identifies themself with a social construct - a nationality, a religion, a subculture or whatever. As such Bob feels Alice is obligated to be with him, one way or another. Perhaps, given that they identify with the same construct, she will be a 'traitor' to 'their kind'
if she does not date or marry within it. Or maybe he just feels that by belonging to the category he 'deserves' her more than someone that does not. The former self-justification often goes hand-in-hand with the latter. If Alice complies, she might even discover that Bob is willing to take his sense of entitlement further still.
There are several basic ways in which Bob can justify his sense of entitlement, all of which can just as easily apply to women as well:
- Who they are. For example, "She must sleep with me because I'm part of Clan X and a woman of Clan X must always choose X over Y".
- What they do. For example, "She must sleep with me because I repair her television and listen to her drama, therefore she must give me something in return, and this can only mean one thing".
- What they don't do. For example, "She must sleep with me because I wouldn't rape her", or "She must sleep with me because I normally abstain from sleeping around".
- Extreme circumstances: The world is ending, someone is dying, Only You Can Repopulate My Race, or similar.
The who they are
type is usually more aggressive, and often the (implicit if not explicit) attitude of The Native Rival
to the Mighty Whitey
for the hand of The Chief's Daughter
and/or Nubile Savage
. Or any other male prone to accuse people of being a Category Traitor
. The mindset can in some cases lead to Honor-Related Abuse
, especially when based on race/ethnicity/religion. This is a primary source of much of the unfortunate negative attitudes
towards mixed couples, such as black man/white woman and Asian woman/white man pairs (see Where Da White Women At?
and Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow
The what they do
type is usually more passive-aggressive, and one of the big reasons why being a self-defined "Nice Guy
" might mean something entirely different from actually being good or even nice. (See also Nice Guys Finish Last
; contrast Dogged Nice Guy
and All Girls Want Bad Boys
, where the nice guy actually is
nice, or at least expected to be seen as such according to the narrative
.) However, this behavior is not limited to guys who consider themselves nice. A straight Jerkass
character might buy a woman a drink... without informing her that he considers her a very cheap hooker who he has now bought and is entitled to use.
The what they don't do
type can easily come across as Insane Troll Logic
, but is actually quite reasonable From a Certain Point of View
: the view of a guy who believes that regular male sexuality is mostly about Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny
, and that women owe him a debt of gratitude for not being a rapist like those other guys. (Of course, he might even be
a rapist — making the whole thing even more ironic.) Or the view of a gal who learned to identify a bit too much with My Girl Is Not a Slut
. In both cases, the character might come across as a Sour Prude
Since this trope in general and the who they are
type in particular is based on a traditional male gender role, it's mostly male. However, female examples can exist, even with the who they are
type. For example, a western woman might invoke Asian Hooker Stereotype
when a white man dates an Asian woman. And of course, certain female characters
might engage in the worst male stereotypes, especially when Played for Laughs
See also Sour Prudes
and Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny
, as well as Lie Back and Think of England
and My Girl Is Not a Slut
. Polar opposite of Ethical Slut
, where characters of any genders have fun together — and encourage potential partners to want to have sex with them, rather than trying to squeeze favors out of someone who just isn't interested.
Compare Entitled Bastard
, It's All About Me
, and Prince Charming Wannabe
. Contrast Sexual Extortion
, where the creep backs her demands with threats/"offers" rather than moralizing and guilt-tripping, and Wants a Prize for Basic Decency
where Bob/Alice expects a reward for acting like a decent person.
Don't confuse with the trope Nice Guy
, which is a guy who is genuinely, well, nice
. There is
the slang term "nice guy" (preferably with quotation marks, for Sarcasm Mode
) for the kind of person who acts like this, but a true Nice Guy
is about as far from this trope as possible. Dogged Nice Guy
, however, is closely related to this trope.
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Anime and Manga
- The Unwanted Harem trope in general often features this, in that it never seems to occur to the competing harem members that the object of their affection isn't actually obligated to choose any of them.
- Ai no Kusabi: Iason, the highest ranking Blondy of the ruling class, has this general attitude about his low class "Pet" Riki. That he's entitled to sleep with Riki for no other reason than it's his right and the fact that Riki is a non-citizen so therefore has no reason to follow the strict No Sex Allowed laws with him. At least, that's the excuse he uses.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica inverts (and may deconstruct) the trope with Sayaka Miki. She does lots of things for her hospitalized friend Kyosuke and seems to view herself as "an ideal white knight(ess)" in regards to him (despite the guy being a massive case of Oblivious to Love), but she actually considers herself unworthy of his affections; she is seen calling herself "a bad girl" when alone for wishing to be loved, is rather disturbed when Mami warns her about the trope, and she also never ever can spit out her love for him. And so, Sayaka being in this situation does NOT mix with her other severe problems (black and white view of the world, nonexistant self-esteem, the terrible changes brought by the Magical Girl lifestyle, etc.) and it becomes one of the reasons why she splinters badly enough to have a Face-Heel Turn and become a witch. So in the end, Sayaka does lots of things for Kyousuke, but her view of love is so extremely unrealistic and idealised that she hates herself for even wanting to be loved by him. It's clearly seen in the Grand Finale, when Sayaka's soul decides that she'd rather stay dead and go with Madoka than interfere with Kyousuke and his girlfriend Hitomi, the girl who was loving but also assertive enough to spell her feelings for him when she had the chance.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion has Homura play this trope straight for Madoka...almost. It's less that she feels like she's entitled to have Madoka and more that she feels entitled to make a world where Madoka is alive and happy, even if Madoka doesn't want it.
- Becomes played fully straight when Homura spells out in no uncertain terms that as far as she cares, a "happy" Madoka is a Madoka that is completely under her influence, does nothing of her own accord, follows Homura's intentions for her submissively, and is completely passive and dependent on Homura for protection and support.
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Perhaps due to her clear social cluelessness, throughout most of the series Yozora simply assumes that being the main character Kodaka's childhood friend means that him loving her is inevitable regardless of anything else that happens. When she realizes that, in real life, this isn't an instant romance button, she has a very bad freak out. (All the more so because the entire time, she's only been able to control her envy of her rival Sena's various merits by constantly telling herself that none of it matters, because she is the childhood friend and thus no amount of beauty, talent, wealth or even genuine love on Sena's part would win her Kodaka. When she discovers that he's actually known and was friends with Sena since long before he ever knew her, she falls into utter despair once again.)
- Witch Hunter: The main character repeatedly declares that Princess Halloween is HIS. Keep in mind that this means that he sees the freaking princess of Avalon (the girl whose hand in marriage would equal rulership over the entire continent) as his personal slave rather than a meal ticket to ultimate political power. Which is disturbing but also amazing (even for a rich kid).
- In Sakura Gari before he fell in love with Masataka, he clearly disregards Masataka's personal space and gropes him... when Masataka made clear he had no interest in sex. Souma is implied to have disregarded this because Masataka is a good-looking servant and Souma has slept with the help. After... he expects Masataka to fall into his arms because he loves Masataka and that Masataka should accept him beside the very unsettling discovery Masataka found. When Masataka refuses him out of fear, Souma rapes him.
- In Bitchy Butch, Butchy herself is often a (female) example of this trope, ranting about how random women ought to "be loyal to their gender" and have sex with her rather than with the men they are in love with.
- In one Mega Python album, the male protagonist demand sex from a random woman, using the argument that she must sleep with him because he's gay. When she dispute that he'd even want to have sex with her if he's gay, he replies that he's considering getting turned straight.
- In one strip of Inrutat (by the same guy who makes Pondus,) a male dinosaur is pleading extreme circumstances with a female dinosaur, as the Extinction Level Event Comet is blazing down from the sky.
- Yondu pulled an extreme circumstances on Photon, thinking they were the last two of their species, in the 1990s Guardians of the Galaxy. It didn't go well. (Jim Valentino meant to eventually get them together, but it never panned out.)
- In City of Dreams, the white prince seems to have more then a little bit of this mindset, but this turns out to be caused by the fact that he actually IS her boyfriend - yep, Christine's sexually repressed Heteronormative Crusader real life boyfriend is a dreamer too, but as much as he'd like to tell himself he's only there to rescue her, he did in fact end up in Morrigon of his own accord...
- Japanese film Gate of Hell presents a variant on the what they do type. A samurai is loyal to the emperor during a rebellion. The samurai's lord offers him a reward for loyalty. The samurai asks for the hand of an attractive lady-in-waiting at court. He is informed that she's already married. He doesn't care.
- Debated in Female Perversions, a debate played for horror: A particularly creepy woman is holding a little lecture about how a woman "must" be an empty canvas for men to project their desire on. Her niece's (slightly delayed) response is to start cutting herself - carving the word "love" into her own flesh and explaining that she meant to write "hate". Maybe she didn't know the difference anymore?
- The case for Chad in Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil who believes that he is entitled to Allison because she and him are special and goes crazy when she falls for Dale who he sees as a hillbilly and beneath him
- In the Johnny Depp Dark Shadows movie, Angelique argued that she and Barnabas belonged together because they were both monsters.
- The German sniper Zoller in Inglourious Basterds spends most of the movie being nice to Shoshanna and flirting with her, but after being rejected one too many times he gets angry and violent, frustrated that she has not warmed up to him and shown him the respect he feels entitled to, as a war hero.
- A complicated case in 1986’s Castaway (not the Tom Hanks movie), based on the true story of Gerald Kingsland (Oliver Reed), a middle-aged London writer who decides to spend a year on a deserted island in the south Pacific, Robinson Crusoe style, and then write a book about it. He places an ad for a "wife" to accompany him, which is answered by the beautiful young Lucy Irvine (Amanda Donohoe). Lucy wants the job and sleeps with Gerald in London to ensure she gets it, and even officially marries him to satisfy immigration requirements. However, once they’re alone on the island, she decides that she doesn’t want to continue the sexual aspect of their relationship. He believes that it was clearly understood by both that part of the reason he wanted her along was for sex, and that she "welched" on the deal after getting what she wanted. She, of course, counters that no matter what she can refuse to sleep with him if she chooses. (The fact that she spends much of their time on the island in no more than a bikini bottom, and often less, only increases his frustration.)
- The Turner Diaries argues that women should not sleep with those of another race, claiming that those who do so "defile their race". The male white nazi "heroes" even murder a lot of white women, hanging signs saying "I defiled my race" on their corpses. (And no, calling the protagonists "nazi" is not Godwin's Law - the book is written by a neonazi for neonazis.)
- Mike "Ghost" Harmon in the Paladin of Shadows series is openly and blatantly a what they don't do type. This is a major contributing factor to the meme Oh, John Ringo, No!
- By the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire, practically none of the men looking to marry Daenerys to make their lives and respective likelihoods of becoming king better think even for a second that she might say no. Aegon Targaryen VI has to be flat out told by Tyrion, "She has her own claim to the Iron Throne, her own kingdom and, oh yeah, the only dragons in the world and you think she's going to give that up for you and your fuck-all?" for him to change his mind from "Of course she'll marry me, I'm me!"
- In Twilight, Jacob starts to develop this view towards Bella. He argues that he was there for her when Edward was not, and thus she should dump Edward and switch to him. This leads to him forcibly kissing her twice to show her what she's missing, a tactic which works on her. This trope also is implied to be how imprinting operates. When a werewolf imprints on a girl, everyone - from the werewolf himself to the rest of his pack to everyone who knows about imprinting - expects the girl to come to terms with what's going on and hook up with the werewolf. Jacob even says that while the girl technically has a choice in the matter, he doesn't see why she would choose to turn down the werewolf.
- Jonathan got a bit like this towards Alanna in the Song of the Lioness quartet, believing that she was sure to marry him because he was royalty. Alanna doesn't take it well.
- Gale Hawthorne shows tendencies of this in The Hunger Games. He assumes Katniss will reciprocate his feelings because he is her best friend and while she's technically known Peeta longer they were only acquaintances while Gale and Katniss had a real friendship. In the end, though, he doesn't seem to have any hard feelings about her loving Peeta.
- In Frankenstein, the wretch has this assumption when he asks Victor to create a female wretch for him.
"But one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me."
- In When A Man's A Man, by Harold Wright, the character Phil expresses this opinion. Because the book was written in 1916, his doing so is considered heroic.
He rose to his feet abruptly. "All right," he said, almost roughly. "I'll go now. But don't make any mistake, Kitty. You're mine, girl, mine, by laws that are higher than the things they taught you at school. And you are going to find it out. I am going to win you—just as the wild things out there win their mates. You are going to come to me, girl, because you are mine—because you are my mate."''
- At least Phil realizes that he has to 'win' (ie: convince) the girl of this 'truth'. He is merely stating his confidence that he can do so.
- Snape from Harry Potter seems to have had at least a degree of this in regards to Lily Evans. They were childhood friends who bonded over being magical kids in a world of muggles, and Snape started crushing on her in high school. She ended her friendship (and any potential romance) in their fifth year, when he became more and more invested in the dark arts and publicly called her a slur, but he never stopped loving her. A good portion of his bullying of Harry was due to him being Lily's son to a man he hated.
Live Action TV
- Peter Cambell in Mad Men does the what they do type with a German au pair that his neighbours hired. He goes through some trouble to fix a dress with red wine or some such spilled on it, but it's only after he returns it that she tells him she already has a boyfriend. Her reactions indicate that it was naivety about his intentions rather than an attempt to use him, but he still forces himself on her a bit later. This comes back to bite him when the neighbour finds out.
- There is a very subtle case of this in Merlin between Arthur and Guinevere. After he impulsively kisses her at her house, he tells her that there's no chance for them to ever have a relationship. Okay, fair enough. But later, when she's kidnapped by a local warlord and held for ransom, Arthur defies his father and rushes out to rescue her, telling Merlin all the way there that he and Gwen can't ever be a couple and it's useless to dwell on what can never be. Thing is, he's completely unaware that Lancelot is currently staging his own rescue attempt, and when it becomes obvious that Gwen rather fancies his competition, he immediately gets huffy and tries to save face by saying that he only turned up because Morgana begged him to. So despite what he told Gwen, he actually did expect her to return his feelings, and gets sulky when she takes his words to heart and searches for love elsewhere.
- Cagney & Lacey episode "Rules of the Game" introduces a high-flying Detective Captain decides that he's entitled to have Chris after she engages in some (very) mild flirting. He threatens her career and even her job itself if she turns him down. He thinks that mild-flirting means that Christine doesn't have the right to turn him down.
- Becomes the plot point in an episode of Law & Order: SVU. A girl gets pregnant by a known bad boy type. She later appears to hang herself after getting harassed by a grown woman on the internet, pretending to be the bad boy who dumped her. Instead, she was murdered by her long time boyfriend who felt entitled to have her, because they both made a promise to not have sex until marriage, and only with each other.
- Spike falls in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer because of what he interprets as Foe Yay. He then says he will kill Drucilla for her, and is maddened when this doesn't force her to even pretend to love him.
- Girl Writes What, in this video, discusses how the trope is often invoked in defense of reprehensible behavior on the part of the pursued. She focuses particularly on analyzing and deconstructing the claim that "Nice Guys" are Types B and C. (Predictably, feminists aren't buying it; especially since some of the claimed reformed "Nice Guys" admit to those behaviors, although others will attest that this is still used to unfairly pin malice on a Dogged Nice Guy).
- Another Youtuber, the1janitor puts his own two cents on this kind of behavior. He discusses how many so-called "Nice Guys" seem to confuse being nice with being an Extreme Doormat, mixed with tones of Wants a Prize for Basic Decency.
- The princes of Morocco and Aragon both feel this way about Portia in The Merchant of Venice, and, when they each have to choose a casket to win her hand in the Engagement Challenge, they both contemplate choosing the silver casket, labeled "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves." Morocco sums their logic up nicely:
"As much as he deserves"; why, that's the lady,
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces and in qualities of breeding,
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I strayed no further, but chose here?
- He doesn't end up choosing that casket, but Arragon does. They both get sent home, and Portia ends up marrying a poor gentleman below her station.
- In The Taming of the Shrew, Gremio believes he's entitled to Bianca because a) he's her father's neighbor, b) he was suitor first, and c) he's rich. Of course, we're not meant to like him, and she ends up with Lucentio, a much more palatable, lucky-to-have-you suitor.
- Despite his massive Draco in Leather Pants fandom and those who genuinely sympathize with his admittedly hard lot in life, The Phantom of the Opera owns this trope in his relationship with Christine. Much like the "Not-Really-Nice-Nice Guy" mentioned below, The Phantom misrepresents his intentions when he begins to mentor Christine disguised as the ghostly "Angel of Music" her late father sent to her, using this as an opportunity to stalk her and lure her towards loving him in return for the help he's given her with her theater career. When Christine refuses, frightened a little by the Phantom's deformity and a lot by his his real personality, The Phantom... reacts poorly.
- Thuy in Miss Saigon towards Kim, partly because of who they are (Kim is in love with Chris, a white American soldier), and also because Kim was betrothed to him when she was 13.
- The protagonist of the game Next Station: "Mary should love me, I loved her so much and I was so niiice to her!"
- In Persona 4, Adachi feels entitled to have both Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi (who is a high school student) simply because he was interested in them, saying he saw them first. When he doesn't get what he wants, because Mayumi was having an affair and because he thought Saki was flirting with someone, he kills them both. The former was an accident, though the lead-up had some pretty heavy Attempted Rape undertones to it, while the latter was intentional.
- A possible and popular interpretation of Braid's main character's behaviour, the ending level all but stating that his advances towards the princess aren't exactly invited.
- Both fans and haters of Sie Kensou say that he thinks Athena Asamiya owes him sex since he's had a massive crush on her from early times in the franchise. The haters insist that he's an entitled shit who wants a pityfuck and would rape Athena if he could, the fans reply that he does deserve Athena's affections better for supporting her and call her Ungrateful Bitch. In reality, Kensou very rarely falls into this: he's shown as being comically jealous when it seems Athena may not like him — but in the counted times when she does need help, he helps her out WITHOUT any second intentions.
- In Fate/stay night, Gilgamesh decides that Saber is his destined to be his wife simply on the basis that he's so awesome that he deserves to have whatever he wants. Nobody else quite agrees with him on this, especially not Saber.
- In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, George confesses that he used to be this sort of guy, assuming he should be more popular with women because he "treated them well" and that he wasn't because they have bad taste in men and prefer jerks. He hit a turning point when he realized that Battler was getting more attention from Shannon and other girls not because he was a rude punk, but rather because he was an outgoing and genuine guy who didn't put up a "Nice Guy" front simply to win over girls. George admits in hindsight that his past behavior was pretty douchey and entitled, and he'd rather forget he was ever like that.
- Something Positive sums up the "Nice Guy" variety.
- Oddly enough, a later storyline features a flashback to Davan in high school, where he has the same basic attitude about a girl he tutored. In this case it was his sister Dahlia who made him realize how his perspective was messed up.
- Becca in Peter Is the Wolf is this, bordering on Yandere, for Peter. The only thing holding her back is that wolf!Sarah is nearly twice her height and can fling Becca out of the way... or possibly worse. However, her history of being regularly raped by her father gives her a Freudian Excuse regarding her possessiveness.
- Homestuck: This is a common fandom interpretation of Eridan, albeit in a more mild form: he was Feferi's moirail for a long time and then was quite displeased when she not only wasn't interested in a romantic relationship but wanted to break up their moirallegiance as well. However, while he did later kill her, there were extenuating circumstances, so it's a bit ambiguous.
- Cronus, on the other hand, is a Nice Guy (tm) all the way down. He insists that he's a sensitive soul and only wants to be there for everyone and gets very pissed off when they don't want to be around him...but makes it very clear that the only reason he hangs around anyone is because he thinks that means he deserves to sleep with them and doesn't give the slightest shit about their feelings. All of this combined with his refusal to take no for an answer unless there's seriously no other choice makes for a very creepy character.
- Shishi from The Law of Purple feels this way about Blue because she comes from a seriously misandristic culture and has "dibs"
- Makoto of Red String does this when he is initially introduced as the antagonist. Unfortunately for the readers, the author later fell in love with the character and agreed with him...thus taking this to the logical conclusion of everyone in the comic feeling Makoto "deserved" Miharu. Including people who had every reason to hate the guy. The only one to ever call Makoto out on his sense of entitlement is Kazuo, but unfortunately the scene was intended not to highlight a serious character flaw, but the author trying to make the reader feel sorry for poor Makoto instead. Not shockingly, the narrative awards him Miharu's hand in marriage and thus 100% backs this trope.
- Jim from Girls with Slingshots is supposed to be the Dogged Nice Guy version. However, the readers don't see as much of this as the author intended, so all we see is Jim trying to buy Jamie a million flowers and getting rejected hard, then periodically turning up to lament his loneliness while others ignore or mock him for it, leaving Jim wondering: if all these guys who are jerks to him get girls, why doesn't he?
- Heartlessbitches.com shows how this trope can apply to self-proclaimed, vocal "nice guys". Basically, these are the people who think that being friends with a woman, and listening to her talk about stuff/accompanying her on shopping entitles them to be her romantic interest. There is also the double standard that these sorts tend to want attractive women, but dislike women who date attractive men.
- Are you fed up with your Male friends who are looking to date a woman with the appearance of a supermodel, and yet they continually whine about how "women don't like nice guys - they only want good-looking assholes"?
- This piece also analyzes the what they do and what they don't do Nice Guys.
- The Nostalgia Chick once had a long rant about what an asshole Todd in the Shadows was because he didn't "want her love and affection". Made all the funnier because Lindsay and Todd are a couple in real life, and apparently quite happy with each other.
- In Jacksfilms' "Dubstep Solves Everything 3" music video, Jack and Mike fight over who gets "the girl on the bench", ignoring her opinion in the matter. Upon winning the dubstep battle, Jack says, "To the victor go the spoils," then drags her off by the hair despite her loud protests. In this case, the (parodied) message is that, "because I won a battle over her, she must date me."
- The Cracked article 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women postulates that part of this is because pop culture has taught guys that society "owes" them a hot girl.
- This article from The Onion offers a rare Perspective Flip on the matter, not defending the "nice guy" MO but raising the question of whether a girl who knowingly manipulates him is really any better.