Follow TV Tropes


Hostage-Handler Huddle

Go To
"Hit him with a rock!"

It's an excellent day for our villain and/or his menagerie of Mooks. After countless attempts he has finally captured Bob but the question remains: What are they going to do with him? Naturally the group starts making suggestions:

Carol: I say we tar and feather him!
Dan: I say we chop him to bits!
Eva: I say we cut off his feet!

For added comedic effect, the hostage may obscure their voice and add "I say we let him go!" An action of this sort is very fitting given that these types of scenarios are Played for Laughs more often than anything else. Note that this trope refers specifically to instances in which the fate of a captive is being decided by the group that has captured them and that said suggestions are given verbally or using body language. If the villain merely ties the captive up and leaves a suggestion box for his minions to slip paper in, it doesn't count. Also note that this trope is not about using any set of exact words.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Deltora Quest features an episode in which Barda, Leif and Jasmine are captured by Thaegan's Children. They decide to eat the trio, but (as Leif quickly points out) there are thirteen of them and it would be pretty hard to divide three people with that many to feed. One of the children kills another making the present company an even number. Through much talking, Leif manages to convince them that each child could have more food if there were only nine of them. One of the children kills three more of his brothers and sisters. Leif points out that Jasmine is very tiny and that whoever got her would have far less to eat. The Children quarrel and eventually it's decided that it would only be fair if there were three of them so each child could have one. A huge fight ensues and the heroes escape during it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! features an instance of this. The Big Bad and his crew capture Rupert Garcia hoping to make use of his skills as an astrocartographer but he proves unable to aid them:
    Captain: Buckoes, what should we do to the lily-livered landlubber who stands in my... in our way to greatness?
    Crew Member One: Keelhaul him.
    Crew Member Two: Tar and feather him.
    Rupert: Let him go.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): Having escaped The Dragon, the mane six find themselves on an airship and are discovered by its crew. The group promptly decides what should happen to them:
    Boyle: I think we tie em' up.
    [Applejack gasps]
    Lix Spittle: [squawks] We clip their wings!
    [Rainbow Dash gasps]
    Mullet: Nah, we scar 'em—
    [Rarity screams and he looks over at Fluttershy]
    [Fluttershy cries]

    Films — Live-Action 
  • That moment in Pee-wee's Big Adventure where the biker gang Satan's Helpers all try to discuss what to do Pee-wee, not only for his barging into their club rudely, but also for his accidentally knocking over their parked motorcycles like dominoes:
    Biker #1: I say... we kill him.
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Biker #2: I say we hang him, then we kill him.
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Biker #3: I say we stomp him!
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Biker #3: Then we tattoo him!
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Biker #3: Then we hang him!
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Biker #3: And then we kill him!
    Bikers: Yeah!
    Pee-wee: [under his breath] I say we let him go.
    Bikers: No!
    [suddenly, there is the sound of someone whistling to get the bikers' attention; it's a female biker who comes up and grabs Pee-wee]
    Biker chick: I say you let me have him first!
    Bikers: [all laugh]
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: At the Brethren Court, after Barbossa makes a suggestion that displeases his fellow Pirate Lords:
    Pirate Lord: Shoot him!
    Pirate Lord: CUT OUT HIS TONGUE!
    Jack Sparrow: Shoot him AND cut out his tongue, and shoot his tongue... and trim that scraggly beard!

  • In The Hobbit, a trio of trolls capture Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves and plan to eat them (well, not Bilbo, since he doesn't have enough meat on him), but can't agree on how to cook them. Every time the trolls start to agree, an outside voice chimes in and restarts their argument. This persists so long, the sunrise catches them by surprise and turns them into stone. Once the trolls are statues and the dwarves are freed, the outside voice who kept the trolls arguing reveals himself to be Gandalf.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lab Rats has a special in which the bionic students turn on Donald Davenport and his family. The leader, Sebastian, tells the students that they must destroy Leo if they're truly committed to the rebellion. When they congregate to decide which method is best, Leo changes his voice and says "I say we sleep on it."
  • Criminal Minds features an episode in which a trio of boys kidnap a lawyer that abused them as children. Having heard that one of their close friends committed suicide due to the shame that resulted from the abuse, they decide to get a verbal confession from the lawyer. Unfortunately for them, He's a manipulative and very Soft-Spoken Sadist. The group's resolve diminishes rapidly and they find themselves unable to decide what to do next. The lawyer manages to convince one of them that if they release him, the two of them can go to the police together and sort the whole mess out amicably. This is a suggestion the other boys despise and fight breaks out culminating in one of them killing the other. While this ultimately ends in Shoot the Hostage, nobody ever got that confession and the hostage had them wrapped around his fingers the entire time.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Trial", Batman and D.A. Janet Van Dorn are captured and subjected to Joker Jury by the inmates of Arkham Asylum. As "Judge" Joker introduces the "impartial" jury, they start yelling out suggestions of what to do with Batman:
    The Mad Hatter: Hang him!
    Harley Quinn: Shoot him!
    Killer Croc: Hit him with a rock!
  • Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Licorice". It turns out that Heinrich ate the seed that Black John and crew needed to break their curse. The crew gives suggestions on how to get it back:
    Pirate 1: Then I say we plunge his stomach to get the seed!
    Pirates: Yeah!
    Pirate 2: I say reach down his throat and grab it!
    Pirates: Yeah!
    Pirate 3: I say kick him in the stomach 'til he coughs up the seed!
    Pirates: Yeah!
    Pirate 4: I say we plunge him, reach down his throat, kick him in the stomach, and give him the worst wedgie of his life!
    Pirates: Yeah!
    Heinrich Von Marzipan: I say we send him home.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, Muriel gets captured by a group of water-starved eggplants. In a particularly cruel effort to turn the tables, they decide to avenge every eggplant by eating Muriel. Their squabble starts when it comes down to the method of cooking her. One suggests that they grill her, another suggests that they fry her. They break into two groups, each screaming one of these two methods. Finally, a lone eggplant suggests that they bake her. Everyone agrees.
  • Zigzagged in DuckTales (2017). Webby, the triplets and Lena are taken hostage by the Beagle Boys and despite their large numbers, they have no trouble deciding that they want to give Lena and Webby to their Ma for a birthday gift. It is her birthday after all and Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas. They even manage to decide that Huey, Louie and Dewey will be her mother's day gift. The trouble starts when Lena slyly asks which group will be the ones to hand them over to her, even adding that they could share the credit. Each group suggests themselves more or less and a huge fight ensues.