Standing Between the Enemies

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Right before a duel, brawl, battle, or war would start between two misled fractions, the heroes arrive just in time, and tell everyone to try and be friends instead. They might reveal some sinister Big Bad who manipulated them into the fight, explain to them how the Cycle of Hatred leads nowhere, or just break the ice by being heartwarmingly idealistic. The speech itself may share rhetorical devices with the Whoopi Epiphany Speech, the Kirk Summation, Shaming the Mob or a Not So Different speech.

It could be considered a missed opportunity if you would prefer to watch a badass battle, but also a Crowning Moment of Awesome for the characters at the middle, who dared to stand up against two forces that are stronger than the heroes.

If it's a fight between two people, more than likely over a love interest, and the love interest or a side character intervenes at the wrong moment, this trope can lead to a What Have I Done moment.

A common subversion is a Shut Up, Kirk reply from the opposing leaders, who will then start the battle anyway. This is often Played for Laughs.

The pacifist counterpart of the Rousing Speech.

Examples of Standing Between the Enemies include:


Advertising

  • In an ad for a Snickers commercial, two opposing medieval armies are rushing at each other with the obvious intent to fight. Right when they are about to collide, they stop when they see a guy with modern clothes standing in the middle of them. He then proceeds to get them to agree that they're not really angry, but hungry.


Anime & Manga

  • In So Ra No Wo To, Sorami stops a battle by playing Amazing Freaking Grace
  • This happened to the title characters in an episode of the 1960s The Amazing Three anime.
  • The Three Ships Alliance does this to the Earth and ZAFT armies in Gundam SEED, but it soon devolves into a Melee a Trois.
    • They try to do the same thing in Gundam SEED Destiny, too, and mostly fail (until the final episodes).
  • In Escaflowne, as Van's Humongous Mecha is getting Curb Stomped by the Phlebotium-enhanced leopard twins, Merle runs out and interposes her tiny little self in front of him. The twins back off from delivering the killing stroke because she's a catgirl like them.
  • Ash tries this in Pokémon the First Movie. It does stop the battle, though he probably should have waited until after the Beam-O-War had ended before running in. He dies. Momentarily.


Comic Books

  • Batman gives one in The Dark Knight Returns, starting with a Big No that occupies an entire panel.
  • Happened at the climax of Alan Moore's D.R. & Quinch Get Drafted with the entire gang caught between the enemy Ghoyogian Army and their own Space Marines platoon with whom they're in trouble for creating a friendly fire incident with a tactical nuke. Waldo attempts one plea for sanity by stepping up to "cry out at the horror and injustice of war..." It doesn't work.


Film - Animated

  • In The Lion King II, Kiara and Kovu burst out to stop the fighting, just after it has narrowed down to a Simba vs. Zira duel to the death. Both are told to get out of the way, though Zira is less polite.


Film - Live-Action

  • At the climax of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Ace stops two mounting armies by running between them holding the sacred bat they had been about to fight over.
    • He was also yelling said bat's sacred name (which everyone instantly bows to upon hearing it earlier in the film) at the top of his lungs for maximum effect.
  • In Son of Godzilla (I believe), the titular son and the little kids that befriended it simultaneously stand between the furious Godzilla and the armies amassed to fight the beast.


