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Talking the Monster to Death

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"Has anyone tried talking to him? Violence may be the best answer, but it's not the only answer!"

The hero has cornered the vicious monster. It's taken out everyone who has confronted it thus far, and the hero seems like no exception.

That's when the hero, rather than drawing a sword, pulls out his cue cards. He begins a speech about the good things in life, the wonders of good, how Humans Are Special and the monster should respect that, and that the monster should know better than just give into his evil nature, etc.

And it works. This hideous monster surrenders, lets itself die, chooses to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, disappears in a Puff of Logic, or what-have-you. Basically, an organic version of the Logic Bomb.

More cynically, it moves the monster just long enough for the hero's friends to open fire, shuttering out that one chance of redemption... Or it doesn't work at all and just gives the monster some open spot to attack the hero.

Done well, this can be a very moving finale. Done badly, it comes across as a giant cop-out (See: Swiper, No Swiping!). Sometimes spoofed by having the monster giving up just to make the hero shut up.

A favorite tool of the Guile Hero. Often an illustration of The Power of Language. See also To Win Without Fighting. Also related to "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Compare Swiper, No Swiping!. Contrast Shut Up, Kirk!.

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  • Parodied in two ads by Latin American channel Space, under the appropriate tag line "not everything is solved by talking".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Usagi talks down Black Lady, who reverts to ChibiUsa in Sailor Moon R. Then she does it again with Nehellenia, and finally Galaxia in Stars. The anime also had her talking down lesser villains on a pretty regular basis.
  • Tenchi in Tokyo ended with Tenchi telling the villain Yugi that he accepts and understands her, and she agrees to put herself into suspended animation until she grows up into a better person. His grandfather had earlier remarked that Tenchi had the gift of being able to solve problems without fighting.
  • Played with in Slayers: Since mazoku feed on negative emotions, Amelia's justice speeches tend to leave Xellos feeling rather queasy.
  • Used twice in Cyborg 009's 2001 series. 005 uses it against the Spirit of the Earth (in the form of a gigantic jaguar that has been killing people, including the husband of a friend of 005 himself, and both 003 and 009 do that to Sphynx, a supercomputer who kidnaps 003 to make her his puppet girlfriend and tries to kill the others, especially 009 and 004.
  • This happens very often in Naruto. So much so that the fans consider Talk no jutsu to be Naruto's most powerful technique.
    • Happens at the resolution of the Pain arc. After beating the villain in a fight, rather than killing him, Naruto uses a book written by their shared mentor to get Pain to Heel–Face Turn.
    • Played straight with Naruto's own dark side. It was during a Journey to the Center of the Mind and Fearful Symmetry had proven to be pointless.
    • It's also one of the few ways of killing Edo Tensei zombies. If the soul obtains emotional closure, they lose their connection to the physical world and move on, breaking the jutsu.
    • Naruto does it again with Obito Uchiha. After having torn through his facade as the Ten Tails with fused Kurama and Susano'o, Naruto looked into his mind, saw him daydreaming about a world where he was Hokage, and tore apart all his villainous motivations.
  • Happened to both of the Big Bads in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Gakuto ends up dying in his collapsing castle (voluntarily, to "right his wrongs") and Micheal ascends to some kind of Angel-plane, along with the spirits of his fallen minions (who helped Talking The Monster To Death )
  • In Death Note's post-series one-shot, Near uses a single sentence to end C-Kira's reign.
  • In Infinite Ryvius, the Grey Geshpenst completely outpowers the Ryvius and is only stopped when a badly-battered Neya begs Captain Viscuess to stop, and he realizes he can't go through with murdering 500 children. Combined with the events occurring on the Lift Ship at the same time, this is part of An Aesop that words can solve problems that violence can't.
  • Played with in Negima! Magister Negi Magi; after Kotaro joins Negi's side, he starts and keeps bothering Negi about the proper way to fight (fighting for the sake of fighting), prompting Yue to flatten him with a speech. She even feels kinda bad about it, knowing there's no way a kid like him can stand up to her in conversation if she decides to overwhelm him.
  • Altered slightly in Macross 7. At the end, with the entire galaxy's spiritua about to be consumed by Lord Geppelnich's monstrously transformed body. Basara's singing finally gets through to another Protodevlin, Sevil, and she begins singing. As a result, she starts to produce spiritua within herself, proof that Protodevlin don't need to steal spiritua from others. Geppelnich hadn't believed the process of consuming the galaxy's spiritua to be reversible, but when he starts singing, it and his transformation reverse. Having no longer need to steal spiritua, they then leave the galaxy.
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist. When Envy makes a desperate last attempt to turn Ed, Roy, Riza, and Scar against each other, Ed tells him he's realized the reason he hates human beings so much is his very envy of their humanity. His response is to kill himself. Not a straight example since he was half-dead already anyway and was completely powerless to defend himself, and it was very clear that he wasn't leaving that room alive anyway. He just took what he saw as a less humiliating exit.
  • Digimon:
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Gohan tries to talk Cell out of fighting, knowing if he unleashed his hidden power it would end badly for Cell. Cell doesn't listen and actively tries to provoke Gohan to releasing his power. He gets his wish.
    • Mr. Satan (Hercule in the old dubs) does this to Majin Buu, and it works quite well, successfully appealing to Buu’s good side and pacifying him. Unfortunately two serial killers cause Buu to transform into a more powerful and evil form.
    • In the original series Master Roshi did a form of this to Tien, trying to get him to turn away from his evil master. He was half successful. It takes Tien fighting Goku and having his master cheat for him before he broke ties with him.
  • The subverted version is used in the climactic mid-way Boss Battle of the OVA of Record of Lodoss War (which also happens to be the final battle in the first manga, where this trope is also used, since the OVA condensed the story dramatically. Ghim insists that Leylia still exists within her possessed body, and shows a comb he made for her, which allows Leylia a foothold, distracting Karla long enough for the Party to defeat her. Too bad the Sixth Ranger Woodchuck was possessed next.
  • In Girls Bravo's final episode Yukinari confronts Yukina who had kidnapped his girlfriend Maharu and was about to kill all the men on her planet. However, he is a Non-Action Guy and instead of fighting he had a heart-to-heart talk with her about how they were both Allergic to Love and convinced her to change her ways. Unfortunately for him she changed into a Yandere Stalker with a Crush and joined his Harem.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: The magical trio of Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate manage to talk the sentient Artifact of Death (who is also a young girl, as these things so often are,) into being friends. This is rather short-lived, as said artifact is still an Artifact of Death, and they have to blast the 'Death' part out with an interdimensional warship. Particularly sad in that she asks to be destroyed before she has a chance to regenerate the corrupted section of her programming.
  • Subverted in Souten Kouro. Cao Cao has a whole debate with Li Lie and defeats him with rhetoric... which buys Xu Chu enough time to come and blow his brains out.
  • Subverted in Paranoia Agent: Mrs. Ikari sits Li'l Slugger down, discusses her life up to this point, and proceeds to divine his true nature and weaknesses... but unfortunately, she's not the one who has to come to terms with him. All her speech does is freak him out and start the destruction of Tokyo.
  • Subverted in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In episode 9 after Sayaka became a witch, Oktavia, due to her corrupted Soul Gem, Kyoko desperately looked for ways to revert Sayaka back to being a human. Kubey told her that to his knowledge no one has ever been able to turn back once they became a witch. He gave Kyoko a Hope Spot by saying that there is no precedent to such thing, and there might be a way which he does not know of. Kyoko then proceeded to befriend and team up with Sayaka's best friend Madoka in an attempt to talk Sayaka back into humanity. It did not end well.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Touma Kamijo is as fond of doing this as he is punching out the bad guy. Sometimes he does both.
    • Ouma Yamisaka kidnaps Index and attempts to drain knowledge from her mind so he can lift a curse from a girl, claiming he's only doing it to prove his skill. Touma orders him to stop lying: it's obvious that he's in love with the girl. Touma also explains that he can easily lift the curse and offers to do so. Upon hearing this, Ouma breaks down in tears and surrenders.
    • Touma asks Fiamma of the Right why he had to go through all the theatrics of his overly complicated plan when he is already powerful enough to destroy the world. Touma then says it's because, despite Fiamma's power, he was afraid he would fail. Touma also points out that despite everything that has happened, Touma's friends and even complete strangers have proven that not all Humans Are Bastards like Fiamma had claimed. Touma then punches him out.
    • When Marian Slingeneyer threatens to draw the cursed sword Dáinsleif and trigger Ragnarok, Touma mocks her and says that if she had the guts to do that, she would have done it immediately. Marian is enraged, but then realizes she is too afraid to actually draw it. Touma then punches her out.
  • In Flint the Time Detective, Flint or the historian-of-the-day does this to a Time Shifter, whenever they are transformed into their Con forms by Petrafina.
  • In episode 2 of Kotoura-san, Yoshihisa chews Hiyori after he found out that she psychically exploited Haruka during the Fortune Teller scene and teased her about the Stress Vomit. Check out Yoshihisa's Tranquil Fury, his Love Confession for Haruka, and the fact that both Haruka and Yuriko were eavesdropping on this conversation. The former even sheds Tender Tears afterwards as the latter holds her tenderly.
  • Shaman King arguably ends on this note in the Manga. Much of the series has been about one desperate measure after another to catch up with Hao so that he cannot attain the power of God and eradicate humanity. Unfortunately, unlike in most manga, Hao's thousand-year head start on the forces training specifically to fight him proves to be an utterly insurmountable barrier: Hao has been training so long and so hard that he is completely unbeatable, even with all the strongest shaman beneath him working together, and even somehow managing to kill him wouldn't stop him from coming back in 500 years even stronger. Yoh's solution to this is to realize defeating Hao with force isn't an option and never was and proposes an alternative plan: confronting Hao in the Shaman King's realm and convincing him he's wrong. Appealing to Hao's humanity (particularly when Opacho and Hao's mother, two of the few things he truly cares about, join in the appeal) eventually convinces Hao to relent and bring everyone back to life, letting Yoh and the others live their lives without his interference. It's implied this is the only tactic that wasn't simply delaying the inevitable as far as Hao was concerned. The minor exception might be Lady Sati who would have had enough power to defeat Hao just by working with the rest of her team, Team Nyorai, not to mention her Gandhara followers, all of whom were more or less evenly matched with the likes of Jeanne, she just didn't have any intention whatsoever to win the Shaman Fight, and instead wanted to teach Hao how to become a proper Shaman King.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Lucy gets this at least twice. Once in her fight with the rock-and-roll assassin in the Tower of Heaven, where she specifically talks Juvia out of the Mind Control that she has been put under, and later in the Oración Seis fight, where Lucy convinces most of Angel's Celestial Spirits to defect.
    • Mirajane does a variation on this: First she pummels the shit out of her opponent until they reach a lull in the fighting, then gently picks apart their reasoning which deprives them of any lingering will to keep going (usually resulting in them breaking down in tears) as they surrender. She pulls this off against Freed in the Battle of Fairy Tail arc and Racer in the Key to the Starry Skies Filler arc.
  • In The Promised Neverland, series heroine Emma takes down Big Bad Peter Ratri this way, by pointing out that while she does indeed hate him for all of her friends/adoptive family he's killed as part of his scheme, she's also done with the cycle of revenge, and realizes that someone has to be the one to break it, so she decides that it will be her. She also points out that a lot of what has caused the tragedies of the cycle with demons and humans has been a lack of understanding, and how bridging that gap would free everyone - including Peter - from the fates they are trapped in. Faced with the realization of her words, Peter responds by cutting his own throat.
  • In The Big O, the final confrontation is not a traditional Megadeus fight. Instead, Roger Smith has a final negotiation in the form of a speech directed at Big Venus aka Angel. The stakes are quite high since Big Venus is erasing reality all around it as it draws closer and closer. Roger is ultimately able to convince Big Venus that memories make life meaningful even if they aren't real memories. The result is something of a Gainax Ending, but Paradigm City gets to see another day.
    Dorothy: Roger the Negotiator.
  • Yui Kamio Lets Loose: Kiito, a normal person, wins against a Mushi host Ayako by poking holes in her morality.

    Comic Books 
  • Age of X-Man ends when Nate Grey, the titular X-Man, is talked down and shown the flaws in his Crapsaccharine World - born out of his well-meaning attempt to break the X-Men out of the Theory of Narrative Causality and give them genuine peace, but twisted by his Control Freak tendencies. It helps that he really didn't want to fight, and spends much of the final issue pleading with the X-Men to just listen to him. The final straw is his own subconscious, which conjured up a duplicate of Dani Moonstar, his ex-girlfriend, who explains that relationships and connections are part of what makes people human. After it ends without a fight - he lets the X-Men go, and sets about reforming his reality on less totalitarian lines, but not before some of them admit that he made some good points.
  • In one story arc of Deadpool, the titular character faces off against Galactus, and successfully manages to defeat him by annoying him so much with his constant talking that Galactus flies off just to get away from him.
  • In an issue of The Authority, the villain gets talked into working for the heroes instead of destroying the world. (The heroes give him a run-down country to build up again in an "If you're so smart..." ploy). Note that this is after they've already killed all the soldiers he's deployed, almost all of whom were just teenagers who read his ad in the back of comic books to get superpowers.
    Dr. Kriegstein: You're insane. Nobody's going to listen to me. I've ended up as one of those enormous end-of-the-world threats you people have to deal with.
    Swift: And this is how we'll deal with you.
    • Done again with one of the Doc's soldiers, Tank Man. Midnighter realized his adversary had a similar origin story to him and talked him into giving up and going away. They exchanged letters afterwards.
  • The Incredible Hulk: This is a favored tactic of Dr. Leonard Samson who, as a licensed psychologist, often has insight into the inner workings of the Hulk's mind and rage. He's also used this to talk down other monsters and villains, usually while punching them at the same time.
  • JLA:
    • One issue features a rogue general putting his mind into an indestructible monster body. Batman realizes that his brain can no longer process a lot of information, so he begins talking and trying to hypnotize him into falling asleep. Then Superman messes it all up by punching him.
    • Prometheus also practices this skill. Backed up by technological gimcrackery.
  • Wild C.A.T.s (WildStorm) fought TAO, who had a whole range of mysterious powers. Anyone simply talking to him risked going catatonic.
  • Fables. Playing off '1001 Arabian Nights', Snow White manages to talk her way out of a murder-happy rape-marriage with tales of her friends.
  • Angel, the canonical comics. Angel tries telepathic spams of Happy Fred Memories to calm down Illyria, who had become depressed over trying to be like Fred and was squashing people. Doesn't quite work and things get much worse.
  • Captain America, of all people, does this: he manages to talk his own evil clone into committing suicide. Or self-destructing, since it's not entirely clear whether the clone was flesh and blood or robotic.
  • This is often Shazam's go-to approach if the situation doesn't call for immediate violence, and he's often successful at it.
    • During a team-up with Superman, Shazam was forced to possess Superman's body in order to speak with an ancient frog goddess who was threatening to wipe out a large portion of humanity. Cap is able to simply talk her down using eloquence and sincere, heartfelt compassion. The goddess leaves without further incident, and Superman admits that Cap succeeded with words where he would have failed with violence.
    • A semi-example, but during the Crisis Times 5 JLA/JSA team-up, Shazam is able to end the battle between two 5th Dimensional Imps by combining their names into one word, and getting the good Imp present to say it, causing them to combine into a balanced entity.
    • During a different team-up, this time with Green Lantern, they fought a professor who had absorbed the spirit of an ancient Egyptian wizard in order to show people the glories of ancient Egypt. Green Lantern tried and failed repeatedly to just beat the guy into submission. Cap then spoke to the man, pointed out the destruction he was committing not only was destroying some of the artifacts of Egypt (they were fighting in a museum at the time), but he was also going to harm the people he was hoping to show the wonders of Egypt to. The man actually expelled the wizard from his body out of a combination of guilt and shame because of Cap's words.
    • In a reversal of the above, Cap actually got the invading spirit to vacate a possessed body, rather than talk the host into giving up its power. During Final Crisis, Shazam came across a woman who had become possessed by a demon. Shazam basically glared at the demon and said, "Get out of her. NOW." The demon promptly left without another word.
  • In The Thessaliad, Thessaly talks her way past a Sphinx and an axe-murderer, distracting the former long enough to escape on a train and distracting the latter long enough to cast a shrinking spell on him and then cleave his head in two.
  • In The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, it's Played for Laughs when Kup tells a story about how Prowl once spent two and a half straight days lecturing to a captured Decepticon every single chapter and verse of the Tyrest Accord that the 'Con had violated, until the 'Con finally committed suicide out of sheer intolerable boredom.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye takes it rather literally; Tarn, leader of the Decepticon Justice Division, is able to modulate the timbre of his voice in time with the beating of another Transformer's spark. As he lowers his voice, it makes the unfortunate victim's spark give out and causes their body to explode.
  • In Superman: Red Son Brainiac (who is at the moment on Superman's side) determines that someone with Lex Luthor's level of intelligence could convince Superman to commit suicide within minutes. His solution is to eliminate Luthor before he gets the chance.
  • The Doctor Who comic in Doctor Who Magazine had a story entitled "TV Action!", where the Eighth Doctor and Izzy travelled to our reality. Tom Baker, who had played the Fourth Doctor, defeats that month's alien by merely talking to him and rambling endlessly.
  • Just barely averted in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW). The Cutie Mark Crusaders drive Chrysalis absolutely crackers, then when she implicitly threatens to eat them, they keep it up until she gets physically ill! None of that, though, staves off the final confrontation between Twilight and Chrysalis.
  • Story!Loki in the 17th (and final) issue of Loki: Agent of Asgard does this twice. First against Those Who Sit Above In Shadow... who just disappear mid-speech about the nature of gods ("if we entertain the notion that the believers create the gods then who created you and why?" was the gist of it), and better yet Loki admitted just bluffing and not knowing what just happened later, but it clearly worked. Somehow. Second was against the main villain King!Loki, who at that point just wanted to be left alone already, which was about how in failing actually succeeded (comes from fighting against yourself) and now could let go, which they do and Story!Loki turns their essence into the shiny thingy on their brand new scepter.
  • Inverted in an old Captain America issue when Magneto captured the Red Skull and left him to die in a Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere. The Red Skull began to hallucinate, and his hallucinations urged him to commit suicide. Except for the hallucination of Captain America at the end, who convinced the Red Skull to live. "I don't want you to die. I want you to live so that I can catch you and bring you to justice. This isn't justice; this is vengeance."
  • Wonder Woman usually prefers talking her opponents down rather than fighting them and has been able to convince people to give up or cause them to have Heel Realization and switch sides since the Golden Age. In Wonder Woman (1987) a cop is furious when Wondy saves her after she's shoved out the window by a drug addict looking for a fix by lassoing her and then talking the addict down while the officer was left dangling and listening in. The officer has a real complaint—Wondy didn't use her lasso's stretching ability fully and gave the officer potentially career-ending injuries—but her hatred of the perp and disgust with Wondy's attempts to rehabilitate him are proven unfounded and cruel when the same teen comes to apologize to her and ends up dying to save her from an assassination attempt.
  • In the Empowered special High School Hell, the final issue sees Emp and her teammate Sistah Spooky at the mercy of Ashlee, one of Spooky's old classmates who has just gained a massive power boost by absorbing all the magic of the other students after their deaths. However Spooky realises that Ashlee hasn't had a chance to practice controlling her new power and that if she has suicidal thoughts for even a moment then she won't be able to stop her powers from activating and granting her wish to die. Spooky then proceeds to deliver a major "The Reason You Suck" Speech that targets Ashlee's self-loathing, envy, and regrets, driving her into a Villainous Breakdown as she desperately tries to deny the truth, only to end up consumed in flames when she finally accepts that Spooky is right.
  • Super Mario Adventures: In chapter 10, Mario and Luigi manage to deal with Big Boo by posing as a psychiatrist and nurse and helping him overcome his shyness with a little therapy.
  • In Spanish comic book La Familia Cebolleta, the grandfather (prone to tell Tall Tales about his "war adventures") meets a robber attempting to mug him. The old man promptly starts to ramble about said adventures. The robber attempts to get away from him and ends up begging the cops to arrest him.

    Fan Works 
  • In Abraxas (Hrodvitnon), Vivienne and San telepathically communicate with San's Ghidorah-attached counterpart, and they explain to him why Vivienne is attached to San but not him, and they convince him that he can be free of Ghidorah if he frees himself first. As a result of this conversation, the Ghidorah-attached San turns against Ichi and Ni, helping Viv and San, Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and the other Earth Titans to subdue Ghidorah at the cost of his own life.
  • Child of the Storm has Strange and Merlin desperately try to talk down Nimue, the Arc Villain of Unfinished Business. This is presented as unusual for Strange, who's more likely to pull a brutal Breaking Speech instead, especially with someone who's provoked him as much as she has, but justified in that he understands her pain and where she's coming from, since their past traumas have many of the same roots as do their present fears - though that being said, he's also holding a significant grudge against her, so he's also willing to cut to vicious violence. Merlin, who's gentler, actually achieves a Hope Spot by getting through to her briefly. In the end, though, she doubles down.
  • In Craving the Sky, Weiss, who is secretly a Faunus in this story, uses her knowledge of their similar circumstances to call out Ilia on the underlying self-hatred and shame that's fueling her anger during the White Fang attack on Amity Colosseum. Despite being beaten, disarmed, and completely at Ilia's mercy, Weiss is able to use this opening to talk her down from planting a bomb in Amity Colosseum's engines and instead place it somewhere that will get the White Fang's message across without killing anyone.
  • In Fallout Equestria: Starlight, this, along with a memory spell, is how Radiant Star stops Twilight Sparkle plans to remake Equestria and finally move on to the afterlife, once and for all.
  • In Forgiveness is the Attribute of the Strong, a My Hero Academia fanfiction, Izuku is able to persuade Tomura to defect from All for One’s side by revealing that All for One gave him Decay and triggered the deaths of his family years ago.
  • In Miraculous Ninja, Theresa gets Akumatized into Jeerleader by Shadow Moth after getting rejected by the people she tried to help and nearly burns Ladybug and Chat Noir alive after the duo only worsened her state of mind. Thankfully, Randy showed up in just the nick of time with a present and assures her that she's a great person to be around before confessing his love for her. This was more than enough to calm Theresa down.
  • My Hero Playthrough: Upon reaching the end of the first level of Mikoto's Dungeon, the Heroes in training are confronted by the boss, the Tokiwadai Dorm Supervisor. Mikoto freezes in fear. The others prepare to fight. Ami calmly points out to the boss that Mikoto has graduated from Tokiwadai and is a UA student. As such Mikoto doesn't have a curfew, and even if she did, the Dorm Supervisor no longer has the authority to enforce it. When the Dorm Supervisor argues that they are in Tokiwadai uniforms, Ami explains that it is an illusion (Izuku having already confirmed that their tracksuits were unchanged on his Inventory screen), and she might want to check if one of the Tokiwadai students is trying to distract her. This ends the illusion, at which point the boss congratulates Mikoto and leaves.
  • Apple Pie in the Pony POV Series can do this to certain monsters due to her power as the Element of Laughter. The first time happens, ironically, completely accidentally when she's talking with her 'new friend' Halflight Dawn (who is actually Twilight Tragedy in disguise) and manages to undermine Discord's brainwashing to the point it ultimately enables Twilight to break free and pull a Heel–Face Turn. Later, she manages to wipe out a zombie army simply by pointing out the paradoxical fact that they're apparently dead and alive at the same time. She also manages to convince one of Discord's Mooks to take up knitting in the middle of a battle and blow up a robotic minion via Logic Bomb. However, this doesn't work on Rancor or Discord, due to Concepts being immune to paradoxes.
  • Vow of Nudity: Walburt prevents a Giant Subterranean Lizard from eating him by casting speak with animals and claiming to be the alpha-lizard, despite a complete lack of evidence. The lizard ends up agreeing with him after he beats it in a push-up contest!
  • White Sheep (RWBY): When the heroes realize they cannot defeat the gods in a fight (three armies using all their powers and divine relics don't even make the God of Darkness blink), Yang goes for another tactic. She lays all her cards on the table and points out that the God of Light has been screwing over the God of Darkness for as long as the world has existed; the God of Darkness did half the work but the God of Light was the one who got all the love and adoration. The God of Light even broke the rules he was supposedly enforcing by gifting humanity the Relics and Silver Eyes; it was a cheat so that if humanity did redeem themselves, the God of Light would get all the credit for that, too. The God of Darkness turns on his brother, defeats him, and humanity promises to worship him forever for saving the world. He departs, but leaves behind a more reasonable balance than the one his brother was enforcing.

  • In A Second Chance, Twilight does this with every Big Bad to appear on the show. However, it only works on King Sombra, Sunset Shimmer, and the Dazzlings.(It almost works on Nightmare Moon, but her friends arrive in time to make think that she's just being tricked.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Mocked when Tea pretty much lobotomises an enemy with what she refers to as "the mother of all friendship speeches".
      Johnny D: (creepy monotone) Yes. Friendship is good. Must find friends.
      Tea: Brainwashing people is fun!
      Yami: Indeed Tea, it looks like we had more in common than I thought.
    • Also parodied when Tea is dueling Mai Valentine and gives constant friendship speeches during nearly every sentence she says, which causes Mai to give up just to shut her up.
  • Played for laughs in Naruto: The Abridged Series by the Third Hokage against his fight with Orochimaru. When confronted by reincarnated forms of the previous two Hokages, he performed one of his strongest techniques: "The Old Man Monologue Justu". No, seriously.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Flight of Dragons ends its epic fantasy quest with an epic debate between twentieth-century writer Peter and evil wizard Omadon. Just when it seems like all is lost and nobody's left to oppose Omadon, Peter discovers he can cancel magic by contemplating the logical rules it breaks. As Omadon boasts, threatens, and finally attacks, Peter counters by explaining in detail how Omadon's magic is literally impossible... rendering Omadon helpless and in agony and eventually withering away into nothingness. In denying magic, however, Peter ends up banishing himself back to the twentieth century.
  • This happens at the end of The LEGO Movie when Emmet tells Lord Business (or more accurately, Finn to his father) that he doesn't have to be the bad guy and that they can work together to build even better things.
  • Terry gives an example in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. While Bruce much preferred to ignore the Joker's insane ramblings and stay silent, Terry has no difficulty pushing Joker's buttons in a complete reversal of Joker's speech with the original Batman. Who knew laughing at the Joker would be his Berserk Button?
  • Contrary to a lot of previous villains, in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series, one seen in Friendship Games is not defeated with a blast of magical energy powered by friendship. After undoing the damage Twilight caused, Sunset blasts her with magic and pulls her into a White Void Room. There, Sunset just talks her down and convinces her to stop, and offers Twilight her hand in friendship, which she accepts.
    Sunset Shimmer: Take my hand, Twilight. Let me show you there's another way. Just like someone once did for me.
  • During the climax of Unico in the Island of Magic, Unico is forced to use his horn to defeat Lord Kuruku after trying to avoid attacking him. After Kuruku tells Unico that he severely damaged him, Unico instantly apologizes to him. Not only for hurting him, but because he genuinely felt sorry for him after learning about his past. He then tells Kuruku that he doesn't have to hate humanity for how he was treated, Unico even tells Kuruku that he would love to become his first friend and not be lonely anymore. Unfortunately for Unico, this only makes Kuruku even weaker and slowly killing him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Men in Black was originally supposed to end like this, but the speech was thrown out in favor of a giant battle. Nobody complained, except the guys that made the giant talking cockroach puppet that never got used. That being said, there is still an element of this in the final movie. When Edgar the Bug is taking Laurel (Linda Fiorentino 's character) to his spaceship with the intent of eating her, she begins telling him all sorts of things to make him desist, like claiming she's a goddess and her death could result in a war. Unimpressed, Edgar keeps climbing and tells her a war would result in lots of food for his family. After a while, however, Laurel annoys Edgar too much and he throws her to the branches of a tree, deciding she's not worth it.
  • In the 2003 Peter Pan film, Captain Hook gains the ability to fly using Tinker Bell's pixie dust. Since it operates on happy thoughts, the Lost Boys manage to cause him to sink by convincing him that he is old and alone. He desperately tries to keep flying by thinking of all the horrible things that make him happy, but ultimately admits that he's "Old, alone, done for" and drops resignedly into the crocodile's mouth.
  • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, VGER destroys several ships and kills hundreds of people, but Kirk and company discover VGER's secret and tell it the truth, Decker tells Kirk that he wants to take over VGER (so he can have Ilia as his Love Interest.) VGER merges with Decker and crosses over into another universe and disappears.
    • Kirk's actually pretty good at doing this to evil computers: it happened four times. In one instance, though, it almost comes back to bite him: deciding it should die, the computer that's taken over the Enterprise shuts down the ship's defenses to allow the fleet to kill it. Fortunately, the commander of the fleet decided to investigate its apparent surrender instead of coming in phasers blazing.
      • To the point where an adventure for the Doctor Who Role-Playing Game referred to this as the James Kirk School of Computer Repair. (With explanations that, in this case, it won't work.)
  • In Logan's Run, when the City Computer recaptures Logan, it uses a Mind Probe to force the person to answer its questions. But, the answers are a major Logic Bomb because the computer cannot accept them, causing this trope.
    "There IS NO Sanctuary."
  • Subverted in The Muppet Movie. Kermit the Frog tries to do this to Doc Hopper, appealing to Doc's better nature, but it turns out Doc doesn't have one.
  • Subverted in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!. The President's secure bunker has been overrun and his only offense is to give a speech to the Martian attackers. Just like similar attempts seen on screen, it doesn't quite work.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Marvin uses the Point of View Gun to incapacitate an entire army of Mooks by showing them how bleak the universe is from his perspective.
  • Subject of a throw-away joke in the Jaws-knockoff Alligator, when the heroes are brainstorming a way to kill the eponymous reptile:
    "We could introduce him to my mother. She could talk him to death."
  • Labyrinth: "You have no power over me." - which was the end to a lengthy, melodramatic speech but it actually just was these words that did the trick.
  • In The World's End, Gary pisses "the Network" off to the point where it just leaves.
  • In Dark Star, Lt. Doolittle attempts to teach Bomb #20 phenomenology to prevent it from exploding. Unfortunately, all this does is lead the bomb to conclude that its the only existing thing in the universe and explodes anyway.
  • Attempted in God Told Me To. When a sniper climbs a tower and starts picking off random people, Pete climbs after him to try to talk him down. But when he asks why he did it, the sniper only says "God told me to" and jumps off the tower.
  • This happens at least once in each of the Spy Kids movies. Floop in the first movie, Gary and Gertie Giggles in the second, the Toymaker in the third, and the Time Keeper in the fourth are all defeated by one of the Cortezes talking them into realizing they don't really want to be evil.

  • The Marvel Super Heroes CYOA Spider-Man: City In Darkness featured this. Doctor Octopus has embarked on a scheme that will destroy New York. If you (as Spider-Man) try to actually fight Ock, he goes down in less than a paragraph, only for his psychiatrist to chew you out over saving millions of lives. The proper solution is to simply tell one of web-head's greatest enemies that he's hurting people; he immediately stops his evil schemes and breaks down crying.

  • In The Adventures of Stefón Rudel: Stefón manages to avert the nuclear attack on Brittany by sending letters basically just asking not to bomb Brittany to several important people in America in the past.
  • In Breaking Dawn of The Twilight Saga series, a great battle pitting vampire against vampire is waived in favor of a lengthy discussion. Everyone goes home without a single punch thrown.
    Stephenie Meyer: Alice tore a page from The Merchant of Venice because the end of Breaking Dawn was going to be somewhat similar: bloodshed appears inevitable, doom approaches, and then the power is reversed and the game is won by some clever verbal strategies; no blood is shed,note  and the romantic pairings all have a happily ever after.
  • Any Discworld book aimed at younger readers (marked "A Tale of Discworld") will likely end like this. A Hat Full of Sky contains a particularly notable example, as Tiffany literally talks the Hiver through to the death it wants.
    • In Guards! Guards! a Non-main character tries this on the giant fire-breathing dragon. It does not work.
    • Played with in Pyramids in that a character talks his way by the sphinx and its riddle by confusing the heck out of it with Ankh Morpork Insane Troll Logic. By the time it's realized something is wrong, he's already started running.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: The plan to take down Corien and thus the Undying Empire is to go back in time and convince Queen Rielle to kill him. The first time Eliana and Simon try this, Rielle believes Eliana is an illusion conjured by Corien. The second time, Eliana has a better understanding of the pain and heartbreak that Rielle is going through, having experienced some of it herself. The empathetic conversation that Eliana has with her convinces Rielle to kill Corien.
  • In Robert Lynn Asprin's Myth-Ing Persons, Aahz is being held in a prison which is a magically-animated monster-head. Skeeve frees him by prompting him to tell a string of his old drinking stories, which are so infamously boring the prison-head yawns, allowing Aahz to jump to freedom.
  • Ayn Rand has a knack for these in her novels, where the climax tends to involve a lengthy philosophical rant against a corrupt society delivered by the protagonist. Howard Roark's comparatively short speech at his trial for the dynamiting of a housing project in The Fountainhead (around 8 pages) simply manages to nab him a verdict of not guilty. By contrast, John Galt's 56-page radio address in Atlas Shrugged ultimately leads to the collapse of a global society.
    • Dostoevsky is a tad more forgiving. The finale of The Brothers Karamazov has two speeches, one by the prosecutor and the other by the defense attorney, which combined last only 54 pages. The author even hangs a lampshade on the length of the prosecutor's speech (31 of the 54 pages) by saying he was feeling particularly energetic that day.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • Marvin the Paranoid Android is an expert at talking the monster to death by communicating his own depression so powerfully it makes his enemy commit suicide.
      • On Magrathea (in the books) he kills two policemen by talking in this way to the ship controlling their life support system.
      • Later, he defeats a sentient armoured tank by asking it to guess what weapon he has been given with which to defend Zaphod against it. When he reveals that the answer is "Nothing", the tank gets so angry that it blasts out the floor, causing it to plummet to its destruction.
        There was a dangerous pause.
        "Nothing?!" roared the tank.
        "Nothing," confirmed Marvin. "Not so much as an electronic sausage."
    • God gets unmade by virtue of the existence of the babel fish.
      How it is such a bizarrely impossible coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God. The argument goes something like this:
      "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
      "But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
      "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that" and promptly vanishes in a Puff of Logic.
      • However, this causes the Man in question to start following Insane Troll Logic. Case in point: his encore was to prove that black is white. He got himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
  • In the climax of the (Objectivist) children's novel The Girl Who Owned a City, the title character literally scolds the leader of the opposing group into surrendering and joining her. Keep in mind that this kid is the gun-toting leader of a street gang in an adult-free world, had several cronies around, and was the one who basically acted like a giant Jerkass for the other parts of the book.
  • A literal (to a point) version appears in the Goosebumps story "I'm Not Scared Of You!", in which the protagonist's annoyingly superior Ace of a sister nags a mud monster for so long that the sun dries its body, seemingly killing it. Until it rains, that is...
  • In The Hobbit, Gandalf achieves a variant of this by keeping the trolls who had taken Thorin and his companions prisoner talking until the sun came up (turning the trolls to stone). Bilbo attempts this to defuse the tension between the elves and men and the dwarves. It doesn't turn out so well. Also, in a milder example, Bilbo learns Smaug's weakness and avoids being caught and eaten by flattering and speaking cleverly with the dragon.
  • Impossible Creatures (2023): Christopher's standard tactic when someone is trying to kill him is to distract them by asking questions. It works, once. He convinces the jaculus guarding the tree of living gold to not kill him by giving him a name.
  • The Golden Age series by John C. Wright has this as a property of the setting—A.I.s are all inherently ethical, and if you can convince them their very existence is making the universe worse they'll shut down.
  • Similarly, the robots of Isaac Asimov can be coerced into shutting down, the method of which depends on how advanced they are.
    • The early robots in 'I, Robot' could be shut down simply by giving them a decision whose end results, including those caused by inaction, would result in some sort of harm to humans (mental included), a violation of the first law of robotics. Later robots were programmed to choose the lesser harm and could avoid destruction this way, though a sufficiently advanced roboticist could still cause their destruction through a very deliberate and specific conversation. Lastly, (most) robots of all time periods could theoretically be ordered directly to destroy themselves, as the 2nd law, which dictates that robots must obey the commands of humans, supersedes the 3rd, which dictates that robots must enforce self-preservation. However, the robot would need to understand the reasons for its destruction as the difference between the two laws is not terribly considerable.
    • The best example is "Liar!". US Robots accidentally makes a robot that can read minds, and no one knows how they did it. The three main characters (Susan Calvin, Pete Bogert, and Alfred Lanning) are amazed by this. Susan Calvin gets told that a man she likes also likes her back, and Pete Bogert gets told that Alfred Lanning has resigned and left his position for Pete. However, soon they discover it was a lie (the man Susan liked is going to marry another woman he had brought to work a few days before, and Lanning hasn't resigned), and Susan makes the connection: the robot is still bound by the Three Laws, and thus it lied to them so that it didn't hurt them. Susan confronts the robot and provokes a Logic Bomb to it, making it realise that both doing something and not doing something will hurt some people.
  • A form of this in the X-Wing Series book Isard's Revenge. The Rogues, in that final battle, tell the clone Isard that she is a clone, and come up with the various discrepancies and memory-holes she must have wondered about which were solved by that knowledge. This leads to a very short Freak Out before she plays dead — which is exactly what the original did. Even if this one wasn't talked to death exactly, she was certainly talked to distraction.
  • Eddie literally does this to Blaine the Mono in Stephen King's Wizard and Glass. More accurately, Eddie kills Blaine with an unstoppable barrage of really bad jokes.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final battle with Voldemort (you know, the one that was hyped up for the entire series?) consists of about four or five pages of Harry and Voldemort talking to each other, then each throws one curse and the battle is over. Well, Harry tries to talk Voldemort into not throwing the curse and repenting his crimes. Instead, Voldemort refuses to listen and casts the Killing Curse at Harry refusing to accept that Harry had become the master of the Elder Wand, which caused said curse to backfire and kill Voldemort instead.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, the protagonist scares a dragon away by the nothing he is carrying in his pocket. The dragon happens to be afraid of nothing. Absolutely terrified, in fact.
  • In the novel Far Away From Us by Michael Uspensky, King Solomon convinces some brigands that "life is futile and is full of sorrows and is pointless to carry on", whereupon they (the brigands, that is) wholeheartedly agree and stab each other. The Hero then inquires if the trick could be repeated with a whole army. The king is uncertain.
  • In Ovid's The Metamorphoses, Mercury conquers the many-eyed Argus by conversing with him until the monster falls asleep during the story of Syrinx, at which point the god is finally able to kill him. So this is Older Than Feudalism.
  • In The Silver Chair, Puddleglum manages to break the Green Witch's spell by a combination of burnt-marshwiggle odor and this trope. Ironically, he does so by conceding to everything she's said in her own Breaking Speech, then declaring that even so, he'd rather go on living as if her accusations are baseless than embrace her overly-bleak perspective.
  • At the very end of The Legend of Holly Claus, the villain Herrikhan is defeated when Holly forgives him for everything he's done. He can't stand that, and the shock kills him.
  • The climactic "battle" in Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel is sorted out like this. Witch's power comes from Rapunzel's carefully cultivated innocence, so Rapunzel gets her to make a deal that, in exchange for letting her memories of her adventures be erased and staying in her tower forever, Witch will answer all her questions until morning. Every shocking answer crushes Rapunzel's innocence, rendering Witch powerless until her ancient age catches up with her and she dies.
  • Thalia tries this in Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure against the Erinyes. It doesn't work so well. It does, at least, delay them long enough for Apollo to arrive and do it better.
  • This is to an extent the hat of the somewhat unimaginatively named Linguid species in Perry Rhodan. Sure, the average Linguid is just a somewhat furry-looking humanoid next door type who shouldn't be exposed too directly to hyperspace because they'll literally lose their mind; but by virtue of the same "defect" (courtesy of the Negative Space Wedgie their distant ancestors spent time trapped in and inheritable ever since), certain members of the species — their arbitrators and especially their few elite "Peace Speakers" — can be very, very convincing if they want to be. (Thankfully, they're also generally pretty careful about not abusing this; the one time the then-current generation of Peace Speakers did start to go off the deep end, it was a sign that there was something seriously wrong with them.) This isn't even mind control; instead, it's a knack for being preternaturally good at figuring out exactly what the other side will actually listen to and then working with that.
  • Very specifically justified in Calamity. The titular entity is one of a race of extra-dimensional entities, and was sent into our world to grant us superpowers. However, his loathing for our mode of existence infected the powers he granted, turning every super into a psychopath. While doing this was against the rules of his kind (he's forbidden to interfere in any way beyond granting us powers), he was so convinced that Humans Are Bastards he didn't even realize he was driving us insane. When the hero finally manages to convince Calamity that that kind of psychopathy is not humanity's natural state, he departs to his own realm and takes the madness with him.
  • At the climax of Ruin of Angels, a scholar with no magical power of her own essentially shames a mad sorcerer into giving up his power and dying.
  • Green Eggs and Ham's climax has the protagonist get so annoyed by Sam-I-Am's persistence that he agrees to try the titular food just so Sam-I-Am will leave him alone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24:
    • In Day 3, Sherry Palmer does this to a wealthy billionaire who's trying to blackmail David Palmer. The man is old and frail and upset about his wife's infidelity, and Sherry rips into him with an absolutely brutal monologue - so brutal the guy goes into a heart attack. She then holds his medicine out of reach while he dies.
    • Similar to the Buffy example below, in the Day 8 finale Chloe winds up potentially averting World War III by convincing Jack not to assassinate the President of Russia, who ordered the death of Jack's love interest, by getting him to realize that doing so go against everything she believed in.
  • Angel tries a "we humans are noble creatures who can forgive our enemies" variant during a standoff with the newly reawakened elder god Illyria, but he is interrupted midway through by Wesley, who calmly fires his gun and murders the man who caused Illyria's rebirth. Angel is rather understandably annoyed: "Were you even listening?"
  • Arrow:
    • Attempted in season 1 when the Hood tries talking out another vigilante, the Savior, from performing Vigilante Execution on Roy Harper. It doesn't work and the Hood has to kill the Savior.
    • Another attempt is made in season 5 when Oliver (in civilian outfit, not as Green Arrow) tries talking down a guy who attacked the mayor's office after he was pissed off about his wife dying. This time it works.
  • Babylon 5:
    • In the first season episode "Infection", Sinclair talks one Monster of the Week into committing suicide (more or less).
    • The Shadows and the Vorlons are convinced to leave the galaxy after being told off by Sheridan, Delenn, and Lorien in "Into the Fire". It is a little more complicated than that, but not by much.
    • During the civil war between Sheridan's forces and Earth Force ships loyal to President Clark, Sheridan convinces one of the enemy ship captains that Clark's orders are illegal and that he should therefore disobey them. That decision is briefly reversed when the other ship's first officer takes over and then re-reversed when the ship's crew takes the first officer into custody.
    • The phrase "be somewhere else" (backed by considerable firepower) convinces a Clark-loyal Earthforce fleet to flee the field of battle. It's a pretty good speech.
  • In the Battlestar Galactica (2003) finale, Baltar pulls this off with Cavil, getting him to agree to a permanent peace in exchange for resurrection technology, which the Final Five agree to. Then Galen kills Tory, and all hell breaks loose.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander Harris saves the world from Season Six's Big Bad this way in "Grave". Said Big Bad is Willow, with whom Xander has been friends since childhood and who has simply gone off the deep end after Tara's death. All he does is explain to her in words of one syllable that she's his best friend forever and he'll always love her no matter what she does to him or the world. It works.
    Xander: I saved the world with talking from my mouth. My mouth saved the world.
  • On Criminal Minds, this is Spencer Reid's preferred modus operandi.
    • In an early episode, he and Hotch are locked in with a serial killer who plans to kill them to get a stay on his execution; Hotch prepares for a bare-knuckle brawl to work out some aggression, but Reid talks... and talks... and talks... breaking down the killer's personal history and brain chemistry to explain why he became a killer.
    • Later, Reid stares down a spree killer with an automatic rifle and convinces him to turn himself in rather than get shot by the police.
    • Even when the team exploits this ability, by arranging a sting wherein he dines with a hitwoman, he manages to go above and beyond. Said hitwoman has planned for this contingency and has a bomb planted under the restaurant, guaranteeing her safe escape. Reid convinces her to stay in place and continue chatting while his team sniffs out her accomplice, and after she's lost her leverage again convinces her to peacefully turn herself in.
  • In the Dynaman parody dub, one of the founding members of the Dynamen, Dyna Beige, formed a rival team where instead of fighting the Monster of the Week, they talk to him, have wine and cheese and discuss their feelings. Though eventually they did kill them through lethal injection.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor would, in a perfect world, talk all his enemies down to a negotiation table and hammer out a ceasefire and trade agreement over tea and biscuits. But if that fails, he has this.
    • In "The Faceless Ones", the Doctor explains to the alien that their plan to kidnap teenagers and steal their faces isn't a very nice thing to do and he'd be happy to help them solve their problem in return for returning all the kidnapped people and leaving Earth alone. They decide this is reasonable and do so.
    • "The Invasion": The Second Doctor's companion Zoe reeled out a list of coding and orders to a robot receptionist, causing it to break down and catch fire. Even Vaughn had to admit he was "Quite amused"
    • The Actual Pacifist Seventh Doctor especially made use of this, notably talking down a Black Dalek this way in "Remembrance of the Daleks"; bear in mind that he has already taken out Skaro and the whole Dalek fleet — he went after the survivor for completeness' sake.
      • "The Happiness Patrol" had Seven coolly stare at a mook sniper who had a gun to his chest and dare him to fire, knowing that said mook didn't actually have the guts to stare at the person he was shooting and carry it out.
      • In a far more impressive manner, he talks the god-like "Light" into committing suicide in "Ghost Light".
      • It doesn't need to be a literal "death", either - he's talked an all too eager sniper into dropping his gun (and out of his eagerness), and kept an Arthurian villain from initiating a nuclear weapon with nothing but words.
    • "Dalek": The Doctor attempts this on the Dalek, trying to talk it into killing itself since everything it ever stood for is gone. It doesn't work. However, the Dalek does kill itself later, because it was contaminated by Rose's DNA and it can't bear being impure.
    • The Tenth Doctor manages to shut down the entire clockwork army in "The Girl in the Fireplace" just by drawing their attention to the fact that he's just broken their only escape route.
    • "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead": The Tenth Doctor makes the unstoppable microscopic swarm-species Vashta Nerada back off using this technique — "I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up."
    • The rooftop climax of "The Eleventh Hour" ("I'm the Doctor.").
    • "The Pandorica Opens" has a massive subversion. Facing an army of everything that's ever hated him, the Doctor talks them all into not attacking. However, it turns out that they don't need to attack, since not only are the Roman soldiers with the Doctor really Auton spies, but the thing he's trying to keep them away from is a prison designed for the Doctor himself.
    • Inverted in "The Big Bang": Amy talks the Eleventh Doctor back into existence. Technically she's remembering him, but she just happens to be verbalizing her memories.
    • The Doctor comments on the implications at the end of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Dreamstone Moon.
      After a while, the Doctor realized that he'd just killed a man with the force of an argument.
      It wasn't a very pleasant thought.
  • Game of Thrones: Tyrion's favorite tactic. When he's put on trial, he delivered a hilarious monologue, which made the nobles of the Eyrie more sympathetic to him and convinced Bronn to come over to his side. His talking also keeps him from being killed by Shagga and gets him faithful soldiers too, and later he manages to talk himself out of being burned alive by Dany's dragons.
  • The Goosebumps (1995) episode "You Can't Scare Me" had a mud monster chasing Eddie and Hat. They run into Courtney, who goes on a tangent. Mud monster dries up in the sun.
  • During the hospital shooting on Grey's Anatomy, Richard Webber confronts the gunman and talks him into committing suicide rather than be arrested. Bonus points for doing this despite being the shooter's target and having had to evade the police lockdown to even get inside - he wasn't even at the hospital when the shooting started.
  • An episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids parodies this, when Wayne attempts to talk a home-security computer to death. It appears to work, but then he realizes "that only works in cheesy sci-fi shows!" and the computer springs back to life.
  • A few Kamen Rider shows end this way:
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki ends with the title character dying, but his actions convincing the villain that his whole time-travel scheme was ultimately a pointless waste of effort, causing him to rewind time one last time and undo the whole series.
    • Kamen Rider Double ends with Wakana Sonozaki having become virtually omnipotent, with everyone who could possibly stand a chance against her either dead or depowered. A conversation with Shroud ultimately leads Wakana to give up on her ambitions and instead sacrifice herself to give the protagonists a happy ending. This is also a case of Shroud talking herself to death, as she was only alive out of sheer hate for the Sonozaki family, and making peace with the last of their line is enough for her to finally pass on.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze does kick Chairman Gamou in the face a number of times in their final battle, but spends just as much time talking him down and has no intent of killing him. He eventually succeeds at convincing Gamou to do a Heel–Face Turn and become friends. Although Gamou's age and abuse of cosmic energy mean he doesn't live long afterward, it earns Fourze a much happier ending than if he hadn't gone to the trouble.
    • Kamen Rider Drive talks down the last few surviving Roidmudes near the end of the show, leading them to ally with him to stop their creator.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O is an entire show-long instance of this, because Zi-O is the monster, and the events of the series are the rest of the cast gradually talking him out of becoming the Evil Overlord he was destined to become.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One ends with two monsters talking each other to death, with the Fallen Hero lead and his archnemesis finally bringing the cycle of revenge to an end by coming to understand each other's grief and sparing one another's lives.
  • On L.A. Law, one episode sees Jonathan Rollins literally cross-examine a defendant to death, by doing so for hours until the defendant suffers a fatal heart attack on the stand.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Played with in Power Rangers S.P.D.. One Monster of the Week resisted any single try to have him interrogated by the Five-Man Band... until The Smart Guy tries his luck on it. Said Smart Guy is a major Cloud Cuckoo Lander and a telepath who channels everyone's thoughts. In a few minutes, the monster is begging to have the guy off him otherwise he'll end up braindead. Not as sinister as it sounds. His rambling drove the bad guy up the wall to the point that he cracked, whereas both threats for if he didn't talk and promises of leniency if he did had failed before.
    • This turns out to be the final battle for Power Rangers Cosmic Fury, and thus the final battle of the show's thirty-year run. Instead of physically destroying Lord Zedd, the Rangers get the Emperor of Evil to see reason about his forthcoming Meaningless Villain Victory. Yes, there will be no goodness or heroism left in the universe, but Zedd won't be around to see it, much less rule over it. Some Meaningful Echoes from the Blue Ranger (who Lord Zedd sought to groom in the ways of villainy for most of the season) convince Zedd to choose self-preservation over ultimate power, and he chooses to surrender to the Rangers.
  • The Quatermass Experiment: Professor Quatermass saved the Earth this way back in 1953. An alien life force had absorbed the consciousnesses of three astronauts, and Quatermass convinced them to commit suicide to keep the creature from reproducing via thousands of infectious spores.
  • Star Trek:
    • Kirk and Picard are both good at talking monsters to death (a.k.a. fast-talking their way out of a jam). Since both characters routinely run into Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who cannot be defeated with firepower, it's an important skill. Kirk tends to be generally less smug when he does it than Picard, though.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • In the episode "Skin of Evil", the Monster of the Week, a Card-Carrying Villain, has Troi trapped behind an impenetrable force field. Picard gives a speech about how the monster is more pathetic than evil. This upsets the monster enough that its concentration on maintaining its force field weakens to the point where the Enterprise's teleporter can rescue Troi.
      • Subverted and played straight by the Borg before Villain Decay set in, as in their first appearance, Q makes it explicitly plain that they cannot be reasoned with. Played straight in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2" when Data hacks them through Locutus and electronically tells them to "sleep" (at Picard's suggestion, of course).
    • Averted in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Dreadnought". While working for the Maquis, B'Elanna Torres captured and reprogrammed an AI-controlled missile which was then pulled with their own ship into the Delta Quadrant. Every attempt by B'Elanna to convince the missile that it's heading for the wrong target fails when there are more plausible explanations in its programming. However, in "Warhead" (essentially a Recycled Script), things work out better because the weapon is from the Delta Quadrant and they're able to prove to the missile's AI that it was launched in error.
  • In WandaVision, two Visions are fighting with each other. One is a construct made using Wanda's powers that retains the original Vision's personality, but none of his memories (though he recently learned about them from second-hand source), the other is a white-colored replica created by S.W.O.R.D. from the original's remains and programmed to be their own sentient weapon. The two of them are evenly matched, so Hex-Vision asks White Vision why they're fighting, to which White Vision responds that his directive is to kill the Vision. Hex-Vision argues that he's only a "conditional" Vision, which intrigues White Vision enough that he asks for elaboration. The two Visions discuss the Theseus' Ship Paradox, which insinuates that potentially both could be considered the "true" Vision. Their discussion convinces White Vision to let Hex-Vision restore the memories that S.W.O.R.D. locked away, after which he leaves peacefully.
  • In Warehouse 13, Myka does this with H.G. Wells when H.G. is trying to destroy the world. In the end, Myka makes H.G. put a gun to her head telling H.G. to shoot her then since everyone was going to die anyway then H.G. should just shoot her making H.G. realise she can't kill Myka and has a breakdown.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Mercifully free of any heroic platitudes, Roman writer Ovid brings his version of the Greek Mythology of Argos, a hundred-eyed and eternally vigilant watchman. The trickster god Hermes defeated Argos by telling him a series of long, sad, and boring stories until every last one of his hundred eyes shut and fell asleep — and then cutting his head off.
  • Similarly, Oedipus talked the Sphinx into suicide simply by solving its infamous riddle.
  • Princess Scheherazade of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Her husband, the king, was in the habit of serially executing his wives ... but she kept him entertained with stories night after night, and he couldn't execute her because he wanted to hear how the latest story ended... until a thousand nights had passed, and he finally decided she was too interesting to kill.
  • Subverted in a Japanese folktale: a monk meets in a ruin a wicked, cannibalistic hag who's crying because she can't reach Nirvana (being a cannibalistic hag and all). The monk tries to talk to her and make her repent her sins, but the old witch changes her mind and devours the poor guy.
  • In the Book of Judges, Delilah nagged Samson day after day until he finally got sick of it and told her the true secret of his strength just to shut her up. Whoops.note 
  • In an unexpected twist in Norse Mythology, Thor does this to the dwarf Alvíss, asking him questions to test his knowledge and wisdom until the sun rises and the dwarf gets turned to stone. He does this because his daughter got engaged to the dwarf, and he definitely did not approve this relationship. What better way to deal with this undesired situation than to kill his daughter's fiancé? Additionally, it is not less striking the fact that he outsmarts the dwarf and doesn't resort to brute force as he usually does.

  • Subverted in The Magnus Archives. While in late season 4 through season 5 Jon does defeat the other avatars by talking to them, it's by no means a peaceful resolution. Instead, he calls upon the power of The Eye to force them to relive the horror they've put their victims through and smites them.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On Madeline Kahn's appearance on The Muppet Show, she appears in a skit where she is in a park marveling at how beautiful everything is. Along comes a monster who starts destroying each beautiful thing she mentions. Then she turns to the monster and starts talking about how beautiful it is in its awfulness. The monster starts shrinking from embarrassment until it is small enough for Madeline to hit it away with her umbrella. "Sometimes you have to talk your troubles down to a size where you can handle them."

  • A variation in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues. Michal accidentally covers himself in flames after saying something ignorant to Ivan. The rest of the students panic and try multiple different methods to absorb, muffle, and extinguish the flame, but none of them work. The fire is only put out when one of the students calmly but sternly tells Michal to calm down. Afterwards, Ivy and Luna complain about how it's a boring resolution.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The infamous story of a PC in Paranoia talking the Computer into a logic loop and crashing it.
  • Most RPGs that have a skill system (read: most RPGs) will usually have some sort of "diplomacy" skill. Judicious use of these skills can often allow victory with very few die rolls (because very few RPGs have social conflict resolution mechanics anywhere near as complex as their physical combat rules) and even less conflict.
  • There are several ways you can do this in Exalted, to the point that most Social charms are built around this trope. A few of them even reference the story of Zhuge Liang (see Real Life examples).
  • Magic: The Gathering has Azor's Elocutors. Keep them talking long enough and you win the game.
  • Burning Wheel has the Duel of Wits, the argument/debate mechanics which are structured almost identically to combat. Talking an enemy down is no less climactic or mechanically intense than killing him. Subverted in that you can't force someone to argue, especially if they're in the middle of attempting to kill you.
  • In Fellowship, the "Finish Them" move covers all ways of incapacitating an enemy, including using Wisdom to show an enemy the error of their ways and forge a Bond with them, making them an ally.

  • In Pokémon Live!, this is how MechaMew2 is defeated. Mewtwo hitting it with Ash's memories give it sentience and an understanding of right and wrong, which it uses to try and take out Giovanni.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Victor Frankenstein's route of Code:Realize, Victor defeats Captain Leonhardt not by force — which he feels would make him no better than the antagonists, who are trying to use power to force the rest of the world onto their chosen path — but by talking Leonhardt down with a passionate speech that appeals to his sense of morality, convincing him that stopping Queen Victoria from carrying out her plans would be a truer expression of his loyalty than it would be to go along with it against his own better judgment.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • The last case of Trials and Tribulations has Mia Fey talk the spirit of Dahlia Hawthorne past death, forcing her to recognize that all her plans have ended in failure and apparently condemning her to an eternity of regret. Dahlia's ensuing rage forces her out of the body she's been possessing with a scream of frustration. Let's just say the Judge was not the only person freaked out and awed.
    • Of course all the "battles" in the game are won by doing this. It's never enough to prove your client is innocent, you have to meticulously unravel the lies of the true murderer through the careful application of contradicting evidence and basically force them into a confession. Somewhat justified, as, in the real-world Japanese legal system, many defendants would have already confessed, courtesy of intense interrogation techniques.
  • Played for laughs in Crimsoness, when Iteko tries doing this against the player. The entire game is set on a 3-minute timer, and if you confront him he launches into an excessively long, Motor Mouthed filibuster attempting to run down the clock. However, you can punch him to death at any time you want, and it's possible to literally destroy the time limit itself, which if you do before confronting him, he'll rant for the full three minutes before freaking out when he realizes what happened and dying of a heart attack.
  • The indie Visual Novel Heal Hitler revolves around this; you play as the psychologist of Adolf Hitler in 1925 attempting to help him work through his traumas & insecurities and set him on a more hopeful path in order to Save the Villain before it's too late.

    Web Animation 
  • Bigmask by Mattias Pilhede is a parody of the Ultra Series that uses this trope as its central premise. The titular hero Bigmask is an Unlucky Everydude and Actual Pacifist who simply talks to giant monsters and gets to the root of their issues the way a therapist would.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: The Emperor is able to convince Magnus that his god systematically destroyed his life (and goaded him into delivering a mortal wound to mankind) in less than 10 minutes. To be fair, Tzeench is a dick.
  • RWBY: Ruby Rose certainly tries this with many of her foes, usually by pointing out that they're fooling themselves if they think allying with Salem is going to end well for them. It hasn't worked yet, but sometimes her foes help her after she defeats them.
  • Sonic Adventure in 5 million minutes, a parody video by Roger Van Der Weide, ends the climactic Chaos fight with this. Chaos was a kaiju going on a rampage due to being filled with negative energy and sorrow from its Ridiculously Cute Critter species being murdered in the distant past, and Eggman feeding it Chaos Emeralds for his Take Over the World scheme. Instead of Sonic calming it down by beating the crap out of it, as in canon, Amy shows it pictures of cute things, and it's the reminder of the Chao it once tried to protect that ultimately stops its destructive impulses.


    Web Original 
  • Played with in The Unsleeping City. Rowan’s response to The American Dream wasn’t enough to prevent a fight in the first place, but Brennan Lee Mulligan eventually reveals that it was enough to cut the boss’ total hit points in half.
  • Sailor Nothing ends with Himei ending the Dark Queen's rampage by telling her that Aoshi forgave her.
  • Spoofed in The Salvation War. A Russian politician makes a defeated demon beg to be killed by reciting some speeches of Russia's then-president Vladimir Putin to it.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara, in the climax of the 2011 "Entity" Arc, talks the Entity into killing itself by using an Omnicidal Logic Bomb. He has to do this again to the vestige of the Entity that had possessed him, this time by giving it a full-on existential crisis, such that it nihilizes itself to death.
  • Sylvester in Twig specializes in this, finding the psychological weak points of his enemies and pushing them until something breaks, convincing murderous clones to give up because their creator considers them expendable, driving monsters into suicidal rages, and similar. It's fitting, as he fills the role of The Social Expert for his team.
  • While reviewing a cavalcade of old NES peripherals, The Angry Video Game Nerd accidentally discovered that a voice-activated Zapper knock-off could be triggered to fire by saying anything, not just the prerequisite "Fire!" He then launches a Cluster F-Bomb at a slew of Zapper-based games, culminating with shooting down one of the ducks in Duck Hunt by shouting "Fuck!"
  • C0DA, written by former The Elder Scrolls series writer/designer Michael Kirkbride, takes place in the far distant future of TES universe. Numidium, the Reality Warping Humongous Mecha of Dwemer construction, presumed destroyed following the events of Daggerfall, returns after having been caught in a time warp. It continues its war on the Aldmeri Dominion, led by the fascistic Thalmor, leading to an apocalyptic event known as "Landfall", which has forced the remaining inhabitants of Nirn to take refuge on the moon Masser. The story centers around the Dunmer noble, Jubal-lun-Sul, who must defeat Numidium as part of an Engagement Challenge. Ultimately, this is how he defeats Numidium. He even points out that no one had tried talking to it before to see what it wanted. They simply fought it and always got curb-stomped, including full-blown gods. This trope is also applied somewhat literally, as Jubal beheads Numidium with an empty speech balloon.
  • Solid jj: In "Spider-Man's Greatest Foe", Spidey ends up defeating Chameleon before actually fighting him. Spidey asks about the details of Chameleon's "power" and points out how mundane it is to the point Chameleon feels pathetic about himself and willingly turns himself in.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In the episode "Born Again Krabs", this trope is spoofed when Mr. Krabs greedily trades SpongeBob for 62 cents, thus sending SpongeBob to Davy Jones' locker (the equivalent of Hell) for eternity with the Flying Dutchman. A few seconds later, the Flying Dutchman returns SpongeBob, stating that SpongeBob talked too much and that it was driving him crazy. This cuts to a scene of SpongeBob babbling about his life rapidly and non-stop while the Flying Dutchman looks exasperated.
    • In the episode "F.U.N.", Plankton disguises himself in front of a magic shop when SpongeBob shows up. He doesn't recognize him at first, but when he sees the magic shop, he starts gushing about a magician he once saw. Plankton finally has enough of his glurge-filled rambling and gives himself up.
      SpongeBob: Plankton! It's you!
      Plankton: Yes, and all this time I thought I was the master of torture. But that... that just wasn't fair!
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Three Girls and a Monster" had Blossom and Buttercup arguing over whether to use tactics or brute force against a monster. Bubbles solves the problem by simply asking the monster to leave town, pretty please with sugar on top. On the other hand, Blossom and Buttercup keep trying to prove that their way works, even when it's obvious that they don't. This actually might explain why the monster finally left when Bubbles asked - when the argument leads to Blossom and Buttercup making one final attempt to prove that their way is the right one, the monster is annoyed that the girls are still trying to beat him, and was probably glad for the excuse to go.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted in "Treehouse of Horror" in which a haunted house seeks to force the Simpsons out. After a Can't We All Get Along? speech from Marge, the house thinks about life with the Simpsons, and chooses to destroy itself in a scene reminiscent of the finale of Poltergeist.
      Lisa: It chose to destroy itself rather than live with us. You can't help but feel a little rejected.
    • Subverted in "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Marge gives a heartwarming speech to a mutated mob that calms them down long enough for Marge and kids to get into position and blast them away with shotguns.
      Marge: Living with mutants... yeah, right.
      Homer: That's my wife! Now, who wants a Ferrari?
  • In the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) episode "Daimar the Demon," the title character believes he is predestined to destroy Eternia. He-Man makes the giant monster realize that he has free will and doesn't have to be evil, and so Daimar chooses not to hurt anyone after all.
  • In an episode of Invader Zim, Dib uses his newly gained superpowers to dodge Zim's defense lawn gnomes (which he could have easily done without powers) and talk to Zim at his house.
    Dib: I've got some stuff to say to you, Zim. (Fade out and fade back in hours later.) And that's all I have to say about that.
    Zim: Well, Dib, Your words have moved me. I'm done with evil. Gir, it's been a pleasure working with you, now self-destruct.
    Gir: Finally! (His head then explodes.)
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Equinox wants to reset the universe, as he wants to make order and chaos balanced. After a short talk with Batman, he realizes that he's too chaotic to make a fair judgment on reality.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • In The Real Ghostbusters Halloween special, "The Halloween Door", a Halloween-hating Moral Guardian has created a machine that destroys all evidence of the holiday; Jack-O-Lanterns, costumes, candy, decorations, etc. Unbeknownst to him, doing so breaks an ancient contract with the spirits of the netherworld, who agreed to leave Earth if they would be remembered, which led to the holiday. The monsters return and cause havoc, and the Ghostbusters are powerless to stop them. Until a little girl offers to help them, revealing that she isn't afraid of the monsters. The Ghostbusters have her walk up to the lead kaiju, request candy, tell him he's funny, and demand a Halloween story. This reveals that the actual point of Halloween (teaching children not to be afraid) is still alive and well, and forces the monsters back into the netherworld.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In "Flash and Substance", the Flash sits down at a bar with the Trickster, chides him for not taking his medication, points out that he is wearing his villain costume (something the Trickster wasn't even aware of until it was pointed out to him), and persuades him to both give away the other rogues and turn himself in by promising to play (soft) darts with him in the hospital.
      Flash: Dude, as soon as you finish your drink, turn yourself in!
      Trickster: (raises his glass in salute) Got me again, Flash!
    • In the episode "Patriot Act", a bunch of second-string Badass Normal heroes go up against a rogue general who shot himself up with Super Serum to prove that superheroes/metahumans are a threat to normal people. When the heroes go down, the civilian population intervenes, informing the general that he's the only one in the battle who actually has superpowers. "All right, I've become what I hate, I'll give you that," the villain says, putting down the car he was about to throw, and departs.
  • In the Transformers Botcon 2008 script reading, "Bee in the City", an entire legion of newly sentient robots is turned against Megatron once the heroes explain to them the ridiculous amounts of paperwork they'll have to go through.
    Transtech Shockwave: And don't even think about deactivating yourselves. You don't want to see the paperwork for that.
    • The Optimus Prime of Transformers: Prime would often try to play this straight (mainly with Megatron, Starscream, Skyquake, and his brother Dreadwing; he even tried it on Unicron), results would often vary depending upon whom he was speaking to at the moment. The brothers at least paused to listen due to their sense of honor, while Megatron and Starscream would have none of it. Prime was at least able to stall the latter by genuflecting before him.
  • In an old animated short on Sesame Street, the Western town of Sniddlers Gulch is terrorized by Cowboy X, a huge bruiser who rides around town using an ink stamp to mark random things with a letter X. One small boy finally tries asking Cowboy X not to do that. Cowboy X actually agrees to stop. In a subversion, he immediately changes his name to Cowboy O and rides around town stamping things with the letter O. In a double subversion, the people of Sniddlers Gulch are satisfied with this.
  • Freakazoid!:
    • In "The Cloud", Freakazoid manages to beat the Lobe by telling him his latest plot (to forcibly turn people into Non Ironic Clowns and use them as sleeper agents) was ridiculous, and shaming him into packing up his operation and going home. Freakazoid then confides to the audience that he actually thought it was a pretty good plan.
    • In another episode, Freakazoid manages to convince one-off villain the Nerdator that his plan of kidnapping nerds to steal their brainpower will make all girls avoid him. So, the Nerdator decides to kidnap "good-looking but vapid air-heads" instead to steal their good looks, and according to the narrator, no one cares.
  • This is how the final 'fight' of The Legend of Korra ends. After Korra saves Kuvira's life from her own malfunctioning spirit vine cannon the two end up in the newly created spirit portal made from the resulting energy. While there Korra manages to convince Kuvira that the two of them are similar to each other and that Korra can understand what it means to be helpless. This act of kindness makes Kuvira realise that she has become no better than the dictators she hates and willingly surrenders herself for punishment at the end of the series.
  • Bounty Hamster: Averted when Cassie has to defuse a bomb attached to a Space Whale.
    Cassie: You can talk!
    Bomb: Certainly, I am a smart bomb.
    Cassie: Then prove it. Don't explode!
    Bomb: Nice try, Einstein, but you'll have to do better than that!
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The short "Day For Knight" has Babs as a court jester who is about to be fed to a dragon for making one too many jokes about the king's weight. Fortunately, the dragon is a neurotic Woody Allen pastiche, and by the time Knight in Shining Armor Buster comes along to save her Babs has helped the dragon through his issues.
  • Hilda: In Episode 10, Hilda decides to confront the arguing Weather Spirits, and moderate their debate. She manages to get them to calm down and realize they even forgot what the whole argument was about.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: When Randy fights a student-turned-monster and cannot destroy the thing they hold most dear (if it's something abstract like a relationship or irreplaceable like a person), victims can be de-stanked by having their feelings assuaged by an earnest talking to.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: In the series finale, Spider-Man faces off against an alternate version of him from a different reality, possessed by Carnage. Spider-Carnage is about to destroy the multiverse. Peter, having failed to overpower him in their previous confrontation, is reminded by Madame Webb that she brought him to this reality not because of his strength, but because of his heart and intelligence. Peter realizes that the Peter of the Universe they are currently in is kind of an entitled jerk. This leads Peter to realize that if his counterpart is like this, it means the man must've never experienced the most humbling moment of Peter's life: Uncle Ben's death. Peter realizes he can't stop Spider-Carnage, but Uncle Ben can. He's the only person in the multiverse Spider-Carnage would listen to. And indeed the shock of seeing Uncle Ben, who still shows compassion and support for Peter is so great to Carnage!Peter that the latter tries to free himself from the symbiote, and when he realizes he can't, commits suicide via portal to nowhere rather than let himself destroy the multiverse.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: "Strange Energies": Freeman manages to figure out that compliments quell Ransom's rage, which also depowers him, and tries feeding him more so he can be reasoned with. Unfortunately, she draws the line at letting him believe that he'd make a better captain than her.
  • Steven Universe absolutely loves this trope. A running theme of the series seems to be that you should always at least try to do this, either before, after, or even during conflict. Steven himself will always attempt to talk enemies out of fighting whenever possible (and sometimes when it shouldn't be). In fact, one of his powers he eventually discovers, establishing a remote empathic link with people and Gems, seems perfectly geared toward this tactic. Across the series, he tries it with:
    • Lapis Lazuli. After she steals the world's oceans and almost kills him no less. However, this has the basis of them already being friends and the entire situation being her lashing out from fear and anger. When she calms down a bit, they successfully talk things out; Steven heals her cracked gem, and she calmly leaves for Homeworld after returning the oceans to normal.
    • Peridot, although there's no specific moments. She just ends up spending so much time around Steven over the course of a few months that Steven is able to patiently talk her down from hostile enemy, to unwilling ally, to close friend and a member of the Crystal Gems. In turn, Peridot later attempts this with Yellow Diamond. It doesn't work at all, but it does show how far she's come.
    • The Cluster, of all things, gets dealt with like this. After an unsuccessful attempt to break it up, Steven manages to reason with it and convince it to bubble itself, sparing the Earth from total annihilation. Incidentally, this is where Steven discovers his empathic telepathy power and this is what saves the day. Otherwise the Cluster would've been unable to listen.
    • By doing this, Steven manages to bring Blue and Yellow Diamond to his side, using his telepathy to reach them during a battle. Granted, it was probably less what he said and moreso who he was, something he could only reveal through his powers.
    • "I Am My Monster": Everyone saves Steven from his corrupted form with a combination of heartfelt speeches, a Cooldown Hug, and True Love's Kiss.
  • What If…? (2021): T'Challa stops "the Snap" by talking Thanos out of it. OFFSCREEN.

    Real Life 
  • The entire job of a police negotiator is to do this. Instead of overcoming criminals by force, a negotiator will tell the crooks that it's better to surrender, usually for moral reasons (not being able to live with having killed someone) or practical reasons (like not being shot by the police). Negotiators may try a Patrick Stewart Speech, a Rousing Speech, or even tell the crook to be better than he believes himself to be. Whatever works to get the hostages free, and the criminal in custody, with everyone alive.
  • This is basically the definition of a filibuster, where the "monster" in question is a bill that a legislator wishes to block. The record in the U.S. is held by Strom Thurmond (D-SC)*, who rambled on for more than 24 hours to block the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
    • Ironically enough, it was subverted in its very first use during the Senate's meeting over the issue to reverse the censure placed on Andrew Jackson. The opponents to reversing it simply began to talk on and on. The Jacksonian faction's response? They simply stocked up on food, ale, and coffee and enjoyed themselves until the opposition gave up.
      • In America at least, the ability to use a filibuster to halt the passing of a bill became so annoying that it was decided that any use of it could be overridden by a 60% majority simply because pretty much anyone could delay a bill and piss off everyone just by talking for a long time.
    • This ended up getting subverted in the USA by the introduction of rules that remove the need to talk for hours to filibuster - a formal declaration of filibustering a bill is enough for it to count. To say this provision has become contentious would be an understatement. It was changed because otherwise, a Senator Holding the Floor in a filibuster would bring all Senate business to a halt. This way, a single bill could be filibustered and the Senate could move on to something else. Whether or not this change was for the better is still a matter of debate.
    • Still played straight in Britain, but with a twist: because the rules of the British Parliament say that an MP must make points germane to the topic, the usual US tactic of rambling on about anything (derisively referred to by British parliamentarians as "reading the phone book") is not available. The record for managing to spin reflections on a single topic is eleven hours.
      • One tactic, such as that suggested for enshrining a promised referendum on the EU in 2017, seems to be tabling excessive amounts of amendments to a bill in order to ensure it runs out of parliamentary time.
  • Zhuge Liang, a legendary Chinese strategist who lived in the Three Kingdoms era, had a knack for this. In an event recorded in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he once challenged an enemy general named Wang Lang to a battle of words, and when Zhuge finished verbally lobotomizing the reasons for Wei's political moves, Wang Lang DIED. Same thing happened with Cao Zhen, but with a LETTER. In the exact words, "Cao Zhen became furious, coughed, and spat blood..." if only Zhuge Liang could have had a little chat with all his enemies...
  • Antoinette Tuff, a school receptionist in Georgia who managed to stop a massacre like Sandy Hook from happening by... talking with the gunman, showing him compassion, opening up about her own troubles, and gently persuading him that shooting up a school wouldn't help him overcome his own demons, and to put his weapon down and turn himself in. No one at the school got hurt, not even a police officer. Needless to say, Ms. Tuff was instantly hailed as a hero all over the country.
  • After Attila the Hun and his hordes had burnt, raped, and pillaged their way across Italy and were about to sack Rome, Pope Leo I and two other ambassadors met with the barbarian leader. No one knows exactly what they said, but Attila and his army abruptly turned around and left.
  • On 8 May 1984, Denis Lortie, a Canadian soldier suffering from emotional and mental disturbance, entered the Quebec Parliament with a C-1 submachine gun and opened fire on government workers, killing three and wounding thirteen others on his way to kill members of the Provincial Parliament (who fortunately were not in session at the time). Enter René Marc Jalbert, who stood his ground with Lortie firing inches from his head before starting to talk. Finding that they both served in the same regiment (Jalbert fought in both WWII and Korea and retired as a Major), Jalbert convinced Lortie to come to his office, effectively allowing himself to be taken hostage, and talked for a few more hours before finally convincing Lortie to surrender himself without further violence.

Alternative Title(s): Talking The Villain To Death


Thisobald Thorm

If you drink with Thisobald Thorm and tell him stories long enough through a series of saving throws and/or ability checks, he'll eventually drink so much that he explodes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeathByGluttony

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