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Hoist By His Own Petard / Live-Action TV

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One episode of Live-Action TV can only hold so much plot, and if the heroes can't beat the villain head-on before the episode is over, they could tangle him in his own grand plan.

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  • The Huntsman from The 10th Kingdom. Earlier in the miniseries, we are told that his magic weapon is a crossbow that, when fired, shoots bolts that will not stop until they hit the heart of a living being. So quite naturally, during the climax when he and Wolf are struggling over the weapon and it is accidentally fired upwards through the skylight, the rule of Karmic Death (as well as the law of gravity) dictates the arrow comes right back down and stabs the Huntsman in the heart from behind.
  • On Spike TV's 1000 Ways to Die, a pair of dimwitted terrorists were blown up by their own bomb when they forgot about daylight savings time while setting the device's GPS-based timer.

  • In an episode of The Adventures of Superboy, a demon turns Loretta York into Yellow Peri, a powerful witch who wreaks havoc. When Superboy confronts them, Yellow Peri sets a photo of him on fire. Like a voodoo doll, this causes him to burst into flames, falling to the floor and screaming in agony. The demon laughs and mocks him. Angrily, Superboy blasts him with heat vision, but it has no effect. The demon smugly boasts that only magic can hurt him, and Superboy immediately grabs him, causing the fire to spread to him and reduce him to ashes. Fortunately, with him gone, his curses wear off, Superboy is healed, and Yellow Peri reverts to Lorretta York.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In "Fractured House", HYDRA goon Marcus Scarlotti uses a combat knife attached to a chain (a Mythology Gag, as his comic counterpart is Iron Man villain Whiplash) to fight Agent May. Firstly, May manages to turn the fight in her favour when Scarlotti gets the combat knife stuck in a wall, and later uses the chain to restrain him while she beats him unconscious. Also in the episode, Scarlotti's team have been killing people with splinter bombs, devices adapted from Imported Alien Phlebotinum that disintergrate anyone it hits. When one of them throws a splinter bomb at Bobbi, Hunter saves her by throwing another member of Scarlotti's team into the bomb's path.
    • In "A Hen in the Wolf House", S.H.I.E.L.D. implants Raina with a tracker, hoping that she'll lead them to HYDRA head Daniel Whitehall.. In "Ye Who Enter Here", HYDRA learn about the tracker, and use it to track down the Bus, allowing them to recapture Raina, kidnap Skye, and attempt to shoot down the Bus for good measure.
  • This happened to the three teams (friends Jaymes & James, twins Natalie & Nadiya, and couple Trey & Lexi) that got half a day over the back of the pack in the 21st season of The Amazing Race. Couple team Abbie & Ryan had been the team to beat for the first half of the season and due to the gimmick of the season, had a chance to win double the grand prize. In leg seven, they and another couple team Josh & Brent took a gamble on a flight that ended up putting them about twelve hours behind the four other teams. The fourth team with the front group ended up getting a passport stolen and got eliminated, essentially giving the six of them three free legs. The twins came up with a plan to eliminate Abbie & Ryan by manipulating the double U-turn. The first team who got there, Jaymes and James, U-turned them and then Trey & Lexi U-turned the guys to burn the spot. Josh & Brent who’d barely missed elimination for 7 straight legs didn’t catch up till leg 10 but decided to get serious. The other two teams were glad they were the ones in the finale with them. Lexi even said they weren’t worried about them. Josh aced the extremely tough final memory challenge and they won.
  • In season 4 of Arrested Development Gob plots to get revenge on his rival, Tony Wonder. First he says he's going to make Tony fall in love with him and then break his heart; when he learns that Tony's faking being gay for publicity he decides to ruin his reputation by tricking him into having straight sex on camera. Both plans rebound on him. He's tricked into having sex with Tony, on tape - just as he becomes President of the Bluth company and is warned to avoid any scandals - and in his completely hypothetical situation to Michael afterwards he implies he's actually fallen in love, only to later get a voicemail revealing Tony's roofied himself to remove the memory of the previous night.
  • The inventor of the Cybernauts on The Avengers (1960s) gets killed by his own invention, as does his brother who tries to follow in his footsteps.

  • Babylon 5: The Soul Hunter in the first season is killed by the very machine he intended to use to collect Delenn's soul.
  • Banshee has a literal example. During the shootout in the season one finale, a group of Ukrainian gangsters try to use a rocket propelled grenade to kill the good guys. However, a lucky shot kills the guy carrying the rocket launcher and he squeezes the trigger while the rocket is pointed at a nearby wall. The explosion kills the other gangsters.
  • Bates Motel (1987) has a Morally Bankrupt Banker give a huge loan to Alex West, who inherited the titular motel from the now-deceased Norman Bates. Despite said banker intending to foreclose on Alex and sell the land to a developer, along with the fact that Alex has no clue on how to run a motel, for some bizarre reason he dresses up like Bates's mother and tries to scare Alex away. He gets caught in the act, his confession to his schemes is recorded on tape by Alex's friend Willie, and is subsequently blackmailed into letting Alex have a much more lenient repayment schedule.
  • In one episode of the new Battlestar Galactica, in Season 2, a big Cylon Raider fleet fleet is disabled by a Cylon Logic Bomb, which they previously planted on the Galactica.
  • On Baywatch, Stephanie is taken prisoner by an escaped criminal. Hiding in the back of her truck, he orders her to drive off the beach. When Mitch radios Stephanie to tell her to return to headquarters, Stephanie starts to say "I have a code—", but the man cuts her off, knowing full well that she could be naming a code that alerts Mitch to her situation. Instead, the man orders her to tell Mitch that she has found a lost child and is driving him around to find his parents. But as this violates lifeguard policy (which is to take the child back to headquarters), it ends up having the very result the man was trying to avoid—Mitch instantly realizes Stephanie's in trouble and sends the cops after her.
  • Big Brother:
    • In the 19th season of the American edition, Paul Abrahamian tried to remove two allies (Alex and Jason) while voting to save them, and claiming that his allies Josh and Christmas went rogue on him. While it worked for Jason, the next week, Paul won Veto, and told Alex he did not know what he should do and did not use it to save Alex, which led to Josh and Christmas "going rogue" on him again to evict Alex. This move, combined with Josh exposing it behind Paul's back, made Paul look like a total idiot by letting Josh and Christmas play him for a fool two weeks in a row, and resulted in Paul losing to Josh with Jason and Alex turning their votes.
    • In the third season of the Canadian edition, Zach nominated Jordan as a pawn to evict Godfrey. Jordan threw the veto comp, and Zach won. Zach had considered using the veto to nominate Bobby as a replacement, but chose not to. Unfortunately, Sindy informed Bruno that Bobby's name was thrown out as a replacement nominee to control Bruno's vote. This resulted in Jordan being evicted as Sindy flipped Bobby and Bruno's votes and caused Jordan to be evicted
  • In the final episode of Blackadder II, Ludwig the Indestructible prides himself on being a Master of Disguise, and plans to use this, and the knowledge that Nursie always goes to fancy dress parties as a cow, to infiltrate Queen Elizabeth's court. Unfortunately, since he is a Master of Disguise and Nursie is "a mad old woman with an udder fixation", Ludwig shows up with a full-body intricate cow costume while Nursie just sticks some fake udders to the front of her dress, making them trivial to tell apart.
  • On The Blacklist, the titular villain from "The Stewmaker" specializes in using chemicals to dissolve the bodies of people killed by a drug cartel. Reddington tracks him down after he kidnaps Elizabeth and kills him by pushing him into his own tub of chemicals.
  • On Blindspot, scheming villainess Madeline is finally arrested but her aide kidnaps Jane and buries her alive. Madeline's smarmy attorney shows up to argue a deal for his client. He shows off a device that jams any recording devices which gives Madeline leeway to basically confess to her crimes without the FBI having any record of it. In the end, they agree to a deal and Madeline gives up Jane's location. At which point, the agents formally arrest her. When the lawyer protests "we have a deal!" the agents smirk "Do we? We don't have any record of that." Too late, the lawyer realizes his jammer is still on and sure enough, there's nothing to prove the FBI agreed to let Madeline go and she's dragged off.
  • On Blossom, the titular character is assaulted by a date when she won't sleep with him. She's reluctant to press charges — until he threatens her. Her anger spurs to go the police.
  • In the Bones episode "The Bullet in the Braincase", a sniper who has been using the names of other snipers in order to purchase supplies (and sticking them with the bills) is located when Booth discovers a piece of land bought using his name. When Booth confronts him, the sniper taunts him to jump the fence and enter the property without a warrant. Booth jumps the fence and points out he doesn't need a warrant; after all, the property belongs to Seeley Booth. Cue the Oh, Crap! look and the suspect running away.
  • This happens a couple of times in the Breaking Bad finale. Jesse, having been held captive for months by Todd and Jack, strangles Todd with his handcuffs and breaks his neck. Walt kills Jack with Jack's own Browning Hi-Power. Walt catches a bullet from the machine gun he set up.
  • Obligatory examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • Death example: in both "The Pack" and "Go Fish", a human villain is killed by the monsters they created, ensuring Buffy herself doesn't have to kill a Muggle.
    • Non-death example: In the sixth-season episode "Older and Far Away", Dawn makes a wish to the vengeance demon Halfrek that everybody would spend more time with her. Halfrek makes the dream come true by magically making it impossible for any of the guests at Buffy's birthday party to leave the house. She then comes and taunts them... until she realizes that she can't escape the house, either, and reluctantly reverses the spell.
    • Another non-death example: The First Evil attempts to drive Angel to kill Buffy using the same mind raping tactics he himself used to great effect. It's happy with him being Driven to Suicide however.
    • Death example: Maggie Walsh is killed by her own creation that she was planning to sic on the heroes.
    • Happens to Angel, in every sense of the word. Buffy runs him through with a replica of his own blessed sword, which in turns sucks him through his own hell portal. Putting a damper on this irony is the knowledge that Angel suffers the fate reserved for Angelus, because he regained his soul moments beforehand and that brief vulnerability may well have been what allowed Buffy's victory.
    • When Dark Willow catches up to Warren, she begins by torturing him with the very bullet he used to shoot Tara.
    • Giles uses a spell from Roden's spellbook to kill him.
    • Buffy puts Faith in a coma by stabbing her in the gut with her own knife.
    • Non-death example: After successfully blackmailing Angel into springing Axe-Crazy He-Man Woman Hater Billy Blim from a Prison Dimension, Lilah's manipulations come back and bite her in the ass when Billy "thanks" her by first giving the credit to her rival Gavin and then inducing him to beat the ever-loving shit out of her while he walks away with a Psychotic Smirk on his face, leading to Lilah helping Angel Investigations take him out.
    • After the werewolf Vercuca Oz had enticed Oz to view his werewolf shape as natural, she tried to kill Willow. Oz does exactly what she asked of him and kills her after he turns into a werewolf.
    • Catherine Madison wants to curse Buffy and cast a spell on her. But Buffy simply counters this spell with a mirror, and he is thrown back at her.
    • The lawyers who have resurrected Darla to use her against Angel are eventually killed by her and Drusilla as soon as Darla becomes a vampire again.
    • Gio was a demon hunter who made no difference in killing evil or good demons. Eventually, he and his party ambush a demon bar, killing several innocent demons while knowing that they can not attack him because of a spell. As soon as this spell has been opened, the only demon that Gio did not kill kills him.

  • Chicago Justice: A convicted serial killer tries to get his conviction for murder overturned near the end of "Double Helix" on the basis that someone else confessed under oath to the same crime. However, he was given immunity for other murders based on being completely honest, revealing where the victims' bodies were so their families could get closure. Therefore his admitting he lied violates it, and with his confession to those murders there's more than enough evidence for a conviction. He's remanded to prison and will be extradited into Indiana, where four of the murders occurred. They also have the death sentence.
  • In The Closer episode "Tijuana Brass", a corrupt Mexican cop looking for an accused murderer (who plans to testify against the drug cartel the cop works for) has the word spread among locked up convicts that whoever kills the guy he's looking for will get a big reward. After his corruption is ultimately revealed and the protagonists arrest him, his former coworkers book him under the name of the guy he had put the hit on, which results in him being murdered in prison.
  • An episode of Cold Case featured a villain who would abduct women and imprison them in a windowless cell for months in order to break their spirit. Once this was achieved, he would leave them there to starve to death. However, he stashes his latest victim within hearing distance of a church that rings its bells every Sunday. With this, the woman is able to keep track of the days and retain her sanity. Her refusal to snap rattles him so much that he finally makes a mistake that gets him arrested. To top it off, at the episode's end, we see him being tossed into a cell very much like the one he'd barricaded his victims in — and he's claustrophobic.
    • In another episode, the villain, who had been correctly identified as the prime suspect when the case was still hot, framed someone else for the murder and went to the police himself to get the case reopened, in the hopes of getting the other guy arrested and himself cleared. Needless to say, his doing this backfired.
    • Still another had a particularly loathsome killer forcing his little niece to watch the murder to "teach her a lesson." Guess whose testimony turns out to be just the evidence the cops need to put him away?
  • A constant on Columbo, as Columbo was a genius at using the killer's own tricks against them.
    • In the episode "Double Exposure" the villain (Doctor Kepper played by Robert Culp) incites the victim to go out for a drink using subliminal images of a cold drink during a movie showing. Columbo, in order to reveal him, inserts various subliminal images of the office of the Culp-rit (pun intended) with Columbo appearing to search it in another movie in order to entice him to retrieve the murder weapon and catch him red handed. It works.
    • A senator tries to make it look like he's the target of the "killer" of the staffer he murdered. He puts a bullet into a hole in his room. Hours later, during a party, he sets off firecrackers and when everyone rushes in, claims someone just shot at him from the open window. The senator tells Columbo that if he matches the bullet to the murder weapon, he'll find it's the same gun. Columbo says he's right...and produces the ballistics report he just got on the bullet he pulled out of the wall three hours earlier.
    • One killer sets up an elaborate Rube Goldberg Device that ends with a loud bang, so that anyone who overheard the murder would be misled about the chain of events. At the climax, Columbo sets up a replica of the device to demonstrate how the murder could have happened, but deliberately gets a detail wrong. The killer can't help but correct him, accidentally confessing in the process.
    • A Hollywood director tries to throw Columbo off the scent of a murder by having two actresses stage a conversation he could overhear making it sound like there was another person with a motive. The director then threatens his secretary in the studio diner to keep quiet or else. But Columbo reveals he wasn't fooled as he soon found no production shooting that day required actresses dressed as a nurse or a bride. He then reveals that all the "diner workers" who overheard the director's threat were police officers in disguise and that's enough to prove his guilt.
  • Community:
    • In the episode "Home Economics" this ends up happening to Vaughn. His usual method of revenge for people who piss him off is to write songs with rather passive-aggressively spiteful lyrics in which he denounces them as a 'B'. Unfortunately for him, he gets a response song written about him in The Tag, which he apparently did not anticipate.
    • In a Season 6 episode, Britta gives her convoluted explanation about how she thinks the phrase "hoisted by your own petard" originated.
      Britta: I guess I just assumed that in the old days a petard was a special outfit like a leotard, with a lot of fancy buckles and loops on it, and that rich people would wear them when they were feeling especially smug, but then poor people would tie a rope through one of the loops, and hoist them up a pole and then let them dangle there as punishment for being cocky.
      Jeff: Never look it up. Your explanation is way better.
    • In Modern Espionage the enemy paintballer sets up a bunch of mannequins as decoys, only to get so involved in his Not So Different speech that he mistakes his opponents for them and walks out into the open.
  • The Criminal Minds episode "Paradise" featured a killer who would murder guests at his hotel, place their bodies in their cars, and place the cars in a blind intersection nearby so they would be hit by trucks and thus make the deaths look accidental. At the episode's climax he seems to have eluded the FBI, only to realize too late that he's run into the same intersection and is promptly mowed down by a truck himself.
  • One episode of CSI featured a woman and her father who co-owned a construction company and wanted to end the marriage to the woman's husband without getting a divorce, since Nevada divorce law would give the husband half of her shares in the company. They try to frame him for attempted murder, since Nevada law also requires that criminals not profit from their misdeeds, which would have meant the husband wouldn't get anything belonging to his wife. The scheme backfires horrifically when the CSIs uncover the woman and her father's plan and charge them with conspiracy, and it's implied that, under the very same law they tried to use to deprive the husband of any part of the construction company, he's going to end up owning the whole thing.
    • Meanwhile, in Miami, a wife uses the fact that she's part of a set of triplets to set up what seems to be an airtight alibi for herself (and thus, all of them) for her husband's murder. Except it turns out that the husband has been using a body double because of his high profile job, and the body double was the one who died.
  • In the Season 7 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm titled "The Black Swan", Larry tells Marty that introductions are a pointless and unnecessary social convention. Later, when Marty didn't introduce the Stonemason as Larry was calling him an asshole, Marty reminded him of his own policy regarding introductions. Larry responds "So I'm hoisted on my petard."
    • Larry David is late for a dinner because he's behind someone who takes a long time at a doctor's appointment, so he tells the doctor that patients should be admitted according to their appointment time. Later, he races to sign in at the doctor ahead of someone, but ends up going behind her because of the new policy, which goes with what David had ordered.

