This trope is when someone sates their need for revenge by taking a much pettier (or at least non-harmful) revenge on the subject before forgiving them. Typically in the form of a prank or superficial attack. The reasons for this can vary; the hero might have [[WhatTheHellHero done something wrong]] (or [[KickTheMoralityPet attacked someone innocent by mistake]], or taken down [[AvengingTheVillain someone who deserved it]]) and actually been forgiven, or they might have been framed or made TheScapegoat, in which case it's likely to satisfy [[ThePromise some sort of oath]]. Other times they may not have been planning a particularly serious revenge to begin with, but the audience or the victim assumes they are (for roughly the same effect) or it might be clear that the recipient deserves it (in which case it shows that they've already been forgiven).

If they swore to do something specific, they might invoke ExactWords to take a lighter revenge (for example, they might "take their life" by humiliating them to destroy their social life). May involve a CoolAndUnusualPunishment or even a quite enjoyable {{Unishment}}.

SuperTrope to MyFistForgivesYou (where the "revenge" in question is a physical blow) and the ParanoiaGambit (where the transgressor's own reaction to the threat of revenge ''is'' the revenge). Subtrope of EasilyForgiven. Can be a way to deliberately invoke a lighter shade of RedemptionEqualsAffliction. Compare ForgivenButNotForgotten if the character still harbors resentment while forgiving the wrongdoer. Contrast CycleOfRevenge and DisproportionateRetribution (which it may also be used to {{subvert|edTrope}}). If they don't want to admit it, they may claim it's a case of VillainsDyingGrace.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In one episode of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', Vash agrees to help a wealthy town mayor who is being threatened by a bandit leader...until he finds out [[spoiler:the mayor murdered the bandit's peaceful family and took their land to build his town]], at which point he stands aside when they confront each other. With the mayor's beautiful daughter pleading for her father's life, the bandit ends up shooting him in the leg instead of the killing he had originally planned on.
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'', Keitaro constantly gets {{Megaton Punch}}ed by the {{Tsundere}} cast (usually for something that wasn't really his fault.) There's at least two instances where the girl in question (Naru and Motoko respectively) realizes he was genuinely trying to help her, winds up for the usual violence, and then taps him on the head while he goes "huh?".
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', after defeating [[TheWoobie Chrona]] (who'd previously almost killed Soul), Maka delivers a mild version of the [[HyperspaceMallet Maka Chop]] by lightly tapping him/her on the head with a book.
* In an episode of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', Batou is tasked with tracking a soldier he'd encountered in the past who became a SerialKiller with the help of a couple of [[{{Eagleland}} CIA agents]]. ([[spoiler:They're hoping he'll snap and kill him to cover up the war crimes he committed on their behalf]]). When he has him cornered, he seems ready to kill him, but instead opts to [[CruelMercy empty his pistol into the wall and arrest him]].
* In ''Manga/PrisonSchool'', after Shingo admits to the group that he was acting as TheStoolPigeon all the while treating Kiyoshi like crap, Kiyosh tells him stand up and... proceeds to gently tap his shoulder with his fists, stating that true friends forgive one another no matter what. Then Shingo admits that not only was he hanging out with a girl behind their backs but also saw her nipple, at which point they beat him to a bloody pulp.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'' Lord Beerus, the main antagonist, said he would destroy the Earth primarily as retaliation for [[DisproportionateRetribution Buu refusing to share his pudding with him.]] [[spoiler: After the climax, he blasts a small rock rather than the whole planet and leaves satisfied in having destroyed [[ExactWords "a very small earth"]].]]
** In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' proper, after Krillin is killed by Frieza and with Gohan as the next target, Goku goes after Frieza [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge with the intent]] [[UnstoppableRage to kill him.]] After beating the holy hell out of each other, Goku finally has Frieza at his mercy, but decides to simply let him live with a shattered ego rather than tearing him apart. But when Frieza decides to ignore Goku's ''very'' generous offer to let him leave alive ''twice'', Goku finally thinks "fuck it" and Frieza is blasted to pieces and LeftForDead.


[[folder: Fan Works ]]
* The ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' has this happen when [[spoiler:the Dark World Mane Six finally confront Discord, who was mortally wounded by his sister Rancor and on his deathbed. Partially due to the machinations of [[BiggerBad Nightmare Paradox]], the others (sans Twilight, who's realized something is wrong) deliver a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown to Discord. Apple Pie, however, merely walks up to him, gives him a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, and walks away satisfied with that.]]
* In ''FanFic/ThisBites'', Cross finally repays Robin for almost killing him during their first meeting, letting Chopper almost dissect him, and encouraging the {{Groin Attack}}s from the other girls... by giving her a noogie.

[[folder: Live-Action Film ]]

* In ''Film/KillerBeanForever'', Killer Bean gets even with the bartender by going to the loo, leaving a "double flusher" in there...and only flushing once.
* The main character of ''Film/MinorityReport'' finds himself confronted by the man who sexually assaulted and then murdered his young son, with a gun in his hand. It looks very much like he's going to simply blow the guy away, but at the last moment he regains control of himself and reads the man his Miranda rights... and then we find out that things aren't quite how they seemed.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Literature/HIVESeries'' book five, [[spoiler:Laura]] is cornered by Block and Tackle. [[spoiler:[[CompellingVoice Lucy]]]] protects her by [[spoiler:forcing the boys to stand in the middle of the hallway hugging for days.]] Although the rest of the cast thinks this is hilarious, [[spoiler:Lucy worries they may starve, unable to think their way out of her mind control because they're too stupid.]]
* In {{Literature/Tangerine}} by Edward Bloor, the resident badass protects his rep after being slighted by "kicking his ass"--[[LiteralAssKicking literally, kicking him in the rear]].
* In [[Literature/TheBible the Biblical book of Genesis]], Joseph is Prime Minister of Egypt when he meets his treacherous brothers (Excepting Reuben, who was halfway decent to him and Benjamin, who was a complete innocent in the conflict) as they come to purchase food and failed to recognize him. As much as Joseph could have had them all executed, he satisfies himself with scaring them by accusing and jailing them overnight as spies, keeping Simeon in prison until they return with Benjamin and purposefully arranging Benjamin to be falsely accused of petty theft until he was satisfied they had matured enough to let them off the hook and reveal his true identity.


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* In the ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'' episode "Immune", after being asked to [[spoiler:lie in court (pretending that Jake Thorne must have misunderstood him)]], Casey gets even with Thorne by using his testimony to call him stupid (invoking HanlonsRazor to explain why he was misunderstood).
** In the [[Series/LawAndOrder American version]], Detective Curtis insults ADA [=McCoy=] in a similar manner for similar reasons.
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' after J.D. [[spoiler:coaxes Elliot away from her boyfriend...only to realise that he ''doesn't'' want her]]. After spending the whole season being mad at him, Elliot gets her revenge by giving him a note that he assumes will tell his current LoveInterest (and Elliot's mentor), Dr. Molly Clock, that she's forgiven him and she doesn't need to feel guilty about sleeping with him. [[spoiler:One mad dash later, he gives it to Clock, who reads it and says it's addressed to J.D.; "Now we're even."]]
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'': Michael initially threatens [[TheStarscream Dwight]] with losing his job after he finds out Dwight lied about his dentist appointment, and was actually meeting with Michael's superior Jan to try to convince her to give him the regional manager position. He forgives him after Dwight [[TheGrovel breaks down into pleas for mercy]], and the two even watch a movie together, but he still punishes him by having him stand on a box the next day wearing a sign that says "Liar". He also has him do his laundry for a year.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'', Commander Cruger has defeated Emperor Gruumm, the one who destroyed his homeworld and left him and his wife the last of their kind, as well as caused a massive amount of pain and suffering to the Earth and the universe, and has him at his mercy. Gruumm tells him to StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred. Cruger swings...and slices off Gruumm's horn (Cruger cut off the other one a long time ago) and arrests him.
* In an episode of ''Series/NightCourt'', one of [[{{Jerkass}} Dan's]] old high school classmates threatens to blow him up as revenge. Harry convinces him he would be no [[IfYouKillHImYouWillBeJustLikeHim better than Dan if he killed him.]] So he settles for revealing his [[EmbarrassingFirstName real name:]][[spoiler: Reinhold.]].
* ''Series/TheMrPotatoHeadShow'': After Mr. Potato Head has a segment of his show where Queenie gets hit by about a dozen pies, she tells him she's not upset because of her new philosophy: Don't get mad--get even! She then pies him in the face. He laughs it off and admits he deserved it.
** Mr. Potato Head arranging PieInTheFace segment of his show in the first place qualifies, as well, since Queenie had been acting like a colossal jerk while she thought she was the [[ItMakesSenseInContext reigning queen of Egypt]].


[[folder: Mythology ]]

* In Hawaiian Mythology, the snow-goddess Poliahu takes revenge on her fiance Aiwohikupua after he stood her up at their wedding because he wasn't ''quite'' over his ex yet. She afflicts his other lover Hina [[spoiler: actually a form of Pele; this is a major reason these goddesses don't get along]] with chills. The ''kahuna'' take Hina down the mountain to a sunny spot to warm her up, at which point Poliahu switches Hina's chills to fever. Aiwohikupua decides he'd better go talk to Poliahu, and while he's on the mountain, he too is afflicted with chills and then fever. He begs the angry goddess for mercy, and she shakes her head at him and goes back up to the summit of Mauna Kea by herself. Hina decides it's too dangerous to continue the relationship and breaks up with Aiwohikupua, who himself becomes PersonaNonGrata because of his dishonesty.


[[folder: Theater ]]

* In ''Theatre/TwoGentlemenOfVerona'', Valentine catches his best-friend-turned-villain Proteus trying to rape his girlfriend. He decides that Proteus' punishment will be nothing more than the embarrassment of hearing the story of his crimes related to his friends and to the Duke.
* The titular revenge in ''Theatre/{{Zemsta}}'' is [[spoiler: marrying Rejent's son to Klara, instead of Podstolina - then it turns out that all this wonderful money Podstolina has actually belongs to Klara]]. So Cześnik is quite a bit embarassed at the end.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar: Retribution'': At the end of the ork campaign, Kaptin Bluddflagg tracks down Inquisitor Adrastia, who'd shot his ship out of orbit at the beginning, and refused to give him her NiceHat as a bonus (the deal was to kill Kyras in exchange for [[BloodKnight getting a battle set up with three Imperial Guard regiments wherever he wanted]]). He grabs and lifts her in one hand, loudly proclaims that if she's no good for a fight, she's of no use to him... then grabs her hat, drops her and leaves. Subverted in that while Adrastia thinks she got off lightly, [[InsultBackfire considering someone not worth killing is the absolute worst insult orkdom can think of.]]
* ''VideoGame/Portal2'': [=GLaDOS=] seems to believe she's doing this for Chell, who killed her in the [[VideoGame/{{Portal| 1}} first game]]. Rather than killing Chell, [=GLaDOS=] simply makes Chell go back to testing.
** It's quickly subverted, however, as [=GLaDOS=] has lots of [[FateWorseThanDeath terrible things]] planned for Chell in the next 60 years.
** Since [=GLaDOS=] is out of humans, she [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs Chell for testing]], and [[spoiler: when she finds an alternative (the cooperative testing initiative) she immediately tries to kill Chell.]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'': Chief Movran the Under pelts Skyhold with a live goat as the bare minimum for avenging his son. He considers his son an idiot for going after the Inquisition when he was supposed to be attacking Tevinters.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', Jyrras is marked for Fey vengeance. Dan recounts his own experience: Creatures leave you alone, terrified of what the Fey in question will do to ''them'' if they interfere. The vengeance imposed upon Dan? All of his feathers fall out if he eats shellfish. What eventually happens to Jyrras? He's made Bachelor of the Year. He ''hates'' the publicity. The reason the Fey do this is because as they are virtually immortal (time is stated not to matter to them and they tend to live for very long time), they tend to take a long time to make up their minds about what the punishment shall be and they hate finding out that someone else killed off their target in the meantime.
** Or so they ''claim.'' In actuality, the fey are deeply GenreSavvy. Jyrras's mark was put on him in order to ''protect'' him from other creatures attacking him because of the threat he presents; the Bachelor of the Year "revenge" made him into a public figure who was always being followed around by the press and thus was much more difficult to assassinate quietly. Dan notes that he took advantage of his own mark to mess with some of the creatures he was confronting. The fey marks are probably yet another way for the fey to subtly exert their influence over the world and put certain people under their protection.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Vinnie, a recurring character in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', repeatedly suffers misfortune at the Gargoyles hands and finally seems to break under the pressure, muttering constantly that he's going to take his revenge. He has a '''[[{{BFG}} huge]]''' custom gun made, which [[ICallHerVera he names "Mr. Carter"]] and tracks down Goliath and threatens him with it. However, Mr. Carter fires... cream pies. After the pie in the face, Vinnie walks off humming, apparently satisfied with his revenge.
** It should be noted that the futility of revenge is a recurring theme in Gargoyles. Several villains are hamstrung by [[CycleOfRevenge their inability to let go of old grudges]], and more than a few episodes have explicitly used this as an aesop. Vinnie is the only character in the series who sought revenge and got away with it, mostly because his intent wasn't murderous.
* In "WesternAnimation/DanVs the Wolfman", Dan hunts down the eponymous wolfman responsible for scratching his car. When Dan finally finds him, his retribution consists entirely of ''keying the wolfman's car'' - and Dan is appalled that Chris would suggest he actually ''kill'' the wolfman for being a dangerous threat to society. For the sake of context, note that Dan once destroyed ''Canada'' because he slipped on some maple syrup. DisproportionateRetribution is practically the man's middle name.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', after Abe and Mr. Burns are the only ones left in a {{Tontine}} agreement for a bunch of stolen paintings, Mr. Burns makes attempts on Abe's life, and even [[WouldHurtAChild brings Bart into it]]. Abe has the chance to kill Mr. Burns, but chooses not to, on the grounds that it would be cowardly. Instead, he uses the fact that he held a higher military rank than Mr. Burns to have him dishonorably discharged.
** Bart and Nelson also become friends in one episode, with the former merely using it as protection while the latter takes it ''very'' seriously. When the truth's revealed, Nelson spends a while glaring and apparently stalking Bart, and when he finally gets him alone and cornered, he seems poised to unleash the beating of Barts life but instead delivers a passionate TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, [[DisappointedInYou calls Bart a bad friend]], and declares their friendship over.
* One episode of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Kablam}}'' short ''Sniz and Fondue'' sees Sniz, carrying some modeling clay home, accidentally ram into a mysterious Gypsy woman. He apologizes a moment before the woman yells that [[DisproportionateRetribution she'll curse him]]. Since Sniz already said he was sorry, she decides to go easy on him and "only" curse the clay. Unbelieving, he shapes it into a [[PerversePuppet sculpture of his brother]]...
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyDucks'' has Duke accused of returning to his old jewel thief ways. When his name is cleared and the others apologize for suspecting him, he gathers them into a group hug. [[AffectionatePickpocket A minute later, they all realize they are missing several items.]]


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* In cultures where one was required by honour to duel someone who offended you, it was fairly common to "delope" -- deliberately miss your shot, thus fulfilling the terms of the duel while making it obvious to all involved that you never intended to hurt your opponent, and giving them the choice of either doing likewise, or shooting you and ruining their own reputation.
* Sword duels were often restrained to [[ExactWords literal]] "first blood" -- giving your opponent a nick on the cheek or arm, [[DuelingScar and a cool scar]], rather than a serious injury. That's before they devolved even more to the point when giving each other cool scars became the entire point and the whole "fighting" thing was forgotten about.