The present study tested the hypothesis that Schadenfreude, pleasure at another's misfortune, results when a misfortune is perceived as deserved. Participants responded to interviews in which information was provided about a student who suffered a misfortune. The male or female student had either high or average achievements and was either responsible or not responsible for the misfortune. Results showed that responsibility for the misfortune increased Schadenfreude and this effect was mediated by the perceived deservingness of the misfortune. © 2005 Psychology Press Ltd.