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Vandalism Backfire

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Bart: Hello, Lisa. Certain differences – rivalries, if you will – have come up between us. At first, I thought we could talk it over like civilized people. But instead, I've just ripped the head off Mr. Honeybunny!
Lisa: Bart, that was your cherished childhood toy.
[Stunned pause]
Bart: AHHH! Mr. Honeybunny!
The Simpsons, "Lisa on Ice"

A bad guy or bully breaks someone's stuff, either trying to upset them, get revenge, get information, or for any other nefarious purpose. There's a Beat, as we see the victim's reaction. They're usually looking either utterly deadpan, slightly confused, or oddly, a little smug. Then comes the punchline:

"That's not actually mine."

For added facepalm value, the broken thing actually belongs to the guy who broke it. An alternative is for it to belong to someone much scarier than the intended victim. There's also another variant where the intended victim is a Pyromaniac, Mad Bomber, or a destructive guru in general and it turns out he was about to destroy the stuff anyway. Added insult to injury if the intended victims criticizes their method of destruction and demonstrates a more effective way.

See also Shame If Something Happened and Interrogation by Vandalism.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Cross Ange: Episode 4 has an Intended Vandalism Backfire example, as the perpetrators don't actually go through it. Rosalie and Chris are trying to prank Ange, and while in the locker room they find what they believe is her underwear and plan to hang it on the hallway. Right when they say "That lewd bitch panties", Ersha comes out of the shower, and turns out those panties belong to her and she does not find it amusing that they insult her.
  • Ramen Fighter Miki: Megumi, a Kanban Musume (poster girl) of a bakery, bullies her long time The Rival Miki, who is another Kanban Musume for a Ramen Restaurant, by kicking the ramen container while Miki’s busy:
    Megumi: Oh my! How could I have accidentally kicked over the ramen? … Eh… it’s empty?
    Miki: I already knew something like this could happen, so I put the ramen over there earlier. I know exactly what kind of things you have a tendency to do.
    Megumi: How underhanded!
  • An unintentional variant happens in Ranma ˝. Akane is chasing Happosai (after the old goat has raided her underwear drawer yet again) and throws a bottle of soy sauce at him; he dodges and it instead hits Nabiki just as she walks in the door, getting soy sauce all over the new jacket she was wearing. Akane begins profusely apologizing for staining the jacket before Nabiki tells her not to bother; after all, it was actually Akane's jacket, to the younger sister's chagrin.

    Comic Books 
  • In an unusual shorter Archie Comics story (only two pages), Jughead boards a passenger train. The conductor yells at Jug to move his suitcase out of the aisle but refuses. After another passenger trips on the suitcase, Jughead still refuses to move it, so the conductor throws the valise off the moving train. Jughead then says he learned his lesson, and will never leave things where people can stumble over them. After the conductor expresses a little remorse for acting so ruthlessly, Jug calmly adds, " wasn't even my suitcase."
  • In the comic book adaptation of Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, Agent Worthington (who is posing as Mycroft's butler) gets sick of Mycroft's smug superiority and drops Mycroft's suitcase off the dock into the harbour. Mycroft replies "I changed nametags this morning. That was your suitcase. Pity our frugal government supplied us with identical suitcases". Worthington then immediately tosses the other case into the harbour and says "What do you have to say to that, your cleverness?" Mycroft replies:
    "I lied about switching nametags."

    Comic Strips 
  • One Drabble story had Ralph going out to cover his annoying neighbor Steinbauer's home with toilet paper. However, it was very dark that night, and Ralph discovered to his horror the next morning that he accidentally TP'd his own home.
  • In one series of FoxTrot comics, Jason and Marcus are at science camp and get into a prank war with Jason's sort-of girlfriend Eileen and her new friend Phoebe. The boys decide to win the war by sabotaging the girls' science project but get lost in the dark cabin where the projects are and end up sabotaging their own project. Then, to add insult to injury, it turns out that the girls' project is one of the top two—with Phoebe's brother Eugene (the most obnoxious kid at camp) having the other one. Jason and Marcus are forced to cast the deciding votes that give Eileen and Phoebe the win.
  • In one Garfield strip, Garfield sees what he thinks is Odie sleeping in his bed. Incensed, he decides it calls for a good stomping. As he's jumping on what's in his bed, Odie comes up to him, and when Garfield realizes he's not in the bed, he looks under his blanket to see what he was stomping on.
  • In an early Peanuts strip, Lucy takes a blanket away from Linus and tears it apart. Linus says, "That wasn't my blanket. It was yours." Cue Lucy pounding the floor in frustration.

    Fan Works 
  • Appears in several Miraculous Ladybug fanfics:
    • In Designer Decoy, Marinette knows that Lila is likely to try and sabotage her entry into a design competition. So she convinces the model she's working with to wear the dress she designed while she leaves the practice piece in their dressing room, along with a hidden camera. Sure enough, Lila sneaks in and gleefully slices it apart, gloating the whole time... with everyone getting to witness it live over the feed.
    • Neeko96's The Internship has Lila successfully destroy a design Marinette was supposed to submit to Gabriel, so Adrien gives him a different piece: a Chat Noir-themed suit. What none of them realize is that Gabriel was secretly intending to present a Miraculous-themed collection for the upcoming Fashion Week, but Chat Noir was the one piece he just couldn't seem to get right...
    • to lose someone: Lila convinces Alya and the rest of her followers that Marinette has been bullying her, so they destroy her sketchbook in retaliation. However, Marinette made certain the only sketchbook they could potentially get their hands on was the one that contained all of the things she'd been making for them, like clothing, costumes and webpage designs. She also claims that it contained vital notes for her work as class president, including all the contact information for several trips they were all looking forward to, which will now have to be cancelled.note  She also points out that she was doing all of that for free, since they were supposedly her friends... but as they've proven otherwise, she has no intention of redoing any of those projects, unless they sincerely apologize and start paying her for her labor. She then casually reminds Lila that she'd warned her that if Lila succeeded in turning her Fair-Weather Friends against her, then "they'd lose me too."

    Film — Animated 
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, after Bikini Bottom devolves into an apunkalypse when there's no more Krabby Patties, Patrick goes on a vandalizing spree on a certain rock.
    SpongeBob: What are you doing?
    Patrick: Vandalizing stuff.
    Plankton: Isn't that your house?

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Big Lebowski:
    • The entire plot takes place because Jackie Treehorn's thugs broke into the home of the Dude, a middle-aged slacker, and peed on his treasured rug, because his real name was Jeffrey Lebowski, just like the wealthy businessman they were actually after, and they didn't grasp their mistake till well after the fact.
    • Later, Walter suspects a kid of stealing a million-dollar ransom from The Dude's car. When they arrive at his house, there's a new Corvette sitting out front, which more or less confirms their suspicions. After a brief interrogation, Walter decides that more severe measures are necessary and begins to smash the Corvette with a crowbar. Turns out it wasn't the kid's car, as the neighbor runs out screaming about his new Corvette. He decides to destroy Walter's car... which actually belongs to The Dude, who'd objected to the car-smashing in the first place.
  • In Cop and a Half, Devin sets up his two bullies from school by standing next to a very expensive car and pretending it is his grandmother's. As the two bullies trash the car, Devin quietly slips away and waits for the two mooks that were chasing him to come out and see what is happening.
  • Laurel and Hardy:
    • In You're Darn Tootin', Stan and Ollie knock each other's hats off as part of an Escalating War. Then Ollie stamps on what he thinks is Stan's hat. It turns out to be his own.
    • In The Music Box, Professor Von Schwarzenhoffen smashes the player piano that his wife bought for him as a surprise.
  • In the movie Moving Violations, the two bully cops hassle John Murray's character and smash the tail light of the car near which he is standing so they can give him a ticket. They get carried away and start breaking other parts of the car, but Murray says it's not his car. It turns out to belong to their commanding officer.
  • Happens in Me, Myself & Irene when a Parking Payback goes awry. When Charlie sees a young football player drive a convertible up and park in the handicapped space (flaunting his unhandicapped status by leaping out over the door) it triggers Charlie's rage-fueled alter-ego Hank, who goes to town on the car with a trash bin and pisses in the fuel tank. The football player then emerges from the store, helping the owner of the car who is a man in a neck brace. The owner is none too happy to see what Hank did (and is still doing) to his car.
  • The Naked Gun has Frank meltdown and start sweeping things off a desk and scratching it up with a paperweight, while Al keeps trying to get his attention. When he finally does, he calmly explains that it's his desk Frank is destroying.
  • PCU: The crew from the Pit trash what they believe to be their snobby rival Rand's cherry-red classic sports car. Turns out they got the wrong one. The film ends with Piven's love interest mentioning that she can drive on their date since she's borrowed her grandmother's classic car of the same kind for the weekend...
  • The classic Polish comedy Sami Swoji features this as one of its most memorable gags. The patriarchs of two Feuding Families live right next to each other and often meet up at the fence between their yards to shout insults at each other. When things escalate one of them starts smashing clay pots hanging on the fence posts. In retaliation, the other man starts ripping up shirts drying on the fence. When their wives come out to see what is happening, the husbands tell them that they were destroying their own property rather than each other's.
  • Speed Zone! has Vic and Alec come upon the Lamborghini they raced a few scenes earlier at a convenience store. They spy on Flash and Valentino buying supplies, then plot revenge. Vic acts by ripping apart the Lamborghini with his hands. He's caused quite a bit of damage by the time Flash and Valentino leave the store. While Vic and Alec hide and watch, Flash and Valentino walk behind a row of cars, get into their actual Lamborghini, and drive off. Just after Vic and Alec realize what they've done, Michael Spinks (a well-known boxer) walks out of the store.

  • There's an urban legend about a construction worker who comes home during the middle of the day to find a gorgeous new convertible parked in his driveway. When he looks in the window, he sees his wife talking and laughing with a younger man. Believing that he's being cuckolded, the construction worker proceeds to pour wet cement all over the car's interior, not realizing that A) the younger man is actually a car salesman closing a deal, and B) he's just ruined the new car his wife bought him as an anniversary gift.
  • A similar one exists where a guy sees police officers writing a ticket for an expensive-looking car that's parked in front of a big office building. He goes up and tells the cops he's not paying the ticket and keeps antagonizing them, with the cops finding ever more reasons for giving the car a ticket (tires too smooth, lights not working, etc.). When they leave it turns out the guy was perfectly honest: it wasn't his car, it was his company's CEO's.
  • One popular story has an eatery customer get angry at a biker for whatever reason, and vandalize what he thinks to be the man's bike... only for it to turn out that the bike actually belongs to a member of a motorcycle gang or somebody else he really shouldn't have pissed off.

  • Douglas Adams once related a story in which he had bought a package of biscuits on a train and was about to eat them when the guy sitting across from him reached over, opened the packet, and started eating his biscuits. Incensed at the guy shamelessly stealing from him (but too British to, you know, say anything about it) he grabbed the biscuits back and defiantly ate a few himself. Not to be outdone, the other man began eating them just as defiantly. After this carried on for a while, the biscuits were gone and the other man stormed off. Adams, more than a little perplexed, looks down to see his own package sitting there untouched and realized that the ones they'd been eating had belonged to the other guy. He wrote this scene into the fourth book of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, in which Arthur Dent relates this experience to an amused Fenchurch.
  • In Romance of the Snob Squad by Julie Anne Peters, Jenny covers what she thinks is her rival's house in toilet paper only to find that it might actually be the home of the leader of the Crips.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Alice (1976), Mel attempts to rig his own contest to fail, by ripping up the only "E" in the "Spell out 'M-E-L-S' for the grand prize" drawing (after raising the grand prize offering to counter a competitor's contest, to a level he couldn't pay if he wanted to). He does this in front of Alice and the other waitresses as a message of "I'm running a scam and there's nothing you can do about it." When Vera later reassembles the pieces, she finds out Mel destroyed an "M", not the "E". Cue Henry announcing he'd found the "E" for the grand prize. (Henry ends up settling for the original grand prize of $500.)
  • The suitcase example also comes up in a Patter Song from The Benny Hill Show. Benny doesn't go into quite so much detail. A gentleman goes into his rail compartment and finds a hippie seated there. Gentleman tells hippie to get out, hippie doesn't pay attention. Eventually, Gentleman throws the hippie's suitcase out the window: "Now what do you think about that?" "It's not my bloody case."
  • Better Off Ted: In “Get Happy”, after Linda discovers her cubicle was vandalized by the cat clique, they confront her and imply they did something to her car. Linda tells them that she didn’t drive to work that day, they quickly leave. Later in the episode, Veronica confides to Ted that someone put cat feces in her car.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In "Your Honor", Amy stabs a tire on Gina's car to force her into changing it. Only she did it to a car that looked just like Gina's instead.
  • El Chavo del ocho: After one of the times Doña Florinda unjustly punishes Don Ramón, his daughter tried to exact revenge by stealing her towel and covering it with dirt. It backfired because the towel belonged to Don Ramón (He, Doña Florinda and Doña Clotilde share the same clothesline). While usually not approving revenge, he actually tried a hand on it by dirtying a piece of clothing belonging to Doña Florinda, but he mistakenly picked one belonging to Doña Clotilde.
  • City Guys: In "Keep on the Download," Chris and Jamal break into the radio studio at Washington Prep one night, as part of an escalating series of pranks between them and their rivals at Washington's school radio station WFAK. Jamal decides to cut a wire on the studio's broadcasting equipment, and accidentally short-circuit the entire thing when they turn it on. In fairness, Jamal was the one who came up with the idea to mess up the radio equipment, it just ended up going more wrong than he intended.
  • Friends:
    • Monica and Chandler are having an argument and Monica eventually drinks from what she thinks is Chandler's cup of coffee, only for Chandler to reveal that it wasn't his cup - it had been sitting there since he came in.
    • In "The One After the Super Bowl", Rachel pours tomato sauce into Monica's purse during a fight they're having, only to find out that she also ruined her own gloves, which Monica had borrowed and had in her purse.
  • Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Tyler tries to stand up to a bully who is forcing Nicole to do his homework. Tyler grabs the paper and rips it to shreds, only for Nicole to inform him that he just ripped up her homework.
  • Horrible Histories: The cop in charge of investigating the Great Fire of London tells one of his subordinates to "Clear his desk!" and then dramatically sweeps everything off the desk to emphasize his point. His subordinate then looks from the desk to his boss and says "That's not my desk".
  • Inverted in iCarly at one point, where Sam thought it was okay to bust through her locker door with a hammer because her combination wouldn't work. It turned out to be Gibby's locker - Sam's was the one next to it.
  • In Las Vegas, Ed tries to get revenge on his anger management therapist by wrecking his car after the therapist had used accomplices to try to provoke Ed into lashing out throughout the episode. The therapist explains that it's not actually his car - cue the car's hugely built owner (also a patient of his) seeing the damage and telling the therapist that he'll have to ignore his lessons for a few moments.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Malcolm and Reese get into Escalating Wars of breaking each other's things on an almost daily basis, and Reese has been known to break his own things by accident. And Dewey's, of course, but who cares about that?
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • In Girl in Gold Boots, Buz retaliates against some Hell's Angels-types by pouring beer over the guy's bike. Tom Servo jokes about the biker finding an upside to the stunt: "Free beer! Lick my bike!" In a later host segment, Crow reenacts the prank by forcing Mike to pour beer over his most precious possessions. These turn out to be Mike's personalized beer-stein and Crow himself.
    Crow: [dripping with beer] That didn't really pan out the way I expected.
    • In The Projected Man, Crow and Tom Servo claim to have invented a "projector" (i.e. a teleporter) but it actually just burns everything they're "projecting". Crow and Servo insist on demonstrating the device with some of Mike's most prized possessions. Mike eventually catches on and tests the device on one of Servo's prized possessions instead.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: In one episode Ned was nominated for Class President but didn't want it, so he starts trying to do things that will not get him votes, including spray painting lockers. Unfortunately in order to keep from having to clean the graffiti up, Gordy (the janitor) gave him a spray can that was the same color as the locker, making it look like he was deliberately painting the lockers.
  • In an episode of New Tricks, Standing has been having an escalating prank war with a colleague, which culminated in him welding said colleague's locker shut. They finally call the grudge off...until the colleague reveals that it wasn't his locker.
  • Parks and Recreation: Leslie smashes her phone when she finds out the Pawnee Sun hacked her emails. Donna points out that that makes no sense... and then Jerry says it was his phone, anyway.
  • Inverted in Roseanne. Roseanne is helping Jackie move out of her boyfriend's apartment after a break-up (said break-up being caused by the boyfriend physically abusing her) and putting items away into boxes.
    Roseanne: (holding fragile item) Where do I put this?
    Jackie: That's not mine, that's his.
    Roseanne: (delighted) Oh. (throws it on the floor before picking up an expensive-looking vase) Is this his too?
    Jackie: Mine.
    Roseanne: (disappointed) Oh.
  • In The Shadow Line, Jay Wratten proves what an utter psycho he is by half-drowning a cat in front of someone, explaining as he does so that the cat's causing him plenty of pain in return. When he lets it go the guy points out it wasn't his cat, but even if it was he doesn't know anything. The scene doesn't do much except act as an Establishing Character Moment.
  • Happens in Seinfeld, where Newman performs an Insignia Rip-Off Ritual on Jerry, forgetting that Jerry is wearing his coat.
  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em used this joke several times as walking disaster area Frank Spencer causes people to attempt to get revenge on him for accidental damage, only to find they've chosen the wrong target for this.
    • In "The Public Relations Course", while spending the night at the house at which the title course is being held, Frank sits on his hot water bottle, causing it to spring a leak. He leaves the room to take a phone call, leaving the hot water bottle on a chair next to the bed of Eddie, a coursemate who has taken Frank under his wing. When he comes back, he accidentally squirts water from the leak into a militant coursemate's face, and in revenge, the militant empties the bottle all over what he thinks is Frank's bed, ignoring Frank's protests as Eddie returns from the bathroom. As Frank sheepishly gets into his own bed and wishes Eddie good night, Eddie attacks the militant for soaking his bed.
    • In the 1974 Christmas special, "Jessica's First Christmas", Frank gets a job at the same firm as his neighbour Mr Jackson, who is already angry at Frank over the fact that his one-year-old daughter cries loudly every night. At one point, Frank finds Jackson's folded coat and thinks he sees something moving under it, so he puts a lit pipe under it to smoke out the "animal", setting fire to it, and then further ruining it by soaking it in water. When Jackson sees the damage done to his coat, he empties tea into the bag Frank is carrying... which turns out to be the head of the firm's bag.
    • In "Australia House", an argument between Frank and his next-door neighbour Mr Lewis results in the two of them demanding the return of borrowed gardening implements, including a hoe Frank borrowed from Mr Lewis. After the argument escalates to the point that Frank accidentally knocks down the fence Mr Lewis put up between their gardens to keep the Spencers' dog from defecating in his garden, Mr Lewis grabs the hoe and saws it in half, not realising it is his own until Frank points it out. Enraged, Mr Lewis throws the pieces aside... straight through the glass of his greenhouse.
  • After Jackie breaks up with him on That '70s Show, Kelso tries writing a song to win her back. Eventually, he annoys Eric into taking his guitar and smashing it.
    Kelso: You know it's kind of funny that that was your guitar! Burn!
  • In A todo corazón, Manuel instructs Jessica to ruin Principal Chacín's car when she's about to leave the school in a rage. As it turns out, Jessica vandalized Sofía's car.
  • In The Wire, Bill Rawls trashes a desk thinking it belongs to Jimmy McNulty, his soon-to-be former (in)subordinate. Jay Landsman tells him that he actually swept Michael Crutchfield's desk, and McNulty sits at the desk opposite of that one. In line with his usual bluntness, Rawls doesn't seem to care much about the mistake.

  • Rivers Cuomo's second guitar after forming Weezer was a red Stratocaster. It was eventually given to some friends in another band, Justin and Adam of Shufflepuck. One night, Adam was having trouble with his main guitar staying in tune, so halfway through the last song, he switched to the red Strat, but found it was even more out of tune. He got so upset, he started swinging the guitar around and smashing it. The spectators enjoyed themselves, but he noticed a look of horror on his friend Kevin's face. Turns out Justin sold the red guitar to Kevin right before the show started.
  • There is the Russian (Russian-Jewish) song called "The Little Suitcase", or "Train to Berdichev" where a man in a train argues with another about moving the titular suitcase, and finally throws it out. Then the other man says, "It wasn't my suitcase, it was my mother-in-law's. It had the documents about me being married inside, so now, thanks to you, I am single and free."

    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto V: In one mission, Michael catches his wife cheating on him with a tennis instructor. When said tennis instructor flees to a nearby hillside mansion, Michael and Franklin partially destroy it by pulling it down with a pickup truck. Except it isn't the guy's house, and it actually belongs to the mistress of a cartel leader, who promptly roughs Michael up for it and makes him pay the damages back.
  • In Sonic Colors, one of Eggman's PA announcements has him encouraging park guests to leave all their valuables in their cars as "they will be perfectly safe" and "in no way will roaming bands of robots break into your vehicle". Another announcement has him requesting that "the owner of a white hovercar shaped like an egg" report to the front desk since their car has been broken into. It takes him a bit to catch up.

    Web Animation 
    • "These drawings are trash" My parents suppressed my hobby...: Saki's abusive parents tear all of the paintings in the room, starting with her canvas. When they rip the paintings pinned on the wall, she tells them those belonged to their favorite daughter Kirari. This scares them into stopping and resort to damage control when she arrives.
    • Mean girl forces me to go to a matchmaking party, but...: Ririna takes what she thinks is Hinako's phone and uploads an alleged picture of her in a dominatrix costume to humiliate her. Much to her dismay, it was Hideo's phone, and the dominatrix in the picture was actually Ririna.
    • My ex-girl friend's father destroyed my house... "We're not together anymore... and...": A pregnant Kuzumi comes with her dad to Koji's house after he married a woman named Kaname. The man breaks the doorknob to force Koji out and brags about being a Yakuza, but Koji reveals that the house belongs to the Chairman of the Shingeki Group, an actual Yakuza organization. The man loses his bravado when the gang members show up.
    • Cheating wife steals her husband's watch and goes on an affair trip...: Kuzumi steals a wristwatch from her husband Sota and runs away with her lover Kuzuo after being caught cheating. Allegedly, it wasn't Sota's watch, but a Yakuza's. However, he reveals the watch did belong to him, he just lied to make Kuzumi pay.
  • Etra-chan saw it!: Azami and her friends accused Yuzuriha of spreading COVID to their town. They even go as far as to trash her house while video calling her. However, Yuzuriha revealed she doesn't live in the house anymore and it belonged to her mother Akane and ex-husband Akamatsu. The group was arrested for their crimes while Akane and Akamatsu's affair (which caused Yuzuriha to leave in the first place) was exposed to the public.
  • Gossip City:
    • In a last-ditch effort to make her sister Ayane take her to eat sushi, Karin wrecks the car where she and her husband Haruto are in, only for Haruto to tell her it was her husband Takeru's car. When Karin calls Takeru about the car she wrecked, he freaks out and reveals it belonged to his boss.
    • A woman broke a bonsai tree believing it wasn't worth much money. It turned out to be worth 9 million yen. This got her into trouble with the yakuza.
  • Manga Soprano:
    • Toko stole a car who she thought was Kanade's. When she crashed the car, she had her son Casino vandalize the car and called Kanade to announce the news. Kanade revealed that was her brother Kairi's car, who is part of the yakuza. She was forced to work as a hostess to pay for the damages.
    • Utako spent Kanade's wedding money on expensive clothes to ruin her happiness. When both sisters meet again, she gloats about it, but Kanade reveals that said money was actually Utako's college fund. She changes her heart and becomes a good person, and she is still able to go to college thanks to a student loan from Alto.
    • Erica ruins Kanade's wedding dress because she was jealous of her wedding. When she called Kanade to announce what she did, Kanade revealed that the wedding had been over for a while. Much to Erica's dismay, the dress belonged to Teruyama, who flipped out upon seeing the destroyed dress and banned her from her nail shop. She had a change of heart after the incident and apologized to Kanade.
    • Lisa defaces a bento shop's doors after her bad review failed to get Kanade fired and called Kanade to announce the news. However, Kanade reveals that her workplace is Soprano Bento Shop. The place Lisa defaced, Tenor Bento Shop, actually belongs to her in-laws. She tries to force Kanade to pay for the damages, but she refuses and hangs up on her. Afterwards, Lisa's husband divorces her and he gets custody of their son.
    • Konomi was so possessive of her brother Narita, she ruined Haru's wedding dress at the storage room to prevent her from marrying him. When she called Haru to gloat about it, she reveals that her actual wedding dress is in her dressing room. When Haru and Narita find her, she is restrained by the staff until her mother Erica shows up and pays for the damages.
  • Manga-Waido:
    • She thought she was getting me into trouble but...: Hina broke expensive plates worth 2 million yen to get back at Yuki, only for the latter to reveal those belonged to Haneda-san, who finally gets fed up with her screwups and forces her to work hard to pay the broken plates.
    • My annoying older brother thought he was borrowing my car but...: Kazuya stole and wrecked a car he thought belonged to his brother Koji to spite him. However, the car actually belongs to Koji's boss, and Koji was just borrowing it from him because his own car was under repair.
    • My jealous co-worker tried to get me fired but...: In a last-ditch effort to get Saori fired, Kasano-san deleted the important data handled by the former for a client. Much to her dismay, Saori tells her that the one responsible for handling said data was the manager.
    • I was forced to babysit my annoying co-worker and this is what happened: In revenge for Nakamura chewing him out for harassing a female employee, Satou seemingly wrecks Nakamura's laptop, based on his ergonomic chair. The next day however, Nakamura tells Satou that he switched his chair with his, meaning that he broke his own laptop. However, Satou accused Nakamura of breaking his laptop to his father and as a consequence, Satou is put in charge of the office.
  • MoniRobo:
    • Reina Yakamashi ruined Sakura's furisode kimono at the coming-of-age ceremony out of spite for getting close to Sunao. However, since the kimono in question is a one-of-a-kind family heirloom, it was worth more than Reina's own and even her father's fortune. Since then, Reina worn herself out working part-time jobs to pay for the ruined kimono.
    • Mari Yoshida rips up the workers' manual Charako showed her as a final insult for the latter being a temp worker. Much to Mari's dismay, Charako reveals it was written by Mr. Tanaka. On top of that, the temps she bullied show him documents of her numerous mistakes, leading to her firing.
  • Refreshing Stories: Hiroshi's mother-in-law stole his brand new car and crashed it. When she called Hiroshi and told him, he revealed to her that it was a borrowed car from the place he bought it from and that his car is in the shop for painting. She was forced to use her savings to pay for the damages.
  • Revenge Films:
    • "The time my ex-brother-in-law crashed my Mercedes Benz": A man crashed his brother-in-law's Mercedes Benz. Unfortunately for him, the car he crashed into belonged to a mafia daughter, and he was subsequently beaten up by her father when the cameras revealed that he was the only one driving the car. He was forced to pay for the daughter's car, his wife divorced him, and his parents disowned him.
    • "Neighbor tries to annoy me by dumping snow in front of my house but karma strikes back": A truck crashes into Rebecca's house as a consequence of her shoveling snow on Taylor's side of the road without knowing it would melt and return to her side of the road, forming a slippery sheet of ice solid enough to support the weight of the aforementioned truck. After being arrested, she was sued by both the truck driver and Taylor's family, her husband divorced her and took their son Riki with him, and her parents had to sell their house to help pay her debts.
    • "I had a problem with my cousin using my house without permission, but after I moved out…": After the OP and her husband moved out of their house, Nina used the key duplicate she left in the house to break in as usual and party with her friends. However, the OP reveals that she moved out and texted the current homeowner about it. Turns out the current owner is a germaphobe and lost her mind at seeing the mess they made, calling the cops on Nina and suing her for the reimbursement of her furniture as she couldn't use them.
  • Trouble Busters: Alan's mother stole Helen's car but she crashed it. When she called Helen, she revealed that the car in fact belonged to Alan's boss.

  • Done in an early strip of Sam Logan's Sam & Fuzzy, where Sam is depressed over his recent breakup with his girlfriend Alexis. Cue Fuzzy trying to cheer him up in his usual sociopathic way.
    Fuzzy: Look, Sam, I bent all your golf clubs into animal shapes to cheer you up! See, this one's a ducky!
    Sam: Fuzzy, I don't own any golf clubs...
    Fuzzy: (Beat) OH CRAP, MY GOLF CLUBS!!
    Sam: Okay, NOW I feel better.
  • VG Cats had a behind the scenes-style comic where Aeris talks about how Leo had once been scammed into buying a console called Boxxors-O-Roxxors (really just a box of rocks) and had used Aeris' money to pay for it. Aeris promptly beat the crap out of him with the box, and Leo has been attempting this trope as petty revenge. Unfortunately, Aeris saw it coming.
    Leo: So I've secretly been peeing in her coffee ever since!
    Aeris: So I've been switching our coffees ever since.
    Leo: (drinks coffee) Mmmmm!

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Played with in "The Poltergeist" when Mr. Robinson tries to destroy the Wattersons' stuff, like their shed, deck chair, and vacuum. It backfires because he's simply too weak to damage any of them, and gets his leg stuck in the deck chair.
  • Animaniacs: In the episode "Woodstock Slappy", after a frustrating Who's on First? routine with Skippy, Slappy grabs one of the Who's guitars in frustration and smashes it to try to convince them to leave. Instead, they think it's cool and smash all of their guitars, possibly prolonging the Woodstock concert she was trying so hard to get rid of. She'd get rid of it anyway with some polka music.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has a notable instance when Master Shake puts a cat in the microwave. Meatwad and Shake stare at each other, and through sticky notes, talk to one another. Shake, being the idiot he is, forgets that he already microwaved Meatwad's kitten, and Meatwad has to remind him that it was his own.
    Shake: Mr. Sparkles!!! (boom)
  • In Archer, Sterling Archer laughs hysterically after Malory slaps a phone out of his hands and breaks it on the concrete because it actually belonged to his servant Woodhouse.
  • In the Barney Bear cartoon "Bear Raid Warden", Barney is an air raid warden, tasked with making sure people's lights are out in case of an air raid. In the end, he sees a house with all its lights on and goes inside and tears everything apart putting out the lights. It's only at the end when he realizes the house he just ransacked was his.
  • Bless the Harts: In "Pig Trouble in Little Greenpoint", Violet tries to vandalize the local water tower by editing the pig's thought bubble. Unfortunately for Violet, the thought bubble looks more like a fart (according to some passersby).
  • In Central Park episode "Live It Up Tonight", when Bitsy and Helen get trapped in an underground storeroom, they think they're under the Dagmont Hotel and smash all the liquor. It's only after they escape and Bitsy asks one of her employees for a drink does she learn it was actually the Brandenhammer's alcohol.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In the short "Lucky Number", Donald Duck wins a new car in a radio raffle drawing, but due to an error in announcing the winning number, he had thrown his ticket away thinking it was a loser. His nephews hear the correction, realize he's won, and cash the ticket in secret to surprise him. Unfortunately, their car runs out of gas and they have no money, so they trick Donald into giving them fuel. Afterwards, when they show up with the new car, Donald thinks it's another trick and unknowingly destroys his own winnings in a rage. It's only when he hears the radio mention he had won that he realizes what he did and passes out.
  • In one episode of Drawn Together, the house has been split up into "cool kids" and "losers," and the cool kids decide to throw pig crap at the losers' house. They complain the next day about having to clean their house "because someone threw pig crap at it." At no point do they realize what happened.
  • Happens occasionally on The Fairly Oddparents. Vicky will destroy something of Timmy's (or less frequently, Tootie's) and Timmy will wish that the item was something belonging to Vicky instead.
    Timmy: That's not my treasured collection of Crimson Chin comics [you're burning]. That's your life savings.
  • Freaky Stories: One story featured an overjealous man whose wife was constantly receiving a male visitor who even once took her for a car ride. The husband one day covered the car with concrete. The visitor was a car salesman and the woman had just bought the car for her husband's birthday.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Magic Carpet Ride", Heinz Doofenshmirtz explains that when he was young he painted what he considered his masterpiece, and then showed it to his brother Roger, who promptly ruined it (accidentally) by spilling his lunch on it. Now Roger is about to unveil a painting at the City Hall, which Heinz intends to ruin. Turns out the painting is the one that Heinz made years ago, and that Roger had spent the last 20 years restoring it. Of course, by this moment it is too late for Doofenshmirtz to stop his evil plan, and the painting once again gets ruined.
  • Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain: Elmyra once stepped on Rudy's snake to force it to spit Pinky and the Brain out. Rudy tried to retaliate by stomping on something of hers but stomped on Brain's device of the week. After she told him it wasn't hers, Rudy simply gave up and left.
  • Random! Cartoons: In the short "Bradwurst", the titular character tries to ruin a party under the belief that he wasn't invited. One of the things he does is destroy all the presents, with one of the misfortunes he faces as a consequence of his ill-mannered actions being that he finds out the presents he destroyed were for him.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "Heart of Evil", Dr. Zin captures the Blue Falcon and Scooby-Doo. Having established that the Falcon would do anything to save his dog, Zin proceeds to subject Scooby to the agonizer ray. This fails to convince the Falcon to talk and Zin asks him why. The Falcon replies "That's not my dog".
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Lisa on Ice", Bart is angry at Lisa, and darkly announces that as vengeance, he tore the head off a stuffed animal named Mr. Honey-Bunny. Lisa then reminds Bart that that was his beloved childhood toy.
      Bart: Agh! Mr. Honey-Bunny! (places the head back on and kisses it desperately)
    • In "Mr. Plow", Homer is driving in a blizzard and can't see, ending up crashing into the back of a car. He looks at the bright side that he got the other car just as bad, only to discover it's Marge's car.
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 1", when Mr. Burns is maniacally stomping on his model of Springfield, destroying all the businesses, he gets carried away and stomps on the nuclear plant.
    • In "The Greatest Story Ever D'oh-ed", the Simpsons join the Flanderses on a group trip to Jerusalem, with Homer's disrespectful and annoying behavior driving Ned increasingly angry, finally boiling over when he finds Homer asleep in Jesus's tomb. To point out how lazy and uncaring Homer has been, Flanders shows that all he's been taking photos of the entire trip are soda cans with funny names, then deletes all the images on the camera.
      Homer: Whatever, that was your camera.
      Ned: (angrily smashes the camera against the wall)
    • At the end of the "Treehouse of Horror VIII" segment "Easy-Bake Coven", this happens:
      Homer: (throwing eggs at a house, and breaking a window) Come on, give us some candy! Don't pretend you're not home!
      Lisa: Dad, that's our house.
      (Townsfolk begin laughing)
      Homer: She's a witch!
      (Villagers begin chasing Lisa with the intent of burning her at the stake)
    • In "Poppa's Got A Brand New Badge", Springfielders riot during a blackout caused by a heatwave. During the looting, Moe takes part by looting a cash register... from his own tavern.


Video Example(s):


"Got Him As Good As He Got Me"

When driving home drunk at night during a snow storm, Homer accidentally rear ends the back of a car. Despite his car being wrecked, he looks on the bright side that he got the other car just as bad...until he saw that it was MARGE's station wagon, in their own driveway!

How well does it match the trope?

4.44 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConsolationBackfire

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