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Hoist by His Own Petard
aka: Hoist By Her Own Petard

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"Let the rogues fall into their own bear-traps, while I pass by in safety."
"I am justly killed with mine own treachery."
Laertes, Hamlet

The villain's own weapon or malicious plan is the cause of their downfall and/or death. This could be something as big as a Mad Scientist who creates monsters and/or a Weapon of Mass Destruction getting killed by their own creation, or as small as a prankster accidentally setting off their own trap.

In media intended for young children, it is often a Death by Irony that releases the hero from the unpleasantness of actually killing their enemy; a more specific type of Self-Disposing Villain.

If the hero is not responsible for the death in any way, it can also be a Karmic Death. Would also overlap with Accidental Suicide.

A "petard"note  was an explosive device (basically a bucket full of gunpowder, and a medieval ancestor of the land mine) intended to demolish gates and fortified walls; being too close to the detonating explosive could well toss the engineers who planted it into the air. Thus, this term literally means "Blown into the air by one's own bomb" and was first coined by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, though the original quote was "hoist with his own petard".

If an evil Eldritch Abomination, God of Evil or otherwise supernatural evil entity gets Punched Out by the same powers it gave, you have a Faustian Rebellion in action. If the supernatural evil entity on the other hand causes the summoner who intended to abuse its powers to meet a horrific fate, it's Evil Is Not a Toy. If it's an Ancient Conspiracy, Government Conspiracy or other organisation whose Applied Phlebotinum is empowering the one who will bring them down, you have a Phlebotinum Rebel. If it's done by making him hit himself, it's Stop Hitting Yourself. If it's attacking them with their own weapon, it's Use Their Own Weapon Against Them. If it's a Mook, long abused, who finally snaps and turns against him at the last moment, it's The Dog Bites Back. If it's a Video Game boss whose attacks can be redirected back at them (tennis-style or otherwise), it's Tactical Suicide Boss. Gone Horribly Right is a sub-trope where a Super Prototype works too well, destroying the person or persons who created it and/or threatening the world/galaxy/universe. If it's a vehicle that you just stole, it's Vehicular Turnabout.

Can be the result of Didn't Think This Through, but not necessarily. Compare Nice Job Fixing It, Villain, A Taste of Their Own Medicine, and Beat Them at Their Own Game. The Streisand Effect is a subtrope of this, when the petard is censorship.

For examples involving literal (explosive) petards, look up Explosive Stupidity, Grenade Hot Potato, and Pineapple Surprise.

As this is often a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • A common occurrence in Dick Tracy as many a bad guy ends up falling prey to their own inventions or traps.
    • The Brow tortures underlings with a leg press with huge spikes. When he's knocked out in a fight, he lands head-first onto it and nearly crushed.
    • B-B Eyes is a cop-killer who trades in stolen tires (this was during World War II). Trying to escape, he ends up in a garbage scow dumped into the bay and his body caught inside an empty tire.
    • Yogi Yamma uses a special chemical to make people suggestible. It turns out the chemical is highly viotalie and eventually causes a room fire that engulfs Yogi.
    • After being exposed as a long-wanted cop killer, a millionaire tries to flee the police by climbing down the ivy wall of his building. His foot comes loose and he ends up being strangled by one of the vines.
    • A mad doctor uses a blowtorch on his artificial arm to kill his victims. Chased by the police, he's running across the street and causes a gas truck to crash in front of him. The man then ends up falling with his torch arm right on a pool of gas. BOOM.
    • A pair of twins kills people with ultra-high frequency soundwaves with special earplugs to protect them. When Tracy escapes such a trap, he chases and the twins run into the street. They both throw smirks at Tracy but, with the earplugs in, don't hear the truck barrelling down at them...
    • The boss of those twins, Flipside, is a corrupt record station owner. While trying to escape Tracy himself, he accidentally falls into a record compressor and gets his head crushed inside it.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table many times.
    • For example, they send their NPC servant to fetch a dented old crown from a room that they figured was trapped. The servant put the crown on his head, which was then revealed to be the powerful Crown of Lordliness. The Knights ended up serving him as he amassed followers and created the most benevolent and progressive ruler in all the realm. This trope came back to bite them again when the Knights years later ended up in his courtroom.
    • Brian killed the last member of a species while taunting the patron god of said species, knowing that god could not directly act against mortals. Recovering an artifact from that creature, he made an ironclad wish (a pages-long, meticulously worded run-on sentence) that made him immortal. B.A. couldn't find a way to revoke his immortality; then he remembered that the god Brian had pissed off was allowed to attack other immortals and promptly decimated Brian's character.
    • Wanting to take advantage of their newfound wealth and the ridiculous amount of storage in their Bag of Holding, the Knights stocked up on all kinds of supplies and got into the habit of using the bag to transport their NPC troops. Months later, when they desperately needed the supplies from that bag, they started going through the inventory and realized they'd left their hirelings in there all this time. When they opened the bag, they saw that a fortress had been constructed and garrisoned in the bag. From that point on, the Knights had to negotiate with the very pissed-off NPCs anytime they wanted to use the bag's storage, which led to multiple wars between the two groups.
  • A political cartoon, about the attempted repeal of the A.C.A. by the US congress in 2017, pictures Obamacare as a thick wall with Mitch McConnellnote  firing a bombard at it at close range. The cannonball naturally bounces on it, aiming back straight at McConnell's head.
  • Modesty Blaise: In "The Head Girls", the villain takes Modesty and Willie to a tunnel connected to the river Fleet which is below the high water mark. His plan is to leave them behind, chained to the wall, while he himself escapes well before the tide rises, but an unexpected rain storm fills the tunnel much quicker than expected, and he just barely escapes with his life (but has to leave the McGuffin behind). Willie and Modesty escape, too, of course.
  • In one Peanuts comic strip in the late 1970s, Snoopy threatened the mean cat next door with an electric cane, threatening to "zap" him if the cat came near him again. Unfortunately for Snoopy, when he put it down, Woodstock landed behind him, curiously picked it up, and "zapped" Snoopy with it. (Causing the cat to laugh out loud and Snoopy to groan in the last panel, "That's the first time I've ever heard that cat laugh...")
  • Retail:
    • Stuart once delegates the job of doing a presentation to Marla just so he doesn't have to do it. Marla gets him back by allowing Cooper to participate, complete with wacky antics and costumes. Stuart, furious at Marla allowing this and then pointing out that she only did what he did-delegate-swears she'll never do a presentation again.
    • After Marla gets Stuart in trouble with the district manager Connie over his discrimination against people with tattoos and unusual hair colors, Stuart gets his revenge by not telling Marla that Connie left and Gary was the new district manager to make her look bad. While it did work, Gary then proceeded to blame Stuart for it, saying that as store manager it was his job to communicate with his staff, and forcing both him and Marla to attend a seminar on communication. Stuart is horrified that his plan backfired.
    • When Josh put in his two weeks notice, Marla reveals that she knew he lied about getting a job at Delman's to get a raise from Grumbel's. When he confirms it, gloats about it, and puts Marla down, she loses her temper and fires him on the spot. Stuart, however, won't let her hire a new assistant manager until two weeks later because she brought this on herself by losing her temper. Marla is kicking herself that for once Stuart was right.

    Eastern Animation 
  • In the Armen Film Animated Shorts Who Will Tell A Fable? the king's attempts to con his people out of their land by promising half his kingdom to someone who could tell a story he wouldn't believe, and taking all their possessions if they fail, ends up getting him tricked by the young boy into either giving him half the kingdom for a claimed debt, or not believing him and giving him half the kingdom.
  • In episode 3 of Nana Moon, Liz sets up a monster plant to capture Keke and Amy. The two never pass by the plant, and when Liz goes to check, she ends up wrapped up in vines instead. Grunt and Grumble kick the resulting vine ball around and into the sky, unaware that Liz is trapped inside until they see Keke and Amy are still out and about.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Martial Wolf tells his pack to starve themselves so that they can become thin enough to enter Goat Village. They all starve to death.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In many Fairy Tales, someone describes the crimes to the villain without using any names and asks what a suitable punishment would be; the villain, who has performed the crimes in question but believes them undetected, then (often gleefully) prescribes a horrible punishment — sometimes to appear particularly fervent against the crime — and is subjected to it. These include:
  • In The Cat on the Dovrefell, the bear does not rouse to drive off the trolls until a troll starts to bait it.
  • In The Discreet Princess, Rich-Craft captures Finette and intends to kill her by putting her in a barrel filled with blades and rolling it off a mountain. She acts so calm that he loses all caution in anger, allowing her to push him in instead. He survives... for a few months, at least.
  • In The Grateful Beasts, the king keeps devising Impossible Tasks so he can execute Ferko. His last is to round up all the wolves in the kingdom. This is to say, he asks a man known to perform Impossible Tasks to bring a lot of dangerous, carnivorous beasts to court.
  • Hansel and Gretel: The witch instructs Gretel to stick her head in the oven to see if it is hot enough (with the intention of pushing her in to be cooked). Gretel feigns ignorance, causing the exasperated witch to stick her own head in the oven to show Gretel how it is done... and she is inevitably subjected to the same fate she had planned for the two siblings.
  • In Prunella, one witch's servants refuse to hurt Prunella because she gave them nice things and the witch never did.
  • Aesop's Fables: In The Stag and His Antlers, the titular stag complains that his legs are far less impressive than his crown. When trying to flee for his life, his antlers get tangled in the branches overhead, preventing the very same legs he scorned from carrying him to safety.
  • In Vasilissa the Beautiful, Vasilissa's Wicked Stepmother and stepsisters put out the fires in order to have an excuse to send her to Baba Yaga. Afterwards, they are unable to light any fire whatsoever. The fire Vasilissa brings back does last... long enough to burn the three into ash.
  • In Alexander Afanasyev's "Little Master Misery", the rich brother, who cannot bear the thought that his poor sibling has become richer than him, decides to release Misery from its imprisonment so it again hounds his brother into squandering his whole newfound wealth. Once released, though, Misery mistakes the rich brother with his former victim, latches on to him despite his protests, and makes him go to the tavern every day and drink up all his money.

  • A common Vietnamese proverb: "Gậy ông đập lưng ông" (The man's stick hits the man).

  • In the song 'Bazooka Bubblegum', the narrator spends the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar that his/her mom gave him/her to buy various items on Bazooka Bubblegum. This comes back to bite him in the last verse of the song, when:
    "My mom gave me a five,
    Said to stay alive.
    But I didn't stay alive.
    Instead I choked on bubblegum
    Bazooka-zooka bubblegum.
    Bazooka-zooka bubblegum."
  • This Tom Lehrer song describes the process of "research," a description and lesson jokingly attributed to a famous scientist (due to the peculiarity of his name). In the second verse, Lehrer says that, after receiving this sound advice, he then used it to plagiarize the work of his mentor, as the latter had instructed him to do to others.
  • During the rap song "4,3,2,1" by LL Cool J, up-and-coming rapper Canibus rapped a verse where he took an unintentional shot at LL Cool J on his own track. LL Cool J responded by covertly dissing Canibus on the same track. At first, LL Cool J edited the music video, so that Canibus appearance was cut out. He did this because of the potential controversy it could cause. However, many fans saw the original music video and it didn't take them long to figure it out, forcing Canibus to rap beef with LL Cool J to prove himself. Despite some good diss tracks like "Second Round KO - featuring Mike Tyson", Canibus immediately lost amongst rap fans who consider LL Cool J a hip hop legend above challenging. His debut album titled: "Can-I-Bus" received positive reviews across the board by rap critics. But because of the rap beef with LL Cool J, the album didn't sell well. His career hasn't recovered since, even though both Canibus and the album itself have been vindicated by history.
  • In Joe Diffie's "Third Rock from the Sun", a man in Smokey's Bar sees a beautiful woman walks into the bar and calls up his wife to tell her he is working late (so he can make time with the lady in question). The wife calls up her sister and asks her to come over to comfort her, which gives her boyfriend time to go out and get a beer from a nearby store. He leaves the keys in his car, allowing some teenagers to take a joyride in his car. The teenagers end up in the path of a semi truck, which crashes into them, goes across a bank parking lot, and hits a nearby clocktower. The clocktower falls over and takes out a powerline, making the entire town go dark. A waitress calls the police in panic, claiming aliens are landing, and the police call the mayor, waking him up, because they can't find the sheriff. The mayor tells the police to use their heads—if he isn't in his car, he's probably hiding from his wife down at Smokey's Bar. So he is going to have to work late after all.
  • Daniel Amos: The liner notes of Vox Humana include a short story where the narrator gets menaced by a giant machine-monster—that represents American society in the 1980s.
    Yes, we have created the monster. He is the harvest of our sowing.
  • This one needs foreplay. Loads of. The German satire mag "Pardon" had an article where the German Bundesregierung were portraited as a punk band "Bundesregierung". The manic-depressive defense minister (in his solo song) dreams about bombing the Bundestag, but too late realizes he's sitting in there himself. (So that's already a doubly-in-universe example?)
  • "Crucified" by Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is built around the refrain of "I swear by the light you tried to snuff out in my soul, that I will one day see you hanging from the cross you built for me".
  • Steve Taylor crossed this trope with Original Position Fallacy in "Lifeboat". Teacher Mrs. Aryan gives her class a lesson in values clarification by asking them to decide who should be thrown out of an overloaded lifeboat. She's pleased when they (correctly by her estimation) say the overweight welfare mother and her baby, the grandfather, and the mentally handicapped person should go. Then, during an experiment about gravity, her class throws her out the window, reasoning that she's getting old and her coat is ugly.
  • "Shia LaBeouf" Live: Shia LaBeouf wields a knife when he goes after you, and he later is seen sharpening an axe in his cottage. You wrestle the knife from him and stab him with it, and when he goes after you again, you get ahold of the axe and decapitate him.
  • On "The Real Slim Shady" off The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem remarked about how there's a Slim Shady lurking in all of us, and that he could be the guy at the burger joint, spitting on your onion rings. On "So Far..." off The Marshall Mathers LP 2, he remarks about the last time he went to Burger King, with the beat from "The Real Slim Shady" playing over the line just to drive the point home:
    They spit on my onion rings. I think my karma's catching up with me.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In the Book of Esther, corrupt Persian minister Haman plots to have his rival Mordecai executed, along with the entire Hebrew people out of spite. When it is revealed that Queen Esther is herself a Hebrew, and that the order would have led to her execution as well, he is hanged on the very gallows (though more recent translations interpret the "gallows" as a pike for impaling people, which seems more likely given the time period) he had built for Mordecai as punishment for his treachery.
    • If you believe that the Dragon in Book of Revelation, Satan from Book of Job, and the Serpent from Book of Genesis are all the same being, then humans later judge the angels, sending the evil ones (demons and Satan) to Hell and allowing the rest to remain with God. If the Serpent had never tricked mankind into eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, we never would have been able to judge the Dragon.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • When Theseus traveled on the road to Athens, he encountered numerous bandits/serial killers who had unique murder methods. Theseus offed them with their own methods. These included:
      • Periphetes, who would beat people to death with his club.
      • Sinis, who would tie people between two trees that he had bent down. Then he let go of the trees, ripping them in half.
      • Sciron, an elderly man who would ask passersby to wash his feet as a sign of respect. When they bent over to comply, he would punt them off a cliff and into the jaws of a sea monster at the bottom.
      • Cercyon, who would challenge passersby to wrestling matches, then kill them after they had lost.
      • Procrustes, who would invite passersby to stay the night at his place. If they were too short for the bed, he would stretch their bodies until they fit. If they were too tall for the bed, he would chop off the excess.
    • The fate of King Diomedes of Thrace, who owned four man-eating mares. One of Hercules's labors was to steal said mares, and Hercules accomplished this by feeding Diomedes to his own animals, which somehow made them tame enough to capture without a fight. (In some versions, Hercules did this in revenge after the mares had eaten his young friend Abderus, even though Diomedes wasn't involved in Abderus's death.)
    • Heracles' own death was an ironic version of this (and a rare case of it happening to a hero). Soon after marrying his third wife, Deianira, a lecherous centaur named Nessus offered to carry her across a river, but attempted to rape her once they got to the opposite shore; the hero heard her cries for help, and shot the creature with an arrow (envenomed with the blood of the Lernaean Hydra) from the opposite shore, mortally wounding him. As he lay dying, Nessus plotted revenge. He feigned regret for what he had done, and told Deianira to gather his blood, saying it would act as a love potion in case her husband was ever unfaithful to her. Later, when Deianira falsely suspected that her husband was trying to woo Iole (the daughter of Eurytus, who Heracles had once earned the right to marry) she used the supposed love potion, smearing it on his garment. It became clear when he put it on that what Nessus had claimed was a lie; the Hydra's blood still tainted his blood, and it nearly burned Heracles alive, causing him horrible pain until he decided to die nobly by leaping on a funeral pyre of oak branches. (Poor Deianira realized her error and tried to warn him, but it was too late, and she hanged herself out of grief. But there was consolation; Heracles was taken to Mount Olympus by Zeus as a final reward for his life of heroism.)
    • Cupid And Psyche: Eros was ordered by his mother Aphrodite to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest monster he could find as punishment for being so beautiful that people were worshiping her instead of Aphrodite. However, Eros accidentally pricked himself with his own arrow, causing him to fall in love with Psyche and go against his mother's orders.
  • In Norse Mythology, Loki is being chased by the Aesir. He shapeshifts into a fish and hides in a river, but on the bank of the river is the fishing net he invented. The gods use the net to capture him.
  • Estonian Mythology: In Kalevipoeg, the hero is killed by his own Talking Sword as revenge for the son of the blacksmith who made it that Kalevipoeg killed in a drunken fight]].
  • Cockatrices/Basilisks can be killed by being shown a mirror, as they are not immune to their own Deadly Gaze.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • A common trait among heel champions is when they interfere during a number one contender match and proclaimed that none of the competitors deserve a match against them. This of course bites them in the ass when they are forced to fight both competitors in a triple threat match (or more) instead.
  • Virtually every match includes one wrestler countering an opponent's hold into an attack of their own. Sometimes, this may even bring about the end of a match; most often, this is done by reversing their foe's move into a pin (backslide or schoolboy pins are the go-to pins in these situations because of their versatility). Other times, when the stakes are high, one wrestler's finishing move will be immediately transitioned into his opponent's. The possibilities are endless. Here are some common reversal spots.
    • Here's one of the few laws of physics they don't teach you in school: The smaller someone is, the exponentially higher the probability that you will receive a hurricanrana if you attempt to powerbomb them.note 
    • On the opposite end of that spectrum: If you're going to leap onto that huge monolith across the ring from you, make damn sure he's on his back, or else he'll catch you in mid-air and make an example of you in order to show off just why he's considered a powerhouse.
    • High-flyers daring enough to leap from the top rope have a nasty habit of landing right on their opponent's raised knees.
    • A dramatic and clever reversal into a wrestler's patented submission finisher is the bread-and-butter of every technician with even an ounce of pride in their famous hold. Of all the kinds of reversals, that sort is the most likely to win a match.
  • During the "Monday Night Wars" between the WWF and WCW, Eric Bischoff would often spoil the outcome of WWF Raw matches on WCW Monday Nitro (Raw was often pre-recorded, while Nitro aired live in the same timeslot). On January 4, 1999, Tony Schiavone gave away a spoiler that Mick Foley was going to win the WWF Championship, and sarcastically said, "Yeah, that'll put butts in seats!" A huge number of viewers proceeded to switch channels to Raw to see Foley win the title. Obviously, this wasn't a death, but it was arguably one of the things that sent WCW on its downward spiral.
    • Made doubly devastating in that this happened on the same night as the infamous "Finger Poke of Doom" match, where Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash put months of feuding and a WCW Title match entirely to waste.
      • For the next year or so afterward, fans going to WWF events would hoist signs saying "Mick Foley put my ass in this seat".
      • The really painful part for WCW was that at the time Nitro lasted until 11:10 or so in order to fit in with the Turner networks' scheduling, while RAW ended at 11PM. Nitro's last, unopposed segment drew huge ratings...which means that most viewers who switched to RAW switched back to Nitro afterwards and were at least somewhat interested in seeing Nitro's main event; had they not known about Foley's title win, they would have been content to watch Nitro. Well, content until the Fingerpoke happened at least.
  • During his epic feud with Steve Austin, Vince McMahon had Austin beaten up at the end of a RAW episode. The next week's show opened with Vince in the ring with "Stooges" Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco as well as a couple of police officers for protection. Vince boasted to the crowd on how he had "assaulted" Austin the week before. Out came Austin who, using Vince's own words, demanded the officers arrest McMahon for assault. Thus, the owner of the company was handcuffed and dragged out (with Patterson and Brisco also arrested for interfering) by the very cops he brought out for protection.
  • At SummerSlam 1988, Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man was originally supposed to defend the title against Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, but "Outlaw" Ron Bass had injured Beefcake by using the spurs from his boots on Beefcake's face, so Honky was "without" an opponent. He got on the mic and said, "Get me somebody out here to wrestle, I don't care who it is," with announcers Gorilla Monsoon and "Superstar" Billy Graham going so far as to point out what a potentially dumb thing that is to do. As everyone wondered if there was going to be an opponent, "Unstable" started playing and The Ultimate Warrior ran out and squashed Honky in about 30 seconds to win the title.
    • As a more mundane example, Honky would at times get hit with his own guitar.
  • Edge, on two separate occasions, used the Money in the Bank Briefcase (a prize earned in a match that allows the victor to challenge a champion to a title match at any time the briefcase holder desires) to blindside and defeat a champion after they'd just taken an asskicking from someone else. So lo and behold, on the 6/30/08 edition of Raw, he showed up as World Heavyweight Champion to boast that Raw had no world champion and never would, due to his screwing Batista over the prior night. These boasts were interrupted by Batista, who came out and beat him senseless... and then CM Punk, who was at that point the present owner of the briefcase, proceeded to run out with a referee and use his title shot then and there in what has to be the Crowning Moment of Awesome of his WWE career.
  • CM Punk was the victim of a double-barrelled one as the result of his feud with Raven in Ring of Honor. Punk cut promos talking about how his Straight Edge revolution would destroy the revolution that Raven was a part of (i.e. ECW), and ragging on the "debauched" ECW fans, as well as Raven's history of drug and alcohol problems. After beating Raven in a dog-collar match, Punk decided to sink the boot in by tying Raven to the ropes and forcing beer down his throat... only to be jumped by ECW icon Tommy Dreamer, who proceeded to do just that to Punk. As an epilogue, when Punk made his WWE debut, it was in the revived ECW.
  • Before his retirement in 2020, The Undertaker had a tendency to lose casket or buried alive matches, which were supposed to be his specialty, being a wrestling gravedigger and all. Typically, after a loss he would disappear for a while and come back with a new gimmick.
    • Actually this is true of pretty much any wrestler. If the announcers build up a match as a certain wrestler's "specialty" (e.g. Jeff Hardy in a ladder match, Team 3D in a tables match), said wrestler will lose nine times out of ten.
    • Variant of The Worf Effect.
  • Any time thumbtacks show up in WWE, more often than not, the person that brought them out is going to be the one that falls into them.
    • If Mick Foley was the one who brought them out, it is more or less a certainty that he will fall on them.
  • A frequent spot in WWE matches will have a wrestler attempt to slam his opponent through the announcers' table, only for to be reversed and have the opponent slam the wrestler through. This especially happens to Triple H a lot since his Finishing Move, the Pedigree, leaves him wide open to a back body drop (onto the other announcers' table) or a low blow that sets up the other guy's finisher. For some reason, Triple H keeps trying.
    • Often happens to Ric Flair as well. His patented Figure-Four Leg Lock is also nearly always countered by the victim flipping themselves and Flair over to reverse the hold's pressure on to Flair. He generally goes to the top rope at least once per match, but the number of times over his decades-spanning career that he's successfully pulled off a top-rope move without being countered, you can count on your fingers. It had even gotten to the point where even the commentators had become Genre Savvy about this, with the color man generally screaming at the top of his lungs, "DON'T DO IT, RIC! THIS NEVER WORKS!".
    • Kurt Angle's successful moonsaults could be counted by using half the fingers you use to count Ric Flair's top rope hits. His form is perfect (Essa Rios is the only one who does it better) but the opponent always seems to just move out of the way. What few he has hit, most have come with his move to TNA. One semi-botched attempt from the top of a cage, and another after putting his opponent onto a ladder.
  • An old-school spot had the heel wrestler remove the cushion on one of the turnbuckles, exposing the metal ring that hooks the ropes together. Most of the time, he'll be the one to get a face full of metal. (A favorite of George "The Animal" Steele, who would bite off the cushion, which at that time had extra packing insulation, the better to give him the "rabid animal" look)
  • Smackdown, 2/11/11: Vickie Guerrero tried helping her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler, win the World Heavyweight Title by setting Edge up in a match where his Finishing Move was banned and she was the ref. It was working perfect...until she decided to try and Spear Edge. Being much smaller than him and never having used the Spear before, all she did was injure her own leg and take herself out of the match, allowing Edge to sneak in a Spear of his own on Ziggler and call in a second guest ref (none other than Clay Matthews of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers) to win the match.
  • The WWE RAW Supplemental Draft of 2011: John Cena has been sent to Smackdown and The Miz is happy since Cena won't be fighting him for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship anymore if he beats him at Extreme Rules 2011, especially since John Cena was determined to get the title and hold it until Wrestlemania 28 next year in his match against The Rock. But at the final pick of the night (where it was WWE SmackDown!'s Mark Henry, Christian, and Cena against RAW's Miz, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio), Henry turned heel and beat up Cena and Miz pinned him....leaving RAW to be the one who picked up the win. Who did they get? The same man Miz pinned!
  • Vince McMahon tried to screw CM Punk at Money In The Bank when John Cena locked him in an STF by having the bell rung and declaring Cena the winner. This causes Cena to release the hold and punch out the man Vince sent to have the bell rung, telling Vince he doesn't want to win that way. Cena ends up losing because of this, giving Punk the victory. What's worse is Cena was winning at the time and might have got a legit victory (there was no sign that CM Punk would escape the hold) if Vince hadn't done this, leaving Vince with no one to blame except himself.
  • A more minor example: In the 2007 Royal Rumble, Sabu had set up a table outside the ring just before entering. A while later, Kane entered... guess who went through that same table?
  • In 2005 at WrestleMania XXI, the "The Legend-Killer" Randy Orton showed the world just how ballsy he was by attempting to end The Undertaker's legendary 12-0 WrestleMania winning streak with The Undertaker's own Tombstone Piledriver. Orton was immediately punished for his hubris when Undertaker reversed it into his own Tombstone Piledriver to pick up the definite pin fall of the match. Orton had already reversed the Undertaker's Chokeslam into an RKO and only got a two count, so Orton going for the Tombstone was justified even though it didn't end well.
    • Randy Orton also fell victim to this at the Breaking Point event in 2009 when he fought John Cena in an "I Quit" match. For the majority of the match, Orton had Cena restrained with handcuffs so he could pick Cena apart until he eventually gave up. Unfortunately for him, Cena managed to take an opportunity to get the key from Orton, unlock one of the cuffs, and cuff himself to Orton to turn the tables. Needless to say, Randy Orton did not win...
    • Orton got to pull this on The Fiend at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2020. Fiend locked Orton in his Mandible Claw finisher, then started shoving him backwards towards a wall of fire he had created. Orton managed to spin them around and shove Fiend's back into the flames, setting him on fire.
  • Got a finisher? Aww, isn't that cute. Let Diamond Dallas Page show just you how many positions he can counter it from using his patented Diamond Cutter.
  • Kane and his brother The Undertaker are very fond of reaching and seizing the throats of any highflying wrestlers that dare to leap off of the top-rope. One of John Cena's strength-affirming spots is a variation on his where he catches a smaller wrestler (or even one larger than he is!) as they come off of the top with a crossbody, rolling backwards with the momentum, then standing up to reveal that he's lifting the other guy up. Heaving them up onto his shoulders into an Attitude Adjustment may follow.
  • Vader defeated "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan for the WCW United States Heavyweight Title at WCW Starrcade 94 after Duggan collided with his own 2X4.
  • CHIKARA's tag team Los Ice Creams (Ice Cream Jr. & El Hijo del Ice Cream) are well known for their use of sprinklesnote  as weapons against their opponents, though they too have felt the pain.
  • William Regal's penchant for using brass knuckles to knock out opponents came back to bite him on a few occasions:
  • During a Prototype vs. C.W. Anderson match in Ultimate Pro Wrestling in 2001, Anderson brought a chair into the ring. The Prototype lifted him up and crotched Anderson on the top of the chair.
  • To himself- Paul Roma at WCW SuperBrawl V, February 19, 1995. Roma had been told to make newcomer "Das Wunderkind" Alex Wright look good en route to losing the match. Roma basically sandbagged Wright, no-sold his offense, and went out of his way to make Wright look bad, even kicking out of Wright's schoolboy rollup pin attempt though the ref still counted to three. WCW fired Roma after he got to the back, and he has only been seen in small independents ever since.
  • At CHIKARA Aniversario 7, May 26, 2007, 'Lightning' Mike Quackenbush introduced a submission hold called the "CHIKARA Special" and said that he was going to teach it to all the tecnicos.note  At The Thirteenth Hat, January 28, 2012, Quackenbush faced Green Ant, one of his trainees, and lost. Guess how Green Ant won the match?
  • Sometimes, heels in ECW would throw out open challenges and the worst they would leave with was a bruised ego. After Justin Credible d. Chris Chetti at ECW Ultimate Jeopardy 97, November 8, 1997 (televised on the November 15th show), his manager Jason "The Sexiest Man on Earth" got on the mic and talked about how, out of 30 or so guys in the locker room, he was one of the few who could actually wrestle and that "it sucks" only working as a manager. So, since he was in his "street clothes," he issued an open challenge for a "street fight." Cue "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool, and out comes...The Blue Meanie with Super Nova? Jason dismisses Meanie at first, but finally agrees. While it's not much of a match, and even less of a "street fight" (referee John Finnegan blocks Meanie from attacking when Jason ducks his head through the ropes), it qualifies as Jason basically treats Meanie as a joke the whole time...until Meanie comes up with a testicular claw into a schoolboy rollup for the pin!
  • This is guaranteed to happen in ladder matches, since one guy will try to use a ladder as a weapon and the other guy will find a way to use it against him.
  • This happened to Heath Slater on the 1000th episode of Raw in 2011. In the weeks leading up to that show, he was in a storyline where he challenged (and almost always lost to) WWE Legends. At Raw 1000, he then challenged any Legend to a no-countout, no DQ match. Enter Lita, with Slater looking smug and self-confident, until Lita tells Slater she's hired some protection... and the APA makes its entrance. Slater then tried to bail, only to be chased back into the ring by all the Legends he'd faced in the previous weeks. Cue a Twist of Fate from Lita, a Clothesline from Hell by JBL, a Litasault, and Legends celebrating after the pinfall. Punctuated with a DAMN! from Faarooq.
  • Note to A.J. Lee; if a Diva comes out to sincerely congratulate you while you're holding the title, make sure that they aren't the first and, at the time of your challenge, current NXT Women's Champion before challenging them to a match. Otherwise, you just might lose the title to said Diva.
    • Note to Paige: if that same Diva comes out and tries to do the same exact thing you did, you probably shouldn't challenge her to a match. The same exact thing will happen.
  • At Great American Bash 1989 Paul E Dangerously (Paul Heyman) took on Jim Cornette in a tuxedo match where in order to win you had to strip your opponent down to his underwear. Early in the match Paul got the upper hand by throwing powder in Jim's face, however Jim eventually came back and started to take control of the match. In a last ditch effort, Paul tried to use the powder trick again, only as he attempted to throw it, Jim kicked the powder into Paul's face and that allowed Jim to pull off Paul's pants to win.
  • At Wrestlemania 9, Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the world championship title due to Mr. Fuji throwing salt in Bret's eyes. After the match, Mr. Fuji challenges Hulk Hogan (who was out there to check on Bret) to a match with Yokozuna. Hogan proceeds to win the match in 22 seconds after Fuji accidentally threw the salt in Yokozuna's face instead of Hogan. So Yokozuna immediately lost the title, all because he just had to call out Hogan right there on the spot and then got defeated by his own weapon of choice.
    • The next year at Wrestlemania 10, Yokozuna lost the title to Bret Hart simply because when he went for the banzai drop, he lost balance off the turnbuckle and fell to the ground as Bret rolled away and Bret then pinned him.
  • Whenever someone in Lucha Underground wedges a steel chair between the ropes of the corner turnbuckle and tries to throw their opponent headfirst into it, they're going into it themselves. Every time, absolutely without exception. The ploy will never work, nobody else will ever end up going through it—even in big multi-person matches with a lot of combatants, it will always be the one who stuck it there.
  • An early TNA match had AJ Styles putting his X-Division title on the line against Low-Ki and Jerry Lynn. The ref was knocked out, after Low-Ki was tossed from the ring, AJ got himself a chair and plastered Lynn with it. To put an exclamation point on top of it, he then went to the top rope for one of his lesser-used signature moves, the spinning drop known as the Spinal Low-Ki crawled back into the ring and covered Lynn. The dazed referee began his count, before AJ hit the Spinal Tap on the pair, which normally would break up the pin...but the ref was still knocked loopy and instead completed the count, giving Low-Ki the win, making AJ get double-hoisted as not only did he knock Lynn so senseless he couldn't kick out, but he used the fact the ref was down to do so, only for the ref's dazed state to cost him the belt.
  • Vince McMahon is often viewed as the one who brought down the NWA and the territory system but this had a detrimental side effect. The territories was where wrestlers learned their craft and were built into must see attractions, with the WWF's roster being filled with established big name stars poached from rival promotions. When many of the WWF's biggest draws were being lured away to WCW, McMahon had no way to quickly replace them like he previously could and spent most of the mid-nineties trying to build new stars from the ground up. This led to the WWF's New Generation, an era widely viewed as being one of company's weakest periods due to the small roster of mostly less than impressive superstars.

  • Adventures in Odyssey: Dr. Blackgaard's death is doubly ironic. Not only does he become infected with the same lethal virus he was developing, but he commits suicide first, right before his professor-assistant reveals he found a way to create an antidote for the virus.
  • Bleak Expectations:
    • Confuscius Sternbeater is killed with an overdose of his own supply of opium. He even declares as he's dying "I have been hoist by my own petard in a moral lesson for everybody!"
    • Genghis Grimpunch is killed via a wedgie. He's wearing grenade underpants.
  • Elvenquest: the villain Lord Darkness, played by Alistar McGowen creates, in a series full of lampshading and parody, a machine called "The Petard of Irony"- which takes the worst fate you have ever wished on an enemy and turns it on yourself. The only problem is, the person he uses it on, the so called 'Chosen One', is a dog from our world that's been transformed into a person upon arriving in the world the story is set.
  • In one episode of The Navy Lark Povey receives a memo from Admiralty which allows him to get rid of officers that have been at sea for "twiddly-upmty" years and plans to use this as an excuse to drum the crew of HMS Troutbridge out of the navy. Upon appeal it seems the memo can also be interpreted to get rid of officers who were at sea "twiddly-umpty" years ago and the episode concludes with the Admiralty board resolving to throw Povey out (but only after lunch).
  • In the crime thriller Paul Temple and the Vandyke Affair, Temple's wife Steve gets a visit from a woman sent to kidnap her on behalf of the titular Mr. Vandyke. While Steve is away, answering a phone call intended to distract her, the kidnapper drugs Steve's coffee. Temple himself then happens to phone - Steve tells the kidnapper that he'd like to speak to her, and while she's away Steve switches the cups. As they both drink their coffee, Steve plays along by mentioning that her coffee tastes bitter. The kidnapper drinks the drugged coffee, starts feeling faint, and as she succumbs to her own trap, Steve tells her that she was on to her all along.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech:
    • The Jihad era saw the Clans undergo something known as the Wars of Reaving, due to the massive abuse of Trials of Reaving as political weapons, effectively trimming down the holders of blood heritages among the Clans. A Reaving could be called for almost any reason, and was most blatantly used by Steel Viper Khan Brett Andrews to kill his political opponents in the open. After many long and bloody battles, a Reaving ended up being called on Andrews and his entire Clan, supported by the other remaining Clans, who destroyed Andrews and the Steel Vipers outright.
    • The entirety of the Clan Invasion was basically this as well. The Crusader Clans (who supported the invasion) were so over-eager at the prospect of conquering the Inner Sphere that they ignored all warning signs and assumed they'd be Home by Christmas: As a result the Crusaders were all but decimated and the Clan that had pushed the hardest for the invasion, Clan Smoke Jaguar, was completely annihilated by the Inner Sphere. Ironically, a clan who had been hoisted out of a chance to participate in the invasion because of their tendency for pragmatism and caution (Clan Star Adder) avoided the ensuing mess and ended up winning the Wars of Reaving above as a result.
  • Changeling: The Lost: By taking mortals into Arcadia and remaking them into the titular Changelings, the True Fae made the Changelings party to the same Contracts that the True Fae used to bargain themselves into existence and power. As such, when Changelings escape from their servitude and use the Contracts against their former masters the True Fae cannot remove the renegade Changelings' powers without undermining their own existence.
  • A common theme in Deadlands is the destruction of evil by its own devices. For example, the only way to permanently kill a Hangin' Judge (the damned soul of a judge who wrongfully sentenced multiple people to death for his own gain) is to hang it.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • AD&D 1E: One early adventure from Role Aids concludes when the hero shows the Big Bad a branch from a tree in which the villain had gotten trapped as a young boy. This triggers a panic attack in which the Big Bad cries aloud: "That tree tried to kill me! Kill me!" The obedient Flesh Golem Mook at his side takes its orders very literally, and compliantly snaps its maker's neck.
    • In the Greyhawk setting, the tyrannical mage Tuerny was eventually tricked into getting trapped inside an artifact of his own invention: the Iron Flask that bears his name.
  • Kavok, the Big Bad in the Star Trek: The Next Generation VCR game A Klingon Challenge, will often force the players to "experience Bij," which will somehow handicap them. However, on some occasions this will be accompanied by a computer malfunction, meaning that the Bij cards instead help the player (and thereby hinder Kavok).
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Mishra relied heavily on his machines and weapons, to the point of falling to the manipulations of a cult of machine worshipers.
    • Then there are redirection spells, meaning that the spell your opponent hurled at your face is suddenly pointed at their own nether regions. Ow.
    • Other effects can change the control of a permanent: temporary for red, permanently (or at least until an enchantment is destroyed) for blue. This can easily lead to giant dragons and hydras eating their summoners.
  • One Paranoia mission calls for a volunteer to test an experimental "traitorkiller". When activated, it explodes. This is intentional; the idea is that traitors will volunteer to prevent it from being used against them.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse:
    • Heroes like Nightmist and Tachyon with redirection effects are entirely able to defeat opponents with their own attacks. This is especially true for villains with counterattacks like the Chairman.
    • In the game, Wager Master's own challenges often allow the heroes to exploit their victory conditions. In the lore, he loses his first battle with Guise - a nonsensical This Is My Side fight - when, after pushing the dividing line halfway across Guise's side, he gets aggravated into physically reversing the entire apartment - including the shifted line, meaning that while all the stuff is on his side of the line, he himself is not.
  • In Shadowrun, Richard Villiers set up the Trans-Latvian Enterprises investment bank to act as a shell corporation to protect his assets and he "borrowed" against his stock in Novatech to finance the corporation. Villiers had to cut ties with TLE so his assets couldn't be seized in the event something went wrong during his split from Fuchi. Free from Villiers's off-the-books direction, TLE called in his debts; Villiers defaulted on the loan and TLE confiscated 24% of his stock in Novatech.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer 40,000:
    • In 40K the "Perils of the Warp" rule does this for psykers - especially if you're a Librarian casting Vortex of Doom.
    • Large blast weapons with short ranges can fly right back at the thrower or hit nearby troops. It is entirely possible to completely miss whoever you were aiming at, and obliterate your own tank.
    • Several of the Skaven weapons can invoke this when they inevitably go awry. Orks still have some element of this, but is largely toned down in later editions.
    • High Lord Goge Vandire created the Sisters of Battle as his personal enforcers, but they soon turned against him and killed him when his madness went too far.
    • In a meta-example, one particularly famous game (dubbed the Kroot Konga Line) was an insta-loss for one player due to My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours. In essence, one player's cheesy strategy to keep his entire warbike army in reserve to deploy them from a table's edge was countered by an opponent simply lining all their troops up on the table's edge, legally preventing his opponent from entering the field due to some clever rules finagling. Since the former could not enter the battle, fight, or hold any objectives, he was declared to have instantly lost. This and other incidents have changed the game's rules.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The Dark World and Lightsworn archetypes were specifically designed to turn hand-and-deck-control decks against themselves. Dark World monsters have effects that activate when they are discarded from the hand as a result of a card effect, with the majority of them also packing a second, better effect that activates when discarded as a result of the opponent's card effect specifically. Lightsworn monsters are powered up by the presence of Lightsworns in the Graveyard. To this end, both deck types include lots of cards whose effects include discarding - which means they themselves fall victim to this trope if their opponent plays something like Dimensional Fissure, which causes any monster sent to the Graveyard to be banished instead.
    • The Artifact archetype unleashes its true power against opponents who destroy Spells and Traps. Which is a very wise strategy otherwise. The deck is most well-known for being hybridized with Traptrix, which loved to play lots of dangerous-but-vulnerable Traps, forcing the opponent to take the risk of destroying cards that might blow up in their faces.
    • Several cards in the game allow you to use your opponent's monsters against them, such as by taking control of them (Brain Control, Change of Heart, Snatch Steal, etc.), resurrecting them from the Graveyard onto your field (Autonomous Action Unit, Goyo Guardian, Monster Reborn, etc.), or absorbing them (Relinquished, Truckroid, Destiny HERO - Plasma, etc.). And while monsters are the more common steal, other cards allow you to use their Spells and Traps, too.
    • Double Spell allows you discard a Spell Card to activate a Spell Card from your opponent's Graveyard. Among the Scripted Duels featuring voice actors from the anime, so far there have been two instances of Yugi vs. Kaiba in the TCG. Both times, Yugi used Double Spell against Kaiba near the end of the Duel, and both times, it turned a hopeless situation into a guaranteed victory.
    • Cards such as Big Bang Shot and Safe Zone are risky plays, as they empower whatever monsters they're equipped to but will destroy or banish the monsters if they, the power-ups, are destroyed. Of course, players can weaponize this by equipping them to opponents' monsters instead...
    • Trap Cards such as Magic Cylinder, Dimension Wall, and even Ring of Destruction take the power of an opponent's monster and use it to attack them directly.
    • Maxx "C" is an incredibly powerful card, banned in the TCG and meta-defining in the OCG. What it does is put your opponent in a Morton's Fork situation: you can discard the card from your hand at any time, even during your opponent's turn, and if you do, you draw 1 card every time your opponent Special Summons during that turn. Since most decks use multiple Special Summons a turn, this card either forces your opponent to awkwardly end their turn before doing anything substantial and leave them relatively defenseless on your turn, or continue their turn as normal and give you tons of resources which you can use to easily crush their defenses on your turn, to say nothing of the many popular Quick-Play Spells and handtraps that you could draw and use to screw them over before they've even finished their turn. The thing is, the draw effect of Maxx "C" is not optional. You have to draw a card every time your opponent Special Summons. Thus was born the Maxx "C" Challenge, the goal of which is to cause Maxx "C" to blow up in its user's face by Special Summoning so many times in one turn that they end up drawing their entire deck, causing them to immediately lose the duel.

  • Not killed, and not a villain, but nonetheless hoisted: in Hamilton, the Reynolds Pamphlet is intended to save Hamilton's reputation by absolving him of all possible suspicion regarding the accusations of treason leveled against him. While it does do that, it also kills his political career, presidential aspirations, emotional affair, physical affair, marriage, and son.
  • The Trope Namer is Hamlet, in which King Claudius' plan to poison Hamlet ends with being poisoned himself.
    • And the line itself refers to his forging a royal execution order for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, when they were taking him to be executed.
    • Additionally, Laertes is slain by Hamlet with his own poison-tipped foil.
  • Stand-up comedian & ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's wife had the idea to breed their pet Chihuahua, resulting in the runt of the litter, Rusty, who Jeff claims will urinate on his wife in the middle of the night when the two have an unresolved argument.
    • One of Jeff's puppets, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, was killed when his incompetency at suicide bombing resulted in Achmed being the only victim of his own bomb, complete with an analogy to premature ejaculation.
  • The Little Mermaid: In the Junior stage production, Ursula is unable to control the power of Triton's trident due to Ariel stealing her nautilus shell, and ends up fatally caught up in her own Mega Maelstrom.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: In both Gilded Cages and Mrs. Frost, Frost happily brags about she exploits the patriarchal systems of society for her own gain, at the expense of others. Team Hawking eventually takes her down with the same tactic— they set her up to appear insane after the death of her husband, and a well-meaning but condescending psychiatrist (one of the symbols of the patriarchy, given how easily women were locked up for "hysteria" and other supposed illnesses) arrives to cart her off to an asylum.
  • In Oklahoma!, Jud Fry dies when he tries to stab Curly with a knife and falls on it himself.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Jessie and James fall into their own pit trap.
    • Later, Giovanni gave MechaMew2 the ability to "learn", which results in it "learning" the difference between good and evil thanks to Mewtwo and Ash. Having learned right from wrong and which one Giovanni is, MechaMew2 tries to take Giovanni with it by blowing up.
  • In Punch and Judy, a traditional part of the story sees Punch about to be hanged for his many crimes, but he can't understand what to do with the noose... so the Hangman puts it around his own neck to show the condemned man what's supposed to happen, whereupon Punch pulls the lever.

    Theme Parks 
  • Universal Studios:
    • King Ghidorah got hit with this twice over the course of Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D. First, using the very building he was levitating, the Children pilot their EVAs to use this against him, with Shinji ultimately stabbing Ghisorah in a wound Godzilla opened. Then, Ghidorah tried to kill Godzilla with his Gravity Beams, only to reenergize Godzilla and trigger a Beam-O-War that results in Ghidorah's death.
    • Miseria in The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad when the titular hero uses her own Sultan's Heart weapon on her.

  • In BIONICLE, the Bohrok-Kal are about to release their leaders, the Bahrag, with the Toa's own Nuva Symbols when the Toa use their abilities to cause the Nuva Stones to start feeding power to the Bohrok-Kal. At first the Bohrok-Kal are overjoyed at this, thinking they were going to be powerful enough to rule alongside the Bahrag but soon they realise the Nuva Symbols were giving them too much power and, inevitably, they lose control of their abilities and are destroyed by their own powers.

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

Alternative Title(s): Xanatos Backfire, Hoist By Her Own Petard, Hoist By Their Own Petard, Hoist With His Own Petard


Trixie Wall

Crocker devises a scheme to lure Timmy into a trap by painting Trixie on a wall.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / PaintedTunnelRealTrain

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