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Hoist By His Own Petard / Theatre

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Theatre can't afford to lose valuable actors, and seeing as it's the medium of the Trope Namer, one of the most convincing "deaths" is by the dying character's own machinations.

  • In Oklahoma!, Jud Fry dies when he tries to stab Curly with a knife and falls on it himself.
  • Stand-up comedian & ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's wife had the idea to breed their pet Chihuahua, resulting in the runt of the litter, Rusty, who Jeff claims will urinate on his wife in the middle of the night when the two have an unresolved argument.
    • One of Jeff's puppets, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, was killed when his incompetency at suicide bombing resulted in Achmed being the only victim of his own bomb, complete with analogy to premature ejaculation.
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  • In Punch and Judy, a traditional part of the story sees Punch about to be hanged for his many crimes, but he can't understand what to do with the noose... so the Hangman puts it around his own neck to show the condemned man what's supposed to happen, whereupon Punch pulls the lever.
  • The Trope Namer is Hamlet, in which King Claudius' plan to poison Hamlet ends with being poisoned himself.
    • And the line itself refers to his forging a royal execution order for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, when they were taking him to be executed.
    • Additionally, Laertes is slain by Hamlet with his own poison-tipped foil.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Jessie and James fall into their own pit trap.
    • Later, Giovanni gave MechaMew2 the ability to "learn", which results in it "learning" the difference between good and evil thanks to Mewtwo and Ash. Having learned right from wrong and which one Giovanni is, MechaMew2 tries to take Giovanni with it by blowing up.
  • In the Junior stage production of The Little Mermaid, Ursula is unable to control the power of Triton's trident due to Ariel stealing her nautilus shell, and ends up fatally caught up in her own Mega Maelstrom.
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  • Not killed, and not a villain, but nonetheless hoisted: in Hamilton, the Reynolds Pamphlet is intended to save Hamilton's reputation by absolving him of all possible suspicion regarding the accusations of treason leveled against him. While it does do that, it also kills his political career, presidential aspirations, emotional affair, physical affair, marriage, and son.
  • The Mrs Hawking play series: In both Gilded Cages and Mrs. Frost, Frost happily brags about she exploits the patriarchal systems of society for her own gain, at the expense of others. Team Hawking eventually takes her down with the same tactic— they set her up to appear insane after the death of her husband, and a well-meaning but condescending psychiatrist (one of the symbols of the patriarchy, given how easily women were locked up for "hysteria" and other supposed illnesses) arrives to cart her off to an asylum.


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