Playing With / Wants a Prize for Basic Decency

Basic Trope: A character demands praise for doing something completely ordinary.
  • Straight: Bob demands a prize for not being a serial murderer.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is a serial murderer, but demands accolades for not raping his victims.
  • Downplayed: Bob demands a pat on the head from his supervisor every time he takes out the trash without spilling everything everywhere. Annoying, perhaps, but endearing in a way.
  • Justified:
    • Bob was raised spoiled and has no idea how normal people interact.
    • Bob is a jerk who treats other people badly, and expects to be rewarded for acting like a decent human being.
    • Bob has compulsions towards evil, and it takes a lot of effort on his part to fight these urges. Regular rewards make it easier for him to stick to his rehab/training regimen.
    • Bob is mentally or psychologically impaired in some way, and things which seem effortless take enormous amounts of energy for him to do.
    • Bob has recently reformed and wants it noted how far he's come.
    • Bob lives in a Crapsack World where basic human decency deserves a medal.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Bob brags that he isn't a mass murderer. When Alice sarcastically asks him if he wants a medal, he says no.
    • It turns out that the "prize" Bob wants for basic human decency would, itself, also fall within the realm of human decency, such as "I'd appreciate it if you didn't beat the crap out of me."
  • Double Subverted:
    • But when Alice then says, "All right, then, I won't give you one," he begs for it.
    • Bob finishes his request "I'd appreciate it if you didn't beat the crap out of me... for that last round of kids I murdered."
  • Parodied:
    • Bob presents an itemized list of bad things he has never done, and demands rewards for all of them.
    • Bob thinks being Damned by Faint Praise is good.
    • Bob is the Punch Clock Hero's logical extreme.
    • Someone gives Bob an actual framed diploma saying "This certifies that Bob is a decent human being."
  • Zig Zagged: Bob wants to be rewarded for quotidian "goodness" sometimes, but not all the time.
  • Averted: Bob is a decent person and doesn't feel entitled to rewards for decency.
  • Enforced: The writers want to show that not everyone is motivated to be normal without asking for something in return.
  • Lampshaded: "Sheesh Bob, what do you want, a medal?"
  • Invoked: Bob sees Chrissy get commendation for something and decides he should get it too, being unaware she was commended for going above and beyond.
  • Exploited:
  • Defied: "No, I do not want a medal. Go fuck yourself, Deadpan Snarker!"
  • Discussed: Bob talks to his boss, Darren, about getting something for simply doing his job. Darren tries to explain that he only extends special recognition to those who have earned it, but Bob won't listen.
  • Conversed: "What has the world come to that characters like that are even created?"
  • Implied: Bob gets paid for picking up after himself, unlike everyone else, for whom this is treated as normal.
  • Deconstructed: Bob's boss thinks about how to motivate Bob to start meeting minimal standards of good behavior, and decides to try giving Bob the lavish praise he obviously wants. This works well, and Bob's performance rises from "inadequate" to "minimally meeting a low standard."
  • Reconstructed: But after a while, Bob's coworker Alice starts complaining: "I work incredibly hard, and all I hear is praise for that mediocre Bob. Worse, now he's all self-righteous every time someone argues with him, because he thinks he's actually as good a worker as someone like me. I gotta tell you, it's bad for morale." Since the boss realizes that what's really important is to have good performance from Alice, he starts doling out praise in a way that makes Alice's concerns, not those of Bob, a priority.

Here's a link back to Wants a Prize for Basic Decency. Now, Dude, Where's My Reward?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/WantsAPrizeForBasicDecency