Playing With / Revenge by Proxy

Basic Trope: A character kills the friend or relative of someone he wants revenge on.
  • Straight: Jack accidentally killed Tom's wife, so Tom kills Jack's wife.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Tom kills everyone in Jack's family.
    • Jack is dead so Tom kills his family.
    • Tom starts killing people indiscriminately, thinking they're probably related to Jack somewhere along the line.
  • Downplayed:
    • Jack accidentally ran over Tom's cat, so Tom poisons Jack's dog.
    • Tom kills Jack's third cousin twice removed.
  • Justified:
    • The victims were accomplices, or are wittingly profiting from the original crime.
    • They both intended it. No one would expect it if they killed each other's wives.
    • Killing Jack isn't an option, for whatever reason.
    • Tom is a coward who wouldn't ever dare to confront Jack directly.
  • Inverted:
    • Avenging the Villain
    • Tom seduces Jack's wife and she ends up divorcing Jack.
    • Harry kills Jack's wife. Tom kills Harry on Jack's behalf because for some reason Jack can't.
    • Jack saves Tom's wife, so Tom saves Jack's wife.
  • Subverted:
    • Tom actually wants to eliminate the characters because of a prophecy but without Jack realizing it.
    • Tom finally has Jack's wife at gunpoint, but can't bring himself to kill an innocent person.
  • Double Subverted:
    • On the other hand, he considers the Revenge part of the fun; he could have worked out another way around the Prophecy.
    • Even though he hates himself for that, after a few moments of hesitation he shoots her anyway.
  • Parodied: Jack's wife is much stronger. Tom gets hospitalized trying to kill her.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Tom goes only to the culprit himself.
  • Enforced: "We need a reason for Jack to go after Tom, and a Cynicism Catalyst is just the thing.."
  • Lampshaded: "Okay, seriously, I'm the one who wronged you, so why are you going after someone else?" "Because death is too good for you."
  • Invoked: Tom decides to murder Jack's wife, because he believes that two wrongs make a right.
  • Exploited: Jack suspects Tom might go after his wife, so he waits with her and when Tom shows up, he defeats, handcuffs him, and locks him up.
  • Defied: Tom sees and scorns the chance to kill the other character.
  • Discussed: Jack feels so guilty he tells his friend Arthur he'd deserve it if Tom killed him. Arthur points out that Tom might go after Jack's wife instead.
  • Conversed:
    Jack: "Let her go! She has nothing to do with the things between us!"
    Tom: "Why should I?! You took away everything I have, I'll take away everything you have!!"
  • Deconstructed: Tom's plot is foiled — and the saved characters sit about, in a place that Jack stole from Tom, eating food bought with money stolen from Tom, and talk about how much worse Tom was.
  • Reconstructed: Then again, Tom had no right to the stuff in the first place.

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