->''"...Little high, little low''\\
''Any way the wind blows''\\
''Doesn't really matter to me, to me..."''
-->-- '''Music/{{Queen}}''', ''Bohemian Rhapsody''

In many series (most notably sitcoms), StatusQuoIsGod. Therefore, any time a character gains something valuable enough to change the status quo, they must lose it by the end of the episode.

If the character gets a financial windfall, then it'll turn out to be depreciated by RidiculousExchangeRates or the TaxmanTakesTheWinnings. If they get the supermodel's phone number, then they'll lose it. If they gain a seat of power, then they'll be forced to give it up. Family oriented series can have the variant of the parents putting the money away for the kids' post-secondary education, which means it will not be touched again until the kids are enrolled.

As these plots repeatedly happen to characters over a long period of time, it creates a world in which some people seem to experience insane amounts of good fortune, only to squander it every single time. Easy Come, Easy Go.

In a variation of this trope, a handicapped character is temporarily cured, but is re-handicapped soon after. Usually used for comedy.

In short: this is RagsToRiches and RichesToRags, zig-zagged in a way similar to HeelFaceRevolvingDoor.

See also: OnOneCondition, HereWeGoAgain, FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome, AFoolAndHisNewMoneyAreSoonParted.


* Commonly used in TV commercials: a chronic loser is about to inexplicably score, until his target realizes he's been [[BrandX using an inferior version]], and not the product being advertised.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'' doesn't have to worry about Status Quo when it comes to their financial situation, they can be living in an expensive hotel one episode, and living in a trailer the next. But Lupin and his crew still have the uncanny tendency to lose every big score minutes after they get it, or have it turn out to be [[ArtifactOfDoom something they're better off not getting their hands on]]. As Lupin is a kleptomaniac of titanic proportions, all he does is shrug it off and seek the next heist.
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' gives this kind of feeling throughout the series; the expensive bounty heads they try to capture normally end up dying right before they reach them, often ending the plot or starting it. In fact, one of the songs from the series, "Don't Bother None," portrays a similar air of easy come, easy go.
** In episode 3, the ending text, normally "See you Space Cowboy," is replaced with "Easy Come, Easy Go."
** The bounties they do manage to catch are usually never big scores either or they're swindled out of it by some form or another.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Happened in ''[[Comicbook/SpiderMan Spider-Man]]'' around ''ComicBook/SecretWarsII'', where Spidey got a notebook from a building that the Beyonder changed to gold, but needed the money for Aunt May. Somehow it was ''exactly'' the amount needed.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'' BigGood Professor Xavier has repeatedly been healed of the spinal cord injury that keeps him in his wheelchair. It never seems to take; the entire universe is conspiring against that poor man's legs.
* ''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour The Thing]]'' has repeatedly been restored to his human form over the years, but, either due to the cure not taking, or him needing to regain his powers for some reason, the poor guy always reverts back to the old rockskin.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Happened to Pinocchio at the end of ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'', when he is turned into a real boy by a stray magic blast and back by another one.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the parody ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights'', blind character Blinkin falls off a tower and proclaims "I can see!" Then he walks into a tree (which he apparently didn't see) and is blind again.
* The trope name is said verbatim by Harry in ''Film/{{Condorman}}'', as the expensive diplomatic car he just successfully stole falls off the end of a boat ramp into the water. Hilariously set up with the FamousLastWords: "Oh, Russ, if you could see me now!"
* Also said verbatim in a Creator/LaurelAndHardy film. Laurel and Hardy are standing under a street lamp, with Hardy holding a small bag, which he explains is full of money. They skimped, scraped, and saved, but now they have enough money to retire. A man appears from the darkness, with a knife in one hand, and takes the money. Hardy looks downcast and unbelieving, while Laurel simply shrugs and says "Ah, well. Easy come, easy go."
* The variant is played for laughs in ''Film/JohnnyDangerously''. Ray Walston plays a blind news stand attendant who continually gets hit in the head with stacks of papers. Each time he gets hit, it cures him but gives him some other problem.
-->"My God. My God! I can see. I can see!"
-->"Oh no. Son-of-a-bitch, Now I'm deaf."
-->"I can hear again and I can see. I can hear again and I can see! But who am I?"

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' lives his life like this. He may find great riches in one book, but he'll spend or lose them quickly and be broke again by the time the plot calls for the next tomb to be robbed. (Unlike the RPG heroes who followed in his footsteps, he didn't spend his loot on better gear that he could use to loot bigger tombs, ad nauseam.)
** This is not uncommon with Robert E. Howard's barbarian heroes. Consider Bran Mak Morn in "Worms of the Earth":
--->''He had drunk deeply and gambled recklessly, after the manner of barbarians, and he had had a remarkable run of luck, due possibly to the indifference with which he won or lost. Gold to the Pict was so much dust, flowing through his fingers. In his land there was no need of it. But he had learned its power in the boundaries of civilization.''
* Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser also cheerfully piss away fortunes.
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' Rincewind has come to recognise that any good fortune or material gain he gets will be lost in some sort of cruel and ironic way. By later books he has started to actively try and avoid rewards in an attempt to thwart this trope (needless to say it never works).
* In ''Literature/OneDayInTheLifeOfIvanDenisovich'', Tzezar, a film director from a relatively high-class background who was sent to TheGulag for his non-conforming theories of film, ensures that he gets regular care packages. However, much of the contents of the package are directed to paying off favors owed to other inmates, as well as surreptitious taxes taken by guards, and he usually spends a while subsisting on ordinary camp rations before the next package arrives. Shukhov regards the substantial time Tzezar spends on rations, plus his generosity with "favors," as more than enough reason to see him sympathetically.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/OurMissBrooks'': Happens to Miss Brooks in "Principal for a Day" where she becomes [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin principal, but only for a day]].
* On ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Klinger is deafened when landmines start exploding due to cold contracting the soil they are buried in. Klinger's hearing quickly recovers, but his elation is instantly deflated when he is told that he would have been invalided out of the Army for being deaf. True to form, Klinger then attempts to fake it, but Col. Potter doesn't buy it.
* ''Series/MicroMen'': Chris Curry and Clive Sinclair build huge personal fortunes on the back of the personal computer boom of the early eighties, only for it to all be wiped out again when the market comes crashing down in '84
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': Carly, Sam and Freddie resolve a potential lawsuit with Spencer's intervention, winning thousands of dollars in a settlement. They waste it all by the end of the episode. In another episode Sam ends up with $500 to pay back Carly and Freddie, then wastes it on an trampoline that is never seen again.
* Even the ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' "upper" ending of the 1996 Christmas special, [[spoiler:where they finally become millionaires because of a lucky find, and end the episode in a mansion]] was overturned when the next special episode showed them back in the flat in Peckham.
* Played with in ''Series/DesperateHousewives''. In between season four and five Bree went from being an unemployed housewife to a nationally renowned celebrity chef and cook book author, and owned her own well off catering company. Though by the end of season six she loses the company, but is not too bothered by it, as she says she can simply build a ''new'' empire all over again.
* In the classic ''Series/TheHoneymooners'' series, Ralph finds a bag of cash on his bus. Convinced he's rich, he sets out to buy various things including a boat with three propellers (only three propellers will do). In the end of course the cash turns out to be counterfeit.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' - Willow is venting her frustration over not being good at witchcraft, unaware she's unconsciously casting spells right and left, comparing herself to the superior Amy, who is now a pet rat in her dorm room:
-->'''Willow:''' She's got access to forces I can't even invoke! I mean she's a perfectly normal girl...[Amy, behind her, becomes human again and looks overjoyed]...then POOF! -- She's a rat. [Amy's a rat again] I could never do something like that.
* ''Series/GetSmart'' - Max is fighting a mad scientist's [[TheIgor bent-over hunchbacked assistant]] who recoils when socked in the jaw and is straightened upright. He delightedly shows himself to his boss, who congratulates him with a healthy slap on the back - which reverts him back.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Any time somebody wins a title, then loses it again the same night.
** Yokozuna beat Wrestling/BretHart in the main event of Wrestling/WrestleMania 9 to become the WWF World Champion. Wrestling/HulkHogan came out, Wrestling/MrFuji (Yokozuna's manager) issued an impromptu challenge, Hogan accepted and beat Yokozuna in a couple of minutes to win the title. This has since gone down as one of the worst moments in Wrestlemania history.
** [[Wrestling/ShaneDouglas Dean Douglas]] gets handed the WWF Intercontinental title after Wrestling/ShawnMichaels has to give up the title (in real life, Shawn was beat up by a group of Marines in Syracuse and was not medically cleared to wrestle), only to lose it the same night to Razor Ramon.
** Chigusa Nagayo won back Wretling/{{A|llJapanWomensProWrestling}}JW's IWA Women's Title belt within a day after being upset by Wrestling/{{Madusa}}.
** "Stunning" [[Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin Steve Austin]] won the Wrestling/{{WCW}} US title in 1995, and lost it again to Wrestling/HacksawJimDuggan.
** Promising rookie [[Wrestling/MollyHolly Starla Sexton]] lost the New Dimension Wrestling Women's Title belt no later than a day after winning it to Malia Hosaka.
** The first Wrestling/{{N|ationalWrestlingAlliance}}WA World TagTeam Title run of Team Extreme in 1999 didn't last a day before Kit Carson and Kris Germany lost it back to The Brotherhood (Knuckles Nelson and Rick Fuller)
** This was pretty much the entire point of the WWF Hardcore Championship, mainly for comic relief as the belt stipulated that it could be won by anyone who pinned the championship with a referee present, 24-7. The vast majority of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WWE_Hardcore_Champions reigns]] were for less than a day.
** Wrestling/TommyDreamer defeated Wrestling/{{Taz|z}} in 2000 to become the Wrestling/{{ECW}} Champion, but Justin Credible challenged him to an impromptu match. Dreamer accepted and lost the title.
** At ''Wrestling/{{CZW}} This Time Its Personal'', The Ballard Brothers won the Tag Team Titles from The Backseat Boyz only to lose it back to them right then and there.
** Wrestling/EddieGuerrero won the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Title belt only to immediately lose it to Wrestling/CMPunk.
** The Prophecy defeated The Second City Saints for the tag team titles at Wrestling/RingOfHonor's ''Round Robin Challenge III'' only to lose them to the Briscoes at the same event. Then the Briscoes lost Round the belts at the same event to...The Second City Saints.
** Wrestling/JillianHall finally beat Wrestling/MickieJames to become Divas Champion, only to have the guest hosts force her to defend the title immediately afterwards against Wrestling/{{Melina}}, who had just come back from an injury.
** Many times in IWA Texas/ACW. Regarding the Anarchy Tag Team Titles alone we have The Submission Squad dropping the titles to Wrestling/JerryLynn and Scot Summers the date they won them November 16th, 2008, The Lost Boys dropping them the day they won them(July 22nd, 2012) to Matthew Palmer and Davey Vega, Dressed To Kill (October 12th, 2014) to The Hole F'n Team.
** Jefferson Saint is awarded the women's title belt at ''AIW It's Absolution 5'' when the previous champion is unable to answer his challenge, only to immediately lose it to Angel Dust(who actually is a woman)
** As the Soul Sisters were celebrating the Wrestling/{{WSU}} Tag Team Title victory, the Midwest Militia came out, challenged them for the belts and took them.
** After Sassy Stephie took Remix Pro Wrestling's Women's title from the departing Wrestling/SaraDelRey, she quickly lost it to Hailey Hatred.
** [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] defeated John Cena in the main event of Wrestling/SummerSlam 2013, only to have Randy Orton cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase and take the title from immediately afterwards.
** After beating Maria Kanellis for Family Wrestling Entertainment's Women's Title, Wrestling/IvelisseVelez was defeated for the belt by Candice [=LeRae=] on the same show.
** Rik Luxury won the Vendetta Pro Heavyweight Title belt from Billy Blade at Vendettaversery but his reign only lasted ten minutes before he lost it to Lil Cholo.
** February 2015, Mr. 450 defeated Phenomeno BJ for the World Wrestling League Americas Title with help from Escobar and Joe Bravo, only for them to turn on him while Negrín brought out a referee and demanded he count Joe Bravo's cover after they were done with 450.
** One of the teams that entered the [[TournamentArc DDT4]] in May were Wrestling/ProWrestlingGuerilla title holders The World's Cutest Tag Team, who lost the titles in the quarter finals to the Monster Mafia, who lost them in the semi finals to the Beaver Boys, who lost them in the last match to Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee.

* Any time Harry actually struck it rich in ''Radio/TheLivesOfHarryLime'', circumstances would cause him to lose the cash almost immediately (the sudden arrival of the police means he has to flee before he can collect the loot; a group of drunken bandits spill the gold dust he has just found into the surf; etc.)

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Barbarians of Lemuria}}'' enforces this by making creative spending of the treasures acquired in the course of a given scenario the game's source of ''experience points''. Since the game fully intends for the player characters to follow in the footsteps of Conan and similar fantasy heroes (see above under Literature), this is entirely genre-appropriate.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Reign}}'' has an optional rule allowing player characters to squander their personal Wealth scores in exchange for ExperiencePoints. The game is also about player-run Companies - governments, businesses, or other institutions - which have their own Treasure score. Thanks to the abstract and nonlinear nature of money in the game, you can withdraw fairly sizable amounts of Wealth from even a moderate Treasure score without decreasing the Company's Treasure... once or twice, precluding endless Company-funded benders.
* ''[[TabletopGame/ProseDescriptiveQualities Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies]]'' has two kinds of temporary forte (character attributes): Ephemera and, er, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Temporary Fortes]]. Grand treasures, favors, and other rewards often become these as making them permanent would give a character a significant extra boost for free. As such, these temporary fortes ''are'' going to go away no matter what the character does, so players are strongly advised to find some way to blow them that advances the plot or is at least entertaining, often providing the GM with story hooks for later in the process.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/RadiataStories'', Jack meets an old man [[spoiler:who turns out to be the fire dragon]] that pays him one million dagols to find a member of the castle hierarchy. But, by the time the old man is gone, Jack discovers it's fake money. He even falls for the same trick again later in the game!
* In the opening scene of ''Zero Sum Game'' the main character's mother chides him/her for being a {{Kleptomaniac Hero}} and commands them to spend the entire rest of the game putting all those little hard-won trinkets ''back''.

* As part of the RunningGag about Bob's roof repeatedly getting destroyed in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'', Bob will frequently wind up, through some DeusExMachina, with a sum of money that is just enough to cover the expense of repairing the roof and whatever other collateral damage happened during the story.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Aylee and Torg's web design business is shut down after legal charges are filed against their ParentCompany, Hereti Corp. [[ContinuityNod Six years later]], however, the charges are dropped, their accounts unfrozen, and suddenly Torg and Aylee are millionaires.
* In ''Webcomic/NineteenNinetySomething'', AlphaBitch Lindsay, while appearing on ''Series/StarSearch'', manages to procure a lucrative contract with [[Creator/GeffenRecords A&M Records]]. She immediately loses said contract when she ''violently'' [[http://1990somethingcomic.com/comic/december-20-1991/ refuses to quit smoking.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', Mr. Krabs acquires a novelty hat worth a million dollars, but when he tries to sell it he discovers it has become worthless.
** Easy comes? He had to fight ''an entire'' army of undeads in order to recover it, even if he fooled Spongebob to buy it from him in the first place, you can't avoid feeling a little bad for the poor guy.
** An earlier episode has Spongebob and Patrick ending up in possession of a magic pencil, with the latter promptly asking to have a magic mustache drawn on him, so that his dreams could come true ([[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext no, we don't know what they are]]). When said mustache flies away, Patrick says the trope name word-for-word.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''
** In one episode,Joe Swanson falls down a hill and temporarily regains the use of his legs. He loses them again a second later when his son plows into him.
** Not to mention the episode "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walkin' on Air." Joe gets donor legs, but after [[AcquiredSituationalNarcissism they went to his head]] his friends and family plot to re-cripple him.
* May be an inversion: In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' Stan Smith is put in a wheelchair by a bullet only to be later be brought out of it - by a bullet.
** Another episode had Klaus get a new human body (that of a black man) and he flushes his goldfish body down the toilet. Later, his human body is injured so the Smiths buy a new fish looking exactly like Klaus' old body for him to be in.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Jasper had his cataracts removed by a laser home defense system, only to be re-blinded by the laser's second pass. He even says the trope's name before walking away like nothing happened.
** Also in an early episode when Homer was able to grow hair from a miracle hair formula which allowed him to be promoted to executive. At the end of the episode, Homer lost his hair and demoted back to his old position all because Bart messed around with the hair formula and wasted all of it.
** Additionally, there was an episode where Homer became the sanitation commissioner of Springfield. Naturally, he lost the position in a matter of days, and even got horse-whipped for doing such a bad job.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' - a variant example is used where Fred and Barney earn a cash reward for capturing some crooks. Instead of losing the money, Wilma announces that the money will be saved for Pebbles' and Bam-Bam's post-secondary education which means that the money would not be mentioned again, while serving to explain how the kids get into college without the expense being a major issue.
* A lot of episodes of ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' have this happen, and it's usually the villain of the episode who has it happen to them. Typically, they steal something and by the end of the episode the Rescue Rangers will have either returned the item themselves or left it somewhere for the police to find.
** Not to mention the number of times they've turned Professor Nimnul's inventions against him, often leading to his arrest.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' takes the "worthless currency" variant up a notch. Pete acquires a chest full of valuable-looking coins, only to be informed that they are Pestoozas, which happen to be worth '''less than nothing'''.
* Happens on one episode of ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim''. Jim has lost his super suit, and tries to gain super powers in order to fight evil, using ideas from comic books. One of his attempts involves flying into a cosmic storm, but according to Peter Puppy that's actually how the hero met his untimely end. Luckily, Jim and Peter not only survive, but become Wonder Worm and the Dog of Destiny.
-->'''Narrator:''' However, our heroes are oppositely charged and their handshake dissipates their powers.
-->'''Peter:''' Oh well. Easy come, easy go. At least we didn't get hurt.
-->''They get struck by lightning''
* Used often enough in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' that it seems like a stock plot point. There's Tucker's ghost powers in ''What You Want'', Danny getting Paulina as a girlfriends in ''Lucky In Love'', the Fentons getting rich in ''Livin' Large'', etc. This isn't helped by the fact that the "good luck" is usually part of some nefarious plot, either.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E8JustForSidekicks Just for Sidekicks]]", Spike offers to babysit the pets of the Mane Six in exchange for jewels. He slowly but surely gives up the jewels one by one to cover his shoddy job/pay for things he broke, predictably losing them all by the end of the episode.