->'''Brenda''': Don't you throw that ring at me. It's such a cliché, I'll barf.\\
'''Nate''' *throws it*: There. Barf.
-->-- ''Series/SixFeetUnder'', "I'll Take You"

A character breaks up with someone and deliberately returns what had been a personal gift, typically [[ReturningTheWeddingRing a ring]]. A good way to rub salt in the wound, even when done politely.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Near the beginning of ''{{Manga/Monster}}'', Dr. Tenma's fiance does this with her engagement-ring, and a decidedly unpleasant smile, after Tenma's fall from grace - and adds insult to injury by dropping it at his feet, before walking inside to immediately start flirting with the guy who got Tenma's promotion instead of him.
* In ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula ZERO'', Asuka throws her engagement ring at Hayato after he decides to return to racing, thereby breaking his promise to not to race again after a near-fatal crash and she runs away crying. They reconcile their relationship later.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Ino gave Sakura a ribbon to pull back her hair so that she couldn't [[ShrinkingViolet hide behind it]]. Sakura later broke off their friendship after realizing they were both crushing on the same guy ''and'' Sakura also realizing that [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter she needed to break off from Ino's shadow]]; after they graduated from the academy, Sakura returned her ribbon, using her hitai-ate as a headband instead. Even though they'd already been rivals for a while by that point, Ino's still visibly taken aback by her giving it back.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', Soujiro returns the wakizashi Shishio gave him when they first met after deciding to cut ties with him. Shishio is so enraged that he [[AGlassInTheHand crushes the wakizashi in his hands]].

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', when Janey Slater breaks up with Dr. Manhattan, she throws the pair of earrings he gave her at him.

[[folder: Films - Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanMaskOfThePhantasm'', Bruce Wayne's fiance, Andrea Beaumont, breaks up with him with a DearJohnLetter that also enclosed the engagement ring.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', Moses returns the ring back to Ramses when he refuses to free his people and that Moses must carries on God's mission, even if it means breaking their brotherhood.

[[folder: Films - Live Action]]
* In Tibetan culture, returning a gift is a great insult. This is portrayed in the movie ''Film/SevenYearsInTibet'', where the main character returns a gifted jacket on purpose, because he wanted to make clear they ''really'' weren't friends anymore.
* In ''Film/FantasticFour2005'', Ben Grimm's fiancee silently indicates that she can't love a seven-foot-tall mound of sentient orange rock by taking off the engagement ring he gave her and setting it on the pavement before walking away. To further twist the knife, Grimm's fingers are now so thick that he can't even pick up the discarded ring.
* In a flashback in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Two Towers'', Elrond briefly convinces Aragorn that the latter's relationship with Arwen is doomed, and Aragorn tries to end it by returning the necklace she gave him in the prior movie. Arwen replies, "It was a gift. ''Keep it.''"
* In ''Film/{{Grease}}'', Danny asks Sandy to wear his high school ring and she accepts. Almost immediately afterward, he tries to cop a feel and they have a tussle, which ends with her getting out of the car and throwing the ring at him before storming away.
* ''Film/TheGoonies'' has Andy returning Troy's jacket to him as a wordless breakup.
* ''Film/{{Upldr}}'' has Sophia returning [[spoiler: her engagement ring]] to Victor as well as all of the other stuff.
* Used to [[spoiler:exorcise the ghost]] in ''Film/OneHundredFeet''. The wedding ring was [[spoiler:the only object keeping Mike present in the world]] and upon its return, he leaves.
* ''Film/StarTrekBeyond''. After they break up, Uhura tries to return the Vulcan necklace Spock gave her, as it's a family heirloom. However Spock says it's not a Vulcan tradition to return a gift once it has been given. [[ChekhovsGun Which is just as well]].
* In ''Film/CastAway'', Chuck returns the pocket watch his then-girlfriend Kelly gave to him before he spent 3 years on a deserted island and Kelly got married to another man during that time. He explains to her that it's a family heirloom that should stay with her family.
* Zigzagged in ''Film/{{Contact}}'' with the compass Joss gives to Ellie, at first she refuses the gift but then he leaves it on her bedside along with his number, several years later she gives it back to him after Drumlin is chosen over Ellie to go on the machine because of a question Joss asked her regarding her faith, but later just before Ellie goes on the second machine he gives the compass back to her.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* An interesting variant is found in the short story "[[http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/howells/editha.htm Editha]]," by William Dean Howells. The title character returns her engagement ring, along with every other gift he ever gave her, to her fiance before he goes off to war. Her intentions are good, if overdramatic; she tells him she wants him to love their country first, even before herself. He's killed in action, and she finds out from his mother that her act basically stripped him of the will to live.
* Diana Villiers does this to Stephen in one of the ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' novels; when he receives the letter in which she breaks their engagement, he can feel the ring inside the envelope before he even reads the message.
* A Creator/PeterDavid ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel, ''Q-In-Law,'' has a friendly alien woman give Wesley Crusher a handmaiden in return for some favor or other. The handmaiden is beautiful, enthusiastic - and devastatingly clumsy, and Crusher swiftly grows chagrined by her antics. Naturally he can't give back the gift without inciting an incident. [[spoiler: it turns out that the woman was ''lying'' about returning a gift being an insult - she was using the situation as an excuse to get rid of the kind-hearted but annoying handmaiden. In the end, after the girl helps keep the woman from killing her betrothed husband (it's a long story), the woman takes her back.]]
* In ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility,'' Willoughby puts the final nail in the coffin when he returns all of Marianne's letters and the lock of hair that he'd asked from her, and then marrying a Miss Gray for her fortune after having giving everyone the serious impression that he was going to propose to Marianne. This turns out to be the ''least'' caddish of his actions.
* In the ''Creator/CarlHiassen'' novel ''Lucky You'', a major character had been engaged six times, broke the engagement six times, and returned the ring five times. The time she kept the ring was because the breakup was over the man developing a disturbing fascination with body piercings, and she was afraid of what he'd do with it if it was returned.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Lampshaded in ''Series/SixFeetUnder'', as seen in the page quote.
* In a reversal and inversion of this trope, during the GrandFinale of ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Charles demands that Margaret return to him a book that he gave her as a present. She grudgingly obliges, and at their final farewell, he returns the book to her, this time with a heartfelt message written inside.
* Another inverse on ''Series/{{Greek}}'': When Evan breaks up with Casey, he coldly demands his lavalier back in the most publicly humiliating way imaginable.
* Seen in ''Series/{{The 100}}'' when Raven returns a metal pendant Finn made her when she finds out he slept with Clarke.


[[folder: Music]]
* Mentioned in the Music/HermansHermits post-breakup song "Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter"
-->She wants to return the things I bought her,
-->Tell her she can keep them just the same.
* [[PlayingWithAtrope Played With]] in the Music/TaylorSwift song "All Too Well": The ex-boyfriend mails back everything ''except'' the most personal item, a scarf that got left at his place.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* The song "[[PrettyInMink Take Back Your Mink]]" from ''Theatre/GuysAndDolls'' inspired the trope name.
* In the opera ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'', the last thing Carmen does before Don Jose stabs her to death is remove a ring he gave her and throw it at his feet.
* In ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'', after Anna's tragic confrontation with the King, she tells the Kralahome that she will be on the next boat leaving UsefulNotes/{{Bangkok}}, takes off the ring which the King not long before the confrontation had insisted she put on, and tells the Kralahome to return it to him. The script calls this "the final humiliation for his King to suffer."
* In ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', Scrooge's fiancee breaks up with him by returning his ring and saying, "Since you love nothing so much as gold, you should be pleased to have it back."
* A fairly passive version is done in ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', when a meeting between Ophelia and Hamlet is organized and she greets him by offering to give back several items he had recently given her (most likely love tokens, given that they were betrothed). Given that Hamlet was not in the best mental state and soliloquizing about suicide and death just before the meeting, he doesn't take it well.
* In ''Theatre/TheMostHappyFella'', the last thing Rosabella does for Tony before leaving him is handing him back the amethyst tie-pin which he left her as a tip when she was working as a waitress and he first saw her. When they reconcile by doing a RelationshipReboot, he gives it to her again, this time in person.
* In ''Theatre/TheMoonIsBlue'', Patty decides to give David back the six hundred dollars, an amount equivalent to fifteen weeks of her salary, he gave her, when she overhears a remark implying that she ought to have remained beholden to him for that duration.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* A variant is seen in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' - a tradition among Skyrim's jarls is to send their neighbor an axe if their relations are strained or uncertain. If he or she accepts the gift, all is well, but if they reject and return the weapon, it means the leaders have business to settle on the battlefield.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* [[http://rageofthenerd.tumblr.com/post/26515951125/bennyslegs-thusspakekate-oh-dammit-now-i This Tumblr post]] humorously shipping [[CargoShip US/UK]] interprets [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution the Boston Tea Party]] in this manner.
--> “Fine. You know what, ''fine.'' Here, just, see all this goddamn tea you gave me? Well you can take it back. Here, fish it out of the harbor for all I care.”
--> "Don't do this."
--> “I have no choice. I’ll never be anything more than a colony to you.”