A Stock Phrase
used to make accepting someone's violent death easier, by pointing out that the dead person knew the risks before he or she signed up for them. Comes in two varieties:
- Lieutenant Alex is blamed for the death of Private Bob under his command and says that Bob knew the risks when he volunteered.
- Lieutenant Alex blames himself for Bob's death and is told that Bob knew the risks.
This is usually a Death Trope
. Unmarked spoilers below!
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Film - Animated
- In Treasure Planet, Captain Amelia ends her eulogy for her second-in-command Mr. Arrow with this statement.
- The second form of this trope is often given to the protagonist to help them get over their Pokémon's deaths in many a Nuzlocke Challenge.
Film - Live Action
- Airplane!. "They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash!"
- In the James Bond film Licence to Kill, M says this of Leiter when Bond is angry that M won't take action against the people who destroyed Leiter's life.
- Though Bond promptly retaliates that Leiter's wife certainly didn't, to which M can only change the subject.
- In Quantum of Solace this isn't stated outright with Matthis and James tries to handle the man's death as stoically as he can, subverted with Agent Fields' death as M explicitly stated that the agent was not meant to come in harms way because she had an office job.
Neil McCauley: He knew the risks, he didn't have to be there. It rains... you get wet.
- Dent says it about himself in The Dark Knight.
Gordon: We're going after the mob's life savings. This could get ugly.
Dent: I knew the risks when I took this job, lieutenant.
- The first "Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" movie. "What do they want for 75 cents, to live forever?"
- In Con Air, an antagonistic policeman justifies ordering the hijacked plane to be shot down by saying that the guards aboard understood the risks of the job and that the government does not negotiate with hostage takers.
- Ender’s Game: The pilots who die invading the Bugger homeworld.
Live Action TV
- One of the first Pearls Before Swine strips had Pig recount seeing a woman crushed by a ceiling tile at a bingo game, saying "She knew the risks of playing the game."
- Spoofed in 8-Bit Theater
: If this is
the right place, then we will be completely justified in slaughtering the occupants within. If it isn't, it'll be a practice session. As we all know, practice sessions don't count, so we'll be absolved of any alleged crimes. Red Mage
: But you're going to kill them even if they're innocent. Black Mage
: And it's practice
, so it won't count. Red Mage
: But they'll be dead. Black Mage
: Hey, they knew the risks when they took the job. Red Mage
: Job?! Risks?!
You're a mass murdering psycho! * Beat Panel* Black Mage
: If you think about it, that's really their problem