"Since saving New York, the Ghostbusters have been sued and lost all their money. Ungrateful shits. Did the
fire department get sued after 9/11, as well?"
Heroes save people, even enemies.
What's more, if a hero saves a rival
or villain enough times, you'd expect them to change their attitude towards the hero into one of at least grudging
respect or having honor dictate that they "owe them one".
You'd be wrong.
Heroes don't always get gratitude
, or even a basic "thank you"
for their efforts, and sometimes, any thanks are patently insincere
. Rivals and enemies in particular tend to treat these saves with the same gratitude for the air they breathe (read, none). And that's if they aren't actively angry at being put through the ignominy of being saved
by those filthy freaks,
they'll usually betray
such mercy at the first opportunity. Ungrateful Bastards.
This is true even if it's a forced Enemy Mine
situation, and he never even acknowledges the service rendered or is grateful, much less gets Character Development
or a change in their relationship to reset
. This might be done either to show how utterly evil (or at least callous) the enemy is, and avoid having the show's formula change
with the Big Bad
growing unable to kill or hate someone who has saved them so often.
See also Never Accepted in His Hometown
, What Have You Done for Me Lately?
, and Zero-Approval Gambit
Contrast Grudging Thank You
. Probably not related to the inglourious
kind. See also Entitled Bastard
In the Real Life
examples section, please keep the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Mazinger Z: The Hero Kouji Kabuto, his Tsundere Battle Couple and Love Interest Sayaka Yumi, their families and their friends risk their lives on a constant basis to protect humankind from a Mad Scientist and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds worked for Hitler and wants to Take Over the World and enslaving the whole humanity to make them pay for all grievances he suffered in the past. How much gratitude do they get? You guessed it, none. Not only that but also people constantly blame them for the destruction and the deaths caused for the battles between Mazinger-Z and the Mechanical Beasts, apparently not realizing if Mazinger-Z did not exist, all of them would be corpses or slaves (or keeping in mind how Dr. Hell got his Mooks, they could become BOTH). And every time The Dragon Baron Ashura blackmails the Japanese Government, they demand the Government gives into their threats (episode 17 provides a good example).
- Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! refuses to change his opinion of Yugi, despite the latter having come to his and/or his brother's rescue on at least three separate occasions. He has a Grudging Thank You moment at the end of Duelist Kingdom, even though defeating Yugi became an obsession for him in the following seasons.
- At least he stopped trying to kill him in the manga. His opinion of Yugi did eventually change, but that was in episode 223, and it took seeing Yugi destroy ALL THREE EGYPTIAN GODS in one move for that to happen.
- Lolly and Menolly from Bleach. After Orihime heals them both (including bringing Menolly back from the dead) from the mauling they got at the hands of Grimmjow, they still consider her a useless monster not worthy of Aizen's attention. When he leaves to take out the hometown, they decide to take advantage of Ichigo being occupied with another fight and try to beat Orihime to death again. It doesn't end well for them. They (or at least Lolly) actually hate Orihime MORE after she heals them. Ungrateful Bastards indeed, to the point of becoming the Darkest Representation of the Trope.
Lolly: What is she... What... She's... She's... Like a monster...!?
- Yammy also fits this description; After a nurse reattaches his arm, Yammy's first reaction is to crush her under his fist to test it out.
- Rufa from Dragon Half, while not, technically, an enemy, treads close to this trope.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Frieza tries to kill Goku one last time after just getting his life saved. By this point, Goku's had enough and doesn't offer him the same deal thrice. Hey, sometimes he learns, it's just Frieza who couldn't.
- Another Z example would be a bit earlier in that Saga, when Gohan grabs a badly-wounded Vegeta to get him out of the way of Recoome's incredibly powerful Breath Weapon (which probably would have instantly killed him). Just why Vegeta yells at him depends on the translation, but he's pissed off about it.
- Vegeta has a history of this. When he intentionally wounds himself to the point of near-death, thinking Dende will heal him and make him stronger, he's horrified to find Dende refuses to do so (due to the rather-reasonable argument that Vegeta has killed a lot of Namekians). When Dende comes back and finally obeys, Vegeta punches him in the stomach, with a cry of "You little turd!"
- An example that's neither villains nor rivals: The Obstructive Bureaucrats ordering around the Black Order in D.Gray-Man. These jerks are supposedly on Allen's (the hero) side. Yet their reaction to him saving everyone's asses, hampering the Big Bad's ability to make mooks, and capturing the Ark at the end of the Ark Arc is to put him under surveillance and try him for heresy, despite the fact that it is known, in canon, that if he'd betrayed him he wouldn't still be walking around, let alone now one of their most powerful exorcists. Not only that, but they absolutely need him to continue their war, pushing this into Too Dumb to Live territory. Even worse now, they put him in a jail cell for not obeying orders when he was trying to save everyone.
- In Busou Renkin , Kazuki risks his life to protect the Hayasaka Twins (the series' Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain) from Tokiko, who wants to kill them simply because they work for L.X.E. Shusui "thanks" Kazuki by trying to kill him. Kazuki gets better (thanks to Ouka), but even so...
- Nabiki Tendô, of Ranma ˝. Ranma Saotome is not only engaged to marry her little sister in an Arranged Marriage, but protects the household on a fairly regular basis from various chaos. Admittedly, some of that chaos comes to them because he's living there, but there are many events that would have fallen on the Tendôs' doorstep anyway (Picolet Chardin showing up to claim one of them as his promised wife, Akane running off to Ryűgenzawa and its resident Orochi, Happôsai coming to town...). He's also directly saved her from harm at least once, and once saved her life. How does she repay him? She's utterly indifferent to his well-being and considers him solely a source of money and amusement, to the extent she's willing to put his life in danger if she thinks it will make her some money.
- There's also a subversion: As Genma Saotome frequently complains, Ranma Saotome is an "ungrateful son"...except in Ranma's case he's kind of justified, because everything positive Genma did for Ranma was what a father is supposed to do, while Genma also added a lot of unnecessary negative complications that he then left for Ranma to fix. Really, Genma himself is an example of this trope, ungrateful that Ranma does constantly clean up after his messes.
- In Naruto Sasuke Uchiha became this recently. While attacking the Kage conference, Suigetsu and Jugo save his life, as they had against Killer Bee earlier. However, Sasuke leaves them both to die without looking back, collapsing the ceiling on them and the enemies alike. Later on, Karin heals him back from the brink of death (again, saving his life twice counting Killer Bee and the Kages) and helps Sasuke defeat Danzo. When Danzo takes her hostage, Sasuke aims his Chidori Spear right through her, considering anyone dumb enough to be taken hostage a burden. She survives the spear, and just as Sasuke is about to kill her with Chidori, Sakura shows up and claims to want to join them. Sasuke (who even now isn't that stupid) tells Sakura to kill Karin, who manages to warn Sakura that Sasuke's about to chidori both of them. As much of a rabid Sasuke fangirl as Karin is, she doesn't take being skewered well.
- Also, the treatment of Naruto by the villagers. If the Kyuubi hadn't been sealed inside him, it would have destroyed Konoha, but he is a pariah because of it. Over time, this gets better as they see how much Naruto has accomplished and start regarding him as a hero.
- Hatake Sakumo suffered greatly from it. During a dangerous mission, his teammates were captured and he went back to save them. Unfortunately this also meant he had to give up on a mission that was vital to Konoha. The result? The whole of Konoha villifies and disgraces him, including the people whose lives he saved, ultimately driving him into a depression and then suicide. As if that isn't sad enough, he leaves behind a seven year old son who absolutely idolized him, and leads to some serious plot development. After all, If Sakumo hadn't killed himself, Obito might never have met Madara and the Akatsuki would never have been formed
- In Pokémon, Ash's Charizard used to a major example of this. When it was still a Charmander, its former trainer abandoned it on a rock, leaving it on the brink of death on a rainy night. Ash had saved this Pokémon and took it with him on his journeys. It would eventually evolve into Charmeleon and start disobeying him. Upon evolving into a Charizard, its attitude doesn't improve much and actually costs Ash the Pokémon League Indigo Conference. It isn't until late in the Orange Islands arc that Charizard finally comes around.
- Its kind of Fridge Brilliance when you think about it: Ash gained Charmander through a trade, he didn't outright catch him in the wild. Charmander, in his mind, would still be registered (and if this was the game) to his original trainer. Thus when he gets stronger, and when he evolves...any respect for Ash goes away. It takes to the Orange Islands for Ash to gain the experience needed for Charizard to respect him.
- In Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, the main characters meet Shaymin, the Gratitude Pokémon. Yeah right... All she does throughout the film is annoy the characters and treat them badly. To put it from a perspective from a certain reviewer:
She also COUGHS dust in Ash's face often (in one case after saying Dawn is nicer than Ash, when really she's stupider when Ash understandably scolds Shaymin, and FAKING being scared so that idiot Dawn can tell Ash off, acts extremely POMPOUS like Diamond Tiara after she says to Dawn saying Shaymin really is something 'I am? Aren't I?', demands praise after it's revealed she DESTROYED A FOREST (hmm.... are you sure Shaymin isn't a prodigy of HEXXUS from FernGully...) and after she APPARANTLY saved them from Giratina even though she didn't do anything to help them out AND she was the one who got them all into trouble in the first place, doesn't thank Ash OR Newton Graceland for technically SAVING her (in Ash's case, TWICE), says FLATTERY will get Newton nowhere when he says Substitute was impressive to trick Giratina (why would anyone want to FLATTER you, you little brat?!), she is actually pretty mean to Giratina by saying Giratina not being able to leave the Reverse World is a PUNISHMENT that befits the crime of trying to EAT her (that is not a crime, I would REWARD anyone who did that) and... worst of all....
ALL SHE EVER DOES IN THIS FILM IS PESTER ASH, DAWN AND BROCK TO TAKE HER TO SOME STUPID FLOWER GARDEN...
- Also lampshaded when Ash saves the Team Rocket trio. While Jessie claims it doesn't change anything and begins ranting at the heroes for saving them James interrupts saying that he, at least, is thankful. This doesn't stop him doing villain stuff a few seconds later.
- Jessie does this again when she gets paralyzed and is not one bit grateful to Misty for providing the Salveyo Weed cure, nor to her teammates for going out of their way to take care of her in the first place.
- In one episode of Samurai Champloo, the trio supposedly meet Xavier III whose trying to spread Christianity to Japan. However he turns out to be nothing but a con man taking advantage of the locals. A girl name Yuri, whom he mercilessly abused, has him at gunpoint and is all set to kill him. But she eventually just tells him to get lost and spares his life. He responds by trying to kill her. Karma however stepped in when after a brief fight a giant cross gets dropped on him.
- The Council are this towards Fairy Tail. On occasion this makes sense, since usually Fairy Tail just rounds up random minor criminals while destroying half the city in the process, but they also get punished when stopping potential calamities without causing trouble in the process
- In one of Genzo's story arcs, a limp old man named Yasuke asks Genzo to made an artificial leg for him. As soon as Yasuke get his new limb, he tries to chop the puppetmaster with his Yamiganemaru blade.
- In a sense, Villetta Nu of Code Geass could be considered this for convincing Ohgi, whose love she finally accepted, to lead the charge of the Black Knights in turning on Lelouch because of some rather questionable evidence of Geass. Yeah, even though she had been keeping surveillance over Lelouch because of said power, which she must have known had limits, and that Lelouch saved Ohgi from execution via Britannian firing squad, which he had to do by going under Villetta's radar. Now alright, Lelouch didn't necessarily do it for Villetta's sake, but talk about a complete lack of class. The Black Knights themselves can be considered this as well for turning on Lelouch, the man who brought them so far against Britannia, after everything he did in an under the table deal for Japan on account of said evidence. While it's true Lelouch had been secretive, they were completely passive aggressive about it, used one of their most trusted and crucial members, Kallen, as bait, and threaten to gun her down as well when she protests, and worse, trusted the word of the enemy commander instead which was expertly skewed against their own, and did so with no input from the organization they were now serving, the UFN.
- One Piece has Zeff providing Don Krieg with food to feed his starving crew with, only for Krieg to immediately turn around and attack the restaurant who had just saved both his and his crew's lives.
- Krieg did give everyone in the restaurant time to evacuate before he took it over; still Jerk Ass behavior, but quite a concession coming from him, albeit partly necessitated by his men needing time to eat and regain their strength. A better example would be when Don Krieg himself was starving. Everyone else present loudly and proudly declared their intent to just let him keel over and die, with only Sanji willing to step forward with food for him. Once Don Krieg is done eating, the first thing he does is get up and punch out, of all people, Sanji. For absolutely no reason.
- The Longarm tribe, who Brooke decides to work with and proceeds to earn them a lot of money and fame, repay him by turning him over to the Navy when Brooke tells them that he plans to retire and return to piracy.
- In One Piece Film: Strong World, the Straw Hats go out of their way to warn Golden Lion Shiki about an incoming typhoon. After they avoid it, he repays them by kidnapping Nami as his new navigator and sends the rest of the crew pummeling down towards his floating islands as prey for the animals there.
- Myosgard, after just having his life saved by Queen Otohime, tries to shoot her. Then again after he is healed up, all he shouts is his disgust towards having to be with them. And lastly, he voices his anger when Otohime wishes to come with him on his ship.
- A villainous variation in the Dressrosa arc, where Donquixote Doflamingo sees Trafalgar Law as this, as he took Law in as a child and raised him to be his right-hand man, only for Law to turn on him; however, he also recognizes that Law has legitimate reasons to hate him, and had a certain incident not happened, Law would've been the third "Corazon."
- Viper Snakely from Kimba the White Lion. Even though Kimba gone against his desire for revenge for killing both of his parents and saved his life from a car crash, Viper Snakely continues to hunt for Kimba and sometimes kill some of his subjects.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam The Plot To Assassinate Gihren, Det. Leopold Fiesler discovers that a year before the current plot against Gihren was launched, a previous attempt had been thwarted by Det. David Schiller, whose family had ties to the anti-Zabi political faction. Gihren used the failed assassination as an excuse to crack down on his political rivals, ultimately imprisoning or executing Schiller's entire family, none of whom were involved in that plot. Ungrateful indeed.
- In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Niijima is this way towards Kenichi early on. He berates Kenichi constantly, and when Kenichi starts getting stronger, he uses him largely for his own selfish gains. Niijima does more or less grow out of this trope, and turns into more of a Guile Hero, especially after he forms the Shinpaku Alliance.
- Louise in The Familiar of Zero might be one of the most exaggerated examples. Saito does/is forced to do so damn much for her after being kidnapped from his home, namely all of her chores, fight all of her battles for her. He even refuses a chance to escape from Halkeginia and go home just to be with Louise. At the end of the second season, he goes up against a giant army, and dies just to keep Louise safe. All the thanks he gets from her is whipping and beating him until he faints out of sheer agony, and destroying his self-worth to the point where he genuinely believes that he is useless. Summed up perfectly by Derflinger:
Derflinger: "You acted coldly to him again didn't you? And then Partner went away with a bitter face... He says he loves you. Partner gave up on going home and joined the war to follow you, though he doesn't want to get involved in it. Why do you think that is? Because he loves you. Have you ever responded to his feelings, even once? While he devotes himself to you, isn't whipping the only thing you do to him?"
- In Girls und Panzer, this lies at the heart of Emi's grievance against Miho's sister Maho in Little Army. It turns out that during the tournament Maho won, when one of the tanks on Maho's team fell off a cliff, the opposing team's (of which Emi's older sister was a member) flag tank went to help, but Maho ordered her tank to fire on the flag tank, even though she was winning. However, Maho's expression when it's first brought up not only indicates shame over doing so, but also quite possibly ignorance of what the flag tank was trying to accomplish.
- This is played straight in the light novel adaptation, in which it is revealed that Erika, one of Miho's fiercest critics, was one of the girls Miho saved from the tournament, and abandoned her flag tank to do so.
- In Holyland, the guy who stabs Yuu in the second-last chapter is a student who Yuu saved from bullies many chapters back.
- Chibi-Usa once pulled this towards Usagi in the anime version of Sailor Moon. She actually stole Usagi's Transformation Trinket after learning that she was Sailor Moon, mentally whining about how terrible Usagi was and how much she hated her for being careless and whiny. Since Usagi was unable to stop the Senshi's capture at the hands of Rubeus because Chibi-Usa rendered her useless by stealing the brooch, she massively chewed Chibi-Usa out for her stupidity. From then on, she still acted bratty sometimes yet never to this extreme.
- In the infamous island arc of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, the title character turns into one for no explicable reason other than Character Derailment. She almost drowns while clinging to Nemo's sinking cabin, while asking the animals and the fish to save her. She receives no such response, predictably. When Jean and Marie both save her, she instead yells at them for catching even more fish. (Marie quickly calls her out on it.) She gets even worse in the Africa arc where she betrays Jean after admitting how important he was to her in the previous episode! (Both of these incidents are quickly forgotten and never mentioned again anywhere else in the show at episode 35.)
- Even during the canonical episodes of the story, Nadia still occasionally shows this; most egregious of all is her determination to detest Nemo for shooting a Neo Atlantean dead, never mind that she would have been killed otherwise.
- In Toriko, one jerk in the backstory threw away the food Frohze gave him because they weren't high-class ingredients. During a worldwide famine. Small wonder Midora flipped out and attacked the guy.
- Rosario + Vampire: In episode 7, after helping to save Mizore from herself and her haywire ice clones, Mizore flat-out tells Tsukune and Inner Moka not to expect her to thank them. In response, Inner Moka lays her out flat and lectures her, telling her to actually try living her life before she starts talking about killing herself; Mizore takes this to heart.
- The X-Men. They can save the world over and over again, and the public of the Marvel universe will still hate and fear them. This is particularly notable during any origin arc, most all of which can be summarized as "Hey, those mutants saved us from that rampaging robot/alien/supervillain/whatever, let's throw rocks at them!"
- In Messiah Complex, Mystique saves her daughter Rogue's life, and Rogue responds by trying to kill her because she had risked an infant's life to do it. To be fair, it's Mystique, who's tried to kill her daughter's friends/family the X-Men multiple and murdered dozens of innocents. Also, mutants were an endangered species at the moment (less than two hundred around the world), and the baby in question was a Messianic Archetype with the potential to restore the mutant population. Rogue didn't want to live at the cost of the mutant race dying out.
- The real cause of humanity's ungrateful bastardry towards mutantkind? A 3-billion-year-old sentient bacteria bent on taking over the world.
- Spider-Man can save J. Jonah Jameson, JJJ's family, and indeed the whole city of New York all day long if he likes; next morning, the Daily Bugle headlines are still going to be reading "Threat or Menace?"
- There's the occasional hint that Jameson actually does like Spider-Man, but that he puts on the horse and pony show to sell newspapers. And far more regular hints that JJ can't stand him. Actually, JJJ clearly stated that he was jealous of Spider-Man, all the way back in the tenth issue.
- Ultimate JJJ, on the other hand, got a clue after a storyline event with the Chameleon caused him to learn Spider-Man's secret identity and Spider-Man's aid kept him from dying when he got shot in the head: this JJJ refused to reveal his identity and vowed to do a complete 180 and "fight the world for him". Under most circumstances, this would likely be Ret Conned as brain damage, or washing, or reversed quickly or eventually, but having only one single writer scripting the entire series helps avoid such problems.
- There's also enough evidence that New Yorkers, even if such mass consumers of Accentuate the Negative to make the Daily Bugle the number one paper, aren't as pliable to the mass media message, and will rally behind Spider-Man. This also pisses off J.J., but the only thing he likes more than subscription numbers is to be pissed off, so everyone's happy.
- Spidey can deliver a quick dose of Laser-Guided Karma to any asshole who starts Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like, namely by shutting their traps with a gag of webbing.
- Some of the New York City Cops are also more on the ball than their colleagues, and will cut the wall-crawler some slack when he makes their lives easier. On rare occasions, more belligerent cops will be called out by their partners, who point out that Spider-Man didn't actually do anything wrong.
- Spider-Man once did have a close ally in the NYPD: Captain Jean DeWolff. Sadly, she was murdered by Stanley Carter, the original Sin-Eater, her ex-lover. (Jean may have even had feelings for Spider-Man that were warmer than he had originally thought, as evidenced from a collection of photographs he found of the two of them together that she kept; one of them, that had included the Black Cat, was altered so that the Cat was removed.)
- Subverted in one older issue when on patrol, Spidey notices an old woman being mugged; he stops the mugger and returns her purse. She thanks him sincerely, promises to never read or believe JJJ's editorials from then on, and wishes him good luck in the future as he swings away.
- The whole Marvel Universe as a whole are filled with ungrateful bastards, quick to turn on the heroes for no good reason or if they make a mistake despite getting their asses saved from Galactus, Magneto, Doctor Doom, etc., Civil War demonstrating that behavior. Then again, Marvel citizens are dumbasses so it's not really surprising. That said, the occasional moments when ordinary people actually show gratitude to the heroes are all the more satisfying, and can serve as Pet the Dog moments to make them likable to the readers.
- The assholishness of the Marvel Universe inhabitants is so pronounced that, when the Avengers hopped to the DC Universe in JLA/Avengers, they were flabbergasted when cheering civilians mobbed them with grateful thanks (and autograph requests) for saving them from a disaster, and upon seeing how much positive media attention the JLA got for their heroics, Captain America became suspicious that the DC Superheroes were tyrants demanding worship from humans.
- To further home what a Crapsack World full of Jerkasses and dragon bulliers and other morons the Marvel Universe is, upon seeing how the Marvel Universe treats its superheroes, Superman accuses them of not doing enough to help people, claiming this is the only reason why they could be so hated by the people they are supposed to protect.
- Superman can save the whole universe over and over again, and the government will still create Cape Busters to attack him. Supe's son, Chris Kent (Nightwing), and his girlfriend, Thara Ak-Var (Flamebird), almost always get attacked the second after they finish a rescue.
- Was even worse in the beginning of Superman. From time to time he would lose his powers for a few days or so and would get a replacement. In this time, everyone simply forgets all his deeds he has done, there would be parades for the replacement for things Superman did every day and sometimes people would even insult him for becoming useless.
- And on occasions when it would even only slightly seem as if Superman would do something evil, everyone would consider it the truth (maybe except Lois and Jimmy, and sometimes not even them) and think he was evil or abandoned the city.
- However, perhaps as a way to distinguish it from Marvel, this quality was reduced considerably (though inconsistently) in DC humans over time to the point where hurting Superman is a Berserk Button for the city of Metropolis.
- When she and her then boyfriend Powerboy quelled a hurricane in Mexico, a general threatens them, saying it is illegal for metahumans to interfere with Mexican affairs. Powerboy threatens to bring the hurricane back, and the general shuts up.
- Supergirl, again, dealt with this with Cat Grant after saving her life (and accidentally breaking Cat's arm in the process). This led Cat to go on a surprisingly effective smear campaign against the Girl of Steel. In the end, Supergirl merely left a note on her desk promising never to rescue her again.
- As befitting a Sociopathic Hero and Villain Protagonist, The Punisher is this trope to the extreme. Not just to criminals who even risk their lives to save his own (it won't even buy you a decent death), but also to his friends. Even for the innocent, getting even a thank you out of Frank requires you to go above and beyond the call of duty.
- In one story in Tales of the Slayers, a medieval Slayer saves her town from a horrific vampire attack.. and is burned as a witch for it. Her stricken Watcher, Forced to Watch as she burned, goes to the city gates and lets the vampires in.
- Think the Fantastic Four is immune to this? Think again. After numerous supervillain attacks on the Baxter Building, Child Protective Services accused Reed and Sue of being bad parents towards Franklin and Valeria. After much protest, they agreed to relinquish custody of their children; however, less than four hours after the officials publically announced they were moving the two children to a safehouse, the safehouse was attacked by an unknown enemy and it - along with everything in a half-mile radius - was reduced to a smoldering crater. Fortunately, Reed had thought ahead of time - it had been a "dummy" safehouse, a condition he insisted on before he agreed to the terms, and miraculously, there were no casualties. Humiliated, the officials rescinded their decision. Unfortunately for the Fantastic Four, no-one ever found out just who had attacked the decoy safehouse, and many accused them of doing it themselves in a ploy to get their children back. Well, maybe it's possible that they did, but even if that's true, the point still stands: If you think you know better than Reed does, he's going to prove you wrong.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog isn't even immune to this. The Dork Age was quite bad at this, with at least two instances of the Freedom Fighters being disbanded in favor of Geoffery St. John's team, despite the fact that they've been fighting much longer than his group.
- In The One-Handed Girl, the girl refused payment for a pumpkin, instead giving it to her sister-in-law. When the sister-in-law tries to get another the next day, the girl is out, so she tells the girl's brother that the girl had refused to sell her any, even though she sold them to other.
- In The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa, the tsar keeps on using the archer's success as a reason to give him a new task or get his head cut off. Then when the princess demands it, he has the archer thrown into boiling water.
- The Brothers Grimm story The Bremen Town Musicians features a donkey, a cat, a dog and a rooster who are all past their prime years and no longer able to perform their services for their masters. Instead of allowing the animals to spend their final years in peace, each animal's owner plans to simply dispose of their beasts and replace them with newer animals. The animals decide to set off on their own.
- The dwarf who sisters Snow-White and Rose-Red keep helping.
- The story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a classic example. The town of Hamelin refused to pay the Pied Piper the amount they had promised him for solving their terrible rat infestation. In short, they stiffed him. But they paid for it in spades, as he kidnapping their children. In fact, the saying "time to pay the piper" is derived from this story.
- Some versions of Puss in Boots end this way, with the cat being promised a fine funeral when he eventually passes on. Playing dead to test his master's sincerity, the cat finds out that the real plan was just to fling him out the window. The cat promptly ceases his charade and leaves, understandably pissed.
- In Team 8, Naruto's team of himself, Shino, Hinata and Kurenai fights a team of missing-nin that kidnapped Konohamaru and Hinata's younger sister Hanabi. After being released, Hanabi shows little gratitude toward her rescuers, particularly her older sister Hinata, and expresses disdain toward her for getting knocked out first.
- In My Immortal, "Dumblydore" saves the lives of "good" characters at least twice. They respond by constantly insulting and deriding him for not being "goffik" enough. Also, whenever anything big goes wrong, Ebony and friends go to Dumbledore and expect him to fix it for them.
- In one The Legend of Zelda fic, Link finishes up saving a village only for the mayor to throw him out because of the amount of damage Link caused. Link himself knew he was going to cause damage and was willing to fix it up, but the mayor's reaction sends him into a minor Heroic BSOD (He gets better).
- The Immortal Game: After the Mane Six strip Terra of her power, they vote to spare her life and imprison her. She mocks them for it and calls them weak.
- Sakura in Naruto:Asunder. Long story short, Naruto brought Sasuke back to the village but had to place a seal on him (Jiraiya taught him the basics and Naruto found a unique way to make his) that put Sasuke in a coma. The seal makes it so Sasuke has to face what he was becoming (Naruto admits he was pressed for time so couldn't get specific with the seal) or he stays in a coma. Sakura keeps bitching even when it's pointed out she didn't do anything to help.
- Queen Of All Oni: Valmont betrays Jade, even though he was a gutter bound common thief when she found him, and he gets a dose of Laser-Guided Karma, stripped naked and dumped in a crowded plaza, where he gets arrested.
- Drago betrayed the Matriarch (Jade's future self) and tried to write her out of the timeline, even though she — against the advice of her advisors — gave him a chance to redeem himself, rather than simply seal him away again. Both Karasu and the Matriarch herself point this out when fighting and punishing him (respectfully).
- In Vision, our Anti-Hero is this, partially through a Trauma Conga Line, and partially through not being all that nice a pony to begin with.
- A Shadow Of The Titans: Machete attacks Jade even though Jade had just broken her out of prison, because was trying to stop her from killing the security guards.
- The fanfic Vinyl and Octavia Machete Their Way Through the Jungle has the main villain, Baron von Darkhoof, locked up in a cage by a tribe of natives to the jungle, with the implication being that he'll be killed. After Octavia goes out of her way to save him, not only does he not thank her, he calls the guards on her and then flies off.
- In Boys Und Sensha-do, Akio doesn't like his girlfriend Miho's older sister Maho, believing that she isn't there for Miho enough, because he doesn't know that the entire reason Maho is working to be Nishizumi heiress is so that Miho will be free to live her life her own way. After Shiho disowns Miho, the question of how Miho will pay her apartment's rent comes up. After hearing that Maho has decided to help out by paying the rent with her own money, Akio's reaction is to express disbelief and maintain that she should have been there for Miho more, even after Miho defends her sister.
- Goes all over the place in For His Own Sake:
- Most of the Hinata Girls are incredibly ungrateful about all that Keitaro did for them in his three years running the Inn, yet are furious and call HIM ungrateful when he leaves, because they expected him to just keep doing everything for them.
- Naru and Mokoto call Shinobu ungrateful and a Fair Weather Friend after she points out their flaws, saying she doesn't appreciate all the help they gave her before. Said 'help' was more like bullying her into silence.
- Naru attacks Chizuka's husband over a misunderstanding. Chizuka has her arrested for assault. Naru doggedly insists that Chizuka is an ungrateful bitch and her husband deserved to get punched out for... teasing his wife about trying a fighting game out at the arcade.
- Played straight again concerning Naru's attitude towards her family when they try bailing her out of jail. Though they try being reasonable, she keeps lashing out, blaming them for all her problems, and gives her sister Mei a Breaking Speech that leaves her in tears.
- What we're meant to think of Ace Ray from My Little Unicorn as, for talking bad about Starfleet, despite bringing up issues reviewers and riffers had been bringing up since the beginning (ie. killing creatures with no thinking if they are good/evil etc.). This was actually done to make fun of the riffers who made fun of the fic in the first place.
- In A Little Walk, Joram the Jerk Ass barkeep has a sick Frodo imprisoned by some corrupt guardsmen, leading to the hobbit's illness getting worse. Despite this, Frodo manages to convince Aragorn not to punish Joram too severely, so the King merely sentences him to work in the laundries, and orders him to make a public apology to the hobbit once the punishment is complete. Instead of feeling any remorse or regret for his actions, Joram blames Frodo for what happened, and tries to kill him by poisoning him.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI: In chapter 42, Mizore saves Arial from being killed by an enraged Kokoa, who has unleashed her overcharge. Arial scornfully remarks that all Mizore really did was push her away and that she could have taken Kokoa down on her own; when Mizore points out that Kokoa was on fire and that Arial, as a snow girl, would most likely have been incinerated by simply being near her, Arial openly dismisses it and hits her over the head with a shard of ice.
- In Origin Story, the Ungrateful Bastard is the entire United States government. Alex prevents an oil tanker from breaking up, and thus stops it from dousing the Florida coast in crude oil, and their response is to call SHIELD and the Avengers down on her head. Again.
Films — Animation
- Gaston, from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, stabs the Beast moments after the Beast decides to let him go (rather than dropping him off the roof). Admittedly, the Beast wasn't actually saving him, but it's still pretty bastardly. It was also the very last act he ever committed.
- The Incredibles has superheroes go into hiding to escape being sued by the people they saved. To be fair, the ones we see ends up hurting most of them pretty badly.
- Buddy Pine was an extremely devout fan of Mr. Incredible who's implied to constantly butt in on his heroics, and in one instance, he almost gets killed, with Mr. Incredible's rescue inadvertently causing great damage, kick-starting the Superheroes Registration Act which forces Mr. Incredible into retirement and hiding. Yet years later, as Syndrome, he has the gall to say he got the short end of the stick that day.
- Mulan. Chi Fu. Mulan destroyed nearly the entire Hun army singlehandedly, yet as soon as it's revealed she's a woman, he automatically decides that she deserves death. After she goes even further and saves the emperor from the Hun survivors (his boss btw), he's no better.
Chi Fu: "That creature's not worth protecting."
Shang: "She's a hero."
Chi Fu: "'Tis a woman. She'll never be worth anything."
Shang: [grabs his collar] "Listen, You pompus..."
- In the finale of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Judge Claude Frollo throws Quasimodo off the wall of Notre Dame but is dragged along with him. Esmeralda catches and holds Quasi's hand who holds Frollo. Despite having learned that Frollo had murdered his mother, Quasi is unwilling to let the bastard go. Frollo manages to get to relative safety and... immediately tries to kill the heroes. Relative was the key word.
- Cera in the first The Land Before Time movie. Littlefoot's mother saves her and Littlefoot from being eaten by Sharptooth. Even after this she remains racist against "longnecks", even going so far as to call Littlefoot's mother stupid.
- Woody has his moment in Toy Story 2. Buzz and friends go to great lengths to get up to the apartment and rescue him from toy collector Al, who is preparing to send him to Japan. The most prominent expression of this is when Buzz gives a heartfelt speech about how he once taught him that life was only worth living if he was loved by a child and he came to rescue him because he believed him. His response? "Well, you wasted your time." Although Woody does see Buzz's point and tries to leave with him almost immediately afterward.
- Amos Slade in The Fox and the Hound is bent on shooting Tod, even after the fox saves him and Copper from a bear. He backs down and lets Tod go after Copper gives him a Heel Realization.
- Lotso in Toy Story 3. Woody and Buzz risk their lives to save him near the end, then when he has a chance to save them with no risk he deliberately leaves them to die in the incinerator.
- Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon could count as this when he finally finds out about Hiccup and Toothless. After inadvertently endangering Hiccup and seeing Toothless rescue him, he attacks the dragon and orders him captured after Toothless spares his life when Hiccup begs him to. Then he tells Hiccup that he's not his son just because he befriended a dragon, then he doesn't listen to his son's stories about how big the queen dragon is and brings what is apparently most of the village on an inadvertent suicide mission. Great parenting skills, Stoick.
- The Swan Princess 2. Derek saves Knuckles from falling off a cliff, only to be pushed down the same cliff by him a few seconds afterwards.
- Originally, at the end of The Lion King, Simba actually chases Scar to the top of a cliff, causing the evil lion to plead for his life, and that the hyenas were behind the death of Mufasa, Simba actually tells Scar to "run away and never return", but Scar responds by throwing burning embers into Simba's face and attacking him while he is blinded. He doesn't survive after his fight with Simba, though thanks to his blame on them, it takes the hyenas to finally finish him.
- In the sequel to Disney's Pocahontas, after saving a man's life, Pocahontas gets knocked down by that same guy and to add insult to injury he calls her a savage.
- Appears in Megara's backstory from Hercules. She sold her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend's life, and he thanked her by dumping her for another girl almost immediately after. Crushed, she gave up on love and became the cynical Broken Bird she is for most of the film.
Films — Live-Action
- The Jedi in the EU are consistently feared by the Galaxy. While this fear is warranted (the Jedi have had multiple civil wars, singular Jedi who go dark can wreck a galaxy, they have special powers), for a few examples, during the Vong War, a large portion of the New Republic felt that the best thing to do would be to appease the Vong by giving them the Jedi. As of this post, the New Republic (Galactic Alliance) is more fearful of the Jedi than the remnants of the Empire. Despite saving the Galaxy again and again, the Jedi just can't seem to catch a break. In fairness to the Galaxy, Sidious ran a massive anti-Jedi propaganda campaign over twenty-three years, and Luke Skywalker mishandled Caridagate. Yes, Kyp Durron conquered his inner demons in the end, but announcing his investiture gave the pro-Order-66 crowd a huge propaganda victory.
- In Anne McCaffrey's Talent series, early on the Talents provide a warning that saves the life of, among others, a Senator who's arguing vehemently to deny them legal protection—even though it also risks the life of their strongest defender. Undaunted, the Senator not only accuses them of perpetrating a hoax but also insists that real psychics would have known better.
- Steve from the The Saga of Darren Shan. Darren saves him by sacrificing most of his humanity after an accident. And how does Steve repay him, by becoming a vampire slayer and vowing to kill him. All because he thought Darren stole his original dream of becoming a vampire.
- Jennifer the Jerk Is Missing. The title character is rude and insulting to her rescuers when she's found. "I like you better tied up and muffled," one of her rescuers says.
Jennifer: Oh, yuck! Malcolm Wylie, what are you doing here? I was hoping to be rescued by some handsome cop or maybe a federal agent or something.
- Palicrovol in Hart's Hope, so much so that the book consists of a plea by another character for him not to kill Orem. It doesn't help that he contributed to the problem by raping the Big Bad, Beauty, when she was a child. So once Orem frees him and his closest friends — including the narrator — from their various curses, at the cost of Orem's beloved son, Palicrovol sets out to kill him due to Orem's time as Beauty's second-string consort. Discovering that Orem is his son (by a different woman) only prompts him to add incest to his list of charges.
- In Robert E. Howard's The Pool of the Black Ones, Conan the Barbarian is rescued from the sea by a pirate ship. As soon as they make land, he goes to murder the captain so he can take over.
- In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, the amnesiac Phaethon hears himself denounced as ungrateful and later learns that he is suing to have his father declared dead after his father had died to save him and been revived from a noumenal recording. Still later, he recovers his memory. He learns that his dying father had asked him to do something and pledged him monetary support so he could do it; he was suing to get the money to carry out his father's Last Request.
- In Warrior Cats, Brokenstar plots with Tigerstar to take over Thunderclan, even though the same clan gave him shelter when he was blinded and saved him from being murdered by two other clans. Even his own clanmates don't treat him with the same kindness as Thunderclan.
- No matter how many times (one, actually) Harry Potter saves his school, the students of Hogwarts will still turn against him on a moment's notice on the strength of lies purported by the government. Meanwhile, Harry never shows any gratitude to Snape for saving his life in the first book, or for attempting to save him and his friends from Sirius Black (at the time believed to be a mass murderer), or for saving their life again in Order of the Phoenix. Snape's a dick to Harry, but you'd think saving his life would merit at least a "thank you" from a kid whose defining characteristic is love. Harry finally gives Snape his due after he learns the truth by petitioning that Snape be awarded an Order of Merlin (posthumously) and naming one of his sons after him (Albus Severus Potter). To be fair, Snape thoroughly enjoys making Harry's life hell, making sincere gratitude difficult, and Snape himself is this as James, Harry's father, saved Snape's life, and Snape was STILL willing to let James die as long as Lily was safe, and only corrected himself when Dumbledore called him out on it.
- Draco Malfoy. Ron even lampshades it:
"And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!"
- Dolores Umbridge, who shows no gratitude whatsoever to Dumbledore after he saves her from a pack of centaurs.
- Chickenhound later known as Slagar the Cruel in Redwall, who crosses the Moral Event Horizon by stealing from the Redwallers and killing Methuselah even after they nurse him back to health.
- Anyone who has read Stephen King's Everything's Eventual will know that Diane, the character from the short story Lunch at the Gotham Cafe, is definitely this trope. You would think, that even after her husband just saved her life from a psychotic waiter, even after treating him very coldly, and demanding a divorce, would at least warrant a "thank you" from her!
- Discworld heroes often get this, especially the ones who saved the world from certain destruction, because people become a lot less certain about how certain it was. In particular, we're told in Eric that there was some talk of building a statue of Rincewind after he saved the world from the Dungeon Dimensions (again) in Sourcery, but as the wizards became more determined to pretend it never happened (since they were the ones who started a magical war and opened the rift in the first place) this became a commemorative plaque, then a commendation on the roll of honour, and finally an official reprimand for being improperly dressed.
- In The Fifth Elephant Vimes tackles the King of the Dwarves out of the way of a falling chandelier, and is promptly imprisoned because laying hands on the king is a crime. To be fair it's not made clear what exactly the king thought of the situation, but at the very least he's clearly grateful to Vimes for the rest of his actions.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: The protagonists, of all people, are these! Payback has Mark Lane save Julia's life, and instead of being grateful, Charles Martin sends three men with presidential gold shields to intimidate Mark, and the three men perform a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Mark's friend Jack Emery. In that book Deja Vu, almost all the men working with the Vigilantes up and leave, and Charles has to explain to the ladies that their men risk their lives, careers and reputations on a daily basis for them, and they have never shown any sort of gratitude for their men! Unfortunately, the ladies do not take that to heart, because the men successfully find the ladies' target, point out his location, and the women respond to this by performing a No Holds Barred Beatdown on their target in front of their men, without even allowing the men to have a piece of him! Ungrateful Bitches!
- In Animorphs, new recruit and Sixth Ranger David is none too grateful to the team for saving his life, even threatening to walk off and try figuring out what to do on his own when they try to tell him what bird to acquire. Seeing as how the David trilogy never shows his side of the story, it's unclear if he's really just plain ungrateful or if he's holding a grudge against the Animorphs for leaving his parents behind to get infested (and in Ax's case, for chopping off his dad's finger).
- In The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes book The Best Is Yet To Come, when an old friend of Abby's mother named Laurie comes over to visit for the summer along with her daughter, Wynter, Laurie gets Abby to babysit Wynter for several hours a day. This doesn't seem so bad until we find out that Wynter is a huge spoiled brat and will only listen to Abby when she buys her candy, cookies, and various other sweets, forcing Abby to use up more and more of her own money to buy sweets to pacify Wynter. This goes on for several days until Laurie declares that she won't pay Abby at all (keep in mind, Laurie is a wealthy musician and could easily pay Abby what she owed her with more than enough money to spare) because she found chocolate in Wynter's sleeping bag that Abby gave to her. Granted, Abby's mother did eventually make Laurie pay up after arguing with her, but still...wow.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime Lannister is reviled by the realm for his betrayal of the Mad King, even by those waging war against him. Jaime considers the slaying of Aerys to be his finest act though, considering that Aerys was planning to engulf King's Landing in Wildfire to "burn them all". Jaime never told anyone that particular detail because no one would believe him, instead assuming he was making shit up to seem like more of a hero. It's not reasonable to call the commonfolk ungrateful when they have no idea that they should be.
- Tyrion's trial for supposedly murdering Joffrey has him do this inwardly when the court is unabashedly a Kangaroo Court that will pronounce him guilty through half truths, outright lying, and paid witnesses, in addition to not allowing Tyrion to speak in his own defense. In the last book, Tyrion had saved King's Landing from being taken by Stannis and massacring everyone. Thanks to him, when Stannis otherwise would have overrun the city in short order due to a lack of any large armies near it, crappy defenses, and a poorly disciplined and inexperienced City Watch, Tyrion's gambits involving a massive chain and shipfulls of wildfire, in addition to putting more men in the City Watch, let King's Landing hold out long enough for The Cavalry to come riding in, but The Cavalry got all of the glory and Tyrion got nothing but the loss of half of his nose.
- In Speak, Melinda befriends the new girl, Heather, goes with her to a model shoot to support her, and assists her in her first Martha Project in order to help her get into the popular Martha clique, only for Heather to later ditch her completely in favor of the Marthas ("Look, you can't eat lunch with me anymore. I'm sorry. Oh, and don't eat those potato chips. They'll make you break out.") She pays dearly for it later.
- The short story Boule De Suif follows a group of French residents fleeing to Le Havre. The title character, Elisabeth Rousset, nicknamed Boule De Suif, is a prostitute, and looked down upon by the other occupants of the coach, but she doesn't let that stop her from kindly sharing her food with them. Later, they are detained by a Prussian officer, and the rest of the party convince Boule De Suif to sleep with him, so that they may leave. She does so...and they repay her self-sacrifice by a) throwing a party without inviting her, and b) treating her with contempt when they are allowed to leave, and refusing to share their food with her, even though she's the reason they were even allowed to leave in the first place!
- One of the most infamous events among The Wheel of Time fandom comes when Mat, a character who has yet to receive the massive power upgrades most of the cast manage to acquire, rescues Elayne and Nynaeve, two characters who are already insanely powerful, from a prison they had absolutely no chance of escaping. They proceed to berate him for daring to think they needed rescuing (they did) and offer no apology or gratitude until damn near forced to by Aviendha and Birgitte.
- Minutes after Mat gets them out of their cell they physically restrain him with magic for pointing out that they should be trying to escape rather than attacking their now helpless former captor.
- This happens to the protagonist during his first voyage in Gullivers Travels. Despite the fact that he helps the Lilliputians by stealing the Blefuscudian fleet and crippling them, they're angry because he refuses to completely eradicate Blefuscu. Later, they convict Gulliver for "making water" in public, or urinating, despite the fact that he did it to put out a fire and saved hundreds of lives in the process, and he's sentenced to be blinded. Gulliver refuses to destroy the city for the same reason he wouldn't to that to their enemies, and with the help of one friendly Lilliputian, he is able to escape to Blefuscu, and they, of all people, are willing to help him find an abandoned boat that helps him find a ship with people his own size.
- Many of the people of the planet Grayson feel this way toward Honor Harrington early in the series, even when she's saved their planet multiple times from enemy attack. They eventually come around.
- Swedish writer Simona Ahrnstedt has a moment like this in her debut novel Överenskommelser. One of the villains, Edvard Löwenström, asks Seth (the male protagonist) for some money. Seth doesn't like Edvard at all, but as he happens to his best friend's brother-in-law and his love interest's cousin, he does give him some money. But how does Edvard thank Seth? By using the same money to separate him from Beatrice (the female protagonist)!
- Kindling Ashes: Dragons aided Auland for generations against invaders and also helped them build the wall, but when it was finished, the Auland government turned its back on them.
- Jack Bauer in 24 has personally saved the USA government officials from political assassinations, a false pretense for war, nuclear attacks, biological attacks, a corrupt president, and more.. To thank him, the officials he worked for don't do a damn thing to save Jack when he was captured by Chinese agents who tortured him for almost two years for information (that he never gave.) Also, most of 24 consists of bureaucrats putting all their efforts in punishing Jack after or even when he's stopping terrorists from murdering hundreds of thousands of people. After everything he's done to save the country, the country's leaders give him less than squat back.
- In Crossing Jordan Garret Macy found out that a dead victim is alive and paralyzed near death, said victim happens to be his old friend who sets his life in ruining the entire cast. When he was paralyzed he said in his mind that he would change as a better man if they saved his life. But when he got out of the hospital he decides to sue the team for negligence. On the way to his car he was killed for real when he was hit by an ambulance.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Full Circle", one character doubles back and pulls another free from the marsh men, and is caught himself. The rescued one takes one look at his rescuer and runs off without even trying to help.
- In The Mind of Evil, the Doctor is nearly Mind Raped to death by a machine that feeds on fear, until Jo saves him by coming into the lab and distracting him. Rather than thank her the Doctor chastises her for not staying outside like he told her to.
- In The Escape Artist, William Foyle is a sociopath that shows no gratitude to either of the two people that go out of their way to help him. This applies to both Will and Maggie; he murders the former's wife and threatens his son because he didn't shake his hand (after the former got him Off on a Technicality), and stalks the latter by breaking into her apartment even after she did shake his hand (after she did the same thing for the murder trial of Will's wife).
- Nina is this to Fabian MANY times on House of Anubis, most notably when he rescues her from falling into the chasm.
Fabian: I...I saved you...
Nina: Oh yeah? Well why don't you save the other girl (Joy Mercer) in this dress?!
- Fabian has also tended to be like this towards Joy in season 3.
- Also Rufus Zeno. Patricia had taken a huge risk and rescued him from the hospital when the teachers had put him into some sort of coma, and he repaid her by kidnapping her later on.
- The Jeffersons: Unlike what the episode title may imply, "Sorry, Wrong Meeting" is not a funny little story about accidentally walking into the wrong meeting, although the plot is most certainly about walking into the wrong meeting. To determine how to handle a series of burglaries in the Manhattan high-rise where the Willises and Jeffersons live, Tom plans a meeting; in the elevator, he runs into a man (who has just moved into the building) and his son, who are planning their own meeting. Tom — unknowing that the gentleman is the master of the local chapter of The Klan, and unknowing that the meeting is about running the Jeffersons out — offers to come. George, Tom and Mr. Bentley (also a white man) arrive and discover that they have the wrong meeting. A loud argument eventually ensues, with George's natural talent of wit (along with Tom's reasoning and Mr. Bentley also using sarcastic wit) thwarting the leader's racist reasoning at every turn. Eventually, the Klan leader suddenly passes out, and George — the only one who knows CPR — manages to revive him and save his life. However, when the man's son tells him that George had saved him, the leader promptly tells his son that "You should've let me die" as the paramedics take him away (The audience gasps in disbelief at this point). His attitude makes the other members realize what they're doing is wrong and, when his assistant tries to resume the meeting, the others all leave the club en masse, with the son — who had once admired his father and was starting to become the very racist image of him — apologizes and takes a look at his own values.
- Little House on the Prairie: The 1979 episode "Barn Burner," which deals with the hardcore racism of a Walnut Grove-area farmer, has such an example at the episode's climax. Judd Larabee is being tried for barn burning in the aftermath of the destruction of Jonathan Garvey's barn; the offense carries an automatic death penalty upon conviction. Eleven of the 12 jurors have voted to convict Larabee, but one – Joe Kagan, the black farmer whom Larabee strongly hates – is not convinced Larabee was responsible; Kagan's instincts prove correct when Jonathan's son, Andy, admits he left a lantern hanging too close to the barn and it ignited the dry tinderwood. Larabee is acquitted ... and shows his graciousness by continuing to call Kagan every racist name in the book! Larabee pays a heavy price in the end, as his family leaves him and the other townsfolk shun him; it is implied that Larabee dies shortly thereafter of a heart attack.
- One episode of Lois and Clark had Superman facing a lawsuit after rescuing a rock musician who claimed Superman injured his hand in the process and that he couldn't play guitar anymore. Turns out the guy had history of suing people at the slightest provocation.
- In the episode "Of Moose and Men", Hawkeye saves the life of a Colonel who is angered by his unmilitary bearing and lack of discipline. After the operation the closest he can come to thanking Hawkeye is to tell him he's "letting him off the hook" (as a favor to Colonel Potter, not Hawkeye himself) by not having him court-martialed for insubordination.
- In another episode, Hawkeye saves the life of a North Korean spy, who curses him for weak and vows to fight him someday.
- Sophia from the episode, "The Gates of Avalon". As one of the Fair Folk forced into the body of a mortal woman, Sophia was not at all pleased when Arthur (whom she enchanted into falling in love with her) saved her from a raider attack. In fact, she was enraged that she had been lowered to a state where she had to be rescued by someone far less powerful than she had been and still plotted to kill Arthur so she and her father could return back to Avalon.
- Arthur in the earlier seasons was completely unwilling to thank Merlin for his help or his advice. Nowadays, he's much more grateful, to the point where Merlin is practically Arthur's unofficial advisor and everyone knows it.
- Subverted in the finale, when Merlin tells a dying Arthur his secret. At first, Arthur feels angry and betrayed and tells Merlin to get away from him. Then he realizes how much Merlin has done for him and Camelot and is grateful. His last words:
"I want to say something I've never said to you before. Thank you
- In Misfits, when Nikki receives a heart transplant that saves her life, she tells the doctor she doesn't want her new heart, and orders him to take it out and give her a different one. In her defense, along with the new heart she had inherited the "gift" of spontaneous teleportation (her first trip resulted in her finding herself in the morgue, lying on top of the frozen corpse of her heart donor) but she couldn't really tell the doctor that part without sounding batshit crazy.
- Elliot of Scrubs qualifies with her behavior towards Dr. Cox in later seasons. In a few episodes, Elliot would rant at Dr. Cox about how he has never helped her. Not counting that he helps her in all of these episodes and other times, he punched out the CHIEF OF MEDICINE for her, risking his job. Though she was a bit ungrateful, she did have a point, as Dr. Cox supported and helped JD out a lot than any of the other interns/residents.
- Dr. Kelso was one as well, treating Ted, the hospital's lawyer, as his personal assistant and making him do degrading tasks. When Kelso finally retires in season 8, he finally thanks Ted for all he's done for him.
- Discussed in "My Big Bird": JD does extra work to diagnose a patient, then is upset when the patient doesn't thank him for his hard work. The patient says he shouldn't expect to get thanked for just doing his job, and as a garbage collector he never gets thanked. Later, JD waits outside for a garbage man to come so he could thank him and is shown hugging him.
- Played straight and averted in Stargate SG-1. Despite various team-ups with the likes of Apophis and Ba'al, both continuously try to destroy the SG-1 afterwards. Averted with Lord Yu, who was at least honorable enough to respect their deals, though admittedly he held to a higher moral standard than most Goa'uld, for instance being the only System Lord to vote against readmitting Anubis into their ranks, and not hiding behind a pretense of being a god. It's notable he was the only one still alive from the time Anubis was expelled, making him one of the more successful ones too.
- Well, Ba'al has helped the SG-1 team on a couple of occasions against a common enemy, and once he even tried to settle down on Earth and made them the offer that he'd become a good lawful citizen and stay inconspicuous if they left him alone, but they still kept trying to kill him; or to capture him to take him to the Tok'ra to extract the Goa'uld symbiote... and then kill it. No rest for the wicked.
- SG1 themselves were the Ungrateful Bastards when they left Fifth trapped in a time dilation field after he betrayed the other replicators to help them escape. This comes back to bite them in the ass... hard.
- Much as the show liked to forget it, every Goa'uld was holding a host captive. Even if they weren't menacing anyone else, merely letting them "live their lives in peace" was an unacceptable situation — as proven by the trial over the Goa'uld and Skaara.
- Also, Baal is not a nice guy who wants to settle down as a good lawful citizen. He's more Genre Savvy than his brethren, so he doesn't go in for the overdramatic Kneel Before Zod stuff when he knows it's not the best means of getting what he wants, but that doesn't make him less evil in the slightest, even if, yes, he's willing to work with an enemy to save his own butt. When he was on Earth, he (and his pal Athena, who was never caught) arranged for a building to be laced with naquadah to be used as a bomb. Imagine a nuke the size of the Empire State Building. The first encounter with him?note He took advantage of the sarcophagus' nigh-magical healing ability and tortured O'Neill to the point of death over and over, refreshing him to start up a new session. Not that you get the feeling that they'd treat him any better if he wasn't a threat to the whole galaxy... but he is.
- The living Ancients in the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Return" fall squarely within this trope. After their hyperdrive failed in the void between the Milky Way and Pegasus, they set their ship up to travel at .999 percent the speed of light. Thanks to relativity, they're still alive 10,000 years later when the Atlantis expedition finds them and brings them home. Their thanks? Kicking the entire human population out, including the people on the mainland, so they could be "alone" and have "time to adjust". Despite repeatedly stating their gratitude, they never actually show it. Arguably they could have had a chance had they not been killed within weeks of reclaiming the city, but there's really no excuse for just how unreasonable they were behaving at the beginning.
- The Coalition of Planets that puts Sheppard's team on trial definitely counts. They made some good points (the same points the fandom made about their numerous What the Hell, Hero?-worthy moments, in fact) but, as Sheppard pointed out, the Atlantis team is the only thing standing between the Pegasus galaxy and total domination by the Wraith (or Michael.)
- Supernatural: Discussed by Bobby when speaking to his younger self, who had just killed his father, a Domestic Abuser. His mother tells him "God is going to punish [him]".
"This is where you learn they pretty much never say thanks when you save 'em".
- As shown on the quotes page, in the Victorious special Locked Up!, Tori protects Jade from a prisoner who was threatening her. Jade's response: "I didn't need your help!" Which is an interesting perspective considering that said prisoner just knocked Jade to the ground with one blow.
- Ingrid in Young Dracula, especially in season three. She's trying to distract her brother so one of her vampires can kill him. She decides the appropriate distraction is to thank him for when he saved her life the previous episode.
- Angel season 3: Lilah fights tooth and nail to free Billy Blim from a Prison Dimension, going so far as to torture Cordelia to blackmail Angel into breaking him out for her. How does Billy repay her for it? He thanks Gavin, her rival, instead and induces him into beating the ever-loving shit out of Lilah while he walks away with a Psychotic Smirk.
- After Black Jesus and his crew save Vic from losing his job and his reputation, and get him out of the almost permanent Lloyd-induced drunken stupor, he gets the city to serve the group's garden an eviction notice.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Worf is given the chance to kill Toral because of what his family did to disgrace Worf's. However, since Toral is just a boy whose family used him as a pawn, Worf spares his life. Years later, Toral confronts and tries to kill Worf over the legendary Sword of Kahless, even taunting Worf for having spared his life. Honorless petaQ.
- In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Sleeping Dogs," Archer and his crew save a Klingon ship in two ways: they cure the crew of a neurotoxin that they'd all unknowingly ingested and save the ship itself from being crushed in the atmosphere of a gas giant. When the Klingon captain recovers, he immediately demands Archer's surrender, even threatening to fire on Enterprise. Archer tells him to shove it up his torpedo tubes before warping away. Lampshaded by Archer himself: "Remind me to stop trying to help people."
- In The Wrong Mans, Scarlett's wife goes to some extreme lengths to get her safe, showing that he does genuinely care for her. Her response is to chew him out for sending those "dickheads" to do the job. She then realises that he's sold a box of vital information and beats him to death, albeit accidentally.
- The captain of the Golden Vanity promises the sky to whoever sinks the enemy ship (French or Spanish, depending on who's covering), then goes back on his word when the cabin boy succeeds, refusing even to pull him back on board. Some versions have the kid surviving, most not.
- The Bible – particularly the Gospels – contain many parables and passages about gratitude:
- Luke 17:11-19 is the story of Jesus cleansing ten lepers, but only one of them – a Samaritan – thinks to thank Jesus and praise Him. While Jesus has plenty of praise for the one who did show his gratitude, He is highly offended at the nine who didn't: "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
- Matthew 18: 21-35 tells the story of the unmerciful servant. Here, the ruler of a kingdom demands that a lowly servant repay all his debts – 10,000 talents, several billion dollars by modern standards – immediately or face imprisonment and torture. The servant begs for mercy and more time to repay the debt, which moves the king enough to cancel the debt altogether. Not long thereafter, the servant encounters one of his debtors, who owes him 100 denarii, which is maybe a few months' rent by modern standards. Likewise, the man's friend says he doesn't have the money and begs for time to collect the money to repay the debt, but the servant refuses to ease up on him and has him badly beaten. The king learns of this incident, summons the servant and screams at him, "You wicked servant. I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" Jesus – who again weaves this parable – then explains that the king rescinded his pardon and had the servant jailed and tortured until the debt could be repaid (which would be... never). His entire point was that good Christians show mercy and gratitude.
- Matthew 20:1-16 is about laborers in the vineyard. Here, the owner of the vineyard hires workers in stages, paying them all an identical sum at the end of the day, regardless of how many hours they worked, whether for several hours or just a few minutes. The workers who received their denarius for working only a short time are thankful, but those who worked all day in scorching heat and without breaks complain when they are given the same denarius. The master, sensing that his worker(s) are ungrateful for what they view as meager pay, replies, "Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" Jesus' point, aside from gratuity, is one He makes several times in the Gospels: "The last will be first, and the first last." (Matthew 20:16).
- From Wicked, the Cowardly Lion's reason for joining the witch-hunting mob:
Tin Man: And the lion also has a grievance to repay, if she'd let him fight his own battles when he was young he wouldn't be a coward today!
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Cyrano lampshades, invokes and tragically averts this trope as the supreme aspiration in his work: After being bullied all his life, Cyrano distrust everyone who claims to help him, and coldly reject any intent of friendship or any help from a powerful person (De Guiche and Cardenal Richelieu at Act II Scene VI). He does not suspect that Christian will help him in his love life, and that averting this trope will be his downfall. Lampshaded in Act II Scene VIII.
... And then, if glory come by chance your way,
To pay no tribute unto Caesar, none,
But keep the merit all your own! ...
- Psychopaths are psychologically and neurologically incapable of feeling grateful, so it's no surprise that they often forget (or just don't care enough) to feign gratitude.
- Severe Unprincipled Narcicissism personality disorder tends to enable adult humans to never express gratitude or thankfulness, no matter the personal cost of the person who knew them.
- A malpractice suit lawyer suing a passing-by doctor giving first aid for an accident victim may or may not considered to be one. Which is why Good Samaritan laws exist.
- There are numerous reports of wounded (POW) Imperial Japanese soldiers wounding or killing field-medics who were trying to help them, sometimes with grenades.
- On a national level, many Canadians have felt this way about US politicians due to 9/11. Despite the country accepting all the international flights diverted from the US (and thus assuming the potential risk of terrorists arriving on those flights, when no one knew what was going on or how many there were), it was noted that when the Bush Administration was going around thanking other countries for their support it took days before they remembered the country next door. The continued exasperation at the Canadian embassy having to send out regular press releases informing candidates, elected officials and even cabinet members that, no, none of the hijackers entered the US from Canada, merely adds to it.
- Oriana Fallaci. She was an Italian journalist who got trapped in the middle of a shooting in Tlatelolco, Mexico City and was shot three times before she was left for dead. By the final years of her life, she hated Mexicans even though it was thanks to a Mexican that she survived. The Mexican student standing beside her protected her with his body from the bullets that were impacting everywhere before he was arrested (and probably tortured).
- The family of Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount basketball player that died on court in 1990) attempted to sue both of the first responders that attempted to help their son, and they sued the school as well. The lawsuit against the first responders (including a doctor in the crowd who volunteered to come down and help) was unsuccessful. The lawsuit against the school was settled out of court before trial for 1.4 million.
- North Korea, whose sole supply of almost all of its needed goods comes from China, often insults them and isn't very thankful. For most of its history North Korea depended on foreign aid from Communist states to keep the economy running. However, this was never officially acknowledged. The Soviet Union ignored this ungrateful behavior because they needed North Korea as a buffer state and did not want them to ally with China. After the Soviet Union collapsed North Korea suffered economic disaster as Russia and China began demanding that any payments be on time and all friendship prices were revoked.
- North Korea stealing Chinese aid trains. That's right, despite the being given to them out of generosity, North Korea claims the trains themselves are part of the aid and sends the crew members walking back across the border.
- A.I.G., who is now considering suing the US federal government after the government gave them a $182 billion bailout during the financial crisis and saved them from the trash heap, because the Feds took a 92% share in their company until A.I.G. could pay them back.
- Everybody, ever, who put extreme effort into making someone happy, or being in their life and ended up getting rejected, ignored, or the person just leaving for no good reason. So everybody (at some point, anyway).
- Prince Mikhail Ivanovich Vorotynsky was a brilliant commander who played a key role in the Russian triumph over the Khanate of Kazan. He later used his tactical genius to defeat the Crimean-Ottoman forces at the Battle of Molodi despite being outnumbered more than 2:1. While most people might expect these actions to be rewarded, his boss, a czar that most English-speaking people know as Ivan the Terrible, felt differently. According to the memoirs of Prince Kurbsky, Ivan the Terrible resented Vorotynsky's successes and ensuing popularity. After having Vorotynsky incriminated on trumped-up charges, Ivan is alleged to have personally tortured Voroynsky before killing him.
- Man rescued from submerged car in Colorado floods sues his saviors for $500,000 because "they took too long to free him".
- Google has stopped working with the MPAA to stop film piracy because of this. Google has been working for years to prevent pirate sites appearing at the early results of their search results (all sites do this but Google does it the fastest) and giving early warnings to the MPAA about movies appearing on torrent sites, even dealing a devastating blow to torrent sites in late 2014. However, despite years of fighting the MPAA's battle the reward was... a Backhanded Compliment during a press conference and accusing the site of being complicit in allowing pirate sites to be found in the first place, as well as setting up a fund between studios to sue Google.