"I offer this advice to you two: If you're going to destroy something... do it mid-dialogue. They always expect you to finish talking first."
Bob and Alice are having a fairly mundane conversation. Bob stares absentmindedly out the window, and Alice is walking around the room behind him. Without changing the tone of her voice or the subject of the conversation, Alice picks up a gun, walks up to Bob and shoots him.
This trope could be used for several reasons. To spice up a boring conversation, to establish a creepily detached mood, to reveal a traitor
, to portray a character as deranged
, overly methodical
, a dog-kicker
, or to show they long since crossed the Moral Event Horizon
if the victim is Killed Mid-Sentence
. Can lead to a Mood Dissonance
to Talk to the Fist
, where the attack isn't necessarily lethal and the talking is related to the fight. Compare Have You Told Anyone Else?
. Not to be confused
with Talking the Monster to Death
or Logic Bomb
As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
Anime and Manga
- Seishirou in Tokyo Babylon and then in X1999. Or, second thought, the whole cast of X. They fight while exchanging pleasantries all the time. Seishirou is especially bad, though. See the end of Tokyo Babylon. He'd kill someone while wondering aloud about tomorrow's weather or something. Or how cigarette can kill you. (he did this)
- Futagami does this in RahXephon when the tells Bahbem "Well good for you!" as he's listening to him congratulate himself on the completion of his master plan... then shoots him.
- The pilot episode of The Sopranos had one of these. Christopher Soprano shoots Emil Kolar in the back of the head after a while of polite discussion.
- A sympathetic variant in The Vampire Diaries - Rose is already dying, having been bitten by a werewolf; Damon gives her a Dying Dream of her human life centuries ago, during which he challenges her to a race. He stakes her during the countdown.
- In Pippin, Pippin, disguised as a monk, kills his father Charles at the end of a conversation about the meaning of empire. Subverted in many productions that have Charles recognize that his son has come to kill him and even help him do it.
- Mass Effect 1 — This is how the conversation between Nihlus and Saren goes.
- It is possible to end one subquest in Mass Effect 2 by talking to a mechanic repairing a plot-important weapon, asking him about what is going on and then ending the chat by stabbing one of his electric tools into his back.
- In Nimdok's scenario in the videogame adaptation of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Nimdok can talk with the anesthetist who wants him to perform mundane operations on a child, but after getting info from the anesthetist, he can exit the conversation without performing the operation, then grab the scalpel near him and kill the anesthetist with it.
- In the NES game Day Dreamin' Davey, many knights in the Medieval stages can talk in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe and give out info before Davey can kill them.
- Subverted in Bushido Blade: the final boss doesn't actually draw his sword until he's done monologuing, so while it's possible to kill him at any time, invoking this trope would be indirectly considered a dishonorable act (killing an unarmed opponent), netting you an NSGO instead of an actual ending for your troubles getting there.
- In Prototype, General Peter Randall performs this via Boom, Headshot on a rogue colonel near the climax of the game. Given that said colonel happens to be a shapeshifting viral monstrosity taking his form, this is of limited effectiveness.