Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Instant Death Bullet

Go To

Basic Trope: One bullet seems to kill someone in an instant.

  • Straight: Bill shoots Mac in the leg and Mac collapses and dies almost immediately. Nobody even attempts first aid.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Characters die quickly from gunshots, but linger a little before expiring.
  • Justified:
    • It was a shot to a vital spot such as the heart or brain.
    • Alternately, the bullet is designed to fragment for massive, systemic damage, or they have been hit multiple times.
  • Inverted:
    • Bill shoots Mac's corpse and he springs back to life
    • Only a Flesh Wound
    • A gunshot wound, even a headshot that splatters someone's brains across the room, invariably means a slow, agonizing death.
    • Immune to Bullets (an exaggerated inversion, as no amount of bullets will do Bob in)
  • Subverted: The shot seems to kill Mac but he comes back a scene later...
  • Double Subverted: ... to die from a second bullet.
  • Parodied:
    • The gun shop Bill frequents is advertising the Super Bullet, which is guaranteed to drop your opponents even if it just grazes them.
    • Just being shot at is enough to scare Mooks to death, even if the bullets come nowhere near them.
  • Zig Zagged: Bill shoots Mac, who appears to die instantly. Then, as Bill turns to walk away, Mac opens his eyes, crawls forward, and shoots Bil... who dies instantly.
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: Mac gets shot and lives long enough to bleed out and deliver a Final Speech.
  • Enforced: The producers of this film are big on gun control and want to reinforce how deadly guns can be.
  • Lampshaded: “This gun shoots death!”
  • Invoked: Bill practices shooting for the vitals for clean kills.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Bill practices to avoid shooting the vitals.
  • Discussed: "Well, I guess one shot is all it takes..."
  • Conversed: "Wow, he died rather quickly, considering I shot him in the foot..."
  • Deconstructed: Any world in which bullets are so lethal is a world in which professionals who often face gunfights are bitter and cynical, leading to a swathe of Sociopathic Hero tendencies. You could die at any moment without even knowing what killed you. Such situations provoke fatalistic attitudes.
  • Reconstructed: Characters find ways to rationalize the danger they are placed in and grow stronger as a result. They also start wearing full-body ballistic armor all the time.

Back to Instant Death Bullet

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: