Kick the Son of a Bitch

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"It's just that after being barked at by so many ill bred dogs... every now and then I take a kick at one, for the dog's own good."
Reinhard von Lohengramm, Legend of Galactic Heroes
"Aw, come on! That brat was asking for it!"
Don East defending Naruto's case for striking Hikaru, Anime Abomination

There's nothing quite so evil as when a character takes a clear step toward villainy and decides to Kick the Dog. Sometimes, though, the kick falls flat—not because it wasn't evil, mind you. The intent, malice and ill will are all there. It's just that at this moment, the dog isn't a sweet innocent puppy. It's a devious son of a bitch that's trying to sink its teeth into someone's leg. This is one effective way to kick off a believable Start of Darkness while keeping the character sympathetic.

Important note: this trope is not to be confused with its close cousin Pay Evil Unto Evil, in which an Asshole Victim also suffers from another's cruelty. The difference lies in how much the perpetrator knew about the victim, and whether that was his motive for committing the act.

Compare:

  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. Among the victims, unbeknown to them, is a certain pimp who was notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them. He will not be missed.
  • Pay Evil Unto Evil: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. One of the robbers spots a certain pimp he knows who was notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them; figuring this is as good a time as any for revenge, he takes aim and shoots him.

See also Kick the Dog, Take That, Scrappy!, Asshole Victim (especially when the Son Of A Bitch in question ends up dead), Even Evil Has Standards. Compare with Alas, Poor Scrappy, Poke the Poodle, and Designated Villain. Also compare—but do not confuse—with Pay Evil Unto Evil.

Examples of Kick the Son of a Bitch include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Ranma ½, both Shampoo and Mousse are amongst the most villainous regulars, and yet Shampoo's treatment of Mousse can potentially still fall under this, when you realise that this isn't Belligerent Sexual Tension like between Ranma & Akane, but a case of a girl sincerely not being interested in a guy who continues to chase her nonetheless, refusing to accept "no" for an answer, despite years of violent attempts to make him stop. It can also be more of a Kick the Dog thing then anything since Mousse is debatedly a nice guy who does the wrong thing for love (basically Love Makes You Evil, or at least a Jerkass), even if Shampoo is not and has never been interested in him.
    • Ukyou also does this with Tsubasa, whose cross-dressing and tendency to disguise himself as inanimate objects to get close to her do nothing but annoy her to no end.
    • MAJORLY done to Tatewaki Kuno by Ranma-chan and Akane, who can NEVER seem to take no for an answer. Unfortunately, it seems nothing short of a mortal injury will get him to take the hint that they're not interested in the slightest.
  • Ribbons Almarck from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 does this in Episode 13 of Season 2 when he slaps Wang Liu Mei and tells her to know her place when she mocks him after witnessing the full extent of the Gundam 00's power. Ribbons is the Big Bad, to be sure; but, because Liu Mei is widely perceived as a Smug Snake and a Scrappy, this became a Crowning Moment of Awesome for him.
    • In the first season, his overthrowing of Alejandro also counts. Alejandro was just such an arrogant Smug Snake that Ribbons betraying him and leaving him to die is just the icing on the cake after Setsuna defeats him in battle.
    • Later on, Nena gets one of these when she opens fire on Wang Liu Mei's ship with the Throne Drei.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S, Due's first scene has her killing the TSAB High Council. The manner in which she does this would firmly establish her as unsympathetic, except that they were the ones responsible for the season's conflict.
  • Loly and Menoly from Bleach are horribly beaten twice, once by Grimmjow and again by Yammy. Thing is, they were trying to torture and murder a helpless girl both times (The Ingenue Orihime Inoue, who brought them BACK to life after Grimmjow's mauling).
    • Actually subverted with the Yammy beating, as he is ALSO there to torture and murder Orihime and just doesn't want anyone else in the way. More pronounced in the anime, when Loly actually ends up defending Orihime from him.
    • Arguably, Mayuri does this too when he fights, humiliates, defeats and deals a Fate Worse Than Death to Szayel Aporro Ganz. Sure, Mayuri is a Jerkass who borders on Complete Monster, but Szayel was even worse than him, considering what he did to Renji, Uryu and Nemu... And being worse than Mayuri is quite an accomplishment, given his level of routine depravity.
  • In My-HiME, this is pretty much what Shizuru does, and one reason she lends herself well to being a Draco in Leather Pants. The First District arguably needed killing considering what they'd done to Natsuki's mother, and while Nao is more sympathetic than them she could be seen as a second case, depending on the viewer's perspective.
  • Paranoia Agent. There's a particularly memorable moment when you're seriously rooting for Shounen Bat to beat the crap of Masami Hirukawa.
  • Mega Man NT Warrior: Bass.EXE, in the last episode of the Stream arc, brutally murdered and consumed Slur before disappearing forever. As Slur was a stupidly powerful, utterly loathsome bitch who personally caused all the problems of the arc, fans consider this scene cathartic.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the villains' use of the You Have Outlived Your Usefulness trope generally is completely unsympathetic, but in the manga when Pride pulls it on the Man in White, a Complete Monster Mad Doctor, you can't help but cheer, and the same is true to a lesser extent with his devouring the equally monstrous Kimbley. In both cases, you have an evil guy who threw his lot in with monsters who think of humans like insects, and their fates are rather karmic in showing them that they really picked the wrong side.
    • Scar did this in his first manga appearance by killing off Shou Tucker.
    • Also in the manga when Roy completely flipped his shit at Envy, the point was to show how close he was to losing track of his ideals and turning into the sort of merciless bastard he's been working against the whole series. It came off as totally awesome anyway, though, since it's freaking Envy.
      • The same scene in Brotherhood made it quite clear to the fans that that was not something you are supposed to enjoy... The other characters present acknowledge that Envy must die, but think Roy is killing him for the wrong reasons.
  • In Code Geass R2, Charles does this to V. V. by taking his code and leaving him to die. "You have lied to me for the last time.", indeed..
    • Lelouch as a Villain with Good Publicity that while he is a Magnificent Bastard who feels little remorse for killing, he's up against the racist Britannian Empire, and the only people he personally kills are a genocidal prince and enemy soldiers. Then comes R2 and he starts Jumping Off the Slippery Slope...
    • A case in point: When Lelouch has the Black Knights massacre the Geass Cult. Much like the Roy Mustang example above, it's obviously played as Lelouch heading down the slippery slope, it's just that his victims weren't exactly very nice people, given what they are responsible for. Even the test subjects, who could be considered victims, are able to and feel no compunctions about forcing some of their attackers to kill each other.
  • In the School Days anime, Sekai Saionji earned the rare distinction of being on both ends of this trope in a single episode. First, she kills the Jerkass who has been cheating on her like crazy and recently refused to stay with her despite her thinking she's pregnant with his baby. And later, she gets killed and cut up by the girl whom she stole said guy from, by kissing him and becoming his "other woman" after Sekai herself hooked them up, which kicked off said girl's Break the Cutie deal.
  • One Piece: As if he really needed it to secure his villain cred, Donquixote Doflamingo is especially willing to... cut loose his former allies. However, so far he has done this to: a Jerkass bully, a slave trader, and Gecko Moria. None of whom were the least bit sympathetic and pretty much deserved what they got.
    • And Spandam in Franky's backstory, where it happened not once, but twice! First by Franky's father figure Tom, who would have possibly killed him haven't he been stopped after the first blow and then shortly after by Franky himself who left him with permanent face damage. Franky and Robin then take revenge on him near the end of the Enies Lobby arc, with Robin slapping him repeatedly, Franky smashing him with his sword in elephant form, and Robin breaking his back. Breaking it CLEAN IN TWO.
    • The prisoners in Impel Down suffer horrific torture, but they aren't like the Straw Hats; most of them have killed quite a few people, and they think nothing of sacrificing others in order to survive their tortures.
      • Then again, there were also prisoners like Ivankov, who for all appearances is a genuinely good guy, and got locked up for being one of the leaders of a rebellion against the very evil World Government.
    • And who could forget the World Nobles? They are the biggest S.O.B.s in the world, and anyone would be happy to blast them to Kingdom Come if they could. The problem? The three admirals, the World Government's strongest enforcers who could easily decimate an entire town singlehandedly, are called in whenever someone attacks the World Nobles. Now, who do you think would attack them anyway out of vengeance for their friends, even if they know all this? You get exactly one guess.
  • How many times does this happen in Detective Conan? Pretty often, considering how many Asshole Victims are in that show.
  • From Sailor Moon, there's Rubeus. He was a very irritating Smug Snake who treated his Quirky Miniboss Squad, the Ayakashi Sisters, like shit—specially the one who loved him, Cooan. When he was left to die by his fellow villain Green Esmeraude, he had kicked the dog so many times that seeing him die felt like a Karmic Death.
  • In Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, this is applied retroactively to two of Enchu's victims, as when their deaths are first mentioned, we don't know that they did anything to deserve it. However, it's later revealed that they treated Rio terribly; one forced her to wear revealing clothes to class so that she could sell her tools, another mocked her for doing so, and both refused to save her mother from a haunt, causing her Face Heel Turn.
  • In Dragonball Z, after Nappa fails to defeat Goku and suffers a humiliating defeat, Vegeta throws him up the air and obliterates him. Although the action itself is pretty surprising (Nappa was his partner), Nappa had spent most of his screentime slaughtering thousands of innocents and most of the Z-Fighters and nearly killed Gohan while laughing about it.
    • Vegeta IS this trope in the Planet Namek arc, with his fight against Zarbon being among the best moments. Until about an arc and a half later when he makes a more genuine Heel Face Turn, Vegeta is basically an evil guy killing even eviler guys.
    • However, contrast this with Frieza's final-form fight against Vegeta—whilst Vegeta's actions up until now have hardly been worthy of any sympathy, the fight plays out to evoke as much sympathy for Vegeta as possible. The fact that he is finally facing up to the cruel tyrant who has held him in bondage his entire life, and getting smacked around and humiliated because of it, resulting in Vegeta breaking down and crying, is fairly emotional despite his villainy.
  • The first really wicked thing Reina does in Rave Master is quite literally stab Sieg Hart in the back. It's a little satisfying though, since Sieg had just mind raped Haru.
  • November 11 killing Maki in Darker than Black is definitely an example of this. Normally, impaling a young boy with an ice spear would put you well over the Moral Event Horizon. Not in this case though, as the boy in question is a psychotic Yandere who was causing needless destruction because of his obsessive love for his leader and would probably have gone on to kill his own allies if he hadn't been stopped. The way the murder plays out is like an odd fusion of Kick the Dog and Pet the Dog. Maki had badly injured April, one of November 11's teammates, and when he tracks Maki down, he is aided by his other teammate, July, and it's shown how despite seeming emotionlessness, they are a very close group. The episode ends with them all bonding (while Maki is bleeding to death in the same room).
  • In the Soul Eater anime Asura kills Arachne.
  • Fairy Tail has Angel killing Karen.
    • Later on, Zeref killing Zancrow.
    • And even later, Zeref killing Hades
    • Flare, the Raven Tail girl who cheated the hell out of her fight against Lucy gets the taste knocked out of her by her own teammate.
    • Early on a Brainwashed and Crazy Jellal kills some of the people who enslaved him.
  • In Magical X Miracle, Yue was absolutely merciless in interrogating and killing Ardi, although the former did have reason to be upset; Ardi had him imprisoned and was about to kill one of the few people he actually cared about.
  • Masaru and ShineGreymon from Digimon Savers finish off Kurata as he's pleading for his life. Normally, trying to kill someone who is begging you for mercy is a sign you're either a villain or at best, an Anti-Hero. However, when that someone is the biggest Complete Monster in the history of Digimon, circumstances are different.
    • Not to mention that all his friends cheered him on and told him to kick Kurata's ass.
  • In Oniisama e..., Mariko is a Clingy Jealous Girl who follows Nanako everywhere, and is seen violently slapping a girl around in the second episode. Said girl, however, is Aya Misaki, a really cruel Alpha Bitch who has just pressed both of Mariko's Berserk Buttons: mistreating her beloved Nanako, and mocking Mariko's Dark and Troubled Past. Crazypants as she is, Mariko's epic slapping of Aya is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Also, around episode 3, Aya and her Girl Posse refuse to give up, and start mocking Nanako in the middle of class. What happens there? Kaoru, the local Tomboy and School Idol, not only tells them to shut up, but physically mauls them. Aya's really Too Dumb to Live, isn't she?
  • Tiger and Bunny's Wham Episode 16 has a flashback to Yuri Petrov's (Lunatic's) childhood when we see his abusive drunkard father beating his wife and then turning on his then-teenage son when Yuri tries to stop him. In response, Yuri activates his Next ability for the first time, and burns his father alive. Lunatic's methods are undeniably brutal, but in THAT instance...
  • Pokémon had Meowth slashing the crap out of a one-off villain, to the point of shredding his clothes off. Sort of a nasty thing to do, even to a villain, but the guy had been putting pretty much everyone (especially Meowth) through hell the whole episode. The guy was kind of a wuss and taunted the heroes the whole time, so he really had it coming.
  • In High School DxD, the female protagonist Rias kills the Fallen Angel Raynare by turning her into dust. Normally it's a brutal way to die, but let's recap all the things Raynare did to the male protagonist, not to mention the boy Risa took a like towards, Issei. She became his girlfriend in order to get close to him, assess his abilities, and kill him while he was still human, mocked him because she looked at him as a weak Devil, caused the death of one of his friends when she stole her Sacred Gear, and continued to mocked him because he was unable to protect her (though like him she got better). As cute as she looks, we are reminded that she is a Femme Fatale, a Complete Monster, and a Smug Snake. We also learn that she is a Dirty Coward when she tries to pull a Wounded Gazelle Warcry on the very boy she made suffer, just for him to turn his back on her. The horrified look on her face just before she dies is very satisfying. There was no sympathy for this woman.

Comics[edit | hide]

  • The premise of a lot of Punisher stories is built around this trope; while a lot of his victims did arguably do something to deserve it, he doesn't really go to much effort to see whether they've actually committed any capital offenses. He also often knocks off drug dealers and other petty thugs just so he can appropriate their ill-gotten cash and weaponry for his own arsenal, and is not adverse to standing back and letting criminals kill each other in a gang war and then finishing off the survivors.
  • Magog's execution of the Joker in Kingdom Come. He'd just finished murdering 92 people in the Daily Planet building when Magog caught up to him. It certainly is a defining moment drawing the line between capes and antiheroes and Magog was doing what he did not so much for justice's sake as to build up his own reputation, but considering how many victims the Joker's atrocities regularly claimed, it's hard to disagree with the jury that acquitted Magog.
    • Heck, anytime someone tried to off the Joker is viewed as this (unless the offing ends up hurting a ton of innocent bystanders).
    • The entire idea of killing the Joker is always treated as this, particularly the part about a Start of Darkness.
    • Later in the story, Batman mentions how much free time he's had since Arkham Asylum was blown up by Genosyde. There may have been innocent employees caught in the blast as well (it's not clear), but seeing how Arkham Asylum gives Cardboard Prisons a bad name, this doesn't seem nearly as bad as calling himself Genosyde.
  • In the backstory for the Bara Magna arc of Bionicle, Malum got exiled to the wastelands after he tried to kill an opponent who surrendered. The kicker? Said opponent was Strakk.
  • In the finale of Justice League: Cry for Justice, Green Arrow's execution of Prometheus is clearly meant to be some sort of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope moment—especially given one of the follow-up series is named "The Fall of Green Arrow". But given that Prometheus had just gotten through blowing up Star City ( killing Red Arrow's daughter Lian -- also Ollie's granddaughter, and forcing the League into letting him escape to avoid other cities going boom, very few people would've had much problem with what he did other than perhaps "Roy or Cheshire should've done it." "Justice" indeed.
    • DC seems to have realized this would be the case, so sent Ollie on a brief Roaring Rampage of Revenge against everyone involved in Star City's destruction. And for many fans, that still feels less like a Slippery Slope and more like And That's Terrible.
  • The Shadowland story sees Daredevil descend into darkness by killing a villain in a fight - that villain? The irredeemable psychopath Bullseye. Fans expressed the general opinion that Daredevil had better do something actually evil in the next issue, because that one was a well-considered and just decision.
    • In fact, readers widely considered Daredevil's true moment of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope to be deciding to resurrect Bullseye and give him a job, which Spider-Man does not fail to notice.
      • True, he was planning to brainwash Bullseye as well, but considering everyone and their mother has broken The Hand's programming, it certainly wouldn't have lasted.
      • It's fairly pointless to argue any of these actions as character derailment because Daredevil himself was possessed by The Hand during the entire arc.
      • Daredevil had a much earlier example when he visits Bullseye in hospital after breaking his back and pulls a gun on him, spending the issue playing a game of Russian Roulette. It is revealed at the end that the Revolver was not loaded but it does not change the fact that Matt's actions were incredibly cruel and mentally torturous. Of course, since its Bullseye, its difficult to be too judgemental.
  • In Secret Six #28, Giganta reveals to Dwarfstar that Amanda Waller informed her of Dwarfstar having Giganta's boyfriend Ryan Choi assassinated. She crushes his hand, smashes his face into a mirror, and then ties him up with duct tape for a little Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Narrowly subverted in a Star Wars non-canon oneshot comic, Old Wounds. Darth Maul, bent on revenge, tracks Obi-Wan Kenobi down to Tatooine, his lower half replaced by a set of cybernetic legs. A short but brutal fight ends with Obi-Wan holding the hilt of his lightsaber against Maul's head, thumb over the activation button. He struggles with the dark urges in him, but the temptation is removed when Owen Lars shoots Maul in the head in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Bad guys in Sin City tend to be Complete Monster types so when the Sociopathic Hero brutally tortures and dismembers them, few audience members will shed a tear.
  • In Avengers Academy #16, Veil is shown killing a Nazi Soldier by turning into poisonous gas. This is either a played straight or red herring- "turning point", as one of the Academy members is soon to be revealed as turning evil. However, Veil had just met a young girl in a war zone, looking for her mother, who was buried under a building. Veil saves the mother as she promised the girl, the mothers runs to her daughter and in this moment she is shot by the soldier in front of her daughters eyes. Even if Veil turns out to be the future Villain, it is hard feeling sorry for that soldier.
  • Magneto once kidnapped a man and locked him in an abandoned fallout shelter, telling him that death would be too good for him and that he wanted the man to wish that Magneto had killed him after the coming ordeal. The shelter was completely empty except for some jugs of water, which Magneto advised the man to conserve, and had no light source. So for weeks, said man was locked in a dark room with concrete walls, slowly starving to death. He raged, pounded on the walls, tried in vain to reach the exit high above him, sobbed, and eventually began hallucinating. By the time he was found by his associates he was utterly broken and wished to die. A horrible act of cruelty even for Magneto and a clear crossing of the Moral Event Horizon? Not when the man in question is none other than the Red Skull.


Fan Fic[edit | hide]

  • In the Axis Powers Hetalia fic "Twisted", one of many sequels to the "World Financial Crisis Gangbang," America commits suicide and is brought back to life by England, only to come back wrong as a very Damaged Soul bent on vengeance. His first act of revenge is sacrificing the Italy brothers in a black magic ritual to resurrect his children he had over a century earlier. Normally, killing the Italy brothers would put America past the Moral Event Horizon. However, since the Italy brothers participated in the gang rape, it's very hard to have any sort of sympathy for them.
    • Hell any "revenge" sequel to the to the Financial Crisis Gangbang counts as this, as well as The Dog Bites Back (particularly "Spreading Poison"). Another called "To Avenge A Friend" has Hungary, Canada and Tony mentally torture the rapists for several hours, forcing them to actually experience the whole thing for themselves. And given the later pages of the comic, it's very hard not to cheer them on.
    • And that's not counting the one with Native America (aka America and Canada's dead mother) coming back to give the perpetuators what could be described as Inception: Nightmare Fuel Edition. And it's really difficult to sympathize with those "victims."
  • Played for laughs in the Transformers fic, They Just Don't Care Anymore, where Galvatron kidnaps and threatens to kill Fred Phelps, mistaking him for a beloved celebrity. Not only do people not care, they actively encourage Galvatron to kill him, which Galvatron confuses for reverse psychology.
  • In 72 Hours, when Ax Crazy Damien literally crucifies Complete Monster Katie Snyder, pretty much everyone was cheering.
  • In Red Witch's Sins of the Father, Walsh seizes an opportunity in the chaos of the Black Rose's attempted coup to stab Senator Wheiner. While most of the fandom would agree the aforementioned "son of a bitch" definitely had it coming, the fact that he leaves the Series 5 team in danger to do it, and then runs off without leaving behind any answers, especially for the devastated Shane who had just found out Walsh is his genetic father, makes it a lot more nebulous.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, this is Chaos's primary motivation.
  • Subverted in-verse in the 1983 Doomsday Stories. While Austria would very much like to avenge Hungary's death in Doomsday, it turns out that America at least was just as helpless.
  • In Naruto Veangance Revelaitons, the author tries to invoke this at two points. One time, while temporarily working with the villains, Ronan goes out and kills Benji, the author's stepbrother- the author hates him and almost literally everything he likes. On another instance, when Ronan fails to get a divorce from Taliana because the judge heard an objection from Madara, Ronan kills the judge, who is revealed after the fact to have been evil and corrupt. In practice, however, any act of cruelty against Ronan could count.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • One of the gangs in City of God was led by a man who at first just wanted to avenge the death of his son (and girlfriend and the rest of his family) at the hands of another gang leader. Eventually, he is killed by the son of the first innocent casualty he killed after starting his quest for revenge
  • Denis Leary giving the "Mickey Mantle" speech to the abusive husband in Suicide Kings. Oh, was that a glorious scene.
  • In Slumdog Millionaire, Salim begins his descent into evil by shooting Maman.
  • In Serenity when The Operative kills Dr. Matthias, it was quite pleasant.
  • Normally, having the protagonist torture someone for information is a major Kick the Dog moment. But then Taken presents us with someone who totally deserves to have Electric Torture done to him through rusty nails jammed into his legs.
  • A very literal and humorous example occurs in CJ7. However, it turns out it was All Just a Dream leading to an unpleasant subversion. Later, the protagonist engages in kicking the would be SOB kicker. Repeatedly.
  • Dogville spends almost three hours to deliver this trope in the end. After suffering horrific abuse by the townsfolk, Nicole Kidman's character has the entire town slaughtered quite sadistically, even the children. Ironically for the trope, she spares the dog, since it was the only creature in town she deemed innocent.
    • Von Trier deconstructs the trope to hell: Grace subjected herself to abuse, because she wanted to be chastised for being born as a Bertolt Brecht "bourgeois fascist" character (based on "The Pirate Jenny"). When she realizes she doesn't have the strength to escape this identity, she rationalizes her destruction of the town as a mercy killing, just like the town rationalized their actions against her as just and merciful. In short, EVERYONE is a bastard, Grace hasn't learned a thing by the end, and the townspeople become the victims of Grace's thoroughly misguided urge to suffer.
      • No no no, Grace is just Evil Jesus (who decides to kill the Romans and burn down their city instead of beseeching her "Father" to forgive them, because they knew exactly what they were doing)
  • The main villain of Twins is a hitman known as "The Webster" who kills anyone, even the people who hire him, who meet him on the job and see his face (which he makes no effort to conceal). His victims include the loan sharks chasing Vincent.
  • The main plot in Martyrs starts with Lucie invading a home and brutally killing the family within. The audience spends the next hour wondering whether they deserved it or was Lucie's Roaring Rampage of Revenge horribly misguided.
  • Al Czervik (the Dangerfield character) in Caddyshack is abusive to everybody around him, but they all have it coming with the possible exception of some of the caddies (and many of them snark right back at Al, which he seems to appreciate).
  • Everyone "D-Fens" meets in Falling Down. Most notably the Neo-Nazi.
    • At least the ones he actually gets violent with. Various people, such as the staff and customers at Whammy Burger, don't qualify for this trope. They're just minding their own business and being normal human beings when they have the misfortune to cross Foster's path, or vice versa. He doesn't hurt any of them, but he damn sure ruins their day.
  • The ending of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has Gay Perry slap around Harmony's dad in his deathbed for raping his youngest daughter. Lampshaded by Harry, who says that even though it might've seemed harsh, it was ok because the guy was creepy.
  • In Defiance, the mood of the Jewish refugee camp grows steadily worse throughout the bitter winter, made worse by lack of food. One of the men, portrayed from his very first appearance as sleazy and cruel, soon starts demanding that fighters get better rations. Tuvia Belieski, the protagonist and commander, orders that everyone gets the same. While he is sick, the bully beats up his younger brother and institutes a new policy. When Tuvia confronts him, the man openly derides him and tells him that he is no longer commander. Tuvia, sick and unable to take on six men, turns away...then wheels around and shoots the man in the chest, afterwards ordering that his body be taken into the woods and left for the wolves.
  • In the Star Wars prequels, Anakin Skywalker avenges his recently dead mother by slaughtering the entire sand raider tribe that killed her. It just so happens that this includes the women and children, though.
    • The newly minted Sith Lord Darth Vader (i.e. Anakin) slaughtered the entire Separatist Council but these people not only led an evil rebellion against The Republic but did so with the explicit knowledge that it was purely for the benefit of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith: all their ideals of restoring proper democracy were completely false. Therefore, lots of fans aren't particularly sad about Lord Vader's actions.
  • The Shawshank Redemption has the guards beating up Boggs so severely that he ends up crippled for life. The movie seems to present this as a not-quite-justified way of dealing with prison rapists, and yet evidently is also there to show that Boggs got Laser-Guided Karma.
    • That, and because they didn't like Boggs beating on the guy who's been saving them a bunch of money by helping with their finances.
  • X-Men: First Class has Erik kicking sons of bitches in the form of Nazis who escaped justice. The big one comes when he murders Sebastian Shaw for killing his mother. Although it is presented as Erik's Start of Darkness, don't forget this is Sebastian Shaw we're talking about here. The mutant who was trying to wipe out mankind by starting a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, who blackmailed, threatened and murdered various people and whose opening scene consisted of murdering Erik's mother for Erik's inability to move a coin, while mocking Nazis for having a pathetic vision. He's certainly the most heinous villain in the X-Men series (even worse than William Stryker) and has been accurately described by Tropers as giving new meaning to the word "Evil". It's hard to imagine anyone really objecting to his being put down like a mad dog, least of all by the man he helped create.
  • Deleted material from The Boondock Saints showed that the other guy they gunned down in the Sin Bin was a pimp who the twins had seen slapping around one of his girls before heading into the strip joint. Incidentally, he was also the same asshole who beat up that injured nun we saw earlier in the hospital waiting room.
  • In Dogma, Loki's mass murder of the Mooby executives (minus one) isn't as emotionally jarring after Bartleby listed each of their crimes; one of them was a guy who payed someone to rape his drunk girlfriend just so he could break up with her, to give you an idea.
  • In the remake of Scarface, Tony Montana begins his rise as a kingpin by ordering Manny Ribera to kill Frank Lopez and then he himself kills Mel Bernstein.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Black Company, Raven and Croaker manage to capture The Whisper and The Limper. Raven then proceeds to torment The Limper until Croaker decides it's enough and stops him. Limper has it coming.
  • Carrie had very, very good reasons to kill Christine Hargensen...and since he was in on the "prank," and did most of the muscle work, her boyfriend's death was also Laser-Guided Karma.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry uses the Cruciatus Curse on Amycus. Cruciatus is one of the three spells considered to be an unforgivable crime in wizarding society. Considering what Amycus did to the students... he deserved it.
  • In The Penultimate Peril of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf violently pushes the snotty Carmelita Spats to the ground.
  • In the X Wing Series, aside from his "cutter", who prepares his drugs, absolutely no-one likes the relatively petty criminal Zekka Thyne. Not even the viewer. There's nothing to him but evil, and not even the cool or interesting flavors of evil. He was taken off the prison planet by the Rebels, who reluctantly want to work with him. The Imperial Kirtan Loor has stormtroopers capture him and tie him down, then backhands him repeatedly, tells him to spy for him, and has the stormtroopers inflict a nonfatal abdominal wound so he can claim to have escaped. A few chapters on, while talking to the Rebels, he gets argumentative, hints at betrayal, and Fliry Vorru does this.

Vorru's right hand struck fast and slapped Thyne on the belly. The younger man howled, then, as he doubled over, Vorru grabbed him by the neck and slammed his forehead into the table. Thyne, glassy-eyed, rebounded and Vorru flung him from his chair. "For some people, discipline is a lesson. For others it is a lifetime."

    • With Vorru this moment is simultaneously Kick the Dog. He was an Imperial Moff who got sent to Kessel for massive corruption, and the Rebels, one of whom was pleased to see a blaster wound on Thyne's stomach, note how quickly and easily he goes from urbane and gracious to absolutely vicious.
    • It's also a plot point. Thyne is unable to give good info, as he spent most of the meeting punch-drunk and concussed!
  • Continuing with Star Wars, Jacen Solo's murder of Ta'a Chume in the Dark Nest Trilogy was supposed to symbolize a step onto the dark side path. However, the "victim" was such a Complete Monster who arranged the death of her own daughter-in-law and nearly did the same to her granddaughter, a lot of fans were cheering him along the whole way. Very, very similar to the Star Wars example with Darth Vader, in the film section, above. Then again, the same thing can be said for the whole plot of Legacy of the Force: a young Jedi Knight of Skywalker heritage decides to use The Dark Side and become a Sith Lord in order to protect a democratic government from an evil confederacy/confederation, but ends up turning that democratic government in a Sith-ruled dictatorship, and is redeemed in the end by love of his child.
  • A humorous poem by Rudyard Kipling gives this treatment to the Biblical Cain and Abel: Cain the farmer killed Abel for wrecking Cain's irrigation ditches to give the water to his cattle. The last line specifically describes God's judgment upon Cain as unfair. (Note, though, that Abel had at first offered to buy the water, so Cain was a bit unreasonable, too.)
  • Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in A Song of Ice and Fire is noted for an intense desire to kill his older brother. While this should be an indication that Sandor is not the nicest guy, you eventually learn more about Gregor "The Mountain That Rides" Clegane, such as his propensity for murdering babies (including his and Sandor's infant sister), raping and murdering women (including his two wives and a princess) and the incident when they were children, which left Sandor with horrible facial scars and a life long fear of fire... Well, Sandor suddenly makes a lot more sense.
    • The "Brave Companions" (or, as they are called behind their back, the "Bloody Mummers") are a bunch of Complete Monster Private Military Contractors known for commiting rape, torture, and other atrocities. Their leader, Vargo Hoat is killed by the above Gregor Clegane in a gruesomely fitting fashion.
      • The Companions themselves do this to Amory Lorch, a Fat Bastard and Smug Snake who stabbed a toddler to death, by feeding him to a bear.
      • And Gregor Clegane himself gets offed in a very, VERY nasty manner. Sure, Oberyn Martell was a douchebag, but no one's going to fault him for stabbing Gregor with a poisoned spear and making him die very slowly and in incomprehensible agony, especially since Gregor raped and murdered Oberyn's sister simply because Tywin Lannister hadn't told him not to and brutally killed her two children.
  • In the first book of the Sword of Truth series, our hero Richard kicks a 10-year-old in the jaw so hard he shatters it and severs her tongue. The fact that said 10-year-old is an Enfante Terrible spoiled rotten princess who is actively torturing him at the time with a stick designed to create horrible pain just by touching him and is threatening to have his love interest imprisoned, gang raped, and then beheaded (and, in fact, she's shown earlier in the books to really like ordering people's heads off) moves this from a Kick the Dog to this trope.
  • In Lois Duncan's Daughters of Eve, when the girls in the eponymous sorority attack Peter Granger, it marks their fall from a social club into a dangerous vigilante group. However, considering the way that he treated three different members of the sorority including driving one of them to suicide, the reader is definitely cheering them on. Given the reactions of some of the sisters, it seems that this was quite deliberate: we were supposed to enjoy the girls' revenge on Peter and only later realize that it marked their Start of Darkness.
    • Near the end of the book, one of the girls murders her abusive father.
  • Padan Fain in the Wheel of Time books has a couple of moments of this. The stand-out example however is when he is rubbing shoulders with the Seanchan early on in their appearance, before the reader has time to get to know much about them besides the fact that they keep women who can use the One Power as pets/slaves. It is therefore weirdly satisfying to see him plot and execute the brutal murders of a good number of them.
  • Whether or not this applies to The Slap is the driving question of the book. The plot kicks off when Harry slaps Hugo, the child of another couple at his cousin Hector's barbecue. Whether this is little more than child abuse or appropriate discipline of a badly-behaved child is deliberately left up to the reader, but is complicated on both sides - Harry is constantly portrayed as an abusive jerk with few redeeming qualities, but Hugo is an out-of-control brat who, at the time of the slap, had been threatening Harry's son and Hector's children with a cricket bat, and his own parents hadn't made an effort to stop him.
  • Similar to the Star Wars example though without so much buildup, Artemis Entreri of the Drizzt novels is in a foul mood when he happens across a Drow Matron in the underdark while searching for Drizzt. After a sexist barrage of insults, it doesn't go very well for her.
  • Animorphs: The Inspector regularly mocks, taunts, threatens, and otherwise humiliates...Visser Three. It's kind of fun to watch.
  • In the first Jesse Stone novel, Night Passage, normally an officer performing a kick to the balls on an unarmed civilian who's not attacking him would be a major Kick the Dog moment. Unless said civilian is Jo Jo Genest, who just got done bragging about how Jesse can't do anything to stop him from raping his ex-wife and openly mocks the restraining orders she's filed against him. Then it's this trope.
  • Pimps in Belisarius Series tend to suffer this fate. As do Malwa ritual torturers.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Heroes: The series' new baddie, Samuel, destroys a police station, crumbling it to the ground. But since the officers there killed a boy with powers he was scared of and possibly was unable to control, Samuel's actions feel pretty cathartic to watch.
    • More specifically, the officers dragged the kid to death behind a squad car, the kid was exonerated on trial no one could prove he hurt anyone, and he only ever hurt people because he didn't know how to control his powers.
  • Lost almost ran into this trope when Michael shot Ana Lucia. The writers realized this, though, and had him shoot the much more sympathetic Libby too.
    • However? That actually caused an Alas, Poor Scrappy effect in regards to Ana Lucia herself. Not to mention, we had just learned her Dark and Troubled Past. Meeeeeep.
    • Also from Lost: When Jack beat up Ben.
    • Also also when Desmond beat the ever-loving shit out of Ben for threatening his wife and child. Really basically anytime somebody beats Ben up it's kinda satisfying.
  • Buffy Spin-Off Angel had one its first season when a pimp in a bus station tries to "recruit" a teenaged runaway. Since he made the poor judgement of targeting Faith she stabs him, leaving him hospitalized, then steals his jacket and the keys to his apartment and moves herself in while he's hospitalized. Nobody really feels sorry for the pimp here.
    • Similarly, a season 2 episode had a telekinetic woman who had trouble controlling her powers accidentily cause a dumpster to sqash two men to death, but since those men had been planning to rape her, Cordelia says the men are "better off squashed".
    • Angel had another brilliant example in season two. When Drusilla and Darla are revived and in the middle of a spree, they hold an entire room of Wolfram & Hart lawyers—who have not only tried to kill Angel and his friends, but have consistently been portrayed as completely lacking in any morality and frequently act with brutal indifference towards innocent bystanders—hostage and prepare to feast on them. Angel arrives to tell Darla that he will stop them... but not tonight, before proceeding to lock the door and let them go to work. His friends are horrified at what he did, but it's not difficult to disagree with, even if Angel was doing it for the wrong reasons.
  • Katherine of The Vampire Diaries is almost certainly the most evil and dangerous character on the show. At least until Klaus arrived. But since her first on-screen act of villainy was to stab "Uncle" John Gilbert, well...
  • Featured in House when Chase indirectly kills the dictator. Everybody in the audience agrees with him that Dibala should have died, and the media coverage of the event is entirely positive, noting the hope that that would bring to the country, but Foreman and a priest tell him that he did a horrible, horrible thing and Cameron divorces him over it.
    • Occasionally a patient or patient's family member will hit House, which is usually fairly satisfying to the audience.
    • More rarely, House will hit a patient or family member, which is usually more satisfying for the medically-relevant Lecture he is delivering during or immediately after said strike.
  • To Home and Away fans, Sam Tolhurst was already pretty unsympathetic, but her murder of armed robber, murderer and possible rapist Johnny Cooper definitely qualifies.
  • Mr. Lahey of Trailer Park Boys is so cruel, it's hard not to be satisfied when terrible things happen to him.
  • This is pretty much a go to trope for a lot of Villain Protagonist type shows (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy and Dexter among others) that will often have the main characters facing off against worse criminals and usually employing brutal tactics to defeat them and the reason the audience doesn't lose sympathy is because most of the Big Bads tend to be pretty vile types.
  • When former Colonel Simmons from Stargate SG-1 was eventually killed by being blown out of an airlock by the heroes, just after becoming the host to a particularly nasty Goa'uld who had been giving the team much grief. The reason no one mourned Simmons? He'd been an even BIGGER asshole to the team for much longer.
    • Many [SG-1] villains (mostly Goa'ulds) go out this way.
  • The soft-spoken Affably Evil Magnificent Bastard Gustavo "Gus" Fring of Breaking Bad pulls one of these off in a manner most awesome: after Jesse produces some of Walt's ridiculously pure blue meth at The Cartel's lab in Mexico, Gus presents the head of the cartel, Don Elario (with whom he has a nasty history stretching back to at least the late 80s) with a rare bottle of tequila. Elario passes the contents of the bottle to all his main subordinates. Little does the Don know, the bottle is poisoned, and Fring (after drinking the poisoned tequila and vomiting it out) kills the entire leadership of the cartel in one fell swoop.
  • Game of Thrones: Lord Petyr Baelish and Lady Olenna Tyrell both carry out the strategy to kill Joffrey, though Tyrion is blamed for it. Considering how much a Jerkass Joffrey is despite being a teenager, pretty much a sigh of relief for most of the people, except Cersei, who mourns.

Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • This is a trait of several "Tweener" wrestlers, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and most recently Randy Orton, who have a habit of committing actions which would be seen as despicable if done by anyone else, but still manage to get the crowd behind them, simply by targeting wrestlers whom everyone already hates.
    • Probably the best example was when Austin was the first male wrestler to put a beating on Chyna. She'd been played up at abusing the Would Not Hit a Girl rule for months so that when he finally let her have it, the action didn't affect his general Face status at the time.
  • At the 2014 PayBack, Brie Bella was confronted by Stephanie McMahon while Daniel was convinced by former to keep his titles despite his injuries. Brie tells off Stephanie and SLAPPED HER IN THE FACE in front of those watching! Stephanie simply ran off while the audience cheered on. That was because Stephanie was a Jerkass, even joining her husband during a beat down.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Lizard Men committing and planning serial wars and even outright genocide is normally pretty sinister stuff. When Warhammer Fantasy applies it to factions like Chaos, Dark Elves, or Skaven? They deserve that and more.
  • In Spelljammer, regular Dungeons & Dragons gnomes often suffer a case of Fantastic Racism towards the "minoi" or "tinker gnomes" of Dragonlance, some even going so far as to try and hunt them down. Many don't treat this as an evil act, however. In the metaverse, tinker gnomes are The Scrappy due to being Mad Scientists played for Comic Relief with traits that are, instead, highly irritating—for example, they fixate on Rube Goldberg Devices to the extent that they simply can't build something that isn't needlessly complicated, and they actually strive to make their machines so absurd that they fail because they view the learning experiences from failure to be far more important than actual success. In-universe, the "minoi hunters" aren't regarded as evil because minoi can actually be very dangerous to everyone around them, thanks to their racial Hat of Bungling Inventor—they can cause tremendous damage when their machines inevitably go catastrophically wrong. For example, whenever a tinker gnome-built spelljammer approaches a planet, the odds are pretty good that "landing" will be synonymous with "falling out of the sky and crashing into the middle of a city".


Theater[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Super Robot Wars Judgment gave us Rau Le Creseut getting a Crowning Moment of Awesome by killing Haruki Kusakabe from Martian Successor Nadesico, who is arguably more of an asshole than Rau ever could be
  • In Dragon Age, most Wardens can eventually find Bann Vaughan in a dungeon and be able to either let him out for his support against Loghain... or stab him right there. And after hearing him rant, the latter option feels really good even if you didn't choose the City Elf origin, in which he kidnaps all the female guests at your wedding (possibly including you) and rapes your cousin. To sweeten it just a little more, you can even convince him to give you a key to some of his belongings for the looting before you decide what to do with him.
    • There's another alternative: tell him you want to be compensated for letting him out, persuade him to give you the key to his lockbox of money first, then choose to leave him in that cell with a cheery "Enjoy your stay".
    • A similar moment occurs for the Human Noble when you finally get to butcher Arl Howe this is doubly true considering before you fight him he brags about making your Action Mom kiss his feet. Don't just kick the bastard, stomp a hole in him.
      • Bites the player in the back in Awakening, where one of the party members is his son Nathaniel, who starts off as quite sore against the Warden for taking everything away from his family, although YMMV. Some who played as the Human Noble kept looking for the "Tough cookies, junior, maybe your father shouldn't have been an evil douchebag who murdered my entire family" response during conversations. The Howe family by-and-large survived the events of the Blight. The Couslands had maybe two survivors. To say that there were those who didn't tolerate his whining would be a classic Understatement. After his sister confirms that their dad was an evil douchebag during his Personal Quest, Nathaniel stops whining and agrees that his father brought his fate upon himself.
    • Lets not forget the Alienage mission where Loghain has been allowing Tevinter slavers to illegally kidnap his own citizens. After nearly beating the Blood Mage slave trader, he makes one last offer to drain the life force from his remaining slaves and give you an HP boost in exchange for his freedom. It feels all the more satisfying to finish him off.
      • Especially if you're playing a City Elf, seeing as one of the elves he offered to sacrifice is your character's father.
  • In Dragon Age II, many players rejoice when Sister Petrice is shot and killed by a Qunari archer. Others wanted to do it themselves.
  • Heavy Rain lets you finally give Blake the punch in the face that he deserves in the Under Arrest chapter. You don't get to really bask in the moment as he pulls a gun on you afterwards...
  • In Fallout 3, killing the tyrannical Mr. Burke in cold blood results in an increase to your Good Karma, as well as sighs of relief from the patrons of Moriarty's bar.
    • The fact this is the only time killing something in a city is a ok, really tells you something about Mr Burke.
    • Not to mention that if you tell self-appointed Sheriff of Megaton Lucas Simms about Burke's attempts to get you to cross the Moral Event Horizon, he'll gun Lucas down when he tries to arrest him. (Unless you intervene, of course.)
    • Normally, townicide in sandbox RPGs is one massive series of Kick the Dog incidents on the part of the Player. However, in the slaver town of Paradise Falls...
    • In Broken Steel, a group of Enclave soldiers surrender peacefully to a squad of Brotherhood Outcasts, who merely laugh in their faces, say that the Enclave troops must have them confused for the "weak" Lyon's Brotherhood and coldly gun them down. This would normally be reprehensible if the victims weren't the fucking ENCLAVE.
      • The trope is averted, since before being executed, those Enclave soldiers says they are fresh recruits who joined just for the water and killed their Commanding Officer themselves.
    • Then you have Fallout: New Vegas, which averts this even further (for the most part). By that point, the Enclave Remnants are mostly good people who either tried to defy orders or tried to serve for the good of their fellow men. Said remnants are also being hunted down by the NCR and Brotherhood of Steel for simply being associated with them....
  • Barthandelus, the main villain of Final Fantasy XIII, reveals his true nature by killing the Smug Snake Baroness Jihl Nabaat, who is perhaps the most unsympathetic person in the game.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has Caulder kill a mayor. While Caulder is very much a Complete Monster, after seeing what that mayor has done for a good amount of the game, it seems to be a shining moment for Caulder and has much approval from players.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, there is an mission where you're hired to do an assassination and have the option to kill the person who hired you instead of your target after the former goes out of his way to lure the latter. Pretty dickish even considering the game's standards, right? Not when your employer is the horribly corrupt and insufferably hypocritical Francis McReary and the target is the latter's own brother, Derrick. Despite carrying out the mission giving you a considerable benefit, it's hard to resist the temptation to double cross the bastard.
    • Also the mission where you have to choose between killing Playboy X or Dwayne. However, this one is an easier choice, as killing Playboy X (the S.O.B. in question) allows you to have Dwayne as a friend and all the benefits that come from it - plus, you get a nice new apartment.
      • In fact, many times in the GTA series, when you get to finish off the Big Bad, it will fall into this. Examples include Catalina in III, Tenpenny in San Andreas, and Dimitri in IV.
  • StarCraft: Brood War nearly accomplishes this by having you kill the series' resident Jerkass General Duke, then immediately walks it back by forcing you to kill Fenix too.
    • Somewhat mitigated in Duke's case in that he at least faced death quite honorably.
      • Duke was alltogether less of a Jerkass in Broodwar than in the original Starcraft campaign. After all, he did stay at Mengsk's side even after the UED kicked his ass. The "old" Duke would just have switched to the winning side after his defeat on Dylar, at the latest.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, after being the party is imprisoned by Shinra, Sephiroth makes his first appearance by going on a massive killing spree inside the compound where you are imprisoned, leaving a trail of Shinra mook corpses as well as the Shirna president's body with a sword in his back. Of course, this was the same president who had a sizable portion of his city destroyed with the people still inside it, just so he could pin the blame for it on the protagonists.
    • And these are the same mooks that you've been killing up until then. If anything, he just saved you some busywork.
    • It's even lampshaded by Barret, who asks "so Sephiroth is a good guy?" when you find the President dead and Palmer tells you he saw who did it.
    • Sephiroth gets another one in Crisis Core when he delivers a Shut UP, Hannibal line to Genesis, who asks him for help right before the Nibelheim Incident. Is condemning someone to a slow Cruel and Unusual Death evil? Yes. But considering this is the same person who spends the entire game spouting Meaningless Meaningful Words at us and started his request for help by calling Sephiroth the perfect monster and pushing him further towards his breakdown...
  • In Baldur's Gate 2, Irenicus escapes Spellhold and slaughters the Cowled Wizards. This would normally be terrible... if it wasn't for the fact that, up to this point, the Cowled Wizards have been presented as arrogant, holier-than-thou jerks who imprison Mages on trumped up charges and have a Torture Cellar just for those prisoners, and, in a sidequest, they try to manipulate you into murdering an innocent man just so they could use his corpse to gain access to an interplanar spaceship. It doesn't help that two of the Cowled Wizards Irenicus kills were planning to "practice enchantment spells" on Imoen.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: How many of us switch Carth to solo mode, hand him a couple swords, and send him right at Saul? Or take a hit to Light Side Mastery by telling him "take your time" when the dying bastard is at his feet?
  • In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Sylvanas' betraying and killing Garithos after helping him retake Lordaeron is supposed to be seen as morally questionable, especially since the dreadlord Varimathras suggests that she's getting close to being like him, but he was racist enough to order Kael'thas' execution and result in him joining Illidan, and his last words are ordering Sylvanas and her followers out of the city, rather than expressing shock or outrage over the berayal.
  • In the Death Knight starting quests in World of Warcraft, the players' main victims are the Scarlet Crusade, whose enemies are not only the Scourge, but also anyone they suspect as being a heretic,[1] and whose leaders are apparently planning on abandoning many of their people to move on to Northrend. Granted, many of them are innocent peasants who can barely fight back, but both the Alliance and the Horde see the Scarlet Crusade as their enemies, and they contribute nothing positive to the struggle against the Scourge.
  • Mona normally balks at actually drinking blood straight from the vein or otherwise using her vampire powers like a...well, a vampire. But then she meets Bruno Stoker, who regularly berates his wife and runs her ragged trying to keep his fat ass fed, and contributes nothing to the upbringing of twin sons who are rapidly careening towards spoiled brathood of the worst degree. She takes a perverse glee in putting the fear of God into him.
  • Limstella from Fire Emblem is an emotionless Dark Action Girl who kicked several pups via killing Ursula and at least one of the Reed brothers. But you positively cheer for her when she subjects Evil Matriarch Sonia to a short yet brutal Break Them by Talking and leaves her out there to bleed to death.
  • When playing the Mass Effect 2 DLC, Overlord, pretty much everyone will be happy to see Dr. Archer get pistol-whipped by Paragon Shepard.
    • By extension, this is the appeal of many of the Renegade prompts, especially when the victim has it coming. There are several that even the staunchest Paragon players admit to taking because they're that's satisfying, as demonstrated by this comic of Nerf Now.
    • Just about EVERYONE agrees that Shepard gutting Kai Leng with his/her omni-blade is one of the most satisfying moments of the series.
  • In one of the School Days endings, Makoto Itou harshly calls out Otome and her horrible Girl Posse upon their continued abuse of Kotonoha- even grabbing the hand of the lass who's about to do the slapping part. Yeah, a lot of people say that Makoto is a selfish moron who thinks with his dick and all, but what people don't understand is that what Makoto does with the girls in the end depends on how well the game is played.
  • One of the options in the City of Heroes Mission "Your a Cruel One Mr. Phipps" is to break into Phipp's prison cell and beat the living shit out of him. Normally this would be bad but Westin Phipps is Complete Monster and a Smug Snake, so in this case it's pretty damn satisfying.
  • In The Elder Scrolls Four, during the Dark Brotherhood Questline, you get to kill Valen Dreth. Doesn't ring the proverbial bell? That was the Dunmer who was spewing acidic comments about your race at the very beginning of the game. You can even throw the "you're going to die in here" line right back in his face, much to his chagrin. And don't even get me started on Mraj'Dar.
    • Even more so if you play as dark elf. In that case he asks if you've got a wife back home in Morrowind. Of course you don't get to respond, be he says he'll look her up when he gets out and keep her company.
      • Better yet, a female dark elf, where he offers to rape you on the spot.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, King Zeppel of Mardra is constantly pursuing gaining magical might by any means; prior to your arrival, he used what power he'd already amassed to completely decimate the neighboring kingdom of Raguraz. However, said kingdom was responsible for his Start of Darkness, as they previously conquered Mardra and his Captain of the Guard threw Zeppel's best friend Lucia off a cliff and mocked him, openly challenging him to try and do something about it. Both Zeppel and Lucia were only eight at the time.
  • L.A. Noire: Jack Kelso gets a moment like this near the end of the game when he shoots Leland Monroe, corrupt property tycoon and conspirator, in the leg. Then stomps on the wound to make a point.
  • Strange Journey: Jimenez landing the final blow on Captain Jack, who you fight just before tackling the penultimate boss of Sector Fornax. What, you're going for Neutral or Law, but don't want to stop Jimenez because Jack deserves it? No problem, the writers know how horrible he is, because you get no alignment points for choosing to watch instead of intervening!
  • In Portal 2 Wheatley pulls this during his descent into villainy when he turns GLaDOS into a potato.
  • In Jade Empire, joining the Lotus Assassins requires either winning in the arena or preventing Judge Feng from interfering with the Lotus Assassins' plans. The Open Palm solution involves blackmailing Fang into resigning; while this would be an evil act, Feng is a Depraved Bisexual, albeit one who genuinely finds the Lotus Assassins reprehensible.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • This turns out to have been the Big Bad's motivation in Ace Attorney Investigations 2. No player really mourned Teikun O's double after finding out what he did. Hell, you even kinda admire the Big Bad for helping put Bansai Ichiyanagi behind bars. On the other hand, it's very much YMMV whether Ryoken threatening Marie Miwa's family is this or a case of Disproportionate Retribution.
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All, Matt Engarde hiring Shelley de Killer to kill Juan Corrida turns out to be a case of this, as Juan broke up with his fiancee merely because she had been dating Matt Engarde earlier, leading her to be Driven to Suicide.
  • In Fate/stay night, Shinji Matou is the son of a bitch in question. The first kick would be in Fate route where Ilya brutally killing him after Rider is beaten by Saber. Shirou is horrified; the rest of us just think Ilya is awesome. In Unlimited Blade Works; Gilgamesh gets to be the kicker, when he decided to make the Holy Grail out of Shinji. This was quite the effective kick that after all it's done, Shinji was so scared shitless that he actually quits being a Complete Monster and starts becoming more decent... as implied in the epilogue. And in Heaven's Feel Sakura's Face Heel Turn is marked by her beheading Shinji. In this case, the story doesn't really act like this was the wrong thing to do (he was midway through attempting to rape her, and has been raping her for many years) but it still marks the point where she decides FINE. FUCK IT. I'll be evil!
  • In Higurashi, Teppai's many deaths by Keiichi, Rena, and Shion, Rena killing Rina, and Shion killing Onryu count as such.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Sinfest The Devil turning resident holier-than-thou Jerkass Seymore into a demon-boy.
  • The Order of the Stick: Whether or not Vaarsuvius killing off the Black Dragons qualifies is something that the forums are still arguing about it, opinions ranging from "unforgivable villainy" to "righteous retribution." To elaborate, it isn't much about the death of the Black Dragon, but rather the way Vaarsuvius handled it: V used an epic spell called "Familicide" that killed all dragons related to that one, including unborn eggs and half-dragons, some of which proved to be good-aligned in a later comic - namely, the entire Draketooth clan.
    • It ties in to a more general moral question in D&D-style world. What are the rules for dealing with a species that have Exclusively Evil as the alignment-entry in the monster manual? Are any creatures like that who aren't a threat (yet) fair game for good guys?
      • Plus you know, OotS is all about Deconstruction and Reconstruction of D&D character alignments. Start of Darkness and regular comic #842 are prime examples of that.
        • It should be noted that, among the factors up for debate re: V's Familicide spell, is the fact that in one shot s/he eliminated a full quarter of the Black Dragon species.
    • Less ambiguous is V's Vigilante Execution of Daimyo Kubota, who was a Smug Snake that only moments before had murdered one of his own underlings and then bragged about exactly how he was going to get off Scot-free. You'd be hard-pressed to find a character more literally begging for a Karmic Death, but V only did it because he was bragging while Elan had him captive...
    • Also less ambiguous is Haley's murder of Crystal. Sure, cold-blooded murder is rarely a good thing, but it's hard to argue that she didn't have it coming. Especially if you've read Don't Split the Party, where Crystal was actively trying to kill Haley when they recovered Roy's body and made it absolutely clear that she would continue to do so. Rich Burlew explains in the commentary that, by dropping that sequence of strips from the online comic for pacing reasons, Haley's decision comes across a lot harsher but he didn't realise this at the time.
      • What's also interesting is Haley's discussion with Elan about this. Haley, who is "Chaotic Good...ish", decided to confess what she'd done to Elan, who is explicitly Chaotic Good, not good-"ish". Elan wasn't exactly approving, but he didn't condemn her for it, and he mentions that he feels better about it when Haley assures him she was really bad, and mentions she once saw Crystal headbutt an old woman into a coma.
      • For a while, there was also the question of whether or not Crystal would be raised - but when Crystal did re-appear in the story, Hayley eventually made her death more permanent.
    • Subverted twice by Elan. The first time when he catches up to his evil brother after being skewered by him, and his brother is left hanging off a ledge over a pit of monsters. After struggling to decide, he helps him up and captures him. The second time was just after Daimyo Kubota had given Elan every justification to kill him, then calmly says "I surrender," just before Elan carries through with that. Elan is visibly enraged by Kubota worming his way out of his comeuppance, but he can't bring himself to kill the man because Elan is strictly good. He does punch Kubota in the face, however.
    • And then Start of Darkness gave this to Xykon of all people. Rich didn't want to give him any kind of sympathetic background, but for all the evil he embraces with reckless abandon, it's hard not to cheer for him when he really gets on a roll, considering Wizards take a high-handed attitude towards Sorcerers just because their genetically-earned magic doesn't come with any means of control beyond self-control. Every Wizard Xykon takes down for the sake of being a petty, spiteful dick took just as bad an attitude towards him first, even considering him an idiot because he didn't learn his magic -- he didn't even have to learn magic to use it, so taking the high ground on that is, frankly, being an absurdly petty jerk.
    • Redcloak killing Tsukiko is thoroughly cold, callous and brutal, and makes it clear that the former is a ruthless villain... but really, the latter had it coming.
  • The webcomic Footloose has the Alpha Bitch Sparkle set up by faerie pirate Captain Kitty (after having been kidnapped by her and used as a serving wench), then Kitty shoots her with a magical gun, and has a gay male pirate watch over her so that when she tries to seduce/flirt her way out, she's humiliated even further. Oh, and Kitty plans on seducing Sparkle's ex-boyfriend just to drive the knife in deeper... and Sparkle's pretty much a nobody to Kitty so the ongoing Humiliation Conga is just for giggles.
  • In Errant Story, Ian's attempted genocidal smackdown of the Elves would seem to be a clear case of Disproportionate Retribution, driven by his own elf-induced personal drama and the ancient elf god he accidentally absorbed. But given that, with exactly two exceptions (Sarine and Misa), the elves have been uniformly portrayed as arrogant, bullying, borderline sociopathic bastards who have tried to enslave and/or commit genocide on every other race in their world, with particular focus on exterminating half-elves (like Ian) wherever and whenever they can. It's hard to muster much sympathy for such a planet of Jerk Asses.
    • The current elves might be arrogant and xenophobic, but it's not like they don't have their reasons. In that world's history, the elves originally lifted the humans out of barbarism, and loved the resulting half-elf children just as much as their own. Then several powerful half-elf mages went inexplicably insane, destroying a floating city and kicking off a decades-long war that nearly drove their race to extinction. It's stated that no one has ever figured out WHY this happens to half elves, or how to prevent or cure it. Hunting down and murdering innocent people just based on race is bad, yes, but it's at least understandable when these people are ticking time-bombs. And not every elf is a powerful mage or murderous assassin-ranger; many haven't even left their hidden city in centuries when Ian shows up on their doorstep with an army of time-ninjas and starts indescriminately slaughtering everyone in sight. Overall this seems much more like a case of gray-and-grey morality, or maybe well-intentioned extremist.
  • Misfile can have these occasionally. Missi gets excluded from an event? Of course, she's an annoying brat. Emily isn't getting her costume made by Missi? Why would she, the way she acts towards her? Pretty much every character in the comic has moments of being a complete ass, so who you sympathize with and who you wish would die simply boils down to who you identify with better.
    • Played less sympathetically with Sheldon. The guy recieves a Humiliation Conga complete with all his friends turning on him, his car being baddly battered and smashed up, and a particularly nasty kick in the balls ... but only because he forced Ash into a race with him, put down said friends as "just muscle" behind their backs (while gloating about how they could never be convinced that he looks down on them because they trust him), and later, when he loses his race, tries to frame Ash for bad behaviour by smashing up aforementioned car with a rock, and then claiming that Ash tried to come onto him the night of their meeting. Needless to say, Rumisiel's revealing the truth with a recording of Sheldon's very words, as well as Missy's aforementioned Groin Attack, were largely viewed as both characters' most shining moments to date.
  • This Bruno the Bandit strip: the eponymous criminal robs an old wizard, who has just spent ten minutes getting on the nerves of everyone else in the room. Instead of anyone trying to stop him, he gets applauded.
  • In General Protection Fault, Fred takes over Trent's body, forces him to sexually harass Sharon, go into a meeting almost completely naked while pretending to be a superhero named Wiley Wombat, and go out and expose himself in public, getting him arrested. While the cast complains about this and it comes back to haunt Fred when he's in court defending himself against Trent's libel lawsuit, Trent is a Smug Snake Jerkass so no one feels much sympathy for him.
  • In Girl Genius, after caging a copy of The Other within herself, nearly killing Zeetha, escaping Violetta and Higgs, and beating down Tarvek, Zola makes the mistake of hitting Agatha with a potentially lethal wound to the chest. Cue an Unstoppable Rage-fueled No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Tarvek. Nearly every poster in the comic's fan communities hoped he'd kill her, and the groans of frustration were so loud they practically echoed through the internet when Gil interfered.
  • This one from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
  • In Suicide for Hire, some of the customers of our Heroic Sociopath "heroes" come under this trope... The "asshole," and Domestic Abuser Tybalt Montlet. The deaths of the particularly deserving are not at all pretty.
  • In No Rest for The Wicked, a princess throws her shoes at Prince Ricardo, knocking him down and causing his horse to bolt and drag him for three leagues. This is an overreaction to being rejected... even for Mixed Metaphors... But then, Prince Ricardo aka "Picky Dick" has made a career about rescuing princesses and dumping them for equally trivial reasons. The Boy, finding him, asked whether some girl had beaten him up before he told his story, figuring that sooner or later some girl had to revolt at the treatment.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In Kate Modern, when Terrence knocked Lee down with a garden gnome. After everything Lee had done the past week, the scene was practically an Always a Bigger Fish moment.
  • Played for Laughs (just like everything else) in Kickassia when Channel Awesome (apart from The Nostalgia Chick who acted like The Starscream from the moment she saw power) did literally this to The Nostalgia Critic, after six episode of abusing his subordinates, stealing their ideas, bad management and trying to blow them all up. Depends on where he falls on the Sympathy scale for you, though.
    • Also done by the Critic himself when he defeats and plans to shoot Dr. Insano. Insano has killed, tortured, maimed, forced people to read Ultimate Warrior comics, and just seconds ago betrayed the team to demand that he be made ruler of Kickassia. Benzaie still tries to save him, though, because "That's still Spoony in there".
  • Wash's cold-blooded killing of South in Red vs. Blue. Wash is far from a shining white hero, but in most cases, he has immediate reasons to kill (or try to kill) people. In this case, South wasn't trying to kill him or anyone on the side of (sort of) good, and even her decision to sacrifice Delta to the Meta was more about trying to save her own life than hurting anyone else. On the flip side, she's also a chronic backstabber who had previously left Wash and her own brother to die. Wash survived, but North didn't.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Ben 10, there is an episode in which a teenage villainess, Charmcaster, is introduced working with her uncle Hex, who is rather abusive toward her throughout the episode, with a running line of Charmcaster's being "Yes, uncle" in a submissive tone. In the end of the episode, however, Charmcaster reveals she's only been using Hex for her own evil scheme and promptly knocks him out with her magic. While both Hex and Charmcaster are villains, it's very hard not to support Charmcaster on this matter.
    • Also, in Alien Force, Kevin refuses to Save the Villain, in this case the one who murdered his father, and lets him fall into the sun. A morally questionable act, but not one the audience is going to mind all that much.
      • Kevin is a mostly reformed villain, so when he kicks the dog, the show is examining the possibility of him returning to evil. He's expected to be more morally grey than Ben and Qwen, who might not be excused for such an act. A better example would be in the original series when Kevin kills Slix Vigma (who imprisoned members of different species and made them fight for kicks) by impaling him.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Long Feng manipulates the Earth King, controls Ba Sing Se from the shadows, holds Appa prisoner, brainwashes and kills Jet, and then collaborates with Azula to throw a coup d'état. When Azula turns on him and crushes his spirits with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, for once audiences can support what she's doing, regardless of how Eviler Than Thou she is, just because Long Feng getting his comeuppance is a much-desired event by this point.
  • In The Mr. Men Show when Miss Helpful and Miss Whoops are assembling dinosaur bones Miss Helpful had Miss Whoops eat her own words on "you're the trained professional" which ends with her in a load of hurt. Painful definitely but not as much as the pain both of them cause to Mr Bump.
  • Jason Todd unnecessarily breaking the collar bone of a drug dealer who fired at him in Batman: Under the Red Hood as an example of how Jason was already drifting toward the Dark Side. The guy was trying to kill him but he was already unarmed by the time Jason attacked him.
  • In Transformers Animated Longarm aka Shockwave frames Wasp for being a Decepticon spy. However, this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Wasp is a Jerk Jock and bully. Played with in that after he escapes from Autobot prison, you see how damaged he is, and he becomes a Jerkass Woobie.
    • When Sentinel was captured by Ramjet(Liar Starscream) the Autobots attempt to subdue him but they wind up hitting Sentinel in the process.
  • In Superman: Doomsday, the clone Superman murders the Toyman shortly after capturing him, as revenge for his murder of a young girl.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series episode Bane Batman reveals to Rupert Thorne that his aide was planning to kill him by playing a recording of her discussing it with Bane. Candance was also an arrogant bitch who played a fairly significant role in Harvey Dent's fall so she more than earned it.
  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible hurls his boss, Mr. Huph, through several walls, severely injuring him. But prior to that, they were watching a man get mugged, and Mr. Huph said "Let's hope we don't cover him!", threatening to fire Mr. Incredible if he tried to help, thereby ensuring that nobody would feel too sorry for him.
  • In American Dad, Steve gets back at his father by giving him a taste of his own medicine...calling in his old bully to beat the crap out of him. It's pretty much the one shining moment in an otherwise very disturbing episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is one of the few rare heroic examples. In the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down", Fluttershy begins her descent to Took a Level in Jerkass by splashing Mr. Green Hooves, her gardener who flooded her garden. She goes on to smack around a bunch of other Jerkass ponies who took advantage of her or abused her.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • This is typically the reaction people have when a notorious Serial Killer, rapist or pedophile is murdered or otherwise mutilated in prison. No one exactly shed any tears after Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death in the prison weight room, after all.
  • This mother who attacked her daughter's bully when she encountered him at the mall.