Follow TV Tropes



Go To
A dish best served with a side of potato salad.
Buzz Lightyear: I just want you to know, even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
Woody: Oh, well, that's good.
Buzz Lightyear: [leans in, lowers to a whisper] But we're not on my planet...[grabs Woody's collar] are we?
Woody: No...

Vengeance. You don't get much of it in real life, and the little you do get is cold, late, and adds up otherwise as having been a really bad idea. So you look for it in fiction. Where you find out that, seven times in ten, revenge was a really bad idea for your surrogate, too. The other three times ... well, hey, somebody had to get some, sooner or later. That, and the girl. And a pony. With a jetpack.

Revenge at its core is a viciously personal form of Paying Evil Unto Evil. Someone has done something seriously bad to another person or someone that person loves, and for some reason, there's no justice to be had for the crime, so the character sets out to exact their own kind of justice upon the person or people responsible. Although, some characters may not care for justice or "getting even", but want the satisfaction that comes only from Disproportionate Retribution. This can be compounded when the harm is slight, like not getting invited to a party. Avenging a death may be regarded as Due to the Dead — and the ghost may agree.


An avenger has several options when pursuing his or her vendetta. He or she can devise a Machiavellian plan, maneuvering things (and occasionally people) in place until the time of final vengeance is at hand, which is the route taken by many classical revenge tales. Often the avenger takes steps to ruin the other guy's life in some manner before the final act, which may or may not end with the other guy's death. Another option, often chosen by action heroes or the more bloodthirsty avengers, is the Roaring Rampage of Revenge, where the avenger dispenses with this and goes straight for the bloodshed, hunting down everyone who had anything to do with the crime in question and eliminating them one by one, often in a Gotta Kill Them All fashion, until they reach the Big Bad behind it all and take their final vengeance.


Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand, Forgiveness, and Defeat Means Friendship may stop this vendetta. Finding the person and discovering they've become The Atoner can snatch it away from you. On the other hand, if they try to buy you off, they may still be fair game. May also invoke The Only One Allowed to Defeat You; if your enemy is defeated by someone else, how can you avenge yourself?

Sometimes, the person seeking revenge is doing out of a subconscious sense of guilt and responsibility, or to cover up some other emotion like Survivor's Guilt (which often explains any Death Seeker behavior). Sometimes they've placed Revenge Before Reason. Bringing this out into the open can produce an interesting effect.

The character often finds that completing the revenge will leave his life feeling flat and empty. Revenge wasn't satisfying, or now that it's over, he doesn't know what to do with himself. Sometimes, during the course of the pursuit of revenge, the avenger becomes just as bad as, if not worse than, the one who committed the initial awful deed to begin with. And sometimes, revenge doesn't end with the person who committed the crime — other people connected to the original villain may well decide to pursue vengeance against the original avenger, which may very well lead to a Cycle of Revenge.

Since revenge is one of the darker character motivations, villains, being a rather unforgiving lot, will often choose to take vengeance on those who have, in their eyes, wronged them, even if the "wrong" in question was something legitimately justified, such as stopping a villain's original evil plan and putting him behind bars or stopping an associate of his, which resulted in the associate's death. Villains in general are more likely to engage in Disproportionate Retribution than many heroes, and don't usually care about what happens to innocents that get swept up in the mess — some such villains deliberately target innocents who are connected to the person they want revenge on, just to make the person suffer all the more. Others target anyone who has anything to do with a certain organization responsible for what led them on this rampage, regardless of whether or not those people were actually involved in the crime in question, or take it out on the descendants of those who wronged them to start with. Others will broaden their vendetta to cover more and more people until the vendetta essentially covers all of humanity. This can be tempered, or even overridden, if the character keeps it up; killing the man who killed your father can be noble if he continues to slaughter people wherever he goes, and your revenge can be viewed as the icing on the cake. Villains can often be seen drawing on The Power of Hate in order to get their revenge as well.

On the other hand, revenge can also appear lighter in shade. If the provocation was extreme, and still more if the character is reacting quickly to circumstance, without time to think — as in The Dog Bites Back — the effect can be mostly sympathetic. It can also be softened by the character's being partly motivated by the knowledge that the villain will go on committing such crime, and by taking care to ensure that only the guilty suffer, and suffer no more than they deserve.

For songs about revenge, see Revenge Ballad.

For the 2011 American television series, see Revenge. For the 2017 French film, see Revenge (2017).


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, this is the only thing that keeps Eren Jaeger going. Were it not for his sheer unyielding hatred of the Titans, he probably would have succumbed to despair long ago.
  • Also a major plot of Berserk, as Guts seeks revenge on his former commander Griffith and the Apostles for the events of the Eclipse that led to the deaths of the Band of the Hawk and robbed his lover Casca of her sanity.
  • This explains the entirety of Kaname Tousen's actions - from joining Soul Society to his defection with Aizen.
  • It's the driving Plot of Claymore. Clare wants to avenge her savior/adoptive mother Teresa who was killed by the one-horned monster Priscilla. In a weird twist, the one ending up killing Priscilla is Teresa herself through Clare's body. However for Teresa this is not a revenge as she puts it "there is no hard feeling between comrades who clash blades together".
  • Makina in Corpse Princess claims that she doesn't care about Heaven, and is only staying undead so she can find the person who killed her family.
  • In Code Geass, revenge against Britannia - and in particular his father, The Emperor - is one of Lelouch's main motivations.
  • Duel Masters: Benny Haha/Gyujiro Japan was originally part of White Soldiers, Hakuoh's personal guards during his time as the Duel Masters Champion. However, Benny was known as the worst human being in existence and had the habit of cheating in the worst fashion possible. He initially joined the white guardians in hopes of usurping Hakuoh as the number one duelist, but ultimately fails thanks to Shobu and his friends' intervention to the point of being presumably banned from official matches. Since then, Benny Haha was driven mad with vengeance and made it his life work at getting revenge against Shobu, his friends and everything Duel Masters. Even Shobu's apparent death didn't stop him at pursuing his revenge against Shobu, which is why he targeted his little brother Katta because of it. This also fuels his insanity as he will do whatever it takes to get to that end, even if it means getting his hands on an extremely dangerous card
  • Mikagami Tokiya in Flame of Recca at first starts out as an avatar of vengeance whose purpose in life is to take revenge in the name of his dead big sister. Over time, however, he starts learning that walking the path of revenge will lead to his doom, so he eventually wises up and lets go of his vengeful life, fighting less suicidally and somehow became stronger.
  • The reason both Scar and Mustang are in the story of Fullmetal Alchemist. Scar is killing State Alchemists as revenge for the loss of his family, his home and his country during the Ishval Massacre; Mustang, while he starts out merely as a Supporting Leader to the Elric brothers and still acts in that capacity for most of the plot, has finding the murderer of his closest friend, Maes Hughes as one of his highest agendas before foiling Father's plot takes center stage. When he does find the murderer - the homunculus, Envy - a Curb-Stomp Battle so epically one-sided occurred that it took all the other cast had in them, Scar included, to stop him from going off the deep end.
  • Gankutsuou, being The Count of Monte Cristo IN SPACE!, is naturally about this trope.
  • The fulcrum around which GUN×SWORD turns is Van's hunt to avenge the death of his bride by killing the Claw. Over the series, the other protagonists obtain reasons to want the same thing. Unusually for anime, the desire to obtain revenge is portrayed in a largely positive light.
  • In the 7th OVA of Hellsing a wounded Seras exacts VIOLENT revenge against Zorin Blitz for killing Pip Bernadotte and putting her through absolute hell.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Kurapika's primary motivation in becoming a hunter is taking vengeance upon the Phantom Troupe for the destruction of his clan.
  • The main reason everybody in Inuyasha teams up, at first. Inuyasha wants revenge on Naraku for killing Kikyo. Shippo wants revenge on The Thunder Brothers for killing his father, so he joins Inuyasha. Miroku wants revenge (and also to break his curse) on Naraku for killing his father indirectly/ giving him a Wind Tunnel in the first place, so he teams up with Inuyasha. Sango wants revenge on Naraku for killing her father, her people, her, and her little brother Kohaku and then using Kohaku as a puppet, so she joins Inuyasha. And Kagome... is just kind of there.
  • Kill la Kill: Ryuko Matoi is fighting Satsuki Kiryuin's pawns because Satsuki knows who killed Ryuko's father, and Ryuko wants revenge. Satsuki is dismissive, calling such motivations base and worthless. Actually, Satsuki has the exact same motivation — even more so than she thinks. Her father and baby sister were murdered by her mother Ragyo (and Ragyo has taken to molesting her in the meantime, making things even more personal for her), and she's spent her entire life building up an empire to fight back. The truth is, her father rescued her sister, then faked his death and took on a new identity to raise her. That identity? Isshin Matoi. Ryuko is Satsuki's baby sister, and Satsuki has been trying to avenge her for over a decade.
    Satsuki: Ragyo Kiryuin! You shall pay for taking the lives of my father Soichiro, and my little sister who was never even given a name!
  • Magi: Hakuryuu's goal is to avenge his brothers and father who were killed by his own mother, the empress Ren Gyokuen. This trope is deconstructed by showing how self-destructive his path is and how it turns him to the dark side. It is then reconstructed when Hakuryuu rejetcs all his friends and sister peaceful advices and chooses by his own will that he'd rather drive himself into a corner than abandon his vengeance.
  • Metal Fight Beyblade: Argo Garcia is the perfect embodiment of vengeance in the world of Beyblade. Having grown up on the slums of Brazil along with his younger siblings, Argo eventually give in to greed and saw Beyblade as a tool to satisfy his own greed. He also has a vindictive side that he picked up during his fight with many Beyblade gangs in Brazil and would use every dirty trick in the book to get wants what he wants. Since his loss at the hands of Tsubasa, Argo became mad with vengeance and would take extreme measures to get his revenge, even if it means selling his soul to the likes of Ziggurat and Doji.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, Char's motive for moving up the ranks of the Zeon military is to put himself in a position to kill off the Zabi family, who were responsible for his father's death. He personally succeeds in killing two of the five (the others die from familial/political infighting or in combat). After achieving this, he instead switches his focus to following his father's ideals... and takes them a bit too far.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny protagonist Shinn Asuka lives for revenge. First he wants revenge on the Earth Alliance for attacking Orb and killing his family, and also on Orb (more specifically the Athha family) for getting into a fight with them in the first place. Then he wants revenge on Kira after Stella's death...
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei and Neil Dylandy (the first Lockon Stratos) both desire revenge against Ali Al-Saachez for the death of their families.
    • Louise Halevy actually achieves her revenge against the woman who murdered her family... but after initially laughing and being happy about it, her laughter slowly breaks down into tears of pain and despair because nothing's really changed: her family is still dead.
    • Ironically, the woman whom Louise murdered, Nena Trinity also lived solely for revenge against Ali al-Saachez for the murder of her brothers. Unfortunately for her, she fell victim to So Last Season.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, both Grodek Ainoa and Flit Asuno desire revenge against the Unknown Enemies, who are responsible for killing their families.
    • Flit's revenge case got turned Up to Eleven following the brutal murder of Yurin L'Ciel. The second generation Flit is shown to have become nearly as nasty toward the UE as they are toward Earth, hating everything about them and openly stating that his life's goal is to see them annihilated.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Revenge drives the actions of Tekkadan at several points in the series. Their enemies are often caught off-guard by the sheer lengths they'll go to for it, and they never accept anything other than utter annihilation of their foes for retribution. Displayed quite clearly with Jasley Donomikols, who tries to surrender to them when it's clear he's lost, but Orga is having none of it:
    Orga: I just wanted to hear you pitifully beg for your life. It wasn't very funny though.
    Mikazuki: Orga, what should I do?
    Orga: Crush them.
  • Revenge and how it turns on itself is a major theme in Naruto, where it is presented as a crippling obsession. It starts with Sasuke, but ultimately turns out to be a stupidly deep family connection all the way back to the clan's founder, Madara Uchiha, and is the driving force of the plot as a whole, responsible even for the Kyuubi attack in the prologue.
    • Sasuke has taken revenge to new and terrifying heights. And if the target of his revenge is removed; fear not! He'll just find something new to point his vengeance at.
    • Unfortunately, the message gets muddled a bit when Shikamaru takes out Hidan for Asuma's death, and it's portrayed in a positive, "getting some closure" manner.
      • Then again, Hidan was a dangerous, Axe-Crazy psychopath and wanted criminal, so really Shikamaru was just doing his job while having personal reasons for wanting to see it done.
  • One Piece: Revenge is one of the main driving forces of the Pirate Alliance Saga. Trafalgar Law's love and devotion for Donquixote Rocinante, the man who ultimately saved his life and the dearest person in his heart, is the only reason he survived to this very day — to get revenge on Rocinante's murderer, his older brother Donquixote Doflamingo. In turn, Doflamingo is driven by his hatred of the World Nobles, who rejected his plea to return to Mariejois as one of them after their father gave up their family's status as Celestial Dragons. So angered by this decision that he wishes to destroy the very world they lord over in retaliation and so driven that he is even willing to sacrifice those he deems close to him, and will only forgive betrayal with the embrace of death. This adds another layer dichotomy to their relationship as each other's Arch-Enemy. Whereas Law is driven by revenge for the sake of another, Doflamingo is driven by revenge for the sake of himself, highlighting that while they are Not So Different, they are Not So Similar either.
  • In Dragon Ball this is the primary motive for Goku in the King Piccolo Saga and near the end of the Frieza Saga. He wanted to kill King Piccolo because he murdered his dear friend, Krillin, and his teacher, Master Roshi. With Frieza, he became a Super Saiyan after he murdered Krillin and threatened his son. Although he didn't kill Frieza. Instead, he chose to subject him to Cruel Mercy.
  • The basic point of Weiß Kreuz - to destroy villain with brutally demonic retribution. Fujimiya Ran especially desires revenge against Takatori Reiji for the murder of his family in the first 15 episodes of Kapital.
  • This is the main motive of Thief King Bakura (and by extent, Yami Bakura) of Yu-Gi-Oh!, who desires revenge for the massacre of Kul Elna.
  • Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho. He was cast out of his birthplace by his own people, simply for being male, while they held his mother back as she pleaded for his life. While Hiei's feelings on his mother are unclear, his primary motivation early in life was to kill every ice maiden in the Glacial Village and burn the place right out of the sky and into the ground.

    Comic Books 
  • Revenge is more or less the driving force of Xadhoom's life in the Disney series Paperinik New Adventures. As the Last Of Her Kind after an alien race destroyed her home planet, she's dedicated her life to wiping out every last one of them. Said aliens are now threatening Earth, so she becomes an ally to the main character - Donald Duck's superhero alter ego - but her obsession is implied to be rather unhealthy.
  • Fantastic Four: The reason for Doctor Doom's supervillainy is the fact that he blames Reed Richards for every single thing that has ever happened to him, starting with his disfigurement, and wants nothing more than to cause him as much pain as possible in revenge. This actually makes them quite different from many other pairs of Arch Enemies: for example, Lex Luthor and The Joker are the nemeses of the respective heroes because they start out as being a certain way and, due to their differences with the hero, grow to hate them and eventually focus on them. Doom, on the other hand, is a supervillain who branches out to become an enemy of every single Marvel superhero out there, but every single thing he does can be eventually traced back to his hatred of Reed Richards.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) Queen Chrysalis is out for some against Twilight, as she was the one who proved instrumental in derailing the Changelings' plan to conquer Canterlot.]]
  • Spider-Man:
    • Few of his enemies are obsessed with revenge against people who wronged him like one of his oldest, Adrian Toomes, the Vulture. The whole reason he became the Vulture was to seek revenge against Gregory Bestman, his embezzling business partner who had robbed him blind. Since then his schemes have revolved around revenge against people who have cheated or wronged him in some way, including Spider-Man himself, the Vegas crime boss Morris "the Snake" Diamond (who stole his blueprints for a special plastic compound), another mobster named Mr. Morgan (who hired the Hitman to kill Spidey before Toomes could do so), and especially crooks who copy his blueprints to try to duplicate his equipment. This has included "Blackie" Drago and the Vulturions. Not coincidentally, Toomes is currently the only man to call himself the Vulture.
    • In a case of two revenges for the price of one, there's the original motivation of Venom. Disgraced reporter Eddie Brock hated Spider-Man because he'd caught the real Sin Eater serial killer after Brock had published an exclusive article with the confession of a fake. The alien symbiote wanted revenge because Spider-Man had rejected it.
    • The Jackal's motivation in The Clone Saga. He blames Spidey for not saving Gwen Stacy. Nevermind that it was the Green Goblin's fault…
  • In Aquaman storyline Throne of Atlantis, Vulko engineered the entire war to get revenge on Atlantis for exiling him and force Arthur to take the throne.
  • Rivers of London:
    • In Black Mould, the mould was unleashed by a woman who wanted revenge on the slumlord whose filthy properties killed her husband.
    • The plot of Cry Fox turns out to have been orchestrated by Reynard Fossman as an attempt to both net himself a windfall (which works, via Anna Yakunina's ransom, paid in diamonds) and to get back at the Folly by trying to get Abigail and Guleed, the most vulnerable associates, killed (which nearly succeeds, but Nightingale arrives just in time).
  • Examples from Superman stories:
    • In Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, the main motive for the attack of the Metallos and Brainiac is to get even with Superman beating them so many times in the past.
    • A major theme in New Krypton and associated storylines like Who is Superwoman?. Both Sam Lane and Lex Luthor seek revenge against Superman for different reasons. General Lane never trusted Superman and he particularly disliked the way his daughter Lois fancied the Man of Steel. Lex hates Superman for a myriad of reasons including but not limited to xenophobia and narcissism.
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Reactron is obsessed with taking revenge against Supergirl for breaking his special life-support armor suit, nevermind she was trying to survive his assassination attempt. In turn, Supergirl wants to make Reactron pay for murdering her father.
    • Superman: Up, Up and Away! has Lex Luthor attempt to destroy Metropolis for failing to worship him.
  • Planet Hulk:
    • Mainly in foreshadowing for World War Hulk, revenge is a recurring theme, with Hulk plotting revenge for his exile, Elloe seeking revenge for the murder of her father, and Miek contemplating taking vengeance for the murder of his father and enslavement of his hive. When asked what he would do, the Hulk responds:
      Hulk: I'd never stop making them pay.
    • Revenge actually summed up the final battle between the Hulk and the Red King, with the former asking Miek to 'chem' all of them together to confront the Red King with his crimes before he smashes him.
  • In Sojourn, this is Arwyn's motivation to bring down Mordath.
  • Aquila: Queen Boudicca's motive for her war against the Romans is to avenge her daughters being raped by Roman soldiers and her own person flogged in the square on the orders of Britain's governor.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Eviless, who had previously just been one of many Saturnian slavers without really standing out from the crowd, returns to earth as a full fledged villain and attacks Paradise Island looking to get revenge on Wonder Woman for making her business of trading in abducted human slaves illegal.
  • Ghostopolis: Vaugner wants to kill Garth because that's the best way to hurt Claire.

    Eastern Animation 
  • In Firing Range, the motivation of the inventor is revenge against the ones who gave his son a posthumous medal after leading him to his death. He gets it, by causing the tank to kill them.

    Fan Works 
  • The Calvin and Hobbes: The Series story "Have You Seen This Tiger?" has Calvin getting revenge on Socrates. It doesn't turn out well.
  • The Ponies of Olympus series:
    • The only reason Chrysalis agrees to Erebus' plan to infiltrate the Atlas Strongest Tournament is a chance at revenge on Twilight Sparkle for her defeat at the wedding.
    • And it turns out that Ran Biao's grudge against Rarity is payback for letting Razorwing rape her, something that Rarity wasn't aware that she had done.
  • Peva's motivation in Yognapped. He used to be part of the Yogscast, until they exiled him for unspecified misconducts. For this, he waits for several years, takes control of the scattered remnants of Sben's army, enslaves the Yogscast, forces them to aid in his release of a murderous god, and promptly suffers a Villainous Breakdown when it doesn't go as planned.
  • In the Fan Verse Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost, the main antagonists of the story Mystery of the Vanishing Hatbox are ghosts that in-universe Disney directors forbid to get inside the Haunted Mansion and plot to take revenge on the ghosts who did make it to inside the ride.
  • While she isn't after it, Rancor from Pony POV Series is the Draconequus representing Revenge.
  • Professor Moriarty's desire for revenge against Sherlock Holmes fuels the plot of the first finale of Children of Time. Notably, he gets his revenge three times over throughout the course of the three episodes. First in subjugating the detective, then breaking him when Moriarty did his job a little too well, then hurting Beth.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, this comes up quite a bit.
    • Roll wants revenge on Wily for killing Doc.
    • Tiesel Bonne wants revenge on Mega Man for dissolving the Mega Crew and perceived humiliation.
    • Mr. Black wants revenge on Wily for killing his wife and leaving him paralyzed.
    • As of episode 11, Wily wants revenge on Dr. Light for perceived involvement in ProtoMan leaving Wily and turning good.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Sharp Point seeks out the group both because of this after their first encounter with him and how they later framed him for the fire at the old Museum of Victory, and for the money on their heads.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic ResurrectedMemories: This concept specifically against Danny is a major motivator for more then one character throughout the story as it was Ember's primary motivation for infiltrating Casper High until her Becoming the Mask led to a Heel–Face Turn, this also appears to be Vlad's entire motivation given that his goals are to kill Danny and destroy Amity Park for no other reason then to make Danny suffer.
  • Practically a running theme in A Brighter Dark:
    • To start off, Hoshido wants revenge against Nohr for killing their king.
    • Quite a few tribes also want revenge on Nohr for Garon's numerous morally dubious actions.
    • Corrin wants revenge on Hans for killing Lilith.
    • Mozu also wants revenge on Hans for his part in killing Hana, Subaki, and her Doomed Hometown, as well as revenge on Nohr in general.
    • Saizo wants revenge on Corrin for killing Kaze.
    • Flora wants revenge on Corrin, Garon, and Nohr for holding her and her sister as political hostages.
    • The Hoshidan soldier wanted revenge on Nohr for his son's death (which probably reflects the opinions of quite a few soldiers, on both sides).
    • Nohrians refugees trapped in Hoshido want revenge against the Hoshidans for discrimination against them. Which leads to bloodshed, which leads to Hoshidans wanting revenge against Nohrian refugees and going on a lynch mob riot.
    • Hans attempts to murder a wounded soldier in revenge for cutting off his arm. Fortunately, Sakura talks him down.
    • Beruka vows to hunt down Selena's murderer after she finds her dead body.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Nemesis is obsessed with revenge against his mother's killer, Supergirl. The fact that Kara killed in self-defense after Satan Girl tried to kill her half dozen of times is lost on him.
  • Both DarkKnightmon and Dorbickmon in A Dragon in Shining Armour are motivated by revenge. Dorbickmon makes a Heel–Face Turn when he realizes that revenge isn't what he really wants.
  • Kara of Rokyn: Nearly every arc features someone driven by their hatred towards the main character and her family. The second-to-last arc "Last Waltz with Lex Luthor" delves into Lex Luthor, the origins of his grudge against Superman, and how his obsession with killing the Man of Steel, whom he blamed for all of his misfortunes, overwhelmed Lex until he was unable to feel anything other than hatred towards everyone and everything.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: After Jade Taking the Bullet for her results in her being rendering a formless mass of shadow, and Susano sends what is left to the Shadow Realm, apparently killing her, Jinx becomes depressed (apparently neglecting her hygiene) and destroys the Titan's favorite pizza place for petty revenge against them, without any real plan, and has to be rescued by Gadjo.
  • A Force of Four: Wonder Woman's enemy Badra allies herself with three Superman's enemies to get revenge on their nemesis and destroy Earth. Unfortunately for the three Kryptonian rogues Superman is already deceased, so they'll settle for killing his cousin Power Girl.
  • In Intrepid, Riley makes it very clear she's going to kill Jack Slash as painfully as possible to avenge her family. She's just making sure she can do it without screwing up since if he talks, he wins.
  • In Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, a descendant of the original Joker blames -wrongly- his son's death on the current descendant of Batman, and intends to kill him and everyone who have somehow been involved with the Batman's lineage through the centuries, including a harmless solicitor who wasn't even aware that his 20th century ancestor was Barbara Gordon.
  • Alpha from Clash of the Elements wants to kill Cackletta because she had a hand in slaying his father and mentor Commander Zeta.
  • In A Prize for Three Empires, the Supreme Intelligence and Ronan the Accuser's primary purpose for capturing and killing Carol Danvers is to harvest her special DNA, but eliminating a hated enemy who has constantly thwarted their plans is a nice bonus.
  • In crossover fanfiction The Vampire of Steel, Zol-Am wants to take revenge on Kara Zor-El because her House developed the Phantom Zone Projector which was used to banish Kryptonian criminals like himself.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn:
    • Deadlock and the Naga's motivation. The Naga for being banished by the Dragons for their crimes centuries ago and Deadlock for laying the blame on Spyro and Cynder for surviving while her children and mate died, as well as Spyro being the cause of the raid in her mind.
    • It's revealed later that Cynder killed her first clutch as Dark Cynder during the war.
  • In the Three Houses fanfic You'll Get No Answers from the Blue Sea Star, a millennia-long revenge plot against Sothis and her children causes other revenge plots along the way, including Lonato Gaspard trying to get revenge for the execution of his only child and the Eisner kids trying to get revenge for the murder of their dad.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Tangled, Gothel draws the Stabbington brothers into her plans by a promise of revenge on Flynn.
  • The driving main theme of Big Hero 6. How a corruptive motivation is: Professor Callaghan became Yokai to avenge Abigail's apparent death, becoming He Who Fights Monsters in the process; this almost happens to Hiro himself too when he decides to avenge Tadashi on Callaghan!
  • In Ice Age, Soto wants to take revenge on the humans for killing half of his pack by killing the chief's son Rashan.
    Soto: Alert the troops. We attack at dawn. And Diego, bring me that baby, alive. If I'm gonna enjoy my revenge, I want it to be fresh!
  • In Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Captain Gutt wants to take revenge on Manny for destroying and later stealing his ship.
    Gutt: That mammoth has taken my ship, my bounty, and now the loyalty of my crew. I will destroy him! And everything he loves!
  • In The Boss Baby, this is what motivates Super Colossal Big Fat Boss Baby - he was fired from Baby Corp when he could no longer drink the formula keeping him as a baby due to being lactose intolerant and founded Puppy Co. as revenge, with his plan of eventually transferring the world's love to puppies with his Forever Puppy invention.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pumpkinhead's eponymous creature embodies this, as put succinctly by the old witch.
    Haggis: It's what you wanted, Ed Harley. For each of man's evils, a special Demon exists. You're looking at Vengeance - cruel, devious, pure-as-poison vengeance.
  • I Spit on Your Grave is the epitome of this. New York writer Jennifer Hills is brutally raped by three men and takes revenge on all of particularly brutal manners.
    • Similarly, The Last House on the Left is also a rape-revenge film. But, in this case, it's the victims' parents who take revenge on the rapists. In the original, both of the girls are already dead before the parents realize it.
  • Thor: Part of the reason why Loki wanted to kill Laufey is to get back at his biological father for leaving him to die as an infant.
  • Thor: The Dark World:
    • After their mother Frigga is murdered, Loki becomes motivated to team up with his brother Thor to avenge her.
    • Loki later usurps Odin's throne as payback for being disowned and for almost receiving the death sentence.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze:
    Shredder: Choose the best man from those that remain to follow the reporter. She's the key to finding the creatures that did this to me.
    Tatsu: Yes, master! Next, master, we rebuild the Foot?
    Shredder: No. There is only one thing next...revenge!
  • The thousand-year plan of the Sith in Star Wars, which Sidious finally brings to fruition.
    Darth Maul: At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.
    • Although it's been obscured by time and the numerous other tropes it's spawned, the revelation that Darth Vader was Luke's father in The Empire Strikes Back had originally played as a subversion of Revenge. Critics of Star Wars: A New Hope were so convinced that the sequels would conform to a simple Luke-avenges-his-dad story, they dissed Lucas for being trite, never suspecting how The Reveal would overturn those expectations.
    • The EU materials taking place around the time of The Phantom Menace imply that Viceroy Gunray's main motivation for having the Trade Federation blockade Naboo was out of revenge against Senator Palpatine because it was thanks to him and his bill that several members of the Trade Federation's leading races were assassinated (the only reason why the Nemoidians survived is because Sidious sabotaged the ship to prevent them from taking off for the summit). In the film itself, it was believed to be out of Greed.
  • Essentially the entire plot of Falling Down. One man's revenge (albeit a bit excessive) against all the little annoyances in the world, be it arriving five minutes too late to get breakfast at a fast food restaurant, which is met with drawing a machine gun and accidentally firing it in to the ceiling, needless construction, which is met with a rocket launcher, or price gouging, which is met with vandalism and price slashing via bat.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is about a barber who seeks revenge against the corrupt judge who sent him away for fifteen years on a false charge and then raped his wife Lucy. Though his primary target is Judge Turpin and the Beadle because of their role in what happened to her, he ends up killing a lot more people along the way.
  • A popular plot in action movies in general, though most tend toward the Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Also popular with Spaghetti Westerns, such as For A Few Dollars More, the second of the Dollars trilogy, which has Lee Van Cleef in the avenger role as Colonel Mortimer, who is out to kill El Indio for raping his sister after gunning down her lover.
  • Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy is three unconnected stories about vengeance. It includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.
  • This is Mélanie's goal throughout the film The Page Turner, after a piano audition is disrupted by one of the judges (a famous pianist), she stops playing the piano and seeks her revenge which adds up to making said pianist fall in love with her, destroying her marriage and causing a serious hand problem in her young son (who also aspires to be a pianist).
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
    The Fallen: Revenge... is MINE!!
  • James Bond
    • Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye wanted revenge against the British government for the betrayal of the Lienz Cossacks, which included his family, who believed that they were under British protection near the end of WWII, only to be sent back to Stalin who promptly had them all shot. The fact that he was also doing so to make himself a pile of money off the destruction of London using a nuclear satellite that used an electromagnetic pulse weapon was just the icing on the cake.
    • The R in SPECTRE, the villainous organization in previous films, stands for revenge. Blofeld mentions it specifically as what will happen if his demands are not met in Never Say Never Again.
  • Will Plunkett in Plunkett & Macleane swears revenge on General Chance for the death of his partner.
  • In The Bone Collector, the villain's murders turn out to be an elaborate scheme to get revenge on one of the two cop protagonists, whose mistakes caused the villain to be wrongly imprisoned.
    • "Mistake" is debatable, since he was jailed for planting false evidence on criminals he was insistent were guilty. How correct he was never explained into, though in his point of view and his theories were "flawless" and he had been jailed for working for a greater good, his duration in there being traumatic (which ironically mirrored the people he framed, one even committing suicide).
  • The Joshuu Sasori series of films centre on the (anti)heroine's struggle for revenge and the trouble it causes.
  • The Princess Bride: Inigo Montoya has spent his life training in sword fighting to avenge his father. He even has a catchphrase he plans to recite to the killer
  • Taxi Driver has a long shot in which the camera pans back over all the corpses Travis Bickle left in the wake of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The reason for this: how satisfying would a story about revenge be if we didn't get to linger over the results a bit?
  • The Amateur (1981). The fiancee of a cryptographer is murdered by terrorists, so he blackmails the CIA into letting him go into Czechoslovakia to kill those responsible. Just as he crosses the border, the CIA discover where he's hidden the files, so he's hunted by both sides.
  • Revenge is often a theme in Star Trek movies, most notably Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek Into Darkness. In the former movie, Khan tries to inflict his wrath on everyone (but especially Kirk), and in the latter, well... Khan tries to inflict his wrath on everyone. For different reasons though, because this is an alternate timeline. Furthermore, in Star Trek: First Contact, Captain Picard has to cope with his lust for revenge against the Borg.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mystique is motivated by her desire for vengeance after seeing what became of the mutants who Trask got a hold of.
  • Highwaymen: A main theme of the film. Fargo's murder of Cray's wife started a long cycle of revenge between the two. Cray crippled Fargo in retaliation, but Fargo escaped the hospital to continue his murder spree elsewhere and constantly sends Cray photos of the victims to taunt him. He finally kidnaps Molly and returns to the motel where he originally killed Cray's wife to reenact the murder with Cray as a witness.
  • Wild Tales consists of six short stories all revolving around the theme of revenge.
  • Sweetwater: Sarah goes on a killing spree against everyone who wronged her in the second act, from her husband's murderer (plus his men), an unfeeling banker, and a peeping tom store owner.
  • The Sting: Hooker's main motivation in conning Lonnegan is revenge for the murder of his friend, Luther. Despite Gondorff's claim that revenge is for suckers, it appears that it's at least part of the motivation for many of the grifters. Revenge and the money, at least. It's acknowledged early by Gondorff and at the end by Hooker that it's not enough, but it's close.
  • The Assignment (2016): Dr. Rachel Jane wants revenge on Frank, the hitman who murdered her brother. So she gets a crime lord to kidnap him, then performs a sex reassignment (partly to "help" him in her view). He's horrified, then seeks revenge on her in turn, along with employees of the gangster who helped kidnap him for Jane, then them and also her mooks.
  • Kim Ji-woon's I Saw the Devil features a government agent launching a prolonged campaign of vengeance against the serial killer who murdered his fiancee, continuously capturing and torturing him, before letting him go, only to catch up to him again and repeat the process.
  • The Brave One: After being brutally beaten in an attack that leaves her fiancee dead, Erica Bain begins hunting down and killing the street punks responsible.
  • John Wick: A notable example, as the titular character isn't so much seeking revenge for the death of a loved one, but rather, revenge for the death of any sense of closure he may have found after his wife's death, as personified by the puppy she had gifted him with, who the villains trying to steal his car cold-bloodedly killed. It's entirely possible that he may not have embarked on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge campaign if they had just taken the car, and left his dog alone. Naturally, animal lovers watching the film are 100% in John's corner.
  • The entire central conceit of Kill Bill, with assassin Beatrix Kiddo going after her former lover, the titular Bill, and her old assassin team for the massacre that saw her fiancee and numerous others killed in cold blood, and left her in a five-year-long coma.
  • In the Fade: Katja sets out to get this after her family's murderers are acquitted.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ser Loras Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth swear vengeance against Stannis Baratheon after their beloved King Renly is murdered, though to be fair to Stannis, Renly was a usurper who was clearly intending to kill him. Brienne finally takes it in the Season 5 finale.
    • Robert Baratheon's intense hatred for the Targaryens stems from Rhaegar Targaryen's kidnapping of his late betrothed Lyanna Stark. He dreams of killing Rhaegar every night because Vengeance Feels Empty.
    • Robb vows to kill the Lannisters who murdered his father in "Fire and Blood". Catelyn comforts him and promises him revenge, but only after they rescue Sansa and Arya first.
    • Oberyn Martell comes to King's Landing seeking revenge for his sister's rape and murder.
    • Littlefinger conspires with Olenna Tyrell to murder Joffrey as revenge for the Lannisters' role in the death of his beloved Catelyn Stark. Ironically Littlefinger engineered the war and (it's implied) the execution of Ned Stark, in revenge for being rejected as a suitor for Catelyn's hand.
    • One of Viserys Targaryen's driving motivations is to punish those who stole the Iron Throne.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: Revenge is James Gillies' primary motivation for wanting to destroy Detective William Murdoch; Gillies hates it when someone manages to outsmart him. James gets back at Robert Perry (who betrayed Gillies to avoid the noose and receive a much lighter jail sentence) by cutting his former accomplice's head off with a fine-tooth saw while Robert was still alive.
  • Revenge...obviously. Emily Thorne is a highly-trained revenge artist who quite literally devotes her life to avenging her framed and murdered father.
  • Veronica Mars is a revenge addict. When she starts to run short on targets for personal revenge she looks for other people to get revenge for.
  • A major theme on Lost. Sawyer's desire to avenge his parents carries through the first three seasons. In the fourth, we learn of Ben's desire to kill Penny in revenge for Alex's death. Charlie, Shannon, Sayid, and Sun have also sought revenge for loved ones at various times.
  • Happens occasionally on 24, especially when a terrorist is about to get immunity while a victim wants revenge. In Season 3, Kim notes that the death of Nina Myers, who killed her mother, does not bring her closure in any way, even though she wanted her dead for a long time. In Season 7, Olivia Taylor becomes angry that Jonas Hodges, the man responsible for her brother's death, is going to be placed in witness protection, so she orders a hit on him, calling it off too late. During that season, Tony Almeida's desire for revenge for his wife and unborn son drives him to plan on tracking down and killing the head of the conspiracy.
  • The final episode of The Shadow Line sees Gatehouse tracking down and killing his superiors in Counterpoint because they sent an assassin to kill him in his hospital bed.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Mutants, Varan decides to turn on the Overlords as soon as he realizes he's been played for a fool — forget his people!
    • And in the Series 4 episode "The Big Bang", River Song has ways of dealing with The Doctor's (apparent) killer.
      Amy Pond: Where's the Dalek?
      River Song: It died.
  • Angel: 250-ish years before series 3, Angelus and Darla had not only killed Holtz's wife and three children but turned his youngest daughter into a vampire just to leave him a message, forcing him to kill her himself. Holtz initially went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, taking out 378 vampires in 9 years as he relentlessly hunted the pair across the whole of Europe. At times, he'd actually catch Angelus but never Darla and engage in torture just to see what would be left if he beat the demon out of the man. Angelus always escaped and the hunt would continue. Eventually, a demon told Holtz that if he didn't agree to travel 200+ years into the future he'd lose his chance to destroy Angelus and Darla forever. Holtz agreed in return for the promise that he'd show no mercy. When Holtz realised Angel now had a soul and Darla had killed herself to save her son, his plans changed to do to Angel what Angelus had done to him - take away the family he loved. He stole Connor, raised him in a Hell dimension before sending him back to Angel full of hate and groomed to kill his own father, having set up his own death to make it look like Angel had killed him just to make sure Connor would kill Angel in a You Killed My Adopted Father fury. Holtz was supposed to be a good guy.
    • Holtz was never a "good" guy (at least not as we saw him on screen, maybe before his family was killed). He's an Anti-Villain with heroic traits like courage and determination, who has descended past the point where he cared whether his goal was still noble, becoming consumed by revenge. He considers himself a monster (made by monsters) and lives only for revenge and hate. After raising Connor, he tells Angel that he has let that hatred go and learned to live on paternal love instead. But even this is a lie, he sacrifices his life and his adopted son's happiness (and mental stability) for a final chance at revenge on what's left of the demon that took his family (namely, Angel).
  • The Mentalist centers around Patrick Jane, formerly a fake psychic who uses his skills at manipulation and knowledge of human behavior to help law enforcement, all in the larger goal of tracking down Red John, the serial killer who murdered his wife and child (because Jane, while still pretending to be a psychic, mocked him on national television.) While most assume his intention is to bring Red John to justice to achieve a sort of personal redemption, he eventually reveals that his intent all along was to kill Red John. Notably after he made this revelation, the next two episodes directly dealt with revenge killings; a mother who killed to avenge the neglectful if accidental killing of her teenage daughter, and a young man who killed to avenge the deliberate murder of his best friend and father figure. After their confessions, Jane asked them both the same question: was it worth it? The woman broke down in tears, saying that in the end it didn't change anything. The man, on the other hand, said that it was completely worth it, and that it was a "cleansing" experience. Neither of these answers comfort Jane, and he eventually goes through with his revenge, though the man he killed turned out to be an impostor sent by the real killer in his place. Later on in the series, though, he unmasked the real Red John and killed him.
  • Once Upon a Time all began because the Evil Queen/Regina wanted to get back at Snow White for unintentionally telling Regina's manipulative and abusive mother Cora about her affair with the stable boy — resulting in Cora killing the stable boy and forcing Regina into a loveless marriage, which would lead to her Start of Darkness. And poor Snow is still unaware that she did anything wrong.
    • Likewise, in season two, Aurora wanted to get revenge or at least some sort of justice on Emma and Snow for indirectly causing Prince Phillip's Fate Worse than Death, despite Mulan cautioning her not to. Her attempt to attack Snow failed and ended up causing trouble for the entire group.
  • SCTV had a sort-of game show called "Revenge" where the contestants got revenge for their petty annoyances - but one contestant paid the price for their recipient getting their revenge. Then, another recipient shows up on the set wired up with explosives and gets his revenge.
  • Detective Charlie Crews from Life is something of a Cloud Cuckoolander thanks to his 12-years of wrongful imprisonment after being framed for several murders and discovering Zen Buddhism as a way to stay sane in prison. He's a great example of Beware the Nice Ones, with a dark and dangerous streak running below his outwardly calm and friendly demeanor, but he's a firm believer in letting go of his anger instead of acting on it. But as he draws closer to finding the real killer, the man who murdered Charlie's best friend and his family, and the culprits of the frame-job that sent him to jail, Charlie is torn between the beliefs and ideals which saved his life and kept him sane in prison and the overwhelming desire for revenge. In the first season finale, he settles for justice instead (though he lets the killer ''think'' he's decided on revenge to coax a confession out of him).
  • Castle: When Kate Beckett finally got to personally arrest her untouchable nemesis senator Bracken.
  • On CSI: Cyber, "URL, Interrupted" is about a girl who's been cyberbullied searching for revenge.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ferengi Daimon Bok was consumed with vengeance against Captain Picard for killing his son. He tried twice to gain his revenge, failing both times, and both times after being restrained by his Ferengi crew, as revenge wasn't profitable.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • When presented with the opportunity to kill Bjayzl in "Stardust City Rag", the crime lord who stripped Icheb for his Borg parts and left him to die, at first it seems like Picard has persuaded Seven of Nine not to go through with the murder. However, she teleports back to the casino and vaporizes Bjayzl with her phasers anyway.
    • After Hugh witnesses the xBs being slaughtered by Narissa and her goons in "Nepenthe", he tells Elnor that he'll now give in to his desire to use the energy stored in the queencell to get back at the Romulans by causing them to lose control of the Artifact for all time. Although he dies before he can carry out his plan, he convinces Elnor to continue on his behalf.
      Hugh: (angrily) I'd forgotten the immense power hidden [in the queencell]. Maybe I was afraid I'd be tempted to use it. But now, I promise to defend and protect the xBs. I've failed them all. I've been a fool. We're going to take this Cube away from [the Romulans] forever.
      (Elnor nods in agreement)
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Seven of Nine states firmly just as she kicks Narissa to her death that she's doing this for Hugh.
  • Tyrant: Barry and Molly are consumed with the desire for this after Emma is murdered by the Caliphate, forgetting any previous idealistic desire for democracy in Abuddin or concern toward its people.
  • On The Terror: Infamy, Amy Yoshida was consumed with revenge against Major Bowen and got it, but admits to Yamato-san that it only left her empty. He tells her that it was him or her, and that she did the only thing she could.
  • The Outpost: Talon wants to avenge her family and people by killing those who wiped them out. After learning that Toru Magmoor was a mercenary involved, she kills him, and escapes the punishment due to Gwynn's intervention. Then later she also kills another mercenary who helped, Tiberion Shek. On defeating Dred, who is with the Prime Order which started the genocide, she tries to kill him too before Gwynn stops it.
  • Beatrix from Fate: The Winx Saga wants revenge against the Alfea teachers for destroying her hometown, killing everyone but her and Bloom, and against Queen Luna for covering it up.

    Myth and Religion 
  • Achilles' chief motivation for leaving the Greek army during the Trojan War, the initiating action of the plot of Homer's The Iliad, is vengeance against the Greek commander Agamemnon for taking his trophy wench. His withdrawal from the fighting (and the subsequent plea to Zeus to give victories to the Trojan cause in Achilles's absence made at his behest by his mother) leads to his cousin's demise.
  • The Bible contains some examples:
    • Levi and Shimon wipe out the town of Shechem in retribution for the prince of Shechem's rape of their sister Dinah.
    • The Israelites swear vengeance against the Amalekites for their attack against Israelite women, children, and elderly as the Israelites were leaving Egypt.
  • The Bible also contains notable aversions, being that Forgiveness is a key biblical virtue, and that vengeance is said to be something that belongs to God alone:
    • Esau forgives and reconciles with Jacob, abandoning his plans for revenge.
    • God marks Cain to shield him from any retribution for the murder of Abel his brother.
    • God commands the Israelites that they are never to take revenge on the Egyptians at any time after the Exodus, because, regardless of the wrongs the Egyptians had inflicted on the Israelites, they had also been the Israelites' hosts at first; the implication is that the Egyptians had suffered enough from the Seven Plagues that the Almighty had visited upon them, a hard point to contest.
    • God also instituted laws among the Israelites to suppress the practice of blood feuds which were common in the ancient world: most notably, the concept of the city of refuge for the manslayer.
  • The Talmud: A man invited his friend Kamtza to a feast, but his servant accidentally invited Bar Kamtza, a mortal enemy. Bar Kamtza thought that the other man wanted to make peace, and so came to the party, where he was ordered away. Trying to save himself from humiliation, he offered to pay, first for his own portion, then for two, and eventually for the entire party, but the host refused to listen and kicked Bar Kamtza out. Bar Kamtza therefore hatched a plot which ended in the enemy king coming to Jerusalem, the Temple being destroyed, and the Jews being sent into exile.
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, when King Gilgamesh rejects the sexual advances of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar, she sends the Bull of Heaven to terrorize his whole city. Gilgamesh and his only friend, Enkidu, eventually slay the Bull and save the city of Uruk, but the gods retaliate by giving Enkidu a fatal illness.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Bob Holly chased after Brock Lesnar upon his return to Smackdown, as Lesnar had broken Holly's neck and he wanted to return the favor.
  • Denied by Mr. 450, who said he wasn't taking revenge on Joe Bravo for stealing the World Wrestling League's America's title belt, but enacting punishment.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons: A lot of plots center around getting revenge (or justice) against other characters for killing loved ones or allies, upsetting their plots, or just plain hurt Pride. Notably, a few characters do grow to forgive others of said offenses.
    • Ku Yeh is notable for having several grievances with various other martial artists. He wants to avenge himself against the Viper Cult for the loss of his arm and parents. The Golden Sun Emperor for having a hand in it. And Chi Lu-jen for his involvement.

    Standup Comedy 
  • Bill Cosby's routine called, aptly, "Revenge", recalling his childhood where he plotted to get back at Junior Barnes for hitting him with a slushball. He crafts a perfect snowball and stores it in the freezer, intending to use it on him in July, where there's not a snowball in sight. When the time finally comes for Bill to take his revenge, he finds out that his mother had thrown the snowball away, and has to resort to spitting on him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Invaders Space Marine chapter destroyed the Eldar Craftworld Idharae. The survivors of Idharae who joined Craftworld Alaitoc, returned the favor by destroying the Invaders fortress-monastery. The chapter is reduced to 300 marines, and lost many of their weapons.
    • The enmity between the Space Marines and their Chaotic parallels may have originated in Horus's ambition and the schemes of the Chaos Gods, but it's been marinated in vengeance until both sides would gladly see every last one of the other faction dead in a ditch. The reason Calth is a world of subterranean cultures, scarred by a radioactive sun? The Word Bearers' revenge for Monarchia. The reason the Ultramarines have kept the clock on that engagement running for ten thousand years, seeking out the Word Bearers whenever they return from the Eye of Terror? Revenge for Calth (admittedly mingled with general responsibility - defending Imperial citizens from people like the Word Bearers is also their job). The reason Angron turned on the Emperor at the first opportunity? Revenge for his fellow gladiators, who the Emperor abandoned to their deaths. Chaos Marines are generally better at drawing strength from these ten thousand years of trading causes for loathing, since time flows weirdly in the Warp, meaning many of them remember wounds inflicted thousands of years ago and losses in battles dating back to the Heresy.
  • In Warhammer the Dwarfs have a serious problem with this. They're incapable of ever letting something go, and everything anyone does that displeases them is a deliberate, malicious strike against them. One instance involves a human fortress being razed because they hired dwarven engineers to help build it and shortchanged their payment by a handful of coins out of thousands. Instead of accepting that this was probably just a clerk miscounting or a ripped bag losing a few coins in transit and either brushing it off or sending someone to explain what the problem is and asking for the complete payment, they instead stewed on this vile theft for a century, assembled an army, and laid siege to the baffled fortress.
  • Magic: The Gathering: This is the whole purpose of the White/Black/Red color-wedge, combining White's love for justice, Black's selfishness, and Red's hunger for destruction. Seen most clearly in Kaalia's flavor text.

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni ends with the title character being Dragged Off to Hell by someone he murdered.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is about a man who wants revenge for his false imprisonment at the hands of a corrupt judge and his Beadle so that they could have his wife for themselves. He does eventually get his revenge, but not before killing a lot of other people.
  • In the second act of Into the Woods, The Giantess wants revenge for the death of her husband.
  • In Il Trovatore, the gypsy Azucena seeks revenge against the di Luna family for burning her mother as a witch.
  • Ghosts. Helen Alving takes vengeance on her late husband, who treated her like shit for years, by humiliating him at home (while he still lived), and later making sure that none of his money goes to her son Oswald. "He shall only inherit me!"
  • In Lizzie, the titular character's main motive for killing her abusive father is this.
  • As you might expect, revenge plays a big part in the musical adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo, with one song, "Hell to Your Doorstep", dedicated to it.

    Video Games 
  • Revenge, and its destructive effects, is the primary theme of The Last of Us Part II, and the driving force between both main characters. Abby hunts down and kills Joel, the protagonist from the first game, who killed her father at the end of the previous game when rescuing Ellie. This, in turn, leads Ellie to track her to Seattle in her own Roaring Rampage of Revenge, killing all of Abby's friends to try and get to her. The cycle of vengeance is strong enough that it nearly destroys both women, and ultimately leaves Ellie, who decides to spare Abby in the end, with nothing but loneliness.
  • The entire premise of the Crusader series of games—and naturally, when you start wreaking such havoc, the bad guys get in on the act.
  • Both Kael'thas and the generic Blood Mage from War Craft III: The Frozen Throne have a sound pack distressingly but understandably focused on pronouncements of vengeance.
    "My blood cries out for the vengeance of my people's blood, which can only be repaid with twice as much blood! Or maybe three times as much blood! Like, if you went to hell and it was full of blood, and that blood was on fire, and it was raining blood, then maybe THAT would be enough blood. But, uh... probably not."
  • Tasha in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, her character theme is actually titled "Goddess of Revenge".
    • Tasha's love of revenge is lampshaded in one of the War Room segments, she claims "My hobbies include professing my love for the Lazurian Army and vowing revenge."
  • While Ryu Hayabusa's final goal in the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden is to reclaim the Dark Dragon Blade stolen from his village, it's obvious in a number of cut scenes that he's bent on killing Doku, the Greater Fiend responsible for destroying the village. The chapter of the game in which Ryu finally kills Doku is titled "Vengeful Spirit".
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Kivan's motivation in Baldur's Gate. Not surprising considering his mate was tortured to death by one of the villains.
    • Jon Irenicus in Baldur's Gate II. "Once, my thirst for power was everything. Now, I hunger only for revenge. And I... will... HAVE IT!"
    • Minsc and Jaheira start out bent on beating Irenicus to death with a potato masher for the whole "killing the person they cared about most" thing. If you keep them in the party, eventually they do get to help take him out, and there is much awesome. Even the potato masher fits, if you accept a +5 potato masher known as Crom Faeyr, the Hammer of Thunderbolts.
  • From the same family, Carth Onasi from Knights of the Old Republic wants to pound his treasonous ex-commander into paste for betraying the Republic and bombing Telos. He gets to, but not before the man spills a very nasty secret to spite him. If you talk to him after he feels the emptiness often found with this trope, but he seems glad to have shot the bastard.
  • Sky from Jade Empire wanted to kick Gao the Greater into orbit over the death of his little girl at the hands of Gao's slavers. Even though you kill Gao before he does, Sky's pretty understanding about it, and just extends his vendetta to anyone dealing in slaves.
  • In Jak II: Renegade, Jak's main motivation is getting revenge on Baron Praxis for two years of Dark Eco experimentation. A far more sinister plot eventually reveals itself, and he ends up focusing more on saving the city.
  • In Mass Effect:
    • Dr. Liara T'Soni went on a two year long quest to destroy the Shadow Broker after he tried to sell Shepard's body to the Collectors. Depending on your choices, this might also fit under Violently Protective Girlfriend.
    • Zaeed wants revenge on Vido for shooting him in the head twenty years ago, Garrus wants vengeance on Sidonis for betraying him and his team, Kasumi gets payback on Hock for torturing her boyfriend to death, Thane got revenge on the men who killed his wife in his Backstory and Jack has a serious vendetta against Cerberus for experimenting on her as a child. It's really easier to list which members of the Mass Effect 2 squad don't want some form of revenge. Including Shepard, if you take the Renegade route, which gives us the quote, "The Collectors are about to find out what happens when you piss me off."
  • Persona 3 gives us Ken, a kid with a vendetta against his mom's murderer, Shinjiro, who accidentally killed Ken's mom from losing control of his power and has become The Atoner for it. When confronted on the anniversary of the mother's death, they get interrupted by Strega and Shinjiro sacrifices himself to protect Ken, denying him his revenge. Ken is of the Justice Acrana.
  • Persona 5 gives us Goro Akechi, a person conceived as a result of an illicit affair by corrupt politician and major villain Masayoshi Shido. As a result of the shame and social stigmatization he suffered, Akechi vows to exact revenge on the man who abandoned him and left him to his miserable fate. In his quest for vengeance, Akechi ends up relentlessly abusing his ability to manipulate the Metaverse in order to do Shido's dirty work, all so that he can pull the rug from underneath him when Shido succeeds in his ambition of being elected Prime Minister. As a result, this puts him in conflict with the game's Phantom Thieves, who are also driven by avenging the wrongs done to them and righting societal wrongs, but haven't crossed anywhere near the lines Akechi has.
  • The motivation of the original heroine of Phantasy Star I, Alis. Lassic's men murdered her brother in front of her, so she's going to bring him down.
  • In God of War, this is the primary motivation for Kratos. His quest for revenge against the Gods is what causes him to become a One-Man Apocalypse.
  • The main plot motivation of Corvo Attano from Dishonored.
  • This was one of the reasons James Tobin murdered Zack in In the 1st Degree. Tobin found out that his girlfriend Ruby had a one-night stand with Zack. Tobin was so jealous and furious that he decided that Zack had to pay for this with his life.
  • When Geese Howard killed Jeff Bogard, Jeff's sons became martial artists to eventually kill him back.
  • Asura from Asura's Wrath is the embodiment of vengeance and all related tropes!
  • Calypso of Twisted Metal is primarily a Jackass Literal Genie... but if you win the tournament and then wish for revenge on someone, nine times out of ten, he'll give you what you want without any manipulation. Something about it seems to strike a chord with him.
  • Claude of Grand Theft Auto III seems to be motivated solely by revenge against Catalina (when he's not doing odd jobs for money or going on a rampage).
  • The Tonberry of the Final Fantasy series is the Moe Anthropomorphism of this concept: (aside from their One-Hit KO move once they come up close) their attack Karma/Everyone's Grudge deals damage proportionate to the number of enemies its target has killed.
  • Revenge is a key theme in Final Fantasy XII, specifically whether or not the princess Ashe (Ashelia B'Nargan Dalmasca) will or should take revenge against the Archadian Empire for their subjugation of Dalmasca and the death of her husband, Prince Rasler.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles, following the Mechon attack on Colony 9 and the death of Shulk's friend Fiora, Shulk declares his intent to destroy every last Mechon in revenge for what has happened. A shocking goal for someone as kind as Shulk. This becomes important later on.
  • Revenge is a recurring theme in The Wonderful 101. A number of characters on both the heroes' and villains' sides have revenge as their primary motivation, and the game's story takes time to show how counter-productive revenge can be. People driven by revenge endanger themselves and everyone around them, and revenge as a motivator leads to one becoming just as much a monster as the ones they want revenge against. This is contrasted by Wonder-Red, who prioritizes the team and the mission above his personal feelings, even when that means not chasing the alien who killed his father.
  • This is The Penguin's motivation for wanting Bruce Wayne dead in Batman: Arkham City. Unlockable backstory reveals a lengthy history of feuding between the Wayne and Cobblepot families, and Penguin blames the Wayne family for ruining the Cobblepot family.
  • This is the core theme for Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, as every one of the protagonists has a beef with the antagonists, mostly Void Dark and Majorita. The game goes in depth on exploring how revenge motivates, how self-destructive it can become, and how one can move past it. As it turns out, Void Dark himself sought revenge against Killia for Liezerota's death, which Void Dark himself caused when she took his sword in Killia's place.
  • Ace Attorney is all about revenge, which is why so many of the murders happen. One very notable example is in Justice for All with Franziska von Karma, the daughter of prosecutor Manfred von Karma. She goes after Phoenix Wright in court and brags at how she will defeat him with her logic and power as a prosecutor, which leads Phoenix to believe that she's seeking revenge due to Manfred being found guilty of murder and possibly forging evidence. It's subverted when Franziska reveals that she doesn't care about what happened to her father and her actual reason for revenge is because Phoenix bested Edgeworth in court and she wanted to be the one to do the deed. Ergo, Phoenix ruined her chance at getting revenge at Edgeworth for always besting her and being the favorite child of Manfred.
  • Revenge is what drives the protagonist, Velvet Crowe, of Tales of Berseria. She wants revenge against her brother, Artorious, for killing her other, younger brother, Laphicet, sacrificing him and then becoming the "Shepherd" of the world.
    Velvet: You have to be tough, if what you seek is revenge.
  • Touhou 15: Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: The plot is tangentially based on a Chinese folktale, where the god Houyi used his bow to shoot down the nine suns threatening to scorch the earth (here, one of the falling suns killed the Big Bad Junko's son). She is invading the Moon to kill his wife Chang'e (despite the Lunarians having imprisoned her for different reasons). The Bonus Boss Hecatia Lapislazuli is also out for revenge, as the shadows of Hell become weaker with only one sun.
  • Mr Eaten's long-term goal in Fallen London is to get payback for his own death at the hands of the Masters of the Bazaar.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its sequel Shadow of War center around a Gondorian ranger and a wraith's campaign of vengeance against the Dark Lord Sauron and everyone who serves him. Naturally, the concept is heavily involved in the mechanics, too: sometimes, an orc captain you seemingly killed will come back from the dead, having gotten meaner and harder from the experience, and orcs who kill you will reap better rewards if you kill them in turn after rising from your grave.
  • Shenmue and its sequels are about Ryo Hazuki trying to get revenge on Lan Di, the man who killed his father. Everyone calls him out on it, either for putting himself in danger or for ignoring everything else.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II: The Princess of Moonbrooke joins her cousins's quest to exact revenge on Hargon for the murder of her father and subjects and her home's destruction.
    • Dragon Quest Builders 2: After the Madusa turns Babs to solid rock, Goldirox becomes hell-bent on destroying it.
  • In Marco and the Galaxy Dragon, Gargouille wants to kill the Big Bad, Astaroth, in revenge for him destroying her planet and exterminating her people.


    Web Original 
  • In Epic Tales this is Shadow Hawk's motivation for being a superhero. Or so he claims. His best friend Diana thinks he just doing it for the thrills, although this is only mentioned once. Also the revenge thing gets glossed over in later books.
  • UltraJMan's I Wanna Be the Guy fangame, I Wanna See You Suffer, was created with pure, unadultered raging vengeance aimed at all those people who talked him into making a Let's Play of the I Wanna Be The Guy fangame, I Wanna Be The Fangame, as the driving spark of creativity...
  • GEOWeasel's third episode chronicles the attempts of Weas and Mitri to kill Mitri's Not-So-Imaginary Friend Bob, who they want because he killed two of their team. A different imaginary friend gets killed in the process.
  • In Noob: Le Conseil des Trois Factions, Kavan Oberion is the Sole Survivor of his battle unit and wants to avenge his fallen comarades.

    Western Animation 
  • The Pink Panther: One short, "Pink Campaign", has the Little Man chopping down the tree that the Pink Panther's house is located in, destroying it. Enraged, the Panther gets revenge by following the Little Man home and stealing his house, piece by piece. Long story short, the Little Man winds up going insane.
  • The show Dan Vs. revolves entirely around this concept, exacted by a hilariously paranoid, quick-tempered Dan and his drag-along best friend Chris. His targets include cookie ninja, the wolfman, and the entire country of Canada.
  • Stripperella. Spoofed in "Beauty and the Obese", where Mad Doctor Cesarean's motive for making supermodels fat is because beautiful women have spurned him all his life. And because his mother was a model who ran off when he was five. And because his promising career as a model was ruined when he became horribly disfigured in a modeling accident. Oh, and his grandparents were killed by models. He hates heights too, but you can't harm heights.
  • Gargoyles notes that "revenge is a sucker's game" and never accomplishes anything except spreading the need for revenge. Oddly, the only character who has a firm grasp of this in the beginning is the Affably Evil Big Bad David Xanatos, which is why he wins so often.
  • In The Venture Bros. after his defeat Phantom Limb renames himself Revenge, collects a gang of inanimate objects, and goes on a campaign against The Guild (Not that one).
  • An anthology episode of The Simpsons had revenge as its theme.
    Lenny: Nothing like revenge for getting back at people.
    Carl: I dunno, vengeance is pretty good.
  • Roger of American Dad! often parodies this of the Disproportionate Retribution order. In "The One That Got Away" for example he discovers a stranger has been using his credit account and in retaliation proceeds to destroy his life in every manner possible this causes complications when the culprit in fact turns out to be a split personality of Roger obliviously created. In turn his victim sets an assassin on him. Naturally Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sealab 2021 wanted to do a Christmas Special, but for various reasons swapped Christianity for the made-up religion of Alvisism, based around a violent, Wild West messiah. Whereas Christmas is about family and giving, Alvistide is about drinking and revenge.
    Capt. Murphey: "Vengeance is mine!" quoth Alvis. And then he shot him, right in the face!
  • If it isn't capturing them to make them into gold or to eat them (or, as in the movie, to make himself the most powerful wizard in the world), Gargamel's main motivation to go after The Smurfs is this.
  • The Lex Luthor of Young Justice defies this in the same manner as Xanatos and uses the same phrase: "Revenge is a sucker's game". Not surprising considering their fourth wall father.
    • Weisman also worked on The Spectacular Spider Man, and in this case it's not a Big Bad but a lower-ranked but likable villain who lives by it: Sandman was a thief and never forgot it even once getting super powers, and once, when offered payback against Spider-Man by joining the Sinister Six, he said that he didn't care about revenge and just wanted the "big score" he'd always dreamed of. (He joins anyway, once convinced there'd be a lot of money involved.)
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Cutie Mark Crusaders concoct a plan to get some extremely well-deserved payback on Babs Seed, but find out that she became a bully in response to being bullied where she came from, and that they'd be no different if they did the same thing. (They end up going to a lot of trouble to save her from their plan, made harder by her continuing to be a Jerkass, but Babs also learns her lesson in the end.) That when you Pay Evil unto Evil you become subject to He Who Fights Monsters was the Aesop of the week.
    • In the Season 5 finale, "The Cutie Re-Mark", Starlight Glimmer uses a Time Travel spell to undo Twilight's friendship with the other members of the Mane 6 in order to exact revenge for Twilight stopping her from stealing other ponies' cutie marks in the name of equality. She snaps out of it after accidentally causing the apocalypse in one timeline.
    • In the Season 6 finale, "To Where and Back Again", after having not been seen in the show since the Royal Wedding, Queen Chrysalis and her Changeling Swarm return for revenge for that defeat by taking their previous plan Up to Eleven with kidnapping all five Alicorn Princesses, Prince Shining Armor, Spike, and the Elements of Harmony, essentially decapitating Equestria's government and primary defenses in one fell swoop to clear the way for a full-scale invasion. However, thanks to Starlight Glimmer and Thorax, a traitor to the Swarm, the Swarm pulls a Heel–Race Turn and destroy Chrysalis' throne, free the ponies they kidnapped and cocooned, and effectively go from enemies to Equestria to one of their most powerful allies, except Chrysalis, who swears revenge again over losing everything and escapes to return in the future to take her vengeance on Starlight, then possibly the Royal Family and Mane Six again.
    • In the Equestria Girls special "Mirror Magic", Juniper Montage stumbles on an enchanted hand mirror and uses it to get revenge on the Humane 7 for exposing her sabotage of the Daring Do movie in "Movie Magic".
  • Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender is not a forgiving girl and holds a grudge against Zuko longer than anyone in the group, but asks for his help in The Southern Raiders to help track down the man that murdered her mother so she can kill him. Aang tells them not to go because revenge isn't worth it and she should just forgive him, but Zuko agrees with her and they set off. They track the man down, but seeing how disgusting and pitiful he is she decides he isn't worth dirtying her hands. She and Zuko return and Aang assumes she's forgiven the man, but the only one she's willing to forgive is Zuko; The murderer was simply too pathetic to kill, but Zuko is genuinely remorseful and trying to repent.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Vengeance


To Where and Back Again

As revenge for what happened in "A Canterlot Wedding", Chrysalis has the Changelings take over Ponyville and pose as the Mane Six and Spike.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / Revenge

Media sources:

Main / Revenge