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Playing With: Ineffectual Death Threats
Basic Trope: A character makes a death threat they are unlikely to carry out, and never do.
  • Straight: Bob threatens to kill Alice in a heated argument. They're both ordinary people.
  • Exaggerated: Bob threatens to kill Alice. He's her five-year-old little brother. She's 16 and studies martial arts. Supernatural Martial Arts with Charles Atlas Superpower, just for good measure.
  • Downplayed: Bob threatens to punch Alice. He Would Not Hit a Girl.
  • Justified: Others do not know that Bob is unable to carry out the threat. Bob is hoping no one is going to call his bluff.
  • Inverted: Bob murders Alice for no identifiable reason and with no warning.
  • Subverted: Bob is a Kid Samurai and menaces Alice with his katana.
  • Double Subverted: It's wooden. Wooden Katanas Are Even Better does not apply.
  • Parodied: Bob is shown working on an elaborate murder plan, while constantly gloating at Alice that her days are numbered. One night, he attacks her with a rubber squeaky hammer or nerf gun while she's asleep.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob threatens to kill Alice. She laughs him off. He mentions a way he can get his hands on a katana. She doesn't believe him. He brings it. It's wooden. Wooden Katanas Are Even Better, and it has an Absurdly Sharp Blade. Alice breaks it with a Finger Poke of Doom.
  • Averted:
    • Bob makes a death threat he can and will back up, and it's that kind of a setting.
    • Nobody is killed or threatened with death.
  • Enforced: Bob makes a death threat. The show is a sitcom. No Cerebus Syndrome or similar.
  • Lampshaded: "Riiiight. That makes the tenth time?"
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Bob threatens Alice,and even though he's not likely to go through with it, she can still use it to have him arrested.
  • Defied: Bob is holding a functional and dangerous weapon when he makes the threat.
  • Discussed: "Bob said he'd kill me." "He tells me that every other day."
  • Conversed: "Sure. On that network, in that time slot?"
  • Deconstructed: Bob gets into legal trouble.
  • Reconstructed: Hilarity Sues. Cue the Courtroom Episode.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob continuously attacks Alice with Joke Items while screaming for her inevitable demise. Each time, he receives a Megaton Punch for his trouble.
  • Played For Drama: Alice becomes paranoid over a death threat Bob made when he was angry and didn't mean anything by it.

Back to Ineffectual Death Threats, or I'll kill you! *raises rubber squeaky bat*

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