Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Professional Killer

Go To

Basic Trope: An assassin who kills select targets for a reward from someone else.

  • Played Straight: Bob kills assigned targets for a living.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob has an Orbital Bombardment satellite ready to kill someone the moment he's offered a job.
    • Bob kills the mark, their family and everyone who associates with them and would realise that they're missing.
  • Downplayed:
    • Only a small portion of Bob's life is being a Professional Killer; he's mostly an average guy.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob is normally a Bounty Hunter, but several of his contracts required him to kill the bounty stealthily.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Psycho for Hire.
    • Bob heals injured government executives, soldiers, etc. for cash.
  • Subverted: Bob is in the middle ages and assassinates people for loot. Wait a minute...
  • Double Subverted: The loot was the reward.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob crushes people's gardens for a reward from his boss.
    • Bob, the resident Improbable Weapon User, assassinates bullies with pencils, ball-pens, and erasers...
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: There are no Professional Killers in the game/show/whatever.
  • Enforced: "Hey, since Bob can take Quests to kill for money, how about we straight up make him a contract killer?"
  • Lampshaded: "Yknow, you'd think that guy would have a tamer way to make money..."
  • Invoked: Bob has some old scores to settle, and figures he might as well get paid to kill people anyways.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exploited: Bob is given a job secretly by a rival to assassinate his primary weapon provider, thus allowing the rival plenty of time to eliminate Bob whilst he looks for a new weapon provider.
  • Defied: Bob is a Broken Bird and is proficient with weapons and scolds the author for setting him up to be a cliche assassin.
  • Discussed: "With all these different crimes deliberately committed for profit, what about contract killing?" "Well it adds additional hurdles to avoid getting caught than a normal murderer, though also means you don't have to loot your victims to make a profit."
  • Conversed: "Seriously, contract killing for profit? That's just a terrible way to waste your time." "Well, being a contract killer means you can set up a signature style, and thus murder people you hate with no one thinking you had personal motive."
  • Advertisement:
  • Implied:
    Alice: Whoa, a $2500 check? You make a ton!
    Bob: This? Yeah, I had to break out my long range for that one.
    Alice: ...
    Bob: ...Moving on...
  • Deconstructed:
    • Being a hired killer, that means Bob needs to set up some method of receiving his money and meeting his clients. Thus, all the cops need to do to arrest him is set up a sting and let him expose himself trying to kill the target, allowing them to search through his building for all the evidence they need.
    • Though Bob may kill for profit, he and his targets are ultimately still people. Thus, Bob finds himself too reluctant to kill some of his targets, causing him to suffer professionally.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob demands all of his payment directly and meets all of his clients in different locations, always making sure he looks radically different when on the job. Thus making it much harder for the police to collect evidence, and he always scouts out his target first in his normal appearance.
    • Bob decided to work for a police task force directly to receive legal contracts, such as sniping down a drug dealer or stabbing a would-be-terrorist in the back.
    • Though the people Bob kills for profit are indeed people, Bob willfully ignores that fact and emotionlessly executes his targets so he won't feel regret or have second thoughts.
  • Played for Laughs:
    • Bob is an eliminator of insects and vermin, taking his job completely serious.
    • Bob regularly listens to upbeat music even as he performs his hits, even commonly seen pulling out an iPod as he inspects his handiwork.
  • Played for Drama: Bob is offered several billion dollars to murder the political figures he actually supports, thus forcing him to either compromise his ideals or ruin his reputation by refusing such a high-paying gig.

Back to Professional Killer, it's time to kill the mark stealthily and make your living.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: