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Kick the Dog

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"In the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog. Audiences are smarter today. They don't want their villain to be thrown at them with green limelight on his face. They want an ordinary human being with failings."

When a character does something evil, cruel or very mean for no apparent gain, because the author wants to demonstrate that they are not a nice person and shift audience sympathy away from them.

Why this trope works could be expressed in the words of William Cowper: “I would not enter on my list of friends (though graced with polished manners and fine sense, yet wanting sensibility) the man who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.” In other words, a cruel act, no matter how trivial, establishes someone as a cruel person. Conversely, the creator may show a character being kind for no apparent gain, to demonstrate that the character is a nice person and someone the audience is meant to cheer for. Both devices are used to help the audience become emotionally invested in the story.

What separates this trope from a character's other evil or cruel acts is that this bit of evil is gratuitous. It doesn't get the character anything or even advance the plot. The sole reason for this story beat existing is to place one or more characters squarely on the wrong side of the Rule of Empathy.

Dog-kickings can be verbal as well, when a line of dialogue is used to shock the audience with its sheer repugnance. If it's uttered in the presence of the hero in an action series, they'll echo the audience's thoughts and tell the villain "You're Insane!"

Needless to say, this trope can be enacted without harming any dogs. Any act or statement that shows the character's meanness or outright evil will do, such as a boss demanding an employee come in to work during Christmas when the employee's kid is in the hospital, or a passer-by stealing from a blind beggar's coin dish, or The Dragon inflicting a vicious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the hero or one of their True Companions or Protectorate. A Politically Incorrect Villain can kick the dog by showing gratuitous racism, sexism, homophobia, or some combination of such non-PC traits. If the event happened off screen in the past, just have Bob fondly recall the incident and make it clear that he has no remorse whatsoever. Bingo, mission accomplished.

If the evil act is directed toward an animal, however, a dog is usually the victim of choice, partly out of connotations of blind loyalty, partly from tradition. Arguably, however, substituting a cat can be even more shocking. After all, even bad guys like cats. So, the argument goes, if Bob goes out of his way to harm one, he must really be a bastard.

This trope is common in horror-based Monster of the Week shows, often to set up the Asshole Victim for the Karmic Twist Ending. Anthologies are especially prone to this, as they have to set up their villains really quickly, since they have only one episode to tell their story. This can be played up by having the very same kick of cruelty be the cause of their downfall. At the very least, it is designed to let you know who is going to lose at the end. The opposite of Karma Houdini.

In cartoons, someone who does this can be legally harassed by Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot. A troll like Screwy Squirrel, however, won't wait that long.

One possible origin of the trope name comes from Westerns, where three bandits would ride into the town, one would shoot the Sheriff, one would shoot the Deputy, and one, just to prove he was also a bad guy, would Kick The Dog.

If what is supposed to be a character's Kick The Dog moment is excessively horrible, cruel, or otherwise despicable enough to make an audience lose all sympathy for them, then they've crossed the Moral Event Horizon, if they're not on the other side of it already. If the Dog in question is someone the character cares about and discovers Being Evil Sucks, then they've Kicked the Morality Pet and might be in time to avoid a Face–Heel Turn. If the dog belonged to a minion, expect it to help cause a Mook–Face Turn because Even Mooks Have Loved Ones. On occasions, if karma works in the dog's favor, they'll manage to get a last laugh. On even rarer occasions, after being pushed around too many times, the dog may decide to plan against the Big Bad for his own ambitions, because Being Tortured Makes You Evil. When the dog-kicking is done in a way that (usually inadvertently) increases sympathy for the villain, it becomes Unintentionally Sympathetic. If the character appears to be likable or sympathetic when introduced and the dog-kicking proves that they is actually evil, that is Bait the Dog. If the villain shoots for this trope but fails to actually do anything seriously evil, it's Poke the Poodle. If the "Dog" in question is in fact a Killer Rabbit or Badass Bystander, that's Mugging the Monster and expect the villain to recieve some karma.

Of course, the crux of this trope isn't just the cruel act; it's also about the innocence of the victim, i.e. they have done nothing to warrant their abuse. If the target is an Asshole Victim instead, the cruel act can become a sympathetic one for the villain/anti-hero instead. If going after the Acceptable Target is a coincidence, it becomes Laser-Guided Karma; if the victim was specifically targeted for their assholery, it becomes Pay Evil unto Evil.

Kicking the Dog is also done for no practical reason apart from the meta-reason of demonstrating the dark side of the kicker. If the perpetrator does it because they care about their victim and want to help them somehow, they're being Cruel to Be Kind; if their actions have a broader purpose à la doing what had to be done, they're trying to Shoot the Dog (that's what you do when Old Yeller has rabies, after all).

This trope is often used to counter or prevent a character from being seen by the audience as a Designated Villain or Strawman Has a Point. These tropes tend to occur when poor writing or characterization causes a character to become more sympathetic to the viewers than intended. Since the writers can't just give these villains their just desserts if the audience likes them too much or prefers to take their side on an issue, an effective Kick the Dog moment can make them lose their sympathy and make them punishable again. This can backfire, though, as the audience may decide that the villain still has a point and that the writers are forcibly making them look bad through gratuitous dog-kicking rather than seriously addressing their points.

A sign that Evil Is Petty. Compare with Can't Get Away with Nuthin', And Your Little Dog, Too!, Kick Them While They Are Down, The Dog Bites Back, Threw My Bike on the Roof, I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure. See "If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!" for when bad guys do a Kick The Dog test to make sure undercover heroes are really evil, and Dog-Kicking Excuse for when the would-be dog-kicker has to psych themselves up to doing it.

Contrast Pet the Dog (proving you're good) and Adopt the Dog (going from Neutral to Good).

For bad people who literally kick dogs, see Bad People Abuse Animals. For the Real Life phenomenon called "Kick the Cat" or "Kick the Dog", you'll be wanting The Chain of Harm. For examples that literally involve kicking or stomping, see Cruelty by Feet.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • Obviously, PSAs against abandoning or abusing pets are going to invoke this. One example involves an owner throwing a ball into the forest, and then driving off while the dog is looking for the ball.
  • The North American commercial for Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has the leader of a group of warriors poison one of his own men, just to drive the point home that no one should be trusted.
  • Big Bill Hell's: It's heavily implied that, if they get a check that bounces, they will get the cops involved.
    Voice A: This event ends the minute after you write us a check!
    Voice B: (over footage of a cop pulling someone over) And it better not bounce, or you're a dead mother fucker!
    Voice A: Go to Hell!
  • Two of the trailers for Fable games have this.
    • The Fable 3 trailer ends with a chicken getting shot after trying to escape from a slaughterhouse.
    • The trailer for Fable on X-Box begins with a beautiful fairy exploring a forest and ends with her getting eaten by a frog.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: The titular cat occasionally kicks Odie. And by "occasionally" we mean "constantly".
  • Little Orphan Annie: While it wasn't the first sign that she was no good, the fact that Trixie Tinkle kicked Annie's dog Sandy established that she didn't actually like Annie.
  • The would-be-governor villain of the season from this Mark Trail storyline decides to cement his evilness by kicking the proverbial pet deer.
  • At one point in Peanuts, Charlie Brown is desperately trying to find a baseball card of his favorite player, Joe Shlabotnik, to no avail. Lucy ends up getting one randomly and Charlie Brown tries to trade with her. She refuses because she thinks he's kinda cute. Charlie Brown gives up and walks away dejected. Lucy then takes another look at the card and throws it in the trash, stating he's not as cute as she initially thought.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: A comic strip has SpongeBob and Patrick arrive in a land populated by ice cream people. The inhabitants welcome the two with open arms. The two proceed to devour all the living beings out of gluttony. This is played for humor.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Asbjørnsen and Moe's "The Old Dame and her Hen": When a harmless billy-goat falls into the trap door leading to the troll's lair, the troll gets mad at the unfortunate animal for accidentally dropping into his home; so he whips up the goat, wrings his head off and throws him down into the cellar.

    Game Shows 
  • Taskmaster, by virtue of being a comedy game show where audacious moves are typically rewarded, can veer into this territory. Typically it's Played for Laughs:
    • After seeing how overly positive Mel Giedroyc was, no matter what they threw at her, Greg and Alex conspired to give her the impossible task of hiding a gigantic beach ball from Alex in only 5 minutes. Also she had to inflate it, which took over a half-hour, and then deflate it to get it outside, which took almost a half-hour. She got no points for this, they purely did it to try and Break the Cutie because it amused them, but hilariously they failed: the most they got out of Mel was "aw heck!"
    • Rhod Gilbert edged close to this a few times, but he actually got called out for it once. He had the rather genius solution to a task, which involved tying yourself up for Alex to untie (whoever Alex took the longest to untie was the winner), where he tied up Alex first and then tied himself up. This netted him the victory as Alex couldn't even try to untie him, which everyone else admitted was actually pretty clever... but they were unanimously in agreement that also putting a bucket on Alex's head, and then a hat on the bucket, was just needlessly mean.
      Greg: The thing I noticed is how cold you were! Just a psychopath!
      Kerry: There was no need to put a bucket on his head, was there?!
      Alex: Or a hat on the bucket.
      (Everyone else agrees)

  • One of the first things Ping Yang Hou does in Goddess Creation System after becoming king is to order his sister to commit suicide. And... she does. It turns out a bit later that he had his reasons, but it's still the first hint that he's become The Caligula.

  • Neil Young lets you know just how evil the FBI agents are in Greendale. When they break into the Greens' home looking for "evidence" after Sun's arrest, Sun's kitten scratches one of the men, who promptly shoots it dead and leaves it at the foot of Sun's bed.
  • Devo has a song called "Jimmy" which depicts the titular character as a corrupt CEO and domestic abuser (who is responsible for, among other things, a literal Kick the Dog). His ultimate fate is ending up in a wheelchair which, according to the song, was an instance of "justice strikes every once in a while."
  • In Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is" the first stanza involves a bunch of people standing in line for welfare. A Rich Bastard walks by, looks at one of them and "Just for fun he says "get a job""
  • Kids Praise: In the sixth album, Harmony told a poor boy that he wasn't allowed to come to a potluck because his family couldn't afford to send him in with any food. She was promptly called out on this behavior by her father, Psalty, and he sent Rhythm and another boy to go bring him over.

  • Welcome to Night Vale gets this with Strex giving Cecil a birthday present. It attacks Khoshekh and leaves him hospitalized. Strex didn't understand why it didn't work out.

    Print Media 
  • The famous National Lampoon cover with the headline "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog" and a photo of a dog with a gun held to its head. There's a reason that cover was chosen as the page image for And Your Little Dog, Too!.

  • What got Discord killed on Cerberus Daily News — the idiot thought it'd be a *really* good idea to advertise a slave auction on the public-access Extranet just to rile up people. Unfortunately for Discord, most of the people he was taunting happened to be mercenaries who happen to look down on the slave trade. The resulting Extranet Counterattack led to forum members hiring a squad of mercenaries to murder Discord and free the slaves in his possession.
  • Rotor had a quite a few of these for a good guy in Dino Attack RPG. Among such moments are arresting an entire T-1 crew because the pilot disobeyed orders and then trying to have them all shot, ordering Kate (an innocent and inexperienced teenager) to enter a fortress filled with toxins on her own and berating her for crying, and beating a pair of prisoners (including a young girl) during what was supposed to be an interrogation. Rather noticeably, once he started cleaning up his act, he stopped Kicking The Dog.
  • Survival of the Fittest
    • Cody Jenson: Raped Madeline Shiohara and bit out her neck. How did he feel? He didn't.
    • Danya: Establishing Character Moment in the first version was when he was briefing the v1 students with a very... smug tone. Then towards the end mentioned he hated punks, and ordered his minions to kill a student for wearing his hat sideways.
    • Jeremy Franco kicking Kimberly Nguyen in her bullet wound for refusing to give him her fedora, then taking it anyway.
  • Gretel's bullying of Jacques during the first Tournament in Yu-Gi-Oh! East Academy. This act is so cruel it actually prompts Marcus to try and Mind Rape her.
    • David firting with Crystal. Seems harmless enough, untill you consider that Crystal had just lost her only remaining family member and that David was only doing it to amuse himself, rather than being genuinely interested in her... dick move, mate. Dick. Move.
    • Haine's Cold-Blooded Torture of Marcus and Sylvestre (which included outright murdering the latter.) Easily twisted enough to catapult Haine over the Moral Event Horizon.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Villains in BattleTech seem to be prone to this. Kathrine Steiner-Davion, for example, once had a planet send her a birthday gift that she decided wasn't expensive enough. So she ordered that medical shipments for a viral outbreak the planet was currently suffering from be cut off.
  • This scene in the continuing examples in Bliss Stage:
    Keenan Caine: Man, Sara is getting all girly and clingy and shit...lousy lay, too.
    Josh Preston: Fuck. That. Noise.
  • The example for Mind Control in Hero System 5th edition is a hypnotist ordering a Flying Brick to kick a puppy. Fortunately, it doesn't work.
    Mighty Man then uses his Phase to dispose of two of Hypnos’s henchmen who are bent on causing the puppy harm.
  • The goblins of the Pathfinder RPG often come off as insanely clownish, what with their singing and antics and pyromania. Some players might forget that they're hateful and sadistic as well, until they demonstrate their absolute glee in killing horses and domestic dogs, which goblins consider to be mortal enemies.
    • In the gamemaster's guide, a section on determining the game's tone suggests taking care with potentially sensitive topics like sexual slavery, drug pushing, or violence against children and animals - some players might find their inclusion in a game to be tasteless, but they can be used to make a villain truly worthy of a righteous beatdown. The illustration on the page is a goblin standing triumphantly over the bloody body of a small dog.
      • Invoked in that a goblin's go-to weapon has a special name: the Dogslicer.
    • Of special note in Pathfinder is the Hell's Vengeance adventure path. It is intended for evil player characters, and provides no shortage of metaphorical dogs to kick, but also a literal example: one of the very first creatures the characters encounter in the first adventure is a guard dog, just ripe for the kicking.
  • Space 1889 has an almost literal example in Canal Priest of Mars. That also doubles as Establishing Character Moment “She is accompanied by a maid and by three poodles housed in the kennels. Her character may be indicated by the fact that she won’t visit the dogs once during the voyage.” The trip in question is expected to take ten weeks.
  • It happens all the time Warhammer 40,000. Kick the Dog barely begins to describe the treatment of choice for civilians, cute fluffy critters, and planets in this supremely fucked-up universe. Even Moral Event Horizon barely begins to cover it. Meta-example: every time a faction is viewed more sympathetically by the fans, the writers have a nasty trick of making said faction do this. Eldar looking too much like a Woobie Species? Make them destroy an entire world and kill millions to save a handful of their own kind, and do not gloss over this. Tau looking too much like the good guys of the setting? Make them brutal fascists and hint at hidden sterilization of non-Tau, brainwashing and genocide. Imperium looking too much like a Lawful Good empire? Play up their religious dogma, virulent xenophobia and/or lack of respect for the lives of innocent people to remind the players that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Orks looking too much like a comic relief (for a given value of "comic") faction? Show them gleefully slaughtering unarmed women and children to remind you that they're violent, amoral monsters. Warhammer 40000 is Evil Versus Evil, and the creators want to keep it that way.
    • This extends to individuals as well. For a long time, the prevailing (and mistaken) idea that the Imperium was monstrously evil but the Emperor was a decent and reasonable ruler when he was alive. Cue the Horus Heresy novels showing the Emperor ruling like a savage Bronze Age warlord, crushing all his opposition (whether they were evil or not) under an iron boot and insisting on having everything his way until it eventually led to the end of him; he was also a Hypocrite and a pretty terrible father to boot, often slighting his sons in nasty and petty ways without even really thinking about it. He humiliated Lorgar by razing Monarchia, had no pity for poor Angron who had no interest in the Great Crusade and just wanted to die with his friends and comrades on Nuceria, and treated Perturabo as a workhorse. Is it any wonder half of his sons turned on him?

  • In Assassins, Sarah Jane Moore shoots her dog for barking, then stuffs the dead dog in her purse — but it's Played for Laughs. As far as marking her as a credible threat goes, Sarah Jane's real Kick the Dog moment is when she turns her gun on her infant son, because he wanted an ice-cream. Thankfully, she doesn't pull the trigger.
  • In Dream Girl, Clark is in the middle of torturing a cat when Georgina shoots him in her revenge fantasy Dream Sequence.
  • Again in Macbeth: one of the witches has a ship tempest-tossed "sennights nine times nine" simply because the captain's wife told her to fuck off.
  • In Margin for Error, Sophie accuses the Consul of having poisoned her pet parrot, Winston Churchill, for annoying him.
  • Team Starkid examples:
    • In A Very Potter Sequel, Umbridge is telling Harry that Sirius is going to be sentenced to the Dementor's Kiss, which kills the victim in Starkid's interpretation. She then happily says "and maybe he can say hi to your parents!"
    • Lucius doesn't even have to be present to do this. In a letter to his father, Draco says that Lucius can feel free to write back at any time, even though he hasn't written a single letter all year.
    • Lucius also takes the drawing Draco made (that includes a picture of him in the background proudly saying "That's my son!") and crumples it up, before throwing it in Draco's face.
    • In Me and My Dick, instead of comforting Joey after his failed proposal, Joey's Heart calls him fat and ugly.
    • Twisted: Ja'far's pregnant wife is taken away from him by the Sultan. Before he can do anything to get her back, she dies. Ja'far is also hated by everybody in the kingdom and everything that goes wrong is promptly blamed on him.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
    • Judge Turpin and Beadle Bamford are dog-kicking machines, mainly so you won't feel bad about Sweeney seeking to kill them.
      • Judge Turpin sentences an eight-year-old boy to death for petty theft, and in his conversation with the Beadle, he asks if the kid was even guilty. His entire Wife Husbandry plan toward his ward Johanna can also be seen as this, but the biggest kick in this regard comes when he has her thrown into a madhouse when he finds out that she wants to run away with Anthony. And that's not even mentioning his two biggest dick moves in the backstory—falsely sentencing Benjamin Barker to Australia and then raping his wife.
      • The Beadle gets a nasty move of his own early on when he snaps the neck of the poor little bird that Anthony bought for Johanna, then threatens him with the same if he ever steps foot on their street again.
    • Pirelli is very much abusive toward his own ward Tobias Ragg, such that poor Toby is afraid of disobeying him for any reason.
    • Mrs. Lovett, though she possesses a certain charm, is just nasty to the Beggar Woman whenever the two of them are in the same scene, which gets even worse when you find out that she knows full well just who the Beggar Woman is, and is an early indicator that she is a lot darker than she normally appears, even before she starts baking Sweeney's victims into pies.
  • In Trifles, this is the reason as to why John Wright was murdered. Being the abusive spouse that he was, he took that up a notch when he killed his wife, Minnie's, canary, taking away her last bit of joy in her life while married to him.
  • In Twice Charmed, Anastasia and Drizella torment Cinderella as Franco prepares to shrink her.
  • In Urinetown Mister Cladwell's second Villain Song, Don't Be the Bunny is about this, with a healthy dose of Refuge in Audacity.

  • The Piraka in BIONICLE would occasionally kill animals for fun. Chiara, supposedly one of the good guys, had a scene where she casually killed a lizard with her electricity powers just to make a point. Because of this trope, many fans assumed it was foreshadowing a darker side to her personality, but Word of God states that this is not the case.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • This is pretty much what Monokuma and his controller and series Big Bad Junko likes to do to spread despair: constantly making people miserable by any means necessary For the Evulz. This includes things like, in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, when he forcibly adopts Monomi as his younger sister, and takes every opportunity to bully her, whether beating her up or insulting her, or causing the apocalypse and sending much of the world into despair as they watch their sources of hope burn out, and mocking murder victims long after they're dead, or even immediately after death.
      • In Chapter 3 of the first game, he claims that the air purifier is a time machine to Kiyotaka Ishimaru, whose Only Friend Mondo Owada died in the previous chapter. He then claims that the time machine only goes back one minute, making it impossible to prevent the death in question, before revealing the machine's true purpose to drive his victim into despair.
      • Near the end of the second game, Monokuma decides to have Monomi executed alongside the final culprit in large part because he's bored with picking on her.
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: Celestia "Celes/Celeste" Ludenberg, a rather unpleasant person behind her thin veneer of politeness, claims that the second victim invited their own demise by going out during nighttime.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
      • Hiyoko Saionji's Establishing Character Moment is crushing ants for fun, a hobby she claims to indulge in on a regular basis.
      • Nagito Komaeda, who Took a Level in Jerkass during the Chapter 4 murder investigation, casually insults that chapter's killer (who turned out to be one of the more sympathetic culprits) in his first scene in Chapter 5, which is the day after the killer was executed.
    • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
      • Monaca has a tendency to push her "friends'" Trauma Buttons with very little provocation. Perhaps the cruelest instance of this is in Chapter 3, when she does this to Kotoko, reducing Kotoko to a tearful wreck.
      • During the boss fight with Monaca's robot, she dedicates some of her attacks to her friends, whom Komaru and Toko have defeated to get to this point, but her tone of voice and words makes it clear that she doesn't care about them at all.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: In the fourth trial, Kokichi Oma manipulates Gonta Gokuhara into killing Miu Iruma(who, admittedly was planning on killing Kokichi), resulting in the latter being executed and the former getting off scot-free for the moment. The manipulator then mocks the executed killer after the latter's demise.

    Web Animation 
  • Bunnykill:
    • Flint, Big Bad of Bunnykill 4, does this big time when he kills Ruby, Snowball's potential love interest. Oddly enough, this makes him the only Big Bad of the series to do something truly villainous onscreen.
    • As of Bunnykill 5, Smoke has joined the dog-kicking party. He has Snowball's friend Dust injected with Psycho Serum, turning him Brainwashed and Crazy and ultimately leading to Snowball's death. For added dick points, he also betrays his partner Professor Sludge, the designer of the serum, leaving him to become Dust's first victim. The second half also has him throwing his own mooks into Dust's way to save his own hide. Not that it helps him in the end.
  • While the titular Dr. Crafty can be quite an ass to anyone, his ex, Sasha, sometimes brings out the worst in him. When Sasha's brought to her lowest point and appears before him in "The Foreshadow Game," Crafty starts ranting about their unresolved personal issues unprompted, which makes Sasha feel far worse. During their shared dream in "Crafty Hearts Re:Grouped," he tauntingly asks Sasha if he should throw himself off a cliff again to get her to return for good. Both times, Crafty is rightfully called out, and after having some sense talked into him, he backs off and recognizes his poor choices. Thankfully, their interaction in "Questions and Answers" demonstrates some growth on his part. He's at first frustrated with Sasha coming to him as she did before, but he quickly calms down to listen to what Sasha has to say.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Appears in Teen Girl Squad Issue 11. So-and-So is getting chewed out by her obnoxious manager at Shirt Folding Store when the manager is suddenly punched out by an astronaut ("MEET A FIST!"). The explanation for this behavior?
      Astronaut: *ckhk* She killed my dog.
      So-and-So: Um... 'kay.
    • Also referenced in the Strong Bad Email rated, where Strong Bad claims that some of his favorite movies have been banned in Transylvania, "where you're required by law to eat puppies for breakfast."
    • Strong Bad is also known to kick The Cheat, even though he's not really a bad guy.
    • In another Strong Bad Email, for kids, on his kids' show, Strong Bad invites children to play "Where's The Cheat?" with him:
      Strong Bad: All right, dumb children. Find The Cheat!
      [the Cheat peeks out from behind a box]
      Kids: [half-coherent] He's over there. Right there.
      Strong Bad: Um, no, he's behind the box. No, he's not even behind the box, he's barely obscured by the box. (getting upset) Look, The Cheat is behind the freakin' BOX! (screaming) HE'S BEHIND THE BOX!! I'LL KILL YA!! I'LL KILL ALL YOUR DOGS!!!
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor says that snatching Angron from his last stand and leaving him to watch his men die hopelessly was absolutely hilarious. Worth noting is that this is what made Angron — already a ball of Unstoppable Rage — go off the deep end.
  • In the animation Ninjai the bad guy attacks the hero's little bird friend for no reason at all. The bird gets his own back later.
  • SHARE MY STORY: It's bad enough that Clara cheated on the protagonist with Brandon, but at school, everyone laughs at him over what happened and, to add insult to injury, Clara and Brandon kiss in front of him during class time.
  • Richard kicks a dog.

  • While the SCP Foundation often has to get down doing dirty business to save the planet, the broad range of powers their scientists have in the execution of their duties often leaves its members engaging in abuses of power well outside the scope of doing what's necessary to protect humanity. For instance, in the entry for SCP-1337, a scientist ordered the execution of an innocent family and burned down their home because he wanted to save the Foundation some gas money to stop transporting a ghost. All the Foundation did was demote him, though he did eventually suffer some Laser-Guided Karma as a result after the previously Safe and largely harmless SCP became murderous and hard to contain.
  • Something Awful's Awful Movie Database (which catalogues movies too ridiculous to actually exist) has "The Terrible Truth About Dolphins," allegedly a "documentary" but mostly concerned with the director's overwhelming hatred for dolphins, who are violently abused throughout the movie by the characters and in the background by the director himself. The "behind-the-scenes facts" are as outlandish as the alleged film, including the director, in order to avoid receiving a NC-17 rating from the MPAA, reluctantly cutting a five-minute Training Montage consisting entirely of shots of Jane Fonda (cast wildly against type here as "Gunthild Dolphinkiller") kicking a beached dolphin in the face, and the alleged comments and actions of Fonda and now-ex husband, Ted Turner (who are still a couple here despite the film being made in 2006note ).
  • In the Springhle article "Basic Tips To Write Better & More Despicable Villains", Syera advises to have one's villains do something awful to someone or something the viewers care about.

    Web Videos 
  • Ask That Guy with the Glasses:
    • He does this literally. He picks up his dog and hurls it across the room even after it dies.
    • Also literally in episode 57. He holds Scooby Doo prisoner under his bar and beats him to death.
    • He loves the image of puppy blood splattering on a nice suit.
    • Leaving the narrator to die in the explosion at the end of episode 52. He gets called out on it the next episode, although he gets another one by telling the narrator he doesn't love him (judging by what we've seen, this may be a lie) and just likes hurting him.
    • After having some resemblance of humanity for a few minutes of running time, he kills his GPS after they promised to just be friends.
    • In his cameo for Kickassia, he makes Critic think he's going to save him from a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown death but then reveals he's just there for an obligatory appearance before leaving. Critic looks like he's about to cry.
    • He would pay one million dollars to kill a puppy with a sledge hammer.
  • The Awkward Compilation has a fight between Lester and Alex culminate in Alex telling Lester to give up on his relationship with Steph because "everybody knows you're just going to mess it up like last time". Lester doesn't take it well. Later we find out that Ernie dumped Karen, calling her "worthless".
  • In the web video series Epic Rap Battles of History, everything that Adolf Hitler says falls into this trope.
  • In the webseries and novel versions of Noob, one of Roxana's earliest story-relevant moves was to kill Sparadrap's entire pet collection.
  • Party Crashers:
  • In the video The Unspeakable Deeds of Bill 42, it's not enough for the character representing the bill to fine people for meeting to air their grievances. He has to up the evil quotient by deliberately knocking over a woman's crutches.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Punt The Puppy


Mr. Burns mocks Homer's weight

During "Brush with Greatness", Homer is attempting to lose weight after being humiliated on the news when he got stuck at Mount Splashmore's H2WHOA! slide. After losing 21 pounds, which brings his weight down to 239 pounds, his wife Marge congratulates him for his achievement, only for Mr. Burns to cruelly mock his weight-loss efforts by calling him "the fattest thing he's ever seen", which completely shatters his self-confidence in one fell swoop and causes Homer to start binging on food again. Meanwhile, a furious Marge kicks Mr. Burns out for his mockery of her husband's attempt at losing weight and says that she can finish the portrait by herself and have it finished in time for the unveiling.

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