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Disproportionate Retribution: Music
I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seats
I took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights
Slashed a hole in all four tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats.
Carrie Underwood, Before He Cheats

  • The woman in Bruce Springsteen's "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" fatally shoots her lover and her only explanation is that "she couldn't stand the way he drove."
  • Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is supposed to be a "female empowerment" song about getting back at a cheating boyfriend. However, anyone who actually listens to the lyrics can tell it's actually about a malicious, paranoid woman who is so insecure about her relationship with her man that she automatically assumes that any time he is spending away from her, he's cheating. And so she trashes his car. Which makes her actually worse off than him, because while (suspected but unproven) adultery is not a criminal act, vandalism of someone's motor vehicle is. "Hello, police? Someone ruined my car and I think I may have a lead on who did it. She carved her name into my leather seats."
    • This same thing is done hilariously in the video for "Love You" by Jack Ingram. Her vandalism includes keying "love you" onto the hood, slashing the tires, beating the crap out of the body with a golf club, then finding a shotgun in the back and shooting out the rear window and windshield, probably destroying the interior too. The hilarious part? It was the wrong car.
    • Lily Allen's "Smile" had the singer's character pay people to beat him up, ruin his means of livelihood, mess up his apartment, and put laxatives in his coffee, while she pretends to be comforting. The lyrics indicates that while he had been cheating, they aren't even going out anymore.
    • Blue Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up" has the singer's character sell all his possessions in a yard sale, then take her friends out on a shopping spree with his credit cards. Perhaps not as extreme as physical violence, but it's still pretty disproportionate to ruin a guy's credit over infidelity.
    • In the Garth Brooks song "Pappa Loved Momma", when long-haul trucker Pappa finds out that Momma's not only cheating on him, but has been for a while, his response is to kill her and her lover by driving through the motel room they are in with his semi-truck.
    • The role reversal is actually more common, with many examples of Murder Ballads where men kill both the woman cheating on him and the man she's cheating with.
      • Those usually aren't first person, though.
  • "The Watchmaker's Apprentice" by the Clockwork Quartet is about the titular apprentice being replaced at his job by a machine, and getting revenge on his miserly boss by creating a watch that messily kills a customer, frames the watchmaker, bankrupts his business and ruins him.
  • Theory of a Deadman's "Little Smirk." In retaliation for coming home to find his lover cheating on him, he throws her naked out of the house, burns her possessions, takes her money, steals her car, and kidnaps her baby. As well as gloating that he'd do it all over again in an instant, presumably if she had more stuff to burn or babies to steal.
  • Two instances in the music video for "Legend of Archery" by indie-rock band Driftless Pony Club . Sam (the bassist) gets kicked out of the band because his bass-playing wasn't up to snuff- Example 1. But then, Sam gets revenge by becoming a ninja and violently killing the other band members. Example 2.
  • D12's "Get My Gun" someone on the street asks for Eminem's autograph so he takes a magnum shoots the guy, his best friend and girlfriend.
  • Eminem in Love The Way You Lie:
    If she ever tries to fuckin' leave again, I'ma tie her to the bed
    And set this house on fire
  • In Green Jelly's "Three Little Pigs", The Big Bad Wolf blows down houses, and is called "The Little Piggy Slasher" but in the course of the song and video kills no one and is guilty of nothing other than destruction of property and putting lives in danger. However at the end, the little piggies are holed up completely safe in their concrete tri-level mansion and call 911, who send down Rambo without delay, who promptly guns down the unarmed wolf in cold blood as the wolf waves his hands in terror, obviously pleading for his life.
  • Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?
  • Knife Party's Internet Friends: "You blocked me on Facebook, and now you're going to die."
  • "MC Stephen Hawking" in All My Shootings Be Drivebys.
    You take an eye, and I'll take you motherf* cking head!
  • Megadeth has the song Headcrusher. It's never actually stated what the crime was, but it's a clear form of Cruel and Unusual Death. The video's different in concept, though.
  • Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead" is from the point of view of a woman about to murder her abusive boyfriend. However, the song in no way indicates that it's some "burning bed" scenario where she's trapped in an abusive relationship and this is the only way out. It sounds more like he just got rough with her once and she decided to kill him for it.
    • Another by Miranda Lambert. The MV for "Kerosene" has Miranda commit arson because her lover cheated on her.
  • In the vocaloid song Evil Food Eater Conchita by mothy, Banica Conchita kills and eats her cook because she's angry at him for asking to be allowed to leave.
  • Owl City may be Adorkable but that doesn't help him in "Deer In The Headlights" where he gets maced just for saying Hello and later got a black eye and bloody nose from, apparently, another girl.
  • In Pepe Deluxe's Queen of the Wave, Mainin's love interest is stoned to death on false evidence. He responds by vowing vengeance against all mankind—and his machinations (somehow) lead to the watery destruction of Atlantis.
  • The Sentenced song "Vengeance is Mine" contains the line "Dozens of eyes for an eye", which seems slightly excessive, even for a band so depressed and angry they broke up by dragging a coffin all around Finland.
  • In the video for Shakira's "Don't Bother", Shakira sends her cheating boyfriend's car to the crusher.
    • "Objection!" has Shakira tying her cheating boyfriend (in this video) and the surgically-enhanced woman he's playing away with to dynamos, which spin off the machines they're attached to.
  • Weird Al's song "I'll Sue Ya". "I'll sue ya, I'll take all your money! I'll sue ya, if you even look at me funny!"
    • Another track from the same album, "Don't Download This Song". "It doesn't matter if you're a grandma / Or a seven year old girl / They'll treat you like the evil hardbitten criminal scum you are..."
    • In "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?", the singer stabs his boss in the face because he kept asking him to get some toner.
    • Turned the other way around in "Everything You Know Is Wrong", in which Saint Peter punishes the narrator for arriving at the Pearly Gates in a Nehru jacket in defiance of Heaven's dress code by giving him a room next to a noisy ice machine...FOREVER, and then running past every day screaming about how everything you know is wrong.
    • Then there's "I Remember Larry" in which Al recalls a recently deceased prankster and many of his misdeeds. These include pantsing him and taking pictures, dumping toxic waste on his lawn, late night prank phone calls, and cutting his car in half. The last verse reveals that Al killed Larry and left him in the woods.
  • The children's song Alouette. It's about plucking all the feathers off a lark as retribution for being woken up by its song.
  • The nursery song "little Bunny Foo-Foo." The titular rabbit gets threatened with getting turned into a ghoul (in some versions, a worm or other unpleasant creature) if he doesn't quit hitting field mice. He doesn't. Goodbye, being cute and fuzzy, hello robbing graves (or general repulsiveness). In fairness, he is given multiple chances to change his ways. Further, as a rabbit is several times the mass of a field mouse, he is probably doing serious injury to the mice by bopping them on the head.
  • There seems to be a subgenre of music videos where a woman messes up a man for cheating on her. Makes one wonder why she doesn't just leave him, how stable she was in the first place, or what would happen if the roles were gender-reversed.
  • Truth in Television: Rap feuds. Because nothing says "don't scuff my sneakers" like shooting you in the head.
    • Parodied in 30 Rock, where multiple rap personalities threaten to "eat [Tracy's] family" for slights like not being on a guest list or scuffing shoes... 20 years prior on a Nickelodeon show.
    • Lampshade Hanging in this line from Chris Rock's "No Sex (In the Champagne Room)":
    "If you go to a movie theater and someone steps on your foot, let it slide. Why spend the next 20 years in jail because someone smudged your Puma?"
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