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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
  • In Shadowland, one of Daredevil's first acts after he takes control of the Hand is to brutalize and kill Bullseye, who is even uncharacteristically afraid of him by the time he has both arms broken. This is taken as the first sign of Daredevil Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, but considering that it's Bullseye we're talking about, an assassin who kills people for shits and giggles (DD even pointed out that he bombed an entire building floor full of people just to get a rise of him when they last fought) and was fresh off his tenure as Norman Osborn's Hawkeye, it's hard to feel any sympathy. Luke Cage and Iron Fist are honestly more horrified that Daredevil broke his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule than the fact that he did it to Bullseye.
  • 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 (himself a Daxamite, but disgusted by his people's Fantastic Racism) notes, "congratulations Daxam. You finally got the alien you deserve."
  • Superman:
    • During New Krypton, Lex Luthor guns down Kryptonian Commander Gor from behind. Since Gor was a sadistic Sociopathic Soldier, nobody really cares.
    • In The Killers Of Krypton, Empress Gandelo slaps Harry Hokum with her rock-hard, razor-sharp hand and then she gets him dumped into space. It is not a pretty or clean way of dying, and you would almost feel sorry for him... if Hokum wasn't an utterly amoral, sadistic tyrant who regards people as tools, blames his own mistakes on his loyal subordinates and has murdered countless people in atrocious ways. Gandelo does not care about any of his misdeeds, though; she is pissed off because he revealed her organization's secrets to Supergirl.
    • Starfires Revenge: Derek Marlowe/Ames is a conman who enthusiastically seduces and steals gullible wealthy women. His boss gets him killed off because he cannot be trusted to keep quiet about her ambitious scheme.
  • 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 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 jerkass 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.
  • In Empowered, Willy Pete, a brutal, cannibalistic, serial rapist-murderer, is eventually killed off by Neurospear, a sadistic, psychopathic mind-controller, who is one of the few characters in the story to be as utterly repugnant, despicable, and horrifying as he is.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): In Issue #25, when Doctor Starline tries to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! on the alliance forming between Eggman and the Restoration, Eggman responds by having Metal Sonic steal his Warp Topaz and violently chuck him through a portal to parts unknown. Considering that Starline not only indirectly caused the current Metal Virus crisis by restoring Eggman's villainous memories but also just made it worse by accidentally giving the Zeti control of the Zombots, Sonic and the other heroes have zero problem with how Eggman disposes of him.
  • In Preacher, God allowing Cassidy to be tortured turns out to be this, given Cassidy's true nature and awful past. Suffice to say, when God Named him Beast, Cassidy lived down to the name.
  • In Avengers Academy, after the students learn that their teacher Tigra was once attacked in her home by the supervillain called The Hood, who beat her savagely, threatened to kill her mother, and forced her to beg for her life. They decide to Pay Evil unto Evil and do the same thing to the Hood, with the added measure of recording the beatdown and subsequent begging before putting it up on Youtube to humiliate him further. Whilst Tigra herself chewed out the students responsible, fans felt that the Hood deserved everything he had coming to him, since even in addition to what he did to Tigra, he's also an all-around petty scumbag. Even Tigra couldn't help indulging herself and repeatedly watching the video.

    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-Gray Morality and outright Evil vs. Evil, so this is a frequent occurrence:
    • 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.
  • Nothing gives Zack State, the main character of The Mental State, more pleasure than wrecking the lives of criminals who refuse to repent. There are quite a few unscrupulous characters in the story, and Zack has plans for all of them. Most of them end up getting brutally beaten up or lacerated, some of them are traumatised for life, and the Big Bad loses everything he has, resulting in him spending the rest of his life in solitary confinement with no money, no friends, no hope and no 'FINGERS'!
  • King City: at the climax, when confronted with the threat of a full-blown police raid on his apartment, crime boss Duke Fallon orders the fugitive, Timo (but might testify against him if arrested) "sent down" and seconds later Timo is thrown out the window and falls to his death. Normally, killing a potential witness against you who'd trusted you enough to come begging for sanctuary would feel like a pretty crummy thing to do, but considering that Timo gunned down a pair of rookie cops who weren't even after him simply because they were in his neighborhood, threatened to rape the main characters thirteen year-old daughter if he didn't back off, and is an all around Smug Snake and Jerkass, Duke's ordering him killed actually makes Duke a bit more likable to the reader.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is a trait of several "Tweener" wrestlers, such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and 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 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 themself. 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 had one of their underlings Embrace 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.
  • Chronicles of Darkness:

    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 
  • Ace Attorney:
  • Danganronpa:
    • Celestia Ludenberg killing her murder accomplice Hifumi Yamada in Chapter 3 of the first game. Celeste only killed him because he had outlived his usefulness, but since Hifumi agreed to help Celeste murder an innocent teenage boy only because she made a False Rape Accusation with no concrete evidence against said teenage boy and because said teenage boy was his rival over the affections of a computer AI, it is hard to feel bad for him - at least not until The Reveal that neither he or any of the other killers in the game would have been that way had their memories not been tampered with against their wills.
    • In Chapter 3 of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Mikan Tsumiki becomes Ax-Crazy due to being infected with a disease spread by Monokuma and kills Ibuki Mioda and Hiyoko Saionji in cold blood. However, despite the fact that Mikan was one of the latter's favourite victims, Mikan only killed her because she walked in on her about to kill Ibuki and had to be silenced, and not as revenge for Hiyoko's treatment of her. Nevertheless, it's still tough to feel bad for Hiyoko because she was a cruel and sadistic bully who liked to torture small animals for fun.
  • 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 Sakura decides to embrace being evil.
    • His grandfather Zouken as well. He only makes an appearance in Heaven's Feel, but he is the whole reason the Matou family is as screwed up as it is, the one behind 90% of Sakura's pain, and the one responsible for Shinji's massive inferiority complex (which seems to be the core motivation behind a lot of his heinous actions), so him being gruesomely killed by Sakura at the climax is no tragedy. 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 the Nazi screwing over an old man still looks like the better guy.
  • In Higurashi, Teppei Houjou's many deaths by Keiichi, Rena, and Shion, Rena killing Rina, and Shion killing Oryou count as such. Teppei is an abusive Evil Uncle towards Satoko and a crime boss, while Rina is his subordinate who plots to ruin Rena’s dad and steal his money, and Oryou is a horrible grandma to the Sonozaki family who forced Shion to tear her own nails out as punishment for hanging out with a boy from a rival family.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • In our world, Jeffrey Dahmer was a Serial Killer who claimed the lives of 17 victims before being killed in prison. In the world of Kentucky Fried Politics however, as a teenager he just so happens to run into a certain Monster Clown by the name of John Wayne Gacy...
  • Effectively what happens to the Threeist powers in America's Stepbrother, America's Enemy V2.0. The modern day United States is transported by a temporal anomaly into the dystopian nightmare world of 1984, where the Party leadership promptly declare war on the new nation (as they believe them to be thoughtcriminals). The resulting war sees one of the most terrifying dystopias in fiction reduced to a ridiculous joke: Threeist military philosophy has long treated war as a song-and-dance routine where armies of poorly-trained conscripts and cumbersome Schizo Tech vehicles fight phony wars to waste resources and generate propaganda; the United States military is better equipped and trained, and most importantly, actually motivated to win.
  • Operation: Turnabout:
    • Captain Adel Renard's murder of Captain Janus Harvey counts, since while Renard definitely isn't a good guy and only killed Harvey in order to stop him from revealing Renard's role in causing the "Helios-6 Incident", which killed an entire unit of peacekeepers in Aresia, after he would have received legal immunity for his own part in the incident, it's hard to feel sorry for Harvey because not only was he a Jerkass who liked to regularly bully his privates, but also intentionally caused the aforementioned Helios-6 Incident on Renard's suggestion just to silence his platoon from revealing that he had smuggled explosives to a group of dangerous insurgents and tried to pin the blame for the incident on anyone but himself. In-Universe, none of Harvey's co-workers feel anything but contempt for him and relief that he kicked the bucket, even after Renard's motive for his murder comes to light.
    • Speaking of the insurgents, Renard gets another moment of this when he calls the police on them, which gets them sent to the firing squad. He only did this so that the insurgents wouldn't rat him out after he betrayed them by not including a detonator with the explosives he smuggled to them, but since the insurgents were responsible for causing a highly destructive civil war in Aresia, they deserved to be executed.
  • In Red vs. Blue, the Blood Gulch Crew at one point capture a Space Pirate and need to get information out of him. When he proves recalcitrant, resident Mad Doctor Emily Grey pipes up that their captive had earlier killed everyone else at the outpost where she was stationed, which she thinks makes him deserving of a checkup. Dr. Grey's definition of a checkup terrifies her teammates, but nobody complains on behalf of the pirate or really cares when another pirate kills him to prevent him from spilling anything more.
  • Anon: Connor beats the absolute shit out of Ryan for his jerkass reaction to Candace's pregnancy.


 
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You Were Never Even a Player.

After everything that Long Feng did in trying to maintain control over Ba Sing Se through the Dai Li and preventing Team Avatar from completing their mission to warn the Earth King about the Day of Black Sun by holding Appa hostage, and teaming up with Azula to undo all of their efforts. It is extremely satisfying to see Azula turn against Long Feng and usurp control over the Dai Li entirely and have him imprisoned.

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