Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Restrained Revenge

Go To

Basic Trope: Someone takes a lesser revenge on someone else in lieu of forgiving them entirely.

  • Straight: Alice plans to kill Bob for killing her brother in a duel. After getting to know Bob (and realizing that it was just a terrible accident), she opts to avenge her brother by turning Bob in instead.
  • Exaggerated: Bob murdered Alice's entire family For the Evulz. Alice decides to let him go with nothing but a punch in the stomach.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Alice decides to give Bob a chance to survive by merely leaving him stranded in the middle of the desert where she confronted him.
  • Justified: Bob killed Alice's brother in self defense. While Alice is bitter, she knows he was in the right and once she gets to know him as a person, rather than just the faceless killer of her brother, she can't bring herself to kill him.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted: Of course, this was actually a sign of hesitation. She's forgiven him, even though she won't admit it.
  • Parodied: Alice reveals that she'd sworn to track Bob down and do the worst thing she could imagine...when she was a child. Bob has to live with the fact that he's just been called "The biggest meanie ever!" to his face. It pushes him into the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Zig Zagged: The show can't seem to make up its mind whether it's better to drop grudges and whether or not taking a token revenge is reasonable.
  • Averted: Alice just kills Bob as planned and considers everything even.
  • Enforced: Alice is The Chosen One and destined to become a Messiah. She has to learn to Turn the Other Cheek.
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "If you're forgiving me, why did you punch me in the stomach?"
  • Invoked: Alice's Morality Pet tells her that killing Bob is something she can never go back on, and that she should just turn him in.
  • Exploited: Bob allows Alice to punch him for killing her brother because he knows if he appears to be a Karma Houdini she might do something worse.
  • Defied: Alice's Poisonous Friend slips her a drug that'll give her a Hair-Trigger Temper for a while, just in case she "goes soft".
  • Discussed: "Look...I swore to kill you but I didn't know everything at the I told everyone you groped me. Killed your social life instead." "WHAT!"
  • Conversed: "She won't kill him now, they've become too close." "Bet she'll punch him in the face though."
  • Deconstructed: Bob takes advantage of Alice's 'weakness' to kill her for punching him. The Cycle of Revenge continues.
  • Reconstructed: Bob's family realize that killing Alice was Disproportionate Retribution and agree to allow a third party to take him into custody rather than wait for Alice's family's vengeance (and carrying out their counter-vengeance, etc). By avoiding escalating the grudge, Alice signaled the beginning of the end of the cycle.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice's revenge leaves Bob humiliated and is suitably ironic.
  • Played For Drama: Alice met and fell in love with Bob before finding out what he did and who he actually was and saw a spark of goodness in him. After sparing him, she's torn over whether or not Bob truly is capable of being redeemed or if she's simply allowed more innocents to die by Bob's hand.
  • Implied: Alice says she needs revenge on Bob, but Bob is still alive later. He seems somewhat grateful to Alice.

I know this page wasted a great deal of your time and you might be tempted to vandalize it, but please consider just returning to Restrained Revenge.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: