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Revenge Before Reason

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Archie Downes: Well, maybe you shall, sir... and maybe other events will transpire.
Arthur Morgan: You best stick to them books. Because mark my words on this: vengeance is an idiot's game.
Red Dead Redemption II, during Sodom? Back to Gomorrah mission.

Some people can be filled with the desire for Revenge so greatly that they will pursue it at any cost. Their pursuit of it can be unreasonably dangerous to themselves and/or their loved ones (which in extreme cases can make it a Suicide Mission), or it can lead to unreasonable and irrevocable consequence to their mission/objective.

This is mainly a villain trope, not the least of which because the revenge tends to be Disproportionate Retribution caused by the most minuscule of slights, and sometimes targets innocent third parties. If the level of vengeance is taken to a downright ridiculous level, one may end up asking Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? rather than waste time and resources towards humiliating or torturing the person before killing them or making sure that they die horribly in some slow, easily escapable death trap.

Yet heroes can fall into this, showing that even they aren't immune to this flaw. When heroes experience this, it may lead to becoming just like the villains they sought revenge against.

Can't Kill You, Still Need You is a concept that this trope will completely ignore, or will even actively fight against to get at the target of their vengeance.

Often invokes Taking You with Me and Being Evil Sucks. If avenging a death, will be regarded Excessive Mourning. If the character snaps out of it, can lead to Was It Really Worth It? and My God, What Have I Done?. If a character calls them out on their revenge quest then it's Revenge Is Not Justice.

A Sister Trope to Blinded by Rage.

Compare with Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse, Honor Before Reason, Roaring Rampage of Revenge, He Who Fights Monsters, Evil Is Petty, Inspector Javert, Pyrrhic Victory, Revenge Is Not Justice, Stupid Evil, Screw the Money, This Is Personal!, or Personal Hate Before Common Goals.

If revenge can lead to serious punishment or outright death for the perpetrator(s), that's Bullying a Dragon.

Contrast with Forgiveness or Restrained Revenge. Success as Revenge is essentially the opposite, giving up on revenge entirely because it's not worth it.


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    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, this motivates Pronto into selling out his friends to get his powers back.
  • Blaze of Glory: Clay Riley could have just sat back and let Wonderment be destroyed, but decides to lead the battle personally just so he can murder his old nemesis the Ghost Rider himself. He gets killed for his trouble — by the Ghost Rider.
  • During the height of the Iraq War, Doonesbury offered a depressingly realistic explanation for the seemingly impossible task of convincing certain Iraqis to live together peacefully, when Ray stresses the importance of capturing a target alive:
    Iraqi Officer: This will not be possible. I am sworn to vengeance!
    Ray: Why? What'd he ever do to you?
    Iraqi Officer: A member of his family killed a member of mine!
    Ray: What? When did that happen?
    Iraqi Officer: 1387.
  • The Avengers (Jonathan Hickman): During the Time Runs Out arc Steve Rogers, and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D., insist on hunting down and capturing the Illuminati, who are trying to prevent the destruction of the universe, and the rest of existence, while doing absolutely nothing to solve this problem themselves. By the time Sue Storm gets both sides to sit down and shut up, the situation is beyond saving.
    • And even then, in the very last issue, Steve decides that hunting down and beating the ever-loving crap out of Tony is more important than the imminent end of everything.
  • The 2014 Fantastic Four series introduced a villain who called himself "the Quiet Man", and claims to have not only been responsible for the team's recent run of bad luck (Reed and Sue losing custody of their children, Ben being framed for murder and Johnny losing his powers), but also plans to frame Reed for an invasion from a parallel universe and claims to have been responsible for bankrolling some of their other villains over the years. Even if the Quiet Man is exaggerating the scale of his influence on the FF’s history, he goes to ridiculous lengths to destroy the team when the only thing they ever "did" to him was Reed got the chance to talk to Sue first (the Quiet Man had a crush on Sue when he was a child but didn't have the nerve to talk to her before Reed did).
  • JSA Classified: As Vandal Savage's stockpile of bits of his kids and descendants to eat and store up his powers goes missing at the same time his immortality starts slipping and his mind. He becomes obsessed with ensuring that if he's about to die he's taking Alan Scott with him no matter what he has to do to kill him, even cutting his own remaining time short.
  • In Lucifer, the titular Lucifer pulls a Disproportionate Retribution on angel Meleos, destroying the latter's millennia of work; and the broken Meleos swears revenge. Being an angel, this revenge takes the form of saving Lucifer's life and nursing him back to health after somebody else tried to kill him. Because to the prideful Lucifer, being that much in debt to somebody else is worse than actually being killed.
  • Queen Chrysalis againnote  in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW). Twilight and her friends have already proven they are more than a match for her and her changelings, but she wants payback. She pulls another invasion, kidnaps the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and it ends about as well for her as you would expect.
  • In Silverblade, film producer Vincent Vermillion, who has waited forty years to take revenge on Milestone and Lord for his Career-Ending Injury, is willing to jeopardise his latest multi-million production by using it as part of his plan to snare the pair. If his plan works, he will never be able to finish the film, as he will have killed his leading man.
  • Subverted in Sin City: Hell and Back. When mob boss Wallenquist hears that one of his operations was completely shut down by an ex-soldier, his subordinates start making plans to track and kill the guy. Instead, Wallenquist points out that there's no profit in revenge and no point in pursuing a fight with someone who's leaving town anyway. He knows what's in his own best interest.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide: After being defeated by Super Sonic and Super Armor Mega Man in the final issue of the crossover, Eggman is so pissed that he deliberately interferes with Super Sonic's attempt to undo the Super Genesis Wave, willing to let reality be destroyed rather than let Sonic restore it to normal. Said interference results in a Cosmic Retcon on Sonic's world, as well as the subsequent Shattered World Crisis.
  • Spider-Man: Venom lived and breathed this trope during his first several appearances. With the powers and knowledge of the alien costume, Eddie Brock could have done pretty much anything he wanted, including repairing his damaged life. But he was so consumed by his vendetta against Spidey that he would immediately try to kill him at every opportunity, despite it always ending with Venom incarcerated or otherwise disabled. The most egregious example is in "Trial of Venom", where Brock is actually found not guilty of his crimes as Venom (by reason of insanity) and is about to be released from prison...but he can't stop himself from going after Spider-Man.
  • In the Star Trek: Myriad Universes comic The Last Generation, Wesley Crusher wants revenge on the Klingon Empire for their war against Earth. When Picard proposes a plan to go back in time and stop the war before it starts, Wesley is horrified, seeing the idea of peace with the Klingons as a slap in the face to everyone who died in the war. The fact they won't have died never seems to occur to him.
  • Superman:
    • Combined with Irrational Hatred, Cyborg-Superman (Henk Henshaw) blames the Man of the Steel for causing his accident, for driving his friends to suicide and for exiling Henshaw from Earth. And none of these things were Superman's fault.
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, Lex Luthor's real goal is destroying the planet "which held [his] genius in contempt"... even though he cannot survive in a devastated world. The man has got issues.
    • Subverted in Supergirl (Rebirth). Lar-On was a Kryptonian with lycanthropy who was quarantined to the Phantom Zone by Supergirl's father Zor-El. When he escapes, he wants to kill Supergirl when he finds out that she's Zor-El's daughter. However Kara talks him down, pointing out that she has nothing to do with whatever her father did, and killing people will not bring his family back.
    • In a two-part story told in Action Comics #555 and Supergirl (1982) #21, Superman and Supergirl are hunted down by Kryptonite Man, the last survivor of a race that inhabited Krypton in the past, who blames kryptonians for his race and planet's demise and refuses to listen when both cousins point out how irrational it is to believe their species intended to blow themselves and their world up to destroy his race.
    • In The Third Kryptonian, Amalak hates Kryptonians because a group of them wiped his race out several centuries ago. He doesn't care if you were born long after his people's genocide, you were born in another universe or you are a dog. If you are a Kryptonian, he wants you dead.
    • In How Luthor Met Superboy, Lex and Superboy become friends. Unfortunately, Superboy accidentally destroys Lex's breakthrough discovery while putting out a fire which was burning Lex's lab down, and Lex becomes convinced that Superboy did it on purpose because he was jealous of his genius. Superboy tries to calm him down, but he eventually stops trying to change Lex's mind because he realizes that Lex will never believe him due to his arrogance and guilt-pushing attitude. Meanwhile, Lex's obsession with getting back at Superboy quickly escalates from being a dick to planning a murder.
    • In The Hunt for Reactron, Supergirl has been tasked by her mother Alura with capturing her father's murderer Reactron. Nevertheless, Flamebird tries to dissuade her friend Kara from dragging Reactron back to Kandor, on grounds of Alura being out for his blood after her husband's murder, to the point of refusing to listen to reason.
    • "The Super-Steed of Steel": Supergirl travels to planet Zerox to lend Comet to the Zeroxian King, who needs a flying horse urgently to lead a parade since his own pegasus has become unable to fly. His nephew Nomed, who enchanted Endor's pegasus as part of a stealthy ploy to seize the throne, decides to pay Supergirl by ruining his coup d'etat...and his attempted revenge gets him turned into a statue. If he had reminded himself that both outsiders would leave Zerox soon, leaving him free to keep plotting since nobody suspected his duplicity, he would be still alive.
  • Tintin: The Yves Rodier finished version of album "Tintin and the Alph-Art" has Rastapopoulos so willing to kill the titular character (who continuously screwed up his plans and operations) that his plan to do so would also inevitably lead to killing himself in the process.
  • Ultimatum: Angel's lover Dazzler died during the Ultimatum wave. Despite having no power better than wings and flight, he decides to charge straight to Magneto's headquarters, which gets him shredded.
  • The Walking Dead loves using this trope; you'll see more in the Live-Action TV and Video Game folders. The comic book has its own examples:
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Priscilla Rich snapping and becoming the supervillain the Cheetah is out of her desire for revenge on those she feels have wronged her, by making her jealous, and at times where she could easily kill her opponents in their sleep or without allowing them to fight back her need for "revenge" and making them suffer stays her hand. Prior to picking up a costumed supervillain identity she was much more quick to turn to murder and better and covering her tracks.

    Fan Works 
  • Unkei in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto. His entire clan is defecting from Konoha and he knows full well the only way for them to succeed is to have as much of a lead as possible. He still insists on killing Yakumo (due to the demon sealed in her betraying them), who's under 24-hour guard.
  • When Uryu confronts Ichigo in A Black Heart, Ichigo gladly tells him that he can take over for Ichigo in protecting Karakura from Hollows. Uryu however insists that he won't allow Ichigo to simply forfeit and uses Hollow Bait to prove he's better. The only reason Ichigo doesn't kill him afterwards is that Urahara took Uryu away and hid him.
  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence has Alya's self-destructive vendettas against Vexxin/Cole and Marinette.
    • Since Vexxin replaced her as the Fox heroine, she absolutely despises her, responding to her appearance by posting wild accusations on her blog that she stole her Miraculous. Even after Ladybug takes Alya aside and makes absolutely clear that she has nobody to blame for being replaced but herself, and that her actions have only served to ensure that she won't be trusted with any Miraculous from here on, Alya refuses to admit that she did anything wrong and continues to rage against her. This effectively ruins not just her reputation, but that of her blog; while she retains some loyal fans, most jump ship to other sites that aren't building a reputation as a trashy tabloid.
    • Alya also blames Cole and Marinette for all of the drama with Lila. Eventually, she works herself up to the point that she sharpens her nails before lunging at them, attempting to claw their faces off in front of the whole class. Naturally, this gets her in a massive amount of trouble ( especially since the attack reopened Cole's eye stitches), as she learns the hard way that her parents do NOT approve of her attacking anyone, and that the parents of her would-be victims are all too happy to resort to litigation to ensure she's punished for her actions. And yet she still keeps digging the hole ever deeper...
    • As a comparatively lesser example, Chat Noir comes to dislike Vexxin for the horrible crime of calling him out on his self-serving attitude and Skewed Priorities. He responds to her accusations of betraying Ladybug by withholding his aid by... deliberately standing aside and letting a trio of akuma take on Vexxin alone, declaring that she deserves to die at their hands. While failing to consider that the Seisquake trio also see HIM as an enemy, and exploit his refusal to work together with Vexxin to take them both down.
  • Children of Remnant: The Schnees and Belladonnas are working together to assassinate the Claimed, which, even if they succeeded, would start a war that humanity is simply not prepared to win. It's clear that their grief has destroyed their sense of judgement.
  • The Sludge Villain does this in Conversations with a Cryptid, and what he lacks in determination he makes up for in stupidity. First he, along with a few others, kidnaps Izuku to torture him to death in revenge for being caught. This doesn't fit the trope, but when his co-conspirators are left as chunky salsa from All for One's Villainous Rescue, he attacks Izuku again, apparently not considering that All for One might still be protecting him. He ends up roasted alive for his trouble.
  • In Mass Effect's Crucible, Makern, the ancestor of the Northern turian clans lost his beloved daughter Koria due to one greedy old nobleman from the South and decided that he needed to destroy them all completely before building everything from scratch under his absolute rule.
    • Because one group of Quarians led by Raan and Tali killed Alt.Amata and their children, Alt.Gaius made them all pay by dropping a bomb on Rannoch, completely pushed the whole race with all its innocent people to extinction while making the leaders watch before they too died.
  • Dad Villain AU: Hawkmoth won. Gabriel got to make his reality-altering Wish, which he was ostensibly after in order to save Emelie from dying from the magical backlash of using the broken Peacock Pin. But rather than repairing the Miraculous or anything of that nature, Gabriel spitefully Wishes for the backlash to hit Ladybug and her loved ones instead, wanting her to suffer for having opposed him for so long. As Duusu points out, he cares about this petty revenge more than he does Emelie herself, treating his wife as nothing more than an Unwitting Pawn for exacting vengeance upon the heroine.
  • Distortions (Symphogear): Samantha Acamporra knows that what she's doing as a member of the Four Horsemen is wrong, but she's so full of hatred towards S.O.N.G., whom she holds responsible for her brother's death, that she doesn't care as long as he is avenged.
  • In the second arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfiction For Want of a Card, Rebecca Hawkins falls into this trope hard after knowing that the ones who killed her parents were Rare Hunters led by Steve, just because of a rare card, namely "Blue-eyes White Dragon", which had been given to Sugoroku Muto by Arthur, her grandfather. She stops at nothing to get a chance of avenging her late parents, from giving help in hacking Industrial Illusions, entering an obviously rigged tournament, alienating her own grandfather (the only family she has, therefore she enters the tournament without Arthur's blessing), cheating in card games knowing her opponents would cheat as well, knowingly sending several of her opponents into either death or bankruptcy in Absurdly High-Stakes Game, bribing a shady underground middleman to ruin her Arch-Nemesis reputation, all while risking her own life, in case she loses even just one match in the tournament, she were to be executed. She manages to get her revenge against Steve in a somewhat Pyrrhic Victory, by winning the tournament at the cost of her own innocence as she grows more bitter as time goes on until she met Yugi Muto.
  • Zig-zagged in The Grinning Snake, a crossover between My-HiME and Hell Girl, Konoka, the daughter of one of the First District agents Shizuru killed, finds out who her father's killer is. Unfortunately, the police won't believe the only piece of evidence she has, and the perpetrator won't turn herself in, leaving Konoka to use Ai's doll, sending Shizuru to hell immediately and ensuring that Konoka will also go there when she dies. On the one hand, Konoka literally more or less sells her soul for her vengeance (especially when you consider that she believes her father went to heaven, meaning that she won't join him there), but on the other, she only chose to do so after exhausting all other options.
  • Horrortale: Alphys tells Undyne that Sans' powers could restart the CORE at the cost of the latter's life. While this does work, Sans survives the extraction of his magic eye and confronts Alphys about her decision. When Alphys reasserts that her course of action was the right choice and there's no changing her mind, Sans gets so angry at her that he shreds the CORE with magic attacks, negating the attempt to fix it and dooming himself along with the entire Underground.
  • I am Bitch, the Shield Hero's Slut: King Aultcray hates Naofumi, even more than canon, for the crime of... not being framed for rape and being given Malty as a slave by the Queen. As revenge, Aultcray issues a royal decree that no member of Naofumi's party is allowed to get a class upgrade, seemingly in hopes of getting Naofumi killed. Since the only member of Naofumi's party who could possibly get a class upgrade is Aultcray's own daughter Malty, his actions just serve to make it more likely that she will be killed fighting in the Wave.
  • The Judgement of the World (5Ds): Upon learning that Isao poisoned Yusei and has the only antidote with him at a location that's too far for them to travel to and back from on time, Jack and Crow impulsively decide to find the Arcadia Movement's hideout and beat every member up to avenge their friend. They quickly find that they're out of their league, as despite being Signers and hardened former gang members, they're still up against a larger group of Psychic Duelists inside an unfamiliar building. It's not until too late that they realize they've wasted time and effort on meaningless revenge that could've gone towards helping their friend by keeping Aki in the loop and having her use her father's connections and her psychic powers to help get the antidote back to Yusei on time. In fact, if not for Aki learning about their plan and intervening, Jack and Crow might've gotten both themselves and Yusei killed.
  • Maylu's Revenge: Maylu is dead set on getting revenge against her NetNavi Roll for her actions as Empress Roll, despite how said incident was partially her own fault. This spurs her to join World Three in hopes of getting strong enough to delete Roll from existence.
  • In Origin Story, for several of the The Avengers, defeating Alex Harris is less about any laws she may or may not have broken and more about her embarrassing them in public.
  • In the Pony POV Series Dark World Arc, the possibility of falling victim to this trope is a constant threat while trying to stop Discord and free Equestria, in no small part thanks to the Nameless Passenger's constant encouragement to take this path. As it turns out, the Passenger is Nightmare Eclipse, Twilight's evil potential future self who is defined by this trope. In her timeline, she intentionally went Nightmare after managing to Set Right What Once Went Wrong to take revenge on Discord...and became so addicted to her vengeance, she trapped Discord in a loop where he'd rule for a thousand years before being defeated and his daughter Fluttercruel killed before it resets, destroying the universe and erasing everyone from that thousand years from existence. It got to the point that Discord's had a Heel Realization and she has to control him as her Puppet King to be evil so she can take revenge on him, becoming even worse than him. Thankfully, in the end Eclipse meets her end and the heroes avoid this trope.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI has one in Talon Ryashen. He was once an ordinary boy who was kidnapped off of the streets by Fairy Tale and used in their Super-Soldier experiments, being infused with Alucard's blood and becoming a Half-Human Hybrid; as a result, Talon was rejected and disowned by his own family and seeks to hunt down and kill every last member of Fairy Tale, including those who were Locked Out of the Loop, defected, or simple non-combatants. Despite having been repeatedly told that the members of Fairy Tale who were truly responsible for his condition are dead, Talon refuses to see the situation in anything but black-and-white; as far as he's concerned, everyone who was ever a member of Fairy Tale for any reason is equally responsible for his condition, and he won't stop until they're all dead. It's even been mentioned in-universe by more than one character that Talon simply will not listen to reason.
  • Shadows over Meridian:
    • Vera Bexley is obsessed with wiping out the Mogriffs and avenging her grandfather, even if it means launching a fight against the Shadowkhan that everyone else knows is hopeless and going rogue from Elyon's army to do it. It eventually culminates in her abandoning her wounded friends whom she lied to in order to get their help when they refuse to accommodate her whims anymore and running off alone to find Metalbeak and kill him.
    • Metalbeak goes into a blind fury when he realizes that a descendant of the Nest Butcher is among Elyon's army, and nearly charges off without a second thought to hunt her down. Jade has to beat him into submission to get him to think through how he'd be leaving the Stone Nest undermanned to defend itself against a potential sneak attack if he did that.
  • In Telling Lies? No, Mama, all of Lila's lies are revealed, including why she hates Ladybug after she exposed and humiliated her in front of Adrien. It is further unveiled that Lila was witnessed working with Oni-Chan to distract Chat Noir and destroy Ladybug, even un-akumatized and not brainwashed, with clear thinking, so to speak. Everyone is horrified to find out that Lila would try to get their beloved hero killed and help a supervillain win just to settle her petty grudge.
    • Subverted with Chloé, who gets a REAL redemption arc in this story. She figures out Marinette's secret identity soon after meeting Pollen in "Style Queen". Remembering Tikki, who she mistook for a toy during "Princess Fragrance" and noting the similarities between her and Pollen, Chloé connects the dots. However, unlike Lila, she promises to keep the secret because even if she doesn't like Marinette, she knows better than to unveil her with Hawkmoth on the loose. And also because Ladybug deciding to have faith in her even knowing what kind of person she was made her want to be a better person.
  • In Things Unseen, Things Unknown, and Things Yet to Be, Willow responds to Xander questioning her decision to keep an employee whom she knows full well is spying on them by deliberately sabotaging him on an upcoming mission to an area that's already cost them six people. In other words, she risks the death of a friend she's known for roughly forty years because he disagreed with her.
  • Karai falls into this in TMNT: Turtle Power after Leonardo kills the Shredder. She expends a lot of time and effort focusing on avenging her father's death at the Turtles' hands, leaving his criminal empire defenseless in the process and leading directly to the City at War arc, with every crook in the city fighting to fill the void left behind by Shredder's demise. She does realize this, and comes back to New York to fix things.
  • Trade Us for the World: After Anne manages to escape Toad Tower, Captain Grime leads his army in a Stern Chase, insisting that they must make her pay. Marcy ultimately turns this against him, pointing out that in his eagerness to hunt her down, he neglected the state of his soldiers, forcing them to push forward rather than tending to their injuries.
    Marcy: For how many days did you make them chase after Anne on broken legs? Carry weapons with sprained wrists, fight through concussions, wear armor over lacerations? Force them to march with you after losing a limb?
    Grime: You're right! You see? They lost everything to the Herons! They need revenge, they need justice
    Marcy: No! You needed revenge. You needed what you thought was justice. Your soldiers needed help. Medical attention. Emotional support. Time to process. And now they'll need it even more! But you know what they don't need? You. You don't do what's good for the Toad Army, only what's good for yourself. You might be a good warrior, but you're a terrible leader. And your army doesn't need you.
  • The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers fanfic Under The Bridge is a two-way example. Widget Hackwrench believes that their father tried to drown her in favor of her sister Gadget, a cute blond mouse and not a one-armed, gray-haired albino like herself. She builds a submarine out of a discarded boiler and hires a crew for it including a war veteran mouse as the captain, the latter being the only one who knows about her plans — nothing less than killing her sister in revenge for what she herself had lived through in her past. She even goes as far as sinking a rodent ferryboat. After several unsuccessful attacks, Gadget decides to take her sister's death threat against her into her own hands, snapping mentally in the progress. She modifies a machine gun round into a guided torpedo to kill Widget by sinking her submarine with everyone aboard. In a sense, the other Rangers have to intervene against one of their team members in the end.
  • We Are What We Are has Starshot. Though his reasons for getting back at the Dazzlings are understandable, (they took his wife from him and ruined his life) he goes way too far: He doesn't kill them right away in favor of letting them suffer, he's willing to hold innocent bystanders hostage, and he puts Adagio in a Hope Spot just to make sure she knows there's no way she can stop him.
  • In The Weaver Option a Biel-tan raid intended to reclaim a blade of Vaul from Taylor fails badly, leaving only two survivors. The craftworld is furious and sends an entire fleet to take revenge only for Trazyn the Infinite to steal it and insult the ones he spared. When word comes that Taylor has launched a raid on Commorragh, Biel-tan decides to ally with the Drukhari, a faction that takes great joy in torturing Eldar, and forms a coalition of four craftworlds to kill Taylor and stop her forces. Not only do they fail, but the Eldar suffer two billion casualties, potentially dooming all four craftworlds. Roughly six months after the battle, a combined Navy/Astartes task force takes advantage of the heavy casualties that Biel-tan had taken to destroy the entire Craftworld, slaughter everyone that hadn't seen their doom coming, and emigrated to another one, and claimed their Infinity Circuit as a trophy for the Inquisition.
  • In The Witch of the Everfree, after her parents are killed by a timberwolf, Applejack goes into the Everfree Forest determined to make it pay, ignoring both the dangers of the forest and the fact that she doesn't know where the timberwolves actually are.
  • You'll Get No Answers from the Blue Sea Star: When Jo brings news that she's spotted Tomas out in the woods, all three sisters throw caution and good sense to the wind. Without bothering to inform the Knights of the situation, they charge over to avenge their dad and end up very nearly dying. Then the group of students who'd been following them (again, without bothering to inform the Knights) charge over to avenge the sisters, and they end up very nearly dying. Afterwards everyone generally agrees the whole thing was a bad idea.

    Film — Animated 
  • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar: Jafar is so obsessed with destroying Aladdin and his friends in revenge for his defeat in the first movie that in the Final Battle, he turns the Agrabah Palace grounds into a volcanic wasteland to work around the rule about genies being unable to kill despite the fact that he's putting his own lamp, which his existence depends upon at risk as well. This, naturally, backfires on him when his own former minion Iago knocks Jafar's lamp into the lava, destroying Jafar.
  • Big Hero 6:
    • Hiro's primary flaw turns out to be this, as shown when, upon finding out that Callaghan is Yokai, he tries to kill him by reprogramming Baymax to follow his order to destroy. This leads his teammates to stop Baymax, letting Callaghan escape in the struggle.
    • Yokai's desire for revenge against Alistair Krei for his daughter's apparent death pushes him beyond the realm of any reason or sense. He ignores Hiro's plea for redemption and instead opts to swallow up an entire building area with his portal solely to get his revenge.
  • Brave: Fergus, who is so set on bringing down Mor'du, and later the bear he thinks killed his wife, that he won't listen to Merida trying to tell him the bear is his wife. In his defense, it's a bit much to believe out of nowhere.
  • Soto from Ice Age is so obsessed with getting revenge on the tribe of primeval men who killed half his pack (probably in self-defense anyway), he makes an assault on their camp with the specific goal of eating the chief's infant son, which results in more tigers killed (offscreen) and his Dragon betraying him in favor of his new Fire-Forged Friends. In the climax, when he hears the baby cooing, he immediately turns to it — completely forgetting about the raging mammoth right behind him. It gets him knocked into a wall and killed by falling icicles.
  • In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, there are three stunning examples:
    • Professor Zoom, whose hatred of Flash is so much that he not only is willing to commit suicide if he can manage to blow up Flash, the Flash Museum, and thousands of innocent, Flash-admiring civilians in the process, but he also interferes with Flash's efforts to save the Crapsack World that is Flashpoint and then tries to ensure Flash will be stranded there as the world is destroyed, even if it means committing suicide in the process.
    • Wonder Woman, who commits adultery with a married man and then kills his wife (she claims in self-defense, but it's ambiguous) before claiming her victim's crown as a trophy and sending the decapitated body back to her now-ex-lover. After this she leads an Amazon invasion of Europe, slaughtering every man and enslaving all of the women, to strengthen her position to defeat her former lover in bloody combat. She all but states outright an intention of leading a bloody Gendercide after she believes she has claimed victory towards the end of the movie.
    • Aquaman, who gets his wife killed by cheating on her with Wonder Woman, and then declares war on the Amazons over it, a war that starts with him sinking all of West Europe. By the time of the final battle, he's rigged what he knows could very well be an unstoppable Doomsday Device up as a suicide strike, and his final action after being beaten is to trigger it, ensuring that the whole world follows him into death.
  • The legendary Wicked Witch (Agatha Prenderghast) from ParaNorman. She became so obsessed with making the townspeople pay for what they did to her that she completely forgot about the people who loved her and she almost completely lost herself in her rage. It's until Norman helps her remember the good things about her life and makes her realize she has to find peace to see her mother again that Agatha finally lets go of her revenge.
  • Recess: School's Out: Dr. Benedict's scientists beg him to move the base for the tractor beam to another location where it would be more effective, but he holds such a grudge against Principal Prickly and Third Street School that he refuses to conduct his Evil Plan to get rid of recess from anywhere else.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: During one of his fights with Spider-Man, Kingpin tries to kill the latter where his family witness it and run away in horror, leading to them dying in a car crash. He still hasn’t learned from this, as he does the same with Miles and his alternative family leaves him again.
  • Toy Story: Double Subverted when Buzz catches up to Woody after falling out of Andy's window. He tells Woody that revenge is frowned upon back on his planet. Then, he rhetorically asks Woody if they are on his planet before tackling him out of the van. During the tussle, Andy and his mother return to the van and drive off without them.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Batman Returns: Even though Selina Kyle is in love with Bruce Wayne and wants to spend her life with him, she can't let Max Shreck live.
  • Blood Surf: John does his best Captain Ahab impression, as he's obsessed with killing the crocodile after it ate several of his former passengers. In the process of hunting it, he ends up crashing their get-away boat and becomes just another meal for the crocodile while trying to fix it.
  • A villainous example from Curse of Chucky. Chucky has gotten away with his crimes, and left a crippled girl to take the fall. He decides instead of calling it a day, he'll get mailed to his old "buddy" Andy. Unfortunately for him, Andy has gotten wise to his game. And has a shotgun pointed at his face the second he emerges from his box.
  • Daredevil (2003): Instead of taking Matt's advice to run or seek medical help for him on the stab she inflicted when she thought that he was her father's killer, Elektra chooses to face Bullseye, the actual killer, on her own. Unfortunately, Elektra fought him without a clear head, lashing out in anger and Bullseye easily takes advantage of her and wins the fight, giving her a kiss and a stab to the gut.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Carver and Dreyfus both blame the apes for the deaths of their families. Koba is prone to this as well risking his own life just to avenge his kind.
  • The Die Hard series uses this trope a fair few times:
    • The first henchman that John McClane kills in Die Hard has a brother who is also involved in the scheme. Said brother spends the remainder of the movie doing anything he can to kill McClane, even when it works to the detriment of the plan.
    • Die Hard with a Vengeance: Simon Gruber happens to be the brother of the villain of the first movie; therefore, he takes a special interest in tormenting McClane. His partner-in-crime has to tell him repeatedly to quit the games and kill him. However, this is being deliberately invoked by Simon. The mind games he was playing with McClane were actually a part of the plan, and were used to keep both McClane and the rest of the NYPD out of their hair.
    • Happens one last time toward the end of A Good Day to Die Hard when the Big Bad meets a messy ending via Helicopter Blender. His daughter reacts by launching a Suicide Attack with said helicopter against both McClane and his son.
  • In the climax of The Fly (1986), Stathis shoots out the cables connecting Veronica's telepod to the others, saving her from Romantic Fusion with Seth Brundle/Brundlefly. The monster's response is to smash the glass door of his pod open so he can finish Stathis (who is already maimed) off — disregarding the fact that he is still about to be teleported. He ends up fused with broken pieces of the pod, necessitating a Mercy Kill. Justified in that his mind is dominated by an insect's ruthless instincts rather than human reason at that point.
  • Freddy vs. Jason: Lori's original plan was to bring Freddy into the human world so Jason could kill him. However, in her last nightmare, she discovered he murdered her mother. This, along with many of her friends dying and his attempt to rape her after said revelation, made her unwilling to leave until she saw Freddy die.
  • In Michael Mann's Heat, this is what eventually brings master thief Neil McCauley down. He's literally on the way to the airport with his girlfriend, ready to catch a private jet to retirement in New Zealand, but he gets a phone call letting him know where the guy who ratted him out to the cops (and tortured one of his friends to death) is staying. He just can't leave without paying the guy a visit...and it turns out the cops have got him staked out for just that reason.
  • Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson sisters meet their (second) end due to a monumentally stupid case of this on Winifred's behalf. The spell that brought them back will only keep them alive for Halloween night, at dawn of the next day, they will die immediately. However, if they can steal the life force of at least one child before that happens, they will be able to stay alive indefinitely. With only minutes before dawn, the heroes attack them and rescue Dani, their first intended victim, and spill most of the potion. However, enough of it remains for a single serving, and they still have the dozens of other children Sarah enslaved with her Compelling Voice. There was nothing stopping them from draining one of the other kids, which would keep them alive through the dawn and give them time to brew more potion (and plot revenge on the heroes). However, Winifred insists on going after Dani even though there's no practical reason to do so, just because she wants to kill her first for calling her ugly. Sarah and Mary even Lampshade this, but Winifred is too stubborn to listen, and they're too dim-witted and obedient to press the issue once she's shot it down.
  • Taken to a particularly unusual (not to say unrealistic) degree in The Hurt Locker, where Sgt. James discovers a mutilated, explosive-laced body that could pass for the local Iraqi kid he had befriended, and becomes so fixated on avenging the boy that he draws a gun on the only man he associated him with, takes his car, goes to the house where the kid apparently lived, breaks in, finds the resident father-figure, who turns out to be a professor who has nothing to do with the insurgency, comes to his senses after a short conversation with the terrified man, and finally realizes he has no idea what he's doing.
  • The protagonist of the Joshuu Sasori series is so hell-bent on revenge that she pursues her list of targets leaving the worst for last because she knows exactly where it'll get her: he's a detective, and she attacks and kills him in the police station where he works. Sure enough, the final shot of the film shows her re-entering the prison.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, Balem is willing to harvest Earth ahead of schedule just to spite and/or kill Jupiter, even though Mr. Night points out the serious financial blow doing so would entail.
  • In Jurassic Park, The Big One becomes enraged when Rexy kills her subordinate, and proceeds to attack the T. rex instead of focusing on the humans, despite the fact that Rexy is larger and could easily crush her with her jaws. And she does just that.
  • Ladies They Talk About: Nan goes to kill Slade at one of his sermons. There’s a huge crowd and a policeman even recognizes her before she goes into the building, but she still goes in to kill him.
  • In The Last Circus it's a recurring theme, with revenge-driven people ending up making the situation much worse for themselves and for others:
    • The protagonist Javier, following his imprisoned father's ill-advice about revenge being a form of retribution, blows up the labor camp site with dynamite to free him. However, in the midst of the chaos, Javier's dad is killed by an evil colonel.
    • Javier snaps after being beaten by Sergio and decides to brutally beat him to near death to "free" Natalia from him, but he just ends up getting chased after cops and forced to hide and survive in the wild. Bonus points for making the circus close since Sergio was the main star. Natalia and the troupe do find a new job at a nightclub, but still.
    • The evil colonel who killed Javier's father, Salcedo, captures him and torments him for injuring him in the eye back when he blew up the campsite, but this ends up further worsening Javier's mental state and causes him to turn into a Monster Clown who kills Salcedo and two friends of his before escaping.
    • In the ending, Javier decides to fully embrace the trope and takes Natalia on a Captive Date, which only escalates with a likewise vengeful Sergio (who survived the beating but lost his job due to being horribly scarred) calling the State Police on him which leads to a Climbing Climax where Natalia ends up dying and both Javier and Sergio get arrested.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man 2, Ivan Vanko wants revenge on Tony Stark for the Sins of Our Fathers; his father Anton Vanko invented the original Arc Reactor alongside Tony's father, Howard Stark, but Howard accused of spying and had him deported. Needless to say, Ivan is pissed off, but his desire to get personal revenge on Tony Stark for what his father did blinds him. He invents his own personal reactor for a suit of his own and attacks Tony in public, trying to discredit him and his claims that no one else can match his own technology. Shortly afterward, when Tony defeats him, he comments on Vanko's pursuit of personal revenge over simply selling the reactor to anyone who wants it and making a huge profit. Later, when Justin Hammer busts Vanko out of prison, he explains that Vanko is doing it wrong. Instead of attacking the man personally, one should attack his legacy, and arranges for Vanko to create an army of "Hammer Drones" that are intended to make Stark's Iron Man technology obsolete. Vanko goes along with it at first, apparently, but ultimately sabotages the drones and War Machine, takes control of the whole lot, and tries to kill Tony again. Then again, Justin Hammer is a Big Bad Wannabe Smug Snake who just wouldn't SHUT UP about how things should be done, didn't bring Vanko his burd from Russia and, seeing he's a Corrupt Corporate Executive, he would have most likely killed Vanko once his drones outdid Tony's suit. Plus, Vanko was never intending on earning profit or making the drones for Hammer. He just wanted to kill Tony, preferably in the most epic way ever.
    • In Iron Man 3, Aldrich Killian's plans would have gone much more smoothly if he hadn't involved Tony due to revenge for a petty joke thirteen years ago. In more detail: Killian showed up at Stark Industries showing Pepper ideas his new Extremis Super Serum in the most flirtatious way possible. Happy then follows his henchman Eric Savin, witnesses a drug deal between Savin and another Extremis user Jack Taggart, and ends up in a coma when Taggart blows up. This leads Tony to decide to take an active interest in the Mandarin, storm his hideout, and kill all of his men. Now, while a good amount of that Killian couldn't have predicted going exactly that way, the fact is that he flirted with Pepper specifically to piss off Tony.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) deconstructs this trope when Drax the Destroyer sells out the team to get Ronan the Accuser's attention so he can kill Ronan to avenge the deaths of his family. Ronan beats him up fairly easily and obtains the Orb he's competing with Quill to obtain (and discovers it carries an Infinity Stone), Quill and Gamora nearly die, and the rest of the team are furious at his foolishness, not to mention tons of potential civilian casualties down the line.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron: Wanda Maximoff wants revenge on Tony Stark, who created the bombs that killed her parents, to the point that anyone with him is, in her eyes, either just as bad as he was or simply Collateral Damage, though eventually comes to realize the error of her ways and becomes an Avenger herself. Then in the climax, she abandons her post guarding the anti-gravity drill to destroy Ultron Prime when he kills Pietro, even though he can barely move at this point. This allows one of the Ultron Sentries to recover and activate the drill's reverse switch, causing Novi Grad to begin plummeting to Earth. Wanda only survives due to Vision coming back for her.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark spends the movie trying to hold his makeshift family together even though he's adamant that they all need to be kept in check. But when Baron Zemo shows him the footage of the Winter Soldier assassinating his parents, he snaps like a twig and all his efforts for the rest of the movie go straight out the window. Not five minutes earlier he proved that he knew Bucky was Brainwashed and Crazy at the time, and he also knows what he's doing to the Avengers by attacking them ("So was I."), but he can't get a handle on himself and it's the final fatal blow to the team.
    • Black Panther: Erik Killmonger is motivated by getting his revenge on the Wakandan royal family and white people whom he blames for the suffering of black people, himself included, especially since T'Challa's father killed his brother, Erik's father Prince N'Jobu. However, many characters point out that his plan to arm African minorities with vibranium weapons would only cause a race war that would lead to unnecessary deaths. Furthermore, he could've used his MIT education and military skills to pursue a legitimate career like a businessman, which would've made him rich enough to help impoverished Africans. Killmonger also kills his lover and burns the heart-shaped herbs after usurping the throne, implying that he doesn't want to have an heir or dynasty. Killmonger eventually admits that he couldn't care any less about what happens to him so long as he can see T'Challa and the world share in his suffering.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: During the climactic battle, Thor shows up with Stormbreaker, his new Thanos-killing axe, and throws it into Thanos' chest, gravely wounding him. However, having been Forced to Watch Thanos kill Loki earlier, Thor decides to literally twist the knife rather than just withdraw Stormbreaker and behead Thanos, wanting him to suffer as much as possible. Because of this, Thanos is still able to pull off his Badass Fingersnap, killing half of the universe and escaping victorious and alive.
  • Metegol: El Grosso is more concerned about his revenge over a foosball game he lost back when he was a kid than his career as a soccer player.
  • Murphy's War (1971). The title character is the Sole Survivor after a U-boat machine-gunned the rest of his crew. He conducts a one-man war against the U-Boat, even after receiving word that the war has ended. He eventually succeeds but becomes trapped in his sinking vessel and dies as well.
  • In the film (and MST3K episode) The Sidehackers, protagonist Rommel, finds out that the Big Bad, J.C., is hiding out in a rock quarry and planning an ambush for him. Rather than sending word to the police where J.C. isnote , he goes ahead with his original plan to confront and kill J.C. It doesn't end well.
  • The Northman: Done as part of the film's Deconstruction of the Cycle of Revenge and Proud Warrior Race Guy. At one point Amleth is given a perfect chance to abandon his revenge quest and leave Iceland to start a new life elsewhere with Olga, a woman who loves him and is pregnant with his child... but he instead throws this away to go back and finish off Fjolnir, fearing that since he swore bloody vengeance on Amleth, he would not rest until his family were dead. Amleth kills Fjolnir in a showdown, and then dies.
  • A central theme of The Prestige, starting with Angier craving justice when, thanks to Borden's incompetency, Angier's wife drowns playing an assistant in a water tank trick. Escalating in one-upmanship, the two frequently seek to better and ruin each other's magic career, which even leads to Angier pushing his assistant Olivia to infiltrate and woo Borden to have a means of striking at him:
    Olivia: If I don't get [his diary] back by tomorrow morning he'll know I took it!
    Angier: Leave him.
    Olivia: I can't, he knows where I live.
    Angier: (laughs) This is his diary, Olivia. All of his secrets are right here in my hands!
    Olivia: It won't bring your wife back.
    Angier: I don't care about my wife, I care about his secret.
    (pregnant pause)
  • The titular Revenge of the Sith was ultimately unnecessary; while the Jedi Order were no fans of Darth Sidious even before The Purge, they weren't much of a threat to him either, particularly in light of his being supreme ruler of The Republic and the World's Best Warrior to boot with the only man in the galaxy capable of besting him becoming a Fallen Hero. By settling a millennia-old score to satisfy his own sadism he triggered an epic chain of events that would eventually culminate in his being overthrown. In the novelization Dooku offers a much more sensible alternative; to instead convert the Jedi using Anakin's influence and rally as many as possible to their side, but Palpatine was too Drunk on the Dark Side to care about Pragmatic Villainy.
  • Jeff Dalson from Saw III. He could have forgiven those responsible for his son's death, saved their lives, and found peace for himself. He could have also chosen to live the rest of his life with his other family members, learning to live with his son's death. Yeah, he doesn't. The result? Every one of the game's victims die, including his wife. Plus, his daughter remains missing.
  • In Serenity, both Mal and Jayne caution Zoe to keep her head in the game and not in revenge for Wash's death. Ultimately she ignores them and leaves cover to shoot the Reavers at point-blank range and fight them hand to hand. This results in both the others being able to provide less adequate cover fire (out of fear they'll hit her) and her being injured. Jayne is then forced to leave cover to drag her to safety, further limiting how much cover fire is provided.
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan this is Khan towards Kirk, all the way down the line. Even though Khan's dialogue shows he's read Moby-Dick, he follows Ahab's footsteps to the bitter end.
    • Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact. Another character finally gives him a What the Hell, Hero? speech that snaps him out of it.
    • In Star Trek (2009), Captain Nero is like this. Overlapping with Cut Lex Luthor a Check, he could have just taken his ship to Romulus after escaping from the Klingons (Deleted Scene), even after capturing Spock. Then he could have given the future tech to his people, and they could have taken on the Federation and the Klingon Empire, thus assuring the safety he wanted.
      • In a more subtle example, Spock toward the end, when Kirk offers to rescue Nero ( who had previously destroyed Vulcan) from the singularity he created:
        Spock: Captain, what are you doing?
        Kirk: Showing them compassion may be the only way to earn peace with the Romulans. It's logic, Spock. I thought you'd like that.
        Spock: No, not really. Not this time.
    • Shows up again in Star Trek Into Darkness, where Kirk wants Harrison dead for killing Pike, and Admiral Marcus exploits this by sending Kirk on an assassination mission that is really about starting a war. Unfortunately for Marcus, Kirk's good sense comes back before he can carry out the plan as ordered.
  • In Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, this is what leads to both the protagonists' downfall.
    • Ryu himself went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the organ dealers after his sister's suicide, in retaliation for stealing his money and kidney. However, when he gets back to Cha Yeong-mi's apartment, he found his girlfriend's dead body in the stretcher while in a lift. Consumed with grief and unwilling to get over her death, he swears vengeance on his girlfriend's killer.
    • Park Dong-jin wants to fulfill his justice on the kidnappers of his daughter, right after Yu-sun's demise. He starts out by going to Yeong-mi's apartment to interrogate her. However, the girl tells him that the anarch-terrorist underground she's part of, who know who he is, will find and kill him if he kills her. Said threats sound completely hollow, so Dong-jin kills her anyway.
  • In Taken 2, the Big Bad Murad is the father of one of the sex slavers Bryan killed in the first film. Considering how much other damage Bryan had done to his sex slavery ring, it was already Bullying a Dragon to try Avenging the Villain. What really puts it into Too Dumb to Live, however, was trying to get at Bryan by abducting the man's loved ones — the very thing that first sent Bryan against his son and the other slavers to begin with! If Murad had just quietly restarted the ring and not done anything to regain Bryan's ire, he could have avoided his fate.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, after downing the mutagen and transforming into Super Shredder, Shredder becomes so fixated on killing the Turtles that he doesn't realize that the bridge they're under is falling apart. But then when told so, he's beyond caring.
    Leo: Shredder, you gotta listen to reason! You're gonna destroy us all!
    Super Shredder: Then so be it!
  • Played for Laughs in the classic The Three Stooges short Punch Drunks, with Curly as a waiter serving Moe:
    Curly: What'll it be, sir?
    Moe: Two slices of burnt toast and a rotten egg.
    Curly: Burnt toast and a rotten egg? Why you wanna eat that for?
    Moe: 'Cuz I got a tapeworm and it's all he deserves!
  • Troy: Achilles kills Hector as revenge for killing his cousin Patrocles, whom he believed was Achilles when he killed him. Consumed by his anger, Achilles, after killing Hector, rather than allowing his body to be properly honored, desecrates his body by dragging it behind his chariot in full view of his family before dragging it all the way back to the Greeks’ camp. When Priam confronts him to retrieve Hector’s body, Priam manages to get Achilles to listen to reason and give Hector his final honors by causing Achilles to realize how much he’s fallen by acting so dishonorably towards Hector.
  • In Underworld U.S.A., Tolly devotes almost 20 years to tracking down his father's killers, including spending five years in prison just so he can get close to Vic Farrar.
  • Whiplash: Fletcher invites Andrew to play drums with his professional band in front of a real audience, which includes talent scouts, jazz aficionados, and other paying customers. However, Fletcher does this to seek revenge on Andrew for getting him fired from the prestigious music school where he was previously employed, and gives Andrew the wrong sheet music, ensuring that Andrew would not be able to play with everyone else. If Andrew hadn't successfully improvised, this would have sabotaged the entire performance, embarrassing not only Fletcher but everyone in the professional band as well.
  • In X-Men: First Class, only Charles Xavier's timely intervention prevented Erik Lehnsherr from drowning while the latter tried to stop Sebastian Shaw's submarine.

  • "1 Shot 2 Shot" by Eminem fully acknowledges the fact that bullets are flying everywhere as people engage in a shootout, even leaving their wives and girlfriends in harm's way to go get a gun so they can return fire. Something of a subculture-specific example of Honor Before Reason, as well, as the culture expects one to fight back when shot at.
  • "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood; a woman perceives her boyfriend to be cheating on her. What does she do? Wreck up his car and key-scratch her name into it, of course! Apparently, she doesn't know that you can go to jail for such blatant destruction of property, not to mention the fact that key-scratching her name into her boyfriend's car pretty much counts as a signed confession.
  • Discussed in Chris Rock's "No Sex (in the Champagne Room)":
    "Young black men — if you go to a movie theater and someone steps on your foot, let it slide. Why spend the next twenty years in jail cause someone smudged your Puma?"

  • Decoder Ring Theatre
    • Black Jack Justice:
      • "The Late Mr. Justice": An old foe of Jack's, gangster Rick Morales, is noted to have failed to be let out on parole twice because, in his hearings, he said the first thing he would do upon release was kill Jack Justice. Trixie has to confirm he did this twice, noting that doing it even once seemed like a bad idea. Indeed, when Morales does get out on parole, he kidnaps Jack's girlfriend and threatens to kill her unless Jack gives himself up to him. Unfortunately for Morales, he makes the mistake of giving Jack enough time to call in every favor he could which allows him to turn the tables. When cornered, Morales refuses to surrender, opting instead to go down fighting.
      • "Dead Men Run": The antagonist of the novel, Owen Grant, was a sex trafficker who managed to skirt the law well enough that Framing the Guilty Party was the best Jack and a cop friend of his could do to stop him. Because the only crime he was convicted of was relatively minor, he was eventually let out on parole. He immediately set out on a mission of revenge by killing the cop and framing Jack for the crime, aiming to get him killed by police who wouldn't care about a cop killer's innocence. What ultimately trips Grant up is that he also makes a point of going after the client Jack had been working for at the time, a man whose daughter was one of Grant's victims. Jack even points out that he expected Grant would want to get out of town in a hurry, especially since evading Jack's attempts to track him down caused Grant to violate his parole, but knew he wouldn't be able to resist going after the client. This lets Jack, Trixie, and Sabien lay a trap for Grant in which he is tricked into confessing his full crimes and winds up shot by the client by the end of it.
    • Red Panda Adventures: Professor Zombie is a recurring member of the Red Panda's Rogues Gallery. She is a mad scientist who, as her name implies, developed a formula called Necronium 234 that lets her turn corpses into obedient zombie servants. Despite this and a tendency towards being a Large Ham, she's generally inclined towards Pragmatic Villainy. She kills to increase her zombie army, commits crimes primarily for monetary gain, and once aided the heroes in stopping an actual Zombie Apocalypse. This changes when she becomes the Big Bad of Season 9 and becomes much more willing to start an apocalypse of her own, turning her Necronium into a street drug called Frost that gradually turns the living into the undead. The Red Panda discovers this sudden shift in behavior comes from her being held captive by a branch of the Canadian military, who forced her to refine her Necronium formula, forced her to breathe it in, and buried her alive when they were done with her. The whole affair left her with jumbled memories of what actually happened, causing her rage to default onto the Red Panda and driving her to destroy the city he protects and essentially committing Suicide by Cop in their final confrontation.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Many attribute this as to why the Invasion angle in WWE failed. Vince McMahon wanted to get revenge against WCW by burying whatever wrestlers he could afford. He could've made millions of dollars with that angle had he put his ego aside, but instead the angle was a glorified Squash Match.
  • Dalton Castle teamed with the World Six Man Tag Team Champions during the War Of The Worlds against Los Ingobernables de Japon. The match was going pretty well for the champions but not for Castle, leading to The Boys who wait on him to pull Castle out of harm's way when EVIL tried to hit him with poison fog, resulting in Jay Briscoe getting misted and the champion team being defeated. Jay was more angry with The Boys for their incompetence than EVIL for his maliciousness, to the point he had to be restrained by Mark and Bully Ray, and ended up giving Dalton and The Boys their requested title shot at Best In The World just to get his hands on them. The champions would lose their belts when Ray and Jay's brother Mark again became disturbed at just how intent Jay was on hurting The Boys.
  • Very common in wrestling matches, particularly during hot feuds. Sometimes a heel will pass up the opportunity to score a pinfall over a babyface because of a desire for revenge. It's also common for faces to attack heels with little regard for the rules and/or the face's personal safety if the heel has made it personal. One example of this is Lita vs Trish Stratus Kayfabe grudge match in Survivor Series 2004, where Lita took a steel chair despite the referee already warning her, and she still decided to hit Trish with a steel chair, aware that she would be disqualified. Lita then proceed to keep beating Trish even though the bell already rang, forcing the referees to come and separate them both.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Melissa is able to manipulate the Dark Dragon into attacking public civilians, despite the danger this would put him in because cops are interspersed in the crowd, and the Dragon has a deep hatred for them (after an implied incident of Police Brutality in his past) that supersedes his common sense.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the lore of Cardfight!! Vanguard, Luard is an elven mage who delves into forbidden arts in the name of seeking vengeance on the dragon who killed his adoptive brother Dagda. In the process, he ends up transforming into a dragon himself, a dragon driven so violently in pursuit of revenge that he snaps upon discovering his target is no longer even on the same planet as him and sets about killing his adversary's clan instead. His own kin end up begging a third party to stop him out of fear that his lust for vengeance will drive him totally off the deep end, as it does when he tears apart Chronotiger Gear Glare who was trying to stop him followed by him ripping through a group of Cray's greatest heroes. It only gets worse from there, as the entire thing was orchestrated to ensure Luard would return to his destiny of being The Antichrist for the deity of destruction Gyze.
  • Exalted: So. Let's say that you are the ghost of a First Age god-king, who has been empowered by the dead gods that once ruled Creation to go out and drag the whole place screaming into the maw of Oblivion. They have power over you that is paramount, and do not show favor to those who screw up. So what have you spent the last several years doing? You've been tracking down the reincarnations of the people who tormented you in the First Age and making their lives hell over and over again. You have let plans that could put a serious cold sore on Creation's lips, including a zombie plague, char on the back burner because you are so busy fucking over the people who tormented you millennia ago. You are Eye and Seven Despairs, and you are, in the eyes of your colleagues, utter dogshit.
  • At least one Paranoia module addresses this: "After all, what's more important — that you survive, or that your enemy gets his?"
  • The Baron Blade from Sentinels of the Multiverse is an Exaggerated Trope version of this. Using a Tractor Beam on the moon for a Colony Drop is somewhat extreme when the Baron Blade holds a personal vendetta against a single Super Hero.
  • In Shadowrun, most Mega Corps avert this, as they accept shadowruns against them as the price of doing business unless the runners cause major property damage, leave behind a huge pile of dead employees, or get caught by the news. However, Mitsuhama Computer Technologies plays this extremely straight, taking every shadowrun against them personally no matter what, as their motto is "Zero penetration, zero survival".
  • In Warhammer the Dwarfs. Every time. They are determined to avenge every slight, and never, ever forgive. And just to make sure they don't forget either, their king has a giant book called the Book of Grudges in which he writes them all down in blood. They're currently going slowly extinct, and a fair amount of the blame goes to their refusal to cooperate with the other races because at some point in centuries past they were wronged by them. That, and their literal inability to stop taking revenge. When they go to war to take revenge and lose more dwarfs doing it, that goes in the book as well, fueling an unending cycle of revenge. Vengeance is a sacrament to them; one wonders what they'd do once the Book of Grudges no longer had any unfulfilled grudges within.
    • To add some perspective on just how obsessive dwarfs are on the subject: A White Dwarf article (later added in the 8th edition armybook) described how Dwarf craftsmen were once hired to build a castle for the elector count of Ostermark, but the agreed-upon payment was two and a half pennies short. They initially went a relatively reasonable route and sent a delegation to collect the missing payment, but when the current lord refused to pay such a minor amount for a contract dating back before he was even born, the dwarfs raised a throng and razed the castle to the ground at massive cost to their own in both lives and gold.
    • Similarly, the Dwarfs took massive losses fighting the Greenskins at the Battle of Grimspike Pass, after an Ork Shaman exploded causing a massive landslide. The Dwarfs wanted revenge, but since the offending Greenskin was dead, and the Dwarfs already had vowed to exterminate all Greenskins for other reasons, they declared a grudge against Grimspike Pass, broke down the surrounding mountains and used the rocks to fill up the pass.
    • The Tomb Kings are nearly as bad when it comes to graverobbers. It doesn't matter how trivial the value actually held by an item stolen from their crypt, it's the insult inherent to the act that will make them chase the perpetrator to the ends of the earth with their undead armies. In fact, they've been locked in a back-and-forth with the Dwarfs for some time over a Dwarfen pickaxe with a single Khemrian coin embedded in it. The Tomb Kings want the coin back, the Dwarfs declare a grudge every time the pickaxe is stolen, and a Cycle of Revenge is born. At one point a third party suggests that they pry the coin off the axe and they each take the part they care about, and the suggestion is immediately rejected out of hand by both sides.

    Visual Novels 
  • Most culprits in Ace Attorney wind up in court because they wanted their revenge on somebody so badly they were willing to resort to murder. Phoenix always figures them out and gets them imprisoned.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
      • In Turnabout Sisters, the killer gets caught because he was so mad at Phoenix for accusing him of murder that he just had to appear in court and say Phoenix did it, no matter how far a stretch it was.
      • The victim of Turnabout Samurai wanted to kill his producer in revenge for her blackmailing him and frame his co-star because he was jealous that said co-star got to play the hero and he had to be the villain. He ends up dying in the attempt, leaving behind a great big mess for Phoenix to clean up.
      • The whole of Turnabout Goodbyes is a big messy case of this involving several people, all connected to the DL-6 incident. The initial culprit wanted revenge on his lawyer for forcing him to plead insanity when he was the defendant at DL-6, and is fine with framing the one other person involved, who was a young child at the time. The culprit of DL-6, Manfred von Karma, takes this to an insane extreme; Miles Edgeworth's father Gregory got him a penalty once. He didn't even lose the case, but he was so pissed about having a mark on his record that not only did he murder Gregory, he adopted Miles to turn him into the same kind of Amoral Attorney as Manfred himself, followed by planning out Yanni Yogi framing Miles, and then getting him to confess to DL-6 himself. All of this leads to Phoenix eventually solving the case and nailing him for the murder.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All:
      • Subverted with the culprit of case 2, who claims her motive is revenge on the victim, but that's just to prop up a false narrative that the culprit was a vengeful spirit that Maya channeled. The culprit was wronged by the victim, but was actually fine with letting the incident go; the victim was killed because he would otherwise uncover that she had taken on her sister's identity.
      • Played straight in Case 3, as Acro wanted revenge on Regina for a Deadly Prank that put his brother in a coma and crippled Acro himself. The incident was an accident, but Acro just couldn't forgive Regina for brushing the incident off because she was so naive she didn't realize what really happened. The revenge ends up killing someone the culprit genuinely admired, much to their horror.
    • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: The sequel's plot is a truly spectacular revenge scheme to ruin multiple very high-ranking people with the culprit barely having to do anything, and one that goes off perfectly, even though Edgeworth catches the mastermind. Simon Keyes wanted revenge on Horace Knightly for betraying him as a child (Horace doesn't remember it happened and considers Simon a friend), the President of Zheng Fa (actually a body double) for nearly killing Simon for witnessing a Kill and Replace plot, Patricia Rolond for being the body double's accomplice and interrogating him ruthlessly, and Blaise Debeste for covering it all up. By the end of the game, all of these people have been convicted of murder- except for the body double, who Simon killed himself. In the end, the mastermind even admits that Vengeance Feels Empty. it's just that he sees this as a positive, compared to the utter hell his victims put him through.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: The first culprit, Kristoph Gavin, seems to be clearly angling to take the 'most over-the-top and least-justified revenge' crown from Manfred von Karma. His response to Zak Gramarye choosing Phoenix Wright as a defense attorney over him? Kill Zak, forge evidence to get Phoenix disbarred and mocked as the "forging attorney", then kill the man behind the forging.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies:
      • The culprit of the DLC case has a bad case of this towards an orca of all things. He thought that the orca had killed his girlfriend (the orca's trainer), but not only is said orca an animal incapable of malice, a) the orca didn't kill her trainer (the trainer died of a heart condition), b) while trying to kill the orca his boss (someone he genuinely respected) died while trying to stop him, and c) the orca he tried to kill wasn't even the same orca, being a replacement for the original. Marlon Rimes is horrified when he finds out all the above facts, and actually tries to get himself the death penalty to atone (though Phoenix eventually proves the death was an accident).
      • This is probably what did in the Big Bad. The phantom wanted to get back at Athena for attacking and scarring him (after he'd just killed her mother, mind), so he presented evidence to implicate her in a murder. This ultimately leads to a chain of events ending in the phantom himself being convicted for both the most recent murder and the UR-1 incident, while Athena is cleared of all suspicion and gets some much-needed closure.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice:
      • Roger Retinz is willing to kill his own successor to frame Trucy Wright, because [ she is the granddaughter of Troupe Gramarye's leader, and Roger holds a grudge against the man (dead by this point) for firing him from the Troupe. Retinz was fired because he went against orders to perform tricks while injured- something that could have backfired horribly.
      • The DLC case happens because Pierce Nichody wants revenge on Sorin Sprocket by getting his fiancee framed for murder. And while the incident that caused this was partially Sorin's fault, Sorin himself has suffered greatly (including getting anterograde amnesia) from it, something the villain knows. Pierce was the surgeon treating Sorin and his sister Selena (who was also Pierce's girlfriend) after a car accident (for which Sorin was at fault), and he treated Sorin first at Selena's request, which resulted in Selena dying. He's never really gotten over that day, and cooked up an elaborate plot (along with Dumas Gloomsbury, who was blamed for the accident) to make Sorin feel the same pain by killing/framing his girlfriend.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, one character is driven to this as a result of The Power of Friendship. Aoi Asahina found her friend's fake suicide note, which stated (falsely) that she killed herself by the mistrust of her peers. Aoi ends up sabotaging the investigation with the intent of getting those responsible killed, as per the rules of the Deadly Game. Aoi doesn't seem to care that this will also kill Makoto and Kyoko, who had no part in the incident, as well as herself; Aoi only cares about getting revenge, consequences be damned.
  • In Sunrider, Space Pirate Cosette Cosmos is fed up with foreign powers exploiting her home planet Ongess for its fuel reserves. Seeing the Solar Alliance as no different from past overlords, she starts bombing their refueling stations and teams up with the PACT to destroy the massing Alliance fleet while it’s still docked for refueling. But when Alliance Admiral Grey shows up mid-battle with a fresh fleet and threatens to nuke Ongess back to the Stone Age unless the combined PACT-pirate forces withdraw, Cosette is perfectly willing to call his bluff and let Grey devastate Ongess, killing billions of people for a chance to screw the Alliance over. PACT admiral Veniczar Fontana, by contrast, refuses to endanger the lives of Ongess’s population and orders an immediate withdrawal; when Cosette protests, he questions whether she actually cares about her people at all.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School practically lives and breathes this trope. Of course, it does not go unlampshaded.
    Deandra: Do you guys ever talk about anything other than, like... revenge?
  • In Red vs. Blue, the Blues and Reds are driven by the desire to kill all members of Project Freelancer, after a fight between Carolina and Tex resulted in the death of Temple's best friend Biff. Not only are they horrifyingly successful in their tasks (killing numerous agents in And I Must Scream ways), they decide that the entire UNSC is ultimately responsible and decide to destroy the organization at its source — Earth.
  • RWBY:
    • From Volume 4 onwards, Cinder Fall's entire motivation is getting back at Ruby for crippling her at the end of Volume 3, and it begins to eat away at her mind, leading her to adapt her plans for personal gain rather than necessity. Watts even lampshades it when Cinder agrees to a deal with Raven, calling her out on her growing obsession and fearing it may jeopardize Salem's plans. He's proven right when Cinder's hatred and obsession lead her to underestimate Raven; this leads to the villains failing to obtain the Relic or destroy Haven Academy, and Cinder herself being nearly killed by Raven and exiled from Salem's group. In Volume 6, Cinder realises she needs to obtain the Relic before she can return to Salem, but she still wants revenge against Ruby. As Salem wants Ruby alive and has ordered Cinder not to kill her, Cinder tells Neo that the person she needs to kill for Roman's death is Ruby; by turning Neo against Ruby, Cinder hopes that Neo can kill Ruby, thereby allowing Cinder to return to Salem with the Relic and not get into trouble for Ruby's death.
    • Also Adam Taurus, whose obsession with getting revenge on humanity for their Fantastic Racism towards Faunus leads him into quite a bit of trouble. To wit, their entire plan to grab the Relic at Haven Academy and destroy the place ends up falling apart due to this (and Cinder's, as mentioned above), with most of the White Fang arrested and Taurus now on the run.

    Web Original 
  • On the Dream SMP, Tommy does this twice throughout Season 1.
    • When Sapnap "accidentally" kills his pet cow, Henry, Tommy defaces and burns the wooden Eiffel Tower and attempts to use Sapnap's pet fish as leverage to get away with it. It takes Technoblade pointing out the ridiculousness of the situation for him to even offer the fish in return for the music discs that Bad has, but by that point, the tense negotiations have broken down and a battle breaks out. The only reason this works out for Tommy is that he has both Dream and Techno to support him.
      Technoblade: Wait, this is over a fish? Tommy, just give him the fish! God, I didn't even bring a shield.
    • During the Manburg Festival, Tommy was wracked with grief when Tubbo was publicly executed on the spot by Technoblade under Schlatt's orders. He threw an enderpearl to teleport onto the podium and attack Techno in front of everyone, completely breaking cover.
  • Joko from SMPLive is very vengeful and revenge tends to be his first instinct, often leading to him reacting with violence only to realize he's made a mistake after.

  • Sarda in 8-Bit Theater wants the so-called "Light Warriors"note  to suffer for all the harm they caused and continue to cause, rather than stop them from causing more harm. He eventually willfully participated in their rise in power and destructivity, just so he could confiscate all this power from them at the end.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the method the Nasaghast used to try to kill the doc for punching an astronaut would've, if successful, killed another astronaut. The Alt Text lampshades this, saying it is impossible to reason with a vengeful ghost.
  • In Dreamkeepers, one of Nabonidus's minions is so drunk on revenge against Mace that he sends a demon with orders to kill him, despite Nabonidus's explicit orders to the contrary.
  • In El Goonish Shive, a throwaway gag reveals that Noah was looking into selling his soul for power in order to exact his revenge on Damien before Raven dissuaded him.
  • In Get Medieval, crimelord Broat personally flies out to the backwater planet his deposed rival Torquel Hane is stranded on (France in 15th century Earth, to be exact) to personally kill, rather leave him stuck somewhere he has no ability or desire to leave. Why? Because Torquel wasn't suffering enough.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Fructose Ribflavin's father was killed by the Nemesite emperor. That emperor is long dead. Riboflavin has wasted his entire life seeking revenge against the emperor's innocent descendants. Bob pointed out the pointlessness of this to him, but that only enraged him.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Ms. Damico kidnaps two people who cost her some money. Petey, a near-godlike AI who can wage war on whole galaxies, offers to buy his friends' freedom for 25 times the amount Damico lost. She refuses, instead demanding "satisfaction".
    • In a (technically) heroic example, this trope is the only thing that can make Tagon say Screw the Money, I Have Rules!. When he's offered a huge fee to rescue Xinchub from certain death, he refuses, because he and his soldiers hate Xinchub so much.
  • Scurry: Titan refuses to let Wix escape from him a third time. Wix ducks into the forest, where he knows the cats won't follow him. Titan decides he hates Wix more than he fears the forest and gives chase. Turns out there's a good reason the cats avoided the forest: The pack of wolves that live there. Titan is quickly killed and eaten by the pack's leader Erebus.
  • Slightly Damned: Lazuli wants to kill Kieri in revenge for injuring her and for killing her partner Talus even though we later learn that all the demons are under orders to capture living angels to use them in a ritual to bring more of them to Medius, even after her superior officers order her to stand down she still tries to off Kieri.
  • Lord Horribus from Sluggy Freelance wants revenge on Torg bad (well, technically he wants redemption for having let Torg escape, but they both come down to tearing Torg into tiny, meaty bits). He proves willing to sacrifice the demons's entire invasion attempt just for the chance of killing Torg.
  • In Weak Hero, Jake's backstory involves him seeking revenge against the Manwol Gang for crippling his brother, even knowing that it's suicidal and against his brother's wishes. It's only Donald's intervention that stops Jake from putting a gigantic target on his back — and even that ends up with Jake being indebted to Donald and integrated into his Union.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Jimmy the "Jazz Man" was more focused on making sure Gordon is killed than getting out of Gotham and laying low, even after escaping prison. He didn't even care if he went back to prison afterwards, all that mattered was making things "square" with Gordon for breaking up his smuggling racket.
    • And in the film, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm we have Andrea and briefly Batman himself.
      Andrea: I'm not saying it's right or even sane, but it's all I have left, so either help me or get out of the way!
      Joker: Let me go or we both die!
      Batman: Whatever it takes.
    • The Clock King gets his Start of Darkness by seeking revenge on Gotham's Mayor Hamilton Hill for inadvertently making him late for an appointment: Clock King, or Temple Fugate as he was known then, was an efficiency expert dealing with some legal trouble. Hill, who was working as a lawyer at the time, commuted on the same train as Fugate, and suggested he take a break in the Gotham Park so he'd come off more relaxed and trustworthy in court. This completely innocent suggestion caused a series of accidental Disaster Dominoes for Fugate that destroyed his legal paperwork and caused him to show up late for his court hearing, costing him his business and ruined his life. While Fugate's justification for targeting Hill for his revenge is seemingly based on Hill working for the law firm that sued him (though Hill had nothing to do with that case), during his Motive Rant, Fugate confirms that it's really the "made me late" part that truly drives him.
  • Depth Charge from Beast Wars is a Maximal driven by an all-consuming need to take revenge on the sadistic Rampage, who personally killed and ate all of the former's friends for a laugh. He'll blow off any order if Rampage is anywhere nearby. In the Grand Finale, Depth Charge finally corners Rampage and stabs him right through the spark with a crystal of raw energon, knowing full well this will result in an explosion he can't survive. On the other hand, this results in Dinobot II regaining the memories and nobility of the original and turning on Megatron at the crucial moment.
  • The Retaliator in Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens: He goes after a To'kuStar, believing it to have killed his son Azmuth, completely disregarding the fact that his target is about 100 feet tall. To be fair, it may have been the suit talking, since anyone who wears it becomes a single-minded engine of destruction.
    • Another example is Attea in “Vilgax Must Croak.” Ben tries to make a truce with her and form a deal concerning their mutual enemy Vilgax. Attea flat out refuses because she still wants revenge for Ben imprisoning her in stasis jail, and promptly attacks him, leading Ben to immediately rescind his offer and fight back. Therefore, making Attea’s mission even more difficult than it already. Surprisingly, none of her mooks lampshade her incredibly stupid and petty decision.
  • In Central Park, Season 1 "A Fish Called Snakehead", Bitsy considers plotting to buy Paige's newspaper, "What's New, New York", in retaliation for Paige breaking the story on Dick Flake's fake snakehead which makes her look bad to the public and wants to fire everyone there, despite Helen pointing out to Bitsy that doing so would not be profitable.
  • In Dan Vs. this is Dan's bread and butter. More specifically, every episode is about him getting revenge on something, often for comically stupid and petty reasons. Sometimes he will try to get revenge on things people normally wouldn't even dream of getting revenge on or think you could get revenge on like New Mexico, art, technology, a dead president, and a squirrel for some reason.
  • Family Guy: In the episode "The Big Bang Theory", Bertram decides to travel back in time to Ret-Gone Stewie by killing his ancestor, none other than Leonardo da Vinci, unaware that, as a result of a time paradox, Stewie was the one that caused the Big Bang and that erasing him would destroy the universe, including himself. Even after Brian and Stewie tell him as such, Bertram, after a brief hesitation, promptly declares that getting rid of Stewie is worth the end of the universe and promptly shoots da Vinci dead. However, Stewie preserves events by becoming his own ancestor.
  • Final Space: In Episode 7, even though getting the Galaxy One repaired and finding a way to close the breach in space that is threatening the Earth should be their highest priority, KVN, Gary, Little Cato and Mooncake set out to kill the Lord Commander to avenge Avocato. Quinn calls them out for it. It ends with their ship getting destroyed by a heavy incinerator, and they themselves drifting in space, about to be killed. It’s only thanks to Nightfall’s interference that they survive.
  • Futurama: In "The Late Philip J. Fry", Professor Farnsworth invents a time machine that can only go forward in time (since he doesn't want anyone to mess up history like Fry did when he became his own grandpa). When the Professor, Fry, and Bender mistakenly take the machine too far into the future, they resolve to go to a time period where humans have invented a backwards time machine to go back home. In one time period, humanity is at war with Killer Robots, which of course Bender finds perfect and asks for the group to stop and stay there. The Professor and Fry naturally refuse and keep going forward. The next time period has a world full of beautiful women who have invented the backwards time machine, but asks the two humans of the group to attend a "Fertility Banquet" in their honor before using it, since men are rare here. Bender, pissed that he wasn't allowed to stay in the killer robot time period, activates the group's time machine to get out of there, sacrificing a chance to get home.
  • David Xanatos of Gargoyles always defied this trope, believing that revenge is a sucker's game. This in contrast to may characters like Demona and MacBeth (and even most of the heroes on the occasions their Berserk Buttons are pushed) who often fall right into this.
  • Gravity Falls: The Lumberjack Ghost wants revenge on the Northwest bloodline for flaunting their wealth and barring the workers who built their mansion from all of their celebrations. His violent antics tend to endanger many other innocent people which he ignores because he's so focused on revenge. When Pacifica goes to right the injustice, however, he stops his attacks, showing he's not so far gone into vengeance.
  • Invader Zim. The writers point out that the only reason he hasn't taken over the world is that he gets caught up in pointless battles like finding out if Dib threw that muffin at his head during lunch by hooking him up to a Lotus-Eater Machine and making him live out a vivid, decades-long fantasy life.
  • Percy De Rolo from The Legend of Vox Machina (originally from Critical Role) spends the bulk of season 1 trying to bring justice to the five people responsible for the death of his family. He's so obsessed with it that it causes him to, in this order; mutilate an innocent boy to get answers, leaves his allies at a crucial moment to kill one of the traitors which gets many resistance fighters killed or injured waiting for him, nearly (mistakenly) shoots his allies point blank, almost throws away a valuable informant in the form of the third traitor, and almost flays the final traitor alive! All this because he's been possessed by a demon of vengeance, who feasts on the souls of those he kills - performing the latter act of cruelty would push Percy's own soul over the edge. After the main conflict of the season is wrapped up, the demon nearly has him kill his entire team before they can stop that from happening.
  • Blythe soon falls into this in the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Terriers & Tiaras" in trying to best Judy Jo Jameson at a dog pageant. The TV crew at hand encourages her, and the once sweet-tempered girl becomes meaner and more aggressive than even Judy Jo, going as far as to repurpose the dress Blythe originally gave her dog Zoe as a birthday present to try to gain a competitive edge. Given what this episode is spoofing, Blythe's 180-degree in behavior was bound to happen.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Queen Chrysalis falls into this full throttle, and it costs her. In disguise as Princess Cadence, she's succeeded in turning every character, even Princess Celestia herself against Twilight Sparkle for her harsh accusations, and even makes Twilight herself regretful of accusing her of being evil. What does she do? She picks up the Idiot Ball and traps Twilight in exactly the same place as the real Cadence. You can guess what happens next.
    • She falls for this again in the sixth season finale. Thanks to Starlight Glimmer convincing the Changeling Thorax to give love than to steal it, Chrysalis' plan against the Mane Six and the Royal Family goes up in smoke and she loses everything — her throne, her people, her prisoners in the very same ponies she was getting Revenge against, her title — save her life. Starlight attempts to get her to stop this ridiculous Cycle of Revenge and be a good leader, but she slaps away her hoof and vows revenge on Starlight. This is despite that she's now alone.
    • This is the problem with Starlight Glimmer at the end of Season 5: After the Mane Six stops her cult of equality and restores the villagers' Cutie Marks, Starlight flips out and decides to wreck everything by using time travel to stop Rainbow Dash from performing the Sonic Rainboom that would bring together the Mane Six. End result: an Equestria on the brink of tearing itself apart — oh, sure, Starlight's gonna have possession of an "equal" Ponyville, but with Nightmare Moon unrestrained and Celestia ready to declare war, the only thing she's brought is pain and terror. All because Twilight and the others thought "Your village is creepy and you're creepy."
  • In South Park, Cartman does this, usually Disproportionate Retribution to the offense. Kyle, who is usually the most logical of the boys often devolves into this when Cartman is involved. A lot of both characters' abuse is often self inflicted by their zeal in destroying one another. One example to show exactly how disproportionate we're talking about: Scott Tenorman swindles Cartman out of $16.12 (not all at once). Cartman's response is to get Scott's parents killed, grind up their bodies, make them into chili, and trick Scott into eating it before revealing all of this to him. And then he gets Scott's favorite band to mock him for crying. Much later, it's revealed that Scott's father is his own father as well, so he unknowingly killed his own father.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Adrian Toomes could have saved his corporation, Toomes Aerodynamics, from being bought out by Norman Osborn by just showing off that his anti-gravity experiments had worked and he'd built a workable flying suit. Instead, he dressed up in the suit as "the Vulture" and tried to assassinate Norman Osborn for the effort, which ultimately cost him his company.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Lair of Grievous", Nahdar Vebb becomes more and more frustrated at the deaths of his clone troopers and Grievous seemingly playing with him and impugning his honor as a Knight, and despite revenge going against the creed of the Jedi becomes more and more angrily set on getting revenge against Grievous. In the end, he turns away from Kit Fisto when the other implores him to help destroy Grievous' command center and escape in order to go after Grievous by himself and dies in the fight.
    • In the final season, shortly before the Revenge of the Sith took place Darth Maul had the opportunity to warn the Jedi of Sidious' plans but couldn't let go of his hatred for them and likely planned to simply replace Sidious after foiling his plan with Anakin. After his attempt to form an Enemy Mine with Ahsoka fails due to Poor Communication Kills, all he can do is watch helplessly as the galaxy burns around them.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Subverted in "Empire Day": Zeb has his archenemy Agent Kallus in his sights, but has no problem being told to shoot at the Inquisitor, a much larger threat who happens to appear on scene the same time as Kallus.
    • "Homecoming": Cham Syndulla really wants to blow up the Imperial light carrier that's terrorized the population of Ryloth with its contingent of TIE bombers, even though Phoenix Squadron and his own daughter Hera want to steal it so they can put it to more constructive use. Cham and company even attempt to backstab the Ghost crew so they can blow up the carrier. Fortunately, Hera manages to talk him out of it, and Cham gets the explosion he wanted by destroying the Imperial cruiser also stationed at Ryloth.
  • Steven Universe:
    • What cemented Peridot's Heel–Face Turn is realizing that Yellow Diamond, whom she's always revered as a Gem of logic and reason, is subject to this trope: she doesn't care how useful Earth and its resources can be, she just wants it destroyed out of revenge for all the trouble that planet and the Crystal Gems on it caused her. Cue the Broken Pedestal. Becomes an even bigger example later on with The Reveal that Homeworld is running out of resources and Yellow Diamond throwing out Peridot's suggestion of getting Earth's resources without ruining its ability to support organic life or harm it (a win-win situation) is throwing away resources they desperately need, but she's beyond caring at that point. A later reveal by Jasper of all people suggests that part of Yellow Diamond's hatred for Earth is cemented in the fact she thinks Rose was responsible for the death of her fellow Diamond Pink Diamond, something that she hasn't forgiven her or Earth by extension for, which suddenly makes her seemingly irrational hatred a bit more justified.
    • The above incident inspires a lot of this trope when combined with the fact Steven is often mistaken for Rose by Homeworld Gems. Jasper refuses to accept healing from her hated enemy, even while being turned into a monster, and one Homeworld Ruby tries to kill Steven even though succeeding would trap her alone in space forever.
    • Making all of the above even more tragic is this: Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond. She faked her death to try to spare Earth, and because she thought the other Diamonds didn't care about her, and that didn't even work.
  • Quite a few TMNT Big Bads (namely versions of the Shredder) suffer from this:
  • ThunderCats (2011): Panthro is so obsessed with making the treacherous Grune pay for his crimes that he sacrifices both his arms just to ensure that Grune dies alongside the collapsing Astral Plane, nearly dying himself in the process.
  • Courtney spends much of the latter half of Total Drama World Tour sabotaging her own team to get revenge on Gwen as well as Duncan who was her boyfriend at the time for kissing behind her back.
  • Arcee's obsession with Airachnid in Transformers: Prime is made of this, since the latter was the one who killed her partner Tailgate. This also applies to Starscream after she finds out he was the one who killed Cliffjumper. Fortunately by the end of "Partners", she was able to put her desire for revenge behind her. As of Crossfire, she swerved right back into it.
  • Transformers: Cyberverse: After an encounter with Bumblebee which ends with him blowing up an energon storehouse, Shadow Striker becomes obsessed with killing him. The explosion killed her comrades and blew her to pieces requiring an emergency surgery that grafted her allies parts to her form and left her with chronic pain. Her hatred and obsession for Bumblebee nearly get her killed on a number of occasions as she throws common sense and self-preservation away for any edge. That said, part of her Character Development is letting go of her grudge and putting her skills to more important goals. She ultimately buries the hatchet with Bumblebee in the finale as they work towards a more peaceful world.
  • Trollhunters: The Goblins will swear revenge anyone killing their own. The problem is that they have no concept of logical cause-and-effect about who is culpable in their vendettas. For instance, when one Goblin was run over by a human's truck, they don't attack the driver but destroy the truck itself instead. In addition, one of the major characters, Claire, is targeted when a Goblin is killed and its remains had her photograph in the mess, which the Goblins don't understand is no evidence that she had anything to do with it.
  • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: After a certain point, it becomes clear that Wile E. Coyote is really motivated more by this trope than by his ostensible motivations of desire for food. Many of his traps would kill the roadrunner in ways that would render the corpse totally inedible, but Coyote has come to care more about seeing the roadrunner dead than feeding himself or not getting maimed constantly on account of the Roadrunner's reality-warping powers.
  • In Winx Club, the Earth fairies were so caught up in revenge against the Wizards of the Black Circle and the people of Earth that they were about to freeze Earth over when one of their grievances was that humans had not taken care of Earth. Nebula in particular wanted vengeance even when Morgana and the other Earth fairies had given up on it. Thankfully, they were all convinced by Bloom and the Winx to drop it.


Video Example(s):


Nigel The Cockatoo

In the climax of the movie Rio 2 Nigel is so determined to get his revenge on Blu that he hitches a ride on a string of dynamite with a lit fuse, which Blu was attempting to carry out of harm's way. Blu, at that point unaware of his identity, even asks him, ''Are you crazy?''. Fortunately however he does not succeed in killing Blu.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / RevengeBeforeReason

Media sources: