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Quotes: Hard Work Hardly Works
"When was it that the transformation to the legendary warrior of the Saiyan race was reduced to a child's plaything?!"
Vegeta, Dragon Ball Z, about Trunks and Goten going Super Saiyan

PHB: Alice, all of your hard work - the nights and the weekends - are finally paying off. We've increased your five year forecast of demand by ten percent!
Alice: You changed a wild guess by ten percent?
PHB: Thanks to you!
Dilbert

Goku: I'm amazed, Vegeta. These last seven years in Other World, I've been through the most intense training sessions, but we're still completely even. I guess this whole time you've been pushing yourself even harder than I have.
Majin Vegeta: That may be true. I've pushed myself to the edge of my limits and beyond! But you've been born with a natural talent far beyond my own. No amount of training could have closed the gap between us! I realize that now. It was made painfully obvious to me today as I watched your fight with Babidi's monster. Imagine my shock, to see the undeniable proof to discover, no matter how hard I try, I would never be able to catch you! A warrior prince forever living in the shadow of a low-level clown!

Look, the point is that the audience doesn't want to see someone who worked hard to get where they are, because that that might make the audience feel inferior for being the fucking sheep that they are. What they do want to see is somebody just as stupid as them, who falls ass backwards into awesomeness by having some vague quality like "heart" that everyone believes is true for them too. That way they can fantasize about making something of themselves without having to earn it. And, amazingly, our technology creates situations that do just that!
Avatar: The a Metacontextual Edition

"Willow always had all the power. Even before she knew what to do with it. It came so easy for her. The rest of us, we had to work twice as hard to be half as good!"
Amy Madison on Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"You know, with talented people. They draw people to themselves, and without even trying to, they tear them to shreds. The closer you are to them, the more viciously you'll be torn apart. They're living in a completely different world above us. One that us normal people can't reach. In a world that we'll never see. A world above the clouds."
Jin Mitaka Deconstructing the trope, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

"This fucking world is so unfair. A normal person doesn't stand a chance. You can play catch-up all your life but never even get close. We tear ourselves to shreds, but all that work's for nothing. Hard work doesn't pay off!"
Sorata Kanda further deconstructing the trope, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo


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