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"Come with me if you want to live!"

Alice has found herself in a sticky situation. Maybe the Mooks are closing in, or even worse, the Big Bad himself. She's on the wrong end of a Run or Die battle, and running isn't working out too well. Enter Bob—whom Alice may have never met before—with a speedy getaway at the ready. Bob could be a guy on a horse, in a car, on a motorcycle, a wilderness expert, or even a made-of-iron cyborg Meat Shield.

This is distinguished from The Cavalry because the unexpected rescuer is (a) mostly introduced in this fashion, having only been briefly seen or mentioned before; (b) helping the hero escape, not reinforcing the hero; (c) often introduced in this fashion in order to leave it open ended whether he's a good guy, bad guy or something in between. All of these factors mean that it's likely to occur much earlier in the plot than the arrival of The Cavalry.

Subtrope of Herald.

Examples of Come with Me If You Want to Live include:

Comic Books

Fan Fiction

  • Rei's first line in Nobody Dies. If the whole "shooting an Angel with a bazooka" wasn't a clue that this is a very different take on Rei or Eva in general, this should convince you.

Films — Animation

Films — Live-Action


 Dom: You had me tracked too?

Saito: Protecting my investment.

  • Knowing. The children who were chosen by the angelic aliens to relocate to another, Garden of Eden-like, planet are actually the only ones who survive the apocalypse in the end. Unless some Mind Control is at work here, from the way the children calmly accept their destiny and let themselves be beamed up, it can be assumed that they were told what is about to happen, and offered this choice beforehand.
  • Rath does this to Electra in Assassins.
  • Subverted in Marathon Man, in a rescue attempt.
  • Slight variation in Snakes on a Plane: "Do as I say, and you live."
  • Aragorn's introduction in The Lord of the Rings is a particularly slow-moving version of this trope (since his method of escape is "be a wilderness expert" rather than something like "drive a fast car"). This is more true in the film, where they leave Bree right away; although it's heavily implied in the book that the hobbits wouldn't survive the night without him.
  • Another "wilderness expert" example is the Mohican rescue in Last of the Mohicans (1992 film version).

 "We're movin' outta here, fast. Unless you all's'd rather wait for the next Huron war party to come along."

  • In Casper the 1995 movie, Casper puffs out his chest Arnold-style and says this to Kat before he flies her away.


  • Achmed does this to Rhapsody in the book Rhapsody.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy is a partial example, since Arthur Dent knows Ford Prefect quite well, but doesn't know he's an alien with the only means of escaping earth until he shows up with a towel and a signaling device.
  • Wizard's First Rule, the first book of the Sword of Truth series, has a variation. It's the main protagonist who introduces himself to the newly-introduced character in this manner rather than the other way around. And he's also a wilderness expert.
  • In Twilight, Edward rescuing Bella from the would-be-rapists in Port Angeles:

 Headlights suddenly flew around the corner, the car almost hitting the stocky one, forcing him to jump back toward the sidewalk. I dove into the road — this car was going to stop, or have to hit me. But the silver car unexpectedly fishtailed around, skidding to a stop with the passenger door open just a few feet from me.

"Get in," a furious voice commanded.


Live-Action TV

  • Spoofed on Community, during the paintball war episode. "Come with me if you don't want paint on your clothes."
  • In the Due South episode "Spy vs. Spy", one-off character Pike does this twice, rescuing both Fraser and Kowalski on separate occasions.
  • The Middleman has an example complete with Terminator Shout-Out in its Mirror Universe episode—mirror-Pip makes his first appearance rescuing Wendy from the mirrored version of her apartment in his car, saying the iconic line.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor tends to do this a lot.
    • The Ninth Doctor meets Rose this way, saying only "Run!" before dragging her off through a series of basement corridors and an elevator that can be conveniently sealed via sonic screwdriver.
    • He gives this speech to a minor character in "Bad Wolf", after escaping from a Deadly Game of "Big Brother", promising that if she came with him he'd protect her. He fails in the next episode.
    • "The Fires of Pompeii": He saves a family from Pompeii's destruction from landing in their living room as the eruption occurs, holding out his hand as ethereal light streams from behind him, saying "Come with me."
  • Eureka's Fargo uses the line as a Terminator Shout-Out in the episode "Momstrosity".
  • Glenn's introduction in The Walking Dead is this. It's the same way in the comic, too.
  • Nikita uses this a fair bit when foiling assassinations. Her mole in Division is not able to find out about these operations until the last minute so Nikita gets there just barely ahead of the assassins (sometimes she is late).
  • Chuck: Chuck's mom says this line to him, fittingly, since she is played by Linda Hamilton, who originally played Sarah Connor in the Terminator films.
  • Subverted in the Stargate SG-1 season 5 episode "Desperate Measures", with a completely villainous variant. Colonel Frank Simmons says this basically word-for-word to the Goa'uld possessing Adrian Conrad—after having put a couple of bullets from behind into the protagonist, Colonel O'Neill.
  • Parodied in the Supernatural episode "Party On, Garth", nerdy hunter Garth yells this while trying to rescue a Victim of the Week, however said victim can't see the invisible Shojo that's coming after him and just thinks Garth is crazy.

Tabletop Games

  • Shadowrun adventure Harlequin. The PCs are on a mission when things go haywire, with corporate police closing in from all directions. A van pulls up beside them and the driver says "So, are you guys going my way or would you rather stick around and wait for your new friends to catch up with us?"
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Secrets of the Surface World. Used by Erich Reinhardt in the adventure "Prisoner of the Reich" to get the PCs to go with him when they're attacked by Nazis.

Video Games

  • Your introduction to Elanee in Neverwinter Nights 2.
  • Every ending of the various Origin chapter versions in Dragon Age: Origins. The player character is rescued by Duncan out of a threatening situation and more or less reluctantly joins the Grey Wardens. With the possible exception of the Mage origin (if the player sides with Irving and betrays Jowan), all of them will result in the death of the player character without agreeing to join Duncan.
  • Perfect Dark spins a dark twist on the Terminator mythos when the primary agent of the Skedar "Mr. Blonde" infiltrates the dataDyne headquarters, planting a bomb and killing everyone except the CEO Cassandra De Vries. Blonde disarms her gun and informs her "Go to the helipad, if you want to live". The subversion is that its not for her own safety, but ultimately to be brought to "Skedar Justice" aboard the mothership. The overall effect is heightened by some remarkably Terminator-esque music, sans the hopeful tone in the original piece.
  • Inverted in Borderlands. One of the taunts for the Bandit-Traps is "Come with me if you want to die."
  • The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
    • Hadvar, a legionnaire and born-and-raised Nord is the hand-holder through the starter dungeon. Helps compensate for the fact that the Legion just (mistakenly) almost executed you, as he tried (although failed) to convince the others to let you go... before all hell breaks loose when a dragon shows up on the scene.
    • You get two characters that fit this trope in the opening quest; Hadvar and Ralof, a Stormcloak rebel who you shared a wagon with on the way to your execution. When the dragon attacks, you first run off with Ralof, then with Hadvar after you get separated, and moments later you and Hadvar run into Ralof again, and you have the choice of following either one. Interestingly enough, both credit you with saving their lives during the starter dungeon; while they're this trope up until you're freed of your binds, once you're free to fight you're more than pulling your weight.
  • In Team Fortress 2, Soldier gets a new line with his robot costume: "Come with me if you want to live... with me... in my apartment... I need a roommate."
  • In Resident Evil 2, Leon tries persuading Ben, who is in jail, with, "Look, if you wanna live, then you're gonna have to leave with me," when Ben thinks he's safe from monsters, unaware that Leon is "the only cop left alive" in the police department.
  • Tron 2.0: Like the Tron: Legacy example above (and probably inspired it, despite being Alternate Continuity), Jet is able to escape the Game Grid when his opponent Mercury blasts her way out and orders him to follow.

Western Animation