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Tyrion: I'm guilty of a far more monstrous crime: I'm guilty of being a dwarf!
Tywin: You're not on trial for being a dwarf.
Tyrion: Oh, yes I am! I've been on trial for that my
entire life!
~ Tyrion Lannister lashes out at his father for his lifelong poor treatment of him due to being a dwarf.
A Scapegoat is a villain who is punished much more than he/she would actually deserve. By definition, they are the opposites of Karmas Houdini, although certain cases can apply for both, especially if a villain becomes more sympathetic (see examples 3, 7, 11 and 13).

Just being a "bad guy" and having bad intentions is never enough to suffer such a punishment, which must be given according to acts. Some villains, however, are submitted to a retribution that can be very harsh, even unfair, thus winning over the audience's sympathy.

Scapegoats include:

  1. Villains whose fate is so horrific that the audience feels pity for them (Barty Crouch Jr. suffering the kiss of the Dementor, a fate worse than death, or Arthur Reeves being driven insane by the Joker).
  2. Villains who are subjected to some horrendous torture that they did not deserve (Theon Greyjoy, and Vicki Vale).
  3. Villains that have horrible lives that almost never improves or even gets worse (Hansel & Gretel from Black Lagoon, Carrie White, Lucy and Andrew Detmer).
  4. Minions or right-hands that are often unfairly abused or killed by their master, either for failure or because they've outlived their usefulness (Lefou by Gaston, Count Dooku, several Makuta by Makuta Teridax because he does not need their competition for power, Nute Gunray by Emperor Palpatine, Bruiser and Joe Cramp by Thrax because the virus cared about breaking his record and Charlie Walker by Jill Roberts).
  5. Tragic villains who, in the end, suffered more than they made others suffer (Gollum, Rameses, Daniel Cross, Aubrey Davis and Kiritsugu Emiya).
  6. Remorseful villains who wanted to redeem themselves, but died before they could (Boss WolfWendy, Euphemia li Britannia, Siren and King Nachtigal).
  7. Incompetent villains, whose recurring defeats are often humiliating and degrading (Disney's Captain Hook, Dr. Neo Cortex, Heinz Doofenshmirtz, or Angelica Pickles).
  8. Comic reliefs who are defeated or punished in a slapstick manner, sometimes brutally so (Tom from Tom & Jerry or Harry and Marv).
  9. Villains who are constantly revived and killed over again (Lifty and Shifty).
  10. Anti-villains who intend to do good, but just go about it the wrong way (The Brain from Pinky and the Brain).
  11. Former Karma Houdinis who can no longer get away with their actions because their karma has reached the inescapable point (Magneto and Tomohiro Machiya).
  12. Jerks or otherwise not very antagonistic villains who constantly have to put up with the protagonist's annoying behavior, stupidity, arrogance, etc. or just evil teachers with an unteachable student (Mrs. Puff, Benson Dunwoody, Principal McVicker and Horrid Henry).
  13. On & Off villains and their heroic enemies who have to temporarily put their rivalry aside for the greater good, or there's a worse threat that puts the real "villain" to shame (Team Rocket sometimes has to team up with Ash and his "twerp" friends, and in certain episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs and Plankton sometimes have to put their business rivalry aside, especially when it comes to Burger-Beard).
  14. Insecure villains who just want to make friends, but the people are too scared and/or disgusted by their looks, which drove them to villainy in the first place (Frankenstein's Monster).
  15. Arrogant egotists who are publicly humiliated/booed for their actions such as cheating, being revealed as a fraud, etc. (Ripslinger was publicly humilated and called "Ripstinker" by Roper.)

Pure Evil villains will NEVER qualify, as they cannot be incompetent, tragic, remorseful, or good-willed and the acts they do are always taken seriously; therefore, basically every defeat they get are equal to what they have done, and their defeat, regardless of brutality, is warranted.

Pages in category "Scapegoat"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 1,865 total.

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