Pummeling the Corpse

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Trott: (sobbing hysterically and pummeling a zombie on the ground)
Smiffy: They're dead, Trott. They're dead. Trott, stop. Let 'em go. Trott — (sees zombie stirring on the ground) — oh, he's not actually dead. Don't let 'em go. Keep fucking bashing mate! (starts pounding on corpse himself) DIE YOU BITCH!

A character has just killed someone, usually through a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. They keep pummeling the body long after it's clear that the victim is already dead, either in a fit of Extreme Melee Revenge that hasn't cooled down, due to having far too much fun (marking the killer as Ax-Crazy), or simply due to a need to make sure the victim stays dead. Sometimes the fists or blunt implement is replaced with either bullets or a very sharp implement such as a knife or an axe.

Optional but common: an onlooker or friend pulls the killer back, repeats some variation of 'you can stop, he's dead', 'that's enough' or 'I think he's dead already' and may administer a Cooldown Hug. Although if you are dealing with dead bodies who won't stay down, such as The Undead or a Zombie Apocalypse, it could be reasonable to ensure they are truly dead.

Subtrope of Desecrating the Dead. Related in spirit to Beating A Dead Player and Kick Them While They Are Down. See also There Is No Kill Like Overkill.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Possibly the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica episode seven, but it's hard to tell.
  • Hellsing Ultimate: "It moves me deep within my heart to watch a fresh recruit stabbing over and over into the bloated chest of a long-dead enemy."
  • In the manga version of Ark by Sound Horizon, Soror does this to the man who is implied to have been molesting her, with her brother doing the "it's okay, you can stop now" thing.
  • Renton, of all people, has one of these moments in Eureka Seven (anime, at least.) Then he notices the severed arm sticking to his mecha...
  • Atem ends up doing the card game equivalent of this to Weevil/Haga in Season 4 of Yu-Gi-Oh!. His lifepoints are already at 0 and his soul is being sucked away, but Atem just keeps attacking directly because he's angry (justifiably so).
  • Takeo Tsurumaru from Narutaru caves in the face of a thug with his fists. Said thug was the one who raped and murdered his friend Norio.

    Comic Books 
  • From Sin City the death of the completely deserving title character of the story "That Yellow Bastard" at the hands of a pissed-off Hartigan.
    Hartigan: After a while, all I'm doing is punching wet chips of bone into the floorboards. So I stop.
  • In The Death of Superman, Lex Luthor does this to Doomsday's corpse when he's given a chance to examine it. Everyone thinks he's furious that the monster killed Superman, and he is, but only because he thinks he'll never have a chance to do it himself.

    Fanfiction 
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act I: Upon being freed from Ghaldin's mind control after Moka kills him, Dark is so furious over being controlled that he promptly makes his way over to Ghaldin's corpse and literally stomps his skull into a bloody stain.
  • Pony POV Series: After Mimic knocked out one of Discord's teeth, he was so enraged that he killed her by turning her bones to glass and then slamming her into the ground. Then he picked up her corpse and slammed it into the ground again and again until it was pulp. Finally, he incinerated the remains.

    Film 
  • After shooting Gary in the head in Psycho Cop Returns, Officer Vickers begins "arresting" his body, but when it proves "unco-operative", Vickers starts kicking and stomping it.
  • Michael Bolton in the printer scene in Office Space.
  • In The Boondock Saints, Rocco beats the sick hitman that he and the others were targeting to death with a cue ball until the brothers pull him off and force him to cool down.
  • Star Trek: First Contact: Picard rears back to bludgeon a Borg he's just emptied a Thompson submachine gun into (while howling with rage), but Lilly pulls him back before he does so. "I think you got him!"
  • In Starship Troopers, Sugar Watkins curses continually while repeatedly shooting a dead bug. Even after Dizzy pushes him off he fires a few more rounds into the bug.
  • In Taxi Driver, Travis shoots a man attempting to rob a convenience store, so the store clerk does this to cover for Travis.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower: After the Emperor's youngest son has killed his oldest brother, the Emperor takes off his huge golden belt and starts beating him with it. Several scenes later, we cut back to the Emperor, who's still going at it, though a lot slower, and giggling too.
  • In Pacific Rim, after downing the Kaiju Leatherback, Raleigh "checks for a pulse" by unloading several rounds into the corpse to the point where its chest cracks open and starts disintegrating.

    Literature 
  • In The Silmarillion, the Balrogs pummel Fingon's corpse into the mud even after they kill him.
  • In Protector of the Small, Kel's refugees help to fight off their captors, and they leave no survivors. She finds a young woman named Peliwin hacking at one corpse over and over and gently intercedes — it's implied that he had raped Peliwin during the refugees' captivity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • CSI:
    • The murderer of the week in the episode "Bad to the Bone" provokes and beats a man several times his size to death.
    • The gang of kids in the episode "Fannysmakin'" also hand out such beatings to random tourists, although only one of their victims actually dies (who, ironically, wasn't a tourist).
  • In Supernatural, during season 9 after Dean kills Abadon with the First Blade and Mark of Cain, Dean then straddles Abadon's "meatsuit" and starts pummeling it with his fist wrapped around the blade's handle until Sam manages to yell at him enough to shock him out of it.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "A Private Little War", the previously violence-averse Tyree snaps when he sees his wife stabbed to death. In the ensuing climactic battle, Tyree rushes and quickly overpowers the man who stabbed his wife, and staves in his head with a large rock. Tyree's mind, clouded with berserker fury, does not register that his opponent is dead, so he spends the rest of the battle bashing the corpse's shattered head. Even after the battle ends, Tyree continues to bash the unresisting corpse until Kirk stops him.

    Video Games 
  • You are encouraged to do so in Dead Space, the only way to ensure a Necromorph is dead is to dismember every single limb of them, not only you can get items by stomping corpses, it prevents the Infectors from resurrecting the corpses with its needle injection, so it's definitely reasonable to ensure the things on your path are all truly dead.
  • Similarly, in Halo 3, Flood Combat Forms can be revived after you kill them if an Infection Form enters the body. Meleeing a dead Combat Form can destroy the body, preventing this.
  • The end of God of War III... well, it's really up to the player how long you wanna keep pounding the living crap out of Zeus, but considering how all the blood is obstructing your vision, you're probably gonna keep going for a bit... just to be ABSOLUTELY sure that he's REALLY, REALLY dead.
  • Max Payne delivers the ballistic variant of this on Jack Lupino when he finally takes him down, wanting to make very sure that he stays that way. He only stops when Mona Sax shows up and tells him "I think he's dead already."
  • In the Soviet victory ending of Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Nadia empties a pistol in Stalin after poisoning him.
  • In one of the skill books in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the author reminisces about her first close-combat kill. In a fit of panic she spent the whole night stabbing her enemy, long after her was dead and unrecognizably butchered.
  • Once you've cleared Kiljoy's asylum in The Suffering, any Slayers you kill will start reviving. You can prevent this by decapitating them - either in combat or while they're down.
  • Similar to the Dead Space example above, the Ghost People of the Sierra Madre need to be dismembered when they die, otherwise they'll just get right back up and continue attacking. While trying to cripple an arm or a leg in V.A.T.S. will do the trick (and instantly kill them in the process), early on it'll be easier to just get them on the ground and wail on the nearest limb with a melee weapon until it comes off.
  • Iji: Kicking dead enemies earns you extra Nano.

    Web Comics 
  • Happens in Goblins when Kin kills Dellyn Goblinslayer, and then keeps on stabbing. He deserved every one of those, by the way.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Crystal easily kills Bozzok by punching clean through his chest, but continues to beat his dead body in retaliation for the torture he put her through.

    Web Original 
  • When Aradia from Homestuck finally gets her hands on Manipulative Bitch Vriska, the result isn't pretty. However, we later find this trope was subverted when it turns out Vriska was not dead.
  • In Saving The Rainforest, during a curb-stomp game, The Odd One wondered when are his opponents going to surrender, only to find out it was only 14 minutes into the game, too early to even initiate a /ff vote.
    TheOddone: This war ain't over, until they're all dead.
  • In Critical Role when the party finds the missing Lady Kima (a halfling paladin) in the Underdark, she's been brutally tortured by dark dwarves for several days. When they free her, she asks to borrow Pike's mace... and uses it to vent her anger by absolutely mulching the already-dead torturer.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Family Guy, where a Surfin' Bird record is broken and pummeled just because Peter was annoying everyone with it so much.
  • The Simpsons: In a flashback we see why Moe was kicked out of The Little Rascals. (He played Stinky, the kid who always got a face full of exhaust from an exhaust pipe.)
    Moe thinks back to an episode where the Little Rascals are playing marbles. He flicks one away; it bounces into an exhaust pipe
    Moe: Oh, no! My favorite aggie!
    Alfalfa runs off, looks in the exhaust pipe. The car starts and blows soot in his face
    Moe: (smashing Alfalfa's head into the ground) You stole my bit! That's my bit...ooh! Ooh! You stole my bit!
    Director: Cut! Oh my God! He's killed the original Alfalfa.
    Moe: (in the present) Yeah. Luckily, Alfalfa was an orphan owned by the studio.
    • Homer's attack on the Krustyburglar in one episode of The Simpsons (not actually fatal but the line still came up).
    • One of Bart's nightmares in the episode "Bart The General" is that Nelson won't just apply Bully Brutality on him until he dies, but that he will beat up his corpse on the funeral parlor.
  • In Teen Titans, "Apprentice: Part 1", Robin delivers one to an already mangled Slade-bot out of anger after discovering that the warehouse they went to contained neither Slade nor the Chronoton Detonator.

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