Created By: Rhania506 on April 20, 2013 Last Edited By: Rhania506 on April 22, 2013

Post Drama Friendly Disarm

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Alice and Bob are in a life or death stressful situation that has them facing off against a foe (We'll call him George).

Alice aims her weapon at George and one of two things happen:

1. She kills George putting an end to the struggle.

2. She pulls off enough of a bluff to scare George into retreating or distract him long enough for another partner to capture him.

Either way, this incident shakes Alice up. Maybe she is a layperson who has never fired a gun. Maybe she is a seasoned cop, but George has been playing mind games with her.

This trope is about what always happens next. Alice will still have her weapon posed for action. Bob will cautiously approach and slowly remove the weapon from her hands.

The fact that Alice will let Bob close to her in that intense of a moment speaks of a great amount of trust between the two characters. It is also a signal to Alice and the audience that the danger has (at least momentarily) passed. A lot of times, Bob will then comfort Alice in some way if they are especially close.

This happens all the time in cop shows, but not exclusively.

Since this often occurs at the climax of a work, Spoilers Ahoy.

  • Every cop show. Really, ALL of them. But that's not going to stop the Legion of Tropers from listing important ones.
  • In the Law & Order: SVU episode "Wrath", Benson shoots the killer who had been stalking her in a final standoff. She allows Stabler to remove the gun, but his attempts at comfort are harshly denied, as he had managed to piss her off earlier in the episode.
  • In the 2012 adaptation of Les MisÚrables, Marius pulls off a threat to blow the barricade during the first attack that causes the French army to retreat for the time being. Enjolras is the one to remove the torch from his hands.

Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • April 21, 2013
    Could this also include instances where an hysterical or enraged shooter keeps shooting the villain after he's clearly down and likely dead, until a friend comes up and calms them into stopping shooting or takes the gun?

    Like a scene in the film Matewan during the final gun battle, when Mrs. Elkins (mother of Hillard, who was slain by Baldwin-Felts goons earlier) pumps Baldwin-Felts agent Griggs full of lead even after her initial shots downed him, until Sid Hatfield comes up and puts his hand on her shoulder and gets her to stop, since he's obviously dead.
  • April 21, 2013
    • Sneakers. Bishop and Buddy Wallace are struggling over a shotgun. Bishop's girlfriend Liz picks up a pistol and fires a shot in the air, then points the gun at Bishop and Wallace and orders Wallace to let go of Bishop. Her hands are shaking so badly it's clear she doesn't know how to handle a gun and both Bishop and Wallace are scared of being shot. Wallace surrenders and Bishop takes the gun out of her hand. Watch the sequence here.
  • April 21, 2013
    ^^ I was originally talking about when the partner physically removes the weapon. But I think you are right. The important part of the trope is that only a trusted friend or partner can calm the situation while tensions are still running high.

    I would think that your example would even speak of MORE trust between the characters since the shooter is actively firing when they are stopped.
  • April 21, 2013
    "Weapon Removal" is too vague, makes me think of Lodged Blade Recycling and the like. Maybe "Friendly Disarm" would work better?
  • April 21, 2013
  • April 22, 2013
    The first few sentences/paragraphs are an Example As Thesis. All of the references to Alice and Bob (and George) need to be removed and the whole section changed into a simple description of the trope. Maybe something like:

    When a character points a gun at an another human being it can be disturbing to them, especially if they have no experience using firearms. Once the situation is resolved, another friendly character may come over to them and remove the weapon from their hand so they don't do something rash with it.

    The fact that the gun wielder allows their friend to take the gun like that shows a great deal of trust between them. The removal also indicates to the audience that the immediate danger has passed. If it's appropriate to do so, the person who took the weapon may comfort the gun wielder.