You all heard of your honor-based heroes
saying things like "Respect is earned." Even so, everyone tries to follow that principle in order to be taken seriously instead of being a jerk.
However, what the character will realize is that gaining someone's respect is more difficult than expected. He does everything that is expected of others, but it seems that they think it's not good enough at all. Children aim to boost up their grades in school to make their parents proud
, and even if they're doing better, parents will still remain unimpressed. A student is working hard on playing basketball, but someone else think that he's still piss-poor. The person asks himself this question: what will it take to earn respect?
Explanations on the person withholding the respect may be either he doesn't seem to have little to no faith in the hero (much like the Cynical Mentor
) or the fact that he's just a plain Jerkass
who just doesn't like the hero.
If this was a Broken Aesop
, the the message would be "no matter how hard you try to earn someone's respect, it will never happen."
Compare Dude, Where's My Respect?
where this is the mindset. This trope is where the character works hard to gain respect, but to no avail. A similar idea to Being Good Sucks
. Compare Reformed, but Rejected
where it's about earning forgiveness and redemption. If the hero does earn the respect he deserves, then it's Earn Your Happy Ending
. This is the curse of the character who has a "Well Done, Son!" Guy
as a father.