->''"No good deed goes unpunished\\
All helpful urges should be circumvented\\
No good deed goes unpunished\\
Sure, I meant well -- well, look at what well-meant did!"''
-->-- '''Elphaba''', "No Good Deed" from ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''

We all know that {{karma}} can be a bitch, but sometimes it's a total {{jerkass}}. It's not enough that the bad guy is a KarmaHoudini. It's not enough that the good guy CantGetAwayWithNuthin. It's not even enough that he's a ButtMonkey or TheChewToy, put through the wringer for no reason. No, sometimes fate isn't satisfied until disaster befalls the good guy purely as a result of him ''doing the right thing''.

If this happens because the hero helps people who are [[UngratefulBastard ungrateful]], it can be a case of AllOfTheOtherReindeer or TheFarmerAndTheViper. If this happens because the hero doesn't want unnecessary violence, it can be a case of PacifismBackfire. More often, helping out exposes the hero to some other danger, like the wrath of a villain whose plans were disrupted by said good deed, or the wrath of a populace that is opposed to the method of said helping out, such as in many BurnTheWitch stories that involve actual witches, or being ArrestedForHeroism. Or being targeted by people who assume you have ChronicHeroSyndrome and so will be glad to help them for free.

Not every hero can handle this, and if it happens often enough or particularly badly enough, a hero may [[ThenLetMeBeEvil very well]] [[FallenHero fall]]. If they stick it through even to the end, knowing what's coming to them, it shows [[WhatYouAreInTheDark who they are in the dark.]]

It should also be noted that this trope is more complicated than it looks. Sometimes good intentions bring unjust punishment, but sometimes good intentions result in ''very bad'' results because the good-intentioned person was also foolish, incompetent, ignorant, or just mistaken. In many cases whether a bad outcome was undeserved or not depends on the details.
As Robert Heinlein's character Lazarus Long observes in one story, "Good intentions are no substitute for knowing how the buzzsaw works." Which doesn't mean that life is not often cruelly unjust, it merely means that things are often not as simple as they look at first glance.

Named for a well-known saying attributed to Clare Boothe Luce. The WideEyedIdealist is prone to this. Very often, it is a consequence of doing NotQuiteTheRightThing. Compare BeingGoodSucks, where it's the act of being good (rather than the deeds themselves) that brings suffering, and contrast LaserGuidedKarma where ''every'' deed (good or otherwise) gets paid back in spades. If someone sees a hero going through this, it may lead to SympathyForTheHero. Compare AndroclesLion and CharacterWitness, two Tropes that can prove the exact opposite.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/AnimeAndManga
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/{{Film}}
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/{{Literature}}
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/LiveActionTV
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/VideoGames
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/WesternAnimation
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/RealLife


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' is another series that springs from this trope, with Bruce Banner paying an even more personal cost for saving Rick Jones.
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}'s bad luck is compounded by his own insanity and [[BlueAndOrangeMorality off kilter morality]]. He might do good, but even if he's acknowledged by the other heroes, instead of acceptance he'll receive a swift boot out of the city. Acceptance is all the guy really wants, which makes Wade's case even more tragic. The ComicBook/FantasticFour eventually invited him to their weekly heroes-only poker game. He didn't go, but it's the thought that counts.
* The ''ComicBook/SinCity'' story "That Yellow Bastard" is this trope in a nutshell. All Detective John Hartigan wants to do is close his one unsolved case and stop a SerialKiller who likes to rape little girls and slash them to ribbons and put his ass away so that he can finally retire in peace. Said sick fuck happens to be the son of a powerful and ruthless U.S. Senator, one who will not stand for anyone messing with him, no matter how justified it is. As a result, Hartigan pays dearly for saving Nancy Callahan, the eleven-year-old girl slated to become the monster's next victim. Good lord, does he pay dearly. Said corrupt senator pays to have Hartigan's heart fixed, and then sets him up to take the fall for raping the girl (who didn't even get raped). Worse, he has to let his wife think he's the monster everyone says he is, because she'll be killed if he ever claims innocence. There's a special circle in Hell reserved specifically for the Roark family, but years later when Nancy is in trouble again Hartigan does get revenge by castrating Junior (again, and with his ''bare hands'') [[spoiler:before savagely beating him to death and then killing himself so that Nancy will be kept safe from the people behind Junior]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}'' Vol. 3 #19 (February 1986): "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished", a group of Legionaires are forced to deal with the menace that the Sun-Eater they destroyed was intended to stop.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** In ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' Thomas Wayne saved the life of Carmine Falcone, since he's a doctor first and foremost dedicated to saving lives, and rebuffed Carmine's father's attempts to bribe him to keep the incident quiet. When this incident came to light years later it cast suspicion on Thomas' son Bruce. Harvey Dent -- [[TheResenter already resentful of Bruce Wayne's wealth]] -- thought this incident was proof that the Falcones and Waynes had underhanded connections. Bruce even wonders if Gotham would have been better off if his father had put aside compassion and let Carmine die.
** In one story, the Penguin is let out on parole, and Batman, convinced that he's [[FalselyReformedVillain only pretending to reform]], watches him like a hawk. His investigation of the Penguin's place of business reveals that it's perfectly legitimate... and also reveals that it employs other ex-cons, which puts Penguin in violation of his parole (he's not supposed to have any contact with criminals) and gets him sent back to prison (despite Batman's attempt to put in a good word for him).
* Because StatusQuoIsGod, just about every time a superhero [[SaveTheVillain Saves The Villain]] turns out to be this. The villain rarely if ever appreciates the effort or even makes an effort to mend their ways or refrain from endangering the city and stay in prison. It just means the villain will live to make life hell for everyone else another day.
* In the first issue of ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', Bobby uses his ice powers to save a ''large'' group of people from a falling sentinel. He gets a bottle thrown at his head for doing so, since it just outed him as a mutant. Hell, the entire premise of ''ComicBook/XMen'' in general is that they fight to save a world that hates and fears them, resulting in basically this.
** This expands on ComicBook/{{Iceman}}'s origin in the mainstream comics. Here young Bobby Drake is out on a date with a girl called Judy Harmon, when a local bully attacks and tries to drag her away. Bobby saves her by encasing said bully in ice, which leads Judy to reject Bobby as a monster. Also, soon afterwards a group of locals forms a lynch mob and attack the Drakes' home.
** Similarly, during ComicBook/{{Ultimatum}}, a lot of the X-Men die to stop Magneto, and the ones who survived did just as much. Mutants were just as affected by the attacks as everyone else, and most tried to stop it. Afterwards, mutants are being openly hunted by the government, the level of abuse they get has increased, and even thought mutants like Kitty Pryde risked their lives to help the public during the attacks, her peers are all bullying her and even report her to the government which causes them to come looking for her.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica briefly teamed up with ComicBook/RedSkull in an attempt to stop a resurrected Hitler from gaining the Cosmic Cube. This likewise rewarded Captain America with temporary exile from America by the US Government due to the latter thinking he turned his back on America.
* [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]]' well-intentioned warning to [[ComicBook/DoctorDoom Victor Von Doom]] concerning a few miscalculations in an experiment would be rewarded with decades of stories revolving around Doom's attempts to destroy Reed and everything/everyone he loves.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', the main goal of the first arc is to free LA from the grip of the supervillain parents of the protagonists. All subsequent arcs deal with the EvilPowerVacuum left behind, as countless other villains try to take over the area. And with most of the Marvel heroes stationed in New York, it pretty much entirely falls to the protagonists to keep the town safe. [[spoiler:And later, Gert dies in one of those fights, in a situation that arose entirely from the fact that ''they'' killed off the Pride.]]
* After the events of ComicBook/CivilWar, minor Marvel character Jack Flag is in effective retirement, until he hears a woman being attacked by a gang of local thugs. Jack goes out to save her, which quickly results in the ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}} coming after him, followed by Jack being beaten up, crippled, arrested, beaten up again, and then thrown into an other-dimensional prison without trial. Said prison is shortly thereafter attacked by an alien army and the prisoners left to be killed. (Fortunately, Jack is sort-of rescued by the ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy, and manages to get his legs back thanks to alien doctors. No word yet on whether he eventually managed to get his girlfriend back, though.)
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Vampirella}}'' story "The Running Red" [[spoiler:the Traveller plays to beat Kruger for the sake of good rather than hedonism and loses his immortality for it. He dies shortly afterwards when Kruger's goons attack]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Seconds}}'', Lis gives Katie the mushroom to fix time and space so that Hazel never burns her arms. This results in Katie finding more mushrooms and using them to manipulate time in her favor, to Lis's anger.
* In ''ComicBook/SerenityLeavesOnTheWind'', the Alliance has apparently had Inara's [[HighClassCallGirl Companion's Guild]] membership revoked as payback for her role in the revelation of the Alliance's role in Miranda and the creation of the Reavers.
* In ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', Vince Oleck discovered a way to get his client off. His client's father, who's Mafia, immediately tells him that if he wins the case, he's going to work for the Mafia, and threatens his wife and son when he demurs. [[spoiler:He wins the case and immediately flees with his family. The father sends assassins after him, and only the intervention of a vigilante superhero saves them.]]
* The end of ''ComicBook/BrodysGhost'' sees the titular Brody [[spoiler:facing life as a wanted fugitive for helping nab a serial killer.]] To say nothing of the Penny Murderer's modus operandi. [[spoiler:If any of the women who buy ice cream from him return the excess penny he gives them, he chooses them as a target for being "pure" enough to show such kindness. This after seeing his first victim Talia originally return a penny she saw someone drop.]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In the Third Movement of ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', the four encounter a colony of shrunken humans being used as a science project by aliens. They unshrink the humans and take 40 of them back to C'hou to start a new life. But [[UnwantedRescue the humans resent being removed from their universe]] and, among other things, steal the four's personal stuff after the four are whisked away to look for the third piece of the Vasyn.
* The four practically live this trope in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone'', getting chased by mobs or fined because they didn't save the day in the right way. Things get to the point where they simply refuse to help anyone out any more (also partially because they neither want to be considered heroes nor want to do anything except take down the Big Bad so they can go home—and if they could get home some other way they'd gladly do that and leave the world to rot).
* Fanfic/SummerDaysAndEveningFlames: Starfall puts his racism against griffins aside long enough to rescue Gilda from several criminals, freeing her from her bonds and defending her form would-be lethal blows. Although he did kill one (in defense of another), he was still arrested due to "vigilantism" by not being reinstated into the guard yet.
* ''FanFic/{{Pattycakes}}'': Dash would have preferred to keep napping, but went to see Fluttershy because she's a good friend; it got her [[SlippingAMickey mickey'd]], [[MindRape mindraped]] and mentally regressed, roughly InThatOrder.
* ''Fanfic/AProtectorsPride'': For being the hero Ichigo always gets shafted when he saves the day. Example? [[spoiler: He kills Aizen]] but when Ichigo needs to save [[spoiler: his mom from Hell in a time-sensitive mission because of corrupt nobles in Soul Society]], Yamamoto stalls him [[spoiler: long enough that Ichigo's mother gets trapped there.]]
* In [[NewLookSeries Trunk's New Look]] Trunks offers to babysit his past self and Goten which results in him getting blackmailed, dressed up as a PlayboyBunny [[spoiler: and getting mistaken as his wife by Vegeta]]
* "[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/840435/1/Good_Samaritan_Blues Good Samaritan Blues]]", a ''LordOfTheRings'' fanfiction. The title says it all.
* Adam Jensen, to a horrifying degree in FanFic/MassEffectHumanRevolution. To quote doctor Hein:
-->''While many ran and cowered in their bunkers during the Blitz, Jensen took up arms to defend a people that did nothing but view him with suspicion and scorn. Over ten thousand people owe him their lives, and while all of them proved grateful in the end, The Alliance decided that this would not do, and had their buddies in the Templars burn his home. He then spent the next six to seven years righting wrongs and capturing dangerous criminals, making the Citadel a safer place and earning the respect of his co-workers in C-Sec. His reward for that? The Alliance plots to capture him and sell him out to the Order for making vanilla humans look bad. His reward for saving the life of a Quarian Pilgrim, exposing a corrupt Spectre in the process? The Council doesn't even give him so much as a pat on the head, and the pilgrim can't get past his mechanical parts and views him with suspicion and fear.''
* In Fanfic/OfLiliesAndChestnuts, Chestnut sees a Canterlot noble drop an expensive necklace, so picks it up and walks up to return it. The noble realizes the necklace is missing and turns around just in time to see [[FantasticRacism a dirty bat pony thief]] holding her necklace, and doesn't give Chestnut a moment to explain before she calls for bunch of angry Royal Guards. When Fleur and Rarity find Chestnut, she's hiding in a back-alley dumpster and terrified for her life.
* In Fanfic/EquestriasFirstHuman, [[spoiler: The human Connor pushes Celestia out of the way of a falling spike, saving her life. How is he thanked: The Royal Guards beat Connor to a pulp for laying his hands on the Princess. It is justified since those guards were actually [[TheMole moles]] for the terrorist group targeting her. Princess Celestia did try to thank Connor, but he stormed off, having been mistreated by Ponyville, and the beating (and his friend's indifference) pushed him over the edge.]]
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': In his backstory, Rason Miyamosa saved a monster girl (later revealed in Act III to be Luna Cii) from a human rapist, and the other angels responded by [[FallenAngel banishing him from Heaven]] because angel laws explicitly state that [[ThouShaltNotKillMuggles humans are sacred and must be protected no matter what until they actually die with sin]]. And that's only because one of the elders opted for leniency and decided to give Rason a chance to prove that monsters can be both good and evil just like humans; the other angels originally planned to just execute him.
* In ''FanFic/TheRiseOfDarthVulcan'', a group of disabled pegasi stop a rogue tornado from ruining their hometowns (it's complicated). The result is that they get sentenced to five years community service with TheSocialDarwinist as a warden, who then ruins their lives further by broadcasting this at their graduations -- it even results in one of them getting her baby taken away. Luckily, they convince the fic's VillainProtagonist [[LaserGuidedKarma to dispense some indiscriminate justice on the place.]]
* ''Fanfic/ThisBites'': Vivi's two year infiltration of Baroque Works to rescue her country from Crocodile ends this way: [[spoiler:Having been identified as an associate of the Straw-Hat pirates, the information makes it to the World Nobles (who have a grudge against her family) and she is immediately accused of treason by the World Government, meaning there is no way she can remain in Alabasta.]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11175004/1/ Star Wars Episode I: The Familiar of Zero]]'', Montmorency develops a new healing potion to heal Guiche after he's left horribly injured and in constant pain (bad enough that all he says is "Please kill me") from Calista's Force Lightning. After she gets Guiche's consent to use it upon him and successfully heals him (though not without scarring), she's placed under house arrest for performing experiments on another student and is threatened with expulsion and potential jail time. Montmorency understandably delivers a WhatTheHellHero to the academy staff given that not only did she save Guiche from a life of endless agony, but they and his family were planning on euthanizing him.
* ''FanFic/ABrighterDark'': A Hoshidan soldier stops to help one of his comrades after she collapses due to exhaustion and dehydration. [[spoiler: Said comrade turns out to be Princess Corrin of Nohr, public enemy #1 and the one who killed his son at the Bottomless Canyon, and the Nohrians sent to rescue her cut off his arm.]] Ryoma lampshades it, noting how only bad luck turned his kindness against him.
* In ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'', a little girl and her adoptive father are walking across the streets of Azalea Town. Suddenly a baby carriage rolls down the streets, and it's about to get squashed by the traffic, and the girl jumps in to save her. Immediately, people begin ganging up on her and her father... [[DisproportionateRetribution because she accidentally stepped on a Slowpoke's tail.]] The girl barely escapes with her life, her father doesn't.

* Music/TheBand's "The Weight" is about a favor that keeps ballooning and leading to competitions when each recipient adds new tasks to it. According to songwriter Robbie Robertson, the lyrics were inspired by what happened to saintly figures in the films of Creator/LuisBunuel.
* Music/{{Daughtry}}'s "Waiting For Superman" is about a man who wanders the city doing good deeds. When he knocks down a woman who was about to be hit by a cyclist, the woman yells at him for shoving her, having not noticed the cyclist. When he stops a purse snatcher, he gets roughed up by security guards who assumed he was in league with him. When he pulls a suicidal man away from the ledge, the man yells at him. Finally, he saves a girl from street thugs and returns her to her mother, but a man who witnessed the event calls the police and he is nearly arrested until the girl and mother vouch for him. The girl gives him a hug, causing him to smile and consider it WorthIt.

[[folder:Myth and Legend]]
* In some versions, Mordred of [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian legend]]. At the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Camlann Battle of Camlann]], Mordred draws his sword in order to kill a serpent at Arthur's heel during peace negotiations, but Bedwyr sees this as an act of betrayal and calls for war. This ends with Arthur and Mordred killing one another and Mordred being seen as a traitor forever. Ironically most versions also say Arthur was negotiating in bad faith, it was really a play for time until his allies could get there.
* One of the tougher concepts of UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}} is that even when you are doing the right thing, sometimes you will suffer unjustly for it. But take heart, for that is the example UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} set, and expect from his followers.
* In the Turkish folktale "Five Boiled Eggs", a poor young boy receives a free meal of five boiled eggs from an innkeeper. He grows up and becomes a wealthy merchant, and returns to the inn years later, asking how much he has to pay. The innkeeper charges him 10,000 akches, claiming that if he hadn't eaten the eggs, they would have hatched into hens, which would have laid more eggs that would have hatched into hens, and so on. When the merchant refuses to pay so much, the innkeeper takes him to court. But it's subverted, when Turkish folk hero Nasreddin Hodja offers to defend the merchant. On the day of the trial, Hodja deliberately shows up late and claims that he had the idea to plant and harvest the boiled corn from his breakfast instead of eating it. When the innkeeper scoffs at the idea of growing boiled corn, Hodja points out that he couldn't have hatched chickens from boiled eggs either. The innkeeper gets laughed out of court.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* As settings, both ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' and ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' love this. Do a good deed? Well, it'll cost you a pound of flesh ''and'' probably [[WorldHalfEmpty not greatly impact things anyway]]. Do the easy bad deed instead? Get rewarded with power/riches/expediency, but dinged by the KarmaMeter. Do option 1 enough times and you'll get killed or ground to a masochistic paste. Do option 2 enough times and you'll destroy yourself. Do half and half and live a quasi-happy/angsty life... for a time. Try to live in happy ignorance and apathy, and somebody else will ding your KarmaMeter ''for you'' when you aren't looking.
* So common in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' that it's rare to see anyone even ''try'' to do good deeds anymore. A quote from the [[CardCarryingVillain forces of Chaos]] Codex: "Let no good deed go unpunished, and let no evil deed go unrewarded."
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' adventure ''A Hot Day in L'Trel'' in Dungeon magazine #44. After the {{P|layerCharacter}}Cs risk their lives to save a woman from a burning house, the woman sues them because she was injured during the rescue. (How is this [[http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202426887859 different from real life?]] Well, the [=PCs=] do have the option to [[HeroicComedicSociopath kill her out of spite, and with a few well-placed diplomacy checks, bluffs, or intimidation, get off scot-free]].)
* The Abyssal exalts in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' have this in spades. Picked out at death to serve OmnicidalManiac undead gods and given corrupted divine powers, they ''can'' choose to go the DarkIsNotEvil route. Only the more positive, life affirming things they do, the likelier it is the said gods take over your body and someone you care about is [[DroppedABridgeOnHim randomly killed]]. This is why Abyssal Exaltation is the only type that both a) must be willingly accepted by the recipient and b) allows for the possibility of redeeming and changing state into a Solar Exalted. The designers already knew that it's a screw-over, and thus made it both require you to willingly sign on with the Neverborn (i.e., you've got it coming) and allow an escape mechanism.

* Elphaba, the protagonist in the Broadway musical ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', finally has enough of her misfortunes during the song "No Good Deed," quoted above and states the trope by name. By the time the musical number occurs, every major act of kindness or benevolence Elphaba's ever tried has blown up in her face. One of the more JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples came when [[spoiler: her enchanting of her crippled sister Nessarose's jeweled shoes enabled Nessa to walk, just in time to have her heart broken by the man she loved, and in a jealous rage, snatch up the very same book that gave her the use of her legs and use it to cast a horrible curse on him, which Elphaba could only save him from by turning him into the Tin Man]].
** And to quote the Tin-Man: ''Holy Christ!''
---> It's due to her I'm made of tin, her spell made this occur. And for once I'm glad I'm heartless, I'll be heartless killing her!
** Plus, her attempt [[spoiler: to save Fiyero's life also kinda backfired. She saves him from death, but her panicky desperate wording of the spell "Let his flesh not be torn, let his blood leave no stain. When they beat him, let him feel no pain, let his bones never break" [[LiteralGenie turns him into the Scarecrow]]]].
** Which in itself is ''still'' a step up from what she ''thought'' had happened: [[spoiler: With no way of knowing the outcome of her spell, she assumed it had failed completely and that he'd been ''beaten to death while crucified'']]. No wonder she [[HeroicBSOD flipped.]]
** At school she rescue's a poor Lion's life before he can be experimented on; he's later been convinced to blame ''her'' for his horrible fears and phobias.
* In ''Theatre/{{Twisted}}'' Ja'far works tirelessly to improve the kingdom just because he sincerely wants everyone to be happy. (This also leads to him taking the job of Vizier.) Everyone hates him, his wife [[spoiler: is taken by the Sultan to be a member of his harem and eventually dies]], and the entire kingdom remembers him as the villain. Does that stop him from [[spoiler: singlehandedly saving everyone]]? Nope.
* In the musical ''Theatre/{{Violet}}'', the title character comes to Flick's defense (as does Monty), and his attackers steal her suitcase as they flee.
* Valjean, the main character of ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', is a magnet for this. A line in the prologue mentions that he was put in prison for ''nineteen years'' for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's son (the next line clarifies that he was only given five years for the theft and 14 years for trying to repeatedly escape prison, but five years for bread is still pretty steep). While serving as Mayor years later (with a new name), he saves a man from being crushed under a cart, and Javert immediately begins to suspect that he is Jean Valjean, the escaped convict from years before. When he confesses that he is in fact Jean Valjean (and saves the innocent man accused in his place), Javert attempts to arrest him. Years later, he and his adopted daughter try to give money to the poor, and are almost robbed by the Thenardiers, who try to rob him again that night. It's a miracle that Valjean never gave up on his vow to always do good, since doing so almost always turned out terribly for him.
** When the Bishop gives Valjean free room and board for the night - which no one else would do because of Valjean's nature as an ex-con - he is repaid by Valjean's attempt to rob the convent of their silver and escape in the middle of the night.
** Fantine is this combined with a TraumaCongaLine. She's just a woman trying to support her daughter, but when this is discovered, she's thrown out of the factory where she works and is forced to become a prostitute, where she ''still'' sends everything she earns to her daughter. When she tries to defend herself against rape, she is immediately arrested by Javert for attacking a passing gentlemen (her rapist, now claiming innocence).
** In a rare case where the good deed was the punishment, Eponine agrees to help Marius meet Cosette. Little does Marius know the feelings Eponine has for him, and that having Eponine find Cosette for him was like torture for her. [[spoiler:She's eventually killed while trying to deliver a letter to Cosette from Marius]].
** Gavroche tries to help out the revolutionaries by climbing over the barricade and picking ammo off of dead soldiers. [[spoiler:For his troubles, he's shot by snipers and slowly and painfully dies.]]
** The revolutionaries, a group of possible-[[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]], are trying to free the poor and downtrodden people of France from the shackles of poverty. [[spoiler:All but one (Marius) dies, and even Marius is left in a SurvivorsGuilt-induced HeroicBSOD.]]
* In ''{{Theatre/Hamilton}}'', Alexander tries to save his reputation from ruin and clear his name of treason charges by releasing the Reynolds Pamphlet, in which he denies siphoning money from the government because he was using his ''own'' money to pay blackmail to James Reynolds for sleeping with his wife. It goes about as well as you'd expect. Given that LinManuelMiranda has stated that the purpose was to have Hamilton go through all the right steps in thinking of how to clear his name, and come to the ''absolute wrong conclusion'', it may not count out-of-universe, but to Hamilton, in certainly does.
** Similar to the above ''Les Miserables'' example, Angelica (Hamilton's sister in law) hides her feelings for Hamilton because she knows that her sister Eliza and Hamilton love each other very much. She even goes as far as to say that if she told her sister her feelings, Eliza would step aside, but that she loves her sister too much to do that to her.
** John Laurens is not only fighting for the freedom of his country, but also for those in the bondage of slavery. In a scene just before the Act I finale, a letter from Laurens's father reveals that [[spoiler:Laurens, at command of a battalion of escaped slaves, was killed in a battle with British forces after the battle of Yorktown (meaning that the war was already over) and that all the slaves had been returned to their masters]].
** When his eldest son Philip comes to him for advice on how to fight in a duel, Hamilton gives him the best advice he can and even lets him borrow his pistols. [[spoiler:Philip is subsequently killed in the duel following his father's advice]], sending his parents into tandem [[HeroicBSOD BSODs]].
* The end of Act I of ''Theatre/{{Newsies}}'' has Jack [[HeroicBSOD contemplating running away to Santa Fe]], Crutchie taken to [[HellholePrison The Refuge]], and the rest of the Newsies beaten senseless and forced to return to work - all for trying to strike against an unfair raise in the price of newspapers. Katherine is also blacklisted by every newspaper in the city for covering the Newsie strike.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Captain Tagon of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' may be a merc, but he's a genuinely principled and decent man who, for instance, [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2010-10-17 will refuse to blow up a train full of civilians]] despite the [[ItsPersonal very personal]] nature of the mission. This comes to bite him in the ass when it turns out that [[spoiler:the train was not full of civilians at all, but rather a battalion of enemy heavy infantry]].
* ''Webcomic/SquidRow'': After Grace [[LazyBum lets all the special orders accumulate]], and Randie clears them, the viciously unpleasant Grace get more hours.
* As currently stands in ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' each and every magical problem [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} Sarah Williams]] ever had (including Film/{{Labyrinth}}) can be traced back to her deeds in the ''Kid!Jareth arc'' where she... was nice to a child. [[spoiler:For her misfortune: A [[TheFairFolk Fair Folk]] Child [[TimeTravel From The Past]], and fae are usually kinda clueless how to pay back such things.]]
* The main plot of ''WebComic/FarToTheNorth'' is kicked off when a family of [[GrimUpNorth Northerners]] takes in what they think are starving refugees. They turn out to be a band of slavers who quickly turn on their hosts.
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' has Florence the [[UpliftedAnimal Bowman's Wolf]], who in one early story arc gets involved in rescuing civilians from a hurricane and risks her life to save one Mr. Kornada. Kornada then steals her headset and forces robots to commandeer the ship, leaving her stranded in water so cold she has a life expectancy of 20 minutes -- all so he can attend a completely pointless meeting. Arguably zigzagged in that this leads to Florence's InterspeciesRomance with the human veterinarian who saves her life. The weight then sways back into "punishment" territory when Kornada nearly gets Florence frozen and shipped off-world, and is then revealed to be planning to electronically MindRape every robot on the planet, lobotomizing them, ''all so he can steal all their money''. And completely oblivious to the fact that this could well destroy the fledgeling colony, which ''depends'' on the intelligence of the local robots to continue functioning.
* In ''Webcomic/RedsPlanet'', Red's PetTheDog moment of [[http://www.redsplanet.com/comic/rp/ch04/chapter-four-03/ feeding other castaways]] [[http://www.redsplanet.com/comic/rp/ch04/chapter-four-05/comment-page-1/ means that all the other aliens of its race come after her.]]
* Strong FantasticRacism in ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'' means that the protagonists face this wherever they go, most notably when [[spoiler:Dara]] single-handedly fights a squad of rampaging golems to protect a family, then gets [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/ISSUE11Pages/ib247.html beaten unconscious]] by the people she had just saved.
* For a LighterAndSofter example: Commander Badass of ''WebComic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' raised his children to be responsible. Which enabled his daughter to finish all the chores needed to earn herself a pet millipede [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes that he's afraid of.]]
* ''Kind'' of: in ''Out-of-Placers'', Kass buys a shiny stone for a high price out of pity from a struggling Yinglet (small rodents) merchant. It promptly [[BalefulPolymorph turns him into a Yinglet]]. [[GenderBender A female]]. Though, admittedly, it was safe until he broke it himself...

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Agent Washington from ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' could be a poster child for this trope. He went against his orders to spare Agent South's life... and she shot him in the back as thanks (following orders from the same command as him, no less). After he returns to work, instead of receiving the support he needs to stop [[TheJuggernaut The Meta]], he gets saddled with bureaucracy and a team full of idiots. And after he takes down that military organization and puts a stop to its numerous unsanctioned experiments based on [[AIIsACrapshoot fragmented AIs]], he gets [[ArrestedForHeroism slapped with a number of criminal charges for his efforts]] (most notably, 7 counts of destruction of military property).
** During a training round against Tex, York discovered that his partners Agents Maine and Wyoming has started using lethal force against Texas and attempted to switch sides to help Texas. This results in Tex calling him out for "abandoning his team" and him getting too close to a grenade thrown by Maine, costing him his left eye.
* The ending of ''Operation Graveyard'' counts as this. See it [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/534717 HERE]]
* In V4 of ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', Luke Templeton talks Clio Gabriella out of committing suicide and generally helps her out. How does she repay him? By shooting him in the chest and head.
* In his review for ''Film/BabesInToyland'', WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic was bothered throughout the entire thing by the Ghost Of Christmas Future, who was trying to get him to do a Christmas parody. But when he sees the ghost drinking and depressed, he puts on his daddy voice and tries to cheer him up by letting him pick what review he'll do next week. Big mistake, as the ghost instantly picks ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'', Creator/JimCarrey version.
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, Bladedancer gets visions that she needs to leave Team Kimba and keep a low profile for something in the future. Phase, her roommate, helps. For Phase's good deed, he gets treated by the entire school like a jerkass who fired Bladedancer from the team and then booted her out of the room. Oh, and Phase gets a supervillain as a replacement roommate just to make things worse.
* In ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'', Twilight Sparkle goes to Ponyville on her own initiative, in order to prevent Night Moon Mare from destroying the world. After the day is saved, Princess Celestia arrives on the scene. She doesn't care at all about the barely-averted apocalypse--[[SeriousBusiness she only cares about the tea party that Twilight skipped]] in the process of saving the world. As punishment, Celestia banishes Twilight to Ponyville.
* In the Flash cartoon [[http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/yesandno Yes & No: A Dyseducational Road Movie]], the drivers who [[RightWayWrongWayPair do things the right way]] suffer some sort of indignity (like getting stuck in a traffic jam or behind a funeral procession) or cause more damage than the drivers doing things the wrong way (like running over somebody's dog or causing a three-car pile-up).
* This can happen in Website/GoAnimate [[YouAreGrounded "Grounded"]] videos. For instance, in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NUh6LmjVgY this]] video, WesternAnimation/{{Caillou}} stops his father, Boris, from robbing a bank. However, when Boris gets arrested, Caillou is arrested as well. His crime? Being a "baby show" character. Boris is given three and a half years in jail and is put in a fancy jail cell with all amenities while Caillou is given ''[[DisproportionateRetribution life in prison]]'' stuck in a smaller part of Boris' cell without even a bed or a toilet and Boris is allowed to beat up Caillou whenever he wishes.
* In the Doctor Locklear series, while [[spoiler: Locklear performed a life-saving surgery on a young man who turned out to be a rapist and murderer, his wife went into premature labor and both her and the baby died.]] It's what made him quit the hospital he worked and [[DespairEventHorizon drove him mad enough]] to [[FallenHero harvest criminals for their organs.]]