Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim

Go To



* In ''Podcast/TheLastPodcastOnTheLeft's'' series on Richard Chase, "The Vampire of Sacremento", the hosts mention an interview moment where the officer who arrested Chase talks about realizing this. The officer was initially planning to just shoot the family-killing murderer and be done with it, but at the last moment decided to go for the collar because he realized if he shot Richard Chase that he would be like Richard Chase and he did not want to be that.
-->'''Ben:''' Well, only if he cuts up the corpse and drinks its blood.\\
'''Henry:''' Well that's the extreme version.

to:

* In ''Podcast/TheLastPodcastOnTheLeft's'' series on Richard Chase, "The Vampire of Sacremento", the hosts mention an interview moment where the officer who arrested Chase talks about realizing this. The officer was initially planning to just shoot the family-killing murderer and be done with it, but at the last moment decided to go for the collar because he realized if he shot Richard Chase that then he would be like Richard Chase and he did not want to be like that.
-->'''Ben:''' -->'''Ben Kissel:''' Well, only if he cuts up the corpse and drinks its blood.\\
'''Henry:''' '''Henry Zabrowski:''' Well that's the extreme version.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Podcast/TheLastPodcastOnTheLeft's'' series on Richard Chase, "The Vampire of Sacremento", the hosts mention an interview moment where the officer who arrested Chase talks about realizing this. The officer was initially planning to just shoot the family-killing murderer and be done with it, but at the last moment decided to go for the collar because he realized if he shot Richard Chase that he would be like Richard Chase and he did not want to be that.
-->'''Ben:''' Well, only if he cuts up the corpse and drinks its blood.\\
'''Henry:''' Well that's the extreme version.

Added DiffLines:

** Wolverine inverted the usual technique once when he defeated his old teacher, the {{ninja}} Ogun, held him helpless, and called on Comicbook/KittyPryde to avenge herself on the man who kidnapped her, brainwashed her into nearly killing Wolverine, and tried to over-write her mind with a duplicate of his own. She grabbed a sword, charged, but in the end could not go through with what boiled down to outright murder... proving to all present that her soul remained her own.
--->'''Kitty''': It was very close. I wanted to so much -- Logan, what if I had...?!\\
'''Wolverine''': *wordlessly [[ShootTheDog retracts his claws]]*


Added DiffLines:

* A variant is seen in ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}} and the Soldier of Love'', where even as Emp puts herself between the defeated MagicalGirl burnout and Ninjette's blade she understands the main issue was what could have brought her friend out of a [[LotusEaterMachine wish-fufillment induced happy-happy dreamland]] straight into a laser focused killing rage with no outside stimulus.
-->You're '''better''' than this [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious Kozue]]. You're better than '''[[AbusiveParents him]]'''.


** The Ranskoor example is subverted in the next episode, [[Recap/DoctorWho2019NYSResolution "Reunion,"]] where the Doctor plots to kill [[spoiler:the Dalek]] without a single word about the morality of the action. Several people pointed out that, in hindsight, this makes her argument in the previous episode not a moral warning, but rather a simple statement of fact. If [[spoiler:Graham]] had killed [[spoiler:Tzim-Sha]], he would become a killer... like the Doctor.

to:

** The Ranskoor example is subverted in the next episode, [[Recap/DoctorWho2019NYSResolution "Reunion,"]] "Resolution"]], where the Doctor plots to kill [[spoiler:the Dalek]] without a single word about the morality of the action. Several people pointed out that, in hindsight, this makes her argument in the previous episode not a moral warning, but rather a simple statement of fact. If [[spoiler:Graham]] had killed [[spoiler:Tzim-Sha]], he would become a killer... like the Doctor.

Added DiffLines:

** The Ranskoor example is subverted in the next episode, [[Recap/DoctorWho2019NYSResolution "Reunion,"]] where the Doctor plots to kill [[spoiler:the Dalek]] without a single word about the morality of the action. Several people pointed out that, in hindsight, this makes her argument in the previous episode not a moral warning, but rather a simple statement of fact. If [[spoiler:Graham]] had killed [[spoiler:Tzim-Sha]], he would become a killer... like the Doctor.
--->'''The Doctor:''' I learned to think like [[spoiler:a Dalek]] a long time ago.


* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** Uncle Jesse has instilled in his nephews, Bo and Luke, that for as wily as Boss Hogg is and for as much grief and trouble as he and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane has caused the Duke family through the years -- simple harassment to outright framing the Duke boys for various crimes to trying to illegally foreclose on their property -- they have a moral obligation and duty to rescue and aid Hogg (and/or Rosco, when necessary) whenever their lives are threatened. Jesse has told Bo and Luke that, if they were ever to allow Boss or Rosco to die at the hands of criminals, they would be disinherited and disowned as they would be just as responsible for allowing their deaths to happen as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.
** In the Season 2 episode "Grannie Annie," after Boss is kidnapped by a counterfeiter and his bodyguard who plans to brutally kill him (after believing he double-crossed him), Rosco begs Bo and Luke to go after the counterfeiter and save Boss' life; Bo and Luke balk and all but outright refuse, but after Rosco gives a tear-stained, impassioned plea telling them that if they don't go after Boss' captors and allow him to be killed, he will hold them accountable for the rest of their lives and never forgive them ... and (although unstated) they will be just as bad as Boss was. The Duke boys agree and save Boss' hide.
* Subverted (and possibly lampshaded) in the ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' episode "Blackmarket." Lee is holding the big bad at gunpoint, and the big bad claims that Lee will not shoot because "You're not like me." When Lee does not lower the weapon the man starts to say it again and Lee shoots him dead. [[WordOfGod The producers]] [[CanonDiscontinuity say this never happened]], and all events from that episode (With the exception of the death of ''Pegasus'''s CO) are never referred to again.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Early in season one, in "[[Recap/BreakingBadS1E3AndTheBagsInTheRiver The Bag's in the River]]", Walt is faced with this choice when he has Krazy 8 chained up in a basement. Hilariously he makes a pros and cons list, balancing "Judeo-Christian values" versus "He will kill you and your family"
** The trope is also applied to a literal extreme, as Walt absorbs traits from many of the people he kills. A few examples: he is seen [[spoiler: cutting the crust off his sandwiches]] after [[spoiler: killing Krazy 8]], and suddenly starts [[spoiler: drinking his whiskey on the rocks]] after [[spoiler: killing Mike Ehrmantraut]].

to:

* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** Uncle Jesse has instilled in his nephews, Bo and Luke, that for as wily as Boss Hogg
Although never actually spoken, it is and for as much grief and trouble as he and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane has caused heavily implied (and even nearly subverted) during the Duke family through the years -- simple harassment to outright framing the Duke boys for various crimes to trying to illegally foreclose on their property -- they have a moral obligation and duty to rescue and aid Hogg (and/or Rosco, when necessary) whenever their lives are threatened. Jesse has told Bo and Luke that, if they were ever to allow Boss or Rosco to die scene at the hands of criminals, they would be disinherited and disowned as they would be just as responsible for allowing their deaths Huntsman's treehouse in ''Series/TheTenthKingdom'', when Wolf is about to happen as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.
** In the Season 2 episode "Grannie Annie," after Boss is kidnapped by a counterfeiter and his bodyguard who plans to brutally
kill him (after believing he double-crossed him), Rosco begs Bo with the magic axe and Luke to go Virginia stops him.
-->'''Virginia:''' No! We can't kill him.\\
'''Wolf:''' Of course we can, ''he'd'' kill us!\\
'''Virginia:''' That's not the point, he's helpless!\\
'''Wolf:''' ''Exactly'' why we should kill him ''now''!\\
'''Virginia:''' Wolf, no!\\
'''Wolf:''' Awwww, he's gonna come
after the counterfeiter and save Boss' life; Bo and Luke balk and all but outright refuse, but after Rosco gives a tear-stained, impassioned plea telling them that if they us!\\
'''Virginia:''' I
don't go after Boss' captors and allow him to be killed, he will hold them accountable for the rest of their lives and never forgive them ... and (although unstated) they will be just as bad as Boss was. The Duke boys agree and save Boss' hide.
* Subverted (and possibly lampshaded) in the ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' episode "Blackmarket." Lee is holding the big bad at gunpoint, and the big bad claims that Lee will
care, we're not shoot because "You're not like me." When Lee does not lower the weapon the man starts to say it again and Lee shoots him dead. [[WordOfGod The producers]] [[CanonDiscontinuity say this never happened]], and all events from that episode (With the exception of the death of ''Pegasus'''s CO) are never referred to again.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Early in season one, in "[[Recap/BreakingBadS1E3AndTheBagsInTheRiver The Bag's in the River]]", Walt is faced with this choice when he has Krazy 8 chained up in a basement. Hilariously he makes a pros and cons list, balancing "Judeo-Christian values" versus "He will kill you and your family"
** The trope is also applied to a literal extreme, as Walt absorbs traits from many of the people he kills. A few examples: he is seen [[spoiler: cutting the crust off his sandwiches]] after [[spoiler:
killing Krazy 8]], and suddenly starts [[spoiler: drinking his whiskey on the rocks]] after [[spoiler: killing Mike Ehrmantraut]]. him.\\
'''Wolf:''' You're gonna regret this moment.
** And of course, [[ImplacableMan he's right]].



* In an episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', Daniel Jackson and Captain Samantha Carter come across a vat of young Goa'uld symbiotes, Daniel is about to shoot it when Captain Carter says that if he does he will be as bad as the Goa'uld. They begin to walk away but then Daniel suddenly turns and fires at the vat anyway, killing the symbiotes.
** Subverted in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Shephard and Michael fight on the roof-tops. Michael hangs from the roof by his finger-nails. Earlier in the episode. Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand and then the other. Michael falls to his doom. Mom morality pwns Hollywood morality.
** This is part of the philosophy of the Ancients in ''Series/StargateSG1''. They believe in the free will of every being and even though they have the power to eliminate every threat in the galaxy, they still don't do it. This, however is taken to such an extreme that one can only declare them [[NeglectfulPrecursors guilty]].
*** Then again, later seasons reveal the existence of the Ancients' evil counterparts, the Ori. A rival group of ascended beings who are more than happy to maintain complete control within their galaxy by enslaving ''everyone''. The Ancients were actually exiled by them because of this difference in philosophy, so it makes sense the Ancients themselves would be really worried about slipping down the slope if they start interfering and solving mortals' problems. They ''do'' prevent the Ori from acting directly in our galaxy, but the Ori's followers are free-willed (if misled) mortals, so the Ancients don't do anything to stop them.
*** The slight flaw in this argument is that many of the "threats" arise from leftover Ancient technology strewn all over the galaxy, thus providing countless opportunities for younger species to advance their technology far ahead of their morality. If the Ancients had bothered to clean up after themselves, their hands-off policy would be more laudable.

to:

* In ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has a variant: Deathlok is trying to interrogate Skye for information. She realizes that CantKillYouStillNeedYou applies to her, so Deathlok then gives TheMole a heart attack and threatens to let him die if Skye doesn't give him the information.
-->'''Skye:''' You think I don't want to see him suffer?\\
'''Deathlok:''' Not suffer. Die.\\
'''Skye:''' He's a murderer.\\
'''Deathlok:''' Yes, he is. Are you?
* Played with in
an episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', Daniel Jackson ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Knox is at least partially responsible for Fred's death, but Angel starts a long speech about how he won't hurt Knox because he, Angel, has dedicated himself to protecting all human life. However, Wesley interrupts the speech--[[ShutUpKirk by shooting Knox.]]
-->'''Angel''': Were you even listening?
* Sort of inverted in an episode of ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' ("The Tale of Cutter's Treasure"). [[spoiler: The main character was fighting a pirate ghost,
and Captain Samantha Carter come across a vat of young Goa'uld symbiotes, Daniel is was about to shoot it finish him off with a dagger...then realized that the ghost was trapped guarding his treasure, and wanted to be at peace. They decided that after all the people he killed in life he didn't deserve it, and did the [[CruelMercy LESS MERCIFUL thing by LETTING HIM LIVE.]]]]
* A variation (and eventual subversion) occurs in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Deathwalker"
when Captain Carter says the title character flaunts her miracle cure to Commander Sinclair, a miracle cure that if he does he requires the death of another living being to manufacture. "The billions who live forever will be a monument to my work, and the billions who are murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will ''become'' us." The subversion comes when the deal is made to research her cure anyway... only to have the Vorlon ambassador destroy her ship, claiming the younger races were not ready for immortality.
** In "In the beginning" (a spin-off depicting the Earth-Minbari war) Dr. Franklin is revealed to have gathered extensive biological information on Minbari after he tried to cure a group of sick aliens, but he's unwilling to pass the info to the military, since they'll most certainly use it to create bio-weapons and he considers using it to
be as bad as the Goa'uld. They begin genocide that Minabari are inflicting.
** Also in the season three episode "Dust", Ivanova is about
to walk away but then Daniel suddenly turns let loose the full power of Babylon 5's defense grid on the Psi-Cop Alfred Bester only to be stopped by Sheridan. He even incorporates the trope name in the speech (somewhat), telling Ivanova to fight Bester and fires at evil baddies like him without becoming them.
*** Sheridan later sacrifices dozens of innocent and disabled telepaths to undo
the vat anyway, killing the symbiotes.
**
Psi Corps-supported coup. But he spares Bester's girlfriend because he's a ''good guy''.
*
Subverted in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Shephard and Michael fight on the roof-tops. Michael hangs from the roof by his finger-nails. Earlier (and possibly lampshaded) in the episode. Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' episode "Blackmarket". Lee is holding the big bad at gunpoint, and then the other. Michael falls to his doom. Mom morality pwns Hollywood morality.
** This is part of the philosophy of the Ancients in ''Series/StargateSG1''. They believe in the free
big bad claims that Lee will of every being and even though they have the power to eliminate every threat in the galaxy, they still don't do it. This, however is taken to such an extreme that one can only declare them [[NeglectfulPrecursors guilty]].
*** Then again, later seasons reveal the existence of the Ancients' evil counterparts, the Ori. A rival group of ascended beings who are more than happy to maintain complete control within their galaxy by enslaving ''everyone''. The Ancients were actually exiled by them
not shoot because of "You're not like me." When Lee does not lower the weapon the man starts to say it again and Lee shoots him dead. [[WordOfGod The producers]] [[CanonDiscontinuity say this difference never happened]], and all events from that episode (With the exception of the death of ''Pegasus'''s CO) are never referred to again.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Early
in philosophy, so it season one, in "[[Recap/BreakingBadS1E3AndTheBagsInTheRiver The Bag's in the River]]", Walt is faced with this choice when he has Krazy 8 chained up in a basement. Hilariously he makes sense the Ancients themselves would be really worried about slipping down the slope if they start interfering a pros and solving mortals' problems. They ''do'' prevent the Ori cons list, balancing "Judeo-Christian values" versus "He will kill you and your family"
** The trope is also applied to a literal extreme, as Walt absorbs traits
from acting directly in our galaxy, but the Ori's followers are free-willed (if misled) mortals, so the Ancients don't do anything to stop them.
*** The slight flaw in this argument is that
many of the "threats" arise from leftover Ancient technology strewn all over people he kills. A few examples: he is seen [[spoiler: cutting the galaxy, thus providing countless opportunities for younger species to advance their technology far ahead of their morality. If the Ancients had bothered to clean up crust off his sandwiches]] after themselves, their hands-off policy would be more laudable.[[spoiler: killing Krazy 8]], and suddenly starts [[spoiler: drinking his whiskey on the rocks]] after [[spoiler: killing Mike Ehrmantraut]].



* Although never actually spoken, it is heavily implied (and even nearly subverted) during the scene at the Huntsman's treehouse in ''Series/TheTenthKingdom'', when Wolf is about to kill him with the magic axe and Virginia stops him.
-->'''Virginia:''' No! We can't kill him.\\
'''Wolf:''' Of course we can, ''he'd'' kill us!\\
'''Virginia:''' That's not the point, he's helpless!\\
'''Wolf:''' ''Exactly'' why we should kill him ''now''!\\
'''Virginia:''' Wolf, no!\\
'''Wolf:''' Awwww, he's gonna come after us!\\
'''Virginia:''' I don't care, we're not killing him.\\
'''Wolf:''' You're gonna regret this moment.
** And of course, [[ImplacableMan he's right]].
* Common in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where the highly moral Doctor often must make a difficult decision between killing his enemies (technically a violation of his principles, though he's forced to do so more often than not) or showing mercy at the risk of them going on to hurt others. He often settles for giving them a fair chance to leave peacefully, even pleading with them to "just walk away." A noteworthy example in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter The Doctor's Daughter]]", when he seems about to kill a man in vengeful anger but then puts the gun down, explaining, "I never would," despite his rage.

to:

* Although The opening episode of ''Series/CrimeStory'' has Detective Torello thwarting a robbery of a department store by Ray Luca's mob - he storms into Luca's storefront hideout and is ready and willing to shoot him on sight. Instead, he kicks Luca's chair out from under him, fires a bullet into the floor an inch from his head and growls that he's going to take Luca down legally. Luca never actually spoken, bats an eye through all this - it's a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome for both of them.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'':
** Played bizarrely straight (and by a character who should have known better); an episode of the second season ends with one of the agents pondering, apropos of almost nothing, how much difference there REALLY is between the offenders that they hunt, and the agents themselves. In this corner, an antisocial, sociopathic recidivist murderer who was abused by his parents for fifteen years and slaughters innocent women purely for the sexual thrill that
it gives him. In the opposite side, an agent with ten or fifteen years of experience in fieldwork with the FBI who is heavily implied willing to fire their weapon ONLY in cause of self-defence or the preservation of another life (and even nearly subverted) during then, only with utmost angst over the scene at decision afterward), and who has dedicated their professional life to the Huntsman's treehouse in ''Series/TheTenthKingdom'', when Wolf incarceration of those who would commit such heinous crimes. Yeah, that's a real slippery slope right there.
** In an episode of season three, a man takes it upon himself to rescue his kidnapped daughter, but
is about to kill interrupted from killing him by Agent Reid, who tells the man that if he kills the kidnapper, he'll introduce a cycle of violence into his daughter's life. As he pleads with the magic axe father, asking him when the violence will stop, [[spoiler:the man whispers, "Tomorrow," and Virginia stops him.
-->'''Virginia:''' No! We can't kill him.\\
'''Wolf:''' Of course we can, ''he'd'' kill us!\\
'''Virginia:''' That's not
shoots the point, he's helpless!\\
'''Wolf:''' ''Exactly'' why we should kill him ''now''!\\
'''Virginia:''' Wolf, no!\\
'''Wolf:''' Awwww, he's gonna come after us!\\
'''Virginia:''' I don't care, we're not killing him.\\
'''Wolf:''' You're gonna regret this moment.
** And of course, [[ImplacableMan he's right]].
kidnapper in the head]].
* Common in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where the highly moral Doctor often must make a difficult decision between killing his enemies (technically a violation of his principles, though he's forced to do so more often than not) or showing mercy at the risk of them going on to hurt others. He often settles for giving them a fair chance to leave peacefully, even pleading with them to "just walk away." A noteworthy example in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter The Doctor's Daughter]]", when he seems about to kill a man in vengeful anger but then puts the gun down, explaining, "I never would," despite his rage."



** And yet sometimes his "mercy" is pretty severe, in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E9TheFamilyOfBlood The Family of Blood]]" where [[spoiler: one member is put into a field, alive and conscious, as a scarecrow and another is put in the background corner of mirrors - all mirrors]]
** He does, however start to slide down that slippery slope when he attempts to [[spoiler: kill the doctor that the Gunslinger is trying to kill for making him]] in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy A Town Called Mercy]]". Luckily, Amy is there to snap him out of it. To be honest, [[spoiler:The TL!Doctor is not a fan of the Alien!doctor who created cyborgs to go to war, killing thousands to bring about peace, though it is hypocritical to judge the Alien!doctor when The TL!Doctor practically committed genocide to end the Time War, making him [[LastOfHisKind The Last Timelord]]]].
** Completely forgotten in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar A Good Man Goes to War]]" as the Doctor executes an entire ship full of Cyberman just for a dramatic entrance. Although, to be fair, Cybermen are humans who have had all their emotions removed, and who probably would have preferred to die rather than be converted.
* A variation (and eventual subversion) occurs in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Deathwalker" when the title character flaunts her miracle cure to Commander Sinclair, a miracle cure that requires the death of another living being to manufacture. "The billions who live forever will be a monument to my work, and the billions who are murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will ''become'' us." The subversion comes when the deal is made to research her cure anyway... only to have the Vorlon ambassador destroy her ship, claiming the younger races were not ready for immortality.
** In "In the beginning" (a spin-off depicting the Earth-Minbari war) Dr. Franklin is revealed to have gathered extensive biological information on Minbari after he tried to cure a group of sick aliens, but he's unwilling to pass the info to the military, since they'll most certainly use it to create bio-weapons and he considers using it to be as bad as the genocide that Minabari are inflicting.
** Also in the season three episode "Dust", Ivanova is about to let loose the full power of Babylon 5's defense grid on the Psi-Cop Alfred Bester only to be stopped by Sheridan. He even incorporates the trope name in the speech (somewhat), telling Ivanova to fight Bester and evil baddies like him without becoming them.
*** Sheridan later sacrifices dozens of innocent and disabled telepaths to undo the Psi Corps-supported coup. But he spares Bester's girlfriend because he's a ''good guy''.

to:

** And yet sometimes his "mercy" is pretty severe, as in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E9TheFamilyOfBlood The Family of Blood]]" Blood]]", where [[spoiler: one [[spoiler:one member is put into a field, alive and conscious, as a scarecrow and another is put trapped in a mirror every mirror.]]
** A noteworthy example in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter The Doctor's Daughter]]", when he seems about to kill a man in vengeful anger but then puts
the background corner of mirrors - gun down, explaining, "I never would", despite his rage.
** Completely forgotten in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar A Good Man Goes to War]]", as the Doctor blows up an entire Cyberlegion just for a dramatic entrance. Although, to be fair, Cybermen are humans who have had
all mirrors]]
their emotions removed, and who probably would have preferred to die rather than be converted.
** He does, however start to slide down that slippery slope when he attempts to [[spoiler: kill the doctor that the Gunslinger is trying to kill for making him]] in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy A Town Called Mercy]]". Luckily, Amy is there to snap him out of it. To be honest, [[spoiler:The TL!Doctor [[spoiler:the Doctor is not a fan of the Alien!doctor Kahler-Jex, who created cyborgs to go to war, killing thousands to bring about peace, though it is hypocritical to judge the Alien!doctor Jex when The TL!Doctor the Doctor practically committed genocide to end the Time War, making him [[LastOfHisKind The Last Timelord]]]].
** Completely forgotten in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar A Good Man Goes to War]]" as
the Doctor executes an entire ship full of Cyberman just for a dramatic entrance. Although, to be fair, Cybermen are humans who have had all their emotions removed, and who probably would have preferred to die rather than be converted.
* A variation (and eventual subversion) occurs in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Deathwalker" when the title character flaunts her miracle cure to Commander Sinclair, a miracle cure that requires the death of another living being to manufacture.
last Time Lord]].]]
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS37E10TheBattleOfRanskoorAvKolos
"The billions Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos"]]: The Doctor uses this argument when she hears that [[spoiler:Graham]] is planning to kill [[spoiler:Tzim-Sha, who live forever was responsible for his wife's death]]. Eventually, [[spoiler:Graham]] agrees, and decides on a FateWorseThanDeath for the villain instead.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** Uncle Jesse has instilled in his nephews, Bo and Luke, that for as wily as Boss Hogg is and for as much grief and trouble as he and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane has caused the Duke family through the years -- simple harassment to outright framing the Duke boys for various crimes to trying to illegally foreclose on their property -- they have a moral obligation and duty to rescue and aid Hogg (and/or Rosco, when necessary) whenever their lives are threatened. Jesse has told Bo and Luke that, if they were ever to allow Boss or Rosco to die at the hands of criminals, they would be disinherited and disowned as they would be just as responsible for allowing their deaths to happen as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.
** In the Season 2 episode "Grannie Annie", after Boss is kidnapped by a counterfeiter and his bodyguard who plans to brutally kill him (after believing he double-crossed him), Rosco begs Bo and Luke to go after the counterfeiter and save Boss' life; Bo and Luke balk and all but outright refuse, but after Rosco gives a tear-stained, impassioned plea telling them that if they don't go after Boss' captors and allow him to be killed, he will hold them accountable for the rest of their lives and never forgive them ... and (although unstated) they
will be a monument to my work, and the billions who are murdered to buy that immortality will be the continuance of my work. Not like us? You will ''become'' us." The subversion comes when the deal is made to research her cure anyway... only to have the Vorlon ambassador destroy her ship, claiming the younger races were not ready for immortality.
** In "In the beginning" (a spin-off depicting the Earth-Minbari war) Dr. Franklin is revealed to have gathered extensive biological information on Minbari after he tried to cure a group of sick aliens, but he's unwilling to pass the info to the military, since they'll most certainly use it to create bio-weapons and he considers using it to be
just as bad as the genocide that Minabari are inflicting.
** Also
Boss was. The Duke boys agree and save Boss' hide.
* Used and justified
in the season three ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' three-part episode "Dust", Ivanova is about to let loose "Look At The Princess". At the full power end of Babylon 5's defense grid on the Psi-Cop Alfred Bester only trilogy, Crichton has [[MagnificentBastard Scorpius]] at his mercy and is ready to be stopped by Sheridan. He even incorporates shove him into a vat of acid; however, at the trope name in last minute, he finds himself unable to go through with the speech (somewhat), telling Ivanova to fight Bester murder, and evil baddies like him without becoming them.
*** Sheridan later sacrifices dozens of innocent and disabled telepaths
lets Scorpius off with a warning. Later, it's revealed that this had absolutely nothing to undo the Psi Corps-supported coup. But do with any fine motives on Crichton's part- he spares Bester's girlfriend literally ''couldn't'' do it because he's a ''good guy''. [[spoiler: the neurochip Scorpius had implanted in his brain wouldn't let him]]. Of course, even if he had been able to overcome [[spoiler: the chip]], it probably wouldn't have done much good, because as soon as Crichton has left the room, Scorpius casually reveals that his [[HellBentForLeather gimp suit]] can't be so easily dissolved by the acid.



* ''Series/CriminalMinds'':
** Played bizarrely straight (and by a character who should have known better); an episode of the second season ends with one of the agents pondering, apropos of almost nothing, how much difference there REALLY is between the offenders that they hunt, and the agents themselves. In this corner, an antisocial, sociopathic recidivist murderer who was abused by his parents for fifteen years and slaughters innocent women purely for the sexual thrill that it gives him. In the opposite side, an agent with ten or fifteen years of experience in fieldwork with the FBI who is willing to fire their weapon ONLY in cause of self-defense or the preservation of another life (and even then, only with utmost angst over the decision afterward), and who has dedicated their professional life to the incarceration of those who would commit such heinous crimes. Yeah, that's a real slippery slope right there.
** In an episode of season three, a man takes it upon himself to rescue his kidnapped daughter, but is interrupted from killing him by Agent Reid, who tells the man that if he kills the kidnapper, he'll introduce a cycle of violence into his daughter's life. As he pleads with the father, asking him when the violence will stop, [[spoiler:the man whispers, "Tomorrow," and shoots the kidnapper in the head]].
* ''Series/MacGyver'', being a TechnicalPacifist, was rather fond of pulling this gem out whenever his sidekick-of-the-week had the villain at their mercy.



* Sort of inverted in an episode of ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' ("The Tale of Cutter's Treasure"). [[spoiler: The main character was fighting a pirate ghost, and was about to finish him off with a dagger...then realized that the ghost was trapped guarding his treasure, and wanted to be at peace. They decided that after all the people he killed in life he didn't deserve it, and did the [[CruelMercy LESS MERCIFUL thing by LETTING HIM LIVE.]]]]

to:

* Sort of inverted In ''Series/TheFlash2014'' ChristmasEpisode [[Recap/TheFlash2014S2E9RunningToStandStill "Running to Stand Still"]], [[Franchise/TheFlash Barry]] has to talk down Patty from murdering Mark Mardon, the man who [[YouKilledMyFather murdered her father]]. As Patty is a cop and she's holding the defeated and helpless Mardon at gunpoint, Barry points out that Mardon isn't worth Patty going to jail for murder, and throwing away everything she's worked for. Patty listens and chooses to arrest Mardon instead.
* Discussed
in an the ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' episode of ''Series/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark'' ("The Tale of Cutter's Treasure"). "Clean Hands", while the team is escorting a prisoner. When his partner mentions she's tempted to harm the prisoner, Ed invokes this trope, saying he wants to have [[TitleDrop clean hands]] when he hugs his children that night. [[spoiler: The main character When the episode's antagonists turn out to be fellow law enforcement officers, the team invokes this trope again while trying to talk them down.]]
* ''Series/HomicideHunter'''s Joe Kenda is very proud of the fact that he never fired his gun in his 20-something years as a cop, because he thinks it would have been stooping to the level of the criminals he
was fighting trying to catch:
-->"If you pull that trigger, you become like them. And I'm '''''not''''' like them."
* In episode 9 of ''Series/IZombie'', Liv, after eating the brain of
a pirate ghost, and was soldier with PTSD, decides that the best method for dealing with [[BigBad Blaine]] is killing him. As she is about to finish snipe him, she decides that if she does kill him, she will be no better than him off (it should be noted that while Liv [[OurZombiesAreDifferent eats brains from dead bodies in the morgue and uses them to solve crimes]], Blaine kidnaps his victims, violently murders them, and sells them to clients that he infects with a dagger...then realized that the ghost was trapped guarding his treasure, zombieism, and wanted to be at peace. They decided that does all of this while running what is effectively a Zombie Mafia). [[DeconstructedTrope Immediately after Liv makes her decision]], [[BoomHeadshot Blaine shoots her boyfriend in the head]].
* Used in episode "The Scent of Roses" of ''Series/KnightRider''. After his wife was killed just moments after they were wed, Michael Knight chases down the killer and begins to beat him, but KITT stops him.
-->'''KITT:''' Michael, Michael, stop it! You wouldn't be able to live with yourself!
* ''Series/MacGyver'', being a TechnicalPacifist, was rather fond of pulling this gem out whenever his sidekick-of-the-week had the villain at their mercy.
* In the 1998 series ''[[Series/Merlin1998 Merlin]]'', Vortigern kills the KnightTemplar King Constant and takes his throne, then promptly turns into an even worse king himself. Merlin comments, "And one tyrant smoothly passed the crown to another, even worse."
* Done in a comedic effect in ''Series/MockingbirdLane''. Although Herman doesn't kill Steve ([[spoiler:he actually died falling down the hidden staircase,]]) Grandpa installs Steve's heart to replace Herman's failing one. Herman then takes Steve's place as an [[ScoutOut Explorer Scout]] leader, the only type of socializing Steve did after his wife died.
* In the first season of ''Series/OnceUponATime'', flashbacks reveal Snow White willingly lost her memories of Prince Charming and the effect [[TookALevelInJerkass began to darken her personality]]. Because of this she ultimately decides to kill Regina since she's responsible for her misery. Prince Charming eventually learns that if she succeeds, she'll [[CorruptTheCutie become as corrupted as Regina]] and sets out to both stop her and restore her memories of him.
** In season 2, [[spoiler:Snow actually goes through with it when she tricks Regina into killing her even more evil mother Cora. When Regina pulls out her heart to take revenge, she sees there's now a black mark on it and ''puts it back'', wanting to see Snow continue down this path until she becomes evil herself]].
* Justified in the 2006 ''Series/RobinHood'' series: Prince John promised that if Robin kills the Sheriff, then John will kill
all the people he killed Peasants in life he didn't deserve it, Nottingham.
* In ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'', Robin says they can't kill Gisbourne while they hold him captive, because then they'll be just like him. The notably less idealistic Will Scarlet retorts "Who says we're not?"
* In ''Series/TheShield'', Vic Mackey regularly breaks the law to catch criminals. One could argue that he's better than the criminals, because he's breaking the law to keep his precinct safe. But then Internal Affairs lieutenant Kavanaugh develops a vendetta against him,
and did resorts to breaking the [[CruelMercy LESS MERCIFUL thing by LETTING HIM LIVE.]]]]law to bring him down. So... he becomes a corrupt cop to bring down a corrupt cop. One of the most justified examples of "You will be no better than him", since if you think that breaking the law to catch a criminal is acceptable, then Vic should be allowed to do his thing. And if you think that it's not acceptable, then Kavanaugh's actions are not justified.\\\
Of course, Vic Mackey doesn't just bend the rules to get results. He pulls heists to enrich himself (such as the Armenian money train) and even murdered a fellow detective just to protect himself and his questionable methods (which Kavanaugh seeks to prove). He goes out of his way to antagonize Kavanaugh (such as sleeping with his mentally-ill ex-wife and bragging about it to him). Kavanaugh may have crossed the line in "framing a guilty man" and ultimately paid with his career and freedom for his transgressions, but he avoided the MoralEventHorizon. Mackey crossed it in the pilot episode with no regrets.



* In the 1998 series ''[[Series/{{Merlin 1998}} Merlin]]'', Vortigern kills the KnightTemplar King Constant and takes his throne, then promptly turns into an even worse king himself. Merlin comments, "And one tyrant smoothly passed the crown to another, even worse."
* In ''Series/TheShield'', Vic Mackey regularly breaks the law to catch criminals. One could argue that he's better than the criminals, because he's breaking the law to keep his precinct safe. But then Internal Affairs lieutenant Kavanaugh develops a vendetta against him, and resorts to breaking the law to bring him down. So... he becomes a corrupt cop to bring down a corrupt cop. One of the most justified examples of "You will be no better than him", since if you think that breaking the law to catch a criminal is acceptable, then Vic should be allowed to do his thing. And if you think that it's not acceptable, then Kavanaugh's actions are not justified.\\\
Of course, Vic Mackey doesn't just bend the rules to get results. He pulls heists to enrich himself (such as the Armenian money train) and even murdered a fellow detective just to protect himself and his questionable methods (which Kavanaugh seeks to prove). He goes out of his way to antagonize Kavanaugh (such as sleeping with his mentally-ill ex-wife and bragging about it to him). Kavanaugh may have crossed the line in "framing a guilty man" and ultimately paid with his career and freedom for his transgressions, but he avoided the MoralEventHorizon. Mackey crossed it in the pilot episode with no regrets.
* Justified in the 2006 ''Series/RobinHood'' series: Prince John promised that if Robin kills the Sheriff, then John will kill all the Peasants in Nottingham.
* Used and justified in the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' three-part episode "Look At The Princess." At the end of the trilogy, Crichton has [[MagnificentBastard Scorpius]] at his mercy and is ready to shove him into a vat of acid; however, at the last minute, he finds himself unable to go through with the murder, and lets Scorpius off with a warning. Later, it's revealed that this had absolutely nothing to do with any fine motives on Crichton's part- he literally ''couldn't'' do it because [[spoiler: the neurochip Scorpius had implanted in his brain wouldn't let him]]. Of course, even if he had been able to overcome [[spoiler: the chip]], it probably wouldn't have done much good, because as soon as Crichton has left the room, Scorpius casually reveals that his [[HellBentForLeather gimp suit]] can't be so easily dissolved by the acid.

to:

* In an episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', Daniel Jackson and Captain Samantha Carter come across a vat of young Goa'uld symbiotes, Daniel is about to shoot it when Captain Carter says that if he does he will be as bad as the 1998 series ''[[Series/{{Merlin 1998}} Merlin]]'', Vortigern kills the KnightTemplar King Constant and takes his throne, Goa'uld. They begin to walk away but then promptly Daniel suddenly turns into an and fires at the vat anyway, killing the symbiotes.
** Subverted in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', Shephard and Michael fight on the roof-tops. Michael hangs from the roof by his finger-nails. Earlier in the episode. Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand and then the other. Michael falls to his doom. Mom morality pwns Hollywood morality.
** This is part of the philosophy of the Ancients in ''Series/StargateSG1''. They believe in the free will of every being and
even worse king himself. Merlin comments, "And one tyrant smoothly passed though they have the crown power to another, even worse."
* In ''Series/TheShield'', Vic Mackey regularly breaks
eliminate every threat in the law galaxy, they still don't do it. This, however is taken to catch criminals. One could argue such an extreme that he's better one can only declare them [[NeglectfulPrecursors guilty]].
*** Then again, later seasons reveal the existence of the Ancients' evil counterparts, the Ori. A rival group of ascended beings who are more
than the criminals, happy to maintain complete control within their galaxy by enslaving ''everyone''. The Ancients were actually exiled by them because he's breaking of this difference in philosophy, so it makes sense the law to keep his precinct safe. But then Internal Affairs lieutenant Kavanaugh develops a vendetta against him, and resorts to breaking the law to bring him down. So... he becomes a corrupt cop to bring Ancients themselves would be really worried about slipping down a corrupt cop. One the slope if they start interfering and solving mortals' problems. They ''do'' prevent the Ori from acting directly in our galaxy, but the Ori's followers are free-willed (if misled) mortals, so the Ancients don't do anything to stop them.
*** The slight flaw in this argument is that many
of the most justified examples of "You will be no better than him", since if you think that breaking "threats" arise from leftover Ancient technology strewn all over the law galaxy, thus providing countless opportunities for younger species to catch a criminal is acceptable, then Vic should advance their technology far ahead of their morality. If the Ancients had bothered to clean up after themselves, their hands-off policy would be allowed more laudable.
* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' franchise, this trope has not only been belabored
to do his thing. And if you think that death, it's not acceptable, then Kavanaugh's actions are not justified.\\\
Of course, Vic Mackey doesn't just bend the rules to get results. He pulls heists to enrich himself (such as the Armenian money train)
been resurrected and kept in a shipping container to be brought out every other episode, even murdered a fellow detective just to protect himself and his questionable methods (which Kavanaugh seeks to prove). He goes out of his way to antagonize Kavanaugh (such as sleeping with his mentally-ill ex-wife and bragging about though it to him). Kavanaugh may have crossed the line in "framing smells worse than a guilty man" and ultimately paid with his career and freedom for his transgressions, but he avoided the MoralEventHorizon. Mackey crossed it in the pilot episode with no regrets.
* Justified in the 2006 ''Series/RobinHood'' series: Prince John promised that if Robin kills the Sheriff, then John will kill all the Peasants in Nottingham.
* Used and justified in the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' three-part episode "Look At The Princess." At the end of the trilogy, Crichton has [[MagnificentBastard Scorpius]] at his mercy and is ready to shove him into a vat of acid; however, at the last minute, he finds himself unable to go through with the murder, and lets Scorpius off with a warning. Later, it's revealed that this had absolutely nothing to do with any fine motives on Crichton's part- he literally ''couldn't'' do it because [[spoiler: the neurochip Scorpius had implanted in his brain wouldn't let him]]. Of course, even if he had been able to overcome [[spoiler: the chip]], it probably wouldn't have done much good, because as soon as Crichton has left the room, Scorpius casually reveals that his [[HellBentForLeather gimp suit]] can't be so easily dissolved
four year-old walker by the acid.now.



* Done in a comedic effect in ''Series/MockingbirdLane''. Although Herman doesn't kill Steve ([[spoiler:he actually died falling down the hidden staircase,]]) Grandpa installs Steve's heart to replace Herman's failing one. Herman then takes Steve's place as an [[ScoutOut Explorer Scout]] leader, the only type of socializing Steve did after his wife died.
* In the first season of ''Series/OnceUponATime'', flashbacks reveal Snow White willingly lost her memories of Prince Charming and the effect [[TookALevelInJerkass began to darken her personality]]. Because of this she ultimately decides to kill Regina since she's responsible for her misery. Prince Charming eventually learns that if she succeeds, she'll [[CorruptTheCutie become as corrupted as Regina]] and sets out to both stop her and restore her memories of him.
** In season 2, [[spoiler:Snow actually goes through with it when she tricks Regina into killing her even more evil mother Cora. When Regina pulls out her heart to take revenge, she sees there's now a black mark on it and ''puts it back'', wanting to see Snow continue down this path until she becomes evil herself]].
* The opening episode of ''Series/CrimeStory'' has Detective Torello thwarting a robbery of a department store by Ray Luca's mob - he storms into Luca's storefront hideout and is ready and willing to shoot him on sight. Instead, he kicks Luca's chair out from under him, fires a bullet into the floor an inch from his head and growls that he's going to take Luca down legally. Luca never bats an eye through all this - it's a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome for both of them.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has a variant: Deathlok is trying to interrogate Skye for information. She realizes that CantKillYouStillNeedYou applies to her, so Deathlok then gives TheMole a heart attack and threatens to let him die if Skye doesn't give him the information.
-->'''Skye:''' You think I don't want to see him suffer?\\
'''Deathlok:''' Not suffer. Die.\\
'''Skye:''' He's a murderer.\\
'''Deathlok:''' Yes, he is. Are you?
* Discussed in the ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' episode "Clean Hands", while the team is escorting a prisoner. When his partner mentions she's tempted to harm the prisoner, Ed invokes this trope, saying he wants to have [[TitleDrop clean hands]] when he hugs his children that night. [[spoiler: When the episode's antagonists turn out to be fellow law enforcement officers, the team invokes this trope again while trying to talk them down.]]
* In ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'', Robin says they can't kill Gisbourne while they hold him captive, because then they'll be just like him. The notably less idealistic Will Scarlet retorts "Who says we're not?"
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Knox is at least partially responsible for Fred's death, but Angel starts a long speech about how he won't hurt Knox because he, Angel, has dedicated himself to protecting all human life. However, Wesley interrupts the speech--[[ShutUpKirk by shooting Knox.]]
-->'''Angel''': Were you even listening?
* Used in episode "The Scent of Roses" of ''Series/KnightRider''. After his wife was killed just moments after they were wed, Michael Knight chases down the killer and begins to beat him, but KITT stops him.
-->'''KITT:''' Michael, Michael, stop it! You wouldn't be able to live with yourself!
* In episode 9 of ''Series/IZombie'', Liv, after eating the brain of a soldier with PTSD, decides that the best method for dealing with [[BigBad Blaine]] is killing him. As she is about to snipe him, she decides that if she does kill him, she will be no better than him (it should be noted that while Liv [[OurZombiesAreDifferent eats brains from dead bodies in the morgue and uses them to solve crimes]], Blaine kidnaps his victims, violently murders them, and sells them to clients that he infects with zombieism, and does all of this while running what is effectively a Zombie Mafia). [[DeconstructedTrope Immediately after Liv makes her decision]], [[BoomHeadshot Blaine shoots her boyfriend in the head]].
* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'' ChristmasEpisode [[Recap/TheFlash2014S2E9RunningToStandStill "Running to Stand Still"]], [[Franchise/TheFlash Barry]] has to talk down Patty from murdering Mark Mardon, the man who [[YouKilledMyFather murdered her father]]. As Patty is a cop and she's holding the defeated and helpless Mardon at gunpoint, Barry points out that Mardon isn't worth Patty going to jail for murder, and throwing away everything she's worked for. Patty listens and chooses to arrest Mardon instead.
* ''Series/HomicideHunter'''s Joe Kenda is very proud of the fact that he never fired his gun in his 20-something years as a cop, because he thinks it would have been stooping to the level of the criminals he was trying to catch:
--> "If you pull that trigger, you become like them. And I'm '''''not''''' like them."
* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' franchise, this trope has not only been belabored to death, it's been resurrected and kept in a shipping container to be brought out every other episode, even though it smells worse than a four year-old walker by now.


** Several characters attempt to keep [[spoiler:Roy from killing Envy]]. At least [[spoiler:Riza]] has no qualms about executing him and offers to [[spoiler:shoot Envy herself]], but they all agree on the ''detail'' that subjecting him to horrible torture first is taking it [[MoralEventHorizon a step too far]]. Scar adds an extra spin by pointing out that if Roy goes through with it, he'll be just like ''him''. For added nuance, the reason for this isn't because he was going to horribly torture him, since at that point it would be near impossible to hurt [[spoiler:Envy]] without killing him anyway, but because of the reasons for doing so. Roy was going to kill him for personal reasons like vengeance instead of duty, and since his goal was to become [[spoiler:leader of the country]], he simply can't afford to become the sort of person ruled by his emotions, and specially by bad ones like anger and revenge. If he does, the ''horrifying'' mental toll this whole deal is taking on Roy [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope will send him straight]] into the HeWhoFightsMonsters path.

to:

** Several characters attempt to keep [[spoiler:Roy from killing Envy]]. At least [[spoiler:Riza]] has no qualms about executing him and offers to [[spoiler:shoot Envy herself]], [[VengeanceDenied do it in his place]], but they all agree on the ''detail'' that subjecting him to horrible torture first is taking it [[MoralEventHorizon a step too far]]. Scar adds an extra spin by pointing out that if Roy goes through with it, he'll be just like ''him''. For added nuance, the reason for this isn't because he was going to horribly torture him, since at that point it would be near impossible to hurt [[spoiler:Envy]] without killing him anyway, but because of the reasons for doing so. Roy was going to kill him for personal reasons like vengeance instead of duty, and since his goal was to become [[spoiler:leader of the country]], he simply can't afford to become the sort of person ruled by his emotions, and specially by bad ones like anger and revenge. If he does, the ''horrifying'' mental toll this whole deal is taking on Roy [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope will send him straight]] into the HeWhoFightsMonsters path.


Contrast with KillHimAlready. Compare with SaveTheVillain and SwordOverHead. {{Anti Hero}}es are exempt. Compare/Contrast StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred. When this is played literally or when it leads to a FullCircleRevolution, it can be a case of YouKillItYouBoughtIt.

to:

Contrast with KillHimAlready. Compare with SaveTheVillain and SwordOverHead. {{Anti Hero}}es are exempt. Compare/Contrast StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred. When this is played literally or when it leads to a FullCircleRevolution, it can be a case of YouKillItYouBoughtIt.
YouKillItYouBoughtIt. Often WhatMeasureIsAMook gets involved as these dilemmas arise when important baddies are at the heroes mercy but rarely do such sentiments pop up when they are mowing down waves of faceless goons[[note]]And more often than not the story will play out in a way so that mooks never surrender or are incapacitated.[[/note]]


(''Tarzan presses the barrels to Clayton's throat...and imitates a perfect gunshot'')\\

to:

(''Tarzan presses the barrels right to Clayton's throat...and imitates a perfect gunshot'')\\


* ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'': Jean told this to Wolverine when he was about to kill Wraith, the colonel from "Weapon-X" that tortured him. Wolverine did not care, so she had save Wraith herself.

to:

* ComicBook/UltimateMarvel
**
''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'': Jean told this to Wolverine when he was about to kill Wraith, the colonel from "Weapon-X" that tortured him. Wolverine did not care, so she had save Wraith herself.
** ''ComicBook/UltimateDaredevilAndElektra'': Elektra threatened Trey, and left. He did not scare him. Rather, she prompted him to escalate the action.


* Averted/Played with in ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo'' when [[spoiler: A now elderly Skorzeny informs him that he was the one that killed Nikola Tesla, Robos creator, during WWII, and he did it to steal the man's inventions to use against Robo, who was at the time serving in the US Army. Robo picks up a gun, aims... and then puts the gun away, informs the Nazi that he knows he's dying of cancer, and that he won't be dying like a soldier, instead dying alone, in a hospital bed, in agony]].

to:

* Averted/Played with in ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo'' when [[spoiler: A now elderly Skorzeny informs him that he was the one that killed Nikola Tesla, Robos Robo's creator, during WWII, and he did it to steal the man's inventions to use against Robo, who was at the time serving in the US Army. Robo picks up a gun, aims... and then puts the gun away, informs the Nazi that he knows he's dying of cancer, and that he won't be dying like a soldier, instead dying alone, in a hospital bed, in agony]].


** Early in season one Walt is faced with this choice when he has Krazy 8 chained up in a basement. Hilariously he makes a pros and cons list, balancing "Judeo-Christian values" versus "He will kill you and your family"

to:

** Early in season one one, in "[[Recap/BreakingBadS1E3AndTheBagsInTheRiver The Bag's in the River]]", Walt is faced with this choice when he has Krazy 8 chained up in a basement. Hilariously he makes a pros and cons list, balancing "Judeo-Christian values" versus "He will kill you and your family"



** Xander raises this concern, when Buffy is intent on killing Faith. Not only does she ignore him, after she failed and Faith wakes up from her coma, Buffy follows her onto ''Series/{{Angel}}'' for another go.

to:

** In "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS3E21GraduationDayPart1}} Graduation Day, Part 1]]", Xander raises this concern, when Buffy is intent on killing Faith. Not only does she ignore him, after she failed and Faith wakes up from her coma, Buffy follows her onto ''Series/{{Angel}}'' for another go.



** In S5's "The Gift" Giles decides not to expose Buffy to these moral questions with Ben/Glory, and kills Ben/Glory himself.
** In S6's "Villains," when Warren accidentally shoots and kills Tara while trying to kill Buffy, Willow [[SuperpoweredEvilSide goes insane with grief]] and fully intends to kill him. Buffy desperately tries to reason with Willow by invoking this, insisting that if she does this, she lets Warren destroy her as well; Willow is beyond caring, and the episode ends with her [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing Warren]] and finally [[FlayingAlive flaying him alive]].

to:

** In S5's "The Gift" "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS5E22TheGift}} The Gift]]" Giles decides not to expose Buffy to these moral questions with Ben/Glory, and kills Ben/Glory himself.
** In S6's "Villains," "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS6E20Villains}} Villains]]", when Warren accidentally shoots and kills Tara while trying to kill Buffy, Willow [[SuperpoweredEvilSide goes insane with grief]] and fully intends to kill him. Buffy desperately tries to reason with Willow by invoking this, insisting that if she does this, she lets Warren destroy her as well; Willow is beyond caring, and the episode ends with her [[ColdBloodedTorture torturing Warren]] and finally [[FlayingAlive flaying him alive]].



:: And of course, [[ImplacableMan he's right]].
* Common in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where the highly moral Doctor often must make a difficult decision between killing his enemies (technically a violation of his principles, though he's forced to do so more often than not) or showing mercy at the risk of them going on to hurt others. He often settles for giving them a fair chance to leave peacefully, even pleading with them to "just walk away." A noteworthy example in "The Doctor's Daughter", when he seems about to kill a man in vengeful anger but then puts the gun down, explaining, "I never would," despite his rage.
** The Doctor almost references this trope by name in "Genesis of the Daleks" when he hesitates in killing a large number of baby Daleks, stating that if he did so he'd "become just like them". In the new series episode "Dalek", the Doctor IS prepared to simply blow away the titular creature, but Rose pulls this trope on him.
** And yet sometimes his "mercy" is pretty severe, in "The Family of Blood" where [[spoiler: one member is put into a field, alive and conscious, as a scarecrow and another is put in the background corner of mirrors - all mirrors]]
** He does, however start to slide down that slippery slope when he attempts to [[spoiler: kill the doctor that the Gunslinger is trying to kill for making him]] in "A Town Called Mercy." Luckily, Amy is there to snap him out of it. To be honest, [[spoiler:The TL!Doctor is not a fan of the Alien!doctor who created cyborgs to go to war, killing thousands to bring about peace, though it is hypocritical to judge the Alien!doctor when The TL!Doctor practically committed genocide to end the Time War, making him [[LastOfHisKind The Last Timelord]]]].
** Completely forgotten in "A Good Man Goes to War" as the Doctor executes an entire ship full of Cyberman just for a dramatic entrance. Although, to be fair, Cybermen are humans who have had all their emotions removed, and who probably would have preferred to die rather than be converted.

to:

:: ** And of course, [[ImplacableMan he's right]].
* Common in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where the highly moral Doctor often must make a difficult decision between killing his enemies (technically a violation of his principles, though he's forced to do so more often than not) or showing mercy at the risk of them going on to hurt others. He often settles for giving them a fair chance to leave peacefully, even pleading with them to "just walk away." A noteworthy example in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter The Doctor's Daughter", Daughter]]", when he seems about to kill a man in vengeful anger but then puts the gun down, explaining, "I never would," despite his rage.
** The Doctor almost references this trope by name in "Genesis "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E4GenesisOfTheDaleks Genesis of the Daleks" Daleks]]" when he hesitates in killing a large number of baby Daleks, stating that if he did so he'd "become just like them". In the new series episode "Dalek", "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E6Dalek Dalek]]", the Doctor IS prepared to simply blow away the titular creature, but Rose pulls this trope on him.
** And yet sometimes his "mercy" is pretty severe, in "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E9TheFamilyOfBlood The Family of Blood" Blood]]" where [[spoiler: one member is put into a field, alive and conscious, as a scarecrow and another is put in the background corner of mirrors - all mirrors]]
** He does, however start to slide down that slippery slope when he attempts to [[spoiler: kill the doctor that the Gunslinger is trying to kill for making him]] in "A "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy A Town Called Mercy." Mercy]]". Luckily, Amy is there to snap him out of it. To be honest, [[spoiler:The TL!Doctor is not a fan of the Alien!doctor who created cyborgs to go to war, killing thousands to bring about peace, though it is hypocritical to judge the Alien!doctor when The TL!Doctor practically committed genocide to end the Time War, making him [[LastOfHisKind The Last Timelord]]]].
** Completely forgotten in "A "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar A Good Man Goes to War" War]]" as the Doctor executes an entire ship full of Cyberman just for a dramatic entrance. Although, to be fair, Cybermen are humans who have had all their emotions removed, and who probably would have preferred to die rather than be converted.


* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. When Catwoman is about to drop the villain into his own vat of acid, Batgirl calls out "If you drop him you'll be just like him!" to which Catwoman replies [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids "Oh]], [[ShutUpKirk grow up"]]--and lets go.[[note]]The bad guy survives, being saved by another hero.[[/note]]

to:

* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''. the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "[[Recap/TheAdventuresOfBatmanAndRobinBatgirlReturns Batgirl Returns]]". When Catwoman is about to drop the villain Roland Daggett into his own vat of acid, Batgirl calls out "If you drop him you'll be just like him!" to which Catwoman replies [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids "Oh]], [[ShutUpKirk grow up"]]--and lets go.[[note]]The bad guy go. Daggett survives, being saved by another hero.[[/note]]Batgirl.



* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the episode "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" has Burns sending assassins after Abe, trying to drown his grandson, etc... and yet, when Abe has Burns cornered...

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E22 Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" Hellfish"]] has Burns sending assassins after Abe, trying to drown his grandson, etc... and yet, when Abe has Burns cornered...

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' franchise, this trope has not only been belabored to death, it's been resurrected and kept in a shipping container to be brought out every other episode, even though it smells worse than a four year-old walker by now.


This trope is grounded on the basis that the act of killing is always wrong, no matter who it is directed against or how well-deserved, or even if it is done with the hope of preventing more evil in the future. This can come across as slightly disingenuous if the hero has [[WhatMeasureIsAMook slaughtered his way through dozens of faceless mooks]] just to reach the villain, only to hesitate or spare him at the end because "killing is wrong." In such a scenario, only CharacterDevelopment can make the disparity make sense. (On the other hand, it could also be argued there's a distinction between KillingInSelfDefense in a pitched fight, and calculatedly killing a prisoner in cold blood.)

to:

This trope is grounded on the basis that the act of killing is always wrong, no matter who it is directed against or how well-deserved, or even if it is done with the hope of preventing more evil in the future. This can come across as slightly disingenuous if the hero has [[WhatMeasureIsAMook slaughtered his way through dozens of faceless mooks]] just to reach the villain, only to hesitate or spare him at the end because "killing is wrong." In such a scenario, only CharacterDevelopment can make the disparity make sense. (On the other hand, it could also be argued there's [[SlidingScaleOfUnavoidableVersusUnforgivable a distinction distinction]] between KillingInSelfDefense in a pitched fight, and calculatedly killing a prisoner in cold blood.)

Showing 15 edit(s) of 279

Top