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Implied Death Threat

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"We're a lot alike, you and I. You tested me. I tested you. You killed me. I—oh, no, wait. I guess I haven't killed you yet. Well. Food for thought."
GLaDOS, Portal 2 trailer

This trope is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A character threatens to kill another, but without actually using the words "I'll kill you." Usually involves the use of an analogy, a hypothetical question or another subtle remark that comes off as a threat in context.


This often allows the maker of the threat to avoid being punished for making threats, since they can claim they never really threatened the target, and is often employed when neither side is allowed to take action against each other. Often the person making the threat will avoid naming the threatened person directly. Very often leads to Is That a Threat?. On occasion, this will fly over the head of the person being threatened, particularly if that person is rather dense or the threat is especially oblique.

If the threat is made against the other person's family or against their property, that's Shame If Something Happened. The clearest nonverbal versions are the Dramatic Gun Cock and the Throat-Slitting Gesture. When you apply this trope to the death of a third party, it's Deadly Euphemism. Through some Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, this can also lead to You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, if the character is working for or with the other character that they have just threatened.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • During the latter's introductory chapter in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Kaguya cheerfully holds a rubber knife to Ishigami's chest, telling him that if he ever reveals what he discovered about one of her plans, the knife won't be a toy next time. Made even more effective by the fact that she and the knife were both covered in stage blood (she was wearing a costume for the drama club).
  • Gunslinger Girl: Henrietta recreates the death of a cyborg girl who shot her own handler and then killed herself after she realised that her handler did not return her feelings. Alarmed, her handler Jose knocks the pistol out of her hand; it turns out to be unloaded. After all, says Henrietta, how could she possibly kill herself "as long as you're this wonderful, Jose."
  • One Piece
    • At the very start of the series, some mountain bandits are prepared to kill Luffy, when Shanks shows up to help him. When one of the bandits points a gun to Shanks' head, Shanks calmly asks if the man is prepared to risk his life by doing so, but the bandit isn't at all intimidated by the threat. Seconds later, Shanks' subordinate Lucky Roux shoots the bandit in the head at point-blank range.
    • Shortly after entering the Grand Line, the Straw Hats respond to Crocus' intimidating Death Glare by threatening to shoot him with their cannon. He replies that if they do that, someone is going to die. That someone being him.
  • After breaking Speed-O-Sound Sonic's sword by biting right through it, Saitama of One-Punch Man warns him (with a serious Death Glare) that he is busy and in a bad mood, and that anyone who gets in his way is going to get punched. This is coming from the guy who can kill just about anything with one punch, and it's enough to elicit an Oh, Crap! from Sonic, who already received one (accidental) Groin Attack from him.
  • Naruto: During the Chunin Exams finals, Neji tells the referee that the fight has dragged on too long and, if Naruto refuses to give up, Neji won't take any responsibility for what happens to him. Given that during the preliminaries he tried to attack Hinata with the intent to kill her (having to be stopped by four jounin at the same time) because she turned back his You Can't Fight Fate Breaking Speech against him, and Naruto was doing it too, it's very much clear that he too was going for deadly force for the same reason.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, after Pegasus separates Mokuba's soul from his body, he tells Seto Kaiba that he will release him on the condition that he beats both Yugi and himself in a duel. Kaiba agrees, before delivering one to him in turn.
    Kaiba: For now, I have no choice but to play your game, but soon, as soon as I defeat Yugi, I'll be back, and you better make good on your promise to restore my brother, because if you don't, I'll take great pleasure in separating your soul from your body in my own way!

    Comic Books 
  • While hitchhiking, Astrid of Clean Room lands one on a trucker who attempts to sexually assault her.
    Astrid: If you don't remove your hand I will turn you into an urban legend. A cautionary tale, to be specific. "The man who picked up the wrong teenager," it will be called. Told at truck stops to shivering long-haulers for decades to come.
  • Blaze of Glory: Caleb Hammer gets in some pretty good trash talk while holding Kid Colt at gunpoint.
    Caleb: I can take you dead or alive. I got a preference. How about you?
  • Firefly: The Sting: At one point Saffron is pushing Zoe's buttons about motherhood and Zoe reminds her that she can kill her with her bare hands.
  • A G.I. Joe Origins short story (published by Devil's Due) showcased how "Duke" Hauser had been hired by the titular covert-ops team: during his debriefing with General "Hawk" regarding an ambush that he had single-handedly saved his comrades from, Hawk says that it was pretty brave and Medal of Honor material... too bad that it's posthumous because he was killed in action. During the debriefing he had been doing some Gun Stripping of a pistol, and by the time he explained the offer to enter G.I. Joe and mentioned the "killed in action" part, Hawk had the gun assembled, loaded and pointed towards Hauser.
  • The Transformers: Windblade:
    • Starscream has the following reasoning for saving Windblade's life:
      Starscream: When you die, it will be in public, with witnesses, and I'll be at least five miles away.
    • Windblade later retorts after saving Starscream with:
      Windblade: When you die, it'll be for something you deserve and all of Cybertron will know it.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "The Reporter Smurf", Reporter gets Brainy to leave the newspaper's printing office and not suggest anymore changes to the paper by underhandedly threatening him with an "accident" while Greedy crushes a nut under the printing press to drive home the point.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • In one strip, Calvin prepares to throw a water balloon at the resting tiger, only to stop when Hobbes comments, "As if life isn't short enough."
    • In another strip, Hobbes offers this gem in response to Calvin once again trying to nail him with a water balloon:
      Hobbes: Here's a hypothetical question you should ask yourself. If you knew today was your last day on earth, what would you do different? Especially if, by doing something different, today might NOT be your last day on earth?
    • In another, Calvin's dad says "The body is the home of the spirit and if you're not in bed in two minutes, your spirit is going to be permanently nomadic".

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: In "What if they saved Jake's family?", Marco holds Tom at Dracon beam-point and says <there won’t even be enough of him left to bother putting in a casket> if the Berenson parents don't do as he says.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Freeza seems to be the king of these, although others frequently drop some as well:
      Vegeta: [after Porunga vanishes] Wait, am I immortal?
      Freeza: I don't know. Let's see.
    • Gohan, of all people, gives one to Bulma while she's bitching him out as they're escaping the doomed planet Namek.
      Bulma: Oh well, how nice of you to finally come and get me... Oh and you left me stranded all on my own to fend for myself. Planet's going to hell, I almost died, and I'M FREAKING THE F**K OUT!
      Gohan: [calmly] Bulma, how high would you have to fall from to reach terminal velocity?
      [Bulma shuts up immediately]
      Gohan: I thought so.
    • Cell gives one to Mr. Satan when he mentions having a daughter.
      Cell: Oh, that poor orphan.
    • Cell also gives another after possessing Piccolo's regenerative abilities saves his life.
      Piccolo: Ok, I am... ninety percent sure I can't do that.
      Cell: [furious] We'll figure that out later.
    • The one from Gohan to Cell after he kills the Cell Jrs is downright savage:
      Gohan: I was scared of what would happen if I snap. Afraid that, if I lost it this time... I'd never come back. That I'd finally kill someone. But I'm not scared anymore, Cell.
      Cell: Well, glad I coul— [gets kicked HARD by Gohan]
      Gohan: Because there is no point in being afraid of the inevitable.
  • From Episode 57 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    Ishizu: [gazing out of the window] I spy with my little eye something beginning with C...
    Melvin: [entering the room] Let me guess. Is it "corpse"?
    Ishizu: It was "cloud", actually.
    Melvin: Oh, darn. Close but no cigar.
    Ishizu: There aren't even any corpses in here.
    Melvin: Give it time.
  • Naruto pulls off two (one nonverbal) in Kyubed: Shinobi's Revenge on Naruto after Hiashi makes multiple attempts to have him and/or his teammates killed for knowing a secret technique that renders both the Byakugan and Juuken useless. The first is a simple reminder that Naruto's wife, aka the Kyuubi, only promised not to attack Konoha; she never said anything about wiping out a single clan. The second is immediately after when Hiashi wakes up and thinks he dreamed the entire meeting: he finds a kunai from the Hyuuga armory on his pillow next to his head. Further investigation shows that a kunai was placed next to the head of every main branch Hyuuga and all from their own armory.
  • Minato keeps a perfectly polite smile on his face while issuing one of these in Catch Your Breath, while leaking Killing Intent, in response to an implied threat to one of his students. Who is the host of the Three-Tailed Turtle. The recipient, an ANBU captain, immediately deflates.
    Minato: Honaka-san. At this point I'd like to remind you that S-ranked secrecy exists for a reason.
    (shortly thereafter)
    Genma: So, execution order? I had no idea you were this popular, Kei-san.
  • In The Bug Princess, BJ explicitly promises not to kill Hugo after his magic ritual goes horrifically wrong. He says that instead, he will wait "ever so patiently" while Hugo finds a way to fix the problem.
    BJ: Because if you don't, I will personally see to it that every moment of the rest of your life is a completely hellish nightmare until you give up and die in self-defense!
  • In Training of the Shrew, Lucius Malfoy gives one to Amelia when he hears Snape's policies have resulted in Draco being rendered sterile. Notably, he's threatening Snape, not Amelia.
    Lucius: You will ask for the Kiss or my barrister will have him out of prison within the hour. Dementors are hard to come by but anyone can get a lethifold for the right price.
  • Satsuki to Mikisugi in Casualty
    "Mikisugi. Do not seek to trifle with me or my sister on this day. Either your bedside manner improves, or your graveside one does. Choose wisely."
  • In the Gensokyo 20XX
    • Ran does this twice:
      Regarding Reimu: If Reimu dies, your ass is grass and I!
      To the Komeiji sisters: If you dare tell anyone about what you just saw, I will kick both of your asses and tie you into one great big knot until your bodies merge and become so intertwined that you'll become one colossal freak of nature.
    • Her fiance turned husband, Ren delivers this to his brother in 20XXV:
      "[...]if you do, well, we will never at all hesitate and will act as we see best, be you my older brother or not."
  • Kara Summers aka Supergirl in I Can't See Kansas From My Front Porch warns off a Russian fighter pilot engaged in saber-rattling with Japan by grabbing his plane and flying it back to his base at 16,000 kilometers per hour then scratching the words "Play Nice" into his windshield.
  • Kakashi, or rather Anbu agent Hound, in The Fire Quenched insures Sasuke will never defect from Konoha with a subtle threat. When the Sound Four try to tempt Sasuke with promises of power, Hound appears and kills all of them easily before saying, "So end all enemies of Konoha." Sasuke understands the lesson very well: Do not make an enemy of Leaf Village.
  • When HK suggests more lethal security measures for his ship in The Havoc Side of the Force, Harry responds that "anyone who ignores the first warning (a nasty electrical shock) becomes the second warning."
  • Harry Potter in A MODern Man is seen disposing of his future body by Draco Malfoy. When Draco asks who that was, Harry claims it was someone who thought he saw something he shouldn't, then asks Draco if he's seen anything. Draco promptly insists that he hasn't seen anything then flees.
  • With Sprinkles opens with Xander running into D'Hoffryn, whom both acknowledge can kill him with a snap of his fingers, and whom Xander accidentally angered recently.
    D'Hoffryn: I'll make you a deal. You make one wish and I don't snap my fingers.
  • Bruce Banner gives one in We're Taking Over when the Avengers attack the Triskelion to stop HYDRA.
    Bruce: You have five minutes before I get angry.
    (Gun turret tries to shoot him)
    Bruce: Okay, after that little stunt, five minutes just got a lot shorter.
  • In Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, Harry Potter responds to a student (jokingly) trying to blackmail him over the fact she knows where Sirius is by telling her it would "End very poorly for everyone involved." Luna chips in, "Especially for you. We'd make sure of it."
  • After Asuma convinces Naruto to spare Kurenai in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto, he returns to Kurenai's apartment to find Naruto filled her room with Yakumo's paintings (both of Kurenai dying and of Yakumo committing suicide) and left a clone to watch her. Asuma understands the implications that if Kurenai steps out of line again, they both die.
  • In the A Hat in Time fic Binding Resolution, Vanessa gives one to her lover, the Prince, by talking about her previous fiance who had "mysteriously disappeared" after she feels the Prince is spending too much time away from her.
    Vanessa: Ohhh, my prince, my prince. You remember what happened to my last fiance?
    The Prince: I'm not like him. I'll stay.
    Vanessa: He said the same thing. Then he disappeared.
    The Prince: I'm not like him, Vanessa.
    Vanessa: You heard the rumors, haven't you? About how he might have disappeared. About how it might not have been his choice to be hardly more than a memory now?
    (The Prince falters)
    The Prince: I'll stay.
  • In Chapter 5 of OSMU: Fanfiction Friction, Orla threatens Opal following the Interrupted Bath ordeal in the previous chapter, squeezing her cup of pomegranate juice hard enough for it to snap in two as she begins to warn her that if any more of her ideas to have a good fanfic written about the Mobile Unit harm Oswald again then she won't hesitate to kill her. Opal gets the message before the Ancient Agent can even deliver the threat in full.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Ice Age, Soto does this twice to Diego, his second-in-command charged to bring back a baby so he can eat it alive. When Diego loses it over the falls, Soto snarls at him, "You'd better [get it]. Unless you wanna serve yourself as a replacement." The second time, he sends two of his sabres to warn Diego to bring back the baby or "don't come back at all!", which hints at certain death for Diego, since the tigers pretty much use each other to survive, at least in Soto's pack.
    • Continental Drift has Captain Gutt vow to Shira that he'll "have a tiger's skin hanging on [his] wall" at the end of his war with Manny and his herd after she betrays him and helps them escape. For the added touch, he says, "I don't care whose.", which implies that he will kill Shira regardless of the outcome.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), The Storm King tells Tempest that if she fails him, her horn "won't be the only thing that's broken."
  • Done non-verbally in Ratatouille. One of the many stories Horst tells to explain his stint in prison is that he killed a man with his thumb. Later, when he catches the disgraced Skinner spying on Gusteau's, he wordlessly brandishes that same thumb as a threat.
  • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar: In an attempt to get Abis Mal to free him with his last wish, Jafar summons up a huge quantity of treasure for free, no wish required. Abis Mal is delighted until, in an uncharacteristically savvy moment, he questions if everything will disappear once he frees him. At this point Jafar gets mad.
    Jafar: The more pressing question is—how do you intend to stay alive if you don't?!
    Abis Mal: But—y-you said genies can't kill. You said that.
    Jafar: You'd be surprised what you can live through.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke: A crime boss demands that his underling, who is also his relative, returns the money he'd lost pronto, lest he wishes to become "a very distant relative".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God. "That man is a head taller than me. That may change."
  • Amen: Rudolf Hoess expresses his annoyance with delays in shipments of Zyklon-B to the death camps by stating that industrialists who assist the SS with the killing of "undesirables" for reasons of profit while falsely espousing Nazi ideology have reason to fear: "We can always aryanize the aryanizers".note 
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue is introduced shouting through the phone at a business partner who cheated him on a shipment of parts, finishing his tirade with "You settle your account in full by this time next week, or the next missile I send you will come very much faster!"
  • Conspiracy (2001). Heydrich brings the few officials opposed to the Final Solution into line this way.
    Heydrich: Sitting at that table I will ask for your agreement on what is proposed.
    Kritzinger: And I must answer now.
    Heydrich: Oh you will answer now or you will answer...later.
  • In The Dark Knight, a subtle and indirect example - not even meant to be overtly intimidating. Wayne Enterprises accountant Coleman Reese figured out that Bruce Wayne must be Batman (by discovering the paper trail in the millions of dollars for development on the Tumbler/Batmobile), and presents it to Batman's ally Lucius Fox, who runs operations at the company for him. Reese presents his findings, then announces that he wants $10 million per year for the rest of his life, to keep his mouth shut. Lucius looks at him for a moment then calmly points out why he should rethink this, after which Reese dejectedly walks away and tells him to keep the Tumbler schematics.
    Lucius Fox: Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands...and your 'plan' to blackmail this person? (short pause) Good luck.
  • In Death Note (2017), Light interrogates Ryuk over possibly killing FBI agents behind his back. After the short argument, Light warns Ryuk that if he goes behind his back again, he'll write Ryuk's name in the Death Note and kill him. Ryuk laughs and tells Light he can try, but offers a quick warning.
    Ryuk: There are four letters in my name. Most anyone's ever gotten were two.
  • In Deewaar, crime boss Daavar casually mentions to Vijay that a man who switched sides to work for Daavar's rival Samant was run over the previous night.
  • Extreme Prejudice (1987). Texas Ranger Jack Benteen meets his childhood friend turned drug kingpin Cash Bailey at the Mexican border. Neither side is willing to compromise, and as Jack turns to leave Cash says, "You know, Jack. I got a feeling the next time we run into each other, we gonna have a killin'. Just a feeling."
  • Fist of Fury has Bruce Lee (as "Chen Zhen") give one to two Japanese students at a Dojo, all while forcing them to eat pieces of paper with the insult: "Sick Man of East Asia."
    Chen: Now you're eating paper. The next time, it's gonna be glass.
  • In Gladiator, overlapping with Let Me Tell You a Story, there's the story of emperor Claudius that Commodus tells to his nephew. It is actually an implication of death for the boy, but meant to threaten his mother, which is Commodus's sister, Lucilla. He looks straight into her eyes as he tells his story, making the threat not so subtle.
    Commodus: If you're very good, tomorrow night I'll tell you the story of emperor Claudius who was betrayed by those closest to him, by his own blood. They whispered in dark corners and went out late at night and conspired and conspired but the emperor Claudius knew they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you've been doing busy little bee or I shall strike down those dearest to you. You shall watch as I bathe in their blood." And the emperor was heartbroken. The little bee had wounded him more deeply than anyone else could ever have done. And what do you think happened then, Lucius?
    Lucius: I don't know, uncle.
    Commodus: The little bee told him everything.
  • Heathers: J.D., Veronica's Serial Killer boyfriend, covers up his kills by leaving forged notes so that they seem like suicide. After Veronica breaks up with him, he meets with her parents and plants the suggestion that she was experiencing thoughts of suicide, to drive the point home that he could easily get rid of her too.
  • House Shark: When Ulysses asks Ronald what happens to the two-and-a-quarter percent of Regan Realtors who don't close on house sales, Ronald says he doesn't know.
    Ulysses: Neither do their families.
  • The Killing Room (2009). A female NSA psychiatrist is recruited to observe an experiment and is shocked to find it's a lethal Mind Control program. At one point she steals the swipe card and it looks like she might free the subjects. The head researcher has already killed two subjects with a Boom, Headshot!, and he tells her it's more merciful to just get it over quickly if you're required to kill a man. Then he adds pointedly, "Or a woman."
  • James Bond:
  • In Joker (2019) Arthur Fleck tells Murray Franklin that he killed some people because they were "awful," then later in that conversation, tells Murray, "You're awful," implying that he considers Murray as deserving of death as his other victims. Not long afterward, he fatally shoots Murray in the head.
  • Magnum Force. Inspector Callahan 'accidentally' shoots a police officer target during the shooting competition to let the vigilante cops know he's on to them. The cops in turn confront Callahan using the With Us or Against Us trope. When Callahan makes it clear he's not with them they just drive off, but it's clear the lines have been drawn for a future lethal confrontation.
  • A more overtly violent example than most in National Security, after Earl pulls over a student driver:
    Earl: Student driver, huh? *pulls out his gun* Lesson 12: Man with gun. Get your ass up out the car.
  • Nikita: "Row 8, Plot 30."
  • This exchange in North By Northwest:
    Vandamm: It seems to me you fellows could stand a little less training from the FBI and a little more from the Actors Studio.
    Roger: Apparently, the only performance that will satisfy you is when I play dead.
    Vandamm: Your very next role. You'll be quite convincing, I assure you.
  • Panic Room: When Junior tries to cut his losses and leave, Burnham warns him that he will split the money with Raoul and that if he sends the cops after them in response, they "will know who to look for". Although it appears that Burnham was bluffing, as he's pretty shocked when Raoul simply shoots Junior on the spot.
  • Papillon. Papillon has been falsely imprisoned for murder, so he enlists the help of another inmate to escape prison. The inmate warns Papillon against double-crossing him. "You might be innocent as you claim, but at least one of us is a murderer."
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, after Norrington begrudgingly forms an Enemy Mine with Jack Sparrow he makes it abundantly clear he has zero respect for the pirate and that Jack had best shut his mouth or else:
    Norrington: Mr. Sparrow, you will accompany these fine men to the helm and provide us with the bearing to Isla de Muerta. You will then spend the rest of the voyage contemplating all possible meanings of the phrase "silent as the grave." Do I make myself clear?
    Jack: Inescapably clear.
  • Says McCarty to Johnson in Silver Lode: "Johnson, you worry me. The way Williams used to worry me." We later find out that McCarty killed Williams, but the implication was pretty clear right away.
  • Sinners and Saints (2010). The Cowboy Cop shows the villain a polaroid photo of a victim who's been burnt alive. The villain says that the cop ought to be very careful "because a man who could do something like that, you never know what he's capable of." So the cop shows more polaroids, this time of the villain's henchmen he killed in a prior shootout. "If I was that guy, I'd be pretty fucking concerned about what I'm capable of."
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Done humorously after Nick Fury has one too many interruptions from talking with Peter Parker.
    Nick Fury: Another person touches that door, you and I are going to attend another funeral.
  • In Star Wars, the Sith abide by the Rule of Two: only one master and one apprentice at a time, with the latter killing the former when he's ready to assume the title. If the master feels their current apprentice just isn't cutting it note , they'll find a potential replacement and start showing subtle but unmistakable signs of preferential treatment.
  • Superman Returns: After Lex Luthor denies Lois Lane's request to turn back his ship and let Jason go:
    Luthor: No, I don't think we'll be turning around Ms. Lane, which means that we do have some time to kill. How about that interview?.
  • The Third Man: Harry Lime casually opens the door of the Ferris wheel while discussing the fiscal worth of human life. Watching him carefully, Holly Martins gets a good grip on the doorframe.
  • In the 1986 action comedy Tough Guys the protagonists are marched off by a shotgun-toting hitman.
    Harry: Where are we going, friend?
    Hitman: We're going up this alley, "friend".
    Archie: And then what?
    Hitman: And then I'm coming out. Alone.
  • Happens in The Towering Inferno.
    Duncan: Did you change any of Doug's electrical specifications?
    Simmons: I most certainly did.
    Duncan: For God's sake, why?!
    Simmons: The reason should be obvious - especially to you!
    Duncan: We've got a fire. And if it was caused by anything you did, I'm going to hang you out to dry, and then I'm going to hang you!
  • The Crying Game: A downplayed version—i.e. an Implied Severe Injury Threat:
    Fergus: Have you ever picked up your teeth with broken fingers?

  • The classic from Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    "Come," called the old man, "come now or you will be late."
    "Late?" said Arthur. "What for?"
    "What is your name, human?"
    "Dent. Arthur Dent," said Arthur.
    "Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent," said the old man, sternly. "It's a sort of threat you see... I've never been very good at them myself, but I'm told they can be very effective."
  • Discworld:
    • One is shown early in Pyramids:
      "A noble blood flows through my veins."
      "Want it to stay there?"
    • Pteppic tries one himself, though he admits it's not very good as threats go, because the Guild didn't really cover that:
      Pteppic: I could give you this knife.
      Guard: So what?
      Pteppic: I could give it to you point first.
    • In Going Postal, Lord Vetinari has the swindler Moist Von Lipwig arrested, then offers him a job as the postmaster of Ankh-Morpork after he's had Moist's Death Faked for You, citing himself as "an angel" and then this phrase:
      "The first interesting thing about angels, Mr. Lipwig, is that sometimes, very rarely, at a point in a man's career where he has made such a foul and tangled mess of his life that death appears to be the only sensible option, an angel appears to him, or, I should say, unto him, and offers him a chance to go back to the moment when it all went wrong, and this time do it right."
      • Later in that chapter, when Moist tries to get out of Ankh-Morpork, Vetinari has his parole officer (a golem) find Moist and bring him back. Vetinari then adds in the second interesting fact about angels, which qualifies for this:
      "Remember? The first interesting thing about angels? I told you yesterday? I expect you were thinking about something else. The second interesting thing about angels, Mr. Lipwig, is that you only ever get one."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Played with in A Clash of Kings when Tyrion is attempting to get Joffrey to understand that being the king doesn't mean he's untouchable:
      Joffrey: The king can do as he likes.
      Tyrion: Aerys Targaryen did as he liked. Has your mother ever told you what happened to him?note 
      Ser Boros Blount: No man threatens His Grace in the presence of the Kingsguard.
      Tyrion: I am not threatening the king, ser, I am educating my nephew. Bronn, Timett, the next time Ser Boros opens his mouth, kill him. Now that was a threat, ser. See the difference?
    • A straight example from the next book, A Storm of Swords:
      Joffrey: You're the monster, Uncle.
      Tyrion: Am I? Perhaps you should speak more softly to me then. Monsters are dangerous beasts, and just now, kings seem to be dropping like flies.
    • King Robert Baratheon wants to bring one of his bastard daughters to live at the royal court, but the Queen points out that the city can be a dangerous place for a young girl. This earns her an Armor-Piercing Slap from her husband, but he doesn't bring up the subject again.
  • Ender's Game: When Ender returns from school after being attacked by/beating up Stilson, he is verbally and physically assaulted by his older brother Peter. To try to deter Peter, he pulls off his shoe and shows it to Peter while saying, "See there, on the toe? That's blood, Peter. It's not mine."
  • The 1980 thriller The Fifth Horseman, about a Libyan government plot to detonate an atomic bomb in New York, ends with the US President sending Muammar al-Gaddafi a quotation from the Quran: Whoever ye shall be, death will overtake you, even though ye reside in lofty towers.
  • Early on in The Girl from the Miracles District, Nikita, nicknamed Mantis by her coworkers, gets a particular present from the Big Bad: thirty mantids with pins driven through their heads.
  • Codex Alera: In Captain's Fury, all that Lady Aquitaine Invidia needs to say to cow her Smug Snake of a pawn Senator Arnos into line during a heated argument is to growl "Don't make me raise my hand, Arnos. When I slap someone, he doesn't scurry away after."
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Not very subtly implied, but in Grave Peril Bianca is celebrating her new position by giving gifts. Her gift to Harry is a cemetery plot and a gravestone that reads, "Here lies Harry Dresden — He died doing the right thing". A later gift to one of his enemies puts Harry in the position of allowing an innocent to be killed (and Michael would doubtless die trying to prevent it), or to take on the entire court of vampires and almost certainly be killed himself. This is clearly exactly what Bianca had planned when she presented him with the tombstone.
    • In Skin Game, Harry Dresden has to do a job for Mab, the Queen of the Winter Sidhe. He asks what she might do if he refused to do the job. Her reply is "Nothing." The catch is, she doesn't mean he won't suffer any consequences, but rather he has a mental parasite growing in his head and it will soon hatch, killing him in the process, and because of it being made from him, it will hunt down all his friends and loved ones, bypassing any defenses they might have. Harry, trapped on an island keeping the thing at bay, won't be able to escape to find other help in time when she leaves. However, if he helps her, she will let him meet a person who can remove the parasite.
  • Gentleman Bastard: Capa Raza and Locke Lamora exchange these in the presence of a noblewoman at a fancy dinner party to maintain their covers. Under the guise of discussing the wine trade, they reference things that they have and plan to do to each other.
  • The Executioner. A Chicago mafia boss demands a Dirty Cop serve as his bodyguard while Bolan is on the prowl. When the cop starts to say that he can't do that, the reply is: "Sure you can. The only thing that can stop you is a bullet in the head."
  • In the Warrior Cats book Veil of Shadows, Fake-Bramblestar - after Alderheart objects to one of his wishes - decides that now they need another medicine cat apprentice in case something "happens" to Alderheart. Bristlefrost knows that this means that once Flipclaw's been trained, then Bramblestar will be free to get rid of Alderheart, and Alderheart himself also clearly recognizes the threat.
  • Wilder Girls: An all-girls school has been placed in quarantine, and they have supplies dropped in. Hetty is chosen to join the girls who pick up the supplies. She can't believe it when their chaperone, Ms. Welch, throws away about two-thirds of the food, even though the girls have very little to eat as it is. Welch claims it's because most of the food is either spoiled or has pesticides (in reality, Welch doesn't want the girls to be Unwitting Test Subjects of researchers and is trying to sabotage tests by throwing away contaminated food).
    "I told you, Hetty: I picked you because I thought you could handle it. Admittedly, sometimes I'm wrong about people. And if that's the case, we can take care of that just fine." She moves slightly, and I watch as her hand rests on the butt of her revolver where it's tucked in the waistband of her jeans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Gothic (1995). Sheriff Buck's girlfriend falls victim to a mysterious illness and is being treated by the local doctor, one of the few people not intimidated by him.
    Buck: You better cure her or I'll...
    Doctor: Or you'll what?
    Buck: (menacing) I'll think of something.
  • The Barrier:
    • After a large group of people who were getting smuggled out of Madrid with the resistance's help, Jorge, one of the La Résistance leaders, storms into Emilia's store while Álex is running it and prepares to kill him due to suspecting him to have told the authorities about it. Emilia responds to this by pointing a gun towards Jorge and telling him that in her store, people only pay for what they purchase, implying that she'll kill Jorge if he kills Álex.
    • Hugo, while being held at gunpoint by Alejo, asks his for help with curing Manuela from noravirus. Alejo replies that Manuela is going to die soon, and that she may not be the only one.
  • Blake's 7
    • A criminal tells Villa that he should live every hour as if it was his last. He then sets Villa to the task of breaking through a sealed door, and says he'll be coming back later to check on his progress. In one hour.
    • From that same episode ("City at the Edge of the World")
      Avon: Do you want me to threaten you?
      Tarrant: Why not? I haven't had a good laugh in ages.
      Avon: Sensible. You could die laughing.
    • In "Gambit", Supreme Commander Servalan is pressuring crime boss Krantor to help her find a fugitive.
      Krantor: My dear Commander, there are many wanted men here. They come to Freedom City because we are outside the Federation.
      Servalan: Not very far outside.
      Krantor: I do hope that is not as threatening as it sounds. That would be ... most unwise.
    • And this one from "Games"
      Belkov: They found my survival most miraculous.
      Servalan: Your survival is becoming more miraculous by the moment.
  • In Breaking Bad, Walt gives one to Hank after the latter discovers he's Heisenberg. Hank states that he doesn't even know who he's talking to anymore.
    Walt: If you don’t know who I am, maybe your best course of action is to tread lightly.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In "The Harsh Light of Day", the vampire Spike runs into Buffy and her new boyfriend at a party. "I like him. He's got...what's the word? Vulnerability."
    • Spike is on the receiving end in "Superstar".
      Jonathan: Spike, you're the worst type of scum. The second you're back to your old tricks, well, let's just say before you even sniff out your first victim you'll be pretty indistinguishable from, oh what should we say... (smirks) Instant soup mix?
    • And again from Dawn in "Beneath You":
      Dawn: Spike. You sleep, right? You. Vampires. You sleep.
      Spike: Yeah. What's your point, niblet?
      Dawn: Well, I can't take you in a fight or anything, even with a chip in your head, but you do sleep. If you hurt my sister at all... touch her... you're gonna wake up on fire.
    • In "Goodbye Iowa", Buffy is sweating an Initiative scientist. "Now, I don't generally like to kill humans, but I've learned it pays to be flexible in life."
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Ribos Operation", the Doctor is chosen for a mission by the White Guardian and asks what will happen if he refuses to do it:
      Guardian: Nothing.
      The Doctor: Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?
      Guardian: Nothing at all. [beat] Ever.
    • In "The Caves of Androzani", Sharaz Jek makes it clear he doesn't appreciate the Doctor's constant snark.
      "Your sense of humor will be the death of you, Doctor. Probably quite soon."
  • On Dollhouse, Matthew Harding keeps Adelle in line by telling her, "You wouldn't like the early retirement plan." She's seen enough - and frankly, done enough - that she knows exactly what he's talking about.
    • Albeit in hindsight he probably meant The Attic.
    • And Adelle shuts up a snarky Topher by pointing out that Mr Dominic is responsible for the "termination of unstable employees".
  • Firefly. After discovering that Jayne Cobb tries to sell him and his sister to the Alliance, Dr. Simon Tam pulls a masterful one on Jayne after he's injured during a mission. A direct threat would be met with violence or bravado, so he paralyses Jayne with a sedative and then says that he would never harm Jayne for betraying them, so long as Jayne is Simon's patient (which is when Jayne would be the most vulnerable). While this might be true, he knows that Jayne would never believe it.
    • And just in case Jayne is too thickheaded to get the message, River then follows up with a more direct threat: "Also...I can kill you with my brain."
  • In Friends, when Joey is trying to seduce a lady, and Gunther keeps laughing at him while disguising it as a cough:
    "Seriously, Gunther, you should see someone about that cold. If it gets much worse, you could die.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In season 1:
      Queen Cersei: You're just a soldier, aren't you? You take your orders and you carry on. I suppose it makes sense. Your older brother was trained to lead and you were trained to follow.
      Lord Eddard: I was also trained to kill my enemies, your Grace.
      Queen Cersei: As was I.
    • Cersei is on the receiving end in Season 5, when the Dornish send her a box containing the necklace of her daughter (currently residing in Dorne) hanging from the jaws of a stuffed viper. No note is attached.
    • Prince Doran demands that Ellaria Sand kneel and kiss his ring to demonstrate her loyalty, effectively crushing her short rebellion. However he warns that while he believes in second chances, he doesn't believe in third chances.
    • Varys and Littlefinger exchange subtle threats of incriminating evidence in "The Wolf and the Lion."
    • After Joffrey calls him a monster, Tyrion replies, "Monsters are dangerous, and right now kings are dying like flies."
    • The credo "A Lannister always pays his debts" is both a declaration that those who help the Lannisters will be repaid, and a warning that they will have vengeance on those who wrong them. Characters are well-aware that the saying goes both ways and it is occasionally used as one.
    • In "The Last of the Starks," Tyrion and Varys discuss Daenerys's deteriorating mental state after a series of setbacks, and Varys reaffirms that his loyalties don't lie with their Queen, but to the realm itself, and making sure that the best possible ruler is sitting on the Iron Throne. He doesn't say it outright, but he makes it very clear to Tyrion that he's only supporting Dany because she's the best option they have, and he will shift his loyalties to another candidate if it turns out that she's not fit to rule or a better option comes along. When Tyrion cautiously asks him, "Then what happens to her?" Varys gives him a look that says it all.
  • In Halt and Catch Fire, after Joe MacMillan forces Cardiff Electric into the PC business by deliberately telling IBM that he and Gordon Clark had reversed engineered the IBM PC, company owner Nathan Cardiff tells Joe "in Texas, you put a man's livelihood on the line, and you don't follow through, there's not gonna be another new job 'cause ain't nobody gonna be able to find where you're buried."
  • In the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Buys a Boat", Dennis explains that he wants to take women out on a boat since they are less likely to refuse his sexual advances because of "the implication." When pressed about what he means by "the implication", Dennis elaborates that he means "the implication that things might go wrong for her if she refuses to sleep with me."
  • Legion: In "Chapter 26", Charles Xavier is menaced twice with the message "You should never have come" by two of the Shadow King's personas. The first is uttered ominously by the Devil with the Yellow Eyes during a nightmare that Charles has shortly before his plane lands in Morocco. (This is quite insidious because Charles could potentially brush it off as just an awful dream, unaware that the Shadow King can haunt his subconscious.) The second is stated by Amahl Farouk while he recites a play, and that line is oddly the only one in English while the rest of the story is in Farsi, so the threat is aimed at the sole Englishman in the room (namely Charles, who can't decide if he's actually in grave peril or if it's merely part of the theatrics).
  • In episode 46 of Mimpi Metropolitan, Bambang gets Juna to stop mocking him by saying that if someone from Wonosari is mad, Juna might be in a grave tomorrow morning.
  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl shows off pictures from her numerous honeymoons, along with sharing the gruesome fate of each of her husbands. Her ship is even called The Widowmaker. So when she says, "Sit down or I'll marry you," it's definitely one of these.
  • NCIS:
    • In a Season 1 episode when Ari holds Ducky hostage in autopsy.
      Ducky: I look forward to weighing your liver.
    • Ducky does it again when Ari calls him, reveals that he has Gerald hostage, and asks for a "professional courtesy, from one doctor to another." Ducky's response?
      Ducky: Well, I'd be happy to give you a free autopsy.
    • On at least one occasion, Abby has had to warn people that she knows how to kill without leaving any forensic evidence.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Reindeer Games", Oprah's response to Oscar exposing her juice bar to one of her agents is to rip a pillow in front of him with her bare hands in a fit of Tranquil Fury.
    • "Not So Splash" has another one with Oprah that is brought on by a simple innocuous question.
    Oprah: Something very odd has happened to my friend's pool. I need you to fix it so I can swim, or else I will get very grumpy.
    Otto: Was that you being not grumpy?
    ''[Oprah begins taking a pool noodle out from behind her]]
    Otto: Ohh no.
    [Oprah rips the pool noodle in two]
    [Olive and Otto panic and immediately book it downstairs]
    • At the end of "Shapely University", Oprah and Olivia are dunked in pools of pickle juice by Omaha, Olena, Olympia and Otis, with a group of other agents looking on. Olivia in particular begins shaking her fists angrily at the agents while Oprah gives what sounds like an angry growl, and Otis quickly realizes that the Directors will most likely try to kill them in their fits of rage, deciding to book it along with the other agents.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi: Tired of his apprentice's obsessing over Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Part VI", Darth Sidious delivers one to Darth Vader after hearing the latter rant for several minutes about finding Obi-Wan.
  • Person of Interest:
    • In "The Contingency", a member of the Government Conspiracy has been murdered, so another member decides to lay low for a bit.
      Denton: I might be hard to reach for a few days.
      Pennsylvania Two: Denton, we can always reach you.
    • The unseen Villain of the Week in "Last Call" coerces the Victim of the Week into doing his bidding.
      "Because I asked nicely. I can be more emphatic, but people tend to get hurt when that happens."
  • Rome
    • A Running Gag with Marc Antony; the most notable occasion is when he's forcing Cicero to make him governor of Gaul.
      Cicero: Please go on, make your threats. I don't like to submit to mere implication.
      Antony: There is a question I've always wanted to ask you. Your old friend Crassus, when he was captured by the Parthians, is it true that they poured molten gold down his throat? Because that would really sting.
    • "I shall be a good politician. Even if it kills me. Or if it kills anyone else, for that matter."
    • And this one:
      Mark Antony: Caesar has many more legions than the Thirteenth.
      Scipio: On the far side of the Alps.
      Mark Antony: Winter does not last forever. Spring comes. Snows melt.
      Scipio: That's a threat!
      Mark Antony: I assure you it is no threat. Snows, always, melt.
    • Caesar and Antony are seeking to bribe a priest, offering money as a "gift" for his wife. The priest keeps bumping up the price, saying his wife has expensive tastes.
      Priest: She would dress her slaves in silk if I let her. She eats oysters for breakfast. Daily.
      Antony: (moving close) She should be most careful. People often choke on oysters.
    • Played for drama when Octavian is made consul and immediately shows his true colors by proposing a motion to have the assassins of Julius Caesar condemned as enemies of the State. When the senators object, Octavian's legionaries march right into the Senate.
    Octavian: My father died on this floor. Right there. Stabbed 27 times. Butchered by men he called his friends. Who will tell me that is not murder? Who will tell my Legions, who love Caesar as I do, that that is not murder?! [The soldiers draw their swords and the chamber falls deathly silent] Who will speak against the motion?
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Done as a Character Development moment for the normally cowardly Quark to Brunt of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, who up to then has been bullying Quark For the Evulz.
    Quark: Look I've broken the contract so do your job; take my assets, revoke my Ferengi business license, do whatever you have to do, then get out. And if you ever walk into my bar again...
    Brunt: (smirks) Yes?
    Quark: You won't walk out. (Brunt's smile vanishes)
  • In the Victorious episode "Rex Dies", while Cat is going on about the catwalk:
    Jade: If someone was pushed off this catwalk and hit the ground really hard, do you think they'd live?
    Cat: Why are you asking that?
    Jade: No reason.
  • One scene from The Wire features a Professional Killer doing this to his own wife. For the better part of 20 years, Roland "Wee-bey" Brice was a hitman for Avon Barksdale, who for a long time was the most ruthless gangster in Baltimore. After Wee-bey was finally caught and imprisoned, he finds out that his wife De'Londa is attempting to push their young son Namond into the world of the drug game, (despite the fact that he is totally unsuited to it) while at the same time a teacher who sees the boy's potential is offering to adopt Namond. Wee-bey is initially torn at the idea of giving up his son... until he learns that De'Londa kicked Namond out of the house and into the street in an attempt to toughen him up. Wee-bey explodes at her and lets her know what will happen if she attempts to interfere with the adoption in any way. Scene
    De'Londa: Oh no you not. You ain't gonna take my son away from me! Not for this-
    Wee-bey: [angrily sits up and gets in her face] Yo, remember who the fuck you talking to right here. Remember who I am. My word is still my word, in here, in Baltimore, and in any place you can think of calling home, it'll be my word that finds you. [sits back] Man come down here to say my son could be anything he damn please.
    De'Londa: Except a soldier.
    Wee-bey: [snorts] Yeah, well, look at me up in here. Who the fuck would want to be that if they could be anything else, De'Londa?
  • Witchblade has a nonspecific but effective threat from Ian Nottingham:
    Gabriel: He could make my life very difficult!
    Nottingham "Difficult"? I can make you pray for difficult.

  • In the Welcome to Night Vale episode "Numbers", Cecil describes how, despite the best efforts of the New Station management, they can't remove the Blood Stone doors from the radio station, leading to this quote;
    Cecil: So, our new owners have had to learn to live with those doors, bleeding on their way out. [Beat] Good practice for them.
  • At the end of The Adventure Zone: Balance, Taako learns that he had a sister that had gone missing, and Lucretia fed her information to the Voidfish, meaning he completely forgot about her. After having his memory restored, Taako grabs his wand, points it at Lucretia's face, and starts counting backwards from ten.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WCW: Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher brought a cake to celebrate Sting's birthday.
    Paul E. Dangerously: It's not Sting's birthday.
    Cactus Jack: I know that. Don't you think I know that? But I wasn't here for Sting's last birthday. I wish I was at Sting's last birthday. But you see it's very important that we celebrate now, because Sting's last birthday was Sting's last birthday! BANG BANG! BANG BANG!note 
  • On the January 18, 1992, episode of USWA Championship Wrestling, The Moondogs' manager Richard Lee brought a chair with him that read "RIP JEFF JARRETT.''
  • The Road Warriors were famous for threatening to perform acts of violence on their opponents that would at times stretch the limits of what is humanly possible—or permissible. In a vignette to hype their scaffold match against The Midnight Express ("Loverboy" Dennis Condrey and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton, w/Jim Cornette) at NWA Starrcade 86, they dropped a pumpkin off of a fire escape.
  • At CHIKARA Showdown in Crisisland, July 21, 2007, UltraMantis Black cut a promo about the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple (himself/Crossbones/Hydra)'s match with Hallowicked, Cheech and Cloudy where they promised to "do a little jig on your graves."
  • Raven pulled this to Thumbtack Jack and Steve Douglas in the German promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Raven said he came to the country to make some corpses and upset some parents.

  • The very first The Adventures of Harry Nile story, "West For My Health", had Harry up to his eyeballs in debt to a mob boss, who agreed to forgive Harry's debt if he went out to the west coast to kill a guy who was threatening his business. Just to make sure Harry didn't try to avoid doing the job, the mob boss sent an associate to watch him. The associate pulled Harry aside and told him, "I'm your doctor. I'm telling you to go west for your health."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chaosium's Stormbringer adventure Stealer of Souls: Tormiel's house has a Demon of Protection that is required to give two warnings before attacking intruders, such as, "Gee, this is an unhealthy place to visit without an invitation," or "Do you know where your blood comes from?" If the intruders ignore his warnings, he's free to kill them.

  • Walk This Way by Len Randall. The wife of a wealthy philandering husband tries to warn off his Sexy Secretary when she looks like threatening her nest egg.
    Wife: I have a friend who makes people disappear.
    Secretary: He's a hitman?
    Wife: No, he's a magician. But he's also a very bad driver.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy VII, there was a blacksmith in Midgar. If you talked to him, he would say, "Hey, wait a minute, you. You can't leave without buyin' something. Might not be good for your health, if ya know what I'm saying."
  • In Overwatch, one of the pre-game interactions between Junkrat and Reaper has Reaper commenting on Junkrat's offer. Given how Junkrat can be kind of annoying, plus Reaper's beef with Soldier 76 and other members of Overwatch, his statement to Junkrat couples with some Double Meaning.
    Junkrat: You look like a guy who needs something blown up.
    Reaper: A candidate just came to mind.
  • In Portal 2, when you meet up with GLaDOS again, she says: "Look, we both said a lot of things that you're going to regret." She then continues along this line in later chambers, with her "real surprise, with tragic consequences," her "solution to both our problems [...] that honestly works out great for one of both of us" and her announcement that she has learned to discard things that "are just taking up space". And just when it seems that she couldn't lay it on any thicker, in Chapter 8, Wheatley gets a turn, with a triumphant Don't Explain the Joke thrown in:
    Wheatley: You [...] are going to love this big surprise. In fact, you're going to love it to death. Love it until you're dead — until it kills you. I don't know if you're picking up on what I'm saying here...
    GLaDOS: Thanks, we get it.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Llednar delivers one after Cid nullifies the law that makes him invincible.
    Llednar: ...This reeks of foul play. If you weren't a judge... (summons allies and begins to fight)
  • Build That Wall from Bastion. It sounds slow and mournful, but the lyrics are actually a death threat to an entire civilisation.
    "I dig my hole, you build a wall. One day that wall is going to fall...Go build that wall until it's done, but now you've got nowhere to run. So build that wall and build it strong 'cause we'll be there before too long."
  • In League of Legends, several champion taunts are examples of this trope:
    Orianna: I know what makes them tick. I know how to make the ticking STOP.
    Hecarim: Your life is a burden. I bring you freedom!
  • In Assassin's Creed, During the multiplayer, when Vidic trains the new initiates:
    Warren Vidic: Succeed, and you will learn the secrets of our order. Fail, and a lot more than your contracts will be terminated.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Don Pianta says that if Mario fails to keep his promise, his "luck may turn terrible".
  • In Life Is Strange, a nightmare sequence features Max receiving a text message from a Posthumous Character:
    "Hey Max, Rachel Amber here. Just wanted to introduce myself. I'll be seeing you soon. Real soon."
  • In the Mysterious Tapes in Yandere Simulator, the protagonist's mother Ryoba Aishi, after being found not guilty of murder, tells the journalist who got her tried that it would be easy to make his death look like a suicide.
  • One of Eggman's PA announcements in Sonic Colors sounds a lot like one of these:
    Enjoy every moment in the luxurious grounds as if they might be your last. Especially if you're a meddlesome hedgehog, or his fawning sidekick.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog: In one of the games Multiple Endings, Black Doom gives one to Shadow after the latter makes a beeline for the Chaos Emerald in the G.U.N. Fortress, ignoring Black Doom's orders to destroy the computers producing G.U.N. robots. Played with in that he immediately sends a more direct threat afterwards.
    Those who commit mutiny against me will see no mercy... and do not defy me again!
  • AWACS Bandog’s Establishing Character Moment in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has him warning the Spare Squadron; ‘This is the penal unit. I decide when you die.’ Depending on who you ask he could very well had made good on that threat in the mission ‘Faceless Soldier’, when Full Band got tagged as an enemy after the Spare Squadron was ambushed by AI controlled aircraft using spoofed Osean IFFs.
  • In Hotline Miami, after the Biker has turned against the orders he receives from his answering machine, another message is sent to him, announcing that the tombstone he commanded will be delivered some day in the week.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, when Thales reminds the Flame Emperor that his people gave them power, and that they will be his people’s salvation, the Flame Emperor responds with ‘There will be no salvation for you and your people’. Since the Flame Emperor is Edelgard, and she hates working with Thales and his organization, in the Crimson Flower route, once Edelgard has conquered Fódlan, Hubert, her second in command, Jeritza, the Death Knight, Byleth, her teacher, along with some other members of the Black Eagle Strike Force wipe out Thales and his organization offscreen.
  • Bwonsamdi, the loa of death in World of Warcraft, is very fond of implying death.
    • He tells Ate'na that she looks like a smart woman, but here she is interrupting him in his own temple.
    • When Baine Bloodhoof demands answers from him, Bwonsamdi warns Baine to mind his tone or he'll "be speaking with [his late] father real soon."
    • As King Rastakhan keeps demanding power from Bwonsamdi to fight off the invading Alliance, Bwonsamdi complains about his disrespect and wonders out loud if his daughter Talanji would make a better ruler.

    Visual Novels 
  • During the second Hatoful Boyfriend Yuuya finds out that his brother's butler Albert is actually an assassin. Considering his powerful Big Brother Instinct this disturbs him rather a lot. It's the one thing that breaches his cheerful, friendly version of stoicism and gets him to make direct threats. He settles back after hearing the explanation, but doesn't feel easy about it.
    "Sakuya seems to have this sorted out. ...but if you do end up hurting him, I'll hunt you to the ends of the earth and back. Remember that."
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, Viola Cadaverini seems to have almost every other line be this, offering food and drink that is implied to be poisoned, all in a Creepy Monotone. She's a Mafia Princess, so it's not exactly an empty threat.
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Phoenix wins the first "Not Guilty" verdict seen in the Kingdom of Khura'in in 23 years, since a law that causes lawyers to suffer their clients' punishments if they lose has killed off the defense attorney profession in the kingdom. At the end of the trial, Inga, the Minister of Justice, the Queen's husband and the one responsible for the law in question, greets Phoenix, makes an analogy to him being an overly lucky patron of a casino, and suggests it might be best to take his winnings and leave.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue: Season 3, Church and Tex are in ghost form and are searching for their unoccupied robot bodies together. After a few snarky comments by Church, Tex has had enough.
    Tex: Hey, Church?
    Church: Yeah?
    Tex: If I were to kill a ghost, do you think it would come back as a ghost of a ghost?
    Church: Well, I think— ... I'll just shut up now.
  • In RWBY, when Emerald and Mercury debate whether or not they belong with Salem in the absence of Cinder, Tyrian Callows reveals he's overheard their debate and suggests that if they're not doing what they love, they're in the wrong field. When Emerald asks if he's telling them to leave, he laughs and retorts that they can't. He then tells them to do whatever makes them happy. He's filled with sinister glee and points his scorpion stinger right at them as he says it. His message is clear: he relishes the opportunity to hunt them down and kill them if they do decide they want to leave.
  • In the Strong Bad Email "original", Strong Bad claims that Bubs is merely a replacement for "Original Bubs". Bubs shows up in person near the end of the e-mail, threatening Strong Bad with "We're gonna need a new Strong Bad in about two seconds!" and pummeling SB into admitting he made the whole thing up.

  • Biggs, of all people, from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures. He does a lot of unethical things, but threaten his family and look out.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Vaarsuvius gets very annoyed at the rest of the Order while he's stuck in the form of a lizard, and the first thing he does after being restored is to effortlessly Disintegrate a dragon that had been threatening them:
      Vaarsuvius: Fascinating. I cannot help but notice that the disintegrated remains of a dragon are indistinguishable from those of a human, or a halfling, or a dwarf.
      Roy: Point taken.
    • Subverted in another strip. Annoyed about being distracted from his/her research, Vaarsuvius threatens Elan. For context, V had just killed a minor villain in cold blood to avoid having to waste time putting him on trial for his crimes, and Elan had threatened to report V.
      Vaarsuvius: Do as you wish, though I find it odd that one who just witnessed the haste with which I will remove that which distracts me from my crucial research would risk becoming just such a distraction one's self.
      (Beat Panel)
      Vaarsuvius: Because then I might be forced to remove the distraction.
      Elan: I don't get it.
      Vaarsuvius: YOU are the distraction in this case. Remove the distraction, which is you. Remove YOU with haste.
      Elan: ...What are you getting at?
      Vaarsuvius: Oh, forget it. It would take longer to make you understand than it would to research the next spell.
    • In this strip, Bandana tells Andi that knocking her out and seizing control of the ship during a battle is Andi's "Strike One."
    Andi: ...What... what happens on Strike Three?
    Bandana: Nuthin'. 'Cause you won't make it past Strike Two.
  • Downplayed in Pixie and Brutus. After Pixie warns him against messing with Randall, a raccoon, Brutus says that that would be wise because Randall would likely tear his stripy tail off. Pixie doesn't get the threat, but Randall does.
  • Schlock of Schlock Mercenary issues a few of these.
    • After Commander Kevyn self-destructs Schlock's new plasma cannon to cover an escape:
      Schlock: I was gonna name that gun.
      Kevyn: I know, but this way they won't expect to find our bodies.
      Schlock: They might find yours.
    • And when a spaceport security official is gleefully preparing to give Dr. Bunnigus the "enhanced search":
      Schlock: When a firefighter pulls a baby out of a burning building and says "I'm just doing my job", that guy gets a medal. But when a tin-pot bureaucrat says "I'm just doing my job" [as an excuse for groping a woman], he gets filled with metal. Little pieces, moving very fast.
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND, when Revolver Ocelot tells Dr Naomi to tailor her DNA-specific virus to the members of FOXHOUND.
    Naomi: I mean, it's not like I have a problem with it but... why would they want that?
    Ocelot: Welcome to Ocelot Shack. You've got questions, I've got bullets.
  • The Sanity Circus: Posey loves doing this. She muses on whether Steven 'will look as lovely in two pieces as the other one...', and when Attley's mother tries to escape from her paralysation magic mutters 'Oh dear, is my spell breaking already? I'm very rusty. Perhaps something a little more permanent will do...'
  • Unsounded has this exchange between Captain Hetr and Emil Toma, thought to be dead:
    Hetr: My, Toma. You're looking surprisingly spry for a dead man.
    Toma: [death glare] So are you.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Tarvek manages to get across his willingness to kill if need be by way of emphasising the gun he has to the throat of a villain who wrongly assumed that Tarvek holds to Thou Shalt Not Kill:
      Tarvek: I've never really considered myself the "hero" type. Are you the "take his secrets to the grave" type? Just asking.
    • Later, Seffie is able to do this through her bodyguard, Sparafucile, simply smiling at the guy. He takes the hint readily.

    Web Videos 
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the letter that Dr. Horrible gets from Bad Horse about how he now must commit murder in order to gain entry to the Evil League of Evil includes the line "There will be blood, it might be yours".
  • Grog, Percy and Tiberius in Critical Role do this by telling the story, over a fancy council dinner, of how they killed a treacherous mindflayer, Clarota. It's a veiled threat towards the Briarwoods, who are present at the dinner. They are also traitors, guilty of slaughtering Percy's entire family.
  • In Spyro's Bad Day, after having had to "collect all the things", Spyro demands that Ripto leave so he can finally go home. When Rypto asks why he'd be willing to do that, Spyro blasts both his minions and says, "Because now I'm not asking."

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara is rather skeptical of Zuko's Heel–Face Turn and makes it horribly explicit;
    Katara: Let me tell you something right now. You take one step slip up...give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang- and you won't have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I'll make sure your destiny ends right then and there. Permanently.
    • Iroh delivers one to Zhao moments before Zhao kills the Moon Spirit.
    Iroh: The Fire Nation needs the Moon too. We all depend on the balance. Whatever you do to that Spirit, I'll unleash on you TENFOLD! LET IT GO, NOW!
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "Sleeping With the Frenemy", Tammy ends up staying with the Belchers for a week. During this time, Tammy openly scoffs at Bob's home cooking and tries to order out. Louise, who otherwise mocks her father's food on a daily basis, is less than amused at Tammy's poor attitude, leading to this exchange:
    Tammy: Do places deliver here, or is the neighborhood too dangerous?
    Louise: Oh, it's super safe, except for that huge unsolved murder that's gonna happen.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: In "Sappy Birthday" after Muttley physically humiliates Dastardly in a test run:
    Dastardly: One more goof-up like that and this may be your last birthday, you dumbhead!
  • Jackie Chan Adventures can throw these in quite a bit. Valmont doesn't waste time with one when he finally meets Jackie Chan face to face.
    Valmont: Jackie Chan! Finally we meet. [holds up the Dragon Talisman] It was nice knowing you.
    • Subverted in "Shell Game" with Carl Nivor.
    Jade: Release Aesop, you tortoise-eating creep!
    Nivor: Such a delightful child. She'll go well with a nice Bearnaise sauce, wouldn't you say, Borris?
    Jade: WHAT?!
    Nivor: Only joking, princess. Children are much too common for my sophisticated palette.
  • A non-lethal but still malevolent variant occurs in the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Ducksters" when Porky tried to bail on another of emcee Daffy's contests (afterwards Porky takes severe umbrage):
    Daffy: Look, bud... you've got thirty-two teeth. Would ya like to try for sixteen?
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, of all shows, contains an instance of this at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1:"
    Twilight: I'm sorry.
    Imposter Cadance: You will be.
    • Early on in "The Return of Harmony, Part 1", it's implied via a stained glass window depicting Discord dangling three ponies over a fire that the Mad God in question may well have a body count under his belt. This renders his line in the next episode, "And these are only my first changes!" far more unsettling.
    • Angel Bunny seems prone to receiving these, for some reason: In "Just For Sidekicks," Twilight's owl assistant Owlowiscious delivers a non-verbal one to the rabbit, advancing and looming menacingly over Angel after the latter promises to make trouble for Spike. Makes sense, considering bunnies often end up as meals for owls and Owlowiscious and Spike are friends.
    • Some fans have interpreted the somewhat memetic "biting into an apple" scene from "Green Isn't Your Color" as one.
    • Grogar made a couple of these to keep the Legion of Doom in line. Who knew Discord still had it in him? One when Sombra, who he resurrected from the dead, tries to refuse his offer:
      King Sombra: And if I refuse this deal?
      Grogar: Then I shall return you to the darkness from which you were summoned.
    • One at the end when Sombra fails and is Killed Off for Real by the Main Six:
      Grogar: I'd say he gambled and lost! But at least he can serve as a warning to those who doubt continuing with my plans. Unless any of you have doubts?
      Lord Tirek: Uh, not I.
      Queen Chrysalis: Nope!
      Cozy Glow: I'm good!
  • Healthy Morty gives a subtle one to Healthy Rick in Rick and Morty, when the latter has discovered the toxins removed from them are alive and sentient and is pressuring for the two of them to re-merge. The Scare Chord and Healthy Rick's nervous expression that follows really hammers it home:
    Healthy Morty: You know, the only problem here is a big fat brain that misses eating all them big fat problems. Focus on the good thing. Trust me, things are good. Taking that away from me? That wouldn't be healthy.
    • Evil Morty is having a haircut when all the dissenting members of his council are shot to death by his guards.
      Barber: [nervously] Is that enough off the top?
      Evil Morty: I don't know. [turns to surviving council members] Is it?
      [The surviving councillors hastily agree]
  • Samurai Jack gives one of these when he confronts the Daughters of Aku in season 5.
    Jack: Leave here now, and live... or stay, and face your destiny.
    Ashi: Our destiny is YOUR DEATH!!!
    Jack: Very well.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "The Protector of Concord Dawn": Kanan gives one to Fenn Rau that doesn't go unnoticed:
      Kanan: [referring to a battle in the Clone Wars] You gave me a chance to live that day. Now I'd like to return the favour.
    • "The Holocrons of Fate": Ezra, glaring, tells Maul that he wants to know how to destroy the Sith. Maul, who no longer considers himself a Sith, congratulates Ezra on his ambition. A line earlier in the episode, however, showed that Ezra definitely thinks of Maul as one.
    • "The Last Battle":
      Zeb: Might as well surrender now.
      Kalani: I am not programmed to comprehend your humor.
      Zeb: I'm not joking.
      Kalani: Ha. Ha. Ha.
    • "Zero Hour": While the Bendu doesn't say he's the one who will kill Thrawn, he sees into the future and foretells that someone will defeat him (and presumably kill him).
      Thrawn: What manner of creature are you?
      The Bendu: One beyond your power to destroy.
      Thrawn: It would not seem so.
      The Bendu: You cannot see... but I can.
      Thrawn: What? What do you see?
      The Bendu: I see your many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace.
      [Thrawn, visibly unnerved, shoots him, only for the Bendu to disappear, laughing]
  • In Gargoyles, Emir imprisons Anubis (portrayed here as the god of death) and demands his son be resurrected for his unfair death.
    Anubis: On the contrary, death is the ultimate fairness. Rich and poor, young and old, all are equal in death. You would not like to see the Jackal God play favorites.
  • WordGirl physically folds a large bar of steel into a small, crude ball live on broadcast to represent what would happen if the villains were doing any crime. In other words, she literally broadcasts the fact that she allows the villains to live. The best part is that she did this to ensure that she wouldn't get interrupted while watching her favorite TV show again, because she missed the finale the last time she was busy fighting crime.

    Real Life 
  • After the Gunfight of the OK Corral, a feud kicked up, with two of the Earp brothers getting shot and Wyatt Earp going on a vendetta spree. Johnny Behan, a police officer with some very longstanding bad blood with Earp (it included a love triangle and them running against each other for office), just so happened to be a part of the posse that was chasing after him. One day, when he was away from backup, he came across Earp in the street:
    Behan: I have to see you, Wyatt.
    Earp: One of these days, Behan, you may see me one time too many.
  • "Pretty Boy" Floyd once sent a message to the sheriff of his home town of Sallisaw, Oklahoma: "I'm coming to see my mother. If you're smart you won't try to stop me." The sheriff was smart.
  • During the 2020 Democratic presidential debates, candidate Beto O'Rourke vowed that he would would ban and buy back all assault rifles should he be elected President. In response, Rep. Briscoe Cain posted a tweet saying "My AR-15 is ready for you, Robert Francis". Twitter has since deleted the tweet for violating their policy against violent threats.
  • Rodrigo Duterte's 2015 Christmas Message.


Video Example(s):


Fight Club- Warning the Boss

The boss should rethink threatening the person who wrote the rules of Fight Club, because the person who wrote that is dangerous.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImpliedDeathThreat

Media sources: