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A situation came up in my session where a fighter used his Shield Master Shove feature to shove a Giant Crocodile that was currently restraining another PC using it's bite+grapple ability.

I did a quick check at the time and did not find anything related to shove, although in the grappled condition description it states:

The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled away by the thunderwave spell.

I ruled at the time that a shove would count in a similar way to being "hurled away" however I wasn't sure and said I would find more concrete information for the future.

I have searched high and low for somebody else asking this specific question but have yet to find it. I saw some reference to a Jeremy Crawford tweet about involuntary movement and grappling however I am unable to find it.

If a third party "shoves" a creature that is grappling another, does it only shove the grappler away, or does it move both the grappler and grappled?

I drew a diagram: Third party shoves grappler

(A related question is about the grappled creature shoving their grappler; this question relates to if a third party shoves the grappler instead, so it's not a duplicate.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Can you shove your way out of a grapple? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Oct 18 '18 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just a reminder that duplicate answers are not duplicate questions. The linked question is about the grappled trying to shove the grappler. This question is about a 3rd party shoving the grappler. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 18 '18 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I agree with you, i've updated my question with a diagram and further explination \$\endgroup\$ – GPPK Oct 18 '18 at 18:04
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Yes, it does break the grapple (if you end up out of its reach)

Thunderwave says:

a creature takes 2d8 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you

Shoving uses similar wording:

If you win the contest, you either knock the target prone or push it 5 feet away from you

Assuming you opponent has only 5 foot reach (and did not start in your space), Shoving should fulfill the Grappled condition statement the same way as Thunderwave:

The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled away by the thunderwave spell.

It's fine if a third party does the shoving (assuming they can shove at the correct angle). The above does not state that the grappled creature must cause the effect, only that the effect must remove "the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect".

Also: moving either the grappler or the grappled creature can count as an effect that "removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect" (i.e. in the same way that you can remove someone from danger by eliminating the danger instead of actually moving them). Also answered here.

In the above Diagram, if the Shover pushed the Crocodile down and to the left (which is technically also 'away' from himself, but check with your DM), it should be enough to separate the two opponents (assuming you are using a grid and/or don't charge extra for the diagonal movement - again, check with your DM)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem I have with suggesting that shoving the grappler puts him out of reach of the grappled is that it transfers the shover's effort to the grappled's resistance implicitly. Unless the shover is also pulling the grappled back, he's in effect pushing them both. Any effort to separate them in this case is applied by the grappled. In the economy of actions allowed by characters this is giving the grappled a free action to break the grapple instead of the standard action required by the rules as written. Hence, my argument below. \$\endgroup\$ – Tuorg Oct 18 '18 at 22:19

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