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* VillainousRescue: When characters that usual act as villain rescues the heroes.

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* VillainousRescue: When characters that usual usually act as villain rescues villains rescue the heroes.


[[redirect:BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork]]

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[[redirect:BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork]]This is a disambiguation page. Please change any links you find to point to the correct article below.

* BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork: When the bad guys advance the plot by doing amoral things the heroes refuse to do.
* VillainousRescue: When characters that usual act as villain rescues the heroes.


->'''John:''' No... no I can't.\\
'''Scorpius:''' ''(sigh)'' I can. ''(grabs pistol in John's hand, and fires)''
-->--''{{Farscape}}'', "Prayer"

There's a problem, and the heroes can't solve it or make it go away. It boils down to a situation that requires a decidedly [[MoralDissonance unheroic action]] to solve, whether it's hurting, [[ThouShaltNotKill killing]], or something even less pleasant. The heroes can't very well do it and still be classic White Hats, but ''not'' doing anything would have grave consequences. Who can save the heroes now? Not the BigDamnHeroes, but the BigDamnVillains! Hey, they're evil already, doing an evil act to save the day is no problem.

Subtrope of ShootTheDog. Compare PoisonousFriend and ExitPursuedByABear. May overlap with BodyguardBetrayal, and with BaitAndSwitchBoss when used in video games. See also {{Self-Disposing Villain}} and TokenEvilTeammate. If the villain ''unwittingly'' saves the day with his or her dastardly actions, then it's NiceJobFixingItVillain.

Different from a HeelFaceTurn because the villain isn't actually being heroic; the villain may be entirely motivated out of self-interest, such as [[{{EnemyMine}} fighting a common threat]] or because [[{{TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou}} a competitor is challenging his place as nemesis]]. Could also be a result of [[EvenEvilHasStandards the situation being something that even they find utterly distasteful]] despite their general lack of morals and makes their feelings known in a decidedly vicious manner.

'''Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process''' (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', at the end of the Koryo arc, Syaoran talks Chunyan out of killing the ryanban, but he is conveniently taken care of by his own previously mind-controlled servant.
* One wonders what the TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness group of old ladies who rule Japan (First Division) would have done to the cast of ''{{Mai-Hime}}'' had [[spoiler:Shizuru not gone crazy and killed them all]] after the cast ''kills their god.'' It's doubtful that they were [[spoiler:resurrected along with the rest of the cast.]]
* In the first anime ''FullmetalAlchemist'', the brothers need to create the Philosopher Stone. Problem: By episode 40, [[spoiler:it became obvious that in order to do that, one needs to kill quite a lot of people. Solution: Scar did it. And died in the process.]]
* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!).
* This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.
* The after-credits sequence of ''Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0'' has the continuity's resident EnsembleDarkhorse ([[spoiler:Kaworu]]) aborting Third Impact at the last second by [[spoiler:impaling Unit 01 with a spear thrown from the upper atmosphere]].
** However, this might end up actually being [[spoiler: a BigDamnHeroes]] moment in the end.
* In ''{{Bleach}}'', the Central 46 are {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s of the worst kind. Good thing [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aizen]] [[BoardToDeath kills them all]].]]
** Of course, the person who killed them has been frequently acting in their names, manipulating, or outright impersonating them for a long time now, so it's hard to tell just how obstructive they ''really'' were...
*** Well, you have to keep up appearances unless you want people to notice that something is off,[[spoiler: like the 46 members of the central government being DEAD]].
*** And despite that, they've apparently assembled a new Central 46 within half a year.
* In one episode of the {{Pokemon}} anime, they arrive at a festival dedicated to the Pokemon Wobbuffet, and several party-crashers come and start destroying things. The festival people explain that since Wobbuffet can't hurt the enemy except by reflecting attacks, in honor of that they will not attack the party crashers. Ash & co know the guys must be stopped, but are unwilling to break the rules of the festival. [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Team Rocket]], on the other hand, have no such qualms.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''TheUltimates'' had CaptainAmerica unleashing TheHulk on the alien invasion, who kills the BigBad by ''eating'' him.
* Happens in ''{{Deadpool}}''. A man who had been abusing Wade's friend is cornered by him, but unfortunately, she had earlier made him promise not to kill him. He leaves. Cue Taskmaster, who happily proclaims that HE didn't promise her squat. Cue GoryDiscretionShot.
* At the end of ''InfiniteCrisis'', [[BigBad Alexander Luthor]] has managed to escape the {{Final Battle}} and is planning to start over. Unfortunately, he forgot that he'd pissed off everyone's [[TheJoker favorite homicidal clown.]] Not content with the possibility that Luthor [[NotQuiteDead might]] [[GoryDiscretionShot return]], the writers have mister J [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill burn him with acid, electrocute him and shoot him in the head.]]
--> [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "Now who's]] [[CrowningMomentOfFunny stupid?"]]
* During [[GreenLantern The Sinestro Corps War]], after the Green Lanterns' attempt to [[spoiler:kill the [[BigBad Anti-Monitor]] via a ColonyDrop proves insufficient, [[TheDogBitesBack Superboy-Prime steps in to finish the job for them]].]]
* James Robinson's ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}'' series had a great example. Starman and the golden age Green Lantern are confronting {{mad bomber}} Dr. Pip and his giant exploding suicide exoskeleton when their powers short out due to a {{crisis crossover}} that they aren't aware of. [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers2.jpg But]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers3.jpg then]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers4.jpg all]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers5.jpg this]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers6.jpg happens.]]
** On the fourth page, note that [[spoiler: The Shade]] is in fact flipping him off.
* In GrantMorrison's ''Earth 2,'' the [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]] are in a universe where the bad guys always win, and are losing to that universe's Brainiac. Their solution is to walk away, allowing the evil Ultraman to lobotomize Brainiac with his heat vision.
* The former page image comes from the ''{{Superman}} Y2K'' storyline. With Superman incapacitated and the city of Metropolis in chaos due to the apocalyptic Brainiac 13 computer virus, who is ruthless enough to step forth and protect the citizenry by any means necessary? Freakin' LexLuthor, that's who.
* ''FinalCrisis'' also has Lex and Dr. Sivana coming to save the day from Libra when they hack into the Justifier helmets and kill Libra. Later, they helped the heroes build the Miracle Machine that fixes everything.
* ''BlackestNight'' has a sequence where the heroes desperately concoct a Big Damn Villain plan in order to stop a rampaging Black Lantern version of the Spectre, one of the most powerful characters in the entire DC Universe. The plan: unleash the fear entity Parallax, who had previously been sealed away by Hal Jordan, and let him possess Jordan. Parallax is one of the very few beings that the Spectre is afraid of. Sure enough, he beats down Spectre and frees him from Black Lantern possession. Great news...except that now, the heroes have to find a way to stop Parallax again.
** To give an idea of how desperate this plan was, keep in mind that the last time Parallax possessed Hal, he ''destroyed the entire universe.'' (But this is comics, so they fixed it.)
* Earlier in Blackest Night a plan is concocted to kill the Black Lantern Anti-Monitor by having Dove encapsulated in a bullet composed Lantern energy and have Bedovian, a sniper who'd terrorized the Green Lantern Corps during the Sinestro Corps War aim it at the Anti-Monitor's head as Red Lanterns distract him.
** Seems more like an EnemyMine situation. Black Lanterns are a OmnicidalManiac [[IncrediblyLamePun corpse]], the [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Sinestro]] and [[UnstoppableRage Red]] corps are not interested in [[Series/DoctorWho THE END.]] [[LargeHam OF REALITY.]] [[MemeticMutation ITSELF!]]
* Warren White/The Great White Shark in the DC limited series/graphic novel ''ArkhamAsylumLivingHell''
* The remnants of The Black Glove that tried to utterly destroy Batman (and utterly failed) in ''BatmanRIP'' could have caused problems in the future. It's probably for the best that [[spoiler: Joker as Oberon Sexton]] killed them all.
* Averted in the American ''[[ArchiesSonicTheHedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog]]'' comic. During the "Enerjak Reborn" arc, the Freedom Fighters are forced to fight Knuckles, who's been transformed into [[PhysicalGod Enerjak]] and [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity gone mad with power]]. Just when it starts to look like they might have to kill him, in comes [[BigBad Dr. Eggman]], who captures Knuckles and intends to drain his life force to power his city. The aversion comes when Knuckles effortlessly breaks free and proceeds to ''level Eggman's whole city''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* ''TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' saga is based on taking this trope and making a franchise out of it.
* The climax scene of ''LetTheRightOneIn'' goes... this way, kind of. [[spoiler: As the kid's about to be drowned, the Eli shows up and saves the day. Which Eli does. But since he's (Yes, Eli is a he. Read the book.) a vampire, he kills three people doing so.]]
* In ''RedSun'', the villains are about to kill the heroes, only to be interrupted by an attack by murderous Comanches.
* When the main character of ''[[DistrictNine District 9]]'' is captured by an evil weapons manufacturer who wants to harvest his body for weaponry, he's rescued by African warlords who want to eat his flesh.
* The Joker did this in his own twisted way in ''TheDarkKnight'', when a Wayne Enterprises accountant discovered Bruce's big secret and was about to reveal it to the world on live television. But leave it to the Joker to take something that would have been a favor to Batman, and to twist it to his own ends:
-->'''The Joker:''' I don't want Mr. Reese spoiling everything, but why should I have all the fun? Let's give someone else a chance. If Coleman Reese isn't dead in sixty minutes then I blow up a hospital.
* Simba from ''TheLionKing'' is too moral to give Scar the killing blow. However, the hyenas who Scar tried to blame for everything when things started looking bad... they have no such morals.
-->'''Scar:''' Ah! My friends!
-->'''Shenzi''': "Friends?" I thought he said we were the ''enemy.''
-->'''Banzai''': Yeah, that's what I heard.
-->'''Shenzi and Banzai:''' Ed?
-->'''Ed''': [[EvilLaugh Eh, heh heh heh, heh heh heh heh...]]
* Similarly in ''ThePrincessAndTheFrog,''[[spoiler: the Friends on the Other Side pull this off]] after Tiana [[spoiler: breaks Dr. Facilier's talisman, making it impossible for him to pay off his spiritual debt. They take him to the Other Side]].
* ChrisPine's character in ''Carriers'' where everyone is a CrazySurvivalist [[ShootTheDog shoots the dog]] many times in order to spare his more innocent brother from doing it himself. It rubs off on his brother though, who later finally gets his hands dirty by killing Pine when he is infected... A poetic end I suppose.
* Salim from {{Slumdog Millionaire}} spends most of the movie playing {{The Caretaker}} to Jamal, [[{{ShootTheDog}} shooting]] and [[{{KickTheDog}} kicking]] the dog alternately allowing them both to survive, but allowing Jamal to remain relatively untarnished.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''The Probability Broach'': It would be wrong to attack the Hamiltonians ''before'' they import a nuclear weapon, so they're killed off by a previously unknown inanimate phenomenon (when someone tries to pass a Broach through another Broach, kaboom).
* TheCulture novel ''Matter'' has a SealedEvilInACan being released and in typical Banks fashion killing most of the main cast. While this is nearly all of the heroes, it also includes the EvilChancellor who had usurped a throne and his minions. Thus, the Culture are able to set-up the surviving hero as the future prime minister, and unlike in other novels in the series, didn't actually have to act morally ambiguously and get rid of corrupt leaders themselves.
* In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Vimes frees prisoners from the [[TortureCellar Cable Street watch house]]. In the process, he has to subdue a [[TortureTechnician torturer]], who he leaves tied to a chair and forgets about until someone reminds him. Since he gets reminded ''after'' he started burning the place down, he has to run back in, all the while trying to decide whether to kill the mook, cut him free, or cut just enough rope that he can maybe escape before he burns to death. Luckily, [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Captain Swing]] shows up and kills the mook before Vimes has to make his choice.
* In Bernard Cornwell's book ''Agincourt'', the main character, Nick Hook, has made a vow to a priest not to kill the murderous rapists who his family has been in a blood feud with for generations. [[spoiler: His arch-enemy, father-in-law, and prisoner (it's complicated) made no such promise.]]
* In ''[[TortallUniverse Trickster's Queen]]'' by TamoraPierce, the main character Aly's (god-ordered) objective is to put one of two sisters on the throne of a country undergoing a revolution. Among the people they will be usurping are the five-year-old king and the girls' own three-year-old half-brother, whom Aly has personally cared for. Aly [[MoralDissonance has one or two brief scenes in which she feels bad that she'll probably have to kill them both off]]. Luckily for her, the king's sister and her husband -- the boy king's regents and the last adults standing of the original royal family, and now [[RoyallyScrewedUp thoroughly paranoid]] about being undermined -- take care of that for her.
** To be fair to Aly, she was trying to find a way out of killing the children, and considered binding them magically to oaths that they will not try to take the throne and exiling them together with the royal bodyguard as caretaker. Unfortunately, she mentioned to the trickster god that the children were in her way. The god got impatient with pacifist methods and persuaded the regents that they would be better off without the boys.
* In ''{{A Song of Ice and Fire}}'', this is how Tywin Lannister endeared himself to Robert Baratheon who had just secured the throne. He knew the old Targaryen line had to be extinguished for his seat to stay safe, but "he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children." Fortunately for Robert, Tywin (or rather his men) had no such delusions and happily murdered the two surviving Targaryen kids in the palace (committing a few ''other'' atrocities along the way).
* In the DaleBrown novel ''Executive Intent'', the Chinese assault on and takeover of Mogadishu is likened to this by one character, noting how China had solved the problem most of the world probably secretly wanted to deal with but could not bring themselves to handle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''[[{{BuffyTheVampireSlayer}} Buffy]]'' episode "Wild At Heart": we don't kill werewolves, because they're human most of the time, but Oz's wolf side is amoral and thus free to kill Veruca.
** Buffy can't kill the Anointed One, partly because she's prophecied not to but mostly because he's a kid. Luckily, Spike does it for her.
** Buffy is fighting for life after being shot by BigBad wannabe Warren. Willow appears, heals her, and takes the bullet, which she uses to torture Warren with [[FaceHeelTurn and become the new BigBad]].
* ''{{Dexter}}'', end of season two. [[spoiler: Sgt Doakes can prove that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, so Dexter locks him up in a lonely cabin until he can decide what to do. Dexter won't kill Doakes because he's a good guy. Lila, who is as psychopathic as Dexter but with no such code, finds the cabin and blows it up.]]
* ''{{Farscape}}'': In the episode "Prayer", it's ambiguous whether or not John knew Scorpius was going to [[spoiler:kill the merged Chiana-Aeryn]] when he brought him along to the alternate universe, but it's [[ShootTheDog what had to be done]]. See page quote.
* I remember an episode of a ''TheFlash'' live-action series where a baddie had discovered his SecretIdentity and blackmailed him (with even a TheydCutYouUp threat). He ended up killed by other baddies, with a [[ExternalCombustion Car Starter Bomb]].
* This has happened tons of times in ''{{Smallville}}''. Clark has to face people with dangerous superpowers, and while he can beat them readily enough, he can't very well run a super-jail or convince them to lead an honest life because, well, Kryptonite gives most people a god complex, and most krypto-freaks aren't stable/good to begin with. Having Clark kill or permanently disable them is far too {{squick}}y for a proto-Superman to do, so the preferred solution is to have them depowered or [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoist by their own petard]]. The other solutions that pertain to this trope are to have them be killed by evil infighting among themselves, or having Lionel (and later Lex) deal with them.
* In the third season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', [[spoiler:a [[BroughtDownToNormal recently depowered]] Peter]] heads off with [[AntiMagic the Haitian]] to [[spoiler: kill his father and destroy [[SuperSerum the Formula]].]] However, once they get there they encounter problems [[spoiler: when Peter can't pull the trigger as Arthur makes his saving throw to turn Peter to his side.]] The obvious solution? [[spoiler: Sylar shows up, complete with recently stolen lie detection power, to ask Arthur if he's really a Petrelli. Naturally, Arthur lies, thus causing Sylar to allow the bullet he had grabbed in thin air to kill Arthur stone dead permanently.]]
** Not the straightest example. While [[spoiler:Sylar was the one who pushed the bullet into Arthur's skull, he was the one who stopped it in the first place. Had Sylar not been there, Peter would've been the one to kill Arthur, he just waited a while before he did it.]]
* ''BattlestarGalactica'': it's obvious midway through "Pegasus" that Admiral Cain is a dangerous psychopath who needs to be dealt with. Adama is too moral to go through with an assassination. Fortunately, [[spoiler: Baltar has let a Cylon with a grudge against Cain loose]].
** Ironically just after Cain proved that she wasn't ''completely'' insane yet, having in turn just refused to assassinate Adama.
* ''Da Ren Wu'' is a Chinese TV series based on a classic kung-fu novel set in medieval China. The heroes, as usual in wuxia literature, are staunch Confucianists: morally opposed to unwarranted violence and who don't approve of killing under any circumstances. At one point, Sisi, the main heroine, is tricked by some crooks who steal everything she owns and [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty give her to a Masqueraded School for whores]]. The boss and his cronies take great pleasure in tormenting defenseless girls, and kill those who don't respond well to the training. Three characters come to Sisi's rescue, one after another: 1) Yang Fan is the first. He can't find Sisi in the School (the boss locked her in a hidden room), so he leaves convinced he made a mistake. 2) Qin Ge, a famous kung-fu master, is the second. He can't find Sisi either. He suspects something, but can't prove anything. He leaves as well. 3) The hunchback is the third. [[spoiler:He's a major bad guy. He needs Sisi for some nefarious plan. He waits till night, gets into the School, finds Sisi and takes her with him. He pummels the cronies, and when the crossdressing boss tries to stop him: the hunchback pulls a Fist of the North Star on him. After leaving the School with Sisi, the hunchback tracks the crooks who had tricked her. He finds them, makes them give back the stolen stuff and beg for mercy on their knees... and then kills them nevertheless, just because!]] They say the author was very surprised when the hunchback's popularity with the audience skyrocketed after this story arc.
* In an episode of ''{{Taxi}}'', Elaine visits a trendy hair stylist(played by Ted Danson) and comes away with an atrocious hairdo. She, Alex and Louie pay the stylist a visit to demand an apology and he rebuffs them. Elaine considers dumping a bowlful of hair dye on the stylist's head but decides not to, declaring "I'm better than you." Before they leave, Louie(in a combination CrowningMomentOfAwesome/[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Funny]]) casually dumps the hair dye over the stylist and says, "She might be better than you, ({{beat}})...but I ain't!"
* In Series/DoctorWho The Five Doctors, The Master has been captured by the Cybermen and is initially being forced to do their bidding. [[spoiler:He ends up turning the tables and wiping the whole lot of them out by skipping through a trap he's figured out the solution to, but conveniently forgets to tell his captors about.]]
** Twenty-six years later, in "The End of Time," this same Master (well, different actor/[[TheNthDoctor regeneration]]) forces [[spoiler:Rasillon]] back behind the [[spoiler:time lock on the Time War, and won't let him take the Doctor with him, either.]]
** ''Brutally'' subverted in "The Pandorica Opens." [[spoiler: a good number of the Doctor's foes all band together to save the universe...from the Doctor, who they've been tricked into believing will destroy it, when in fact he's the only one who can stop the explosion that will destroy the universe.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This happened in ''TimeSplitters'' somewhere, but I can't quite remember.
* In ''AdvanceWars Dual Strike'', the {{big bad}} is defeated and at the player's mercy. But his chair is still draining the planet, and he needs to be killed. Von Bolt taunts Jake, asking if he can really shoot a defenseless old man. The player is offered a choice of whether to shoot him or not, and if you don't, [[spoiler: Hawke shows up and does it for you.]]
** This actually leads to some pretty serious MoralDissonance, since Jake is a ''MILITARY OFFICER'' who has spent the entire game ''fighting a war'' in a game where they actually score you on how quickly and efficiently you can destroy the thousands of enemy units (including infantry which are ''clearly'' human lives you are mowing over), but when forced to actually hold the gun, he can chicken out on stopping a man who is literally going to kill all life on the planet.
*** [[spoiler: But If I remember correctly, Hawke doesn't kill him either. He just shoots the chair and leaves Bolt to die of old age.]] Though yeah, a "killing is wrong" message in a WAR GAME is a little weird.
**** [[spoiler: Actually, Hawke shot to kill; if the player chose Jake to shoot, HE shoots the chair.]]
*** {{Values Dissonance}} nothing: Jake is a military officer for the ''good'' side, and the rules of war forbid shooting an unarmed, surrendered enemy, you know. Even wars have rules.
* [[CompleteMonster Reavers]] job in ''{{Fable}} 3'' is to do this. He stands in court to argue in favour of the evil option when making decisions as king. While these options are generally quite despicable and having an orphanage would be a fine and dandy in the long run, you could really do with the 1.25 million you'd make from opening a brothel right now to [[spoiler:fight back the EldritchAbomination that threatens to destroy Albion]].
* In ''{{Iji}}'', if you're taking the pacifist path, [[spoiler: two of the bosses get backstabbed by their underlings; conveniently meaning you don't have to kill them.]] This was actually added in, since earlier versions meant a completely innocent run was impossible.
* In ''FateStayNight'', Ilya [[spoiler:kills Shinji in Fate]], saving Shirou from having to do it; [[spoiler:Sakura does the same in Heaven's Feel]]. [[spoiler:Sakura and Kotomine]] combined also kill off [[spoiler:Zouken]] in the same route, who would probably have caused some moral quandaries since he's essentially defenseless on his own at that point even though his very existence is an abomination.
* In ''MetroidPrime 3: Corruption'', Dark Samus kills [[spoiler:the corrupted Hunters]] after you defeat them. Samus probably couldn't bring herself to ShootTheDog, making Dark Samus quite convenient in a twisted, twisted way.
** And it may also double as YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.
* A borderline example between this and VillainousRescue occurs in ''SuperRobotWars 3''. Anavel Gato's claim to fame in his [[{{Gundam0083}} show of origin]] is ''launching a stolen nuke at a peace conference''. He reenacts this scene in the game, but this time the "peace conference" is between [[VillainTeamUp two villainous factions]]. What makes this a borderline example is the fact that the heroes congratulate him on this and gladly accept his HeelFaceTurn application, suggesting that they may have done the same thing if they had a nuke lying around.
** One of the most legendary events in the first ''SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' game involves [[GiantRobo Alberto the Shockwave]] fighting the [[NeonGenesisEvangelion Third Angel]] to a standstill because no one else is there to stop it. For those wondering where Shinji is, he has yet to deploy.
* In the MassEffect games, the ''player'' can pull this while playing a Renegade Shepard by killing an NPC's target and taking the responsibility onto him-/her-self.
* [[ValkyriaChronicles Faldio]] might as well be the poster-boy for this trope in modern video games. The Gallian army is being decimated by an attack by Selvaria, an invincible Valkyria who cuts through tanks as if they were nothing; [[TheHero Welkin]] is a [[InformedAbility genius]] and tries to come up with a solution, but fails to do so in time. At the last second, [[DesignatedEvil Faldio]] [[spoiler: shoots Alicia, knowing she'll survive it]] to awaken her latent Valkyria powers, and she saves Gallia by stopping Selvaria in her tracks. This saves Welkin from having to come up with a solution (when Faldio defends his decision by saying there was no other way, Welkin can't find a good alternative and just punches him) ''and'' from getting any blood on his hands for doing something morally gray, while Faldio is imprisoned and [[spoiler: commits suicide as an apology]]. The game never acknowledges that he ''did'' save thousands of lives that day by making that choice, and [[spoiler:kills the people he saved by having Selvaria nuke Ghirlandaio, so she got 'em in the end and Faldio ultimately saved no one]].
** [[spoiler: ...Except for all of the playable characters.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''{{Adventurers}}!'s Argent:'' [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/20040327.html While that may not have been necessary, if you know the backstory it's hard to blame him.]]
* [[{{Homestuck}} Vriska]] attempts to take the fight to the BigBad, and even TheOmniscient thinks she ''might'' win. The price would have been [[spoiler: leading the bad guy directly back to the LastBastion and wiping out her race]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Doomsday's first appearance in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. In the comics, he killed Supes ([[IGotBetter He got better]]). However, Supes' evil universe counterpart, Justice Lord Superman, used his eye lasers to ''lobotomize Doomsday'' not five minutes into the fight (he got better too, and was mighty pissed, but that's another story).
* In the ''{{Disney/Aladdin}}'' animated series, Aladdin threatens to turn a magic-eating monster loose on Mozenrath, who taunts him by pointing out that he's not ruthless enough to do that. "You're right... I'm not that ruthless." Then Aladdin points at Iago. "But he is!" And Iago proves it.
** Big Damn {{Anti Hero}}?
* In ''Kong'', Ramone De La Porta is the main villain and constantly causes trouble for Jason, Kong, and the gang when he is trying to unlock powers of the Primal Stones, while often making threats and trying to kill Kong, yet they often save him whenever he is in danger (and he only returns the favor once, just so they're even). In the final episode, [[spoiler: Harpy sucks De La Porta's life force out as part of a ritual to awaken Chiros. De La Porta survives when his life force is returned to him later, but is left in a permanent state of shock.]]
* In ''TheBatman'', Wrath and Scorn have figured out Batman and Robin's identity. Even though they are arrested, Batman really can't do anything to keep them from revealing this to everyone. [[spoiler:Luckily, the Joker (much like in ''The Dark Knight'') [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou didn't want someone else causing the end of Batman]] and gassed them while they were in the police van.]]
[[/folder]]

