Follow TV Tropes


Multiple Gunshot Death

Go To
That's gonna hurt in the morning!

"Double tap! Triple tap! Just keep tapping!"
SWAT Troops, PAYDAY: The Heist

The gory result of properly-aimed More Dakka.

When someone or something needs to be killed Deader Than Dead, and their death needs to be particularly brutal (or in some cases, well-deserved), sometimes this problem will be solved by a handful of attackers emptying their guns into the target — in some cases involving larger guns, they may even be shot to pieces.

This trope is usually about quantity, not quality, so in the event that only one person is around to do the job, expect to see them wielding handguns or a machine gun. However, shotguns and the like are often used for dramatic effect.

Expect the victim to flail and twitch dramatically (or hilariously) with each new wound. The amount of blood shown is directly dependent on the work's rating or amount of Narm needed. Sometimes, the shooter would continue firing at the corpse to Make Sure He's Dead.


Sister Trope to Double Tap and No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and a Sub-Trope of There Is No Kill Like Overkill. Compare and contrast with Rasputinian Death, which often involves multiple fatal factors, Double Tap, when a more measured (and well-aimed) version of this is performed (or recommended), Shooting Superman, when this is a No-Sell, and Five Rounds Rapid, which is when Superman does require something a bit bigger than bullets to injure, but the shooters never use anything more powerful than concetrated small arms fire.

A character Made of Iron who ends up dying has high odds of it being a particularly prolonged case of this, and probably earning a Dying Moment of Awesome as they keep fighting with a growing number of holes.

Can be the result of a Gangland Drive-By.

Alpha Strike is when a military unit does this to a single target as opposed to a person.


This is a Death Trope, so expect unmarked spoilers!


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 


    Comic Strips 
  • The mobster villains in Dick Tracy often ended up riddled (with neat round bloodless holes) by tommy gun fire. Although tame by modern standards, it was sometimes criticized as overly violent for a comic strip.
    • Naturally, this effect was spoofed in the "Fearless Fosdick" comic-within-the-comic of Li'l Abner.

    Comic Books 
  • Often attempted by criminals on Superman.
  • Happened to Lobo, he and a rival bounty hunter traded shots from their oversized machine guns. By the end of the fight, Lobo was reduced to almost a skeleton with more shells in him than flesh, before keeling over.
  • Sin City: In "The Big Fat Kill", the kill of the title is the climactic showdown when Dwight and the Old Town girls take out the Wallenquist gang members by raining down a hail of bullets on them from every hooker with a gun until even a Made of Iron monster such as Manute has to succumb.
  • In MAD, the head of a firing squad tells one particularly despicable criminal that he's so hated, that he'll be buried where he falls. He then explains that since the family of everyone the criminal wronged will be shooting him (the panel shows out to see an entire crowd of people training their guns on him), that he'll be too full of lead to be buried anywhere else.

    Fan Works 
  • In Echoes Of Eternity, Rei goes on a rampage and repeatedly shoots a scientist who was abusing Maria when he catches him in the act. It's so violent that it's difficult to identify the scientist. Much of the blood ends up splattered on Maria, traumatizing her.
  • This is the staple of the Serial Killer Metal Sonic in Frenzy. He leaves the victims bullet ridden. The story starts out with Amy's mysterious murder, which is one of the most brutal Central City had seen in a while.

