Take My Hand

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Don't let go!!!

Take My Hand moments happen whenever a character is about to fall off a cliff, into a Lava Pit, or out of a speeding car and another one tries to catch their hand. First, it's not granted that their hands will reach at all. Second, even if they do grasp hands the audience is kept wondering for several seconds if the rescuer will be able to pull the falling character up or if their hand will slip. The whole act is typically accompanied by phrases like "Don't give up!" and "I'm not going to let you fall!", and occasionally a slow-motion shot of slipping fingers. Such moments are primarily used in thrillers and action movies to pump up the suspense.

Physically, it's pretty hard to actually lift someone up over a cliff with one hand if you don't possess Super Strength. Sometimes, however, the rescuer remembers that humans usually have two arms and puts their second one to use, making the feat of hauling 100 to 300 pounds up a bit more plausible. Often, the use of only one hand is justified by making the rescuer hold onto something with the other one themselves. The falling character not using the other hand is justified by default, since when you are hanging from one hand, your other shoulder is inevitably several inches below the other, so the other hand simply won't reach up.

Another practical suggestion would be to grasp a person's wrist rather than their hand for a much surer hold. But for some reason, it's only done in the films to make the process of hands slipping out of grip more dramatic: first the wrist grip slips, then the palm, then a few fingers... and then the character the hero was trying so hard to save falls to his or her death.

More elaborate cases include:

  • The falling character not wanting to be rescued, (either out of embarrassment, because they dislike or distrust the rescuer, or because they want to atone for their previous deeds this way), so the rescuer first has to convince them to put in some effort.
  • The character flatly refuses to be saved out of pride or despair and lets go voluntarily before the rescuer can reach him/her.
  • A third character unexpectedly coming to the rescuer's help after they let the rescued's hand slip.
  • Performing the whole trick with Humongous Mecha.
  • The rescuer asks for the rescuee to give them both hands, and the rescuee refuses because they're (a) holding something they don't want to let go of, (b) trying to grab something valuable nearby or (c) afraid to let go of what they're holding onto.
  • The rescuer themselves leaps down, grabs the rescuees hand, then proceeds to grab a rope with their other which they then slide down until they have no extra room. Bonus points if someone at the top starts cutting it. Grapple guns and such also fall into this category.
  • The hanging character will sometimes be wearing gloves (usually leather) on their hands, which slowly start to slip off - with each successive shot of the gloved hand showing it more on the verge of slipping off completely.
  • A Chain of People comes to the rescue, instead of just one person.
  • The rescuer ends up in the same predicament, either accidentally or because the falling character deliberately tried to drag the rescuer down with him.

This trope is not limited to physical contact: any sequence where a character bails another one out of impending danger in an inconceivably dramatic way can be considered an example. Compare Catch a Falling Star; contrast with Unhand Them, Villain!.

Save the Villain often involves a Take My Hand moment. Compare/contrast Holding Hands. See also Clock Tower, Climbing the Cliffs of Insanity, Climbing Climax.