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<<|EvilTropes|>>
<<|MoralityTropes|>>
<<|OlderThanDirt|>>

to:

->'''John:''' No... no I can't.\\
'''Scorpius:''' ''(sigh)'' I can. ''(grabs pistol in John's hand, and fires)''
-->--''{{Farscape}}'', "Prayer"

There's a problem, and the heroes can't solve it or make it go away. It boils down to a situation that requires a decidedly [[MoralDissonance unheroic action]] to solve, whether it's hurting, [[ThouShaltNotKill killing]], or something even less pleasant. The heroes can't very well do it and still be classic White Hats, but ''not'' doing anything would have grave consequences. Who can save the heroes now? Not the BigDamnHeroes, but the BigDamnVillains! Hey, they're evil already, doing an evil act to save the day is no problem.

Subtrope of ShootTheDog. Compare PoisonousFriend and ExitPursuedByABear. May overlap with BodyguardBetrayal, and with BaitAndSwitchBoss when used in video games. See also {{Self-Disposing Villain}} and TokenEvilTeammate. If the villain ''unwittingly'' saves the day with his or her dastardly actions, then it's NiceJobFixingItVillain.

Different from a HeelFaceTurn because the villain isn't actually being heroic; the villain may be entirely motivated out of self-interest, such as [[{{EnemyMine}} fighting a common threat]] or because [[{{TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou}} a competitor is challenging his place as nemesis]]. Could also be a result of [[EvenEvilHasStandards the situation being something that even they find utterly distasteful]] despite their general lack of morals and makes their feelings known in a decidedly vicious manner.

'''Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process''' (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', at the end of the Koryo arc, Syaoran talks Chunyan out of killing the ryanban, but he is conveniently taken care of by his own previously mind-controlled servant.
* One wonders what the TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness group of old ladies who rule Japan (First Division) would have done to the cast of ''{{Mai-Hime}}'' had [[spoiler:Shizuru not gone crazy and killed them all]] after the cast ''kills their god.'' It's doubtful that they were [[spoiler:resurrected along with the rest of the cast.]]
* In the first anime ''FullmetalAlchemist'', the brothers need to create the Philosopher Stone. Problem: By episode 40, [[spoiler:it became obvious that in order to do that, one needs to kill quite a lot of people. Solution: Scar did it. And died in the process.]]
* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!).
* This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.
* The after-credits sequence of ''Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0'' has the continuity's resident EnsembleDarkhorse ([[spoiler:Kaworu]]) aborting Third Impact at the last second by [[spoiler:impaling Unit 01 with a spear thrown from the upper atmosphere]].
** However, this might end up actually being [[spoiler: a BigDamnHeroes]] moment in the end.
* In ''{{Bleach}}'', the Central 46 are {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s of the worst kind. Good thing [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aizen]] [[BoardToDeath kills them all]].]]
** Of course, the person who killed them has been frequently acting in their names, manipulating, or outright impersonating them for a long time now, so it's hard to tell just how obstructive they ''really'' were...
*** Well, you have to keep up appearances unless you want people to notice that something is off,[[spoiler: like the 46 members of the central government being DEAD]].
*** And despite that, they've apparently assembled a new Central 46 within half a year.
* In one episode of the {{Pokemon}} anime, they arrive at a festival dedicated to the Pokemon Wobbuffet, and several party-crashers come and start destroying things. The festival people explain that since Wobbuffet can't hurt the enemy except by reflecting attacks, in honor of that they will not attack the party crashers. Ash & co know the guys must be stopped, but are unwilling to break the rules of the festival. [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Team Rocket]], on the other hand, have no such qualms.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''TheUltimates'' had CaptainAmerica unleashing TheHulk on the alien invasion, who kills the BigBad by ''eating'' him.
* Happens in ''{{Deadpool}}''. A man who had been abusing Wade's friend is cornered by him, but unfortunately, she had earlier made him promise not to kill him. He leaves. Cue Taskmaster, who happily proclaims that HE didn't promise her squat. Cue GoryDiscretionShot.
* At the end of ''InfiniteCrisis'', [[BigBad Alexander Luthor]] has managed to escape the {{Final Battle}} and is planning to start over. Unfortunately, he forgot that he'd pissed off everyone's [[TheJoker favorite homicidal clown.]] Not content with the possibility that Luthor [[NotQuiteDead might]] [[GoryDiscretionShot return]], the writers have mister J [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill burn him with acid, electrocute him and shoot him in the head.]]
--> [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "Now who's]] [[CrowningMomentOfFunny stupid?"]]
* During [[GreenLantern The Sinestro Corps War]], after the Green Lanterns' attempt to [[spoiler:kill the [[BigBad Anti-Monitor]] via a ColonyDrop proves insufficient, [[TheDogBitesBack Superboy-Prime steps in to finish the job for them]].]]
* James Robinson's ''Comicbook/{{Starman}}'' series had a great example. Starman and the golden age Green Lantern are confronting {{mad bomber}} Dr. Pip and his giant exploding suicide exoskeleton when their powers short out due to a {{crisis crossover}} that they aren't aware of. [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers2.jpg But]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers3.jpg then]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers4.jpg all]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers5.jpg this]] [[http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj172/galan007_pics/shade_powers6.jpg happens.]]
** On the fourth page, note that [[spoiler: The Shade]] is in fact flipping him off.
* In GrantMorrison's ''Earth 2,'' the [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]] are in a universe where the bad guys always win, and are losing to that universe's Brainiac. Their solution is to walk away, allowing the evil Ultraman to lobotomize Brainiac with his heat vision.
* The former page image comes from the ''{{Superman}} Y2K'' storyline. With Superman incapacitated and the city of Metropolis in chaos due to the apocalyptic Brainiac 13 computer virus, who is ruthless enough to step forth and protect the citizenry by any means necessary? Freakin' LexLuthor, that's who.
* ''FinalCrisis'' also has Lex and Dr. Sivana coming to save the day from Libra when they hack into the Justifier helmets and kill Libra. Later, they helped the heroes build the Miracle Machine that fixes everything.
* ''BlackestNight'' has a sequence where the heroes desperately concoct a Big Damn Villain plan in order to stop a rampaging Black Lantern version of the Spectre, one of the most powerful characters in the entire DC Universe. The plan: unleash the fear entity Parallax, who had previously been sealed away by Hal Jordan, and let him possess Jordan. Parallax is one of the very few beings that the Spectre is afraid of. Sure enough, he beats down Spectre and frees him from Black Lantern possession. Great news...except that now, the heroes have to find a way to stop Parallax again.
** To give an idea of how desperate this plan was, keep in mind that the last time Parallax possessed Hal, he ''destroyed the entire universe.'' (But this is comics, so they fixed it.)
* Earlier in Blackest Night a plan is concocted to kill the Black Lantern Anti-Monitor by having Dove encapsulated in a bullet composed Lantern energy and have Bedovian, a sniper who'd terrorized the Green Lantern Corps during the Sinestro Corps War aim it at the Anti-Monitor's head as Red Lanterns distract him.
** Seems more like an EnemyMine situation. Black Lanterns are a OmnicidalManiac [[IncrediblyLamePun corpse]], the [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Sinestro]] and [[UnstoppableRage Red]] corps are not interested in [[Series/DoctorWho THE END.]] [[LargeHam OF REALITY.]] [[MemeticMutation ITSELF!]]
* Warren White/The Great White Shark in the DC limited series/graphic novel ''ArkhamAsylumLivingHell''
* The remnants of The Black Glove that tried to utterly destroy Batman (and utterly failed) in ''BatmanRIP'' could have caused problems in the future. It's probably for the best that [[spoiler: Joker as Oberon Sexton]] killed them all.
* Averted in the American ''[[ArchiesSonicTheHedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog]]'' comic. During the "Enerjak Reborn" arc, the Freedom Fighters are forced to fight Knuckles, who's been transformed into [[PhysicalGod Enerjak]] and [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity gone mad with power]]. Just when it starts to look like they might have to kill him, in comes [[BigBad Dr. Eggman]], who captures Knuckles and intends to drain his life force to power his city. The aversion comes when Knuckles effortlessly breaks free and proceeds to ''level Eggman's whole city''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* ''TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' saga is based on taking this trope and making a franchise out of it.
* The climax scene of ''LetTheRightOneIn'' goes... this way, kind of. [[spoiler: As the kid's about to be drowned, the Eli shows up and saves the day. Which Eli does. But since he's (Yes, Eli is a he. Read the book.) a vampire, he kills three people doing so.]]
* In ''RedSun'', the villains are about to kill the heroes, only to be interrupted by an attack by murderous Comanches.
* When the main character of ''[[DistrictNine District 9]]'' is captured by an evil weapons manufacturer who wants to harvest his body for weaponry, he's rescued by African warlords who want to eat his flesh.
* The Joker did this in his own twisted way in ''TheDarkKnight'', when a Wayne Enterprises accountant discovered Bruce's big secret and was about to reveal it to the world on live television. But leave it to the Joker to take something that would have been a favor to Batman, and to twist it to his own ends:
-->'''The Joker:''' I don't want Mr. Reese spoiling everything, but why should I have all the fun? Let's give someone else a chance. If Coleman Reese isn't dead in sixty minutes then I blow up a hospital.
* Simba from ''TheLionKing'' is too moral to give Scar the killing blow. However, the hyenas who Scar tried to blame for everything when things started looking bad... they have no such morals.
-->'''Scar:''' Ah! My friends!
-->'''Shenzi''': "Friends?" I thought he said we were the ''enemy.''
-->'''Banzai''': Yeah, that's what I heard.
-->'''Shenzi and Banzai:''' Ed?
-->'''Ed''': [[EvilLaugh Eh, heh heh heh, heh heh heh heh...]]
* Similarly in ''ThePrincessAndTheFrog,''[[spoiler: the Friends on the Other Side pull this off]] after Tiana [[spoiler: breaks Dr. Facilier's talisman, making it impossible for him to pay off his spiritual debt. They take him to the Other Side]].
* ChrisPine's character in ''Carriers'' where everyone is a CrazySurvivalist [[ShootTheDog shoots the dog]] many times in order to spare his more innocent brother from doing it himself. It rubs off on his brother though, who later finally gets his hands dirty by killing Pine when he is infected... A poetic end I suppose.
* Salim from {{Slumdog Millionaire}} spends most of the movie playing {{The Caretaker}} to Jamal, [[{{ShootTheDog}} shooting]] and [[{{KickTheDog}} kicking]] the dog alternately allowing them both to survive, but allowing Jamal to remain relatively untarnished.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''The Probability Broach'': It would be wrong to attack the Hamiltonians ''before'' they import a nuclear weapon, so they're killed off by a previously unknown inanimate phenomenon (when someone tries to pass a Broach through another Broach, kaboom).
* TheCulture novel ''Matter'' has a SealedEvilInACan being released and in typical Banks fashion killing most of the main cast. While this is nearly all of the heroes, it also includes the EvilChancellor who had usurped a throne and his minions. Thus, the Culture are able to set-up the surviving hero as the future prime minister, and unlike in other novels in the series, didn't actually have to act morally ambiguously and get rid of corrupt leaders themselves.
* In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', Vimes frees prisoners from the [[TortureCellar Cable Street watch house]]. In the process, he has to subdue a [[TortureTechnician torturer]], who he leaves tied to a chair and forgets about until someone reminds him. Since he gets reminded ''after'' he started burning the place down, he has to run back in, all the while trying to decide whether to kill the mook, cut him free, or cut just enough rope that he can maybe escape before he burns to death. Luckily, [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Captain Swing]] shows up and kills the mook before Vimes has to make his choice.
* In Bernard Cornwell's book ''Agincourt'', the main character, Nick Hook, has made a vow to a priest not to kill the murderous rapists who his family has been in a blood feud with for generations. [[spoiler: His arch-enemy, father-in-law, and prisoner (it's complicated) made no such promise.]]
* In ''[[TortallUniverse Trickster's Queen]]'' by TamoraPierce, the main character Aly's (god-ordered) objective is to put one of two sisters on the throne of a country undergoing a revolution. Among the people they will be usurping are the five-year-old king and the girls' own three-year-old half-brother, whom Aly has personally cared for. Aly [[MoralDissonance has one or two brief scenes in which she feels bad that she'll probably have to kill them both off]]. Luckily for her, the king's sister and her husband -- the boy king's regents and the last adults standing of the original royal family, and now [[RoyallyScrewedUp thoroughly paranoid]] about being undermined -- take care of that for her.
** To be fair to Aly, she was trying to find a way out of killing the children, and considered binding them magically to oaths that they will not try to take the throne and exiling them together with the royal bodyguard as caretaker. Unfortunately, she mentioned to the trickster god that the children were in her way. The god got impatient with pacifist methods and persuaded the regents that they would be better off without the boys.
* In ''{{A Song of Ice and Fire}}'', this is how Tywin Lannister endeared himself to Robert Baratheon who had just secured the throne. He knew the old Targaryen line had to be extinguished for his seat to stay safe, but "he saw himself as a hero, and heroes do not kill children." Fortunately for Robert, Tywin (or rather his men) had no such delusions and happily murdered the two surviving Targaryen kids in the palace (committing a few ''other'' atrocities along the way).
* In the DaleBrown novel ''Executive Intent'', the Chinese assault on and takeover of Mogadishu is likened to this by one character, noting how China had solved the problem most of the world probably secretly wanted to deal with but could not bring themselves to handle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''[[{{BuffyTheVampireSlayer}} Buffy]]'' episode "Wild At Heart": we don't kill werewolves, because they're human most of the time, but Oz's wolf side is amoral and thus free to kill Veruca.
** Buffy can't kill the Anointed One, partly because she's prophecied not to but mostly because he's a kid. Luckily, Spike does it for her.
** Buffy is fighting for life after being shot by BigBad wannabe Warren. Willow appears, heals her, and takes the bullet, which she uses to torture Warren with [[FaceHeelTurn and become the new BigBad]].
* ''{{Dexter}}'', end of season two. [[spoiler: Sgt Doakes can prove that Dexter is the Bay Harbor Butcher, so Dexter locks him up in a lonely cabin until he can decide what to do. Dexter won't kill Doakes because he's a good guy. Lila, who is as psychopathic as Dexter but with no such code, finds the cabin and blows it up.]]
* ''{{Farscape}}'': In the episode "Prayer", it's ambiguous whether or not John knew Scorpius was going to [[spoiler:kill the merged Chiana-Aeryn]] when he brought him along to the alternate universe, but it's [[ShootTheDog what had to be done]]. See page quote.
* I remember an episode of a ''TheFlash'' live-action series where a baddie had discovered his SecretIdentity and blackmailed him (with even a TheydCutYouUp threat). He ended up killed by other baddies, with a [[ExternalCombustion Car Starter Bomb]].
* This has happened tons of times in ''{{Smallville}}''. Clark has to face people with dangerous superpowers, and while he can beat them readily enough, he can't very well run a super-jail or convince them to lead an honest life because, well, Kryptonite gives most people a god complex, and most krypto-freaks aren't stable/good to begin with. Having Clark kill or permanently disable them is far too {{squick}}y for a proto-Superman to do, so the preferred solution is to have them depowered or [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoist by their own petard]]. The other solutions that pertain to this trope are to have them be killed by evil infighting among themselves, or having Lionel (and later Lex) deal with them.
* In the third season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', [[spoiler:a [[BroughtDownToNormal recently depowered]] Peter]] heads off with [[AntiMagic the Haitian]] to [[spoiler: kill his father and destroy [[SuperSerum the Formula]].]] However, once they get there they encounter problems [[spoiler: when Peter can't pull the trigger as Arthur makes his saving throw to turn Peter to his side.]] The obvious solution? [[spoiler: Sylar shows up, complete with recently stolen lie detection power, to ask Arthur if he's really a Petrelli. Naturally, Arthur lies, thus causing Sylar to allow the bullet he had grabbed in thin air to kill Arthur stone dead permanently.]]
** Not the straightest example. While [[spoiler:Sylar was the one who pushed the bullet into Arthur's skull, he was the one who stopped it in the first place. Had Sylar not been there, Peter would've been the one to kill Arthur, he just waited a while before he did it.]]
* ''BattlestarGalactica'': it's obvious midway through "Pegasus" that Admiral Cain is a dangerous psychopath who needs to be dealt with. Adama is too moral to go through with an assassination. Fortunately, [[spoiler: Baltar has let a Cylon with a grudge against Cain loose]].
** Ironically just after Cain proved that she wasn't ''completely'' insane yet, having in turn just refused to assassinate Adama.
* ''Da Ren Wu'' is a Chinese TV series based on a classic kung-fu novel set in medieval China. The heroes, as usual in wuxia literature, are staunch Confucianists: morally opposed to unwarranted violence and who don't approve of killing under any circumstances. At one point, Sisi, the main heroine, is tricked by some crooks who steal everything she owns and [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty give her to a Masqueraded School for whores]]. The boss and his cronies take great pleasure in tormenting defenseless girls, and kill those who don't respond well to the training. Three characters come to Sisi's rescue, one after another: 1) Yang Fan is the first. He can't find Sisi in the School (the boss locked her in a hidden room), so he leaves convinced he made a mistake. 2) Qin Ge, a famous kung-fu master, is the second. He can't find Sisi either. He suspects something, but can't prove anything. He leaves as well. 3) The hunchback is the third. [[spoiler:He's a major bad guy. He needs Sisi for some nefarious plan. He waits till night, gets into the School, finds Sisi and takes her with him. He pummels the cronies, and when the crossdressing boss tries to stop him: the hunchback pulls a Fist of the North Star on him. After leaving the School with Sisi, the hunchback tracks the crooks who had tricked her. He finds them, makes them give back the stolen stuff and beg for mercy on their knees... and then kills them nevertheless, just because!]] They say the author was very surprised when the hunchback's popularity with the audience skyrocketed after this story arc.
* In an episode of ''{{Taxi}}'', Elaine visits a trendy hair stylist(played by Ted Danson) and comes away with an atrocious hairdo. She, Alex and Louie pay the stylist a visit to demand an apology and he rebuffs them. Elaine considers dumping a bowlful of hair dye on the stylist's head but decides not to, declaring "I'm better than you." Before they leave, Louie(in a combination CrowningMomentOfAwesome/[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Funny]]) casually dumps the hair dye over the stylist and says, "She might be better than you, ({{beat}})...but I ain't!"
* In Series/DoctorWho The Five Doctors, The Master has been captured by the Cybermen and is initially being forced to do their bidding. [[spoiler:He ends up turning the tables and wiping the whole lot of them out by skipping through a trap he's figured out the solution to, but conveniently forgets to tell his captors about.]]
** Twenty-six years later, in "The End of Time," this same Master (well, different actor/[[TheNthDoctor regeneration]]) forces [[spoiler:Rasillon]] back behind the [[spoiler:time lock on the Time War, and won't let him take the Doctor with him, either.]]
** ''Brutally'' subverted in "The Pandorica Opens." [[spoiler: a good number of the Doctor's foes all band together to save the universe...from the Doctor, who they've been tricked into believing will destroy it, when in fact he's the only one who can stop the explosion that will destroy the universe.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This happened in ''TimeSplitters'' somewhere, but I can't quite remember.
* In ''AdvanceWars Dual Strike'', the {{big bad}} is defeated and at the player's mercy. But his chair is still draining the planet, and he needs to be killed. Von Bolt taunts Jake, asking if he can really shoot a defenseless old man. The player is offered a choice of whether to shoot him or not, and if you don't, [[spoiler: Hawke shows up and does it for you.]]
** This actually leads to some pretty serious MoralDissonance, since Jake is a ''MILITARY OFFICER'' who has spent the entire game ''fighting a war'' in a game where they actually score you on how quickly and efficiently you can destroy the thousands of enemy units (including infantry which are ''clearly'' human lives you are mowing over), but when forced to actually hold the gun, he can chicken out on stopping a man who is literally going to kill all life on the planet.
*** [[spoiler: But If I remember correctly, Hawke doesn't kill him either. He just shoots the chair and leaves Bolt to die of old age.]] Though yeah, a "killing is wrong" message in a WAR GAME is a little weird.
**** [[spoiler: Actually, Hawke shot to kill; if the player chose Jake to shoot, HE shoots the chair.]]
*** {{Values Dissonance}} nothing: Jake is a military officer for the ''good'' side, and the rules of war forbid shooting an unarmed, surrendered enemy, you know. Even wars have rules.
* [[CompleteMonster Reavers]] job in ''{{Fable}} 3'' is to do this. He stands in court to argue in favour of the evil option when making decisions as king. While these options are generally quite despicable and having an orphanage would be a fine and dandy in the long run, you could really do with the 1.25 million you'd make from opening a brothel right now to [[spoiler:fight back the EldritchAbomination that threatens to destroy Albion]].
* In ''{{Iji}}'', if you're taking the pacifist path, [[spoiler: two of the bosses get backstabbed by their underlings; conveniently meaning you don't have to kill them.]] This was actually added in, since earlier versions meant a completely innocent run was impossible.
* In ''FateStayNight'', Ilya [[spoiler:kills Shinji in Fate]], saving Shirou from having to do it; [[spoiler:Sakura does the same in Heaven's Feel]]. [[spoiler:Sakura and Kotomine]] combined also kill off [[spoiler:Zouken]] in the same route, who would probably have caused some moral quandaries since he's essentially defenseless on his own at that point even though his very existence is an abomination.
* In ''MetroidPrime 3: Corruption'', Dark Samus kills [[spoiler:the corrupted Hunters]] after you defeat them. Samus probably couldn't bring herself to ShootTheDog, making Dark Samus quite convenient in a twisted, twisted way.
** And it may also double as YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.
* A borderline example between this and VillainousRescue occurs in ''SuperRobotWars 3''. Anavel Gato's claim to fame in his [[{{Gundam0083}} show of origin]] is ''launching a stolen nuke at a peace conference''. He reenacts this scene in the game, but this time the "peace conference" is between [[VillainTeamUp two villainous factions]]. What makes this a borderline example is the fact that the heroes congratulate him on this and gladly accept his HeelFaceTurn application, suggesting that they may have done the same thing if they had a nuke lying around.
** One of the most legendary events in the first ''SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' game involves [[GiantRobo Alberto the Shockwave]] fighting the [[NeonGenesisEvangelion Third Angel]] to a standstill because no one else is there to stop it. For those wondering where Shinji is, he has yet to deploy.
* In the MassEffect games, the ''player'' can pull this while playing a Renegade Shepard by killing an NPC's target and taking the responsibility onto him-/her-self.
* [[ValkyriaChronicles Faldio]] might as well be the poster-boy for this trope in modern video games. The Gallian army is being decimated by an attack by Selvaria, an invincible Valkyria who cuts through tanks as if they were nothing; [[TheHero Welkin]] is a [[InformedAbility genius]] and tries to come up with a solution, but fails to do so in time. At the last second, [[DesignatedEvil Faldio]] [[spoiler: shoots Alicia, knowing she'll survive it]] to awaken her latent Valkyria powers, and she saves Gallia by stopping Selvaria in her tracks. This saves Welkin from having to come up with a solution (when Faldio defends his decision by saying there was no other way, Welkin can't find a good alternative and just punches him) ''and'' from getting any blood on his hands for doing something morally gray, while Faldio is imprisoned and [[spoiler: commits suicide as an apology]]. The game never acknowledges that he ''did'' save thousands of lives that day by making that choice, and [[spoiler:kills the people he saved by having Selvaria nuke Ghirlandaio, so she got 'em in the end and Faldio ultimately saved no one]].
** [[spoiler: ...Except for all of the playable characters.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''{{Adventurers}}!'s Argent:'' [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/20040327.html While that may not have been necessary, if you know the backstory it's hard to blame him.]]
* [[{{Homestuck}} Vriska]] attempts to take the fight to the BigBad, and even TheOmniscient thinks she ''might'' win. The price would have been [[spoiler: leading the bad guy directly back to the LastBastion and wiping out her race]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Doomsday's first appearance in ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. In the comics, he killed Supes ([[IGotBetter He got better]]). However, Supes' evil universe counterpart, Justice Lord Superman, used his eye lasers to ''lobotomize Doomsday'' not five minutes into the fight (he got better too, and was mighty pissed, but that's another story).
* In the ''{{Disney/Aladdin}}'' animated series, Aladdin threatens to turn a magic-eating monster loose on Mozenrath, who taunts him by pointing out that he's not ruthless enough to do that. "You're right... I'm not that ruthless." Then Aladdin points at Iago. "But he is!" And Iago proves it.
** Big Damn {{Anti Hero}}?
* In ''Kong'', Ramone De La Porta is the main villain and constantly causes trouble for Jason, Kong, and the gang when he is trying to unlock powers of the Primal Stones, while often making threats and trying to kill Kong, yet they often save him whenever he is in danger (and he only returns the favor once, just so they're even). In the final episode, [[spoiler: Harpy sucks De La Porta's life force out as part of a ritual to awaken Chiros. De La Porta survives when his life force is returned to him later, but is left in a permanent state of shock.]]
* In ''TheBatman'', Wrath and Scorn have figured out Batman and Robin's identity. Even though they are arrested, Batman really can't do anything to keep them from revealing this to everyone. [[spoiler:Luckily, the Joker (much like in ''The Dark Knight'') [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou didn't want someone else causing the end of Batman]] and gassed them while they were in the police van.]]
[[/folder]]

----
<<|EvilTropes|>>
<<|MoralityTropes|>>
<<|OlderThanDirt|>>
[[redirect:BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork]]


-->"Prayer", ''{{Farscape}}''

to:

-->"Prayer", ''{{Farscape}}''
-->--''{{Farscape}}'', "Prayer"


->'''John:''' No... no I can't.\\
'''Scorpius:''' ''(sigh)'' I can. ''(grabs pistol in John's hand, and fires)''
-->"Prayer", ''{{Farscape}}''



* ''{{Farscape}}'': In the episode "Prayer", it's ambiguous whether or not John knew Scorpius was going to [[spoiler:kill the merged Chiana-Aeryn]] when he brought him along to the alternate universe, but it's [[ShootTheDog what had to be done]].
-->'''John:''' No... no I can't.\\
'''Scorpius:''' ''(sigh)'' I can. ''[[spoiler:(grabs pistol in John's hand, and fires)]]''

to:

* ''{{Farscape}}'': In the episode "Prayer", it's ambiguous whether or not John knew Scorpius was going to [[spoiler:kill the merged Chiana-Aeryn]] when he brought him along to the alternate universe, but it's [[ShootTheDog what had to be done]].
-->'''John:''' No... no I can't.\\
'''Scorpius:''' ''(sigh)'' I can. ''[[spoiler:(grabs pistol in John's hand, and fires)]]''
done]]. See page quote.


[[quoteright:300:[[JurassicPark http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jurrasicparkrex_8202.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotAwesome RAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWRRRR!]]]]


** Seems more like an EnemyMine situation. Black Lanterns are a OmnicidalManiac [[IncrediblyLamePun corpse]], the [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Sinestro]] and [[UnstoppableRage Red]] corps are not interested in [[DoctorWho THE END.]] [[LargeHam OF REALITY.]] [[MemeticMutation ITSELF!]]

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** Seems more like an EnemyMine situation. Black Lanterns are a OmnicidalManiac [[IncrediblyLamePun corpse]], the [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Sinestro]] and [[UnstoppableRage Red]] corps are not interested in [[DoctorWho [[Series/DoctorWho THE END.]] [[LargeHam OF REALITY.]] [[MemeticMutation ITSELF!]]



* In DoctorWho The Five Doctors, The Master has been captured by the Cybermen and is initially being forced to do their bidding. [[spoiler:He ends up turning the tables and wiping the whole lot of them out by skipping through a trap he's figured out the solution to, but conveniently forgets to tell his captors about.]]

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* In DoctorWho Series/DoctorWho The Five Doctors, The Master has been captured by the Cybermen and is initially being forced to do their bidding. [[spoiler:He ends up turning the tables and wiping the whole lot of them out by skipping through a trap he's figured out the solution to, but conveniently forgets to tell his captors about.]]

Added DiffLines:

* [[{{Homestuck}} Vriska]] attempts to take the fight to the BigBad, and even TheOmniscient thinks she ''might'' win. The price would have been [[spoiler: leading the bad guy directly back to the LastBastion and wiping out her race]].


*** Well, you have to keep up appearances unless you want people to notice that something is off, like the central government being DEAD.

to:

*** Well, you have to keep up appearances unless you want people to notice that something is off, off,[[spoiler: like the 46 members of the central government being DEAD.DEAD]].


* In ''{{Bleach}}'', the Central 46 are {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s of the worst kind. Good thing [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aizen]] [[BoardToDeath kills them all]].]]
** Of course, the person who killed them has been frequently acting in their names, manipulating, or outright impersonating them for a long time now, so it's hard to tell just how obstructive they ''really'' were...

to:

* * In ''{{Bleach}}'', the Central 46 are {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s of the worst kind. Good thing [[spoiler:[[BigBad Aizen]] [[BoardToDeath kills them all]].]]
** ** Of course, the person who killed them has been frequently acting in their names, manipulating, or outright impersonating them for a long time now, so it's hard to tell just how obstructive they ''really'' were...were...
*** Well, you have to keep up appearances unless you want people to notice that something is off, like the central government being DEAD.


* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!). * This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.

to:

* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!).
* This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.


* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!). Of course, he started with Nappa... and only survived because no one was around to do this to him post-initial defeat.
** Actually, there were a couple of people. Sidekicks. Perfectly willing. Goku told them not to, 'cause he wants to fight him again. This is [[{{Lampshading}} Lampshaded]] by Bulma. Odd that Vegeta needs to fill this role, as before Piccolo 2 Goku had no scruples about offing baddies.
** Growing up apparently makes you more self-centered and less willing to kill people?
*** Sure! Everyone knows that children are [[PeterPan gay and innocent and heartless]]!
*** Although, [[IdiotHero Son Goku]] [[AdultChild doesn't exactly grow up quite like everyone else]].
* This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.

to:

* ''DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's entire purpose, story-wise, for being on Namek is to kill every single minor villain so the heroes (or at least Goku) don't have to. Zarbon. Dodoria. Cui. 4/5ths of the Ginyu Force (two while helpless!). Of course, he started with Nappa... and only survived because no one was around to do this to him post-initial defeat.
** Actually, there were a couple of people. Sidekicks. Perfectly willing. Goku told them not to, 'cause he wants to fight him again. This is [[{{Lampshading}} Lampshaded]] by Bulma. Odd that Vegeta needs to fill this role, as before Piccolo 2 Goku had no scruples about offing baddies.
** Growing up apparently makes you more self-centered and less willing to kill people?
*** Sure! Everyone knows that children are [[PeterPan gay and innocent and heartless]]!
*** Although, [[IdiotHero Son Goku]] [[AdultChild doesn't exactly grow up quite like everyone else]].
* This trope shows up several times in the second season of ''{{Ghost in the Shell}}: StandAloneComplex'', though very rarely played straight.


Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.

to:

Contrast '''Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process process''' (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.


Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Note, '''the Villain has to do something evil to Save The Day''' to be a BigDamnVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.

to:

Contrast VillainousRescue, where a villain pulls a BigDamnHeroes without committing any villainous acts in the process (though he may well plan to do so afterward). If the villain saves the day by accident through doing something villainous, that's NiceJobFixingItVillain. Note, '''the Villain has to do something evil to Save The Day''' to be a BigDamnVillain. Compare DesignatedEvil.

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