[[quoteright:310:[[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mojo_saves_the_day_4222.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:310:He was trying to kill them at the time, but this happened instead.]]

->''"Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself, and do good that he does not intend."''
-->-- '''Gandalf the White''' (discussing Gollum), ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''

'''This is not villains hurting their own plans or failing to break something (like resistance against them). "Fixing" in the title means something other than that.'''

Basically, the heroes have a problem. It could range from personal, to being vital in their quests. Then an antagonist does something that unintentionally fixes this problem nicely. It's like a KickTheDog, but instead of hurting the dog, it pops one of the dog's displaced bones back into place.

Sometimes it can be a single act. Sometimes it can be just one too many moves TheChessmaster makes, and the villain becomes his/her/its very own SpannerInTheWorks.

Say the EvilOverlord decides to smash the hero's OrphansPlotTrinket just ForTheEvulz, and then it turns out that trinket was a PowerLimiter that the hero wasn't able to break himself (or [[ChekhovsGun wasn't aware had that function]]), and now TheHero lays a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on the overlord.

This is often PlayedForLaughs. Sometimes the MinionWithAnFInEvil is responsible for this version.

This trope on its own just has the villain do this independently of the heroes. If the heroes trick the villain into fixing their problem, then this trope combines with either BriarPatching or a BatmanGambit.

Compare NiceJobBreakingItHero, HoistByHisOwnPetard, TwoRightsMakeAWrong (those two when the villain's defeat is directly caused by self), VillainBall, BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork, PokeThePoodle, PhlebotinumRebel (when the villain ''creates'' the hero), TacticalSuicideBoss (when an enemy can only be beaten by exploiting a certain move). May overlap with DickDastardlyStopsToCheat if the villain had victory in hand before he did whatever he did.

'''WARNING: [[SpoileredRotten Unmarked spoilers ahead!]]'''
[[noreallife]]
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'s'' Team Rocket trio has had a few moments of this, such as when Delibird accidentally healed a critically wounded Pikachu.
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', there seriously should've been no way for Sapphire to come out on top when in an airtight DrowningPit. The bad guy there with her (who provided himself a means to breathe) could have simply waited a couple minutes until she ran out of air. But no, he provided her with the means ''and'' time to escape by bringing out his [[SharkPool Sharpedo]], letting her break its teeth off, and [[EvilGloating not noticing]] her using said teeth to cut open a hole in the wall. Needless to say, he got owned pretty damn badly.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure's'' Devimon, the series' first BigBad, accidentally triggers the one Digimon that could beat him into Evolving/Digivolving by threatening its partner's life. Vamdemon/Myotismon was strong enough to beat all seven of the Chosen Children/[=DigiDestined=] and could have done so, if he hadn't spent so much time searching for the eighth, and allowing her to find her Digimon.
** It gets even more ironic considering Vamdemon/Myotismon that he trained Tailmon/Gatomon to begin with and brought her to the human world, allowing her to meet her partner. He then kills Wizardmon directly in front of her, allowing her to evolve into the one Digimon predestined to kill him. If he'd just left her wondering the Digital World, he'd have won.
** Piemon/Piedmon of the Dark Masters falls here. In taking his sadistic pleasure in dealing with the Chosen Children/[=DigiDestined=], he causes Angemon to finally evolve into Holy Angemon/[=MagnaAngemon=] who proceeds to undo his magic, allowing the Chosen Children/[=DigiDestined=] to kick his butt, ending with him being sucked into Heaven's Gate/Gate of Destiny...which, considering Digimon live forever unless they're killed, was a FateWorseThanDeath.
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', [=BlackWarGreymon=] nearly suffers the same fate when he slams Angemon against a holy artifact.
* In ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', part of the BigBad's plan is to get Sakura (and friends) to [[WalkTheEarth walk the multiverse]] and [[ToBeAMaster collect physical memories]] by scattering Sakura's own memory-feathers, so she'd have to find them all again. This eventually proves somewhat counterproductive to his own plan, when the two Sakuras use their immense power of the magical feathers themselves, which makes them now ''practically invincible''- OhCrap.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' , Frieza had survived a [[CombinedEnergyAttack Spirit Bomb]], the heroes were out of battle power, and Piccolo had just been given a near-fatal injury. [[ForTheEvulz Just for fun]], Frieza decides to implode Kuririn/Krillin. Unfortunately for him, this triggered Goku's [[BerserkButton rage]] enough that he was able to turn into a [[SuperMode Super Saiyan]]. Frieza then gets his ass handed to him. Oops.
** And again when Cell tries pressing Gohan's BerserkButton. He uses his Cell Juniors to pound the Z-Warriors to hell. This, along with him crushing Android #16's head right in front of him causes Gohan to reach Super Saiyan 2. This was an instance of BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor, as Gohan had warned him about what would happen if he made Gohan lose his temper. At least Frieza and the audience at the time didn't know that it would lead to the Super Saiyan transformation; Cell, meanwhile, was an incurable perfectionist and wanted to fight his opponent at his strongest, believing himself to be incapable of losing due to being...well, [[UltimateLifeform perfect]]. You'd think that since he had some of Frieza's cells, he would have learned from his mistake...
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'': Brron. He thought by killing Juudai's friends, he would be able to defeat Juudai. Instead, it unleashes Juudai's ''UnstoppableRage'' and the secret powers of darkness within him and Brron gets stomped flat. Then Juudai goes on to be an even bigger villain himself. Thanks, Brron! Couldn't have saved the world without you!
* Note to V.V. from ''Anime/CodeGeass''. When you send out an assassin, make sure he has no unrequited loyalties to the matriarch of the target. You just might have a HeelFaceTurn in the works.
** Had V. V. not murdered Marianne, Lelouch may have never stumbled upon his parents' Ragnarok Connection plan.
*** Hell, had V.V. not murdered Marianne, the ''entire plot'' would never have come to pass.
** And when assigning a loyal assassin to act as a safeguard against possibly rebellious people that you're using in some diabolical plot under the cover of being their sibling... Don't make their cover so good that even ''they'' forget that they aren't a loyal, loving brother.
* In ''Anime/SpacePirateMito'', Aoi wears a bracelet that he believes is a good luck charm and the audience is lead to believe is the key to a powerful weapon. He also starts having [[HowDoIShotWeb random bursts of powerful energy]] when the bad guys attack. Near the end of the series, [[BigBad Ranban]] removes this bracelet and tells Aoi it was an enhancer that brought out his powers, making him helpless without it. Cue Aoi causing an explosion with [[IAmNotLefthanded power even greater than he used before]], and Mito telling Ranban that the enhancer was actually a [[PowerLimiter limiter]] to keep Aoi's powers in check.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** Sesshomaru has a tendency to inadvertently help Inuyasha almost every time he fights him. His attempts at obtaining [[{{BFS}} Tessaiga]] for himself led to losing an arm, Inuyasha getting it, and subsequent attempts to take it help Inuyasha master it. However, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sesshoumaru is moving away from this trope into IWasJustPassingThrough as begins warming up to his brother (in a TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou sort of way).
** Sesshoumaru is the most powerful character in the story. Late in the story, Sesshoumaru's hit rock bottom, lost his weapon and Naraku realizes that now is the time to take back the last shard by sending out the greatest {{youkai}} evil in history to destroy Sesshoumaru. [[spoiler: Magatsuhi utterly curbstomps both Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha before discovering that stabbing Sesshoumaru through the heart doesn't kill him.]] [[spoiler: Instead, it pushes]] [[spoiler: [[FullPotentialUpgrade his powers]] beyond his known limits into a level even he didn't know he [[ItWasWithYouAllAlong possessed.]] ]] Conclusion? Naraku turns the strongest character in the story into the [[FantasticNuke strongest]] known [[WeaponOfMassDestruction youkai power]] in history. Oops?
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', [[NietzscheWannabe Shinobu]] [[BigBad Sensui]] kills Yusuke toward the end of the [[HumansAreBastards Chapter Black]] saga, causing him to come back from the dead as a [[HalfHumanHybrid super-demon ]] and kick ass on a nearly-cosmic level. Especially funny since it follows directly after a NiceJobBreakingItHero, when said hero insisted on fighting [[MagnificentBastard Sensui]] at his full, [[KnightTemplar Shinobu]] strength, so he could have a good fight, rather than wiping the floor with [[SplitPersonality 'I Do The Sick Work' Kazuya]] and saving the world.
** In the [[TournamentArc Dark Tournament arc]] Toguro "kills" Kuwabara so Yusuke will be able to fight at 100%, somewhat subverted because he knew exactly what he was doing and would probably end up losing.
** Ironically, Sensui ''wanted'' to die at the hands of a demon, so his actions worked out perfectly.
** Yeah, one of the big themes from the moment Younger Toguro appears is the concept of what is more important: Victory or the fight itself. Pretty much everyone does this to some degree, and about 75% of them were intentional.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}},'' [[NietzscheWannabe Pain]] has Naruto utterly beaten, pinned to the ground and paralyzed. When Hinata jumps in to try and save Naruto, Pain blows her away, knocking her out. Then, [[TeachHimAnger just to make a point about suffering]] (or possibly [[ForTheEvulz just to be a dick]]), he stabs her, apparently fatally. This triggers Naruto's UnstoppableRage, going straight to 6-tailed form for the first time, DoNotPassGo-style, then eventually to 8-tails, and tempted to go fully to 9. Presumably Pain thought he could win, since his ability was keeping Naruto paralyzed and with disrupted chakra. He would have been ''dead'' wrong if the 4th Hokage's safeguard hadn't brought Naruto back from the brink but even so it directly brought about his own defeat by freeing and reempowering Naruto.
** Mizuki's attempt to get Naruto to steal the scroll for him by promising to let him graduate if he learned a technique off of it ended up helping Naruto learn the Shadow Clone Jutsu, which comes into play in most of his other techniques, and enabled him to graduate from the academy despite the fact that his promise was insincere.
** Congratulations, Obito, you killed Neji, and put Naruto in a HeroicBSOD. Wait...did the ShrinkingViolet Hinata who was next to him rally Naruto again and the two fought side by side...wait...Naruto then powers up the entire army...well you still have the [[EldritchAbomination Ten-Tails so you can nuke them...wait...Naruto's army cuts through its tails and kicks you off and leaving it out of your control]]. Thanks for fixing that Obito!
* The anime of ''Manga/SoulEater'' has this happen at least twice during the GeckoEnding: Mifune causes Black Star to get an EleventhHourSuperPower and a round of HeroicResolve after killing him in a SingleStrokeBattle (though in that case said sequence part was lifted from a part of the manga that took place under some different circumstances); later Asura does this to Death the Kid by stabbing him to death in the middle of his TransformationSequence.
** The equivalent moment in the manga for Kid fits the trope - Mosquito Curb Stomping him triggers his [[DeadlyUpgrade questionable]] Super Mode, but Black Star's final fight with Mifune does not. Black Star had already been 'fixed' by his negotiation with [[DarkIsNotEvil Nakatsukasa/Masamune]] and the Single Stroke Battle sequence which ends his fight specifically, IIRC, does not involve an SuperMode.
* In ''Manga/MiraiNikki'', the sixth diary holder, Tsubaki plants a TakeThatKiss upon protagonist Yukiteru right in front of his {{Yandere}} partner, Yuno. Cue DeathGlare. Thinking everything's gravy, Tsubaki checks her diary and sees that it predicts her imminent death. OhCrap.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Major Armstrong is injured in his fight against Sloth, until Sloth delivers a blow accidentally popping his shoulder back into place, giving Armstrong his second wind.
** Though Armstrong probably deliberately placed himself so that Sloth would attack in such a spot that his shoulder popped back.
** During Roy Mustang's raid on Central City, he takes Mrs. Bradley hostage. The soldiers sent after him are told to kill everyone except him, since the villains need him for their plans. The fact that the military is willing to kill Mrs. Bradley makes it easier for Mustang's group to win the support of the populace, and suggest that the Central city soldiers they're opposing are fighting against the current regime.
** Envy decides to [[EvilGloating gloat]] about killing Hughes. To Roy, the victim's best friend. [[PlayingWithFire Who can throw fire around]]. That was a ''[[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown really]]'' bad idea.
** Pride would've assimilated Ed's body, if he hadn't made a point about Homunculi superiority at the wrong moment, causing Kimblee to stop him because he ''really'' doesn't like hypocrites. Speaking of which, [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness eating Kimblee]] was also a bad idea in hindsight, since he proved to be [[InsanityImmunity crazy enough]] to retain his identity after being absorbed into Pride's Philosopher's Stone.
** But bigger and longer in the making than all of the above would have to be the series BigBad, who caused his own downfall by one act of kindness. The Dwarf in the Flask (AKA: Father) saved Hoenheim from becoming a human sacrifice along with the rest of Xerxes ''and'' split the resulting philosopher's stone with him, which extended Hoenheim's lifespan well beyond its natural end (both as thanks for being the reason he existed, as Hoenheim's blood was used by an alchemist to create Dwarf in the Flask). Without that, Hoenheim never would have had the opportunity to set up the giant reverse transmutation circle that gave the heroes the chance they needed to fight back in the end. Not to mention fathering Al and, more to the point, [[TheHero Ed]], who ultimately foil the BigBad's plot.
* In ''Anime/SonicX'''s third series the Metarex kidnap Sonic's friends in order to blackmail him into revealing all his abilities to them. Given that Sonic was on a [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity superpowered crazy kick]] thanks to Dark Chaos Emeralds littering the building at the time, this turned out to be an [[BerserkButton even worse idea for them than threatening Sonic's friends usually is]]. Whether the good guys or the bad guys won, [[PyrrhicVictory it looked bad for everyone]]. It's Eggman and his allies who burst in, destroy the attacking Metarex, save Sonic's friends while nobody's looking and ends with Eggman of all people ''[[Awesome/SonicX reprimanding Sonic]] for losing his temper''.
* The witch hunter [[MonsterOfTheWeek Sastre]] in ''Anime/WitchHunterRobin'' beats Robin to the [[AmplifierArtifact fragment of wisdom]], which increases a Craft user's power [[PowerIncontinence beyond what is controllable]] (she had this object previously, but it was lost because she couldn't use it safely). He and Robin have a confrontation and he's winning... until he destroys the object, at which time the wisdom within it gives Robin [[TookALevelInBadass the power they feared her getting all along]].
* In ''JackAndTheWitch'', Squeaker the Mouse, now turned into a ghostlike harpy, taunts his imprisoned animal friends by making them watch a crystal ball showing their human friend Jack (plus his ally the harpy Allegra) being tormented by the vicious Harpy Queen; in the course of his teasing he knocks the ball loose, letting it roll, fall, and shatter, thus destroying the Queen's power and freeing the others.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Kyubey]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' pushes Madoka to make a contract with him, and make a wish, because he knows she will make an extremely powerful magical girl. In the process of trying to break her, he reveals the existence of magical girls throughout humanity's history, and that they all died in despair. When she finally agrees to the contract, her awareness of the suffering that has happened in the past drives her to force through a CosmicRetcon - which Kyubey has no choice but to grant. On top of that, the only reason she's so powerful in the first place is because he granted Homura's wish to save Madoka in such a fashion as to send Homura off on her quest through alternate universes, each of which adds a bit more to Madoka's power...
** In the [[PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable PSP game]], his inability to understand emotions can cause his actions to calm the girls down instead of breaking them down, thus preventing them from becoming witches.
** In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' Kyubey uses Homura to enact an experiment that will provide him the information he needs to begin reversing Madoka's wish, bringing back the old system of magic. Not only does the experiment fail, but it leads to Homura becoming a being [[DemotedToDragon that can actually control him.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', during Season 2, Hecate, one of the villains, infiltrates the school that Yuji is going to through a sort of poorly disguised covert agent named Konoe. Konoe then tries to get close to Yuji, much to the consternation of [[ClingyJealousGirl Shana and Yoshida]]. While gathering feelings and emotions, one thing that Konoe discovers is that birds seem attracted to her, and she often reaches out with her hand to let them land, making her happy. Later on, this comes back to bite Hecate in the behind when said memory inside the Statue of Pride triggers when it sees Shana flying towards it, looking like a little bird. Instead of attacking her like it had been, the statue instead reached out with its hand, allowing Shana and Yuji the opening they needed to reclaim the Reiji Maigo from it, as well as defeating said statue. Cue Hecate looking on in shock and wondering exactly what just happened.
* ''Manga/MuhyoAndRoji'', after their time apart, are faced with the task of getting their office back from Goryo's group. Luckily, around this time, Ark kidnaps Goryo, and after Muhyo and Roji save him from Ark, Goryo returns their office in return.
** In the Arcanum arc, while Roji is having some difficulties with Muhyo, TheMole tells him a story that causes him to realize that Muhyo is pushing himself as hard as he is for Roji's sake and the belief that he can improve. Roji does manage to make effective contributions to the next battle. TheMole later points out that the help was to ward away suspicion and that Roji's talent was an unpleasant surprise.
* In episode 19 of ''[[Anime/PrettySammy Magical Project S]]'', Ramia has transformed Misao into Misa in the day where her father comes to visit her. Her plan not only fails, but also leads Sasami and Misao to have angst of discovering their magical girl identities.
* In the "Deicide" arc of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', BigBad Aizen destroys the cleaner that patrols the Precipice World between the living world and the Soul Society. Because the Precipice World has [[YearInsideHourOutside heavily dilated time]], this gives Ichigo the chance to train and develop his ultimate technique. Aizen later reveals that he did this on purpose, in the hopes of creating [[WorthyOpponent someone who could match him]]. [[CurbStompBattle It works]].
** Aizen's been doing this even before Ichigo's conception. By releasing the proto-arrancar "White" into the living world, he caused Isshin and Masaki to meet. Ichigo ''literally'' would not have been conceived if not for Aizen (something Aizen was well aware of), and his existence caused Aizen to facilitate his growth out of hope of creating an opponent that would allow him to attain a higher level of transcendency once he merged with the Hogyoku. Meaning the entire plot for ''over half the series'' is an example of this.
* In episode 4 of ''FightIppatsuJuudenChan'', a thief breaks into the school where Hakone and Iono attend. He steals both the student council's funds, along with Iono's gift to Sento, Hakone's brother. Plug and Sento decide to help Iono out of her depression by trying to find the thief, but have no luck whatsoever. Arresta, a coworker/rival of Plug, meanwhile watches them a little bit, then decides that while its noble of him to help her out, she's got a job to do. She decides to continue her job of [[ItMakesSenseInContext zapping people]], and one of the people she zaps suddenly decides he's going to turn himself in. Although she's wondering what the heck she just did, she inadvertently caught the thief and helped recovered the stolen money and Iono's gift.
* In ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'', [[BigBad Mr Maverick]] pats [[MegaManning Kaede]] on the head when he meets her, unwittingly transferring his memory-altering power to her. This later allows her to restore the memories that Maverick had scrubbed from the heroes as part of his plot to frame Kaede's father for murder. Thanks, Mr. Villain!
* In the hentai short ''Demon Princess Birth'' by Inoino, the heroine is captured and raped by ogres, with her powerless to resist, but this causes her to turn into a succubus. The final page has her inflicting OutWithABang on them.
* During the finale of ''[[Franchise/DotHack .hack//ROOTS]]'' and revisited in the first volume of ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'', if not for encountering [=TriEdge=]/Azure Kite in the [[RecurringLocation Hulle Granz Cathedral]] and being [[BeatTheCurseOutOfHim data drained]], thus being reverted to a low-level PlayerCharacter and losing his [[OneWingedAngel broken]] [[PrestigeClass class upgrade]], Haseo might have never been able to properly control Skeith or calm his head enough to stand any chance against the real threats he would have to face. [[note]]WordOfGod is that [=TriEdge=]/Azure Kite was actually aiming for Ovan behind Haseo, but it still worked out.[[/note]]
* In ''Manga/HonooNoAlpenRose'', the maid Anna is an accomplice of ManipulativeBastard Toulonchamp, whose plans relay on his daughter Mathilda acting as the BodyDouble of female lead Jeudi. Thing is, at some point Anna attempts to murder Jeudi via dropping a flower pot on her head... but fails, and Jeudi "merely" gets her ankle hurt. This ''very'' dumb move not only alerts the people around about how far Toulonchamp is willing to go (which reduces their willingness to collaborate), but it also scares the crap outta ''Mathilda herself'' and pushes her to drop part of the truth on Lundi... and it starts to plant the seeds of doubt in the heart of Jeudi's IllGirl mother Helen.
* Want to know how ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar's'' Kenshiro ended up joining in the race which would lead him to becoming the 64th successor to Hokuto Shinken? His [[AloofBigBrother elder brother Raoh]] started teaching him Kung Fu when he was a kid.
* Played pretty much straight with Gauron from ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', of all people. Despite all that he's done and/or tried to do to Sousuke, his words end up have an eventually positive impact on the kid. For example, his lecture in TSR contains not only vital information that he willingly passes on to Sousuke (in order to get revenge on his former organisation, but mostly "as a favour to you"), but it also poses Sousuke one of the most important questions in his personal arc: "Did you sell your soul to those bastards in Mithril?" Sousuke gives his answer during his confrontation with his Mithril superiors at the end of TSR: "I dont' remember selling my soul to you." Also, on every occasion after Gauron's death (uh... the final, ''definitive'' one, I mean...), that someone mentions Gauron, it only serves in making Sousuke try harder. He uses his 'Kashim' personality to reach his goals, knows some of his enemies better because they were Gauron's associates (and they fear/respect him because they know how Gauron... ''felt'' about him) and he eventually confirms his and Gauron's almost identical nature to Leonard Testarossa's face, with no shame or guilt, merely pointing out the one thing that made them different: the enjoyment they each took in the act of killing (or lack thereof, in Sousuke's case). And in hearing Leonard's words about Gauron's opinion on the delicate subject of changing history/fate, Sousuke received confirmation of his own beliefs (apparently, he trusted Gauron's judgement on this matter, at least). All in all,not a bad job from the resident psychopath of the series.
* In ''Anime/MaiHime'', the Obsidian Prince goes to great lengths to make sure Mai wins the Festival. He also has Mikoto in reserve in case Mai won't join him. But for that to work, he needs Mikoto to be willing to kill her -- and he himself had just finished convincing Mikoto that Mai would still forgive her! (This was part of the plan to eliminate another [=HiME=].) She might still have done it if Mai had been really out for blood, but the prince should've known her better than that.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', Eren points out the greatest mistake of Annie, Reiner and Bertolt was teaching him how to ''fight''.
** Had Annie/the Female Titan not spared Armin's life as the former was slaughtering soldiers, he would have not figured out her identity.
* In the movie ''Anime/UchuuSenkanYamato Revival'', the crew of the titular ship were stopping to watch the last moments of the Earth, which was in the path of a rogue black hole. Cue the villain of the film, whom they thought they had already defeated, showing up to taunt them about how ''they'' had been the ones to send that black hole at Earth, in order to pull it into their universe. Cue Kodai and the crew, whom had already come to accept the impending loss of the Earth, using the ''Yamato'' to destroy the black hole and save the world once again.
* In ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', Guame televised his fight with Simon and broadcasted it to every underground human village as a means to demoralize them. It backfired when Simon defeated him for everyone to see and in turn, inspired humans to turn up as TheCavalry in the penultimate battle at Teppelin.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Doflamingo's seemingly iron-proof plan to prevent Luffy enacting his SpannerInTheWorks tendencies results in this. His plot involved a tournament for Ace's devil fruit, in order to distract Luffy from destroying the [=SMILEs=] factory. Sure enough, Luffy enters, and finds himself in a pickle when he can't leave the tournament without being noticed and allowing the devil fruit to fall into Burgess's hands due to being in the finals, until ''Sabo'' arrives (apparently as a Revolutionary) and trades places with him. The thing is, Sabo's appearance is largely Doflamingo's own fault. Chances are the Revolutionary Army would have never taken action on Dressrosa and Sabo would have never appeared had it not been for the tournament for the Mera Mera no Mi.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the first story arc of NeilGaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', the villain gets hold of the amulet containing the hero's power, and during the climactic battle (which he was winning anyway) he decides to destroy it, figuring that will leave the hero powerless and easy to defeat. Instead, destroying the amulet merely ''releases'' the power, which flows back into the hero, making him more powerful than he was before...
** ... and then in an almost hilarious turn on events, Morpheus, the eponymous Sandman completely forgives said villain, tell him that he actually did him a favour and dismisses the pitiful, Gollum-esque creature with a pat in the back. And this for a "hero" that has been fond of DisproportionateRetribution in the past...
* In the TournamentArc of ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'', the knights get a bunch of "Doomsday" dice by rubbing their dice against the dead body of the guy who made the game. Only they end up cursing their dice, every dice in their possession and every dice of every friend they lent dice to, meaning the dice now produce the worst results possible, making just about anything a critical fumble. Everyone on the Knight's team was given this and they seemed to be in a hopeless position as they face their SmugSnake rival team... except she reveals she learn of their "advantage" and Website/EBay'd some of the dice, believing they were blessed and very ironically leveling the playing field.
* [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk's]] ''raison d'etre'': if you're going to kill him, at least try to make him happy about it. This makes Ultimate Nick Fury DangerouslyGenreSavvy since he did JUST THAT. Pity Loki intervened.
** The {{Onslaught}} saga springs to mind... "And Hulk is ANGRY!!!!"
* The ''XXXenophile'' short ''Wish fulfillment'' starts with the heroine being defeated by a usurping general who declares that "henceforth you shall be my captive flower". This gives the LiteralGenie who granted her three wishes before the option to grant "my captive flower" 3 wishes as well.
* ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'': Soapy Slick would have managed to steal Scrooge's mine, but he decided to humiliate him, read [[DeadManWriting his mail aloud]] and [[KickTheDog joke about his mother's death]]. No one knows exactly what happened after that, except that somehow a piano flew through the window, the steamboat exploded, and Soapy Slick ended up in jail.
* One of {{SelfDemonstrating/Loki}}'s schemes against {{Thor}} (tricking him into fighting [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]]) ended up creating ComicBook/TheAvengers. Considering that this superteam saved the world many, many times in Marvel Universe, this is THE Nice Job Fixing It, Villain for Loki...
* In SonicTheComic Sonic's SuperpoweredEvilSide Super Sonic was sealed in the Black Asteroid but was able to escape by charging himself up so much that he made himself into a sort of electron bomb in order to destroy the Asteroid. The explosion produced an electro-magnetic pulse that spread all over planet Mobius, which cause the totally unintentionally side effect of deactivating all of Robotnik's Badniks and computers, and contributing to the downfall of the doctor's dictatorial rule over the planet, all Super Sonic intened to was to escape the Black Asteroid.
** On the subject of Sonic, ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehogMegaManWorldsCollide'' has Sonic and Mega Man attempt to use Chaos Control to fix their worlds. Mega Man's set back to normal, but Eggman's desperate attempt to win ends up messing up Mobius, turning it into a different world... as well as voiding all of his victories, restoring the Freedom Fighters to the point where they've TakenALevelInBadAss and giving them more allies to use in their fight. His actions also had the benefit of cancelling out, at this time, nearly ''all'' of the other villains and assorted threats in the comic, with only those from the games and American cartoons still around.
*** To top it off, as Eggman adapts to the new timeline he says that his new memories will overtake his old ones. It was his realization that Sonic's an [[SpannerInTheWorks embodiment of chaos]] that drove him to make the tech that led to the crossover and slowly tear apart the Freedom Fighters to begin with. Once his memories fully adjust, he'll become less of a threat than before.
* ''ComicBook/ForeverEvil'': By moving the moon out of orbit, Ultraman creates havoc with Earth's oceans. The resulting flooding destroys the burial site of Black Manta's father. He's understandably a little pissed.
* During the ''SecretInvasion'' arc of ''{{Runaways}}'', the evil Skrull Chrell managed to capture every non-Skrull member of the Runaways and hold them hostage, threatening them with death unless Xavin handed over Changeling of the YoungAvengers. He almost had Xavin over a barrel, but then he made [[PlantController Klara Prast]] cry. And then Klara damn near impaled him on a tree, breaking his concentration and allowing the Runaways to escape.
* Early in ''ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan'', Doc Ock does the unthinkable and erases Peter Parker's memories and his SoulFragment from his mind. Ten issues later, Ock is forced to try to find one of those memories in a massive case of HoistByHisOwnPetard. Doing so allows Peter's SoulFragment to start coming back.
* ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye: Senator Proteus has his fellow Senator, Shockwave, lobotomized because Shockwave spoke out against him and thwarted his plan which would have killed thousands. ComicBook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise had Proteus believe he had broken Shockwave, but in reality, removing Shockwave's emotions and empathy just made him free to pursue his scientific experiments without any moral constraints. Shockwave no longer sees Proteus as a corrupt maniac and political rival, he merely sees him as an obstacle in the way of his goals, whereupon he calls an emergency meeting of the Senate, and the Decepticons murder all of them when they get together.
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Vampirella}}'' story "... And be a Bride of Chaos" Lucretia, who wanted to become the Bride of Chaos and was jealous that Dracula had chosen Vampirella instead, freed Vampirella from her bonds to take over.
* In one ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' story, Cap's shield had been shattered and the shattered remains were set to be used to stop the vibranium that were following suit and heading for its anti-vibranium counterpart. Cue Klaw, who used the crises to amplify his amazing sound-based power. Destroying Cap's photonic shield, Klaw proceeds to finish off the helpless hero as Cap grabs his shattered and taped up shield out of reflex. The shield takes the brunt of the attack and, to Cap's surprise, ''it repaired it fully.'' Not only that, but it also stopped the incoming disaster. Cap, then proceeds to disperse Klaw by slinging his Mighty Shield once more and smacking him with it.
* A recent ''Comicbook/WhatIf'' issue, "What If Magneto and Professor X had Formed the Comicbook/XMen Together?" spun off from an old Chris Claremont story where Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr(the future Magneto) fought against Nazi and future-Hydra founder Baron Strucker over a cache of Nazi gold. In the original story Lensherr took the gold to finance his own campaign against humanity. In the What-If, Xavier and Gabrielle Haller argued that [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim his proposed war against humans would make him no better than the Nazis.]] Strucker contemptuously added, "By all means, mutant, listen to these dreamers. It will my my inevitable victory all the sweeter." Lensherr turned to Strucker and answered, [[ShutUpHannibal "I'm glad you feel that way, Nazi. It makes my decision...easier."]] Strucker was later executed for war crimes, and Lensherr and Xavier became allies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''FanFic/DevaSeries'', the Al Hantheans were an unknown factor. Only the Yagami Academy and the Circles were unambiguously aware of the threat they posed to Earth; other nations and parties might have considered trying for non-aggression or even collusion. Then they tried to kill off Noriko and the Japanese Imperial family, hoping to take one of Earth's nations and one of Hayate's fighters out of the picture. However, the attempt did not completely succeed, and with their villainy exposed, the survivor gave a speech that will probably rally the nations of Earth into properly uniting against them. One of the higher-up villains even does some LampshadeHanging on this.
* In ''Fanfic/LightAndDarkTheAdventuresOfDarkYagami'', assuming that [[VillainProtagonist Dark]] is the hero, L does this when he shoots and kills Light, but accidentally revives him with the Life Note. Light then seeks out L for revenge, enabling Dark to trick them into killing each other.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', Discord's MindRape of the Mane Cast before his downfall leads to the entire Mane Cast becoming better off than before hand, with such things happening as Applejack becoming a LivingLieDetector and Pinkie Pie becoming much more CrazyAwesome than normal by performing a SplitPersonalityMerge and healing herself of a serious mental condition, which wouldn't have happened if he ''hadn't'' done it. Not only that, but thanks to him the Mane Cast gets ''two'' {{Sixth Ranger}}s and new Elements of Harmony, one of which he ''made himself''. The most extreme example of this happened in the backstory. Discord was the one who accidentally ''created the Elements of Harmony in the first place''. That's right, ''Discord created the only thing that could defeat him.''
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'': Near the latter end of the story, [[BigBad Titan]] captures Twilight Sparkle during an attack on the Loyalists' base and proceeds to torture her. But in the process of doing so, he causes her [[SplitPersonality split personalities to fuse back together and restore her full power]]. This proceeds to [[MyNameIsInigoMontoya really]], ''[[PhysicalGod really]]'', [[CurbStompBattle backfire on him]].
** [[EvilMatriarch Terra's]] attack on Ponyville, which served no purpose other than [[RevengeByProxy emotionally hurting]] the protagonists, ends with the Elements of Harmony -- previously rendered inert by Titan -- reignited, and Terra herself stripped of all power.
** Titan raising the Citadel for the FinalBattle enables [[GodOfGood Harmony's]] last gambit, which [[DeityOfHumanOrigin transforms Twilight into an alicorn]] capable of facing Titan in an even fight, allowing her to defeat him.
* In the MaiHime fic [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2810070/11/Stain Stain]], Nao tells Shizuru that her killing her mother enabled the ResetButton that happened in the last episode to ''bring her out of her coma'' in addition to resurrecting her.
* In the ''LyricalNanoha'' fanfic, ''Fanfic/WhiteDevilOfTheMoon'', some [[PoorCommunicationKills mistakes in communication]] lead to the Sailor Senshi coming off as suspicious to Nanoha and Fate, when they are trying to convince Nanoha to join them as their princess to fight the Dark Kingdom. When one of Beryl's lieutenants, Jadetite, attacks Nanoha's brother's wedding with an army of youma, Nanoha and Fate start believing the Senshi and then begin to work together against the Dark Kingdom.
* Canonical examples aside, ''Fanfic/RiseOfTheGaleforces'' has a case of this that works three-fold. Firstly, if Mr. Ludlow hadn't gotten the idea to clone the Supers who had died in the Golden Age, they wouldn't have contributed to the Aperture's downfall. Secondly, if he hadn't turned Violet into a T. rex, she wouldn't have had the power to wipe the floor with him and his men. And third, [[NoFourthWall if he hadn't jumped into the storyline a couple dozen chapters too late]] and tried to kill everyone participating, thus throwing a spanner into [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy Ripper's]] EvilPlan, [[FireForgedFriends the Supers would never have found a reason to join forces against the enemy,]] and thus the ending might have turned out [[KillAllHumans a whole lot worse.]]
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'': Because of prosecutor [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Trixie's]] ego and personal grudge against Twilight and her friends, she lets [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix]] get away with [[ShootTheDog casting suspicion on Fluttershy]] to get more time to investigate, since she cares about making Twilight and her friends squirm more than anything. Phoenix himself points out that she could have secured a conviction and denied them a chance to gather more evidence by shutting down this line of argument.
* ''{{Fanfic/Anthropology}}'': After [[EvilGloating explaining his intentions to her]], Discord turns Lyra back into a pony. However, this allows Lyra to use the necklace Princess Celestia gave her to return to Ponyville and gather the Elements of Harmony.
* ''FanFic/EarthAndSky'': If Diamond Tiara (who runs her husband Blueblood's airship company for him) hadn't downsized her staff, leading to Pipsqueak becoming unemployed, he wouldn't have been free to become Harmony Aeronautics test pony, meaning they wouldn't be in a position to threaten the company's business.
** Also, in chapter 38, Chrysalis manages to throw ponies off her trail, only to end up shooting herself in the hoof when she tries to avoid getting arrested for crimes committed by Diamond Tiara (who she was impersonating).
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'': [[TheCaligula Sullamander]] thought that, by killing the only general on her Joint Chiefs-of-Staff who outright opposed her, she could cow the Staff into doing whatever she wanted. Instead, the General that replaced her was [[GeniusBruiser Wind Whistler]], who proceeded to NoSell Sullamander's nonsense and pointed out how the the Articles of Command allowed her to kill the Commander for her actions if she didn't back off. She would continue to defy Sullamander for the rest of her life, eventually launching the coup that led to both of their deaths and the rise to power of Sullamander's rival (and Wind Whistler's lover) Hurricane.
* ''FanFic/TheGodEmpressOfPonykind'': [[GeneralFailure Abaddon]] tries to kill the Emperor while He is still on the Golden Throne. This ends up being just what the Emperor needs to heal himself and turn the Siege of Terra against the forces of Chaos.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' fanfic, ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8483911/1/Sonic-the-Hedgehog-Redemption-and-Revenge Sonic the Hedgehog: Redemption and Revenge]]'', has Lien-Da suggesting to Eggman, who is upgrading Mecha Sally, to put her original Spark which results in restoring her free will. Way to go, Lien-Da.
* In ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated''
** Miyu, by destroying Akane's child, kills the first of the [=SUEs=], Mariko, who had the power to win over everyone she met. This proves to be a double example, as Mariko's bonding to Akane with her powers enables Kazuya to survive.
** Hitomi, who starts off by mind-controlling and robbing people before moving on to mass murder, comes to Midori's attention, who contacts Mai and lets her know that she might be linked to Nao's alleged attack on Yukariko in some way. As a result, Mai and Natsuki delay going after Nao, and the group is able to cooperate against Hitomi and the other [=SUEs=] (even Nao overcomes her reluctance to associate with the other Himes by virtue of [[EvenEvilHasStandards how horrific Hitomi's crimes are]] and [[EnemyMine out of a sense of self-preservation]]).
* The one-off criminal Tom accidentally causes his partner Bill to suffer a RakeTake [[GroinAttack to the groin]] in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.
* In ''FanFic/ThreeSlytherinMarauders'' because Lucius Malfoy insists on [[EvilGloating gloating]] to Arthur Weasley, Arthur's bosses assume he must be very important and well-connected and this has greatly advanced Arthur Weasley's career.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'':
** In "The Manhattan Conspiracy," [[Series/DoctorWho Dalek Caan's]] decision to "study" a Time Lord's regenerative energy at work results in said Time Lord using a burst of energy against him, which saves the lives of the hybrid Daleks.
** In "Every Good Fairytale," Professor Moriarty has already [[TheCorrupter corrupted]] Literature/SherlockHolmes into his own image. The results having backfired on him, he now seeks {{Revenge}}, pure and simple... and gets it by breaking Holmes to restore his humanity. This backfires even more spectacularly, as Holmes's redemption is half of what was needed to restore Time.
* FanFic/TheNuptialverse has multiple examples:
** In the backstory, as shown in ''[[VillainEpisode Metamorphosis]]'': Discord makes Celestia and Luna [[WhoWantsToLiveForever immortal to torture them]], and lets them take the remains of the orb containing the Energy of Friendship. This gives them the time they need to become alicorns and turn the pieces into the Elements of Harmony. Longtime viewers of the show know how well that would have turned out for Discord.
** During the climax of ''Families'', [[BigBad Olive Branch]]'s men manage to turn their kidnapping of Twilight, Applejack and Pinkie Pine into a complete 180 merely by telling Twilight that [[MamaBear Spike will die.]]
** As Luna gloatingly tells Olive Branch himself after he's arrested, his half-assed plan and the actions of himself and his lieutenants have caused the anti-Celestia movement to lose almost all support, not only allowing the royals to focus once more on searching for [[BiggerBad Chrysalis]] rather than defending their position, but now no one will object to Twilight officially adopting Spike.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'' when [[BigBad The Beldam]] tosses Coraline into the mirror for disobeying her. Of course, that's where she also left the souls of her previous victims who speak to Coraline and give her the resolve to defeat the "Other Mother".
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', the Omnidroid trying to rip Mr. Incredible apart actually fixes the crick in his back, getting him back in the fight.
** Syndrome does this when he first meets Mr. Incredible. He has the hero captured and helpless in his "zero point energy" field. But he can't resist tossing him around and gesturing dramatically during his "I win" speech and accidentally flings him away. Although he is captured again later, it is this that allows Mr. Incredible to discover Syndrome's evil plan.
** Syndrome programmed the Omnidroid to adapt to any situation. Then he arrogantly stopped during his fight with it to boast to the bystanders, giving the robot the time to figure out it was being controlled by Syndrome's bracelet. It then removed it from him, and the heroes used it to destroy the robot.
** Before Syndrome, the Parr family was in a rut, trapped by monotony, dead-end jobs, and the memories of what once was. Even Bob and Helen's marriage was on the rocks. And for superheroes in general, public opinion was negative, and they had to live in hiding. After Syndrome, superheroes were allowed to operate openly once more, the public liked them again, and, most important of all, the Parrs were happy, proud, and very closely-knit, making them even ''better'' superheroes than they ever were as individuals.
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'':
** Scar has Simba utterly on the ropes and is about to knock him off the edge of a cliff, when he insists on making a [[JustBetweenYouAndMe But Before You Die]] speech.... freeing Simba from the guilt he had been carrying around and giving him the heroic resolve needed to stop Scar. Doh!
** Later, when trying to bargain with Simba for his life, some hyenas are about to help him. Then he goes and ruins it by trying to scapegoat the hyenas, making them back away in anger. Not only does this mean that he has to fight Simba without any backup, but it also gets him torn to ribbons by a pack of justly angry hyenas, after Simba had chosen to spare Scar's life and exile him.
* In Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', Hades had succeeded in rendering Hercules unable to stop him from taking over the universe, not because he robbed him of his strength, but because he revealed that his LoveInterest Meg was working for him, thus breaking his spirit. Then he had to go and send a cyclops to destroy him before his strength came back. By doing this, Meg went after Phil, who convinced Herc not to give up. Then the icing on the cake was that Meg got fatally injured, which broke the deal, causing the hero to get his strength back, allowing him to stop Hades.
** Not to mention when Meg died, Hades offered to trade her soul in exchange for Herc's, if he could get her out of the fatal river Styx. Unfortunately, this was just the deed Herc needed to reclaim his godhood, thus allowing him to save Meg and send Hades flying into the river Styx. Major ouch.
*** Actually, none of this could've happened if Hades hadn't sent Meg to discover what Hercules weakness was, thus resulting in the two falling in love. The icing on the cake was that he released Meg from her DealWithTheDevil with him, thus enabling her to help the good guys stop him.
** Also, there was the fact that Hercules was considered a zero to everyone in Thebes and didn't have a chance at starting his path to become a true hero, until Hades started sending his monsters to kill Herc. With each monster Herc defeated, he became more famous. Man, Hades did more fixing than breaking throughout the whole movie!
** Actually, when you think about it, none of this would've happened if Hades hadn't tried to kill Herc when he was a baby in the first place. Everything he did was to prevent the coming of a prophecy which said that Hercules would ruin his plans to rule the universe. However, instead of letting things play out on their own and waiting to see if Hercules would indeed grow up to be the threat he is said to be, Hades tries to get rid of him immediately, which sets off a chain of events which makes the dude exactly what Hades was afraid of. Basically, Hades had created a SelfFulfillingProphecy.[[note]]For how SadlyMythtaken the movie is otherwise, this is an unexpected moment of accuracy to the source: ClassicalMythology is ''full'' of prophecies coming to pass specifically because people tried to prevent them.[[/note]]
* At the musical finale in ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance'', SpoiledBrat Darla Dimple attempted to sabotage the performance of the animals who could threaten her career. However, each of her sabotage attempts only made the performance a bigger hit, thus ensuring the animals careers.
** Then she went and screamed at the animals about the accident she caused and framed them for, thus clearing their names and resulting in her and her career literally [[TrapDoor going through the floor]].
* For a bit of FridgeHorror in ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', that little kid in the beginning would've died had Vector not stolen the real pyramid and replaced it with an inflatable.
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'': [[EngineeredPublicConfession "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die!!!"]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'': The moment [[BigBad Lotso]] smashes [[TheDragon Big Baby's]] locket. Cue Big Baby becoming ''extremely'' pissed and throwing Lotso into the dumpster.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} 2'', had Miles Axlerod not spilled oil onto the carpet, Mater wouldn't have become a spy and foiled his evil plan!
* Lord Farquaad, the BigBad of the first ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' movie, did this on a ''series spanning level''. He sent Shrek to rescue Fiona, which messes up his own plan by allowing Fiona to meet her true love that would break the curse and allow Donkey to meet Dragon, who helps Shrek and Donkey stop his wedding and eats Farquaad. In the second movie, Prince Charming's goal to rescue Fiona and thus Fairy Godmother's intention to rule Far Far Away through him are foiled because Farquaad sent Shrek to rescue her already. Most importantly, it foiled Rumpelstitskin's attempt to get Fiona's parents to sign a DealWithTheDevil with him, letting him erase them from existence and conquer Far Far Away because Shrek rescued Fiona and rendered the deal pointless. Even further back, the only reason Shrek interfered ''at all'' in any of this was because Farquaad's deporting all the fairy tale creatures to his swamp ticked him off. Really Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!
* In ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' Hans tries to kill Elsa, and Anna throws herself in front of the sword before the curse freezes her solid (and shatters the sword in mid-strike). Because Anna did that to save Elsa, it was an act of true love that would break her curse, something she might not have been able to do had Hans not given her the opportunity.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Luke is struggling with the dark side in ''ReturnOfTheJedi'', but the Emperor's constant taunting keeps Luke from going over. Not only that, when the Emperor decided to forgo turning him and instead try to kill him, he ended up getting the exact opposite: instead of Luke turning to the Dark, Vader [[HeelFaceTurn turned back to the Light]] in order to protect ''his son''. Even ''IrregularWebcomic'' spoofed this, with Vader complaining he could get Luke to turn if the Emperor would just stop butting in.
* ''Film/SupermanII'': In an overlap with BatmanGambit, Supes confides in Lex a means to {{Depower}} the escaped Kryptonians and save Earth. Something that is in Luthor's interests since they've repeatedly shown they care nothing for him or honoring their deals. Of course, Lex betrays Supes and tells them the plan... but instead, he's actually been tricked by Superman and helped him depower ''them!'' It seems Lex is so predictably evil, Supes could count on him always being his [[TheStarScream own Starscream]].
* ''Film/{{UHF}}'': In an earlier scene, R.J. Fletcher gives a penny to a panhandler, who thanks him sincerely. It turns out that the penny was extremely rare and valuable, so the panhandler was able to sell it for enough money to buy several shares in the station Fletcher was trying to close down.
* In ''KungFuHustle'', the protagonist, Sing, is rewarded for his HeelFaceTurn... by getting his face beaten into a pulp by The Beast. This however, clears up his chi flow, turning him into a true Kung Fu master, and he soundly defeats the Axe Gang and The Beast.
* ''Film/GhostRider'':
** Ghost Rider is unable to use his [[MindRape penance stare]] on Blackheart because Blackheart doesn't have a soul. Then Blackheart absorbs a thousand damned souls into himself. The Rider proceeds to render him catatonic.
-->'''Ghost Rider:''' "A thousand souls to burn! ''Look into my eyes!''"
-->'''Blackheart:''' *[[OhCrap realizing his mistake far too late]]* '''''"NOOOOOO!"'''''
** The demon Mephisto convinces Johnny Blaze to sell his soul, turning him into the Ghost Rider. Of course, Ghost Rider ends up rebelling and fighting evil. LikeABadassOutOfHell.
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture''
** Marty and George's plan to make Lorraine fall for George goes awry when Biff shows up and tries to have his way with Lorraine. Although intimidated, George stands his ground against Biff. He tries to throw a punch, but Biff intercepts it, then begins twisting his arm. Lorraine tries to intervene, but Biff forcefully pushes her aside. After he does so, [[EvilLaugh he laughs]]. This gives George the [[BerserkButton resolve]] he needs to [[Awesome/BackToTheFuture punch Biff out]] and later, win Lorraine's heart.
** Marty's original plan- pretending to have ''his'' way with Lorraine, only for George to [[DateRapeAverted jump in and play Superman]] - was failing hard because Lorraine wanted to jump ''him''. Biff's intervention unwittingly set things back on course.
** Not only did Biff end up repairing the status quo, but he ended up completely reshaping his own future. George goes from weak-willed pushover constantly being taken advantage of by Biff, to a confident and successful author. Biff, meanwhile, waxes George's car.
** Biff was drunk out of his head and not capable of making any kind of coherent plan. This is sufficiently established by him doing this in the first place - if not for George turning up, he could very well have ended up in prison for a long time.
* In the live-action ''Film/{{Popeye}}'' movie, the eponymous sailor-man hates spinach, so Bluto force feeds him an entire can, just to be mean. You can probably guess what happens next.
* In ''Literature/BenHur'', The titular character taunts the man who sold him into slavery with this.
-->'''Messala:''' By what magic do you bear the name of a Consul of Rome?
-->'''Judah:''' You were the magician, Messala. When my ship was sunk, I saved the Consul's life.
* ''Film/HighlanderIITheQuickening'': [[BigBad General Katana]], for no good reason, sends his mooks to try and kill [=Connor MacLeod=] decades after he becomes mortal because he's worried Connor would return to try and kill him. During the altercation with the mooks, Connor beheads one of them and as a result, regains his immortality, and becomes young again, and then is later able to take out the shield that is causing harm to the planet.
* ''Film/TheTerminator'': John Connor has just defeated Skynet in the humans vs. machines war. Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to kil his mother, to eliminate the problem before it can even become a problem. In response, the resistance sends back Kyle Reese, who ''gets Sarah pregnant with John'' and creates a StableTimeLoop. If Skynet had never sent back the Terminator in the first timeline, John would not exist and Skynet might very well have won.
* ''Film/MrDeedsGoesToTown'' features this trope at the climax. Deeds is lethargic and disinterested in his own defense because of the constant betrayals he's suffered throughout the film, including from LoveInterest reporter Babe. When it looks like he's finished, Babe desperately takes the stand to offer up the defense he won't. The prosecutor, frustrated by her emotional pleas, requests that he be allowed to treat her as a hostile witness since "she's obviously in love with the defendant". This breaks Deeds out of his depressed stupor, and the next time he's prompted to speak in his own defense, he does so- and lays out an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome epic verbal smackdown]] on the prosecutor's entire argument.
* In ''Film/FaceOff'', Castor Troy has a bit of a PetTheDog moment when he saves Archer's daughter from being assaulted and gives her a butterfly knife so she can defend herself against future attackers. She uses it on Castor himself at the end of the film.
* ''Ultraman Zearth'':
** Zearth is stricken with an overwhelming fear of dirt and germs. Benzene Seijin, in a bid to conquer Earth, decides this is the perfect way to beat him, and torments him with tar the entire film. However, he puts the final nail in his own coffin by forcing Zearth to cross a lake of tar to save his friends. This gives [[TookALevelInBadass Zearth the motivation he needed to overcome his fears, kill Benzene's pet monster, and kick Benzene himself into orbit]].
** In the sequel, his wife, Lady Benzene, has Zearth's spirit crushed after her robotic copy, [[EvilCounterpart Ultraman Shadow]] defeats him with ease, making him unwilling to transform. Then, she has to go call him out to try and stop her so she can destroy him. Her taunting causes Zearth to train, [[TookALevelInBadass take another level in badass]], and overpower Shadow. Then, she goes and broadcasts the fight around the world to try to crush humanity's spirit, this backfires when Shadow finally has the upperhand, the people of Earth [[SayMyName all chant Zearth's name]], giving him to strength to destroy Shadow once and for all.
* In ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}'', while hero Gabe is retrieving the first briefcase of money for the thieves, BigBad Qualen remarks that they don't need two guides and instructs his crew to kill Gabe when he comes down. Of course, he says this while ''standing next to Gabe's partner Hal'', so Hal naturally yells to Gabe not to come back down, allowing Gabe to flee and become the fly-in-the-ointment to Qualen and crew. Had Qualen kept his mouth shut until Gabe came down, or instructed his men out of earshot, he would've saved himself a lot of trouble.
* During the scene with the Oracle in ''Film/TheMatrix'', she explains that Neo [[TheUnchosenOne technically isn't the One]], but he will probably be one in a later life. Later in the film, Agent Smith kills Neo. However, Trinity manages to revive him and Neo awakens as the One. Nice job fixing it, Smith.
* In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', Smith copies himself over Neo in their final battle. Since Neo is connected to Deus Ex Machina, Smith is promptly deleted.
* In ''Film/TheFrenchConnection'', narcotics cop Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle is tenaciously chasing down a major heroin deal. At one point, with one officer dead and little in the way of results, his superiors order him back to his regular work and close the case, effectively leaving the deal to go ahead as planned. Unaware of this, and concerned that he�s giving their US clients cold feet, the French traffickers authorize a hit on him. The hit goes badly wrong and Doyle runs the hitman down. He gets the case re-opened on the strength of that, ultimately intercepting the heroin and most of the traffickers.
* ''Film/BatmanBegins''
** When Bruce Wayne goes to confront mob boss Carmine Falcone at his favorite hangout, Falcone gives him a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. It's intended to break his will, but Bruce actually agrees with everything Falcone says about him. He immediately leaves the restaurant and embarks upon his journey to become Franchise/{{Batman}}.
** Ra's Al Ghul deciding to crash Bruce's birthday party for a little EvilGloating and attempting to kill him. It's likely that if he hadn't done this, Bruce would have never figured out Ra's plan at all, and definitely not in time to actually stop it.
* ''Film/{{Thor}}'':
** If Loki hadn't ruined Thor's big day and incidentally gotten Thor banished, Thor wouldn't have learned humility and would have remained the same reckless and arrogant god that he was, instead of maturing like he did. In fact, Loki visiting Thor in his cell was what changed Thor into a better man.
** Again near the end of the movie. Loki was in charge, Thor was trapped on Earth and mortal. But Loki ''had'' to send the Destroyer to finish Thor. That gave Thor the chance to make the HeroicSacrifice that restores his powers.
** During the fight on the Bifrost Loki has the edge, since ''he's'' quite willing to do what it takes to win while Thor is hesitant to fight him. And then Loki makes a purely gratuitous threat against Jane Foster...
* ''Film/TheAvengers''
** Loki does it ''again''. After so carefully sowing the seeds of dissent among the already volatile heroes, he takes out Agent Coulson, literally giving them something to avenge, which brings them together as a team.
** The portal he opened to bring his alien army to Earth also conveniently gave Iron Man somewhere to dump the nuke aimed at Manhattan, which also destroyed Loki's army.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', Lord Shen attempting genocide on the pandas not only enabled Po to complete the prophecy, but also provided the Valley of Peace with a way to stop Tai Lung in the original film.
* The Devil in the ScareEmStraight flick ''Escape from Hell'', when the protagonist Eric arrives after inducing a near-death experience. Rather than attack him outright, the devil just tells him exactly who has gone to hell and why, and that his recently converted father didn't go there. He only attacks him just as Eric is brought back to life, then chases him into a church for good measure in case Eric needed any more help converting to Christianity. TheDevilIsALoser indeed.
* In the film Film/{{Immortals}}, the villain is on the verge of victory, and possesses a magical EnergyBow that can fire infinite shots, which destroy men and rocky walls alike. So when it comes time for the final battle, he fires said bow exactly one time at the giant wall the Greek soldiers are hiding behind. Which creates exactly one small opening for his massive army to use, giving the Greeks plenty of time to defend such a small area.
* ''Film/UnderworldRiseOfTheLycans'':
** Viktor's decision to kill his only daughter for loving a Lycan kicks off the war between vampires and werewolves that leads to the death of Vampire Elder Amelia. Not only that, his decision to spare Seline because of her striking resemblance to the daughter leads to the death of him and Markus, also Elders. Without any strong leadership, the vampire covens fall apart and become fairly easy pickings for the Lycans by the events of ''Underworld: Awakening''.
** Considering that his fear of a vampire-lycan hybrid was a primary motivation for his actions, his initial refusal to believe Seline ultimately results in the (re)creation of Michael as a vampire-lycan hybrid; his murder of Singh leads to his rival Markus being reawakened ''and'' becoming a [[OneWingedAngel hybrid.]]
* In ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Shady Tree discovers just in time that the diamonds were fake and got James Bond out of the retort Wint and Kidd had put him in. Bond takes the opportunity to casually stroll out of Slumber, Inc. during the inevitable questioning and later figures out that someone's bumping off the diamond smugglers when Tree gets shot later on.
-->'''Shady Tree''': ''[after the casket is out of the retort]'' You dirty double-crossing limey fink, those Goddam diamonds are phonies!\\
'''James Bond''': Now don't tell me... you're St. Peter?\\
'''Shady Tree''': Paste! Glass! Where's the real stuff, Franks?\\
'''James Bond''': Where's the real money?\\
'''Morton Slumber''': What do you mean?\\
'''James Bond''': You wouldn't burn up 50,000 real dollars, now, would you?\\
'''Shady Tree''': One last break, Franks. Where are the real diamonds?\\
'''James Bond''': You get me the real money... ''[climbs out of the casket]'' and I'll bring you the real diamonds.\\
'''Shady Tree''': Where the hell do you think you're going?\\
'''James Bond''': I hear that the Hotel Tropicana's quite comfortable. My condolences, gentlemen!\\
''[Morton Slumber slams the now-empty casket shut as James Bond leaves]''
* In the first ''Film/{{Spider-Man}}'' movie, Spider-Man's been badly injured after taking the brunt of one of the Green Goblin's pumpkin bombs. The Goblin is winning their CurbStompBattle and Spidey's going to lose. Then just to rub salt in his wounds, the Goblin proceeds to brag about how he'll slowly torture Mary Jane to death after he's killed Spider-Man... which just so happens to push the hero's BerserkButton...[[TheDogBitesBack inverted]] [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown curbstomping]] ensues.
* Venom/Eddie Brock, in ''Spider-Man 3'' does this in a more drawn out sense. After the symbiote bonds with him and he gains all of Parker's memories, you'd think maybe he'd catch Peter unawares, or at the very least if he wanted an ally, go to Harry Osbourn, who was still hating Peter at that time. But no, first he recruits Sandman and then he kidnaps Mary Jane. Which leads to Harry's HeelFaceTurn, BigDamnHero moment, and the HeroicSacrifice that ''saves'' Peter and results in ''Brock's'' demise.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''
** If Talia had just kept her mouth shut about flooding the fusion reactor basement to the heroes, they would have continued to waste time dragging the react to the location to attempt to reconnect it, which would not allow Batman to RelocateTheExplosion in time.
** Bane releases all of the Gotham City's incarcerated, including Selina Kyle/Catwoman, who manages to [[DroppedABridgeOnHim unceremoniously blow him away]] in time to stop him from killing Batman at the film's climax, leading the above-mentioned Fix-It moment.
** Bane's calling out of Commissioner Gordon's cover-up leads to Batman once again being looked upon as a hero and a symbol of hope for Gotham city. His plans for anarchy unravel from that point on.
* In ''Film/IronMan2'' Justin Hammer's deal with Ivan Vanko turns out to be a mistake from his perspective. Vanko proves impossible to work with, uses Hammer's resources and technology for his own single-minded vendetta, ruins Hammer's Expo showing (while placing thousands of people in immediate danger, we might add) and ultimately leads to Hammer's arrest when it's discovered that he's behind Vanko's escape. The ''real'' kick in the pants? ''It was all totally unnecessary.'' If Hammer had simply waited, Tony Stark would have self-destructed completely on his own, been discredited in the eyes of the public, probably died from palladium poisoning, and Hammer would have still gotten his hands on the War Machine armor and been allowed to study/weaponize it as the premier US military contractor.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'': Zod's decision to also take Lois hostage for additional leverage and information and to hold her in a room that has a console. The console has a slot for the spaceship key that Clark slipped her so they wouldn't find it on him, and inserting it allows Jor El's VirtualGhost to upload to the ship, help Lois and Clark escape, and give them crucial information.
* In the musical ''[[Film/OneThousandSevenHundredAndSeventySix 1776]]'', Judge Wilson (who is against independence) mentions the they must first "define the nature of the beast," later, when it looks like the move might be defeated, Adams and Franklin use this as the means to delay the vote until they write The Declaration.
* ''LittleGiants'': If not for Spike hitting Junior, Becky wouldn't have returned to the Giants.
* In ''Film/{{Airheads}}'', SWAT team leader Carl Mace reveals to everyone that [[MetalHead Chazz Darvey]] used to be a huge geek [[EmbarrassingFirstName named Chester]] when he was in high school, in an attempt to make people less supportive of him. Instead, it makes everyone ''more'' supportive of him, as they reveal their own geeky pasts.
* ''Film/{{Elysium}}'': The plot to open up Elysium to everybody on Earth is only possible because of Delacourt's desire to overthrow the current government, requiring a virus that can reboot the system. Then Max gets a hold of it...
* In ''Film/SuperMarioBros'', [[BigBad King Koopa]] gets bitten in the tail by everything he ends up de-evolving. The de-evolved Toad is the reason the Goombas, his entire army, become incapacitated, and the second his two cousins are evolved to become smarter they realize it sucks working for him and they immediately turn on him. And of course the fungus which is actually the de-evolved king does everything in it's power to hold him back every step of the way.
* Mayor Augustus in ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'' not only wrecks his own materialistic drive on Whoville, but also leads to the Grinch's HeelFaceTurn. He ends up doing this when he decides to humiliate Cindy Lou Who for her decision to bring the Grinch into the town's celebrations the night before, which lead to the Grinch's theivery because of his own asshole-ish decision to humiliate the Grinch there. By humiliating Cindy Lou, her father, Lou Lou, stands up for her and realizes that Christmas isn't about the gifts, but about family. When the Grinch goes to listen for the sounds of sorrow and ends up getting singing, this ends up leading ''him'' to realize the same thing.
* The entire point of ''Film/ButImACheerleader'': Megan would never have even ''noticed'' her repressed and rationalized lesbian desires, much less [[ComingOutStory embraced and pursued them]], if her parents hadn't sent her to a CureYourGays camp [[SelfFulfillingProphecy to get rid of them.]]
* In the 1985 ''Film/BrewstersMillions'', Brewster would have failed to meet the conditions of his full inheritance if the junior partner of the crooked law firm that stood to profit from the failure had just kept his mouth shut for half an hour.
* In the first live action {{ComicBook/Asterix}} movie, ''Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar'', Asterix and Obelix infiltrate a roman camp to free Panoramix, with Obelix having to pretend to be a roman legionary until Asterix gives him a signal to stop acting. Unfortunately, the two get seperated with Obelix becomming [[BigBad Detritus]]' right hand man and Asterix being sentenced to die in an arena filled with wild animals, unable to give Obelix the signal since he is out of hearing range. And then Detritus unknowingly helps Asterix give Obelix the signal because he is curious what exactly Asterix is shouting to Obelix and uses his skills of lip reading to find out.
* ''Film/{{Transcendence}}'':
** Before RIFT's attack, all the AI research teams were working independently and were probably decades away from a true AI breakthrough; Max flat out admits that a thinking machine is essentially a pipe dream and that their progress toward that goal is more productive in its incidental advances in other scientific fields. After the attack, key research ends up being transferred to the Casters at the same time Will is told he will die in a matter of weeks, giving them both the necessary research and the motivation to apply it. Thus, RIFT's actions ''create the very AI they sought to prevent''. If they had done nothing, the research would still exist, but it would be very unlikely that human trials would be put into play any time soon, nor would it be likely these independent teams would share data, since Will specifically notes that he's never taken defense contract cash (which is where the research comes from).
** This also plays out later in the film. After Will's upload and relocation to Brightwood, he had kept to himself, working on peaceful advances in technology that were completely benign. Bree has fliers distributed accusing the Brightwood Data Center of human experimentation, which was a complete lie, and not long after that two guys mug Martin and beat him nearly to death. Will uses his nanomachines to save Martin's life, in the process upgrading him into a networked superhuman, again kickstarting the very thing RIFT sought to stop. It did succeed in getting their cause greater recognition, though, so, by accident if nothing else, it wasn't a total backfire.
* In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/NeedForSpeed Need for speed]], the antagonist Dino made a critical mistake of not getting rid of the red Koenigsegg which he previously drove that [[spoiler: killed Pete]], enabling Tobey not only able to use it for the De Leon race, but it is also the critical evidence Tobey needed to clear his name of [[spoiler: Pete's death]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This is {{Spenser}} and [[http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/j/michael-jecks/ Baldwin Furnshill's]] chief method to solving crimes without evidence. Annoy people until they try to kill you, then find out who they worked for. Though Baldwin doesn't actually try to annoy people; usually the bad guy who falls into this trap hates him for his rank and title, or his loyalties and suspected beliefs, said series taking place in a particularly hectic time of English history. Spenser, on the other hand, is actively trying to invite this trope a lot of the time. A lot of his cases would have been a lot shorter (and unsolved) if the villains had been smart enough to just shut up and leave him alone.
* Literature/TheDraka: after the Final War nearly destroys the eco-system the Draka respond by invoking strict environmental standards to ensure stablity. Nature preserves are created from entire continents and the population levels are kept low.
* The ''SwallowsAndAmazons'' book ''Great Northern?'' has a textbook example of this. The protagonists, while sailing through the Hebrides, encounter what they're pretty sure is a rare bird, but have to leave before they can verify it, and accidentally let its existence -- but not location -- slip to an egg-collector, Mr. Jemmerling. Captain Flint, their designated adult supervision, is going to make them leave before they can go back, leaving Jemmerling free rein to find the birds. Instead, Jemmerling tries to convince and then [[BribeBackfire bribe]] Captain Flint to tell him where the birds are, and succeeds only in convincing him that they're worth going back to find.
* In the DaleBrown novel ''Plan of Attack'', the Russians conduct nuclear sneak attacks on the US, supposedly to create nuclear parity. Our MilitaryMaverick protagonist Patrick [=McLanahan=] for once obeys an explicit order of the POTUS to hold on a retaliatory strike against the Russians. When the Russians prove their continued hostile intentions by attempting a nuclear bombing of the base Pat had forward-deployed to, one that had no nuclear weapons, it shows them for the liars they are and gives him a casus belli.
* In the Creator/AndrewVachss Burke book ''Terminal'', one character describes how gangs putting out hits on suspected rats leads to cons ratting out for real.
* In HarryTurtledove's ''TheGunsOfTheSouth'', Afrikaaners use TimeTravel to [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight help the Confederates win the]] AmericanCivilWar, hoping to build a strong white supremacist nation that they can ally with in the future. Though their plans are impeded by Robert E. Lee, who wins the presidency of the Confederacy on a platform of gradual slave emancipation, there are still enough Pro-Slavery Confederate citizens and congressmen to defeat any sort of government action to actually end slavery, and there is even talk amongst some states of seceding from the Confederacy and starting their own nation (again) to preserve slavery indefinitely. However, the AWB then launches an assassination attempt against Lee on his inauguration day, which slaughters dozens of civilians and many ranking members of the government, which unites the entire country behind Lee and gives him the political clout to ram through his gradual emancipation bill.
* In [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime A Crown of Swords]], Moghedien freaks out upon catching sight of Nynaeve in Ebou Dar and loses character long enough to [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique balefire]] the boat she had just gotten on. At that moment Moridin strokes her SoulJar, causing her to involuntarily convulse and miss Nynaeve and only sink the boat. Nynaeve is trapped in the rapidly sinking wreckage � at which point the resulting despair causes her to permanently break free of the mental block that had been preventing her from channeling at-will since the beginning of the series.
* In ''MemorySorrowAndThorn'', EvilSorcerer Pryrates' attempt to pull a FaustianRebellion on the freshly summoned [[BigBad Storm King]] at the climax of the story [[EvilIsNotAToy fails spectacularly]], as one might expect. However, his attack and subsequent KarmicDeath have the side-effects of weakening the Storm King at a critical moment ''and'' freeing two of the heroes from paralysis, leading directly to the Storm King's defeat.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'' the heroes spend most of the story in vain searches for the BigBad's {{Soul Jar}}s. At one point they are captured by the villains and, long story short, one of the villains suspects that they might've sneaked into her bank vault. She freaks out so much that that her dreadful master might find out about it, and spends so much effort torturing the heroes just to find out whether they did or did not, it gives Harry an inspiration for a leap of logic, and he correctly deduces that the SoulJar must be in the vault.
** More directly, later in the same book, the Big Bad "kills" Harry himself... only not only did he also destroy another of his own {{Soul Jar}}s in the process, [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime his brazen act of vanity in an earlier book allows Harry to survive anyway]]. A two-for-one deal!
** And then BigBad does this AGAIN. In order to... make an example out of a rebellious youngster, it seems, [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext he summons the Sorting Hat, puts it on the kid's head and sets it on fire]], but the Hat, [[{{Foreshadowing}} as had already been shown]], can provide the weapon needed to kill his last SoulJar.
** And in general, his decree that no one was to kill Harry. Thus his minions' hands were basically tied when dealing with Harry, even though he and his friends would frequently run into those minions.
** Earlier in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix,'' Voldemort stops dueling with Dumbledore to take possession of Harry's body, using it to both mock Albus and torture the boy. Doing this opens Voldemort up to the feelings of grief Harry is experiencing over Sirius, [[GoodHurtsEvil causing him so much pain he's forced to flee the battle.]]
** [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Dolores Umbridge]] gets an honorable mention. In [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix the fifth book]], [[VillainBall she passes a decree that ''bans'' The Quibbler, which had an interview with Harry about Voldemort's return, and states any student caught with it will be expelled]]. Hermione is quick to point out, [[StreisandEffect the ban ensures everyone will read it]]! And they do, and they outwit her, which makes people believe Harry and not the Ministry!
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'' TheMole, in order to surreptitiously abduct Harry from the school, plants him into the Triwizard Tournament and then oversees his victory by giving hints. One of those hints drives Harry to master a specific spell that he otherwise failed at, and then he uses this spell to escape from Voldemort in the finale.
*** Even better, in the interest of presumably staying in character while impersonating [[spoiler:Mad-Eye Moody]], he ''insists'' that Harry is able to ''completely'' [[spoiler:resist the Imperius curse]] after he witnesses him doing so better than his classmates. Guess what he also does successfully in the aforementioned finale.
*** Voldemort [[UpToEleven takes it up to a while new level]] in the aforementioned finale. [[spoiler:He takes Harry's blood so that he too can have Lily Potter's protection]]. [[ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime By taking doing this spoiler:he winds up tethering his own life to Harry's his own, almost ensuring Harry's survival]]. [[BigGood Dumbledore]] smiles triumphantly when he learns this knowing what will happen.

* The original [[Literature/{{Dracula}} Count Dracula]] forced Mina Harker to drink his blood to form a PsychicLink between them that he could use for MindControl and to spy on the rest of the heroes through her so he could see whatever they were planning against him next. Unfortunately for him, the link worked both ways, allowing Mina to warn the others when he was coming their way and figure out where he was hiding or heading during the climactic SternChase. He gives the heroes a ticket to his mind that he can't revoke even when he eventually tries to do so.
** Ironically, many later versions of this story have picked up the weird trope that Mina and Dracula had some kind of love between them; in the original Mina loathed the monster and was probably second only to van Helsing in importance in bringing about his downfall.
* A minor version in Lin Carter's ''The Quest of Kadji'': the BigBad has captured one of the two young people who've independently sworn to destroy him, and taunts her that her sweetheart won't be able to act while she's his hostage. She gloomily says the boy is ''not'' in love with her. The villain can't resist sneering that, ''just like her'', young Kadji is under a "no-fooling-around-until-you've-killed-the-bad-guy" vow, which is the only reason [[{{UST}} neither has made serious advances to the other]]. Yes, in an attempt to mock her, the villain has actually raised the girl's morale.
* In Starfire by Charles Sheffield the detective protagonist figures out the murderer's identity, but has no proof. He draws the murderer out into open by announcing he found a supposedly missing victim, and where he stored the corpse. The villain can't help but go check on the body, where confronted by detective. Even then the villain could have saved the situation by simply feigning ignorance and leaving. With security cameras on, detective could not exactly initiate violence. Villain solves his problem by drawing weapon first -- on camera. Detective is a much faster shot. Nice going!
* In LoisMcMasterBujold's Literature/VorkosiganSaga book ''Falling Free'', the heroes at one point want to rescue someone from the villain. Since they're in outer space, they need the help of a spaceship pilot, and the only one they've got is not one of the heroes; he's helping them for pay, and is unwilling to risk himself on some harebrained rescue scheme. One nasty phone call from the villain later, and he's on the heroes' side. This is not the last time someone helps the heroes due to the villain's JerkAss tendencies.
* Another LoisMcMasterBujold example: in [[Literature/{{Chalion}} The Curse Of Chalion]], Chancellor dy Jironal stabs and kills the protagonist, dy Cazaril. His death allows the Lady of Spring to undo the curse and fix the realm.
* In "Literature/DeathMasks," book five of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry Dresden is in a DuelToTheDeath with Paolo Ortega, Warlord of the Red Court of Vampires who has [[HeroKiller already killed half a dozen wizards]]. The duel is going solidly against Harry, and likely would have fairly resulted in his death in honest combat, but then Ortega attempted to threaten him into submission and ''allowing'' himself to be killed. [[AndYourLittleDogToo Ortega did this by explaining that, should he (Ortega) die in the duel, his feudal retainers had been sworn to hunt down Harry and kill not just him, but also all his friends and loved ones]]. This statement, which went directly against their agreement to not seek retribution in the aftermath of the duel, gave Harry the rage and motivation to turn the tide of the duel against Ortega. Ortega himself was killed by ColonyDrop when one of said friends heard about the threat.
* Vicar Zahspahr Clyntahn's actions throughout the ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' series tend to do as much as help the Empire of Charis as it does to hurt it. A specific example occurs in ''How Firm a Foundation.'' The island Empire of Charis needs an ally in the mainland, the Republic of Siddarmark would be perfect, but they're right next to the Temple Lands, which are content to leave them be, and even let them get away with ignoring a Church-imposed trade embargo against Charis, so long as they don't act outright against the Temple Lands. Cue Clyntahn going behind his fellow Church Leaders' backs creating riots in Siddarmark ''forcing'' them to go independent and opening the door for Charis and Siddarmark to ally at the earliest opportunity.
** An earlier example would be his assassination of Prince Hektor and his eldest son in ''By Heresies Distressed.'' Cayleb of Charis had spent the entire book conquering Hektor's princedom of Corisande with the knowledge that any surrender Hektor offered would only last until Hektor could backstab him. Clyntahn, knowing Hektor may be forced to surrender, left orders to have him killed and Cayleb blamed for the attack in that event. This succeeds and makes Charis' occupation of Corisande very difficult in the short term. In the long term, people realize that Clyntahn is a more likely suspect. More importantly, Hektor's ''surviving children'' realize this, seek asylum in Charis, befriend Cayleb and Sharleyan, and pledge Corisande to Charis' cause. Clyntahn's actions made Cayleb's job more difficult as intended, but ultimately replaced a ruler who would've betrayed Cayleb with rulers who were loyal to him.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** Saruman ordering his Uruk-hai to take Merry and Pippin to Isengard, instead of Mordor as the Morgul orcs wanted:
*** Practically saved the entire quest. If Merry and Pippin were taken to Mordor there would have been no chance of rescue on the way, and Sauron would have soon found out that Frodo and Sam were heading straight for him with the Ring. They would have been intercepted, and Sauron would have retrieved the Ring. Instead, on the way to Isengard the Rohirrim unknowingly saved Merry and Pippin, and Sauron didn't find out about the 'destroy the Ring' quest until it was too late.
*** Bites Saruman in the backside in a more personal way, too. Taking them towards Isengard meant Merry and Pippin ended up in Fangorn Forest, met up with Treebeard and helped convince him and the Ents to join the war against Saruman, resulting in the [[WhenTreesAttack Huorns]] wiping out Saruman's armies at Helm's Deep and the Ents themselves storming and capturing Isengard, effectively ending Saruman's involvement in the War of the Ring.
*** In chasing after Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were able to meet up with Gandalf again, lift Thoden from his despair and help Rohan's forces to fend off Saruman's armies, which in turn meant Rohan was in a much better condition of answer when [[GondorCallsForAid Gondor called for aid]]...
** In another example; Sauron creates a thick cloud of smoke to block out the sun during the assault on Minas Tirath. This proves to be an excellent cover for Thoden and the Rohirrim to attack his forces.
** Sauron does this before the main plot proper even starts; he captures Gollum, tortures him for information about the being that stole the Ring from him and where they came from...''and then lets Gollum go.'' Meaning that, with Gollum guiding them, Frodo and Sam were eventually able to get into Mordor more or less undetected - albeit with some nasty encounters with spiders and orcs along the way - and, when Frodo was unable to destroy the Ring and claimed it for his own, Gollum unintentionally brought about the Ring's destruction when he bit off Frodo's finger to get it.
* In ''PrideAndPrejudice'', Lady Catherine is so affronted by the idea of Mr. Darcy marrying Elizabeth Bennet that she confronts Elizabeth and tries to extract a promise from her not to accept Darcy's proposal; when Elizabeth refuses to promise any such thing, Lady Catherine has a similar confrontation with Mr. Darcy... which gives him reason to hope that he still has a chance with Elizabeth even though she rejected his previous proposal in very emphatic terms. Had Lady Catherine not seen fit to get involved, each of them could have gone on indefinitely believing that any chance they had with the other was long gone.
* In ''Literature/TheNightOfWishes'', an evil sorceror and his witch aunt brew a potion on New Year's Eve which grants the ''opposite'' of any wish spoken aloud after a drink, gleefully intending to make a grant show of fixing the world in front of their unassuming pets, while actually wreaking havok. Only those are onto them, find a loophole in the spell, and with a little outside supernatural help manage to destroy the reversing part of the potion without the villains noticing. The world's people are not gonna believe how much luck and prosperity they are going to have next year.
* As a meta-example, Mephistopheles in Goethe's ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'' proclaims that he is "Part of that Power which would The Evil ever do, and ever does the Good."
* At the climax of ''[[HumanxCommonwealth Flinx in Flux]]'', the AnimalWrongsGroup that has been hunting Flinx down in order to "make him normal" shows up just in time to accidentally rescue him from the BigBad who wishes to [[TheydCutYouUp experiment upon him]] instead. As a double example, Flinx finds that the sedation method that the BigBad used on him has also woken a new form of his [[TheEmpath empathic powers]], which he subsequently uses to defeat both groups of antagonists.
* Some of {{Agatha Christie}}'s stories involve this:
** In ''Evil Under the Sun'', the murder of the adulterous Arlena greatly improves the situation for her widower Kenneth and his daughter Linda.
** In ''{{Death on the Nile}}'', the curious choice of words used by a blackmailing witness (who is then murdered) is what reveals the solution to Poirot.
*** Also, the final murder victim was in a sense standing in the way of Rosalie's freedom.
* Also in ''Literature/{{Sherlock Holmes}}'':
** In ''The Second Stain'', the entrance of Edouard's murderous wife is the only thing that allowed Lady Hilda to recover the papers.
** In ''The Beryl Coronet'', the main crime in the story is what allowed the opportunity for Arthur to show courage and chivalry, effectively repairing his relationship with his father.
** As Holmes himself notes, the presence of crime and villainy is what gives his life meaning and stops him from spending his days moping and taking cocaine.
** In ''The Norwood Builder'', the titular villain fakes his own death and frames the son of his enemy, fabricating a perfect set of clues that managed to fool even Holmes. Later, he decides to add one ultimate clue in form of a bloody fingerprint on a wall... ''after'' Holmes has already scanned every inch of the house, which leads to discovery of villain's hideout.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', the [[BigBad Big Bad]], Kronos plans on overthrowing the gods, but needs a mortal host in order to escape Tartarus and eventually come back completely. He uses the fact that gods tend to ignore their children against them, finding someone with a grudge against the gods and using him as his host. Only problem is the person he picks has enough willpower to overcome Kronos' influence when Kronos attacks the girl he has a crush on. He ends up killing himself, taking Kronos down with him and scattering the Titan to dust. Not to mention that as a result, the gods promised to claim all their children, making the training camp for demigods even stronger then it was before. Good job bad guy.
* In TanyaHuff's ''Literature/SmokeAndShadows'', the Shadowlord, an [[SorcerousOverlord evil wizard]] from [[AlternateUniverse another world]] sends shadow minions, and later comes to Earth himself, in search of a wizard who escaped during his conquest of their world. He feared they would return to overthrow him. Ironically, the wizard in question was a bit of a coward and had no intention of ever going back or fighting the Shadowlord. Only the fact that they are now being actively pursued motivates them to take a stand.
* In ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', the Elf Queen has Magrat on the ropes and proceeds to [[MindRape hit her with the full force of elfin glamour]], making Magrat feel absolutely worthless and completely stripping away her ego... [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass exposing the iron-hard core of will at the heart of every witch, even a soppy one like Magrat]]. Cue the Queen getting her ass kicked.
* Zigzagged in ''Literature/LukeSkywalkerAndTheShadowsOfMindor''. Lord Shadowspawn claims that Luke is the rightful heir to the Empire and plans to put him in that position; his top officers, the notable one being one Captain Klick, are old Jango Fett clones and therefore particularly obedient. Shadowspawn is actually a character, the man behind the curtain being Blackhole, an actual villain who also wants to [[GrandTheftMe take over Luke's body and identity]]. When his initial attempt to do so fails, he orders Klick and his men not to let anybody out of the place in question � only for Klick to kneel to Emperor Skywalker instead. However, Luke does not abuse his new position as much as one might expect, and Blackhole realizes at the same time that Leia's body would be even better. Late in the novel, when all Hell breaks loose, Luke finally promotes Klick to Air Marshal and, through him, has the Imperials work with the Republic forces. To his horror, [[IControlMyMinionsThrough Blackhole is able to control their mind and makes them run amok.]]
* Near the end of ''Literature/LesMiserables'', Thenardier tries to blackmail Marius with the knowledge that his father-in-law Jean Valjean is a criminal. He produces an item (a scrap of cloth taken from a coat in the book, a ring in the musical) which he claims came from the body of a murder victim that Valjean was carrying through the sewers... which proves that the "dead body" was Marius himself and that Valjean saved him from certain death at the barricade. The knowledge enables Marius and Cosette to reconcile with Valjean shortly before the latter's death.
* In ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'', Joren tries to sabotage Kel by giving her weighted training lances. However, Kel soon starts using ''all'' weighted weapons for the same reasons pages and squires intentionally do--they help to build up strength and endurance, and using weighted weapons on top of the exercises she started when she failed with the lance quickly removes any disparity between her and the boys. When she ''does'' get a regular lance later on, it actually throws her off because she's so used to the weighted ones. This explanation for her bad performance quite impresses Lord Wyldon--another thing Joren did not want happening.
* From ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', a cataclysmic attack by the BigBad on the Manticoran home system ends up breaking five years of diplomatic gridlock between Manticore and Haven by spurring President Eloise Pritchart of the Republic of Haven to take a good chunk of her Cabinet and [[RefugeInAudacity sail straight to Manticore itself]], whereupon she sits down at the table with Queen Elizabeth III, clears up roughly a decade of diplomatic misunderstanding between them, offers a peace treaty, and then ''proposes a military alliance''. Elizabeth takes her up on it. Awesome ensues for [[TheStrategist Tom Theisman and Honor Harrington]] (who get to team up on the command deck), [[GadgeteerGenius Sonja Hemphill and Shannon Foraker]] (who head out to Haven's technological playground and get busy), the Manticoran and Havenite navies (who get to take the results of their LensmanArmsRace and go play), and Elizabeth and Eloise themselves (who get to mastermind it all) -- but not for the BigBad, who is oh so very screwed in an infinite variety of ways. And [[OhCrap he]] [[ThisIsGonnaSuck knows it]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The entire ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series STARTED because of this trope:
** To elaborate: [[NebulousEvilOrganisation Shocker]] kidnaps a motorcycle racer/biochemistry student and turn him into a grasshopper-themed cyborg, who escapes before he can be brainwashed to serve them, and fights against them as Kamen Rider.
*** They try to create another, more powerful Rider to destroy him, but gets freed by the original Rider, thus doubling Shocker's chances of complete and utter failure!
** ''Series/KamenRiderBlack'': If this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRBBr7xK9Pg&t=3m55s tv special]] introducing the show is to be believed, Kotaro couldn't even transform until he was electrocuted and roughed up by Gorgom priests. ''Series/KamenRiderBlackRx'' is another example, as Crisis damaged Kotaro's [[TransformationTrinket Kingstone]] and threw him into space, restoring and enhancing his powers.
* ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'' did this once, when [[BigBad King Mondo]] used a teleportation portal to beam away rival villains Rita and Zedd's MonsterOfTheWeek, one that reflected the Ultrazord's BeamSpam back at it and sent the Rangers into retreat. Usually an [[NoKillLikeOverkill immediate one-hit kill]] when assembled, this is the only time in franchise history that the Ultrazord was defeated in battle, and the moment was lost thanks to a bunch of villain arguing about [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil who gets to rule the world]]. Granted, had they fired two consecutive blasts from the Ultrazord, it would have killed the monster, something they were capable of doing as was proven in another episode, however, they still retreated because they hadn't thought of causing the monster to explode from too much energy absorption.
** Rita was the one who made Tommy into the Green Ranger and after he {{Heel Face Turn}}ed, he pretty much doubled the strength of the Rangers and was key in defeating a large amount of the monsters that came after. Lord Zedd tried to fix this by removing his Green Ranger powers... which allowed him to become the more powerful White Ranger and defeat the otherwise unbeatable monster of the week. Without either Rita or Lord Zedd, the Rangers would have been unable to do anything against Master Vile's monsters which [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil were considerably more powerful and dangerous]].
**** Better example would be the pilot. The original five Rangers have no interest in fighting Rita, but she doesn't know that and assumes they JumpedAtTheCall and sends her Mooks down to kill them. So the bumbling witch basically created her own worst enemies.
**** To the comment about Master Vile and future groups being too powerful for the Rangers to stop... it's been [[WildMassGuessing theorized]] that [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Zordon]], having some level of control over at least America's space program NASADA as seen in ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' and ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'', allowed [[UnwittingPawn Rita]] to be freed or possibly even ordered it through levels of influence, as part [[ThePlan of a master plan]], to get around the restrictions of escalation that the Morphing Grid inherently placed on use of Ranger powers. According to the rules, he couldn't just train up an army of Rangers with no direct threat present, but once Rita started attacking, he was free to pull out some powers and get to stomping. Thus it's possible that Rita's actions happened [[Manga/DeathNote just as planned.]]
*** The fact that fans were getting tired of seeing him get his powers stolen almost literally every other episode may have had a hand in this...
** In ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'', Darkonda stabs BigBad Dark Spector in the back with a planetbuster missile and expires himself soon after, thus saving the universe. If he'd been a bit less self-serving a villain, he'd be ruling most of the known universe.
*** Similarly, Astronema turns the Power Rangers into Data Cards. However, ThePsychoRangers, [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou pissed that they didn't get to destroy the rangers]], [[RevengeBeforeReason turn them back to normal]]
*** Also, the Psycho Rangers existed because of another one of these. Dark Spector decided to brainwash away Astronema's HeelFaceTurn using implants. However, this made her a BastardUnderstudy. She used the Psycho Rangers to sap Dark Spector's power, weakening him so that she could kill him and take his place. However, Darkonda beat her to it and died in the process.
** In almost every Power Rangers series, the villains only lose because in-fighting and backstabbing destroy their strongest monsters and generals. If villain teams worked together consistently the world would have been conquered ten times over.
*** ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' is one of the most literal examples of this trope being taken UpToEleven: Lothor's entire plan was to [[XanatosGambit fill up the Abyss Of Evil]] beyond capacity so that the reborn monsters would overtake the world in one fell swoop. In order for that to happen, he had to be counting on every monster to go up against the Rangers and ''lose.'' To this end, he actually ''encouraged'' the competition and infighting among his generals, albeit surreptitiously. The scary part is how close it actually came to working, especially considering how incompetent Lothor and his mooks seemed to be compared the [[BigBad Big Bads]] of the last 5 seasons. Adding insult to injury, the fixing it part comes not just from allowing infighting among his generals, but from his keeping the captured Wind Ninja students prisoner aboard his ship instead of destroying them when he had the chance.
*** Boasting to Blake and Hunter that their adoptive parents [[ForTheEvulz died at his hands]] and then [[KickTheDog taunting them about it]] right when they had the Wind Ninjas all but at their mercy didn't help his case, either.
* In ''Series/VRTroopers'', Grimlord does this with Dream Master, growing impatient at how long it was taking him to defeat Ryan Steele. At this point, Dream Master had weakened Ryan with mind games about his father and he had connected him to an electrocution chain. Had the gunbots and tankbots not interfered, Dream Master would have beaten Ryan Steele, since JB was occupied with another monster and Kaitlin was too weakened by Dream Master's nightmares. But after the gunbots interfered and the two of them escaped fire, Dream Master continued with his shock chain only for Ryan to find a chain in this new location to redirect the current before delivering a beatdown on what was supposed to be a MonsterOfTheWeek.
** Similarly, different times, a MonsterOfTheWeek has a trooper on the ropes, then the air force comes in for a distraction, apparently hitting both the monster and the trooper, giving the Trooper time to think of a new battle plan while bazookaing down the airforce.
** Another time, Arachnobot nearly had the Troopers beaten, but Doom Master himself killed Arachnobot out of jealousy. Thanksfully for his sake, he thought it was the Trooper that did it, not Doom Master.
* At the end of ''Series/{{Angel}}'''s "permanent midnight" mini-arc, Angelus, being ChaoticEvil and all, decides to double-cross the LawfulEvil villain who'd [[TheNightThatNeverEnds blotted out the Sun]] over Los Angeles. The Beast is [[NighInvulnerability nigh unvulnerable]], until Angelus uses a bone dagger made from its body to kill it. Unfortunately, as foreshadowed by a mystical dream Angel had earlier, that undoes the spell and brings the Sun back. Hundreds of rampaging vampires die instantly, and Angelus is sent scrambling for the nearest safe shadow.
-->'''Angelus''': Aw crap! You mean killing the Beast really ''does'' bring back the Sun? I thought that was Angel's retarded fantasy!
** Then there's the series finale, where Hamilton, newly favored by the Senior Partners of Wolfram & Hart, beats the crap out of Angel... until his boasting reveals the source of his power, to a ''vampire''.
--->'''Hamilton:''' Let me make this as clear as I can. You cannot defeat me. I am part of them, the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart. Their strength flows through my veins! My blood is filled with their ancient power!
--->'''Angel''': (grins and pops his fangs) Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said?
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the special [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], things look bleak indeed. The Doctor has just crashed through the skylight of the Naismiths' mansion and is badly hurt, Rassilon and the Time Lords have escaped the Time Lock with the Master's help and plan to ''end time itself'' so they can AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence. They practically had victory in the bag, but Rassilon, the Lord President of the Time Lords, tells the Master he's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness]]. ''Not'' what you want to tell the Master, who isn't quite sane at the best of times and has just won the SuperpowerLottery. Then Rassilon lets slip that ''he'' is responsible for [[EarWorm the drumbeat]] that the Master's heard all his life and that has [[SanitySlippage driven him steadily more crazy]]. The Master [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome tells the Doctor to "get out of the way"]] and uses his life force to electrocute Rassilon, protecting the Doctor from him until they all disappeared back to the Time War.]]
--->'''The Master:''' YOU DID THIS TO ME. ALL MY LIFE! [[ContinuityNod ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!]]
** Again in the Weeping Angels [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E4TheTimeOfAngels two]]-[[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E5FleshAndStone parter]]. The army of Weeping Angels are low on power from being stuck in the catacombs for eons, so they start draining power from the crashed ship they're currently on, the Byzantium, in order to survive. This has the side-effect of deactivating the ship's artificial gravity, causing the unprepared Angels to fall into the crack in time and be erased from existence.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], a Zygon gets too into character impersonating Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, and forgets that when you're TheMole you're supposed to stop pretending to be on your enemy's side ''before'' giving them everything they need to stop you.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' has Blair, who seems to create this and NiceJobBreakingItHero in other people (depending on whether she's the good guy at that point or one of the bad ones). Chuck gets her latest boyfriend's mother to come break them up? In one party Blair gets her approval. Chuck tries to seduce her only to be caught by said boyfriend? Blair finally gets laid by new boyfriend. Jenny tries to beat Blair and become Queen B? Within a few weeks, she's back and ''dangerous''. Vanessa tries to blackmail Blair? Humiliated by episode's end. Vanessa tries to break up her and Nate? They're closer than ever by episode's end. And most of this is just the first two seasons! She's still going - at the end of Season 4 Serena's attempt to hurt her actually leads to her relationship with the prince becoming public, her being approved by his mother, and finally her getting engaged to him. Lampshaded by Dan - "Only Chuck and Blair could go to war and end up happier than when they started." Also, his attempt to attack them that episode? Ended up with Chuck and Blair having fantastic sex on a piano. Let's face it, no one can hurt Blair without helping her.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': Alpha's entire goal in "Briar Rose" and "Omega" was to turn Echo into a composite like himself. Composite!Echo's first act was to hit Alpha with a pipe.
** Justified in that, since he was a doll, most of his personalities are hopelessly lovelorn romantic rape-slaves specifically designed to put their assigned sexual interest on an absurdly high pedestal, and many of them were tailored to work with Echo specifically. Not all that many of the fractured components of his personality were dispassionate, experts in psychology and engineering, or particularly smart in any field but infiltration.
* In the final season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', BigBad The First, who's basically pure, unconcentrated evil, is taunting Buffy during a battle. The First starts quoting Slayer lore about "one girl to stand alone against evil." "There's that word again. ''Alone''," says The First. The First goes on to mock Buffy for always being alone as the Slayer and never being able to fully connect with anyone. This gives Buffy an idea. Sick of being the lone Slayer, she cooks up a plan with Willow. Before the final battle, Willow uses her magic to turn all of the potential Slayers ''in the WORLD'' into full Slayers, complete with all of Buffy's powers. Needless to say, this newly formed army of Slayers makes quick work of the First's army of prehistoric vamps in the final battle. Man, JossWhedon seems to really love this trope!
** The First also dug up the Scythe that allowed Buffy to execute this plan in an attempt to use it for itself, and then revealed the location of said Scythe by luring Buffy into an ambush where it was held (rather than, say, ''any other location in Sunnydale''). The First basically spent the last 5 episodes of the series juggling multiple {{Idiot Ball}}s in order to make its eventual defeat remotely plausible.
*** Chalk it up to Caleb being enough of a CardCarryingVillain to lure Buffy into an ambush with "I have something of yours" so that he can get in extra EvilGloating about this being true and her being unable to recover it.
---->'''Caleb:''' ... [[OhCrap Darn]].
** Also used in season 3, where the Mayor's attempt to clean up loose ends by having a volcanologist who could give the Scoobies useful information killed backfires by leading them right to that information. Being a Joss Whedon show, this is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]], with said lampshade hanging immediately mocked as such.
-->'''Wesley''': Ah. By attempting to keep a valuable clue from us, the Mayor may have inadvertently led us right to it.
-->'''Buffy''': What page are you on, Wes? 'Cause we already got there.
** Later in the same episode, Faith poisons Angel to keep him out of the fight and keep Buffy distracted looking for a cure. Ends up backfiring as the cure turns out to be Faith's blood.
*** Considering how they kill the mayor, if Faith hadn't poisoned Angel Buffy wouldn't have been able to lure the mayor into the trap. Joss really, really, really, really, loves this trope.
** Another season 3 example. Faith (before FaceHeelTurn) lures an ancient vampire and his gang to Sunnydale. Buffy fights and stakes the vampire twice, to no avail. The vampire taunts her, saying that she'll need a bigger stake. This gives Faith the idea of picking up a wooden pillar and using it as a bigger stake, successfully dusting the vampire
* In the ''Series/{{Lost}}'' Season Six Finale, it turns out that the Big Bad's centuries-long GambitRoulette worked exactly as planned except it also completely stripped him of all his powers and enabled Jack to beat him to death and toss him off a cliff. Also, his murder of Sayid, Jin, and Sun gives the others the HeroicResolve to kill him instead of simply leaving him on the island like they had planned, leading to the above success of his plan.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'', if Regina had not been completely hellbent on running Emma out of town, she would have left completely of her own volition.
** UpToEleven in the Season 1 Finale where Regina bakes a turnover with a poisoned apple to put Emma under the sleeping curse. To get the poison apple she makes a deal with Jefferson. [[EpicFail Henry winds up eating the eat turnover and being in a coma, and this leads to Emma breaking the curse!]]. She also reneges on her agreement to erase Jefferson's memory of his fairytale life, causing him retaliate by releasing Belle and sending her to [[MagnificentBastard Mr Gold]].
** The candle Cora had given Snow allowed Snow to kill her and save Rumple's life. Also, she wanted to "turn Snow White's heart black as coal" for revenge against Snow's mother. She would succeed but it comes back to bite her hard.
* In ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', the Romulans attempted to disrupt possible peace between the Andorians and Tellarites by using an advanced holoship which could disguise itself as any other ship to attack both sides. Because one of the Andorian ships they attacked happened to belong to Shran, a friend of Archer, Starfleet got involved and the ensuing mess resulted in the beginning of the Federation, their greatest foe for centuries to come. They really dropped the ball on that one.
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' Damar has become an ineffective alcoholic. Weyoun's constant hectoring, debasement and reminding him of how powerless he is enrages him into a ''HeelFaceTurn'' where he swears off alcohol, frees two federation officers and leads the resistance that eventually throws off the dominion. Nice job Weyoun!
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The [[BigBad Goa'uld]] sowed the seeds of their own eventual destruction by raiding Earth in "Children of the Gods". By killing four guards and [[MarsNeedsWomen kidnapping a fifth]] (not to mention kidnapping Daniel Jackson's wife later), they managed to piss off possibly the only civilization in the galaxy that was militaristic, creative, and--let's face it--''[[CrazyEnoughToWork insane]]'' enough to bring them down.
** The Villain of the Week of "Space Race" tried to rig the eponymous race so that a pure human would win, because he perceived a [[FantasticRacism pro-Serrakin glass ceiling]] blocking his advancement in a MegaCorp. In actuality he hadn't been promoted or given a raise in so long because he was under investigation for corruption, but the investigators didn't have enough evidence to indict until he supplied it by rigging the race.
* In ''Series/MythQuest'', an evil god named Gorgos tries to destroy myths by causing the protagonists to accidently change them. Unfortunately Gorgos says Alex's name a bit too soon and distracts Alex, which causes him to inadvertantly re-enact the myth correctly and save the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'':
** Roxana [[spoiler:kills Sparadrap's pets]] in Season 3 finale / mid-way through the third novel. In the webseries version, it turned out to be one of the protagonists's BerserkButton. In the novel version, it was part of a string of bullying that gave TheCavalry time to show up.
** The leader of Relic Tracker's guild got CaughtOnTape from gloating about his plans in front of the very people who ended up in a FrameUp because of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* One folktale tells about a woman who was [[BlessedWithSuck so beautiful]], {{Satan}} himself became [[StalkerWithACrush hopelessly enamored with her]]. After she refuses him one too many times, TheDevil simply decides to [[CuttingTheKnot Cut The Knot]] and steal her beauty for himself. After returning to earth, he finds that the same woman is now hideous as a boot, but is also now HappilyMarried with an equally ugly husband and child and free of stalkers.
* In Literature/TheBible's Literature/BookOfEsther, Haman goes to ask king Xerxes for a death warrant for his hated rival Mordecai, the representative of the Jews. Xerxes, who happens to have been reading the royal archives, asks Haman how he should reward a man who has done a great service to the king. Haman thinks he's talking about himself and proposes an elaborate celebration, only to find to his horror that the king is [[OneDialogueTwoConversations actually talking about Mordecai]], who had saved the king's life a while back. Haman winds up having to carry out his own plan to publicly honor Mordecai. This is just the beginning of his HumiliationConga.
* In renditions of the part of Literature/TheBible where Jesus tells Judas that he's going to betray Him, it's often said that "at that moment, Satan entered into him" or something to that effect. So what we're saying here, is that Satan caused Judas to betray Jesus? Considering the results of Jesus' death, from the clensing of humanity's sins to the founding of Christianity, I guess that didn't work out so well. Nice job fixing it, Satan!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* In the ''Series/CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons'' episode "Spectrum Strikes Back", the Mysterons try to kill a committee taking a look at some anti-Mysteron prototype equipment that could be useful. In the end, all the Mysterons essentially achieve is provide a spectacularly successful field test for the stuff that proves its worth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* In the comedy fantasy series ''{{Elvenquest}}'', Lord Darkness, the BigBad, frequently ends up unintentionally saving the protagonists from the consequences of their own mistakes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the the world of Innistrad in ''MagicTheGathering'', the angel Avacyn used to lock demons away in an artifact called the Helvault, until she was tricked by the demon Griselband and the two were sealed together. Losing its guardian angel, lots of bad things happened in Innistrad, until the necromancer Liliana Vess decided to break the Helvault to kill Griselband without knowing that it would also release Avacyn.
* In ''{{Exalted}}'', when the Great Contagion was killing the majority of Creation, The First and Forsaken Lion got TheFairFolk to invade, destroying fully half the territory and killing many of the Contagion's survivors. The problem? The Balorian Crusade was repulsed, and the infusion of Wyld energies may very well have helped Creation fight off the effects of the Contagion, thereby allowing it to survive. [[FanNickname Falafel's]] Neverborn master was quite angry, to the point where it bound him into his armor. Painfully.
** And exiled him to a fortress that was essentially in the middle of nowhere.
*** Which of course delayed and inconvenienced any number of his extremely effective war plans to destroy Creation more thoroughly this time. So... nice job fixing it...[[EldritchAbomination Cthulhu]]
** The Neverborn seem to have a history of sabotaging their own plans to further the cause of Oblivion. Between the First and Forsaken Lion getting spot-welded into his own armor for not destroying ''enough'' of creation, and Princess Magnificent almost getting thrown headfirst into Oblivion for losing to the gods behind the city of Great Forks, there's a reason most of the other Deathlords have been [[OrcusOnHisThrone twiddling their thumbs for millennia]]. They don't want to see what the Neverborn will do to the ''next'' guy who fucks up.
*** AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: We're told, explicitly, that most of the Deathlords only agreed to kill the world so they could enjoy using the power they were given to rule over its dying husk. Is it really a surprise that most of them drag their heels? You can't rule the world if you kill it.
** We also have the Ebon Dragon, the literal inventor of the concept of CardCarryingVillain, existing to screw people over. Due to certain [[EvilCannotComprehendGood psychological]] [[VillainousDemotivator problems]] [[DirtyCoward this brings]], this goes equally for the Ebon Dragon himself.
*** Here's a short list of the ways the Ebon Dragon bollocksed up [[HellOnEarth the Reclamation]]. First off, he included rules that make the Infernals [[CardCarryingVillain have to act like B-movie villains]] every so often, but said nothing about [[KickTheSonOfABitch who they have to do it to]]. Instead of granting the Infernals their own innate Charms, he and the other Yozis decided to make it so they share Charms with their patrons... which means not only do the Infernals get access to the high-level Charms that make the Yozis worlds/gods, they could conceivably make their own Charms and infect their own patrons with their particular mindset. Oh, and then there's [[FaustianRebellion the Heresy Charm Set]]... So basically, what you've got is a Hell-forged superpowered being who needs to act like a bastard to someone, has access to god-like power, and can sever the ties with their demonic masters. That sound you just heard was the Shadow of All Things realizing he just invented his BastardUnderstudy... Which, again according to his basic nature, might be AllAccordingToPlan.
** And, of course, the big one that sets the whole setting off. Creation has been in a precarious position for centuries, with the overworked Sidereals, the Lunars driven to the edge of the world, the heavily corrupt (or absent) gods, the almost equally corrupt Realm, the forces of the Underworld massing, and the Fair Folk being just barely kept in check. Into this comes the person controlling the Realm (and its big superweapon that keeps most of the other big enemies at bay) mysteriously disappearing, bringing it to the verge of a civil war that could tip Creation over the edge. And then... the Neverborn and the Yozis conspire to break open the Jade Prison, and use its captives to make their own Exalted. Half of those captives escape them. They become the Solar Exalted.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The heroes of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' agonize about possibly having to kill Shana because she's an ApocalypseMaiden. In most stories, they would TakeAThirdOption. But here, the BigBad takes Shana's power onto himself. This leaves the heroes free to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punch him out]].
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' the villains have brainwashed one person's girlfriend to forget they fought together, and make her think he was an enemy. By reminding her of a memory of when they were together, she gets paralyzed and stands their indecisive. Then a group of said villains minions show up and threatens the guy's life, accidentally triggering the girl's memories of her relationship, immediately snapping her out of the brainwashing and rushing to protect the guy. Whoops. Gets Lampshaded.
* Happens a lot of ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'', as a lot of times the culprits themselves do or say something that ends up backfiring horribly on them. Some notable cases:
** In the original, Damon Gant accidentally makes a piece of incriminating evidence legal and incriminates himself, instead of Ema.
** In ''Justice for All'', Phoenix is trapped in a no-win scenario: either he gets his (guilty) client off the hook and send an innocent woman to jail so he can get his assistant back, or he throws his (guilty) client to the wolves and gets his assistant killed. The guilty client ''himself'' accidentally provides a third option: because he was going to use the crime scene videotape to blackmail his assassin, Phoenix gets the assassin to let go of his assistant of his own accord by proving his client's deceit. Then Phoenix is free to send his client to jail with no repercussions.
** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', Luke Atmey would have gotten away scot-free with murder if he hadn't slipped up ''once'' and revealed he knew Ron was wearing his costume when supposedly Luke wasn't even at the crime scene.
** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', Phoenix falsely presents a bottle of ear medication as the poison Furio Tigre used to kill the victim. Tigre calls him on it, and in his rage, describes the real vial that he used. Of course, Tigre, having been absent when the real bottle was presented in court, only had one way of knowing that information...
* Releasing the Cornstalker in the final chapter of ''TouchDetective 2 1/2'' would seem to fall under StupidityIsTheOnlyOption... except that this is all he manages to pull off -- his efforts to steal the treasure only succeed at helping Mackenzie safeguard it and escape the aliens who have abducted them.
* In one of the endings of ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', [[BigBad Sigma]] leaves the protagonist (X) at a total dead end, leaving him alone with his BrainwashedAndCrazy old friend, Zero. However, after he leaves Zero to fight X, Zero is able to break out of his crazyness and actually opens an otherwise unreachable path to the final boss.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'', Sigma may or may not have done so again, as Zero is severely injured and possibly killed offscreen. He miraculously recovers, possibly with Sigma's intervention, but his SuperpoweredEvilSide has been reawakened (definitely Sigma's work), which gives him only one objective: to kill X. However, as with X2, he eventually ends up turning good again and actually saves X from Sigma after X is weakened from a fight, something he probably wouldn't have been able to do if he was still stuck in the wreckage of a spacecraft and/or dead.
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', many an eager-to-help Tank user has freed a Survivor from the clutches of a Hunter or Smoker, or the Charger in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', by going to attack said Survivor.
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'', toward the end of the game, Gordon Freeman (the player character) goes through a weapon confiscator created by the Combine (the enemy faction). It destroys all his weapons except for the Gravity Gun, which the confiscator is unable to destroy. Instead, the confiscator malfunctions and actually ends up making it more powerful. So powerful, in fact, that it completely outclasses every other weapon in the game.
* The Collectors' attack on Shepard at the beginning of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' ends up putting Shepard in a position where he/she has no choice but to cooperate with Cerberus...who happen to be the only power in the galaxy who actually believes the Reapers are coming and is prepared to throw their full backing behind Shepard's quest to stop them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' Wheatley, when suffering from test withdrawal, he decides a good way to fix it is to move the test chamber Chell and [=GLaDOS=] are in as close as possible to his lair.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'': Over the course of R-03, villains Jetstream Sam and Monsoon relentlessly taunt Raiden by drilling holes in the logic behind his desire to protect the weak, claiming that simple blood-lust is the only reason he that he continues to remain on the battlefield. Their aim was to demoralize and mentally destabilize him, rendering him easier to kill. Except, ''whoops'', Raiden ends up ''agreeing'' with them and taps into his Ripper persona to make himself stronger than ever, giving him the edge he needs to defeat and ''kill'' Monsoon. One thinks that there ''may'' have been better ways to deal with the repressed homicidal battle-monger than egging him on into abandoning his more benevolent tendencies.
* ''ValkyrieProfile'': Lezard Valeth in the best ending. Most of his appearances and villainous actions actually are required for the best ending to even occur. Lezard Valeth kills Mystina, who becomes very loyal to Lenneth, which is why she refuses to serve Hrist and helps transfer Lenneth's soul temporarily to a homunculus. Lezard kills and mutilates the body of elves to create a homunculus for himself and Lenneth, which is needed to store Lenneth's soul when Hrist takes her body. Lezard transfers his soul to a homunculus and sacrifices the Philosopher's Stone to survive Ragnarok and grant himself immortality, which allows him to be present to fight Hrist. He is one of the four people willing and able to fight Hrist to retake Lenneth's body due to his obsession with her. The only villainous thing Lezard that does not contribute to getting the best ending is killing Lorenta and her husband (it is required to see this event to get the best ending, but Lorenta is a basic einherjar that never gets mentioned in the plot after she is recruited).
* In ''[[SpyroTheDragon The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon]]'', [[TheChosenOne Spyro]], [[ActionGirl Cynder]], and Sparx have been [[SealedGoodInACan frozen in crystal for three years]], allowing BigBad, former SealedEvilInACan [[UltimateEvil Malefor]] to run rampant over the world with an iron claw and is days away from succeeding in his ultimate plan to destroy the world. Then some mooks decide to break them out of the crystal to sacrifice to a giant monster, they escape, allowing them to turn the tide against Malefor and save the world. They also tethered the two together with a pair of magic necklaces, but this allows the two to work together much more effectively and ultimately makes them realize their love for one another.
** Also, in a way, Malefor is guilty of it for what he did to Cynder, as it gave Spyro something important to fight for, something Spyro himself even makes mention of when Cynder is corrupted again.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', when Dalton steals the Epoch, he converts it into a flying vehicle. Without this modification, the party would never be able to reach most of the sidequests.
** This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], probably unintentionally, with multiple party members having lines such as "I guess we are actually in his debt." after the fight.
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''. Master Li manipulates the PlayerCharacter into murdering the Emperor so Li can take his place, but instead of offering a WeCanRuleTogether, Li makes a permanent enemy of the PlayerCharacter -- the only one who can stop him -- by murdering the player in cold blood.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers of Time/Darkness/Sky'': Had [[TheDragon Dusknoir]] not taken you and your partner into the BadFuture, neither of you would actually realize that the entire world was in danger.
** This actually happens again at the end of the game when [[BigBad Darkrai]] (disguised as Cresselia) actually tries to kill you because to him, it's the only way the world will be saved, and that Darkrai was actually behind everything all along. Fortunately, the ''real'' Cresselia shows up and exposes Darkrai's true identity. Had he not done this, you wouldn't have known about his backup plan in the first place.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'', mankind is right on the cusp of extinction in its war against the technologically and numerically superior Covenant, and then the Prophet of Truth makes the decision to betray the Elites, which results in a huge portion of the Covenant allying with the humans; during the last large space battle in ''{{Halo 3}}'', it's the Elites who are largely responsible for wiping out Truth's fleet.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', Porky introduces the world to the evils of materialism and money. This seems to just be a distraction from his true plan to destroy the world. If he didn't indulge in this, the protagonists may have very well stayed at home, allowing his masked assistant to pull the CosmicKeystone and destroy the world without any interference.
* In ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]'', this turns out to be the result of Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. It turns out that the "Princess Peach" the brothers rescued from beneath the Koopaseum was actually Princess Shroob in disguise, and was planning on assuming her guise. Bowser, however, thwarts this plan by taking her away.
** More than half of the sequel, MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory, consists in Bowser fixing, either by accident or being tricked by Starlow, what he and Fawful broke in the beginning. [[IWasToldThereWouldBeCake He even gets a cake for all his hard work]].
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory''. After you defeat the Core[[note]]depending on which ending you're going for, you're either defending yourself after the Core attacked you without provocation, or you were already planning to destroy the Core anyway as a last-ditch effort to defeat the Doctor[[/note]], Misery and the Doctor pop in to (sort of) save the Core [[LoadBearingBoss because it's the only thing keeping the island afloat]]. Misery then tries to kill you by flooding the chamber... which opens the way out of the Labyrinth, ultimately allowing you defeat the Doctor for good.
* ''LANoire'' has Cole demoted to Arson due to his affair with Elsa being exposed. But the good news is that he could get close to the Suburban Redevelopment Fund. The best news is that Roy Earle, the one who exposed his affair, is not happy about this.
* VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft ([[UnwittingPawn as opposed to what it usually does]]) has this when Fandral Staghelm is revealed as Raganaros' [[TheDragon new majordomo]]: He overloads [[BigGood Thrall's connection to the elements, causing his mind to be broken into four separate pieces embodying each respective element-which allows him to examine his inner conflicts from an objective prospective. When you help him put himself back together, he's found his old HeroicWillpower, no longer divided against himself]].
** Also happened in Wrath Of The Lich King in the Death Knight intro sequence. The eponymous BigBad has just thrown the order of The Knights Of The Ebon Blade at a small church in the western plaguelands as a BatmanGambit to lure out one Paladin, Tirion Fordring. Not only does this succeed in bringing Fordring back out into the world from Exile, but it causes the merging of two paladin orders to focus on killing The Lich King. Much worse is that in the process of causing this, a long time cursed sword that was in the hands of the commander of the Ebon Blade is purified by the mere touch of Fordring. The Sword? Ashbringer. [[TooDumbToLive It ends up shattering Frostmourne into pieces and ultimately causes the BigBad's defeat at the top of Icecrown Citadel.]]
** Sylvanas' backstory is also an example of this. During ''Warcraft 3'', while Arthas is invading Quel'thalas, Sylvanas and her squadron are a major thorn in his side. Despite him (depending on the player) outnumbering her quite a bit, Sylvanas' determination and ingenuity make her a major threat to him. Then, Arthas finally kills her, and instead of breathing a sigh of relief that he'll never have to deal with her again, he decides to resurrect her so he can enslave her and make her miserable. This backfires when Arthas' power weakens temporarily, and Sylvanas immediately frees herself, tries to kill him and fails, and then founds the Forsaken, who are eventually instrumental in his destruction (even if there was collateral damage). So Arthas created one of his biggest enemies, when he could simply have left her stay dead.
** The attempt to silence Vol'jin in Pandaria during the 'Dagger in the Dark' scenario may have began Garrosh's downfall, as Vol'jin survived his assassination and hid out till the time was right to start a Darkspear revolt against Garrosh's Horde. He was able to gather a number of Horde heroes, unite Thrall, Lorethmar Theron, Baine Bloodhoof(Who's father was killed in a Mak'gora), Dark Lady Sylvanas and Jastor Gallywix against Garrosh, and even forge a [[EnemyMine truce]] with the Alliance(Lead by King Varian Wrynn) and their heroes. And in a twist of irony in the end, Garrosh Hellscream is dethroned by the heroes and detained by Taran Zhu while Vol'jin was chosen by Thrall as the new Warchief. All of his allies bow to him in respect.
* In the ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' expansion ''Dragonborn'', the main quest starts with cultists attacking the player. One of the cultists has a note with orders from [[BigBad Miraak]], the first Dragonborn. If he had never tried to get cultists to kill the player, the player would not have known about him, and he would have been able to leave Apocrypha and take over Solstheim.
** An instance of this occurs a few games earlier in the ''Tribunal'' expansion for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''. Almalexia tasks the Nerevarine with reforging the original Nerevar's blade [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement True]] [[InfinityMinusOneSword Flame]], presumably to use against a deranged Sotha Sil. However, SHE is the villain, and basically gave one you one the best swords in the game. Guess which weapon most players use to defeat HER? Go on, guess!
** Similar to the ''Dragonborn'' example, the entire plot of ''Tribunal'' is kicked off by assassins attempting to murder the PlayerCharacter under orders from a villain the player wouldn't have known about otherwise.
* The [[CorruptCorporateExecutive F-Con]] trio in ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Tron 2.0]]'' make some really foolish mistakes. Yes, they kidnap Alan and successfully intimidate him into forking over the information needed to make the digitizer run...but then they lock the man who ''programed Tron and Ma3a'' [[LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard in a room full of old computer parts]], giving him the ability to at least make contact with his son and upload Mercury to help. Then, they decide to dispose of him by shooting him into {{cyberspace}}, reuniting him with his son and Ma3a and giving him access to crash the datawraith server from the inside.
* On a low level every time you come to a dead end in ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}[[superscript:3]]'' some minion will burst through the wall / locked door or knock over something you can use as a bridge. In a more serious example the bad guy's plan to lure you to hell has the minor flaw that hell contains the only weapon that gives you the possibility to thwart his evil scheme.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' has Trish revealing herself to be working for Mundus. By doing this, Dante severs his ties with her until they finally made up in the end.
* The villain in ''MaxPayne3'' is Victor Branco. One of the major facets of his plan involves getting his entire extended family killed by local extremist groups, which means he'll inherit direct control of his family's money from his late brother Rodrigo. As such, he needs a security guard who's good enough to protect his family from casual threats, but not good enough to protect them from Victor's conspirators. His solution is to hire Max Payne, a drunken slob with a history of violence. Unfortunately for Victor, Max is very bad at keeping people alive, but he's very, very good at making people pay for their crimes. If Victor had hired almost anyone else on the ''planet'' to be his fall guy, his entire plan would've worked out just fine.
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'', [[BigBad Hazama]] / Terumi sends his subordinate [[LittleBitBeastly Ma]][[GeniusDitz ko]][[PluckyGirl to]] to [[ReassignedToAntarctica the far-flung NOL branch in Ibukido]] to keep her away from feuding friends Noel and Tsubaki, furthering his plans to MindRape them both into serving him - the former as OmnicidalManiac super-weapon Mu-12, and the latter as a BrainwashedAndCrazy {{Yandere}}. In the end, he ends up regretting this decision ''badly'', as [[SpannerInTheWorks young Makoto ends up causing more damage to his plans than pretty much anyone else in the cast]] - and given everything she learned, she stands in a position to do so ''again''.
* ''Fallout: New Vegas'' used this trope on purpose. Nice job, Ulysses, arranging a lethally dangerous delivery mission for the person you wish death to. Turns out, that person is hardier and tougher than they look, and the mission turns out to be marvellously rewarding. Now it's them and not you who became the NCR/Legion's top field agent, Mr.House's second-in-command or even the sovereign ruler of all New Vegas.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Zant curses Link to stay in wolf form by putting a black crystal in his head. This comes to bite him in the ass later, as the power of the Master Sword allowed Link to return to human form ''and'' keep the black crystal, allowing him to switch forms at will. This is lampshaded by Midna right before you actually fight Zant.
** He does this ''repeatedly'' by sending his Shadow Beasts after you. They fall from the sky via a portal that remains when you kill them, which you can then warp out of whenever you want with Midna's power.
* A complicated case in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX:'' Nice job booting Zidane down to Gaia from Terra, Kuja. If you hadn't done that, he might have actually [[OmnicidalManiac joined your cause,]] instead of forgetting his birthplace and purpose and developing sympathy and attachment to Gaia. In the end this does disrupt Garland's plans more than Kuja's, and Kuja's pretty successful at [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds murdering everyone anyway, but still, it certainly made things a lot more complicated for everyone.]]
** Also, creating the Black Mages was certainly a good plan...except that your SuperPrototype is ''highly'' likely to be one of the four people killing you at the end of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'', Garry suffers LaserGuidedAmnesia if he is captured by the dolls and is unable to escape. Mainly he forgets what he just learned about Mary. Namely, that she's a painting. Later on, Mary tries to attack him...which causes him to remember everything he forgot. Oops.
* The Gloria's Theater level in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' revolves around finding new scripts and producing a series of plays so Raz can ascend the stage to the catwalks and battle the Phantom, and oddly enough, the first script you find, the one that sets almost the entire solution process in motion, is given to Raz by the Phantom himself, aka Jasper.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' the Joke Boss Electrocutioner is brought in to kill Batman. Joker kills him for his earlier defeat and general impudence. But the mere fact of his existence at the meeting allows Batman to find them. Furthermore, his electric gloves are vital to proceed, culminating in saving Alfred and allowing Batman to stop Bane's heart and later restart it long enough for Joker to willingly leave his death trap set up to force Batman to kill someone.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' episode "From the Ashes", mission "Turning Point". [[TheHeavy Colonel Hakeev]] of the [[StateSec Tal Shiar]] tries to bust up the international summit on Khitomer and pin it on the Romulan Republic, in order to prevent the Federation and Klingons from giving protection and aid to the Republic. He gets caught red-handed by Captain Ja'rod of the IKS ''Kang'', and after Commander Temer [[JumpingOnAGrenade dies shielding Ambassador Woldan from a Tal Shiar bomb]] the two superpowers are greatly impressed and decree that the Republic has the right to exist as an independent nation (and therefore can receive military support from them).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy'': "''[[http://www.galactanet.com/comic/view.php?strip=385 No! Wait! My inventions must not be used for peace!]]''"
* In ''DarthsAndDroids'', Pete gets egotistical and gives everyone a + 1 morale boost just by watching R2-D2 fly. This gives Annie enough of a stat boost to dodge a quintuple guillotine.
* In an early story arc in ''DominicDeegan'', Greg, a [[WhiteMagic white mage]], is infected with the "Blight of the Undead", a curse that would essentially turn him into an undead abomination. It was kept in check by his devout use of WhiteMagic. Later on, in a confrontation with his eldest brother Jacob (a {{Necromancer}}), he rips the blight out of his body through his un-blighted parts. Jacob then learns the hard way that the Blight was acting as a magical RestrainingBolt, and with it gone, Gregory's magical power increased exponentially. And since white magic is incredibly powerful against necromancy, Greg is able to strike Jacob down with one (albeit titanic) magic blast.
** During the battle between Dominic and Celesto in the Storm of Souls arc, Celesto uses his powers as the Champion of Chaos to trap Dominic and try to use him as fuel for the WeaponOfMassDestruction. Cue Dominic [[TookALevelInBadass gaining a level in badass]] when it turns out he's actually the Champion of Balance and chaos was the last force he needed to experience in order to gain full power, beat Celesto, stop the Storm, and save the world.
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'': According to [[WordOfGod the author on the Nice forum]], if Mr. Kornada hadn't interfered with Florence's [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2000/fc01960.htm scheduled meeting with Mr. Raibert]], she would have been present to hear [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2100/fc02093.htm Mr. Raibert ordering the release of Gardener in the Dark to be delayed,]] and thus have no need to take further action, while not knowing of [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2100/fc02094.htm Kornada's plan to violate the order]] to have it released anyway.
** Additionally, Florence lampshades that she would not have been aware of Gardener in the Dark in the first place if not for [[SmugSnake Edge]] trying to [[ItsAllAboutMe save himself from it]], nor would she have been able to stop it without [[LovableRogue Sam's]] criminal knowledge of social engineering and sabotage.
--->'''[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2300/fv02217.htm Florence]]:''' All my life, I've been taught the values of being a good citizen. No one ever told me that when the chips are down, civilization ''needs'' the rotten ones.
* The main character of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', an orphaned young lady named Agatha, wears a locket-type amulet with pictures of her parents in it. The locket is her most prized possession, given to her by her paternal uncle Barry shortly before he mysteriously departed, leaving Agatha in the care of her adoptive parents, the Clays. She never removes the amulet for very long and is never far away from it. Agatha struggles to be an engineer and inventor, like her beloved uncle, but fails constantly due to the severe and sudden migraine headaches she suffers whenever she tries to concentrate. Near the beginning of the story, a pair of drunken soldiers accost Agatha on the street. One snatches her locket, planning to sell it for a little quick cash. It turns out Barry designed the locket to suppresses Agatha's "spark", her innate intelligence and engineering talent. With the amulet gone, Agatha becomes a super-genius. She converts a steam-powered tractor into a complex robot programmed to seek out the amulet and return it to her, an impressive feat in and of itself made even moreso by the fact SHE LITERALLY DOES THIS IN HER SLEEP!
** It also turns out the waves emanating from the amulet are extremely dangerous to anyone other than Agatha, as the loutish soldier who stole it soon finds out. The amulet ends up killing him by slowly destroying his brain. His fellow soldier, actually his younger brother, realizes the amulet is the source of his brother's demise when it is accidentally broken open, revealing the mechanism within. The young soldier uses the address engraved on the back of the locket to track Agatha down, looking for vengeance. Normally, the amulet would dampen Agatha's genius ability when brought in close proximity to her, but the young soldier was nice enough to switch the thing off. The now brilliant, clear-headed and more confident Agatha easily out-smarts and overpowers her would-be attacker and turns the tables on him, tying him up and reclaiming her beloved keepsake.
** Later in the story, an evil entity known as "The Other" possesses Agatha and gloats over an incapacitated Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, sworn enemy of The Other who is also hunting down Agatha so he can lobotomize her and permanently destroy her spark. The Other notices Klaus is carrying Agatha's amulet, which has a trilobite design on it, the symbol of Agatha's real family, the Heterodynes. The Other decides to use the amulet to pass itself off as a legitimate Heterodyne heir and lay claim to their family castle, stuffed full of amazing and highly dangerous technology & research. As soon as The Other slips the amulet around Agatha's neck, however, she is able to regain control. That's TWO villains each cancelling the other out.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': Jack Noir can't bring himself to kill Jade Harley because the prototyping of her dog Becquerel caused Jack to inherit his UndyingLoyalty to her. Instead, with no other options open to him, he orders the [[MinionWithAnFInEvil Courtyard Droll]] to kill her. Much later, during which time Jack has started following Jade around like a lost, harmless dog, ''[[LetsGetDangerous the Droll actually succeeds]]''... right in front of Jack, who promptly flips his shit and kills the Droll. [[PetTheDog Visibly saddened and enraged by Jade's death]], he takes her body to her Quest Bed, causing her [[CameBackStrong to ascend to the God Tiers]], [[SpaceMaster gain power well]] [[PhysicalGod beyond Jack's]], and use it to escape their dying session.
* In the backstory of ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'', Tohya Miho used a hidden statistic in the EndGames servers to enslave large portions of the in-game populace, even doing so to a certain extent with the in-game identity of one of the protagonists of ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'', Piro. Only she made the mistake of manipulating Piro by founding a real life relationship with him, trying to take control of his in-game character while breaking his heart in the process. The result? [[HeroicWillpower Piro broke the in-game emotional control she used]], [[CurbStompBattle ultimately whipped her ass in-game]], [[NotSoInvincibleAfterAll destroyed the character she used]], and got her completely and totally banned from the game in which she tried to take control. Nice job, Miho.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Xykon breaking Roy's beloved sword both filled the fighter with a vengeful resolve, and forced him to grapple the lich bare-handed. He promptly hurled Xykon into a trap-warded gateway, which blew the undead sorcerer's body to pieces: something Roy certainly wasn't powerful enough (yet) to accomplish with sword strikes.
** Also, Xykon is an epic-level sorceror, the Order has no chance of defeating him. Except, Xykon broke Roy's sword, and Nale sent Roy on a dangerous sidequest to get it fixed, which has resulted in Roy's sword being made of a material that is very effective against undead.
** One arc concluded with Xykon's attempt to BreakingLecture the recently defeated Vaarsuvius not only failing, but actually lifting V out of a pre-existing case of HeroicBSOD, and giving V advice that's made him/her more effective than s/he'd been even before the HeroicBSOD.
** Nale's actually pretty good at this. Elan [[TookALevelInBadass took a level in the Dashing Swordsman prestige class]] because Nale stole his identity. Later, one of his more impressive moments[[note]]killing Malack the vampire cleric[[/note]] backfired doubly: It gave Vampire-Durkon his free will back. Durkon immediately killed one of Nale's teammates and rejoined his friends. Then he threw the feat back in Tarquin's face as proof of how he didn't need or want Tarquin's protection. [[spoiler:Malack]] was Tarquin's best friend and fellow party member.[[spoiler: Filicide ensued and the Order was down one recurring nemesis.]]
* ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'': All that was needed to remove Kieri's magic restraining cuffs & collar was for her name to be spoken. Guess what the villain shouts out between swears at the top of her lungs.
* ''CaptainSNES'' features this trope in spades. When fighting Milon, he offhandedly says that he's invincible as his unobserved power is infinite - which causes Lucca to use her [=SightScope=] to observe his power and turn it into a finite number. Later on, Palom casts Virus on Milon, enraging him and making him use his "Eternity In A Second" attack to take the next few thousand turns. He says that he'll enjoy watching everyone squirm, unable to do anything - and then dies. (Turns out Virus inflicts Sap, which depletes a little HP each turn - and when Milon takes thousands of turns in a row...)
* In ''DragonCity'', during an Arc that explored the relationship between Kim and Jonas, Erin (not an antagonist ''Per ser'', but still a very [[JerkwithaHeartofGold callous and selfish character that only occasionally display a good heart]]) finds out about their relationship. While tolerant about it, Erin, being the former's best friend and the latter's big sisters, isn't amused with the situation and warns them that with either broke the other's heart, she will beat them up. Given her temperament, neither protested, but [[LampshadeHanging as noticed by Rachel]], [[http://dragoncity.thecomicseries.com/comics/772 scaring them into commitiment will only get they closer]], much to Erin's chagrin.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': In "The Stormbreaker Saga", Zo, trapped in the past, is prophesied to defeat the demon K'Z'K but also about to be executed by the fairly dim-witted King Sighard of Trent. All she has left is a shotgun (they let her keep it because no-one has any idea what it is) with one shot. That wouldn't do much good, except that K'Z'K has turned the executioner into one of his undead minions, and he tries to kill the king instead -- giving Zo a chance to use that one shot to save the king and impress everyone with her "magic", convincing them that she is the ChosenOne. Thus, K'Z'K unknowingly helps a far more dangerous enemy survive when trying to eliminate a lesser one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* You can sometimes trick {{troll}}s into admitting what they�re doing if you get them to brag. This leads to their credibility being destroyed or the moderater's banning their asses, and will then make the board harder to be trolled by anyone. Nice job, idiots.
* Wiki/SCPFoundation: [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-4357-j Joke SCP 4357-J]], aka Cooperative Demon, is the embodiment of this trope PlayedForLaughs.
* ''Literature/SagaOfSoul'': For several chapters, Soul feels growing [[LonersAreFreaks doubts about her own humanity]]. Downfall is able to sense it, and prepares a massive speech to [[BreakingSpeech break her spirit]].[[spoiler: But he ends up being so heavy-handed about it, he ends up accomplishing the exact opposite, showing Soul [[EpiphanyTherapy exactly how silly her doubts were in the first place]].]] Cue CurbstompBattle.
* ''{{Literature/Worm}}'' has the ABB. Their actions caused Skitter to join the Undersiders, the [[EnemyMine superheroes and supervillains]] of the city to join forces against them, and Lung's second loss to Skitter when he attempts revenge for their first fight. It also allows her to carve out his eyes when she beat him again, making him easier to capture by the heroes. This wipes out the ABB.
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19594_6-fictional-villains-who-accidentally-saved-day.html This Cracked List tells this all]].
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' Season 3 finale of the webseries, Roxana, just ForTheEvulz, decides to kill Sparadrap's pets in front of him. That's how we find out that the series StupidGood KindheartedSimpleton has a BerserkButton. The novel version of the scene reveals that TheCavalry arrived in time due to Roxana taking time to KickTheDog rather than immediately killing Sparadrap and his teammates (which she could have done easily). That season / novel also had someone get CaughtOnTape due to admitting a misdeed while online in a MMORPG. In front of the very people he framed for said misdeed. That include a player that is frequently loading videos of in-game events on her blog.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Aang has one of his chakras blocked by getting hit by Azula's lightning in the Avatar state. He can't get to that state anymore, and he's not skilled enough in the bending he's learned to take on Ozai. In the middle of the fight, Ozai goes in for the killshot, with Aang resisting with all the strength he has left. The blast throws Aang onto a small rock outcropping... right onto the scar caused by Azula's lightningbending attack. This unblocks the chakra, allowing Aang to reach the [[SuperMode Avatar state]] and for [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome epic]] [[CurbStompBattle asskicking]] to ensue. Cue Ozai's OhCrap expression.
** Combustion Man manages to intercept a messenger hawk headed for the Fire Nation with the information that Aang is still alive, as Zuko wanted to eliminate Aang discreetly. This prevents the rest of the Fire Nation from learning about Aang until the Day of Black Sun.
** It can be argued that Ozai committed this two years before the story started. If he had never banished his son, then he would've won. Zuko himself outright states this to him in the finale, calling it the best thing he could've ever done for him.
** Azula has instance of this in Book 3, when Zuko states he's angry over something he doesn't know about, some prodding by Azula (though Mai and Ty Lee took as well) caused Zuko spit out that he's angry at himself, which helps with his CharacterDevelopment that leads to his HeelFaceTurn.
** Even before the scene during "The Beach", which the above example explains, Zuko was worried if Ozai would finally be satisfied with him after coming home with the reputation of killing the Avatar. Azula calls him dumb and tells him that the only person he should be trying to satisfy is himself.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', [[BigBad Amon]] uses his powers to remove [[PhysicalGod Avatar]] [[Korra's TheProtagonist]] ability to bend [[ElementalPowers water, earth, and fire]] the elements she had mastered. He also inadvertently unlocked her ability to bend air, and to connect to her former lives, one of which gave her back all her bending, plus the ability to restore the bending of anyone else Amon had "equalised." As far as this trope goes, it's a doozy.
* Happens a few times in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown''. Notably, [[SmartBall Jack had come up with a brilliant and for once successful plan]], convincing Omi that he was destined to turn evil and had to stay away from his teammates at all costs. This was going perfectly until his idiot henchmen blabbed the entire plan, snapping Omi out of his despair and allowing him to win the day.
* In the original ''[[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers Transformers]]'' cartoon, Starscream 'helps' the Autobots win all the time. Sure, sometimes he's [[TheStarscream trying to sabotage]] [[BigBad Megatron]]... but sometimes he's just that stupid.
** And the biggest example of this: in the very first episode, when Starscream is "just saying goodbye!" to the unconscious Autobots on Earth, '''he actually revives them.''' Remind me again why Megatron keeps him around?
**** [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16954_5-reasons-megatron-should-have-fired-starscream-years-ago.html A list on Cracked.com]] put the action firing at the ship, and that awakened the Autobots, as two of the five reasons Megatron should have fired Starscream years ago. To drive the point home even more on how bad a henchman he was, all five reasons [[UptoEleven came from the first episode]].
*** Then again, if the other Decepticons followed his lead, they might have won the war right there what with the Autobots being in stasis lock.
** Probably the best example of Starscream's treachery helping the Autobots is in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. Megatron probably would have killed the Autobot repair crew and gotten his hands on the Allspark if Starscream hadn't put that explosive on his back.
* Same with the original ''GIJoe cartoon''; a number of times the Joes are beaten, but Cobra Commander has to drive it in (often at the objections of Destro), somehow giving the Joes the chance to overcome their predicament. Strangely enough, Cobra's high-rankers prefer Serpentor to him because of this attitude, and yet Serpentor occasionally falls into this trope as well.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'', the 2003 Shredder is revealed to have one weakness- the Technodrome's DeathRay. Just as the Turtles manage to push him into it, Bebop and Rocksteady accidentally unplug the thing- as Shredder gloats over his apparent victory, they plug it back in, annihilating him in the process. ''Bebop and Rocksteady saved the TMNT multiverse this way.''
** In Rogues in the House, the Turtles have been incapacitated and Shredder orders Karai to execute them to prove her loyalty. She's willing to do this and raises the blade, but Hun decides that this is too boring, and thus frees Leo so that they can duke it out. Leo lectures her during this fight, which ultimately persuades her not to kill them
* In the older ''{{WesternAnimation/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' cartoon Krang had made Super Rocksteady and Bebop robots, which were incredibly strong and intelligent, and could effortlessly defeat the turtles. Until the regular Rocksteady and Bebop accidentally expose them to lightning.
** In the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 version]], the Utron Shredder did a much better job of fixing it. Although he committed many horrendous crimes that caused anguish to so many people (murdering Splinters master, burning down Caseys fathers store and possibly killing him too and kidnapping dozens of New Yorkers and turning them into horrid monsters), as Michelangelo explains, he originally put into motion a set of DisasterDominoes that led to the Turtles very creation and his own undoing. (And the biggest irony is, he never learned this.) To summarize:
-->'''Michelangelo:''' If the Shredder had never made the Utrons crash in the first place, theyd have never developed the ooze, and if theyd never developed the ooze, weve never have been mutated, and if wed never have been mutated, wed still be eating fish flakes in some kids aquarium right now!
* In the stop-motion animation special ''WesternAnimation/HereComesPeterCottontail'', Peter Cottontail and the villain Irontail are competing for the job of head Easter Bunny. Whoever delivers the most eggs wins. After missing delivering eggs on Easter, Peter tries to deliver the eggs on other holidays, but to no avail. In an attempt to make sure Peter '''never''' gets to unload his supply of Easter eggs, Irontail casts a spell on them that turns eggs green inside and out. Irontail believes that he's won -- no one would want green eggs. But then, the next holiday Peter tries to deliver the eggs on turns out to be St. Patricks' Day. As a result, he successfully gives away all the green eggs, and becomes the head Easter Bunny. Irontail, meanwhile, is forced to sweep the bunny trail in the ending credits.
* In an odd twist, Nox, the BigBad from ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', actually purposefully attempts to {{invoke|dTrope}} this trope. He's a time mage who kills and drains people of their energy (the eponymous wakfu) in order to power an attempt to travel back in time to save his dead family. He is able to happily commit countless atrocities, draining entire nations over the years, because he believes that once he successfully travels back in time it will all be undone. He even manages to kill TheHero and wipe out an entire race in the finale. Unfortunately, his plan fails, and the wakfu that it took him 200 years to collect is barely able to send him back 20 minutes.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode "Forced Kin", an alien force defeats the girls using every single idea Mojo Jojo had ever come up with. Jojo gets so upset at the alien stealing his ideas ("[[PunctuatedForEmphasis You've. Ruined. My. DREAM!!!!!]]") that he goes primal and physically forces the alien leader to submit, driving away the attack and becoming the hero.
** Mojo Jojo is really a major victim of this trope. In fact, the most major thing is the fact that he ended up [[StableTimeLoop inspiring the Professor to make the Powerpuff Girls, caused the FreakLabAccident that created them, '''and''' gave them the drive to fight crime and making them accepted by the city, which was a crime infested rat hole beforehand]], pretty much making everything good in the series his fault to begin with.
--> '''Mojo Jojo''': [[VillainousBSOD It was me...it was me...it was me...]]
** Mojo Jojo did this again when he used the Professor's time machine to go back to the day when he was inspired to create the girls and prevent it from happening. As it turned out, his kidnapping of the Professor leading to the girls having to rescue him inspired him to try and create three perfect girls of his own. It wasn't until they returned to the present that the Professor realized that the girls that rescued him were his own girls. In other words, if Mojo Jojo had never tried to change the past, Professor Utonium would never have been inspired to create the Powerpuff Girls.
--> '''Mojo Jojo''': [[BigNo Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!]]
--> '''Narrator''': Yes!
** And there's the pictured example above.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' episode "Handsome Ransom", the Monarch corners [[CaptainErsatz Captain Sunshine]] in his sanctum solarium at night, powerless from lack of sunlight and emotionally crippled from seeing him wear Wonderboy's uniform. Rather than [[JustShootHim just shooting him]], Monarch makes a drawn out [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech gloating speech]] and pulls out a solar beam gun intended to burn him off. It backfires horribly, recharging Captain Sunshine and allowing him to burn alive all of Monarch's mooks, winning the day.
* The beginning of season 2 of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' has Valmont kicking the eponymous character off a cliff which results in Shendu [[DemonicPossession possessing him]] and making them both less effective.
* The ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' season 2 finale shows Terra as TheMole, who promptly defeats all the Titans individually. She failed to finish the job, though, so five very angry Titans came back to teach her the error of her ways.
** Another example on the show: One big reason the Brotherhood of Evil was defeated at the end of season five was because Madame Rogue, whom Jinx had worshipped, [[BrokenPedestal treated Jinx like garbage]], one of two reasons (along with a DatingCatwoman situation with Kid Flash) that not only prompted Jinx's HeelFaceTurn, but convinced her to act as a DoubleAgent for the heroes during the FinalBattle.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', a pair of Vehicon Mooks decide to KickTheDog with an amnesic Optimus/Orion who is beginning to doubt Megatron's plans and protests against them. The beatdown causes Optimus's arm cannons to appear, the ones he had forgotten he had. Then, he uses them to easily defeat the Vehicons and head after Megatron.
--> '''Optimus''': "I'm ... armed?"
--> [[OhCrap (Vehicons freeze in panic)]]
* [[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants "...and it'll only open]] [[TooDumbToLive if I say 'open'."]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'', Mirage uses a mystical music box to put the entire city of Agrabah to sleep, which in turn anyone who does so becomes one of her BrainwashedAndCrazy minions. Aladdin is the last one left, but just as he is about to stop her he finally succumbs to the spell himself and falls asleep, which means within seconds he'll become one of her mindless zombies as well. Just as Mirage starts gloating, the mind-controlled Jasmine and Phasir burst in, which winds up waking Aladdin up long enough to close the box and return everyone to normal. ''Mirage's own mind-controlled minions wound up being the very thing that ultimately undid her plan''!
* At one point in the ''Sandokan'' cartoon, the Rajah (the BigBad) has captured Sandokan's island fortress, locked him and his men in their own cell and set a RubeGoldbergDevice to blow them up once he and his own forces are a safe distance away. The heroes have no hope of escape, they're doomed...except that meanwhile the other antagonist, the Rajah's ally Lord James, has put in motion a plan of his own to arrange the kidnap of Sandokan's friend's daughter in order to lure Sandokan into a trap. When she's kidnapped, her father's lieutenant hurries to the island to seek Sandokan's help, finds the heroes locked up and defuses the bomb [[JustInTime in the nick of time]].
* Invoked and lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Do or Diaper". Muscle Man provokes Mordecai to agree to a bet which states that if Mordecai can kiss his LoveInterest Margaret by Friday night, Muscle Man will have to wear a diaper for a week, and if he can't do it, obviously Mordecai would have to wear the diaper. Mordecai and Margaret go on a date, and in an unlucky series of events Margaret finds out about their bet when she notices Muscle Man and Mordecai's friend, Rigby, following them around the entire evening. Mordecai has to explain the bet he had with Muscle Man, which Margaret clearly isn't very happy about. Though to help her understand his actions and earn her forgiveness he is forced to be honest and apologize to her, which leads to the LoveConfession being dropped. It might seem like Muscle Man did Mordecai wrong by provoking him to agree to the bet and blowing his cover later, but he really made Mordecai learn something and helped deepen his and Margaret's relationship. [[LampshadeHanging Mordecai is even shown wearing the diaper with a smile at the end of the episode]], explaining that "he's just happy because Margaret was having a great time on their date, and that means she must like him".
* ''JusticeLeague'' has a version of this that works from FridgeBrilliance and may lean into UnfortunateImplications. In the episode "The Savage Time", the plot is that Vandal Savage sent a message back to his past self in 1940 encouraging him to get rid of AdolfHitler and take control of NaziGermany, as that [[EvenEvilHasStandards "raving lunatic"]] would otherwise lead the Axis powers to failure. In a display of HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct, the 1940s Vandal only freezes Hitler, rather than kill him, and once he is defeated by the Justice League, Vandal's former subordinates immediately thaw Hitler out and put him in charge. If Vandal ''had'' killed Hitler, it's probable that a far more competent leader would have taken Vandal's place after his defeat and so the Nazis might still have won WorldWarII. By keeping Hitler alive, he immediately went on to lose the war as he did normally, thus, Vandal ensured his removal from power merely restored the world to the way it should be.
** Perhaps because they realized they realized the UnfortunateImplications, the producers would later go on to say that Vandal's defeat actually had two positive effects; reinstating Hitler assured that the Axis would lose the war, but the fact that Savage took over and turned Germany's resources towards actually fighting the war instead of enacting genocide means that, in the timeline the Justice League created, the Holocaust never occurred.
** They didn't consider themselves villains, but the Justice Lords from the alternate dimension of JusticeLeague tried to enter the League's dimension and "help them" bring order. Not only are they repelled, but in all likelihood, Superman's later decision to ''not'' lobotomize Luthor after the apparent death of Flash may very well have been caused by him seeing how far he could fall.
* ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'': In "Horde Prime Takes a Holiday", if not for Skeletor trying to take over Horde Prime's warship, Hordak would have frozen She-Ra and He-Man.
** Hordak and Skeletor unknowingly do it to each other in "Loo-Kee Lends a Hand". If not for Skeletor's plan to capture Prince Adam, who knows how long would it take Loo-Kee to find Prince Adam and ask for his help or how much damage the Horde would have done by then? Also, if not for Hordak freezing time for the rebels, Loo-Kee wouldn't have gone to Eternia and ruined Skeletor's plan to break into Prince Adam's bedroom.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** In the season 2 finale, Twilight Sparkle calls out Princess Cadance and calls her evil, which nets her a royal TheReasonYouSuckSpeech from her brother, all her friends turn on her, and even Princess Celestia is disappointed in her. Twilight ''herself'' is ashamed of her behavior and apologizes. Of course, had "Cadance" who is really [[VoluntaryShapeshifter Queen]] [[EmotionEater Chrysalis]] in disguise just left it at that she would have won. [[VillainBall Unfortunately that just wasn't evil enough:]] instead she banishes Twilight to the caves below Canterlot where she meets the ''real'' Cadance, rescues her, and brings her topside to thwart the entire masquerade.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom Part 2]]", if Tirek had stuck to his word to Discord, he wouldn't have given the Mane 6 the final key needed to beat him. Of course Tirek had no way of knowing it'd backfire at the time.
* At the end of the first season of ''WesternAnimation/FriskyDingo'', Killface's son activates the Annihilatrix, which was designed to push the Earth into the Sun. Instead, it backfires and effectively reverses the damage caused by global warming.
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