  • Dad's Army: In order to clear the rubble from a bomb-damaged pumping station, a process which will be very dangerous for the two people at the front, Captain Mainwaring puts pieces of paper in his hat and marks two with crosses to indicate who will be at the lead. When it comes to Private Frazer's turn, Warden Hodges rudely pushes him aside and takes a piece of paper instead. So of course, Hodges gets one with a cross on it.
    Frazer: What a pity; I was going to take that one.
  • Dead Like Me: In a non-villainous example, a flashback reveals that Roxy invented legwarmers and was strangled to death with her own invention by her jealous friend.
  • Happens to the titular character in Dexter in Season 2. When the bodies of his victims are discovered and there is a federal investigation searching for the killer. Dexter submits a false manifesto to the police, hoping that it will cause them to chase their tails. The lead investigator however, sees through the ruse, and is able to use it to confirm that the killer has a law enforcement background; putting himself in even more danger.
    • The same trope actually ends up bailing Dexter out of trouble later in the season. Having been suspended from duty, Sgt. Doakes goes outside the law, breaks into Dexter's apartment and steals his collection of slides containing his victim's blood, which he intends to have analysed outside the country. However, when he flies out of the U.S. to set this up the FBI break into his car (he, along with several other officers are being investigated for possible connections with the case), find the slides and end up assuming he is the killer. Dexter decides to take this situation and run with it, planting evidence to frame Doakes for his own crimes, and Doakes eventually gets blown up by Dexter's Stalker with a Crush Lila, resulting in him being officially named as the killer after his remains are found.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the First Doctor story "The Celestial Toymaker", the Doctor's companions, Steven and Dodo, have to play a series of games against dolls which the titular Toymaker has brought to life. In the final episode, they must play a game similar to hopscotch against the Billy Bunter-esque Cyril. Determined to win at all costs, Cyril resorts to various underhanded tricks, including placing a slippery powder on one of the triangles, intending for either Dodo or Steven to fall onto the electrified floor. In the end, he is caught out by his own trap when, in his eagerness to reach the finish line before his opponents, he forgets about the powder.
    • The Second Doctor actually uses this phrase in "The War Games", after subjecting the scientist to his own processing machine.
    • Serially averted by the Master throughout season 8. He repeatedly tries to destroy life on Earth by unleashing an alien menace, only to end up helping the Doctor defeat it after realising in the nick of time that it's as much a threat to him as anyone else.
    • "Genesis of the Daleks": When the Daleks turn on Davros and his followers, Davros (in his one and only moment of compassion) begs the Daleks to have pity on the scientists who helped to create them — but they don't, because Davros did not include pity in their data banks. More or less the same exact thing happens every single time he appears — he makes more Daleks to replace the batch the Doctor has killed, and they turn on and either kill or imprison him soon afterwards. You'd think he'd notice the pattern at some point, but no.
      • By the time Davros appears in "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar", he's actually become Genre Savvy enough to build a force field into his life-support chair that can repel Dalek attacks, just in case. The Doctor, however, is Genre Savvy enough to know that Davros would do this, so he steals the wheelchair and goes off to confront the Daleks, safe in the knowledge they can't harm him. Colony Sarff, however, can. The trope is still played straight in the end: Davros' ultimate plan is to lure the Doctor into a trap and then harness his regeneration energy, revitalizing not only himself but also every Dalek on Skaro. The Doctor (but not Davros) realises this also includes the horribly decayed, but still living Daleks that make up the city's sewers. He goes along with Davros' plan, and then flees while the vengeful decayed Daleks tear the city apart from within and destroy their fully-functioning brethren.
    • In "The Robots of Death", Taren Capel is killed by his own robot revolutionaries when Leela uses helium to change his voice.
    • "World War Three": The Slitheen use skinsuits to masquerade as human. When they wait for the phone call that will give them control over the UK's nuclear arsenal, they decide to take off the suits on the grounds that "victory should be naked". This means that when they realize that a missile is heading towards the building, they are forced to waste what little time they have trying to put their disguises back on instead of just being able to run out with everyone else. The only survivor was the one who had a one-person emergency teleport.
    • "Dalek": He wasn't killed, but Henry van Statten surely paved the way for his eventual fate. His policy of using torture on his alien captive caused said alien to go on a murdering rampage when it finally got loose, and his fondness for wiping people's memories and dropping them off in a town starting with the same letter as their last name got turned around on him by his newly appointed second-in-command.
      Goddard: And by tonight, Henry van Statten will be a homeless, brainless junkie living on the streets of San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento... Someplace beginning with "S".
    • "The Age of Steel":
      • John Lumic is defeated because all devices in the parallel universe are capable of interfacing with each other, something his company was responsible for, allowing Mickey and the Doctor to get the code to deactivate the emotional inhibitors into the system.
      • Lumic's own creations also turn on him at one point:
        John Lumic: I will upgrade only with my last breath.
        Cyberman: Then breathe no more. [takes Lumic away]
      • They did at least make him their leader.
    • "Love & Monsters": By absorbing Ursula, the Abzorbaloff gives her access to his mind and knowledge, allowing her to figure out how to kill him.
    • "Smith and Jones": The Plasmavore has been hiding from Judoon scanners by feeding on humans and incorporating their DNA. Then the Doctor lets her feed on him, and as we (especially those Judoon scanners) all know, he's not human, either.
    • "The Shakespeare Code": The Carrionites are defeated by William Shakespeare using the source of their power, language, as a weapon against them.
    • "Evolution of the Daleks": The Cult of Skaro's human soldiers, when contaminated with Time Lord DNA, end up destroying the Cult's own Dalek Thay and Dalek Jast.
    • "Last of the Time Lords": The Archangel Network the Master used to become Prime Minister allows humanity to pool its psychic energy to restore the Doctor.
    • "Planet of the Ood": Given orders to kill all of the Ood with "red-eye", sadistic overseer Mr. Kess has gas canisters placed all around the inside of the warehouse the Ood have been contained in. Then other Ood from outside come in... in the end, Kess is the only victim of his own gas.
    • "The End of Time": The Time Lords created a method for saving themselves from the Time War by implanting a signal in the Master, which drove him insane. No surprise he eventually causes the undoing of their plan by turning on them and helping the Doctor save everything else from the Time Lords' plan.
    • "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone": The starship Byzantium is crashed on the planet Alfava Metraxis by a Weeping Angel who's trying to rescue a dying army of its fellows by giving them a source of energy to feed on. The Angels eventually try to feed on a crack in time to build themselves up into a universe-consuming army of death. But it turns out the crack is too powerful for them, and their actions eventually result in all of them falling into the crack and being retgoned after they drain the last of the Byzantium's power, causing its Artifical Gravity to shut off.
    • "Day of the Moon": Alright everyone, pop quiz! The Earth is secretly ruled by a species capable of both editing people's memories and giving them post-hypnotic suggestion and have controlled mankind for over 10,000 years. How do you defeat them? Answer: Use the suggestion the aliens arrogantly supplied you to have them tell mankind to kill them all on sight.
      • And how do you make sure everyone has received the suggestion? Embed it as static in one of the most watched videos of all time. The Moon landing, right between "one small step for man" and "one giant leap for mankind". You could be killing them right now and not know it.
    • "Closing Time": When the Cybermen decided to make Craig Owens their Cyberleader, as the process started he heard his baby cry and through sheer willpower broke free, but the Cybermen already connected to him felt his pain and emotion which caused them to overload and explode.
    • A variation in "Asylum of the Daleks", where the Daleks' nigh-unbreakable network (connecting every single Dalek to each other) is hacked by Oswin Oswald (who is having trouble accepting being converted into a Dalek herself and pretends she's just shipwrecked) to forget anything about the Doctor, as a few of their rejects try to kill him. When the Doctor then returns to their mothership, they have no idea who he is.
      • Interestingly, Daleks are not machines but blobs of flesh integrated into saltshaker-like mini-tanks, meaning Oswin hacked living beings.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": At the climax, the Doctor gives the antagonist, Tzim-Sha, an ultimatum that he leave Earth without the target of his hunt. He responds by activating the DNA bombs his data coil implanted in her and her friends... not knowing that she's already removed them and tricked him into absorbing them when he was downloading the information the data coil had collected. And he brought the data coil to Earth so that he could cheat in his ritual hunt... had he not cheated, he probably wouldn't have been caught at all.
    • "Rosa": The antagonist, Krasko, a white racist from the 79th century, is zapped into the distant past with his own temporal displacement weapon by Ryan, a black man from the 21st century.
    • "Kerblam!": Antagonist Charlie is killed by the bombs he intended to use to kill thousands of Kerblam! customers, despite being given a chance to escape. It's possible he didn't want to save himself.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": Commander Gat decides to execute the Ruth!Doctor with the laser gun she stole from her. As Ruth pleads with her not to fire, she pulls the trigger and is immediately disintegrated because the weapon had been recalibrated.
    • "Praxeus": Suki Cheng is actually an undercover Human Alien scientist who is trying to develop a cure for the titular disease, using Earth as a laboratory. When the Doctor comes up with a cure for infected astronaut Adam, Suki immediately turns on the others, steals some of the cure and teleports away to transmit it to the rest of her people. Unfortunately for her, the cure is specifically tailored for humans only, so when Suki tries to use it on herself, she ends up dying from a double-dosage of Praxeus, and may possibly have doomed the rest of her species as well.
    • "Can You Hear Me?": Zellin created the Chagaskas from Tahira's nightmares to use as goons. He leaves the last Chagaska, along with his detached fingers, lying around the space station after he and Rakaya depart. The Doctor and company are able to use the fingers and the Chagaska, now under Tahira's control, to defeat the two immortals, with Zellin and Rakaya imprisoned with the Chagaska for all eternity.
  • The Big Bad of Dollhouse, Boyd Langton, spent a good portion of S2 manipulating the main cast into creating and handing over a device capable of wiping and imprinting anyone, not just Actives. Topher uses it to wipe Boyd, reducing him to a Doll-state, and he blindly — happily! — follows Echo's instructions to strap a bomb to his body and blow up the Rossum headquarters.
  • On Dynasty (2017), Alexis is left the baby belonging to the girlfriend of her former criminal accomplice on her trailer steps. She decides to replace the small baby Jesus from the Carrington estate with the infant. Alexis is with Sam when they "find" the baby and plans to use it to win Blake back. This leads to a wildly complicated battle with Cristal where Cristal pretends to make Alexis believe she's haunted. Alexis figures it out and tricks Cristal into a confession. However, Cristal comes to Alexis to reveal she knew the whole game and faked the confession. Because she had seen the fake baby in the loft and realized what was happening. She planted the baby Jesus statue in Alexis' trailer and made sure Sam was the one to find it and realize what Alexis has done. Cristal openly cites the trope gloating to Alexis.

  • Woe betide you on EastEnders if you try killing anyone with fire:
    • Trevor Morgan, as the culmination of his domestic abuse of Little Mo, douses their house in petrol. Little Mo responds by lighting a match. Trevor grabs for it, the match falls into the petrol... and Trevor is killed in the ensuing fire (as is firefighter Tom, who saved Little Mo and her stepson then went back inside for Trevor).
    • Kevin Wicks attempts to dispose of one of his illegal "cut-and-shut" cars by joyriding it until it runs out of fuel and then setting it alight. He is killed when the car malfunctions, causing him to crash and get impaled by a metal pole.
    • Yusef sets fire to the B&B in an attempt to kill his love rival Masood. Zainab tricks him into going back inside by telling him his daughter Afia is trapped in the flames - which itself nearly backfires on Zainab, as her son Tamwar also rushes into the B&B. Masood and Tamwar survive (though the latter is badly burned), and Yusef has just enough time to realise he's been duped before being killed in an explosion.
    • Subverted when Steven Beale, having been manipulated by Max Branning, sets fire to his parents' restaurant in an attempt to kill his mother Jane (who he and Max both despise). He does go back into the flames (to rescue Abi), but it's not the fire that kills him: he has a change of heart, refuses to finish Jane off, and Max shoves him against a counter, inflicting internal injuries that ultimately killed him.
    • An example that doesn't involve an intentional fire: Steve Owen, at the climax of his feud with Phil Mitchell, kidnaps Phil's infant daughter Louise and plans to flee to the United States with her. The ensuing car chase ends with Steve crashing into a wall and managing to pass the unharmed Louise to Phil before his car explodes and kills him.
  • On Eli Stone, Jordan is nearly killed in an earthquake and the experience changes his view on the world. Jordan decides to change the firm to help those who can't afford fancy lawyers rather than their high-priced (and often corrupt) clients. Rather than join him, his two partners force Jordan out of the firm. They come by as Jordan is packing up his office to give a "no hard feelings" talk only for Jordan's daughter, Taylor, to enter with the original partners agreement. Taylor relates how the trio bought the land for their offices years ago in a joint partnership. However, in order to hide assets (one from the IRS, the other from a bad divorce), each partner sold their part of the property deed over to Jordan. So while they may now own the firm, Jordan happens to own the entire building. Jordan smugly tells his stunned ex-partners they have a week to vacate the premises as he'll be using their space for his new law firm.
    Jordan: No hard feelings.

