As the title says what is it called when no matter what choice you chose someone dies. For example: There are two main villains, Vergy and Xerox. You only have the option to kill one. If you choose to kill Xerox then he dies but then Vergy kills all your friends that are next to you, and if you choose to kill Vergy then all your friends live but you die. Or to simplify it: If you choose to go left then your friends die and if you choose to go right then you die but your freinds live. No matter what you choose someone dies. What is this scenario called?

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    Between a rock and a hard place.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 6, 2019 at 5:36
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    A really bad day. (Also first time I’ve heard of a supervillain photocopier!) Jun 6, 2019 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


Sophie's Choice

Sophie’s Choice is the title of a 1979 novel by William Styron, and in 1982 Sophie’s Choice was made into a critically acclaimed film starring Meryl Streep. In the novel, which is set during World War II, the title character must choose between the lives of her two children while imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. She is given an impossible choice: pick one to live while the other is gassed, or else watch both die.


Since then the phrase has come to be used in any type of situation where the choices are equally bad.


There's dilemma or "on the horns of a dilemma".

dilemma noun di·​lem·​ma | \ də-ˈle-mə also dī-\ Definition of dilemma 1a : a usually undesirable or unpleasant choice faces this dilemma: raise interest rates and slow the economy or lower them and risk serious inflation)

As Lawrence mentions in a comment, rock and a hard place

In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options.

A more literary version is between Scylla and Charybdis

Being between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom deriving from Greek mythology, meaning "having to choose between two evils".

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