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The fulcrum around which GUN×SWORD turns is Van's hunt to avenge the death of his bride by killing the Claw. Over the series, the other protagonists obtain reasons to want the same thing. Unusually for anime, the desire to obtain revenge is portrayed in a largely positive light.
Mikagami Tokiya in Flame of Recca at first starts out as an avatar of vengeance whose purpose in life is to take revenge in the name of his dead big sister. Over time, however, he starts learning that walking the path of revenge will lead to his doom, so he eventually wises up and lets go of his vengeful life, fighting less suicidally and somehow became stronger.
Hiei from YuYu Hakusho. He was cast out of his birthplace by his own people, simply for being male, while they held his mother back as she pleaded for his life. While Hiei's feelings on his mother are unclear, his primary motivation early in life was to kill every ice maiden in the Glacial Village and burn the place right out of the sky and into the ground.
Makina in Shikabane Hime claims that she doesn't care about Heaven, and is only staying undead so she can find the person who killed her family.
Revenge and how it turns on itself is a major theme in Naruto, where it is presented as a crippling obsession. It starts with Sasuke, but ultimately turns out to be a stupidly deep family connection all the way back to the clan's founder, Madara Uchiha, and is the driving force of the plot as a whole, responsible even for the Kyuubi attack in the prologue.
Sasuke has taken revenge tonewand terrifying heights. And if the target of his revenge is removed; fear not! He'll just find something new to point his vengeance at.
Unfortunately, the message gets muddled a bit when Shikamaru takes out Hidan for Asuma's death, and it's portrayed in a positive, "getting some closure" manner.
Also a major plot of Berserk, as Guts seeks revenge on his former commander Griffith and the Apostles for the events of the Eclipse that led to the deaths of the Band of the Hawk and robbed his lover Casca of her sanity.
This explains the entirety of Kaname Tousen's actions - from joining Soul Society to his defection with Aizen.
In Code Geass, revenge against Britannia - and in particular his father, the Emperor - is one of Lelouch's main motivations.
In the 7th OVA of Hellsing a wounded Seras exacts VIOLENT revenge against Zorin Blitz for killing Pip Bernadotte.
The basic point of Weiß Kreuz - to destroy villain with brutally demonic retribution. Fujimiya Ran especially desires revenge against Takatori Reiji for the murder of his family in the first 15 episodes of Kapital.
This is the main motive of Theif King Bakura (and by extent, Yami Bakura) of Yu-Gi-Oh!, who desires revenge for the massacer of Kul Elna.
In Mobile Suit Gundam, Char's motive for moving up the ranks of the Zeon military is to put himself in a position to kill off the Zabi family, who were responsible for his father's death. He personally suceeds in killing two of the five (the others die from familial/political infighting or in combat). After achieving this, he instead switches his focus to following his father's ideals... and takes them a bit too far.
Gundam Seed Destiny protagonist Shinn Asuka lives for revenge. First he wants revenge on the Earth Alliance for attacking Orb and killing his family, and also on Orb (more specifically the Athha family) for getting into a fight with them in the first place. Then he wants revenge on Kira after Stella's death...
In Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei and Neil Dylandy (the first Lockon Stratos) both desire revenge against Ali Al-Saachez for the death of their families.
Louise Halevy actually achieves her revenge against the woman who murdered her family... but after initially laughing and being happy about it, her laughter slowly breaks down into tears of pain and despair because nothing's really changed: her family is still dead.
Ironically, the woman whom Louise murdered, Nena Trinity also lived solely for revenge against Ali al-Saachez for the murder of her brothers. Unfortunately for her, she fell victim to So Last Season.
In Gundam Age, both Grodek Ainoa and Flit Asuno desire revenge against the Unknown Enemies, who are responsible for killing their families.
Flit's revenge case got turned Up to Eleven following the brutal murder of Yurin L'Ciel. The second generation Flit is shown to have become nearly as nasty toward the UE as they are toward Earth, hating everything about them and openly stating that his life's goal is to see them annihilated.
The reason both Scar and Mustang are in the story of Fullmetal Alchemist. Scar is killing State Alchemists as revenge for the loss of his family, his home and his country during the Ishval Massacre; Mustang, while he starts out merely as a Supporting Leader to the Elric brothers and still acts in that capacity for most of the plot, has finding the murderer of his closest friend, Maes Hughes as one of his highest agendas before foiling Father's plot takes center stage. When he does find the murderer - the homunculus, Envy - a Curb-Stomp Battle so epically one-sided occurred that it took all the other cast had in them, Scar included, to stop him from going off the deep end.
In Attack on Titan, this is the only thing that keeps Eren Jaeger going. Were it not for his sheer unyielding hatred of the Titans, he probably would have succumbed to despair long ago.
In Fause Foodrage, as soon as the son learns of his Secret Legacy, he attacks the man who killed his father and is holding his mother prisoner.
Revenge is more or less the driving force of Xadhoom's life in the Disney series Paperinik New Adventures. As the Last Of Her Kind after an alien race destroyed her home planet, she's dedicated her life to wiping out every last one of them. Said aliens are now threatening Earth, so she becomes an ally to the main character - Donald Duck's superhero alter ego - but her obsession is implied to be rather unhealthy.
The reason for Doctor Doom's supervillainy is the fact that he blames Reed Richards for every single thing that has ever happened to him, starting with his disfigurement, and wants nothing more than to cause him as much pain as possible in revenge. This actually makes them quite different from many other pairs of Arch Enemies: for example, Lex Luthor and The Joker are the nemeses of the respective heroes because they start out as being a certain way and, due to their differences with the hero, grow to hate them and eventually focus on them. Doom, on the other hand, is a supervillain who branches out to become an enemy of every single Marvel superhero out there, but every single thing he does can be eventually traced back to his hatred of Reed Richards.
Few of Spider-Man's enemies are obsessed with revenge against people who wronged him like one of his oldest, Adrian Toomes, the Vulture. The whole reason he became the Vulture was to seek revenge against Gregory Bestman, his embezzling business partner who had robbed him blind. Since then his schemes have revolved around revenge against people who have cheated or wronged him in some way, including Spider-Man himself, the Vegas crime boss Morris "the Snake" Diamond (who stole his blueprints for a special plastic compound), another mobster named Mr. Morgan (who hired the Hitman to kill Spidey before Toomes could do so), and especially crooks who copy his blueprints to try to duplicate his equipment. This has included "Blackie" Drago and the Vulturions. Not coincidentally, Toomes is currently the only man to call himself the Vulture.
In Firing Range, the motivation of the inventor is revenge against the ones who gave his son a posthumous medal after leading him to his death. He gets it, by causing the tank to kill them.
Professor Moriarty's desire for revenge against Sherlock Holmes fuels the plot of the first finale of Children of Time. Notably, he gets his revenge three times over throughout the course of the three episodes. First in subjugating the detective, then breaking him when Moriarty did his job a little too well, then hurting Beth.
Tiesel Bonne wants revenge on Mega Man for dissolving the Mega Crew and perceived humiliation.
Mr. Black wants revenge on Wily for killing his wife and leaving him paralyzed.
As of episode 11, Wily wants revenge on Dr. Light for perceived involvement in ProtoMan leaving Wily and turning good.
I Spit on Your Grave is the epitome of this. New York writer Jennifer Hills is brutally raped by three men and takes revenge on all of them...in particularly brutal manners.
Similarly, The Last House on the Left is also a rape-revenge film But, in this case, it's the victims' parents who take revenge on the rapists In the original, both of the girls are already dead before the parents realize it
Thor: Although this is not explicitly stated, it's quite obvious that part of the reason why Loki wanted to kill Laufey is to get back at his biological father for leaving him to die as an infant.
Thor: The Dark World: After their mother Frigga is murdered, Loki becomes motivated to team up with his brother Thor to defeat Malekith.
Loki later usurps Odin's throne as payback for being disowned and for almost receiving the death sentence.
The EU materials taking place around the time of The Phantom Menace imply that Viceroy Gunray's main motivation for having the Trade Federation blockade Naboo was out of revenge against Senator Palpatine because it was thanks to him and his bill that several members of the Trade Federation's leading races were assassinated (the only reason why the Nemoidians survived is because Sidious sabotaged the ship to prevent them from taking off for the summit). In the film itself, it was believed to be out of Greed.
Essentially the entire plot of Falling Down. One man's revenge (albeit a bit excessive) against all the little annoyances in the world, be it arriving five minutes too late to get breakfast at a fast food restaurant, which is met with drawing a machine gun and accidentally firing it in to the ceiling, needless construction, which is met with a rocket launcher, or price gouging, which is met with vandalism and price slashing via bat.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is about a barber who seeks revenge against the corrupt judge who sent him away for fifteen years on a false charge and then raped his wife Lucy. Though his primary target is Judge Turpin and the Beadle because of their role in what happened to her, he ends up killing a lot more people along the way.
Also popular with Spaghetti Westerns, such as For A Few Dollars More, the second of the Dollars trilogy, which has Lee Van Cleef in the avenger role as Colonel Mortimer, who is out to kill El Indio for raping his sister after gunning down her lover.
This is Mélanie's goal throughout the film The Page Turner, after a piano audition is disrupted by one of the judges (a famous pianist), she stops playing the piano and seeks her revenge which adds up to making said pianist fall in love with her, destroying her marriage and causing a serious hand problem in her young son (who also aspires to be a pianist).
Alec Trevelyan of the James Bond movie Golden Eye wanted revenge against the British government for the betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks, which included his family, who believed that they were under British protection near the end of WWII, only to be sent back to Stalin who promptly had them all shot. The fact that he was also doing so to make himself a pile of money off the destruction of London using a nuclear satellite that used an electromagnetic pulse weapon was just the icing on the cake.
The R in SPECTRE, the villainous organization in previous films, stands for revenge. Blofeld mentions it specifically as what will happen if his demands are not met in Never Say Never Again.
In The Bone Collector, the villain's murders turn out to be an elaborate scheme to get revenge on one of the two cop protagonists, whose mistakes caused the villain to be wrongly imprisoned.
"Mistake" is debatable, since he was jailed for planting false evidence on criminals he was insistent were guilty. How correct he was never explained into, though in his point of view and his theories were "flawless" and he had been jailed for working for a greater good, his duration in there being traumatic (which ironically mirrored the people he framed, one even committing suicide).
The Princess Bride: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Taxi Driver has a long shot in which the camera pans back over all the corpses Travis Bickle left in the wake of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The reason for this: how satisfying would a story about revenge be if we didn't get to linger over the results a bit?
In Tangled, Gothel draws the Stabbington brothers into her plans by a promise of revenge on Flynn.
The Amateur (1981). The fiancee of a cryptographer is murdered by terrorists, so he blackmails the CIA into letting him go into Czechoslovakia to kill those responsible. Just as he crosses the border, the CIA discover where he's hidden the files, so he's hunted by both sides.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique is motivated by her desire for vengeance after seeing what became of the mutants who Trask got a hold of.
Highwaymen: A main theme of the film. Fargo's murder of Cray's wife started a long cycle of revenge between the two. Cray crippled Fargo in retaliation, but Fargo escaped the hospital to continue his murder spree elsewhere and constantly sends Cray photos of the victims to taunt him. He finally kidnaps Molly and returns to the motel where he originally killed Cray's wife to reenact the murder with Cray as a witness.
The Warhammer 40,000 novels are quite fond of revenge as a motive and a plot, which is hardly surprising, given the setting.
In Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn novel Malleus, Eisenhorn vows revenge on those responsible for the atrocity that cripples Ravenor. In Hereticus, it is invoked; Medea passionately desires revenge on the man who killed her father. In time, she realizes that this was displaced desire that she could have known her father, who died a month before her birth.
In Dan Abnett's Gaunts Ghosts novel First & Only, Gaunt's Back Story includes his killing the general whose cowardly abandonment of the field of battle killed Gaunt's father and the men with him. Later, this general's son attacks Gaunt, for his father's death and the dishonor it brought on the family.
Revenge, and an inter-regimental feud, is also used to mask the real conflict of the novel.
In William King's Space Wolf novel Space Wolf, the Grimskulls sought revenge on the Thunderskulls who had captured their settlement, enslaving their women and children. They went off, licking their wounds, and were lucky enough to find another settlement which they could overrun, killing the men and enslaving the women and children, which they regard as a god rewarding their perseverance with a prize. They returned for Revenge on the Thunderskulls. When Ragnar Thunderskull and Strybjorn Grimskull are taken to become Space Wolves, their enmity continues. At one point, Ragnar is tempted with the prospect of killing Strybjorn; the Marines gravely observe that they have never had an aspirant come so close to failure without failing before. When Strybjorn saves his life in battle, and falls beneath an attack, Ragnar realizes his desire was wrong. He insists the others with them go on to Bring News Back, so he can tend Strybjorn's wounds and bring him out safely.
In Wolfblade, Ragnar is warned that foiling Cezare's plot means that he will seek revenge on him.
"Let him," said Ragnar. "Spoken like a true son of Fenris," said Haeger with almost paternal fondness.
In Graham McNeill's Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, at the end, Vaanes is convinced that Uriel's convincing him to join the attack on the fortress, which killed many of his band, was deeply wronging him, and so allows himself to be persuaded to join the forces of Chaos, for Revenge.
In Graham McNeill's Storm of Iron, Larana Utorian's suffering at the hands of the Chaos forces and desire for Revenge are what lets the daemon tempt her into allowing it in.
In Graham McNeill's Horus Heresy novel False Gods, when hunting a traitor, Horus comes upon corpses still wearing the remnants of their Imperial uniforms. He wonders if they remained loyal and promises to avenge them. Later, when Horus is felled by his wounds, Loken is determined to avenge him on the forces responsible.
In James Swallow's Deus Sanguinius, after Rafen's duel with Arkio ends with his killing him, Mephiston urges him into the fight with the Chaos forces that had tainted him — he should avenge him. And in the end, the thwarted daemon plots revenge on Rafen.
In Chris Roberson's Blood Ravens novel Dawn Of War II, when Phaeton hears that the tyrannids have killed his mother, he declares he will kill them all; the Space Marine tells him to let them do the fighting for now, but perhaps he might be a Blood Raven one day, whereupon his younger brother is also eager to be one so he can fight.
In Steve Parker's Gunheads, Wulfe's Back Story includes an incident where a medic jumped to save him from a wound that would have killed him. A few days later, the medic was captured by orks and tortured to death. Wulfe thinks that he's still trying to avenge him.
In Chris Roberson's Imperial Fists novel Sons of Dorn, Zatori wants revenge on Jean-Robec for killing his master (partly because he should have been protecting his back), and Taloc wants revenge on Zatori for killing his father. A long-term undercurrent, since the Imperial Fists will stop them if they try, and they fear the punishment.
In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, the title hunt is motivated by revenge.
Averted in A.J. Quinell's Snap Shot, where the revenge of the protagonist is only mentioned in a flashback, a few parragraphs long, and without details. After telling that he performed his revenge, the protagonist also admits it didn't make him feel any better nor helped him to overcome his psychological trauma.
In Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book, Mowgli takes Revenge on the village for how they treated his adoptive parents. He persuades Hathi to help because of the revenge Hathi took on another village — that one involving killing men.
Moby-Dick, surely. Captain Ahab is a walking piece of revenge on a stick. (he has a wooden leg.)
A pegleg, yes. It is, however, made from the jawbone of a whale.
A driving force for Ax in Animorphs. In Andalite culture, the brother or son must avenge the victim's death, and Ax takes the vow to kill Visser Three for the death of Elfangor. Technically, that would have included Tobias, as Elfangor's son, as well, but it isn't mentioned as much by the time that's revealed.
Revenge tragedies were quite common in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, with perhaps the best known of such being Shakespeare's Hamlet, which has its title character seeking vengeance for his father against his uncle, who murdered him to take the throne. Seeing as how it's a tragedy, though, it doesn't exactly end well for the prince of Denmark.
Thomas Middleton's The Revengers Tragedy (1606) is this, to a T. The anti-hero's name, Vindice, means 'Revenge'. In fact, it can be seen as a parody of the entire genre (and Hamlet in particular), which was in its heyday when this was first performed.
In "Hop-Frog" a deformed dwarf jester burns the king and seven ministers to death at a masquerade for striking his beloved and splashing wine in her face.
In "The Cask of Amontillado", a man lures his friend into a cellar with the promise of fine wine, only to bury him alive, claiming revenge for vague injuries. Both people get away scot-free.
Revenge is the Hat of the Camorri in the Gentleman Bastard series. The Grey King's sole motivation is revenge against Capa Barsavi and the nobility of Camorr. Locke sets himself against the Grey King in order to avenge Nazca, Bug, and the Sanzas. And in the course of Locke's revenge, he pisses off the Bondsmagi...
In all parts of the structure the female slaves were falling upon their masters with whatever weapon came first to hand. A dagger snatched from the harness of her mistress was waved aloft by some fair slave, its shimmering blade crimson with the lifeblood of its owner; swords plucked from the bodies of the dead about them; heavy ornaments which could be turned into bludgeons—such were the implements with which these fair women wreaked the long-pent vengeance which at best could but partially recompense them for the unspeakable cruelties and indignities which their black masters had heaped upon them. And those who could find no other weapons used their strong fingers and their gleaming teeth.
In Terry Pratchett's Thud!, the Summoning Dark is "an invisible and very powerful quasidemonic thing of pure vengeance."
A Song of Ice and Fire: A Lannister always pays his debts. So if you help a Lannister, you're sure to be recompensed for your trouble. But if you cross a Lannister, things might end differently. Such as, say, in a privy. With a crossbow.
Arguably the whole Westeros powderkeg was lit because when she was a girl, Catelyn Stark broke a little boy's heart...
Red Wedding has enraged the North more than they were already when Ned Stark was beheaded. Now the Northern houses want revenge against the Frey's and the Boltons for their treachery, and are willing to side with Stannis to take them down.
In Robert Louis Stevenson's The Black Arrow, the hero learns that a band of men are hunting down those responsible for his father's death. At the end, he insists they refrain from killing one intended victim — who, he knows, did lure his father to the place of his death but was unaware that he would be killed.
Another Conan story, The Scarlet Citadel, had one of Tsotha's slaves try to kill an imprisoned King Conan for killing his brother back in his pirate days as "Amra the Lion." He is killed with one strike by Satha, the big fucking snake that Tsotha keeps down there, before he can actually go through with revenge.
In The Hobbit, Bilbo tells Smaug that it was for revenge that the dwarves had come to Lonely Mountain:
Bilbo: Surely you realize that your success has made you some bitter enemies.
In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Monster Men, von Horn tries to cover his tracks by telling Number Thirteen that he is a soulless creature, less than a beast, and that Professor Maxon made him such, and inciting him until he resolves to kill the professor.
Kalak's chief motivation for the quest is to kill Gothon for razing his homeland.
Kazem has the same motivation: Gothon took everything from him so he wants the guy's head on a stick.
Daniar, by contrast, is in the same boat as they are but never considers revenge.
Galaxy of Fear: As an Alderaanian, Tash Arrandar was inclined to pacifism, to peaceably resolving grievances with people who thought in much the same ways. When her homeworld was destroyed, finding ways to hurt the Empire that had so badly hurt her started to look more appealing, especially in The Virus. She's 13 years old and never picks up weapons, so has to receive An Aesop about it rather than carve a swath of destruction or something.
In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Thieves, Thena pledges revenge for her dead eight "brothers" — the clones before her that her "father" murdered for a transplant. Nat also pledges to exterminate the Good Men for Max's death.
Fëanor's sons are no slouches in the revenge department either, they commit one mass slaughter of elves with their father, and two without. They will betray and/or kill anyone who they think is trying to keep a Silmaril from them (this is what led to the Second Kinslaying). And this is barely scratching the surface of all the things they do/are willing to do. The entire family ends up dead except for Fëanor's estranged wife who stayed behind and one of his sons, Maglor, who ends up crossing Despair Event Horizonwandering the shores of Middle-Earthsinging his sorrow and regret.
In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, when the Free Traders take Jern on board, they ask who had it in for his master, then shrug and dismiss it: if he wants revenge later, it's nothing to do with them.
Mael Duin of the medieval Irish romance The Voyage of Máel Dúin sets out to sea to find and kill the pirates that killed his father. When, years later, he finally has the opportunity to take revenge, he declines it.
Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth swear vengeance against Stannis Baratheon after their beloved King Renly is murdered. Revenge is also Littlefinger's primary (if not sole) motive for conspiring with Olenna Tyrell to murder Joffrey.
Murdoch Mysteries: Revenge is James Gillies' primary motivation for wanting to destroy Detective William Murdoch; Gillies hates it when someone manages to outsmart him. James gets back at Robert Perry (who betrayed Gillies to avoid the noose and receive a much lighter jail sentence) by cutting his former accomplice's head off with a fine-tooth saw while Robert was still alive.
Veronica Mars is a revenge addict. When she starts to run short on targets for personal revenge she looks for other people to get revenge for.
A major theme on LOST. Sawyer's desire to avenge his parents carries through the first three seasons. In the fourth, we learn of Ben's desire to kill Penny in revenge for Alex's death. Charlie, Shannon, Sayid, and Sun have also sought revenge for loved ones at various times.
Happens occasionally on 24, especially when a terrorist is about to get immunity while a victim wants revenge. In Season 3, Kim notes that the death of Nina Myers, who killed her mother, does not bring her closure in any way, even though she wanted her dead for a long time. In Season 7, Olivia Taylor becomes angry that Jonas Hodges, the man responsible for her brother's death, is going to be placed in witness protection, so she orders a hit on him, calling it off too late. During that season, Tony Almeida's desire for revenge for his wife and unborn son drives him to plan on tracking down and killing the head of the conspiracy.
Holtz was never a "good" guy (at least not as we saw him on screen, maybe before his family was killed). He's an Anti-Villain with heroic traits like courage and determination, who has descended past the point where he cared whether his goal was still noble, becoming consumed by revenge. He considers himself a monster (made by monsters) and lives only for revenge and hate. After raising Connor, he tells Angel that he has let that hatred go and learned to live on paternal love instead. But even this is a lie, he sacrifices his life and his adopted son's happiness (and mental stability) for a final chance at revenge on what's left of the demon that took his family (namely, Angel).
The Mentalist centers around Patrick Jane, formerly a fake psychic who uses his skills at manipulation and knowledge of human behavior to help law enforcement, all in the larger goal of tracking down Red John, the serial killer who murdered his wife and child (because Jane, while still pretending to be a psychic, mocked him on national television.) While most assume his intention is to bring Red John to justice to achieve a sort of personal redemption, he eventually reveals that his intent all along was to kill Red John. Notably after he made this revelation, the next two episodes directly dealt with revenge killings; a mother who killed to avenge the neglectful if accidental killing of her teenage daughter, and a young man who killed to avenge the deliberate murder of his best friend and father figure. After their confessions, Jane asked them both the same question: was it worth it? The woman broke down in tears, saying that in the end it didn't change anything. The man, on the other hand, said that it was completely worth it, and that it was a "cleansing" experience. Neither of these answers comfort Jane, and he eventually goes through with his revenge, though the man he killed turned out to be an impostor sent by the real killer in his place. Later on in the series, though, he unmasked the real Red John and killed him.
Once Upon a Time all began because the Evil Queen/Regina wanted to get back at Snow White for unintentionally telling Regina's manipulative and abusive mother Cora about her affair with the stable boy — resulting in Cora killing the stable boy and forcing Regina into a loveless marriage, which would lead to her Start of Darkness. And poor Snow is still unaware that she did anything wrong.
Likewise, in season two, Aurora wanted to get revenge or at least some sort of justice on Emma and Snow for indirectly causing Prince Phillip's Fate Worse Than Death, despite Mulan cautioning her not to. Her attempt to attack Snow failed and ended up causing trouble for the entire group.
SCTV had a sort-of game show called "Revenge" where the contestants got revenge for their petty annoyances - but one contestant paid the price for their recipient getting their revenge. Then, another recipient shows up on the set wired up with explosives and gets his revenge.
Detective Charlie Crews from Life is something of a Cuckoo Cloudlander thanks to his 12-years of wrongful imprisonment after being framed for several murders and discovering Zen Buddhism as a way to stay sane in prison. He's a great example of Beware the Nice Ones, with a dark and dangerous streak running below his outwardly calm and friendly demeanor, but he's a firm believer in letting go of his anger instead of acting on it. But as he draws closer to finding the real killer, the man who murdered Charlie's best friend and his family, and the culprits of the frame-job that sent him to jail, Charlie is torn between the beliefs and ideals which saved his life and kept him sane in prison and the overwhelming desire for revenge. In the first season finale, he settles for justice instead (though he lets the killer ''think'' he's decided on revenge to coax a confession out of him).
Ween's song Buenos Tardes Amigo is a revenge song being sung to the man who killed the narrator's brother. The twist is that the narrator was actually the killer himself, probably due to jealousy, and is framing the listener to keep anyone else from knowing the truth.
The point of Coheed and Cambria's No World For Tomorrow album. In particular: Gravemakers and Gunslingers, Justice in Murder, and The End Complete.
"Cause God knows I ain't now stoppin' 'til you breathe none!"
Avenged Sevenfold has the song "Strength of the World". It reads as the story of someone who's family was killed by outlaws.
"I want it. I need it! Revenge is dripping from my teeth!"
Kate Bush's "The Wedding List"; a pregnant bride kills the murderer of her husband and commits suicide.
Leslie Fish's "Furies".
Sound Horizon's Märchen album revolves around the spirits of seven women (all but one from the Fairy Tales of The Brothers Grimm) being granted a chance at revenge against the people who wronged them by a strange ghost who goes by the name Märchen. The seventh woman, Elisabeth, rejects this offer, content that her first and only love März has finally fulfilled his promise to return to her, even if only in death. It is this that leads Märchen to remember the man he used to be: März himself.
Achilles' chief motivation for leaving the Greek army during the Trojan War, the initiating action of the plot of Homer's The Iliad, is vengeance against the Greek commander Agamemnon for taking his trophy wench. His withdrawal from the fighting (and the subsequent plea to Zeus to give victories to the Trojan cause in Achilles's absence made at his behest by his mother) leads to his cousin's demise.
Levi and Shimon wipe out the town of Shechem in retribution for the prince of Shechem's rape of their sister Dinah.
The Israelites swear vengeance against the Amalekites for their attack against Israelite women, children, and elderly as the Israelites were leaving Egypt.
The Bible also contains notable aversions, being that Forgiveness is a key biblical virtue:
Esau forgives and reconciles with Jacob, abandoning his plans for revenge.
God marks Cain to shield him from any retribution for the murder of Abel his brother.
God commands the Israelites that they are never to take revenge on the Egyptians at any time after the Exodus, because, regardless of the wrongs the Egyptians had inflicted on the Israelites, they had also been the Israelites' hosts at first; the implication is that the Egyptians had suffered enough from the plagues, a hard point to contest.
God also instituted laws among the Israelites to suppress the practice of blood feuds which were common in the ancient world: most notably, the concept of the city of refuge for the manslaughterer.
The Talmud: A man invited his friend Kamtza to a feast, but his servant accidentally invited Bar Kamtza, a mortal enemy. Bar Kamtza thought that the other man wanted to make peace, and so came to the party, where he was ordered away. Trying to save himself from humiliation, he offered to pay, first for his own portion, then for two, and eventually for the entire party, but the host refused to listen and kicked Bar Kamtza out. Bar Kamtza therefore hatched a plot which ended in the enemy king coming to Jerusalem, the Temple being destroyed, and the Jews being sent into exile.
In the Epic Of Gilgamesh, when King Gilgamesh rejects the sexual advances of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar, she sends the Bull of Heaven to terrorize his whole city. Gilgamesh and his only friend, Enkidu, eventually slay the Bull and save the city of Uruk, but the gods retaliate by giving Enkidu a fatal illness.
Bill Cosby's routine called, aptly, "Revenge", recalling his childhood where he plotted to get back at Junior Barnes for hitting him with a slushball. He crafts a perfect snowball and stores it in the freezer, intending to use it on him in July, where there's not a snowball in sight. When the time finally comes for Bill to take his revenge, he finds out that his mother had thrown the snowball away, and has to resort to spitting on him.
Warhammer 40,000: The Invaders Space Marine chapter destroyed the Eldar Craftworld Idharae. The survivors of Idharae who joined Craftworld Alaitoc, returned the favor by destroying the Invaders fortress-monastery. The chapter is reduced to 300 marines, and lost many of their weapons.
In Warhammer the Dwarfs have a serious problem with this. They're incapable of ever letting something go, and everything anyone does that displeases them is a deliberate, malicious strike against them. One instance involves a human fortress being razed because they hired dwarven engineers to help build it and shortchanged their payment by a handful of coins out of thousands. Instead of accepting that this was probably just a clerk miscounting or a ripped bag losing a few coins in transit and either brushing it off or sending someone to explain what the problem is and asking for the complete payment, they instead stewed on this vile theft for a century, assembled an army, and laid siege to the baffled fortress.
Magic The Gathering: This is the whole purpose of the White/Black/Red color-wedge, combining White's love for justice, Black's selfishness, and Red's hunger for destruction. Seen most clearly in Kaalia's flavor text.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is about a man who wants revenge for his false imprisonment at the hands of a corrupt judge and his Beadle so that they could have his wife for themselves. He does eventually get his revenge, but not before killing a lot of other people.
In the second act of Into the Woods, The Giantess wants revenge for the death of her husband.
In Il Trovatore, the gypsy Azucena seeks revenge against the di Luna family for burning her mother as a witch.
Ghosts. Helen Alving takes vengeance on her late husband, who treated her like shit for years, by humiliating him at home (while he still lived), and later making sure that none of his money goes to her son Oswald. "He shall only inherit me!"
The entire premise of the Crusader series of games—and naturally, when you start wreaking such havoc, the bad guys get in on the act.
Both Kael'thas and the generic Blood Mage from War Craft III: The Frozen Throne have a sound pack distressingly but understandably focused on pronouncements of vengeance.
"My blood cries out for the vengeance of my people's blood, which can only be repaid with twice as much blood! Or maybe three times as much blood! Like, if you went to hell and it was full of blood, and that blood was on fire, and it was raining blood, then maybe THAT would be enough blood. But, uh... probably not."
Tasha in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, her character theme is actually titled "Goddess of Revenge".
Tasha's love of revenge is lampshaded in one of the War Room segments, she claims "My hobbies include professing my love for the Lazurian Army and vowing revenge."
While Ryu Hayabusa's final goal in the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden is to reclaim the Dark Dragon Blade stolen from his village, it's obvious in a number of cut scenes that he's bent on killing Doku, the Greater Fiend responsible for destroying the village. The chapter of the game in which Ryu finally kills Doku is titled "Vengeful Spirit".
Kivan's motivation in Baldur's Gate. Not surprising considering his mate was tortured to death by one of the villains.
Also, Minsc and Jaheira start out bent on beating Irenicus to death with a potato masher for the whole "killing the person they cared about most" thing. If you keep them in the party, eventually they do get to help take him out, and there is much awesome. Even the potato masher fits, if you accept a +5 potato masher known as Crom Faeyr, the Hammer of Thunderbolts.
From the same family, Carth Onasi wants to pound his treasonous ex-commander into paste for betraying the Republic and bombing Telos. Sky wanted to kick Gao the Greater into orbit over the death of his little girl at the hands of Gao's slavers. Even though you kill Gao before he does, Sky's pretty understanding about it, and just extends his vendetta to anyone dealing in slaves.
In Mass Effect, Dr. Liara T'Soni went on a two year long quest to destroy the Shadow Broker after he tried to sell Shepard's body to the Collectors. Depending on your choices, this might also fit under Violently Protective Girlfriend.
Zaeed wants revenge on Vido for shooting him in the head twenty years ago, Garrus wants vengeance on Sidonis for betraying him and his team, Kasumi gets payback on Hock for torturing her boyfriend to death, Thane got revenge on the men who killed his wife in his Backstory and Jack has a serious vendetta against Cerberus for experimenting on her as a child. It's really easier to list which members of the Mass Effect 2squaddon't want some form of revenge. Including Shepard, if you take the Renegade route, which gives us the quote, "The Collectors are about to find out what happens when you piss me off."
Persona3 gives us Ken, a kid with a vendetta against his mom's murderer, Shinjiro, who accidentally killed Ken's mom from losing control of his power and has become The Atoner for it. When confronted on the anniversary of the mother's death, they get interrupted by Strega and Shinjiro sacrifices himself to protect Ken, denying him his revenge. Ken is of the Justice Acrana.
The motivation of the original heroine of Phantasy Star, Alis. Lassic's men murdered her brother in front of her, so she's going to bring him down.
In God of War, this is the primary motivation for Kratos. His quest for revenge against the Gods is what causes him to become a One-Man Apocalypse.
The main plot motivation of Corvo Attano from Dishonored.
This was one of the reasons James Tobin murdered Zack in In the 1st Degree. Tobin found out that his girlfriend Ruby had a one-night stand with Zack. Tobin was so jealous and furious that he decided that Zack had to pay for this with his life.
Calypso of Twisted Metal is primarily a JackassLiteral Genie... but if you win the tournament and then wish for revenge on someone, nine times out of ten, he'll give you what you want without any manipulation. Something about it seems to strike a chord with him.
The Tonberry of the Final Fantasy series is theMoe Anthropomorphism of this concept: (aside from their One-Hit KO move once they come up close) their attack Karma/Everyone's Grudge deals damage proportionate to the number of enemies its target has killed.
In Xenoblade Chronicles, following the Mechon attack on Colony 9 and the death of Shulk's friend Fiora, Shulk declares his intent to destroy every last Mechon in revenge for what has happened. A shocking goal for someone as kind as Shulk. This becomes important later on.
Revenge is a recurring theme in The Wonderful 101. A number of characters on both the heroes' and villains' sides have revenge as their primary motivation, and the game's story takes time to show how counter-productive revenge can be. People driven by revenge endanger themselves and everyone around them, and revenge as a motivator leads to one becoming just as much a monster as the ones they want revenge against. This is contrasted by Wonder-Red, who prioritizes the team and the mission above his personal feelings, even when that means not chasing the alien who killed his father.
Becomes a major theme in the second season of Tower of God, especially with Ja Wangnan trying to avenge Nia and Viole trying to figure out if he wants to take revenge on Rachel.
Anak Zahard, Jr. is out to kill her entire adoptive family, the Zahard, because they killed her parents, an unnamed father and Anak Zahard, Sr, her mother. She ends up befriending the very first Zahard daughter she meets. Not a very good start.
In Epic Tales this is Shadow Hawk's motivation for being a superhero. Or so he claims. His best friend Diana thinks he just doing it for the thrills, although this is only mentioned once. Also the revenge thing seems to have been glossed over in the two most recent stories.
GEOWeasel's third episode chronicles the attempts of Weas and Mitri to kill Mitri's Not-So-Imaginary Friend Bob, who they want because he killed two of their team. A different imaginary friend gets killed in the process.
The show Dan Vs. revolves entirely around this concept, exacted by a hilariously paranoid, quick-tempered Dan and his drag-along best friend Chris. His targets include cookie ninja, the wolfman, and the entire country of Canada.
Stripperella. Spoofed in "Beauty and the Obese", where Mad Doctor Cesarean's motive for making supermodels fat is because beautiful women have spurned him all his life. And because his mother was a model who ran off when he was five. And because his promising career as a model was ruined when he became horribly disfigured in a modeling accident. Oh, and his grandparents were killed by models. He hates heights too, but you can't harm heights.
An anthology episode of The Simpsons had revenge as its theme.
Lenny: Nothing like revenge for getting back at people.
Carl: I dunno, vengeance is pretty good.
Roger of American Dad! often parodies this of the Disproportionate Retribution order. In "The One That Got Away" for example he discovers a stranger has been using his credit account and in retaliation proceeds to destroy his life in every manner possible this causes complications when the culprit in fact turns out to be a split personality of Roger obliviously created. In turn his victim sets an assassin on him. Naturally Hilarity Ensues.
Sea Lab 2021 wanted to do a Christmas Special, but for various reasons swapped Christianity for the made-up religion of Alvisism, based around a violent, Wild West messiah. Whereas Christmas is about family and giving, Alvistide is about drinking and revenge.
Capt. Murphey: "Vengeance is mine!" quoth Alvis. And then he shot him, right in the face!
If it isn't capturing them to make them into gold or to eat them (or, as in the movie, to make himself the most powerful wizard in the world), Gargamel's main motivation to go after The Smurfs is this.
Weisman also worked on The Spectacular Spider Man, and in this case it's not a Big Bad but a lower-ranked but likable villain who lives by it: Sandman was a thief and never forgot it even once getting super powers, and once, when offered payback against Spider-Man by joining the Sinister Six, he said that he didn't care about revenge and just wanted the "big score" he'd always dreamed of. (He joins anyway, once convinced there'd be a lot of money involved.)
In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Cutie Mark Crusaders concoct a plan to get some extremely well-deserved payback on Babs Seed, but find out that she became a bully in response to being bullied where she came from, and that they'd be no different if they did the same thing. (They end up going to a lot of trouble to save her from their plan, made harder by her continuing to be a Jerk Ass, but Babs also learns her lesson in the end.) That when you Pay Evil unto Evil you become subject to He Who Fights Monsters was the Aesop of the week.