->''"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."''
-->-- '''Michael Corleone''', ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII''

Sometimes, a character seems like a KarmaHoudini. However, certain circumstances and actions taken can result in the vicious delayed retribution of {{Karma}}, [[CallItKarma related phenomena]], and even [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his own mistakes]]:

* He feels sorry for his actions but [[HeelFaceDoorSlam fails to fix things]].
* He suffers someone who is [[EvilerThanThou a bigger bastard than he is]].
* The plot undergoes CerebusSyndrome and villains lose their JokerImmunity.

If one of these conditions is met, the {{Karma}} from his previous actions returns in full force and everyone turns on him.

Karma may get vindictive and make even [[DisproportionateRetribution minor blemishes seriously punished]] while [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished good deeds are belittled]]. The expiration of a Karma Houdini Warranty tends to turn the character into TheWoobie or a JerkassWoobie for the audience... but this isn't the case in-universe. The other characters (and the author) usually believe that the character is getting their just deserts, and show NoSympathy. If it is the first condition that is met, then it may be a case of RedemptionEqualsAffliction.

Karma may provide a CatharsisFactor by pulling the rug out from under the former Houdini. In this case, the SmugSnake realizes they're at someone's mercy and the villains that fans LoveToHate is finally punished. Both the characters and the audience turning the untouchable evil into a ButtMonkey.

''The TropeCo/KarmaHoudiniWarranty is now available in our TropeCo catalogue!''

[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'''s Accelerator didn't ''quite'' go unpunished, but he might as well have. What happened? Beaten up and kicked out of a program he actually didn't want to participate in in the first place. What had he done? ''Killed ten thousand teenage (kinda) girls'' and planned to kill another ten thousand after that. So that people would quit messing with him. ''Maybe.'' After this, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn... and takes a bullet in the forehead for it. Permanent brain damage that leaves him unable to speak properly, use higher brain functions or motor control without outside assistance (which, ironically, comes from the other ten thousand girls he didn't kill).
* ''Manga/FromEroicaWithLove'' has Dorian, a rogue and a thief, but he always seems to come off worst when he keeps his word and/or his intentions are good. The Major assumes the worst at all times, and pulls his nastiest double crosses when Dorian genuinely keeps his word or takes action to help.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', [[InvokedTrope invoking this trope]] is a core part of [[TheAtoner Roy Mustang's]] motivation. As a soldier in a past civil war, Mustang and his fellow soldiers committed many horrible atrocities, however, because they were on the winning side, [[KarmaHoudini they were all commended and treated as war heroes.]] Mustang's goal throughout the series is to become the Führer of the country, so that he can ensure that this is rectified. When his subordinate (and LoveInterest) points out that this means Mustang will most likely be tried as a war criminal himself and sent off to prison, Mustang informs her that that's ''exactly'' what he wants. [[spoiler: We never see it occur, anyhow.]]
** [[spoiler: We have [[WordofGod Word of God]] that he does indeed see his day in court, and is found guilty and then pardoned, mostly for saving everyone.]]
* In the ''[[LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}} Monogatari]]'' series, Deshuu Kaiki seems to get away with scamming kids with little more than Koyomi's stern warning for him to never return. When he ''does'' return, he is implied to have gained some remorse over his past actions (not that he's going to admit it), so he goes out of his way to save Koyomi from a Snake God-influenced Nadeko and convince her to move on from her obsession with him, even if he has little to gain, or without the direct involvement of Kanbaru, the only person in town he has ever shown kindness to. And all it got him was [[spoiler:a potentially fatal wound from one of the boys he scammed in the past]].
* ''Manga/PetShopOfHorrors'' has Leon Orcot, who was characterised by his muleheadedness and cynicism over the supernatural. Count D welcomes him at the pet shop nonetheless...until Leon actually proves himself in a confrontation with D's father and recognises the pet shop and the Count for what they truly are. ''That's'' when he gets abandoned.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'': Kyubey has spent millennia scamming and ultimately destroying innocent Magical Girls from all over the universe and walked away every time smelling like a rose. Even Madoka's giant "Eff You" at the end of the original system didn't "punish" him, per se, even though he hadn't gotten precisely what he wanted. But in Rebellion, karma finally finds him; in trying to reinstate the Witch System, Kyubey pushes his luck too far. By the time the dust settles, [[spoiler:not only are his plans annihilated, he's ended up making [[{{Archenemy}} Homura]] even stronger than Madoka herself, and proceeds to get his entire race enslaved and himself horrifically [[MindRape Mind Raped]] for his troubles.]]
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' ends with [[ManipulativeBastard Akio]] seeing his sister Anthy, who he had manipulated and abused for countless years along with everyone else at the school, walk out on him after telling him that he can continue to play prince in his own little world but ''she'' has to find Utena. The implications of the final shot featuring him are quite dark, since he's all alone and overshadowed by his massive office, and it's implied that without Anthy has has no real power and his actions will catch up to him soon.
