Throw the Dog a Bone
"Waspinator happy at 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.
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation
open/close all folders
- 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).
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures fanfic Queen Of All Oni (part of Project Dark Jade), Jade ends up hiring the Enforcers, and pays them regular wages (at one point, they mock the heroes by saying it's more than Section 13 pays them), and even when she fires them she gives them severance pay and all their belongings. When they realize that Jackie isn't there yet, they decide to flee the country and get away from magic and the chaos involving it that they keep getting mixed up with once and for all. And then they get arrested almost immediately afterwards.
- In Equestria: A History Revealed, after reaching an emotional catharsis of sorts to get over her jealousy and grudge over Celestia, the Lemony Narrator finds her happiness, that being a couch, a good stock of Doritos, and her coltfriend, Crazy Larry at her side. This is after countless failures in her life, like messing up on a relatively easy love potion, somehow catching syphilis, her countless academic failures, and general inability to find self-worth. Even though she hadn't exactly been The Woobie throughout the fic and many of her challenges seemed to be self-deserved, she found her own happy ending.
- The story No, I am NOT a Brony, GET ME OUTTA EQUESTRIA! has a Fourth Wall Mail Slot chapter in which BronyWriter pulls the hero, TD Powell back to Earth for the purposes of the Q&A, and while he makes it clear that he'll be sending TD back to Equestria for future chapters, he lets him have his date with his longtime crush Danae first.
- In Those Lacking Spines, Vexen has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after his encounter with the Lazy Town Cake Song among other things. He spends most of Chapter 10 relaxing in a lounge while Lexaeus and Xaldin are fighting Bishounen Gutless.
- In the Space Quest Incinerations fan game, General Bruce Havok, one of the most badass guys in the galaxy, says to Roger Wilco, savior of the galaxy yet perpetual Chew Toy Extraordinaire, that he knows of Roger's heroism and is a big fan. While he did treat Roger like crap earlier, it's largely because it's been many years since Roger's exploits have occurred, and thus Bruce didn't realize he was dealing with that Roger Wilco, and Roger is something of a Jerk Ass when he's not saving the galaxy.
- In the Bleach story A Black Heart Ichigo lets Kon takeover his body to get laid while Ichigo takes care of some business.
- In Uninvited Guests, after enduring 41 chapters of craziness, Toshiro Hitsugaya is happy when Nanao Ise takes over as his lieutenant, a partner who actually does her job. The narration even points out that the universe may throw you a bone if you work hard and never give up.
- In the Danny Phantom fanfiction, Harmless, Klemper now has the ghost dog, Cujo. At last, the lonely ghost has some friends.
- In one Kim Possible fanfiction, Drakken complains about his plan going wrong and his base being destroyed on his birthday. So Ron convinces him to use a machine to drop several gallons of oil on the fighting Kim and Shego; in exchange, Ron would hold off on destroying the base for a while. Upon seeing the results, Drakken declares it his best birthday ever.
- In Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister? Naruto routinely unwings Sekirei then blocks their ability to be winged either to save them from abusive Ashikabi and/or allow them to make their own decisions without being influenced by their bond. While Minato has been the Butt Monkey for most of the story, including both Matsu and Tsukiumi finding him pathetic once they weren't drawn to him, Musubi still loved him after her bond was severed. In fact, neither knew it was severed until they kissed and she didn't sprout wings.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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 more than two-thirds of the match, outlasting every other face Diva.
- In Dino Attack RPG, after constantly getting interrupted every time he tried before, Rex finally manages to propose to Amanda during the Final Battle. Unfortunately, this quickly turned into a case of Yank the Dog's Chain when Amanda was suddenly killed off a few posts later.
- 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.
- Whitney Kropp, a bullying victim at Ogemaw Heights High School, was nominated for homecoming princess by her tormentors as a Carrie-inspired prank. The prank backfires and it got the town to support Whitney and Whitney ends up winning the crown for Homecoming princess! Take that, bullies.
- The DC Extended Universe has been helpful to actors and characters.
- Henry Cavill was infamous from getting snubbed on getting major roles from various studios in favor of other actors, most notably by Robert Pattinson for the role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight film series (which even surprised series creator Stephenie Meyer, who initially thought that Cavill fit the bill better). That all changed when Zack Snyder hired him to play Superman in Man of Steel.
- Wonder Woman finally getting to appear in a live-action film after years of the movie project going nowhere - especially considering that Warner Bros. executives were on the fence about letting her have a movie, leading to the now infamous Tweet from Brett White about how DC didn't want to do Wonder Woman because it was too confusing, while Marvel was working on Guardians of the Galaxy, which has a raccoon using machine guns. Taken even further once it was confirmed that she would be getting a standalone film before Marvel could release a female-led movie.
- Story goes Ben Affleck was vying to be Batman during the period between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins, but because of the Development Hell he took on Daredevil as the closest thing. His career tanking from Gigli didn't help, either. Even after rebuilding his career by being both actor and director, he admitted to being surprised when he was approached to be Batman because he was getting older and couldn't play a 20-something or 30-something Batman, and was delighted to learn they were going in the Dark Knight Returns direction for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Michael Bell, who voiced Prowl and Swoop among others, in The Transformers, expressed interest in returning to the Transformers franchise for years, auditioning to reprise the roles of Prowl and Swoop for Transformers Animated for Ratchet and William Fowler for Transformers Prime, but these never panned out (Animated!Prowl went to Jeff Bennett, Animated!Swoop was The Speechless, and Prime!Ratchet and Fowler were voiced by Jeffrey Combs and Ernie Hudson respectively). This was until he was cast as High Tide in Prime's sister series Transformers Rescue Bots. Along with Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Gregg Berger, Dan Gilvezan, he also returned for Transformers: Devastation, reprising the roles of Sideswipe and Scrapper.