In That Order
"If [the reavers] take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And, if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."A common tag on to threats of sexual violence, mutilation and death, the phrase "in that order" works by implication of bizarre forms of punishment achievable by switching the order around. It can be used in a serious context to raise a scary threat to levels of Squick or in a comedic context to just make the acts seem ridiculous. Can be combined with Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking, if the "final" punishment would be pretty inconsequential following the others. It is also very common to simply imply the trope by stressing the word of ordering. God bless italics.
— Zoe Washburn, Firefly
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The old MAD magazine sendup of "Conquering the Planet of the Apes", as the intelligent ape addresses his army:
All right! If we're going to win against the humans you need to listen up and stop embarrassing me! For example, when I tell you to put on your shoes and socks, I don't mean in that order!
- An old Dragon had a comic with a sad-faced Eastern dragon standing in a karate pose looking at a burned foot, with his tiny ancient elder trainer saying "No, no. Spin then flame then kick."
- "Die Zumutungen der Moderne" by Nicolas Mahler (about his life as cartoonist) has a somewhat unconvincing example, as the order is not that relevant. While the comic boheme does smalltalk, one member shocks them by claiming he will reduce his life to the absolutely necessary, "television and masturbation - not necessarily in that order".
- In Dead Man the character Cole Wilson was known to have killed, fucked, and eaten his parents. In that order.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the mermaids will take you to the bottom of the sea, drown you, then eat you. Sometimes, however, they will do it the other way around.
- From the original Planet of the Apes (1968): "If they catch you, they will dissect you. And kill you. In that order."
- The first movie of Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta: "Go out with your hands up and suicide! Not necessarily in that order!" (two character react with "They got us! We're FUBAR!" "Not necessarily in that order!")
- In Money Train, Wesley Snipes' and Woody Harrelson's characters get chewed out by their unhealthily aggressive supervisor for misconduct. Patterson (the supervisor) claims that if they screw up again, he's going to "fuck them dead". W & W then discuss and try to figure out if he meant fucking them before or after they're dead. They come to the conclusion that "Either way it's a pain in the ass". Later in the film, Wesley makes a point that they need to stay one step ahead of "That necrophiliac Patterson".
- In Hannibal this is referenced in the following exchange regarding Hannibal's interest in Special Agent Clarice Starling:
Mason Verger: "So what do ya think, Cordell? Does Lecter want to fuck her or kill her or eat her alive?"Cordell: "Probably all three, though I wouldn't want to predict in what order."
- In The Running Man, Amber Mendez's friend tells her she was lucky to survive an encounter with Ben Richards: "You're lucky he didn't kill you, too. Or rape you, then kill you. Or kill you, then rape you."
- Commando has a variation in which John Matrix tells Sully that he'll kill him last. When he does kill him, it's nowhere near last; all he offers by way of explanation is "I Lied".
Live Action Television
- Firefly gives us the page quote, which is used in the "scary threat" sense and underscores how dreaded and utterly terrifying the Reavers are in the verse.
- House: Dr. House says to a female patient he dislikes, "If you're gonna kill me and rape me, please do it in that order."
- In Coupling, Susan invites Steve over for dinner. When she's ready to go home and start cooking, she says to him, "You can come and watch ... in that order."
- From the British run of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, whilst doing a scene in the style of Greek tragedy:
Julian Clary: I have come to sleep with your mother and then kill her ... in that order.Paul Merton: I'm afraid I've done that already.
- Jekyll - Benjamin, about to walk into a meeting with Hyde, warns his men "Don't kill him. Or me. In that order."
- Jeremy Clarkson once had this gem during his US Special:
- In the Doctor Who episode The Snowmen, Strax, a Sontaran who's been assisting the Doctor (and really, really just wants to kill something), gives his recommendation for dealing with an intruder:
Strax: Suggest we melt his brain using projectile acid fish, then interrogate him.
(Everyone stares at him)
Strax: Other way 'round.
- This quote from The War Against the Chtorr: "Life is short. Then you die. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order." Chtorran gastropedes are giant worms that eat people alive.
- Used a lot with "barbarian raider" types. "Remember, it's rape, pillage then burn."
- In Interesting Times, the bordering-on-senile Silver Horde have to be reminded of the proper order and that it's rape the women, burn the houses (though given their age, it's unlikely they'd have managed to rape either).
- Used for parody in The Horse and His Boy, when Lasaraleen says that any servants disobeying an order will "first be flogged to death and then be burned alive and after that be kept on bread and water for six weeks."
- The beginning of Mostly Harmless claims the following:
Anything that happens, happens.Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again.It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the sadistic Ramsay Snow likes to hunt women with dogs. If they are "lucky", and he thinks they put up a good fight, he'll kill them and then flay their skin and will name a dog after them. If they aren't lucky, he'll rape them and then flay them alive.
- According to Oberyn Martell, Ser Gregor Clegane raped his sister, murdered her, then killed her children. He's wrong. As Gregor informs him: first he killed her children. Then he raped her. Then he "smashed her fucking head in, like this."
- In The Dresden Files, at one point, they run into Sigrun Gard, who had recently been disemboweled during a fight. Thomas comes to the conclusion that Gard had beaten up the opponents, and then gotten her wounds. Harry corrects him; she beat up a fallen angel while her guts were hanging out of her side.
- In "Valerie: A True Memoir", author Harlan Ellison recounts how someone had a habit of spreading rumors about him, then returns the favor by remarking, "What a nasty thing to say, particularly from a man who lures six-year-old boys into the basements of churches and then defiles, kills and eats them, not necessarily in that order."
- From the Anti-Christmas Song The Man that Slits the Turkey's Throats at Christmas by Robin Laing:
Some people say I'm cruel, some say that I'm insane,
But the methods I've adopted are really quite humane.
I kill them, draw them, pluck them - it's the best way I have found,
Unless I feel vindictive, when I swap the system round.
- In the Cabin Pressure episode "Fitton", Arthur tells his mother Carolyn that his father asked after her and the plane, but not in that order.
- Inverted in the trailer for Poker Night at the Inventory
Max: "Call him! Raise him! Tear his kneecaps out! Not in that order!"
- A play on the Schlock Mercenary example specifically, rather than a general example in and of itself: Warhammer Online has a powerful (for its level) health potion with the description "Next time, pillage before you burn".
- FEAR's industrial first level features the following sign on the walls: "Remember it's Quantity, Quality, Safety, in that order."
- In the Xel'lotath path of Eternal Darkness, she instructs her dragon to deal with Charlemagne as follows: "Make sure he is dead... or... insane... Or perhaps first the one, then the other?" Given the nature of the game, doing it in the order given is actually not impossible, as one of the player's characters will find out first hand...
- In Schlock Mercenary, maxim one of The Seventy Maxims of Highly Effective Mercenaries is: "Pillage, then burn."
- Butch from Chopping Block, evidently, needs a reminder.
- In Exterminatus Now a captured assassin sneers at the inquisitors that he knows how "interrogation" will mean something silly. Turns out he's wrong.
- Eastwood:"We will have Lothar here cut your bollocks off and then ask you some questions."Assassin:"... Don't you mean the other way round?!"Eastwood:"No, I'm pretty sure we've got it right."
- Subverted in The Dementia Of Magic: When confronting the witch that poisoned the city, Simon and Matt say they want her head and her poison's antidote respectively, in either order.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged gives one to Goku in the Cooler special. It helps to highlight his... unique mindset.
- College Humor features a variation where Batman, circa The Dark Knight Rises, spends his dying breaths relating how he knocked Talia up, going in detail on how he explored her orifices...and "not in the order you might imagine", cueing Squick from Bane.
- In an early episode of The Fairly OddParents after Timmy wishes Mark the alien to earth.
King Gripullon: We will destroy the earth and get our son back! Not necessarily in that order.
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the 100th episode:
Studio Exec: "Can I rape her and behead her? And not necessarily in that order?" This is a family show!Dana Synder: Um, yes, I will speak to him about that, yes.