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Hoist By His Own Petard / Webcomics

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Webcomics, being the Deconstructor Fleet that they are, love to see what bad guys' schemes will do to them if turned around on their inventors.

  • Narbonic:
    • Subverted, where every self-respecting mad scientist expects their creations to at least attempt to destroy them. Helen repeatedly points this out to Artie: "Let's face facts. As you are, you'd go on a pretty poor rampage.".
    • Played straight when the subject Helen has been experimenting on for the entire run of the comic walks away after she dumps him for no adequate reason, then takes employment at another evil genius' secret lair, which in one timeline leads to Helen's near-death and existence as nothing but a brain in a tank.
  • Goblins:
  • Referenced in Questionable Content #628.
  • Girl Genius:
    • A bomb thrown at Gil is batted back to the thrower, killing him.
    • Othar's twitter: When Othar Tryggvassen builds a deathtrap he does a pretty damn good job of it. Some would call this irony. Everyone else, stupidity. Sigh.
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    • This is pretty much the de facto method of death for Sparks. Aside from being lynched by an angry mob for abusing the populace with their insane scientific creations, anyway.
    • A Genre Savvy Agatha Lampshades it here. The actual creator of the monster, a few pages later, isn't so smart.
  • In Everyday Heroes, while J.P. Wunsch is in prison, he tries to rebuild his power cuff that turns him into Wrecking Paul.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Thief gains his class change to Ninja by stealing it from the future. Much later, after the other Light Warriors get their classes taken away, Thief avoids this. Then his past self shows up...
  • A somewhat meta example in xkcd. (Check the Alt Text.) It's also a Call-Back to this comic.
  • In Cuanta Vida, the BLU Medic is killed when he's (accidentally) injected with the injection he meant to use on Blue Scout/Jeremy.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Xykon sends several goblins to their deaths simply to observe the effects of walking into Dorukon's Gate. They invariably explode, but Xykon is a For the Evulz kind of guy, and thinks it's funny. During the fight with the PCs he shatters Roy's ancestral sword, and Roy picks him up in a bout of Unstoppable Rage and throws him into the gate himself. Of course, it takes more than the destruction of his body to permanently destroy a lich, but it does set his plans back months while he seeks out a new Gate.
    • Tsukiko is a necromancer with a rather disturbing fondness for her undead creations, believing that, since the undead are the antithesis of life and Humans Are Bastards, the undead must be misunderstood, lovable souls. Redcloak demonstrates his own belief that the undead are nothing more than tools to suit a purpose by using a 'Command Undead' spell to force Tsukiko's thralls to devour her and each other.
    • Minister Malack, a vampire, has a Protection from Daylight spell that he uses to be able to move about in sunlight. He's Genre Savvy enough to have redundant sources: He prepares it twice every day and imbues it into his staff. However, when he transforms Durkon into a vampire, he uses his extra preparation of the spell to protect Durkon from sunlight, leaving him vulnerable to Nale dispelling his protection after taking away the staff, which leads to his death by sunlight.
    • Tarquin wants Elan to be in command and in action, but his forces refuse to fight Tarquin's son, thus forcing Elan into a support role; once Haley points out that it subverts his father's plan, Elan is delighted with it.
    Elan: (singing) Rub, rub, rub, rub my father's face in my uselessness!
    • In Start of Darkness, while they may be the arguable good guys, the massacre of Redcloak's village was arguably what led to the conquest of Azure City and the near destruction of the Sapphire Guard.
    • Lord Shojo willfully deceives the Sapphire Guard by using the Order of the Stick to investigate the other gates (Soon's Oath forbidding the paladins themselves from doing it), and fakes his senility to avoid being assassinated. While discussing his ruse with Roy and Belkar, Hinjo and Miko arrived. Word of the Giant says that Shojo's deceptions, while portrayed as a moral action, ended up causing Miko to flip out and kill him.
    • After Haley kills Crystal, Bozzok pumps a ton of money into having her corpse turned into a flesh golem that retains Crystal's memories. When he sends the golem after Haley, she convinces Crystal that Bozzok is responsible for her current state. Crystal storms off, confronts Bozzok, and Bozzok gets a flesh golem fist-sized hole in his chest.
  • Girly: Called out by Clone Sidekick Hammergirl, as she is smashed to death with her falling hammer to reveal a hollow center!
  • In Juathuur, the juathuur deserters with whom Meidar is fighting left the path in large part because the Secret Test of Character she had for each of them left them disillusioned. One particular former juathuur, Rowasu, kills her in the end.
  • Nature of Nature's Art: SV, why did you decide that harnessing the power of malice would be a good idea? Sure, it's a rather unorthodox definition of malice, but that doesn't change the fact that it ultimately killed you - or "[devoured] you as you [devoured] it", as you put it. At least you realised it at all.
  • Spacetrawler:
    • Yuri goes full cyborg, incorporating more and more weapons into her body. Martina decides that Yuri is going too far and needs to be restrained. To incapacitate Yuri, she uses a bomb that Yuri herself had commissioned from the Eebs.
    • The Eebs created the brain clamps that would eventually be used to cripple their psychic powers and rob them of free will. In fact, they were the ones who started brain-clamping each other in the first place; when outsiders decided to enslave them, all that was necessary was to kill the half-dozen of them who remained unclamped.
  • Homestuck:
    • Equius's bodybuilding obsession leaves him strong enough that a rifle falls apart in his handsnote ... a few strips later, Gamzee wounds him with a bow and arrow, then walks slowly across the room to garrote him.
    • Vriska stabs Tavros with his own lance after he tries to kill her, killing him.
    • As the Thief of Light, Vriska has apparently complete ownership over fortune, with the ability to alter luck-based events to her whim. When she refuses to back down from going off to fight Jack, Terezi makes her a bet her ego could not refuse - a simple coin flip. Heads, she stays. Scratched heads, she goes. The double entendre of the word was intentional and understood by both to be death. Vriska forces the coin to yield the scratched head, gambling that Terezi did not have the courage to go through with it. She was wrong in the Alpha Timeline, and dies in accordance with their agreement.
    • And while not an villainous example, Neophyte Redglare, Terezi's ancestor, suffers from this during a trial. While she was prosecuting Spinneret Mindfang, the Marquise used her mind control powers on the low-blood trolls in the audience and had them hang Redglare in the noose of her own gallows.
  • Magick Chicks has used this twice, so far:
    Tiffany: (throws smokebomb) "Eat micro-explosives!"
    Tiffany: (realizes she's screwed) "Crap."
    *very next panel, smoke bomb goes off*
  • In Mitadake Saga, Kira has their own name written into his Death Note by the very girl he betrayed and left for dead - in her own blood. This is realized far too late.
  • 21st Century Fox has a few incidences that have this trope:
    • Subverted here: Col. Tora Scobee, a bionic wolf, plants a bomb in the office of his rival, Borzoi, who is a Russian Wolfhound. Borzoi sees the bomb just as Scobee is getting into his car, and Borzoi chucks the bomb at the exact moment Scobee is inside. The last scene with Scobee in a full-body cast and his boss, Stinky, berating him.
      Stinky: Scobee, this rivalry with Borzoi has got to stop. We're running out of spare parts!
    • Played straight when two tiger-girl Mooks learn too late about the direct way for sinking a ship.
  • Petey in Schlock Mercenary just loves to do this sort of poetic justice, to the point of turning it into a standard procedure.
    • A government explicitly responsible for defenses cuts some expenses on this part and he had to intervene?
      Petey: You must demonstrate the ability to defend the surface of this planet. A Frigate armed with light shields and a fully operational plasma lance has just entered orbit. All you need to do is shoot it down.
      Petey: In ten minutes it will be overhead, at which point it will destroy this building and any who remain inside.
    • U.N.S. requests the extradition of mercenaries who blew up a TV company, pulled an insider job in process and planted fake evidence. After the local government itself hired them to attack the company via special interest group as a sting operation and part of a social engineering program, also made money on this insider information, and planted fake evidence. The case is clear, so he's most eager to cooperate...
