Talking the Monster to Death

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Suddenly, the good feeling went away...

The hero has cornered the vicious monster. It's taken out everyone who has confronted it thus far, and the hero seems like no exception.

That's when the hero, rather than drawing a sword, pulls out his cue cards. He begins a speech about the good things in life, the wonders of good, how Humans Are Special and the monster should respect that, yadda yadda, could someone hit the mute button please?

And it works. This hideous monster surrenders, lets itself die, chooses to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, disappears in a Puff of Logic, or what-have-you.

More cynically, it moves the monster just long enough for the hero's friends to open fire...Or it doesn't work at all and just gives the monster some open spot to attack the hero.

Done well, this can be a very moving finale. Done badly - which is, sadly, a great deal easier - it comes across as a giant cop-out. Sometimes spoofed by having the monster giving up just to make the hero shut up.

This is, in a way, using the Kirk Summation as a weapon. Compare Break Them by Talking, Verbal Judo, Contemplate Our Navels and the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight. When doing this, the hero might ask And Then What? will the villain do if he wins. Related to Shaming the Mob. For a different sort of talking someone to death, see Logic Bomb and Brown Note. For an alternative to death, see Talking Your Way Out. See also I'm Not Afraid of You for times a monster is disbelieved to death. See Holding the Floor for when our hero talks to the monster long enough for The Cavalry to arrive.

Examples of Talking the Monster to Death include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Usagi talks down Black Lady, who reverts to ChibiUsa in Sailor Moon R. Then she does it again with Nehellenia, and finally Galaxia in Stars. The anime also had her talking down lesser villains on a pretty regular basis.
  • Tenchi in Tokyo (AKA Shin Tenchi Muyo!) ended with Tenchi telling the villain that he accepts and understands her, and she agrees to put herself into suspended animation until she grows up into a better person. His grandfather had earlier remarked that Tenchi had the gift of being able to solve problems without fighting.
  • Mocked in Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series, where Tea pretty much lobotomises an enemy with what she refers to as 'the mother of all friendship speeches'.

Johnny D: (Creepy Monotone) Yes. Friendship is good. Must find friends.
Tea: Brainwashing people is fun!
Yami: Indeed Tea, it looks like we had more in common than I thought.

    • Also parodied when Tea is dueling Mai Valentine and gives constant friendship speeches during nearly every sentence she says, which causes Mai to give up just to shut her up.
  • Digimon Adventure 02's Mind Rape-powered Big Bad is Nigh Invulnerable (without the "nigh") and has been kicking our heroes' butts and spreading a sinister black cloud over the world that can't be good. The ultimate battle to save two worlds ensues... no, wait, it doesn't. Instead, the heroes get the kids whose fear he's using to think about their hopes and dreams, resulting in one of the most humiliating villain deaths ever: Various parts of his body disappear as kids say "I want to be a teacher!" "I want to be an artist!" etc. until nothing remains. Then Malo gets blasted and well whining saves the day. The villain in question, Malo Myotismon, got nicknamed "Marsh Malo Myotismon" on numerous boards for this.
    • The part that made this painful was that the future aspirations of the character seemingly had nothing to do with what had come before in the series. The guy who's currently in a wildly popular (for a) garage band? Yeah, he wants to be an astronaut.
    • The oddest, funniest part in all of that is when one of the kids said "I wanted to be a comic book artist, but everyone laughed at me so I gave up on it." And another part of Myotismon vanishes! Despite it sounding like a rather depressing comment that should have made him stronger...
      • Note that it's the implication that he still has the desire to be one, so that part probably did it. Doesn't help the Narm though.
    • And the thing is, in the previous season, he actually managed to suffer a semi-respectable villain death; surviving some attacks that would one-hit kill later villains.
  • Played with in Slayers: Since mazoku feed on negative emotions, Amelia's justice speeches tend to leave Xellos feeling rather queasy.
  • Used twice in Cyborg 009's 2001 series. 005 uses it against the Spirit of the Earth (in the form of a gigantic jaguar that has been killing people, including the husband of a friend of 005 himself, and both 003 and 009 do that to Sphynx, a super computer who kidnaps 003 to make her his puppet girlfriend and tries to kill the others, specially 009 and 004.
  • Played for laughs in Naruto the Abridged Series by the Third Hokage against his fight with Orochimaru. When confronted by reincarnated forms of the previous two Hokages, he performed one of his strongest techniques: "The Old Man Monologue Justu". No, seriously.
  • In Naruto itself, this trope was subverted and played straight at the resolution of the Pain arc.After beating the body the bad guy was controlling(long story) the old fashioned way, he went to the bad guy and basically said "I have this book." (the book in question was dedicated to said bad guy by their dead teacher, who said bad guy had previously killed) and BAM instant Heel Face Turn.
    • This is Naruto's M.O. for practically every problem; Except, of course, when he just rams a Rasengan in their chests, usually after the villain's crossed enough Moral Event Horizons and kicked enough dogs so Naruto focuses enough on doing something useful. He usually does this trope when it's with people like him(Outcasts, exiled and others usually considered freaks of nature out of fear), which would make him a big Chessmaster if he wasn't so stupid. Only person who's managed to avert the effects of this trope was Sasuke and, for some reason, Naruto hasn't restorted to bashing him with a Rasengan.
    • Played straight with Naruto's own dark side. Justified, though because it was during a Journey to the Center of the Mind, and perfectly symmetrical violence had proven to be pointless.
    • As of Chapter 518, it's one of the few ways of killing Edo Tensei zombies(and the only way that the heroes have access to), seen when Sai's brother who had been revived decided to die again. And in the next chapter after being captured, Sasori gives up without even trying to escape after Kankuro gives a pretty speech. And there are still at least 22 more zombies to go around, so expect this trope to become much more popular.
  • Happened to both of the Big Bads in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Gakuto ends up, dying in his collapsing castle (voluntary, to "right his wrongs") and Micheal accends to some kind of Angle-plane, along with the spirits of his fallen minions (who helped Talking the Monster to Death )
  • In Infinite Ryvius, the Grey Geshpenst completely outpowers the Ryvius and is only stopped when a badly-battered Neya begs Captain Viscuess to stop, and he realizes he can't go through with murdering 500 children. Combined with the events occurring on the Lift Ship at the same time, this is part of an Aesop that words can solve problems that violence can't.
  • Played with in Mahou Sensei Negima; after Kotaro joins Negi's side, he starts and keeps bothering Negi about the proper way to fight (fighting for the sake of fighting), prompting Yue to flatten him with a speech.
  • Altered slightly in Macross 7. At the end, with the entire galaxy's spiritua about to be consumed by Lord Geppelnich's monstrously transformed body. Basara's singing finally gets through to another Protodevlin, Sevil, and she begins singing. As a result, she starts to produce spiritua within herself, proof that Protodevlin don't need to steal spiritua from others. Geppelnich hadn't believed the process of consuming the galaxy's spiritua to be reversible, but when he starts singing, it and his transformation reverse. Having no longer need to steal spiritua, they then leave the galaxy.
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist. When Envy makes a desperate last attempt to turn Ed, Roy, Riza and Scar against each other, Ed tells him he's realized the reason he hates human beings so much is his very envy of their humanity. His response is to kill himself. Not a straight example since he was half-dead already anywayand was completely powerless to defend himself, and it was very clear that he wasn't leaving that room alive anyway. He just took what he saw as a less humiliating exit.
  • Mr. Satan (Hercule in the dub) does this to Majin Buu in Dragonball Z. Unfortunately two hunters cause Buu to transform into a more evil form.
  • Scrapped Princess has the final confrontation between humanity and Providence pivot on a conversation between a woman and a teenage girl. Of course, it also depends on a battle between angels and dragons IN SPACE, so it's not a total letdown.
  • The Subverted Trope version is used in the Climactic mid-way Boss Battle of the OVA of Record of Lodoss War (which also happens to be the final battle in the first manga, where this trope is also used, since the OVA condensed the story dramatically. Ghim insists that Leylia still exists within her possessed body, and shows a comb he made for her, which allows Leylia a foothold, distracting Karla long enough for the Party to defeat her. Too bad the Sixth Ranger Woodchuck was possessed next.
  • In Girls Bravo's final episode Yukinari confronts Yukina who had kidnapped his girlfriend Maharu and was about to kill all the men on her planet. However he is a Non-Action Guy and instead of fighting he had a heart to heart talk with her about how they were both Allergic to Love and convinced her to change her ways. Unfortunately for him she changed into a Yandere Stalker with a Crush and joined his Harem.
  • The magical trio of Nanoha, Fate, and Hayate manage to talk the sentient Artifact of Death (who is also a young girl, as these things so often are,) into being friends. This is rather short lived, as said artifact is still an Artifact of Death, and they have to blast the 'Death' part out with an interdimensional warship. Particularly sad in that she asks to be destroyed before she has a chance to regenerate the corrupted section of her programming.
    • In general, this is usually Nanoha's first course of action when faced with a new villain. They never listen: cue Beam Spam, Out of the Inferno, etc.
  • Subverted in Souten Kouro. Cao Cao has a whole debate with Li Lie and defeats him with rhetoric... which buys Xu Chu enough time to come and blow his brains out.
  • Subverted in Paranoia Agent: Mrs. Ikari sits Li'l Slugger down, discusses her life up to this point, and proceeds to divine his true nature and weaknesses... but unfortunately, she's not the one who has to come to terms with him. All her speech does is freak him out and start the destruction of Tokyo.
  • Subverted in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In episode 9 after Sayaka became a witch, Oktavia, due to her corrupted Soul Gem, Kyoko desperately looked for ways to revert Sayaka back to being a human. QB told her that to his knowledge no one has ever been able to turn back once they became a witch. He gave Kyoko a Hope Spot by saying that there is no precedent to such thing, and there might be a way which he does not know of. Kyoko then proceeded to befriend and team up with Sayaka's best friend Madoka in an attempt to talk Sayaka back into humanity. It did not end well


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In an issue of The Authority, the villain gets talked into working for the heroes instead of destroying the world. (The heroes give him a run-down country to build up again in an "If you're so smart..." ploy). Note that this is after they've already killed all the soldiers he's deployed.

Dr. Kriegstein: You're insane. Nobody's going to listen to me. I've ended up as one of those enormous end-of-the-world threats you people have to deal with.
Swift: And this is how we'll deal with you.

    • Done again with one of the Doc's soldiers, Tank Man. Midnighter realized his adversary had a similar origin story to him and talked him into giving up and going away. They exchanged letters afterwards.
  • This is a favored tactic of Dr. Leonard Samson who, as a licensed psychologist, often has insight into the inner workings of the Hulk's mind and rage. He's also used this to talk down other monsters and villains, usually while punching them at the same time.
  • One issue of JLA features a rogue general putting his mind into an indestructible monster body. Batman realizes that his brain can no longer process a lot of information, so he begins talking and attempting to hypnotize him into falling asleep. Then Superman messes it all up by punching him.
    • Prometheus from the Justice League comic also practices this skill. Backed up by technological gimcrackery.
  • Wild CATS fought TAO, who had a whole range of mysterious powers. Anyone simply talking to him risked going catatonic.
  • Fables. Playing off '1001 Arabian Nights', Snow White manages to talk her way out of a murder-happy rape-marriage with tales of her friends.
  • Angel, the canonical comics. Angel tries telepathic spams of Happy Fred Memories to calm down Illyria, who had become depressed over trying to be like Fred and was squashing people. Doesn't quite work and things get much worse.
  • Captain America, of all people, does this: he manages to talk his own evil clone into committing suicide. Or self-destructing. One of the two, depending on whether or not it was a robot double instead of a clone. I can't quite remember which, but there it is.
  • In The Thessaliad, Thessaly talks her way past a Sphinx and an axe-murderer, distracting the former long enough to escape on a train and distracting the latter long enough to cast a shrinking spell on him and then cleave his head in two.
  • In Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, it's Played for Laughs when Kup tells a story about how Prowl once spent two and a half straight days lecturing to a captured Decepticon every single chapter and verse of the Tyrest Accord that the 'Con had violated, until the 'Con finally committed suicide out of sheer intolerable boredom.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Men in Black was originally supposed to end like this, but the speech was thrown out in favor of a giant battle. Nobody complained, except the guys that made the giant talking cockroach puppet that never got used.
  • In the 2004 Peter Pan film, Captain Hook gains the ability to fly using Tinker Bell's pixie dust. Since it operates on happy thoughts, the Lost Boys manage to cause him to sink by convincing him that he is old and alone.
  • In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, VGER destroys several ships and kills hundreds of people, but Kirk and company discover VGER's secret, and tell it the truth, Decker tells Kirk that he wants to take over VGER (so he can have Ilia as his Love Interest.) VGER merges with Decker and crosses over into another universe and disappears.
    • Kirk's actually pretty good at doing this to evil computers: it happened four times. In one instance, though, it almost comes back to bite him: deciding it should die, the computer that's taken over the Enterprise shuts down the ship's defenses to allow the fleet to kill it. Fortunately, the commander of the fleet decided to investigate its apparent surrender instead of coming in phasers blazing.
      • To the point where an adventure for the Doctor Who Role-Playing Game referred to this as the James Kirk School of Computer Repair. (With explanations that, in this case, it won't work.)
  • The animated movie Flight of Dragons ends its epic fantasy quest with an epic debate between twentieth-century writer Peter and evil wizard Omadon. Just when it seems like all is lost and nobody's left to oppose Omadon, Peter discovers he can cancel magic by contemplating the logical rules it breaks. As Omadon boasts, threatens, and finally attacks, Peter counters by explaining in detail how Omadon's magic is literally impossible... rendering Omadon helpless and in agony, and eventually withering away into nothingness. In denying magic, however, Peter ends up banishing himself back to the twentieth century. It's better than it sounds.
  • Subverted in The Muppet Movie. Kermit the Frog tries to do this to Doc Hopper, appealing to Doc's better nature, but it turns out Doc doesn't have one.
  • Subverted in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!. The President's secure bunker has been overrun and his only offense is to give a speech to the Martian attackers. Just like similar attempts seen on screen, it doesn't quite work.
  • In the film adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Marvin uses the Point of View Gun to incapacitate an entire army of Mooks by showing them how bleak the universe is from his perspective.
  • Subject of a throw-away joke in the Jaws-knockoff Alligator, when the heroes are brainstorming a way to kill the eponymous reptile:

"We could introduce him to my mother. She could talk him to death."

  • Six nice little words for you: You have no power over me. - which were the end to a lengthy, melodramatic speech but it actually just were these words that did the trick.


Game Books[edit | hide]

  • The Marvel Super Heroes CYOA Spider-Man: City In Darkness featured a rather Anvilicious version. Doctor Octopus has embarked on a scheme that will destroy New York. If you (as Spider-Man) try to actually fight Ock, he goes down in less than a paragraph, only for his psychiatrist to chew you out over saving millions of lives. The proper solution is to simply tell one of web-head's greatest enemies that he's hurting people; he immediately stops his evil schemes and breaks down crying.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Breaking Dawn of the Twilight series, a great battle pitting vampire against vampire is waived in favor of a lengthy discussion. Everyone goes home without a single punch thrown.

Stephenie Meyer: Alice tore a page from The Merchant of Venice because the end of Breaking Dawn was going to be somewhat similar: bloodshed appears inevitable, doom approaches, and then the power is reversed and the game is won by some clever verbal strategies; no blood is shed, and the romantic pairings all have a happily ever after.

  • Any Discworld book aimed at younger readers (marked "A Tale of Discworld") will likely end like this. A Hat Full of Sky contains a particularly notable example, as Tiffany literally talks the Hiver through to the death it wants.
    • In Guards Guards a Non-main character tries this on the giant fire-breathing dragon. It does not work.
    • Played with in Pyramids in that a character talks his way by the sphinx and its riddle by confusing the heck out of it with Ankh Morpork Insane Troll Logic. By the time it's realized something is wrong, he's already started running.
    • Let's not forget pig boring. Doesn't really count since pigs aren't monsters, but literally talking it to death has to be mentioned.
  • In Robert Lynn Asprin's Myth-Ing Persons, Aahz is being held in a prison which is a magically-animated monster-head. Skeeve frees him by prompting him to tell a string of his old drinking stories, which are so infamously boring the prison-head yawns, allowing Aahz to jump to freedom.
  • Ayn Rand has a knack for these in her novels, where the climax tends to involve a lengthy philosophical rant against a corrupt society delivered by the protagonist. Howard Roark's comparatively short speech at his trial for the dynamiting of a housing project in The Fountainhead (around 8 pages) simply manages to nab him a verdict of not guilty. By contrast, John Galt's 56 page radio address in Atlas Shrugged ultimately leads to the collapse of human civilization.
    • Dostoevsky is a tad more forgiving. The finale of The Brothers Karamazov has two speeches, one by the prosecutor and the other by the defense attorney, which combined last only 54 pages. The author even hangs a lampshade on the length of the prosecutor's speech (31 of the 54 pages) by saying he was feeling particularly energetic that day.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • Marvin the Paranoid Android is an expert at talking the monster to death by communicating his own depression so powerfully it makes his enemy commit suicide.
      • On Magrathea (in the books) he kills two policemen by talking in this way to the ship controlling their life support system.
      • Later, he defeats a sentient armoured tank by asking it to guess what weapon he has been given with which to defend Zaphod against it. When he reveals that the answer is "Nothing", the tank gets so angry that it blasts out the floor, causing it to plummet to its destruction.
    • God gets unmade by virtue of the existence of the babel fish.

How it is such a bizarrely impossible coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God. The argument goes something like this:
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't though of that" and promptly vanishes in a Puff of Logic.

      • However, this causes the Man in question to start following Insane Troll Logic. Case in point: his encore was to prove that black is white. He got himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
  • In the climax of the Objectivist recruiting tool children's novel The Girl Who Owned a City, the title character literally scolds the leader of the opposing group into surrendering and joining her. Keep in mind that this kid is the gun-toting leader of a street gang in a adult-free world, had several cronies around, and was the one who basically acted like a giant Jerkass for the other parts of the book.
  • In The Hobbit, Gandalf achieves a variant of this by keeping the trolls who had taken Thorin and his companions prisoner talking until the sun came up (turning the trolls to stone).
    • Bilbo attempts this to defuse the tension between the elves and men and the dwarves. It doesn't turn out so well. Also, in a milder example, Bilbo learns Smaug's weakness and avoids being caught and eatten by flattering and speaking cleverly with the dragon.
  • The Golden Age series by John C. Wright has this as a property of the setting--A Is are all inherently ethical, and if you can convince them their very existence is making the universe worse they'll shut down.
    • Similarly, the robots of Isaac Asimov can be coerced into shutting down, the method of which depends on how advanced they are. The early robots in 'I, Robot' could be shut down simply by giving them a decision whose end results, including those caused by inaction, would result in some sort of harm to humans(mental included), a violation of the first law of robotics. Later robots were programmed to choose the lesser harm and could avoid destruction this way, though a sufficiently advanced roboticist could still cause their destruction through a very deliberate and specific conversation. Lastly, (most) robots of all time periods could theoretically be ordered directly to destroy themselves, as the 2nd law, which dictates that robots must obey the commands of humans, supersedes the 3rd, which dictates that robots must enforce self-preservation. However, the robot would need to understand the reasons for its destruction as the difference between the two laws is not terribly considerable.
    • The best example is "Liar!". US Robots accidentally makes a robot that can read minds, and no one knows how they did it. The three main characters (Susan Calvin, Pete Bogert and Alfred Lanning) are amazed by this. Susan Calvin gets told that a man she likes also likes her back, and Pete Bogert gets told that Alfred Lanning has resigned and left his position for Pete. However, soon they discover it was a lie (the man Susan liked is going to marry to other woman he had brought to work a few days before, and Lanning hasn't resigned), and Susan makes the connection: the robot is still bound by the Three Laws, and thus it lied to them so that it didn't hurt them. Susan confronts the robot and provokes a Logic Bomb to it, making it realise that both doing something and not doing something will hurt some people.
  • A form of this in the X Wing Series book Isard's Revenge. The Rogues, in that final battle, tell the clone Isard that she is a clone, and come up with the various discrepancies and memory-holes she must have wondered about which were solved by that knowledge. This leads to a very short Freak-Out before she plays dead - which is exactly what the original did. Even if this one wasn't talked to death exactly, she was certainly talked to distraction.
  • Eddie literally does this to Blaine the Mono in Stephen King's Wizard And Glass.
    • More accurately, Eddie kills Blaine with an unstoppable barrage of really bad jokes. And it is awesome.
  • In Harry Potter, the final battle with Voldemort (you know, the one that was hyped up for the entire series?) consists of about four or five pages of Harry and Voldemort talking to each other, then each throws one curse and the battle is over.
    • Well, Harry tries to talk Voldemort into not throwing the curse and repenting his crimes. Instead, Voldemort refuses to listen and casts the Killing Curse at Harry not knowing that Harry had become the master of the Elder Wand, which caused said curse to backfire and kill Voldemort instead.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, the protagonist scares a dragon away by the nothing he is carrying in his pocket. The dragon happens to be afraid of nothing. Absolutely terrified, in fact.
  • In the novel Far Away From Us' by Michael Uspensky. King Solomon convinces some brigands that "life is futile and is full of sorrows and is pointless to carry on", whereupon they (the brigands, that is) wholeheartedly agree and stab each other. The Hero then inquires if the trick could be repeated with a whole army. The king is uncertain.
  • In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Mercury conquers the many-eyed Argus by conversing with him until the monster falls asleep during the story of Syrinx, at which point the god is finally able to kill him. So this is Older Than Feudalism.
  • In The Silver Chair, Puddleglum manages to break the Green Witch's spell by a combination of burnt-marshwiggle odor and this trope. Ironically, he does so by conceding to everything she's said in her own Hannibal Lecture, then declaring that even so, he'd rather go on living as if her accusations are baseless than embrace her overly-bleak perspective.
  • Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game' books. The titular hero's siblings change society by...online blog posts. Yeah.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Doctor would, in a perfect world, talk all his enemies down to a negotiation table and hammer out a ceasefire and trade agreement over tea and cookies. But if that fails, he has this.
    • The Actual Pacifist Seventh Doctor especially made use of this, notably talking down a Black Dalek this way in "Remembrance of the Daleks"; bear in mind that he has already taken out Skaro and the whole Dalek fleet- he went after the survivor for completeness' sake.'
      • In a far more impressive manner, he talks the god-like "Light" into committing suicide in Ghost Light.
      • It doesn't need to be a literal 'death', either - he's talked an all too eager sniper into dropping his gun (and out of his eagerness), and kept an Arthurian villain from initiating a nuclear weapon with nothing but words.
    • Also, in "Silence in the Library" the Tenth Doctor makes the unstoppable microscopic swarm-species Vashta Nerada back off using this technique - "I'm the Doctor and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up.". .
      • The Tenth Doctor manages to shut down the entire clockwork army in "The Girl In The Fireplace" just by drawing their attention to the fact that he's just broken their only escape route.
    • Inverted at the end of Series Five: Amy talks the Eleventh Doctor back into existence. Technically she's remembering him, but she just happens to be verbalizing her memories.
      • The fifth series also gives us the rooftop climax in "The Eleventh Hour" ("I'm the Doctor, and basically... run.").
      • Fifth series also also offers a massive subversion in "The Pandorica Opens". Facing an army of everything that's ever hated him, the Doctor talks them all into not attacking. However, it turns out that they don't need to attack, since not only are the Roman soldiers with the Doctor really Auton spies, but the thing he's trying to keep them away from is a prison designed for the Doctor himself.
    • The Eighth Doctor comments on the implications at the end of the Expanded Universe novel Dreamstone Moon.

After a while, the Doctor realised that he'd just killed a man with the force of an argument.
It wasn't a very pleasant thought.

  • Angel tries a "we humans are noble creatures who can forgive our enemies" variant during a standoff with the newly reawakened elder god Illyria, but he is interrupted midway though by Wesley, who calmly fires his gun and murders the man who caused Illyria's rebirth. Angel is rather understandably annoyed: "Weren't you listening??"
    • Played straight with Faith.
  • The Shadows and the Vorlons were convinced to leave the galaxy after being told off by Sheridan, Delenn, and Lorien in Babylon 5.
    • It is a little more complicated than that, but not by much.
    • Another Babylon 5 example—during the civil war between Sheridan's forces and Earth Force ships loyal to President Clark, Sheridan convinces one of the enemy ship captains that Clark's orders are illegal and that he should therefore disobey them. That decision is briefly reversed when the other ship's first officer takes over, and then re-reversed when the ship's crew takes the first officer into custody.
    • The phrase "Be Somewhere Else" (backed by considerable firepower) convinced a Clark-loyal Earthforce fleet to flee the field of battle.
    • In the first season, Sinclair talked one Monster of the Week into committing suicide (more or less).
  • In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Monster of the Week, a Card-Carrying Villain, has Troi trapped behind an impenetrable force field. Picard gives a speech about how the monster isn't actually evil. This upsets the monster enough that its concentration on maintaining its force field weakens to the point where the Enterprise's teleporter can rescue Troi.
    • Kirk and Picard are both good at talking monsters to death (AKA fast talking their way out of a jam). Since both characters routinely run into Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who cannot be defeated with firepower, it's an important skill. Kirk tends to be generally less smug when he does it than Picard, though.
    • Subverted and played straight by the Borg before Villain Decay set in, as in their first appearance Q made it explicitly plain that they could not be reasoned with. Played straight in a later episode when Data hacked them through Locutus and electronically told them to "sleep" (at Picard's suggestion of course).
    • An episode of Honey I Shrunk the Kids parodied this, when Wayne attempts to talk a home-security computer to death. It appears to work, but then he realizes "that only works in cheesy sci-fi shows!" and the computer springs back to life.
  • Professor Quatermass saved the Earth this way back in 1953. An alien life force had absorbed the consciousnesses of three astronauts, and Quatermass convinced them to commit suicide to keep the creature from reproducing via thousands of infectious spores.
  • Xander Harris saves the world from Season Six's Big Bad on Buffy the Vampire Slayer this way. Said Big Bad was Willow, with whom Xander had been friends since childhood and who had simply gone off the deep end after Tara died. All he did was explain to her in words of one syllable that she was his best friend forever and he'd always love her no matter what she did to him or the world. It worked.

Xander: I saved the world with talking from my mouth. My mouth saved the world.

  • One episode of Goosebumps had a mud monster chasing two boys. They run into the girl that tagged along earlier. Girl goes on a tangent. Mud monster dries up in the sun.
  • Hilariously played with in Power Rangers SPD. One Monster of the Week resisted any single try to have him interrogated by the Five-Man Band... until The Smart Guy tries his luck on it. Said Smart Guy is a major Cloudcuckoolander and a telepath who channels everyone's thoughts. In few minutes, the monster is begging to have the guy off him otherwise he'll end up braindead.
    • Not as sinister as it sounds. His rambling drove the bad guy up the wall to the point that he cracked, whereas both threats for if he didn't talk and promises of leniency if he did had failed before.
  • In the finale of the 2004 Battlestar Galactica, Baltar pulls this off with Cavil, getting him to agree to a permanent peace in exchange for resurrection technology, which the Final Five agree to. Then Galen kills Tory, and all hell breaks loose.
  • In Day 3 of 24, Sherry Palmer does this to a wealthy billionaire who's trying to blackmail David Palmer. The man is old and frail and upset about his wife's infidelity, and Sherry rips into him with an absolutely brutal monologue - so brutal the guy goes into a heart attack. She then holds his medicine out of reach while he dies. Evil? Yes. Contender for a CMoA? Hell, yes.
  • On Madeline Kahn's appearance on The Muppet Show, she appears in a skit where she is in a park marvelling at how beautiful everything is. Along comes a monster who starts destroying each beautiful thing she mentions. Then she turns to the monster and starts talking about how beautiful it is in its awfulness. The monster starts shrinking from embarrassment until it is small enough for Madeline to hit it away with her umbrella. "Sometimes it helps to talk your problems down to size."
  • In Warehouse 13 Myka does this with H.G Wells when H.G is trying to destroy the world. In the end Myka makes H.G put a gun to her head telling H.G to shoot her then since everyone was going to die anyway then H.G should just shoot her making H.G realise she can't kill Myka and has a breakdown.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • Mercifully free of any heroic platitudes, Roman writer Ovid brings his version of the Greek Mythology of Argos, a hundred-eyed and eternally vigilant watchman. The trickster god Hermes defeated Argos by telling him a series of long, sad, and boring stories until every last one of his hundred eyes shut and fell asleep—and then cutting his head off.
  • Similarly, Oedipus talked the Sphinx into suicide simply by solving its infamous riddle.
  • Princess Scheherazade of the Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Her husband, the king, was in the habit of serially executing his wives ... but she kept him entertained with stories night after night, and he couldn't execute her because he wanted to hear how the latest story ended ... until a thousand nights had passed, and he finally decided she was too interesting to kill.
    • Wouldn't that be an inversion? Talking Yourself To Life?
  • Subverted in a Japanese folktale: a monk meets in a ruin a wicked, cannibalistic hag who's crying because she can't reach Nirvana (being a cannibalistic hag and all). The monk tries to talk to her and make her repent her sins, but the old witch changes her mind and devours the poor guy.


New Media[edit | hide]


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • This is basically the definition of a filibuster, where the "monster" in question is a bill that a legislator wishes to block. The record in the U.S. is held by Strom Thurmond, who rambled on for more than 24 hours to block the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
    • Ironically enough, it was subverted in its very first use during the Senate's meeting over the issue to reverse the censure placed on Andrew Jackson. The opponents to reversing it simply began to talk on and on. The Jacksonian faction's response? They simply stocked up on food, ale and coffee and enjoyed themselves until the opposition gave up.
      • In America at least, the ability to use a filibuster to halt the passing of a bill became so annoying that it was decided that any use of it could be overridden by a 60% majority simply because pretty much anyone could delay a bill and piss off everyone just by talking for a long time.
    • This ended up getting subverted in the USA by the introduction of rules that removes the need to talk for hours to filibuster - a formal declaration of filibustering a bill is enough for it to count.
  • Zhuge Liang has a knack for this. He once challenged Wang Lang to a battle of words, and when Zhuge finished verbally lobotomizing the reasons for Wei's political moves, Wang Lang died. Same thing happened with Cao Zhen, but with a letter. In the exact words, "Cao Zhen became furious, coughed, and spat blood..." If only Zhuge Liang could have a little chat with all his enemies...


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Most RPGs that have a skill system (read: most RPGs) will usually have some sort of "diplomacy" skill. Judicious use of these skills can often allow victory with very few die rolls and even less conflict.
  • The infamous story of a PC in Paranoia talking the Computer into a logic loop and crashing it.
  • There are several ways you can do this in Exalted, to the point that most Social charms are built around this trope. A few of them even references the story of Zhuge Liang (see Real Life examples).


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Icewind Dale 2, you can talk a demon in an altar to death if your character has high enough intelligence.
    • Not quite. What happens is that you meet a group of Devils talking amongst themselves. The leader asks you if you know what he is. Depending on your character's intelligence and/or Knowledge (Arcane) skill, you can say "some kind of monster," give him a short description of what he is (basically what it says in the Monster Manual), or give him a several hours long speech about exactly what kind of Devil he is, what his role is in the 9 Hells, how he came to be promoted to his current station, and what he must do in order to be promoted to the next form of Devil. Doing the last impresses him so much (Devils, of course, love details) that he gathers up his underlings and departs without a fight.
    • You can also unnerve a Barghest and its brood (provided you didn't kill him earlier) from a fight by showing him the dead kitty you've been carrying around for no reason since the beginning of the game. If you also happen to be carrying a dead man and a dead woman (and have enough ranks in Intimidate), the Barghest will run off in fear because someone as deranged as you clearly isn't to be messed with.

Yquog: You... I... But... By Iyachtu Xvim, you're SICK! You hold no concept or understanding for things alive or dead! I want no part of you, not when I'm so close to maturity! Collect all the bodies you want, sick fleshy mortal, but you'll not have mine! I'll leave this place, and you, in peace and never return, of this I swear!
Player Character: Oh, well, okay, if you insist. Pity, though, you'd have made a fine addition to my pretty, tender collection...
Yquog: AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

  • Planescape: Torment allows the player to literally talk some NPCs to death, including the final boss, and avoid many other enemies or dangerous situations merely by virtue of having a high enough Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma. This is largely because its world is shaped by belief.
    • And in the case of the final boss, it's an aspect of the hero himself. Convincing it to rejoin with him whether by threats, trickery, sincerity, or force of will results in a somewhat better ending than simply destroying it.
  • In what is probably the Crowning Moment of Awesome for this game, the last case of Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations has Mia Fey talk the spirit of Dahlia Hawthorne past death, forcing her to recognize that all her plans have ended in failure and apparently condemning her to an eternity of regret. Dahlia's ensuing rage forces her out of the body she's been possessing with a scream of frustration. Let's just say the Judge was not the only person freaked out and awed.
    • Of course all the 'battles' in the game are won by doing this. It's never enough to prove your client is innocent, you have to meticulously unravel the lies of the true murderer through the careful application of contradicting evidence and basically force them into a confession.
  • In the first Fallout game (from the makers of the Planescape game above), the final boss could be beaten like this. If you can convince him that his plans are utterly futile, he'll initiate his base's Self-Destruct Mechanism and let you run to escape.
    • The final boss of Fallout 2 could not be directly talked to death, as no matter what you say he dismisses all your claims and will eventually attack. However, you can talk to his bodyguards and ask them to side with you against them, and you can also reprogram the automated turrets in his chamber to attack him.
    • Fallout 3 also pulls this off with the last two bosses (well, the last doesn't die but just walks away) in the main quest.
    • Fallout 3 again, in the add-on Operation Anchorage, the last boss in the simulation kills himself if you pass the speech challenge.
    • Fallout: New Vegas lets you convince Legate Lanius to pull back his army and retreat....if you have a Speech skill of 100.
      • You can also pretty much talk down 99% of all non-random fights.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura also from the Fallout designers, allows the player to have a philosophical debate with the Big Bad. The player can convince the villain to give up and let himself be killed peacefully.
  • A variation occurs in the Hordes of the Underdark expansion for Neverwinter Nights. If you managed to get Mephisto's true name right before the final battle with him at the end of the game, you can use it to stop the fight before it even begins. This only works if you have his name, and with it you can do different things based on your Character Alignment and conversation options you choose, such as: order him to drop dead, order him to return to Hell, or even order him to give you command of Hell and become your either you partner or lackey. Your choices have major effects on the epilogue.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 you can convince a demon (or devil, I cannot quite recall) that merely by talking to you, it has failed to knock down a door, and has failed its master. Since failing its master is punished by death, it promptly keels over.
  • In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, the only way to defeat Darth Sion is to talk to him in the breaks between combat. Eventually, you succeed in weakening his will to live, at which point he accepts death peacefully.
    • Roughly:

Exile: Sion...your life...was it worth living?
Darth Sion: It was not. No matter how many Jedi I killed...no matter how many lay broken at my feet...the pain would not end. I am glad to be rid of this place.

  • In the Neverwinter Nights community module The Bastard of Kosigan, your character gets to hold a conversation with your recently deceased father's ghost. Not forgiving him makes him take damage, but you can choose to forgive him completely and avoid the battle at the end.
  • In Mass Effect, you can talk your way out of a few fights using the Charm and Intimidate skills. You can even convince the Brainwashed and Crazy Saren that siding with Sovereign will save nobody. Though being convinced that Sovereign can regain control over his mind and body at any time, he pulls out his gun and shots himself in the head.
    • In Mass Effect 3, The Illusive Man can be convinced he's indoctrinated too and enacts the exact same solution to release himself from it as Saren did, if you got all the pertinent reputation checks while talking to him throughout the game.
  • Inverted in one chapter of Disgaea, where the monsters, knowing that Laharl is Allergic to Love, bombard him with happy and cheerful sayings, sapping his powers for the duration of that battle.
    • Amused by this, Flonne even joins in with her happy message of eternal love. The irony of the moment is that Laharl wouldn't have been impaired (as badly?) had Flonne not joined in.
  • The Mediator class in Final Fantasy Tactics has the "Death Sentence" skill, which kills its target in three turns if successful.
    • There is also the much milder skill "Mimic Darlavon" ("Daravon" in the previous localization,) which simply puts the enemy to sleep by droning on and on and on, like the tutorial-dispensing Professor.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has a Clan Trial where you need to chase off some monsters. Not with spells and swords, but picking the right interaction (stare down, threaten etc)..
  • In some Shin Megami Tensei games you can convince enemies to join your side (or at least give you an item) by flattering them, threatening them,(strangely enough pissing them off is also an option)etc.
    • In fact, this is the main form of party recruitment in nearly all main series Mega Ten Games (The MMO Included), and it makes an appearance in the early Persona Games as well. Only recently has it been replaced with alternative methods of obtaining Demons and Personae.
    • It doesn't work on bosses, though. In Persona, you're told "They have no interest in discussion." More amusingly, Shin Megami Tensei I tells you "No time for talk, they're out for blood!"
      • Talking does not work on demons during the Full Moon / Brightest Kagutsuchi phase, or demons of a specific alignment/class.
      • Nocturne had Jive Talk which allowed you to converse with certain demons that you normally couldn't.
      • Strange Journey had Lunatic which allowed you to talk to Demons during the Full Moon. Their behavior is far different though (Much easier to enrage or recruit)
  • In the MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing reverses the trend at some points, with you taking damage from being bored by chatty monsters, or in some cases, read poetry.
    • Also played straight in one area where you can hurt the monsters by reading a dictionary to them.
  • Because many creations instinctively obey anyone who can control essence, a PC in the Geneforge series with high leadership has the option to convince some creations to commit suicide.
    • There are actually variants of this all over the games if you've trained Leadership high enough. For instance, when you obtain one of the control batons in the first game, a shade appears and tells you it represents Trajkov, who'll send soldiers after you unless you break the baton. Break off a tiny piece of the handle, and the imprecision of its instructions will get it to back down.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has the Rune-Keeper class. Because of the lore's restrictions on who gets full-on, fireball-tossing magic (namely, 5 angels and an Elf or two), many of the Rune-Keeper's skills are strings of words that just happen to do fire, frost, and lightning damage, with names like "Chilling Rhetoric" and "Fiery Ridicule." Although this sort of band-aid intended to make the class more acceptable to avid defenders of the lore, one wonders exactly what one has to say to kill a troll.
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Strongbadia the Free has Strong Sad in the Maps and Minions mini-game, who talks his opponents into surrendering by making speeches of how absolutely bleak and hopeless it all is. Problem is, he's not on your side. The only one it doesn't work on is, naturally, Homsar, whose speech is so unbelievably bizarre that it turns the tables and confuses Strong Sad into submission.
  • This is a staple of the Mother/Earthbound series.
    • Earthbound Zero/Mother: In the final battle, Giygas cannot be physically harmed. In order to beat him, Ninten and his party must sing the lullaby once sung by Giygas' human mother. Unable to cope with his emotion, Giygas flees the planet.
    • Earthbound/Mother 2: Giygas has gained so much power since the last game that he is now a mindless Eldritch Abomination. It is impossible for the Chosen Four to physically harm him because there's nothing physical to harm. Instead, Paula must use her near-useless Pray ability to summon the aid of everyone they met on their journey, even the player. Overwhelmed by emotions, Giygas is vanquished.
    • Mother 3: Heartbreakingly subverted. The final boss of the game is The Masked Man - formerly Lucas's brother, Claus. Lucas cannot bring himself to hurt his own brother, so he must guard and heal himself until his mother's voice tells them to stop fighting. Claus, no longer Brainwashed and Crazy, commits suicide to stop Pokey's influence over him, and dies in his brother's arms.
  • Early on in Baldur's Gate, you can encounter an evil cleric named Bassilus and his army of skeletons and zombies. If you pick the right threads in the Dialogue Tree, he loses control over his undead minions and they all fall apart, making the fight against him that much easier.
    • In the sequel, you eventually meet an Observer (a non-evil Beholder) who is magically bound to guard a box containing an item you need. The most obvious solution is to kill him, but with a high enough Wisdom you can point out to him that the wizard bound him to guard the box, not the contents of the box. . .
  • In Flight of the Amazon Queen, you encounter a gorilla blocking your way; you can get rid of it by telling it that it doesn't exist. (And even if it existed, it has no business being in South America when gorillas only live in Africa.)
  • Final Fantasy X has a Talk option suddenly appear during the last boss battle that allows Tidus to talk down his father, Jecht, who "is" Sin. It doesn't beat him or do any damage, but it takes down his Overdrive meter, which in his soul-crushingly painful sword-wielding form is more than worth spending a turn on.
    • But it only works three times, after which it's implied that Jecht has lost consciousness, if not control, of his Final Aeon form. From there, one's only option is to open a can of whoop-ass.
    • The option also appears for certain party members in the first three fights with Seymour, granting them a boost to their statistics.
  • Possible in a roundabout manner in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: by exploiting Ubermann's lust for power so that he uses the ascension machine on himself.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours. Inverted. Become sufficiently awesome (Balls points) and you can talk women into joining your harem. Health benefits (resistance to damage, etc.) later follow.
  • In Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, Dampierre's finisher just has him telling the opponent a sob story and ends with them giving him a coin while they go off to cry.
  • Alpha Protocol has a lot of situations where talking to the right people beforehand can make certain fights much easier (for instance, being friends with Steven Heck can make Brayko a lot easier to fight), but the only boss fight you can outright talk your way out of is the rematch with Conrad Marburg if you didn't kill him in Rome, which requires high reputation or the piece of evidence that proves Parker was the one who cut him loose during his Deus Vult days.
  • In Dragon Age, wandering through Denerim's market may lead you to being confronted by a royal knight who fully believes Loghain's lies that the Grey Wardens murdered the king (It was really Loghain leaving him to die) and demands that you face him in honorable combat. With a good persuasion skill, you can make him question why the Wardens would want the king dead, and, unable to think of an answer, he agrees to back off.
  • The final showdown with Tolwyn in Wing Commander IV is this. You need to make the dialog choices to get Tolwyn to trip up and reveal all his dirty deeds, so the Great Assembly will vote against his call for war, and he will hang himself in his cell during the final cutscenes.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution gives you the opportunity to use diplomacy to overcome some situations. Unfortunately, the main bosses can't be beaten this way.
  • Inverted in Crimsoness, with Iteko trying to talk the main character to death, taking advantage of the game's 3 minute time limit and talking on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage killed Astos by making a really bad joke.
    • Astos? Mo' like yo' ass is toast!
    • As Puff of Logic illustrates, Red Mage once defeated a T-Rex by telling him he couldn't exist.
    • And now it looks like "Warbleck" is off to vaporize itself thanks to a five-man Logic Bomb.
    • "So, this is what it's like to be bored to death." (Spoiler-y)
    • This was also their final plan for fighting Chaos. They intend to have Fighter talk to him. As Fighter seems to just make people stupid by talking to them, the plan is to make Chaos Too Dumb to Live.

Red Mage: We can't out-fight him, we can't out-cast him, and we can't out-think him. But we can out-stupid him.

      • In fact, White Mage does this with Chaos by convincing it that the nothingness that would ensue from destroying all life would be a form of order itself.
  • In this comic of The Order of the Stick, Vaarsuvius puts a horde of goblins to sleep by delivering an endless monologue about the earthshaking feats of battle magic which are about to be unleashed on them....

Haley: Good job, Vaarsuvius! Your spell put the goblins to sleep!
Vaarsuvius: But ... I did not cast my spell yet ...

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Sailor Nothing ends with Himei ending the Dark Queen's rampage by telling her that Aoshi forgave her.
  • Spoofed in The Salvation War. A Russian politician makes a defeated demon beg to be killed by reciting some speeches of Russia's then-president Vladimir Putin to it.
  • Linkara, in the climax of the 2011 "Entity" Arc, talks the Entity into killing itself by using an Omnicidal Logic Bomb.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • One episode of The Powerpuff Girls had Blossom and Buttercup arguing over whether to use tactics or brute force against a monster. Bubbles solves the problem by simply asking the monster to leave town, pretty please with sugar on top.
    • On the other hand, Blossom and Buttercup keep trying to prove that their way works, even when it's obvious that they don't. This actually might explain why the monster finally left when Bubbles asked - when the argument leads to Blossom and Buttercup making one final attempt to prove that their way is the right one, the monster is annoyed that the girls are still trying to beat him, and was probably glad for the excuse to go.
  • The Simpsons: Subverted in one of their Halloween specials. Marge gives a heartwarming speech to a mutated mob that calms them down long enough for Marge and kids to get into position and blast them away with shotguns.

Marge: Living with mutants... yeah, right.
Homer: That's my wife! Now, who wants a Ferrari?

    • Subverted in another Halloween special in which a haunted house seeks to force the Simpsons out. After a Can't We All Get Along? speech from Marge, the house thinks about life with the Simpsons, and chooses to destroy itself in a scene reminiscent of the finale of Poltergeist.

Lisa: It chose to destroy itself rather than live with us. You can't help but feel a little rejected.

  • In The He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "Daimar the Demon," the title character believes he is predestined to destroy Eternia. He-Man makes the giant monster realize that he has free will and doesn't have to be evil, and so Daimar chooses not to hurt anyone after all.
  • In an episode of Invader Zim, Dib uses his newly gained super powers to dodge Zim's defense lawn gnomes (which he could have easily done without powers) and talk to Zim at his house.

Dib: I've got some stuff to say to you Zim. (Fade out and fade back in hours later.) And that's all I have to say about that.
Zim: Well, Dib, Your words have moved me. I'm done with evil. Gir, it's been a pleasure working with you, now self destruct.
Gir: Finally! (His head then explodes.)

  • In Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Equinox wants to reset the universe, as he wants to make order and chaos balanced. After a short talk with Batman, he realizes that he's too chaotic to make a fair judgment on reality.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy Takes A Level In Badass Adorable in "Dragonshy", and confronts a dragon this way just as he's about to smash her friends.
    • She does this again in "Stare Master" against a cockatrice as she's being turned to stone.
    • Rarity also had a moment in "A Dog and Pony Show", in which she freed herself from being abducted and pressed into hard labor by the jewel-hoarding Diamond Dogs by driving them insane with her incessant whining and complaining.
  • The Real Ghostbusters' Halloween special, "The Halloween Door". A Halloween-hating Moral Guardian has created a machine that destroys all evidence of the holiday; Jack-O-Lanterns, costumes, candy, decorations, etc. Unbeknownst to him, doing so breaks an ancient contract with the spirits of the netherworld, who agreed to leave Earth if they would be remembered, which led to the holiday. The monsters return and cause havoc, and the Ghostbusters are powerless to stop them. Until a little girl offers to help them, revealing that she isn't afraid of the monsters. The Ghostbusters have her walk up to the lead Kaiju, request candy, tell him he's funny, and demand a Halloween story. This reveals that the actual point of Halloween (teaching children not to be afraid) is still alive and well, and forces the monsters back into the netherworld.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Patriot Act" a bunch of second-string Badass Normal heroes go up against a rogue general who shot himself up with Super Serum to prove that superheroes/metahumans are a threat to normal people. When the heroes go down, the civilian population intervenes, informing the general that he's the only one in the battle who actually has super powers. "All right, I've become what I hate, I'll give you that," the villain says, putting down the car he was about to throw, and departs.
    • In "Flash and Substance," the Flash sits down at a bar with the Trickster, chides him for not taking his medication, and persuades him to both give away the other rogues and turn himself in by promising to play (soft) darts with him in the hospital.
  • In the Transformers Botcon 2008 script reading, "Bee In The City", an entire legion of newly-sentient robots is turned against Megatron once the heroes explain to them the ridiculous amounts of paperwork they'll have to go through.

Transtech Shockwave: And don't even think about deactivating yourselves. You don't want to see the paperwork for that.

  • Terry gives an excellent example in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. While Bruce much preferred to ignore the Joker's insane ramblings and stay silent, Terry has no difficulty pushing Joker's buttons in a complete reversal of Joker's speech with the original Batman. Who knew laughing at the Joker would be his Berserk Button?
  • In an old animated short on Sesame Street, the Western town of Sniddlers Gulch is terrorized by Cowboy X, a huge bruiser who rides around town using an ink stamp to mark random things with a letter X. One small boy finally tries asking Cowboy X not to do that. Cowboy X actually agrees to stop. In a subversion, he immediately changes his name to Cowboy O, and rides around town stamping things with the letter O. In a double subversion, the people of Sniddlers Gulch are satisfied with this.