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Playing With / Exactly What I Aimed At

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Basic Trope: Someone shoots and seems to miss, but actually hits an off-screen target that causes a chain reaction.

  • Straight: The Lone Gunslinger shoots over the shoulder of his opponent...into the water heater behind him, which explodes and kills him.
  • Exaggerated: The Lone Gunslinger shoots backwards over his own shoulder. The bullet ricochets around the room and careens into the water heater.
  • Downplayed: The gunslinger gives his opponent Just a Flesh Wound, disarming him, and when he's accused of missing says that he prefers not to kill people.
  • Justified: The villain is wearing armor that prevents bullets from penetrating the skin, but the armor isn't powerful enough to withstand...say... the debris falling on it from the shelf that was just shot out.
    • If the villain realizes the hero is going to shoot the water heater, he'd jump out of the range of the explosion, so the hero moves so the villain is between them, and it looks like he's just aiming at the villain.
  • Inverted:
    • The Lone Gunslinger kills his opponent with a bullet right between the eyes when he meant to take the Technical Pacifist option and shoot a water heater behind him.
    • The hero aims at the water heater because he's leading the shot and the villain is moving in that direction.
  • Subverted:
    • We see the Lone Gunslinger notice a precarious boulder behind the opponent. He fires a bullet over their shoulder...and it harmlessly lodges itself in the wall.
    • Or...
    Lone Gunslinger: *Shoots*
    Black Hat: Hah! You missed!
    Gunslinger: It wasn't you I was aiming at!
    Black Hat: [long pause] what were you aiming at?
    Gunslinger: Um... the chandelier. I guess I missed that too?
  • Double Subverted:
    • Beat. Then the wall collapses on the opponent's head.
    • Or...
    (chandelier's attaching rope fully tears, and then falls on Black Hat.)
    Gunslinger:: Note to self: rope is not instantly cut by bullet.
  • Parodied:
    • A giant bomb reading "Warning! Do not shoot!" is strapped to the villain's back.
    • The gunslinger' opponent continually mocks the long gunslinger for missing, and the lone gunslinger tries to correct him. Eventually, he gets tired of trying, and just says he'll let the next bit be a surprise...
    • Advertisement:
    • The villain claims the hero is lying, and make him call his shots for the rest of the fight.
  • Zig Zagged: The Lone Gunslinger shoots over the shoulder of his opponent... Into the water heater behind him, which explodes, but it's too far away to do any damage. A few moments pass, and then the structural damage causes the roof to collapse. Except for the section above the Gunslinger and his opponent. However, the liquor cabinet gets torn down from the wall, and the heavy glass bottles fall down towards the Gunslinger's opponent. He notices it in time, and sidesteps. The liquor starts flowing along the sloped floor, and eventually reaches a tipped over candle. The candle isn't lit. The other candle in the candle holder is, though, causing the building to ignite. The gunslinger's opponent takes a quick look at the slowly spreading flames, and starts walking in the opposite direction, towards the exit. He slips on the water spilled by the water heater, and knocks himself unconscious.
  • Averted:
    • The Lone Gunslinger misses.
    • Alternatively, The Lone Gunslinger Just Shoots Him.
  • Enforced: Executives tell the writer that the Lone Gunslinger can't actually shoot the villains.
  • Lampshaded: "Ha! You missed! Meaning something even worse is about to happ—"BOOM!
  • Invoked: The villain knows the Gunslinger's flair for the dramatic and gives his Motive Rant directly underneath a large, swaying Falling Chandelier of Doom. Unbeknownst to our hero, the chandelier's specially reinforced.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The villain realizes what the gunslinger was aiming at, and steps aside before it can fall on him.
  • Discussed: "Now, watch out. If that guy seems to intentionally miss you, run away from your spot as fast as you can."
  • Conversed: "The hero always seems to miss, doesn't he?"
  • Deconstructed: The gunslinger is so confident in his skills that he refuses to directly shoot his enemies. This eventually leads to him missing one and getting himself killed.
    • By taking the time to shoot at the water heater the villain has time to shoot the Gunslinger before it explodes.
  • Reconstructed: The gunslinger is so confident in his skills that he refuses to directly shoot his enemies, and his supernaturally Improbable Aiming Skills mean he can pull this off. The overconfident Gunslinger Wannabe who tries to emulate him dies within seconds.
  • Implied: We see the trail of carnage the lone gunslinger left behind. Not one of his opponent have been shot directly, instead being hit or exploded by any manner of objects, with tell-tale bulletholes still in them.
  • Played With: The hero aims through the villain at the water heater. If the villain doesn't dodge, he gets hit. If the villain does dodge, the water heater gets hit and explodes. Either way, the hero wins.

Back to Epic Fail. Ha! That's Exactly What I Aimed At!

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