Follow TV Tropes


Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!

Go To

"Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!"
Emperor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi

So the hero has a chance to kill the Big Bad, or some other villain, and the villain wants them to take it. He goads the hero into doing so. Often it's because My Death Is Just the Beginning, or the villain is invoking If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him! and wants to push the hero off the Slippery Slope like The Corrupter.

This is often more than a Thanatos Gambit — the villain doesn't necessarily intend to die. In these cases it's enough that they provoke the hero into making the attempt. Once the hero has turned on them with intent to murder, the villain has already proven their point.

The other times, the villain really does want to die, but they can't, so they goad the hero into killing them. After which they explain their true motive.

Whether this works or not depends largely on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, but it does make for great dramatic tension no matter what. Heck, at least part of the time, the villain is taunting the hero because they know he won't do it. This also means that the success or failure of this gambit hinges on whether or not the hero has any preexisting qualms about killing. Said villain might try this on an Anti-Hero (especially with more extreme cases) and get his ass handed to him, due to the hero's lack of such moral restraints. This could then lead to Hero with Bad Publicity because he lacks such restraints; who looks like the aggressor in this situation?

This can easily backfire if the hero realizes what the villain is trying to trick him into doing precisely because of the evil gloating. It may also backfire if the hero counters this with Not Worth Killing or Cruel Mercy.

It can overlap with What You Are in the Dark. Compare with The Power of Hate which is a focus of the power hate gives. Contrast Get It Over With. The villain may employ taunts like pushing the Relative Button, Reminiscing About Your Victims, or asking Would You Like to Hear How They Died? in order to get the hero to strike. Inverted by Turn the Other Cheek, when the hero makes themselves vulnerable to appeal to the villain's better nature.

Of course, there are occasions where the hero does strike the villain with all of their hatred, yet the hero realizes that it's the only way they can feel better and cleanse their hate, simply because, to them, Revenge is Sweet and they couldn't care less about their moral codes.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Chrono Crusade: Aion does this to a weakened Chrono after the latter is hit with a blast from Rosette's gun. Aion believes Chrono has grown soft.
  • Dragon Ball GT: During Goku's fight with Naturon Shenron, the latter absorbs his granddaughter Pan to use her power against him. When Goku initially holds back out of fear of killing the absorbed Pan, Naturon mocks him, daring him to finish him off now or never bother him again. Subverted immediately after, as when it appears Goku's about to go through with it, Naturon panics and begs him not to shoot.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Explicit in the final showdown between Envy and Mustang. While not part of Envy's plan at all, the normally icy cool Mustang's allies are so horrified at the sadistic glee with which he's torturing Envy to death that they beg him to stop until he can realize what he's doing and cool off. This ultimately acts as something of a wake-up call that saves the character from the nihilistic death spiral he'd been in to that point, which would've led him to become as bad as the enemies he's fighting against. Envy actually gets very frustrated about this and tries to start him up again, because he knows he's not surviving this time and wants to bring Mustang down with him. And then Ed sympathizes with him, which disturbs him so much he commits suicide then and there.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003): Greed does this to Edward, by intentionally provoking him to a Duel to the Death on false premises. He does this because he knows he's a goner anyway and his choices are throwing himself at the Big Bad's mercy (whom he hates) or Suicide by Ed (which will teach Ed how to kill so he has a fighting chance against the Big Bad later). Ed kills him.
  • Ga-Rei -Zero-:
    • When confronted by Yomi, Mei — corrupted by a Bane Stone — goads Yomi into a vengeful rage by gloating about how she killed Yomi's father. She returns to her senses and tries to talk Yomi down immediately afterwards, but it's too late.
    • Uttered by Yomi to Kagura at the end of the anime. By that point, everything that Yomi cared about was destroyed, some of them by her own hands while being Brainwashed and Crazy, so she believed that death by the hands of her own adopted little sister is the only way she can retain some dignity out of the whole mess.
  • Reilan does this in Haou Airen. When Hakuron rescues Kurumi from being gangraped by Reilan's henchmen, instead of giving in she begins to arrogantly taunt him, saying among other things that this is her revenge for having her innocence stolen away by him, and warning Kurumi that she will be thrown away later. This being Hakuron, he does shoot Reilan dead... And this is what she actually wanted.
  • Subverted in Highschool of the Dead. While Shidou dares Rei to kill him while she has him at bayonet-point, his visible sweating shows that he's actually terrified of dying.
  • Near the end of Inuyasha, the villain Naraku employs two particularly devious instances of this:
    • In one, he possesses a priestess and has her attack the heroine Kagome, trying to force Kagome to choose between allowing herself to be killed or killing the priestess in self-defense. However, because the priestess is currently committing evil under demonic possession, she will apparently be condemned to hell if Kagome kills her in this state; and if Kagome willingly chooses to kill her knowing this, she will lose her holy powers and cease to be a threat to Naraku anyway. Kagome manages to Take a Third Option by finding a way to exorcise the priestess of Naraku's possession.
    • In the other, Naraku has protagonists split up within the final dungeon. He shows the warrior Sango that her love interest, the monk Miroku, is about to sacrifice himself to try to destroy Naraku, without realizing that it is only an illusion of Naraku that he would destroy. He uses the Anti-Hero Sesshoumaru's Morality Pet Rin as a Human Shield, and tries to get Sango to choose to kill Rin in order to destroy him and save Miroku, which would further corrupt the sacred Shikon Jewel with darkness (as well as probably turn Sesshoumaru against Sango and possibly the rest of the protagonists). To top it all off, unbeknownst to her, the Naraku speaking to Sango is actually just another illusion, so Sango wouldn't actually hurt him or save Miroku at all. The plan successfully tricks her into trying to sacrifice Rin, contributing to the corruption of the jewel, although the other protagonists manage to save Rin, and Sesshoumaru remains focused on Naraku as the enemy (and even refuses the grief-stricken Sango's "Please Kill Me if It Satisfies You!").
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Ganondorf figures that, even if doesn't win, he can at least piss Link and Zelda off as much as humanly possible before kicking it. Thus, he pulls a Spiteful Suicide the moment he sees Link contemplate sparing him after his defeat to break the Eternal Recurrence, deciding he'd rather have another go at terrorizing their souls at a later date.
  • Used in Lost Universe very much like Star Wars, with a twist. Just as Kain Blueriver is about to use a newfound ability to supercharge his Psychoactive Powers with Unstoppable Rage to slay Darkstar, Millie arrives just in time to reveal that's exactly what Darkstar wants, as part of a Thanatos Gambit in which Kane's fury and self-loathing will unleash Darkstar's true form. Because of this, the only way to beat Darkstar is to kill him without an ounce of hatred.
  • In Monster (1994), it turns out that Johan did this to his sister Nina during the first episode, killing their foster parents and enticing Nina to shoot him. Obviously, she did. It eventually turns out that he wants the protagonist Dr. Tenma (since he saved Johan and allowed him to continue being... who he is) to shoot and kill him to prove that human lives aren't equal.
  • In Moriarty the Patriot, William tries very hard to invoke this in Sherlock, but since he completely fails to get Sherlock to hate him, well...
  • Naruto inverts this: Naruto says that if he can't get Sasuke to make a Heel–Face Turn, then he's Taking You with Me. He's gotten Sasuke to promise to save all of his hatred for him and avoid killing anyone else until they fight. In the end, it doesn't happen.
  • Kurt Godel in Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
    • Later, Dynamis.
  • Noir had Altena doing this. She seemed to think the titular duo killing her would result in them becoming The Scourge of God. It's not clear if what happened "counts".
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Jin-e is perfectly willing to die just to make Kenshin break his oath not to kill. Doing so will awaken "The Battosai" permanently. It fails at the last moment, thanks to Kaoru, so Jin-e is Driven to Suicide instead.
  • In Trigun, Legato Bluesummers tries to goad Vash the Stampede into killing him. Vash is a Technical Pacifist who believes "no one has the right to take the life of another"; Legato knows that forcing Vash to betray his beliefs and kill him is the single most abhorrent thing he can do to Vash. In this case, it's more of a Despair Gambit than trying to push Vash off the slippery slope.
    Legato: It's alright, kill me. It's simple. All you need do is pull the trigger. Once you've killed me, this will all be over. Come on. Time to choose. You have free will.
  • A rare HEROIC example comes in Yu-Gi-Oh! during Yugi and Kaiba's final duel. After Kaiba monologues about his abusive and difficult history culminating in his driving emotions being anger and hatred, Yugi says the trope almost verbatim as a means for Kaiba to let out his rage and frustration at him, then defeats him to prove that his fury and contempt are only holding him back from his true potential as a duelist.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: The Joker does this to Batman a lot. There's also one story in which he tries it with Superman — not just goading him, but making Clark believe that killing him is the only way to save Lois.
    • Especially in The Killing Joke, which involves the Joker trying to drive Commissioner Gordon to do this. He fails.
    • Surprisingly averted in Batman: Hush. When Batman gets so pissed off at the Joker for seemingly killing Thomas Elliot that he actually wants to kill Joker, the Joker runs away and actually tries to convince Batman of his innocence, when you'd expect him to instead just play along to get Batman to finally break his moral code. After all, Batman killing him is what the Joker always wanted, right? Well, apparently not in this instance.
  • Superman: In the story arc What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?, Manchester Black, a "superhero" from waaaaay down the cynical end of the scale, messes with Superman's life in an attempt to get him to admit that idealism has its limits. Culminates with him (apparently) killing Lois Lane right in front of Superman, willing to accept the consequences because if Superman snaps and kills him that means he was right all along. He fails, of course.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • The Lion King (1994): Scar attempts invoking this on Simba during the climax, but despite being tempted to kill him for Mufasa's murder, Simba ultimately refuses, asserting that he won't sink low as Scar.
    Scar: What are you going to do? You wouldn't kill your own uncle?
    Simba: No, Scar. I'm not like you.
    • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: During Simba's first confrontation with Zira, she dares Simba to punish her son Kovu for trespassing into the Pride Lands. After taking a good, long look at the frightened cub, he decides to let him off easy.
      Simba: You know the penalty for returning to the Pride Lands!
      Zira: But the child does not! However, if you need your pound of flesh... here.
      (she pushes Kovu forward; Simba stares down at him for a moment before turning to Zira)
      Simba: Take him and get out. We're finished here.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: Near the climax, Spinel actively goads Steven into using the Rejuvenator on her, knowing that he would prefer the "innocent, loving, stupid " original version of her rather than what she became. Steven doesn't and breaks the device with his bare hands to prove it.
  • Tarzan: When Tarzan snatches Clayton's gun and furiously points at him, rather than begging for mercy, Clayton instead goads to shoot him and become a man. Tarzan instead imitates a loud gunshot, then smashes the gun to smithereens.
    Clayton: Go ahead, shoot me...... (chuckles)..... be a man! (laughs)
    Tarzan: (imitates a loud gunshot) Not a man like YOU!! (smashes the gun)

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Possibly played with in 8mm. Eddie Poole taunts Tom Welles, who has him at gunpoint, telling him he doesn't have the guts to pull the trigger - and he's right. Until Tom whips out his cell phone, calls the mother of the girl Eddie and his fellows killed for their Snuff Film, and lets her talk him into doing the deed.
  • Done in the climax of Danny the Dog, with the villain goading Danny to kill him, while his Morality Pet retorts that If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!.
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight attempts this as Batman is racing straight towards him on the Batpod. He's visibly disappointed when Batman swerves at the last second.
    Joker: "Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. Hit me!"
  • There are occasional hints in the original film of The Hitcher that the title character is trying to get Jim to kill him in order to fulfill this trope.
  • Invoked in a way similar to Se7en in Jim Haggerty's The Slasher, wherein the titular slasher tries to goad the officer hunting him into executing him once caught. The detective refuses, leading the slasher to mock him mercilessly about how he'll get off easy with a good lawyer. Before his trial, however, the detective organizes a group of the families of the slasher's victims to have their way with him instead.
  • In the climax of Platoon, a wounded Barnes dares Taylor to kill him, which he does.
    Barnes: Go on boy! Do it!
  • In The Purge: Election Year, the Ax-Crazy Owen encourages Dwayne to purge him when being held at gunpoint. He doesn't oblige to that.
  • The end of Se7en: John Doe uses the head of Mills' wife to provoke Mills into killing him in order to complete the seventh sin, Wrath.
  • Spectre: After the climatic Final Battle, Ernst Stavro Blofeld attempts invoking this to see if James Bond will take the bait and become a twisted monster like himself. Instead, 007 simply states that he's "out of bullets" and tosses his gun away so Blofeld can be arrested, leaving him confused at this. It's implied Bond spared Blofeld because he knew that stooping to his level won't bring any satisfaction for all the deaths he's caused.
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home: The Green Goblin becomes delighted that MCU Spider-Man has every intention of killing him instead of curing him like the other villains; considering that the Goblin killed his Aunt May, Peter's fight against him is much more personal than anyone else. He almost pulled it off by impaling him with his Goblin Glider, but an intervention from 2002 Spidey prevented him from doing so. Fortunately, MCU Peter settles with curing the Goblin after Amazing Spidey tosses him the anti-serum.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: Inverted and twisted. Spock declares to his attacker, "If you are logical, you have to shoot." This trope is usually about a villain convincing the hero to give into their emotions, but Spock inverts it (by saying it to the villain) and twists it by imploring the villian to give in to their logic instead. Not shooting him, he implies, would be giving in to their emotions. This scene takes place during The Reveal that the attacker is Valeris, a Vulcan and a trusted mentee of Spock's. A Vulcan challenging another Vulcan on their logic is, in universe, more dramatic than any emotional appeal. Of course, Spock survives because Valeris cannot shoot her mentor.
  • A staple of the Star Wars franchise, given that it is the Trope Namer:
  • Done by Nitti to the protagonist Eliot Ness in The Untouchables (1987). He's really just playing a Batman Gambit to toy with him, except it backfires. Badly.

  • Lord Foul the Despiser tries this one on the title character of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant at the climax of The Power that Preserves, final book of the initial trilogy- and then the ghosts of heroes who'd previously died fighting Foul show up and also try to convince Covenant it's a good idea. However, by this point Covenant has realized that Foul is merely the externalization of the potential for evil that exists in all people, so that while he can be killed temporarily, he'd only be stronger when he returned from such a death. So instead, Covenant finishes Foul not with violence, but with something he cannot possibly endure- true, joyful laughter.
  • In Agatha Christie's Curtain, when Poirot confronts Norton, whom he has no way to bring to justice under the law, and declares his intention to kill him, Norton just smirks as if to say, Go ahead.
  • The Dark Elf Trilogy: A thug called Roddy McGristle does this to Drizzt Do'Urden in Sojourn, but only after finding that a) he can't beat Drizzt and b) Drizzt can't kill him, leading to an impasse. Then Bruenor confronts him and he sees that he'd have no qualms about killing him. Or eating his dog's leg, apparently.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Changes Martin arranges that Susan learn he was the one who revealed her daughter's existence to the Red Court, so that she'll kill him and complete her transformation into a Red Court vampire. Very unusual in that Martin is a Well-Intentioned Extremist making a Heroic Sacrifice by doing so. This happens in a room where a bloodline curse has been prepared — when a person is killed as the focus of it the curse will destroy everyone who came before them. Since Susan's transformation happened seconds before she's the youngest of the Red Court, meaning that if she's killed this way the entire Court will be destroyed. He's trusting Harry to finish the job, and Harry does with Susan allowing herself to be sacrificed.
    • In Skin Game Nicodemus does this to Karrin Murphy, "surrendering" with transparent insincerity while his minion still threatens. Of course, he has no intention of actually dying. But if his enemy tries to kill him after he's surrendered and while wielding one of the Swords of the Cross, the sword will lose power and he can break it.
  • In Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu, Qi Rong enjoys goading his enemies into killing him in particularly brutal and sadistic ways. Since he's a powerful wrath ghost with a well-hidden Soul Jar, he won't actually be Killed Off for Real, he gets to smugly make a "Not So Different" Remark, and he finds the idea of an unfortunate mortal being tortured to death by an ostensible hero for being possessed by him utterly hilarious.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Jihadain does everything she can to provoke Daniar into breaking her rule against killing. The reason behind this is that only lethal rage from a pure soul can revive Kthonia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lex Luthor does this in The Adventures of Superboy, during the episode "Mine Games".
    Luthor: Go on! Kill me! Kill me! If you don't kill me, I'll kill you, you stupid, spineless simp! MURDER MEEEE!
  • Happens twice in Agatha Christie's Poirot:
  • Played With in the last episode of season 4 of Covert Affairs, in which Henry Wilcox gives Annie a "Not So Different" Remark, slides her a gun, and dares her to shoot him. The gun has no bullets in it, and Annie guesses as much without even bothering to try shooting him first, as she knows exactly how Henry works.
  • Ray Langston had a close enough version in CSI. Serial killer Nate Haskell kidnapped the ex wife Ray still loved. He was constantly goading and taunting Ray through Ray’s stint on the show. When Ray found where he was hiding Gloria, Haskell started in again, taking delight in seeing Ray give into his anger. He knew they shared a gene that can predispose someone to violence, and kept provoking Ray after he was cuffed until Ray beat him bloody and threw him down the stairs to his death.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A rare heroic variant occurs in "Victory of the Daleks", when the Doctor is trying to get the "Ironsides" that Winston Churchill insists are robots created by the Allied special forces to admit they are actually Daleks, only to be constantly told by them that they do not understand, that they are his soldier, and would he care for some tea? He finally flies into a violent rage and beats one of them with a giant wrench while screaming at them to show everyone how evil they really are. It's unclear if he's exhibiting Death Seeker behavior, if he's too angry to think about what he's doing, or too angry to care either way:
      The Doctor: Fight back! I know you will! You hate me! You want to kill me! Well go on! Kill me! KILL ME!!
    • "Cold Blood": A Silurian called Alaya attempts to provoke her human captors into killing her, so that it will spark an interspecies war.
    • "Hell Bent": In a rather Nightmare Fuel-inducing use of this trope, a Dalek begs the Doctor to do this to it because it's trapped in an And I Must Scream-inducing prison. Fridge Horror kicks in when you remember that earlier in the season it was revealed that the Daleks' speech circuitry rewords the Daleks' speech for them, so it might be saying something even more extreme than "Exterminate me!"
  • The Flash (2014):
    • In the season two finale, Zoom repeatedly tries to goad Barry into killing him just to prove they're the same. The first time, he has one of his time remnants do it, then snaps his clone's neck when Barry can't follow through.
    • In the season three finale, the Big Bad Savitar is about to be erased from the timeline due to Iris surviving. He threatens to kill everyone Barry loves before this happens. In anger, Barry runs up to him, phases through his armor, and pushes Savitar out, taking over the armor (its glow switches from blue to red). He easily bests the now unarmored Savitar and prepares to finish him off with one of the armor's blades. Savitar realizes that if that happens, then Barry killing him in anger will result in Barry becoming Savitar in the future anyway. Unfortunately for him, he blurts it out and goads Barry to do it, causing Barry to realize what's happening. Instead, he vibrates the armor to pieces and knocks Savitar out. Savitar tries to rush Barry from the back, but Iris finishes him off with a gun.
    • In the Crisis on Earth-X crossover, after Barry bests Thawne, the latter goads him into killing him with a vibrating hand (a move favored by Thawne and Zoom). Barry decides to let him go.
  • In the second season of Hannibal, Hannibal Lecter encourages Will Graham's fantasies of killing him.
  • In the Haven episode "The Lighthouse", William congratulates Audrey for shoving him through the door between worlds, which he had previously described as consigning him to a Fate Worse than Death. Committing this act is the thing that finally frees William's beloved Mara (who had been trapped inside Audrey's mind) from her punishment.
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the evil god Dahak possesses Iolaus and goes on a rampage. When Hercules fights him, Dahak keeps goading him to kill him. It is pointed out that if Hercules does kill him while he's in Iolaus' body, then Iolaus will go to Hell along with Dahak. It will only be a minor setback for the evil god, while the forces of good would lose a good warrior and it will tip the scales of the cosmic balance to evil. Fortunately, Hercules manages to enter the body's mindscape, where he and Iolaus defeat Dahak together.
  • A variation in Kamen Rider Kuuga involves N·Daguva·Zeba's end-goal to make all of humanity into becoming as bloodthirsty and savage as he is, and he tries to prove it in his fight to the death with the eponymous hero. He goads Yusuke at his strongest to strike him down until he dies. However, Yusuke's gentle and kindhearted nature what prevents him from becoming a second Daguva, and thus rendering his plan moot.
  • In Lost Girl, Lachlan's treatment of Lauren is basically one Kick the Dog moment after the other. Bo finally confronts him on it and seems hell bent on killing him. He eventually drops his sword and encourages her to do so. Naturally, she doesn't. He then reveals that his treatment of Lauren and goading her to kill him was a test. There is something much worse coming (that feeds off of anger), and he had to make sure she was up to the task of confronting it. He notably becomes more likeable afterward, and treats Lauren better.
  • A wily serial killer who Gibbs caught years before NCIS started asked to see Gibbs again days before his execution date, taunting and teasing that he'd tell where the bodies are kept. This is the guy who turned Gibbs from a jovial jokester like DiNozzo into the jaded guy he is in the show. He wants Gibbs to kill him in an attempt to ruin Gibbs, since he's less than a day away from execution anyway. It doesn't work, and Gibbs mocks him for thinking it would.
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: Daimao resorts to this in the final episode since all his other plans to defeat the Kakurangers and take over the world had failed. Because he is the embodiment of evil, killing him would unleash a Hate Plague on humanity and revive all the other yokai. It seems like he is going to personally fight the rangers himself but the god generals warn the rangers that it is a trick and instruct them to take him alive so that he can be sealed away. He unsuccessfully tries to goad the rangers into killing him by attacking random civilians, blowing up buildings, and even pushing a baby carriage into traffic, but the rangers are able to resist the temptation and figure out how to summon the gate to seal him away.
  • In Smallville, Legion, Brainiac taunts Clark to kill him. Clark couldn't bring himself to do it because he is in Chloe's body.
  • Supernatural:
    • In an early episode, Dean does this to a very pissed-off Sam who's had his head messed with by a ghost. Dean even hands Sam a gun and tells him to do it. Sam does. The gun isn't loaded. Dean's not stupid.
    • In season 4, Lilith pulls this with Sam when he'd rather reunite with his brother than kill her like she wants him to so he'll inadvertently start the apocalypse.
    • In season 5, a captured demon gloats to an enraged Sam that he killed Sam's now dead girlfriend Jessica and just how much he loved doing it, and when Sam prepares to slit his throat he's goading Sam into killing him, because it will ruin the Winchesters' plan. Sam eventually resists the urge. The moment the demon isn't needed anymore however...
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In "The Conscience of the King, Kirk believes Karidian, an actor, is secretly Kodos the Executioner, the man responsible for the wholesale slaughter of 4,000 people on Tarsus IV. Kirk has a personal stake in the matter because he witnessed the killings as a boy. Karidian has had enough of both Kirk's insinuations that he is Kodos, and Kirk's eagerness to judge Kodos for what he did.
    Karidian: If you're so sure that I'm Kodos, why not kill me now? Let bloody vengeance take its final course! And see what difference it makes to this universe of yours.
  • In the season one finale of Wentworth, Big Bad Jacs Holt has lost her power over the inmates and has been framed for murdering a warden, so also has a target on her back among the guards. While she is in the middle of a Villainous BSoD, Bea comes in to her cell and confronts her for having her daughter killed. Jacs, who has nothing to lose or live for, decides to die on her own terms and ruin Bea's life in the process by goading Bea into killing her. She admits to ordering a hit on Bea's daughter and mocks her until Bea stabs her in the neck in a moment of rage. Bea then smirks and pulls then shank out so she bleeds out, even pushing Bea away when she tries to save her.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Lucius the Eternal, the Champion of Slaanesh, is blessed with a peculiar form of reincarnation: anytime he's killed by an enemy who feels satisfaction for the deed (and killing a Champion of Chaos is quite a bragworthy feat, let alone the Chosen of a Dark God), he slowly turns into Lucius until Lucius is reborn, the enemy just another screaming face in his armor.
    • Khorne the Blood God is strengthened by the rage felt by sentient beings (the three others function similarly, being the embodiments of rage, desire, hope and despair (and possibly love) respectively), be they devoted to serving or fighting him. It's one of the main reasons Chaos is so hard to get rid of and that turning on your own comrades in the middle of a battle can actually increase your worth in the eyes of the Ruinous Powers.
      Khorne cares not from where the blood flows, only that it flows.

    Video Games 
  • During the Azur Lane event "Pledge of the Royal Court", Monarch encounters Bon Homme Richard META, who delights in pushing other shipgirls into their own METAmorphosis. After noting that as a Blueprint Ship who lacks any history of her own, Monarch needs more of a push to begin METAmorphosis, Bon Homme Richard META goads Monarch to attack her, and when she holds back, demands Monarch stop doing so and attack her with out holding anything back, phyisically or emotionally.
    "Nice shot there lady. Just imagine what a devastating weapon you could be if you became META..."
    "Hahaha... Ahahahah! AHAHAHAHAHA! Light me up ! Reduce me to a pile of ash!"
    "Release all of your pent-up loneliness, bitterness, stress, and anger! Take it all out on me! Don't think, just SHOOT ME!"
  • In the final chapter of Baldur's Gate II, you face Sarevok, the Big Bad of the previous game, as one of hell's trials. He tempts you to use your Superpowered Evil Side on him. He's doing it because he's compelled to, but if anything, he's jealous of your position:
    Sarevok: So think of me! Think of how I destroyed your precious Gorion! How I plundered the lives of your Candlekeep! Summon your rage, stir the depths of your black heart! Summon wrath! Summon wrath and become it! Because if you cannot, then you are not worth your destiny! It should have been I! It should have been I! ATTACK ME, WORM, IF YOU DARE!
  • Terumi quotes the Trope Namer verbatim to Noel in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Unlike Palpatine, he succeeds. Noel gets Drunk on the Dark Side and becomes Mu-12.
    • After being defeated by Ragna, a delighted Terumi laughs and and again calls out to Ragna to "strike him down with all of his hatred". Ragna has a tough decision, and finally refuses, deciding that there are plenty of things that can make killing Terumi a bitch. It turns out that he wanted Ragna to kill him, so he could go to his ghost form and invade Takamagahara. Instead, Relius shows up and finishes off Terumi himself.
  • Raul Menendez does this to the player in the last mission of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. At the end of the mission, you slide down a building wreckage, shooting two soldiers (and De Falco, if he was not already dead) and knife Menendez to the leg before lunging on him and sticking your pistol to his head. At This point, Menendez will whisper to you: "Martyr me... for Cordis Die." If you do it, the ending reveals that a pre-recorded propaganda message, which was set to play after Menendez's death, was shown all over the world, igniting the rage of his followers. Thus, Menendez becomes a symbol of the revolution, whose power is shown by us by riots in the streets, graffiti scrawled across the walls, and an image of the White House burning down.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Celia attempts this on Soma Cruz, in a gambit to make him the Dark Lord. Whether she succeeds or not depends on if Soma has a certain amulet equipped. If she does, it leads to a Bad End and a new game play mode where Soma is the final boss.
  • Elohim Eternal: The Babel Code: When Balaam is defeated, he insults the soldiers and judges who died to the infernos in order to goad Joshwa into killing him, ensuring that the party can't interrogate him for further information about his cult.
  • At the end of the third Disc of Final Fantasy IX Kuja goads the party into attacking him specifically because he needs to harness their aggression and put himself in a state of physical desperation so he can Trance with the accumulated energy of all the souls stolen from the Invincible, gaining god-like power.
  • Crops up several times in Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2:
    • In the backstory to Injustice Gods Among Us, The Joker basically dares Superman to kill him, after the killer clown used Kryptonite-laced fear gas to trick Supes into killing Lois and his unborn child, which resulted in Metropolis being nuked. This takes place in an alternate universe to the main one, so instead of what would be expected, Superman goes through with it. And the Joker's rationale for causing all of this mess? He was tired of constantly losing to Batman, so he decided to go after an easier target and see if they'll become just as evil as he is, in his twisted Straw Nihilist viewpoint. As with all incarnations in the DCU, the Joker of the Injustice-verse is nihilistic, pointing out the meaninglessness of life.
    • Also in Injustice Gods Among Us, Lex Luthor, an ally of Superman who slowly became disillusioned with the way he was going, invokes this, causing Superman to kill him in anger, but the sight of seeing the Man of Steel kill a friend causes the populace to rebel against Superman's rule.
    • In the bad ending of Injustice 2, Batman attempts to invoke this on Regime Superman to show how far he's fallen, telling him to "show me what a villain looks like" when Superman wants to kill Brainiac in revenge for blowing up Krypton. Why he wants to do this is unclear, but Superman instead head-butts him out cold, noting that killing Batman would just make him a martyr like Luthor. He opts to condemn Batman to a Fate Worse than Death by turning him into a brainwashed minion.
    • Joker, while appearing as a Fear Toxin hallucination in the story mode of Injustice 2 and providing vague reasons how he came back alive to in intro exchanges, repeatedly attempts invoking this and the "Not So Different" Remark to other characters, having succeeded with Superman.
  • Happens a grand total of four times in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II:
    • Yun defiantly demands that Kyle kill him at the end of their duel, only to be very confused when Kyle lets him go.
    • Maw make a similar demand upon his defeat, but is disgusted by Kyle's mercy and goads him into it by describing how he and Jerec killed his father and put his head on display.
    • Immediately afterwards, Jerec shows up with a captured Jan Ors and commands Kyle to strike her down to complete his fall to the Dark Side and join him.
    • At the end of the Light Side path, Jerec tries this again, reminding Kyle again that he killed his father. Kyle doesn't fall for it this time though, having mastered his emotions, and throws his lightsaber back to him before killing him in a fair duel with ease.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, this is what Master Xehanort has been doing to Terra all the way up to their final confrontation in order to make sure Terra's heart is at it's weakest so that he can Body Surf into a younger, healthier body. Technically, it had Gone Horribly Right when Terra becomes so determined that it allows his soul to possess his own armor and continue the battle.
  • In the Knights of the Old Republic Fan Game The Jedi Masters, this occurs during the Final Battle. Revan's plan is to use the power of the Eldritch Abomination worshipped by the True Sith to destroy it and their fleet in a Heroic Sacrifice, but Darth Traya's clone followed them and tells them that his plan won't work unless he's on The Dark Side. She then tells him to strike her down to complete his journey while reminding him of the events that led to his Start of Darkness in the first place, and the Player Character's actions here decide the ending. The player can let Revan do it and fight the Big Bad alone letting his plan go off without a hitch, kill Traya themselves and hijack Revan's plan so he lives, stop Revan and have an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight with the Big Bad themselves, or let Revan do it then backstab him to take control of the Sith.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: Gaul tells Spyro to finish him after being defeated. When Spyro doesn't attack, Gaul calls him a coward and laughs at his "weakness". Unfortunately for Gaul, while Spyro might not have finished him off, Dark Spyro is more than willing to and completely obliterates him.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, Lucia has the Big Bad Zophar in her sights and ready for her to finish. The rest of the party wonder why she's taking so long to do it and even Zophar starts telling her to do it. The reason she's hesitating as Zophar reveals is the only way to kill Zophar completely would result in the total eradication of all life on Lunar as well.
  • Mega Man ZX:
    • Invoked by Serpent towards Vent/Aile at the climax after they've gone one-on-one in their Megamerged forms. He taunts them, which causes them to remember how he was responsible for their family's deaths and get extremely angry. Turns out though, their hatred and anger was the last key he needed to wake up the Model W Core.
    • In Advent, Master Albert does the same thing with the centuries of pent-up hatred that Prometheus and Pandora have for him to awaken the dozens, if not hundreds of Model W fragments he has locked away. In this case, he lets Prometheus destroy his dummy body and think he's finally taken his and his sister's revenge first, just to finally let them dive head-first over the edge.
  • Inverted in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle by Travis right before the last part of the final battle.
    Travis: Come on, prez! Unleash your hate! Your anger! Everything! I'll take it all, and fucking KILL YOU WITH IT!"
    • And before then by Pizza Batt.
  • Big Bad Claudia in Silent Hill 3 keeps goading Heather to hate her in order to have her birth God, who dwells in Heather's body. When Claudia had a monster kill Harry Mason, Heather's father, it gave Heather enough hatred to go and seek Claudia out so she could kill her. Because the cult's God feeds off of hatred, Heather sometimes doubles over in pain. Should you try to shoot Claudia at the end of the game, Heather completely collapses and the God bursts out of Heather's body.
  • Kraven in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is dying of cancer and wants to be killed by a better predator than him and die a Glorious Death rather than in a hospital bed. Once he sees the symbiote's strength and effects on Peter's personality, he believes he's finally found his last prey, and in his boss fight, he makes several attempts to get it to overide Peter's Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. He has much greater success after the symbiote takes Harry as its host.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the Light Side Ending has Starkiller defeat Palpatine in a boss battle. Palpatine groans and says, "You were destined to destroy me. Do it. Give in to your hatred!" When Kota talks Starkiller down, Palpatine gets really pissed and blasts Kota with Force Lightning for interfering.
    • In the second game, Darth Vader dares Starkiller to kill him when Vader is defeated. If you try it, Vader's Dark Apprentice will jump in and kill Starkiller.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Expected from the franchise at this point, but often well executed. Sith NPC's will regularly try to bait light side characters and especially jedi with this.
    • Sith Warrior players can get in on this, too. At one point Warriors have the option to mock a pair of Jedi while steadfastly refusing to pull their weapon first- even claiming to be a better Jedi than the Knights he's facing! It actually works on one of them, but he doesn't live long enough to regret or revel in his fall to the Dark Side.
  • In Guile's original ending in Street Fighter II, once Guile grabs Bison by the collar and yells at him about his murder of Charlie, Bison replies with this and urges Guile to kill him. It's a good thing that Guile's wife and daughter show up and tell him "If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!" instead.
  • Zoran Lazarevic of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves attempts to invoke this with Nathan Drake when he's finally defeated and put at gunpoint in the collapsing ruins of Shambala. Not out of some sort of Thanatos Gambit, but just as one last nihilistic middle finger of defiance to prove that Nate was as merciless and violent as he is. Nate relents and Lazarevic considers him nothing more than a coward - until Nate points out the swarm of Shambala's Guardians coming their way that will do the job for him. Nathan escapes, Lazarevic dies screaming as he's torn apart off-screen before Shambala collapses on him.
  • Undertale: After the player defeats him and spares him, Flowey asks you if you really think he's learned anything, and warns you that if he survives he'll come back and destroy everything you love. If you continue to spare him, he eventually has a breakdown, since Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. To make this sadder, in his backstory it's revealed that he used to be an ordinary monster, implying that his breakdown is partially due to realizing how much of his former self he's lost, seeing as despite his immense new knowledge and power, he genuinely can't understand actions that his old self would have also taken. If you do choose to kill him, he says "I knew you had it in you!" in triumph before promptly dying and coming back in the next run, since you've reset the timeline and thus revived him.
  • In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, when you attack the Sha of Anger, a literal physical manifestation of anger, yells for all of the zone to hear "Yes, YES! Bring your rage to bear! Try to strike me down!"
    • Kind of subverted, in that striking down these physical manifestations of negative emotion tends to purge the afflicted of its influence. The player is rewarded by the Shado-Pan for exactly this reason.
    • Also subverted in that the Sha of Anger doesn't actually want to be struck down (it just wants the anger from failed attempts) and sometimes during its respawn, it angrily states: "You will not bury me again!"

  • In Goblins, a cornered Dellyn Goblinslayer goads his nemesis Thaco into finishing him off, believing that if he cannot triumph over Thaco, he might as well go down in history as Thaco's archnemesis. Thaco considers him Not Worth Killing and leaves him to live out the rest of his days in shame. Kin, one of Dellyn's former victims, however, has no such restraint, and makes her wrath felt in full.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Belkar (a Chaotic Evil protagonist) tries to get Miko (a nominally Lawful Good antagonist) to do this, just so she'd lose her paladin powers... and then Belkar could just get himself resurrected to mock her. Vaarsuvius later points out to Belkar that the Order of the Stick lacks the actual resources to resurrect him. To be fair, by then we already know that Wisdom is Belkar's Dump Stat.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Fire Lord Ozai taunts his enemies to kill him without mercy, just he would do to them. He believes that the strong rules while the weak perishes and thus it angers him when his son Zuko refuses to fight him twice. Avatar Aang ultimately refutes his philosophy by not only sparing Ozai's life but also taking away his firebending to render him a non-threat, forcing the former Fire Lord to live with the humiliation of being denied a warrior's death. For extra irony, Ozai is played by none other than Mark Hamill, the recipient of the trope.
  • Lex Luthor does this to Superman in Justice League Unlimited, taunting Supes to kill him for apparently causing Flash's death so he will become like his Justice Lord counterpart.
    Luthor: This is the part where you kill me, right? Go on, use your heat vision. You know you want to.
  • Megatron does this to Jack in Transformers: Prime in the episode "Rock Bottom", daring Jack to kill him while he's trapped after a cave-in. Jack doesn't take the bait.


Superman kills The Joker

All it took was one bad day…

How well does it match the trope?

4.61 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / BreakThemByTalking

Media sources: