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File:Jhonen-Vasquez-Johnny-the-Homicidal-Maniac-Backlit-Vivisection2 2226.png

...too far?

"After a while, all I'm doing is punching wet chips of bone into the floorboards. So I stop."
John Hartigan, Sin City

Bob has been dealt a horrible injustice by Emperor Evulz — perhaps Cool and Unusual Punishment, family murdered, an earlier No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, or maybe Evulz had a fax machine that plain didn't work.

When the time finally comes to deliver justice, Bob pulls out all the stops and attacks Evulz in a rage of melee combat, even though he might have a much more efficient/safe method of attack, and ends up continuing WAY beyond what is necessary or perhaps even deserved. Often accompanied by Bob screaming, either incoherently or about how much he hates Evulz. Sometimes Bob will list Evulz's crimes in "And This Is For" fashion. He may even try to run him through the said fax machine.

While causing considerable damage and pain for Emperor Evulz, Bob is often hurt by his own fury after he calms down. See also the super trope, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.

Examples of Extreme Melee Revenge include:

Anime & Manga

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Most combat between EVAs and Angels takes place with ranged weapons and the psychic AT-Fields. But on two occasions in the later episodes, Unit-01 takes out angels with its bare hands. In the first case, the angel is hidden from view by a hill as it's beaten to pulp and all you see is the river than runs around the hill running red with blood. The second time Unit-01 tears one of the angels arms off and use it to replace its own lost arm and then wrestles it to the ground and starts tearing its chest open and eating its heart.
    • Actually, ranged weapons are almost useless in combat against Angels. They only work twice, ever. Pretty much every other time, it's a Melee Finisher Move or an Unstoppable Weapon that's supposed to be only usable once.
    • Played gruesomely straight in Unit-01's utter massacre of Unit-03, both in the original show and Rebuild.
  • Kallen gives Suzaku one of these not just once, but twice, in Code Geass, for nearly injecting her with Refrain; the second time being in Knightmare Frame combat where she almost kills him, only to be deferred when he accidentally fires off FLEIJA.
  • Seras Victoria's fight with Zorin Blintz in Hellsing. Seras is so angry that by the time she's done, most of her enemy's head is a red smear on a brick wall.
  • Ai no Kusabi's Iason Mink during a brief brawl, tears off Guy's left arm after he finds out what Guy did to his beloved Pet. He later says it was justified retribution.
  • Narrowly averted in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. When Ed realizes what Shou Tucker did to his daughter and dog by transmuting them into a chimera, he pins Tucker to a wall and starts punching him in the face. Tucker does not help the situation with his Not So Different speech.

  Ed: I am not like YOU! *WHAM* I'm not! Not! NOT! I am NOT!

    • The trope is averted because Chimera!Nina tugs on his coat and he freezes in shock.
  • Berserk: After seeing Griffith's mutilated body after being tortured for a year, Guts goes so apeshit insane on the Midland soldiers that his comrades are more shocked than usual at how he's utterly slaughtering the soldiers and Guts can barely stand when they get away. Only Casca's touch can cool him down after it all.
  • One of the traits of Seiten Taisei Son Goku in Saiyuki is that he now fails to be able to see what is going to far. In one scene that would have been narm if it hadn't been so brutal, Goku sits on Kougaiji (who incidentally is refusing to bring Sanzo to a village to get the antidote for what he's been poisoned with) and proceeds to cheerfully and without reserve, begin punching him until his bones are pretty much liquid. The worst bit is that Goku considers Kougaiji a kind of friend, and generally considers fighting with him as a sort of game... Seiten Taisei apparently does too, he just doesn't know when it's not fun anymore...
  • Tends to happen to anyone who thinks they can invoke Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? ( cats, in this case) on Ranma ...

Comic Books

  • Batman: Batman beating up The Joker whenever he gets his hands on him.
    • Don't forget Poison Ivy brutally murdering a Russian gangster who tested his new megaweapon on her island paradise.
    • In a rare DC/Marvel crossover titled simply "Batman and Spider-Man", the wall-crawler is trailing Cletus Cassidy as he's being transferred between prisons. Cletus just so happens to be able to become Carnage and bust out of his supposedly "unbreakable" shackles as the train is passing through Gotham. Cue the Joker showing up and teaming up with Carnage. As the comic goes on, Batman swallows enough pride to stop berating Spidey for being in "his" city and the two track down the criminals, each going after the other. Batman's seriously disadvantaged, but is able to use enough wits and gadgets to bring Carnage down. Spider-Man is leaps and bounds more agile and stronger than the Joker, but Joker won't give up. And he keeps laughing. And his oversized, toothy grin reminds Spidey just a little too much of Carnage... Batman's stopping him is the only thing that lets the Joker live.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Johnny invokes this trope too many times to count.
    • In fact, most of the murders he commits fall under this trope, often in revenge for something trivial.
    • At least partially justified a few times, such as the above picture when he kills the copycat Jimmy for raping a girl and when he viciously kills a child molester who was about to rape Squee.
  • Sin City: In A Dame to Kill For, Dwight has Marv help him rescue Ava. As Marv is beating up the security guards, he notices Manute (who had given Dwight a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown earlier) among them and yells "You! You're the bum who hurt my pal!", before tackling him through a window and beating the crap out of him. After the beatdown, Marv sits beside Manute panting, he hears Manute gasp for breath, and continues beating him up. It is later revealed he also gouged out one of Manute's eyes.
    • Let this sink in for a second. Marv is a Badass Determinator who has shrugged off bullets, cars, and all manner of attacks on his person, has thrown people through walls, and has generally proven to be Made of Iron and an Implacable Man... and he beats Manute up so damn badly he tires himself out.
    • That Yellow Bastard gives us the page quote. Police Detective John Hartigan saved 11-year-old Nancy Callahan from being raped and murdered by Roark, Jr., then was framed for the rape and spent 8 years in prison. After Hartigan is released, Roark gets ahold of Nancy again and tortures her. Hartigan doesn't take it well:
    • Marv gives a few of these in The Hard Goodbye. For the first one he uses a hatchet on the cop who killed Lucille and while its not shown Marv says that he took his time killing him and showed him pieces of himself. For the second one he knocks Kevin out, then saws his arms and legs off, then has a wolf eat his guts and finally saws his head off. We don't see the details on the final one but its implied that hes crushing or tearing out Cardinal Roark's throat or head, among other things.

 Marv: (asked if killing a helpless old man will give him satisfaction) The killing no. No satisfaction. But everything up until the killing will be a gas. You can scream now if you want to.]]

  • World War Hulk ended with The Hulk delivering this to Meik, his friend and ally when he confessed to being responsible for the death of Hulk's wife, his son (or so he thought), and a million other people; basically everything that had prompted the war.
  • X-Factor: 204 (v.3). Even a enemy's simulator knows that if you hurt/kill Rictor, Shatterstar's Roaring Rampage of Revenge would come next, quickly followed by your demise.
    • We're treated to a mini-version of this when Shatterstar meets Cortex and realizes he's the one that possessed him and made him almost kill Rictor. He then chops off Cortex's hand. Hey, it pays to have a trained warrior as your boyfriend.
  • Out of context, The Punisher violently flinging a helpless woman against a shatter proof window over and over would seem like a Moral Event Horizon. Knowing that she's a ruthless perpetrator of a sex trafficking slave ring, responsible for the murder of an infant to get to the mother, makes this an example of this trope.
  • When the camp outside of Georgia gets attacked in The Walking Dead, Jim is knocked to the ground by a walker and, in a fit of rage, bashes its head to pieces with the butt of his pistol while screaming about the deaths of his family.

Fan Fiction

  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fanfic, Difficult to Fight Against Anger, Willow finally catches up with Warren, and drains him of all his magic, then proceeds to beat him to a bloody pulp, for raping Tara. She almost kills him, but Tara stops her, and talks her down.
  • In the Firefly fic Forward, River does this to a Hand of Blue after he shoots Simon, which causes her to impale the Hand on her electrified sword, tear it free, and then stab him in the face until his head is reduced to the consistency of charred hamburger.
  • Harry Potter does this to Marcus Flint in the Enter the Fnords continuity of Top Dog, after Flint rapes Hermione. Involves knives and being repeatedly shot in the extremities, in front of all his friends who are held back by a shield.


