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Erik: If I bash one more wall right now, my head will explode!
The saying is, “No Honor Among Thieves”, but I think it applies just as well to the other character classes. I would not be shocked at all to find a paladin and a cleric arguing over which one of them gets to pry the gold fillings from the teeth of their recently slain companion, and if they are obliged to resurrect him afterwards.
You are about to do something stupid and/or fatal, and your friends decide to show their support of said action by staking their claim to your possessions, or at least your good ones. The statements are usually made in jest, as a means of Gallows Humor as no one expects the character to actually die from the action. It may be related to Try Not to Die, under the assumption that you'll be less likely to get yourself killed if all these greedy beggars will be using and abusing your stuff if you do.
Don't think, however, that this claim won't be invoked if in fact, you DO die (or appear to).
Compare Kleptomaniac Hero.
- The PC skydiver in a recent Windows' Phone commercial assumes his Mac friend will die because he's too busy fumbling with his iPhone camera app to pull his chute in time.
PC: "Hey, is it cool if I date Emily when you're... (chute opens) Nevermind."
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! dub:
Weevil: If Yugi loses, I call dibs on his Dark Magician.
Mokuba: If Joey's dead, can I have his trading cards?
- Played straight in the fourth volume of Dorothy of Oz with Dopey asking Grumpy if he can have his helmet if said older dwarf dies after nearly being fried alive by Mara's lightning powers.
- Natsume Yuujinchou: Madara/Nyanko-sensei tells everyone that the reason he sticks around Natsume so much is because he wants to take the Book of Friends once Natsume dies. It's probably a lie, though, since he could just kill Natsume and get it over with.
- Ninjago: Iron & Stone
Arkade: (to Zane) May I have your parts when you expire?
- Brother Voodoo, Black Panther [T'Challa], Blade and Luke Cage once teamed up to clean up an infestation of vampires in New Orleans and to save the amnesiac Photon. Around this time Panther had stolen the Ebony Blade from Marvel's Black Knight, and Blade was so impressed by it that he asked T'Challa to give it to him in his will. Blade is berated by his partners but just responds, "When you're immortal, you don't sweat the small stuff."
- Three Amigos!: When the Amigos arrive in Santo Poco, they don't know that they're meant to fight with El Guapo and his bandits. A little Mexican boy asks one of them (in Spanish) "Can I have your watch when you are dead?"
- Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey: Inverted.
- Flatliners: paraphrased: "Hey Nelson, if you don't make it... can I have your apartment? What? I was joking."
- City Slickers: "If he dies, I'm going after Barbara."
- Back to The Future 3: The gun salesman is happy to provide a brand new Colt Peacemaker for Marty's duel against Tannen... but should Marty lose, he will want it back, okay?
- 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain: When Rocky finds that his girlfriend has been Chained to a Railway (as bait so the bad guys can capture him), he decides to head there alone to save her, while his brothers and neighbor stay put:
Tum Tum: Hey, Rocky, if you don't come back, can I have your Barry Bonds glove?
- The Gamers. After accidently killing the mage of their group, they decide to bury him (and in the true spirit of gamers, not for sentimental reasons but for cold hard points) and after a few seconds of silence they are all quick to call dibs on what few earthly possessions he had.
- Tango and Cash. Cash tells Tango that if Tango dies, he's going to date Tango's sister.
- Early in Memphis Belle, the characters are shown divvying up the personal effects of a crewman who didn't make it back from the last mission. One of the characters asks if they should be doing this, and is told that otherwise it would all be sent back to his wife, and they didn't want her receiving anything embarrassing, like condoms...
- Later in the same movie, one of the characters becomes obsessed with the idea that he's going to die, and starts giving his own treasured possessions out to his comrades.
- In The 13th Warrior (the Film of the Book The 13th Warrior) Antonio Banderas' character is an Arab trapped amongst Norsemen in a re-imagining of Beowulf. After he grinds down a massive sword he isn't able to use into a scimitar, one of his companions asks, "When you die, can I give that to me daughter?"
- The Mechanic. The Bastard Understudy returns to claim the Big Fancy House and Cool Car of his Career Killer mentor after killing him. Unfortunately the mentor anticipated this and rigged the car to explode.
- During Timmy's battle with the pirates at the beginning of A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, Cosmo asks him "If you die, can I have your bike?"
- All Quiet on the Western Front has an unfunny version of this with a pair of very good boots. Near the beginning, their current owner is dying of a wound and asks the narrator to give the boots to another member of the unit. Since the wound involves an amputated leg, one of the comrades comments that he'd only ever use one boot anyhow. Near the end, the narrator (who now owns the boots) reveals he's already promised them to someone else, as each of his friends who owned them before him have died one by one and he has no illusions about going home.
- At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins returns home to find that his relatives have declared him legally dead and started selling off his possessions. Luckily he has enough gold from his adventure to buy everything back (except for his silver spoons) and still have enough left over to be the richest hobbit in the Shire.
- In the sixth Slayers light novel:
Lina: Suppose Zuuma does kill me -- what are you all planning to do then?
- The WW 2 novels by Sven Hassel. In the Old Un's unit the possessions of a dead colleague always belong to his fellow soldiers, with wills being drawn up over particularly valued items. Sometimes a soldier near death will have his pistol removed, as it would only be stolen by a medical orderly, but as the soldier is often aware of this happening it only hastens his death, as he knows what it means. In a (somewhat) more humorous example, Heide collapses after a fight and Tiny eagerly goes to salvage his gold teeth, but is so disappointed when Heide turns out to be still alive that he has to hand over everything in his pockets to avoid being beaten up.
- Discworld has Igors. If you go to them for treatment, they consider your body free after you die. Turn down one Igor and the entire region is considered off-limits by him and every other Igor. Of course, they then use those parts to help out other people (and maybe occasionally modify themselves for greater efficiency). It's like getting free health insurance for life if you are willing to sign an organ donor card.
- Torchwood has a creepy variant. If you die, they claim your body. Admittedly, they have good reasons for this, but it's still creepy. Also, they claim your memories should you ever leave Torchwood, but that's entirely understandable, given how hip deep they are in things they don't want most of the planet to know about.
- Stargate SG-1, "The Enemy Within." Jack asks, in what has to be the greatest Mood Whiplash Subverted Tear Jerker ever, "If you don't make it, can I have your stereo?"
- To be fair, he's deliberately being silly to keep his mind off the fact that his buddy might die from what's going on, plus cheering said buddy up.
- Firefly had a variation on this:
Mal: Hell, this job, I would pull for free.
- Also, when Simon and River were kidnapped Jayne went ahead and started looting Simon's room.
- And then there's this bit from The Movie, when Mal goes to rescue Inara solo.
- One Episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine has Jadzia borrowing Worf's prized collection of Klingon operas as the latter left for a dangerous mission, threatening to "misplace" them if he didn't hurry and come back alive.
- In Farscape, Rygel goes so far as to give Crichton what seems to be the Hynerian version of the last rites, declare him dead, and claim all his possessions for himself.
- Later on inverted: about to go on a suicide mission, John tells Rygel he can have all his stuff. "You're a material guy, Rygel. Have some material." The tone of this is quite hurtful, and Rygel is surprisingly affected.
- When dying for real though, alternate Crichton teases Rygel by saying he still can't have his stuff.
- Just Shoot Me: Jack remarks that according to his (broken) heart monitor he's dead. Finch immediately comes back with "Let me be the first to say, you were a great, great man, and dibs on your wife."
- The Janitor in Scrubs to J.D. when the latter is checked into the hospital.
- On an episode of Grace Under Fire, Grace tries to explain to her kids that she's made arrangements in case something should happen to her. Libby naively asks if she can have the tv if Grace dies, and Quentin starts to chew her out for not taking it seriously enough, Grace thinks. It turns out he thinks he should get the tv because he's the oldest.
- In a perfectly agreed and reciprocal version of this, Steve and Jeff in Coupling are "Porn Buddies" - should one of them die, it is the other's responsibility to clear out all the porn before their family goes through their effects. This also serves as a form of condolence - what better to help you through the grieving process?
- This, or a variation of, is a typical response when contestants on Whose Line Is It Anyway have to come up with Bad Things to Say to Someone On Their Deathbed.
Colin: So when do you think Susan will be ready to date again?
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 did it when they spoofed Last Clear Chance, a road safety film from the 1950s. As the main character watches his older brother get killed at a train crossing (in very Too Dumb to Live fashion), Servo shouts out "Can I have your room?"
- And after Crow takes inspiration from the film The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad only to get trapped outside the sattelite: "Hi, Crow? This is Tom. If you're gonna die out there in the cold void of space, can I have that Toblerone you've been hiding under your bed?"
- The following exchange from Young Blades when D'Artagnan is about to embark on a ridiculous mission:
Ramon: When you die, may I have your horse?
Ray Carling: You've been a good pal to me. I don't know how to say this without looking like a twat...
- In the season five premire of NCIS ("Bury Your Dead"), Tony returns after being presumed dead in a car bomb explosion and he's annoyed to find everyone has pinched his office supplies.
Abby: Everybody else gave you up for dead, even Ziva.
- Myth Busters. The Build Team tests the myth that you can stop a car by throwing it into reverse (they are using walkie-talkies):
Tory: Hey, uh...just in case this doesn't work, and the car spirals out of control and you crash and die...can I have your robot?
- The exchange is inverted for an episode where Grant and Tory are sent up to skydive for myths from Point Break. Grant goes up first and safely returns, but Tory, being second to jump, is anxious. Grant's 'assessment' about the danger Tory faces in the jump he is about to take is reflected in Grant's parting words to a visibly nervous Tory as the latter takes off:
Grant: I'm taking your tools!
- On an early episode of Home Improvement, the boys find out their parents are revising their will. Brad and Randy argue over who gets the hot rod if Tim dies, which does not help Tim's already poor spirits about bringing up the will to begin with.
- The Nanny: Season 1, Episode 15: As Fran is setting up in her hospital room to have her tonsils removed, Maggie finds a vest that she likes and asks if she can have it if Fran doesn't make it. Niles then called dibs on her Reba McEntire CDs, which Max tells them not to be so morbid.
- Reversed in Matthew Good Band's "Indestructible":
Died in an amusement park accident
- Sally in Peanuts was constantly laying claim to Charlie Brown's room should something happen to him. When he returns after being almost washed out to sea on his pitcher's mound, she says "I suppose you're going to want your room back." Also, when he returns from getting lost in the woods looking for Snoopy, she notes that it'll take a while to move all her things (including the bed) out of his room. She also tries to move into his room when he goes to camp.
- In Garfield:
Jon (talking on the phone): Ellen, if you don't go out with me, I'll die. (Beat) It's just a figure of speech, Ellen. (Beat) No, you can't have my computer!
Garfield: How about a nice little game of “Stomp The Spider”?
- In Dilbert, this is applied to layoffs. It goes a bit far in one incident where while Dilbert and Wally confine themselves to pilfering the ex-employee's office equipment and furniture, Alice goes and takes the man's pants. While he's on his way out the door.
- In The BBC's Tolkien spoof Hordes of the Things, when the wizard Radox the Green is about to risk his life, he gets into a protracted argument with his fellow wizard Badedas the Blue about which of the wizards will get which of his belongings if he doesn't come back.
- As noted in one of the page quotes, likely to happen both in and out of character in role-playing games, regardless of characters' supposed morals. In extreme cases, and due to the freedom of most such games, particularly vicious players--the kind whose group you leave and hope to never see again--might even plot to kill another player's character and divvy the stuff up if they have particularly good loot. Can also lead to conflicts of interest where a good roleplayer wants the stuff but has to play a character who would do anything to get their friend back.
- Also a rule in Munchkin, actually the only penalty for dying as your new character is the same level, class, race, as your old one.
- A potential rules exploit, as new PCs start with magic items in 3rd and 4th edition D&D as replacement characters usually start the same level as their previous character with loot appropriate to their character level. The party gets to keep the old character's loot while the new character brings in new loot.
- Bizarrely, Paranoia, the RPG most infamous for having players kill each other, averts this, largely to make all the dying everyone does less bad. (There's is indeed plenty of "stuff", but you probably don't want to take it.)
- Sparks in Enter the Matrix: "Oh, and if Ghost doesn't make it, can I have his boots?"
- And during the Freeway chase: "Can I have your personal processing unit?"
- There are several scenes with Daxter that play when you die in the first Jak and Daxter game, and one of them is Daxter asking, "Can I have your bug collection?"
- The Lost Vikings Holds the quote above.
- In Valkyria Chronicles Aika's message on rescuing a downed squadmember is "If you die, I'm gonna take allll your treasure!"
- Occasionally, when Master Chief dies in Halo, nearby marines (if there are any left alive) will say something to the effect of "Grab his helmet!" Grunts will also do the same thing.
- The former would make sense in Halo 1 and 2, however, as the Chief's helmet carries the AI simulacrum of Cortana. Making it less a "Ooh, I get his cool stuff!" and more a "Prevent the enemy from acquiring the most vital piece of intelligence in the galaxy."
- Anyone who has ever publicly threatened to quit playing an MMORPG, will always be met with at least one reply of "Can I have your stuff?" or "I call dibs on your plat!" among other mockeries. There's pretty much no avoiding it. Someone will make such a comment sooner or later.
- In the case of anyone's existence failure, the first question is 'What'd he drop?'
- This. The legend says the post got deleted by mods few minutes after the reply and the guy asking the question was banned.
- If you die in Half-Life 2, sometimes the rebels accompanying you will lay claims on your crowbar or hazmat suit.
- This can often cause the death of many a dwarf in Dwarf Fortress, as, if one of their brethren is felled, an opportunistic dwarf may rush straight towards the corpse to pillage it of its equipment, and get promptly killed by whatever caused the first dwarf's death. Then another dwarf may try to collect the loot of both dwarfs, and meet the same demise. And yet another...]
- In Minecraft, when you die you drop all your stuff. This means that somebody around you can pick it up, and keep it for themselves.
- One of two contrasting reactions in this Arthur, King of Time and Space.
- A variant, in this The Noob comic - After meeting a veteran MMORPG player who is about to quit, the title character asks, "Can I have your stuff?"
- In Erfworld, when Parson is pulled into Erfworld by Wanda's summoning spell, one of his fellow gamers' first comment is "Dibs on his dice."
- Shortpacked here.
- Questionable Content put their own spin on it here. The belongings of the prospective deceased will be split by lottery instead of being fought over.
- Girl Genius: A minor character displayed fatally poor judgement by trying to take Sanaa
WilhelmTryggvassen hostage. One of the other prisoners promptly calls "Dibs on his boots!".
- In Our Little Adventure, they meet another party like this, shortly after Pauline's death.
- In an Arthur episode called "D.W Flips", the twins ask D.W. if they could have her toys if she dies attempting a gymnastic stunt.
- Beast Wars: Transformers
Rattrap: [to Optimus] Uh...just in case you don't come back...can I have your quarters?
- Then Primal does die, and then comes Back From the Dead at the start of the next season. At the end of the episode he returns in, he states that one of the things he has to do is "have Rattrap move all his junk out of my quarters!"
- In one gag in Futurama, Professor Farnsworth presents his new invention - a clock that can tell how long anyone has to live - by testing it on Fry. We never see what the clock says, but the other characters bow their heads in sadness while Bender calls dibs on his stuff.
- In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where Buster has to go see the principal, everyone calls dibs on his stereo. After the third time, he turns to the camera and asks whether he's the only one in the school who has a CD player.
- Rocket Power: When Otto refuses to heed everyone's warning against surfing during a particularly bad storm, Twister calls out to him as he leaves, "Can I have your skateboard?!"
- A Yogi Bear cartoon has Yogi in a runaway helicopter. Throughout the cartoon, Boo Boo is continually pestering Yogi about wanting Yogi's Pogo Stick if Yogi dies.
- In the TV movie Garfield in Paradise, Garfield says to Jon, when they are surrounded by vicious-looking natives, "Assuming I get out of this and you don't, can I have your bunny slippers?" (The natives turn out to be friendly.)
- On 6teen two of the Dumb Blonde clones are discussing a contest:
First Clone: So, if you win and you die of pride, can I have your halter top collection?
- In South Park - Best Friends Forever, when Kenny is put into a coma Cartman is given his PSP, and fights for Kenny to be taken off life support so he can keep it.
- Stork sings a song about this in Storm Hawks.
- In the Hey Arnold episode "24 Hours to Live," Gerald tries to reassure Arnold that Harold has forgotten his plan to beat him up tomorrow for beaning him during a baseball game. Then the following happens:
Helga: (yelled at Arnold while passing on a bus) Hey, Arnold! 23 hours until you die! (cackling maniacally)
- A Running Gag in Rango is the little girl claiming his boots when he dies. It's a sign that she's starting to respect him when she stops assuming he'll die every time he does something.
- A variant happens in the Family Guy episode "Stewie Kills Lois." When Peter's taken to trial as a suspect in Lois's death, Chris loudly asks Peter "if you go to jail can we go in your room?"
- In the Bob's Burgers episode "It Snakes a Village," Tina and Louise get lost in the woods at night while looking for a snake. Louise, thinking she's done for, yells out that if she dies nobody gets any of her stuff. "I leave everything to my ghost!"
- Reversed by David Letterman, the day before he went in for bypass surgery: "Paul, I just want you to know, if something happens to me - I want Felicia Collins, the guitar player to have the show."
- "In the Event of Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?"- bumper sticker
- Also "In Case of Rapture, You Can Have My Car". Referenced in the political webcomic I Drew This: "But I don't want your car. It has that stupid sticker on it."
- George Macdonald Fraser recorded participating in the division of a fallen comrade's kit in Quartered Safe Out Here.