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Throw the Dog a Bone
Charlie Brown's finest hour.

"Waspinator happy at last."
Waspinator, giving the very last line of Transformers: Beast Wars It didn't last.

So they've been constantly injured, the butt of every joke and misfortune, much to the audience's amusement, and it seems the universe itself just likes screwing with him. So what's happening now? Huh... he's happy?

Yes, it seems that fate/God/the writers finally decided to Throw The Dog A Bone. It can be them ultimately coming out ahead, or just having a break for once, but it's generally very satisfying to whoever it happens to and any fans that had felt sorry for him.

One way this can happen is if the "Dog" character gets into a relationship. This can be very irritating to fans of the other character if it comes across as a reward and objectifies - in particularly bad versions of this; they might come across as - by this trope's very metaphor - a "bone." (Even "better", listen to fans complain if this doesn't happen.)

If the bone is thrown only to be cruelly snatched away later, then this becomes Yank the Dog's Chain, a set-up for the writers to further toy with the hapless character.

Compare Karmic Jackpot, Earn Your Happy Ending.


Example subpages


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  • The Trix rabbit is occasionally given a chance to actually try the cereal depending on the outcome of a poll. People vote for him to get it every time, and by now you would think the company would get that people really feel sorry for the guy and hate those greedy kids.
    • They probably do and know that sympathy for the rabbit makes people remember the commercials more.
    • Of course the audience is supposed to sympathize with the rabbit—they're supposed to want the cereal as bad as he does.
      • The message seems to be that the audience is supposed to sympathize with the kids, and feel ridiculously entitled to their cereal, thus becoming more insistent on buying it. Unfortunately, most kids seem to have a moral core that rates "don't be a jackass animal abuser" above "I deserve cereal because the kids become jackass animal abusers for it." Score one for basic human decency.
      • There have been a small number of ads where he did actually get to eat the cereal — One of them is found Here. In another, he tastes it, goes into his usual "description" monologue, and looks up to see that the bowl is now empty.
  • One Christmas-themed Cocoa Pebbles commercial ends with the real Santa showing up, and Fred and Barney for a change sharing a bowl of the cereal as friends.
  • After attempting to get back together with the woman who rejected him for a Swiffer Wet-Jet (buying flowers, dedicating radio songs to her), the broom finally found a new girlfriend - the rake.
  • A priceless Super Bowl Coke commercial where Macy Balloons of Stewie and Underdog are fighting (aka bumping into each other) in order to get that balloon of a Coke bottle. Eventually, the bottle starts to float away. Both characters turn and see a round shape on the horizon. It's CHARLIE BROWN, who then wins the prize. Watch it here.
    • Even better, he gets it in full view of a little girl in a blue dress and carrying a football (hint hint).

    Fan Works 

    Magazines 
  • MAD's Monroe is occasionally thrown a bone, though they often Yank the Dog's Chain in the very same comic. Two examples:
    • Getting to make out with his Irish cousin. When his parents find out, they force him to sleep in his roofless tree house in the pouring rain.
    • Having the school bully steal his date at the cinema, but then getting him to eat a rotten hot dog he found on the floor of The Rocky Horror Picture Show screening next door.

    Music 
  • "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian. Inverted in the 1975 pop classic about teenage elitism and being shunned, where the main character — this song's told in first person — not even so much as thrown a bone while all of her popular classmates get all of the attention, accolades and the cream off the crop of boys.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One strip of The Born Loser had the protagonist having a moment of good luck for once. Once.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Howard Finkle, WWE's ring announcer during the 90s and early 2000s, was a Butt Monkey almost any time he had any role in any storyline. However, during a feud between the mutually mulleted X-Pac and Jeff Jarrett, Jarrett bullied Finkle (who was bald) as part of the buildup. After X-Pac won the hair versus hair match, Finkle got to help him shave Jarrett's head.

    Role-Playing Games 

     Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • After years of being the game's Butt Monkey, shown dying in droves in the fluff, getting saddled with unplayable units, and being to some extent incompatible with the current core rules, around the transition to 4th Edition the Imperial Guard finally got a decent codex. Their 5th edition update brought such treats as support gunships and the ability to field more tanks than any other army, pushing the guard into full Who's Laughing Now? territory.
    • The Dark Eldar went over a decade without an update to their extremely limited and increasingly dated model range and notoriously unforgiving rulebook, before finally getting not just a codex packed full of background fluff and viable units, but some of the most detailed models Games Workshop has ever produced.

     Real Life 

Shoot the Shaggy DogTropey the Wonder DogYank the Dog's Chain
Think Happy ThoughtsHappiness TropesToo Happy to Live
The ShrinkImageSource/Newspaper ComicsVolumetric Mouth
Thou Shalt Not KillIdealism TropesTo Win Without Fighting

alternative title(s): Give The Dog A Bone
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