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Spare The Villainess
Female villains tend to not get killed, at least not by the hero
Tropeworthy?

(permanent link) added: 2012-07-18 21:14:52 sponsor: Delphi edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-04-04 04:01:12)

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Up for Grabs, Needs a Better Description

When a cast of villains includes a woman, chances are The Hero is not going to kill or capture her, even if they did so to all the male villains. She'll either survive, be let go, or die another way. This comes in two types.

  • Die Another Way: The villainess is not directly killed by the hero, even though all/most of the male villains are. Instead, she either turns good, gets killed by one of the other villains or gets a Karmic Death.
  • Easier Death: The villainess does get killed by the hero, but much less violently than the other villains.

Note that this only applies for when male villains are killed by the hero but the female villain is not; if none of the villains die, the other villains die by other means, or the female is the only villain, it doesn't count.

See also Men Are the Expendable Gender, High Heel-Face Turn, Wouldn't Hit a Girl and Double Standard. Aversions tend to be rare, because Gorn or any female character getting seriously hurt tends to bother audiences more than men. But as seen below, they do happen, although they may depend on Designated Girl Fight.

Death Trope, unmarked spoilers. I'll categorize them when I get some more examples.

Examples of Die Another Way

Anime and Manga
  • In Ninja Scroll, Snake Girl gets killed by Wire Guy for failing too many times. Jubei kills everyone else (except ironically Wire Guy).
  • Dragon Ball Z. In the Bojack movie, the henchwoman Zangya is the only one who's not killed by one of the good guys, but by the Big Bad himself.

Literature
  • In Belisarius Series Link used autistic girls as avatars and destroyed their personality. The first of these was destroyed by Belisarius' wife, the second by herself (because Link was stranded inside) and the third was executed by Belisarius' bodyguard.

Live-Action TV
  • In Kamen Rider Black, Bishium dies in a failed Taking You with Me attempt, and in Kamen Rider Black RX, Maribaron gets vaporized by the Bigger Bad for questioning his orders. Every other bad guy gets kasploded by Kotaro.
  • In Highlander: The Series, there was Kristen, a female Immortal who was pretty much irredeemable. She had already committed a murder or two at least, and attempted another over the course of the episode to let us know that she had not changed her ways over the last hundred years. Despite this, Duncan MacLeod is ready to spare her life after defeating her because his code of honor prevents him from doing so. In steps Methos, an Immortal who's survived for 5000 years and is one of Duncan's harshest critics. He proclaims that he comes from a time long before chivalry, and takes Kristen's head.

Video Games
  • Pronyma from Tales of Symphonia gets killed by the Big Bad for calling him by the wrong name, although the heroes did defeat her first and she may have already been dying from that. All the other Grand Cardinals are killed by the party in battle.
  • After Shannon is defeated in God Hand, Gene lets her tortured prisoners finish her off. Every other baddie gets punched to death.
  • Asura's Wrath. The only villain who does not end up on the receiving end of Asura's wrath is Olga, who gets sliced up by the Golden Spider instead.
  • Justine from Shadows Of The Damned is spared by Garcia after he defeats her. While technically Garcia doesn’t technically kill any of the previous bosses (they get executed by a Sister Grimm, presumably on Fleming’s orders, and Justine only escapes this fate because Garcia has killed all three Sisters by that point) it is odd that he spares her when he was swearing to kill her just a few minutes earlier.
  • Jihl Nabaat from Final Fantasy XIII is set up as the Big Bad throughout most of the game but when it's time to fight her, she is nonchalantly killed by Dysley, her boss and the actual Big Bad, becoming The Unfought.
  • Dark Forces Saga. In Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast, Kyle Katarn spares Tavion, Desann's female apprentice, but kills Desann. Played with, in that Kyle actually seemed more willing to kill Tavion (sparing her out of frustration and disgust), but genuinely offered clemency to Desann before Desann made it clear he was not going to surrender. This bites him in the ass in Jedi Academy when Tavion becomes the leader of a new Dark Jedi cult.

Examples of Easier Death

Film
  • In V for Vendetta, V kills the last of the doctors who altered him with a painless poison, since she was the only one who treated him halfway decently.
  • Ninja Scroll. Jubei does kill Bomb Girl but does it with her own explosives rather than taking his sword to her like he does to the rest of the Eight Devils.
  • In Sin City, Ava Lord is killed with a single gunshot. Compared to how violently most Sin City villains go down, she got off pretty easy.

Video Games
  • Hera in God Of War 3' gets a simple Neck Snap. None of the other villains get off that easily.
  • Mariska, The Dark Chick from Lollipop Chainsaw, gets a quick beheading instead of getting slowly sliced to pieces like the other Dark Purveyors.
  • In the Dead Rising series, the only female psychopaths (Jo and the Twins) are some of the few psychopaths who simply die when defeated, as opposed to the Bloody Hilarious deaths most of them get.
  • In the Konami beat-em-up Metamorphic Force enemies swell up and explode into goo when defeated...except for the one female boss, who is the only foe in the game to die in the standard beat-em-up "flicker and disappear" method.

Aversions (I think these are rare enough to be notable)

  • Jeane and Cloe in No More Heroes get the most thorough slaughterings in the series.
  • James Bond never has a problem with killing women.
  • John McClain kills the Dark Action Girl in the fourth (?) Die Hard movie by hitting her with a car and knocking her down an elevator shaft.
  • Completely inverted in Sailor Moon; in most seasons the female Big Bad is the only major villain to get directly killed off by the Senshi. The others mostly turn good or kill each other off.
  • In Samurai Champloo, one of the only female antagonists (and the only one that actually fights) is killed in combat by Mugen, though he does regret it afterwards. He spares another female antagonist earlier, but that's more Cruel Mercy.
  • Commonly averted in Fire Emblem, due its aversions of The Battle Didn't Count.

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