Karma Houdini / Newspaper Comics

  • Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts is perhaps the oldest and most well known example of this trope in this particular medium. From bullying her younger brother, destroying Schroder's piano (twice), to her generally selfish demeanor, not to mention the infamous "football" running gag (which she successfully pulled off fifty times); it's little wonder why so many parodies involve her getting a surprisingly violent yet not entirely undeserving comeuppance.
  • Dogbert from Dilbert and Rat from Pearls Before Swine frequently do terrible things for their own gain and/or amusement and rarely suffer any punishment for their actions. This is played for laughs.
    • Lampshaded, justified and/or generally played with by Dogbert himself at least once, in the Aug. 6, 2005 strip.
    Dogbert: I believe in karma. That means I can do bad things to people all day long and I assume they deserve it.
  • Garfield is a constant offender of this trope. He regularly bullies Odie and makes Jon's life hell, yet almost never receives comeuppance.
    • It's subverted in The Garfield Show however, where Garfield (who's actually kinder in that series) loses a lot. Instead it's Nermal who's the Karma Houdini.
    • Once, when Garfield was stuck in a body cast for a week, Odie did give back some of his own, but just on the level of mild teasing.
      • Sadly for Odie, it ended up boomeranging on him when Garfield got out of the cast and used it to whack him in the head.
  • The titular character of Crankshaft is a classic example. A terror of a school bus driver, he deliberately causes kids to miss the bus, causes repeated property damage, and breaks every rule in the book For the Evulz. The worst he ever seems to get is a reprimand from the principal, who seems powerless to actually do anything about him. Sure, he's gotten his occasional comeuppance (such as losing a million dollars on a game show), but the idea that he still has his job after half the stuff he's pulled puts him in this category.
  • For Better or for Worse:
    • The aversion of this is notable in that the fans demanded it. When Howard Bunt attempted to sexually assault Elizabeth Patterson, and he was foiled by the Creator's Pet Anthony, writer Lynn Johnston was content to leave it there and move on to the next plot. She was surprised when fan demand for Howard to be brought to justice came in. In her eyes, he fulfilled his role in the story, and what should it matter what he did after as long as he left Liz alone?
    • Anthony tends to play it straight, mainly because he's a Creator's Pet, and the story likes to side with him even when he's being an asshole.
    • Speaking of Elizabeth, April got away with murder at her expense for years. I never could understand why Liz wanted anything to do with her once she got out of the house.
  • Curtis's Annoying Younger Sibling in Curtis is this. He usually provokes Curtis into wanting to hurt him, then gets away with it. Let's just say many people find Barry to be Unintentionally Unsympathetic for this. In one instance, Curtis finally gets to tell his mother what he did: put toenail clippings in his sandwich.
  • One issue of the The Far Side has a wildly dressed man whose been hitting people on the head with a hammer stopped by the cops. Only for them to discover that he does in fact have a license to do it.
  • The closest Moe in Calvin and Hobbes received in terms of comeuppance is when Calvin's mom called the teacher to report his taking of money from other students, but Calvin begged her not to because it would only make it worse for him if Moe found out he snitched. Calvin still wishes that something horrible would happen to him, but it never does and the most that he can do is see that if he's getting beat up or getting money taken anyway, he might as well deserve it.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/KarmaHoudini/NewspaperComics