Playing With / Asshole Victim

Basic Trope: Bad things happen to someone, but they're such an asshole that it's hard to feel sorry for them.
  • Straight: Bob kidnaps Alice and holds her for ransom, threatening to kill her if it's not paid. Nobody really feels sorry for Alice as she was an arrogant Alpha Bitch who loved lording her money and status over others, so the kidnapping comes off as taking her down a much-needed peg.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice is horrifically murdered. However, she was hated so much that even the people who didn't have anything to do with the murder say "I didn't kill her, but only because somebody else beat me to it."
    • Alice is put in an And I Must Scream situation. However, Alice was an Omnicidal Maniac with no redeeming qualities, so everyone is relieved and throws a party when it happens.
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice was a slightly mean spirited practical joker. Everybody laughs at the pranked prankster when they fall for one themselves.
    • Alice may have been an Alpha Bitch, but Even Evil Has Loved Ones and at least a few people mourn her when she's killed.
    • Kick the Son of a Bitch, in which the victim isn't necessarily killed, but with all the same implications applied to this trope.
    • Alice was a loathsome woman and people have no problem pointing it out, but they are still (understandably) horrified at the fact that someone who lived within their community was killed in cold blood.
  • Justified:
    • If you're that much of a bitch to everyone, eventually you're going to find yourself Mugging the Monster.
    • Bob kidnapped Alice because he had had enough of her being a Karma Houdini.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Alice may have acted like a bitch in her personal life, but she was also incorruptible and used her fortune to help clean up poverty and crime. Bob kidnapped her out of vengeance because she wouldn't accept a bribe to look the other way in the face of his human trafficking ring.
    • Alternately: We follow, in flashback, a private detective who is describing to the District Attorney the events leading up to "the murder of A. Boddy". Alice Boddy is shown to be a blackmailer and gigantic jerkwad... but it's her almost saintly brother, Alex Boddy, who gets murdered.
    • Alice was Secretly Dying anyway, and was putting up a Jerkass Fašade so no one would be sad when she died.
    • The fact Alice was an asshole is a Red Herring. The movie spends ninety-nine minutes showcasing a parade of increasingly unhinged people with equally absurdly gleeful reactions to Alice's death that all scream "potential killer"... and then the final clue comes to light and it turns that the man who killed her only wanted her ultra-rare movie memorabilia and doesn't seems to understand why people hated her that much. The fact the investigators (and the audience) wasted so much time expecting "Alice made someone finally snap" to be the motive is actually kind of sobering.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Alice may be a bitch, but she never takes bribes... because she's a Serial Killer and a bribery investigation would uncover her crimes.
    • Alternately: (Continuing from the previous Alternately) ...And then it later turns out that Alex was the actual mastermind behind Alice's blackmail schemes, and forced Alice to cover for him with emotional manipulation.
  • Parodied:
    • The police are all geared up to hunt for Bob, but when they learn that Alice was the victim, they immediately abandon their efforts.
    • Alternatively, the police investigate the case... in order to congratulate Bob for kidnapping Alice and getting her out of everyone's hair.
    • Alice's funeral is actually a celebration party. There is even a banner hanging on a wall which reads, "Congrats for Dying, Bitch!"
    • Bob is caught by the police for kidnapping Alice, but instead of going to jail he's rewarded with a 2-week tropical vacation. Everyone involved in the law refers to this as a "shortened sentence" due to "partial bail on the house" and an "inconvenient lack of vacancies anywhere else."
  • Zig Zagged: Alice looked like a gigantic jerkwad, but she donated a lot of time and money to a charity... which she was using to funnel money back into her own pockets, but only so she could fund the Littlest Cancer Patient's surgery... and in the end, none of this is what got her killed; She 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, or Alice was just Victim Number Seven Thousand of the Alice Slayer's killing spree), and their character is never brought into it.
    • Alice is kidnapped, but her attitude had nothing to do with it and the police hunt for her as they would for anyone else — everyone is equal before the law, after all.
  • Enforced:
    • "Bob's supposed to be a sympathetic character, but that can't very well be the case if he kidnaps another sympathetic character, no matter the motive. Let's have him kidnap Alice instead- she's rich enough to serve his purposes, and a total asshole."
    • Alternatively, "Bob is an important fully developed character, we need to give him a plausible motive."
  • Lampshaded: "Alice got kidnapped? Well, with how she flaunted her money and rubbed everyone's faces in it, I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner."
  • Invoked:
  • Exploited: Alex realizes that his sister Alice is an Alpha Bitch with a habit of blackmailing dangerous people. He immediately takes out a life insurance policy on her and moves far enough away that when she gets what she has coming, it won't affect him.
  • Defied: After a close shave, Alice realizes her wrongdoing and takes steps to make herself a better person.
  • Discussed:
    DI Blake: "Is anyone here going to actually look for Alice? She's been kidnapped!"
    DCI Charleton: "Yeah, but she's an asshole. Frankly, the longer she stays gone the happier everyone around her will be."
  • Conversed: "Are the victims on this show always gigantic jerkwads?"
  • Implied: No one shows up at Alice's funeral, other than the ones who organized it.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Nobody liked Alice because she was such an Alpha Bitch. Alice really had No Social Skills and didn't know how to interact with people in a healthy manner, which made her suicidal and reckless, which in turn gave Bob his needed opening.
    • Bob targeted Alice because she was an Alpha Bitch, but he wasn't thinking of doing the people around him any favors. Instead, his goal was to be able to get away more easily (or get a reduced sentence) by manipulating the police and jury's lack of sympathy for Alice.
    • Alice may have been an utterly unlikable piece of shit, but it swiftly becomes obvious that even then, she didn't deserve that.
    • Even Evil Has Loved Ones. Alice may have been an Alpha Bitch, but her death still devastated her family.
    • In a fantasy setting, the Asshole Victim is a king who overtaxes commoners, drafts them into his military under threats of treason, and forces his daughter into an Arranged Marriage with a man ready to exercise Marital Rape License. This results in someone assassinating the king to end his abuses of power. However, asshole or not, he was the guy in charge of the kingdom, and there ends up being a power vacuum that drags the kingdom into a civil war over who should be his successor, leading to several casualties that could've been avoided had the king not been killed.
    • When the policemen interrogate those suspected on the murder of Alice, they continually use the fact that she was a loathsome woman to probe the suspects' reactions. However much the other people may have wished some karmic retribution to fall upon her, they are all horrified by the thought that someone went as far as to commit murder and even more horrified that the police thinks they would have done it and are tossing their dislike of Alice back to their faces as the reason they could have done it.
  • 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.
    • People learn to differentiate between killers who take it upon themselves to punish Karma Houdinis, and those who merely want to gain said status to do what they want. As a result, the Judicial System adapts, considering the circumstances and context of crimes to better decide on a fitting sentence.
    • The victim is revealed to have been a much worse person than people originally thought, having simply hidden their most heinous actions from the public; the disproportionate punishment seems more fitting upon knowing this / It's revealed that other methods to stop the victim's bad deeds were used but failed (as the victim would use bribes, connections or blackmail to get away and repeat the process); killing them was a last resort to end their actions.
    • The avenger is doing it more out of family duty than any sincere affection.
    • When the civil war is done and dealt with, the new king is much nicer, and can learn from the previous king's mistakes to avoid being killed in a similar manner. The reign of this new king ends up being better for the kingdom in the long term, and the bloodshed of the years in-between was an acceptable price.

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 namespace, 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 YKTTW.