"I never thought I'd have so many enemies that I'd need to make an actual list but it's just getting to be more than I can keep track of. I mean what the hell, it worked for Nixon, should work for me right?"Simply put it's whenever a character for some reason, has a list being made of people they don't like. This list doesn't have to be shown nor does what they plan on doing with those people ever have to be said. Compare Rogues Gallery, the out-of-universe version, and Gotta Kill Them All.
—Gordon Freeman, Freemans Mind
- In an issue of Twisted Toyfare Theatre a mishap between Dr. Doom and Reed Richards ends up turning Doom's head into a giant "Have-a-nice-day" face. When Doom is walking home, Spider-man (enjoying a coffee on his porch while in a bath robe) yells out "Hey! Kool-aid!" Doom yells "YOU'RE ON THE LIST, ARACHNID!" "There's a list?" Spider-Man asks.
- In the film Jimmy Hollywood down-on-his-luck actor Jimmy (Joe Pesci) has a catchphrase for this: "You're out of the Oscar speech!"
- In Billy Madison, Billy calls up an old high school acquaintance (played by Steve Buscemi) to apologize for treating him poorly years ago. After the phone call, a thoughtful look appears on Buscemi's face, and he crosses Billy's name off of a list titled "People To Kill." This turns out to be a very good thing.
- In the 1970 version of The Out Of Towners, Jack Lemmon's character makes out an ever-growing list of people and institutions who are making his stay in New York miserable.
- In the film The Devil And Miss Jones, the tycoon going undercover as an employee discusses keeping one with a fellow employee, an old lady (I don't remember if she kept one or if one talked the other into keeping one, but their immediate supervisor is put on the list, and the old lady doesn't realize the tycoon has the power to do something about it).
- Arya Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire has a long list of people she wants to kill, which she recites every night before falling asleep, bordering on a Madness Mantra. After the Starks fall out of grace and Arya is forced to flee for her life, she murmurs a list of people she considers responsible for her suffering as a sort of promise to herself to take revenge on them. Other people point out how disturbing this is for a nine-year-old girl.
""Weese," she would whisper, first of all. "Dunsen, Chiswyck, Polliver, Raff the Sweetling. The Tickler and the Hound. Ser Gregor, Ser Armory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei.""
- Invoked in Wasp. Every time someone ends up dead (by Mowry's hands, or a contract killer he hired), he mails threatening letters claiming responsibility and stating that "the list is long", as part of his actions to fake the existence of a vengeful secret organization.
- Arrow has "The List" of people who are poisoning Starling City.
- In The Big Bang Theory Sheldon has a list of his "mortal enemies". It's said to be extensive, and includes his grade school bully that put a Mexican peso up his nose (it's still there) and Wil Wheaton. After he reconciles with Wheaton, Brent Spiner opens a collectible Wesley doll and takes Wheaton's spot on the list. Wheaton calmly tells him that it won't take up much of his time.
- Ryan on The Office (US) kept a list of people he wanted to get back at after getting demoted from VP to temp. For the most part he never got around to doing anything.
- Stephen Colbert has two separate lists on The Colbert Report. The first is his On Notice list. If the person (or thing) on the list does not apologize to him, then it is moved to his second enemies list, his Dead To Me list.
- One of the most loved episodes of Dads Army had a captured U-Boat commander threatening to put members of the platoon on a list, every time someone says something he finds a bit disagreeable.
- Veronica Mars: In the episode "Lord of the Bling", Keith's client has a list of enemies who are all potential suspects.
- In the Malcolm in the Middle episode 'Experiment', Reese mentions that earlier that day he had planned to update his enemies list, before remembering that he had homework.
- In Friends, when Phoebe is mad at Ross, she says he's on her list.
Phoebe: Has anyone seen my list? It's a piece of paper, and it says "Ross" on it.
- In 2005, Lexie stated she had an enemies list on her website and was adding Missy Hyatt to it for being the referee of a match she lost on !Bang! TV.
- In 2006, Bryan Danielson listed Nigel McGuinness, Colt Cabana, Marufuji, Lance Storm, KENTA and Samoa Joe when explaining that he had always been at the top of Ring of Honor while Homicide had only been around the top during its entire history and would fail to beat him for the title just like they all had.
- La Rosa Negra listed "Santana Garret The Model, Leva Bates The Superhero, Sienna Duvall The Diva Beater, Su Yung and the best wrestler in the world Kacee Carlisle, the NWA Women's World Champion." to emphasize why Caged Heat Radio Host Amber Rodriguez didn't scare her.
- When talking about how and why he was going to beat Randy Orton, Chris Jericho listed some wrestlers he had already beaten, and to prove his point continued to list them, and list them...cut to the commercial break and Jericho is slumped against the ropes, still sputtering off names till Randy Orton finally interrupts him.
- This was a Call Back to his famous "1,004 holds" promo back in WCW, which he repeated many of these holds (to be more specific, "ARMBAR!"). As if to reference this, many of the wrestlers he mentions in this later promo are actually the same wrestlers under different names (i.e. Kevin Nash and Diesel).
- Champions supplement C.L.O.W.N. (Criminal Legion Of Wacky Non-conformists).
- The C.L.O.W.N. member Tag has pictures of superheroes and supervillains in his room with red bullseyes and the notation "I owe you one!" scrawled on them. A pictorial list, as it were.
- Because of their long history of conflicts, C.L.O.W.N. is on V.I.P.E.R.'s "Top Ten to Trash" list.
- Warhammer: The entire race of Dwarves in the Warhammer [fantasy] universe each have a personal as well as racial "book of grudges" that they keep for generations. The grudges in said book can be anything from a small slight, to a major event, but all are held up with equal contempt to the person(s) or race(s) that caused the grudge. Dwarves really have a lot of enemies.
- The sad part is, since resolving a given grudge almost invariably costs more dwarven lives, the Book has only ever gotten longer... meaning the dwarves are just going to keep retaliating until there aren't any of them left.
- The Mikado has the titular character making a list of all the people (more, classes of people) who he believes should be executed, and sings a song about it no less (since it's an opera).
The Mikado: "I'm sure they'd not be missed! / I've got them on my list."
- Goto Matabe in Sengoku Basara 4 has what he calls a 'Matabe Enmacho' (which is a pun on the markbooks used by teachers) of those who've dishonored him that he wishes to kill. Date Masamune is currently at the top of his list.
- "Dragovich... Kravchenko... Steiner... All must die!"
- One sidequest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Shivering Isles has a supremely arrogant, power mad mage who keeps a list of everyone who annoys or displeases him, but since anything short of sycophantic adoration displeases him, almost everyone winds up on "The List", including the player character. This plays into the quest solution. The mage was born without the ability to regenerate Magicka automatically, and requires a special dagger with an Absorb Magicka enchantment to recharge. After finding it for him, he says that he now needs to stab someone in order to siphon their Magicka. Someone close by. Someone on "The List". Three guesses who he chooses.
- The webcomic Grrl Power provides a example with Sydney. As seen several times with her tube.
- Black Mage in 8-Bit Theater has one.
- Robin of Shortpacked! keeps a list of people who hate her.
- Scott of Basic Instructions has one. Unsurprisingly, many of the names are the same as his friends list.
- Freemans Mind: In the third episode, Freeman puts a scientist on his list for annoying him during the experiment in the test chamber. One can only presume that the aliens and the "rescue team" are on it too if he hasn't completely forgotten about it.
- Hok from AsteroidQuest keeps a book of people who want to kill him. Or as he says, people who have him in their hit list. While his is more of an avoid list, if an opportunity arises to rub one name off it, he doesn't see taking it as below him.
- Wiiviewer has The Rival in Princess Peach of Super Mario Bros., who has a list of people that piss her off. After pissing her off twice, she says they just got higher priority.
- The Simpsons:
- Moe has an enemies list - actually, it's the same list as Richard Nixon's but with Nixon's name crossed off and Moe's written in. Moe puts Barney on the list for pointing that out.
- In "Homer the Great", Homer comes to work and sits on a stool, which promptly collapses. Homer checks the stool and sees it was actually a budget stool produced by Econo-Save. Homer promptly adds the company to his revenge list, which includes (among other things) Stern Lecture Plumbing (the plumbing service he had to deal with at the beginning of the episode), H2Whoa! (the water slide in which he got stuck from "Brush with Greatness"), God, gravity, the Bill of Rights, Grandpa, and "the boy" (Bart).
- Animaniacs had a stuck up character named Charlton Woodchuck. Whom, when feeling put-upon, would ask people to write their name in a book he carries about. Then he'd say "Thank you. When I'm famous I'll make it a point not to like you."
- Dan on the show Dan VS has a Revenge List, for everything that he wants to take revenge on. This includes anything from William Shatner to Whatever's Causing That Rash. One episode has him put Elise on the list after she pisses him off, but when she beats the crap out of Chris's old boss to get some keys they need, he promptly scratches her off the list.
Dan: "Um, I don't have the whole list here... Most of my notebooks are in a storage facility in Sherman Oaks."
- In "Dan Vs. Anger Management", we're given a glimpse of just how long the list is, and, unsurprisingly, it's a big list.
- Richard Nixon had his infamous "Enemies' list" that became the Trope Namer slash Trope Codifier.
- The list, compiled in 1971, was meant to be used during Nixon's second term to have the IRS intimidate those named with harsh tax audits, and to have other federal agencies investigate or harass the people under rumored pretenses. It never got farther than the planning stages, and at least the head of the IRS refused to go along with it.
- When the list came out during the Watergate investigation, the people named on the list took it as point of pride that they made it. Actor Paul Newman clained it was better than winning an Oscar. Writer Hunter S. Thompson was upset he wasn't on the list.