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The Dog Bites Back / Live-Action Films

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Times where The Dog Bites Back in Live-Action Films.

  • At the end of Above The Rim, gang leader Birdie (played by Tupac Shakur) meets Karmic Justice, not at the hands of the hero or his mentor, or even the cops, but his Butt-Monkey lackey, Bugaloo (played by a young, twitchy, Marlon Wayans).
  • Done literally in the first Air Bud. Buddy, then known as Old Blue, ends up swatted by a newspaper by his former, abusive owner, an alcoholic party clown, and the movie strongly implies that it's happened enough times for Buddy to be deeply afraid of newspapers, enough to attempt to bury them the very instant they arrive at his new owner's house, and of loud sounds, as revealed during the climax while at court. Eventually, during the Disney Dog Fight climax, his former owner attempts one last time to get Buddy to return to him, and brings out his newspaper as a gift if he returns. Buddy turns towards the owner... and then pounces viciously at him, snatching the newspaper, and rips it apart before heading for Josh.
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  • ''Ali G Indahouse: When Ali G has to drive a golf cart because his car is vandalized, the old guy he cut off earlier in the film steals his parking space (which Ali stole in the first place) and flips him off - with a wooden hand.
  • In Army of Frankensteins, Swanson gets sick of Walton's abuse and tosses him into the crowd of Frankensteins to be torn apart.
  • The Back to the Future trilogy:
    • Biff Tannen in Back to the Future has something like this happen to him with regards to George McFly. Although George isn't exactly his underling, Biff takes a great deal of pleasure in bullying him and making him act as his dogsbody. Then Biff gets it in his head to sexually assault Lorraine, the girl George is in love with, inspiring George to show Biff how much he appreciates this and all the other poor treatment he's been subject to with a surprisingly strong left hook. Thirty years later, the roles have reversed somewhat. While George isn't a bully, Biff tries to suck up by playing the lapdog.
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    • The second movie has a deleted scene where Future!Biff, fresh out of returning to 1955 and giving the almanac to his younger self, collapses and disappears in thin air. Once we see how badly he mistreats Lorraine in the Alternate 1985, we know immediately what is the highest possibility: that at some point between 1985 and 2015, Lorraine finally got fed up with his mistreatment and killed him (or she found he was the one who killed George).
  • In The Book of Eli, the Bible is revealed to be written in Braille. When Carnegie asks his blind slave/servant Claudia to read it, she lies saying she has forgotten how to read Braille, then mocks him by telling him she can smell that the infection in a wound he sustained earlier was severe enough to be fatal. And as the final nail in coffin, he stumbles out of his office to see the abused townsfolk trashing his bar and taking everything, his equally mistreated bouncer doing nothing to stop it.
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  • In Bumblebee, Charlie is constantly tormented by an Alpha Bitch named Tina, who even has the nerve to make fun of her dead father. With the encouragement of Memo, she eventually decides to get revenge on Tina by having Bumblebee mess with her car, with Bumblebee obliterating the car. Charlie is clearly satisfied with this.
  • Casper: Carrigan spends the entire movie treating Dibbs like dirt and even tries to kill him so he can become a ghost and open the Whipstaff vault. Instead, Carrigan accidentally dies falling off a cliff allowing her to open the vault. Once he's got his hands on the treasure Dibbs decides he's had enough. He tells Carrigan he won't be using the Lazarus machine to resurrect her and will keep the treasure for himself. Carrigan responds by punching him out of a window but at least he tried.
  • An odd variation was done in Kitty Galore, the sequel to Cats and Dogs. Basically, the titular antagonist, after her plans have failed, ends up being launched into a cotton candy machine and humiliated by her pet mouse Scrumptious, having obviously seized the opportunity and courage to get away from her. The reason it's odd is because Kitty never actually did anything bad to him and in fact actually seemed to genuinely care for him as if he were her pet, although its likely she was too affectionate, as Scrumptious was shown quivering in fear as she's giving it affection.
  • At the end of City of God Lil Ze's own men betray and kill him during his moment of weakness, because they feared him rather than respected him, like they did his partner Benny. And Rocket is there to catch it on camera, which is satisfying for him because Lil Ze killed his older brother years ago.
  • District 13: After the umpteenth time Taha kills one of his mooks for failing him, they turn on him even when he can still pay them.
  • Dogman: Francello attempts to strike back at the town bully Simone by smashing up the ex-boxer's motorcycle, but Simone just beats Francello to a pulp over it. Francello then gives Simone some pure cocaine as an apology and proposes a plan to ambush some pushers at his dog grooming studio. That turns out to be a trap. Francello tricks Simone to get into a dog cage and ultimately murders him. The incident is based on a true story.
  • Elysium: Kruger mutinies against Delacourt while she's chewing him out.
  • In Ex Machina, after spending their short lives being imprisoned and exploited by Nathan, Kyoko and Ava stab him to death.
  • In The Fifth Element, Zorg is killed when a mook detonates a bomb.
  • Happens at the end of Four Brothers.
  • In Frankenstein's Army, Doctor Victor Frankenstein II (grandson of the famous one from Switzerland) turns the garrison of the concentration camp he was sent to into nightmarish cyborgs once the Nazis find out about his experiments and force him to head their Super Soldier project.
  • In The Freakmaker, the freaks that Lynch has systematically bullied, terrorized, and treated as slaves gang up and turn on him. They leave him badly wounded and he is ripped apart by Nolter's Angry Guard Dogs as they walk away, not even turning back to look.
  • In the 2008 Get Smart film, Siegfried constantly belittles his Brute Dalip, considering him little more than a Dumb Muscle. At the end of the film, as Dalip drives Siegfried and his right-hand man off after their plan has failed (courtesy of Dalip tipping off the heroes before it began), Siegfried decides to make a few more jokes at his expense, upon which Dalip just punches him out the window and off of a bridge.
  • Gladiator:
    Commodus: A sword! Give me a sword!
  • Done with tragic results in Goodfellas. After constantly getting harassed by Tommy for months — even getting shot in the foot — a young bar servant named Spider finally stands up to him one night. He gets murdered in cold blood just a couple of minutes later when Tommy guns him down. It's at this point that most audiences no longer liked the character and wanted to see him pay for his actions. They get their wish later.
  • In Hannibal, Verger's unappreciated physician Cordell is spurred to Bite Back against his employer, dumping Verger out of his wheelchair and into a sty of man-eating swine, when Lecter points out that Cordell can tell the cops that Lecter's the one who did it.
  • Heart Of America, when Daniel confronts one of the jocks that bullied and terrorized with a gun.
    Daniel: You know what happens when you kick a dog one too many times? Go ahead. You can answer that one.
    Jock: I don't know.
    Daniel: They bite. [shoots him]
  • In A History of Violence, Jack bites back in glorious fashion by beating his two bullies into bloody, groaning submission.
  • In the House on Haunted Hill (1999) remake series, the ghosts of the insane asylum were tortured by a certain Dr. Vannacutt. In the sequel, after the idol was thrown into a sewer and washed away, the ghosts immediately take the opportunity to exact revenge on Vannacutt's ghost by tearing him apart, also saving Ariel and Dr. Hammer.
  • In The Internship, Graham injures his own teammate to distract the referee as well as constantly belittling him. At the end of the movie, the kid takes his revenge.
  • Disney’s Iron Will provides a literal example. Brutal competitor Borg abuses his own dogs by the end of the race in the Iditarod when they wear out from exhaustion. He especially threatens his team leader. This only provokes the dogs to attack him.
  • Kenau: When regent Duyff is trying to flee after betraying the city, his wife repays him by exposing his treason because he had earlier given her to a Spanish commander to "use", clearly without her consent.
  • In Kick-Ass 2, Mindy gets her revenge on Brooke and her mean-girl posse with the Sick Stick, which makes them all explode from both ends in front of the entire school cafeteria.
  • In Kiss of the Tarantula, Susan retaliates against classmates who broke into her home and manhandled her "as a prank" by setting a bunch of spiders on them at a drive-in. The resulting arachnophobic freakout leaves three of them dead and a fourth near-catatonic.
  • Knives Out
    • Marta is seen by Harlan's children and grandchildren to be a meek, weak-willed servant whom they can dominate one way or another. She shows them that she has some bite at certain points.
    • Walt attempts to blackmail her about deporting her immigrant mother. Marta musters enough courage to let him know that she inherited his father's finances and resources to his face, so she doesn't need his help. Before shutting the door in his face.
    • When confronting Ransom, the true murderer, she lied to their face to get a confession. Then, she purposely threw up on them.
    • The final scene is Marta on top of Harlan's house, observing the rest of the Thrombey family and drinking out of Harlan's "My House..." mug and quietly letting them know that they are without money and property and she essentially controls their fate henceforth.
  • Happens twice in Kung Fu Hustle both times in quick succession to Brother Sum. First when Sing smacks him with an improvised club for yelling at him to help The Beast. Then after The Landlord and Landlady escape with Sing he tries that on The Beast and gets his head knocked 180-degrees for it.
  • Laurel and Hardy: "One Good Turn" is one of the few shorts where Stan gets the better of Oliver; in fact, it ends with Stan slapping Ollie silly, chasing him out of the house, and bringing a woodshed down on him for all the trouble he caused them with his "faux pas". Apparently, Laurel's young daughter was upset at the way "Uncle Ollie" was always abusing her father, so they devised a short that ended with Laurel getting the upper hand over Hardy and filmed it when she was visiting the studio.
  • Little Sweetheart gives us an attempt by the victim of the utterly evil 9-year-old Thelma, but first he assumes it's her brother, and after hurting him a bit, discovers it was her. At this point, he plans on getting the brother (who was also blackmailed by her) to get the girl to his house so that he can scare her a bit (he's a bank robber, not a murderer, after all), but then the police get in the way.
  • At the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Wormtongue kills Saruman during the confrontation with Gandalf and the Fellowship. In the book version, this occurs near the very end during the Scouring of the Shire after getting mistreated one time too many by the evil wizard.
  • Mandalay: Tanya takes the iodine Br. Burton lent her and poisons Tony with it while he's trying to strong-arm her into being a prostitute again. For context, Tony sells her into Sex Slavery early in the film as a way to pay a debt to gun traffickers.
  • At the end of Mars Attacks!, Nathalie's dog, whose head was surgically attached to her body for the hell of it by Martian scientists, grabs a panicking Martian, and starts strangling him.
  • In the short 1956 film Modesta, the title character is on the receiving end of her husband's "The Reason You Suck" Speech after she fails to catch a kitchen he told her to cook. In response, Modesta breaks a stick of firewood over his head and runs him and his friends off. She eventually organizes the other neighborhood women into a group demanding fairer treatment from husbands.
  • Night Of A Thousand Cats: When one of Hugo's victims manages to escape his clutches, she accidentally creates a hole in his cat pit, allowing the felines to escape and get back at Hugo for abusing them.
  • At the end of New Jack City, crime lord Nino Brown — fresh from cutting a ludicrously sweet plea deal, gets gunned down by an old man he'd dissed and abused early in the movie as almost an afterthought.
  • Roger Corman incorporated the aforementioned "Hop-Frog" as a subplot in The Masque of the Red Death.
  • In the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Davy Jones is forced to work for Lord Beckett. He isn't happy about this. During the confusion of a sea battle, he finally retakes the Flying Dutchman and dispatches the acting captain assigned to the ship in a rather horrifying manner.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Frank N Furter. It's all over! Your mission is a failure! Your lifestyle's too extreme!". Perhaps Frank shouldn't have been so abusive towards Riff Raff and Magenta.
  • The Running Man: If your bodyguard hates you, he has no reason to stick around when the hero comes to kill you.
    Killian: [laughs] Sven, do you wanna talk to Mr. Richards?
  • Scanners II: The New Order: In the end the Scanners who were abused and turned into dying drug addicts by Forrester and his men help the hero by fighting back to kill Forrester's Dragon, using their collective powers to incinerate him.
  • In Scrooged, Elliot Loudermilk is fired on Christmas Eve for questioning his boss, his wife leaves him, and The Ghost Of Christmas Past swipes the booze he sold blood for. He comes back with a shotgun. Frank gets saved by The Ghost of Christmas Future and a near-trip into an oven.
  • SHAZAM! (2019): Freddy has been mercilessly abused by the Breyer Brothers, at one case even gotten a suitcase wedgie from them. After he gets empowered by Shazam's magic, he uses this opportunity to give both the Breyers suitcase wedgies via Embarassing Rescue.
  • In Singin' in the Rain, Lina forcing R.F. to drop Kathy's name from the credits of the new musical winds up becoming her undoing; R.F. decides he's had it with her and helps expose her "lip-synching" scheme.
  • Sky High (2005): Ethan's ever-so-glorious revenge on Lash.
  • Four boys in Sleepers are victims of sadistic beatings and rapes by four guards in a juvenile prison. Years later two of the boys have grown up into hardened street criminals, and by sheer chance they run into the four guards' ringleader and then shoot him to death. Their arrest and trial bring the other two friends (an attorney and a newspaper staffer, respectively) to band together and enact elaborate Best Served Cold plans to destroy the other three former guards.
  • In Snatch., after Brick Top has Mickey's mother killed, Mickey plays nice exactly long enough for his clan to put a plan to wipe out Brick Top and his men into motion.
    Turkish: It had previously occurred to me, the gypsy had taken the demise of his mother rather lightly. For every action, there's a reaction. And a pikey reaction is quite a fucking thing.
  • At the end of Snuff Movie, Boris's abused son Marco is untied from the bed by a mysterious figure who might be the Devil, and Marco stabs his father to death.
  • In the final act of Sodom and Gomorrah, as Lot brings the Hebrews to a halt in their flight from the title cities to deliver Jehovah's warning that He will smite anyone who so much as looks back at the cities' destruction, the salt mine slaves, now well aware that the Hebrews are sympathetic to their plight, begin yelling "Lot! Free us, Lot!" and shaking the fences of the pen in which they are imprisoned. The queen's enforcer, Malik, shouts "Stay back!" and orders the royal guards to close the gates to the city, after which they join her in trying to restrain the slaves. But there are dozens of slaves and only a handful of guards trying to hold them back, and the fence is soon torn down, and Malik and the guards are trampled to death by the slaves they have tortured for so long.
  • In Spy when secret agent Susan Cooper is assigned to tail arms dealer Rayna Boyanov, she immediately finds out how bad Rayna really is, with Rayna flinging hurtful put-downs at her at every opportunity she gets, especially after Susan was assigned the persona of a meek cat-loving Midwestern divorcée who was traveling through Europe. Fed up over their treatment, some of Reyna's men try to assassinate her on behalf of a rival arms dealer while flying on her personal jet. Susan manages to kill the would-be hitmen, and when Reyna asks who she is, Susan lies and says she's an assassin hired by her father to act as her bodyguard, and immediately orders Reyna to treat her with respect or else, she's on her own, and for the rest of the movie anytime Reyna voices a put-down, Susan flings back a vulgar insult.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Last Jedi: Snoke has constantly belittled his emotionally unstable apprentice Kylo Ren for being defeated by a girl with no previous experience with a lightsaber. When he orders Ren to kill Rey, however, Ren turns on his master.
    • Also, in the same film, Finn confronts Phasma, who used to be his abusive Captain. She had captured and tortured him to near-death. When he gets the chance, he duels with her and ends up killing her.
    • The Rise of Skywalker: General Hux finally snaps after his constant abuse at the hands of Kylo Ren and becomes The Mole for the Resistance. (But makes it clear he is not making a Heel–Face Turn, he just really hates Kylo Ren) It doesn't last long, but it does save the heroes' lives at a crucial moment.
  • Stoker: After spending several years being bullied and sexually harassed by her male classmates, and stoically putting up with it, India finally hits her limit, and stabs the ringleader with a pencil, hard enough to draw blood.
  • The Suicide Squad: The first thing that Starro does after getting free at the climax is kill the Thinker for all the cruel experiments he performed on it for 30 years.
  • At the ends of Sunset, Alperin's badly abused chauffeur Arthur is driving his boss to his yacht so he can make a getaway. After one insult too many, Arthur drives past the yacht and accelerates; driving off the end of the pier with him and Alperin still in the car.
  • This trope is more or less the driving force of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and it happens no fewer than four times. Todd's motivation is getting back at Judge Turpin, who imprisoned him for life on a trumped-up charge and raped his wife. Todd returns to London specifically to kill Turpin and The Dragon, Beadle Bamford. And by the end of the movie, he is successful. Meanwhile, abusive asylum-keeper Jonas Fogg is done in by Johanna (in the stage show) or his inmates (in the film). Finally, Tobias, driven insane after witnessing Todd's brutality firsthand, does this to Todd.
  • At the end of Training Day, Manipulative Bastard Alonzo has been thwarted, beaten, and humiliated in front of the neighborhood he terrorized and kept under his thumb. Desperate to stop Jake from taking the money he needs to pay off The Mafiya, (who are a bit upset with Alonzo) Alonzo offers to pay anyone who has been watching the fight to kill Jake. They refuse, and one of the local gangsters even pulls a gun on Alonzo and covers Jake's back while Jake walks away. As a result, Alonzo doesn't make his payoff and gets killed Sonny Corleone style.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Megatron, thanks to his injuries in the previous film, is now but a shadow of his former self. When Sentinel Prime turns against the Autobots, he practically makes Megatron his bitch. When Carly points this out to Megs, he decides to prove he's not by shooting Sentinel in the back, just as the latter is about to finish off Optimus. This proves to be both his and Sentinel's undoing, when Optimus kills both of them in the space of 30 seconds, while missing an arm.
  • In the 2006 comedy Unaccompanied Minors, a security guard taunts one of their dogs caged up by showing him food, then eating it himself and laughing at the dog's expense. One of the titular minors frees the dog and it gets revenge on the guard by literally biting him.
  • Magneto to Stryker in X2: X-Men United when he finally gets a chance to get some payback for his treatment in prison. An earlier script was going to have Magneto kill Stryker (which would be more in character) and the X-Men find Stryker's body when they escaped from the facility — but that was changed for the sake of letting Wolverine have one last conversation with Stryker. And honestly, Magneto probably took quite a lot of enjoyment in leaving Stryker chained up to wait for death.