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Playing With / Threatening Mediator

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Basic Trope: A character threatens two or more characters to end their conflict.

  • Straight:
  • Exaggerated:
    • Harry threatens to torture Steve and Pete in highly disturbing details if they don't end their fighting. It works so well.
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    • Harry threatens to blow up the entire planet if humans don't stop being assholes to each other.
    • Steve and Pete pull a Mexican Standoff. Harry, who is in the same room, pulls out a hand grenade and threatens to turn the entire room into a Jackson Pollock painting with their collective blood splatter (yes, including his) unless they toss their guns away.
    • Harry threatens to kill Steve, Pete and anybody stupid enough to try to stop him (be it friend, foe, family member, cop, pet or divine being) if they ever so much as think of ever telling one another a Your Mom joke for the rest of their lives (being their personal Berserk Button and all). Knowing that this means Harry has threatened to kill the whole town essentially, Steve and Pete don't wanna risk getting such a blood bath on their consciences.
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    • Harry's preferred way to shut up Steve and/or Pete when they start going on one of their childish tirades (knowing they will soon start to blame the other guy for whatever is ailing them) is to put a loaded shotgun to their faces point-blank and (in an eerily calm and polite voice) tell them to stop. And they know he'll fire. They have the reconstructive surgery bills to prove it.
  • Downplayed: Harry threatens to leave Steve and Pete stranded in the wilderness if they don't stop bickering.
  • Justified:
    • Harry feels that solving conflicts peacefully isn't effective enough.
    • Steve and Pete keep dragging others into their fights, usually people Harry cares about, and Harry is determined to prevent any further collateral damage.
    • Steve and Pete's idea of an Escalating War usually involves property destruction in the multiple figures and lengthy hospital stays by the time they decide to call a truce... all thirty seconds of it. Harry is way beyond "fed up" with their shit.
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    • Harry is Ax-Crazy and Eviler Than Thou ("thou" being Steve and Pete). He is Offing the Annoyance, in a figurative sense.
  • Inverted: Steve and Pete threaten Harry with horrifying harm (and maybe that they will double-team to inflict it) if he even thinks of trying to stop their feud.
  • Subverted: Harry gives Steve and Pete a death glare when they start to argue and stands up straight, showcasing he's One Head Taller than both of them. Steve and/or Pete pulls out a Sinister Switchblade and yells at Harry to sit down, which he does...
  • Double Subverted: ...only because it's easier for him to pull out the .357 Magnum snub-nosed revolver he's carrying on an ankle holster if he's in a sitting position. One Dramatic Gun Cock later, Steve and Pete stand down.
  • Parodied: Harry manages to end a war between two countries by threatening to stab each soldier with a spoon.
  • Zig Zagged: Harry, Pete and Steve are determined badasses who won't back down. The bickering of who is going to stop and who is going to make who stop and what kind of brutal things they will do to each other to make it happen is every bit as loud and extensive as Pete and Steve's regular matches.
  • Averted: Harry doesn't threaten Steve and Pete to get along.
  • Enforced: "Listen, guys, having Steve and Pete going on an Escalating War for the smallest of discussions was all well and good as a Running Gag, but we want to establish Harry as a capital-B Badass with a Hair-Trigger Temper, so why not have him put his foot down on one of the guys' discussions and threaten them to stop? Doesn't needs to work more than once, but at least it will keep things fresh."
  • Lampshaded: "Harry would make a great cop one day for stopping disputes like that."
  • Invoked: Harry works on becoming threatening so that he can mediate between argumentative people.
  • Exploited: Alice is utterly sick and tired of Steve and Pete's unending vitriol, so she asks her big brother Harry to meet them one day. She knows very well that his Big Brother Instinct and the violent impulses that it triggers within him will provide a perfect Gunboat Diplomacy support to her request for them to stop.
  • Defied:
    • "Threaten violence to stop violence? That seems brutal to me."
    • "Harry, before you go to them, I need to remind you that getting violent with them may lead to a lawsuit."
  • Discussed: "Harry is the kind of man who gets so brutal when he's ticked off that he will threaten his own friends if they argue too loudly."
  • Conversed: "Don't you think Harry is... kind of too brutal?" "What do you mean?" "Last week he threatened to shoot Steve and Pete if they could not agree on what movie to put on." "Steve and Pete would have let it become a Silly Reason for War and we would have been patching up walls for a month while they tried to out-beat each other. Harry is just pragmatic, is all." "I fear the day Harry decides to get "pragmatic" on me."
  • Implied: Harry's picture in the living room has a Death Glare on it. Steve and Pete notice it when they begin to argue and they immediately stop.
  • Deconstructed: Harry's constant attempts to make people play nice by threatening both sides turn him into The Dreaded, and not even his closest of friends or lovers want to talk back to him on anything, even the smallest of digressions. Harry, thus, ends up being cut off by his peers.
  • Reconstructed: But Steve and Pete are such pains in the ass that, in the choice between Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand in order to keep them in line, "Firm Hand" inevitably wins... and nobody can provide that firm hand better than Harry.
  • Played For Laughs: Steve and Pete, the protagonists of the show, are on another of their prank wars. Harry (who is not only a bigger badass, but also built like a Sumo wrestler) threatens to give them both a multiple-hour "Dutch oven" session at the same time if they don't stop. They do.
  • Played For Drama: Local Law & Order copy "Alice and Bob: The Series" has an episode where two people called Steve and Pete are the Victim of the Week duo, having been torn apart while they were alive in ways that would make the Cenobites puke. Turns out that their constant bickering and Escalating War bouts damaged the livelihood of the sister of the (now former, having been kicked out in disgrace) member of the Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters named Harry. He told them that he would kill them if they didn't stopped their stupid prank war — or, at the very least, if they ever dragged his sister into it ever again. They thought he was blowing smoke up their asses. It became their last mistake. Ever.
  • Played for Horror: Harry slaughters an entire roomful of people just to make a point of what he can do to Steve and Pete if they continue their feud and makes clear he wants them to defy him.

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