Psi001 on Dec 30th 2017 at 4:07:27 PM
Last Edited By:
Theharbo on May 23rd 2018 at 5:46:30 AM
Page Type: trope
Following a person's death, their family and associates all come to their wake and await the reading of their will, and any potential inheritance.
As it turns out, the dead has used their will to deliver one final "The Reason You Suck" Speech to one, or all, of them and ensure that any inheritance directed towards them in the will will make their lives as miserable as possible (often by invoking that it is On One Condition). Common in Black Comedy media, where the dead in question (almost always a curmudgeon elderly Jerkass) will no doubt use their will to get the last laugh on their Sitcom Arch-Nemesis or gold digging relatives in death.
May result from the relatives being Inadequate Inheritors in the eyes of the deceased, almost always combined with Silly Will when Played for Laughs. Compare Dying Declaration of Hate, which is done as the person is dying rather than being prepared while 'of sound mind'.
- The Punisher MAX: During the "Kitchen Irish" arc, Old Man Nesbitt (the incredibly ancient head of The Irish Mob) was well known for his hatred of everyone under his orders, repeating his catchphrase "Shower o' cunts" ad nauseum. In his will, he leaves his fortune to four of them in the form of partial codes, fully expecting them to murder one another to get it. In fact, the four survivors agree to share their codes to spite Nesbitt (who was greatly responsible for their evil lifestyle thanks to his constant insults, put-downs, and molesting)... only to see the inheritance consists of a block of C4 with a 5-second timer. With "cunts" written on it.
- Soul Music: One of Susan's first cases (she takes up the Duty as her grandfather is absent) is a horrible old man who's hidden his will from his obnoxious relatives. And as they start tearing up the room looking for it, the man's ghost reveals it's in the cat's basket... and he left everything to the cat. Not even as kindness- he hated the cat as well, so he fully expects his family to kill the cat before turning on each other.
- In the John Grisham novel The Testament, billionaire Troy Phelan presents the lawyers representing his ex-wives and multiple heirs with a will guaranteeing them each of them a sizeable portion of his estate. As soon as they have left the room, he presents his own lawyers with a new will which overrides the previous one - and which will only give everyone just enough money to pay off their debts and leaves everything else to an illegitimate daughter - then throws himself out of a window.
- Jane the Virgin: Rafael receives this treatment when his father dies. His father's will said that he's only leaving money to his biological children (his sister Luisa, Rafael was adopted when he was younger and Rafael was left with nothing.
- The Twilight Zone: In the episode "The Masks", a dying millionaire changes his will to force his heirs to wear hideous masks for one night or be disinherited, while he himself wears a death's-head mask. He gleefully informs each of them how his or her mask embodies that heir's individual character flaws. The heirs complain, but each is driven by greed to keep the masks on. At the end of the night the millionaire is dead of natural causes and all the heirs faces have been transformed to the shape of their mask.
- One episode of WKRP in Cincinnati opens with Jennifer dating an older man who suddenly dies in the middle of dinner. She attends his will reading which is done via videotape and he gratuitously insults his relatives. She however is granted a large sum of money which she announces will be used for a parade to honor veterans.
- The Frantics' "Last Will and Temperament" skit takes the form of a will reading which consists of everyone present being called out on their flaws and recieving a "boot to the head" (except the lawyer reading the will, who instead is bequeathed a rabid badger shoved down his trousers).
- The Miser's Will in Diablo 3:
"To my sniveling offspring: if you are reading this, then I am dead and you have come to claim my fortune. Well, you still can't have it! I have set traps to stop you from even trying. So, enjoy the rest of your poor, miserable, and cowardly lives.
- Team Fortress 2 exists because of this trope. Zepheniah Mann was convinced by his two sons to purchase large areas of land in frontier America. On his journey over to see his newly purchased land he was struck with almost every illness known to man and was shocked to find it an empty and useless desert. Needless to say: He wasn't happy with his sons and in his will he never refers to them without some derogatory prefix: 'dunderheaded', 'addle-pated' 'layabout', and 'brain-defective' are all used. As the final spiteful spit he leaves them each half of his estate so they have to work together to get anything done, knowing they would never stop bickering - indeed, it's not long before both resort to hiring mercenaries to take the other half by force, starting their Forever War which is the game's setting.
- In the South Park episode "Best Friends Forever", after some fond words toward Stan and Kyle, Kenny's will laments that he never liked Cartman and he will likely die alone due to lacking any empathy. Unlike standard examples however, he does hand him the desired inheritance of a games console, if only out of pity.
- In the Family Guy episode "Peter Peter Caviar Eater", Lois' late Aunt Margarite has a rather lavish Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous style video will, and, like the rest of Lois' family, doesn't turn down the chance to pick a bone with Peter:
Aunt Margarite: Lois, you were always my favorite niece; I just knew you would find a wonderful man who would make all your dreams come true. But I was wrong.Peter: *watching present day* And now you're dead. Score one for Peter.
- Loretta's will in the spin-off The Cleveland Show is a rather elaborately spiteful example, not only does she not leave a cent to Cleveland and hand it all to their son Junior, but she is also savvy enough to mandate that Junior cannot share any of the money with him as a loophole.
- When Grandpa Phil is convinced he's dying in a day in Hey Arnold!, he actually does a rare pre-mortem reading of his own will, seemingly wanting to be alive to see the looks on his tenants' faces when he tells them they're getting squat from him.
- In the ''Batman: The Animated Series" episode "Joker's Millions", the Joker inherits millions of dollars from a recently deceased mob boss King Barlowe. The Joker starts recklessly spending money on everything he can think of, and ends up owing a ton of back taxes. The real kicker comes in when he learns that only the first ten million dollars he inherited were real money, while the rest is counterfeit, since Barlowe's last will was merely a huge gag at the Joker's expense.
Indexes: Death Tropes, Will And Inheritance Tropes, Hatred Tropes
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