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline Progressive'' has an example of the "sorry for his actions" type in Nezha the blacksmith. He helps his guildmates scam people out of their weapons and sell them so that they can keep pace with the rest of the "clearers," since they'd fallen behind while trying to help Nezha (who's essentially legally blind in-game as a result of a Full-Dive Nonconformity). Eventually, Kirito and Asuna see through his trick, and he's nearly DrivenToSuicide out of guilt, but they convince him to reallocate his skills to help others. By switching some skills around so that he no longer has smithing, [[HandicappedBadass Nezha is able to master the chakram]], and [[BigDamnHeroes helps save the clearers from the boss of the second floor]]. Afterward, someone notices that Nezha has a rare weapon and asks about it, leading to Nezha's crimes being exposed and him nearly being killed for (supposedly) indirectly causing someone's death, until his guildmates take responsibility.
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** Because ''Bardock: The Father of Goku'' and ''Dragon Ball Minus'' are prequels to ''Dragon Ball'', Frieza gets away with killing almost all the Saiyans and laughs happily as Planet Vegeta explodes. Bardock's final vision in the TV Special, however, is one of Goku fighting Frieza on Namek. So despite everything, Bardock dies knowing that his son will avenge him. Even in ''Minus'', we see a panel of Goku and Frieza facing each other as the final shot. Indeed, Frieza's downfall comes about as a result of his own actions; for starters, [[SelfFulfillingProphecy his attempt to prevent a Super Saiyan from coming into being end up bringing one forth]] when he pushes Goku [[RageBreakingPoint too far]].
** Similarly, because of the nature of ''The History of Trunks'', the BadFuture counterparts of Androids 17 and 18 are never made to pay for their crimes; when Trunks tries to avenge Gohan's death at their hands, he's nearly killed. They ''finally'' get their just desserts three years later when Trunks, having TookALevelInBadass thanks to his training in the past, returns and dishes out to them exactly what they did to Gohan: [[PayEvilUntoEvil making them feel completely powerless and outmatched before killing them]].
* Hayate's parents from ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' get away with [[AbusiveParents every parental crime]] they inflict on their son from stealing his hard earned money, abandoning him to a yakuza and generally messing with life. The final arc is when they finally get their comeuppance. [[spoiler:In their attempt to get money from Nagi and sabotage Hayate's job as her butler, they end up screwing over Hisui's plans for the King's Jewel's power. Their final scene is them watching in horror as the girl rips off the hood of their car.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog: Geoffrey St. John [[spoiler:got away with committing treason, which included a long list of actions such as letting Dr. Robotnik usurp the kingdom, because he was pardoned by his then recently crowned master, Ixis Naugus. When Naugus' plan to use mind control on the Council of Acorn fails, and Geoffrey finally sees Naugus for what he is, he tries to appeal to Naugus to change his ways, and gets [[GrandTheftMe possessed]] by Naugus. Now that the book has gone through a ContinuityReboot, Geoffrey's ultimate fate is unclear, but he's no longer relevant to the book. Though it's very possible that he's been [[RetGone wiped from existence]] [[ScrewedByTheLawyers due to the lawsuit that resulted in said reboot]].]]
* An [[Franchise/ArchieComics Archie]] comic from the early 70s starts with Reggie yanking away a pennant from Jughead and saying "Take your hands off!" Jughead replies "I can't, they're attached to my arms!" and proceeds to drive Reggie crazy with his incessant recital of "Dem Bones." Later Jughead realizes he may have gone too far and seeks to apologize. He finds Reggie half way around the bend and tells him "I didn't want to upset you." This drives Reggie even crazier as he didn't accept it as a valid apology.
** Archie himself turns into a ScrewySquirrel / KarmicTrickster in a story about a fake rubber hand he borrowed from the art class. He uses it to play practical jokes on Reggie and Big Moose, getting them in trouble with Mr. Weatherbee. Jughead, who disapproves of Archie's behavior, thinks a hand clinging to the outside of a window sill is Archie's fake hand and nudges it off, only to find it was the janitor. Jughead, Reggie and Big Moose wind up serving detention, with Archie delivering a final needle ("I sure wish I could give you a ''hand!''") As Archie laughs outside, three arms from the detention room reach out towards him.
* The Christine Spar arc of ''ComicBook/{{Grendel}}'' has the serial child murderer vampire Tujiro XIV, who started all the trouble, [[VillainExitStageLeft escape at the end]]. He unexpectedly [[HijackedByGanon turns up again]] as the main villain of the Eppy Thatcher arc, and this time dies.
* Loki's Karma Houdini Warranty over what they did at the end of ''Comicbook/JourneyIntoMystery'' [[spoiler:(Killed their own child incarnation and took over his body)]] expired in the 10th issue of ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'', the kicker is: They're type one. Their own guilt over this crime almost unmade reality in ''Comicbook/YoungAvengers'', they're trying to make amends ever since, and what actually triggers the karmic punishment is a confession to Thor.
* In ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'', a flashback arc set in the Pre-War era have the corrupt Senator Proteus get away with all the terrible things he's done... but only because the comic's chronology states that Proteus gets brutally murdered for his crimes a couple months afterwards.
* In the ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' comic strip, an alien CorruptCorporateExecutive named Joshua Dogbolter acted as a recurring villain in a lengthy arc in the early-to-mid eighties, but then disappeared from the strip unpunished for his many crimes due to a change of writer [[AbortedArc aborting the arc]]. "The Stockbridge Showdown", a MilestoneCelebration strip in the magazine's 500th issue, centred around the Doctor finally defeating him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' fic ''FanFic/ConstantTemptation'' Light picks up the DistressBall almost immediately after he decides [[AlwaysNeedWhatYouGaveUp he doesn't really want to be Kira anymore.]]
* Likewise in ''FanFic/FeverDreams'' as soon as Light decides he wants to quit being Kira [[ButtMonkey he has to deal with potentially deadly and/or incriminating disaster after disaster]].
* In ''Fanfic/ForHisOwnSake'', all of the Hinata Girls suffer a massive HumiliationConga after Keitaro, who finally GrewASpine after years of "comedic" abuse, leaves the Inn and dumps Naru, and, in trying to undo those, RealityEnsues hard on them. So far only Hina, Naru, Motoko and Mutsumi are still trying to get an extension of their warranty, but everything points that [[HoistByHisOwnPetard their own bad choices will keep biting even harder]].
* ''FanFic/AnAlternateKeitaroUrashima'':
** This is the cause of the in-universe expiration of the Hinata Girls Karma Houdini Warranty. If the girls had just followed their base anti-male reflexes and refused to carry on Granny Hina's plan of bring her grandson to become the Inn manager (a thing none of them wanted but still accepted to do because of their love for their landlady), none of them (Hina included) wouldn't had received the reality bitch-slaps they are still getting.
** It's particularly notable with Motoko, who suffers a ''major'' HumiliationConga after threatening Keitaro with her katana in public, getting, in this order, arrested, defeated in a duel by Keitaro, kicked out of the Kendo Club, and stripped of her position as heir to her family's school. According to the other Hinata Girls, Motoko has committed similar acts in the past, and Keitaro is the first one who ever pressed charges against her.
* Zouken nearly makes it through ''Fanfic/FateZeroSanity'', only for some [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness OSG]] members to come and finish him off near the end.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Homer in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' comes to mind. For the entire series everyone loves his antics, but in the movie Marge actually leaves him over them (though they naturally end up together in the end).
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsFriendshipGames'', Principal Cinch of Crystal Prep does many horrible acts, including blackmailing the Human Twilight to compete in the games and later pressuring her to cheat using the collected magic which put multiple lives in danger. She doesn't get much onscreen punishment though, besides the fact that with the games being a tie she has lost her "perfect reputation" of Crystal Prep always winning and being [[CassandraTruth unable to prove]] that CHS has magic without looking insane, she just walks off before she can be embarrassed anymore. Come "[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsMagicalMovieNight Dance Magic]]", it is mentioned that Cadance has become the Principal of Crystal Prep, implying that Cinch's actions have gotten her fired and ruined the legacy she tried desperately to be remembered for.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Archie in the [[TheFilmOfTheBook film adaptation]] of ''Film/TheChocolateWar'' runs into this at the end of the film. Unlike the novel it's based on, where Archie gets away with manipulating everyone and sets up the book's protagonist to suffer a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown, Archie isn't a KarmaHoudini in the film and deservedly gets his ass kicked in the end.
* The movie ''Film/{{Flight}}'' is about an alcoholic, hedonistic pilot who happens to save most of the people on his plane when it suffers a mechanical failure. Said pilot manages to convince plenty of people to stand up for him and help cover up the consequences of his alcoholism... [[spoiler: right up until he has to testify in front of the hearing for the commission, at which point his guilt overcomes him, he confesses to being drunk during the plane ride, and all the consequences of his actions come back to bite him.]] Subverted: [[spoiler: He considers his stint in prison to be the best thing that ever happened to him, since it gave him the chance to clean up and fix his life, including allowing him to reconnect with his estranged son.]]
* In ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', Hans Landa captures Raine and Utivich and negociates with the Allies his immunity in exchange of leaving the operation meant to kill Hitler go unhindered. [[spoiler:Too bad he forgot, when surrendering to Raine afterward, that the man has the habit to let no Nazi go free without a permanent reminder of their past on their forehead...]]
* In ''Film/{{Shooter}}'', the main antagonist even gives a speech about his KarmaHoudini status, and how he'll get away with everything because the protagonist has no proof. Too bad he forgot the protagonist isn't above [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge working outside the law]].
* Cal Hockley in ''Film/{{Titanic|1997}}''. He treats Rose like crap throughout the film and tries to have Jack arrested, but ends up surviving the sinking. [[spoiler: However, as far as he knew, Rose perished and the Heart of the Ocean was lost forever. Later, he lost all his money in the stock market crash of 1929 and committed suicide.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'': Though many of Count Olaf's schemes are thwarted, he always manages to escape punishment and go on to torment the Baudelaires again, making their lives Hell all for the sake of acquiring their fortune. His streak finally comes to an end in the final book, when [[spoiler:Olaf is harpooned by Ishmael and exposed to the toxic Medusoid Mycelium he had planned to threaten his enemies with. Despite eating an apple that contained a cure to the Mycelium, Olaf was nonetheless mortally wounded and succumbs to the injury, realizing that all of his plans have been foiled, he has nothing left to live for, having lost everyone close to him, and he has no chance of obtaining the Baudelaire fortune.]]
* Gwendolyn in the ''Literature/MaloryTowers'' series by Enid Blyton spent the entirety of the series as the spoilt, lazy, unpopular ButtMonkey of her form. In the 5th book, however, Gwen meets the new girl Maureen, a similarly spoilt and unpopular schoolgirl. Gwen takes a disliking to her, recognizing her own personality flaws in Maureen, and so makes amends to behave better. Unfortunately for her, the rest of the form is now fed up of dealing with Gwen's antics and takes no notice of her CharacterDevelopment.
** The character development, however, goes to hell in the 6th book, and Gwen does eventually get her comeuppance. [[spoiler:Her father falls very ill, and so she has to drop out of the prestigious Malory Towers to acquire an office job as she cares for her father.]]
* Artemis Entreri from ''Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt''. He initially [[Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy seems like a KarmaHoudini]], but karma catches up big-time in the [[Literature/LegacyOfTheDrow sequel]]. [[spoiler: He gets beaten up by his nemesis and shot with a sleeping dart, leaving him hanging by a tattered cloak from a rock spur. The person he treated so badly from the trilogy finds him and cuts the cloak. He survives, but winds up in a city full of people just like him and finds out how bad his lifestyle choice is, eventually triggering a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* ''{{Literature/Pact}}'' gives us... the [[BigScrewedUpFamily Thorburns]]. For [[RuleofSeven seven generations]] of [[RitualMagic practitioners]], this family of [[TheLegionsOfHell diabolists]] fairly successfully avoided the accumulated bad karma [[DealWithTheDevil playing with demons]] will hand you using every trick in their library to sidestep it. The problem is, the debt is now so large that it's not possible to avoid it any longer. As a result, the last and current generations are ''really'' feeling the hit -- as the debt is a blood one. Even the ones who ''aren't'' actually practitioners and, therefore, know nothing about their history are being affected by it; for all that "[[{{Muggles}} Innocents]]" shouldn't be this badly involved. Which, is quite an achievement. Trying to get the family karma account back into the black ''without'' getting killed off too fast is the main aim of the protagonist, Blake, for most of the story. He doesn't wish to pass the whole, messy can of worms along to the unsuspecting... any more than he wanted it handed to him in the first place. Other families in Jacob's Bell would do well to take note: they're not immune to their various warranties (personal or communal), expiring, either.
* ''Literature/GoneGirl'' has an example that's both a KarmaHoudini getting punished and the perpetrators going away scot-free. [[spoiler:Amy has already faked her death to screw her husband's life and is hiding in a redneck community. Including a couple who suspect Amy is loaded with cash, assault her, and go away with all of her money.]] Then again, [[XanatosSpeedChess this forces the victims to a change of plans]] that lead to [[spoiler:''literally'' getting away with murder.]]
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books, Dolores Umbridge doesn't get much comeuppance for being a SadistTeacher, a ''war criminal'' and an all-around JerkAss, but according to WordOfGod, she receives a life sentence in Azkaban for crimes against Muggle-borns after the events of the 7th book.
%%* Many of Creator/JaneAusten's {{Karma Houdini}}s find themselves subjected to this in the ''Literature/MrAndMrsDarcyMysteries''. Most notably: Henry Crawford, Caroline Bingley, Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Prohibition Agent Nelson van Alden of ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' does some pretty heinous things in his pursuit of Nucky Thompson, eventually being caught out for a past murder and going on the run. Once he flees Atlantic City and starts a new life in Chicago, living under an assumed name with his baby and the nanny he later married, everyone pretty much gives up hunting him and he settles into an honest civilian life, the hardships and humiliations of which he sees as his penance. What drags him back into the dark is that his wife, who he's given vague warnings about his shady past, murders an innocent visitor who she mistakes for one of the "bad men", and covering up the crime puts him in debt to the Chicago mob.
** And seven years later when a member of said mob turns out to be an undercover government agent who figures out who he really is and arrests him, he's told he'll have to betray Al Capone in order to avoid serious jail time. Good luck with that one, Nelson.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' has this trope as one of its principal themes. As [[WordOfGod Vince Gilligan]] himself stated, he believes that at some point everyone will have to face the terrible consequences of their evil deeds, no matter how long it takes. [[spoiler:This is why at the end of the series several of the drug dealers are either [[KarmicDeath dead]] (including [[VillainProtagonist Walter White]] himself) or, if left alive, either had [[CruelMercy nothing to look forward to]] (such as Saul) or [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone bore the stigma of guilt]] (such as Jesse).]]
** The prequel series ''Series/BetterCallSaul'' looks like it's carrying this idea over too. For the first half of the first season, it seemed like the Kettlemans would invert this trope, but thinking about it, they were never gonna get away with it to begin with. They just wanted the dignity of not caving in and confessing their involvement. Plus, they thought that no matter what happened, as long as they kept the money, they'd win. Ultimately, [[spoiler:thanks to Mike]], that plan soon became moot.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': D'Hoffryn is last seen in Season 7 victorious, being allowed to kill Anya's friend Halfrek to punish her before disappearing, and continuing this streak throughout the Season 9 comics. His streak finally comes to an end at the end of the Season 10 comics, where he's been elevated to BigBad; [[spoiler: after killing the members of the Magic Council to steal their powers and killing the Anya replica for defying him, he's abandoned by his fellow Vengeance demons for betraying one of his own, stripped of his stolen powers, and rendered helpless before Buffy, who [[OffWithHisHead slices his head off]].]]
* ''Series/{{ER}}'''s Kerry Weaver pulled numerous unethical stunts in order to advance her career, never incurring punishment for any of them, eventually becoming Chief of Staff after the worst one of all--hiding an alderman's STD diagnosis instead of reporting it to the department of health as she's legally obligated to do and treating his similarly infected boyfriend off the record, essentially killing the man when he suffers a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics she gives him. She's finally demoted and eventually fired when she finally has the guts and decency to admit to her fault in hiring a mentally unstable physician and ignoring repeated complaints about the man's erratic and violent behavior.
* ''{{Series/Midsomer Murders}}'' has one as the motive of a case. By chance a woman meets the son of a man who, 40 years ago while working as a mercenary in Africa, committed a war crime in the village where she was volunteering as a teacher. To get some revenge for his atrocity which left several of her students dead, she blackmails him to donate a million pounds to a charity dedicated to repairing the damage men like him caused. [[spoiler: He knew she was a nun and attempted to murder her but killed one of her convent sisters instead because they both wore glasses. This led to the police getting involved and his being arrested.]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** This happen to Jaime Lannister early on in Season 3. After two full seasons of getting away with stuff like [[spoiler:trying to kill a child who discovered him committing incest with his twin sister]] and [[spoiler:actually killing his own cousin for momentary advantage]], he got off pretty lightly as a [[spoiler:relatively well-treated prisoner of war who was to be returned home as part of a hostage exchange]]. In fact, one of the first genuinely kind and (almost) selfless things he's ever shown doing is intervening to prevent Brienne from being raped when it becomes apparent she's too outnumbered by attackers to defend herself for long. And it works... [[spoiler:but their captors take umbrage at Jaime's superior attitude in doing so, and cut off his sword hand in what basically amounts to an act of senseless spite.]]
** Ramsey Snow/Bolton always gets away with the horrible things that he did since Season 3 such as hunting down and flaying his victims, [[spoiler:torturing and castrating Theon and raping Sansa during their wedding night]]. Despite that his dad, [[PragmaticVillainy Roose Bolton]], called him out on his [[StupidEvil needless violence]] which would affect their relations to the rest of the Northern houses, Ramsey had none of it [[spoiler:and killed his own dad, taking control of their house]]. Then, he continues being a murdering asshole much to the viewers’ annoyance. Unfortunately for Ramsey, his time is up in the penultimate episode of Season 6, [[spoiler:when his forces are overrun by the combined forces of Stark loyalists, the Wildings and Knights of the Vale and Jon Snow cornered him at Winterfell and beat him up into a bloody pulp. To add the cherry on top, Sansa finally got back at him for his horrible actions by feeding him to his own dogs]].
** Roose Bolton manages to get away with the Red Wedding and the conquer of Moat Cailin. He also manages to repel the Dragonstone army without suffering any particular loss. He meets his end thanks to his only decent act shown onscreen: wanting to protect Walda and their newborn son.
* Throughout ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', Amanda Waller gets away with some pretty dubious things as the head of [[FunWithAcronyms A.R.G.U.S]], despite being TheSociopath, prone to StupidEvil behavior and being an InUniverse HateSink absolutely nobody likes, even those ostensibly under her command. Until roughly halfway through season 4. [[spoiler: After it's confirmed that the sociopathic Waller will let her entire staff be killed off in a hostage situation without even blinking if the alternative is bargaining, the leader of the terrorists immediately shoots her in the head in disgust and nonchalantly starts bargaining with the next best candidate instead.]]
* ''Series/ScreamQueens2015'': At the end of Season 1, [[spoiler: Hester]] frames the Chanels for the Red Devil killings and walks away scot-free. By the time Season 2 [[TimeSkip picks up]], however, it's revealed that she's since been [[EngineeredPublicConfession tricked into confessing]], and subsequently locked up.
* ''[[Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand Spartacus: Gods of the Arena]]'' has the utterly depraved Roman nobleman Cossutius, whose prime act in the series is raping the virgin slave girl Dionna, deliberately ensuring that her first sexual experience is as painful and degrading as would be possible without killing or physically injuring her. After she runs away from slavery and is recaptured, he is seen in the final episode taking sadistic pleasure in watching her execution. As would happen in Roman society, he gets away scot free. In the (in broadcast order) next series ''Vengeance'', he appears at a party taking an enthusiastic part in torturing a captured rebel, but later gets killed with satisfying gruesomeness when he is hit by a spear that Spartacus threw at Glaber but that Glaber dodged.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Miles Edgeworth, from ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'', starts out as an AmoralAttorney prosecutor who does what it takes to get a win, including coaching witnesses and concealing (but not forging) evidence. After Phoenix Wright beats him a couple of times, he starts to look more for the person who is ''really'' guilty, instead of just assuming it's the defendant. Immediately afterward, his mentor attempts to frame him for murder (and in the process, makes him relive his guilt for the death of his father), the police chief tries something similar, rumors begin to fly about all his dirty dealings, and he learns -- to his horror -- that he won the big case that made his name using forged evidence.
** All of the above is probably justified, since the Ace Attorney courts are a crooked system. They liked Edgeworth as a man who would go for a conviction and ask no questions -- when he started honestly pursuing the truth he became a threat. Fortunately, with Phoenix's help, he rises above it all and becomes an InternalReformist.
* Byakuren Hijiri from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is another example. She once posed as a Youkai exterminator for the human while secretly colluding with the Youkai; this was solely done just so to assure her power from Youkai wouldn't "disappear." She eventually came to genuinely care for Youkai and realized this wasn't the way to go about things, thus changed her ways, relocating youkai to places where they couldn't harm humans while trying to make peace between the two species from behind the scenes. This got found out, and the humans who trusted her to be an exterminator before called her a traitor, and sealed her down in the demon world, Makai.
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'', [[spoiler:Deathshead]]'s warranty finally expires. After seventeen years in-universe and thirteen years in real life, B.J. finally gets to kill [[spoiler:Deathshead]], though it's more accurate to say that [[spoiler:Deathshead kills B.J. by blowing himself up with a grenade]].
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'', hoo boy was there a lot of warranty tearing. [[spoiler:Mileena is reduced to a rebel with no truly loyal allies, and gets killed by D'Vorah. Kano gets beat up by Sonya and then arrested by Special Forces, and Quan Chi is reduced to a ButtMonkey from the moment [[GroinAttack Sonya stomped on his crotch]], and is offed by Scorpion near the end.]]
* After being the main antagonists in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'' and causing a whole bunch of trouble for the cast and never suffering any sort of setback in their plans, karma comes and bites Hazama and Relius right in the ass in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueChronoPhantasma''. [[spoiler: Hazama is weakened significantly after being caught in a trap laid by Kokonoe, and is ultimately killed by Hakumen in the True Ending. Relius gets his ass royally handed to him by Valkenhayn and while he comes out of it alive unlike Hazama, he's at Carl's and Litchi's mercy as the then former Imperator abandons him when he no longer proves useful.]]
** [[spoiler:Although by Central Fiction, while it's unknown how, we might be seeing Hazama/Terumi gluing his warranty again, because he's back. We'll just see how successful the gluing is once it's revealed HOW he survived.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'': Despite spending the entire game doing many despicable acts, including [[spoiler: selling MSF out to [[BigBad Skull Face]] and XOF, leaving Strangelove in the Mammal Pod to smother to death, trying to use the then-infant Otacon as a test subject for Sahelanthropus, and triggering a vocal cord parasite outbreak onboard Mother Base that forces Venom Snake to MercyKill several Diamond Dogs, Huey Emmerich is allowed to escape with his life, with Snake opting to simply exile him from Mother Base despite ''all'' of his men cheering for Huey's death; the worst punishment Huey receives is being forced to dump his precious [[ArtificialLimbs robotic legs]] overboard or sink.]] Of course, as revealed in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', years later, [[spoiler: Huey was DrivenToSuicide after discovering his second wife cheating on him with his own son.]]
* At the end of ''VideoGame/DiabloIII''[='=]s third act, [[spoiler:Adria]] is revealed to be a traitor to the heroes, [[spoiler:using her daughter as a vessel for bringing back Diablo]], but leaves with their life and there's absolutely no indication of justice being brought down upon them for the rest of the game...unless you're playing the ''Reaper of Souls'' expansion (released two years after the base game), which adds a new act in which one of the quests [[spoiler:has the [[PlayerCharacter Nephalem]] slaughtering Adria in a RoaringRampageOfRevenge after getting some important information from her.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'': In Episode 58, [[spoiler: Jenna Darabond, who reveals that she burned down the Atchison mall way back in Episode 31, finally gets arrested for her actions thanks to [[TheChessmaster Mackenzie]].]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Textbook case: Fox Maharassa from ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility''. A flirt and a danger magnet with little empathy, Fox got away with quite a lot. But the "transgressions" that actually landed his relationship with Collin in serious trouble [[spoiler: and, if you follow the sequel comic, ultimately led to their breakup]], weren't really his fault. It involved Arath dripping poison in Collin's ear (incorrectly accusing Fox of cruelty and cheating when not only did Arath have no proof, he didn't know Fox to any extent at all), being stuck in a catch-22 with Collin (Collin [[YouKnowWhatYouDid flatly refusing to explain why Fox was in the doghouse]] and playing the "guess what you did wrong" game), and even having the [[MovingTheGoalposts goalposts moved]] on him when he took drastic measures to rescue their relationship. In short, Fox went from a lovable rogue to TheWoobie.
** Collin himself suffered the AlwaysABiggerFish version of this trope when he encountered LovableRogue[=/=]MagnificentBastard[=/=]KarmaHoudini Leslie Rudd. Collin was always obnoxious, but in the one case he had every right to be annoyed - Rudd having sent Collin's boyfriend into serious danger - he got smacked down by the one character with no right to criticise. Oddly, while Fox suffered a backlash from the fandom (and perhaps, the creator) when his Karma Houdini Warranty expired, Rudd was universally adored...and as he adhered strictly to the terms of his warranty, got a happy ending.
** While the Warranty certainly expired as a result of a CerebusSyndrome, blaming the breakup on Arath is hardly fair. Collin ignored his gossip for years before finally agreeing with him, and when he did, it was because of an accumulated bitterness over Fox' past antics and the fact that he was failing at the guessing game, combined with breaking the isolation he'd had from the rest of the world.
* Yorick from ''Webcomic/TheWordWeary'' makes constant fun of his friend, John, who never retaliates or threatens to end the friendship over the constant berating... as long as [[http://wordwearycomic.blogspot.com/2012/03/22-march-2012.html he's sober.]]
* The titular Dominic from ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'' alledgedly getting away with far too many morally questionable acts despite supposedly being an unquestionable hero, is a big reason for the comic's large snark and [[HateDom HateDoms]]. Then comes the end of the ''Snowsong'' arc and he finally gets some punishment for his more questionable actions when [[EnsembleDarkhorse Nurse Pam]] forces him to do community servive as the town's resident seer. A job Dominic loathes beyond measure.
* ''Webcomic/MagickChicks'': When we're first introduced to [[SmugSuper Faith]], we're told she's the student council president, [[TheAce multi talented]], and a [[SuperpowerLottery powerful esper.]] As such she's initially shallow, petty, and manipulative. About mid way through the comic, she makes the mistake of using her psychic ability to bloodlust [[spoiler: [[Webcomic/EerieCuties Layla]]]], then tries to take her on [[TooDumbToLive without her powers!]] Big mistake. After [[spoiler: Tiffany]] [[BigDamnHeroes saves her]] by [[spoiler: allowing Layla to feed on her, to calm her down]], Faith not only has a change of heart, she falls in love with [[spoiler: Tiffany]]; which marked the beginning of her [[CharacterDevelopment turn around.]] From that point onward, it's gradually revealed that Faith is actually a pretty nice girl. Which is right around the time that all the bad karma, from before, decided to pay her a visit: in the form of [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/the_motion_carries an unexpected psychic attack.]]
** Things start going downhill for [[{{Jerkass}} Cerise]] once she actually starts caring for her girlfriend Callie.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Jeffy from ''WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan'' constantly [[ButtMonkey makes Mario miserable]] and [[IdiotHoudini never seems to learn anything from it]]. For a while, he rarely, if ever, had anything bad happen to him. Following the backlash that the episode, "Locked Out!" received for having Jeffy get away with locking Mario out of his house and getting Mario arrested, karma seems to be catching up with Jeffy. In "[[ThanksgivingEpisode Turkey Tyranny!]]", when Jeffy throws his dinner plate, Mario gives Jeffy a time-out by making him face a wall for the rest of the episode. Then, in "Franchise/{{Shrek}} [[BabysittingEpisode the Babysitter!]]", [[spoiler: as punishment for locking him in the bathroom and eating his [[TrademarkFavoriteFood cheesecake]], Shrek punishes both Jeffy and Bowser Junior by locking them in the bathroom, where the toilet is clogged up by his poop.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Creator/SethMacFarlane shows had some examples:
** ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Peter gets away with abuse, attempted murder, genuine murder, and once accidentally burned down a hospital, he gets away with those. In some episodes he's hit with PoorCommunicationKills and ends up the "sympathetic" character, his interactions with Carter end with Carter screwing him over.
** Similarly Roger of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' is the resident ComedicSociopath, ceaselessly getting away with abusing, conning or murdering for self gain or just for fun. Every now and then however, he suffers a violent comeuppance, usually courtesy of Stan.
** Rallo from ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow''. He does get away with a lot of things that he really should be punished for, but there are times where he gets punished (or some kind of karmic retribution happens).
* Will Harangue from ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' somehow managed to get away with creating a KillerRobot and sending it to kill Ben, even avoiding getting arrested. As a result, most of his appearances in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' essentially consist in him getting everything in the face: [[LesCollaborateurs him supporting the Inkurseans' invasion of Earth]] in "Frogs of War" causes him to lose ratings when the occupation is over, and he eventually [[KarmicTransformation gets turned against his will into an alien]].
* EvilOverlord Zordrak spent most episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' safe in his lair while his Urpney minions did the dirty work of each scheme and suffered DisproportionateRetribution. Every season finale however, he suffers an elaborate comeuppance (in the final season he is the ButtMonkey for the last ''three'' episodes, due to the Urpneys playing IdiotHoudini).
* In ''WesternAnimation/DuckAmuck'' the role of the sadistic animator turned out to be WesternAnimation/BugsBunny, one of few roles he is the antagonist who picks on his foe [[ItAmusedMe for no reason.]] While Daffy was powerless to stop Bugs in the previous cartoon, ''Rabbit Rampage'' has Bugs paid back in his own coin when Elmer Fudd gets hold of the animator's brush. May apply not just for ''Duck Amuck'', but also for ''The Wacky Wabbit'' and ''Wabbit Trouble'', where Bugs similarly heckled Elmer unprovoked.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'', after years and years of having the Eds [[LaserGuidedKarma punished all the damn time]], '''finally''' gives everyone else their karmic retribution in TheMovie. [[spoiler:And thankfully, it actually brings a genuine HeelFaceTurn from the other cul-de-sac kids, who realized that Eddy's brother, to whom they looked up to, is ''[[BrokenPedestal far worse]]'' [[GreaterScopeVillain than they imagined]], (not to mention that he's likely the direct cause of Eddy's jerkassery in the first place) even conspiring with the Eds to give him a much-deserved comeuppance.]]
** [[spoiler: A hindsight case with Eddy's Brother. Though he never appeared beforehand, it was clear he was a sadistic BigBrotherBully to Eddy, and likely was one his entire life. His just deserts finally come in the special where he gets smacked hard into a steel door and given "mouth to mouth" by the Kanker Sisters. WordOfGod notes that, [[BloodlessCarnage compared to the usual standards of the show]], it took very little to actually knock him out since he had been dishing out abuse his whole life and almost never experienced it himself.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** A lot of fans felt that Trixie received seriously DisproportionateRetribution for what happened in "Boast Busters" and that Snips and Snails were to blame for the Ursa Minor showing up yet got off without any punishment. Apparently the writers agreed: cue "Magic Duel" where Trixie shows up DrunkOnTheDarkSide with a [[AmplifierArtifact power amplifying]] ArtifactOfDoom and, while taking some decent shots at everyone, hits Snips and Snails with more than what she hits the rest of the town combined with.
** Some fans were upset about Featherweight being a KarmaHoudini in "Ponyville Confidential". In "Slice of Life" he gets sprayed with ink, just like Diamond Tiara's punishment in the former episode, with the possibility of this being a recurring event very real.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'': In the post-movie seasons, Mr. Krabs almost constantly gets away with all manner of horrible deeds, not the least of which nearly driving Plankton to suicide in "One Coarse Meal" for his own sadistic amusement. That being said, episodes such as "The Cent of Money" and "Patty Caper" end with him getting a suitable comeuppance.
* Sentinel Prime from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' is an odd example. In the backstory, he's a KarmaHoudini (he was responsible for the incident that got Optimus Prime kicked to space bridge repair and Elita-1 turned into Blackarachnia, but got off scot-free and is now part of the Elite Guard because Optimus took the blame), but as soon as he lands on Earth, karma decides to [[HumiliationConga make an example out of him]], starting with disrespecting human traffic laws and falling off an unfinished overpass.
* The second season of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots'' CorruptCorporateExecutive Madeline Pynch gets away with illgeal digging, including brainwashing the town of Griffin Rock into doing it, activates a doomsday weapon by accident and ultimately almost sinking the town--and unlike MadScientist Dr. Morocco, gets away scot free for that last stunt. The Season 4 episode "Cody's 11" sees Karma deliver a swift kick to her ass as [[spoiler: the Burns and Bots decide to take back what she stole after she swiped some unstable Energon and tried to market it as an alternate energy source, and had the foresight to switch the mind-wiping Verne Device out with a fake and record her confession. Even her attempt to blackmail them fails as the town has learned the true nature of the Bots at the start of the season and accepted them.]]
* While Iron Klaw avoided punishment for his misdeeds throughout most of the run of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeExtreme'', the series ends with him finally getting captured.
* Aku from ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' kept avoiding getting killed by Jack and never got any punishment for conquering the world and annihilating all who oppose him. Then came the GrandFinale of the [[SamuraiJack/TropesSeason5 2017 revival]], where [[spoiler:Jack finally makes it back to the past and kills the evil being for good.]]
[[/folder]]
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