Playing With / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness

Basic Trope: A villain gets rid of minions when they're not useful anymore.
  • Straight: Emperor Evulz kills Lord Bad after Lord Bad finished carrying out an order from him.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Every minion who works for Emperor Evulz will be killed when completing the order.
    • Emperor Evulz is a necromancer who kills his minions when he no longer has use for them, then brings them back to life or reanimated if he finds uses for them.
    • Emperor Evulz is not only a necromancer, the leader of his subordiates, but his subordinates are of the Hive Mind type who have no right to say, think and do whatever they wish, literally as their altered physiology by Emperor Evulz prevents them to oppose him. When they are finished, he kills them when he has no use for them, even if they carry out all of his orders flawlessly and without complaints, and brings them back to life or reanimated when he has any use for them, repeating the cycle.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Can't Kill You, Still Need You
    • Every time Emperor Evulz needs a new minion for something, he arranges for one to be born and raised specifically to do that job.
    • Emperor Evulz kills a minion and binds his ghost because he needs him to remain useful post-mortem.
    • Emperor Evulz gives Lord Bad a legitimate and genuine reward for his success.
    • You Have Failed Me
  • Subverted:
    • Lord Bad has found out Emperor Evulz will plan to kill him after his mission is complete, so he becomes The Starscream and betrays him.
    • Emperor Evulz's advisor recommends Evulz to kill Lord Bad now that he is not useful. Evulz states that he will find use for him.
    • Emperor Evulz kills Lord Bad, and one of the mooks asks if Lord Bad had lost his usefulness. Turns out Evulz killed Lord Bad for either incompetence or treachery.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied:
    • Emperor Evulz fires Lord Bad after doing an order for him. The latter likes it because he never really liked working for the former. Lord Bad even gives Emperor Evulz a box of chocolates and some flowers.
    • Evulz orders his assistant to get him coffee. Once he has it, he shoots the assistant.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Emperor Evulz fires Lord Bad after doing an order for him. Lord Bad comes back, however, and Emperor Evulz reluctantly hires him again. Then Emperor Evulz fires Lord Bad again after doing an order for him. Repeat over and over again.
    • Emperor Evulz sends Lord Bad on a suicide mission once he has no more use for him. Once Lord Bad comes back from that, however, Evulz is genuinely impressed and decides to keep him around.
  • Averted: Emperor Evulz gives thought to killing Lord Bad once he has completed his task, but doesn't go through with it.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "Why do you want to kill me? You just invited me to a top secret meeting yesterday!"
  • Invoked: Sergeant Worse hates Lord Bad, so he lies to Evulz and tells him that Bad is planning a betrayal, provoking Evulz to kill Bad after his current mission.
  • Exploited:
    • Sergeant Worse hears of Lord Bad's death and takes the opportunity to voluntarily promote himself to the empty spot Lord Bad left behind.
    • Emperor Pragmatically Villounous invades Emperor Evulz' domain knowing that none of Emperor Evulz' mooks are willing to fight for him.
  • Defied:
    • "You seriously thought I was going to kill Lord Bad? After he just completed that mission for me? I honestly don't know which offends me more, you thinking I'd be that ungrateful or you thinking I'd be that paranoid."
    • "You've done well. However, I have no further use for you. Here's the $1,000,000 we agreed upon; and your severance package. Pleasure doing business with you."
  • Discussed: "Of course he's not gonna kill you. Why do you think he would do that after he invited you to that top secret meeting yesterday?"
  • Conversed: "So I heard Emperor Evulz was killing off some of his minions straight after their missions." "Oh, I always wondered where that extra life insurance money was coming from..."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Four words: Lonely at the Top.
    • Emperor Evulz does this a few times too many, and his minions begin to stop trusting him; some even begin to conspire against him and/or help the heroes defeat him.
    • Turns out Lord Bad is a bit too tough to merely dispose of. The Emperor either uses up valuable minions and resources in the process, or makes yet another enemy in the now-betrayed Lord Bad. He succeeded in his previous task(s) for a reason, after all.

I am done with you, so go to You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, and don't ever call me again.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulNess