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It is often punctuated with words to the effect of "You have outlived your usefulness" or "you have served your purpose" before the murder. In the case of a bribed outsider who was only loyal for the promise of money, this does make a little sense. Not only does the Big Bad avoid having to pay them for services rendered, but they remove a direct link back to them as the master of the plot. Alternatively, it could be to punish a minion for asking for a raise, especially when done right before the critical mission, with the implication that the minion is aware of their own importance and intends to use that as leverage.
A particularly callous villain may also do this to an underling who has been defeated, combining this trope with You Have Failed Me. May also happen to a villain who thought he was the Big Bad , but forgot that Evil Is Not a Toy or expected the Sealed Evil in a Can to be loyal to him after its release.
Alternatively, you have the villain who notes their underlings do still have some usefulness A variant of this trope is common when a villain who has enlisted the help of the oblivious heroes reveals his true villainy, the comment usually following his gloating of how they played right into his hands. Warning to any Genre Savvy villains out there: This version of the trope has a noticeably lower success rate, and trying it on The Hero is tantamount to suicide. As this is somewhat of a Death Trope in many cases, at least , there are spoilers, so read at your own risk!
Iason has successfully used former Bison gang member Kirie to sell out and destroy the gang in a Batman Gambit. In Attack on Titan , this is the ultimate fate of all Warriors. When their Tenure is close to ending and their powers begin to wane, a successor is selected to eat them in order to inherit their powers. Should a Warrior act out or make mistakes, their superiors will consider whether to end their Tenure early.
It took 4 years of exceptional military service on the front lines to get his superiors to allow him to finish his Tenure. This is common with Szilard from Baccano! Huey also views the Lemeurs, including his own doting daughter, as this.
Mag Mel, the Big Bad after Barodius, outright told his Co-Dragons when he created them that the moment they were no longer of use to him, their lives would end. He then does the exact same thing to Anubias in the next episode. And yet all of them survived. Likewise, the Big Bad of the Bount filler arc loved doing this, to the point where "you were just pawns" almost seems like his Catch Phrase.
Furthermore, the Big Bad of the recent events, Yhwach, kills Luders Friegen after the latter finished his task.
One of the Sternritters, Robert Accutrone, panics on realizing their boss has left them behind. Out of the targeted Ritters, only three Liltotto, Giselle and Bazz-B managed to dodge it and survive.. Alphard from Canaan simply decides to discard Liang Qi by deliberately leaving her behind in a building that is about to be bombed. Liang Qi survives the betrayal, but boy howdy does she ever lose it.
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In Claymore , Priscilla tells Raki that he has outlived his usefulness to her and that she is hungry after seven years of not eating Code Geass has its Anti-Hero protagonist do this with mind-controlled enemies.
Somewhat justified by pragmatism. Then, as a subversion, his "allies" do it to HIM. They get away with it too, sort of. At the beginning of R2 Lelouch is stripped of his memories by Charles and used in a plan to lure out C. Invoked early on by Charles when he declares Lelouch and Nunnally weak and has them sent as bargaining chips to Japan, which is subsequently invaded with them still there.
He did this not to use them, but to hide them from his murderous and deceitful immortal brother. In Cross Ange , Embryo does this a lot. When his men are typically following him, he leaves them and intends the destruction of everyone including them. He even does this to Jill and kills her despite her being his old girlfriend.
He even leaves the Diamond Royal Knights on his own so he can try and marry Ange, causing them all to have a Sanity Slippage. In Death Note , this is is the fate of almost everyone used by Light Yagami , even if they are close to him, so that he can safely cover his tracks after they had served their purpose. Also the fate of many pawns that served under The Mafia group of Mello, especially when they were trying to get the titular Artifact of Doom.
Upon his rebirth, VenomMyotismon promptly devours Demidevimon, his sole remaining loyal minion. He also does this quite famously to Arukenimon in Digimon Adventure This trope is actually pretty common for Digimon villains.
Digimon Tamers features a non-villainous example: Renamon strings along the Deva Vajramon who has an Once she has the information, she basically tells him to get lost and ends up destroying him after digivolving into Taomon.
Morganna attacks Tsukasa after Tsukasa brings Subaru to the hidden area where Aura was held. Vegeta even kills his longtime partner Nappa because of this Goku had paralyzed him , combining this with You Have Failed Me for getting his ass kicked by Goku in the first place. He unceremoniously threw the hapless trio out of their airship. In Dragon Ball Z: This was bad for two reasons: Probably should have thought that one through better. The homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist are prolific perpetrators of this trope.
Greed being the exception. In one of the translations, Lust actually says this line to-a-T to Cornello in the first volume of the manga Right before she impales his head with her ultimate spear. In the version, Gluttony eats Cornello instead, but the idea is the same. In the anime , Dante does this to anyone who she surfs into. Lyra learned this the hard way. An example of the "more useful dead" variation: When he fails to get Mustang to perform human transmutation and as such become the fifth and final sacrifice, Wrath and Pride swoop in, mortally wound the doc, and use him as the raw material in a transmutation that they force upon Mustang.
Father tries this on Hohenheim, Roy, Izumi, and the Elric brothers after they have fulfilled their role as his "sacrifices". Turns out, the Prime Minister now seeks to pin the whole incident on the SWA and get them labelled an anti-government organization. Hakuron from Haou Airen does this several times. Take a good look at him! Subverted in Macross Frontier.
Various baddies attempt to do so a couple of times, but it always fails. In an inversion of the typical result of this trope, Zest kills her.
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In Mahou Sensei Negima! By the way that Nagi had Neck Lifted Primum, he likely watched the Black Cloaked villain as the beam was fired, smiling as it did. And then he did the exact same thing with Fate and Negi, after Fate had decided to stop fighting Negi. Hell had built Megaron P1, P2 and P3.
However one of the weapons of Megaron generated such a heat blast would surely kill whoever was sitting in the cockpit. Hell and Ashura knew the three men surely would die during the battle, but as long as they died after they would have fulfilled their purpose, they did not care. After ending the broadcast, Lady Une calmly and politely informs the General that his "services were no longer required," immediately before opening a hatch under his seat.
Then shooting him in the head on his way down. This is standard procedure for Johan in Monster. In Naruto , Orochimaru does this to two members of the sound genin team, using them as a living sacrifice required for the Edo Tensei technique.
This trope comes back to haunt Orochimaru himself later as Sasuke absorbs him after having learned everything that he could. Sasuke also does this later with Karin when Danzo uses her as a human shield. Obito escapes the first attempt but not the second. Thankfully, Naruto defeats Mizuki using the technique he learned. Although no special line is used, this is the reason Captain Kuro tries to kill his entire crew in One Piece: Might be subverted , since she never intended to give her boss, Crocodile, the information he wanted anyway.
Not that Crocodile is a stranger to this trope himself. The World Government does this to Gecko Moriah, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea seven powerful pirates that work for the government after the Marineford War, due to both his bad performance in said war and his previous defeat at the hands of Luffy, deeming him too weak to be effective as a Warlord.
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He does manage to escape, however. In the Dressrossa Arc, in the B Block matches of the tournament, the contestants from Prodence form an alliance with the others, then when their allies grow weak, start picking them off so that their king will be the one who advances onward. Precure pulls this on Leva and Gula in episode 31 when they got weakened from their battle against Precure that he absorbs their dark energy, killing them off. Apparently it would have been too much of an effort to pull him up.
The henchman barely manages to make it to the surface but sadly, he goes in denial, refusing to believe that his boss abandoned him, and fights on to make sure no one stops Kyogre. In the anime, we have Paul. Cyrus is just as big an example, ignoring his loyal Admins to go into the world he intended to create.
The First Movie , Mewtwo has put the local Nurse Joy under mind control to act as a sort of greeter to the people he has lured onto New Island, and upon revealing himself and sending one of the guests who tried to attack him flying through the room, he tells Nurse Joy her usefulness has ended and lifts her from the mind control to face her fate with the rest of the humans.
When the TRio try to collect their reward from him, he tells them that he no longer needs them and blasts them away. Mistress 9 does this to Kaolinite in the third season of Sailor Moon , which also happens to be the only season in which the " You Have Failed Me " trope is not used. This is particularly stupid because, aside from Zako Red, Sazabi was more or less Surrounded by Idiots. However, the show implies rather strongly that Zako Red is simply a drone operated by Sazabi to allow him to carry out his plans without revealing himself.