has gone too
far. Whatever mystique his position gave him, whatever charisma he had, whatever fear he inspired by his randomness, he turns out to be among those who never listened to the second part of Machiavelli's infamous advice
("It is better to be loved, but it is safer to be feared. But, above all, avoid being hated
[[hottip:*:paraphrased]]"). Someone (usually from the Preatorian Guard
or someone equally trusted) does the unthinkable, what no-one else dared to do, and stabs The Caligula
(a Back Stab
is especially dramatic). May or may not be followed by everyone in the room who has a weapon joining in to make sure the monster dies. If the assasin is just one
person, there's a chance for them to be forever
called The Kingslayer
if not outright executed for it, no matter how bad the leader.
Is especially prone to happen in a siege situation where it's made perfectly clear they are utterly doomed and their only chance at survival is getting rid of him, or
that he's irredeemably insane and has crosed the Moral Event Horizon
- Famously happened to the Trope Namer, Emperor Caligula, who was replaced by his uncle Claudius.
- Happened to some planet governor in Legend of Galactic Heroes.
- Happened to Aerys Targaryen as part of the Back Story in A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Mad Lord Snapcase had a variation of this trope happen to him in Night Watch, involving one Assasin with the complicity of everyone in the room. It was insanely cool and a Crowning Moment of Awesome for young Havelock and his aunt. Also, a Crowning Moment of Funny for Death.
- Prince Schneizel tried to pull this one on his father, whom he deems insane and unfit to rule.
- This trope appears to be setting itself up in the case of Lybian leader Gaddafi. Whether it's played straight, subverted, averted, or otherwise played with remains to be seen.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula has a lite version of this. Her friends turn on her once she goes too far. They weren't trying to kill her, but they sent her over the edge.