Grant: If Fury wanted eye candy, he could have at least picked Romanoff.
All Creatures Great and Small: Quite a few patients are victims of abuse or neglect. James puts it best when talking about a cat that's been brought in half dead:
James: Looks like he could have been mauled. Or badly kicked.
Tristan: Some kick.
James: Some people.
Ambassadors introduces Prince Mark standing in the grounds of his huge estate, tormenting his own peacocks by throwing stones at them. For their part, the peacocks are completely apathetic to his abuse.
Arrested Development: After veering back and forth for three seasons, George and Lucille Bluth cement themselves as unlikable people after learning that a woman Michael is on the verge of marrying is both mentally retarded and incredibly wealthy; they opt to conceal these facts from Michael and speed the wedding along, in the hopes that they can exploit her in order to restore their own fortune. This is only topped in the Series Finale when Lucille reveals that they only adopted Lindsey as a gesture of spite towards Stan Sitwell. She freely admits that they never actully wanted Lindsey, and kept her adoption a secret (raising her as Michael's twin) to preserve their own image. This fact puts Lucille's psychological abuse of Lindsey in a much darker light.
In the miniseries which launched the reimagined show, Caprica Six's villainy is announced when she kills a baby seconds into her first onscreen appearance. However, in a move typical of the series' tendency to favour moral complexity over black and white morality, on her reintroduction during the second season, Caprica develops into a much more layered and sympathetic character. Despite her having not only kicked the dog but committed genocide. On the third hand, it was often theorized that Caprica had killed the baby out of either dispassionate curiosity, or even a strange desire to save the baby from its inevitable death in a nuclear holocaust.
In the DVD commentary, it was revealed that the scene was a strong candidate for being cut in editing — however, the actress, Tricia Helfer, had such a strong expression of ambiguous guilt and grief walking away from the site of the killing that it was kept.
A lot of fans thought that Tom Zarek ordering the execution of the entire Quorum of Twelve during The Mutiny fit this trope, even though his ruthless action makes sense in a coup where you have to seize power first and worry about how it looks afterwards. The problem was while Zarek had been accused of any number of nefarious deeds, most famously blowing up a government building, the audience had never actually seen him commit an atrocity until that point.
Subverted Trope in the spin-off series, Caprica. Graystone, suspecting (correctly) that the virtual equivalent of his dead daughter is currently inhabiting his giant killer robot, gives her a gun and orders her to shoot the family dog in order to prove it. Subverted in that the gun was loaded with blanks, and it turns out she could tell, but since he didn't know she could tell, this is enough to convince him that the robot is not his daughter. (Even though it kind of is.)
Beverly Hills 90210: The minor character of Devo Damars from the 1991 episode "Ashes To Ashes". (Quote from Television Without Pity Mondos Extra by reviewer Cleophus Wayne: Next is the slightly sad spectacle of Devo wearing a loud dress shirt and holding flowers, yogurt, and a bag of tamales while shooing away a small dog that continues to nip at his ankles. It's quite the empowering scenario for any young black man, I must say. Two of Beverly Hills' finest slowly pull up in their patrol car. "Don't you like animals?" they ask.) Which is apparently enough to get him labeled a troublemaker by the cops, because it ends up with him getting arrested for walking around without a car (gasp!) and not knowing his girlfriend's home address.
Boston Legal: Done rather hideously in the season 3 episode 'The Good Lawyer', when series protagonist Alan Shore uses his knowledge of his friend Jerry Espenson's Asperger's Syndrome to derail Jerry's hitherto effective defense, and shatter his confidence. Apparently done as part of season 3's overarching attempt to show that Shore's repeated statements that, despite all appearances, he was actually not a very good person were in fact true, and not merely false humility.
Breaking Bad: As Jesse is being taken away by Todd's White Power gang to be (as far as he knows) tortured and killed, Walt makes sure that Jesse knows that he had a chance to save Jane, but let her choke to death on her own vomit.
Giles' books contain an anecdote about Angelus nailing a puppy to the wall on Valentine's day. Buffy finds such a story shocking enough that she refuses to let Giles tell her any details, saying, "I don't have a puppy. So skip it!"
The very next episode, Angelus kills Willow's pet fish as part of his campaign of terror on the Scoobies.
Angel, Drusilla, and Spike then spend several episodes announcing that they are feeding on puppies and babies For the Evulz. Mostly Offstage Villainy, but Drusilla does carry around a puppy for the express purpose of feeding on it later.
Later, after much Badass Decay, a defanged Spike keeps his hand in the evil game by dealing black market kittens to demons.
In season 6 episode "Tabula Rasa" Willow thinks it's a great idea to brainwash her girlfriend and friends to forget all the trouble's they've had, most notably the ones she's personally caused by being too dependent on magic to solve her problems. Yeah, that ought to do it.
A better example of Willow kicking the dog is during her time as Dark Willow. OK, so tracking down and killing Warren, the man who murdered her girlfriend, is almost understandable. However, she kicks the dog when she decides to hunt down and kill Jonathan and Andrew, two Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains who were working with Warren, but had no idea how evil he was, and certainly had no part in Tara's death (being in jail at the time).
Another example? She's going to kill Dawn for no real reason.
To really make Faith's heel run stick she kicked several dogs, from Buffy to Xander to Willow to Tara, just to show how evil she can be.
Simone beats up an old woman who had given her food and shelter when she protested Simone and her gang taking over her hometown.
Toru's De-power and murder of a Slayer, and what he did with her body afterwards.
Chuck: Intentionally an Invoked Trope by Morgan when he poses as a crime lord. To impress upon the other villains in the room just how evil he is supposed to be, he fakes a conversation on his cell phone in which he orders his subordinate to "Shoot the puppy!"
The Colbert Report: Stephen poses as "an evil Union Goon" to prove that labor unions are up to no good. He showcases his evilness by putting an adorable puppy into a (fake) woodchipper.
One of the most understandable unsubs on the show was Owen Porter from "Elephant's Memory," a high school student to whom it seemed like everyone else had ganged up to make his and his girlfriend's lives Hell, and he thus decided to embark on Who's Laughing Now?. However, he crosses the line when he stabs a little old man unrelated to his revenge to death in order to avoid being discovered.
Megan Kane from "Pleasure Is My Business" poses as a call girl to kill Corrupt Corporate Executives who have cheated their ex-wives and children out of support money as her father did to her. When the BAU disrupts her spree, she devolves and shoots a jolly executive who had no children and who had always been faithful to his wife.
In "The Thirteenth Step," Raymond Donovan and Sydney Manning are newlyweds who go on a massive killing spree with the ultimate aim of getting back at their Abusive Parents, and once it comes out exactly how abusive the parents were, it's hard not to root for them, or at least find them cool. Then it's revealed that Syd poisoned Ray's ex so that she could have him, and just in case you thought Ray was getting off easy, he threatens to blow the head off Syd's ten-year-old sister if his demands aren't met.
Damages: If it wasn't any clear after just the first few minutes, Patricia "Patty" Hewes soon solidifies her reputation as a magnificent bitch by orchestrating this trope as part of The Plan.
Dark Angel: Gets an almost literal version near the end of the second season. Joshua, who is a half-man half-dog transgenic hybrid, finally makes a friend outside his usual circle, a beautiful blind girl named Annie. Problems arise and Joshua takes refuge with Annie in the sewers. Later Annie agrees to stay behind and tell the authorities that she escaped, but Big Bad Ames White is down there, who decides to break her neck and frame Joshua, driving him to a Heroic BSOD.
Dark Shadows: In the 1795 flashback, Victoria Winters, sent back in time from the present, is convicted of witchcraft, mostly from her apperiance in the past in modern clothing and her inability to keep quiet about future events (in a vain attempt to keep them from happening), but the case against her is helped by the REAL witch, Angelique, even though by that point she was "dead" (i.e. Invincable) and she was no longer in danger of being exposed, and Vicky wasn't a loved one of Barnabas, so it wouldn't have helped her vendetta in any way. This is augmented at the end of the flashback, when Vicky is sent back to the present and the governess she switched places with is sent back to die in her place. The present day Barnabas recognizes the other governess, implying that she suffered the exact same fate, and didn't have any of Vicky's disadvantages.
In the episode "Utopia," the newly awakened Master immediately demonstrates his competence as a villain by shutting his enemies out of the control centre and setting the Futurekind on them. However, his Kick the Dog moment comes when his longtime loyal assistant threatens to stop him with a gun. He turns on her with an exposed electric cable with the chilling remark, "Oh ... now I can say I was provoked." His turning on her particularly establishes his villainy, because before this it seemed possible that he had some affectionfor her: not killing her as soon as he awakened is something of a Pet the Dog moment coming from him. Once he has actually killed her (and it was not self-defence; she was backing away from him because she was clearly unwilling to use the gun), we know he's evil.
And, amazingly, the episode "The Waters of Mars" dares to do this to the much-beloved Tenth Doctor himself. The Doctor's declaration of himself as the "Time Lord victorious" who can choose who deserves to live or die is a conscious effort to prepare viewers for the fact that the Doctor's approaching regeneration is neccesary and timely. The Doctor is even called on it by the very woman he is saving, and her subsequent suicide pulls him up sharply (although the episode ends on an ambiguous note, so we're not sure if he accepted or ignored this revelation).
For a literal Kick the Dog moment, see "Meglos", where the mercenary kicks K-9. According to the commentary, the actor, who was best known for playing hammy villains, added this business himself because he figured the fans would be expecting it.
The Daleks kick dogs (or worse) left, right and center every time they appear. Just one example: In "Victory of the Daleks", they target WWII London with a pulse that causes all the lights in the city to turn on, making them a massive target for the incoming Nazi bombers.
In the episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", the villain Solomon shoots a face-licking, fetch-playing triceratops to show his willingness to destroy valuable cargo to get what he wants.
It's not uncommon for characters to reject the Fourth Doctor's offerings of jelly babies, but only two characters went so far as to smack the bag out of his hands while the Doctor looks down at it in dismay - Davros in "Destiny of the Daleks" and Borg in "The Robots of Death".
The Time Trips novella "The Death Pit" cuts from a passage about a noble old lady who dearly loves octopuses and surrounds herself with beautiful glass statuettes of them, straight to David Agnew's Establishing Character Moment:
David Agnew was a man who purposely ate octopus whenever he could. He was currently sitting in the Fetch Hotelís Sweet Spot Bar and wishing he was, instead, lolling by the pool at his Greek island villa, tucking into some fresh octopus legs and shooting geckos with his air pistol. These were the kind of things he enjoyed.
In the Short Trips & Sidesteps story "A Town Called Eternity", the Master shrinks a velociraptor to six inches tall (in self-defence) but then keeps it around to kick it, the story noting "Its suffering made him happy".
In "That Old Black Magic" Crais receives a direct order from Peacekeeper High Command to end his pursuit of John Crichton and return to base. His second-in-command Lt. Teeg destroys the message and assures him that no one else knows about it. Crais repays this loyalty by breaking her neck to ensure that no one ever will.
Scorpius gets one late in the second season, when he has Braca beat the crap out of Natira's assistant for wasting his time.
Soon fortified when he threatened to shoot Kaylee in the throat, after already almost killing her once by accident.
He spends the scene before Mal takes him down pointing a gun at the head of a traumatized, terrified River, who's on the verge of tears the whole time. And Jayne indicates that Dobson knew what the Alliance had done to River, and was still intending to bring her back to the Academy so they could keep experimenting on her. So yeah, Dobson. Good luck on getting those sympathy points, man.
Jubal Early from "Objects in Space" very quickly goes from witty Bad AssBounty Hunter to unpleasant bastard right around the time he ties up and threatens to rape Kaylee.
Game of Thrones: Joffrey as king is a dog-kicking machine. Every scene he's in involves a dog kick or two once he claims the Iron Throne. It's done so much that the actor has fallen victim to Fan Dumb where fans get angry at him for Joffrey's misdeeds when he's actually quite an amiable guy.
Lampshaded when Tyrion enters to find King Joffrey unbearably smug over something.
Tyrion: Killed a few puppies today?
Ser Gregor Clegane kills his horse when he fell from it in a joust.
Dagmer stabs maester Luwin for no reason before leaving Winterfell.
Glee: Sebastian Smythe got two in one episode, first going on a racist tirade against Santana and then nearly blinding Blaine with a rock salt slushee.
Good News Week: In one episode of this Australian show, a rather literal example occurs, and is Lampshaded. After solving a puzzle involving a toy dog, a guest drop kicks it into the distance, saying that "Now the audience is going to hate me."
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: In one episode, Hercules goes to the underworld where he briefly unites with his wife and children who were murdered by Hera. The family dog is there too. As Kevin Sorbo says in the commentary "You can tell she's evil. She killed my dog too!"
Kills off the most consistently entertaining character.
Gives his son a hug just to steal his god-like powers
Keeps threatening to re-cripple Daphne.
Throws Hiro off a roof.
Decapitates someone who was being helpful (this didn't sting too much because the other dude didn't have much characterization, it happened off-screen, and he didn't use his bare hands - I guess it would have been too interesting to show him with blood all over his suit).
Tells a warlord to kill his other son (who he tried to kill in the past, too).
Maintains only one tone of voice throughout...and unfortunately, it's not that of a Large Ham.
Hidden Palms: In the pilot of this teen drama, Cliff is revealed as being unhinged when he is shown kicking a pug.
Horatio Hornblower: The mini-series introduces the primary antagonist of the first episode with a quick succession of such moments. In the span of his first five minutes onscreen, Jack Simpson declares himself in command of the midshipmen's berth, then steals food off Horatio's plate before ordering him to dance for no apparent reason other than his own sadistic amusement. He then punishes Horatio for questioning his dominance by getting another midshipman to wake him every half-hour during the night. There's a reason fans generally refer to the span of time spent with Simpson as "The Reign of Terror."
House: The last episode of season 3 has a mild version of this. Foreman has been planning to leave because he doesn't want to turn into a jerk like House; House in his frustration fires a particularly lost-looking Chase for no reason (proving how much of a jerk he is). Lampshaded in a later scene when Cameron says "You're frustrated with Foreman so you lash out, kick the dog?"
Vera does this many times in the second season. Her notable ones include the time she convinced Victor to steal the Ox Bell needed for the next task from the exhibition, and then frame one of the Sibunas- one of the first times one of the teachers actually expressed a desire to hurt the students instead of just stopping them from completing their mystery, and then again when she kidnaps Trudy and sends him off to The Collector, after Trudy confronted her about the theft. There was also the time she expressed absolutely no care when Alfie fell through the floor during senet- an action that even Victor found disgusting. And these are just a few of her horrible, horrible moments.
Caroline Denby, in the third season, got a bit worse about her puppy punting than Vera did. Most notably, when she planted fake evidence of cheating on Eddie's computer and tricked Patricia into reading it, effectively breaking her heart and making her break down in tears for the first time in the show. This was only days after she and Eddie had gotten back together, and Denby's motive was nothing more than trying to provoke Patricia into being a sinner. It worked.
Once a sinner, Patricia herself crossed this, same as Fabian and Alfie.
Patricia crossed it by tricking everyone into thinking KT was the sinner, and then constantly taunting KT at each chance she had about it. There was a subtle one where she promised to bring KT breakfast- Sibuna had locked her in their bedroom- and when the others left, she threw the food away instead.
Fabian did his kicking when he pointlessly gave Joy a verbal trashing, after Joy had been heartbroken, rejected by Mara, and had turned to him specifically for comfort. He had hugged her, and then whispered to her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that KT, who was in the room, could not hear, leaving Joy almost completely broken that night...and he had not been planning on making her a sinner, and was just doing this for some sadistic fun.
Sinner!Alfie had his very early in his time as a sinner. Right after being turned, he began taunting Willow and broke up with her...then proceeded to flirt with Mara and Joy directly in front of her, as she was crying. Made even worse by the fact that their relationship was possibly the healthiest on the show up to that point, and Willow has always been one of the nicest people on the show, period.
Hustle: In one episode, the crew are conning a woman seeking vengeance on her ex-husband. One of the reasons they take his side is that she killed his dog.
During the iMeet Fred episode, Sam bashed Freddie with a tennis racket so hard it broke, then threw him out of a treehouse. Many people identify that episode as the moment that Sam went too far. Some people went so far as to stop watching the show completely after that.
Iljimae: The son of China's convoy in Korea decided to get drunk and go horse riding, speeding through the public market like an obstacle course. One "obstacle" he tries to clear is a little girl, Yang-sun, Yong's self-proclaimed "wife". He doesn't clear it. She doesn't make it.
JAG: In "Desert Son", Lt. Williams shoots Boone when confronted with the proof of what he's done, then shoots the radio so the heroes will have to drive Boone back to the camp to get medical assistance rather than try to chase him.
Legend of the Seeker: At the end of the episode "Fever," Darken Rahl has a kill the cat moment, a cat he had been cuddling just a second before, after getting a piece of particularly bad news. Bad Darken Rahl!
Benjamin Linus has several dog-kicking moments in season 3, in order to build him up as an unsympathetic villain before revealing he is a more complex character. This is best epitomized when Ben shakes a bunny with a pacemaker to death, but later reveals the bunny never had one to begin with.
Martin Keamy takes Ben's "daughter" Alex hostage in order to coax him out and into imprisonment. Ben tries to call his bluff by saying she means nothing to him. Keamy then emotionlessly shoots her in the head and walks off.
Phil, an annoying Mauve Shirt DHARMA Initiative security person, is present while Radzinsky and Horace Goodspeed interrogate Sawyer as to the whereabouts of Kate. When Sawyer won't talk, Phil says he knows a solution, promptly punching Sawyer's girlfriend Juliet in the face. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confirmed this scene was meant to be a kick the dog moment for Phil, and combined with Sawyer's promise to kill Phil for his action, all but confirms Phil will meet an untimely demise.
Which he does.
In Love/Hate, just in case we were beginning to think there might be at least one nice/innocent guy in Dublin, Elmo gets drunk and breaks a glass bottle over a barman's head for calling time and trying to get him to leave.
MacGyver: MacGyver was romanced by a female assassin. How were we told that she wasn't going to be charmed by his goodness and turn good? She killed a dog.
The writers seem to be engaged in a perpetual puppy punting contest. In Season One alone, the charming and unnervingly likable Don Draper brutally humiliates Sterling by sabotaging his meeting with the Nixon campaign in spectacular fashion. This only comes off as a prank compared to when Don drives his loving younger brother to suicide by forcing him to accept a bribe to stay out of Draper's life. And all of this is utterly blown out of the water by Joan's subversion of the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. Not only does she brush off her roommate's heart-wrenching confession with "you've had a hard day," she proceeds to bang a guy right in front of her. Now that's worth a field goal right there.
The seemingly alcoholic Duck Phillips abandoning his dog to get his drink on in peace. Chauncey, we hardly knew ya.
In the pilot episode, it is quickly established that the union organizers are not good guys. They kill a dog that belongs to Ike's wife in order to intimidate Ike into allowing unions in his hotel.
Later we are introduced to the gangster Benny "The Butcher". He is quickly shown to have a Hair-Trigger Temper and this is cemented when he shoots one of his guard dogs because it is barking loudly while he is on the phone. He does so while his new wife is playing with the dog and she is splattered with its blood and brains.
Malcolm in the Middle: Reese has a phenomenally evil moment in "Evacuation" - he barters his way up from having the only plastic cups in the makeshift shelter to, among others, taking a man's watch in exchange for five blankets; giving an old, disabled man a blanket in exchange for his scooter and, eventually, having two diabetics bidding against one another for insulin. INSULIN.
Merlin: In one episode, Arthur went to go get a flower to cure Merlin against his father's orders. As soon as he came back, his own father imprisoned him for disobeying orders. Arthur didn't care if he stayed in prison for days or weeks, as long as the flower got to Merlin. He even begged his father to at least deliver the flower. Uther simply crushed the flower in front of Arthur, told him to get another servant and dropped the flower just out of Arthur's reach.
New Tricks: Played for Laughs in the pilot episode. DS Sandra Pullman — a central protagonist of the series, and a decent if uptight police officer — is forced to shoot a vicious dog that is attacking her during a raid on a triad gang's headquarters. Although the shooting was reasonable and justified given that it was attacking her, the resulting public outcry over the incident completely derails her career and makes her a laughing stock, resulting in her 'promotion' to the head of the UCOS team. To make matters worse, the incident also kick-started a chain reaction which led to some poor kidnap victim jumping out of a window blindfolded in the process... which everyone ignores, because they're too busy being outraged about the dog.
Introduces Anti-Villain Captain Hook with a scene where he challenges a crippled, terrified Rumplestiltskin to a duel:
"Never been in a duel before, I take it. It's quite simple, really - pointy end goes in the other guy."
It comes back to bite him later. Hard.
The murder of Johanna and Snow finding out Cora murdered her mother and Regina's Schadenfreude at Snow over both of these facts in "The Queen is Dead" is a clear cut moment for them both.
Only Fools and Horses: Slater in every other scene in which he appears, from petty crimes like sending his assistant on his break just as the police station canteen closes, to serious offences like blackmail and extortion. Perhaps the biggest moment comes in his first appearance, after Del tells him that he'd rather go to prison than reveal who gave him a stolen microwave. Slater tells him that if he does that, he'll also make sure that Rodney gets convicted on made-up charges of drug possession and ends up with a sentence at least as long as Del's, and to really put the boot in he also says that he'll use his contacts on the street to make sure the local criminals know that Grandad would be alone and vulnerable.
Primeval: Connor Temple thought he'd got a stroke of good fortune when he met hot geek Caroline Steel...that is until she stuck the team mascot, an adorable lizard by the name of Rex, in the refrigerator attempting to freeze him to death and exposing herself to everyone (except naive Connor) as a stone-cold bitch.
Captain, no, Major Tom Neville beat up and humiliated Danny in front of the militia in episode 5. Episode 10 has Neville give Aaron Pittman a verbal beatdown just because the guy wanted to know where Charlie Matheson is. Episode 11 has Neville beat up his son Jason and throw him out because he refused to obey his orders. Episode 16 has Neville treating Dr. Ethan Camp and his family poorly for no good reason, try to kill off Team Matheson and withdraw the Georgian troops from the rebels just because they had the nerve to go against him. The first season finale has Neville murder Major Mark Franklin in cold blood when he had no reason to, and then try to break into the room with Team Matheson with intent to kill them all, even though he promised Jason that he would leave Rachel and Charlie alive.
Bass Monroe stabs a rebel he's torturing in episode 2 for no real reason. Episode 14 has Monroe shoot a militia captain, who worked for Tom Neville, dead on the spot after Neville disappeared, even though Monroe had no proof that the guy had anything to do with. Episode 15 has Monroe go back to his hometown Jasper with intent to kill everyone there and lure Miles into a trap, and even his old girlfriend Emma Bennett calls him out on what a stupid idea that is. Episode 17 has Monroe execute his old friend Jeremy Baker, because he thinks the guy tried to have him assassinated. He finds out afterwards that Baker had absolutely nothing to do with the attempt on his life. The first season finale reveals that murdered a rebel and his entire family in retaliation for hurting Miles, which galvanized Miles to try to kill Monroe, and for Miles and Nora to leave the Monroe Republic.
Robin Hood: When we first see the Sheriff he seems a likeable rogue, apart from a bad habit of having people hanged to make a point. But after being mocked by Robin in front of the assembled Lords he storms to his room, takes a songbird from its cage, strokes its feathers and kisses it, then crushes it in his fist, smirking. After that, nothing he does surprises us.
Scandal: Becky, Huck's girlfriend, has the President shot and leaves Huck to be the fall guy. There are attempts at justification for this. However, when Huck tries to take her down, she responds by murdering the entire innocent family that he keeps an eye on. There is no real justification for this.
Scrubs: During the episode when Dr. Cox's old high school friend comes to town, they get into a pissing contest off the roof of the hospital, ending when the his friend hits the dog they were aiming for. This is a case of pissing on the dog:
Dr. Cox: You know, I see that dog around the neighborhood. I think we killed its spirit.
Sherlock: John Watson was on the receiving end of one in the last episode of Series 2, after Sherlock is taken for questioning, Sally Donovan gloats about taking in John's best friend, and the chief inspector insults Sherlock in front of John - in his own home. Needless to say, many fans wanted to punch both characters in the face - luckily John himself took care of one of them.
Shokojo Sera: In this Japanese drama (a remake of A Little Princess), the chef and his wife treat Seira and Kaito (the Expy for Becky) quite cruelly, driving Seira to exhaustion many times after she had found out her father had died, giving her no sympathy. In their first appearance, they laughed and mocked Kaito's dream to enter high school, telling him it would be better to give up. They would continue this for the rest of the series though they do get their punishment in the end.
Lex Luthor kicks so many various metaphorical dogs that it isn't even funny. Most of the times it is some faceless minion of his, but he really crossed the line in Freak. He has his people abduct Chloe to his secret lab then experiment on and painfully humiliate her. Chloe figures out she is the next in line to be killed and orders Clark to burn a hole in her shoulder to remove the tracking device, and is about to stab herself before Clark is forced to comply. At the end of the episode, Lex watches a video of Chloe stripped naked and strapped to the experiment table. As she struggles, he delivers this line with a hint of Psychotic Smirk:
Doing that kind of thing to anyone is definitely on the Moral Event Horizon, but the fact that she's a fan favorite definitely angered a lot of fans. Aided by the fact that Freak is directed by Michael Rosenbaum, Lex's actor, who always wanted Lex to be evil. There are also many moments where Lex and other villains do this to the other main characters:
Lois: Gets nearly drowned by a psycho in "Recruit," with Clark arriving to perform CPR just in time to save her, being backstabbed and abandoned by her sister, being assaulted and injured by Lana when she had Clark's powers in "Wrath," being captured and forced to wield a rifle against Jonathan Kent in "Fanatic"—a man who is like a father to her—by the head of the Lex Luthor campaign's student group, the time when Tess fired her for getting too close to the truth about Tess's activities, being tied up and nearly electrocuted by a psycho in "Committed", gets lied to and manipulated by Zod in the latter half of Season 9, and many, many more.
Chloe: Kinetic when the thugs throw her out of a window, Lionel in Clark's body in Transference when he seduces Chloe but pulls away at the last second, Dawn Stiles in Clark's body in Spirit when she punches Chloe across the room, Vampire Lana in Thirst when she renders Chloe unconscious by sucking her blood, Brainiac putting Lana and Chloe into painful comas in season seven, being tied up and almost gets electrocuted by the psycho in Committed, Alia impaling her on a sword in Pandora, Devilicus threatening to throw her off a tall building (and accidentally succeeding) in Warrior, Icicle's offhand choke hold in Absolute Justice, Part 2.
Lana: In almost every episode of Season One, and about half the episodes of Seasons Two, Three, and Four, Lana gets kidnapped and abused by various classmates. In "Sacred", she gets tied to a chair, interrogated and electrocuted by a Chinese soldier (if not for Isobel's presence, she would've died). In "Commencement", Genevieve Teague stalks her and ultimately puts a gun to her head (again, Lana is saved only by the reappearance of Isobel). In Season Six, she discovers that Lex has chemically manipulated her body to fake a pregnancy and facilitate a loveless marriage, and as mentioned above, in Season Seven, she gets put into a painful coma by Brainiac. But the worst comes in mid-Season 8, when Lex — after earlier having her get kidnapped and forced to fake a video breakup with Clark — flooded her body with kryptonite radiation to keep her and Clark apart forever.
Jonathan: Gets blackmailed by Lionel in "Lineage." He is mocked and beaten by Kal in "Red", "Exile" and "Phoenix".
Star Trek: Enterprise: Probably wins for the most unnecessary instance of this trope. In the season 3 finale, long after it's established that the Xindi-Reptilians are quite evil, three of them open the episode by dining on live mice to celebrate their perceived victory. Presumably there was supposed to be some kind of subtext regarding their relationship with mammals, but it just comes off as cartoonish.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode "Datalore", Lore, after changing clothes with Data and leaving him unconscious, then kicks him in the head, showing the viewers just how much a bad guy Data's Evil Twin was.
Quite a few villains do this. In the episode that Khan first appeared, he blackmailed the crew to join him by forcing them to watch Kirk being suffocated in the decompression chamber.
In the same episode, one of Khan's henchmen slapped Uhura when she defiantly glared at him and would have done it again on two other occasions if someone hadn't interrupted him.
"Turnabout Intruder". Dr Janice Lester, while in Kirk's body, hit Kirk, who was in her weakened body at the time, when Kirk had the misfortune of entering a room with her in it while trying to warn Spock and Mc Coy about her.
In "The Empath", the Vians tortured Kirk and Mc Coy to provoke a reaction out of the sweetempathGem, just to see if her species was worth being saved.
In "Plato's Stepchildren", the Platonians entertained themselves by using their psychic powers to force Kirk and Spock into some humilating situations. In one instance, they had Kirk lying helplessly on the ground, with Spock's feet about to step on his face. Later on, they would bring in Uhura and Chapel and force them to kiss Kirk and Spock. They even made Kirk and Spock hit them.
In the episode "Hunted" (S02, Ep10), Scott's dangerous transformation is illustrated by having him talk about electrocuting the neighbor's cat.
In the episode "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19), the guard in the teaser bangs his baton against Randall's cell door and makes fun of the prisoner in a sarcastic manner.
Tales of the Gold Monkey: A common way to show that this week's villain was a really nasty guy, would be to have him kick Jack, the one-eyed dog.
Torchwood: Children of Earth: The PM kicks the dog thrice. In Day Four, just after everyone in Thames House has died, he turns to Lois Habiba, who is partly and wholly unwillingly responsible for this and asks: "Happy now?". Later, in Day Five, he orders Frobisher to turn over his own children to the 456 because it would help his story that they were duped by the aliens rather than knowingly sending their children to a Fate Worse than Death And then, right at the end, he expresses relief when learning that at least he will be able to blame the Americans for everything that went wrong, showing far more concern for his career than for all the people who died, and all those who could have died.
The Tribe: For the first part of season 4, Ram has been mostly Faux Affably Evil, and while having his forces take over the city, he has been mostly conciliatory to Ebony and the inhabitants. The first sign that he's a real villain comes when Ebony and Jay start making decisions without consulting him. He calls Ebony in first, drills it into her head that she's just The Quisling, derides her as a mere "Virt", and shoots a Techno mook who failed his programming duty in front of her.
In the season finale, Drew Marshall the real name of Rene, who's committed all the murders of the women kicks Sam, who's in his dog form.
The scene where Bill offers to shake hands with his rival Eric, then handcuffs him with silver and pushes him into concrete and then orders someone to kill his Morality Pet and best friend Pam, in his hearing, So he'll know - and won't be able to stop it - and then he'll feel it... God damn it, Bill, you're supposed to be a good guy.
Ugly Betty: Betty kicks a puppy in a daydream she has when she's imagining she's Wilhelmina, the shows resident dog kicker.
Stefan threatening to forcibly turn Elena's biological father John Gilbert into a vampire unless he left town. This is pretty low, especially as Stefan is supposed to have morals.
Damon kills a teacher right in front of Stefan just to prove to Stefan that he has no good side. It convinced Stefan (at least for a while), but not the audience — like John Gilbert, the guy was a Jerkass whom nobody liked.
Katherine to Damon. Repeatedly.
Klaus to his siblings (especially to Rebekah), to Stefan, to Elena and to Tyler.
In season 3, when Lori dies, Glenn tries to comfort Rick, who responds by snapping at Glenn, physically assaulting him, and then storming off after shooting him a Death Glare.
Rick, Michonne and Carl are complicit in the same one towards the end of season 3, when they coldbloodedly and deliberately drive past a backpacker begging them for help and, upon returning to find he was eaten by walkers due to being left behind, grab his supplies for themselves and drive on.
Merle does it several times after he reappears in season 3. He takes part in the Governor's murdering of outsiders to steal their supplies. He goes to hunt down Michonne after she leaves Woodbury. He murders Gargulio, the only other survivor of the party to do so — even after Gargulio saved his life — because Gargulio won't agree to lie about them killing Michone with him; for an added kick, after initially trying to remember Gargulio's name for saving him, he is shown as having forgotten it when the Governor questions him. He abducts Glenn and Maggie and drags them back to Woodbury, where he tortures Glenn to try and find out where Daryl is.
Shane does it several times in season 2. He shoots a man named Otis so he can't outrun a horde of walkers and leaves him to be Eaten Alive so Shane himself can escape. He threatens Dale, one of his own party members, with death if he "becomes a problem". And he ruthlessly massacres the walkers that Hershel has been keeping in his barn because they were dead friends and family and he hoped they could be cured at some point.
The Governor just keeps doing this in season 3; murdering other survivors to claim their weapons for himself, threatening to rape a woman to interrogate her, whipping his own people into a pointless assault on Rick's group, even massacring his own militia when Rick's group drives them away.
Caesar Martinez does this by refusing to stand up to the Governor's insane decisions and just letting him keep get away with it.
The Wire: In the fourth season of this HBO series, Marlo Stanfield brazenly walks into a convenience store and steals several small items in full view of a security guard. The guard follows him outside and asks why he would do something so foolish, leading Marlo to deliver one of his most memorable lines ("You want it to be one way...but it's the other way"). He then has the guard (who took the job to support his family) murdered for questioning Marlo's actions. Later on in the fifth season, he gains the trust of "Proposition" Joe Stewart, a long-time player in the Baltimore drug trade, and supposedly makes arrangements to get him out of the country to lay low. Joe shows Marlo around his house, commenting on the history of the city. Then, Marlo reveals that he never was going to get him out of the States, and that Joe's nephew sold him out. He then has his enforcer, Chris, execute Joe while he stands watching the entire act.