"At the beginning of the discussion SS Obsergruppenführer Heydrich reported that the Reich Marshall [Göring] had appointed him delegate for the preparations for the final solution [endlösung]]] of the Jewish question in Europe."If the enemy race is Always Chaotic Evil (as far as your side's viewpoint is concerned, at least), why not simply exterminate them all? Including the children — especially the children — to make sure they don't rise up to become warriors. Deal with the whole damned problem once and for all! Before the 20th century, this trope wasn't really problematic (though it became increasingly more frowned upon after The Middle Ages or so). Just kill them all; it makes perfect sense. Then the Ottomans and later Those Wacky Nazis came along and did it for real — and nobody particularly cared. But about twenty years after the Nazis did it for real, people started to read about the Holocaust — and to their horror learned what a Final Solution actually looked like, felt like, and meant. After the mid-1960s, genocide stopped being cool and became the ultimate act of evil. Likewise, in fiction, a hero might have once looked on with indifference at a whole race of enemies being exterminated, or even have approved, but now the hero would roar at the thought of a villain doing that kind of dark deed with a cry of "You're Insane!" and furiously leap in battle to stop the atrocity. It was sometimes made Darker and Edgier by introducing the counterpoint trope known as Genocide Dilemma. Other times, genocides committed by the good guys were simply downplayed. The heroes' hands were kept clean by having entire enemy populations Hoist by His Own Petard along with their Evil Overlord (making some evil Self-Destruct Mechanism or whatever responsible for the slaughter of all the mooks). Or perhaps one of the bad guys intervened and pressed the Big Red Button that the heroes refused to press. Of course, at the same time, villains became more likely to solve their problems with a Final Solution. Bonus points for it being passed off to the public as, say, extradition to a "new homeland for X group". For a plan to count as a Final Solution, it must fulfill three criteria:
- It must be the deliberate extermination of (or intent to exterminate) a demographic of one's own species (genocide) or another species of sentient beings (xenocide), regardless of its ultimate success.
- It must be done to fix a perceived problem note . If not, that's just For the Evulz Omnicidal Maniac and/or stuff.
- In the eyes of the exterminators, the existence of said demographic/species is a problem/'question' note . While there is a grey area where Final Solution and Utopia Justifies the Means can overlap, the former is not in itself a subtrope of the latter.
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Anime & Manga
- The Manga/Anime Naruto has the culling of the Uchiha Clan when they tried to pull off a coup d'etat. It was accomplished by one of their own, Itachi, on the commands of Well-Intentioned Extremist Danzo, who considered their destruction to be necessary for the peace of the village (debatably, he may have had a point; the Uchihas, as mentioned, were planning to perform a coup and probably wouldn't have settled for sitting down for tea and biscuits and talking things out).
- On the other hand, the whole reason the Uchihas were planning a coup in the first place was that they were discriminated against, and forced to live in a separate walled off part of the village.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Muruta Azrael plots to exterminate all of the Coordinators (whom he views as genetic abominations), while his opposite number, Patrick Zala, plans to wipe out all the Naturals (whom he sees as inferior and unevolved). The end result is almost The End of the World as We Know It (which is exactly what the true Big Bad of the series, acting as The Man Behind the Man to both of them, wanted). In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Lord Djibril again tries to massacre all the Coordinators, while the Coordinators behind the Break The World Incident seek the death of all Naturals.
- The Ishvalan Extermination Campaign in Fullmetal Alchemist. What started out as a relatively normal war soon escalated into a bloody massacre, designed to wipe out the indigenous population of Ishval. It was ultimately unsuccessful. Though for the Big Bad, it was actually a complete success. Wiping out the Ishvalans was incidental to his plans; he just needed a large number of people to die in the precise geographical location of Ishval. Ishvalans or his own soldiers, it made no difference who provided the human souls. The majority of adult characters are veterans of the campaign.
- The massacre of Ohara in One Piece. The only way to silence the scholars of Ohara from revealing the truth of the Void Century was to kill them all. This also extends to every man, woman, and child who lived on the island who wasn't a scholar. Just in case. Or at least, that was Vice Admiral Sakazuki's interpretation of his orders. While some of his comrades were outraged, his superiors found this quite acceptable.
- Towards the end of Witch Hunter Robin, Zizain is revealed to be working towards one of these. He wanted to use Orbo to empower normal humans to hunt witches. Until then, the organization was forced to use witches to hunt other witches, but with the enhanced Orbo, that would no longer be necessary. With the STN's database, he can systematically wipe them out. In his eyes, all witches are afflicted by With Great Power Comes Great Insanity or will be eventually, so he sees himself as justified.
- In After War Gundam X, the Frost Brothers, enraged by their own lack of Newtype potential, trigger a war with the intent of exterminating all those who show talent as Newtypes. It ultimately backfires on them quite badly. And Seidal Rasso, Glorious Leader of the Space Revolutionary Army, wants to wipe out the "Oldtype" population on Earth.
- Frieza's genocide of the Saiyans in Dragon Ball Z by blowing up Planet Vegeta, done because he feared one of them surpassing him in power and threatening his hold on the galaxy. Which is ultimately what happened: four Saiyans survived the genocide (eight if movies are counted as canon), he's utterly defeated by one of them, killed by the half-Saiyan offspring of another, and killed again by the one that utterly defeated him before.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has recently entered this territory. Not necessarily Vagan; their goal could be achieved without massacring all natives of the Earth Sphere. No, this is the intended goal of Flit Asuno, the first protagonist, for Vagan.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Anti-Spirals consider the eradication of Spirals justified. Their view: Spirals can tap into Spiral Energy, kind of like turning the key on a wind-up toy. The more Spiral Energy is tapped, the more the key is turned... until you overwind. Then all the spiral energy collapses in on itself, taking the entire universe with it in a Big Crunch. So the Anti-Spirals believe they are trying to save the universe. Why didn't they show up earlier? They only notice you when you get above a certain threshold. Then they get medieval on you.
- Elfen Lied: Pretty much every Diclonii in the series has been abused by humans to the point where their biological survival instinct has fused with their psychosis, which insists that humans must be eradicated or they will eradicate Diclonii. Turns out that is absolutely correct. Once knowledge of Diclonii is widespread, all Diclonii babies are killed at birth until human scientists develop a vaccine capable of keeping them from being conceived at all, annihilating the species.
- Attack on Titan: The original goal of the Titan attacks. It seems to have been abandoned in favor of capturing Eren, at least according to Reiner.
- In chapter 65, Kenny reveals that the King's Power only works on certain bloodlines. To maintain control over the populace, the royal family carried out an extermination campaign against all other races with only a few of Mikasa's clan surviving.
- Killer Killer: This is actually Shuuji's solution for dealing with murders. Since, to him, anyone has the potential to become a killer, then the best course of action is to kill everyone.
- In the Strontium Dog arc "The Final Solution," The New Church publicly claims that they're moving the mutant population in Britain to new homes in another dimension where they can live in peace away from normal human beings. What they're really doing, however, is rounding up mutants from their ghettos and dumping them in a dimensional wasteland to be stranded and killed by an Eldritch Abomination, but they know that nobody would make much fuss if they make it sound like a peaceful relocation program.
- ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain: Part of Winnowill's plan involves killing the Wolfriders' immortal souls as well as their bodies. (Admittedly, there are less than twenty Wolfriders, but they're still an entire race of elf-wolf hybrids.) She fails, naturally.
- In the Supergirl story arc during John Byrne's run on the Superman titles in the late 1980s, the three escaped Phantom Zone criminals of the Pocket Universe terrorized its Earth when they were released, and though its Earth no longer had Superboy to protect them, its version of Lex Luthor had built up a resistance force powerful enough to keep the Phantom Zone villains at bay. Ultimately, the villains decided humanity was too much trouble to rule over and thus killed everyone outside Lex Luthor's Smallville citadel by burning away the Earth's atmosphere through destabilizing its core. They were punished for their crimes by the mainstream DC Universe's Superman exposing them to the radiations of Gold and Green Kryptonite, both of which were only effective against Kryptonians of the Pocket Universe due to a difference in radiation emissions.
- Termight Empire in Nemesis the Warlock slaughters all aliens they encounter in order to take over their planets for themselves. And because they're bigots.
- From Star Wars: Legacy: The Final Protocol.
- V for Vendetta has this since the British government was overthrown by Neo-Nazis; the final solution has mostly succeeded in its goal (of wiping out every non-white, non-Christian, LGBT, and/or politically dissident person in Britain) by the time the novel takes place.
- Scarlet Traces, an Alternate History set in the aftermath of The War of the Worlds, has the Martians being eradicated from the surface of Mars by a revolutionary bomb system called Galahad.
- Megatron and the Decepticons of The Transformers (IDW), The six stage plan for planetary conquest ends with the complete extermination of the planet's indigenous, organic life.
- Lex Luthor and General Lane's goal in New Krypton is the destruction of the entire Kryptonian race. Aside from Superman and Supergirl, they pull it off.
- In Weaver Nine, the PRT has a blanket kill order on every and all members of the Society. Given that very few of them have committed crimes worthy of a death sentence, and the fact quite a few of them are innocents who joined the Society in gratitude after the Society rescued them from slavery, unjust imprisonment, torture, or other terrible fates... it reeks of Genocide.
- In addition: Weaver's Society is all but legally a nation unto itself, with infrastructure, territory, and such. Most obvious in when she offers forty citizens to the defense of Brockton Bay, more than half the number of capes the Protectorate could gather.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, the Conduit's plan is to destroy every single robot's memory core, killing them all.
- In The Three Kings: Hunt, the wizards try to do this to the mages. Mage numbers dwindled to near-extinction, but they're making a comeback.
- In Sonic X: Dark Chaos, this trope is standard protocol for both the Demons and Angels and is used with wild abandon. A more story-focused example is Tsali's genocide against the Seedrians which started the Metarex War.
- Used by the Liir against the Batarians in Shepherd Of The Stars. After years of refusing to retaliate against government-sponsored Batarian slave raids, the Liir snap, unleashing a lethal retrovirus and invading the Hegemony to wipe out anyone who survives the plague. By the time everyone else intervenes to stop the genocide, only ten percent of the Batarian population is left and the Hegemony no longer exists.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: In Acts III and IV, Hokuto is firmly convinced that all life forms, human and monster alike, are equally evil and will endlessly kill each other simply to continue living for the sake of living; thus, he seeks to achieve peace by resurrecting the ancient destroyer Alucard and allowing him to kill every last living soul on the planet. According to Hokuto, as well as Akasha during Act VI, before he mutated into the monstrosity he became, Alucard shared the same views as Hokuto.
- TRON: Legacy: The ISOs aren't perfect? Clu's got a simple way to solve that problem...
- Star Wars
- Episode 3: Order 66. Kill all the Jedi.
- Episode 4: When Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star, approximately 1,999,940,000 sentients were on the planet at the moment of its destruction.
- In the movie Thor, Loki attempts to use the Bifrost to destroy the frost giants, which for most of the movie had been portrayed as savage and violent. Thor stops him by destroying the Bifrost.
- Thor: The Dark World: Bor, Odin's father, exterminated all of the Dark Elves to prevent them from destroying the multiverse. Odin only grinned about it when recounting the deed and justified it by the thousands of years of peace it brought about. Somewhat averted as many of the Dark Elves were killed by Malekith covering his own escape and surviving. Thor and a few humans completed this when Malekith tried destroying the multiverse again.
- Conspiracy follows the detailed formulation and dissemination of the plan for the Final Solution.
- In Stargate Continuum, the Goa'uld consider the human population of Earth to have grown beyond their control. After Qetesh takes over from Ba'al, they decide to remedy this by orbitally bombarding the planet and reducing it to a more "manageable" number by killing as many people as possible.
- In Zulu Dawn, one British statesman hopes that the imminent British assault on the Zulu Kingdom will be "the final solution to the Zulu problem." Cue the Battle of Isandlwana...
- Man of Steel: After the Kryptonians arrive at Earth, General Zod commits to the genocide of the human race to restore Krypton with the world engine. This is symbolized in a particularely eerie way when Kal-El is buried in a sea of human skulls on Zod's ship.
- Blade: Trinity doubles down on them, with the vampires planning on turning all humans into brain-dead, harvestable bloodsacks, and the humans working on a bioweapon designed to wipe out all vampires — the heroes express no angst whatsoever about the genocidal implications of this, despite one of them being a cured and reformed vampire himself.
- Independence Day: What the Aliens have in store for us. President Whitmore's Mind Rape by a captive Alien reveals that this isn't the first time they've done this, either; before arriving on Earth, the Aliens had already invaded, exterminated, colonized, and plundered countless other worlds.
- The Necromongers of The Chronicles of Riddick practice this regularly as part of their crusade to cleanse the universe of all life (minus those who convert to the faith after a successful invasion) by triggering enormous energy waves from the giant spires they land in, destroying everything on the planet's surface. They even call this event the 'Final Protocol'.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy starts out with some amoral bureaucratic aliens destroying Earth and mankind along with it, simply to make room for a new interstellar highway. In some versions of the franchise, the highway is a cover story for the real reason.
- Played with in The Illuminatus! Trilogy. The bad guys kill off entire nations for not agreeing with them — or as snacks for elder gods.
- Left Behind: Antichrist villain Nicolae Carpathia refers to the battle of Armageddon one year before it happens as "the final solution", obviously referring to dealing with the Jews in Israel.
- Older Than Feudalism: The Bible has many cases of this. Some carried out by various heroic kings, some carried out by God himself. In all cases, it's treated as a good thing. The most famous cases are:
- Noah and the flood — Mankind misbehaves? Let's exterminate all life on the planet! (Except for one family and their pets.)
- Sodom and Gomorrah — Mankind misbehaves? Let's exterminate all life in this small nation! (Except for one family — and maybe their pets, if they had any. Oh, and if you turn back against God's command, you're made into a pillar of salt.)
- Invasion of Canaan by Moses and the armies of the Hebrews? Exterminate everyone in Canaan! Again, treated like a good thing despite one of the peoples that Moses exterminated helped him after he fled Egypt initially! If the Old Testament is to be believed, the Israelites did this or something similar to the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Hivites, the Midianites, and the Amalekites.
- About 350 years later, God rejected Saul after Saul spared the Amalekite King and livestock, in fact.
- However, the Gabaonites were spared after currying favor with the Israelites (albeit through deceit), and the Israelites even defended them when other kings marched to war against them. The prostitute Rahab and her family were also protected during the siege and fall of Jericho.
- The Book of Judges also makes it clear that the Israelites didn't finish the job. In their complacence, the Israelites absorbed practices from the remaining unconquered kingdoms (religious and otherwise) that ran in stark contrast to what was prescribed by Jehovah God through Mosaic Law. In rejecting God's protection as a result, surrounding kingdoms repeatedly had their way with them until the Israelites came back to Jehovah and asked for His help, hence the rise of judges.
- In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, the only debate that ever existed among the morally superior horse people is whether their degraded human cattle to be exterminated and replaced with the more agreeable donkeys. By the end, they are considering sterilisation.
- In the Bolo series, a breakdown in relations between the Terran Concordiat and the Melconian Empire eventually leads to both sides trying to wipe each other out. They both almost succeed. Almost.
- The Ender series:
- In Ender's Game, the human high command's decision to destroy all the Buggers/Formics certainly fits this trope, though Ender himself is not consciously aware of it.
- Later books introduce the Hierarchy of Foreignness. At one extreme is the varelse, the "foreigner with whom no communication is possible". The only sensible interaction with varelse is a war of extermination.
- In the first Safehold book, Off Armageddon Reef, Corrupt Church Grand Inquisitor Zaspahr Clyntahn suggests the Final Solution to the problem of the lacking orthodoxy of the Kingdom of Charis and its potential threat to the Church. It is referred to as such frequently after the attack's failure.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden does this to the Red Court by turning their own magic against them. The bloodline curse instantly kills the entire species, everywhere that they exist in the world. Like most heroic versions, seemingly justified, there is not evidence that any of them were anything but totally evil and by definition every single one of them was a murderer. Of course, given that it was a spur of the moment thing, he didn't really predict the resulting vacuum of power, nor how it would result in a world verging on Crapsack.
- It's a bit more complicated than that: The "blood thirst" that Red Court vampires inflict on humans to turn them into vampires only mutates them into something half-human, half-vampire; only by willingly killing and drinking blood does an infected person complete the transformation. However, even before an infected person does this, he gains a lot of power and longevity... and a many such people suffered No Ontological Inertia when the vampire part of them was suddenly exterminated. In fact, only the youngest of the infected actually survived.
- Timeline-191: Jefferson Pinkard and Ferdinand Koenig coin the eponymous phrase which fulfills Jake Featherston's goal of wiping out all blacks in the Confederate states: "Population Reduction".
- The Ra'zac (who are a species of evil bird-bats that eat humans) in the Inheritance Cycle faced a dedicated campaign of genocide from the Riders. Eragon killed the remaining four members of the species in Brisingr.
- Robert A. Heinlein loves this trope, always portraying as ultimately a good thing. Bugs from Starship Troopers — it's implied they are wiped from the universe step by step. Parasitic aliens from The Puppet Masters — homeworld bombed by bacteriological weapon. Wormfaces from Have Space Suit – Will Travel — their planet is kicked away from its sun by the galactic UNO. It does help that all these races are Eldritch Abominations.
- David Weber is prone to recycling tropes and plotlines. In addition to the Bolo and Safehold examples above, it comes up in his novelizations for Starfire. It was almost carried out against the Rigellians (and orbital weapon platforms are left in place to prevent them from ever advancing to a point where they might regain space-flight) and seriously attempted against the Bugs since there was no way to communicate and they treated other sentient species as food. The clincher was that sufficiently large casualties (such as wiping out a planetary population) disrupted their Hive Mind enough that their massive defense fleets could be mopped up without horrific casualties on the part of the allied fleets. Only problem was that they missed one world.
- Animorphs, Megamorphs #2, In the Time of Dinosaurs: stuck in the past on Earth, the Animorphs let a sentient species known as the Mercora die (by sabotaging the weapon that'll destroy the asteroid thrown at them), because if they don't, the dinosaurs won't die off and humanity will never arise on Earth.
- Likely the largest genocide ever imagined is at the conclusion of the Skylark of Space series. The protagonists have before tangled with the "ameboid" Chlorans, who attack, enslave, and exploit humans (but do not exterminate them). In the earlier encounter there was just one Chloran planet; the option of genocide (called explicitly by that name) was considered, but due to pleadings of "soft-hearted" women the milder option of sending the planet far away was taken. But when discovering a faraway galaxy with millions of Chloran planets, the protagonist Seaton decides that the Chlorans are "a cancer" and a danger to the entire universe, and that nothing would do but to kill every single one of them — empatically rejecting any other option. He and his arch-enemy turned ally DuQuesne proceed to do just that, causing all the Chloran suns to go nova. "The Chlorans died in their uncounted trillions. The greeny-yellow soup that served them for air boiled away. Their halogenous flesh was charred, baked and dessicated in the split-second of the passing of the front wave from each exploding double star, moments before their planets themselves started to seethe and boil. Many died unaware. Most died fighting. Most died in terrible, frantic effort to escape... But they all died." Immediately afterwards, DuQuesne — feeling not the slightest remorse at having just killed uncounted trillions of sentient beings and destroyed an entire galaxy, proposes to his long-cherished lady love and is thrilled to hear that she truly loves him.
- DuQuesne is pretty much throughout portrayed as the ultimate amoral pragmatist rather than a "hero", so it's not completely out of character for him. That idealistic hero Seaton goes along with it, though, is a bit jarring if you don't buy that the Chlorans are Always Chaotic Evil.
- Revisited in the same author's Lensman series, where this happens more than once. The Overlords of Delgon (explicitly tortured to death by the good guys whenever possible), the Eich, the Ploorans, the Eddorians themselves ... at least in the case of the Eddorians (who reproduce by binary fission, with memories/personality carrying over) there's a justification for Always Chaotic Evil, since they're presumably all basically clones. Also, "zwilniks" (basically, drug dealers) and "boskonians" (pirates) are treated as utterly irredeemable; a big deal is made of the one incident in the series in which a pirate crew is not terminated with extreme prejudice, and it's pretty much only the fact that an Unattached Lensman (each of whom is, legally, a law unto himself and explicitly licensed by the government to do whatever the hell he feels like) vouches for them that saves them.
- In the Uplift series, the Galactic civilization, despite ostensibly placing great value on sentient life in itself, tolerates and even encourages a great deal of genocide in practice. Sometimes it's correct according to Galactic laws; for example, the Bururalli species were completely destroyed after they somehow devolved, went collectively insane, and started killing everything that moved on their first unsupervised colony world. Other times, it's just a matter of a politically powerful race getting away with destroying any species they happen to dislike, as when the Jophur obliterate the g'Kek because of gambling debts. The Tandu species are Absolute Xenophobes who long to wipe out everybody else. Even with the Tandu and Jophur, the "moderate" political majority make no attempt to prevent genocide.
- Ryan West's The Rise of the Saxons features the heroic Anglo-Saxons attempt to wipe out every last filthy subhuman Celt in Britain, including children. To say that this might be uncomfortable for many readers would be an understatement.
- The Malwa do this or try to several times in the Belisarius Series as fitting their evil status. Aside from Belisarius having a vision of them doing this to Constantinople if the Byzantine Empire is not prepared, this happens to the Indian city of Ranapur — by official decree, not just the normal shell shocked troops going crazy after a long siege. The Malwa also order this done to the Maratha; however, they are a Proud Warrior Race and don't take kindly to this.
- The Malwa are actually led by a robot sent from the future by Transhuman Aliens who wish to manipulate time for the extermination of every race that is not them.
- The first Big Bad of the Age of Fire series, the Wrymmaster, wants to use his dragon armies to wipe out the non-human races, in the delusional belief that they're all part of some grand conspiracy to oppress humanity.
- Count Dooku orders the genocide of the Mahran in the Star Wars novel Dark Disciple after they refused to join the Confederacy and provide them with the rich resources found on their planet. The Separatists subsequently invade their homeworld of Mahranee, destroy their cities, and annihilate the refugee convoy that attempts to flee the planet. The remaining Mahran on the planet go into hiding with the occupying droids having orders to shoot them on sight. The majority of the Mahran still alive are those who were off-planet when the invasion occurred.
- In the New Jedi Order series, the Bothans declare ar'kai against the invading Yuuzhan Vong, which calls for every Bothan to fight until the Vong are annihilated (civilians included) or until the Bothans all die trying. The problem is, there is no provision for revoking ar'kai after the enemy surrenders, and thus for at least the next century Bothan hardliners continue their attempts to hunt down the remaining Yuuzhan Vong.
- The Anglo/American – Nazi War is an Alternate History where the Germans manage to swing Stalingrad, Stalin liquidates his entire high command for losing his namesake city, and from there things just keep getting worse and worse for the Russians until eventually they're defeated by 1943. As a result, the Nazi regime has continental Europe all to itself and they're free to put into action a good number of their insane, horrifying long-term plans for Europe, such as the Final Solution and Generalplan Ost. By the war's end with the defeat of the Nazi regime in 1960, 97.5% of the pre-war European Jewish population is liquidated, the survivors number in the low thousands.
- Embittered by his prior defeat by Detective Baley in The Robots of Dawn, and the overall decline of Spacer superiority since then, Kelden Amadiro in Robots and Empire puts in motion a plan to exterminate the population of Earth via an engineered ecological disaster. Even though Earth has many colonies, which would undoubtedly declare war on the Spacers in response, his Fantastic Racism towards Earthmen has grown beyond his concern for his own people.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Survivors", a god-like alien who'd taken human form saw everyone on the colony where he was living killed by hostile aliens called the Husnock, after not using his powers against them because he's a pacifist. After he sees his human wife's dead body, he snaps and kills the Husnock. As he explains to Captain Picard, who mistakenly thinks the alien's sense of guilt is merely over his failure to save his wife, he didn't just kill the crew of the attacking Husnock ship. He killed all 50 billion of them. Picard, who doesn't feel adequate to judging such a powerful being for such an immense crime, decides to leave him with his solitary guilt.
Alien: "No, no, no, no, you don't understand the scope of my crime. I didn't kill just one Husnock, or a hundred, or a thousand. I killed them all. All Husnock, everywhere."
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- The Federation turn out to be hypocritical bastards by the introduction of "Section 31", an organization within Starfleet. Which officially does not exist and doesn't actually answer to anyone. Section 31 specializes in committing crime and passing Moral Event Horizons whenever it benefits The Federation. In the later seasons, an empire known as The Dominion declares war on The Federation because its ruling Changelings are aggressively xenophobic and can't abide disorderly things like democracy. Of course, Section 31 have the solution: engineer a virus to kill all the Changelings. Captain Sisko is outraged by this genocide, which was planted while the conflict was still a cold war. To balance this out, in the Grand Finale, the Cardassians turn on their Dominion allies. What does the Dominion do? Orders their soldiers to carpet bomb the planet, with the goal of exterminating the Cardassian race. Luckily, they are persuaded to stop before this happens, ironically because Odo gives the Female Changeling the cure to Section 31's virus in exchange for ending the war. But not before they've killed over 800 million Cardassians.
- In the episode "Waltz", Sisko pushes a mentally deteriorating and hallucinating Gul Dukat to admit that he really was a madman ruling the Bajorans with an iron fist by getting him to admit that he really did want to kill all the Bajorans.
- Prior to the Dominion War, the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order (the intelligence agencies of the Romulan Star Empire and the Cardassian Union, respectively) launched a joint fleet through the wormhole to wipe every trace of life from the Changeling homeworld (the Obsidian Order even had to build a fleet of ships, which they were expressly forbidden from doing as part of the balance of power in the Union). They did manage to destroy a decent fraction of the planet's surface, but the entire thing was a trap — the Tal Shiar contingent's leader was a Changeling operative, the Changelings had already relocated to another world—if it was even the right world to begin with—and a massed Dominion force ambushed and destroyed the Tal Shiar/Obsidian Order fleet.
- Star Trek: Voyager:
- The Borg and "Species 8472" are trying to do this to each other: It's a war, but their goal is to exterminate each other's populations rather than achieving some kind of victory where the enemy's people still exists. The whole thing started with The Borg trying to assimilate 8472, but it had already moved far past that point when Voyager showed up.
- The episode "Remember", where B'Elanna Torres realizes that a group of Enarans were responsible for exterminating a group of people called the Regressives through "forced relocation".
- There's a Show Within a Show example in "Living Witness", where an evil depiction of Janeway decides to exterminate an alien race by using biological weapons against their planet, killing close to a million people.
- Star Trek: Enterprise, the Xindi arc centers on a group of aliens who believe humanity will destroy them, and so, logically, they figure their only option is to Final Solution them first. They managed to kill more than 7 million people during a test run; the completed prototype was to finish the job completely.
The Xindi are one of the few villains in Science Fiction who make every effort to ensure the final solution is indeed final. Captain Archer discovers a rogue group of Xindi are preparing a biological weapon to be used on Earth's past as a kind of backup plan should their Kill Sat fail. Additionally, one episode shows that though the Xindi destroy Earth, they actually go after every single colony and outpost, literally chasing humanity down to the ends of the galaxy.
- In Firefly, the theme song line "burn the land and boil the sea" refers to what the alliance did to Mal's home planet.
- This is the Cylons' objective towards the humans in both incarnations of Battlestar Galactica. In the RDM version, the humans attempt to do it right back to them when they discover a virus that is lethal to Cylons on an old space probe. They fail due to Helo's actions.
- This is a recurring concept on Doctor Who. The obvious holders of the trope would be the Daleks — Absolute Xenophobes who want nothing but to wipe all life but themselves from the universe. The Doctor himself has attempted genocide against the Daleks on at least three occasions; it never quite sticks. At the end of the Time War, the Doctor committed genocide on the Time Lords themselves, who had become Omnicidal Maniacs. Since then, he keeps wiping out species, mostly because he has no choice.
- In Babylon 5, Edgar's anti-psi conspiracy edges into this when it's discovered they've developed a virus that will kill off active telepaths or make them addicted to a cure the conspiracy produces. Edgars himself arguably fails at the third point, as he views it as a piece of Dirty Business beyond compare and constructs himself as Necessarily Evil and trying to save humanity from the Psi Corps. It's a moot point either way, as Psi Corps busts open the conspiracy and kills him.
- Had the second season of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future been made, the Bio-Dread Empirenote would have shifted their focus from digitizing humanity to essentially this. Keep in mind that this is a family show that aired in weekly syndication.
- Supernatural's Lucifer planned to exterminate all humans from the planet, along with all the demons.
- Sliders: In "Prophets and Loss", an Evangelical Right so evil and powerful that it has outlawed all science and performs chemical lobotomies on "rationalists" claims to control an interdimensional portal to heaven. The heroes notice that it looks awfully similar to their own portal... but it doesn't actually go anywhere; it's just an incinerator tied to a special effect so that the church can vacuum up assets from the gullible and kill them. The Chief Oracle even describes herding unbelievers into these ovens as "the final solution." Take THAT, Jerry Falwell!
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode - "The Other Side" - a race known as the Eurondans beg help in defeating a vicious enemy which started a war that devastated their world and reduced them to hiding underground. Turns out the war was started by their leader's father and that they plan a final solution to get rid of the innocent race they term 'breeders' and hate because they don't practice eugenics.
- In the Stargate-verse genocide seems to be a pretty common option for ...the good guys. Notable victims of almost entire eradication include the Goa'uld, the Replicators (twice), and the Ori. The Goa'uld and Ori were both Always Chaotic Evil in the most literal possible sense, so killing them all really was the only option. The Replicators were more of a mixed bag, but even the more sympathetic and reasonable ones ended up dead. Oddly enough, the only recurring villains they haven't wiped out yet are the Wraith, for whom humans are the only possible food source.
- On The 100, Clarke and Bellamy commit genocide against the people of Mount Weather, not out of prejudice against them, but because a) indiscriminately poisoning their air supply was the only weapon left available to them, and b) the Mountain Men need to harvest lethal quantities of blood and bone marrow from other people to cure their radiation poisoning; not killing the Mountain Men would mean either allowing them to kill a whole lot of other people, or dooming them to slowly die off from radiation sickness.
- The Grounders attempt this on the Sky People in the Season 1 finale, and threaten it again in Season 2. They'd be satisfied if the Sky People just went back where they came from, but since the Sky People don't have the resources to return to space, total extermination it is.
- In Season 3 of The Last Ship, President Peng — as part of his overall Evil Plan to have China totally dominate post-plague Asia — develops a bioweapon that renders its victims incapable of receiving the cure for the Red Flu, and delivers it to several other countries, including Vietnam and Japan. This results in millions of deaths due to the cure being rendered ineffective; judging by what Peng does in Japan before he is killed, he was then planning on wiping out the affected countries' cultural history as well in order to effectively Unperson entire races.
- After Pink jumps off the deep end in Pink Floyd's The Wall, he becomes a neo-Nazi and acts like a dictator. In "Waiting for The Worms", drawing obvious parallels to the original final solution, he says he's waiting "for the final solution to strengthen the strain", talks about turning on the showers and firing the ovens, and singles out "the queers and the coons and the reds and the Jews." He never gets anywhere close to implementing his plan, however, because he has his Heel Realization soon after.
- Another Pink Floyd example: "The Fletcher Memorial Home" from The Final Cut has the singer planning one for the "incurable tyrants and kings" and the "colonial wasters of life and limb" by putting them all in one place and then applying "the final solution" on them.
- Many if not most older works in the field of mythology include genocidal acts which aren't viewed as controversial in the slightest (quite the opposite, actually) - the Old Testament for example is ripe with thesenote .. Modern fantasy literature, on the other hand, which otherwise borrows heavily from mythology, tends to avert this by and large: Here the pursuit of genocidal intentions is commonly present as a field of the evil faction.
- GURPS Aliens features one race prone to genocide and one that constantly gets genocided by everyone else.
- The former is a mad scientist race who take over planets and experiment on the population, then clean up their mess by killing everyone so there is no witnesses. Quite tidy.
- The latter is a sentient virus. It is colonies of the virus that are sentient, so every infected human or animal counts as one intelligent "virus colony individual". In spite of it being sentient, most races treats this species as if it was a normal disease that should be cured. (And no, destroying the virus is not needed for getting possessed people back: the virus is capable of moving to animal hosts and blank clones.)
- In Task Force Games' Starfire, the fanatically racist and warlike Rigelian Protectorate was completely wiped out at the end of the Third Interstellar War under the Alliance's "Genocide Decree".
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium have a simple way of dealing with planets of its own population when they are considered tainted beyond recovery: End all life on that planet. Oh, and they are pretty fond of exterminating sentient extraterrestrials as well when they get the chance to do some "purging".
"Our time will come again, Eldrad has promised us. Once more you upstart Mon-keigh [subject spits] shall kneel before our power! This time we will not be so lenient! We will exterminate you, every world, every vessel, every one of you! Eldrad has seen the stars stained red with your blood, and it pleases him! You think us weak, but we will be your doom, children of Earth."
- This asubtle goal of the Orks. Being a race of Blood Knights they seek to fight all they see and eventually kill it.
- On a larger scale the Necrons employ this trope both to feed their C'tan masters and permanently sever their universe from the warp.
- This is no longer the case as of the 5th Edition update of the Necrons, which gave their backstory a complete overhaul. They still do planet sterilization thing, but now its about taking test subjects and securing the planet. Can't have some pesky bacteria ruin their day when they finally manufacture themselves new squishy bodies.
- According to a blurb from the 3rd Edition Eldar codex, this is their plan for us humans if their race ever get out of the rut they're in. Worth noting that back then, quite a few players got it into their heads that they were the "good guys" of the setting. So much for that. Like most of the factions, they do "Kill all life on the planet" stuff, but mostly disdain it, because mass murders on such scale inevitably boost Chaos and generally generate too much heat.
- The Dark Eldar on the other hand don't want to wipe out anyone. They need a reliable source of victims to sate their own and Slaanesh's depraved desires. That and they are so arrogant that they make Craftworld Eldar seem downright humble in comparison and thus don't believe the other races pose enough of a threat to be worth the effort.
- Absolute genocide is the presumable goal of the Tyranids, though they may just be biological weapons for another race.
- The Tau also want to commit genocide if some sources are to be believed, though they prefer to use "gentler" methods such as systematic sterilization rather than blowing up planets, eating galaxies, erasing them from existence, infecting them with diseases beyond comprehension, ensuring their defeat through over complicated plans (or BANEBLADES) or plain strait up murder.
- The... Actually, i think you get the point. This universe is the origin of grimdark. As if it invented the term...
- At least some of the races in Cosmic Encounter have this as their ultimate goal. The Flavor Text on the cards for Void and Anti-Matter in particular indicate they both want to cleanse the universe of "material life".
- Although Rocket Age is a very idealistic setting the fact that the game takes place in an alternate 1938 means this crops up a lot. The various Earthling nations and companies are willing to help native peoples in enacting this on their long term enemies and the Nazis will do this personally. At least one example had a surrendering Martian city's entire ruling castes put up against a wall and shot, with the rest of the population sent to 'work camps'
- Starcraft: A rare "good" (of the Honor Before Reason variety) example. Being Scary Dogmatic Aliens as they are, this is one of the qualities of the Protoss. They're known of "healing" planets infested by the Zerg by purifying them. This also comes as one of the side plots in Starcraft II, where the player has to decide whether to side with Dr. Ariel Hanson (resulting in the mission "Safe Haven" and Hanson's departure from the Raiders to settle in Haven) or Selendis (resulting in the mission "Haven's Fall" and Hanson being infected by the Zerg cure and being killed later by Raynor) while discussing what's the best course of action in the planet Haven, being the target of a Zerg infestation.
- A typical evil version occurs in the backstory for the Terrans. The United Powers League of Earth decided to kill 400,000,000 people who didn't want to go along with their plans for a "perfect" world. 40,000 of these folks were sent off into space, eventually colonizing the Koprulu Sector.
- One of Anders' quests in Dragon Age II involves stopping one of these. A Knight Templar is planning to make all mages Tranquil, removing all their emotions and rendering them immune to Demonic Possession and thus, "safe" to the society. It's even called "The Tranquil Solution", just in case you didn't pick up on the comparisons to Nazi Germany (you later find out that even the Templar high command were disgusted by this plan, and repeatedly rejected his proposals).
- The Rite of Annullment on Circles that are judged beyond the hope of saving can be seen as this in the hands of Well-Intentioned Extremist Templar commanders, such as with the case of the Circle in Kirkwall when Anders blew up the Chantry in Dragon Age II.
- When you go to the Circle Tower in Origins, you quickly discover that the tower is infested with abominations, and that the Templars, quite to their commander's distaste, is just waiting for word from Denerim to initiate the Rite of Annulment. You can either save the mages from this fate, or save the Templars from waiting for a reply.
- In [PROTOTYPE], the Blackwatch final solution to the virus outbreak is called "Operation: Firebreak", which is essentially nuking whatever location it has infested.
- In Batman: Arkham City, Hugo Strange's plan for Arkham City was to make the Final Solution the only solution. This was Emergency Protocol 10, a military countermeasure that bombards Arkham City with missile strikes until everyone- criminal or otherwise- is dead.
- In the Mass Effect universe, the salarians ended an interstellar war with the rachni by enlisting the krogan in exterminating them. Then, when the krogan decided to use the advanced technology that the salarians had given them to wage their own war of conquest, the salarians designed the Genophage, which caused 99.9% of krogan offspring to die during gestation. Whether the latter action constituted genocide is heavily debated in-universe.
- Before the Genophage, krogan reproduction was positively explosive. Their home planet was so harsh that a 99.9% fatality rate kept their reproduction in check. Once uplifted to the galactic community and in control of planets much much safer than their home, their rapid reproduction was quite worrying. The Genophage was introduced to keep their 99.9% fatality rate from their homeworld's extreme conditions intact regardless of where they settled. This is why the Genophage is still debated, and not just accepted as a clear-cut genocide.
- Every 50000 years, all advanced civilizations are purged from existence by the Reapers, a race of sapient starships.
- Samus in Metroid Fusion crashes the Space station infected with X-Parasites into the parasites homeworld to eliminate all of the ones in the ship as well as the ones left in the planet.
- Earlier in Metroid II, the federation decided to solve the problem of Metroids being used as biological weapons by sending Samus to their home planet in order to exterminate the entire species. This is what results in the population explosion of X-Parasites, because Metroids were originally genetically engineered by the Chozo to be their predator.
- In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka's poisoning of Doma definitely qualifies under this trope, and most likely his destruction of the world by rearranging the Warring Triad.
- The Covenant attempts to do this to the humans, because the Prophets discovered that the humans were the designated heirs to the Forerunners' legacy, which completely discredits all of the major tenets of the Covenant's religion.
- When the Covenant discovered the Hunters, one subspecies that consumed Forerunner metals was exterminated for the damage done to various artifacts on their planet.
- After he goes insane, the Ur-Didact intends to do this to humanity, whom he sees as a threat to the rest of the galaxy, by using the Composer to forcibly transform them all into his Promethean Knights.
- In Suikoden V, Gizel attempts to create "a Falena for Falenans" by enacting this against the Beavers and residents of Raftfleet. Queen Arshtat also attempts this on two occasions: before the game's events against the people of Lordlake, and right before her death against the entirety of Falena. In both instances, she's being influenced by the Sun Rune.
- In The Elder Scrolls, the Nords wiped out the Falmer in Solstheim and nearly did the same in Skyrim. The survivors were taken in by the Dwemer who proved less than hospitable.
- In the Guild Wars 2 backstory skritt and asura both lived in the Depths of Tyria. Because skritt are obsessed with collecting shiny things they'd often steal key parts of asura creations and their populations tended to grow incredibly fast. Due to this the asura deemed them vermin and launched a war of extermination, stopped only when the Destroyers appeared. The skritt survived both the asura and Destroyers, spreading to the surface.
- The last story mission of version 1.0 of Final Fantasy XIV was that a commander in the Garlean Empire, Nael van Darnus, triggered Operation: Meteor to wipe out the continent of Eorzea. While the Empire was trying to conquer the nation, the Beast Tribes and their godlike Primals proved to be too much of a threat to Nael, and thought it best to wipe out such dangerous creatures and write off Eorzea as a lost cause.
- Hong Kong '97: The entire goal of the game is to murder the entire population of China, just for being "fucking ugly reds" and "the crime rate skyrockeded!"-ing in Hong Kong. And while the game only has you killing adult men, the wording implies that MANY innocent civilians, including children, will also die. Some of them not being even communists.
- Stellaris allows the player to "purge" disloyal populations, to the cost of angering other Empires.
- Galactic Civilizations: This happened to the Xendar in the backstory: the Drengin secretly convinced them to attack humanity, who at the time were newcomers to FTL travel and didn't have that much of a military. Humanity rapidly militarized and beat the Xendar all the way back to their homeworld... and when they got there, the world was dead, the Xendar wiped out down to the last man. Though it was the Drengin who were responsible for this (they feared retribution if humanity found out they started this), the rest of the galaxy refuses to believe humanity when they say they weren't responsible. The humans, fitting their pragmatic characterization, decided to claim responsibility anyway, in effect saying "This is what will happen to you if you attack us". Fortunately for humanity, the Xendar were not very popular with everyone else, so the other civilizations don't give humanity too much grief over this apparent act of genocide.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Vaarsuvius's partner and children are threatened by a vengeful dragon. Fueled by demonic and devilish magic, Vaarsuvius finds a solution to the problem: Vaarsuvius kills not only this dragon, but also any dragon that is in any way related to it — a quarter of the Black Dragon population — to stop the Cycle of Revenge. Vaarsuvius later learns that this included human descendants too and has a Heroic B.S.O.D. upon the realization of the extent of the genocide.
- While he currently doesn't have the power to carry it out, Redcloak has mentioned this as one of his alternative long-term plans: Exterminate the humans and maybe the Gods, too to make more room for his beloved goblinoids.
- The Falcon Cannot Hear: In retaliation for attacks by black militants on KKK-aligned figures, Huey Long's fascist White government set up concentration camps for black Americans in Aberdeen, Mississippi. The sight of people dying of sickness and neglect in these camps is the final straw that convinces Eisenhower to rebel: first by launching an unsuccessful coup, then defecting to the Reds.
- Twilight of the Red Tsar:
- After surviving his stroke, a senile Joseph Stalin expands the Doctor's Plot into a Second Holocaust against Russia's Jews, deporting them to the gulags. By his death in 1958, 1.5 million are killed.
- In 1957, Stalin later starts a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Caucasus and Baltic peoples, deporting them to the Gulags and replacing them with Russian settlers.
- Done twice in Titan A.E.. First the Drej against the humans (which is rightly treated as villainous), then the humans against the Drej — and the latter act is treated as a happy ending.
- It is implied somewhere that the reason the Drej wanted to kill all the terrans was exactly because of what the Titan was capable of doing to them.
- It's also implied that this trope, and its counterpart, boil down to "If you commit genocide, it's perfectly okay for someone else to wipe you out." Or, "Genocide is okay if it's in self-defense. And kind of accidental."
- It is implied somewhere that the reason the Drej wanted to kill all the terrans was exactly because of what the Titan was capable of doing to them.
- A heroic example in American Dragon: Jake Long. The Huntsman plans to kill every magical creature on the face of the Earth with the Aztec Crystal Skulls. After finding out that his former apprentice has betrayed him for a dragon, he gets her to rejoin his side by presenting her with a Sadistic Choice, only to be betrayed by her as she uses the skulls to kill him and the rest of the Huntsclan (herself included) instead.
- In Steven Universe, Yellow Diamond wants to shatter the entire Rose Quartz Gems, after Rose Quartz rebelled against Pink Diamond and shattered her. She also wants the Earth destroyed so that she can forget any memory of Pink Diamond's existence.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- The Air Nomads were wiped out in a massive genocide by the Fire Nation, a hundred years before the start of the show. Except they missed the one person they were aiming for.
- In Jet, the title character believes that all Fire Nation people must be wiped out. He robs an innocent old Fire Nation traveller, and later proceeds to flood a village, aiming to kill the Fire Nation soldiers there, along with all the villagers.
- The Grand Finale revolves around the attempt to repeat this with the Earth Kingdom.
- In The Legend of Korra, the successor series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Big Bad wants to do a non lethal version of this by removing bending from everyone. It comes across as spiritual rape/mutilation in series and, given the abundance of Mundane Utility, he would have to start another world war. Not to mention it's unlikely the debending process removes the chance children of the debended can inherit bending abilities, just making things worse. Said Big Bad of the sequel series even calls himself "the solution".
- Futurama plays this comically straight in "Into the Wild Green Yonder" when Leo Wong wipes out an entire species of leeches (save one) to make way for a parking lot. Nearly averted later in the movie when the reborn encyclopod reluctantly decides to preserve the DNA of its now-extinct archenemy race, the Dark Ones. Zoidberg eats the remains before the encyclopod can do this, however.
- The Teen Titans get in on this trope with a race of spacefaring robots, on the grounds that said robots are bent on exterminating all organic lifeforms. Unfortunately, they do this on the word of a Fantastic Racist, who by the end of the episode, decides to consider humans worthless.
- A Fantastic Racism form is seen in Alfred J. Kwak. To complete Dolf's resemblance to Adolf Hitler, he resolves to kill every mouse (mice have long been used as an analogy for the Jews, see Maus for instance) on the planet because they angered him.
- In Ben 10: Alien Force, this is the ultimate goal of the Highbreed Council, with them wanting to "purify" the galaxy by wiping out all of the other races (they believe themselves to be the most "pure" sentient species in the galaxy to the point that their leaders tell everyone that they were the first living beings to come into existence, which Word of God confirms is a complete lie). Initially they were just bigots, but when it was discovered that inbreeding (done to keep their bloodlines pure) was causing the Highbreed species to sink into sterility and extinction, they decided to take out everyone else before they went.
- Ultimately Ben and Reinrassic provide a solution; use the Omnitrix and Codon Stream to reconstruct the Highbreed's DNA, restoring diversity to their race. This causes the Highbreed Council to suffer a Heel Realization and step down from their positions as leaders, allowing Reinrassic to end the attempted omnicide.
- Ancient texts boasting of completely exterminating enemy peoples are amongst the oldest known to man, dating back to Assyrian and Babylonian poetry in 1,100 BC. However, as with all texts of these times, these claims are of extremely dubious historicity. For instance, an inscription carved by King Mesha of Moab in c.810BC boasted that the Jewish kingdom of "Israel utterly perished forever" in his victorious campaigns of genocidal conquest.
- The trope namer is obviously The Holocaust, a collation of real-life campaigns against various "undesirables" organised by the Nazis (and Romania) and carried out by various parties including their allies and puppets during World War II. Everyone from Adolf Hitler on down used euphemistic language to refer to these campaigns, with the anti-Jewish element eventually coming under the term "die Endlösung der Judenfrage" ("the Final Solution to the Jewish Question"). In early 1941, Hitler was also keen to stress that the coming Soviet-German War was to be "a war of annihilation" (Vernichtungskrieg) in which the Soviet peoples would ultimately be destroyed, the Wehrmacht heartily agreeing and issuing a series of decrees (on 'foraging', against commisars, and against 'bandits') to ensure that it would be.
- While the Holocaust may be the Trope Namer, the term "Final Solution" was also used in the American government's attempts to eradicate / assimilate the Native population in the 19th and early 20th century. Initially eradicate and then the plan turned into assimilation.
[I]n the United States, discussions of "the Indian problem [or question]" and its "final solution" go back to at least 1869. In the earliest commentaries, the envisaged "final solution" tended to be genocide. But within a few years, the discussion shifted to assimilation—education in the white Western (and Christian) tradition, pastoral skills training, and U.S. citizenship under these supposedly civilizing influences.
- The colonial army of Imperial Germany committed the first genocide of the 20th century against the Herero and Namaqua people in what is now Namibia, killing at least 80,000. Overall, the population of both was at least halved through mass executions, starvation, and forced labor. Medical experiments illegal under German domestic law were conducted upon children. There's a causal link between Imperial German 'Colonial Activities' and Nazi German policies in its colonies of Poland and the USSR, where The Holocaust first began and then escalated to its final form as series of administrative processes.
- Also, naturally, all of the many attempted genocides that the 20th century witnessed, like the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 (radical Hutus murdering the Tutsis and any Hutu with a conscience), and the Armenian Genocide in 1915 (Turks trying to kill all Armenians in their territory, and succeeding in exiling the survivors… don't talk about this in modern-day Turkey if you wish to stay out of jail).
- Julius Caesar allegedly did this to a Gallic tribe (note: not all of them), but it seems more probable that he only had most of their noblemen killed. Generally, he preferred diplomacy over genocide.
- Romans did execute measures at least very close to this trope in their history. The populations of Corinth and Carthage (both in 146 BC) were massacred (in case of most fighting men) or taken as slaves (in case of most women and children) and the cities themselves were burned into the ground. This was about as close as it came to the spirit of the trope in the Roman Republic.
- In the ancient period, the successful siege of a resisting city usually meant the extermination of the adult males and the enslavement of the women and children. (Bear in mind, this only happened if the city resisted and fought to the end. If the city surrendered, it would be subjected to far lighter treatment, proportionate to the length of the siege; a city that had surrendered as soon as the enemy showed up would usually be spared everything but the tiniest bit of looting, while a city that put up a fight for a while before giving up might expect to see a day or two of rape and pillage.)
- The Mongols used this as a tactic: they would kill most of the people in the cities that fought them, leaving only enough survivors to spread the stories about their atrocities. This gave nearby cities serious incentive to surrender outright. Tamerlane, a prince of a Turkicized Mongol people and a Chinggisid by marriage, also engaged in scary exterminations (he shared the Mongol penchant for giant heaps of skulls).
- When the Mongols entered Baghdad it was the jewel of the Islamic empire, crossroads of three continents, and renowned as a center of trade, culture, and learning. They didn't call it the Fertile Crescent to be ironic. Long story short, none of that still applies. In more detail: the Mongols depopulated the city so thoroughly it didn't recover its 1258 population until the mid 1960s, destroyed the Grand Library until the Tigris river ran black with ink and red with blood, destroyed the millennia-old irrigation network that made the Fertile Crescent fertile, and generally did everything they could to turn one of the most advanced cities on the planet into what we now think of Baghdad even 700 years later.
- It is estimated that the Mongols exterminated 90% of Iran's population. For comparison Hitler killed less than 40% of Jews in Europe. In total they killed between 30 million and 60 million people at a time when the global population was around 400 million.
- The ancient Assyrians used the same tactic as the Mongol example above — usually leaving extensive stelae with lurid descriptions of the shocking detail.
- Many of the early wars between European settlers and the native North and South Americans came down to this; it wasn't uncommon for small settlements on both sides to be completely exterminated. King Philip's War is probably the best known of these, and probably the worst in terms of percentage of the population killed.
- This is also greatly exaggerated. While it is true that the Europeans wiped out numerous indigenous tribes, the number one killer was disease. Contrary to Urban Legend, there is only one known instance of an attempt to use smallpox as a biological weapon, and it is unclear that it was successful. Most of the death from the epedemics came prior to extensive European contact, as the diseases raced ahead of the settlers; it is thought that roughly 90% of the population of the native population of the Americas perished in this way, with many civilizations disappearing, collapsing, merging with other nearby groups, or dying off entirely. In fact, some historians have said that without smallpox, the European conquest would have been far more difficult, or may not even have fully succeeded at all.
- Subverted in terms of historiography. Many scribes very deliberately exaggerated how much damage a war caused, often using such high numbers in their accounts that the opposing force would be practically exterminated, which would be at odds with the later wars that occurred. The very fact that they felt exaggerating how many of the enemy they slaughtered was good is itself chilling however.
- When the Maori invaded the Chatham Islands, they systematically murdered at least 10% of the native Moriori population, some by torture, then enslaved the remaining people and prevented them from marrying or having children with each other. As if genocide needed to be any more horrific, the Moriori lived by a code of absolute non-violence and made no attempt to fight back. They refused to give it up even in the face of certain death.
- During the National Reorganization Process, the Argentine military attempted what would be properly termed "politicide" against the nation's leftist elements, with the goal of a Final Solution to the Communist problem. Up to 30,000 people were killed, most of them guilty of nothing more than being more to the left than the hard-right junta.
- The Cambodian Genocide lasted from 1975 until 1979note , and is widely considered the second-worst genocide of the 20th century (let's just say, when North Vietnam and even China pan their humans rights record, you know it's bad). It all began when the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. Within his just-over 5 years of absolute powernote , he had turned Cambodia into an 8-million man company (by the end 6 million), made rice the only legal food, forced people to eat at only designated times, made it illegal to even believe in a God, made it illegal to be part of the "intelligence" (doctors, teachers, people with degrees, and people who even wore glasses), evacuated entire cities (including the hospitals), and finally forced everyone (even people without legs or the terminally ill) to farm for the rest of their lives. A lot of ethnic cleansing was carried out, because Pol Pot wanted a "pure", rural Kampuchea. Foreigners were killed, anyone who was religious was killed, old government members were killed (the royal prince joined the KR so was spared) and people who couldn't farm (accused of "sabotage") were killed.
- How could this have went on for 5 whole years? Because Margaret Thatcher, the USA and the United Nations supported Pol Pot and when Vietnam finally got rid of him, they demanded that he be returned to his position. It was them that let Pol Pot escape with his life and he was sentenced to a mere house arrest in Thailand. The US only stopped supporting the by-then exiled Khmer Rouge (including demanding that humanitarian food aid be delivered to them) in 1993, fourteen years after they were overthrown, when Bill Clinton came into office. Before this, the US even had them keep Cambodia's seat in the UN.
- Also noteworthy in that unlike other genocides (namely the Holocaust), the KR did absolutely nothing to remove evidence of what they did and to this day their biggest prison, "the S-21" (a former high schoolnote ), is now the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and is filled with photos of actual tortures/executions, paintings by a survivor, mug shots of the condemned, and piles and piles of skulls. It is no wonder that of over 20,000 prisoners, only 12 survived.
- The Yugoslav Civil Wars featured war crimes by all sides, and deliberate genocide on the part of the Serbian and Croatian governments, with Slobodan Milosevic's Serbia (and its clients in the Republika Srpska) going the extra mile to ensure the "ethnic cleansing" of their territory.