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Villain Fixing / Anime & Manga

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Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! in anime and manga.

  • In Attack on Titan, Eren points out the greatest mistake of Annie, Reiner and Bertolt was teaching him how to fight.
    • Had Annie/the Female Titan not spared Armin's life as the former was slaughtering soldiers, he would have not figured out her identity.
  • Bleach: Charlotte has no idea that Yumichika refuses to release his true power in battle because he doesn't want to reveal that power to his colleagues. When Charlotte unleashes his Finishing Move, it encases them both in a supernatural rose bush that's designed to drain Yumichika's life-force. The rose bush has a secondary effect of completely isolating Yumichika from the rest of the battlefield so that no-one will see or sense him die. As a result, Yumichika is finally given the opportunity to unleash his true power while protecting his secret. Charlotte is instantly one-shotted.
  • Note to V.V. from Code Geass. When you send out an assassin, make sure he has no unrequited loyalties to the matriarch of the target. You just might have a Heel–Face Turn in the works.
    • Had V. V. not murdered Marianne, Lelouch may have never stumbled upon his parents' Ragnarok Connection plan.
      • Hell, had V.V. not murdered Marianne, the entire plot would never have come to pass.
    • And when assigning a loyal assassin to act as a safeguard against possibly rebellious people that you're using in some diabolical plot under the cover of being their sibling... Don't make their cover so good that even they forget that they aren't a loyal, loving brother.
  • Danganronpa 3: Generally in this franchise, if Junko's plans fail, it's because she deliberately left a loophole for them to fail. However, in one of them, there was one thing she didn't think to factor in: what executing Izuru's Morality Pet Chiaki would do to him. While it certainly did push Chiaki's classmates into despair and bring them under her sway, it pushed Izuru out of despair simply through sheer anger, and thus out of her service. Because of this, he would go on to mastermind the events of the second game, leading directly to her downfall there and the salvation of not only Chiaki's friends, but the Future Foundation as well.
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  • In the hentai short Demon Princess Birth by Inoino, the heroine is captured and raped by ogres, with her powerless to resist, but this causes her to turn into a succubus. The final page has her inflicting Out with a Bang on them.
  • Digimon Adventure's Devimon, the series' first Big Bad, accidentally triggers the one Digimon that could beat him into Evolving/Digivolving by threatening its partner's life. Vamdemon/Myotismon was strong enough to beat all seven of the Chosen Children/DigiDestined and could have done so, if he hadn't spent so much time searching for the eighth, and allowing her to find her Digimon.
    • It gets even more ironic considering Vamdemon/Myotismon that he trained Tailmon/Gatomon to begin with and brought her to the human world, allowing her to meet her partner. He then kills Wizardmon directly in front of her, allowing her to evolve into the one Digimon predestined to kill him. If he'd just left her wandering the Digital World, he'd have won.
    • Piemon/Piedmon of the Dark Masters falls here. In taking his sadistic pleasure in dealing with the Chosen Children/DigiDestined, he causes Angemon to finally evolve into Holy Angemon/MagnaAngemon who proceeds to undo his magic, allowing the Chosen Children/DigiDestined to kick his butt, ending with him being sucked into Heaven's Gate/Gate of Destiny...which, considering Digimon live forever unless they're killed, was a Fate Worse than Death.
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  • In Digimon Adventure 02, BlackWarGreymon nearly suffers the same fate when he slams Angemon against a holy artifact.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Frieza had survived a Spirit Bomb, the heroes were out of battle power, and Piccolo had just been given a near-fatal injury. Just for fun, Frieza decides to implode Krillin and then threatens to do the same to Gohan. Both which triggered Goku's rage enough that he was able to turn into a Super Saiyan. Frieza then gets his ass handed to him. Oops.
    • Frieza's genocide of the Saiyans. Yeah, it was terrible that he betrayed his workers who did years of genuinely loyal service for him, but given how ruthless and evil the Saiyans were, Frieza did the universe a favor by all but wiping them out, especially if they succeeded in usurping him. The Saiyans were so bad that another race actually tried to kill them with a virus. There is also the added kick in the nuts to Frieza that his genocide was the reason why Goku was sent to Earth to begin with. If he hadn't, Goku would have been raised as a Saiyan and the universe wouldn't have its grand savior. So, thanks for fixing it twice, villain.
