Revenge Before Reason
Joachim: We're all with you, sir. But consider this. We are free. We have a ship, and the means to go where we will. We have escaped permanent exile on Ceti Alpha V. You have defeated the plans of Admiral Kirk. You do not need to defeat him again.Khan Noonien Singh: He tasks me to! He tasks me, and I shall have him! I will chase him 'round the Moons of Nibia, and 'round the Antares Maelstrom, and 'round perdition's flames before I give him up.
Some people can be so filled with the need for Revenge, to the point of endangering themselves and others.
This is mainly a villain trope, not the least of which because the revenge tends to be Disproportionate Retribution cause by the most minuscule of Rant Inducing Slights. If the level of vengeance is taken to a downright ridiculous level, one may end up asking Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him rather than waste time and resources towards humiliating or torturing the person before killing them or making sure that they die horribly in some slow, easily escapable death trap.
Yet heroes can fall into this, showing that even they aren't immune to this flaw.
This includes cases where The Atoner is willing to make amends, or the character is vitally needed for some other good cause.
Anime and Manga
- Sasuke Uchiha of Naruto has allowed revenge to motivate almost every single action he takes. Everything he does in the first half and most of the second half of Naruto is done to become strong enough to face Itachi. These actions include charging in half-cocked to fight Itachi when he was nowhere near ready, getting excessively jealous when a "failure" starts surpassing him, Face Heel Turn-ing to the enemy, killing said enemy and absorbing his powers, and gathering his own team to help him. You would think that Sasuke might chill out a tiny bit after he finally succeeds, but nooooo. When Sasuke learns his (now late) older brother did everything he did for Sasuke's sake, he sets out on a whole new rampage of revenge, this one directed at the Leaf Village itself and the current aspirant for Hokage (Danzo) in particular. You know it's bad when Danzo, not exactly a saint himself, calls him on it and has a valid point. Gets even worse when he abandons his new team because he's too impatient to wait for them to catch up, and stabs through Karin simply because Danzo took her hostage and it was too much effort on his part to help her. Remember, she is his only medic at this point.
- Weirdly, he intends to keep a promise he made to Naruto about his revenge, namely that he'll fight and kill Naruto first, to the exclsion of all others.
- There's also Pain, who lost so many loved ones to ninja society that he set about to effectively destroy it so thoroughly people would be too scared to even consider making war. When that fear wore off, as Pain was certain it would, he would lather, rinse, repeat.
- It should also be noted that the cornerstone of Pain's beliefs and plan is that he thinks everyone acts like this.
- To his credit, Naruto himself is doing everything in his power to avert this lately. Despite his own desire for revenge on Pain for killing Jiraiya, and almost killing Hinata as well as killing many Leaf Villagers, Naruto is able to rein in his feelings and instead ultimately wins without killing him which pays off far better. Most recently he's been trying to get the Raikage to not try and kill Sasuke for attacking his brother.
- Speaking of which, the Raikage is perfectly willing to lose an arm (and a leg, but was stopped before that could happen) to achieve his revenge.
- However, he subverts/averts it later when he learns his brother is OK, and apparently decides to forget about Sasuke entirely.
- Sosuke Nekome, one of the main characters of Dennou Coil, is obsessed with ruining the MegaMass corporation for causing his father's death and ruining his reputation. He's willing to sacrifice anything or ultimately kill anyone who gets in the way of this plan, even the twelve-year-old protagonists Yasako and Isako. Fortunately his little brother does possess reason and Heel Face Turns in the final episode.
- In Bleach, Gin Ichimaru follows Aizen so he can learn how to kill him. Apparently, Gin came across Aizen's mooks after they took a piece of his childhood friend Rangiku's soul. He wanted revenge. For over a 100 years, Gin waited for the perfect moment! Aizen knew all along and was simply interested in what sGin would do. Then, when he FINALLY attacks, Aizen survives and kills him easily.
- Then there's Lockon Stratos (that is, Neil Dylandy), from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, whose whole motivation turns out to be revenge against the people who bombed his family. At one point, the terrorist leader who caused their deaths tries to divide the Gundam Meisters by telling Lockon that his teammate Setsuna used to belong to his group; Lockon points his gun at Setsuna and says (paraphrased) "I know you couldn't have done it, but just let me shoot you so I can feel better."
- Later on, he goes out in a badly damaged Gundam and missing one eye because the aforementioned terrorist was on the battlefield and he refused to let the guy get away in the time it would have taken to fix the Gundam and regenerate his lost eye. Which ends up causing Lockon's death because the guy picks up on his new blind spot and exploits it, despite a sterling Determinator attempt by Lockon to take him along for the ride.
- An earlier Gundam example is Kamille Bidan, of Zeta Gundam, who in the first episode gets himself thrown into military prison for attacking a Titan, and then beaten up for physically assaulting a military police officer, in both cases because of ultimately petty reasons. Even his Gundamjack, which goes on to cause him so much misery, is motivated by pointless revenge—he initially climbs into the cockpit, breaking into a military base to do so, in order to intimidate the MP officer who beat him up.
- Lelouch from Code Geass. His revenge not only leads to millions of deaths, despite what happens in the end, but also screws up more of his plans than they should have been.
- In Dragonball Z, Frieza could have chosen to escape, but he spends his remaining energy trying to get rid of Goku
- This also crosses into fantastic racism, Frieza is so shocked that he was defeated by a member of the monkey race, Sayians, that he can't accept that he is defeated even with missing an arm and the lower half of his body.
- Another, very chilling, example is Super Saiyan 2 Gohan willfully prolonging his Curb Stomp Battle against Cell, partly for this trope, and party for his own sadistic amusement. It backfires spectacularly, as Cell suffers an epic Villainous Breakdown and attempt a Suicide Attack that could've destroyed the whole Earth, had his father Goku not stepped in sacrificed himself for the sake of everyone, which ultimately failed.
- Sentinel 3, AKA the "Avenging Sentinel" from Franken Fran becomes addicted to vengeance even setting up his own non-combat allies to be killed just to have excuse for it because the act of vengeance feels really good. And it's not like this or like that, just knowing you're avenging someone even someone you set up to die in the first place produces that same kind of high.
- Guts from Berserk. He and his lover Casca were the sole survivors of the dreaded Eclipse which was caused by their former friend and leader, Griffith, selling them and all of their comrades in the Band of the Hawk out to the Godhand in order to become a demon lord so that he could fulfill his life-long dream after a year of crippling torture. To make a long and sad story short, neither Guts nor Casca come out unharmed or intact. After the event, and though all that they had left were each other, Guts was so embroiled in his rage and grief over what happened to them that he left Casca in the care of Godot, Erica, and Rickert after only a few weeks in order to pursue revenge against Griffith, the Apostles and the Godhand, which apart from leading Guts to Take A Level In Jerkass during those two years certainly did not help Casca's post-Eclipse condition at all. It is only after getting a serious What the Hell, Hero? speech from Godot about this two years after this that Guts finally starts getting his act together again.
- Master of Martial Hearts has the villains take Revenge before Reason, common sense, sense of decency and even basic logic.
- The defining trait of One Piece villain Hody Jones. Despite having never suffered from it firsthand, he craves revenge against the human race for crimes against Fishmen and Merfolk and will do anything to achieve it. This anything includes sabotaging attempts by other characters to reconcile and live peacefully with humans so they can continue to justify themselves.
- Ranma ½'s Ryoga Hibiki. He left his home, his school and everything else to try to get revenge on Ranma for "breaking a man-to-man promise" and abandoning a challenge which Ryoga was ludicrously late for. The original reason for the fight? Ranma had cut in front of him in line at the school tuckshop. Okay, a fair few times, but...
- Of course, with his sense of direction Ryoga couldn't have stayed in one place anyway, so he might have figured that if he's going to be Walking the Earth anyway he might as well try to get revenge on Ranma. Fanon is that his sense of directing grew worse as he got older, explaining his ability to attend school in the first place, so he would have had to drop out of school and abandon having a permanent home sooner or later anyway.
- Engi from Yumekui Merry starts sliding into this in her pursuit of Heracles, willing to risk the life of her vessel, Yui, and going against her friends if it means avenging her sister.
- When Hal Jordan came back from the dead some of the people he tried to kill prior to his death wanted revenge. This trope comes into play when you consider that they discover upon his resurrection that Jordan had been possessed by a cosmic parasite and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
- The Yves Rodier finished version of Tintin and the Alph-Art has Rastapapolous so willing to kill the titular character (who continuously screwed up his plans and operations) that his plan to do so would also inevitably lead to killing himself in the process.
- In All Fall Down, this motivates Pronto into selling out his friends to get his powers back.
- Beautifully subverted in Sin City: Hell and Back. When mob boss Wallenquist hears that one of his operations was completely shut down by an ex-soldier, his subordinates start making plans to track and kill the guy. Instead, Wallenquist points out that there's no profit in revenge and no point in pursuing a fight with someone who's leaving town anyway. He may be a Complete Monster, but he knows what's in his own best interest.
- Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan. Khan flies into an obvious trap just for the chance to get Kirk.
- Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact. He gets over it.
- In the new Star Trek, Captain Nero is like this.
- In an overlap with Cut Lex Luthor a Check, he could have just taken his ship to Romulus after escaping from the Klingons (Deleted Scene), even after capturing Spock. Then he could have given the future tech to his people, and they could have taken on the Federation and the Klingon Empire, thus assuring the safety he wanted.
- He probably would have beforehand, except that some time between Kirk's birth and the rest of the movie he got captured by Klingons and his crew had to rescue him.
- In Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko wants revenge on Tony Stark for the Sins of Our Fathers; his father Anton Vanko invented the original Arc Reactor alongside Tony's father, Howard Stark, but Howard Stark had him accused of spying and deported. Needless to say, Ivan is pissed off, but his desire to get personal revenge on Tony Stark for what his father did blinds him. He invents his own personal reactor for a suit of his own and attacks Tony in public, trying to discredit him and his claims that no one else can match his own technology. Shortly afterward, when Tony defeats him, he comments on Vanko's pursuit of personal revenge over simply selling the reactor to anyone who wants it and making a huge profit. Later, when Justin Hammer busts Vanko out of prison, he explains that Vanko is approaching revenge all wrong, and says that instead of attacking the man personally, one should attack his legacy, and arranges for Vanko to create an army of "Hammer Drones" that are intended to make Stark's Iron Man technology obsolete. Vanko goes along with it at first, apparently, but ultimately sabotages the drones and War Machine, takes control of the whole lot, and tries to kill Tony again.
- Then again, Justin Hammer is a Big Bad Wannabe Smug Snake who just wouldn't SHUT UP about how things should be done, didn't bring Vanko his burd from Russia and, seeing he's an Corrupt Corporate Executive, he would have most likely killed Vanko once his drones outdid Tony's suit. Plus, Vanko was never intending on earning profit or making the drones for Hammer. He just wanted to kill Tony, preferrably in the most epic way ever.
- In the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, after downing the mutagen and transforming into Super Shredder, Shredder becomes so fixated on killing the Turtles that he doesn't realize that the bridge they're under is falling apart. But then when told so, he's beyond caring.
Leo: Shredder, you gotta listen to reason! You're gonna destroy us all!
Super Shredder: Then so be it!
- In the film (and Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode) Sidehackers, the protagonist Rommel, finds out that the Big Bad, J.C., is hiding in a rock quarry planning an ambush for him. Rather than sending word to the police where J.C. (who is wanted for murdering Rommel's fiancee) is, he goes ahead with his original plan to confront and kill J.C. It doesn't end well.
- The protagonist of the Joshuu Sasori series is so hell-bent on revenge that she pursues her list of targets leaving the worst for last because she knows exactly where it'll get her: he's a detective, and she attacks and kills him in the police station where he works. Sure enough, the final shot of the film shows her re-entering the prison.
- In Michael Mann's Heat, this is what eventually brings master thief Neil McCauley down. He's literally on the way to the airport with his girlfriend, ready to catch a private jet to retirement in New Zealand, but he gets a phone call letting him know where the guy who ratted him out to the cops (and tortured one of his friends to death) is staying. He just can't leave without paying the guy a visit...and it turns out the cops have got him staked out for just that reason.
- Captain Ahab of Moby Dick endangers his life and crew to chase a white whale whom he believes bit his leg off out of pure spite.
Starbuck: Vengeance on a dumb brute! That simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous...
Ahab: Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then I could do the other.
- This is what leads to Liu Bei's downfall in Romance of the Three Kingdoms after Guan Yu is killed, leading to a Heroic BSOD, and prime minister Zhuge Liang's advice on priorities is ignored; the resultant failed attempt at revenge costs his sworn brother Zhang Fei's life, the ruination of his army by Lu Xun's fire attack, his own health (and eventually life), any realistic hope of an alliance between the kingdoms of Shu-Han and Wu, and the ascension of the throne of his easily manipulated son Liu Chan.
- The Sponsor in Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations has a little of this. First by maliciously deleting from history the temporal agent who attempted to identify him (rewriting the timeline so she was never born) and then, when other agents were nonetheless able to use her last, shielded transmission to find him, having this to say:
"If that revenge backfired and led to my arrest, then all the more need for the revenge itself to stand".
- Throughout the Star Trek Novel Verse, Bajorans are prone to holding grudges and vendettas long past the point of reason; this is particularly noteworthy in the Terok Nor series. In the first book, their stubborn commitment to stewing over wrongs both real and imagined becomes a fatal flaw when Dukat decides it's the perfect means of controlling them. All he has to do is fan the flames of their anger against a preferred target, and they'll be too angry and focused to see his agenda unfolding around them.
- In the Iron Druid Chronicles the Norse god Thor is such a Jerk Jock that he makes mortal enemies wherever he goes. After Thor killed the family of the Viking Leif, Leif became a vampire and then spent the next thousand years preparing his revenge. By the time he is ready, he has become the most powerful vampire in North America. Whether he succeeds or fails the outcome of his attack on Thor will have profound repercussions in the supernatural world with a massive vampire war being the least of the problems. He does not care for the consequences as long as he gets a chance to kill Thor.
- In World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness novelization, this is revealed to be a major reason for The Horde's defeat during its war with The Alliance. During the Horde's siege of Lordaeron's capital, the Evil Sorcerer Gul'dan, whose Shadowmoon Clan as well as Cho'gall's Twilight's Hammer clan have been left in reserve, due to Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer not trusting them, decides that now is the time to break with the Horde and sail for the island on which he has found the Tomb of Sargeras. After discovering this, Orgrim is facing a dilemma: he can either send forces to punish Gul'dan and all the other traitors, which would leave him unable to break through Lordaeron's gates and raze the city, or raze the city but leave the traitors unpunished. He decides to go with the former, sending the Blackrock Clan, constituting a full third of the Horde's strength, to obliterate the two renegade clans. With the Alliance army approaching, Orgrim has to cut and run, retreating to his fortress in Blackrock Spire. Meanwhile, the Blackrock Clan clashes with the Twilight's Hammer Clan and slaughters them all, although sustaining plenty of casualties, while the Shadowmoon Clan is destroyed by the demonic guardians of the Tomb. On the way back to the mainland, the orc transport ships are ambushed by the Kul Tiras fleet commanded by Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, and most of the transports are sunk. Basically, not only does this decision cost Doomhammer the city, but he ends up losing so many warriors that he ends up losing the war in short order.
Live Action TV
- On Supernatural, all of the Winchesters are hell-bent on taking out the demons who have destroyed their family, but John and Sam are particularly scary and self-destructive about it. Particularly notable in season four, when Sam's quest to kill Lilith, the demon who laughed as her hounds tore Dean apart and dragged him to hell, leads the poor kid down a path that ensures he fulfills his own greatest fears about himself. And brings about The End of the World as We Know It killing her in an attempt to prevent the Apocalypse.
- On 24, Gael's wife shoots Saunders despite him being the only person who can stop the outbreak of a deadly virus.
- Another example: Curtis tries to kill Fayed, leading to Jack being forced to shoot him.
- Victor Drazen could have escaped the country if he wasn't so busy trying to kill Jack.
- In The Storyteller, the retelling of Daedalus' story presents him as falling into this. After terrible actions in the past (causing the deaths of his nephew and son), Daedalus had a chance to atone when he befriended the young prince and princess at a court. However, when he is blackmailed by King Minos into building the Labyrinth, he throws away that chance by his terrible revenge on Minos- rigging his bath to boil him alive. The story indicates that with that revenge, Daedalus essentially froze his heart, and he dies alone, a broken man.