      Petey: but I expect that you will get quite a rise out of them when you explain to them that these proceedings will be made public as part of the extradition process.
    • ...and since they didn't learn fast enough to drop it fully:
      Detective Fitzsimmons: These thugs might get away with blowing up buildings, but there is still the question of illegal soldier boosts.
      Petey: Question? There is no question at all. The human Toughs have illegal boosts, which they acquired via a fugitive U.N.S. researcher.
      Petey: Oh, wait... you mean the "does the U.N.S. want the details of that technology released as part of these proceedings" question.
  • Campaign Comic One Piece: Grand Line 3.5 sees Cory fall into this several times, due to his taking several Flaws he figured would never come up. For instance, he gave Zoro the Loyalty flaw, thinking he was gaming the system since the Chaotic Neutral swordsman never answered to anyone. Then he agrees to join Luffy's crew.
  • In the Attack of the Clones portion of Darths & Droids, Pete is forced to run R2-D2 through the death trap maze he created when he was GM as punishment for putting the others through it.
  • In Sinfest, Lil' Evil uses his slingshot to attack God. He fails to consider gravity.
  • In Bob and George, in the tourney, Mouseman thinks he can obviously defeat Catman because the cat always gets caught in its own trap. His attempt to lure Catman into it means he gets caught.
  • Subverted in Voldemort's Children, where it turns out that Zabini wasn't intending to survive the Fiendfyre (s)he conjures when Draco and Luna attack.
  • Subverted in Kevin & Kell. Vin, plotting against Rudy, throws prey pheromones on him during a "blind stalk" event in which teams hunt in pitch black darkness, guided only by smell, in an attempt to make Rudy's teammates eat him by mistake. By the end, Rudy not only survives, but gets a trophy to take back, while Vin was supposedly eaten by Rudy's teammates, who were unable to see him. It turns out that he stumbled on a Great Bird Conspiracy operation he shouldn't have seen and they abducted him while faking his death.
  • The Whiteboard: A Rules Lawyer badger who was using a rules interpretation depending on a technicality about what counts as a hit to make things difficult for others playing at Red's field gets some comeuppance in this and the following few strips. When the badger seeks to complain about the Curb-Stomp Battle of everyone on the field against him, Jake points out that according to the same set of rules the badger was (mis)using, nothing says that the teams have to be the same size, complete with a Lampshade Hanging in the last panel of this strip.
  • In ch. 45 of Gunnerkrigg Court, as part of her latest malicious plan to torment her unwitting "owner", Hetty has Reynard help her secure a number of items, including lighter fluid and matches. Reynard later uses them to burn Hetty's physical body so he can attack and kill her etheric form.
  • Zebra Girl: Gregory created a hell bubble in order to drag Sandra along with himself to hell. Suffice to say, it didn't work as planned.
  • In Tales of the Questor, the fae princeling Dolan calls The Wild Hunt on the protagonist Quentyn, promising him a boon if he survives. It backfires horribly since not only does Quentyn win, it turns out that his species and the fact that he's been marked by the White Stag means that he was doubly off-limits to the Wild Hunt. As punishment, Dolan is forced to give Quentyn three boons instead of just the one he promised, which Quentyn is clever enough to use to not only take away pretty much everything he owned but also make it incredibly difficult to ever get his revenge.
  • Turns out to be the end of Dr. Schlock in Sluggy Freelance. He'd set up missiles to target his location if he didn't send regular updates with safety codes to ensure that he wasn't killed... and then forgot that the launch platform was tracking his location even without the updates, so that when the communicator was knocked out of commission, fleeing led to him getting killed alone, instead of his attacker being killed by the missiles and him surviving as he intended.

    Comes with nice irony in that his rather hypocritical final words were "Honestly he did this to himself."
  • ReBoot: Code of Honor: The Guildmaster gave Gnosis the ability to eliminate any threats that prevented it from carrying out its mission, it then deleted him when he is opposed to deleting the Guardian Collective.


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