Right, trying out a charge for the page description. Its really been bugging me since it just barely starts to state what the trope is before going off on a tanget about when heros shrug off bullets and how mooks fire badly, which is not what the trope is exactly about. Sure we can talk about that, just not in the first paragraph where everything needs to be crystal clear.
My attempt: (not final):
"In works of fiction, guns behave in strange ways. Often, and especially in gritty action films and old-timey westerns, guns seem to fire not bullets but death itself
alike can die instantly from a single bullet fired in their general direction, and the kill may even be bereft of blood
. In some works, this is employed slightly more realistically with bloody headshots, but are just as instantly deadly as their weakly aimed counterparts.
In some works, this end is saved for Mooks and actual Villians, or Mooks alone, while a Hero gets the benefit of a long, painful DramaticDeath
complete with tears and sad music. Don't be surprised though, if an instant death bullet finds its way to the Hero's skull in the end just for shock value.
This trope is largely responsible for the tendency of Mooks and Red Shirts to come from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy
. If the Hero or Villain were killed or critically wounded in their first gun fight early in the story it would have a drastic effect on the outcome of the story. Additionally, Heros and Villians alike may just be wearing Plot Armor
to avoid being shot at only until their part in the story is completed.
Constrast Only a Flesh Wound
and Almost Lethal Weapons
where instead of instant death, gunshot wounds are merely inconvenient as well as Rasputinian Death
, Made of Iron
Not to be confused with Shot to the Heart
EDIT: touched it up some more
edited 10th Dec '12 5:30:53 AM by DoveAlexa