A specific form of Revenge, where a person receives the same bad treatment that they showed/were going to show to others. While it may be the original victim who delivers the punishment, it can just as easily be a relative or even a complete stranger.
Superficially, this might look like Beat Them at Their Own Game, but they are motivated by different factors and have a different meaning to the plot:
- Beat Them at Their Own Game is a survival technique. The person who successfully does it has proven that he can do whatever the other person did just as well.
- A Taste Of Their Own Medicine is a type of Revenge. The person who successfully does it has demonstrated why the other person should follow The Golden Rule.
The two tropes occasionally overlap, but, in general, try to list an example as one or the other. If you're not sure which it is, ask yourself whether the primary motivator is survival or revenge.
Contrast Hoist by Their Own Petard, which is where a character's bad actions lead directly to their downfall, with no second-party intervention. Often a form of Pay Evil unto Evil. An Ironic Hell is the extreme version of this, where the sinners are punished with being the victim of (or making them horrified with) whatever crime they've done before. Can overlap with Laser-Guided Karma if the character's fate is similar to that of his victims. See also Who's Laughing Now?, which sometimes results from applying this trope. Please note that Selective Enforcement and Hypocrite can pop up if the sinner makes a big show out of it.
- Bleach: In the manga, when Sado fights Yammy, the latter hits him so hard that the attack tears Sado's arm apart...twice! Then Ichigo arrives at the scene, sees what happened to Sado's arm, then he goes straight to cutting Yammy's arm off. The anime downplays the damage on Sado's arm significantly, which makes Ichigo's reaction look more like Disproportionate Retribution.
- Dragon Ball Z:
Vegito: It's not much fun being hunted down, is it, Majin Buu? Being hunted down just the way you hunted down our friends! Does it hurt?!
- Freeza's entire fighting style revolves around Cold-Blooded Torture, physically overwhelming his enemies with his power and making sure that they die in pain and despair, knowing that they never stood a chance against him. After Goku becomes a Super Saiyan, he spends most of the fight toying with and brutalizing Freeza just as Freeza had done to his victims, wanting to ensure that Freeza realized that even at full power, he never stood a chance against him. In the end, the only reason Goku tries to spare Freeza is because he felt that letting Freeza live with his pride ripped to shreds was a far worse punishment.
- This was Dr. Gero's intention with creating the androids. After Goku destroyed the Red Ribbon Army, he wanted to create a fighter that could beat Goku on his terms and inspire the same sense of fear and dread he gave the army. Cell came the closest to doing this to Goku (if only because he was the second of Gero's creations who fought him), but even then, Goku never once displayed fear of Cell, no matter how much stronger he was than him, and died on his own terms.
- The psychotic Androids 17 and 18 of Future Trunks' timeline spent twenty years rampaging across the Earth killing whoever and whenever they wanted For the Evulz, later ganging up on Future Gohan in the rain and brutally murdering him. When Future Trunks returns to that time, he wastes no time putting them in their place, stating outright that he's doing to them exactly what they did to Future Gohan and what they've been doing to the rest of the planet: making them feel completely outmatched, helpless, and afraid before killing them.
- When Goku and Vegeta fuse into Vegito, the latter spends his entire fight with Super Buu toying with and brutalizing him, making sure the monster felt every moment of the pain and terror he dealt to Vegito's friends and all of his other victims.
- Dragon Ball GT: Baby is a Puppeteer Parasite who invades other people's bodies, laying eggs inside them to keep control of them and attacking them from the inside. Majuub tries to transform him using Majin Buu's Chocolate Beam, but Baby sends it back at him and devours him afterwards. However, it later turns out that Majuub deliberately let himself be changed and swallowed so he could attack Baby from the inside, incapacitating him with pain during his fight with Goku; Majuub even tells Baby that he's doing what Baby himself does to other people.
Majuub: Isn't that how you operate, Baby?! You lay your eggs in people and attack them from the inside!
- Dragon Ball Super:
- The first time Beerus meets Goku, he effortlessly defeats the latter with a neck chop. Later, when Goku's recieved a new powerup and they fight on something resembling equal ground, Goku repeats the neck chop to Beerus, pointing out the time Beerus did it to him.
- Not an intentionally invoked example, but Beerus loves to make mortals squirm and submit to him under the threat of destroying their entire planet if they don't do exactly what he wants (usually providing him with good enough food). Then his boss Zeno shows up and provokes the same terrified reaction from him without even trying.
- Love Hina: In the 10th volume of the manga, Keitaro's little sister Kanako submits all of the Hinata's tenants to this to punish them for their constant abuse and mistreatment of Keitaro. She actually succeeds in driving the girls out of the house completely.
- In Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace, 20 Faces serves this type of revenge. He was once a morally right police officer who, after the horrific mutilation and murder of his sister, did the same to the one who did it. The twist in this case but not the rest of his murders was that 20 Faces kept the murderer alive.
- A horrible version of this trope happens in Hiroko's revenge on Aki Honda and her Girl Posse from Shadow Star upon obtaining her Shadow Dragon. Said tormentors had previously abused her horribly, up to and including raping her with a test tube. So how does Hiro-chan pay them back for this? Upon getting her Shadow Dragon, she commences in completely tearing each of the posse apart, the only one she spares being the one who objected to Aki raping her. And when she finally catches up to Aki herself? She has her raped with the Shadow Dragon's clawed finger, just before tearing her apart as well. By the time her vengeance is complete, Hiro-chan has gone into full Start of Darkness mode.
- Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie: During his fight with Chun Li, Vega makes the mistake of cutting her cheek then taunting her by licking the blood off his claw. Bad decision. She pays him back... with interest. First, by hitting him square in the face by throwing the couch at him, followed by repeatedly kicking his face with her Spinning Bird Kick, then pushes him back down on the floor by stepping on his chest, so she could plant her barefoot on his cheek and perform a full pirouette on his face! And, yes, it's as awesome as it sounds (seen at 5:07-6:03).
- Tokyo Ghoul: When Kaneki is tortured by Yamori after being captured, he's forced to count down from 1000 by seven over and over to keep himself sane so he can feel each and every cut. When Kaneki accepts that he's a ghoul and beats Yamori in a fight, he pins him to the ground and forces him to count down the exact same way.
"What's 1000 minus 7?"
- One Silver Age comic sees Superman traveling to the Fifth Dimension and using his powers to prank Mr. Mxyzptlk the same way Mxy normally pranks him, while Mxy (who's running for mayor of his hometown) desperately tries to send Supes back home.
- Wonder Woman Vol 1: When Atomia escapes from transformation island and tries attacking Paradise Island Queen Hippolyta calls on Aphrodite for help with the unrepentant cruel woman, who had forced people through machines which altered them physically and mentally to become her near mindless slaves. Aphrodite then makes it clear that just because she's friends with and supportive of a Perfect Pacifist People she's still an Olympian through and through when she permanently welds Atomia into a personality altering device that will force her to be kind for the rest of her life.
- X-Men: In X-Men #112, Magneto, who had previously been transformed into a baby by a scheme gone wrong, gives the X-Men a taste of the same (even though none of the captured X-Men were involved in his infantilization). He locks them into chairs that not only inhibit their powers but also disrupt their neurological functioning so that physically they're at the level of toddlers but they retain adult intelligence. He then leaves them to the care of Nanny, an android with a sickeningly sweet personality to care for them as if they were babies. ("Oh Beast, you've such marvelous silky fur. You are a joy to brush. I've an idea. Would you like bows for your hair? I'll see if I can find some.") His intention is that they will live out the rest of their lives in that state, and it is implied that they are trapped that way for several days if not weeks before escaping.
- When Lucy from Peanuts dons one of Charlie Brown's shirts in a February 1959 Sunday strip, everyone has a big ol' belly laugh at her mocking impression of him. But when Charlie Brown himself sees what she's doing, he turns the tables on her with a single line, causing everyone to start laughing at her expense instead.
Charlie Brown: [mimicking Lucy] Well, hello, there, Charlie Brown, you blockhead.
- Played for Laughs in Conduit of Central CIty when Wells quickly grows annoyed at Ace reading his mind and speaking his thoughts and calculations, with Cisco stating that's how it feels for the rest of them being around him.
- Infinity Train: Boiling Point has Boscha decide to teach the Apex what it feels like to be on the receiving end of their usual treatment, and since this Boscha's an Adaptational Badass who doubles as a Person of Mass Destruction, they get the message loud and clear.
- Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail has Chloe refusing to reply to Goh's messages throughout Act 1, as he himself would only ever answer her to provide hollow apologies for being late. And when she does answer, it's to let him know she wants nothing to do with him anymore.
- Chloe's classmates loved bullying and harassing her and gleefully told her brother, Parker, everything they did without a single lick of empathy. When Parker gets his hands on the Unown, he gets to unleash all sorts of punishments without crying for them.
- Jerk In Sheep's Clothing has this happen to both the class AND Adrien, although not as salty as other fics do, all courtesy of Henri LeRoi.
- In the "Chameleon" episode, the class all flocked to Lila, and when Marinette tried to out her as a Consummate Liar, Lila turned the tables on her and got the whole class to assume Marinette was bullying her out of spite. When Henri transfers and starts dating Marinette, he manipulates things to push Alya to the back of the room. Whenever anyone in the class tries to stand up to him or show Marinette his true colors, he pulls the same game as Lila and twists things around to turn Marinette on her friends. And because Marinette has seen how nasty the class can be, and because Henri has treated her more like a friend than the others have lately, she believes him over them and accuses them of picking on her boyfriend.
- Adrien, who has always had the bad trait of being too trusting of people, allows bad people to be close to him, even when there are many red flags alerting people of their true colors, while his real friends, namely Marinette, must sit back and watch said bad people take advantage of his too-trusting nature. Now, Adrien is the one watching Marinette get taken advantage of by Henri, who even threatens him in the bathroom just like Lila did to Marinette in Chameleon.
- LadyBugOut has Chat Noir stubbornly pursuing Ladybug over her protests. At one point, he tries to force her to kiss him, claiming her refusal to do so means that she secretly loves him back and is afraid that those feelings will shine through if they kiss. After Marinette learns that Adrien was Chat Noir all along, snuffing out her old crush for good, she helps him understand where he went wrong via demonstration: pretending that he's obligated to return her feelings, and acting like she's going to force him to kiss her in order to 'prove' that he doesn't really love her. She then compares this to how he felt with Chloe and Lila pursuing him, causing him to realize he made Ladybug feel the same way.
- In Loved and Lost, an extended retelling of "A Canterlot Wedding", the disgraced and exiled heroesnote sneak into Canterlot with the intention to redeem themselves by helping Twilight Sparkle. Unfortunately, Cadance is separated from the others and injured by the secret Big Bad while the others find Twilight. Twilight, having been manipulated by Prince Jewelius to lose all trust in her friends, brother and mentor after they walked out on her at the wedding rehearsal for "upsetting" the false Cadance, mistakenly thinks Cadance (the only one of the exiles she hasn't stopped trusting) was injured because the others brought her to Canterlot before she could be reinstated. Angry and hurt, she chews her former loved ones out like her brother did with her. She then coldly leaves them at Commander Hildread's mercy to check on Cadance, just like they ditched her to check on the false Cadance, throwing the words they used back to them for a good measure and also as payback.
- In Total Drama fanfic Monster Chronicles While he's blackmailing him Cedric takes great pleasure in picking on Duncan and tormenting him much like the latter would do to Harold in canon. Chris even lampshades this at one point.
Chris:I thought I hit a gold mine with that kiss back in London! With the hate Duncan's been getting lately with 75% of the fan base, seeing him on the other side of the punch will totally be ratings central! I just wish there wasn't a wanted criminal holding us all hostage.
- In Of Wolves and Dragons, a string of various incidents cause many superstitious Northerners to believe the Old Gods are taking vengeance on those who have turned against them. The Northerners start to blame Catelyn Stark for bringing the Faith of the Seven to the North and incurring the Old Gods' wrath, causing the Stark Matron to become isolated and (privately) slandered, not unlike the treatment Jon Snow (who, incidentally, set off the above mentioned string of incidents, albeit not of his own free will) endured at Catelyn's hand.
- Peter Parker's Field Trip (Of course it's to Stark Industries): One of the punishments Principle Morita was going to issue Peter was to have him write hand-written apology letters to all of his teachers and classmates for "lying." When it comes to light that not only did they not check the validity of Peter's internship contract with SI like they were supposed to, Tony only agrees to let the school continue their field trip to his company if they provide proof that they did destroy the papers (for security reasons) and issues handwritten apologies to him, Peter and Pepper the day before the field trip.
- The Redemption of Harley Quinn: Lyle Bolton uses the Mad Hatter's Mind Control technology to force Poison Ivy to striptease, and then asks what it's like to be in the same state as the victims of her pheromones.
- In Chapter 33 of Sister Floriana Sister Isabel tries to rig a soccer game in her friends' favor by telling the opposing team that there are important stretches they've been missing out on. When they ask to know what the stretches are, she has them do tiring exercises and spins a yarn about how they're related to stretching. Unfortunately, they catch on to the fact she's improvising and make her team do exercises too, before easily winning the game.
- Strawberries and Lemons: After Garnet shows his jealous side when Sage showed an interest in Yang in a previous chapter, Team RWBY (but mostly Yang) continuously tease him for it. Later on, when Team RWBY meets Garnet's new friend Penny, Yang has to deal with her jealous side since Penny is being just as affectionate with Garnet as she usually is.
- In the Miraculous Ladybug fanfic to lose someone, Lila's goon squad destroys Marinette's sketchbook in an attempt at making Marinette "feel" this trope thanks to Lila (as usual) telling them that Marinette "bullied" her. This retaliation backfires big-time on them when Marinette reveals that the only sketchbook she brings to the school is the one with the designs of the requests they asked her to do (which she won't redo for free and cost several thousand dollars as professional-grade work if they actually want to request her) and her notes as class president (which included the contact information for several trips they were looking forward to do most earnestly and are now gonna have to be cancelled). Thus making them all feel as awful as she felt ever since the bullying started, she walks away.
- With Confidence: Izuku's classmates constantly bullied him for being Quirkless, insisting that he'd never be able to become a Pro Hero. Izuku turns this around when he takes control of their latest lesson and painstakingly points out their own flaws and failings — highlighting the weaknesses of their various Quirks and all the ways they've proven themselves to be less than heroic.
- Batman Begins:
- Batman quips 'Taste of your own medicine, Doctor?' as he gives Scarecrow a dose of the same fear-inducing toxin that Scarecrow had previously used to attack both Batman and Rachel.
- In a villainous example, the League of Shadows burns down Wayne Manor towards the end of the film, in retaliation for Bruce blowing up their headquarters after he betrayed them. Ra's Al Ghul commented "Justice is balance. You burned my home and left me for dead; consider us even."
- In The Body (2012), Jaime poisons Álex with the same toxin the latter killed Mayka with.
- Cat's Eye: In "The Ledge" segment, a crime boss with a fondness for gambling knows that his wife is having an affair with another man. He kidnaps the man and makes him an offer: if he successfully navigates the very tiny ledge outside his penthouse apartment, he gets his wife and a briefcase full of money; if not, he'll be framed for drug possession. The protagonist wins the bet after several close calls, only for the boss to give him the money and his wife's head. This enrages him so much that after taking out his guard, he makes the boss the same offer to navigate the ledge in exchange for his life. He's not so lucky and falls to his death pretty quickly.
- In Dredd, Ma-Ma has three rival drug-dealers killed at the start of the film by dosing them with Slo-Mo (a drug which makes the user experience everything in Slow Motion) before throwing them from the top of the Peach Trees complex; when Dredd has her cornered at the end of the film, he decides to execute her by dosing her with Slo-Mo and throwing her through the window of her penthouse on Peach Trees' top floor.
- In Ever After, when Danielle de Barbarac's father dies, her step mother, the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent, demotes her to servant, forces her to sleep on the floor next to a chimney, which earns her the moniker "Cinderella," and beats her when she undermines her authority. Later, after she humiliates Danielle at the Royal Ball, she sells her into slavery to pay off a debt. At the end, the Baroness is stripped of her title by the Queen, and sentenced to be shipped off to an American colony. Danielle, who made up with the prince and married him, speaks up for the Baroness, and asks the queen to show her the same level of compassion that the Baroness showed her. Cut to the Baroness and her wicked daughter working in a laundry.
- The ending of The Heiress, in which Catherine inflicts the same amount of cruelty upon Morris as he inflicted upon her. First he left her on the night of their wedding, then years later when they meet again she did the same with him as a form of revenge.
- In Lucky Number Slevin, the mobster known as "The Boss" orders a hit on Yitzchok the Fairy, the son of a rival mobster known as "The Rabbi", because he suspects the Rabbi of ordering a hit on his own son. At the end of the film, Slevin murders both the Boss and the Rabbi by suffocating them with plastic bags, the same way they killed his father.
- In The Philadelphia Story, Tracy pretends not to know that Mike and Liz are reporters and grills them about their personal lives, just as they were planning to do to her.
- During the climax of the first Scream movie, Sidney escapes and hides from the ghost face killers, Billy and Stu and uses their own phone call games to taunt them that the police are on their way. They don't take it well. She then proceeds to stab the killer while wearing their own Ghostface costume.
Sidney [using the voice changer]: We're going to play a little game. It's called...Sidney [normal voice]: ...guess who just phoned the police and reported your sorry motherfucking ass!
- The final scene of The Stepford Wives remake shows the no-longer-enslaved titular ladies dealing with their husbands this way.
- Trading Places revolves around Billy Ray Valentine, a Black two bit Con Man from the ghetto, and Lois Winthorpe III, a classist, racist yuppie who has Valentine arrested after they accidentally bump into one another. The Duke brothers, wanting to settle a $1.00 bet over Nature vs. Nurture, have them unwillingly and unknowingly swap lives, turning Valentine into a wealthy stock broker, while they have Winthorpe's assets frozen, leaving destitute and living with Ophelia, a street walker that decided to take him on. Valentine overhears about their experiment and bet, and how the Dukes agree not to rehire Winthorpe after he drunkenly invaded the Christmas party, and they'll get rid of Valentine shortly after he, unknowingly, helps them corner the frozen orange juice market through insider trading because they don't want some one like him in the company. With this information, he teams up with Winthorpe, Opehelia, and Coleman, Winthorpe's butler, to take down the Duke brothers, and while they get rich on the frozen orange juice stocks, the Dukes lose everything, which leads to this exchange:
Randolph Duke: How could you do this to us after everything we've done for you?
Valentine: Oh see, I made Louis a bet here. Louis bet me that we couldn't both get rich and put you on the poor house at the same time. He didn't think we can do it. I won.
Winthorpe: I lost. One dollar.
- In the Mortal Engines series, towards the end of Infernal Devices Tom attempts to rescue Fishcake from Brighton during an attack by the Green Storm, but Hester flies their airship away and leaves Fishcake to fend for himself. Fishcake spends most of A Darkling Plain brooding over ways to get revenge on them for leaving him behind, but eventually settles for hijacking their only means of transport and leaving them stranded at Erdene Tezh.
- In The Tin Woodsman of Oz the protagonists are captured by a giantess Evil Sorceress named Mrs. Yoop who uses her transformation magic to turn Polychrom into a canary, the Tin Woodman into a tin owl, the Scarecrow into a stuffed brown bear, and Woot the Wanderer into a green monkey. Eventually, the entourage is rescued, and Ozma is able to reverse the spell on everyone except Woot; the Green Monkey spell is irreversible and can only be transferred to someone else. Solving two problems at once, Ozma decides to punish Yoop by transferring the spell to her.
- Burglar Bill: Bill learns how it feels to have someone break into your house and steal from you. Likewise, Betty learns how it feels to have someone take something precious from you.
- Played literally in American Gothic (1995). Caleb Temple cites the trope to a doctor who poisoned Sheriff Buck. When we next see the doctor, he's choking to death from an overdose of pills that Caleb has somehow forced him to eat.
- The A-Team, "It's a Desert Out There". When the Scorpions fall into the trap the A-Team laid for them, Hannibal explicitly mentions their leader punching Max, and punches him in the same place.
- Doctor Who: The villain in "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", Tzim-Sha/Tim Shaw, keeps his prisoners and trophies from his "hunts" in stasis chambers that preserve them in a state somewhere between life and death. At the end of the episode, Graham and Ryan opt to seal him in one of his own stasis chambers in a display of Cruel Mercy, with Graham quoting the trope name as he prepares the chamber.
- Season 2 of Hannibal provides a horrifying example. After tormenting, murdering, and publicly displaying countless victims, Hannibal gets a taste of his own medicine in Mukozuke. Matthew Brown tortures and nearly kills Hannibal, and had Brown succeeded, Hannibal's corpse would have been on public display. Hannibal is narrowly rescued by Jack and Alana, neither of whom realize that he is a serial killer like his tormentor.
- How I Met Your Mother: In "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns", Robin gets revenge on Barney for constantly mocking Canada by revealing that he himself is a quarter Canadian.
- Imposters focuses on Maddie, a professional con artist who specializes in marrying a rich person and then taking them for almost all they're worth. While prepping her latest mark, she does get close to the handsome Patrick and falls for him, meeting his family and working hard to win him over. But three of Maddie's past marks/exes (Ezra, Richard and Jules) have tracked her down and want their money back. At a party to celebrate her "birthday," Maddie is shocked when Ezra shows up, posing as her big brother with Jules his girlfriend and Richard one of the bartenders. It's obvious the trio are getting a total kick out of this as Maddie is working hard not to freak out.
- A major turn in the next episode is the trio revealing that Patrick is actually an FBI agent who's been working all this time to sucker Maddie in so she can give up the guy she works for. After finding this out, Maddie is kicking herself that she fell for exactly the same tricks ("accidental" first meeting, fake family, playing hard to get, staging a breakup) that she's used on her own marks. Her trio of exes, meanwhile, get some pleasure seeing Maddie get the same treatment she gave to them.
- Happens a lot on Leverage, as the team will often use the mark's own corrupt tactics against them and ruin them exactly the way they've ruined so many other people.
- In the season 3 finale of Revenge, Emily has the woman responsible for committing her as a child committed as payback: Victoria Grayson. Best Served Cold, indeed.
- In Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Illustrious Client, Baron Gruner is left horribly disfigured after one of his former mistresses, Kitty Winter, attacks him with vitriol. The Granada Television adaptation portrays this as a revenge attack for an earlier incident in which the Baron had himself used vitriol to attack Kitty, leaving nasty scars on her neck and chest.
- Lampshaded in an episode in which after Kramer's Girl of the Week distracts Jerry while putting on a set for a reporter by laughing really obnoxiously, then heckling him, Jerry goes down to her office and heckles her back, hurting her feelings. Kramer is flabbergasted at Jerry giving her a taste of her own medicine, however, a fellow comedian praises Jerry, and even compares him to Rosa Parks.
- There's also the scene where he tells a telemarketer they've called at a bad time and asks for their home phone number so he can call back and continue the conversation when he feels like it.
- In one episode of Sesame Street, David teases Big Bird about having an imaginary friend (the episode aired before Snuffy was revealed to be real). Then David gets a call from a friend that Big Bird has never seen before, and Big Bird accuses David of making him up. After spending the entire episode trying to convince Big Bird that his friend is real, David realises that this must be how Big Bird feels when people refuse to believe him about Snuffy.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Dominion isn't above infecting a whole species (Teplans) with a plague. In the final season, it's revealed that Section 31 infected the Changelings (ruling race of the Dominion) with a plague.
- The 1989 mini-series Twist of Fate has SS Colonel Helmut von Schrader, realizing the war is lost, hitting upon the wild idea of getting plastic surgery and a new identity as Jewish prisoner Benjamin Grossman. The plan is for him to be sent to a low-level prison hospital in an area the Allies will reach in a few weeks. However, when the Allies attack earlier than expected, the train holding von Schrader is rerouted. Thus, the former SS colonel finds himself spending the last year of the war in the hellish Belsen concentration camp, getting exactly the same type of brutality and horrible conditions he's put countless Jewish prisoners through.
- Takeaki Wada's Vocaloid song "Chururira Chururira Daddadda!" features a girl who wants to be the last person standing in her class, so she systematically picks off her classmates one by one by getting them into trouble for various acts of misconduct. When she finds that she really has no more classmates to tattle on, she decides to turn on the teacher and get them in trouble too. The manga anthology that came with Diary of Underage Observation, the Concept Album that features this song, later reveals that she was herself ratted on by a power hungry girl much like her, who recorded her admitting to her selfish tattling. In the end, she is thrown out and made to look like all of the classmates she mocked.
- In Classical Mythology:
- Theseus encountered a bandit called Sinis who killed travellers by bending two pine trees and tying his victims between them. Theseus killed Sinis by binding him between his own pine trees. When he met another robber called Sciron who forced travellers to wash his feet and then kicked them over a cliff to be eaten by a monstrous turtle, Theseus fed him to his own turtle. Finally, he met a robber named Procrustes. Procrustes would invite weary travelers to spend the night but would always claim the bed was either too long or too short for his guest. If the bed was too short he would cut the traveller's limbs until they fit. If the bed was too long he would stretch his victim's limbs till they fit. And if the bed was just the right size he would secretly swap it for his other bed in order to cut or stretch the victim anyway. Theseus cut off his feet and head with his own saw.
- King Diomedes of Thrace fed his mares with human flesh; Heracles wrestled him into the mares' manger.
- The Bible: Happens to the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. The servant was forgiven by his master to whom he owed a debt, but has one of his colleagues thrown in jail for failing to repay a small debt. His master, outraged, throws him in jail, reasoning that if the servant can't show mercy to others, he deserves no mercy himself.
- A frequent tactic used by face wrestlers when getting the upper hand on heels ... using the same cheating tactics to wear down and/or defeat the Monster Heels and others, such as using a signature weapon or illegal move.
- Gorilla Monsoon: One of his signature lines — "Turnabout is fair play" — was used when a face used a bad guy's weapon or cheating tactic against him.
- At a 2007 Real Quality Wrestling show, Cheerleader Melissa accidentally severed the tendons in Sweet Saraya's leg on a pop can that had been left on the floor, nearly taking it off her leg. Five years later in another country, Melissa was SHIMMER's Champion, till Saraya decided to put an end to her reign, by targeting her knee
- Dramatic Dream Team: Akira Tozawa got so fed up with Danshoku Dino, he tried to out gay him...he failed but Dino was thrown off his game for a little bit.
- Warhammer 40,000
- Subverted in in the case of Chaos cultists, especially the Slaaneshi ones: while they are among the most skilled torturers in the galaxy, it's not so much torture they get off on as it is sensation of any kind, including pain and defeat.
- Similarly, defeating a Khornate in battle is giving them exactly what they want, Nurglites consider receiving diseases a gift (which is why they work so hard to spread them around), and Tzeentchians serve a god of backstabbers.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney gives us this in the tutorial case, no less. Phoenix Wright, having acquired shades of Jade-Colored Glasses after getting disbarred for being tricked into presenting forged evidence, decides to return the favor to the one responsible: Kristoph Gavin. The result? Phoenix's new protege, Apollo Justice, unknowingly ends up getting Kristoph convicted of murder by, you guessed it, presenting forged evidence.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic IV, the necromancer Gauldoth is wrongfully accused of being a child-murderer by the citizens of Vitross, and a town guard named Mardor tries to have him Burned at the Stake. Gauldoth flees from Vitross, but returns several months later with an army which he uses to besiege and capture the town. He makes sure Mardor is captured alive during the siege, and has him burned to death.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, The Legion attacks the NCR outpost at Searchlight by opening up an old radioactive waste dump within the town, turning Searchlight into an irradiated wasteland. In one quest you can undertake for the NCR, you have the option of destroying a Legion outpost at Cottonwood Cove by finding a toxic waste transport vehicle on a cliff overlooking the cove and making it dump its cargo into the outpost below. If you choose this option, the quest-giver compliments you on your sense of irony.
- Killbane in Saints Row: The Third is a Masked Luchador who was once part of a tag-team with Angel de la Muerte, but got sick of his partner being more popular than him and publicly unmasked him; Luchadors see losing their masks as a Fate Worse than Death, and Angel immediately retired from the ring and ended up a recluse. When The Boss and Angel take on Killbane during the Murderbrawl event, you're given the option of taking his mask after he's been defeated.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- In Oblivion, Malacath the Daedra Prince asks you to free some ogres that have been enslaved by a minor noble named Drad and are being used to mine ore. When the ogres are freed, they take control of Drad's estate by force and make him grow crops for them.
- In Night Falls on Sentinel, an in-universe short story in the series, the assassin Jomic describes his signature Pressure Point technique to a potential client. The 'client' in question is actually a knight with a warrant for Jomic's arrest, who subdues Jomic and then decides to use his own pressure points in order to torture him.
- Garrus from the Mass Effect series enjoys finding ironic ways to inflict this trope on criminals if the situation presents itself. His ways include sabotaging an environment suit worn by a saboteur and setting it to suffocate him, giving a drug dealer a lethal overdose of their own product, and offing a serial killer with a specialist knowledge of viruses with an infection (the target was a Quarian). Subverted towards Saleon, a doctor who ran an illegal organ-cloning business; Garrus had a plan to kill him by harvesting his organs, but settles for simply shooting him when they finally meet.
- In-Universe, this is Sebastian Castellanos' opinion about the fate of the Axe-Crazy serial killer, torturer and Mad Scientist Ruvik in The Evil Within, who winds up as a Brain in a Jar trapped within his own mindscape-manipulating STEM machine, after brutally torturing and killing hundreds of others by connecting them to the same device. This helps him resist Ruvik's attempts to invoke sympathy for his past and his plight.
- Fire Emblem Fates: Selena decides to act overly flirtatious towards Laslow in their B Support to teach him a lesson about how his own flirting makes women uncomfortable (and thus dislike him).
- During the Duel of Wits in King's Quest (2015), your opponent will try and trick you into drinking a goblet of hypnotic potion which will allow him to make your first move for you and forcing you to play at disadvantage for the rest of the game. However, it's possible to trick him into drinking the potion, choosing his first move and putting him on the back foot instead (though it isn't required to win the duel).
- When Thaco was a prisoner of Dellyn Goblinslayer, Dellyn cut off one of Thaco's ears, and had it framed and displayed as a trophy on the walls of his quarters. When Thaco defeats Dellyn in a duel and has him at his mercy, he cuts off Dellyn's ear...then throws it away in a display of both Cruel Mercy and But for Me, It Was Tuesday.
- An Alternate Universe version of Dellyn tortured and killed Forgath and Kin, only to be captured by their comrade, Minmax. Minmax used a crystal ball to teach himself Dellyn's torture techniques, and used them to torture Dellyn to death.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: In the prologue, Michael Madsen is shown being an arrogant Deadpan Snarker to his boss over the phone. Later, when Michael acts rudely to finding out the ferry he's riding is not going to be making its return trip due to sudden governmental travel restrictions, the waitress sent to deal with him chews him out by being an arrogant Deadpan Snarker.
- Subverted in The Order of the Stick by Belkar and Miko, after Belkar trolls Miko by getting a restraining order which prevents her from using her Detect Evil ability against him. Miko attempts to retaliate by getting a restraining order to prevent Belkar from hurting her horse...which Belkar ignores because, unlike Miko, he only cares about the law when he can exploit it to his benefit.
- In Drowtales, Ariel's Ax-Crazy half-sister Kalki attacks her and cuts off her arm. When Ariel finally corners Kalki, having just been told that her shapeshifting powers allow her Appendage Assimilation from any victim related to her, she promptly decides to get her arm back by stealing Kalki's.
- Noob: La Croisée des Destins: Ash regularly seems to show genuine support to Gaea's enterprise, only to be asked to be paid for that support later. Gaea has been shown doing similar things to her guildmates and other acquaintances to get in-game currency from them in previous installments of the franchise.
- Cobra Kai: Yasmine gets a huge kick out of cyber-bullying (especially with regards to Aisha's build relative to her own). But the shoe winds up on the other foot when Aisha unleashes a frontal wedgie on her and the clip goes viral.
- In both Dragon Ball Z Abridged and canon, Piccolo has Goku distract Raditz while he charges up his Makankosappo/Special Beam Cannon, and later Goku has Piccolo distract Freeza while he charges up a Spirit Bomb. The difference is that the abridged series plays it up as this trope, complete with both singing Mahna Mahna while charging up.
Piccolo: Did you just...hold a grudge?
- In Mystery Skulls Animated, Lewis' revenge for his death at the hands of Arthur (possession of the murderer notwithstanding) is putting him through the exact same circumstances as he originally died. He recreates the cave where the fatal incident occurred, and forces Arthur to retrace his steps so he can fall to his death. Unfortunately, it gets a little more 1:1 than Lewis would like — neither of them realized what they were doing when they went through with it until it was too late, and he experiences the exact same immediate guilt over his actions that Arthur did.
- Used regularly by Looney Tunes protagonists such as Bugs Bunny. Perhaps most directly in "Rabbit Fire", after Elmer Fudd spends the whole short hunting Bugs and Daffy Duck, a new poster reveals it is "Elmer Season", with a very worried Elmer evading the two, now with hunting garb and rifles.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Krusty Towers," Mr. Krabs turns the Krusty Krab into the titular hotel, with the policy "We shall never deny a guest, even the most ridiculous request". Patrick becomes the first guest and makes multiple ridiculous and unreasonable requests. When Squidward complains, Mr. Krabs outright tells him that the policy ensures that Patrick can be as unreasonable as he wants. Eventually, Squidward gets sick of it and quits...only to immediately return as a guest so he can force Mr. Krabs to fulfill his outrageous demands. However, when his antics go too far and end up sending him, Mr. Krabs, Spongebob, and Patrick to the hospital, Krabs ends up getting the last laugh when he, after seeing the expensive medical bill, sends the boys (including Patrick, who doesn't even work for him) to medical school with plans to turn the Krusty Krab into a hospital.
- In one episode of Family Guy, Peter's nemesis James Woods steals Peter's ID and assumes his identity, using it to assume Peter's place in the family and make Peter homeless. Peter gets revenge by using a forged ID to assume Woods' identity, then makes a completely tasteless film (a comedy about 9/11, with David Spade as the voice of the plane) that ruins his acting career.
- A literal example in an episode of Totally Spies! called "Passion Patties", when the spies force the villain of the episode to drink a vial of the highly-concentrated sugar extract that was the main ingredient in the cookies she invented (the titular "passion patties"). The episode's villain gets extremely sick within seconds of drinking her extract straight up.
- An aversion on The Simpsons despite the trope name being dropped verbatim as Homer watches the Thanksgiving parade.
Announcer 1: And here comes our friend: Bullwinkle J. Moose.
Homer: Heh heh heh, Bullwinkle's antler sprung a leak!
Announcer 2: Uh-oh, looks like ol' Bullwinkle's finally gotten a taste of his own medicine!
Announcer 1: He certainly did, Bill.
Announcer 2: Wait, what did...did what I just say make sense?
Announcer 1: Well...no, not really.
Announcer 2: Boy, now I know how the Pilgrims felt!
Announcer 1: ...What are you talking about, Bill?!
- In the Disney short, "Lonesome Ghosts", a quarter of ghosts lure ghost exterminators Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to their abandoned mansion to scare them silly. When their antics end up getting the trio covered in molasses and flour, they mistake them for ghosts, freak out and flee for the hills.
Donald: So you can't take it, you big sissies!
- In a short of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "The Buster Bunny Bunch", Babs' classmates become offended by her impersonations of them and retaliate by impersonating her.
- Kaeloo: At the end of Episode 65, Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack chase Mr. Cat around with weapons and try to beat him up.
- The King of the Hill episode "After the Mold Rush" has Hank do this to a couple of dishonest mold inspectors who ordered an inconveniently timed and unnecessary extermination at his house by coming over to their house and threatening an intrusive inspection of his own.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Honest Apple", Rarity hires Applejack to be a judge for her fashion show because of her reputation for honesty, but the only thing she's honest about is her hatred of fashion, and she ends up driving away several designers with her much-too-brutal honesty. when she calls fashion Ridiculous. With her show in jeopardy, Rarity tries to show Applejack how honesty can be hurtful when she takes her to a pony named Strawberry Sunrise, who flippantly badmouths apples to her face.
Rarity: Applejack, why are you so angry? It's just Strawberry's honest opinion. What's wrong with that?Applejack: Well, that's fine if she doesn't like 'em, but if she knew how hard we work to make our apples perfect, maybe she wouldn't be so mean about—(realization) Ohhhhhh...Oh boy.
- In "A Trivial Pursuit", after Twilight intentionally gets Pinkie Pie disqualified from a game of Trivia Trot due to seeing her as a threat to her winning streak, she gets paired up with Sunburst, who wants to preserve his "correct answers" record. In so doing, he refuses to let Twilight answer questions, causing her to accuse him of trying to get her disqualified...which makes her realize she had done the exact same thing to Pinkie.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "A Twist Of Ed", the Eds are tired of the Kanker Sisters constantly harassing them and assaulting them with kisses. Double D eventually figures out they can get rid of them for good by using Reverse Psychology, as he puts it "in order to defeat our enemy, we must become our enemy." So he and Ed spend most of the episode successfully scaring away the Kankers by pretending to have fallen in love with them, and harassing them with unwanted affection the same way they have done to them. Unfortunately, the Kankers realize what the Eds are doing when Eddy is too nervous to flirt with them, and use "Reverse-Reverse Psychology" to lure the Eds into a trap by pretending to still be scared of them, and reestablish "dominance" against their "boyfriends" with another unwanted make-out session.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Upon becoming Venom, Eddie Brock launches a campaign of psychological warfare against Spider-Man in-between beating him up, stalking Mary Jane, trying to publicly unmask him, and going so far as to show up at Peter's house to charm his Aunt May. Spidey ultimately defeats Venom by using his own tactics against him, exploiting Brock's anger and bitterness at being fired from the Daily Bugle to lure him to a shuttle launch, with the roar of the rocket forcing the symbiote off Eddie and leaving him powerless.
Spider-Man: He'll never stop torturing me! I've got to fight... and I know just the way to do it.