    Films — Animation 
  • The "Den" segment of the animated film Heavy Metal has the muscular hero overpower Aard's bodyguards and seize an automatic rifle. Den then demands Aard return Katherine to him: "Bring me the girl, or die." Aard blithely chooses death, so Den fires a burst of six shots into him. Aard merely giggles, and completely heals the bullet holes in his chest in seconds.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: Carface tries to kill Charlie with a drive-by shooting and using a laser machine gun. Unfortunately for Carface, recently-resurrected Charlie can only die (again) if the clock that showcases his life stops... which is something Charlie didn't knew either, until he got back up from being shot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • After Major Mitchell from Independence Day realizes that the glass separating his group from the alien psychically attacking the President is not bulletproof, all available personnel with a sidearm line up to fire on the alien, followed by Mitchell delivering a Double Tap Coup de Grâce.
  • Beverly Hills Cop uses this trope in the Storming the Castle scene; after Jenny frees herself from Maitland and dives for cover, Axel and Bogomil take the opportunity to very loudly fire every bullet they have into him.
  • Training Day: Alonzo meets his end this way when the Russian mob comes to kill him.
  • The Godfather, Sonny Corleone, after being Lured into a Trap by means of his Berserk Button, is viciously tommygunned to death by Barzini's soldiers in a tollbooth, as pictured above.
  • In the opening scene of Tropic Thunder, Tugg Speedman (playing Sgt. Four-Leaf Tayback) gets shot over and over again while he runs for the helicopter.
  • Iron Man has an offscreen example with Yinsen, who runs through the caves firing wildly to buy Tony time to get his suit booted up, only to run into about twenty Ten Rings soldiers pointing machine guns at him. The next time we see him, he's gravely injured.
  • Subverted in The Mask. Tyrell, wearing the Mask, is shot repeatedly, only to calmly suck in his gut and fire the bullets out of his mouth.
  • Happens to Mad Dog Coll at the end of Mobsters, with two tommy guns wielded akimbo at point-blank range by Charlie Luciano.
  • The Wild Bunch: At Agua Verde, after Mapache executes their friend Angel right in front of them, Pike's gang responds by gunning down the general on the spot, alongside with his German military advisors. A bloody gunfight ensues between Pike's gang and the Agua Verde garrison, made even more destructive by the Gatling gun emplacement inside the compound that the outlaws use to cut down Mapache's men. They are eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers and gunned dead by the soldiers.
  • RoboCop (1987):
    • This is how Officer Alex J. Murphy meets his end at the hands of the Boddicker gang before being rebuilt as RoboCop.
    • A Red Shirt executive gets thoroughly annihilated in this fashion by the three onboard auto-cannons of the ED-209 in the same film.
  • Double Subverted at the end of V for Vendetta, when V stands and takes a salvo from Creedy and his men to prove that You Cannot Kill An Idea before slaughtering them all. Once they are dead he is revealed to have worn a metal plate that is riddled with bullet holes and shortly thereafter dies.
  • The brutal execution scene in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), here.
  • The same execution was also depicted in the beginning of Some Like It Hot.
  • In Back to the Future, the terrorists shoot Doc dozens of times (probably because they were using machine guns.)
  • A point-blank use of this trope is how Adolf Hitler dies in Inglorious Basterds.
  • A Dirty Cop ends up machine-gunned to pieces (alongside his patrol car) by other dirty cops on the Clint Eastwood film The Gauntlet. It's not the only example of liberal application of More Dakka on the film.
  • About two dozen Chitauri do this to the Hulk near the end of The Avengers, nailing him with countless lasers. It makes him mad, but it's the first thing in the film aside from Thor that actually slows him down.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, this fate befalls Quicksilver, who dies protecting Hawkeye and a little kid from bullets from the Quinjet that Ultron controlled.
  • On Last Man Standing, a group of soldiers of the Doyle gang is double-crossed by their hired Mexican police goons and machine-gunned without mercy within their car for a whole minute. John Smith finds the massacre gruesome to watch.
    John Smith: It was a massacre. Couldn't say I was real sorry... but it was a rough way to check out.
    • Also how the Doyle shooters kill any members of the Strozzi gang that didn't burned to death when Slim's Roadhouse was set on fire—Giorgio getting the worst on-screen example.
    • The first gangster Smith kills is shot seven to nine times with his Guns Akimbo and Blown Across the Room onto the street outside.
  • On Collateral, we see the beginning of Vincent's Villainous Breakdown during the club attack scene, where he empties about half a pistol magazine into his target before reloading and giving him a Coup de Grâce with the Mozambique Drill (which he had been using with efficiency throughout the film so far).
  • Public Enemies: The deaths of many of the gangsters, more true to the textbook definition of this Trope being the one of Pretty Boy Floyd (who is shot by Purvis until he falls and stops shooting-most tellingly, in Real Life he was shot repeatedly by two agents and he managed to injure them fatally with his own dying gunfire) and in a slightly more subdued example, the death of Dillinger himself.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Although we don't get to see it on-screen, the original Bolivian Army Ending implies that Butch and Sundance were gunned down by three or four squads of Bolivian Army riflemen.
  • In Key Largo, Frank has to shoot Rocco, who is attempting all the while with his last strength to raise his gun and shoot Frank, three times before he finally stays down.
  • The Naked Gun: Subverted for laughs in the opening of the first film. All the gangsters on the boat unload their guns on Nordberg, but not only does he fail to die from it, he subsequently suffers a torrent of abuse so prolongued that even the gangsters look a bit stunned at it.
  • The Party: The first scene of the film is the filming of an In-Universe remake of Gunga Din, and Hrundi V. Bakshi (as Din) is supposed to die this way. He completely ruins the shot when, even after every single extra with a gun is shooting at him and knocking him down out of sheer annoyance, he still refuses to stay down and stop playing.
  • Bonnie and Clyde: The titular Outlaw Couple buys it this way at the hands of a police ambush; the two are shot more than 100 times each as the shootout lasts 25 seconds. Even an apple Clyde was eating (when the shootout began) appears to be blown apart as he tries to make his escape.
    • Various remakes are similar to the 1967 original – number of shots, the bodies violently flailing about, etc. – except that both remain inside the car; the original had Bonnie seated inside the car but falling partially out when she went limp, while Clyde was gunned down while trying to escape and falls in front of the car.
  • The Highwaymen culminates with the same multiple-gun death of Bonnie and Clyde, albeit from the perspective of the policemen who put together the ambush.
  • The means of death of every single version of King Kong that has died on-screen so far. The 1976 version bears special mention because Kong gets mercilessly shredded by the miniguns of multiple helicopter gunships for three whole minutes, giving one of the rooftops of the World Trade Center a massive coat of red.
  • Boromir's death in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the medieval equivalent; he's shot three times by a gigantic Uruk-Hai captain with gigantic arrows from a gigantic bow, even though one would have easily killed him. The differences are played realistically since bullets and arrows mess up their targets differently; the trauma settles in slowly and the arrows don't go clean through him, but the wounds still put Boromir beyond medical help. The captain was planning on topping things off with a headshot, but Aragorn stepped in.
  • Miles Dyson of Terminator 2: Judgment Day is absolutely riddled with police fire while he is accompanying the Connors and the T-800 to Cyberdyne with the intent to blow it up. He holds on just long enough to buy them time to escape and force the cops to pull back by holding a weight over the explosives' detonator.
  • Escape from New York: The President gets even with the Duke of New York terrorizing him for the last couple of days by emptying an M-16 into him and screaming the Badass Boast the Duke forced him to say at gunpoint as an Ironic Echo.
    President: (just fired a long rifle burst on the Duke, dropping him on top of a car, chuckles) You are the Duke of New York! You're the Duke! (rifle burst) You're the Duke! (rifle burst) But, you ain't number one!
  • Zoolander 2: One of the first scenes of the movie involves Justin Bieber getting shot repeatedly with an Uzi in a fashion that resembles one of The Godfather films (and yet he survives long enough to post the video he was recording before getting shot on You Tube).
  • Sleepers. John and Tommy encounter Nokes, one of the men that molested them in reform school. Unfortunately for him they're now adult gangsters who shoot Nokes multiple times in the arms and legs before the Coup de Grâce. However in the book this is inverted, with Nokes killed immediately by a Boom, Headshot! and the further shots just being the 'signature' of their gangland hits.
  • Home Alone: A Running Gag throughout the first two movies of the series is Kevin watching gangster films ("Angels with Filthy Souls" and "Angels with Even Filthier Souls"), both of which have a gangster called Johnny that kills someone (another gangster that is asking him for money in the first one, a two-timing girlfriend on the second one) by shooting them with a Tommy Gun for a minute straight (the girlfriend gets it worse — Johnny shoots her, then gives her a Bond One-Liner, then shoots her again, says a second Bond One-Liner, and shoots off one last round, probably having emptied the Tommy Gun's entire ammo drum on her). Kevin makes use of these scenes to scare someone later in the film.

  • The Alloy of Law: When the Starter Villain Miles "Hundredlives" Dagouter is executed, it takes the firing squad multiple volleys to overload his Healing Factor, all while he screams apocalyptic threats at the audience. The display disturbs everyone present.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Heat of the Night: In the Season 2 finale "Missing," a police officer is sent undercover to Sparta to investigate the deaths of several civil rights leaders by a white supremacist group. The officer, Tom Dugan (played by Joe Don Baker, who temporarily replaced series star Carroll O'Connor during the latter's absence) is lured to a secluded area on a false tip that he will find the main suspect there. The last vision of life Dugan sees is two men in pig masks, who proceed to shoot the officer more than 20 times before the scene abruptly ends; it is strongly implied he is shot dozens of more times after the cut-to-black.
  • The Firefly episode "War Stories." Jayne, Wash, and Zoë watch Mal struggle with his torturer, but after he assures them that this is not something he has to do himself, the three respond by, as the script puts it, "filling the Torturer with as many holes as standards and practices will allow."
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation featured a Victim of the Week on the episode "Take My Life, Please" that had been shot so many times and with so many different calibers that it was actually possible to see through him. Turned out that he had in life bombed an abortion clinic (with plenty of collateral damage to both objects and people) and had gone off the grid to avoid retaliation, and who had sneaked into an outdoors shooting range unknowingly to sleep for the night. Although the shooters were guilty of trying to hide the evidence, nobody was really sorry for the man.
  • One parody of this trope can be found in an early fifth-season episode of The Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon "sacrifices" himself for his friends in a game of paintball, with the result being a ludicrously slowed-down shot of multiple paintballs striking him in the chest, each impact echoing.
  • Also parodied in the second season finale of Community. During the paintball war against City College, Troy runs down a hallway, turns a corner, pauses, and says "I had a dream it would end this way." We then see an entire unit of City College stormtroopers who splatter Troy with paintballs.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch on the episode where Jeremy Renner guest-hosted (involving a three-way Mexican Standoff that went on for way too long (as in several days)) one of the stand-offers calls it quits at the ending of the sketch, only to get shot repeatedly by the other two. And a few more times as they leave, for good measure.
    • Also Played for Laughs in their popular "Dear Sister" digital short that spoofed the second season finale of The O.C.. In the short, the eponymous (and unnamed) sister played by Kristen Wiig ends up being shot seventeen times by characters played by Andy Samberg, Bill Hader (who plays her brother, Keith) and Shia LaBeouf, all set to Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek".
  • In the Supernatural season 2 finale, Sam kills Jake by shooting him...a lot.
  • Blake's 7: The Bolivian Army Ending of the series has many characters shot repeatedly, the most graphic of them all being that of Roj Blake himself. Gareth Edwards wanted Blake to end up Deader Than Dead in order to get out of playing him again (after a long while of him being Put on a Bus), and the special effects crew coordinated with him to deliver the most blood-splatteringly brutal shooting scene that the censors would let them get away with.
  • Westworld: During one of the iterations of the Sweetwater tavern robbery by Hector's gang, his associate Armistice dies of multiple gunshot wounds when the Constabularies corner her. She still takes out one of them right before out of spite.
    • Lee Sizemore gets gunned down this way in the last episode of Season 2.
  • At the end of Season 13 of NCIS, Trent Kort meets his end this way, courtesy of the entirety of Team Gibbs, for his role in the death of Ziva.

  • In Capcom's unreleased Kingpin, the Kingpin is killed by being shot full of holes while his face rots away to the skull.

    Video Games 
  • This is a given in Shoot 'em Up games.
  • Near the end Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko encounters Darko Brevic, his former squadmate from the Yugoslav army who betrayed his squad for money. If the player chooses to execute Darko, Niko will shoot him twelve times-once for every squadmate that died due to Darko's betrayal.
  • Mass Effect 2: When Shepard encounters Elnora during Samara's recruitment mission, if you take the interrupt, she tries to pull a gun, at which point the entire party guns her down, repeatedly.
  • John Marston, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption dies this way. After ushering his family to safety, he slowly opens the doors of the barn he's hiding in to face no less than twenty U.S. Marshals. John, fully aware of his fate, has the option of dragging a few of them to hell with him. Regardless, John is riddled with bullets, and it's about as pretty as you'd expect.
  • Played for laughs in the Bounty Hunter class chain in Star Wars: The Old Republic. On Tattooine, the hunter's target is a conman named Tyresius Lokai who, at the end of the chain, reveals that he has an Expendable Clone body so he can fake his own dead. The hunter can "execute" the clone body with a single shot to the head, or, if they're feeling particularly cheesed off at the long chase Tyresius put them through, they can just empty their blaster(s) into the clone at point-blank range. If nothing, it shows Tyresius that you are not putting up with his crap any longer.
    Hunter: We'll tell everyone that Tyresius Lokai went out in a blaze of glory!
    Tyresius: Oh my stars…
  • Mortal Kombat X: Erron Black's Six-Shooter Fatality fires an entire magazine into his opponent, leaving gaping wounds in their torso and head.
  • At the end of Hunt Down the Freeman, Mitchell chases down Adam, and stops him by shooting him in the leg with a revolver. Mitchell then fires four more shots into the target's abdomen before finishing him off with a headshot.
  • Late in Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, the male narrator shows up to reclaim his position as narrator from his female replacement (don't ask), and wields a toy gun. He then guns her down, with gunshots appearing all over the screen (often nowhere near the woman's body), taking her down with a burst of gunfire, then continuing to fire at her as she lays on the ground.
  • Yakuza 2; Just as Takashira is about to execute Kaoru, Ryuji recovers his pistol and puts nearly two dozen bullets into the other man before finishing him off with a headshot.

    Western Animation 
  • A common gag in Looney Tunes, where a character is repeatedly shot or run through with multiple sharp objects, resulting in either visible (bloodless) holes or springing a leak whenever they drink.
  • Family Guy has the mob execution of Big Fat Paulie via a drive-by shooting, done in typical Family Guy style.
    Peter: Oh my God! (beat) Are you okay?
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Saturdays Of Thunder": At a video store, Homer – wanting to rent a video to watch with the kids, in an effort to become a better father – watches the movie McBain on the overhead video monitors. The scene playing at the time is the title character enjoying a drink with his one-time mentor, Special Agent Dexter Skoey. In an attempt to ambush McBain, Skoey happens to be in the line of gunfire and is shot more than a dozen times by one of Senator Mendoza's mooks. As Skoey lies bleeding to death and gasping last words, the mook makes a clean getaway and McBain swears revenge.
    • "All's Fair In Oven War": The toll booth scene from The Godfather, complete with James Caan reprising his role, is parodied. This time, Cletus and a bunch of Cletus variants gun down Caan ... upset because he was dating Brandine. "That's it! Next time, I fly!" moans Caan as he gasps for his last breath.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Fairly Oddparents where Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda jacked themselves into a video game; Timmy managed to dodge the thrown carrot from the rabbit foes, while all those carrots hit Cosmo; he then yells "Hey look at me! I'm a cheese!" while he's being literally riddled with holes (it just means it's game over for him).
  • Futurama:
  • In the series finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Marcie is executed by Mecha-Mooks in a hail of machine gun fire, but not before the camera cuts away to show the gang reacting to the sound of gunshots in the distance.

    Real Life 
  • Firing squads invoked this. Sometimes. In some jurisdictions, it was more common to load most of the squad's rifles with blanks or dummy cartridges, and only leaving one randomly selected rifle with the live round that would kill the condemned. It's thought this is done to diffuse the responsibility among the shooters — if you can't tell who exactly fired the bullet, none of them need to feel directly guilty for killing them. But, since a trained marksman can tell the difference between firing a blank and an actual round from how it feels, this might not be valid.
  • The summary execution of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker by law enforcement agents; their bullet-riddled car is still on display in Las Vegas. The reason why the trap was done was because the couple was such a clear example of The Dreaded that the police didn't want them to have a chance of doing a Last Stand.
  • Dr. Carl Weiss, the assassin of Senator Huey Long of Lousiana, was shot 62 times by Long's bodyguards after he shot Long. The bullet holes from where he was shot still remain in the Lousiana Capital building in Baton Rouge.
  • After killing a Florida deputy and a police dog and wounding another deputy, fugitive Angilo Freeland was killed by 68 shots from police officers. When questioned why the suspect had been shot 68 times, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd reportedly replied "That's all the bullets we had."
  • Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll, a notorious gangster, was shot full of holes with a Thompson submachine gun while he was making a call from a phone booth in a drug store.
  • Al Brady (considered at the time Public Enemy Number One) and accomplice Carl Schaeffer were killed during an FBI ambush while they were trying to acquire black market weapons for their crimes on Oct. 12, 1937 in Bangor, Maine. The event was classified as the most violent gun battle in the history of Maine and ended with both criminals receiving concentrated machine gunfire.
  • The so-called Mozambique Drill (two shots to the chest, one to the head) was actually developed by accident by Rhodesian mercenary Mike Rousseau during the War of Independence in Mozambique when two pistol shots to the torso failed to bring down an enemy guerrilla. He finished the job with a headshot. His friend Jeff Cooper refined it into an actual technique.
  • Marshal Guillaume Brune was killed like this (possibly because the first shooter missed him at point-blank range), along with lots of stabbing, to the point that his remains were unrecognisable when he was fished out of the Rhone. The (Royalist) authorities initially filed it away as a suicide.
  • Most police forces have a doctrine that says that if shooting a suspect is necessary, don't stop firing until the target ceases to be a threat. Depending on the circumstances behind a shootout (such as ceasing to be a threat being determined by the suspect falling down, and something in the environment is propping the suspect up), this trope can often end up happening as a result. Especially when a shooting involves multiple officers.
  • Perhaps the most extreme case in history (if we allow the stretching of definition) would be the 'death' of the battleship Bismarck. After one-shotting HMS Hood, Bismarck parted from the surviving Prince of Wales having taken a number of hits and moderate damage, and 6 days later was finally caught by a Royal Navy battle-group including the battleships King George V and Rodney, who closed in while pounding broadside after broadside into the already crippled Bismarck. All counts indicate well over 100 battleship main battery shells (each weighing most of a tonne) hit the Bismarck in that battle, plus many more secondary battery and heavy cruiser shells, plus two torpedoes.

Alternative Title(s): Riddled With Bullets


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: