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Wife-Basher Basher

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Vida: So, I gather you like hitting ladies.
Virgil: Some ladies need to get hit.
Vida: Then, conversely, some men need to be hit back.

There are men who Wouldn't Hit a Girl, and then there are these men amongst men who take this ideal to its logical, vengeful conclusion.

More often than not, these men are Gentle Giants and/or mild-mannered Nice Guys who either are raised with traditional values of kindness and chivalry or are scarred by childhoods of watching their mothers and/or sisters being beaten or worse.

Either way, the results are the same when he sees a woman being struck. The gentleman explodes into a roaring mass of fury incarnate and proceeds to pursue the offending coward with the relentless stamina of a wild beast; and should the brute be caught, he will be pounded into a bloody mess to the best of the Wife Basher Basher's ability. All cries for mercy and personal injuries will be ignored by the possessor of this trope, such is his unbound and righteous primal rage. Usually, murder is not the intent; the basher in question instead wants to humiliate the coward, and let him have a taste of what it's like to be the helpless one for a change.

Nevertheless; friends of this normally gentle person would find these righteous outbursts quite disconcerting, if not downright chilling to witness. Not to mention the Start X to Stop X problem of solving violence with more violence, although this one only gets invoked if a child is present nearby, to provoke a He Who Fights Monsters revelation from the hero temporarily. Occasionally, this can backfire against the Wife Basher Basher himself in order to present another problem of "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." The Wife Basher Basher may also occasionally lash out at someone who's completely innocent because of an Abuse Mistake and then learn An Aesop about finding out the entire story before going ballistic.

This trope is often invoked by female villains as a Wounded Gazelle Gambit if they are attacked by male heroes in public. They know there are usually a few chivalrous big men ready to dish out Disproportionate Retribution, even if she started it, because several people with this mindset are inclined to believe that female-on-male abuse is not "real" abuse.

Senior members of organized crime with traditional values, such as the Yakuza and The Mafia, are likely to represent this trope. After all, they consider themselves the final bastions of traditional and honorable masculinity. This trope also works well in a character with Chivalrous Pervert tendencies, demonstrating that even if their overly active libido and views on women raise a few eyebrows, they're kind, protective people deep down, and ladies have nothing to be afraid of them.

Despite the usually masculine focus of this trope, women have been known to take this route too, usually against men that abuse family and friends, and sometimes gathering together to take a particular asshole down.

Compare and contrast with the similarly named Serial-Killer Killer, and note that more often than not they also tend to be this. By definition, their target is pretty much always an Asshole Victim.

See also Bully Hunter, Even Evil Has Standards, Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, Pay Evil unto Evil, Disproportionate Retribution, and Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas.



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  • This somewhat controversial anti-domestic violence ad aired in Australia in 2006. It features Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read, a notorious ex-criminal and minor celebrity, talking in an overtly threatening manner about what he thinks of rapists and men who beat women and what they can look forward to when they end up behind bars.
    Chopper: If you bashed a woman, well you're a weak, gutless individual! If you come to jail for bashing a woman or raping a woman, you will get dealt with. You will suffer. We will break your neck. You low, gutless, weak mice.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts from Berserk could count for this one. Sure, he's changed a lot since the Eclipse — some would say for the worse — but Guts is still too decent of a guy to just standby and watch a full-grown man beat a little girl senseless. He usually dispatches them in his rare Tranquil Fury mode, but if he ever sees a woman in danger of sexual assault — which reminds him all too well of the person whom he failed to protect — well, it's not going to end pretty for whoever (or whatever) is doing it. Guts, in general, just does not like rapists. Pretty obvious as to why.
  • Asta from Black Clover. When at a mixer with Rebecca, a drunk man thinks that she's a single mom trying to nab a Magic Knight and harasses her. Asta stops him and throws him onto a table, with Rebecca falling for him not long afterwards. He later stops a Low Stage Spade Kingdom woman from being sexually assaulted by a corrupt soldier when he raids the Candelo fortress.
  • Toyed with in Captain Tsubasa. While Tsubasa is ticked off to see his would-be girlfriend Sanae being pursued by a loud and aggressive Hopeless Suitor, Kouji Kanda, he cannot openly fight him not only because the guy is stronger than him in fighting, but because he's a member of a school sports club and if he gets caught fighting, the whole team will be suspended from the National Tournament — so, Tsubasa gets his ass handed to him by Kanda when he attacks openly. It's then played straight when an injured Sanae begs Tsubasa to defend himself, and he does so by brutally kicking Kanda to the head and winning the fight in one single movement. Kanda then acknowledges that he has lost and backs off.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, while Touma Kamijou has no problem hitting girls as long as they are bad, he will beat you to a pulp if you harm helpless and nice girls.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Wataru Kurozuma has a tendency to go, "You're hitting girls? That's not cool." and then beat up whoever is responsible.
  • In Durarara!!, one of the few things that can set off the otherwise cool-headed Rokujou Chikage is hurting a woman in his presence.
  • In Fist of the North Star, the nicer techniques of Hokuto Shinken literally make your head explode from the inside out: If you dare strike or abuse women, on the other hand, Kenshiro will literally make you strangle yourself to death. His older brother Raoh prefers the more direct method of LITERALLY slapping your head off. Rei, successor of Nanto-Seiken and Kenshiro's dearest friend is equally ruthless when it comes to those who hurt or terrorize women.
  • Handsome Lech Kurz Weber from Full Metal Panic! displays these traits, particularly in one scene in the last arc of the first anime. When Kaname tries to comfort Sousuke after a tough mission, he calls her a burden due to stress and misdirected anger, which sends her running away in tears. She passes by Kurz, who storms up to Sousuke, punches him in the face hard enough to knock him down, and demands that he go apologize to Kaname, saying "Guys like you grow up into wife-beaters!"
  • In Goblin Slayer, the titular character is set off by the sight of young women being raped by goblins. Considering goblins are always depraved degenerates that take pleasure in raping and they are responsible for raping GS's elder sister to death in front of his eyes, his hatred is understandable. It's what fuels his resolve.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac to the extreme, Issei Hyoudou of High School D×D never makes his obsession for boobs a secret, but thankfully he's also a Nice Guy and treats girls properly when he needs to. That said, it's always a bad idea to upset or abuse women in his presence. Raiser, Diodora, and Shalba all find out the hard way.
  • Believe it or not, Inuyasha of all people shows shades of this in the anime. This occurs when another demon and his human band have imprisoned him and Miroku. Said demon gives his minions the okay to do whatever they want to the women of the nearby village. Hearing their screams are enough to piss Inuyasha off so much that he instantly activates his full-demon form and slaughter every single one of the oppressors.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • MM!:
    • Lovable Sex Maniac masochist Sado Tarou doesn't like to abuse people, the Nice Guy that he actually is. However, upon finding out that his adorable Shrinking Violet girlfriend's fear of men comes from being beaten by an abusive boyfriend who then spread rumors of her sleeping around for refusing his sexual advances, storms to the kickboxing gym of said abusive ex-boyfriend and proceeds to beat the evil martial artist into the ground, in spite of not possessing any proper combat training himself.
    • Sadly, the scene doesn't play out like that in the anime. Sado gets his ass effortlessly handed to him by the evil ex-boyfriend before he finally lands just one punch (and even then it was only because of outside intervention by Mio). Mio plays this straight by proceeding to do some nasty things to the downed ex-boyfriend, but we don't get to see what she does, just the aftermath in the form of a photograph.
  • In the finale of My Bride is a Mermaid, what truly sends Nagasumi into angry-powerup-mode is when Yoshio threatens to shoot Sun. He actually manifests the ability to catch bullets bare-handed solely by virtue of being that pissed off.
  • In One Piece, Sanji the Chivalrous Pervert will drop everything to defend any woman being attacked by a man; whether the woman is a member of his crew, a bystander, or even on an opposing side (like the Navy).
    Sanji: You're not supposed to hurt ladies, scumbag. If your parents didn't teach you that, then I'm the one who's gonna beat the lesson into your brain.
  • Takeshi Momoshiro from The Prince of Tennis catches a Jerk Jock bullying Sakuno and pushing Cool Big Sis An to the ground for defending her, and before even introducing himself he's laying the smackdown on said jerk, physically and verbally.
  • Both the eponymous Ranma of Ranma ½ and his rival, Ryoga Hibiki, will become enraged at the idea of someone harming an innocent girl. In fact, in one arc, Ranma stated that men who got drunk and beat their wives were the lowest of the low. And when Ryoga mistakenly believed that Ranma had tried to force himself on Akane, he went after him with murderous intent.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: This is the bait that Ohtori Akio uses to rope Tenjou Utena into his dueling game: make sure Utena sees Saionji slapping around his "girlfriend" Anthy. It plays out much the same way in the movie minus Akio's influence.
  • Motoyasu of The Rising of the Shield Hero deconstructs this. He sees himself as this regarding Naofumi's party members, and it would even seem that way outside of proper context. However, it's been spelled out to the Dumb Blonde repeatedly that, no, Raphtalia and Filo are not in any danger as Naofumi's slaves and that he treats them like family. Motoyasu's blatant refusal to listen to what any of them have to say and constant antagonizing not only causes more problems but actively puts them in danger in the process. This ends up being one of the reasons why Naofumi can't stand being around him, as all he does is assume the worst and refuse to listen until it's almost too late (or it already is).
  • Yukari and Shiina gain a reputation as a result of this in Sekirei. Ashikabi that mistreat their Sekirei quickly gain a hefty dose of Laser-Guided Karma, as Yukari is very fond of dealing out Groin Attacks. Shiina, who is normally an Apologetic Attacker and extremely gentle, is so disgusted when he meets another male Sekirei that abuses his female Ashikabi, that he dispenses with the Nice Guy routine and curbstomps him with a single attack.
  • Slam Dunk:
    • Miyagi Ryota, upon witnessing a delinquent backhand his long-time crush Ayako, leapt upon the significantly taller brute with a flying kick to the head and beat him until disfigured and unconscious.
    • Hanamichi Sakuragi doesn't get many chances to show this, but he thinks exactly the same. A filler mini-arc in the anime has him thinking that his rival Oda has been abusing his girlfriend/Sakuragi's ex-crush Youko (and let's be fair to Hanamichi here, Oda did snap on her in The Movie, and it took them a while to rekindle their relationship), so Sakuragi was determined to hit the guy and spectacularly call him out on it. Then it's subverted as Oda was not deliberately abusing Youko, but was more worried about a sudden injury and was pulling a Don't You Dare Pity Me! instead. He still apologizes to Youko later.
  • In Sword Art Online, while Asuna is usually capable of taking care of herself, Kirito still does not take kindly to those who hurt her. During the infamous scene from the "Fairy Dance" arc where Oberon/Sugou is molesting her, Kirito gets the chance to turn things around when he is granted full Game-Master powers by the ghost of his Worthy Opponent professor Kayaba & he grabs it with both hands. He turns the pain-inhibitor protocols of Sugou's in-game avatar to zero, and butchers the Oberon avatar so brutally that Sugou himself suffers lasting damage in the real world.
    • Note that after this, Kirito is exceptionally cruel towards those who victimize girls. In the Underworld when confronted with Raios and Humbert, two silver-spoon-in-mouth brutes who were outright attempting to rape Royne and Tiese, girl-pages serving under him and Eugeo, he cleaves both of Raios' arms off for his troubles, bleeding the rapist to death like a pig.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Lunatic/Yuri is revealed to have begun his career by killing his father, Mr. Legend, who was violently beating up his mother (who hates her son for doing so). The same episode shows him taking out a Serial Killer who seduces and then kills women.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey and Tristan. The best example is when the group is sent to the Memory World and see the angry villagers beating up Kisara.
    Joey and Tristan: You want to pick on girls!? How about we pick on you!? [tries to attack the villagers]

    Comic Books 
  • Within the first few issues of the New 52 reboot of Aquaman, Mera does this to a man who just murdered his wife by almost dehydrating him to death, only to be stopped by the man's daughter.
  • Batman: Jason Todd, the second Robin, hated seeing women getting beaten by their abusive husbands and boyfriends; if he witnessed this, he would beat the abuser within an inch of his life. In one story, he may have actually killed the abuser, because he was furious that the man drove his girlfriend to suicide and he got away with it because he was the son of a diplomat; so, one night, he confronted him, and by the time Batman arrived, the man had fallen to his death. Jason denied any wrongdoing.
    • Pagan is a Gotham City vigilante who exclusively targets men who harm women. While Batman has no problem with her mission, he finds her methods too violent.
  • Black Panther (2016) features Aneka and Ayo, the Midnight Angels. Aneka killed a tribal chieftain who had been sexually abusing girls in his village. Later, Aneka and Ayo slaughter a group of militants who had been kidnapping women and girls for use as sex slaves.
  • Captain America:
    • In the Rick Remender run, it was revealed that Steve's mother Sarah Rogers was beaten by her alcoholic husband who was suffering from PTSD. This seems to have played a part in his hatred for bullies, wife-beaters in particular.
    • Ultimate Captain America is particularly notable. After Ant-Man and the Wasp had a verbal fight that escalated and they attacked each other (he "won"), almost no one wanted to listen to his side of the story. However, he didn't simply beat her; he very nearly killed her by siccing an army of ants on her after she had shrunk down to wasp size. Cap, with his '50s values, tracks him down to a bar in Chicago and beats the crap out of him even when Hank Pym is 50 feet tall. Even more badass was that Cap actively goaded Pym into changing size so he'd actually have a challenge (as opposed to beating on a depressed and drunk scientist who has hit rock bottom). Presumably, since the Ultimates don't want the bad publicity, and it involved national security matters, Cap is never charged.
  • Diabolik has a strange case. The titular protagonist is disgusted by wife-bashers, but doesn't care enough to punish them; however, Eva does, and he'll gladly help her rob them blind and close them in their own secret vault (just to quote the most recent case at the time of the writing).
  • It's been implied that the psychological origin of The Incredible Hulk was young Bruce Banner witnessing his father beating his mother and wanting to be one of these; rather notable, given that one of the more consistently heroic portrayals of the Hulk (namely, the dim-witted but extremely powerful Savage Hulk) is essentially a child in the same frame of mind as young Banner.
  • Marvel Knights' 4 did this with Sue Storm threatening an abusive husband.
  • The Punisher: One issue sees Frank tailing a pair of cops, one of them crooked. The other one has a drinking problem (caused in part by his partner being crooked), but Frank doesn't really this as a problem... until the cop's wife comes in the room and he starts beating her. It takes considerable effort to get a Perpetual Frowner to look really angry, but the cop manages it. We next see him at the woman's shelter his wife ran off to, being hoisted in the air by Frank.
    • The Punisher MAX has an unintentional example: Frank starts the series by conducting a massacre of assembled Mafiosi. During the Widowmaker arc (where their widows unite to get revenge on him), a young woman who used to be married to one of them (a rapist, wifebeater, and murderer) thanks him for taking out her husband (the flashback panel shows Frank casually shotgunning the guy's head as he lies on the ground without even looking), and kills the rest of the widows for him (as they were responsible for setting up the wedding in the first place, then trying to kill her when she wanted out).
  • When the Runaways were sent back in time to 1907, Karolina discovered that one of the kids whom the team had rescued from a factory fire was living with an abusive old alcoholic. She later discovered that the poor girl, who was 11 years old, was, in fact, married to the bastard, and that he had fully claimed his "marital rights". They ultimately managed to extract the girl and take her back to the present, and thus it was not necessary to beat the old man's ass, but she really wanted to, especially after Klara showed up to the Leapfrog covered in bruises.
    Karolina: I know who did this. And I know where he lives.
  • Marv of Sin City does not like it when guys rough up girls. At all. His response to a frat boy beating up his favorite stripper Nancy is to "straighten him out but good," mentioning that maybe he went a little too far (which implies that he beat the guy to death). In A Dame to Kill For, Dwight plays upon this in order to recruit Marv for the "rescue mission" of Ava, which he feels rather rotten for as he's doing it. Unfortunately, it's later learned that Ava, the dame of the title, was playing Dwight's own violent protectiveness of women like a two-bit fiddle.
  • Spider-Man: Cardiac usually doesn't concern himself with this kind of criminal (as a vigilante, his goal is to punish people who hurt others and do horrendous things but use legal loopholes and technicalities to escape justice). However, in one issue, while he is staking out a place, he sees a man assault his wife in a nearby apartment, and decides he can't "in clear conscience", let it happen. (Unfortunately, while he is teaching the wife-beater a lesson, it gave his true target more of a head start than he'd have liked.)
  • Superman:
    • In the first issue back in the 1930s, our titular hero deals with a violent husband by throwing him into a wall and mercilessly beating him (as delightfully pictured above) until he promises to never hit his wife again. This scenario is revisited in the Golden Age reality that Superman was subjected to in The Dominus Effect.
    • He faces a similar situation in the Nineties, but since he'd become much, much stronger in the interim — to the point that any real beating would have killed the abusive husband in question — he had to handle the situation a bit more carefully. Not just that he was stronger — in a bit of Deconstruction, we had a flashback to the Post-Crisis version of the above scene, and it doesn't solve the problem. The woman refuses to press charges and takes her husband back, and the next time he gets violent, he kills her. Clark, being Clark, wonders if the humiliation of being beaten himself was what triggered this. So, when Clark suspected that another woman was getting roughed up like that, he hesitated to intervene for fear of making things worse. However, when in a chance encounter the woman screamed for help, then Clark was perfectly free to intervene, starting by smashing a locked door to her to splinters with one kick to rescue her while Lois called family services for appropriate qualified professionals to deal with the situation.
    • The first issue of Action Comics (New 52) mentions Superman having done this as well in his early years as a hero, though we don't see it on panel. In this case, the abusive husband in question eventually becomes a Kryptonite-powered supervillain and comes back seeking revenge on Superman.
    • As it turns out, it's In the Blood, as Young Justice (2019) shows Connor Kent saving a pregnant peasant woman named Lophi in Gemworld from being harassed by guards when it looks like they were going to manhandle her. When one tries to antagonize him, he just catches his arm and crushes his fist without batting an eye. Lophi takes him in while he waits for his friend and Connor poses as her husband (her old one died in a war) until Young Justice arrives. The two have grown close enough for Lophi to let Connor name her daughter, which he named Martha, after Ma Kent.
  • Plays a big role in the original backstory of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In this continuity, Hamato Yoshi's rival for Tang Shen was Oroku Nagi, Saki/The Shredder's older brother. One night, Nagi confronted Shen and demanded she love him. When she refused, wanting Yoshi, Nagi gave her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Yoshi happened to visit at this time, and seeing his love abused sent him into an Unstoppable Rage that led him to kill Nagi. Yoshi and Shen fled to America, leaving Saki to grieve and swear vengeance, which he did as the Shredder. This, however, led to the creation of the Ninja Turtles who would kill him.
  • Watchmen: Surprisingly enough, Hooded Justice is this, even though he is a raging racist with Nazi sympathies. The RPG supplement even gives him a Freudian Excuse: he grew up with an abusive father that beat both him and his mother.
  • In Wonder Woman (2006) Diana does not take it easy on the retired supervillain who had just decided to upgrade his usual mistreatment of his wife into beating her to near-death for calling the cops. He turns his battered self in when the cops arrive, even though Wondy had long since left to get his wife aid.
  • Wonder Woman '77 has a story where Solomon Grundy rises from the dead to protect a female descendant by attacking her abusive boyfriend.
  • X-23 pulls a variation of this with prostitutes. Sometime before joining the X-Men, Laura spent time on the streets of New York as a child prostitute under a sadistic and violently abusive pimp named Zebra Daddy. As a result of her experiences, on several occasions afterwards, she's been shown reacting very violently to seeing other girls in the same situations: During her one-shot, she stumbled across a pimp abusing one of his girls, and unceremoniously beheaded him with her claws, while the "Songs of the Orphan Child" arc of her ongoing began when Laura went after a man who murdered a teen prostitute she met at a diner. Most notably, when a girl's night out with Jubilee near the end of the series revealed that members of Zebra Daddy's gang had taken over his business, the evening turned into a bloody rampage to liberate the girls they were trafficking. Black Widow herself, who arrived to clean things up afterward and help see the rescued girls were taken care of, noted that Laura was acting entirely out of rage and not thinking clearly during the fight.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Brother (1997), the protagonist sleeps with a woman who is frequently abused by her husband. When the protagonist encounters him beating her, he bluntly shoots him in the leg and asks the wife to come with him. When she refuses, he leaves and gives her money to pay for the husband's treatment.
  • Circle: A racist cop identifies a tattooed man within the circle as a Domestic Abuser. The abuser quickly becomes the group's next victim as a result of receiving the majority vote.
  • Cyrus "the Virus" Grissom, the Big Bad of Con Air and a mass murderer who claims to have killed more men than cancer, threatened to throw "Johnny 23", a convicted Serial Rapist, out of the title plane if he dared to try to rape the hijacked plane's only female officer. Cyrus says he normally despises rapists but will make an exception in this case, then delivers his ultimatum. And The Hero Cameron Poe repeatedly rams Johnny's head into a bulkhead for trying to do just that later in the film. (To make things even more appropriate, Poe is a Wife-Basher Basher in a "wife beater".)
  • In Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Katie fights off her date James when he gets fresh with her, running back into the nightclub they just left. Javier notices her disheveled state, instantly deduces what happened, and angrily asks "Where is he?!", clearly intending to invoke this trope, only relenting when Katie assures him she's okay.
  • The Expendables:
    • In The Expendables, Lee Christmas came home to find his girlfriend with another guy. Returning later on (presumably to pick up some things), he found her having been beaten up by the guy and proceeded to beat the absolute tar out of him and his basketball buddies in broad daylight. He openly admitted he would have killed the guy if it wasn't illegal, and then chastised his ex for leaving him in the first place because for all his faults he was still worth waiting for. While not shown, it's implied he doesn't take her back.
    • In The Expendables 2, it is shown that he stayed with her, despite Barney's disapproval.
  • Forrest Gump: Forrest's response to seeing Jenny's boyfriend slap her is to beat the crap out of him.
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web: In an Establishing Character Moment, Lisbeth Salander breaks into the home of a Corrupt Corporate Executive who had just brutally beaten his wife, and earlier been acquitted after beating two prostitutes. Salander easily traps him in a snare leaving him hanging upside down, grabs his dropped cellphone, accesses his bank accounts, and transfers 20% of his funds into accounts held by the two prostitutes, and the rest into his wife's account. The wife is about to call security until Salander asks for her account number, which she promptly provides. Salander then tells her, "Take your child and leave. He won't hurt you again", blackmails the husband to never contact his wife again with a video of him having sex with his boss's wife, and tasers him in the groin for good measure.
    CEO: Who are you?
    Salander: You should ask yourself that question.
  • Sonny Corleone of The Godfather kicks the living daylights out of his sister's abusive husband in public. Which leads to the ambush which kills him.
  • In GoodFellas, when Henry finds out his then-girlfriend-future-wife Karen was sexually assaulted by one of her neighbors, he promptly walks to his house and pistol-whips him in broad daylight, then threatens to murder him. This action likely had a hand in causing Karen to marry him, as she admits in her narration that it turned her on.
  • At the end of Jack Reacher, the titular hero boards a bus to leave the city. However, in the back, a woman is clearly being beaten by her abusive boyfriend, with the other passengers trying to pretend not to notice. Jack, on the other hand, gets up from his seat to presumably beat the crap out of the boyfriend before the film cuts to credits.
  • The eponymous John Doe: Vigilante is this, as he frequently includes domestic abusers among his victims. The beatings he inflicts are inevitably fatal.
  • Bud White of L.A. Confidential. He literally rips an oak chair in two with his bare hands out of rage after hearing a suspect's description of a sexual assault of a kidnapped girl. Then, to scare the location of a kidnapped girl out of the rapist, he plays a very non-consensual game of Russian roulette with the guy's face. It's related that when Bud himself was a child, he witnessed his abusive father beat his mother to death.
  • Major Payne demonstrates that he is unfit to be a police officer when he responds to a domestic assault incident by smacking the abuser unconscious. Keep in mind that Payne did this during a training scenario and the man was an actor.
  • Detective John Kimble from Kindergarten Cop. While the guy he beats up is because of the bruises on his son, it's heavily implied that he also beats on his wife too.
  • In Savages Crossing The Gunslinger Mory is visibly enraged when he sees Phil threatening Sue. When Phil goes on the rampage, it is Mory who eventually incapacitates him with a ferocious beatdown.
  • A variant in Saw IV. One of Jigsaw's deathtraps involved both an abusive husband and his wife. Jigsaw believes that she hasn't taken her young daughter and left because she doesn't have the will, so he devised a trap in which they were skewered together, back to back, by a set of spikes, the removal of which would hurt her, but kill him. She has to make the choice between staying pinned to him and bleeding to death or saving her own life at the cost of his. She chooses to pull the spikes out.
  • In Sling Blade, a man (Billy Bob Thornton) has been released from a mental hospital, supposedly cured. He discovers a nice lady he knows and her son are being brutalized by a sadist, so he kills the man, then calls the police and ends up going back to the looney bin.
  • Suicide Kings: Denis Leary's character Lono delivers a speech about domestic violence to an abusive father. When the man refuses to take the warning, Lono picks up a toaster and beats the guy into a pulp with it.
  • In Tank, Command Sergeant Major Zach Carey was visiting the base hospital, where he discovers a child being treated for bruises which are clearly the result of his father beating him. Carey summons the father to his office and tries unsuccessfully to convince the man to seek counseling, even going so far as to offer going a few rounds in a boxing ring to work off the offender's excess anger. The corporal gets to his feet and snaps at Carey that it's nobody's business but ends up pinned to the wall with Carey's forearm across his throat, whereupon Carey issues the ultimatum that neither the stockade, loss of rank, nor loss of retirement will stop him from destroying the man in place. The corporal is then much more receptive to Carey's offer of finding counseling.
  • Quoted above: In To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, when the drag queens hear Virgil beating Carol Anne, Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) thrashes him soundly, ending with the delivery of a bum's rush out the screen door. All without mussing her pink satin peignoir.
  • Wild Things: Sandra's Latin Lover is implied to have more in the looks department than he does in the brains department, but he is disgusted when it appears that Sam raped Sandra's daughter Kelly. He uses one of Sandra's jeeps to drive Sam off the road, then beats him up afterwards.

  • This one is Older Than Print, being a staple of the Chivalric romance. On at least one occasion Sir Lancelot was called on it by a battered gentleman, who proved to be in the right, and acidly suggested that the Knights of the Round Table would do well to inquire into the circumstances before dealing out retribution.
  • 1Q84: While the dowager does her best to get battered women away from their abusive husbands and families through any and all legal means, sometimes the man in question is just too powerful or would be too much of a problem if left alive. This is where Aomame comes in, since her particular gift of pinpointing a particular nerve and piercing it just so leaves no obvious traces of murder. Both Aomame and the dowager are motivated by revenge, for they both lost loved ones due to abusive men: the dowager her only daughter and Aomame her childhood friend.
  • Niklas from Aldrig Fucka Up, the second part of Jens Lapidus' "Stockholm Noir" trilogy. He witnessed his mother's boyfriend beating her as a kid, and after returning from a tour of duty as a PMC in Iraq, decides to take revenge on every bad husband and boyfriend, starting with his neighbour Jamilia's one. Towards the end, he turns into a rare, male Straw Feminist, and has a body count of three.
  • The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga: While Blaine is in Edgeland in Ice Forged, he stops a man from forcing a woman into marriage with death threats, pointing out that he was originally sent to the Penal Colony for killing the man who dishonored Blaine's sister (leaving out that it was their father).
  • Belgariad: In Polgara the Sorceress, Daren deals with an abusive husband by asking the guy's father to choose whether his son will be flogged or have both his hands chopped off. (He suggests adding this to the Rivan law code, but we don't find out whether he did or not.) Later in the book, when Polgara is spending centuries as the Duchess of Erat, one change she makes in her villages is to have constables "encourage" wife-beaters to "find another hobby".
  • Exploited in The Big Four. Hastings gets himself hired as secretary to one of the Four, alongside a young woman with auburn hair. One day she mentions to Hastings that their employer was in an unbelievably foul mood and nearly struck her just because she'd opened a letter with the number 4 on it. Hastings, full of righteous indignation, is about to go punch the cad when he regains control of himself and sends the news to Poirot. Naturally, it was all a setup, the Four had gotten Hastings' chivalrous personality and even his favorite hair color to ensure they could get him to reveal himself.
  • Discworld: Granny Weatherwax is strongly implied to take this tack whenever she hears about domestic violence in "The Sea and Little Fishes", although the recipients of her brand of justice are usually very reluctant to talk about precisely what she did.
    "You mean old Hoggett the wife-beater? Or old Hoggett who won't never lift his hand to a woman no more?" said Granny. The thing her lips had pursed into may have been called a smile.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden will do horrible things to you if you hurt a woman/child, and he admits his Captain America levels of chivalry are a bit of a problem, with everyone lampshading this. Later he gets more savvy but holds back until he is certain they are a) evil and b) capable of fighting. When he finds a ghoul that killed, (probably) raped, and partially ate twin Warden trainees, he blasts its lower body off (ghouls are really tough), sets fire to its body fat, then kicks it down a very deep chasm. He only did that to one of them; for the other one, he threw it into a pit with slick glass sides, then poured orange juice on him and left him to the mercy of the local fire ants.
  • Hannah Swensen: A completely unintentional example in Strawberry Shortcake Murder. Boyd Watson, who has a bad temper and hits his wife Danielle from time to time (and is in therapy to try and learn how to control his anger), is the initial murder victim; while Danielle was a suspect in his death, it's later revealed that Boyd's killer had gone after him for completely different and utterly self-serving motives, and may not have even known about the abuse (and was himself just as bad an abuser if not worse to his son, forcing the boy to take steroids in order to improve his performance on the field).
  • Honor Harrington:
    • Much of the male population of the planet Grayson is this to a degree, due to their very conservative culture, almost in contrast to the open misogyny that many Graysons were portrayed as having in their earliest appearances. Many of them were raised to see women as helpless in a man's world (though their dealings with the far more egalitarian Manticorans do much to change those attitudes) and thus, any man who is revealed to have injured or killed a woman (or a child) is not looked upon with very much favor.
    • Honor herself is one, in a manner. In the second book, upon finding out what Masadans do to female prisoners, she approaches the captured Masadan base commander, draws and unsafeties her sidearm, and has to be physically restrained to keep her from putting a pulse dart in the man's head, and even that was because there was enough evidence to convict the guy in court. And even then the 2 meters tall power-armored badass Marine Major, his petite Action Girl similarly powered armored second in command, and every other officer present, except one, were frozen in fear by the look in Honor's eyes and didn't move a finger initially to stop her. It was the snot-nosed lieutenant with the standard-issue plasma cannon and hero worship that intervened and restrained his captain.
  • Jack Reacher: Reacher himself tends to intervene when he witnesses domestic abuse, sometimes to the point where it can kick off the plot of a novel, like in A Wanted Man. One of his suspects in The Enemy, an Eastern Bloc defector, is reluctant to reveal his alibi at first. It turns out to have spent three hours working over a wife-beater. Reacher approves.
  • Meg: In The Loch, Angus Wallace (who freely admits to being a cruel, emotionally abusive ass on his best day and a bitter old drunk on his worst), who's been arrested for the murder of his business partner Johnny Cialino, turns out to be one. Cialino, it turned out, had started getting violent with his wife, and she called Angus for help; in the resulting meeting near Loch Ness, the two men argued until Angus punched Cialino hard enough that he stumbled backward, tripped over a tree root, and fell backward into the water. And then the Loch Ness Monster rose up to attack and fatally injure Cialino.
  • The Millennium Series is pretty much about this: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's original title in Swedish translates to Men Who Hate Women. Lisbet Salander in particular set her abusive father on fire as a child, sodomizes her court-appointed guardian with a dildo and tattoos "I am a rapist" on his chest after he rapes her, and uses the video of the rape to blackmail him into emancipating her, and lets primary villain Martin Vanger, a Serial Rapist and killer of women, burn to death in his crashed car after a chase while she stands by and watches.
  • In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, the narrator proudly declares that on the Moon, attacking a woman is a literal death sentence, as any male in the area will gladly kill you in the most painful way he can think of. The Earther Stuart Renè LaJoie nearly gets killed because his Earth-style flirt was too aggressive for the Moon (he survives because the boys who caught him decided to give him a trial, and the protagonist, acting as a judge, realizes he was just ignorant. Stuart learned his lesson well), while the Moon revolution is triggered by Earth Peace Dragoons raping and killing a woman and their boss preventing the chief of the guards from having them hanged.
  • In The Neanderthal Parallax, when Ponter discovers that Cornelius Ruskin raped Mary and Qaiser, he goes over to his house and brutally castrates him so he cannot pass on his genes or repeat this act with another woman again. Note this isn't an act of hot-blooded outrage: Neanderthals strongly believe that violent urges are genetic; in fact they also sterilize the offender's children and close relatives as well, to prevent the genes from passing on. However you can be sure that a lot of human readers would not have judged Ponter for his actions either.
  • Nicholas Nickleby: Do not diss the title character's sister within his hearing. Just don't. (It's not a good idea to let him catch you mistreating kids, either.)
  • In the first chapter of Old Scores, the vampire Simon brutally savages a man who beat his wife and son, then kills him.
  • Protector of the Small:
    • In quarte, Keladry of Mindelan always steps in to try to stop the strong abusing the weak, and on some occasions, that's meant this. As a page, she had a maid who was sometimes the object of unwelcome attention, and, well, unwelcome attention often involves injury. Seeing this was one of the few things that could break her stoicism.
      Keladry: How dare you touch an unwilling woman?
    • This also seems to be one duty of the Goddess' temples in Tortall. Women who see victims of Domestic Abuse tell the victim that she can seek sanctuary there and mention is made of a new "aggressive" commander of their Church Militant. This leads to a scene where Keladry goes to a bathhouse to relax after a rough day of page training and a group of women run up to her and tell her that whoever did that to her will pay, even if he's a noble, and Kel realizes that her day to day training injuries look rather alarming out of context.
  • The Rainmaker's protagonist spends much of the book pining for an abused wife. The climax has a very cathartic scene in which he beats the abuser to death with his own softball bat.
  • A female example: the plot of Rebuilding Coventry is kicked off by Coventry hitting her Jerkass neighbour Gerald Fox, who has not only spread salacious rumours about her but is currently in the process of assaulting his wife, with an Action Man figure to the head. While only intending to stop him, she accidentally kills him, and is forced to go on the run.
  • Repairman Jack was hired by a man whose sister was being abused to beat the living crap out of his brother-in-law. Jack gave the guy a pounding and left him helpless, with instructions for the sister to call the cops and blame it on a burglar. His plan backfires when the sister, having her abuser at her mercy for the first time in years, tortures the man nearly to death before she calls the police.
  • The protagonist of Stephen King's short story "Rest Stop" has to decide if and how he's going to assume this role when he stumbles across an unpleasant late-night scene at the eponymous location.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen stops several wife bashers, along with a gender-inverted case where a woman tortures and nearly kills her husband.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of The Abbey Grange", Holmes deduces who killed Lord Brackenstall, and provides a general hint to the police (in the person of Inspector Hopkins) about the killer, but does no more, because the man who killed Brackenstall did so because Lord B. was physically and emotionally abusive to Mary, Lady Brackenstall, who the man was in love with. Holmes tells the man that he will not reveal the truth to the police unless they arrest someone else for the crime, and that he is free to go and that he can come back to Mary in a year if he still desires to do so.
  • Sisterhood Series: In a female example, the Vigilantes become this on Karl Woodley, a National Security Advisor who broke every bone in his wife, Paula Woodley's, body, in the book The Jury. They get into his home and break every bone in his body! Despite having apparently reached her breaking point, Paula takes him back. Fortunately, he is permanently crippled, wheelchair-bound, and can't lay a hand on her. A later book reveals that she is taking great pleasure in tormenting him, implying that she only took him back so that she can make him suffer as much as she had!
  • In Vampire Academy, Dimitri's father used to abuse his mother. A thirteen-year-old Dimitri beat up his father to defend his mother.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel, a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire who's usually fighting supernatural villains, does take time out to Cold Open one episode by rescuing a girl who's about to be attacked by her abusive boyfriend. He jumps in right as the boyfriend's giving her a preemptive Why Did You Make Me Hit You?...
    Angel: Poor Lenny. The burden of terrorizing your girlfriend too much for you? Lucky for you, I can make it stop.
  • Arrow. In Season 3, Laurel Lance tries to emulate her late sister's vigilante work by beating up the husband of a woman who revealed during her AA meeting that he was beating her up. Instead he puts Laurel in the hospital, so she realizes she needs proper training if she's going to be the next Black Canary.
  • The villain known as "The Good Samaritan" (called so because he calls an ambulance for his victims when he's done with them) in The Blacklist kidnaps abusive parents and spouses, and inflicts upon them all of the injuries that they had inflicted on their victims. Since this is several years of incidents applied to a person over the course of a few hours, this is frequently fatal.
  • An Establishing Character Moment for Jane Doe in the pilot of Blindspot. As the FBI is searching an apartment that the first of Jane's tattoos has led them to, Jane, out in the hall, hears yelling, which the suspect's roommate identifies as the superintendent and his wife. Though confused, amnesiac, and overwhelmed, Jane nonetheless immediately runs down to try and remove the wife from his control, and displays heretofore-unknown hand-to-hand combat skills when the super and his buddy attack her.
  • In the Boardwalk Empire pilot, Nucky has Margaret's husband killed after he beats her so badly she miscarries.
  • In Breaking Bad, Mike tells a story about the days when he was still a beat cop, and he would regularly receive domestic abuse calls from one couple, but the abused wife would never press charges. Eventually, Mike got fed up, took the guy out into the middle of nowhere, and threatened to kill him should he ever hurt his wife again. It turns out to be a deconstruction, as the man promises to never do it again but kills his wife only a few weeks later, and Mike is implied to have made good on his promise. Here's the dialog of the scene set to a fan animation.
  • Burn Notice:
    • It's implied that Jesse was removed as a field agent because he couldn't resist this trope, even while undercover.
      Jesse: Turns out some guys can watch a dude smack his girlfriend around in a bar... some guys can't.
    • In an earlier episode, Michael's target happens to be abusive to his wife and stepchildren. This triggers Mike's Berserk Button, and he allows himself to let out some frustrations every time they meet.
      "Please — for someone smacking his wife and kid around, Michael will take on the Chinese Army."
    • Darkly subverted in an episode where a woman comes to Michael claiming that her abusive husband has kidnapped their son and begging for help in finding him. Michael and his friends immediately leap to her aid. It turns out that she's a Professional Killer and the man is her target. She'd made up the story specifically because she knew that domestic abuse was Michael's Berserk Button.
  • Cold Case:
    • In "The Brush Man", The Victim, a door-to-door brush salesman named Roy Dunn, is revealed to have gone to prison after killing a wife beater in a bar fight. Before his death, he had been keeping a close eye on a family of three, which included giving free brushes to the wife of the family, Diane, and playing baseball with the son of the family, Kevin. This arouses the suspicion of the father of the family, Glenn, who Roy distrusts. Glenn makes Roy take back the brushes he gave Diane and tries to keep his son away from him. Roy later finds Diane crying and comforts her; Diane is upset because her husband mistreats and lies to her, saying he is at work when he is not. Kevin sees Roy and his mother and runs off; Roy goes after him to make sure he did not get the wrong impression. Kevin tells Roy that he had caught his father cottaging in the park and that he had had his wrist broken as 'punishment.' This angers the wife-basher basher Roy, who finds Glenn in his work-shop at night. Roy adopts a threatening tone and tells Glenn to leave his family and let them live their life. Glenn insists that Roy has no right to intrude on his 'family life' and that he will never leave. Roy then tells Glenn that he knows about his homosexuality and Glenn becomes more hesitant but still reiterates that he will not leave. Roy then throws a punch at Glenn that sends him flying backwards; as Glenn scrambles to regain his footing, he grabs a pair of scissors and plants them into Roy's neck, killing him. Roy tells Glenn that he has an eye for people like him and that he can't ignore it like other people on the street or like they "taught him to in jail". It is suggested that Roy had experienced domestic abuse as a child in one scene in which he tells Kevin "My House was not a place you'd like to be".
    • Another episode has a cop as the abusive spouse to his wife, with the abuse starting to extend to his four-year-old twin girls. A rookie cop found out about it and, after falling in love with and proposing to the wife, gave the cop a preliminary beatdown with a warning to leave the wife he was abusing and stop beating up his little girls. He mentions "That's how we dealt with abusers back then. Off the books." Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the rookie, the wife and daughters (who he believed were safe at his house) had gone back to their old house to rescue a pet, and when the husband found him there, he took out his frustrations on them. The wife tried to talk him down, but the twins (being too young to fully understand) innocently let slip that their mother was planning to marry someone else, leading to a standoff in which he kills one of the girls. The wife abandoned the other one in a church and ran away, feeling she would never escape him. The cop ended up dead in a firefight some months later, and the rookie (now an old man) all but admits he shot the guy himself in the chaos. The detectives, disgusted by the abuser and approving of him, decide not to charge him.
  • Gil Grissom from CSI is restrained enough not to go that far, but he does have three things he can't stand; men who hit their wives/girlfriends is one of them.
  • Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami can really lose himself when facing people that abuse women (and children). He is known to lock up the interrogation room and take matters into his own hands.
  • CSI: NY's Mac Taylor isn't immune from it either though, unlike Horatio, his temper is usually restrained enough to just get in their face when confronting them with the evidence and then tell the escorts to get the guy out before it gets worse.
  • A variation in the fifth season of Dexter: The Child Basher Basher. When Dexter discovers that a friend of his stepdaughter is being abused by her mother's boyfriend, he immediately takes action. He finds the guy and gives him an in-depth lesson on what hitting different parts of the body does to the victim while hitting him in those locations. He then tells him to get out, STAT, and never come back. Appropriately, of course, Dexter is a Serial-Killer Killer. He also came up with a ploy to get rid of Rita's abusive ex-husband Paul without killing him. Unfortunately, Dexter ended up indirectly responsible for his death anyway.
  • An interesting variation occurs in the Very Special Episode of A Different World about domestic abuse. When the abuser is confronted about the rumors by one of his friends, he tells a story of a time when he tried to save a woman who was being slapped by her boyfriend in the street... and she called the cops on him. He says he learned two things that day: that every man can lose it sometimes and that whatever happens between a man and a woman is no one else's business. It is truly chilling that the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished lesson he learned from the incident seems to be part of his justification for abusing his girlfriend. Fortunately, his friend decides to make it his business and calls the cops on him.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Idiot's Lantern", the Doctor gives Jerkass abuser Eddie Connolly a truly withering verbal beatdown and kickstarts a Humiliation Conga that culminates in his soon-to-be-ex wife kicking him out.
  • In Dragnet, Joe Friday was like this. There was one Dragnet ep in the late '60s version where he got in the face of a policewoman trainee's boyfriend because he was getting huffy and threatening (though he never actually hit her).
  • ER:
    • An episode has Dr. Benton treating a woman who had been beaten by her husband (she denies it initially, but it becomes obvious when her story gets inconsistent). The husband happens to be a cop. When the cop and his partner arrive at the hospital to pick his wife up, Benton blasts him for his treatment of his wife. The partner doesn't say much, but later in the episode, the cop himself is brought into the ER, accompanied by the partner and several other police officers. When Benton asks what happened, the partner claims that the man fell down a flight of stairs while they were pursuing a suspect, but the strong implication is that he and the other cops took the guy somewhere and beat the crap out of him.
    • After Abby is beaten by the abusive husband of her neighbor (Abby had helped the woman get into a shelter and refused to tell him where she was), her ex-boyfriend Luka tracks the guy down at a local bar and proceeds to beat the crap out of him, reducing him to a sniveling wimp, and finishing his beatdown by warning him, "You touch her again, I'll kill you."
