No Good Deed Goes Unpunished / Real Life


  • Cracked features an article entitled 5 Horrifying ways the Universe has repaid good deeds.
  • 4 celebrities who got blacklisted for doing the right thing written by Cracked.
  • 5 Heroic Attempts to Do Good That Backfired Horribly written by Cracked.
  • This may likely have contributed To DJ AM's death. After surveying a horrific fatal plane crash that killed everybody on board, but him and rocker Travis Barker. AM ( Born Adam Goldstein), a former addict decided to help other addicts via a reality show. During filming he began to be uneasy in the situation as just holding the drugs felt tempting, Goldstein later died from a drug overdose.
  • Raoul Wallenberg. A Swedish diplomat, who saved a countless number of Jews and other persecuted people from extermination camps, was widely known as a philanthropist-and was arrested just before the end of WWII by the Soviets. The Soviet intention was to extort the Swedish government by keeping him as a hostage and exchange him for Soviet spies caught in Sweden. When Sweden refused to comply, he disappeared into the gulags.
  • One example is that of Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, a homeless man in NYC who attacked a mugger that was robbing a woman and succeeded in driving him off and allowing her to flee. He was stabbed for his troubles and bled to death on the sidewalk while about two dozen people walked by.
  • Additionally, crooked, lazy cops have been known to pin crimes on the people who called them just because they are having a difficult time finding the real criminal. Calling the cops and, as a consequence, being asked to testify in court as a witness can make them a target.
  • And when it comes to gang violence, many potential witnesses will either not call the cops or refuse to testify in court, fearing that the gang member's allies will hunt them and/or their family/friends down for revenge. Street gangs knew about this and some have started to wear shirts with the phrase "Don't Snitch" (or a variation of it) on them to intimidate people into keeping quiet.
    • Another reason many witnesses don't come forward, is because the local police don't protect them most of the time. Many police departments claim witness protection is too expensive, and only use it when they're going after a high profile criminal, not an average street criminal. So the witness who decides to come forward, does so at their own risk, causing a Vicious Cycle of those in crime-ridden areas not trusting officers keeping mum when crime occurs, making the officers' attempts to solve the case (and arrest those responsible) much harder, leading to more crimes by the same person(s).
  • During the Gempei War in Japan, Kiyomori Taira spared the three young sons of Yoshitomo Minamoto. The sons - Yoritomo, Yoshitsune and Noriyori - grew up into greatest warriors of the era, leading into complete extermination of the Taira family after the battle of Dan no Ura 1185.
    • Karma eventually caught Yoshitsune Minamoto. He was an able general and warrior, and greatly aided to raise his elder brother Yoritomo into Shogun. As a reward Yoritomo had Yoshitsune and his whole family killed. Yoritomo had also his surviving brother Noriyori and his family murdered.
  • Whistleblowers. You typically lose your job, can't easily find another with your status, and this is the best case scenario without legal repercussions or death threats. Supposedly there are laws against retaliation, but given how most companies hire you on an at-will basis, they'll just fire you anyway for some allegedly unrelated reason.
    • Chelsea Manning may or may not be an Up to Eleven example of this trope. She revealed corruption and failures within US government to Wikileaks, technically and judicially committing a treason. She did what she felt morally right. As a reward she got prison sentence and dishonourable discharge from the US military.
  • Oliver Sipple saved President Gerald Ford. The resulting media frenzy over his heroic act outed him as a gay veteran, leading to estrangement from his conservative family and numerous unsuccessful lawsuits for invasion of privacy against the media, which led to his deterioration and early death.
  • A Mexican illegal alien while crossing the border stops to help a boy and his mother, victims of a car crash. He gets detained and deported.
  • It is illegal in some states to top off parking meters in front of cars that don't belong to you, since it deprives the city of the money from a parking ticket.
    • In some jurisdictions, e.g. San Francisco, it's illegal to top off parking meters in front of cars that do belong to you. note 
  • It is illegal (operating a taxi without a license) in some cities to advertise a free service giving people a free ride home if they had too much to drink. This is because being able to get a drunk person into your car to take where you want is a wonderful opportunity for the less-than-generous, but it also causes people to drive when they really shouldn't.
  • The fact that Good Samaritan Laws exist in the US is a result of this. There are cases where a person tried to sue the person who performed CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver on them. In some cases this is because the good samaritan may have performed the life-saving technique wrong, injuring the victim even more than they already are, while certain other life-saving procedures result in injuries even when done correctly note . Because of events like this, people hesitate to help someone that is in trouble, fearing they will be punished for just trying to help out or hurt the victim even more.
    • To this effect, there has never been a successful court case in the US against someone who was providing emergency aid in good faith.
  • A grown man helping a child who is lost can get you marked as a sex offender and ruin your life.
    • This notion is part of why enrollment of volunteers in Big Brother programs have fallen off in recent years.
  • The trope name is frequently quoted by Judge Judy, in cases where the plaintiff got screwed over by trying to help someone (usually by lending money to a deadbeat).
  • Standing up to bullies that are picking on someone at school will likely get the bullies and their friends to come after you for your troubles. Similar to the gang violence examples above, this can result in other kids keeping quiet about the bullying incident or refusing to help out in fear that they will become a victim themselves. It gets worse when physical violence is involved.
  • During the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Richard Jewell noticed a bomb and reported it to the police. He was hailed as a hero at first, but because the police had no leads on the bombing suspect, they began to suspect and eventually charged him as the bombing suspect. He would be vindicated later when the real culprit-a serial bomber named Eric Rodolph-was linked to the bombing but wouldn't be captured until 2003. Richard Jewell ended up suing the media for slandering his name.
  • This list of over 700 Poles who were executed during the Nazi occupation for helping persecuted Jews, some merely for providing food to starving ghetto inmates.
  • How about the poor girl who got expelled from her school, thanks to the school's No Tolerance Policy, because she was attending a party with alcohol...so she could pick up her drunk friends and drive them home safely.
  • One of Ted Bundy's favorite methods of luring his victims was his Wounded Gazelle Gambit-he'd put his arm in a sling or walk around with crutches and approach lovely young women, asking for help in carrying books or parcels to his car. As one crime writer so sadly put it, "The cost of their altruism was their lives".
  • During World War I, a British soldier named Henry Tandey found a 29-year-old wounded German corporal. In an act of battlefield mercy, Tandey decides to spare the German and left him alone. Who was that German Corporal? Why, none other than Adolf Hitler. That's right; an act of mercy in World War I resulted in World War II.
  • Department store J.C. Penney instituted a policy in 2012 called "Fair and Square Pricing". Granted, this was done in the hopes that being up front with their customers would be good for business rather than a genuine act of good will (the company was not doing very well at the time), but still, you'd think that customers would appreciate not being treated like suckers. What they did was discontinue fake "sales" that displayed artificially inflated "regular" prices to make it look like customers were getting a bargain, as well as listing prices ending in whole dollar amounts rather than 99 or 97 cents. The result: people quit shopping there because they weren't being suckered into thinking they were getting a bargain anymore.
  • Performing well in a government or military job tends to earn you more work, as your superiors realize you can be trusted to accomplish it. Performing poorly on the other hand will get your responsibilities gradually taken away, but it's usually much more difficult to fire people than it would be in the private sector. One easily can wind up in the unfortunate situation where the high performers do all the work (and often burn out on it from the stress) and are surrounded by marginal performers who do nothing but continue to receive a paycheck every month.
    • There's a joke in the private sector that the reward for a good job is more work.
  • When FBI Director James Comey was fired, the reason given by the Trump White House was that he treated Hillary Clinton badly in the 2016 election, by publicly announcing the discovery of new E-mails that might cause her case to be reopened. At the time that he did this, Trump praised him, but now claims to have dismissed him for the same reason.
  • Defense attorneys have been targets of threats, assault or even murder from clients. It's usually because they did not get the client off the hook or at least get them a light criminal punishment.
  • 90-year-old arrested for feeding the homeless.
  • In May 2015, restaurant critic John Golden was banned from three restaurants not for slamming them with bad reviews, but for giving them rave reviews instead. The restaurants justified themselves on the grounds that they warned Golden not to write any reviews at all.
  • Students who focus on their university work if their not careful are more likely to be shunned or simply have less fun than the slackers who don't put as much work in leading to good grades at the cost of a pretty undeservedly miserable social experience due to being unwilling to risk consequences of breaking the rules. The work ethic could lead to their chances of getting girls or boys being reduced since All Girls Want Bad Boys and Bastard Girlfriend often comes into play during this scenario, which may lead to said isolated students drowning their sorrows even said sorrow droners are actually handsome or attractive boys or girls and do not deserve that situation in the slightest. This example is Played With as it's arguably more a case of delayed gratification than punishment; once everybody's out of college, the benefits of all that hard work become much more apparent when they help to chart a fulfilling, well-paying career path, while the party animals who slacked off will have a much harder time adjusting to adult life and its responsibilities, finding good employment and making ends meet.
  • During the White Ship disaster, William Adelin, heir to the throne of England, managed to get on a boat and leave when he heard his sister's screams, so he came back to rescue her. The boat was swamped by panicked people and sunk, drowning them and sentencing England to the civil war known as The Anarchy.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished/RealLife