->''"Remember, men, take him alive... so there's something left to ''kill''."''
-->-- '''Zapp Brannigan''', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''

Maybe the villain wants [[ItsPersonal the satisfaction]] of [[LeaveHimToMe killing the hero himself]], especially if he considers himself [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou The Only One Allowed To Defeat Him]]. Maybe he needs the hero in order to finish a magic ritual. Maybe he wants someone to take hostage. Maybe the villain [[WeCanRuleTogether wants the hero to join him]], or [[FoeYay just wants the hero]]. Maybe he's under orders by superiors. Maybe he wants to take the hero prisoner for interrogation. Or, perhaps, he wants to MakeAnExampleOfThem. He announces to his minions, "I want them alive!"

Usually sets up an increased amount of urgency with the scene. After all, you can only be killed once, but if the BigBad wants you alive, then you know you're in for a ''[[FateWorseThanDeath really]]'' [[FateWorseThanDeath bad time]].

For extra sadism, he might instead ask for only the protagonist to be taken alive, and [[AndYourLittleDogToo everyone else to be killed]].

Less menacingly, this is a standard line for a NobleDemon who would genuinely prefer to keep the body count as low as possible while carrying out his EvilPlan -- a sentiment his minions may or may not share. If the villain is a WorthyOpponent or FriendlyEnemy, expect an AntagonistInMourning scene if his henchmen choose to ignore this stipulation. (It's okay, though, because they probably NeverFoundTheBody and just assumed that NoOneCouldSurviveThat).

If the minion who receives this order is clever, they may respond with WhyDontYouJustShootHim

{{Justified|Trope}} if they have important information and the BigBad wants them alive for interrogation, or wants to leave an EmptyShell of his former opponents [[DontCreateAMartyr rather than]] [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning martyrs]].

Sometimes used on the heroic side, especially if the hero is a TechnicalPacifist or, conversely, if killing the villain is [[ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself Something He's Got To Do Himself]]. The KidWithTheLeash may need to add this injunction to ''all'' his orders.

Regardless of which side, if death is not an option and the opponent is aware of this, [[StopOrIShootMyself they will definitely use this to their advantage]].

A variant of LeaveHimToMe. Compare CantKillYouStillNeedYou.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The villain's main objective in ''Manga/ZeroSevenGhost'' is to bring Teito back alive. Ayanami originally wanted to kill Teito, but he decided that he wanted the boy alive because [[spoiler:he possessed the Eye of Mikhail]]. At one point, he electrocuted Teito with the Oath Collar when he attempted to kill himself.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': [[spoiler:The Titan Shifters, humans who infiltrated the walled city and attacked it]] go through a lot of trouble to capture main character Eren Jaeger alive, seemingly because [[spoiler:he has the same powers as them, but since they're stronger]] many people were confused for a while as to why they specifically needed him alive and wouldn't just kill him when he became too much trouble. [[spoiler:Then we find out that he has another power -- the ability to control]] the mindless, man-eating titans that populate the outside world. [[spoiler:When the titan shifters are incapacitated, the royal family's personal guard starts to launch kidnapping attempts.]]
* [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Akatsuki]] wants all the Jinchuuriki alive because killing them would kill the Biiju [[SealedEvilInACan sealed inside them]], which is what they're after. In something of a subversion, this doesn't stop them from trying to ''cripple'' them (Kisame suggested cutting off Naruto's legs to keep him from running away, and later tried to actually do it to [[spoiler:Killer Bee]]).
** Well, in Naruto's case it would kill the fox; not all the seals work like that, but having a free bijuu rampaging around is...inconvenient.
** During the fourth world war, Itachi and Sasuke fight Kabuto, but they have to defeat him without killing him, since otherwise the world will be screwed.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': [[BigBad Father]] and the [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent Homunculi]] want Ed, Al, Roy, Hohenheim, and Izumi alive, so [[spoiler:they can be used as sacrifices, of course.]] Ed gets the most profit out of this, followed by Roy. If ''anyone'' else had walked into the middle of the AncientConspiracy the way he did, they would have been quietly offed.
** Riza survived. Even after her coded message was intercepted. But then, she was being used as a leash on Roy, and Pride seemed to enjoy messing with her.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** It's stated that the World Government would rather criminals be turned in alive, so that they can be executed publicly. A dead body causes the reward to drop by 30%.
** A more personal example would be the [=CP9=]'s capture of both Nico Robin and Franky, because they want to interrogate them on the location and blueprints of the ancient, island-destroying weapon Pluton. Nero forgetting this and trying to kill Franky gets him [[YouHaveFailedMe killed by Lucci.]]
** Played straight with [[spoiler: Sanji]], who the World Government explicitly wants alive ''only'', the bounty not valid otherwise. The most likely reason is, [[spoiler: his family, the Vinsmokes, are world-renowned assassins and not people you want to get on their bad side by executing one of their estranged children.]]
* A heroic variant occurs in ''Manga/{{Karneval}}'': When [[BadassCrew Circus]] storms Smoky Mansion in order to [[spoiler:rescue Karoku]], [[ActionGirl Eva and Tsukumo]] take on [[TheDragon Uro]] and only wound him without causing any serious damage. When he mocks them for their failure to kill him, Eva reveals that they were ordered to capture him alive and even comments on how hard it was to hold back against him. [[spoiler:He manages to escape before Circus can take him into custody, however.]]
* In the ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' universe, bounty hunters are, as a general rule, supposed to bring fugitives in alive and without any unnecessary roughness in order to collect their reward.
-->'''Spike:''' I blow the bounty if I blow you away.
* In ''Manga/DGrayMan'', we find out why the Millennium Earl and the Noah family are so intent on capturing protagonist Allen Walker. [[spoiler: He didn't have the 14th's memories. Allen '''is''' the 14th.]] The Earl makes it clear because of that fact, he wants Allen over to his side.
** And in recent chapters, he is now sending high level Akuma to capture Allen alive.
* In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' Imperial admiral Wahlen orders his guards to capture alive his would-be assassin for interrogation on the defences of the Terraist stronghold. In a variation, [[TheMenFirst he shot the assassin in the arm at the cost of a poisoned knife in his own arm to make sure his men wouldn't risk being harmed]].
* In ''Anime/SDGundamForce'', Kibaomaru wants Genkimaru brought to him alive and unharmed, so he can use the brat's portal powers to awaken a SealedEvilInACan. He later issues these in regards to Shute and Princess Rele during the time they were his hostages; And a hostage is no good dead.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In an early issue of ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'', the Masked Marauder tells his men to capture "Daredevil" (in reality Foggy Nelson, whom the world is convinced is old Hornhead), but makes especial note that "Once you have him helpless, leave him for ''me''! The Masked Marauder must have the honor of actually ''finishing'' him!"
* A more reasonable variant in a 1950s or '60s newspaper comic, when the villain told his troops to take Franchise/{{Tarzan}} "alive if you can -- dead if you must!"
* Parasite is one of the few members of Franchise/{{Superman}}'s RoguesGallery that doesn't want to kill the Man of Steel. No, he wants to keep Superman alive so he can keep feeding off of him for his powers.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''ComicBook/RedDaughterOfKrypton'', the Diasporan king wants his soldiers to bring the Girl of Steel alive and unharmed before him, so he can take over her body.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Heroic version in FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi. [[BigGood The Light]] have made it as obvious as possible to their followers that if they have the option, they need to take Ami alive due to her [[HeroWithBadPublicity actual morality]].
* ''FanFic/DeadOrAlive4TheDevilFactor'': As [[spoiler:Ayame]] knows where one of the [[ArtifactOfDoom Jewels of]] [[MacGuffin the Forsaken]] that he's looking for is, Vergil is adamant to his minions that they capture her alive.
* ''FanFic/HyruleWarriors'': [[VillainessesWantHeroes Cia]] tells her minions repeatedly that she wants Link brought to her alive.
* ''Fanfic/ThisBites'': The wanted poster for [[spoiler: Princess Vivi of Alabasta]] specifies that she's to be taken alive, rather than the traditional "Dead or Alive". This is a particularly horrifying example because it means that she would be in the hands of the Celestial Dragons who are doubtlessly planning any number of torture methods they want to perform on her themselves.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' crossover ''Fanfic/TheVampireOfSteel'', mob boss Vladislav orders his henchmen to capture Buffy and Supergirl alive so he can feed them to an EldritchAbomination.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* In the Disney version of ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', after the "feast of fools" sequence wherein Esmeralda humiliates Frollo and his troops, Frollo says to Phoebus, "find her, captain. I want her alive." It's good to know that Frollo is, at ''least'', not a necrophiliac.
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'': [[BigBad Soto]] tells Diego to bring him the human baby alive, wanting to eat him "fresh" so he can ''really'' enjoy his {{revenge}}.
* Cade gives the order to capture Shua alive at the start of ''Animation/SkyBlue''.
* In ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', Dr. Facilier contacts his friends on the other side to find and capture the escaped Prince Naveen. Since his blood was necessary for his scheme, Facilier told them that Naveen needed to be brought back alive... for the moment, anyway.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/BabylonAD'': While we don't see the bad guy in question actually giving the order, this is definitely in play when a group of mercenaries break into Toorop's place to take him back to their boss, a Russian mobster/warlord named Gorsky. Toorop figures this out on his own because he recognizes one of the mercs.
-->'''Mercenary:''' [''says something in Russian'']\\
'''Toorop:''' No shit, Karl! If you wanted me dead you would have [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill blown up the building]]!
* The opening scene of ''Film/{{Banlieue 13}}'', thus allowing for a cool scene of LeParkour.
* In [[Film/{{Batman}} the 1989 Batman movie]], Commissioner Gordon does this when Jack Napier (who would later become The Joker) is cornered at the Axis Chemicals plant:
-->'''Commissioner Gordon''': This is Commissioner Gordon. I want him taken alive. I repeat, any man who opens fire on Jack Napier shall answer to me.
* In the first ''Film/{{Blade}}'' movie, after spending the entire movie trying to kill Blade, [[BigBad Frost]] realizes he needs him alive for his plan.
-->'''Frost:''' Bring me Blade -- alive.\\
'''[[TheDragon Quinn]]:''' [[DoubleTake Wait, what]]?
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'' with Edward Longshanks. "Bring me Wallace. Alive if possible. Dead... just as good."
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'':
** Gambol's response to the Joker flouting the Mob's authority: "I'm puttin' the word out. Five hundred grand for this clown dead. A ''million'' alive, so I can teach him some manners first." Boy, did that end horribly.
** Also used by Gordon, except from a heroic rather than villainous perspective. "I want Lau alive. The Joker, either way." Note that this was because Lau was going to testify against the Gotham mob, which may have finally ended their power. [[spoiler:Becomes a moot point when the Joker sets the mob's money ''and'' Lau on fire, and then kills the other mob bosses.]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'', the villain wants the dragon captured alive, because killing the dragon means killing the villain.
* A good example in ''Film/{{Eraser}}''. After [[BrokenBase DeGuerin]] frames [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger Kruger]] as a traitor, Chief Beller tells him to find and bring Kruger back. [=DeGuerin=] agrees. Then Beller points out that he wants Kruger alive, suspecting something in [=DeGuerin=]'s behavior. Naturally, [=DeGuerin=] has no intention of Kruger being alive to reveal the truth about him.
* ''Film/TheFlyII'': After Martin Brundle mutates into the [[OneWingedAngel Martinfly]], [[BigBad Bartok]] tells the security detail that he wants Martin captured alive, because only Martin knows the password to the Telepods. However, after quite a few people fall to the Martinfly, the head of the security detail decides to simply gun Martin down, and even threatens Bartok at gunpoint when he objects.
* In ''Film/HudsonHawk'', the villains berate one of their henchmen for threatening to kill a captured Creator/BruceWillis, remarking that they need him alive to steal a MacGuffin for them. Realizing that they can't kill him, Bruce takes the opportunity to begin acting outrageously (singing a silly song, slapping the henchmen around, and grabbing the villainess and dancing lewdly with her) until TheDragon threatens Bruce with a GroinAttack, and the villainess remarks there's ''one'' body part that he won't be needing to steal the MacGuffin later on.
* ''Film/JasonX'': Professor Lowe tells Sgt. Brodski and his men to capture Jason Voorhees alive, because he plans to sell Jason to pay off his debt. However, as soon as Lowe is out of earshot, Brodski tells his men that they're just going to kill Jason outright, and to "put one in his leg so we can say we tried."
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': In ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' when Sauraman sends the Uruk-Hai out to battle, he tells the leader that "one of the halflings [hobbits] carries something of great importance" so he wants them alive "and unspoiled." Luckily, (for Merry and Pippin) the leader doesn't know he has the wrong hobbits.
* In ''Film/TheMask'', [[BigBad Dorian Tyrell]] offers fifty thousand dollars to anyone who can find the titular Mask character... and bring him in the next day alive, so Tyrell can find out where The Mask took the money from a bank robbery.
* In ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'', this is a case of PragmaticVillainy when Skeletor's lead mercenary Karg starts yelling at the other mercenaries who are shooting and throwing things at Julie not to kill her because they need her alive for questioning; she's one of the few people on Earth who might have any idea where the McGuffin they've been sent to retrieve is.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** Lord Cutler Beckett, in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'' to Davy Jones: "We need prisoners to interrogate, which tends to work best when they're alive."
** Will in the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl first film]] is one of the few characters to use this trope to his advantage. Though in his case, Barbossa didn't know it was specifically Will he needed alive until he told him.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Riddick}}''; the bounty on him is worth twice as much if he's dead (presumably because he's more trouble alive). Fortunately the leader of one of the bounty-hunting teams has his own reasons for wanting Riddick alive and talking.
* This is one of the few tropes to be played straight in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', when Spaceball One spots Princess Vespa's Mercedes:
-->'''President Skroob''': Tell Dark Helmet he must take the Princess alive!
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Darth Vader is fond of this.
** In ''Film/ANewHope'', to his men on Leia's ship: "...and bring me the passengers, I want them alive!"
** In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'', to the bounty hunters:
--->'''Vader:''' You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. ''[points at Boba Fett]'' ''[[NoodleIncident No disintegrations]]''!\\
'''Fett:''' ''[looks down dejectedly]'' As you wish.
* Averted in ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers1993'', with Creator/TimCurry's Cardinal Richelieu declaring a bounty on the titular Musketeers: "One thousand gold pieces on each of their heads, dead or alive!" (Steps away, then returns) "...I prefer dead!"
* Played with in ''Film/TheWarriors'', when Masai bellows, "I want ALL the Warriors! I want them alive if possible, if not, WASTED!"
* In TheFilmOfTheBook ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', The Wicked Witch Of The West takes the "extra sadism" route: "Do what you want with the others, but I want [Dorothy and Toto] alive and unharmed!" Possibly justified in that she thinks it's necessary that way to get the Ruby Slippers.
* A JustifiedTrope in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. Specifically, Trask wants [[MacGuffinSuperPerson Mystique]] alive, since he needs not just her blood ([[YouCantThwartStageOne which he gets]]) but also her [[PlayingWithSyringes brain tissue and spinal fluid]] for what he plans to do with her abilities. In the ''Rogue Cut'', President Nixon misunderstands [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty his intentions]].
-->'''Trask:''' And I want her. [[ForScience For research purposes, of course.]]\\
'''Nixon:''' I don't care who you screw, as long as it's not me.

* The titular VillainProtagonist of ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' uses the NobleDemon variant as his BattleButler leaves to deal with the RedshirtArmy:
-->'''Artemis:''' I prefer scared to dead. If possible.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian novel ''Literature/TheHourOfTheDragon'', Valerius inverts it:
-->''You all know the Countess Albiona. Search for her, and if you find her, kill her and her companion instantly. Do not try to take them alive.''
** In "Literature/AWitchShallBeBorn" Constantius orders it for Conan.
* BigBad Lord Hong from the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' orders his army to capture Cohen and the Silver Horde alive, so he can spend months or years torturing them.
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the villain wants the hero alive to make a deal with him. However, his underling, who is given this task, ''still'' tries to kill the hero, because of a personal enmity. Doesn't succeed, though, and then seems content with taking the hero captive, as per the original order.
* The titular doctor of ''Literature/DrFranklinsIsland'' turns animals and people into strange hybrids, some of which survive in very twisted forms. It's stated early on that he doesn't like to have any of them deliberately killed. So when there's a jailbreak, his security has a hard time.
-->''No!'' Don't shoot to kill! Don't damage them! I want them alive! ''[[FamousLastWords I haven't finished with them!]]'
* Both used and averted in ''Literature/TheExecutioner'' novels by Don Pendleton. The hero Mack Bolan is a OneManArmy conducting his personal war against the Mafia. On one occasion a mob boss demands that Bolan be taken alive and unharmed so he can torture him to death. The button man assigned to the task retorts that from what he's heard of Bolan's reputation, the boss had better be happy with getting him in any condition whatsoever. On another occasion a hitman who's discovered Bolan holed up in a motel tells his mooks that if they find Bolan "in bed with his pants down" they're to capture him, if not just blast him on sight.
* Lord Voldemort consistently orders this where ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is concerned, although in a slight subversion, some of his mooks (of the PsychoForHire type) reason that he would be equally happy with a brain-dead and badly injured Harry so long as he was able to deliver the CoupDeGrace (of course, they never get an opportunity to test this plan out). A handful of Death Eaters figure out a way to do this without personal risk (which is common in Harry Potter kidnap attempts). They [[spoiler:call Dementors to eat Harry's soul. He'd technically be alive, but wouldn't fight back]]. Brilliant though it was, the plan didn't work.
* A big part of the reason why Galbatorix was ultimately defeated by Eragon and Saphira in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''. Had he wanted to, he could have easily had them snuffed out like candles, or done so himself, well before the fourth book. But no, he was hoping to break their will and turn them to his side, hoping to use Saphira (whom he believed to be the last female dragon), to establish a new line of Riders.
* This is a common statement by vermin commanders in the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' books that are either looking to take prisoners or make examples.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheStand'', Randell Flagg's second-in-command Lloyd Henreid issues this order to the people belatedly chasing after escaping spy [[spoiler:Tom Cullen]]. Although in this case it's more ''Flagg'' will want him alive, and if he isn't, everyone's gonna be very sorry...
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' subverts this a couple of times:
** In ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', the main antagonist Xizor orders the ''Millennium Falcon'' destroyed: "If you can disable it and capture the crew and passengers, that would also be acceptable."
*** During the same novel, Darth Vader has put out an enormous bounty for the capture of Luke Skywalker, alive only. It is after all impossible to turn a dead man to the Dark Side. On the other hand, Xizor (who secretly is out for revenge against Vader) anonymously posts his own huge bounty for Luke, dead only. When a group of bounty hunters join forces and manage to capture Luke, they foolishly decide so see if they can play the two against each other and get them to bid even higher...which gives Luke more time to escape and leads to Vader slaughtering them upon his arrival.
** In ''Literature/DarkForceRising'', Grand Admiral Thrawn (notable for being [[ALighterShadeOfBlack less]] [[YouHaveFailedMe cruel to his subordinates]], as well as a big fan of the EvilOverlordList) says of the heroes: "I want them also alive if possible. If not -- If not, I'll understand." He did, however, specify that the prisoner the heroes were rescuing needed to be recaptured alive. The prisoner was one of only people in the entire galaxy who knew the location of [[spoiler:a lost but fully operation fleet of warships]] that Thrawn was seeking, and thus killing him without getting the information would have been a significant inconvenience.
** The EU seems to have established that as long as it's not explicitly stated, you don't have to bring back your bounty target alive... but you tend to be paid a lot better if you do. But if the target is dangerous enough and/or the bonus for a live capture isn't large enough, more pragmatic bounty hunters will opt to just kill them.
*** Hutt crime lords have a tendency to post alive-only bounties on those who have betrayed or just offended them, so as to inflict some nasty torture before killing them.
* Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium:
** Saruman does this off page with the Uruk-Hai in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings''. He wants the hobbits that they capture alive because he believes that one of them is carrying the One Ring that Saruman wants, and he fears that if the orcs killed the hobbits and searched the corpses, one of them might realize just how powerful an item they have in their hands and try to claim it for their own rather than bringing it back to their master. The hobbits are also wanted alive so they can be interrogated. The leaders of both Saruman's and Sauron's orcs say as much. In both the books and TheMovie, the orcs have orders to bring them back "Alive and as captured; no spoiling."
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'':
*** Morgoth and his then minion Sauron order for several characters to be taken alive, although in these cases it's because they either act as hostages for their allies or know very classified information.
*** Morgoth also occasionally orders his forces to bring random people back alive, so they can then be horribly tortured. This is for two reasons: first Morgoth really likes torturing people, and second is that their screams will have a demoralizing affect on their allies.
*** The biggest example is when Hurin is the last human survivor in a battle, and Morgoth orders his army to take him alive, because he knows the [[HiddenElfVillage location of Gondolin]]. He picks up an axe and [[OneManArmy kills seventy orcs and trolls]] before he is finally taken.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': Gothon insists that Ben and Kalak be brought to him alive. [[spoiler:He knows that Kalak is his son, and Lucia has convinced him that sacrificing Ben can bring his dead wife back to life.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'s'' fourth season The Beast declines to finish off any of the main characters despite having multiple opportunities to do so. [[spoiler:This turns out to be because Jasmine wants to make them her primary servants once she's born.]]
** This is pretty much the [[BiggerBad Senior Partners']] entire M.O.: Angel will be a big player in the apocalypse, whether for good or for evil, and they plan to corrupt him to their side for that. Therefore, no matter what, ''no one'' at Wolfram & Hart is allowed to even try to kill him, though that doesn't stop some of their flunkies from trying (and failing) to do so.
*** [[spoiler:In the comic continuation ''After the Fall'', they even go so far as to hit the ResetButton to undo all of the time that L.A. was in hell when Angel is killed by a [[FaceHeelTurn now-vampiric]] Gunn... [[BatmanGambit which is exactly what Angel expected them to do.]]]]
* In the season one finale of ''Series/BurnNotice'', Michael uses the knowledge that his pursuers need him alive to take himself hostage and force them to let his family go.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', John Crichton knows his buried knowledge is invaluable to his enemies, uses it, and ''abuses'' it to the point of strapping himself with a bomb to blow up an enemy base and getting away with it. Twice.
** Scorpius himself, who was at the wrong end of this prior to his more-or-less HeelFaceTurn, acknowledged the tactical genius of this move before ordering the evacuation of his doomed base.
** Not to mention also facing down heavily armed troops once using this: after being captured by Scorpius' right hand man Braca, Crichton is subjected to a bit of gloating by radio from Scorpy, who in the process mentions that Crichton's wormhole physics knowledge is possibly unique in the universe. This leads Crichton to realize that Braca's threat to shoot him, even in a non-vital limb, is a bluff, since the human tendency to bleed out (something Sebaceans don't share) would make it impossible for Braca to seriously harm him without endangering the information he carries. Crichton has no such reservations about hurting Braca, though.
* The season two BigBad Zoom in ''Series/TheFlash2014'' has a standing order to all his minions that any speedster they encounter is to be brought to him alive and unharmed. Failure to do so means Zoom will kill you, as he can't steal speed from a ''dead'' speedster.
* In the seventh episode of season one of ''Series/GameOfThrones'', Jaime Lannister, in ordering the City Watch to arrest Ned, curtly orders, "Take him alive. Kill his men." Ned Stark'wife is holding Jaime's brother prisoner, but Jaime knows that the death of a few soldiers can be brushed under the carpet (and is by the King, [[AFatherToHisMen despite Ned's objections]]).
* ''Series/TheManFromUncle''. Our heroes aren't happy to be given these orders in "The Mad Mad Tea Party Affair".
-->'''Waverly:''' It's vital we find out why he did what he did. Therefore should the attacker strike again, you must take him alive, and unharmed. That is mandatory.\\'''Solo:''' [[YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe Well you mean, don't shoot unless he shoots first?]]\\
'''Waverly:''' I mean, Mr. Solo, don't shoot at all.
* Surprisingly averted by Apophis (usually the most cliché of bad guys) in the season 1 finale of ''Series/StargateSG1''. Klorel, son of Apophis, discovers Teal'c and O'Neill hiding out on his ship. When Klorel asks if Apophis wants them alive, Apophis quickly states that Klorel should kill them both, quickly.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** Parodied in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS02E17PlayingGod Playing God]]". In the B-plot O'Brien is dealing with an infestation of Cardassian voles and Sisko teases him, "Phasers on stun, Mister O'Brien. I want those voles taken alive." [[spoiler:After they start causing problems in the episode's A-plot, Sisko tells him to take the phasers off stun.]]
** Used in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. In an earlier episode, Captain Archer had escaped from Rura Penthe and a bounty was placed on him. He is turned in to the Klingons by a bounty hunter, but then manages to escape in an escape pod. One of the Klingons asks if he can charge weapons, but the Klingon captain responds, "No, I want him alive." Later, in the first "In a Mirror, Darkly" episode, the Dark Malcolm Reed offers to kill the Dark Admiral Forrest and Dark Jonathan Archer replies "I want him alive."
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017''. One of Sowande's men begins shooting at the heroes with an automatic rifle, putting in the crossfire [[Series/IronFist2017 Danny Rand]], who they are trying to capture. Madame Gao pulls out a gun and shoots the guy in the back of the head.
-->'''Madame Gao:''' We want him ''alive''.

* In ''Theatre/PokemonLive'', Giovanni instructs Team Rocket to bring him Pikachu alive and unharmed so it can fight [=MechaMew2=].
** Later, when Ash surrenders to Team Rocket, his friends and family try to follow them--but Meowth specifies the Boss ''only'' wanted Ash.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheAmazingSpiderMan'': [[TheUnseen Norman Osborn]] tells the guards of Oscorp to capture Spider-Man alive, but the guards are also informed that "if you accidentally load your guns with bullets instead of tranqs, well... oops."
* [[spoiler:Malia Gedde]] in ''VideoGame/GabrielKnight: Sins of the Fathers'' leaves a message for [[spoiler:Doctor John: "Keep eyes on GK but do not harm."]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', the bounty [[spoiler:the Komato]] put on Iji's head has three conditions: a low bounty for total destruction, a bounty more than an order of magnitude higher for preserving her equipment (as her Nanogun is an example of technology they don't have and want), and a bounty fifty times ''that'' for taking her alive. [[spoiler:Asha, while an arrogant bastard, will settle for dead.]]
* Rare hero example: in ''VideoGame/JakIIRenegade'' after you [[spoiler:defeat Krew]], you discover that the latter sent Sig on an assignment to open a door in the Underport. When you get there, you see him fighting for his life and claiming [[spoiler:Krew]] set him up to open the door and [[spoiler:let hundreds of Metal Heads into the city]].
-->'''Jak''': [[spoiler:Krew's]] dead.\\
'''Sig''': Yeah? Well he's lucky! 'Cause he would ''not'' want me to catch him alive!
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', Zelda herself does a mild variation of this late in the game.
* A variation of this trope occurs in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' -- "Spare the asari if you can. If not, it doesn't matter."
** A second one comes from the second game -- "I want his body recovered, if possible."
* Dr. Doppler in ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man X}}3'' tells his minions Bit and Byte to bring X to him... alive if possible. Both of them, when X finds them, interpret the order as "kill X". So does Vile.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}}'' series encourages this. While your contacts don't have a problem with you killing high value targets, they pay you double if you manage to capture them alive.
** Which only makes sense, as your targets are high-value military personnel who most likely have information wanted by the guys paying you to capture them.
* In ''VideoGame/MischiefMakers'', the Beastector are told to bring in Marina and the Prof alive. They misinterpret this as dead.
* In ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'', [[ViolentGlaswegian Magnus Armstrong]] regularly orders mooks to tie up and take the protagonist Cate Archer alive. The minions appear to be smart, as they regularly ask [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim why they don't just kill her]].
** [[ApeShallNeverKillApe A Scot doesn't kill a Scot]]... at least in this game.
* A variation of this trope occurs in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''. To catch a Pokémon, you must first weaken it, than throw a Pokeball at it. The catch is, if you go too far and hurt the Pokémon too much, it will faint and you will not be able to catch it. It it very frustrating trying to catch a shiny/legendary Pokémon, and hurt it too much. You might have another chance to catch a legendary, but a shiny is almost impossible to find, making them rarer than legendaries.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'', crime boss Goto has posted a substantial bounty on Jedi, with an IWantThemAlive stipulation attached. This causes a legion of bounty hunters to pursue the protagonist in order to collect on the bounty... and almost none of them bother even trying for a "live capture".
*** The irony here is that Goto actually wants a Jedi brought to him [[JustifiedTrope so they can work for him]], which deadness kind of precludes.
*** He really doesn't care, though: as he puts it, "A true Jedi would have no trouble surviving such attacks... and if you could not then you would be useless to me."
** ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'' has Darth Vader tell his men, "Take them alive, The Emperor wants to execute them personally."
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'': Kazuya and Nina's pre-battle cutscene has shades of this. Nina asks if they really have to take their opponents alive, to which Kazuya responds, "It's preferable, but accidents ''do'' happen."
* The player in ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}'' often finds himself in the position of issuing this order whenever the squad identifies an alien with useful knowledge.
** Dark VIP missions in ''VideoGame/{{XCOM 2}}''. You have to neutralize an important VIP working for the VichyEarth. Killing the VIP merely requires to attack them. Capturing the VIP requires getting a soldier close enough to deliver a TapOnTheHead, and one soldier to carry the VIP to the evacuation point (can be the same soldier or two different ones). Killing the VIP is safer, but results in only getting [[GlobalCurrency Supplies]], while capturing the VIP results in getting both supplies and Intel, but is riskier, as the soldier carrying the VIP can't do anything other than move and [[FastRoping grab the rope at the evac point]].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** The series' mythology provides a non-outright-villainous example. In the old [[HornyVikings Nordic]] religious tradition, Stuhn (their aspect of Stendarr, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Aedric Divine]] God of Mercy and Justice), was a [[BodyguardingABadass shield-thane]] to Shor (their aspect of [[GodIsDead Lorkhan]]), who was a "bloodthirsty warrior king". Stuhn was specifically the [[OddJobGods god of taking prisoners alive for ransom]].
** In the ''Battlespire'' DungeonCrawler spin-off game, Morphoid Daedra are an intelligent race of [[OurDemonsAreDifferent lesser Daedra]] found in service to BigBad [[DestroyerDeity Mehrunes Dagon]]. Conversing with one reveals that they were ordered by their [[EliteMooks Xivilai]] commander to take the [[PlayerCharacter Hero of Battlespire]] alive, presumably to extract information via ColdBloodedTorture.
--> '''Morphoid Daedra''': ''""I hear you are quite the little fireball. They say for us to capture you alive. I tend to get excited in a fight, so please remind me about the ALIVE part if I seem to get too excited."''

* Frans Rayner in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' subverts this when [[spoiler:Doc's father]] is making his way towards Rayner's base.
-->'''Rayner''': Bring him in, dead or alive, whatever. It would be cool if I could kill him myself, but you know... whatever.
* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', this is used to justify [[SociopathicHero Lothar]] being barred from a mission. Lothar protests by saying he got [[NoodleIncident his last suspect]] alive...
-->'''Commander Schaefer''': Yes. And the doctors say that if he ever ''wakes up'', he might just have enough of his ''brain'' left to answer our questions.\\
'''Lothar''': [[CompletelyMissingThePoint There, you see? I don't know what you're all bitching at me for.]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Ferretina's [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080130 reaction]] to Othar Tryggvassen, GentlemanAdventurer.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': During the "That Which Redeems" arc, Horribus insists that Torg be taken alive so that Horribus can rip out his soul and torture it for all eternity.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Also Justified in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''. [[BigBad The Queen]] is ''very'' specific about making sure any humans are brought to her "alive and undamaged". Otherwise, they can't be [[LifeEnergy used]] [[SoulJar to]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild power]] [[AndIMustScream her]] [[FateWorseThanDeath Slaverlords]].
* Justified in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', where killing Aang would just lead to some other Avatar being reincarnated and the hunt having to start all over again, unless the attackers are lucky enough to trigger the Avatar State and kill him while he's defenseless, but even accomplishing that isn't easy. However, the series is big on {{Fight Scene}}s so this often led to [[CouldHaveBeenMessy jarring circumstances]] where Aang is nearly killed by the same people who explicitly stated that they wanted him alive moments beforehand. This up and down went on until the season 3 where the notion is dropped altogether. Even if he does reincarnate that still buys them probably a decade without worrying about him, and the Fire Nation could probably conquer the rest of the world then (especially after [[spoiler:taking down the Earth Kingdom]]).
** Toph's dad puts out a reward for finding her, but [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Xin Fu]] seems to misunderstand the mission.
-->'''Xin Fu:''' She's wanted -- dead or alive.\\
'''[[OddCouple Master Yu]]:''' No she's not! I'm certain her father wants her alive!
* One WesternAnimation/BugsBunny cartoon depicted Bugs as being a wanted fugitive, wanted dead or alive... with the wanted poster explicitly saying "preferably dead."
* Justified in ''WesternAnimation/SheepInTheBigCity'' as Sheep can only be used as a power source for the Army's sheep-powered ray gun if he's alive.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'':
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E07GatheringForces "Gathering Forces"]]: When approaching the fort Kanan and Ezra are hiding in, the Inquisitor tells his squad of stormtroopers to "Keep them contained. I want them alive."
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS1E11CallToAction "Call to Action"]]: Tarkin tells the Inquisitor he wants the Jedi leader of the rebels on Lothal alive.
--->'''Tarkin:''' And remember, I want this Jedi ''alive''.
** [[Recap/StarWarsRebelsS3E19ZeroHour "Zero Hour"]]: Tarkin orders Grand Admiral Thrawn to take the rebel leaders alive to MakeAnExampleOfThem during his assault on their base, as he's confident an officer of Thrawn's caliber can pull it off. [[spoiler:This ends up [[NiceJobFixingItVillain giving those rebel leaders the opportunity to escape with their lives]].]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', Livewire busts Parasite out of jail, wanting him to drain Superman so she can take him down. He complies, but when she moves in for the kill, Parasite betrays her because Superman is much more useful to him as a live prisoner... and so is she.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Police forces prefer to capture rather than kill suspects and fugitives, generally only resorting to killing to prevent other people from dying.
** The fact is that police forces in countries with Rule of Law have no authority to use deadly force except in situations where bystanders would have that same right.