History Main / WhoWillBellTheCat

10th May '18 12:08:07 PM DarkHunter
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* In the early days of the United States of America, just after securing their independence, it was suggested that this trope be codified into law when it came to declarations of war: any legislator who voted to go to war with another nation would, if the vote succeeded, also automatically volunteer himself for military service in said war. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen This idea did not pan out, and was never put into law]].

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* In the early days of 1910 in the United States of America, just after securing their independence, it was suggested that this trope be codified into law when it came to declarations of war: any legislator who voted to go to war with another nation would, if the vote succeeded, also automatically volunteer himself for military service in said war. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen This idea did not pan out, and was never put into law]].
4th May '18 1:28:39 AM scooter
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->''"Once, all the mice agreed that life would be better if the cat wore a bell to warn of his coming--until a wise old mouse asked, "Who will bell the cat?"''[[note]]In RealLife, cats can learn to stalk without ringing the bell, but the fable (and by extension, the general premise) hasn't died.[[/note]]"

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->''"Once, all the mice agreed that life would be better if the cat wore a bell to warn of his coming--until a wise old mouse asked, "Who will bell the cat?"''[[note]]In cat?"'' [[note]]In RealLife, cats can learn to stalk without ringing the bell, but the fable (and by extension, the general premise) hasn't died.[[/note]]" [[/note]]
2nd Apr '18 10:12:17 AM TheWanderer
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** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'' cynical old cop Sam Vimes is sent back through time to the era when he was a teen who just recently joined the police, as is a SerialKiller named Carcer that he was chasing. Through a complicated series of events, Carcer winds up killing an early mentor of Vimes who was about to teach young Sam a few things, and Vimes takes the mentor's identity and place so his past self can still be taught the right way to be a cop. At one point the younger version of Sam starts speaking out about the current despotism, in particular how bad the SecretPolice are and how [[ColdBloodedTorture cruelly and needlessly they torture people]]. The older Vimes agrees the torture is bad, and asks why nobody has stopped the secret police yet. Sam essentially responds by saying "[[{{Tautology}} Well... because they torture people who talk about doing things like that]]."
2nd Apr '18 9:31:32 AM TheWanderer
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* In ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'', after Curley Bill kills the town marshall, Wyatt Earp knocks him out and orders him taken to jail. The other cowboys surround him in order to take Bill back, until Earp puts a gun to Ike Clanton's head. Earp admits that they'll get him in a rush, but not before he blows Clanton's head off, so Clanton tells the others to back down.

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* In ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'', after Curley Bill kills the town marshall, Wyatt Earp knocks him out and orders him taken to jail. The other cowboys surround him in order to take Bill back, until Earp puts a gun to Ike Clanton's head. Earp admits that they'll get him in a rush, but not before he blows Clanton's head off, (and possibly shoots one or two others) so Clanton tells the others to back down.


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* Played for laughs in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}''. The Elder Campbell is wounded by an arrow in battle, so after the fight ends the arrow needs to be removed and the wound cauterized to try to prevent infection. However, ''nobody'' wants to be the one to stick a red hot poker into the open wound of the BoisterousBruiser[=/=]BadassGrandpa. This results in several people passing the poker onto someone else so that person can be the one to do it, while they declare that they'll help in holding Campbell down. By the time they get some poor sap to be the one to apply the poker, there are almost half a dozen people holding Campbell down. Sure enough, the very moment Campbell is released after the wound is cauterized, the first thing he does is hit the guy with the poker, despite the poor guy frantically apologizing. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RcgrMb309o Here's the scene on youtube]], albeit in poor quality.
* During one point in the final battle of ''Film/RogueOne'' the rebels have to throw a particular switch. The only problem is that to get to it they have to cross an open field with no cover and dozens of Stormtroopers who can actually shoot aiming at them. One of the rebels takes a couple of seconds to psyche himself up, then declares that he's going to make the run... [[RealityEnsues and is shot the moment he steps out from his cover]].


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* In the pilot episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', Dr. Venture and Brock are going to visit the U.N. when a large crocodile who stowed away on their jet attacks Brock. In front of a U.N. official and the soldiers stationed outside, Brock easily kills the croc with a knife. [[TheRuntAtTheEnd The youngest and runtiest]] of the soldiers tells Brock that he can't enter U.N. Headquarters with a weapon, and that he'll have to confiscate the knife. Brock (while [[BloodIsTheNewBlack being covered head to toe in blood]] and shooting the young soldier a horrifying DeathGlare complete with psycho [[TwitchyEye Eye Twitching]]) dares the kid to go ahead and take the knife from him. The young soldier [[OhCrap suddenly realizes exactly how much danger he's in]] and looks to the other soldiers for support, only to see them frantically shaking their heads at him. Judging by the fact that Brock still has his knife later, no one decided they were up for belling this cat. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khyzj5toqwA Scene]].
11th Mar '18 10:38:36 PM TheGreatSkrond
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* In economics, this is known as a collective action failure. A common example is pollution: everyone wants there to be less of it, but good luck getting a voluntary agreement on who has to emit how much less.
10th Mar '18 3:54:57 AM VicGeorge2011
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* Also from ''Literature/TheBible'': In [[Literature/BooksOfSamuel 1st Samuel chapter 17]], the Israelites are faced with the situation of who's going to take on Goliath's challenge of facing him man-to-man in combat, with King Saul promising a reward to the man who would succeed in defeating the giant. Enter a 17-year-old shepherd boy named David, armed with only a sling, a few stones, and faith in God that he can take down the giant just as he took down a bear and a lion. David's overwhelming victory against Goliath astounded even King Saul, who was wondering whose son he was of the families of Israel.
14th Feb '18 12:14:32 PM Eddy1215
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* In ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'', all the mice at the rally[[note]]A ''wow-ee''? What's a wow-ee?[[/note]] agree that the cats must go, but when Gussie asks how to go about it, everyone goes mum. [[spoiler:Then Fievel tells her about the Giant Mouse of Minsk.]]

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* In ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'', all the mice at the rally[[note]]A ''wow-ee''? What's a wow-ee?[[/note]] agree that the cats must go, but when Gussie asks how to go about it, everyone goes mum. [[spoiler:Then Fievel tells her about [[TheLegendOfChekhov the Giant Mouse of Minsk.Minsk]].]]
6th Jan '18 11:28:20 AM XStorm
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->''"Once, all the mice agreed that life would be better if the cat wore a bell to warn of his coming--until a wise old mouse asked, "Who will bell the cat?"''[[note]]In RealLife, cats can learn to stalk without ringing the bell, but the fable (and by extension, the general premise) hasn't died."[[/note]]

to:

->''"Once, all the mice agreed that life would be better if the cat wore a bell to warn of his coming--until a wise old mouse asked, "Who will bell the cat?"''[[note]]In RealLife, cats can learn to stalk without ringing the bell, but the fable (and by extension, the general premise) hasn't died."[[/note]] [[/note]]"
3rd Jan '18 7:52:20 AM TheDocCC
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* In ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'' by Creator/RobertHeinlein, Manny is in a crowd listening to a revolutionary's impassioned declaration that they have to get rid of the tyrannical Authority, and he thinks, "A fine idea. But who bells cat?"

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* In ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'' by Creator/RobertHeinlein, Manny is in a crowd listening to a revolutionary's impassioned declaration that they have to get rid of the tyrannical Authority, and he thinks, "A fine idea. But who bells cat?"cat?" A bit later, Manny is a key player in belling the cat.
3rd Jan '18 7:50:45 AM TheDocCC
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** OlderThanFeudalism in China as well, as it shows up in ancient commentaries of TheArtOfWar. Concerning strategic points, a commentator said, "When a cat is at the mousehole, ten thousand rats cannot come out. When a tiger guards the fords, ten thousand deer cannot cross." The commentary implies both using this trope and GeoEffects to hold vital points. Holding them with elite troops who will make taking that point so dangerous that it can't be assaulted; troops ordered to do so will break before they can achieve success.
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