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Playing With / Vengeance Feels Empty

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Basic Trope: Getting revenge doesn't give the character the satisfaction they hoped.

  • Straight: Alan plots to get back against Bob for bullying him for all of these years in high school, but as soon as he murders him, it made him feel empty inside.
  • Exaggerated: Alan plots to kill Bob for brutally murdering his family by killing him, his family, friends, and his pitbull, but as he already done this, he has become a shell of his former self.
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  • Downplayed: Alan plans to give Bob A Taste of Their Own Medicine by humiliating him in front of the public, but this doesn't satisfy Alan whatsoever.
  • Justified:
    • The attack on Bob was taken too far; Alan felt that even he didn't deserve that.
    • Alan feels as though there's nothing left for him to do now that he's accomplished his revenge.
    • Alan was too busy on revenge that this had made him forget about what's really important.
    • Alan's quest for revenge has caused severe harm on those who didn't deserve it.
    • Alan feels that his revenge isn't effective enough to satisfy him, and feels Bob got off too easily.
    • Bob had a change of heart, which Alan realizes at the last minute.
    • Alan had lost any sort of emotion he had in him long before he got his revenge, so naturally he doesn't feel anything when he gets what he wanted.
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    • Bob doesn't remember what he did to Alan.
  • Inverted:
    • Getting revenge on Bob made Alan completely satisfied with himself; he finds solice in the fact that he prevented Bob from becoming a Karma Houdini and he is now renewed with a purpose in life.
    • Alan has forgiven Bob for all of the years he made his childhood miserable, but after this, this made him felt unsatisfied.
  • Subverted: When Claire asks Alan how does he feel about getting back at Bob, it were to seem Alan feels unhappy, but he tells her that he feels great.
  • Double Subverted: It was only a lie; deep down inside, Alan is totally unsatisfied.
  • Parodied: Alan plots to get back all of those who abused him by throwing them all into a pit of sticky goo; this includes Bob, Diane, Emil, his own friends, his own parents, and a random asshole behind the computer. After executing his revenge, Alan literally becomes an emotionless robot.
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  • Zig Zagged: There are times where Alan feels uneasy after exacting his revenge, and there are times where Alan feels great about it.
  • Averted: Getting revenge neither makes Alan feel great or feel not-so-great.
  • Enforced:
    • The author wants to deliver An Aesop about Revenge and how it won't make anyone feel better about themselves.
    • The author wants to execute a Bittersweet Ending of a revenge story.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "I thought you were going to feel better after giving Bob his just desserts."
    • "I got back at Bob for all the trouble he caused me... And yet, why don't I feel better?"
  • Invoked: Alan's friends goad him into killing Bob so that he can feel unhappy about it.
  • Exploited: Bob lures Alan into letting him kill him for what he has done to him only for the sake of making him feeling unhappy for the long run, proving that he was proud of the past harassment he has inflicted on Alan.
  • Defied:
    • Claire warns Alan not to get back at Bob otherwise this trope will be in effect.
    • Whenever he feels remorse or doubt, Alan reminds himself why Bob fully deserves his punishment and how the world is better off without him.
    • The people whom Bob hurt over the years, as well as the family members of those whom Bob murdered, learn what Alan did. They all come to Alan's house to thank him sincerely for putting Bob in the ground, and that gratitude gives Alan the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment he had been looking for all this time.
    • Alan remembers to have a plan for his life after his revenge to make sure he never asks himself So What Do We Do Now?. Waiting for while might also help if he's not in a rush to do it.
  • Discussed:
    • "So Alan got his revenge and is not happy? That's just messed up."
    • "I'm guessing that getting whatever you want won't satisfy you in the long run, and that includes revenge."
  • Conversed:
    • "Is it me or does it seem that the writer wants a Downer Ending for Alan for get payback against a bully?"
    • "I was expecting a happy ending of a great revenge story, but it ends with Alan feeling unhappy about it. What a waste of money!"
  • Implied: After learning about the revenge, one of Alan's friends congratulates him for ridding the world of Bob. Alan states he doesn't want to talk about it.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Drama:

Now that you've finally made it this far, did you get that satisfaction that you wanted? Maybe you should go back to Vengeance Feels Empty if you didn't.

Example of: