Created By: JDogindyOctober 15, 2012 Last Edited By: LythandeJune 2, 2015
Troped

Desecrating The Dead

When just killing someone isn\'t enough, you want to keep punishing them when they\'re dead.

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"Then, when [Achilles] saw dawn breaking over beach and sea, he yoked his horses to his chariot, and bound the body of Hektor behind it that he might drag it about. Thrice did he drag it round the tomb of the son of Menoitios, and then went back into his tent, leaving the body on the ground full length and with its face downwards.
The Iliad, translation by Samuel Butler

Usually when someone dies in fiction their body is ignored. If they're important (or just important to the plot), you may see them being buried or inspected at a local morgue, but due to the Law Of Conservation Of Detail they are usually quickly forgotten. Sometimes, though, the deceased gets a lot more attention.

Sometimes a character has a pragmatic reason to kill a dead person again, or is too emotional to stop themselves even though their victim is long past resistance. In this case, however, a character makes a deliberate decision to humiliate or punish the dead person even further. Sometimes they're so angry that death just isn't enough, and sometimes they're so evil they want to play with them some more. Spite, revenge, intimidation, and depravity are common motivators for desecrating the dead - for both Heroes and Villains.

It isn't always the physical corpse that's being desecrated; the spirit of the victim can be targeted for further abuse, a grave or monument can be defaced, or the works of the person can be destroyed even if they could be utilized for the betterment of society because it's more important to erase the creator.

The message sent is often dependent on what kind of character does the desecration:

Compare this to Kick Them While Theyre Down (where the victim is usually still alive), Of Corpse Hes Alive (where the corpse is used as a puppet to maintain a pretense that the deceased is alive), and Theres No Kill Like Overkill (in which the death itself is the abuse).

May overlap with What The Hell Hero (if the good guys do this and are called out on it), Creepy Souvenir (when a part of the corpse is kept as a trophy), Dead Guy On Display (when the corpse is displayed publicly, whether mistreated or not), or Last Disrespects (when the abuse happens at the funeral). An extremely mild version of corpse abuse might be the Spiteful Spit.

Supertrope to Pummeling The Corpse (when a person can't stop beating someone they've already killed because of an emotional breakdown) and Make Sure Hes Dead (which is the justified version, and which may overlap with Rasputinian Death in cases where the dead has to be desecrated to keep them that way).

As a Death Trope, spoilers may be unmarked. You have been warned.

No Real Life Examples Please


Examples

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When a Protagonist Desecrates the Dead:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach anime episode 272: defied. After Ichigo enters his ultra-powered Hollow form and apparently kills Ulquiorra, he prepares to stab Ulquiorra's body with his zanpakuto. His friend Uryu Ishida grabs Ichigo's arm and pleads with him not to mutilate Ulquiorra's body, warning Ichigo that if he does it he won't be human anymore.

    Film 
  • Gamera Vs Zigra. After killing the spiky shark-monster Zigra, Gamera bangs a rock against Zigra's spines like a xylophone, playing the first few notes of his own theme music.
  • Sergeant Donowitz has the pleasure of killing Adolf Hitler in the movie theater in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. The theater is burning, the exits are blocked, and bombs are set to detonate. But that's not enough for "the Bear Jew," who repeatedly changes magazines to continue pumping bullets into Hitler's body.
  • In Pacific Rim, after downing the Kaiju Leatherback, Raleigh "checks for a pulse" by unloading several rounds into the corpse to the point where its chest cracks open and starts disintegrating.
  • In The Searchers, Ethan Edwards demonstrates how much of an anti-hero he is by shooting out eyes of a dead Comanche warrior. He explains to his allies that, according to the Comanche religion, one can't enter the afterlife without eyes, so he's just doomed the dead man to wander the Earth forever.
  • In the Spanish film Torrente 3, after killing an Elite Mook with their guns, Torrente and his sidekick not only empty the whole magazine into his body, but they also throw the guns on him, then they spit on him.
  • In Troy, Achilles promises to disfigure Hector's corpse after he kills him. After he does the deed, he drags the body behind his chariot and later, we get a close up of Hector's body to see that Achilles made good on his promise.
  • A pragmatic variation occurs in The Untouchables, when the eponymous squad has captured a Capone henchman and is trying to get him to talk about Capone's finances. When the henchman refuses to talk, Malone wanders outside, grabs the corpse of a Mook killed in the preceding gunfight, and after pretending to threaten to kill him if he won't talk, shoots the corpse through the head, spattering the henchman with gore. The henchman, believing he'd witnessed an actual execution, is very cooperative afterwards.

    Literature 
  • Pointedly averted in Big Red. The narrator notes that after the dog Big Red had killed Old Majesty, the terrifying bear that had been harassing the country, he didn't tear at or worry the corpse. He simply lay down. The author sees this as nobility of spirit.
  • Discussed for Laughs in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: Arthur Dent threatens to have Mr Prosser (the council worker who knocked Arthur's house down) hung, drawn, and quartered, and then to cut him up into little bits, and then take the little bits and jump on them.
  • In Protector Of The Small, Keladry normally buries enemy dead before they can be defiled by the Stormwings (see "When other people..." section below), but she allows them to have the Big Bad and his Dragon because they're so monstrous.
  • In The Stolen Throne, Prince Maric puts the puppet king Meghren's head on a spike in front of Fort Drakon in retaliation for Meghren doing the same to Maric's mother Moira the Rebel Queen a few years before that.
  • Discussed in the Trail Of Glory novel 1824: The Rivers of War by Eric Flint. After the first battle of Arkansas Post, Sheff has to stop men in his squad from mutilating the corpses of dead freebooters:
    At the very end, he found himself using the bayonet—the threat of it, at least—to drive off some of the men of his squad. The killing was done, but they kept on.
    "Stop it, boys!" He shifted the musket to his left hand and dragged off one of his privates. "He's dead, Adams. You just mutilatin' yourself now. Obey me, damn you!"

    Live Action TV 
  • On Babylon Five, Vir answers Morden's question "what do you want?" as below.
    "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price."
    [[spoiler
    A couple years later, he gets his wish, as Londo puts Morden's head on a pike for display on the Palace grounds on Centauri Prime, after having him executed.]]

    Poetry 
  • In Homer's epic poem The Iliad, the Greek hero Achilles slays the Trojan warrior Hector. After doing so, he ties Hector's body to the back of his chariot and races around the Trojan beach, proclaiming Greek superiority to Troy for twelve days and twelve nights. Achilles does this because Hector does it to Achilles's much-loved cousin and best friend Patrocles (well, Hector doesn't really desecrate Patroclus's corpse, he just intends to, and not in the exact same way that Achilles desecrated Hector's). The Trojans do get their revenge, and even the Gods themselves eventually get offended by Achilles's actions — it is the involvement of the Gods that prevents Hector's corpse from being further mutilated, and the end of the Iliad involves Hector getting a proper burial by the Trojans.

    Theatre 
  • Discussed in Antigone: the plot is driven by a debate regarding whether or not the eponymous character's brother, Polynices, who died trying to seize a power vacuum, deserved a proper burial or further desecration.

    Video Games 
  • The physics engine in many games such as The Elder Scrolls allows the player character to manhandle corpses, but this rarely gets you any repercussion other than a passing comment from the NPCs.
  • Ace Attorney has an example in "Trials and Tribulations" involving Dahlia Hawthorne's spirit, as Phoenix Wright and Mia Fey (who is using Pearl's body) taunt and mock her about her failed crimes in order for her to get out of Maya Fey's body. Dahlia must then spend the rest of her time in the afterlife to forever think about these failures, especially since Mia took great glee in pouring salt on Dahlia's wounds.
  • Appears a few times in the Assassins Creed series:
    • In Assassins Creed II, Ezio shakes the corpse of Vieri de Pazzi vigorously and screams rather rudely at his face, and is then rebuked by his uncle for not showing appropriate respect. When he later assassinates Fracesco de Pazzi, he leaves his corpse hanging from the Palazzo della Signoria.
    • In Assassins Creed Revelations, it's revealed that after murdering Al Mualim for betraying the assassin order, Altair decided to publicly burn his corpse in order to prove he was dead. This greatly troubled Abbas, one of his fellow assassins, who believed Al Mualim's corpse had to remain whole in order for his soul to reach the afterlife.
  • In the Fallout New Vegas DLC Honest Hearts, Joshua Graham creates gruesome totems out of the remains of his enemies, the White Legs tribe, to send a warning to any surviving White Legs who threaten the Dead Horses (another tribe who have elected Joshua as their protector).
  • In Heavy Rain, Lauren will spit on the Origami Killer's grave if she survives the game but the killer doesn't.
  • Discussed in Star Wars The Old Republic: At one point the Imperial Agent has to track down and kill a former operative. Since he'd threatened to reveal a number of Kaliyo's secrets as well, after he's dead she says she'd like to kick his corpse around a few times, but she doesn't want the explosive implanted in him to go off.
  • Warcraft III: In the expansion, the human leader Lord Garithos, an all-around asshole and racist (directly responsible for the Blood Elves fleeing Lordaeron and allying themselves with the Burning Legion) is finally betrayed by Sylvanas and killed at the end of the Undead campaign. As if this wasn't enough, a bunch of Sylvanas' ghouls immediately start feasting on his corpse. Note that this is completely impossible in regular gameplay (heroes don't leave corpses, and units that are even partially eaten can't be raised back) - he evidently just has that much bad karma stored up.

    Web Comics 
  • In Schlock Mercenary when Tagon is questioned about his willingness to take a job working security for his old enemy General Xinchub's funeral (actually a cover so they can steal the corpse) he says: "Aside from the money? I want to be sure he's actually down there when I dance on his grave."
  • Taken Up To Eleven by Vaarsuvius in The Order Of The Stick. After defeating a black dragon that was threatening the elf's family, Vaarsuvius decides that the dragon hasn't suffered enough for her crimes. The elf resurrects the dragon's head with necromancy, targets it with an epic-level spell that kills any creature that the dragon was related to by blood (cutting the world's black dragon population by about a quarter), and then disintegrates it.

    Western Animation 
  • In in the Animated Adaptation of Planet Hulk, the Red King is humiliated upon death in several different ways. First, the Hulk utterly whips the floor with him in their battle, only to hold off at the last minute so that the reformed Caiera may get the last blow. Caiera kills him by infecting him with his Spike parasite, causing him to mutate into a zombie. Recognizing him as infected, his own robotic guards turn against him and incinerate his corpse.
  • In Venture Brothers, Brock Sampson is attacked by an Egyptian mummy. After beating the crap out of it, he pisses on it, saying that the mummy must be completely desecrated or else it'll just come back to life again.

When an Antagonist Desecrates the Dead:

    Comic Books 
  • In one arc of The Punisher, the Big Bad claims that after he's found and tortured Frank to death, he'll rape his corpse for a year.

    Film 
  • In Licence To Kill, drug kingpin Franz Sanchez captures a Hong Kong agent who he believed tried to assassinate him (in fact, it was an unrelated plot by James Bond to avenge his friend Felix Leiter). The agent commits suicide by Cyanide Pill before he can be questioned, and Sanchez shoots his corpse several times to vent his anger.
  • The French Foreign Legion film March Or Die from 1977 has young Englishman Fred Hastings captured by the hostile Rif tribe and crucified on a Saint Andrew's cross. When the Legionnaires arrive in formation to retrieve the body, one of El Krim's men begins abusing the corpse to further humiliate the Legionnaires.
  • Panic Room. After getting his face burned in the home robbery, Junior tries to cut his losses and split. Upon learning that there's more money in the safe than Junior had told the other two robbers, Raoul shoots him in the head. He drags Junior's body indoors and shoots the corpse again out of spite.

    Literature 
  • Discussed in the fourth book of Tales Of The Magic Land: Urfin Jus incites his army by claiming their enemies wiped out a garrison left to control them, and fed their bodies to pigs. (Of course, the army turns on him as soon as they see the garrison members playing volleyball with the supposed murderers).
  • Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" ends with the title character's killer stomping on his face.
    She had drawn a little gleaming revolver, and emptied barrel after barrel into Milverton's body, the muzzle within two feet of his shirt front. He shrank away and then fell forward upon the table, coughing furiously and clawing among the papers. Then he staggered to his feet, received another shot, and rolled upon the floor. 'You've done me', he cried, and lay still. The woman looked at him intently, and ground her heel into his upturned face.
  • In A Song Of Ice And Fire, the corpses of Robb Stark and Greywind are both beheaded, and Greywind's head is placed on Stark's body. Meanwhile, Catelyn's body is stripped naked and thrown in a moat.

    Live Action TV 
  • Elementary episode "Dead Man's Switch" has blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton being killed and when the body is found his face has been stamped in. Unlike the book this is because the killer, Anthony Pistone, wanted to hide the scar that has inflicted from his ring, which would prove that they had previous contact and he was in on the blackmailing.
  • Game Of Thrones: After Robb Stark is assassinated, the Bolton soldiers sew his wolf's head onto his body and parade him around in triumph.
  • In Salamander, the loathsome hit-man Noel kills an incorruptible judge investigating the Salamander conspiracy. His blameless PA was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so he kills her too. As an afterthought, the corpses are stripped and placed in a sexually degrading position to further humiliate them, to allow the popular press something salacious to grab onto and divert attention from the reasons for the killing, and basically just for a laugh.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Warhammer universe, the forces of Chaos are very fond of this trope - they generally make grotesque trophies of their fallen foes, often decorating their armor spikes with the heads.

    Theatre 
  • In the end of Macbeth, Macduff severs the eponymous Villain Protagonist's head after he has slain him and has it paraded through the castle.

    Video Games 
  • In Danganronpa, Monokuma considers doing this to Sakura's body after he found out she broke down the door to an important room the students weren't supposed to see before she died.

When Other Characters Desecrate the Dead:

    Comic Books 
  • Transmetropolitan: After vice-president Alan Schact was revealed as a practicing pedophile by Spider Jerusalem and committed suicide large mounds of human bodily waste were found piled on his grave. A leaked report claimed Spider's DNA was found in the turds.

    Literature 
  • In the Tortall Universe, this is the entire purpose of metal-winged immortals called Stormwings: they defecate on and claw battlefield corpses to pieces to leave a stinking, rotten mess. (They were created by a mage in an effort to deter humans from warfare, but it didn't work.)

    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas ends with Officer Frank Tenpenny's body being reportedly stripped naked and mutilated by several of Los Santos's homeless.
  • Halo: If you get overwhelmed and killed, Covenant enemies will do this to Master Chief's corpse.
    • In PVP, some players like to teabag their fallen opponents as further humiliation.

    Western Animation 
  • Mentioned in the "Sternn" segment of Heavy Metal, where Captain Sternn is on trial for multiple charges of murder, piracy, and rape. His attorney urges Sternn to plead guilty from the outset, hoping to avert this trope.
    Charlie: The best we can hope for is to get you buried in secret, so your grave don't get violated.

    Other 
Community Feedback Replies: 187
  • October 15, 2012
    FantasyLiver
    Batman spits on Joker's corpse in DKR
  • October 15, 2012
    Astaroth
    Some of the more malicious examples listed under Dead Guy On Display would qualify for this as well.

    • Appears a few times in the Assassins Creed series:
      • In Assassins Creed 2, Ezio punches the corpse of Vieri de Pazzi in the face, and is rebuked by his uncle for not showing appropriate respect. When he later assassinates Fracesco de Pazzi, he leaves his corpse hanging from the Palazzo della Signoria.
      • In Assassins Creed Revelations, it's revealed that after murdering Al Mualim for betraying the assassin order, Altair decided to publicly burn his corpse in order to prove he was dead. This greatly troubled Abbas, one of his fellow assassins, who believed Al Mualim's corpse had to remain whole in order for his soul to reach the afterlife.

    • In the Fallout New Vegas DLC Honest Hearts, Joshua Graham creates gruesome totems out of the remains of his enemies, the White Legs tribe, to send a warning to any surviving White Legs who threaten the Dead Horses (another tribe who have elected Joshua as their protector).
  • October 15, 2012
    JDogindy
    • In Heavy Rain, Lauren will spit on the Origami Killer's grave if she survives the game but the killer doesn't.
  • October 16, 2012
    JDogindy
    • The ending of Paper Mario features several Boos carrying the body of Tubba Blubba while the heart chases it. Although this shouldn't count because the heart is still alive, the implication here is that, sometime during the end of Chapter 3 in the game and the final battle against Bowser, the Boos managed to seperate heart from body once again, and now that the heart can't control Tubba Blubba's body anymore, there's not a thing it can do.
    • Ace Attorney has an example of this in "Trials and Tribulations" involving Dahlia Hawthorne's spirit, as Phoenix Wright and Mia Fey taunt and mock her about her failed crimes in order for her to get out of Maya Fey's body.
  • October 16, 2012
    elwoz
    Achilles desecrates Hector's corpse (after killing him) in The Iliad.
  • October 16, 2012
    Astaroth
    Does it have to be a heroic character deserating a villain's remains in order to qualify? I can think of a few examples of villains mistreating a slain hero's remains.
  • October 16, 2012
    JDogindy
    Pretty much, though if you want to help me transform this into more of just people mistreating their opponents afterwords (it could be called "Kicking an Opponent While They're Dead"), I would appreciate it.

    The reasoning behind me coming up with this that the hero obviously would have a higher moral quality than the villain and would probably not desecrate the villain's remains. This isn't a given, especially when you deal with Anti-Heroes and whatnot, but in your basic story, it's generally accepted.

    If anything, you would probably expect villains to mistreat a slain hero. The point of this trope is to point out instances where you should complain that the hero should've known better, but maybe we should also point out some agrigous (spell?) actions that antaongists do to a slain hero.
  • October 17, 2012
    JDogindy
    Added the Iliad, and I'm finally getting used to adding tropes and linking.
  • October 17, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • In Schlock Mercenary when Tagon is questioned about his willingness to take a job working security for his old enemy General Xinchub's funeral (actually a cover so they can steal the corpse) he says: "Aside from the money? I want to be sure he's actually down there when I dance on his grave."
  • October 17, 2012
    Astaroth
    After taking a closer look at Due To The Dead, that already covers 'villains mistreat corpses as a sign of how evil they are' so I agree this should be restricted to heroic examples only.

    • Taken Up To Eleven by Vaarsuvius in Order Of The Stick. After defeating a black dragon that was threatening the elf's family, Vaarsuvius decides that the dragon hasn't suffered enough for her crimes. The elf resurrects the dragon's head with necromancy, targets it with an epic-level spell that kills any creature that the dragon was related to by blood (cutting the world's black dragon population by about a quarter), and then disintegrates it.
  • October 17, 2012
    Arivne
    Anime and Manga
    • Bleach anime episode 272. After Ichigo enters his ultra-powered Hollow form and apparently kills Ulquiorra, he prepares to stab Ulquiorra's body with his zanpakuto. His friend Uryu Ishida grabs Ichigo's arm and pleads with him not to mutilate Ulquiorra's body. He warns Ichigo that if he does it he won't be human anymore.

    Real Life
  • October 18, 2012
    JDogindy
    Added several more of your tropes, and I plan on adding a few more of my own.
  • October 18, 2012
    AgProv
    Real life: there is a very long list of people who have pledged to be first to piss on Margaret Thatcher's grave when she finally goes to the warm place. Several observations; so many people have dedicated to doing this after her death, that for the good of public order if nothing else, she'd better be cremated, or else be buried in a very secret grave, or have 24 hour security on her mortal remains. As British prime ministers usually get state funerals, there could be real public order problems with this one as the millions of Thatcher-haters clash with the Tory faithful who loved her.
  • October 18, 2012
    elwoz
    I think Real Life examples had better be limited to people who have been dead for some time. (Mussolini seems acceptable to me, but not, for instance, Richard Nixon.)
  • October 18, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Compare There Is No Kill Like Overkill. Does this count?

    • In in the Animated Adaptation of Planet Hulk, the Red King is humiliated upon death in several different ways. First, the Hulk utterly whips the floor with him in their battle, only to hold off at the last minute so that the reformed Caiera may get the last blow. Caiera kills him by infecting him with his Spike parasite, causing him to mutate into a zombie. Recognizing him as infected, his own robotic guards turn against him and incinerate his corpse.
  • October 19, 2012
    JDogindy
    Besides the fact that they followed that epic idea with the dumb "World War Hulk" storyline, absolutely that counts. Hulk already defeated him, but then they took extra steps just to have him completely destroyed, so that would count.

    And, thanks for the comparison.

    Also, I do agree with Real Life being historical, and not recent.
  • October 19, 2012
    AWormandaDuck
    The name should be a bit more succinct. Maybe "Kicking The Dead Dog" or something. Any tropers have ideas?
  • October 24, 2012
    JDogindy
    I would really like a better trope name, yes. However, it has to be one that points out the idea that you're kicking a dead baddie.

    Unless the dead dog was Cujo.
  • October 24, 2012
    McKathlin
    Sympathy For The Devil refers to the heroes' reaction, rather than the audience's. This description should be revised so not to confuse Sympathy For The Devil with Cry For The Devil (which is the audience's reaction). Instead, Sympathy For The Devil can be directly contrasted with Spitting On The Villains Grave.
  • October 25, 2012
    JDogindy
    Now that you mentioned it, I went and fixed that.
  • October 28, 2012
    IndirectActiveTransport
    I really do not find this page necessary. Just put the examples on Spiteful Spit.
  • October 28, 2012
    TBeholder
    why not to merge it with freshly launched Last Disrespects?
  • October 28, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Merge into Last Disrespects. Including some of the description.
  • October 30, 2012
    Bakazuki
    The original YKTTW sponsor of said trope here. The sponsor of this YKTTW went ahead and initiated on the prospect of merging without any real okay on it save for the few people above, so I felt like I need to say my piece here.

    I'm not exactly opposed to a merging of this into Last Disrespects, but I do have few concerns as to what this will mean for the trope should it come to fruition. By merging, would this change the scope of the trope? I created Last Disrespects with the intention of it being a funeral trope, while it has expanded from its original narrow scope of "rude/mean-spirited things people say at funerals" to "rude/mean-spirited things people say and do at funerals," contrary to my expectations, it still remained in funerals.

    A lot of these examples here do not, though, and that's what's troubling me. I can understand the examples taking places at grave sites in lieu of funerals fitting in Last Disrespects, but the rest are related a little too tangentially for my comfort. A lot of them are people doing heinous things to person's corpse after they've successfully killed them, and that sounds like another trope altogether.

    But that's my opinion, anyway. I'm certainly not going to argue if you guys really feel that they should be merged together. Assuming that you guys do, I'd feel like it'd necessitate an entire rewrite of the description (rather than just a copy-and-paste of this into that). So far, what J Dogindy wrote in doesn't exactly fit in well with what was there before.
  • November 4, 2012
    SAMAS
    Actually, it seems to be more of a "rude/mean-spirited things people do after the funeral.

    In any case, another Real Life example:

    • In the tomb of ancient Chinese general Yue Fei kneel statues of Qin Hui, the chancellor who had him wrongly executed, Qin's wife, and two of his subordinates. For centuries, these statues have been cursed, spat, and pissed on by visitors to the tomb.
      • Rifts actually features him as a character, working for the 3rd Yama King of Hell during their takeover of China, he actually finds the mausoleum and makes the mistake of touching his statue... and experiences the unique pleasure of feeling every single glob of spit (or worse) as if it were happening to him.

  • November 5, 2012
    morenohijazo
    An example in the Spanish film Torrente 3 is when, after killing an Elite Mook with their guns, Torrente and his sidekick not only empty the whole magazine of their guns on the mook, but they also throw the guns on the mook, then they spit on the mook.
  • November 5, 2012
    Bakazuki
    @SAMAS: Hm...does Last Disrespects give that impression? I personally have only been to one funeral, long ago when I was a child. When do most people consider a funeral to have officially "begun" and "ended"? For the most part, I just assumed they were considered to be going on for as long as the attendees remained where the service was being held.
  • November 7, 2012
    JDogindy
    @Bakazuki; thanks for deleting my intended submission.

    I was really hoping that I wanted to make this into a real trope because I Consider it to be worthy of its own trope title.

    Here is why I made this trope: the right thing to do for a hero, especially one that was built with moral guidance, is to at least give the villain his or her dues and to at least offer a memorial service. Even if he or she was a devil, they were at one point human (a failed trope that was the opposite of this, where a hero gives a villain a lavish funeral, clarifys this).

    What makes this different than Last Disrespects is that, while Last Disrespects is "people saying or doing mean things during a funeral", Spitting on the Villain's Grave is "good people saying or doing mean things INSTEAD of a funeral". In a lot of these cases I put up, the hero's intent isn't to put the baddie into the earth or cremate them, but to just chop up their limbs and urinate on the mutilated body.

    I may need to rewrite this to point this out and to make it clearer.
  • November 7, 2012
    JDogindy
    And, the line was supposed to be "good people saying or doing mean things to a villain's body INSTEAD of giving them a funeral".

    This trope has been depicted and referenced (like in Assassin's Creed) where a character is shown violating it and then is reprimended for not following the more noble guidelines, like Due To the Dead, but other instances, this trope is actually celebrated (like in Ace Attorney), where the game goes out of its way to tell you that the villain should be punished more and more. And the treatment of Dahlia Hawthorne (though she is far from a saint; if anything, she's a complete monster) is one of the reasons why I don't like Ace Attorney.

    So, in my view, it deserves to be trope-worthy and stand on its own.
  • November 7, 2012
    JDogindy
    I changed the trope name to reference the Illad example. Let me know what you think.
  • November 7, 2012
    Astaroth
    I just realised I made a mistake when I submitted the Assassin's Creed example; Ezio doesn't punch Vieri's corpse, he just shakes the body and shouts rather rudely in his face (although he is still rebuked by his uncle for mistreating the body, so it still qualifies IMO)
  • November 7, 2012
    JDogindy
    Fixed it. Yeah, it would qualify since Ezio still is being rather rude for mistreating Vieri's body and actually screaming at somebody that can no longer hear.
  • November 9, 2012
    TBeholder
    @J Dogindy: Good points, but dunno about having three "tropes" on essentially the same.
  • November 10, 2012
    JDogindy
    I know. I gotta fix that (were you talking about the Dahlia example?).

    I'm still a novice to this site, despite having known this for years.
  • November 10, 2012
    Bakazuki
    No, he's talking about the tropes themselves, not the examples. I'm assuming the three he means are Last Disrespects, Spiteful Spit, and this YKTTW.

    @TBeholder: On the same what? Intentions?
  • December 6, 2012
    Synchronicity
    Addendum to the Iliad example: Achilles does this because Hector does it to Achilles's much-loved cousin and best friend Patrocles.
  • December 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Bones the killer is caught because he spit on the corpse of the Victim Of The Week after killing him, so they have the killer's DNA.
  • January 18, 2013
    elwoz
    Bump for hats.
  • January 30, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • Transmetropolitan: After vice-president Alan Schact was revealed as a practicing pedophile by Spider Jerusalem and committed suicide large mounds of human bodily waste were found piled on his grave. A leaked report claimed Spider's DNA was found in the turds.
  • January 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I don't really like the name. It makes me think Dead Guy On Display, not what this trope is really about.
  • March 11, 2013
    Knight9910
    1. Isn't this basically just Kick Them While They Are Down, only involving death?

    2. Please, please, PLEASE, if this gets launched, give it a better name!
  • March 11, 2013
    Mozgwsloiku
    Also compare Creepy Souvenir
  • March 12, 2013
    TheHandle
  • March 13, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^ I think it's important to make clear that it's the villain 's corpse.
  • March 21, 2013
    Zeego
    I think this is ready to be launched. Good job with this!
  • March 21, 2013
    helterskelter
    I'm not liking the name very much. The trope seems to indicate that a hero keeps brutalizing a villain's corpse because they don't think dead is enough and are still angry or something. Brutalizing The Villains Corpse, perhaps? It's not exactly a clever name, but it gets across the meaning.

    I'll also point out that the name, to me, immediately invoked Hector from the Iliad (and I see he's listed), but Hector would not be an example: he is one of the most noble characters in the entire epic, and Achilles is completely in the wrong for doing as he did. He is not a villain.
  • March 22, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    On Babylon 5, Vir answers Morden's question "what do you want?" thusly:
    "I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price."

    A couple years later, he gets his wish, as Londo puts Morden's head on a pike for display on the Palace grounds on Centauri Prime, after having him executed.
  • March 23, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    I'm not seeing much of a difference between this and Dead Guy On Display, other than only being applied to villains.
  • March 23, 2013
    helterskelter
    You know, I think the description as-is kind of is Dead Guy On Display, just a villain. I was thinking we were looking at when the heroes, who are so angry and hateful of the villain, take it out on the villain's corpse after he's dead. Could be a sign of Jumping Off The Slippery Slope or Sanity Slippage.

    But according to the description, it's for any reason, and I don't agree that there needs to be a distinction for villains unless it actually means something separate. The emphasis here should be on what the hero is doing to the body, not just that the villain's body is not immediately forgotten.
  • March 23, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • Sergeant Donowitz has the pleasure of killing Adolf Hitler in the movie theater in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. The theater is burning, the exits are blocked, and bombs are set to detonate. But that's not enough for "the Bear Jew," who repeatedly changes magazines to continue pumping bullets into Hitler's body.
  • March 23, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    That sounds more like There Is No Kill Like Over Kill, since it doesn't have anything to do with dragging around or displaying the corpse.
  • March 29, 2013
    JDogindy
    Sorry for the overly long absense. I'm gonna see about changing the name.

    The emphasis here is about HEROES doing these things to VILLAINS. Generally in fiction, the villain's body is immediately forgotten and we don't know what happens to it (does somebody bury it, do local wildlife eat it, does it rot in the sun?). It is expected for villains to actually do bad things to heroes as a testament for their evildom (also known as "For The Evulz"). This is when a hero has a chance to cement themselves as the dignified individual of the universe... and then does very bad things.
  • March 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Not a fan of the rename. Cadaver is way too medical. And Tormenting implies that it's alive. Defacing The Villains Corpse, maybe?
  • March 29, 2013
    helterskelter
    How about Tormenting The Villains Corpse? "Defacing" is a little too specific. "Tormenting" opens it up to any sort of attack, abuse, or defacement.
  • March 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I just don't like Torment because for something to be tormented, it has to be alive. But yeah, not married to the "defacing" part. My main thing was the corpse part.

    How about Abusing The Villains Corpse?
  • March 29, 2013
    MetaFour
    "This is when a hero has a chance to cement themselves as the dignified individual of the universe... and then does very bad things."

    So this would only apply to mutilating the corpse for spite, rather than scenarios where the good guy has to mutilate the corpse to make certain the bad guy actually stays dead?
  • March 29, 2013
    Larkmarn
    But yeah, it would have to be, or else the trope loses all meaning.
  • March 30, 2013
    Arivne
  • March 30, 2013
    JDogindy
    @Meta Four : Basically.

    The ways people have to keep Dracula down in so many fictional franchises (Bram Stoker's Dracula, Castlevania, etc.), to name one instance, is meant as a precautionary measure. If the villain actually has an ability to cheat death or revive themselves, then its simply trying to close that loophole and end the plot.

    This trope is when the heroes mutilate the corpse out of spite, epecially when they know better.

    Again, no good at names, but I did go for Abusing the Villain's Corpse. Hope that's a better moniker and more satisable for it becoming a real trope.
  • March 30, 2013
    Megaptera
    Literature

    • The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton ends with the title character's killer stomping on his face.
      She had drawn a little gleaming revolver, and emptied barrel after barrel into Milverton's body, the muzzle within two feet of his shirt front. He shrank away and then fell forward upon the table, coughing furiously and clawing among the papers. Then he staggered to his feet, received another shot, and rolled upon the floor. 'You've done me,' he cried, and lay still. The woman looked at him intently, and ground her heel into his upturned face.
  • March 31, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ @Megaptera: This is a Death Trope, so you don't need spoilers.
  • March 31, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    I'm still not seeing any real difference between it and Dead Guy On Display and Kick Them While They Are Down, other than just being heroes doing it to dead villains.
  • April 1, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^ The first is when the corpse is exposed publicly, instead of mistreated.

    In the second, it's not even a corpse, the victim is still alive.
  • April 2, 2013
    aurora369
    Another historical example: when Pseudo-Demetrius I of Russia was deposed, his remains were cremated, stuffed into a cannon and fired in the direction of Poland, with whose help this adventurer seized the Russian throne. It was meant as an example of Deader Than Dead, but did not help: soon another pretender appeared, claiming to be both the real Demetrius and the guy who was shot from the cannon.
  • April 10, 2013
    morenohijazo
    I don't think that fits into this trope.
  • July 26, 2013
    JDogindy
    No, it doesn't.
  • July 26, 2013
    DAN004
    Does it really need to be heroes doing this to villains? Can it cover the reverse version?

    By the way it can sometimes be justified - when your villain can reassemble him/herself or has insane but limited regenerative abilities, you'll need to make sure it won't haunt the population again by mutilating it and then bury (or seal) it in separate places. (I've seen some work doing this, but I can't recall it at the top of my head.)
  • July 26, 2013
    kjnoren
    I really don't like limiting this to heroes violating the corpses of villains - it feels like it needlessly limits the trope. Eg, in the Illiad, one can't really say that Hector was a villain and Achilles a hero - they're both heroic characters playing out a tragedy.

    I like Abusing The Corpse as a trope name.
  • July 26, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ seconding that one
  • July 27, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    In the first episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's second season, Buffy is feeling out of sorts (having been killed by the Master in the season 1 finale - she got better and killed the Master then), including haveing visions of the Master killing her again. When it's discovered that the Annointed One is going to use the Master's bones to resurrect him, Buffy uses a sledgehammer to grind them into powder.
  • July 27, 2013
    GKaiser
    In Pacific Rim, after downing the Kaiju Leatherback, Raleigh "checks for a pulse" by unloading several rounds into the corpse to the point where its chest cracks open and starts melting to pieces.
  • July 27, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    I'm thinking a "real life" section would be an incredibly bad idea on this one.
  • July 27, 2013
    Korodzik
    About the Illiad example, Hector doesn't really desecrate Patroclus's corpse, he just intends to (and not in the exact same way that Achilles desecrated Hector's.) Just for sake of accuracy.
  • July 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Thirding Abusing The Corpse for the title. Also, you should change the description so that it allows both the scenarios of a villain abusing the corpse of a hero and vice versa.
  • July 30, 2013
    aurora369
    Pseudo-Demetrius, a XVII century Russian adventurer who pretended to be the lost last heir of the Rurikid dynasty and usurped the Tsars' throne as such. After he was exposed, they executed him, cremated him, stuffed his ashes into a cannon and shot him in the direction of Poland, from where he came.
  • October 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • October 20, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Does "Teabagging" count in any manner for this trope?
  • October 20, 2013
    Koveras
    • In the end of Macbeth, Macduff severs the eponymous Villain Protagonist's head after he has slain him and has it paraded through the castle.
    • In The Stolen Throne, Prince Maric puts the puppet king Meghren's head on a spike in front of Fort Drakon in retaliation for Meghren doing the same to Maric's mother Moira the Rebel Queen a few years before that.

    Real life example:

    • The body of King Richard III of England was subjected to multiple mutilations after his death in the Battle of Bosworth, as confirmed by the examination of his remains that were discovered in 2012.
  • October 20, 2013
    ChrisX
    I have a question in regards of this trope.

    What if the villain in said question was an absolutely amoral and despicable Complete Monster, does it still make the heroes look bad for doing so in order to show that these villains are so horrific and irredeemable that they don't even deserve a proper post-mortem respect?
  • October 20, 2013
    DAN004
  • October 26, 2013
    JDogindy
    Alright, after all this examination, here's what I want to do:

    1. I would like to eliminate the Real-Life examples altogether, if only.

    2. I know some people would like to make this a general trope about dead corpses being messed with, but I made it clear that I prefer this to be about heroes doing this instead of villains. This sort of behavior from an antagonist would clearly fall under For The Evulz, which is where somebody does a bad thing either as a poor way to vent frustration or because they just could. A hero doing this is a bigger moment because it shows that, even with a high moral code, they can often descend down to their adversary's level, if only because they got heated in the moment. The difference between this and a hero murdering an individual out of pure revenge is that, often, the hero does feel regret about their actions down the road, although for storyline sake, it's often forgotten.

    3. The Iliad example, a key centerpiece for much of the discussion, does do its best to make both Hector and Achilles not be "designated", even for a Greek poet. However, various adaptations have ignored Hector's good qualities and Achilles's Jerkass nature by spinning it to where Achilles is a hero and Hector is the Colonel Badass villain. I put it there due to the fact that the "text", as it was written by a Greek, does have Achilles as the protagonist and Hector as the antagonist only due to what side of the war they were on.
  • October 26, 2013
    JDogindy
    @ DAN 2004

    I mentioned that issue a while back by using the Dracula example. In many examples featuring the character, doing something like this is necissary, so if you know they can come back and do the same stuff again, you HAVE to keep them down. It's when somebody finishes the job and the enemy is not coming back, only to drive it further that pushes it.
  • October 26, 2013
    MetaFour
    I think it's worth noting that the Pacific Rim example straddles the line between this trope and No Kill Like Overkill. At the beginning of the film, Raleigh's brother was killed by another kaiju that had convincingly played dead. So Raleigh does have a good, practical reason for wanting to be certain Leatherback was really dead. That said, the firepower he unloaded into Leatherback's corpse was pretty excessive, IIRC.

    Anyway, another film example:
    • Gamera Vs Zigra. After killing the spiky shark-monster Zigra, Gamera bangs a rock against Zigra's spines like a xylophone, playing the first few notes of his own theme music.
  • October 26, 2013
    kjnoren
    @J Dogindy: There are several reasons why I think this should be the more general Abusing The Corpse:

    • First, I think there is a general tendency on TV Tropes for doing unneeded binary splits, for eg doing the same trope for both men and women, or both heroes and villains. In lots of works, that binary split simply isn't present.
    • The trope becomes simpler and more focused by concentrating on the action that is done. That way, the trope doesn't imply anything about the state of the mind of the one abusing the corpse, or his or her role in the story, or the motivation.
    • You mention For The Evulz, and that's a pure state-of-mind (or motivation) trope. There are many other such, like What The Hell Hero, or Moral Event Horizon, and so on. By not tying an action trope to a specific state-of-mind trope, the need for unneeded subversions or shoehornings become lesser. The trope becomes simpler, more concrete, and more focused.

    The reason we get back to Achilles and Hector in the Illiad is because it's the by far most famous such example, and because it doesn't fit neatly into how you perceive the trope in its original form (heck, in the original form one is more likely to view Achilles as the villain and Hector as the hero). I think that would be a bad start for the trope.
  • October 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ I agree with everything kjoren said. By splitting this we simply lose more than what we accomplish.
  • October 26, 2013
    DAN004
    I kinda need to emphasize the "action" part of this trope, that is more tropable.
  • October 27, 2013
    Tallens
  • October 27, 2013
    kjnoren
    I also think the description needs to be re-worked a lot here. Right now it's written as an Example As A Thesis, with the bonus preamble on the averted case. We don't get to anything approaching a real description until the third paragraph.

    Also, "abuse" needs to be defined better here. Simply exposure to the elements shouldn't be included here, I think. And the Pot C example just above might be a case of an execution technique, followed by a simply leaving the corpse in place.

    Which to me isn't this trope. Abuse implies something done actively to me, and done after death.
  • October 28, 2013
    JDogindy
    Okay, I know everybody wants to change this to a standard trope, but I really want to make this clear... I feel like most of you want to change this to just having only villains do the examples, which is okay, but even heroes are guilty of this. After all, in most cases, it's only human nature.

    If we can do it in a way where we can have three segments (examples where a heroic character or one that leans towards "good" deeds does it, where a villainous character or one that leans towards "evil" deeds does it, and notable subversions), I'll be alright.

    "Abuse" is a vague term, but I think I can figure out what "abuse" lends itself to: leaving the body behind is mean, but it happens in 90% of the cases, so it's when you're still wailing on a dead body that explains it.

    And I'm always going to write my Examples as if they were a Thesis with unnecissary examples, but that's the way I am.
  • October 28, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^ I think you're putting up a straw man here. I don't care who does it, be it the villain or the hero or someone else, or who the victim is, be it a villain, a hero, or a no-name victim.

    This is a good trope even if we skip all that.

    Agree on the need to give some definition of abuse. Simply leaving the corpse exposed isn't this trope, that I agree with. I think the following guidelines can be used (quickly noted down):

    • The abuse is shown on-camera
    • It is done after the "action" has concluded
    • It serves no practical purpose; its goal is revenge or possibly intimidation
    • It is actively violent acts against the dead body

    (Of course, I think if it is discussed or lampshaded in the work, then it bypasses all those guidelines above).

    This means eg that graphic and excessive executions are excluded (that should be its own trope). Achilles and Hector falls into the trope, while the Pirates of the Caribbean one from Tallens and the Pacific Rim examples would fall outside it. The Inglorious Basterds example would be borderline, I think.

    I'm going to take a stab at a revised description later this afternoon.

    Another example:

    Literature:

    • Discussed in 1824: The Rivers of War by Eric Flint. After the first battle of Arkansas Post, Sheff has to stop men in his squad from mutilating the corpses of dead freebooters:
      At the very end, he found himself using the bayonet—the threat of it, at least—to drive off some of the men of his squad. The killing was done, but they kept on.
      "Stop it, boys!" He shifted the musket to his left hand and dragged off one of his privates. "He's dead, Adams. You just mutilatin' yourself now. Obey me, damn you!"
  • October 28, 2013
    kjnoren
    As for the quote:

    Then, when he [Achilles] saw dawn breaking over beach and sea, he yoked his horses to his chariot, and bound the body of Hektor behind it that he might drag it about. Thrice did he drag it round the tomb of the son of Menoitios, and then went back into his tent, leaving the body on the ground full length and with its face downwards.
    The Illiad, translation by Samuel Butler
  • October 30, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    I concur with restrictions on the character's moral allignment not being necessary here. A villain doing this to heroes or other villains to show his evil is as relevant as a hero doing it to show that the villain deserved it, hence all variations should be included.

    • In Starship Troopers, the Bugs are demonized not only as remorseless alien soldiers, but unintelligent vermin. During one battle with Bug scouts, a Mobile Infantry soldier continues shooting and cursing at an already dead bug and splattering himself with gore. Dizzy has to get him to quit.
      Soldier: Ain't much to look at after you scrape them off your boot.
    • Panic Room. After getting his face burned in the home robbery, Junior tries to cut his losses and split. Upon learning that there's more money in the safe than Junior had told the other two robbers, Raoul shoots him in the head. He drags Junior's body indoors and shoots the corpse again out of spite.

  • October 30, 2013
    AgProv
    Following the Restoration and accession to the throne of King Charles II, the body of Oliver Cromwell was exhumed and publicly disgraced, with the head of the former Lord Protector of the Commonwealth being posthumously severed and placed on a spike over Traitors' Gate, for the crime of treason and as punishment for the regicide of King Charles I.
  • November 14, 2013
    JDogindy
    Modified the title to Abusing the Corpse and added a new laconic.

    However, I'd like somebody to modify the existing description.
  • November 16, 2013
    kjnoren
    Stab at a new description:


    "Then, when he [Achilles] saw dawn breaking over beach and sea, he yoked his horses to his chariot, and bound the body of Hektor behind it that he might drag it about. Thrice did he drag it round the tomb of the son of Menoitios, and then went back into his tent, leaving the body on the ground full length and with its face downwards.
    The Illiad, translation by Samuel Butler

    Deliberately abusing the corpse of a fallen enemy for no practical reason. In most cases, this means doing violence to the dead body, but it can also take other forms. More specifically, it means excessively breaking the cultural traditions regarding how to treat the dead.

    The most common way this can express itself is in mutilating the body, destroy possessions of the dead (which is further driven if the possessions could've been used for more benevolent purposes), or actually going out of their way to finding the spirit or soul of the villain and taunting them even further. However, it means going beyond simply showing disdain for the dead, eg by pissing on the corpse or the grave—that falls under Last Disrespects.

    Since this trope depends on culture, it also means that if the abuser and the corpse comes from different cultures, the abuser might do something which is considered common-place in their own culture, that is treated like abuse by the friends of the dead. Such examples can also be included, as they effectively discuss the trope.

    May overlap with Dead Guy On Display. Contrast There Is No Kill Like Overkill, where the "abuse" is done for practical reasons. Can be the source of What The Hell Hero or a Creepy Souvenir.

    As a Death Trope, spoilers are unmarked.

    Probably needs some inclusion of links to some Morality Tropes.
  • November 16, 2013
    jatay3
    As a side note Agprov's example of Cromwell and Company may be a subversion; that is, it was done for a practical reason. If I remember, Churchill in History of the English Speaking Peoples speculated that the reason Charles did that was primarily to provide the politically necessary gruesome propaganda image without hanging to many previously live people. As Charles II though not a saint was not famous for being bloodthirsty this may well be true.
  • November 16, 2013
    kjnoren
    On the other hand, at the period several countries used very excessive and cruel execution methods, often formalised in law.

    I think practical reasons must be viewed narrowly, eg burning a corpse that died of the plague.
  • November 16, 2013
    DAN004
    So may I edit the trope description to match kjnoren's?
  • May 15, 2014
    Morgenthaler
    • In Licence To Kill, drug kingpin Franz Sanchez captures a Hong Kong agent who he believed tried to assassinate him (in fact, it was an unrelated plot by James Bond to avenge his friend Felix Leiter). The agent commits suicide by Cyanide Pill before he can be questioned, and Sanchez shoots his corpse several times to vent his anger.
  • May 15, 2014
    BaffleBlend
    Theatre
    • In Antigone, the plot is driven by a debate regarding whether or not the eponymous character's brother, Polynices, who died trying to seize a power vacuum, deserved a proper burial or further desecration.
  • May 15, 2014
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • May 15, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Literature
    • In A Song Of Ice And Fire, the corpses of Robb Stark and Greywind are both beheaded, and Greywind's head is placed on Stark's body. Meanwhile, Catelyn's body is stripped naked and thrown in a moat.

    Western Animation
    • In Venture Brothers, Brock Sampson is attacked by an Egyptian mummy. After beating the crap out of it, he pisses on it, saying that the mummy must be completely desecrated or else it'll just come back to life again.

    Real Life
    • 3 years after Oliver Cromwell's death, the British monarchy that he had overthrown was reinstated. His body was dug up and subjected to posthumous execution, and then his head was displayed on a pole for almost 25 years.
  • May 19, 2014
    AgProv
    Live Action Television:
    • in Salamander, the loathsome hit-man Noel kills an incorruptible judge investigating the Salamander conspiracy. His blameless PA was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so they kill her too. As an afterthought, the corpses are stripped and placed in a sexually degrading position to further humiliate them, to allow the popular press something salacious to grab onto and divert attention from the reasons for the killing, and basically just for a laugh. (For The Evulz?)
  • May 19, 2014
    Folamh3
    Beating A Dead Player isn't about the player attacking dead bodies, it's about NPCs continuing to attack the player character after they've been killed.
  • May 19, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ but player beating the dead another player should count, right? Often in fighting games...
  • May 19, 2014
    JonnyB
    Not to be confused with Beating a Dead Horse.
  • May 19, 2014
    Folamh3
    Edit: Whoops, you're right.
  • May 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Can I take this over?
  • May 19, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In many of Supernatural's Monster Of The Week episodes the way to get rid of a ghost is to dig up its corpse and burn the bones.
  • May 20, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Not An Example. This is about abusing the body of a defeated foe. That's just Kill It With Fire.
  • May 20, 2014
    LordHerobrine
    In the Gamecube Soul Calibur II demo, (and maybe in the actual game, not quite sure) after the player K.O's the enemy, he or she can continue attacking the downed enemy's corpse, even going so far as to push them off the edge of the arena.
  • May 20, 2014
    Chabal2
    • In one arc of The Punisher, the Big Bad claims that after he's found and tortured Frank to death, he'll rape his corpse for a year.
    • Schlock Mercenary: After Tagon's Toughs are hired to create a clone of General Xinchub's corpse for his state funeral (his original body having started a nanomachine infestation) and "kill" it the same the general died (cut in half by a laser). Since Xinchub was directly responsible for a great deal of the Toughs' problems, every member wants to join in, but the doctor pulls a Shaming The Mob on them... though she shows every sign of satisfaction in cutting the corpse.
  • May 20, 2014
    SharleeD
    • In Infernal, Joey Castle threatens to not only execute the captured terrorists who'd killed his brother, but to cut off their penises and feed them to pigs. Subverted when another terrorist shows up and Joey is mortally wounded in the gunfight, so never gets the chance to carry out his threat.
  • June 16, 2014
    JDogindy
    I'm gonna think about discarding this one and trying again with a more generic concept about just abusing dead bodies as opposed to having morality involved.
  • June 16, 2014
    kjnoren
    ^ Abuse pretty much implies some sort of morality.

    ^^ That's not a subverted trope, it's an averted one.
  • June 16, 2014
    somerandomdude
    Real Life example:

    For leading the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes was sentenced to the standard punishment for treason in England at the time: the very nasty execution method of hanging, drawing and quartering. However, he managed to jump off the gallows when he was being half-hanged and break his neck, sparing him the agony of the latter part of his execution. The remainder of the execution procedure, however, was carried out as normal on his corpse.
  • June 16, 2014
    Omeganian
    • In the fourth book of Tales Of The Magic Land, Urfin Jus incites his army by claiming their enemies wiped out a garrison left to control them, and fed their bodies to pigs (of course, the army turns on him as soon as they see the garrison members playing volleyball with the supposed murderers).

    Do threats count, BTW? I could give a couple of examples.

  • June 16, 2014
    DAN004
    So... what other issues do we have?
  • June 16, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    I re-state my opinion that a Real Life section is a bad idea. It will not end well.
  • June 16, 2014
    Statzkeen
    What was that Michael Caine movie where he helps a woman steal some jewelry? One character in it threatens to do this to another (would that be invoking) - he describes all the ways he'll make his life miserable and ends it with "And when you are dead I will piss on your fucking grave!"
  • June 16, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ^That's not really the corpse though, is it? It's more like Dancing on the Grave.
  • June 16, 2014
    Statzkeen
    Ah thanks for that link.
  • June 17, 2014
    JDogindy
    @ kjnoren

    "Morality" referred to the original idea for this trope, which was when reputable people do less-than-reputable things.

    I just wanna switch it to just doing this, and maybe removing the Real Life section.
  • June 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ actually, morality quite matters here.
    • If the hero does it, it's a sign of uncharacteristic spite, (sometimes) childishness, or anger gone too far. However, sometimes there's practical reasons for this.
    • when a villain does it, it's a particularly nasty variant of Kick The Dog and Kick Them While They Are Down.
  • June 17, 2014
    JDogindy
    Well, I'll upload a revised draft that explores those sides. After all, all actions have some kind of motivation.
  • June 17, 2014
    TomWalpertac2
    • Halo: If you get overwhelmed and killed, Covenant enemies will do this to Master Chief's corpse.
      • Certain Marines express a desire to do this to fallen Covvy enemies.
      "Get up so I can kill you again!"
  • June 17, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I'm confused. This is a hero trope? Because some villains do it too.
  • June 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ This was a hero trope until I talked the OP on it.
  • June 17, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ The description hasn't been edited.

    In the The Death Of Superman arc, Lex Luthor beats Doomsday's corpse with a chair in rage that he killed Superman before Lex had a chance to do so.
  • June 19, 2014
    JDogindy
    Yeah, I haven't edited it yet. I still am working on the revised draft, but I have writer's block right now. Basically, I want to start out by discussing that people tend to ignore the body after the person dies, but sometimes people want to just feel wailing on them afterwords. As a heroic example, it represents fallacy, and as a villainous example... well, it's not a Moral Event Horizon crossing, but it does show how evil they are.
  • June 19, 2014
    Omnicron13
    There actually are real life examples of this, but I doubt anyone would want to list them. I heard news reports of soldiers doing this to enemies they kill sometimes.
  • June 19, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^^ Okay.
  • June 19, 2014
    DracMonster
    • In Silent Hill 2, Angela has a split-personality and terrible psychological problems due to being sexually abused as a child. At one point you come upon her in a room with a monster leaning over her while she cowers on the floor screaming "No, Daddy! Please don't!" After you kill the boss, she beats the corpse with pieces of furniture until Harry restrains her.
  • June 20, 2014
    JDogindy
    Added the updated description.
  • June 25, 2014
    DAN004
    I just found Pummeling The Corpse. Distinct or not?
  • June 25, 2014
    tryrar
    As written? Nope, this is Pummeling The Corpse.
  • June 26, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Distinct. In Pummeling A Corpse a character kills another character and keeps beating him/her long after he/she is dead. It's not really motivated by malice but rather sheer rage, whereas Abusing The Corpse is when the character deliberately chooses to dishonor the corpse (and obviously you can abuse a corpse in other ways than just by beating and kicking it).

    Of course, the angrier the character is, the more likely it is for these two to overlap, but still Abusing The Corpse is the Super Trope here.
  • June 26, 2014
    Scathien
    • In Supernatural, during season 9 after Dean kills Abadon with the First Blade and Mark of Cain, Dean then straddles Abadon's "meatsuit" and starts pummeling it with his fist wrapped around the blade's handle until Sam manages to yell at him enough to shock him out of it.

    Actually on second thought, this entry probably belongs under Pummeling The Corpse
  • June 26, 2014
    tryrar
    ^^That's....a pretty thin distinction, and one that's going to have a LOT of overlap. I'm not sure if it's enough honestly
  • June 26, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Pointedly averted in Big Red. The narrator notes that after Big Red had killed Old Majesty, the terrifying bear that had been harassing the country, he didn't tear at or worry the corpse. He simply lay down. The author sees this as nobility of spirit.
  • June 26, 2014
    Alucard
    • In Danganronpa, Monokuma considers doing this to Sakura's body after he found out she broke down the door to an important room the students weren't supposed to see before she died.

    Since Ace Attorney is under video games, this should be filed there as well.
  • June 27, 2014
    DAN004
    If by "abuse" you mean "sexually abusing", it becomes the related trope I Love The Dead.
  • June 27, 2014
    dalek955

    When this is done just to make sure the victim is really dead, as in the Pacific Rim example, the trope is Make Sure Hes Dead or There Is No Kill Like Overkill.

  • June 27, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Double Tap.
  • July 2, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 2, 2014
    tryrar
    I still don't think it has enough distinction from Pummeling The Corpse
  • July 2, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ As P.Snake explains a corpse can be abused in many other ways than just pummeling.

    Though some examples here are pummeling and thus should be moved there.
  • July 3, 2014
    JDogindy
    Yeah, these need to be put in their right places.

    But, here's how I think we should figure out how something goes where:

    • If the person pummels a corpse until somebody stops him and he realizes what he's doing is unnecessary, then it's Pummeling The Corpse.
    • If the person pummels the corpse, stops, thinks for a moment, then pummels some more, it's Abusing The Corpse.
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ they're both simply Pummeling The Corpse. That's why it's a subtrope.
  • July 3, 2014
    GuyIncog
    Film:
    • A variation occurs in The Untouchables, when the eponymous squad has captured a Capone henchman and is trying to get him to talk about Capone's finances. When the henchman refuses to talk, Malone wanders outside, grabs the corpse of a Mook killed in the preceding gunfight, and after pretending to threaten to kill him if he won't talk, shoots the corpse through the head, spattering the henchman with gore. The henchman, believing he'd witnessed an actual execution, is very cooperative afterwards.
  • July 5, 2014
    JDogindy
    @DAN 004: So, if that's the case, what do we do with this trope? Just merge it to Pummeling The Corpse or try to make it a standalone?
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ try making this the Super Trope.

    Technically, harming the corpse after it's been buried can count here.
  • July 5, 2014
    tryrar
    I'm more for just merging any examples that aren't already on Pummeling The Corpse
  • August 8, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • August 8, 2014
    Jetace97
    • In Video Game/Gunpoint, after tackling someone you can punch that person till he is dead... and you can still keep punching him.
  • August 8, 2014
    DAN004
  • August 8, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • The French Foreign Legion film March Or Die from 1977 has young Englishman Fred Hastings captured by the hostile Rif tribe and crucified on a Saint Andrew's cross. When the Legionnaires arrive in formation to retrieve the body, one of El Krim's men begins abusing the corpse to further humiliate the Legionnaires.
  • October 3, 2014
    HeroGal2347
    Has anyone transferred the examples to Pummeling The Corpse?
  • October 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Is J Dogindy still here?
  • October 4, 2014
    Olaf_Merchant
    Overlap in Tabletopgames and Video games, but:

    • In the Warhammer universe, the forces of Chaos are very fond of this trope- they generally make grotesque trophies of their fallen foes, often decorating their armor spikes with the heads or these.
  • October 4, 2014
    Exxolon
    Played with in the Nicholas Linnear novel The Miko by Eric Van Lustbader. Linnear is captured and uses his ninjitsu training to slow his heartrate and breathing to the point he appears dead. The enraged Big Bad thinking he has been stymied in getting critical information from him beats the crap out the 'body', eventually untying Linnear to really vent his rage at which point Linnear 'comes back to life' and uses a One Hit Kill move on him.
  • October 24, 2014
    JDogindy
    @DAN 004, yeah, I'm still here... but I don't have enough time to give this trope justice.
  • October 24, 2014
    Chabal2
    Beating A Dead Corpse?

    • In Curse Of The Golden Flower, the Emperor continues beating his son's corpse with his huge golden belt long after he's already dead.
    • The Cadaver Synod, where the current pope dug up the body of his predecessor, accused it of perjury, and had it buried in a foreigner's cemetary, dug up again, weighed down and thrown into the river (and in some versions, the hand used for blessing was hacked off as well).
  • October 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ your title sounds more like Pummeling The Corpse
  • October 25, 2014
    AP
    • In Troy, Achilles promises to disfigure Hector's corpse after he kills him. After he does the deed, he drags the body behind his chariot and later, we get a close up of Hector's body to see that Achilles made good on his promise.
  • October 25, 2014
    Skylite
    Folklore and Legend
    • There are a lot of supernatural creatures whose corpses must be treated in a manner we'd consider abusive.
      • Vampires: After staking, cut off the head, put garlic in the mouth.
      • Werewolves: Kill with silver, bury at crossroads.
    • There's a popular legend of several tyrant-types, Vlad Tepes being one such, wherein he would display the bodies of those he killed in battle on the road leading to his castle to ward off more attackers.

  • October 25, 2014
    randomtroper89
    • Elementary episode "Dead Man's Switch" has blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton being killed and when the body is found his face has been stamped in. Unlike the book this is because the killer, Anthony Pistone, wanted to hide the scar that has inflicted from his ring, which would prove that they had previous contact and he was in on the blackmailing.
  • February 20, 2015
    DAN004
  • May 27, 2015
    Lythande
    I found this on the Salvage List and think it should be, but at the moment it reads like an essay rather than a trope and has pretty blurry distinctions between this, Make Sure Hes Dead, and Pummeling The Corpse. I've made a rewritten draft here including the current suggested examples in the comments, and if I don't hear anyone coming back to claim it or say why it shouldn't be revamped in a few days I'll edit it in and take it over.
  • May 27, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Mentioned in the "Sternn" segment of Heavy Metal, where Captain Sternn is on trial for multiple charges of murder, piracy and rape. His attorney urges Sternn to plead guilty from the outset, hoping to avert this trope.
      Charlie: The best we can hope for is to get you buried in secret, so your grave don't get violated.
  • May 28, 2015
    robinjohnson
    • Played For Laughs in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: Arthur Dent threatens to have Mr Prosser, the council worker who knocked Arthur's house down, hung drawn and quartered, and then to cut him up into little bits, and then take the little bits and jump on them.
  • May 28, 2015
    Chabal2
    Warcraft III: In the expansion, the human leader Lord Garithos, an all-around asshole and racist (directly responsible for the Blood Elves fleeing Lordaeron and allying themselves with the Burning Legion) is finally betrayed by Sylvanas and killed at the end of the Undead campaign. As if this wasn't enough, a bunch of Sylvanas' ghouls immediately start feasting on his corpse. Note that this is completely impossible in regular gameplay (heroes don't leave corpses, and units that are even partially eaten can't be raised back), he evidently has that much bad karma stored up.
  • May 28, 2015
    Lythande
    ^ I've added those three examples to my draft.
  • May 29, 2015
    Westonbirt
    • Very gruesomely in Series/Daredevil2015 as Wilson Fisk not only beats up Anatoly to death, but proceeds to bash his head into a car door until it is completely pulverised.
  • May 29, 2015
    LadyEvil
    • Brought up in several episodes of Criminal Minds (called "overkill") as a sign that the unsub has anger issues. Hotch himself has to be pulled away from pummeling Foyet's corpse.
  • May 29, 2015
    Lythande
    ^ Overkill is actually Pummeling The Corpse, which I've done my best to separate out from these examples, and

    ^^ the Daredevil example looks like it is too.
  • May 30, 2015
    Arivne
  • May 30, 2015
    Lythande
    • Fixed some typoes
    • Alphabetizing
    • Folder control

    I called on ATT for a mod to remove some of the tag overdose, too.
  • May 30, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • Major Foster, commanding a detachment of French Legionnaires in March Or Die, meets with his adversary El Krim to discuss peace terms. While in the Arab camp, one hapless legionnaire is displayed crucified and riddled with wounds both pre- and post-mortem. El Krim shrugs it off, saying: "My men became restless." As a sign of defiance, some Arabs begin further abusing the corpse, until protagonist Private Segrain shoots one of them. Major Foster glares at Segrain for breaking formation, but returns to El Krim, stating: "One of my men became restless."
  • May 30, 2015
    Lythande
    ^ The March Or Die example is actually already under the antagonists section; I think it was on the original list I copied over, or maybe I took it out of the comments.
  • May 30, 2015
    eowynjedi
    Lit: I think this goes under "Other Characters" since Stormwings are more a force of nature. But maybe the specific example with Keladry would go under Protagonist to Antagonist, since she's doing it by proxy?

    • In the Tortall Universe, this is the entire purpose of metal-winged immortals called Stormwings: they defecate on and claw battlefield corpses to pieces to leave a stinking, rotten mess. (They were created by a mage in an effort to deter humans from warfare, but it didn't work.) In Protector Of The Small, Keladry normally buries enemy dead before this can happen, but she allows them to have the Big Bad and his Dragon because they're so monstrous.
  • May 31, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    ^^ Pardon me, my mistake. Not reading closely enough, I guess. Don't mind me.
  • June 1, 2015
    Tallens
    • Star Wars The Old Republic: At one point the Imperial Agent has to track down and kill a former operative. Since he'd threatened to reveal a number of Kaliyo's secrets as well, after he's dead she says she'd like to kick his corpse around a few times, but she doesn't want the explosive implanted in him to go off.
  • June 2, 2015
    Lythande
    ^ ^^^ Examples added, thanks peeps.
  • June 2, 2015
    Rjinswand
    Wrestling:
    • The feud between Big Show and Big Boss Man included an episode when Big Boss Man crashed the funeral of Big Show's father, chained the coffin to his car, and dragged it through the cemetery with Big Show clinging onto it.
  • June 2, 2015
    Lythande
    ^ I actually think that should go under Last Disrespects, since it's at the funeral.

    This should be fun to launch with all those examples to crosspost...

    Suggestions for indicies this belongs on? NRLEP... A Dishonorable Index?... Death Tropes... A Tortured Index?
  • June 2, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    Definitely death tropes. Maybe also the Dishonorable Index...

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable