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Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon

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"Locksley! I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!"
The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

This trope is when a threat — usually a death threat — is Played for Laughs by being a bit, well, odd. This can include a threat that's unnecessarily long and convoluted, and the one making it gets a bit lost; or a threat that simply incorporates some really bizarre elements; or a pathetically nonthreatening sort of threat. ("Do X, or I'll... give you some really evil looks when your back is turned!")

Sometimes, Fridge Horror makes the more bizarre elements even more terrifying and Squickier. It's one thing to threaten someone with a sharp knife or even a gun; those cut pretty quickly and can be almost painless (at first; ever heard of the term "clean cut"?). However, going after someone with a spoon dictates hours of potential digging into a person very crudely to get the same effect. Rusty and/or dull cutlery seems to be a particular favorite, though.

This trope is usually seen in comedy, for obvious reasons.

A Super-Trope to I Will Tear Your Arms Off. See also Cool and Unusual Punishment or Cruel and Unusual Death, for when these bizarre threats are actually effective. To the Pain is usually invoked if played seriously, I'll Kill You! when it's not so convoluted. See Freudian Threat for when the threat focuses specifically on a character's naughty bits. If the threat actually does involve a heart, it's an Attack on the Heart. Compare Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement and Flowery Insults.

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  • Lampshaded by Dan Cummins in one of his stand-up routines. He notes that threatening to kill your spouse would get you seen as a monster. However, threaten to do something like "uppercut your head off your body so that the blood rockets your head into the air and it gets eaten by an eagle", and no one will take it seriously.
    Dan Cummins: That joke's called "Impossible Violence is Funny."

  • Although not a direct threat, "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Virus Alert" warns of a computer virus that will allegedly, among other things, "translate your documents into Swahili, make your TV record Gigli / neuter your pets, and give your laundry static cling."
    • Also, listen to "One More Minute" by the Al... this time it's subverted in that it isn't threats to anyone else, but what he would rather do instead of being with his ex. Actions preferred: ripping out his intestines with a fork, putting an icepick under a few of his toenails, diving into a swimming pool with double-edged razor blades, and the clincher: "I'd rather rip my heart right out of my ribcage with my bare hands and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it 'til I die."
  • In The Decemberists' The Tain: "I will bleed your heart through a samovar soon!" Ow.
    • No "Find him, bind him, tie him to a pole and break his fingers to splinters, drag him to a hole until he wakes up naked clawing at the ceiling of his grave"? Then again, that one was an order.
      • Same thing with "Culling of the Fold", in that the gore is instruction rather than threat. "Dash her on the paving stones/ It may break your heart to break her bones ..."
  • Ministry's "Flashback" has such lyrical gems as "I'm gonna rip his head off and then shit down his neck, and I'll laugh like a motherfucker" and "Pneumatic drill right through her chest".
  • In one of the skits that Da Yoopers intersperse between the songs in their albums the wife of a man who has run off somewhere threatens to "give him a vasectomy with a rusty chainsaw" if he ever returns.
  • Xiu Xiu's "I Broke Up" gives us the delightful shouted line "THIS IS THE WORST VACATION EVER!/I AM GOING TO CUT OPEN YOUR FOREHEAD WITH A ROOFING SHINGLE!" Just an idea, but perhaps lines like that are why they broke up?
  • The first line of Zebrahead's "Back to Normal" is: "I'm feeling lost, I'm feeling like my heart's been carved out with a spoon."
  • Voltaire gives us, "What if I were to cut you up and mail each part to a different town?"
  • Possible with Pink Floyd's song "One Of These Days", a (mostly) instrumental song with one spoken line that was rendered into a growl: "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces!"
  • The bridge to BROCKHAMPTON's "HEAT", beautifully screamed by JOBA.
  • The infamous torture skit at the beginning of Wu-Tang Clan's "Method Man":
    "I'll fuckin' lay your nuts on a fuckin' dresser, just your nuts layin' on a fuckin' dresser, and bang them shits with a spiked fuckin' bat. BLAOW!"

  • From Quest in Show:
    El Cid: Sir, if you come any closer to me, I will chop off your teeth and wear them around my ears and put a Versace logo on them. Don't you take one step further!

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the run-up to WWF's WrestleMania VI, Ultimate Warrior gave a long, rambling interview about how he was going to hijack Hulk Hogan's plane on the way to the event and fly it into the ground. To this day, it's still one of the biggest "WTF?" moments ever in wrestling. Yes, even ranking above The Gobbledy Gooker hatching from a giant egg, Robocop rescuing Sting, and Mae Young giving birth to a hand.
    • Keep in mind, he was threatening to do this by taking over the pilot's mind with his magical moon-powers.
      • But he did end up beating Hogan clean for the belt, which is just as improbable as him using mind powers on an airline pilot and turning the moon blood-red.
  • The Rock actually had one of these as a catchphrase: "The Rock's gonna take your candy ass down to the corner of Know Your Role Boulevard and Jabroni Drive, and check you into the Smackdown Hotel!"
    • As well as the fan-favorite, "The Rock's gonna take your little [beloved object], [shine it up real nice/dust it off], turn it sideways, and shove it straight up your candy ass!"
      • In Mick Foley's second book, Foley Is Good And The Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling, he writes about how unrealistic and unproductive these kinds of threats are.
  • Once in a while, Kane dips into the Purple Prose. The results are entertaining.
    • In one interview while he was promoting his old-school slasher flick See No Evil, he advised the female interviewer, who claimed to have endured light hazing from her mostly-male counterparts, to try:
      "If you ever say that to me again, I will force feed you your own spleen."
  • The Undertaker, during his biker gimmick days, once threatened someone, "I'm gonna kick your teeth so far down your throat, you'll be able to chew your own ass off for pissing me off!"
  • During Gangrel's match with "Retrosexual" Anthony Greene at Beyond Uncharted Territory Episode 2, April 10, 2019, someone in the crowd yelled, "Tear his heart out Gangrel!"

    Puppet Shows 
  • Team America: World Police:
    • "If you don't [comply], we [The UN] will be very angry. And we will write a letter, telling you how angry we are."
    • Chris is a bit more specific in his threats to Gary. "If you fuck us out there I'll rip out your balls and shove them up your ass so the next time you shit, you'll shit all over your balls!" Or, "If you fuck us out there I'll drill holes through your dick so the next time you piss it comes out in all different directions!"

  • From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978):
    • Arthur's reaction to his house being knocked down:
      "I'll have you hung, drawn and quartered! And whipped! And boiled... until... until... until you've had enough! And then I'll do it again! And when I've finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on them! And I will carry on jumping on them until I get blisters, or I can think of anything even more unpleasant to do, and then..."
    • Also:
      Slartibartfast: Come now or you will be late!
      Arthur Dent: Late? What for?
      Slartibartfast: Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent. It's a sort of threat, you see. I've never been very good at them myself...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has this memorable example from the flavor text for the card Hatred:
    "I will flay the skin from your flesh and the flesh from your bones and scrape your bones dry, and still you will not have suffered enough!"
  • A traditional version in Dungeons & Dragons (due to the ease of resurrection at higher levels) is "If you die, I'll drag your corpse to a cleric and have you resurrected and then kill you!"
    • Averted in the later editions where one has to want to be resurrected for the spell to work.

  • In Fangirls, Lily threatens to cut Harry's kidnapper's eyelids off with a set of toenail clippers.
  • In Critic's Choice by Ira Levin, Parker, having decided that he's going to review Angela's play anyway, demands that Ivy give him his shoes, "or I will dissect you, and put you in suitcases, and ship you to New Haven and Boston and Philadelphia and Washington." (These cities are where theatrical productions are usually shipped out for tryouts before they open in New York. Ivy's last show didn't make it that far.)

    Visual Novels 
  • In ATOM GRRRL!!, Big E has a ridiculously over-the-top one:
    "If you're a fag, I'll cut off that disgusting prick of yours growing between your legs and shove it up your ass so you have to shit from your belly button! Or maybe you're a slut, and you'd prefer me to bury your own head in your stadium-sized cunt!"
  • Double Homework:
    • When Morgan is giving Amy lessons on how to mug people, some of her attempts fail because they're too long-winded, or because she uses the word "please" while trying to be threatening.
    • In Amy's epilogue, Amy's mom tells the protagonist that if Amy doesn't come back from college in one piece, she'll break him into the same number of pieces she's in. Subverted in that he's is pretty intimidated anyway; being threatened by a monarch is never anything to sneeze at, after all.
  • In the eighth and final episode of Umineko: When They Cry, one Psycho Lesbian Reality Warper Bernkastel and her fellow Psycho Lesbian Reality Warper Lambdadelta are trading these threats around like Boss Banter. The first example sums it up, really:
    Bernkastel (to her cat familiars): This is my dearly beloved and only friend in the world. Her arms from the elbow down. Her legs from the knees down. You can chew those up however you please. But not a scratch anywhere else on her.
    Lambdadelta: Ah, simply wonderful. I'm about to be overwhelmed by Bern's love, aren't I!?
    Bernkastel: ......I do love you, Lambda. Once your limbs are gone, I'll skewer you through your butt and hang you by my bed. Every morning, I'll give you a good morning kiss, and every evening, I'll kiss you goodnight.

"Because it's dull, you twit! It'll hurt more!"
The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Alternative Title(s): Cut Your Heart Out With A Spoon


Trope Namer

The Sherriff of Nottingham threats Robin Hood in a way that confuses his cousin/top henchman.

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Main / CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon

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