Created By: johnnye on June 9, 2011 Last Edited By: johnnye on July 7, 2012

Matter Of Fact Threat

A threat made all the more ominous because there's no emotion to it at all.

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'I'd hate you to think we were making a threat. Neither myself nor Mister Vandemar make threats, do we, Mister Vandemar?'
'No? Then what the hell are you doing?'
'We're making a promise,' said Mr Croup through the static and the echo and the hiss. 'And we do know where you live.

Someone yelling "I'LL KILL YOU!" might be shocking, but it's easy enough to put down to emotional hyperbole. However, someone walking up to you, looking you square in the eye and calmly letting you know that when you least expect it, "I'm going to kill you"? Now you're worried. They're not even in Tranquil Fury mode, they're just stating a simple fact.

Commonly used by The Stoic.

Is This Tropable??

  • Liam Neeson in Taken gives one so good that a lot of the trailers featured nothing else; "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
  • Gatehouse in The Shadow Line has this as his schtick. "Call no-one but your son. Tell him to call no-one but me. If you talk to anyone else, he will die. If he talks to anyone else before me, he will die."
  • Eli in The Book of Eli; "Touch me again with that hand and you will not get it back".
  • How could I forget: "Hello!. My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die."
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 11, 2011
    • On an episode of JAG, Admiral Chegwidden is having a discussion with a member of the Cosa Nostra whose son he had previously killed.
      Chegwidden: Senor Amati, many people have tried to kill me one time or another. They're mostly dead. So there's a good chance that your brother-in-law will join them if he does come after me... Does he have other sons?
      Enrico Amati: Uno.
      Chegwidden: When he comes... I'll regrettably kill him too... And after him?
      Enrico Amati: My sister will expect me to uphold the honor of mi familia.
      Chegwidden: Then I'll have to kill you. I don't want to have to do that.
      Enrico Amati: (in Italian) You're either a very *bold* man, or crazy!
      Chegwidden: (In Italian) Not crazy. Practical. (In English) A killing between us does not embarrass the Camorra.
      Enrico Amati: Very true.
  • June 11, 2011
    Willow does one of these with Riley in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. "And remember, if you hurt her, I'll beat you to death with a shovel. A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend. Have fun!"
  • June 13, 2011
    Seen It A Million Times. I think there's probably even a couple of subtropes here. 1) a woman is groped. Instead of screaming or becoming embarrassed, she calmly states "try that again, and you won't be getting your hand back." Usually used to show that she's strong and independent. 2) the hero has been captured, and is about to be tortured or executed. All seems hopeless, but he simply assures the villain that his fate is now sealed. (I think this one was used in one of the Die Hard movies, but I may be thinking of something else.)
  • June 13, 2011
    Everything GLaDOS says in Portal and Portal2.
  • June 13, 2011
    The scene in True Lies where Harry has been truth drugged, and describes to his interrogator in detail what he's about to do.
  • June 13, 2011
    Can overlap with Implied Death Threat.
  • June 13, 2011
    May overlap with Tranquil Fury and/or Dissonant Serenity, although those are more about deeds, while this is about words.
  • June 17, 2011
    This exchange from Neverwhere;
    'Mister Mayhew,' said Croup, helpfully, "do you know what your own liver tastes like?' Richard said nothing. 'Because Mister Vandemar has promised me that he's personally going to cut it out and stuff it in your mouth before he slits your little throat. So you'll find out, won't you?'
    'I'm calling the police. You can't threaten me like this.'
    'Mister Mayhew. You can call anyone you wish. But I'd hate you to think we were making a threat. Neither myself nor Mister Vandemar make threats, do we Mister Vandemar?'
    'No? Then what the hell are you doing?'
    'We're making a promise,' said Mr Croup through the static and the echo and the hiss. 'And we do know where you live.'

    As this example demonstrates, can be combined with Cut His Heart Out With A Spoon for extra creepiness. Not only do they fully intend to carry out their threat, but they already know exactly how they're going to do it.
  • June 18, 2011
    The Last Boy Scout: Touch me again and I'll kill you.
  • March 4, 2012
    Soto to Diego in the original Ice Age film, especially with his statement "bring back the baby... alive... or serve yourself as a replacement." Ouch.
  • March 5, 2012
    • The Matrix Reloaded. As Trinity is about to leave the Merovingian's restaurant, one of his henchman attempts to put a controlling hand on her.
    Trinity: Touch me and that hand will never touch anything again.
  • March 5, 2012
    What about when they say these things casually and happily like as if they're friends?
  • July 7, 2012

    • Victor Cachat in Honorverse does this quite often.
      "Who the hell are you?" he [Diem] whispered.
      "Just think of me as the man who will be killing you, and very soon." The pulser in the hand made a little sweeping motion. "You'd do better to give the surroundings a good look, than to ask pointless questions. This is where your life ends, Diem. At the moment, I'd give it a ninety percent probability. If you don't control your panic, the estimate goes to one hundred percent. And the time frame drops to seconds, instead of minutes."
      Ringstorff was amazed at the complete indifference in the man's tone of voice. He'd always thought of himself as "hard-boiled," but... this guy...