You Never Did That for Me
A Stock Phrase
used to compare the difference between the way the speaker and a third character are treated. This is often used to imply that the speaker is not valued as much by the subject in question, and can become a source of angst
in the relationship.
This can be shown in a number of different situations, including:
- Someone complaining their (ex) significant other is willing to go farther for a current or former lover than they would for the speaker.
- A child lamenting that their parent treats a sibling more favorably.
- A friend feels that they are the odd-man-out amongst their group.
When this phrase is used in the context of an ongoing romantic relationship, this could indicate the moment in which the speaker realizes that their feelings are not fully reciprocated, and lead to a Make Up or Break Up
dilemma. If it is instead used by an ex-lover, it can serve to show the audience that the current pairing is True Love
This is very common in Cuckold
) stories, where it is used to further the humiliation of the cuckolded party by showing how much dominant the lover is.
Note that while this is often shown in a dramatic sense, it's also commonly Played for Laughs
as one friend uses this phrase on another in a joking way (usually with an "I'm joking" added in.)
This Stock Phrase
commonly leads to the stock response "You never asked
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- Dead Air: Used by Lucy when she overhears her ex, Logan, promise to pick up his current wife's brother from the airport.
Lucy: "You never picked up my brother from the airport!"
Logan: "But, you never asked me to!"
Lucy: "... that's because I knew you'd say no."
- The Matrix: Trinity has just brought Neo his dinner and Cypher decides to tease her about her obvious attraction to him.
Cypher: "I don't remember you ever bringing me dinner."
- Played for Laughs in Airplane!: When her husband has a second cup of coffee, the wife (listed in the credits as "Mrs. Hammen") says, "That's funny, Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home." (Later, when he's sick and hurling into the barf bag, she says, "Jim never vomits at home...")
- This was a parody of a Yuban commercial from the late 1970s that played this trope straight. The wife is pained to discover that her coffee doesn't measure up to the party-thrower's coffee, because her husband thinks it's worth having a second cup of (and perhaps is thinking of dumping her for the hot blonde party-thrower with the superior coffee-making skills — she'd better go buy some Yuban now for the sake of her marriage!).
- Played with early in the Belgariad, before Garion gets his big reveal. Garion and Ce'Nedra are talking about the girl Garion probably would have married had things gone another way, and Garion says it's for the best because she's not someone you can ask to sleep on the ground. Ce'Nedra points out that the group had never hesitated to ask her to sleep on the ground.
- For the record, his answer is perfect: "I guess you're stronger."
- In The Lord of the Rings, Legolas recounts how the forest elves tried to rehabilitate Gollum, allowing him fresh air and exercise. Glóin comments "You were less tender to me" — he'd been imprisoned by the same elves in The Hobbit, and confined to a dungeon.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, Jimmy has this attitude towards Chloe, who has done more for Clark than he would ever know.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: While Xander and Cordelia's relationship was still a secret to the rest of the scoobies, Cordelia protested as Xander declared that he was off to help Buffy out of yet another sticky situation.
Cordelia: "You were too busy rushing off to die for your beloved Buffy. You'd never die for me"
- They run into this issue a lot in their relationship, with Cordelia complaining about how much Xander would do for both Buffy and Willow.
- Played for Laughs in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where Janeway, upon learning that her best friend Tuvok used to make tea for then-Captain Sulu, jokingly complains that he never made her any tea.
Janeway: *mock indignant* You never brought ME tea!
- One of Janeway's defining traits is that she a big coffee-drinker, and in the episode's novelization, Tuvok points out that she prefers coffee.
- Done for comical effect when Q's surprise at Sisko's behavior, in comparison to Captain Picard's, gets Played for Laughs in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
: "You hit me! Picard
never hit me!"
- Which leads to Sisko's blunt, but awesome rebuttal. "I'm not Picard." Though Q laughs it off and is bemused by how much easier to provoke Sisko is compared to the more stoic Picard.
- In the episode of Monk where Sharona and Natalie meet, Sharona finds out that Monk pays Natalie a lot more than he paid her. Thus she complains that Monk never paid her that much.
- In How I Met Your Mother, in the episode where Barney puts together the super-date in order to bang J-Lo, Robin laments that he never went to similar lengths for her, even though they had been in a relationship together.
- When Barney meets his Disappeared Dad, and sees that he has another son for whom he acts as a typical boring, suburban dad to, Barney is extremely hurt because, if he was just going to be normal and regular, why couldn't he have been normal with Barney?
- HIMYM likes this one, this is played for drama with Ted and Stella, where she refused to even consider moving into NYC with Ted, but did so almost immediately with her ex after leaving Ted at the altar. It's what prompts his attempt at an angry confrontation with her.
- Though the exact stock phrase isn't used, the concept appears several times in Coupling. Jane's reaction to this trope feeds her story arc in the "Inferno" episode.
- Subverted in the episode "The Cupboard of Patrick's Love" when Steve is watching what he believes to be Patrick's sex tape with Susan. It turns out to not be her.
- In Get Smart, 99 tells a man her name, inciting her ignorant partner Max's jealousy. She matter-of-factly replies, "You never asked me." It's actually a Code Name. Viewers never learn her real name, and we doubt Max did either.
- In an episode of Two and a Half Men, Charlie spends most of the episode teaching Jake how to behave at his first "boy-girl party". Eventually, Alan complains about how Charlie never taught him anything, and basically left him on his own, and suffered socially for it. Charlie does seem remorseful for this, but mentions how he was just a stupid teenager at the time, and didn't want to hang out with his little brother.
- The first season of Boardwalk Empire has an example. Jimmy is like a son to Villain Protagonist and Corrupt Politician Nucky Thompson. When Jimmy gets in trouble with the law in a way that could potentially blow Nucky's interest in the illegal alcohol trade, Nucky doesn't directly help Jimmy but he doesn't cut him loose either, instead offering Jimmy a little cash and a chance to jump town. After Jimmy leaves, Nucky's brother/Dragon Eli rhetorically wonders if he would get the same slack. Later in the season Eli is seriously wounded and publicly exposed as a Dirty Cop. Nucky fires Eli from his position as Sheriff... at least until after the election is over, when he immediately hires Eli back. Too bad Eli has already become The Starscream and joined a conspiracy against Nucky by then.
- Played With on Roseanne: Jackie divorces Fred for never wanting to try new things or do anything exciting, and afterward he starts taking up hobbies like skydiving. There's no other woman involved (that this viewer recalls, anyway), but it still irks her.
- In Scrubs this is the reason why Danni breaks up with JD, realizing he still has feelings for Elliot. He goes out of way to make Elliot feel better when she's having a crappy day after he (thinks he) has just hung on Dani, saying he was too busy with work to speak to her.
- On The Muppet Show, when Kermit informed Miss Piggy that Christopher Reeve was the guess star for the week, she exclaimed "Christopher 'Perfect Body' Reeve?!", and immediately ran off to freshen up. Then, a surprisingly jealous Kermit laments, "She never called me 'Perfect body'."
- In the special The Muppets Go to the Movies, Kermit figures that the best way to stay Piggy's jealousy is to ask Lily Tomlin to introduce the horror segment. He figures wrong: "Well! You never asked me to introduce the horror movie."
- Married... with Children: Bud and Kelly resent Seven because Peggy did for him good things she never did for them.
- Downton Abbey: Thomas notices Carson helping new footman Alfred in learning the ropes of serving at Downton. Thomas confronts the boss:
Thomas: You’re taking a lot of trouble with Alfred. I feel quite jealous.
- Inverted in Frasier, Daphne becomes worried about her impending marriage after her parents break up. Her father points out that Niles flew to England and dragged him all the way to Seattle just to comfort her, and admits "I never did anything like that for your mother."
Mythology & Religion
- The Bible: Happens at the end of the parable of The Prodigal Son, where the brother who didn't leave home and waste all his money wonders why he doesn't get a fatted calf, etc., etc.
- The actual end of the parable is the father answering with the next stock phrase, "You never asked".
- The brother doesn't exactly get hosed, though; the father will still bequeath everything he owns to the loyal son, but for now he's just rejoicing that the prodigal son came home.
- Stunt Dawgs: When the ghost of Richard P. Fungus' grandfather showed up to finish his last movie, the two of them argued a lot. One of Fungus' complaints was that his grandfather never sent him Christmas cards.
- In the episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender called Bitter Work'', Aang calls Toph "Sifu Toph"...which leads Katara to say that he never called HER his Sifu (which is another word for mentor). Later on, though, he does call her Sifu Katara...which solves this little argument.