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Death by Mocking

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"Your endless hours spent playing Pokémon will never help True Korea! [loud crash heard outside] What is that?! Certainly nothing ironically proving me wrong?!"
Minister Limp-Penis-Bad-At-His-Job (right before being killed by Charizard), The Adventures of Kim Jong Un

Don't tease or mock anyone in a horror film. The monster doesn't like it, and will kill you for it. Not that the monster actually likes the people you mock (it will kill them too). It's just that mocking is the monster's thing. You're butting in.

So don't tease people, don't treat anyone like they're crazy for talking about the monster, and don't play any practical jokes. The last one isn't a Deadly Prank, where someone will get hurt by it. The monster will just kill you later for pulling one.

Note that this doesn't count if the people you tease laugh with you. That isn't mocking; it's just having fun. (Of course, if you think you're just joking but the others don't laugh, you've already sealed your fate...)

Compare Do Not Taunt Cthulhu, Sex Signals Death, Death by Materialism, Death by Genre Savviness, Offing the Mouth (non-horror-movie variant), and Let's Mock the Monsters (when the characters decide to go one step further).

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Film — Live-Action 
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid:
    • The characters are wading through a river. One guy keeps humming the Jaws theme. A girl keeps telling him to stop (instead of just punching him in the face). He's one of the first victims.
    • Subverted later when another character is taunting a freshly killed anaconda snake, only to be grabbed by another. Unlike the previous victim, the other characters manage to save him from death at the last minute.
  • An aversion occurs in Scream (1996). Two guys pretend to be the killer in school. They don't get killed for this joke, probably because the principal who punished them (and who gets killed later) was even more obnoxious.
  • In a Jaws knockoff Blue Demon, some girls are sneaking into a closed beach. The fence is electric, and two of the girls tests it. It's off, but they act as though they're getting electrocuted anyway. They eventually get eaten.
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park has a guy who taunts a Compsognathus later get eaten by a pack of them.
  • Averted in Friday the 13th Part 2. Right before Jason really gets started building up his body count, half the characters go into town to go drinking and essentially leave the movie. The practical joker (Ted) goes with them and survives to the end credits. However, the joker character does indeed go down in parts I (Ned), III (Shelly), IV (Teddy) and VII (Carrie-esque Rich Bitch Melissa).
  • Carrie (1976): Carrie is pushed over the edge by a particularly malicious prank that is the culmination of all the nasty teasing, taunting, humiliation and pranking done to her by the girls in school. She proceeds to kill just about everyone at the prom before taking her Roaring Rampage of Revenge elsewhere.
  • The Lost City: Julian falls to his death seconds after laughing when Alex nearly falls.
  • Spoofed in Scary Movie, and later in the third film when Brenda pranks Cindy by saying she watched the killer videotape, and then pretending deaths... and as Cindy is out of the room, "Samara" comes out of the television and kills Brenda (specially because Cindy wasn't believing her cries anymore).
  • Steve in Dawn of the Dead (2004). His fault? Bickering with Anna. His punishment? Zombification then bullet through the brain. Riiight...
  • Averted in Tremors, where Melvin the prankster manages to survive to the end of the film, and even appears in one of the sequels and the TV series.
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, Kia tries to show she's not afraid of Freddy by mocking him to his face, only for Jason to chop her in half from behind.
    • A pair of ravers meeting Jason for the first time mock him. This does not end well.
  • Anybody who mocks Michael Myers in the Halloween (2007) remake doesn't last very long.
  • Barbra's brother in Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its 1990 remake teases her for being scared in the graveyard ("They're coming to get you Barbara..."), and gets killed by a zombie as they ironically end up coming for him first.
  • A tv-movie The Girl Most Likely To... had a homely, overweight smart girl subject to routine humiliation in college - after she flees one too many and gets in a car wreck, months later she emerges from reconstructive surgery slim and beautiful, and unrecognizable to her former tormentors who now regard her as one of 'them'...she kills them one by one.
  • Thir13en Ghosts: The lawyer is killed off after he spends his entire appearance being a jackass to Cyrus and his family and insulting the ghosts from behind the protective glass. The Angry Princess later gets him bisected by a door.
  • In Unfriended, a girl commits suicide after being cyberbullied. Her spirit proceeds to kill all her friends with the help of social media.
  • In Jackie Brown, Melanie the surfer hottie starts taunting tough ex-con Louis in the car park over his handling of the current caper, leading to him reaching a Rage Breaking Point and telling Melanie basically that he doesn't want to hear another word from her - not one word. Melanie seems to realize she's driven him too far and meekly squeaks out "Okay, Louis". Guess what happens to Melanie?

  • Subverted by Wulfrik the Wanderer, who intentionally mocks giant monsters and then defeats them in single combat. At one point he hurls a long litany of insults at a god... and figures out it's a fake because it didn't respond to him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer lampshaded and then subverted this.
    Xander (in a voice like talking to a baby): Who's a wittle fear demon?
    Giles: Don't taunt it.
    Xander (getting up, looking scared): Why? Can it hurt me?
    Giles: No. It's just... tacky, that's all.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Dalek": One of von Statten's security guards taunts the titular Dalek by asking, "What're you gonna do? Sucker me to death?" As it turns out, a Dalek's suction-cup arm is capable of outputting enough force to crush a human skull.
    • In "The Lazarus Experiment", the woman who rebuffs the Doctor's warning by stating that the biggest danger at the party is choking on an olive is one of the first people the mutated Lazarus kills just moments later.
  • The Punisher (2017). In "Scar Tissue", Billy Russo looks up a pedophile who broke his arm when he refused his advances in the orphanage, but because Billy has lost most of his memories he's more interested in answers to his past than revenge. However the aging paedophile taunts Billy (perhaps deliberately as he implies his life sucks after being convicted of his crimes and denied a pension) until Billy murders him. Earlier in the episode a man who taunts Billy about his scarred face is Mugged for Disguise and possibly murdered.


  • In Here There Be Monsters a vampire that has escaped from a Vampire Hunter ambush turns around to taunt them about their inability to catch her right before she leaps to safety and gets shot through the head almost immediately.
  • Oglaf: In "Survivor", famed barbarian Kronar attempts to Spare a Messenger. Instead of being relieved or grateful, the guy he spared instead goes to a tavern and mocks Kronar for going soft. Kronar appears, enraged, and the taverngoers try to prove their worth in being spared by trying to convince Kronar of their storytelling skills. One of the guys mocks Kronar for essentially holding a talent show, and Kronar gives up, massacring everyone.