    • Frieza does it again in Resurrection 'F. Him committing his entire army on the invasion of Earth ends up saving the universe. Not only was his army defeated by the Earth's defenders, he ruthlessly kills his own men for their failure, leaving only Sorbet alive who is killed by Vegeta. With Frieza's final death, all the planets that remained under his empire's control are now free and he saves thousands if not millions of lives that would have been lost in planetary uprisings. Sorbet's attempts to revive the trade empire to its former glory by bring back Frieza actually helps put the final nail in its casket. Thanks Sorbet and Frieza.
    • Frieza does one better in Dragon Ball Super. In the retelling, he manages to kill Piccolo who died protecting Gohan, causing Gohan to have a major Heroic BSoD, blaming himself for Piccolo's death. After Frieza is dealt with, Gohan asks Piccolo to train him again so he can protect his family from people like Frieza. So, thanks again Empire of Evil.
    • Frieza's brother Cooler did an even better job of Fixing it. As shown in Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge, he and his squadron were watching as his younger brother destroyed the homeworld of the Saiyans, and had a chance to fire on an escaping space-pod. Cooler let it go, saying his brother was "too soft" for letting a child escape and it was his problem. He wouldn't realize his mistake until years later. (As incredible irony, his realization would not come until he realized he had lost the battle with Goku, and he was mere seconds away from hitting the Earth's sun.)
    • And again when Cell tries pressing Gohan's Berserk Button. He uses his Cell Juniors to pound the Z-Warriors to hell. This, along with him crushing Android #16's head right in front of him causes Gohan to reach Super Saiyan 2. This was an instance of Be Careful What You Wish For, as Goku had warned him about what would happen if he made Gohan lose his temper. At least Frieza and the audience at the time didn't know that it would lead to the Super Saiyan transformation. Cell, meanwhile, was an incurable perfectionist and wanted to fight his opponent at his strongest, believing himself to be incapable of losing due to being... well, perfect. You'd think that since he had some of Frieza's cells, he would have learned from his mistake…
    • From the original series, Commander Red. Him contracting Mercenary Tao to kill Goku completely backfired. Because Tao murdered one of Goku's friends, it changed Goku's focus from only searching for the Four-Star Dragon Ball to finding all of them. He also forced Goku to become much stronger to beat Tao, which made him close to invincible when he came to the Red Ribbon Army base. He also made the mistake of making things personal with Goku, which made Goku more ruthless since he wanted to destroy the Red Ribbon Army instead of simply taking the Dragon Balls.
    • Another incident from the original series has King Piccolo on the verge of death spitting out the egg which would form his "son", through whom he would exact his revenge. Even setting aside Piccolo's help in Dragon Ball Z as a whole, this also allows his Good Counterpart to survive, which allows the titular Dragon Balls to be used to undo the horrors that King Piccolo had done.
    • It goes even deeper than that. The reason King Piccolo was released in the first place was because Emperor Pilaf wanted someone strong enough to defeat Goku. Instead, doing so granted Goku a powerful ally in the long run who would help Goku against other powerful threats.
    • Dr. Gero's motive in the Cell arc was that he wanted to kill Goku as revenge for taking down the Red Ribbon army. However, if he'd just waited it out, Goku would have eventually died due to a heart disease. Instead, Gero building Androids 17 and 18 creates a Bad Future for Trunks, and causes him to go back in time to give Goku heart medication so that he can defeat the Androids. Granted, Goku does die at the end of the arc anyway from Perfect Cell, but dying from an explosion instead of a heart condition made it possible for Goku to be revived in the next arc. And just to rub salt in the wound, 17 and 18 also prove to be very valuable allies for the Z-fighters. When one factors in the Majin Buu saga, Dr. Gero inadvertently saved the entire universe since he allowed for the revival of the only person who could stop Majin Buu. Of course, letting Goku die of natural causes hardly qualifies as revenge. Waiting out his death or hoping for it at the hands of another was never an option.
      • It goes deeper for Dr. Gero in Dragon Ball Super, where one of his creations to made to get revenge on Goku, Android 17, not only saves the earth, not only saves the galaxy, not only saves the universe, he saves the entire multiverse. Yeah, nice job fixing it, Dr. Gero.
