Follow TV Tropes

Following

Deadly Delivery

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/watchmen_delivery.jpg
Bonus points if their Pre Ass Kicking One Liner is SPECIAL DELIVERY!!!
Advertisement:

A criminal or terrorist poses as a package courier or mailman to deliver a bomb, or get the target to open the door so he can be shot or kidnapped. The advantages of this are obvious — by insisting that the target sign for the package, the killer can be sure a) the door gets opened for a stranger, and b) he's got the right man. To some extent, this is Truth in Television.

Of course, there is nothing to stop the hero from using this technique too, for non-lethal purposes — see Delivery Guy Infiltration. When the bomb is simply mailed to the target, that's You Got Murder.

See also Room Disservice. An inversion is Shoot the Messenger. Not to be confused with Death by Childbirth, a different type of Deadly Delivery.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • In an episode of F-Zero Falcon Densetsu Pico is hired to assassinate Tanaka and delivers a bomb to him.
  • In the very beginning of K, HOMRA gets into the gangsters' hotel room by having one of them ring the doorbell dressed as a pizza delivery guy.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Hajime Saito pulls this stunt when he visits the Kamiya dojo, by posing as a peddler selling medicines and home remedies. Sanosuke almost falls for it, until he notices the calluses on Saito's hands, which are common for swordsmen. At which point Saito drops the facade and attacks Sanosuke, nearly killing him. He notes the attack would have been fatal had it not been for the flimsyness of the sword he was carrying.
    • Saito pulls this again, only hours later, this time posing as a police officer, under the pretense of having heard of the attack from before. Kaoru and Megumi tell him Kenshin's out, so they invite him in. Saito behaves this time — until Kenshin finally arrives.

     Comic Books  
  • Deadpool had ordered a pizza, but The Punisher, who was looking to kill him, was listening in, intercepted the actual delivery guy, and paid him a thousand bucks for his hat, coat, and pizza.
  • A played-for-laughs variant appeared in "The Power of the Press" in Mad House Comics Digest #5. A syndicate member pretending to be a college professor hands Francine a loudly ticking package intended for Roger, who wrote an expose on said syndicate's involvement in betting on college sports. She trips on a broom, sending it flying into a sink of dishwater.
  • In Greg Rucka's The Punisher run, Rachel (the Punisher's Distaff Counterpart) assassinates some crooked business tycoons by bribing a bellboy into giving her his uniform. She claims the uniform is meant to be a romantic surprise for her husband, and the clueless bellboy walks away believing he's helped her love life.
  • In Watchmen, the guy who tries to kill Veidt infiltrates as a deliveryman. 'Course, it helps that his day job is being a deliveryman for that same delivery company.

     Fan Work  
Advertisement:

     Film  
  • Parodied in the short film The Box Assassin, where the eponymous hitman has the ability to conceal himself in a box of any size, and uses an unknowing pizza delivery driver to bring him to his target. Fortunately he's Affably Evil and lets the delivery driver go with a big wad of cash in compensation for getting blood in his car.
  • Action Jackson (1988). Used by the Invisible Men to kill a witness, with a silenced gun held behind the Clipboard of Authority.
  • Act of Valor. The CIA operative orders out for Chinese, but the delivery driver claims to have trouble finding the location. Short time later the buzzer sounds. Her colleague goes out to answer it.
    "How much do I owe you?"
    "Nada" (another man steps from the side and shoots him)
  • In Captain America: Civil War, Zemo arranges for a package to be delivered while he's posing as the psychiatrist evaluating Bucky. The package in question knocks out the power in the area, allowing him to free Bucky.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: Bane poses as a delivery man to get into the Stock Exchange, with a package in one hand when he arrives at the entrance, and a motorcycle helmet to hide his gas mask until the security guard tells him to remove it. Also, one of his accomplices poses as a food delivery guy to get onto the trading floor, hiding a pistol in a paper bag, and a janitor pulls out a submachine gun from inside a plastic bag in his cleaning bucket.
  • Subverted and inverted in Deadpool: Wade orders a pizza while waiting in a "Mr. Merchant's" apartment, presumably as an Establishing Character Moment so that he can eat the pizza and shoot Merchant at the same time. Then it's revealed he actually wanted Jeremy, the pizza delivery guy, as he was hired to prevent him from stalking a girl he knew. Wade still ate the pizza.
  • Dragon from Russia: One of Yao's fight scenes is against Wong, a rival assassin who infiltrated Yao's hotel while disguised as a delivery guy, only to attack Yao as soon as he opens his door.
  • Downplayed in The Eiger Sanction. Government assassin Jon Hemlock poses as a courier to verify the presence of his target, but then leaves the building and enters by climbing a drainpipe. He brings a courier's cap with him and steals a box left outside another office in the building to further the disguise.
  • The Equalizer 2. Dogs start backing when hitmen turn up at an apartment block, but when someone looks out the window all they see is a man in a raincoat holding a pizza delivery hotbox (from which he removes a silenced gun) so he assumes they're barking over the smell of the pizza. Note that this trope is just to get inside the apartment block not an individual apartment, which they break into.
  • In the film Eye for an Eye, the villain commits his second murder when he easily gains access to the house when delivering groceries. The cruel irony of this is that this is his actual job, but he's clearly been using it to scope out potential victims.
  • The Danish WW2 film Flame & Citron (2008) opens with this. A woman with a bouquet of flowers (ostensibly sent from his colleagues) gets a collaborator to open the door, then La Résistance shoot him.
  • Fright Night (2011): One of the vampires impersonates a delivery person so he will be invited inside and bypass the entry prohibition.
  • The Godfather: Clemenza walks into a building carrying a box of roses under his arm. This allows him to walk unopposed right up to the don of one of the Five Families so that he can pull a shotgun out of the box and unload at point-blank range.
  • Likewise in He Who Dares (2014). A delivery driver turns up with a package which he claims is a late delivery. The bodyguard insists on checking it first so the delivery driver hands it to him, then draws a pistol and kills the bodyguard while his hands are occupied. The other terrorists then pile out of the van.
  • Played with in the final scene of Hoffa. Ciaro sends a truck driver to deliver coffee to Jimmy Hoffa, who's waiting in the carpark. However he realises too late the truck driver is actually a hitman sent to kill Hoffa.
  • In Judas Kiss, Coco and Junior pose as delivery people to get Dyson to open his door so they can abduct him.
  • In The Living Daylights, The Dragon disguises himself as a milkman and a balloon salesman. Both times he kills his targets by strangling them with the chords of his headphones, and in the former case the milk bottles contain an explosive that he detonates by throwing them.
  • The Mechanic (1972). Charles Bronson uses lipreading to see his target is expecting drugs to be delivered in a fried chicken truck, and so gets hold of a similar truck and arrives early.
  • The villain in Phone Booth lures and kills a pizza delivery man to his hiding place to fake his suicide.
  • The Professional. 12 year old Mathilda pretends to be delivering takeaway to get her arsenal of weapons past the metal detector into DEA headquarters. The Dirty Cop she plans to kill isn't fooled however, and speculates (ostensibly talking about the takeaway meal) which organised crime group might have sent this child assassin after him. "Chinese? Thai, maybe? Let me guess...Italian." Mathilda informs him It's Personal.
  • Quick. The title female assassin (Teri Polo) gets into a police safe house by pretending to be a pizza delivery girl. She conceals a pistol under the pizza box.
  • The Substitute: Shale goes to his girlfriend's house knowing she's being held hostage. The gangbangers in the apartment know that she had a friend named Shale who is just coming to visit. What they don't know yet is he is also the mercenary posing as "Smith" their substitute teacher. He knocks on the door holding a gift box in front of his face so they don't make the connection and greets them with gunfire through the box.
  • Suicide Squad. A delivery van pulls up at Van Criss Laboratories with a gift basket for someone inside. The guard refuses to let them in as they're not authorised, so the driver just passes him the basket which promptly explodes. The Joker and his goons then pile out of the van and shoot their way inside.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: In a likely Shout-Out to The Godfather, the T-800 carries a longbox that looks like it's full of roses. And it is, but it's also got a shotgun in it.
  • The movie version of Thr3e opened with a scene where a girl is given a book by the Riddle Killer from a hot dog vendor. Said hot dog vendor is actually the Riddle Killer, giving her his message.
  • Three Days of the Condor opens with a CIA station being wiped out by three assassins. As the station is protected by CCTV cameras, locked doors and a guard — even the receptionist has a gun in the drawer — the killers get inside by sending in a man dressed as a postman. The place gets regular deliveries of books so this doesn't seem strange. The postman killer tries the same trick on the protagonist later on, but this time he's ready.
  • In Traffic, the key witness against a drug baron is finally murdered when a poisoned meal is delivered to his hotel room. The marshals guarding him don't realize this until the real hotel employee shows up. After roughing him up, they realize that the first guy was an imposter, but too late to save their witness.

     Literature  
  • Alex Rider:
    • Alex himself does this in Scorpia to try to kill Mrs. Jones.
    • Fails miserably in Scorpia Rising when Smithers uses an X-Ray scanner to prove that the delivery man was carrying a gun and the package was empty. He then gets rid of him with a trapdoor under a welcome mat.
  • The trope gets a mention at the end of The Dresden Files novel Grave Peril, when Harry mentions that he doesn't order delivery pizza anymore after the start of the war with the Red Court, due to a fake pizza boy nearly killing him with a bomb.
  • The Tamuli: Avin Wargunsson didn't order a cask of wine to be brought to his rooms, but he lets the two laborers finish the delivery anyway. And then they drown him in the wine.

     Live-Action TV  
  • In the 1989 Italian-Australian mini-series The Magistrate, Franco Nero's character is targeted by The Mafia. Knowing the magistrate's favourite coffee, they wait till his wife goes to buy a tin, then swaps it for another by staging a theft of her purse, which is retrieved by an apparent good Samaritan. Unfortunately despite the well-known fact that he makes his own coffee, the wife decides to make it this time, and is killed by a bomb when she unseals the tin.
  • Arrow has a variation in "Home Invasion". The hitman Mr. Blank uses a real courier he's holding at gunpoint from out of sight of the door. The bodyguard notices the courier's hands are shaking and draws his pistol, only for Mr. Blank to kill them both.
  • Boardwalk Empire. In "You'd Be Surprised", a young Bugsy Siegel gets past Gyp Rosetti's guards by posing as the paperboy, pretending the original paperboy is ill. When fleeing the scene afterwards he runs into the real paperboy, and shoots him to death.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "What's My Line?", Cordelia lets a cosmetics salesman into the house, unaware that he is actually an assassin who can transform himself into thousands of mealworms.
  • Chuck: Shows up at least once, when a courier picking up a package decides to also kill the guy he's getting it from.
  • On Elementary a hitman poses as a delivery guy bringing in bottled water. The water jugs actually contain chemicals that when allowed to mix create a powerful bomb. The guy was even smart enough to return the stolen water truck so the bottled water company thought that they were the victim of a joy rider and did not report the incident to the police.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has the detectives realize that the killer gained access to a victim's house by knocking out the real delivery guy and posing as him.
  • Luther.
    • A gang of home invaders looking to steal diamonds from some white collar criminals who are about to leave the country turn up in an identical removal van to the one that's just left. Thinking there's been a double booking the man answers the door only to be struck in the face.
    • In Season 2, a random spree killer attacks a motorcycle courier and takes his helmet and gear, walks into an office building and starts attacking the staff. The helmet comes in handy as he plans to escape the police dragnet disguised as a wounded victim, so has to hide his face while killing.
  • The Professionals. In "Long Shot", a hitman infiltrating a high security area where an anti-terrorism conference is being held ambushes the military vehicle bringing the mail from London, forcing the driver to bring him inside the fence at gunpoint.
  • Saturday Night Live season 1. A recurring character is a "land shark" that tries to get people to open their door. He always gets in when offering a candygram.
  • In the Wiseguy episode "New Blood", the hitman Sid Royce hires to take out District Attorney Serrera attempts to bring the DA a bomb in a pizza box.

     Video Games  
  • During the opening cutscene of 1999 PSX game Deep Freeze, a sect of terrorist group Hephaestus infiltrates the vice president's wedding disguised in a deli delivery truck. The receptionist is mildly suspicious as the rest of food delivery came earlier, but lets them pass on grounds of them bringing a late order. As it turns out, they smuggled their rifles in the meat.
  • The opening cutscene of Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse shows a pizza delivery guy entering a gallery in Paris, drawing a gun, stealing a painting and killing a man on his way out.
  • Death Stranding features a variation in which Sam is personally handed a piece of cargo by a Bridges delivery team member to transport along with some other supplies to South Knot City. The delivery team member is none other than Higgs in disguise, and the package is a miniature thermonuclear bomb set to detonate as soon as it reaches its destination.
  • The Hitman series allows the player to use this as their method of infiltration quite frequently. Be it the pizza guy, sushi delivery, or even just the mailman every game has at least one instance where you have the option to imitate a courier to get to your target.
  • The suspected serial killer in Persona 4 does this, but with one little deviation from the trope. He isn't posing as a deliveryman, he actually is one.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, Professional Killer Shelly deKiller disguises himself as a hotel bellboy delivering tomato juice to get into his target's room.
  • There's a murderer in Trauma Team who kills her victims by masquerading as a postal worker, then "delivering" a package containing a hidden bomb.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  
  • Exploited in King of the Hill: An insane member of Dale's gun club takes Hank, Bill, and Boomhauer hostage. Dale calls up several flower delivery services and sends them to the clubhouse and the nutcase runs away in a panic because he assumes they're hitmen.
  • The Legend of Korra: when Amon's coup begins, his Dragon kidnaps one of the council members by posing as an exterminator.
  • In the Road Runner cartoon "Sugar and Spies," the Coyote sends a time bomb wrapped in a package to the Road Runner. But the package is returned to the Coyote for insufficient postage and is exploded in the Coyote's midst before he can retrieve a stamp for it.

Top