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

Examples of Take My Hand include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist, Lanfan attempts to save Ling this way. However, Wrath is hanging onto Ling's hand, and the strain of their weight threatens to rip Lanfan's automail arm off. Ling tells her to drop them both, but when she refuses he manages to force Wrath off so Lanfan can pull him up.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne - Van saves Hitomi from certain doom more than once. Foklen saves the cat girls.
  • In the last episode of Noir, Kirika tackles the series' Big Bad Altena into a lava pit, and then goes all Redemption Equals Death when Mireille tries to haul her out. Mireille's last-second, teary "I'm begging you to live" declaration convinces her that suicide isn't such a good idea after all. Made slightly more realistic by virtue of the facts that both girls link both hands at the wrists, both girls are in very good shape despite a collection of cuts, contusions and one abdominal gunshot wound, and Kirika is fairly small, which would make her an easier lift.
  • In end of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the titular character tries to pull Anthy out of her personal hell she confined herself to.
    • And actually fails.
      • Or not. The point of the whole thing was to get Anthy out of that black pit, and, thanks to Utena, it does happen in the end - though not exactly in the way she intended to do it. It was more important that Anthy chose to take Utena's hand.
    • The wrist thing is averted twice: Utena pulls Anthy back up to the tower successfully, holding Anthy's wrist, but the time at the end when she fails, they were only holding fingers.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple - Kenichi grabs Takeda's right arm after Takeda falls off the roof. He calls for Takeda to use his other arm. Cue plot revelation (that Takeda's left is paralyzed).
  • The episode 40 of Gundam Seed sees a rather unusual development of this trope: both characters involved are piloting Humongous Mecha and the "rescuer" has to pull the "rescued" onto an accelerating space shuttle.
    • Also, in the very last phase of Gundam Seed, Athrun is about to blow himself up together with the entire enemy base when Cagalli comes after him and convinces him to live on. This is an indirect but obvious Take My Hand moment.
  • An variation of this happens in a Filler episode of Ranma ½. Both Akane and Ranma jump over a cliff to retrieve a MacGuffin. Ranma catches the MacGuffin, Akane catches Ranma's hand and a convenient branch on the side of the cliff. So it ends up being a double cliffhanger (until the branch breaks).
    • In the climax of the long-running Nodoka storyline, Ranma's mother accidentally goes flying up and over a cliff overlooking the ocean. Ranma doesn't bother trying to catch her from solid ground: he leaps down to catch her mid-flight -defying the known laws of physics-, reaching out with his hand and pulling her up mere instants before they hit the rocks below. Then he hurls her (sheathed) katana at the cliff face hard enough to embed it in the rock, providing a small (but sufficient) foothold.
  • Happens quite often in Eureka Seven, (including in some of the title sequences,) though often without the actual words being spoken. Oh, and it usually happens thousands of feet in the air, with one character in a giant flying robot. Because that's how they roll.
  • In the last episode of the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Nanoha has to convince Fate to break out of her antiHeroic BSOD and take her hand to be hauled to safety. This is almost entirely symbolic, however, since both characters are fully capable of personal flight, occasionally against their will. Who says magic wands don't have self-preservation programming?
  • In episode 9 of Grenadier, Yajiro attempts to save Fuuka Shiratou from falling off a cliff twice and fails on both occasions.
  • In episode 6 of Code Geass, the Magnificent Bastard Lelouch stages a dramatic fall from the school bell tower and is "saved" by his childhood friend Suzaku, thus, preventing the latter from discovering some troublesome facts about him. It also has the side benefit of endearing Suzaku to Lelouch's classmates, helping deal with the racism he had experienced the rest of the episode.
    • And they do it again in episode 13 of R2, this time also involving Shirley: after she falls off a high wall, Lelouch grabs her hand, also falls down, but Suzaku grabs his leg and bails them both out (he is a Super Soldier by that time, anyway). Talk about Geass innovating genres...
    • Subverted in the season 2 opener when Rolo failed to catch Lelouch.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Unit 01 grabbing Unit 02 by the umbilical cable. What makes it a significant variation is that the Humongous Mecha is already in the magma pit (and has been since the start of the mission), which makes it much slower.
    • A huge Tear Jerker in the Rebuild 2.0 finale: Unit 00 was assimilated by Zeruel which finally convinced Shinji to take Unit 01 and kick ass. At the conclusion of the battle, Shinji dissolved his own ego border and forcibly extracted Rei's soul from the Angel's core via pulling her back into Unit 01, despite Ritsuko's protests that he won't be able to regain corporeal form. Savvy viewers will notice that Rei had Shinji's SDAT player within Unit 00's entry plug and she still clutched it after the rescue. Not that he knows exactly who she is, but still, willing to exterminate humanity just so that he can have her back? Now that's what I call dedication.
  • Played straight in the second Digimon Tamers movie when an unconscious Ruki rolls off the top of a moving train carriage and wakes up to discover herself only alive by the grace of Takato. After the obligatory "let me go or we'll both die" speech, Renamon comes to the rescue. It's not quite Humongous Mecha, but it'll do...
    • Earlier in the series proper, Beelzemon desperately tries to save Juri from the D-Reaper by breaking into where it is keeping her prisoner, as penance for killing her Digimon partner, Leomon. Unfortunately, it's Leomon's data he uses to break into the Kernel Sphere; seeing Leomon's attack coming from his killer scared and confused Juri, however, and he failed.
      • In the manga version of that scene, Juri does attempt to take his hand, but he is cut down before she can.
    • In the first Digimon series, Tai saves Sora from falling into a huge hole by grabbing her arm. Datamon, who had kidnapped Sora and tried to clone her so he could use her Crest of Love to his advantage, uses his mechanic arms to try injuring both of them and force Tai drop her, but Tai still holds on.
  • Wolf's Rain bookends this. Tsume, leading a gang of thieves, tries to save one of them from falling off a high beam. The problem is, Tsume doesn't really have hands because he's a wolf disguised as human by an illusion. Instead he has to grab the falling human's shoulder with his jaws. Unfortunately the moment he does so it breaks the illusion, and seeing a wolf biting his shoulder the human panics and falls to his death. Tsume later uses the same method to save Toboe, but since Toboe is also a wolf he's not freaked out by being grabbed by one.
    • Also attempted at the end of the series once again by Tsume. Hubb is falling to his death. Tsume reaches out his hand to try and grab him out of midair. But since Hubb has resigned himself to his end and has nothing else to live for, he doesn't even reach out, only smiling as he continues to plunge downward.
  • Subverted hilariously in Dai-Guard, when the Monster of the Week grabs the titular mech's arm, and one of the pilots says something along the lines of "You want my arm? Then TAKE MY ARM!" At which point the arm breaks off at the elbow and the monster plunges into the sea.
  • The ending of the .hack//G.U. Trilogy movie is basically one big Take My Hand scene between Haseo and Ovan.
  • Played absolutely straight to type in The Daughter of Twenty Faces, in a Save the Villain moment atop a speeding train during a snowstorm. It sounds horribly cliche but it was still excellent and tragic.
  • Now and Then, Here and There Shu saves Nabuca from falling off to his certain death despite the fact that the two were fighting just a few moments previously, thus establishing Shu as a certified Wide-Eyed Idealist.
  • X 1999 uses this trope twice in similar and parallel situations in which Kamui keeps Kotori from falling off a tree when they were children and later from falling into an abyss.
    • Also used in The Movie, when Yuzuriha almost plummets to her death from a skyscraper and Kamui grabs her hand, then uses his Psychic Powers to teleport both of them to the top of the building.
  • Occurs during the Sonic the Hedgehog movie - When Metal Sonic is about to fall into the Lava below, Sonic reaches out to him in a last ditch bid to help him. Just when he's gotten close enough, Metal knocks his hand away with the same statement he's been saying all movie: "There is only one Sonic", and he apparently doesn't think it's him.
  • Also occurs in Sonic X when Yellow Zelkova basically commits suicide rather than choosing to let Knuckles save him.
  • Inverted in Read or Die, the final scene aboard the I-Jin rocket. After killing Ikkyu and dismantling the broadcsat machinery that would have played Beethoven's "Suicide Symphony" to a global audience, Nancy lets go of Yomiko's hand allowing Yomiko to fall to safety while Nancy get a Redemption Equals Death ending.
  • Subverted in Detective Conan. Heiji and Kazuha dangling from a cliff. Kazuha stabs him with an arrowhead to make him let her go. He still holds on.
  • After the big fight with Creed in the Black Cat manga, Train grabs an unconscious Creed's arm to keep him from falling off a tower's roof. Train's hand was going to slip, but Leon intervenes and uses his wind powers to keep them afloat.
  • Doumeki of ×××HOLiC saves Watanuki from falling off the school roof (he was pushed by some ghosts) by doing this. Extra points because the ghosts attack Doumeki, but he keeps holding on. Also used twice in the movie. One of those times it's subverted - Doumeki grabs Watanuki's hand and they both go over the edge.
  • Used with a variation in the Sailor Moon SuperS manga. Minako, who has been Brought Down to Normal, enters a mysterious Idol Singer contest. During that, she is attacked by the enemy and, at some point, she's desperately hanging on the edge of a tower. Artemis (her cat) attempts to help her in by taking her hand with his paws, but Palla Palla launches a boulder at him and Minako is horrified as she thinks he's dead. Cue to Artemis temporarily acquiring his human form and being able to give Minako the boost she needs to transform into Sailor Venus, saving them both.
    • In Stars, Neptune does this with Uranus when the latter is knocked off a building, complete with their gloves starting to slip off.
    • Happens again in the very last battle with Galaxia. Sailor Moon reaches for her hand in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • In Fushigi Yugi, Miaka reaches down to save The Mole by grabbing his flute, which is in his hand. He then let go of his own flute and fell into a raging river and died. Or so it seemed.
  • Happens a few times in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Syaoran to Sakura he fails the first time but saves her after messing up the time space continuum. Also Kurogane to Fai to save him from a dying world this doesn't work either and Kurogane must sacrifice his arm.
  • Attempted on a large scale at the end of the Wham Volume of Mahou Sensei Negima. It utterly fails.
  • Subverted in episode 11 of Jyu-Oh-Sei when Thor tries to save a falling Third. Thor won't let go even after Third tells him it's for the best. Third ends the debate by shooting himself in the head. He can be a weird bastard like that.
  • Bleach: During episode 146, Ichigo does this twice to Nel while saving her from hazards in Hueco Mundo - a sand tornado and a sand sinkhole similar to an ant-lion's trap.
    • Ichigo and Orihime attempt this as they're about to be separated on their entry to the Seireitei, but they fail. Similarly, Ichigo tries this with Senna as she's abducted by the Dark Ones in the first movie, but it also fails.
  • In a rare, falling-free example, a climactic scene in Double Arts has Kiri demanding that Elle do this when she begs him to leave her behind to escape an assassin. She does. (He's very persuasive.)
  • Suzumiya Haruhi has a different take on this. When Haruhi drags Mikuru outside of the club room (both in a bunny outfit), Mikuru extends her hand to Kyon to save her. Kyon couldn't take her hand, though.
  • Used in Baccano! with Isaac saying this Czeslaw when he's about to fall off a speeding train. Of course, since the fall can't kill him but Isaac could, even if he doesn't know it, Czeslaw doesn't and Isaac has reach a little further.
    • Which leads to a ridiculous extended sequence in which this trope is used multiple times. Isaac grabs Czes but is knocked off the train, Miria grabs him, but loses her grip, Rachel tries to save all three of them by grabbing Isaac's lasso, but lets go due to an injury, leading to Claire grabbing the rope and then handing it off to a minor character who finaly pulls them up.
  • Towards the end of the first season of Queen's Blade Reina is grabbed by her sister, Claudette, who she then convinces to let her fall. Still not sure how she survives, apparently without a scratch.
    • Reina did seem to have died and Menace brought her back to life, curing her wounds since it wouldn't do to have her 'plaything' injured. Also, Fan Service.
  • Played with in episode 12 of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi—as the building they're on collapses, Sasshi catches Arumi before she falls, and tells her "Ain't a chance in hell I'm lettin' go of this hand"...unfortunately, he let go with the hand he was holding onto the building with.
  • In the Ouran High School Host Club anime's final episode Haruhi is riding alongside Tamaki's convertible in a horse-drawn carriage. She lets go of the reins with one hand to offer it to him as she tells him that no one sees him as a burden and everyone enjoys the Host Club, herself included. Before Tamaki has time to reply the carriage loses control and Haruhi falls over the side of the bridge they were on. Tamaki quickly jumps out of his car and off the bridge after her. As they're both falling Tamaki shouts Haruhi's name as he reaches his hand out to her. She reciprocates, and he pulls her into a protective embrace. Then they both hit the water, and next we see them walking out of the lake perfectly fine, albeit soaked.
  • In Episode 35 of the Monster Rancher anime, Naga, one of the chief villains, is blasted through a wall by Mocchi and is now hanging onto the edge of his castle above a deep canyon. Holly reaches her hand out to him and tells him to take her hand. Genki and Mocchi do the same. Suezo is reluctant because Naga destroyed his village, but eventually extends his tongue with the others' hands. However, instead of taking their hands, Naga says "So that's why you're all so strong" and lets go, falling to his death. This is combined with Save the Villain. (He is later resurrected as a purified monster once Moo is destroyed)
  • In Kyou Kara Maou, the main character Yuuri is about to fall into a newly-made giant canyon when he is caught by his fiance, Wolfram in a particularly Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Wolfram pulls him up using both arms and quite a lot effort, but has only one arm to pull on because Yuuri refuses to let go of Conrad's severed arm.
    • A lesser moment earlier on when Yuuri and Wolfram are climbing a mountain and Wolfram slips. Yuuri ends up dropping Wolfram to distinctly non-fatal consequences.
  • Near the end of Metropolis (2001), Kenichi tells Tima to "Grab my hand!" as he's trying to pull her to safety.
  • About 50 seconds into the opening for Ai Yori Aoshi, Kaoru and Aoi are seemingly suspended in midair and about to be separated. In the first version of the opening, they fail to take each other's hands, but in the second version, they succeed.
  • In an episode of Cowboy Bebop titled Heavy Metal Queen, VT grabs Spike's hand and pulls him into her truck so as not to let him drift away in space.
  • The Record of Lodoss War OVA ends this way when Deedlit grabs Parn's hand before he departs on a horse and rides off with him at the end.

Comic Books

  • Preacher features an interesting variation on this. Cassidy, the super-strong vampire, catches Jesse, the preacher with the Word of God who can force anyone to do what he says, as Jesse falls out of a plane. Unfortunately, A) a nuclear bomb has just gone off behind them, so B) the electromagnetic pulse has shorted out all the plane's electronics, turning it into an unwieldy glider, and C) it's daytime, so Cassidy's forearm is starting to catch on fire in the sunlight. Cassidy isn't willing to let his best mate die--but Jesse tells him to, and with the Word of God on his side, Cassidy has no choice but to do so. One of the finest moments in the series.
  • Elf Quest has its share, among them:
    • In the first graphic novel, Cutter tries to save Rayek this way. Rayek climbs to safety, then, panic receding, falls back on pure hatred for losing face that way.
    • In the second graphic novel, a groggy Skywise gets dragged off a cliff, wounding his arm in the process, but with his good arm he manages to snag a handhold. Cutter climbs down a rope to him; Skywise is rapidly succumbing to shock and pain, and Cutter finds that he can't climb with one hand while holding Skywise onto his back with the other. Takes an unusual ally to get them to safety again.
      • Interestingly, this was originally going to be the scene where Skywise dies - but as series creator Wendy was explaining the upcoming plot to new co-creator Richard, she "made the mistake" of mentioning that Skywise was a star-gazer, and Richard, deeply interested in astronomy, adopted the elf on the spot. "He's mine. I take possession. You are not going to kill him."
    • A later variant has Skywise trapped in a collapsing mountain, the rock having shaped itself around him like a personal tomb; as another elf was holding his hand at the time, his hand is the only thing left sticking out of the rock. Elves on both sides of the newly erected wall have to flee, leaving Skywise trapped and rapidly losing oxygen. But, hey, this is Richard's pet character, and it all works out.
  • The Captain America villain Baron Zemo was subject to this on multiple occasions before falling to his death again.
  • Subverted in Daredevil; after Bullseye kills DD's love interest Elektra, there's a chase sequence that ends with Daredevil's grip on Bullseye's wrist the only thing saving him from a long drop. Bullseye starts ranting hysterically about how he won't let Daredevil save him, how he's going to kill him—and Daredevil drops him.
  • Doubly Subverted in the recent X-Force comic. X-23, having been infected by the last sample of the Legacy Virus, attempts to leap into a vat of molten steel to destroy it. Elixer grabs her at the last second and, despite her threat to sever his arm, managed to use his healing powers in conjunction with her regeneration to burn it out of her system completely... but the effort weakens him to the point where he drops her anyway. Fortunately, without the outward momentum she managed to hit/catch the edge of the tank and merely caught on fire.
  • In pre-Flashpoint Blue Beetle, the finale of Jaime's battle with the Reach has a variation of this. Booster Gold teleports into the self-destructing Reach Commander's ship to get Jaime to safety. Jaime protests against leaving the Commander to die and begs him to take Jaime's hand. The Commander simply falls to his knees whispering "...we never had a chance".

Film - Animated

  • Scar from The Lion King holds Mufasa's paw above a tall cliff. Then Scar throws him off, and Mufasa dies. Later, he tries to do the same to Simba, but it backfires.
  • Meanwhile, in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, Kiara reaches for Zira's paw, but fails to save her (it would have been physically impossible anyway). There was a small part cut which changed the meaning so that Zira intentionally let go of the cliff into the rapids. It was a bit too disturbing for a kids' film.
  • In Finding Nemo, Marlin catches Dory by one fin as they're falling toward the back of the whale's throat. This might be considered something of an inversion, since not only does Dory not want to be rescued, falling is in fact the only way for them to get out of the whale.
  • In Treasure Planet, the only way Silver could've kept Jim from falling to a very painful death was to let go of a boatload of Flint's treasure, which he had spent the better part of his life searching for. He chooses Jim over the treasure, solidifying his Heel Face Turn.
  • * gapes* Oh tell me, ya'll didn't forget Aladdin?!

"Do you trust me?"

    • A fall was only implied the first time, and it was when she trusts him that they jump off (safely).
    • Averted by Jafar. Aladdin needs to be pulled up, Jafar says "First give me the lamp," takes the lamp and then, instead of pulling Aladdin up, tries to kill him with a dagger, then when Abu bites him, leaves Aladdin in the Cave of Wonders to die.
  • Toy Story. As Buzz and Woody are riding RC toward the truck, Slinky Dog grabs Woody's hand and tries to pull them aboard.
  • In Disney's Mulan, a kinda twisted version of this happens when Mulan and Shang (along with Mushu, Cri-Kee and Mulan's horse) get caught in the avalanche and the rest of the soldiers try to pull them all up with a rope. Everybody involved almost gets pulled off the cliff in the process. It then turns into a completely comical scene when Chien Po picks everyone up and pulls them all to safety.
  • Esmeralda attempts to do this to Quasimodo at the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame during the final battle with Frollo. Just right after Frollo falls to his doom, Esmeralda loses her grip, and as a result Quasimodo falls off the balcony as well, only to be caught and pulled back up by Phoebus (who is waiting at a lower balcony) at the last minute.
  • Bear Elinor tries to do this to Princess Merida during the climax of the upcoming film Brave as an attempt to save her daughter from the evil bear Mordu.
  • Subverted in The Great Mouse Detective. Basil is holding out Olivia while leaning over the edge of Big Ben. She strains to reach her father's hand, but ultimately can't reach him. It's only when Ratigan knocks them off the edge that her father is finally able to grab his daughter and save her from plunging over.
  • In Beauty and The Beast the Beast tries to save Gaston this way. He falls to his Disney Death, however.

Film - Live Action

  • They do this, and variations of this, about a dozen times in 2012.
  • In The Matrix, Neo jumps from a chopper to grab Morpheus as he just out of a sky scraper window. He doesn't try to pull him up, however (as he is dangling on a rope attached to the chopper himself at that moment), but maintains the hand-grip until they are above another roof.
  • In the first The Lord of the Rings movie, Frodo saves Sam from drowning by pulling him up by his wrist. It appears in the book as well:

"Up you come, Sam my lad!" said Frodo. "Now take my hand!"
"Save me, Mr. Frodo!" gasped Sam. "I'm drownded. I can't see your hand."

    • The Return of the King film has Frodo hanging from a rock over a pit of lava, and it is up to Sam to pull him back up. This is made slightly more difficult by the fact that Frodo's hand is missing a finger and covered with blood.

"Don't you let go!"

  • In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne saves the unconscious Ducard in this manner. He can only use one arm because he is flat on his back, with the gauntlet on his other arm wedged into the ice to hold him in place. At least Bruce yells to let the audience know it was really hard.
  • Indiana Jones
    • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Elsa Schneider tries to leave with the Holy Grail. This causes a huge earthquake and the grail goes flying into a large crack in the floor. Indy dives and grabs Elsa's gloved hands. She ends up hanging onto Indy over a deep abyss. Before he can pull her up, she takes one of her hands and reaches for the Holy Grail instead. The leather glove on her other hand begins to slowly slip off. Right before she can touch the grail with her fingertips, the glove is completely undone from her hand and she falls to her Karmic Death. Indy falls in immediately after, and he tries reaching for the Grail rather than Henry Sr's hand, until dad begs "Indiana, let it go." (Apparently the Holy Grail was an in-universe Idiot Ball.)
      • Potentially subverted in the LucasArts Games Graphic Adventure version of the film. A player can allow Indy to avoid this trope and obtain the Grail if the player has the presence of mind to do something reasonably clever: use the whip to grab the Grail.
    • In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indy tries to rescue Mac, but the latter intentionally lets go, getting himself sucked into the interdimensional vortex that was consuming the temple they were in.
  • Also done to great dramatic effect at the end of the climactic fight between Rick Deckard and Roy in Blade Runner.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo opens with this trope, but then adds a twist when the rescuer falls to his death.
    • He also used this in North by Northwest, where it's justified that they can use just one hand.
  • A climactic scene in the James Cameron film True Lies has character Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) grabbing his wife by one hand while the limousine she's travelling in barrels towards a broken gap in a bridge, from a helicopter.
  • In Maverick, the title character accidentally falls over the edge of a cliff but barely manages to hold onto the edge. Marshal Zane Cooper offers to help him, but Maverick refuses because he despises Cooper. Maverick almost falls to his death and changes his mind, begging for help, and is pulled to safety. In the movie's twist ending it's revealed that "Marshal Zane Cooper" was actually Maverick's father posing as the Marshal to pull off a scam, which means that Maverick risked his life to maintain the deception.
  • Parodied in Scary Movie 2, where Dwight (David Cross) falls out of a two-story window because he refuses to take the disfigured hand of the perverted Hanson (Chris Elliott), despite Hanson insisting it's his "strong hand".
  • Speed has one in the beginning. There are people trapped on an elevator that is going to plummet to the bottom and the SWAT team had to lift each person out by the hand one by one as the elevator inches below the doors. The last victim is too afraid to move, so the main character has his hand out and screams at the lady to take his hand. He pulls her away just in time before the elevator takes its plunge to the basement.
  • In the movie Mannequin, the titular character is falling into a shredder while still in her inanimate mannequin form. Jonathan reaches in at the last second and catches one of her arms with both of his hands; when she turns back into human, her increased weight nearly pulls them both over the edge, but it also makes it easier for her to pull herself along his arm.
  • The movie Cliffhanger opens with a scene where the hero and Sarah, a fellow climber, are trying to cross a deep ravine to a helicopter using a wire. Sarah's harness breaks and she dangles in the air. The hero tries to save her but has a hard time keeping his grip on her gloved hands. The glove starts slipping off and before he can pull her up, the glove comes off completely and Sarah plummets to her death.
    • This scene would later be spoofed with Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, with a raccoon standing in for the climber.
  • In The Princess Bride, there's the famous, and extremely chivalrous, exchange between the Man in Black and Inigo before the former believes the latter's word and allows him to help him up, after which they begin fighting.
  • Near the climax of Batman Forever, Robin does this to save the villain Two-Face from a deadly fall, preferring to see him rot in jail than to be responsible for his death. In an unusual twist, as soon as he's safe Two-Face pulls a gun and takes Robin hostage.

Two-Face: "Stupid. But very noble."

    • Subverted in the first film; Batman and Vicki Vale are hanging off the ledge of a cathedral. The Joker lends a 'hand' to Vicki, only for it to drop off, nearly sending her to her death.
  • Judge Dredd. Judge Hershey does this to save Dredd from falling to his death near the end of the movie.
  • In Alien vs. Predator, Alexa and another scientist jump across a chasm to escape a pursuing alien. He makes it, she lands on loose bricks and begins to fall. The editing suggests that she's past the point of no return, but sure enough, he grabs her wrist just in time and manages to pull her back up.
  • Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. Kirk says this verbatim to a dangling Kruge. Kruge refuses, and tries to take Kirk with him.
  • Used briefly in the 2009 Star Trek movie, when Sulu pulls Kirk back up onto the drill platform.
  • District 9: Wikus picks up Christopher Johnson with a massive mecha arm. Borders on Crowning moment of heartwarming.
  • Interesting take on this in The Good Son. The climactic scene has the much-put upon mom forced to choose between her evil son Macaulay Culkin and good nephew Elijah Wood, as both dangle from Chekhov's Cliff.
  • Done horizontally rather than vertically in Air Force One, when Harrison Ford nearly falls out the belly hatch of the plane.
  • Inverted in Die Hard where John McClain separates Big Bad Hans Gruber from his wife's outstretched arm causing him to plummet to his death.
  • Averted in The Great Waldo Pepper when Robert Redford's Ace Pilot title character tells Susan Sarandon's character, Mary Beth, to take his hand while trying to coax her off an airplane wing after she freezes in panic during a midair wing-walking stunt. Unfortunately she lets go of the strut she's clinging to and lunges at Waldo with BOTH hands. He can't catch her and she falls to her death.
  • Dreamscape. While Alex Gardner is sharing a dream with a construction worker, the worker is knocked off the top of a building and clings to a hanging girder. Alex jumps onto the girder with him and says "Gimme your hand!" before trying to pull him to safety.
  • In The Abyss, a strange and almost beautiful version of this plays completely wordlessly. Lt. Coffey is in one sub that's about to slip down the wall of the abyssal trench; Lindsay Brigman is in another sub, nose-to-nose with his. As his sub slips, both Coffey and Lindsay instinctively reach towards one another, but all they can do is put their hands on the inside of their own glass.
  • The first Resident Evil movie. When J.D. is being pulled into a group of zombies Rain Ocampo calls out "Grab my hand" and tries to pull him out. It doesn't work and JD is killed.
  • Disturbingly subverted in Cube - as Holloway is lowered into the unthinkable abyss outside the cube by the other characters, using a rope made of their clothes, the structure shakes and everyone drops the rope. She begins to fall and Quentin is the only one who quickly manages to grab the slipping rope, almost getting pulled down himself. He then manages to pull back all of the rope and grab Holloway's hand, but just as she lets out a sigh of relief his smile turns to a psychopathic stare and he drops her.
  • In the movie version of Jumanji, this is played to a T as the rest of the characters try to rescue Allen as he is being sucked out of the house along with the crocodiles and lake induced by the indoor monsoon, complete with the shouting of "Take my hand!"
  • Tron. Tron pulls Flynn to safety while he's hanging off the Solar Sailor.
  • In the Line of Fire: First the villain to the hero, then the hero to the villain with an Ironic Echo.
  • Deep Blue Sea: When traveling up the service shaft, this happens with Carter trying to grab Janice out of the water when she falls in. The shark eats her.
  • In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, a chain of children are trying to save one of their own from being swallowed up by the same quicksand that earlier claimed Max's dead horse. The human chain is about to break when Max arrives, and he saves them all except for the little boy the others were trying to rescue.
  • In The Avengers, Thor offers his hand to an exhausted Steve to help him stand during the Battle of Manhattan.
  • Alita with the cyborged and partially-dismembered Hugo at the climax of Alita: Battle Angel.


  • In Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold, protagonist Miles Vorkosigan tries - and fails - to grab a soldier's hand as she's falling out of a combat shuttle, after lifting off from a war zone, and she falls a mile to her death. He feels guilty for years.
    • However, in a later book, there's an in-universe deconstruction: he's shopping with a female friend, she slips off a ledge above a muddy pond, and he does grab her wrist, panting "Never again!" - and her weight pulls him off the ledge after her. At that moment, he realizes that had he not missed his grab all those years ago, he would also have fallen to his death.
  • In Isle of the Dead the hero's resurrected best friend tries to save the hero's resurrected wife this way. He fails, for the same reasons and in the same way Miles would have.
  • Oddly enough, played realistically in Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series. A skinny nonathletic schoolgirl, in fact, cannot rescue her friend dangling off a cliff, and they just barely hang on to each other until help arrives.
  • The end of Terry Pratchett's The Light Fantastic sees Rincewind dangling helplessly off the top of a tower; Twoflower grabs his hand but is unable to actually pull him up. But he does manage to irritate Rincewind sufficiently to get him to hang on until help arrives.
    • Also, three members of the Band With Rocks In wind up dangling from a cliff in Soul Music, forming a triple Take My Hand chain. Unfortunately, the dwarf at the bottom of the chain is also holding a huge sack of gold in his other hand, and does not want to let go...
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 novel Space Wolf, when the aspirants are climbing a mountain and Ragnor starts to slip, Kjel comes to help him like this. It also inspires Ragnor to get a grip, because he is afraid he might drag Kjel down if he falls.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, Uriel grabs Colonel Leonid as he starts to fall down a slope. Normally, a Space Marine would have no difficulty with an Imperial Guardsmen, but Uriel's grip and footing are not secure, and he fears he will have to let him go. Fortunately, Sergeant Ellard grabs Uriel; for an Imperial Guardsman, he is strong, and is able to pull him back enough to get a better grip.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Red Fury, while they are fighting the Bloodfiends, Seth is knocked so that he is falling in a pit. Shouting "Brother!", rather than "Cousin," Dante grabs him and drags him back. A signal moment in overcoming Seth's bitterness and becoming Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Dragon Jousters series had Kiron trying to save Ari - his dragon puts her head under him so Ari slides down her neck to Kiron, but Ari slid wrong and Kiron's hand slipped. When he does fall a third dragon jouster catches him and this time he doesn't fall.
  • In Nick Kyme's Warhammer 40,000 novel Salamander, Dak'ir fails a jump; Tsu'gan catches him and hauls him up. (Inspiring Think Nothing of It from Tsu'gan.)
  • In Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Leia falls into a pit and Luke, hauling her out, has to brace against a stalagmite. As he heaves her up and out the stalagmite breaks, and then she gets him out of the same pit, leading to one of the novel's many, many moments of unwitting Incest Subtext.
  • In P.N. Elrod's Ravenloft prequel, I, Strahd, the still-living Strahd invokes this trope to save his vassal and friend, Alek, who's been knocked off a cliff in a skirmish. His companion's armor is so heavy that he can't pull him up, and Alek threatens to jab Strahd's wrist with a dagger and make him let go before they're both dragged over the edge. They're spotted before that can happen, though ... ironically, by Strahd's brother Sergei, whom he would murder in a fit of jealousy a few months later.
  • Happens in Queste, where the Toll-Man throws Septimus into the Abyss and gets rescued by Jenna, despite telling her not to do so to avoid pulling her over as well.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Subverted in A Clash of Kings when Ser Mandon Moore tries this on Tyrion during battle, intending to strike him with a sword. It fails when Tyrion wonders, at the last second, why he is offering his left hand instead of his right.

Live Action TV

  • In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy a half-form of this trope is shown, the falling character Karone's hand being caught AFTER she has fallen half-way down a cliff by Kendrix, a ghost - illogical on so many levels, but it does justify the effortless back-on-top-of-the-cliff-you-go super-strength since ghosts can do anything (hence the flying).
  • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Mack has one of these moments with Will, teaching Will an important life lesson about learning to rely on others. We can imagine this particular aesop going badly astray if Will had remembered that Mack is superhumanly strong and could have lifted Will easily. The only reasonable conclusion is that Mack was making it hard (and endangering Will's life) just to teach him a lesson. Or that the writers forgot, which, frankly, is a lot more likely.
    • It was a straight version of a subversion in the Super Sentai episode the Stock Footage came from, where Red threw Black off a cliff to Lava below, offering to pull him up if and only if he would rejoin the team (as he had just tried to take the treasure and run, claiming he never intended to join them for real). For some reason, Disney felt the need to dilute this a bit before showing it to young children. Poor role model, or something.
      • And it was a vital plot point for this as it develops Masumi as The Lancer of the team as he butts heads with Satoru and his descent to darkness and out again.
  • In the 1960s Batman episode "Better Luck Next Time", Catwoman is barely holding onto the edge of an underground crevasse. Batman tries to save her but she refuses to let go of the bag of treasure she's holding, and ends up plummeting into the abyss. She appears in a later episode, so she survived the fall (either that, or she used up one of her nine lives).
  • In V.I.P., Tasha is fighting a woman who's trying to get to the Vice President's therapist (so they can figure out what to use to prevent the VP from casting a tie-breaking vote on a law that would make things much harder on their organisation). The woman is knocked on the ground and starts sliding towards a cliff. Tasha yells Take My Hand and starts moving towards the woman, trying to grab her. The woman slips too fast for Tasha to catch her.
  • In the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie (with Paul McGann), The Master is being sucked into the Eye of Harmony. The Doctor offers him his hand, and the Master deliberately lets himself be sucked into the Eye and be killed so he is Deader Than Dead (again).
    • It doesn't stick, of course.
    • At the end of Season 4 of the revived series The Doctor attempts to save Davros this way too, we're not sure how it would work given Davros is in a heavy wheelchair and was trapped on the other side of room filled with burning debris though, thankfully Davros refuses the offer making the whole thing academic. So that is him absolutely Deader than Deader than Dead too. No, really.
  • In the season 5 finale of Lost, Sawyer grabs Juliet before she can be pulled into an extremely deep shaft. Considering the force that the magnetic force was displaying and the amount of metal chain wrapped around her, Sawyer being able to hold her at all wanders into You Fail Physics Forever territory.
  • In the Australian series Police Rescue, a corrupt police officer is dangling off the edge of a building. His partner-in-crime tries to haul him up and gets yanked off the building to his death. Whereupon the protagonist, a trained rescue officer, does it properly by lying down on the roof and pulling him up with both arms.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva plays this a little differently in the finale. When Wataru and his brother Taiga take on a revived King, King knocks Wataru off a cliff, and as he falls, he grabs onto...the hand of the IXA armor, which was destroyed in 1986 when a time-traveling Wataru and his father Otoya fought and killed King in the first place. This reminds Wataru of his father, giving him a confidence boost that lets him return to the fight and defeat King alongside Taiga.
    • "Reaching out your hand" is one of the big themes in Kamen Rider OOO, as shown in Eiji's flashbacks, he tries reaching out to save a little girl he befriended, but fails.
  • The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Steel Assassin" had the villain, at the end, fall into a deep pool of water. Barely clinging to the edge, he was weighed down by the armor plate built into his body. West literally said, "Take my hand," and the villain replied that under other circumstances he would be happy to do so. Then he deliberately let go of the edge, slipped underwater, and drowned.
  • At the climax of Tin Man, the whole confrontation between DG and Azkedellia is a cross of this and a "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight. In this case, it's because joining hands would activate an innate protection spell and drive away the Witch possessing Az.
  • An odd variation occurs in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. It's not a cliff but a burning Raptor in which Baltar is stuck. Crashdown is urging him to reach for his hand over the fires before the Raptor blows up. What Baltar sees, however, is Head-Six who calmly says "Gaius, take my hand".
  • In the Misfits series 1 finale, Simon tries to save Nathan (even though they disliked each other intensely and had just had a big argument) by catching his hand as he falls from the community centre roof. Unfortunately, he can't maintain his grip and Nathan falls to his death. Still, he comes Back from the Dead so it's not a total loss!
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Altared States", the villain (who wants to persuade his religious father that he has to sacrifice his other son Icus - a name that surely can't be a nod to Isaac) is dangling above a deep ravine. Xena actually says "Take my hand," but he, in turn, says "Let God's will be done" and allows himself to fall to his death.

Video Games

  • In Fahrenheit, Lucas finds himself hanging on the outer side of his balcony after the showdown with flying furnishings in his apartment. When Marcus arrives, the player has to complete a minigame for him to pull Lucas up.
  • In the end of the first Xenosaga game, when KOS-MOS jumps out of exploding Proto Merkabah, Shion reaches out for her hand but lets it slip (not surprising seeing how KOS-MOS is an android weighting twice as much as Shion). However, Ziggy appears just in time to save the day.
  • At the (canonical) end of Fatal Fury: Real Bout, Terry Bogard tries to Save the Villain by grabbing Geese's hand as he falls from Geese Tower. Geese just smiles and pushes out of Terry's grip, letting himself fall to his death.
  • Right at the beginning of Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna falls off a cliff and is miraculously caught by Rikku and Paine. For some reason, they don't immediately pull her back up, instead chatting with some NPCs and petulantly pronouncing the predicament an especially "disasteriffic" one.
  • At the end of Final Fantasy VI, as the heroes escape from Kefka's crumbling headquarters, Celes drops Locke's bandana, an item of tremendous sentimental value to her. She hurries back to retrieve it, and as she does, the ground gives way underneath her. Locke himself (or Setzer, if you didn't re-recruit Locke in the game's second half) rushes to her rescue.
  • In the last cutscene of Devil May Cry 3, after Dante finally defeats his evil brother Virgil. Virgil is depressed and chooses to stay in the devil world "where the battle took place". He allows himself to fall off the top of the waterfall where they fought. Dante attempts this trope, but is cut by Virgil's blade one last time as his brother falls into oblivion.
  • In Beyond Good and Evil, a Take My Hand moment occurs after what's easily the best chase sequence in the entire game: Jade, chased by aerial Alpha Sections, runs over the exploding rooftops (there is at least one Shout-Out to The Matrix), then jumps off the last one trying to reach Double H's (who is sitting atop a hovering drone) outstretched hand, misses... and gets caught by him a moment later, as he drops down a meter or two, still holding onto the drone.
  • And then there was Ico, which was basically an entire game with an built-in Take My Hand mechanic.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, the opening is basically one prolonged Take My Hand moment, from the opening theme (which alludes to it) to the actual moment when Riku is taken by darkness.
    • The ending to the first game, as well, when Sora reaches after Kairi as they're separated while the worlds return.
  • In the DS game Another Code (or Trace Memory, depending on where you live) the ending features two. In the first the Big Bad Bill falls to his death, the protagonist, her father and a ghost all fail to catch him. In addition, if you get the "good" ending by find all of the clues to the D's death (he appears in the game as a ghost only the protagonist can see) he will recall that his last memory was of his uncle (who he was fleeing from after seeing him shoot his violent alcoholic father) trying to catch him as he fell (it's left open whether or not he actually managed to catch him and D may or may not have died from a heart attack anyway after he was rescued though).
  • The arcade shooter Confidential Mission has your character holding your companion's hand over a speeding train. You must tap the Start button at full speed to get pulled back on the roof.
  • Time Hollow for the DS opts for the 'hand slips out of glove' route at the end of chapter 5. Also an attempted Save the Villain.
  • Played with in the Prince of Tennis Dating Sim Doki Doki Survival. In the first scenes of the games, your character (either the Shrinking Violet Tsugumi in Sanroku no Mystic or the Shorttank Ayaka in Umibe no Secret) has to take the hand of two of her prospect love interests (Momoshiro and Kaidoh, for Tsugumi; Dabide and Saeki, for Ayaka) to get out of a room in a boat that's about to become a Drowning Pit.
  • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Samus gets rescued in this fashion by Rundas during the opening area. As she and Meta-Ridley tumble down the ventilation shaft, she delivers the final blow to him... But the problem is, she's still falling down the shaft. Never fear! Gliding on ice, Rundas appears, and snatches her by her hand as Ridley falls away beneath them. Befitting his grumpy personality, he tells her she owes him one. Unfortunately, due to Phazon poisoning, the best she can do is a Mercy Kill.
  • A cutscene in Uncharted Drakes Fortune shows Nate and Elena crossing a rickety old bridge, when (naturally) the bridge gives way beneath Elena precisely as Nate warns her about watching her step. She nearly falls to her death, but Nathan grabs onto her wrist just in time. However, her other hand is grasping her beloved video camera, and Nathan must urge her to give her his other hand, because he can't hold on for much longer. After a moment of hesitation on Elena's part, she let's her camera drop to the waters and wreckage below, and Nate is able to pull her back up to safety once she grasps onto him with her other hand.
  • This happens in the opening cinematic of Left 4 Dead, although with the person needing rescue (Zoey) asking the rescuer (Francis) to help her up. Makes a bit more sense than some examples, given that Francis gets a firmer grip than most examples and probably is strong enough to lift up Zoey.
  • One of the final cutscenes in Resident Evil 5 involves Chris doing this for Sheva as she falls out the back end of a jet bomber. Being a quicktime event, he can either succeed or fail at grabbing her hand in time.
  • The first regular level of Call of Duty 4 ends this way with Capt. Price saving Soap from falling out of a helicopter.
    • In the sequel, Soap himself does this trick at least twice to Roach, the new PC: first time, during the snowmobile mission, he succeeds, the second time, in the Brazil mission, he doesn't. May indicate that he is still not one the same level of Badass as Price.
  • Mass Effect 2. After defeating the Final Boss, the structure begins to collapse and one of your party members goes sliding towards oblivion, until Shepard saves them with a Take My Hand (they can still die under falling debris a moment later). Shortly thereafter, this always happens to Shepard, too... and whether s/he is rescued depends entirely on whether you kept at least some of your crew alive. Watch the video, but spoilers ahoy.
    • Takes on an extra meaning if it's Shepard's love interest that goes over the edge/pulls him/her up.
  • Appears twice in Dragon Quest VIII. The first time appears in a How We Got Here Flash Back, explaining how Eight saved Yangus' life after the bandit tried robbing them. The second occurs near the end of the main plot, when Angelo saves Marcello's life. Unlike Yangus, who took advantage of it to successfully turn his life around like he'd wanted to before slipping back into banditry right before meeting Eight, the latter turns out to be an Ungrateful Bastard.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope: Happens when Edge grabs Meracle when she makes a leap for the departing Calnus after having faced a moment of indecision about leaving at all. Edge starts to fall and is grabbed by Faize who begins to fall and is grabbed by Lymle and Reimi. Only for the whole lot of them to be rescued by Bacchus. It happens again at the end. Edge is carrying Faize out of the collapsing Cathedral when the floor gives way and Faize falls. Edge is still holding him but in an odd moment of realism doesn't have the strength to lift him. Faize lets go of him out of a combination of guilt and probably the hope that Edge can still save himself. The collapse has gone on too long by this point though and Edge ends up falling after Faize only to be rescued by the Sol. Theoretically Faize is also saved this way. It gets hard to tell after this point.
  • In the ending of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud has a vision in which he's taking Aerith's hand, but the scene then shifts back to reality and he sees Tifa reaching out for him, only for the ledge beneath her to give way and for him to have to catch her and grab onto the platform.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Near the end, Farah slips off a ledge with the Dagger of Time, so the Prince lunges for her...and grabs the blade of the dagger. Farah, willing to give her own life to ensure the sands are contained, says goodbye, lets go of the dagger and falls to her death.
    • And in the later reboot in 2008 of Prince of Persia, this happens every single time you fall thanks to Elika's magic.
  • Singularity has it occur several times, from both sides. You offer a hand to Demichev early in the game so he doesn't fall from the ledge in the burning building, while on more than one occasion you're saved or pulled up by allies yourself.
  • In the prologue of Metro 2033, Miller catches and saves Artiom when a ladder breaks.
  • Used as the last hero or villain choice in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows when Spider-Man reaches out for Venom. Subverted with both choices, the hero has Venom knocking Spider-Man out of the way and killing himself in a Redemption Equals Death moment, and the villain choice has Spider-Man webbing Venom into the Shield helicarrier's engine.
  • Happens in Dead Space 2 at the very end of the game; when Isaac's Obi-Wan Moment is interrupted by Ellie arriving in a Big Damn Gunship. "Isaac! Take my hand!"
  • In Jak II, Sig catches Jak by the hand right as he and Daxter are plummeting to their death. Sig, being 6'6" and 270 lbs, has no trouble pulling up the 5'8", 165 lbs Jak. The cutscene is fittingly titled "Sig's Strong Arm".


