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Just to rub salt in the wound, the rich homeowners take a look at the dead dog and decide it can't be their dog, because "he wasn't that shaggy."
Should I put a Crosses the Line Twice link in that sentence?
Game of Thrones spoilers: I feel like the death of Shaggydog deserves at the very least an honorable mention. It has got to be a reference, no?
Justice League Unlimited Season 2 Episode 22: Question Authority
Right before the Question runs out of his apartment after 3 days of Conspiracy Theory research he lays out a theory for a "time loop". Paraphrased it is:
"In all possible Universes, in any Universe where Superman or Lex Luthor kills the other, Armageddon will surely follow."
If one then looks at the wider DC Multiverse in the comics, tv, movies, etc. one can see this pattern hold up in most "alternate realities", "possible futures", and "reboots". "DC Universe on-line" is an especially good example because in the prologue cut-scenes, literally seconds after Luthor kills Superman, Braniac invades Earth and ultimately Luthor is forced to time travel to to a time before he killed Superman to prevent it. Events like this are all over the DC Multiverse.
Admittedly this is more Fridge Horror than Shoot the Shaggy Dog but the implications of this "time-loop" mean that no matter what Superman or Lex Luthor do there are only two outcomes: Eternal Stalemate or Armageddon. Thus their mutual thwarting of each-other is absolutely meaningless. They may as well be taking dancing lessons together. Neither one can ever defeat the other "once and for all" without bringing on the end of all things.
Effectively, the Question - possibly others as well - become aware of tropes like Arch-Enemy, Cardboard Prison, and Failure Is the Only Option as a form of Predestination.
Although now that I think about it, this is all possibly subverted in the final episode due to the manner in which Luthor defeats Darkseid.
...Then again, it is the last episode of the series.
Oh one just dies of old age or disease. Luther did have cancer for a while.
If the victim of this trope is the Villain Protagonist instead of a hero, is it an inversion?
No, just a straight example I think. But bear in mind, the trope is that the protagonist doesn't achieve anything and dies, so a classic villain-protagonist Tragedy where they die as a consequence of their actions wouldn't fit the bill.
This article has an Example as a Thesis.
I think it's best to remove the second paragraph about the Yu Yu Hakusho anime/manga.
This was made even worse by the fact that the manga's ending reveals that demons aren't really all that violent, and many of the ones that had attacked humans over the years were brainwashed by King Enma so that he could look effective. The anime took the more reasonable "demons ARE violent but are capable of working toward peace with humans, and vice-versa."
Yusuke ends up rescuing a whole race that had been framed for crimes they didn't commit and oppressed for thousands of years. Thanks to him, innocent people can now finally live in peace without being kidnapped, brainwashed and murdered just because of what they are, it's an awesome accomplishment. How is that a Shoot the Shaggy Dog example? Just because the people in question are not human?
Isn't this trope subjective, by this Wiki's current definition? It is, after all, based on audience reaction.
This is like "Bad Guys Win" but worse.
The way that the Terminator films went from "The future can be changed" in the second film to "The future is inevitable" in the third is resolved to a great degree by the alternate-present series The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It is shown there that pro-Skynet and anti-Skynet forces have been planted throughout history, each trying to either prevent or promote the Robot Apocalypse. Every time someone prevents Skynet from being built, someone else creates the perfect environment for it to be created in some other way. The only question remaining is why are the only two constants in this equation John Connor and some Austrian bodybuilder.
Some examples that clearly need to be reconsidered:
Yu Yu Hakusho: This is somewhat debatable. Is a hollow victory grounds for invoking this trope? It's not like we have an End of the World as We Know It moment or anything like that. The fact that we learn tragic information about the demons' background doesn't really negate the fact that "the good guys" live to fight another day, and their charge is not lost, either.
Death Note: Who/what qualifies as the shaggy dog? Even if you consider Light as the sole protagonist, he's succeeded in much of his mission to rid the world of crime. He ultimately met his fate at the hands of Ryuk as expected. L's successors succeeded where he failed. Every human who wrote a name in the book dies (also expected). Even if one considers this a Downer Ending, it cannot reasonably be cited as an instance of "Shoot the Shaggy Dog."
Code Geass: This entry makes perhaps the least sense, since in fact Lelouch ultimately accomplishes his goals along the way. The fact that he faces his sister as a rival and dies a martyr at the end doesn't change the fact. If somehow it turned out that this happy ending were thwarted after the end or something like that, THEN I could see this fitting the trope.
Here's the thing about Code Geass: he could have accomplished his goals with less blood, including that of his own, had he not followed the Zero Requiem. And one of the reasons he decided to do it was that he thought his sister was dead, leaving him withno one left after his betrayal. This of course turned out not to be the case, making this a Shoot the Shaggy Dog case, and a couple Fix Fics have even been written to that effect.
As for the Zero Requiem itself, by Lelouch's own admission, it could turn out to be pointless itself since it relies on other people, not to mention of course the fickle nature of humans pretty much guaranteeing that they will find something new to fight over. (Not to mention of course that there could very well be a loophole in the geass command placed on Schneizel, leaving open the possibility he could break free.)
This page needs an enema. There are probably more examples of stories where the main characters die than those that actually fit the trope.
A) The entire point of the film is that Batman becomes "whatever Gotham needs (him) to be" in order to maintain Harvey Dent's legacy, and ensure that his death wasn't in vain. That by itself disqualifies this for Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
B) Batman (and Two-Face) dealt a serious blow to the criminal underworld by catching their current ringleader (Maroni), the man who was leading them on (the Joker) and their main accountant (Lau). It's unknown how this has effected the Gotham mob, so saying "some criminals moved up the ladder" is wrong.
C) Batman foiled the Joker's plan, and saved two boats full of innocent people, in effect that proving that Gotham could be saved (because the people believed in doing the right thing).
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