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Playing With / Death by Woman Scorned

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Basic Trope: Murdering an adulterous spouse (regardless of gender) is presented as justified.

  • Straight:
    • Alice kills Bob for cheating on her with Carol. The story treats Alice as a hero, or as Chaotic Good at worst.
    • Bob kills Alice after she was caught cheating on him with Daniel. Bob was treated as a Badass Hero not to be reckoned with.
  • Exaggerated: Alice kills Bob slowly and painfully for just glancing at Carol, and is canonised a hundred years later.
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  • Downplayed: The cheating party was left severely injured and hospitalized.
  • Justified: Bob was consistently abusive and they live in a country in which Alice has no legal remedies. When Alice found out about Bob and Carol, Bob threatened her and she killed him in self-defense.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice is presented as a shrew and a harpy and Bob as a Doomed Moral Victor for ~* ~following his heart~* ~.
    • Alice commits suicide over Bob's adultery.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is portrayed as being Ax-Crazy for taking the life of another human being, regardless of her reasons.
    • It turns out that it is Not What It Looks Like, and Bob was never cheating with Carol. Alice killed Bob for essentially no reason, and she is sent up the river.
  • Double Subverted: Bob was never cheating with Carol. However he was cheating with Dorothy, and also planning to embezzle his wife's money to support his mistress.
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  • Parodied: Killing Bob makes Alice a national hero, and she's made Grand Marshal of the St Patrick's Day Parade.
  • Zig Zagged: Was Alice justified? Will she be convicted? Did Bob even die at all? It is a mystery.
  • Averted:
    • Alice committed murder. Her reasons may be mitigating factors, but are only relevant in sentencing, not in questions of law and fact.
    • Bob doesn't cheat and Alice doesn't murder him.
  • Enforced: Five words: Lifetime Movie of the Week.
  • Lampshaded: "Why is it that murder is okay when it's cuckoldess-on-adulterer?"
  • Invoked: Alice only killed Bob because she thought her motives would be sympathetic and she'd get away with it.
  • Exploited: Daniel murders Bob by simply exposing his second life to his wife.
  • Defied:
    • Alice is Ax-Crazy. Bob had already tried to do the honourable thing and file for divorce, but Alice wouldn't be told.
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    • "You killed your husband, and you figure you should get away with it, because you're a Woman Scorned? Guess what? Murder. Is. Murder. Regardless of motive or gender. Hanging in the town square, one week from today." * bam!*
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Alice is lionised in the press and public consciousness, but our Sympathetic P.O.V. prosecutor character is digusted by this.
  • Reconstructed: A throughout investigation shows that Alice was indeed the victim of Bob's abuse, and she killed him in self-defence when threatened by him. Said prosecutor was still disturbed by Alice's over-glorification, but knowing that she wasn't one of black widows who kill their husbands and use domestic abuse as an instant "Get out of Jail Free" Card, he rests his case.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice is an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist or Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
  • Played For Drama: Alice gets away with it, but goes mad from killing someone she loved. Eventually, she ends up like Gollum, hovering over Bob's wedding band and trying to justify her actions to herself.

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