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Karmic Death / Film

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Animated

  • Disney movies do this a lot. They've done it enough to get their own subtrope. To name a few examples:
    • The Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fell off a cliff after being struck by lightning while trying to push a rock onto the Seven Dwarfs. Not only did she fall to her death, but the rock falls on her. And for good measure, vultures eat her body.
    • Gaston of Beauty and the Beast fell off of the castle after one final attack on the Beast. (This coming after the Beast spared his life.)
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    • Tarzan's Clayton fell off a tree while attacking Tarzan with a knife, and was strangled by vines despite Tarzan's attempt to warn him (also an Ironic Death after saying "Africa was made for me...!").
    • McLeach, the villainous poacher in The Rescuers Down Under, seemed to avoid his karmic death by escaping a pack of crocodiles, only to be swept over the Inevitable Waterfall seconds later.
    • Scar from The Lion King is eaten alive by the hyenas that he threw under the bus while pleading for his life to be spared.
    • Zira in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride died because of her own stubbornness and refusing the help from Kiara to save her life.
    • At the climax of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Judge Claude Frollo raises his sword to strike the defenseless heroes, bellowing, "And He shall smite the wicked, and plunge them into the fiery pit!", but falling after the statue he's standing on freak.
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    • After his attempt to use his army of undead soldiers reanimated by the titular Black Cauldron is thwarted, the Horned King is sucked into the Cauldron himself (and horrifically stripped to the bone in the process).
    • In The Great Mouse Detective, Ratigan uses a hand-bell as a summons for his hungry cat to eat any mouse that displeases him. At the climax, Basil swipes the bell and rings it just before Big Ben chimes, shaking Ratigan off to his death.
    • In The Princess and the Frog, when Dr. Facilier's demonic amulet gets shattered, that's considered to his Friends on the Other Side as breaking their contract, causing the shadowy demons that once worked for him to drag him into a gaping mouth to the Other Side, all the while happily chanting the exact same song that he was singing when he was cursing Naveen.
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    • At the end of Bambi, the hunter that supposedly killed the titular character's mother is actually implied to have been burned alive in his own forest fire. Walt had at one point planned to show the guy's body, but after an animator cheekily asked "Well-done or medium rare?" shelved the idea as tasteless.
    • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Commander Rourke, a mercenary who's out to exploit Atlantis's resources, betrays his entire team (including the members who remained loyal to him), and nearly dooms Atlantis by stealing Princess Kida, who's bonded with the sentient and angry mother crystal keeping Atlantis from fully dying out. Then one of his team destroys the balloon he was escaping on, and when he tries to kill Milo anyway, he gets graphically transmuted into crystal by Kida's power. He's still alive long enough to get shredded by his balloon's propeller.
    • Toward the end of Treasure Planet, the villain Scroop is literally thrown out of an airlock and into outer space by Jim as revenge for killing a character named Mr. Arrow (who was literally tossed into outer space and into a black hole by Scroop) earlier in the film.
    • In the climax of Wreck-It Ralph, King Candy/Turbo receives the ultimate comeuppance for messing with the program. Since Sugar Rush was never his game from the start, he's finally gone for good when he's incinerated by the light coming from Diet Cola Mountain after becoming a Cy-Bug mashup.
  • In the non-Disney sequel Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night, Puppetino, who is arguably worse than the Emperor himself, attempts to escape when Pinocchio gains the upper hand on the Emperor, to which the Emperor turns him into a petrified puppet, and shortly after he burns to death.
  • Done figuratively in Cars. At the end of the movie, Chick Hicks wins the Piston Cup, but in doing so his Pride, Wrath, and Ambition have revealed him to be a poor sport to the rest of the world. His career dies a metaphoric — yet very karmic — death as a result. Although, he does return in the third movie having gotten his own talk show- and still being the same jerk as always.
  • In Coco, while initially portrayed as a tragedy, Ernesto de la Cruz is killed by a bell while singing the song and playing the guitar of the man he murdered. Said song is also a bastardized version of a lullaby he sung to his young daughter, and Ernesto killed Hector over choosing his family over his musical career.
  • At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, Lord Shen rejects Po's Last-Second Chance and makes one last attempt to kill him. He ends up crushing himself to death with his own giant cannon before Po even lands a hit on him. Doubles as Death by Irony.
  • In Rio 2, Big Boss runs a logging business that is cutting down trees in the Amazon. In the aftermath of the final battle, he gets swallowed whole by a boa constrictor as he tries to escape.
  • Count Grisham in The Scarecrow meets his end while trying to make the bridge leading out of Grisham Heights collapse in an attempt to kill Holly.
  • Ruber in Quest for Camelot meets his brutal demise by disintegration caused by the stone's magic when he tries to impale both Kayley and Garrett with Excalibur, but they moved at the right time and he sends the sword back into the stone. What proved to be Ruber's fatal flaw is by forging the sword to his own arm with his magic potion.
  • Being an intentional Deconstruction of the superhero genre, The Incredibles uniquely averts having Syndrome die in a manner that is completely his own fault leaving the heroes blameless. Upon making his escape while threatening that he will eventually abduct Jack-Jack, Bob deliberately tosses his car into Syndrome's plane fully intending to do him harm and resulting in Syndrome's death by Turbine Blender.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker:
    • Played straight in the unedited version, in which the Joker is fatally shot by a young Tim Drake, temporarily unhinged by the Joker's mental and physical tortures. Largely averted in the edited-for-kiddies version, where his death is a not-very-ironic accident. In any case, the Joker himself denies it:
    • Joker ends up suffering this twice, after using a small device on Tim's neck to inject his own DNA and turn Tim into the new Joker. The new Batman puts a permanent stop to him by destroying the device with one of the Joker's own electrocuting buzzers.
  • Corpse Bride. Barkis Bittern, who lured Emily to her doom so many years ago for her money and then attempted to do the same to Victoria, makes a sneering toast to her at her and Victor's interrupted wedding ceremony and downs the goblet of poisoned wine that Victor was going to (willingly) drink. Once dead, he is left at the mercy of enraged corpses.
  • After turning out to be Not Quite Dead toward the end of Barbie & The Diamond Castle, Lydia attempts to turn the heroines to stone with a magic spell, only for the spell to be turned on her instead.
  • Abominable: During the climax, Dr. Zara and the Captain give up on trying to take Everest alive and attempt to ram him. The impact from this triggers an avalanche that sends their car over the side of a cliff.

Live-Action

  • The Running Man: Damon Killian, host of the top-rated TV series "The Running Man" (wherein political criminals must earn a chance at a full pardon by evading "stalkers" out to kill them) is exposed as a fraud by the film's main protagonist … then sent into his own game zone (via a rocket sled) – the same place where every other contestant had died so brutally – to meet his fate.
  • James Bond films do this a lot, and often accompanied by a Bond One-Liner, of course.
    • A rare serious example was in Licence to Kill, in which Bond asked Sanchez, "Don't you want to know why?", showing him a silver lighter -the wedding gift that Bond had given to Leiter and his wife, before Sanchez had her killed and Leiter maimed by a shark. Bond then set the oil-soaked Sanchez on fire with their wedding present.
  • In Ella Enchanted, after Edgar's treachery is revealed, he gives his villain's rant, and then proceeds to place the crown that he poisoned on his own head. He has a half-second to realize his mistake before the poison takes effect.
  • In The Black Hole, The movie's main villain is crushed to death by debris as the ship is drawn into the eponymous black hole (hypermass), as his souless, evil robotic bodyguard Maximillian simply leaves the room despite his repeated pleas.
  • In Boy Eats Girl, Nathan, having escaped death by hanging with the aid of a magic spell, must poetically die by hanging at the end; although....
  • In Masters of the Universe, He-Man finally destroyed Skeletor's source of power, his troops are beaten, etc. Because he's ''such a good guy'', he tells Skeletor that it's over, and He-Man turns his back to Skeletor. Skeletor replies, "...yes... for you!", pulls out a hidden sword and attempts to run He-Man through. He-Man dodges in the nick of time, and Skeletor falls down a handy bottomless pit. (Subverted: Skeletor lives via Stinger.) note 
  • The Mummy hung a lampshade on this: Evie tells Beni that people like him always meet an unfortunate end. Sure enough, he does - as the heroes are making their getaway from Hamunaptra, Beni's greed gets him trapped in the treasure room and then Eaten Alive by scarabs. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
  • The demise of the crime boss Komtuan in Ong-Bak possibly epitomizes the concept of karmic death, as he is crushed under the falling head of a giant Buddha statue, which he was trying to remove and sell. You don't get much more karmic than that.
  • Carl, the villain of Ghost, dies after he swings a hanging hook at the hero, in a massively futile attempt to halt Patrick Swayze's ghostly offensive, smashes the window behind him, and ultimately winds up impaled on the very un-soft glass. And as if that wasn't enough, the film becomes terrifying. Carl only gets to experience his first few seconds in the afterlife on that plane before shadows boil out of everywhere and drag him off screaming to Oblivion or whatever hellhole or damnation the viewer can only imagine.
  • The B-Movie The Sadist goes to rather extreme lengths for this. Out of nowhere, the villain falls into an abandoned well which is quickly revealed to be inhabited by dozens of poisonous snakes.
  • In Killing Zoe, Eric fucks up the heist, murders numerous civilians, and takes glee in spreading his AIDS. As he's about to murder his childhood friend, his gun jams. French police show up seconds later. At least six cops empty entire magazines from their machine guns into him, causing him to dance for nearly half a minute as he's torn apart by bullets. His infected blood is sprayed all over the place.
  • Subverted in No Country for Old Men. Near the end of the movie, "ultimate badass" Anton Chigurh is leaving his last victim's house when he gets hit by a car. Despite this, he maliciously survives with an open arm fracture and some broken rips, and manages to escape the scene, and, although heavily injured, can walk into the proverbial sunset. The implication is of course that his Implacable Man status doesn't just come from pure skill, but also quite a bit from pure dumb luck.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
    • The deranged and abusive asylum owner Mr. Fogg is left to the care of his "children", who quickly turn upon him and tear him to pieces. It's much more poetic (if much less awesome) than the stage play, where Johanna shoots him.
    • And in both the film and stage versions, Sweeney Todd himself is killed by a minor character — a young boy Mrs. Lovett took in, who goes insane after discovering what the meat pies are really made of. And he's killed using the very same razor that Sweeney used to kill so many people.
    • And Mrs. Lovett gets thrown into and burned alive inside the oven where she baked her cannibalistic meat pies.
  • In Ip Man, the cruel Japanese Colonel Sato, who had shot Master Liu to death earlier for losing against Japanese fighters, eventually gets killed by a shot from his own gun after it is wrestled away from him.
  • This seems to be the preferred method of dispatching villains in The City of Lost Children.
    • The Octopus kill each other — they're conjoined twins, despite the singular name — due to mind control by the ringmaster they used to try to kill Miette.
    • Krank dies after his attempt to steal Miette's dreams goes wrong, and he sees himself as the children he abducts do — a nightmarish, arbitrarily cruel monster of a man. He wakes screaming from his dream, and the shock kills him.
    • And the inventor, after going murderously insane and deciding to violently correct the problems he's set in motion... ties himself to Krank's oil rig and lashes explosives to his body. He recovers his senses too late, and the explosives are detonated by a seagull.
  • Push. Nick's final battle with Victor, The Dragon. He gets a chance to kill him but doesn't, for unknown reasons. Victor is killed seconds later by a Bleeder though.
  • The Shawshank Redemption's Warden Norton has what can be considered a Karmic Death. Once Andy rats him out, we see a close-up of one of the Warden's wall decorations, it says "His Judgment Cometh, and that right soon." Moments later he shoots himself through the head rather than be arrested. Red later gives us the all-satisfying line; "I like to think the last thing that went through Norton's head, other than that bullet, was to wonder how the HELL Andy ever got the best of him."
  • In The Frighteners, the two main villains (one of which is already dead) are dragged into Hell by a giant worm. Awesome.
  • A voiceover at the end of Picnic at Hanging Rock tells us that Mrs. Appleyard dies while attempting to climb the rock. Even more karmic in Joan Lindsay's novel: Mrs. Appleyard falls and smashes her skull open when she sees a horrific vision of a gruesomely disfigured Sara.
  • Star Wars:
    • The first film had Tarkin refusing to evacuate the Death Star arrogantly believing there is no chance whatsoever that the Death Star will be destroyed and he'll die on it. Guess what happens!
    • At the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader kills Emperor Palpatine while Palpatine is trying to kill his son.
    • Also, Anakin Skywalker's transition to Darth Vader is marked by Palpatine using Force Lightning to make Mace Windu fall to his death, while Vader's return to the light side/being Anakin is marked by Vader sending Palpatine to fall to his death. Even better: Palpatine was using Force Lightning to kill Luke, and Vader's act stops him.
    • Also in ROTJ, Jabba the Hutt gets strangled to death by Leia with the chain he was using to keep her enslaved.
    • At the end of Rogue One, Director Krennic is killed by a blast from the Death Star, the very weapon he spent decades building. For bonus points, the super laser hits him directly.
  • In The Avengers (1998), Father and Mrs. Peel's clones were killed when their balloon exploded after it ran into the Wonderland Weather sign.
  • One of the most blatant and cringe-worthy uses of this trope occurs in The Postman, where near the end of the film, Kevin Costner's character has already defeated the villain, has the option to kill him, but refuses because he's just too damned nice. Naturally, the villain draws a hidden gun and is blown away by his former trusted lieutenant and his own stupidity.
  • The Ghost Rider movie. After taking the San Verganza contract and powering himself up with a thousand corrupt souls, Blackheart meets his end when Ghost Rider turns the Penance Stare upon him. It didn't work the first time due to the fact that Blackheart did not have a soul, but taking the contract had not only voided this immunity, but made him extra vulnerable. Whoops!
  • In the first Spider-Man film, Peter discovers that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin and hesitates. Osborn takes advantage of the momentary weakness to try and kill him, but Peter dodges the attack and Osborn ends up getting stabbed by his own glider.
  • In the film adaptation of Clive Cussler's Sahara (2005), the villain responsible for contaminating much of Mali's drinking water with toxic waste appears to have slipped away from punishment, until it is implied that the CIA has secretly replaced his bottled water with the very same contaminated water. (This happens in the book too.)
  • Raising Arizona: Leonard Smalls puts Hi in a bear hug to weaken him up before shooting him. Hi spends this time gripping at Smalls' jacket, where Smalls keeps his grenades. Smalls knocks Hi to the ground, pulls out his twin twin-barreled shotguns, and cocks all four hammers. Hi holds up his hand in a "have mercy" gesture. That's when Smalls notices the hand grenade pin around Hi's finger. You can figure out the rest.
  • Fargo:
    • Carl Showalter's death could be seen as this.
    • Wade Gustafson's death even more so.
  • In Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009), Lord Blackwood dies by hanging (from a chain from the top of the unfinished Tower Bridge; of course he'd attempted to kill Holmes after Holmes had spared his life from almost certain death seconds before). Furthermore, the plot hinges on him cheating death at the gallows and escaping his much-deserved execution for murder at the beginning. Guess Karma wasn't too thrilled at him for that...
  • The Book of Eli. Gary Oldman's character escapes with the book and a leg injury, only to learn that it's a Braille Bible and thus useless to him. He tries to get his blind concubine to translate, but she refuses also noting that she can smell a wound on him that has gone septic. With most of his men dead he witnesses the anarchy below and it is heavily implied his end comes from either the riots or his infection.
  • Almost the whole point of the British World War I horror movie Deathwatch (2002). Every character who aids in torturing the lone German prisoner dies in a suitably horrible fashion (suffice to say, one can become very creative when it comes to barbed wire). The only character to survive the movie (and even then it's fairly ambiguous) is Charlie (because he tried to help the prisoner). Other characters get killed in a more traditional sense of karmic death, for instance, the Upper Class Twit officer being murdered by a particularly disgruntled (possibly deranged) trooper.
  • In the 1959 Journey to the Center of the Earth film, Count Saknussem tries to mislead and kill the heroes, but is eventually caught and sentenced to death. However, no one wants to kill him, so they take him along. Sometime after they reach the center of the earth, however, Saknussem eats Gertrude, Hans's duck. Shortly afterward, he falls against a boulder and is killed when several heavy rocks fall upon him.
  • Though not technically the main villain, Dr. Worley from Return to Oz uses an electro therapy machine to damage his patients' minds, and he will then lock them in the cellar. He nearly does this to Dorothy, but the power goes out at the last second. Later, Ozma helps Dorothy escape, resulting in Dorothy getting back to the Land of Oz. While she is away, Dr. Worley's clinic is hit by lightning and burns to the ground. Everyone is rescued, but Dr. Worley runs back into the fire to rescue his machines, and thus seals his fate.
  • This trope is pandemic in the Indiana Jones films.
    • Three of the four movies end with the primary villain being undone by their own ambition when the artifact they've been searching for destroys them. Although not the best example of the trope in action, since in every movie Indy has few compunctions about killing bad guys left and right.
    • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Donovan chooses poorly and drinks from a false grail, leading to his Nightmare Fuel demise of aging rapidly to death. This is karmic payback for shooting Henry Sr. a little earlier. Meanwhile, Schneider pays the price for helping the Nazis. She attempts to steal the real grail out of the temple, which triggers a Cataclysm Climax. In a Take My Hand moment, she reaches for the grail, but in a dash of karmic justice, it had landed literally inches outside her hand’s reach. She’s too greedy to give up when she’s so close, despite Indy losing his grip on her slippery gloved hand. Just as she’s about to get it, the glove pulls off and she falls to her death.
  • Hilariously subverted in Punisher: War Zone, in a scene where the cops are careful and diligent about arresting and restraining a captured mobster, only for Castle to unceremoniously blow his head off half a second later.
    Special Agent Paul Budiansky: GOD DAMN IT, CASTLE!
  • The Alien series:
    • Aliens: Weyland-Yutani Project Developer Carter J. Burke. Essentially got killed by the hell he indirectly unleashed on the colonists on the LV-426 Hadley's Hope Colony.
    • Alien: Resurrection: Dr. Wren subjected at least eight people to be victims to the facehuggers and have an alien embryo burst out of their chests. He dies by having a chestburster break its way through his own skull.
  • In Saw 3D, Mark Hoffman is captured by Dr. Lawrence Gordon and left to die as punishment for killing Jill Tuck. "Game over."
  • (Unintentionally?) inverted in the Korean movie The Last Day. In the final scenes, about everyone who displays some kind of altruism dies, often horribly, for having tried to save lives. Most of those who were only concerned with their own survival, well, survive. Family-Unfriendly Aesop much?
  • The Mind Screw movie 11:14, displayed in Anachronic Order, features among the many characters a teenage girl who is sleeping with two different young men without their knowledge. She pretends to be pregnant and tells each of them that she needs $500 to get an abortion. In reality, she intends to take their money and leave with a third man. Near the end of the movie, she's speaking to this person on her cellphone when one of the two young men calls for her attention, telling her that he got the money. She immediately crosses the street, only to stop in the middle of it to answer a call on her phone. Moments later, she's hit and killed by a speeding van filled with several of the film's other protagonists.
  • In Road House, the evil Brad Wesley basically runs the town the movie is set in, forcing the local businessmen to pay him and trashing their shops if they refuse. In the final showdown with Dalton, it's not Swayze who kills him (as the latter did, graphically, to his Dragon Jimmy), but the aforementioned business owners, filling him with enough lead to take down a bear. Can also overlap with The Dog Bites Back or Adaptational Self-Defense.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X2: X-Men United, Mitchell Laurio is killed by the prisoner he hated and abused.
    • In X-Men: First Class, Magneto kills Shaw by telemagnetically pushing a coin through his brain. It was the very same coin that Erik was commanded to move as a child to prevent Schmidt from killing his mother; Erik failed and Shaw shot his mother. Magneto even gives an Ironic Echo of what Schmidt said to taunt his victim.
  • At the end of the dark comedy Miss Nobody, the Villain Protagonist lampshades this after realizing she's just taken a fatal dose of the poisoned water she had intended to use earlier on a colleague whom she'd suspected of being the person blackmailing her over murdering her way up the corporate ladder. She had poisoned one of the jugs in his personal supply, but never got around to disposing of it after the blackmailer turned out to be someone else. So in the end, when the jug in the water cooler in the office which she has as a result of her murders runs out and her assistant raids the colleague's supply for a replacement, he unknowingly selects the poisoned jug.
  • In The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Wood Hite, a violent bully who threatens and insults Bob, laughs off his threats of a bullet in the head. Later he is shot in the head by Bob.
  • The designated antagonist Jonas in Twister. He stole the main character's invention to study tornadoes. Of course, he ends up getting killed by one.
  • George Harvey in The Lovely Bones.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom is killed by the same 'Dip' that he is planning on using to kill all the other cartoons. While Eddie Valiant has no qualms about killing the guy responsible for the death of his brother, the death that Doom suffers is a total accident that would have never happened if he had not invented 'dip' to begin with, or if he hadn't sidestepped the punching glove launched at him, which accidentally hit the 'dip' release valve which subsequently melted Doom.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon:
    • Dylan Gould's fate. He reactivates the Control Pillar of the Decepticons' Space Bridge — despite Sam Witwicky trying to reason with him — in order to bring Cybertron near Earth (he was promised that he would be spared after the rest of humanity was enslaved, and also possibly be given the role of humanity's "CEO"). Later on, Sam hits him with a metal bar, causing him to lose his balance. He eventually collides with the Pillar's energy beam, and is ultimately electrocuted to death, all the while screaming in pain.
    • Earlier, Sentinel Prime wounds Ironhide and then executes him point blank despite his plea for him not to. At the end, a wounded Sentinel is excuted point blank by Optimus Prime despite his plea for him not to.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: Harold Attinger was an unnoticed CIA agent who founded Cemetery Wind to wipe out Transformers and replace them with man-made version to appeal his xenophobic paranoia and greed. He's killed in his failed attempt to murder Cade Yeager by Optimus Prime. Fittingly, although Optimus swore revenge on his fallen comrades, he barely paid any attention to Attinger when he shot him.
  • In Crank: High Voltage, Poon Dong, an elderly Triad boss who uses Organ Theft to prolong his own life, gets captured and has Chev's stolen heart extracted, killing him.
    Doc Miles: Confucius say: Karma's a bitch!
  • In Machete, Senator MacLaughlin is a racist bastard who encourages vigilantes to kill illegal immigrants and plans to build an electric fence on the U.S./Mexico border. In the end, some vigilantes mistake him for an immigrant (he was wearing tattered clothes and was trying to sneak away from people trying to kill him) and open fire on him. Wounded, he staggers into an electric fence. He even seems to be aware of it, and lets out a chuckle before he dies.
  • Frankly Madson the villain in the Kenneth-Branaugh penned Dead Again. He killed his victim by stabbing her to death with scissors, then ends up Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on a giant scissors sculpture.
  • In Zatoichi at the Blood Fest (1973). Ichi slashed his way through mooks to get to the rice merchant, who exploited farmers. After he decided to let him go, the merchant slipped on spilled rice and fell on a katana -and the pointy end was up.
  • The title character in Tamara loves to play with her victim's insecurities and deficiencies before inflicting gruesome Psychic Assisted Suicides on them. Roger, who did nothing while the rest of the group (minus Chloe) agreed to cover up Tamara's death, kills himself in a manner referencing the Three Wise Monkeys. Her father, a man who loved the bottle more than his (now ex-)wife, eats a glass beer bottle that tears apart his mouth, throat, and esophagus from the inside.
  • The first segment of horror anthology Scary or Die is about a couple of racist rednecks who kidnap Mexican immigrants, drag them out to the desert near the border, and kill them. After they do this to their latest victims, everyone they've ever killed rise up as zombies and kill them.
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
    • Firefly is killed by one of his own bug bombs.
    • Zartan murdered a female GI Joe member in front of Storm Shadow, a man who's disgusted with killing women in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and in this movie he later gets killed by the same man who he killed the woman in front of because he murdered his master.
  • In Jack the Giant Slayer Roderick is killed by Elmont after the former attempted to push the latter to his death out of the cave.
  • In Daybreakers:
    • The vampire bureaucracy was treating humans like cattle; in the end head bureaucrat Charles Bromley ends up being slaughtered like one.
    • Also, the Vampires who eat Frankie immediately become human. Unfortunately for them, they do so within sight of a small army of starving vampires who subsequently devour them just as messily.
  • Braveheart: The English lord who executes Murron by slitting her throat has his own throat slit by Wallace, using the same exact knife.
  • The Lone Ranger:
    • Latham Cole falls to his death, along with the several tons of silver and a locomotive, both of which his plan revolved around, which crush him to death.
    • Butch Cavendish and the Captain are killed when they're caught in a train collision. To paraphrase the Captain, they were with the railroad company.
  • In The Last Boy Scout, Marcone grabs what he thinks is the briefcase full of money out of the backseat of the car. But instead it contains the bomb that he meant to kill Sen. Baynard, and Marcone is blown up when he opens it.
  • Two in Pitch Black.
    • Paris panics and runs away, which disables the best light source and screws over the entire group. He is killed very quickly afterwards.
    • Johns is willing to kill anyone else in the group, even Jack, to distract the creatures so he can escape. Riddick wounds him instead, letting him be the distraction.
  • Elysium: Kruger, whose favorite method of killing people is blowing them up into gibs, gets torn apart by his own grenade.
    • Delacourt was killed by Kruger, the same psycho she hired.
  • In the remake of I Spit on Your Grave Jennifer's killing of her rapists reflects a way they personally raped, tortured, and degraded her.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Adam and Vadoma kill Abraham and Mary's son William. They are then killed by his parents' respective silver Tragic Keepsake.
  • Death Warrant: The corrupt doctor who harvested the prisoners' organs is captured by the prisoners and implied to be killed by vivisection.
  • King Kong (2005), combined with Disproportionate Retribution: as Lumpy - the ship's cook - treks with the rest of the crew to rescue Anne, very large mosquitoes and bugs bite him and those around him; however, while the rest of the crew simply slap and swing at them as though they are average pests, Lumpy unloads machine-gunfire on them, killing a few viciously. Later in the movie, as the surviving crew members dwindle, they fall into a valley infested with Big Creepy-Crawlies, including enormous leech-like Carnictus Worms that slowly absorb Lumpy's left leg, left arm, and head into their mouths. We don't see their mouths finally close, but that worsens the effect when the last thing we hear is his stifled scream from inside one of their throats.
  • The Grey Zone: During the Auschwitz-Birkenau uprising, a random SS guard in the crematoria is killed by the Sonderkommando by shoving him into the ovens which the Nazis used to dispose of the Jewish corpses.
  • At the end of Unconscious, León dies to a Falling Chandelier of Doom that was knocked down by a ricocheting bullet he himself fired, in a failed attempt to assassinate Sigmund Freud.
  • In City of Ember, the Mayor is eaten alive after locking himself in a room filled with food.
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Klansman Dan Teague, played by John Goodman, is crushed to death when a burning cross falls on top of him. Sheriff Cooley's death by drowning can be seen as a metatextual example, as well, considering his counterpart in The Odyssey is the sea god Poseidon.
  • Full Circle has an overbearing husband break into his separated wife's new house, only to promptly fall down some stairs and die.
  • In The Pit and the Pendulum, the adulterous Elizabeth conspires to break her husband Nicholas by fooling him into thinking he entombed her prematurely. She in fact drives him to murderous insanity leading to the film's closing reveal where is Elizabeth is still alive and unable to cry out in the iron maiden as the torture chamber is locked. Forever. And nobody will miss her, because she faked her own death earlier. note 
  • Jurassic Park:
    • In Jurassic Park, Nedry sabotages all the security measures of the island and unleashes nearly all of the very dangerous dinosaurs to help cover his escape. He gets lost, crashes his jeep and eventually gets eaten by a Dilophosaurus.
      "Look! Play fetch! Play fetch! It's a stick! Stick, stupid! Play fetch! Ah, no wonder you're extinct. I'm gonna run you over when I come back down."
      • Also, earlier in the film when Nedry sabotages the security measures, the electric cars stop at the Tyrannosaurus rex paddock. Before the Tyrannosaurus breaks loose, Hammond's attorney, Donald Gennaro, runs out of one of the cars, leaving behind Tim and Lex Murphy to face the great beast alone. He hides in a bathroom and dies the undignified death of being eaten on the toilet by the Tyrannosaurus rex, who he abandoned the kids to.
    • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Dieter Stark uses his taser to electroshock a tiny Compsognathus for no reason. They come back and get some revenge on him later. The movie also has Hammond's greedy nephew, Peter Ludlow, who ends up being killed by the baby Tyrannosaurus rex, who he captured along with the male Tyrannosaurus rex adult.
    • In Jurassic World, after spending the whole film planning to exploit her and her sisters for profit, Vic Hoskins meets his demise when Delta stalks him through the genetics labs and eventually corners and eviscerates him.
    • The Indominus Rex spends the whole movie killing everyone, terrorizing the island and trying to establish itself as the biggest, baddest predator on the island. This leads to her own death by a much bigger, nastier predator. For bonus points, the formerly powerful, terrifying beast is reduced to kicking and screaming as she's dragged to her death by the Mosasaurus.
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has more examples of poetic justice in action. First was with Ken Wheatley, an Egomaniac Hunter who habitually collects the teeth of prey creatures that he captures, as demonstrated with an innocent Stegosaurus. When he attempts to tranquilize the Indoraptor, it turns out that the Indoraptor was pretending to be tranquilized and kills Wheatley. Wheatley's death was even more undignified as he is seen sobbing in fear after his arm is torn off and before the Indoraptor finishes him off. The most prominent of all the karmic deaths in the film was with Eli Mills, the Big Bad who murdered Ben Lockwood in cold blood and held hostage Maisie and the dinosaurs. After a stampede of dinosaurs passes by him in which he is nearly trampled, he thinks he's in the clear, only to have the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Carnotaurus rip him in half while eating him.
  • Michael Horrigan's death at the climax of Halo: Nightfall — being eaten by feral Lekgolo worms — is well-deserved, considering he'd been an inexcusable jerkass to the ONI team's Sedran companions, then topped that by, in succession, using one of their prisoners as bait for the Lekgolo, turning on his CO Jameson Locke and leaving him to die, using his fellow traitor Greg Ramos as bait for the Lekgolo, and finally gunning down the other prisoner to stop him leaving him behind.
  • Immortan Joe's death at the end of Mad Max: Fury Road is a very karmic one. Furiosa takes the chain from his breathing device and throws it into the wheel of his vehicle, ripping his face off. He's killed by the woman he kidnapped, with a chain that is symbolic of his own slave-owning ways and the mask that's been keeping him alive in the first place... and with his own vehicle, to boot.
  • The theatrical version of The Hobbit gives us the impression that Alfrid, who is not only a selfish and snobby jerk but is also the series' equivalent to Jar Jar Binks, is a Karma Houdini, as he seemingly escapes with a lot of gold. However, the Extended Edition shows us that he attempts to hide on a catapult, but a coin falls off him onto the catapult's trigger, which sends him flying into the mouth of a troll, who, by the way, was about to kill Gandalf, but this event causes both Alfrid and the troll to die of asphyxiation.
  • Gang Related: Detective Divinci ends up getting killed by Clyde David Dunner, a criminal whom he had previously arrested but walked free because Divinci switched the guns used as evidence to cover up his own complicity in an unrelated crime.
  • Ted Bundy: At his execution Ted notices that the guard pulling the lever is a woman. His victims as a serial killer were exclusively young women.
  • In District 9, cruel and sadistic mercenary Koobus Venter survives pretty much everything... until the end where he finds himself surrounded by a pack of those Prawns he despises so much and which he killed by the dozens. He ends up ripped apart and eaten.
  • Doctor Moreau in Island of Lost Souls is vivisected alive by his "creations" (animals modified by vivisection).
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, HYDRA's plan is to use three S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarriers to kill anyone who is or ever could be a threat to them. Captain America and company change the targeting systems on the Helicarriers so that they shoot each other down. The look of utter horror on a controller's face when he realizes it is a sight to behold.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos, who'd sought to use the Infinity Gauntlet to disintegrate half the life in the universe, ends up getting disintegrated when Tony Stark uses the Gauntlet against Thanos and the Black Order.
    • It happens in the present as well. Just prior to using the Gauntlet, Thanos tells Thor, "You should have gone for the head." Sure enough, Thor decapitates him the next time they meet.
  • In Hardcore Henry, Henry stumbles upon three corrupt cops preparing to rape a woman. One of them implies he's about to force her to give him oral sex by saying, "The gag reflex is psychological. It's all in your mind." Henry marches over and kicks the asses of the other two. Then he grabs the first one by the nuts and crushes them, then rams his own baton down his throat until he chokes to death.
  • In the ending of Kingsman: The Secret Service, every really corrupt politician in the world who was willing to sit in a bunker while the rest of the world destroyed itself outside in a psychotic rage, has their heads blown up by the implant installed in their necks by the Big Bad. All to the soothing sound of Pomp and Circumstance
  • In Bats, McCabe is killed by his own creations while attempting to communicate with them.
  • Cloud Atlas: Dr. Goose gets bludgeoned over the head with the money he was trying to steal.
  • In Johnny Reno, Jess Yates might have escaped the final shootout, except he tripped, which resulted in him being shot by Reno. The object he tripped over? The noose he had earlier tried to lynch Joe Conners with.
  • In Men in Black, Edgar the Bug kidnaps Dr. Laurel Weaver with the intent of taking her with him so he can eat her. In the end, he's ultimately destroyed by none other than Laurel herself, who blows him to kingdom come with J's MIB gun.
  • In Scarface (1983), Frank Lopez, angered at protagonist Tony Montana for making a deal with rival Alejandro Sosa without his approval and attempting to steal his mistress Elvira from him, sends a group of hitmen to a nightclub to kill Tony. Tony ends up surviving the ambush and, immediately suspecting Frank was behind it, confronts him. When Frank confesses to ordering the hit, he pleads with Tony to spare him since he didn't take out the hit himself. Tony, leaving this in mind, agrees not to kill him, and promptly tells Manny to do the job since he wanted Frank to suffer the fate Tony almost met.
  • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah has the human villains get killed by the very monster they tried to wipe out of existence. On top of that, the Heisei Godzilla only exists because they traveled back in time in the first place, making this a double dose of karma.
    • Earlier than that, in Godzilla vs Ebirah, the terrorist group Red Bamboo manipulates the giant crustacean Ebirah as a guard dog to prevent any of their slaves from escaping by boat. Near the film's climax, the remaining slaves sabotage the repellant the Red Bamboo uses to protect their own warships. When the Red Bamboo's leadership tries to escape by boat, Ebirah immediately destroys it.
    • The monsters aren't exempt from this either. The Showa King Ghidorah is beaten to death by the same monsters he's been tormenting since 1964, Destroyah is incinerated and beaten to death after murdering Godzilla's son, and the Millienium Gigan is destroyed by his own weapons after trying to torture Mothra to death.

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