Web Original

  • Happens in season two of I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC First between Spidey and Harley, then Batman and Spidey. It's a direct homage to the Last Crusade scene described above, with Spidey as Indy, Batman as Henry Sr., and Harley as Elsa.
  • Gordon Freeman tries this in Freeman's Mind when he sees a dangling scientist. The scientist plummets to the bottom of a pit, and Gordon yells "No, your other hand you idiot!"

Western Animation

  • At the end of the Justice League episode "The Enemy Below" Aquaman's treacherous brother Orm is hanging on for his life in a Literal Cliff Hanger and begs his brother to save him. Aquaman reaches out and grabs his trident, which Orm had stolen, with the words "I believe this is mine" and lets him fall to his death. You really shouldn't have attempted to assassinate your baby nephew, Orm.
    • Done again in the Unlimited episode "Divided We Fall" when Shayera reaches into the Speedforce that Flash has just vanished into and yells at him to take her hand before they yank him out. Note: he doesn't. Made all the more significant by the fact that this act concluded two story arcs at once: that of Shayera's repatriation into the League after the events of the JL finale "Starcrossed" and that of Lex Luthor's "destiny" to kill Wally, which started back in "A Better World" and was repeatedly referenced during the Cadmus Arc.
  • Parodied in South Park, where the person (or rather, louse) about to fall is slipping, slipping...and then her arm tears in half and she goes flying.
  • Subverted in the first season finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender and played straight in the third. In the first, Zhao is about to get killed by an angry ocean spirit, and Zuko, after some inner debate, reaches out to him and says "take my hand!". Zhao reaches forward, but changes his mind halfway there, too proud to accept help from Zuko. The ocean spirit then kills him. In the second, Sokka and Toph are dangling from an airship. Sokka's leg is broken, and he's lying across a jutting part of the blimp, gripping Toph's hand tightly. They have a handslip moment. Just when it seemed like they wouldn't make it (Toph actually started to cry), Suki rescued them.
    • A version of this is used during the first season when Sokka is taken by Hei Bai. But just as Aang is to reach Sokka's hand, Hei Bai takes Sokka with him into the spirit world.
  • Teen Titans uses this early on, which is fine; but a villain is the one who does the saving.
    • Done again in "Troq" when Starfire saves the life of Val-Yor, an example of The Ace, who had pretty much been a racist asshole to her the entire episode.
  • Cow and Chicken: Combining with Fantastic Voyage, the Red Guy climbs down Cow's throat to rescue Chicken, and shouts: "TAKE MY HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!" even though he pulls it away a couple of times to check the time on his watch.
  • The pilot episode of Transformers Animated has Bumblebee and Sari doing this. It's the "too terrified to let go" variant, understandable since the eight-year-old girl is the only one left in a train car that was knocked off a skyscraper and is still falling and she's clinging to a pole inside. She does let go and grab his hand (reaching it by what can only be described as swimming through the air) after an Ironic Echo ("You can trust this face, can't you?").
  • This trope is combined with Redemption Equals Death in an episode of Cybersix: the villain falls off a bridge and when Cybersix grabs her hand, the villain lets go intentionally... so Cybersix won't get run over by the oncoming train.
  • This happens in Once Upon a Forest when Abigail is hanging off of the wing of their flying machine and the formerly cowardly Edgar has to climb onto the wing and save her.
  • This is combined with Save the Villain in one of the last episodes of Storm Hawks. Repton and Stork are fighting, and Repton ends up dangling over the edge of the ship. Stork tries to save him, but Repton tries to stab him instead. This causes Stork to move out of the way, so when Repton finally slips and falls to his death, he can't save him.
  • Subverted hard in the series Aladdin, in the "Black Sand" episode, when Aladdin's enemy Mozenrath ends up dangling from a ledge of the Sultan's palace after a pitched battle. Aladdin reaches out to him, saying "Take my hand!" Mozenrath instead tries to blast Aladdin with his magic, shouting "I'd rather take your life!" His attack at Aladdin results in his losing his grip on the ledge and falling to his apparent death.
  • In the first episode of Beast Wars, Dinobot does this for Optimus when the latter slips and nearly falls off of the bridge during their fight.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Beak", Phineas saves Isabella from falling of the side of a building by grabbing her hand. And the fangirls rejoiced...
  • The Mighty Mightor episode "Battle of the Mightors". Tor to L'il Roc after he falls off a cliff and lands on a branch.
  • Played With in the second half of the pilot of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight is falling off a cliff when Applejack catches her. Applejack can't pull her up and tells Twilight to let go!!!! The played into The Power of Trust because Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are waiting to catch her.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters episode "Ragnarok and Roll" revolves around a guy who wants to destroy the world because everything is so awful. His sidekick and only friend, who is having increasing doubts about this plan, finally gets knocked off the roof of a building, clinging to the edge by his fingertips; the guy desperately tries to save him, but the sidekick flatly refuses to take his hand until he agrees to quit destroying the world.

...we're off to never-never land!