[[quoteright:330:[[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3fbd4e0b2330dff5f220f08b97874e04.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:[[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe "Ye Be Warned"]] indeed.]]

->''"Burn it until it smolders. These people are traitors and must be made examples of."''
-->-- '''Judge Claude Frollo''', ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''

This is for when the benefit of what you do to someone isn't so much in and of itself as about the message it sends to others, about what could happen to them. As is implied from this, what happened needs to be known in order for it to work. While the most common "example" is [[PublicExecution death]], GenreSavvy punishment forces realize [[DontCreateAMartyr this can backfire]], and will go for the FateWorseThanDeath.

It is often associated with governments, especially the more tyrannical of them but not exclusively; see also the deterrence argument for use of this in the context of more democratic societies. Also, even forces outside the law, like terrorists, [[TheMobBossIsScarier criminal syndicates]], and {{Serial Killer}}s, apply this as well. It's also [[NotSoDifferent very common]] with [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized revolutionary forces]]; with prisoners, stringing up or dumping their mutilated remains serves as a warning to soldiers of the current regime, while population centers that they suspect of being in league with the regime or even just not being supportive of them are likely to be [[RapePillageAndBurn brutalized]] as a "stand with us or else" message.

Often combined with YouHaveFailedMe, when an underling is punished brutally for failure "to encourage the others".

Note that the "example" is usually ''more'' severe than the "normal" punishment, making this DisproportionateRetribution.


[[AC:[[AnimeAndManga Anime and Manga]] ]]
* ''Manga/TokyoESP'' has the female main protagonist subjected to a complete NoHoldsBarredBeatdown until she's literally killed to show what happens to those who try to be heroes. [[spoiler: They were able to restart her heart, but the damage was extensive]].
* ''Anime/LupinIIIIslandOfAssassins'': Shortly after arriving on the island, Lupin witnesses one of [[MurderInc the Tarantula's]] "manhunts", where they chase down and brutally kill one of their former members. Ellen tells Lupin that it's the price any of them pay if they [[YouHaveFailedMe fail to carry out an assignment.]]

* ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'': During the Apocalypse War, the defending Judges execute a batch of Sov-Block collaborators and leave their bodies out in the open as a message to any would-be traitors.

* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': [[BigBad Jinnai]] tells [[BattleCouple Shinji and Asuka]] he shot a general was planning to depose him so that no one else thinks of trying a coup d'etat.
* [[http://kleinerkiller.deviantart.com/gallery/41037509 Yognapped]]:
** BigBad Sben threatens to string up the spinal cords of some scientists who might delay his operation, as a "motivational tool" to the others. [[spoiler: He doesn't follow through with this, but he does end up [[EyeScream killing one via eye stabbing]]]].
** [[spoiler:Peva]] murders [[spoiler:Sips]] to make the Yogscast cooperate. It only makes them hate him more.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness Act II'': When Fairy Tale is occupying the Snow Women Village, Miyabi decides to have Mizore's mother Tsurara executed to teach the other snow people their "place." It also doubles as a big KickTheDog moment because mere moments before giving the order, he'd [[SexualExtortion extorted Mizore for sex]] in exchange for ''not'' doing so. Fortunately, Tsukune and the others put a stop to it.
* In ''Machinima/CouriersMindRiseOfNewVegas'', [[KnightOfCerebus Vulpes Inculta]] explains that this is why he had to massacre the town of Nipton as brutally as he did. The Courier, after getting over his disgust, makes a point to [[LaserGuidedKarma give them a taste of their own medicine]] whenever he kills other Legionnaires later in the game, going out of his way to hack off their limbs or throw their corpses into fires as a big middle-finger to Caesar.
* In ''Fanfic/TheUltimateEvil'', after the Dark Hand's failure to retrieve [[MacGuffin the Talismans]] from the LivingStatue of [[PrecursorHeroes Lo Pei]], [[SealedEvilInACan Shendu]] decides to make [[DiabolicalMastermind Valmont]] more motivated to avoid further failures by burning his secretary to death in front of him.
** After Shendu (now [[DemonicPossession possessing Valmont's body]]) discovers that [[TheBrute Hak Foo]] nearly killed [[VillainousCrush Valerie]], he punishes Hak Foo ''[[ColdBloodedTorture painfully]]'' in front of the other Enforcers to make it clear for all of them once and for all that Valerie is not to be harmed. Hak Foo is allowed to live only because he's the least incompetent of the Enforcers.

[[AC:Films -- Animated]]
* This tactic is often featured in Creator/{{Disney}} movies, and often associated with (or at least more explicitly mentioned by) the villains:
** The above page quote, of course, refers to the Disney version of ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''. The context of the quotation ([[spoiler:trying to justify burning down a house with a family trapped inside]]. Scene viewable [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRwhaRrEJng#t=3m6s here.]]) is not the only example; Frollo [[spoiler:whipping the previous captain of the guard in front of the next one, apparently to show what happens to captains who disappoint Frollo]], is likely also an example of this.
** In ''Disney/TheLionKing'', Scar's VillainSong is punctuated at one point by him backing one of his hyenas into an open fissure in order to assert his dominance over them in his [[EvilPlan master plan]] ([[spoiler: which makes his later death at their hands as a result of his exploitation of them [[HoistByHisOwnPetard all the more ironic]]]]).
--> '''Scar:''' The future is littered with prizes,
--> And though I'm the main addressee,
--> The point that I must emphasize is:
* {{Pixar}} villains also tend to use this tactic, and a theme that often comes up with them is that they are trying to deter their victims from thinking.
** Hopper, from ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', uses this tactic often. He gives a speech to the other grasshoppers about how if "you let one ant stand up to us, then they ''all'' might stand up," and to drive the point home, even uses a demonstrated analogy involving grains that results in several of his henchmen getting buried; it's twofold in involving him applying it to his own henchmen in the context of a speech made to get them to apply it to the ants. Later on, [[spoiler: it's revealed that he plans to squish the queen so as to "remind [the ants] who's boss," and also tries to find out whose idea the bird was so as to make an example of him or her.]]
-->'''Hopper:''' Let this be a lesson to ''all'' you ants: Ideas can be very dangerous things.
** Happens in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', when Andy's toys are imprisoned at Sunnyside daycare center. Mr. Potato Head is singled out on [[BigBad Lotso's]] command and put into the PunishmentBox, so all could witness what happened if they did not obey.

[[AC:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/PathsOfGlory''. During WorldWarI, an entire division of French soldiers refuse to go on a suicidal mission. Three soldiers are chosen at random to be tried & executed for cowardice.
** While the incidents themselves were fictionalized to the point of being almost unrecognizable, the events in the movie (and the novel it was adapted from) were based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Army_Mutinies_(1917) real incidents]].
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' provides the page image. Though it's notably ineffective, as not only does piracy run rampant through the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow removes his hat and ''salutes'' the hanging bodies of the pirates, presumably in honor of their "noble sacrifice".
* Mentioned in ''Film/VForVendetta'' by Chancellor Sutler towards the end ([[spoiler:later averted as the military personnel guarding the Parliament refuses to shoot the marching civilians]]):
-->''"Tonight ''[on November 5, the day scheduled for V's revolution]'' any protestor, any instigator or agitator [[VillainousBreakdown WILL BE MADE]] [[ChewingTheScenery EXAMPLE OF!]]"''
* In ''Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjayPart1'' President Snow has people caught with the Mockingjay symbol shot publicly through the back of the head at the beginning as an example to the District uprising.
* The original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' seems to feature this on Cohaagen's part, although being Cohaagen, it is likely there is some spite added in there as well.
-->'''Technician:''' Sir, the oxygen level is bottoming out in Sector G. What do you want me to do about it?
-->'''Vilos Cohaagen:''' [as if obvious] Don't do anything.
-->'''Technician:''' But they won't last an hour, sir.
-->'''Vilos Cohaagen:''' [[PrecisionFStrike Fuck 'em]]. It'll be a good lesson to the others.
* In ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'', Byron Hadley beats an emotionally-overwhelmed inmate to death on the prison floor for complaining out loud that he shouldn't be in prison. It is strongly implied that he is doing this to scare the other inmates into keeping their mouths shut.
* In ''Film/ANewHope'', Tarkin makes an example of the entire planet of Alderaan, after first rejecting Dantooine (where he was told the Rebel base was) for being "too remote to make an effective demonstration."
** ExpandedUniverse material state that Tarkin's plan backfired and the rebellion used Alderaan to recuit thousands.
* ''Film/TurkeyShoot''. A scene which impressed even Creator/QuentinTarantino is [[TheBrute Ritter]] (played by [[GiantMook 6ft, 3"]] Roger Ward) shadowboxing and then beating to death a tiny female inmate, picked at random as a 'lesson' to the NewMeat.
* ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'''s Little Bill, after savagely whipping Munny's friend Ned to death, [[DeadGuyOnDisplay puts his body out on display]] at the saloon as an example of how he and the others deal with "assassins." [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Unfortunately, this proves to be Little Bill's biggest mistake]].

* In Voltaire's ''Literature/{{Candide}}'', the title character witnesses the execution of an admiral which is explained to him with the famous line: "In this country they find it necessary to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others (''pour encourager les autres'')." The scene is based on the RealLife execution of the British Admiral Byng, whom Voltaire had met, for alleged cowardice in battle.
* In the {{Deryni}} novel ''Camber of Culdi'' a tyrannical Deryni lord is murdered and dismembered, with his body parts left in various places. Fifty peasants are taken hostage and all but one executed when the killer(s) fail to turn themselves in.
* In ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'', the Duchess has a thing about having underlings punished as an example to the others. The Duke remarks that if she keeps it up, eventually she'll be having the last remaining guard cut his own throat as an example to himself.
* Visser Three uses this tactic, or *thinks* he is, on the runaway Hork-Bajir in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' "The Change". Only, the real Hork-Bajir are somewhere else, and the two 'dead' ones and the wolves 'eating' them are morphed Animorphs. He intends to do this with Aftran in "The Sickness", but Cassie rescues her before it can happen.
* [[BigBad Randall Flagg]] in ''Literature/TheStand'' crucifies people, particularly drug addicts, in the desert outside Las Vegas, as an example to the others not to break the community's rules.

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': Part of Principal Osgood Conklin's modus operandi at Madison High School. There is, after all, a reason Miss Brooks considers Conklin to be Madison's dictator:
-->Miss Brooks: Having expected a one way trip to Devilís Island, I thought the punishment Mr. Conklin meted out was comparatively just. However, it was just after 7:00 that evening when I got home.
-->Mrs. Davis: Why Connie, I was getting to get worried about you! Where in the world have you been all afternoon?
-->Miss Brooks: I was doing a little writing, Mrs. Davis.
-->Mrs. Davis: Writing? What were you writing?
-->Miss Brooks: Oh, I donít think youíd be interested, itís not your type of stuff.
-->Mrs. Davis: Iím interested in everything you do, Connie. Please, tell me all about it.
-->Miss Brooks: Well, if you insist, Mrs. Davis. But youíd better sit down, this may take quite a while.
-->Mrs. Davis: Alright. (sits down) There. Now, what did you write?
-->Miss Brooks: [[WritingLines I wrote ďOur principal is the best principal that any school ever had. Our principal is the best principal that any school ever had. Our principal is the best principal that any school ever had . . ."]]
* In ''Series/TheWire'', the Barksdale Organization that controls the West Side of Baltimore starts out as the most dominant and ruthless drug syndicate in the city. When [[JustLikeRobinHood Omar]] and his two stick-up partners steal from a Barksdale stash, Avon Barksdale quickly declares he wants an example made. Within days one of the partners is found dead (his BulletProofVest not having done much good against [[NoKillLikeOverkill the 46 shell casing found around his body]]) while the other is brutally tortured to death, then left on display in the projects as an example.
* Spoofed on ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''.
-->'''Gob:''' I had to fire them. I had to make them an example to the others.\\
'''Michael:''' There are no others. You fired ''everyone''.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Monica starts working at a restaurant as the head chef, but can't seem to gain respect from her staff. (They were very friendly with the guy she replaced.) Joey suggests that she bring him in and fire him just to prove she means business. She does, but given that this is Joey we're talking about, it doesn't go as planned.
* A perfect example of this happens in a 2009/2010 storyline of ''Series/GeneralHospital''; Michael attacks Claudia Zacchara to protect his mother Carly and newborn sister, but [[AccidentalMurder accidentally kills her]]. As a result, Carly, Jason, and Sonny all opt to ship Michael out of Port Charles and for Sonny to take the fall, but just as the jury is about to announce their verdict at Sonny's trial, Dante Falconeri, Sonny's recently discovered firstborn and a [=PCPD=] detective, discovers the truth and gives Michael up, expecting that the judge will let Michael off with a suspended sentence. Instead, the judge, furious that Michael's family had been lying for months and fed up with the constant CourtroomAntics, decides to make an example of Michael for all those who try to twist the law for their own ends by sentencing Michael to two-to-five years in the Pentonville Adult Correctional Facility.
* An unplanned version at the end of the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "[[Recap/FireflyE02TheTrainJob The Train Job]]". Mal tells [[TheDragon Crow]] that he's giving him back all the money Adelai Niska advanced them for the job and that they'll stay out of his way from now on. Crow tells Mal that [[TheLastThingYouEverSee the last thing he'll see is Crow's blade]]. Mal kicks him into ''Serenity''[='s=] [[TurbineBlender engine intake]] and brings over the next guy, who falls over himself to agree before Mal can finish offering the deal.

* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', [[spoiler:Ganondorf, as a warning to those who would oppose him, [[MoralEventHorizon tries to feed all the Gorons to a dragon in the fire temple]].]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'' from the same series, [[spoiler:Zant executes the Zora queen when he shrouds the Lanayru Province in twilight]]. This later sets up a subplot when [[spoiler:her son, Ralis, falls ill on his way to Castle Town to get help]].
* Early in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', you're given the choice between helping a group of mages flee the Kirkwall Circle or turning them in. If you pick the latter, Knight-Commander Meredith has three of them hanged as a lesson to others (picked at random, at that). It's a good indicator of how she operates.

* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the Thieves' Guild has a tendency to be very harsh with people who break their rules. Guild members [[ResignationsNotAccepted who try to leave are usually killed]], while guild members who sell secrets receive harsh punishments, like, say, having any body part they're nicknamed after removed.
-->'''Old Blind Pete (formerly "Eagle-Eyed"):''' A word of advice: If you're going to do business with criminals, don't pick a nickname based on any body part you can't afford to lose. *sigh* I shoulda listened to Appendix Steve when he tried to warn me.

* After being eliminated in the first challenge in ''[[Creator/UltimateSidemen The Sidemen Experience]]'', [[spoiler:WebVideo/{{KSI|Olajidebt}}]] had his legs waxed to show the other Sidemen what will happen to them should they wipeout or lose to the others in ''VideoGame/OlliOlli''.

* A common police tactic to break up protests is by arresting a few people. [[http://vimeo.com/74606365# This video]] of the Occupy Wall Street protests is a good example.
* This was explicitly involved in the trial of hacker Aaron Swartz (that led to his suicide), the Department of Justice arguing for a disproportionate sentence to, in their own words, "send a message".
* Maggie Thatcher did this to Creator/ThamesTelevision towards the end of UsefulNotes/TheTroubles. The 1990 Broadcasting Act which instigated the franchise round that destroyed the original Thames? That was Thatcher's not-so-subtle way of punishing Thames for broadcasting "Death on the Rock".
* This is actually the main gist of two Chinese proverbs- "Kill one to warn a hundred", and "Kill the Chicken to Scare the Monkeys".
* After Admiral John Byng was defeated at the battle of Minorca (1756), he was arrested, court-martialed, and executed for "failing to do his utmost". His fate put the fear of God into the Royal Navy's Officer Corp as they now realized that "not trying hard enough" is a capital offense. And some historians considers it a reason why Britannia would go on to rule the waves. This episode caused Voltaire to comment, "In this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others" (Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral ''pour encourager les autres'').
* This was employed by various conquering empires, such as the Romans or the Mongols. Those who surrendered were treated leniently, but those who dared to resist were mercilessly put to sword or worse and stories of their grisly fate were deliberately spread widely by the conquerors themselves:
** During the [[UsefulNotes/PunicWars Second Punic Wars]] many Sicilian cities rebelled to Rome, with the indecise joining Hannibal's side when the survivors of Cannae engaged in this and, after Rome's greatest living general Marcellus was put in their command, [[UpToEleven became too sadistic even for Roman standards]]. [[OhCrap Then the imprendible Syracuse fell to the Romans]] and the conquerors [[FromBadToWorse did them unspeakable things]], and the Sicilians fell back into line... And ''bribed the Senate to have Marcellus and the survivors of Cannae sent anywhere but back to Sicily'' ([[EvenEvilHasStandards the Senate gave back the bribe and sent Marcellus to fight Hannibal and the survivors of Cannae to Spain anyway]]);
** After the Third Servile War, the Romans crucified six thousands of the rebel slaves. It apparently worked, because the Third Servile War was also the last;
** When UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan sent a diplomatic caravan to the Khwarazmian dinasty of the Persian Empire, the Persian border governor decided to kill the ambassadors and steal the caravan. Genghis demanded restitution, but the Khwarazmians humiliated his ambassadors. [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Genghis decided to take his revenge]]... [[AppealToObscurity And now you know why you never heard of the Khwarazmian Empire]];
** Later the Abbasid Caliphate of Bagdhad refused to fully submit to the Mongols and become a vassal state. Before the Mongols, what is now Iraq was a fertile land.
** In UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars, Denmark possessed a huge naval fleet, but tried to be neutral in the whole war against Napoleon. [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Britain]] [[WithUsOrAgainstUs didn't take kindly to that]]. [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown Not at all]].