Alice saw something in Bob once: a great ambition, ultimate wisdom, good intentions, solid integrity, diverting amusement
, or something else that compelled a great amount of intrigue and interest. She might not believe in his moral values (hell, he might be a straight-up Complete Monster
), but something about him just caught her interest, maybe enough to make her his loyal follower.
At some point, however, the interest just went away. Maybe Bob slipped up and showed his true vulnerability, or maybe Alice realized over time that Bob wasn't quite as interesting as she thought he was, or maybe Bob's up-until-then perfect self-integrity and pride shattered as he momentarily begged for mercy from The Hero
. Either way, he's not the paragon that she thought he was, but just a low-life with too much charisma for his own good.
So she might as well kill him off.
In a nutshell, when a character loses interest in another, usually when the other shows his true colors as a Dirty Coward
or another form of weakness, the former follower decides that, since he has ceased to amuse him, he might as well kill him off. The Psycho Supporter
may resort to this if his target of interest begins to falter, The Caligula
is prone to this as well. A Scheherezade Gambit
is an attempt to avoid this.
This trope can involve death, so unmarked spoilers ahoy
Anime & Manga
- In Death Note, Ryuk follows Light around not because he believes in Light's motives, but because he wants to see how far Light will go on his quest for godhood. By the end of the story, Light has been shot and is crawling on the ground, begging for help from all of his allies that aren't there to help him. As a last resort, he turns to Ryuk and asks him to kill everyone, but Ryuk states that since Light has stooped so low as to begging for his help, he no longer interests him, and kills him off, fulfilling his promise that he would be the one to write Light's name in his Death Note.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Kimblee is devoured by Pride. Later on, however, it's revealed that he has remained alive in Pride's being, maintaining his conscience despite (or because) the tempest of souls around him. He states his dissatisfaction in Pride, who had given up his pride as a Homunculus by going so low as to attempt to invade the body of Edward, a "lowly human", and keeps him distracted long enough for Edward to defeat him.
- Hunter × Hunter: While his "superior species" subordinates orchestrate the final preparations for a big human-slaughtering event, the young Chimera Ant King passes the time challenging the very high level board game players. He learns the rules, and in some ten matches starts to effortlessly dominate his opponent, prompting an execution and search of next means to fight his boredom. Then comes little blind girl Komugi, whose unbreakable winning streak ultimately impacts the King to the point of him going out of his way to protect her when she's in danger.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Byakuran plays this on Ghost. Along with You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, but he's really just bored and decides to kill him.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, it's considered good policy for vampires to kill ghouls who no longer serve a purpose, and since clans like the Toreador tend to ghoul people for no other reason than that they amuse them, this trope often results.
- In Warhammer, champion of Slaanesh are hedonistic, lack empathy and often have narcisstic, overgrown egos. If someone "wastes their time", they might as well see if his screams are more amusing than what he says.
- Family Guy: during an episode about Peter's past life in the 17th century, the King (Stewie) has his jesters (the cast of How I Met Your Mother) killed because what they do aren't jokes. He threatens a similar end to his new jester (Brian), until Brian finally amuses the king - by jangling his keys in front of him.