Follow TV Tropes


Laser Guided Karma / Live-Action TV

Go To

Laser-Guided Karma in Live-Action TV.

  • The 9-1-1 episode "Karma's a Bitch" focuses on the team handling cases of people who hit karma in bizarre ways.
    • A woman tries to shoot her abusive husband but missed, causing the bullet to get lodged in a tree. The woman then hangs herself from the same tree and her husband shows no sympathy for his wife's death. He decides to blow up the tree to erase the memories...and the bullet flies out of the explosion to hit him in the chest.
    • A fitness owner fires a woman who had broken into his car to free his dog who he'd locked in during a hot day. When she comes by the next morning to pick up her last check, the woman finds the guy nearly charred alive by a broken tanning machine.
    • A woman steals packages from the front doors of neighbors for fun. She ends up crushed by a package too large, breaking her femur and arrested while lying in pain.
    • A dentist becomes massively hated for killing a lion on an illegal safari. At a zoo, he ends up angering a tiger who jumps out of its enclosure to maul him.
  • This is pretty much the whole point of 1000 Ways to Die. Most of the victims of the show are killed when karma crosses their paths.
    • A thief steals a hot dog from a convenience store and shoves it in his mouth. He eventually learns the hard way why you should never eat and run.
    • A woman who has been abused by her husband finally decides to leave him via airplane. Of course, the abusive husband will not take it and climbs into the cargo bay of the plane. Little did he know, the temperature dropped as the plane rose, and the would-be husband eventually dies from hypothermia.
    • The same thing happens to a nagging woman who treated her husband more like a slave. While the husband was mowing the lawn, she continued to nag him and tried to mow the lawn herself, only to get electrocuted when she runs over the cord of the husband's arc welder.
    • A junkyard owner cheats against the other guys in a game of Texas Hold 'Em. Eventually, however, one of the players finally catches on to his act and the other players chase him out into the junkyard. The cheater hides inside a wrecked minivan, thinking he escaped from the other guys. This, of course, wasn't the case, because a giant claw grabbed the minivan (pinning his leg against the door so he can't get out), which is carried to a crusher, which crushes the cheater to death.
    • A bitchy cheerleader captain is jealous of a newcomer who joins the squad and as the team has the new girl on top of the pyramid, the captain purposely causes her to fall and gloats about it. Of course, the bitch was the one who took the worst of the two, because she stood right in front of a banner, which a team of football players ran through, and they trample her to death.
    • A talented, but washed-up skateboarder skates around to harass other pedestrians and bathing security guards. One day, he decides to rebelliously skate into the work site to perform his moves to revert to his old self. Of course, reality finally bites him in the ass as he runs over an unseen pebble, flies off his board, and lands face-first into a batch of wet cement, which he suffocates to death in as he inhales it inside his trachea while unconscious.
    • An arrogant surfer parks his car on a handicap parking space and even refuses to let a disabled man take the spot. He then gets bit in the ass as karma causes his surfboard to hit a pole as he is backing out with his car and pivot sideways to fatally break the surfer's neck.
    • A mugger steals a stripper's purse and threatens her with a screwdriver. He rides away on a bike when a witness tries to catch him. The mugger's bike hits a rock and he is impaled in the heart by his own screwdriver.
    • An ill-tempered grocery shopper attempts to swindle a store cashier and also tries to shoplift a scarf. She then ends up arguing with the manager and all of a sudden, the scarf she has around her neck gets caught in a checkout stand's conveyor belt and strangles her to death.
    • A man trying to watch a long-cancelled television show is annoyed by a barking dog next door. He finally uses a slingshot to successfully take the dog down. When he stores it in the upstairs attic, he climbs down the ladder and a screw falls out of it, causing the ladder to fall apart and the man to fall nine feet to the ground. As he lands, his head hits the hardwood floor with enough force to kill him by brain damage.
    • A pair of movers are storing items inside the moving van. One of them steals a glass flower and stores it inside his shirt. As they finally store a dresser inside the back, one of them drives and the other stays in the back. When the driver steps on the gas pedal and makes a sudden stop, his partner falls off the truck and the large dresser falls on top of him. It wasn't the dresser that killed him, but the flower, the one he stole, which punctures his heart as the dresser pressed against it.
    • Two Sudanese warlords steal relief supplies, and are promptly killed by a supply crate with a faulty parachute dropping on their heads. The narrator even lampshades it as such.
    Narrator: "Hold on, what's that sound?" *Crate crashes on the warlords* "Say hello to two tons of instant Karma!"
  • In the The Adventures of Superman episode "The Defeat of Superman", The villains discover that kryptonite can harm Superman, and use a tiny sample of the real substance to create synthetic kryptonite. They lure Supes into a trap, using Lois and Jimmy as hostages, then leave all three of them to die. Lois and Jimmy save Superman by wrapping the kryptonite in lead, and the Man of Tomorrow throws it into space — which is where the karma comes in. The three villains see this as they're driving back to Metropolis, and they're distracted enough that their car goes over a cliff, killing them all. To make it even more karmic, they tumble down the cliff that they planned to throw Lois and Jimmy's car over.
  • Exemplified in Angel Season 2, when Darla and Drusilla crash the Wolfram & Hart party after Darla was brought back by them. Angel bursts in, the Wolfram & Hart people wait expectantly for him to save them despite all they've done to him, and then watch on in horror as he slams the door shut and traps them inside with two bloodthirsty evil vampires. Needless to say, they do not survive, except for Lindsay and Lilah.
    • Karma tends to creep up on Angel nearly every season, particularly after his attitude problem in Season 2.
  • In Auction Kings, Jon tries to trick Cindy into thinking a Ouija board is haunted. Cindy notices the fishing line Jon used to scare her (by pulling a chair out). She plays along and suggests telling Paul. Jon eventually ends up having to bring in a psychic to cleanse the board. Later, Cindy reveals that she knew he tricked her.
  • Ax Men: In S8 Ep 12, Dave "Kraken" Stone's logging boat captain is driving her boat and its logs upriver when she encounters a pair of teenagers in a rowboat anchored in their favorite spot, blocking the only navigable channel and insisting that they will be there until dark. After she finishes with being polite, Dave and Swilly (who had been diving for logs on the opposite side of the shoal) sneak up on the distracted young idiots and tip them into the river.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Throughout the show, Penny often talking about she has both cheated on men she’s been in relationships with and has also been “the other woman”, with men in relationships cheating with her in flippant, almost proud tones. Laser karma hits her HARD when she finds out in the third season that Leonard kissed another girl on the North Pole expedition while they were dating. She then comments she knows finally how all those other girls felt.
  • Blue Mountain State's football squad builds up enough negative karma in the course of three seasons to cost them the national championship.
  • In the Bones episode "The Graft in the Girl", a woman who dropped out of medical school is stealing corpses from a funeral home and selling them through a fake medical supply house for bone grafts. One of these corpses, who died of mesothelioma, infected at least five people with a deadly disease. The suspect isn't going to trial, though. She didn't last long enough in med school to know that bone dust is toxic, so she gave herself a fatal disease.
  • Breaking Bad: After killing Tuco in a firefight, Hank gets some serious PTSD. His fellow agents are jealous of his promotion, and secretly demean him behind his back. During a stakeout in the desert, Hank and several other DEA agents find the decapitated head of their cartel informant mounted onto the shell of a live tortoise. Hank suffers a panic attack at the sight of it, and walks back to his truck to take some deep breaths, while the other agents mock his squeamishness. However, Hank's panic attack saves his life when one officer goes to remove the head, only to trigger a bomb that was stuffed inside it. Several of the agents who made fun of Hank are killed or maimed in the blast, but because Hank walked back to his truck, he was far enough away to escape unharmed.
  • Lampshaded in the final few episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7, when the Scoobies and Potential Slayers lose confidence in Buffy's leadership and mutiny against her, forcing her out of the house and appointing Faith the leader in her place on the grounds that as the other full-fledged Slayer, Faith is the most qualified for the job. This decision literally blows up in their faces when Faith's first plan leads herself and several Potentials into a Death Trap involving a Time Bomb and several hungry Turok-Han vampires, killing several girls, with the survivors being rescued by Buffy herself. After making it back to Buffy's house and getting the survivors medical attention, the Potentials remark to Buffy that perhaps the trap was fate punishing them for forcing Buffy out.
  • Halfway through Channel Zero: Butcher's Block, Alice gives into her fear of inheriting her mother's schizophrenia, driving her to sell out to the Peach family in exchange for a cure. Ultimately however, when the Pestilent God kills the Peaches for failing it, it causes her to go insane from seeing its power, leaving her institutionalized alongside her mother.
  • Happens several times in the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del ocho. La Chilindrina, who often encourages el Chavo to perform an over the top violent action on Quiko, which results in Don Ramón stopping him, and getting smacked by Doña Florinda after Quiko's vague accusation, which leads to Chavo getting hit on the head by Don Ramón after he repeats Doña Florinda's insult abot Don Ramón's grandmother. All while Doña Florinda and Chilindrina go about their business. But there have been exceptions:
    • In one episode, Chilindrina instigates a fistfight between El Chavo and Quiko by making them think the other was shooting spitballs at each other. Don Ramón saw the whole thing and gave her a spanking.
    • In another episode, she tells El Chavo a series of riddles whose answers rhyme with a violent action. After hitting El Chavo numerous times, Don Ramón tells her he saw the whole thing and gives her a spanking.
    • In the "insepts" episode, she leaves her apartment crying because Don Ramón refused to give her money for popcorn. When she sees El Chavo with a bag, she snatches it and starts eating its contents, until she realized she was eating El Chavo's bug collection. When she tried telling on him to Don Ramón, he tells her that her garbled accusation made it sound like El Chavo or Quiko hit her for stealing their popcorn, so he tells her she deserved it and to go cry somewhere else.
    • There's also the cotton candy episode. She tricks Quico and El Chavo into burying their pesos in a plant pot, telling them that they would produce "money trees", and steals them to buy cotton candies for herself. In a rare instance of brilliance, Quico puts two and two together and deduces what happened, so he and El Chavo "plant" her in a pot and begin watering her "to produce a tree of Chilindrinas".
    • In one episode where Don Ramón got beaten up by Doña Florinda for accidentally getting paint on her freshly washed bed sheets. After coming out his apartment, Quiko, wanting to demonstrate that throwing a bucket paint is a faster way to paint, throws a bucket of paint on her.
    • The second episode of the broken water main series, ends with Doña Florinda crying after Profesor Jirafales throws a bucket of water on her.
      Quiko: Chavo, what's with all these pails?
      Chavo: I told you, thanks to the Bruja del 71, I got put to work.
      Chilindrina: (mockingly) You're gonna spend the whole day fetching water. (starts laughing)
      Don Ramon: Chilindrina! (Hands Chilindrina some pails) Here, go get some water!
      Chilindrina: Walks away crying, and carrying the pails.
      Quiko: (Laughing loudly) There you go, now you'll be like little cargo donkeys! (continues laughing)
      Doña Florinda: ♪ Oh, precious...♪
      Quiko:' (Still laughing) Yes mommy— ?! (immediately stops laughing when he sees Doña Florinda carrying several pails, and motioning he's going to fetch water.)
  • An episode of CHiPs, "Wheels of Justice", sees a drunk driver cause an accident. While no one is looking, his wife switches places with him so everyone thinks she was driving. Because it can't be proven that he was driving and she wasn't, he's acquitted in a court of law. At the end of the episode, he drives drunk again and gets into another accident. This time, his wife is killed.
  • Control Z: To Natalia, Gerry, Raúl's father and the hacker.
    • In 1.02, after Natalia is revealed to be stealing the money collected for the school's annual party (NONA), most of her classmates condemn her actions, demanding that she give the money back, and is consequently removed as the student committee's president.
    • In 1.04, Gerry is expelled from the school after his violent attack on Luis in which he ended up getting hospitalized. In the beginning of Season 2, after Luis's death is confirmed, police issue an official warrant for his arrest, which the school also relays to the students who might give any information on Gerry's whereabouts.
    • In 1.08, Raúl's father is arrested by the police for his corruption after his own son had ratted him out beforehand. Then, during the NONA party, Raúl is unmasked as the hacker, resulting in most of the students verbally and physically attacking him at the beginning of Season 2 when he returns to the school like if nothing happened.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Bart claims that as a "holistic assassin", her job is to deliver laser-guided karma. She stumbles upon random people, kills them, and calls it a good deed. Ken quite understandably thinks she's completely insane, and desperately tries to keep her from killing the nice guy who is helping to fix up their car. When the car is fixed, it turns out that the guy is a serial killer who has murdered who knows how many people, selling their organs and their cars for profit. Bart easily kills him due to a bizarre string of Contrived Coincidences, and then the next day does the same thing with the rest of his gang. It's only after all this that Ken finally begins to believe that Bart might be onto something.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Bad Wolf", Rose loses a killer game show thanks to jerkass fellow contestant Rodrick, which gets her teleported to a Dalek ship. In "The Parting of the Ways", Rodrick gets killed by the Daleks when they invade the Gamestation.
    • "The End of Time": It's revealed that Rassilon was responsible for driving the Master insane by implanting the sound of drums into his head. The last we see of the two of them, the Master is kicking Rassilon's ass, with none of the other Time Lords lifting a finger to help.
  • A subplot on an episode of ER had a pharmaceutical rep showing up at the hospital bearing gifts of food, typical of this profession. Kerry Weaver went off on one of her usual endless diatribes, ordering the staff not to eat the food, lest they feel inclined to use the drug that the rep was promoting despite the fact that it was no more effective than similar drugs. This turned out to be very good advice regardless of the drugs, as the food had been improperly cooked. Everyone who ate it came down with a wretched case of food poisoning. Including, of course, Kerry, who in her customary hypocritical manner had done something she told everyone else not to do. Considering all the rotten things she usually got away with, it was nice to see her get some sort of comeuppance for once.
  • In the Fate: The Winx Saga episode "No Strangers Here", Stella under the pretense of being concerned for Bloom gives her ring to get her to go back home - which is really a selfish move to remove a potential rival for Sky, as well as endangers Bloom since it has to be used outside the school. So when Bloom is attacked by the Burned One, she loses Stella's ring.
  • In Forever (2014), after Doctor Henry Morgan first became immortal in 1815, his wife Nora had him committed to a mental asylum because she thought his claims of immortality proved that he was insane. Fifty years later, after Henry escapes the asylum, the now-aged Nora finds him again after seeing an article about him in the paper, and tries to convince him to share his secret. Henry's initial attempt to claim he doesn't recognise her fails, but even when he tries to tell her she lost any say in his life after her actions, Nora tries to reveal the truth by shooting him in public. Instead, she accidentally kills a nurse who took the bullet for Henry, and Nora is subsequently taken to an asylum herself.
  • Friends:
    • "The One With George Stephanopoulos" has Ross getting injured by a flying hockey puck and he has to be taken to the hospital for a broken nose. The receptionist in the emergency room acts like a complete bitch towards Ross, Joey, and Chandler for no reason other than not wanting to be disturbed and she keeps snapping at them whenever they ask how much longer they have to wait. Later on, Ross gets into a tug of war with a young boy over the hockey puck and overpowers him, but he accidentally lets go mid-pull and sends the puck flying at the nasty receptionist, hitting her square in the forehead.
    Ross: Now that was fun!
  • Game of Thrones:
    • After Cersei Lannister sets forth machinations that get Margaery arrested by the High Sparrow for lying to protect Loras who’s charged for his homosexuality (so she’s the one who is influencing Tommen and keeps her power), right after visiting Margaery in her cells specifically to stealthily taunt her about it, Cersei is then arrested and imprisoned in an even worse cell for her own crimes in the same fashion that Margaery is immediately after. Also counts on the grounds of her having used and abused Lancel (who's now part of the High Sparrow) coming back to bite her in a big way since he's the one who sold her out.
    • Also, Cersei once gloated over having Ned Stark in the Black Cells, and as mentioned above, in Season 5, she is tossed into one of the cells by the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow begins to collapse her house of cards, hard.
    • Stannis burning Shireen results in half his men abandoning him, which in turn causes Melisandre to leave him. Then after his diminished army is decimated by the Boltons he is executed by Brienne for the murder of Renly, another member of his family he killed with the Red Woman's assistance to serve his own cause.
    • Catelyn Stark believes herself to be on the receiving end of this from the Gods, due to wishing Jon Snow dead in a moment of anger. Made even more poignant since she dies believing that Jon is the only son of Winterfell to survive.
    • Being a nearly professional dog-kicker for all his life, Tywin finally gets bitten back by each of his children with suitably ascending level: his "golden son" Jaime doesn't try to harm him but ignores his orders by refusing to carry a family name and then releasing his sentenced brother Tyrion from prison behind Tywin's back, the daughter he thought nothing more of beside selling her off for the sake of family legacy crushes his illusions about said legacy with a few simple words, and his horribly mistreated youngest son, whom he always wished dead, ends up killing Tywin in a rather humiliating manner.
    • Cersei gloats over Tyrion being forced into an Arranged Marriage, only to find that her father has the same fate in mind for her.
    • The first action committed by Jaime is throwing Bran Stark off the Tower, crippling him for life and shattering the little boy's dreams of being a knight. In the course of the war which this action triggers, he's captured and kept inactive, doing very little heavy fighting and then when he mouths off too much, becomes a cripple himself by losing his hand, shortening his future as a knight and damaging any dreams he might have had of being mentioned alongside the likes of Ser Barristan, Ser Arthur Dayne, and Ser Duncan the Tall.
    • Magnificent Bastard Littlefinger set this whole massive chain of events off by manipulating Lysa into killing her husband. He then planted a dagger to make it appear Tyrion had tried to kill Bran to set the Starks and Lannisters against each other. In the seventh season, Littlefinger once more works to set Sansa and Arya against each other for his schemes with Sansa organizing a trial for Arya. At which point, it turns out Littlefinger is the one on trial as all his misdeeds are addressed in public. He begs for his life but Arya slits his throat with the very dagger he tried to have Bran killed with.
    • Gregor Clegane, the man who willingly served as the Lannister's attack dog, loses all free will beyond serving as their attack dog. For bonus points, the process deforms him like how he deformed his brother, much to the latter's amusement.
      Sandor: You're even fucking uglier than I am now!
    • For the longest time, Tyrion got away with slapping Joffrey around and having an acid tongue because of his previous position as King's Hand and for being a Lannister. This tragically changes after Joffrey's assassination. Tyrion's less than pleasant relationship with his fellow nobles makes him a very easy scapegoat with many using his personality flaws against him.
    • Renly agrees that Daenerys Targaryen and Viserys should be killed for the good of the realm. Later he gets killed by Stannis who cites the same reason.
    • Walder Frey betrayed and killed the Starks during the Red Wedding. He ended being killed in the same exact way and place as Catelyn Stark, by her daughter Arya no less. His family get killed shortly after that.
  • Gilligan's Island:
    • The end of the episode "The Hunter" reveals that the sportsman who tried to shoot Gilligan snapped upon his return to the mainland. He had to be packed off to a mental hospital, muttering the name of his intended victim all the way.
    • Another episode had a positive example. note  The castaways discover that a hurricane is on the way and stock a cave with supplies. When they go to use it, they discover there's not enough room for everyone and draw straws to see who has to weather the storm outside. Gilligan breaks his straw to sacrifice himself, but the others find out and go outside to comfort him. Then the hurricane hits and a lightning strike causes a boulder to fall in front of the cave entrance, blocking it.
      Skipper: Gilligan, little buddy! We came out here to save you and you just saved us all!
  • On Grimm, Adalind conducts a ritual to remove Nick's abilities which involves her transforming into Juliette and having sex with him. How does this come back to bite her? First, Nick and his friends find a way to restore his abilities easily. Second, said method to restore Nick's abilities has the side effect of turning Juliette into a very powerful Hexenbiest (who defeats Adalind in battle). Third, it's later revealed that by having sex with Nick, Adalind's now pregnant with his child.
  • The Jaleel White show Grown Ups featured the lack of a response to some negative deed he'd done, prompting some other character to comment on how it will come back and bite him in the ass eventually. Cut to him waking up and looking at himself in the mirror, then commenting with surprise: "what the hell bit me in the ass?!"
  • Heroes:
    • In the first episode of Volume 4, when Nathan is rounding up and imprisoning people with superpowers, Peter runs into Mohinder and asks him what he thinks of Nathan's plan. To Peter's dismay, Mohinder thinks it's a good idea because of his own experience with turning into a dangerous monster after giving himself superpowers not long ago. Immediately after Peter leaves, Mohinder is kidnapped by Nathan's goons — and realizes that he really doesn't think it's such a good idea after all... prompting a Heel–Face Turn by the episode's end.
    • Volume 4's Big Bad, Emile Danko, kills the speedster, Daphne. In the first episode of Volume 5, he gets killed by another speedster, Edgar.
  • In House, Chris Taub can't stop sleeping with women who are not his wife. Ultimately, this destroys his marriage. He kept sleeping around afterwards, and ultimately ended up a single father to two children: one with his ex-wife and one with a mistress.
  • Impulse: Henry's teleporting abilities manifest when Clay digitally rapes her, leading to him becoming paralyzed from the waist down. Henry later lampshades how karmic it is that Clay can no longer do to anyone else what he did to her.
  • JAG:
    • Lt. Williams' fate in "Desert Son", accidentally killed by an artillery strike fired by the same battery he was spotting for when the accident happened.
    • In "Boomerang, Part II", Admiral Chegwidden and Captain Howell, Mic's superior in the Royal Australian Navy, deliver this onto Mic and Harm for throwing punches and ending up breaking Bud's jaw in two places when he got between the punches. After Bud covers for the two, Chegwidden decides on a "non-judicial punishment" and Mic and Harm are put in a storage unit until they inflict the same level of harm onto each other as they did to Bud.
      Captain Howell: I always did like Yank SEALs.
  • Happens to a few characters in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight
    • Camo is introduced as an underground martial arts fighter who doesn't mind strapping wrenches to his fists to win a fight. Who does Camo end up fighting? Torque- a Rider with an arsenal of very large guns. Camo gets killed quite quickly. Possibly a meta example in that Camo was killed the very next episode after he was introduced.
    • Torque himself gets a heaping dose of Karma. He attempts to manipulate Dragon Knight into turning on his teammate Wing Knight. When that didn't work out, he starts scheming against Xaviax, which backfires on him horribly. He tries to convince Kit to help him, but is turned off (the hard way) because nobody obviously trust him anymore and is vented by Strike — another of Xaviax' riders — shortly afterwards.
    • Happens to one of the good guys too. Siren constantly mocks Earth's riders for being amateurs not worthy of being Kamen Riders. She even waits to give her friends Survive Mode Cards to drastically enhance their powers because they were fighting Axe and Strike- two "amateurs," and they didn't need them. Guess who ends up killing Siren. Not by Axe though.
  • Alain of Kamen Rider Ghost managed to gather staggering amount of karma through the first half of the story as scheming Smug Super, so when it finally crashes down on his head things get messy. For starters, he despised Takeru and humans in general. Following his brother's betrayl, he is forced into his mortal body and teamwork with Takeru is one of the few choices he has when it comes to survival.
  • In the Kenan & Kel/Cousin Skeeter crossover, Kenan and Skeeter are wandering about the wilderness. Kenan comes across a giant tree branch in their path and flings it away, then worries that it might hit someone. Skeeter assures him that they're in the middle of nowhere, and "That branch would have to be laser guided to hit someone!" Sure enough, the branch hits the special's antagonist, who trapped Kyra and Kel in a pit earlier.
  • Kingdom (2019): Both Cho Hak-ju and the Queen end up on the receiving end — the former has his cheek bitten off by the zombified Ahn Hyeon (he gets cured of the parasites, but dies nonetheless later on) and the latter allows herself to be devoured alive by the zombies as she refuses to surrender her throne to the Crown Prince. Given their highly immoral actions throughout the series, their gruesome deaths are well-deserved.
  • Used quite frequently on The King of Queens anytime Doug or Carrie (or both) come up with a selfish scheme to benefit themselves. A good example: in the episode Buy Curious an elderly neighbor dies and Carrie convinces Doug to buy her house for a small sum then "flip it" to make a larger profit. However, it costs them too much to make repairs to it, they inadvertently insult an African couple who attempt to buy it, and are forced to sell it to Lou Ferrigno (whom they had forced away from the house, despite him only tending the plants) for much less then they paid for it.
  • Law & Order and its spinoff Law and Order: SVU had a crossover wherein a Mother/daughter con-artist team seemed to be Karma Houdinis in the first half, "Design". However, Karma bites hard in the second half, "Flaw", when at first, the daughter turns on the mother when the mother tried to claim self defense in the murder of their partner in crime. The detectives, itching to try to find a way to nail the daughter as well, learn that she had killed her own baby at the age of 14. When the daughter seemed willing go to trial and bluff her way out of it as she and her mother had done before, the detectives reveal the mother was willing to testify against her daughter.
  • The fate of every single mark on Leverage. Thanks to the team, they end up humiliated, bankrupt and often thrown in jail for their various crimes, half with no idea how this happened while the other half know full well it was the team but no one believes their stories. Key to each of these take downs is to use the primary "sin" the villain commits to be the final nail in the coffin against the team. In the pilot, "The Nigerian Job," the team uses the mark's arrogance after he tricked them into stealing a competitor's information by pretending to be an innocent victim of a crime, to allow him to figure out part of the plot against him but blinding him to the fact the Nigerians the team has him meet are legit foreign nationals and, as his company has ties to the US Government, the FBI comes down hard on him for appearing to accept a bribe from these nationals. This occurs during a shareholders meeting sending the stock plummeting, and part of the villain's original manipulative pitch was how if he didn't get "his plans" back, the shareholders would remove him from office.
  • Lewis: Karma hits the murderer of Music to Die For hard and instantly near the end of the episode, as their last attempt at murder directly leads to their death — they bludgeon their target while both stand by a recently opened canal lock... and the victim's fall accidentally knocks the murderer into the water, where they end up drowning (while the would-be victim remains ashore and is hurt but lives).
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • The episode "Malcolm Defends Reese": Mr. Herkabe, not wanting his title of "highest GPA ever" stripped by Malcolm, has his brother Reese publicly humiliated in front of the class, and when Malcolm tries to stick up to Reese, he ends up risking to fail his class, and thus not get the highest GPA ever in order to keep Reese from being humiliated again. After Mr. Herkabe lets slip that he failed Gym, his title is automatically stripped, and he has to retake PE as a student. And to add insult to his (rather deserving) injury, he has to take it the exact same PE Class as Reese, who takes sweet revenge on Herkabe by absolutely creaming him at Dodgeball.
    • Hal has also been victim to this at least twice. Once where his earlier claim that the nads were easy pickings when playing basketball with his sons resulted in him being hit in the crotch, another time was in the episode Red Dress. He ended up burning Lois's red dress that she intended to wear for their anniversary. As a consequence, he ended up having his anniversary dinner all by himself while waiting for Lois, and presumably burn the house while completely drunk in Lois and the kid's absence.
    • So has Lois when her Control Freak nature finally comes back to bite her in the butt. In Jury Duty despite the fact that she and all of the other members of the jury believed the defendant was guilty Lois forced the other jurors look at every single piece of evidence. This in turn caused a member who before voted guilty to vote innocent based on nothing other than the defendant went to church.
  • Played for laughs on the series finale of The Middle. Axl has long been shown as a goofball moron, incredibly lazy, blaming everyone but himself for messes he causes and constantly going around shirtless. In a "where are they now" montage, mom Frankie has to admit how she and husband Mike enjoy "getting the best revenge of them all": Axl now a hard-working businessman who has to put up with three sons who are exactly the way he used to be.
  • In the second season of Midnight, Texas, Patience is an evil force who trapped the noble Delilah into a mystical painting for 800 years. In the final battle, after she's freed, Delilah banishes Patience right into the exact same painting. Which is then hung in the town's bar so she has to watch everyone forever.
  • Monty Python: It's likely Michael Palin's travel agent character is a recipient, as he has to vicariously experience the numbing tedium of a typical package tour via customer Eric Idle's nonstop droning play-by-play of such a trip.
  • My Name Is Earl is Laser-Guided Karma: The Show. Pretty much everyone in Camden has a metaphorical red dot on the back of their head at all times, just waiting for them to slip up:
    • The titular character learns this the hard way in the pilot, having been thieving trailer trash all his life until getting a (stolen) winning lotto ticket, which he loses after immediately getting hit by a car. After learning about Karma, he writes a list of every misdeed he's made in his life and vows to make amends for them all. Soon after doing this, he's rewarded with nothing other than his lost lotto ticket returning to him.
    • This is double subverted in one episode, where Earl meets a huge Karma Houdini. Earl is confident karma will eventually catch up to the man as it did for himself, but after working under the thumb of the Jerkass, he sees karmic retribution nowhere in sight. Soon after, the boss pushes Earl to his breaking point until he ends up punching the jerk in the face. The punch lands the man in the hospital, resulting in both his wife and mistress visiting him at the same time, leading to him being kicked out of the house by his furious wife, who then divorces him and gains the fast food location in the process. She actually treats the formerly mistreated employees nicely, resulting in everyone getting what they deserve. Earl is upset that he punched the man instead of letting Karma do its work, but thanks to Simple-Minded Wisdom from his brother Randy, he realizes that Karma acted through him in this situation.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Life of O'Brian", it's revealed that O'Brian has been tube-blocking everyone who has wronged him in some way. Since Tube Travel is the primary way agents head aboveground, tube-blocking forces some of them, such as Owen and Octavia, to remain in Headquarters for up to a week, if not more, unable to return home after work. When Olive becomes the latest victim of O'Brian's workplace bullying, she doesn't know what she did to anger him, and at first tries to apologize to O'Brian for things she did wrong. It doesn't work, but she eventually finds out what she did: she ate his raspberry yogurt instead of her own strawberry. She apologizes for it, but in addition to the apology, she ends up giving him some karma by forcing him to take a laser chicken egg that she claims is about to hatch. When he tries to give it back to her, she tells him that she'll take the egg, but only if he stops tube-blocking everyone. He agrees to the deal, and for the cherry on top, Olive forces him to "take a break — a long one", and sends him up through the tubes.
    • A sort of unintentional example occurs in "No Ifs, Ands or Robots". Oscar tells Olive that Oscarbot 10 went haywire due to Orchid scaring Oscar while he was in the midst of making improvements to the robot, turning one of his gadgets into a juicebox. While the two of them attempt to find it before it can wreak havoc on anything else, they come across Orchid herself, who is carrying a toy ball that has been turned into a large juicebox by Oscarbot 10.
    • In "There Might Be Dragons", Oksana gives Olive an entire canister of pea soup she had cooking prior to the power outage in Headquarters in exchange for her taking Oksana's only kitchen assistant off of her hands. At the end of the episode, when Oksana explains that food is for eating and for defeating invisible dragons, she says that one should always stay until the end of the credits, causing the kitchen assistant to appear. Oksana asks who he is, only for Olive to tell her that "he's with us now", followed by the assistant giving a smug smile. Oksana's reaction is one of absolute anger and disgust.
    • Played with in "The Voice". At the end of the episode, it's revealed that Halvsie Harriet took Oprah's voice because she hated her own voice, which is more higher-pitched than Oprah's, meaning that no one takes her seriously. Oona suggests that she give her a different voice and uses her Voice-Replace-inator gadget to give her one. However, the voice she gives her is a "girl squirrel voice", which causes less-than-favorable reactions from Harriet and from Oprah, Olympia and Otis. It's hard to tell whether Oona was giving rightful karma to Harriet or if she was genuinely helping her, but one could interpret it as Oona giving Harriet karma, especially since she was a Translator Buddy for Oprah while she was unable to speak (before using the gadget to give her different voices).
    • In "Haunt Squad", Olly is the first to inform Oprah, Olympia and Otis about a possible ghost being in Headquarters, and explains how she was haunted by it while she was getting food from the Storage Room. At the end of the episode, the "ghost" turns out to be Oona and the other Scientists, with the former being the ringleader. "Xs and Os" had a one-sided friendship between Olly and Oona, with Olly making Oona frustrated by her lack of knowledge about odd afflictions and illnesses and pulling her away from her chore of repairing gadgets, which eventually drove Oona to her Rage-Breaking Point.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Regina had been mainly a Karma Houdini back in Season 1 but come Season 2, she gets hit hard with karma. In the episode "Queen of Hearts", she could only watch as her adopted son Henry happily goes to dinner with his biological mother, grandparents and friends without inviting her. Yes, she did just save Emma and Snow's lives but she was also the reason why they ended up in the magical world in the first place.
    • In "The Cricket Game", Regina is blamed for the death of someone who turned out not to be dead despite huge amounts of evidence against her. This is exactly what she did to Mary Margaret in Season 1.
  • One episode of Only Fools and Horses has Del become romantically involved with an antiques dealer named Miranda. It's obvious to the audience she was only interested in a painting that hung in the Trotters' flat, which they apparently don't know the value of. She manages to coerce Del into giving her it for a birthday present, assuring him that she just wants to hang it in her home. At the end of the episode Del goes to meet her at an auction house, and finds the painting up for sale. Miranda smugly tells him she's registered the painting to show that it has been in her family for years. Turns out Del knew how valuable it was all along; his grandmother stole it from an art dealer she had been a cleaner for, and Miranda is going to be in a lot of trouble.
  • Only Murders in the Building: Oscar did ten years for a murder he didn't commit, largely because the actual culprit, Theo Dimas, along with his father Teddy, threatened a witness into staying quiet. Because the Dimases threatened his life as well of that of a close friend, the witness stayed quiet with the information that would've exonerated Oscar. Years later, the witness is murdered, and the Dimases end up being accused and arrested... but it turns out they are being falsely accused. Oscar understandably feels no sympathy for them and admits he's actually rather entertained by it.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "The Festival", Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton lend their clothes and cash to the hardworking cleaning woman and custodian, so they can attend a costume party. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton wear the clothes of the cleaning woman and custodian. They win a large cash prize — and of course split it with the custodian and the cleaning woman.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In the episode "Tribunal", the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp is presented with an elderly prisoner whom he shoots for being Jewish. Turns out some time-travelers found the commandant, who had escaped to the U.S., hid out for fifty years and brought him back, dressed as one of the prisoners he tormented.
  • Pam & Tommy: When karma catches up with Rand, he consults a tarot reader to find out why he is being punished by the universe, figuring that Tommy Lee was such a Jerkass to him that he deserved to be humiliated. The reader tells him that he hurt a nubile woman associated with water. This makes it pretty clear that Rand is being punished for the collateral damage he did to Pamela.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Part of psychotic hacker and mercenary Root's Start of Darkness involves doing this to the man (and implied pedophile) who murdered her best friend when she was a child. She saw her friend get into his car the night she disappeared, but the only adults she told didn't believe her. So she spent the next couple of years using her hacking skills to set up a bank account in her dead friend's name as well as in the name of her killer, filled it with money stolen from a drug cartel, and allowed him to be murdered by said cartel when they found out he had stolen from them. He tried to argue that he didn't have anything to do with the account, but since the only other name associated it was a girl who had been dead for years, they didn't believe him. Keep in mind that Root was fourteen when this all came to fruition.
    • The man known only as Special Counsel spends most of his time ordering government assassin Hersh to kill anyone who has failed him and/or learned too much about the Machine. When things go especially pear-shaped, his boss orders Hersh to kill him for failing her and learning too much about the Machine.
      Special Counsel: ...fair enough.
  • The Pretender is filled with this — both positive and negative. Jarod's plots always seem to leave him with someone in his debt that will delay or foil Miss Parker and the rest of the Centre hunters at the end of the episode. Of course, Jarod's plots themselves are usually manufactured karma.
  • Pretty Little Liars has Alison being bullied in a similar manner to how she used to bully people.
  • Princess Agents:
    • Madam Song corners Chu Qiao and her sisters on a bridge and tries to drag them away against their will. Then she trips, falls off the bridge, and drowns.
    • Jin Zhu escapes prison with Chu Qiao's help. Instead of being grateful she blames Chu Qiao for putting her in prison in the first place — even though it was her own actions that brought her there — and goes to betray Chu Qiao to Yuwen Huai. Minutes later Yuwen Huai unceremoniously kills her.
  • Psychopath Diary: In-woo gets hit with this twice.
    • He tries to kill Dong-sik and Bo-kyung, leading to Bo-kyung trying to shoot him and hitting the window instead. Then In-woo crashes into the window, falls through it, and ends up in a vegetative state.
    • When he wakes up he tries to kill Dong-sik again. He walks right into the trap Dong-sik and Bo-kyung set for him, gets arrested, and ends up in prison.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In "Justice", a Prison Space Station has a Justice Field, which is basically this. Any Crimes attempted, whilst in the area, are inflcted on who ever tries to commit them. Such cases include; if some one tries setting some thing on fire, the would-be arsonist catches fire instead; or, if some one attempts to harm another, the attacker is the one who gets and feels the injuries that they would have inflicted.
    • In "Samsara" the SS. Samsara is equipped with a "Karma Drive" which is said to be derived from the Justice Field. The Karma Drive adjusts the ships' functions based on the crew's behaviour: if they're good then good things happen to them, if they behave badly they get punished. Two crewmembers who are cheating on their spouses with each other are served rotten food and receive substandard care from the medical droids because the Karma Drive considers their affair immoral. The couple eventually hack the Drive and reverse the moral coding, intending to revert it the next day, but before they can it kills the entire crew as it now sees their good behaviour as something to punish.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Yu Hua figures out Feng Hao and Feng Zhi Wei aren't twins and uses her newfound knowledge to taunt and threaten Ming Ying. She promptly gets killed by a furious Ming Ying.
  • Despite any retribution being absent from the actual movie (save for a deleted scene), Saturday Night Live has the "lost" ending of It's a Wonderful Life cover the duly-deserved just deserts for Mr. Potter. Uncle Billy remembers what happened to the money he lost, and the town storms Potter's office to get it back. As George starts giving him a beating, Potter reveals he could walk the whole time. The short ends with George, Mary, and Harry simultaneously whaling on Potter as the town sings Auld Lang Syne.
  • Search: Lee Hyeok plans to shoot a baby, but his gun is out of bullets. So he walks over to pick up another gun. On the way there he stands on a landmine. The explosion tears his leg off.
  • Seinfeld:
    • "The Summer of George" from the eighth season is a pretty masterful example. The episode's main plot revolves around George receiving a huge severance package from the New York Yankees and deciding to use it to fund a summer of laziness, or "The Summer of George" as he calls it. This is all derailed when George slips on a glossy party invitation from the same invitation store where he purchased the cheap invitations that led to Susan's death one year prior. At the hospital the same doctor that gave the gang the news that Susan had died tells them that George will walk again but now will have to spend the whole summer in rehab. Hilariously, Jerry, Elaine and Kramer react with the same indifference the whole group felt towards Susan's death as George laments the loss of his summer.
    • The finale. Throughout the entire series, the main four have repeatedly gotten away with shit such as getting an innocent man deported, ruining the careers of dozens of promising actors by blinding Woody Allen and getting the entire state blacklisted by Hollywood, crippling an old lady with a cheap, faulty wheelchair, and murdering an innocent woman with poisoned envelopes. And in the end, all this and more is used to turn what was originally a simple good Samaritan law violation trial into them finally facing justice for all the pain and suffering their selfishness had caused over the years.
  • Sex/Life: Trina lies to the mom clique about Billie and Cooper taking her and Devon to a swinger's party (when in truth it was the other way around), resulting in the other moms shunning Billie. Later on Cooper and Devon reconcile, and Trina laments that her and Devon have agreed to no longer attend the swinger parties, much to her displeasure.
  • In the 2nd episode of Sherlock, General Shan is the only member of the Black Lotus to escape, much to Sherlock's disappointment. At the very end, we see her communicating with Moriarty, right before the laser sighting of a sniper rifle appears on her forehead, and a gunshot is heard as the screen goes black.
  • In Squid Game, Ali was a Pakistani immigrant to Korea whose reason for joining the Deadly Game was that he was taken advantage of by his Bad Boss at the factory he worked, who pocketed his employees' wages for six months while giving excuse after excuse as to why he couldn't pay them in spite of the job costing Ali some of his fingers. When Ali catches him trying to run away with an envelope full of money, the two get into a fistfight on the factory floor that results in his boss' hand being crushed by the machinery.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "The Best of Both Worlds part II'', Picard, as the Borg "speaker" Locutus, almost sneeringly says to Data that as an android, he would be obsolete in "the new order". Soon, Data realizes that he can connect to the Borg collective consciousness through Picard, and after he does, Picard tells him to tell the Borg to enter their regeneration cycle, which causes an overload that destroys the Borg cube and frees Picard from their control.
    • In "Chain of Command: Part I", Picard is assigned to investigate the possible existence of a Cardassian base. But when he, Worf and Dr. Crusher finally get to the location of the apparent base, they discover there's simply a probe delivering false sensor data, and the Cardassians capture Picard. Later on, in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Die is Cast", the combined fleet of the Cardassian's Obsidian Order and Romulan Tal Shiar launches a surprise attack against the Dominion's Founders' homeworld, only for them to realize the planet was, in fact, deserted save a probe delivering false data, leading to an ambush by a Jem'Hadar fleet.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In the episode "Rocks and Shoals", a Vorta commander named Keevan sends his completely loyal men into an ambush he set up with Sisko as a means of getting them both off the barren planet their groups were trapped on.note  Keevan is taken prisoner and interrogated for information by Starfleet. Later, he is used as a bargaining chip to help Quark and Rom rescue their mother, who was kidnapped by the Jem'Hadar. Before the trade can happen, he is killed unceremoniously, a neural stimulator is used to make the body move a la Weekend at Bernie's, and Quark and his team are able to capture the Vorta after the negotiations, leaving Keevan's corpse walking into a bulkhead until the power gives out or his legs do.
    • The occupation of Cardassia by the Dominion (which mirrors the occupation of Bajor by Cardassia). It even begins the same way (with the Cardassians welcoming the Dominion as "friends" before they realize they are prisoners in their own homes). Culminating with the Cardassians forming an underground resistance (just as the Bajorans did when the Cardassians occupied them), and the Dominion executing random civilians. The situation is heavily lampshaded by Kira.
      Damar: They're dead. They weren't a part of this rebellion. The Dominion knew that. The Founder knew that. Weyoun knew that. To kill her and my son... the casual brutality of it... the waste of life. What kind of state tolerates the murder of innocent women and children? What kind of people give those orders?
      Kira: Yeah Damar, what kind of people give those orders?
  • The Strain (TV series):
    • Gus transports the Master's coffin across the river in return for his brother's criminal record being erased. During the resulting vampirism outbreak, Gus' best friend, mother, and the aforementioned brother are turned into vampires.
    • Jim Kent takes a similar deal to keep the outbreak under wraps in exchange for his wife getting into an experimental cancer treatment program. As a result of the outbreak, he gets infected and has to be euthanized.
  • In one episode of Strange Luck, just when it appears to be too late to stop the execution of a wrongfully-convicted man, the person trying to stop the execution, Chance Harper, hits a road slick and crashes into a power pole, resulting in the innocent man living... and the real murderer being executed in absentia in his place by way of being struck by a falling power line. Additionally, Chance met the real murderer when the latter was working as a mechanic and he needed the brakes in his car fixed. Just before Chance hits the road slick, the murderer admits he never fixed the brakes.
  • In Studio C there’s two sketches all about this aptly titled Bad Karma and Bad Karma Returns.
  • On Tosh.0 this trope is invoked in a Web Redemption, when a video shows a man attempting to do a complicated slam dunk falls into a garbage can immediately after littering. In his words "that would be some fast-acting karma."
  • The Twice In A Lifetime episode "Death and Taxes" has recently deceased IRS agent Roger Stovell resurrected and sent back in time 8 years for a chance to prevent the disappearance of his 5 year-old son. He's told he must tell his past self that the two of them need to help a man whose dog rescue shelter he doomed by denying him deductions. Roger insists he did everything by the book, but, spurred on by the promise of getting his son back, eventually finds a loophole that allows him to help out the shelter owner. He's brought forward to the day his son disappeared and is enraged and distraught when it happens again even though he did everything he could to make sure things played out differently. However, several hours later his son is found alive and unharmed by dogs belonging to the shelter owner, who by then had parlayed his business into a search and rescue service.
  • Happens a lot on The Twilight Zone, but a special nod goes to "The Misfortune Cookie". A Caustic Critic takes great pleasure in destroying the reputations of dining establishments, particularly those reviewed by his rival. Unfortunately for him, this particular Chinese restaurant comes with incredibly accurate fortune cookies, one of which reads, "You're Going To Die." He does, and ends up in his own Ironic Hell for it.
    • "Death's Head Revisited" also gets a special mention. A Nazi Captain pays a visit to the remains of his old concentration camp, reveling in the memories of torturing the prisoners. The ghosts of the men he killed then appear to try him for his crimes; found guilty, his sentence is to feel the pain of everything he inflicted on them.
    • In "Sounds and Silences", Roswell G. Flemington manages to shut out his wife Lydia to the point where he can no longer hear her but the idea backfires. He becomes unable to hear any of the noise that he loves so much. In his closing narration, Rod Serling mentions that he is committed to a sanitarium and describes Roswell's fate as poetic justice.
    • In "The Brain Center at Whipple's", Wallace V. Whipple replaces almost the entire staff of his manufacturing plant with machines. He is eventually replaced with a robot as the board was concerned that he had become neurotically obsessed with the machines.
    • In "The Shadow Man", Danny Hayes does nothing to stop the Shadow Man from attacking innocent people as he is reveling in the popularity that his supposed bravery has earned him. When he challenges Eric to a fight in MacGyver Park, he is attacked by the Shadow Man from under someone else's bed.
    • In "Opening Day", Joe Farrell arranges for Carl Wilkerson to die in a Hunting "Accident" so that he and Carl's wife Sally can be together. He then finds that he and Carl have changed places and fears that Carl now plans to kill him in the same way. When they go duck hunting, Joe falls into the water and dies after refusing Carl's genuine efforts to save him.
    • In "Cat and Mouse", Guillaume de Marchaux, who is trapped in the form of a cat during the day, mistreats Andrea Moffatt. He pretends to have feelings for her but is simply using her for sex. As soon as she is out of her house, he has sex with her co-worker Elaine. That night, Andrea drugs his coffee. When he regains consciousness, he has transformed into a cat and has been brought to a vet's. Andrea tells the vet that she wants to have him fixed.
  • The Victorious episode "Cat's New Boyfriend" has Tori responding to Cat dating her ex with unexpected jealousy and possessiveness to the point that Tori sprays them with a cheese fountain and later kisses her ex, which Cat sees. Tori tells Cat she is filled with regret and shame for reacting the way she did and tells Cat that if in her position, she would punch her in the face. Cat, not realizing it was an analogy, does just that to comedic effect, nearly breaking Tori's nose.
  • A rare real life example of this. On the Wendy Williams Show Williams decided to talk smack about Ashanti on her show calling her a stripper because men threw money at her because of the outfit she was wearing and she told Joe Budden on his show not to throw money at her when she's performing. Ironically, Williams called Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez "hustlers" despite wearing clothes similar to Ashanti's. In Ashanti's "Say Less" video she used the same footage of Williams talking smack about her in the video since the song itself takes aim at Ashanti's critics.
  • In the CBBC series Who, Sir? Me, Sir? one of the protagonists accuses the Smug Snake leader of the rival team of cheating: Colin, who's supposed to have been competing in a swimming race, doesn't look the least bit damp. Later in the episode, when the competition has moved to cross-country riding, Colin is the one who falls off his horse into a water hazard.
  • Word of Honor: Mo Huaiyang kills Gu Xiang and Cao Weining, and promptly gets killed by Wen Kexing.