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Would Harm a Senior

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Good thing you got Medicare — you're gonna need it!

"You want me to beat up a feeble old man? That's cold, even for you."
Isabela, Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin DLC

While seniors are usually exempt from harm due to harming the elderly being a taboo, there are exceptions. A villain hurting a senior is practically guaranteed to be a Kick the Dog moment at minimum. Whether a hero hits a villainous senior depends on how healthy they are, how dangerous their scheme is, and the hero's morality. An elderly villain who's clearly in good shape is more likely to get attacked by a hero, a villain that plans on killing someone is also likely to get hit if there are no other options, and an Anti-Hero might not care at all if they're violent enough.

Any video game that has an Old Master, Old Soldier, or Old Superhero as a playable character is likely to have this.

Compare Would Hurt a Child, when someone is willing to hurt someone younger than them. If the harm is domestic in nature, then it's Elder Abuse. Contrast When Elders Attack and Never Mess with Granny, as well as Evil Old Folks, when a senior would harm you.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Played for Laughs. During the Vaizel Fighting Destival, King is paired off against an unassuming old guy and is eager to beat him in order to impress Diane. Alas, King is so ineffective in a fight when unarmed that the old guy, who it turns out is a capable fighter, wipes the floor with him.
  • In My Hero Academia, during the Paranormal Liberation War arc, Toga takes the form of an elderly woman who's searching for her husband in order to lure Uraraka away. Since Toga's power requires her to suck the blood of the people she impersonates, Uraraka realizes that Toga attacked and possibly killed the woman.

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: In a short comic, Judge Death tries to use a teleporter to escape imprisonment in Mega-City One, but somehow wounds up at a senior citizens gathering in the late 20th century UK. He proceeds to grant everyone an early ticket to the grave before Dredd shows up to recapture him and take him back.
  • MAD: One unusually dark "The Lighter Side Of..." strip has three young men sizing up various passers-by, and ultimately deciding that an old woman fits their needs before the final panel reveals that they intend on attacking and robbing her. A follow-up strip has a judge deliver a well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech to them, but the three of them are confident that they'll be released before long.
  • Spider-Man: The burglar who infamously shot his elderly Uncle Ben and sent Peter Parker on the path to superheroism.
  • Watchmen: Thugs break into retired superhero Hollis Mason's home and assault him. He is beaten to death with a statue he had received as an award for his heroism.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Avengers, when one old man (who is implied to have lived through Hitler's regime and felt quite indignant about the Nazis) refuses to bow down to Loki, Loki is about to kill him before Captain America stops him.
  • The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans: Lieutenant McDonagh (our hero, folks) assaults an old woman by withholding her oxygen supply since he needs some information from her friend. They file a report against him, but he gets away with it in the end.
  • Blade (1998) and Blade II: Blade's elderly if tough-as-nails mentor Whistler is on the receiving end from vampires at times. Beyond combat, in both movies, there are instances where vampires go out of their way to have him slowly and painfully brutalized while he's down.
  • In Blazing Saddles, Rock Ridge goes from being a humble little western Arcadia to a Wretched Hive, this cemented by a pair of thugs brutally beating on a defenseless old lady.
    Old Lady: Have you ever seen such cruelty?
  • Circle: As soon as people realize that the order of killing is based on voting, College Guy suggests killing off the oldest people first in order to buy themselves more time because it's "more fair", which the room begrudgingly agrees to. However, when they run out of truly elderly people, the room turns against him because it's clear he's just going to keep targeting people based on age.
  • Howl (2015): Adrian is fine with getting physical with the elderly Ged when the latter won't let him kill the infected Jenny, and in fact looks down on Ged and Jenny for their old age.
  • Ip Man 4: The boyfriend of Becky Walters and his gang attempt to rough up the 71-year-old Ip Man after he defends Yonah from them. It doesn't end well for them, however, as he repels them without breaking a sweat.
  • Logan: Wolverine's clone X-24 is perfectly willing to stab the nonagenarian Professor X in the chest. Xavier doesn't survive.
  • Played for Laughs in Madea's Family Reunion when Keke Palmer's character takes off her earrings in an attempt to fight Madea, but she gets beat by Madea instead.
  • In Madea Goes to Jail, the police had no problem attacking Madea to arrest her.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martians attack a retirement home at one point.
  • The Pianist: In a horrifying scene, a pair of Nazi SS officers drop a wheelchair-bound Jewish grandfather from a second-floor balcony, for no other reason but to be pointlessly cruel.
  • Rampage (2009): Subverted during Bill's rampage. He goes into a bingo hall filled with senior citizens, walks menacingly around them as none of them seem to notice the armored gunman... and then he walks back out, reasoning that they're gonna die pretty soon anyway.
  • In The Toxic Avenger, the titular monster hero goes on a murder spree towards every thug, rapist, pedophile, and bank robber in Tromaville and quickly becomes beloved by the people for it (it's a Troma film, so over-the-top violence and murder is the norm). When he is found dry-cleaning a seemingly defenseless old lady, the corrupt mayor uses this as an excuse to send the army and his corrupt, Nazi police commissioner after him, leaving out the fact that the old lady was a sex trafficker with a criminal record a mile long.


    Live-Action TV 
  • 1000 Ways to Die: A mugger tries to steal an old woman's purse, then punches her several times in the face when she fights back. Unbeknownst to him, the woman is an expert in Tae Kwon Do, and she demonstrates her skills by giving him an absolute thrashing before finishing him off with a punch to the throat that severs his trachea, causing him to die of suffocation.
  • Better Call Saul: A cornered Jimmy/Saul/Gene threatens to strangle Marion when she discovers his fugitive identity in the penultimate episode. While he is unable to fully go through with it, it signifies both to the audience and to himself just how far Jimmy, a man who started his legal career passionately defending the elderly from exploitation, has fallen.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • In "Speak of the Devil," Wilson Fisk has Elena Cardenas killed as bait to lure Matt into ambush by Nobu. Given what he knows about the time Matt saved a kid from the Russians, he correctly predicts that targeting the elderly will be enough to provoke Matt.
    • In the last episode of season 1, Fisk murders his 73-year-old accountant Leland Owlsley, after learning that Owlsley participated in poisoning Vanessa.
    • In season 3, Fisk spares the life of 77-year-old Esther Falb after learning the story behind the "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" painting. Too bad Dex doesn't seem fit to give the same courtesy, killing her offscreen. When Fisk realizes what Dex did, he shrugs it off with only mild disappointment.
  • In Dr. Death, this is what ultimately lands Duntsch in prison. Most, though not all, of his patients that he maims and kills in surgery are older, and he's convicted on the charge of "Injury to an elderly person."
  • Game of Thrones: In the Season 6 finale, Walder Frey being a very elderly man doesn't save him from having his throat slit by Arya Stark in vengeance for her family's deaths. Not that Walder didn't have it coming.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: C.D. Parker, a retired Ranger, is often targeted by the villains in a way to try to intimidate Walker. This tactic, of course, only makes Walker madder.
    • Season 6's "Forgotten People" plays this trope seriously straight. A corrupt nursing home administrator and her staff of rogue doctors and ex-con orderlies were using the home as a front for an illegal testing facility using its elderly patients as guinea pigs to create variants of an Alzheimer's drug originally banned by the FDA that they plan to sell to pharmaceutical companies to make a large profit for themselves since running a nursing home would throw off suspicion. Because of those experiments, nine patients had already died. However, an investigation into the nursing home is soon prompted when one patient, who was an old friend of Trivette's, is murdered by the doctors to prevent him from exposing their scheme, with C.D. going undercover as a patient and making a new friend who was also undercover for the same reason. With the corrupt doctors having killed two other patients— one who tried to escape the facility and another used in their experiments— C.D. and his new friend would have been next had Walker and Trivette not been alerted, thanks to a transmitter hidden in a bible connected to Walker's pager.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • New Jack bolstered his already infamous reputation when he beat Garbage Wrestler pioneer Gypsy Joe with a baseball bat.
  • Randy Orton's "Legend Killer" gimmick sounded badass until you realized to him "killing legends" mostly consisted of disrespecting and beating up retirees, including women less than half his size. Only occasionally would Orton have a match with someone still capable of having matches.
  • Kane's feud with Shane McMahon was kicked off by Kane dropping the head of Shane's mother on a steel ramp, describing the sounds the damage it did to her body made and how causing pain turned him on.
  • Kevin Steen's ultimate goal in Ring of Honor, while leading SCUM anyway, was to kill Carry Silkin with his bare hands as his final act in symbolically destroying the company. Silkin was of course old and not a wrestler.

    Video Games 
  • Played for Laughs in Cthulhu Saves the World bonus campaign "Cthulhu's Angels", where Dark Umi, evil personality of Umi, expresses delight when she gets to destroy the game's Interactive Narrator, who is an elderly man. Mitigated only by the fact that he's a Reality Warper and a Physical God.
  • This trope is the selling point of the old Flash Beat 'em Up, Disorderly, in which you are an orderly in an old folk's home being given an assignment by your boss to "curb overpopulation crisis" in the home. For pretty much the entire game, you get to go around beating the snot out of elderly folks with assorted weapons (they Do Not Go Gentle either, a lot of those elderly folks put up a fight before going down) across five levels, and all of these are Played for Laughs.
  • This is how Reddo, the first boss from Dusty Revenge, introduces himself. You're speaking with Gladdius, an elderly Fortune Teller, and before Gladdius could reveal your true fate, Reddo suddenly barges in and shoots Gladdius in the back of her head. With a smile on his face.
  • While the Fallout series doesn't have many Evil Old Folks, presumably because After the End, Everything Trying to Kill You, especially if you've screwed over many people in your youth, the few Evil Old Folks you will meet are not treated differently than younger villains by the narrative, and killing Father Elijah (or trapping him into an inescapable vault until the end of his days) is not treated any differently by the narrative than killing anyone else who has crossed the Moral Event Horizon like him, and with the Silliness Switch turned on, killing the Hell Grannies from Monty Python as they try to bludgeon you to death with rolling pins is not treated any differently as killing the other thugs in the Wretched Hive they operate from.
  • In inFAMOUS: Second Son, the Big Bad Brooke Augustine is convinced that Hank - one of the conduits, or "Bio-Terrorists" as she insists they be called, escaped their custody - might have told something incriminating to Delsin or one of the Akomish while he was in their longhouse. Regardless of whether Delsin tells Augustine that he is a conduit or if he lets her move on to the others, she will proceed to use her concrete powers to "interrogate" the rest of the tribe, starting with the elderly Betty.
    Augustine: Well, unless you decide that you do have something to tell me, I'll go 'chat' with that old lady. But you should know, concrete is especially hard on brittle bones.
  • In the Guarma part of Red Dead Redemption II, an elderly woman serving as a guide attempts to rob Dutch. He disarms her easily, but decides not to stop there—instead, he strangles her to death.
  • Sakura Wars:
    • In Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die, Suiko launches an assassination attempt on Ikki Yoneda, but he survives. Later, the Taisho Restoration army holds Yoritsune Hanakoji hostage during their coup on Tokyo.
    • In Sakura Wars (2019), Mr. I and his men are about to kill Yattansai Mochizuki as a demon sympathizer before his student Azami intervenes.
  • In Splatoon 3, Mr. Grizz dehydrates Cap'n Cuttlefish to (thankfully temporary) death.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, the Big Bad personally cuts down Hencken and Cathy, two elderly scientists, when they try to stop him from going after the party. His initial attack upon arriving knocks their colleague Aston unconscious, resulting in him being left for dead and surviving.
  • In Persona 5, Taizo Naguri, a minor Mementos target whose identity can be obtained by working at the flower shop, is a thug who goes around assaulting people, especially the elderly.
  • Zombie Infection does this with the revelation that Blackhorn is the game's true villain, when he socks Rotwang, an elderly senior in his 90s across the face with enough force to kill him.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Counterspell: When visiting an armory to get some loot, the keeper of the shop pulls out a sword after Black Mage suggests robbing the place. In response, Bruiser kills the man with one punch on account of him being old and feeble. Noticing how Bruiser got some XP from doing such, he suggests that Bruiser should punch more old people so that he could level up.
  • Strong Bad from Homestar Runner is a jerk to everyone, including the elderly King of Town. Some of the things Strong Bad did to the King of Town include hitting him in the face with a scepter, sending him off a cliff (with some snacks), ripping off chunks of his beard, and lowering him into a cauldron of boiling butter, although the King of Town didn't mind that last one.

  • Discussed, exploited, and ultimately subverted in Digger with Boneclaw Mother, a Cool Old Lady who doesn't let age and blindness stop her from dispensing threats of violence against those who would harm her tribe. As she says, if someone were actually to agree to fight her, then they'd either get beaten up by an old blind lady or become known as the Jerkass who beat up an old blind lady. As a shaming tactic, it even works on a Knight Templar with urgent personal reasons to fight past her.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Jet", the gaang meet with Jet and his Freedom Fighters. While Sokka does not trust any of them from the get-go, his distrust is cemented when he joins their patrol and finds Jet needlessly threatening an elderly traveler. When Sokka goes to tell Katara and Aang about it, Jet claims that the old man was a Fire Nation assassin sent to kill him and shows him a poison-laced dagger that he claims to have frisked off of the old man. Since neither Sokka nor the audience ever sees this knife on the old man's person, this is likely to be a lie.
  • Ben 10: Rojo couples this with Would Hurt a Child, opening fire on all three of the Tennysons including Max just because she didn't like the way they were looking at her.
  • Castlevania (2017): Blue Fangs is fine with killing an elderly Bishop in a painful manner. Not that the corrupt, deranged, despicable P.O.S. of a human being didn't deserve at the very least that much.
  • Eustace and Muriel in Courage the Cowardly Dog are frequent victims of this. Each Monster of the Week captures them and/or attempts to harm them in any way they possibly can without a single qualm about their actions regardless of their old age. Of course, unlike Muriel, Eustace often deserves whatever horrible fate he receives since half of the Bagges' ordeals are due to his stupidity and stubbornness getting them in the mess, which is also helped by his immaturity despite his old age.
  • Futurama:
    • Bender has been shown to have no qualms with causing harm to the elderly Professor Farnsworth, such as bending his spine backwards in "Bendless Love" or sawing his hand off to get to a satchel he's handcuffed to himself in Bender's Big Score.
    • In "A Tale of Two Santas", one of the children's letters to Robot Santa read by Fry and Leela is from a boy whose grandfather was choked to death by Robot Santa with a chestnut last Xmas. The kid writes the letter to request that Robot Santa get his grandfather a coffin, complaining that Grandpa's festering corpse is starting to smell.
  • The villains from Jackie Chan Adventures have no problem attacking Uncle. With him being an Old Master chi wizard, he can triumph over them.
  • In the The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode, "Fallen Arches", the Ministry of Pain comes out of retirement after several decades to commit crimes. Even though Bubbles and Buttercup are more than willing to stop them, Blossom refuses to let them because they have to respect their elders. The Powerpuff Girls get around this by enlisting Captain Righteous and Lefty, two equally elderly former superheroes, to fight the Ministry of Pain. It doesn't work out.
  • Played with in The Proud Family episode "Thelma and Luis", where LaCienega's Papi is sent to a nursing home that turns out to be a front for an illegal okra plantation where the residents are enslaved. While not under the category of beating up old people, the owner's treatment of the elderly is anything but saintly. When the rest of the adults don't believe the kids, only Suga Mama does and helps them spring Papi from his Hellhole Prison, then the two go on the run when his escape doesn't go unnoticed.
  • Rick and Morty: The assassin Krombopolus Michael admits that he's willing to kill old people when he informs Morty that there's no limit to who or what he can be hired to murder.
  • In Season 5 of Samurai Jack, Aku instantly disintegrates the now-elderly Scotsman whom he sees as a senile old man taunting him to no end. Then again, what did you expect from the Master of All Evil? He’s no stranger to the mass murder of innocents—women, children AND elderly alike.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: "The Bully" has a gag where SpongeBob runs screaming about how Flatts is going to kick his butt, with bystanders mistakenly thinking it's an innocent senior citizen who was threatening SpongeBob before proceeding to beat the crap out of the old man. This happens twice, in fact, with the second time having the old man show no signs of injury and cheerfully welcome the mob that's about to beat him up again.


Video Example(s):


The Hateocracy

The members of the Hateocracy hated each other. But they hated everyone else even more and thus teamed up to terrorize the retirement home they were in.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilOldFolks

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