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- In What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?, Superman appears to have gone this route. If the world is looking for him to be pushed over the edge by Darker and Edgier heroes, then he'll give them a Darker and Edgier Superman. It's terrifying.
- Occasionally random mooks will try to play the Not So Different card on Batman. The standard response is for him to point out that if he does decide to go over the edge into killing criminals, the first victim is likely to be the jerk insulting him within arm's reach.
- The Empowered special "PEW! PEW! PEW!" revolves around the eponymous heroine continuing to struggle with the lack of respect she receives while battling several minor supervillains going on shooting sprees for petty reasons — who were all using a specific brand of BFG, TeknoFetish. Emp had noticed that the TeknoFetish user agreement essentially warned that the guns would manipulate their users into "uncontrollable rage episodes", but gets caught by the wreckage of one weapon from a defeated villain. The smartgun then reassembles itself, larger than before, while driving Empowered into a homicidal rage by More Than Mind Control. However, Empowered decides that what she's really angry about is the gun trying to use her as a puppet, and blasts it, along with most of the building she's standing on, to pieces before she calms down.
Empowered: This sh*t will never get better, will it? I'll always be a f-f*king punchline, won't I?
Smartgun: I can unerringly target everyone who has hurt you — every cape, every civilian
Empowered: But y'know what really pisses me off?
Smartgun: Just squeeze the trigger
Empowered: Y'know what really grinds my f*king gears?
Smartgun: SQUEEZE -- THE -- TRIGGER
Empowered: (raises hand to gun, charging up a Hand Blast) The idea that some dumbass smart gun thinks it could possibly play me like this.
Smartgun: Wait — what — No — You cannot
- Gadget does this in the fanfic "Gadget in Chains": after being framed for a crime she didn't commit, and thrown in a hellhole of a prison in place of Lawhiney, an escaping Gadget happens upon Lawhiney on the road. When Gadget figures out who it is she is dealing with, and exactly how big the scam is, that, combined with some of the things she had to do to get out of prison, make her give a speech about how easy it is to not give a damn, before beating the tar out of Lawhiney and trying to kill her.
- In X-Men: First Class, Magneto has one of these when Sebastian Shaw tells him that all of the torture and abuse he put him through in a concentration camp only made him stronger, and that it's mutantkind's destiny to rule over humans.
"I'd like you to know that I agree with every word you said. [...] Unfortunately, you killed my mother."
- In Watchmen, Rorschach has one of these when he tracks down a killer who has cut up a little girl, fed her to dogs, and boiled her remains in a pot for supper. Rorschach has a break down after the crook dares Rorschach to take him to jail. Rorschach responds, saying "Men get arrested...dogs get put down!!!" before killing him. It should be noted that before this moment, Rorschach was your typical "no killing ever" straight hero.
- In The Paradoxes of Mr Pond by G. K. Chesterton, the story "When Doctors Agree" is an extended version of this. Doctor Campbell spends the story destroying his student's Presbyterian faith, in order to get him to agree that it's justifiable to commit murder for the good of society. Once he's convinced his student, he then boasts that he's committed at least one murder in accordance with this philosophy. His student promptly and fatally removes him from society.
- Chesterton also does a variation on this in his book Manalive. In one of the flashbacks we see the hero, Innocent Smith, is talking to his mentor, a dreary old professor who believes that life is not worth living. He is so convincing in his arguments that Smith draws a revolver and offers to shoot him (fortunately, this brings the man to his senses and Smith deliberately misses).
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Episode "Our Man Bashir", Dr. Bashir is playing a James Bond-like character in a holodeck program that accidentally assimilated several other crew members. To avoid getting either himself or his friends killed by the malfunctioning program, Bashir has his character do a Face–Heel Turn and join the Big Bad, giving a speech mirroring one Garak gave him about how the reward for being a faithful agent was usually an early death.
- In "The Pale Moonlight", Sisko violently confronts Garek about his scheming and the resulting deaths, and gets a scathing Breaking Speech in response. The episode ends with Sisko finishing his personal log of the episode's events with this trope. Its a little ambiguous whether the sentiment is genuine or if he's just trying to convince himself he's comfortable violating his principles and morality (and covering it up to maintain the ruse) if it means giving The Federation a fighting chance in a Hopeless War.
Sisko: And he's right, I can live with it... I can live with it...
- There is a Vocaloid song called "Boss Death" that focuses on the moral ambiguities between heroes and villains, and the pointlessness of trying to save the day when eventually you will be hated or become the monster you fought. Finally the hero declares that everything she loved is gone, and that she no longer has a heart—all she cares about is killing the villain.
- Section 8: Prejudice has a Reveal halfway through that the reason there are no aliens in the setting is because humans killed them all. At the end, the Big Bad tells Captain Corde that "the Empire is built on the graves of millions". Corde more or less agrees, but as the Big Bad couldn't come up with any better solution than killing an entire colony of civilians pretty much at random...
- Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has a particularly nasty one after the previously golden-hearted protagonist, Will, is confronting a Blood Knight disaster scavenger.
The Beast: Gwar har har! They're all dead, punk! Your pretty little girlfriend too! You couldn't save 'em. How's it taste? Burns, doesn't it?
Will: WHY? Why did you do that? There was no reason...
The Beast: Reasons? I don't need reasons! I kill because I can! And now I'm gonna kill the rest so I can hear you cry some more. How's that sound? What's that? I can't HEEEEAAARRR you! C'mon, punk! Don't you have anything to say? I wanna hear you beg!
Will: I... I want to kill you.
The Beast: You threatening me, boy?
Will: You were right. I had no idea what war was really about. But I get it now. It's about anger and fear. It's about hate! My friends weren't looking to fight. They were innocent... You want to live like a beast? Fine! You can die like one, too!
- Subverted in that this really doesn't change his morality at all in the long run, and he still remains pretty much the most idealistic and heroic character in the entire game aside from Forsythe or Brenner.
- Later on he gets a similar taste of this from Waylon, who tries to give Will a dose of Not So Different by pointing out that they're both only doing what they do out of a self-serving interest, and that Will's idealism merely comes from a desire to appease himself and feel better. Will agrees, but counters that since it is in fact helping people it's 100% worth it. Waylon does not take it well.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: The bad guys often question Raiden's reason for fighting. Monsoon in particular spends most of his introductory cutscene tearing Raiden's ideals apart and trying to make him realize he enjoys killing. Unfortunately for him, and everybody else standing in Raiden's way from that point on, not only does our hero agree with him, he allows himself to tap into the suppressed bloodlust of his "Ripper" side, revealing a far more dangerous psychopath than any of them could have imagined.
- In 8-Bit Theater, White Mage has one (with some prodding from Black Mage) after Onrac is destroyed for the second time and she thinks her efforts at that point are futile.
White Mage: The School of White Magic teaches us that there is a natural order to all things. A place and purpose for every person and event.
Black Mage: Go on.
White Mage: Fighting our role in the fate of things is futile.
Black Mage: C'mon personal epiphany!
White Mage: It's pretty obvious at this point that I am no great healer. I am not the one that will bring order to a dying and chaotic world.
Black Mage: Almost there...
White Mage: There is no point in denying it any longer. I am White Mage, a destroyer of worlds!
Black Mage: That is so hot. My girlfriend is an armageddon factory!
- Super Stupor: Discussed. At one point, the supervillain The Anarch explains to Punchline (a hero he had captive) his plan to madden his nemesis, the Cosmic Crusader, into misanthropy by forcing him to trigger a deathtrap killing his girlfriend. Punchline is mainly excited about the chance to see a villain commit "suicide by hero."
Punchline: You're going to try to convince one of the strongest heroes in the galaxy that it's okay to take life... by killing his girlfriend... while you're standing like ten feet away from him.
The Anarch: Whoa! Who says he'll kill me? He may feel enlightened - maybe thank me and join my side.
Punchline: Right. Which of these is he more likely to say?
Cosmic Crusader hand-puppet(on Punchline's right foot): "My one true love is dead. All good and hope is folly! I will now aid her killer in world conquest."
Cosmic Crusader hand-puppet(on Punchline's left foot): "Well, fuck. Y'know, I always wanted to see if I could pull a nervous system outta someone without tearing it. And look! A volunteer!"
The Anarch: I may have made a slight error in my calculations.
- Gargoyles. In the series premiere/movie, Goliath references a statement made to him by Demona earlier in the movie, where she asks him to go to war on humanity. After she is apparently killed by Xanatos, Goliath goes to throw him off his tower, stating (paraphrase) that she suggested that he go to war with the world, and that Xanatos would be a good place to start. Elisa talks him down by saying if he killed Xanatos than he would be no different from Demona.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, in the episode "Joker's Favor", Charlie gives one of these to The Joker of all people, after Joker has terrorized him and his family for years.
The Joker: You miserable little nobody! If I get caught, your wife and son are history!Charlie Collins: You're not getting caught. Not this time. I found this blown out of the van. (reveals a Joker bomb) This is how it ends, Joker. No big schemes. No grand fight to the finish with the Dark Knight. Tomorrow all the papers will say is that the great Joker was found blown to bits in an alley alongside a miserable little nobody. Kinda funny. Ironic really. See, I can destroy a man's dreams too, and that's really the only dream you've got, isn't it?
- Superman in both Superman vs. the Elite and the comic book source of said animated story. During their final fight, Superman takes a number of gruesome hits, to lull his opponents into a false sense of security, then uncorks a larger fraction of his full power, using it to present the illusion that he is killing each member of The Elite. When Manchester Black calls him on this, he replies that he finally understands what it is that they've been trying to tell him, and from now on he's going to be fighting crime their way. Unfortunately for them, they're going to be the first people he uses their new philosophy on. Fortunately for them, he was BSing them to make a point
- Justice League: "A Better World" - in an alternate universe, Superman corners President Luthor in the White House. Luthor is trying to escape after a plot that has apparently gone terribly wrong at some point after he deliberately murdered the Flash. Luthor is about to launch some device (possibly nukes), but is told by Superman that he can stop him. Luthor taunts Superman, saying that Superman's ego is the whole reason for this mess (because Superman could have killed him anytime but didn't) and goes on to gloat that the worst thing that will happen is he will go to jail for a while before breaking out and starting the whole thing all over again. Superman calmly agrees and says it's time for him to take responsibility for his role in Luthor's villainy... before frying him with his heat vision.
Superman: I did love being a hero. But if this is where it leads...I'm done with it.
- While not looking to go as far as the Justice Lords did, the end of the story has League-Batman surmising that they can't defeat their Heel-counterparts if they themselves aren't willing to cross some kind of line.
- The fight between the two versions of Batman is basically a philosophical debate about which of them is keeping true to their mission. Lord Batman actually wins the debate when he argues that their "tyranny" ensures no 8-year-old kid will ever have to see his parents murdered before his eyes. League Batman cannot think of a rebuttal to that and admits defeat. However, later the two of them drive past a man getting arrested for complaining about the prices at a restaurant and he finally thinks of one.
- In the anthology Superman/Shazam, Captain Marvel does this after finally getting the upper hand on Black Adam, who had been taunting him just moments earlier with Marvel's weakness.
Superman: Easy there. You've got him.Black Adam: It changes you, does it not? The power.Captain Marvel: It only changes that I can choose my own fate now.Black Adam: Like a god, maybe.Superman: That's enough.Captain Marvel: No, I have to. To protect them.Superman: How? By being like him?Captain Marvel: By being stronger than him.Superman: Then be strong. Be good.