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Would Harm a Senior

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

"And still you stand? That's pathetic old man! Recognize your limits and retire already!"
Ganos, Dragon Ball Super

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.
  • 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 
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire Rourke punches the King of Atlantis, who's thousands of years old, in the stomach, causing him to die of internal bleeding.
  • Boogie: The titular hero blows off his own nanny's head for annoying him in front of his girlfriend. And later on shoves his fist into an old man's mouth, pulling out dentures embedded into his knuckles. Yes, the "hero" of this film is kind of a prick.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: When Kuzco accidentally bumps into an old man unfortunate enough to be standing nearby during his opening song, Kuzco has the old man thrown out the window. Fortunately, the old man ends up comically wrapped up in some banners and unharmed, and this is just meant to show that Kuzco is a Jerkass, although he gets better.
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Alex the lion is more than willing to get in a one-on-one combat with the little old lady who beat him up in the first film. Despite Alex being a fully grown male lion, the old lady still wins the fight.
  • In The Secret of NIMH, Jenner has no qualms about killing an ailing Nicodemus and viciously shoves aside a crippled Mr. Ages to pursue Mrs. Brisby.

    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 
  • 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.
  • Game of Thrones: In Season 7, 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.

    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, included 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 puts up a fight before going down) across five levels, and all of these are Played for Laughs.
  • 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 as 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.
  • 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 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.

    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 see 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 capture them and/or attempt to harm them in any way they possibly can without a single qualm of 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.
  • 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 episode, "Fallen Arches", the Ministry of Pain come 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.


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?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilOldFolks

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