Exit, Pursued by a Bear

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When the bad guy is finished off by a large, vicious animal.

Related to Disney Villain Death, can be a form of Big Damn Villains, it's a method to keep the hero's hands clean while still dispatching the villain. The difference is that that trope is more removing an obstacle without losing karma for the heroes, but this trope tends to tie up loose ends, and often dispatches a villain the heroes didn't really need killed. Again, this is karma without getting the heroes' hands dirty. Often, the death happens entirely off screen, with the villain's gruesome mauling being merely implied instead of shown, though sometimes you will hear sounds or see a silhouette of the carnage. Can also be used to bring the villain Back from the Dead, since really, did you think a mere bear would stop him?

Though it doesn't have to be a bear, Everything's Worse with Bears. If it's another creature rather than an outright villain that gets chased away by the bear, it's because there's Always a Bigger Fish. And if the heroes called the bear here themselves, then it's Summon Bigger Fish. If it was the villain's own mistreated pet doing the mauling, that's a case of The Dog Bites Back.

Inverse of Villain Exit Stage Left. Compare We Will Meet Again, and see also Just Desserts. May invoke the Tethercat Principle.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

As an Ending Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

Examples of Exit, Pursued by a Bear include:

Anime and Manga

  • Ms. Goldenweek in the manga of One Piece was last seen being pounced on by a giant riding duck and not seen again until about 250 chapters later in a mini-arc.

Comic Books

  • The graphic novel La Débauche. The fact that it is set in a zoo provides a convenient tiger.
  • Doctor Doom once got assaulted by his own attack dogs, because he got in the way of a fox and them, long long long story, because Doom was fighting a Batman analogue he'd lost part of his armor, so he instead fell off a cliff.

Film - Animated

  • In A Bugs Life, the ants discover that main villain Hopper is afraid of birds, so they build a fake one to try and scare him away. He sees right through their ploy; so when Flik and Princess Atta lead him to an ACTUAL bird in the finale, he doesn't realize it's not a trick until it's too late.
  • In Rock-a-Doodle, a shrunken Grand Duke is chased by his own nephew.
  • Captain Hook, from Disney's original film of Peter Pan, exits pursued by the crocodile. Depending on which sequel you go by (the animated sequel or Hook), it may have gone badly for the crocodile.
  • In All Dogs Go to Heaven, Carface is chased by the Big Lipped Alligator. Next time we see him he's in Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
  • At the end of Watership Down, Big Bad General Woundwort is last seen facing down one of the dogs that was killing the rest of his warren. He leaps at the dog, and then the narrator says "And General Woundwort's body was never found."
  • Invoked in South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut, where Saddam Hussein is mentioned to have been killed by a pack of wild boars (just to clear things up, the movie came out 5 years before the invasion of Iraq).
  • Botticelli from The Tale of Despereaux is ultimately done in by his own pet cat.
  • Happens to Felicia near the end of The Great Mouse Detective.

Film - Live-Action

  • In the Nicolas Cage/Samuel L. Jackson film Amos & Andrew, the bloodhounds from earlier in the movie go chasing after the police chief near the end.
  • In The Naked Gun 2 1/2, Robert Goulet's character survives a fall from a building unscathed, only to be mauled by a lion seconds later.
  • The climax from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls seems to imply the villain is not so much pursued by the gorilla as pursued by it.
  • Happens to a minor Villain in Trading Places.
  • Galaxy Quest: Fred uses the transporter to bring the rock monster on board the ship to attack Serras' minions.
  • Jurassic Park, which ended with the raptors getting eaten by the T Rex from earlier in the movie.
  • Mula Ram, the villain of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, falls into a river fulls of crocodiles and gets torn to bits.


  • In The Druid of Shannara, Psycho for Hire Pe Ell is killed by the Koden, a gigantic bear. It's implied to have been set up by the King of the Silver River, as revenge for the death of his daughter. In High Druid of Shannara, the Shapeshifting Moric is last seen lying on the ground as an actual Dragon approaches it. Meta-irony much?
  • Happens in The Space Trilogy, of all places, with Mr Bultitude, an actual bear.
  • The Judge Dee story The Haunted Monastery ends like this, involving an actual bear.
  • In Kenneth Oppel's novel Airborn, Szpirglas, the infamous Sky Pirate, is killed, not by the main character, Matt Cruse, but by a pride of the huge, flying, predatory felines aptly named 'Cloud Cats'. Interestingly, despite pursuing some of the protagonists, never seriously injured any of the "Good Guys".
  • The villainous bandit Dorath is torn apart by wolves just as he's about to "remove the charms" of the princess Eilonwy in The Chronicles of Prydain.
  • In the Doc Savage story Fortress of Solitude, the escaping John Sunlight is followed to a point where his tracks meet those of a polar bear next to an open lead in the ice. Since there's a lot of blood and no tracks leading away, they draw the obvious (and incorrect) conclusion.
  • At the end of Harry Potter, Umbridge is captured and carried away by a herd of centaurs. Dumbledore somehow persuades them to let her go between chapters, and she turns up in the hospital wing relatively unharmed (though she jumps if someone mimics the sound of hooves). When she tries to sneak out of the castle, Peeves catches on and she ends up exiting, Pursued by a Poltergeist with a Walking Stick.
  • At the end of Peter and the Sword of Mercy, O'Neal and Nerezza are eaten by the giant crocodile Mr. Grin.
  • In the Sister Mary Helen mystery Death of an Angel, the B plot covers an alumna's plan to murder her domeineering, abusive mother. Her plan for disposing of the body is to underfeed her mother's standard poodles, and then set them on the dead body so that there will be nothing to implicate her. However, in the confrontation, Mama injures her face. Then the rapist-murderer from the A plot invades the house, and then the two nuns who are the amateur sleuths in the series arrive, as do the police. The rapist is stopped but then dogs come from the basement and smell the blood on Angelica's face and attack her. Inspector Gallegher shoots them dead, but Angelica is mortally wounded and succumbs to her injuries the next morning.
  • In The Cat Who Said Cheese, an abusive ex-husband tracks his ex-wife to Moose County, using the fact that back in the navy he saved a shipmate's life (said shipmate still suffered brain damag)e as leverage to coerce the local, now a beekeeper into becoming an accessory to the bombing of said frightened ex's hotel room. When he comes back to try and cover his tracks and finish the job--the intended target was out and about but someone else died--the beekeeper inadvertently gives him a wool blanket and the bees swarm the murderer, who is found dead the next morning.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "The Zeppo", the villain is making a speech about how he will be coming back, when he opens a door on Werewolf Oz. He is not seen again, and in the next scene Human Oz remarks that he feels full for some reason.
    • In "The Pack", the evil zookeeper ends up being eaten by hyenas after Buffy hurls him into the hyena pit. Knowing her, she probably didn't mean for him to end up in the pit, but she doesn't shed any tears about it later.
  • The Master and The Rani end one episode of Doctor Who trapped in a malfunctioning TARDIS with a rapidly-growing T. Rex bearing down on them. They come back later with no explanation, natch.
  • In the Merlin episode "Lancelot and Guinevere", Hengist is trapped in the widderen's cage and eaten alive before he can pursue the main characters.
  • Helen Cutter's death in Primeval is between this and a Shut UP, Hannibal. Her Hannibal Lecture to Danny is rudely interrupted by a velociraptor which knocks her over a cliff.



Video Games

  • In Turok: Evolution, Tal Set defeats Bruckner but will not kill him because he "does not deserve a warrior's death." The compsognathus eat him instead.
  • Mr. Kincaid in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is pursued by a Wailord.
  • During the credits of Mega Man 9, you see what happened to the 8 Robot Master bosses; the Mighty Glacier Concrete Man is seen chasing Dr. Wily. Whether his programming would allow him to actually hurt the weak, human man remains to be seen.
  • In Paper Mario, Chapter 2's boss, Tutankoopa, exits pursued by his pet Chain Chomp.
  • Kinnikuman: Muscle Fight
    • If Kendaman loses a match, he immediately gets up and gets chased out of the ring by Neptuneman. Neptuneman is going to punish Kendaman for breaking the Perfect Choujin rules. This is a reference to his loss with Screw Kid to the 20 Million Powers tag-team.
    • If Woolman sometimes wins a match, Woolman changes into a sheep, and a dingo or a shark chases him out of the ring.

Western Animation

  1. A side note: there was a popular bear-baiting ring right next to the Globe theater where Shakespeare worked, so it's possible that he (or his producer) randomly decided to borrow a bear for a crowd-pleasing cameo. (Though one can imagine the villain might not have been the only individual pursued by a bear in that event.)