Death By Rube Goldberg YKTTW Discussion

Death By Rube Goldberg
(permanent link) added: 2010-02-05 19:25:45 sponsor: witchdoctor (last reply: 2010-02-05 19:25:45)

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Just about everyone can name a movie where someone dies, is murdered or otherwise shuffles off from this mortal coil.

However every once in a while there's a murderer who decides that he/she wants to take that extra step. Why just murder someone with a kitchen knife or a revolver? If you're going to kill someone, they figure, you might as well do it in a way that someone almost has to stand in awe of the ingenuity of the killer to think of this particular fashion of offing someone.

This is a Death Trope so expect spoilers. If it fails you can expect someone to ask Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him? and they often do.

Often attempted by any variety of Evil Genius but it can vary whether or not they are successful.

Not to be confused with No Kill Like Overkill.



  • Law Abiding Citizen: This entire movie is a love note to this trope. The way Clyde kills people makes Mcgyver look like he was creating science projects for the elementary school science fair.
  • The Saw movies have this trope as the entire point to the extent that one could argue that the plot exists only to allow the use of this trope.
  • The Final Destination movies use this trope so extensively that it is truly a wonder to behold.
  • The Cell
  • The Omen films and here there's no chance of the elaborate schemes failing because they're planned by, you know, the Devil.
  • One of the murders in Hot the heck do they arrange the death of a guy by house explosion to be an accident?

Live-Action TV
  • Dead Like Me: The use of this trope is actually lampshaded believe it or not. All of the deaths in the show are of this variety and it is explained early on that the gravelings exist solely to make sure the circumstances leading to the deaths occur.
  • The featured freak-of-the-week on the X Files episode "The Goldberg Variations" had a luck-altering presence, resulting in this type of death for his enemies.
  • The title of this trope is actually used word for word in a The Facts of Life episode revolving around a killer taking down the group.

Video Games
  • Evil Genius: You can create traps to foil agents of justice trying to crash the party. You get extra points for clever, sadistic traps.
  • In Hitman Blood Money, you are rewarded for making your hits look like accidents. In all of the games in the series, you can come up with very indirect or ingenious ways of offing your targets.
  • MadWorld awards higher points per kill the more elaborate the kill is.
  • Some members of the Dwarf Fortress community love to invoke this trope when it comes to nobles and certain other pests.

Western Animation
  • The Great Mouse Detective has an example of one of these in the form of a death trap. It doesn't actually work but points for trying.

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