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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."
Zoe Washburn, Firefly

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.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • In the oft-forgotten manga version of Excel♥Saga, Excel at one point tells Hyatt, "You were in a tight spot back there, Ha-Chan! If I hadn't jumped in, you would a' been buried... then murdered... then defiled!" to which Hyatt can only respond, "In exactly that order?"

     Comics  
  • 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."

     Film  
  • In Dead Man the character Cole Wilson was known to have killed, fucked, and ate 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: "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:
    Jeremy: "Three religions down here: George Bush, God, Country and Western. In That Order. Ascending order."
  • 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.

     Literature  
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.

     Music 

    Radio 
  • 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.

     Video Games  
  • 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...

     Web Comics  

     Web Original 

     Western Animation  


Intelligible UnintelligibleDialogueIronic Echo
Inscrutable AliensHorror TropesIronic Nursery Tune
Interrupted IntimacyComedy TropesIn The Local Tongue

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