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!

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, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

"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, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

"Do you want to know what your problem is? You take what you have for granted, and you think it gives you the right to talk down to me. But you've never had to work for what you have, you just get in your Eva and it goes and you are the hero."

"Of course I'm upset! How would you feel, Shinji, if you devoted your whole life to something and it didn't pay off? I've been training to be an Eva pilot for ten years. Ten years, Shinji! I should be the best! I worked at it, damn it! I worked hard for it! But instead, you, who's been piloting for less than a year, can beat me! And you're not even trying! What the hell was I doing, if I can get beaten by some jerk they grabbed off the street?!"

"Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right now!"

"You got the magic of a genie on a silver platter, but I gave my right hand for power!"
Mozenrath to Aladdin, Aladdin: The Series

Vegeta: How? How is he this strong? How many push ups did he do!? How many sit ups!? WHAT KIND OF JUICE DID HE DRINK!?
Paragus: This is not the result of paltry training. This is DESTINY. For you see, Prince Vegeta, you're not dealing with the average Saiyan warrior anymore...
Vegeta: (flabbergasted) No...
Vegeta and Paragus discussing Broly's power, Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan Abridged

Lord Intra gathered his retainers, who were hungry for tutelage. "Lord Intra!" said his sandal bearer, "What is the first step on the path to Royalty?"
"There are no steps," replied Intra, "It is zero-sum with your reality. It is not measured in finger-lengths."
"Lord Intra," said his bodyguard, "Is the path to Royalty the path of struggle, then?"
"No," said Intra, "One may attain it without any effort at all. It is, in fact, the antithesis of struggle."
Intra's steward was very discontent with his master's evasiveness. "Lord," he said, "Allow us lowly men some small measure of understanding. For sympathy's sake, and the sake of we good and loyal servants, please tell us in plain language the nature of Royalty."
"I will tell you precisely what Royalty is," said Intra, "It is a continuous cutting motion."
The Song of Maybe, Kill Six Billion Demons

"Ye've got to work smarter, lad, not harder."
Scrooge McDuck, DuckTales (2017)