Created By: Koveras on September 20, 2013 Last Edited By: Koveras on September 20, 2013

Throw Away The Medal

A character gets a medal for something but throws it away in disdain for his own actions.

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When a character gets a medal or some other token of universal recognition but throws it away, probably because he considers it a personal Medal of Dishonor.

Compare Smash the Symbol, It's All Junk, Your Approval Fills Me with Shame.


  • At the end of the two-parter pilot of Space: Above and Beyond, Nathan throws away a medal he earned in the first victory against the aliens, probably because he blames himself the earlier loss of his lover Kylen to said aliens.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph throws away the medal he has been chasing after for most of the film because getting it back involved betraying Vannelope, his first and only friend, and her hopes of being a racer. Luckily, the hurled medal reveals a critical clue that helps him realize how to put things back together.

Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • September 20, 2013
    This is a needlessly specific subtrope of Medal Of Dishonor.
  • September 20, 2013
    Medal Of Dishonor is "You did something so bad, we made an award for your badness". This trope is "Sure, I won this, but I don't deserve it!"

    Examples I can think of are when someone won the competition, but had to cheat in order to do it.
  • September 20, 2013
    Medal Of Dishonor has two possible meanings, covering the two things you mentioned.
  • September 20, 2013
    Propose to split the tropes?

    Also would like to add comparison to Its All Junk, when a previously coveted item is considered worthless because the owner doesn't believe in what it represents any longer.
  • September 20, 2013
    Nah, since we already have this, I might as well discard this and move my examples to Medal Of Dishonor.