Created By: MrBucket on April 5, 2013 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on February 12, 2014

Shooting Spree

Someone uses a gun and shoots a bunch of defenseless victims.

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"I am the Angel of Death. The Time of Purification is at hand." - The Simpsons, "Marge Gets a Job"

A shooting spree is when someone takes a gun and shoots a bunch of innocent, defenseless people in cold blood.

The reasons may vary. Maybe the gunman can only take so much stress before he snaps. Or perhaps he's just crazy, mind controlled, possessed, a robot, or a rebellious teen, or has a brain tumor.

No matter the case, a knife won't do. He needs a gun and he plans on getting a little rampagy on some people who aren't equally equipped (and are varying degrees of innocent, rather than, say, zombies). He doesn't want people to fight back, he just wants to massacre as many people as possible.

If we're lucky, this is just a Dream Sequence. Or maybe one of his victims has a gun and fights back so that the audience can discuss gun rights.


Anime and Manga

  • American Psycho: The film focuses on the parts of the book that aren't entirely about torturing women to death as that might be offensive, so the film spends a large portion on the unoffensive notion of killing mostly male victims while on a shooting spree.
  • Basketball Diaries: Leonardo DiCaprio has a dream sequence about killing his schoolmates.
  • The Bourne Legacy: Dr. Donald Foite shoots all of his co-workers.
  • Elephant: A 2003 film from Gus Van Sant about a high school shooting spree.
  • Taxi Driver: Robert De Niro shoots up a whorehouse for pimping out Jodie Foster. Though they're not quite "innocent", they are pretty defenseless.
  • Terminator: Though a police station filled with armed police officers may not seem like "a bunch of defenseless victims," they sure are when compared to a T-800.

Live-Action TV
  • American Horror Story (Episode: "Piggy Piggy"): Tate kills his classmates.
  • Six Feet Under (Episode: "You Never Know"): An office killing spree by someone who just got fired.

Video Games
  • Grand Theft Auto: The player has the option to go on a shooting spree.
  • Postal: The option to go on a shooting spree is available, and the game is called as much since postal workers were notorious for going on shooting sprees.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: One is simply a guy polishing his shotgun while saying "I am the Angel of Death. The Time of Purification is at hand" in the episode "Marge Gets a Job." The other is in the episode "Homer Loves Flanders."
    • Ned walks up a churchtower whistling "Bringing in the Sheaves." At the top, he assembles a semi-automatic rifle. He then starts saying "there's Homer" before every time that he shoots someone in the park down below. "There's Homer. There's Homer, too. That's also Homer!" One of his targets is a postal employee, who of course has his own automatic rifle. A gunfight breaks out.

Guns and Gunplay Tropes

No Real Life Examples, Please! because it's always Too Soon.

Also, do we really need this? Or do we need a "mass murder" page to go along with the "serial killer" page? And "shooting spree" could be a "mass murder" subtrope?

Now that Two Gun Angel pointed out that we have both Going Postal and Axes at School, I'm going to say again that we definitely need a Mass Murder page that absorbs Axes at School and Going Postal into one page.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • April 5, 2013
    You'll definitely need to take a minute to pound out a definition.

    Also, remember that you should spell YKTTW titles in normal spacing, including any special punctuation (no Camel Case Wiki Words).
  • April 6, 2013
    Also, no Zero Context Examples please.

    Anime And Manga
  • April 6, 2013
    Please rewrite the description without the hypothetical scenario. That's an Example As A Thesis. You don't need an example in your trope description when you have an example section right below it.

  • April 6, 2013
    You know, it'd really be nice if people would supply a suggestion on what to do instead when criticizing a trope draft.

    Anime and Manga:
    • Black Lagoon's Revy reportedly has a pattern of catching what Dutch calls "Whitman Fever" (as in Charles Whitman) when someone new joins the Lagoon's crew. During the story arc where they're up against neo-Nazis, she massacres the crew of the neo-Nazis' ship (this was Bowdlerized in the anime to her shooting one of them nonfatally before Dutch stopped her) because she's agitated over Rock's Token Good Teammate tendencies combined with a dose of Belligerent Sexual Tension. She apparently pulled much the same stunt when Benny joined.
  • April 10, 2013
    I'd recommend sorting according to media. It's more user-friendly.

    I think it's tropeworthy.

    Live Action TV
    • The X Files, "Blood": In the climax of the episode, an unfortunate man suffering from Sanity Slippage and strong blood phobia, triggered by exposure to LSD-M and possibly enhanced by Subliminal Seduction, is driven into climbing a tower and shooting people in a college campus.
  • April 10, 2013
    Going Postal and Axes At School are definitely related to this.
  • April 10, 2013
    In an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Buffy stops high school buttmonkey Jonathan from climbing into the Sunnydale HS belltower with a high power assault rifle, believing he is planning a shooting spree - but he's really "only" planning on committing suicide.
  • April 23, 2013
    YKTTW Bump
  • June 3, 2013
    YKTTW Bump. This might soon be Up For Grabs.
  • June 5, 2013
  • August 14, 2013
  • August 15, 2013
    There is a scene from Rambo where the oppressors force some unfortunate villagers through a minefield, the gun down the survivors.
  • November 7, 2013
    Ok, this has been a while? Anyone volunteering to be a new sponsor?
  • January 7, 2014
    yada yada yada
  • January 7, 2014
  • January 7, 2014
    Namespaced the examples + sorted them by media. Also took the liberty of adding my Gantz example in the draft as it's been quite some time since I posted it, and it still hadn't been added yet.
  • January 7, 2014
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Snow invokes this trope, firing a gun into the air and yelling that he's here to kill everyone. He really just wanted to get the crowd to clear out.

    • Modern Warfare: In the Modern Warware 2 level "No Russian", the Player Character is sent undercover with a group of Russian terrorists who carry out an attack on a Moscow airport with automatic weapons and shotguns. Notably, the player can participate in the murder of innocent civilians, but participation is not required. You can waltz through the level without firing a shot. The game even offers you the ability to skip the level entirely.
  • January 7, 2014
    Often done by terrorists.
  • January 8, 2014
    Literature: The Stephen King short story "...And Cain Rose Up", and , I think, the novel "Rage" by King under the nom de plume Richard Bachmann. Music: "I Don't Like Mondays". by the Boomtown Rats: based on a real event. Western Animation: I remember a throwaway line in The Simpsons that hasn't been mentioned yet. It involved Marge saying an uncle of her used to say 'Kill 'em all and let God sort them out", and one day put it into practice so let's never mention him again.
  • February 12, 2014
    Literature: In Tom Clancy's "The Teeth of the Tiger", four group of terrorists shoot up malls. One of these malls happens to be where Brian and Dominic are doing a training exercise.
  • February 12, 2014
    The Onion also has "Twelve Customers Gunned Down In Convenience-Store Clerk's Imagination", where a frustrated Stop 'N' Shop clerk fantasizes taking his revenge in a Cliche Storm of cinematic gun violence.
  • February 12, 2014
    • Family Guy: Peter laments about not getting picked for anything, which brings forth a Cutaway Gag when he wasn't picked to be shot at during a spree.
    • Another Simpsons example has Snake shooting people from atop the Kwik-E-Mart in "The Monkey Suit".
  • February 12, 2014
    • Numerous examples on Criminal Minds, albeit with a different psychological basis for each perpetrator's rampage.