- Both played straight and averted by Ryu Terui/Accel in Kamen Rider Double. While he goes berserk when he sees the Weather Dopant or even hears about him, he is otherwise kept in check by Shotaro's intervention and his own conscience.
- On How I Met Your Mother Marshall once pointed out that Barney, while eating a meatball sub, had gotten some marinara sauce on his tie, then chuckled a little at it. Barney considers this the most humiliating moment of his life, and is determined to get revenge by tricking Marshall into eating an exploding meatball sub. He spends months designing the exploding sub, and actually waits ten years before he gets Marshall to eat it; Barney pretends to be dying (he even spends thousands of dollars on medical treatments for a disease he doesn't have) and says that Marshall eating the sub is his last wish. Then the sub explodes in Marshall's face, Barney laughs ... and Ted points out that Barney got another bit of marinara sauce on his tie.
- Eminem's 1 Shot 2 Shot fully acknowledges the fact that bullets are flying everywhere as people engage in a shoot out, even leaving their wives and girlfriends in harm's way to go get a gun so they can return fire. Something of a sub-culture specific example of Honor Before Reason, as well, as the culture expects one to fight back when shot at.
- Exalted: So. Let's say that you are the ghost of a First Age god-king, who has been empowered by the dead gods that once ruled Creation to go out and drag the whole place screaming into the maw of Oblivion. They have power over you that is paramount, and do not show favor to those who screw up. So what have you spent the last several years doing? You've been tracking down the reincarnations of the people who tormented you in the First Age, and making their lives hell over and over again. You have let plans that could put a serious cold sore on Creation's lips, including a zombie plague, char on the back burner because you are so busy fucking over the people who tormented you millennia ago. You are Eye and Seven Despairs, and you are, in the eyes of your colleagues, utter dogshit.
- In Warhammer Fantasy Battle the Dwarves. Every time. They are determined to avenge every slight, and never, ever forgive. And just to make sure they don't forget either, they have a giant book called the Book of Grudges in which they write them all down. They're currently going slowly extinct, and a fair amount of the blame goes to their refusal to cooperate with the other races because at some point in centuries past they were wronged by them. That, and their literal inability to stop taking revenge. Every time they take revenge, and lose a dwarf doing it? Write it down in the book.
- Just about every murder in Ace Attorney is a result of this trope. For example, Manfred von Karma's reaction to his rival pointing out an inconsistency in his argument, resulting in his first court penalty was to murder said rival and raise the rival's son--Miles Edgeworth--as a prosecuting attorney obsessed with getting guilty verdicts.
- That isn't the half of it, either; the rest of his reaction is to wait 15 years, then frame Edgeworth for the murder of someone related to the case. And, since Edgeworth thinks that he accidentally killed his father, even if he is acquitted, he'll confess to von Karma's crime. A third person was thought sort-of guilty, no one was investigating further, and von Karma would have gotten off scot-free if he didn't try to frame Edgeworth. Reason is very low on his list, if it's on there at all.
- In the third Quest for Glory game, Rakeesh tries to convince the king not to declare war because of the dissapearance of his (Rakeesh's) daughter, knowing that there are demons involved and starting a war is what the demons want:
"Revenge for the sake of revenge is pointless. Mindless revenge is pure stupidity."
- Assassin Asha in Iji. He also accuses Iji of the same, as she really wants to kill him for attacking and possibly killing Dan.
- The player is free to subvert this by ignoring Asha's challenge, which leads to Asha's suicide.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Asha is far more of a Honor Before Reason character. Considering that he refuses to dodge shotgun blasts, gets revenge BECAUSE you insult his honour, and commits suicide if you refuse to fight him? Iosa on the other hand... Iji can reason with her, but she just hates the Tasen far too much because of what happened to her.
- The player is free to subvert this by ignoring Asha's challenge, which leads to Asha's suicide.
- In Fire Emblem, Raven is thrown in a jail cell with some Caelin soldiers and his best friend/servant, Lucius. He then betrays them to fight for the enemy in hopes that he could kill your main lord, Hector of Ostia. No matter how much evidence is presented that Hector is innocent of the crime Raven pins him with and no matter how often his friend and sister tell him to give it up, he's quite willing to throw his life on the line to try and take a chunk out of him.
