Forced migration scholars have increasingly documented the agency of displaced persons. However, this scholarship has attended primarily to the positive or constructive dimensions of agency, documenting migrants’ capacities for resilience, resistance, and problem-solving. In this paper, I argue that forced migration scholarship should extend to recognize the darker dimensions of agency, such as complicity in acts of violence. Drawing on emerging work on ‘complex victimhood’ in conflict studies scholarship, which grapples with the difficult simultaneity of victimhood and complicity, I begin to articulate a figure of the ‘complex migrant’. As a case study, I draw on fieldwork with Bosnian Serb women who were part of the 1996 displacement of Serbs from Sarajevo, when the divided city was re-unified following nearly four years of siege by Bosnian Serb forces. Against the figure of the ideal refugee/victim, I outline the numerous deviations that made Serbs illegible as refugees. I also demonstrate how my interlocutors asserted the qualities of the ideal victim in their narratives to make their losses legible. I argue that a complex victimhood framework is useful for analysing other understudied retributive displacements. I also suggest that it can work to gradually disempower discourses that blame migrants when they fail to live up to the ideal of the good victim.