: When a murder victim is an asshole.
- Straight: The victim was a jerkwad. Nobody liked him, but not everyone hated him.
- Exaggerated: The victim was a Complete Monster; everyone hated him; and more than one character says "Yes, I was planning on killing him, but somebody else beat me to it."
- The victim was a slightly mean spirited practical joker.
- The victim was a Jerk Ass, but it's made clear that this was only because he was under a lot of stress.
- The victim was killed in self-defense.
- A blackmailer was murdered by his target after one demand too many.
- Inverted: The victim was a saint. Killing him was practically a leap over the Moral Event Horizon.
- The victim looked like a gigantic jerkwad, but he donated a lot of time and money to charity, and that's what got him killed.
- Alternately: We follow, in flashback, a private detective who is describing to the District Attorney the events leading up to "the murder of Mr. Boddy". Bob Boddy is shown to be a blackmailer and gigantic jerkwad... but it's his almost saintly brother, Bill Boddy, who gets murdered.
- Double Subverted:
- The police decide not to prosecute, or even investigate, because the victim was such a gigantic jerkwad.
- Alternatively, the police investigate the case only to congratulate or reward the killer.
- Zig Zagged: The victim looked like a gigantic jerkwad, but he donated a lot of time and money to a charity... which he was using to funnel money back into his own pockets, but only so he could fund the Littlest Cancer Patient's surgery... and none of this is what got him killed: He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Averted: The murder victim was clearly just in the wrong place at the wrong time (for example, a security guard who walks in on a robbery).
- "We don't want to ruin any sympathy the audience has for the killer, so let's make the victim a gigantic jerkwad."
- Alternatively, "The killer is an important fully developed character, we need to give him a plausible motive."
- Altenatively (again), "We need to keep our audience guessing who the killer is. I know! Let's make the victim a total dick so that all the other characters would have a plausible motive."
- Alternatively (electric boogaloo) "We gotta kill off the abusive boyfriend somehow, so why not make a murder mystery of it?"
- Lampshaded: "I'm surprised nobody murdered him sooner!"
- Invoked: A character wishes to be murdered, so he starts blackmailing dangerous people.
- Exploited: A character, upon realizing his cousin is a blackmailing asshole, takes out a life insurance policy on him.
- Defied: Would-be-victim is a Genre Savvy asshole, who takes steps to protect his life.
- Discussed: "You know why guys like our victim show up so much as the corpse in murder mysteries? Because it maximizes the list of suspects. Damn, I hate these kind of cases."
- Conversed: "Are the victims on this show always gigantic jerkwads?"
- Deconstructed: The victim was such a gigantic jerkwad that no one liked him, and his self-loathing was so great that he went and got himself killed on purpose.
- Reconstructed: The villain caused a situation where someone is to be killed. Out of remorse, he sets up so that he became the victim, so innocents are safe.
Yeah, officer, I wanted Asshole Victim
dead, but someone else beat me to it.
Historical note: This was first page to be created in the Playing With
, since it was also used as the hypothetical entry during the YKTTW
for Playing With Wiki
. It was chosen because it was a straightforward trope that the author of the YKTTW was familiar with, having also been the author of the Asshole Victim