Deadly Delivery

A criminal or terrorist poses as a package courier or mailman to deliver a bomb, or get the target to open the door so he can be shot or kidnapped. The advantages of this are obvious — by insisting that the target sign for the package, the killer can be sure a) the door gets opened for a stranger, and b) he's got the right man. To some extent, this is Truth in Television.

Of course, there is nothing to stop the hero from using this technique too, for non-lethal purposes — see Delivery Guy Infiltration. When the bomb is simply mailed to the target, that's You Got Murder.

See also Room Disservice. An inversion is Shoot the Messenger.


Anime and Manga
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Hajime Saito pulls this stunt when he visits the Kamiya dojo, by posing as a peddler selling medicines and home remedies. Sanosuke almost falls for it, until he notices the calluses on Saito's hands, which are common for swordsmen. At which point Saito drops the facade and attacks Sanosuke, nearly killing him. He notes the attack would have been fatal had it not been for the flimsyness of the sword he was carrying.
    • Saito pulls this again, only hours later, this time posing as a police officer, under the pretense of having heard of the attack from before. Kaoru and Megumi tell him Kenshin's out, so they invite him in. Saito behaves this time — until Kenshin finally arrives.

Comic Books
  • A played-for-laughs variant appeared in "The Power of the Press," in Mad House Comics Digest #5. A syndicate member pretending to be a college professor handed a ditzy female character a loudly ticking package intended for one of the other characters, who'd written an expose on said syndicate's involvement in betting on college sports. She accidentally tripped on a broom, sending it flying into a sink full of dishwater.
  • Done in Watchmen.

Fan Work

  • Three Days of the Condor opens with a CIA station being wiped out by three assassins. As the station is protected by CCTV cameras, locked doors and a guard even the receptionist has a gun in the drawer — the killers get inside by sending in a man dressed as a postman. The place gets regular deliveries of books so this doesn't seem strange. The postman killer tries the same trick on the protagonist later on, but this time he's ready.
  • Action Jackson (1988). Used by the Invisible Men to kill a witness, with a silenced gun held behind the Clipboard of Authority.
  • Fright Night (2011): One of the vampires impersonates a delivery person so he will be invited inside and bypass the entry prohibition.
  • The movie version of Thr3e opened with a scene where a girl is given a book by the Riddle Killer from a hot dog vendor. Said hot dog vendor is actually the Riddle Killer, giving her his message.
  • The Godfather: Clemenza walks into a building carrying a box of roses under his arm. This allows him to walk unopposed right up to the don of one of the Five Families so that he can pull a shotgun out of the box and unload at point-blank range.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: In a likely Shout-Out to The Godfather, the T-800 carries a longbox that looks like it's full of roses. And it is, but it's also got a shotgun in it.
  • In The Living Daylights, The Dragon disguises himself as a milkman and a balloon salesman. Both times he kills his targets by strangling them with the chords of his headphones.
  • The villain in Phone Booth lures and kills a pizza delivery man to his hiding place to fake his suicide.
  • Quick. The title female assassin (Teri Polo) gets into a police safe house by pretending to be a pizza delivery girl. She conceals a pistol under the pizza box.
  • The Professional. 12 year old Mathilda pretends to be delivering takeaway to get her arsenal of weapons past the metal detector into DEA headquarters. The Dirty Cop she plans to kill isn't fooled however, and speculates (ostensibly talking about the takeaway meal) which organised crime group might have sent this child assassin after him. "Chinese? Thai, maybe? Let me guess...Italian." Mathilda informs him It's Personal.
  • The Mechanic (1972). Charles Bronson uses lipreading to see his target is expecting drugs to be delivered in a fried chicken truck, and so gets hold of a similar truck and arrives early.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Bane poses as a delivery man to get into the Stock Exchange, with a package in one hand when he arrives at the entrance, and a motorcycle helmet to hide his gas mask until the security guard tells him to remove it. Also, one of his accomplices poses as a food delivery guy to get onto the trading floor, hiding a pistol in a paper bag. Also, a janitor pulls out a submerged machine gun.
  • In the film An Eye For An Eye, the villain commits his second murder when he easily gains access to the house when delivering groceries. The cruel irony of this is that this is his actual job, but he's clearly been using it to scope out potential victims.
  • In Traffic, the key witness against a drug baron is finally murdered when a poisoned meal is delivered to his hotel room. The marshals guarding him don't realize this until the real hotel employee shows up. After roughing him up, they realize that the first guy was an imposter, but too late to save their witness.
  • Act of Valor. The CIA operative orders out for Chinese, but the delivery driver claims to have trouble finding the location. Short time later the buzzer sounds. Her colleague goes out to answer it.
    "How much do I owe you?"
    "Nada" (another man steps from the side and shoots him)

  • Alex Rider:
    • Alex himself does this in Scorpia to try to kill Mrs. Jones.
    • Fails miserably in Scorpia Rising when Smithers uses an X-Ray scanner to prove that the delivery man was carrying a gun and the package was empty. He then gets rid of him with a trapdoor under a welcome mat.
  • The trope gets a mention at the end of The Dresden Files novel Grave Peril, when Harry mentions that he doesn't order delivery pizza anymore after the start of the war with the Red Court, due to a fake pizza boy nearly killing him with a bomb.
  • The Tamuli: Avin Wargunsson didn't order a cask of wine to be brought to his rooms, but he lets the two laborers finish the delivery anyway. And then they drown him in the wine.

Live-Action TV
  • Luther. A gang of home invaders looking to steal diamonds from a pair of white collar criminal who are about to leave the country turn up in an identical removal van to the one that's just left. Thinking there's been a double booking the man answers the door only to be struck in the face. In Season 2, a random spree killer attacks a motorcycle courier and takes his helmet and gear, walks into an office building and starts attacking the staff. The helmet comes in handy as he plans to escape the police dragnet disguised as a wounded victim, so has to hide his face while killing.
  • Chuck: Shows up at least once, when a courier picking up a package decides to also kill the guy he's getting it from.
  • Saturday Night Live season 1. A recurring character is a "land shark" that tries to get people to open their door. He always gets in when offering a candygram.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "What's My Line?", Cordelia lets a cosmetics salesman into the house, unaware that he is actually an assassin who can transform himself into thousands of mealworms.
  • In the Wiseguy episode "New Blood", the hitman Sid Royce hires to take out District Attorney Serrera attempts to bring the DA a bomb in a pizza box.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has the detectives realize that the killer gained access to a victim's house by knocking out the real delivery guy and posing as him.
  • In the 1989 Italian-Australian mini-series The Magistrate, Franco Nero's character is targeted by The Mafia. Knowing the magistrate's favourite coffee, they wait till his wife goes to buy a tin, then swaps it for another by staging a theft of her purse, which is retrieved by an apparent good Samaritan. Unfortunately despite the well-known fact that he makes his own coffee, the wife decides to make it this time, and is killed by a bomb when she unseals the tin.

Video Games
  • There's a murderer in Trauma Team who kills her victims by masquerading as a postal worker, then "delivering" a package containing a hidden bomb.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, Professional Killer Shelly deKiller disguises himself as a hotel bellboy delivering tomato juice to get into his target's room.
  • The suspected serial killer in Persona 4 does this, but with one little deviation from the trope. He isn't posing as a deliveryman, he actually is one.

Web Original

Western Animation