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"Is anyone there? Would you come over here?"
The turrets, Portal

The boy fled, his breath coming in short pants. This room seemed perfect. An old metal staircase gave ample cover from the man chasing him.

His pursuer entered the room. The giant sword dragged along the ground behind him, drawing sparks.

"I know you're here, little boy," sing-songed the monster in the shape of a man. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

Like a deadly game of hide-and-seek, sometimes a villain will search for a hidden protagonist. The villain will often be walking slowly, to increase dramatic tension. We may flash to the protagonist, hidden inside an Air Vent Passageway, behind crates, or under a table.

Named for the line often spoken in a mocking singsong tone by the chaser, either to taunt the chased out of hiding or just to scare them. The line itself originates from the more innocuous context of the children's game Hide-and-Seek.

Examples of Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are include:

Anime and Manga

  • Hellsing: Opening scene of volume 1. Jan also does this when searching for Integra.
  • Three Number Cyborgs does this to an isolated Badass Normal Teana during the final battle of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. As noted by Teana, they just need to spot her back once for all of it to be over.
  • Done in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, by protagonists to antagonists and vice versa. This line is also used in the first opening theme of the anime.


  • The first Pirates of the Caribbean film. "We know you're 'ere, poppet..."
  • Marv and Harry in Home Alone: "We know that you're in there, and that you're all alone..."
  • The first Spider-Man film, spoken by the Green Goblin. "Heh heh...Can Spider-Man come out to play?"
  • The Warriors: "Warriors.... Come out to playyyyay..."
  • In the climax of Return of the Jedi, Luke doesn't want to fight his father, so he hides in the poorly lit corners of the throne room, Vader taunts him by reading his mind and finding out about his sister.
  • Something like this occurs in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Roger is hiding in a concealed room in a bar. Big Bad Judge Doom enters and toys with the customers for a while, then starts tapping out "Shave and a Haircut" on the walls, which no Toon can resist. Eventually Roger can't stand it anymore and bursts through the wall singing "Two bits!" and Doom grabs him.
    • Referenced in an issue of the comic, where Roger is hiding in a hollow tree stump until the villain knocks it twice, which makes Roger jump out and shout "Who's there?"
  • The climax of The Faculty.
  • The female protagonist in the Charles Bronson film Murphy's Law calls this out when walking through the judge's house who unknown to her is already dead. At that point the door slams behind her and she's seized by his killer.
  • Played straight in The Wizard of Oz: "Come Out, come out, wherever you are..."
  • The mall scene in Der Clown ? Payday.
  • Appropriately enough, in the horror movie Hide and Seek. Emily is hiding in her room from her father, who's been possessed by his Split Personality and Charlie comes in, doing an Ironic Echo of the game Emily used to play with her mother.

 That's funny...I could have sworn I saw a little girl named Emily go in here...

  • In Star Trek Insurrection, Picard actually sings this while searching for Data (who has been damaged and rendered temporarily 'insane'), drawing an odd look from Worf.
  • Stated word for word in Cape Fear.
  • In The Rock, one of the marines says something similar to this while looking for Nicholas Cage's character.
  • A rare non-villainous example occurs in the film version of Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. Just when The Reveal has occurred that Sirius Black did not help to kill Harry's parents, he begins calling out for...

 'PETER! PETTIGREW!' And he's in this room, right now! Come out, come out, Peter! Come out and play!!

  • Stated word for word in The Truman Show by Truman's best friend looking for him in his basement.


  • Magrat in Lords and Ladies when the elves hunt her down in her own castle. At least, until she finds Queen Ynci's armor and proceeds to kick elf ass.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry ducks behind a tombstone in the Graveyard, avoiding Voldemort's curse. Softly, Voldemort tells him,

 We are not playing hide and seek, Harry. You cannot hide from me. Does this mean you are tired of our duel? Does this mean that you would prefer me to finish it now, Harry? Come out, Harry... Come out and play, then... it will be quick... it might even be painless... I would not know... I have never died...

    • Bellatrix also does this in the Department of Mysteries: "Come out, come out, little Harry..."
  • Ammet the marid does this with Bartimaeus in The Ring of Solomon. It also happens when Honorious the afrit is trying to catch Kitty in Gladstones tomb in The Golems Eye.
  • Danny and the monster in the climax of The Shining.

Live Action TV

  • A rare example done by a protagonist occurs in New York Undercover: going in to arrest an ex-con sex offender on suspicion of an attack. "Come out come out wherever you are! little pervert."
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "School Hard", Spike does this to Buffy, complete with singsong tone (though he doesn't actually say the line; instead it's "Someone's in the ceiling...")
    • He does say "Here kitty-kitty" which may as well be an alternate title for this trope.
    • In "Ted" we're treated to Buffy sitting on a playground swing in the middle of the night saying, "Vampires, heeerrre vampires..."
  • A comic and (sort of) heroic example: The Cat in Red Dwarf, hunting for mice: "Here, mousey, mousey! I've got some cheese! I only wanna be your friend!" *Hits things with a baseball bat*
  • Done comically in V: The Final Battle from 1984: a Too Dumb to Live Visitor starts softly calling "Mousiiiieeeeee. Mousie. Here, mousie." to a dumpster as he scrounges for mice to eat.
  • Done ironically in Firefly episode Objects In Space. "Come on out, River. Nice man wants to kidnap you."
  • In an inversion of this trope, Doctor Who has a little child in a gas mask looking for his mother. Thing is, the kid infects people so that they grow a gas mask over their faces, so when he meets his sister Nancy on the streets, he begins doing this.

  "Mummy! Where are you?...Mummy! I'm coming to find you!"

    • Of course in reality she is actually his mother, thus justifying his questioning of her (even if unintentionally.)
    • It also plays the trope straight in "Last of the Time Lords":

 Master: Out you come, little girl. Come and meet your Master.

  • Fawlty Towers- In the fabulous episode 'The Psychiatrist' when Basil is convinced that a guest is hiding young woman in his room. He thinks he's finally cornered the offenders, triumphantly calls out this trope... and out comes the guest's wizened little mother. This, for once, is a non-creepy example (I think. Basil's manic expression leaves you wondering.)
  • Used by a minor villain in Merlin. He uses it after coming upon a village he planned to raze and finding it seemingly deserted.


Video Games

  • From Max Payne, during the battle with B.B.: "Maxey, Maxey, Maxey...Come out, come out wherever you are! You know, I really hate people who refuse to see the inevitable, refuse to do the smart thing..."
  • Left 4 Dead sees Francis, one of the survivors, deliver one of these in a rather blunt fashion when he hears a Hunter nearby: "I hear a Hunter! Come on out, wussy!"
  • The super mutants in Fallout 3 sometimes say exactly this when you hide from them, complete with a short, almost sarcastic laugh.
  • Blood does this, but as a reference rather than a trope. Though, sure enough, when Caleb says it some zombies oblige.
    • Blood II reverses this, with Fanatics often stating "Come out, we won't hurt you!"
  • This describes the entire gameplay of Thief, though some pursuers hew to it more closely than others.
  • Splinter Cell: The mercenaries in the Kalinatek level say this line.
  • Used by Filch in the first Harry Potter computer game, when you're sneaking around the library.
  • Coming from Ray Stantz, this has a definite potential for nightmare fuel.
  • During Merrill's second-act personal mission in Dragon Age 2, you encounter an elf named Pol hiding in the Varterral caverns, prompting Hawke to use a similar line.

 Silly!Hawke: "Whoever's hiding around here had better come out. Unless you're a dragon. Then feel free to keep hiding."

  • The Manhunt series likes to invoke this whenever the protagonist is hiding in the shadows and the Mooks are looking for him.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: Although this line is never said, its typical follow-up line is used by Scarecrow if Batman is seen by the good doctor's hypodermic-needle-gloved Freddy Krueger-esque monster self in his fear-gas-induced visions of DEATH. Batman must avoid him by hiding in the shadows, but if he's seen, the follow-up line is spoken:

 "Oh, there you are...(SLASH)"

  • In Borderlands the Mooks say exactly this (often followed by a "What are you, scared? Or something?).
  • When Emilia is looking for the Pope in Yggdra Union, she starts calling out the traditional Japanese hide-and-seek lines in frustration ("Olly olly oxenfree!" in the English version). It doesn't come off as particularly frightening because it takes her a very long time for her to find him, on top of which Emilia is fourteen.
  • Sky Captain, AI opponent of the old Electronic Arts game Future Cop LAPD says it when hunting for the player.
  • Appears verbatim in Valkyria Chronicles II in the Enemy Chatter.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Brayko uses this line verbatim when you try hiding from him (in contrast to Omen Deng and Marburg, who can sniff you out wherever you are).

 Brayko: Come out, come out, wherever you are... Olly olly oxen free, whatever the fuck that means.


  Duke: "Come on out, Morphix. There's just two ways this can end, and in both of them, you die!"


Western Animation

  • The second Bionicle film did a variation of this: Vakama was hidden using his invisibility power, and at some point, Makuta tried to taunt him out of hiding using the tactics described in this trope.
  • Used by The Monarch on The Venture Bros, Lampshaded with his comment afterward of "I know it sounds corny, but believe me, it sounded good on the speakers".
  • Used in a Rugrats episode in which Angelica has a nightmare that her new baby brother is evil and can talk to her.
  • Used innocently in an episode of Danger Mouse by Penfold, as he searches for the titular hero.
  • The Teen Titans episode "Final Exam". Jinx does this while chasing Beast Boy through the Titans Tower.

 "Here, kitty, kitty. What's the matter? Afraid of a little bad luck?"


 "You lack even Prime's courage! Come out, Autobot! We all must die sometime!"