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. Contrast with Team Rocket Wins.

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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 

  • 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.

  • "Even the Losers" by Tom Petty.
    Baby, even the losers get lucky sometime
    Even the losers keep a little bit of pride
    They get lucky sometime...
  • Averted with "At Seventeen", Janis Ian's 1975 pop classic about teenage elitism and being shunned, where the narrator is 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 
  • A Blondie comic showed everything going right for Dagwood, like the inversion of a Humiliation Conga: Mr. Dithers praised him and gave him a raise for some particularly skilled work, Blondie prepared his favorite meal and then smilingly waved him off to poker night, where he can't seem to get a bad hand.... The final panel shows Blondie, sitting up in bed, smiling out at the reader (and looking hot in her nightie) and saying something to the effect that "after X years in this comic strip, he deserves a day like this!"
  • In Garfield, Jon is finally now dating Liz the veterinarian, after crushing on her without success for, what? Thirty years?
    • Before that, he actually managed to get a real date. Granted, the woman in question was a bit of a Gonk, but despite that she had a lovely personality, and they both had a wonderful time.
  • One strip of The Born Loser had the protagonist having a moment of good luck for once. Once.
  • In Peanuts, Charlie Brown had some success in the '90s after decades of constant failure; he managed to hit a home run and win the game for his team not once but twice; he defeated a bully named Joe Agate in marbles; and he might even kicked the ball for once.
    • In You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown winds up winning a motocross race despite every force in the universe seemingly indicating that he wouldn't. Goes into Shaggy Dog Story territory when the intended prize—Pro Bowl tickets—is replaced by five free haircuts. His hair is not very plentiful and his father is a barber.
    • It's Magic, Charlie Brown throws two bones at Charlie Brown after Snoopy makes him disappear. When Charlie Brown sees Lucy playing with her football, he takes the opportunity to kick it from her and then taunt her about it. Later on after Snoopy brings him back, Lucy tells him he can't prove that he kicked the football. Snoopy retaliates by suspending her in midair and leaves, happily skipping away with together with Charlie Brown.

    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.
  • Stacy Keibler was a Designated Monkey for almost the entirety of her WWE career, despite being (mostly) a face: stripped, spanked, bullied by both men and women, beaten to within an inch of her life on several occasions, and constantly negatively compared to more "traditionally" beautiful Divas such as Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus. And to top it all, she won only three matches over the course of a four-year run. But there was a brief period late in 2004 when she Took a Level in Badass, ascended to main-event status, and - arguably her proudest moment - entered a Divas' Battle Royal at that year's Taboo Tuesday and managed to stay in the ring for most of the match, outlasting every other face Diva.
    • What Could Have Been: WWE had planned for Stacy to win Taboo Tuesday and become Women's Champion. However, the day of the match, she told the WWE brass she didn't deserve to be champion, as she was not a wrestler. Instead, they did a half-hearted Status Quo Is God by letting Molly Holly (the woman Stacy pinned three weeks in a row going into Taboo Tuesday) be the one to eliminate her. Stacy fully reverted back to her Faux Action Girl status shortly afterwards, losing a bra-and-panties match to newcomer Christy Hemme.
  • Zack Ryder had been WWE's Butt Monkey for years, but at WrestleMania 32, he won the opening ladder match to become Intercontinental Champion. He lost it the next day on Raw, but no one can take away his WrestleMania moment.

    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. They are the largest unified military force in the galaxy and get to act it.
    • 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 

Alternative Title(s): Give The Dog A Bone