History Main / CouldHaveBeenMessy

30th Nov '16 5:50:03 AM jormis29
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* Thor's hammer Mjolnir doesn't have an edge, but the same principle still applies, given that he's capable of caving in a mountain with it. It was mentioned by another character that Thor never strikes a mortal, no matter how strong, with his full might, but even so, it ought to be punching Mjolner-shaped holes through most enemies.

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* Thor's ComicBook/{{Thor}}'s hammer Mjolnir {{Mjolnir}} doesn't have an edge, but the same principle still applies, given that he's capable of caving in a mountain with it. It was mentioned by another character that Thor never strikes a mortal, no matter how strong, with his full might, but even so, it ought to be punching Mjolner-shaped holes through most enemies.
4th Sep '16 8:32:25 AM erforce
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* The PinkPanther cartoons took this to extremes sometimes, with two characters continually blasting each other point blank with blunderbusses, resulting in nothing more than blackened skin. Even for a cartoon, it gets ridiculous after the twentieth shot to the face.

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* The PinkPanther ''WesternAnimation/ThePinkPanther'' cartoons took this to extremes sometimes, with two characters continually blasting each other point blank with blunderbusses, resulting in nothing more than blackened skin. Even for a cartoon, it gets ridiculous after the twentieth shot to the face.
30th May '16 9:43:05 AM notShemp
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* UnflinchingFaithInTheBrakes
16th May '16 11:39:32 AM Doug86
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* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/ConanTheAdventurer''. Conan carries a weapon made of ThunderboltIron that will send any of the serpent-men he strikes back to AnotherDimension (his allies have similar weapons), but all he ever seems to do against normal human opponents is body-slam them. This is not the case in the [[Literature/ConanTheBarbarian original material]].

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* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/ConanTheAdventurer''. Conan carries a weapon made of ThunderboltIron that will send any of the serpent-men he strikes back to AnotherDimension (his allies have similar weapons), but all he ever seems to do against normal human opponents is body-slam them. This is not the case in the [[Literature/ConanTheBarbarian [[Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian original material]].
6th Apr '16 2:40:43 PM FrankieLynn
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* ''Series/Daredevil2015'' plays this very similarly to the ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' example above, with Matt using what is obviously lethal force and the writers having his targets live anyway, so he won't break his code. They even go out of their way to have someone mention that a man Matt threw off of a roof slipped into a coma rather than dying. The difference is that the show doesn't skimp out on the blood and guts.
28th Feb '16 7:54:06 PM nombretomado
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* Similarly, the anything but restrained {{Wolverine}} never actually managed to successfully shank anything that wasn't mechanical or otherwise inhuman in both ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' and ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. And thus the use of the trope allowed writers to feature the very archtype character of the [[AntiHero "kill-at-the-drop-of-a-hat anti-hero"]] without having him ever actually kill anyone.

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* Similarly, the anything but restrained {{Wolverine}} ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} never actually managed to successfully shank anything that wasn't mechanical or otherwise inhuman in both ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' and ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. And thus the use of the trope allowed writers to feature the very archtype character of the [[AntiHero "kill-at-the-drop-of-a-hat anti-hero"]] without having him ever actually kill anyone.



* CaptainAmerica's shield seems to have the same "selective edge" than the Batarangs mentioned above. That's very good for Cap, who values everybody's life. Justified in Black Knight ([[LegacyCharacter Dane Withman]])'s case, whose sword REALLY has a selective edge due to magic.

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* CaptainAmerica's ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's shield seems to have the same "selective edge" than the Batarangs mentioned above. That's very good for Cap, who values everybody's life. Justified in Black Knight ([[LegacyCharacter Dane Withman]])'s case, whose sword REALLY has a selective edge due to magic.
17th Jan '16 8:43:58 PM Angeldeb82
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Know what's [[RuleOfCool cool?]] [[GoodOldFisticuffs Fist fights]], [[GunKata shoot-em-ups]], {{sword fight}}s, [[ElementalPowers fireballs]] and [[StuffBlowingUp explosions!]]

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Know what's [[RuleOfCool cool?]] cool]]? [[GoodOldFisticuffs Fist fights]], [[GunKata shoot-em-ups]], {{sword fight}}s, [[ElementalPowers fireballs]] and [[StuffBlowingUp explosions!]]
explosions]]!



* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' provides an especially intriguing example. While the Elric brothers' attempts to avoid killing people drag out fights to near typical {{Shonen}} lengths, whenever anyone else, like say the bloodthirsty, revenge-driven anti-hero Scar, joins a fight, blood-soaked bodies begin littering the ground within seconds.
** [[PlayingWithFire Roy Mustang]] averts this. Whenever he steps up, things are ''very'' messy, a la: that's a very nice everything you have there Envy be a shame if something were to ''[[KillItWithFire kill it all with fire]] [[NoKillLikeOverKill over and over again]]).

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* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' provides an especially intriguing example. While the Elric brothers' attempts to avoid killing people drag out fights to near typical {{Shonen}} {{Shonen|Demographic}} lengths, whenever anyone else, like say the bloodthirsty, revenge-driven anti-hero Scar, joins a fight, blood-soaked bodies begin littering the ground within seconds.
** [[PlayingWithFire Roy Mustang]] averts this. Whenever he steps up, things are ''very'' messy, a la: that's a very nice everything you have there Envy be a shame if something were to ''[[KillItWithFire kill it all with fire]] [[NoKillLikeOverKill [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill over and over again]]).again]]''.



* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' does this a lot, especially early on. Later in the series, it's averted, although [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished mostly in regard to male characters]]. The idea is even directly referenced when Jack Rakan [[spoiler: copies the ultimate Shinmeiryu technique, which bypasses all of Negi's barriers and obliterates a bunch of stuff behind him, also nicking Negi on the forehead.]] Jack admits that if he had been off by an inch or so, Negi's head would have been split in half.
** It comes back with during most battles with the [[FanNickname Fatettes]] (not counting Tsukuyomi/Setsuna where it's kinda justified), where lethal force is regularly exchanged: RazorWind, explosive fire, etc. Even in the "final" battle against them, it's hard to remember Fate issued a no-kill order when one sees how [[PyroManiac Homura]] fights.

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* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' does this a lot, especially early on. Later in the series, it's averted, although [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished mostly in regard to male characters]]. The idea is even directly referenced when Jack Rakan [[spoiler: copies the ultimate Shinmeiryu technique, which bypasses all of Negi's barriers and obliterates a bunch of stuff behind him, also nicking Negi on the forehead.]] Jack admits that if he had been off by an inch or so, Negi's head would have been split in half.
** It comes back with during most battles with the [[FanNickname Fatettes]] {{Fa|nNickname}}tettes (not counting Tsukuyomi/Setsuna where it's kinda justified), where lethal force is regularly exchanged: RazorWind, explosive fire, etc. Even in the "final" battle against them, it's hard to remember Fate issued a no-kill order when one sees how [[PyroManiac Homura]] fights.



** {{Transformers}} regularly shows giant robots fighting each other with massive laser cannons - while normal Human folk fight right alongside. Nobody ever gets squished. Not until the traumatoriffic The Movie did any Transformer actually DIE from a laser blast. Interestingly, the bio cards that came with the Transformers toys often revealed decidedly non-lethal weaponry - that thirty-foot steel warmachine's fifteen-foot-long 'laser cannon'? Yeah... more often than not, they were listed as being something like an EMP pulse cannon, that would disable robot targets but not, for some reason, blow them up. (This is the older toys, from 25 years ago, I don't know what the current toys say about their guns.)

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** {{Transformers}} WesternAnimation/{{Transformers}} regularly shows giant robots fighting each other with massive laser cannons - while normal Human folk fight right alongside. Nobody ever gets squished. Not until the traumatoriffic The Movie did any Transformer actually DIE from a laser blast. Interestingly, the bio cards that came with the Transformers toys often revealed decidedly non-lethal weaponry - that thirty-foot steel warmachine's fifteen-foot-long 'laser cannon'? Yeah... more often than not, they were listed as being something like an EMP pulse cannon, that would disable robot targets but not, for some reason, blow them up. (This is the older toys, from 25 years ago, I don't know what the current toys say about their guns.)



** GIJoe. Two massive, well-armed military organizations firing what appear to be fully automatic laser assault rifles at each other, with approximately zero accuracy. Again, almost all of the actual casualties come from face punches.

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** GIJoe.Franchise/GIJoe. Two massive, well-armed military organizations firing what appear to be fully automatic laser assault rifles at each other, with approximately zero accuracy. Again, almost all of the actual casualties come from face punches.



* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/ConanTheAdventurer''. Conan carries a weapon made of ThunderboltIron that will send any of the serpent-men he strikes back to AnotherDimension (his allies have similar weapons), but all he ever seems to do against normal human opponents is body-slam them. This is not the case in the [[ConanTheBarbarian original material]].

to:

* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/ConanTheAdventurer''. Conan carries a weapon made of ThunderboltIron that will send any of the serpent-men he strikes back to AnotherDimension (his allies have similar weapons), but all he ever seems to do against normal human opponents is body-slam them. This is not the case in the [[ConanTheBarbarian [[Literature/ConanTheBarbarian original material]].



* ''WesternAnimation/RamboTheForceOfFreedom''. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids What do you mean, it's not for kids?]] Pssh. Let's just have wars where nobody dies. At least Rambo is somewhat [[TechnicalPacifist consistent with his portrayal in the first movie]].

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* ''WesternAnimation/RamboTheForceOfFreedom''. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids What do you mean, it's not for kids?]] WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids Pssh. Let's just have wars where nobody dies. At least Rambo is somewhat [[TechnicalPacifist consistent with his portrayal in the first movie]].



* UsefulNotes/WW2 tank commander John Foley describes two "could have been VERY messy" near-misses in his autobiography ''Literature/MailedFist''. In the first, he cheated death twice: a direct hit from a [[TankGoodness Tiger]] [[PantheraAwesome tank]] struck the front of his tank, passed right through the fighting compartment, and exploded in the engine. He was initially fortunate in being able to bail out of a brewing tank - one set on fire by an enemy hit - with most of his crew (the co-driver was killed). Going back to view the wreck later with a salvage and recovery team, he charted the passage of the shell through the tank and realised it must have passed straight between his legs as he stood in the commander's position; he reflected that there had been a strange rip, as cleanly cut as if done with a razor blade, in the inner thigh of his trousers. He'd just been too preoccupied to notice it at the time. On a second occasion, a German sniper aiming for his head - the only part of him exposed and visible from outside the tank - missed him by inches. The bullet impacted on the inside face of the commander's hatch and shattered into thousands of globules of molten lead, which sprayed him in the face and hair, missing his eyes. Foley fell back into the tank with his face a mass of blood from hundreds of tiny pinpricks from the tiny lead fragments - none of which had the power to penetrate more than skin-deep, but which gave the illusion of a far more severe wound. He described it as like a combination of sunburn and very minor shaving cuts and was able to continue, otherwise virtually unharmed. (His machine-gunners got the sniper; Foley remembers parking up the tank, investigating, and taking the dead German's unit badges as a souvenir.)

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* UsefulNotes/WW2 tank commander John Foley describes two "could have been VERY messy" near-misses in his autobiography ''Literature/MailedFist''. In the first, he cheated death twice: a direct hit from a [[TankGoodness Tiger]] {{T|ankGoodness}}iger [[PantheraAwesome tank]] struck the front of his tank, passed right through the fighting compartment, and exploded in the engine. He was initially fortunate in being able to bail out of a brewing tank - one set on fire by an enemy hit - with most of his crew (the co-driver was killed). Going back to view the wreck later with a salvage and recovery team, he charted the passage of the shell through the tank and realised it must have passed straight between his legs as he stood in the commander's position; he reflected that there had been a strange rip, as cleanly cut as if done with a razor blade, in the inner thigh of his trousers. He'd just been too preoccupied to notice it at the time. On a second occasion, a German sniper aiming for his head - the only part of him exposed and visible from outside the tank - missed him by inches. The bullet impacted on the inside face of the commander's hatch and shattered into thousands of globules of molten lead, which sprayed him in the face and hair, missing his eyes. Foley fell back into the tank with his face a mass of blood from hundreds of tiny pinpricks from the tiny lead fragments - none of which had the power to penetrate more than skin-deep, but which gave the illusion of a far more severe wound. He described it as like a combination of sunburn and very minor shaving cuts and was able to continue, otherwise virtually unharmed. (His machine-gunners got the sniper; Foley remembers parking up the tank, investigating, and taking the dead German's unit badges as a souvenir.)
9th Jan '16 8:57:45 PM Pastykake
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Yep, any good cartoon, action movie, or tv series has to have at least one of the above, forget all that "TrueArtIsIncomprehensible" junk -- and any series with all of them will be bloodless beyond belief.

Especially if it's for kids/pre-teens, you just have to to make sure to stay on the MediaWatchdog's good side and not let anyone spill blood, [[NeverSayDie die]], or get mauled. Not a problem, really, our hero is already an expert at dodging, otherwise he'd be toast!

However, the more the hero gets [[ImperialStormTrooperMarksmanshipAcademy shot at]], [[NeverBringAKnifeToAFistFight sliced, and stabbed]] without getting anything worse than cut or singed hair, the louder that [[FridgeLogic niggling little]] voice saying "Y'know, if he'd been half a second slower" gets. Then of course, you eventually start to wonder at the morality of the heroes for using clearly lethal attacks against opponents with playful and innocent abandon, simply because, or rather you assume because they ''know'' they'll dodge the attack.

Taken to extremes, these shows often have to take a time out for a VerySpecialEpisode to prove that, in fact, those [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience red lasers]], swords, or (censors forbid) ''guns'' are not in fact toys, and can kill people. Our heroes will learn a valuable lesson about not running with atomic powered scissors, and they'll use their weapons or powers with more restraint. [[ResetButton Until tomorrow's episode.]]

The trope origins lie primarily within ComicBooks, whose fantastical nature easily allowed passage of such action-oriented, reality-bending situations. With the generally less restrictive Japanese broadcasting, the trope tends to be less apparent with anime/manga, which regularly features bloodletting and dying. Nevertheless, even here CouldHaveBeenMessy is instinctively applied towards main protagonists or other characters that the writer simply doesn't want to let go of just yet.

to:

Yep, any good cartoon, action movie, or tv TV series has to have at least one of the above, forget all that "TrueArtIsIncomprehensible" junk -- and any series with all of them will be bloodless beyond belief.

Especially if it's for kids/pre-teens, you just have to to make sure to stay on the MediaWatchdog's good side and not let anyone spill blood, [[NeverSayDie die]], or get mauled. Not a problem, really, our really--our hero is already an expert at dodging, otherwise dodging; otherwise, he'd be toast!

However, the more the hero gets [[ImperialStormTrooperMarksmanshipAcademy shot at]], [[NeverBringAKnifeToAFistFight sliced, and stabbed]] without getting anything worse than cut or singed hair, the louder that [[FridgeLogic niggling little]] voice saying "Y'know, if he'd been half a second slower" gets. Then Then, of course, you eventually start to wonder at the morality of the heroes for using clearly lethal attacks against opponents with playful and innocent abandon, abandon simply because, or rather because (or rather, you assume because because) they ''know'' they'll dodge the attack.

