->'''Team Leader:''' There's no sign of Dredd. He appears to have survived the crash.\\
'''Judge Griffin:''' You are in error, Capture Team. No one survived the shuttle wreck. Understand? Just find Dredd!\\
'''Leader:''' The pilot, sir. He's alive.\\
'''Griffin:''' No one survived the shuttle wreck! Do I make myself clear?\\
'''Leader:''' Yes, sir. ''[Shoots the pilot]''
-->-- ''Film/JudgeDredd''

Sometimes you just can't afford to be seen. Everybody needs to believe you're dead. Or they saw you use superpowers, or now they know there are such things as vampires. Or they'll just testify against you and make you go to jail.

So you have to kill everyone in the room. Or, possibly, the city.

Similar to ShootEverythingThatMoves, but that trope is more about the situation where everything you see is a threat. In ''this'' case, people would be more than happy to leave you alone, but that just doesn't seem to be an option anymore.

Oh, by the way, if you're a {{Mook}} and you've been ordered to kill all the witnesses, one thing to keep in mind: [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness As far as your boss is concerned]], [[HeKnowsTooMuch you're a witness, too.]]

A specific case would be KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade. People who are TriggerHappy may jump to this solution a bit more readily. See also NeverOneMurder. Contrast with LeaveNoSurvivors, where you're killing everyone just out of general bloody-mindedness (or [[FinalSolution hatred]].)
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* It's mentioned a few times that {{Golgo 13}} will kill any witnesses to an assassination as a general rule. (Usually, though, there aren't any.)
* [[TheOphelia Ophelia,]] from {{Claymore}} is big on this. Claymores aren't allowed to kill humans, but Ophelia is more than a little AxCrazy, so she tends to get carried away when she fights. Solution: Murder everyone who saw her.
* In ''{{Berserk}}'', Guts instinctively did this when he heard a witness after he assassinated Duke Julius on Griffith's orders. [[spoiler:He realized too late that it was the Duke's young son, whom Guts empathized with earlier. It's implied that Griffith hoped this would happen, since the boy was being groomed to marry Princess Charlotte, who Griffith had designs on.]]
* ''GunslingerGirl''. Cyborg girl Rico befriends a boy working as a bellhop while scoping out her target. Her [[TheHandler handler]] Jean orders Rico to kill anyone who sees her committing an assassination. While leaving the hotel room after the hit, she runs into the boy and in one of the more memorable scenes of the series kills him while [[CreepyChild smiling cheerfully]] because she [[MoralMyopia remembered the right words to use in a situation like this]]; "I am sorry." However this is the only example of this trope in ''GSG'' and is used more to highlight her handler's ruthless nature; other handlers just use the MoveAlongNothingToSeeHere approach.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', the World Government attempted to kill anyone with knowledge of the Void Century or the ability to read the dominant language used during that time (as indestructible tablets exist in that language that tell what happened). While they couldn't kill everybody with such knowledge, they've killed most of them, and the remaining ones would rather keep quiet to stay alive. This is because horrific weapons capable of destroying the entire planet were made during that century, and the World Government considers it better to kill off anyone with even the slightest chance of harnessing them than global annihilation. It's implied that there's also information from the Void Century that would undermine the World Government's political power, giving them perhaps an even greater motivation.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''TopTen'', [[spoiler:Comissioner Ultima]] will have to destroy Neopolis to prevent word of [[spoiler:her Xenite addiction]] getting out.
* The Rourke family in SinCity usually ensure this when covering up the trail of bodies left by the two different {{Serial Killer}}s connected to them; even going so far as to try to kill children or lowlifes like Marv. Both of these targets end up being their own undoing, however.
* In ''{{Asterix}} and the Secret Weapon'', Caesar demands that no witnesses be left of the [[WouldntHitAGirl titular secret weapon]] (since it would not only be seen in Rome as dishonorable but also ridiculous). When pirates threaten the secret ship, the leader announces "Caesar said no witnesses, so NoQuarter!" and just charges through the pirate ship, ripping it [[IncrediblyLamePun in half]] (which conveniently allows the pirates to survive in their rowboat since they didn't see anyone).
* In ''Terra Obscura'', the Grim Reaper puts his costume on in a cab, having hailed it in street clothes to avoid suspicion, as he tails someone targeted for a hit. The first thing he does when he's got the target in his sights is kill the cabbie, who saw his unmasked face.
* In ''Comicbook/TheSpirit'', two bank robbers take this approach to cover their crime. They don't realize they missed a little girl down the block, who fell down out of fear. The police are a bit peeved.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/JudgeDredd'', in the page quote. After a shuttle carrying prisoners to Aspen Penal colony crashes, a rescue/capture team is sent to locate Dredd, a convict on the flight. The Capture Team Leader reports to Judge Griffin; Judge Griffin spells it all out.
* A similarly creepy exchange in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'':
-->'''Waternoose:''' Get up! There can't be any witnesses.
-->'''Randall:''' There won't be.
* In {{Universal}}'s ''Film/TheMummy1932'', when the renegade priest Imhotep is buried alive with the [[MacGuffin Scroll of Thoth]], the slaves who dug the tomb are killed -- then the spearmen who killed them are killed, so there will be no witnesses. (This sequence was [[StockFootage incorporated wholesale]] into the 1940 ReBoot, ''Film/TheMummysHand''.)
* In ''Film/KillBill'', Bill and his squad kill ''everyone'' at The Bride's wedding, even "the colored fella playing the piano".
* In the 1968 Italian movie ''Black Jesus'', the Patrice Lumumba-expy is taken out to be shot [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic along with two criminals]]. After he's executed one of the criminals says, "Don't worry, I didn't see anything". The executioner replies, "Yes, but you ''heard'' something" and shoots him when he turns to run.
* When it's planned that the mine is to be blown up in ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', its peasant workers (including ''children'') were also trapped to prevent witnesses.
* In ''Film/RoboCop2'', the {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s who are trying to bankrupt the city discover the Mayor is going to [[DealWithTheDevil cut a deal with a drug lord]] to get the necessary funding. They send their cyborg killing machine to kill the Mayor, specifically stating that there must be no witnesses. Ironically the Mayor is the only one to escape the subsequent massacre, but can't afford to admit what he was up to anyway.
* In ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', the BigBad[[spoiler:'s [[TheDragon Dragon]]]] Renard gets himself a Russian nuclear submarine. He brings along "some refreshments" for the crew. By the time Bond gets on the sub, the crew are all dead from the poison.
* After Kirk and [=McCoy=] escape from the Rura Penthe penal colony in ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'', they find out that their guide was paid to do that, so that the escapees could be shot by the guards without any questions raised by TheFederation. When the guards catch up to them, the guide is shot by the warden, uttering this trope name. He's about to kill the two humans (after telling them who ordered the hit), when they are beamed up.
* This is ''probably'' why the Stormtroopers slaughtered the Jawas and killed Luke's aunt and uncle in ''Film/ANewHope'', seeing as they were trying to leave evidence that Tusken Raiders did it.
* The pirates in ''The Black Pirate'' leave no witnesses by blowing up the ships they have pillaged.
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'':
** [[spoiler:Admiral Marcus]] has no intention of letting any of the ''Enterprise'' crew live even after Kirk pleads that [[TakeMeInstead he alone should be punished]] for his command decisions.
** Every Klingon who witnesses Harrison ends up dead.
* In ''Film/MacheteKills'', this is taken UpToEleven with the assassin El Chameleon, who kills ''anyone'' who sees him, even when he's just taking a walk down the street. This is even though he has the ability to change his face and body to look like anyone.
* The contract killer Blackbird in ''Film/{{Killshot}}'' has a policy of killing anyone who sees his face during his kills. This comes back to bite him when he is hired by the mafia to kill an old criminal but goes off-plan by also killing the girl who let him in and could identify him. The pissed off mob boss puts a prize on Blackbird's head because the girl was his mistress.
* An assassin in ''Barracuda'' is tasked to kill employees of a smalltown newspaper to make sure that the GovernmentConspiracy stays hidden. He kills the people who know too much, and tries to quietly get out the room when an another person discovers the corpses. Unfortunately, she turns around and he has to kill her too.
* In the opening of ''Film/TheAmerican'' GeorgeClooney's character is out walking with a girlfriend when he's targeted by an assassin. Clooney kills the assassin to the shock of the woman, who's surprised that he even carries a gun, but he just yells at her to go and call the police. As she turns to leave, he shoots her in the back of the head. The kill weighs on his mind and fuels his eventual desire to make this OneLastJob.
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest''. One of the earliest evil deeds Frank does is kill a child after this sinister excerpt of dialogue:
--> '''Goon:''' ''(about the boy)'' What are we gonna do with him, Frank?
--> '''Frank:''' ''(beat)'' Well, now that you've called me by name -- ''(shoots the child)''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In ''TreasureIsland'', Captain Flint killed the sailors who helped him bury the treasure. This is Standard Operating Procedure in pirate tales.
* Literature/CiaphasCain[[note]]'''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!'''[[/note]], despite being ([[BlackAndGrayMorality more or less]]) a good guy, orders this done to what he himself calls "a virtually defenseless ally" in ''For the Emperor''. To his credit, he's very disturbed by the need for such DirtyBusiness, and they would have revealed his position and endangered a very important mission [[ShootTheDog if he'd let any escape]].
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' spin-off novel ''The Eyeless'' features an alien superweapon that turns out to be part of an extremely thorough attempt to remove all witnesses: not only did they kill the witnesses, they destroyed the entire planet they were on and then ''every other planet that could see that planet through telescopes or whatever''.
* Subverted in the first ''{{Dune}}''; a search party was supposed to find and kill the two perpetrators and witnesses to Paul and Jessica's killing, but they were already dead when they were found...
* Two "men's adventure" novel series by Joseph Rosenberger, ''The Death Merchant'' and ''COBRA'' feature characters with a very extreme moral compass who often follow the "leave no witnesses" rule to protect their identity. The lead character in ''Death Merchant'' has a policy of killing people who learn his real identity, friend or foe, and in ''COBRA'' the "heroes" even go so far as to kill local law enforcement to protect their mission.
* In the third book of the ''KnightAndRogueSeries'' the wreckers kill anyone who has even the slightest chance of having seen them. Michael is almost killed just for noticing them off in the distance while they're discussing plans.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': The Port Witch Coven Witch Linda intends to throw Wolf Boy to the [[KrakenAndLeviathan Grim]] after he's fed Lucy to it so that he can't spread the information, [[GenreSavvy since she's read many detective novels]]. It doesn't work out.
* The villains of ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' are fond of hiring 'river trash' for transportation and dirty work, then killing them when it's done. [[HypercompetentSidekick Captain Tern]] actually sets out to track them by looking into records of ship crews who've all been killed.
* In the third Literature/{{Safehold}} book, Merlin is forced to kill a bunch of wounded Temple Loyalists [[spoiler: after foiling an assassination attempt against Sharleyan]] because he can't afford to let people realize he was even there.
* {{Inverted}} in ''Literature/TheWayOfKings'', where Szeth is explicitly ordered to leave behind witnesses when he assassinates the governments of various countries, facilitating his master's mission of sowing chaos.
* An attempt at this kicks off the plot of ''Literature/ArcticRising''. Anika and her partner get a radiation signature off a tramp freighter and approach, assuming it's illegal waste dumping. Then the crew shoots them down with an RPG, killing her partner, and assassins are crawling out of the woodwork to try to kill her.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** In the short story "A Grand Tour" by Creator/DavidDrake, during the brittle pre-war peace between Manticore and the People's Republic of Haven, a Havenite cruiser manned by the figurative scrapings of the Dolist masses engages and destroys a Manticoran destroyer in a back-world sector of the Solarian League. In order to keep word from getting out of their action they attempt to slaughter the crew that escaped the destroyer's destruction, missing a shuttle of survivors in the debris from the destroyed ship.
** In ''Echoes of Honor'', when the combined Grayson-Manticore fleet with the new [[MacrossMissileMassacre podnoughts]] rides to the rescue [[spoiler:in the defence of Basilisk]], Earl White Haven nearly has a heart attack when he thinks Admiral Yanakov ordered [[SinkTheLifeboats no quarter]]. Fortunately, [[SubvertedTrope the latter only called for]] no ''mercy'', which is a powerful emotional statement but is thankfully not [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar a massive war crime]].[[note]]For the uninitiated, "no mercy" means the attacking force will not be picking up survivors. "No ''quarter''" means they will not be ''allowing'' any.[[/note]]
* The German spy in ''Eye of the Needle'' by Ken Follett murders several people for this, always saying, "You saw my face". Later he discovers that British Intelligence has gotten hold of a photograph of him when he lived in Germany, causing him to freak out because now they really do know his face.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Ariel", the blue-gloved operatives come to pick up River and Simon from the Alliance police who've arrested them. When the lead policemen mentions that they'd talked to the prisoners, the operatives kill every policeman involved in the arrest.
** ...in the loudest and most gruesome way possible, which actually [[NiceJobFixingItVillain helps the prisoners escape]].
* Possibly subverted in ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when [[spoiler: Michael kills Libby]].
* Appears to be the Standard MO for [[RunningGag Dead Larry]] in ''BurnNotice''.
* PlayedForLaughs in a DeadPetSketch done on ''Series/MadTV''. First the pet-sitter [[http://youtu.be/iuuywzyDIjg accidentally kills his friend's parrot]], then has to kill someone to cover that up, then another, [[OverlyLongGag then another]] under [[ContrivedCoincidence increasingly implausible circumstances]]... then finds out that the parrot was [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus just stunned]]. [[NotInFrontOfTheParrot And then proceeds to kill it.]]
* Leaving no witnesses is standard procedure for The Network in ''Series/{{Utopia}}''. It allows them to distort the truth in whatever capacity they see fit. The definition of "witness" can (and usually does) extend to members of their own organization.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' has Walter, Jesse, and the new NiceGuy Todd robbing a train with methylamine. The entire thing goes off without a hitch and ends with the three celebrating the success...until they look behind them and see a 13-year old kid watching them. After a wave from the kid and a few seconds of staring, cue Todd pulling out his gun and casually shooting the kid. [[WhamEpisode End of episode.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]
* The subject of the first verse and chorus of "Bird Song" by Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* In Literature/TheBible, Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by a Schechemite prince, and her brothers [[RapeAndRevenge kill him for it]]. They also kill all the other men of the city, and take the women and children as plunder. Some would see this as DisproportionateRetribution, others would see it as CombatPragmatism; killing the other Schechemites leaves no men to avenge the prince (and in this time and place, apparently no women willing or able to take vengeance either.) Either way, Jacob worried that someone would take revenge on him and/or his sons for their action.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* From a mission in ''TheForceUnleashed'': "The Emperor must not discover your presence. Kill everyone aboard, Imperials and Kota's men alike."
** Given that you don't really have an option (they all shoot at you), it's not that difficult. In fact, many of them can be killed by standing still. Your character will automatically redirect their blaster shots back at them.
* In ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'', the murderous motive of [[spoiler: the blue foreigners]] is to [[spoiler: kill everyone connected to Temsik, so they are the only one who know about the meteorite's powers.]]
* The final mission of ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}: Blood Money'' features Agent 47 [[spoiler:reviving at his own funeral and killing everyone who saw him do it (including an innocent priest and a reporter)]], and, in the process, [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge taking his revenge]] on the people who've been screwing him over for the entire game. The mission objective is given as the trope name.
* Often an explicit mission objective in CityOfVillains.
* In ''VideoGame/FireWarrior'' the Space Marines sent to kidnap the Ethereal were ordered to do this.
* In the ''Silent Threat'' expansion for ''[[VideoGame/FreeSpace FreeSpace: The Great War]]'' begins with a mission in where you have to cover up a skirmish that occurred between Terran and Vasudan ships by killing everyone who saw it.
* In VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft: Cataclysm, the Goblins fleeing Kezan wind up in a firefight. The humans don't want witnesses, so they blow up the Goblin ship, leaving them shipwrecked on the Lost Isles.
* Naked Snake gets told this early on in ''MetalGearSolid3''. Actually doing so is ill-advised, as it makes a later boss fight harder. (It's actually more of a directive to remain unseen, rather than kill everyone)
** The actual ''Snake Eater'' mission goes out of its way to subvert this: if you leave ''no'' witness or evidence of US involvement in the mission, then Russia won't be able to prove that the US cleaned up the mess it created. So you ''have'' to leave some people alive (though [[GameplayAndStorySegregation nothing really comes of it if you ''do'' kill everyone]], mostly because of the way the story is ultimately framed).
* Committing a crime in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' gets you a bounty. Killing everyone who saw said crime erases it.
** ...assuming nobody saw you kill the witnesses.
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather 2'' there may be witnesses to your crimes. You can run away, intimidate them into silence... or just kill them.
* Happens multiple times in ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', and is also often brought.
** A notable example being [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin's motive for killing Drew Misham, Zak Gramarye and attempting to kill Vera Misham, is that all three had information about him requesting forged trial evidence]].
** In episode three of the same game, the real killer tries to kill [[spoiler:Lamiroir]] to silence her from revealing important information about their crime.
** The Judge mentions that it was brave of Wesley Stickler to shout out at the killer whom he saw pointing a gun at the victim, because killers normally don't want to leave witnesses behind. Stickler himself obviously didn't consider this when trying to stop the murder and gets rather distraught over this fact.
** Joe Darke was a serial killer in the first game. He hit and killed a woman with his car, then panicked and started killing everyone who was a witness.
* If an NPC sees you attacking another NPC in ''VideoGame/VampiresDawn'' you can't leave the area until you've killed them. Abraxas averting this trope by letting Valnar live after their first encounter becomes a plot point in ''Reign of Blood''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''BlueYonder'', [[http://www.blueyondercomic.net/comics/1043248/blue-yonder-prologue-page-9/ the team coming after the capes kills any civies in the area.]]
* Jägers in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20031017 discussed]] this topic. Dis is turnink into vun of ''[[NeverOneMurder dose]]'' plans...
** Included in the difference between a good magician and an evil magician, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070115 as described by]] Master Payne.
* Redcloak from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', when [[spoiler: destroying the Resistance and retrieving back Xykon's phylactery]], uses monsters he summoned, allowing him to simply send them back to their planes. He also doesn't resurrect the hobgoblin spy he used, and is thankful that he died in the battle, or [[HeKnowsTooMuch he would have had to kill him himself.]] Then he buries the location with an earthquake.
--> '''Redcloak''': ...The exact details here need to remain between me and our god.
** A few strips later, [[spoiler: after Tsukiko discovers too much about Redcloak's manipulations, he takes control of her wights and has them kill and eat her. He then orders them to eat each other, and for the last one remaining after that to set himself on fire.]]
*** Right after this, he disintegrates the body of the hobgoblin [[spoiler: who made a perfect copy of the phylactery and was killed by Tsukiko because he was in her way.]]
** [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius']] use of the Familicide spell, given that it was casted to ensure that nobody related to the target in question would ever come seeking revenge. [[spoiler:It would come back to bite hir in a practical manner much later.]]
*** The creator of the spell, being a NeutralEvil (with a strong emphasis on "evil") necromancer, apparently never even considered that people other than relatives might seek revenge.
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' handles this well in [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0686.html this strip]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', where Dale tells Hank to dispose of the witnesses to a minor accident.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', when Lisa unearths what looks like an angel:
-->'''Lisa:''' It could be anything, it could be a mutant from the nuclear plant.\\
'''Burns:''' D'oh! Fiddle-faddle, everyone knows our mutants have flippers. Oh! I've said too much. Smithers, use the amnesia ray.\\
'''Smithers:''' [[DeadlyEuphemism You mean the revolver, sir?]]\\
'''Burns:''' Precisely. Be sure to wipe your own memory clear when you've finished.
* Taken to an extreme in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', the Reach scientist is concerned [[spoiler:when the Reach is finally exposed as invaders and lose their invitation to Earth since it means the Green Lantern Corp will be able to target them. Black Beetle figures there won't be any evidence of a treaty violation if Earth is destroyed. Black Beetle is willing to kill ''billions'' to cover his tracks.]]

[[/folder]]
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