Every action has consequences. Some actions have particularly nasty consequences. Ones where you'll have to ask yourself after all is said and done, Was It Really Worth It?
For most fictional characters, the answer is yes. Especially if the end result is funny.
This Stock Phrase is usually said after a character does something that they really shouldn't have, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. Things like peeping on someone at the hot springs, beating up an annoying character, or anything else they could expect to have very bad consequences. But they don't care. Because it was Worth It.
See also Spoof Aesop, Was It Really Worth It?. If they probably won't be around to say this afterwards, an alternative is I Regret Nothing!
Compare All Men Are Perverts, which says that for a man, the possibility of getting sex is alwaysWorth It, no matter how microscopic that possibility may be, or how difficult, costly, or agonizing "It" is.
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An ad for Cici's Pizza had a man stuck in line between a slow woman at the buffet and considered jumping ahead of her in line. He asks himself "What's the worst that could happen?" He imagines the woman and everyone else in the restaurant, including his grandmother, attacking him for being a "line jumper." The ad ends with him going ahead while the narrator says, "Totally worth it."
In one old Got Milk? commercial, a man is about to drink all of the milk left in the fridge. He imagines what will happen when his family finds out he drank all the milk. Various horrible scenarios, including divorce and being sent to prison fill his head. Then he goes "Meh" and drinks the milk anyway.
Anime and Manga
Once in InuYasha Kagome and Sango screamed as they were bathing in a onsen. Inuyasha and Miroku rush to their aid... and see them naked. The girls smack them around for that and it ends with Miroku smiling that "It was worth the pain."
Outlaw Star ep. 23, "The Hot Spring Planet Tenrei": Gene get a tape of the female wizard to the old wizards, in return for caster shells. They watch the tape, where the woman strips (with a countdown on the screen). As the countdown runs out, the woman remarks "you must be the dumbest people alive", and the tape explodes. All three state "It was worth it".
On Keroro Gunsou this seems to be Kururu's attitude whenever one of his pranks leads him to get beat up by the victim of said prank. In the Funimation dub version of episode 22, he actually says "Totally worth it!" after a recently-promoted, power-addled Tamama drops him down a trapdoor into a dungeon for sticking Keroro and Angol Moa in the same cell.
After Ranma gets his shirt torn open and transforms into a girl, Ryoga gets a pretty clear view of her chest before getting kicked in the face. In Ranma Abridged, he calls out "Totally worth it!" while taking the hit.
Quatre from Gundam Wing has a totally unfunny version of this in his backstory. In this setting, spaceborn humans tend to be test-tube babies due to the genetic engineering required to acclimate them to space life. Quatre's mother insisted upon giving birth to her only son naturally - and she ended up dying in childbirth. When Quatre's father asked her if it was worth it, this was her response.
In episode 10 of Heavens Lost Property, the gang takes on a bunch of rich snobs in a music contest. The snobs perform an elegant, classical piece. When it is their turn, before they can perform the song they picked, Tomoki suddenly sings an incredibly perverted song that disgusts everybody and nearly gets them disqualified. Sohara angrily beats him up, but Tomoki declares it was worth it. They then perform the real song, "Falling Down" and win.
One Piece has one island's group of Marines saluting Luffy, a pirate, as he leaves the island as thanks for defeating Captain 'Axe Hand' Morgan. The leader says that they'll all have to go for food for 3 days afterwards as punishment. They still consider it worth it.
In an early arc of Birds Of Prey, which chronicled the first meeting of Black Canary and the Huntress, Oracle summed up the adventure thusly:
Oracle: "You travelled five thousand miles. You hooked up with a loose cannon—possibly psychotic—vigilante who doesn't place much value on life...and a world class felon. You stressed my network to the max. You faced the world's deadliest martial artist. All to get back at a guy whodidn't call youthe next day. Was itworthit?" Black Canary: "Yeah, it was."
A dark example from Marvel Zombies: Colonel America is fighting the Red Skull, who takes advantage of the Colonel's missing skull portion (both are zombies) and tears out his brain, killing him. Spider-Man blows the Red Skull's head off of his neck with the Power Cosmic, at which point the Skull chortles, "So worth it... all of it... just for this..." before being crushed underfoot by a zombie Henry Pym.
In the 2005 film version of Casanova, Giacamo Casanova seduced a novice (essentially a nun in training). When other members of the church come in to try and find him, he's escaped, but they find a man's shoe under the novice's bed. They turn to her and say, "Eternal damnation for one night with Casanova." The novice turns around and mutters to herself, "Seems fair."
A variation occurs in Men In Black when Kay offers Officer Edwards the opportunity to join the eponymous organization, fight alien threats, and protect humanity. The catch is that Edwards must sever every human contact, and nobody can know that he even exists, ever. He asks if it's worth it, and, without hesitation, Kay replies, "Oh yeah, it's worth it. If you're strong enough."
When the Comic-Book Guy is faced with the prospect of certain death in The Simpsons movie, and looks back upon his life of comic book collecting, tabletop gaming and other solitary/geeky interests, he smiles and triumphantly concludes "life well spent!" Which is interesting, since in a Halloween episode of the series, moments before he gets blasted away by a nuclear weapon, he claims that he wasted his life.
Geek Brilliance, maybe? In the Halloween episode he was reading an obviously bad comic...
In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Former Agent Simmons says this after being threatened with arrest after snogging his (politically very powerful) ex-girlfriend in the post-victory elation.
Arrest me, cuff me. So worth it.
In Land of the Lost, Will sacrifices himself by ordering Rick and Holly to jump through the portal to Earth while he pins down the Big Bad until the portal closes. At first, Will regrets that he will most likely never get back to Earth and never see his friends again, but then he finds that Cha-ka has a harem of incredibly beautiful, nearly nude women, who crowd around Will and rub up on him. Will then declares he made the right choice.
In Oblivion2013 Beech confidently states that he would gladly accept a one-way trip if it meant getting to see the look on Tet's face moments before it's destroyed, and he gets his wish.
Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys: The infamous "Substitute Mummy Filled With Live Weasels" prank leads to the end of the Egyptian Empire. All parties involved agreed it was worth it.
Merlin gives Empress Sharleyan a bit of a shock early in the fourth Safehold book, A Mighty Fortress, when he flies his recon skimmer through a hidden hatch without first warning Sharleyan it was there. It looked to her like he was about to fly right into the mountain. Despite her ire, and full intention to make Merlin pay, he proclaims it was, indeed, Worth It.
Harry Dresden has a pretty damn good one in The Dresden Files novel Grave Peril. Red Court vampire Bianca has Harry's girlfriend hostage, and she's gloating that he can't do anything because it would spark a war between vampires and mages. Harry states, rather matter-of-factly, that he can't think of a better reason for war than saving the woman he loves. He proceeds to call up the spirits of the dead and light pretty much everything on fire, taking the villain and house with him.
Mab gloats that her new Winter Knight is this after he attempts to commit suicide to prevent himself from becoming a monster, and then after she heals him for six months, uses it as a bargaining chip. He later holds a gun to her head and threatens her, at a time where he physically could kill her.
Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done The Dornishman's taken my life But what does it matter, for all men must die And I've tasted the Dornishman's wife
An absolutely hilarious one appears in Never Where. After Door gets kidnapped, and taken into the labyrinth, Hunter mentions that they would have to be mad to go in without the Angel's Token, as there would be nothing to protect them from the Beast of London. The Marquis pulls out an Angel's Token that he had taken from Door's father's study much earlier in the book, and coyly asks "You mean like this one?"
The Marquis felt, then, that much of what he had gone through in the previous week was made up for by the expression on Hunter's face.
In Codex Alera, at one point a pompous Jerkass attempts to bar an important ally of the protagonists from a meeting due to Fantastic Racism against him, Amara proceeds to punch the guy so hard and fast she breaks her arm in the process, and later proclaims it totally Worth It.
Cheers. Cliff tricks Carla into being nice to him by making her think he's a judge in a waitressing contest and humiliating her by having her give him foot massages. She naturally finds out and Norm states that Cliff is dead meat. Cliff invokes the trope.
Dr. Miller tells The Todd he can assist her in surgery if he promises not to make a Double Entendre during the entire operation. He promises. Then Dr. Miller says something like "Okay, in order to do this we need to go in from behind." Todd looks up. The scene cuts to him walking out the OR, taking off his surgical mask and saying "Worth it!"
Another episode featured Dr. Cox deliberately "passing out" and falling backwards after hearing half of the first sentence of a "boring" story:
J.D.: I hope that hurt. Dr Cox: Totally worth it!
Cox also says this while he's dreaming about being married to Elliot, and being arrested after murdering her.
Then there's the episode where the Janitor eats a piece of his laxative-laced pie in order to convince J.D. to do the same. As they sit in adjacent bathroom stalls, the Janitor says, "Totally worth it."
J.D. has a fantasy sequence of faking his death in order to get a hug from Dr. Cox. Cox murders J.D. in anger; J.D. judges the risk worth it.
To get revenge on Turk for throwing his gum on the floor, the Janitor once chewed up several dozen pieces of gum and stuck them on the window of Turk's car to spell out "GUM GOES IN THE TRASH!" As he works the ache out of his jaw he says "Worth it!"
On Friends, Joey and Chandler give up the big apartment to Monica and Rachel in exchange for watching them make out. They stride into their old apartment, with Chandler shouting "Totally worth it!" They then quickly proceed to their respective bedrooms with a hasty "good night" to each other, so as not to let the imagery go to waste.
In another episode, Joey's at dinner with a woman who specifically tells him not to touch her dessert while she's in the bathroom. When she comes out, he finishes the last bite with a smile and says "I'm not even sorry."
In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike knows if he hits Xander the chip in his head that causes him pain when he's violent toward humans will activate, but after Xander does something stupid he says, "This is gonna be worth it," and slaps him in the back of the head, causing them both to scream.
In Diff'rent Strokes, Arnold gets into a fight with the bullying son of the landlord's brother who is subbing for a short time. This leads to a loud confrontation where the brother confronts Mr. Drummond, threatens to evict the family and provokes Drummond to punch the blowhard out. This gives the landlord the excuse to exploit a lease violation that the brother found to raise the rent on the Drummonds, with a veiled threat of eviction to convince them to give in. The punchline is this: after the Drummonds cave in to this threat, the father tells the kids that this is the result of his act of violence. However, when asked if it was worth it, Mr. Drummond immediately remarks it was, for having the pleasure of shutting a bully up.
On Malcolm in the Middle Francis says this after a fireworks display that literally turns night into day for a few seconds, but robs him and his brothers of their sight for about two days.
Made funnier by the fact that they're shouting the whole conversation.
One episode of Drake & Josh has the duo talking about a bet between them. It ended with Josh vomiting a lot and Drake having to pay Josh his entire allowance. Both of them agreed it was worth it.
Nurse Jackie has one in early season 2. In an operating room, Thor is blasted by Dr. Cooper for not paying attention. Later, Jackie confronts him, explaining that Thor is diabetic. Thor stands awkwardly while Dr. Cooper hugs him in apology. As the doctor walks off, Thor chimes happily in with "Totally worth it!"
Invoked in Highlander: The Series when the evil Kalas taunts Duncan with knowledge of a computer set up to email out the entire Watcher database to every news agency in the world unless Duncan lets himself be killed.
Kalas: Remember, if you do kill me, you're finished, too. Duncan: Maybe it's worth it if it rids the world of you.
Doctor Who, "Silver Nemesis": The Doctor double-crosses the villainess and when informed that that will cost him his life answers "Worth it." Ace saves him.
The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Spectacle" featured a criminal who deliberately invoked Missing White Woman Syndrome by having a girl kidnapped and raped so that the police would be forced to pay attention to him and his demands. Namely, he wanted to force them to investigate what happened to his little brother, who had been kidnapped years ago. After the police comply they learn the kidnapping and rape was all a ruse, and the girl playing the victim was in on it from the start. When confronted on this, he simply states that he doesn't care what the consequences are because he got what he wanted: his brother found and rescued.
In the episode "Users," Huang treats a druggie with an illegal drug to make him lucid enough to testify against his dealer. When the dealer threatens to report Huang, he said he already reported himself, got a one-month suspension and that it was worth it.
In an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the investigation of a corpse stuffed in a chimney leads to the discovery of another corpse, belonging to a missing teenager whom the owner was suspected of murdering but was let go due to lack of evidence. Turns out that the corpse was stolen from the hospital by the teenager's father and planted in the chimney so that the house would be investigated. Catherine points out that the man committed a crime but he's willing to take the consequences since his daughter is finally getting a funeral and her killer is finally being brought to justice.
In an episode of Crownies, Richard gets Steve Coburn, a prominent climate change professor, found guilty of assaulting James Watt, a skeptic who had been harassing him for months, showing up at all of his lectures and repeating the same fallacious arguments against global warming. Dr. Coburn gets a $1000 fine and declares that it was worth the satisfaction.
Carla says this in the Death Valley episode "Assault on Precinct UTF" after shooting a smoke detector that's been driving her crazy. She does this right after being warned not to waste bullets, as the vampires attacking the precinct had stolen all the spare ammo.
In a Castle chapter, Beckett and Castle find a witness breaking all the things that belong to her ex-husband, whom she has just divorced. When the ex arrives, he starts breaking her things. Beckett tells them that, if any of them breaks another thing, she will arrest them. Gilligan Cut to the couple arrested, and the woman proclaiming it was worth it.
Happened in Red vs. Blue, episode 59. The team approaches the alien, whom they assume kills and eats people.
Tex: Alright screw it. You guys get behind me, and stay tight. Tucker:Bow Chika Bow Wow. Tex: Never mind, Tucker's in front. Tucker: Meh, it was worth it.
Sarge apparently says this at the end of anything that involves Grif almost dying, including spying on the Blues and cleaning up the base.
"Bargain" by The Who is largely based on this trope:
"I'd gladly lose me to find you, I'd gladly give up all I had To find you, I'd suffer any pain and be glad... I'd call that a bargain, The best I ever had."
The newspaper comic Baby Blues features a Sunday strip where little brother Hammie has a garden hose trained on unaware older sister Zoe. Their dad is standing right behind Hammie, and warns him that if he does what he's thinking he's in for some major time-out. Hammie contemplates this then declares "Totally worth it."
A Calvin And Hobbes strip showed Calvin refusing to scratch an itch, only to be tortured by it until he finally gives in and scratches furiously. Euphoria! "Oh man, it was worth it!" Except... his skin now burns from all the scratching.
Another strip had Calvin make a snowball and set his sights on hitting Suzie with it. She gives him fair warning not to and after contemplating his choices, throws it at her anyway, yelling that it was worth it right before Suzie chases Calvin down and throttles him.
And a third time in an early strip where he and Hobbes go splashing through a puddle. Calvin's payment is soaked underwear to ride up his butt. Hobbes merely responds, "That's why I never wear the stuff."
In a fourth strip Calvin sneaks up on a sleeping Hobbes, awakening him by blowing into his belly. In the last panel Calvin stumbles away, scratched and roughed up, remarking "It's a high price to pay, but nuzzling tiger tummies is one of the great pleasures of life."
In Peanuts, when Lucy's wondering out loud whether to have her ears pierced, Linus helpfully suggests "Instead, why don't you have your mouth boarded up?" Of course, she slugs him one, and the last panel has him on the floor grinning in his dazed state with:
Linus: That was worth one hit! Two hits, no! But that was definitely worth one hit!
Plasma weapons in Warhammer 40000 are totally worth it◊ despite the Gets Hot Rule that has a 1 in 6 chance of killing the user. Similarly, any spectacular but suicidal maneuvers taken by a losing player at the end of the game.
Spells and psychic powers in Fantasy and 40,000, respectively. In 40,000, they have a decent chance to kill the user. In Fantasy, they have a decent chance to kill the user, his entire unit, and maybe a few random models in your army who happened to be in the same county as the offending wizard. Still worth it.
Ramming a Basilisk with a Vyper going at maximum speed. Totally worth it.
In Mass Effect 2, Shepard can have a relationship with Tali'Zorah, the ship's engineer. Tali belongs to a race that has almost no immune system whatsoever - exposure to a normal environment for mere seconds can be fatal. As a result, sexual intercourse is something they take very seriously, and in ideal circumstances it takes place in special safe rooms (and both partners still end up with various minor ailments). The morning after the "encounter" between Shepard and Tali, she says the following:
"Just so you know, I'm running a fever, I've got a nasty cough, and my sinuses are filled with something I can't even describe. And it was totally worth it."
Admiral Shala'Raan, a friend of Tali's mother and honorary aunt to Tali, synced suits with Tali's mother when Tali was born to be with her in the same room. Raan says she "was sick for a week, but it was worth it."
Another one that is repeatedly experienced by the Quarians as a whole: due to the fact that they can only eat dextro-amino proteins, the Quarian fleet is a Veganopia by neccessity. As a result, when Quarians do manage to get their hands on dextro-meat, they will literally gorge themselves until they are sick, even before they start suffering the reactions from their lack of immune systems. The resultant fevers and stomachaches are racially regarded as "worth it" for the chance to finally get some meat in their diet.
In Leisure Suit Larry 6, Larry can be part of an exercise program with Cavaricci Vuarnet. If Larry keeps grabbing at her shirt, she'll eventually give Larry "just a quick peek" underneath it, then proceed to uppercut him into the pipes above the room, killing him instantly. The Narrator lets you know Larry thought it was worth it.
In Portal 2, it comes up much later - naturally, from GLaDOS. Though she's trying to help Chell out against Wheatley, and she admits that her actions probably are bringing them closer to destruction... but it was still worth it to get him electrocuted.
GLaDOS: I know we're in a lot of trouble and probably about to die. But that was worth it.
In League of Legends Champion Spotlight videos, Riot Games staff member Phreak is rather notorious for using the phrase "worth it", specifically whenever he gets killed in exchange for landing a kill of his own.
Pintsize gets one of these when he goes in for repairs, and Marigold becomes (wrongfully) suspicious that Marten is abusing Pintsize due to his damage. She turns on Pintsize to get his version of events, and without a word, Pintsize immediately grabs Marigold's breasts.
Marigold: You're acquitted, and I'm sorry about the new dent.
Khaos Komix uses this at one point when Tom, the FTM transexual, insults a girl here.
Girl Genius: This is Agatha's attitude in the Cinderella play to being grounded. Of course, she was grounded after tricking Mamma Gkika's character into putting her fist through a hive of specially-bred quilting bees.
In Ansem Retort, after it's shown that Aerith totally has Axel whipped, Axel turns to the group, and warns them that if a single one of them makes the whip noise, he will figure out a way to kill them with a flower necklace. Riku makes the noise. Axel hangs him. With the necklace. Apparently, Riku thinks that it was worth it.
Matt: So Pat, you've woken up after being frozen for 70 years in the Arctic Circle, and everyone that you gave a shit about and everyone who gave a shit about you is dead, would you be filled with despair? Pat: I don't know, are you dead? Matt: Well, I- Pat: Totally worth it!
All over the place in the Futurama episode "Amazon Women in the Mood". Fry, Kif, and Zapp Brannigan are sentenced to "death by snu-snu" with giant Amazon women. We see three skeletons of former victims with crushed pelvises and extremely satisfied expressions. Kif is the only one to object.
Fry: Goodbye, friends. I never thought I'd die like this. But I always really, really hoped.
Afterward, with his and Zapp Brannigan's lower halves in full casts, Fry declares that incident their Best Adventure Ever.
A fairly sweet example occurred on The Simpsons, in a flashback episode where Marge and Homer were describing how they met. They had detention together, and Homer kept on introducing himself to Marge despite Principal Dondalinger giving him more detention with every word he spoke. Finally he got to the last word of his sentence, and then bellowed at Dondalinger "It was worth it!"
In a later episode, Nelson had the same sentiment when laughing at Bart subsequently led to him crashing his bike into a tree.
The South Park episode "Casa Bonita", where Cartman is told by the police he "caused a whole town to panic, alienated his friends, and is now going to juvenile hall for a week", all in the name of going to the eponymous establishment. When asked if it was all worth it, Cartman simply replies "...totally."
Also, in "Super Fun Time", with the professional thieves.
(Jump Cut to Stormy hanging in chains in a dungeon.)
Stormy: It was totally worth it!
Subverted in an episode of Squid Billies. After getting computers (yes, full sized computers) implanted in his head for a free satin tote (for the nausea!) Early gets a brief stinger after the credits, vomiting and declaring "Not worth it!"
The Penguins of Madagascar: one episode ended with the world buried in ice after Skipper told Kowalski to make something less dangerous like a snow cone machine. We see Skipper yelling about how Kowalski "finally did it", and Kowalski then shows up and says "but you've gotta admit, these are good snow cones" after scraping some ice off the ground. Skipper's response? "right, totally worth it".
The Regular Show episode "Don", when Benson asks if someone knows an accountant. He then threatens to fire Muscle Man if he mentions his mom. He does anyway.
Muscle Man: It was worth it! (high-fives High-Five Ghost)
Done in "One Pull Up" where Eileen helps Rigby, who overgrew his muscles with a machine (long story), reach the chin up bar so he he can preform one to keep his job. Afterward he's being wheeled to the hospital and thanks her, offering to hug her though doesn't wish to accidently crush her spine. She let's him do it anyway, citing it was "worth it".
ThunderCats (2011) has this in the episode "Between Brothers", where General Grune's personal philosophy (as explained by Panthro) is "To defeat the enemy, any sacrifice is worth it." Grune gets this thrown right in his face at the end of the episode, when Panthro sacrifices his own arms in order to trap Grune in the Astral Plane; afterwards, Panthro mutters "Worth It" before passing out.
In the first episode of The Legend Of Zelda, Link asks himself why he gave up the exciting life of an adventurer to live in a boring castle. Then, he looks out the window and sees Princess Zelda in a revealing nightgown. "Well, there is one reason..."
One American Dad episode has Stan (a CIA agent) meeting with his boss in Japan, where they both dress up as geishas. When Stan asks why they're meeting under such weird circumstances, his boss says, "Because I thought we could be secret Asians."
Taken Up to Eleven in an episode of Phineas and Ferb. Doctor Doofenschmirtz claims his machine he made to win a game of golf has a chance of destroying the Universe. He says, "But a game of golf? Totally worth it".
Sponge Bob Square Pants: Squidward in "Little Yellow Book" when he read SpongeBob's "personal" diary, even though he's being shackled and pelted with tomatoes for doing so.