Taken to extremes, these shows often have to take a time out time-out for a VerySpecialEpisode to prove that, in fact, those [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience red lasers]], swords, or (censors forbid) ''guns'' are not in fact toys, and can kill people. Our heroes will learn a valuable lesson about not running with atomic powered atomic-powered scissors, and they'll use their weapons or powers with more restraint. [[ResetButton Until restraint--[[ResetButton until tomorrow's episode.]]

The trope origins lie primarily within ComicBooks, whose fantastical nature easily allowed passage of such action-oriented, reality-bending situations. With the generally less restrictive Japanese broadcasting, the trope tends to be less apparent with anime/manga, which regularly features bloodletting and dying. Nevertheless, even here CouldHaveBeenMessy Could Have Been Messy is instinctively applied towards main protagonists or other characters that the writer simply doesn't want to let go of just yet.
30th Dec '15 8:01:08 PM Heavyman99
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* It's the same thing with ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack''. He only uses his sword to its full potential against robots and Aku, who seems to be [[MadeOfEvil made of pure evil]] and therefore has no blood. Whenever he fights a living being (not often) he somehow finds a way to not actually cut them, if he even uses his sword at all. It does at least deconstruct it: it ''is'' messy. Very, very messy. Honestly, the way robots come apart, oil spurts like blood and internal workings spill out akin to disembowelment. If it ''were'' living beings, it'd be {{Gorn}}.

to:

* It's the same thing with ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack''. He only uses his sword to its full potential against robots and Aku, who seems to be [[MadeOfEvil made of pure evil]] and therefore has no blood. Whenever he fights a living being (not often) he somehow finds a way to not actually cut them, if he even uses his sword at all. It does at least deconstruct it: it ''is'' messy. Very, very messy. Honestly, the way robots come apart, oil spurts like blood and internal workings spill out akin to disembowelment. If it ''were'' living beings, it'd be {{Gorn}}. And with the new version taking place on Adult Swim, that could very well be in the cards.
16th Dec '15 10:55:45 AM StFan
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* Similarly, the anything but restrained {{Wolverine}} never actually managed to successfully shank anything that wasn't mechanical or otherwise inhuman in both ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. And thus the use of the trope allowed writers to feature the very archtype character of the [[AntiHero "kill-at-the-drop-of-a-hat anti-hero"]] without having him ever actually kill anyone.

to:

* Similarly, the anything but restrained {{Wolverine}} never actually managed to successfully shank anything that wasn't mechanical or otherwise inhuman in both ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'' ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' and ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution''. And thus the use of the trope allowed writers to feature the very archtype character of the [[AntiHero "kill-at-the-drop-of-a-hat anti-hero"]] without having him ever actually kill anyone.



*** Averted in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Uncaged edition) where Wolverines claws do exactly what you always wanted them to. Very, very messily.
** There's a truly preposterous example in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wolverine And The X-Men}}'' where, filled with rage at Sabretooth, he pops his claws ... and uses them to ''slice off a tree branch he can use as a club''!

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*** Averted in X-Men ''X-Men Origins: Wolverine Wolverine'' (Uncaged edition) where Wolverines Wolverine's claws do exactly what you always wanted them to. Very, very messily.
** There's a truly preposterous example in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wolverine And The X-Men}}'' ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen'' where, filled with rage at Sabretooth, he pops his claws ...claws... and uses them to ''slice off a tree branch he can use as a club''!



** Thor's hammer Mjolnir doesn't have an edge, but the same principle still applies, given that he's capable of caving in a mountain with it. It was mentioned by another character that Thor never strikes a mortal, no matter how strong, with his full might, but even so, it ought to be punching Mjolner-shaped holes through most enemies.

to:

** * Thor's hammer Mjolnir doesn't have an edge, but the same principle still applies, given that he's capable of caving in a mountain with it. It was mentioned by another character that Thor never strikes a mortal, no matter how strong, with his full might, but even so, it ought to be punching Mjolner-shaped holes through most enemies.
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