troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
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!
Phil Harris, "The Thing".

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 or drama, 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.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    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.
  • In The Muppet Christmas Carol, during The Villain Sucks Song "There Goes Mr. Humbug", when the vegetables on a market cart sing the line, "If he became a flavor you can bet that he'd be sour", the grocer quips, "Even the vegetables don't like him!"

    Live Action TV 
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, 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:
      "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.
    Dorothy: If this would have been offered to the Donner party, they still would have eaten each other.
  • the latest Marmite adverts

    Music 
  • The Steve Miller Band song "Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash" is all about this trope, as even a mugger won't take the protagonist's money.
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Drives Like Crazy" is about a woman whose driving is so bad, "even hitchhikers just say no".

    Web Original 
  • In The Guild a homeless person tries Vork's "found object stew" and rejects it in disgust.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" a guy who hasn't eaten for days crawls into the Krusty Krab begging for food, but when he was offered some he rejects it because the Krusty Krab lacks "pizazz." He then crawls away still begging for food... service... atmosphere!
  • The Garfield Show: In one episode, Garfield tried to get rid of an accordion of Jon's but his effort to give it away only result in it getting quickly returned. Heck even trying to ditch it in the lake prompts a mer-man to swim up and throw it back.
  • The Simpsons
    • In one episode, this trope doubled as a Take That to their old sponsor Butterfinger where Chief Wiggum tried to throw the candy into fire only for it to be thrown back, unharmed. "Even the fire doesn't want them" Wiggum comments. They lost the sponsor because of that.
    • Another episode had Homer trying to tip a bellboy with a Grammy, only for the bellboy reject it in disgust. Homer then angrily throws the Grammy off a balcony, but it gets thrown back.
  • An episode of Daria features the Fashion Club collecting clothes for the homeless. They invoke this trope, assuming that the homeless will have standards of clothing as high as their own, and reject nearly everything they are offered.
  • The Replacements: Riley and her friends were once selling jerky. It was so bad hungry wolves refused to eat it.
  • Little costume buddy from Fat Dog Mendoza is initially such a bad salesman he couldn't sell water to a man dying of thirst in a desert. In contrast to Fat Dog selling ice to eskimo's.
  • On Family Guy, Meg is desperate for male attention, but even she wouldn't go out with Neil Goldman

    Real Life 
  • Chobani donated Greek yougurt 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 yougurt 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). According to some the letters stand for Meals Rejected by Ethiopians.


Especially ZoidbergComedy TropesEven Nerds Have Standards

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
14586
23