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Gaia's Vengeance
"The earth will shake
And the waters will rise
The elements reclaim what was taken."
Lamb Of God, "Reclamation"

Oh great, now humanity has done it. We aren't just jerks, but we've gone and messed up the planet; environmental pollution, wars, negative karmic vibes, etc. Or our development has become a Game Breaker in the whole "Survival of the Fittest" thing; so humans are now alien to the planet that birthed us. (This also suggests that every other living species exists in some kind of Hive Mind state, so everything they do for survival follows "the rules.") But unlike in a case of Gaia's Lament, where Gaia is sad and depressed at what's happened and wallowing in self-pity, we aren't getting off easy this time. In this case, she's mad as hell and isn't gonna take it anymore.

This has resulted in a situation where Mother Earth has sicced her champions on us. This will result in either a bunch of ethnically diverse kids learning how to recycle while a hero beats up really idiotic and shallow villains... or Eldritch Abominations that are programmed to wipe out the infection, i.e., humankind.

A metaphor for the destruction that environmental damage will do, because really, what aesop can't be delivered through the metaphor of "If you do this, someone or something will beat the crap out of you?" In better series, this will be a logical effect of a certain action; in worse ones, this will just be a flat-out "Science Is Bad!"

If intelligent, Gaia's Vengeance can have contradictory assessments of humanity. Predators and parasites who kill are simply following their nature. Humans "should know better" yet shouldn't think themselves different from said animals.

We can divide this trope threefold:

  • Gaia's Vengeance proper — Nature is a sentient, or, at least, independent and real being, who can direct the efforts of an entire ecosystem, or even weather et al. And willing to direct it against this annoying little sentient species that finally pissed it off. Considering species and even ecosystems are perfectly capable of dying out naturally, this approach is a lot more susceptible to Fridge Logic than the others. In reality, Mother Nature wipes out her own creations pretty regularly, so the idea of Nature as a sentient being who hates humans for doing the same is inconsistent, to say the least.
  • Gaia's Vengeance metaphorical — Was I hallucinating, or was Jerry really eaten by a humongous shark? This is the case when environmental neglect results in local or global tragedy. An example of the former would be a loose swarm of killer bees or an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever fed on a local toxic waste dump; an example of the latter would be global warming. As opposed to above, it does not actually need Nature to act anymore than you'd need a snow devil or whatnot to start an avalanche.
  • Gaia's Avenger — Here, Nature may or may not be sentient, as well as pollution does or does not have to be a problem at all. At least to anyone but this person, who took it as a personal quest to fight any real or perceived polluters, all in the name of Mother Earth. Knight Templarship abounds, but there are some right. The Nature Spirit, Plant Person, and Beast Man, and generally anyone who can "Feel the Planet's pain!" are likely avengers.

May be the reason for Absent Aliens — ie. when they get too technologically advanced, they wipe themselves out, or their equivalent of Gaia does it.

Compare The Scourge of God, Green Aesop, Gaia's Lament, Nature Spirit, and Global Warning. Often a Space Whale Aesop. May be a time When Trees Attack. Clock Roaches are this for Father Time.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Comedy example: New Zealand brewery Speights ran an ad campaign with the tagline "don't mess with mother nature" where a man learns not to throw his gum out the car window. Learns hard.
  • Mocked in old Chiffon Margarine ads, where someone would declare the margarine tasted so much like butter it would fool Mother Nature. Cue lightning and thunder, and Mother Nature herself would appear and remind one and all, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Nasuverse is a series where planets evolve into a summation of its lifeforms, called an Ultimate One. Earth features two major wills/powers: Gaia, the "will of the planet", and Alaya, the "will of humanity to survive," purely because humans are not necessarily conductive to Gaia's goal of becoming an Ultimate One but are nonetheless her creations. They are both the same thing, albeit distinct and have slightly conflicting goals. Both Gaia and Alaya have access to a third existence, the Counter Force, that applies a balancing mechanism and will also destroy anything that starts moving down a path which would threaten the planet. In general, individual humans will have to die no matter which side acts.
    • Gaia also has access to a monster called Primate Murder which has absolute authority over killing humans, and made a deal with Crimson Moon, the Ultimate One of the Moon, to create vampires to control the spread of humanity in the past. Alaya tasks Counter-Guardians, empowered spirits of exceptional persons, to destroy any threat to humanity's survival, which can include recklessly endangering the environment.
    • Kinoko Nasu's older work, Notes, deals with what happens in the apocalyptic future where Gaia finally dies. Humanity is left to fend on a dead planet that can't even support the basics of life as it was known for all of humanity's former existence, and the Ultimate Ones of the other planets come to mop up what's left of humanity because they had heard Gaia's death wail.
  • In Blue Gender, "The Blue" was generated by Earth to answer the rampant pollution and overpopulation of humanity. The Blue slaughter humans who rise above the hunter-gatherer level and convert their bodies into incubation pods for trees. Whether or not The Blue also blew up a spaceship or that was just humans being dicks is unknown.
  • Various beings in the works of Hayao Miyazaki, notably the Ohmu in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and the animal spirits in Princess Mononoke.
    • Although the Ohmu were found to be Gaia's creation to help clean up the earth, not to destroy humanity.
      • This is actually subverted in the manga: the whole new purifying ecosystem is revealed to have been created by human scientists before the collapse of civilization in order to eventually make the planet fit for a new human population.
  • The Raajah in Earth Maiden Arjuna.
  • The human Dragons of Earth from X1999 by CLAMP.
  • In Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara Dream Saga, the heroes go around Takamagahara calming the monsters that have sworn revenge on polluting humans. Then they find out that the whole journey they were chosen to complete was meant to destroy the worlds, as Amaterasu thought them too far gone. They obviously don't take this too well and decide to Save Both Worlds.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew were born "Earth's chosen ones", but in a slight twist, genetic engineering (i.e. science) was required to complete the transformation into world-saving Magical Girls. The Mew Aqua, which turns polluted areas into Ghibli Hills, is also a natural phenomenon.
  • Eureka Seven has one that is different in two ways. It's not actually the planet but a gigantic lifeform that covered Earth, forcing people to abandon it and move back to live on the new surface made from the lifeform without knowing it was earth, and also that it was something the Government Conspiracy was intentionally invoking. They had a series of Kill Sats attack specific points to slowly kill it. These attacks also caused huge uprisings of monstrous creatures that killed everyone very violently, and they then used the publicity of their ineffectual efforts to stop it to get public support.
  • In Parasyte, this is what the parasites are. Or think they are. It's involved, anyway.
  • The anime versions of Casshan (otherwise known as Neo Human Casshern) have the Neo-Sapiens/Neoroids as androids designed to protect Earth's environment — who inevitably decide that the best way to accomplish this is to Kill All Humans. The live-action adaption, Casshern, reduces this to subtext of the Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending.
  • The aliens in Gunbuster were apparently produced by the Universe itself to deal with the human infection. Considering that the creatures were the size of houses, used ships of astronomical scale and destroyed stars to reproduce, it's a bit questionable which species actually makes more objective harm on the galactic scale.
  • G Gundam Supposed to be main villain Master Asia turns out to be a Well intentioned Extremist who wants to rid earth of humanity by using Devil Gundam.
    • Additionally, the Ultimate Devil Gundam was originally programmed to help restore the Earth after a couple centuries of war, pollution, and periodic Giant Robot brawls turned it into a practical hell hole. Guess how it's decided to do that. Go on, guess.
      • However, this is only because it was severely damaged.
  • An episode of Cowboy Bebop featured a group of environmental terrorists who believed that being Gaia's Vengeance was their purpose in life. They had an obsession with the Ganymede Sea Rat, an animal that's considered a delicacy and isn't portrayed as endangered in any sense of the word. The "Space Warriors" as they call themselves broke off from the more extremist environmental groups, gun down everyone where the rat is served (and celebrate the loss of human life at their hands,) and willing to release a retrovirus that will turn anything remotely human into a hooting ape over the harvesting not being prohibited, instead of limited. The episode ends with them trapped in hyperspace and Hoisted By Their Own Petard.
  • A few people in The World Is Mine wonder if Hakumadon, a giant bear-like creature, is an ancient Ainu spirit avenging the planet; other people think it's having a killing contest with a pair of Serial Killers.
  • Count D of Pet Shop of Horrors, and the entire D lineage, beings who can communicate with animals and sense their suffering and death, will apparently not rest until humans are driven to extinction as revenge for the animals that they have driven to extinction.
    • The D lineage also has a more personal issue against humanity: Humans killed all but ONE of D's kind, after all!
    • The current Count did tell Leo, as he was rescuing him, that if humanity obliterated the rest of life, that's when he'd take genocidal vengeance. What's more, the previous Count had held a desire to be reincarnated as a human. Most importantly, D told Leo that humanity had not yet earned the right to have a place on the fae ship. Meaning the D fae are still somewhere on the ambivalence spectrum regarding humanity (pretty close to the "efface" point, but not actually locked there). The best interpretation I can think of is that the current Count, while desiring to avenge ravaged nature, is not convinced that extermination is the only viable solution, and so goes on testing humanity to ensure it can still atone for its crimes with his "pets". When all the tests come up negative, that's when the Count will accept effacement, but not before.
  • There's also Osamu Tezuka's 1980's film "Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature" which, in a very heavy-handed way, acts as a warning against messing with nature.
  • Origin: Spirits of the Past starts with an intelligent forest wiping out most of humanity, but they're genetically engineered so not really an example.
  • In Naruto, legend claims this is the true reason the Ten-Tails exists. It was originally the World Tree until a woman ate a Chakra-filled fruit so she could use its power to end war. The Tree was supposedly so enraged by the theft that it became a Beast and rampaged across the world in an attempt to take back Chakra from humanity. But Zetsu ultimately reveals this legend to be false, as the holy tree was completely indifferent to the theft. Its rampage was actually caused by Kaguya.

    Comic Books 
  • The modus operandi of Poison Ivy, the Batman villain, is defending plant life against all of humankind.
    • This is also the motive of Ra's Al-Ghul, another Batman villain, who considers the earth vastly overpopulated and defiled by humanity. He's not really into the whole Gaia thing, though. He just wants to kill a lot of people and rule the ones left over.
      • Ra's Al Ghul: "Humanity on its own is a destructive force. It needs a master."
    • The Superman foe Terra-Man also tried to defend Mother Nature against both humans and aliens.
  • Brillantly subverted in the Alan Moore run of the Swamp Thing. Second-rate villain Jason Woodrue AKA the Floronic Man declares that the Green has told him to make all the plants on Earth pump out the purest of oxygen (which would be fatal to every single mammal, bird, bug, fish and amphibian on Earth, both because pure oxygen is toxic and because it is highly flammable, as is shown when a man lights a cigar in a neighborhood that Woodrue has decided to make an example of). The Justice League of America just sits up in their satellite waiting for the end to come. Thankfully, Swamp Thing owns Woodrue by pointing out that without animals and humans to release carbon dioxide, all the plants would end up dying.
    • Technically, that's a Artistic License - Biology, as both fungi and the plants themselves (at night) could still convert oxygen to carbon dioxide, even without animals. But losing their pollinators and seed-dispersers would hurt an awful lot of angiosperms, so presumably the Green still got the hint.
    • It's also a general You Fail Science Forever as well, as Oxygen is NOT FLAMMABLE. It's an oxidizer. A fire requires an oxidizer, and more oxygen might make fires harder to extinguish, but oxygen itself will not catch fire.
      • And as long as we're Failing Science, the atmosphere's about 80% nitrogen and only a few parts per million carbon dioxide, so even if plants converted all of the latter into oxygen the atmosphere would still be a loooooong way from being pure oxygen — and no more toxic nor explosive than it is at present.
    • On that note; if humans and their junk are all dead and gone, what would burn in their place, in a global firestorm? Plants burn fairly well, especially in hyper-oxygenated environs.
  • The first series of the British comic Knights of Pendragon consists of Dai Thomas investigating various murders of eco-criminals. And then it gets weird (but still beautiful and heart-rending).
  • In Justice League of America #100, Mother Earth, fed up with humanity's warlike tendencies, decides to wipe humans out with a series of disasters, so The Elitenote  and the JLA hatch a plan to placate her by tricking humanity into uniting against a common foe— The Elite, who put on a show of trying to take over the world's governments and defeating the JLA.
  • The Authority #17-20 concerns a case of Gaia's Vengeance wherein Gaia is just an unwitting pawn in a large Hostage for MacGuffin scheme by a depowered and imprisoned "renegade Doctor", who, having somehow convinced the Earth that humanity is killing it, will only convince it to calm down after he's given back his powers.
  • In Superman: For Tomorrow, a sorceress creates four Elemental Embodiments, skyscraper-sized titans composed of earth, fire, wind, and water. They try to kill Superman, declaring that Supes is a foreigner, an intruder on Mother Earth. They say that to appease her anger, they will kill him, then kill everyone in Metropolis for harboring him. Superman demonstrates that they are not nearly powerful enough to kill him, then threatens to destroy Earth and move to another planet as revenge if they harm the people. The sorceress breaks down in tears and withdraws the titans. Superman later admits that he was bluffing, of course.
  • This is how Sonic the Comic villain Colonel Granite was finally defeated by a freak storm that took out his regiment and blew them back through the dimensional gateway to Earth - seemingly, the spirit of nature itself had fought back against Granite and his plans to destroy the ecosystem. He was last seen being arrested for war crimes on the order of the Prime Minister, who had encountered Sonic.

    Film 
  • Godzilla: Occasionally he'll kick the butt of other threats to the planet, but never forget he'll slap our human asses around if we get uppity with nuclear power.
  • Godzilla (2014):
    • Gareth Edwards stated that Godzilla is a "representation of the wrath of nature."
    Edwards: Godzilla is definitely a representation of the wrath of nature. The theme is man versus nature and Godzilla is certainly the nature side of it. You can't win that fight. Nature's always going to win and that's what the subtext of our movie is about. He's the punishment we deserve.
    • In-universe, Dr. Serizawa believes nature sent Godzilla to restore balance to the world by hunting the Mutos.
  • The 2008 film The Happening centers around this trope.
  • The Heisei Gamera trilogy has characters on occasion worrying that the titular turtle will fill this role if humanity takes too many liberties with the environment. In the third movie, sinister Mister Exposition Kurata Shinji describes the enemy monster Irys this way ... but he's pretty much nuts to begin with.
  • The entire plot of The Day After Tomorrow.
  • Both versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still center around this trope. The original has the aliens coming to Earth to get us to stop using nuclear weapons, while the remake exchanges nukes with environmental destruction and global warming.
  • The Last Winter When Alaska's northern areas start to melt, spirits of extinct animals start to manifest from the oil.
  • In Avatar, the humans invoke the wrath of the deity of the Na'vi, Eywa, a neural network that covers the entire moon, during their final assault. The helicopters get destroyed by a huge flock of ikran while the marines get run down by hammerhead titanotheres and viperwolves.
    • Gaia apparantly died when Earth's atmosphere became only slightly less deadly than Pandora's (those oxygen masks are regular outerwear on Earth). In an early draft Eywa and her creatures are unambiguously fighting the humans from the beginning and in the end Jake bluffs the humans into leaving forever by claiming Eywa had created a killer plague.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is based on this Trope, complete with Red Oni, Blue Oni.
  • In the Australian cult classic Long Weekend and it's remake Nature's Grave, a couple of Jerk Ass characters go camping and act like jerks to nature. Nature then proceeds to give them what they've got coming.
  • The Z-List horror(ible) movie Birdemic suggests this is why a number of birds have decided to start randomly attacking humans in San Fransisco (And turning into exploding Kamekaze bombers, spraying humans with acidic... fluidnote ). Various theories involving bird flu, deforestation and global warming are discussed but given the writer/director's apparent (mis)understanding of the subject, one might as well say that God Is Pissed!
  • And speaking of Z-grade horror movies, the killer bee movie The Bees ends with a hillarious example of this involving the titular bees becoming sentient and delivering an ultimatum at the UN.
  • Speculated to be the case for the epidemic by some characters in George Romero's Living Dead series.
  • The film version of Man-Thing portrays the title creature as a Gaia's Avenger hellbent on some human murder for the actions of the local corrupted oil rig owner.
  • Gaia is apparently suffering from depression in Melancholia so she shoots a planet at her head.
  • Twelve Monkeys features Gaia's Avengers releasing a plague that will kill all humans, including themselves, and return the earth to the care of animals.
  • After Earth: The trailer seems to imply that Gaia got hit by some sort of Hate Plague because "everything on [the] planet has evolved to kill humans" and it's been "quarantined" for so long the hero has to tell his son/student where they are. It's still really pretty, though.
    • Of course, he could have been speaking literally. Without technology, weapons or sufficient numbers with which to defend ourselves, Earth is essentially a Death World populated with creatures who can quite easily kill us.

    Jokes 
  • Toward the end of the golf course, Dave hit his ball into the woods and found it in a patch of pretty yellow buttercups. Trying to get his ball back in play, he ended up thrashing just about every buttercup in the patch. All of a sudden, in a flash and puff of smoke, a little old woman appeared. She said, "I'm Mother Nature. Do you know how long it took me to make those buttercups? Just for doing what you have done, you won't have any butter for your popcorn for the rest of your life. Better still, you won't have any butter for your toast for the rest of your life. As a matter of fact, you'll never have any butter for anything the rest of your life!" Then POOF!... she was gone! After Dave recovered from the shock, he hollered for his friend, "Fred, where are you?" Fred yells back, "I'm over here in the pussy willows." Dave shouts back, "Don't swing, Fred! For the love of God, don't swing!"

    Literature 
  • John Christopher's No Blade of Grass.
  • In David Brin's novel Earth, the primary villain thinks she's doing this by creating gravity wave creatures that attack humans, but she's just Ax-Crazy.
  • And then, of course, there's The Lord of the Rings, in which Saruman learns the hard way why you do not fuck with Fangorn Forest. Ever.
  • Two words from Harry Potter: Whomping. Willow.
  • Happens in Good Omens, the result of a Reality Warper child reading all the local Granola Girl's magazines in one go. At which point the rainforest starts reclaiming South American shopping malls, and Leviathan awakes, and sets his sights on Japanese whalers.
    • On the other hand, the local nuclear power center stays running, at full capacity and without layoffs... it just no longer uses any fuel or produces pollution. This isn't all bad.
  • In Frank Schätzing's The Swarm, it seems that all the creatures of the sea have suddendly decided to exterminate mankind. It turns out that an hitherto unknown sentient species living in the ocean's depths is behind all this.
  • A short story from George R. R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging involves a small human colony provoking the wrath of a water world's life forms by snacking down on the local sentients, a sessile psionic hive mind called 'mud-pots'. Unknown to the humans, all the mud-pots experience the pain of being boiled alive each time one of them is dropped into a cooking pot.
  • Played really proper in The Heroes of Olympus, what with Gaia being the Big Bad and all. The only difference is Gaia is more angry at the Gods than humanity, though as she plans the desecration of the Gods and everything they stand for, which includes human society... humans aren't exactly getting off scot-free.
  • Subverted in Lords and Ladies, in which The Fair Folk assume that the natural world of Lancre will welcome them back because it hates humans and wants them suppressed. In fact, Lancre likes humans and needs them (especially their king) to care about it, and doesn't do squat to help the Always Chaotic Evil elves' return.
  • The squid in The Beast which is only attacking Bermuda because we wiped out its food supply. Whoops.
  • Happens in Animorphs, The Message, when Visser Three is chasing them. Cassie calls out to the whale she'd been communicating with earlier, and two humpbacks and several sperm whales respond to fight him. She said it seemed like the sea itself was fighting back.
  • The Tomorrow Code has a concept of some genetic engineering lab unlocking a Sealed Evil in a Can within, apparently, the genome of all Earth life forms, that ends up releasing a plague of white creatures explicitly modeled on the human immune system that reproduce within a spreading white mist. Apparently they're the Earth's immune system, and they go around killing off humans in order to keep them from hurting the Earth anymore.
  • In the Red Dwarf novel "Better Then Life", Earth had been turned into a giant garbage dump by humans, and accidentally tossed into the depths of space. When Lister crashlands on the now-unrecognisable planet, it reacts violently, throwing acid rain, earthquakes, oil storms and lightning at the last human in an attempt to get rid of him. It is only after the half-mad Lister offers to make things right that the crazy weather stops, to be replaced by ordinary rain.
  • In Karen Thompson Walker's 2012 novel The Age of Miracles, the Earth's rotation starts slowing down, making solar days become progressively longer. This causes adverse tidal and climatic effects, animal and plant die-offs, with the ensuing economic effects (crops have to receive artificial lighting). Then the magnetic field starts to weaken, letting in stronger sunlight and solar storms during 60-hour day/night cycles. By the end of the novel, nine years later, the day/night cycles are weeks long, society has mostly collapsed, humanity has to spend the days mostly underground, and while the narrator is hoping to go to medical school she admits the long-term prospects for humanity aren't looking too good.
  • In Spinward Fringe, humanity has managed to terraform and colonise many planets, but only found one that could compare to Earth in the amount and variety of life that had already arisen on it. A Mad Scientist uploaded the brain of his terminally ill daughter to the AI tasked with looking after the human colonisation of Eden, who promptly decided that humans couldn't be allowed to mess the place up and told them to leave. When they refused and tried to deactivate her, this trope kicked in hard. At the time the books start, there are signs that her army of AIs may be gearing up to act as Gaia's Vengeance for the whole galaxy, but things quickly get rather more complicated.

    Live Action TV 
  • In-universe example in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace - this appears to be a recurring theme in Marenghi's novels.
  • The "Gaia's Avenger" variant is a fairly common Police Procedural plot, particularly for shows trying to strike a balance between left-wing and right-wing villain politics. Law & Order, NCIS, CSI: New York, and Criminal Minds have all tackled eco-terrorist bombers who saw themselves this way.
  • Suggested in The Vampire Diaries, with Damon mocking of Stefan's eating habits.
    "Aren't you worried that one day all the forest animals are going to band together and fight back? I mean, surely they talk."
  • One episode of Power Rangers Turbo featured a mysterious child named Erutan (spell it backwards) who lived in the forest and used nature-controlling powers to scare away litterbugs and vandals. Usually. The situation was reversed when Divatox released a Monster of the Week that unleashed a wave of pollution on the forest too much for him to handle, requiring the Rangers to come to his rescue.)

    Music 
  • The Creature Feature song "The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth" is about this trope. At least according to the liner notes - the lyrics are a little garbled by their standards.
  • The song "Insect Nation" by Bill Bailey.
  • "Deine Welt" by E Nomine.
  • "Another Way to Die" by Disturbed would be Gaia's Vengeance metaphorical, except for the line "Mother Earth will show her darker side/ And take her toll".
  • Mago de Oz's song La Venganza de Gaia
  • Pink Floyd's "Take It Back". The lyrics describe an abusive relationship in which a patient, loving woman is eventually driven beyond her breaking point, the narrator finally earning her fearsome anger in place of her love. The music video shows that it's meant to be an allegory for humans' relationship with Earth.
  • "Watershed" by Vienna Teng.
  • Cerrone's disco hit Supernature.
  • "Nature's Way" by Spirit.
  • Blue Oyster Cult : "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man... Godzilla!"
  • "Forest King" by 3 Inches of Blood: "Overtaking cities with branches they ensnare/Pushing the human race back a million years/The earth grows quiet all plant life will dominate again/When every structure falls you'll know the forest is king"
  • Tiamat's Gaia starts off as Gaia's Lament and turns into this:
    A new serum eradicates the illness, an old man rises from his wheelchair
    When suffering unknown attacks the painless and common animals are becoming rare
    As water spins in circles twice, spiders, snakes and little mice
    Get twisted round and tumble down - when Nature calls, we all shall drown
  • Amberian Dawn's "City of Destruction."
  • Iron Maiden's "Total Eclipse."
  • Sirena's "Maelstrom"
    For thy course now is wrought with despair
    And thy crew killed for thy costly fair
    Not a sail nor a soul did she spare
    Maelstrom, churn!
  • "Onyx" by Project Pitchfork:
    Hello mankind, you must understand
    Here comes your final punishment
    Mother Nature invoked a fatal child
    Her name is Onyx, she won't be mild
    She is coming from outer space
    'Cause the human race has fallen from grace
    Brace yourself, you're next on her list
    Her name is Onyx, she's really pissed

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Changing Breeds in Werewolf: The Apocalypse were each created to aid Gaia in some fashion. Werewolves are Gaia's warriors, werebears are Gaia's healers, wereravens are Gaia's spies, weresnakes are Gaia's judges, and so on and so forth. Nowadays many of them are massively pissed off by humanity's destruction of the natural world and (what they see as) general acts of evil, that will cause The End of the World as We Know It (it is right there in the name of the game, after all), with some thinking that the biggest collective mistake made by shapeshifters was allowing humans to develop past the Stone Age.
    • The New World of Darkness supplement Changing Breeds provides a look at several werecreatures who aren't Uratha and view themselves as stewards of the earth. The game gets a mixed reception from fans of the line, seeing as Werewolf has moved on from "Gaia's Vengeance" to "Spirit World border patrol."
    • In Demon The Fallen, the Devourers were the angels in charge of the wilds before the Fall. Many of them have taken the mantle of "Avengers of the Earth" on themselves now that they've gotten out of Hell. Subverted in that the ones that want to Kill All Humans as revenge for the despoiling of Earth are generally the crazy ones, and that the angels of the actual Earth (the Malefactors) are far less depressed about the current state of things.
  • In the "Invasion" storyline of Magic: The Gathering, the Phyrexians, demonic machine-monsters, invade the world of Dominaria seeking to kill all life to secure the planet for its resources, whereupon it's revealed that Gaea, Dominaria's living spirit and the only true god in the setting, had been preparing for this by "growing" the monstrous kavu - gigantic reptilians resistant to the Phyrexians - beneath her surface for thousands of years in advance. (Unfortunately for the humans, elves, and others holding back the Phyrexians, the kavu find machine-demons and mortals equally tasty...)
    • Zendikar has several lands that get up and hit people. Unlike their standard-set equivalents, where this represents soldiers or monkeys or what have you storming out, these are simply large and bad-tempered bits of scenery that can with little to no warning turn into large and bad-tempered bits of scenery that grab flyers out of the sky, grind opponents under"foot", or simply pop up under an unprepared planeswalker. It turns out this "vengeance" is the plane itself fighting the Eldrazi. What's really scary is that Zendikar is losing.
      • Nearly everything green (and a lot of things red) can fall under this.
    • Not to mention this and this.
    • Primeval Titan's card combines this with Getting Crap Past the Radar: "When nature calls, run!"
    • The green/white Archenemy deck is based on this, with the title of "Trample Civilisation Underfoot".
  • In Dungeons & Dragons settings it's part of druids' work to hand out Gaia's Vengeance in measured portions when there's demand.
    • Quite a few monsters are hostile to anyone who disrespect nature. Treants (who, not coincidentally, were based on Tolkien's ents) will punish or even kill anyone who maliciously despoil the forests they inhabit, unicorns will punish anyone who vandalizes a forest or torments its inhabitants, and dryads (in the 4th Edition especially) will do the same. Other fey beings are mentioned in various works, including the barkburr who will go so far as to curse the worst of offenders by turning them into trees as an ironic punishment for this sort of crime.
    • In 4E it's the basic premise of the whole Primal power source. The Primal Spirits are basically the natural world's counterpart to the Primordials and the Deities, and so just as powerful. While many individual ones (such as the spirit of a specific river or tree or animal) are weak, others are much stronger (the World Tree Spirit basically embodies the lifeforce of the entire physical world, while the Primal Beast is the embodiment of Animal itself), and all of them are concerned with one thing: making sure the natural world keeps on going. Should they ever bestir themselves, it falls under category 1, but this doesn't happen very often — being so tightly bound to the world means that they have the potential to destroy it by accident if they get too involved. Instead, most operate through the Primal classes, which fall under category 3; the Barbarian (Striker), Druid (Controller), Seeker (Controller), Shaman (Leader) and Warden (Defender).
    • Without a doubt, the most potent example of this Trope in the game is the Nature Elemental, mentioned in a 3rd Edition sourcebook. Composed of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and also Life (believed by some to be the fifth element) this titanic elemental being is so powerful, it can only be summoned by a group of high-level druids working together. Not only is this creature powerful enough to likely defeat an army by itself, its mere presence obliterates manmade structures, causing lush and healthy plant life to sprout over in its wake; in addition, it can't be harmed, regenerating all damage done to it almost instantly unless it is somehow separated from all elemental material. (That includes air, meaning you'd have to somehow force or trick it into a vacuum before it could be killed, or maybe toe it into Wildspace.) What's more the text in its entry suggests that the creature is actually an avatar of the living world itself, meaning that, in effect, it is Gaia, for all practical purposes.
  • Subverted in Monsterpocalypse, where the ancient Terrasaurs seem only interested in targeting industrial complexes so as to consume the raw pollution they produce. Besides this, and their occasional desire for a human-sandwich, they are quite tolerant of humanity as a whole.
    • The Empire of the Apes is a different story, intentionally taking up the mantle of Gaea's Avenger. It may not be a full consensus among them, though; one gets the feeling the hierophants tried to dissuade Kondo from leaving their ancestral home precisely so he wouldn't be inspired to do this...
  • The purpose of the Wood Elves in Warhammer Fantasy. No, really, if your army is 2,000pts or over (large enough to include a Treeman Ancient as your General) the entire thing can be composed of walking tree-things out to destroy anyone who dares to cut a shrub on the boundaries of Athel Loren. And given that they were hamstrung by the latest edition, the majority of Wood Elf armies are likely to present themselves as this, since the actual elves are overpriced.
  • In the sci-fi counterpart of the above, Warhammer 40,000, this is why it's a bad idea to try and attack Eldar Exodite worlds. Path of the Renegade details a Dark Eldar raid on one of them; although the raid's primary objective note  was successful, the raid was difficult and costly, as hordes of wild beasts beset the piratical raiders and inflicted heavy casualties on them.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest. (And this yellow version too, who seems to be related.) Of course, we only have his name to indicate that he acts this way, but fanfic writers often portray him as such.

    Video Games 
  • The Devouring Earth in City of Heroes are animate plants, rocks, and fungi who were created by Hamidon Pasilima, an eco-terrorist Mad Scientist who turned himself into The Hamidon, a giant single-celled organism that's the toughest Giant Monster in the game.
    • Ironically and hypocritically enough, heroes (and villains) are fighting the Hamidon to keep it from devouring the entire planet.
  • Not Earth-based, but Planet of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri has the Mind Worms, that respond to excessive pollution by making a beeline for the offending habitation and gruesomely killing everyone inside. So, either you keep your Planet rating high, or you'd better have some real strong defences. By the way, some of them can fly, and they're perfectly capable of penetrating airtight sea-based colonies too.
    • In the expansion, Planet ups the ante with artillery (spore launchers), submarines (sealurks), and entire organic factory/fortress deals known as fungal towers. This is on top of the battleship/transport isles of the deep, mind worm standard combat troops, and airborne locusts. Did I mention they completely ignore your technology?
      • There are technologies that are useful against them (Neural Amplifier, Trance Training, etc...) and you can even breed your own, domestic mindworms.
    • Playing as the- what else?- Gaian faction enables environmental empathy that allows the mindworms to be captured, and then used as weapons against the other jerks in the game. This can lead to some nasty times for anyone who fights the Gaians while relying on spamming undertrained units, and can turn a relatively backwards Gaian player into a world conqueror if he/she plays his/her cards right.
      • As if that weren't enough, the Cult of Planet (in the aforementioned expansion) declare themselves more or less Gaia's Avengers, with a, well, cult-like devotion to Planet and the environmental cause.
  • Final Fantasy VII has an entire squad of colossal monstrosities called WEAPONs which are stated to be the planet's self-defence mechanism. Once awakened, they seek out and eliminate any threat to the planet's wellbeing with extreme prejudice. So, who do they go after first? Not the guy who summoned a giant magical meteor to destroy the planet so he could become a god OR the alien organism who's very presence on the planet perverts nature, no they go straight for the humans who've all but destroyed the environment.
    • It has been suggested that the reason Holy didn't stop Meteor at the end of the game was because it felt that allowing Meteor to wipe out humanity would be a good thing for the Planet in the long term (given that the threat of Sephiroth had been neutralised by that point).
    • Even the game's protagonists could qualify. It does, after all, begin with them blowing up a power plant that operates by draining the planet's life force.
  • The Criosphinx from Chrono Cross. It "represents the dying of the land" and then attacks you, and it REALLY attacks you if you don't answer its riddle. If you beat it after this, it scolds you for "using violence to solve your problems" and then drops one of the most powerful offensive accessories in the game.
    • Chrono Cross was particularly Anvilicious about this trope. Just setting foot in the Hydra Marsh is an invitation for everyone in it to berate humanity for its sins, starting with the Hydras going extinct. When the party drives the Dwarves out of the Marsh, the latter go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the fairies living in Water Dragon's Isle (the irony that the Dwarves use heavy machinery that belches out thick black smoke is lost on everyone.) The fairies then blame you squarely for the slaughter, instead of, you know, the Dwarves. Later on, Serge & Co. meet the Demihumans, then the Six Dragons, all of which have their own bone to pick with mankind, and choose you to be the representative.
    • One of the endings is explicitly about a Roaring Rampage Of Gaia's Vengeance, where with FATE gone, the fused Dragon God allies itself with the non-human inhabitants of El Nido, and proceeds to annihilate all of humanity across the entire planet. Harle expresses some remorse at this, but everyone else is happy as a clam.
    • Arguably, Chrono Trigger also has a form of Gaia's Vengeance. If Robo's theory is correct, the appearance of the Time Gates that allow the cast to time travel and save the world is the direct intervention of the spirit of the planet, aka The Entity, in a counterattack against Lavos.
  • God of War II takes the term a bit more literally, as Gaia herself joins in the revolution against the Olympians (although this has more to do with avenging the Titans' defeat at the hands of the gods than avenging nature).
    • Like most God of War entries, it's worth noting Gaia was pretty much like this in Greek Mythology as well. There wasn't any generation of deities that she didn't take issue with. If she wasn't providing assistance to their enemies, she was spawning monsters to kill them on her behalf.
    • In the third game, Gaia turns on Kratos partly because his rampage has nearly destroyed the world.
  • The rarely Animesque videogame Shogo: Mobile Armor Division has these as the possible Big Bad, depending on the choices made by the player.
  • The protagonists of the video game Radiant Silvergun spend the entire game fighting an enigmatic stone-like object that had effectively destroyed the planet. However, at the end of the game, it's revealed that the object was Earth itself all along, wiping mankind off the face of the planet to effectively "reboot" the human race, due to their extreme warlike tendencies. It's also implied that the events of the game have happened before, many times, and that it potentially won't be the last time they do.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time had the Exterminators once you got to the moonbase.
  • Jade Cocoon, a relatively obscure videogame created in part by Studio Ghibli, starts out after Gaia's Vengeance took place. Humans are barely clinging to meager existence, but it's clear that total obliteration is only a matter of time. Then, it gets worse.
  • SimEarth lets the player unleash the wrath of Gaia onto the planet they tend to, and oh - poking Gaia in the eye does piss her off.
  • In Secret of Mana, the Mana Fortress, a particularly evil Kill Sat. is fueled by the life-force of the planet. The champion of Earth du jour is the Mana Beast, a white dragon hell-bent on smashing the Fortress to pieces. In an odd twist the Beast, while good-natured, has gone mad with rage, and destroying the fortress would cause a catastrophic restructuring of the balance. So the heroes have to kill the Beast after killing the Big Bad in charge of the Fortress.
  • In The King of Fighters, Orochi believes itself to be a servant of Gaea, carrying out her vengeful will (it even goes by the title of "Gaea's Will"). Of course, it's also an evil world-destroying god, and it's managed to forget that humans are as much children of Gaea as anything else on the world, so...
    • Although the Psycho Soldiers ending in '03 seems to imply that Orochi's corruption isn't absolute, at least not compared to the leader of Those From the Past; a further implication may be that Orochi feel under that thing's sway, and only then decided to resort to genocide.
  • Endless Ocean 2 features an enormous great white shark named Thanatos who specializes in hunting humans. Nothing much comes of this in the plot proper, but his character description wonders aloud if his emergence is Mother Nature's revenge for mankind's Disproportionate Retribution against shark attacks.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey features the Schwarzwelt, a release of demonic antibodies for when some species (in this case, humanity) threatens to bring life on Earth to utter ruin. Or at least, that was Hammerschmidt's theory. The problem is that the forces behind it, especially the actual Mother and origin of all life on Earth, Mem Aleph, want to wipe out humanity's civilization specifically for its depravity and excess, so that "nature can flourish freely" once again... but the Schwarzwelt's expansion results in the absorption and reconstruction of every last bit of the planet it comes in contact with, including all non-human life, which sort of defeats the purpose.
  • Savage: The Battle for Newerth plays this straight with Ophelia Grimm. Ophelia had a supernatural gift for communing with animals, and believed the Legion of Man should cooperate with the newly-intelligent Beasts, rather than killing them on sight. After watching Legionnaires kill a defenseless beast pup that was trying to give her a flower, she began to believe that humans had no redeeming traits at all, escaped into the wilderness, and taught the beasts to fight back, becoming a full blown Gaia's Avenger.
  • Albion has a very direct example: metal is horrendously expensive because mining results in horrible monsters appearing to disembowel the offender, unless you perform a secret ritual which apparently appeases the local earth goddess.
  • This is basically the main premise of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, where villain Teams Magma and Aqua actually threaten to use Groudon/Kyogre to either dry out the entire planet or flood it instead.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has a rare benevolent example of this in Hydreigon, who's not a true Pokemon, but the form taken by the Voice of Life, a being who embodies the world's will to survive and acts as one of its sworn protectors, addressing any threats to its safety. His goal is to destroy the Bittercold, but after becoming aware that neither he nor any Pokemon in the world was capable of doing so, called humans in to do the job. He eventually meets the player character and proceeds to guide them towards this aim, also acting as their guardian until circumstances force him to part ways. Once the world is saved, he ultimately decides to settle into a normal life in Post Town for the time being and helps his new friends/world saviors as a part of their team.
  • Baion from Solatorobo believes himself to be Gaia's Avenger, wanting to wipe out the "imperfect" Caninu and Felineko and restore the world to its natural state. After smacking him around a bit, Red tells him that Caninu and Felineko won't degenerate into fighting that tears the planet apart like the humans did before. Baion relents, and tells Red that, while they get a reprieve this time, he will be watching them.
  • The Gohma from Asura's Wrath are revealed to be the will of the planet itself corrupted by hatred and rage.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, when Hades fools the human nations into warring over the Wish Seed (which wasn't even real), this proves too much for the Goddess of Nature, Viridi, who drops this trope on humankind, on a massive scale. She enters the conflict by dropping an organic bomb that wipes out humans and turns their cities into massive forests. For a fair number of chapters, the story focuses on stopping her from wiping out all of humanity for their wasteful and destructive ways.
  • The planet Ar Ciel in Ar tonelico has a will of its own formed by the consensus of several high-leveled consciousnesses known as the wills of Ar Ciel. The wills of Ar Ciel all fill specific functions in the maintenance and preservation of the life on Ar Ciel and were once worshipped as Gods that matched their function (for example Soma, the will that created balance through natural selection was worshipped as the Goddess of violence and catastrophes) with new wills being created when the consensus deems one to be necessary. Two major catastrophes (The seven bloodstains incident and the grathnode inferia) occur before the games due to the conflict between the nations of Sol Cluster and El Elemia that deliver a possibly fatal wound to the planet. After this Ar Ciel's consensus creates a new will called Ar Ru whose purpose is create and command creatures called antibodies who exist to eliminate all humans from the surface of the planet.
  • The flash horror platformer Gyossait has a very creepy version of this. The god Oyeatia creates mankind as a gift to the titular goddess of earth. But Gyossait sees mankind's treatment of her planet as an insult and unleashes a cataclysm that kills millions. This pisses off Oyeatia in turn, so he tears Gyossait to pieces and buries her essence inside a prison no god can reach. Not that it actually stops her...
  • Zyra, the Rise of Thorns, from League of Legends. An ancient and powerful plant from the Plague Lands who takes the form of a human sorceress she consumed while near-death. She seems hellbent on taking vengeance on any and all animal life.
  • Metaphorical invocation in Mass Effect 3. Plan A for dealing with the Reaper destroyer on Tuchanka is a two-pronged attack by turian fighters and krogan armor. Plan B? Summoning Kalros, "the mother of all thresher maws", who flying-tackles the Reaper and drags it underground. Wrex outright calls her Tuchanka's temper.
  • In Don't Starve, cutting down too many trees summons a Treeguard monster. Fortunately, the Treeguard can be mollified by planting some trees, and will even help you fight monsters. There's also Krampus, a monster that shows up and steals items from any chests you have lying around if you kill too many non-aggressive animals, but if you're able to chase him down and kill him you can take your stuff back.
  • In House of the Dead, this is the motive of Caleb Goldman for his bringing about a Zombie Apocalypse.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers
    • Technically Gaia isn't after vengeance; she just wants humanity to clean up its mess. The Planeteers are in charge of doing what they can nonviolently/non-lethally and it's considered a shock when one of them (Gi, over the shooting of one of her teachers in an episode on gang violence) attempts murder.
  • The movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest had a tree in the titular rainforest containing the Sealed Evil in a Can, a demon named Hexxus who fed on pollution. Conveniently, he represented the destruction caused by humanity while posing a threat to humanity, getting the message across while still portraying nature in a strictly heroic manner ("Can't you feel its pain?").
  • Barbie Presents Thumbelina uses a mild version of Gaia's Avenger as the Twillerbees use their power over nature to prevent a construction crew from destroying the field that holds their homes.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Urban Jungle" Danny faces off against the evil plant ghost Undergrowth, who is bent on covering the planet in vegetation and enslaving humanity.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: "Zanzibar".
  • The Gaang from Avatar: The Last Airbender briefly met a spirit named Hei Bai, who was rampaging through a village because his forest was destroyed. After Aang reassures him that it will grow back, though, Hei Bai becomes an ally.
    • Zhao, who, while temporarily succeeding with the whole killing the moon thing, suffered a Karmic Death via a very vengeful Ocean Spirit.
  • Played with in South Park. When Craig is infested with head lice, the shots of him using delousing shampoo to get rid of them is interspersed with scenes from the lice's perspective, showing that to them, the casual scalp washing is basically this.
  • A really weird example in Transformers Prime. The Earth formed around Unicron while he was sleeping. When he wakes up and notices all of that noisy organic life on him, he reacts in much the same way a human would react to waking up covered by roaches.

    Truth In Television 
  • In general (with more specific examples below), nature tends to react to humanity screwing with it by screwing us back. It's often said that no matter what we do, the world will survive just fine. It's us that may not be so lucky...
  • Plants and trees will release different chemicals when under assault that attract other predators to drive the things off; in the case of plants tended by ants, for example, the chemicals are a signal for a massive Zerg Rush.
  • Massive deforestation results in an erosion of top soil that causes floods and reduced land productivity; most farming societies learned very early on that it's a good idea to rotate crops to include plants that put nutrients back into the ground.
  • Exhaust from factories and cars will cause acid rain, hazardous smog, and global warming.
  • Entire classes of chemicals have been banned (CFCs and insecticides, for example) due to their impact on the environment.
    • One of the effects being the evolution of insecticide resistant insects. The same applies to herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics... Ironically, overusing products which have extremely valuable uses in moderation leads to their devaluation in the long term. And sets us up to get smacked when a system predicated on their function no longer has them.
  • The Whistling Thorn serves as a base of operation for its own private army of vicious ants that attack herbivores foolish enough to try and get past the thorns.
  • During the Vietnam War, a great deal of soldiers on boths sides died not from combat, but from insect carried diseases.
    • Which was pretty standard for any war, up until WWII and the advent of antibiotics. And even then shortages were still common, especially in poorer countries.
  • Russia's greatest defense is not its vast armies, but harsh cold Russian winter that has claimed thousands of lives of over the centuries to anyone who dares to invade Mother Russia.
    • Ditto for Finland during the Winter War, though the ineptitude of the Russian army command and the frighteningly lethal strategies of the Finns probably did more damage than the actual weather. Death by skis, anyone?
    • They usually coupled this with their Scorched Earth tactic, leaving any invading army without any means of pillaging for resupply.
    • This idea is an object of ridicule in Russia, because of the underlying notions that Russia is unable to defend itself by force of arms and has to rely on weather and Russians are somehow immune to cold and attrition caused by sub-zero temperatures. There are several studies of this mini-trope (usually called 'General Winter') that show that the horrors of Russian winter were exaggerated by Napoleon's and Hitler's generals to cover up their defeats. On the other hand, Russia's sheer size—even when you take out the Asian part, Russia is still Europe's largest country, at some 40% of the European landmassnote —can conspire with the winter to make marches through it completely miserable for invaders.
    • The Finns also had the most badass sniper who ever lived: Simo Häyhä. There's a reason why he was named the White Death. And he griefed bare Russians by no-scoping over 500 of them, with another 200+ killed by SMG.
    • Japan's 'Divine Wind' similarly repelled invasions; attacks across the strait were crippled or destroyed by wind and waves.
    • Australia is seen as this, with Everything Trying to Kill You. Everything. The Australian Wildlife, the rocks, the trees, the fish, the plants, the ground...Aussies with Artillery provides details on how invading Australia would be kind of like challenging Wolverine with a feather, and Badass of the Week suggesting you have to be Commander Shepard to survive.
    • The Balkans are known for their mountainous terrain which, coupled with the state of the local roads, made military movements and administration diffcult. It also offered perfect hiding places for bandits and guerrillas.
  • Delusional Serial Killer Herbert Mullin was convinced he needed to make blood sacrifices to nature, or it else would destroy California with earthquakes. He even killed some of his victims because they were "polluting".
  • Equally delusional mass murderer John Linley Frazier claimed to have killed an entire family because voices were telling him to "seek vengeance on those who rape the environment".
  • Wiping out much of the ocean life has also had the unfortunate side effect of creating more giant squid. It's an animal that's big enough to damage a boat, incredibly hard to kill, and that will cheerfully eat people. And since there's less and less food at the bottom of the ocean...
    • Along similar lines, overfishing, and possibly also pollution and climate change, are causing a massive increase in jellyfish populations.
  • In one particular forest, wolves were killed off by hunters, and farmers who believed they would attack livestock. The wolves disappeared from the forest entirely, and as a result, the population of deer exploded and they caused massive damage to places where people lived. Oops. This was eventually fixed by the reintroduction of wolves into the forest.
  • The sinking of the Titanic can often be framed as an example of something like this; probably the most sophisticated and technologically advanced passenger vessel of her age, she was heralded as a triumph of technology and empire and a popular (if misinterpreted) boast about her was that "God himself cannot sink this ship!". One collision with a stray iceberg later, she's resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and around 1500 people are drowning or freezing to death. It's hard not to see the humbling lesson about hubris in the face of nature there, really...
  • A fellow by the name of James Wolcott gained attention with this view.
    “I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong — Mother Nature’s fist of fury, Gaia’s stern rebuke.”
  • In Maoist China, one of the critters targeted by the "four pests" campaign was the sparrow, which was believed to eat too many grain seeds. Some of the birds were killed with guns and slingshots. Crowds of people would make noise to prevent the sparrows from landing, causing them to die of exhaustion. It worked and the birds became nearly extinct in China. Unfortunately, the sparrows also controlled the locust population and millions of people were killed by the resulting famine. China ended up having to import sparrows from the Soviet Union.

Gaia's LamentTropes of NatureGarden Garment
Fowl-Mouthed ParrotThis Index Is A JokeGallows Humor
Food SlapRevenge TropesGenocide Backfire
Gaia's LamentSpeculative Fiction TropesGalactic Superpower
Founder of the KingdomRomanticism Versus EnlightenmentGood Old Ways
The CavalryImageSource/LiteratureLiterature

alternative title(s): Gaias Revenge
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