  • In an early episode of Flashpoint, the situation started when the subject took her sister's abusive husband hostage, intending to force him to leave her sister alone. Unfortunately, he's a cop, and she overestimates her own skill level compared to his, so she ends up getting the worse beatdown. However, he can't resist taunting her as he's attacking her, including telling her exactly how he's going to kill her and claim self-defense, and an SRU microphone picks this up, so his self-defense argument falls flat and the episode ends with him getting arrested as his wife stares him down defiantly.
  • In Grey's Anatomy, Alex Karev is suspected to be this after Jo's abusive husband, Paul, is severely injured in a hit and run; a fair assumption considering how violently defensive Alex was of Jo in the past, but it wasn't him. Though we never find out who actually did it, it's heavily implied that it was Paul's new fiancé Jenny, who was also being abused by him.
  • In Grimm, Juliette's college roommate Alicia runs away from her abusive husband. Nick is supportive, even when he finds out that Alicia is a Fuchsbau (a fox-like Wesen). The viewers also find out that her husband Joe is a Klaustreich (a cat-like Wesen who are known to be jerks). At the end of the episode, Joe breaks into Nick and Juliette's place and attacks the women. To everyone's surprise, it's Juliette who turns out to fit this trope, beating the crap out of the guy even after he goes full woge on her. Only after he's down does Nick come in with his gun, scaring Joe with the realization that Nick is a Grimm, whereas before he didn't care that Nick was a cop. Presumably, just the threat of Alicia's best friend living with a Grimm is enough to keep Joe away from her.
  • Female examples are rare, and when they do show up, it's usually their own husband they're bashing, but Harry's Law had the case of a woman who was a serial Wife Basher Basher, her victims all strangers.
  • Justified:
    • Ellison Limehouse takes in battered women who are fleeing their abusive husbands and boyfriends. Years before, when Arlo stormed into Noble's Holler to retrieve Francis, Limehouse gave him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. That Raylan and Arlo both remember to this day.
    • Season 4 reveals Johnny Crowder to be one, even though he's not up to delivering the bashing himself. When he believes that one of his hookers, Terri, is being abused by a regular customer named Max, Johnny shows up at Max's house with Colt in tow and has Colt deliver a brutal beating that nearly kills the man. When he finds out that it was actually Colt who hit Terri, Johnny blackmails him for thousands of dollars while plotting to get rid of him.
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a woman takes advantage of this by informing her boss/lover that his other girlfriend's husband is abusive, knowing that this is his Berserk Button. His mother was murdered by her dealer when he was a boy, so learning this drives him into a homicidal fury - and it's implied he wasn't exactly thinking clearly. While he is still arrested for the murder of the abusive husband, the detectives make sure to get the woman behind it as well.
  • In Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, considering Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, brutal violence is applied with infamous frequency in the interrogating of suspects in this show, by Captain Olivia Benson and Detective Elliot Stabler in particular.
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: In Season Five, Susie's Girl Friday Dinah comes into work with a black eye, and Susie's reaction implies this isn't the first time this has happened. Dinah admits her boyfriend punched her, and insists she kicked him out and they're through, so Susie tells her to take the day off, go home, and get some rest... and then immediately goes to see Frank and Nicky, two mobsters she's found herself doing business with. Susie says she needs a favor, and we cut to Frank and Nicky turning up at the boyfriend's apartment with a baseball bat, kicking in his door, and going inside to teach him a lesson.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "Crime and Pinishment", Frank Lockston was killed because of his abusive nature towards his wife, Maxine. Barbara couldn't stand seeing her friend getting hurt by Frank and chose to run him over with her husband's car.
  • The Musketeers: An assassin posing as the King's cousin witnesses Constance Bonacieux being slapped by her husband during an argument. "Princess Louise" confides in her fellow assassin that she detests men who beat their wives and if they weren't busy with their assignment she'd "do Constance a favour". When Monsieur Bonacieux accidentally walks in on "Louise" setting up to kill her target the assassin is only too happy to shoot him and leave him for dead.
  • On episode four of the Japanese drama Nobuta Wo Produce, while planning a surprise for Shuji's birthday, Akira and Nobuta overhear Bando getting beaten by her boyfriend and Akira hilariously steps in, beating up her boyfriend with his expert karate skills while lecturing him on how he shouldn't be hitting the one person he should be taking the most care of in the world and how a girl's heart is made of glass so you should never hit her. The boyfriend seems more confused than beaten up, though, and we have no idea if it worked because he's never seen again — probably because his character was introduced as a reason why Bando bullies and beats up people, ESPECIALLY Nobuta: her boyfriend abuses her and she takes it out on Nobuta. It all works out though, in the end.
  • Peaky Blinders they may not be good guys, but the Peaky Blinders don't approve of violence towards women - when a heavily-bruised woman comes to Tommy and Arthur saying her drunk of a husband killed her pet birds, she asks them to replace the birds, which she loved, as the reason her husband drinks and then beats her so much is because he was fired from one of their factories. Tommy says they'll buy her new birds and then tells the woman he and Arthur will be having "a word" with said husband.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Somewhat of a meta example: Between takes for the pilot, when the crew was filming in a less than pleasant part of New York City, Jim Caviezel, one of the main actors on the show, ducked into an alley where a drunk guy was beating up a woman; Caviezel clobbered the drunk, then sat him down on the pavement and proceeded to dish out some relationship advice. The meta comes in the second episode in the series, where Jim Caviezel's character John Reese takes out several hitmen sent to take out a guy whose wife had caught him cheating, *then* he proceeds to dish out relationship advice to the now cowering cheater.
    • His character plays it straight later on when it is revealed that he deliberately beat the abusive husband of his ex-girlfriend Jessica to death after learning that he killed her.
    • In another episode Reese deals with a US Marshal who's using the resources of his service to track down his abused ex-wife. After storming into the New York office of the US Marshals and delivering an ineffective warning to back off, then intervening in a murder-suicide attempt, he drops the Marshal in a Mexican prison with falsified papers so he can't get back out.
  • Roseanne:
    • When Dan finds out Jackie's boyfriend is beating her up, he goes over and does the same to him. In a bit of a subversion, he explains he first tried to scare him off and it escalated into a fistfight, and he winds up spending the night in jail when charges get pressed. Also, when he gets home, the show does tackle the Unfortunate Implications of violence-vs.-violence when he attempts to explain the situation to his son.
      Dan: Look... it's not okay to beat up anyone, it's never okay to beat up women, but sometimes it's less not okay to beat up somebody when they beat up somebody you love.
      DJ: ...What if a woman beats up somebody you love?
    • This would be expounded upon in a later episode when Roseanne loses her temper and hits DJ.
  • Sons of Anarchy has Jax beat the shit out of a guy who beat his girl. Of course, the guy was also sitting on Jax's motorcycle, so he had it coming either way.
  • Superior Court: An episode of this late-1980s courtroom drama centers on the murder trial of a police officer accused of – while responding to a domestic disturbance – shooting to death a man who was savagely beating up his wife. Grilled intensely during cross-examination, the officer finally admits that he shot the man, revealing a Dark Secret in the past: He himself grew up in an abusive household, where he and his mother and siblings were regularly beaten by their drunken father. One night the mother had enough and locked him out of the house ... during a severe blizzard; the father kept banging on the door and screaming threats until he eventually passed out from his drunkenness and exhaustion. The next morning, the future police officer found his father, who had by now frozen to death. The officer then says that from that time on, he vowed to become a police officer and swore to never allow domestic abusers to get away with their crimes. The jury is somewhat sympathetic but still finds him guilty of manslaughter.
  • Awesomely, Bobby Singer of Supernatural was revealed to have been one of these to his own abusive father.
  • Third Watch's Boscorelli is like this, especially if the woman in question is his mother or partner Faith. He grew up watching his mother get beaten by his father and her subsequent boyfriends and also Wouldn't Hit a Girl because of it.
  • In the pilot of Van Helsing, Vanessa violently assaults Susan's abusive boyfriend. Somewhat unusually, this isn't portrayed as a particularly good thing, as it shows her violent side and anger issues. She even later admits it was more about hurting him than helping her.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Shane finally beats the resident wife-basher to a red pulp during episode 3. Of course, he was just looking for an excuse to vent his sexual frustration more than anything else.
    • And of course, in Season 5's "Try" Rick does the same thing to Pete, drawing some disturbing parallels with his former rival and best friend.
    • Carol (formerly Ed's battered wife but having toughened up considerably after many seasons) also has a visceral negative reaction to Pete's abuse, for obvious reasons. After Pete's fight with Rick, she holds a knife to his throat and threatens to kill him if he ever even comes near his wife again.
  • Alluded to in one episode of The West Wing. The president is playing a game of chess and reminiscing about the friend who taught him the game. That friend died when he saw a man beating a woman in the street, "went in to stop it", and was murdered by the abuser.
  • In the White Collar episode "Home Invasion", Caffrey is taking part in a sting to catch his first killer (she is also an art thief). However, Alex comes up to him and unwittingly blows his cover, causing the murderess to run away from him. He catches her outside and tries to restrain her, only for her to notice several construction workers nearby and call for help. Long story short, they came over and began beating up Caffrey, allowing the villainess to escape. Peter was able to save his partner from getting beaten too badly, but they still lost the killer.

  • Bloodywood's Dana Dan is about kicking rapists' and domestic abusers' asses (a huge problem in the group's native India).
    I raise a fist for the nameless faces he disgraces
    Raise a fist for the nameless faces he disgraces
    And yeah, one day I may change his kind with my mind
    One day I may change his kind
    But until then
    De dana dan (Bring the beatdown)
    De dana dan (Bring the beatdown)
    De dana dan (Bring the beatdown)
    De dana dan (Bring the beatdown)
  • The Bowling for Soup song 99 Biker Friends has the singer, apparently a friend of the abused wife/girlfriend, who is considering calling in his friends to teach the abuser a lesson
    It takes a tough man to slap her around.
    Such a bad guy to keep such a good girl down.
    She's wearing shades but we all see
    Behind the tinted glass.
    And I've got 99 biker friends
    That wanna kick your ass.
  • Alice Cooper's "Hell Comes Home" is about a kid plotting to shoot his father for beating his mother.
  • In Goodbye, Earl, by The Dixie Chicks, the wife-basher basher is the wife's female best friend from school, and she doesn't stop at beating up the abusive husband:
    Well, it wasn't two weeks after she got married
    that Wanda started gettin' abused.
    She put on dark glasses and long-sleeved blouses
    And make-up to cover her bruise.
    Well, she finally got the nerve to file for divorce
    She let the law take it from there.
    But Earl walked right through that restraining order
    And put her in intensive care.
    Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atlanta on a red-eye midnight flight.
    She held Wanda's hand and they worked out a plan
    And it didn't take them long to decide
    That Earl had to die.
  • Sealed With A Fist by Exodus (Band) is an aggressive tale about a battered wife unloading a full clip on her abusive husband.
    When she took your hand in marriage
    It didn't mean right across the face
    Small woman, big man, it takes a lot of guts
    You're just a pussy in the first place
    But now that your wedding chamber's
    The one the bullet's in
    Brave man, look at you, not so tough
    When the hammer's cockin'.
  • Hardey's "Wait in the Truck". A drifter passing through a small town stops when he sees a woman in the headlights. Seeing that she was battered and bruised, he asks, "Where is he?" The drifter confronts the abuser, he goes for a gun, but the drifter pulls his own, killing him. He then waited for the cops to come, while smoking one of the abuser's own cigarettes, and is now five years in a life sentence. To him, it was worth the price to see a brighter side of the woman he picked up that night. Apparently, while prison isn't paradise, it's a whole hell of a lot better than the place he'd sent the abuser to.
  • The first victim of Insane Clown Posse's "Halls of Illusions" is an alcoholic wife-beater.
    Back to reality and what you're about!
    Your wife can't smile 'cause you knocked her teeth out!
    And she can't see straight from getting hit,
    'Cause you're a fat fucking drunk piece of shit!
    But it's all good! Here! Come have a beer!
    I'll break the top off it, and shove it in your ear!
    And your death comes wicked painful and slow
    At the hands of Milenko!
  • The song "Mary Can You Come Outside" by Kane.
    Should I sit here on these hands of mine one more time?
    Or should I use them on him the way he does on you?
  • Similarly, the Miranda Lambert song "Gunpowder and Lead" is a song about a woman sitting at home with a shotgun, waiting for her abusive boyfriend to get out of jail.
    I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
    Wait by the door, and light a cigarette
    If he wants a fight, well, now he's got one
    And he ain't seen me crazy yet
    He slapped my face, and he shook me like a rag doll
    Don't that sound like a real man?
    I'm going to show him what little girls are made of
    Gunpowder and lead
  • The extremely early MC Double M song "Blown Away" is a story about the rapper heroically intervening when he sees a woman getting beaten by her husband, getting into a fight with him and shooting him. It's striking because in Eminem's later songs, he would be far more likely to be beating the women himself.
  • The narrator from Nickelback's "Never Again". All the more wrenching because it's implied the narrator is the man's son, who is too young to do anything about it.
    Father's a name you haven't earned yet
    You're just a child with a temper
    Haven't you heard "Don't hit a lady"?
    Kickin' your ass would be a pleasure

    Myths & Religion 
  • Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, lived in a time when only a man could initiate a divorce. He wrote that if a man abused his wife, but would not grant her a divorce, the court should beat the evil inclination out of him until he is willing to grant her a divorce.

  • Daigo from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues first shows off his newfound vampiric superpower by murdering a drunk man who was beating up his girlfriend. Having grown up in an abusive household himself, Daigo has no patience for that particular brand of violence.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Black Furies, an all-female tribe of Garou devoted to protecting wild places, women, and children. Their tribal code of conduct forbids members from turning a blind eye to violence against women. According to the first edition tribebook, they kill men who commit domestic violence or sexual assault.

    Video Games 
  • The Flash game Anaksha: Female Assassin has this as the title character's original motivation for picking up her rifle. Although in this case, it's less Wife Basher Basher and more Wife Basher Head Shooter.
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Beat Cop: The Mafia task on day 19 has Kelly asked to beat on the representative's brother-in-law, but to do so while the wife's out of the house. Kelly makes sure the man knows not to ever do it again.
  • BlazBlue: Despite the fact that he's a totally perverted skirt-chasing jerk, if you hurt a woman in Kagura Mutsuki's presence, then the last few moments of your life will probably seriously suck. Just ask Arakune, Ragna, and Azrael.
  • Mondo Owada from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was taught by his older brother to hold great respect for women and to use his strength to protect them. During the chapter 1 investigation, he tells Makoto that he'll beat the guy who killed Sayaka to death, but when Makoto asks what would happen if the killer is a girl, he falls silent, and eventually says, "We'll cross that bridge when we reach it."
  • In Dink Smallwood, when you first enter your aunt Maria's house, you see her being beaten by her husband Jack. Though Video Game Cruelty Potential allows you to encourage this abuse (and beat up other female characters you meet), you're also able to attack and kill Jack if this pisses you off. Just be careful and prepare yourself first, as he'll fight back and is much stronger than any other enemy you'll be encountering at this point in the game.
  • You can take sidequests to do this in The Godfather 2.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV features a Random Encounter in which the player must confront a woman's abusive boyfriend and either beat him up or kill him.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, Trevor tears off Mexican drug lord Martin Madrazo's ear for the abuse he dishes out towards his wife, Patricia. When he eventually returns her home after kidnapping her for a while, Trevor threatens to come back for the other one if he finds out he's mistreating her again.
  • Near the end of Mafia II's story, Vito gets a call from his hysterical sister that her husband hasn't come home. Vito tracks him down (in the middle of banging a hooker at a party) and beats the snot out of him, threatening to kill him if he hurts his sister or is anything less than a stellar husband. It comes back to bite Vito when she tells him she wants nothing to do with him anymore.
  • Persona 5:
  • In Quest for Glory IV the player befriends a Rusalka, a water spirit who was betrayed by her lover who gets her "revenge" by seducing men and drowning them. In order to let her move on to the afterlife, the Paladin has to visit justice upon her killer — since he's already dead, this involves dredging up his ghost and kicking its spectral butt all over the graveyard. For an added twist of the knife, the guy's tombstone claims he was faithful and tried to save her from drowning.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: During one random event, Arthur can come across a man who's about to abuse his terrified wife, and has the option to do this. You can also shoot him, but you can also give him a taste of his medicine by giving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is shown to be this in Sonic and the Secret Rings, where after Erazor, who is heavily implied to be abusive towards Shahra, murders the girl before Sonic’s very eyes, prompting him to enter his Darkspine state, then after defeating Erazor, he immobilizes Erazor, sucks him back into his lamp, then tosses the lamp into lava, baking him alive once and for all.
  • Beating up a female in The Warriors will get certain male types to attack you for beating up a woman. However, the men that come out for this are no stronger than a regular NPC civilian, so they are just as easy to fight.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: When Geralt finds out that the Bloody Baron beat his pregnant wife Anna, he gives him a severe beating and makes his contempt for him very clear afterwards. Also when Geralt finds out what Whoreson Junior does to prostitutes, on top of trying to kill Ciri.
  • In The Wolf Among Us, Bigby doesn't react kindly when he walks into the Woodsman's apartment just in time to see him hitting Faith. You can even choose to go above and beyond normally just beating the hell out of him and decide to kick him in the mouth for calling her a bitch after Bigby makes it very clear that he does NOT like that word. When he calls her a bitch one more time, Bigby tackles him and they both go through the window onto the street below. He also stresses in other scenes that he will not tolerate women being treated poorly, such as when you have the option to give Georgie a good, solid punch when he calls Snow a bitch as well.

  • A brief long-delayed female example in The Order of the Stick is present when Haley justifies her willingness to slay one particular rogue out of many she knew on the basis of him being a wife-beater just before unleashing an arrow-filled full attack on him.
  • Questionable Content had a story arc featuring the VespAvenger, a woman who rode around on a Vespa scooter beating up men who she considers abusive to their girlfriends. (That she doesn't bother to make sure is the first problem.) The characters try to convince her to stop by bringing up Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male, asking her if she'd be horrified by the thought of a man who rode around on a Harley beating up women who were abusive to their boyfriends. However, the VespAvenger says that he sounds like her ideal guy, and that she would want his phone number.
  • In Suicide for Hire, Arcturus is normally (more or less) the Only Sane Man; he tries to dissuade their "clientele" and doesn't usually enjoy the killing as much as his partner Hunter. When a man who beat his wife to the point where she sought the pair out and utilized their services comes in... he changes his tune and participates enthusiastically in the Karmic Death.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic is known to do this with his gun, even trying to shoot Lady Tremaine for abusing Cinderella so much.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-3998 is the burnt remains of a corpse fashioned into a scarecrow. Every night, it bursts into flames at a certain time. If a person who has killed or abused a romantic partner is standing close to it at that time, they will also catch on fire and become impossible to extinguish until SCP-3998 itself stops burning, leaving them to slowly and agonizingly burn to death. SCP-3998 itself is the corpse of a 17th-century man who was abusive to his wife, and she turned into a witch by making a Deal with the Devil. He found out and gathered a mob to burn her to death. The devil revived her and gave her the power to get revenge on him, which she did by ripping off his legs and burning him alive.
  • Zeke Strahm of Seeking Truth kicked off his relationship with Lizzie by beating up her abusive father. He's also not very fond of Albert Conaghan, the serial rapist and Karma Houdini whose sick pastime is likely what got him the attention of Tall, Dark, and Faceless himself.
  • Will, from Super Powereds, is this to his sister's abusive boyfriend, in a legitimately creepy manner. He uses his genius to take over the guy's car, controlling it from afar. He also reroutes all calls and messages from the guy to his sister, so that she is never the wiser about what happened.

    Western Animation 
  • Adrian has the titular protagonist (an expy/avatar/self-insert of the author, the actor and singer Adriano Celentano) don the mask of "La Volpe" (The Fox), a Zorro/Batman expy stalking the streets of a corrupt Milano beating rapist and wifebeaters until they become crippled messes of scarred flesh, broken bones, and open fractures. It Makes Sense in Context: Adrian believes he's tasked to protect every kind of beauty from every kind of predatory exploitation, and that women are the ultimate avatar of the abstract concept of beauty. Defiling a woman to Adrian means defiling beauty itself, and he can't allow that.
    • Also, Adrian fits this trope to a capital T, being usually an easygoing, peace-loving, jolly fellow spreading smiles and goodwill. Until someone is defiling a woman in front of his eyes. Then everything gets worse.
  • Glenn Quagmire becomes this in the Family Guy episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q" in regards to him willing to murder his sister's abusive boyfriend. Joe (a police officer) allows him to do it after seeing the abuse for himself.
  • Popeye, the spinach-eating sailor, is notorious for walloping Bluto whenever the big guy makes one move too many on Olive Oyl, which is in nearly every cartoon. Olive may be often receptive to Bluto's aggressive flirting, but she still doesn't deserve to be forced into anything if she changes her mind about it. Popeye kind of blunders into this one; he's generally ready to beat the tar out of Bluto when he starts putting the moves on Olive, but he only holds off because she'd be mad at him — or, often as not, he doesn't hold off, and she gets mad at him. Still, because he's Bluto, it doesn't matter that he's successfully charmed her, eventually he starts getting rough with her, which means Popeye is free and clear to open up a can of... spinach.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wife Beater Beater


Bud beats Wife Beater

Bud White's Establishing Character Moment shows he's one of these.

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Main / WifeBasherBasher

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