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Karma Houdini: Western Animation

  • Most action-based animated series from the '80s-'90s have the main villain not receive his comeuppance. The series gets canceled before there's a final episode, offing the villain would prevent a sequel or spinoff, and the villain can't be killed in a kid's show, leaving the villain to be last seen in a non-resolution episode, imprisoned in a way where they'll probably escape, or transformed into something relatively harmless. Examples:
    • Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)
      • In one episode, he does end up entering another dimension that is supposed to trap an electric robot, but he manages to end up returning with no explanation.
    • Hordak from She-Ra: Princess of Power
      • Horde members who helped Skeletor in failed attempts to overthrow Hordak became this trope as well. When Catra tricked Hordak into eating a doomberry pie (doomberries make people disappear unless someone sheds tears for the victims on time), a residual effect made Hordak forget his life was ever in danger in the first place. When Skeletor decided to reward Shadow Weaver as she deserved, she helped Hordak and banished Skeletor back to Eternia before he had a chance to tell Hordak about her betrayal. She excused her action by claiming Hordak couldn't trust Skeletor.
    • King Koopa from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show
    • Ganon from the cartoon The Legend of Zelda
    • Shredder and Krang from the 1980s edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (at least until the Red Sky episodes)
    • Scarab from Mummies Alive!
    • Dr. Paradigm/Pyranoid from Street Sharks
    • Mon-Star from SilverHawks
    • Venger from Dungeons & Dragons (there may have been plans to rectify this in the never-aired Series Finale)
    • Most villains from The Pirates of Dark Water
    • Stavros Garkos from Hurricanes
    • Most villains from Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
      • Zig-Zagged - there are a few occasions where they're shown having a Villainous Breakdown. In one notable occasion, Verminous Skumm creates a drug called "Bliss", gets a lot of people hooked on it (Mirroring symptoms of drug addiction) including Linka's cousin and Linka herself. At the end, after they cause loads of property damage, and Linka's cousin even dies. He winds up getting a taste of his own medicine (having to go through withdrawal), but he's back the next episode...
    • Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget, though there are some episodes where he suffers misfortunes while trying to escape. Played straight with M.A.D. agents Labella from "King Wrong" and The Rat from "M.A.D. Trap" because they were never captured at the end of their episodes and the recurring M.A.D. agents that appeared in the second season, as they kept on getting away and were never caught.
    • Zordrak from The Dreamstone is a rare case that has been shown to commit mass murder. He rarely receives a comeuppance, not that the heroes aren't unwilling to dish it out, but because he nearly always sends his far less formidable Mooks the Urpneys to do the dirty work for him. There are odd exceptions, but they are slapstick at best.
  • Adventure Time:
    • Tragic backstory and mental problems aside, Lemongrab gets away with some rather disgusting actions in the episode "You Made Me." He used his mental condition as an excuse to A) torture four children and a dog, B) repeatedly harass the Candy Citizens by sneaking into their rooms to watch them sleep, C) punched/slapped/shoved/screamed at a baby, D) terrorized his pet camel, E) tried to KO and torture Princess Bubblegum, who was actually being kind to him for the whole episode, and F) have the gall at the end to "pardon" the prisoners rather than admit he was wrong and simply release them. Worst of all, he even gets rewarded for his horrible behavior by receiving an exact clone of himself with which to be friends or possibly lovers. Nobody ever called him out on this. Everyone, including Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum, tried to help Lemongrab, and enabled him to act this way by using his mental condition as an excuse.
      • Happens again in "All Your Fault." The Lemongrabs use all of their food supply to literally make children for themselves. They, and the children, almost die. The earls blame Princess Bubblegum. Then, they form a plan to steal all of the food from the Candy kingdom to make more children, and then to steal all of the world's candy to eat. That in itself is awful enough, but the truly horrifying part occurs after this. The earls call upon their (literally) giant child, "Young Lemonjon," to carry the castle to the Candy Kingdom. Thanks to Finn and Jake punching his heart, Lemonjon has an epiphany, and explodes to give lemon candy to all of the starving lemon people. That's right: A child died because of the Lemongrab and Lemongrab 2's stupidity.
      • Happens again in "Another Five Short Graybles," when Lemongrab actually eats his clone alive when his clone accidentally breaks their toy.
      • And, yes, this happens again in his last appearance "Too Old", when he gets away crossing the Moral Event Horizon with abusing his children for the smallest things, eat his clone, and trying to force his sons to kill Finn and Princess Bubblegum.
      • He finally gets his comeuppance in "Lemonhope Story", when Lemonhope blows him up with his harp, and Princess Bubblegum sews him back up and decides that he's only mentally stable when he's lonely. His clone was shown to be alive within his stomach until that point.
    • Magic Man is even a worse Karma Houdini than Lemongrab. He even claims to be one.
    "I win again, just like always!"
    • Though it's heavily implied Finn does manage to beat the hell out of him in King of Mars for what he does in that episode's plot.
  • American Dad! actually discusses this trope, with Roger claiming that he can get away with anything because he's so lovable. Stan ends up as a juror in a trial for one of Roger's aliases (accused of running a sweatshop). It's blatantly obvious that he's guilty, but he manages to manipulate and charm everyone except for Stan, who forces the other jurors to vote guilty; when the verdict is announced the judge runs out of the courtroom crying and the jurors act like Stan killed their puppies. The rest of the episode turns into a parody of The Fugitive.
    • Roger in particular manages to utilize this trope over and over in the series, facing near zero consequences for enslaving orphans, faking a marriage for the sake of blender, several implied cases of theft and murder, and abusing, manipulating and placing his adoptive family in horrific situations over and over (along with at least once trying to outright kill them). Stan and to an extent the rest of the Smiths sometimes lean into this trope as well, but are much more likely to see the error of his ways. Not to say that Roger doesn't avoid retribution on some occasions (At the end of Man In the Moonhouse Stan punched him out for lengthening his jail sentence at his parole meeting) but yeah, more often then not he usually gets away with antics.
    • Perhaps due to being a very minor character, Stelio Kontos, Stan's childhood bully, ends up being called in by Steve to beat up Stan when the latter plays the bully to toughen up Steve. The thing is, Stelio was responsible for Stan's misguided lesson in the first place, and we never see Stelio having suffered any of his deserved comeuppance.
    • The Evil Hot Tub from the episode "Hot Water". The Bad Guy Wins this time.
    • Stan's mother is hugely responsible for warping Stan into the fanatic he is today, guilt tripping him as a child to replace his father and dote over her and undergoing other traumatic incidents such as forcing him to kill his dog to befit the rules of their new apartment. Even in present day she has tried to murder Roger. She has received zero comeuppance, in fact, to add insult to injury, Stan usually learns An Aesop about being considerate to her every time she appears.
    • Steve in "News Glance with Genevieve Vavance". He pretty much gets away with going along with Genevieve Vacance's (one of Roger's many personas) bogus news story that he was kidnapped by Hayley in order to get head with a bunch of girls at his school. He manages to expose Roger and clear Hayley's name but he still went ahead and sold her out for something she didn't even do to begin with.
  • Zig-zagged in Angela Anaconda. Nanette Manoir often gets away with all sorts of shit she should at least get called out on...however the teacher tends to be on her side and sometimes even punishes Angela. Any respectable school would yell at Mrs. Brinks for some of the stuff she does.
    • Fortunately Nanette isn't that lucky with Dr. Yamagata.
    • And there are occasions even Mrs. Brinks wouldn't let Nanette go unpunished. One of them being when Angela and Nanette unknowingly became pen pals and Nanette wrote unflattering comments about Mrs. Brinks. Another was when Mrs. Brinks learned Nanette doesn't keep the good behavior stars she gives her. When Nanette was tricked into confessing a wrongdoing in front of her classmates and their parents. Mrs. Brinks wouldn't let the parents become witnesses to her favoritism.
      • In one episode, Angela and Nanette were in charge of the school shop, Angela got punished when 33 cents were missing. When it was later revealed it was Nanette's fault, Mrs. Brinks wouldn't give Nanette the punishment she gave Angela, believing Nanette made an innocent mistake but was at least fair enough to offer Angela some sort of compensation for the unjust punishment. Angela was made Nanette's boss in the running of the shop.
  • The WWWYZZERDD from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Not only did he fill the Aqua Teens' house with annoying pop-ups (which was caused by Master Shake himself), but also sliced off Carl's fingers, tricked Frylock and the others out of their own house for 3 months, which during their time away continued to send them annoying pop-ups due to Shake downloading Wi-Fi. He has never appeared again since his debut episode either.
  • The Tibble Twins in Arthur in one episode send D.W. to the hospital and never get punished. They rarely get punished for pretty much anything they do. This is likely because their grandma, their only guardian, takes pity on them.
    • In episodes in which she isn't the main focus, D.W. can be this. Special mention goes to "Arthur's Big Hit", in which she never gets punished for wrecking Arthur's plane, despite his numerous instructions not to. If anything, it's Arthur who seems to be called out for his getting upset at all.
  • Miranda in As Told by Ginger. She's easily the best example of an Alpha Bitch, regularly manipulating people to do terrible things or even trying to sabotage plans and getting away with it. Miranda never really gets any comeuppance from the series, and is even Easily Forgiven for trying to get Ginger sent away so she and Mipsy can get closer to Courtney.
    • However, it's possible that her comeuppance for trying to be a jerk to Ginger is simply being denied the satisfaction. When Ginger returns from school? She doesn't even look in Miranda or Mipsy's direction, and the episodes in high school imply that Courtney is beginning to go her separate ways from Miranda. That could always be some comeuppance since almost everything Miranda did to get Ginger out of the way was to be closer to Courtney, but do you think someone like her would care about that?
    • Mipsy too; shown to be just as careless as Miranda, but she seems to get some comeuppance.
    • The jerkass high school girls who stuff Courtney in a locker are never caught.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Fire Lord Sozin murdered his best friend through inaction, led an almost complete genocide, drove a number of species towards extinction (the flying bison, the dragons, and the flying lemurs are down to a handful if that), burned at least one army and village to a crisp, and conquered a sizable chunk of Eurasia-sized Earth Kingdom in his life time. After all that, he... died peacefully in his sleep, at the age of 102, likely in the comfort of his palace, revered at large. And he got a comet named after him, a continued family-line on the throne, and a nation dedicated to his honor and wishes. He just barely began to regret his actions during the very end of his life (though the world let him off, his conscious didn't).
    • In "The Waterbending Master" Admiral Zhao hires the pirates from "The Waterbending Scroll" to assassinate Prince Zuko. They blow up Zuko's ship, but Zuko survives with some cuts, bruises and burns. Neither he or uncle Iroh make any effort to track the pirates down.
    • Ty Lee and Mai, Azula's sidekicks. They may not have been remotely close to being as bad as Azula herself but they still helped her ruin countless lives in pursuit her brother Zuko and the Avatar, and they show absolutely no remorse for it. What little punishment they do receive when they break with Azula is off camera prison time; by the series end they're both free and Ty Lee is actually allowed to join the Kyoshi Warriors she helped brutalize and imprison.
  • In Barbie And The Secret Door, after trying to drain all the magic in Zinnia and nearly taking over the kingdom, Malucia's only punishment is losing her scepter and being forced to clean up the mess she made by Grodlin before she can get the big present her parents have brought her. The king and queen even decide that giving her the present is more important than punishing her!
  • The 1990s Batman made the Riddler into a Karma Houdini in his first episode. While Batman and Robin stopped him from killing the Corrupt Corporate Executive who had driven the Riddler to villainy in the first place, the Riddler still got away scot-free. Better yet, he got the satisfaction of knowing that the executive now suffered from a crippling paranoia of his return, which made for a pretty sweet consolation prize.
    • Subverted in his second appearance however. At first, it looks like he's going to get away again, taunting Batman as he escapes the Riddler's collapsing Virtual World having rescued Commissioner Gordon. However, Batman soon realizes the Riddler's parting words are actually a clue to where he's hiding out and immediately sets off with Robin and Commissioner Gordon to arrest him. Furthermore, his need to taunt Batman left him with no time to escape his virtual reality, frying his precious mind and reducing him to a vegetable. Of course, he does return in a few future episodes apparently none the worse for wear.
    • Superman: The Animated Series, due to being Cut Short, ended with Lex Luthor never significantly punished for any of his schemes, along all his suspicions of Superman seemingly publicly vindicated. What's more, while Supes does give Darkseid a pretty brutal beating, in the end, he is still the ultimate ruler of Apokolips, his legions of subjects as devoted to him as ever.
    • This said, the DCAU mainly averts this, as by the end of Justice League Unlimited, we clearly see the vast majority of the setting's villains either killed by Luthor and his forces in the Secret Society, killed by Killer Frost (in hopes of impressing Luthor), or killed by Darkseid after his resurrection, leaving only an odd dozen who ever make it back to earth. By the end of the final episode, both Luthor and Darkseid are engulfed by the anti-life equation, presumed dead (though Batman doesn't think it will last). That said, Atomic Skull, Bizarro, Cheetah, Evil Star, Giganta, Heat Wave, Killer Frost, Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Toyman, and Volcana are let off by the league with a five-minute head start. Interestingly, because of the Bat-Embargo most of Batman's rogues gallery avoids explosive decompression or anything beyond Arkham, though Batman Beyond shows the eventual (not pretty) fates of Bane, Mr. Freeze, Ra's Al Ghul, and The Joker.
      • Actually, Word of God says that Darkseid and Luthor became part of the Source Wall, which is made up of the bodies of would-be conquerors and curiosity seekers from all across the universe. They're technically alive, but stuck there for the rest of eternity.
    • In Justice League Unlimited. In the episode "For The Man Who Has Everything," Mongul traps Superman, then attempts to murder Wonder Woman and Batman and comes close to actually succeeding. Of course, that's just what he does in that episode. He commits even worse crimes in an earlier two-parter (the War World episodes, from Justice League), including attempting to destroy a planet full of sapient beings. His punishment for all of this? He gets trapped inside his own Lotus-Eater Machine, which will allow him to live out his greatest fantasies for the rest of his life. Lampshaded by Batman, when asked what he thinks Mongul is seeing.
    Batman: Whatever it is, it's far too good for him.
  • Coach Buzzcut from Beavis And Butthead. In fact, when he ordered his students to beat a new student for no reason, did not receive any punishment.
    • Also, Butthead himself. He gets away with it in a lot of cases, physically or verbally abusing Beavis or causing problems. He does get kicked in the crotch by Beavis on two occasions, but that's it.
    • Todd and the Old Crazy Farmer / Janitor as well.
  • In the Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Be-Knighted" it is revealed that for 1,000 years the Forever Knights have been acquiring increasingly dangerous weapons to kill a draconic alien just because. The dragon eventually escapes but thanks to Ben it decides not to give the Forever Knights their well deserved comeuppance. And it turns out that now the Forever Knights want to go the Dragon's home planet to commit genocide of the entire race.
    • And the sequel series has Will Harrangue, who builds a giant robot with his face on it and uses it to shoot missiles at the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument on live TV. He's never punished. The worst that can be said is that he spent a fuck-ton of money on it (way more than he should logically have), but this hasn't affected his career at all.
      • He's still at in Ben 10: Omniverse, going from mere J Jonah Jameson expy right into The Quisling and goes into collaboration with the Incursion Empire as a propagandist. Note that the only forms of treason recognized in US law are making war against the US, or "adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Yet he still manages to not be rotting in Leavenworth or Gitmo.
      • Considering the Earth had already been conquered at that point, so the USA either no longer exists or is subordinate to the Incurseans at that point. Either way, not treason.
      • Finally revoked in "Return To Forever"; It is revealed that he lost quite a lot of viewers for siding with the Incurseans, and by the end of the episode, he gets turned into an alien.
  • Happened often with Jay's boss Duke Phillips in The Critic. He even lampshades it in the final episode after he abandons Jay as well as his friends and family when they're taken hostage:
    Duke Phillips: I was well rewarded for my cowardice and greed.
  • Mrs. Barch from Daria. How she never suffered any consequences for her constant gender discrimination and outright abuse towards some of the male characters on the show is anybody's guess.
  • Dee Dee from Dexter's Laboratory, granted the main premise of the show is based on her messing up Dexter's stuff, but she never seems to get any comeuppance for some of her more intentional destruction of his work.
  • Captain Hero of Drawn Together has destroyed a planet, caused the deaths of thousands on innocent people on Earth, and has also raped a few people (including his own parents). Yet the only time has ever been punished was when he was caught with a photo of his naked teenage self.
  • Megabyte Beagle in the "Super DuckTales" serial is a straight example crossed with What Happened to the Mouse?. This guy takes control of the Gizmosuit and makes Gizmoduck the Beagles' unwilling servant, but after Huey, Dewey, and Louie come to Gizmoduck's rescue, switching his remote with that of a toy, Megabyte drops out of the story.
    • Talking about DuckTales, one episode featured Flintheart Glomgold framing Scrooge McDuck with art theft and his only punishment was having to keep a portrait of Scrooge over his fireplace for fifteen years. And that's just to mention what's proven against him.
      • One could say that Glomgold is certainly being punished, seeing as he's in an Ironic Hell of his own making due to his obsession with making himself richer than Scrooge, but failing every time. He's miserable because of it.
    • Ma Beagle got away with everything except forging evidence of being Scrooge's wife and being arrested with her sons at the end of "New Gizmo Kids on the Block."
    • Gandra Dee, Fenton Crackshell's love interest/girlfriend, only appeared in six episodes. But in two of them, she showed that she could be as ungrateful and cold-hearted towards Fenton as she pleased, and no one would call her out on her attitude.
      • In "Metal Attraction", Fenton goes overboard with paying Gandra too much attention. But not only does she refuse to give him a simple "thank you" for doing all these things for her, she also gets mad at him and pushes him away from her without even explaining what he did wrong. Of course, the episode had to end with him promising to change, while nobody has anything to say about what she did.
      • In "The Big Flub", Fenton has ended up in big trouble and asks for Gandra's help. But she refuses, even after he said "but I need you", claiming that he had ruined her precious reputation. And at the end of the episode, the poor guy still has to apologize to HER!
  • While we're talking about Cartoon Network shows, let's add the kids of Ed, Edd n Eddy to the list, especially Kevin, who does things like abuse Eddy's privacy (involving his middle name) in "Your Ed Here", and interfere with Eddy's attempts at getting at good school picture in "Smile for the Ed". There's also the fact that the kids feel justified in abusing the largely innocent Edd (whose only crime is being a milquetoast who lets himself get roped into Eddy's schemes) and Ed (whose only crime is his weak grasp on reality) just as much as Eddy. And in "A Town Called Ed", after Eddy tries to get even with the kids for snubbing him, his plans are turned against him and all the other kids come out and literally laugh at his misfortune. And then there's the Kankers...
  • Family Guy does this a lot, especially with Stewie. However, that's not uncommon, being a series infamous for tangential gags and a tenuous sense of accountability at best. However, it does somewhat subvert this trope in "Tales of a Third Grade Nothing," where Peter blows up a children's hospital to get rid of an Anheuser-Busch beer ad. No more mention is made of the incident until the end, when his boss tells him he's going to jail. "You just blew up a children's hospital! You thought people would forget about that?" Although his only punishment is to go to jail until "next Sunday at nine".note 
    • There was also "April in Quahog" where it is reported on the news that the world was going to end. As a result, there was panic and chaos across the world. In the end, it all turned out to be an April Fool's Joke played by the TV newscasters. The newscasters then mysteriously vanish without getting punished for all the trouble they caused. This can be blamed on the Halfway Plot Switch.
    • The closest they get to receiving comeuppance is Brian calling them "You dicks!" However, in the season 10 premiere "And Then There Were Fewer", it could be said that karma finally caught up with them with Tom seemingly going to jail after being framed for murder by Diane and then Diane being shot by Stewie when she tried to kill Lois. Tom is back in the episode after that, but Diane is dead.
    • In the midst of that prank, Peter stated as his last words that he didn't like the kids. The rest of the episode follows Peter trying to win back the love of the children. After failing in all his attempts, he decides to bribe them with an Xbox 360 but doesn't even let them enjoy that as he hogs it for himself.
    • This why so many people hate the gay marriage episode (among other things) as well as Brian: Brian took the mayor hostage (who, earlier in the episode, illegalized gay marriage) and forced him to re-legalize it. Not only did Brian succeed, but he never got any punishment for this.
    • Glenn. Quagmire. Let's start with the fact that he once broke into another person's home and beat a resident for the horrid crime of unknowingly sleeping with his trans-gendered dad. Next up on the docket of sexual harassment is watching females changing or using the bathroom including videotaping. One-night stands birthing multiple children he has no intention of paying child-support for. Rape both of the 'regular' and statutory (Dear Diary: Jackpot) kind. He said that he has complied with Megan's Law, although that doesn't seem to have accomplished much. His punishment? Nothing, the main characters continue to associate with him and his multiple sexual diseases aren't harming his life in any significant way-oh, hey, he knowingly spreads STDS through omission of fact, and judging by his house, various gadgets-which assist/facilitate rape-and summer home he is not hard up for money. He even keeps his job as a pilot.
      • However in "Blind Ambition" when Quagmire was trying to spy on Lois using the toilet, he was caught and was actually arrested by the police (this could be the only time he was ever seen arrested for doing anything against the law involving sex) and it results in Lois, Loretta, and Bonnie joining forces to demand his eviction from the neighborhood, but Peter protests and tries to have him reformed. One of the methods involved putting a fan near his dong while looking at pictures of underwear models and the only way to prevent having an erection is to think of things that turn him off.
      • Karma even misses its mark with Glenn when it tries to hit him. One recent episode had Glenn be magically turned into a woman, and it at first seems like he/she will see what it's like when the shoe is on the other foot, but in the end he/she just takes advantage by becoming a lesbian. To make matters worse, he was only SEEN as a woman by everyone else, so technically, if only to himself he's still a straight male rapist (I.e. he still has a penis, which makes his rape even worse, undercover straight raping lesbians).
      • Quagmire FINALLY gets some Karmic justice when he hooks up with a woman who has an even more voracious sexual appetite than him, and ends up kidnapped, held as her sex slave, and tortured for her amusement until the gang finds and rescues him. These are no worse than the things he routinely does to women.
      • While murder is never right, Brian and Stewie getting away cleanly with their actions in "Road to the North Pole" was deplorable. Trying to take over Santa's role, they kill a man, beat up the wife, and gag the daughter, leaving them all tied up. They leave as the cops come with Stewie acknowledging what they did for what it was, a home invasion. The fact that they receive the Christmas gifts they wanted only adds insult to injury.
    • Penelope, essentially Stewie's female counterpart.
    • Peter Griffin. He's shown to regularly be horrifically physically, emotionally, and (implied) sexually abusive to his daughter Meg, has committed acts of animal cruelty, is seen to be murderously anti-Semitic (including reenacting Amon Goeth's morning routine from Schindler's List toward his wife), has attempted to sexually assault a distressed teen girl, and that's not going into his misogynistic attitude towards Lois. And yet he rarely (if ever) gets any retribution for his actions.
    • Whoever drove the car that ran over and killed Brian was never even seen, let alone brought to justice.
      • Even if they were, the most they would be charged with is destruction of property and reckless driving, since dogs are recognized by the state as property, even if Brian was proven to be sentient.
  • Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends:
    • Bendy ("Everyone Knows It's Bendy") owns this category, followed a close second by Goofball ("Imposter's Home"). While the protagonist is immature and his nicer friend is not optimistic as opposed to the one of Camp Lazlo, fans dislike both episodes because of this. Even worse is that Bendy was seen in the crowd scenes in the last episode, meaning he was never kicked out off screen. At least the writers of the show have apologized for the whole Bendy episode.
    • Half-averted in "Cheese A-Go-Go": Jackie Khones undeservedly wins a case against Madame Foster because Frankie arrived at the courthouse too late to testify, and is later responsible for everyone in the cast going to jail, though he himself is included.
  • Futurama: Bender in "The Bird Bot of Ice-catraz". Not only does he act like a jackass throughout the entire episode and destroy the ecosystem of the penguins, he also turns penguins homicidal. And he gets away with it all. Farnsworth is as much to blame. Bender does this very often.
    • Lampshaded and subverted in "Three Hundred Big Boys", where Bender steals a cigar, and says "Ha! Le Grande Cigar is mine! And with absolutely no consequences!" while being watched on closed circuit camera. At the end of the episode, he remarks on how he hasn't learned a lesson; when the cops show up and start beating him, he shouts "Alright! Closure!"
    • Bender does this twice in "Spanish Fry":
      • Fry offers to let Bender sleep in his tent while camping in the woods, but Bender refuses. During the night, Bender changes his mind and (instead of taking Fry up on his offer) tricks Fry into leaving his tent. Fry is then abducted by aliens and has his nose stolen right off his face. The next morning when the others find Bender in Fry's tent and discover what happened to Fry, nobody blames Bender.
      • Later, when Fry gets his nose back, Bender makes things worse by convincing the alien to chop off Fry's penis instead (they wanted the nose for an aphrodisiac, thinking it's the human reproductive organ; Bender told them the truth). Neither Fry nor Leela ever blame Bender for giving Lrrr the idea.
    • Mom is also this. She's embezzled several billion from Fry, tried to conquer Earth, manufactures inefficient robots that contribute to global warming, has a dark matter monopoly, and keeps her billboards armed.
    • Leela gets this in "Yo Leela Leela" but it's ultimately Played With. After failing to make up a good story to tell the orphans at the Orphanarium, Leela goes off in the ship to her "quiet place." After coming back and telling the kids the story a television producer, who was testing new shows on the kids there, gives Leela her own show called Rumbledy-Hump. After Leela's show has become a major success it's revealed that her quiet place is a planet inhabited by the characters from the show and she has been ripping off their lives. Leela starts feeling guilty for what she has done and takes the television producer, the orphans, and the rest of the main cast to the planet to confess what she has done. The characters start to berate her for lying and exploiting the lives of the innocence inhabitants until the television producers points out that this can work in his favor. The inhabitants of the planet are now the actors for the show itself, meaning they get paid and can now afford a better lifestyle. All of the orphans have been adopted and are now the crew of the show, meaning they now have a home, food, money, and a dad who takes care of them. Everyone is grateful to Leela for what she did. Leela, on the other hand, is horrified that she has gotten away scot-free and by the end of the episode she starts begging to be punished. And of course it never comes.
    • Robot Santa as well, mainly because it is really, really hard to kill him. Everyone in the show's universe treats his annual visit as a way of life that can't be avoided.
    • The Omnicronians present the same problem as Robot Santa. They're just far too powerful to defeat, so the best way to deal with their threats and demands is just give them what they want.
    • Zapp Brannigan gets away with almost every bad thing he does. The closest he came to being punished was in "Brannigan, Begin Again" where he was ousted from DOOP for destroying the space station. However, Leela let him claim to be the hero later in order to get him reinstated (even though he was actually launching an unprovoked attack on a defenseless planet) simply because she wanted to get rid of him.
  • The Garfield Show, "King Nermal": Everyone's favorite orange cat has discovered that Nermal has been faking an injury to get him to treat him royally. He and Odie attempt to expose his fakery many times, but they end up coming across to Jon as being mean to Nermal for no reason, prompting him to throw the two out of the house while it was raining outside. When Garfield and Odie finally pulled off Nermal's fake bandages, Jon believed it to mean Nermal had fully healed. Angrily, Garfield yells, "This isn't over! You're gonna need more bandages when I'm done with you"... Garfield and Odie are the ones who end up needing more bandages after tripping down the stairs over Nermal's bandages that fell off while they were chasing him. To add insult to (literal) injury, Jon says Liz won't allow them to use their jaws for a month, thus precluding them from trying Jon's lasagna, and they also having Nermal nurse them, upon which Nermal promptly eats Jon's lasagna.
    • Given the number of times Garfield himself has gotten away with abusing Nermal in the past, this may be intended as Who's Laughing Now?.
  • The series finale of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 titled "Assault" ends with Cobra Commander escaping justice while the remaining Cobra members are all captured.
  • Murdoc from Gorillaz. During the first phase he was, among others, said to have kidnapped Russel to make him join the band, repeatedly heavily damaged 2D (one of these "accidents" resulted in leaving him in a coma and fracturing his eyeballs) and drove away both of the girlfriends 2D had had from him (although the Paula incident was one of the few things Murdoc didn't get away with - Russel broke his nose in five different places). In phase two, he attempted to take credit for creating the Demon Days album, in reality composed entirely by Noodle. He had also surgically replaced most of his internal organs with 2D's, as to lengthen his life span. Phase three proves him to be a monster - looking back very fondly at it, he spoke of having burned down Kong Studios himself, then blaming it on a bunch of kids, thus sending them to jail. 2D's ident reveals that someone probably working for Murdoc chloroformed him (who wasn't very eager about making a new Gorillaz album), shipped him to Plastic Beach in a suitcase, locked him in an underwater room and has had him watched by a whale ever since (2D has a case of cetaphobia, a fear of whales). No justice has been served to him whatsoever, although the Boogieman/Sun Moon Stars seems to have some business to settle down with him.
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, due to being a Villain Protagonist. (In fact, Mandy has only been bested once by an opposing force - good or evil - and that was in the crossover with Codename: Kids Next Door. Billy qualifies as well, though he's more often an Idiot Houdini.
  • Hey Arnold!: Sid and Stinky never get any comeuppance for telling everyone that a classmate wears bunny pajamas. Worse, they're regulars, and worst is that Arnold never harbors any resentment towards them for this. (Said pajama-clad classmate isn't so lucky... and neither is Arnold.)
  • The titular character in Invader Zim, though occasionally getting dealt a bad hand every now and again, has gotten away with some pretty crazy shit throughout the course of the series including but not limited to harvesting the organs of innocent school children and ripping out the eyeballs of a child who merely desired his friendship because said child was a nuisance.
    • Making Dib often being blamed for whatever Zim did (as in the Zit episode or the Pilot).
    • He has nothing on Gaz. Gaz physically abuses her brother for minor inconveniences, stalked and nearly killed a kid for stealing a video game that wasn't hers in the first place, terrorized the neighbor's dog over a broken toy, and at one point even tried to leave Zim to die after Dib stole his Pak. She's the only character on the show who receives no punishment in any form for her actions.
  • The Kids From Room 402: In one episode, Vinnie wrote a paper titled "Mr. Besser the Coldhearted Liver Butcher", hoping Mr. Besser would never see it. Mr. Besser saw but failed to realize it was about him because Vinnie misspelled the surname as "Beeser".
    • Vinnie also once drew a picture that gets hung in the main hallway; it was "two mountains" (the Grand Tetons?) that suspiciously resembled part of a woman's anatomy, but as he insisted it was just a landscape, Miss Graves the teacher could find no real reason to take it down.
  • Bobby's World: Bobby's older brother Derek rarely gets any punishment for his actions he did to Bobby (Ex: Ditching him, telling lies to scare Bobby, insulting Bobby, and etc.). Which is sad since whenever Bobby does something like this he gets in trouble automatically.
  • Kim Possible
    • In the Homecoming episode, Bonnie cheats her way into being the Queen (who should've been Kim) and kisses Ron right in front of Kim's eyes, and then spends the entire episode just whining. Apparently, her punishment is a cute boyfriend in her own league. Bah... She does get hers in the finale, sort of: She finds out that because she skipped too many classes during her senior year, she can't graduate until she makes it up in summer school.
    • Played straight with Cyrus Bortle and Jack Hench. Bortle is a freaking mad scientist who invents the most hideous devices on the show. If used even semi-realistically instead of as Rule of Funny, they would be at a terrifying level - such as Mind Control where the person knows they are being controlled and understands their actions, but cannot override the control. He remains unpunished, even though he is shown selling his devices in random auctions. Jack Hench is the "supplier" of evil technology to the Big Bads but is never arrested or punished for it.
    • The Oh Boyz treated everyone like crap, especially their long-suffering manager. At the end of the episode, only the manager is punished for abandoning the Oh Boyz.
  • King of the Hill:
    • The hijackers in the Series Finale "Sirloin With Love?" They were never caught nor mentioned again.
    • The 3 rebellious teenagers who blew up the car lot are also never caught.
      • 2 of the teens show up at the end of the episode when Bobby goes shopping for a new game console; in order to keep Hank from recognizing them they give Bobby a giant discount, implying that this is their "punishment".
    • Buck Strickland. Karma seems to just ignore this man's existence. He has gotten away with several felonies, is a drunk, steals, cheats on his wife, and rarely receives punishment for his actions. This isn't helped by Hank's borderline worship of the man. He also frequently bets employees, company money, and once a branch of his company on card games. His punishment for being such a horrible businessman? Getting inducted into the propane "Hall of Flame" the highest honor one working in propane can achieve. And, his most egregious example of being a karma houdini? Admitting in front of Hank, everyone, a sheriff, and a freaking Texas Ranger that he tried framing Hank for the murder of his mistress, to protect his wife. The mistress accidentally shot herself. Hank's reaction? To sheepishly rub the back of his head, and say he would have done the same thing!
      • Hank does recognize that Buck is far from perfectnote , but is immensely loyal because Buck gave him his current job. That said, in another episode Buck gets Bobby wrapped up in his gambling, and when Hank comes in to save the day, he lets a thug punch Buck in the face, and then makes him ride back to Arlen in the bed of his pickup truck; the last shot of the episode is him shivering and trying to bundle up for warmth with his golf equipment.
    • John Redcorn definitely qualifies as this. He screwed Dale's wife the entire time they were married, and acted like a passive-aggressive Jerkass to Dale half the time. He was a complete womanizer and had God knows how many illegitimate children that he refuses to support. When Nancy broke up with him, he still kept trying to steal her and Joseph from Dale. He never received any real comeuppance, and Dale was never the wiser.
      • Nancy is also this, to an arguably lesser extent. She lied to Dale and Joseph ever since Joseph was born, and made Dale look like a fool to everyone in the neighborhood. She appeared to just be using Dale their whole marriage, and was horrified to find out she slept with her own husband around the time she broke up with Redcorn. She eventually became a more faithful wife, but never received comeuppance.
    • In "Get Your Freak Off" Hank is overly flanderized to make the plot of the episode work. In other episodes, Hank is portrayed as overly uptight. In this episode, he has the mentality of an Amish parent. Basically, Hank hears Bobby listening to a boy band, and he ends up doing horrible stuff like confiscating everything in his room except for his bed, making him cut off ties with his friends, and many other things. He doesn't get any payback for this, and the episode actually tries to display his behavior in a positive light.
    • In "Après Hank, le Deluge", Bill is this and an Idiot Houdini. Hank is not only ignored when he tries telling everyone who was responsible for leaving the floodgates abandoned, but is locked up by Khan, his right hand man. In addition to his earlier goofing around on the job as leader, goes mad with power until Hank convinces him to let everyone out since the flood already subsided days ago. When all is said and done, everyone congratulates Bill while still blaming Hank, who had been doing his damnedest the entire time. However this only worked out like this is because Bill managed to convince everyone that everything he screwed up was Hank's fault.
  • In the Season Two finale of Legend Of Korra Varrick was able to break out of prison during the chaos of Unalaq's attack, and is currently at large. He's currently living in Zaofu with other reformed criminals.
    • Season Three has Suyin Bei Fong, the long lost younger half sister of Lin Bei Fong, who as a teen dabbled in crime, which led to her scarring Lin's face, albeit accidentally, when Lin busted her for a robbery she took part in, but instead of going to jail their mother, then Metal Bending Police Chief Toph Bei Fong, covered up the whole thing and then sent Suyin to live with her grandparents. Some time later, Suyin struck out on her own, walked the Earth, got involved in God knows how many different crimes and misdemeanors, but her past misdeeds are apparently forgiven because she helped build a city, had a family and reconciled with mama Toph. Since Suyin never did any actual jail time or suffered any other known punishment for her crimes Lin held a grudge against her for years, much to Suyin's annoyance, since the only thing that apparently kept her otherwise ideal life from being truly "perfect" was that Lin refused to be a part of it.
  • Mertle from Lilo & Stitch: The Series most of the time, in fact she was responsible for a loss in a dog contest to Lilo and ended up winning it after she sabotaged Lilo's chances in one episode (She put caffeine in his water bottle. Causing Stitch to go nuts during his turn when it was fed to him). Though she relinquished the trophy when Lilo and Stitch helped save her pet (which was one of the experiments). Still her snobbish attitude never changes throughout the series, even in the fourth movie finale.
  • In The Little Drummer Boy the two thieves who kill Aaron's parents and burn down their stables are never caught.
  • Chuck Jones' 1945 Looney Tunes short "Fresh Airedale" involves a housecat who repeatedly takes the blame for things that are done by the evil family dog. The entire cartoon sets up audience expectations of a final comeuppance that never comes.
    • Also, Bugs Bunny in "Elmer's Candid Camera".
    • In Tortoise Beats Hare, Cecil Turtle cheats by having his relatives fill in for him at various points in his race against Bugs. He suffers no known consequences for cheating (though the short ends right when Bugs finds out).
  • In episodes of Max and Ruby that Ruby does not bother him, Max is an annoying case of this. For example, in one episode, causing a ruckus while Ruby was waiting for a phone call, then intercepting said phone call and put the other caller off. It's no wonder that some parents and grandparents are extremely annoyed by the show...
  • In the Mega Man episode "Bad Day At Peril Park", a corrupted park attendant robot is never even found out as working for Dr. Wily, and she isn't defeated or punished.
  • In the Christmas Episode of Metalocalypse, Dr. Rockso, who's been toeing the Moral Event Horizon on and off throughout the series, finally crosses the line when he hocks Toki's Christmas presents for cocaine money and ruined Murderface's Christmas Special by declaring that he does cocaine while getting a handjob from Skwisgaar's mom. The reason he falls here is while Toki was planning to give him what for, Murderface's grandmother ran into a cross, making it crash on them both.
  • Despite all the times that Mr. Bogus has been able to beat Baddus and his Meteor Goons, as well as Ratty and Mole, the episode "B-TV" actually had Bogus suffer different forms of torture from Baddus, Ratty, and Mole while he was Trapped in TV Land. Even at the end of the episode, the three baddies never got punished for their revenge against Bogus.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Babs Seed, who bullies and terrorizes the Cutie Mark Crusaders and suffers no worse consequence than ALMOST being on the receiving end of a prank by the Crusaders, who have a crisis of conscience and save her. It turns out that Babs is a victim of bullying back in Manehatten, but this is merely an explanation for her extremely mean behavior, not an excuse. That being said, though, with all things considered, she would have been hit with Laser-Guided Karma had the Cutie Mark Crusaders decided not to save her, she only suffered from a case of Peer Pressure Makes You Evil, and she was technically part of the Apple Family, meaning that Apple Bloom and her friends would be more open to forgiving her and starting over.
    • Depending on the episode, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, two bullies, either count as this or don't count as this. The former ends up being punished in the newspaper episode and both in the Babs Seed episode, but they suffer no real consequences for their "debut appearance" (other than being slightly embarrassed in front of the other fillies) or for just being bitches as a general attitude.
    • Trixie banishes Twilight, tortures Ponyville's civilians, and turns the entire town into an Egopolis. She pulls off a Heel-Face Turn, though doesn't receive punishment for what she did. This is partially justified however, as an amulet she used to perform the tortures was corrupting her and making her act so evil. Basically, she wasn't herself. However, she bought the amulet out of her own free will, so she was still at fault.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders start a gossip column that thoroughly humiliates their friends and family... and end up paying for it and learning An Aesop to boot. Featherweight the photographer on the other hand is the one who takes all those embarrassing photos, including taking photos of mares in the spa, and goes on to willingly help Diamond Tiara blackmail the Cutie Mark Crusaders all the while wearing a giddy smile on his face. His punishment: He gets made the new Editor In Chief of the newspaper to replace the exposed Diamond Tiara, and nobody even calls him on his behavior.
    • Doctor Caballeron from Daring Don't and his goons beat down Daring Do and swipe the gold ring. She goes incognito to buy it back from him, and they get away scott-free (with the money, no less) when Ahuizotl shows up.
    • Suri Polomare in Rarity Takes Manehattan never really gets any on-screen comeuppance for stealing Rarity's fabric and bossing around her assistant Coco Pommel. She merely loses a design contest and, some hours later, Coco, with the implication that her fashion industry will be down the tubes without her. Even then, however, with the positive reception her dresses received at the contest (next to Rarity's, of course), it's certainly possible she could get other assistants willing to work with her.
  • HIM from Powerpuff Girls. This is most likely the result of his god-like power level, with HIM being essentially the PPG universe's equivalent of Satan. The most the girls can really hope to accomplish is simply to stop whatever he tries to do - actually making him face any sort of punishment is an impossibility.
  • Wizard Kelly of The Proud Family is very similar to Mr. Burns in that he gets away with the most flagrant violations because he's famous and rich.
    • Dijonay and Lacienega have times when they rarely get any comeuppance for being a terrible friend to Penny.
  • Ashley A, and her Girl Posse, (hey, that rhymes!) from Recess. They exploit Gus's Honor Before Reason approach by tricking him into a "jinx" such that he doesn't talk at all, just to toy with him for their own amusement. When Gus holds back from talking at all, even to the point where the school staff is threatening to take him to the police station over it, they STILL enjoy causing him to get into this kind of trouble. Eventually it's announced that Gus was jinxed, and the main characters retaliate against the Girl Posse by tricking them into a jinx. However, the episode ends there, and if you just think about the logic of the episode, you will realize there's no way in the world that Girl Posse has the "honour" within them to obey said "jinx."
    • Of course they might do it among themselves, just to see who'd crack first, but wouldn't dare let anyone else know.
    • Well to be fair the Ashleys do get plenty of comeuppance in later episodes; Mikey moons them, Spinelli beats them in a beauty pageant, Ashley A gets temporarily kicked out of the clique, their flag gets torn up, and Spinelli drops mud on them.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch involves an Atheist ending up in heaven. There he discovers several people who shouldn't be in heaven but got there anyway. The following lists were: His uncle (because the Catholic Church is into THOSE sort of things the uncle did), the Monster Clown serial killer who got into heaven simply because he repented at the last second, a literal Knight Templar who slaughtered countless people for the lord, and Adolf Hitler, who is just as surprised as anyone.
    Hitler: I'm just as surprised as you are.
    • Later on, the atheist told the angel about the hypocrisy and mentions how a serial killer got into heaven simply because he repents.
  • Zig-zagged in Rocket Power; Otto's Jerk Ass nature is sometimes flat out excused because he's so good at sports. However, Ray doesn't let him off so easily - as laid back and cool as Ray is, he's not afraid to lay down the law.
  • Scratcher from Rudolph And Frostys Christmas In July. A reject Reindeer who was going to be a part of Santa's reindeer to pull his sled but was replaced by Rudolph and imprisioned for unknown reasons. In the film, he works with Winterbolt to frame and blackmail Rudolph into appearing guilty of a crime to his friends. Afterwards, Scratcher never appeared again or was mentioned again.
  • Angelica from Rugrats usually gets punished for her bad actions. But in the All Grown Up! episode "Petition This!", she tries to stop a petition by Kimi to ban cellphones at school for very selfish reasons, manipulates Chuckie into helping her, tries to force Chuckie to wear contact lenses against his will, pretends to get food poisoning from the cookies that Kimi was handing out to ruin her support, and breaks into Tommy's house to steal embarrassing photos to humiliate Kimi and destroy her petition chances, which leads to Chuckie and Kimi's relationship almost being destroyed. She does not get punished for any of this.
