Playing With / Not Even Human

Basic Trope: The reveal that a character isn't human is used as justification for killing them.
  • Straight: Amazing Alice has a strict Thou Shalt Not Kill policy which is holding her back against an army of Black Bob's Mooks. When she discovers they're actually Mecha-Mooks, the gloves come off.
  • Exaggerated: When Amazing Alice discovers that she's fighting a Bug War, she immediately drops her objection to the downright atrocity suggested by The Lancer earlier.
  • Downplayed: Alice still tries to avoid "killing" unnecessarily, but doesn't see it as the Line Never To Be Crossed if the mooks in question aren't human beings.
  • Justified:
    • The robots are remotely controlled, and non-sentient.
    • The bugs are a Hive Mind which doesn't value individual life.
    • Alice is a Church Militant who's decided her opponents don't have souls, and therefore don't matter.
  • Inverted: Alice has been happily slaughtering the Big Bad's mercenary armies, but when she discovers they're mind-controlled clones, she sees them as innocent victims and tries to avoid killing them.
  • Subverted: Amazing Alice is happy to start smashing the Mooks now that she knows they're robots—until she finds out that they can feel pain, at which point she goes back to holding back.
  • Double Subverted: "Oh, it's only simulated pain? Back to smashing!"
  • Parodied:
    Alice: Wait a minute! It's not even human! And everyone knows robots don't have souls!
    Robo Joe: Hey! I'm Standing Right Here!
  • Zig Zagged: Robots don't count as "killing", but clones do, and so do humanoid aliens, but not non-humanoid ones, and animals only count if they can speak English, and the jury's still out on plants.
  • Averted: Either all the mooks are human, or Alice has equal respect for all life and avoids destroying anything that looks/acts remotely humanoid.
  • Enforced: It's a kids' cartoon which isn't allowed to show Family-Unfriendly Violence.
  • Lampshaded: "You were a little eager to start slaughtering them as soon as you thought up a decent rationalization, there, Alice... is this something we should be worried about?"
  • Invoked: Black Bob makes sure Alice knows that the mooks aren't human... because he's filming the slaughter, in order to release it to the public and turn her into a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Exploited: Black Bob sends out an army of robot Mooks... with enough humans mixed in that when Alice wipes the army out, she winds up slaughtering a few hundred humans and having a Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Defied: The characters discuss What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • Discussed: "Remember the machine you murdered in cold blood?" "No, why?" "That was my brother. I'll repay you for his death!"
  • Conversed: "I can't help but wonder if this opens up a bunch of questions regarding morality of murdering sentient robots the story never brings up."
  • Implied: Out of two humans and a humanoid robot, the former two are intact and visibly uninjured (presumed by the audience to be knocked out) and the third is decapitated.
  • Deconstructed: Alice is perfectly happy to kill anything that's not human, which non-humans view as xenophobia, making it far less likely that the ones that aren't evil will help her.
  • Reconstructed: Alice is fighting an army of monsters that are Made of Evil and lack true morality. They simply appear human because of their disguises, which, once revealed when they go One-Winged Angel to combat the heroes, proves their true nature as monsters and makes them easy to kill.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice turns into a maniacal sadist when she finds out her opponents aren't human.
  • Played For Drama: When Alice is done killing Black Bob's minions, she starts to notice something... the machines can feel fear. The robots appear to have emotions after all, and since she has been slaughtering a whole bunch of them, she finds herself in an ethical argument over whether she's really the good guy.

Back to Not Even Human.