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* In ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'', during the Internship arc, the minions of the Shie Hassaikai attack the heroes and police who are raiding the organization's headquarters, even though it's an ultimately hopeless battle and [[ArcVillain Overhaul]] is only using them to buy time.
-->'''Bubble Girl''': I can't believe you all came out to try and stop us. [[YoureInsane It's hard to believe you're sane]].\\
'''Yakuza''': We're sane. Everyone going out to fight right now is sane. If we didn't do anything, [[YouHaveFailedMe then Overhaul would take our lives]].


* During the [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders Stardust Crusaders]] arc of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', the heroes have very little information on the BigBad's Stand because his underlings fear him more than death itself. The most obvious example is Daniel J. D'Arby, who has a mental breakdown after being cornered to spill this information.

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* During the [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders Stardust Crusaders]] ''Manga/StardustCrusaders'' arc of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', the heroes have very little information on the BigBad's Stand because his underlings fear him more than death itself. The most obvious example is Daniel J. D'Arby, who has a mental breakdown after being cornered to spill this information.


** ''Manga/Vento Aureo'' also does this, this time with an actual mob boss, the leader of Passione. The Boss is so paranoid about anyone finding out his identity that anyone who attempts it is met with ColdBloodedTorture as a method to scare off anyone else who might try. Even the heroes of the story are terrified of him, knowing that betraying the boss means having to fight against a veritable army of gangsters since Passione controls most of Italy.

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** ''Manga/Vento Aureo'' ''Manga/VentoAureo'' also does this, this time with an actual mob boss, the leader of Passione. The Boss is so paranoid about anyone finding out his identity that anyone who attempts it is met with ColdBloodedTorture as a method to scare off anyone else who might try. Even the heroes of the story are terrified of him, knowing that betraying the boss means having to fight against a veritable army of gangsters since Passione controls most of Italy.


** The next arc, ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Diamond is Unbreakable]]'', demonstrates exactly ''what'' would have happened if he did talk, by the way; [[spoiler:Dio's implanted cells turn the Nijimura brothers' father into [[AndIMustScream an unkillable blob monster]] with almost no memories of his former life almost being the key word here]].
** ''[[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo Vento Aureo]]'' also does this, this time with an actual mob boss, the leader of Passione. The boss is so paranoid about anyone finding out his identity that anyone who attempts it is met with {{ColdBloodedTorture}} as a method to scare off anyone else who might try. Even the heroes of the story are terrified of him, knowing that betraying the boss means having to fight against a veritable army of gangsters since Passione controls most of Italy.

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** The next arc, ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Diamond is Unbreakable]]'', ''Manga/DiamondIsUnbreakable'', demonstrates exactly ''what'' would have happened if he did talk, by the way; [[spoiler:Dio's implanted cells turn the Nijimura brothers' Brothers' father into [[AndIMustScream an unkillable blob monster]] with almost no memories of his former life almost life. ''Almost'', being the key word keyword here]].
** ''[[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo Vento Aureo]]'' ''Manga/Vento Aureo'' also does this, this time with an actual mob boss, the leader of Passione. The boss Boss is so paranoid about anyone finding out his identity that anyone who attempts it is met with {{ColdBloodedTorture}} ColdBloodedTorture as a method to scare off anyone else who might try. Even the heroes of the story are terrified of him, knowing that betraying the boss means having to fight against a veritable army of gangsters since Passione controls most of Italy.


* Zigzagged on ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''. Daredevil does manage to force a low-level crook to tell him who he's working for - but the crook is so terrified of what [[ComicBook/TheKingpin his boss]] is going to do to him now that he's ratted him out that he immediately commits suicide.

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* Zigzagged on ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''.''Series/{{Daredevil|2015}}''. Daredevil does manage to force a low-level crook to tell him who he's working for - but the crook is so terrified of what [[ComicBook/TheKingpin his boss]] is going to do to him now that he's ratted him out that he immediately commits suicide.


->''"No one's gonna tell you nuthin'. They're wise to your act. You got rules. The Joker, he's got no rules. Nobody's gonna cross him for you."''
-->-- '''Sal Maroni''' explains this trope to Batman in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''

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->''"No one's gonna tell you nuthin'. They're wise to your act. You got rules. The Joker, ComicBook/TheJoker, he's got no rules. Nobody's gonna cross him for you."''
-->-- '''Sal Maroni''' explains this trope to Batman in Franchise/{{Batman}}, ''Film/TheDarkKnight''


* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (anime only), when Vash defeats ColdSniper Caine from [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad the Gung-Ho Guns]], he [[WreckedWeapon destroys Caine's rifle]] and gives Caine a chance to surrender. Caine, knowing his boss is a KillAllHumans type who ''loves'' pulling YouHaveFailedMe and YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness, responds by calmly drawing his backup pistol and shooting himself in the head without a word.

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* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (anime only), when Vash defeats ColdSniper Caine from [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad the Gung-Ho Guns]], he [[WreckedWeapon destroys Caine's rifle]] and gives Caine a chance to surrender. Caine, knowing his boss is a KillAllHumans type who ''loves'' pulling YouHaveFailedMe and YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness, YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness in [[FateWorseThanDeath sadistic and terrifying ways]], responds by calmly drawing his backup pistol and shooting himself in the head without a word.


* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (anime only), when Vash defeats ColdSniper Caine from [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad the Gung-Ho Guns]], he destroys Caine's rifle and gives Caine a chance to surrender. Caine, knowing his boss is a KillAllHumans type who loves pulling YouHaveFailedMe and YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness, responds by calmly drawing his backup pistol and shooting himself in the head without a word.

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* In ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' (anime only), when Vash defeats ColdSniper Caine from [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad the Gung-Ho Guns]], he [[WreckedWeapon destroys Caine's rifle rifle]] and gives Caine a chance to surrender. Caine, knowing his boss is a KillAllHumans type who loves ''loves'' pulling YouHaveFailedMe and YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness, responds by calmly drawing his backup pistol and shooting himself in the head without a word.

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[[folder: Literature]]

* In ''[[Literature/MythAdventures MYTH Inc. in Action]]'', Guido needs to ensure that the shipments he's sending out from a warehouse arrive, but are either wrong or late. (ItMakesSenseInContext.) To get slower deliveries, he decides to hire some [[TakeThat teamsters]], despite his limited budget. When negotiating with them he threatens to arrange an audit, and they laugh at him. Until he mentions it won't be Royal Inspectors doing the auditing, but [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily Don Bruce]].

[[/folder]]

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** ''[[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo Vento Aureo]]'' also does this, this time with an actual mob boss, the leader of Passione. The boss is so paranoid about anyone finding out his identity that anyone who attempts it is met with {{ColdBloodedTorture}} as a method to scare off anyone else who might try. Even the heroes of the story are terrified of him, knowing that betraying the boss means having to fight against a veritable army of gangsters since Passione controls most of Italy.


* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'':

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* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'':''Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy'':



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* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Nalorakk, a powerful troll warrior with the essence of a god inside him, lampshades this trope when siccing his minions on players in Zul'Aman.
-->"Guards, go already! Who you be more afraid of, dem or me?"


Sometimes though, things don't go so smoothly. Sometimes the boss is [[TheDreaded so fearsome]] that the prospect of the boss looking to get revenge on the mook ([[EvenMooksHaveLovedOnes or their family]]) means the mook will gladly take anything the law can throw at them rather than that. Bonus points if the BigBad is either a TortureTechnician or keeps one around just for this purpose.

Naturally, this can also apply to the general public, although in this case it may be a more general fear and [[BystanderSyndrome unwillingness to get involved]] that is the motivation. Tends to be particularly common in poor countries where the [[PoliceAreUseless criminals may have more control than the government]].

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Sometimes Sometimes, though, things don't go so smoothly. Sometimes the boss is [[TheDreaded so fearsome]] that the prospect of the boss looking to get revenge on the mook ([[EvenMooksHaveLovedOnes or their family]]) means the mook will gladly take anything the law can throw at them rather than that. Bonus points if the BigBad is either a TortureTechnician or keeps one around just for this purpose.

Naturally, this can also apply to the general public, although in this case case, it may be a more general fear and [[BystanderSyndrome unwillingness to get involved]] that is the motivation. Tends to be particularly common in poor countries where the [[PoliceAreUseless the criminals may have more control than the government]].


** Sal Maroni spells this trope out for {{Franchise/Batman}} in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Everyone, from ordinary citizens to hardened criminals, is more afraid of ComicBook/TheJoker than of Batman. No one is going to give Batman information on the Joker, because everyone knows that doing so would invite utterly horrific reprisals, things that are far worse than what Batman would do. What makes this even more notable is that The Joker isn't even a mob boss. In fact, the mob thinks that he's working for them, but they are still [[TheDreaded too terrified of him to give him up]]. [[spoiler:Although eventually this trope is subverted when the Joker creates ''so'' much havoc and chaos that Maroni does give the police information to try to help them catch him.]]

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** Sal Maroni spells this trope out for {{Franchise/Batman}} Franchise/{{Batman}} in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Everyone, from ordinary citizens to hardened criminals, is more afraid of ComicBook/TheJoker than of Batman. No one is going to give Batman information on the Joker, because everyone knows that doing so would invite utterly horrific reprisals, things that are far worse than what Batman would do. What makes this even more notable is that The Joker isn't even a mob boss. In fact, the mob thinks that he's working for them, but they are still [[TheDreaded too terrified of him to give him up]]. [[spoiler:Although eventually this trope is subverted when the Joker creates ''so'' much havoc and chaos that Maroni does give the police information to try to help them catch him.]]


A common variation has police threaten to make it ''look'' like the perp is cooperating with them so that they'll be targeted anyway, and their only hope is to take their chances with the police. Other times, the police may just resort [[PoliceBrutality to being really fucking scary in their OWN right]].

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A common variation has police threaten to [[RealStitchesForFakeSnitches make it ''look'' look like the perp is cooperating cooperating]] with them so that they'll be targeted anyway, and their only hope is to take their chances with the police. Other times, the police may just resort [[PoliceBrutality to being really fucking scary in their OWN own right]].



** The next arc, ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Diamond is Unbreakable]]'', demonstrates exactly ''what'' would have happened if he did talk, by the way; [[spoiler:Dio's implanted cells turn the Nijimura brothers' father into [[AndIMustScream an unkillable blob monster]] with almost no memories of his former life... ''almost'' being the key word here]].

to:

** The next arc, ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureDiamondIsUnbreakable Diamond is Unbreakable]]'', demonstrates exactly ''what'' would have happened if he did talk, by the way; [[spoiler:Dio's implanted cells turn the Nijimura brothers' father into [[AndIMustScream an unkillable blob monster]] with almost no memories of his former life... ''almost'' life almost being the key word here]].



'''Alma''': Well, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch no one actually]] ''saw'' the bullet leave the gun.

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'''Alma''': Well, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch no one actually]] ''saw'' saw the bullet leave the gun.



** Sal Maroni spells this trope out for {{Franchise/Batman}} in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Everyone, from ordinary citizens to hardened criminals, is more afraid of ComicBook/TheJoker than of Batman. No one is going to give Batman information on the Joker, because everyone knows that doing so would invite utterly horrific reprisals, things that are far worse than what Batman would do. What makes this even more notable is that The Joker isn't even a mob boss. In fact, the mob thinks that he's working for them, but they are ''still'' [[TheDreaded too terrified of him to give him up]]. [[spoiler:Although eventually this trope is subverted when the Joker creates ''so'' much havoc and chaos that Maroni does give the police information to try to help them catch him.]]

to:

** Sal Maroni spells this trope out for {{Franchise/Batman}} in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Everyone, from ordinary citizens to hardened criminals, is more afraid of ComicBook/TheJoker than of Batman. No one is going to give Batman information on the Joker, because everyone knows that doing so would invite utterly horrific reprisals, things that are far worse than what Batman would do. What makes this even more notable is that The Joker isn't even a mob boss. In fact, the mob thinks that he's working for them, but they are ''still'' still [[TheDreaded too terrified of him to give him up]]. [[spoiler:Although eventually this trope is subverted when the Joker creates ''so'' much havoc and chaos that Maroni does give the police information to try to help them catch him.]]



* Notably averted (or possibly ''inverted'') a few times in ''Film/{{Payback}}''. Several people tell main character Porter (an AntiHero who verges on being a VillainProtagonist) that [[TheSyndicate the Outfit]] will kill them if they talk to Porter. Porter's response is always the same; "What do you think ''I'm'' going to do to you? Worry about me."

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* Notably averted (or possibly ''inverted'') inverted) a few times in ''Film/{{Payback}}''. Several people tell main character Porter (an AntiHero who verges on being a VillainProtagonist) that [[TheSyndicate the Outfit]] will kill them if they talk to Porter. Porter's response is always the same; "What do you think ''I'm'' I'm going to do to you? Worry about me."



* This seems to be the case in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'' when Kujan brings up Keyser Söze and Verbal reacts with stark terror. [[spoiler:Subverted at the end when it's revealed that Verbal ''is'' Keyser Söze.]]

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* This seems to be the case in ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'' when Kujan brings up Keyser Söze and Verbal reacts with stark terror. [[spoiler:Subverted at the end when it's revealed that Verbal ''is'' is Keyser Söze.]]



* This is a recurring problem for the cops on ''Series/TheWire'' and with good reason, as many characters who decide to become witnesses end up dead. This is particularly evident in season 1, where in order to convict Barksdale enforcer Bird, they have to have [[JustLikeRobinHood Omar]], a criminal with a grudge against the Barksdale group, give an obviously false testimony because all the ''actual'' eyewitnesses are unwilling to testify and risk being killed for it. (Bonus points: Bird is on trial for killing a witness who testified against another Barksdale member.)

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* This is a recurring problem for the cops on ''Series/TheWire'' and with good reason, as many characters who decide to become witnesses end up dead. This is particularly evident in season 1, where in order to convict Barksdale enforcer Bird, they Bird who is on trial for killing a witness who testified against another Barksdale member. They have to have [[JustLikeRobinHood Omar]], a criminal with a grudge against the Barksdale group, give an obviously false testimony because all the ''actual'' actual eyewitnesses are unwilling to testify and risk being killed for it. (Bonus points: Bird is on trial for killing a witness who testified against another Barksdale member.)it.



* Zigzagged on ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''. Daredevil ''does'' manage to force a low-level crook to tell him who he's working for - but the crook is so terrified of what [[ComicBook/TheKingpin his boss]] is going to do to him now that he's ratted him out that he immediately commits suicide.

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* Zigzagged on ''Series/{{Daredevil}}''. Daredevil ''does'' does manage to force a low-level crook to tell him who he's working for - but the crook is so terrified of what [[ComicBook/TheKingpin his boss]] is going to do to him now that he's ratted him out that he immediately commits suicide.



* An overheard audio diary in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' has a smuggler caught and tortured by the Rapture police say, "...Whatever Ryan thinks he can do to me, Fontaine can do double!". Considering you find said diary on his bound, electrified ''corpse'', that's pretty damn impressive.

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* An overheard audio diary in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' has a smuggler caught and tortured by the Rapture police say, "...Whatever Ryan thinks he can do to me, Fontaine can do double!". Considering you find said diary on his bound, electrified ''corpse'', corpse, that's pretty damn impressive.



* While hiding in Mexico after pulling off the infamous [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_1997_Loomis_Fargo_robbery Loomis Fargo heist]] in 1997, David Ghantt eventually realized that his accomplices back in the States preferred to keep all the loot rather than continue to send him funds and had decided that he'd [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]], causing him to (rightly) fear for his life. The story goes that when a group of men suddenly surrounded him one day, he turned to the nearest one and said, "''Please'' tell me you're an FBI agent!" He was.

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* While hiding in Mexico after pulling off the infamous [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_1997_Loomis_Fargo_robbery Loomis Fargo heist]] in 1997, David Ghantt eventually realized that his accomplices back in the States preferred to keep all the loot rather than continue to send him funds and had decided that he'd [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]], causing him to (rightly) fear for his life. The story goes that when a group of men suddenly surrounded him one day, he turned to the nearest one and said, "''Please'' "Please tell me you're an FBI agent!" He was.

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