  • The series Family Law, has the lawyers expertly being able to use the actions of the opposing side against them.
    • Rex is retained by an incredibly greedy woman who wants at least half of her soon-to-be-ex-husband's tech fortune. She's upset that he's spending it on charities that do daily flights of food to kids in Africa. The millionaire (who won't even buy himself a new suit) defends himself on the stand on how he wants to use his money to aid others which wins the case. But when Rex checks out the foundation, he discovers it's been shut down with the manager surprised to learn they ever had $20 million. Rex confronts the "humble" millionaire (now eating caviar by his pool) on how the charities were all a shell company sham to keep money away from his wife. Rex points out that if he were to report this huge fraud, then the millionaire goes to jail, his wife gets everything and "even I don't want that." The only way to avoid it is for the man to register the charity with the IRS, let them have all that money, and continue the daily food deliveries...which will lead him to be broke in a year. Rex gets great satisfaction from the man realizing his scam to prevent his wife from getting half his money is going to cost him all of it.
  • Father Brown: In "The Lair of the Libertines", the Egomaniac Hunter who is stalking Father Brown falls victim to one of the many mantraps they had scattered over the grounds of the hotel.
  • On FBI: Most Wanted, the team realizes a CEO is being targeted for burying toxic coal ash on a farm that he gave to his daughter for protection from investigations into the ash giving hundreds in a small town cancer. A man who lost his daughter holds the CEO's daughter hostage with the confrontation making her realize her father's crimes. When the FBI threatens to dig up the land, the CEO smugly says his lawyers will block it for years...only for the daughter to intone "It's not your call" as the land is still in her name. She gives the feds full permission to dig up the evidence of her father's burying the ash that sends him to jail.
  • In a flashback during the Firefly episode "Out of Gas", Mal is upset that the Serenity has been grounded on a planet for several days, while his (supposedly)Brilliant, but Lazy(very lazy) mechanic Bester is busy sleeping with a local girl he brought on board in the engine room. Unfortunately for Bester, his present lover is Kaylee, who has managed to not only figure out the problem(yes, while having sex with Bester), but also manages to fix it before she's even finished putting her clothes back on. Mal pretty much fires Bester on the spot and gives Kaylee his job.
  • In The Flash (2014), Eobard Thawne (AKA the Reverse Flash) has been helping Barry get faster and learn new ways of using his speed in order to eventually use Barry's speed to send Thawne back to his own time. Some time after Thawne's defeat and Ret-Gone, Barry encounters his past self. The trick he uses to thwart him is one of the last taught to him by Thawne (the one allowing Barry to pass through walls). Thing is, Thawne should have known this would happen when teaching it to Barry, as, from his perspective, this was all in the past.
    • In Season 2, Zoom's ruthlessness ends up playing against him. After he kills Deathstorm (the Earth 2 version of Ronnie/Firestorm) for disobeying his orders not to harm the Flash, his lover Killer Frost (Caitlin's counterpart) turns on him at a crucial moment, allowing Team Flash to escape back to Earth 1. Earlier, as Jay Garrick, in order to stop Caitlin from trying to find his double, he tells her his double's name (Hunter Zolomon). This is eventually used to find out Zoom's secret identity and temporarily subdue him.
    • Also, Killer Frost tries to kill Caitlin with a thrown icicle. Cue Zoom running in, phasing through Caitlin, grabbing the icicle, and stabbing Frost with it.
    • When a mugger shoots Ralph, he's unharmed due to his Rubber Man abilities, with the bullets ricocheting from his body and back into the gunman.
  • In one episode of Frasier, the title chracter's dad Martin and producer Roz team up with Bulldog to scare Frasier with a prank involving zombies. The joke goes off without a hitch, and Frasier is terrified... until one of the actors they hired actually drops dead. Martin and Roz panic, while Frasier grabs a walkie-talkie to call for help... or rather, announce the greatest prank ever. He figured out that Martin and Roz secretly joined forces with Bulldog, and the two created their own alliance to get back at them.
  • Fringe:
    • Harris, the Obstructive Bureaucrat who's been trying to railroad Olivia out of Fringe Division and turns out to have been working in fringe science for quite a while. He's busted when he attempts to weaponize several latent pyrokinetics — and when Olivia shows up to rescue one of them, he locks her in the room with one who's going critical. If she can't direct the energy outwards, then she's useless to Harris's needs, and she'll explode, which will take Olivia with her. Olivia, however, manages to convince the pyrokinetic to focus the energy outwards. Guess who she focuses it on.
    • Another example occurs to Alfred Hoffman, The Ageless Nazi scientist who invents a gas weapon that targets people based on genetic traits. In the climax of the episode, he's preparing to perform an attack on a tolerance conference, only to suddenly fall over dead choking to death from his own toxin. How? Walter used some samples of it to make his own toxin... one that targeted people with Hoffman's exact genetic traits.
  • In the Full House episode "Be True to Your Preschool", the girls played "ring around a Chevy" in front of a group of nerds walking, only to lock themselves out of their own car, much to the nerds' amusement.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ramsay Bolton starves his hounds for a week before his battle with Jon Snow in the anticipation of feeding Jon and any of his other officers to them. When he's finally defeated and captured, Sansa has him put in their kennel, and his hounds put hunger over loyalty as they rip their master to pieces.
    • Khal Drogo allows Mago to wound him to show off how impervious he is to pain, but it gets infected and eventually causes his untimely demise.
    • Maester Cressen shares poisoned wine with Melisandre in an attempt to free Stannis from her influence. Instead, Melisandre's magic protects her while Cressen falls dead.
    • The Good Masters of Astapor train their Unsullied slave soldiers to be robotically loyal Super Soldiers, then sell them to a woman who hates slavery.
    • In Season 2, Cersei urges Joffrey to call off his betrothal to Sansa in favor of Margaery Tyrell, making her partially responsible for most of the troubles she suffers over the next three seasons.
    • In Season 3, jealous of Margaery's influence over Joffrey, Cersei enlists Littlefinger to find anything that she can use against the Tyrells. Littlefinger discovers that they plan to betroth Loras Tyrell to Sansa Stark, so Littlefinger tells Cersei. When Cersei reveals this to Tywin, Tywin responds by arranging for Tyrion to marry Sansa and Loras to marry Cersei against all their wishes.
    • Jamie manages to stop Locke's men from assaulting and raping Brienne by convincing Locke that Brienne's father owns all the sapphire mines in Westeros, meaning he would pay exorbitantly for her to be released unharmed. A few episodes later, Jamie is released but Brienne is kept as a prisoner. Brienne's father offers three hundred gold for her release but Locke won't take it, as he's convinced that Brienne's father owns all the sapphire mines in Westeros and could give a much better price.
    • Cersei's stupidity and half-assed schemes catch up to her in Season 5 when she installs the High Sparrow as High Septon and reinstates the Faith Militant so they can arrest Margaery. Unfortunately for Cersei, once Littlefinger and Olenna make sure that the High Sparrow learns of Cersei's own crimes (a lack of piety, namely her incestuous relationships), he arrests her as well.
    • In Season 7, Littlefinger plays his usual games to set Sansa and Arya against each other, seemingly framing Arya for treason and making Sansa think her sister is plotting against her. Before a gathering in the hall, Sansa appears to put Arya on trial...only to reveal it's Littlefinger whose crimes are being tried. Too late, Littlefinger realizes the two were faking their animosity to lure him in and set him up for this. When he pleads for his life, Sansa throws back his own words on power and control and thanks Littlefinger for all his lessons. Arya slits his throat as Littlefinger dies thanks to the very woman he thought was his protegee.
    • In a meta-example, George R. R. Martin has said he wrote A Song of Ice and Fire as novels partially because his teleplays were always hampered by budget and practicality. Now, as a screenwriter for Game of Thrones, he's working on "a bitch of an adaptation" where "the original author made the damn battle way too big and too expensive."
    • Among other things, Euron convinced the Ironborn to back him as king by promising to make a deal with Daenerys so they could conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Theon and Yara, whom he ousted to do this, promptly sail there first and make that deal, warning Daenerys of his intentions and penchant for king/kinslaying.
  • The inventor of Hymie the KAOS robot on Get Smart gets killed by his own invention. Something similar happens to many Big Bads, including "Mr. Big" in the pilot.
  • On The Good Wife, Mike Kresteva is a slimy states attorney who's a thorn in Alicia's side. His speciality is to spread a lie into the public consciousness that no one can actually prove is a lie and let it cause trouble. At a major party, Peter confronts Kresteva about using this tactic on Alicia...and punches him in the face. A stunned Mike yells about how crazy this is.
    Kresteva: You can't hit me!
    Peter: You're right. You're right, so I must not have.
    Kresteva: You just did!
    Peter: Are you sure? It makes no sense. No, there must be another explanation...
    • Peter drops a glass of wine onto the floor, letting it spill. Kresteva looks at it, then at Peter, whispering "no...." as he realizes what Peter is doing. Peter walks out as Kresteva slips on the drink and in no time flat, the party is buzzing on how Mike Kresteva got drunk and broke his nose while slipping in the bathroom.
    • Indeed, the Cardinal of Chicago (whose support Kresteva was trying to win over Alicia) chides Kreseteva on "knowing how to hold your liquor." When Kresteva snaps "Peter Florick punched me!" the Cardinal just chuckles and gives a "knowing" wink with "sure, sure, whatever you tell people."
    • In the spin-off series The Good Fight, Kresteva falls into this again when Elsbeth Tascioni uses his very own tactics to prove he's lying on a huge case. In front of his wife, no less.
  • Good Omens (2019):
    • In the first episode, Crowley explains to his fellow demons how he took down all the mobile networks in London, which will piss off millions of people and create far more evil than their attempts to corrupt a politician and a priest. Later, Crowley tries to call Aziraphale, only to get an automated message that all lines are down.
    • Crowley was responsible to the creation of the M25 London motorway by hacking computers, bribing officials, and at one point just going out and physically moving the road markers, in order to create a massive demonic sigil that will create just a little more evil every time someone drives on it—and millions of people drive on it every day. When the Apocalypse kicks off, the M25 becomes a massive wall of fire, with Crowley on the wrong side of it.
      God: Crowley had created it, and now Crowley was trapped inside it.
    • It's implied that this happens to Crowley all the time. Due to his Brilliant, but Lazy nature, instead of tempting individual souls he just does things that make life more difficult for everyone in London, knowing this will make them angry and more liable to do evil on their own. He apparently forgets that he lives in London, so he gets caught up in his own plans all the time.
      Aziraphale: Evil always contains at its heart the seeds of its own destruction.
  • Gotham: Bullock calls the trope by name in an early episode as a vigilante who has been killing people by attaching them to weather balloons is himself sent floating on one of them.

  • Henry Danger: Lampshaded in the pilot by the Toddler as he sinks into his own ball pit. He's also blown up by his own bomb underneath the plastic balls too.
  • In Heroes, Mohinder talks about the upsides of Nathan Petrelli's plan for snatching and interning enhanced humans, only to get snatched himself shortly after by the stormtrooper squad.
  • One episode of Hogan's Heroes had Hogan explicitly invoke this trope to describe how a plan had gone wrong/would go wrong.
  • In Homeland's 5th season, Peter Quinn kills a terrorist with one of his own bombs.
  • Horatio Hornblower: In "Munity", the Spanish fire heated shots on the Renown that is aground in front of the Spanish fort. They manage to get the ship afloat and sail off. In "Retribution", the Renown's crew seizes the Spanish fort and now it's the Spanish ships that sail away. Hornblower suggests using heated shots. The Spanish surrender.
  • Horrible Histories: At the end of the Greek "Historical Wife Swap", the Athenian man suggests they vote on whose way of life is the best. The Spartan man votes Spartan. His wife votes Spartan. The Athenian man votes Athenian. His wife... doesn't get to vote, she's only a woman!

  • The InBESTigators: In "The Case of the Copy Cat", the girl accusing Ava of stealing her speech insists that her rough draft proves she wrote the speech herself; however, as Maudie points out, the rough draft has notes for every Monday, including one that was a public holiday and thus the workshop at which the speeches were meant to be written was off for.
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries begins with the bureaucracy of Scotland Yard partnering the haughty, aristocratic Detective Inspector "Tommy" Lynley with the cranky, working-class Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers in the hopes that one or both of them would do something outrageous enough to justify sacking them (but preferably her). It didn't quite work out that way.

  • Kamen Rider sees it happen fairly often:
    • Kamen Rider Blade: Isaka's murder of Sayoko eventually resulted in Garren curb-stomping him and sealing him.
    • Kamen Rider W: Arc Villain Dr. Isaka is a glutton who won the Superpower Lottery with his choice of Gaia Memory, but still wants even more powers than Weather offers. To achieve this, he steals the powers of other Memories, putting a large number of connector tattoos on his chest in the process. When Isaka is eventually defeated, those same connectors rapidly spread across his body and consume him in agonizing fashion.
    • Kamen Rider OOO and his Big Bad both use the power of the purple Core Medals during the last act of the show, with Dr. Maki controlling his half of the set while Eiji is controlled by his half. Maki eventually throws two more of his Cores into Eiji to make him turn into a rampaging monster; Eiji recovers from this, and later uses the "gifted" purple Cores to fuel an attack that destroys all of them forever.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze spares and befriends his show's Big Bad, only for him to die soon after anyway from the side effects of the means he'd used to acquire his superpowers. He does, however, survive just long enough to undo one mistake.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard sees the White Wizard stabs traitorous lieutenant Gremlin with his staff and leave him hanging on a tree while he goes to have his final battle with Haruto. Gremlin promptly returns the favor when he's revealed to have survived the impalement.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim's Mitsuzane Kureshima does basically nothing but hoist himself by his own petard, as he thinks that he's much more clever than he is and so is readily taken advantage of by all of the show's older, better cons. By the end of the show he's lost everything he used to care about and has nothing to show for it.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost ends with its main villains, the Ganmeizers, being completely unbeatable due to their ability to revive one another when defeated even when killed by the main character's Super Mode. The Ganmeizers proceed to combine into a single entity which can no longer do this, and are quickly dispatched. Making this Death by Irony as well is the fact that when the Ganmeizers first appeared, they routinely turned Takeru's own ability to combine all of his previous powers against him in similar fashion.
  • In the pilot of Kim's Convenience, the owner of the titular store, Mr. Kim, starts enforcing the "gay discount" on a whim (to avoid looking homophobic). Later on when checking the store's finances, he notices there's less money than there should be and worries someone's been stealing. He initially considers his daughter Janet as the possible thief, to her horror (he had kicked out his son Jung for doing the same thing years ago). However, he and Mrs. Kim soon realize that the loss in money is because of the aforementioned discount, since he forgot to take it into account.
  • On the Food Network cooking competition show Kitchen Casino, the second challenge is called "Kitchen Roulette", in which partway through cooking at their own stations, they will randomly switch and whatever is on the station the new chef must incorporate into their new dish. It's common strategy for at least one chef to sabotage their station by bringing on a bogus ingredient that is extremely difficult to incorporate into whatever else they're doing, figuring the chances of them getting that station again isn't that good. Cut to the end where sometimes they do get their sabotaged station back, and ultimately get eliminated for it. Bonus points if one of the judges will actually call them out that they spent too much trying to possibly sabotage their competitors instead of focusing on making a stellar dish like they were supposed to.

  • Law & Order:
    • On an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a killer was captured in Canada, with the defense arguing that he shouldn't be extradited, because he could be executed for the murder upon return to the US. (The Canadian government is politically opposed to the death penalty.) When the judge asks if that wouldn't result in Canada becoming a haven for American killers, the attorney says that's only a theoretical possibility and shouldn't influence the decision. Then ADA Alex Cabot announces they only want to extradite the perpetrator for kidnapping and car theft, which aren't capital crimes. When the defense complains that it's just a ploy so they can get him back to the US and then charge him with murder, the judge (with obvious amusement) points out that it's just a theoretical possibility which won't necessarily influence his decision. Owned!
      • Example of did not do the research because 1) Article 12 of the US-Canada Extradition treaty specifically forbids this manuever and 2) the state of New York has not executed anyone since 1963.
    • On a different SVU episode, Detective Rollins' sister Kim shows up and tricks an unwitting Rollins into an insurance fraud and murder scheme. Even as it becomes clear the scheme will cost Rollins her badge and send her to prison for a plot she's completely innocent of, Kim continues to be an utter Manipulative Bastard to everyone in sight in an effort to get the insurance payout. Then Kim decides to target Detective Amaro... a former narcotics officer who practically made his living getting people to blab their illegal activities on tape. Cue Amaro presenting a recorded confession of Kim's misdeeds to Internal Affairs with all but a shiny bow on top.
    • Also in SVU, in "Charisma", cult leader Abraham Ophion gets into a standoff with Olivia and tells one of his followers, a twelve-year-old girl, to listen to both of them and to shoot the liar. He promptly goes into a rant where he declares himself "greater than God". The girl promptly shoots him because he had told a lie; nobody is greater than God.
      • This is actually a double example. Not only had he just told the girl to kill whoever was lying, but he was the architect of the entire cult and all its practices, including the part where his followers were conditioned to obey him blindly and without question rather than thinking for themselves.
    • In the original Law & Order, the police suspected a Japanese tourist of traveling to America to have his wife killed for the insurance money so he could pay off the Japanese mob. But by the time they figured that out, the man had already gone back to Japan. While the Japanese man was "mourning his wife," he badmouthed America for having so much violence, and when first questioned by the detectives, said a black man did it. The DA's office was having trouble extraditing the man, so DA Arthur Branch puts out a fake story that they had captured the shooter and needed the Japanese man to come back to America and identify him. The man does return, and is promptly arrested. Branch even cited this trope as his plan.
      • In another episode, McCoy tries to use the fact that former ADA Jamie Ross called in an anonymous tip to exonerate one of her clients on death row to force her to plea bargain in another case. Rather than do that, she resigns as her client's counsel, tells him to keep his mouth shut, and reports herself to the State Bar. Adam Schiff shakes his head ruefully and tells McCoy "By your own petard, m'boy."
    • The Season 19 episode "Exchange" has a man using his mentally-ill sister to help run scams without her knowing it which results in her causing three deaths. The defense for the man has a strong argument that she was a sane, willing participant and he cannot be blamed for her actions. Unable to prove the contrary, Cutter switches gears in his closing summation and argues against McCoy's wishes that she was indeed a willing participant (and not used as a cover for her unstable state of mind) so that his complicity with her will still make him look just as guilty in the eyes of the court. The defense attorney's shocked and desperate attempts to argue against it clearly shows they were arrogant enough to think it wouldn't happen that way.
    • On Law & Order: UK, DS Brooks confronts his corrupt ex-partner who has been trying to implicate him in the theft of evidence. After taking the box of cigarettes that Brooks offers him, the Genre Savvy man frisks him and finds that he's wearing a wire. After destroying it, he confesses to having had someone else steal the evidence. At this point, the doubly Genre Savvy Brooks reveals that there's another microphone hidden in the pack of cigarettes. If only he'd curbed that nicotine addiction...
      • In the episode "Confession", the Pedophile Priest the team is prosecuting shows up at the police station under the facade of talking with DS Devlin while in reality intending to intimidate him into keeping quiet. Only for the already angry Devlin to get even more furious and have no trouble testifying at the man's trial—while he continues to deny being abused himself, he details what his friend confided in him about the abuse he was suffering, resulting in the man's conviction.
    • In an early episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the villain is a professional mob hitman known for taking great efforts to cover his tracks, such as (in the show) putting a victim in his deep freeze (a la real-life example Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski) to slow down the post mortem process and thus make the victim's time of death appear later than it was. After he appears to have completely gotten off, Detective Goren drops a hint that there is possibly some remaining evidence in his garage, whereupon he spends a night tearing up the floor looking for it ... something he would only do if he had consciousness of guilt. The detectives arrest him, in his garage, in the morning.
  • Near the end of Season 5 of The Last Ship the Nathan James crew discover a mockup of Southern US Command within the enemy camp they capture in Cuba, which Tavo's men used to train for their attack on the real thing. In turn, the crew then use the same mockup to plan how to retake the building.
  • In the season 2 finale of The League of Gentlemen, Benjamin forces his toad-obsessed uncle Harvey into the human-sized terrarium where he had intended to keep Benjamin, by threatening to put one of his beloved toads in a blender.
    Harvey: Damn! Hoist by my own pet toad!
  • The team of Leverage were experts at this. Indeed, the DVD commentaries openly say how they use this.
    • In "The Miracle Job", Parker has the idea to use the mark's own want of good publicity to take him down.
    • One example in the episode "The 15 Minutes Job" —- not only do they bring a crisis PR consultant down using his own business methods, they also set him up for a drunk driving accident to make up for an earlier incident in which he'd set someone else up for a drunk driving accident in which he WAS driving.
    • In "The Snow Job", a family specialize in bilking people out of their homes. The team set up a con that gets them control of the company and the father arrested for fraud. They then inform the elder son that because he listed the family's home as a company asset to avoid taxes, they now own it and force him and his brother out.
    • In "The San Lorenzo Job", criminal banker Damien Moreau was royally screwed over by the team in the previous episode, so he escapes to the titular country, where the corrupt government is in his pocket, any potential political rivals are arrested and detained in an underground cell, he has enough assets to take it easy until he can clean up the mess the team made for him, and, most importantly, there are no extradition treaties, so he can't be forced to leave. At the end of the episode, the corrupt president he financed is convinced to turn on him so he can seize his assets for a comfortable retirement and he's detained in the same cell all the political rivals were held in, and since San Lorenzo has no extradition treaties, he can't get out.
  • In Life (season 1, "Powerless"), the main villain becomes obsessed with Reese (they both go to the same AA meetings, and he figures that she lied about her dark past), so he holds her hostage in her kitchen and forces her to drink a massive bottle of vodka, and finally she tells him about her past in a totally awesome speech, and when he looks away for a second, she grabs the empty bottle of vodka and whacks him across the head with it, thus giving her partner and his backup time to break in and save her.
  • Nonfatal example: the humourless forum administrator in the children's television program Lift-Off was in the habit of digging up new things to ban, at one point producing a ban sign with a mirror on it. Then he was convinced to turn it around. Then pure force of Lawful Neutral kicks in.
  • In the Lost Season 4 finale, Ben kills Keamy with Keamy's own knife. It also works on a metaphorical level; killing Keamy has the result of killing everyone on the freighter, including innocent people; Ben had been avoiding killing innocents until Keamy "changed the rules" by killing Alex. Thus Keamy dies by his own weapon and as a result of his own actions.

  • Frequently in MacGyver (1985), an episode's plot couldn't really be resolved while the villain still lived, and with Mac's Thou Shalt Not Kill mentality, it seemed an eternal stalemate was inevitable. But having the villain accidentally shoot himself, blow himself up or even fall on his own sword - well that wrapped things up rather nicely.
  • Colonel Flagg fell victim to this in his final (and no-doubt most humiliating) scheme on M*A*S*H, When Hawkeye put the welfare of a communist soldier over another patient since the communist was in worse shape then the other patient, this naturally led to Flagg thinking Hawkeye was a communist sympathizer. Flagg made the mistake of recruiting Major Winchester into spying on Hawkeye; but he sorely misjudged Winchester's character. Winchester duped Flagg into thinking that a camp bridge game (which included the mayor of Uijongbu and his brother, the city's chief of police, as guest players), was a meeting of conspirators, which Flagg then attempted to raid. Even though they found out that Major Winchester set the whole thing up, the two angry South Korean officials vowed to use their US military contacts to ensure that Flagg would be punished; and since Flagg was never seen again in this series, they apparently succeeded.
  • In Medium episode "You Give Me Fever", the guy responsible for causing another guy to kill himself after infecting him with a deadly contagious disease. The villain took a vaccine to protect himself. Allison confronted him but there was no proof other than her visions. The woman was upset until she had another dream. The villain was allergic to the vaccine so he had to take steroids to counter the reaction but it made him vulnerable to the flu. He was last seen in the hospital dying.
  • Merlin (1998) has Mab. She created Merlin (half-human, half-fae) to preserve the old ways. But, her cruel actions, such as killing his mother and imprisoning a lady he loved, made him instead want to destroy the old ways. When he succeeds, Mab disappears because Gods Need Prayer Badly.
  • On Merlin (2008), Hengist, villain of "Lancelot and Guinevere", is killed and eaten by the pet monster he'd spent the whole episode feeding people too.
    • By the end of season three King Uther discovers that his genocide against magical users has turned his own illegitimate daughter against him.
    • Morgana succeeds in her plan to make Guinevere look as though she was cheating on Arthur with Lancelot and have her banished from Camelot — unfortunately, these actions put Guinevere in a position where she is able to overhear Morgana's plans to invade Camelot, and race back to sound the alarm.
  • Misfits: "Jesus" is hit by the file cabinet he's trying to yank away with telekinesis from the gang and killed after they let go.
  • Models Inc.. ended with Emma Samms' character getting shot by a hitman she'd hired to shoot her ex's new wife-to-be at the wedding... but most viewers never saw this, as the original broadcast of the episode ended on a Cliffhanger at the fatal gunshot. Aaron Spelling had the foresight to film an alternate ending in case of cancellation note .
  • Season Ten of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has two examples of this:
    • In the episode with Hamlet, Mike challenges Pearl to a Shell Game, winner gets to choose the movie. Mike wins and decides on Hamlet and mentions "any version". Boy, does Pearl give him Hamlet!
    • In the Series Finale featuring Danger: Diabolik, Pearl goes on a madcap spree, pouring Mountain Dew on Brain Guy's brain, then futzing with the Satellite of Love with a remote control. When the controller breaks and engages the reentry protocol, she can't fix it because Brain Guy's brain is still messed up!
    • Season 9's episode featuring Werewolf had Mike attempt an escape from the Satellite of Love. When Crow and Tom realize that he's not coming to get them, they move the ladder over Castle Forrester.
    • At the end of the Season 12 finale, the Mads of this and the previous season, Kinga and Max, are forced to watch the bad movies, and Kinga even names this trope to describe it.

  • The NCIS Season 11 episode "Bulletproof" centred around faulty body armor being sold to US military personnel - the manufacturer had passed the defective batch on to their recycling contractor to be disposed of, but the contractor instead sold them through a middleman (who ended up as the Body of the Week). At the end of the episode, the team confront the recycling company's director, who hides inside a caravan and opens fire on the agents. The agents return fire, and the director is killed - not by the bullets, but by her defective body armor shattering, causing fatal lacerations. For bonus irony points, Bishop was actually hit in the lower abdomen, but thanks to her own perfectly-functional body armor, she survived with only bruised ribs.
  • A club owner on NCIS: Los Angeles hired the Body of the Week to build bombs to blow up a rival club. He manages to get locked inside and is killed in the blast.

  • Once Upon a Time: Rumplestiltskin's plan to get to the "real" world and find his son ends up backfiring on him when he ends up trapped in Storybrooke just like everyone else, unable to leave lest he lose all of his Enchanted Forest memories- and therefore his memories of the very son he's there to find.
    • Cora has spent decades manipulating, abusing, and scheming to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for power and desire to hurt royalty out of revenge for their shoddy treatment of her, a lowborn miller's daughter. This includes using magic to kill Snow White's mother in a slow and painful fashion. Snow White tries to save her mother, and Cora tricks her into taking a black-magic enchanted candle that will save one life by killing someone else. Cora intended to corrupt Snow White in the process. As a child, Snow cannot bring herself to use it and loses her mother. But when Snow White is an adult, has been tormented by Regina (Cora's daughter, and the Wicked Stepmother) for well over 30 years, realizing Cora killed her mother, being Forced to Watch as Cora and Regina murder her childhood nanny, and realizing Cora's got a scheme in the bag to achieve nearly godlike power by killing Rumplestitskin and gaining his power? Well, that candle does get used, Rumplestitskin is cured, and Cora's the one who dies by her own magic.
  • The Outer Limits (1963) did this twice:
    • The Villain Protagonist of "The Bellero Shield" is Judith Bellero, the scheming wife of an idealistic scientist, who learns the hard way that Ambition Is Evil as she's subjected to this trope twice. When a gentle alien who protects himself with an impenetrable force field is accidentally drawn to her husband's lab, Judith kills him and passes off the force field as her husband's invention. Judith demonstrates the force field on herself—but realizes too late that only the alien can turn it off! Although the alien turns out to be Not Quite Dead and frees her before expiring, her guilt over the murder drives her insane, a la Lady Macbeth, and at the end she imagines herself still trapped behind the shield. "Nothing will ever remove it..."
    • In "The Special One", alien invader Mr. Zeno poses as a human teacher to indoctrinate child prodigies. It turns out that the kid he's currently working with was playing Fake Defector all along, and uses one of Zeno's own weapons to force him to retreat to his home planet.

  • Person of Interest had Kara strapping a bomb vest on Agent Snow, using the threat of it detonating to make him work for her. Once she's through with him, she leaves the timer on the vest running and tells him that, if he runs fast enough, he might get it disarmed in time. Kara leaves the building after him, only to find him in the backseat of her car when the timer runs out.
  • Power Rangers villains tend to do this a lot. Listed are the most notable and far-reaching examples:
    • As far back as the pilot episode, the original team at first hardly believed Zordon's story and had little interest in fighting Rita. Then Rita decided to attack them first, and they changed their minds rather quickly. This rather bumbling and careless assault by Rita, in effect, created her worst enemies.
    • And she wouldn't stop there. Rita was the one who made Tommy into the Green Ranger who would pretty much double the strength of the heroes after his Heel–Face Turn. He would be key to foiling many villainous threats for years to come, not just by Rita.
    • Zedd's attempt to get rid of Tommy only hoisted him worse. By removing his Green Ranger powers, Tommy was able to become the more powerful White Ranger. In short, without either Rita or Lord Zedd, the Rangers would have been unable to do anything against Master Vile's monsters which were considerably more powerful and dangerous.
    • In season two, Lord Zedd and Goldar's chased the Rangers to a far-off planet with the powerful Doomsday Device Serpentera. Impatient, Zedd decides to use Serpentera's main cannon to create an Earth-Shattering Kaboom despite Goldar's pleas. The Rangers escape with what they were looking for as the planet is destroyed and Zedd chases the Rangers back to Earth. When he tries this again, Serpentera's batteries run out of power, forcing him to retreat! From that point on, Serpentera, which was once a planet-destroying abomination, was a big pile of junk because the bad guys simply couldn't keep it fully-powered.
    • Clearly having learned nothing from what happened with Tommy, Rita tried the same trick with Kat while working with Zedd as a team. It ended much the same way. (Kimberly even mentioned how Tommy joined the team later, and Kat would become the second Pink Ranger.)
    • One of the biggest examples happens in Power Rangers in Space. Dark Spector decided to brainwash away Astronema's Heel–Face Turn using implants. However, this works only too well, making her a Bastard Understudy. She used the Psycho Rangers to sap Dark Spector's power, weakening him so that she could kill him and take his place.
    • Also happened later in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, but this time it's the good guys on the receiving end. The Lightspeed Aquabase was built underwater in order to ensure that the demons would be unable to reach it. However, when the Season Finale arrives, one of the Elite Mooks uses a magic card that he stuck on the leg of their strongest Megazord to allow their Mooks to swarm the base and destroy it. And their main weapons were the rangers' own zords, which they hi-jacked.
    • In Power Rangers Ninja Steel episode "The Ranger Ribbon", Trapsaw falls for all of his own traps except for the last one.
    • Also in Ninja Steel, As the last part of his plan to trick the Principal into disqualifying his rivals for School Council President, Victor set a water balloon trick for when the winner is announced. The other candidates renounced and Victor becomes victim of his own trick.
    • Also also in Ninja Steel, Tommy summons the Falconzord to snatch Lord Draven's giant, dimension-shattering arrow from the air and plunges it through the villain as a coup de grace.
  • In Primeval, Oliver Leek amasses a mind-controlled army of vicious predators from the future in a bid to obtain power. This royally screws up when the mind-control device breaks, and the predators kill him.
    • Similarly, the woman who had raised a saber-toothed tiger from a cub that she found is killed by it at the end.
  • Happens three times on The Prisoner (1967):
    • In "Checkmate", Number Six determines which of his fellow villagers are prisoners and which are guards by observing their mannerisms (prisoners are meek and submissive, while guards are defiant and confident). Using this knowledge, he recruits a team of prisoners to make an escape... and is foiled when they notice how confident and defiant he is, become convinced that he is a guard testing their loyalty, and turn him in to Number Two.
    • In "A Change of Mind", the new Number Two uses psychological tactics cribbed from the Red Scare and the Cultural Revolution to turn the whole Village against Number Six, declaring him an "unmutual" and ostracizing him. At the end of the episode, Number Six, pretending to have been converted by the experience, persuades Number Two to call the whole Village together for his public confession and repudiation of his sins. Instead, he uses the opportunity to have someone declare that Number Two is "unmutual." The villagers, conditioned by Number Two to automatically believe such accusations, form an angry mob and run him out of town.
    • In "Hammer Into Anvil", Number 6 uses Mind Games (and the inherent paranoia of the Village) to drive the current Number 2 into reporting himself to the authorities for incompetence.
  • Probe's "Untouched by Human Hands": Brian Kingsley supposedly dies in a nuclear accident. Austin later discovers that the scientist actually faked his death by dressing up a homeless man in his clothes and staging the accident. The scientist couldn't bring himself to kill the homeless man himself, so he programmed one of his laboratory's robots to strangle him instead. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that the robot would continue to follow its programming and ended up being strangled as well.
  • In Psych's first season, episode twelve ("Cloudy With A Chance of Murder") features Shawn and Gus as legal consultants to the defense of what seems to be a hopeless case. There's a mountain of evidence against them, and just when they're starting to get an advantage, the prosecution produces a video that provides proof of the defendant's guilt. With Shawn's hyper-observative skills, he uses it to instead prove her innocence and force the real perpetrator to confess.
  • In the Pie-lette of Pushing Daisies Chuck laments that she was hoisted by her own petard — her vacation was also smuggling monkey figurines, which got her killed. It prompts Ned's reply, "What's a petard?"

  • Reba has a non-violent version of this, Played for Laughs, at the start of the episode "The Great Race": Jake is not enthused about getting people to sign up for a 5K race as a school fundraiser, so Reba teaches him a new sales strategy — only to become the first target of said strategy and roped into signing up.
    Jake: What am I supposed to say to people to get them to sign up for this dumb race?
    Reba: Just tell them how fun it is.
    Jake: They won't believe me.
    Reba: Sure they will. You've got an honest face. Just smile when you say it.
    Jake: OK. (smiles) Mom, will you sign up for my fun race?
    * Cheyenne casts a look of dawning realization*
    Van: Oh, you are so busted.
  • Invoked in Robin Hood... sort of. Guy of Gisborne gives his sister Isabella a vial of poison, intending for her to use it. She instead laces the blade of a dagger with it and stabs him in the back. On the other hand, Guy is also impaled on the sheriff's sword, an injury which kills him before the poison gets a chance.
    • The Sheriff of Nottingham is blown up by explosives that he himself brought into the castle.
  • Robot Wars:
    • The most common source of this trope was for one robot to try and push another into an arena hazard such as the Pit of Oblivion, only to get caught itself. Cassius 2's loss to Pussycat in Series 3, one of the most Shocking Eliminations in the show's history, was the result of Pussycat moving out of the way at just the right moment so that Cassius went charging straight into the open pit.
      • From Extreme 1/Series 5 onwards, the pit was opened by a button on the arena wall, meaning a robot could potentially fall into a pit that it had opened itself. Both The Executioner and Major Tom managed to fall into the pit immediately after opening it, with the latter incident being voted the funniest moment of the Fifth Wars just for the sheer comedic stupidity.
    • The trope name was said in full on at least one occasion: in Series 2, during Caliban's Gauntlet run, Sir Killalot proceeded to pick it up by its own flail weapon, prompting Jonathan Pearce to say the phrase. Caliban came last with a score of just 0.2m, the worst in the show's history, and was eliminated. A very literal version of the trope.
    • Another literal example came in Series 3 when the highly-fancied Razer suffered a mechanical malfunction that left it stuck in its Victory Pose, in which it raises its crushing claw to its highest extent, its self-righting wings extending outwards and its "tail" lifting its wheels off the ground. Unable to move, it was counted out and eliminated.
    • Chaos 2's Signature Move during its title-winning runs in Series 3 and 4 was to flip opponents clean out of the arena. Its last-ever battle in the main series was the Series 6 heat final against Dantomkia, and after Chaos 2's flipper failed, Dantomkia threw it out of the arena, subjecting it to the very same fate it had inflicted on so many robots over the years.

