ABC’s new show Revenge follows a young woman seeking vengeance for her father’s imprisonment and death. A familiar plotline? Yes, but revenge stories are engrossing. Oftentimes they play out in ways we can only dream about in real life when someone does us wrong. (Usually we just let karma have its way with the guilty parties.)
But sometimes, you need some satisfaction, whether it happens to you or someone on screen or in a book. Give me your revenge stories, STAT!
Heather Hogan: My favorite tale of revenge is Fannie Flagg‘s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. I saw the movie first, when I was just a kid, and loved it, of course, because, like Idgie Threadgoode, I was (am) an unrepentant tomboy living in the deep south. Years later I found out the actual lesbian content had been gutted from the film, so I tracked down the book immediately and fell unabashedly in love with it.
Just think: Back in the Great Depression, Idgie falling head over heels in love with Ruth, her Sunday School teacher, and then going on to rescue her from her abusive husband like some kind of white knight! And then opening a cafe in Alabama, where they raised a son and were as open as they could be about their relationship, but no one gave two licks ’cause they were just good people who made good food! And the revenge part, of course, was Ruth’s husband, Frank Bennett, getting killed by Sipsy and barbecued by Big George. God, what a great book.
Courtney Gillette: I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to immortalize this tale on the Internet. Once, in my younger and bolder years, when I found out my ex-girlfriend had been cheating on me, I wrote a scathing story of her transgressions, then promptly submitted it to my friend’s lit mag. When the issue was published, I made a photocopy of the story and mailed it to my ex with nothing but a post-it note which said, in all caps: DON’T F–K WITH A WRITER.
The Linster: My favorite revenge tale, without question, is Mean Girls. But once I started looking for my favorite scene, I ended up watching the whole movie again. You should, too. Here’s a reminder why:
Cady: [after humiliating Regina] Wait Regina, I didn’t mean for this to happen!
Regina: To find out that everyone hates me? I don’t care!
Cady: Wait, Regina, just listen!
Regina: No! Do you know what everyone says about you behind your back? Hmm? They say that you’re a home-schooled jungle freak, that’s a less hot version of me! Yeah, so don’t try to act so innocent! You can take that fake apology, and shove it right up your hairy c…
[Regina gets hit by a bus]
Dorothy Snarker: Kill Bill. Uma Thurman made track suits terrifying way before Sue Sylvester ever showed up. The Bride had more than a chip on her shoulder. This is pretty much the definition of a bloody good revenge flick. Revenge is a dish best served cut with a samurai sword.
Mia Jones: My favorite tale of revenge comes from my time as a very wee lez. I was about four years old and my family and I were at a summer retreat in Wisconsin. Being the friendly kid I was, I walked over to a group of girls around my age or a little older and asked if I could play with them. One of the girls was a total bitch and grabbed a handful of sand and threw it in my face.
I went away, holding back tears and found my dad to tell him what had just happened. He looked at me, and if this is any indication of just how gay and pop-culture obsessed I was even at this age, said, “What would Mr. T do in this situation?” I responded, “He would say, ‘I pity the fool who throws sand in my face!” And so my dad sent me off to say those exact words to the group of mean girls. I have no idea why it worked, but I had all those little bitches wrapped around my finger before the day was over.
Trish Bendix: Jodie Foster is always getting revenge on somebody, whether it’s with Kelly McGillis in The Accused or her pimp in Taxi Driver. But my favorite film in which she’s really going after the guy is The Brave One. After a man attacks and kills her fiancé and steals her dog, Jodie is afraid to leave her own apartment. Eventually she refuses to sit around and feel bad for herself any longer and she takes to the streets, brandishing a gun. She won’t take no more guff from nobody! And in the end she also gets her dog back. Yay!
What’s your favorite tale of revenge?