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Playing With / Asshole Victim

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Basic Trope: A character suffers a cruel, but well deserved death or punishment.

  • Straight: Claire kidnaps Peter and holds him for ransom, threatening to kill him if it's not paid. Nobody really feels sorry for Peter as he was an arrogant Jerk Jock who loved lording his money and status over others, so the kidnapping comes off as taking him down a much-needed peg.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Peter was a slightly mean-spirited practical joker. Everybody laughs at the pranked prankster when they fall for one themselves.
    • Peter may have been an Jerk Jock, but Even Evil Has Loved Ones and at least a few people mourn him when he's killed.
    • Kick the Son of a Bitch, in which the victim isn't necessarily killed, but with all the same implications applied to this trope.
    • Peter was a loathsome man and people have no problem pointing it out, but they are still (understandably) horrified at the fact that someone who lived within their community was killed in cold blood.
  • Justified:
    • If you're that much of a bastard to everyone, eventually you're going to find yourself Mugging the Monster.
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    • Claire kidnapped Peter because she had had enough of him being a Karma Houdini.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Peter was Secretly Dying anyway, and was only acting as a jerk so no one would be sad when he died. He actually had a Hidden Heart of Gold.
    • Peter may have acted like a bastard in his personal life, but he was also incorruptible and used his fortune to help clean up poverty and crime. Claire kidnapped him out of vengeance because he wouldn't accept a bribe to look the other way in the face of her human trafficking ring.
    • We follow, in flashback, a private detective who is describing to the District Attorney the events leading up to "the murder of P. Boddy". Peter Boddy is shown to be a blackmailer and gigantic jerkwad... but it's his almost saintly brother, Paul Boddy, who gets murdered.
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    • The fact Peter was an asshole is a Red Herring. The movie spends ninety-nine minutes showcasing a parade of increasingly unhinged people with equally absurdly gleeful reactions to Peter's death that all scream "potential killer"... and then the final clue comes to light and it turns that the woman who killed him only wanted his ultra-rare movie memorabilia and doesn't seems to understand why people hated him that much. The fact the investigators (and the audience) wasted so much time expecting "Peter made someone finally snap" to be the motive is actually kind of sobering.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But that’s just the story his wife tells everyone. In truth, there was nothing redeemable about him.
    • Peter may be a bastard, but he never takes bribes... because he's a Serial Killer and a bribery investigation would uncover his crimes.
    • ...And then it later turns out that Paul was the actual mastermind behind Peter's blackmail schemes, and forced Peter to cover for him with emotional manipulation.
    • Regardless, he still died and was an asshole, even if those two weren’t related.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Peter looked like a gigantic jerkwad, but he donated a lot of time and money to a charity... which he was using to funnel money back into his own pockets, but only so he could fund the Littlest Cancer Patient's surgery... so he could continue to extort his family for money. And in the end, none of this is what got him killed; he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But the killer expresses joy upon learning just who they killed.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced:
    • "Claire's supposed to be a sympathetic character, but that can't very well be the case if she kidnaps another sympathetic character, no matter the motive. Let's have him kidnap Peter instead- he's rich enough to serve her purposes, and a total asshole."
    • "Claire is an important fully developed character, we need to give her a plausible motive."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Peter got kidnapped? Well, with how he flaunted his money and rubbed everyone's faces in it, I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner."
    • "So he's dead? And nothing of value was lost."
  • Invoked: Entitled Bastard.
  • Defied: After a close shave, Peter realizes his wrongdoing and takes steps to make himself a better person.
  • Exploited: John realizes that his brother Peter is an Jerk Jock with a habit of blackmailing dangerous people. He immediately takes out a life insurance policy on him and moves far enough away that when he gets what he has coming, it won't affect him.
  • Implied: No one shows up at Peter's funeral, other than the ones who organized it.
  • Discussed:
    DI Blake: "Is anyone here going to actually look for Peter? He's been kidnapped!"
    DCI Charleton: "Yeah, but he's an asshole. Frankly, the longer he stays gone the happier everyone around her will be."
  • Conversed: "Are the victims on this show always a huge asshole?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Nobody liked Peter because he was such a Jerk Jock. Peter really had No Social Skills and didn't know how to interact with people in a healthy manner, which made his suicidal and reckless, which in turn, gave Claire her needed opening.
    • Claire targeted Peter because he was an asshole, but she wasn't thinking of doing the people around her any favors. Instead, her goal was to be able to get away more easily (or get a reduced sentence) by manipulating the police and jury's lack of sympathy for Peter.
    • Peter may have been an utterly unlikable piece of shit, but it swiftly becomes obvious that even then, he didn't deserve that.
    • Even Evil Has Loved Ones. Peter may have been an asshole, but his death still devastated his family.
    • In a fantasy setting, the Asshole Victim is a king who overtaxes commoners, drafts them into his military under threats of treason, and forces his daughter into an Arranged Marriage with a man ready to exercise Marital Rape License. This results in someone assassinating the king to end his abuses of power. However, asshole or not, he was the guy in charge of the kingdom, and there ends up being a power vacuum that drags the kingdom into a civil war over who should be his successor, leading to several casualties that could've been avoided had the king not been killed.
    • When the policemen interrogate those suspected on the murder of Peter, they continually use the fact that he was a loathsome man to probe the suspects' reactions. However much the other people may have wished some karmic retribution to fall upon him, they are all horrified by the thought that someone went as far as to commit murder and even more horrified that the police thinks they would have done it and are tossing their dislike of Alice back to their faces as the reason they could have done it.
    • Claire receives No Sympathy from everyone for killing Peter, even from people who hated him, and she is still punished for murdering him. The fact that she tries to justify murdering Peter by saying he had it coming makes her look like a sociopathic monster, and thus, a Hypocrite and no better than Peter.
    • Peter may have done some asshole things in life but people going all "meh" and/or celebrating the fact Peter died makes them look like much bigger assholes. Certain additional contextual details concerning Peter (ex. Peter was an Enfante Terrible) may just make things worse for them (ex. they are celebrating the Death of a Child) in the eyes of the general audience.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: Someone kills Peter in almost every episode.
  • Played For Drama: The investigator is trying to do his due diligence as a sworn agent of law enforcement, but everybody's hatred of Peter not only makes them dismiss the murder but they go out of their way to destroy the investigator's life because he has the hall to try to (in a way) protect an asshole.
  • Played For Horror: Peter the asshole is one more tally in the body count of the Asshole Annihilator and people are willing to look the other way regarding him and the other two hundred men killed through the country and the million to come (up to and including killing the investigator trying to stop him) because they were/are/will be all assholes.

Yeah, officer, I wanted that Asshole Victim dead, but someone else beat me to it.
Historical note: This was first page to be created in the Playing With namespace, since it was also used as the hypothetical entry during the YKTTW for Playing With Wiki. It was chosen because it was a straightforward trope that the author of the YKTTW was familiar with, having also been the author of the Asshole Victim YKTTW.

Example of: