There's a big ol' party and everyone's invited ... but not, it seems, that
guy or gal. They may be an insufferable Creator's Pet
, a villain, or some other type that thinks
they're popular but no one likes, usually because of their vindictive
and volatile Hair-Trigger Temper
. And wouldn't you know it, after finding out they've been snubbed they go and prove their reputation right
by concocting a Revenge SVP
plot against the party goers, host, or a loved one of theirs.
This trope is especially common for Wicked Witches
, Vain Sorceresses
, and Jerkass Goddesses
, who will curse
the object of the party or throw in an Apple of Discord
and watch the revelers tear into each other.
Mortals are no less vindictive or limited in their means. A popular method is to throw their own party and invite the one who snubbed them (coercion may be required
to get them to RSVP though) and then reveal it's an elaborate Death Trap
, spiking the punch, or otherwise humiliating everyone present. A classic is having them all implicated in their own "murder
", all while having the guests kill each other off.
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Anime and Manga
- Subverted in the third Urusei Yatsura movie. A witch curses Lum because she apparently wasn't invited to the baby shower. Turns out she was invited; a postal screwup prevented the invitation from reaching her, and she cancelled the curse upon learning of the circumstances in which the invitation had failed to reach its destination.
- A villainous example shows up in Infinite Crisis. The Joker approaches the Royal Flush Gang and demands to know why he was excluded from the newest Secret Society Of Super-Villains and subsequently kills them when they explain that, "Everyone knows the Joker's wild." The Joker responds "That's not funny." In the last issue of the series, he ambushes and gruesomely kills the Big Bad in Gotham City, while Lex Luthor watches and explains, "You didn't let the Joker play."
- While he doesn't like the Joker, Lex Luthor has made a point at times to invite him along to various legions of doom specifically to avoid this trope. The Joker may be a pain in the ass to work with, but better that than have him pissed off that he wasn't invited along.
- In the lead-up to the wedding between Black Panther and Storm, Black Panther's rival the Man-Ape planned to crash their wedding as a prelude to invading Wakanda since he wasn't invited. The next time he is seen, he is morosely drinking Scotch at the wedding reception's open bar. Turns out he was on the wedding's invitation list.
- Fables' Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose, learns that revenge is the reason for her curse, which has the unfortunate factor of kicking back in whenever she pricks her finger. Then she has a chance to discuss it with the casting fairy.
- In The Thing's short-lived series, actress Carlotta La Rosa is hosting a party she's invited our Everlovin' Blue-Eyed titular character to, and calls up contemporary Milan Ramada to tell her she's not invited. Milan's payback is to get Psycho for Hire Arcade to trap the party in his Amusement Park of Doom.
- Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent wasn't invited, and Merryweather makes it clear she wasn't wanted.
- "Sleeping Beauty". The circumstances for the evil fairy not being invited vary, from a simple clerical error to (as in the Disney version) outright not wanting her there. (Though in "Sun, Moon, and Talia", an older variant, it was just a prophecy, not a curse.)
- The fairy tale The Hind in the Wood manages to further Justify the "wicked" fairy's outrage — the Fairy of the Fountain is, at the start, not evil, but was the first fairy to befriend the Queen, and in fact introduced the Queen to the fairy who allowed the Queen to conceive a daughter in the first place. But by the time the little Princess was born, the Queen had neglected the Fairy of the Fountain and forgets to invite her. No wonder she's upset...
- The "Sleeping Beauty" example gets deconstructed a bit in the Discworld spinoff Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, where Nanny advises anyone organizing a christening to make a point of inviting any "touchier" witches they know, and just give them a table to themselves so they don't upset anyone. "Play your cards right and you could be ahead by an extra good wish. She may be a bit whiffy on the nose, but it's better than waking up a hundred years later and finding trees growing through the floor."
- There's another evil sorceress example in The Dragon Hoard by Tanith Lee.
- The "Sleeping Beauty" example is also subverted in the first book of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Princess Alinora has had most of the well-known fairy-tale princess calamities either fail to happen to her or not happen the way they're supposed to.
Alinora: It started when the wicked fairy came to my christening.
Cimorene: She put a curse on you?
Alinora: No. She ate cake and ice cream until she nearly burst and danced with my Uncle Arthur until two in the morning and had a wonderful time. So she went home without cursing me, and Aunt Ermintrude says that that's where the whole problem started.
Cimorene: Lots of princesses don't have christening curses.
Alinora: Not if a wicked fairy comes to the christening.
- In Goblin Moon, the Duchess's grudge against an innocent girl dates back to her christening ceremony. No, she wasn't deliberately or accidentally denied an invitation: she was invited, but arrived so very late that the girl's mother had to reluctantly select a substitute godmother instead.
- In the Rainbow Magic series, this happens a lot with Jack Frost. Very often, he crashes a party that he wasn't invited to.
Mythology and Religion
- In the Trojan Cycle of Greek Mythology, Eris the goddess of strife was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. In revenge she crashed the party and threw the Apple of Discord into the event to cause the other goddesses present to start fighting over it. It would eventually get resolved by Paris, the mortal king of Troy, choosing Aphrodite as the fairest of them and being rewarded with the hand of the World's Most Beautiful Woman, Helen of Sparta. The Greeks were not happy with how Paris chose to claim her, and thus began the Trojan War. That makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- From the Finnish epic of Kalevala: When the Maid of the Northland gets married, the hero Lemminkainen, who had wooed the same girl before without success, is the only one in all of Finland who is not invited. Resenting the shame done to him, he gatecrashes the wedding feast, where he ignores the hostility of the host and behaves rudely to the guests until he is challenged to a swordfight duel by the bride's father. Then he lops off the head of the latter before the duel even really gets started and dashes off, eventually escaping to safety.
- Cunningly averted in a Swedish folktale. A farmer was on good terms with a troll living nearby. When he got his first kid he understood that the troll wanted to be the kid's godfather, but the farmer thought that was going a bit too far - but he didn't want to make the troll angry. So he goes to invite the troll directly. The troll gets happy - but then the farmer starts bragging about who is coming to the christening... namely a whole cadre of famous saints, making the church-fearing troll nervous. When he finally adds that the old pagan troll-foe Thor would provide the music, the troll has had enough and doesn't want to come anymore, but to get out of it with his honour intact he gives a huge christening gift to the kids, trolls being proverbially rich in Swedish folklore.
- In Hindu legend, the Jerk Ass Daksha holds a big sacrificial party but doesn't invite his son-in-law, Shiva, because he doesn't approve of Shiva being a dirty dreadlocked pot-smoking naked hippie. Daksha's daughter, Sati, becomes enraged and ruins his sacrifice by immolating herself in the sacrificial fire. Depending on which version you read, this might also involve Sati turning into Kali and going on a kickass rampage together with Shiva and their demon armies.
- A parable from the Talmud tells of a first-century Jewish man who has a friend named Kamtza and an enemy with the similar name of Bar Kamtza. He throws a banquet and tells his servant to invite Kamtza, but the servant invites Bar Kamtza by mistake. When the latter shows up for the banquet, the host, in front of all the other guests, orders him to leave. Bar Kamtza, wishing to save face, offers to pay first for his own meal, then for half the cost of the banquet, and finally for the full cost, to no avail. He leaves the banquet so humiliated, and angered at the failure of the rabbinic sages present to stand up for him, that he engineers an elaborate plan to convince the Roman authorities that the Jews are planning to rebel. As a result, says the Talmud, the Second Temple was destroyed and the Jews exiled.
- This happens in the Homestar Runner Halloween short "Doomy Tales of the Macabre. Although Strong Sad didn't really have much room to complain, since the last time he was invited to someone's party, he depressed everyone to the point that they outright banned him from coming to future parties.
- The email "labor day" has this happen by accident; Strong Bad decides to take the day off from answering emails and instead hangs around by the Stick insulting everyone who walks by. It turned out they were all heading to Homestar's Labor Day barbecue, which he didn't know about because he wasn't checking his email. Or because Strong Sad snuck onto his computer and deleted the invitation, depending on your interpretation of his quip later on.