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Playing With: Fake Kill Scare
Basic Trope: A character fakes another's death in order to frighten, upset, or intimidate someone else.
  • Straight: Draco kidnaps Bob's little sister Maybelle; when he reveals this to Bob, he fakes Bob out by pretending to kill her.
  • Exaggerated: Draco falsifies the destruction of Bob's home town and then demands Bob gives in to his demands.
  • Downplayed: "I have your precious little goldfish, Bob! [sound of toilet flushing]"
  • Justified: Draco hasn't been able to catch or stop Bob, but Maybelle is much weaker, easier to catch, and very important to Bob.
  • Inverted: Maybelle is dead, but Draco tries to convince Bob that she's still alive.
  • Subverted: Draco actually kills Maybelle after Bob gives in to his demands.
  • Double Subverted: ...But then uses his evil powers to bring her back from the dead.
  • Parodied:
    • Draco pretends to kill Maybelle, and Bob is thrilled to hear it.
    • Draco pretends to give Mabelle a paper cut, and Bob freaks out.
  • Zig Zagged: Draco wants to kill Maybelle to upset Bob, but can't bring himself to actually hurt her. So he plans to kill her in front of Bob, but ends up accidentally killing her, thus upsetting Draco. But it turns out Maybelle faked her own death to freak out Draco, and Bob was in on the plan the whole time.
  • Averted: Draco never gets his hands on Maybelle and doesn't kill her or pretend to kill her.
  • Enforced: "We need Bob to have some sort of deep motivation for going after Draco, something like the death of Maybelle, but we want to keep Maybelle alive and also show that Draco isn't a Complete Monster, although very manipulative."
  • Lampshaded: "Oh, it's the old 'pretending to kill my baby sister' trick? Come on, man, that's like... one of the oldest ones in the book!"
  • Invoked: Draco wants Bob to suffer, so he pretends to kill Maybelle.
  • Exploited: Draco foolishly planted some pretty solid evidence that he killed Maybelle. Although Bob doesn't believe Draco killed Maybelle, he calls the police to get Draco put in jail.
  • Defied: Draco knows if he pretends to kill Maybelle Bob will hunt him down to the ends of the earth, for his safety he uses her as only a hostage.
  • Discussed: Alice suggests to Bob why Maybelle's "death" is faked.
  • Conversed: "Off-screen gunshot for the lead co-star? No way she's dead."
  • Deconstructed: The threat to Maybelle's life brings home to Bob that his hero's lifestyle can spill over into the lives of those he loves, Bob has to give serious consideration to whether fighting Draco is worth the risk to his family.
  • Reconstructed: He realizes that having his family involved just makes him more determined, and redoubles his efforts.
  • Played For Laughs: Draco can't bring himself to actually hurt Maybelle, so he fakes the sounds of her being "killed" by beating himself up — Bob only hears the screaming and other noises, while viewers get to actually see Draco slamming his own head into the wall and screaming like a little girl.
  • Played For Drama: It looks as if Draco has killed Bob's sister and closest friend, Maybelle, in cold blood. Anguished, Bob sets out for revenge, and goes after Draco. After an intense and climactic battle, Bob defeats Draco and kills him. But Bob still can't get over the death of his sister, until he hears knocking from a nearby locked door. He unlocks the door and opens it to see his sister, Maybelle, still alive and glad to see him.

Back to Fake Kill Scare

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