There's nothing quite so evil as when a character takes a clear step toward villainy and decides to Kick the Dog. Sometimes, though, the kick falls flat—not because it wasn't evil, mind you. The intent, malice and ill will are all there. It's just that at this moment, the dog isn't a sweet innocent puppy. It's a devious son of a bitch that's trying to sink its teeth into someone's leg. This is one effective way to set up a believable Start of Darkness while keeping the character sympathetic.
Important note: this trope is not to be confused with its close cousin Pay Evil unto Evil, in which an Asshole Victim also suffers from another's cruelty as payback for their cruelty. The difference lies in how much the perpetrator knew about the victim, and whether that was his motive for committing the act. Someone who does Pay Evil unto Evil will deliberately target a terrible person. An SOB Kicker either doesn't know about his victim's evil, or is doing this completely unrelated to his victim's evil.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. Among the victims, unbeknownst to them, is a certain pimp who was notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them. He will not be missed.
One of the robbers is making a full confession after being captured by the police. He is asked why he killed his partner, the notorious Don The Rapist. The robber explains that he's actually the infamous Backstabby McGee. He further explains that although he could have gotten lost in the crowd of people who'd want Don dead, he'd have killed his partner and stolen his share even if it was Jean Valjean.
Pay Evil unto Evil: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. One of the robbers spots a certain pimp he knows who was notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them; figuring this is as good a time as any for revenge, he takes aim and shoots him.
Part of the reason the Comedic Sociopathy for Ranma ½ works so well is because, ultimately, pretty much everyone who gets hurt can be said to deserve it. Ranma getting a Megaton Punch from Akane is funny because he's a Jerk Ass who routinely mocks and abuses her. Akane getting tongue-lashed and mocked by Ranma is funny because she genuinely can be a hypocritical tsundere pest. Mousse getting his heart stomped on by Shampoo when he returns to the series looks like Karmic Justice for being a Stalker with a Crush, and the fact that we just saw him try to kidnap Ranma's fiancee, try to murder Ranma, successfully kidnap Ranma's fiancee, threaten to turn Ranma's fiancee into a duck, and then finally try to either murder Ranma again, turn Ranma himself into a duck, or both. And so on and so forth.
Ribbons Almarck from Gundam 00 does this in Episode 13 of Season 2 when he slaps Wang Liu Mei and tells her to know her place when she mocks him after witnessing the full extent of the Gundam 00's power. Ribbons is the Big Bad, to be sure; but, because Liu Mei is widely perceived as a Smug Snake and a Scrappy, this became a Crowning Moment of Awesome for him.
In the first season, his overthrowing of Alejandro also counts. Alejandro was just such an arrogant Smug Snake that Ribbons betraying him and leaving him to die is just the icing on the cake after Setsuna defeats him in battle.
Later on, Nena gets one of these when she opens fire on Wang Liu Mei's ship with the Throne Drei. Notice that Nena is a Psychopathic Manchild who has no real standards of what's good or not (specially noticeable when she blows up the Halevy mansion and handicaps Louise for no reason at all, soooo...
Arguably, Mayuri does this too when he fights, humiliates, defeats and deals a Fate Worse Than Death to Szayel Aporro Ganz. Sure, Mayuri is a Jerk Ass, but Szayel was even worse than him, considering what he did to Renji, Uryu and Nemu... And being worse than Mayuri is, politely said, quite an accomplishment.
Subverted in the final Ichigo-Ulquiorra fight when Ichigo becomes a mutant-zombie-Hollow and begins brutally mauling Ulquiorra, doing things like tearing his arm off, beating him with his arm, and blowing his waist off. Once he's done, he attempts to do one of two equally awful things and either moves to carve him up thinking he's dead, or moves to carve him up knowing he's still alive. This is treated as animalistic and awful by everyone there, including Ichigo himself once he regains his senses. Ulquiorra could be a jerk, but he had a lot of Alternate Character Interpretation going for him and even at his worst was nowhere near as bad as some of the other Arrancar.
In Mai-Hime, this is pretty much what Shizuru does, and one reason she lends herself well to being a Draco in Leather Pants. The First District arguably needed killing considering what they'd done to Natsuki's mother, and while Nao is more sympathetic than them she could be seen as a second case, depending on the viewer's perspective.
Paranoia Agent. There's a particularly memorable moment when you're seriously rooting for Shounen Bat to beat the crap of Masami Hirukawa.
In Fullmetal Alchemist, the villains' use of the You Have Outlived Your Usefulness trope generally is completely unsympathetic, but in the manga when Pride pulls it on the Man in White, a Mad Doctor, you can't help but cheer, and the same is true to a lesser extent with his devouring the equally monstrous Kimbley. In both cases, you have an evil guy who threw his lot in with monsters who think of humans like insects, and their fates are rather karmic in showing them that they really picked the wrong side.
Scar did this in his first manga appearance by killing off Shou Tucker.
Also in the manga when Roy completely flipped his shit at Envy, the point was to show how close he was to losing track of his ideals and turning into the sort of merciless bastard he's been working against the whole series. It came off as awesome anyway, though, since it's Envy.
The same scene in Brotherhood made it quite clear to the fans that that was not something you are supposed to enjoy... The other characters present acknowledge that Envy must die, but think Roy is killing him for the wrong reasons: "how will you become a benevolent leader if you're this willing to resort to murder someone for Revenge and thus betray everything you've fought for and preached about ever since the Ishbalan War? IT'S NOT WORTH IT".
In Code Geass R2, Charles zi Britannia does this to V. V. by taking his code and leaving him to die. "You have lied to me for the last time", indeed..
While Lelouch Lamperouge feels little remorse for killing, he's up against the racist Britannian Empire, and the only people he personally kills are a genocidal prince and enemy soldiers. Then comes the second half of R2 and he starts Jumping Off the Slippery Slope...
In the School Days anime, Sekai Saionji earned the rare distinction of being on both ends of this trope in a single episode. First, she kills the Jerk Ass who has been cheating on her like crazy and recently refused to stay with her despite her thinking she's pregnant with his baby. And later, she gets killed and cut up by the girl whom she stole said guy from, by kissing him and becoming his "other woman" after Sekai herself hooked them up, which kicked off said girl's Break the Cutie deal.
In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the first person Shion kills is her ruthless grandmother, the head of the Sonozaki family who hates the Houjos, turns a blind eye on any cruel treatment and harassment they endure, and recently ripped out three of Shion's nails just for associating with them. Shion kills her by accident (don't get me wrong, she definitely intended to torture her), and whips her dead body while burning her face as revenge. After that, Shion goes on a killing spree that, well, isn't nearly as justifiable.
In comparison, Rena's (another one of the show's most feared and violent characters) first murder victim is Rina, a slut who swindles men out of their money and leaves them to get beaten by other men. Rena discovers this as well as the fact that Rina plans to do the same thing to her father. When Rena confronts Rina of this in a junkyard, Rina threatens to kill Rena by choking her to death. Rena manages to slice Rina's abdomen with a shard before finding a metal pipe. The rest is history. Not long afterword, she kills Teppei, Rina's pimp who, in other arcs, is shown abusing his niece and Rena's friend, Satoko.
Any murder of Teppei is always made justifiable by his abusive, manipulative actions. Whether he's murdered by Keichii, Rena, Shion, or Rika, it's always justifiable because HE'S TEPPEI!
One Piece: As if he really needed it to secure his villain cred, DonquixoteDoflamingo is especially willing to... cut loose his former allies. However, so far he has done this to: a Jerkass bully, a slave trader, and Gecko Moria. None of whom were the least bit sympathetic and pretty much deserved what they got.
And Spandam in Franky's backstory, where it happened not once, but twice! First by Franky's father figure Tom, who would have possibly killed him haven't he been stopped after the first blow and then shortly after by Franky himself who left him with permanent face damage. Franky and Robin then take revenge on him near the end of the Enies Lobby arc, with Robin slapping him repeatedly, Franky smashing him with his sword in elephant form, and Robin breaking his back. Breaking it CLEAN IN TWO.
The prisoners in Impel Down suffer horrific torture, but they aren't like the Straw Hats; most of them have killed quite a few people, and they think nothing of sacrificing others in order to survive their tortures.
Then again, there were also prisoners like Ivankov, who for all appearances is a genuinely good guy, and got locked up for being one of the leaders of a rebellion against the very evil World Government.
And who could forget the World Nobles? They are the biggest S.O.B.s in the world, and anyone would be happy to blast them to Kingdom Come if they could. The problem? The three admirals, the World Government's strongest enforcers who could easily decimate an entire town singlehandedly, are called in whenever someone attacks the World Nobles. Now, who do you think would attack them anyway out of vengeance for their friends, even if they know all this? You get exactly one guess.
From Sailor Moon, there's Rubeus. He was a very irritating Smug Snake who treated his Quirky Mini Boss Squad, the Ayakashi Sisters, like shit — specially the one who loved him, Cooan. When he was left to die by his fellow villain Green Esmeraude, he had kicked the dog so many times that seeing him die felt like a Karmic Death.
In Muhyo and Roji, this is applied retroactively to two of Enchu's victims, as when their deaths are first mentioned, we don't know that they did anything to deserve it. However, it's later revealed that they treated Rio terribly; one forced her to wear revealing clothes to class so that she could sell her tools, another mocked her for doing so, and both refused to save her mother from a haunt, causing her Face Heel Turn.
In Dragon Ball Z, after Nappa fails to defeat Goku and can only nearly equal his strength (without Kao-Ken), Vegetathrows him up the air and obliterates him. Although the action itself is pretty surprising (Nappa was his partner), Nappa had spent most of his screentime slaughtering thousands of innocents and most of the Z-Fighters and nearly killed Gohan while laughing about it. Still, many fans do see this as Vegeta's lowest, moment.
Vegeta IS this trope in the Planet Namek arc, with his fight against Zarbon being among the best moments. Until about an arc and a half later when he makes a more genuine Heel Face Turn, Vegeta is basically an evil guy killing even eviler guys.
However, contrast this with final form Frieza's fight against Vegeta— whilst Vegeta's actions up until now have hardly been worthy of any sympathy, the fight plays out to evoke as much sympathy for Vegeta as possible. The fact that he is finally facing up to the cruel tyrant who has held him in bondage his entire life, and getting smacked around and humiliated because of it, resulting in Vegeta breaking down and crying, is fairly emotional despite his villainy.
The first really wicked thing Reina does in Rave Master is quite literally stab Sieg Hart in the back. It's a little satisfying though, since Sieg had just mind raped Haru.
November 11 killing Maki in Darker Than Black is definitely an example of this. Normally, impaling a young boy with an ice spear would put you well over the Moral Event Horizon. Not in this case though, as the boy in question is a psychotic yandere who was causing needless destruction because of his obsessive love for his leader and would probably have gone on to kill his own allies if he hadn't been stopped. The way the murder plays out is like an odd fusion of Kick the Dog and Pet the Dog. Maki had badly injured April, one of November 11's teammates, and when he tracks Maki down, he is aided by his other teammate, July, and it's shown how despite seeming emotionlessness, they are a very close group. The episode ends with them all bonding (while Maki is bleeding to death in the same room).
In Magical X Miracle, Yue was absolutely merciless in interrogating and killing Ardi, although the former did have reason to be upset; Ardi had him imprisoned and was about to kill one of the few people he actually cared about.
Masaru and ShineGreymon from Digimon Savers finish off Kurata as he's pleading for his life. Normally, trying to kill someone who is begging you for mercy is a sign you're either a villain or at best, an Anti-Hero. However, when that someone is the biggest monster in the history of Digimon, circumstances are different.
All his friends cheered him on and told him to kick Kurata's ass.
Also, around episode 3, Aya and her Girl Posse refuse to give up, and start mocking Nanako in the middle of class. What happens there? Kaoru, the local Tomboy and School Idol, not only tells them to shut up, but physically mauls them. Aya's really Too Dumb to Live, isn't she?
Tiger & Bunny's Wham Episode 16 has a flashback to Yuri Petrov's (Lunatic's) childhood when we see his abusive drunkard father beating his wife and then turning on his then-teenage son when Yuri tries to stop him. In response, Yuri activates his Next ability for the first time, and burns his father alive. Lunatic's methods are undeniably brutal, but in THAT instance...
An episode of Pokémon had Team Rocket's Meowth slashing the crap out of a one-off villain, to the point of shredding his clothes off. Sort of a nasty thing to do, even to a villain, but the guy had been putting pretty much everyone (especially Meowth) through hell the whole episode. The guy was kind of a wuss and taunted the heroes the whole time, so he really had it coming.
Another episode had a Jerkass trainer abandon a Charmander and when he came back to claim it after seeing it take down Team Rocket, Charmander refuses to come along, instead opting to nail him with Flamethrower, immediately followed by Pikachu with Thunderbolt. After that one-two, the trainer runs off, crying to his mom.
Death Note: Light Yagami's first murder victims were Kuro Otoharada and Takuo Shibuimaru, which is out of curiosity to test the Death Note. The former is a criminal who held a group of children hostage in school while the latter is a motorcycle gang leader who attempts to sexually harass a woman in the street. From this point onwards, Light's killings becomes more of Pay Evil unto Evil.
In Yu Yu Hakusho, Toguro and Sakyo had done this quite a bit namely to Tarukane and Butajiri. Though it doesn't actually make up for their Kick the Dog moments or in Toguro's case, at least not until the end.
In Sin City, when the Sociopathic Hero brutally tortures and dismembers the bad guys, few readers will shed a tear. Lampshaded in the film, when Marv remarks "I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad."
Les Légendaires has Skroa savagely killing a bunch of slave traders who were attacking the protagonists so they could sell one of them. You really don't feel sorry for those guys;
Then later book has Amy killing Skroa.
In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen Of All Oni, when Jade finds the first mask, Kaito, the General inside, proceeds to lie to her and is implied to have betrayed her when Valmont wore it, egging him on, not to mention the acts of evil from BEFORE he was sealed; so, after the mask is removed, Jade EATS it, consuming his essence. He had it coming.
Later on in the story, Evil Sorcerer Lung kidnaps Jade and tortures her to the brink of insanity and death trying to break her to his will. Therefore, no one in the audience was complaining when Left and Right showed up to save her, with Right killing Lung as he begged for mercy. In fact, one reviewer even called it justice.
In the Axis Powers Hetalia fic "Twisted", one of many sequels to the "World Financial Crisis Gangbang," America commits suicide and is brought back to life by England, only to come back wrong as a veryDamaged Soul bent on vengeance. His first act of revenge is sacrificing the Italy brothers in a black magic ritual to resurrect his children he had over a century earlier. Normally, killing the Italy brothers would put America past the Moral Event Horizon. However, since the Italy brothers participated in the gang rape, it's very hard to have any sort of sympathy for them.
Hell any "revenge" sequel to the to the Financial Crisis Gangbang counts as this, as well as The Dog Bites Back (particularly "Spreading Poison"). Another called "To Avenge A Friend" has Hungary, Canada and Tony mentally torture the rapists for several hours, forcing them to actually experience the whole thing for themselves. And given the later pages of the comic, it's very hard not to cheer them on.
And that's not counting the one with Native America (aka America and Canada's dead mother) coming back to give the perpetuators what could be described as Inception: Nightmare Fuel Edition. And it's really difficult to sympathize with those "victims."
Played for laughs in the Transformers fic, They Just Don't Care Anymore, where Galvatron kidnaps and threatens to kill Fred Phelps, mistaking him for a beloved celebrity. Not only do people not care, they actively encourage Galvatron to kill him, which Galvatron confuses for reverse psychology.
In Red Witch's Sins of the Father, Walsh seizes an opportunity in the chaos of the Black Rose's attempted coup to stab Senator Wheiner. While most of the fandom would agree the aforementioned "son of a bitch" definitely had it coming, the fact that he leaves the Series 5 team in danger to do it, and then runs off without leaving behind any answers, especially for the devastated Shane who had just found out Walsh is his genetic father, makes it a lot more nebulous.
Subverted in-verse in the 1983:Doomsday Stories. While Austria would very much like to avenge Hungary's death in Doomsday, it turns out that America at least was just as helpless.
In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Cupcakes, Gilda treating Pinkie Pie like crap was a lot more deserved in Pinkie's case, as she's actually a psychotic murderer. Also, Pinkie murdered Gilda for reasons unrelated to Gilda being a Jerkass, though plenty of readers weren't really sorry that it happened.
Gilda was also killed by Twilight Sparkle in The Experiments of Twilight Sparkle, who doesn't care about her being a Jerkass.
This entire set-up is also inverted in some fics, showing Gilda as justified in taking revenge and letting her do so very violently due to her species' aggressive nature.
It's also commented that while the extinction of a species is normally viewed as a negative thing, to date no pony has come up with anything bad to say about the Warming wiping out the Windigos.
It turns out this was the main goal in Pharaoh's plan in the Ben 10 fanfic Hero High: Sphinx Academy. Yes this kid pretty much took over the world just to give his mother a kicking she so well deserved.
Films — Animated
Peter Pan: Captain Hook's entire Humiliation Conga at the end of the movie counts as this. The way he is one upped and ridiculed by a bunch of kids, you are almost compelled to feel sorry for him, till you realize he murders people for no reason, tried to blow up Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, kidnapped and almost drowned Tiger Lily..
Medusa's helper Snoops in The Rescuers is the movie's resident Butt Monkey, but it's hard to feel sorry for a man who keeps a young orphan prisoner on a boat guarded by large alligators and seems hardly any less villainous then Madame Medusa - just a lot more composed.
In Toy Story 3, a garbage man ties up Lotso in the front of his garbage truck. Unbeknownst to him, Lotso is an evil toy who not only puts Andy's toys through torture, but had also abandoned them to die after they helped him survive. Therefore, the audience ain't too sad about the ending.
Films — Live-Action
In Goodfellas, Henry hit in the face until he bled from the nose to a man who raped his future wife.
Little Sweetheart has Thelma, the 9-year-old Villain Protagonistchessmaster sociopath psychologically tormenting two bank robbers (a man and his mistress) via blackmail for just $100 and then fun. Sure, he's a cheating, thieving bastard and she's just as bad, but Thelma takes it to new levels. Of course, it's also harder to hate Robert Burger, the bank robber (and former employee), seeing as he's John Hurt.
Denis Leary giving the "Mickey Mantle" speech to the abusive husband in Suicide Kings. Oh, was that a glorious scene.
A very literal and humorous example occurs in CJ 7. However, it turns out it was All Just a Dream leading to an unpleasant subversion. Later, the protagonist engages in kicking the would be SOB kicker. Repeatedly.
The main villain of Twins is a hitman known as "The Webster" who kills anyone, even the people who hire him, who meet him on the job and see his face (which he makes no effort to conceal). His victims include the loan sharks chasing Vincent.
Al Czervik (the Dangerfield character) in Caddyshack is abusive to everybody around him, but they all have it coming with the possible exception of some of the caddies (and many of them snark right back at Al, which he seems to appreciate).
Everyone "D-Fens" meets in Falling Down. Most notably the Neo-Nazi.
At least the ones he actually gets violent with. Various people, such as the staff and customers at Whammy Burger, don't qualify for this trope. They're just minding their own business and being normal human beings when they have the misfortune to cross Foster's path, or vice versa. He doesn't hurt any of them, but he damn sure ruins their day.
Deleted material from The Boondock Saints showed that the other guy they gunned down in the Sin Bin was a pimp who the twins had seen slapping around one of his girls before heading into the strip joint. Incidentally, he was also the same asshole who beat up that injured nun we saw earlier in the hospital waiting room.
In the Park Chan-wook film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the movie involves Ryu getting back at the organ traffickers by the second half of the movie for stealing his money and kidney. Unbeknownst to him, these people not only committed god knows how many scams to their previous customers prior to the events of the movie, but one of them also attempts to rape a sedated woman on the operating table. Therefore, most of the audience ain't too sad about Ryu's actions.
The Batman villains themselves in the film franchise have a tendency to do this.
Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow fear-gasing Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins. However, he was less than interested about him being the head of the Italian Mob in the Gotham City, and more because He Knows Too Much.
Cocteau: Now I'll have carte blanche to create the perfect society. My society. The harmony of an ant colony and the purity of a flawless pearl-
Phoenix: Yeah, but you can't take away people's right to be assholes! That's who you remind me of. An evil Mr. Rogers. Will you please kill him? (throws gun to Mook) He's pissing me off.
In the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of The Speckled Band, Holmes is instrumental in causing the death of the evil Dr. Grimesby Roylott but, as the good doctor had killed off his older daughter and was plotting to off the younger one, the audience is not inclined to condemn Mr. Holmes. As he puts it, "I am no doubt indirectly responsible for Dr. Grimesby Roylott's death, and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience."
In Black Company, Raven and Croaker manage to capture The Whisper and The Limper. Raven then proceeds to torment The Limper until Croaker decides it's enough and stops him. Limper has it coming.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban: When Harry yells at Marjorie Dursley, but also lose control of his magic and blew her up like a balloon. Prior to that, Aunt Marge was insulting Harry's deceased parents. Needless to say, it's satisfying to see that she gets her comeuppance.
In the X-Wing Series, aside from his "cutter", who prepares his drugs, absolutely no-one likes the relatively petty criminal Zekka Thyne. Not even the viewer. There's nothing to him but evil, and not even the cool or interesting flavors of evil. He was taken off the prison planet by the Rebels, who reluctantly want to work with him. The Imperial Kirtan Loor has stormtroopers capture him and tie him down, then backhands him repeatedly, tells him to spy for him, and has the stormtroopers inflict a nonfatal abdominal wound so he can claim to have escaped. A few chapters on, while talking to the Rebels, he gets argumentative, hints at betrayal, and Fliry Vorru does this.
Vorru's right hand struck fast and slapped Thyne on the belly. The younger man howled, then, as he doubled over, Vorru grabbed him by the neck and slammed his forehead into the table. Thyne, glassy-eyed, rebounded and Vorru flung him from his chair. "For some people, discipline is a lesson. For others it is a lifetime."
With Vorru this moment is simultaneously Kick the Dog. He was an Imperial Moff who got sent to Kessel for massive corruption, and the Rebels, one of whom was pleased to see a blaster wound on Thyne's stomach, note how quickly and easily he goes from urbane and gracious to absolutely vicious.
It's also a plot point. Thyne is unable to give good info, as he spent most of the meeting punch-drunk and concussed!
A humorous poem by Rudyard Kipling gives this treatment to the Biblical Cain and Abel: Cain the farmer killed Abel for wrecking Cain's irrigation ditches to give the water to his cattle. The last line specifically describes God's judgment upon Cain as unfair. (Though Abel had at first offered to buy the water, so Cain was a bit unreasonable, too.)
Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in A Song of Ice and Fire is noted for an intense desire to kill his older brother. While this should be an indication that Sandor is not the nicest guy, you eventually learn more about Gregor "The Mountain That Rides" Clegane, such as his propensity for murdering babies (including his and Sandor's infant sister), raping and murdering women (including his two wives and a princess) and the incident when they were children, which left Sandor with horrible facial scars and a life long fear of fire... Well, Sandor suddenly makes a lot more sense.
The "Brave Companions" (or, as they are called behind their back, the "Bloody Mummers") are a bunch of Private Military Contractors known for commiting rape, torture, and other atrocities. Their leader, Vargo Hoat is killed by the above Gregor Clegane in a gruesomely fitting fashion.
The Companions themselves do this to Amory Lorch, a Fat Bastard and Smug Snake who stabbed a toddler to death, by feeding him to a bear.
And Gregor Clegane himself gets offed in a very, VERY nasty manner. Sure, Oberyn Martell was a douchebag, but no one's going to fault him for stabbing Gregor with a poisoned spear and making him die very slowly and in incomprehensible agony, especially since Gregor raped and murdered Oberyn's sister simply because Tywin Lannister hadn't told him not to and brutally killed her two children.
Perhaps one of the reasons why Littlefinger is still a firm, fan-favourite is that he has a tendency to do this. Its hard not to cheer the guy when he has Joffrey poisoned or throws crazy Lysa Arryn off a mountain-top.
In Lois Duncan's Daughters of Eve, when the girls in the eponymous sorority attack Peter Granger, it marks their fall from a social club into a dangerous vigilante group. However, considering the way that he treated three different members of the sorority including driving one of them to suicide, the reader is definitely cheering them on. Given the reactions of some of the sisters, it seems that this was quite deliberate: we were supposed to enjoy the girls' revenge on Peter and only later realize that it marked their Start of Darkness.
Near the end of the book, one of the girls murders her abusive father.
Padan Fain in the Wheel of Time books has a couple of moments of this. The stand-out example however is when he is rubbing shoulders with the Seanchan early on in their appearance, before the reader has time to get to know much about them besides the fact that they keep women who can use the One Power as pets/slaves. It is therefore weirdly satisfying to see him plot and execute the brutal murders of a good number of them.
Whether or not this applies to The Slap is the driving question of the book. The plot kicks off when Harry slaps Hugo, the child of another couple at his cousin Hector's barbecue. Whether this is little more than child abuse or appropriate discipline of a badly-behaved child is deliberately left up to the reader, but is complicated on both sides - Harry is constantly portrayed as an abusive jerk with few redeeming qualities, but Hugo is an out-of-control brat who, at the time of the slap, had been threatening Harry's son and Hector's children with a cricket bat, and his own parents hadn't made an effort to stop him.
Similar to the Star Wars example though without so much buildup, ArtemisEntreri of the Drizzt novels is in a foul mood when he happens across a Drow Matron in the underdark while searching for Drizzt. After a sexist barrage of insults, it doesn't go very well for her.
Animorphs: The Inspector regularly mocks, taunts, threatens, and otherwise humiliates...Visser Three. It's kind of fun to watch.
In the first Jesse Stone novel, Night Passage, normally an officer performing a kick to the balls on an unarmed civilian who's not attacking him would be a major Kick the Dog moment. Unless said civilian is Jo Jo Genest, who just got done bragging about how Jesse can't do anything to stop him from raping his ex-wife and openly mocks the restraining orders she's filed against him. Then it's this trope.
The Silence of the Lambs series also have Hannibal Lecter having a habit of doing this. The most particular is Frederick Chilton, who is an abusive prison warden. However, he was utterly insane and was less offended about Chilton being a corrupt prison warden.
The novel version of Hannibal does this as well with Mason Verger, who gets offed in a truly nasty manner by his sister Margot, who also takes his sperm so she can impregnate her girlfriend and conceive a blood heir who can inherit a trust fund, but since Verger is a truly awful piece of work who was a sadistic asshole to begin with (which is what prompted Hannibal to disfigure him in the first place) who also sexually abused Margot when they were young, it comes off as this instead. Margot is a Karma Houdini, but it's really hard to feel bad for Verger.
Zod possessing Lex's body does the same thing to Lionel in Zod.
Heroes: The series' new baddie, Samuel, destroys a police station, crumbling it to the ground. But since the officers there killed a boy with powers by dragged the kid to death behind a squad car, the kid was exonerated on trial no one could prove he hurt anyone, and he only ever hurt people because he didn't know how to control his powers, Samuel's actions feel pretty cathartic to watch.
LOST almost ran into this trope when Michael shot Ana Lucia. The writers realized this, though, and had him shoot the much more sympathetic Libby too. It also caused an Alas, Poor Scrappy effect in regards to Ana Lucia herself. Not to mention, we had just learned her Dark and Troubled Past. Meeeeeep.
Also from Lost: When Jack beat up Ben.
BuffySpinoffAngel had one its first season when a man implied to be pimp that tries to seduce Faith. She stabs him, leaving him hospitalized, then steals the keys to his house and moves in while he's hospitalized. Similarly, a season 2 episode had a telekinetic woman who had trouble controlling her powers accidentally cause a dumpster to sqash two men to death, but since those men had been planning to rape her, Cordelia says the men are "better off squashed".
Arguments rage to this day whether Willow was justified to do this in regards to Johnathan and Andrew. Warren on the other hand had little debate that he deserved it, with the problem being that whatshedoes makes her go dark. In universe only Buffy thinks the law should handle Warren, everyone else is all for letting Willow have this one.
Katherine of The Vampire Diaries is almost certainly the most evil and dangerous character on the show. At least until Klaus arrived. But since her first on-screen act of villainy was to stab "Uncle" John Gilbert, well...
Featured in House when Chase indirectly kills the dictator. Everybody in the audience agrees with him that Dibala should have died, and the media coverage of the event is entirely positive, noting the hope that that would bring to the country, but Foreman and a priest tell him that he did a horrible, horrible thing and Cameron divorces him over it.
Occasionally a patient or patient's family member will hit House, which is usually fairly satisfying to the audience.
More rarely, House will hit a patient or family member, which is usually more satisfying for the medically-relevant Lecture he is delivering during or immediately after said strike.
To Home and Away fans, Sam Tolhurst was already prettyunsympathetic, but her murder of armed robber, murderer and possible rapist Johnny Cooper definitely qualifies.
Mr. Lahey of Trailer Park Boys is so cruel, it's hard not to be satisfied when terrible things happen to him.
This is a go to trope for a lot of Villain Protagonist type shows (The Shield, Sons Of Anarchy and Dexter among others) that will often have the main characters facing off against worse criminals and usually employing brutal tactics to defeat them and the reason the audience doesn't lose sympathy is because most of the Big Bads tend to be pretty vile types.
When former Colonel Simmons from Stargate SG-1 was eventually killed by being blown out of an airlock by the heroes, just after becoming the host to a particularly nasty Goa'uld who had been giving the team much grief. The reason no one mourned Simmons? He'd been an even BIGGER asshole to the team for much longer.
Many [SG-1] villains (mostly Goa'ulds) go out this way.
The soft-spokenAffably EvilMagnificent Bastard Gustavo "Gus" Fring of Breaking Bad pulls one of these off in a manner most awesome: after Jesse produces some of Walt's ridiculously pure blue meth at The Cartel's lab in Mexico, Gus presents the head of the cartel, Don Elario (with whom he has a nasty history stretching back to at least the late 80s) with a rare bottle of tequila. Elario passes the contents of the bottle to all his main subordinates. Little does the Don know, the bottle is poisoned, and Fring (after drinking the poisoned tequila and vomiting it out) kills the entire leadership of the cartel in one fell swoop.
On Warehouse 13, James MacPherson is one evil son of a bitch. He arranged for numerous people to be burned alive. He caused Claudia's brother Joshua to be stranded out of phase for years. He took Mika's parents hostage. He released Artifacts of Doom into the world for fun and profit. He repeatedly tried to kill Artie. He Mind Raped Leena. For her part, Helena G. Wells doesn't give a damn about any of that. She kills him because he intends to rat her out to the authorities.
This is a trait of several "Tweener" wrestlers, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and most recently Randy Orton, who have a habit of committing actions which would be seen as despicable if done by anyone else, but still manage to get the crowd behind them, simply by targeting wrestlers whom everyone already hates.
Probably the best example was when Austin was the first male wrestler to put a beating on Chyna. She'd been played up at abusing the Would Not Hit A Girl rule for months so that when he finally let her have it, the action didn't affect his general Face status at the time.
Another prime example is when The Undertaker tombstoned Vickie Guerrero during his most recent (of many others) feud with The Big Show. Granted he had tombstoned her once before already (while feuding with Edge going into WrestleMania 24,) but by the time the 2nd one occurred, Vickie had already: Striped him of the World Heavyweight Title, "banished" him from WWE for losing to Edge in a TLC match (with the help of La Familia,) AND enlisting the Big Show into tricking the Undertaker, culminating into Undertaker losing to Show by knock-out at No Mercy. And this is not counting her involvement during Edge's subsequent feud with Triple H...
Lizard Men committing and planning serial wars and even outright genocide is normally pretty sinister stuff. When Warhammer Fantasy applies it to factions like Chaos, Dark Elves, or Skaven? They deserve that and more.
There's actually a highlighted example of this in one of the sourcebooks (the first Warriors of Chaos, perhaps), where a notation is made of a Chaos Champion leading his warband to attack a town ruled by a count so cruel that, when the Chaos Champion was winning, the local women actually started cheering the Champion on. He killed the count and promptly called off the attack and left.
In Spelljammer, regular Dungeons & Dragons gnomes often suffer a case of Fantastic Racism towards the "minoi" or "tinker gnomes" of Dragonlance, some even going so far as to try hunting them down. Many don't treat this as an evil act, however. In the metaverse, tinker gnomes are The Scrappy due to being Mad ScientistsPlayed for Laughs with traits that are, instead, highly irritating — for example, they fixate on Rube Goldberg Devices to the extent that they simply can't build something that isn't needlessly complicated, and they actually strive to make their machines so absurd that they fail because they view the learning experiences from failure to be far more important than actual success. In-universe, the "minoi hunters" aren't regarded as evil because minoi can actually be very dangerous to everyone around them, thanks to their racial Hat of Bungling Inventor — they can cause tremendous damage when their machines inevitably go catastrophically wrong. For example, whenever a tinker gnome-built spelljammer approaches a planet, the odds are pretty good that "landing" will be synonymous with "falling out of the sky and crashing into the middle of a city".
In Exalted it's virtually impossible to Kick the Dog without accidentally causing some good in the process. Player characters can do pretty awful things to fairly innocent NPC's, but most major NPC's are very far from being dogs and usually in the son of a bitch territory, so whatever the reasons for the PC's to kick someone's ass, chances are that they're kicking a son of a bitch. The entire history of Creation is more or less a series of Kick the Son of a Bitch, most notably the Usurpation. It would be tactless to say that the Solar Exalted didn't deserve it, but the Bronze Faction weren't exactly benevolent angels either.
The first person who dies in Little Shop Of Horrors is an abusive boyfriend and "semi-sadist". The guy sure looks like plant food to me.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney's first kill is Adolfo Pirelli, who is the violent and abusive caretaker of Tobias Ragg. He's also willing to screw Sweeney out of half his earnings out of sheer greed, despite the fact that he was Sweeney's apprentice in his former life. That's cold.
There's another alternative: tell him you want to be compensated for letting him out, persuade him to give you the key to his lockbox of money first, then choose to leave him in that cell with a cheery "Enjoy your stay".
A similar moment occurs for the Human Noble when you finally get to butcher Arl Howe this is doubly true considering before you fight him he brags about making your Action Mom kiss his feet. Don't just kick the bastard, stomp a hole in him.
Bites the player in the back in Awakening, where one of the party members is his son Nathaniel, who starts off as quite sore against the Warden for taking everything away from his family, although YMMV. Some who played as the Human Noble kept looking for the "Tough cookies, junior, maybe your father shouldn't have been an evil douchebag who murdered my entire family" response during conversations. The Howe family by-and-large survived the events of the Blight. The Couslands had maybe two survivors. To say that there were those who didn't tolerate his whining would be a classic Understatement. After his sister confirms that their dad was an evil douchebag during his Personal Quest, Nathaniel stops whining and agrees that his father brought his fate upon himself.
Lets not forget the Alienage mission where Loghain has been allowing Tevinter slavers to illegally kidnap his own citizens. After nearly beating the Blood Mage slave trader, he makes one last offer to drain the life force from his remaining slaves and give you an HP boost in exchange for his freedom. It feels all the more satisfying to finish him off.
Especially if you're playing a City Elf, seeing as one of the elves he offered to sacrifice is your character's father.
Heavy Rain lets you finally give Blake the punch in the face that he deserves in the Under Arrest chapter. You don't get to really bask in the moment as he pulls a gun on you afterwards...
In Fallout 3, killing the tyrannical Mr. Burke in cold blood results in an increase to your Good Karma, as well as sighs of relief from the patrons of Moriarty's bar.
The fact this is the only time killing something in a city is a okay really tells you something about Mr Burke.
Not to mention that if you tell self-appointed Sheriff of Megaton Lucas Simms about Burke's attempts to get you to cross the Moral Event Horizon, he'll gun Lucas down when he tries to arrest him (unless you intervene, of course).
Then you have Fallout New Vegas, which averts this even further (for the most part). By that point, the Enclave Remnants are mostly good people who either tried to defy orders or tried to serve for the good of their fellow men. Said remnants are also being hunted down by the NCR and Brotherhood of Steel for simply being associated with them....
Barthandelus, the main villain of Final Fantasy XIII, reveals his true nature by killing the Smug SnakeBaroness Jihl Nabaat, who is perhaps the most unsympathetic person in the game.
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has Caulder kill a mayor. After seeing what that mayor has done for a good amount of the game, it seems to be a shining moment for Caulder and has much approval from players.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, there is an mission where you're hired to do an assassination and have the option to kill the person who hired you instead of your target after the former goes out of his way to lure the latter. Pretty dickish even considering the game's standards, right? Not when your employer is the horribly corrupt and insufferably hypocritical Francis McReary and the target is the latter's own brother, Derrick. Despite carrying out the mission giving you a considerable benefit, it's hard to resist the temptation to double cross the bastard.
Also the mission where you have to choose between killing Playboy X or Dwayne. However, this one is an easier choice, as killing Playboy X (the S.O.B. in question) allows you to have Dwayne as a friend and all the benefits that come from it - plus, you get a nice new apartment.
In fact, many times in the GTA series, when you get to finish off the Big Bad, it will fall into this. Examples include Catalina in III, Sonny Forelli in Vice City Frank Tenpenny in San Andreas, and Dimitri Rascalov in IV.
Somewhat mitigated in Duke's case in that he at least faced death quite honorably.
Duke was altogether less of a Jerk Ass in Broodwar than in the original Starcraft campaign. After all, he did stay at Mengsk's side even after the UED kicked his ass. The "old" Duke would just have switched to the winning side after his defeat on Dylar, at the latest.
In Final Fantasy VII, after being the party is imprisoned by Shinra, Sephiroth makes his first appearance by going on a massive killing spree inside the compound where you are imprisoned, leaving a trail of Shinra mook corpses as well as the Shirna president's body with a sword in his back. Of course, this was the same president who had a sizable portion of his city destroyed with the people still inside it, just so he could pin the blame for it on the protagonists.
And these are the same mooks that you've been killing up until then. If anything, he just saved you some busywork.
It's even lampshaded by Barret, who asks "so Sephiroth is a good guy?" when you find the President dead and Palmer tells you he saw who did it.
Sephiroth gets another one in Crisis Core when he delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! line to Genesis, who asks him for help right before the Nibelheim Incident. Is condemning someone to a slow Cruel and Unusual Death evil? Yes. But considering this is the same person who spends the entire game spouting Meaningless Meaningful Words at us and started his request for help by calling Sephiroth the perfect monster and pushing him further towards his breakdown...
In Baldur's Gate 2, Irenicus escapes Spellhold and slaughters the Cowled Wizards. This would normally be terrible... if it wasn't for the fact that, up to this point, the Cowled Wizards have been presented as arrogant, holier-than-thou jerks who imprison Mages on trumped up charges and have a Torture Cellar just for those prisoners, and, in a sidequest, they try to manipulate you into murdering an innocent man just so they could use his corpse to gain access to an interplanar spaceship. It doesn't help that two of the Cowled Wizards Irenicus kills were planning to "practice enchantment spells" on Imoen.
Knights of the Old Republic: How many of us switch Carth to solo mode, hand him a couple swords, and send him right at Saul? Or take a hit to Light Side Mastery by telling him "take your time" when the dying bastard is at his feet?
In the Death Knight starting quests in World of Warcraft, the players' main victims are the Scarlet Crusade, whose enemies are not only the Scourge, but also anyone they suspect as being a heretic note (that is to say, anybody thatisn'tpart of the Scarlet Crusade), and whose leaders are apparently planning on abandoning many of their people to move on to Northrend. Granted, many of them are innocent peasants who can barely fight back, but both the Alliance and the Horde see the Scarlet Crusade as their enemies, and they contribute nothing positive to the struggle against the Scourge.
Mona normally balks at actually drinking blood straight from the vein or otherwise using her vampire powers like a...well, a vampire. But then she meets Bruno Stoker, who regularly berates his wife and runs her ragged trying to keep his fat ass fed, and contributes nothing to the upbringing of twin sons who are rapidly careening towards spoiled brathood of the worst degree. She takes a perverse glee in putting the fear of God into him.
It's worth noting how Zephielstill comes off as less despicable (while being more high-scale evil) than his father, because while Desmond was a Driven by EnvyHate Sink with selfishly petty motives, Zephiel comes off as an exceptionally tragic Broken AceNietzsche Wannabe lashing out at the world he despised and wanted to.
By extension, this is the appeal of many of the Renegade prompts, especially when the victim has it coming. There are several that even the staunchest Paragon players admit to taking because they're that's satisfying, as demonstrated by this comic of Nerf NOW!!.
In the middle section of his loyalty mission, Garrus takes it upon himself to track down a criminal of some repute and beat the crap out of him for the answers he needs, and, having found them, shoots him (nonfatally) unless Shepard intervenes. However, the criminal in question turns out to be Harkin, a Dirty Cop C-Sec officer who spent his entire appearance in Mass Effect being as unlikeable as physically possible. (Not that it would have stopped Garrus if it had been someone less deserved.)
Just about EVERYONE agrees that Shepard gutting Kai Leng with his/her omni-blade is one of the most satisfying moments of the series.
In the third game, one outcome of a hostage situation involves Miranda shooting and killing the hostage taker after he releases his hostage. While this would normally be a very morally ambiguous act, the hostage taker is her father, Henry Lawson, who, in addition to seeing his daughters as means to carry on his legacy, was responsible for gathering refugees and using them in experiments to find a way to control the Reapers
In one of the School Days endings, MakotoItou harshly calls out Otome and her horrible Girl Posse upon their continued abuse of Kotonoha- even grabbing the hand of the lass who's about to do the slapping part. Yeah, a lot of people say that Makoto is a selfish moron who thinks with his dick and all (and he is in the anime), but what people don't understand is that what Makoto does with the girls in the end depends on how well the game is played.
One of the options in the City of Heroes Mission "Your a Cruel One Mr. Phipps" is to break into Phipp's prison cell and beat him. Normally this would be bad but Westin Phipps is a Smug Snake, so in this case it's pretty satisfying.
In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, during the Dark Brotherhood Questline, you get to kill Valen Dreth. Doesn't ring the proverbial bell? That was the Dunmer who was spewing acidic comments about your race at the very beginning of the game. You can even throw the "you're going to die in here" line right back in his face, much to his chagrin. And don't even get me started on Mraj'Dar.
Even more so if you play as a male dark elf. In that case he asks if you've got a wife back home in Morrowind. Of course you don't get to respond, but he says he'll look her up when he gets out and 'keep her company'. * Skyrim allows you to accomplish this in a quest by killing Grelod the Kind. Her surname couldn't be more ironic, seeing how she owns an orphanage where she acts abusive toward the orphans, threatens them with extra beatings if they shirk their chores, and refuses to let them be adopted by anybody. She is so bad the quest actually is given to you by one of the orphans, who tried to contact the Dark Brotherhood to kill her, and the other orphans will actually cheer if you eliminate her.
In Dragon Quest VII, King Zeppel of Mardra is constantly pursuing gaining magical might by any means; prior to your arrival, he used what power he'd already amassed to completely decimate the neighboring kingdom of Raguraz. However, said kingdom was responsible for his Start of Darkness, as they previously conquered Mardra and his Captain of the Guard threw Zeppel's best friend Lucia off a cliff and mocked him, openly challenging him to try doing something about it. Both Zeppel and Lucia were only eight at the time.
Jack Kelso gets a moment like this near the end of the game when he shoots Leland Monroe, corrupt property tycoon and conspirator, in the leg. Then stomps on the wound to make a point.
Strange Journey: Jimenez landing the final blow on Captain Jack, who you fight just before tackling the penultimate boss of Sector Fornax. What, you're going for Neutral or Law, but don't want to stop Jimenez because Jack deserves it? No problem, the writers know how horrible he is, because you get no alignment points for choosing to watch instead of intervening!
In Portal 2 Wheatley pulls this during his descent into villainy when he turns GLaDOS into a potato.
In Jade Empire, joining the Lotus Assassins requires either winning in the arena or preventing Judge Feng from interfering with the Lotus Assassins' plans. The Open Palm solution involves blackmailing Fang into resigning; while this would be an evil act, Feng is a pederast, albeit one who genuinely finds the Lotus Assassins reprehensible.
Played straight in the video game adaptation of Walt Disney's Pinocchio. The Pleasure Island level features the Coachman as an End Boss. Take into account that in the film, Coachman has kidnapped children, transformed them into donkeys, sold them to salt mines where they will most likely work to their deaths while he is still torturing the donkeys that can still talk normally, and has been doing this for years and is STILL doing this persumable to this day without any repercussion. The Video Game finally gives this monster justice, in typical disney fashion.
After killing Thomas Hickey, a member of the templars in Assassins Creed III, one of your allies kicks his corpse. Connor calls him out on this, much to his disbelief.
In Halo the three Prophets are all devoured by the Flood, given that these three are the bastards responsible for the Human-Covenant war, and ordered the mass genocide of billions of humans, they deserved it more than anyone.
This turns out to have been the Big Bad's motivation in Ace Attorney Investigations 2. No player really mourned Teikun O's double after finding out what he did. You even kinda admire the Big Bad for helping put Bansai Ichiyanagi behind bars. On the other hand, it's very much YMMV whether Ryoken threatening Marie Miwa's family is this or a case of Disproportionate Retribution.
In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All, Matt Engarde hiring Shelley de Killer to kill Juan Corrida turns out to be a case of this, as Juan broke up with his fiancee merely because she had been dating Matt Engarde earlier, leading her to be Driven to Suicide.
In Fate/stay night, Shinji Matou is the son of a bitch in question. The first kick would be in Fate route where Ilya brutally killing him after Rider is beaten by Saber. Shirou is horrified; the rest of us just think Ilya is awesome. In Unlimited Blade Works; Gilgamesh gets to be the kicker, when he decided to make the Holy Grail out of Shinji. This was quite the effective kick that after all it's done, Shinji was so scared that he actually starts becoming more decent... as implied in the epilogue. And in Heaven's Feel Sakura's Face Heel Turn is marked by her beheading Shinji. In this case, the story doesn't really act like this was the wrong thing to do (he was midway through attempting to rape her, and has been raping her for many years) but it still marks the point where she decides FINE. FUCK IT. I'll be evil!
In Higurashi, Teppai's many deaths by Keiichi, Rena, and Shion, Rena killing Rina, and Shion killing Onryu count as such.
The Devil turning resident Jerk Ass Seymore into a demon (better in context) in Sin Fest.
The Order of the Stick: Whether or not Vaarsuvius killing off the Black Dragons qualifies is something that the forums are still arguing about it, opinions ranging from "unforgivable villainy" to "righteous retribution." To elaborate, it isn't much about the death of the Black Dragon, but rather the way s/he handled it: S/He used an epic spell called "Familicide" that killed all dragons related to that one, including unborn eggs and half-dragons, some of which proved to be good-aligned in a later comic—namely, the entire Draketooth clan.
It ties in to a more general moral question in D&D-style world. What are the rules for dealing with a species that have Always Chaotic Evil as the alignment-entry in the monster manual? Are any creatures like that who aren't a threat (yet) fair game for good guys?
Plus you know, OotS is all about Deconstruction and Reconstruction of D&D character alignments. Start of Darkness and regular comic #842 are prime examples of that.
It should be noted that, among the factors up for debate re: V's Familicide spell, is the fact that in one shot s/he eliminated a full quarter of the Black Dragon species.
Less ambiguous is V's Vigilante Execution of Daimyo Kubota, who was a Smug Snake that only moments before had murdered one of his own underlings and then bragged about exactly how he was going to get off Scot-free. You'd be hard-pressed to find a character more literally begging for a Karmic Death, but V only did it because he was bragging while Elan had him captive...
Also less ambiguous is Haley's murder of Crystal. Sure, cold-blooded murder is rarely a good thing, but it's hard to argue that she didn't have it coming. Especially if you've read Don't Split the Party, where Crystal was actively trying to kill Haley when they recovered Roy's body and made it absolutely clear that she would continue to do so. Rich Burlew explains in the commentary that, by dropping that sequence of strips from the online comic for pacing reasons, Haley's decision comes across a lot harsher but he didn't realise this at the time.
What's also interesting is Haley's discussion with Elan about this. Haley, who is "Chaotic Good...ish", decided to confess what she'd done to Elan, who is explicitlyChaotic Good, not good-"ish". Elan wasn't exactly approving, but he didn't condemn her for it, and he mentions that he feels better about it when Haley assures him she was really bad, and mentions she once saw Crystal headbutt an old woman into a coma.
There's also the question of whether or not Crystal will be raised. Haley seems to think that Bozzok will spring for a ressurection spell, and that this is more of a "don't mess with me again" warning. Sure, it's hardly guaranteed, and murder is still murder, but in a D&D universe death may not be cheap, but it is affordable.
Subverted twice by Elan. The first time when he catches up to his evil brother after being skewered by him, and his brother is left hanging off a ledge over a pit of monsters. After struggling to decide, he helps him up and captures him. The second time was just after Daimyo Kubota had given Elan every justification to kill him, then calmly says "I surrender," just before Elan carries through with that. Elan is visibly enraged by Kubota worming his way out of his comeuppance, but he can't bring himself to kill the man because Elan is strictly good. He does punch Kubota in the face, however.
And then Start of Darkness gave this to Xykon of all people. Rich didn't want to give him any kind of sympathetic background, but for all the evil Xykon embraces with reckless abandon, it's hard not to cheer for him when he really gets on a roll considering Wizards take a high-handed attitude towards Sorcerers just because their genetically-earned magic doesn't come with any means of control beyond self-control. Every Wizard Xykon takes down for the sake of being a petty, spiteful dick took just as bad an attitude towards him first, even considering him an idiot because he didn't learn his magic — he didn't even have to learn magic to use it, so taking the high ground on that is, frankly, being an absurdly petty jerk.
Footloose has the Alpha Bitch Sparkle set up by faerie pirate Captain Kitty (after having been kidnapped by her and used as a serving wench), then Kitty shoots her with a magical gun, and has a gay male pirate watch over her so that when she tries to seduce/flirt her way out, she's humiliated even further. Oh, and Kitty plans on seducing Sparkle's ex-boyfriend just to drive the knife in deeper… and Sparkle's pretty much a nobody to Kitty so the ongoing Humiliation Conga is just for giggles.
In Errant Story, Ian's attempted genocidal smackdown of the Elves would seem to be a clear case of Disproportionate Retribution, driven by his own elf-induced personal drama and the ancient elf god he accidentally absorbed. But given that, with exactly two exceptions (Sarine and Misa), the elves have been uniformly portrayed as arrogant, bullying, borderline sociopathic bastards who have tried to enslave and/or commit genocide on every other race in their world, with particular focus on exterminating half-elves (like Ian) wherever and whenever they can. It's hard to muster much sympathy for such a planet ofJerk Asses.
The current elves might be arrogant and xenophobic, but it's not like they don't have a good reason. In that world's history, the elves originally lifted the humans out of barbarism, and loved the resulting half-elf children just as much as their own. Then several powerful half-elf mages went inexplicably insane, destroying a floating city and kicking off a decades-long war that nearly drove both groups (elves & half-elves) to extinction. It's stated that no one has ever figured out WHY this happens to half-elves, or how to prevent or cure it. Hunting down and murdering innocent people just based on race is bad, yes, but it's at least understandable when these people are ticking time-bombs. And not every elf is a powerful mage or murderous assassin-ranger; many haven't even left their hidden city in centuries when Ian shows up on their doorstep with an army of time-ninjas and starts indescriminately slaughtering everyone in sight. Overall this seems much more like a case of gray-and-grey morality, or maybe well-intentioned extremist.
Misfile can have these occasionally. Missi gets excluded from an event? Of course, she's an annoying brat. Emily isn't getting her costume made by Missi? Why would she, the way she acts towards her? Pretty much every character in the comic has moments of being a complete ass, so who you sympathize with and who you wish would die simply boils down to who you identify with better.
Played less sympathetically with Sheldon. The guy recieves a Humiliation Conga complete with all his friends turning on him, his car being badly battered and smashed up, and a particularly nasty kick in the balls… but only because he forced Ash into a race with him, put down said friends as "just muscle" behind their backs (while gloating about how they could never be convinced that he looks down on them because they trust him), and later, when he loses his race, tries to frame Ash for bad behaviour by smashing up aforementioned car with a rock, and then claiming that Ash tried to come onto him the night of their meeting. Needless to say, Rumisiel's revealing the truth with a recording of Sheldon's very words, as well as Missy's aforementioned Groin Attack, were largely viewed as both characters' most shining moments to date.
ThisBruno The Bandit strip: the eponymous criminal robs an old wizard, who has just spent ten minutes getting on the nerves of everyone else in the room. Instead of anyone trying to stop him, he gets applauded.
In General Protection Fault, Fred takes over Trent's body, forces him to sexually harass Sharon, go into a meeting almost completely naked while pretending to be a superhero named Wiley Wombat, and go out and expose himself in public, getting him arrested. While the cast complains about this and it comes back to haunt Fred when he's in court defending himself against Trent's libel lawsuit, Trent is a Smug SnakeJerk Ass so no one feels much sympathy for him.
In Girl Genius, after caging a copy of The Other within herself, nearly killing Zeetha, escaping Violetta and Higgs, and beating down Tarvek, Zola makes the mistake of hitting Agatha with a potentially lethal wound to the chest. Cue an Unstoppable Rage-fueled No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Tarvek. Nearly every poster in the comic's fan communities hoped he'd kill her, and the groans of frustration were so loud they practically echoed through the internet when Gil interfered.
There are hints that, in general, Sparks aren't too popular with the mundane people of the setting. Given Sparks suffer from a Science-Related Memetic Disorder that makes each and every one of them a walking timebomb of potentially WMD proportions, not to mention an active Disaster Magnet, it's hard to blame them.
Also done by the Critic himself when he defeats and plans to shoot Dr. Insano. Insano has killed, tortured, maimed, forced people to read Ultimate Warrior comics, and just seconds ago betrayed the team to demand that he be made ruler of Kickassia. Benzaie still tries to save him, though, because "That's still Spoony in there".
Wash's cold-blooded killing of South in Red vs. Blue. Wash is far from a shining white hero, but in most cases, he has immediate reasons to kill (or try to kill) people. In this case, South wasn't trying to kill him or anyone on the side of (sort of) good, and even her decision to sacrifice Delta to the Meta was more about trying to save her own life than hurting anyone else. On the flip side, she's also a chronic backstabber who had previously left Wash and her own brother to die. Wash survived, but North didn't.
In South Park, Wendy repeatedly gets some Kick the Dog moments, but one that really deserves to reach this trope is when she beat the tar out of Cartman for mocking breast cancer. This has been one of the few times that Cartman actually get a real punishment for many things he has done in his life.
In Ben 10, there is an episode in which a teenage villainess, Charmcaster, is introduced working with her uncle Hex, who is rather abusive toward her throughout the episode, with a running line of Charmcaster's being "Yes, uncle" in a submissive tone. In the end of the episode, however, Charmcaster reveals she's only been using Hex for her own evil scheme and promptly knocks him out with her magic. While both Hex and Charmcaster are villains, it's very hard not to support Charmcaster on this matter.
Also, in Alien Force, Kevin refuses to Save the Villain, in this case the one who murdered his father, and lets him fall into the sun. A morally questionable act, but not one the audience is going to mind all that much.
Kevin is a mostly reformed villain, so when he kicks the dog, the show is examining the possibility of him returning to evil. He's expected to be more morally grey than Ben and Gwen, who might not be excused for such an act. A better example would be in the original series when Kevin kills Slix Vigma (who imprisoned members of different species and made them fight for kicks) by impaling him.
Also, in Ultimate Alien, he turns psycho again as a side effect of absorbing energy from the Ultimatrix, and goes on a quest for revenge. One of his victim is Morgg, the director of the prison he used to be retained in. The whole episode built up how much Morgg is an Asshole, revealing he killed the guy who helped Kevin redeem himself merely because he disliked him, and later developped a drug traffic in the prison by using the prisonners as slaves, not to mention put a device in their collars that would kill them all should a single one of them try to rebel. You actually cheer on Kevin when he scares the crap out of the guy, and feel sorry that Ben has to save him.
In Adventure Time, during the episode "Memory of a Memory," Marceline, Finn, and Jake all take turns literally kicking Ash after he reveals his true colors.
In "You Made Me," Princess Bubblegum gives Lemongrab three subjects so he won't be lonely. Those subjects happen to be the notorious Pup Gang, a juvenile trio of criminals whose crimes include assault and robbery. They go over to Lemon Castle and proceed to insult Lemongrab numerous times and directly disobey his orders. Lemongrab, (who is very emotionally unstable,) then freaks the fuck out, KO's the children, then tortures them in an electrical torture "reconditioning chamber."
In Avatar The Last Airbender, Long Feng manipulates the Earth King, controls Ba Sing Se from the shadows, holds Appa prisoner, brainwashes and kills Jet, and then collaborates with Azula to throw a coup d'état. When Azula turns on him and crushes his spirits with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, for once audiences can support what she's doing, regardless of how Eviler than Thou she is, just because Long Feng getting his comeuppance is a much-desired event by this point.
Similarly, in the Sequel SeriesThe Legend of Korra, the list of people who have their bending taken away by Amon include the leader of a gang, three douchebags who cheat at Pro Bending, and possibly the Republic City's councilman, Tarrlok. And while the lattermost of these turns out to have a Dark and Troubled Past and atones for his actions thereafter, he still had it coming at the time. This is a major part of Amon's plan, both building peoples' confidence in him by taking out the less sympathetic, and using them to generalize all benders as being corrupt and power-hungry. This is also why he doesn't de-bend Korra when he has a golden opportunity to, he would only be creating a martyr. As his number of followers grow, he becomes much less picky.
In The Mr Men Show when Miss Helpful and Miss Whoops are assembling dinosaur bones Miss Helpful had Miss Whoops eat her own words on "you're the trained professional" which ends with her in a load of hurt. Painful definitely but not as much as the pain both of them cause to Mr Bump.
Longarm aka Shockwave frames Wasp for being a Decepticon spy. However, this is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Wasp is a Jerk Jock and bully. Played with in that after he escapes from Autobot prison, you see how damaged he is, and he becomes a Jerkass Woobie.
In Batman The Animated Series episode Bane Batman reveals to Rupert Thorne that his aide, Candice was planning to kill him by playing a recording of her discussing it with Bane. Thorne isn't happy, and Candice never appears after that episode...
In American Dad, Steve gets back at his father by giving him a taste of his own medicine...calling in his old bully to beat the crap out of him. It's pretty much the one shining moment in an otherwise very disturbing episode.
Ed Edd N Eddy: In Big Picture Show, Ed, who witnesses Eddy's brother abusing his younger brother and beating Edd with Eddy, does this to the latter by removing a door bolt of the trailer door that Eddy was clinging onto, thereby slamming the door into Eddy's brother.
A bit of of a straighter example comes directly after when the Kanker Sisters drag Eddy's brother into his trailer for some of their trademark 'affection'. He is quite possibly the one being in the series to actually deserve this.
The troublesome trucks seem to always do this to any engine who is being rude or haughty to the other engines. For instance, in the episode Dirty Objects (James in a Mess in US), the troublesome trucks pushes James down a hill and crashes him into a tar wagon. Prior to said accident, James insults Toby by calling him and Henrietta "dirty objects". A horrible act of cruelty by the troublesome trucks? Yes. Done to an engine who's prideful of himself? Yes.
Diesel, who was haughty of his prejudice of steam engines, was a victim of the trucks' teasing twice. One in "Pop Goes The Diesel" and two in "The World's Strongest Engine"
Breakvan (Donald and Douglas) involves Donald violently bumping The Spiteful Breakvan to warn him about delaying Douglas' trains.
Later on in the same episode, while trying to help James up Gordon's Hill, Douglas accidentally pushes too hard that he ends up destroying The Spiteful Breakvan. But prior to that, the breakvan was continuing his old behavior, by tiring James out. Needless to say, it's hard to feel bad about said accident.
In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Captain America's Skrull impostor gets one of these toward Cap's nemesis Baron Zemo. At odds with Captain America's stubborn honor, when "Skrull!Cap" gives his word when Zemo makes him promise that the Avengers would not let the Enchantress defeat him (Zemo). It serves Skrull!Cap's purposes to break this promise, and afterward, when Zemo is wise to this being out-of-character, Skrull!Cap knocks him unconscious by kicking him in the face. Given that Zemo is a totally ruthless backstabbing megalomaniac, it's hard to feel too bad for him.
In the infamous Arthur episode "Arthur's Big Hit", we're supposed to see Arthur slugging D.W. as a massive Kick the Dog moment. But given her complete disregard for the plane he's worked so hard on despite being repeatedly told not to, and the fact that she fails to apologize for what she did, it feels more like this.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down", the episode involves Fluttershy going on an assertiveness rampage against her neighbors, all the while beginning her descent to Took a Level in Jerkass. Unbeknownst to her, Bon Bon and Cherry Berry, who were the victims of her wrath, were not only two of the many ponies who were present at Iron Will's presentation, but Bon Bon is also one of the ponies at the front row who threw Fluttershy into the back of the crowd. Therefore, lots of fans aren't particularly sad about Fluttershy's actions.
In the Scooby-Doo episode "Jeepers, It's The Creeper," Velma kicks the Creeper in the shin after she said to him "You wouldn't hit someone with glasses, would you?", and he responded by grabbing her glasses and rearing back to punch her!
Dan Vs practically runs on this trope. Yes, it's a series about a misanthrope who swears Disproportionate Retribution on everyone who ever does him wrong... but at least half the time, his victims turn out to be awful people by pure coincidence. Even the resident superhero is a Jerk Ass.