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.
  • 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.

You wouldn't go back to the main entry while I'm down, would you?