Even Beggars Won't Choose It
I wandered all around the town until I chanced to meet
A hobo who was lookin' for a handout on the street
He said he'd take most any old thing, he was a desperate man
But when I showed him the [BOOM BA-BOOM], he turned around and ran!
It's easy to be picky and choosy about the brand, make, prettiness, country of origin and such of something you want if you already have
access to a million of it. If you don't
, on the other hand, you're more likely to be desperate for it - especially if "it" is an essential need in your situation - and be willing to take whatever you can get. To paraphrase the old saying, beggars are hardly ever choosers.
Unless they're given this
option. In which case, the beggars scream in terror, run the other way, and make it absolutely clear that the quality of this object is so absolutely horrible that even people who desperately need it would reject it
. Can be played for either laughs
, depending on the context.
Compare Even Evil Has Standards
, Even Nerds Have Standards
, Everyone Has Standards
, Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth
. Contrast Even the Rats Won't Touch It
, which is specifically about substandard food.
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Films — Live-Action
- In The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp tells Maria she must put on a better dress than the one she has on before meeting his children as their new governess. Maria states she doesn't have one, as she is a nun and when nuns enter the convent, their worldly clothes are given to the poor. The Captain then asks why she still has the one she's wearing now. Maria replies: "The poor didn't want this one."
- Chungking Express: When Agent 223, who has been collecting pineapple cans with a May 1 peremption date in memory of his girlfriend dumping him, tries to give one to a beggar on the night of April 30, the beggar lobs it back at him. "It's past its sell-by date! you keep it!"
- Inverted in Material Girls. The beggars would choose the beautiful Dolce and Gabbana clothes Hilary Duff's character donates to charity, but not many homeless people are a size 0.
- Lampshaded in In Her Shoes, where Maggie informs Rose that she tossed out some unfashionable clothing of hers into the garbage. Rose questions why Maggie doesn't donate them to a secondhand store, the latter answers "Just because someone's poor, doesn't mean they have to be unfashionable."
- In an episode, Elaine sells muffin tops, and needs to dispose of the stumps (making them without stumps just isn't the same, you see). Both a homeless shelter and a garbage dump reject them. However, Newman gleefully accepts the opportunity to dispose of them all by eating them.
- Again with Jerry's car and its "mutant funk BO". The inside is SO smelly no one else wants it. He ends up leaving it at a curb with the keys inside, next to a homeless guy. The homeless guy gets inside, and the credits roll on a freeze-frame of his face which makes it pretty obvious he's not going to take it either.
- Jerry finds himself suddenly repulsed by his Girl of the Week and unable to kiss her after discovering that she not only went out with Newman, but that Newman was the one who ended the relationship. The thought of dating a woman who is below the standards of a man he doesn't think should even have standards in the first place is just too much for him to bear.
Jerry: All I could think of when I was looking at her face... was that Newman found this unacceptable!
- In one of his comedy bits, Jerry speculates that the reason so many people are unemployed is because they're too easily disgusted:
Jerry: Yes, my family is starving and my electricity's been cut off and I can't pay my rent, but there is no way I am cleaning THAT up!
- The Big Bang Theory mentioned this in an episode where Leonard is going to give a scientific talk at a conference and his non-nerdy friend Penny helps him pick out clothes. When looking through Leonard's wardrobe, Penny picks out several shirts and tells Leonard to throw them away and "don't even give them to charity. Seriously, you won't be helping anyone."
- Dorothy says something like this about one of Rose's cooking attempts on The Golden Girls.
If this would have been offered to the Donner party
, they still would have eaten each other.
- Subverted when they actually eat it and it tastes delicious despite it's terrible smell.
- Desperate Housewives. When Martha Huber is collecting clothing for Edie (after her house burned down), Lynette apologizes for the unstylish quality of her own donated items. The older woman states "Beggars can't be choosers", then sees some items of Lynette's and reiterates "Of course we don't need to rub salt on the wound."
- In The Guild a homeless person tries Vork's "found object stew" and rejects it in disgust.
- Chobani donated Greek yogurt to the American team for the 2014 Russian Olympics. However the Russians refused to let the refrigerated crates into the country and after a few days of reported talks, Chobani backed down and said that the yogurt would instead be donated to NJ/NY food banks. Problem solved. Well... not quite. On 2/14/14 a new news story made the rounds — Food Banks were refusing the yogurt on the grounds that the homeless are used to sweet yogurt, and were turning their noses up at the Greek variety.
- The implied insult whenever somebody rejects another by saying "I wouldn't date you if you were the last man/woman on Earth".
- Aziz Ansari pointed out that, when given a tip of over $1, the employees of Cold Stone Creamery must all do a short song and dance. "Five people are singing and dancing for a dollar! That's 20 cents a person! If you were to go outside and ask a homeless guy to sing and dance for 20 cents, he'd tell you to go fuck yourself, cause that's degrading!"
- Military rations are called MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat, often joked to be "three lies for the price of one"). According to some the letters stand for Meals Rejected by Ethiopians.
- When the New Zealand based dog food manufacturer Mighty Mix tried to donate Raw Dry Nourish (a ration pack that was not dog food) to Kenya, the Kenyans angrily refused. Even though she explained it wasn't dog food and it was created for exactly this situation (Kenya had declared the situation a national disaster) and that the CEO ate the mixture, they still refused.