"They Still Belong to Us" Lecture
"Stupid, pitiful creature. I am the rage in your heart. I am the fury of your thoughts. I alone empowered you to bring chaos to this world, and by the endless void, you shall!"
— Mannoroth the Destructor
, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
, reminding Grom Hellscream that he and his clan still belong to him.
So you managed to turn over a new leaf
and are in a truce with your former enemies. However, just when you think all is well, the Big Bad
appears for some reason, and you must confront them: no running away and no diverting yourself to someone else
. They will
find you and they will
make sure you are working for them again. But they can't just kidnap you; a rebellious soldier is likely to try to escape again. So how do they break you? They use the "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture
The Big Bad
uses this against the heroes in order to sow distrust among the heroes
about the new comrade.
They will say their former minion is merely infiltrating the group and that he or she will soon backstab them
in the worst time possible. Or they'll scorn the naivete of the recruiter to be so desperate to make what will be, at best, a temporary alliance
between the newly recruited villain. When the Lecture is used against the betrayer, the Big Bad
will start off by mocking them for joining the wrong side. When they refuses to change sides, they resort to talking about how worthless they are to both sides
. If that doesn't work, blackmailing will: talking about how they need a certain drug
to survive will possibly put them back in line. Dead relatives are the best way to coerce them. Afterwards, the Big Bad
will leave, letting it stew for a while before getting the results.
In less idealistic fictions, this is effective in getting them back in the fold and causes the character with weak mental resolve to go back to the bad guys' side. Even if the speech doesn't work, expect comrades to be suspicious of the reformed baddie once they realize he can become a liability in an instant and one of the members to enter a Inspector Javert
like state. This may even provoke the turncoat to make another turn. If the speech fails and the heroes believe that they can be trusted anyway, the Big Bad
need only hire a replacement
who is guaranteed to be loyal.
would make one wonder "If the ex-minion is still working for the villain, why is the villain TELLING us?"
See Honor Before Reason
and the heroic version "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight
. A form of Apple of Discord
Anime and Manga
- Northa attempts to use this on Setsuna in Fresh Pretty Cure! as part of a More Than Mind Control gambit. Earlier in the series- right after her Heel-Face Turn- Wester attempted a similar speech, but it was closer in tone to a "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight.
- A few years later, Bassdrum of Trio the Minor would pull this on Ellen a few times after her Heel-Face Turn in Suite Pretty Cure ♪. It works to a point - she was under a lot of guilt over what she'd done as Seiren and was under the assumption that no one would want to forgive her. Hummy had to hit her with a Clue Bat a few times to get her to understand everything.
- Schneizel uses this trope against Lelouch in Code Geass. He goes over to the Black Knights and "accidentally" drops the little bit of info that Zero is Lelouch, his brother. Then he follows up by revealing Lelouch's Geass and finishes with an out-of-context recording of Lelouch admitting his responsibility of the Euphinator incident, conveniently forgetting to tell the shocked Knights that Lelouch did that due to Power Incontinence. Cue the Black Knights freaking out and betraying him, with Lelouch playing along and pretending to have manipulated everyone to his own ends in order to save Kallen. And Lelouch still pulls out of this shitstorm by going over to Britannia and usurping the throne.
- In Soul Eater, Medusa does this to the defector in question. Without missing a single beat, she manages to talk Chrona into admitting that Chrona only pretended to defect in order to spy for Medusa, when no such thing was true. Given that Chrona is still a half-insane emotional wreck with severe mommy issues this works perfectly and causes Chrona to become an actual mole, while the rest of Chrona's new friends are blissfully unaware. This only further deteriorates Chrona's fragile psyche.
- In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the Witch tries to reclaim a character who has made a Heel-Face Turn by telling the heroes that he is a traitor and his blood is her property. Funny thing is, it's actually a valid claim and they have to go through, to put it simply, a lot of troubles to get him completely back.
- A heroic variant appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in which Harry pulls one on Voldemort about Severus Snape.
- On Star Trek: Voyager, the Borg Queen was prone to a "You Still Belong To Me" variant of this kind of speech on the subject of Seven of Nine.
"You've changed. Your exo-plating, your ocular implant. They've taken you apart and they've re-created you in their own image. Hair, garments, but at the core, you are still mine."
- In the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is one of the main strategies used by the First Evil to make the Scooby Gang split itself by infighting. Spike, Andrew, and Faith are all formerly evil, and the First warns both these characters and their comrades that they will inevitably return to their evil ways (so they might as well start now).
- In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka declares Celes to be a spy for the Empire. Celes denies it, but Locke still questions her true intentions. Villains Never Lie after all. Kefka's escorts then incapacitate the party before Celes teleports them all away, leaving it in question for Locke (and the player) as to who was really telling the truth - Celes or Kefka. Celes.
- In the Warcraft series, the Orc chieftains sealed their pact with the Burning Legion by drinking the blood of Mannoroth, gaining a portion of his power and bloodlust. Over time the demonic influence faded, until Grom Hellscream and the Warsong clan drank from a well polluted with Mannoroth's blood in order to defeat a demigod. After they won their battle, Mannoroth reclaimed dominion over the Orcs, responding to Grom's claims of freedom with the page quote.
- Though completely unintentional, Doviculus causes this in Brütal Legend. He went to where the heroes were at the time demanding that Succoria was "meant to spy on them, not to join them." Lita instantly assumes that Ophelia is the one he's talking about, and after Lars is killed by the emperor, Eddie has his doubts as well. It turns out that Doviculus was talking about Eddie. He had mistaken the scent of Eddie's blood for that of his mother Succoria's.
- In The Order of the Stick, during a fight, Elan's brother Nale throws this into play when he realizes that Haley can't speak up to defend herself. He not only makes up the "fact" of her being on his side from the beginning, he uses a suggestion spell to help Elan believe it and to ensure he reacts with anger - hoping Elan will turn on Haley and maybe even kill her himself. It might've worked, except that the situation gave Haley exactly the reason she needed for her subconscious to stop blocking her ability to speak.
- After Henchman 21 quits in the previous season finale, the Monarch delivers an odd variation of this trope to his own wife instead of the good guys, insisting that the former employee is just "deep undercover" and still loyal and dedicated to the Monarch's goal of ruining Dr. Venture's life. Whether he's just in denial or really believes it is unclear.