Kick Them While They Are Down/Playing With
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Basic Trope: Attacking a helpless foe shows how evil you are.
- Straight: Jack keeps on hitting and kicking Tom while Tom can't strike back.
- Exaggerated: Jack breaks into the hospital to kill all the wounded.
- Downplayed: After Tom is down and can't fight back, Jack... sticks a needle in him.
- Jack hits Tom in the process of getting up.
- Justified: Jack is sadistic and enjoys the feeling of tormenting those who are helpless.
- Jack caught Tom trying to slaughter innocents and beat him so badly that, in his rage, Jack doesn't realize that Tom can't fight back anymore.
- Tom is Made of Iron and/or is a Combat Pragmatist who has pulled I Surrender, Suckers or Playing Possum before. Jack is Dangerously Genre Savvy enough to know that Once Is Not Enough.
- Inverted: Being rendered helpless triggers Tom's bomb to kill Jack.
- Alternatively, Jack barely even seems to spare Tom a thought now that he's down, and goes after whoever's next. Keep it businesslike.
- Subverted: Tom's ability to regenerate means he's not out of the fight until dead.
- Double Subverted: But Jack neither knew nor cared about that.
- Or Jack made it up to justifying attacking him.
- Parodied: Jack keeps on shooting Tom with paintballs even though he "incapacitated" him. Everyone else decries this as foul play.
- Deconstructed: I Surrender, Suckers means this risks the lives of your own comrades.
- The hero Jack nobly refuses to finish off the wounded, but doesn't take them prisoner; his foes end up dying slowly and painfully from dehydration, hunger, and animal attacks.
- Reconstructed: But adhering to it persuades the civilians that you are reliable, and they help you and your men.
- He had sent help, but the other villains had attacked the help, making rescue impossible.
- Zig Zagged: ???
- Averted: Jack ignores Tom once he is incapacitated, as he longer poses a threat.
- Enforced: "The only real way to tell Jack apart from Tom is that Jack will attack a helpless person and Tom won't."
- Lampshaded: "Screw honor, I want him dead."
- Invoked: "If I don't finish him now, he'll just get better."
- Defied: Jack's lair is equipped with padded safety restraints which come down on a helpless person and shield him/her from further harm.
- Discussed: "You can't trust Jack. He kicks his foes while they're down."
- Conversed: He's wearing a black hat, of course he's going to kick -- there you go, he kicked him while he was down.