Merchant: "I can't take money from the king!"
: "Don't you have a family? Just shut up and take it."
Authority figures, especially of the benevolent kind, have a hard life. Everywhere they go they are offered stuff for free. But, since they're benevolent, they feel bad about robbing innocent citizens of their income, and loudly insist on paying for meals and such.
A lot of RPGs
involving noblemen have the line, "I insist on paying for that!" to prevent you from getting stuff free. Though you usually don't get a nobleman's wealth along with the character (sometimes handwaved
through a line such as, "The treasures in my treasury belong to the kingdom"). (See With This Herring
Truth in Television
with policemen being offered freebies.
- An old Little Caesar's ad from years ago, back when they were offering a free pizza with a purchased one, had a Boy Scout troop master insisting on paying for the freebie pizza, when ordering for his troop. Hilarity ensued.
- Subverted in Friends, where Monica does accept free steaks (and an eggplant) from the new meat suppliers to the restaurant where she works, considering them a gift. She ends up being fired over it, since the owners of the restaurant wrongly interpreted it as a bribe (Monica had been recently promoted to a job which included selecting the meat supplier).
- In one episode of FrasierNote , Martin expresses irritation that Frasier never allows him to pay for his meals, so he insists on paying at a fancy restaurant. When Niles and Frasier both order cheap meals to be nice, he refuses to pay, at which point Frasier refuses on a similar principle and Niles realizes that he left his wallet in their taxi.
- In The West Wing, Mrs. Landingham pays full sticker price for her new car, much to the dismay of her coworkers and boss.
- On Seinfeld, Jerry's parents flat-out refuse to believe that he makes anything remotely resembling a decent amount of money as a comedian. This leads to huge arguments between Jerry and his father Morty whenever they are together, as both of them insist on paying for everything: Morty because he thinks Jerry is perpetually broke, and Jerry because he wants to prove to his parents that he is far from it.
- This reaches its climax when Jerry buys Morty a Cadillac for his birthday. His parents sell it to Jack Klompus (for probably less than Jerry paid for it) and give him the money. Jerry responds by buying it back from Klompus at blue book value and giving it back to his parents. His parents respond by selling their house and moving into a trailer. For a bit of irony, the lengths Jerry went to in order to prove that he wasn't broke left him actually broke, and he had to sleep in the Cadillac for a night.
- During a break in the fight between Peter and the Chicken the Chicken takes him out to dinner with his wife. They get into an argument over who's paying until eventually they're fighting all over again.
- Truth in Television. Many, if not all, companies have policies in place to prevent the slightest hint of favoritism. Usually, gifts of less than $10 are okay, anything over must be refused or cleared with HR first. Applies even to people who don't have any power to influence anything.
- British Coppers are strictly forbidden from accepting free or even discounted goods or services on account of their position. In fact, until quite recently it was technically against the rules for them to spend money at all while on duty, but this was seldom enforced.
- André the Giant famously refused to let anyone else pay for his meals at restaurants (given his size and appetite, they tended to be very expensive). Arnold Schwarzenegger once attempted to pay behind Andre's back, but Andre caught him, picked him up, and sat him back down at the table saying "I pay."