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File:Cobblerstairs 4879.png

I don't think you noticed, but those stairs you were walking on just exploded...[1]

He was one of those guys that had that weird light around him. You just knew he wasn't going to get so much as a scratch here.

When the bullets, fists or pies are flying, expect one character to be able to wander through it all without so much as a nick, a scratch or a drop of cream.

Usually played for laughs, this trope will have one person able to maneuver about the chaos while completely avoiding damage. This could be either through skillful dodging or simple blind luck. Often the character will take advantage of the pandemonium. If a bar has erupted into battle royale, this guy will be leisurely enjoying the top shelf booze while bodies slide along the bar and fly into the stacks of bottles behind him. Sometimes they may try to play peacemaker. Other times they are simply trying to find the nearest exit.

Sometimes the trope will be played seriously as our hero dodges his way through a vicious firefight to reach some important goal. If they are hit at all it will be just before the final task that accomplishes the mission.

Variants of the trope can find the person caught between two combatants and ducking just as their punches slam into one another's faces. Very often the last punch or pie thrown will be the one the character can't avoid.

See also Unflinching Walk, Dissonant Serenity, and While Rome Burns.

Examples of Strolling Through the Chaos include:

Comic Books

  • In Uncanny X-Men #141, Kitty Pryde underwent her first Danger Room session. She had to get past a gauntlet of deadly traps to reach a designated area and turn off the simulation. She simply closed her eyes and walked forward, phasing all the way. This scene is notable for being the very first recorded instance of Wolverine laughing.
  • Plastic Man's buddy Woozy Winks started out as "The Man Who Nature Protects!"-- natural disasters would spring up around him to protect him from enemies. (It was dropped after a few issues.)


  • The Great Race had The Great Leslie strolling through a massive pie fight in a royal kitchen. It was his attempt to dodge one pie too many that led to his diving face first into the one pie that got him.
  • Star Wars had R2D2 and C3PO amble across a corridor during a pitched firefight between Rebel and Imperial forces.
    • And again in Attack of the Clones, this time with C3PO "beside himself".
  • A serious example of this would be in Akira Kurosawa's Ran, where a king survives the seige of his own castle without making any effort to avoid his death.
  • Lord Cutler Beckett's death scene in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie was very much the serious version. He's walking down the stairs, which are blowing up behind him with chunks of wood flying around when he finally dies.
    • Jack does this in the second movie. After the fight starts, the man starts wandering aimlessly through the pub, randomly trying on people's hats to replace the one he lost at the beginning of the movie. He narrowly avoids getting injured in some spectacularly funny ways (such as ducking to get a dropped hat off the floor and avoiding a flying bottle that smashes on the wall above him).
  • Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, grimly closing in on the possessed Theoden while his party held off the guards.
  • The Longest Day features a group of nuns calmly walking through the intense battlefield to join up with the Allied troops to help wounded soldiers.
  • Hedley Lamarr, the Big Bad of Blazing Saddles, seemed like he was going to make it out of the pie fight untouched, and being somewhat Genre Savvy, attempted to duck out of the occasion and hide in the bathroom. He emerges from the bathroom after a moment however, with his face completely covered by a cream pie.
  • Bill the Butcher pulls this in an opening battle of Gangs of New York; he swiftly dispatches any opponent unfortunate enough to get between him and Priest Vallon though.
  • Apocalypse Now: Col. Kilgore loves the smell of napalm in the morning.
    • He's so numb to explosions going off around him that one suspects he doesn't possess guts of steel so much as a spectacular attention deficit disorder.
  • In Support Your Local Sheriff a brawl breaks out as James Garner's character is trying to get some lunch. He says "Hold it!". Everyone freezes. He steps out of range, carefully taking his plate of overpriced food with him, then tells them to "Go ahead on!" He calmly eats as they brawl, discouraging the one man who tries to attack him with a warning glance, and helpfully handing another combatant a two-by-four.
    • Later in the same film, he pulls the same trick during a gunfight.
  • In Tim Burton's Batman there's a scene where the Joker's thugs tommy-gun rival mobsters on the steps of the courthouse. Naturally everyone hits the deck except Bruce Wayne, who's so busy staring at the Joker he doesn't even notice when a bullet clips his shoulder.
  • Aurora does this in the New York shootout in Babylon A.D. But that's hardly surprising as she turns out to be impervious even to miniature guided missiles.
  • During Prudence's "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in Across the Universe, she walks straight through a football field in the middle of practice without getting tackled. A keen eye will be able to see the football players are actually dancing.
  • "Now or Never", the first sequence of High School Musical 3: Senior Year sees Troy walking straight through the middle of a basketball court, singing, without being tackled; he even catches a pass and travels with it before passing it on, still singing.
  • In one scene of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, a group of British officers in the middle of the Zulu war go about their morning routine completely oblivious to the fully pitched battle going on around them.
  • Black Hawk Down: Lt. Col. McKnight had a habit of walking around in the open during intense urban firefights, while bullets and shrapnel land all around him, at one point standing in the open talking to a Ranger who is taking cover to avoid being shot (actually, he was announcing the arrival of his convoy of reinforcements for the besieged Rangers by asking him "Need a lift?") Interestingly enough, the one time McKnight gets injured is while riding shotgun in a Humvee barreling down the city streets and a lucky shot grazes him.
  • In Little Big Man, the blind Cheyenne chief Old Lodge Skins believes himself to be magically Immune to Bullets and crosses a battlefield where his people are getting cut down all around him by the U.S. Cavalry. His attitude makes the scene almost comical, despite the terrible death and destruction occurring close by.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: In the climax, the thief enters a huge warmachine. The machine is on fire and collapsing, and all the millions of weapons inside it are being constantly fired, creating a true Bullet Hell. Miraculously, he doesn't notice any of the chaos surrounding him, managing to steal the items he was after and escapes completely unharmed.
    • Here is the whole scene in question, with non-relevant parts edited out. It lasts over eight minutes.
  • In Mean Girls after the female population of the school has descended in to madness over the Burn Book, Regina stands at the top of the stairs and admires her handiwork as people run past and debris flies through the shot.


  • This troper recalls an X-Men fanfic where a minor new character has a weird sort of combined luck/forcefield power, to the point where she can walk through a battlefield and not get hit. It was given an offhanded mention in the final story of the Sikudhani series.
  • In the Naruto fan fic, Here and Now Yugito Nii, host of the Two-Tailed Cat, casually strolls through a battle between Cloud and Leaf ninja. Sasuke decides to take her out and finds out exactly why she was so calm.


Live Action TV

  • The classic Star Trek:TOS episode The Trouble With Tribbles had Cyrano Jones enjoying some quality time with the liquor synthesizer while Humans and Klingons were happily beating each other with the furniture.
  • The Doctor does this in "Battlefield" and "The Christmas Invasion."
    • In fact, in the former, The Doctor takes this a step further by casually walking inbetween two people having a swordfight, cheerfully raising his hat to them as he does so.
  • In Farscape, Scorpius wanders through the corridors of his exploding Command Carrier in a state of shock, drifting unharmed past hordes of evacuees, exploding energy conduits, and bursting watertanks. For dramatic effect, apocalyptic choirs are singing in the background, cementing this moment as Scorpius' great Villainous Breakdown.
  • A vehicle variant occurs in Top Gear, during the review of the Ford Fiesta. The test was to take part in an amphibious assault alongside the Royal Marines, which culminates in a wonderfully, brilliantly awesome shot of the cheerfully green Fiesta winding its way up a beach filled with gunfire and explosions.


  • Fiona Apple did a cover of "Across the Universe" by The Beatles. In the music video, she is flowing through the riot without getting hit by their baseball bats, or cut by the broken glass. In fact; she doesn't even notice or acknowledge them.


  • Various mediums portray Ares, the God of War, to do this is the midst of heated battles. Cause ya'know, he's the god of war.
    • Justice League Unlimited
    • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys often portrayed him as raving fanboy getting front row seat action.
    • Subverted in The Iliad, in which Ares is impaled by a spear thrown by a soldier under the guidance of his sister and subsequently is forced to withdraw from the battlefield.
    • Used in the game God of War: Ares is depicted as being enormous, yet still eludes the arrows of the enemy.

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid 2 gave us Fortune who, through some Applied Phlebotinum caused bullets to bend around her and grenade to defuse near her body. That coupled with her huge Railgun made her practically impossible to defeat.
  • Peach strolls across the deck of the Halberd as Fox and Falco strafe it with laser blasts, starting a chain of explosions directly behind her. She doesn't seem to notice, and in fact, merrily twirls her parasol as she does.
  • Happens in Red Dead Redemption at the end of the Mexican revolution, John Marston walks calmly through the embattled Escalera past both civilians and soldiers Dying Like Animals.

Web Comic

  • Occurs in this Aki Alliance strip when Aki starts up a fight and simply walks around.

Western Animation

  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson" Springfield's Sicilian mobsters are being fought by the Yakuza gangsters brought over from Japan. While everyone else is fighting, however, one tiny Yakuza member in a white suit is standing perfectly still as the fight rages around him. When Marge pulls Homer away from the fight, he complains, "But Marge, that little guy hasn't done anything yet. Look at him. He's going to do something soon, and you know it's going to be good!" Sure enough, as soon as Homer can no longer see the fight, a ninja yell and a very loud "thump" are heard.
    • "Homer, on your way out, if you wanna kill somebody, it would help me a lot."
  • In the Bugs Bunny short Racketeer Rabbit, Bugs - whose rabbit hole is located underneath a house occupied by a pair of mobsters - sleepily climbs up into the living room and walks to the kitchen and back for a glass of water, ignoring a shootout that the crooks are engaging in with a rival gang.

  Bugs: (*ducking his head beneath a hail of machine-gun fire*) Low bridge!

  • Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures does this a lot, as most of the time he just doesn't care about Jackie's problems.
  • A food fight variation from The Critic: "Give me your french fries! *GULP!* Give me your pot pies!"

Truth In Television

  • Wyatt Earp. Yes, that one. Despite being a real-life iconic badass, a US Marshal, and perhaps the Ur Example of the Wild West lawman, he was never in his life grazed by a single bullet. There's even a story that says a thug fired on him with a 10-gauge shotgun, and every single piece of shot missed, passing harmlessly through his duster.
  • General Douglas MacArthur had a habit of not seeking cover during major battles. An anecdote said that during World War One he told a young George Patton (who flinched when an artillery shell landed nearby) that "You never hear the one that gets you."
    • This is showcased in the 1977 movie dedicated to him. During the campaign in the Philippines MacArthur is watching a battle from a distance from the safety of his car escort and some of his subordinates come to inform him that Washington has promoted him to the rank of General of the Army making him a 5 star General. Immediately after this enemy artillery comes close to his position and everyone except him flinches for cover. This man had no fear of battle.
  1. Next the stairs blow up completely, and he's still walking on them.