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"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
Bryan Mills, Taken

When a loved one has been kidnapped by the Big Bad or his mooks, sometimes the protagonist has no time or inclination for negotiation. In this case expect them to utilise their skills, experience, determination and connections to go to any lengths in order to rescue said loved one. Without a doubt, copious amounts of violence and mayhem will ensue. Expect them to be fueled either by Unstoppable Rage or Tranquil Fury. Their drive to save their loved one will almost necessarily make them The Determinator. May involve a Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner.

If the loved one is a child, then the rescuing is probably being done by a Mama Bear or Papa Wolf, or the Badass in a Badass and Child Duo. Can also be prompted by a I Have Your Wife call from the Big Bad. If it is a love interest, they are probably a Damsel in Distress. May overlap with Roaring Rampage of Revenge if the goal is to both rescue the loved one and inflict punishment on those who kidnapped them.

Subtrope of Big Damn Heroes.



Comic Books

  • Sin City: Wallace of Hell and Back also goes on one of these when Esther, the woman he saves from suicide, is kidnapped.
    • And then there's Silent Night, where Marv gets to be a little girl's knight in shining armor, rescuing her from some sex traffickers. Needless to say, they get what's coming to them.

Film - Animated

Film - Live Action

  • Taken: The entire premise of the plot as a Papa Wolf sets out to rescue his daughter.
  • Man on Fire would be a subversion. He starts on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, assuming the girl is already dead. Once he learns she's actually alive, he calms down and complies with the kidnapper.
  • Commando has Arnie rescuing his daughter, in true Papa Wolf fashion.
  • Predator opens up with one of these: Arnie's crack commando team is called in to rescue two missing cabinet ministers, who are suspected to be held hostage by a rebel force. The trope is played with in that both of them are actually CIA, and the team had been lied to about their identities; both are already dead as well, and though he was hoping to rescue them the agent who set the team up quickly admits that he mainly wanted Arnies' unit to destroy the rebel base and kill all the soldiers in a pre-emptive strike. They do exactly that, but another way its played with is that they mistakenly believe the rebels skinned the previous team alive and strung them up, making this a Roaring Rampage of Revenge as well- except, of course, the culprit behind the skinning was actually the titular alien villain, so the rebels were Mis Blamed twice.
  • Underworld Awakening is set to follow this story line.
  • Cowboys and Aliens: Embarked on after several of the main characters' loved ones are captured by the titular aliens and taken away.
  • Frantic: A Roman Polanski thriller that has Harrison Ford's character, Dr. Walker, stopping at nothing to rescue his kidnapped wife Sandra. It works, but at the HIGH prize of losing his partner Michelle..
  • Live Free or Die Hard has the bad guys kidnapping McClane's daughter and hence he embarks on one of these.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight has a former CIA assassin turning Mama Bear to rescue her daughter.
  • Iron Eagle is also essentially about this trope, with the kicker being that its a son rescuing his father, in a fighter jet.
  • Aliens : Ripley and Newt.
  • The Matrix: Neo and Trinity's use of guns--lots of guns (and one bomb, and one helicopter...)--mowing down mook after mook (including a few Agents, temporarily), to save their leader, Morpheus.


  • The Dumai Wells sequence in the Wheel of Time.
  • Changes from The Dresden Files revolves around Harry going on one of these to rescue his and Susan's daughter. Also the assault on Winter led by Charity Carpenter.
  • The Ramayana: Essentially the entirety of the plot once the demon king Ravana kidnaps Rama's wife Sita, starting a war in the process. Makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • Belgariad/Malloreon: Barak in bear form rips through Salmissra's palace in the second novel of the Belgariad after Salmissra kidnaps Garion. Midway through the Malloreon, Garion chops his way through Ashaba to rescue his son. (Subverted because Geran was never there, it was an illusion cast because Zandramas is fond of mindscrewing people.) One could argue the next-to-the-last fight scene in "Seeress of Kell" would count as well, though Garion is as much interested in revenge on Zandramas as anything else.
  • The Vorkosigan Saga has Cordelia Vorkosigan embarking on one of these when a civil war puts her baby (in a high-tech incubator) in danger. Then she goes to the capitals, ends the war and kills the usurper, almost by herself. Brings back his head to her husband to boot.
  • Lisbeth in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo when Mikel is captured at the end by Martin.
  • When Kate Daniels is captured by the rakshasas, Curran and the rest of the shifters embark on one to rescue her.

Live Action TV

  • Chuck: Sarah in "Chuck Versus the Phase Three" when Chuck gets kidnapped. Chuck in the season 4 finale when Sarah is poisoned.
  • Firefly: When Mal is captured by Niska in "War Stories," the entire crew comes together (including Wash, who was the other guy captured and was rescued by Zoe) and engages in a Storming the Castle assault.
  • Doctor Who, "Bad Wolf":

 Doctor: I'm gonna rescue her, I'm gonna save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then, I'm gonna save the Earth, and then just to finish off, I'm gonna wipe EVERY LAST STINKING DALEK OUT OF THE SKY!

Dalek: But you have no weapons, no defences, no plan!

Doctor: Yeah. And doesn't that scare you to death. Rose?

Rose: Yes Doctor?

Doctor: I'm coming to get you.

  • In the British Being Human George and Annie go off on one of these near the end of Season 1, and then Mitchell and McNair do one for George in Season 3.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Into the Fire", General Hammond sends every available member of Stargate Command off to rescue SG-1. And it is awesome.
    • Not exactly. He asks the assembled redshirts for volunteers, and they all step forward before he stops speaking. Then Hammond chooses the ones most likely to succeed.

Roleplaying Games


  • Hawke during the "All That Remains" storyline quest in Dragon Age II.
    • In Dragon Age as well, you get to go on one during your origin story if you're playing a City Elf.
  • The final act of Mass Effect 2 is this, if the player chooses to go through the Omega-4 relay to save his/her crew. Also, you could consider Garrus's, Tali's, and Thane's recruitment missions and Miranda's, Mordin's, and Tali's loyalty missions to be this as well.
    • Although once you find Tali's father dead, her loyalty mission becomes a Roaring Rampage of Revenge instead...
    • The Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC is all about this:

 Liara: I've spent two years plotting revenge. Now I have the chance to make it a rescue.

  • Nie R goes on one after The Shadowlord kidnaps Yonah.
  • Shirou during Heaven's Feel route, even his death can't stop him from saving Sakura. (In the Normal end.)
  • In Stranglehold, the events of the game can be considered both one of these and a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Tequila, particularly near the end where Billie, Tequila's wife, has been killed by Jerry on Wong's orders and Wong has kidnapped Teko, Tequila's daughter, and is intent on doing the same to her as his own revenge upon Tequila.
  • The majority of Bioshock 2 is Subject Delta going on this to save Eleanor from Sofia Lamb. When they meet up, they become a Badass Family.
  • The "Hostile Negotiation" mission in Grand Theft Auto IV is this, with Niko laying waste to a whole building full of mooks and showing the Big Bad that, "NO ONE...fucks with...MY FAMILY!"
  • Subverted in Duke Nukem Forever - by the time Duke finds the abducted Holsom Twins (and several other Babes), they've been impregnated by alien spawn, and Duke must either put them out of their misery or do nothing and let the aliens explode out of their bodies. Duke does NOT take this well.
  • One of Asura's main motivations is to find his daughter, save her, and give a merciless beatdown to 'anyone' who gets in his way. By then end of the game no deity is left standing and Asura is about to go on another if the true ending is any indication.
  • The last two stages of Black Rock Shooter: The Game. To make it worse, the girl BRS is desperate to rescue is kind of an unapologetic Jerkass not to mention that said girl has double-crossed her earlier.
  • In Prototype, Alex Mercer brings his game-spanning Roaring Rampage of Revenge to a screeching halt to rescue his younger sister Dana when she's kidnapped by Elizabeth Greene. He stops caring about the progression of The Virus or his fight with Blackwatch, and spends several missions doing nothing but buzzsawing through anything that stands in the way of Dana's safety. The distinction from his usual behaviour is very slight but crucial.

 Alex: You took my sister! I'M GONNA END YOU!

  • Kratos of all people goes on one of these in Ghost of Sparta. He finds out that his brother Deimos was kidnapped by the Gods when they were kids, and is being tourtured by Thanatos, the God of Death.
  • Despite their child friendly look, this trope fuels practically every Mario game ever. Peach is kidnapped and Mario spends the rest of the game literally crushing or incinerating everyone that stands in his path. Usually it involves decimating the population of numerous Koopa affiliated lands or even planets and no environmental obstacle that exists can stop him. He will capture castles, bring down airships and even destroy planet sized monsters to get the job done.
  • This is what Snow and Lightning think they embark on in the beginning of Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out that rushing in blindly after the kidnapped Serah isn't gonna cut it by a wide margin. To put this into perspective: they find Serah after an hour of gameplay; actually saving her takes the other 49, most of which is spent running away and not knowing what to do next.
  • A possible sidequest in Golden Sun is going to rescue Ivan's foster-father, who is being held for ransom in the local Wretched Hive. Amusing because Ivan is pretty mellow otherwise, but absolutely furious when his family (or even his foster-family) is at stake.
  • In Wing Commander II, Spirit mentions having dreams of this after her fiance was captured by the Kilrathi. The closest she gets is an attack on a traitor held space station.

Western Animation

  • King Claudus from ThunderCats (2011) successfully attempted this when he went to rescue his friend "General Panthro". Subverted rather quickly, and cruely.
  • The titular Robot Chicken himself in the 100th episode, also goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the mad scientist who created him, for kidnapping his wife and subjecting her to the same torture that he went through.

Web Original

  • Chakona Space gives us Neal Foster, who has done this at some point in the past. The resulting carnage and body count lead one of his adopted cubs to revile him for quite a few years afterward.