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Playing With: Karma Houdini
Basic Trope: A villain justly deserving punishment either ends the story without receiving any or receives punishment so minor as to be fairly negligible.
  • Straight: Chad murders a hero. He gets away with it.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Chad murders a hero. He gets rewarded for it.
    • Alternatively, Chad blows up a couple of galaxies. He gets away with (or gets rewarded for) it.
    • Chad crosses the Moral Event Horizon, but went to heaven instead of hell for his crimes.
    • Chad became god.
  • Downplayed:
    • Chad murders a hero. He gets a lifetime in prison, which is a life he is used to, but still wishes he could go outside more.
    • Chad plays an annoying practical joke and gets away with it.
    • Chad was punished, but it was off-screen, leaving no satisfaction for the audience or the characters.
    • Chad is punished, just not as severely as he deserves.
    • Chad is punished, but he doesn't care because he is The Sociopath.
    • Chad does something bad, but no one reproves him for it.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Chad seems to be escaping, but at the last minute receives appropriate punishment for his crimes.
    • Karma Houdini Warranty
  • Double Subverted: ...which Chad still manages to escape.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Chad receives just punishment for his crimes.
    • Figuring that Chad will somehow weasel out of his punishment, the heroes summarily execute him.
  • Enforced:
    • "The universe is unfair, sometimes the guilty aren't punished, and I think this story should reflect that."
    • "Wow! Chad's so awesome I can't bring myself to punish him!"
  • Lampshaded: "You're kidding me! After all we've been through, he got away scot-free?!"
  • Invoked: "I'm a villain. I'm very good at escaping punishment for my actions."
  • Exploited: Chad murders a hero. He gets away with it. Then he robs a bank and also gets away with it. He realizes that his actions don't seem to have consequences, so he runs around doing whatever he damn well pleases.
  • Defied: Bob vows that Chad will not escape punishment and takes matters into his own hands to ensure this.
  • Discussed: "It's a cruel world; sometimes, people do get away with murder."
  • Conversed:
    • "You're kidding me! I read that whole thing and Chad got away with it?!"
    • "You know what? If you're gonna let him get away with all that shit, this world deserves to burn!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Chad seems to be getting away with it, at least on the surface; however, deep down, he has to live with what he's done and the memories and guilt rotting away at his soul for the rest of his life. Furthermore, they have to constantly worry about justice catching up with him, meaning that he spends the rest of his life dealing with lingering paranoia. And Saint Peter isn't exactly happy with him either (The devil, however, is tickled pink to have someone to test "Murdered Ever After" on.). As a result, although he's gotten away with the crime, he's never truly happy.
    • Chad's karmic immunity allows him to avoid punishment for his evil deeds, but also means he's never rewarded for the rare instances where he does something good.
    • In the long run, Chad is still screwed over anyhow.
    • Because of karmic immunity, Chad's world ends up devolving into a dreadful Crapsack World brimming with corruption, violence, selfishness, depravity, and all other kinds of "wonderful" things.
    • Chad was trying to get punished.
  • Reconstructed:
    • But because he's such a sociopathic bastard, it doesn't bother him for that long.
    • Either that, or the fact that the powers that be are too stupid to catch on to the fact that he's playing them like fools.
  • Played For Laughs: It was revealed that Chad only wanted to go to the grocery store and get cucumbers.
  • Played For Drama: The hero's attempt to stop Chad goes in vain, resulting in the world descending into Chaos it has no chance of waking from.

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