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Playing With / Offing the Offspring

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Basic Trope: Parents killing their own children.

  • Straight: Bob (and/or Alice) murders his son, Carl.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob wounds Carl, but not fatally.
    • Alice and Bob hire a hitman to murder Carl.
    • Alice shakes baby Carl to make him stop crying, and she accidentally kills him. She doesn't miss him, and Bob isn't particularly upset either.
  • Justified:
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    • Carl was evil.
    • Alice and Bob are evil.
    • Alice and Bob are Abusive Parents who believe that Murder Is the Best Solution.
    • Alice and Bob wanted a girl. When they got one, Carl became "unnecessary."
    • Alice, Bob, and their children belong to a species that is naturally hostile to itself. Alice and Bob don't even normally live together; they only come together to mate every so often. If they meet any other time, they fight, possibly to the death. If Bob or Alice find Carl, they will kill him or at least try to.
    • Alice and Bob live in a society where the firstborn get the majority of the inheritance. Alice and Bob don't want Carl screwing up the family fortune, so they kill him.
    • Carl was suffering a painful and incurable disease. It was a Mercy Kill.
    • Carl has done something to put the family in shame. Alice and Bob killing him was what they believe is honor-related.
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    • Carl's parents were tired of putting up with his bratty, entitled, rebellious, careless, and unruly behavior. This was Offing the Annoyance.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Bob kills Carl, but then tells one of his co-workers that it was an Accidental Murder.
    • Bob attempts to murder Carl, but fails.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: Carl dies suddenly. Since Alice and Bob clearly disliked him, the police and neighbors immediately assume this trope. An autopsy reveals, however, that Carl naturally died due to disease, not abuse. Further investigation divulges that, howbeit, Alice and Bob deliberately exposed Carl to the illness in the first place, and, when he got deadly sick, refused to take him to a physician, because they wanted Carl to die.
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  • Averted: No one offs their offspring.
  • Enforced: "We need to write Carl off, but how do you write off a child character?" "We could send him to live with his aunt, but we want a more dramatic option. Let's have his Abusive Parents get tired of his misbehavior and murder him."
  • Lampshaded: "Did you and Alice really murder Carl? Surely he wasn't that misbehaved!"
  • Invoked: Carl wants to die, so he abuses his parents until they snap and murder him.
  • Exploited: Bob is employed as a hitman due to his experience.
  • Defied:
    • Alice and Bob hate Carl, but know that they would never get away with murder, so they give him up for adoption instead.
    • "You are our son, and we would never kill you, no matter what you've done."
  • Discussed: "Carl is such a nuisance. Maybe we should murder him." "I don't think that's a good idea. We'll get caught for certain, and then it's the slammer for us."
  • Conversed: "This is one weird show. Why didn't Carl's parents get arrested after they murdered him? Are we to believe that they didn't get caught?"
  • Implied: Alice and Bob are abusive parents, and Carl vanishes without an explanation.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Carl's friends suffer from the loss, while Alice and Bob are arrested.
    • Amnesiac Hero Bob kills Carl, and then learns that Carl is his son. He has a Freak Out due to the guilt.
  • Reconstructed: Alice is acquitted, Bob escapes from prison, and Carl's friends forget about him before long.
  • Played For Laughs: Everyone celebrates Carl's death, because he was a rotten son, a bully to other children, and a terror to Alice and Bob's guests.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Carl's younger sister, Diane, is Forced to Watch Carl's murder. This gives her lifelong emotional trauma.
    • Alice and Bob have a nasty argument with their son, Carl. As Carl yells at the both of them, telling them that he wished they were dead, Bob angrily pushes Carl to the ground. Carl responds by attacking him. Alice tries to restrain Carl, only for Carl to attack her and choke her. Trying to save Alice from being choked to death, Bob takes out his gun and shoot his son, killing him in the process. Along with Alice, he is driven in tears after killing his own child, and hugs Carl's head, proving that despite how Carl acted, they still loved him.

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