  • In the Sanctuary episode "Sleepers", Tesla loses his powers by his own "Devamper", which was powered by the very ability it ended up taking away. And really his own fault for making both ends of the weapon functional.
  • Played for Laughs in one sketch on Saturday Night Live hosted by Larry David. Bernie Sanders(played by Larry) loses the Iowa Caucus to Hillary Clinton by five votes because he didn't shake hands with a black woman because she sneezed into her hand and didn't help a lady who just got into a car accident fix her dislocated shoulder. As result, the black woman and her three family members and dislocated shoulder lady, who were Sanders supporters, voted for Hillary instead to spite him and lose to Hillary.
  • Saved by the Bell: The New Class:
    • Screech suffers from this in the Season 4 episode "Balancing Act". To recap: Mr. Belding is planning to give a surprise birthday party to Screech, but Screech keeps nosing in for any trace of a birthday celebration. When he gets prematurely close to finding out, the students organizing the birthday party tell him that said party is for Mr. Belding instead, prompting an outraged Screech to volunteer to "help" — when, in truth, he's out for revenge for Mr. Belding's neglect for his birthday celebration (or so he thinks) — by ordering a cake from "Mr. Pie in the Face". When Screech learns the truth near the end of the episode, he's happy about it — except he forgets to cancel his order from Mr. Pie in the Face amidst all the joy. The episode ends when the birthday cake delivery guy shows up and asks for the birthday boy and Screech claims himself as such... and splat.
    • Late in the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper", when Ryan decides to resort to cheating in order to win the prize for a contest he has Eric enter in his stead since he himself can't enter, he has Eric wear a concealed ear piece while he himself whisper the correct answers on a coordinated device so Eric can hear the answers and then repeat back in the contest proper. Screech spots Ryan in the act while the contest is ongoing and stages an Engineered Public Confession via the same means Ryan uses to cheat, before he proceeds to bust Ryan and Eric on the spot, resulting in Eric getting disqualified.
  • On Silicon Valley, Hooli CEO Gavin hits this time and again as his every effort to make a name for himself blows up in his face thanks to his own bad decisions, shortsightedness, greed, and general arrogance.
    • He boasts of how Nucleus will offer the greatest livestream of a UFC event ever seen. However, because of his terrifying presence, no one on his team has the courage to tell him the compression algorithm is not finished and the livestream is a disaster of glitches.
    • Gavin promotes Big Head to a key position on the assumption it will help his fight against Pied Piper. However, Big Head is basically a moron who drives the actually competent division head (ticked over being passed over) away. Also, when Nucleus fails, Gavin realizes Big Head has been wasting company time and resources on a potato cannon and has nothing to offer that can be built in less than 30 years.
    • Realizing he needs a scapegoat, Gavin talks that division head into coming back, promising to give him full control over the project. The man takes one look at the Nucleus code, realizes how unsalvageable it is and literally races away from the company. Reporting this, Gavin's lawyers (unaware of the truth) think this is a good thing as now "the whole world will know you and you alone are responsible for Nucleus."
    • Gavin thinks he's got the perfect ammo against Pied Piper by revealing Hooli has a non-compete clause in employee contracts which means he owns what they came up with while working for Hooli. Sadly, he's neglected to remember that non-compete clauses are illegal in California, which means that every Hooli employee is freed of their contract and the company owns nothing they came up with. Needless to say, the board is not happy with this.
    • He illegally alters Hooli software to automatically delete any news that speaks bad about them... only to have a reporter break the story after being informed of this by the Pied Piper guys and has Gavin ripped on censorship.
    • Gavin buys a company to get control of Pied Piper's work... which just means there's a concrete point of price on the work Pied Piper made.
    • When it becomes clear Gavin has been covering up how Nucleus never worked amid all his other blunders, the board finally relieves him as CEO. They can't fire him because of his contract so they just "transfer" him to another department... which ends up on the roof of the building with all the other guys Gavin has "transferred" over botched projects in the past.
    • Gavin is fond of using rare animals for live presentations. When an elephant has a heart attack and dies from stress, an employee talks of how foolish this is. Gavin fires her and the woman immediately goes to a tech journalism blog to report about all the shady stuff Gavin has done. Gavin decides to buy up the blog... which is owned by Erlich, who uses the money to outbid Gavin for ownership of Pied Piper.
    • He acquires Piper Chat from Dinesh because Gavin wanted access to chat logs in order to spy on Jack Barker. In his haste, Gavin doesn't realize that he also inherited the under-age users and pedophiles that made Dinesh want to part with Piper Chat in the first place. Once the board realizes that they just bought a system that is so toxic, they finally fire Gavin and replace him with Jack.
    • Gavin pressures a mayor to slash funding for his town's infrastructure to accommodate construction of Hooli's new factory. When the factory burns down before it can even begin construction, it's because the fire department was among those things that had its funding slashed. This results in the company being sold to Amazon. However, Gavin rejects the sale since Amazon would dump the Hooli name and he's adamant Hooli stays an independent entity, which results in them having to sell off cast amounts to Amazon, leading to mass layoffs that wouldn't have happened had he just let the sale go as planned.
    • Because of the sale, the board isn't happy with him and give Gavin three months to make the company profitable again. This results in him deciding to move a chunk of the company, including his right hand men Denpok and Hoover, to Belarus to save money. Not wanting to move to Belarus, Hoover finds out that one of the companies Hooli still owns, Foxhole, a military service focused dating app, poses a potential security risk. Hoover informs the government of this, so they block Hooli from moving out of the country. Richard, having his own issues with the investor Maximo, proposes that Gavin give him Foxhole which would cause Maximo to divest due to being a foreign investor and allow Gavin to move to Belarus. Gavin rejects this offer because he doesn't want it to also benefit Richard. To add insult to injury, he buys out Jared's protege Gwart. Doing this reveals that Hooli is worth far less than they used to. So Pied Piper decides to buy Hooli to save themselves, timing the sale at the same time that Gavin is doing the Hooli's annual charity triathlon. When Gavin finds out about the sale, he arrives too late, as it's past the two hour window he has to veto it.
  • When a crowd of zombie slaves regains their sanity in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, they turn on their voodoo master, with vicious results.
  • In Spaced, Bilbo mentions a friend of his who trained a dog to attack rich people, only to get mauled by it after winning some money on a scratchcard.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Tower", the villain dies due to a scratch from his own poisoned dagger. It is likely that this is a deliberate reference to the work of William Shakespeare, where Claudius and Laertes are both done in by the very poison they had conspired to kill Hamlet with. (Well, Claudius also gets stabbed a little bit. And, in one notable adaptation, hit by a chandelier.)
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In the Grand Finale, the Borg Queen is tricked into assimilating Future-Janeway, causing her to contract a nanovirus (ten years in the making and about seventeen ahead of its time), killing her... again.
    • In the earlier two-parter "Year of Hell", the Big Bad uses a ship that has the power to Ret-Gone anything. Janeway's Heroic Sacrifice causes the ship to target itself and everything that happened in the episode is undone. Oddly enough, this actually gives the Big Bad a happy ending — he had unwittingly wiped out his own homeworld and family when he used the ship during a war. With the ship gone from the timeline, the life he lost had been restored. Though he is once again working on temporal calculations.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In the episode "Civil Defence", the crew accidentally triggers an automated defense program left behind by the station's previous commander, Gul Dukat. After the crew's failure to circumvent the program triggers the station's self destruct, Dukat himself shows up and offers to save them if they give his people massive diplomatic concessions. He then attempts to beam off the station to let the crew mull his offer over, only to discover that one of his superior officers installed an extra level in the program in case he ever tried to leave the station after triggering the self-destruct, an act that the superior officer considered to be Dukat abandoning his post. The program prevents Dukat from leaving the station and prevents him from using his access codes to stop the self destruct.
    • In "The Die is Cast", the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar, the Cardassian and Romulan Secret Police organizations respectively, launch a preemptive strike against the homeworld of the Founders, the Dominion's leaders. Except that they realize the planet was deserted, with a probe delivering false sensor readings, leading to a massive ambush by a Jem'Hadar fleet. Years earlier, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command", the Cardassians also used this ploy to lure Captain Picard into a trap to be captured.
    • In "For The Uniform", the Maquis use a unique chemical concoction to start driving out Cardassians from various colonies. Spurred on by Maquis leader Michael Eddington, Benjamin Sisko decided to do the same, using a different concoction to make planets inhabitable to humanoids outside Cardassians to force the Marquis out of every last one. Eddington does the right thing and surrenders himself and the chemicals before Sisko can enact this plan.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • In the first season episode "The Arsenal of Freedom", the Enterprise crew find themselves under attack by the deadly weapon Echo Papa 607, which comes back stronger and with better defenses against those attacking it. After being told by a holographic salesman that it was unstoppable, Picard surmises that the weapon itself eradicated the Minosians, a race of people known as weapons merchants during an interstellar war, explaining why the planet was deserted.
    • In the two-parter "The Best of Both World", both the Borg and the crew of the Enterprise do this to each other. The Borg use Picard's knowledge of Starfleet tactics to utterly defeat the fleet of ships that meet them at Wolf 359 while the crew of the Enterprise use a plan to defeat the Borg to trick them so they can save Picard.
    • In the episode "Hero Worship", the Enterprise discovers a ravaged ship with a young boy as the Sole Survivor. The ship also encounters a black cluster near which said ravaged ship was investigating. What the crew didn't know was that the black cluster was reflecting certain types of energy back at its source and Deflector Shield energy was one of them. The boy's ship was destroyed because it kept raising shields and the cluster was throwing back that stronger energy at them. The Enterprise nearly suffered the same fate until both the boy and Data realized what was going on and convinced Picard to lower shields.
  • Stranger Things shows the Mind Flayer. He controls Will with his telepathic powers. But the more control he exercises over Will, the less he can pretend to be human. Unfortunately, he has unknowingly told the hero how to free him from Will's body.
  • The first season finale of Strike Back features the Big Bad, Latif, attempting to use VX gas on the leaders of several European countries and the United States by implanting explosive canisters filled with the nerve agent inside a pair of suicide bombers, while simultaneously kidnapping Grant and a Pakistani presidential candidate, all to expose the truth about Pakistan's involvement in a plot to plant WMDs in Iraq to justify the war. Little does he know that Grant had grabbed an empty container (the explosive core of which is volatile enough to be set off by a direct hit from a bullet) recovered from his Chechen base in the previous episode. So when he tries to force Grant into a car at gunpoint, she points the gun at the canister (still on her, somehow) and pulls the trigger for him.
  • Suits:
    • Daniel Hardman deliberately planted fradulent evidence to implicate his own firm in a cover-up. Events were such that blame fell on Jessice Pearce's shoulders, giving Hardman just enough votes to replace her as managing partner. Unfortunately for him, doing so cost each voting member $100,000 and when it was revealed he was the reason for that loss, the member unanimously fired him.
    • Mike Ross of the same series isn't a villain, he got into the law business to help people. But he IS a fraud, since he got his job by lying about graduating from Harvard, and arranged for Harvard and the state bar to be hacked to forge credentials for him (which show him graduating Summa Cum Laude). Mike's eidetic memory is one of his greatest strengths. He's also a generally nice guy and tries to get along with others, even the firm's Butt-Monkey Louis Litt. Litt actually graduated from Harvard, like everyone else at the firm, with real honors as high as Mike's fake ones, not as flashy or imposing as Harvey but with his own skills at Awesomeness by Analysis. When helping Louis move, Mike repeatedly asks him about a key, which turns out to be a symbol of a Harvard honor society that Mike's forged records show he should be a member of. But Mike didn't recognize it. And he can't have just forgotten it, because Mike Ross doesn't forget anything. So Louis now knows that Mike is a fraud, and Harvey and Jessica have been aiding in that fraud, which he uses to blackmail his way into becoming Named Partner. But in doing so, Louis himself becomes a party to the fraud, and has to help cover it up for his own safety, so the weapon he used against Harvey and Jessica is now a danger to him.
    • A client being used as a scapegoat in a securities fraud case thought he was safe because not only did he not actually commit the crime he was accused of, the only person he ever told about how guilty he felt for participating in his firm's shady dealings was his therapist, and his conversations with her should be privileged and inadmissible. But he forgot that she was paid by his firm, so privilege was waived, and she was forced to testify to what he said in therapy, which his employers spun to use against him. But Harvey (another of her patients), not only cast doubt on her testimony by himself revealing embarrassing information she told him in confidence, but convinced her to help him get the company to back off by threatening to reveal incriminating statements (which may or may not actually exist) from other patients working for the same company, which wouldn't be admissible if not for the fact that the company had opened the door by forcing the therapist to testify in the first place.
    • A client tries to sue Harvey for malpractice without realizing that this would release him from lawyer-client privilege. Since she told Harvey some extremely incriminating things, she promptly drops the suit once informed of the fact.
  • On Supernatural, this happens all the time, normally to the humans who mess with the dark arts. They always get what's coming to them, and almost never from the main characters.
    • "Bloody Mary" in the first season takes it to an ironic extreme when Bloody Mary is killed by seeing Bloody Mary in the mirror. She's a ghost who kills people who are even vaguely "guilty" of someone's death. When her mirror is smashed, she emerges into the physical world... whereupon she can be reflected in a mirror, and she's destroyed after her own reflection accuses her of killing all those people.
    • Plus this is what the Trickster does to his victims. Ironically, it's also how he dies. He tries to trick Lucifer by creating a doppelganger of himself, but since Lucifer taught him how to do that in the first place, he easily sees through it and kills the real one.
    • And in the Season 4 finale, Ruby reveals herself as The Mole and is killed by the Winchesters with the same demon-killing knife she's been carrying around for the last two seasons.
    • In the season 9 finale, Death is killed with his own scythe, which he had lent out to Dean in the same episode.
    • In the season 14 finale, Chuck is shot with the Equalizer, a magic gun that he himself had willed into existence. While it doesn't kill him, it does limit his powers for a while as it ties his essence to the person who shot him.
  • Survivor has plenty of examples:
    • The coconut challenge had the Rotu 4 from the fourth season of Survivor lay out the boot order leading the non-members of the tribe to form a counteralliance voting the Rotu 4 out of the game.
    • Laura M. try to keep Tina Wesson around during her second stay at Redemption Island during Blood vs. Water only for Tina to beat her in the final challenge.
    • Stephen's downfall in his second season has to be be this. First of all, his advantage lead him to become even more of a threat than he did and taking Tasha and Jeremy to the reward challenge lead Spencer feel like he is on the bottom of his alliance and made a move to get rid of Stephen
    • From Kaoh Rong, Aubry's aggressive gameplay mixed with her indecisiveness in the beginning of the game as well as doing too good of a job at keeping her scheming secret to the point nobody knew what she did until after the season lead her to lose the game.
    • Val from San Juan Del Sur went on to state that she ended up two idols in the game as a way to save herself. Too bad her other tribemates bought that lie leading to her being eliminated from the game.
    • From Cagayan, Garrett went on to have a tribe forum to make sure no one freaked out or didn't vote for J'Tia only for Kass and Tasha to blindslide from the game after being brought attention to himself. He also assumed he was safe and let his idol back at the camp.

  • Frequently the premise of Tales from the Crypt episodes. For example, one episode had an adulterous woman killing her wealthy soap magnate husband when she realized he'd gotten wind of the affair and that she would get nothing in the divorce. She takes his body to the soap factory and dumps it into the compressor, then takes the bars of soap home, intending to wash them down the drain, but then getting the macabre idea to take a shower with them. Suddenly she begins screaming in pain and we see that her skin is rapidly developing disfiguring welts and blisters, being destroyed by the gastric acids that are now present in the "soaps". The show ends with her wailing in agony, huddled on the floor of the shower, the water turning red with her blood.
  • A double version occurs in the final season of The Thick of It. Malcolm manipulates Nicola Murray, the Party's incompetent leader, into calling for an inquiry into the death of a mentally ill nurse who killed himself after becoming homeless due to a policy the Opposition introduced when they took power. After calling for the inquiry, Murray remembers that she herself supported the policy when the Party was in power, and resigns in disgrace, with Malcolm telling her that the inquiry will probably result in her suffering serious consequences, which he sees as fitting punishment for her dragging the Party down for two years. However, the PM expands the scope of the inquiry to cover the culture of leaking in Westminster. By the time Nicola is called, she is so far beneath their notice they don't even listen to her testimony, while the inquiry discovers that Malcolm leaked the nurse's private medical records to the media, and he is eventually arrested.
  • A common bit on The Twilight Zone, often in episodes involving a Deal with the Devil.
    • In "Escape Clause," a hypochondriac man makes a deal for a million years of immortality and then amuses himself by attempting suicide. When his wife falls off an apartment building, he decides to experience the electric chair and claims that he killed her. He's sentenced to life in prison instead.
    • In "The Jeopardy Room", an assassin tries to kill his target with a bomb that will be set off by picking up the phone. He waits and waits but the target, somehow sensing something is wrong, manages to escape. The killer and his aide check the place out to figure out what went wrong. When the phone rings, the aide picks it up on instinct. BOOM.
    • In "The Brain Center at Whipples", a factory owner replaces all his workers with robots, bragging about how they're much better to handle and far more efficient. When he shows up for work, he discovers he's been replaced by a robot.
    • In "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville", corrupt CEO Feathersmith makes a deal with a female demon to go back in time to 1910 and rebuild his empire from scratch with just $15,000. He figures this will be easy with his knowledge of the future. Feathersmith buys up 1400 acres of land that he knows sits on a huge oil field and brags to the owners they just gave away millions. He's thrown when they tell him they knew full well about the oil but don't see why it's a big deal as it's a mile underground. Too late, Feathersmith realizes the technology to drill that far below won't be invented for 30 years and thus he just spent nearly all his money on over a thousand acres of worthless land.

  • This was revealed to be what led to the death of Fey Sommers in Ugly Betty. In an attempt to kill Claire Meade, the wife of the man she was having an affair with,Fey had sent a bottle of poisoned perfume to her lover to give to Claire as a 'souvenir'. The perfume was drugged and was supposed to drive Claire to madness and kill her. By a stroke of fate, Claire's insanity resulted in Fey's own death instead.
  • Slightly subverted in the series finale of the Original Ultraseven. When the finale monster Reconstructed Pandon catches Ultra Seven's Eye Slugger and tries to kill him with it, Ultra Seven turns it around on him and kills the monster like he originally intended.

  • Warehouse 13
    • "Age Before Beauty": A photographer using Man Ray's camera to steal the youth from fashion models reverts to an old man when his camera is turned against him.
    • "Where and When": A murderer using Cinderella's knife to turn victims to glass ends up getting stabbed with it, leaving behind a beautiful glass corpse.
  • In The West Wing episode "The Stormy Present", CJ lampshaded it almost word for word when she was handed the supposedly classified budget for DARPA, the creators of the internet, by Carol because it found ON the internet.
    Carol: The DARPA budget.
    CJ: I thought it was classified?
    Carol: Apparently not. I found it on the internet.
    CJ: Hoisted by their own petard.
    • In "The State Dinner", Toby insists on adding rather undiplomatically strong language denouncing Indonesia's human rights abuses at a toast made at a state dinner for the visiting Indonesian President. Afterwards, he approaches an Indonesian official to seek help for an old journalist friend of his who is being held in an Indonesian jail. The official, however, was greatly offended at the insult to his country and leader in the toast, knows exactly who wrote it and turns Toby down flat, leaving Toby to realise that his own stubborn self-righteousness has shot down his efforts to help his friend.
  • The White Queen: The Dowager Queen Elizabeth and her daughter, Elizabeth of York, both threaten to lay a terrible curse (in this show, both Elizabeths are real witches with real magical powers) on whoever murdered the Princes in the Tower, the specific nature of which is that the killer's own firstborn son, and his grandsons, and all his direct male descendants, will die. Of course, the show heavily implies that the killer was Henry Tudor (or his mother Margaret Beaufort), later King Henry VII, and husband to the younger Elizabeth. In other words, they have just cursed their own descendants. Richard III, upon hearing their malicious intent, even warns them:
    Richard: Take care. Your curses last too long. It may turn on someone you love.
  • Happens to drug underboss Russell "Stringer" Bell at the climax of the third season of The Wire, when his actions in the previous season come back to bite him. He tries to play two of his biggest problems—rogue street thief Omar Little and his boss' personal hitman "Brother Mouzone", who threatens his power grab in the Barksdale Organization—off of each other, convincing Omar that Mouzone was the one responsible for torturing and murdering his lover Brandon early in Season 1. After Mouzone convinces Omar that he's innocent, though, both men realize that they've been duped. Cue two of the most dangerous men in Baltimore hunting Stringer down. Mercilessly.


  • In Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey enacts a masterful gambit to ensure that the Employment Secretary is removed from his post after suggesting a brilliant idea to move large sections of the armed forces Oop North, which has received much hostility from senior civil servants and military officials because they'll, well, be Oop North and far away from Harrods and Wimbledon and all the nice cushy things down south which they like. He expertly plays on Hacker's paranoia to make Hacker think that the Employment Secretary is using this plan as part of a coup to secure Hacker's job. It works, the plan is scuttled, the Employment Secretary gone, and Humphrey is left to leave in smug satisfaction of another job well done... until in the last minute of the episode, Hacker realizes that now the Employment Secretary is gone, there's nothing to stop him safely implementing the plan and taking all the credit...


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