• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
That's your girlfriend, not a sack of potatoes!

Over-the-shoulder carrying (abbreviated OTS) is a method to transport another person. The person is laid face down over one's shoulder with their upper body to the rear. The person's legs are held at the hollow of his/her knees to secure them in this position. This position allows carrying another person, even if they are the same weight as oneself. It can be a humiliating pose for the person being carried, since they're turned into a passive object, with their face down and buttocks pointing up and to the front.

In general, when this happens, there are four tiers of victims (usually female) when the person doing this to them is intending to take them somewhere against their will.

  1. They remain still while being held, making the kidnapping an easy job aside from resistance from others who are not the victim.
  2. The victim will struggle while in this position visibly, but the struggling won't amount to anything. Expect weak hits to the upper back of the carrier and the victim kicking their legs while being carried maybe even hitting their carrier. Popular with ladies who practice Waif Fu or are otherwise Weak but Skilled. Faux Action Girls are also popular for the futile resistance.
  3. The victim escapes without help using their own skills or abilities. Often happens if the one being carried has combat skill or "wakes up" while being carried like this.
  4. If the victim qualifies for number 3, a bound and gag usually fixes this, which usually leads to the first or second situations.

When this happens in fiction, usually (but not always), it involves an antagonist carrying a Distressed Damsel or other captive that he/she has caught or subdued. Contrast Bridal Carry, which is more romanticized and typically involves The Hero saving someone instead of capturing them. Compare Neck Lift and Hoist Hero Over Head, which are other ways a villain shows of their strength by lifting up a victim.

Sometimes called the Fireman's carry, although this is actually the name for another position where weight is supported on both shoulders and the carried person is held by both legs and whichever arm is draped over the carrier's shoulder.

Examples of Over-the-Shoulder Carry include:

Anime & Manga

  • This happens frequently in Agent Aika, due to the revealing angle when a female character is slung over someone's shoulder.
  • In Ore-sama Teacher, Takaomi is about to pick up Mafuyu and taker her to the nurse, and everyone around watches in anticipation for him to hold her in 'the legendary princess carry'...and then are appalled when he holds her like a sack of grain over his shoulder and demand he hold her the other way.
  • In Bleach Ichigo carries Orihime like this after battling Grimmjow. Orihime is embarrassed by this, but only because she thinks she is heavy.
    • When Ichigo, Orihime, Chad and Uryú enter the Soul Society through the restrictive current, Uryú's cape gets stuck. Chad frees Uryú, then carries him over his shoulder the rest of the way.
    • During one of Ichigo's battles with Byakuya, Yoruichi stops the battle by knocking Ichigo out, lifting him onto her shoulder and running off with him.
    • When Hiyori first appears, she makes fun of Chad and Orihime and tries to kill them. Shinji stops her and runs off with her over his shoulder. Hiyori protests and gooses Shinji to make him put her down, but he gooses her instead to shut her up.
  • Pictured above: In Fruits Basket, Hatsuharu carries his girlfriend Rin like this when she escapes from who hospital she was taken into after being imprisoned in the Cat's Room and he finds her passed out on the sidewalk. Rin insists she can walk, but Haru assures her he's strong enough to carry her home.
  • When Tasuki first appears in Fushigi Yuugi, he kidnaps Miaka from the bandit leader. After throwing her over his shoulder, he uses his spell cards to make wovles attack Hotohori, Nuriko and the bandit leader, then carries Miaka off.
    • A slaver briefly carries Yui like this when she and Miaka first enter the book.
  • In Skip Beat, Kyoko is carried out kicking and screaming over a security guard's shoulder after she threatens revenge on Sho.
  • In Heart no Kuni no Alice, Peter White carries Alice like this before they go down the rabbit hole because she refuses to get up and follow him.
  • In the first episode of Ranma One Half, Genma (in panda form) knocks out Ranma (in female form) with a street sign and carries her over his shoulder to the Tendo's house as seen here (at around 1:32 and 4:45).
  • In Brave 10, Saizou carries Isanami this way after saving her from assassins.
  • One of the few times when Guts' aversion to human touch is Played for Laughs involves him refusing to join the Band of the Hawk's party after his first battle with them. . . only for Pippin to grab him like this and haul him into the group even when he's kicking and screaming.
  • An enemy sorcerer carries off an unconscious Tira like this in the Sorcerer Hunters manga. He brainwashes her offscreen before sending her back to attack the rest of the party.
  • Akira gave one to Pai in the cartoon of Virtua Fighter, when he was running away from a rival organization and was being chased by children for different reasons. He even spoke to Jacky and Sarah while holding her this way.
  • Non Saiyan Dragon Team members were pretty much relegated to transport in Dragon Ball and often carried the true injured fighters in this fashion, especially the Cell Saga.
    • In a non-injured version, Krillin did this to Bulma to prevent her interfering with her son's training alongside Goten's. Looked rather odd as she is taller than he is (though she is leaner and not a fighter).
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the leading female character, Téa Gardner, finds herself attacked by a group of monsters called Hitotsu-Me Giants who think she is an animal for them to hunt. The creatures knock her unconscious and one proceeds to carry her on its shoulder as they take her to their lair.


  • This comic of Miss America.
  • In an old Little Lulu comic, Lulu babysits Tubby and Tubby tries various methods to get her out of the house. When they all fail, he simply throws Lulu over his shoulder and carries her out. Then he gets scared of being alone in the house and carries her back inside.

Films — Animation

  • Prince Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke does this to two women at once, having just knocked both of them out with a hard hit to the abdomen. In this case, used for drama, though considering that one woman is a supernatural wolf princess and the other is a gun-toting aristocrat it's still undignified.
  • A rather harsh one considering the source this one comes from the not well known film Looney Tunes: Back in Action: while in Paris one of the villain thugs kidnaps the female costar Kate and somehow manages to bound and gag her inside a sack and proceeds to carry her away in this fashion all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. How she didn't smother to death is a mystery to me.
    • Another occurs in a deleted scene when at the top of the tower, the thug takes her out of the bag and tries to carry her like this into the helicopter.
  • Shrek does this to Princess Fiona when she starts Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like.

 Fiona: You tell Lord "Far-Quad" that if he wants to rescue me PROPERLY, I'll be waiting for him right here!

Shrek: Hey! I'm nobody's messenger boy, all right? I'm a delivery boy!

Fiona: You wouldn't dare...! [Shrek carries her off]


Films — Live-Action

  • The poster for the film of Arsenic and Old Lace shows Mortimer carrying his love interest this way. Has a double meaning- on one hand, it calls to mind the sexual version that's like a Bridal Carry, but it also references how the corpses in the film are carried before being taken to be buried.
  • In the movie Pillow Talk, Rock Hudson grabs Doris Day in her PJ's, wraps her in a blanket, and carries her back to his apartment just this way. She even asks a doorman they pass on the street for help, but he, in typical 50's fashion, is on Rock's side on this one.
  • In the film adaption of The Phantom, Sala carries Diana Palmer over her shoulder in one scene, as seen here.
  • In the opening scene of Machete the title character rescues a beautiful naked kidnap victim who is eager to offer Rescue Sex. As Machete is still married at this stage, he simply throws her over his shoulder and walks out the door, not that she minds.
  • Peter Pan (2003): The pirates capture Wendy, John, Michael and the Lost Boys. They bind and gag them and carry them to the ship over their shoulders.
    • Reversed in Hook: When Peter is fighting the pirates on Captain Hook's ship, he carries one pirate like this and spins him around while fighting other pirates at once.
  • Sixteen Candles: The geek (aka "Farmer Ted") carries the drunk and unconscious Caroline like this to Jake's car.
  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: Nick's friend carries drunk Caroline like this after she locked herself in Nick's car as seen at the end of this scene here

 Caroline: Norah, I'm being carried!


Professional Wrestling

  • Samoa Joe one time did this to Sharmell (Booker T's wife).
  • Lance Hoyt also did this to Christie Hemme to prevent her from being a factor in a match. The camra was tactifully aimed during this.
  • X-Pac is a male example getting these frequently when teaming with Kane against Undertaker and Big Show.
  • Even Stone Cold Steve Austin received this from the Undertaker on multiple occasions during the Ministry of Darkness era.
  • Nia Jax carried Alexa Bliss this way multiple times when they were allied. Nia has stated on one occasion a young boy in the front row actually slapped Alexa's butt due to how on display the area is when receiving the carry.
  • Tamina did this to AJ Lee. preceeding the aforementioned Nia and Alexa example.
  • "Legendary" Diva Trish Stratus received one when 2 masked men (later revealed to be Nitro and Mercury) kidnapped her.
  • In a match with Mexican America taking on Samoa Joe and Magnus the ladies of the stable Sarita and Rosita were taken away from ringside like this, by one person doing this to both mind you. He also made sure to slowly turn while he had the girls this way while in front of the camera.
  • AJ Styles gets this from Omos, while both are male AJ Styles is average sized and Omos is even taller than Big Show.


  • In John C. Wright's Orphans of Chaos, Glum carries off Amelia like this. Giving her a few clues, because in spite of his having hit her in the solar plexus just before it, she is not nauseated by the jolts of his shoulder.
  • The protagonist of Clifford Simak's The Goblin Reservation carries a girl from the gassed room in such a fashion. She comes to her senses and starts complaining about this being an absurd way to carry a woman. He puts her on the floor and sarcastically suggests he should just leave her there.
  • In Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window, Count Olaf's Associate That Looks Like Neither a Man or a Woman grabs Violet by the hair and slings her over his/her shoulder. The Associate then picks up Klaus and Sunny and tries to carry all of them off, but falls and drops them.
  • On the cover of Barbara Park's Dump The Chump, Oscar's little brother Robert is carried like this.
  • In Where's Waldo Now, one of the scenes Waldo visits takes place in the Viking Age. Three vikings are shown running away from houses they've robbed, each with a screaming woman slung over their shoulders. In a comic reversal, two large ugly women are shown carrying vikings they've captured over their shoulders.
  • Tucker Grant carries his ex-wife Ellie to a nearby hot spring this way in Catherine Anderson's Always In My Heart after reaffirming their love for each other and all but stating they plan to remarry.

Live-Action TV

  • Dan Schneider seems to be a fan of this trope and uses it a lot in his shows:
    • ICarly: Spencer was slung over Jackson Colt's shoulder unconscious in iLook Alike. Spencer has also carried Carly like this twice.

 Sam: [looks at Freddie] Then you're helping me.

Freddie: Oh no, I'm not gonna risk getting caught and then having my mother find out...

[Sam throws Freddie over her shoulder and walks to the door]

Freddie: Oh, come on! Sam! How do you do this??!!


    • Drake and Josh: In the episode The Drake and Josh Inn, 'Sheet Man' puts Drake over his shoulder and spins him around a few times.
      • There's also a brief clip of Josh carrying Drake like this in the Season 2 opener.
    • Victorious: In Andre's Horrible Girl, Trina annoys a music producer and the producer's muscluar bodyguard carries her out over his shoulder.
  • Kendall and Logan have been carried like this on Big Time Rush.
    • Freight Train has slung Kendall over his shoulder twice and taken him to the studio. He had Logan slung over the other shoulder one of those times.
    • In Big Time Mansion, Carlos has Logan over his shoulder when he passes out during all of the chaos at Gustavo's mansion and James and Kendall help carry him.
    • In Green Time Rush, the school bully throws Logan over his shoulder and carries him out of the room to work on their school project.
  • In the "South of the Border Part Uno" episode of My Name Is Earl, Randy tries to get Earl to go on a bus with him to find Catalina; Earl would rather buy a taco. Afraid of missing the bus, Randy throws Earl over his shoulder and heads for the bus. Earl retaliates by giving Randy a wedgie until he puts him down.
  • Basically every Disney Channel sitcom will contain these. One that comes to mind is an episode of Hannah Montana in which while sleep walking she stumbles into her brother's room and is quickly tossed over his shoulder and carried back to her bed.
  • During Season 6 of Dancing With the Stars, second place winner Jason Taylor carried winner Kristi Yamaguchi and his partner Edyta like this once or twice.

 Edyta: This week we're doing the Viennese Waltz, so I need you to treat me like a proper lady.

Jason: Okay.

[Jason throws Edyta over his shoulder and carries her out of the frame]


    • During Season 9, Mark Ballas carried Melissa Joan Hart like this at the end of their Charleston (at around 3:32).
    • During Season 10, Derek Hough jokingly carried Nicole Scherzinger like this after their fox trot, as seen here (at around 6:12)
  • In The Greatest American Hero, Ralph carried Bill like this many times, as seen here and here. He carried other people too.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: During one game of "Party Quirks", Greg Proops is the host of a party and Wayne Brady is a fireman trying to rescue everyone from a burning building. Wayne slings Greg over his shoulder and briefly carries him to safety.
  • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Ronny was once ambushed by 2 Fearcats and when she tried to make a run for it, Cheetar (one of the 2 Fearcats) grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder. She tried to use her super speed to escape but failed and the Fearcats captured her. This also led to a bit of Male Gaze, due to the clear view of Ronny's ass when Cheetar lifts her up.
    • Preceeding Ronny was the original pink ranger Kimberly, who was lifted like this by Goldar after she was affected by his sleep dust. There was no Male Gaze in this instance due to the angle however.
  • One episode of Full House has Steve carrying Kimmy out of the Tanner house like this when she runs her mouth. She comments on how good his butt looks from that angle.


Video Games

  • The gamecube game Super Mario Sunshine contains one of these. The main villain of the game Shadow Mario, "aka Bowser Jr" appears out of no where near the beginning of the game. He snatches Princess Peach and tries to make a get away by running amok through the entire city carrying the princess the entire time. Either this kid has strength or she has no weight.
  • Duke Nukem Forever has a "Capture the Babe" mode, in which you move said babes around in this manner while fending off your opponents. The babe you're carrying will periodically try to sabotage you by waving her hand in your face; you have to slap her on the butt to make her stop.
  • In Professor Layton and the Last Specter, "Third Eye" Jakes does this to Arianna when he "arrests" her for supposedly masterminding the Specter's rampages throughout the town, which makes it even more obvious that this is essentially a kidnapping, not a sincere effort at upholding the law.
  • In Scooby Doo Night of 100 Frights, Daphne is kidnapped by the villain in this fashion.
  • In Super Smash Bros Ultimate Donkey Kong's cargo throw becomes this, bonus points if the victim is a damsel in her own series.
  • Resident Evil 4's designated damsel Ashley is carried this way by standards mooks in an attempt to re-capture her. Funnily enough even if the player makes sure enemies do not touch her during their playthrough Ashley will still be seen being carried away like this as part of a scripted event.
    • A sort of real life example happens in the Wii ad of the game where the player when Ashley is grabbed this way by a mook hears his girlfriend scream for help as she is in the exact position being kidnapped by someone he doesn't know. He saves her.
  • In the first Double Dragon, poor Marian first gets a punch to the gut and then is carried away by one of Willy's cronies.
  • In Shall We Date Ninja Shadow, if the chosen boyfriend is Mashiro, he carries the Player Character like this.
  • Zangief does this to Abel in Street Fighter V's storymode. It is implied Mika does this to Ibuki offscreen since Mika likes to imitate Zangief and Ibuki could be heard saying "put me down" while Zangief was carrying an unconcious Abel.
  • Marie Rose gets one from Bayman in the Dead or Alive 6 storyline. While she does manage to escape on her own she is later pummeled into submission by him.

Western Animation

  • Happens quite frequently on Scooby Doo, no surprise who gets this treatment.
  • Betty Boop was carried like this by the villains in some of her cartoons. In "Chess-Nuts", the black king throws her over his shoulder and heads for the bedroom; fortunately Bimbo comes to her rescue. In "No! No! A Thousand Times No!", the villian ties up her other boyfriend Freddie and carries her like this into a hot air balloon to escape with her. Again, she is rescued.
  • Daisy-Head Mayzie: Like in the book, Miss Sneetcher picks up Mayzie and carries her to the principal's office over her shoulder as Mayzie's classmates tease her with a song. A repetitive and annoying song, that is.
  • Totally Spies: The girls, especially Clover, were carried like this a few times.
  • In a season finale of The Venture Brothers, Sergeant Hatred carries a tied up and ball-gagged Princess Tinyfeet like this. He doesn't bother to untie her though.
  • Danny Phantom: While fighting Vlad in one episode, Danny's 'cousin' Dani knocks him unconscious with a ghost ray. Vlad slings Danny over his shoulder and he and Dani fly off with him.
  • Due to how often she gets into David Versus Goliath battles and just being 3 foot tall. Jade from Jackie Chan Adventures is a very frequent recipient of these both from friend and foe.
  • Homer has done this to Marge a number of times in The Simpsons, two notable times include when Homer was "Homerculies" and intended to carry Marge this way upstairs for some fun before being interrupted, and when Marge was drunk from indulging at Oktoberfest.
    • Marge one time did this to HOMER in a Treehouse of Horror parody. She notably had much more difficulty carrying him than he has shown carrying her.
    • Homer also did this once to Mr. Burns.
  • In Code Lyoko, Aelita is carried like this multiple times when she is kidnapped by XANA.
  • Teen Titans: While wandering alone in a blizzard, Starfire passes out. Luckily she is found by Red Star who carries her this way to safety before she can freeze to death. Later, another superheroine, Argent, is carried like this as well, but very differently, after being defeated by the Brotherhood of Evil's army of robotic foot soldiers.

Real Life

  • A very common occurrence in real life.
  • There's a popular sport in Finland, Asia and some parts of the U.S. called wife carrying, where men compete in an obstacle race carrying their wives. The wives can be carried piggyback, over the shoulder or Estonian style.