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Yeah, you got spirit kid, I'll give you that. More than your old man, anyway. In the joint, Chill told me about the night he killed your parents. He said your father begged for mercy. Begged. Like a dog.
Carmine Falcone, Batman Begins

A long time ago, Bob brutally murdered Alice's family while she was away at school. Now, Alice has finally found him.

A brutal fight ensues, with all manner of items (we don't quite know how the toilet seat got into the fight). Alice ends up lying on the floor, with Bob seemingly triumphant.

Then he says the following:

Alice is incensed. With her last reserves of strength, she gets up and beats Bob. See also You Killed My Father.

Examples of Relative Button include:

Anime and Manga

  • When Edward Elric's brother sacrifices himself, the person who caused Al to do that has some serious problems. This is after many an Al-related violent encounter. Don't mess with Edward Elric's family. Don't.

Comic Books

  • During the Knightfall Saga, the Scarecrow sprays Batman with one of his fear skulls and forces him to relive the memory of the Joker killing Jason Todd. Batman, who has already run himself ragged capturing many other criminals that night, responds with rage by knocking out the Scarecrow with a single headbutt and beating the Joker (who's partnered up with Scarecrow) within an inch of his life, calling Jason's name all the while.
  • In DMZ a military commander that main character Matty Roth hates taunts Matty at one point by teasing Matty about his dead reporter girlfriend.
  • For both her parents and Chase, never bring up Gert's sad fate from Runaways. Chase gets violent. Her parents start a small scale genocide.



  • This occurs in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's / Sorcerer's Stone, when Harry, upon meeting Voldemort for the first time, is taunted that he will die like his parents, that they died "Begging [Voldemort] for mercy." Not quite the same, but it gives Harry strength.
  • In an unusually Genre Savvy moment from an animalistic sociopath, Gregor Clegane from A Song of Ice and Fire waits until the moment that he is about to kill someone before pushing their Relative Button.
    • In A Dance With Dragons, Stannis' army gets caught in the middle of marching by an immense snow storm. Bogged down for weeks, some soldiers resort to cannibalism to survive. When caught, they are sentenced to die by burning at the stake. One of the soldiers involved intentionally taunts the executioner about eating the executioner's cousin so that he will be killed quickly by a slit throat instead.

Video Games

  • Arl Howe will taunt the Human Noble Warden this way in Dragon Age Origins. Depending on whether you're playing as The Hero or a Villain Protagonist, it could be either played straight or subverted (he dies either way, but it could be you don't care about what he did to your family).


 Jane: Before you go, for the record? I ate your monkeys. Aw, I bet you wish you could smack me with your widdle magic now!

  • As part of Nale's backstory in The Order of the Stick, he once tried to usurp power from his father. During the conflict, Nale killed several children of his father's friend/adviser Malack. When the two run into each other again, Nale's first comment to Malack is "Malack. How's the family?" Malack goes berserk.

Western Animation

  • Played with In Voltron: Legendary Defender's first episode. When Pidge, Lance, and Hunk fail miserably at a training simulator, Iverson sharply tells them that poor teamwork was what led to the failure of the Kerberos mission. Pidge immediately says that's not true only for Lance to shut him up, and later he and Hunk point out that Pidge gets upset every time someone brings up Kerberos at all. This is because Pidge is actually Commander Holt's daughter, and is keeping this fact hidden so she can look through the Garrison's records without being kicked out.
    • It's widely assumed that bringing up the Kerberos mission and Shiro's fate is the reason for Keith's "discipline issue" that got him kicked out. While Shiro wasn't Keith's actual relative, he was the closest thing to family Keith had.

Real Life

  • In Spain, a man on parole from his sentence for raping a young girl saw the girl's mother and taunted her by saying, "How's your daughter?" She went home, got a can of gasoline, and set him on fire.
  • Evidently, contract killer Richard Leonard Kulinski, also known as "The Iceman" was extremely protective of his family. Between this, and the fact that he was, yanno, a hitman, people who threatened said family tended to disappear. Violently.
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