It's generally implied that he's done it lots of times - often enough to become a familiar face to the Head Guard Razoul.
The fruit vendor nearly cuts off Jasmine's hand for stealing an apple. That she didn't even steal for herself. An example of Truth in Television for the period the film takes place in.
An even worse example of a potential disproportionate retribution, imagine what would've happened to the vendor if Aladdin hadn't stopped him and word got out that he cut off the hand of the princess...
Disney's version of Beauty and the Beast: "I'm going to transform you into a monster, and your entire household of innocent bystanders into sentient household appliances, and impose an arbitrary time limit on all of you because you don't give out handouts." Granted, she was disguised as a freezing old woman at the time, but honestly, would it have hurt her to at least leave the servants alone?
He was also 11 at the time. Remember how the rose was supposed to die on the Beast's 21st birthday, and when Mrs. Potts said they'd been cursed for ten years? Yeah. Pretty disproportionate.
This one was eventually fixed in the musical. First, the Beast is cursed as a young man (not at 11); second, he's cursed because he's a selfish brat in general (and not merely because he refused an old woman once); and finally, the servants are punished with good reason because they helped the prince become a selfish brat in the first place.
Gaston's opinion on Belle rejecting his advances: "Bah, Belle rejected me. I'm so humiliated! I'm going to forcibly get her father committed, blackmail her into marrying me, and - if that doesn't work - lead an angry mob to kill the guy she does like. Even if this guy has lost the will to live and won't fight back."
The InterquelThe Enchanted Christmas introduced the castle decorator and several staff members who have unfortunately become ornaments. Because he dislikes Christmas and was actually cursed on that day, the Beast has them imprisoned in the attic. They couldn't have learned to do paperwork? Decorate for the New Year instead? Something?
In the same film, Forte attempts to collapse the entire castle. The reason? Because Beast decided to rekindle his relationship with Belle and feel renewed hope at the prospect of becoming human again and ignore Forte's (selfish) attempts to dissuade him from Belle.
Done hilariously in The Emperor's New Groove, where a homeless man accidentally bumps into the Emperor during his song number, and gets promptly thrown out of the nearest window.
Kuzco: You threw off my groove!
Guard: Sorry, you threw off the Emperor's groove.
Old Man: [as he is falling through the air] SOOOOOOOORRRRYYYYYYYYY!
Horton of Horton Hears a Who! is outcast, tied down, and caged by the animals in the jungle he lives in, and his clover is taken away and nearly tossed into boiling mud, all because he thinks that some people live on a speck that is located on the clover. How unforgivable, because, Think of the Children!!
Syndrome in The Incredibles was just a geeky kid who wanted to be a super-sidekick using his gadgetry. After he's rather roughly dismissed by his hero, Mr. Incredible (who was trying to deal with multiple disasters at that particular moment, one of which had been caused by the kid's clumsy attempt to help, and was also on the verge of being late to his own wedding), he goes to the dark side and spends his life designing technology so he can kill off all the world's superheroes, take their place, and then eventually sell his inventions so that everyone can be super, depriving everyone of their uniqueness. He takes special glee in his attempts to kill/abduct Mr. Incredible's wife and kids.
In Sleeping Beauty Maleficent curses the princess to die because she was not invited to the christening. She spends the next sixteen years obsessing over her revenge being enacted.
A case of Shown Their Work: Maleficent's behavior is quite fitting of an evil fairy, who is compelled to avenge all slights.
The movie South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut has this as their plot. The kids watch an R-Rated movie and start cussing far more than they usually do. In response, the parents decide to blame Canada for their problems and start with arresting Terrance and Phillip, the stars of the movie. Canada responds by bombing the Baldwin brothers' home. The parents respond by getting the US to go to war with Canada. All this, because of cussing!
Film - Live Action
The titular premise of the Australian movie Alexandra's Project is a wildly disproportionate revenge scheme.
In the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, The Red Queen demands one of her servant's head gets cut off... for stealing her tart.
In Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, main human Dalas' little brother delivers pizza to a girl he likes. Her boyfriend is inside and jokes about the uniform with his friends; he jokes back 'I guess who ordered the sausage lovers pizza', insinuating that he's gay with his friends. His retaliation is to follow him out of the house, beat the shit out of him, and throw his keys into a sewer, meaning he has to walk home and use the window to get in. Point, its implied that the reason Dalas was in Jail was beating this guy up as retribution for something he did, but still for the incident it was a little cold.
American History X had Danny, Derek's white supremacist younger brother be gunned down by a black bully, not so much because of his (former) racism as because the previous day Danny blew cigarette smoke in his face.
That's a highly questionable assumption. He knew Derek was a neo-Nazi and understandably had great resentment for him. He didn't know Derek was on the verge of reforming. Also, in the deleted scenes, we see the young bully driving around with two others who are presumably gang members. It's his intiation into the gang.
Of course, there's also the act that kicks off the main plot: Oh, Derek caught a black guy trying to steal his truck? Well, surely he's making him lie on the ground so the police can... Wait, why's he making the guy bite the curb like— Oh, holy SHIT!!
The Japanese film Audition (or Odishon), full stop.
Loki's plot to take control of Earth in The Avengers is largely driven by jealousy and resentment towards his adoptivebrother Thor, as well as rage at being deceived about his true ancestry. He wants to subjugate the entire population of Earth—a planet which Thor treasures and protects—thereby wiping out many of the people that Thor cares about. In addition, Loki feels that he was cheated out of his rightful place as the ruler of Asgard.
Thor: So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights?
Thor himself delivers one, to Captain America, trying to squash him flat just because Cap told him to put the hammer down. Thor had no way of knowing Cap's shield would stop his hammer.
Not entirely true. Since Thor had just been hit in the head with the shield he probably had a fairly good idea that it was solid enough to at least blunt the force of his attack. Although, by that point he seemed annoyed enough to not really care about injuring any friend of Ironman's.
The climax of Breaker Breaker has love interest Arlene put out a CB distress call to try and save JD (Chuck Norris) from the local corrupt police. Cue responses from every big rig driver in the area, looking to help out favorite son JD and to get some payback on the Wretched Hive of Texas City. They then proceed to drive their rigs literally right through the town, destroying it. Yes, it was a town that ran on hijacking trucks and generally being miserable bullies, but they (the truckers) didn't know how many of the people they'd just terrorized and made homeless were actively in on it.
Noah Cross isn't the only majorly despicable character portrayed by John Huston. In Breakout, he portrays a Corrupt Corporate Executive who forces someone in Mexico to kill someone else, frames his grandson for the murder, puts him before a Kangaroo Court presided over by a judge sympathetic to the old corporate freak, and has him put away for 28 years. The reason? He feared that his grandson, should he take over his company, would drive it into the ground by making changes to its operations.
Bruce Almighty. A punk that harasses Bruce gets hunted down and raped. With a monkey. Twice. Considering that at this point Bruce could have done anything else, the fact he chose to rape the man...
Depends on your definition of "rape". The man specifically said "When monkeys come outta my butt." On the other hand, having it go back was rather harsh on both Man and Monkey.
Also quite disproportionate in that the leader of the gang gets raped by a monkey, while the rest of them only get a swarm of bees shot at them. There's two ways of looking at it: If the bees were just ordinary bees that the gang could perhaps have escaped from, then the leader got far worse, but if they were special bees that kept stinging and stinging no matter what, not leaving the gang alone, then they got way worse than the leader.
A local news team teases Bruce for something that was basically his fault (No-one was forcing him to have a rant live on TV). What does Bruce then do? Get them arrested for possessing hundreds of pounds of marijuana.
Bruce controlling Evan in his first broadcast, getting him fired and probably made it almost impossible to get another job anywhere else.
Of course, considering Bruce was omnipotent and could literally do ANYTHING to them, you could say that they got off lightly. A minute or two of unbearable pain from having a monkey force itself in and out of your ass is better than the eternity of hell Bruce could have given them.
Anything EXCEPT affect free will.
In Buffalo 66, the main character plans to shoot and kill an ex-football player. The reason? The main character made a huge bet on a Super Bowl game which said football player lost. He then went to prison for five years since he resorted to crime to pay off his gambling debt. He decides not to go through with his plan in the end.
In Casino Nicky Santoro, also Joe Pesci, stabs a guy a dozen times in the throat with a pen because he was rude. Again his character was based off a real person, however the event was purely fiction.
Chicago. One woman murdered her husband for popping gum. This might have just been the one thing on top of many others that made her snap, or she might simply be crazy.
She could have had misophonia (selective sound sensitivity syndrome), which is a condition that causes the afflicted to become annoyed or enraged by certain sounds.
Lil Ze in City of God shot a member of his gang for irritating him with incessant talking.
This is the same Lil Ze who, after he asked a woman to dance at a club and she turned him down, humiliated her boyfriend by forcing him to strip naked on the crowded dance floor at gun point, followed them home, raped her while the boyfriend was made to watch and then murdered the boyfriend's brother and had his gang shoot up his home, killing his uncle. He's not much for restraint.
In the original Clash of the Titans, both Zeus and Thetis order not only the deaths of those they feel have wronged them, but also the deaths of the entire populations of the cities that they ruled over, apparently just to drive the point home.
Con Air character William "Billy Bedlam" Bedford: "He caught his wife in bed with another man, left them alone, drove four towns over to his wife's family's house. Killed her parents, her brothers, her sisters, even her dog."
In The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle ultimately feels that this is what happens when Bane takes over Gotham - making it all the more ironic that she wanted to see the spoiled, wealthy elite suffer for their hubris. Just not to the extent that Bane makes them suffer.
In the horror film Darkness Falls, the monster is the "original" Tooth Fairy that the stories are based on, and she'll kill any child who sees her at work. The movie's tagline was "An Eye For an Eye. Your Life For a Tooth..."
With the film Magnum Force, the vigilante cops pull over and shoot criminals who escape the justice system. It borders on Disproportionate Retribution at times: in the opening scene, after Ricca gets acquitted, the cop who pulls his car over shoots not only him, but also his driver, bodyguard and attorney.
The cop who pulls over then shoots a pimp who used drain cleaner to kill one of his prostitutes. Granted, the heinous nature of his crime and his Jerkass nature probably means the pimp deserved it.
It's made clear in the scene where Harry, Briggs, and Avery are in the morgue looking at the various bodies of the vigilante cops' victims, as Avery notes that some of the shooting victims committed such crimes as truck hijacking, gambling, narcotics, and prostitution.
In Dogma, Loki has just finished killing the corrupt corporate executives (finks, to him) that he spent a good 5 minutes ranting at, for nearly unspeakable sins. He offers Ms. Price gum, and tells her she has nothing to fear. He then points a gun at her face, and reminds her that she didn't say "God bless you" when he sneezed. He gets called off, but reminds her twice that she got off lucky.
There's also Bartleby's and Loki's entire plot in the movie, as well as what CAUSED it. See, angels were never given free will, so when Loki at one point questions God whether a proclaimed judgement might be a little excessive and resigns as the Angel of Death, thanks to Bartleby egging him on while they were drunk, God strips them of their semi-divinity and banishes them to Wisconsin forever. (This is a few centuries before even the Native Americans get a chance to show up.) So their plot? Abuse a loophole in Catholic doctrine that would get them back into heaven! The downside is that this would destroy Creation. As in, everything. To quote the Metatron, "Was Wisconsin really that bad?"
In Drag Me to Hell, an old gypsy woman gets back at the main character for denying her a loan extension by cursing her to Hell for all eternity. The loan extension she was denied was her 3rd extension, implying that she never even bothered to pay off her previous two loan extensions before and thus ended up got her just desserts by not being granted a third one.
The movie opens with a ten-year-old being condemned simply for stealing a gypsy necklace - one that the parents returned as quickly as possible.
The old gypsy doesn't just curse her. First, she somehow sneaks into the girl's locked car and viciously assaults her, even ripping the girl's ear. Only then does she curse her.
In fact, when the girl finds out that she can transfer the curse to someone else by giving them the button, she can't seem to bring herself to do it, even to her Jerk Ass coworker. She does, however, supply the button to Ganush's remains, as it works as well dead or alive, at least, that's what she attempted to do.
This theme is subverted in Dealing With Dragons, when the princess Alianora was brought up to deliberately be thrown into princessy situations but none of them worked out properly. When she was born, her parents forgot to invite a wicked fairy, in the hopes of getting her a christening curse. Instead, when the fairy shows up she ends up eating cake and ice cream and dancing and ultimately has so much fun she forgives everyone and leave without cursing the princess.
The ending of Extract. Sure, the neighbor was annoying and talked too much, but did he really have to die?
Natural causes; take it up with the screenwriter.
Faces of Death IV depicts a Russian peasant being drawn and quartered by horses for tax evasion.
That manchild's father attempts to kill everyone at the institution he and Vic were at because of this... and that is after Vic himself is shipped safely to prison.
God Bless America. Take more than one space when parking your car? Talk loudly with your friends in the theater? Make an ass of yourself on national television? Frank and Roxy will come for your blood.
In Goodfellas Joe Pesci's character Tommy DeVito beat a guy to death for mentioning how he used to shine shoes and then telling him to go get his shine box. The scary part is that his part was based on a real person who was actually like that. And like Tommy in the movie, this would ultimately get him killed, though unlike the movie, there were other factors involved, including an Attempted Rape on Henry's wife.
Tommy also shot a guy in the foot for not getting his drink order right. When he asks the same guy (whose foot is now in a cast) to get him a drink after-the-fact, the guy tells Tommy to go fuck himself. It does not end well for him.
Mary, who rather than tell Hancock what was going on after they first meet, flings him out of her house and into the street.
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets after Harry tricks Lucius into giving Dobby a sock by accident, Lucius pulls out his wand and attempts to curse Harry. In the second book, he gets blasted by Dobby before he can say anything. In the movie, he manages to get out an "Avada—" before he's blasted. "Avada" is the first part of "Avada Kedavra", the Killing Curse. Killing Harry in broad daylight in front of Dumbledore's office probably isn't the best course of action... Word of God states that the script didn't specify a curse for that scene, so Jason Isaacs just ad-libbed the first one that came to mind. The closed captioning was changed to make Lucious say something like "Vera-"
Hitch. The title character's love interest Sara has a friend who slept with a guy who dumped her the morning after. On the way out the door, he makes an offhand comment, "Date doctor my ass." Sara makes it her mission to find the date doctor and expose him, blaming him for enabling the scumbag to use her friend. When she finds out it's none other than Hitch, the guy she's been seeing and whom she likes, she trashes him and his completely innocent client in her gossip column. This effectively ruins his reputation and livelihood. And then Hitch takes her back.
For those who aren't aware, Hitch had explicitly refused to work with the guy because he was a scumbag who only wanted to get laid, making Sara even more horrendously unlikable and making it even more enraging when Hitch takes her back.
And that friend of hers? A shallow moron who was repeatedly told this guy was probably a scumbag from the beginning. Why is she even concerned with this?
In Hot Fuzz, Sergeant Angel is convinced there must be some kind of complicated conspiracy linking a series of gruesome "accidents". It turns out that they were all killed for incredibly minor infractions the Neighborhood Watch deemed a threat to the town's perfect reputation. For example, the newspaper editor was killed because he had a habit of making typos, and the actress was killed because she had an Annoying Laugh.
And also inverted. After Danny almost drunkenly runs over a police officer, he's punished by...having to buy the other officers ice cream for a month.
The ending text in I Love You Phillip Morris states this is the reason for Steven's unprecedentedly harsh sentence: his ability to fake his own death from AIDS was an embarrassment to the State of Texas and to Governor George Bush, plus the prosecuting DA was the sister in law of one of the men Steven conned. Which might explain why Steven got a life sentence with a 23-hour a day lockup for fraud and prison escapes. A LOT of fraud and MANY prison escapes, but really? Harsh, dude.
Iron Man 3: Killian's whole vendetta is because Stark blew him off once fifteen years ago. His actual crime spree is more of a combined cover-up for the failures of AIM's Extremis technology and scam/racket to create demand for the super-soldiers AIM can supply. Tony's decision to investigate and openly oppose him brings him even more directly into the line of fire.
Tony himself, while captured, taunts a guard with this after the guard breaks his borrowed "deluxe Dora the Explorer" watch. "Just for that, I'm going to kill you first."
In Iron Sky, Vivian Wagner, formerly responsible for the Presidential electoral campaign, has herself transferred to the space battleship USS George W. Bush as the new commander and seeks out to bomb the Nazi moonbase to rubble. The reason: The new Führer Klaus Adler was so rude as to abruptly end the hot affair he had with her and therefore deserves to die, and she assumes him inside the base. It simply comes in handy that the Nazis happen to launch an attack on Earth just then.
Bill has the Bride's fiance and family-in-law slaughtered and the pregnant Bride beaten to within an inch of her life by his assassins before trying to finish her off with a bullet to the head. And all this because she "broke his heart" by running off on him upon learning that she was pregnant.
In the campfire flashback in Part 2, Bill tells the story of Pai Mei:
Bill: Once upon a time in China, some believe around the year one double-aught three, the head priest of the White Lotus Clan, Pai Mei, was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Pai Mei's infinite power contemplates — which is another way of saying "who knows?" — when a Shaolin monk appeared, traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest crossed paths, Pai Mei, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned. Now, was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei? Or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of the monk remain unknown. What is known are the consequences. The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple and demanded of the Temple's head abbot that he offer Pai Mei his neck to repay the insult. The Abbot at first tried to console Pai Mei, only to find Pai Mei was... inconsolable. So began the massacre of the Shaolin Temple and all sixty of the monks inside at the fists of the White Lotus. And so began the legend of Pai Mei's Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
Law Abiding Citizen could have been called Disproportionate Retribution: The Movie. Clyde Shelton's (Gerard Butler) wife and child are murdered and the prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) cuts a deal against Clyde's wishes, the result of which is that the accomplice gets the chair while the man who actually committed the murders gets to walk. Ten years later, Clyde wreaks revenge (including a bonus punishment for the already condemned man), then sets about destroying the entire US legal system, leaving Nick alive so that he can witness the devastating consequences of a difficult, justifiable decision he made 10 years ago. He also kills a lot of peoplewho had little to nothing to do with the deal, including Nick's assistant.
In Life At 40, a grown woman threatens a 13-year-old boy with physical violence. The reason? The worst thing the boy did (and no other examples are given) was that he said the woman's daughter was on his "not hot" list on Facebook.
Mr. Eddy in Lost Highway is slightly overreacting to a tailgater.
In Man of Steel, a drunk trucker tries to get fresh with a waitress at a diner. When Clark steps in to defend her, he gets spit on, drenched with beer, and gets an empty can thrown at the back of his head. He's about to do something, but we never know what since the waitress and the cook stop him with an "it's not worth it," so he leaves the diner in a huff. Cut to the next scene, and the guy's truck —his means of livelihood and his only way back to civilization— is destroyed, impaled on power-line poles.
In Now You See Me, Rhodes allows Bradley's framing to stand, possibly causing him to spend the rest of his life in jail, because Bradley ruined the career of Lionel Shrike (Rhodes' father), which led to an attempted comeback trick that went wrong, killing him.
The Mouse King from the animated film The Nutcracker Prince believes the Nutcracker crushed and bent his tail on purpose, not knowing it was an accident, thus wanting vengeance. He also gets bitter on Clara for not only stopping him from burning the nutcracker, but mostly for injuring his tail.
In the Oceans Eleven remake Danny Ocean and his band of thieves are afraid of their target, Terry Benedict, because of his reputation for disproportionate retribution: the story the thieves tell is that he not only terrorized the guy he caught but bankrupted his brother's tractor dealership too, which goes against the band of thieves' casino-owning ally's sense of justice: "In the old days they'd just whack you." The sequel shows Terry and his thugs turning up at one of the Malloy brothers' wedding and threatening them in front of their family.
The sequel in general, really.
Terry: I'm gonna charge them interest. A lot of interest.
Night Fox: ...is that fair?
Terry: I hope not.
The third film may or may not be about this. Willie Bank tricks their friend Ruben (even though Danny warned Ruben this may happen), causing the latter to have a heart attack. As a result, they bankrupt the guy and steal what he loves most - his diamond awards. And being a Jerk Ass that he is, Bank doesn't have any friends who'd be willing to go against Danny and his crew. Apparently, their code requires them to first give the target a chance to redeem himself and pay back what he owes Ruben. However, this crime is supposedly so heinous that some team members don't want to give Bank this option (which he ends up refusing anyway).
In Oldboy, Oh Dae-su is abducted off the street and held prisoner for 15 years while his family is murdered and he is blamed for it. When he is finally released, he learns that an old schoolmate, Lee Woo-jin, performed the deed as well as hypnotized him into unknowingly sleeping with his daughter. This is all in retaliation for Dae-su idly mentioning that he saw Soo-ah, Woo-Jin's sister, sleeping with another student, who unknown to him was actually Woo-jin. The rumors that followed caused her to kill herself.
In the Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap, two twins who do not yet know they are twins are fencing. Girl 1 accidentally pushes 2 into a water trough. 2 walks back to her cabin and changes and in total all damage done is that she spends 30 seconds being wet. She then gets her vengeance by winning a poker game (royal flush beating a straight flush), taking all of 1's allowance and winning an additional bet that forces her to skinny dip in an ice cold lake at night, inviting the whole camp who watch her about to dive nude while teasing her as much as possible, and then telling those girls to steal and hide her clothes. Ouch.
The retribution for the lake incident was to somehow move the offending twin and her roommates' beds and dressers onto the roof of their cabin. Words cannot describe the retribution for that.
But they can try. Offended twin goes into the other twin's room at night and booby traps the entire room. Any movement by the girls in the room would cause water balloons to fall from the ceiling, shaving cream and honey to coat everything, and to top it off, anyone unfortunate to open the door gets tarred and feathered. That unfortunate person happens to be the camp counselor. Hilarity Ensues.
Subverted in Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Pee-wee hitchhikes with a guy on the run from the law, and helps him sneak through a police roadblock. When asked what his crime was, he begins to talk about doing something terrible with a knife, then realizes that he's frightening Pee-wee, so he claims that he cut the tag off his mattress. The naive Pee-wee nods in sympathy, saying, "I always thought that was the dumbest law."
The main plot plays it straight. Francis, the spoiled rich kid, has Pee-wee's custom bike stolen just because Pee-wee wouldn't sell it to him. After he sees Pee-wee's determination to get his bike back, he pays the thief he hired extra to get rid of it.
Francis: "You'll be sorry, Pee-wee Herman."
The short film Pencil Face. Girl uses a magic pencil for selfish wishes like a kite and a cake. Girl gets sucked into a black hole
Phone Booth is essentially a depiction of one of these.
Apparently, the thing the protagonist is guilty of that deserves death is... almost cheating on his wife.
The sniper, apparently, equates almost cheating with filming child pornography (one of his previous victims). However, unlike the other victims, the protagonist gets a chance to redeem himself by admitting his infidelity to his wife.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Teague, Keeper of the Code, shoots Sri Sumbhajee's spokesman mid-sentence for merely conveying his master's dissent for following the code.
Barbossa sees the curse on him and his crew as this.
Barbossa: "Punished we were, the lot of us! Disproportionate to our crimes!"
Barbossa saying "disproportionate" should count as comic relief, much like his "disinclination to acquiesce to your request... means No."
In Problem Child, during the opening montage of young Junior being passed by from parents to parents (after annoying the previous ones enough that they just drop him off to other houses and run off), one of his current adoptive fathers steps on his toys (namely one that looks like a construction bulldozer), to which Junior responds to by getting in a real bulldozer and completely annihilating the trailer.
In Pulp Fiction, Jules tells Vincent that their boss, Marsellus, threw a guy from the fourth floor because he gave Marsellus' wife a foot massage. Said wife later dismisses it, saying "Only thing Antoine ever touched of mine was my hand, when he shook it, at my wedding." However Marsellus and a guy he's trying to kill, Butch, later face it as once their chase\fight ends up in a pawnshop, the owner knocks them out, puts them bound and gagged in their basement, and calls his partner to rape Marsellus.
The second adaptation of The Punisher (2004). When the Big Bad's son is killed during a bust that Frank took part in, he and his wife decide to take his revenge by killing Frank's entire extended family. This becomes worse when you realize that Frank wasn't the one who shot him, and he was only shot because he was stupid enough to pull a gun out when he had a dozen SWAT surrounding him. The Punisher could also be accused of this, depending on whether or not you believe him when he says he's driven by punishment instead of vengeance.
Anyone who might feel sorry for the Big Bad's wife should remember that she was the one who demanded that Frank's entire family pay the price. The Big Bad was originally content to just having Frank killed, but his wife pretty much demanded two eyes, four limbs, and every last tooth for just one eye.
In P2, a drunken coworker tries to molest the heroine in an elevator after a Christmas office party. When the heroine's stalker sees this, he kidnaps the coworker, ties him to a chair, and rams him into a concrete wall with a car, squashing him to death.
A motorcycle is stolen, a helicopter's windshield is smashed, a deputy is killed in a fall from said helicopter, a nighttime ambush ends with three doberman hounds dead and both the owner of said hounds and a bunch of other deputies injured, a National Guard lieutenant has the worst day of his life, an Army truck is hijacked, a bunch of police cars are smashed (possibly resulting in a couple more fatalities), a gas station is destroyed, and a police station is shot up. In that order. The reason for all this malicious mischief and mayhem? A small town sheriff refused to let a certain Green Beret eat within his city limits. One thing just led to another after said Green Beret escaped police custody, and he got progressively angrier with the sheriff after the dead deputy had tried to murder him in cold blood against orders, until the Unstoppable Rage began the minute the lieutenant shot up the mine where he was hiding and blew it up. As soon as he emerged from the wreckage alive, he really went to town on the small town. It got to the point where he would've killed the sheriff had Colonel Trautman not intervened and talked him out of it.
John J. Rambo: There wouldn't be any trouble if it wasn't for that kingshit cop. All I wanted was something to eat. But the man kept pushing, sir.
Rat Race has some. Taxi driver lost some money after a botched football game. When the referee of said game enters his cab, the driver goes into the desert, takes the referee's shoes and socks and abandons him there. Cheating on a helicopter pilot leads to this. And God help you if you don't buy a squirrel.
In The Replacement Killers, Triad boss Terrence Wei puts out a contract on Officer Zedkov's seven year old son. Zedkov's crime? Killing Mr. Wei's son in a drug bust. The son Zedkov begged to NOT go for the gun because he did not want to shoot him. That might not be too bad, but when John Lee refuses the contract on a seven year old boy, Wei orders the execution of Lee's mother and sister back in China.
John Lee: That's how Mr. Wei *deals* with his enemies. Through their families.
Holy shit, Dr. Vadar from Rock and Roll High School ForeverLIVES by this trope! Seriously, she locks her own students in a dungeon, frames them for a massive prank, and eventually tries to kill them simply because they listen to rock and roll!
In Rushmore, the protagonist Max Fischer shoots The Bully, Magnus Buchan, in the ear with a bb gun and tells him that they are now even. The bully responds, quite menacingly, "Not for long, kemosabe!"
The Saw saga is full of these. Jigsaw's modus operandi is to kidnap Asshole Victims and put them in death traps that will at best mutilate them if they escape, but most likely kill them in horrible ways. His victims range for murderers and rapists to sleazy photographers and heroin addicts. He's even kidnapped family members of the victims and put them in harm as well, even if they had nothing to do with the victim's asshole behavior. The retribution aimed at Cary Elwes' character in the first movie seems especially extreme: his "crime" was informing terminal patients that they were going to die. The fact that one of those terminal patients was Jigsaw himself was probably a contributing factor, however.
The prequel comic book Saw: Rebirth implies that Jigsaw was more disgusted with Elwes' cheating on his wife, though this is still disproportionate.
My wife took her to the old family farm and drowned her in the well. I felt a simple time-out would have been sufficient.
In Serial Mom, most of the murders committed by the protagonist, Beverly Sutphin, were done for entirely inane reasons. For example, beating a woman to death because she wore white shoes after Labor Day.
Actually it's played with there. While adultery doesn't justify the length Ruth goes to ruin Bob's life, but considering his long-time embezzlement of his clients, he genuinely does deserve his stint in prison, and likely would not have ever been found out if not for Ruth.
In the pit-fighting scene, Sherlock Holmes gave up and walked away...at which point his opponent spat at the back of his head. has consequences: Holmes utterly ''[[CurbStompBattle annhilates the man solely so that he could not spit at him again''. The fact that Holmes had spied Irene in the audience a few moments before probably had a lot to do with that. He couldn't exactly look bad in front of her. Again.
The trope is subverted in Hannibal by means of this quirk. One of Hannibal's guards tells Clarice Starling that he once broke Hannibal's arm during a struggle. This is the sort of thing you'd think would get you on Hannibal's menu, but Hannibal told the guard about that particular preference and told him he wouldn't go after him when he escaped because he was polite and apologised.
In Spaceballs, parodying the scenes in Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader telekinetically strangles his men for their failures in battle, Dark Helmet laser-castrates his men for the most trivial of mistakes.
The one instance actually shown wasn't even technically a mistake, he just anticipated an order to inform President Scroob of their progress. Dark Helmet doesn't like people getting ahead of him.
Harry from the Spider-Man Trilogy clearly knew what led to his father's end — specifically, that he was the Green Goblin — from the conclusion of the second film on, yet needed the majority of the third to forgive Peter for stopping a homicidal maniac... multiple rounds of Easy Amnesia helped this along.
Also Eddie Brock in Spider-Man 3. Peter exposed Eddie's fraud against Spider-Man (which in itself was the result of Peter in the Venom Suit wrecking a camera that contained a legitimate picture of Venom Suit Spider-Man). Eddie's response? To go into a church and pray to God for Him to kill Peter. Then he got the Venom suit... Guess God doesn't like Spider-Man either. Which explains a lot, to be honest.
Star Trek's Nero decides to wait 25 years for Spock to come through the same black hole that pulled him into the past, makes Spock watch Vulcan get destroyed, and then moves on to systematically destroy the other planets of the Federation. All of this is because Spock turned up mere minutes too late to save Romulus from a super nova. (Countdown's backstory doesn't count as the film's writers have established it as non-canon material).
For that matter, Star Wars itself. So the planet Alderaan is a hotbed of covert support for the Rebellion, but not much more than that since they have no weapons? Clearly the answer is to destroy the entire planet, killing billions and outraging the entire galaxy.
In Swordfish, John Travolta's character explains that this is the entire point of the secret government organization he works for. Whenever someone commits an act of terrorism, their organization responds with an extremely escalated response. This is done so terrorists will think twice before striking, lest they find themselves at war with a shadow organization fully willing to vaporize entire towns in response to a few dead American hostages.
The infamous fight scene from They Live! where Roddy Piper and Keith David spend a full five minutes (though it feels more like twenty-thirty) beating each other up happened because Keith David didn't want to wear a pair of sunglasses.
In Trainspotting Begbie beats a man round the head with his pool cue. The man's crime? Eating his crisps loudly.
Unforgiven uses this a few times. A prostitute is left scarred for life after being slashed all over her face and body with a knife for laughing at a client. He and his companion are both assassinated by Will Munny for the deed, even though the slasher's companion was only marginally involved and felt remorse. Later, Munny's companion is killed, so he slaughters everyone in the bar displaying his body. Munny also did things like that before he retired: "Remember that drover I shot through the mouth and his teeth came out the back of his head? I think about him now and again. He didn't do anything to deserve to get shot, at least nothin' I could remember when I sobered up." Finally, he threatens of anyone who messes with him "I'll kill him, his wife and all his friends...and burn his house down".
The classic line from The Untouchables: "You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way!"
It's actually subverted in The Untouchables. In context, it's not about unreasonable retaliation; it's advice to escalate first if escalation is inevitable.
The Usual Suspects. In response to an attack on his family and the murder of his son, the Big Bad's response is to kill the rest of his OWN family, kill the hostage takers, their families, their friends and anyone who owed them money. Ouch.
In War INC, Hauser asks some kids for directions. They demand candy as payment. Hauser explains that he doesn't have candy, but gives them a lot of money. Later, Hauser finds his truck is on fire. One of the kids yells, "Next time, bring some candy, asshole!" and flips him off before running away.
A graphic designer shows Millennium a series of new logos to choose from. Millennium refuses to use one logo but soon changes its mind. The designer's response? He files a lawsuit that could potentially ban several of its films, including Drive Angry, Elephant White, Conan the Barbarian (2011) (already facing a ban due to a separate ongoing lawsuit filed by Stan Lee Media on the grounds that they technically still own the rights to Conan the Barbarian because the deal that led to Conan Sales Company and then Paradox Entertainment, the film's producer, acquiring the rights to the franchise was never valid due to SLM's bankruptcy protection), Trespass, and The Son Of No One, as well as a few other future Millennium productions, just for using the logo in question.