troperville

tools

toys

Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Hoist by His Own Petard
Sorry. Finger slipped.

I am justly killed with mine own treachery.
Laertes, Hamlet

The villain's own weapon or malicious plan is the cause of his downfall and/or death. This could be something as big as a Mad Scientist who creates monsters and/or a Weapon of Mass Destruction getting killed by his own creation, or as small as a prankster accidentally setting off his own trap.

In media intended for young children, it is often a Death by Irony that releases the hero from the unpleasantness of actually killing their enemy; a more specific type of Self-Disposing Villain.

If the hero is not responsible for the death in any way, it can also be a Karmic Death.

A "petard" is an explosive device (basically a bucket full of gunpowder) intended to demolish gates and fortified walls; being too close to the detonating explosive could well toss the engineers who planted it into the air. Thus, this term literally means "Blown into the air by one's own bomb" and was first coined by William Shakespeare in Hamlet.

If an Eldritch Abomination, God of Evil or otherwise supernatural evil entity gets Punched Out by the same powers it gave, you have a Faustian Rebellion in action. If it's an Ancient Conspiracy, Government Conspiracy or other organisation whose Applied Phlebotinum is empowering the one who will bring them down, you have a Phlebotinum Rebel. If it's a Mook, long abused, who finally snaps and turns against him at the last moment, it's The Dog Bites Back. If it's a Video Game boss whose attacks can be redirected back at them, it's Tactical Suicide Boss. Gone Horribly Right is a sub-trope where a Super Prototype works too well, destroying the person or persons who created it and/or threatening the world/galaxy/universe. If it's a vehicle that you just stole, it's Vehicular Turnabout.

Compare Nice Job Fixing It, Villain and Beat Them at Their Own Game. The Streisand Effect is a subtrope of this, when the petard is censorship.

As this is often a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.



Had to Come to Prison to Be a CrookIndex BackfireInsult Backfire
He Who Fights MonstersIronic IndexIronic Birthday
Didn't See That ComingGambit IndexLast Plan Standing
His Name Really Is BarkeepUnisex TropesHot God
The Dog Bites BackVillain BallHumiliation Conga
His Name Is...Death TropesHollywood Heart Attack
The DitzOverdosed TropesEar Worm
Minion with an F in EvilIndex FailureIt's a Wonderful Failure
In Harm's WayStock AesopsGood Old Ways
The Hero DiesImageSource/Anime & MangaKi Manipulation
Hit Me, Dammit!Older Than FeudalismHoly Is Not Safe

alternative title(s): Xanatos Backfire; Hoist By Their Own Petard
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
11903
0