"I can reach it..."
Don't make a move, this is a stickup. Now, come on — your money or your life. Jack Benny:
Look, bud! I said, your money or your life! Jack Benny: I'm thinking it over!!
A good indicator a character is on the low end of the Sorting Algorithm of Mortality
is that the character acts materialistic at any point. This is not the same as being a Rich Bitch
. You can be poor and materialistic, and that will still get you whacked.
The usual form of this is failing to get away from the monster because you have to pick up valuables off the floor.
This is of course a highly Anvilicious Aesop
showing that Greed
is one of the Seven Deadly Sins
, along with how often Corrupt Corporate Executives
bite it in disaster films and Jaws ripoffs
Can sometimes be a Karmic Death
, but more often comes across as Too Dumb to Live
. Often set in a Treasure Room
Compare Death by Sex
, Death by Mocking
, and Villain by Default
As a Death Trope, Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
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Anime & Manga
- In the Anime OVA Guy Double Target, the Big Bads of both episodes are cruel and sadistic, but they also show this trope, just in case it isn't clear they deserve their fates. Then again, the heroes are greedy, so this is a bit of a Broken Aesop.
- In the end of Guy: Awakening Of The Devil, the villain is wearing a white fur coat, and is frantically trying to pick up the jewelry she dropped.
- In Guy: Second Target, the villains are running a Corrupt Church, and have a giant statue made of gold (even though it turns into a demon).
- In Hunter x Hunter, Squala, one of the bodyguards for the Nostrade family, finds out the Phantom Troupe is after them, so he decides to run away and quit the job. Unfortunately, he takes with him a treasure he happened to be guarding, without realizing that the treasure was wired, and it was precisely what the Troupe was searching for.
- The 'ingot scene' in Gankutsuou is an anthologic case of this. Basically, the Count catches Danglars as he's trying to escape from the Earth with 50 million francs in his private shuttle, forces him to confess his crimes, and leaves him in his shuttle with nothing but pure gold — no food or drink. It is strongly implied that the Count's henchmen have hacked into the shuttle's program so that it can't land anywhere. In the last scene Danglars is heard of, he's rolling around naked in his gold and probably close to dying.
- In Ranma 1/2, Nabiki is challenged by Kinnosuke Kashao to a date in which neither can spend even a single yen of their own money — the loser has to pay for all expenses incurred throughout the date. At the end, having rented a helicopter, Kinnosuke bails out and Nabiki, Ranma, and Akane (there as Nabiki's chaperones) find out the helicopter controls run on five-yen coins, and bail out themselves. When Kinnosuke discovers his parachute is a fake (planted there by Nabiki in advance) she offers to sell him a real parachute for one yen. He smacks into the solid asphalt hard enough to leave a Kinnosuke-shaped impression. (But still survives.)
- Humorously subverted in an early episode of Dragon Ball. A Mook decides Screw This, I'm Outta Here! when Goku starts trashing the bad guy's fortress, and stops by the treasury to steal as much stuff as they can. While they're trying to escape, they get shot full of holes by the heroes, but survive because all the jewels they stuffed down their shirt stopped the bullets.
- Tokyo Babylon features a haunted Chanel suit. It doesn't actually kill its owner, though. Its entire arc/chapter is clearly meant to criticise consumerism; Hokuto does an outright speech at the end.
- No Face in Spirited Away becomes the living embodiment of this inside the bathhouse. A few unlucky employees going for too many of the gold nuggets he offers them wind up getting eaten.
- In the 70s Cutey Honey series, Panther Claw's main goal is obtaining Honey's elemental manipulation device to create an unlimited amount of shiny things. In the final battle, Honey throws a spray of gems at their leader Sister Jill to distract her while Honey brings a huge statue down on her head.
- Nearly happens to Donald Duck in Don Rosa's comic story The Money Pit, where Donald gets buried alive while digging for rare coins in Uncle Scrooge's money bin.
- In one Order of the Stick comic that ran in Dragon Magazine, Haley explained the "copper coin trap" to Belkar to get him to leave behind a huge number of copper coins; basically, a huge amount of low-currency coins that amount to a good bit of money, but weigh so much that it'll slow you down, allowing monsters to catch you. (When he agrees to leave the huge pile behind, Haley surreptitiously puts it into her Bag of Holding instead.)
Film — Animated
- In The Princess and the Frog, Doctor Facilier's entire plan — kidnapping and transforming Prince Naveen, having a servant seduce and toy with Charlotte, and eventually promising the "wayward" souls of everyone in New Orleans to a group of demons — stems from his jealousy over Big Daddy Lebouf's vast fortune and his desire to acquire it. This, of course, serves as a foil to Tiana and Naveen, who desperately want money themselves but use legal methods of obtaining it (Tiana works several jobs and Naveen... erm... plans to marry Charlotte as well, but then later decides against this and works for a living in Tiana's restaurant after they are married).
- Nearly happens in Aladdin, when Abu (Aladdin's pet monkey) grabs a large, shiny ruby in the Cave of Wonders, despite Aladdin telling him not to touch anything and the Flying Carpet trying (and failing) to stop Abu from grabbing the ruby.
- The primary villain of Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Sa'luk, does die as a result of his own greed. Cassim throws Sa'luk the Hand of Midas in the climax to protect Aladdin from him. Too late does Sa'luk realize that touching it will turn him too into gold.
- In Atlantis The Lost Empire, Commander Rourke, Helga, and the rest of the crew kidnap the super-powered Kida for great profit, condemning the people of Atlantis to die when their lifesource is taken away. Most of the crew abandons the plan out of guilt after Milo calls them out on it. Rourke and Helga follow through. Helga winds up falling a long way down and is crushed by a flaming Zeppelin. Rourke winds up as a blue crystal monster and ultimately gets hacked up in the propellers of his air craft. In a twist, the crew who abandoned the plan are richly rewarded by the grateful Atlanteans with a huge pile of treasure that the Atlanteans have no practical use for anyway.
- In Treasure Planet, most of the pirate crew die when the titular planet blows up to keep thieves from taking the treasure. Those who clung to their treasure eventually fell into the crevices below that opened as part of the booby trap. Those that dropped them and ran for their lives probably survived and can be seen tied up in the brig near the end of the film. Long John Silver escapes, though he does renounce the treasure at the last minute in favor of rescuing Jim.
Film — Live Action
- It didn't result in death, but this is what set the wheels of the movie The Wedding Planner into motion. Steve meets Mary by saving her after she refuses to leave her Gucci shoe stuck in a manhole cover, despite the heavy Dumpster speeding at her. It goes into Too Dumb to Live when you look at the Dumpster in question and realize that it's pretty high off the ground thanks to the wheels, and she could just get the damn shoe after the Dumpster rolls by.
- Land of the Dead, where the zombies hit the rich folks harder than the poor because the rich simply lacked the Mole People-like hiding skills that the underclasses had developed.
- A more straight example of the trope is Kaufman, who wastes precious time trying to escape with his huge sacks of money, even though it's after the apocalypse and cash presumably only has value outside of the Last Human City as toilet paper.
- In the 1994 film of The Jungle Book, Mowgli and his love interest flee a treasure-filled chamber in some ruins while the antagonist, who is also Mowgli's romantic rival, shouts to her "Go then! Go with your jungle boy! I got what I came for! I don't need you." Kaa the snake then emerges from the treasure and startles him, and he falls into the water, weighed down by the treasure he has in his pockets and bag. His terrified screams go unheard as he views the drowned corpses of all the greedy treasure hunters who came here before him.
- Anticipated and lampshaded by Mowgli, who dissuades the love interest from taking the treasure with a comment along the lines of, "To take this gold is to take death." It's also implied that he's seen the snake.
- Partially based on an original Kipling story, but there a bunch of people kill each other for an item of treasure.
- Before Land of the Dead, George Romero's previous movie, Dawn of the Dead had this trope as its main theme. The survivors holed up in a mall that happened to attract zombies even when there were no living people around there at first, apparently the zombies were drawn there because it was "an important place in their lives" and this is to say nothing of Roger dying to help secure the mall instead of leave it and Stephen dying after shooting at bikers for trying to loot their mall...to say nothing of the bikers themselves, who invade the mall to steal the money and various other objects, which results in several of them getting killed by both Peter and the various zombies that they let in.
- The Mummy Trilogy:
- In the 1989 Batman movie, numerous Gothamites grab cash offered by a known serial killer. Many walk away in good shape, thanks entirely to Batman, but at least some disregarded warnings until it was too late.
- In a bit of a subversion, the scene apparently went on longer originally, showing that all the money was fake, one dollar bills with the Joker on it, calling back to a earlier joke he made.
- At the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, although it wasn't choosing the wrong grail (that was just paying attention to Biblical history), it was that Elsa kept reaching for the grail, instead of taking Indy's hand.
- Which is really quite dumb when you think about the crazy things he's done with that whip. Had she reached up immediately, he could have pulled her to safety, then had both hands free to lasso the grail to safety as well. Instead, both are lost. Nice going, Elsa. It is also worth noting that it wasn't money she was seeking, but rather immortality.
- Happens to Mac in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Maybe.
- Indy risking his life for his Nice Hat is another situation entirely.
- In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the villains are killed when they open the Ark. In Temple of Doom, Mola Ram dies when he tries to catch the stone and his hand is burned, then eaten by crocodiles. (And he had just displayed a bit of Genre Savvy by pointing out to Indiana that if he dropped the stones, they could simply be found again — why did he bother trying to grab them as they fall when he was now in actual danger himself?) The Indiana Jones movies ARE this trope.
- Early in Raiders, Alfred Molina as Satipo leaves Dr. Jones to die so he can escape the temple with the solid gold idol. Of course, he runs right into the spear trap they both avoided earlier.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and just about any other film that involves Captain Nemo made from the 50s to the 70s involves some person dying because of them trying to get/steal/carry gold.
- This is basically the plot of the movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- James Bond examples:
- In the Sci-Fi Channel movie Webs, the Black Dude Dies First because he stopped to grab a huge sack of cash from an abandoned armored car instead of running away from the horde of Spider-Vampire hybrids chasing him. What an Idiot.
- In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a group of kidnappers threaten to kill a woman's husband if she does not give them her case of Wonka Bars. She is unsure how to respond. Apparently, a slim chance at a trip to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and the possibility of a lifetime supply of chocolate means more to her than her husband's life.
Detective: "Mrs. Curtis, did you hear me? It's your husband's life or your case of Wonka Bars!"
Mrs. Curtis: "How long will they give me to think it over?"
- Onodera from Gamera Vs Barugon. He manages to steal a giant diamond from the middle of a military operation. The operation was to use the diamond to lure Barugon into a lake where he could be killed. Onodera knew this because a radio announcement for this told him where the diamond was. He's too greed-crazed to realize that "carrying monster bait" = "YOU are monster bait." Dinner Ensues. Also serves as Karmic Death, as Onodera had racked up a bit of a Gold Fever-fueled body count earlier in the movie.
- The otherwise horrid film of Doc Savage ends with The Dragon, in the middle of a hidden valley where a lake of molten gold is erupting, dancing in glee, and trying to catch the superheated metal in his pockets. Amazingly, he does not die from this, or even get burned as liquid gold splatters across him. However, when the hero and his allies leave the cave they took shelter in, they find him nothing but a statue, completely encased in gold.
- In Marathon Man, Dr. Christian Szell (played by Laurence Olivier) dies after he acidentally stabs himself risking his life to rescue a briefcase full of diamonds.
- In The Lone Ranger, Latham Cole perishes at the bottom of the river, pinned beneath the tons of silver ore he was attempting to hijack.
- In Superman Returns, when Superman starts lifting up the artificially created island, Lex Luthor yells for everyone to run for the helicopter, specifically telling them "Take nothing!" Despite this, his three Mooks Riley, Grant, and Stanford linger to gather up their stuff: Riley his video equipment, Grant a suitcase and the money he and Stanford were playing poker with, etc. He even pauses to grab the still lit cigar Lex dropped! Small wonder they lag behind during the run for the chopper and end up crushed under a huge, falling column that Lex and Kitty outrun but they don't.
- Dantes Peak: When the volcano is erupting, a helicopter pilot is bribed by a fleeing businessman to get him out of the danger zone. Against his better judgment the pilot takes the money, but the volcanic ash in the air fills up his engines and every occupant dies in the crash.
- Pitch Black: Bounty hunter Johns dies as a result of his own greed. He's spent years hunting Riddick so he knows perfectly well how dangerous he is, but thinks he can keep Riddick around on a leash to get another bounty by delivering him to the next slam. Riddick ends up causing Johns's death, noting that he told him before Johns shouldn't have run the risk and offed him instead.
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: The Master of Laketown flees Smaug's destruction of Laketown on a boat loaded with the towns gold. When it seems like he's about to get away, Bard successfully kill Smaug who lands on top of his boat crushing him into the cold waters. In contrast his book counterpart fled the Battle with as much gold as he can carry in to the wilderness with no food. By the time Bilbo gets home he probably and starved or froze to death.
Live Action TV
- In the Adam West Batman series, the only people who died were bad women who fell to their deaths. In Catwoman's case she died (until she was used again) because she wouldn't let go of her bag of loot.
- Although anyone expecting Catwoman to stay dead hasn't paid attention to the name.
- In the Doctor Who serial "Horror of Fang Rock", the last surviving non-regular character is killed when he starts scrabbling for a handful of diamonds the Doctor discards on the floor, despite the fact that the Monster of the Week is steadily advancing.
- In the LOST episode "Exposé," Nikki has been bitten by a spider which causes paralysis. Before running to the beach to tell her fellow Losties what has happened, she takes time to bury $8M worth of diamonds. Had she not done this, she would have had time to explain her situation, preventing the Losties from burying her and Paolo alive.
- Happens routinely on Tales from the Crypt.
- In one Twilight Zone episode, a group of thieves steal some gold bars and escape to the future. They then proceed to kill each other when they can't decide how to split up the gold, only for the audience to learn later that at the time they were in it was no more than Worthless Yellow Rocks. This episode probably came from the story of the three thieves who set out to kill death and wound up murdering each other over a bag of gold coins (which, of course, belonged to Death).
- Happens to Jeff in Community's Zombie Apocalypse episode "Epidemiology": he gets bitten and turned into a zombie because he doesn't want to ruin his jacket while escaping a room through a window. Of course, since this is not an actual zombie movie but an Affectionate Parody of one, the damage is not permanent and everyone goes back to normal at the end.
- In one episode of One Thousand Ways To Die, a mortuary employee assigned to burn the body of a man who had been killed by a rocket removes the deceased's gold teeth with greedy intentions. When he loads the body into the retort, the rocket is lit and sends the door flying straight through the poor blighter's neck.
- Stormwitch song "Cave of Steenfoll" tells a story of a man who is lured and drowns into a lake of gold, which is actually a trap devised by Satan.
- mothy gives us Gallerian Marlon from the Evillious Chronicles. As he represents the sin of Greed, that's pretty natural. He took it Up to Eleven, though, when he had a choice between giving up his money and going to hell. He chose to go to hell.
- Dick Tracy: Mumbles drowns (although a later writer would bring him Back from the Dead) when he falls from a helicopter and the bag of stolen gold and gems he had strapped to his back holds him headfirst underwater.
- Jack Benny's famous "Your money or your life!" routine, quoted above, is a bit of a parody of this.
- Monsters such as the mimic from Dungeons & Dragons often mimic treasure chests or the like, the better to lure in gullible adventurers.
- About half of all adventurers have "Risk your life for treasure" as their job description, making this pretty much a guarantee.
- Tomb Raider Anniversary had one scene where Lara fails to find the 2nd piece of the Scion and discovers that Pierre took it and he shows up with a gun to her head. He taunts her as he gets ready to take Lara's other Scion piece in the following scene:
Pierre: "You see, instincts can be expensive, mademoiselle. Yours is going to cost you both pieces of the Scion!"
Lara: "That's not a price I'm prepared to pay."
Pierre: "Don't be absurd! No job is worth dying for!"
Lara: "Yes, it is."
- The trope only applies to this scene if the player fails the quick time event that follows afterward.
- Much of the plot of the first Uncharted game revolves around this. Nathan Drake is searching for El Dorado (in the game El Dorado is not a city, but a giant idol), for the riches it will bring him; he learns of its real power to create zombies out of normal people and decides to leave it as it is, although the Big Bad of the game takes it for its monetary worth — death soon follows. It's suggested that the entire purpose of the idol is to punish people for excessive materialism.
- Can be used as a weapon in MadWorld. In various levels, you can pick up big suitcases filled with dollar-bills, and throw them at the Mooks — who will immediately abort their attempts to kill you to instead go jumping around, trying to pick the floating currency out of the air. Leaving them all nicely gathered in a single spot with their defenses down. Cue the chainsaw.
- Other levels use alternate objects with a similar effect, though only some of them falls under this. Throwing a big-ass bloody steak at a bunch of zombies, or a plateful of hot pork buns at some Kung-Fu Mooks probably still counts... throwing a pirate-hat at a group of Ninjas so they'll ignore you to cut the hat to pieces instead, maybe not too much.
- In Toontown Online, one set of Lure gags (which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin) contains money on fishing poles. You throw out a $1, $5, or $10 bill on a line toward one of the Cogs, and if it works, they come toward you. While they are lured, they cannot attack. Higher denominations keep them lured longer. Also, if a Trap gag is set before the Cog before it's lured, they walk right into the trap, resulting in anything from the famous Banana Peel to actually being blown up. Unfortunately, this kind of Lure gag only works on one Cog at a time, and are single-use. And low chance of working. But combined with traps, this is the best example of Death By Materialism in the whole game.
- Except possibly the Cashbot CFO, where you have to fling safes at him to damage him. And then he gets run over by a train.
- Paper Mario: Narrowly avoided by Professor Kolorado. He's inside an erupting volcano, jumping to grab a treasure chest, and another character has to drag him out to save his life. Even after seeing the volcano erupt and barely escaping crispy doom, he continues to complain about the rescue and the loss of the treasure. Oddly, the treasure is actually blown clear, and you have to give it to him to advance the story, making him a very happy man and simultaneously shooting the Aesop in the foot. Even though Kolorado was interested in the treasure for its historical value rather than the money, he was still about to die for it.
- Particularly greedy players can bring this fate upon themselves in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. This troper has fallen victim to enemies more than once because he was so weighed down with goods looted from corpses that he couldn't run.
- If the player has over 50000 RU and reaches the Wish Granter, the PC will say "I want... to be rich". He then sees hundreds of gold coins falling around him... which is actually a hallucination. The "coins" are actually bolts falling from the roof of the building which then collapses on him.
- The game also likes to put valuable artifacts near dangerous anomalies. Some are positioned in such a way as to be all but unreachable, with the anomalies almost certainly crushing anyone greedy enough to take the risk.
- The ending of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has this. Doctor M is finally in the Cooper vault... which is collapsing around him. Rather than flee for his life like everyone else was, he just kept yelling. It's heavily hinted he was buried alive.
- The infamous Dwarf Fortress Let's Play Boatmurdered has dwarves rushing under the Elephants' feet to loot their trampled comrades.
- There's a monster in Monster Rancher 4 that looks exactly like a treasure box. If you "open" it, it attacks.
- In Quest for Glory II, there's a treasure room while on the way to get the lamp. If you try to take any of the treasure, it's game over time for you!
- At the end of Fallout: New Vegas DLC "Dead Money":
- The treasure of the Sierra Madre includes several gold bars that each value at a little over 10,000 caps and weigh 35 pounds. However, at the end of the module, the player's Explosive Leash will activate, giving them limited time to make it out, with the intent that the player can at best grab a few of the bars before becoming overencumbered. It's all part of the DLC's theme of "letting go", though it's possible for a very crafty player to make it out with all the treasure.
- The Sierra Madre vault itself was also intended to be an example of this: Dean Domino and Vera Keyes had been planning to betray Frederick Sinclair and escape with his gold, so he arranged to trap them both in the vault with the treasure. Neither of them make it down there, though, but you can lock Father Elijah (the one who's currently trying to crack the vault) inside anyway.
- In Startopia, the mindblowingly rich and lazy Gem Slugs have their own private, personalized bar and bathhouse; the contents of the latter smell positively vile to non-Slugs. Every once in a while, a Gem Slug will become so relaxed in one of these baths that they'll forget to take care of their health, eventually dying/drowning. The developers caught it early... but didn't really feel like fixing it because Gem Slugs dying by their own opulence was just plain funny.
- Interestingly played with in the Myst spinoff Uru. One age consists of seven large puzzles/locks protecting a massive vault filled with gold, art, carpets, gems, valuables... and a single skeleton reaching out for a linking book out of the age. Bit of backstory, the D'ni suffered a great tragedy that killed them off, the few survivors retreating to other ages. This survivor retreated to his vault and locked himself inside to be with his valuables... lacking any food or water. He didn't USE the linking book due to the terror of dying away from his riches.
- In the third DLC of Borderlands, the last mission takes place in an armory teeming with weapons chests; however, the armory is set to explode in exactly two minutes. In short, the player has a limited amount of time to search the massive armory. Although the player is given the option to escape, the other alternative is to continue searching for weapons knowing full well that time is running out. Interestingly, Athena watches in the distance as the base explodes; this implies she planned to kill the mercenary with the one thing they could not defeat: their own greed. This is, of course, assuming the player fails to escape in time.
- In Batman: Arkham City, there are two areas in the subway tunnels that are obvious traps set up by the Riddler. It's easy for someone gunning for 100% Completion to rush into the traps to get the Riddler Trophies hidden inside, but if you have the right tools, you can save yourself from it all. As well, if you die from the traps, the Riddler will taunt you for it, but will be aghast if you manage to outwit him.
- In the final scene of Jurassic Park The Game, Yoder makes a rush for the canister filled with dinosaur embryos and is eaten by the T. Rex.
- Later on in the same scene, the player can invoke this by having Nima choose to grab the embryos instead of save Jess. She is also eaten by the T. Rex.
- The PAYDAY: The Heist games frequently invoke this trope in the mechanics of how the game plays, as most heists involve balancing between lingering to get more loot, in the face of increasing danger from police opposition as more numerous and powerful enforcers arrive, vs a quick and expedient escape after the easy loot has been acquired. Many times a heist can fail because players couldn't resist staying to crack those last few safe deposit boxes despite the bulk of the loot already being loaded into the escape vehicle.
- In a rather literal example, the merchant job on Bravely Default can hurt/kill enemies by throwing gold pieces at them.
- The Dead Rising franchise has several Too Dumb to Live people who won't get to safety from the zombies unless the hero gives them a lot of money or some item.
- In Dead Rising 3, Albert Contiello kidnaps people and harvests their organs to sell on the black market. Nick Ramos defeats him by knocking some of his organ storage containers to the floor. Enraged about losing his profits, Albert breaks off from the battle and tries to save the containers, allowing Nick to get behind him and inject the Mad Doctor with his own drugs.
- Amelia Sturtz (formerly Amelia Travoria) from Dominic Deegan, who wears the most extravagant (and minimalistic/revealing) clothes of the Travoria sisters. After her plan to have her husband assassinated in order to gain control of his wealth goes south, the would-be assassin strangles her — with her own pearls.
- This nearly happens to the gold-obsessed "El Capitan" in the DuckTales Five-Episode Pilot "Treasure of the Golden Suns", but since it's a Disney production and the good guys can't leave him to die, Scrooge saves him from falling into a lake of molten gold.
- Thailog, Goliath's Evil Clone in Gargoyles, fakes his death this way.
- Daffy Duck in many Looney Tunes cartoons. But particularly in "Ali Baba Bunny", where after he finds a genie in a lamp in a treasure trove, this is his reaction:
Daffy: Oh, no you don't! You want my treasure! Well, it's mine, you understand?! (tries to shove the genie back in the lamp) Get back in there! Down! Down! Down! Go! Go! Go! Mine! Mine! Mine!
Genie: Duck! You have desecrated the spirit of the lamp! Prepare to face the consequences!
Daffy: Consequences, schmonsequences, long as I'm rich. (get zapped by the genie)
- At the end, we find Daffy was shrunk to only a few inches high when he runs out of a tiny hole in the ground and tries to steal a pearl Bugs Bunny found in an oyster.
- Subverted in "Ducking the Devil" where, as Daffy is counting his reward money for recapturing the Tasmanian Devil, one of the dollar bills falls into its cage. He rushes in, the audience hears the sounds of someone being beaten up... then Daffy emerges from the cage, largely unscathed, with a badly injured Devil behind him, and Daffy proclaims "I may be a coward, but I'm a greedy coward!"
- The Archie's Weird Mysteries episode "Megamall of Horrors!" was about the villain trying to invoke this trope to claim his victims. However, he also fell victim to it in the end, as he made a Deal with the Devil to slate his own material desires and needed to bring in as many souls as he could as payment. His inevitable defeat ends with him being dragged into Hell.
- A Turkish wrestler was always carrying his whole fortune (in gold coins) hidden in his belt. One day he went on a cruise on a ship that would sink. He didn't want to take off his very heavy belt, and thus drowned.
- This was also the fate of many of Cortez's men when they fled the Aztec capital. Set in the middle of a lake, the city was only reachable by man-made causeways. As they fled across these, in their panic many fell into the water. The weight of the gold they had stuffed their clothes with caused them to drown.
- There are stories of soldiers that were caught by the Aztecs having molten gold poured down their throat, since 'if they love gold much - let's let them have it!'
- A similar yet earlier story concerns the death of Marcus Licinius Crassus. He became the richest man in the Roman Republic through, among other things, buying burning homes before his fire department would put them out. Legend has it that the Parthians poured molten gold down his throat during an attempt at parley.
- VERY much Truth in Television in war. Troops are at most vulnerable while looting the enemy camp, enemy baggage train, enemy supply base or conquered city. Many historical battles were lost due to premture plunder of the enemy material assets and subsequent enemy counterattack.
- One of the first tasks the Finnish Army would do when capturing a town was to secure all liquor stores lest the troops would loot the booze, get drunken and get incapacitated. Colonel Wolf Halsti, who never lost a single battle, said he was never so scared in his life when his troops captured the town of Tornio quicker than expected, and "liberated" the liquor stores before they were secured.
- The Battle of Flodden in 1513 was the largest battle between Scotland and England and ended with the Scottish king being killed, the last time a British monarch died in battle. One factor was the king inexplicably leading a charge on foot downhill into a flooded stream, another was the massive but undisciplined horde of Scottish border troops charging ahead of their army and steamrollering one wing of the English. Instead of securing their position or chewing through the enemy flanks, which could have been been a decisive action in the battle, they stopped in the middle of the battle to loot the dead there and then. Whilst they were distracted, a small force of only several hundred of The Cavalry that the English had kept in reserves counterattacked over the brow of the hill and wiped out the 6000 strong Scottish regiment, blunting the attack.
- Mark Twain relates in "The Innocents Abroad" on his trip to Pompei, "In one of these long Pompeiian halls the skeleton of a man was found with ten pieces of gold in one hand and a large key in the other. He had seized his money and started toward the door, but the fiery tempest caught him at the very threshold, and he sank down and died. One more minute of precious time would have saved him."
- At the Battle of Kadesh, a division of Hittites was slaughtered by their Egyptian enemies, because they were too distracted looting a campground.
- According to Roman legend, the Tarpeian Rock is so named because of a woman named Tarpeia. She let an invading Sabine army into Rome in exchange for "what they bore on their arms", referring to their gold bracelets. The moment they conquered the city, the Sabine soldiers executed Tarpeia by beating her to death with their shields and then throwing her lifeless body over the rocks. The Tarpeian Rock was later used by the Romans as an execution ground for traitors against Rome.
- Likewise the Eastern Roman Empire loved this trope. To encounter their enemies, they preferred to let the enemy advance deep in their territory, loot a town or two, and then ambush the enemy army while it was returning back to home, being greatly encumbered with the loot and swag. They could then both wipe out the enemy army and recover the loot.