  • 28 Days Later: After the soldiers imprison and almost rape a woman and child, Jim beats the shit out of every soldier in the complex (aided by an unwitting zombie) and gouges out one's eyes with his thumbs.
  • The Butterfly Effect: It occurs. And Reality Ensues.
    • There's also the time prior to that where Tommy catches Evan kissing his sister in the movie theater lobby. When Tommy stalks angrily towards them, a Jerkass douchebag trips him for the hell of it. Tommy gets up, gives Evan a disturbingly sadistic look, and then proceeds to smash the douchebag's face with a pole barrier and then pummel him mercilessly with his fists.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower: After the Emperor's youngest son kills the heir to the throne, his father pulls off his massive solid-gold belt and beats him with it, continuing to beat his corpse long after he's dead. His creepy little laugh doesn't help.
  • Darkness Falls
  • The Godfather: Carlo physically abuses Sonny's sister. Sonny then tracks down Carlo and attacks him in broad daylight. He uses his fists, his feet, Carlo's shoes, and a nearby metal trashcan (which is brought down smack on Carlo's head). All of this happens in public, and a crowd watches while Sonny's goons keep them from interfering. Carlo is left barely alive in a nearby puddle.
    • In Real Life, the guy playing Carlo actually came out of the scene with two broken ribs and a chipped elbow. The two actors did not get along during filming.
  • Layer Cake: anyone? The protagonist's cohort, Morty, an otherwise perfectly calm and stoic character, suddenly beats a former partner in crime half to death after having his berserk button toyed with just a little too much. Ten is a nice, round number, after all..
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Big Chris gets ahold of Dog after endangering his son in a crash after his failed carjacking.
  • Office Space: Trope inspiration. Michael beats the faulty fax machine to a pulp with his bare hands. The whole sequence is set to entirely appropriate music.
  • Orphan: Ester attempts to seduce her adopted father. When he turns her down, she stabs him with a kitchen knife and does not stop until well after he's dead.
  • Poltergeist: A poltergeist has been terrorizing the house, and there's a horrible clown doll in Robbie's room that he just hates. Just when everything seems okay, the clown comes to life, sneaks up on Robbie, and attempts to suffocate him. Robbie overcomes the clown, throws it on the bed, and tears it apart, screaming, "I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!".
  • Saw: After being captured, persuaded to saw off his foot to escape, and subjected to insane psychological torture, Adam screams his head off while bashing in his apparent captor's head with a toilet lid.
    • Averted in Saw II, when Detective Matthews beats up the already-suffering Jigsaw. But Jigsaw has the last laugh.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Judge Turpin lusts after Lucy, the wife of successful barber Benjamin, so the corrupt judge sends Benjamin to a foreign prison on false charges. Fifteen years later, Benjamin escapes, changes his name to Sweeney, and embarks on his quest to kill the Judge who framed him and, as he now knows, raped his wife and stole his daughter. After murdering countless innocents and everyone who gets in his way, Sweeney finally finds the judge at his mercy. He reveals his true identity and with a cry of fury uses his barber's razor to slice up the judge.
  • Watchmen: Pretty much anything Rorschach does.
    • Nite Owl (film only) delivers one to Ozymandias. Ozymandias kinda lets him do it and takes it gracefully, though.
    • Nite Owl also gives a severe beating to a Knottop gang member after finding out that Hollis Mason was killed. Remarkably, it's Rorschach who calms him down.
  • Many Steven Seagal films have him do this the Big Bad and/or a Complete Monster. However, Seagal, being an Aikido master, often throws in a few limb-snapping grapples.
  • In The Punisher: War Zone, Frank delivers a brutal beatdown to Jigsaw in revenge for him killing Microchip.
  • In the end of Cannibal Holocaust.
  • The protagonist of Joshuu Sasori has a tendency to inflict knife wounds to people she really hates that are clearly painful but not immediately fatal, while silently snarling her contempt and loathing at them — over and over again, until her staggering victim finally keels over.


  • Occurs in the third Harry Potter novel, when Harry first meets Sirius. Harry becomes so enraged that he forgets all about magic, forgets that Sirius is supposedly a powerful dark wizard trained by Voldemort himself, and forgets that Sirius is holding three wands. Harry charges Sirius down and nearly suffocates him.
  • In Ender's Game, Stilson, a neighborhood bully, and Bonzo, a kid at Battle School, both try to do this to Ender and fail, (It's Personal, especially for Bonzo because he perceived Ender's winning as an insult to his honor), causing Ender to fight back and he actually kills both of them..
  • The same scene as above occurred in the original Godfather novel. The only reason that Sonny didn't beat Carlo to death was not because of the witnesses, but because Carlo meekly huddled on the ground and didn't even try to defend himself.
    • At the wedding in the beginning of the novel, the undertaker Bonasera came to Don Corleone to get justice for his daughter, who was viciously beaten by two young men after she refused to have sex with them. His request of "Make them suffer like she suffers" is depicted in excruciating detail as Paulie Gatto brings two ex-heavyweight boxers to help him out with the punks. By the end of it they are still alive, but the book says that they'd need several months of reconstructive surgery before they'd get out of the hospital.
  • In Solo Command, Gamorrean pilot "Piggy" saBinring is in the room when a gunman tries to assassinate Admiral Ackbar. After getting shot once, Piggy proceeds to pick up Ackbar's desk and promptly reduce the gunman's head to about a quarter of its proper width.
    • ...and puts a sizable dent in Ackbar's (shipboard) office wall, with the dent also appearing in the cafeteria/lounge on the other side of the wall, hurling a hapless ensign halfway across the room while all but one of the other people in the room run for the door.
    • Also Corran Horn in I, Jedi to a sadistic underling while Horn was going undercover in a pirate group. The man had done so many nasty things, including strafing crowded streets for fun, that when he finally pushed Corran too far he was beaten to an unrecognizable pulp. Made even better because he had been very handsome. And then to top it all off, the leader of the pirate group had him executed for insubordination and attacking a superior officer.

Live-Action TV

  • Has happened twice on Breaking Bad:
    • Hank Schraeder, after finding out the call drawing him away from the RV Jesse and Walt were hiding in was rigged by Jesse himself, Hank tracks Jesse down and delivers this trope. However, this gets him dismissed from the DEA.
    • Tuco's cousins, seeking to avenge Tuco's death. With a chromed fire axe.
  • Criminal Minds
    • "100". Wham! Episode for precisely this reason: Aaron Hotchner, our stoic hero, has finally been pushed too far by the Reaper. The Reaper has kidnapped his ex-wife and son, and executed his ex-wife over the phone. Hotch beats Foyet to death with his bare hands and has to be pulled away by Morgan.
    • "Foundation". Averted because Morgan was only able to punch the UnSub once before being stopped by Rossi.
  • Farscape: In the episode "Incubator," Scorpius gets revenge on his Scarran "nanny" by ramming the broken ends of a coolant rod into her eyes, kicking her about his cell for a bit, and finally freezing her to death with her own torture-thermostat.
  • Firefly: Episode 10, War Stories. Mal is captured by the elderly and sadistic Niska, is brutally tortured via electric shock, has his ear cut off, and is then killed painfully only to be resuscitated for further torture. When Mal's crew stages a rescue, Mal overcomes the guard and gives Niska what he deserves.

 Mal: Looks like business ain't running so much as crawling away. You wanna meet the real me now?

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 10, "Confessions". Stabler, in a furious Papa Wolf moment, beats the crap out of a "legal" pedophile who has pictures of Stabler's daughter on his pedo-website.
  • Lost: Hurley's beatdown of Sawyer after one too many fat jokes. Everyone just watches in amusement.
    • Averted, in that someone eventually intervened before things got out of hand.
  • In Kamen Rider Kuuga, the titular hero pulls this off on a rather brutal Grongi. How extreme was the melee? It starts with him throwing the Grongi out the window and ends with him brutally cutting the Grongi to death with a sword.


Tabletop Games

  • The "Berserk Anger" and "Red Rage of Compassion" Limit Breaks in Exalted are essentially this; the Exalted in question flies into a rage and starts attacking blindly, without enough presence of mind to even draw a weapon. The main difference between the two is that RRoC is directed toward "sources of suffering", while Berserk Anger is directed towards anything and everything nearby, whether Friend or Foe.
  • "Berserk Anger" returns in Scion — blow a Courage roll badly enough and you start killing everything between you and the nearest wall. Failing a Valor roll to that degree has similar results, but you aren't as likely to kill your friends.


  • You can do this yourself in the adventurer mode in Dwarf Fortress. A list of examples: Zamochit (Breaking every bone in the body, one by one), gouging your opponent's eyes out, biting, repeatedly pinching the face, ripping out teeth, or ripping of fingers. The point is, the combat system is extremely detailed and loaded with opportunities to do bad things.
  • In God of War, this is what you get to do to many Boss Fights, up and including the final boss at the end of the third and last game, where you can carry this out for as long as you want to your heart's content.
    • Kane, one of the titular protagonists of the games, screams this while he savagely beats the man who just shot his wife to death with a shovel.
  • In Super Street Fighter IV, each character has access to Ultra Combos, which are performed using energy from the Revenge Gauge and can do massive damage with a full RG, rather than an half-filled one. The Revenge Gauge fills as your character gets beaten up. Some of the Ultra Combos are pretty brutal.
  • Deconstructed midway through Yggdra Union, when Yggdra finds and chases after Gulcasa while he and the Imperial Army are trying to retreat. Every time she catches up to him, she beats him viciously in battles where she is literally invincible until he manages to escape and run just a bit further away — and it turns out that having figured she would react thus upon seeing him, he'd decided to be living bait to draw her into an ambush. Yggdra falls into the trap face-first, and despite being in poor shape, Gulcasa leads the counterattack and mobs her into submission. The moral of the story is that letting your rage control you to tap into a few moments of brute strength is stupid stupid dumb when you're the hero of a strategy game.
  • In Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World, Ratatosk-mode Emil does this to a Magnar after he tries to raze Emil's hometown. His Love Interest, Marta, snaps him out of it.
  • Prototype's Alex Mercer encounters people-of-interest throughout New York City that have played a role in his clouded past. Upon capture, Alex can immediately chokeslam his victims and viciously deconstruct their face into a pool of blood with his bare fists before absorbing them and their memories. What makes this into an example of the trope is that later on, you do it to someone very specific. After all of the damage they caused, getting your own back and seeing Greene getting liquified like this, even with the same animation as everyone else, is intensely satisfying.
  • Mortal Kombat 3 introduced Brutalities, where instead of killing your now-helpless enemy with a quick (if seldom clean) fatality, you deliver a beating until you shred their bodies into flying bone shards.
  • When you think about it, Sonic the Hedgehog does this to Erazor Djinn's One-Winged Angel form Alf Layla wa Layla. Consider this: he just watched his only companion in the entire game get temporarily killed, and because of Erazor's mistake, he absorbs the World Rings of Hatred, Sadness, and Rage and becomes Darkspine Sonic. The entire level consists of you flying up to Erazor, kicking his own big ball of energy back at him, and then rushing in to beat the crap out of him with your bare hands. Also doubles as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • At the end of Battlefield 3, Blackburn has already been through hell, but the sight of Solomon killing Montes, his best and last remaining friend, finally throws him over the edge, prompting him to choke the guy half to death with his handcuffs before beating his face in with a brick.
  • The Halo games have many monsters who have a version of this: that is, their ranged weapons do normal damage, but if you dare get within arms' reach of them, they'll make their displeasure with you known via a One-Hit Kill.


  • In the Homestuck animation "[S Make Her Pay"], Aradia gets her revenge by viciously beating the Blue Blood out of Vriska. She only relents after seeing Tavros's horrified reaction.
  • In Girl Genius, after an extremely drawn-out fight against Zola, Tarvek delivers an absolutely brutal beatdown to her in one of his greatest crowning moments. Needless to say, she deserved every single punch.
  • Dellyn Goblinslayer of Goblins kept a female yuan-ti named Kin as his plaything and routinely abused her to within an inch of her life. Minmax and Forgath get into a bar fight with him and manage to gruesomely beat him, at which point Dellyn stabilizes at -6 hitpoints. As a high level ranger, if he recovers, he could track them down and take his revenge, so as they argue over whether or not to kill him while he's unconscious, Kin picks up Minmax's broken sword and stabs Dellyn under the jaw. Then she stabs him again. And again and again...

Web Originals

  • In V4 of Survival of the Fittest, Jimmy Brennan gets revenge on school bully Phillip Ward by beating him to death with a piece of driftwood, and continues to pummel his head in long after he's died.
  • This is the fate of many a game cartridge at the end of an The Angry Video Game Nerd review. (And the special guest stars don't fare that much better, either.)

Western Animation

  • Family Guy
    • Peter beats up the host of SNL for all of the horrible sketches he's done.
      • Actully what set him off was that the host (Jimmy Fallon in this case) has slept with his daughter and used the sex as an opening sketch. This is one of the few times Peter actually does show some care for Meg. Of course when he beats up Fallon its for the above reasons before asking for the man who slept with Meg.
    • Brian doesn't pay Stewie the $50 he's owed. In retribution, Stewie smashes a glass over his head, shoots him in the kneecaps, shoves him down a flight of stairs, and sets him on fire, all while yelling, "WHERE'S MY MONEY"?.
    • Brian gets a similar beating from Quagmire; Brian has sex with Quagmire's father who recently had a sex change operation. Amazingly, Brian still comes out on top in the end: as Quagmire leaves, Brian says, "Hey... I f*cked your dad." and slams the door.
      • Brian didn't even know that was Quagmire's dad, and underwent a massive Squick reaction before Quagmire came and beat him up, making it a literal and figurative case of Kick the Dog.
  • In the Stroker and Hoop episode "I Saw Stroker Killing Santa (a.k.a. A Cold, Dead, White Christmas)", Santa Claus keeps shooting repeatedly at the guy who tried to kill him, continuing after he is totally dead.
  • Metalocalypse is filled to the brim with this, but one of the most memorable instances involves Toki exacting revenge on an annoying screaming man.

Real Life

  • There was one story from the American Civil War in which some skirmishers were shooting at each other. Two soldiers inexplicably conceived an animosity toward one another above and beyond mere military duty and would repeatedly exchange shots while insulting each other. The soldiers decided to call an ad-hoc truce so they could solve it with a brawl as was due and proper. Once they had done this, everyone shook hands and went back to the business of killing one another like gentlemen.