"Nothing personal; I just had to shut you up."
Our villain's had a bad day.
Maybe The Hero
stole his girl, killed his favorite Giant Mook
, or blew up his third Elaborate Underground Base
this month. Or maybe he's just an angry guy in general
But whatever the reason, the bottom line is that the villain is in absolutely no
mood to be fucked with. So, of course, here comes some pitiable fool
along to do just that. The unfortunate loudmouth shows up just at the villain's most irate moment and immediately starts pissing him off even further.
...And the villain, being a villain, responds the only way he knows how.
Killing people for being annoying is an interesting way to Kick the Dog
: for the audience, it can be either horrifying or cathartic, depending largely on how much of an asshole the victim was being
The "cathartic" side of this trope is usually used in more lighthearted shows, where the victim will have been bad enough to almost make you think they deserved it. They may even be a reflection of a common real-life annoyance, such as someone loudly talking on their cell phone during a movie or screaming at a waiter. The most extreme examples of this type overlap heavily with Bullying a Dragon
- in other words, the victim was intentionally harassing his killer to the point where almost any sane person would've wanted to Kick the Son of a Bitch
The "horrific side" sees more use among towards the cynical side of the sliding scale
, to show that the villain will kill anyone for the pettiest of reasons
, such as speaking without permission or accidentally scuffing their shoes. In the most depressing examples, this trope begins to overlap with Shoot the Messenger
: the victim was the Only Sane Man
, genuinely trying to provide some very valid advice, and the villain just shot him in the face because he didn't want to hear it.
It also says a lot about the perpetrator. It's usually used to show that a character's Jumping Off the Slippery Slope
or suffering a Villainous Breakdown
. If a ruler does it, he just might be The Caligula
Offing the Mouth
is a Sub-Trope
which deals specifically with characters who die for their snark
. Compare Very Punchable Man
, Shut Up, Hannibal!
, Shoot the Messenger
, You Have Failed Me
, and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
, which are often more situation-specific examples of this trope in action.
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, Eustass Kidd and his first mate Killer do not like being argued against and will immediately use lethal force against anyone who disagrees with them. Demalo Black attempts to kill the bartender with his flintlock for not serving drinks fast enough and then at Nami when she refuses to sit next to him. The most extreme case are the Celestial Dragons. These guys not only aim their guns at anyone who doesn't bow down and do everything that they're told to do quickly (and often unreasonably so), but will shoot immediately, up to and including firing a cannon and sinking a little boy whose boat happens to cross the path of one of their ships. At least Demalo just hovers his gun without shooting to give the victim another chance.
- Dragon Ball Z: Frieza fatally wounds Vegeta out of annoyance when the latter gloats over Goku beating up the former.
- In The Sandman Cain kills Abel for annoying him over and over again, since they're immortal.
- In Hero Squared supervillainess Caliginous has one, very obsequious, henchbeing. Whenever he annoys her too much she kills him and activates another clone.
- In the comic version of Wanted, the hero (once he's found out about his new powers) kills (among others) his neighbor, who annoyed him by always repeating the same mindlessly optimistic message every morning. His first step to becoming a supervillain is to go down the list of everyone who annoyed him in some way during his life and murder, rape, or torture all of them.
- "I said TWO sugars." *Snap*
- If it wasn't just For the Evulz, this was the reason Captain Vidal killed those two farmers in Pan's Labyrinth. He'd told them to be quiet and take their hats off a few times beforehand.
- In Jackie Brown, Louis kills Melanie because she is constantly heckling him for forgetting where he parked their van.
- Broken Arrow (1996), when Big Bad Deakins kills the panicking Pritchett with a heavy flashlight smacked across the throat.
- In City of God, a Motor Mouthed gang member called Tuba gets killed by Lil' Ze for talking too much. It may be a case of Too Dumb to Live. When your boss kills people for fun, praising the skills of the guy who just killed a few of his mooks, then shot him in the arm, isn't the best idea.
- The Joker in Batman kills one of his henchmen for standing there while Joker was upset about Batman.
- Similarly in Batman Returns the Penguin kills a henchman for questioning the morality of his plans.
Henchman: I mean, killing sleeping children. Isn't that a little...hmmm?
Penguin: No. It's a lot "hmmm"!
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.
John Bigboote: We've had our chance! Your overthruster's for shit! We're lost!
Lord John Whorfin: One more word out of you, Bigbooty...
[Whorfin shoots him]
- In the Flash Gordon parody Mom and Dad Save the World, Emperor Spengo is portrayed as a comedic version of The Caligula.
Spengo: "Hey you. What do you think - mutton chops or goatee? Be honest."
"Mutton chops, my lord?"
(considers for a moment) "No. No, I like the goatee better. Shoot yourself in the head." (after a momentary pause
, annoyed) "NOW."
#1 complies with the order with a blaster pistol to his own head)
(to a second mook
): "Well? How about you?"
(a beat, then brightly) "Mutton chops!"
(Spengo glares at him. Mook
#2 sighs, then shoots himself.)
- In Time Bandits the character Evil does this twice.
Evil: What sort of Supreme Being created such riff-raff? Is it not the workings of a complete incompetent?
Minion 1: But He created you, Evil One.
Evil: What did you say?
Minion 1: Well, He created you, so He can't be totally...
Evil: [blasts Mook 1 out of existence] Never talk to me like that again! No one created me! I am Evil! Evil existed long before Good. I made myself. I cannot be unmade. I am all-powerful!
Minion 2: But why, if that's the case, [Other minions edge away from him] are you unable to escape from this fortress?
Evil: [blasts Mook 2 out of existence] That's a good question.
- Almost invoked in Mel Brook's Robin Hood: Men in Tights, when a mime annoys the Sheriff to the point that he just shouts 'Kill him!', before he's stopped by Prince John, who says 'You know, a mime is a terrible thing to waste.'
- In End of Days, Satan murders a rebellious teenager after he accidentally trips the kid off his skateboard. He is pleased at the "Satan Rules" shirt he is wearing, but the teen interprets this as a condescending comment from a middle-aged businessman and tells him to get lost. Satan then causes him to be run over by a bus.
- One of the most infamous scenes in Breaking Bad is when Tuco Salamanca beats one of his most trusted right-hand men to death with his bare hands for talking out of turn. It turns out to have been an accident - what was supposed to be a nonlethal beating sent him into a fatal seizure - but Tuco doesn't show any remorse either way.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus. In the Cheese Sketch, John Cleese shoots Michael Palin after he discovers that the cheese shop has absolutely no cheese at all.
- In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Been There, Done That" at one point Xena takes advantage of the "Groundhog Day" Loop to kill Joxer, knowing he'll be alive and well the next time she wakes up.
- Averted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode The Harsh Light of Day''. Spike stakes Harmony after becoming annoyed with her babbling but she happens to be wearing a ring that makes vampires indestructible at the time.
- Attempted by Yvonne Criddle from MADtv, who wanted to buy a shovel to brain her neighbour's dog for making her car wet, and then tried to kill a family by running them off a cliff after they took her parking space in front of the store.
- I, Claudius: 10 (or so) year old Gemellus dies of an Incurable Cough of Death - which is to say, Caligula has him killed because he won't stop coughing.
- Supernatural, episode "Two Minutes To Midnight". During Death's character-defining intro, he takes a stroll in Chicago looking like a normal human and a rude guy too busy with his phone makes the mistake of bumping into him and scolding him. Grim barely glances back, slightly brushes his coat as if getting rid of a pesky fly, and the guy immediately drops dead right on the street. As is later seen, it's not used to villainize him however; he just operates on a such a larger scale that he actually is just getting rid of what to him is nothing more than a petty microbe.
- In Boardwalk Empire season 3, mob boss Gyp Rosetti has a habit of doing this. The real problem is that his definition of "annoyance" can include virtually anything. His Establishing Character Moment comes when a Good Samaritan helps him fix his car, but (completely unintentionally) appears to be patronising Rosetti for his lack of education. Rosetti lets him finish helping and then beats him to death with a tyre iron.
- In the Masters Of Horror episode "Pick Me Up", the serial killer Wheeler decapitates one of his victims because the guy was basically annoying him with his frenzied panic after he sees the leftovers of two of Walker's victims.
- The Mesopotamian Flood myth had the gods attempting to kill all people (several times) because they are making too much noise.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, Elizabeta Torres brains Manny and his cameraman with a Deagle for shouting at her while she's high on coke and losing her mind over an impending police raid. Granted, the two annoyances in this case overlapped with Too Dumb to Live (they were bothering her while she, known to be a dangerous gangster, was obviously highly stressed) and And There Was Much Rejoicing, since the guy was extremely irritating at the best of times, and nobody mourned him in the slightest.
- Another example is when the rapidly deteriorating sanity of Mikhail Faustin causes him to shoot one of his own mooks, simply because he agreed with Niko that the mook in question was an asshole. The mook hadn't done anything to provoke or disrespect Faustin in any way, he just seemed to annoy Faustin at that particular moment.
- Happens near the end of Jagged Alliance 2, when Elliot informs the evil Queen Deidrenna that the rebels have breached Meduna's outer lines of defense. She goes on a rant how she should've hired the player character in the first place and Elliot doesn't pick up on her sarcasm, prompting her to finally snap and shoot Elliot in the head. Subverted, since Elliot, much to Deidrenna's shock, somehow survives, causing her to remark that he can't even die properly.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Vegeta kills Nappa for annoying him, after finally being pushed too far. And then Nappa's ghost continues to annoy him.
- In Disney's Peter Pan, Hook kills one of his henchmen for loud singing.
- In the beginning of the Looney Tunes short Rhapsody Rabbit, Bugs Bunny's attempts to start the concerto keeps getting interrupted by a guy coughing, which Bugs silences with a gun in his coat.