
- In the original Mass Effect, during the final battle, several turian battleships position themselves between Sovereign and the Citadel. Sovereign simply plows through them as though they weren't there.
- Shepard invokes this in The Arrival DLC towards Harbinger, letting the Reapers know when they come, s/he will be waiting.
Shepard: Maybe you're right, maybe we can't win this. But we'll fight you regardless. Just like we did with Sovereign. Just like I am doing now.
- In King's Quest VII the Princeless Bride, Edgar does this when Malicia is about to attack Rosella.
- In Dragon Age II, Cullen tells Meredith that she will have to go through him to get to Hawke after she turns on them. She is so crazy by this point that he will still do this even if Hawke sides with the Mages. If Carver joined the Templars, he will do this too.
- Becomes even more significant if Hawke themself is a Mage and sided with the Mages, where even a loyal Templar like Cullen would rather stand with a Mage such as Hawke than follow Meredith anymore.
- Liberty Lad of Freedom Force gets to be a hero by way of a blood transfusion, which became necessary after attempting to do this for a hero who was about to get machine-gunned.
- Midna of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess does this for Princess Zelda, protecting her from Ganondorf. It doesn't work. He gets through, and It Got Worse.
- In a Nonstandard Game Over for Disgaea Hour of Darkness, Flonne will attempt this to save Maderes from Etna. It doesn't end well.
- Dominic Deegan: Suyan is expected to kill Kiya for her thoughtcrime, and his friend Eltu is there to insure that Suyan goes through with it. Suyan instead pulls a combination of this trope and a heroic Hannibal Lecture, convincing Eltu to let them both leave, and report back to the Chief that they both were killed.
- A textbook example of the Intangible Man problem occurs in this Anti Heroes strip.
- Homestuck: During the "Make Her Pay" flash animation, Robo-Aradia starts absolutely beating the stuffing out of Vriska as revenge for a prior incident. Tavros--one of Aradia's friends and FLARPing partners from before the start of this Cycle of Revenge--jumps between her and Vriska's unconscious body. Aradia stops her assault and leaves. But by this point Vriska is so beat up that she'll bleed to death without medical attention. She gets better. Much better.
- Nintendoland's Deathmatches section has this for the Mario vs Sonic story.
- In There Will Be Brawl, Zelda attempts to protect Link from Ganandorf this way. He kills them both anyway.
- Takua does this between the Bohrok and the residents of Ga- and Po-Koro in Bionicle. As it turns out, he shouldn't have bothered, as a surge of energy, released when the Bohrok queens were defeated, was about to shut down the Bohrok in a few moments.
Takua: SHOO! ... Shoo?
- Subverted in a Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons, in which a robot uses Homer as a human shield against a Mechanized Bart. The guy isn't even able to finish the sentence before both he and Homer are sliced in half.
- In a rare dramatic moment during the episode "Who Shot Mr Burns?" Lisa runs in front of a group of officers (including Wiggum) as they are about to confront Homer (who is suspected of the attempted murder) shouting "STOP!!! DON'T SHOOT MY DAD!!!... he's innocent! He wouldn't hurt a fly!" Of course, Homer would have to take this particular moment to start strangling Mr Burns... this is one of the instances where the helpless person's plea is completely successful.
- Done heartbreakingly in the Futurama episode "The Sting", where Fry throws himself in front of Leela to protect her from a giant killer bee, gets impaled on the stinger, and dies. Of course he didn't actually die -- the stinger went through him, hit Leela, and his death and the entire rest of the episode were her nightmares while in a venom-induced coma but that doesn't stop it from being any more Tear Jerking. After all, he thought he was going to die.
- Subverted in Jackie Chan Adventures where Jade puts herself between a Turned to Stone Jackie and the bad guys - only to nearly knock him over herself.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
Spongebob: "Sandy, if you wanna go after that worm, you're gonna have to go through me!"
- At which point Sandy lazily (and literally) does pass through him, splitting his sponge body into two western bar saloon-like door halves.
- And as if the episode 'That's No Lady' wasn't already brimming with Ho Yay;
Spongebob: Stop! You're gonna have to do something horrible to me before you're gonna run Patrick out of town!
Squidward and Mr. Krabs: PATRICK?!
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Jimmy wants to fly Lucius' Cool Plane, Lucius declares that he'll have to get past him. Which he does. Easily.
- On South Park a scientist tells the military they will have to kill him first after he refuses to reprogram a conscious robot (Cartman). Butters arrives just as Cartman is about to reveal he isn't a robot, so he maintains the charade and the scientist is shot.
- In one episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Chinese gangster Pandabubba sends his goons to raid the Xiaolin Temple Shen Gong Wu vault. There, the goons find Raimundo, who enacts this trope. The thugs just shrug and say, "We're good with that."
- In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy, upon seeing the Cutie Mark Crusaders threatened by a cockatrice, orders the girls behind her and makes it clear that she will be a statue before seeing the girls harmed. Fortunately, the cockatrice did not have as much willpower as it thought it did.
- In The Fairly Odd Parents episode "Back to the Norm", when Norm showed up at Timmy's bedroom saying he wanted revenge, Wanda told Norm that he'd have to go through her to get Timmy. Cosmo then told Norm to make it double. If Norm wants Timmy, he'll have to go through Wanda twice.
- Most versions of Pocahontas' rescue of John Smith, including Disney's, and Smith's own "record." Modern anthropology suggests that this was part of an Algonquian adoption ritual, which justifies it somewhat.
- Chris Crocker famously declared that if anyone wants to make fun of Britney Spears they'll have to go through him.
- They did.
- The world-famous picture of the man standing in front of the Chinese army's tanks during the Tianamen Square Massacre.
- Before assassins came to murder King James I of Scotland, they stole the iron bar that was meant to keep the room locked in case of emergency. One of his wife's ladies-in-waiting, Catherine Douglas, attempted to use her arm as a substitute. She failed and had her arm broken as a result.
- Intervention of the Sabine Women by Jacques-Louis David (1799).
- Emperor Norton I Of the United states, from The Other Wiki : "During the 1860s and 1870s, there were a number of anti-Chinese demonstrations in the poorer districts of San Francisco. Ugly riots, some resulting in fatalities, broke out on several occasions. During one such incident, Norton allegedly positioned himself between the rioters and their Chinese targets, and with a bowed head started reciting the Lord's Prayer repeatedly until the rioters dispersed without incident."
- On 20th of May, 1795, during a protest against the French parliament, a man named Jean Feraud stood in front of the march and told them they would have to pass over his body before they would take another step, and was badly trampled as a result. He got up, dusted himself off, and when the march reached the President's seat, told the crowd they would have to kill him if they wanted to lay a finger on the president... which is exactly what they did.