Literature

  • Near the beginning of The Malloreorn, the sequel-series to David Eddings' The Belgariad, Belgarion pulls this, mostly to demonstrate how much he's grown up since the previous series. He stops a civil war in Mimbre by basically riding out between the two armies, unhorsing everyone who gets in his way, and then calling down a cataclysmic thunderstorm between them, while suggesting that anyone who wants to start fighting, can start by fighting HIM. Considering how eager Mimbrates are to go to war, nothing less would have done the trick, probably.
  • At the end of American Gods, Shadow manages to stop the battle between the Old and New Gods by telling them both how they were manipulated into fighting by Mr. Wednesday and Loki so that they could gain power from the deaths of the other gods.
  • In The Hobbit, Gandalf stood between the Three Armies (Human, Elf, and Dwarf) to point out their common enemies the Goblins were approaching on Warg-Back.
  • In Men At Arms, Carrot had a truly epic example when he successfully shamed two armies of trolls and dwarves. They were ready to rip each other apart until he came and basically told them that their dear old mothers would not be proud.
    • There is also a similar event in Jingo when Vimes places himself between two armies by arresting the whole of both sides. After that, Carrot organizes a football match for them instead.
    • Brutha in Small Gods arrives alone on the beach where the armies of half a continent are expecting to fight the Omnian Divine Legion, and explains that the reasons for the war have gone. Almost subverted when one of the enemy generals explains, not unkindly, that sometimes there's just going to be a war and there's nothing anyone can do about it, certainly not by invoking "reasons" or lack thereof. Luckily Brutha has more persuasive allies.
  • Ronnie from The Last Song stood between Marcus and Scott to stop them from fighting.
  • A 1632 story focusing on Giulio Mazzarini is titled "Between the Armies." It states that he once prevented a battle by riding between the armies waving what he said was a peace treaty. He was lying; the negotiations hadn't got as far as signing a treaty yet, but the time without fighting his lie bought turned out to be enough to get an actual peace worked out. This incident may have actually happened, though The Other Wiki doesn't mention it.


Live Action TV

  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, Trip (currently commanding the Enterprise, as Archer and T'Pol are on the surface) stops the Vulcan and Andorian ships from firing on each other by targeting both sides, and saying that he will fire on whoever shoots first.


Theater

  • Romeo does this to Tybalt and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, but things go awry when his interference results in Mercutio getting fatally wounded:

Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm.


Video Games

  • From Fire Emblem 10: Elincia tries to prevent the Begnion Army and the Laguz Alliance to stop fighting. It succeeds as far as averting the battle by convincing the generals of both sides to back off, but then Senator Valtome of Begnion gets so mad that she thwarted the battle that he sends his own personal troops for her head.
  • Guild Wars has this, at the end of the Gyala Hatchery mission.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, in order to avoid a bloodshed, the heroine of the game, Sophia, interposes between the man she loves, the Asian (aka the player character), and her promised fiance, Johan, as Johan, defeated in the duel for Sophia's hand, begs to be given the Coup De Grace, and the Asian was about to oblige.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, if your Player Character chooses to spare Freyyr and give him Bacca's Blade, the party will enter the Chieftain's Hall to find Chuundar standing with his Czerka allies on one side, Freyyr and some Wookiee loyalists on the other, and Zaalbar trying to keep his brother and father from killing one another. You can't prevent the inevitable brawl, though trying will net you some light side points, but you can tip the balance in favor of one of the factions.
  • Obi-Wan, Luminara Unduli and her apprentice attempt that in Star Wars Expanded Universe. The armies attack THEM instead, but they somehow manage to destroy all their weapons without killing anyone. Must be the Force. *shrug*


Visual Novels

  • In Clannad, Yukine stopped two gangs from fighting by revealing that her brother was Dead All Along.
  • During Miyako's storyline in Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai, in order to atone for having let things get so far out of hand while Cap was away, Yamato stops a four-way fight between Wanko, Miyako, Mayucchi, and Chris - with his body. Mayucchi reacts fast enough to pull back at the last moment, but between the other three, Yamato is very much Not OK.


Western Animation

  • In a South Park episode, Jimmy and Timmy get the Bloods and Krips together for a lock-in in the gym, then stand between them while Jimmy gives a speech. It works about as well as you'd expect such a thing to work in real life. Don't worry, just like Jimmy told you, a gym lock-in always works.
    • In most other episodes, it doesn't work that well.
  • An episode from the Animated Adaptation of Back to The Future, the gang traveled to the American Civil War and saw Jules and Vern caught between Union and Confederate armies.
  • In The Problem Solverz episode "Breakfast Warz", the titular trio does this when Danny's mom and Professor Sugar Fish begin fighting. Horace then gives a speech about compromise, with "Pomp and Circumstance" playing in the background.