Created By: goodfellow on June 29, 2013 Last Edited By: goodfellow on June 30, 2013

Bribing the Enemy

A character attempts to bribe their enemy into sparing them.

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When you have a character known more for their mouth than their brains being cornered by the Big Bad, this may ensue. With no ability to fight and no means of flight, they'll attempt to bribe their way out of death, giving promises that they may not necessarily intend to keep. Usually the character doing the bribing is an Asshole Victim as a means of creating some kind of Aesop.


  • Jurassic Park: Dennis Nedry attempts to bribe the Dilophosaurus into submission. It doesn't work.
  • Mars Attacks!!: Danny De Vito's unnamed character tries to offer his Rolex and services as a lawyer to the Martian cornering him.
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • June 29, 2013
    What does this have to do with Cthulhu? A character doesn't seem to need to bribe an absurdly more powerful character to fulfill the trope.
  • June 29, 2013
    I think Bribing The Enemy would be a better title. The current one is too reminiscent of the "Did you just X Cthulhu" snowclones.
  • June 29, 2013
    I think this is covered by Bribe Backfire. The examples so far seem to just be parodies or examples of that trope that are Played For Laughs. And them bribing non-humans/villains and failing at it isn't really that much of a distinction.

    But aside from that Everythings Worse With Snowclones. This needs a better name. There's really not much a reason to have another trope named after cthulhu, instead of a name that's more clear about what the trope's about. Especially since this doesn't seem to have anything to do with Eldritch Abominations.
  • June 29, 2013
    And I was going to suggest Did You Just Bribe Cthulhu....

    Do not use the name of Cthulhu lightly (i.e. without relation to an actual Eldritch Abomination). That's misuse waiting to happen.
  • June 29, 2013
    • Quick Change. When Grimm tells the bank robbery hostages that he's going to let one of them go, a sleazy yuppie offers to give him a valuable watch if Grimm chooses him. Grimm takes the watch, but instead of accepting it as a bribe he gives the yuppie his own cheap Timex in return.
  • June 30, 2013
    Seconding Bribing The Enemy.
  • June 30, 2013
    Bribing the Enemy works. I'll change it.
  • June 30, 2013
    • Invoked in The Princess Bride when Inigo has the six-fingered man at the ropes....
      "Offer me money. Power. Offer me anything I ask for...."
    ...only to deliver a witty comeback ("I want my father back, you son of a bitch") and then a finishing blow.