Created By: RedneckRockerDecember 8, 2012 Last Edited By: RedneckRockerJanuary 22, 2013

Petty Generosity

Sure, I'll donate, but I want recognition

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Trope
Odds are you've met this person in real life at some point. They're willing to help out via donating money, volunteering, whatever. But they want EVERYBODY to know that they were involved.

A similar example is occasionally shown with superheroes: It's not just that they saved the day; they want people to know it was them. To them, The Greatest Story Never Told isn't acceptable.

In short, the opposite of a Humble Hero.

Do We Have This One? If not, Rolling Updates as they occur.

Examples:

  • In an episode of The King Of Queens, a mistake with a donation to the library gets the library named after Carrie and Doug. Rather than admit their fault, Carrie suggests that they just let it slide. She practically quotes the title of this trope when she admits that she's generous, but just really really petty.
    • In another episode, Doug has volunteered as a Big Brother, and is bragging about it to everybody, acting as though he's borderline saintly for this one act of decency.
  • Inverted in an episode of Seinfeld, where the owner of a pizza shop doesn't notice George dropping change into the tip jar, and when he looks up as George leaves, he gives him a, "Thanks for nothing" look.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • December 8, 2012
    Bisected8
    • This appears in The Bible. A group of rich merchants sneered at someone of lesser means, who made a smaller donation, and were called out for only donating large sums of money (rather than sacrificing a large portion of their wealth, as the poor person did). This makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • December 8, 2012
    StarSword
    Real Life:
    • This is partly why PBS and NPR have corporate sponsors: it's another form of advertising.
  • December 8, 2012
    justanotherrandomlurker
    Inverted in an episode of Seinfeld, where the owner of a pizza shop doesn't notice George dropping change into the tip jar, and when he looks up as George leaves, he gives him a, "Thanks for nothin'" look.
  • December 8, 2012
    MorganWick
  • December 9, 2012
    Chabal2
    Part of the setup to this joke: Two Mafia brothers are terrorizing their neighborhood. When one dies, the surviving brother goes to the church and tells the priest he'll pay for all the repairs to the church... if the priest calls the dead guy a saint in the eulogy. The priest wrestles with it for a while (the church is very badly in need of repairs) before accepting. And the eulogy went thus: "This man was a liar, a thief, and a murderer. But compared to his brother here, he's a veritable saint!"
  • December 9, 2012
    reub2000
    Is this simply about people who have a lot of buildings named after them, or something more specific?
  • December 9, 2012
    Lomerell
    Would Petty Generosity be a simpler name that accomplishes the same thing?
  • December 9, 2012
    MorganWick
    Is "petty" even the right word here?
  • December 9, 2012
    Chernoskill
    We have to be careful to differentiate between sponsoring and donatin for a good cause, knowing that it will bring some nice advertising with it.
  • December 9, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Only Generous For The Recognition. Wanting recognition isn't necessarily petty. Suppose are Secretly Dying, would it be called "petty" to want people to remember you?
  • December 9, 2012
    StarSword
    TV:
    • Smallville: Once Clark starts working as a superhero, he makes a point of leaving his Kryptonian clan crest (the Superman symbol) burned into his handiwork so people know the Blur was involved.
  • December 10, 2012
    Chabal2
  • December 10, 2012
    MetaFour
    • From the Bible, in the book of Acts, a married couple donate money to the apostles, but falsely claim that the gift was all the money they had. For this, God strikes them dead, right there.
  • December 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In The Simpsons Mr. Burns, wanting to be beloved and acting on Homer's advice, cuts a Giant Novelty Check to the local childrens hospital and has Homer deliver it. The hospital names a wing after...Homer, mistaking the messenger for the message.
  • December 17, 2012
    Larkmarn
    A subtrope of Conspicuous Consumption.
  • January 22, 2013
    Desertopa
    In Azure Dreams, Ghosh Rhodes contributes large amounts of money to the building of a public fountain to improve the image of the city... purely to impress the girl who's doing collections for the project. He'll consistently and deliberately one-up the protagonist by donating 1 GP more than whatever you decide to donate, making him and the protagonist the two largest donors by the time the fountain is actually built.
  • January 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: In an Overly Long Gag set at the Golden Globe Awards, Ricky Gervais puts a $10 bill in the tip jar at the bar but the bartender has his back turned, so Gervais makes a long speech about it to "prove" he'd done it. Then after the bartender turns his back again Gervais removes the money.

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