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aka: Would You Do It For A Scooby Snack
One of the protagonists needs someone to do something: maybe save the world
, rescue the princess
, split up
, or maybe just improve their SAT score. The trick is how do you make someone do something? Appeal to their better nature? Fat chance. Explain to them how this will improve their life? Not likely. Bribe them? Hey it worked!
This trope is for when someone uses bribery for a good, or at least not evil reason. This trope is normally used on the Loveable Rogues
, the Brilliant, but Lazy
, the Lovable Coward
, and the just plain lazy
It can be used by nearly anyone, but most commonly from some sort of mentor
figure or someone in some position of authority.
See also Not In This For Your Revolution
. Compare to Bribe Backfire
and Comically Small Bribe
does not work because this bribe works, or they haggle until it works
. Every Man Has His Price
is only when the characters frequently bribe people during the narrative, while this could happen frequently to better the character usually it is only necessary the first time. A fairy innocuous version is the Motivational Kiss
Anime and Manga
- What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
- Kit Kat once ran a similar campaign "What would you do for a break?"
- In Yu Yu Hakusho, Botan bribes Urameshi with wrestling tickets to go train with Genkai, and stop a demon from learning her techniques.
- In Nagasarete Airantou, to get the girls, in a agricultural based economy, to care about the school tests they offer up a reward for the highest score; a date with the resident male.
- Laure from ''Tower Of God is a Sleepyhead, incredibly talented but never quite there. So a tried and true tactic of the group is to take his pillow and blanket and hold them hostage until he gets the job done.
- In Lucky Star, Konata's interests are often exploited for this effect:
- When Kagami asks Konata how a slacker like her managed to get into the same school, Konata tells how her father offered her video game systems depending on the rank of school she got into— for the extremely prestigious school she's in, it's a PS2 and a PC.
- Patricia pulls this tactic out when dealing with Konata as well. Konata had heard about Patricia's cheerleading request in advance, and was going to politely turn her down. But before Konata could do so, Patricia informs her that she has a rare ticket to see Aya Hirano perform, and what was it that Konata was going to say?
- In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi had lost all self confidence and just wanted to run away after watching a bit of the D of D tournament. The Elder offered him the Scooby Snack he always wanted: he can ask Miu out if he wins the tournament, courage ensues.
- Apachai, normally brave and near unstoppable, is apparently terrified of flying. When Ryouzanpaku traveled to Okinawa for a mission, Apachai panicked and wrapped himself around a metal pole. He couldn't be pulled off without destroying the pole, so Miu managed to convince him to get on the plan by offering to cook hamburgers for three weeks.
- At one point in Betterman, Keita becomes determined to get out of one of the series' many life-threatening disasters for one reason: So he can take Hinoki out on a date.
- In one of the original Nodwick comics, the party gets Nodwick to keep lugging their loot when he's near exhaustion by giving him some Hench Snacks. It's noted that the reason this makes him able to keep going on is because Hench Snacks contain massive amounts of amphetamines.
- Luke telling Han he could get a handsome reward for saving Princess Leia in A New Hope.
Han: Look, your worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight: I take orders from just one person - me!
Leia: Its a wonder you're still alive. [walking past Chewbacca] Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of the way?
Han: No reward is worth this.
- In Spaceballs, the same trope applies handily to Lone Star and Barf, who only agree to rescue Princess Vespa for the sum of a million space bucks (which is what they owe Pizza the Hutt)
We're not just doing this for money. We're doing this for a shitload of money!
- In Trading Places, Louis offers Ophelia a fiscal Scooby Snack to help him regain his wealth and good name.
- Little Nemo Adventures In Slumberland: Nemo initially refuses to go with the Professor to Slumberland because the Princess being a girl makes him uneasy. But when he gets the Princess' gift of cookies, he gladly accepts the invitation.
- In Eragon, Brom bribes an Obstructive Bureaucrat. Eragon is shocked.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry secures the goblin's help by promising him the Sword of Gryffindor. He tries to go the Exact Words route by never specifying when he'd get it, but that's all for naught because Griphook steals the sword ahead of time anyway.
- In Curse Of The Wolf Girl Malveria's attempt to bribe Dominil to hack into a computer system. After Malveria simply asks Dominil notes it is illegal and unethical. Malveria produces a large stack of banknotes and Dominil's response is that it is far more illegal and unethical than that. Malveria produces a second stack of notes and Dominil starts working on the computer system.
- A.E. Housman's short poem "Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries" is the intersection of this trope and Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?.
- In the pilot episode of Everwood, Andy tries to convince his 15-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter to move to the titular rural town in Colorado.
Andy: Now, I want this to be a democratic decision, so we're going to put this to a vote. Everyone who wants to move...
Andy: ...And get their own horse, raise your hand.
(Delia raises her hand excitedly).
- In Firefly, Mal and Zoe offer Jayne better pay and his own quarters in exchange for dumping a contemptible crew that gave him little money and no respect. The fact that this deal also kept him from killing them was an added bonus.
- In the episode Heart Of Gold the crew has been asked to assist a brothel, run by a friend of Inara's, that is under attack for little-to-no compensation. Jayne refuses, leading to this immortal exchange:
Jayne:"Don't know these people, don't much care to."
- On Scrubs, Dr. Cox tried talking J.D. out of being his second-born's godfather simply by giving him a hug. It almost worked.
- Lost In Oz did this with the bottled tornado that would take Alex home once she defeated the Witch.
- Many schools offer rewards based off of Accelerated Reading test results to get the students to read more.
- Also in high school: "Come to [Insert class subject here] study group. We have candy."
- In the same vein many college groups advertise free pizza at their meetings.
- Michael Moore, encouraging college students to vote in the 2004 elections , passed out underwear and Ramen noodles.
- Discussed in Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn which argues that rewards reduce intrinsic motivation, and the quality of the work done for the reward. They can act as a short term fix but only make things worse in the medium to long term. E.g. with an accelerated reading program people will pick out the shortest and simplest books that qualify, will perceive reading as an annoying hoop to be jumped through only as long as the rewards are held out and will enjoy reading LESS than they did before any prizes were offered.