Follow TV Tropes


Relative Button

Go To

"Do you remember me?
I killed your family
And now I am going to kill you too"
AJJ, "Bad Bad Things"

A long time ago, the Big Bad Bob brutally murdered Alice's family while she was away at school. Now, Alice has finally found him.

A brutal fight ensues, and then he says the following:

Alice is incensed, and it gives her the Heroic Second Wind she needed to beat Bob to a pulp. That said, heroes should beware, as villains often use this as a means of provoking heroes into making a crucial mistake, such as getting a hero to leave their hiding spot in order to attack the villain, only to find that doing so exposed them to a whole bunch of mooks the villain brought along who actually know how to shoot since they weren't trained at the Stormtrooper Academy.

See also Mama Bear, Papa Wolf, You Killed My Father, Would You Like to Hear How They Died?, Post-Rape Taunt, and Reminiscing About Your Victims. If this is invoked in a villain rather than by a villain, it usually overlaps with Even Evil Has Loved Ones and Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas. A subtrope of Evil Gloating.

Not to be confused with Relative Error, which is when two related people are mistaken for being a couple.

This trope dealing with character deaths, be wary of some unavoidable spoilers.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: A player from a rival baseball team makes Shizuka cry in an attempt at securing a win. This only flips the tables in favor of Rentarou's girlfriends.
  • Black Clover: The Witch Queen tricking Asta into killing his friends is what finally causes Vanessa to unlock her Red Thread of Fate magic and break her control.
  • Death Note features something of an inversion in the climax: When Matsuda (who's already shot Villain Protagonist Light to keep him from writing in a piece of the titular notebook) demands to know what it was that Light's father Soichiro Yagami (who Matsuda deeply admired) died for, Light insults him, resulting in Matsuda shooting him four more times, only being stopped from finishing him off by the other task force members.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Seeing Tanjiro in danger or in a battered state is usually the moment his little sister Nezuko fights back other demons.
  • Dragon Ball: Threatening Goku's family, especially his sons, is a surefire way to get your ass kicked:
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, when Edward Elric's brother sacrifices himself, the person who caused Al to do that has some serious problems. This is after many an Al-related violent encounter. Don't mess with Edward Elric's family. Don't.
  • In Futari wa Pretty Cure, one confirmed way to die is trying to kill Nagisa's brother. Seeing that she's one half of a two-girl wrecking crew that can fry your ass in combat, that is a monumentally bad idea, as Gekidrago infamously — and stupidly — learned the hard way.
  • Hi-Speed Jecy: If Tiana thinks you've killed her sister Jecy, you'd better stay away from her. Just ask Jera, who got shot at.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: Several years before the story begins, J. Geil raped and murdered Polnareff's sister. This provoked the Frenchman into tracking him down and exacting his revenge. When he finally meets J. Geil, he taunts Polnareff about the encounter in order to provoke him. Once he's finally cornered, Polnareff gives J. Geil a Cruel and Unusual Death in retribution.
  • Kill la Kill: Nui Harime taunts Ryuko about killing her father in a completely nonchalant way, as she has shown to have fun killing him. Ryuko goes ballistic.
  • Maria no Danzai:
  • Monster Rancher: Moo presses this for both Tiger and Holly at the end of the second season. With Tiger, he taunts him about having to fight and kill Gray Wolf, and for Holly, he says that her father is completely gone and he wishes she could have seen how pitiful he looked at the very end.
  • Naruto: When Danzo invokes Itachi's name, Sasuke's immediate reaction was to crush him into a fine paste. This starts a mostly one sided battle that leaves Danzo so beaten that he decides the only way to win is by killing himself.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Dressrosa arc, Diamante loves rubbing the fact that he killed Rebecca's mother in the young gladiator's face. Unlike most examples on this page, however, she is unable to fight back due to him being leagues more powerful and her promise to her mother not to hurt anyone. When Rebecca's father Kyros turns out to be alive, Diamante plays the same card on him; and gets his ass handed to him for it.
    • Go ahead, insult Donquixote "Corazon" Rocinante in front of Trafalgar Law. We dare you. When Doflamingo insulted Corazon right in front of Law, Law's response was to — despite being on death's door — drag himself over to Doflamingo and electrocute his liquefied insides.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo: Yuan's is pushed twice. The first is a taunt; saying that Yuan's family will be following him into death provokes him into a reckless attack that almost gets him killed. The second time, the same villain suddenly becomes Genre Blind and reveals that he killed Yuan's mother when he already has Yuan beaten. Cue Heroic Second Wind.

