Created By: ThePope on January 17, 2012 Last Edited By: ThePope on November 17, 2014

You Have Outlived My Interest

A character loses interest in another character, and kills him because of it.

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Trope
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.


Examples:

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.

Comic Books

Literature

Live-Action Television
  • On Babylon 5, Emperor Cartagia kills one of his jesters after some of his antics failed to amuse him.
    Cartagia (to Londo, as the jester's body is hauled away): Humor is such a subjective thing, don't you think?
    • And he also tells Londo he'll "have to" kill the prisoner G'Kar (even though he was a "gift" to Londo) if G'Kar doesn't give him the satisfaction of a scream while being tortured.

Tabletop Games
  • 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.

Video Games
  • 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.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • 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.


Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • January 17, 2012
    dalek955
    Lose the spoiler tags. If you really think it's that bad, make it a Spoilers Off page.
  • January 17, 2012
    DracMonster
    Yeah, just put a boldface death trope spoiler disclaimer at the bottom of the description.

  • January 17, 2012
    TheHandle
  • January 17, 2012
    captainpat
    The Joker example is a Zero Context Example, add context or get rid of it.
  • January 18, 2012
    arromdee
  • January 18, 2012
    ThePope
    I know, it's a play on that. Someone being useful and someone being amusing are very different.
  • January 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • January 19, 2012
    roronoapedro
    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.
  • January 19, 2012
    Zsuzsa
    Tabletop Games: 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.
  • January 19, 2012
    FastEddie
    Needs a name that does not sound like dialog. It would be cut immediately with this one.
  • January 19, 2012
    Amaryllis
    The dragon in The Two Princesses Of Barmarre eats the humans she kidnaps after she gets bored of them.
  • January 22, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    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.
  • March 29, 2013
    dvorak
    Web Original
  • March 29, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    The Caligula will probably do this on at least one occasion. For instance:

    Live-Action TV

    On Babylon 5, Emperor Cartagia kills one of his jesters after some of his antics failed to amuse him.
    Cartagia (to Londo, as the jester's body is hauled away): Humor is such a subjective thing, don't you think?
    • And he also tells Londo he'll "have to" kill the prisoner G'Kar (even though he was a "gift" to Londo) if G'Kar doesn't give him the satisfaction of a scream while being tortured.
  • March 30, 2013
    captainpat
    Elaborate or remove The Joker example.
  • June 22, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • June 22, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    • Hunter X 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.
  • June 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Thing is, some examples in "Your Usefulness" are actually this instead - that is, "you're no longer useful to fulfill my interest". :P

    What will you do with it?
  • June 23, 2014
    TrustBen
    Scheherazade Gambit is an attempt to avert this.
  • November 16, 2014
    DAN004
    Again, You Have Outlived Your Usefulness covers this already. The "usefulness" can be "being my interest".

    Tropes Are Flexible
  • November 16, 2014
    ThePope
    Usefulness is utility. Interest is amusement.

    Practical use vs "eh he's fun I'll keep him around". One is done by Bad Bosses, the other is done by crazy people.
  • November 16, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ again, some examples in YHOMU is about interest rather than usefulness. (But again, interest IS usefulness.)
  • November 16, 2014
    ThePope
    All the more reason to port those examples to here.
  • November 17, 2014
    DAN004
    Btw see also It Amused Me.

    The Joker example is zero context. At least mention one instance of him doing it.
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