->(Wrestling/TheShield, who claims to fight injustice, ambushes Kane and Daniel Bryan)
->'''Josh Mathews:''' What injustice did [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] do here tonight, John?
->'''Wrestling/JohnBradshawLayfield:''' He's associated with Wrestling/{{Kane}}, that's enough.
-->-- ''Friday Night Smackdown''

Some retaliation [[DisproportionateRetribution exceeds what's being retaliated to in its severity]]. But some retaliation isn't even along the same line; it's directed at those who can't reasonably be blamed for what you're retaliating for, except according to exceedingly shaky justifications, or even no real justification at all. Whether it is worse than what is retaliated to or milder, the point remains that it is still indefensibly directed at the wrong targets.

Closely related to MisBlamed, a SisterTrope to RevengeByProxy, and similar to GuiltByAssociationGag and KarmicMisfire. IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure is when one invokes this trope. It's one of the many ways in which a CycleOfRevenge can get ugly. AvengingTheVillain is also related, since TheHero (or whoever killed the villain) is usually either [[SelfDisposingVillain blameless or justified]]. Yet another related trope is BewilderingPunishment, which is what this trope probably feels like from the victim's POV. TheChainOfHarm can result if the victim goes on to inflict this on somebody else. For cases where someone deliberately ensures this happens, see FrameUp and TheScapegoat.

TruthInTelevision, of course. From a psychoanalytic point of view, this is called displacement, and occurs when someone who feels under attack emotionally retaliates against someone who is a better victim than the aggressor - for some reason, it is more viable to emotionally attack this new target than the aggressor.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This is played with in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''. Canada is frequently the target of this because he looks almost identical to his brother America, though the countries that are pissed at America wouldn't harm Canada if they knew the difference. That he's very soft spoken means he rarely is able to stop the abuse or convince the other countries (rightfully angry at America) from beating up on him.
* A particularly bad example in the case of the anime-exclusive villain Valgaav from ''{{Anime/Slayers}}''; he was subservient to Gaav, one of the world's five Dark Lords, and he goes on an all-out vendetta against Lina and her comrades for killing him. Problem? Another Dark Lord, Phibrizo, killed Gaav, whereas it took a massive effort for Lina and co. to stand against him. Of course, Lina and co. were used by Phibrizo to lure Gaav from hiding, and Phibrizo is already dead by the time of TRY. It just shows how obsessed Valgaav was with revenge, on top of his other vendettas.
** Zuuma from Revolution and Evolution-R is even worse. [[spoiler:A group bandits abducted him and his wife at the order of one of his father's enemies. His wife was injured, and ended up dying in captivity before the ransom was paid. But before he could get his revenge and learn who hired them, they all got wiped out during an incident in Sairaag. Since Lina and co were involved in said incidents, he goes after her for keeping him from avenging his wife.]]
* Sasuke Uchiha of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' finds out [[spoiler:his brother was ordered to kill his entire family]] to save his village from civil war and prevent a world war that would've killed thousands of innocents all over the continent. Only the three village elders even knew about that, but Sasuke decides every man, woman, and child in the village, including dozens of people who used to be his friends[=/=]family substitutes[=/=]mentors, have to die because they owe their lives to what was done to him.
** Though originally he, rather more reasonably, only wished to kill [[spoiler: the three elders who had given the order in the first place]]. Unfortunately, he later [[SanitySlippage lost most of his SAN points]] and decided that everyone who wasn't an Uchiha must have been in some way responsible for it and therefore needed to die.
* In ''Anime/MaiHime'', Nao, who has [[FaceHeelTurn turned fully antagonistic]] after [[spoiler:losing one of her eyes]] in a fight with Natsuki (which, unbeknownst to either, was the result of manipulation by [[spoiler:[[WoundedGazelleGambit Nao's alleged victim Yukariko]]]]), decides to seek revenge on everyone whom she blames for this. This, unfortunately, includes Mai, who tried to stop the fight between Nao and Natsuki, and Natsuki decides to take revenge on Mai by [[spoiler:[[RevengeByProxy targeting Takumi]] instead]]. To a degree, this can also apply to Shiho's grudge against Mai (for which she [[spoiler:kills Takumi by destroying Akira's Child]]), since it was Yuuichi's declaration of love for Mai that showed her that he was attracted to her, rather than anything Mai did, although it also falls under MurderTheHypotenuse in that Shiho wants Mai out of the way as long as she is a potential rival.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Duval targets Sanji, who has never met him before, because the poorly drawn composite illustration of him happens to look like him, resulting in Duval being attacked by Marines and bounty hunters who are looking for Sanji (interestingly enough, not over the crimes ''Duval actually committed'').
* In ''Manga/MurasakiiroNoQualia'', Hatou torments Alice in several timelines in consequence of [[KillTheCutie Yukari's death]]. Alice never meant for it to happen. Quite the opposite, she truly believed JAUNT would be able to protect Yukari.
* In a ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' movie, Broly wanted to ''murder'' Goten and Trunks for looking like Goku, the person Broly was originally looking for.
** In ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', [[VillainTeamUp Doctors Gero and Myuu]] plot to get revenge on Goku for their deaths...despite the fact that they ''both'' [[HoistByHisOwnPetard were killed by their own creations]].
* In ''Anime/JuuniSenshiBakuretsuEtoRanger'', it turns out that the main villain Nyanma's mistakenly thought that, during her past as Chocolat, Princess Aura had deliberately tricked her into getting herself disqualified from a race by appearing in a vision to her and asking her to start the race too soon. This lead to Nyanma seeking power from the evil cat spirit Bagi, and led to Nyanma trying to sink the entire country of Mugen in revenge. But Nyanma's retribution is misplaced; it was ''Bagi herself'' who sent that vision to Chocolat to trick Chocolat into getting herself disqualified, so Chocolat would have a reason to do Bagi's dirty work in attacking Mugen.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'': Shinka Kanou learns that his friend Frenda Seivelun was killed by Shizuri Mugino. Rather than target Mugino, he decides to blame and try to kill Touma Kamijou, because he is a hero yet didn't save her. Shiage Hamazura confronts him and calls bullshit on this reasoning. During the time that Frenda was killed, Touma was in ''another country'' working on preventing civil wars and invasions. Shiage offers to take the blame because he actually was in the area when the murder happened and actually knew Frenda, unlike Touma who had never even heard of her. Shinka eventually has a HeelRealization.
* Scar from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' tries to kill the Elric brothers shortly after he's introduced. Scar is one of the few surviving members of a genocide perpetrated by the Amestrian government, and so has good reason to be angry, but he chooses to [[RoaringRampageofRevenge exact revenge]] for the deaths of his people by killing State Alchemists, and ''all'' State Alchemists, regardless of whether or not they were involved in the Ishbalan conflict. Edward and Alphonse in particular were small children when the genocide took place, and had absolutely nothing to do with it.
** Also, Scar murdered [[spoiler:Winry's parents]] when it seemed like they were Amestrian scientists who were conducting experiments on Ishbalan survivors. They were doctors. As a bonus, turns out that the people responsible for the whole war were [[spoiler:Father and Envy]], who treat their Amestrian minions like fish food. Whoops.
* Justified with the Kimura-Andou-Izayoi feud in ''Anime/Danganronpa3''. Kimura blames Andou for getting her expelled from Hope's Peak Academy. Andou and Izayoi, in turn, blame Kimura for their expulsions. As it turns out, [[spoiler:Nagito Komaeda accidentally took a performance enhancing drug that Andou wanted and left her with the laxative he wanted. Naturally, when Andou spiked the candy she was making for a practical exam with the laxative, it ended up causing her proctors severe stomach pain. When Andou accused Kimura of setting her up, Kimura revealed a detonator for a bomb she had come into possession of when she accidentally swapped bags with the aforementioned Komaeda. Then [[ItMakesSenseInContext a giant mutant puppy attacked]], startling the two into detonating the bomb.]] The result of this was that Kimura and Andou looked like {{Mad Bomber}}s, getting them kicked out. Izayoi's expulsion is a straight example of this trope; [[GuiltByAssociationGag he was basically lumped in with them because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to be Andou's boyfriend]].
* In the Doma Arc from the ''Anime/YuGiOh'' second anime, Alister has a grudge against Seto Kaiba because his little brother died in a war where the weapons were provided by Gozaburo Kaiba, Seto's ''foster'' father. Not only was Seto hardly even involved in this (he didn't even know about it), but he actually ''hated'' Gozaburo for being an AbusiveParent, and one of the first thing he did upon taking over Kaiba Corp was to stop building weapons to instead focus on card games, making Alister's hatred ''really'' misplaced.

* One of GreenLantern's [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] antagonists was the Aerialist, who was under the delusion that someone at Ferris Aircraft had murdered his beloved (her death was in fact a freak accident) and therefore sought revenge against the company. Notable for being one of the few times Hal Jordan thought the InsanityDefense would actually work, even citing the M'Naughten guideline.
* In ''The Trial Of Superman'' storyline, {{Superman}} is sentenced to death by an alien tribunal... because ''one of his ancestors'' had perfected a device that made it so that most of the Kryptonians couldn't leave their planet without dying, which meant they couldn't leave when the planet blew up. The fact that Superman was only a baby when this happened was ignored by the judges: all that mattered to them was that Superman was related to a killer, therefore ''he'' would have to pay for the crime.
* There is the origin of ComicBook/DoctorDoom. When they were in university, Reed Richards spied Doom's notes for his grand experiment and tried to warn him that some of his calculations were off, which threatened disaster. Doom refused to listen, and when the experiment blew up in his face, as Reed warned, Doom could not accept that he made a mistake and irrationally accused Reed of sabotage, starting their lifelong enmity.
* In ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', Thrash the Devil, like the other dwindling Mobian-type Tasmanian Devils, had been told that the echidnas were evil due to the fact that, centuries ago, a group of scientists modified them, turning them into Devil Dogs slowly over the years. Thrash ended up getting his revenge, leading to the last leader of the Devils realizing that what she had told the other Devils had GoneHorriblyWrong: [[spoiler:Thrash had sent every last echidna outside of Knuckles himself into another dimension out of spite.]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'', it is revealed that, once a generation, the [[AncientConspiracy Court of Owls]] takes a single child from Haley's Circus to become one of their Talons every time the circus visits Gotham City. This child would then be [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil tortured]], [[TrainingFromHell trained]], and experimented on. Dick Grayson himself was supposed to become a Talon, but of course, his parents are killed and he is adopted by Bruce Wayne. So instead, his friend Raymond is taken, but washes out and has his eyes pecked out. Years later, Raymond returns as Saiko and claims that Dick Grayson is the worst killer [[strike:evargh]] ever and tries to kill him, along with everyone else in the circus at the time. Except: 1. Dick couldn't have possibly known about this (Batman himself didn't know about the mere ''existence'' of the Court of Owls, let alone their methods) 2. Dick was in mourning and had found a kindred spirit who could help him achieve his goals (good old vigilante justice) 3. ''Dick didn't kill him'' 4. The audience ''has nothing to do with this''.
* In ''ComicBook/IncredibleHulk'', most of the Gamma Squad hunted the Hulk because they wrongly believed he was responsible for their personal tragedies. To their credit, they stop hunting the Hulk once they realize this.
** Mess' child was killed during a battle between the Hulk and the Abomination and she was led to believe that the Hulk threw the bus that killed him. It was actually the Abomination who did it, which was even more galling to Mess because she let the government alter the left half of her body to be Abomination-like.
** Gideon blamed the Hulk for his son Jim Wilson's death just because Jim was a friend of the Hulk's when he died. Jim actually died of AIDS (which, to be clear, he did not contract from the Hulk). The Hulk pointed this out to Gideon. The Hulk then mentioned that Jim never told him his father was still alive, and he [[ArmorPiercingQuestion asked Gideon]] [[AbusiveParents why Jim was a runaway pretending to be an orphan in the first place.]]
** Prodigy's parents claimed that he suffered birth defects because of the Hulk. Prodigy became a Leader-like Gamma mutant and joined the Gamma Squad for payback. He later discovered that his parents blamed the Hulk to hide the ''real'' reason for his birth defects- their heroin addiction.
** The only members who don't fit this are Grey and Griffin. Grey actually hated his brother Glenn Talbot and just wants to prove himself more capable than his brother by beating the Hulk. Griffin just wants someone to hate.
* The big twist at the end of Mark Millar's ''Super Crooks,'' is after the team rip off notorious super-villain the Bastard while in costume. The Bastard [[spoiler: goes to the pack of mobsters who had threatened the gang's friend (forcing them to do this heist) and murders them all while they're baffled as to why. It turns out the mobsters were all once costumed crooks...the same costumes the team wore to rip the Bastard off so he ended up taking out their own enemies.]]
* Lilith from ''ComicBook/RachelRising'' is an immortal witch and MasterPoisoner who regularly engages in DisproportionateRetribution, but even for her, pursuing revenge on a town where she and her followers were the target of a literal WitchHunt more than 300 years after the town went all BurnTheWitch is excessive.

* The Vocaloid fanfic ''Fanfic/FromConcertToChaos'' has the main antagonists, [[EvilCounterpart Miku Zatsune and Rin Arakawa]], inflict this onto Miku and Rin by beating the living daylights out of them ''during a concert'', because Zatsune and Arakawa were absolutely convinced that their former boyfriends, Mikuo and Len, broke up with them because of the girls' interfering, [[NeverMyFault even though it was THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT]] and Miku and Rin were completely innocent. Even more to the point, they trapped the audience in a wall of fire to prevent them from escaping, [[ForTheEvulz simply to show the world how evil they were]].
* In ''Fanfic/TheLionKingAdventures'', Mtumwa tries to kill Simba (and Nala by extension) for [[spoiler:Scar's death]], even though that was actually [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Hago's doing]]. This is actually justified, however, as Mtumwa wasn't present when it happened, and only heard about it after it was distorted by word of mouth retellings.
* ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'':
** In the [[BadFuture Dark World]], [[PsychopathicManchild Fluttercruel]]'s reaction to [[spoiler:Discord being mortally wounded]] is to go OneWingedAngel and try to kill the Elements of Harmony in retaliation. This despite the fact that not only was this actually [[SixthRangerTraitor Rancor]]'s doing, but Cruelty ''was there and saw it happen''. Though in this case, it's justified by the fact that her grief and rage has [[VillainousBreakdown driven her insane]].
** In the Finale Arc, Venus learns that Tootsie is wielding her murdered son Cupid's Bow. Venus attacks the child and tries to kill her, accusing her of robbing and defiling her son's grave. Toostie had no idea who Cupid was and had been given the bow as a gift by the villains. She eventually realizes she was overreacting and sends Tootsie an apology gift.
* In ''Fanfic/FrozenHearts'', when two of Prince Harald's men mistreat [[Disney/{{Frozen}} Prince Hans]] while bringing him back from Arendelle, their father, King George, has them dismissed. Harald responds by beating up Hans.
* In ''FanFic/FirstTrySeries'', an Iwa genin tries to avenge her father, who was killed in the Third Shinobi War, by setting fatal traps to kill Konoha genin in the Kiri Chunin Exams. [[LaserGuidedKarma It gets her twin brother and their teammate slaughtered by a Kyuubi-powered, enraged Naruto, leaving her to flee for her life.]]
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Dr. Wily got his start in villainy (at least in part) when he made a mistake that caused Proto Man a great deal of pain shortly after Proto Man first activated, but Dr. Wily irrationally accused Dr. Light of sabotaging Proto Man's blueprints, in a manner similar to the Doctor Doom example under the Comics folder of this page.
* In ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'', Tsali ended up murdering Cosmo's entire race in revenge after [[spoiler: being slowly and tortuously turned into a robot]], even though only [[spoiler: his adopted father Luke/Dark Oak]] was actually responsible for it.
* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3772574/1/Going-Solo Going Solo]]'' has a MadDoctor who basically lost his sanity after his family was killed on the Death Star. Luke is actually who took out the thing, while Han only had a small role, shooting a couple Imperial fighters so Luke could destroy the thing. In the fic, the whole group is captured, but it's Han who has a badly injured arm with an embedded knife tip, and who's the target for the doctor's rage. The guy also has a hate on Corellians, which makes him even more eager to torment Han.
* ''Fanfic/DeadOrAlive4TheDevilFactor'': Bass Armstrong wanders into a store and finds a poster of his daughter Tina posing nude. Enraged, he beats up the clerk and throws him through a window, ignoring his protests that he just mans the cash register and has nothing to do with the merchandise.
* The Svenjaya contract in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World''. After the Svenjaya “Great Mistake,” whatever that was, the entire tribe had to pay by being sent into indentured servitude for 40 years. It's now been 30 years, and since the average lifespan of a Svenjaya is 30-40 years, several generations that had absolutely nothing to do with the Great Mistake have been growing up in virtual slavery. The four are disgusted by this and vow to help the Svenjaya change the contract.
* The Narrator of ''FanFic/ThatGuyDestroysPsionics'' notes with no small amount of confusion that despite another party member [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil raping NPCs left and right]] and sexually harrassing Elsimore, the Drow Wilder decided that ''Elsimore'' was the irredeemable pedophile (to be fair, his constant checking for children with magical power [[MistakenForPedophile did give that impression]]) who needed to be lectured. She eventually tried to PK him for being annoying and using a cantrip to talk in her ear.

[[folder:Films - Animated]]
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'': [[BigBad Zira]] (Scar's mate) blames Simba for the death of Scar and spends years plotting revenge against him. However, it was Scar's own hyena minions who killed him after they overheard him trying to blame them for everything that he'd done.

[[folder:Films - Live Action]]
* This is Two-Face's deal in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Rather than SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker who actually orchestrated his tragedy, he goes after everyone who was involved in the events, no matter how weakly or by how many degrees of separation and declares on one hand that luck should decide who lives and who dies while he picks out who will be tried on the other, even to the point of threatening Gordon's son (so Gordon will understand what it's like to lose the person he loves most). He reasons that the Joker was "a mad dog" and he's going after the ones who let him off the leash and the people who failed in their job to stop him before the tragedy. Besides which, the Joker was the first person he judged with his coin and would have killed him like all his other victims if luck had not been in the Joker's favor.
* In ''Film/StarTrekNemesis'', Shinzon directs his hatred of the Romulans towards Earth for reasons which make sense only to the screenwriter. It's never even explained what bizarre line of reasoning led to him wanting to destroy Earth and not, you know, Romulus. It's implied to be motivated by a particularly mean-spirited variation of CloningBlues, but it still doesn't make much sense.
* In ''Film/HellraiserHellworld'', The Host reveals that he's torturing the protagonists because he blames them for his "beloved" son's suicide. Chelsea points out that this makes ''absolutely no sense'' because they were his best friends who loved him dearly and did everything they could to help him. Plus, The Host is a hypocrite because he [[DisappearedDad walked out on his family over 16 years ago]] and didn't even attend his son's funeral, so he has no right to claim he cares about his son. The Host ignores this and continues the torment.
* ''Film/NineDead'': [[spoiler:The Kidnapper wants revenge against his nine captives for the role they played in the death of his son. These include the man who raped him thus giving him AIDS and the lawyer who framed him for a liquor store robbery. Also includes the guy who was owed money by the REAL robber, and a priest who heard the Confession of the robber.]]
* ''Film/LawAbidingCitizen'' has Clyde Shelton retaliate against anyone even remotely related to a deal the prosecutor made with his family's killers (the accomplice got the needle, while the actual killer was released)... except the prosecutor himself. Basically, his rage is against the US legal system, so anyone is fair game.
* In the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'', Harry is convinced that Spider-Man "killed" his father and even takes up his father's footsteps as the New Goblin to try to avenge his father, ignoring that even if he did his father was a mass-murdering maniac who threatened countless lives and put Spider-Man through the grinder. In reality, his father accidentally killed himself by being impaled by his own glider (though Harry didn't know this until the climax of the third film).
* ''Film/StarTrek'' has Nero, who might be the craziest example on this page. When Spock fails to save his homeworld Romulus (including Nero's family) from a horrible natural disaster, Nero goes completely nuts and goes back in time to ''wipe out the entire Federation''. He goes for Vulcan first since it's Spock's "fault" that Romulus is gone. Spock really tried his best to save Romulus, which in itself is amazing given the Romulans' less than pleasant history with the Federation (especially the Vulcans). Nero wants to wipe out the past, present, and future of Spock and everyone Spock loves anyway.
* The ''[[Franchise/{{Scream}} Scream]]'' series is both built on this and DisproportionateRetribution.
** The original ''Film/{{Scream|1996}}'''s primary killer is [[spoiler: Billy Loomis]], who initiates a murder spree in his town and [[spoiler: attempts to finish it by murdering his girlfriend, because his girlfriend's mother had an affair with his father, hence causing Billy's mother to leave him. The fact that his girlfriend Sidney had nothing to do with this, and especially the fact that Billy ALREADY MURDERED SIDNEY'S MOTHER ''AND SUCCESSFULLY FRAMED ANOTHER MAN FOR IT'' is utterly lost on Billy. The following murders and Sidney's were completely unnecessary save for the fact that whatever darkness was in Billy said they were needed. Then again, maybe it was InTheBlood, considering...]]
** ''Film/Scream2'''s primary killer is [[spoiler: Mrs. Loomis, Billy's mother.]] While [[spoiler: she]] has a SOMEWHAT more understandable motive of [[spoiler: wanting to avenge her son's death, it is equally lost on her that he committed his murder spree because SHE left HIM over something her HUSBAND did, and that her son died because Sidney was acting in self-defense, and for some reason another murder spree is needed in this vengeance where only 1/2 of the victims are tangibly related to the revenge by virtue of being tied to Sidney in some way (this this excessive body count might have something to do with his co-killer, Mickey, who is a genuine serial killer she managed to find and recruit for aid). Once again, Sidney is targeted for death for something out of her control. It's also worth noting that Hank Loomis, the other hand in this affair, is barely mentioned and never once targeted for his part in it in any of the films.]]
** ''Film/Scream3'''s killer, [[spoiler: Roman Bridger]] is retconned to be the ultimate start of the Ghostface mass killings, as [[spoiler: he was the one who told Billy about the affair and hence set him off onto the path that his death further set his mother onto. HIS motive for putting on the Ghostface mask and setting off a third spate of mass killings? That Sidney is now famous for surviving the first two massacres he caused to happen, fame he believes he himself should have. He desires revenge for crimes he caused to be committed against her that she had the gall to survive, something Sidney thankfully calls him on, hard.]]
** ''Film/Scream4'''s primary killer, [[spoiler: Jill, is driven more by envy and IJustWantToBeSpecial than retribution, but once again it's someone basically seeking 'revenge' against Sidney because she somehow managed to survive being targeted by three separate serial killers and became famous for it. When you're being targeted for murder primary because you're a survivor, you know it's misplaced.]]
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse''
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' has this in form of the Maximoff twins, Pietro and Wanda (otherwise known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch from the ''ComicBooks/XMen''). They hate the Avengers because they're associated with Tony Stark, who made a shell that smashed into their apartment building, killing their parents and staring them right in the face for two days as they waited to see if it would explode as it also hampered efforts to rescue them. For some reason they blame ''Tony'' for this, as there would be no shell to kill their parents if ''Tony'' had never made it to begin with.
** PlayedWith in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. [[spoiler:Zemo's]] family was killed in the climatic battle of ''Age of Ultron''. He blames the Avengers for it and plots to make them destroy each other, even though Ultron was the one caused the battle. However, the only reason Ultron even existed in the first place was because of Tony and Bruce Banner (who themselves only made him because Tony was suffering from nightmares caused by Wanda).
** Played straight in the climax of the same film. [[spoiler:Iron Man]] discovers that Bucky [[spoiler:assassinated his parents]] and tries to murder him. He does this even though he's aware that Bucky spent several decades brainwashed by HYDRA and was not in control of his actions. Captain America points this out, but it doesn't work.
** Luckily enough Black Panther, after seeing all the damage the CycleOfRevenge wrought, decided to avert this trope, forgive Bucky, and offer him shelter in Wakanda until he can be deprogrammed.
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' has this for Magneto. He hated humans since his mother was killed in the Holocaust. But the one who really killed his mother is Sebastian Shaw, a mutant who sided with the Nazis for his own gains. Even when he kills Shaw, he adopts his stance in wiping out mankind.
* In ''Film/FridayThe13thPartVANewBeginning'', the killer [[spoiler:Roy Burns]] goes on his killing spree to avenge the death of his son, Joey. Ironically, the one person he didn't kill was Vic, the guy who had murdered Joey and was subsequently taken away for it before the killings even began.
* ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'': The Wicked Witch of the West wants revenge on Dorothy for killing her sister. Except Dorothy didn't do that. She didn't make the house fall on the Witch of the East -- she just happened to be inside it when it was caught up in the tornado.
* ''Film/ClashOfTheTitans1981'' plays with a combination of this and DisproportionateRetribution. During Perseus and Andromeda's wedding, Andromeda's mother, Cassiopeia, praises Andromeda's beauty, comparing it to Thetis'...''[[TooDumbToLive while in her own temple!]]'' In response, Thetis [[WeddingSmashers stops the wedding]] and demands ''Andromeda's'' life for Cassiopeia's insults, [[FriendOrIdolDecision otherwise the krakken would destroy Joppa]]. In actuality, Thetis was using this as [[MamaBear an excuse to carry out her son, Calibos's wish for revenge]].
* ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'': Maleficent's original plan of getting revenge on Stefan for betraying her and foresakening their friendship was by cursing his daughter Aurora, despite Aurora being innocent for what her father did.
* ''Film/{{Hitch}}'': After Sarah's friend sleeps with a jerk who dumps her after their one-night stand (and it's heavily implied she was tricked into being the other woman), the jerk drops Hitch's name as the one who helped him woo her, even though this was a spiteful lie on his part (Hitch refused to help and broke Vance's arm when Vance touched him). Sarah ends up assuming that Hitch simply tricks women into sleeping with {{Jerkass}} men and labels not only him, but his current client Albert in her column. While the former is PoorCommunicationKills, since she never verified Vance's claim, the latter is Misplaced Retribution since she didn't even know Albert and just assumed he hired Hitch to help him bed a celebrity. Truthfully, Albert was just a dorky accountant in love with an UptownGirl who needed help breaking the ice, and Sarah's article torpedoed his budding relationship, though fortunately, for a brief time.

* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Severus Snape's hatred for James Potter, his childhood bully, quickly transferred itself onto his son Harry once he started Hogwarts, causing him to be stricter towards him then any other student. [[spoiler:The last book, however, reveals that the ''real'' reason has more to do with Snape being [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend hopelessly in love]] with Harry's mother, Lily Evans, making Harry a constant reminder that the love of his life had ultimately married the man he loathed most of all]].
** A straighter example is Snape blaming Lupin for an almost-fatal prank Sirius played on him. He also assumes James was in on it, thinking James saved him for the sake of his own neck.
* In Creator/DianeDuane's novel Literature/SpocksWorld, the BigBad's motive is revenge on Spock for a death in the family...except that an outsider would probably say it's not his fault at all.
* In ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', the wraiths of Kiva spent their undeath cursing [[spoiler:Mammon Hoole]] for their fate and clung to existence solely for the chance to make him pay. When they see evidence proving that [[spoiler:Gog, Hoole's partner in the experiment]] was truly responsible, it takes a few seconds for the wraiths to accept that the man they hated all this time was innocent. Fortunately for them [[spoiler:and unfortunately for Gog]], their true murderer is in the same room with them, meaning they can still have their revenge.
* In the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' book ''Mattimeo'', Slagar the Cruel kidnaps Redwall's children to sell as slaves because he blames Matthias and the other inhabitants of the Abbey for his disfigurement. However, Redwall took in and cared for Slagar [[spoiler:(then known as Chickenhound)]] when he was badly injured. [[TheFarmerAndTheViper In return for their kindness]], [[UngratefulBastard he stole from them and murdered the elderly Methuselah]]. He was in the act of running away from the rightfully angry Redwallers when he encountered the venomous snake Asmodeus, who bit his face and mangled it. Everything that happened came as a result of his villainous ways, [[NeverMyFault and the Redwallers were responsible for none of it]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/ColdCase'': A young boy is horribly abused in a group home. So when he grows up, does he track down those who abused him and/or those who let it happen? No. Instead, he selects completely innocent boys who bear only the vaguest resemblance to his former tormentors and kills ''them'', putting them through the same abuse he suffered.
* ''Series/GrangeHill'': In a mid 90's episode, a guy and a girl try to escape from a fire by climbing out of a window. She slips, falls to her death, her boyfriend blames the guy who was with her and spends the rest of the season stalking and harassing him. He eventually stops and apologizes (possibly since everyone was against his vendetta).
* ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'': [[spoiler:Matt Devlin]] is killed in a drive-by shooting by a young man looking for revenge on the police for their poor handling of the investigation of his brother's murder, a screw-up he believed was racially-motivated. Problem is, not only was [[spoiler:Matt]] not a bigot, he had nothing to do with the case (and probably would've been steaming mad about it). What's worse, the killer had an idea of who his brother's murderer was (a local drug dealer who may have been lying to gain street cred)--why not go after him or one of the cops who DID botch the case?
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'':
** Jack [=McCoy=]'s zealous prosecution of a drunk driver who killed three people. Reprehensible, certainly, and fully deserving of a harsh prison term. But it soon becomes obvious that his actions are motivated by the fact that the drunk driver who killed his lover Clare received a light sentence.
** In "Suicide Box", the episode that the abovementioned Series/LawAndOrderUK episode was based on. However, the perp was much younger (14) and the victim survived with only an injured arm.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': King Odin tries to kill Arthur (twice!) because Arthur bested his son in a DuelToTheDeath. As Arthur tells it, the young, inexperienced prince challenged Arthur and Arthur could not refuse due to the knights' code. Arthur even (unsuccessfully, obviously) tried to convince the boy to withdraw his challenge.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'':
** "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E3NoQuarter No Quarter]]" has Private Richards beat up Danny Matheson over the death of his best friend Templeton back in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E1Pilot Pilot]]". It's true that Danny pulled a crossbow on Templeton, but Templeton shot first. It's true that Danny shot Templeton with his crossbow, but one of the villagers named Caleb shot and killed Templeton. Clearly, Richards is after people who are indirectly responsible for the death.
** "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E17TheLongestDay The Longest Day]]" has Rachel Matheson reveal that she only wants to turn the power back on so the other factions will kill Sebastian Monroe, and she'll get her revenge for her son's death back in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E11TheStand The Stand]]". Earlier, Rachel tries to kill Major Tom Neville over her son's death, and had to be talked out of it by Charlie Matheson in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains the Same]]". Rachel tries to go into Monroe's tent and blow them up with a live grenade in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E18Clue Clue]]". "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E19ChildrenOfMen Children of Men]]" had Monroe himself say that he wasn't even there when she reveals why she's out to kill him. The thing is he's right, because one of Monroe's helicopters was firing wildly and [[spoiler: Danny]] got caught in the crossfire. It wasn't like Monroe killed [[spoiler:Danny]] personally.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': The episode "The Survivors", where members of an alien race kill a powerful being's wife. In retaliation, he kills the entire race, all '''fifty billion''' of them. He acted in a moment of rage and was horrified by what he'd done.
* ''Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}'':
** In ''Buffy'' season 6. After skinning Warren alive out of revenge for his AccidentalMurder of Tara, Willow proceeds to target his accomplices Jonathan and Andrew, who were both in jail at the time and had nothing to do with it. Though the Scoobies (sans Buffy) all rallied behind Willow en masse when she targeted Warren, they all agreed that Jonathan and Andrew don't deserve to die at all and work together to protect them.
** The gypsies didn't really think Angel's curse through. ''Angel'' has to spend all of eternity suffering for the crimes of ''Angelus''? Liam was a womanizing jerk at worst, but Darla murdered him and a demon spent a century and change murdering and marauding with his face. Especially bad since the CurseEscapeClause they included eventually led to Angelus murdering the last descendant of the gypsy clan.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': Regina's antagonism towards Snow White is very much this - the young Princess Snow, who had just lost her own mother, was manipulated by Regina's abusive mother Cora into revealing Regina's secret romance with her family's stable boy, Daniel. Cora soon murdered Daniel in front of Regina, leading to Regina devoting her life to gaining vengeance against Snow for this betrayal, even the extent of occasionally allying with Cora to do so.
** Even ''if'' one concedes that Snow White bears some responsibility for her mistake (making Regina's actions toward her DisproportionateRetribution), everyone else that Regina curses had nothing to do with it.
** A season 4 episode even lampshades it when Regina says Emma should forgive her parents for lying to her and Emma retorts "this from the woman who spent half her life punishing everyone around her for an eight-year old not able to keep a secret."
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'' Day 8, this is why Jack murders Dana Walsh, as she was involved with the rogue members of the Russian government who eventually murdered his friend Renee Walker, even though by that point Dana had long since been imprisoned and had nothing to do with Renee's death.
* Ari David, the first BigBad on ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' targeted Gibbs' team, vowed to make his life a living hell and [[spoiler: murdered Caitlin Todd]] because Gibbs just happens to remind him of Ari's [[ArchnemesisDad father]], the head of Mossad.
** The BigBad of season 9 also suffers from this problem. His son was investigated by Gibbs in the past and transferred to another ship as punishment for his crimes... only the ship was later attacked by terrorists who killed him who exploited a design flaw. Instead of blaming the terrorists, he instead blames Gibbs and the Navy for his son's death and [[spoiler: exploits two unknown flaws for extra chaos.]]
* Invoked in one episode of ''Series/ICarly'' when Freddie's teacher meets Spencer at the school, whom she hated when he was a student. Since she couldn't punish Spencer, she dolled out punishments to Freddie until Spencer left the building. Freddie had to throw Spencer out before he got expelled.
* Due to an UncannyFamilyResemblance, in one episode of ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'', Samantha is mistaken for her cousin Serina by a witch whose husband the latter had turned into a bird. Unfortunately, before Sam could clear up the misunderstanding, the witch banished her to 1886 New Orleans. Needless to say, Darrin is not pleased with Serina.
* In ''Series/JessicaJones'', a group of people (among them Jessica's neighbor, whose brother killed himself on [[MoreThanMindControl Kilgrave's orders]]) affected by Kilgrave's powers has been formed. When Jessica manages to capture Kilgrave, ties him down and prevents him from using his powers, Jessica's neighbor gets the group to attack Jessica, blaming her for everything Kilgrave has done, and [[TooDumbToLive free Kilgrave]].
** The client she meets in "[=AKA=] 99 Friends" is a woman whose mother died in [[Film/TheAvengers2012 the incident]], and she blames the "gifted", instead of, you know, the ''aliens that were attacking the city'' while the Avengers were trying to save as many people as possible.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Carlton had no problem letting a music video be shot in the house while his parents are gone because if anything goes wrong, Uncle Phil would take it out on Will.

* In ''Manhwa/TheBreaker'', a great deal of characters are after Han Chun Wo, also known as Goomoonryong, because he killed their master or performed some other dishonorable thing upon their martial arts school. He is a complete and utter badass upon which they have no hope of carrying out their revenge. Therefore, they prefer to target his student, Yi Shioon, which becomes particularly unfair and messed up in ''The Breaker: New Waves'' when Shioon [[spoiler: looses his ability to use ki and becomes completely helpless, is renounced by his Master as a student and is no longer a Murim (part of the martial arts world) and should be off limits]].
** Backfires pretty horribly on them since [[spoiler:his Master actually started a process that would make Yi Shioon ''even stronger'' in Shioon's body (his ki center being broken was a necessary first step). After the first hundred chapters or so, they are seeing Shioon as a threat in his own right.]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Infamously, Wrestling/{{Konnan}} bashing Wrestling/{{Carl|itoColon}}y's father and sister over the head with a guitar because Carly lost them the {{tag team}} championships they held in WWC.
* In a case of "not being available", BJ Whitmer assaulted [[Wrestling/DaffneyUnger Lucy]] because her [[Wrestling/CMPunk boyfriend]], who had knock him unconscious and joked about it, happened to be in [[Wrestling/ProWrestlingZero1 Japan]] at the time. Punk would show his displeasure upon return by attacking the Outcast Killers for trying to cheer him up [[StraightEdgeEvil with beer]] and then threatening to kill a member of the Wrestling/RingOfHonor locker room if the guilty party did not come forward.
* When Wrestling/KurtAngle brought his wife into Wrestling/{{TNA}} she disapproved of his TagTeam partner Wrestling/{{Sting}} and pretended that Sting had slapped her to break them up. However, she thought Angle went too far when he decided to go [[RevengeByProxy after Sting's son]] in revenge.
* Prince Nana hired Bison Smith to attack members of the ROH roster to get back at the company for not hiring him back when he lost his fortune.
* The C4 riot in SHINE had its roots in the fact [=LuFisto=] was angry at seeing wrestlers on television use her moves and claim they had come up with them. The only wrestlers in SHINE who were on television at the time were Allysin Kay, Marti Belle and Wrestling/IvelisseVelez, none of whom were among the guilty parties, not to mention that after they got their hands on the latter C4 continued to call out and assault wrestlers in the locker room for the crimes of squeezing Kennadi Brink [[UngratefulBastard onto shows]], Andrea [[EntitledBastard not being rewarded]] for being in ''two'' prior stables that terrorized SHINE and Amber O'Neil's face [[EvilIsPetty not being on the last promotional poster]].[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion, folklore and mythology]]
* This was endemic among the Greek gods. "Zeus seduces (or flat out rapes) a mortal woman, then his wife afflicts that woman and/or her son with a curse as punishment" is a fairly typical plot outline, and the other gods weren't much better. Though because Zeus was simply too powerful for any of Hera's curses to have any effect on him, and Zeus actually ''does'' care about his mortal lovers and demigod sons [[RevengeByProxy there actually was a twisted logic to her actions]].
** A well known version of the Medusa myth shares a similar theme. Medusa was a beautiful woman that was raped in Athena's temple by the god Poseidon. Athena was so enraged by her temple being violated that she of course curses Medusa, apparently for not being able to fend off a god, turning her into a gorgon. Some versions even have Athena take it one step further and cursing her sisters too.
** Aphrodite has a bad habit of doing this whenever there's someone who made a BlasphemousBoast that a certain woman is more beautiful than her. Just ask Psyche and Myrrha about this. In Psyche's case it was particularly bad, since it was ''her suitors'' who made the claim, not Psyche herself. On the other hand she got off lucky because Aphrodite assigned her son Eros to carry out the retribution...and he promptly fell in love with Psyche.
* With OmniscientMoralityLicense, God in the bible has a few instances like when King David had an affair with Bathsheba then [[UriahGambit put the latter's husband out in front]], God kills their first child. Granted, upon this happening David is ''extremely'' regretful and atones.

* ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar'': In real life, after the murder of Julius Caesar, the poet Helvius Cinna was killed by a vengeful mob because he was mistaken for Cornelius Cinna, one of Caesar's killers. In Creator/WilliamShakespeare's dramatization of the event, Helvius is killed ''because'' his name is Cinna, despite his protests that he had nothing to do with the assassination.
-->'''Cinna''': Truly, my name is Cinna.
-->'''1st Citizen''': Tear him to pieces, he's a conspirator.
-->'''Cinna''': I am Cinna the poet, I am Cinna the poet.
-->'''4th Citizen''': Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
-->'''Cinna''': I am not Cinna the conspirator.
-->'''4th Citizen''': It is no matter, his name's Cinna. Pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Ride/PopeyeAndBlutosBilgeRatBarges'' at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal's Islands of Adventure]], Bluto seeks revenge against Popeye for both keeping Olive Oyl away from him and having a more successful boating business than him. However, he also attempts to exact revenge on the riders as well, just because they supported Popeye's business.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/ArTonelico2'', Luca for the longest time holds Lady Cloche responsible for the death of her younger sister. Cloche could not realistically have been responsible for that, considering she was only six or seven years old at the time and even though she's the head of state now, she has always been a puppet ruler who never made any real decisions. [[spoiler: And even more so because Lady Cloche IS Luca's sister.]]
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'':
** Any time Franziska gets offended by someone she cannot whip, she immediately whips someone nearby, often Phoenix, Edgeworth or Gumshoe.
** In a more serious sense, this is [[spoiler:Godot's]] entire motivation; [[spoiler:He gets poisoned by Dahlia Hawthorne, and when he wakes up, Mia Fey, the woman he loved, is dead and Dahlia is on death row. Feeling as though he failed to protect her, and unable to take action against Dahlia, he becomes Phoenix's rival as a prosecutor, and to thwart a plot on Maya's life, sets in motion a plan that leads to Case 3-5 and causes Misty Fey's death rather than go to Phoenix for help, because he blames Phoenix for not being able to protect Mia]].
** This is also [[spoiler:Marlon Rimes]]'s motivation for framing the orca for murder in the DLC case of ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', "Turnabout Reclaimed". [[spoiler:Marlon]] thought that [[spoiler:the orca had killed his girlfriend]], when in reality [[spoiler:she died of a heart condition, and both the orca and the orca's predecessor were innocent]]. In fact, [[spoiler:his]] original plan was to kill the orca, but then the victim of the murder interfered.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', the reason the G.U.N. Commander hates Shadow so much is because [[spoiler:he was Maria's friend on the Space Colony ARK, and he blames Shadow for her death because G.U.N. considered Professor Gerald's creation of him too dangerous, causing G.U.N. to shut down the ARK, arrest Gerald, and kill Maria and the scientists. Apparently, he doesn't realize that it would make more sense to blame Gerald for creating him, or G.U.N. for actually shooting Maria, rather than blame Shadow just for ''being created''.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'', [[spoiler:Fassad, in his "new" form]] attacks Lucas and his friends when they try to pull one of the seven needles, saying that [[spoiler:they pushed him off Thunder Tower, even though his fall was actually caused by his own bad habit of leaving banana peels everywhere. The music that plays during the battled is even ''called'' Misplaced Retribution/Unfounded Revenge]].
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', [[spoiler:the motivation of the BigBad, Mithos Yggdrasil, turns out to be this trope. He was discriminated against as a half-elf. But instead of seeking retribution only on the humans who actually discriminated against him, he set a plan in motion that would make the entire human ''race'' suffer for a ''thousand years.'' This included treating humans as cattle, implementing a "Chosen" system that resulted in misery for those chosen, causing two worlds to have to share mana so one is always suffering, making people suffer to power up Exspheres, etc. As Lloyd puts it, Mithos took his own pain and forced it on everybody else.]]
* The finale of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is kicked off this way. [[spoiler:One of the player's mage companions commits a terrorist attack by blowing up the local chantry. In response [[KnightTemplar Knight Commander Meredith]] immediately invoked the [[ThePurge Right of Annulment]] against the city's Circle of Magi. The problem with that logic is that the mage responsible for attack was an apostate who originated from an entirely different Circle, which Meredith knew. Multiple people point out how insane Meredith's response was, but she wasn't deterred. When news of this reached other circles, several revolted on the spot. The ones that didn't experience a chain reaction of mage protests and [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer more restrictions from the Templars]] until things reached a breaking point and descended into total war. [[BatmanGambit All exactly as Anders planned]].]]
** Sebastian [[spoiler:[[LampshadeHanging lampshades this]] ("Why are we debating the Rite of Annulment when the person who did this is standing right here?"), but then threatens to go back to Starkhaven, build an army, and ''raze Kirkwall to the ground'' if Anders is spared, [[RevengeBeforeReason which makes absolutely no sense]] as both Hawke and Anders would be either dead or long gone in the time it would take for him to seize control of Starkhaven, raise an army, and march it to Kirkwall.]]
*** In ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition Inquisition]]'' if you made certain choices, [[spoiler: Sebastian actually ''does'' raise an army to invade Kirkwall. It causes a minor conflict which you need to settle on the War Table.]]
** Hilariously enough, depending on your RelationshipValues, [[spoiler:if you play your cards right and take Meredith's side Hawke can end up helping to kill just about every mage in Kirkwall ''except'' for Anders]].
* Seen in the eighth installment of the ''VideoGame/DarkParables'', where the imprisoned sea goddess unleashes a BoltOfDivineRetribution against those responsible for her confinement. However, she ''also'' punishes [[spoiler:the five completely innocent daughters of the king who captured her, turning them into mermaids.]]
* Hope of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' decides early on to kill Snow for the role he played in the death of his mother. Said role was attempting to stop the government from exiling a large group of people (including Hope and his mother) for tenuous-at-best reasons, his mother ''volunteering'' to help, and soldiers killing her even as Snow tried (but failed) to rescue her.
* Used as part of the FinalBoss battle in ''VideoGame/CrashBandicootTheWrathOfCortex'': during each phase after the Elementals attack Crash, Crunch becomes exhausted long enough for Crash to be able to shoot him with the Wumpa Bazooka. Crunch responds by [[TacticalSuicideBoss punching Cortex into the arena, allowing Crash to attack him and chip off his health meter]].

* In [[https://s10.postimg.org/py5t86se1/Let_s_See_How_She_Responds_To_That.png this]] ''WebComic/VeganArtbook'' strip, [[DesignatedVillain Shawn]] says something to [[DesignatedHero Sterk]] about [[StrawmanHasAPoint veganism not being the be-all and end-all of animal welfare]]. Sterk's response is to apathetically sit by as bad things happen to the vegan characters right in front of him. Later, the vegans [[TheChewToy dogpile Shawn and beat the crap out of him]]. And [[AuthorTract the comic being what it is]], this is ''[[InsaneTrollLogic not]]'' treated as misplaced at all; after all, Shawn [[VictimBlaming is at fault]] for Sterk's inaction by virtue of [[AcceptableLifestyleTargets not being vegan]]. What's more, [[http://archive.is/3qaiX Sterk even all but admitted that]] [[BatmanGambit he wanted]] [[LetsYouAndHimFight his friends to beat Shawn to a pulp]].

* In ''[[WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv Death Note: The Abridged Series (Kpts4tv)]]'' Rem blames Light for Misa's stupidity and demands that he save her "or I'll rip your face off."
* During the LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}} miniseries ''[[Machinima/YogscastMinecraftSeries Cornerstone]]'', Smiffy of LetsPlay/HatFilms steals LetsPlay/{{Sjin}}'s jetpack, causing Sjin to murder Ross, who wasn't even there. To make matters worse, Smiffy had actually put in another jetpack for charging, then returned the one he stole.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' episode "Battle of the Planets", Tallest Purple orders someone ThrownOutTheAirlock for not remembering Zim ruining Operation Impending Doom I. His response afterward:
-->'''Purple''' That was the ''wrong guy'' but... that's okay! I think everyone gets the point!
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'': When one Ed does something wrong, it's common for [[DisproportionateRetribution all of them]] to get punished. These examples, however, are cases when either a different Ed or ''both'' other Eds to be punished for it.
** In "My Fair Ed", the kids hold Edd responsible for the trouble Ed and Eddy cause, saying if he doesn't stop their shenanigans, ''he'll'' pay the price.
** In "[[HalloweenEpisode Ed, Edd, 'n' Eddy's Boo Haw Haw]]", Ed goes around beating up people and ''EDD AND EDDY'' are beaten up instead and Ed goes unharmed.
** In "All Eds Are Off," Ed contaminates the pool with gravy and ''Eddy'' receives detention for it instead.
** In "Smile For the Ed" Eddy gets a week's detention for impersonating the principal, which Edd actually did (though Edd was trying to help).
** In "A Fistful of Ed" after Eddy keeps insulting, taunting, and pelting Jimmy with endless hot dogs, Jimmy freaking EXPLODES and gives ''Edd'' a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown.
* Attempted in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'' when evil eggplants want to attack Muriel because she eats eggplants. Courage dresses up like an eggplant and tries to convince the eggplants to attack the supermarkets instead, but his plan fails when they find out he isn't an eggplant.
* The Clock King from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' goes after Gotham City mayor Hamilton Hill. Why? Years earlier, The Clock King (then Temple Fugate) was put out of business by a lawsuit brought by Hamilton Hill's law firm. While Hill wasn't specifically the lawyer representing the plaintiff, the Clock King does consider him completely responsible because Hill also suggested Fugate take his coffee break at a different time...which led to [[FromBadToWorse things going worse]].
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': Happens on both sides. After Steve's girlfriend is slandered and as a result loses her run for election, he gets revenge on the three popular kids that he believes were the culprits (by having buffalo feces dropped on one, injecting another with fat and giving the final one an STD). He then discovers that it was [[EtTuBrute his friends]] who had slandered his girlfriend. When the whole school finds out Steve was responsible for getting revenge, they decide to get revenge on all of them, despite Steve protesting that his friends were responsible for the slander against Debbie and pinned it on Lisa Silver, after they come clean.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' episode "Trust Thomas", James angrily bumps the troublesome trucks because he has to do Percy's work while he's away at the harbor, but after the trucks find out that Thomas agreed to do James' work, even though James was playing sick, they decide to play tricks on Thomas instead since "one engine is as good as the other".
* Utilized multiple times in the first season of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'':
** In one episode, when the Killer Bass were forced to wake up Duncan ([[NotAMorningPerson who had given a threat of injury if his nap was disturbed]]) [[GodzillaThreshold in order to win the current event]], Duncan immediately snapped at Harold, even though it was ''Courtney'' who made the decision to wake him up.
** In another one, Harold gets revenge on Duncan for bullying him by rigging the votes and getting ''Courtney'' eliminated because he had a crush on her.
** In yet another episode of the season, when Eva returned to the island, she randomly accused Bridgette of backstabbing her and getting her voted off, despite the fact that ''her entire team'' voted her off for being a raging maniac.
*** In the same episode, Duncan votes for Heather mistakenly believing her to be behind Courtney's elimination when it was actually Harold.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In an early episode entitled "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS1E6MoaningLisa Moaning Lisa]]", Lisa is in such a depressed state that the school takes notice and sends a note home to her parents, and even then out of worry rather than her being in trouble. Homer's so used to Bart being in trouble with the school instead that in response he punishes his son anyway by making him vacuum the entire house, despite Bart not doing anything wrong. Bart understandably is less than pleased with this and also makes sure to vacuum up a deck of Homer's playing cards in retaliation.
** In "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E11WildBartsCantBeBroken Wild Barts Can't Be Broken]]", Homer and his friends go on a drunken stupor and ransack Springfield Elementary. Chief Wiggum automatically assumes it was kids and imposes [[FascistsBedTime an excessive curfew]], which [[HypocriticalHumor Homer applauds]] because he was too drunk to remember. Naturally, the kids are righteously upset and spend most of the episode finding ways to get back at their parents or other adults.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** This was the theme of the cartoon "WesternAnimation/APestInTheHouse". Every time bellhop Daffy [[DontWakeTheSleeper disrupts the rest of a disgruntled hotel guest]], he punches the manager Elmer Fudd in the nose. At the end of the cartoon, when Daffy [[RageBreakingPoint works the guest up into his greatest rage]], Elmer promotes Daffy to manager while taking over as bellhop. The guest ''still'' punches him in the nose.
** In another cartoon entitled "Fox Pop", a fox overhears a radio broadcast talking about how foxes are popular and in season. Believing that foxes are getting a royal treatment, he gets himself taken into a fox farm (after disguising himself as a silver fox), only to find that he was going to be turned into a fur coat. After going through hell and escaping with his life (following a beating from a pack of hunting dogs), [[NeverMyFault he blames his misfortune]] on the ''[[InsaneTrollLogic radio]]'', steals it, and smashes it up. After telling his story to a pair of hawks (the premise of the episode being in a [[HowWeGotHere flashback]] FramingDevice), they join him in smashing it.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
** In "Karate Choppers," Mr. Krabs orders [=SpongeBob=] to give up his obsession with karate for good, or he's fired. As [=SpongeBob=] is leaving the Krusty Krab, contemplating how to break the news to Sandy, Sandy herself comes in and starts attacking him, [[CassandraTruth dismissing SpongeBob's attempts to explain what Krabs said]]. Mr. Krabs comes out at that exact moment and sees it, and despite the fact that [=SpongeBob=] was literally standing there doing ''absolutely nothing'' while Sandy was trying to instigate, singles out [=SpongeBob=] and fires him on the spot. He takes it back after Sandy explains the situation and agrees to give up karate as well.
** In "Shanghaied", when [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick keep jumping off the [[GhostPirate Flying Dutchman's]] [[GhostShip ship]], [[WraparoundBackground only to keep landing back on it]], the Dutchman asks if they're going to keep doing it. When Patrick responds "Maybe", the Dutchman blasts ''[[ButtMonkey Squidward]]'' with a ball of fire ([[RunningGag again]]).
** In "Bubble Buddy", after [=SpongeBob=] and the titular bubble unintentionally cause everyone on the beach grief and trouble, they form an angry mob and tip over the lifeguard tower to vent...followed by deciding to attack the lifeguard who did nothing. Fortunately, Squidward convinces them to focus the senseless violence against [=SpongeBob=] and Bubble Buddy instead.
** In "Patty Hype", after [=SpongeBob=]'s Pretty Patties dye the people who ate them different colors, they take their vengeance out on Mr. Krabs because he was the current owner of the stand selling the patties, even though [=SpongeBob=] was the one who sold them the patties in the first place.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'': In the episode "Paste Makes Waste," when a bullied kid named Elmer Sglue mutates into a giant monster after being ruthlessly teased and bullied by Buttercup and the other kids, Blossom and Bubbles initially refuse to help Buttercup fight him, telling her outright that she and the other bullies deserve it for how they treated Elmer. They quickly change their minds when Elmer proceeds to attack Ms. Keane, who had ''nothing'' to do with the bullying, and proceeds to rampage through Townsville.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTomAndJerryShow'', Spike beats up Tom and Jerry for the insults the InteractiveNarrator made about him.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'':
** In "Blondas Have More Fun", Jorgen blamed Wanda for Timmy's reckless and dangerous stunt wishes when it was Cosmo who was granting them.
** In "Boys in the Band", Timmy's Mom threatened on TV to take her aggression out on Timmy if Chip Skylark didn't show up to the concert she and Timmy's Dad were at [[note]]Timmy actually ''was'' responsible for Chip's absence because his wish got him kidnapped by Vicky, [[DramaticIrony but his mother didn't know that]][[/note]]. His dad advises him to run.
* Invoked in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' where Johnny's father said that Johnny would be held accountable for anymore transformation experiments the twins performed. No sooner did his parents leave that his sisters turned themselves into babies as part of a scheme to win over the neighborhood hottie.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/MuchaLucha'' when Rikochet was in detention, the Headmistress kept adding to his time because the mariachi band with him wouldn't stop singing.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode "Hogwild Hampton", Egghead afflicts PressurePoint damage to Hampton (and eventually demolishes his house) because of the noise Plucky's party was causing, even when it was ''Plucky'' who slammed the door in his face and was rude to him when he asked for the noise to stop.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz", one CutawayGag depicts Peter eating dinner while on steroids. When Lois asks him to pass her the mashed potatoes, [[ComicalOverreacting he flips the bowl over]] and punches [[ButtMonkey Meg]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Lawnmower Dog", Jerry demands that Rick find a way to [[AmplifiedAnimalAptitude make the family dog smarter]], but since he can't do anything to punish Rick directly he claims that he'll [[YouAreGrounded ground]] Morty instead because Rick needs Morty's help with his experiments and adventures. Fortunately for Morty, [[CrazyPrepared Rick already had a device for just such an occasion]].
* Goblins in ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollhunters}}'' will punish whoever kills one of their own severely, but are also not very good at linking cause and effect; when one is killed by a truck, they take their vengeance out on the truck instead of the driver. Jim trips Nomura over causing her to land on a goblin and kill it, and they take their vengeance out on her instead of him.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Slice of Life", a background ''[[Film/TheBigLebowski Big Lebowski]]'' reference near the end implies that the bugbear killed Donny in its attempt to get at Bon Bon (who had sent it to Tartarus).
* ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers'': In "The Deepening" Teddy has an obsessive hatred for a mechanical shark featured in a movie he did an acting job on. He reveals why to Bob when they are about to confront it, how he used to be fit and tried hitting on an actress, but the shark operator caused the shark to knock into him and spill food all over them, ruining a possible relationship and causing Teddy to descend into a lifetime of overeating. Bob asks why Teddy isn't angry at the guy who operated the shark, since the shark is just a prop. Teddy realizes Bob has a point [[IgnoredEpiphany but begins to insist the shark made him do that]].