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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 Villainy, Revenge Is Not Justice, Stupid Evil or Personal Hate Before Common Goals.

Contrast with Forgiveness or Restrained Revenge.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts from Berserk. He and his lover Casca were the sole survivors of the dreaded Eclipse which was caused by their former friend and leader, Griffith, selling them and all of their comrades in the Band of the Hawk out to the Godhand in order to become a demon lord so that he could fulfill his life-long dream after a year of crippling torture. To make a long and sad story short, neither Guts nor Casca come out unharmed or intact. After the event, and though all that they had left were each other, Guts was so embroiled in his rage and grief over what happened to them that he left Casca in the care of Godot, Erica, and Rickert after only a few weeks in order to pursue revenge against Griffith, the Apostles and the Godhand, which, apart from leading Guts to Take A Level In Jerkass during those two years, certainly did not help Casca's post-Eclipse condition at all. It is only after getting a serious What the Hell, Hero? speech from Godot about this two years after this that Guts finally starts getting his act together again.
  • In Bleach, Gin Ichimaru followed Aizen so he could learn how to kill him. Apparently, Gin came across Aizen's mooks after they took a piece of his childhood friend Rangiku's soul. He wanted revenge. For over a hundred years, Gin waited for the perfect moment. The problem is, Gin never told anyone what his plan was, even Rangiku, possibly for fear of it getting back to Aizen somehow or tipping him off. As part of his cover, Gin unquestioningly assisted Aizen in his efforts for more power, and even fought or killed other people if they got in the way because in his view none of them had what it really took to kill Aizen. All of this backfires when he finally attacks, as the power he helped Aizen get, a literal Diabolus ex Machina, saves Aizen from being killed instantly.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass for Shirley half way through the second season. He sends his army — completely unaware of what happened — into what seems to be an ordinary research facility to kill everyone. This, of course, doesn't go over well with them.
    • To be fair, some adaptations like the Compilation Movie and one of the Super Robot Wars Z games, which provide scenarios where she survives, show how this would have happened anyway because Lelouch still considers them too dangerous in general.
  • Ultimately, this is what screws over Light Yagami from Death Note over again and again. With the titular notebook, he can kill from a distance as long as he knows his targets face and name. He couldn't stand the thought of someone deriding his mass murder of criminals as "evil," and so takes the bait by killing the decoy, narrowing down the list of suspects. By being unable to let this slight go, Light deliberately takes actions to maneuver himself into a position where he can get close to the super detective behind the decoy, where his actions only continue to strengthen the suspicion of him. Pride gets to him again in the second season when new detectives come into the picture, and his desire for revenge once again just paints a giant target on himself in the end.
  • In Death Parade, in the afterlife, a man has the corrupt detective who didn't lift a finger to help his sister as she was being raped at his mercy and has the opportunity to torture him. Despite the Black-Haired Woman warning him that if he goes through with it, he'll be banished to the void and never see his sister again, he still does it.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, it is strongly present in one of the most prominent demons in the series, Upper Moon Rank 3 Akaza’s backstory. Back when he was the human named Hakuji, the poisoning of his fiancé Koyuki and father-in-law Keizou showed only a few members of the rival dojo was part of this underhanded maneuver, but Hakuji was so blinded with murderous rage that he ended up killing every single member of the dojo, more than sixty men, only their female maid was spared.
  • Sosuke Nekome, one of the main characters of Den-noh Coil, is obsessed with ruining the MegaMass corporation for ruining his father's reputation and causing his death. He's willing to sacrifice anything and ultimately kill anyone who gets in the way of this plan, even the 12-year-old protagonists Yasako and Isako. Fortunately his little brother does possess reason and Heel Face Turns in the final episode.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Frieza never learns, much to Goku's annoyance.
      • In Dragon Ball Z, Frieza could have chosen to escape, but he spends his remaining energy trying to kill Goku, which backfires spectacularly. This also crosses into Fantastic Racism; Frieza is so shocked that he was defeated by a Saiyan, whom he disregarded as "mere monkeys," that he can't accept that he is defeated even though he's missing an arm and the lower half of his body. Ever since then, his entire purpose in life is to get revenge on Goku for defeating and humiliating him; in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, he states outright that he can't stand to live in the same universe as Goku, and as long as Goku is still alive, he can't even sleep at night. But that's not all for Frieza.
      • Immediately after becoming Mecha-Frieza, he wasn't even off the operating table before ordering his father and their men to set course for Earth, wanting revenge on Goku so badly that he overrides his father's plan to just blow up the planet from orbit and lands so he could personally kill all of Goku's loved ones and friends... and gets sliced into itty bitty pieces by Future Trunks, another Super Saiyan, for the trouble.
      • In Dragon Ball GT, during the Super 17 Saga, instead of escaping Hell with the other villains, he and Cell stay behind to double-team Goku after Gero and Myuu trap him in Hell with them, only for Goku to effortlessly beat them both without even going Super Saiyan.
      • This is the basis for his entire plan after being resurrected in Resurrection 'F'. He could have simply rebuilt his empire in space with the Z Fighters none the wiser, but he instead goes through Training from Hell to unlock a new Super Mode before launching a full-scale invasion of Earth, all to get revenge on Goku for his previous defeat. It's to the extent that when one of his minions begs him to just leave Goku alone and focus on rebuilding his empire, Frieza either kills him on the spot or uses him as as a living punching bag for the next four months (depending on the adaptation). This ends up being his undoing: Freeza rushed to Earth to get revenge as soon as he achieved his new Super Mode, not realizing its massive Fatal Flaw (it burns through his stamina at an incredible rate). Even though he was technically more powerful than Goku or Vegeta (AND actually manages to mortally wound Goku), he can't seal the deal before he runs out of stamina and drops back to a weaker form, leaving him easy pickings for Vegeta.
    • Goku himself falls into this after becoming a Super Saiyan the first time. He wanted to make Frieza pay for killing Krillin. To that end, he let Frieza power-up to his max level for the sole purpose of humiliating him with the knowledge that even at his best he couldn't beat a "mere monkey". This was around the time when the planet was going to blow up in a few minutes, so defeating Frieza as fast as possible would have been reasonable. He also refused to leave when King Kai planned to wish everyone to Earth, because he wanted to finish the fight. By that point, King Kai considered Goku a lost cause.
    • Vegeta falls into this trope not once, but twice:
      • After Cell kills Trunks during the Cell Games, Vegeta, having had a Jerkass Realization over his treatment of the latter, snaps and attacks Cell at full force; said attack doesn't even faze Cell, and Gohan suffers a Game-Breaking Injury as a result Taking the Bullet for Vegeta. Since Gohan could still have beaten Cell before then, and since Trunks could still be revived by the Dragon Balls, it falls under this, with the other Z Fighters flat-out calling Vegeta an idiot.
      • During the Buu Saga, Vegeta, in order to top Goku, deliberately lets Babidi turn him into a Majin in an attempt to bridge the gap between them. He knew that the energy released by the fight would revive Majin Buu, but he was so obsessed with beating Goku that he just didn't care. From that point on, the remainder the Buu Saga consists of the rest of the universe paying the price for Vegeta's selfishness and obsession.
    • Another, very chilling, example is Super Saiyan 2 Gohan willfully prolonging his Curb-Stomp Battle against Cell despite his father and the other Z-Fighters yelling at him to finish it, stating outright that he wanted Cell to suffer as much as possible before he died. It backfires spectacularly, as Cell suffers an epic Villainous Breakdown and attempts a Suicide Attack that could've destroyed the whole Earth, had his father Goku not stepped in and sacrificed himself for the sake of everyone, leaving Gohan to finish the job when Cell came back.
    • Baby, the first Arc Villain of Dragon Ball GT, is single-mindedly obsessed with avenging the Tuffles' extinction at the hands of the Saiyans no matter what; when Pan tells him that the Saiyans who were actually responsible for his species' demise are long dead, Baby flat-out states that he doesn't care.
    • Dr. Raichi, the Big Bad of the OVA Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans. Like Baby, he's utterly fixated on avenging the Tuffles' extinction, and it makes no difference to him that the Saiyans who actually committed the genocide are long dead; as far as he's concerned, all Saiyans are guilty. He even comes right out and says that he will never forgive the Saiyans for what they did to the Tuffles, even if God Himself does.
    • Zamasu from Dragon Ball Super utterly takes the cake. The other villains listed at least had some concrete reasons for revenge. But Zamasu? His reason? He lost to Goku in a sparring match which Goku requested just to gauge his strength. Goku was more than cordial about it when he won, didn't even gloat, even complimented Zamasu's efforts and tried to help him up. But Zamasu took the loss extremely personally. When Goku and Vegeta go with Trunks to confront Goku Black, they find out it was Zamasu from two alternate timelines going on a rampage to kill all humans. One from a Future Timeline and one from another where Zamasu swapped his body with Goku's via a wish from the Super Dragon Balls, killed him and proceeded to kill his family just for this slight. Granted Zamasu was never right in the head to begin with being that he saw all humans as chronically evil and that they need to be destroyed and, deeming himself a divine being just because he was a kai (Not even that, but a kai apprentice) to the point of zealotry (Kais just monitor their respective universes and the mortal races on planets, seeing if they can evolve to higher functions and be worth keeping around. If not, they let their Gods of Destruction wipe them out, that's it). But he personally made an effort to target Goku, again, just for a loss in a sparring match rather then being sensible and use the experience to better himself. Essentially he's a Sore Loser.
    • Granolah of his titular arc starts leaning into this hard once he finds out Frieza's alive as it was Frieza's forces that killed his original people back in the past using Saiyans. So much so when Dragon Balls are discovered on the Cereal planet he's inhabiting, he instantly steals them and wishes to be the most powerful fighter in the universe despite being told this will only leave him with three years of his lifespan by the dragon. When he humiliates the Heeters as a showcase of his power, they pit Goku and Vegeta against him as a distraction while they search for their planets Dragon Balls to even the odds for themselves, claiming them to still be part of Frieza's forces. As both Saiyans take their turn fighting him, they start to realize they've been duped when Granolah cites them as part of Frieza's army. They try to tell Granolah this, as well as the extinction of the Saiyans by Frieza's hands, and that they had nothing to do with his people's destruction, being way too young when the Saiyans attacked his planet. But Granolah refuses to hear them out, seeing all Saiyans as evil regardless of affinity or what's transpired as he's too driven by his past to listen to reason. Even his A.I partner, Oatmel, effort to get Granolah to stand down and listen to the two results in Granolah throwing him aside.
  • Engi from Dream Eater Merry starts sliding into this in her pursuit of Heracles, willing to risk the life of her vessel, Yui, and going against her friends if it means avenging her sister.
  • In Endride, Emilio is so guilty of this that literally every person around him spends the first cour trying to persuade him he shouldn't kill his Parental Substitute Delzaine to avenge his real father but talk to him instead, especially since he's given zero thought to what happens to the kingdom after he kills the king. He hesitates at the last minute, only for someone else to kill Delzaine first. Emilio is, of course, seized with regret as Delzaine was his father figure and now he'll never get to talk it out.
  • Sentinel 3, AKA the "Avenging Sentinel" from Franken Fran becomes addicted to vengeance even setting up his own non-combat allies to be killed just to have excuse for it because the act of vengeance feels really good. And it's not like this or like that, just knowing you're avenging someone even someone you set up to die in the first place produces that same kind of high.
  • Gundam has a lot of pilots like this.
    • Kamille Bidan of Zeta Gundam, who in the first episode gets himself thrown into military prison for attacking a Titan, and then beaten up for physically assaulting a military police officer, in both cases because of ultimately petty reasons (Kamille is a man's name!). Even his hijack, which goes on to cause him so much misery, is motivated by pointless revenge — he initially climbs into the cockpit, breaking into a military base to do so, in order to intimidate the MP officer who beat him up.
      • Kamille's nemesis, Titans ace Jerid Messa, ends up with an even worse case of it. Initially he accidentally kills Kamille's mother and clearly has genuine regret, but the next time they meet Kamille kills his lover (a fellow Titans pilot) and Jerid becomes absolutely obsessed with his own revenge. They continue killing each other's friends and loved ones in an escalating Cycle of Revenge until the finale when Kamille easily kills the now hopelessly outclassed Jerid.
    • G Gundam has Andrew Graham of Neo-Canada. After his wife was killed in a pirate attack, Andrew became Canada's Fighter solely to get back at Argo Gulskii as the man responsible. He kidnaps Rain to force Domon and Argo into his vengeance, and while he has a Heel Realization, it doesn't stick... by the Finals he's as raring for revenge as ever, even when shown evidence that Argo had tried to save his wife. He finally gets it while watching Argo fight Domon.
    • After Garrod snubs her and pulls a gun on her, Ennil El starts teaming up with some incredibly unsavory types to get back at him. She even spoiled the crew's escape attempt from the Feddies after they'd given her medical treatment. Fortunately, this bites her in the ass in a way that wakes her up to the foolishness of her actions.
    • Shinn Asuka Gundam SEED Destiny is part of ZAFT's "Operation Fallen Angel" which involves ambushing and destroying the Archangel battle ship that has been avoiding combat. While several members from ZAFT express their doubts if attacking the Archangel is right, Shinn solely focuses on defeating their Ace Pilot Kira Yamato in revenge for the death of Stella Loussier. While Kira did indeed cause Stella's death, being a Technical Pacifist he did so by accident...and if Shinn were in a more rational state of mind he would've realized that saving Stella was probably impossible even if Kira hadn't screwed up.
    • Then there's Lockon Stratos (that is, Neil Dylandy), from Gundam 00, whose whole motivation turns out to be revenge against the people who bombed his family. At one point, the terrorist leader who caused their deaths tries to divide the Gundam Meisters by telling Lockon that his teammate Setsuna used to belong to his group; Lockon points his gun at Setsuna and says (paraphrased) "I know you couldn't have done it, but just let me shoot you so I can feel better." Later on, he goes out in a badly damaged Gundam and missing one eye because the aforementioned terrorist was on the battlefield and he refused to let the guy get away in the time it would have taken to fix the Gundam and regenerate his lost eye. Which ends up causing Lockon's death because the guy picks up on his new blind spot and exploits it, despite a sterling Determinator attempt by Lockon to take him along for the ride.
    • Flit Asuno, the first protagonist of Gundam AGE was already pissed at Vagan for killing his parents, but after their Psycho for Hire murdered his would-be Love Interest, he kept a bitter grudge for fifty years. It lead him to great victories... but it also lead to him instituting The Purge against Vagan sympathisers, wanting to summarily execute Vagan POWs, and trying to turn his grandson into a Tyke Bomb to wipe out every Vagan man, woman, and child. It probably doesn't help that said Psycho for Hire was a child (at least back then).
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans:
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon's main motivations throughout the Chimera Ant arc are to extract his revenge on Pitou and take Kite back from them, with that second goal just barely keeping him sane and at least somewhat patient to comply with Pitou's requests. Once it's revealed that Kite is already dead, however, Gon stops caring about anything besides killing Pitou; not just "anything" as in "any other motivation within the arc", but anything in his life, period. He was ready to permanently give up on his ability to use Nen and possibly discard his life just to murder Pitou, even as Killua was tearfully begging him to stop using his Dangerous Forbidden Technique while there's still a chance to go back.
    Gon: I don't care if this is where it all ends. So I'll use everything... and kill you, PITOUUUUUUU!!!
  • Inuyasha: In episode 23, Kikyo plans to drag Inuyasha to Hell with her as revenge for allegedly betraying and killing her. Even after Kagome tells her that Naraku set them up and that Inuyasha still loved her despite everything, Kikyo openly states that she doesn't care because it doesn't change the fact that she died. However, after confirming Kagome's story with Kaede, Kikyo focuses her efforts on Naraku from there on out. It's still this trope though, but in a different way that ultimately doesn't work out for her in the end.
  • Alma Jinnai, the Dark Magical Girl of Jewelpet Twinkle. She thinks Jewelina is responsible for her mother's death, so she's out to get her. The truth is that Jewelina warned Fealina about the danger; Fealina went and made a mistake that was ultimately her own.
  • The first season of K revolves around what will happen if the Red King carries this through. Everyone agrees that the killer should be taken down — he shot the sweetest, kindest person around in cold blood and gloated about it. Unfortunately, the victim was also the Red King's Morality Chain, and he wants revenge personally — even though that would cause his Sword of Damocles to (literally) crash down, which would destroy the entire city. And they show the crater from when it happened to the previous Red King, too. But he doesn't care. The Blue King ends up having to kill him right after he takes his revenge, causing his Sword to be at risk of falling, and thus it carries on in Season 2...
  • Master of Martial Hearts has the villains pursue Revenge before Reason, common sense, sense of decency and even basic logic. It could honestly be called "Revenge Before Reason: The Anime."
  • Mazinger Z: Dr. Hell is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds with Abusive Parents and a very crappy childhood and early adulthood. His motivation to Take Over the World is having revenge upon everybody who abused him or mocked him when he was young (or people he believes abused him and mocked him). Nevertheless, he is 70-years-old when the series begins, so most if not all of Dr. Hell's former tormentors will likely be dead by now. Yet will he let that insignificant detail stop him? Hell, no!
  • In Murasakiiro no Qualia: Hatou in some of the parallel worlds/possibilities shown to us.
    • To some extent, most of them fit this, considering none dropped their crusade and goal, not even for a chance at a good, stable life.
  • In My Hero Academia, Ingenium dives headlong into this trope when he abandons the experienced hero he was assigned to work with in the middle of a supervillain attack so he can personally hunt for the Hero Killer who'd crippled his (much more experienced at being a hero) older brother and a lot of other professional heroes to boot. Unsurprisingly he gets instantly incapacitated and only survives due to Midoriya (who was in the area purely by coincidence) suddenly intervening.
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke Uchiha has allowed revenge to motivate almost every single action he takes. Everything he does in the first half and most of the second half is done to become strong enough to face Itachi, the older brother responsible for killing his entire family. These actions include charging in half-cocked to fight Itachi when he was nowhere near ready, getting excessively jealous when a "failure" starts surpassing him, Face–Heel Turn-ing to the enemy, killing said enemy and absorbing his powers, and gathering his own team to help him. You would think that Sasuke might chill out a tiny bit after he finally succeeds, but nooooo. When Sasuke learns his (now late) older brother did everything he did for Sasuke's sake, he sets out on a whole new rampage of revenge, this one directed at the Leaf Village itself and the current aspirant for Hokage (Danzo) in particular. You know it's bad when Danzo, not exactly a saint himself, calls him on it and has a valid point. Gets even worse when he abandons his new team because he's too impatient to wait for them to catch up, and stabs through Karin simply because Danzo took her hostage and it was too much effort on his part to help her. Remember, she is his only medic at this point. He gets better due to several moments of Character Development that cause him to finally stop pursuing revenge too much and becomes a good guy again... but the final arc to reveal it to be a Bait the Dog moment and in a way, he may still be keeping the position well enough. Eventually after learning the truth about the Uchiha, he figures, the world might as well be his revenge and focuses on trying to change it to his will. This kid just will not let it drop.
      • Weirdly, he intends to keep a promise he made to Naruto about his revenge, namely that he'll fight and kill Naruto first, to the exclusion of all others.
      • In the end, he and Naruto clash, costing them both an arm. Despite this, Naruto's persistence has paid off and he managed to finally get Sasuke to surrender his vendetta against the world and finally helping Sasuke find himself. In the epilogue, he has married Sakura and had a child with her, but often travels away from home to explore the world.
    • There's also Pain, who lost so many loved ones to ninja society that he set about to effectively destroy it so thoroughly people would be too scared to even consider making war. When that fear wore off, as Pain was certain it would, he would lather, rinse, repeat.
      • It should also be noted that the cornerstone of Pain's beliefs and plan is that he thinks everyone acts like this.
    • To his credit, Naruto himself has done everything in his power to avert this. Despite his own desire for revenge on Pain for killing Jiraiya and Kakashi, as well as many Leaf Villagers, and then nearly killing Hinata right in front of him, Naruto is able to rein in his feelings and instead ultimately wins without killing him which pays off far better. Not long after, he tries to get the Raikage to not try and kill Sasuke for attacking his brother.
    • Speaking of which, the Raikage is perfectly willing to lose an arm (and a leg, but was stopped before that could happen) to achieve his revenge.
      • However, he subverts/averts it later when he learns his brother is okay, and apparently decides to forget about Sasuke entirely.
    • Subverted with Obito. After he saw Kakashi kill Rin, presumably forced by something Mist ninja had done to her, he utterly slaughtered the Mist shinobi... but he did not touch Kakashi, declaring he no longer cares for his ex-teammate.
    • Izuna Uchiha uses his dying breath to convince his brother, Madara, to refuse Hashirama Senju's offer of a truce in favor of continuing to avenge their fellow Uchiha. Sadly, he didn't seem to acknowledge that accepting the truce would both give him a chance to survive through Hashirama's powerful medical jutsu and prevent his clansmen from dying needlessly in more wars with the Senju clan. As a result, he dies of his wounds and Madara ends up becoming an even worse example of this trope, to the point of continuing the war even when other members of their clan wanted to give up.
  • The defining trait of One Piece villain Hody Jones. Despite having never suffered from it firsthand, he craves revenge against the human race for crimes against Fishmen and Merfolk and will do anything to achieve it. This "anything" includes sabotaging attempts by other characters to reconcile and live peacefully with humans so they can continue to justify themselves.
    • Arlong, likewise, shares this mentality largely due to the fact that his mentor, Fisher Tiger, was killed by humans. Thing is, though it was by Marines, Fisher was a pirate, and even as he laid dying, tried to impart to his crew not to let their hatred lead them to his fate (long story, but after he was mortally wounded, a blood transfusion could've saved him but Fisher refused because it was human blood and his hatred wouldn't let him take it). This wisdom fell on deaf ears when it came to Arlong and he decided to take revenge on humanity by enslaving as many as he could and building an empire from it... by going to the the more peaceful of the four seas, East Blue, and taking over an island of residents who likely don't even know much about fishmen let alone would abuse them.
    • Kurozumi Orochi, full stop. His family was persecuted due to Orochi's grandfather attempting a dishonorable coup for the Shogun position, which ended with him committing seppuku. Not content with this, the people of Wano made the Kurozumi family's lives hell resulting in several family members' deaths and others leaving Wano. It leads to Orochi harboring extreme resentment which leads him to actually overthrow Oden for the Shogun position, and beginning a reign of terror on his dissidents and everyone excluding his sycophants, instead of ruling Wano properly and dispelling the nation's negative connotations regarding his family.
  • Ranma ½'s Ryoga Hibiki. He left his home, his school and everything else to try to get revenge on Ranma for "breaking a man-to-man promise" and abandoning a challenge which Ryoga was ludicrously late for. The original reason for the fight? Ranma had cut in front of him in line at the school tuckshop. Okay, a fair few times, but... Of course, with his sense of direction Ryoga couldn't have stayed in one place anyway, so he might have figured that if he's going to be Walking the Earth anyway he might as well try to get revenge on Ranma. Fanon is that his sense of directing grew worse as he got older, explaining his ability to attend school in the first place, so he would have had to drop out of school and abandon having a permanent home sooner or later anyway.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero, King Aultcray's sister was killed -actually abducted, but the circumstances sure looked like an assassination- by demihumans Melromarc was at war with, and that torpedoed his previous competence. By the time the series starts, he's willing to doom the world to take petty proxy revenge against one of the heroes summoned to save it, just because he's seen as a god by the demihumans he's never met. His Bitch in Sheep's Clothing daughter falsely accusing the hero of trying to rape her as part of a conspiracy to take back her inheritance and being egged on by the Corrupt Church didn't help, but the grief from losing his sister is the root of his issues.
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil basically deconstructs the trope as a subplot, especially in the character Mary Sioux and the Francois Republic.
  • In Servant × Service, Lucy could very easily apply to change her Overly Long Name, (As Hasebe mentions) but she's determined to find the civil servant who approved that name, and give him the business first.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Touka becomes fixated on avenging the deaths of Hinami's parents at the hands of Kureo Mado, rather than let the murder go and avoid attracting the Commission of Counter Ghoul's attention as she should have done. Because of this, Touka is indirectly responsible for the CCG's raid on Anteiku, as her killing Mado caused them to turn their attentions to the 20th ward.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, Kaiba is so eager to take revenge on Yugi he ends up almost killing him, and refuses to back down when Yami Yugi explains how dangerous their duel has become.
    • This dates as far back in Yu-Gi-Oh! when it wasn't just about card games. Yugi bests him in a Duel Monsters card game and gives him a mind crush in the hope he'll be a better person. Not only does this not work, but Kaiba goes on to make an entire theme park filled with deadly traps and games just to get even with Yugi for the loss.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Gilag is so enraged when Alito is beaten up by Rei, he goes gunning for revenge, and when Yuma defends him, thinking Rei is an amateur, Gilag actually challenges both of them at once, using cards that are as dangerous to him as the are to his opponents. This proves a mistake, as Rei is much better than anyone assumed. In fact, we later learn he's downright deadly and capable of murder; he's actually Vector in disguise.

    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.
  • 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 arch-enemy 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 Yves Rodier finished version of Tintin album "Tintin and the Alph-Art" has Rastapapolous 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 oppenents 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 idenity she was much more quick to turn to murder and better and covering her tracks.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Maylu Sakurai from MegaMan NT Warrior fanfic, Maylu's Revenge, has this of wanting to get revenge against her NetNavi, Roll, for her actions as Empress even it's her own fault this happened. This would her to join World Three in an attempt to gain power strong enough to delete her from existence.
  • 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 takeover 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 watched before they too died.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, “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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 helps 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 hopse 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.

    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.
  • Soto from Ice Age is so obsessed with getting revenge on the tribe of premieval men who killed half his pack (probably in self-defense anyway), he makes an assault onto 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.

    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 in 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 night club, 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 camp site, 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 an 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, preferrably 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 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.
  • 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)
  • 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 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 anarchno-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!
  • In Underworld U.S.A., Tolly devotes almost 20 years to tracking down his father's killers: including spend 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.


By Author:

  • Larry Niven:
    • From The Ringworld Engineers:
      "Harvey Mossbauer's family had been killed and eaten during the fourth Man-Kzin war. Many years after the truce and after a good deal of monomaniacal preparation, Mossbauer had landed alone and armed on Kzin. He had killed four Kzinti males and set off a bomb in the harem of the patriarch before the guards managed to kill him."
    • The short story "The Ethics of Madness" has a man inadvertently deprived of psychiatric medication go insane and kill some people. The end result is that the killer flees towards, basically, the edge of the universe in a ramscoop vehicle, with a relative of those killed chasing him. Advanced medical devices all but ensure neither of them will ever die of old age.
    • In A World Out of Time, Corbell flees the State in a ramship. His "Checker" (effectively, slavemaster) sends his "personality" over and over at the computer in his ship, being unable to enforce his orders any other way. The computer very much wants revenge due to the personality overlay, but it's also programmed at a deeper level to obey Corbell's orders, which sets up an interesting dynamic that profoundly impacts the plot.

By Work:

  • In Alouette's Song, after the heroes' interference turns the tide of battle against Mardonale, Roban, the ruler of Kondal, orders a full-on nuclear assault. He is well aware that this could only result in the total destruction of both nations, but claims that he must do it to avenge his people, so this is also a case of Honor Before Reason. Ultimately, the heroes have to remove him from power to prevent a nuclear war.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: A knight commits insurbordination by refusing to protect a person of lower status than himself. When that gets the knight executed, his family only escapes the same fate thanks to an arrangement with the archduke. The knight's mother nonetheless seeks revenge towards the person he refused to protect with absolutely no regard for the consequences for the rest of the family.
  • Asian Saga: By the time Noble House rolls around, the feud between the Brocks and the Struans is well into this, not made easier by the fact that the oath each tai-pan swears includes a stipulation to hamper and kill descendants of Tyler Brock whenever possible. When Ian Dunross is sworn in as tai-pan one of his aides brings him information that they have found previously unknown descendants of Tyler Brock, a woman with two young children that are descended from one of his extramarital affairs and probably don't know about their lineage. Dunross simply nods and states that them not knowing about their family history or the feud will just make it that much easier to have them ruined and murdered.
  • In Chance And Choices Adventures, the bandit Roy Butterfield wants revenge on the Williams sisters, supposedly for the death of his brother Hank though they weren't responsible and he knows it. After his initial few attacks the local Circuit Judge Atwood is called in and lets Roy off scot free (because they're related) only ordering Roy and the Butterfield Gang to stay away from Harmony, Arkansas from now on. Instead, Roy comes back and burns down the Williams Farm.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: Dantès finds himself free, talented, and ridiculously wealthy. It reaches the point where he's able to offer bribes to the pope, bankrupt a major French bank, construct multiple elaborate secret identities, buy up half of the French property market, and care for a beautiful foreign princess. He could sail off into the sunset, attempt to live out a long and happy life... But by this point he is a broken man obsessed with vengeance. He eventually snaps out of it, but only when he sees the consequences of his actions.
  • In The Divine Comedy, the infernal Master Adam boasts that if he could drag his dropsied, infected body at least an inch by the end of a century of concerted effort, he would be well on his way to scour the miles and miles of the Malebolge to attack the men who introduced him to a life of forgery and lies. According to Manfredi Porena's calculations, it would take Adam 700,000 thousand years to complete this petty act of hatred.
  • The Dresden Files: In White Night, Harry finds that one of the antagonists is Madrigal Raith, who Harry damn near killed the last time they met. Said antagonist is working on a heavily subtle plan to usurp power from one of the major players in the book by unseating the White King and taking over the White Court, which has been in motion for at least half a year and has involved the significant investment of time, resources and effort to get this far. At the last, crucial days of the plan, Madrigal decides out of spite and anger to involve Harry by trying to frame another party that he hopes Harry will kill, and then killing Harry one way or the other (there's an attempt to kill Harry about halfway through the book, before the plan has been completed). Needless to say, bringing in a White Council Warden wizard with tremendous power and a continuously proven track record of deconstructing villainous plans with incredible destructive power does not end well for Madrigal.
  • Ender's Shadow: this is Achilles's Fatal Flaw, in that he is psychologically unable to bear showing vulnerability to anyone, no matter how slightly or benignly. Everyone who ever has, Achilles tries to murder. This goes far beyond any realm of rationality, as it even includes the nurse who put him under anesthesia to fix his bad leg: there is zero reason for him to hate her, and every reason to be thankful to her... but he was unconscious and vulnerable in her presence, so he feels a irresistible urge to kill her.
  • A heroic example in Patricia A. McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. After the Mind Rape that was intended to destroy her personality and turn her into a happy little slave, Sybel decides that no sacrifice — not even the love and happiness of those closest to her, and certainly not the death of uninvolved third parties — is too great to make if it will ensure that the man responsible suffers the depths of terror and despair before he dies.
  • In the Honor Harrington novel Shadow of Saganami, when Captain Terekhov discovers that the pirate ship he's tracking is not only Havenite, but a Mars-class cruiser, the same exact class as the one that destroyed his last command, he is filled with a burning desire to smash them. He admits that his desire for revenge may be why he chose a plan of attack that put his ship at a somewhat greater risk in order to ensure he could bring the enemy to action. Played with in that his plan worked more or less perfectly, with the enemy cruiser reduced to a floating wreck and his own ship unscathed.
  • In Insurgent, Tori becomes so obsessed with avenging her brother, she ignores Tris' pleads to spare Jeanine and kills her. Even after her revenge is complete, she brands Tris (a girl who she's interacted friendly with in the past) a war criminal, instead of hearing her out.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles, the Norse god Thor is such a Jerk Jock that he makes mortal enemies wherever he goes. After Thor killed the family of the Viking Leif, Leif became a vampire and then spent the next thousand years preparing his revenge. By the time he is ready, he has become the most powerful vampire in North America. Whether he succeeds or fails the outcome of his attack on Thor will have profound repercussions in the supernatural world with a massive vampire war being the least of the problems. He does not care for the consequences as long as he gets a chance to kill Thor.
  • The Last Days of Krypton: The members of the new Krytonian Council who were previously imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Zod trigger Krypton's destruction by trying to lash out and destroy the Phantom Zone by dropping the projector into Krypton's core.
  • Captain Ahab of Moby-Dick endangers his life and crew to chase a white whale whom he believes bit his leg off out of pure spite.
    Starbuck: Vengeance on a dumb brute! That simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous...
    Ahab: Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then I could do the other.
    • Ahab's desire for revenge is contrasted against another captain who lost a limb to the same whale, but doesn't hold it against him, and asks Ahab to abandon his chase of Moby Dick.
  • Paths of Darkness has Le'Lorinel, who wants to fight and kill Drizzt, badly. Badly enough in fact, that he willingly allies himself with a group of dangerous pirates and ogres. Also, when Drizzt refuses to fight him after finding out his real identity, he employs desperate measures, like taking a potion that will mirror all his wounds on Drizzt's body. All the while he is absolutely blind to the fact, that Drizzt is not responsible for the death of his family, but rescued him as a child.
  • Rain of the Ghosts has Renee, a sort of Alpha Bitch character who is amusingly petty about this. In the second book, she targets Miranda for accidentally stealing her seat on the first day of class. Miranda thinks that Renee is her friend; Miranda's father is also Renee's mother's boss, so her elaborate revenge plan requires careful, longterm planning. As Rain notes, Renee could just drop her plans and actually be friends with the nice girl who shares her father's luxuries with people, but Renee is pathologically determined to avenge any slight.
  • This is what leads to Liu Bei's downfall in Romance of the Three Kingdoms after Guan Yu is killed, leading to a Heroic BSoD, and prime minister Zhuge Liang's advice on priorities is ignored; the resultant failed attempt at revenge costs the lives of two of his four remaining elite Tiger Generals — including his sworn brother and longtime companion Zhang Fei — the ruination of his army by Lu Xun's fire attack, his own health and eventually life, any realistic hope of an alliance between the kingdoms of Shu-Han and Wu within his lifetime, Jing province being forever lost to Shu (before Liu Bei's punitive expedition against Wu, its sovereign had offered the province back which Guan Yu had been fought for), and the ascension of the throne of his easily manipulated son Liu Shan.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen's plan to save the city of Highdawn gets derailed by this, because Ahrek and Lyrah have just figured out that he's Dayless, and are both positively howling for his blood. It takes the presence of the Shade on the island before that changes.
  • In Spells, Swords, & Stealth, the dark god Kalzidar has a reputation for never letting a slight to him go unanswered. It is for this reason that Kalzidar's Evil Plan in the fourth book includes a part specifically for Thistle the gnome, paladin of rival god Grumble who thwarted him in the second book, in which he arranges to steal the soul of Thistle's wife, Madroria, from the gnomish afterlife. Because Thistle's one condition for becoming a paladin was to eventually be Together in Death with Madroria, and Grumble is obliged to do that no matter where she is, this endangers Thistle as well as Madroria, should he die before she's rescued. This act of revenge against a single mortal angers several powerful people. Nearly all of the other gods in general, Grumble and the god of the gnomes in particular, a village full of Retired Badasses who might never have gotten involved except for befriending the protagonists, and, perhaps most dangerously, Thistle himself, who is prepared to pull out all the stops, including reassembling the setting's single most dangerous Artifact of Doom, to save his beloved wife.
  • In Starlight and Shadows, the drow priestess Shakti's obsession with revenge against Liriel gets her temporarily banished to the Abyss. After watching her compatriot Gorlist's similar obsession likewise lead him to his demise, Shakti concludes that the drow's biggest weakness is their penchant for revenge before reason. Therefore, she deliberately chooses to avert this in her final confrontation with Liriel, abandoning her chance for vengeance in order to succeed in obtaining the magic artifact she's been seeking.
  • The Sponsor in Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations has this. When a temporal agent finds out crucial info on him and tries to send a warning, the Sponsor maliciously deletes her from history. He didn't stop at merely preventing her from being born, but made sure that every single worthwhile thing she did in life was now done by someone else, just to rub salt in the wound. It's stated that this took years to fully complete, and he knew that his enemies would quickly figure out what happened anyway. When other agents were nevertheless able to use her last, shielded transmission to capture him, he's offered a plea deal in exchange for undoing his revenge scheme, and he has this to say:
    "If that revenge backfired and led to my arrest, then all the more need for the revenge itself to stand".
  • Throughout the Star Trek Novel Verse, Bajorans are prone to holding grudges and vendettas long past the point of reason; this is particularly noteworthy in the Terok Nor series. In the first book, their stubborn commitment to stewing over wrongs both real and imagined becomes a fatal flaw when Dukat decides it's the perfect means of controlling them. All he has to do is fan the flames of their anger against a preferred target, and they'll be too angry and focused to see his agenda unfolding around them.
  • Rebecca Reisert's novel The Third Witch, a retelling of Macbeth, is told from the perspective of a girl called Gilly who is obsessed with avenging the death of her father. He had been murdered by Macbeth, who then married Gilly's mother, the future Lady Macbeth. Gilly is so focused on her goal that she does not care if she dies, nor if she hurts others in the effort. She even relinquishes her entire identity, proclaiming "I have made my life an arrow, and his heart is my home". In the end, when the moment she has been waiting for arrives and Macbeth is vulnerable before her, she abandons the opportunity to kill him in order to save the life of Pod, a young boy she befriended. It is Macduff, of course, who then defeats Macbeth; though Gilly is left in an almost catatonic state for several days because she 'failed' her mission, she eventually gains a positive outlook and begins rebuilding her life.
  • Warhammer 40,000: In the Horus Heresy novels, there are multiple cases. Some Iron Hands, such as those in The Damnation of Pythos, will risk anything to hurt the Emperor's Children; in that specific case, it ends very badly for them. Roboute Guilliman, usually one of the most even-tempered Primarchs, responds to Lorgar's treachery in Know No Fear by ordering his ship to fly right down the throat of Lorgar's flagship so he can personally rip out Lorgar's internal organs one by one, even though the tactical situation isn't really in a good place for that. He does get talked down from it, though.
  • In The Witchlands, Merik slips into this after he's heavily scarred in an assassination attempt, and he becomes completely focused on taking down his sister, whom he believes responsible for the attack. He never once stops to consider a greater goal and completely ignores the fact that Vivia might not be the person behind the assassin.
  • In The Wolf of the North This is a central theme of the series.
  • In World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness novelization, this is revealed to be a major reason for The Horde's defeat during its war with The Alliance. During the Horde's siege of Lordaeron's capital, the Evil Sorcerer Gul'dan, whose Shadowmoon Clan as well as Cho'gall's Twilight's Hammer clan have been left in reserve, due to Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer not trusting them, decides that now is the time to break with the Horde and sail for the island on which he has found the Tomb of Sargeras. After discovering this, Orgrim is facing a dilemma: he can either send forces to punish Gul'dan and all the other traitors, which would leave him unable to break through Lordaeron's gates and raze the city, or raze the city but leave the traitors unpunished. He decides to go with the former, sending the Blackrock Clan, constituting a full third of the Horde's strength, to obliterate the two renegade clans. With the Alliance army approaching, Orgrim has to cut and run, retreating to his fortress in Blackrock Spire. Meanwhile, the Blackrock Clan clashes with the Twilight's Hammer Clan and slaughters them all, although sustaining plenty of casualties, while the Shadowmoon Clan is destroyed by the demonic guardians of the Tomb. On the way back to the mainland, the orc transport ships are ambushed by the Kul Tiras fleet commanded by Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, and most of the transports are sunk. Basically, not only does this decision cost Doomhammer the city, but he ends up losing so many warriors that he ends up losing the war in short order.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24:
    • Gael Ortega's wife shoots Stephen Saunders despite him being the only person who can stop the outbreak of a deadly virus.
    • Another example: Curtis Manning tries to kill Hamri Al-Assad, leading to Jack being forced to shoot him.
