Taking Advantage of Generosity

And get me a better picture caption. This one goes horribly with my outfit.

Generosity is considered a good thing. Milking generosity is not. Yet some characters do it anyway.

Say Bob offers Alice a little gift, or agrees to do Alice a favor, but Alice asks for more gifts or favors from Bob, or someone else, knowing she is likely to get it.

The reasons for this usually fall under varying degrees of gluttony, Greed and It's All About Me. Quite often those receiving these extra demands will feel obligated to fulfill them anyway, especially if these characters are Extreme Doormats, even when they feel like they are being taken for granted.

Usually, this is portrayed as being a very Jerkass thing to do.

Compare Moving the Goalposts, The Prima Donna, All Take and No Give (a variation of this with couples).


Anime and Manga



Live-Action TV
  • The John Larroquette Show: John wins an electric car. He charges it at home, where he gets free electricity included in his rent. His landlord complains and cuts him off, so John starts charging it at the bus station where he works.
  • In the Blackadder christmas special, everyone takes advantage of Ebenezer Blackadder, the only nice member of the wretched Blackadder family tree.
  • Occurs in several episodes of Here's Lucy, usually involving either Lucy and Harry agreeing to help the other, who subsequently takes excessive advantage of the others offer. One notable example is the episode "Harrison Carter, Male Nurse" where Lucy has broken her leg, and has Harry become her nurse-maid. She constantly summons him with a bell to come upstairs, just as he has just gotten downstairs, making increasingly petty demands each time.

Video Games
  • Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has Michelle, whose heart events consist of her requesting increasingly valuable items and has you overhearing her calling you a sucker and asks for a pink diamond, which is required for her final heart event. She even has the gall to rub it in your face when you confront her!

Web Comic
  • Mentioned by name in 8-Bit Theater. When the gag befriend a dragon who's hanging out in a local volcano, he asks if there's any way to make up for the roughness of their first encounter. The Light Warriors immediate discuss how to get the most out of the offer, including plundering the dragon's hoard for every last speck of treasure, when the Dragon explains that he can hear them and that taking advantage of a dragon is a terrible idea.

Web Original
  • In one episode of The Guild, Vork visits Codex at her appartment and she tells him he can help himself to anything in the kitchen. When he tries to take her frogurt maker, she has to clarify that she meant food only, which he regards as Moving the Goalposts.
  • Kerry/Seraphim from the Whateley Universe ran into a brutal case of this. Her powers allow her to heal people, and she looks like an angel and is staying in a church. Initially she heals people because she wants to, but soon those caring for her decide that they want the flow of interest, tourism and money she's generated to keep up and won't let her stop healing, even when it endangers her own health. It doesn't end well.

Western Animation
  • SpongeBob SquarePants falls victim to this a lot.
    • One time Squidward quits his job over an argument with the boss, and ends up on the street. SpongeBob agrees to take care of Squidward, but he then treats SpongeBob like a slave.
    • A few episodes revolve around SpongeBob trying to get past being an Extreme Doormat to the whole of Bikini Bottom, but realising he is okay with being stepped on (sometimes literally).
    • Another episode revolves around SpongeBob gaining a large amount of wealth. What starts as him buying someone an ice cream evolves to him basically throwing money to an enormous crowd of moochers.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Secret of My Excess", Spike is offered a spontaneous present by one of the townsfolk he meets, upon that person learning it's Spike's birthday. Spike's inherent dragon greed starts to kick in, and he starts exploiting spontaneous presents from other people.
    • In "Suited for Success", Rarity offers to make dresses for all her friends, and she slaves over the project until she comes up with a gorgeous gown for each of her friends. But they weren't what her friends were expecting, and they offer all kinds of crazy suggestions for improvement. Rarity runs herself ragged trying to meet the demands of her friends, but she hates the way the dresses turn out and she ends up humiliated at a fashion show.
    • In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", it happens to Rarity again. She runs into an old acquaintance at a fashion show and gives her some of her custom fabric to use for trim on her designs. Said acquaintance uses all the fabric to completely remake her dresses, and then takes credit for the fabric, forcing Rarity to remake her own dresses from scratch so it won't look like she's making knockoffs.
  • The Simpsons has several specific examples, but Bart and Homer have this trope as character traits.
    • Bart often does this whenever his parents give him a break. At one point he is denied pizza for another prank, after which Homer gives him a slice anyway so long as he promises to be good. Bart obviously lied, to the point that his behavior degrades to completely random and unsatisfying acts of destruction simply due to the knowledge that Homer will let him get away with it. Homer finally snaps and gives Bart a genuine punishment. This discipline is implied to have positive effects on Bart's life directions in the future.
    • Homer's infinite borrowing from Ned Flanders. It's been phased out, but Homer borrowed everything from a TV tray to tools to the downstairs bathtub, and actually considers it a point of pride that he's not returned any of it.
    • When Bart gets an elephant, Homer feeds it by taking it to Moe's bar, where Moe offers free peanuts to encourage people to drink.
      Moe: [dragging in a giant bag of peanuts] "I think you're taking unfair advantage of my generous offer."
  • Both of Garfield's animated shows at least once utilize a similar plot where Garfield befriends a mouse in his home, explaining he doesn't chase them. The mouse near immediately invites all of his friends to take over the place and rob it clean of food. This is obviously a sore spot for Garfield who decides to take action following this.
  • Wendy in Gravity Falls's episode Boss Mabel. Mabel as boss decides to be more permissive to Wendy by letting her hang out more often with her friends, Wendy starts to let her friends destroy the gift shop with their dangerous games (and even hit a kid on the head with a dissected head. When Mabel ask politely to Wendy to return to work and clean the mess, she tells her she's starting to act like Stan and Mabel to avoid the comparation gives Wendy a full payed day off, leaving Mabel doing her job. This is one of Wendy's most Jerkass moments ever.
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series had Killer Croc do this to a bunch of circus freaks who had hidden themselves away from the outside world so they could be themselves. They were willing to let him join them on their farm, but when Killer Croc heard they had $50,000, he couldn't resist. When asked why after he's captured, Killer Croc solemnly admits he had to be himself.