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Playing With: If I Wanted You Dead...
Basic Trope: A person can be trusted not to kill someone, because if s/he wanted to s/he already would have.
  • Straight: Alice is wary of Bob, who responds, "If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead."
  • Exaggerated:
    • "If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead, stuffed into a fridge, staked through the heart, and burned six months before I bothered giving the order."
    • King Bob tells Queen Alice: "If I intended to make war with you kingdom, I would have already had it burned to the ground."
  • Downplayed: "You have nothing to fear from me. I'm secretly in love with you, am your loving father, and need you for my evil plans. Also you'd be dead already."
  • Justified:
    • Bob knows that Alice (which doesn't know about it) has a special ability, making only a few people like himself able to kill her.
    • Bob just managed to sneak up on Alice without her noticing. The fact that he didn't take this opportunity to put a bullet in her is a good indication that he's not inclined to.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice thinks, "If Bob wanted to kill me, he would have by now."
    • Alternatively: "If you wanted to kill me, you'd've done it by now."
    • Alternatively alternatively: Bob shoots Alice: "If I needed you alive I wouldn't have done that."
  • Subverted:
    • Alice takes Bob at his word, but we find out this gives him the ability to kill her.
    • Alternatively: Bob shoots Alice as he wanted to kill her all along, but he misses.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Then he still decides not to.
    • And the bullet bounces back and hits her anyway.
  • Parodied:
    • A mass murderer states, "If I wanted to kill you, you'd be dead. I mean, I already killed your mother, your father, your dog... and your G.I. Joe toy."
    • Alice and Bob get into a competitive one-up competition about who would have killed the other one first if they'd wanted the other one dead.
    • Alice: "If you wanted me dead, you'd have killed me already." Bob: "I knew I was forgetting something." BANG!
  • Zig Zagged: Alice takes Bob at his word, but we find out this gives him the ability to kill her. Then he still decides not to. Except this was another ploy to save face. Except he has, by this point, Become The Mask, and now really doesn't want to kill her. But that doesn't mean he can't hurt her...which he doesn't anyway.
  • Averted:
    • Bob has the ability to kill Alice, but doesn't and doesn't ever ask for her trust.
    • Alternatively, Bob has the ability to kill Alice, and he does.
    • Bob lacks the ability to kill Alice, and everyone knows it, so this doesn't come up.
  • Enforced: "We need to make it believable that Alice would get in the mob boss' car. Make him point out that he wouldn't need to lure her there to kill her."
  • Lampshaded: "Is this the part where you try to get me to trust you by saying if you wanted me dead, I'd be dead?"
  • Invoked: "Tell Alice to get over here. She's knows she'd already be dead if I wanted to kill her."
  • Exploited: Bob deliberate refrains from killing Alice when the opportunity arises, so he can use this trope to gain her trust. He can kill her just as easily at a later date.
  • Defied: ...and after Alice arrives, Bob shoots her and says, "What? I wanted her dead!"
  • Discussed: "I think he's gonna say something like how we know he won't kill us because we'd be dead already." "You would be." "Well, yeah."
  • Conversed: "Why does she think he could kill her at the drop of a hat? Stuff like that takes planning."
  • Deconstructed: This trope is used to save face, the assassination attempt really was botched.
  • Reconstructed: However, the fact that Alice managed to avoid it gives Bob enough respect for her that he decides not to kill her.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob is a harmless person, and the people laugh at this and trust him because he can't hurt them, not because he won't.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Bob's Establishing Character Moment is springing a trap that has Alice completely at his mercy before using this trope.
    • Bob is using Alice for his plans. His constant reminders to Alice, show that he only view her as a tool.

If I wanted you to go back, I would've gave you the link. *beat* Hmm, I guess I want you to go back then...

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