    • Victor Drazen could have escaped the country if he wasn't so busy trying to kill Jack.
    • Tony Almeida works with the antagonists of Day 7 and puts hundreds of innocent lives at risk in order to get close to their leader and kill him to avenge the murder of his wife.
    • Jack Bauer himself on the other hand generally averts this trope. Although he isn't above revenge and has no problem putting several bullets into the body of someone who's killed a close friend or loved one of his, if he needs to work with said person first in order to carry out some assignment or thwart some other terrorist plot, he will put aside urges to kill them for the moment until after the mission's over. Some notable cases include him saving the life of Nina Meyers during Day 2 since he needed her to find the nuclear bomb and teaming up with Christopher Henderson to stop Vladimir Bierko's takeover of a sub armed with nuclear missiles during Day 5. This trait becomes especially important in the series finale where after a few hours of Jack going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for Renee Walker and falling straight into this trope, Chloe O'Brien is able to convince him not to assassinate Yuri Suvarov at the eleventh hour, which would in turn have kick-started WWIII.
    • In Day 9, CIA Agent Kate Morgan weaponizes this trope in order to get vital information on a stolen piece of property out of the man who framed her husband (leading to his suicide), by bluffing him into thinking she's going to kill him. He desperately blurts out the information they need, and doing so loses his only bargaining chip.
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Heavy is the Head", Lance Hunter desperately wants revenge of Carl Creel, to a supervillain responsible for the deaths of his friends. On a survillence mission, he betrays the rest of his team, shooting them unconscious, then goes out and confronts Creel alone. This ends with his nearly being killed, a third party stealing a powerful and dangerous artefact, and Agent May having a grudge against him. That last one is agreed to have been the worst part.
    Hunter: She's the type to hold a grudge?
    Coulson: Savors it, actually.
  • Alma Gêmea: When Cristina's love for Rafael turns into hatred, she starts making several counter-productive decisions to try to get revenge on him. Instead of trying to reach an agreement with Rafael regarding their asset division, she wants to leave him penniless. She also wants to kill Serena, when even Débora tells her she has nothing to benefit from doing that (and tries to convince her that killing Rafael would be more advantageous).
  • Alta Mar: The plot for each of Seasons 2 and 3 is set in motion due to a character wanting revenge against the Fabregas family for the death of a loved one.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): In the final episode, the Final Five Cylons all put their hands in the mind-link water to download all parts of the resurrection blueprints. Tory tries to convince them to let all their past sins be forgiven. They agree. Naturally, when Galen sees her murder his wife Cally (because she knew they were Cylons), he breaks off the Psychic Link and strangles her. As the resurrection blueprint was part of the deal they made to end the Cylon War, breaking off the download makes the hostile Cylons think it's a trap.
  • Breaking Bad: Skyler White sits through her husband Walter's sins unable to really do anything until the death of Hank, her sister's husband, in "Ozymandias". Thinking that Walter killed him (he didn't directly kill Hank, but his actions ultimately caused Hank's death), Skyler decides not to call 911 to get Walt arrested, but to take matters into her own hands. Picking up a kitchen knife instead, she tries to tell Walt to leave. However, this was a ruse, as she wouldn't let him get away with what happened to Hank (actually forcing him to leave would make him get away with his sins.) Walt tries to talk her out of attacking and/or killing him, but she slashes him. In order to stop her harming him any further, an enraged Walt lunges at her to forcibly take the knife from her to save himself, until Walt Jr. throws him off her and then calls 911 to get Walter arrested. This eliminates the need for Skyler to attack him again, but Walt then escapes, kidnapping the only family member he didn't believe knew enough to turn against him—his infant daughter Holly. Unfortunately, he was wrong. Despite never forgiving her husband for his sins, Skyler abandoned any plans to harm Walt when he tried to exonerate her for any involvement in his crimes pretending to be an abusive husband berating her for not supporting her, and when he later returned Holly to her via the Fire Department. Not to mention when Walt came back in "Felina" to tell her he found another way or securing their future than drug money, gave to coordinates to Hank and Gomez's bodies, and reveal that becoming a drug dealer was for himself, not his family. Then, he left before Flynn (formerly Walter Jr.) came home, as he made it clear he wanted his father dead for his crimes in the previous episode, "Granite State". Flynn got his wish off-screen by the end of the episode thought it's unclear if he ever knew or cared that Walt died partially making amends putting an end to his own drug empire.
    • This ultimately gets Gus Fring killed. His drive to slowly torture and torment Hector Salamenca builds up to the point that, on being told Hector went to the feds, he throws caution to the wind and goes to Hector's nursing home to kill the man himself. By doing so, he walks straight into the trap Walter White set for him, leading to his explosive demise.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Played straight and lampshaded In "Faith, Hope & Trick". Kakistos the Vampire is determined to kill Faith after she horribly scarred him in self-defense a while back. While they're fighting Faith and Buffy, Kakistos' underlings cut their losses and abandon him after Mr. Trick points this out:
      Mr. Trick: [walking out after noticing Kakistos will probably lose this fight] There's a reason these vengeance crusades are out of style. As a modern vampire, you have to see the bigger picture.
    • The Kalderash Gypsies who originally cursed Angel with a soul also added a Curse Escape Clause; if Angel ever experienced even a moment of true happiness, he would immediately lose his soul. Just to be clear: the Kalderash were so focused on their revenge that they considered it more acceptable to unleash an immortal psychopath back into the world than let him be content for even a moment.
      Jenny: Uncle, this is insanity! People are going to die.
      Enyos: Yes. It is not justice we serve. It is vengeance.
      Jenny: You are a fool. We're all fools. (rushes out)
    • In "Passion", Giles attacks Angelus in a rage after the latter kills Jenny Calendar. While Xander, who always hated Angel, openly supports and endorses Giles' intent, Buffy realizes right away that Giles' plan is going to get him killed, and rushes off to save him.
    • In "Tough Love", Willow goes after Glory in a rage after Glory Mind Rapes Tara, ignoring Buffy's warnings and reminders that Glory is a Physical God and she stands no chance against her. While Willow does manage to cause Glory pain and weaken her somewhat, she ultimately goes down and is only saved from certain death when Buffy shows up Just in Time.
  • Castle: Detective Kate Beckett nearly fell victim to this trope, as she became more determined to find her mother's murderer. For much of the show she decided that she could not commit herself to a relationship with Richard Castle until her mother's murder was solved. In the fourth season finale "Always" her obsession with the case nearly drove Castle away from her after she refused to back down, even after his Anguished Declaration of Love. By the end of the episode, after nearly getting killed and being forced to Turn In Her Badge, Beckett decided that her revenge on her mother's killer meant nothing if she lost Castle. Cue The Big Damn Kiss / Relationship Upgrade.
  • Done a few times on CSI: NY:
    • One perp kills her former partner-in-crime because she got caught with a bag full of jewelry she didn't know he'd stolen; she went to jail for it and blamed him for "ruining her life." Mac asks her if it was worth going back to jail for the *rest* of her life. She pauses merely a second before telling him, "Yes. I got him back for what he did to me so, yes, it is worth it." Mac shakes his head as she's led away to her cell.
    • One episode has a particularly silly example. A fat girl wins an audience contest during a basketball game but her triumph is spoiled by another audience member mocking her weight. She spends her winnings and the next two years on slimming down and making herself beautiful so that she can become a cheerleader for the basketball team and rig the same contest so that her tormentor wins, allowing her to deliver a Kiss of Death as he tries to claim the prize. Leaving aside the numerous more practical methods that she could have chosen for her revenge, would she not have stopped at some point and realized that she had improved her life to the point where his insults were no longer relevant? At the very least, would she not have simply run into an even bigger jerkass in the mean time who would have been even more deserving of death?
  • Likewise, an episode of CSI: Miami has the team investigating three separate murders at Spring Break. All three had humiliated a fat girl at an earlier vacation years before so the girl changed her name, lost weight and plotted to get payback by killing all three before they even realized who she was. The episode ends with the girl imagining herself in her "fat prime," smiling with pride as she's led to jail. But as soon as the door slams, her face falls as it seems to hit her how her desire for payback has now ruined her entire life.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Pandorica Opens", the Alliance, composed of a huge number of aliens the Doctor has defeated in the past, including some of his greatest enemies like the Daleks and Cybermen, believing that the Doctor is going to destroy the universe by blowing up the TARDIS, summarily imprisons him in the Pandorica while ignoring his attempt to explain why this is a bad idea. As a result, the TARDIS is blown up by another, at the time unidentified, villain, resulting in the end of the universe — something the Doctor probably could have stopped if he'd had the chance.
  • Drake & Josh: In "Josh Is Done", after missing his chemistry exam and getting his grades dropped no thanks to Drake, Josh snaps and angrily tries to tackle Drake on the spot — which naturally gets him into even further trouble for doing this on school grounds.
  • In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Walker brutally murders a defenseless Nico for Lemar's death right in front of horrified witnesses.
  • Farscape: The Big Bad of the first season, Crais, spends it tracking down the "killer" of his brother; forfeiting his command, career and facing imprisonment because of it. He later admits that he was mostly concerned about his waning career and agrees that his brother's death was just an accident (his brother's Prowler grazed Crighton's comparatively primitive Farscape One module, lost control, and slammed into an asteroid). An Evil Sorcerer fueling his anger doesn't help matters.
  • In The Flash (2014) Christmas Episode "Running to Stand Still", Patty, a cop, temporarily disables The Flash so he can't stop her murdering the defeated and helpless Mark Mardon, the man who murdered her father. Luckily, the Flash is still able to talk her down from killing Mardon. Also, Zoom, the Big Bad of Season 2, tries to turn Barry into a villain, claiming that they're alike, going so far as to murder Barry's father in front of him, all in order to get Barry into this state of mind.
  • Friends: Ross lies to Rachel about annulling their drunken Vegas marriage, as he doesn’t want to have three failed marriages. Rachel is furious when she finds out and tries to humiliate Ross by filling out the annulment forms herself and lying on them that Ross is mentally unstable, gay, impotent, and addicted to heroin and crack. Ross initially goes along with her lies at their annulment hearing, though he eventually gets fed up by how ludicrous they are. He reveals the forms are full of lies and gets into an argument with Rachel, during which he reveals they used to date. The judge understandably isn’t impressed that Ross and Rachel lied to her (which counts as perjury, though it appears Ross and Rachel aren’t prosecuted for this) and decides they don’t qualify for an annulment due to having once been in a serious relationship.
  • Frontier Circus: Cato in "Coals of Fire". Obsessed with finding the Union officer who killed his master, Cato joined the Confederate army in hopes of running across. After the war ended, he devoted his life to searching for him. When he eventually learned the officer's name and hometown, he joined the T & T Circus because it would be traveling there. Tony made multiple attempts to make him see how empty his quest was, and how a man of his talents could do so much more with his life. But it wasn't until Cato confronted his target and saw how pathetic he had become that he came to his senses and left without killing him.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Averted with regards to Loras Tyrell' perception of Brienne on the show. From the books...  He never believes for a moment that she is capable of harming Renly. Despite his intense grief and his resentment of losing to Brienne in the melee, Loras correctly blames Stannis. However, he does intend to storm out and put a sword through Stannis' righteous face until Margaery and Littlefinger convince him he would be killed before he ever got close.
    • Rickard Karstark wants to execute Jaime even though he's a valuable hostage. He's even aware that it doesn't make sense, but his love for his sons ran deep. After being robbed of any hope of seeing Jaime dead by Catelyn Stark he more or less goes off the deep end, savagely murdering two young Lannister squires who had no involvement at all in the death of his sons, simply because they shared the same blood as Jaime.
    • Harald Karstark tries to convince the Boltons that they should kill Jon Snow because he still represents a Stark threat looming over their domain and because he wants to avenge his father, never mind that Jon's position as Lord Commander to the Night's Watch means he is required to forsake any lands and titles and also trying to target the Night's Watch would quickly earn the enmity of all other Northern houses. Roose refuses to pursue this idea which leads to Harald becoming an accomplice by inaction to Roose's murder, letting Ramsay kill him so he can take his place and go through their plan to march into Castle Black.
    • Cersei Lannister tends to focus on harming her — real or imaginary — enemies, and think about the consequences... uh, sometime later. Maybe. A shining example is her ploy to undermine the Tyrells in Season 5. Not only does Cersei's claim to power rely on the Lannister-Tyrell alliance (meaning that, if the Tyrells are undermined, she is undermined), Cersei's scheme directly results in her own imprisonment, public humiliation, and complete loss of political power and control. Most halfway intelligent people would realize they've lost and do their best to mitigate the damage and avoid future misery. Cersei is not one of these people, and actually proceeds to she tops herself in Season 6's finale when she blows up the Sept of Baelor during the Green Trial, destroying all of her opponents in Kings Landing, along with a good part of the city. It's one of the very few plans she actually executes successfully, but it leaves her as the target of pretty much every remaining faction in Westeros. Of course, by that time her sanity is so long gone it's hard to even speak of "reason". And this time she may have been genuinely more interested in just making her enemies suffer than in gaining anything for herself. Another perfect example is also her willingness to have Sansa dead because she suspects that the latter poisoned Joffrey (she didn't). But she does not take it into consideration one bit that Joffrey caused many misfortunes to Sansa such as the execution of her father as well wanting to give her the head of her brother.
    • Beating out even Cersei is Ellaria Sand, a woman who, in her determination to avenge the death of her lover Oberyn Martell, directs her vengeful fury at the only Lannister within her reach — Myrcella Baratheon, who is not only a child but also an innocent who had no involvement at all in Oberyn's death. Neither this nor Oberyn's own vehement insistence in life that "we don't hurt little girls in Dorne" is enough to stop Ellaria from remorselessly poisoning her. Not content to (dis)honor Oberyn's memory by murdering an innocent child, Ellaria takes it a step further in the next season by snuffing out her lover's house entirely, murdering his brother Doran and nephew Trystane which causes the legal extinction of House Martell.
    • Mossador kills an imprisoned member of the Sons of the Harpy, despite the possible ramifications for both Dany's rule and himself. It should be noted that unlike all the aforementioned examples, Mossador is a slave rather than a noble and has little if any understanding of politics (he sees only that Dany is in a position where she cannot kill the captured Harpy, and doesn't understand why that is the case), but he still falls under this for, like Rickard Karstark above, putting his liege lord in a catch-22 that forces her to have him executed.
    • Even the mention of the Targaryens can drive Robert into a frothing rage. While there are pragmatic reasons to send assassins after Daenerys, he does not care about them and just wants to see her family exterminated. This is presumably the reason why Ned Stark hid and protected his nephew Jon Snow, the son of Ned's sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen in Winterfell, passing him off as his illegitimate son.
    • Balon passes up a golden opportunity not only to become a King of the Iron Islands again and gain complete independence for his people, and to become both fabulously wealthy and feared throughout all of Westeros by joining forces with the North solely for the sake of getting back at the family that was part of the force that put down his rebellion. This was even worse in the books, where Ned literally had nothing to do with the deaths of his sons. One of them died in a collapsing tower and the other in a battle he wasn't even present in.
    • Surpassing all of the above by Person of Mass Destruction-orders of magnitude is Daenerys in the final two episodes, who after enduring a season long Trauma Conga Line that included having two of her three dragons killed, seeing her beloved handmaiden Missandei executed before her eyes, finding out that Varys was plotting against her after all and slowly coming to the realization that the people of Westeros would always see her as a foreign invader, she decides right at the finish line, when she's conquered King's Landing and is within walking distance of the throne she has wanted her entire adult life, to just burn it all to the ground instead. Not just her enemy Cersei, not even just the Lannisters, but most of King's Landing, innocent civilians included children included, are fed to the fire of Daenerys's now-thoroughly-Ax-Crazy vengeance. Predictably, this Jumping Off the Slippery Slope causes her to lose the loyalty of most of her remaining supporters and convinces Jon to Shoot the Dog and kill her.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Marshall once pointed out that Barney, while eating a meatball sub, had gotten some marinara sauce on his tie, then chuckled a little at it. Barney considers this the most humiliating moment of his life, and is determined to get revenge by tricking Marshall into eating an exploding meatball sub. He spends months designing the exploding sub, and actually waits ten years before he gets Marshall to eat it; Barney pretends to be dying (he even spends thousands of dollars on medical treatments for a disease he doesn't have) and says that Marshall eating the sub is his last wish. Then the sub explodes in Marshall's face, Barney laughs ... and Ted points out that Barney got another bit of marinara sauce on his tie.
  • Kamen Rider Double: Both played straight and averted by Ryu Terui/Accel. While he goes berserk when he sees the Weather Dopant or even hears about him, he is otherwise kept in check by Shotaro's intervention and his own conscience.
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a divorced woman spent months of preparation and committed three murders to get information on money her husband was hiding from her. When she finally got her hands on the information, rather than go after the money now that she had the ability to do so, she destroyed the information so that her husband would be deprived of the money just like she had been.
  • Legends of Tomorrow:
    • In Season 2, Sara is obsessed with killing Damian Darhk whenever they encounter him in timeline, since he will one day murder her sister Laurel, to the point where she will thoughtlessly abandon any mission the Legends happen to be on for the smallest chance to kill him. To make things worse, Darhk is destined to be killed by Green Arrow in 2016, so killing him in the past would cause massive damage to the timeline, and damage to the timeline is the very thing the Legends are trying to prevent. She learns her lesson in Season 3, after Darhk is brought back to life, even though killing him now would have zero impact on the timeline, but it would also not bring Laurel back. Also, he has his full powers now, so killing him isn't simple. He later apologizes to her for killing Laurel and wishes he could undo it.
    • In "Outlaw Country", Jonah Hex is so obsessed with getting revenge on Quentin Turnbull he storms a stallon filled with Turnbull's people, all armed to the teeth, and would have been killed if not for the Legends.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Diamondback's vendetta against Luke Cage ultimately destroys his entire power base with Luke barely having to lift a finger. Shades calls him out on this when Willis shoots Misty in the club and turns his attempt on Luke into a hostage situation. It's a very, very stupid move that is unlikely to end well even in the best of circumstances. Willis bluntly says he doesn't care. He's willing to burn everything for a chance to kill Luke.
    Diamondback: At the end of this thing, either he's dead or I am.
    • In the first part of the season, Shades tries to get Cottonmouth to stop extorting Harlem businesses as retaliation against Luke, since such an act makes Cottonmouth look weak. The move in fact backfires by making Luke's name ring out even more.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: The episode "Forwards Backwards," has a How We Got Here plot that reveals that the pranks that Reese and Malcolm played on each other came about because Malcolm ate the last blueberry from Reese's pancake. When Lois and Hal bring them home from the hospital, following a tied Game of Chicken in a go kart race track, Hal tells Malcolm to cancel his birthday plans because he's grounded, and right before they start another fight, Lois asks them what they remember doing on their previous birthdays, only for Malcolm and Reese to sadly say they've done nothing because they got grounded for fighting with each other. Lois explains that it's their obsession with getting even for whatever slight was done to them has caused them to not have a single happy memory to look back on because they were either too busy planning a payback or dealing with the consequences of their actions. At the very end, Lois and Hal try bribing Dewey so he'll forgive them for missing his play, but when the brand new video game isn't enough Hal gives him Malcolm's former birthday present, a rare, and expensive, comic book. Dewey takes his new possessions to his room while wishing a happy birthday to Malcolm, who's doing menial labor around the house with Reese.
  • Merlin: King Odin. He hatches one scheme after another to kill Arthur in retaliation for killing Odin's son in battle years before. Never mind the fact that Arthur didn't want to fight the boy in the first place and had no choice to kill him once battle was initiated. Arthur is finally able to talk him down, though, very impressively.
  • Once Upon a Time: Regina's desire to get revenge on Snow White is what drove her evil. She's clearly aware that she has destroyed her life for revenge, which she didn't even actually get. Hook would qualify, as well.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "New Lease", Dr. James Houghton is one of the inventors of a device that can bring people Back from the Dead-but all of their previous test subjects die again after less than 24 hours. Houghton is killed by a mugger and then revived with his own device. Believing he has nothing to lose because of his limited time, Houghton tracks down his murderer and shoots him in broad daylight with multiple witnesses. It's only after being arrested that Houghton learns the truth about the experiment-the previous resurrections were unsuccessful because the subjects had been cryogenically frozen before being put in the device. Because Houghton's body was still fresh when revived, he still has many more years ahead of him, which will now be spent behind bars.
  • Revolution:
    • In "No Quarter", Private Richards wants revenge on Danny for killing his best friend Templeton in "Pilot". The problem with that is Templeton shot first and killed Ben Matheson (Richards dismissed that when Danny points that out), Danny only wounded the guy with his crossbow and the villager Caleb shot and killed Templeton. Even though Danny gets beaten up, he repays Richards for that later by strangling him a little with his chains and threatening to kill him if he ever lays hands on him again.
    • In "Soul Train", Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson wants revenge on the militia for the death of his wife, by blowing up a train with many officers on it. Unfortunately, he is willing to blow up the train with innocent civilians like Danny Matheson in it. He ended up stabbing Nora in the gut when she tried to stop him.
    • When Danny gets killed off in "The Stand", Rachel Matheson becomes obsessed with avenging him. In "The Song Remains the Same", she tried to kill Tom Neville and had to be talked out of it by Charlie. In "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia", Dr. Jane Warren suspected Rachel's motivation and tried to talk her out of it, but Rachel wouldn't listen. In "The Longest Day", Rachel has to spell it out to Aaron Pittman that she only wants to turn the power back on to avenge Danny, and she'll let another ill boy die and abandon Aaron if that's what it takes to obtain it. In "Clue", she infiltrates Monroe's tent and tries to use a live grenade to kill herself and take him with her. In "Children of Men", her attempt fails, and she ends up having a heart-to-heart discussion about her motivations, with Monroe himself having to point out that he wasn't even there when Danny got killed off.
  • Scrubs: In "My Mirror Image", The Janitor realizes he has spent so much time and energy into trying to trying to get revenge on JD (for the penny in the door incident) that he misses out on all the things he wanted to do. He doesn't change his ways until much later, though.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode, "The Battle", Ferengi Daimon Bok staged an elaborate trap to gain revenge on Captian Picard for the death of Bok's son, whose ship was destroyed in a battle with the Stargazer, the first ship Picard commanded. His fellow Ferengi ultimately abandoned him, declaring that there is no profit in revenge. For reference, the Stargazer was attacked by a ship that didn't identity itself, and the Federation vessel ended up being abandoned with most crew killed. Bok still blames Picard despite the fact that it was his own son who initiated the battle. While it's true that Picard was in Ferengi space, Bok's son didn't identify himself or warn the Stargazer to leave, opening fire immediately.
  • The Storyteller: The retelling of Daedalus' story presents him as falling into this. After terrible actions in the past (causing the deaths of his nephew and son), Daedalus had a chance to atone when he befriended the young prince and princess at a court. However, when he is blackmailed by King Minos into building the Labyrinth, he throws away that chance by his terrible revenge on Minos — rigging his bath to boil him alive. The story indicates that with that revenge, Daedalus essentially froze his heart, and he dies alone, a broken man.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the female changeling leader of the Dominion allows her hatred of all solids (normal humanoids) to ruin her plans. In the middle of the climactic battle of a long war, she orders the destruction of a city of her allies, the Cardassians, in order to punish a group of rebels who are causing trouble against them. The loss of two million of their own causes the Cardassian space fleet to turn on their former allies in the middle of a large battle, which allows the Federation and their allies to break through the Dominion lines and win the war.
  • Supernatural: All of the Winchesters are hell-bent on taking out the demons who have destroyed their family, but John and Sam are particularly scary and self-destructive about it. Particularly notable in Season 4, when Sam's quest to kill Lilith, the demon who laughed as her hounds tore Dean apart and dragged him to hell, leads the poor kid down a path that ensures he fulfills his own greatest fears about himself. And brings about The End of the World as We Know It killing her in an attempt to prevent the Apocalypse.
    • Also, Billy, the Reaper that has apparently taken over now that's Death is dead, is so pissed at the Winchester's hand in said death that when the two finally croak, she's throwing them into the Empty, which nothing can come back from. Even if they're the only things that can save the world- including herself — from the Darkness.
    • The Darkness herself is determined to kill God as punishment for locking her inside the Mark of Cain. Since darkness cannot exist without light, this will kill her too, along with everything else in existence, but she's willing to pay that price.
  • Over the course of the third season of Tyrant (2014), Bassam systematically pisses away every scrap of goodwill he's earned over the previous two seasons in order to launch an almost-certainly-doomed invasion of Syria in order to avenge the murder of his daughter Emma.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Nate of Dave's group of survivors. Unlike Randall and Sean, he wasn't willing to go back to the rest of his group without killing Rick, Glenn, and Hershel for killing Dave and Tony even after Rick explains to him what happened. After Sean got wounded and Walkers began approaching, he decided fleeing was a better idea.
    • Rosita plans to kill Negan using a bullet she asked Eugene to make for her, despite warnings from Father Gabriel and Eugene himself that it will go wrong and someone else will have to pay the price. When Negan kills Spencer in front of her, Rosita snaps and fires at him. She misses, and it results in Olivia's death and Eugene's kidnapping.
    • Richard of the Kingdom. His obsessive desire to gain revenge against the Saviors for all their cruelty has caused him to accidentally get Benjamin killed and led to Morgan becoming a crazy survivalist again.
    • Even though using Dwight was a good strategy against the Saviors, Tara still wouldn't forgive him for killing her girlfriend. Because of that, she starts chasing him around the woods to kill him, resulting in Dwight getting found by his Savior allies and getting taken away, ruining the plan.
    • Maggie would never forgive Negan for killing Glenn. She wants him to die so much, she would go against Rick and Carl's wishes to let him live, creating peace for everyone.

  • "1 Shot 2 Shot" by Eminem fully acknowledges the fact that bullets are flying everywhere as people engage in a shoot out, even leaving their wives and girlfriends in harm's way to go get a gun so they can return fire. Something of a sub-culture 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 a 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 harms 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 
  • 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 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 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.

    Video Games 
  • The ending of Burial at Sea reveals that Elizabeth has taken the goal she and Booker set out to do at the end of Bioshock Infinite, to influence space-time events to prevent as many Comstocks from existing as possible, to a bloodthirsty and nonsensical extreme. The Booker you've been playing as throughout the episode is actually a Comstock who accidentally killed his timeline's baby Elizabeth when that Booker tried to take her back, and was so consumed with guilt that he asked the Luteces to bring him to a new timeline, where he could forget about ever having been Comstock and just quietly live out the rest of his days. He adopted Sally after years of living in Rapture and was a good father to her; he did everything in his power to rescue her when she was abducted to become a Little Sister, which is why he jumped at the chance to find her when Elizabeth offered him information as to her whereabouts. This Comstock was atoning for his sins and hadn't posed a threat to an innocent person for a long time, and even sincerely apologizes to Elizabeth when he remembers his past, but the fact that he's a Comstock at all means she sentences him to a horrific death. This comes back to bite her, however, once she's consumed by guilt for using Sally as a pawn and then leaving her for dead. When she first comes back to Rapture to save Sally, she has a conversation with her auditory hallucination of Booker, and he subtly calls her out for becoming just as evil and self-centered as the man she's been killing over and over. Keep in mind that her hallucination openly identifies himself as a manifestation of her subconscious, so she's just talking to herself, meaning that she knows what she did was wrong.
  • Kokonoe in BlazBlue is defined with, aside of her scientifical genius, her seething hatred against the Big Bad, Yuuki Terumi, who killed her mother. She has pretty much focused so much to kill Terumi that she doesn't give a crap if she dabbles into dangerous science, planned a nuclear strike in case her plans go south, mindwipes one particularly innocent 'weapon' just for her purposes, ignores her two students so much one of them ends up corrupted into a monster and the other one ended up joining her enemy to restore him, attempts to order the death of anyone who comes near close to uncovering some of her secrets, uses the clone of her aunt to power up a massive cannon at cost of the latter's life and doesn't care if said clone is developing her own identity... In her own words, becoming a devil is fair play if it means a dead Terumi... by her hands. She doesn't want to share her frag!
  • Kabbu from Bug Fables is normally the very soul of caution, but when he runs into the Beast of the Wild Swamplands, he ignores his teammates' warnings to flee and recklessly attacks it in order to avenge the friends it killed in the past. As a result, they come dangerously close to dying and Kabbu realizes to his horror that his careless thirst for revenge nearly led to history repeating itself.
  • In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the Player Character comes dangerously close to this when they discover that Adria, who had betrayed the heroes and used her daughter Leah as a vessel for Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil two acts before, has info on where Malthael is hiding, with Lorath Nahr having to remind them repeatedly to get the information before killing her, as the hero won't mention Adria without bringing up how badly she needs to die. Had Adria not been in the midst of talking about Malthael being in Pandemonium when the hero arrives, it's likely the hero would've gone for her anyway and doomed all of humanity just to get their badly-desired revenge.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • If you choose to spare Loghain at the Landsmeet, Alistair will permanently leave the party. However, it's possible to get him to stay as King of Ferelden and save Loghain's life if you take proper precautions. If so, by Dragon Age II he's calmed a bit about this, though he's still quite bitter towards Loghain.
      • This goes the other way as well. If you are set on killing Loghain, the otherwise virtuous and good Alistar will stick with you to the end, even if you're playing the Warden as a cruel ruthless backstabbing evil jackass whose constant murdering and betrayals have long since caused the rest of the party to leave.
      • The Human Noble can demonstrate this towards Arl Howe. Despite remaining calm and rational throughout the rest of the game, various dialogue hints that just under the surface is a seething mass of rage, eager to get revenge on the man who murdered their entire family;
        Human Noble Warden: I want Howe dead NOW!
    • Dragon Age II:
      • Vengeance — the former spirit of Justice twisted by Ander's rage directed at the Templars — embodies this. Over the course of the game Anders/Vengeance cares less about true justice and more about making the Templars pay for oppressing mages, regardless of who gets hurt.
      • Ironically, in the endgame, if you refuse to kill Anders, Sebastian will swear to raise an army and burn Kirkwall to the ground in revenge for the destruction of the Chantry, rather than reserving his revenge for Anders and Hawke, despite having just condemned Anders for killing innocent people.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The entire Elf race displays this mentality at various levels toward humans for the atrocities committed by the Tevinter Imperium and their pitiful state. This is despite the fact that A, it happened thousands of years ago; B, the human prophet Andraste lead the effort to topple the empire and C, as revealed in Inquisition, the Elves essentially brought themselves down and the Imperium merely picked on the bones of the Elven empire. This mentality ranges from mild, resenting humans for the history and system that they had no control over (Keeper Lanaya, Shianni, the Elf Warden) to completely blind to reason ( Keeper Zathrian, Velanna).
  • This is the Big Bad's entire motivation in Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War. He knows that restarting the war between gods and demons will likely result in the destruction of the human race, if not the entire world but he doesn't care, just so long as he can pay the gods back for humiliating the demons 70,000 years ago.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, the Daedric Prince Malacath has revenge and bloody oaths as one of his spheres of interest, and there is nothing he loves more than vengeance pursued completely out of proportion to the slight that provoked it, especially when that revenge is going to cause massive collateral damage.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Blades insist that Paarthurnax be killed and refuse to aid the player until the deed is done. This is despite the Blades being honor bound to serve the Dragonborn (you) and a previous Dragonborn already agreed to leave Paarthurnax alone. Secondly, if you fail in your quest the entire world will be destroyed. In fact, depending on when they confront you, you might have just watched the leader of the Blades chew out the generals in charge of the civil war for putting more focus on their petty conflict than on averting the apocalypse when five minutes later, they refuse to aid the only person in the world who can stop Alduin over a four thousand year old grudge.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Tellah from Final Fantasy IV seeks revenge on Golbez for ultimately being responsible for the death of his daughter, Anna. To do this, Tellah seeks the world's strongest black magic spell, Meteor. Several characters warn him not to go through with it, seeing his advanced age makes him too weak to use it. He also never gets enough MP to actually cast it. When Tellah finally confronts Golbez, he uses what's left of his life to cast Meteor, and dies as a result of the strain. It's not quite a Senseless Sacrifice, however, since the power of Meteor broke the hold Golbez had over Kain.
    • Princess Ashe from Final Fantasy XII spends most of the game plotting revenge against the Empire for conquering her kingdom, and killing her husband and her father before the events of the game. Her thirst for revenge leaves her blind to the fact that her "Resistance" is unlikely to accomplish anything, and that she is being manipulated by outside forces that are the real enemy the Empire is fighting. At one point, she acknowledges that "reason" says she should try to negotiate with the Empire instead of continuing her war, but it's a bit longer before she finally accepts that revenge won't solve anything.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, Snow is blamed for Nora Estheim's death by her son Hope because Snow recruited her into his Ragtag Bunch of Misfits during the Purge. When Lightning realizes what Hope wants and tries to talk him out of it, he is already aware that he's playing into this trope—killing Snow won't bring Nora back and Snow is not the primary reason she died because the Sanctum was going to kill them all whether Snow led an uprising or not. But Hope is desperate for some goal he can fulfill to get closure for her death, and hunting down Snow is a hell of a lot more achievable than the powerful forces of the whole Sanctum government. (He does move past this attitude when Snow saves his life after Hope tries to stab him.)
    • One of the antagonists for Final Fantasy XIV is Nidhogg, the current leader of the Dravanian Horde. He is consumed with rage and has waged war with the nation of Ishgard for over a thousand years over the loss of his eye and his sister at the hands of Ishgard's founders. Even when both man and dragon come to the point where they're ready to atone and make peace, Nidhogg would sooner spill his own kin's blood than ever allow peace with his sworn enemies.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Raven is thrown in a jail cell with some Caelin soldiers and his best friend/servant, Lucius. He then betrays them to fight for the enemy in the hope that he could kill your main lord, Hector of Ostia. No matter how much evidence is presented that Hector is innocent of the crime, Raven blames him for and no matter how often his friend and sister tell him to give it up, he's quite willing to throw his life on the line to try and take a chunk out of him.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, after the timeskip on all routes except the Crimson Flower route, Dimitri will go to any lengths to get revenge on Edelgard, who he believes caused the deaths of his loved ones nine years prior, and neglects both his own personal safety and the kingdom he has a duty to lead in the process. On the Azure Moon route, it takes Fleche perpetuating the Cycle of Revenge and Rodrigue's ensuing Heroic Sacrifice to snap him out of it; on the Verdant Wind route, he attacks the Alliance despite them being on the same side before going Leeroy Jenkins and is unceremoniously Killed Offscreen.
  • In God of War III, Kratos is so completely blinded by his desire to kill Zeus and eventually all the gods, he refuses to listen to other people who tell them that, like, maybe killing the sun in pursuit of Zeus wouldn't be such for a good thing for the world at large. Nope, his complete vengeance shall not be denied! Eventually however he starts to see the consequences of his actions and chooses to sacrifice himself to give the power of hope to humanity in an attempt to salvage the world he obliterated.
  • Ghost of Tsushima Jin, the player character, has this opinion of Makoto when she attempts to kill a monk you just saved who apparently betrayed her family, believing that personal vendettas like this are highly counter-productive during a full-scale Mongolian invasion.
  • Defied by Karst in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. She prides herself on being aware of her situation and in control of her emotions when she needs to be, so even her Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the death of her beloved Cool Big Sis is second priority to the Elemental Lighthouses. At the same time, she never stopped to ask why Isaac killed her sister, which in hindsight was a mistake.
    Karst: (smiling, possibly grimly) I am filled with rage... but not so much as to be blinded by it.
  • Surprisingly inverted in Grand Theft Auto IV when Pegorino offers Niko a chance to work with Dimitri for a massive payday. Dimitri is clearly not trustworthy, and while pursuing revenge isn't quite a perfect ending (Niko's girlfriend Kate ends up dead at Roman's wedding), Niko still ends up noticeably better off than he does if he chooses to give in to his greed (Roman dies at his own wedding, bereaving his new wife and unborn child and leaving Niko with no real family left).
  • Assassin Asha in Iji. He also accuses Iji of the same, as she really wants to kill him for attacking and possibly killing Dan. The player is free to avert this by ignoring Asha's challenge, which leads to Asha's suicide.
  • Early on, a huge flaw of Ajna from Indivisible; she wants revenge on Ravannavar for destroying her village, she wants it now, and she will not let any consequences or advice slow her down. This leads to her releasing Kala, Goddess of Creation and Destruction, fulfilling Ravannavar's ambitions despite getting his head.
  • The Dark Side path in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has The Exile hunting down and killing the Jedi Masters in revenge, ignoring the fact that their help is needed to stop their mutual foe the Sith. Kreia calls them out on this towards the end.
  • The Hunters in Pittsburgh in The Last of Us pursue Joel, Ellie, Henry and Sam through the Suburbs and even bring their humvee because they're pissed that Joel and his companions basically were forced to slaughter their way through past them to get to the suburbs (and the Hunters were shooting people on sight, so Violence Is the Only Option). The Hunters, rather than cutting their losses and not attempting to fight the One-Man Army who slaughtered over a hundred of them, attempt to get revenge instead. This ends poorly for them. This is something of a trend when it comes to bad guys that Joel and Ellie encounter, really.
    • The Last of Us Part II: Virtually a theme in this game. Abby's need to and ultimately success, in killing Joel for the death of her father (the surgeon who was going to operate on Ellie) ends up alienating a few of her friends because she did so right in front of Ellie alongside other personal drama. On the flipside, Ellie loses virtually all sense of reason after this act and pretty much makes it her main quest to make Abby and her friends pay for what she's done. In the end, neither really come out better for it; Abby's friends all die thanks to Ellie and Ellie, when she does have Abby at her mercy, can't go through with it and lets her go, but loses her family she built up via abandonment for her trouble. The only silver lining is that they're alive and hopefully can rebuild their lives and learn from all of this.
  • The Yiga Clan's origins are this in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They were once Sheikah but a past Hyrule king exiled them when he became afraid their technology could usurp the throne. While some swore off the technology and lived normal lives, many became resentful towards the kingdom that shunned them and became the Yiga, pledging their allegiance to Ganon instead. Their thirst for revenge against anyone who opposed them and Ganon, especially other Sheikah members, Hyrule soldiers and the Royal family, is so powerful that they would rather see Hyrule destroyed even if they go with it.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Zaeed wants the head of Vido Santiago on a pike in the worst way. The two started the Blue Suns merc group together. Vido wanted to hire Batarians because they were cheaper, but Zaeed considered them a little too hardcore. Vido circumvents Zaeed by betraying him and shooting him in the face. Zaeed attempts to get his revenge later with the help of Commander Shepard, but ends up endangering the lives of innocent refinery workers in the process. A Paragon player can go so far as to deck Zaeed across the face in a What the Hell, Hero? diatribe, and deprive Zaeed of his revenge attempt and save the plant workers instead; depending on how the mission shakes out, you can leave him to die in the refinery or force him to get his shit together long enough to prioritize the mission. Renegade players can go along with Zaeed's Revenge Before Reason spree.
    • This political stance in the Quarian fleet regarding the Geth is personified by Admiral Han'Gerrel. If you screw up Priority: Rannoch or have a bad save, and choose to allow Legion to complete the upload, Han'Gerrel will doom the fleet in a mad attack on the geth, leading to the virtual destruction of the quarian people and the death of Tali.
  • Tech Kraken, pupil of the late Hero Antagonist Phantom in the Mega Man Zero series. Knowing that Zero retired Phantom before the end of the first game, Kraken decided to join Dr. Weil's army to get revenge on Zero. He openly stated that he doesn't care about the repercussions of working under Weil, because he just wants to avenge his mentor. Fortunately, Kraken loses all of his desire for revenge after his final defeat in Zero's hands, and gives Zero his blessing in defeating Dr. Weil once and for all.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: After losing everything, including a few limbs, to XOF and Cipher a.k.a. the Patriots, Big Boss and Miller have sworn revenge on both groups, and are perfectly willing and able to cross any line to reach that end.
    Miller: "We pull in money, recruits, just to combat Cipher. Rubbing our noses in bloody battlefield dirt... all for revenge."
  • Scorpion from Mortal Kombat is a frequent victim of this. This is shown most prominently in Mortal Kombat 9 when Scorpion, offered a chance by Raiden to have the Shirai-Ryu clan restored in exchange for sparing Sub-Zero, flies off the handle when Quan Chi shows him a vision of Sub-Zero being personally responsible for his wife and child's death. Then in Mortal Kombat X, once he is returned to life and learns the truth behind Quan Chi's complicity in the Shirai-Ryu's extermination, he makes a bee-line for Quan Chi to take his head, deaf to pleas to spare him so that he could bring the allies the sorcerer had under his control back to life.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: Omsk's Siberian Black League is this written large. While many other warlords lead their people on various ideologies, Omsk only has one joining tenet: Vengeance on the Reich for what they did to Russia. Everything they do is ultimately oriented towards what they call the Great Trial, which is this inevitable war, and nothing shall get in the way. Allying with other warlord states? They refuse, they're in the way of the Great Trial. The Reich has not decayed nearly enough to take? Clearly they just need more true Russians to throw at it. Germany is a nuclear power and a thermonuclear apocalypse is the inevitable ending of such a vendetta? That's what the metro bunkers are for. And if they need to march out into the nuclear winter to stomp on the ashes of Berlin while they're still glowing to get their vengeance, they will.
  • NieR: Automata has this happen to 9S during the second half after he sees A2 kill 2B, unaware that she was succumbing to the Logic Virus and had asked A2 to Mercy Kill her. During the Tower, even after learning the Awful Truth that there is no moon base, mankind is well and utterly extinct, making every android's mission on earth All for Nothing. He also learns from A2 that 2B's real designation is 2E, as in "Executioner" class, and that she's always killed 9S cause he always discovered YoRHa's secret and hated it. By that point, the Logic Virus has taken over, this time with him unable to clear it since It Only Works Once. At that point, you decide who to control in the final battle between A2 and 9S. Either way it happens, he ends up dead.
  • At the climax of Night in the Woods, a member of the Big Bad's team ends up accidentally screwing over every other bad guy thanks to a misguided attempt at vengeance. The Cult of the Black Goat would have gotten away with everything if Eide didn't just have to have his revenge for getting shot in the shoulder by Gregg. Because Eide attacked Mae, not only did Eide get his arm lopped off by a falling elevator (most likely bleeding to death as a result), he trapped himself and the other cultists at the bottom of the mine shaft with no way out. And this was after explicit orders by the rest of the villain's allies to just let it go.
  • In Persona 4, Yu Narukami is given the opportunity to kill Taro Namatame for being responsible for Nanako's death. Doing so leads to the very worst ending of the game. However, if the Player chooses not to give in to this and ponders the option that Namatame is not the true killer, not only does Nanako get better, but her father (after getting some time to cool off) will piece together the evidence himself and doubts Namatame's (who turns out to be a well intentioned Unwitting Pawn given false leads by the actual killer) actual guilt.
    • Alex Mercer kills countless people to get revenge on the people who turned him into what he is, overturning their operations whenever he finds an opportunity. As a direct consequence, Manhattan becomes a war-zone. This is, of course, one of the few things remaining from the original Mercer, whose corpse was reanimated after he died trying to take the rest of the world down with him.
    • [PROTOTYPE 2]: Heller's motive is to get revenge on Alex for 1) wreaking so much havoc on New York (indirectly killing Heller's family, who were caught in the crossfire of the first game) and 2) turning Heller into a creature like Alex, making him immortal when all he wanted was to die.
  • In Quest for Glory III, Rakeesh tries to convince the king not to declare war because of the disappearance of his (Rakeesh's) daughter, knowing that there are demons involved and starting a war is what the demons want:
    "Revenge for the sake of revenge is pointless. Mindless revenge is pure stupidity."
  • One of the major conflicts in Ratchet & Clank (2002) involves the titular duo looking for Captain Qwark, but he backstabs them in Umbris and leaves them to be eaten by a Blargian Snagglebeast. Ratchet is pissed over Qwark's betrayal and swears to kill him, despite Clank's insist on finding another superhero to stop Drek, which leads to Ratchet abusing Clank non-stop, and becoming a Villain Protagonist. When Ratchet finally shoots Qwark's ship down, he has a Heel Realization when realizes that his rage lead to a city being destroyed, leading him to make amends with Clank, spare Qwark when he's relocated, and become The Atoner.
  • Red Dead Redemption II:
    • After Sadie is hardened enough to voluntarily ride out with the gang, her hatred for the O'Driscolls often gets the better of her and she ends up bringing trouble upon herself and those around her. It should be noted she can be reasonable and even level-headed enough to help direct people, but it all goes out the window when an O'Driscoll is near.
    • In the Epilogue, Abigail views John's insistence on tracking down Micah Bell and killing him as revenge for betraying the gang and causing the death of Arthur Morgan as this. At this point, John has successfully escaped from his outlaw past and built a happy and safe life for his family at Beecher's Hope, and going after Micah will just be placing himself and people he cares about in danger again. Unfortunately, she's right. Though John successfully finds and helps kill Micah, this decision leads to Edgar Ross finding him, setting in motion the events of the first game and culminating in John's eventual death. To make matters worse, the game contains some subtle hints that Dutch was planning on killing Micah regardless of what John did, creating the possibility it was ultimately all for nothing.
  • Saints Row:
    • Saints Row 2:
      • The Boss drives the Brotherhood boss Maero into this throughout a Cycle of Revenge story arc. The Boss makes precise and sometimes lucrative strikes against Maero, who lashes out with any heavy vehicles and weapons at his disposal, going so far as to assault and threaten city officials to do it. Eventually the Boss loses reason enough to charge into a trap set by Maero.
      • Near the end of the game when the Boss is given the opportunity to confront Julius, he/she does it with no hesitation. Even when Julius points out why he tried to kill him/her at the end of the first game to prevent more bloodshed, the Boss just laughs in his face before gunning him down.
    • Saints Row: The Third: If you decide to go after Killbane in the final mission, it ultimately results in the death of two long standing Saints members.
  • In ShadowVerse: When Isabelle found out that the dragon that killed Kyle was none other than Rowen, she tried to kill him to avenge Kyle. In the English dub she succumbed to vengeful fury, while in the original Japanese version she was much more conflicted and breaking down in tears, but said she had no choice other than to kill him.
  • In Soulcalibur 3, Setsuka vows to take revenge upon the man (i.e. Mitsurugi) that defeated her father in a duel, which accidentally gave him an infection that killed him. Despite the fact that his dying words were that the swordsman was a good, honorable man, and that she should not hold a grudge against him.
  • In Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, the restored-to-human Kerrigan willingly returns to the Zerg for the sake of revenge on Mengsk for supposedly killing Jim Raynor. This reignites a devastating galactic war, destroys any chance for peace and stability and results in countless deaths. She is thoroughly chewed-out for this by various characters, and ultimately she proves she is no longer the original Queen of Blades by making her own job much harder in her attempts to prevent civilian casualties and ensure that the galaxy survives her war and has the possibility of a brighter future.
  • The Dark Side ending of the first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed game is the result of this. If Starkiller chooses to finish off Darth Vader instead of saving Master Kota from Sidious, Kota dies while Starkiller is captured by Sidious and forced to become Vader's replacement. He then takes on Luke Skywalker as his Sith apprentice after killing Obi-Wan Kenobi, perpetuating the cycle of violence that's followed him since he was a child.
  • Full-on embraced by Velvet in Tales of Berseria. When she reaches the mainland after three years at the start of the game and discovers Artorius is a beloved figurehead leading the world into a golden age and killing him makes her one woman against the world, she doesn't care one bit. She'll kill him for what he did to her, and she'll destroy herself and anything else between them in the process. Even when taking down Artorius and the Abbey turns out to be the right thing to do, any heroics perpetrated remain completely incidental to Velvet's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Chloe in Tales of Legendia. During the main game, her primary motivation is justice. However, justice soon turns to revenge when confronted with person who killed her parents. Later in the game during the Character Quests, Chloe's want for revenge upon learning identity of killer gets to the point where she stabs Senel and leaves him for dead. Then, Chloe tries to kill the swordsman in front of his daughter who she has gotten close to. Luckily, Chloe grabs a hold of her senses when she almost grabs hold of the Villain Ball with both hands after everyone convinces her that Vengeance Feels Empty.
  • Asch in Tales of the Abyss. It's actually a lot more complicated than plain revenge, but there's certainly an element of vengeance when he faces Luke, the replica who unwittingly stole Asch's life and condemned him to an early death by fonon separation, in a Duel Boss encounter near the end. He even admits this:
    Asch: Shut up! This isn't about logic!
  • Strongly implied with Shredder himself in the climax of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. When you eventually get to Shredder's boss fight, his boss subtitle is "Ready For Revenge!" Later on, after the turtles and their allies destroy the Statue of Tyranny and cause Krang to retreat, his immediate course of action is throw mutagen on himself and turn into Super Shredder. Even his defeat has him protest about getting his revenge.
  • Touhou Project gives us Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou, two immortal girls who are perpetually trying to kill each other despite knowing that they can't die. The reason behind their feud is pretty pathetic too; it's all because Kaguya humiliated Mokou's father centuries ago. That said, it's been heavily implied even that justification is nothing but an excuse on Mokou's part, if only to have the barest scrap of an actual relationship of any kind.
  • This causes Grimlock's downfall in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron; when he finally gets his chance at revenge on Shockwave, he's loses control and thoughtlessly smashes apart the space bridge control center in the process of attacking. This causes him to be unable to escape the space bridge when it collapses.
  • The First Child in Undertale hated humanity for reasons unknown. After falling into Mt. Ebott and being taken in by a kinder monster family, they manipulate Asriel, their surrogate brother, into their plans to murder the humans from their village. They poison themselves in a Thanatos Gambit in spite of having a better life just to have revenge on humans.
  • Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season Two: Michonne:
    • Norma's brother, Randal, relentlessly stalks Michonne to gain revenge despite not telling his sister on his whereabouts and leaving his own safe zone while it's on fire and in need of assistance. In What We Deserve, he may charge at Michonne in the middle of a gunfight with walkers.
    • Gabby, another one of Norma's group. She's the one who ultimately triggers the final battle between Norma and Michonne's group due to her desire for revenge.
  • Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne: Sylvanas Windrunner would've gotten her revenge on Arthas, prevented his ascension to Lich-Kingdom and saved everybody heaps of troubles if only she had had the sense to kill him outright rather than seek to prolong his torment, allowing him to escape and fulfill his goals.
    • Also, Maiev Shadowsong. As Furion says: "She has become vengeance itself, bound forever to the hunt."
  • The entire story of Watch_Dogs has this theme. Aidan Pierce obsessively seeks revenge for the death of his niece, which happened because of his illegal actions as a hacker. His sister begs him to let it go and move on but he doesn't listen and soon gets in over his head.
  • In Wing Commander III, when Hobbes kills Cobra, Colonel Blair has the option of going after him or listening to reason. If he chooses revenge, he chases Hobbes and duels him, while Hobbes comments that he knew their fight was destined to happen. Consenquently, Vaquero is killed in an ambush while the Victory is undefended by the Colonel. If he chooses to not chase him, the ambush doesn't happen and he gets to fight him in the final mission alongside Prince Thrakhath, but Hobbes doesn't say anything then.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, Bandit Keith is so obsessed with beating Pegasus he doesn't care about Reshef or the threat he poses.

    Visual Novels 
  • Just about every murder in Ace Attorney is a result of this trope. For example, Manfred von Karma's reaction to his rival Gregory Edgeworth exposing him for coercing a confession from the defendant, resulting in his first ever court penalty on his otherwise spotless record was to get revenge by playing an absolutely ruthless variant of the long game. Von Karma murdered Gregory while he was passed out, let an innocent man take the blame, and took in Gregory's son Miles Edgeworth and raised him as a bloodthirsty prosecutor who was obsessed with winning at all costs and putting away every poor sod who was accused of a crime — in other words, everything Gregory hated. Von Karma then waited fifteen years to orchestrate a staged murder along with the man who took the fall for the older crime, just so he could frame Edgeworth, prosecute him, and finally completely destroy the family he hated so much. And since Edgeworth has fearfully wondered since he was a child if he was the one who killed his father (all he remembers is throwing a loaded pistol at the man who was trying to strangle his father, hearing it fire, and immediately passing out) even after you expose the present crime as having been staged and get Edgeworth off the hook for it, he blurts out that he's responsible for his father's death, so he's still guilty of a crime. Now you have to solve a 15-year-old murder in under a day, but it works out beautifully when Phoenix and Maya manage to expose von Karma as the mastermind of both crimes and show the world that he was the one who killed Gregory. The bastard was so hellbent on revenge that when that bullet from fifteen years ago shot him, he kept in inside his shoulder all these years because he didn't want to leave any trace by having a doctor remove it. If he had just left the whole thing alone and not executed the fake murder, both Gregory's memory and Edgeworth's conscience would never have known peace.
  • 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'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 because 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.

  • 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 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.
    • 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 for inadvertently making him late for an appointment.
  • 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 the 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 woman 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 because 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.
  • 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 encourage 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.
  • 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 a 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 incarnations 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 with 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 gets 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 to drop it.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


"He's Got The Movie!"

In response to not being able to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with twenty-one additional seconds, Sheldon swipes the movie...which results in him and his friends being chased by a mob of angry Indiana Jones fans.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChasedOffIntoTheSunset

Media sources: