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Crime of Self-Defense

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Izek: He murdered the guard!
Evelyn: The guard was trying to murder him!
Izek: The guard's allowed to do that!

Bob has just beaten off a murderous attack by Alice. Plot over, Alice goes to jail, roll credits, right?

Wrong. Maybe Bob was bigger, or stronger, on the wrong end of a Double Standard (such as, for example, Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male) or could conceivably have run away. Or because of racism (regular or the fantastic variety), all evidence, no matter how blatant, is ignored. Either way, someone in a position of authority feels that Bob was in the wrong inflicting whatever damage he did to Alice, who on the other hand, is a poor victim. Cue drama.

This often involves Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male; sometimes, it's due to Selective Enforcement. Compare Can't Get Away With Nuthin', Wounded Gazelle Gambit, Wrongful Accusation Insurance. An attacker may even play a Deliberate Injury Gambit to invoke this trope. A history of such cases In-Universe may explain occurrences of Once is Not Enough. If the attacker uses words instead of violence, it's Made Out to Be a Jerkass.

As with everything else law-related, expect the writers to interpret self-defense laws creatively. Whether this is Truth in Television varies heavily depending on circumstance: self-defense laws usually give a person the benefit of the doubt when defending themselves or others against attempted murder, rape, or assault with a deadly weapon. However there are many circumstances in which this presumption goes away, and you can be put in prison for attempted murder for firing a warning shot at an attacker.note  Furthermore, it has to be a situation that you yourself did not cause or substantially contribute to; starting a fight with someone or doing everything in your power to antagonize and enrage them in a dispute, then claiming self-defense when you seriously injure or kill them will not fly in any court of law (unless the outcome was predetermined, of course).

Also, similar to the before mentioned double-standard, it's much easier for a woman to win a self-defence claim than it is for a man, especially when the attacker was male, both in real life and in fiction. This is because women tend to get more sympathy than men and courts will often instinctively want to give the woman the benefit of the doubt (due to their ignorant belief that Females Are More Innocent). For example, a woman who kills her abusive husband can get acquitted if she can convince the court of how terrified for her safety she was. Meanwhile, if you're a man who kills his abusive wife for the same reason, good luck with trying to get the court on your side.

Compare Arrested for Heroism, Fighting Back Is Wrong, and The Lopsided Arm of the Law. Not to be confused with Self-Offense. Contrast Self-Defense Ruse. See also All Crimes Are Equal, Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable, Inconveniently Vanishing Exonerating Evidence and Killing in Self-Defense. May result in Then Let Me Be Evil.

noreallifeNo Real Life Examples, Please! This does happen in Real Life, but let's leave it here.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: The setting's society is stratified enough that if one person attacks another, the law will be on the side of the person with higher status. Things are not helped by the fact that those higher in society have a thing for Playing the Victim Card.
  • In The Asterisk War, any assault by a Genestella against Muggles is considered excessive force, even if totally justified. Ostensibly this is because Genestella are so much more physically powerful than Muggles but it's really Fantastic Racism. Supporting character Kirin Toudou's father Seijirou was sent to prison after he killed an armed robber to protect her, and she's fighting to see him released.
  • In By the Grace of the Gods, the main character Ryouma is in a convenience store when multiple men armed with pistols, who are also high as kites, storm and shoot up the place, then level their guns at the clerk and other shoppers. Fearing for his own life and the lives of others, Ryouma uses the martial arts literally beaten into him by his father and beats the drug-addled criminals down. He is arrested, due to how severe the criminals were injured, put through trial and after all the evidence and testimony was collected, found innocent via legitimate self-defense. Unfortunately for Ryouma, the families of the drug addled criminals took to the media and started Playing the Victim Card whining "he didn't need to hit them that hard!" with the media ignoring the fact that Ryouma had no other viable options, destroying his life and prospects. Sadly, this is Truth in Television.
  • Chainsaw Man: Makima reveals to Denji that he killed his abusive alcoholic father in self-defense. Even when pointing out the justifiable reason Denji had to defend himself, she reinforces the idea that he still murdered a person, his own father no less.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The JOJOLands, Jodio fights against a Dirty Cop trying to sexually assault Dragona. When the cop later returns in an attempt to get vengeance, Jodio immediately deals with them by crushing them with November Rain.
  • In My Hero Academia, only licensed Pro Heroes are legally allowed to use their Quirks to fight or attack criminals; common civilians attempting to do so will, at best, be fined or arrested, even if the criminal in question was trying to murder them at the time.
  • One Piece:
    • The Straw Hat Pirates' main "crimes" against the World Government are protecting themselves and their friends from pirates and corrupted members of the Government. Usopp even lampshaded it during the Fishman Island arc when he, Brook, Nami, and Zoro took King Neptune and his soldiers hostage, remarking that they wouldn't have done so if the latter hadn't attacked them first. The only actual crimes Luffy has ever committed are infiltrating Impel Down and later orchestrating a prison break—otherwise he's almost squeaky clean.
    • Kyros was arrested and incarcerated for killing a group of thugs who murdered his best friend in cold blood. Those years he spent in prison, fighting in Dressrosa's tournaments as an imprisoned gladiator, would make him famous and become known as "The Invincible Gladiator" who won 3,000 fights in a row. Once he's free, he becomes the commander of Dressrosa's royal army.
  • In Rash, one of the inmates at the prison was arrested because, when he saw his daughter's stalker trying to kill her, he panicked and beat him down with a bat, with the judge deciding he had gone overboard-and that the stalker, being insane, deserved a lighter sentence, resulting in him getting out first and trying to kill the woman again before she can marry. For obvious reasons, the police who brought the father in because it was the procedure and expected him to not even be tried are really embarrassed by the whole situation and make a point of arresting the stalker again at the first occasion while protecting his victim.
  • Record of Wortenia War: Kidnappers can (and usually do) charge their victims with a crime under the law if the kidnapper is ... a.) a slaver kidnapping a peasant, or even a noble (if from another country) to then sell on the market. b.) A "noble" knight kidnaps the spouse and child of a commoner rival. c.) A summoned "otherworlder" is attacked with deadly force upon being summoned "as a test" and not only retaliates but actually has the gall to win the fight and then escape captivity. d.) If the kidnapper manages to drag you across a country boundary, you had best Leave No Witnesses because if you can get ID'd, your life's pretty much over. The protagonist was introduced fleeing Ortomea for violating "c.)"
  • The Inciting Incident of Satanophany is protagonist Chika Amagi being sentenced to life imprisonment for killing the three men about to rape her and the two women who had lured her into the trap. The fact that the killing got recorded is used as incontrovertible proof of her guilt, somehow nevermind the fact that there was a camera recording only because the would-be rapists wanted a record of the deed. Other characters such as her brother Michitaka do start to ponder about her sentence since it is clear that Chika's murder victims were going to gang-rape her alongside other details. It turns out, the real reason for her sentence is because she caught the attention of an N.G.O. Superpower of Mad Scientists with a murder Fetish, because her ability to kill her would-be rapists showed a reaction to a "treatment" they had administered to her among many other female candidates. They then used their influence over the government and media to frame her to use her as a test subject for their mind control project in Haguro Prison. Their goal is to implant a Serial Killer Split Personality into formerly innocent girls, and then create a Split-Personality Merge, both For the Evulz and to create Super Soldiers.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The nation that declares war on Tempest do so after some of their knights go to investigate a disturbance and see the monsters being struck down by three criminals. Said knights arrogantly announce a one week time frame before launching hostilities... As if Rimuru wasn't already pissed off at that point by seeing a bunch of children among the victims.

    Comic Books 
  • The back half of The Dark Knight Returns runs on the conceit that Batman would be considered a murderer for breaking the Joker’s neck while the latter’s trying to stab him to death, in the middle of a killing spree at that.
  • Explicit in Judge Dredd, where vigilante justice is a more heavily enforced crime than burglary and drug dealing. Yes, this includes "lethally resisting someone trying to kill you", or "breaking and entering private property while trying to escape," but only if you're caught.
  • Happens from time to time in Tex Willer, usually because both attacker and sheriff are on the paybook of the local Small-Town Tyrant.
  • In Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Optimus Prime, Jazz gets hunted down and vilified by humans for shooting and killing a man on live TV, followed by interfering with an arrest. What people don’t know is that the former was shooting to kill the Autobots, while the latter were racial profiling an innocent black teen.
  • Wonder Woman kills Maxwell Lord in order to stop him from killing thousands of people via a mind-controlled Superman. Unfortunately, the Brother Eye satellite which recorded this incident edited the footage to make it look like Diana had murdered an innocent man in cold blood.

    Fan Works 


  • Deku: The Golden Saiyan Hero of Hope: At one point, Itsuka is attacked by three would-be rapists aiming to exploit some loopholes in the Quirk-Regulation Laws. Their heteromorphic bodies allow them to overpower her without technically activating their Quirks, and it's implied that Itsuka would get into serious trouble if she used her own Quirk to defend herself. Thankfully, Izuku intervenes.
  • Something similar happens in Hero Academia D×D, with Itsuka being told by three drunk men with heteromorphic Quirks that she can have sex with them willingly or they will make her sex with them, and they know she would get in trouble if she used her Quirk to defend herself. Izuku, Ibara, and Ochako intervening forces the men to back off.
  • Seen in the Bad Future of Infinity Train: Court of Cyclamen: Grace is forced to kill Chloe-as-Lady-Destiny in order to save herself and the Apex. Unfortunately, the rest of the Red Lotus arrive late, witnessing the tail end of this defense and getting the wrong idea about what happened.
  • In Mission to Silas, this is invoked quite a bit, especially when the D.E.B.S Academy are trying to push a narrative for their spy agency to follow. Borders onto Dog-Kicking Excuse, as these accusations are used solely to push their narrative and "official" story, as opposed to what they actually believe.
    • To justify keeping Brigitte Fitzgerald in their custody, they would use her "delinquent" past against her, especially over her supposed slaying of her sister, and another werewolf by the name of "J. Taylor". Never mind that Ginger was a transformed werewolf, and Brigitte stabbed her to defend herself; or that the other werewolf was a Stalker with a Crush that killed several people to get to Brigitte; the fact that Brigitte "murdered" these two is enough reason to deem her a flight risk to be kept in check.
    • The Academy also tries to promote Lucy Diamond as a mass-murderer to push their narrative that she's a threat to the world. Thing is, most of Lucy's killings were part of her Mob War against the Schaffer crime syndicate, who not only made numerous attempts on her life, but killed most of her family. To go with the narrative, the agency almost treats the Schaffers — vicious criminals themselves — as if they were innocent victims of Lucy. When Amy is confronted about it by her pushy ex-boyfriend Bobby, who tries to use Lucy's "murderous" history against their relationship. When Bobby brings up the Schaeffer's, and Amy quickly points out the blood on the Schaffer's hands, Bobby snaps, insisting their blood is on Lucy's.
  • Averted in Theogony: Shadow Stalker attempts to kill Taylor while she's fighting Lung. Taylor, unaware of who she is, kills Shadow Stalker in self-defense; then Armsmaster shows up and assumes she killed her in cold blood. However, Uber and Leet caught the whole thing on tape and publish it online; faced with clear evidence of Stalker's blatant murder attempt, the authorities are forced to concede that Taylor was only acting to defend herself.
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, Ranma Saotome and his companions are set on the road to become the Kamikaze Pirates when the Marines stationed on a small East Blue island called Becop Island attack the martial artists for sailing into port with a pirate flag flying, as they forgot to take down the Jolly Roger when they beat up some pirates and stole their ship. The teens try to resolve the matter diplomatically, but are forced to defend themselves when the Marines don't listen. Soon afterwards, more marines from Becop catch them, and upon hearing the whole story, inform the teens that even if they are innocent of being pirates, they're now guilty of resisting arrest and assaulting Navy troopers, so they should surrender themselves and "only" get a few years of hard labor. The insulted martial artists promptly decide to become pirates for real, and make their "living" by attacking Navy ships and bases above all other targets.


  • Dangan Ronpa Another IF: Subverted by the first case; initially, Yasuhiro was defending himself from Toko. However, after she passed out, he chose to finish her off rather than taking the opportunity to escape safely.
  • Dangan Ronpa: Assassinating Friendship:
    • In this Alternate Universe, most of the participants have a body count prior to being forced into the killing game. In Gundam's case, he slew several poachers in order to defend the endangered animals they were after. Hijirihara dismisses this as less impressive than what most of the murderers present have accomplished, much to Gundam's ire.
    • Poor K1-B0 winds up killing in self-defense. Unfortunately for all involved, this leads to Komaeda promptly abandoning him for failing to live up to his oath to avoid taking any lives, leaving the robot in the middle of a Heroic BSoD.
  • Despair's Last Resort: Ayame ends up as an Accidental Murderer while defending themselves from another student, while Shizuka similarly winds up having to kill in self-defense. Monokuma also holds the latter responsible for dodging under the Shovel Strike that claimed Naomi's life.

Ed, Edd n Eddy

  • The Dark Fic Forfeit involves the Kanker Sisters getting killed in self-defense by one of the Eds, and all three facing the consequences. When the dust settles, Eddy took all the blame and was sentenced to death, while Ed was deemed mentally incompetent and unable to understand what he'd done. Double D also spends eighteen months in prison and finds himself unable to pursue a college education.

Harry Potter

  • In Divided and Entwined, this is the reason Hermione finds herself wanted as a murderer: when two Aurors come to her home to interrogate her about Umbridge's disappearance one of them pulls out his wand, at which point Hermione, who had read on the papers of Aurors killing a number of Muggleborns in "self-defense", reacts with lethal force and then stuns the other.
  • Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy: After Harry is attacked by Dementors, Umbridge attempts to exploit the incident by accusing him of "stealing Ministry property" while defending himself. Why? Because his Artifact sword consumed the Dementors.
  • Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past: Draco Malfoy attempts unsuccessfully to steal a letter that Harry is going to post, and then he and his two cronies all cast Stunning spells at Harry simultaneously — which Harry successfully shields himself against, causing Draco's stunner to bounce back and knock Draco out. Professor Snape then appears and announces his intent to have Harry expelled for duelling in the corridors. (Harry successfully appeals the decision to Professor McGonagall, though.)

Marvel Universe

  • Pound the Table:
    • Noa's first case deals with St. John Allerdyce, a sixteen-year old who was mugged by four fully grown men, taking a serious blow to his head that could've killed him outright. While he managed to drive his assailants away, he winds up facing charges, since he happens to be a mutant with pyrokinetic powers.
    • Ben Parker defends Harry from his abusive father. Norman nearly charged him with assault, and decided to sue him instead.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence: After Alya assaults Marinette and Cole, Ms. Bustier is more upset with Cole for punching Alya. Never mind that she did so reflexively after Alya ripped open Cole's facial stitches with her deliberately sharpened fingernails; so far as Bustier's concerned, Alya is the victim. She even refuses to get Cole any medical attention for her injuries! Fortunately, this blatant favoritism gets her into serious trouble, and she finds herself promptly suspended, facing an unfavorable review, and Cole's mom ends up suing Bustier for child abuse/neglect.

My Hero Academia



  • Persona 5: Rebellion: After the evidence piles up that Kamoshida instigated the fight that ultimately landed him in the hospital, it's noted that nobody would harshly punish the culprit, especially if they turned out to be either one of his many victims or one of their relatives.

Red vs. Blue

  • In Murderer's Row, Donut is in prison because he killed his roommate Maine in self-defense. Due to Donut's ignorance about his attacker's motive and how brutally he dispatched him, the cops decided that it was murder.

Rosario + Vampire

  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • A recurring theme in Act III is that Tsukune's group is repeatedly targeted by the other students at Yokai Academy, who believe them to be nothing but fakers and Attention Whores claiming to fight Fairy Tale for attention. Whenever the students target them, Tsukune and the others fight back, and repeatedly get reprimanded by Headmaster Mikogami, who repeatedly pays no attention whatsoever to the fact that the students attacked them first, for doing so to the extent that he threatens to separate them if they get in another fight... which leads to the girls of the group getting blackmailed and nearly raped by Kano, who took advantage of Mikogami's decision to do exactly that. It's only after the incident with Kano that Mikogami wises up and agrees to give Tsukune and co. the right to defend themselves.
    • In Act VI, Moka and co. also end up digging themselves deeper by killing HDA operatives. They acknowledge that it's not helping their claims of wanting peace, but they had no choice since the HDA is actively trying to kill them on sight and none of them will listen to reason. Of course, in chapter 30, the new director, Hothorne Tamaka, keeps track of the security tapes, and is convinced of the truth behind their claims because they only killed in self-defense.


  • The Self Made Man: After Jaune fends off a teenaged mugger, the mugger attempts to cover their tracks by going on the news claiming that they were the victim, assaulted and left for dead in an alleyway rather than being hurt by their intended victim. The cops are clearly interested in tracking down this "raving psycho" before he attacks anyone else, unaware that they're being lied to.

Tokyo Ghoul


  • Another Way: After getting caught in a shootout between Claire's bodyguards and some Gesellschaft thugs, Abigail nearly gets arrested for, as Claire puts it, "being the last one standing." Marquis has to apply some pressure to get her released.

Young Justice

  • In Pyroclasm, Michael incinerated Victor Zsass when Victor attempted to kill one of his neighbors. While this was ruled to be a justified case of self-defense by the courts, Michael still receives hate mail and death threats from Jerkasses and criminal activist groups.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 100 Feet: Marnie is placed under house arrest and had served a previous two years in prison killing her abusive husband with the knife he attacked her with. Even though there were police reports indicating that she was a battered spouse, Marnie is still treated like a cold-blooded murderer.
  • Alena: In the film, Alena is told by her guidance counselor she can't get into another "incident" with Filippa and other girls (i.e. hit them) although she knows Alena did this only to defend herself from an attempted rape.
  • The Archer: Lauren protests at being sent off to reform camp for beating up Daniel, her friend's abusive boyfriend, because she was defending herself. Unfortunately her friend has Stockholm Syndrome and refuses to testify, and the unfeeling judge doesn't care anyway (we later learn that he's also corrupt, ordering girls into the camp for kickbacks, so he would do this regardless).
  • Avatar: The Way of Water: Payakan's mother was killed by human hunters. He led the other young Tulkun in the pod, along with several Metkayina Na'vi, in a counterattack that went horribly wrong due to the humans' superior firepower, and was ostracized by the other Tulkun for resorting to violence in the first place.
  • Bad Girls: Cody only shot the Colonel when he opened fire first. Everyone treats it like she'd murdered him, with his widow siccing Pinkerton detectives after Cody (the lynch mob she escaped earlier were more concerned with her "evil" as a prostitute). It's clear that, no matter what, a prostitute killing an "upstanding" citizen (even if he'd been in a brothel at the time, right after abusing another prostitute) makes her guilty even if this was obviously self-defense.
  • In Beast (2017), Moll states she was the one who got into trouble at school when she stabbed a bully in self-defense. She eventually admits it was actually because she did it for revenge; while the girl may have provoked her, Moll wasn't defending herself.
  • The Butterfly Effect has Evan get sent to jail when he accidentally kills Tommy in self-defense. Mind you, everyone knows Tommy is a violent psycho and there were a dozen witnesses to testify that Tommy was trying to kill Evan. This might be because Evan did keep hitting Tommy after he was incapacitated.
  • In Con Air, the (sympathetic) main character Cameron Poe is put in prison for accidentally killing someone in defense of his pregnant wife because A) one of the three scumbags who was trying to assault him got rid of the knife his late buddy pulled, B) his idiot lawyer advised him to plead guilty, C) the Hanging Judge on the case said that as an inactive soldier with expert combat training, he should have been more careful since his assailants were unarmed — even though there were three of them. This one is especially bad since it relies hugely on Hollywood Law. It's quite unlikely he'd even be prosecuted (his wife witnessed the entire thing), and he would have a very good chance at trial if they did, so it's unlikely his lawyer would advise a guilty plea. Additionally, it was shown to be a federal case despite no indication the deaths occurred in federal jurisdiction. Plus, a judge giving a defendant a harsher sentence because he's a veteran would be career suicide for the latter and an easy appeal for the former.
  • In The Demolitionist, a city's complete ban on possession of firearms has led to skyrocketing crime. Professor Jack Crawley is pitching his "Lazarus Project" to the Mayor and her chief of police when assassins strike. They survive the attempt because the professor had with him the prototype firearm he proposed to arm his reanimated subject with. The chief of police then tries to arrest him for illegal possession of a firearm (only to vetoed by the Mayor).
  • In The Dirty Dozen, African-American soldier Robert Jeffersen was sentenced to death by a military tribunal for killing two white racists who were trying to castrate him.
  • Escape from Alcatraz:
    • English is a veteran inmate in Alcatraz prison in 1961. He tells Frank Morris his story of how he wound up in there. He was harassed by two men, who tried to attack him with knives. English killed them both. The reason why he got two life sentences, back-to-back? The two men were white, and he was black.
    • Morris is punished for fighting off Wolf when the latter attacks him with a shiv. "He came at me!" Morris rightly protests. It's possible the guard didn't see who began the fight, but he doesn't bother to find out. However, Morris is released after about a week. Wolf spends six months in solitary for attacking a guard.
  • Foxfire (1996): Legs is imprisoned for stopping the jocks kidnapping Maddie intending to rape her, since they (and one's girlfriend) lied, saying this was an unprovoked attack by her. She's released after the girl comes clean to the judge in guilt over it.
  • Guilt by Association: Susan is put in isolation as punishment along with the prisoner who violently attacked her. Marquerite, the friendly chaplain, tries to help her by telling the warden, but Susan says not to, knowing it would make her look like a snitch, which is a death sentence. Later this threatens her chance for having a commutation of her sentence.
  • Instinct: Powell was convicted of murder and imprisoned for killing supposed park rangers with a wooden club. They were really poachers and he did it to stop them slaughtering his gorilla "family".
  • Jailbait (2014): Anna kills her stepfather in self-defense when he's trying to rape her. The cops and jury don't believe it though, since her mother denies he'd done anything, so Anna is thus convicted of his involuntary manslaughter, getting four years in prison.
  • Judge Dredd: Hilariously lampshaded when Rob Schneider's character is told he didn't have to hijack the food-bot, he could have gone out the window.
    Fergee: From twenty stories!? That would be suicide!
    Dredd: Maybe. But it's legal.
  • The Man from Laramie: Dave made it pretty clear to Vic that only one of them was leaving that mountain-top alive. Most of the conflict of the latter half of the film comes from the fact that Vic can't just explain this without revealing his and Dave's side business of selling rifles to the Apaches.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a complex example. Jim Williams admits to having shot his lover Billy but claims it was self-defense when Billy, high as a kite and mad at him for an earlier snub, grabbed a Chekhov's Gun off the desk and shot and missed, giving Jim time to draw on him. Jim is tried for murder one based on discrepancies between his story and the forensic evidence. He later privately tells John Kelso that Billy tried to shoot him, but the safety was on and Jim shot him before he could turn it off, and he then staged the scene to make himself look less guilty (to explain the lack of gunshot residue on Billy's hands), saying "I'd rather be convicted of lying than of murder." However, his lawyer comes in with evidence of shoddy police work (previously discovered by Kelso) that suggests the cops could have accidentally compromised the exculpating evidence, and Jim goes back to his original story. It's never confirmed which version is true (though either way, Jim probably has a fair-to-decent self-defense case under Georgia law).
  • Queen & Slim: Slim only shot the officer in self-defense during the heat of the moment. However, he and Queen both know there's no chance of mercy for them as he was a police officer. Both are killed by the cops at the end.
  • Welcome Home (2018): Discussed: after Cassie kills her stalker that was trying to strangle her boyfriend, they both Freak Out over it due to being Americans in a foreign country (Italy), and thinking they can't get away with self-defense.

  • Book of the Dead (2021): After Tyron kills a Slayer, all the other Slayers are furious about the loss of one of their own. The fact that the Slayer was doing his very best to kill Tyron at the time doesn't enter into their thinking, of course.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): The golgari are furious about Anthony eradicating the city-sized rock they tried to drop on him, by hitting it with an immense gravity bomb, causing significant collateral damage to their fortress, and the Silver City uses it to demand stricter compensation arrangements before he's allowed to visit.
  • Cradle Series: Lindon spends most of the series weaker than basically everyone around him, and in this world, no one much cares if the weak are killed. So when someone decides to crush the annoying little insect instead of having a conversation, Lindon defends himself, often with lethal results. Multiple people have demanded duels of honor after he defended himself from an unprovoked attack. It doesn't help that he has a Face of a Thug, so everyone always assumes his peaceful overtures are just him mocking them.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden almost got executed for killing his Evil Mentor (who had tried to mind control and then kill him), because the White Council believes that killing using magic automatically warrants death—only somebody being willing to sponsor him saved him. And he still spent the next couple of years being repeatedly accused of Black Magic. The problem? Hundreds of years of experience has taught them that breaking the Laws of Magic, no matter how supposedly necessary or well-intentioned, usually sets people off on a dark path. And they have yet to be proven wrong. Yes, even with Harry.
  • Elcenia: Aar Hhirheek meets Talyn for the first time, unhappy that Talyn is dating his daughter, and promptly begins insulting both Talyn and Leekath, calling Leekath's innate magical gift a mental illness, openly stating that Talyn is probably planning to use and discard her, and dismissing Talyn's own viewpoint on the basis of Talyn being too young to know what he's talking about. When Talyn interrupts him to point out that Barashin half-elves age differently and Talyn is older than he assumed, Aar Hhirheek is deeply offended by his "rudeness" and ready to kick him out of the house.
  • Fish in a Tree: Albert is regularly beaten up by a group of kids, but refuses to fight back. One reason being that, since he's bigger than them, he's afraid that people will think that HE'S bullying THEM. When they start beating up his friends, however, he drops this ideology and finally stands up to them.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry risks breaking The Masquerade by using magic to protect his cousin and himself against Dementors and is put on trial for this. In this case, the government in question is waging a propaganda war against Harry and is twisting the law in order to punish him as much as possible and make him look like a delinquent. When the defense proves Harry was in a situation where the options were breaking The Masquerade or having his soul ripped out of his body, the Ministry spun the story to make it sound like he got Off on a Technicality. (Notably, he wasn't even breaking it to begin with; there was a Muggle around, but he was Harry's cousin and already knew about magic, and there weren't any other witnesses we know about.) And then it turns out that one of their particularly nasty members is secretly responsible for the attack in the first place, precisely to provoke him into using magic so they could prosecute him for it.
  • Honor Harrington: At the end of Field of Dishonor, Honor is relieved of her command and expelled from the House of Lords by her political opponent after killing Pavel Young in a legal duel. The excuse is that she killed him when she knew his gun was empty, because he had emptied it in her general direction when her back was turned, in direct violation of the rules of the duel the two were engaged in. Under those rules, the supervisor was required to kill the offending party (which he was just about to do when she beat him to the punch), so her opponent would have died anyway. She also catches flack because she shot Pavel three times when the dueling code only allowed her to fire once - despite the fact that Pavel had just shot at her six times.
  • In Hoot, Roy punches Dana in the face while being choked and is subsequently punished.
  • Journey to Chaos has this both defied and referenced. During A Mage's Power, Eric kills an orc in defense of Annala and the two subsequently worry about him getting in trouble for this. So much that Annala immediately collects evidence against it. Fortunately, Eric's guild has an in-house advocate who calls the incident an Open-and-Shut Case of self-defense. Two books later this happens again and lands Eric in bigger trouble.
  • The Juvie Three: Arjay is in jail because when a Gang of Bullies attacked him, he pushed one of them, who fell back and fatally hit his head on a fountain, after which his friends painted Arjay as the aggressor.
  • In the second book of The Long Earth series, Joshua's wife is briefly jailed for punching an assassin who had just stabbed Joshua. As Joshua is a very unpopular figure with the government, it's implied to be a case of corruption and legalistic bullying.
  • A nonfatal version occurs in the backstory of the Serge Storms book Naked Came the Florida Man. College football player Lamar Calhoun reflexively punched an abusive coach while trying to get free after about a minute of being strangled by the man. Calhoun was promptly arrested for battery (although he was let out of jail without serving any time in exchange for his silence), kicked off the team, and blackballed from the NFL and a career in P.E. (until he eventually lied on a job application) to cover up the coach's actions.
  • The Pride of Parahumans: The Ceres Directorate doesn't even recognize the right to self-defense, Vesta does but the law there is practically feudal. The protagonists were Cerean until they splattered a wanna-be pirate who was attacking them. It hurt that he was related to an executive, so they moved to Vesta.
  • Pronto: Bookie Harry Arno shoots Earl Crowe in self-defense when Crowe tries to shoot him, but the police falsely claim Earl was unarmed to force Harry to testify against his boss Jimmy Cap.
  • The Reluctant King: In Xylar a king attempting to prevent his beheading after five years is a felony. Judge Grallon says he would charge Jorian with murder if possible for killing two mercenaries in self-defense from dragging him back for this too.
  • In Ruled Britannia, Alejandro de Recalde attacks Lope de Vega after he catches him having an affair with his mistress. de Vega kills him, and is officially cleared of legal wrongdoing since Alejandro is the one who first attacked him. However, multiple people point out that killing a nobleman can have repercussions even if you're legally cleared, and they warn him to watch out for retribution anyway.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Starfire, Bradley gets into trouble for turning the tables on a pair of muggers threatening him and his friends, even after said crooks cut his arm with a knife and throw his disabled teammate out of her wheelchair.
  • X-Wing Series: The novel Wraith Squadron discusses this when Wedge is interviewing one of his pilot candidates, Voort "Piggy" saBinring. Voort, a Gamorrean, is facing a court-martial for supposedly striking a superior officer, who is willing to drop charges as long as Voort is transferred as far away from his command as possible. Voort maintains that he is the one who was struck at, and merely blocked the blow and made no effort to hit back; the officer's bias against Gamorreans led him to remember that as an attack and file charges. He adds that nobody he ever punched (in legal sparring matches) has been able to speak coherently in less than an hour, whereas the officer in question filed charges less than half an hour later. It works out well in the end, as this act leads to Voort transferring to Wraith Squadron and going on to be one of the heroes of the New Republic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Back to Life revolves around a woman released from jail after serving 18 years for a murder which is ultimately revealed to have really been self-defense.
  • The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: The British arrest Ephraim for refusing to come with them to the police station, after he'd killed two Arabs attacking his family. He gets freed pretty quickly.
  • A likely deliberate example in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. After Rebecca rejects Trent, he messages her from a party, implying that he's about to kill Nathaniel. She rushes to the party to find Trent standing behind Nathaniel with a knife, and pushes him off the roof. Unfortunately, the messages were designed to self-destruct, and it turned out Trent had legitimately gotten a job as a waiter (the knife was for carving a turkey). Between that and her history of obsession and instability, it looks like murder. This was likely deliberate on Trent's part, to kill himself and make Rebecca take the blame.
  • El Chavo del ocho: During one of the several occasions where Doña Florinda decides to slap Don Ramón for something she thinks he did to her son, he manages to defend himself by placing a bucket on his head. Professor Jirafales is so outraged about Doña Florinda hurting her hand from smacking the bucket that he punches Don Ramón for it.
  • Season two of Dexter has his girlfriend's abusive ex-husband force his way into her house. Her children are sleeping nearby, and she's afraid of what will happen to them if she puts up a fight, so she lures him into her bedroom, and smacks him down with the Emergency Bat she keeps under her bed. Next thing you know, the ex-husband is filing assault charges against her, and she's in danger of losing her kids. Fortunately, her current boyfriend just happens to be a Serial-Killer Killer...
  • In the Dark: Jess kills drug kingpin Nia to defend her friends from being murdered. However, she Murphy and Felix then have to flee as the Chicago Police don't know it was justifiable (this also couldn't be proven, since it's only their word and they had ample motive for murder to be rid of Nia).
  • In Jupiter's Legacy the supervillain Blackstar kills three superheroes and is about to kill the Utopian when Paragon caves his head in with one punch. Paragon is not charged with anything, but Utopian treats this like a first-degree murder.
  • L.A.'s Finest: Nico shot his and Nancy's mom to stop her beating Nancy. While this was probably legal (defense of others) they were both scared that it wouldn't be taken that way, secretly burying their mom's body with help from a friend to cover it up. The same goes for them in present day.
  • One episode of Mission: Impossible has Barney get arrested for accidentally killing a man who attacked him when he tried to stop him from harassing his girlfriend. Since the man he killed was a Dirty Cop in a city full of them, the rest of the team then has to rescue Barney before he can be summarily executed by a Kangaroo Court.
  • October Faction: Viv stops a guy at her school from raping her, and then he accuses her of assaulting him. She then hits him angrily over this, and gets suspended.
  • Proven Innocent:
    • Levi Scott hits back when Brian Husband assaults him with a bat. Brian and Helen, his wife, then claim Levi attacked him, so he's facing assault charges.
    • Tamara Folson admitted to police that she slashed the man who tried raping her. However, they use this as a confession to murdering a different man. The judge hearing her petition uses this initially as a pattern of her supposed "aggression" as well, despite it being to defend herself.
    • Some of the trans women in "The Struggle for Stonewall" note that when they fought to defend themselves from transphobic bigots, the police instead arrested them.
  • Space: Above and Beyond: Cooper is beaten and nearly hung in an alleyway because he was an Artificial Human. When he throws himself on a police car begging for help, they arrest him and shoo his attackers off. The judge sentences him to a stint in the Marine Corps, which turns out to be a huge improvement compared to his previous lot in life as a homeless person, even with an interstellar war raging.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "North Star", killing a human, even in self-defense, is a hanging crime for a Skagerran.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Lonely", James A. Corry was convicted of murder but claims that he killed in self-defense. He is eventually pardoned.
    • In "I am the Night - Color Me Black", Jagger killed a racist man in self-defense, which the presence of powder burns on the victim's body indicated. However, a committee of townspeople convinced Sheriff Koch to ignore this evidence. Koch did so as he wanted to be re-elected sheriff. Jagger was therefore convicted of murder and is executed on the morning of May 25, 1964.
  • Outlander: Ulysses is sent underground, since killing a white man even to defend his mistress from attempted murder would still no doubt mean he'd be lynched.
  • In a flashback sequence in The Unit, Jonas's father, newly returned from the Korean War, is accosted by two white men after asking a white woman to go into a whites-only shop to buy Jonas a soda. In the first version of the story Jonas tells, Dad talks them down, but in the second version seen at the end of the episode, they pull out a chain, clearly intending to beat or lynch him, and Dad kills them both with his KA-BAR knife. He then steals their truck to get out of town (no jury in the South would accept a self-defense plea from a black man against whites).


    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney plays with the trope every so often. Word of God is that in Japanifornia murders in self-defense are judged more leniently, but that doesn't always apply or show through.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: The third case was a case of legitimate self-defense; the victim attacked the culprit and was accidentally pushed onto a sharp fence post. The killer still felt the need to move the body to a different part of the studio to give themself an alibi.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All: In the second case, Francisca von Karma offers to let Maya plead justified self-defense given that the man she was accused of murdering had a gun and fired it soon before he died. Phoenix refuses because that would mean admitting that Maya did kill someone and goes for an innocent plea.
    • The third murder of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice plays this absolutely straight due to Khura'in's Kangaroo Court; the victim was attempting to murder the culprit (a pregnant woman) who killed him on accident. Because the victim was a government agent, they knew they wouldn't get a fair trial, so they covered it up and framed Maya instead.
  • Brutal Japan is about a salaryman caught out on the streets after dark when no one is around, being chased by a hostile homeless man trying to kill him completely unprovoked. If the salaryman kills the homeless man in self-defense, he's arrested and tried for murder because there were no witnesses to collaborate his story. If the salaryman wounds the homeless man and escapes, the homeless man will sue him for scarring his face. The only "good" ending is to get the police involved so they take the homeless man away (though other than being detained for causing a nuisance, he never faces any consequences for trying to kill the salaryman).
  • There's a subversion in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. The first culprit killed someone who tried to kill him first, making it a crime of self-defense...except as a classmate points out, the first culprit actually had another option; when the would-be murderer locked herself in the shower, the actual murderer could have simply left the room and escaped. Instead, he went out of his way to retrieve his toolbox from his room, then go back to his victim's room just to break down the shower door and stab her. The manga version is played straighter: he went into the shower without any weapons in an ill-thought-out attempt to calm her down, then accidentally stabbed her as they struggled over the knife, but before he can explain this Monokuma says that it doesn't matter whether it was self-defense or not.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, if you're a member of The Dark Brotherhood (a cult of assassins) and on assignment, you can confront your mark and threaten them, which sometimes prompts them to attack you in defense. If any guards are around, they will attack this person who's obviously the instigator, and won't trouble you if you fight back. It's all a matter of who attacks first.
  • The main character Kageaki has to face this trope in Full Metal Daemon Muramasa after he defended both himself and his mother from a crazed attacker. Specifically, in order to defend himself he had sworn the oath of the Law of Balance to the tsurugi Muramasa, a law that stipulates that for every ever enemy you slay, you also have to slay a friend. And the law is iron clad. There is no getting around it. Thus by killing the attacker even though it was self defense, he is then forced to kill his mother as the law exists under the notion that murder is always a horrible act, no matter the circumstances.
  • God of War Ragnarök: Played with in the initial scene where Odin tries to negotiate with Kratos about the events of the last game. He acknowledges Magni and Modi's deaths as self-defense but wants compensation for Baldur's death. It was actually a little more complicated (Magni was self-defense, Atreus murdered Modi while on a power trip, and Baldur was killed in defense of Freya), but the scene mostly serves to show how callous Odin is, since he's only willing to acknowledge self-defense for Magni and Modi because they were, in his words, "kinda useless" (note that he's saying this in front of their father who's still grieving their deaths), but Baldur "had value" because he was a good fighter and Odin's best tracker.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto III: You get a wanted level for defending yourself against anyone who attacks you, from the drug-trafficking Triads to your archenemies The Cartel to those infamous shotgun-packing Leone Mafiosi in Liberty City.note 
    • The only break you get is that, in Vice City and the two Stories games, you can occasionally see a single policeman chasing a random pedestrian and get $50 bucks as a "good citizen" bonus for punching said pedestrian in the face (specifically punching them - use an actual weapon and the cop will go after you instead).
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: The gangs can use you for target practice and the police isn't the least interested, but then you kill just one of those Ballas vermin and the police are all over you. In that specific case, there's at least the justification that the Los Santos police unit that deals the most with the gangs, CRASH, are corrupt as hell and working directly with the Ballas.
    • Grand Theft Auto Online is worse about it. Police are smarter in a single-player sense, in that they will go out of their way to attack any aggressor they come across, from an armed player going crazy to a pedestrian that ran over a cop trying to get away, however, they will always target any player who makes an aggressive action in their sight. This comes to a head when you're defending yourself against an aggressive player who has killed you multiple times, where the cops, who are most likely there because of your death, start attacking you because you shot back. Even worse as of "Gunrunning" with the advent of weaponized personal vehicles, as destroying a player's personal vehicle results in 'Bad Sport' points and a hefty insurance payout to the vehicle's owner. This combines to make a situation where a player being attacked by one of these missile-and-minigun-armed vehicles who does manage to destroy it loses money for destroying it, risks being labeled a griefer by the game, and probably gets the cops called on them by nearby NPCs.
  • Early on in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, you are forced into a duel with a bully named Merula Snyde. It doesn't matter that she's been harassing you repeatedly, nearly gotten you throttled by Devil's Snare, attacked you, and openly challenged you, you'll still get bitched out by Professor Snape and docked twenty house points. He even ignores any attempts you make to deescalate the conflict and treats you as just as guilty if Merula fires the first shot, although Professor Flitwick will at least take your side if you only defend yourself.
  • The iOS Gamebook called Heroes Rise has the Player Character's parents be famous superheroes who were attacked by an assassin while accepting their award in public. While attempting to subdue her, they accidentally kill her. The judge sentences them both to life in prison with no possibility of parole and doesn't even grant them visitation rights. Oh, and all their money is given to the assassin's daughter. It's made clear that this was a political move on the judge's part, as he was running for mayor at the time. However, it's not clear why a murder trial wasn't a trial by jury and why the jury didn't side with the city's favorite superheroes instead of an assassin who was trying to kill them. There should've been an appeal to a higher court (i.e. where said judge couldn't do anything). On the other hand, the ending implies that the judge-turned-mayor may have had other reasons to put away the player's parents.
  • Persona 5 Strikers: Akira Konoe found out that his abusive father killed his mother, and fearing that he would be next, killed him in return, with the Phantom Thieves calling him out for both his self-interest and his other crimes.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the gang of delinquents called Team Star are revealed to be a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who started out as Bully Hunters, but after they Took a Level in Badass and made a big show of calling out their bullies, the then-deputy headmaster covered the whole thing up and suspended their leader even though no fight actually occurred. When their former bullies all dropped out in fear of them, this led to rumors that Team Star was bullying kids into dropping out.
  • Postal 2 ends up doing this as part of deliberately avoiding having the police focus on the player, along with Rule of Funny being part of it. Police and armed citizens tend to fixate on whoever they see shooting first, which can quickly snowball out of control. It can even be exploited by the player, either leading attackers (whether or not you hit them first) into view of police or causing havoc out of sight to provoke any NPC in earshot to draw whatever weapons they have, at which point they see all those other people nearby with guns drawn.
  • In Senran Kagura, this ends up being a huge part of Homura's backstory. When she was in eighth grade, she was attacked by her tutor, who turned out to be an evil shinobi sent to kill her. She almost killed him, partly out of self-defense and partly due to his betraying her trust. This locks her out of the path towards becoming a good shinobi due to the fact that committing a crime before admission to a shinobi school is an automatic disqualification. Her parents abandoned her because of that.
  • The plot of Shadow the Hedgehog is a Mêlée à Trois between the Black Arms attempting to conquer Earth, the GUN Forces trying to protect it, and Eggman's robots attempting to get some of the action. No matter who you side with (Black Doom, Sonic and friends, or Eggman), they will always bust your chops if you attack their faction, ignoring how everyone is attempting to kill Shadow on sight, even the Black Arms who are ostensibly trying to recruit him.
  • Used for symbolism in Silent Hill: Downpour, where you get a worse ending for killing enemies. Said enemies are mindless demonic constructs who gleefully try and slaughter you for the street cred, but if you want that best ending you need to take the moral high ground, spare them, and do a Pacifist Run. It makes sense since it's the town itself doing the judging and it plays by its own rules.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • One of the Lawful Stupid Appeal to Tradition justifications that Darth Thanaton gives for trying to murder the Sith Inquisitor PC at the end of Chapter 1 is that they openly killed their master Darth Zash—which was because Zash was trying to pull a Grand Theft Me on them. The other justification is that he considered Zash corrupt, and Zash taught the Inquisitor, so the Inquisitor must also be corrupt.
    • On Belsavis, the Inquisitor encounters a Rakata Artificial Intelligence whose help they need to rebuild their body after a Deadly Upgrade in Chapter 2. The Mother Machine offers her help in exchange for removing her Restraining Bolt; should the Inquisitor do so, she immediately has the droids under her control kill the remaining Rakata on Belsavis. The Inquisitor can call her out on this, but the AI states it was to prevent them from being able to re-enslave her (and if the player is at all familiar with the backstory of the Rakata in Star Wars Legends, they frankly kinda had it coming).
  • Notably Played With in the ending of Undertale. Although it's true you can only get the absolute best ending in the game by killing no one (even the ones you were legitimately defending your life against), you don't get judged very harshly in neutral endings where you took some lives: it's actually acknowledged In-Universe that you were defending yourself, and the real guilt-tripping only begins when circumstances make it clear that you're going out of your way to start fights to kill monsters instead of just walking through dangerous areas and defending yourself from random encounters (and the game is coded to make it basically impossible get a really high kill count without actively grinding for it as an Anti-Frustration Feature so you don't get guilt tripped for playing the game normally). The only one who starts condemning you at a single kill is Undyne (who's somewhat biased against humans to begin with), and if your only kill is Asgore even she begrudgingly admits that you probably had no other choice (Asgore actually destroys the Mercy button during your fight, so you do have to attack him). The only single monsters you really get guilt-tripped for killing are Toriel and Papyrus, who legitimately are not trying to kill you (Toriel's attacks will actively avoid you if you're at low health, and losing to Papyrus just means he puts you in a Cardboard Prison. Not to mention, the one doing the guilt-tripping is Toriel's friend and Papyrus's brother so he's pretty understandably biased). In the true pacifist ending you're essentially hailed as The Paragon and ultimate hero of the underground who utterly refused to take a life under any circumstance, even by Flowey the Flower, and even then you need to intently fight Asriel until he simply loses the will to fight.
  • In the X-Universe series, Police and Border Control ships only react aggressively to ships considered hostile to them - such as Xenon or Space Pirates. If the player is attacked by a ship not considered hostile to the police (such as a neutral race you've angered), the police will not react. But fire back at the attacker, and the cops will get angry. Destroy the attacker and you'll lose reputation with the sector owner. Thankfully, the police are usually pretty forgiving and ineffectual even if angered.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius made a running gag early in its run about everyone being mad at Gil for killing doctor Beetle (by batting his own bomb back at him), and Gil defending himself by saying, "He threw a bomb at me!" Also somewhat justified, in that Gil is the heir to his father's extremely chaotic empire, and as such he's going to need to learn to be more in control of every situation he's in than anyone else, even to the point of anticipating such attacks and dealing with them while still keeping his resources (such as people who need interrogating) intact. By Mechanicsburg, he's got a handle on this.
  • In Jupiter-Men, Arrio's checkered past as a Former Teen Rebel years ago earns him three weeks detention for defending himself when Rick Chang picks a fight with him. By contrast, Rick is a highly popular athlete with an influential mom, so he walks away scot-free aside from getting a black eye from the earlier fight.
  • Last Res0rt: It's eventually revealed that one of Jigsaw's reasons for volunteering on the titular Deadly Game reality show was that it provided an excuse for her to flee the planet after she kicked her sire out of a 30th-story window. Apparently attempted sexual enslavement isn't an excuse for defenestration on Fenirel.
  • In Leftover Soup Jamie was mugged and shot but he grabbed the guy's gun and pistol-whipped him with it then called the police. But because the mugger was technically a minor (albeit a lot larger than the scrawny Jamie) the police took his side when he pressed charges for assault, and the only fingerprints on the (stolen) gun were Jamie's, and the press painted it as a hate crime because the supposedly beaten 17-year old was black. Jamie only got off because his accuser OD'd on PCP and killed himself. And it's later revealed that the mugger had stolen the ID showing him as a minor, to use as a cover identity. And he later murdered the original owner (the 17-year old) and planted the PCP to cover his tracks. Jamie is not happy to know that the police let this guy walk.
  • In Muertitos, the school has a zero-tolerance policy. After a girl bully attacks him, Honeo is suspended because instead of lying limp, he flailed around and could have hit someone, but the bully got off scot-free because her dad is rich and regularly makes donations to the school. You can see the strip here.
  • In a strip of Ozy and Millie, their regular Jerk Jock bully, Jeremy, keeps pushing Millie into a pool of mud, knocking her over every time she tries to get up. Finally, she snaps and socks him in the face... at which point a teacher immediately spots her, and hauls her into the principal's office for starting a fight. (The injustice inherent in the school system is a frequently visited theme.) What makes this even worse, the same teacher, upon being questioned by Millie's mom, pretty much admitted she saw the whole thing and only punished Millie because it was easier than dealing with the REAL bully. Quoth Millie's mom: "Did it hurt having your soul extracted?"
  • In Selkie the title character is assaulted at school and suspended for fighting when she kicked the bully in self-defense. The bully, on the other hand, wasn't punished, due to the school's principal being entirely cowed by the bully's parents.
  • In the arc "Milk" of S.S.D.D. a junkie tries to rob a store while Norman is there. Norm beats the crap out of the would-be thief, then gets arrested while walking back home. However thanks to the Amoral Attorney his mysterious employer hired and a clever suggestion by one of the cops to keep him out of trouble on Guy Fawkes he gets sentenced to 70 hours community service with The Bonfire Association. Notable for being a rare straight example that is not a case of Artistic License – Law: As Norman's lawyer points out, if he'd just punched the guy out then he wouldn't even have been arrested, but Norman kept waling on him long after he was no longer a threat, which will get you in trouble in Britain even if you were initially defending yourself from an unprovoked assault.

Alternative Title(s): Crime Of Self Defence