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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. They are the opposites of Karmas Houdini, although certain cases can apply for both, especially if a villain becomes more sympathetic due to Flanderization (see example 8).

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 can include:

  1. Incompetent villains, whose recurring defeats are often humiliating (Disney's Captain Hook, Dr. Neo Cortex, Heinz Doofenshmirtz, or Angelica Pickles).
  2. Comic reliefs who are defeated or punished in a slapstick manner (Tom from Tom & Jerry).
  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 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 and Nute Gunray by Emperor Palpatine, or Charlie Walker by Jill Roberts).
  5. Tragic villains who, in the end, suffered more than they made suffer (Gollum, Rameses, Daniel Cross, Aubrey Davis and Kiritsugu Emiya).
  6. Villains who are constantly revived and killed over again (Lifty and Shifty or Samara Morgan).
  7. Anti-villains who intend to do good, but just go about it the wrong way (The Brain from Pinky and the Brain).
  8. Former Karma Houdinis who can no longer get away with their actions because their karma has reached the inescapable point (Magneto or Joey, Dee Dee and Marky from Oggy and the Cockroaches).
  9. Remorseful villains who wanted to redeem themselves, but died before they could (Boss WolfWendy, Euphemia li Britannia, Siren and King Nachtigal).
  10. A villain 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).

Purely Evil villains 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 death or defeat, regardless of brutality, is warranted.