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Basic Trope: A character kicks the dog who happens to be deserving of it.

  • Straight: Bob, a Jerkass, cruelly beats up Charlie, but it doesn't seem so bad because Charlie made a child cry.
  • Exaggerated: Bob, a vile, diabolical villain, kills Charlie, who happens to have destroyed a building with innocents inside.
  • Downplayed: Bob, who normally doesn't care about anything, teases Charlie for jaywalking because it just isn't right. (Poke The Mean Little Poodle?)
  • Justified:
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    • Even though Bob is a jerk, he has certain lines that he won't cross, which he had to let Charlie know that right away.
    • Bob just feels like beating up Charlie and doesn't care about what he's done.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Jerkass Bob is about to beat up Charlie, but doesn't in the end. Incidentally Charlie made a child cry.
  • Double Subverted: Bob decides to beat up Charlie after all.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Bob, at first, decides to fight and beat up Charlie, only to nurse him back to full health, as he needed to use Charlie as a tool, and play on the heroes' emotions expecting this trope - either to gain their trust, or just to piss them off.
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  • Averted: Bob decides to beat up a completely innocent person.
  • Enforced: The writer feels that the audience hate Bob for his Kick the Dog moments, so to make them like him, he sets up a moment where Bob assaults Charlie.
  • Lampshaded: "Bob may be a jerk, but I don't blame him for what he did to Charlie."
  • Invoked: Bob has been cruel to everyone unjustifiably, so he decides to pick on other jerks to make himself less like one.
  • Exploited: Alice knows Charlie is a horrible person, so she *ahem* introduces him to Bob, knowing full well that Bob will kill him regardless of what kind of fellow he is, but it works out for her because Charlie's evil.
  • Defied: "A jerk is a jerk. It doesn't matter if Bob beats up Charlie. That doesn't make him likable in our eyes."
  • Discussed: "At least Bob harmed someone who deserved it for a change."
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  • Conversed: "He might become the next hero of the story soon." "I wouldn't count on it. He's still a jerk."
  • Implied: Charlie's corpse is among those of Bob's other victims, and he was previously shown to be a bad person.
  • Deconstructed:
    • It appears that the way Bob's assault on Charlie was taken too far. As a result, Charlie dies from his injuries, causing others to view Bob worse than Charlie.
    • Bob merely wanted the thrill and power of beating someone up, and chose Charlie as a way of justifying it to himself and others.
  • Reconstructed: But others feel that, even if Bob went overboard, Charlie still deserved that anyways.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: It's Bob's first step in his road toward evil, and is a major red flag. The fact that he did it to someone so horrid served to obscure, in-and-out of universe, that this story is a Start of Darkness and not a regular revenge tale.

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