If You Die, I Call Your Stuff
You are about to do something stupid and/or fatal, and your friends decide to show their support of said action by staking their claim to your possessions, or at least your good ones. The statements are usually made in jest, as a means of Gallows Humor
as no one expects the character to actually die from the action. It may be related to Try Not to Die
, under the assumption that you'll be less likely to get yourself killed if all these greedy beggars will be using and abusing your stuff if you do.
Don't think, however, that this claim won't be invoked if in fact, you DO
die (or appear to)
Compare and contrast Where There's a Will, There's a Sticky Note
and Personal Effects Reveal
. See also Due to the Dead
; actually looting the body is often regarded as an offense against it.
Compare Kleptomaniac Hero
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- The PC skydiver in a recent Windows' Phone commercial assumes his Mac friend will die because he's too busy fumbling with his iPhone camera app to pull his chute in time.
PC: "Hey, is it cool if I date Emily
when you're... (chute opens)
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! dub:
Weevil: If Yugi loses, I call dibs on his Dark Magician.
Rex: Why don't you show a little compassion for once? Let me take his Dark Magician.
Mokuba: If Joey's dead, can I have his trading cards?
- Played straight in the fourth volume of Dorothy of Oz with Dopey asking Grumpy if he can have his helmet if said older dwarf dies after nearly being fried alive by Mara's lightning powers.
- Natsume Yuujinchou: Madara/Nyanko-sensei tells everyone that the reason he sticks around Natsume so much is because he wants to take the Book of Friends once Natsume dies. It's probably a lie, though, since he could just kill Natsume and get it over with.
- Brother Voodoo, Black Panther [T'Challa], Blade and Luke Cage once teamed up to clean up an infestation of vampires in New Orleans and to save the amnesiac Photon. Around this time Panther had stolen the Ebony Blade from Marvel's Black Knight, and Blade was so impressed by it that he asked T'Challa to give it to him in his will. Blade is berated by his partners but just responds, "When you're immortal, you don't sweat the small stuff."
- ˇThree Amigos!: When the Amigos arrive in Santo Poco, they don't know that they're meant to fight with El Guapo and his bandits. A little boy named Pablo asks Dusty "Can I have your watch when you are dead?" After the day is saved, Dusty gives the watch to Pablo anyway.
- Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey: Inverted.
- Flatliners: paraphrased: "Hey Nelson, if you don't make it... can I have your apartment? What? I was joking."
- City Slickers: "If he dies, I'm going after Barbara."
- Back to the Future 3: The gun salesman is happy to provide a brand new Colt Peacemaker for Marty's duel against Tannen... but should Marty lose, he will want it back, okay?
- 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain: When Rocky finds that his girlfriend has been Chained to a Railway (as bait so the bad guys can capture him), he decides to head there alone to save her, while his brothers and neighbor stay put:
Tum Tum: Hey, Rocky, if you don't come back, can I have your Barry Bonds glove?
Colt: Tum Tum!
Rocky: I'll be back.
- The Gamers. After accidently killing the mage of their group, they decide to bury him (and in the true spirit of gamers, not for sentimental reasons but for cold hard points) and after a few seconds of silence they are all quick to call dibs on what few earthly possessions he had.
- Tango & Cash. Cash tells Tango that if Tango dies, he's going to date Tango's sister.
- Memphis Belle:
- Early in the film, the characters are shown divvying up the personal effects of a crewman who didn't make it back from the last mission. One of the characters asks if they should be doing this, and is told that otherwise it would all be sent back to his wife, and they didn't want her receiving anything embarrassing, like condoms...
- Later in the same movie, one of the characters becomes obsessed with the idea that he's going to die, and starts giving his own treasured possessions out to his comrades.
- In The 13th Warrior (the Film of the Book The 13th Warrior) Antonio Banderas' character is an Arab trapped amongst Norsemen in a re-imagining of Beowulf. After he grinds down a massive sword he isn't able to use into a scimitar, one of his companions asks, "When you die, can I give that to me daughter?"
- The Mechanic. The Bastard Understudy returns to claim the Big Fancy House and Cool Car of his Professional Killer mentor after killing him. Unfortunately the mentor anticipated this and rigged the car to explode.
- During Timmy's battle with the pirates at the beginning of A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, Cosmo asks him "If you die, can I have your bike?"
- Not played for laughs in Black Rain. The two American policeman have their firearms confiscated when they enter Japan. As a result, one of them is murdered while the other helplessly looks on. A Japanese detective returns the effects of the dead officer to his partner so he can return them to the United States, which includes the dead officer's confiscated firearm.
- At the end of Stay Tuned, after Crowley gets even with Spike, an intern chimes in with "I call his parking space!"
- Creepily and brutally inverted in Neal Shusterman's Downsiders. When Talon is about to be executed, he is asked if he has any last words. He has dozens of things he wishes he had time to express, but knows there's no way to boil it all down into a sentence or two before his death. So he just says "Tell Railborn he can have my bottle cap collection."
- All Quiet on the Western Front has an unfunny version of this with a pair of very good boots. Near the beginning, their current owner is dying of a wound and asks the narrator to give the boots to another member of the unit. Since the wound involves an amputated leg, one of the comrades comments that he'd only ever use one boot anyhow. Near the end, the narrator (who now owns the boots) reveals he's already promised them to someone else, as each of his friends who owned them before him have died one by one and he has no illusions about going home.
- At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins returns home to find that his relatives have declared him legally dead and started selling off his possessions. Luckily he has enough gold from his adventure to buy everything back (except for his silver spoons) and still have enough left over to be the richest hobbit in the Shire.
- In the sixth Slayers light novel:
Lina: Suppose Zuuma does kill me — what are you all planning to do then?
Gourry: Do? We'll have a funeral for you, duh.
Amelia: I'll probably go through your stuff and see if there's something worth keeping.
Xelloss: Laugh a lot.
Lina: Avenge me! If Zuuma kills me, you'll all try and avenge me!
- The WW2 novels by Sven Hassel.
- In the Old Un's unit the possessions of a dead colleague always belong to his fellow soldiers, with wills being drawn up over particularly valued items. Sometimes a soldier near death will have his pistol removed, as it would only be stolen by a medical orderly, but as the soldier is often aware of this happening it only hastens his death, as he knows what it means.
- In a (somewhat) more humorous example, Heide collapses after a fight and Tiny eagerly goes to salvage his gold teeth, but is so disappointed when Heide turns out to be still alive that he has to hand over everything in his pockets to avoid being beaten up.
- Discworld has Igors. If you go to them for treatment, they consider your body free after you die. Turn down one Igor and the entire region is considered off-limits by him and every other Igor. Of course, they then use those parts to help out other people (and maybe occasionally modify themselves for greater efficiency). It's like getting free health insurance for life if you are willing to sign an organ donor card. On the opposite side, if a person did get help from an Igor but his family refused to give the Igor the body parts, the Igors would then refuse to come to this village again.
- Discworld also has the fact that wizards and witches know when they're going to die, and often arrange a "going away party", which is like a wake, but with the person there to enjoy it. It's not unknown for party guests to drop meaningful hints about how much they always liked that dresser...
- All You Need Is Kill. When the protagonist first meets the Full Metal Bitch, he's suffered a fatal wound and she tells him she's going to take his power pack (for his Powered Armor) when he dies, but will protect him until that happens. In the movie adaptation Edge of Tomorrow it's a lot worse — Rita steals the protagonist's power pack while he's still alive and without any words of comfort, leaving him helpless when a Mimic attacks moments later.
- In Pact, when Peter Thorburn is about to be killed by a walking skeleton that is also a Poisonous Person, he has the following exchange with his sister Ellie:
Peter: If you make it out of this, you can have my stuff.
Ellie: Fuck you, I don’t want your stuff.
Live Action TV
- The show has a creepy variant. If you die, they claim your body. Admittedly, they have good reasons for this, but it's still creepy. Also, they claim your memories should you ever leave Torchwood, but that's entirely understandable, given how hip deep they are in things they don't want most of the planet to know about.
- Jack also implies they would take Rhys if Gwen tried to leave her stuff to him. He was joking. Probably.
- Stargate SG-1, "The Enemy Within." Jack asks, in what has to be the greatest Mood Whiplash Subverted Tear Jerker ever, "If you don't make it, can I have your stereo?" In this case he's deliberately being silly to keep his mind off the fact that his buddy might die from what's going on, plus cheering said buddy up.
- Firefly had a variation on this:
Mal: Hell, this job, I would pull for free.
Zoe: Then can I have your share?
Zoe: If you die, can I have your share?
- Also, when Simon and River were kidnapped Jayne went ahead and started looting Simon's room.
- And then there's this bit from The Movie, when Mal goes to rescue Inara solo.
- One Episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Jadzia borrowing Worf's prized collection of Klingon operas as the latter left for a dangerous mission, threatening to "misplace" them if he didn't hurry and come back alive.
- Rygel goes so far as to give Crichton what seems to be the Hynerian version of the last rites, declare him dead, and claim all his possessions for himself.
- Later on inverted: about to go on a suicide mission, John tells Rygel he can have all his stuff. "You're a material guy, Rygel. Have some material." The tone of this is quite hurtful, and Rygel is surprisingly affected.
- When dying for real though, alternate Crichton teases Rygel by saying he still can't have his stuff.
- Inverted by Rygel and Chiana when Zhaan is Killed Off for Real. They both go into her chambers intending to take her stuff, but they can't go through with it.
- Just Shoot Me!: Jack remarks that according to his (broken) heart monitor he's dead. Finch immediately comes back with "Let me be the first to say, you were a great, great man, and dibs on your wife."
- The Janitor in Scrubs to J.D. when the latter is checked into the hospital.
- On an episode of Grace Under Fire, Grace tries to explain to her kids that she's made arrangements in case something should happen to her. Libby naively asks if she can have the tv if Grace dies, and Quentin starts to chew her out for not taking it seriously enough, Grace thinks. It turns out he thinks he should get the tv because he's the oldest.
- In a perfectly agreed and reciprocal version of this, Steve and Jeff in Coupling are "Porn Buddies" - should one of them die, it is the other's responsibility to clear out all the porn before their family goes through their effects. This also serves as a form of condolence - what better to help you through the grieving process?
- This, or a variation of, is a typical response when contestants on Whose Line Is It Anyway? have to come up with Bad Things to Say to Someone On Their Deathbed.
Colin: So when do you think Susan will be ready to date again?
Ryan: What are you going to do with your stereo?
- Mystery Science Theater 3000
- The crew did it when they spoofed Last Clear Chance, a road safety film from the 1950s. As the main character watches his older brother get killed at a train crossing (in very Too Dumb to Live fashion), Servo shouts out "Can I have your room?"
- And after Crow takes inspiration from the film The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad only to get trapped outside the sattelite: "Hi, Crow? This is Tom. If you're gonna die out there in the cold void of space, can I have that Toblerone you've been hiding under your bed?"
- The following exchange from Young Blades when D'Artagnan is about to embark on a ridiculous mission:
When you die, may I have your horse? D'Artagnan:
Yes...but don't eat him.
- Ashes to Ashes, contrary to the tone of the quote, this was in fact a heartbreaking scene:
Ray Carling: You've been a good pal to me. I don't know how to say this without looking like a twat...
Chris Skelton: Go on.
Ray Carling: Well. If you don’t make it out of here, can I have your mug? Only mine's knackered.
- In the sesaon five premire of NCIS ("Bury Your Dead"), Tony returns after being presumed dead in a car bomb explosion and he's annoyed to find everyone has pinched his office supplies.
Everybody else gave you up for dead, even Ziva
OK, so I may have acted a little hastily. Tony:
That's my letter opener. Ziva:
Excellent balance and weight. The edge is a little dull, but I've always admired it. Tony:
Where's my American Pie coffee mug? Abby:
Mighty Mouse stapler? Abby:
Ducky... Hey, Ducky. (Ducky is attempting to stealthily return the stapler when he's spotted) Ducky:
My dear fellow, I never believed it for a moment. Welcome home.
- The Build Team tests the myth that you can stop a car by throwing it into reverse (they are using walkie-talkies):
Tory: Hey, Grant, if, uh...you know, just...a crazy, I mean, let's hope this doesn't happen, but let's say you do go off course, and you end up crashing and dying...uh, can I have your robot?
Grant: I want the robot to be buried next to me, over.
Tory: I promise, we will bury the robot next to you. (Turns off walkie-talkie and turns to camera) He'll be dead! He won't know where the robot is! It's gonna be in my house!
- The exchange is inverted for an episode where Grant and Tory are sent up to skydive for myths from Point Break. Grant goes up first and safely returns, but Tory, being second to jump note , is anxious. Grant's 'assessment' about the danger Tory faces in the jump he is about to take is reflected in Grant's parting words to a visibly nervous Tory as the latter takes off:
Grant: I'm taking your tools!
Alton: If we just find pieces, can I have your watch?
- Married... with Children: Whenever an Uncle of Al's dies and nobody locks his door, Al, Peg and their children go there and call dibs on whatever they can. In one instance, Bud was sad when he learned the gold tooth he got wasn't really made of gold, Al comforted him by mentioning an Aunt who seemed to be close to death. Peg's reaction was calling dibs on the Aunt's lamp.
- Used mostly jokingly in CSI: NY, "Sleight Out Of Hand". Mac is testing the coolant gel that stunt performers use for burns and tells Danny to set his arm on fire. Danny complies, but says he gets Mac's office if something happens.
- Life With Boys: In "Wrestling with Boys", Tess is planning on throwing a match against the wrestling team. Allie asks whether, if the plan goes wrong, she can have Tess's sparkly black purse.
- Reversed in Matthew Good Band's "Indestructible":
Died in an amusement park accident
I came back for you
So you wouldn't be alone
And if I go away again
You can have my stereo
- The chorus of the Irish folk song "Johnny When You Die":
"Johnny when you die will you leave to me the fiddle-o
Johnny when you die will you leave to me the bow"
- Sally in Peanuts was constantly laying claim to Charlie Brown's room should something happen to him. When he returns after being almost washed out to sea on his pitcher's mound, she says "I suppose you're going to want your room back." Also, when he returns from getting lost in the woods looking for Snoopy, she notes that it'll take a while to move all her things (including the bed) out of his room. She also tries to move into his room when he goes to camp.
- In Garfield:
Jon (talking on the phone): Ellen, if you don't go out with me, I'll die. (Beat) It's just a figure of speech, Ellen. (Beat) No, you can't have my computer!
Garfield: Can I have the TV?
Garfield: How about a nice little game of “Stomp The Spider”?
Spider: I'm warning you... You'd better not pick on me, cat! I'll tell my big brother! Hey, Rusty! C'mere!
Spider: This big, stupid cat says he's gonna stomp me.
Rusty: (considers Garfield, turns back) Can I have your CDs?
- In another Jon tells Garfield that he wrote his will and Garfield asks him if he can have the fridge.
- In Dilbert, this is applied to layoffs. It goes a bit far in one incident where while Dilbert and Wally confine themselves to pilfering the ex-employee's office equipment and furniture, Alice goes and takes the man's pants. While he's on his way out the door.
- In Foxtrot while Jason is acting as a Drill Sergeant Nasty football coach to Peter, he tells him "If you die I get your stereo."
- In The BBC's Tolkien spoof Hordes of the Things, when the wizard Radox the Green is about to risk his life, he gets into a protracted argument with his fellow wizard Badedas the Blue about which of the wizards will get which of his belongings if he doesn't come back.
- Likely to happen both in and out of character in role-playing games, regardless of characters' supposed morals. In extreme cases, and due to the freedom of most such games, particularly vicious players—the kind whose group you leave and hope to never see again—might even plot to kill another player's character and divvy the stuff up if they have particularly good loot. Can also lead to conflicts of interest where a good roleplayer wants the stuff but has to play a character who would do anything to get their friend back.
- Also a rule in Munchkin, actually the only penalty for dying as your new character is the same level, class, race, as your old one.
- A potential rules exploit, as new PCs can start with magic items in 3rd and 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, since replacement characters usually start the same level as their player's previous character, with loot appropriate to their character level. The party gets to keep the old character's loot while the new character brings in new loot.
- Bizarrely, Paranoia, the RPG most infamous for having players kill each other, averts this, largely to make all the dying everyone does less bad. (There's is indeed plenty of "stuff", but you probably don't want to take it.) You get given all your things back, even the experimental/illegal stuff, when your clone returns, and given the nature of death in Alpha Complex, it's likely that the only salvageable thing left of your old corpse is a set of Smoldering Shoes.
- Mr. Welch gets in on this:
The "Dibs" system is not a recognized method of promotion in the Ordo Malleus.
'Dibs' is not a term of bereavement.
- Also, his attempts go above and beyond mere looting:
Searching the dead PC for spell components is fine. Using him for spell components is not.
- One of two contrasting reactions in this Arthur, King of Time and Space.
- A variant, in this The Noob comic - After meeting a veteran MMORPG player who is about to quit, the title character asks, "Can I have your stuff?"
- In Erfworld, when Parson is pulled into Erfworld by Wanda's summoning spell, one of his fellow gamers' first comment is "Dibs on his dice."
- Shortpacked! here.
- Questionable Content put their own spin on it here. The belongings of the prospective deceased will be split by lottery instead of being fought over.
- Girl Genius:
- A minor character displayed fatally poor judgement by trying to take Sanaa Tryggvassen hostage. One of the other prisoners promptly calls "Dibs on his boots!".
- Later, the doctors Mittlemind and Mezzasalma cheerily harvest their colleague's organs when he dies. It's quickly noted that he would have done the same to them, and apparently stole Mezzasalma's pancreas when he got knocked unconscious one time.
- In Our Little Adventure, they meet another party like this, shortly after Pauline's death.
- Gone with the Blastwave: Idaho is a victim of this trope, even though he was Only Mostly Dead. This prompts Crosshair Guy to write a Try Not to Die note to himself.
- In The Whiteboard, Roger detonates a Febreze bomb in Doc's office. When Doc emerges and grabs Roger to drag him off for a mauling, Roger calls for Swampy to avenge him. Swampy's response: "That depends. Can I have your PlayStation?"
- In an Arthur episode called "D.W Flips", the twins ask D.W. if they could have her toys if she dies attempting a gymnastic stunt.
- Beast Wars: Transformers:
Rattrap: [to Optimus] Uh...just in case you don't come back...can I have your quarters?
- In one gag, Professor Farnsworth presents his new invention - a clock that can tell how long anyone has to live - by testing it on Fry. We never see what the clock says, but the other characters bow their heads in sadness while Bender calls dibs on his stuff.
- Bender himself also defied this trope. When he goes on a vacation to the Galapagos Islands, even after learning that it's all a trick by Richard Nixon to get all the world's robots together and Kill 'em All, he tells the Planet Express crew not to touch his stuff; it's all booby-trapped.
- In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where Buster has to go see the principal, everyone calls dibs on his stereo. After the third time, he turns to the camera and asks whether he's the only one in the school who has a CD player. For extra funny, this was the principal entertaining'' the idea of confiscating Buster's stereo as punishment for what he was sent to the Principal's office for.
- Rocket Power: When Otto refuses to heed everyone's warning against surfing during a particularly bad storm, Twister calls out to him as he leaves, "Can I have your skateboard?!"
- A Yogi Bear cartoon has Yogi in a runaway helicopter. Throughout the cartoon, Boo Boo is continually pestering Yogi about wanting Yogi's Pogo Stick if Yogi dies.
- In the TV movie Garfield in Paradise, Garfield says to Jon, when they are surrounded by vicious-looking natives, "Assuming I get out of this and you don't, can I have your bunny slippers?" (The natives turn out to be friendly.)
- On Six Teen two of the Dumb Blonde clones are discussing a contest:
First Clone: So, if you win and you die of pride, can I have your halter top collection?
Second Clone: Oh, of course you can!
- In South Park - Best Friends Forever, when Kenny is put into a coma Cartman is given his PSP, and fights for Kenny to be taken off life support so he can keep it.
- Stork sings a song about this in Storm Hawks.
- In the Hey Arnold! episode "24 Hours to Live," Gerald tries to reassure Arnold that Harold has forgotten his plan to beat him up tomorrow for beaning him during a baseball game. Then the following happens:
Helga: [yelled at Arnold while passing on a bus] Hey, Arnold! 23 hours until you die! [cackling maniacally]
[Gerald hands Arnold a sheet of notebook paper]
Arnold: Hey, what's this? A CD player, roller blades, hockey stick?
Gerald: That's just a list of your stuff that I've kinda had my eye on—you know, if worse comes to worst.
Arnold: [with an annoyed look] Thanks, Gerald.
Gerald: Don't mention it.
- A Running Gag in Rango is the little girl claiming his boots when he dies. It's a sign that she's starting to respect him when she stops assuming he'll die every time he does something.
- Reversed by David Letterman, the day before he went in for bypass surgery: "Paul, I just want you to know, if something happens to me - I want Felicia Collins, the guitar player to have the show."
- "In the Event of Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?"- bumper sticker
- Also "In Case of Rapture, You Can Have My Car". Referenced in the political webcomic I Drew This: "But I don't want your car. It has that stupid sticker on it."
- George Mac Donald Fraser recorded participating in the division of a fallen comrade's kit in Quartered Safe Out Here.