History KarmaHoudini / LiveActionTV

28th Jan '16 9:32:20 AM bwburke94
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** Russel Winters in the pilot "City Of..." openly brags about being a KarmaHoudini who can, as he puts it, "do whatever I want". Then Angel asks him "Can you fly?" Unlike some movie vampires, he can't, especially not in the sunlight.
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** Russel Russell Winters in the pilot "City Of..." openly brags about being a KarmaHoudini who can, as he puts it, "do whatever I want". Then Angel asks him "Can you fly?" Unlike some movie vampires, he can't, especially not in the sunlight.
27th Nov '15 9:40:41 PM HighCrate
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That belongs under Laser Guided Karma.
** Possibly the biggest Karma Houdini in history occurs in the episode "The Survivors" where it eventually transpires that an immortal superalien named Kevin [[DisproportionateRetribution accidentally, in a moment of pure rage, killed all fifty billion members]] of the race that killed his (human) wife. He feels bad about it but not bad enough that he doesn't create a fantasy version of his wife to carry on as if it never happened. In the circumstances, though, it's understandable that Picard's response is to go "Yikes" and get as far away from him as possible. At the same time, we are not shown any other superbeings (e.g. the Q Continuum, Organians) punishing him for this.
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** Possibly the biggest Karma Houdini in history occurs in ** In the episode "The Survivors" where it eventually transpires that an immortal superalien named Kevin [[DisproportionateRetribution accidentally, in a moment of pure rage, killed all fifty billion members]] of the race that killed his (human) wife. He feels bad about it but not bad enough that he doesn't create a fantasy version of his wife to carry on as if it never happened. In the circumstances, though, it's understandable that Picard's response is to go "Yikes" and get as far away from him as possible. At the same time, we are not shown any other superbeings (e.g. the Q Continuum, Organians) punishing him for this.

** Majorly averted for the Cardassians. They have a long history to the point it could be said that evil has been ingrained into their species. Cardassians occupied Bajor for 60 years, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration tortured Captain Picard]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine kidnapped O'Brien]] to be murdered in a KangarooCourt as a political maneuver, terrorized colonies that a treaty put in their territory, thereby giving rise to [[CreateYourOwnVillain the Maquis]], went TheQuisling by joining the Dominion against the rest of the Alpha Quadrant, and, oh yeah, one of 'em tried to release evil gods from [[SealedEvilInACan their can]]. [=DS9=] ends with Cardassia wrecked, their having been on the receiving end of DayOfTheJackboot for a change.
24th Nov '15 9:41:21 PM MikeW
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* For the first six seasons of ''Series/TheShield,'' Vic Mackey was a master of this. No matter who he robbed, who he killed, the gang wars he set off, the countless cases he ruined, the innumerable ways he broke the law, he managed to avoid being caught, being found out, being prosecuted and such. In the series finale, it looks like Vic is about to get away with it again as he cuts a deal with the Feds, confessing his mountain of misdeeds without any chance of prosecution ''and'' getting a cushy FBI job out of it as well... ** And then it's ''completely subverted'': [[spoiler: his best friend Shane kills his own wife, son and himself. Vic's wife cuts her own deal to get away from him, filing for divorce and making it clear Vic will never see their children again. And Vic discovers that rather than back on the streets, his job is nothing but an office drone, pushing pencils with his supervisor breathing down his neck every single day for three years (after which he can never be held accountable for his crimes) and quite obviously goading him into doing something to break the deal and get sent right to jail. And if, by some miracle, Vic does last the three years? Then the FBI is going to cut him loose with his record known and thus no law enforcement agency is going to touch such an infamously dirty cop. The show ends with Vic, the master of Karma Houdini stuck in his own private IronicHell]]
21st Nov '15 6:14:18 PM gsbr
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* Ian Quinn from ''Series/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' appears to be becoming one of these. Last seen escaping at the end of the first season with his prized gravitonium, he has not been mentioned since, and it seems unlikely that he will return to face his comeuppance.
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* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': Ian Quinn from ''Series/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' appears to be becoming one of these. Last seen escaping at the end of the first season with his prized gravitonium, he has not been mentioned since, and it seems unlikely that he will return to face his comeuppance.

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* Ian Quinn from ''Series/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' appears ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Senator Joseph Cray stages a hostage situation to be becoming one of these. Last seen escaping at assure his ascension to president and then attempts to kill his hostages after the end of Suicide Squad mistakenly attempts to rescue him. When his plan is thwarted, he simply bribes the first season with his prized gravitonium, he hostages to remain silent and has not been mentioned since, and it seems unlikely that he will return [[spoiler:Floyd Lawton]], who sacrificed himself to face his comeuppance.save everybody, framed for what happened.
21st Nov '15 6:02:26 PM gsbr
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* Ian Quinn from ''Series/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' appears to be becoming one of these. Last seen escaping at the end of the first season with his prized gravitonium, he has not been mentioned since, and it seems unlikely that he will return to face his comeuppance.
8th Nov '15 11:38:00 AM surgoshan
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* At the start of the eleventh season of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', a newly retired Agent Booth [[spoiler: gets involved in a multimillion dollar heist]] in order to protect his brother from the latter's gambling debts. There are several murders at the scene and later deaths, and Booth ends up in the hospital (again. With a bullet wound. Again.) The episode ends with both Booth and Brennan realizing that they are simply not built for retirement. For Brennan, this isn't really a problem, but Booth ends up back in his old job at the FBI without any questions asked about his role in a series of felonies.
8th Oct '15 4:12:22 AM rafi
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* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' ** Lily breaks Ted up with numerous girlfriends, and the most she gets is a telling off. Tends to happen whenever she does something wrong. *** Also, she racked up a huge amount of credit card debt by compulsively buying designer clothes, forcing Marshall to take a corporate job he hated to help pay off her debt. Everybody (including Marshall) forgave her quickly for this. To make things even worse, when Marshall suggested that Lily sell some of her designer clothes to help pay the bills, she actually had the nerve to get mad at him. ** It might be because Ted is the narrator, and is therefore a little bitter, but the impression is certainly there that Tony, the man for whom Stella left Ted at the altar, took the notable points of Ted and Stella's relationship and twisted them to make Ted (or 'Jed') appear a petty, egocentric asshole in his movie "The Wedding Bride". This paints Stella as the houdini as well given that most of the details could only have come from her. In a series that generally gives characters what they deserve, this grates. ** In an episode Marshall is tricked by a boy that trap him on the roof and steal his cellphone. So he gives a party in the Marshall's house, sexting an oblivious Lily and, at the end, he get also money from her before she discover all.
5th Oct '15 7:08:32 AM rafi
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** [[Spoiler: As of episode "The Wall," we can probably remove Sylar from the Karma Houdini list. Several years (relative time) of complete and utter isolation? When solitary confinement can be used as a means of torture just over the course of days? And when you add in the fact that they listed his single worst fear as being alone forever and then having his arch-rival stuck in his head? Yeah, we can argue Sylar is getting his payback.]]
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** [[Spoiler: [[spoiler: As of episode "The Wall," we can probably remove Sylar from the Karma Houdini list. Several years (relative time) of complete and utter isolation? When solitary confinement can be used as a means of torture just over the course of days? And when you add in the fact that they listed his single worst fear as being alone forever and then having his arch-rival stuck in his head? Yeah, we can argue Sylar is getting his payback.]]
5th Oct '15 7:07:24 AM rafi
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Sylar was very popular with the fans, not a Creator Pet.
* ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'': Megan Parker regularly fulfills this role. The one time she was ''actually'' punished, it was a case of NotMeThisTime. * ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': ** Anyone who is responsible for the BodyOfTheWeek is never seen facing any punishment. The worst cases are homophobic teenagers who assault a gay couple (killing one of them), a burglar who shoots the man he is robbing (which was completely pointless, since the victim was tied and gagged, and the bastard could have simply wore a mask to hide his identity), and the AlphaBitch owning the caretaking company opposing the Fishers, who kills a bystander with a golf ball, without ever noticing it. [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse None of them are seen caught, and just leave the show]]. ** Also Jake, the creepy hitchhiker. Sure, he gets caught, but he traumatized David by beating, drugging, stalking, and almost killing him. For the rest of the series, David is still scattered by the event and even seeing Jake in jail (who doesn’t seem very annoyed by his condition) doesn’t make him feel better. * ''Series/DarkShadows'': Laura Collins, a phoenix-like being who appears every hundred years and then burns herself to death, preferring to take any offspring with her. She's prevented from killing her son David, but still presumably goes on to try again every hundred years. * ''Series/LawAndOrder'': Several of the defendants manage to wriggle out of well-deserved punishments. Uncoincidentally, most of those who do are [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney filthy rich]]. * ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' doesn't let this happen often. If a criminal does get off, they're usually going to have a VigilanteExecution performed on them five seconds later. ** In "Sick", Billy Tripley, a rich pedophile isn't punished because the ''other'' villains' actions make the case impossible to prosecute. The episode actually ends with the frustrated squad vowing to get him eventually, but the story was never revisited. ** A good (and not rich) [=SVU=] example is Darius. He sets up ThePlan to seek revenge on his family and ensure that he gets away with at least one murder. He still fully expects to go to jail, but he knows he won't get nearly as much time as he should. In the end he is found not guilty and walks away scot-free. That said, it was a PyrrhicVictory, as revelations from the trial - namely that Darius was a product of father/daughter rape - left Darius even more emotionally screwed up than before. ** Another example is in "Valentine's Day" when the supposed victim is accused of using sex to lure an unsuspecting male into setting up a false kidnapping, so she could collect the ransom money herself. During a break in the court case, we see her approach one of the jury members in a stairwell, and surprise surprise, the case ends in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The ADA subsequently tells the squad that her boss probably won't let her pursue the case any further, as the evidence is a sketchy at best and the defendant is too sympathetic. ** A couple's daughter was kidnapped, so they adopted another little girl, dressed her in the original daughter's clothes, dyed her hair, gave her plastic surgery, implanted her with a tracking chip, all in an effort to have ReplacementGoldfish that would never leave her mother's sight again. The end of the episode has the SVU detectives bringing the original daughter home, while the adopted daughter is promptly forgotten, still mutilated, and no one cares. ** The rapist in "Starved" avoids being prosecuted by manipulating his girlfriend. First into silence then attempted suicide. He than has her taken off life support to collect the insurance money. Not only does he get away with both, he ends up becoming rich in the process. ** Subverted in Svengali. When a celebrity serial killer gets an obsessed fan to commit murder for publicity and his sick pleasure he believes he'll get off scot free. He ends up being moved to extreme isolation, unable to communicate with his fans, or leave his cell for more than an hour a day for the rest of his life. * ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': ** Harmony, the soulless vampire has killed people, and betrays Angel in the end. But since she was so predictable about it and useful in an AffablyEvil way, he not only let her go but types up a written letter of recommendation (she was his secretary). In Season 8, this is even more pronounced. She outs the existence of vampires, becoming a worldwide celebrity and making vampires seem like good guys while the Slayer Organization was made out to be a Nazi-like group attempting to destroy the misunderstood demonkind. But because of Harmony's status, Buffy orders her army not to try and kill her, out of fear of making her a martyr, which essentially gives her a free pass to do whatever she wants. ** A far worse example would be Drusilla. Even after killing slayer Kendra and forcibly turning Darla into a vampire again, she was never staked and is still at large as both series closed. ** Willow - she murdered Warren by skinning him alive, tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan despite them not being involved in Tara's death, as well as casually killing a warlock who sold her magic, then tried to ''destroy the world''. She was being influenced by dark magic at the time, but then, she absorbed it on purpose. Her punishment? A couple months in England learning to better use her world-destroying powers. Although her time in England was no vacation intense therapy and formal training) and when she returned she is the first suspect when flaying bodies appear. ** The First Evil. Being incorporeal and essentially a force of nature, it actually ''cannot'' be defeated. The only thing the Scoobies were able to do was to destroy the Hellmouth, eliminating The First Evil's army, [[AsLongAsthereIsEvil but not The First itself]]. Oh well. ** Spike is more popular than the rest of the characters combined and people tend to forgive him everything, but he is arguably the most blatant example of this trope in the entire Buffyverse. Even before he was chipped Buffy let him walk away a few times for no reason (like in the episode "Halloween"). Then he gets chipped and everyone is suddenly trusting this chip with their lives, never mind that the organization that made it soon proved to be both evil and incompetent. Willow actually comforts Spike for his "impotence" - i.e. the inability to kill her! He starts killing people once more (against his will) in Season 7 ** The protagonists go through considerable trouble to make vampire Willow into one of these. Even after she tries to murder dozens of innocent people succeeding with few, the Scooby gang just let her leave back to her own world, even giving goodbye hugs and advice "try not to kill people". The hand of karma is swift in her case, as she gets staked seconds after her return, but not for the lack of trying. ** Joyce, in "Dead Man's Party", when she all but shrugs off the role her ultimatum played in Buffy running away in 'Becoming'. A revolting moment for a likable character. Yes, Buffy bears responsibility, even most of it. But to verbally crucify Buffy in front of people she can't talk about Slayer-stuff in front of, and give her own stupidity a pass? It helps, though, that afterwards, Joyce did try to be supportive about Buffy being the Slayer (even if Joyce wasn't always successful at it.) ** In the season 2 finale, Willow asks Xander to tell Buffy to buy some time while fighting Angelus, so that Willow can do the spell to return Angel's soul. Instead, when Xander catches up to Buffy, he says Willow's message is: "Kick his [Angelus's] ass." Buffy ends up having to kill a re-ensouled Angel to save the world, which leads to a major HeroicBSOD. Xander's actions are only brought up once, years later, and even then he never suffers any consequences for not giving Buffy false hope. ** "Once More With Feeling" has Xander (more through foolishness than malice) summon a demon that danced several people to death and caused several unwanted confessions. ** Halfway through Season 7, it is revealed that the First's attack on the line of Slayers is possible because the spell to bring Buffy back from the dead (ie from ''Heaven'') upset the natural order. This fact is never mentioned again, meaning Willow and Xander, the main instigators of the spell, never even find out that the multiple deaths are their fault. ** Anya lampshades this when complaining about Buffy's treatment of her in a season 7 episode, pointing out that Buffy's entire team was evil at one time. ** Spike also lampshades this, pointing out that almost everyone has been evil at one point and that most of them get away with it after he starts BecomingTheCostume in a season six Angel comic.
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* ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'': Megan Parker regularly fulfills this role. The one time ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she was ''actually'' punished, ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it was a case of NotMeThisTime. * ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': ** Anyone who is responsible for the BodyOfTheWeek is never seen facing any punishment. The worst cases are homophobic teenagers who assault a gay couple (killing one of them), a burglar who shoots the man he is robbing (which was completely pointless, since the victim was tied and gagged, and the bastard could have simply wore a mask up by attempting to hide his identity), and the AlphaBitch owning the caretaking company opposing the Fishers, who kills a bystander with a golf ball, without ever noticing it. [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse None of them are seen caught, and just leave the show]]. ** Also Jake, the creepy hitchhiker. Sure, he gets caught, but he traumatized David by beating, drugging, stalking, and kill President Palmer (and almost killing him. For succeeding) at the rest end of the series, David is still scattered by second season. Then there's the event video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and even seeing Jake in jail (who doesn’t seem very annoyed by his condition) doesn’t make him feel better. * ''Series/DarkShadows'': Laura Collins, a phoenix-like being who appears every hundred years and walks off. She then burns herself to death, preferring to take any offspring with her. She's prevented from killing her son David, but still presumably goes on to try again every hundred years. * ''Series/LawAndOrder'': Several of the defendants manage to wriggle out of well-deserved punishments. Uncoincidentally, most of those who do are [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney filthy rich]]. * ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' doesn't let this happen often. If execute a criminal does get off, they're usually going to have a VigilanteExecution performed on them five seconds later. ** In "Sick", Billy Tripley, a rich pedophile isn't punished because the ''other'' villains' actions make the case impossible to prosecute. The episode actually ends with the frustrated squad vowing to get him eventually, but the story was never revisited. ** A good CTU field agent (and not rich) [=SVU=] example is Darius. He sets blow up ThePlan to seek revenge on his family and ensure that he gets away with at least one murder. He still fully expects to go to jail, but he an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows he won't get nearly as much time as he should. In the end he is found not guilty and walks about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. That said, it was a PyrrhicVictory, as revelations from By the trial - namely that Darius was a product of father/daughter rape - left Darius even more emotionally screwed up than before. ** Another example is in "Valentine's Day" when the supposed victim is accused of using sex to lure an unsuspecting male into setting up a false kidnapping, so she could collect the ransom money herself. During a break in the court case, we see her approach one of the jury members in a stairwell, and surprise surprise, the case ends in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The ADA subsequently tells the squad that her boss probably won't let her pursue the case any further, as the evidence is a sketchy at best and the defendant is too sympathetic. ** A couple's daughter was kidnapped, so they adopted another little girl, dressed her in the original daughter's clothes, dyed her hair, gave her plastic surgery, implanted her with a tracking chip, all in an effort to have ReplacementGoldfish that would never leave her mother's sight again. The end of the episode has the SVU detectives bringing the original daughter home, while the adopted daughter is promptly forgotten, still mutilated, and no one cares. ** The rapist in "Starved" avoids being prosecuted by manipulating his girlfriend. First into silence then attempted suicide. He than has her taken off life support to collect the insurance money. Not only does he get away with both, he ends up becoming rich in the process. ** Subverted in Svengali. When a celebrity serial killer gets an obsessed fan to commit murder for publicity and his sick pleasure he believes he'll get off scot free. He ends up being moved to extreme isolation, unable to communicate with his fans, or leave his cell for more than an hour a day for the rest of his life. * ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': ** Harmony, the soulless vampire has killed people, and betrays Angel in the end. But since she was so predictable about it and useful in an AffablyEvil way, he not only let her go but types up a written letter of recommendation (she was his secretary). In Season 8, this is even more pronounced. She outs the existence of vampires, becoming a worldwide celebrity and making vampires seem like good guys while the Slayer Organization was made out to be a Nazi-like group attempting to destroy the misunderstood demonkind. But because of Harmony's status, Buffy orders her army not to try and kill her, out of fear of making her a martyr, which essentially gives her a free pass to do whatever she wants. ** A far worse example would be Drusilla. Even after killing slayer Kendra and forcibly turning Darla into a vampire again, she was never staked and is still at large as both series closed. ** Willow - she murdered Warren by skinning him alive, tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan despite them not being involved in Tara's death, as well as casually killing a warlock who sold her magic, then tried to ''destroy the world''. She was being influenced by dark magic at the time, but then, she absorbed it on purpose. Her punishment? A couple months in England learning to better use her world-destroying powers. Although her time in England was no vacation intense therapy and formal training) and when she returned series, she is the first suspect when flaying bodies appear. ** The First Evil. Being incorporeal and essentially a force of nature, it actually ''cannot'' be defeated. The only thing recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the Scoobies were able assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to do was kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the Hellmouth, eliminating The First Evil's army, [[AsLongAsthereIsEvil but not The First itself]]. Oh well. ** Spike is more popular than the rest of the characters combined and people tend to forgive him everything, but he is arguably the most blatant example of this trope in the entire Buffyverse. Even before he was chipped Buffy let him walk away a few times for no reason (like in the episode "Halloween"). Then worst he gets chipped and everyone is suddenly trusting this chip with their lives, never mind that a slap in the organization that made it soon proved to be both evil and incompetent. Willow actually comforts Spike for face from his "impotence" - i.e. disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the inability to kill her! He starts killing people once more (against his will) in Season 7 ** The protagonists go through considerable trouble to make vampire Willow into one of these. Even after she tries to murder dozens of innocent people succeeding with few, the Scooby gang just let her leave back to her own world, even giving goodbye hugs and advice "try not to kill people". The hand of karma is swift in her case, as she gets staked seconds after her return, but not for the lack of trying. ** Joyce, in "Dead Man's Party", when she all but shrugs off the role her ultimatum played in Buffy running away in 'Becoming'. A revolting moment for a likable character. Yes, Buffy bears responsibility, even most of it. But to verbally crucify Buffy in front of people she can't talk about Slayer-stuff in front of, and give her own stupidity a pass? It helps, though, that afterwards, Joyce did try to be supportive about Buffy being the Slayer (even if Joyce wasn't always successful at it.) ** In the season 2 finale, Willow asks Xander to tell Buffy to buy some time while fighting Angelus, so that Willow can do the spell to return Angel's soul. Instead, when Xander catches up to Buffy, he says Willow's message is: "Kick his [Angelus's] ass." Buffy ends up having to kill a re-ensouled Angel to save the world, which leads to a major HeroicBSOD. Xander's actions are only brought up once, years later, and even then he never show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for not giving Buffy false hope. ** "Once More With Feeling" has Xander (more through foolishness than malice) summon her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * ''Series/AmericanGothic'': Unsurprisingly, [[{{Satan}} Sheriff Buck]] is a demon Karma Houdini for the entire run of the series. Among the most notable things he gets away with are: killing Merlyn Temple ''in the very first episode'' and blackmailing his failed BastardUnderstudy Ben Healy to keep quiet about it; imprisoning, torturing, and eventually causing the death by neglect of an out-of-town reporter (complete with [[spoiler:removing from his belongings the evidence that danced might convict Buck of various crimes]], [[GoodIsImpotent all while Dr. Matt and Gail look on helplessly]]); tormenting Dr. Matt about his alcoholism, nearly getting him expelled at the hospital due to his tragic past, and eventually [[spoiler:[[UnwittingPawn setting him up to look like an insane vigilante so he could be locked up in a mental ward]]]]; manipulating Gage Temple into [[spoiler:killing Gail's parents (from which he escapes only by [[BrokenPedestal revealing to her how awful her parents really were]]]]); and summoning the spirit of the Boston Strangler to kill Merlyn ([[IdiotBall only to have him go after Gail as well]]). He even seems to win at the end of the series. This would be enough to constitute a DownerEnding and a reason to wash your hands of the show, if not for the suitably vague ending, [[TheEndOrIsIt which implies the victory might not be all it seems]], and how deliciously this MagnificentBastard pulls most of this off. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several people to death and caused several unwanted confessions. ** Halfway through Season 7, it is revealed that times in the First's attack on process. In the line of Slayers is possible because the spell to bring Buffy back from the dead (ie from ''Heaven'') upset the natural order. This fact is never mentioned again, meaning Willow and Xander, the main instigators of the spell, never even find out that the multiple deaths are their fault. ** Anya lampshades end his punishment for this when complaining about Buffy's is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment of her in a season 7 episode, pointing whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that Buffy's entire team going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil at one time. ** Spike also lampshades this, pointing out that almost everyone has been evil at one point and that most enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of them get away dealing with it after him was just to give him what he starts BecomingTheCostume in a season six Angel comic.wanted so he'd go away.

* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': ** The exit story of Major Frank Burns is so horrible - for everybody save himself. After acting as the ultimate jerk for five seasons, he got promoted and got his own command - stateside!!! ** Amusingly, the exit story of Burns in the book and movie is '''also''' an example of sorts, in the other direction. After Hawkeye, Trapper, and Duke pester him into flipping out and trying to kill them, Captain Burns gets hauled away in a straitjacket. After that, Colonel Blake calls them in, tells them flat out that he knows what they did, but the only disciplinary action he's going to give them is not making Trapper chief surgeon for another week because it would look bad. Mostly because he can't afford to lose more people who actually know what they're doing, granted... * ''Series/FoylesWar'': ** This show is one of the ultimate sources of this trope; set during the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar, many of the murderers and criminals Foyle exposes are also somehow essential to the British war effort, and thus manage to wriggle out of punishment and get away with murder. In some cases, the British government actually actively helps them escape justice. This actually prompts Foyle to quit at the end of the fifth season, frustrated that too many people escape justice and use the war as an excuse. ** Neatly played with in one episode - the murderer, a prominent American businessman, manages to escape punishment because he is an essential figure in a movement to eventually bring the United States into the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar. Before he leaves for America, Foyle comes to see him off. The businessman gloatingly triumphs over Foyle, but is quickly cut down to size when Foyle informs him that he's only postponing justice, not escaping it; he's free because of the war, but the war will end one day, and when it does he'll still be a proven murderer - and Foyle will bring him to justice then. ** And subverted in the first episode, in which the killer expects that Foyle will let him go because his work is essential to Britain's code-breaking efforts. Foyle arrests him anyway, reasoning that this isn't Nazi Germany and he doesn't get to decide who gets away with murder because of how important/vital they are. * ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': ** Dexter intentionally averts this trope. His victims are would-be Karma Houdinis, except Dexter gets 'em. ** Subverted with Dexter himself who is a straight karma houdini. * ''Series/NurseJackie'' follows the life of a nurse coping with situations her drug addiction and professional struggles bring into her personal life. Her amazing ability to maintain the integrity of her relationships despite the chaos in her life prevents her from feeling the consequences of her actions. At least until Season 4, and even then it's not as bad as it could be. * ''Series/TheWire'' seems to be 50/50 with its Karma victims. While the above is probably the best example for the series, there are numerous other complete ''bastards'' (criminal or otherwise) who get away scot free. Life goes on, presumably is the message. ** After everything he's been responsible for over the last three seasons, Marlo avoids a jail sentence entirely and gets to keep all his money and connections, with the seemingly minor stipulation that he's not allowed to return to dealing drugs on the streets...but subverted when it turns out that he can't imagine any other life, so this is actually a fitting punishment for him. ** Played straight with Stan Valchek, the most useless and venal character in a useless and venal hierarchy. [[spoiler:He ends up Commissioner.]] ** Scott Templeton. Even though he fabricated quotes and information about the supposed serial killer roaming around Baltimore in season 5, and though almost everyone involved knows he's lying ([=McNulty=] asks how the lie will benefit Templeton in the end, and it's implied the Baltimore Sun brass know what he did but are intentionally looking the other way), he not only gets away with it but receives a prestigious award for his work. * ''Series/AmericanGothic'': Unsurprisingly, [[{{Satan}} Sheriff Buck]] is a Karma Houdini for the entire run of the series. Among the most notable things he gets away with are: killing Merlyn Temple ''in the very first episode'' and blackmailing his failed BastardUnderstudy Ben Healy to keep quiet about it; imprisoning, torturing, and eventually causing the death by neglect of an out-of-town reporter (complete with [[spoiler:removing from his belongings the evidence that might convict Buck of various crimes]], [[GoodIsImpotent all while Dr. Matt and Gail look on helplessly]]); tormenting Dr. Matt about his alcoholism, nearly getting him expelled at the hospital due to his tragic past, and eventually [[spoiler:[[UnwittingPawn setting him up to look like an insane vigilante so he could be locked up in a mental ward]]]]; manipulating Gage Temple into [[spoiler:killing Gail's parents (from which he escapes only by [[BrokenPedestal revealing to her how awful her parents really were]]]]); and summoning the spirit of the Boston Strangler to kill Merlyn ([[IdiotBall only to have him go after Gail as well]]). He even seems to win at the end of the series. This would be enough to constitute a DownerEnding and a reason to wash your hands of the show, if not for the suitably vague ending, [[TheEndOrIsIt which implies the victory might not be all it seems]], and how deliciously this MagnificentBastard pulls most of this off. * ''Series/{{Oz}}'', being tilted toward the cynical side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, had several unrepentant criminals escape any kind of justice for their evil deeds. Notably, Jason Cramer got his murder rap overturned (he'd decapitated his lover and mailed the guy's body via [=FedEx=]) and waltzed out of the prison scot-free. Conversely, genuinely repentant Miguel Alvarez runs afoul of the vindictive head of the parole board who tells him to his face that he will ''never'' be paroled though they will continue to go through the motions every year. * ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Sylar's continued survival defeats the entire purpose of the first season arc, there are newer and better villains on the show such as Adam Monroe, and the only person who seems to think that his presence continues to be necessary is [[CreatorsPet creator Tim Kring]]. Fans in general are sick of him and his continued survival. [[spoiler: In the third season premiere he obtained Claire's power ''without killing her'' - admittedly when Sylar got her power in the alternate timeline of season one's "Five Years Gone" we never saw her dead (and it's [[Franchise/{{Scream}} not the last time this would happen]] to someone played by Creator/HaydenPanettiere), but it still kind of makes the whole "save the cheerleader, save the world" thing [[ShaggyDogStory a little pointless]].]]
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* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': ** The exit story ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of Major Frank Burns is so horrible - for her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody save himself. After acting as the ultimate jerk for five seasons, he got promoted and got his own command - stateside!!! ** Amusingly, the exit story of Burns to work in the book and movie is '''also''' an example of sorts, in the other direction. After Hawkeye, Trapper, and Duke pester him into flipping out and trying to kill them, Captain Burns gets hauled away in a straitjacket. After that, Colonel Blake calls them in, tells them flat out and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that he knows what they did, but she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the only disciplinary action he's going to give them is not making Trapper chief surgeon for another week because it would look bad. Mostly because he can't afford to lose more people who actually know what they're doing, granted... * ''Series/FoylesWar'': ** This show is one beautiful forests and waters of the ultimate sources of this trope; set during kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar, many point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the murderers palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and criminals Foyle exposes are also somehow essential leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the British war effort, and thus manage human world to wriggle out of punishment and get away with murder. In some cases, eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the British government actually actively helps them escape justice. This actually prompts Foyle magic ring to quit at the end of the fifth season, frustrated that too many people escape justice and use the war as an excuse. ** Neatly played with in one episode - the murderer, a prominent American businessman, manages to escape punishment because he is an essential figure in a movement to eventually bring the United States into the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar. Before he leaves for America, Foyle comes everything and everybody back to see him off. The businessman gloatingly triumphs over Foyle, normal, but is quickly cut down to size when Foyle informs him that he's only postponing justice, not escaping it; he's free because of the war, but the war will end one day, and when it does he'll still be a proven murderer - and Foyle will bring him not say anything to justice then. ** And subverted in the first episode, in which the killer expects that Foyle will let him go because his work is essential to Britain's code-breaking efforts. Foyle arrests him anyway, reasoning that this isn't Nazi Germany and he Xenia. She doesn't get to decide who gets away with murder because of how important/vital they are. * ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': ** Dexter intentionally averts this trope. His victims are would-be Karma Houdinis, except Dexter gets 'em. ** Subverted with Dexter himself who is a straight karma houdini. * ''Series/NurseJackie'' follows single slap on the life of a nurse coping with situations her drug addiction and professional struggles bring into her personal life. Her amazing ability to maintain the integrity of her relationships despite the chaos wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in her life prevents her from feeling the consequences of her actions. At least until Season 4, and even then it's not as bad as it could be. * ''Series/TheWire'' seems to be 50/50 with its Karma victims. While the above is probably the best example line for the series, there are numerous other complete ''bastards'' (criminal or otherwise) who get away scot free. Life goes on, presumably is the message. ** After everything he's been responsible for over the last three seasons, Marlo avoids a jail sentence entirely and gets to keep all his money and connections, with the seemingly minor stipulation that he's not allowed to return to dealing drugs on the streets...but subverted when it turns out that he can't imagine any other life, so this is actually a fitting punishment for him. ** Played straight with Stan Valchek, the most useless and venal character in a useless and venal hierarchy. [[spoiler:He ends up Commissioner.]] ** Scott Templeton. Even though he fabricated quotes and information about the supposed serial killer roaming around Baltimore in season 5, and though almost everyone involved knows he's lying ([=McNulty=] asks how the lie will benefit Templeton in the end, and it's implied the Baltimore Sun brass know what he did but are intentionally looking the other way), he not only gets away with it but receives a prestigious award for his work. * ''Series/AmericanGothic'': Unsurprisingly, [[{{Satan}} Sheriff Buck]] is a Karma Houdini for the entire run of the series. Among the most notable things he gets away with are: killing Merlyn Temple ''in the very first episode'' and blackmailing his failed BastardUnderstudy Ben Healy to keep quiet about it; imprisoning, torturing, and eventually causing the death by neglect of an out-of-town reporter (complete with [[spoiler:removing from his belongings the evidence that might convict Buck of various crimes]], [[GoodIsImpotent all while Dr. Matt and Gail look on helplessly]]); tormenting Dr. Matt about his alcoholism, nearly getting him expelled at the hospital due to his tragic past, and eventually [[spoiler:[[UnwittingPawn setting him up to look like an insane vigilante so he could be locked up in a mental ward]]]]; manipulating Gage Temple into [[spoiler:killing Gail's parents (from which he escapes only by [[BrokenPedestal revealing to her how awful her parents really were]]]]); and summoning the spirit of the Boston Strangler to kill Merlyn ([[IdiotBall only to have him go after Gail as well]]). He even seems to win at the end of the series. This would be enough to constitute a DownerEnding and a reason to wash your hands of the show, if not for the suitably vague ending, [[TheEndOrIsIt which implies the victory might not be all it seems]], and how deliciously this MagnificentBastard pulls most of this off. * ''Series/{{Oz}}'', being tilted toward the cynical side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, had several unrepentant criminals escape any kind of justice for their evil deeds. Notably, Jason Cramer got his murder rap overturned (he'd decapitated his lover and mailed the guy's body via [=FedEx=]) and waltzed out of the prison scot-free. Conversely, genuinely repentant Miguel Alvarez runs afoul of the vindictive head of the parole board who tells him to his face that he will ''never'' be paroled though they will continue to go through the motions every year. * ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Sylar's continued survival defeats the entire purpose of the first season arc, there are newer and better villains on the show such as Adam Monroe, and the only person who seems to think that his presence continues to be necessary is [[CreatorsPet creator Tim Kring]]. Fans in general are sick of him and his continued survival. [[spoiler: In the third season premiere he obtained Claire's power ''without killing her'' - admittedly when Sylar got her power in the alternate timeline of season one's "Five Years Gone" we never saw her dead (and it's [[Franchise/{{Scream}} not the last time this would happen]] to someone played by Creator/HaydenPanettiere), but it still kind of makes the whole "save the cheerleader, save the world" thing [[ShaggyDogStory a little pointless]].]]throne.]]

* ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'': In season 2, Paige is raped by Dean. After several incidents where he taunts her about the ordeal, she presses charges against him, but the trial doesn't take place until season 4. However, Dean is found not guilty due to the lack of evidence. Paige gets a small measure of revenge by wrecking Dean's car by deliberately crashing Spinner's car into it.
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* ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'': In season 2, Paige is raped by Dean. After several incidents where ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he taunts continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the ordeal, she presses charges against event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': ** ''Blackadder the Third''. Unlike the first, second, and fourth incarnations of him, but he rarely gets the trial doesn't take place until punishment the world's biggest Jerkass should. He often takes advantage of his boss and the Prince of Wales, George, to escape karma at the last minute, even going so far as [[spoiler: assuming his identity in the season 4. However, Dean is found finale.]] The modern and distant future Blackadders take after the third. ** ''Blackadder Goes Forth'': Whilst not guilty due exactly a villain, nothing at all happens to General 'Insanity' Melchett after all the lack other major characters (including SmugSnake Captain Darling) [[spoiler: die in another attempted push]]. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of evidence. Paige gets a small measure most of revenge by wrecking Dean's car by deliberately crashing Spinner's car into it.the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives."

* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': ** Harmony, the soulless vampire has killed people, and betrays Angel in the end. But since she was so predictable about it and useful in an AffablyEvil way, he not only let her go but types up a written letter of recommendation (she was his secretary). In Season 8, this is even more pronounced. She outs the existence of vampires, becoming a worldwide celebrity and making vampires seem like good guys while the Slayer Organization was made out to be a Nazi-like group attempting to destroy the misunderstood demonkind. But because of Harmony's status, Buffy orders her army not to try and kill her, out of fear of making her a martyr, which essentially gives her a free pass to do whatever she wants. ** A far worse example would be Drusilla. Even after killing slayer Kendra and forcibly turning Darla into a vampire again, she was never staked and is still at large as both series closed. ** Willow - she murdered Warren by skinning him alive, tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan despite them not being involved in Tara's death, as well as casually killing a warlock who sold her magic, then tried to ''destroy the world''. She was being influenced by dark magic at the time, but then, she absorbed it on purpose. Her punishment? A couple months in England learning to better use her world-destroying powers. Although her time in England was no vacation intense therapy and formal training) and when she returned she is the first suspect when flaying bodies appear. ** The First Evil. Being incorporeal and essentially a force of nature, it actually ''cannot'' be defeated. The only thing the Scoobies were able to do was to destroy the Hellmouth, eliminating The First Evil's army, [[AsLongAsthereIsEvil but not The First itself]]. Oh well. ** Spike is more popular than the rest of the characters combined and people tend to forgive him everything, but he is arguably the most blatant example of this trope in the entire Buffyverse. Even before he was chipped Buffy let him walk away a few times for no reason (like in the episode "Halloween"). Then he gets chipped and everyone is suddenly trusting this chip with their lives, never mind that the organization that made it soon proved to be both evil and incompetent. Willow actually comforts Spike for his "impotence" - i.e. the inability to kill her! He starts killing people once more (against his will) in Season 7 ** The protagonists go through considerable trouble to make vampire Willow into one of these. Even after she tries to murder dozens of innocent people succeeding with few, the Scooby gang just let her leave back to her own world, even giving goodbye hugs and advice "try not to kill people". The hand of karma is swift in her case, as she gets staked seconds after her return, but not for the lack of trying. ** Joyce, in "Dead Man's Party", when she all but shrugs off the role her ultimatum played in Buffy running away in 'Becoming'. A revolting moment for a likable character. Yes, Buffy bears responsibility, even most of it. But to verbally crucify Buffy in front of people she can't talk about Slayer-stuff in front of, and give her own stupidity a pass? It helps, though, that afterwards, Joyce did try to be supportive about Buffy being the Slayer (even if Joyce wasn't always successful at it.) ** In the season 2 finale, Willow asks Xander to tell Buffy to buy some time while fighting Angelus, so that Willow can do the spell to return Angel's soul. Instead, when Xander catches up to Buffy, he says Willow's message is: "Kick his [Angelus's] ass." Buffy ends up having to kill a re-ensouled Angel to save the world, which leads to a major HeroicBSOD. Xander's actions are only brought up once, years later, and even then he never suffers any consequences for not giving Buffy false hope. ** "Once More With Feeling" has Xander (more through foolishness than malice) summon a demon that danced several people to death and caused several unwanted confessions. ** Halfway through Season 7, it is revealed that the First's attack on the line of Slayers is possible because the spell to bring Buffy back from the dead (ie from ''Heaven'') upset the natural order. This fact is never mentioned again, meaning Willow and Xander, the main instigators of the spell, never even find out that the multiple deaths are their fault. ** Anya lampshades this when complaining about Buffy's treatment of her in a season 7 episode, pointing out that Buffy's entire team was evil at one time. ** Spike also lampshades this, pointing out that almost everyone has been evil at one point and that most of them get away with it after he starts BecomingTheCostume in a season six Angel comic. * ''Series/BurnNotice'': In season 2, an episode revolves around trying to extradite a criminal bastard in exile back to Haiti so he can answer for his crimes. He looted the nation's treasury and fled into hiding. Halfway through the episode, we learn that [[spoiler: his dead father]], also a criminal and a thief, is nowhere near as dead as suspected, but also escaped into hiding. While the target is apprehended and shipped off to Haiti, his equally guilty partner stays in hiding in the states and the best the heroes can do is try to point the authorities in the right direction so they can eventually do something about the situation. * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DarkShadows'': Laura Collins, a phoenix-like being who appears every hundred years and then burns herself to death, preferring to take any offspring with her. She's prevented from killing her son David, but still presumably goes on to try again every hundred years. * ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'': George Hearst is a hair-tearing example of the historical figure type of this trope; he has anyone who stands in his way of obtaining gold extorted or murdered, and forces the town to sell everything to him. He does have a token comeuppance of losing [[TheDragon Captain Turner]], but he's a pretty heartless prick when it comes to people anyway. His last act is to demand the death of Trixie, a whore who tried to assassinate him. [[spoiler: Al murders Jen instead because he loves Trixie and knows Hearst won't be able to tell the difference between the bodies.]] When satisfied, he rides out of the town that he owns onto his next conquest. ''Then the series ends.'' * ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'': In season 2, Paige is raped by Dean. After several incidents where he taunts her about the ordeal, she presses charges against him, but the trial doesn't take place until season 4. However, Dean is found not guilty due to the lack of evidence. Paige gets a small measure of revenge by wrecking Dean's car by deliberately crashing Spinner's car into it.it. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': ** Dexter intentionally averts this trope. His victims are would-be Karma Houdinis, except Dexter gets 'em. ** Zig-zagged in season 4 with [[spoiler:the Trinity Killer]]. After committing murder for 30 years and never getting caught, in the season finale he robs his family, takes his prized sports mobile, and escapes the police as he drives off into the sunset. Then Dexter captures him and he ends up on his killing table, but [[spoiler:still has the final laugh as Dexter has no idea that Trinity had killed Rita earlier that day, making it impossible for Dexter to derive closure or get revenge since Trinity is already dead.]] ** Dexter. While it's all in the service of the community (as he sees it) and while it gives him no end of trouble, he does kill people and avoid getting caught. [[spoiler:He even got to pin most of his murders on Doakes.]] In the series finale, Dexter [[spoiler:fakes his death and starts a new life elsewhere, and his dark secrets are never even exposed. Some viewers, however, see this as a fitting FateWorseThanDeath-type punishment, as Dexter has lost everyone he loves and is apparently living in isolation and misery]]. ** Marco Fuentes is still on the run, and Cira Manzon got away with setting Deb up to take the blame for his escape.

* ''Series/TorchwoodChildrenOfEarth'': ** Denise, the politician who suggested that the elite protect their own and select the lowest achieving schools, gets to be in charge at the end. ** The people in the episode "Meat" who were harvesting the meat of a live alien. They cut off slabs of the alien's meat while the alien was still alive just so that they could profit from it. Their punishment? They had their memories erased and were allowed to return to their normal lives. As Jack remarks, what else could they do? * ''Series/NipTuck'': The Carver, a masked serial rapist who disfigures his victims after raping them, and once kills a woman. Most of the third season revolved around catching the Carver. The Carver's last appearance was [[spoiler: lounging around on a beach with his girlfriend/sister, looking for their next victim]]. * ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'': ** A subversion: While making up for a bathroom robbery, Earl has to work at a fast food restaurant where the boss is a distinct KarmaHoudini. He has a successful life, a beautiful devoted wife, a beautiful devoted mistress, many awards, and is successfully embezzling a fortune out of the store, whose employees he routinely tortures for petty mistakes. Earl is horrified that karma has not punished him yet, but is sure it will eventually. When it becomes apparent that karma is not going to punish him and he continues to push Earl's buttons, Earl snaps and punches him in the face, knocking him out. Karma swoops in and while he's in the hospital both women visit him at the same time and find out about each other. The wife destroys all his trophies and awards and in the process finds out about his embezzling and reports it, sending him to jail, and allowing the man Earl was trying to help in the first place, become the new manager and everybody is happy. Debatably, Karma was trying to teach Earl that he can't just rely on karma to fix everything all the time, but the only lesson Earl learned was that karma could use his fist as a weapon. ** Interestingly enough, Earl himself is one. [[LaserGuidedKarma Even though Karma makes a few jabs at him when he neglects parts of his list,]] he rarely gets prosecuted for any crimes he commits during his redemption journey. Karma just might be on his side if it means he can continue crossing things off his list. * ''Series/{{Lost}}'': ** Benjamin Linus's body count from "The Man Behind the Curtain" ALONE was at least a couple dozen, shot Locke and left him for dead in the same pit that the aforementioned dead bodies were unceremoniously dumped, and [[spoiler: actually KILLED Locke (but he comes back to life)]]. His punishment has been the occasional beating, but he's always been forgiven (somehow). ** Principal Reynolds in Lost episode, "Dr. Linus" lets his school fall into disrepair, carries on an inappropriate relationship with the school nurse, and threatens to ruin Alex's future. He's not punished for any of this. * ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'': George Hearst is a hair-tearing example of the historical figure type of this trope; he has anyone who stands in his way of obtaining gold extorted or murdered, and forces the town to sell everything to him. He does have a token comeuppance of losing [[TheDragon Captain Turner]], but he's a pretty heartless prick when it comes to people anyway. His last act is to demand the death of Trixie, a whore who tried to assassinate him. [[spoiler: Al murders Jen instead because he loves Trixie and knows Hearst won't be able to tell the difference between the bodies.]] When satisfied, he rides out of the town that he owns onto his next conquest. ''Then the series ends.'' * ''Series/OneLifeToLive'': ** Todd, whose rap sheet includes three separate rapes, multiple kidnappings, a bombing he tried to pin on someone else, setting another bomb ''at a police station'', and baby theft. No, he's not in jail. And he's just got his kids back... ** And then there's Cole, who had just barely turned 18 and was still in HighSchool when he got high and caused a car crash that left ''the son of the police chief and the DA'' paraplegic ([[SoapOperaDisease only for a few months, as it turned out]]) and got a slap-on-the-wrist rehab deal. This kid has a bright future ahead of him! * ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'': ** There's an episode starring Joan Jett as an immortal named Felicia Martin on the run from a brutal hunter named Devereaux...it later turns out she's a remorseless murderer who, centuries earlier, killed Devereaux's wife and baby son. How does this end? She beheads the guy trying to avenge his family, reveals that to get someone's trust and murder their loved ones to throw them off their game is her MO and fights hero Duncan [=MacLeod=]. He wins...and spares her life at his idiot sidekick's request. She lives and we never hear from her again, despite immortals portrayed far more sympathetically losing their heads when they murder just one person as opposed to the hundreds Felicia has presumably slaughtered. ** The immortal Kenneth, who appears 9 years old. His MO is getting people to take him in and beheading them when their guard is down. If anyone gets in his way, he murders them, human or no. After betraying everyone and attempting to kill the heroes...he gets threatened by his teacher/foster mother and waltzes out of town, no punishment. Granted, losing her hurts him, but still. ** James Horton gets a bit of this, despite Duncan finally killing him off for real. When he was starting his anti-Immortal crusade, he killed Immortal Irena Galati right by her Immortal husband, his rage and Quickening enabling his escape. From this Horton learned to kill his targets only when there were no other Immortals around. Jacob Galati began stalking and killing all Watchers, not differentiating them from The Hunters. This slaughter causes the Watchers' Tribunal to call Joe Dawson on the carpet, blaming his telling Duncan Macleod about their existence for their being compromised. So not only does Horton strike from beyond the grave, he gets Joe in trouble yet again, and to make matters worse, the Tribunal focuses entirely on Joe's actions, and most of all his original reveal to Macleod. This, despite the fact that Duncan would have never known they were being watched by anyone were it not for Horton. But in the Tribunal, Joe is tried and sentenced to death, with the Tribunal repeatedly ignoring any talk of Horton's role in this. Dead? Definitely? In Hell? Maybe. But until Joe cleans house soon after, an on-the-record Karma Houdini. * ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': The cops often had to watch murderers they brought in escape punishment. In the finale, another Karma Houdini goes free, and it's the last straw for Tim Bayliss, who [[spoiler:resigns his commission and kills the criminal]]. * ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'': Hilary Briss escapes to the Caribbean with no punishment whatever for [[TakeOurWordForIt whatever it was he was doing]], although [[spoiler: the BigDamnMovie of vague canonicity eventually averts this with RedemptionEqualsDeath)]]. Similarly, we have [[spoiler: Papa Lazarou]], who never pays in the slightest for any of the horrifying stuff [[spoiler: he]] did. * ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': ** ''Blackadder the Third''. Unlike the first, second, and fourth incarnations of him, he rarely gets the punishment the world's biggest Jerkass should. He often takes advantage of his boss and the Prince of Wales, George, to escape karma at the last minute, even going so far as [[spoiler: assuming his identity in the season finale.]] The modern and distant future Blackadders take after the third. ** ''Blackadder Goes Forth'': Whilst not exactly a villain, nothing at all happens to General 'Insanity' Melchett after all the other major characters (including SmugSnake Captain Darling) [[spoiler: die in another attempted push]]. * ''Series/BurnNotice'': In season 2, an episode revolves around trying to extradite a criminal bastard in exile back to Haiti so he can answer for his crimes. He looted the nation's treasury and fled into hiding. Halfway through the episode, we learn that [[spoiler: his dead father]], also a criminal and a thief, is nowhere near as dead as suspected, but also escaped into hiding. While the target is apprehended and shipped off to Haiti, his equally guilty partner stays in hiding in the states and the best the heroes can do is try to point the authorities in the right direction so they can eventually do something about the situation.
to:
* ''Series/TorchwoodChildrenOfEarth'': ** Denise, the politician who suggested that the elite protect their own and select the lowest achieving schools, gets to be in charge at the end. ** The people in the episode "Meat" who were harvesting the meat ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of a live alien. They cut off slabs of the alien's meat while the alien was still alive just so that they could profit from it. Their punishment? They had their memories erased and were allowed to return to their normal lives. As Jack remarks, what else could they do? * ''Series/NipTuck'': The Carver, a masked serial rapist who disfigures his victims after raping them, and once kills a woman. Most of the third season revolved around catching the Carver. The Carver's last appearance was [[spoiler: lounging around on a beach with his girlfriend/sister, looking for their next victim]]. * ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'': ** A subversion: While making up for a bathroom robbery, Earl has to work at a fast food restaurant where the boss is a distinct KarmaHoudini. He has a successful life, a beautiful devoted wife, a beautiful devoted mistress, many awards, and is successfully embezzling a fortune out of the store, whose employees he routinely tortures for petty mistakes. Earl is horrified that karma has not punished him yet, but is sure it will eventually. When it becomes apparent that karma is not going to punish him and he continues to push Earl's buttons, Earl snaps and punches him in the face, knocking him out. Karma swoops in and while he's in the hospital both women visit him at the same time and find out about each other. The wife destroys all his trophies and awards people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the process finds out about his embezzling end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and reports it, sending there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him to jail, and allowing the man Earl was trying to help in the first place, become the new manager and everybody is happy. Debatably, Karma was trying to teach Earl knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'': Megan Parker regularly fulfills this role. The one time she was ''actually'' punished, it was a case of NotMeThisTime. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't just rely on karma remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to fix everything all disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the time, but controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the only lesson Earl learned was that karma could use his fist as a weapon. ** Interestingly enough, Earl himself is one. [[LaserGuidedKarma Even though Karma beginning she makes a few jabs at him it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he neglects parts stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his list,]] he rarely wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets prosecuted for any crimes he commits during his redemption journey. Karma just might be on his side if it means he can continue crossing things off his list. * ''Series/{{Lost}}'': ** Benjamin Linus's body count from "The Man Behind the Curtain" ALONE was at least a couple dozen, shot Locke and left him for dead in the same pit that custody of the aforementioned dead bodies were unceremoniously dumped, daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and [[spoiler: actually KILLED Locke (but dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he comes back would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to life)]]. His report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment has been the occasional beating, but he's always been forgiven (somehow). ** Principal Reynolds in Lost episode, "Dr. Linus" lets his school fall into disrepair, carries on an inappropriate relationship with the school nurse, and threatens to ruin Alex's future. He's not punished for any of this. * ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'': George Hearst is a hair-tearing example of the historical figure type of this trope; he has anyone who stands in his way of obtaining gold extorted or murdered, and forces the town to sell everything to him. He does have a token comeuppance of losing [[TheDragon Captain Turner]], but he's a pretty heartless prick when it comes to people anyway. His last act is to demand the death of Trixie, a whore who tried to assassinate him. [[spoiler: Al murders Jen instead because he loves Trixie and knows Hearst won't be able to tell the difference between the bodies.]] When satisfied, he rides out of the town that he owns onto his next conquest. ''Then the series ends.'' * ''Series/OneLifeToLive'': ** Todd, whose rap sheet includes three separate rapes, multiple kidnappings, a bombing he tried to pin on someone else, setting another bomb ''at a police station'', and baby theft. No, he's not in jail. And he's just got his kids back... ** And then there's Cole, who had just barely turned 18 and was still in HighSchool when he got high and caused a car crash that left ''the son of the police chief and the DA'' paraplegic ([[SoapOperaDisease only for a few months, as it turned out]]) and got a slap-on-the-wrist rehab deal. This kid has a bright future ahead of him! * ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'': ** There's an episode starring Joan Jett as an immortal named Felicia Martin on the run from a brutal hunter named Devereaux...it later turns out she's a remorseless murderer who, centuries earlier, killed Devereaux's wife and baby son. How does this end? She beheads the guy trying to avenge his family, reveals that to get someone's trust and murder their loved ones to throw them off their game is her MO and fights hero Duncan [=MacLeod=]. He wins...and spares her life at his idiot sidekick's request. She lives and we never hear from her again, despite immortals portrayed far more sympathetically losing their heads when they murder just one person as opposed to the hundreds Felicia has presumably slaughtered. ** The immortal Kenneth, who appears 9 years old. His MO is getting people to take him in and beheading them when their guard is down. If anyone gets in his way, he murders them, human or no. After betraying everyone and attempting to kill the heroes...he gets threatened by his teacher/foster mother and waltzes out of town, no punishment. Granted, losing her hurts him, but still. ** James Horton gets a bit of this, despite Duncan finally killing him off for real. When he was starting his anti-Immortal crusade, he killed Immortal Irena Galati right by her Immortal husband, his rage and Quickening enabling his escape. From this Horton learned to kill his targets only when there were no other Immortals around. Jacob Galati began stalking and killing all Watchers, not differentiating them from The Hunters. This slaughter causes the Watchers' Tribunal to call Joe Dawson on the carpet, blaming his telling Duncan Macleod about their existence for their being compromised. So not only does Horton strike from beyond the grave, he gets Joe in trouble yet again, and to make matters worse, the Tribunal focuses entirely on Joe's actions, and most of all his original reveal to Macleod. This, despite the fact that Duncan would have never known they were being watched by anyone were it not for Horton. But in the Tribunal, Joe is tried and sentenced to death, with the Tribunal repeatedly ignoring any talk of Horton's role in this. Dead? Definitely? In Hell? Maybe. But until Joe cleans house soon after, an on-the-record Karma Houdini. * ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': The cops often had to watch murderers they brought in escape punishment. In the finale, another Karma Houdini goes free, and it's the last straw for Tim Bayliss, who [[spoiler:resigns his commission and kills the criminal]]. * ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'': Hilary Briss escapes to the Caribbean with no punishment whatever for [[TakeOurWordForIt whatever it was he was doing]], although [[spoiler: the BigDamnMovie of vague canonicity eventually averts this with RedemptionEqualsDeath)]]. Similarly, we have [[spoiler: Papa Lazarou]], who never pays in the slightest for any becoming Chief of the horrifying stuff [[spoiler: he]] did. * ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'': ** ''Blackadder the Third''. Unlike the first, second, and fourth incarnations of him, he rarely gets the punishment the world's biggest Jerkass should. He often takes advantage of his boss and the Prince of Wales, George, to escape karma at the last minute, even going so far as [[spoiler: assuming his identity in the season finale.]] The modern and distant future Blackadders take after the third. ** ''Blackadder Goes Forth'': Whilst not exactly a villain, nothing at all happens to General 'Insanity' Melchett after all the other major characters (including SmugSnake Captain Darling) [[spoiler: die in another attempted push]]. * ''Series/BurnNotice'': In season 2, an episode revolves around trying to extradite a criminal bastard in exile back to Haiti so he can answer for his crimes. He looted the nation's treasury and fled into hiding. Halfway through the episode, we learn that [[spoiler: his dead father]], also a criminal and a thief, is nowhere near as dead as suspected, but also escaped into hiding. While the target is apprehended and shipped off to Haiti, his equally guilty partner stays in hiding in the states and the best the heroes can do is try to point the authorities in the right direction so they can eventually do something about the situation.Staff.

* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion ''Series/FoylesWar'': ** This show is one of the ultimate sources of this trope, as trope; set during the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar, many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits murderers and criminals Foyle exposes are also somehow essential to the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, British war effort, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees thus manage to wriggle out of punishment and get away with murder. In some cases, the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him British government actually actively helps them escape justice. This actually prompts Foyle to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) quit at the end of the second season. Then there's fifth season, frustrated that too many people escape justice and use the video game, where Tony Almeida watches war as she slashes an excuse. ** Neatly played with in one episode - the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on murderer, a prominent American businessman, manages to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up escape punishment because he is an innocent couple essential figure in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets a movement to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and bring the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects United States into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar. Before he leaves them for America, Foyle comes to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, see him off. The businessman gloatingly triumphs over Foyle, but does not say anything is quickly cut down to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] size when Foyle informs him that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially he's only thinks postponing justice, not escaping it; he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] free because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while war, but the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no war will end one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, day, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude he'll still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of be a dead woman), proven murderer - and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': Foyle will bring him to justice then. ** Averted And subverted in the show first episode, in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers which the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this expects that Foyle will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled let him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't go because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself his work is essential to kill Britain's code-breaking efforts. Foyle arrests him knowing anyway, reasoning that this isn't Nazi Germany and he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return get to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free decide who gets away with murder because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.how important/vital they are.

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Sylar's continued survival defeats the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands entire purpose of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become arc. [[spoiler: In the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six third season premiere he obtained Claire's power ''without killing her'' - admittedly when Sylar got her power in the GrandFinale.alternate timeline of season one's "Five Years Gone" we never saw her dead (and it's [[Franchise/{{Scream}} not the last time this would happen]] to someone played by Creator/HaydenPanettiere), but it still kind of makes the whole "save the cheerleader, save the world" thing [[ShaggyDogStory a little pointless]].]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting [[Spoiler: As of episode "The Wall," we can probably remove Sylar from the Karma Houdini list. Several years (relative time) of complete and utter isolation? When solitary confinement can be used as a hot blonde illicitly poke around means of torture just over the course of days? And when you add in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, fact that they listed his single worst fear as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil being alone forever and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and then having his dreamy hair.arch-rival stuck in his head? Yeah, we can argue Sylar is getting his payback.]] * ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'': ** Cavil/One There's an episode starring Joan Jett as an immortal named Felicia Martin on the run from a brutal hunter named Devereaux...it later turns out she's a remorseless murderer who, centuries earlier, killed Devereaux's wife and baby son. How does this end? She beheads the guy trying to avenge his family, reveals that to get someone's trust and murder their loved ones to throw them off their game is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven her MO and fights hero Duncan [=MacLeod=]. He wins...and spares her life at his idiot sidekick's request. She lives and we never hear from her again, despite immortals portrayed far more sympathetically losing their heads when they murder just one person as opposed to the hundreds Felicia has presumably slaughtered. ** The immortal Kenneth, who appears 9 years old. His MO is getting people to take him in and beheading them when their guard is down. If anyone gets in his way, he murders them, human or no. After betraying everyone and attempting to kill the heroes...he gets threatened by his teacher/foster mother and waltzes out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] town, no punishment. Granted, losing her hurts him, but still. ** James Horton gets a bit of this, despite Duncan finally killing him off for real. When he was starting his anti-Immortal crusade, he killed Immortal Irena Galati right by her Immortal husband, his rage and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close Quickening enabling his escape. From this Horton learned to remembering who the Final Five kill his targets only when there were no other Immortals around. Jacob Galati began stalking and killing all Watchers, not differentiating them from The Hunters. This slaughter causes the Watchers' Tribunal to call Joe Dawson on the carpet, blaming his telling Duncan Macleod about their existence for their being compromised. So not only does Horton strike from beyond the grave, he gets Joe in trouble yet again, and to make matters worse, the Tribunal focuses entirely on Joe's actions, and most of all his original reveal to Macleod. This, despite the fact that Duncan would have never known they were being watched by anyone were it not for Horton. But in the Tribunal, Joe is tried and sentenced to death, with the Tribunal repeatedly ignoring any talk of Horton's role in why this. Dead? Definitely? In Hell? Maybe. But until Joe cleans house soon after, an on-the-record Karma Houdini. * ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': The cops often had to watch murderers they brought in escape punishment. In the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce finale, another Karma Houdini goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing free, and it's the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.last straw for Tim Bayliss, who [[spoiler:resigns his commission and kills the criminal]]. * ''Series/{{House}}'': ** House is the poster child. The man can't go an episode without doing something that would cause any normal doctor to get arrested and / or his medical license revoked. That being said, he ''has'' been physically assaulted by patients, their relatives, and even his own fellows, and once he was even [[spoiler:shot in his office.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on [[spoiler:The man who shot House]] was never caught, nor were the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously real reasons behind her. She never seems sorry about it ever revealed. ** [[spoiler:The cannibal serial killer]] whom the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate team treated also escaped punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most was never heard from again. ** Tritter uses a sick and blatantly illegal mixture of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman bribery and coercion on Wilson and House's fellows, doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave keep his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years regarding [[spoiler:a plea bargain]], and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits even get a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, slap on the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.wrist.

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands ''Series/LawAndOrder'': Several of the minor and one-shot characters from defendants manage to wriggle out of well-deserved punishments. Uncoincidentally, most of those who do are [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney filthy rich]]. * ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' doesn't let this happen often. If a criminal does get off, they're usually going to have a VigilanteExecution performed on them five seconds later. ** In "Sick", Billy Tripley, a rich pedophile isn't punished because the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his ''other'' villains' actions and his transgressions are overlooked by make the team owner, who wants case impossible to prosecute. The episode actually ends with the frustrated squad vowing to get him to be eventually, but the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': story was never revisited. ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer A good (and almost succeeding) not rich) [=SVU=] example is Darius. He sets up ThePlan to seek revenge on his family and ensure that he gets away with at least one murder. He still fully expects to go to jail, but he knows he won't get nearly as much time as he should. In the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat he is found not guilty and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin That said, it was a PyrrhicVictory, as revelations from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death trial - namely that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' Darius was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out product of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to father/daughter rape - left Darius even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder emotionally screwed up than before. ** Another example is in "Valentine's Day" when the supposed victim is accused of using sex to lure an unsuspecting male into setting up a lot false kidnapping, so she could collect the ransom money herself. During a break in the court case, we see her approach one of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as jury members in a farmer with Baltar stairwell, and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who surprise surprise, the Final Five were and his role case ends in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did mistrial due to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never hung jury. The ADA subsequently tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while squad that her boss probably won't let her pursue the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about case any further, as the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth evidence is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems sketchy at best and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' defendant is too sympathetic. ** A couple's daughter was kidnapped, so they adopted another little girl, dressed her in the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with original daughter's clothes, dyed her father if she helps hair, gave her plastic surgery, implanted her with a mission, but tracking chip, all in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not an effort to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to ReplacementGoldfish that would never leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] mother's sight again. The end of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being SVU detectives bringing the GeneralRipper responsible for original daughter home, while the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." adopted daughter is promptly forgotten, still mutilated, and no one cares. ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) in "Starved" avoids being displayed in prosecuted by manipulating his hotel and girlfriend. First into silence then attempted suicide. He than has her taken off life support to collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug Not only does he get away with both, he ends up becoming rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. process. ** Subverted in Svengali. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different celebrity serial killer gets an obsessed fan to commit murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, publicity and his attorney sick pleasure he believes he'll get off scot free. He ends up being moved to extreme isolation, unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, communicate with his fans, or jaywalking]], leave his cell for more than an hour a day for the controlling harpy rest of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close his life. * ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'': Hilary Briss escapes to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship Caribbean with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment whatever for [[TakeOurWordForIt whatever it was he was doing]], although [[spoiler: the BigDamnMovie of vague canonicity eventually averts this with RedemptionEqualsDeath)]]. Similarly, we have [[spoiler: Papa Lazarou]], who never pays in the slightest for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.the horrifying stuff [[spoiler: he]] did.

Added DiffLines:
* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ''Series/{{Lost}}'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow Benjamin Linus's body count from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, Man Behind the Curtain" ALONE was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel couple dozen, shot Locke and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane left him for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone dead in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing same pit that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] dead bodies were unceremoniously dumped, and dragged him out [[spoiler: actually KILLED Locke (but he comes back to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred life)]]. His punishment has been the occasional beating, but he's always been forgiven (somehow). ** Principal Reynolds in Lost episode, "Dr. Linus" lets his school fall into disrepair, carries on an inappropriate relationship with the school nurse, and threatens to ruin Alex's future. He's not punished for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.this.

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* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': ** The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion exit story of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, Major Frank Burns is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this so horrible - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them save himself. After acting as the ultimate jerk for five seasons, he got promoted and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that got his own command - stateside!!! ** Amusingly, the beautiful forests and waters exit story of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part Burns in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, book and has movie is '''also''' an implausible amount example of sex with practically every woman sorts, in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. direction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries Hawkeye, Trapper, and Duke pester him into flipping out and trying to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure them, Captain Burns gets hauled away in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so straitjacket. After that, Colonel Blake calls them in, tells them flat out that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, he knows what they did, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that disciplinary action he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did give them is not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane making Trapper chief surgeon for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't another week because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free it would look bad. Mostly because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who he can't remember afford to lose more people who actually know what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.they're doing, granted...

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'': ** A subversion: While making up for a subversion of this trope, as bathroom robbery, Earl has to work at a fast food restaurant where the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving boss is a distinct KarmaHoudini. He has a successful life, a beautiful devoted wife, a beautiful devoted mistress, many awards, and is successfully embezzling a fortune out of the store, whose employees he routinely tortures for petty mistakes. Earl is horrified that karma has not punished him yet, but is sure it will eventually. When it becomes apparent that karma is not going to punish him and he continues to push Earl's buttons, Earl snaps and punches him in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at face, knocking him out. Karma swoops in and while he's in the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants both women visit him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel find out about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that each other. The wife destroys all his trophies and awards and in the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is process finds out about his embezzling and reports it, sending him to have jail, and allowing the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers man Earl was trying to help in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of first place, become the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything new manager and everybody back is happy. Debatably, Karma was trying to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] teach Earl that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages he can't just rely on karma to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus fix everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes all the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, time, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's lesson Earl learned was that karma could use his fist as a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even weapon. ** Interestingly enough, Earl himself is one. [[LaserGuidedKarma Even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while Karma makes a few jabs at him when he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one neglects parts of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as list,]] he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to rarely gets prosecuted for any crimes he commits during his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered redemption journey. Karma just might be on his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning side if it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they means he can continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in crossing things off his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.list.

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* ''Series/NipTuck'': The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been Carver, a subversion masked serial rapist who disfigures his victims after raping them, and once kills a woman. Most of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising third season revolved around catching the Carver. The Carver's last appearance was [[spoiler: lounging around on a beach with his girlfriend/sister, looking for their way next victim]]. * ''Series/NurseJackie'' follows the life of a nurse coping with situations her drug addiction and professional struggles bring into her personal life. Her amazing ability to maintain the integrity of her relationships despite the chaos in her life prevents her from feeling the consequences of her actions. At least until Season 4, and even then it's not as bad as it could be. * ''Series/OneLifeToLive'': ** Todd, whose rap sheet includes three separate rapes, multiple kidnappings, a bombing he tried to pin on someone else, setting another bomb ''at a police station'', and baby theft. No, he's not in jail. And he's just got his kids back... ** And then there's Cole, who had just barely turned 18 and was still in HighSchool when he got high and caused a car crash that left ''the son of the police chief and the DA'' paraplegic ([[SoapOperaDisease only for a few months, as it turned out]]) and got a slap-on-the-wrist rehab deal. This kid has a bright future ahead of him! * ''Series/{{Oz}}'', being tilted toward the cynical side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, had several unrepentant criminals escape any kind of justice for their evil deeds. Notably, Jason Cramer got his murder rap overturned (he'd decapitated his lover and mailed the guy's body via [=FedEx=]) and waltzed out of the prison scot-free. Conversely, genuinely repentant Miguel Alvarez runs afoul of the vindictive head of the parole board who tells him to his face that he will ''never'' be paroled though they will continue to go through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. motions every year. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played Played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked inverted almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all constantly in ''Series/ThePractice''. If the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only firm is defending a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled psychopath, they'll almost always get him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While off; if it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence someone is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's innocent, you can bet they're going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.jail.

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.characters]].

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital ''Series/SixFeetUnder'': ** Anyone who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope BodyOfTheWeek is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." never seen facing any punishment. The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic worst cases are homophobic teenagers who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to assault a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of gay couple (killing one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs them), a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s burglar who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that shoots the man he is robbing (which was sick, completely pointless, since the victim was tied and none of gagged, and the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he bastard could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette simply wore a mask to hide his identity), and the AlphaBitch owning the caretaking company opposing the Fishers, who kills a bystander with a golf ball, without ever noticing it. [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse None of them are seen caught, and just leave the show]]. ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree Also Jake, the creepy hitchhiker. Sure, he gets caught, but he traumatized David by beating, drugging, stalking, and almost killing him. For the rest of the series, David is still scattered by the event and even kills someone seeing Jake in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to jail (who doesn’t seem very annoyed by his condition) doesn’t make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.feel better.

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as ''Series/TorchwoodChildrenOfEarth'': ** Denise, the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising politician who suggested that the elite protect their way through life with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in own and select the finale...had said comeuppance not come at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She lowest achieving schools, gets to walk away scot-free. By be in charge at the end of the series, she is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. end. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him responsible behind David Palmer's death that Jack had spent several episodes struggling to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example The people in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by "Meat" who were harvesting the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out meat of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters alien. They cut off slabs of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead alien's meat while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure in the end, but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity alien was still alive just so that she can start a new life, meaning she not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who they could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. profit from it. Their punishment? They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years had their memories erased and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes were allowed to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of normal lives. As Jack remarks, what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark else could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.they do?

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* The ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' GrandFinale ''would'' have been a subversion of this trope, as the [[UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist main characters]] were {{Jerkass}}es cruising their way through life ''Series/TheWire'' seems to be 50/50 with no comeuppance whatsoever until finally receiving it in its Karma victims. While the finale...had said comeuppance not come at above is probably the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from best example for the series, [[EvilVsEvil many of whom being even]] ''[[EvilVsEvil bigger]]'' {{Jerkass}}es [[EvilVSEvil than the main characters]]. * Demetrius Harris from ''Playmakers'' fits the bill. He implicates a person for murder that his friend committed, is a drug addict, dumps a girl at a hospital there are numerous other complete ''bastards'' (criminal or otherwise) who is overdosing, and steals pain medication from a cancer patient he is visiting. Yet he never sees the consequences of his actions and his transgressions are overlooked by the team owner, who wants him to be the face of the franchise. * ''Series/TwentyFour'': ** Mandy the assassin. In her very first appearance, she ''blows up an airliner full of civilians'', then follows it up by attempting to kill President Palmer (and almost succeeding) at the end of the second season. Then there's the video game, where Tony Almeida watches as she slashes the Governor of California's throat and walks off. She then get away scot free. Life goes on to execute a CTU field agent (and blow up an innocent couple in their car) in the fourth season before being subdued by Jack Bauer. Better yet, the government knows about all of her past crimes...so, what do they do? Give her full immunity for revealing Marwan's location. She gets to walk away scot-free. By the end of the series, she on, presumably is the only recurring antagonist to remain at large. message. ** Jonathan, the assassin from season one. He's last seen fleeing the scene after Jack wrecks the initial attempt to kill Senator Palmer, and never mentioned again. ** How about Miles Papazian in season 5? Not only did he impede Jack and Chloe several times and get Bill Buchanan fired from CTU, but he eventually [[spoiler:switched sides to work for Charles Logan and helped him destroy evidence proving him After everything he's been responsible behind David Palmer's death for over the last three seasons, Marlo avoids a jail sentence entirely and gets to keep all his money and connections, with the seemingly minor stipulation that Jack had spent several episodes struggling he's not allowed to get, meaning he'd done it all for nothing]]. Miles then gets transferred return to a nice new government job and the worst he gets is a slap in the face from his disgusted now-ex partner Karen Hayes. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain dealing drugs on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, streets...but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion subverted when it turns out that he'll be stopped he can't imagine any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was other life, so this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws is actually a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his fitting punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls him. ** Played straight with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms Stan Valchek, the most useless and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put venal character in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, useless and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set venal hierarchy. [[spoiler:He ends up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.Commissioner.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, Scott Templeton. Even though Cavil he fabricated quotes and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry information about the event, not even visiting him supposed serial killer roaming around Baltimore in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards season 5, and though almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates everyone involved knows he's lying ([=McNulty=] asks how the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives." * ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': The BigBad for the last quarter of season four, [[spoiler:Vivian Volkoff]], is this. [[spoiler:She's told she can meet with her father if she helps with a mission, but in the end Beckman doesn't hold up her end of the bargain. Most people would be pissed. Most people would also agree that taking over her [[EvilInc father's company]], hiring someone to blow up Castle, manipulating the team into retrieving a deadly weapon for her and then leaving them to die is a slight overreaction. After being told Chuck's parents were responsible for her father becoming Volkoff, she tries to kill Sarah to hurt Chuck. She hands over the cure lie will benefit Templeton in the end, and it's implied the Baltimore Sun brass know what he did but only after Chuck gives her a blank identity so that she can start a new life, meaning she are intentionally looking the other way), he not only suffers no retribution from Team Bartowski, but is guaranteed not to have to deal with any consequences from anyone else, either.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/CriminalMinds'': ** Averted in the show in general, since the protagonists live to defy this trope, 99% of the time; the main [=UnSub=] of the episode has gotten away with it but receives a grand total of ''once''. Occasionally played straight with minor characters only tangentially related to the crime, however, a good example being the GeneralRipper responsible prestigious award for the unsub's StartOfDarkness in "Dorado Falls." ** This trope is acknowledged in the episode "To Hell And Back." The FBI discovers the killer is a quadriplegic who manipulates his autistic brother into murdering people for medical experiments, and acknowledge this will sound like nonsense to a jury. Unfortunately for the killer, the brother of one of his victims, assisting the investigation, overhears this, grabs a shotgun, and blows the guy's head off as he lies bedridden and helpless. * ''Series/{{CSI}}'': The occasional villain, including... ** A pair of {{Black Widow}}s who worked as a tag-team; one would marry a rich man and get in the will, then the other would poison him; they'd then move on to a new state and switch roles. They destroyed all the physical evidence, leaving investigators with only the word of the other as to which one did it, so the DA didn't even bother filing charges. ** A man who murdered a woman who looked almost exactly like Sara; this one rankled Grissom quite a bit. ** Another man who made sure all the evidence pointed to his brother, who was really only a GuiltRiddenAccomplice. ** A serial rapist who murdered his last victim so she couldn't identify him, then fled the state. ** A SerialKiller who managed to convince the jury she was only an accomplice; she did five years and was protected by double jeopardy. To make matters worse, the father of one of her victims goes to jail for beating her to the brink of death - one only wishes he'd gotten the chance to finish before the cops pulled him off her. ** A group of plane passengers who beat another passenger to death for attempting to open an escape hatch mid-flight. While it's true that doing so would doom the entire flight, meaning it was a clear case of self-defense (except for the part where they continue beating on him after he's down), Grissom points out that the man was sick, and none of the passengers or the flight attendants bothered to figure out what was wrong, assuming he was just a crazy jerk. Had at least one person done that, the whole situation would have been avoided. Once again, the DA refuses to press charges, claiming that a jury will never convict so many people. ** Partly happens to a casino owner who hired a group of people to steal a valuable collection of Japanese artifacts (all fake) being displayed in his hotel and collect the insurance money. At the end, the CSI team figures out what happened, but all evidence is circumstantial, so neither the owner now his accomplices are arrested. However, when Grissom is telling all this to the smug rich guy, he explains that he's going to turn this evidence over to his insurance company, whose standards of proof are far less strict, so he shouldn't expect a payment. Based on the guy's facial expression, he clearly did not expect this outcome. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff.work.
5th Oct '15 4:14:51 AM rafi
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* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Colonel Maybourne is initially introduced as a corrupt shadowy figure and the primary opponent of the SGC on Earth, he quickly suffered {{Flanderization}} and finally, after facing a court martial, fleeing to Russia and leaking information about the Stargate program, being brought back, facing a death sentence, being taken out of prison by O'Neill, being put back, escaping, helping SG-1, tricking SG-1 into taking him off-world, being brought back and then exiled by the Tok'ra... he eventually led a primitive nation claiming to be a prophet. And then, even after his deception was exposed (by SG-1), his people left their "King Arkhan I" in power anyway. To be fair, Maybourne turned out to be a pretty decent king anyways, and he wasn't "exposed" by SG-1; he confessed and apologized for lying. His people still served him because apparently he was a ''good'' king, despite lying.

* ''Series/HouseOfCardsUK'': ** The TV adaptation switches out the book's ending of a [[RedemptionEqualsDeath redemptive suicide]] for the MagnificentBastard Francis Urquhart, in exchange for his murdering the unlikely love interest, and going on to be Prime Minister for two more series. ** The author tried again in the sequel; in the novel ''To Play the King'', Urquhart is Prime Minister but is still ultimately defeated at the end. In the TV adaptation, Urquhart comes out unquestionably on top. ** And curiously, the positions were reversed in the final installment, ''The Final Cut''; in both, Urquhart is assassinated, but in the TV adaptation Urquhart's fate is portrayed as being entirely out of his hands and stage-managed by his wife and bodyguard, thus rendering Urquhart impotent and powerless against forces outside of his control. In the novel, however, Urquhart is aware of what is happening but knowingly meets his fate in order to secure his enduring legacy, thus proving his {{Magnificent Bastard}}ness without doubt by allowing him to have the last laugh against his critics and enemies by ending his life on his own terms and, for all his sins, as a much-beloved and admired martyr.

* ''Series/TheWestWing'': Jean Paul is introduced in season four as Zoe's new boyfriend from France, he spends a lot of it acting like a smug rich bastard. Things get taken up a notch in the season's second to last episode, when he slips Zoe a roofie after her graduation, either part of his genius plan to date rape the president's daughter, or to aid terrorists that later kidnap her. After he's nearly beaten to within a inch of his life by an enraged Charlie, he's never seen again after, besides a brief mention that he's stonewalling the authorities with info about his dealer, or possible connection to the terrorists. This may be due to Aaron Sorkin leaving the show, and the new producer trying to avoid his old storylines.

* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown by her mercy-killing a baby in the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person.

* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance.

* ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'': ** Alex flip-flops around this trope. While in some episodes she escapes retribution, she is punished quite a bit. ** Max, on the other hand, is now made of this trope. Hmm... make things harder for your older brother to win the family wizard contest by taking a book with every single type of monster in existence, release all of these monsters into New York City - and when all of the other Monster Hunters are killed by the hordes of monsters (not to mention God knows how many normal people), not a word is said or anything done to Max. Hell, they were going to take away Alex's powers FOREVER for turning her parents and a teacher into guinea pigs... but Max is probably considered not to be in the running for the contest, anyway. * ''Series/YesMinister'': --> '''Hacker:''' In private industry, if you screw things up, you get the boot; in the civil service, if you screw things up, ''I'' get the boot.

* ''Series/{{Intelligence 2006}}'': Lots of characters get away with their evil deeds, but Ted Altman is actually rewarded for his villainy as the series goes on. * ''Series/TheMonkees'': In the episode "The Picture Frame", the boys get off the hook for the robbery they were FilmFelons for, but the real crooks aren't shown getting in trouble for it in the end.
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* ''Series/{{Intelligence 2006}}'': Lots of characters get away ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with their evil deeds, but Ted Altman is actually rewarded no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for his villainy as the series goes on. her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * ''Series/TheMonkees'': In Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "The Picture Frame", "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the boys U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get off a single slap on the hook wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the robbery they were FilmFelons for, but throne.]] * ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'': ** Gaius Baltar manages to avoid paying for numerous crimes, notably his part in the real crooks aren't complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Throughout the show he continuously acts in [[DirtyCoward such a way]] that ''ensures'' viewer fantasies about pummeling the shifty little bastard, and has an implausible amount of sex with practically every woman in the show (Laura Roslin being an honorable exception) despite being an all-around weasel. He then manages to become [[spoiler: the president of the fracking colonies]] despite the extremely noticeable handicap of [[spoiler: wandering the halls talking to himself.]] Plus the [[spoiler: religious cult set up around him by, you guessed it, hot young women.]] He even manages [[spoiler: to get a HappilyEverAfter with Caprica!Six in the GrandFinale.]] ** Caprica-Six deceives Baltar, who initially only thinks he's letting a hot blonde illicitly poke around in the Defense Mainframe to give her company an edge. She's fully aware her actions will lead to untold deaths (and was obviously conflicted, as shown getting by her mercy-killing a baby in trouble the marketplace) but goes through with it anyway. Her attempt to make up for it failed spectacularly on New Caprica, leading to even more human suffering, though Cavil and Tigh shoulder a lot of the blame for that. [[spoiler: She gets to spend life on Earth as a farmer with Baltar and his dreamy hair.]] ** Cavil/One is personally responsible for eradicating two Cylon lines: Daniel/Seven out of [[CainAndAbel jealousy]] and D'Anna/Three because ''one of them'' was too close to remembering who the Final Five were and his role in why the other Skinjobs didn't remember. He instigated the Colonial Holocaust out of a twisted sense of justice for his Cylon ancestors, plus everything he did to Ellen and Saul Tigh. His fate? [[spoiler: Goes the gun-in-mouth route when an attempt at a truce goes pear-shaped, with only Ellen explicitly knowing the full story. And she never tells anyone else, on screen.]] ** Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in Season 4 causes [[spoiler: Gaeta to lose his leg via Anders' gun]] because of a Leoben-inspired head trip, painting pictures on the bulkhead while the crew mutters mutinously behind her. She never seems sorry about the event, not even visiting him in sickbay. But then again, [[HumansAreBastards almost no one does]]). She even [[KickTheDog mocks him about it later]] (though in her defense, Gaeta instigates the argument). ** Sharon Agathon regarding her murder of [[spoiler:Natalie]](odd, given the character's history). She does spend about an episode and a half in the end.brig, but that's hardly adequate punishment for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed person. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives."

* ''Series/TheShadowLine'': Happens to several major villains. [[spoiler:Gatehouse, Patterson, Jay Wratten, Ratallack and Lia Honey]] not only all remain at large at the end of the series, they're all in better positions than when they started and [[spoiler:are ready to start over with a new incarnation of Counterpoint]]. %%* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': [[SmugSnake Sterling.]] [[WordOfGod Never.]] [[KarmaHoudini Loses.]] * ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': ** It looked like Karma had finally caught up with Lex Luthor in Season 8, when ComicBook/GreenArrow blew him up[[spoiler:, but as of the GrandFinale, he's been resurrected, regained all his old holdings, and is set to become PresidentEvil at some point in the future.]] ** Oliver Queen; after it is revealed in season 6 episode "Reunion" that he indirectly caused the death of a classmate that he bullied in high school and no one except Lex (who's ''even more'' responsible) calls him out on it, not even Clark. He does imply that his crime-fighting career is partly an attempt to atone for this, making this a sort of Self-Guided Karma. * ''Series/TheMentalist'': Jane himself. In almost every episode, he pulls outrageous stunts that leave Lisbon doing damage control and would be a gold mine for any defense lawyer -- but somehow the bad guy never goes free, and Jane is never punished. The worst example to date is Jane's [[spoiler:outright murder of Timothy Carter, who he believed was Red John. Not only was he acquitted by jury nullification, he quickly realized Carter HADN'T been Red John after all]]. It's not a big surprise that this doesn't bother Jane much; what upsets viewers is that ''Lisbon'' knows, and it doesn't seem to bother her either. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' the mayor. It's even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives."
to:
* ''Series/TheShadowLine'': Happens to several major villains. [[spoiler:Gatehouse, Patterson, Jay Wratten, Ratallack and Lia Honey]] not only all remain at large at the end of the series, they're all in better positions than when they started and [[spoiler:are ready to start over ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a new incarnation DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of Counterpoint]]. %%* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': [[SmugSnake Sterling.]] [[WordOfGod Never.]] [[KarmaHoudini Loses.]] * ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': ** It looked like Karma had finally caught up with Lex Luthor reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in Season 8, both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when ComicBook/GreenArrow blew him up[[spoiler:, it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but as of include the GrandFinale, he's been resurrected, regained all his old holdings, second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and is set while he appeared to have become PresidentEvil at some point in TheAtoner over the future.]] ** Oliver Queen; after it is revealed in season 6 episode "Reunion" that he indirectly caused years, the death dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a classmate that he bullied in high school and no one except Lex (who's ''even more'' responsible) calls him out on it, not even Clark. He does imply that his crime-fighting career is partly an attempt to atone for this, making this a sort of Self-Guided Karma. * ''Series/TheMentalist'': Jane himself. In almost every episode, he pulls outrageous stunts that leave Lisbon doing damage control and would be a gold mine for any defense lawyer -- but somehow the bad guy never goes free, and Jane is never punished. The worst example to date is Jane's [[spoiler:outright murder of Timothy Carter, who he believed was Red John. Not only was he acquitted by jury nullification, he quickly realized Carter HADN'T been Red John after all]]. It's not a big surprise that this doesn't bother Jane much; what upsets viewers is that ''Lisbon'' knows, and it doesn't seem to bother her either. * ''Series/BlackScorpion'': Mayor Worth is a [[SleazyPolitician political example]]. Despite being the cause of most of the city's problems dead woman), and the [[CreateYourOwnVillain reason]] black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for most of its super villains, he remains free ''and'' her own safety; the mayor. It's woman even lampshaded. -->'''Darcy: '''"Doesn't matter what happens, he ''always'' survives."gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable).

* ''Series/LosExitososPells'': The Argentine series had a magnanimous writer: HappyEnding for all. For all the good guys, but also for all the bad guys. The evil assistant who wanted to rule the TV channel got a TV channel for her own, the journalist who wanted to replace the news presenter of the channel is in charge of the new channel news program... and the CorruptCorporateExecutive that was jailed. Last episode, the bad guy has been revealed as such, captured and held behind bars... [[TheEndOrIsIt the end?]] No! He was freed some months afterwards because of a legal technicism, and began a [[PresidentEvil political career]]. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Adelai "I Torture People to Death For Laughs" Niska manages to escape from ''Serenity's'' vengeful crew in "War Stories", a fact they lampshade with Inara telling Mal, "I just wish you'd killed that old bastard." Of course, it's entirely possible that Creator/JossWhedon intended for Niska to get his comeuppance later, but the show was massively ScrewedByTheNetwork before that could happen. * ''Series/WonderWoman'': In the TV series, this happens a lot. If someone is participating in a crime and seems to not really want to do it, or better yet does anything to thwart the rest of the criminals, they will never be punished at the end for the crimes they committed. Also some villains escaped: Mariposa in ''Screaming Javelins'', Count Cagliostro in ''Diana's Disappearing Act,'' and... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Gault's brain]] in ''Gault's Brain'' * ''Series/GilligansIsland'': ** Several visitors to Gilligan's Island who know all about the Castaways do nothing to help them get rescued, including the Mosquitoes, Wrong-Way Feldman and Harold Hecuba. Hecuba even steals their idea for a musical Hamlet. None of these people suffer the slightest retribution for their callous treatment of the seven castaways. ** Played with by the Russian cosmonauts, who were willing and able to help the castaways off the island...and into a Siberian gulag to keep them from telling the West about the Russian space mission landing thousands of miles off target. Probably the one instance where the Castaways worked to ''keep from'' being 'rescued'. ** Justified by the Japanese sailor who landed his mini-sub on the island; he [[CloudCuckooLander thought that the war was still going on]] and [[IWillFightSomeMoreForever approached the American castaways accordingly]]. An attempt by Gilligan to sail the sub to Hawaii failed, but (unusually) through no fault of Gilligan's: the sub's controls were in Japanese and he was unable to operate it correctly as a result. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. * ''Series/ColdCase'': ''Very'' rare, and when it does occur, it's almost never the main perp. Examples are few and far between, but include the second killer in "Late Returns" (his devoted sister took the rap for both murders even though she only committed one), the victim's pedophile dad from "Fly Away" (statute of limitations was up, and while he appeared to have become TheAtoner over the years, the dude still [[{{Squick}} gave his eight-year-old gonorrhea]]), the crooked nun who sold babies on the black market in "The Good-bye Room" (only evidence against her was the tape-recorded testimony of a dead woman), and the black widow from "The Runaway Bunny" (the only person who could prove she did it, her stepdaughter, was being hidden away for her own safety; the woman even gives Lilly a wink and a smug grin as she leaves the station, knowing she's untouchable). * ''Series/SavedByTheBell'': ** A plot point in the episode "The Lisa Card". Lisa charges over $300 on her father's credit card and spends the episode terrified of how he'll react. He actually takes it fine and doesn't punish her. However after two days of living in fear, Lisa actually begged him to punish her. She ends up having to take a waitress job to pay the money back (and that's after all her clothes have been sold as well). %%** Zack, of course, has ''plenty'' of moments. * ''Series/{{Survivor}}'': Russel has gone through at least two seasons making CombatPragmatist UpToEleven. He ''admits'' acting the bad guy deliberately. Some of the first few things he did when he originally joined was burn one guy's socks and empty the camp's water supply so that one started to wonder that why didn't they [[JustEatGilligan just send him to home after the first chance]]. They did that to [[EnsembleDarkhorse Yau]]-[[CombatPragmatist Man]] on his second attempt, even though the guy at least had some shades of being nice! Also, Russell is a millionaire who joined because he wanted to practically tell everyone that he's an evil bastard. The only thing that allows us to put a real person here is the fact that [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential we don't really know if he's evil in real life, too]]. * ''Series/UltramanMebius'': Mitsuhiko Hirukawa is a [[JerkAss gossip journalist who tries to ruin GUYS's reputation in certain episodes]] to willing to [[DirtyCoward kill both Mirai and his date]] [[AssholeVictim just so he can escape Yapool's realm]]. All of this finally came to a head when he [[TookALevelInJerkass admitted to the world that Mirai and Ultraman Mebius are both the same being]] right before [[BiggerBad Alien Emperor]] [[AlienInvasion was beginning his invasion on Earth]]. * ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and he was hiding his activities from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and even kills someone in the final season. When she rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his.

* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'': The entire family with respect to Malcolm: ** Reese can steal Malcolm’s girl friend and nobody cares but when Malcolm steals Reese’s he’s a horrible person. ** The family can get tired of Malcolm and exclude him from their activities but it’s not fair that Malcolm spends more time with his friends and takes their side over his own brother. ** Lois forces Malcolm to do multiple extracurricular activities and extra work as well as help his brothers do their work but when all that work takes up his time he gets punished for it. ** Lois and Hal agreed to stop smoking together. When she found out that he hid a bunch of cigarettes throughout the house she threatened that if she found any she would force him to eat them. Yet she smokes everyday during her lunch break. ** Malcolm was willing to tank his grade despite the fact that Reese viciously beat him. * ''Mom'': The mugger who stole Christy's rent money; Claudia and Butch, [[spoiler: Violet's father]]. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on the show eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one of them. * ''Series/GossipGirl'' Every character on fits in some way or another (except possibly Nate) but Dan Humphrey manages to stand out. He's emotionally abusive towards Serena, constantly making her feel like she's a bad person for being born on the Upper East Side, berating her every chance he gets and always reminding her that he is a good person and she isn't. With his best friend Vanessa he sabotages her chances of getting into Tish by falsely accusing her of getting her position by cheating, then cheats on her, dumps her, takes her back just so she will babysit his child by another woman while he runs after Serena and then spends the rest of that season making sure Vanessa knows that ''she'' is a bad person who doesn't deserve his friendship. When he's in love with Blair he lies to her and tries to get her to leave her fiancé over a situation Dan knows she's misunderstanding, then he humiliates her at her wedding by posting a video of her and Chuck and then puts the blame on ''Chuck''. Just to name a few selected highlights of his behavior. Then of course the finale reveals that he is Gossip Girl which means he's the person who's been stalking them, spying on them, violating their privacy by posting their secrets on his blog, including humiliating his own little sister by making a splash post about her losing her virginity to Chuck (just to name one example of posts where he screwed his sister over). What happens to Dan in the end? Everyone on the Upper East Side forgives him, welcomes him into their circle and he gets to marry Serena. * ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'': ** [[TheDragon Vera]], for the villainous example. She did plenty of horrible things, like kidnap Trudy, and many fans were crying out for her karma. In the end, however, she literally was just told to walk offscreen and that was the end of it. %%** For the heroic examples, we have [[TheHero Nina]] and [[AdorkAble Mara.]] * ''Series/{{Friends}}'': As revenge for a joke Chandler pulled on her in the fourth grade, Julia Roberts's character gets him to wear her panties for a date. She then gets him to strip off in the bathroom and runs off with his clothes - which is the last she's ever heard of. One wonders if Jean Claude had done that to Monica or Rachel, [[DoubleStandard would he get away too]]? * ''Series/{{Hermes e Renato}}'': The character Joselito in the Brazilian comedy show. He bullies anything that moves (including his mother), but never is punished! * ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had all been another con job. * ''Series/HawaiiFive0'': Ultimately subverted in in the case of Malia's brother/Chin's former brother in law Gabriel. Gabriel was a Karma Houdini for a long time after Chin got him out of a grand larceny rap. Malia asked Chin to intervene because she was worried that a record would dog him for the rest of his life, but escaping punishment led Gabriel to believe he was impervious to justice. He soon got away with [[spoiler:killing Chin's father in a gang initiation gone wrong]], became a powerful underworld figure on the mainland and was never convicted of a crime until 15 years later when Chin tied him to crimes old and new.
to:
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'': The entire family with respect to Malcolm: ** Reese can steal Malcolm’s girl friend and nobody cares but when Malcolm steals Reese’s he’s a horrible person. ''Series/DesperateHousewives'': ** The family can get tired third season has Art Shepard. Lynette found his basement full of Malcolm half naked boy pictures. Convinced he's a pedophile, she starts massive demonstrations. Art's sister Rebecca managed to dismiss Lynette's doubts then the latter came back to Art in order to apologize herself. Art confesses to Lynette that he really was a unrepentant pedophile and exclude him from their he was hiding his activities but it’s from his sister. At the end of the episode, he just leaves Wisteria Lane for a new neighborhood. Granted, it's not fair known whether he was telling the truth just then; he could have been lying about that Malcolm spends more time with his friends for revenge on Lynette ** Orson Hodge stalks Bree and takes their side over his own brother. ** Lois forces Malcolm to do multiple extracurricular activities and extra work as well as help his brothers do their work but when all that work takes up his time he gets punished for it. ** Lois and Hal agreed to stop smoking together. even kills someone in the final season. When she found rejects him, he sends evidence implicating her in a different murder (she only helped bury the body) to the police. He then disappears into the wind and is never brought to justice. ** In a related instance, a cop who has it out that he hid a bunch of cigarettes throughout for Bree doctors evidence to make it look like the house she threatened that if she found any she would force murdered man was meeting up with her. He never gets his. * ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha murdered a ton of people, rendered Ballard brain-dead and in the end Echo just lets him to eat them. Yet she smokes everyday during her lunch break. ** Malcolm was willing to tank his grade despite walk out? She should have just killed him then and there. That's the fact that Reese viciously beat him. * ''Mom'': The mugger who stole Christy's rent money; Claudia and Butch, [[spoiler: Violet's father]]. * ''Series/{{Alias}}'': ** Mr. Sark. Every other villain on last we ever see of him. (Granted they may have been planning to resolve the Alpha plotline at a later time but couldn't because the show got canceled). Echo couldn't bring herself to kill him knowing that he had Ballard inside him. He does show up again in "Epitaph Two: Return", having undergone a HeelFaceTurn, but doesn't receive any comeuppance. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''{{ER}}'': ** Though Jen Greene commits not one [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking arson, murder, or jaywalking]], the controlling harpy of a wife of protagonist Dr. Mark Greene, certainly qualifies. From close to the beginning she makes it clear that it's her way or the highway in the Greene household, threatening to leave Mark and take their daughter when he stands up to her for a little of what ''he'' wants. ''Then'' it comes out she's boinking her filthy rich law partner--after years of her hypocritically bitching about Mark's friendship with another woman--following which ''she'' sues ''Mark'' for divorce, marries said filthy rich law partner, and proceeds to live a more comfortable life than Mark could in his wildest dreams. And as the final twist of the knife, [[spoiler:it's heavily implied that after Mark's death she gets custody of the aforementioned daughter, whom she had neglected so badly said daughter turned to drugs]]. ** Dr. Romano caught [[spoiler:Archie Morris smoking a joint ''on the job in the bathroom'']] and dragged him out to tell him to wait in a seat and touch nothing - he would be dealt with later. [[spoiler:Archie does, but Romano is killed by the helicopter, so no one is there to report Morris' crime.]] ** Kerry Weaver. From Season 6 onward, she began to pull numerous duplicitous stunts in order to advance her career and never once incurred punishment for any of them, eventually either dies or suffers a FateWorseThanDeath, but the DistantFinale shows him still on the loose and still pulling capers, with no suggestion that he'll be stopped any time soon. ** Olivia Reed never faces any consequences for her actions on screen, though one could argue losing her daughter could be one becoming Chief of them. * ''Series/GossipGirl'' Every character on fits in some way or another (except possibly Nate) but Dan Humphrey manages to stand out. He's emotionally abusive towards Serena, constantly making her feel like she's a bad person for being born on the Upper East Side, berating her every chance he gets and always reminding her that he is a good person and she isn't. With his best friend Vanessa he sabotages her chances of getting into Tish by falsely accusing her of getting her position by cheating, then cheats on her, dumps her, takes her back just so she will babysit his child by another woman while he runs after Serena and then spends the rest of that season making sure Vanessa knows that ''she'' is a bad person who doesn't deserve his friendship. When he's in love with Blair he lies to her and tries to get her to leave her fiancé over a situation Dan knows she's misunderstanding, then he humiliates her at her wedding by posting a video of her and Chuck and then puts the blame on ''Chuck''. Just to name a few selected highlights of his behavior. Then of course the finale reveals that he is Gossip Girl which means he's the person who's been stalking them, spying on them, violating their privacy by posting their secrets on his blog, including humiliating his own little sister by making a splash post about her losing her virginity to Chuck (just to name one example of posts where he screwed his sister over). What happens to Dan in the end? Everyone on the Upper East Side forgives him, welcomes him into their circle and he gets to marry Serena. * ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'': ** [[TheDragon Vera]], for the villainous example. She did plenty of horrible things, like kidnap Trudy, and many fans were crying out for her karma. In the end, however, she literally was just told to walk offscreen and that was the end of it. %%** For the heroic examples, we have [[TheHero Nina]] and [[AdorkAble Mara.]] * ''Series/{{Friends}}'': As revenge for a joke Chandler pulled on her in the fourth grade, Julia Roberts's character gets him to wear her panties for a date. She then gets him to strip off in the bathroom and runs off with his clothes - which is the last she's ever heard of. One wonders if Jean Claude had done that to Monica or Rachel, [[DoubleStandard would he get away too]]? * ''Series/{{Hermes e Renato}}'': The character Joselito in the Brazilian comedy show. He bullies anything that moves (including his mother), but never is punished! * ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had all been another con job. * ''Series/HawaiiFive0'': Ultimately subverted in in the case of Malia's brother/Chin's former brother in law Gabriel. Gabriel was a Karma Houdini for a long time after Chin got him out of a grand larceny rap. Malia asked Chin to intervene because she was worried that a record would dog him for the rest of his life, but escaping punishment led Gabriel to believe he was impervious to justice. He soon got away with [[spoiler:killing Chin's father in a gang initiation gone wrong]], became a powerful underworld figure on the mainland and was never convicted of a crime until 15 years later when Chin tied him to crimes old and new.Staff.

* ''Series/StepByStep'' had an episode, where JT and Cody were tricked into signing over the right to their TV show to a network. But as they had legally signed a contract, they couldn't do anything about it. And to make the whole thing even worse, they were even unable to get any money from the deal! * ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': ** Judith Harper was a complete bitch, who still managed to almost always get what she wanted. The show even started with her getting tired of Alan, despite that he had clearly been a good husband, and bluntly kicking him out of the house, that he alone had paid for over the years. And she was not only allowed to keep said house, but she was also granted an extremely high alimony, leaving Alan to live off his much richer brother Charlie. And still, Judith had the nerve to demand even more money from Alan for her car insurance or their son's class trips, and to start complaining about every woman Alan dated, despite how she herself dated plenty of men. She also helped Alan's second ex-wife to get him screwed in yet another divorce, and when she herself got re-married, she also started treating her second husband like crap when she got tired of him. And despite all this, nothing really bad ever happened to Judith. ** Charlie could be really mean towards Alan too, without getting any kind of comeuppance. We have one episode, where Charlie refuses to pay back his debt after borrowing money from Alan, and ''Alan'' is the one to be humiliated. Or how about the episode, where Charlie decided to crush Alan's hands by having them stuck inside a laptop? ** Sophie also applies, though by the time the GrandFinale comes along, all those that did bad things have either been punished or they don't have a lot to look forward to as they now live a pathetic existence. Even though Judith has a check from Jake in the finale, she's absolutely alone with nobody in her life. While Sophie becomes a queen in the finale, it's possible that if her husband grows tired and weary of her, he'll have her executed. No one in this show really got off unscathed or scot free. * ''Series/TheXFiles'': At least half if not more MonsterOfTheWeek villains basically got off scot free even if temporarily thwarted by Mulder and Scully. A common ending was to show the villain in a whole new location with the implication they were still at large and out there. A handful ended up getting their comeuppance in later episodes, but only a handful. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has a few, befitting its genre: ** The episode "Defiance" features a girl who [[spoiler: fakes her own kidnapping for complex political reasons--which turns into a real kidnapping/ransom scenario that leaves one of her professors dead. She gets off without punishment because her father is a foreign diplomat who knows which strings to pull.]] {{Lampshaded}} by Ziva at the end. ** In "SWAK," [=DiNozzo=] [[spoiler: almost dies of pneumonic plague because of a girl's FalseRapeAccusation (for which she's not shown to be punished)]]. ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It's a complicated story.]]) * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' has Kenelm, the brother of Princess Kwenthrith who continously raped her when she was ''12 year old'', and not only wasn't punished for his crime, but eventually he was declared a saint by the Pope. However, since Kwenthrith is not exactly a shining example of mental stability, in this case she may be an UnreliableNarrator. * General ''Franchise/StarTrek'' examples: ** Q. About half the time, his insane pranks on Starfleet crews have no consequences for him; it seems the Continuum stopped bothering to discipline him after TNG's third season. ** Just as a rule, the Prime Directive tends to get in the way of karma; often, the moral of the story is how Starfleet ''has'' to walk away because to do otherwise would mean interfering in another culture. * ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': ** Vulcan ambassador T'Pel who was really a Romulan spy called Sub-Commander Selok in "Data's Day". ** Armus' punishment for the murder of Tasha Yar is...being left alone again. (Admittedly, this seems to be hell for him but he's no worse off for his encounter with the Enterprise.) ** The episode "First Contact" has Krola, the loud-mouthed, paranoid defense minister who tries to kill himself and make it look like Riker shot him. Unbeknownst to him, the phaser is set to stun. He doesn't die, and while the chancellor knows what really happened, he asks the Enterprise to leave like Krola wanted. ** Possibly the biggest Karma Houdini in history occurs in the episode "The Survivors" where it eventually transpires that an immortal superalien named Kevin [[DisproportionateRetribution accidentally, in a moment of pure rage, killed all fifty billion members]] of the race that killed his (human) wife. He feels bad about it but not bad enough that he doesn't create a fantasy version of his wife to carry on as if it never happened. In the circumstances, though, it's understandable that Picard's response is to go "Yikes" and get as far away from him as possible. At the same time, we are not shown any other superbeings (e.g. the Q Continuum, Organians) punishing him for this. ** In "The Mind's Eye", the Romulan Subcommander Taibak suffers no comeuppance for torturing and brainwashing Geordi La Forge into becoming a ManchurianAgent that nearly sparks a war between the Federation and the Klingons. ** This seems to be a trait of Romulans: Mirok, the Romulan from "The Next Phase", attempts to destroy the ''Enterprise'', after they've ''saved his ship'', so they don't inform the Federation of the new cloaking device he was testing. He fails, naturally, but by that point he's halfway home and no action is taken against him. * ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': ** Shapeshifters are good at shifting away from consequences. The ruthless and evil Founders of the Dominion are cured at the end of the series; their power in the Gamma Quadrant is unbroken, and there's nothing to stop them from invading again. Meanwhile, Odo faces no professional consequences for collaborating with the Dominion during their occupation of [=DS9=], and the only personal consequence is a long talk with Kira. ** Many of Sisko's choices come back to haunt him, but two of his most outrageous never do. In "For the Uniform", he ''poisons an entire planet'' and isn't punished for it. In "In the Pale Moonlight", he tricks the Romulans into an alliance; his original, Starfleet-approved plan is about to fail, but Garak saves it with cruder and decidedly ''unapproved'' methods (which Ben should've seen coming a mile away). No punishment from Starfleet here either. Moreover, as far as we know in canon, the Romulans never find out -- and they would be ''livid'' if they ever did -- so the whole Federation is a Karma Houdini on this one. ** Intendant Kira, in spades. Throughout her appearances, she's portrayed as a monster who commits casual murder for the flimsiest of reasons, takes pleasure in enslaving other races and generally seeks power for its own sake without really showing loyalty to anyone. She's taken prisoner by both sides at various points but never stays locked up for long. Her last appearance sees her once more escaping unharmed while every other villain is killed or captured. Then again, it ''is'' the MirrorUniverse, where our rules for karma don't necessarily apply. Or else the creators viewing her as a VillainSue entitled her to JokerImmunity, even though karma applies to everyone else. ** Majorly averted for the Cardassians. They have a long history to the point it could be said that evil has been ingrained into their species. Cardassians occupied Bajor for 60 years, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration tortured Captain Picard]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine kidnapped O'Brien]] to be murdered in a KangarooCourt as a political maneuver, terrorized colonies that a treaty put in their territory, thereby giving rise to [[CreateYourOwnVillain the Maquis]], went TheQuisling by joining the Dominion against the rest of the Alpha Quadrant, and, oh yeah, one of 'em tried to release evil gods from [[SealedEvilInACan their can]]. [=DS9=] ends with Cardassia wrecked, their having been on the receiving end of DayOfTheJackboot for a change. * ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': The title ship is alone and often outgunned, so sometimes they just can't do anything about the bad guys. Examples: ** Both the Akritirians in "The Chute" and the unnamed alien from "Persistence of Vision" come off none the worse for their crimes. ** Verin and the other colonists in "Friendship One" get a free radiation-poisoning cure and are left alone... despite having ''murdered a popular recurring character in cold blood''. ** The Vidiians get away with stealing Neelix's lungs, abducting three crewmembers, experimenting on one, using them all as slave workers, and ''murdering'' one of them (the [[RedShirt non-regular]]). The Kazon are one thing, but ''Voyager'' is just no match for these guys -- Janeway has to cut her losses. ** Partly the case for the two Ferengi, who ended up in the Delta Quadrant by way of an unstable wormhole back in ''TNG''. They set themselves up as the prophesied Sages of a primitive civilization, reshaping it to Ferengi standards and profiting immensely. At the end of the episode, not only do they prevent the ''Voyager'' from returning home through that same wormhole, but they end up going through it themselves. While it's true that they want to go back to the planet and rule the people, the people are sick and tired of them and would likely try to burn them at the stake again. Yep, they're alive and get to go home, while the ''Voyager'' has to take the long way back. ** Voyager seemingly dooms an alien civilization when they destroy a dangerous energy particle which is also their last hope. They destroy the particles and research, return the scientist and the aliens just give up pursuit and leave. * ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': Silik's boss from the future, who's behind all sorts of mischief, is last seen doing just fine in the Season 2 finale. * On ''Series/SesameStreet'', Cookie Monster often eats other peoples cookies (or other foods, and often even eats other people's [[ExtremeOmnivore non-edible property]]) but rarely gets in trouble for it (aside from sometimes being yelled at or disciplined a little). Rare instances where he does face consequences for his action are times when he was [[NotMeThisTime wrongfully accused]] (such as in ''The Cookie Thief'' special). * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * [[Creator/WentworthMiller Leonard Snart]]/Captain Cold in ''Series/TheFlash2014'' seems to be this so far. His introductory episode has him murder two guys in cold blood (not counting one of his partners) and try to kill a train full of people, as well as Barry. He gets to walk away from this with the large diamond he steals, telling Cisco not to push his luck when the latter asks for it. True, him and his new partner Mick Rory/Heatwave are captured at the end of their next episode, only to be immediately freed by Snart's sister Lisa. Next time, the three kidnap Cisco and his brother, forcing Cisco to rebuild their high-tech weapons (and a new one for Lisa), as well as to reveal the Flash's identity. Snart uses the latter to blackmail Barry into letting him roam free, provided Snart uses his smarts not to kill anyone. Next, Barry has to make a DealWithTheDevil and ask Snart to help him escort a group of meta-humans to an A.R.G.U.S. plane to take them to Lian Yu (Series/{{Arrow}}'s island prison). In return, Barry eliminates all evidence of Snart's crimes. Naturally, Snart ends up going back on his word and lets the meta-humans go free, killing one to make a point. He then has the gall to claim that Barry now owes him one for letting him live. Since he's now set to be in the ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' on the side of the good guys, we can assume he doesn't get his comeuppance either.
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* ''Series/StepByStep'' had an episode, where JT and Cody were tricked into signing over the right ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Adelai "I Torture People to their TV show Death For Laughs" Niska manages to escape from ''Serenity's'' vengeful crew in "War Stories", a network. But as fact they had legally signed a contract, they couldn't do anything about it. And to make the whole thing even worse, they were even unable to get any money from the deal! * ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': ** Judith Harper was a complete bitch, who still managed to almost always get what she wanted. The show even started lampshade with her getting tired of Alan, despite Inara telling Mal, "I just wish you'd killed that he had clearly been a good husband, and bluntly kicking him out of the house, that he alone had paid for over the years. And she was not only allowed to keep said house, but she was also granted an extremely high alimony, leaving Alan to live off his much richer brother Charlie. And still, Judith had the nerve to demand even more money from Alan for her car insurance or their son's class trips, and to start complaining about every woman Alan dated, despite how she herself dated plenty of men. She also helped Alan's second ex-wife to get him screwed in yet another divorce, and when she herself got re-married, she also started treating her second husband like crap when she got tired of him. And despite all this, nothing really bad ever happened to Judith. ** Charlie could be really mean towards Alan too, without getting any kind of comeuppance. We have one episode, where Charlie refuses to pay back his debt after borrowing money from Alan, and ''Alan'' is the one to be humiliated. Or how about the episode, where Charlie decided to crush Alan's hands by having them stuck inside a laptop? ** Sophie also applies, though by the time the GrandFinale comes along, all those that did bad things have either been punished or they don't have a lot to look forward to as they now live a pathetic existence. Even though Judith has a check from Jake in the finale, she's absolutely alone with nobody in her life. While Sophie becomes a queen in the finale, old bastard." Of course, it's entirely possible that if her husband grows tired and weary of her, he'll have her executed. No one in this show really got off unscathed or scot free. * ''Series/TheXFiles'': At least half if not more MonsterOfTheWeek villains basically got off scot free even if temporarily thwarted by Mulder and Scully. A common ending was Creator/JossWhedon intended for Niska to show the villain in a whole new location with the implication they were still at large and out there. A handful ended up getting their get his comeuppance in later episodes, later, but only a handful. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. * ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has a few, befitting its genre: ** The episode "Defiance" features a girl who [[spoiler: fakes her own kidnapping for complex political reasons--which turns into a real kidnapping/ransom scenario show was massively ScrewedByTheNetwork before that leaves one of her professors dead. She gets off without punishment because her father is a foreign diplomat who knows which strings to pull.]] {{Lampshaded}} by Ziva at the end. ** In "SWAK," [=DiNozzo=] [[spoiler: almost dies of pneumonic plague because of a girl's FalseRapeAccusation (for which she's not shown to be punished)]]. ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It's a complicated story.]]) * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of her father's absence and forces the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless of how they feel about it. It doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, to the point where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], but gets off for a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves to harass Brenda and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' has Kenelm, the brother of Princess Kwenthrith who continously raped her when she was ''12 year old'', and not only wasn't punished for his crime, but eventually he was declared a saint by the Pope. However, since Kwenthrith is not exactly a shining example of mental stability, in this case she may be an UnreliableNarrator. * General ''Franchise/StarTrek'' examples: ** Q. About half the time, his insane pranks on Starfleet crews have no consequences for him; it seems the Continuum stopped bothering to discipline him after TNG's third season. ** Just as a rule, the Prime Directive tends to get in the way of karma; often, the moral of the story is how Starfleet ''has'' to walk away because to do otherwise would mean interfering in another culture. * ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': ** Vulcan ambassador T'Pel who was really a Romulan spy called Sub-Commander Selok in "Data's Day". ** Armus' punishment for the murder of Tasha Yar is...being left alone again. (Admittedly, this seems to be hell for him but he's no worse off for his encounter with the Enterprise.) ** The episode "First Contact" has Krola, the loud-mouthed, paranoid defense minister who tries to kill himself and make it look like Riker shot him. Unbeknownst to him, the phaser is set to stun. He doesn't die, and while the chancellor knows what really happened, he asks the Enterprise to leave like Krola wanted. ** Possibly the biggest Karma Houdini in history occurs in the episode "The Survivors" where it eventually transpires that an immortal superalien named Kevin [[DisproportionateRetribution accidentally, in a moment of pure rage, killed all fifty billion members]] of the race that killed his (human) wife. He feels bad about it but not bad enough that he doesn't create a fantasy version of his wife to carry on as if it never happened. In the circumstances, though, it's understandable that Picard's response is to go "Yikes" and get as far away from him as possible. At the same time, we are not shown any other superbeings (e.g. the Q Continuum, Organians) punishing him for this. ** In "The Mind's Eye", the Romulan Subcommander Taibak suffers no comeuppance for torturing and brainwashing Geordi La Forge into becoming a ManchurianAgent that nearly sparks a war between the Federation and the Klingons. ** This seems to be a trait of Romulans: Mirok, the Romulan from "The Next Phase", attempts to destroy the ''Enterprise'', after they've ''saved his ship'', so they don't inform the Federation of the new cloaking device he was testing. He fails, naturally, but by that point he's halfway home and no action is taken against him. * ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': ** Shapeshifters are good at shifting away from consequences. The ruthless and evil Founders of the Dominion are cured at the end of the series; their power in the Gamma Quadrant is unbroken, and there's nothing to stop them from invading again. Meanwhile, Odo faces no professional consequences for collaborating with the Dominion during their occupation of [=DS9=], and the only personal consequence is a long talk with Kira. ** Many of Sisko's choices come back to haunt him, but two of his most outrageous never do. In "For the Uniform", he ''poisons an entire planet'' and isn't punished for it. In "In the Pale Moonlight", he tricks the Romulans into an alliance; his original, Starfleet-approved plan is about to fail, but Garak saves it with cruder and decidedly ''unapproved'' methods (which Ben should've seen coming a mile away). No punishment from Starfleet here either. Moreover, as far as we know in canon, the Romulans never find out -- and they would be ''livid'' if they ever did -- so the whole Federation is a Karma Houdini on this one. ** Intendant Kira, in spades. Throughout her appearances, she's portrayed as a monster who commits casual murder for the flimsiest of reasons, takes pleasure in enslaving other races and generally seeks power for its own sake without really showing loyalty to anyone. She's taken prisoner by both sides at various points but never stays locked up for long. Her last appearance sees her once more escaping unharmed while every other villain is killed or captured. Then again, it ''is'' the MirrorUniverse, where our rules for karma don't necessarily apply. Or else the creators viewing her as a VillainSue entitled her to JokerImmunity, even though karma applies to everyone else. ** Majorly averted for the Cardassians. They have a long history to the point it could be said that evil has been ingrained into their species. Cardassians occupied Bajor for 60 years, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration tortured Captain Picard]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine kidnapped O'Brien]] to be murdered in a KangarooCourt as a political maneuver, terrorized colonies that a treaty put in their territory, thereby giving rise to [[CreateYourOwnVillain the Maquis]], went TheQuisling by joining the Dominion against the rest of the Alpha Quadrant, and, oh yeah, one of 'em tried to release evil gods from [[SealedEvilInACan their can]]. [=DS9=] ends with Cardassia wrecked, their having been on the receiving end of DayOfTheJackboot for a change. happen. * ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': The title ship is alone and often outgunned, so sometimes they just can't do anything about the bad guys. Examples: ''Series/TheFlash2014'' ** Both the Akritirians in "The Chute" and the unnamed alien from "Persistence of Vision" come off none the worse for their crimes. ** Verin and the other colonists in "Friendship One" get a free radiation-poisoning cure and are left alone... despite having ''murdered a popular recurring character in cold blood''. ** The Vidiians get away with stealing Neelix's lungs, abducting three crewmembers, experimenting on one, using them all as slave workers, and ''murdering'' one of them (the [[RedShirt non-regular]]). The Kazon are one thing, but ''Voyager'' is just no match for these guys -- Janeway has to cut her losses. ** Partly the case for the two Ferengi, who ended up in the Delta Quadrant by way of an unstable wormhole back in ''TNG''. They set themselves up as the prophesied Sages of a primitive civilization, reshaping it to Ferengi standards and profiting immensely. At the end of the episode, not only do they prevent the ''Voyager'' from returning home through that same wormhole, but they end up going through it themselves. While it's true that they want to go back to the planet and rule the people, the people are sick and tired of them and would likely try to burn them at the stake again. Yep, they're alive and get to go home, while the ''Voyager'' has to take the long way back. ** Voyager seemingly dooms an alien civilization when they destroy a dangerous energy particle which is also their last hope. They destroy the particles and research, return the scientist and the aliens just give up pursuit and leave. * ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': Silik's boss from the future, who's behind all sorts of mischief, is last seen doing just fine in the Season 2 finale. * On ''Series/SesameStreet'', Cookie Monster often eats other peoples cookies (or other foods, and often even eats other people's [[ExtremeOmnivore non-edible property]]) but rarely gets in trouble for it (aside from sometimes being yelled at or disciplined a little). Rare instances where he does face consequences for his action are times when he was [[NotMeThisTime wrongfully accused]] (such as in ''The Cookie Thief'' special). * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' was this - for example in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out of jail several times in the process. In the end his punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * [[Creator/WentworthMiller Leonard Snart]]/Captain Cold in ''Series/TheFlash2014'' seems to be this so far. His introductory episode has him murder two guys in cold blood (not counting one of his partners) and try to kill a train full of people, as well as Barry. He gets to walk away from this with the large diamond he steals, telling Cisco not to push his luck when the latter asks for it. True, him and his new partner Mick Rory/Heatwave are captured at the end of their next episode, only to be immediately freed by Snart's sister Lisa. Next time, the three kidnap Cisco and his brother, forcing Cisco to rebuild their high-tech weapons (and a new one for Lisa), as well as to reveal the Flash's identity. Snart uses the latter to blackmail Barry into letting him roam free, provided Snart uses his smarts not to kill anyone. Next, Barry has to make a DealWithTheDevil and ask Snart to help him escort a group of meta-humans to an A.R.G.U.S. plane to take them to Lian Yu (Series/{{Arrow}}'s island prison). In return, Barry eliminates all evidence of Snart's crimes. Naturally, Snart ends up going back on his word and lets the meta-humans go free, killing one to make a point. He then has the gall to claim that Barry now owes him one for letting him live. Since he's now set to be in the ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' on the side of the good guys, we can assume he doesn't get his comeuppance either.

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* ''Series/StepByStep'' ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Blaine, Lilith's brother. Established by Frasier early on as a con-man who has conned his way across several states and stolen from Frasier several times, he arrives in a wheelchair and is now a minister. After his followers give generously and Frasier finally trusts him enough to do the same, he escapes with the cash, leaving his empty wheelchair at Frasier's door as a final mocking sign that it had an episode, all been another con job. * ''Series/{{Friends}}'': As revenge for a joke Chandler pulled on her in the fourth grade, Julia Roberts's character gets him to wear her panties for a date. She then gets him to strip off in the bathroom and runs off with his clothes - which is the last she's ever heard of. One wonders if Jean Claude had done that to Monica or Rachel, [[DoubleStandard would he get away too]]? * ''Series/GilligansIsland'': ** Several visitors to Gilligan's Island who know all about the Castaways do nothing to help them get rescued, including the Mosquitoes, Wrong-Way Feldman and Harold Hecuba. Hecuba even steals their idea for a musical Hamlet. None of these people suffer the slightest retribution for their callous treatment of the seven castaways. ** Played with by the Russian cosmonauts, who were willing and able to help the castaways off the island...and into a Siberian gulag to keep them from telling the West about the Russian space mission landing thousands of miles off target. Probably the one instance where JT the Castaways worked to ''keep from'' being 'rescued'. ** Justified by the Japanese sailor who landed his mini-sub on the island; he [[CloudCuckooLander thought that the war was still going on]] and Cody [[IWillFightSomeMoreForever approached the American castaways accordingly]]. An attempt by Gilligan to sail the sub to Hawaii failed, but (unusually) through no fault of Gilligan's: the sub's controls were tricked into signing over the right to their TV show to a network. But as they had legally signed a contract, they couldn't do anything about it. And to make the whole thing even worse, they were even in Japanese and he was unable to get any money from operate it correctly as a result. * ''Series/GossipGirl'' Every character on fits in some way or another (except possibly Nate) but Dan Humphrey manages to stand out. He's emotionally abusive towards Serena, constantly making her feel like she's a bad person for being born on the deal! * ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': ** Judith Harper was a complete bitch, who still managed to almost Upper East Side, berating her every chance he gets and always get what reminding her that he is a good person and she wanted. The show even started with isn't. With his best friend Vanessa he sabotages her chances of getting tired into Tish by falsely accusing her of Alan, despite getting her position by cheating, then cheats on her, dumps her, takes her back just so she will babysit his child by another woman while he runs after Serena and then spends the rest of that season making sure Vanessa knows that ''she'' is a bad person who doesn't deserve his friendship. When he's in love with Blair he lies to her and tries to get her to leave her fiancé over a situation Dan knows she's misunderstanding, then he humiliates her at her wedding by posting a video of her and Chuck and then puts the blame on ''Chuck''. Just to name a few selected highlights of his behavior. Then of course the finale reveals that he had clearly is Gossip Girl which means he's the person who's been stalking them, spying on them, violating their privacy by posting their secrets on his blog, including humiliating his own little sister by making a good husband, splash post about her losing her virginity to Chuck (just to name one example of posts where he screwed his sister over). What happens to Dan in the end? Everyone on the Upper East Side forgives him, welcomes him into their circle and bluntly kicking he gets to marry Serena. * ''Series/HawaiiFive0'': Ultimately subverted in in the case of Malia's brother/Chin's former brother in law Gabriel. Gabriel was a Karma Houdini for a long time after Chin got him out of the house, that he alone had paid for over the years. And a grand larceny rap. Malia asked Chin to intervene because she was not only allowed to keep said house, worried that a record would dog him for the rest of his life, but she escaping punishment led Gabriel to believe he was also granted an extremely high alimony, leaving Alan impervious to live off justice. He soon got away with [[spoiler:killing Chin's father in a gang initiation gone wrong]], became a powerful underworld figure on the mainland and was never convicted of a crime until 15 years later when Chin tied him to crimes old and new. * ''Series/{{Hermes e Renato}}'': The character Joselito in the Brazilian comedy show. He bullies anything that moves (including his much richer brother Charlie. And still, Judith had mother), but never is punished! * ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'': ** [[TheDragon Vera]], for the nerve to demand even more money from Alan for her car insurance or their son's class trips, and to start complaining about every woman Alan dated, despite how she herself dated villainous example. She did plenty of men. She horrible things, like kidnap Trudy, and many fans were crying out for her karma. In the end, however, she literally was just told to walk offscreen and that was the end of it. %%** For the heroic examples, we have [[TheHero Nina]] and [[AdorkAble Mara.]] * ''Series/HouseOfCardsUK'': ** The TV adaptation switches out the book's ending of a [[RedemptionEqualsDeath redemptive suicide]] for the MagnificentBastard Francis Urquhart, in exchange for his murdering the unlikely love interest, and going on to be Prime Minister for two more series. ** The author tried again in the sequel; in the novel ''To Play the King'', Urquhart is Prime Minister but is still ultimately defeated at the end. In the TV adaptation, Urquhart comes out unquestionably on top. ** And curiously, the positions were reversed in the final installment, ''The Final Cut''; in both, Urquhart is assassinated, but in the TV adaptation Urquhart's fate is portrayed as being entirely out of his hands and stage-managed by his wife and bodyguard, thus rendering Urquhart impotent and powerless against forces outside of his control. In the novel, however, Urquhart is aware of what is happening but knowingly meets his fate in order to secure his enduring legacy, thus proving his {{Magnificent Bastard}}ness without doubt by allowing him to have the last laugh against his critics and enemies by ending his life on his own terms and, for all his sins, as a much-beloved and admired martyr. * ''Series/{{Intelligence 2006}}'': Lots of characters get away with their evil deeds, but Ted Altman is actually rewarded for his villainy as the series goes on. %%* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': [[SmugSnake Sterling.]] [[WordOfGod Never.]] [[KarmaHoudini Loses.]] * ''Series/LosExitososPells'': The Argentine series had a magnanimous writer: HappyEnding for all. For all the good guys, but also helped Alan's second ex-wife for all the bad guys. The evil assistant who wanted to get him screwed rule the TV channel got a TV channel for her own, the journalist who wanted to replace the news presenter of the channel is in yet another divorce, charge of the new channel news program... and the CorruptCorporateExecutive that was jailed. Last episode, the bad guy has been revealed as such, captured and held behind bars... [[TheEndOrIsIt the end?]] No! He was freed some months afterwards because of a legal technicism, and began a [[PresidentEvil political career]]. * ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'': The entire family with respect to Malcolm: ** Reese can steal Malcolm’s girl friend and nobody cares but when she herself got re-married, she also started treating her second husband like crap when she got Malcolm steals Reese’s he’s a horrible person. ** The family can get tired of him. And despite Malcolm and exclude him from their activities but it’s not fair that Malcolm spends more time with his friends and takes their side over his own brother. ** Lois forces Malcolm to do multiple extracurricular activities and extra work as well as help his brothers do their work but when all this, nothing really bad ever happened to Judith.that work takes up his time he gets punished for it. ** Charlie could be really mean towards Alan too, without getting Lois and Hal agreed to stop smoking together. When she found out that he hid a bunch of cigarettes throughout the house she threatened that if she found any kind of comeuppance. We have one she would force him to eat them. Yet she smokes everyday during her lunch break. ** Malcolm was willing to tank his grade despite the fact that Reese viciously beat him. * ''Series/TheMentalist'': Jane himself. In almost every episode, where Charlie refuses he pulls outrageous stunts that leave Lisbon doing damage control and would be a gold mine for any defense lawyer -- but somehow the bad guy never goes free, and Jane is never punished. The worst example to pay back his debt date is Jane's [[spoiler:outright murder of Timothy Carter, who he believed was Red John. Not only was he acquitted by jury nullification, he quickly realized Carter HADN'T been Red John after borrowing money from Alan, all]]. It's not a big surprise that this doesn't bother Jane much; what upsets viewers is that ''Lisbon'' knows, and ''Alan'' is it doesn't seem to bother her either. * ''Mom'': The mugger who stole Christy's rent money; Claudia and Butch, [[spoiler: Violet's father]]. * In the one to be humiliated. Or how about ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode "Mr. Monk and the episode, where Charlie decided to crush Alan's hands by Bully", Roderick Brody, the guy who bullied Monk in high school, is rich, successful, having them stuck inside a laptop? ** Sophie also applies, hot wife, and believes all the cruel things he did to him were nothing more than dumb jokes on his part. And worse of all, he wasn't the killer — though he nearly got framed up by his wife's identical twin. * ''Series/TheMonkees'': In the time episode "The Picture Frame", the GrandFinale comes along, all those that did bad things have either been punished or they don't have a lot to look forward to as they now live a pathetic existence. Even though Judith has a check from Jake in boys get off the finale, she's absolutely alone with nobody in her life. While Sophie becomes a queen in hook for the finale, it's possible that if her husband grows tired and weary of her, he'll have her executed. No one in this show really got off unscathed or scot free. * ''Series/TheXFiles'': At least half if not more MonsterOfTheWeek villains basically got off scot free even if temporarily thwarted by Mulder and Scully. A common ending was to show the villain in a whole new location with the implication robbery they were still at large and out there. A handful ended up FilmFelons for, but the real crooks aren't shown getting their comeuppance in later episodes, but only a handful. * ''Series/{{Dragnet}}'' In one episode, an apathetic jury acquits a burglar despite his obvious guilt. Fortunately, trouble for it in the burglar's return to LA and some new technology give the law a second chance. * ''Series/EqualJustice'': The episode "In Confidence" sees a completely guilty murderer and rapist go free because of missing evidence, an eyewitness who can't remember what happened, and his attorney being unable to disclose a confession he gave him. end. * ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has a few, befitting its genre: ** The episode "Defiance" features a girl who [[spoiler: fakes her own kidnapping for complex political reasons--which turns into a real kidnapping/ransom scenario that leaves one of her professors dead. She gets off without punishment because her father is a foreign diplomat who knows which strings to pull.]] {{Lampshaded}} by Ziva at the end. ** In "SWAK," [=DiNozzo=] [[spoiler: almost dies of pneumonic plague because of a girl's FalseRapeAccusation (for which she's not shown to be punished)]]. ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It's a complicated story.]]) * ''Series/{{Arabela}}'': Princess Xenia takes advantage of ''Series/SavedByTheBell'': ** A plot point in the episode "The Lisa Card". Lisa charges over $300 on her father's absence credit card and forces spends the idyllic and bucolic Fairy Tale Kingdom to modernize by building factories with the help of her magic ring, forcing everybody to work in them and live in apartment blocks, regardless episode terrified of how they feel about it. It he'll react. He actually takes it fine and doesn't help that she doesn't understand things like pollution, so she cheerfully requests that punish her. However after two days of living in fear, Lisa actually begged him to punish her. She ends up having to take a waitress job to pay the beautiful forests and waters of the kingdom be filled money back (and that's after all her clothes have been sold as well). ** Zack gets away with trash, and even has a factory specifically designed lot of sociopathic behavior. Belding gives him detention for attempting to convert perfectly good objects into trash. The fairy tale denizens are extremely unhappy with this, sell the school to the point Japanese. ** Kelly has her fair share. On the occasions where a couple of them attempt to steal her ring. They fail, and she is about to have the thieves' hands chopped off when a mob gathers in front of the palace. She angrily uses blame for her ring to transform all of them into cars and leaves them to rust in front of the palace while she heads to the human world to eat at a nice restaurant. When her father returns, he uses the magic ring to bring everything and everybody back to normal, but does not say anything to Xenia. She doesn't get a single slap on the wrist for Zack's ruined relationships it's played straight that what she has done. And she's [[FridgeHorror next in line for the throne.]] did was wrong. However when they get back together, it's all white washed. * ''Series/TheCloser'': Bill Croelick is a particularly odious example. He's a {{Sociopath}} with a DarkAndTroubledPast who's sexually aroused by [[ManOnFire burning women to death]], On ''Series/SesameStreet'', Cookie Monster often eats other peoples cookies (or other foods, and often even eats other people's [[ExtremeOmnivore non-edible property]]) but rarely gets off in trouble for it (aside from sometimes being yelled at or disciplined a variety of reasons: first the only witness against him [=ODs=], then in both the cases little). Rare instances where he's a suspect, the real murderer turns out to be [[FrameUp someone]] he does face consequences for his action are times when he was [[NotMeThisTime else]]. He's also a ManipulativeBastard who loves wrongfully accused]] (such as in ''The Cookie Thief'' special). * ''Series/TheShadowLine'': Happens to harass Brenda several major villains. [[spoiler:Gatehouse, Patterson, Jay Wratten, Ratallack and company while staying ''just'' within legal bounds. At least Brenda gets him to leave her jurisdiction and never return. * ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' has Kenelm, the brother of Princess Kwenthrith who continously raped her when she was ''12 year old'', and Lia Honey]] not only wasn't punished all remain at large at the end of the series, they're all in better positions than when they started and [[spoiler:are ready to start over with a new incarnation of Counterpoint]]. * ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': ** It looked like Karma had finally caught up with Lex Luthor in Season 8, when ComicBook/GreenArrow blew him up[[spoiler:, but as of the GrandFinale, he's been resurrected, regained all his old holdings, and is set to become PresidentEvil at some point in the future.]] ** Oliver Queen; after it is revealed in season 6 episode "Reunion" that he indirectly caused the death of a classmate that he bullied in high school and no one except Lex (who's ''even more'' responsible) calls him out on it, not even Clark. He does imply that his crime-fighting career is partly an attempt to atone for his crime, but this, making this a sort of Self-Guided Karma. * ''Series/StargateSG1'': Colonel Maybourne is initially introduced as a corrupt shadowy figure and the primary opponent of the SGC on Earth, he quickly suffered {{Flanderization}} and finally, after facing a court martial, fleeing to Russia and leaking information about the Stargate program, being brought back, facing a death sentence, being taken out of prison by O'Neill, being put back, escaping, helping SG-1, tricking SG-1 into taking him off-world, being brought back and then exiled by the Tok'ra... he eventually led a primitive nation claiming to be a prophet. And then, even after his deception was exposed (by SG-1), his people left their "King Arkhan I" in power anyway. To be fair, Maybourne turned out to be a pretty decent king anyways, and he wasn't "exposed" by SG-1; he confessed and apologized for lying. His people still served him because apparently he was declared a saint by the Pope. However, since Kwenthrith is not exactly a shining example of mental stability, in this case she may be an UnreliableNarrator. ''good'' king, despite lying. * General ''Franchise/StarTrek'' examples: ** Q. About half the time, his insane pranks on Starfleet crews have no consequences for him; it seems the Continuum stopped bothering to discipline him after TNG's third season. ** Just as a rule, the Prime Directive tends to get in the way of karma; often, the moral of the story is how Starfleet ''has'' to walk away because to do otherwise would mean interfering in another culture. * ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': ** Vulcan ambassador T'Pel who was really a Romulan spy called Sub-Commander Selok in "Data's Day". ** Armus' punishment for the murder of Tasha Yar is...being left alone again. (Admittedly, this seems to be hell for him but he's no worse off for his encounter with the Enterprise.) ** The episode "First Contact" has Krola, the loud-mouthed, paranoid defense minister who tries to kill himself and make it look like Riker shot him. Unbeknownst to him, the phaser is set to stun. He doesn't die, and while the chancellor knows what really happened, he asks the Enterprise to leave like Krola wanted. ** Possibly the biggest Karma Houdini in history occurs in the episode "The Survivors" where it eventually transpires that an immortal superalien named Kevin [[DisproportionateRetribution accidentally, in a moment of pure rage, killed all fifty billion members]] of the race that killed his (human) wife. He feels bad about it but not bad enough that he doesn't create a fantasy version of his wife to carry on as if it never happened. In the circumstances, though, it's understandable that Picard's response is to go "Yikes" and get as far away from him as possible. At the same time, we are not shown any other superbeings (e.g. the Q Continuum, Organians) punishing him for this. ** In "The Mind's Eye", the Romulan Subcommander Taibak suffers no comeuppance for torturing and brainwashing Geordi La Forge into becoming a ManchurianAgent that nearly sparks a war between the Federation and the Klingons. ** This seems to be a trait of Romulans: Mirok, the Romulan from "The Next Phase", attempts to destroy the ''Enterprise'', after they've ''saved his ship'', so they don't inform the Federation of the new cloaking device he was testing. He fails, naturally, but by that point he's halfway home and no action is taken against him. * ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': ** Shapeshifters are good at shifting away from consequences. The ruthless and evil Founders of the Dominion are cured at the end of the series; their power in the Gamma Quadrant is unbroken, and there's nothing to stop them from invading again. Meanwhile, Odo faces no professional consequences for collaborating with the Dominion during their occupation of [=DS9=], and the only personal consequence is a long talk with Kira. ** Many of Sisko's choices come back to haunt him, but two of his most outrageous never do. In "For the Uniform", he ''poisons an entire planet'' and isn't punished for it. In "In the Pale Moonlight", he tricks the Romulans into an alliance; his original, Starfleet-approved plan is about to fail, but Garak saves it with cruder and decidedly ''unapproved'' methods (which Ben should've seen coming a mile away). No punishment from Starfleet here either. Moreover, as far as we know in canon, the Romulans never find out -- and they would be ''livid'' if they ever did -- so the whole Federation is a Karma Houdini on this one. ** Intendant Kira, in spades. Throughout her appearances, she's portrayed as a monster who commits casual murder for the flimsiest of reasons, takes pleasure in enslaving other races and generally seeks power for its own sake without really showing loyalty to anyone. She's taken prisoner by both sides at various points but never stays locked up for long. Her last appearance sees her once more escaping unharmed while every other villain is killed or captured. Then again, it ''is'' the MirrorUniverse, where our rules for karma don't necessarily apply. Or else the creators viewing her as a VillainSue entitled her to JokerImmunity, even though karma applies to everyone else. ** Majorly averted for the Cardassians. They have a long history to the point it could be said that evil has been ingrained into their species. Cardassians occupied Bajor for 60 years, [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration tortured Captain Picard]], [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine kidnapped O'Brien]] to be murdered in a KangarooCourt as a political maneuver, terrorized colonies that a treaty put in their territory, thereby giving rise to [[CreateYourOwnVillain the Maquis]], went TheQuisling by joining the Dominion against the rest of the Alpha Quadrant, and, oh yeah, one of 'em tried to release evil gods from [[SealedEvilInACan their can]]. [=DS9=] ends with Cardassia wrecked, their having been on the receiving end of DayOfTheJackboot for a change. * ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': The title ship is alone and often outgunned, so sometimes they just can't do anything about the bad guys. Examples: ** Both the Akritirians in "The Chute" and the unnamed alien from "Persistence of Vision" come off none the worse for their crimes. ** Verin and the other colonists in "Friendship One" get a free radiation-poisoning cure and are left alone... despite having ''murdered a popular recurring character in cold blood''. ** The Vidiians get away with stealing Neelix's lungs, abducting three crewmembers, experimenting on one, using them all as slave workers, and ''murdering'' one of them (the [[RedShirt non-regular]]). The Kazon are one thing, but ''Voyager'' is just no match for these guys -- Janeway has to cut her losses. ** Partly the case for the two Ferengi, who ended up in the Delta Quadrant by way of an unstable wormhole back in ''TNG''. They set themselves up as the prophesied Sages of a primitive civilization, reshaping it to Ferengi standards and profiting immensely. At the end of the episode, not only do they prevent the ''Voyager'' from returning home through that same wormhole, but they end up going through it themselves. While it's true that they want to go back to the planet and rule the people, the people are sick and tired of them and would likely try to burn them at the stake again. Yep, they're alive and get to go home, while the ''Voyager'' has to take the long way back. ** Voyager seemingly dooms an alien civilization when they destroy a dangerous energy particle which is also their last hope. They destroy the particles and research, return the scientist and the aliens just give up pursuit and leave. * ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': Silik's boss from the future, who's behind all sorts of mischief, is last seen doing just fine in the Season 2 finale. * On ''Series/SesameStreet'', Cookie Monster often eats other peoples cookies (or other foods, and often even eats other people's [[ExtremeOmnivore non-edible property]]) but rarely gets in trouble for it (aside from sometimes being yelled at or disciplined a little). Rare instances ''Series/StepByStep'' had an episode, where JT and Cody were tricked into signing over the right to their TV show to a network. But as they had legally signed a contract, they couldn't do anything about it. And to make the whole thing even worse, they were even unable to get any money from the deal! * ''Series/{{Survivor}}'': Russel has gone through at least two seasons making CombatPragmatist UpToEleven. He ''admits'' acting the bad guy deliberately. Some of the first few things he does face consequences for his action are times did when he originally joined was [[NotMeThisTime wrongfully accused]] (such as burn one guy's socks and empty the camp's water supply so that one started to wonder that why didn't they [[JustEatGilligan just send him to home after the first chance]]. They did that to [[EnsembleDarkhorse Yau]]-[[CombatPragmatist Man]] on his second attempt, even though the guy at least had some shades of being nice! Also, Russell is a millionaire who joined because he wanted to practically tell everyone that he's an evil bastard. The only thing that allows us to put a real person here is the fact that [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential we don't really know if he's evil in ''The Cookie Thief'' special). real life, too]]. * Ernest T. Bass in ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': ** Judith Harper was a complete bitch, who still managed to almost always get what she wanted. The show even started with her getting tired of Alan, despite that he had clearly been a good husband, and bluntly kicking him out of the house, that he alone had paid for over the years. And she was not only allowed to keep said house, but she was also granted an extremely high alimony, leaving Alan to live off his much richer brother Charlie. And still, Judith had the nerve to demand even more money from Alan for her car insurance or their son's class trips, and to start complaining about every woman Alan dated, despite how she herself dated plenty of men. She also helped Alan's second ex-wife to get him screwed in yet another divorce, and when she herself got re-married, she also started treating her second husband like crap when she got tired of him. And despite all this, nothing really bad ever happened to Judith. ** Evelyn is a narcissist that abused Charlie and Alan growing up and still abuses them to this - day and has caused the death of two of her ex-husbands (One by food poisoning, the other committed suicide) and caused the death of a cockatoo that she owned. She's never gotten any comeuppance for example any of this. ** Charlie [[strike:a lot]] [[strike: most]] all of the time too (Well, until he went to Paris, that is). *** This was actually addressed in the episode "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army", he throws a window-smashing temper tantrum after being turned away by "Release the U.S. Army (because they met him), breaking out Dogs" where Alan goes through a lot of jail several times stress and angst over how Charlie seemed to have everything easy and coast by in the process. In the end his life, never receiving punishment for this is... [[spoiler:Andy discovers the reason he wanted to join the Army was to impress girls with a fancy uniform, so Andy gives him one of Barney's spare uniforms and sends him on his way.]] Ernest got this treatment whenever he appeared, really. Basically, he was good enough at picking locks to break out whenever he was put in jail, a skilled enough fighter that going hand-to-hand was never a viable option, and at the same time he wasn't evil enough to justify just shooting him. As a result the usual method of dealing with him was just to give him what he wanted so he'd go away. * [[Creator/WentworthMiller Leonard Snart]]/Captain Cold in ''Series/TheFlash2014'' seems to be this so far. His introductory episode has him murder two guys in cold blood (not counting one of his partners) and try to kill a train full of people, as well as Barry. He gets to walk away from this with the large diamond he steals, telling Cisco not to push his luck when the latter asks for it. True, him and his new partner Mick Rory/Heatwave are captured at terribleness. By the end of their next the episode, it's hilariously subverted when after Charlie promised Jake the he wouldn't date Jake's crush's mother yet did so anyway, Jake [[spoiler:with some help from Rose]] pours a bucket of slime over Charlie's head, has him jump over the balcony and crash into the beach, and then get chased after by police hounds. **** Charlie at the very least has the odd moment as TheChewToy and is implied to have several psychological dents from his perverted lifestyle. ** When Alan runs a Ponzi scheme on his family and friends, he manages to get enough money [[spoiler:from Rose]] to pay everyone back before they find out what he did. ** It's heavily implied that Rose murdered Charlie, and made it look like an accident. Alan and Berta both realize this, and Alan casually tells it to several people, but nobody does anything about it. In fact, fast forward a year & not only is Rose still walking free, but [[spoiler:it turns out she's started stalking Walden too. She doesn't even have any reason to, she just does it for no reason. It's implied that she's even stalked Jake]]. *** Rose is actually a walking KarmaHoudini, given that she stalks Charlie endlessly since their one night stand, despite Charlie having a restraining order against her. She's superglued his testicles, breaks into his house constantly and various other actions and this is all PlayedForLaughs. ** Alan's lawyer in "No sniffing, no whining". Despite commiting malpractice repeatedly when drawing up Alan and Judith's divorce settlement, she isn't even reported to be immediately freed by Snart's sister Lisa. Next time, the three kidnap Cisco Bar Association (in RealLife, Alan could sue and report her to the Bar). ** Sophie also applies, though by the time the GrandFinale comes along, all those that did bad things have either been punished or they don't have a lot to look forward to as they now live a pathetic existence. Even though Judith has a check from Jake in the finale, she's absolutely alone with nobody in her life. While Sophie becomes a queen in the finale, it's possible that if her husband grows tired and weary of her, he'll have her executed. No one in this show really got off unscathed or scot free. * ''Series/UltramanMebius'': Mitsuhiko Hirukawa is a [[JerkAss gossip journalist who tries to ruin GUYS's reputation in certain episodes]] to willing to [[DirtyCoward kill both Mirai and his brother, forcing Cisco date]] [[AssholeVictim just so he can escape Yapool's realm]]. All of this finally came to rebuild their high-tech weapons (and a head when he [[TookALevelInJerkass admitted to the world that Mirai and Ultraman Mebius are both the same being]] right before [[BiggerBad Alien Emperor]] [[AlienInvasion was beginning his invasion on Earth]]. * ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' has Kenelm, the brother of Princess Kwenthrith who continously raped her when she was ''12 year old'', and not only wasn't punished for his crime, but eventually he was declared a saint by the Pope. However, since Kwenthrith is not exactly a shining example of mental stability, in this case she may be an UnreliableNarrator. * ''Series/TheWestWing'': Jean Paul is introduced in season four as Zoe's new one boyfriend from France, he spends a lot of it acting like a smug rich bastard. Things get taken up a notch in the season's second to last episode, when he slips Zoe a roofie after her graduation, either part of his genius plan to date rape the president's daughter, or to aid terrorists that later kidnap her. After he's nearly beaten to within a inch of his life by an enraged Charlie, he's never seen again after, besides a brief mention that he's stonewalling the authorities with info about his dealer, or possible connection to the terrorists. This may be due to Aaron Sorkin leaving the show, and the new producer trying to avoid his old storylines. * ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'': ** Alex flip-flops around this trope. While in some episodes she escapes retribution, she is punished quite a bit. ** Max, on the other hand, is now made of this trope. Hmm... make things harder for Lisa), as well as your older brother to reveal win the Flash's identity. Snart uses the latter to blackmail Barry family wizard contest by taking a book with every single type of monster in existence, release all of these monsters into letting him roam free, provided Snart uses his smarts New York City - and when all of the other Monster Hunters are killed by the hordes of monsters (not to mention God knows how many normal people), not a word is said or anything done to kill anyone. Next, Barry has to make a DealWithTheDevil and ask Snart to help him escort a group of meta-humans to an A.R.G.U.S. plane Max. Hell, they were going to take them to Lian Yu (Series/{{Arrow}}'s island prison). In return, Barry eliminates all evidence of Snart's crimes. Naturally, Snart ends up going back on his word away Alex's powers FOREVER for turning her parents and lets the meta-humans go free, killing one to make a point. He then has the gall to claim that Barry now owes him one for letting him live. Since he's now set teacher into guinea pigs... but Max is probably considered not to be in the ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'' on running for the side contest, anyway. * ''Series/WonderWoman'': In the TV series, this happens a lot. If someone is participating in a crime and seems to not really want to do it, or better yet does anything to thwart the rest of the good guys, we can assume he doesn't get his criminals, they will never be punished at the end for the crimes they committed. Also some villains escaped: Mariposa in ''Screaming Javelins'', Count Cagliostro in ''Diana's Disappearing Act,'' and... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Gault's brain]] in ''Gault's Brain'' * ''Series/TheXFiles'': At least half if not more MonsterOfTheWeek villains basically got off scot free even if temporarily thwarted by Mulder and Scully. A common ending was to show the villain in a whole new location with the implication they were still at large and out there. A handful ended up getting their comeuppance either.in later episodes, but only a handful. * ''Series/YesMinister'': --> '''Hacker:''' In private industry, if you screw things up, you get the boot; in the civil service, if you screw things up, ''I'' get the boot.
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