Follow TV Tropes

Following

You Have Failed Me / Live-Action Films

Go To

Films and film franchises with their own pages


  • Years before Star Wars, in the Hammer Horror film Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Dracula (Christopher Lee) uses this line in a snarl to the hapless Zena (one of his pretty victims) before vampirising her to death and having her remains burnt in a baker's oven.
    • It was also implemented in the 1931 Universal film when Renfield accidentally leads Dr. Van Helsing and Jonathan to Dracula's lair and Dracula strangles Renfield to death. It's worth noting that Dracula doesn't even say a thing; he just gives Renfield an evil glare before Renfield goes into hysterics and is then killed.
  • General Mireau to his men in Paths of Glory. He selects randomly three innocent conscripts to be Shot at Dawn to punish his division for a failed frontal assault against heavily fortified enemy positions.
  • Advertisement:
  • Played straight in the first Austin Powers movie, when Dr. Evil dumps several underlings into a fiery pit for failing to kill Austin Powers. It is then parodied when he tries to do the same thing thirty years later...and the minion survives, and is very noisy. Dr. Evil gets someone to go down there and shoot him, and that does the trick... eventually.
  • In Desperado, after Bucho's gang repeatedly fails to find and kill the Mariachi, Bucho demonstrates what they're supposed to do by saying "Look! I don't know him! He has a gun! That must be the guy!" and shooting one of his henchmen. "How hard is that?"
  • In The Fifth Element, Zorg apparently has all of his men (or all public phones) wired with explosives, and, in one scene, where a minion fails to impersonate the heroes, he types in the code to blow him up (with just barely contained rage) just as the heroes get away, not even knowing the mook had been there.
Advertisement:
  • Nicely subverted in Die Hard 2: when Miller, the black soldier, arrives at the church and reports his comrade's death to Colonel Stuart, Stuart says, "Well then, the damage is minimal. The penalty could be severe." He then puts the barrel of his pistol to Miller's forehard and pulls the trigger. The gun clicks on an empty chamber. Miller breathes a sigh of relief as Stuart tells him, "You fail me again, and the chamber won't be empty. Dismissed."
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Shao Kahn does this twice. The Outworld "ninja" Rain, failed to sufficiently torture a pair of Earth Warriors, specifically, he didn't make them beg for their lives before destroying them. He is knocked into a lava pit with a big whacking hammer. Jade, Kahn's mole in the ranks of the heroes, suffers an even more ignominious death after she too fails to destroy them when following Kahn's plan — she's fed to a monster carving in a wall, which lets out a great big burp after it's done with her. Sindel is threatened with this as she tries to back Jade up, despite Sindel being crucial to the plot and one of the most powerful generals.
  • Advertisement:
  • "Suicide, or be shot by someone else" was the option given to the losing Soviet general at the start of Enemy at the Gates.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate: "No. YoU haVe FAileD yoUrsElveS."
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Slightly debugged for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Captain Barbossa shoots one of his own crewman, Pintel, to see if they're all still cursed with immortality, and Pintel survives. The screenwriters Elliot and Rossio remarked in the DVD commentary that this was the only way a villain could repeatedly achieve You Have Failed Me moments without ever running out of henchmen. It also nearly leads to the crew mutinying on the spot, only averted by the heroes' escape attempt.
    • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Jack Sparrow hallucinates dozens of clones of himself crewing the Black Pearl. When one of the Jacks displays sub-par performance, the main Jack stabs and kills him, then proceeds to lecture the rest of his imaginary crew about discipline.
  • Non-lethal version shows up in Shoot 'em Up. After the first time Smith thwarts Hertz's men, Hertz is seen talking with one of them who was wounded in the buttocks. The guy says something to the effect of, "It won't happen again. I've got a piece of metal in my butt to remind me." At this point, Hertz pulls out his pistol, shoots him in the posterior once again, and quips, "And let that be a reminder never to fail me again," as the Mook collapses yelling "AAH! MY ASS!"
  • In the film Peter Pan, Hook shoots two of his pirates for annoying him.
  • In The Untouchables, Al Capone beats one of his goons to death with a bat.
    • This is actually based on a real event. Capone hosted a dinner to let one of his henchmen, Antonino "Joe Batters" Accardo, kill two other henchmen with a baseball bat.
  • Happens in Eragon, where Durza executes the head Urgal for failing to kill the title character then immediately promotes a random Urgal, whose look implies that he is not happy with the promotion.
  • James Bond has a few examples. Ernst Blofeld (another favorite user of the trope like Vader and Sidious) wasn't kidding when he said "This organization does not tolerate failure" to mooks who failed to please him:
    • SPECTRE planner Kronsteen in From Russia with Love, who gets kicked with a poisoned dagger when the initial plan fails. Somewhat amusingly, Kronsteen's plan actually went perfectly. It was Rosa Klebb who failed, by hiring the wrong assassin. Pity no one else knew that.
    • Happens twice in You Only Live Twice, to Helga Brandt (who's fed to Blofeld's piranhas), and Osato (who's shot).
    • In Thunderball, Blofeld electrocutes a SPECTRE member for embezzlement after sweating his partner on their drug-smuggling ring. Most of the other members present don't even flinch.
    • Also in Thunderball, a Mook who failed to kill Bond was thrown into a Shark Pool to be eaten.
    • Another Thunderball example. An assassin, Count Lippe, tries and fails to kill Bond. He is then killed himself, for failing, because this attempt is what made Bond realize something was up, and for hiring an impersonator who demanded a raise in the middle of SPECTRE's operation and threatened to derail it if they didn't comply (that man is killed himself by SPECTRE's Number Two and the Big Bad of the movie, Emilio Largo). It also introduces Fiona, who is apparently tasked with killing SPECTRE agents who fail.
    • In Moonraker, Drax fires his pilot who helped Bond into his safe...and then has her fed to his dobermans.
    • In Quantum of Solace, Bond leaves Dominic Greene to this fate in the middle of a desert. Greene is subsequently Killed Offscreen in said desert.
    • Live and Let Die. Rosie Carver fails to lure Bond to his death after he realizes that she is a double agent. Kananga's henchmen have her killed before Bond can force her into telling him what he wants to know.
    • The exact same scenario depicted in The Fifth Element, above, occurs in Casino Royale (1967), in which Le Chiffre likewise detonates a minion in a phone booth, remotely.
      • Chiffre was on the receiving end of this in Casino Royale (2006). Mr. White walked in on him while he was torturing Bond. Chiffre tried saying to him, "I'll get you the money." But White replies, "Money is not as important as knowing who to trust." And he shoots him.
      • Mr. White was on the receiving end of this in Spectre, when Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Blofeld basically declares him a dead man walking when White objected to SPECTRE entering into rackets such as human trafficking for sex, and for his past failures with Le Chiffre and Dominic Greene, causing White to defect from Blofeld in sheer terror.
  • Happens to several mooks in Banlieue 13 because their boss is really trigger-happy. Eventually the mooks band together and kill the Big Bad.
  • Upon awakening in Transformers, Megatron reunites with Starscream, who reveals to him that the Allspark, the very reason they are on Earth and the ultimate power source of Megatron's obsession, is in the possession of the Human soldiers who are attempting to keep it away from him. His response is quite a ticked off; You have failed me yet again Starscream. GET THEM!
  • In Tim Burton's Batman (1989), The Joker immediately executes his top henchman after his master plan is foiled:
    The Joker: My balloons. Those are my balloons. He stole my balloons! Why didn't anyone tell me he had one of those... things? Bob? Gun.
    Bob the Henchman: [hands the Joker a gun, who promptly shoots him]
    • Honestly, Joker does this all the time, but it's less about failure and more about the fact that he's the Joker.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Mr. Chairman has Taz eat one of the VPs down to a skeleton for questioning him.note 
    • Also a deleted scene reveals the reason the VPs have to hit their buzzers before they speak.
      VP: Is that a good reason?
      Mr. Chairman:' Oh good! You forgot to hit your buzzer!
      [drops plastic wrap on the VP]
  • In The Dark Knight Rises Bane does this to two of his goons when they bring Commissioner Gordon into his lair, revealing the entire operation to him. He crushes the throat of one and then orders the other to search Gordon "And then I will kill you."
  • Drucker, the Big Bad in The 6th Day, does this to his henchman Wiley. A fairly justified version of this trope. Not only has Wiley been screwing up the most, but he also accidentally shot Drucker just before, which apparently was the last straw.
    • He even tells his mooks not to clone Wiley again, so he wouldn't have another chance to fail him.
  • Henry Carver, the Big Bad in Push, Mind Rapes an agent to shoot himself for letting a girl escape, who also Mind Raped the agent to shoot his own partner.
    • Unusual for this trope, Carver is willing to let the guy go back to the States with a reprimand. Unfortunately for the agent, he decides to claim that he can't be Mind Raped again. Carver proves him wrong. So this is more like "You have failed me and don't know when to shut up".
  • The Jade Warlord in The Forbidden Kingdom kills a soldier with his own dagger for bringing bad news, while he was in the process of choosing a girl for the night.
  • Framed hilariously in Six String Samurai, with the Big Bad starting to deliver the usual "You have failed me for the last—" then pauses, looks down, and says, "nice shoes..." Next cut shows the Big Bad and his minions walking off with the failure's shoes.
  • Tank Girl. Kesslee, the Big Bad of Water & Power, has a subordinate who has failed to stop the Rippers. He forces the subordinate to walk across broken glass barefooted, then drains all of the blood out of his body, converts it to water, and drinks it. Kesslee is so fond of this trope that, by the end of the film, his entire army is under the command of a sergeant.
  • Lethal Weapon 2. After Rudd's henchman Hans loses a million dollars worth of gold Krugerrands, Rudd has his The Dragon Pieter execute him.
  • In the otherwise forgettable Masters of the Universe movie, Skeletor Took a Level in Badass and obliterated one of his Goldfish Poop Gang when they screw up their assignment. Details can be read here.
  • Inverted in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, where Commander Kruge kills his gunner for failing to not destroy the USS Grissom. Kruge only wanted to disable its engines so he could take prisoners (it being rather hard to interrogate a rapidly-expanding cloud of vapor), but the gunner had a "lucky shot" and destroyed the whole ship.
  • Played straight in the Green Lantern movie. When Parallax arrives on Earth, his first action is to kill his human minion for failing to kill Hal Jordan before Parallax arrived.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Red Skull, after the Howling Commandos led by Captain America managed to destroy one of HYDRA's bases in Captain America: The First Avenger, has an officer brought to him, to which the officer stated that they fought to the last man. Red Skull, not in a forgiving mood, states "Evidently not!" (the officer himself still being alive and thus not having fought to the last man) and then uses his Tesseract/Cosmic Cube-powered handgun to vaporize the officer.
    • Loki has the threat of this hanging over him throughout The Avengers — either he retrieves the Tesseract, or Thanos will hunt him down and make him pay. Come Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos finally catches up with him... and slowly and painfully crushes the life out of him, right in front of Thor.
  • Herod does this to Ratsy in The Quick and the Dead after Ratsy oversteps his authority and breaks Cort's hand before the big gunfight. Herod does give Ratsy a running start, however.
  • Bill Cox does this in Firewall. "We all make mistakes, Willy. Just not as many as you do. "
  • In Lone Star State of Mind, a pizza delivery guy who's secretly a drug runner reports to his mob boss that he was robbed. The boss orders him to run away... in a zig-zag pattern. The boss waits for a few seconds, then shoots him in the back.
  • In Sholay, Gabbar plays a variation of Russian Roulette with 3 of his mooks because they were defeated by the heroes. He fires away 3 bullets off a loaded six shooter and spins the cylinder. He pulls the trigger on each of the 3 mooks, and extraordinarily all 3 survive the game. After laughing evilly he shoots all 3 of them
  • Apocalypse film series:
    • In a deleted scene from the movie Judgment, Antichrist Franco Maccalusso sends Amoral Attorney Victoria Thorne and the judge from the court case in the movie to an uncertain fate after failing to give him the desired verdict.
    • In Tribulation, Calvin Canboro was choked to death inside the Day Of Wonders program by the Antichrist's Digital Avatar when he failed to convert his brother.
  • Serenity provides a double subversion: The scientist in charge of the Academy is terrified when the Operative comes to call, since he assumes he is going to be killed for allowing River Tam to escape. However, his bosses are surprisingly understanding about that, realizing that with the time and effort River's brother went to, there was really no way to stop him. What they are unhappy about is that key members of Parliament were brought in to personally observe River.
    Operative: The minds behind every military, diplomatic, and covert operation in the galaxy, and you put them in a room with a psychic.
  • In Death Race the 2008 remake, Machine Gun Joe apparently plays this trope straight with his male navigators.
  • Non-lethal version in First Knight. Malagant sends his mooks to kidnap Guinevere, who tears strips from her dress to leave a trail for the good guys to follow. When she is delivered to him, Malagant becomes enraged at seeing the damage to her dress and beats a mook senseless, saying he gave specific orders for her to be completely unharmed.
  • Subverted in Dredd, though not out of kindness. Ma-Ma says she would've done this to Kay after he almost got taken in for interrogation, thereby threatening to expose her entire operation. However, Dredd and Anderson have already cost her enough men that she can't afford to lose more.
  • Apocalypto: In his rage the leader of the raider troop kills one of his underlings after Jaguar Paw escapes at the waterfall.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Ivan Ooze disintegrates his Tengu Mooks after they fail to stop the Power Rangers from going towards the Great Power and report back to him about this.
  • Undercover Brother. When Mr. Feather fails to kill Undercover Brother as he ordered, The Man flies away in his helicopter and leaves him to his fate. Mr. Feather ends up getting eaten by a shark.
  • New Jack City. After the police infiltrate the drug operation and the CMB are forced to destroy their production plant when they capture a police informant, Nino threatens his gang with killing them if they fail him again, stabbing one through the hand to make his point.
  • In 300, Xerxes orders a demonic executioner with saw blades for arms to decapitate one of his generals for failing to defeat the Spartans with a unit using primitive grenades.
  • Done in Showdown in Little Tokyo by yakuza boss Yoshida more than once, the earliest by trapping someone in a car beneath a running compactor.
  • In End of Days, Satan murders his minions for the slighest failure or inconvenience. Most notably, after the lead Satanist doesn't convince the chosen girl's keeper to bring her over immediately because she thinks there are militant Christians observing the house outside, Satan decapitates him with a superpowered punch because he now has to go through the trouble of walking over there.
  • Subverted in the 2004 King Arthur. Cynric fails his mission to capture the patrician Roman family that Arthur is transporting back to the south. His father King Cerdic notes that they have lost the enemy's respect and Cynric offers his life in return. Cerdic instead demotes his son and gives him a Mark of Shame by giving him a small scar on his cheek.
  • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the Sheriff shoves a sword through Guy of Gisborne's belly after he loses yet another shipment of gold in Sherwood Forest to Robin and his men.
    Sheriff: We can't allow this outlaw to make fools of us...and I can't allow a lieutenant to fail me.
  • In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Cherevin kills his security chief after Jack steals Cherevin's computer files. Also, Cherevin himself is executed by Minister Sorokin after Cherevin's terrorist attack fails at the end.
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle: After the heroes escape the market, one of Van Pelt's mooks informs him that they lost them and assures his boss that it won't happen again. Van Pelt agrees and then spits out a scorpion onto the mook's neck, killing him.
  • Conrad Stonebanks in The Expendables 3 shoots one of his own men in the climax as he states, "How hard can it be to kill ten men?"
  • In Jupiter Ascending, after his bounty hunters betray him and his keepers fail to capture Jupiter, Balem tortures and executes his reptilian Sargorn head of security, Mr. Tskalikin. Balem makes sure the replacement, Mr. Greeghan, watches it happen. It's an especially strange example, considering Tskalikin wasn't directly responsible for anything that went wrong, but was killed anyway, apparently for the sole purpose of having someone, anyone, to blame.
  • Jack Reacher. After a Revealing Cover-Up threatens their Evil Plan, the Big Bad tells his minion of how he had to chew off his own fingers to avoid being worked to death in the sulphur mines. He says he will spare the minion if he proves his determination to survive by doing the same. The minion tries, but can't bring himself to bite off his own fingers, so gets shot.
  • Subverted to comedic effect in True Lies. One of Salim Abu Aziz's mooks is filming Aziz's ultimatum video when his camcorder batteries run out. The mook nervously explains this, Aziz stalks up to him giving him a Death Glare, and then...
    Aziz: [quietly] Get another one, you moron!
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016): Big Bad Bogue does this to the sheriff when he arrives to to tell him that the Seven have killed all of his men in Rose Creek: shooting him between the eyes to demonstrate the element of surprise.
  • In the Star Wars parody Spaceballs, Dark Helmet looks like he's about to pull this via Psychic Strangle, but actually aims about two feet lower.
  • In A History of Violence Ritchie executes one of his wounded henchmen after failing to kill Joey, despite the henchman having a clear opportunity on an unaware opponent.
    Ritchie: How do you fuck that up?
    [kicks henchman]
    Ritchie: HOW DO YOU FUCK THAT UP!?
    [shoots henchman]
  • In Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, Big Bad Longara kills his right-hand man Bracoli because of Bracoli's repeated failure to bring him the head of the Machine Gun Woman.
  • Cyberjack: A weird example where one of the bad guy's minions carries this out on another one of his minions without prompting. After The Brute is wounded by the hero, the Dark Action Girl sneers about how much of a failure he is before breaking his neck.
  • The War Wagon: Pierce shoots two of his henchmen when they attempt to abandon the War Wagon during the final chase.
  • Final Score features a rare exact word example, when chief villain Arkady expresses his disappointment to the control room superintendent shortly before executing him.
    Arkady: You have failed me, superintendent.
  • Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter: On learning that her brother Rudolph has been sabotaging her experiments, Maria has Igor strangle him.
  • Captive State: After the Police Commissioner is revealed to have passed classified intelligence to the Resistance Cell leader unwittingly, he's next seen along with Rafe and other prisoners who are being deported offworld.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report