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1->''"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player\²That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,\²And then is heard no more; it is a tale\²Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,\²Signifying nothing."''²-->-- '''Macbeth''', ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', Act V, Scene 5²²%%²%%Moderator notice: Do not remove the story part of the description.²%%²²Once upon a time, a man decided to climb a mountain. He took a nasty fall, badly bruising himself, and landed in the woods next to a shaggy-haired dog. Despite his injuries, he limped back to his house, where he left the dog, then to the nearest hospital, where he got some x-rays. When he got home, the dog looked hungry, so he made a steak just for the dog, and turned on the television. He was just about to call the pound when he heard that a wealthy couple, on vacation in the vicinity, had ''lost'' a very shaggy dog, and were offering a [[UndisclosedFunds very large sum]] for his return. He bought a plane ticket, but fell short on funds. Being a thrifty man, never wanting to live in debt, he sold a chair from his house to pay for the ticket. When he got on the plane, he found that he couldn't take the dog without preparations; the airline, however, was willing to transfer his ticket for a nominal fee. He was forced to pay this fee, and the veterinarian's bills, with a credit card, which irked him even though he knew the reward would offset it. Then he flew to the city in question, but since he was only twenty-four (too young to rent a car), had to walk ten miles through the woods, going in the general direction of the manor. When he arrived, he found he had missed the front gate entirely. He walked directly up to the door with the dog and rang the bell... when he and the dog were shot dead by a guard. ²²Did you feel like [[SelfDemonstratingArticle that story]] was pointless? It was. Sometimes an author will go one step beyond a ShaggyDogStory, and Shoot the Shaggy Dog. They won't just KillEmAll; they'll make the characters' accomplishments a moot point [[SenselessSacrifice and their deaths completely senseless]]. They won't just have the protagonist die an agonizing death; they'll [[GroundhogDayLoop trap him in a grim cycle of reincarnation]], and make them [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption a failure in every incarnation]]. Sometimes they won't ''even'' Kill Em All; the heroes won't even get to bring the villains down with them, but [[TheBadGuyWins the villains will win everything]] and [[KarmaHoudini go unpunished]]. All in all, [[StatusQuoIsGod the only thing that's changed in the last 400 pages is that a few ineffectual people have died]]... some of whom were the protagonists.²²Occasionally part of AnAesop, to show ''[[CrapsackWorld just how crappy]]'' the world becomes when you violate the lesson; frequently used to try and show a '[[DarkerAndEdgier gritty]]', [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] world. Sometimes, it's an attempt at tragedy that makes the mistake of nullifying itself by ''[[TooBleakStoppedCaring making it impossible to care]]''. Depending on the particulars, it can overlap with DiabolusExMachina, and is a frequent cause of AngstAversion and EndingAversion. In short, this is a story where at its conclusion you have to ask ''"What the hell was the point?"''²²'''NOTE:''' An ending in which [[TheHeroDies the heroes die]] or are [[BolivianArmyEnding implied to die]] does not, on its own, a Shoot The Shaggy Dog make. This trope should refer to stories where the protagonists are ineffectual, accomplish nothing, fail to bring villains to justice, ''and'' they die.²²The ultimate DownerEnding. See also CrapsackWorld. Compare ResetButtonEnding, which may lead to or be the cause of one of these. If the writer's a cynical bastard it might be a BlackComedy, and writers who are fond of using this type of ending are very likely to have a [[StrawNihilist nihilistic]] worldview. Tends to result in feelings of TooBleakStoppedCaring if the writer isn't really good at it. Often a SequelHook. Very frequently a TearJerker.²²On a brigher side, a villain trying to invoke this trope with a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech fails virtually always.²²[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do]] with [[JustForPun Shooting Shaggy's]] [[Franchise/ScoobyDoo Dog]] (or for that matter, his [[TheScrappy other dog]]). [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Also has nothing to do]] with [[JustForPun the filming process]] of the Disney film ''Film/TheShaggyDog'', or its {{Remake}}. Not to be confused with ShootTheDog, which is a [[WhatTheHellHero regrettable act]] that may or may not involve an actual dog (that may or may not be shaggy).²²See also RocksFallEveryoneDies for a roleplaying equivalent.²²'''Spoilers''' ahead, of course.²²%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.²----²!!Examples subpages²[[index]]²* ShootTheShaggyDog/AnimeAndManga²* ShootTheShaggyDog/ComicBooks²* ShootTheShaggyDog/FanWorks²* ShootTheShaggyDog/{{Film}}²* ShootTheShaggyDog/{{Literature}}²* ShootTheShaggyDog/LiveActionTV²* ShootTheShaggyDog/{{Music}}²* ShootTheShaggyDog/TabletopGames²* ShootTheShaggyDog/{{Theatre}}²* ShootTheShaggyDog/VideoGames²* ShootTheShaggyDog/{{Webcomics}}²* ShootTheShaggyDog/WebOriginal²* ShootTheShaggyDog/WesternAnimation²* ShootTheShaggyDog/RealLife²[[/index]]²²!!Other examples²[[foldercontrol]]²%%²%%[[folder:Advertising]]²%%* PlayedForLaughs in the non-sequitur Levi's advert featuring [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCzsEgUcWfU Kevin the Hamster]].²%%[[/folder]]²²[[folder: Advertisements]]²* A St John Ambulance advert featured a father undergoing treatment for cancer. The man survives, and his cancer is gone, so he celebrates at a barbecue with his family...only for a piece of burger to get lodged in his throat, and start to choke him. Because ''no one at the barbecue knows first aid'', the cancer survivor chokes to death in front of his horrified family.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Comic Strips]]²* Happens regularly on ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' in Rat's stories about "Angry Bob". In a typical example, Angry Bob decides to go to a bar to socialize, and quickly strike up a romantic rapport with a beautiful woman. They begin [[AutoErotica kissing in her car]], only for Bob to get caught by the woman's [[UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts UFC husband]] and die horrifically.²* A nonlethal example ended the longest storyline in ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}''. After Peppermint Patty had spent six weeks training for an ice-skating tournament, including sewing a dress and hiring Snoopy as her coach, she showed up ... only to find it was a ''roller''-skating tournament.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]²* Creator/BoBurnham gives a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRyxIMkyazc tale of a frog]] that falls subject to this while looking for a beautiful lady frog. Bo even says at the end that the moral of the story is [[spoiler:"irrelevant, 'cause we're humans."]]²[[/folder]]²²----²[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Just to rub salt in the wound]], the rich homeowners take a look at the dead dog and decide [[ShaggyDogStory it can't be their dog]], because "he wasn't ''that'' shaggy."²----

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