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** In ''Literature/GoingPostal'', the Grand Trunk's board of directors eventually realize [[ConArtist the true nature]] of Reacher Gilt. They also realize that Gilt has dirt on all of them thanks to Crispin Horsefry's blabbing; they're not only riding a tiger, but [[TheVillainKnowsWhereYouLive the tiger knows where they live]]

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** In ''Literature/GoingPostal'', the Grand Trunk's board of directors eventually realize [[ConArtist the true nature]] of Reacher Gilt. They also realize that Gilt has dirt on all of them thanks to Crispin Horsefry's blabbing; they're not only riding a tiger, but [[TheVillainKnowsWhereYouLive the tiger knows where they live]]live]].

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* This is the situation Taylor finds herself in halfway through the second arc of ''Fanfic/IAmSkitter''. She is [[JekyllAndHyde horrified by what Skitter has done]] and realizes that this is far beyond what she wanted to happen when she first created Skitter. She further notes that she technically could still stop this, push Skitter back into whatever part of the subconscious she pulled her from in the first place and retake control of her mind. But if she did so, she would lose Skitter's cunning and poise, and without those she doesn't have a hope of staying ahead of the PRT. So she decides that she has no choice but [[SplitPersonalityTakeover to let Skitter have her head and simply watch the rampage from behind her eyes]].


Perhaps the character started a protest movement that has become violently fanatical, and would execute them as a traitor if they tried to mitigate its behavior. Maybe they {{stumbled into|ThePlot}} a MacGuffin and the government is now after them until they ClearTheirName, or they jumped into the pilot seat of a HumongousMecha to repel the alien invasion, only to find ItWontTurnOff, and it becomes such a MurderousMalfunctioningMachine that it would love to try out on them if they ever try to disembark.

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Perhaps the character started a protest movement that has become violently fanatical, and would execute them as a traitor if they tried to mitigate its behavior. Maybe they {{stumbled into|ThePlot}} a MacGuffin and the government is now after them until they ClearTheirName, or they jumped into the pilot seat of a HumongousMecha to repel the alien invasion, only to find ItWontTurnOff, and it becomes such a MurderousMalfunctioningMachine in battle that it would love to try out on to kill them if they ever try to disembark.

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** In ''Literature/GoingPostal'', the Grand Trunk's board of directors eventually realize [[ConArtist the true nature]] of Reacher Gilt. They also realize that Gilt has dirt on all of them thanks to Crispin Horsefry's blabbing; they're not only riding a tiger, but [[TheVillainKnowsWhereYouLive the tiger knows where they live]]

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* Namechecked in ''Literature/AfterTheRevolution'' by Dr. Brandt, when he explains to Sasha how bad a position the Heavenly Kingdom is in because they took The City of Wheel's envoys prisoner. While holding the three hostage means the powerful {{cyborg}}s probably won't attack ''right now'', in the long term this move put the Kingdom in direct conflict with a heavily-armed polity who already hated them on principle.


** The gang employed by Teatime in ''Literature/{{Hogfather}}'' use the exact phrase as they realise that attempting to leave before the job is finished will ''slightly'' increase the likelihood of them all being killed.

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** The gang employed by Teatime in ''Literature/{{Hogfather}}'' use the exact phrase refer to "that saying about riding a tiger" as they realise that attempting to leave before the job is finished will ''slightly'' increase the likelihood of them all being killed.

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** The gang employed by Teatime in ''Literature/{{Hogfather}}'' use the exact phrase as they realise that attempting to leave before the job is finished will ''slightly'' increase the likelihood of them all being killed.

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[[folder:Music]]
* The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]] is Buck Owens' song, "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail."
--> Well, I thought the day I met you, you were meek as a lamb
--> Just the kind to fit my dreams and plans
--> But now, the pace we're living takes the wind out of my sails
--> And it looks like I've got a tiger by the tail

--> I've got a tiger by the tail, it's plain to see
--> I won't be much when you get through with me
--> Well, I'm losing weight and turning mighty pale
--> Looks like I've got a tiger by the tail
[[/folder]]


[[folder: FanWorks]]

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[[folder: FanWorks]][[folder:FanWorks]]


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* Oscar's getting famous off Frankie's death in ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'' spirals into the population wanting him to fight more sharks despite his lack of actual fighting ability, which then spirals into Oscar having to help Lenny fake his death so the latter doesn't tip him off to Don Lino, which leads to Lino kidnapping Angie in [[PapaWolf revenge for both his sons' deaths]]. Angie tries to get him to reveal the truth, but Oscar laughs her off since doing so would result in him losing all of his fame, likely being sued and getting eaten by sharks who wouldn't be afraid of him anymore.

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[[folder: FanWorks]]
* Jaune finds himself in this situation in ''FanFic/ARabbitAmongWolves''. He accidentally kills Adam Taurus, gains control of the White Fang, and becomes a wanted fugitive. Hoping to prove to Remnant he isn't evil, he tries to reform the White Fang enough so he can quit and go back to a normal life. Unfortunately, he succeeds well enough that he goes from being a rising star to an icon. [[spoiler: Adam's ghost]] spells out to him that him quitting would devastate the White Fang, and even send them back on the path toward violence, much to his frustration.
[[/folder]]

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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* One ''ComicStrip/{{Herman}}'' strip shows a guy checking into an emergency room while [[JugglingDangerously frantically juggling axes]], saying "I can't stop."
[[/folder]]


* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'': Mistress Poulin, the ruler of the town of Sahrnia in Emprise du Lion, let the Templars mine her quarry and hire the locals to help. The town was dying due to the Orlesian Civil War and desperately needed the money. She learned too late that they were Red Templars in service to [[BigBad Corypheus]] and the people she was sending them were being killed in the process of mining the red lyrium. She knew that if she refused to send anyone else to work the quarry, the Red Templars would just attack the town and take everyone at once. [[ColdEquation She sold the weak, elderly, sick, and anyone else that was likely to die soon anyway.]] She used the coin to help the survivors and hoped that someone would come along save them before they all get killed anyway.

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* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'': Mistress Poulin, the ruler of the town of Sahrnia in Emprise du Lion, let the Templars mine her quarry and hire the locals to help. The town was dying due to the Orlesian Civil War and desperately needed the money. She learned too late that they were Red Templars in service to [[BigBad Corypheus]] and the people she was sending them were being killed in the process of mining the red lyrium. She knew that if she refused to send anyone else to work the quarry, the Red Templars would just attack the town and take everyone at once. [[ColdEquation She sold the weak, elderly, sick, and anyone else that was likely to die soon anyway.]] She used the coin to help the survivors and hoped that someone would come along to save them before they all get got killed anyway.


Unlike with IveComeTooFar and SunkCostFallacy, it's not a matter of the character not wanting their efforts or expenses to go to waste. It's that they will die or otherwise suffer terribly if they don't carry on. If a good guy gets into this situation (and the work isn't cynical,) there will usually turn out to be a [[TakeAThirdOption third option]], or outside intervention to help him.

See also GodzillaThreshold, which can involve knowingly getting into this; and FawltyTowersPlot and CrimeAfterCrime, which can be this depending on the circumstances (although the former is usually more lighthearted in the stakes.) This can sometimes be a MortonsFork if disaster from stopping or carrying on seems equally inevitable.

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Unlike with IveComeTooFar and SunkCostFallacy, it's not a matter of the character not wanting their efforts or expenses to go to waste. It's that they will die or otherwise suffer terribly if they don't carry on. If a good guy gets into this situation (and the work isn't cynical,) cynical), there will usually turn out to be a [[TakeAThirdOption third option]], or outside intervention to help him.

See also GodzillaThreshold, which can involve knowingly getting into this; and FawltyTowersPlot and CrimeAfterCrime, which can be this depending on the circumstances (although the former is usually more lighthearted in the stakes.) stakes). This can sometimes be a MortonsFork if disaster from stopping or carrying on seems equally inevitable.


[[quoteright:319:[[Disney/TheJungleBook https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6c3edc41_1304_41dd_88bf_0568f90f6c39.jpeg]]]]

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[[quoteright:319:[[Disney/TheJungleBook [[quoteright:319:[[WesternAnimation/TheJungleBook1967 https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/6c3edc41_1304_41dd_88bf_0568f90f6c39.jpeg]]]]



* A version involving a literal tiger occurs in ''Disney/TheJungleBook''. Baloo arrives just in time to grab Shere Khan by the tail when he charges at Mowgli. After the vultures have air-lifted Mowgli away, one of them tells Baloo he can release Shere Khan's tail now.

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* A version involving a literal tiger occurs in ''Disney/TheJungleBook''.''WesternAnimation/TheJungleBook1967''. Baloo arrives just in time to grab Shere Khan by the tail when he charges at Mowgli. After the vultures have air-lifted Mowgli away, one of them tells Baloo he can release Shere Khan's tail now.


-->-- '''Creator/TerryPratchett''', ''Discworld/MenAtArms''

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-->-- '''Creator/TerryPratchett''', ''Discworld/MenAtArms''
''Literature/MenAtArms''



** ''Discworld/GuardsGuards:'' Lupine Wonse summons a dragon in a plot to usurp control of Ankh-Morpork. When the dragon escapes his control, rather than eating him, it makes him its servant, and he ends up living in constant terror of it, but also in terror of what will happen to him if he tries to escape.
** ''Discworld/MenAtArms:'' An shown in the above quote, when Nobby starts swinging around his EpicFlail, he finds he can't safely stop. Fortunately, Carrot is big enough to safely intervene.

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** ''Discworld/GuardsGuards:'' ''Literature/GuardsGuards:'' Lupine Wonse summons a dragon in a plot to usurp control of Ankh-Morpork. When the dragon escapes his control, rather than eating him, it makes him its servant, and he ends up living in constant terror of it, but also in terror of what will happen to him if he tries to escape.
** ''Discworld/MenAtArms:'' ''Literature/MenAtArms:'' An shown in the above quote, when Nobby starts swinging around his EpicFlail, he finds he can't safely stop. Fortunately, Carrot is big enough to safely intervene.

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