The villain is merely told
to stop his evil scheme, and he does. Usually, this is a way to teach the audience a lesson
about the importance of communication, and sometimes it stands as a testament to the hero's badassery
, but just as often it's Played for Laughs
due to the sheer unlikeliness of the idea.
It's the moment of truth. The villain, cackling, stands before his doomsday device
. His finger hovers unsteadily over the big red button
, and you know
he's enough of an asshole
to push it. All hope seems lost... but then, the hero kicks open the double doors and bursts into the room. He looks at the villain straight in the eye, points his index finger at him, and says:
"Stop it! Stop it! What you are doing is wrong!!"
The villain concedes
. He powers down the machine and turns himself in. Battle over. Everyone lives happily ever after
. And the viewer is left thinking, "Worst! Anti-Climax! Ever!
Compare Talking the Monster to Death
, where the hero has to spend some time speechifying first. Contrast Unhand Them, Villain!
where the villain obeys the hero's Exact Words
in a way not intended.
open/close all folders
- Sometimes, the Hamburglar from McDonald Land succumbs to this.
Anime And Manga
- Tried and failed by Yu on Final Fantasy: Unlimited. Possibly tried by other characters as well.
- The ending of Digimon Savers. Though the final enemy puts up more of a fight than season two's infamous Talking the Monster to Death sequence, it still ends with the villain finally listening to what the heroes had been yelling at it for three episodes straight. It came off as something of an anticlimax anyway - it was like "so, you really, really don't want me to destroy the world? Oh, okay. [Leaves]"
- Dragon Ball Z had Mr. Satan befriending Majin Buu when all the rest of the characters were utterly focused on killing him. It turned out that Buu honestly didn't understand that wanton destruction and murder were bad things, and when Mr. Satan tells him this, he immediately promises to stop. Of course, his evil side soon separates from him and becomes the villain, because they needed someone to have epic drawn-out fights with.
- In Recess: School's Out, during the final confrontation, Gretchen asks the villain to stop his huge machine that would destroy summer. He asks if anyone honestly thought that would work after all of the work it took for him to get there. Mikey asks if it would work if they added "please", but it still doesn't work.
- In The Horse and His Boy, brave peasant lad Shasta and his companions are menaced by a lion the entire book. When it finally attacks them, he jumps down from his horse and, in his panic, yells "Go home!" at it. The lion instantly checks and runs. Subverted later, when we find out it was the Big Good, Aslan, inflicting a little Laser-Guided Karma.
- A sort of Bottle Episode of The Cosby Show featured the cast as characters in a story by little Rudy. The nice meek townsfolk get overrun by the greedy jerks next door (led by Rudy's rival for cuteness, Kenny). The climax of the story has Rudy (as the princess or what-have-you of the nice folks) just going up to the mean folks and telling them to STOP. And they do. Rudy mentions that someday, when she's the President, she'll just tell everyone to get rid of guns and be nice to each other. Her parents are skeptical but impressed by their daughter's faith that people will listen to reasonable authority figures. The episode ends with them turning on the news for a quick run down of all the violence and crises going on. Cliff yells upstairs to Rudy that she had better hurry up, looks like they need her.
- This is actually one of the tools that Patrick Jane employs on The Mentalist. Not that he really expects it to work on its own, but it's all part of the psychological games that he uses.
- In The Big Bang Theory the guys are on the way to an out-of-town con when they stop at Kirk's Rock. While posing for pictures (they are cosplaying as Star Trek: The Next Generation characters), Leonard's car gets stolen and Sheldon tries to get the car thieves to stop by telling them to stop and what they are doing is illegal. It doesn't work.
- The hokiness and lack of believability in After School Special episodes can sometimes be due to an excessive faith in this tactic. Particularly notable is one video against sexual harassment in schools where a group of boys ogling girls are stopped by another boy shouting "This school has rules!"
- In one episode of The Middle, the Glossner siblings sneak into the house. After Sue and Brick try several tricks to get them out, which backfire hilariously, Sue asks Derrick Glossner to leave and take the others with him. He does so because he has a crush on her.
- Actually done in a justified and entertaining fashion in Babylon 5; After three-and-a-half seasons of manipulation escalating into planet-shattering war, the Vorlons and the Shadows admit that the whole millennia-spanning conflict is a simple philosophical dispute - the Vorlons believe that a gentle, subtle influence is the best way to get younger races to evolve, while the Shadows believe that direct control is necessary. Sheridan shuts the whole thing down by stating that both parties are just "parents arguing in front of their children", the younger races where never involved in the dispute as anything other than pawns, and they won't solve it for them. "Get the hell out of our galaxy!" It does take a few ships Taking the Bullet for the point to get across, but it was Sheridan's denouncement that pretty much ends the Shadow War.
- In the 1971 Sesame Street animated segment "Cowboy X" (narrated by Jean Shepherd), the title character is "terrorising" the town of Sniddler's Gulch by tagging everything he can with a branding iron in the shape of an X. Though the townsfolk claim to have "tried everything" to get him to stop, that apparently doesn't include just asking him to stop, as when this is suggested, it is deemed "just crazy enough to work". And it does - sort of. Cowboy X simply re-names himself Cowboy O and tags everything with a new, O-shaped branding iron, and the townsfolk "lived happily ever after, because they weren't very smart."note
- An inverted example in Mega Man 7; Dr. Wily, about to be shot by Mega Man, brings up the fact that robots can't harm humans, and Mega Man just stops. In the North American version, he proceeds to say "Die Wily!"... and do absolutely nothing.
- Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters: The titular Ur-Quan generally attack and kill anyone who is not either an Ur-Quan, or a 'Battle Thrall' in their service, owing to a huge (and fairly well-justified) sense of paranoia regarding any sentient species other than their own race. However, one of the tenets of their shared philosophy involves the Question; if one of their enemies does ask in the proper way, the Ur-Quan captain has a moral duty to stop firing and explain the Ur-Quan's history and the reason why it has them killing and/or enslaving every sentient race in the universe. (Interestingly, once you hear it, they're actually pretty damn well justified overall.) However, once they've finished explaining it, they'll get right back to shooting at you.
- The main plot of RosenkreuzStilette revolves around Spiritia fighting against her colleagues for the whole Swiper, No Swiping! deal of convincing them that fighting against the Holy Empire isn't exactly the way to go about the whole "fear and persecution" stuff. But without knowing that the Empire didn't really persecute the magi of RKS at all but actually wanted Iris dead as Iris was planning to have RKS fight against the Empire For the Evulz.
- A lot of solutions to problems when going Paragon (and even a few Renegade solutions as well) in Mass Effect are just a well-chosen remark that makes the other guy see things your way. In fact, a lot of neutral responses have the same effect. You kind of have to make an effort to make things get out of hand, sometimes.
- In fact, if your Charm or Intimidate scores in the first game are maxed, you can talk The Dragon into shooting himself in the head rather than fight him.
- In Iji, Dan's plan to get rid of the Tasen and later, the Komato, is to have Iji do this to their respective commanding officers. It doesn't work the first time because the Tasen commander is a major General Ripper. It does work the second time on General Tor, but only after Iji has given him a thorough ass-whooping.
- In the opening of Spyro: Gateway to Glimmer, Ripto and co. steal the orbs from Hunter, Elora and the Professor. Elora tells Hunter to do something about it.
- Hunter: "Hey, give that back! *no response* Well, I tried..."
- The Trope Namer is Dora the Explorer, wherein Dora would often stop Swiper the fox from stealing something (usually of little value) from her or her friends by putting her hand in front of his face and repeatedly chanting the trope name at him, making him say "Oh, Man!", although it didn't always work. In fact, she would ask us to do that for her.
- In an ironic twist, it's subverted in the Yet Another Christmas Carol episode when Swiper himself tries it on his future self. Future Swiper just laughs at him, tells him it doesn't work anymore, and swipes the object in question anyway. Turns out that Swiper was just being polite and listening to Dora, when he got put on the Naughty List, he stopped listening and swiped so much stuff that the future Dora angrily tells the present Swiper there's nothing left to steal.
- In Super Friends, there wasn't any actual violence in the show. Everyone had their powers, but there was no beating people up. To top it off, every villain had good intentions (the notable exception being Darkseid). This being said, you would see a scene where Superman would throw the giant metal gate to the villain's lair completely aside, but then he would talk to the villain of the week and convince him to try a different, less-villainous solution. In those few cases where it wasn't a well-intentioned extremist, they just dismantled the plan and left, but not before giving the villain a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Police Sgt. Mike Cosgrove from Freakazoid!! can stop any criminal from carrying out his act by looking at them straight in the eye and saying, "Hey. Cut it out."
- The fact that this works on The Warners speaks volumes about how effective it is.
- In Family Guy, Peter watches The Passion of the Christ and states that if he were Jesus, he wouldn't have taken the Romans' cruel treatment so lightly. Cut to Peter's imagination, wherein he, as Jesus, orders a Roman sentry to stop whipping him by standing up and yelling, "No, no! Stop it, stop it!" in a stern, parental voice.
- In Adventure Time, Finn stops a "bazooka goblin" from shooting him and Jake by shouting, "Don't do it, man!"
- Go, Diego, Go! (a Spin-Off of Dora the Explorer) "Freeze, Bobos!" in response to the antics of the Bobo Brothers, the two monkeys who are always causing trouble in the series. Though to be fair, unlike Swiper, they're not trying to cause trouble, so telling them to stop and them listening makes more sense. What doesn't make sense is that, also unlike Swiper, telling the Bobo Brothers to freeze makes them stop, even in midair, to apologize (Oops. Sorry!). This means that Diego (and the viewer) isn't just telling the Bobos to cut it out, but also the laws of physics.
- Done in The Powerpuff Girls when a Godzilla-like monster rampages in Townsville. Blossom believes in strategy to take it down while Buttercup believes in brute force. Both tactics fail and Bubbles, getting fed up with her sisters' bickering, just flies to the monster and politely asks it to stop. It works (though more than likely the monster was getting tired of Bloss's and Buttercup's arguing as well)
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Dragonshy" Fluttershy gets a dragon to stop generally being a violent prick by way of a motherly scolding. She makes him cry of shame.
- Happens in the "Weird Man" sketch of Uncle Grandpa despite the fact the addressed is armed with a knife.
- In an Episode of The Amazing World of Gumball Richard's passive nature eventually leads to his house being full of rude and destructive people who rejoice that his kindness makes the house "Rule Free". When Nicole arrives however, she simply tells everyone"You're going to clean this place until it looks better than when you arrived. Then you will leave and Never come back." It works. Although It might have something to do with the fact that the one person who protested saw the souls of tormented dead in her eyes.