    Comic Books 
  • In Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!, harm Bruiser's brother and you will quickly learn why they're called BERSERKER Baboons.
  • In DMZ a military commander that main character Matty Roth hates taunts Matty at one point by teasing Matty about his dead reporter girlfriend.
  • The First:
    • In issue #8, Ingra does NOT take kindly to Braag mentioning Persha when Braag mockingly mentions he once thought Persha was his daughter (she's actually Pyrem's daughter).
    • Persha has clearly inherited this from her mother, as shown when Pyrem makes a remark about Ingra and she tells him he will not speak ill about Ingra.
  • During the Knightfall Saga, The Scarecrow sprays Batman with one of his fear skulls and forces him to relive the memory of the Joker killing Jason Todd. Batman, who has already run himself ragged capturing many other criminals that night, responds by going into Unstoppable Rage, knocking out the Scarecrow with a single headbutt and beating the Joker (who's partnered up with Scarecrow) within an inch of his life, calling Jason's name all the while. And since the Joker was in earshot of this, he's now able to taunt Batman using Jason's real name.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • "The Great Darkness Saga":
      • During one battle in Takron-Galtos, a Servant of Darkness is easily beating Ultra Boy and Mon-El. Then he decides to blast their girlfriends Phantom Girl and Shadow Lass, and suddenly he finds himself getting all but cooked by two sets of eye-beams.
        Mon-El: "Whatever you are, mister, you just made a major mistake. Those two ladies happen to be very dear to us— and that means no more nice guy!"
      • Lightning Lad wakes up from a coma to fry a Servant who is attacking Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy (his wife and oldest friend, respectively).
      • Later, Wildfire is fighting another Servant of Darkness. Their beam-o-war seems to be evenly matched until the Servant gleefully expresses his intent to rape Wildfire's girlfriend after killing him. Wildfire blasts him into oblivion immediately.
    • "Those Emerald Eyes Are Shining": Lightning Lad and Lightning Lord look evenly matched when they duel, until the latter both mocks and blasts Saturn Girl away. Enraged, Lightning Lad reveals he was actually going soft on Mekt to not hurt his brother...but if Lightning Lord is going to hurt his wife, Garth is done with holding back.
  • In Lucky Luke, Jolly Jumper is pretty much Luke's only family, even calling the horse brother most of the time. During a short story where someone (revealed to be the Daltons) kidnapped Jolly Luke is shaking down people at gunpoint for info. Another short story starts with Luke beating the crap out of someone in a saloon only to reveal it's because Jolly Jumper is missing.
  • In The Punisher MAX, a particularly vicious mobster decides it would be a good idea to dig up Frank Castle's family, desecrate the bones, and film it. It certainly makes the Punisher angry.
  • Runaways: For both her parents and Chase, never bring up Gert's sad fate. Chase gets violent. Her parents start a small-scale genocide.
  • In Spider-Man alternate universe series The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Peter Parker has a young child named Annie. Harming or threatening her is a VERY. BAD. IDEA. Venom gave it a try. Spidey dumped a flaming building on him. It also gives Spidey the Heroic Second Wind he needs when the Big Bad has him imprisoned in a power-absorbing chamber. No other superhero was able to break out of them until he did.
  • Superman:
    • In The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Darkseid kidnaps Superman's cousin to brainwash her into becoming one of his minions. At the end of the history, he has been beaten up and nailed to the Source Wall (the physical edge of the universe) by an absolutely enraged Superman.
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Reactron ambushes and depowers Supergirl. As he's attempting to kill her, he starts to gloat about killing her father. Kara swiftly picks a metal staff and proceeds to bludgeon him.
    • In The Coming of Atlas, Superman only gets truly mad when Atlas threatens both his cousin Kara and Krypto.
    • In Strangers at the Heart's Core, three alien criminals shoot Kara's adoptive father and threaten her mother. Kara proceeds to stomp all over them while shouting there is no place in the universe where they can be safe from her.
      "Shut up, you contemptible cowards— You think I can't dispose of garbage like you? If you've killed [my father] the best man on this planet, then there's no place in the universe you can hide from my wrath!"
    • In Death & the Family, While pummeling Insect Queen, Supergirl angrily states the dumbest thing she could have done was to hurt someone whom Kara considers family.
      Supergirl: "You made a huge mistake, Your Highness. Lana Lang is more than just a friend. She's family."
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Circe wasn't even the one who killed Hippolyta, but she still uses her death to inflict a couple weeks of bad dreams centered around it on Diana and Donna and then tries turning into a badly beaten and mangled Hippolyta during her fight with Diana while goading her about her mother's death. In this case, Circe is trying to evoke the trope, by doing everything she can to goad Diana into beating her to death. It doesn't work.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, Ghidorah and most of its monstrous offshoots are very okay with pushing others' Relative Buttons to torment them. Vivienne Graham snaps and goes into The Berserker mode when the Many threaten to go after her human loved ones, and two of Ghidorah's heads successfully goad Thor to anger by unfavorably contrasting his son's warrior death against Thor's decision to flee Ghidorah's genocide.
  • The Emergency! fic "Revenge" is a good example with Roy. John isn't a blood brother, but Roy considers him family still. He gets into a full-on fistfight with the guy who kidnapped and tortured Johnny when the guy follows him to the station after rescuing John. Shows up other times in the overall series as well, like when John's evil uncle tries to rape him.
  • In the Cuphead fan comic from DeviantArt, "Cagney Is a Carnation" by fuyuflowga, during the battle for the Soul Contract, Cagney Carnation sees that Mugman is important to Cuphead, since both boys are brothers. However, being Necessarily Evil as he is, the flower reluctantly has to trigger Cuphead's Relative Button by murdering his brother with his bare thorns. The result is not pretty, and it puts Cuphead at his Rage Breaking Point to destroy the flower for the contract. (Both Mugman and Cagney get better after the fight.)
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Katsuki Bakugou brutally chews Ruby out over her poor work ethic, exclaiming that she'll end up dead like her mom if she doesn't put in effort to improve herself. Ruby is furious over this, but Katsuki retorts that she has no business being a Huntress if that's all it takes to throw her off guard.
  • Catch Your Breath: During the Commencement Arc, the second Spiral Zetsu taunts Kei while she's paralyzed on the ground and reveals that it is the one holding her brother hostage. Kei's mother immediately attacks in a rage, having overheard the taunt, and is killed by it shortly afterward.
  • Darkness (ankh-ascendant): Naraku taunts Sesshoumaru with Rin and to a lesser extent Kohaku to rile him up, at least once. (It's debatable how many of the times are actually Naraku.)
  • Hellsister Trilogy: At the height of "The Apokolips Agenda", Darkseid taunts Supergirl with the vision of her cousin and her boyfriend downed by his hand. Supergirl attacks in a rage, but even though she fights bravely and does some harm, she is defeated.
  • In The Princess and the Rose, Roman Torchwick has permanently pressed this button with Yang after the beating he gave Ruby.
  • Subverted in A Force of Four. While fighting an injured Wonder Woman, Badra gloats that she will go after her mother and daughter next. Diana attacks in a fury... and realizes she was idiotically baited into a dumb, reckless charge a fraction of a second before being pummeled.
  • In Missing Linc, Hawk and Hank taunt Lynn about her brother Lincoln's disappearance to throw her off her game.
  • In the My Hero Academia fic Pulse and Void, Fusion, the villain who tortured Present Mic almost to death, does this to Aizawa, who’s married to him in the story. He talks about Mic ending up blind, deaf and mute (blind from eyes swelled shut, he was already partly deaf, and mute from the muzzle Fusion put on him), how he made him scream and bleed and how he “showed him what happens to bad pets”. Naturally this is a *very* bad idea as it just pushes Aizawa more and more into seething rage and makes him more determined to make the guy pay. And being relatively intelligent and a skilled fighter, Aizawa doesn’t get reckless, either.
  • In the Turning Red fanfic The Great Red Panda Rescue, Mei is kidnapped and Ming slaughters Mei's kidnappers when she sees they branded her daughter.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Epic, Mandrake does not take kindly to Dagda's death.
  • The Lion King: When Scar thinks that Simba is at his mercy, he tries to twist the knife by whispering: "I killed Mufasa.". The revelation enrages Simba enough that he turns the tables on Scar and forces him to repeat himself out loud, at which point the rest of the lionesses turn against Scar as well.
  • In The Little Mermaid, the one thing that can be considered worse than mentioning humans around King Triton is threatening any of his daughters — not that it does him much good when Ursula forces him to take Ariel's place in exchange for her not being transformed into a prawn in her collection.
  • Turning Red: Whatever you do, do not insult Mei's family. Tyler learns this the hard way when she attacks him in panda form after he insults her mom and her shrine, although she regrets it right after.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • When a young Bruce Wayne confronts mob boss Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins, he casually relates Joe Chill's highly untrue version of how Chill killed Wayne's parents for little purpose other than to Kick the Dog as his mooks are about to drag Bruce out of the building.
  • Circle: The Lawyer unknowingly drew the ire of the middle-aged Black Man to vote for him with his homophobic rant, as his son turns out to be gay.
    Black Man: My son's gay. And there's not a damn thing wrong with him.
  • DC Extended Universe: Threatening Martha Kent is a surefire way to piss off Superman. In Man of Steel, General Zod found this out the hard way.
  • When McClane and Karl fight towards the end of Die Hard, McClane does a rare hero-on-villain example.
    McClane: You should have heard your brother squeal when I broke his fuckin' neck!
  • Face/Off: As if Troy killing Archer's son during a botched hit wasn't bad enough, he then has to throw in a rape threat towards Archer's daughter Jamie during his arrest of Troy. Archer reacts as pissed off as you'd expect.
  • Subverted in the 2011 version of Fright Night (2011). Jerry maliciously tells Peter "You have your mother's eyes. And your father's aim." Unfortunately Peter barely manages to get a couple of shots off at Jerry before things go to hell.
  • Memorably used in Gladiator, except with less of the beatdown effect and instead just provoking Maximus's Implacable Man. Commodus cements his Moral Event Horizon by casually bringing up Maximus' wife's gang-rape and the crucifixion of his son while Maximus is surrounded by the Praetorian Guards. Commodus is hoping to provoke Maximus into attacking him, which would presumably then result in the Praetorians killing Maximus to defend the Emperor. The facial expressions of the Praetorians don't budge, but after Maximus refuses to take the bait, they allow Maximus to leave without Commodus' permission and give him a small nod of respect as he goes. And then in the final Duel to the Death the Guards refuse to give Commodus a sword after he gets disarmed by Maximus.
  • The Kurgan from the first Highlander movie does this twice, once intentionally, once unintentionally. The last time he runs into Connor before their final duel, he brags about killing Connor's mentor Ramirez, and, obviously pleased about himself, also gloats about raping Ramirez' woman. At the time that he said that, the Kurgan didn't know that that woman he raped was actually Connor's wife Heather, but once he saw the look on Connor's face and realized the truth, he quickly turned it into a Post-Rape Taunt as another way to get under Connor's skin.
  • In the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Vortigern taunts Arthur by noting that Arthur is bright, motivated, and driven in spite of having been raised in the worst of environments after Vortigern murdered Arthur's parents. He wonders how much more Arthur would have achieved if he'd been raised by his actual parents as the rightful heir to the throne rather than as a bastard child in a brothel. He asks "What gave you such drive?" Later during their final battle, Arthur tells him "You want to know what motivate me? You did. You put me in that brothel. You cut me on the streets. You created me."
  • In The Mask of Zorro, Captain Love taunts Zorro with this during their duel after learning that he is Alejandro, the surviving Murrieta brother.
    Captain Love: You're doing well. Your brother would have shot himself by now.
  • Subverted in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Freddy Krueger throws Alice into a Bad Future nightmare where she still works the same dead-end job until she's old and grey before he shows her how delicious he finds teenagers' souls by serving up a "soul pizza". Freddy eats Alice's previously deceased brother Rick in front of her by devouring his soul purely to be a dick to Alice, but she's way too horrified to react with immediate rage.
  • The main villain of Outcast, an Evil Prince, after usurping the throne by killing his father, then forcefully took over command from the Emperor's Praetorian Guard units. When said unit's captain tried to reason with him, the prince tells him to know his place, threatening that he will have the captain's children nailed to walls in pieces as well as making the captain's wife pleasure ALL his men.
  • Done deliberately in The Patriot (2000). During a negotiation between Martin's rebels and the British, Dragon-in-Chief British Colonel Tavington recognizes Martin, but isn't allowed to kill him because they're under a flag of truce. Tavington, who'd previously killed one of Martin's sons, tries to use the memory to goad him into breaking the truce.
    Tavington: You know, it's an ugly business, doing one's duty. But just occasionally, it's a real pleasure.
    Martin: ...Before this war is over, I'm going to kill you.
  • In James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, Camille does it after the general says "I knew your family, I must have been the last person to see them alive..."
  • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Guy of Gisbourne taunted Robin about his father's death so that Robin would leave the cover of Sherwood forest and try to fight Guy and all his mooks, something which would certainly get Robin killed. He might have succeeded had Azeem not stopped Robin and talked sense into him.
  • In Scream (1996), the Ghostface killer's initial attempts to scare Sidney, by taunting her with horror movie references and threats of murder, fail to faze her. But when he tells her that she'll die just like her mother did (her mother Maureen having been murdered a year prior to the events of the film), that's when Sidney starts freaking out. After The Reveal, the killer also taunts Sidney directly with references to her mother's infidelity as a central part of his motive, as he blames Maureen for destroying his parents' marriage.
  • In Se7en, Serial Killer John Doe does this to Detective Mills at the very end, revealing how he murdered Mills' pregnant wife Tracy in order to get Mills to play his part in Doe's Thanatos Gambit.
  • In Sodom and Gomorrah, Prince Astaroth of Sodom, incensed that his sister, Queen Bera, has passed him over as first minister in favour of Hebrew leader Lot, decides to provoke Lot into a Duel to the Death by revealing that he has seduced Lot's daughters, Shuah and Maleb. The enraged Lot quickly overpowers Astaroth and ignores his pleas for mercy (as well as those of Shuah and Maleb) as he stabs him in the chest.
  • Star Wars:
  • The climax of Tian Di has the hero, Cheung, fighting one of the main villain Paul's Elite Mooks. The mook managged to pin down Cheung, and Paul — the man responsible for killing Cheung's wife and all his friends — then uses the chance to mock Cheung about his dead spouse.
  • In Top Gun: Maverick, Hangman brings up the time when Maverick flew with Goose to Rooster. When he nearly talks about when he died, Rooster almost attacks him, forcing the other pilots to restrain him.
  • Near the end of Tragic Hero. The villain, Kar-Yung, earlier on arranged for the assasination of Ah Chai's family via Time Bomb (which claimed the lives of over twenty children as well); in the final confrontation Kar-Yung taunts Ah Chai before trying to kill him, "After you went to hell, you can ask your family if it's too hot for them..." this however proves to be Kar-Yung's undoing, when Ah Chai then gains a Heroic Second Wind and turns the fight around.

  • Alderamin on the Sky: Princess Chamille hits Ikta's button when she indirectly insults his mother.
  • Black Bullet: If you value your life, don't harm a hair on Enju or Tina (or any Cursed Child, for the matter). You don't want to know what Rentaro will do to you.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: One of the reasons Amarantha cursed the Spring Court was Tamlin unthinkingly pushing this as he lashed out at her, stating that her own sister preferred a human's company to her's. Considering that said human murdered her sister, it's not too surprising Amarantha went ballistic.
  • Harry Potter:
  • In Reborn to Master the Blade, the Blood Knight and protagonist Inglis usually takes a very cavalier attitude to her enemies, even when they fully intend to wound or even kill her. This is because Inglis finds the thrill of fighting in itself extremely entertaining, especially so against challenging opponents. The moment you harm or threaten her first cousin and the Knight she is squire to, Rafinha, however, Inglis will immediately drop all pleasantries, stop holding back, and threaten to do the worst things she can manage to you if you ever lay a hand on her. On a much less serious and macabre note, Inglis is very protective of Rafinha against any potential male suitors, both being tasked by her uncle to guard her cousin and believing she's much too young to be in a relationship still.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: Played for laughs in volume 6. Oliver's underclassman and distant cousin Teresa Carste is challenged to a Wizard Duel by a classmate, and struggles not because she can't beat him, but because she has no idea how to hold back enough to beat him without killing him. Then he mocks her relationship with Oliver, and she completely snaps and punches him in the face. From there the duel degenerates into a no-holds-barred brawl: she ends up with a swollen face and him with a broken jaw.
  • Shards Of Frost: As they prepare to duel to the death, Sheryl taunts Casey with how she intentionally lured Casey's brother into imprinting with her and then right before the bond could set, she broke up with him and kicked him out, saying she didn't want to mate with a latent (non-shifting) mink. An incomplete or broken bond can literally kill a shifter. Miles turned to drugs to cope with the pain and became severely addicted. And now Sheryl said she did it intentionally because she knew it would hurt Casey. Combined with all the other terrible things Sheryl has done to Casey out of pure jealousy, Casey is super motivated to fight and ends up severing Cheryl's spine at the base of her skull, killing her antagonist.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • In an unusually cunning moment from an animalistic sociopath, Gregor Clegane waits until the moment that he is about to kill someone before pushing their Relative Button.
    • Gregor is Sandor (the Hound) Clegane's Relative Button personified: don't directly compare the two as being quite similar to each other near the Hound. Just... don't.
    • In A Dance With Dragons, Stannis' army gets caught by an immense snowstorm in the middle of marching. Bogged down for weeks, some soldiers resort to cannibalism to survive. When caught, they are sentenced to die by burning at the stake. One of the soldiers involved intentionally taunts the executioner about eating the executioner's cousin so that he will be killed quickly by the executioner (who slits his throat) instead of burning alive.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of the relatively rare cases of a hero doing this to a villain shows up in Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Mayor, the Arc Villain of that season, has basically adopted Buffy's Evil Counterpart Faith as a daughter and shows true affection for her. Buffy has to fight with Faith and puts her into a coma during the battle. After the Mayor has turned himself into a giant snake demon during the season finale, Buffy taunts him about what she did to Faith in order to get him to chase her directly into a trap set by the good guys.
  • In Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence takes it very personally when Sid describes his mother Laura as a "hot piece of ass".
    • One of the sure-fire ways to get a knee-jerk reaction from Daniel LaRusso is insulting his father figure Mr. Miyagi, now deceased. When he and Kreese fight in the season 3 finale, Kreese throws Daniel through a glass window and attempts to kill him with a shard of broken glass, telling him that he'll be "joining Miyagi soon". This triggers Daniel's Heroic Second Wind.
  • Game of Thrones: Harming Jon Snow's brothers or sisters is a very bad idea, as Ramsay Bolton learned the hard way. In Season 6, Ramsay Bolton hits this button with Jon for what he has done to Jon's younger brother and sister. When Jon finally gets his hands on Ramsay, he beats Ramsay within an inch of his life for raping and torturing his sister Sansa and murdering his youngest brother Rickon, leaving just enough behind for Sansa to hand Ramsay an extremely Karmic Death as she feeds him to his own starving dogs. Ramsay's actions against Jon's brother and sister are also the reason why Jon went to war against Ramsay in the first place — so Jon could rescue Rickon, who Ramsay held captive at the time, and to protect Sansa from that Bastard Bastard. Furthermore, he nearly attacked Alliser Thorne for bad-mouthing his father Ned and brother Robb. He almost quit the Night’s Watch to avenge his father’s death. Qhorin Halfhand also provoked Jon into seriously fighting back (as part of his plan to help Jon infiltrate the Wildlings by having Jon kill him) by calling Ned a traitor and Jon's unknown mother a whore.
    • Arya also has this button. Mentioning Ned's death is a surefire way to piss her off, and lands Cersei, Joffrey, and Ilyn Payne on her kill list. After the Red Weddings occurs, Arya overhears some Frey soldiers laughing about desecrating her brother Robb's corpse and Catelyn's death, which makes her steal a knife from Sandor and stab them to death in hysterical, grief-filled rage, the first time she kills someone not in self-defense. And even though she and her sister constantly butted heads in Season 1, when Sandor is trying to convince Arya to kill him, the thing that almost works is commenting on "your pretty sister" and how he should have raped Sansa when he had the chance.
  • Gotham: For the love of all that is holy, do not bring up Penguin's murdered mother around him. Ed Nygma's suggestion that he might be better off without her so Oswald can become The Unfettered nearly got his throat slashed.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: After Halbrand asks Adar if he remembers him, Adar denies it and starts to taunt Halbrand about the possibility of unknowingly killing a woman or a child that Halbrand might have loved. Turns out is subverted after is revealed that Halbrand is Sauron, therefore he was not hurt about some inexistent relative, but about Adar turning on him.
  • In Rome, Titus Pullo is sentenced to die fighting gladiators in the arena, but he's hit Rock Bottom and welcomes death at that point, so he refuses to do anything and just sits dejected in the arena, waiting for the gladiators to kill him. This flummoxes the gladiators, who are reluctant to kill someone who isn't resisting and seem at a loss as to what to do... until one of them starts Trash Talking the legion that Pullo served with for years, most of whom died earlier in the season. Bad move. Pullo goes on an epic rampage and kills multiple waves of gladiators. Finally, when Pullo is too wounded and exhausted to resist or even stand, the last gladiator left goes to finish him off, only for Pullo's friend and fellow legionnaire Vorenus to jump out of the stands and save him.


  • In Cats, Munkustrap and Alonzo, two of Old Deuteronomy's sons (per Word of God), are the first Jellicles to go up against Macavity, who had kidnapped their father and even impersonated him.

    Video Games 
  • Die Hard: Vendetta have Nitric taunting John McClane after breaking out of prison, while John is locked on another cell of his own, that he'll "have his way with (John's daughter) Lucy while John rots in his cell."
  • Arl Howe will taunt the Human Noble Warden this way in Dragon Age: Origins. Depending on whether you're playing as The Hero or a Villain Protagonist, it could be either played straight or subverted (he dies either way, but it could be you don't care about what he did to your family).
  • Loopmancer have the cutscene where you confront Wei Long, the ruthless triad leader responsible for the "accident" that crippled your wife, killed your daughter, and removed your right hand and both legs. Without any remorse, Wei Long instead taunts you over your family by threatening to "make sure your wife suffers even more".
  • In the Safe Ending of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, when Ace realizes Snake doesn't know that his little sister Clover is dead, he takes huge relish in telling Snake exactly how it felt to stab her to death. The usually-composed Snake snaps, and though only Ace is armed and Snake is a skinny guy with a prosthetic arm, the scene ends with both of them dead through sheer, desperate revenge-fueled determination on Snake's part.
  • When Keigo Kyogoku is about to kill Sakura Shinguji towards the end of Sakura Wars 2: Thou Shalt Not Die, her father Kazuma (aka the Demon King) shields his daughter at the cost of his own life.
  • Star Wolf tends to do this with Fox in Star Fox 64, most notably Wolf saying, "You'll be seeing your dad soon, Fox!" and Pigma saying, "Daddy screamed REAL good before he DIED!"
  • The Big Bad Artorius Colbrande from Tales of Berseria triggers this button for the main protagonist Velvet. He lived with her family and was considered part of it before he betrayed her and sacrificed her little brother. As a result, Velvet wants Artorius dead, and getting revenge on him is her main motivation.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: In an alternate universe, The Joker not only tricks Superman into nuking Metropolis and killing his own wife Lois Lane while under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin, he even rubs it in Big Blue's face just before he's Killed Off for Real as part of his Thanatos Gambit. Supes falls for the bait and slowly becomes a ruthless tyrant hellbent on eliminating crime at all costs in this alternate universe. Joker certainly had the last laugh as not only did he mentally break Superman, but the Injustice-verse descended into chaos, what with infighting amongst the heroes, the deaths of those who opposed Superman, and worst of all, the collapse of everything good.

  • Daughter of the Lilies: Brent is an orphan who gets pissed at any implication that his parents didn't love him, seen when Lyra calls him "co'dafekka", a word that translates to "unwanted son". She was lucky enough to just get yelled at; the last person who called Brent that got a broken jaw for his troubles.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the revelation that Damien killed her father is what starts Grace down the path toward Unstoppable Rage toward Damien a few minutes later.
  • As part of Nale's backstory in The Order of the Stick, he once tried to usurp power from his father. During the conflict, Nale killed several children of his father's friend/adviser Malack. When the two run into each other again, Nale's first comment to Malack is "Malack. How's the family?" Malack goes berserk.
  • Happens with pets instead of relatives in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
    Jane: Before you go, for the record? I ate your monkeys. Aw, I bet you wish you could smack me with your widdle magic now!
  • In Weak Hero, Juwon insults Jake's brother Kenny by calling him the "bad apple" and "flaw" of Manwol, Kenny's old group that permanently disabled him when he tried to leave. What follows is Jake getting very frosty, dropping a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, and defeating Juwon so soundly that it destroys his entire fighting philosophy.

    Web Original 
  • In Mario Brothers, Mario was already sworn to protect the princess, but Luigi's death at King Koopa's hands made Mario even more determined to see Koopa's defeat.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • In Spain, a man on parole from his sentence for raping a young girl saw the girl's mother and allegedly taunted her by saying, "How's your daughter?" She went home, got a can of gasoline, and set him on fire.
  • Evidently, contract killer Richard Leonard Kulinski, also known as "The Iceman" was extremely protective of his family. Between this, and the fact that he was a hitman, people who threatened said family tended to disappear. Violently.
  • Former Texas Ranger Bob Favor spent much of his career repeatedly tracking down a criminal named David Myer who managed to break out of every prison he was ever put in. They had a strangely cordial relationship until Myer speculated that he could get leverage over Favor by kidnapping one of his children. Favor immediately pulled the car over and told him "This is just between us, but if you ever mention my family again, I'll kill you where you sit." Myer seemed to get the message.


Video Example(s):


Vanitas and Astolfo

Vanitas is well aware of the fact that Astolfo's parents were killed by vampires and that it's a particularly touchy subject with he presses all of those buttons to make him as angry as possible so he can have an advantage in their battle. It doesn't last long.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / RelativeButton

Media sources: