Villains Wiki
Villains Wiki
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 lashing 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 polar opposite of Karma Houdinis.

Just being a "bad guy" and having bad intentions is rarely 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, cruel, or even unfair, thus occasionally winning over the audience's sympathy to an extent, as their punishment outweighs the crimes they committed.

The very definition of a scapegoat is an individual framed for something done by someone else, although scapegoats also include:

  1. Villains whose fates are so horrific that the audience feels pity for them (e.g. President Haltmann having his soul deleted, Charles F. Muntz being dropped out of the sky to fall to his death, Viserys Targaryen having molten gold poured on his head, Arthur Reeves being driven insane by the Joker, Scuttlebutt being forced to drown in the river under the sealed tunnel alongside Chief McBrusque, the latter of which was the only one who deserved to actually die, Barty Crouch Jr. receiving the Dementor’s Kiss, René Belloq having his entire head explode after looking into Pandora’s Box, Vic Hoskins being mauled by Delta, Daniel DeVorn being sacrificed to SCP-106 or Cato being eaten alive by wolf mutts), yet some villains are so awful that not even their horrific death makes them scapegoats (e.g. the already mentioned Chief McBrusque, Walder Frey's TV version having a cake made of his sons planted and then his neck cut, Henry Evans falling to his death after his mother chose Mark over him and dropped him, Syndrome having his entire body shredded alive in a jet turbine, Judge Claude Frollo having a piece of a building that he is standing on break off and causing him to fall into a bottomless pit of fire to be tortured for all eternity or the Horned King being pulled into the cauldron during which his skin was ripped from his bones after which he exploded).
  2. Villains who are subjected to some horrendous torture as a way of karma that they did not deserve (e.g. Theon Greyjoy, Hexadecimal, Patolli, Victor Perkins being stranded on the moon after it returns to it’s original size or Hades being dragged to the bottom of the River Styx for all of eternity).
  3. Villains that have horrible lives that almost never improves or even gets worse (e.g. Hansel & Gretel, Akaza, Carrie White, Tyler Down, 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 (e.g. Lefou by Gaston LeGume, several Makuta by Makuta Teridax because he does not need their competition for power, Nute Gunray by Emperor Palpatine because he became useless to his plan, Kim by Earl Talbot Blake because Kim had enough of his mistreatment, Charlie Walker by Jill Roberts because she did not actually love him, Shazam by Superman after he realized that the regime had gone too far, several henchmen by both Shao Kahn and Shinnok, Lady Nagant by All For One to punish her failure knowing she would reform, or the book version of Peter Pettigrew by Lord Voldemort because he showed partial remorse for his actions), unless the minion deserves it for committing heinous crimes (e.g. Brixton Lore by Eteon Director, Hugo Strange by Ra's Al Ghul, Shang Tsung by Shao Kahn and Krogan by Drago Bludvist because Krogan also mistreats his minions and kills them for their failures).
  5. Tragic villains who, in the end, suffered more than they made others suffer or whose tragic past outweighs the extent of their crimes (e.g. Gollum, Rameses, Daniel Cross, Aubrey Davis, Baldur and Kiritsugu Emiya) unless their heinous crimes outweigh their tragedies to be excused (e.g. Koba, Kai Chisaki, Bradford Buzzard, Captain Vidal, Dawn Bellwether and Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear).
  6. Remorseful villains who wanted to redeem themselves, but their chance was either rejected or they died before they could do so (e.g. Gríma Wormtongue, Siren, Krika, King Nachtigal and Jamal Elliot).
  7. Incompetent villains, whose defeats (recurring or otherwise) are often humiliating and degrading and they did nothing to warrant it (e.g. Disney's Captain Hook, Dr. Neo Cortex, Plankton, Shredder (1987 TMNT) and Lord Betrayus).
  8. Comic reliefs who are defeated or punished in a slapstick manner, sometimes brutally so (e.g. Bebop and Rocksteady).
  9. Villains who are constantly revived and killed over again even if they didn't do anything that bad (e.g. Lifty and Shifty, Jason Voorhees and The Koopalings).
  10. Anti-villains who intend to do good and never resort to dirty tactic, but just go about it the wrong way (e.g. Rinne Sonogami, AUTO and the Brain).
  11. Affably evil villains who only wanted to get along with the heroes, or other particular characters, but are disrespected, scolded or badly admonished for doing so, even if they never did anything that particularly bad.
  12. Insecure villains who wanted to make friends in the first place, but people are too scared and/or disgusted by their looks, which drove them to villainy in the first place (e.g. Frankenstein's Monster).
  13. Villains by Proxy who never wanted to be villains in the first place, yet still get punished for their evil actions anyway (e.g. The White Pumpkin, Marguerite Baker, Electro and Rob).
  14. In Love villains who are regularly cheated or abused by their crush, yet keep protecting and taking care of them out of devotion (e.g. Harley Quinn who is abused by the Joker, Hellen Gravely, or Misa Amane, who's a mere pawn of Light Yagami's plans).
  15. Possessed/Brainwashed villains who instead of snapping out of their influences, had to be killed in the end (e.g. Quirinus Quirrel was possessed by Lord Voldemort and had to be killed by Harry Potter's mother's sacrificial protection, Queen Sectonia was brainwashed due to looking into the dimensional mirror too much and had to be killed by Hypernova Kirby, and Cujo was brainwashed due to being bitten by a rabid bat and had to be killed either with a baseball bat or the sheriff's gun by Don Trenton).
  16. Villains who, in spite of doing absolutely nothing to deserve it, became a damned soul (e.g. Tai Lung).
  17. Villains who are just wild predators acting by their natural instinct who, despite this, are killed or are receiving torture regularly (e.g. Cretaceous and Maelstrom, SCP-096 and Serpentine) unlike other Villains that take sadistic pleasure with their prey (e.g. It, Indominus rex, Dag and The Beldam).
  18. Villains who get a tragic sendoff: they might not even have a tragic/sympathetic background, have any positive qualities, be affable or anything, but their deaths are still silent moments where the characters show a deeper, more complex personality and that they may not be entirely evil, maybe showing insecurity as their primary motive and/or trying to fit in (e.g. Envy was a hateable sadist for the biggest part of the series, but during his death he is revealed to have been jealous of humans and always wanting to be like them, even committing suicide because of it. There's also Colonel McCullough, who may have been horribly genocidal and putting innocent apes through torture, but in the end he truly wanted what was best for humanity, and may even not have been so different from Caesar).

Notes

This category is for characters whose punishments are not only BRUTAL and EXCESSIVE, but STILL had redeemable and/or sympathetic traits (e.g. Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Taz, Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr., Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian and K-9).

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