Created By: Ardiente on June 10, 2011 Last Edited By: Ardiente on June 27, 2011

The Osiris Treatment

Dismembering a corpse before disposing of it, often by disperisng the bits

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Someone dies, but is so fearsome or hated, their body is dismembered or otherwise dispersed in an (unnecessary?) attempt to make them Deader Than Dead

Examples:

  • Named after the Egyptian God Osiris, his brother Seth did this to him. Somehow his wife Isis managed to find all the scattered bits, built a mummy, and revived him, so it appears Seth's precautions were insufficient.
  • From Discworld: Stoneface Vimes, The Kingslayer, was given this treatment after his execution.

  • In Jumanji, after Alan Parrish's disappearance into the titular otherworld, one nasty rumor that started flying around was that his father chopped him up into little pieces and hid them throughout the house.
  • In Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart, the Villain Protagonist dismembers his victim's body and hides it under the floorboards. This does not stop him from imagining(?) the corpse's heart beating while the police are visiting, driving him to expose his own crime.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer the gang had to separate the parts of at least one demon to prevent it coming back.
    • Yet another Buffy example: the Judge had had this done to him in the past, and Angelus put him back together again by reuniting all the pieces. Then Buffy blew him away with a missle launcher.
  • In Discworld Golems must be destroyed this way as removing their 'chem' (the scroll that powers them) only switches them off. Though you can just destroy that (so long as another is not made).
  • Happens in The Bible. In Judges 19, a gang rape/murder victim is dismembered, and a part of her body is sent to each of the twelve tribes to send a message about the depravity of the crime. The tribes are appropriately outraged.
  • In the Malloreon, Urgit mentions that after his depraved and reviled father was killed, he slit his throat and buried him 17 feet deep, head down, just to be safe.
  • The Outskirters in the Steerswoman books bury all their dead this way. It's because they're terraforming the planet; the wider they spread the body, the larger the area they're exposing to Earth-based biochemistry.
  • This is standard procedure for powerful vampires in Anita Blake Vampire Hunter. After being 'killed', the head and heart are taken from the body and all burned separately and then the ashes scattered over different bodies of water.
Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons.
    • Dismembering a body and scattering the pieces made bringing back the person with a Raise Dead or Resurrection spell impossible. It was still possible to do so (e.g. with a Wish) but much more difficult.
    • One way to destroy a vampire involved cutting off its head.

Community Feedback Replies: 45
  • June 10, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
  • June 10, 2011
    EEplayer
    Nah, this deserves its own article.
  • June 10, 2011
    Hadashi
    It's probably best not to include what she wanted the body for.
  • June 10, 2011
    Ryusui
    Why not just call it Mutilate The Body? (Which really calls for using the Munchkin card as a trope picture.)

    And in addition to chopping up a foe for fear of their revival or simply desecrating the corpse of an egregious lawbreaker in gratuitous fashion, don't forget the idea that a body in pieces is easier to hide.

    • In Jumanji, after Alan Parrish's disappearance into the titular otherworld, one nasty rumor that started flying around was that his father chopped him up into little pieces and hid them throughout the house.
    • In Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart, the Villain Protagonist dismembers his victim's body and hides it under the floorboards. This does not stop him from imagining(?) the corpse's heart beating while the police are visiting, driving him to expose his own crime.
  • June 10, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^ I thought he had buried her into the wall?
  • June 10, 2011
    Ryusui
  • June 10, 2011
    Hadashi
    • In Buffy The Vampire Slayer the gang had to separate the parts of at least one demon to prevent it coming back.
    • In Discworld Golems must be destroyed this way as removing their 'chem' (the scroll that powers them) only switches them off. Though you can just destroy that (so long as another is not made).

  • June 10, 2011
    Jeduthun
    - Happens in The Bible. In Judges 19, a gang rape/murder victim is dismembered, and a part of her body is sent to each of the twelve tribes to send a message about the depravity of the crime. The tribes are appropriately outraged.
  • June 10, 2011
    Generality
    • In the Malloreon, Urgit mentions that after his depraved and reviled father was killed, he slit his throat and buried him 17 feet deep, head down, just to be safe.

    Decapitation is one of the standard remedies for vampires for this very reason. In some parts of the world, it was common to cut off a corpse's head, or pin them to the coffin with a wooden stake, to ensure they would not rise again.
  • June 10, 2011
    Earnest
    This trope gets extra fun if the dismembered character is fond of Pulling Himself Together.
  • June 10, 2011
    Ardiente
    If the bits are buried at different places, that might be a little inconvenient.
  • June 10, 2011
    Aspie
    Not sure if this is an example but:

    • In Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy destroys The Master's corpse by smashing his bones in with a sledgehammer. Justified by the fact that The Anointed One was attempting to resurrect him.
  • June 10, 2011
    Generality
    I think this needs a better title, but I can't begin to think of one.
  • June 10, 2011
    Earnest
  • June 10, 2011
    Micah
    Another borderline example (because the reason behind it is totally different):
    • The Outskirters in the Steerswoman books bury all their dead this way. It's because they're terraforming the planet; the wider they spread the body, the larger the area they're exposing to Earth-based biochemistry.
  • June 10, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • This is standard procedure for powerful vampires in Anita Blake Vampire Hunter. After being 'killed', the head and heart are taken from the body and all burned separately and then the ashes scattered over different bodies of water.
  • June 10, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Yet another Buffy example: the Judge had had this done to him in the past, and Angelus put him back together again by reuniting all the pieces. Then Buffy blew him away with a missle launcher.
  • June 10, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons.
      • Dismembering a body and scattering the pieces made bringing back the person with a Raise Dead or Resurrection spell impossible. It was still possible to do so (e.g. with a Wish) but much more difficult.
      • One way to destroy a vampire involved cutting off its head.
  • June 12, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
  • June 12, 2011
    Bisected8
    • This often turns up in CSI and its spinoffs as a method of disposing of a body, but there have been a few instances where it was ritualistic or for intimidation (for example a guy in CSI Miami who did it based on a song to try and look cool).
    • The Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex epsidoe "Jungle Run" featured a serial killer who did this to his victims.
  • June 12, 2011
    cocoy0
    Common enough (in Real Life history) to merit a page. I think it is better if we apply a contrast with cooking the remains.
  • June 13, 2011
    jaytee
    There was a variant in an episode of Jonathan Creek. The masked villain carried the unconscious victim into an old garage and was surrounded by witnesses as he closed the garage door. When the door was reopened after the police showed up, the victim lay passed out on the floor with the killer nowhere to be found. Turns out the victim was the masked villain. She (in her mask) carried a foam dummy into the garage and, while the door was closed, she cut the dummy into pieces and hid them (along with the maska nd costume) in empty paint cans left in the garage, then pretended to lay down, knocked out.
  • June 13, 2011
    Surenity
    Voltaire sings about doing this to his ex-girlfriend's new lover in the song "Ex-Lover's Lover", and mailing each body part to another city around the world.
  • June 14, 2011
    TooBah
    Seymour does this to his rival, in order to feed Audrey II in Little Shop Of Horrors, before the plant is big enough to devour people whole.
  • June 14, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    I believe several people in the history of Great Britain were quartered and then sent to differnt towns as a "don't mess with the king" message to the people... I don't remember the names though (William Wallace probably?)
  • June 14, 2011
    jaytee
    ^Is "quartering" someone Exactly What It Says On The Tin? I had no idea.
  • June 14, 2011
    Pseudonym
    The song by Voltaire "Ex Lover's Lover"
  • June 14, 2011
    randomsurfer
    .
  • June 15, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^?
  • June 15, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^I made a comment, then decided to remove it. Since you can't 100% delete a comment on ykttw the next closest thing is putting a period (or just a space) in.
  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    Okay, c'm on folks, a few more examples and we launch

  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • June 17, 2011
    Rolf
    Theres decent examples list. just need some index ideas and better writeup.
  • June 17, 2011
    genewitch
    • The novel "The Skinner" by Neal Asher has the titular character existing mostly as a severed head, the rest of his bits being scattered everywhere. He's still an "i accidentally the whole planet" big bad even with this handicap.

    Someone else will have to be my memory for the names of the following
    • In the Sandman comics there's a severed head of some mythical character's son that is really important to a few stories, he was also dismembered.
    • on the SCP there's a dismembered evil that came together in the boxes it was stored in once.

  • June 19, 2011
    EEplayer
    Rasputin in Anastasia . And he came back too.
  • June 23, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^WTF? For real? bump
  • June 24, 2011
    Koveras
    Happened in the Erast Fandorin homage to Edgar Allan Poe (short story Table-Talk, 1882): Fandorin solves the mystery of what happened to a murdered girl's body by deducing that she was dismembered and smuggled out of her home in small boxes.
  • June 24, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    In Warhammer, when the great necromancer Nagash was slain, the skaven not only dismembered him but burned his remains with warpfire and then sent bits of ash in separate packeges for their agents in different parts of the world to scatter. And the bastard still came back.
  • June 24, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^ Wait, what? ''How?'
  • June 24, 2011
    hevendor717
    Taken Up To Eleven in a Robot Chicken sketch where a warrior defeats a werewolf and goes so far as to divide, cook, snort, and excrete him. It turns out to be one kid explaining to another how his role-playing game character shouldn't be able to revive itself.
  • June 24, 2011
    Sheora
    I'm noticing some confusion between the description and the examples. Is this just to avoid the resurrection of the deceased? Or does it include any dismemberment and disbursement of a corpse, such as a simple attempt to hide the crime?
  • June 25, 2011
    Deboss
    I think we've got something similar to this having to do with Rasputian Death or some such related to Rasputin.
  • June 25, 2011
    Micah
    ^Rasputinian Death.

    I think this is different, though. Rasputinian Death is about how the character dies; this is about what happens afterward.
  • June 25, 2011
    Ardiente
    Also Rasputinian Death is usually about a character who just. won't. fucking. die. The sort Shirou Emiya is okay with not being.

    In fact, a character may have had a very clean death, and then have their body mutilated/destroyed afterwards.
  • June 27, 2011
    TheFifthWall
    Granny Weatherwax threatens a vampire (vampyre) with this treatment in Carpe Jugulum. Since vampires are immortal, it won't actually kill him, but being staked, burned to dust, scattered to the winds and left as a cloud of atoms floating through space for billions of years is close enough for the townsfolk.

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