- Touhou gives us Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou, two immortal girls who are perpetually trying to kill each other despite knowing that they can't die. The reason behind their feud is pretty pathetic too; it's all because Kaguya humiliated Mokou's father centuries ago.
- Many fans suspect the main reason is really just to alleviate their immense boredom, and the loneliness that comes from outliving everyone except each other.
- Chloe in Tales of Legendia. During her the main game, her primary motivation is justice. However, justice soon turns to revenge when confronted with person who killed her parents. Later in game during the Character Quests, Chloe's want for revenge upon learning identity of killer, to the point where she stabs and leaves for death Senel and tries to kill the swordsmen in front of his daughter who she has gotten close to and sees her as a sister. Luckily, she grabs a hold of her senses when she almost kills said daughter who stands in her way from harming her father.
- Tech Kraken, pupil of the late Hero Antagonist Phantom in the Mega Man Zero series. Knowing that Zero retired Phantom before the end of the first game, Kraken decided to join Dr. Weil's army to get revenge on Zero. He openly stated that he doesn't care about the repercussions of working under a Complete Monster like Weil, because he just wants to avenge his mentor. Fortunately, Kraken loses all of his desire for revenge after his final defeat in Zero's hands, and gives Zero his blessing in defeating Dr. Weil once and for all.
- In God of War III, Kratos is so completely blinded by his desire to kill Zeus and eventually all the gods, he refuses to listen to other people who tell them that, like, maybe killing the sun in pursuit of Zeus wouldn't be such for a good thing for the world at large. Nope, he's got to have his vengeance! Eventually however he starts to see the consequences of his actions and chooses to sacrifice himself to give the power of hope to humanity in an attempt to salvage the world he obliterated.
- In Mass Effect 2, Zaeed wants the head of Vido Santiago on a pike in the worst way. The two started the Blue Suns merc group together. Vido wanted to hire Batarians because they were cheaper, but Zaeed considered them a little too hardcore. Vido circumvents Zaeed by betraying him and shooting him in the face. Zaeed attempts to get his revenge later with the help of Commander Shepard, but ends up endangering the lives of innocent refinery workers in the process. A Paragon player can go so far as to deck Zaeed across the face in a What the Hell, Hero? diatribe, and deprive Zaeed of his revenge attempt and save the plant workers instead. Renegade players can go along with Zaeed's Revenge Before Reason spree.
- The Paragon option works because you make it look like you were going to leave him there like he would have the other people. He calms down a bit. Enough so that he won't get himself killed on the Suicide Mission.
- This political stance in the Quarian fleet regarding the Geth is personified by Admiral Han'Gerrel.
- In Soul Calibur 3, Setsuka vows to take revenge upon the man that defeated her father in a duel, which accidentally gave him an infection that killed him. Despite the fact that his dying words were that the swordsman was a good, honorable man, and that she should not hold a grudge against him.
- In Persona 4, the Protagonist is given the opportunity to kill Taro Namatame for being responsible for Nanako's death. However, if the Player chooses not to give in to this and ponders the option that Namatame is not the true killer, not only does Nanako gets better, but her father (after getting some time to cool off) will piece together the evidence himself and doubts Namatame's (who turns out to be a well intentioned Unwitting Pawn given false leads) actual guilt.
- The Boss in Saints Row 2 drives the Brotherhood boss Maero into this throughout a Cycle of Revenge story arc. The Boss makes precise and sometimes lucrative strikes against Maero, who lashes out with any heavy vehicles and weapons at his disposal, going so far as to assault and threaten city officials to do it. Eventually the Boss loses reason enough to charge into a trap set by Maero.
- Near the end of the game when the Boss is given the opportunity to confront Julius, he/she does it with no hesitation. Even when Julius points out why he tried to kill him/her at the end of the first game to prevent more bloodshed, the Boss just laughs in his face before gunning him down.
- Likewise in Saints Row 3 if you decide to go after Killbane which ultimately results in the death of two long standing Saint's members.
- Dragon Age Origins has a heroic example: If you choose to spare Loghain at the Landsmeet, Alistair will permanently leave the party. However, it's possible to get him to stay as King of Ferelden and save Loghain's life if you take proper precautions. If so, by Dragon Age II he'll calmed a bit about this, though he's still quite bitter towards Loghain.
- If you don't carry over the save game from Origins into Dragon Age II, you are given three choices for the outcome of the first game. The default choice has Loghain survive and Alistair become king.
- In Dragon Age II, Vengeance—the former spirit of Justice twisted by Ander's rage directed at the Templars—embodies this. Over the course of the game Anders/Vengeance cares less about true justice and more about making the Templars pay for oppressing mages, regardless of who gets hurt.
- Ironically, in the endgame, if you refuse to kill Anders, Sebastian will swear to raise an army and burn Kirkwall to the ground in revenge for the destruction of the Chantry, rather than reserving his revenge for Anders and Hawke, despite having just condemned Anders for killing innocent people.
- Prototype, where Alex Mercer kills countless people to get revenge on the people who turned him into what he is, overturning their operations whenever he finds an opportunity. As a direct consequence, Manhattan becomes a war-zone. This is, of course, one of the few things remaining from the original Mercer, whose corpse was reanimated after he died trying to take the rest of the world down with him.
- It's a something of a theme now; in Prototype 2, Heller's motive is to get revenge on Alex for 1) wreaking so much havoc on New York (indirectly killing Heller's family, who were caught in the crossfire of the first game) and 2) turning Heller into a creature like Alex, making him immortal when all he wanted was to die.
- Lord Horribus from Sluggy Freelance wants revenge on Torg bad (well, technically he wants redemption for having let Torg escape, but they both come down to tearing Torg into tiny, meaty bits). He proves willing to sacrifice the demons's entire invasion attempt just for the chance of killing Torg.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Ms. Damico kidnaps two people who cost her some money. Petey, a near-godlike AI who can wage war on whole galaxies, offers to buy his friends' freedom for 25 times the amount Damico lost. She refuses, instead demanding "satisfaction".
- In a (technically) heroic example, this trope is the only thing that can make Tagon say Screw the Money, I Have Rules. When he's offered a huge fee to rescue Xinchub from certain death, he refuses, because he and his soldiers hate Xinchub so much.
- In Get Medieval, crimelord Broat personally flies out to the backwater planet his deposed rival Torquel Hane is stranded on (France in 15th century Earth, to be exact) to personally kill, rather leave him stuck somewhere he has no ability or desire to leave. Why? Because Torquel wasn't suffering enough.
- David Xanatos of Gargoyles always defied this trope, believing that revenge is a sucker's game.
- This in contrast to may characters like Demona and MacBeth (and even most of the heroes on the occasions their Berserk Buttons are pushed) who often fall right into this.
- In the Turtles Forever animated movie, the 2003 Shredder, after being beaten so many times by his Turtles and discovering The Multiverse, decides to go to the source (the Mirage comics universe) and destroy all reality. He doesn't seem to care that this would kill him as well.
- Depth Charge from Beast Wars is a Maximal driven by an all-consuming need to take revenge on the sadistic Rampage, who personally killed and ate the all of the former's friends for a laugh. He'll blow off any order if Rampage is anywhere nearby.
- In the Grand Finale, Depth Charge finally corners Rampage and stabs his spark with an energon stake, knowing full well this will result in an Earth Shattering Explosion he can't survive. On the other hand, this results in Dinobot II regaining the memories and nobility of the original and turning on Megatron at the crucial moment.
- Courtney spends much of the latter half of Total Drama World Tour sabotaging her own team to get revenge on Gwen as well as Duncan who was her boyfriend at the time for kissing behind her back.
- Invader Zim. The writers point out that the only reason he hasn't taken over the world is because he gets caught up in pointless battles like finding out if Dib threw that muffin at his head during lunch by hooking him up to a mind control machine and making him live out a vivid, decades-long fantasy life.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Jimmy the "Jazz Man" was more focused on making sure Gorden is killed than getting out of Gotham and laying low.
- And in the film, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm we have Andrea.
Andrea: I'm not saying it's right or even sane, but it's all I have left, so either help me or get out of the way!
- Arcee's obsession with Airachnid in Transformers Prime is made of this, since the latter was the one who killed her partner Tailgate. This also applies with Starscream after she finds out he was the one who killed Cliffjumper. Fortunately by the end of "Partners", she was able to put her desire for revenge behind her.
- As of Crossfire, she swerved right back into it.
- This is Dan's bread and butter.
- and in the original movie version, brutally raping and murdering her