    • Kimi can be a Karma Houdini as well - while she has given others flak about their own errors, she seems to have always gotten of scot-free when it came to hers. In "Trading Places", when she was upset the her biological father didn't send her anything for Children's Day, she takes her anger out on everyone else, including a random mailman. While you can sympathize for her in this situation, she still receives no comeuppance.
    • Getting back to the issue with Angelica, this was actually a large part of her character concept: the idea that sometimes life just isn't fair, and you just have to learn to deal with that. As the show became more popular and Angelica developed more, she began to see more consequences for her behavior, but as the primary antagonist of the show, part of what made her such an awful villain was the idea that she could get away with it. When she gets comeuppance in the original series, it's usually because the scam she set up to mess with the babies' heads ends up messing with her own as well.
      • However, while Angelica became more sympathetic, one character who has yet any true comeuppance is Savannah Shane, a girl who is far more evil than Angelica has ever been, even since preschool.
    • Grandpa Lou is also a well-known Karma Houdini practitioner. The man's passed out numerous times and let the babies get out on their escapades and not once has any of the parents scolded him for it. There was also the time Stu and Lou dressed Tommy up as a girl to win a fishing boat. Didi exposed them and left Lou behind at the mall in anger. Cue Drew and Angelica driving up beside them... and Lou riding the boat with them!
      • The true Karma dodger was the con artist in "Susie Sings The Blues" who poses as a record producer and was paid $1000 by Susie before abandoning the latter in a slum.
  • In the series finale of Shadow Raiders, they never do defeat The Beast, just send it far away, where it starts eating worlds again...
  • Charles Montgomery Burns, from The Simpsons, is the character pictured with Satan on the main page. One of the most infamous examples of his karma evasion is the end of "Homer vs. Dignity".
    • He exploits Homer's desperation for money by making the guy into a prank monkey to the point of having him dress up as a panda that gets raped by another panda. Remember, Burns is the guy who took over Springfield's television stations to try to make the residents take a teddy bear from a baby in "Rosebud", made employees who quit and later retake their jobs crawl through a narrow tunnel so that they can come out with Burns looking down on them in "Maggie Makes Three", sent vicious attack dogs after hungry children who try to steal food that Burns would have otherwise disposed of in "Bart vs. Thanksgiving", took advantage of legal loopholes that allowed him to steal from schools and wreck old folks' homes and then proceeded to block sunlight from Springfield until it took him getting SHOT for the device blocking said sunlight to be wrecked in "Who Shot Mr. Burns", and in "Curse of the Flying Hellfish" attempted to drown Bart for no apparent reason other than that Bart insulted him. And none of these evil deeds make any apparent dent in his prominence or power or wealth at all. Well, at least not permanent ones.
      • One episode had Burns lose his memory, and then be passed around to all the people in town to do with him as they will. It seems set up for Burns to FINALLY get his comeuppance, and for a short while he does, but he soon regains his memory, sets out to get his revenge on the entire town for what they did to him, and worst of all, near the end he tries to have a Pet the Dog moment and it very nearly kills him, revealing that the massive amounts of hatred he has and evil he causes is the only reason Burns is still alive, giving him an excuse for his former and future actions!
    • Homer Simpson himself certainly qualifies, believe it or not. Never (or rarely) is punished when strangles Bart, even for the smallest things.
    • In Specs and the City Homer found out Marge goes to therapy by spying on her even listened in on her session.
    • Nelson Muntz is rarely punished for beating his classmates.
    • Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney in the 24 parody, although they probably got punished offscreen.
    • Hank Scorpio as well.
    • Patty and Selma once kidnapped and attempted to murder Homer to try and get Marge to forget him, and the only comeuppance they get is to pay for Homer and Marge to get remarried.
    • Bart's Preschool Teacher from the episode "Lisa's Sax". The episode shows that the whole reason why Bart is the way he is today is because of the cruel treatment he reserved from his teacher. Simply put, she wrote down Bart as a lost cause because he didn't catch on to things as quickly as the other kids, and has been emotionally and psychological abusing him ever since. He was just five years old and he was already considering suicide. Its likely that by now this teacher is still putting down children that she deems slow, unwitting turning them into Future Barts.
    • Ms. Cantwell in "Black-eyed Please". From the moment she met Lisa, she belittled and punished her just because she was blonde (reminding her of the "party girls" she couldn't keep up with). She gave Lisa bad grades she didn't deserve and accused her of trying to make the other kids look bad whenever she showed her intelligence, which Principal Skinner refused to do anything about. And when she quit her job in the end of the episode, she splashed Lisa with mud while speeding off in her car. The closest thing she got to comeuppance was Bart uploading a video of her in the bathroom mumbling about how much she hates Lisa to YouTube.
  • South Park
    • Cartman is a frequent offender. A lot of the time, he gets his, but he tends to avoid comeuppance when he crosses the Moral Event Horizon (Scott Tenorman, ginger kids, trying to kill his mother, and infecting Kyle with HIV are examples of this).
    • His much-repressed conscience stopped him from killing his mother, Kyle breaks many of his prized possessions for the HIV incident, and some Laser-Guided Karma came out of the first two examples as of "201". A more straight example would be in the midget subplot of "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", in which the midget Cartman laughs at and degrades is made to look like a fool and Cartman never gets any comeuppance for his behavior. The end of "Toilet Paper" is another prime example: genuinely penitent Stan and Kyle receive all of the blame and the brunt of the punishment for a scheme that was (an unapologetic) Cartman's idea.
    • "Toilet Paper" plays with this, as Cartman genuinely thinks he has been punished and learnt his lesson and tries to give an awkward aesop, much to Kyle's annoyance.
    Cartman: I've learnt that even if you don't get in trouble now, you can get caught later.
    Kyle: Oh god.
    Cartman: At first I didn't feel bad but now I feel terrible.
    Kyle: You just feel bad for yourself because you got a week's detention.
    Cartman: Right, so I guess what I learnt today is...
    Kyle: Oh stop it, Cartman. You didn't learn anything. Not a Goddamn thing!
    • It happens again in "Breast Cancer Show Ever". Fed up with Cartman's behaviour, Wendy challenges him to a fight and ultimately succeeds in beating him to a bloody pulp, leaving him in the playground surrounded by onlookers, crying about losing his standing amongst his friends and that no one thinks he's cool anymore. This would normally be a very satisfying aversion of this trope, except that all the other guys in his class then make comments about how they never thought he was cool, that they've always hated him and nothing's changed, resulting in Cartman's own warped reasoning leading him to believe that the only reason they'd say such things would be to make him feel better, and therefore they must still think he's cool, effectively meaning he doesn't learn any lesson whatsoever from the whole experience. It's implied that Wendy then gets punished by her parents for fighting at school and "bullying" Cartman, due to one of Cartman's earlier attempts at getting out of the fight. (Although it's clear she doesn't give a damn by this point whether she gets in trouble or not. But Cartman still learns nothing.) Additionally, Wendy ended up fighting despite her parents threatening to punish her otherwise after Principal Victoria had metaphorically encouraged her to fight Cartman, making Principal Victoria a karma houdini.
    • "Cash For Gold" apparently lets Cartman get away with ripping off old people on crappy jewelry when he copies home shopping networks. While the shopping network host gets his comeuppance, (and how!) Cartman evades any consequence for his actions.
    • Best illustrated by the ending of "Ginger Kids":
    Kyle: You are such a manipulative asshole.
    Cartman: (cheerily) Yes, but I'm not going to die!
    • Sheila Broflovski. Like Cartman said, she is indeed a bitch in The Movie where she is responsible for the war with countless American and Canadian casualties over a TV show, refused to negotiate, and killed Terrence and Phillip despite her son's warnings and the fact Ike is Canadian himself. A Reset Button Ending reversed everything but her only comeuppance was that she was proven wrong.
    • Butters' parents could, at best, be described as Well Intentioned Extremists, but most of the time they seem to be downright abusive. Whenever Butters does, well uh anything, he gets grounded, berated, and beaten on some occasions, and nobody seems to ever draw attention to their abusive tendencies. The only possible comeuppance they ever got was in "My Future Self n' Me" where after they hired an actor to portray future Butters, Cartman arranged it to have poop smeared all over their walls in a form of revenge (he ran a revenge business in that episode). Then they show up and one would assume they would strike at Butters for this but oddly enough, the poop smeared at their walls made them believe they really are being punished for what they did to Butters involving the actor and they apologized for that.
      • Finally subverted that Stephen finally gets punched in the balls by Butters for grounding him one to many times in "Grounded Vindaloop".
    • Parodied in "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow": Stan, through idiocy, breaks the Beaver dam than protects the town of Beaverton, flooding the entire town, causing millions of dollars of property damage, and causing the US to succumb to a global warming mass-panic. At the end of the episode (which he spends trying to wheedle out of things), wracked by guilt, he owns up. However, everyone misunderstands what he's saying, and he thus (against his will) gets off scot free:
      Stan: I did it. I broke the dam.
      Sharon: Stanley! You?!
      Bystander: No. Don't you see what this child is saying? We can't spend our lives sitting around placing blame when something bad happens. What he is saying is, we all broke the dam.
      Stan: No, I broke the dam. (*entire town begins saying "I broke the dam" one at a time. This continues throughout the credits, during which we hear the following exchange)
      Stan: No, I broke the dam, I ran a boat into the dam, and broke it!...The boat caught on fire, and it exploded...I covered it up, for two days...NO! I BROKE THE F*CKING DAM!...Ah, f*ck it!
    • Sergeant Harrison Yates, the police chief of South Park. He runs a station full of corrupt cops, and apparently has some grudge against any black man wealthier than he is. So he (and the rest of the South Park police) organize them to be framed for bogus crimes by planting evidence. Even worse, he doesn't seem to give a damn whenever there's any real crime in South Park. In "The Jeffersons" he even tried to have Michael Jefferson/Jackson arrested, and only decided not to when he found out Mr. Jackson was going to give away all his money. He has yet to receive any real comeuppance for his corruption.
    • Mickey Mouse, who, in this canon, is brutally sadistic and burns down most of Colorado in his first appearance after the Jonas Brothers concert is ruined.
    • Wendy Testaburger was a relatively early example of the trope, in that she managed to get away with framing the substitute teacher Ms. Ellen for terrorism and spying, and paid to have her shot into the sun. There are fans still disappointed that she had never received punishment for that action, as far now as seasons 15 and 16. In the commentaries, Matt Stone and Trey Parker admitted that her diabolical nature was a last-minute addition to the episode as the original idea of Ms. Ellen actually being a spy came off too much as a downer ending and felt rushed.
    • Kyle becomes one in the episode "Douche and Turd," where his repeated antagonizing of Stan to get him to vote for the douche as the new school mascot, going so far as to hire P. Diddy to kill him if he refuses to vote, eventually leads to Stan refusing to vote at all and in turn being treated as a town pariah and eventually exiled from South Park.
    • That time when Officer Barbrady wrongly locks a vacationing couple in jail for a couple days, and forgets to give them food or water.
    • All four boys do this in "Preschool" when they unintentionally cause further damage to their already-burned preschool teacher and let Trent take the blame...just as they were about to confess that the first burning was their fault. The implication is that the boys will pay dearly for what they've done once they turn fourteen; however, thanks to Comic-Book Time, this event is unlikely to come.
    • Stan, Kyle, and Kenny pull this at the end of "Good Times With Weapons," leaving Cartman to the mercy of the outraged townspeople as they escape any punishment for what they did to Butters.
      • Admittedly the whole stupid idea was mostly Cartman's fault anyway, but all things considered they got off pretty lightly for nearly blinding Butters.
    • Season 4's "Wacky Molestation Adventure" has pretty much the entire youth population get this after getting their parents arrested. When they get out of prison they are so convinced they were all perverts that they wouldn't even listen to their kids admitting their false accusations.
    • In "Black Friday" the crazy guy who's obsessed with getting the "Stop Touching Me Elmo" doll is never caught for murdering the mall security manager.
      • Heck, this could apply to the whole town. Thousands of people were brutally murdered by other shoppers during Black Friday. One man confessed to eating his own son while waiting for the store to open on live television and got off scot-free.
  • Norman Osborn in The Spectacular Spider Man. In the first episode he has stolen the design for Adrian Toomes' flying technology, denied him a deal and made it so that Toomes has no way to make money off his invention. He verbally abuses Dr. Otto Octavious and his son; he also is responsible for creating most of the series super villains. What really takes the cake? He breaks his son's leg to frame said son for being the Green Goblin, and turned out to be the one who blew up Dr. Octavious, making him become Dr. Octopus. He also started a gang war over the information on how to create an army of Rhinos, and made millions risk free. So at the end of the series when his identity is revealed and he apparently dies, does he get his comeuppance? Nope; turns out he faked his death and is now going on an airplane to lay low for a while, while his son (who believes Norman wasn't in control of himself as the Green Goblin) vows vengeance on Spider-Man and his identity was never revealed to the police. That is not even a full list of his evil deeds in the series, and he still gets away with little more than a minor inconvenience.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • While The Flying Dutchman seems to have cooled down a bit from his old plundering and pillaging days, he's still very evil and enjoys using his ghostly abilities to scare (read: psychological torment) people whenever possible. Still, he's rarely ever made to pay for anything he does, primarily due to his having a level of power so far above the main cast that there's really nothing they can do to him.
    • Mr. Krabs as well. While he started out being simply cheap, his money-grubbing shenanigans have since mushroomed into outright criminal behavior. The worst example is when he poisons his customers by serving a "Spongy Patty", he gets arrested but not sentenced because the Judge forgets his duty to punish scum like Krabs (Actually, Krabs bribed him) And Squidward ended up being the one paying for it.
    • Granny from the episode "Have You Seen This Snail?". She took Gary off the streets, thinking he was her lost pet and at first seemed quite of a nice old lady, however, it was not until the climax of the episode, when it is revealed that all of her previous pet snails died. While it's never actually stated how the snails died, there are many parallels to the story of Hansel and Gretel, implying that she likely killed and ate the snails. She is never made to pay for this at all, and in fact the episode ends with her finding a new victim.
    • The conman in "Chocolate with Nuts" who cons SpongeBob and Patrick three times and gets away with their money.
  • Squirrel Boy played with this. Rodney, after realizing that he is one of these, he makes a job out of taking responsibility for other's people's misbehavior, since he wouldn't receive punishment anyway.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has Hondo Ohnaka. He's not the most evil villain in the Star Wars universe but he's still a pretty unscrupulous one who's willing to smuggle illegal weapons, kidnap and extort, threaten an entire planet of pacifist aliens, attack Jedi younglings, execute entertainers he finds boring, and do almost anything for a profit. And despite not being the most powerful or resourceful villain, he still ends up having the good fortune to turn the tables on and humiliate all of his opponents, including people as powerful as Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Darth Maul, and General Grievous. Even when he's attacking and trying to kill Jedi younglings, there's always a convenient plot twist that enables him to side with the Jedi against a greater enemy and come out smelling like a rose, despite all of his past offenses. Usually, the worst that might happen to him is that his plans will get foiled and he'll suffer a huge loss of profits but Hondo himself will never suffer much, if any, comeuppance.
  • In the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "The Sinister Sculptor", the unnamed villain is a Con Artist who claims to be a sculptor peddling his crafts. He actually has no artistic talent whatsoever, using magic dust that he stole from a wizard to turn forest animals (and the Gummis) to stone. What punishment does he get for making money via cruelty to animals for heaven knows how long? Not much, really. Grammi and Gruffi take the magic dust from him (ensuring he can't continue doing it) and turn his victims back to normal, causing said victims to swarm and attack him as he makes his escape, but escape he does, and when you think about it, he probably got away with most of his ill-gotten gained money.

  • Superjail:
    • D.L. Diamond fears karmic retribution for exploiting the Galactoids, but is instead invited to come party with them.
    • The Twins usually escape consequences of their meddling in the jail. Key word being usually, while this was played with and subverted in "Troubles with Triples": After they lie to their older brothers about having conquered Earth, said older brothers instigate a war with the intention to take Superjail for themselves. The Warden, mistaking the Twins' father for an evil boss he must defeat, injures him. Although the elder brothers think this will disqualify the Twins from the battle, their father becomes impressed by the supposed brutality of his youngest and their Earth warriors. Instead of getting to keep their "new home", the Twins are forcibly taken back out into space to be overlords of their planet and subjected to a series of Mind Rape.
    • Lord Stingray manages to get away with instigating the bloodbath in "Planet Radio", fleeing off in his Stingray ship as many are slaughtered. In the season 3 finale, he also manages to flee the jail and consequence of trying to steal the Warden's safe, and even pushes Jared into a fire in order to take his place in an escape pod.
    • Although defeated in his first appearance, the ventriloquist dummy Peedee technically, Gary's vocal cords having gained sentience manages to possess a rat and also get away with the above bloodbath and chaos. After the death of his rat body, the vocal cords find their way back into Peedee's puppet shell and possess him once more, bringing him back for more trouble.
  • Baron from the Flashback Episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, who constantly insults Lance since the latter just lost his dad, constantly bullies him and gets him into trouble and threatens his life in the process near the end, and for the most part gets off scot free by comparison. One can only hope he eventually got devoured by an intergalactic alien abomination.
    • With the show's cancellation, Big Bad General Madula was left unbeaten and, thusly, unpunished for his countless crimes.
  • Digeri Dingo from Taz-Mania, but only in certain episodes like "Friends For Strife" and "Doubting Dingo".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Agent Bishop, a Well Intentioned anti-alien government agent who in his first appearance kidnaps the turtles, prolongs an invasion of Earth via inaction, and is revealed to have tortured turtle ally Leatherhead—and that's just the beginning—is not punished for it; in fact, as revealed in the show's sixth season, set one hundred years in the future, the long-lived Bishop eventually becomes President of the Galactic U.N. While karma plays around with him a bit during the course of the series—much to his chagrin, his actions accidentally endanger Earth more than once, and it is revealed that he loses his then-best friend sometime down the line—he himself gets off scot-free.
    • He does have that whole Heel-Face Turn thing. Even the turtles are a bit shocked when he suddenly reveals he's become a good guy, and is no longer racist.
    • "Bishop's Gambit" is the only episode where Bishop has lost.
  • Jinx from Teen Titans spends most of the series being a stereotypical villain with her power over bad luck. After her meeting with Kid Flash she decides evil isn't so much fun and becomes an honorary Titan. Nobody ever mentions her large string of breaking and entering, theft, and assault.
    • In part, she could be excused (at least some of those times) because Brother Blood brainwashed her.
  • Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures, but only in certain episodes, perhaps most notably "Out of Odor" from "Viewer Mail Day" in which she still manages to capture Fifi LaFume despite Fifi regaining her stink after it being removed by tomato juice and washing the tomato juice off in a car wash.
    • Plucky in "One Minute Till Three" is the only student Granny quizzes who made no attempt to study (with the possible exception of Little Beeper). He's also the only one to give her a correct answer, totally by accident, while everyone else, who made an effort, are saddled with term papers thousands of pages long to do over the weekend.
  • Biff and Buzz of that Tom and Jerry racing movie get Gorthan stuck to an ice pole, screwing him over. Then when Gorthan complains as he drifts away on the iceberg he is stuck on, the two of them just pass him off as a sore loser. They are never reprimanded at all for this.
    • Near the beginning, a scientist contestant is disintegrated when Biff and Buzz mess around with his engine. All of the contestants who aren't Tom and Jerry die because the producer decided to extend the race further and further due to ratings. Said producer starts to cultivate a conscience - unwillingly, but it doesn't matter; the second he does, his boss shows up, turns him into dust, and promotes the producer's assistant. In Tom and Jerry's world, you only survive for as long as you're a karma Houdini.
    • In some short-films, Jerry himself is this.
    • The neglectful teen babysitter who appeared in a couple of shorts never got any comeuppance for not doing her job.
    • The first episode of The Tom and Jerry Show (2014) has Tom trying to get Spike thrown out of the house and succeeding with no comeuppance.
  • Every single character from Tom Goes To The Mayor who isn't Tom Peters. The most egregious examples of this include Joy Peters, Gibbons and the Mayor himself. All this bad karma created by the near totality of the cast has to go somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be Tom, who will be repeatedly humiliated and imprisoned with no sense of proportion to his actual offenses if there was any at all. Most often he will instead be the one who gets wronged and yet everyone will accuse him of criminal behavior and intention (such as getting his "Rat Off To You!" shirt design stolen). Tom Peters is in fact the whipping boy for No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.
  • Total Drama Island.
    • Duncan of the original cast. He never is the villain. But he takes pride in being bad and never gets punished. Unlike the actual villains in the series.
      • Sugar of Pahkitew Island. Just like Duncan she was never a villain, but she did such things like selling out Ella for singing in the competition in order to get her disqualified as well as indirectly causing Jasmine's elimination and later gloating about it. Aside from being eliminated in the episode right before the finale (due to her own stupidity and lack of talent), she received no particular punishment for any of her actions and is part of the reason why she's one of the most hated characters in the series.
      • For all the horrible things Chris has done, he never truly gets his comeuppance.
  • Lockdown from Transformers Animated, who keeps 'trophies' of his prey, is the reason Ratchet had to wipe Arcee's mind, killed his (and Prowl's mentor), and in his final appearance in the series he escapes scott-free from the Autobots... and then the series was cancelled. Hmm.
  • Mark Morgan and Gregory Swofford in Transformers Generation 1. They unleashed the Hate Plague just to spite the Transformers. It spreads all over Cybertron, Earth, and the rest of the galaxy, threatening to destroy all life. And they apparently get off with just saying sorry.
  • Underdog: In the "Go Go Gophers" segments, we never see the Gopher Indians get any kind of come-uppance. Of course, this is mostly due to the blatant incompetence of the two coyote cowboys that are going after them.
    • Also, while Savoir Faire usually gets his come-uppance in the "Klondike Kat" episodes, his dog is a full-fledged Karma Houdini.
  • Fenkman from Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
    • Also, Lenny and Denny, the school bullies, cheat in a competition and get no punishment.
  • In What's New, Scooby-Doo?, several villains were allowed to get away with what they did if their intentions were good and/or if "nobody got hurt." The most egregious example was the Scooby Snack Monster, who, despite actively trying to kill several characters over the course of the episode, was forgiven instantly because she was trying to protect her father's factory.
    • There was also the roller ghoster. This one sabotaged theme park rides, and very nearly killed Shaggy and Scooby if they didn't manage to their slingshot sphere rolling away from that cliff side and got Fred, Velma and Daphne minced by the fan from the wind tunnel. She got away scott free because nobody was hurt from it, despite the fact that a lot of villains besides her have been convicted and hauled off for much less.
      • Although Velma did figure out who the culprit was because, according to her and the man who fixed all the sabotaged rides, they looked dangerous but actually couldn't hurt anybody, which meant the "ghost" wasn't malicious after all. She still did cause a lot of trouble, not the least of which was letting the customers on the sabotaged rides think they were in serious danger....
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Season two Big Bad Nerissa. She ends up trapped in a fantasy world. But since she doesn't know it and the fantasy is that of her getting everything she wanted...
    • At least she did not escape karma in the comic the series is based on. She was painfully obliterated by the very powers she wanted to take for herself.
  • Woody Woodpecker would more often than not get away with a lot of the trouble he causes, especially in The Screwdriver. Occasionally averted in shorts like Ski For Two. Toward the end of the series' run this trope was averted more often. His last cartoon ever (Bye Bye Blackboard) ended with Woody being spanked for all the trouble he caused.
    • One Walter Lantz cartoon, Sh-h-h-h-h-h, dealt with unhappy Mr. Tweedly, a man trembling on complete nervous breakdown, who is sent off by his psychiatrist to a remote hotel as he needs total silence to recover. Unfortunately for him, the room next to his has a couple who keep playing the trombone badly and screaming with laughter over this. After several frustrating attempts to shut them up, Mr. Tweedly storms in to discover— it's his own doctor and his wife making all the racket, whereupon he properly blows up-totally, and the doctor only sighs that, "Some people just don't listen!" before resuming playing.
  • Magneto from X-Men: Evolution. He not only attempted to murder all humans and make mutants the dominant species and then publicly revealed the existence of mutants to the world which led to most mutants suffering discrimination and harassment from humans, but was also an incredibly abusive father. He manipulated his son, constantly putting him in danger to further his schemes, and Mind Raped his daughter into believing he was a caring and loving father to her after he left her at an abusive asylum when she was a child, which left her an extremely violent and emotionally unstable girl prior to the Mind Rape. At the end of the series, in a Where Are They Now sequence, he's revealed to have been redeemed and evidently becomes a teacher at Xavier's Academy with few to no repercussions for his actions.
  • This is part of the reasons the Light in Young Justice are considered a bunch of Villain Sues by some fans: by the end of season 1, they have basically been behind everything bad that happened in the show, including terrorist attacks, murder attempt, drug traffics, kidnapping Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy and cutting his arm off to make a clone of him and infiltrate the Justice League, and the list goes on. Not only do they get away with it at the end of season 1, but the hero didn't even succeed in stopping their whole plan - they only spoiled phase 1.
    • Also, by the series finale, the Light has lost some members, but not to justice, only to turning on one another; the individual members are all A-OK. In addition, while their alliance with the Reach has been broken up, they are still active, they have the Warworld, and they're allying with Darkseid. In short, the series ends with the villains suffering, at worst, a slight hiccup in their plans. Who knows if a third season would have actually allowed the heroes to really win at this point.
  • The Squirrel Scouts in Camp Lazlo get little to no punishment for bullying the Bean Scouts. Note 
  • The titular Satanic Black Boarder Collie Mr. Pickles from Mr Pickles Good Boy. He can do as much satanic acts of pure evil as much as he wants, but the whole town is oblivious to his actions and yet the only one who knows about these things is Tommy's Grandfather but gets tortured and set up so he can never reveal Mr. Pickles' Satanic intentions. Meanwhile Mr. Pickles somehow sets up performing a good act in front of Tommy and his family and all he gets is a pickle.
  • Subverted in Phineas and Ferb. The titular duo's sister constantly tries to expose their antics, yet they get away with them. The subversion is that they are never doing anything wrong, but merely trying to come up with something fun to do over the summer.
Web OriginalKarma Houdini    

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