Disproportionate Retribution: Western Animation

Below are examples of cartoon characters taking their revenge too far.

  • Tricia from 6Teen has done this a couple of times to her former best friend Caitlin. For example, in the episode "Unhappy Anniversary," Trica has Caitlin banned from every store in the mall just because she was dating a boy she used to like.
  • Doctor Robotnik. Over and over again throughout Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • In an episode of Adventure Time, Jake has a witch punish him by taking away his magical powers and gives him the body of a fat baby. The reason she did so was because he ate one of her donuts. Later, she does the same thing to a bagel. The bagel's crime? Not being a donut.
    • The Earl of Lemongrab has some... er, interesting concepts when it comes to punishing those who do wrong. Making a mess? Thirty days in the dungeon. Asking questions? Thirty-two days in the dungeon. Refusing to clean up mess, or asking who exactly Lemongrab is talking to? Three hours dungeon. Harmless prank? Seven years dungeon, no trials. Assuring Lemongrab that the prank was harmless? Twelve years dungeon. Elaborate, painful prank involving spicy food? ONE MILLION YEARS DUNGEON!!! (Lemongrab isn't evil—he's just young, angry, and a bit of an idiot.)
      • PB and Finn decide to play a harmless prank on Lemongrab—they leave a sign beside his bed that says "YOU REALLY SMELL LIKE DOG BUNS." How does he react? He clenches his fists, starts shaking, and opens up his mouth wide to scream loudly in sheer outrage for several seconds. And how does he attempt to punish those responsible? Round up EVERYONE in the castle, to sentence them to seven years in the dungeon, no trials!
    • In one episode a squirrel went crazy and attacks Jake because he wouldn't reply to the emails he sent to him, and doesn't remember him.
    • Princess Bubblegum's vendetta over the Duke of Nuts was caused because he ate her pudding. Even Finn finds her hatred over him to be bordering on psychotic. Even the fact that the Duke is a complete Nice Guy and just has a pudding deficiency isn't enough to mellow Prebows out, who thinks he is lying.
    • Quite a few fans see Flame Princess dumping Finn over a simple misunderstanding in "Frost & Fire" as this. The Fix Fics came a-flowin' afterwards.
    • In 'Princesses day' Lumpy space princess and Marceline trash Breakfast Princess's room, destroy her car and leave her stranded in the desert just because she called Lumpy Space Princess a 'Bum'.
  • Alfred J. Kwak: When Dolf is dictator, he reacts to a mouse revealing his yellow beak, thereby humiliating him in public, by vowing to exterminate every mouse on the planet.
  • In one episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball and Darwin laugh at some of their Bumbling Dad Richard's past screw-ups (one of which, namely cement cupcakes, being potentially dangerous), not knowing he was within earshot. While that was rude, it did not warrant Nicole's response, which is to hurl said cement cupcakes at them and downright refuse to provide for them until they apologize. Anais is no better, using a soap bar to inflict physical injury upon Gumball's nose (which swells up).
    • Made worse in that previous episodes show that she respects him about as much, to the point when he gets a job as a pizza delivery guy she's unable to even say she's proud of him, mispronouncing the word because the concept is so foreign to her.
    • In another episode, after a particularly destructive chase (which is not entirely the Orange Woman's fault, even though she does have grand theft auto under her belt) that ends with her taking the chief of police hostage, the Doughnut Sheriff, trying to be 'cool', just lets her go with a warning.
    • In "The Spoiler", Anton the toast just about spoils a bit of a movie that Gumball has yet to see, so Gumball eats him alive!
  • Roger of American Dad! IS this trope, committing extremely intricate plots for Revenge that traumatize or outright destroy the life of a fellow that commits some minor offense towards him. He managed to convince Steve he was adopted after eating a cookie he claimed was his, he labelled Francine a former mental patient to houseguests for compromising one of his dress-up acts (he did NOT study Economics!), and once tried to destroy the entire planet over an insult issued from Stan (though admittedly didn't get far with that one). And this is just for petty offenses; for the more criminal act of buying an expensive ring using his credit account, Roger actively proceeds to destroy the perpetrator's life in every manner possible, performing acts that cost him his job, his girlfriend, and later attempting to destroy all his possessions. This leads to complications when said perpetrator turns out to be a split personality formed from Roger's few redeeming aspects - and when said split personality hires a bounty hunter to kill Roger for ruining his life.
    • Roger proceeded to take this trope Up to Eleven in a season 7 episode where he kills five people over $20. During the episode, he mentions that the week before, he killed six people over $19.
    • Roger was also the victim of this in "Frannie 911". He spent the first half of the episode acting like one hell of a Spoiled Brat, but spent the second half acting very well-behaved in order to redeem himself, only to reveal that he has a biological need to be a Jerkass that slowly poisons him if not acted upon. (A few much-needed scathing insults to Steve restores his health in the nick of time.) Despite what he just went through to redeem himself, the Smith family still felt his earlier behavior warranted a beating from Stan. One wonders if this could be a Freudian Excuse for his later sociopathy.
    • In "Shallow Vows", Roger, as Valik (one of his personas) goes as far as stabbing Steve for not buying Francine and Stan a wedding renewal present he found acceptable. Not only this, but he pursued the clearly frightened Hayley and Steve through Mexico.
    • Steve also extracted revenge on three of the most popular girls in his high school when they slandered his girlfriend's reputation and had the lead cheerleader win the student body president because of it. Steve goes out of his way to do the following:
      • Tie the school's buffalo mascot on the pole of a traffic light so one of the popular girls would drive under it while giving the animal a huge amount of laxatives, causing it to dump its "load" all over her.
      • Distract a surgeon giving liposuction to one of the girls so he can put the procedure in reverse, causing her leg to swell with excess fat so she looks like a freak.
      • Steal the lead girl's teddy bear and pay a hooker to do sexual stuff to it and then return the bear so the girl contracts herpes.
      • Steve ends up a victim of this in the end, when Principal Lewis (a father of one of the girls) organizes the entire school to give Steve a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. His friends are also granted the same punishment for actually framing the girls for the slander (being jealous of Steve's girlfriend) and thus angering Steve to commit the acts in the first place.
    • One episode shows Stan took Francine to a hypnotist for 20 years to make her forget everything she wanted to do just so he can avoid having a meaningful discussion with her. The hypnotist snaps and decides to make Francine remember everything he had made her repress all because Stan never offered him a sandwich in the 20 years he had been seeing him.
    • When Stan is talking about his childhood, he says: "When my parents wouldn't let me have a fourth cupcake, I burned down their summer home. When caught, I framed my favorite grandfather. I don't know why I did it."
    • One episode Stan finds a new best friend, who is an Atheist. Stan refusing to be friends with someone who denies God, started ruining his entire life behind his back in hopes he'd turn to God. Doing things such as, forcing him to have a near death experience, brainwashes his wife into a Lesbian who then leaves him and takes the kids, destroys his business, unintentionally driving him to suicide, which he temporarily died and had gone to hell for committing suicide which in turn he vowed allegiance to the devil and became a Satanist.
      • Pretty much most of the things Stan does is this! But the worse example that is much worser than listed above is his actions in "Four Little Words" where he went through great extremes to the point of framing Francine for murder and covering up Bullock accidentally killing Francine's friend... for the entire purpose of Stan not wanting to hear Francine tell him "I told you so"!
  • Virtually the entire cast of Archer engages in this from time to time, but Archer himself and his mother live it. Case in point, when rival spy Barry walks into Archer's office (where Archer is banging Barry's fiancee), Archer's response is to shoot him, adding that he told Barry not to come in. Barry reacts to his fiancee's infidelity by attempting to blow her up with a car bomb. When Archer takes a job with another spy agency, Archer's mother puts out a burn notice that would end up in his execution. And when Archer suggests to Lana that she isn't sexually available enough, she deliberately crashes the car in order to eject him out the windshield headfirst into a pile of broken glass. All from the same episode.
    • Also, Archer and Krieger brainwashed Len Trexler into practically a vegetable, why? He simply wanted to marry Archer's mother. Even worse the fact that Mallory, didn't even love him back, she just wanted his money. Though to be fair, the brainwashing wasn't supposed to have done that (or knowing Krieger, it was fully intended) as far as Archer knew, it was simply supposed to make him subliminally afraid of Mallory.
      Archer: Is he going to be stuck like that? Because I feel kind of guilty now.
  • Arthur: When Muffy and Prunella confront Francine, starring in a class play about Thomas Edison, about becoming Lost in Character.
    Muffy: We're talking about the mall! Stuff to buy, clothes to try on, fun.
    Francine: My inventions are not boring! Without lights you'd have to shop in the dark. (beat) Oh, sorry, I guess you already do. (Muffy runs away, sobbing)
    Prunella: That was mean!
    Francine: She insulted incandescent filaments first.
    • The point of "Arthur's Big Hit". D.W. constantly pesters him and destroys his model airplane, so he loses it and punches her. A more realistic example.
  • Atomic Betty: The Chameleon stole the Scythian President's brain because the President called Maximus a villain "when everyone knows he's a SUPER-villain".
  • After some heartwarming Epiphany Therapy, The Dragon and Quirky Miniboss Squad of Avatar: The Last Airbender went on to completely trash (and maybe burn down!) the house of someone who had mildly "insulted" them by kicking Zuko out of his party for hurling a guy into his grandma's vase, and being afraid of Azula. Hey, they are villains.
    • Also there's Fire Lord Ozai's solution to minor rebellions in the conquered Earth Kingdom. Because burning the entire continent to the ground is clearly a reasonable response.
    • Ozai seems to be a fan of this. Your 13-year-old son disagrees with one of your general's plan that'll sacrifice a ton of loyal Cannon Fodder? He obviously deserves to be permanently disfigured and kicked out of the country on a Snipe Hunt.
    • Azula embodies this trope after her Villainous Breakdown. Forgot to remove a cherry pit? Banished! Didn't arrive as quickly as Azula wanted you to? Banished! Do your duty as an advisors and actually advise Azula? Agni Kai! Both of you aren't firebenders and can't Agni Kai? Okay, one of you is banished. That's her definition of being exceedingly merciful.
    • Then again, this seems to run in the family. Fire Lord Azulon's response to Ozai wanting the throne over his brother Iroh after Iroh's only heir has died? Telling him to kill his own son so he can feel what it's like to lose his firstborn. Zuko is definitely the Butt Monkey of this family.
    • Ty Lee initially doesn't want to leave the circus to accompany Azula, since she really loves her new life. Azula not-so-subtly ensures that Ty Lee's working conditions will get much, much, much, much more dangerous. This includes having Ty Lee's safety net set on fire and ordering every "dangerous animal" the circus has to be sent out during one of her tricks. Ty Lee gets the message.
    • Happens in Sequel Series The Legend of Korra to Tahno and his teammates. They cheat at a Pro-Bending match and then Amon takes away their bending and then gives a speech about how they deserved it. Now, when Aang was Avatar the only people who lost their bending thanks to Aang energybending them were Yakone and Ozai. Ozai was a genocidal maniac who was in the process of burning down the entire Earth Kingdom. Yakone was responsible for dozens of serious crimes including trying to murder Aang by using his bloodbending on him. While cheating at a sports competition is wrong, it really doesn't compare to being a genocidal maniac and attempting to murder the Avatar.
      • A few episodes later, in "Out of the Past", the same thing happens to Tarrlok, a corrupt politician and Amon's brother, partly due to framing the Equalists for attacking the city and partly due to kidnapping Korra, whom Amon himself was also after. However, Tarrlok's motive to remove Korra from the equation was despicable in of itself, and anyway Amon/Noatak saw his brother as being already messed up as it was. So all things considered, it's safe to say that the resultant retribution may not have been so disproportionate in Tarrlok's case.
  • In The Batman, the Cluemaster lost a game show for child geniuses when he was ten (which he claimed was rigged) and spent decades plotting revenge against the people he held responsible, becoming a morbidly obese Basement-Dweller in the process. Batman seriously called him out on this when he confronted him, but it went in one ear and out the other.
    • In the episode "Attack of the Terrible Trio" 3 teenage outcasts stole Man-Bat's animal mutation serum, turning them into an anthropomorphic Fox, Vulture and Shark terrorizing the school. Then they turned a Jerk Jock into a feral gorilla, then were going to set off a bomb to mutate the entire school into anthropomorphic animals, because "Once we're all freaks, no one will be" the entire reason they did all this was because they were moody teen outcasts whom no-one liked.
  • The Joker was guilty of this on more or less a regular basis in Batman: The Animated Series.
    • "The Laughing Fish": The Joker introduces his "smile" toxin into the fish supply of Gotham Harbor, hoping to trademark the red-lipped, grinning ichthyoids and sell them in supermarkets. When told that he cannot trademark fish he retaliates by carrying out an elaborate scheme to murder everyone in the Gotham City patent office until he gets his way. Lampshaded in the episode itself.
    Mr. Frances: Why is the Joker after me? I'm just an office worker, I don't make politics.
    Batman: And in his sick mind, that's the joke Mr. Frances.
    • "The Joker's Wild": An entrepreneur opens a casino in Gotham City based on the Joker's likeness and gimmicks. Joker is so incensed that a complete stranger would try to "cash in on my image" that he plots to blow the casino up. Ironically, the entire point of the entrepreneur cashing in on Joker's image was that he wanted Joker to come and trash the place. The entire place was set up for an insurance scam. Too bad for him, the Joker eventually decided he would rather kill the guy and run the place himself...
    • "Be a Clown": Mayor Hamilton Hill (who despises Batman) appears on television claiming that Batman and the Joker are equally as bad. Joker finds this comparison so insulting that (disguised as a party clown) he crashes a birthday party held at the mayor's estate for his son, Jordan, and attempts to blow up Jordan's birthday party (along with all the guests) with a stick of dynamite in the cake.
    • "Make 'Em Laugh": Bitter about being disqualified from an annual stand-up comedy competition (because he hadn't registered as a competitor), the Joker steals some mind-control implants from the Mad Hatter, kidnaps the three comedians who serve as judges in the annual competition, fits them with the implants and warps them into becoming costumed criminals who attempt reckless capers (with one of the brainwashed judges winding up in the hospital after falling off a ledge) and replaces the judges with his own men just so he can win the trophy. Batman puts it well: "Only you would ruin three lives for a silly piece of tin."
      Joker: It's not about the piece of tin! It's about the title!
    • But the most extreme example had to be that depicted in "Joker's Favor": After rudely cutting off another motorist on the freeway, Joker is yelled at by that motorist and retaliates by forcing the other man off the road and chasing him into the woods, threatening to kill him when he catches him. The man begs for his life, and Joker agrees to spare him if he will perform "a favor" for Joker sometime in the future. The man promptly changes his name and relocates his family to Ohio, but Joker obsessively stalks him and finally tracks him down, forcing him to honor the favor owed to him. Once the man has done this favor (which makes him an unwitting accessory to the attempted assassination of Commissioner Gordon), Joker tries to do him in for good. When the man survives and finally works up the nerve to confront his tormentor, Joker threatens to kill his family. All this because of a minor altercation on the freeway.
      Charlie Collins: Exactly at what point did I become life's punching bag?
    • Inverted in "The Last Laugh," after Batman destroys the Joker's pet robot, Captain Clown (which Joker considers murder, since Captain Clown was his best friend). Joker retaliates by.... dumping a forklift full of smelly garbage right on top of Batman.
    • In "Critters", not only does Farmer Brown take revenge against Gotham for shutting down his projects and forcing he and his daughter to go broke, but for calling his experiments "monsters".
    • Temple Fugate developed an obsessive, murderous grudge against Mayor Hamilton Hill...because when he was a lawyer, Hill suggested Fugate take his coffee break a little later to help him relax for a lawsuit against his company, which resulted in a series of accidents making him late, which resulted in him losing the suit. Then you realize this trope is Reconstructed: The revenge is disproportionate for normal human beings, but Fugate is The Sociopath Schedule Fanatic. For him, is a completely normal reaction.
      • Fugate reveals that the people who sued his company were represented by Hill's law firm, and thus he believes that Hill was intentionally trying to sabotage him. Thus it's not quite as disproportionate as it sounds initially, but he's still completely off-base and Hill honestly was trying to help.
    • In the episode which introduces Poison Ivy, she tries to kill Harvey Dent for building a corrections facility on top of a field containing a flower that was endangered. There is no evidence he knew about the endangered flower. She saved the flower before trying to kill him, anyway. Maybe he should've done an ecological survey to check for endangered species and done an environmental impact statement before starting construction, but she could've tried telling him there was an endangered flower before he started building to see if he would alter his plans in response.
      • She gets another one when she runs a spa and send out invitations to millionaires who have done some environmental wrong, turning them into living plants with her treatment. She targets Bruce when his company was planning on tearing down a forest for building space...except Bruce had found out and stopped the plans long beforehand and she never bothered to look further into this. What's more when Bruce lets his butler Alfred and Alfred's girlfriend go in his place as a vacation, Ivy figures she'll make due with him cause someone gotta be punished.
    • And in one hilarious scene in "Fear of Victory", Batman intercepts a telegram believing that it is a fear-toxin laced letter sent by Scarecrow to make the recipient unable to play at his best. It's just an ordinary telegram, and the delivery boy comes to the conclusion that Batman was lying in wait for him because he double-parked.
    • Harley Quinn, annoyed at a trio of frat-boy types who were rudely leering at her and Ivy, blew up their car with a grenade launcher as they ran for their lives.
  • The Joker is even worse in The Batman. When he quickly gets angry at Detective Bennett because Bennett tries to arrest Batman - not him - while he's defacing the statue in Gotham Bay. ("I'm the vandal here!" shouts the Joker.) This leads to the Joker kidnapping Bennett, subjecting him to Mind Rape, and causing an accident that leads to Bennett turned into Clayface, driving him insane... Basically, it ruins the poor guy's life.
  • On Celebrity Deathmatch, you can kill someone over pretty much anything, so long as you keep it in the ring, and even that can be waived if it's entertaining enough.
  • There's one episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog in which Eustace calls on a gang of Courage's worst nemeses to kill him, just because the dog got a blanket he wanted for himself.
  • Dan Vs. lives and breathes this trope. Each episode is centered on Dan's need to get back at someone, or something, for a perceived slight.
    • In the teaser of Anger Management, Dan is attempts to launch nuclear missiles and instigate World War III to take revenge on a family of squirrels.
    • Occasionally can be subverted too. In the Wolfman episode, it seems like Dan is doing everything in his power to kill the Wolfman just for getting his car scratched. Then at the end, it turns out everything he did was just to locate the Wolfman's car and scratch it in return. When a surprised Chris reveals that he thought Dan was going to do otherwise, a genuinely shocked Dan responds that killing him is a bit extreme just what happened to his car.
  • In one Darkwing Duck cartoon, Quackerjack was so angry that no-one would buy his yo-yos that he used a time machine in an attempt to prevent yo-yos from being invented. (This is even worse than it sounds when you think about it for a minute. It would have technically caused a "grandfather paradox", a very dangerous situation that he seemed willing to risk causing over yo-yos, of all things.)
  • Happens on occasion in The Dreamstone. The nearest to an abrasive aspect of the Land Of Dreams is that they sometimes take a bit too much pleasure in violently punishing the Urpneys (who are usually harmless, and vigorously unwilling Mooks), and on at least a couple of occasions have nothing against seeing them to their grave for trying to give them nightmares. Ironically subverted in "Urpgor's Great Adventure", the one time an Urpney is gleefully trying to do away with them, they let him escape once they get back the Dreamstone, even outright repremanding Rufus for wanting revenge.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, after Kevin wrecks one of Eddy's scams by merely picking up a soccer ball, Eddy spends the rest of the episode trying (and failing) to enact revenge. Edd is not amused.
    • In the infamous episode If It Smells Like an Ed, Eddy gives Jimmy a wedgie, resulting in all the kids laughing at him. Jimmy then frames THREE Eds for ruining his Friendship Day Celebrations, sends the Eds on a wild goose chase to find the real culprit, ending with the Eds having fruit thrown at them by the kids and being dragged off by the Kankers to be raped, which may be semi-justified since Eddy usually picks on Jimmy and this may be Jimmy snapping than him holding any malice towards the Eds (although it's clear Jimmy shouldn't have framed Ed and Edd).
    • And in the episode "Eds Aggerate," Kevin gets very angry and traps the Eds into cement just because Eddy broke his window and lied about the "Mucky Boys" destroying his window instead (granted by this point the Eds had also harassed Kevin in their very elaborate attempts to keep up the lie).
    • In The Movie, Eddy's brother clobbers Edd with Eddy because Edd stood up to him.
    • One or more of the Eds routinely find themselves being punished for what the other Eds do, most frequently Eddy is the cause and the other 2 end up suffering for it, but occasionally the other 2 are responsible.
    • In the Valentine's Day special, Kevin gives Edd detention just for standing up for Eddy. Police Brutality, anyone?
  • In the first part of The Fairly Oddparents "Wishology", after Timmy uses the Tooth Fairy's factory to transport himself instead of a quarter to under a pillow, the boy who was lying on the pillow woke up and accused Timmy of stealing his quarter. Shortly after, Timmy was being chased by the police and wanted posters of him were placed everywhere. For some reason, stealing a quarter is just as bad as breaking a priceless statue if not worse.
    • Then there's the matter of the last scene, or rather next to last scene, in "Bad Heir Day", an otherwise touching episode. Poof, who incidentally bounced out of the stroller wound up with Crocker for a time. Timmy does everything he can to find his little brother and quickly becomes a Badly Battered Babysitter. Poof arrives home without a scratch and Timmy comes in clothes torn, scratched and burned. When he explains what happens Wanda gives him No Sympathy and poofs Timmy back into the same rabid alligator pit that he was in earlier while trying to find Poof. Apparently, someone who loses a child accidentally, even if they go through horrendous things to bring them back safely deserves to be nearly killed, if not actually. Add to this the fact that Poof is immortal while Timmy is human, as well as a child himself, adds a Fridge Horror element to it if you think too long about it.
    • In the Halloween Special, Remy Buxaplenty's father unleashes hounds on Timmy and his friends because he thought their costumes were bad.
    • Apparently, in Dimmsdale Elementary, faking your show-and-tell or going into the wrong gendered bathroom earns you a week of detention (as seen in "Transparents").
  • Family Guy. Peter tickles Lois playfully who keeps telling him to stop while laughing. She then breaks his nose with a frying pan. Peter lampshades it:
    Peter: I tickle you, you hit me in the face with a frying pan?!''
    Lois: I told you to stop.
    Peter: I taste blood!
    Lois: Well, there's a lot of it.
    • Stewie beats Brian to a bloody pulp, including using a flamethrower on him, because Brian failed to repay a debt to him.
      • Taken Up to Eleven in "The Big Bang Theory" when he starts using his time machine to sabotage every meaningful moment in Brian's life. The reason? Brian made a queer joke about him.
    • Quagmire beating Brian to near death after finding out the latter, unknowingly, had sex with his newly transgender dad. Of course, given the circumstances...
      • Brian dishes one back in "Tiegs For Two", after screwing up a date, he blames Quagmire's dating advice, the latter labels him a loser in response. The next day, Quagmire finds Brian hooked up with Cheryl Tiegs, the love of his life and the source of a lot of his inner demons, complete with gloating and flipping the bird.
      • Likewise doles out one in Roads to Vegas by hiring a hitman to kill Quagmire's cat, likely as payback for the hit and run Glenn pulled at the end in Tiegs For Two.
    • And there's also Peter's feud with Ernie the Giant Chicken. Peter then tries to kill Ernie just because Ernie gave him a coupon that turned out to be bad. Ernie might have given Peter the coupon as payback for smacking him in the face at their prom, though that could be considered 'proportionate' since it would have done little more than inconvenience Peter.
      • And, later, refusing to let Peter pick up the check.
    • Played with when Peter throws acid in the face of a New Yorker because he said the Patriots suck. Peter meant to splash holy water in the New Yorker's face but there was a mix-up.
    • One episode has a former hot dog eating champion attempting to strangle Chris to death just because Chris beat him in the competition, which caused the former champion to lose his honor.
    • An early Cutaway Gag has Old Yeller about to be put down for accidentally deleting a message on the answering machine.
    • The treatment of Meg in general.
    • Joyce Kinney, a news anchorwoman at Quahog News, revealed on the show that Lois starred in a porno film in retaliation for a prank she pulled when they were in high school, causing Lois to be humiliated by the whole town. While Lois did deserve some blowback for what she did in the past (and her behavior towards her kids), especially for a traumatic Carrie-style pranking, the blowback here eclipsed the original crime, and Lois did try to apologize, only for Joyce to not care.
    • A cutaway gag of a German bedtime story features a mother cutting off her son's thumbs simply because he wouldn't stop sucking them.
  • In Fillmore!, Parnassis frames Ingrid for setting off a stink bomb in the school, even going as far as dressing up as her, with an identical wig, dress and earrings (Despite Ingrid doesn't even wear earrings) and planned to set up an even bigger stinkbomb to blast the whole school with. The reason? Since Ingrid enrolled he was bumped back to "2nd Smartest kid in school."
  • Happens quite often in Futurama, most frequently by Lrrr and the Omicronians. Every time he shows up, something new and more ridiculous happens: The first appearance has him invading the Earth because his favorite (thousand-year-old) TV show was knocked off the air, and later tries to destroy the Planet Express ship for bringing sweetheart candy to their planet. "These candies are chalky and unpleasant!"
    • In their first appearance, they demanded that the season finale of a thousand year old television show be aired again or he would increase earth's temperature by "one million degrees a day... for five days!"
    • When Bender dumps toxic waste into the sewers, the mutants kidnap him, as well as Fry and Leela, who just happened to be with him at the time. The waste Bender dumped was so bright that it allowed the mutants to see how ugly they were. The mutants decide to punish all three of them by permanently mutating their DNA and then beating them up. Furthermore, when the trio tries to escape and are caught after a short chase, they decide to go for the death penalty instead.
    • Wernstrom held a grudge against Professor Farnsworth for a hundred years because Farnsworth gave him an A- on an exam due to Wernstrom's poor penmanship. (What was even more pathetic is what his actual revenge consisted of: Rating Farnsworth's shoddily and hastily-made blueprint for the smelloscope a A-double-minus, although he did manage to one-up Farnsworth a little later by gaining tenure.)
  • On Gargoyles, the original Hunter vows revenge on Demona—a vow that lasts through a thousand years, the role of the Hunter being passed down through the generations, albeit for different reasons. What was her crime? Lashing out and scarring the face of the first Hunter when he came upon her stealing food. Granted, the fact that she didn't even consider him worth remembering before he began his hunt probably didn't help, but still, DAMN.
    • Gargoyles also averts (inverts?) this in the form of Vinnie Gregarino. This guy loses at least two jobs, a motorcycle, his driver's license and probably a lot of his reputation because of the Gargoyles' actions. He spends most of the episode "Vendettas" chasing Goliath with a custom-built weapon called "Mr. Carter", or "Mr. C.", finally shooting him in the face at point-blank range just after the climax of a big battle that had Goliath's attention all night. Fortunately, "Mr. Carter" only shoots cream pies, and Vinnie walked away very satisfied with himself, leaving a confused Goliath and Hudson to wonder who he was. Vinnie is notably the only character in the entire series to get vengeance to his satisfaction.
  • In the Goof Troop episode "Dr. Horatio's Magic Orchestra", Pete threatens to permanently disfigure PJ's lips because he whistled two bars of a song. Of course, what PJ didn't know that the audience did was that Pete really hated the song due to it reminding him of a traumatizing humiliation from his childhood. Even so, Pete, despite regularly being a Jerkass to PJ, almost never intentionally causes him physical harm, and PJ would most likely have stopped just as swiftly with just a reprimand. Peg calls Pete out on this.
  • Manly Dan in the Gravity Falls episode "Not What He Seems" rams a humvee carrying Dipper and Mabel off the road after Mabel wrote on a fogged-up window that the Boy Band Sev'ral Timez is overrated. The twins and the agent driving the humvee survived without injuries, but it could've been worse.
  • Hey Arnold!: In the episode "False Alarm", Curly tried to get Eugene expelled from school simply because Eugene ruined Curly's favorite pencil. Made all the more amusing since it is a rare occasion we see the minor slight from the perpetrator's perspective. Judging from Curly's flashback of the whole ordeal, you really would think Eugene was a sadistic monster for what he did to that pencil.
    Curly: All I could think was EUGEEEEENE chewing on my pencil, EUGEEEENE biting on the eraser, and EUGEEENE sharpening. Sharpening. SHARPENING!!!! *Flashback-Eugene laughs evilly at the sharpened down pencil nub* And when it was time to give it back, he goes "Oh, here Curly". LIKE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL!!!
    • In "Curly Snaps", Curly locks himself in Principal Wartz's office, throws dodgeballs at everyone he sees, and has a big list of demands just because he DIDN'T GET TO BE BALL MONITOR THAT WEEK... They really should have sent him to Helga's therapist at that point. Dude is definitely unhinged.
    • Actually this is the entire reason Curly exists on the show apparently. In his last appearance, the gang spent a night in a graveyard (To see if the urban legend of a murderous ghost bride was real) soon enough the ghost starts stalking them. It turned out it was Curly scaring them the whole time, why? Because at the beginning of the episode, Gerald told the urban legend to the others, despite Curly wanting to tell it.
      • This episode actually has this trope twice. Because once the gang found out Curly was the ghost, they tied him up and locked him in a crypt, while the "possibly real" murderous ghost paces past the windows.
  • Invader Zim. Many episodes show Zim taking a small thing way too serious and often goes too far to get even.
    • Zim, suspecting that Dib has thrown a muffin at his head, kidnaps Dib and puts him into a Mind Screw dream-state in order to gather evidence. Only after living a long, fulfilling, and extremely awesome life before ripping the metaphorical carpet from under his feet does Zim go ahead with the proportionate retribution of chucking a muffin at Dib's head.
      • The dream-state plan was all set up just to get Dib to admit to throwing the muffin.
    • Gaz had this as her trademark trope. Good luck finding a Gaz line that doesn't have something to do with inflicting revenge in the most painful and absurd way possible.
  • During the second season of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony Stark finds himself fighting for his life against two, genius minded, twin siblings he goes to high school with. The reason? The female twin was angry Tony Stark scored higher than her during an important academic test.
  • Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes frequently does this, including threatening to dunk the main characters in lava for releasing an old home movie of him and leveling a hair salon for messing up his horns.
  • There was an episode of Johnny Bravo where the titular character got 86 life sentences for littering (it turns out that Johnny wasn't really the one who littered), as well as for hitting on the female judge.
    • Inverted in an episode, where stealing his mother's car to use in a race meant a week's worth of chores for Johnny (and for Carl, who helped Johnny steal it and added illegal technology to it, to help him).
    Bunny: Grand theft auto in my house means chores for a week!
  • Lex Luthor's actions in Justice League Unlimited can be considered this as he describes it to The Question (while beating the crap out of him), who's trying to stop him from becoming president to keep from fulfilling a future where Superman kills him and turns evil.
    Luthor: President? Do you know how much power I'd have to give up to be president? That's right, conspiracy buff. I spent million on a fake presidential campaign just to tick Superman off.
  • Señor Senior, Sr. (and his son, Señor Senior, Jr.) was kicked out of an ultra-exclusive club for billionaires because of their embarrassing losses to Kim Possible. Senior's idea: freeze them all solid with a stolen cryogenic device. As he puts it, "true villains are characterized by disproportionate revenge, Junior."
    • Kim does this in Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama where only the writer's intervention stopped her from killing Shego. This was in response to Shego making a crack about kidnapping her prom date. Who turned out to be a synthodrone who was in on it. Because she was ordered to by Drakken. As part of a scheme she knew nothing about until the very end. She didn't even take out her revenge on the right person: Drakken was behind the whole thing. Shego was Just Following Orders as always.
    • Shego has been known to deal it out as well, such as the time she threw Drakken out of a Humongous Mecha (while it was in flight) because he'd said she was too "soft" to betray her brothers.
  • When Hank Hill saw his niece getting sexually harassed by a golfer, he wanted the guy to pay. His usual method is to kick someone's ass, but this time he was especially pissed. So he threw the guy in a dolphin pool and had the dolphin rape the guy. The moral of the story is: don't piss Hank off (either that, or don't harass his niece in front of him). It was also a "two birds one stone" scenario since he wanted the raping dolphin removed from the club but had signed a nondisclosure agreement that kept him from complaining about it himself.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop(2012) episode "Blythe's Big Adventure-Part 2," the Biskit Twins try to sabotage Blythe's pet fashion show by dumping chocolate pudding and kitty litter onto her. Why? Because she refuse to hang out with them.
  • In the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Bonnie and Clyde", Nani grounds Lilo and Stitch for running around the house and burping. Unhappy with the unfair punishment, they run away from home and end up doing crimes with the eponymous experiments.
  • Marvin the Martian was going to blow up the Earth because it obstructed his view of the planet Venus. (And he spent two millennia building the weapon he was planning to use to do it, no less.)
    • A few of the heroes' retributions on the Rogues Gallery in some shorts count as this, particularly for Bugs Bunny. Granted in this case it's not so much they don't deserve it as much as the heroes know they are harmless and will inevitably take much more than they dish out against them. Director Friz Freleng actually stated his fear that Bugs' treatment of Elmer Fudd leaned too far into this.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, Porky Pig takes some of Daffy Duck's french fries because he [Porky] thinks they're for the table. Daffy goes into a Heroic BSOD and ends his friendship with Porky, calling him "garbage". It turns out that the fries were, in fact, for the table. Incidentally, Daffy somehow sees no problem with taking Porky's pizza.
  • In the second episode of the Mega Man cartoon, Roll was attacked by a female cosmetics robot that strapped her to a chair and gave her a bad facial. Megaman's response was to throw a tube of makeup at the robot, giving her an equally bad facial. Roll's response when freed was to cut her in half, then vacuum her face off.
  • In the Tex Avery-directed cartoon "The Magical Maestro", a magician and his rabbits ask an opera singer if he can use them as an opening act, only to be dismissed unceremoniously. In retaliation, the magician substitutes himself for the conductor of the performance and proceeds to humiliate the opera singer with his magic tricks.
  • In the first episode of Men In Black: The Series, Jay runs afoul of a Hive Mind race that wants him dead for accidentally killing one of their own. When Kay blows his nose and shows them the mucus-covered handkerchief, they decide to let Jay go and take him instead.
  • Subverted in one episode of Muppet Babies when, during a scene where Miss Piggy imagines herself as Queen Elizabeth I, Fozzie tells a crappy joke. Miss Piggy is not amused and puts him in the stocks. He asks if he's headed for fifty lashes for his crappy joke, and Miss Piggy snarls, "No, it's worse than that." Then, much to Fozzie's surprise...
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, some ponies appear to be under the impression that Princess Celestia practices this. She does not.
    • Nightmare Moon's vow to bring about The Night That Never Ends was because her pony subjects enjoyed the daytime her sister brought, but didn't appreciate the nights she created. Creating a night that never ends means depriving everyone of the sun, which means no crops grow, nobody gets any natural heat, and everyone either freezes to death or starves! Nightmare Moon would have inadvertently killed everyone just to get more attention!
    • It's a highly contested point among the fandom, whether the mane 5's actions in the episode "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" went too far in simply trying to humble Dash a little.
    • Fluttershy may have gone a little too far when applying her assertiveness training in "Putting Your Hoof Down".
    • Applejack once called Mr. Beaverton Beaverteeth a nuisance. His response? Building a dam to flood Applejack's home, followed by using several swear words against her. Luckily, Fluttershy was able to convince him to stop.
    • Magic Duel is all about this. Twilight exposes Trixie's lies about her having defeated an Ursa Major (which has the unfortunate effect of ruining Trixie's career, but Twilight had no intention of doing that) and shows herself to be more powerful than "The Great and Powerful Trixie". Trixie returns with a magic-boosting amulet and humiliates Twilight's friends (and actually mutilates Dash and Pinkie magically), defeats Twilight, and banishes her from Ponyville. She then takes over the town, enslaves the ponies, tortures Snips and Snails by making them drag her around on a wheel-less wagon, and generally goes Caligula. It turns out that most of the crazy is caused by the evil amulet, and losing it makes her regain her senses after a while.
    • It's also revealed that similar disproportionate retribution happened to Trixie herself. Since a single lie told to shut up hecklers lead to her entire career and reputation being completely ruined, an apparent stint of poverty and homelessness and being forced to do manual labour to scrape a living. While revenge against Twilight is unwarranted, as she didn't really do anything, its hard not to see how she could be frustrated by her bad fortune even before putting the amulet of insanity on. And unlike Twilight's situation, which goes away once Trixie has been stopped, none of that has been changed...
    • This was actually the main driving point of "Lesson Zero"... in Twilight's mind. She ends up freaking out, thinking that because she forgot one letter to Celestia, she was going to get sent back to Magical Kindergarten.
  • In Not Without My Handbag, the Soak-and-Spin Washing Machine contract stipulates that one missed (or even late) payment on the machine equals immediate death and eternal damnation. Satan even seems to work for them.
  • In the Compilation Movie Once Upon a Halloween, a villain is plotting to do something evil while her magic mirror tries to talk her out of while showing her clips of various Disney movies. In the end the villain decides she doesn't want to go through her plan anymore, but the mirror kills her anyway for even attempting it in the first place.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, most of Dr. Doofensmirtz's evil schemes run on this. In one episode, Doofenshmirtz tracks down a bully who used to kick sand in his face and tries to bury his entire house in sand.
    • Pinky the Chihuahua's rival goes to the store to buy Stiff Beauty hair spray, which she finds out has been discontinued. After a beat, she zaps the messenger into another dimension.
    • Doof also teleported a guy to another dimension because he hit on Vanessa.
  • Subverted in The Powerpuff Girls, in which after being criticized by a temp that he relies on the girls way too much, the Mayor promptly reaches for the hotline to have the girls beat her up. About midway, he finally gets it and hangs the phone up.
    • Incidentally the episode becomes more or less about this trope as the mayor compensates by flying around in a hot air balloon punishing any and all crimes he sees, (whether actual or not) from robbery to jay walking with an extendable boxing glove to the face.
    • In another episode, the Girls' next door neighbors, the Smiths, are led by the mother to become supervillains, destroy the Girls home, and try to kill them, because she was angry at them ruining the dinner party she had invited them to (which by the way, they did because they were trying to stop Mr. Smith, who had become a villain because he was bored with his average suburban life, from melting the Professor's head!). The daughter of the family also got into it because the Girls had accidentally lost her jacks. The son doesn't even have a reason, but states that as a teen, he hates everyone including the Powerpuffs. The Girls lampshade this when, after Mrs. Smith's Motive Rant, Blossom simply says "That's not a good reason at all!" before beating the Smiths up.
    • In "Bubblevicious", upon proving she can be as strong and aggressive as her sisters by defeating the highest-level monsters in their training simulator, Bubbles begins to attack people for the smallest crimes such as littering and jaywalking.
    • The two What A Cartoon shorts seem to be full of this. In "Meat Fuzzy Lumkins", Fuzzy's reaction to losing a jam contest is to use a specially-made ray gun to turn all of Townsville (including its inhabitants) into meat. In the short "Crime 101", the Girls try to teach the Amoeba Boys how to be proper criminals by staging a very realistic bank robbery. When the Girls are arrested and plead guilty for their crimes, the judge tearfully sentences them to jail for a million years.
    • The Powerpuff Girls generally do this to any villain(s) of the day by beating the living daylights out of them, even for the pettiest of crimes, and even when they did nothing wrong at all. They even beat up and had Rainbow the Clown jailed when an accidental spill of bleach transformed him into Mr. Mime, who was a completely different state of mind at the time. It also doesn't help matters that they are (possibly perpetual) five year old girls who know little to almost nothing about the true differences between right and wrong, but Townsville loves them unconditionally.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory cartoon "Accent You Hate", there was Gary, a school bully who terrorized Dexter and his two classmates Lucky and Pierre because, well, he hated "kids with funny accents", as he claimed.
  • In the Quack Pack episode "The Real Mighty Ducks", Donald wants Huey, Dewey, and Louie to clean their room, but they head over to Ludwig Von Drake's lab instead. They use one of his inventions to become Super Heroes. Their room, still a mess, Donald goes to Von Drake's lab and becomes a Super Villain, The Duck Of Doom, who, still desperate for the boys to clean their room, goes on to tangle up a freeway, drain a lake, paint glasses on Mt.Rushmore, destroy every television set in existence, and eventually destroys the entire universe. It doesn't matter how many times he told them to do it, no bedroom is ever that untidy. Evil Is Petty indeed.
  • Benson from Regular Show always threatens to fire Mordecai and Rigby, and it's often for stupid reasons, such as not taking a cart to the junkyard. What's more, their antics are on his watch, so he's technically at fault for everything, and Pops is technically his boss.
  • Parodied on Robot Chicken. A guy, sick of rush hour traffic, goes insane and transforms his car into a rolling death machine. He heads to work the next day... but finds himself all alone on the road due to a Jewish bank holiday.
  • Already known for his Hair-Trigger Temper, Burgermeister Meisterburger from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town trips on a toy duck and orders all toys banned and confiscated in the Sombertown city limits.
  • In one episode of Samurai Jack, a cranky old wizard turns the eponymous protagonist into a chicken. Why? Because Jack gently nudged him as he was backing up away from a counter.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee combines this with Arson Muder And Jaywalking in an episode where Loki is arguing with his human Anti-Antichrist son about the latter's refusal to kill June, as his son suspects Loki will banish him like his Aunt Gloria, his Uncle Teddy and the pizza guy. Loki reasons he did that because "When I order a half veggie, half pepperoni pan pizza, I expect to GET a half veggie... half pepperoni... pan... PIZZA!"
  • In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Web of the Dreamweaver", a guy builds a device that lets him terrorize people in their dreams, just because when he and his friends were kids, they played Crypts and Creatures, he lost a saving throw, and his elf got killed.
    "I loved him more than my own children!"
  • The Simpsons does this a lot, but the clearest case of this is in "Curse of the Flying Hellfish". When Burns takes old paintings from Abe Simpson at gunpoint, and Bart calls Burns a coward and an embarrassment to the name Hellfish, Burns points the gun at Bart's head; Abe says Burns can take the art, just not hurt the boy; Burns remarks that he would rather do both, and kicks Bart into the empty case so hard that it ends up falling into the water, and then Burns boats away, saying "so long, Sarge, see you at the reunion in November!" Seeing as how Burns could have taken the art without hurting the boy, trying to drown him was either in response to his insults or For the Evulz.
    • Another good example is the Springfield–Shelbyville rivalry, summed up by Lisa.
    "They built a mini-mall, so we built an even bigger mini-mall. They made the world's largest pizza, so we burned down their city hall."
    Quimby: I bet I'll get blamed for this.
    • Another Treehouse episode, Springfield holds a costume contest and a woman dressed as a witch won but was disqualified for being an actual witch (the prize had to go to someone who, technically, was wearing a costume). In retaliation, she cursed everyone into being whatever their costumes made them look like.
    • Ned Flanders' crusade to get Kent Brockman fired after Brockman swore on public television, even though Brockman apologized for it a few seconds later and nobody was really watching the news when he swore. Ned even lampshaded it, when his sons asked him what he's doing.
      Imploring people I never met to pressure a government with better things to do to punish a man who meant no harm for something nobody even saw! That's what I'm doing!
      • Even his own children after hearing this think Ned needs something better to do with his time.
    • In the early seasons, Skinner would give Bart a ridiculous amount of detention for offenses that really don't need that much detention. A year's detention over some answer books being stolen that he took the fall for.
      • He also gave Bart months detention for skipping a day of school, despite the fact that he admitted it to keep a Jerk Ass who didn't commit the crime he was accused of doing.
      • In the episode "Bart's Girlfriend," Skinner gave Bart detention just because he can.
    • In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", someone throws an empty Duff can out of his truck, and to get revenge, Bette Midler lobs the can back at him, and causes his truck to spin off the road and explode.
    • Itchy and Scratchy had one in "You Kent Always Say What You Want" (according to Krusty's narrative). Itchy built a trap involving a lady made of dynamite for Scratchy, and later juggled his three remaining body parts (his head, his heart, and his leg):
      Krusty: (narrating) That's what you get for, I don't know, messing with my wife.
      • One must remember that under normal circumstances, Itchy gorily murders Scratchy simply For the Lulz. It is quite clear that this was the case if not for budget cuts removing the sound. Besides, can you imagine what Itchy would do to Scratchy if he did have a beef with him?
      • Actually a Simpsons Comic explained the backstory between them. Itchy and Scratchy went to Preschool together, the teacher was a cat and LOVED Scratchy praising him all the time, and being very nasty to Itchy simply for being an as she put it "Disgusting Rat" no matter how much Itchy tried to get the teacher to like him, she was very hateful towards him. This is why he brutally murders Scratchy over and over and over. That fits this trope to a T.
      • Another episode demonstrates that if you ever detract from the violence in which Itchy and Scratchy traditionally engage for one episode, YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD. Poochie infamously learned this the hard way.
    • In the same episode, Lindsay Naegle fired Brockman for having cocaine in his coffee, even when Brockman explained that it was actually Splenda, and it is also implied that she was actually using that as an excuse to fire him even when it was really just out of anger for his swearing on the air. The FCC also landed the entire Channel 6 station with a million fine just because Kent Brockman uttered a swear word. Sure, the swear was implied to be the worst one in the English language, but still, million is far too much even for that.
    • "The Boys of Bummer" contains probably one of the worst examples in fiction. When Bart screws up at a baseball game and costs Springfield the Little League Championship, everyone makes him pay dearly (only Marge stood by him). In fact, it drives poor Bart to attempt suicide. What did they do next? They kept on at it. It only took Marge to set things straight. This is made even worse by the fact it was Bart that pretty much singlehandedly got them to the Championship.
    • "The Good, the Sad and the Drugly". After Bart forgets to visit Milhouse during his suspension due to spending time with Jenny, Milhouse invades Bart and follows him everywhere, trying to force his anger into his life as harsh as possible, though Bart apologized. Finally, Milhouse corners him, forcing Bart to admit to Jenny that he is not who she thinks he is. This ends up with Jenny dumping Bart and leaving him a crying mess.
    • Another Treehouse of Horror episode has Bart trying to warn everyone about the gremlin on the side of the bus, sabotaging the vehicle. Even though he's eventually proven to be right (and gets rid of the gremlin himself,) Skinner still decides his conduct was unacceptable, and naturally a suitable punishment would be for him to spend the rest of his life in an insane asylum.
    • Minor example occurs in "Boy-Scoutz N the Hood" where Moe kicks Jasper (a senior citizen) out of the bar and threatens him with a knife for not using a coaster.
    • In the episode "The Spy Who Learned Me", Bart plots revenge on the school bully, Nelson, by giving him coupons for a month's worth of fast food for free. Nelson quickly gets addicted to the junk food and becomes so obese that he becomes too lazy to push people around. The reason for this act by Bart? He got sick of Nelson taking his lunch money.
    • Sideshow Bob tried to nuke Springfield because he didn't like the way television was dominating people's lives. (One of his reasons was, he used to be an actor on a kids show, and claimed that his "foolish capering destroyed more young minds then syphilis and pinball combined". Still, it was a rather poor excuse.)
    • In A Tale of Two Springfields, Homer attempts to blow up a city hall full of people because the phone company introduced a new area code. His attempt only failed because Bart mis-wired his explosive vest.
    • Another episode has Homer confessing to burning down a blood bank because they tried to impose a 'one complimentary cookie only' limit on him.
    • There was also one episode that started off with Homer stealing the Olympic torch so that the Olympics would stop getting in the way of his favorite shows.
    • In "Two Bad Neighbors," Bart and Homer begin an Escalating War against former President George H. W. Bush that involves shooting bottle rockets at his house and gluing a comical wig onto his head all because Bush spanked Bart. Very lightly. As punishment for destroying his memoirs.
    • In the episode "On A Clear Day I Can't See My Sister", after Bart plays some pranks on Lisa, she serves Bart with a restraining order and using it to bully him. Eventually forcing him to eat his lunch outside in the rain, be taught by Groundskeeper Willie in a tool shed, and sleep on the edge of the property. At one point Lisa says if she can remember three moments where Bart was nice to her, she'll lift the restraining order. Her revenge in the episode "Duffless" is hard but this is much worse.
    • Inverted in one of the alternate endings to "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" where the culprit turned out to be Smithers. Burns punishes Smithers' murder attempt by giving him a 5% pay cut, to which Smithers is utterly dismayed.
    • In "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", Mayor Quimby's son is put on trial for brutally assaulting a chef for not saying 'chowder' properly. He even threatens to kill his own lawyer (and then everyone in the courtroom, especially those in the jury) in the middle of the trial for doing the same thing. Eventually subverted, though, as all Quimby's son really did was snatch a bottle of wine from the chef, and all his injuries were accidental on account of the chef being clumsy on a legendary scale.
  • South Park:
    • Eric Cartman is the patron saint of this trope.
      • In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Scott cheats Cartman out of makes him beg for the money back (in a very humiliating fashion), burns the money in front of him, then tapes Cartman begging for his money and shows it to the entire town of South Park. So after more mundane revenge pranks fail, Cartman lures Scott's parents to their deaths, steals the bodies, grinds them up, uses the meat to make chili, then makes Scott eat the chili. He also gets Scott's favorite band to laugh at him as he cries, while Cartman laps the tears up right off his face. Granted, Scott acted really dickish to Cartman, but even so...
      • Scott Tenorman eventually would prove the old Klingon proverb that, yes, revenge is a dish Best Served Cold, though considering what he was put through, that revenge might have been considered proportionate..
      • One time Cartman tied a boy's ankle to the flag pole, gave him a hacksaw and told him he had poisoned Cartman's milk, and the only way to get the antidote was by hacking off his own leg. The reason for this, you might ask? The boy called Cartman "Chubby".
      • Similarly, when a psychiatrist was calling Cartman fat to see what the reaction would be, Cartman's response is for "Mitch Connors" to lie to the psychiatrist's wife that he's been abusing several women, along with several other horrible actions. That is one fearsome Berserk Button.
      • Most people would agree that laughing at someone getting AIDS is definitely a Jerk Ass move. Unfortunately, this is Kyle who does it and the person provoked is Eric Cartman. Cartman decides to share it because his nemesis laughed at him.
      • This gets even more disproportionate considering that there was a Running Gag about Cartman threatening Kyle with AIDS.
    • Quite a few characters get this inflicted upon them, especially Stan. (Example: He just expresses his opinion about not wanting to vote for either of two joke candidates and this gets him threatened, kicked out of town, and almost killed, in that order.)
    • Kyle as well, particularly in recent seasons. Don't read Apple EULA? Have fun being part of a Human Centipede. He also gets AIDS from Cartman for laughing, loses a bet and is forced to suck (at least imagined to) Cartman's balls. Oh, for that matter, just Cartman to Kyle in general is a lot of this.
    • An adult movie is making your kids say naughty words. THIS MEANS WAR!!!
    • On the episode "The List", Kyle attempts to burn down the school because he was listed as the ugliest boy in the school.
      • He doesn't consider it at first, but after trying to attempt making the ugly kids look better and failing, he decides to do it, but the ghost of Abraham Lincoln tries to convince him otherwise. It doesn't work.
    • Mr Garrison is good at this too. In Follow That Egg!, whilst he's still a woman, he tries to get Mr Slave back but fails because Mr Slave is getting married to Big Gay Al. So instead of just dealing with it like a normal person, he goes out of his way to try and prevent gay marriage from happening and going to insane lengths to prove that gays shouldn't be married.
      • Said insane lengths include trying to have what he calls a fag drag, paired Stan and Kyle together to prove that gays shouldn't be married by having their egg assassinated by a professional assassin, who caused a massacre. So in short, Mr Garrison is responsible for the deaths of hundreds and nearly killed two of his students all because his ex didn't want him back since the sex change and was getting married to another man.
    • Let's face it, South Park is notorious for this trope. Another episode involves a group of people who flat-out claim to be the "Earth Day Brainwashing Committee" (like if it works), who accuse the boys of dooming several endangered species and chase around with a cleaver and chop off Kenny's limbs all because Kyle seemed to have lied about having Terrance and Phillip come to the Earth Day Festival, even if the substitute was just as good.
    • In "A History Channel Thanksgiving", Kyle sarcastically deduces that the pilgrims were aliens while being interviewed by the History Channel, which angers the partial Native American citizen David Sawitsky and has the boy held at gunpoint at his own house!
    • In the episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson," although Randy saying the n-word (on accident) on national TV was indeed a big deal, it did not justify the things Randy became a victim of (public humiliation, ridicule, and three men trying to kill him).
    • In "The Death of Eric Cartman", the boys pull one on Cartman just because he ate all the chicken skins on the chicken they decide to ignore him, despite him having done far worse things than that.
    • A more meta-example would be the sex-change episode. Okay, we understand that Trey and Matt think that it's wrong but... Did they have to have Mr. Garrison as the primary example? It's the equivalent of having Satan pop out of the ground and say how much he loves a political party!
    • "Pandemic". The Department of Homeland Security takes every Peruvian flute band they can find and takes them away to Miami where they plan to make them spend the rest of their lives. Why? For the sole reason that they find them annoying. That is what it seems like, until Part 2, when we find out that the Peruvian flute bands were the key to keeping some monstrous guinea pigs from causing massive destruction. The DMS did that knowing full well what would happen.
    • In "1%," Cartman responds to being teased about "crying to his stuffed animals" every time he is persecuted by trashing all of his stuffed animals one by one and blaming it on his friends. Also known as, Cartman's interpretation of "growing up".
    • In the Imaginationland Trilogy, Imaginationland itself is evenly split between the Good Imaginary Characters' territory and the Evil Imaginary Characters' territory. The Evil Characters never allowed anything Good to come into their territory or else the Evil characters would kill them. When the terrorist cell attacks both territories, they pin the attacks on the Evil territory on the Good Characters so the Evil characters can declare war and both sides would kill each other. Then the Evil Characters destroyed any excuse that they were as much pawns as the Good characters with their brutal torture and murder of Strawberry Shortcake. The Good Characters, led by Butters-turned-Messianic Archetype, still won the war and imprisoned the Evil Characters instead of making a truce. Also, Strawberry Shortcake was resurrected with every other Good casualty.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward does this in "Fools in April" and "Funny Pants", as well as a number of other episodes, generally because Spongebob was doing something to amuse himself or bystanders, but it annoyed him.
    • Squidward himself tends to be a target for Disproportionate Retribution himself. The earliest example in "Reef Blower": Squidward brushes a clam shell, off his otherwise spotless lawn, onto SpongeBob's lawn. By the end of the episode Squidward's yard is a mess of dirt and debris. To be fair, the "Reef Blower" example was due to SpongeBob's oblivious bumbling leading to a rash of bad luck for Squidward rather than a deliberate retaliation.
    • And speaking of Squidward, we have "Little Yellow Book", in which Squidward is alienated, arrested, and gets his house foreclosed because he read SpongeBob's diary.
    • "Have You Seen This Snail". Gary decides to abandon SpongeBob simply because SpongeBob forgot to feed him some snail food. In Gary's defense, he did try to get Spongebob's attention multiple times, but Spongebob ignored Gary in favor of a paddle game for at least a week. Something which Patrick calls him out on.
    • Perhaps the most severe case is "Demolition Doofus". Yet another boating failure from SpongeBob has ruptured Mrs. Puff's inflation sac. Due to this (and years of having to put up with the reckless student driver), Mrs. Puff becomes obsessed with trying to get him killed in a demolition derby.
  • In Squidbillies, Rusty, Sheriff, and P. Nut, were looking in the library for information that could give them a reason to stop Dan Halen from fracking into the land. Rusty finds a book mentioning the Red Whiskered Shalemander. The book says that in old days, if kids didn't finish eating their okra, the Shalemander would undarn their socks. Unfortunately, the book didn't bother to mention, much to P. Nut's dismay, that the Shalemander also undarns your intestines, nerves, and brain matter. For not keeping your body healthy with okra.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Fear Itself," Control Freak attacks a video store and threatens one of the employees all because they didn't have his favorite movie on their top rentals list.
  • In Thundercats 2011 A stockaded Lizard, begging for mercy, tells Catfolk Prince Lion-O that he and his fellow prisoner were only scavenging Thundera's crops when captured and made slaves of the Cats. When Lion-O points this out to a Powderkeg Crowd harassing them, he's misinterpreted and they quickly become an Angry Mob calling for the Lizards' deaths.
  • A lot of the complaints people have over Tom and Jerry is Jerry's tendency to do this to Tom.
  • In one episode of Total Drama Action, La Shawna's teammates decided to abandon her in a vault (where La Shawna could have died if she wasn't rescued) simply because she lied to win a spa trip.
  • Most of the villains from Totally Spies! fall under this trope. One example is in the episode "Evil Coffee Maker Much?" where the villain of the week plans on flooding the entire city in coffee. Why is he doing this? To get revenge on a coffee shop for rejecting his job application.
    • An evil toy maker brainwashes adults to be kids again, because they stopped playing with his toys.
    • A lady decided to mind-control all the guys through cologne so that they worshiped her because she was not chosen the prom queen at her high school.
  • Uncle Grandpa has Priscilla Jones, who got second-place in a science fair as a young girl thanks to Uncle Grandpa, who did nothing to help and instead took her on a pointless adventure. Apparently, in her case, Second Place Is for Losers, so she decided to take revenge by impersonating Uncle Grandpa under the alter ego "Aunt Grandma", and eventually usurp his job by rendering him obsolete by being "practical" instead of taking kids on random, often trippy adventures.
  • In The Venture Bros. episode "Past Tense", Dr. Venture, Brock, Mr. White, and Baron Underbheit are kidnapped by an old acquaintance, Mike Sorayama, who has devised a complex revenge plot with the intention of killing them all...in vengeance for a variety of minor pranks they all played on him in college, most of which revolved around his pathetic unrequited crush on a girl called Leslie Cohen. It turns out that Venture didn't even do what Mike claims he did (sleep with the girl — although Brock did), although he does lampshade the overall ludicrousness of Mike's obsessive vendetta with what he thinks Mike blames him for:
    Doctor Venture: Oh come on! You're gonna kill me for having fake sex on graph paper with a girl who barely spoke to you in real life?!
    • Also there is the Monarch's yet to be explained vendetta against Doctor Venture. Even Doctor Venture doesn't know why the Monarch wants him dead.
    • Then there's Dr. Orpheus, who absolutely excels at this trope. Two rednecks decided to tease him about his appearance, so he trapped their spirits in a small Homeboy figurine, which he now keeps on his car dashboard. In another instance, he predicts Action Man's exact date and cause of death, though to be fair the guy did attack him without provocation and put a bullet in his shoulder before the mix-up was resolved.
    • Brock Samson has a tendency to murder or brutalize people who don't show him respect. He lost his college football scholarship when he accidentally killed his own QB for not giving him the ball. He gets incredibly frustrated when either his license to kill has expired or the insulter is a member of a protected group, like women or children... though he will make an exception for Molotov Cocktease.
    • Dr. Mrs. The Monarch explains The Guild's policy of Disproportionate Retribution to Jonas Venture, Jr. in "The Lepidopterists".
      Dr. Mrs. The Monarch: You throw a rock, The Guild throws a knife, you throw a knife, they come to your house when you're sleeping and murder your family.
    • Baron Von Undherbeit, when he was the ruler of his own country, had no prisons. Any violation of the law met the death penalty.
  • In Winx Club, Darcy and Stormy both pull this; Darcy attempts to murder Musa simply for being interested in Riven (who she didn't even like) and after Musa beats Stormy one on one she disguises herself, concocts an elaborate revenge plot, and attempts to kill Musa's dad.
  • Three noteworthy examples from Wolverine and the X-Men include a Papa Wolf mode Magneto throwing people in jail for simply kissing his youngest daughter Polaris, a jealous Cyclops violently blasting Wolverine for hitting on his long time girlfriend Jean Grey, and finally a rather hypocritical Jean violently binding her blonde rival Emma Frost to a wall with pipes for kissing Cyclops (when he was unconscious no less).
  • A harmless version in the X-Men: Evolution Christmas Episode had Spyke and his father throw a couple of snowballs at Storm (with poor accuracy). Storm logically responds by creating a small snowstorm to show them why one should never pick a snowball fight with someone who can control the weather.