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 relationships).
Anime and Manga
- The page picture is Mafia Princess Trish Una basically walking all over our heroes from the Vento Aureo part of Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
- Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki's mother was a regular victim of this thanks to his Jerkass aunt, who kept turning to her for financial help. Sadly, Kaneki's mom was every bit an Extreme Doormat, and literally worked herself to death. It ultimately transpires that said aunt never actually needed the money and lived an incredibly comfortable life: she just wanted more, and knew she could use her sister to get it.
- A Goofy comic has a tourist family's car break down in front of Goofy's house. He lets them in to use the phone, and offers to let them live with him until the car is fixed. They start draining away at his money by their constant eating, making long-distance calls, doctor bills, helping pay for the repairs... After they finally leave, another car breaks down in front of Goofy's house... and is greeted with gunfire.
- This is why Donald's Uncle Scrooge is such a skinflit. The one time he tried to be more charitable to improve his image, this trope took full effect.
- An old European goes to confession for the first time in decades.
"Father, I have sinned... During WWII, I disobeyed the law and hid a Jewish man from the Nazis in my cellar."
"Rest assured, my son, it was not a sin."
"I made him pay rent though."
"Oh. That is... slightly less good of you, but overall still not a sin."
"But I do have one question, Father..."
"Yes, my son?"
"Should I tell him the war's over?"
- 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.
- 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!
- Mentioned by name in 8-Bit Theater. When the gang 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.
- 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.
- 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 takes Squidward in, and though initially grateful, Squidward becomes a Spoiled Brat who refuses to even leave his bed and forces SpongeBob to wait on him hand and foot. Eventually, SpongeBob snapped.
- A few episodes revolve around SpongeBob trying to get past being an Extreme Doormat to the whole of Bikini Bottom, but realizing 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.
- The Lost Episode: After SpongeBob gains the ability to fly, the citizens asks him to do tasks for them, which are easy for them to do it themselves and it really has nothing to do with flying (such as cleaning Mr. Krabs' garage, Helping Larry pick out a tie, balance Mrs. Puff's checkbook, etc.). This is where SpongeBob ditches them and head to Jellyfish Fields.
- In the episode "Krusty Towers," Mr. Krabs starts the eponymous hotel with the policy "We shall never deny a guest, even the most ridiculous request." When Squidward gets sick of waiting on Patrick hand and foot, he quits his job... and promptly returns as a guest and milks the policy for all it's worth.
- Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy: In one episode, Ed, on the suggestion of Double D and Eddy, moves out of his home and into Rolf's shed in order to get away from his Jerkass little sister Sarah. Rolf initially accepts them with open arms, but the Eds quickly wear out their welcome, eating all of his food, interfering with his chores, and even forcing him out of his own bed. Eventually, Rolf snaps and gives them a beating:
- 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.
- 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' episode Boss Mabel. Mabel, as acting boss, decides to be more permissive to Wendy by letting her hang out more often with her friends. When Wendy and her friends destroy the gift shop with their dangerous games (even hitting a kid with a severed head), Mabel politely asks Wendy to return to work and clean the mess. Wendy instead guilt-trips Mabel by telling her she's starting to act like Stan and Mabel, horrified at the comparison, gives Wendy a day off with full pay, leaving Mabel to do her job as well. 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.