Created By: witchdoctor on July 6, 2009
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God Help Us All

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Do We Have This? Should We Have This??

Stock Phrase used when someone, usually The Captain, has to make a Sadistic Choice. He either has to let millions die or thousands die, there is no third option and the cavalry isn't coming. The only option is to sacrifice your own men or let the enemy kill everyone in the area.

Almost always includes There Is No Kill Like Overkill and is often combined with Pyrrhic Victory, Earth-Shattering Kaboom and Taking You with Me. Almost never leads to a Was It Really Worth It? as the stakes are usually so absurdly high that it's generally acknowledged that the action taken was worth it. Usually turns one into a Hurting Hero and is nearly guaranteed to give the person making the decision Flashback Nightmares.

Alternatively, it can be used when the Heroes have just grasped the consequences of the Big Bad succeeding in completing his master plan. Also, highly likely to include There Is No Kill Like Overkill and Earth-Shattering Kaboom or Take Over the World. Difference in this case is that there is less likelihood for there to be a Last Stand or Pyrrhic Victory, not to say that it can't happen. It can also be used in reference to realizing that some horrible catastrophe is about to occur unless someone stops it.


Examples:

Sadistic Choice Examples:

Video Games
  • World in Conflict: One mission has the player defending Fort Teller from a massive Soviet assault. The Soviets believe the Fort had the American's anti-nuke program but the Americans know it's a bust. They have to stop the Soviets from taking the Fort and realizing this thus leading to millions of deaths from Nuclear strikes on major cities. The player is ultimately overwhelmed with an overwhelming force of Soviet tanks on the way. Colonel Sawyer is given authorization to nuke the area to stop the Soviets but Bannon points out that if everyone retreats the Russians will know something is up. Bannon stays behind to hold the Soviets off and the player orders the strike. After doing so Sawyer utters this phrase knowing full well the necessity of it.

Web Original
  • Minesweeper: The Movie
    Sweeper: What if we get an eight?
    Captain: Then God Help Us All.

Horrified Realization Examples:

Film
  • The Albino Code:
    Captain Fascist: Officer Howard. We are dealing with an Albeeno, which means: He has red eyes, evil in his heart, and create a storm the likes of which the human race has never seen. God help us all.

Live-Action TV
  • Deep Space Nine:
    Captain Sisko: If we do nothing, the Dominion could sit behind that perimeter for the next five years rearming themselves. And when they're ready to come out, God help us all.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    Rupert Giles: There's a reference here to the journal of Desmond Kane, pastor of a town called Sharpsville. "May 26, 1723. Tomorrow is the Ascension. God help us all."
    Giles: It was the last anyone heard.
    Wesley: Of Kane?
    Giles: Of Sharpsville.
  • Lost Season 4's first episode's teaser ended with Pierre Chang saying, "God help us all" if the energy of the Orchid were released. The episode "The Lie" ended with Eloise Hawking saying, "God help us all," if Ben couldn't get the Oceanic 6 back to the island.

Western Animation
  • Futurama: "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" has Nibbler ending a log like this, which is most likely intended as a parody.
    Nibbler: ...and when that happens then may god help us all!
    Leela: Time for a diaper change!
    Nibbler: End transmission.

Video Games
  • Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge:
    President Michael Dugan: My god. That maniac is really going to do it. May god help us all.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • July 1, 2009
    Dcoetzee
    IMDB lists a bunch of results on this... often though the description here does not apply, it's just a general sense of dread. Here are a few examples.

    • Deep Space Nine: Captain Sisko: If we do nothing, the Dominion could sit behind that perimeter for the next five years rearming themselves. And when they're ready to come out, God help us all.
    • Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge: President Michael Dugan: My god. That maniac is really going to do it. May god help us all.
    • The Albino Code: Captain Fascist: Officer Howard. We are dealing with an Albeeno, which means: He has red eyes, evil in his heart, and create a storm the likes of which the human race has never seen. God help us all.
    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Rupert Giles: There's a reference here to the journal of Desmond Kane, pastor of a town called Sharpsville. "May 26, 1723. Tomorrow is the Ascension. God help us all." It was the last anyone heard.

  • July 1, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    the Battlestar Galatica (recent sci-fi series) is full of these as well. Most notably during the made for TV and DVD "Pegasus" movie, hopefully someone else who knows the series a little better then I do can list a few on the many many more examples from that series.
  • July 1, 2009
    witchdoctor
    nothing here fits my description above, should I expand the definition to encompass it's use to convey a feeling of dread and/or terror?
  • July 1, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Um, it's not important, but I think you mean "cavalry"?
  • July 1, 2009
    Dcoetzee
    Yeah, if this is a Stock Phrase trope the description will have to be suitably generalized.
  • July 1, 2009
    witchdoctor
    Comments on how I organized it?
  • July 1, 2009
    idledandy
    Add to the Buffy reference:
    Giles: It was the last anyone heard.
    Wesley: Of Kane?
    Giles: Of Sharpsville.

    Also, on Lost this season, the first episode's teaser ended with Pierre Chang saying, "God help us all" if the energy of the Orchid were released. The episode "The Lie" ended with Eloise Hawking saying, "God help us all," if Ben couldn't get the Oceanic 6 back to the island.
  • July 1, 2009
    Dcoetzee
    New organisation is pretty good. :-)
  • July 2, 2009
    Nate the Great
    College Humor's "trailer" for Minesweeper: The Movie. "What if we get an eight?" "Then God help us all."
  • July 4, 2009
    Bisected8
    The Futurama episode [I've been saying that a lot lately ;)] "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" has Nibbler ending a log like this;

    Nibbler: ...and when that happens then may god help us all!
    Leela: Time for a diaper change!
    Nibbler: End transmission.
  • July 5, 2009
    BryceBryans
    • Watchmen While in Vietnam, The Comedian makes a comment on how Dr. Manhattan is slipping out of touch will humanity, ending with "God help us all". Quite a statement given the existential/humanistic tone of the book. The phrase is also used prominently in the trailer for the film adaptation, spoken against a black screen.
  • July 7, 2009
    Furrysmurf
    Lampshaded on The Simpsons:

    Dr. Foster: Yes, Dr. Foster here. Ned Flanders? You're sure? No, no, no, I'll come right over. And may God have mercy on us all. [hangs up] Darling, there's an emergency at the hospital, uh, where are my shoes? Mrs. Foster: [sleepily] I think they're in the den. Dr. Foster: The den? May God have mercy on us all.

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