  • In episode 4 of Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!!, a thief breaks into the school where Hakone and Iono attend. He steals both the student council's funds, along with Iono's gift to Sento, Hakone's brother. Plug and Sento decide to help Iono out of her depression by trying to find the thief, but have no luck whatsoever. Arresta, a coworker/rival of Plug, meanwhile watches them a little bit, then decides that while its noble of him to help her out, she's got a job to do. She decides to continue her job of zapping people, and one of the people she zaps suddenly decides he's going to turn himself in. Although she's wondering what the heck she just did, she inadvertently caught the thief and helped recovered the stolen money and Iono's gift.
  • Want to know how Fist of the North Star's Kenshiro ended up joining in the race which would lead him to becoming the 64th successor to Hokuto Shinken? His elder brother Raoh started teaching him Kung Fu when he was a kid.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Major Armstrong is injured in his fight against Sloth, and Sloth decides to capitalize with a flurry of punches…allowing Armstrong to bait him into delivering a blow in the precise spot that causes it to pop his shoulder back into place, giving Armstrong his second wind.
    • During Roy Mustang's raid on Central City, he takes Mrs. Bradley hostage. The soldiers sent after him are told to kill everyone except him, since the villains need him for their plans. The fact that the military is willing to kill Mrs. Bradley makes it easier for Mustang's group to win the support of the populace, and suggest that the Central city soldiers they're opposing are fighting against the current regime.
    • Envy decides to gloat about killing Hughes. To Roy, the victim's best friend. Who can throw fire around. That was a really bad idea.
    • Pride would've assimilated Ed's body, if he hadn't made a point about Homunculi superiority at the wrong moment, causing Kimblee to stop him because he really doesn't like hypocrites. Speaking of which, eating Kimblee was also a bad idea in hindsight, since he proved to be crazy enough to retain his identity after being absorbed into Pride's Philosopher's Stone.
    • But bigger and longer in the making than all of the above would have to be the series' Big Bad, who caused his own downfall by one act of kindness. The Dwarf in the Flask (AKA: Father) saved Hohenheim from becoming a human sacrifice along with the rest of Xerxes and split the resulting Philosopher's Stone with him, which extended Hohenheim's lifespan well beyond its natural end (both as thanks for being the reason he existed, as Hohenheim's blood was used by an alchemist to create Dwarf in the Flask). Without that, Hohenheim never would have lived to have the opportunity to set up the giant reverse transmutation circle that gave the heroes the chance they needed to fight back in the end. Not to mention fathering Al and, more to the point, Ed, who ultimately foil the Big Bad's plot.
  • Played pretty much straight with Gauron from Full Metal Panic!, of all people. Despite all that he's done and/or tried to do to Sousuke, his words end up have an eventually positive impact on the kid. For example, his lecture in TSR contains not only vital information that he willingly passes on to Sousuke (in order to get revenge on his former organisation, but mostly "as a favour to you"), but it also poses Sousuke one of the most important questions in his personal arc: "Did you sell your soul to those bastards in Mithril?" Sousuke gives his answer during his confrontation with his Mithril superiors at the end of TSR: "I dont' remember selling my soul to you." Also, on every occasion after Gauron's death (uh... the final, definitive one, I mean...), that someone mentions Gauron, it only serves in making Sousuke try harder. He uses his 'Kashim' personality to reach his goals, knows some of his enemies better because they were Gauron's associates (and they fear/respect him because they know how Gauron... felt about him) and he eventually confirms his and Gauron's almost identical nature to Leonard Testarossa's face, with no shame or guilt, merely pointing out the one thing that made them different: the enjoyment they each took in the act of killing (or lack thereof, in Sousuke's case). And in hearing Leonard's words about Gauron's opinion on the delicate subject of changing history/fate, Sousuke received confirmation of his own beliefs (apparently, he trusted Gauron's judgement on this matter, at least). All in all,not a bad job from the resident psychopath of the series.
  • In Future Diary, the sixth diary holder, Tsubaki plants a "Take That!" Kiss upon protagonist Yukiteru right in front of his Yandere partner, Yuno. Cue Death Glare. Thinking everything's gravy, Tsubaki checks her diary and sees that it predicts her imminent death. Oh, Crap!.
  • During the finale of .hack//ROOTS and revisited in the first volume of Dot Hack GU, if not for encountering TriEdge/Azure Kite in the Hulle Granz Cathedral and being data drained, thus being reverted to a low-level Player Character and losing his broken class upgrade, Haseo might have never been able to ever gain access to the abilities of Skeith Due to Harald's Tampering or calm his head enough to stand any chance against the real threats he would have to face. note 
  • In Honoo no Alpen Rose, the maid Anna is an accomplice of Manipulative Bastard Toulonchamp, whose plans relay on his daughter Mathilda acting as the Body Double of female lead Jeudi. Thing is, at some point Anna attempts to murder Jeudi via dropping a flower pot on her head... but fails, and Jeudi "merely" gets her ankle hurt. This very dumb move not only alerts the people around about how far Toulonchamp is willing to go (which reduces their willingness to collaborate), but it also scares the crap outta Mathilda herself and pushes her to drop part of the truth on Lundi... and it starts to plant the seeds of doubt in the heart of Jeudi's Ill Girl mother Helen.
  • InuYasha:
    • Sesshomaru has a tendency to inadvertently help Inuyasha almost every time he fights him. His attempts at obtaining Tessaiga for himself led to losing an arm, Inuyasha getting it, and subsequent attempts to take it help Inuyasha master it. However, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sesshoumaru is moving away from this trope into I Was Just Passing Through as he begins warming up to his brother (in a The Only One Allowed to Defeat You sort of way).
    • Late in the story, Sesshoumaru's hit rock bottom, lost his weapon and Naraku realizes that now is the time to take back the last shard by sending out the evil spirit of the Shikon Jewel to destroy Sesshoumaru. Magatsuhi utterly curbstomps both Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha before discovering that stabbing Sesshoumaru through the chest doesn't kill him. Instead, it pushes his powers beyond his known limits into a level even he didn't know he possessed. Conclusion? Naraku makes one of the strongest characters in the story even more powerful. Oops?
    • In the anime, Bankotsu and Inuyasha have been repeatedly fighting to a stalemate, with Inuyasha unable to use the Backlash Wave because Bankotsu is not a demon. In their final fight, however, Bankotsu manages to bring his demon kill-count up to 1000, upgrading his Banryu into a demonic weapon...which finally allows Inuyasha to use the Backlash Wave to reflect its strongest attack, shattering the weapon and finally defeating Bankotsu.
  • In Jack and the Witch, Squeaker the Mouse, now turned into a ghostlike harpy, taunts his imprisoned animal friends by making them watch a crystal ball showing their human friend Jack (plus his ally the harpy Allegra) being tormented by the vicious Harpy Queen; in the course of his teasing he knocks the ball loose, letting it roll, fall, and shatter, thus destroying the Queen's power and freeing the others.
  • In Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the first enemy they fight upon reaching Egypt completely sabotages his own opportunity to defeat them. He decides to crash the helicopter of the Speedwagon Foundation agents who had already completed their mission in dropping off the Sixth Ranger and giving supplies and intel. Discovering the crash lets the heroes know that an enemy is nearby, which gives them just enough time to not get killed by his surprise attack. Since, even with that, he manages to injure one of them enough to keep them in the hospital until the end of the story, his surprise attack almost certainly would have killed them had he not blown his cover to attack some defenseless Red Shirts.
  • In Judge, the first judging is supposed to end on a tie, with everyone voting for themselves to not sacrifice anyone and simply reset the timer to another 12 Hours. But as it turns out, Ryuhei did not vote for himself and ultimately got Noboyuki killed because he had the majority of votes with a total of 2. Fast forward to another judging where it's revealed that, if there is a tie in votes with more than one person have the majority of votes, these people must fight to the death! So... Ryuhei unwittingly caused the manga to not end after only 3 Chapters.
  • In Mai-HiME, the Obsidian Prince goes to great lengths to make sure Mai wins the Festival. He also has Mikoto in reserve in case Mai won't join him. But for that to work, he needs Mikoto to be willing to kill her—and he himself had just finished convincing Mikoto that Mai would still forgive her! (This was part of the plan to eliminate another HiME.) She might still have done it if Mai had been really out for blood, but the prince should've known her better than that.
  • Alejandro Corner from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 would have succeeded in his plan had he not assassinated Aeolia Schenberg and activated the Gundams' Trans-Am Systems.
  • Muhyo and Roji, after their time apart, are faced with the task of getting their office back from Goryo's group. Luckily, around this time, Ark kidnaps Goryo, and after Muhyo and Roji save him from Ark, Goryo returns their office in return.
    • In the Arcanum arc, while Roji is having some difficulties with Muhyo, The Mole tells him a story that causes him to realize that Muhyo is pushing himself as hard as he is for Roji's sake and the belief that he can improve. Roji does manage to make effective contributions to the next battle. The Mole later points out that the help was to ward away suspicion and that Roji's talent was an unpleasant surprise.
  • In Naruto, Pain has Naruto utterly beaten, pinned to the ground and paralyzed. When Hinata jumps in to try and save Naruto, Pain blows her away, knocking her out. Then, just to make a point about suffering (or possibly just to be a dick), he stabs her, apparently fatally. This triggers Naruto's Unstoppable Rage, going straight to his 6-tailed form for the first time, Do not pass Go-style, then eventually to his 8-tailed form, and is tempted to go fully to 9-tails. Presumably Pain thought he could win, since his ability was keeping Naruto paralyzed and with disrupted chakra. He would have been dead wrong if the 4th Hokage's safeguard hadn't brought Naruto back from the brink but even so it directly brought about his own defeat by freeing and re-empowering Naruto. Nonetheless, when Naruto finally snaps out of it, Pain isn't nearly as confident anymore.
    • Mizuki's attempt to get Naruto to steal the scroll for him by promising to let him graduate if he learned a technique off of it ended up helping Naruto learn Shadow Clone Jutsu, which comes into play in most of his other techniques, and enabled him to graduate from the academy despite the fact that his promise was insincere.
      • Don't forget, it was Iruka who enabled him to graduate since Naruto had learned a more powerful version of Bunshin No Jutsu thanks to Mizuki.
  • One Piece:
    • Blackbeard's attack on Drum Island helped them to overthrow the despotic and idiotic ruler, as he fled for his own safety.
    • During the Impel Down Arc, Luffy's first confrontation with Magellan in Level Four of the complex is a Curb-Stomp Battle with Luffy on the curb, with the result being Luffy poisoned with Hydra, a venom that kills in 24 hours. Magellan then tells the other guards to send him to Level Five, despite the fact that he'll die anyway. Unfortunately for Magellan, Luffy is eventually found there by Ivankov and the other members of the Newkama Land colony (which not even the guards know about) and Ivankov is able to use his Horu Horu no Mi Devil Fruit power to aid Luffy in fighting off the poison, which he eventually does. As a result, Magellan soon has a crisis on his hands as Luffy's trek through Impel Down continues with even more gusto. (Of course, one can hardly blame Magellan, as nobody had ever survived the Hydra. Even Ivankov said that his help would only raise Luffy's nonexistent chance of surviving to about 5%.)
    • Magellan poisoning Luffy has more repercussions than that. Magellan’s poison’s potency can be adjusted and when he engulfed Luffy in his poisonous cocktail, Luffy’s body got exposed to toxins of all kinds of degrees. Now normally this would have meant certain death for him. But thanks Ivankov, he survived, and in the process his body was able to live long enough to produce absurdly strong antibodies to combat poison. By poisoning Luffy so severely, Magellan has inadvertently given Luffy the ability to shrug off most types of poison, as demonstrated when he was fighting Caeser. The mad clown tries to kill him by enveloping him a giant cloud of Deadly Gas, and Luffy simply breathes it all in at once without any issues. Subverted, Luffy isn't completely immune to poisons, as one being extremely fatal is able to injure him seriously, meaning Magellan is still a credible threat to Luffy.
    • Caesar Clown does this after Luffy hands him his ass, by trying to stab Smoker's heart (which was extracted courtesy of Tralfager Law) in order to take him out too. Thing is, Law had tricked him, and what he actually held was his subordinate Monet's heart. He chose to stab it at exactly the moment that Monet was going to use a self-destruct mechanism to kill everyone on the island, thus saving Smoker along with the rest of his enemies.
    • Doflamingo's seemingly fool-proof plan to prevent Luffy enacting his Spanner in the Works tendencies results in this. His plot involved a tournament for Ace's devil fruit, in order to distract Luffy from destroying the SMILEs factory. Sure enough, Luffy enters, and finds himself in a pickle when he can't leave the tournament without being noticed and allowing the devil fruit to fall into Burgess's hands due to being in the finals, until Sabo arrives (apparently as a Revolutionary) and trades places with him. The thing is, Sabo's appearance is largely Doflamingo's own fault. Chances are the Revolutionary Army would have never taken action on Dressrosa and Sabo would have never appeared had it not been for the tournament for the Mera Mera no Mi. What proceeds afterwards is a domino effect that complete derails his plans, to the point that, in hindsight, setting up the tournament was the first step towards his downfall.
    • The tournament becomes Doflamingo's worst plan in another way—the rest of the fighters, once they've lost their matches, are turned into Living Toys and made slaves of the Don Quixote Family. Once Usopp stops the curse and everyone goes back to normal, these same fighters are now royally PO'd at Doflamingo and bound and determined to wipe him out. In the ensuing battle, several of the Don Quixote Family's officers are taken down by these champions. It's stated that Doflamingo's actions have united an otherwise random assortment of champions, rogues and weirdos into an Army of Thieves and Whores. Even worse, these people (totaling over 5,000) ultimately unite behind Luffy. Thanks to his meddling, Doflamingo has just created the biggest pirate alliance since the legendary Whitebeard. This is bound to have repercussions long after his defeat.
    • A minor one was when Baby 5 was believing that Sai was proposing to her, her ally Lao G was telling his opponents that she was only a "convenient" underling. Along with Sai promising to marry her, Baby 5 defected from the Don Quixote Family and joined the Happo Navy that becomes part of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet.
    • During Whole Cake Island, the Charlotte siblings, the main body of the Big Mom Pirates, end up making things easier for the Straw Hats and harder for themselves. First, Pudding gloats about their plans to kill the Vinsmokes and take their technology...unaware that Sanji, the White Sheep of the family, is listening. Meanwhile, Opera, who was supposed to have killed Luffy and Nami in the prison, ends up losing his prisoners to Jimbei, and lies about what happened to avoid a You Have Failed Me death. Smoothie, hearing that there's some kind of ruckus in the prison, has the entire level sealed off to keep Big Mom from finding out and upsetting her. This allows the Straw Hats to plan their own counter to Big Mom's plans. When they begin, part of it involves having dozens of animals transformed into Luffy by a captured Devil Fruit user as part of a distraction. Katakuri, who has epic Combat Clairvoyance, tells everyone to focus on the real Luffy… and completely misses Brook, wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise, who manages to complete the first step of the counterattack.
    • This becomes a habit for the Charlottes throughout the course of the Whole Cake Island arc after the tea party is foiled. Of particular note is Brulee, who announces Katakuri's defeat at Luffy's hands to the forces of Cacao Island while Luffy and Sanji are trying to flee to Sunny. While it succeeds in getting them to focus more on Luffy, it causes them to open themselves up to attacks from the Vinsmokes, who run roughshod over them, allowing their brother and his captain to escape.
  • Pokémon's Team Rocket trio has had a few moments of this, such as when Delibird accidentally healed a critically wounded Pikachu.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, there seriously should've been no way for Sapphire to come out on top when in an airtight Drowning Pit. The bad guy there with her, Team Aqua's Matt, (who provided himself a means to breathe) could have simply waited a couple minutes until she ran out of air. But no, he provided her with the means and time to escape by bringing out his Sharpedo, letting her break its teeth off, and not noticing her using said teeth to cut open a hole in the wall. Needless to say, he got owned pretty damn badly.
  • Pretty Sammy/Magical Project S: In episode 19, Ramia has transformed Misao into Misa in the day where her father comes to visit her. Her plan not only fails, but also leads Sasami and Misao to have angst of discovering their magical girl identities.
  • Kyubey in Puella Magi Madoka Magica pushes Madoka to make a contract with him, and make a wish, because he knows she will make an extremely powerful magical girl, and, in turn, the most powerful witch in existence, Klimheld Gretchen. In the process of trying to break her, he reveals the existence of magical girls throughout humanity's history, and that they all died in despair. When she finally agrees to the contract, her awareness of the suffering that has happened in the past drives her to force through a Cosmic Retcon—which Kyubey has no choice but to grant. On top of that, the only reason she's so powerful in the first place is because he granted Homura's wish to save Madoka in such a fashion as to send Homura off on her quest through alternate universes, each of which adds a bit more to Madoka's power...
    • In the PSP game, his inability to understand emotions can cause his actions to calm the girls down instead of breaking them down, thus preventing them from becoming witches.
    • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion Kyubey uses Homura to enact an experiment that will provide him the information he needs to begin reversing Madoka's wish, bringing back the old system of magic. Not only does the experiment fail, but it leads to Homura becoming a being that can actually control him.
  • There is one instance in Saint Seiya: At the beginning of the Poseidon Arc, Seiya and Shun, who are the first to arrive to Poseidon's palace but are clueless about what to do to save Athena, are attacked by Mermaid Thetis and the Sea Dragon. Confident that they're no match for him, Sea Dragon asks Thetis to reveal them that they can save Athena by defeating all of Poseidon's Mariners and destroying the seven pillars (Eight if we count Poseidon's main pillar) that support the oceans of the world. Had Sea Dragon remained in silence, the Bronze Saints would have inevitably lost.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, during Season 2, Hecate, one of the villains, infiltrates the school that Yuji is going to through a sort of poorly disguised covert agent named Konoe. Konoe then tries to get close to Yuji, much to the consternation of Shana and Yoshida. While gathering feelings and emotions, one thing that Konoe discovers is that birds seem attracted to her, and she often reaches out with her hand to let them land, making her happy. Later on, this comes back to bite Hecate in the behind when said memory inside the Statue of Pride triggers when it sees Shana flying towards it, looking like a little bird. Instead of attacking her like it had been, the statue instead reached out with its hand, allowing Shana and Yuji the opening they needed to reclaim the Reiji Maigo from it, as well as defeating said statue. Cue Hecate looking on in shock and wondering exactly what just happened.
  • In Il Sole penetra le illusioni, Cerebrum trapping Akari in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and forcing her to relive the day she killed her Daemonia-possessed cousin Fuyuna over and over was meant to break her spirit, but in the last loop Fuyuna reaches out to Akari instead and they have a heart-to-heart talk, finally allowing Akari to understand why Fuyuna became a Daemonia and to come to terms with her cousin's death, and that grants Akari the power to break free of Cerebrum's illusions and finally defeat him.
  • In Sonic X's third series the Metarex kidnap Sonic's friends in order to blackmail him into revealing all his abilities to them. Given that Sonic was on a superpowered crazy kick thanks to Dark Chaos Emeralds littering the building at the time, this turned out to be an even worse idea for them than threatening Sonic's friends usually is. Whether the good guys or the bad guys won, it looked bad for everyone. It's Eggman and his allies who burst in, destroy the attacking Metarex, save Sonic's friends while nobody's looking and ends with Eggman of all people reprimanding Sonic for losing his temper.
  • The anime of Soul Eater has this happen at least twice during the Gecko Ending: Mifune causes Black Star to get an Eleventh Hour Super Power and a round of Heroic Resolve after killing him in a Single-Stroke Battle (though in that case said sequence part was lifted from a part of the manga that took place under some different circumstances); later Asura does this to Death the Kid by stabbing him to death in the middle of his Transformation Sequence.
    • The equivalent moment in the manga for Kid fits the trope—Mosquito Curb Stomping him triggers his questionable Super Mode, but Black Star's final fight with Mifune does not. Black Star had already been 'fixed' by his negotiation with Nakatsukasa/Masamune and the Single Stroke Battle sequence which ends his fight specifically, IIRC, does not involve an Super Mode.
  • In Space Pirate Mito, Aoi wears a bracelet that he believes is a good luck charm and the audience is lead to believe is the key to a powerful weapon. He also starts having random bursts of powerful energy when the bad guys attack. Near the end of the series, Ranban removes this bracelet and tells Aoi it was an enhancer that brought out his powers, making him helpless without it. Cue Aoi causing an explosion with power even greater than he used before, and Mito telling Ranban that the enhancer was actually a limiter to keep Aoi's powers in check.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Guame televised his fight with Simon and broadcasted it to every underground human village as a means to demoralize them. It backfired when Simon defeated him for everyone to see and in turn, inspired humans to turn up as The Cavalry in the penultimate battle at Teppelin.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Mr Maverick pats Kaede on the head when he meets her, unwittingly transferring his memory-altering power to her. This later allows her to restore the memories that Maverick had scrubbed from the heroes as part of his plot to frame Kaede's father for murder. Thanks, Mr. Villain!
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, part of the Big Bad's plan is to get Sakura (and friends) to walk the multiverse and collect physical memories by scattering Sakura's own memory-feathers, so she'd have to find them all again. This eventually proves somewhat counterproductive to his own plan, when the two Sakuras use their immense power of the magical feathers themselves, which makes them now practically invincibleOh, Crap!.
  • In the movie Uchuu Senkan Yamato Revival, the crew of the titular ship were stopping to watch the last moments of the Earth, which was in the path of a rogue black hole. Cue the villain of the film, whom they thought they had already defeated, showing up to taunt them about how they had been the ones to send that black hole at Earth, in order to pull it into their universe. Cue Kodai and the crew, whom had already come to accept the impending loss of the Earth, using the Yamato to destroy the black hole and save the world once again.
  • The witch hunter Sastre in Witch Hunter Robin beats Robin to the fragment of wisdom, which increases a Craft user's power beyond what is controllable (she had this object previously, but it was lost because she couldn't use it safely). He and Robin have a confrontation and he's winning... until he destroys the object, at which time the wisdom within it gives Robin the power they feared her getting all along.
  • During the Duelist Kingdom arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dinosaur Ryuzaki (Rex Raptor) was about to win the duel against Jonouchi (Joey), but thought about wanting to use Joey's Time Wizard against Mai. The former had to bet his most powerful card, the Red Eyes Black Dragon for the latter to bet Time Wizard. Joey agreed to the bet, but got the idea to use Time Wizard's special ability to win. In the end, Jonouchi got 2 more star chips and a Red Eyes Black Dragon that would help him out in future duels.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • In an early episode, Manjyome's older Corrupt Corporate Executive brothers try to stage a hostile takeover of Duel Academy, eventually able to convince Kaiba to wager it in a duel against Manjyome stacked unfairly in their favor. (Manjyome can only use monsters with 500 points or less.) Their clear goal is to humiliate him, but he takes their condition even further, using a deck that only has monsters with zero attack points, and then winning. His brothers realize that not only has the plan backfired tremendously, Manjyome has become a hero.
    • Brron. He thought by killing Juudai's friends, he would be able to defeat Juudai. Instead, it unleashes Juudai's Unstoppable Rage and the secret powers of darkness within him and Brron gets stomped flat. Then Juudai goes on to be an even greater villain himself. Thanks, Brron! We couldn't have saved the world without you!
    • Of course, Brron was working under Yubel, and bringing out Judai's dark side is what Yubel had actually wanted, but they couldn't have predicted the end result of it. (Which actually caused them to achieve their goal—just not in the way they had planned.)
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Shinobu Sensui kills Yusuke toward the end of the Chapter Black saga, causing him to come back from the dead as a super-demon and kick ass on a nearly-cosmic level. Especially funny since it follows directly after a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!, when said hero insisted on fighting Sensui at his full, Shinobu strength, so he could have a good fight, rather than wiping the floor with 'I Do The Sick Work' Kazuya and saving the world. Ironically, Sensui wanted to die at the hands of a demon, so his actions worked out perfectly.
    • In the Dark Tournament arc Toguro "kills" Kuwabara so Yusuke will be able to fight at 100%, somewhat subverted because he knew exactly what he was doing and would probably end up losing.
    • Yeah, one of the big themes from the moment Younger Toguro appears is the concept of what is more important: victory or the fight itself. Pretty much everyone does this to some degree, and about 75% of them were intentional.
    • During his fight with Kurama, Ura Urashima whips out a mystical container called the Idunn Box, which releases a bluish-purple fog that de-ages the victim into an earlier stage of their life (a child, an infant, or even a fetus). Unfortunately for Ura, this ends up reverting Kurama to his original ancient demon form, Yoko Kurama. He then proceeds to easily turn the fight in his favor.


Example of: