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Kick the Son of a Bitch

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"Aw, come on! That brat was asking for it!"
Don East defending Naruto's case for striking Hikaru, Anime Abomination

There's nothing quite so evil as when a character takes a clear step toward villainy and decides to Kick the Dog. Sometimes, though, the kick falls flat—not because it wasn't evil, mind you. The intent, malice and ill will are all there. It's just that at this moment, the dog isn't a sweet, innocent puppy. It happens to be a devious son of a bitch that's trying to sink its teeth into someone's leg. This is one effective way to set up a believable Start of Darkness while keeping the character more sympathetic than he would appear if his victim was an innocent, despite the fact that it was merely a coincidence that he wasn't.

Important note: this trope is not to be confused with its close cousin Pay Evil unto Evil, in which an asshole also suffers from another's cruelty as payback for their cruelty. The difference lies in how much the perpetrator knew about the victim, and whether that was his motive for committing the act. Someone who does Pay Evil unto Evil will deliberately target a terrible person. An SOB Kicker either doesn't know about his victim's evil, or simply doesn't care. Basically he ends up doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons, which shows the underlying unfairness of the story since it implies that it was luck that determined who gets to suffer, especially if the perpetrator who is no better gets away with it. In a few cases it is simply a matter of perspective and what looks like a mere Kick the Dog may end up becoming this, once the viewer learns more about the supposedly innocent victim. The line between the two may be blurred in cases where the victim was targeted due to their contemptible nature, but the perpetrator was also just looking to hurt or kill someone and needed a good excuse for doing it, so they chose an easy target.

Compare:

  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. Among the victims, unbeknownst to them, is a certain pimp who was notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them. He will not be missed.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: While escaping from a bank heist gone sour, a couple of robbers gun down anyone who gets in their way. One of the robbers spots a certain pimp he knows who is notoriously cruel to his prostitutes and recently managed to beat the rap for murdering one of them (the robber’s girlfriend); figuring this is as good a time as any for revenge, he takes aim and shoots him.

Suffice to say that the Pay Evil unto Evil can have a perpetrator of almost any morality while the Kick the Son of a Bitch is always a case of Evil vs. Evil. See also Kick the Dog; Take That, Scrappy!; Asshole Victim; Even Evil Has Standards. Compare with Alas, Poor Scrappy, Poke the Poodle, and Designated Villain. Also compare—but do not confuse—with Pay Evil unto Evil. Scenes like this often qualify for Less Disturbing in Context.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Les Légendaires has Skroa savagely killing a bunch of slave traders who were attacking the protagonists so they could sell one of them. You really don't feel sorry for those guys. Then later books have Amy killing Skroa.
  • The death of Martin Sutter at X-23's hands in Innocence Lost. It's certainly meant to be a sign of just how off the slippery slope Rice has leaped, but damned if you don't feel he deserved it.
  • Iznogoud:
    • The three Caliph's brothers that Iznogoud made disappear. While Troiround wasn't really developed enough to say if he was evil or not, Dheround was truly a bully that kept playing deadly pranks on Iznogoud and mocking him for his small size and big nose. Katround was even worse, being a crazy man obsessed with making people disappear and attempting to literally erase Baghdad (including his well-intentioned older brother).
    • A more obvious example in Who Killed the Caliph, where he has the Executioner (a greedy, sadistic man asking his childhood friend Wa'at Alahf a bribe for his mercy) tortured by his own previous victim.
  • Superior Spider-Man and watching the Goblin King tear down everything Otto had built up. Had this been stuff Peter Parker himself had done, this would be a Moral Event Horizon for Gobby. Instead, it's Otto Octavius riding in Peter's body, destroying every last bit of goodwill Peter had made in an attempt to be "superior". Instead, watching his "legacy" crumble seems cathartic.
  • Wolverines: Mr. Sinister tearing off one of Daken's arms and ripping out his left eye for good measure would normally be the kind of gruesome act that would make the reader shudder in disgust and horror, and it is. ...but given this is Daken, a serial murderer/serial rapist/professional sadist we're talking about, it's hard to feel sorry for him.
  • In Green Lantern Corps watching Mongul II decimate Daxam might be ugly, but given that the Daxamites are a planet of xenophobes who kill and stuff any aliens they find, it's hard not to cheer for him anyway. As Sodam Yat notes, "congratulations Daxam. You finally got the alien you deserve."
  • Superman: During the New Krypton arc, Lex Luthor guns down Kryptonian Commander Gor from behind. Since Gor was a sadistic Sociopathic Soldier, nobody really cares.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mr. Hyde brutally tortures, rapes, and murders a person. Normally this would have been a Moral Event Horizon, but the person he does this to happens to be Griffin the Invisible Man, a murderer and rapist whom Hyde had just caught trying to sell out Earth to Martians.
  • In Infinite Crisis, the bad guys use the radiation-powered supervillain Chemo to reduce the entire city of Bludhaven to a bombed-out wasteland. Bludhaven just so happens to be one of the most corrupt cities in the US (even worse than Gotham), and its destruction is immediately preceded by scenes of how horrible virtually everyone in it is, including a panel of the mayor taking bribes from supervillains.
  • In Inhumans vs. X-Men, Storm ends up blasting Beast with a lightning bolt to stop him from ratting out the X-Men to the Inhumans over their plan to attack them and stop the Terrigen Cloud's effect on mutants. This would be seen as a Kick the Dog moment since they're teammates and friends. However, since the end of Avengers vs. X-Men, Beast has been written as a major Jerk Ass trying his damnedest to prove that Cyclops was some sort of monster and essentially treating his friends like crap. Even more, Beast wasn't going to warn the Inhumans due to moral objections (Rogue had decided to Opt Out of the attack because of this), but because he was scared of any possible Inhuman retaliation.

    Fan Fic 
  • In The Lion King Adventures, not only does the Interceptor kill the immortal cub Shocker by tearing his head off, but he then buries him underground, leaving him trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen of All Oni, when Jade finds the first mask, Kaito, the General inside, proceeds to lie to her and is implied to have betrayed her when Valmont wore it, egging him on, not to mention the acts of evil from BEFORE he was sealed; so, after the mask is removed, Jade EATS it, consuming his essence. He had it coming.
    • Later on in the story, Evil Sorcerer Lung kidnaps Jade and tortures her to the brink of insanity and death trying to break her to his will. Therefore, no one in the audience was complaining when Left and Right showed up to save her, with Right killing Lung as he begged for mercy. In fact, one reviewer even called it justice.
    • A while after that, Jade kills Ikazuki, Tarakudo's Dragon who had previously usurped control of the Shadow Hand from her and treated her like a slave, by breaking his mask and force feeding his chi to Viper (in order to brainwash her).
  • In the Axis Powers Hetalia fic "Twisted", one of many sequels to the "World Financial Crisis Gangbang," America commits suicide and is brought back to life by England, only to come back wrong as a very Damaged Soul bent on vengeance. His first act of revenge is sacrificing the Italy brothers in a black magic ritual to resurrect his children he had over a century earlier. Normally, killing the Italy brothers would put America past the Moral Event Horizon. However, since the Italy brothers participated in the gang rape, it's very hard to have any sort of sympathy for them.
    • Hell any "revenge" sequel to the to the Financial Crisis Gangbang counts as this, as well as The Dog Bites Back (particularly "Spreading Poison"). Another called "To Avenge A Friend" has Hungary, Canada and Tony mentally torture the rapists for several hours, forcing them to actually experience the whole thing for themselves. And given the later pages of the comic, it's very hard not to cheer them on.
    • And that's not counting the one with Native America (aka America and Canada's dead mother) coming back to give the perpetuators what could be described as Inception: Horrific Edition. And it's really difficult to sympathize with those "victims."
  • In 72Hours, when Ax-Crazy Damien crucifies Katie Snyder, everyone was cheering.
  • In Red Witch's Sins of the Father, Walsh seizes an opportunity in the chaos of the Black Rose's attempted coup to stab Senator Wheiner. While most of the fandom would agree the aforementioned "son of a bitch" definitely had it coming, the fact that he leaves the Series 5 team in danger to do it, and then runs off without leaving behind any answers, especially for the devastated Shane who had just found out Walsh is his genetic father, makes it a lot more nebulous.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, this is Chaos's primary motivation for his short term plans.
  • Subverted in-verse in the 1983: Doomsday Stories. While Austria would very much like to avenge Hungary's death in Doomsday, it turns out that America at least was just as helpless.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Cupcakes, Gilda treating Pinkie Pie like crap was a lot more deserved in Pinkie's case, as she's actually a psychotic murderer. Also, Pinkie murdered Gilda for reasons unrelated to Gilda being a Jerkass, though plenty of readers weren't really sorry that it happened.
    • Gilda was also killed by Twilight Sparkle in The Experiments of Twilight Sparkle, who doesn't care about her being a Jerkass.
    • This entire set-up is also inverted in some fics, showing Gilda as justified in taking revenge and letting her do so very violently due to her species' aggressive nature.
  • A Brief History of Equestria: This was the general reaction in-universe when Princess Platinum performed a purge on her corrupt court.
    • It's also commented that while the extinction of a species is normally viewed as a negative thing, to date no pony has come up with anything bad to say about the Warming wiping out the Windigos.
  • It turns out this was the main goal in Pharaoh's plan in the Ben 10 fanfic Hero High: Sphinx Academy. Yes, this kid pretty much took over the world just to give his mother a kicking she so well deserved.
  • In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Gentaro, after being resurrected by Ophiuchus, decides to go to Yamada Tatsumori and summon Ophiuchus to devour his soul. Considering he was the Unwitting Instigator of Doom who caused Gentaro to die and the mess that followed, this was nothing short of karmic payback.
  • Hivefled: Orphaner Dualscar is a slave-taking privateer who murders for fun. The fantroll Lereal Belsai is The Fundamentalist and a hemoist whose actions led to the deaths of hundreds of children. Both of them got raped to death by the Grand Highblood and his cronies.
  • In the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann/Puella Magi Madoka Magica crossover Manly Magi Kamina Magica, the Anti-Spiral and the Incubators join forces to prevent Kamina from succeeding in helping the PMMM cast. However, due to lack of emotions, the Incubators can't stop him and the Anti-Spiral can't interfere in their universe. However, when the Anti-Spiral discovers how to interfere in their universe, the first thing they do is to take over the Incubator core and proceed to try to kill all Puella Magi, calling them pathetic for underestimating the power of emotions.
  • Itachi kills the rest of the Akatsuki to prevent interference between him and younger brother and cousin Sasuke and Himeko in Teenage Jinchuriki Shinobi. This was meant to display his sadism.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • In Act I chapter 16, when Dark overhears that Kotsubo tried to molest Mizore the previous year, he loses his temper and nearly kills him, and is only stopped by Tsukune and Rason's insistence that Kotsubo isn't worth it.
    • Early on in Act VI, Ceal kills Jenner, head of the HDA. It's pretty hard to feel sorry for Jenner when one considers that he was an openly anti-monster General Ripper who has spent most of his screen-time openly lambasting monsters to the extent that he outright states he'll take any possible excuse he can to declare open war on them.
    • In Act VI chapter 17, Kurumu sides with Mizore after Mizore beats Arial to a bloody pulp, stating that, even if Arial is a disembodied soul and any fatal damage will destroy her soul and erase her from existence, Arial nonetheless deserved it considering the fact that she nearly killed Mizore in a fit of jealousy and stole her wedding ring.
  • This trope is how Darth Vulcan justifies pretty much every act he takes against Equestria, due to his extremely skewed, yet partially accurate, view of Equestrian society. Some notable examples:
    • When Filthy Rich screws Vulcan over on a deal by selling him out to the Mane Six (but notably keeps the money involved), Vulcan responds by taking Diamond Tiara as a hostage for weeks. He then, as a dedicated Bully Hunter, takes the time to psychologically break her, before dumping her back on her father... after robbing Ponyville blind, and making sure everyone knows it's Filthy Rich's fault. Said stallion is then left with a ruined reputation, and a traumatized daughter who blames him for not saving her. They both get better.
    • The corrupt and incompetent leadership of the twin towns of Cirrus and Hilltop massively screw over a group of crippled remedial class pegasi with a huge Miscarriage of Justice in order to cover up their own crimes and mistakes. When they go to Vulcan for help out of desperation, he's so pissed off that he not only loots the towns, but destroys them, displacing everyone living there. And then to top off, he informs Celestia of why he did this (while calling her out for letting it happen under her nose), leading to her and the other Princesses not only indicting all the officials, but deciding the towns are beyond help and refusing to help rebuild them.
      • Vulcan's apprentice, Artful Dodger, gets his own moment during this. Due to his own disgust at the situation (and a crush on the pegasi group's leader), during the attack on the towns he hunts down Sundae Sprinkles — the corrupt corrections guard who was responsible for much of their suffering — and beats him within an inch of his life, leaving him crippled and traumatized, in addition to his own imminent criminal charges.
  • Kano is already a bad guy, but in the fanfic In with the Old, Out with the New, he rapes Cassie after the latter wins a fight for her freedom. Yes, Kano raped the daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage. So it's not surprising when Kano gets a most satisfying death at the hands of his long-time nemesis, who is very pissed off over that fact.
    Sonya: "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, and I was stopped from killing you with my bare hands...But you messed with the wrong bitch when you raped my daughter!"
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, The Tale Of Lord Barleycorn, the reader is supposed to be horrified when the titular character catches and eats one of the local rabbits. However, the situation completely destroys any reasoning for the bunnies to be seen as sympathetic characters; yes, they may have at least near-pony intelligence, but despite having a whole forest of wild vegetation to eat, they're deliberately choosing to steal crops from the local farmers and use their official "I'm just a cute little animal" status to get away with it unpunished. The farmers are themselves near-destitute, so the rabbits are literally taking food from the farmers' mouths. Even after the one is eaten, their reaction is to head to Ponyville and start raiding the farmers there instead. It's telling that In-Universe, Applejack herself is scornful of the rabbits and thinks that this is just another case of Fluttershy putting the comfort of critters over the concerns of farmers, even if she is a little skeptical that Lord Barleycorn actually did eat one.
  • In The Commission, Ruby and Blake intend to draw Grimm towards the Colosseum by gathering the worst of each of their organizations, particularly the child murderers and molesters and terrorizing the crap out of them. This is after the initial plan of having Nora attack Mercury using an illusion fails.
  • It's Curtains: Captain Hook killing for money and targeting a child is pretty evil, but the child is Darla Dimple, who you can't say didn't deserve it. Hook still gathers animosity from the characters and audience, though, by killing a far more sympathetic witness who caught him poisoning Darla.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
    • Everything that Viera does to Gaz in Episode 8 should be considered cruel, but it is Gaz, after all.
    • Though it's not a major focus, there's the awful things Tak does to the cruel skoolchildren on occasion.
    • The way the Tallest treat Zim and Skoodge — while both are utterly loyal to them, and therefore seem undeserving of it, there's still the fact that Zim is a cruel Invader who brings destruction to all around him, while Skoodge is, despite his genial personality, just as dedicated to conquering the Earth as Zim is.
  • In Arcadia or Bust, Merlin off-handedly says remarks that accidents like this (being a car-wreck that several injures Claire) is why he wore his armor, clearly uninvested in the situation. This leads to a hysterical to snap at Merlin, actually leading him to apologize, the severity of the situation finally setting in.
    Merlin was twisting his spine. "And it was for this reason I wore my armor." He said a bit haughtily.
    "Shut your goddamn mouth!" Jim shouted, a roar carrying his voice through the trees. "Why can't you just be helpful for once!?"
    The wizard blinked once, not expecting this kind of outburst from Jim. "My apologies."
  • In Loved And Lost, Prince Jewelius steals Equestria's throne after Queen Chrysalis fails to invade Equestria on Shining Armor and Princess Cadance's wedding day (with him having convinced her to do so before double-crossing her and using Twilight Sparkle in defeating her and bringing Princess Celestia down). When Chrysalis is first seen afterwards, she has been brutally tortured by Jewelius' underlings. During the climax, Chrysalis returns the favor by having her Changelings eat Jewelius alive as revenge. Given how despicable Jewelius has proven himself to be, this violent death is more karmic than sad.
  • In The Ultimate Evil, Shendu learns that Hak Foo attacked and nearly killed Valerie Payne. Furious about his henchman harming his love interest, Shendu subjects Hak Foo to Cold-Blooded Torture which he forces the other Enforcers to witness as a warning. When Valerie finds Hak Foo barely alive, she's unnerved about the fact that instead of pity, she feels satisfaction.
    • After Bai Tza's attempt to flood San Francisco fails, Shendu tortures his host Valmont mentally for rendering him unconscious by touching the Pan'Ku Box and allying with the Chans to have him exorcised. Given what a self-serving Jerkass Valmont is, it isn't hard not to pity him.
    • In the beginning of the sequel called The Stronger Evil, Shendu kills Daolon Wong in a brutal manner when the dark wizard shoots Valerie in order to get revenge on Shendu.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the end of Gremlins 2: The New Batch the otherwise decent Daniel Clamp, after learning Forster is stuck god only knows how many floors up and has endured near hell itself, gives the guy half a day off to recuperate (Once they get him down, of course). Good thing Forster was such a complete turd throughout the movie, or else people might have felt bad for him.
  • Little Sweetheart has Thelma, the 9-year-old Villain Protagonist chessmaster sociopath psychologically tormenting two bank robbers (a man and his mistress) via blackmail for just $100 and then fun. Sure, he's a cheating, thieving bastard and she's just as bad, but Thelma takes it to new levels. Of course, it's also harder to hate Robert Burger, the bank robber (and former employee), seeing as he's John Hurt.
  • Denis Leary giving the "Mickey Mantle" speech to the abusive husband in Suicide Kings. Oh, was that a glorious scene.
  • A very literal and humorous example occurs in CJ 7. However, it turns out it was All Just a Dream leading to an unpleasant subversion. Later, the protagonist engages in kicking the would be SOB kicker. Repeatedly.
  • The main villain of Twins is a hitman known as "The Webster" who kills anyone, even the people who hire him, who meet him on the job and see his face (which he makes no effort to conceal). His victims include the loan sharks chasing Vincent.
  • The main plot in Martyrs starts with Lucie invading a home and brutally killing the family within. The audience spends the next hour wondering whether they deserved it or was Lucie's Roaring Rampage of Revenge horribly misguided.
  • Al Czervik (the Dangerfield character) in Caddyshack is abusive to everybody around him, but they all have it coming with the possible exception of some of the caddies (and many of them snark right back at Al, which he seems to appreciate).
  • Everyone "D-Fens" meets in Falling Down. Most notably the Neo-Nazi. At least the ones he actually gets violent with. Various people, such as the staff and customers at Whammy Burger, don't qualify for this trope. They're just minding their own business and being normal human beings when they have the misfortune to cross Foster's path, or vice versa. He doesn't hurt any of them, but he damn sure ruins their day.
  • In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the newly minted Sith Lord Darth Vader (i.e. Anakin Skywalker) slaughtered the entire Separatist Council; but these people not only led an evil rebellion against the Republic, they did so with the explicit knowledge that it was purely for the benefit of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith: all their ideals of restoring proper democracy were completely false. Therefore, lots of fans aren't particularly sad about Lord Vader's actions. Tusken Raiders are portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil "as a group" but Nute Gunray and his minions are portrayed as evil "as individuals." However, Anakin's eagerness to kill them is portrayed as alarming nonetheless. There still does seem to be some trace of this trope present; Anakin's killing of Nute Gunray and his minions is shown on screen, whereas Anakin's massacre of the innocent children in the Jedi temple is not. Of course, that might have just been the limits of a PG-13 rating.
  • Deleted material from The Boondock Saints showed that the one of the victims in the Sin Bin shooting was a pimp who the twins had seen slapping around one of his girls before heading into the strip joint. Incidentally, he was also the same asshole who beat up that injured nun we saw earlier in the hospital waiting room. Despite Connor wanting to kill the guy ("There's no way. I've been waiting for this asshole."), the kill went to Rocco, who went Guns Akimbo on both him and the guy in the booth opposite him.
  • In the Park Chan-wook film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the movie involves Ryu getting back at the organ traffickers by the second half of the movie for stealing his money and kidney. Unbeknownst to him, these people not only committed god knows how many scams to their previous customers prior to the events of the movie, but one of them also attempts to rape a sedated woman on the operating table. Therefore, most of the audience ain't too sad about Ryu's actions.
  • The Batman villains themselves in the film franchise have a tendency to do this.
  • Yumi in Sonny Chiba's Dragon Princess takes on a squad of attack dogs unleashed by the Big Bad in the middle of a forest and does just this literally several times in the course of the fight.
  • Demolition Man had Simon Phoenix getting around his Restraining Bolt by having one of his Mooks kill Raymond Cocteau, the creator of the Crapsaccharine World of San Angeles who had Phoenix released and brainwashed into doing his bidding:
    Cocteau: Now I'll have carte blanche to create the perfect society. My society. The harmony of an ant colony and the purity of a flawless pearl-
    Phoenix: Yeah, but you can't take away people's right to be assholes! That's who you remind me of. An evil Mr. Rogers. Will you please kill him? (throws gun to Mook) He's pissing me off.
  • Elysium: Kruger fatally stabs Delacourt, the woman who hired him and used him as a pawn in her evil schemes, when she makes the critical mistake of yelling at him.
  • Big Bad John Harrison/Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness brutally kills the Smug Snake Admiral Marcus, who tortured and blackmailed him into making weapons for the Federation, with his bare hands.
  • In the Walking with Dinosaurs film, after the way Scowler treated Patchi the entire film, Gorgon mauling him to near death can be seen as this.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: Optimus Prime kills Harold Attinger, the human villain who ordered the slaughter of the Autobots who defended humanity in the first movie trilogy.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Ian Mercer, Cutler Beckett's Dragon, is gruesomely throttled to death by Davy Jones. The audience can't help but share a little of Jones's satisfaction.
  • Unforgiven:
  • In the 2004 adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom's first kill, the prop-master Joseph Buquet, is given a couple scenes of perving on the ballerinas that seem to exist largely so the audience doesn't lose sympathy for Erik when he violently throttles the sorry guy to death.
  • In Jurassic World, after Hoskins spends the entire film being a total Jerkass and treating the raptors as expendable tools, it doesn't cost the vicious, dangerous predator Delta much sympathy when she hunts him down in the Creation Lab and disembowels him.
    • Indominus rex is a maniacal monster who kills for sport and spends much of the film causing the destruction of Jurassic World, even convincing Owen's raptors to go to her side. It becomes a fitting punishment for her when Rexie thrashes her around, horrendously wounds her, and allows her to get eaten by the Mosasaurus.
  • The Cable Guy has a textbook and deliberately humorous example with Chip who intends to beat up Robbie's date for unknowingly hurting his friend's Steve feelings. Good thing that he in his previous scene insults and treats a waiter like garbage for no good reason because otherwise the beating that was inflicted on him would feel unwarranted.
  • Thanks to making many of the human characters from Mars Attacks! repulsive and disgusting, the film is filled with palatable Black Comedy despite the aliens being monsters who kill indiscriminately anyone in their path. Mr. and Mrs. Norris who don't care for their son Richie and callously abandoned his grandmother Florence to the Martians are definite examples. Billy-Glen Norris who is a cruel bully to his brother who begs for mercy the moment things go south also qualifies. There's also the rude gambling lawyer whose first thought is to try to suck up to a Martian and join them in their violent take-over, though unfortunately for him the Martian wasn't very interested in his proposition.
  • Queen of the Damned: Akasha kills off numerous lesser vampires in various bloodthirsty ways (like ripping out one's heart and eating it). Since they're all portrayed as bloodsucking monsters, no tears will be shed, it's just to establish Akasha as Eviler Than Thou.

    Literature 
  • In A Brother's Price, Keifer Porter is a rapist, abusive husband, and all around nasty person. He dies in an attempt on his wives' lives. The surviving princesses suffer from survivor's guilt, especially the one who said "I wish he was dead" just before the building with him in it exploded—she's not sorry that he is dead, but half of her sisters were also killed.
  • The first book of Codex Alera has Kord. Kord is a brutal slaver who breaks female slaves by having them raped. He mistreats his elder son Aric and spoils his more handsome son Bittan who later dies at the hands of Aldrick Ex Gladius. Since Bittan was accused of rape, he ran the risk of losing his entire steadholt, which gave him an excuse for being a dick to everyone. Near the end of the book, after getting his spine crushed by Isana, he is tied down and eaten alive by several Horse-Clan Marat.
  • In The Black Company, Raven and Croaker manage to capture The Whisper and The Limper. Raven then proceeds to torment The Limper until Croaker decides it's enough and stops him. Limper has it coming.
  • The Reynard Cycle: In Reynard the Fox, Reynard reveals that when he was young, he drugged his mother's pimp, along with his associates, barricaded the building they were in, and then burned them alive in a fire.
  • In The Penultimate Peril of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf violently pushes the snotty Carmelita Spats to the ground. And this is before he starts a fire that likely killed her, Esme Squalor, Sir, Principal Nero and some others, both nice and equally vile.
  • In Horus Heresy there is a moment when Big Bad, Horus, rips the face off The Corrupter, Erebus. Not only did Erebus try to have Sanguinus possessed, he also corrupted Lorgar and Horus, essentially dooming the Imperium and kickstarting the Heresy.
  • In the X-Wing Series, aside from his "cutter", who prepares his drugs, absolutely no-one likes the relatively petty criminal Zekka Thyne. Not even the viewer. There's nothing to him but evil, and not even the cool or interesting flavors of evil. He was taken off the prison planet by the Rebels, who reluctantly want to work with him. The Imperial Kirtan Loor has stormtroopers capture him and tie him down, then backhands him repeatedly, tells him to spy for him, and has the stormtroopers inflict a nonfatal abdominal wound so he can claim to have escaped. A few chapters on, while talking to the Rebels, he gets argumentative, hints at betrayal, and Fliry Vorru does this.
    Vorru's right hand struck fast and slapped Thyne on the belly. The younger man howled, then, as he doubled over, Vorru grabbed him by the neck and slammed his forehead into the table. Thyne, glassy-eyed, rebounded and Vorru flung him from his chair. "For some people, discipline is a lesson. For others it is a lifetime."
  • Continuing with Star Wars, Jacen Solo's murder of Ta'a Chume in the Dark Nest Trilogy was supposed to symbolize a step onto the dark side path. However, since the "victim" arranged the death of her own daughter-in-law and nearly did the same to her granddaughter, a lot of fans were cheering him along the whole way. Very, very similar to the Star Wars example with Darth Vader, in the film section, above. Then again, the same thing can be said for the whole plot of Legacy of the Force: a young Jedi Knight of Skywalker heritage decides to use The Dark Side and become a Sith Lord in order to protect a democratic government from an evil confederacy/confederation, but ends up turning that democratic government in a Sith-ruled dictatorship, and is redeemed in the end by love of his child.
  • A humorous poem by Rudyard Kipling gives this treatment to the Biblical Cain and Abel: Cain the farmer killed Abel for wrecking Cain's irrigation ditches to give the water to his cattle. The last line specifically describes God's judgment upon Cain as unfair. (Though Abel had at first offered to buy the water, so Cain was a bit unreasonable, too.)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is full of Black and Grey Morality and outright Evil vs. Evil, so this is a frequent occurence:
    • The "Brave Companions" (or, as they are called behind their back, the "Bloody Mummers") are a bunch of Private Military Contractors known for committing rape, torture, and other atrocities. They eventually run foul of someone even worse, and their leader Vargo Hoat is force-fed his own limbs by the monstrous Gregor Clegane in a gruesomely fitting fashion.
    • The Companions themselves do this to Amory Lorch, a Fat Bastard and Smug Snake who stabbed a toddler to death, by feeding him to a bear.
    • Perhaps one of the reasons why Littlefinger is still a firm fan-favourite is that he has a tendency to do this. It's hard not to cheer the guy when he has Joffrey poisoned or throws crazy Lysa Arryn off a mountain-top.
    • Roose Bolton's "Don't make me rue the day I raped your mother" to Ramsay. They're both horrible people, but Ramsay deserves all his father's cruelty and more.
    • What Ramsay did to Theon is an interesting example of this trope. While Theon was a nasty piece of work and spent a lot of time getting the readers to despise him over the course of the second book, what Ramsay did to him was so extreme, cruel, and so totally pointless that it leads to one beginning to actually sympathize with Theon and despise Ramsay, completely turning this trope on its head.
  • Padan Fain in The Wheel of Time books has a couple of moments of this. The stand-out example however is when he is rubbing shoulders with the Seanchan early on in their appearance, before the reader has time to get to know much about them besides the fact that they keep women who can use the One Power as pets/slaves. It is therefore weirdly satisfying to see him plot and execute the brutal murders of a good number of them.
  • Whether or not this applies to The Slap is the driving question of the book. The plot kicks off when Harry slaps Hugo, the child of another couple at his cousin Hector's barbecue. Whether this is little more than child abuse or appropriate discipline of a badly-behaved child is deliberately left up to the reader, but is complicated on both sides—Harry is constantly portrayed as an abusive jerk with few redeeming qualities, but Hugo is an out-of-control brat who, at the time of the slap, had been threatening Harry's son and Hector's children with a cricket bat, and his own parents hadn't made an effort to stop him.
  • Similar to the Star Wars example though without so much buildup, Artemis Entreri of the Drizzt novels is in a foul mood when he happens across a Drow Matron in the underdark while searching for Drizzt. After a sexist barrage of insults, it doesn't go very well for her.
  • Animorphs: The Inspector regularly mocks, taunts, threatens, and otherwise humiliates...Visser Three. It's kind of fun to watch.
  • In the first Jesse Stone novel, Night Passage, normally an officer performing a kick to the balls on an unarmed civilian who's not attacking him would be a major Kick the Dog moment. Unless said civilian is Jo Jo Genest, who just got done bragging about how Jesse can't do anything to stop him from raping his ex-wife and openly mocks the restraining orders she's filed against him. Then it's this trope.
  • Pimps in the Belisarius Series tend to suffer this fate. As do Malwa ritual torturers.
  • In Red Dragon, Francis Dolarhyde, who has no moral qualms about Freddy Lounds being a Paparazzi, kills him by setting him on fire.
    • In The Silence of the Lambs series Hannibal Lecter also has a habit of doing this. The most particular is Frederick Chilton, who is an abusive prison warden. However, Hannibal was utterly insane and was less offended about Chilton being a corrupt prison warden.
    • The novel version of Hannibal does this as well with Mason Verger, who gets offed in a truly nasty manner by his sister Margot, who also takes his sperm so she can impregnate her girlfriend and conceive a blood heir who can inherit a trust fund, but since Verger is a truly awful piece of work who was a sadistic asshole to begin with (which is what prompted Hannibal to disfigure him in the first place) who also sexually abused Margot when they were young, it comes off as this instead. Margot is a Karma Houdini, but it's really hard to feel bad for Verger.
  • In Artemis Fowl, the third book ends with Artemis Out-Gambitting Jon Spiro, stealing his entire fortune, leaving him for the police to be arrested and essentially pushing him into such a Villainous Breakdown that he seems to have turned insane. Considering Spiro was an very amoral, egocentric Corrupt Corporate Executive and Smug Snake with connection to the Mafia whose actions almost killed one of the most sympathetic characters in the series, this part is extremely satisfying.
  • In Murderess, Lu’s decisive defeat of Bridget in a Snowball Fight. Bridget is so widely despised that everyone around her joins in, and Lu becomes immediately popular.
  • In Dragons of Requiem, Dies Irae murders two members of the Rot Squad trio and uses their body parts for his mimics. Keep in mind, the Rot Squad trio were Jerk Asses who spent their free time scavenging for body parts, abusing each other, and at one point they kick a dog so many times that it dies.
  • The first-ever appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in Ian Fleming's Thunderball, features him executing an underling who raped a hostage. The situation is this trope rather than Pay Evil unto Evil because Blofeld's objection is not to the underling's crime but to the fact that he broke the terms of SPECTRE's agreement with the hostage's father, which promised her unharmed return in exchange for a hefty ransom, and he simply can't have word of this getting out lest people think twice about hiring SPECTRE. The film changes the henchman's crime to mere embezzlement, making for a more standard Kick the Dog.
  • Words of Radiance (book two of The Stormlight Archive): Adolin knifes Sadeas in the dark. It's the sort of tactic that his father Dalinar would frown on, but the victim had it coming and then some.
  • The Divine Comedy: At one point while in the Cocytus, Dante pulls a traitor's hair in order to force him to tell his story, going so far as to actually tear out handfuls of hair when the shade stubbornly refuses to say anything.
  • The Magic Pudding: It's made pretty blatant to any reader that Bill and Sam wound up pushing Curry and Rice into the ocean to drown. Given the situation, though, it's hard to blame them.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is a trait of several "Tweener" wrestlers, such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and most recently Randy Orton, who have a habit of committing actions which would be seen as despicable if done by anyone else, but still manage to get the crowd behind them, simply by targeting wrestlers whom everyone already hates.
    • Probably the best example was when Austin was the first male wrestler to put a beating on Chyna. She'd been played up at abusing the Wouldn't Hit a Girl rule for months so that when he finally let her have it, the action didn't affect his general Face status at the time.
    • The Strong Style Thugs (Low Ki and Homicide) stealing the Jersey All Pro tag team championship belts until given a title shot was seen as a dick move but everyone agreed that The Hit Squad (Mafia and Monsta Mack) deserved it.
    • Another prime example is when The Undertaker tombstoned Vickie Guerrero during his 2008 feud with The Big Show. Granted he had tombstoned her once before already (while feuding with Edge going into WrestleMania 24,) but by the time the 2nd one occurred, Vickie had already: Stripped him of the WWE World Heavyweight Title, "banished" him from WWE for losing to Edge in a TLC match (with the help of La Familia,) AND enlisting the Big Show into tricking the Undertaker, culminating in Undertaker losing to Show by knock-out at No Mercy. And this is not counting her involvement during Edge's subsequent feud with Triple H while the Undertaker was banished...
    • Ivelisse Vélez of Las Sicarias and Holidead of Oedo~tai teaming up to stomp Aria Blake of "The Cutie Pie Club", who frequently gang up on unsuspecting wrestlers, over them celebrating the unpopular exit of Velez and Holidead from SHINE's Nova Tournament.

    Roleplay 
  • Marcus's Breaking Speech to Gretel in Yu-Gi-Oh! East Academy was incredibly vicious, but you can't really say she didn't deserve it.
    • Then there's his cold blooded execution of one of the cultists. It was horrible enough to qualify him as the group's Token Evil Teammate, but considering that the cultist was a nihilistic psycho who had tried to torture and kill Daniel...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Lizard Men committing and planning serial wars and even outright genocide is normally pretty sinister stuff. When Warhammer Fantasy applies it to factions like Chaos, Dark Elves, or Skaven (who are incidentally enough their prime targets)? They deserve that and more. Other races are usually left alone unless provoked.
    • By extension, just about any faction attacking any other in Warhammer 40,000.
    • There's actually a highlighted example of this in Warriors of Chaos, where a notation is made of a Chaos Champion named Gharad the Ox leading his warband to attack a town called Maulwurfbad. There, he faces off against Elector Count Wulfgang von Greidhart, a man so cruel and despised that, when Gharad was winning, the local women actually started cheering Gharad on. He killed the count and promptly called off the attack and left without any further violence.
  • In Spelljammer, regular Dungeons & Dragons gnomes often suffer a case of Fantastic Racism towards the "minoi" or "tinker gnomes" of Dragonlance, some even going so far as to try hunting them down. Many don't treat this as an evil act, however. In the metaverse, tinker gnomes are The Scrappy due to being Mad Scientists Played for Laughs with traits that are, instead, highly irritating — for example, they fixate on Rube Goldberg Devices to the extent that they simply can't build something that isn't needlessly complicated, and they actually strive to make their machines so absurd that they fail because they view the learning experiences from failure to be far more important than actual success. In-universe, the "minoi hunters" aren't regarded as evil because minoi can actually be very dangerous to everyone around them, thanks to their racial Hat of Bungling Inventor — they can cause tremendous damage when their machines inevitably go catastrophically wrong. For example, whenever a tinker gnome-built spelljammer approaches a planet, the odds are pretty good that "landing" will be synonymous with "falling out of the sky and crashing into the middle of a city".
  • In Exalted it's virtually impossible to Kick the Dog without accidentally causing some good in the process. Player characters can do pretty awful things to fairly innocent NPC's, but most major NPC's are very far from being dogs and usually in the son of a bitch territory, so whatever the reasons for the PC's to kick someone's ass, chances are that they're kicking a son of a bitch. The entire history of Creation is more or less a series of Kick the Son of a Bitch, most notably the Usurpation. It would be tactless to say that the Solar Exalted didn't deserve it, but the Bronze Faction weren't exactly benevolent angels either.
  • The Vampire: The Masquerade citybook Mexico City By Night features a last example of this in the form of Jaggedy Andy. Prior to his Embrace, Andy was a bigoted tourist who firmly believed that his status as an American citizen rendered him invincible; after spending the day wandering around the city, laughing at "jobless lazy spics," he and his friends hailed a cab and demanded to be taken to a strip club — only for the driver to hand them over to the Sabbat for a Blood Feast attended by Sascha Vykos itself. In the end, Andy's defiance and stupidity got too annoying even for Vykos, so instead of just killing him, Vykos used Vicissitude to seal every single orifice in Andy's headand then Embraced him. Andy now spends his nights outcast from both mortal and vampire society, forced to spend eternity chiseling new eye sockets and mouths for himself, and terminally dependent on the homeless Mexicans he once despised. Given that he's still an asshole, nobody's shedding any tears his way.
  • In Beast: The Primordial, this typically is how more sympathetic Beasts deal with their Hunger. Since they can only feed their Horror by hurting or causing fear in mortals, they specifically target despicable people who have it coming, thus minimizing the harm they cause.
  • Princess: The Hopeful briefly mentions the Catholic Church was responsible, during medieval times, for decimating the Pongamia Coven in Europe through their Burn the Witch! practices. This attitude would usually be seen as bigoted and horrible persecution, but the Pongamia happened to be a Dark Cult of Evil Sorcerers who made Deals with the Darkness and willingly abused their own children to turn them into Mnemosyne, meaning the Church was for once entirely justified in their reaction.

    Theatre 
  • The first person who dies in Little Shop of Horrors is an abusive boyfriend and "semi-sadist". The guy sure looks like plant food.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney's first kill is Adolfo Pirelli, who is the violent and abusive caretaker of Tobias Ragg and a consummate Snake Oil Salesman. He's also willing to blackmail Sweeney out of half his earnings out of sheer greed, despite the fact that he was Sweeney's apprentice back when he was known as Benjamin Barker. That's cold.
  • In Jekyll & Hyde, as part of his general indulgence in cruelty, Hyde murders the Board of Governors of a Mental Hospital, most of which are your typical "Victorian hypocrites". In particular, there is the Bishop of Basingstoke who liked to visit underage prostitutes, and whom Hyde beats and stabs to death with his walking stick and then sets the corpse on fire. To some extent this could qualify as Pay Evil unto Evil, since these people had scorned Jekyll, so killing them was Hyde acting on one of Jekyll's desires — but Hyde did it mostly For the Evulz.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All, Matt Engarde hiring Shelley de Killer to kill Juan Corrida turns out to be a case of this, as Juan broke up with his fiancee merely because she had been dating Matt Engarde earlier, leading her to be Driven to Suicide.
  • In Fate/stay night, Shinji Matou is the son of a bitch in question. The first kick would be in the Fate route where Ilya brutally killing him after Rider is beaten by Saber. Shirou is horrified; the rest of us just think Ilya is awesome. In Unlimited Blade Works; Gilgamesh gets to be the kicker, when he decided to make the Holy Grail out of Shinji. This was quite the effective kick that after all it's done, Shinji was so scared that he actually starts becoming more decent... as implied in the epilogue. And in Heaven's Feel Sakura's Face–Heel Turn is marked by her beheading Shinji. In this case, the story doesn't really act like this was the wrong thing to do (he was midway through attempting to rape her, and has been raping her for many years) but it still marks the point where she decides FINE. FUCK IT. I'll be evil!
    • His grandfather Zouken as well. He only makes an appearance in Heaven's Feel, but being pretty much the whole reason the Matou family is as screwed up as it is, the one behind 90% of Sakura's pain, and arguably the one responsible for Shinji's massive inferiority complex (which seems to be the core motivation behind a lot of his heinous actions), players' reactions when he was gruesomely killed by Sakura at the climax were pretty much "FINALLY!" Zouken is in fact such a son of a bitch, that his cameo in the Alternate Universe of Fate/Apocrypha has him being left for dead by the Nazi collaborator Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia as he steals the Greater Grail from Fuyuki and takes all his dreams with it, futilely reaching out to stop him, and all audience members in-the-know were cheering for the Nazi fucking over an old man.
  • In Higurashi, Teppai's many deaths by Keiichi, Rena, and Shion, Rena killing Rina, and Shion killing Onryu count as such.
  • In one of the School Days endings, Makoto Itou harshly calls out Otome and her horrible Girl Posse upon their continued abuse of Kotonoha- even grabbing the hand of the lass who's about to do the slapping part. Yeah, a lot of people say that Makoto is a selfish moron who thinks with his dick and all (and he is in the anime), but what people don't understand is that what Makoto does with the girls in the end depends on how well the game is played.
  • In Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow, two different routes have Toru doing this to the Big Bad he works for, Suetsugu:
    • At the end of Yuzuki's route, when he and Saori come to take Suetsugu's life, Toru does nothing to stop them. Not only that, but when they fatally injure him, Toru laughs off Suetsugu's pleas for help and finishes him off.
    • In Ritsu's route, he personally executes Suetsugu when he's in jail and about to go to trial.

    Web Original 
  • In KateModern, when Terrence knocked Lee down with a garden gnome. After everything Lee had done the past week, the scene was practically an Always a Bigger Fish moment.
  • Played for Laughs (just like everything else) in Kickassia when Channel Awesome (apart from The Nostalgia Chick who acted like The Starscream from the moment she saw power) did literally this to The Nostalgia Critic, after six episodes of abusing his subordinates, stealing their ideas, bad management and trying to blow them all up. Depends on where he falls on the Sympathy scale for you, though.
    • Also done by the Critic himself when he defeats and plans to shoot Dr. Insano. Insano has killed, tortured, maimed, forced people to read Ultimate Warrior comics, and just seconds ago betrayed the team to demand that he be made ruler of Kickassia. Benzaie still tries to save him, though, because "That's still Spoony in there".
  • Bar Clovis, the residents of the eponymous AJCO facility spend a great deal of time trying to grab power from each other. They're all equally as despicable, but you can't help but cheer when one of them gets beaten down a few levels (sometimes literally). Crowning examples include:
    • Breyos getting batoned across the knuckles by A_J.
    • A_J getting verbally curb-stomped by the Auditor after she attempted to establish herself as more powerful.
    • Breyos, again, getting punched in the face by Frances. She's a cyborg. With metal fists.
  • The Cheat of Homestar Runner tends to be kicked around and abused quite often. But given his criminal tendencies, he definitely deserves at least some of that kicking.
  • Adam's "defeat" in Arby 'n' the Chief. Not because he's a member of a dangerous hacker clan who have been terrorizing the entire network, but mostly for being a shrieking spoiled 8-year old brat of epic proportions who constantly abuses and disrespects his single mother as well as everyone around him, pisses and craps him pants because he's so addicted to Halo to go to the bathroom, and for banning and hacking Claire, Arbiter's girlfriend, all while laughing spitefully. Needless to say, The Fans and Viewers rejoiced during his downfall and eventual defeat.
  • Shadow Stalker's eventual fate in Worm. Every aspect of her life was torn down by the Undersiders' resident sociopath, who stole her body, soured relationships with her mother and only friend, and revealed her crimes to the world. And how the fanbase rejoiced at this turn of events says a lot about Shadow Stalker.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Vegeta is on the receiving end of this once and causes it once: when he gets the everloving crap beaten out of him by Android 18, and when he starts curbstomping Cell.
    Tien: So we're actually rooting for Vegeta?
    Piccolo: Let's be honest, we're rooting against Cell.
    Tien: What do we do if he wins?
    Piccolo: Which one?
    Tien: Which one is worse?
  • RWBY: When Blake asks Ilia why she joined the White Fang if she can pass for human, Ilia explains that she was raised human to improve her future prospects, even if it meant she could never introduce her human friends to her Faunus family and had to join in with her friends' anti-Faunus rhetoric. When a tragedy struck the Dust mine her parents worked in, Ilia's friends laughed about the Faunus' suffering. Ilia turned blue with grief, outing her as a Faunus and causing her former friends to turn on her. In retaliation, she broke their teeth. This led her to the White Fang's door where she now fights underneath its terrorist banner.
  • In Red vs. Blue, South Dakota had shot Wash in the back to save herself, attempted to abandon Delta to the Meta and was discovered to have betrayed her own twin brother to his death. When Delta coldly suggests to Washington "that we do not allow [South] to hamper our progress", it's hard to sympathize with her.


Alternative Title(s): Kick The SOB

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