Do not outlive your usefulness


(permanent link) added: 2009-09-28 16:47:44 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2009-10-01 10:44:26)

Add Tag:
Do We Have This? Up for Grabs.

The Big Bad, The Dragon, or another member of the Nebulous Evil Organisation praises their Number Two on a job well done after a successful mission, and hopes they keep up the good work... because if they don't, they will have outlived their usefulness.

Basically, a threat that their superior has no use for them if they fail to perform their job. Assuming their skills will always be needed in his plots (and thus he would need to take the trouble of finding a replacement if he kills the Evil Minion), this makes sense as a negative motivational tool, and a nice little Kick the Dog that can fuel a Help Face Turn or Mook-Face Turn.

Another variant is "Do Not Fail Me Again". This one is a lot more common in animation or shows with very little onscreen death. When a show has set up a villain as being the "kill minions who fail me" type, but can't actually have him do it both for practical manpower/casting/animation reasons, the bad guy will warn them if they fail him again it will cost them their lives. It never does. Even the Quirky Miniboss Squad or Team Rocket get off relatively light. They may get kicked out of the evil club, but they're better off anyway.
replies: 4

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy