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Playing With / Backstab Backfire

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Basic Trope: A good guy beats a bad guy, and then the bad guy tries to kill the good guy when his or her back is turned! The hero is able to successfully defend against the attack, possibly killing the villain in the process.

  • Straight: Alice fights Evil Elliot and wins. She has mercy on the poor, defeated, seemingly helpless wretch and begins to walk away. Elliot tries to stab her in the back, but Alice dodges the knife thrust and buries her own blade in Elliot's chest before he can try again.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice defeats Evil Elliot in a game of checkers, being one turn away from victory. Alice turns to talk to Barry real quick and Elliot swaps pieces around. This ends up upseting the balance of the table and it sets off a chain reaction that ends in Elliot's death.
    • Evil Elliot tries to backstab Alice after being beaten in a Trial by Combat, only to be shot by both Alice's troops and his own.
  • Downplayed: Alice beats Elliot and lets him live. When walking away, Elliot tries to backstab Alice but a cautious Alice placed a small trap in case this happened.
  • Justified: Alice is willing to forgive, but promised Evil Elliot that the next time he did anything evil, she would kill him. And she always keeps her promises.
  • Inverted:
    • Assassin Outclassin'
    • Evil Elliot is the superior fighter and has defeated Alice, who is the hero. Elliot is very evil, but nevertheless he just doesn't feel like killing Alice right now, so he starts walking away. Alice can't let such a dangerous person run free, so she desperately rushes at him from behind...and is promptly dispatched by Elliot.
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  • Subverted: After his defeat at the hands of the mighty Alice, Evil Elliot runs at her from behind with his blade drawn, but he doesn't expect or intend to hurt Alice by doing so. He is actually hoping that Alice will kill him, because Elliot is a Death Seeker.
  • Double Subverted: Evil Elliot runs at Alice from behind with his blade drawn, feeling certain that Alice will react to his very loud and obvious attack by killing him and ending his miserable existence. However, Elliot slips in a pool of his own blood and stumbles, inadvertently dodging Alice's decapitating slash. Then he bounces off the opposite wall and crashes into Alice dagger-point first, killing her. Oops.
  • Parodied: Instead of killing Elliot when he charges at her, Alice disarms him, beats him down again, and gives him a Last-Second Chance. Angry at being humiliated once again, Elliot charges at her again, only to fail again. Rinse and repeat until Elliot is so badly beaten up that the only thing keeping him from trying to attack Alice yet again is the fact that all his limbs are broken. Not that it stops him from shouting curses and demands for her to come back and face him.
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  • Zig Zagged: Elliot is beaten by Alice, and accepts her offer of mercy. Once she's out of the room, he orders his soldiers to seize her and kill her, which backfires horribly and leaves him without any resources, but doesn't kill him... yet. That happens when he shows up at her home, trying to take her parent(s), sibling(s), spouse or child(ren) hostage. This angers her enough that she has no problem with killing him for real this time.
  • Averted:
    • Evil Elliot accepts his defeat and allows Alice to take him to the cops who are waiting outside to arrest him.
    • Evil Elliot succeeds in killing Alice when she's off-guard.
  • Enforced: The writers want to give Elliot karmic justice, and decides that if he tries to backstab Alice and failed, it would give the right message.
  • Lampshaded: "What were you thinking, Elliot? Have you ever heard of this actually working?"
  • Invoked: "Don't turn your back on him, Alice! He looks like he wants to stab somebody and probably still has a weapon on him somewhere!"
  • Exploited: Alice is aware killing Elliot is in bad taste, so she waits until she can make it look like an accident.
  • Defied: Elliot knows not to try and backstab Alice.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice's act of sparing Evil Elliot is a trick. She was hoping for him to try to backstab her from the beginning. This would give Alice a perfect justification to kill Evil Elliot and remain a pure heroine in the eyes of everybody and/or avoid the moral implications of killing a downed opponent.
  • Reconstructed: Evil Elliot "surrendered" to Alice, who knew that it was a trick. By giving him an opportunity to attack her, she can prove to everyone that he was lying.

Look out, the main Backstab Backfire page is about to try and kill you while your attention is on this! Turn around and face it before it's too late!


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