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* In ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'', the time-traveling protagonist goes through a great deal of trouble to [[spoiler: stops the Kennedy assassination]], in the belief that doing so will make the world a better place. Instead, it causes major damage to the fabric of time, and leads to an even bleaker future.

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* In ''Literature/ElevenTwentyTwoSixtyThree'', the time-traveling protagonist goes through a great deal of trouble to [[spoiler: stops stop the Kennedy assassination]], in the belief that doing so will make the world a better place. Instead, it causes major damage to the fabric of time, and leads to an even bleaker future.


* Elphaba in the book version of ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' starts out trying to do good. She ends up getting killed off for real by the end of the book because of it. (The musical version has much more family friendly ending for her though she's still blamed for everything)
** Glinda also indirectly suffers from this trope, since her attempt to help Dorothy by giving her the ruby slippers only contributes to Elphaba's eventual nervous breakdown when she hexes the ruby slippers so they won't come off Dorothy's feet, which keeps Dorothy from giving them to Elphaba...which could very well have kept Elphaba from lighting her broom, and... well...
*** Glinda gets hit with this even earlier on when all of her attempts to help Elphaba be a better and happier person not only fail, but take a toll on her social circle and emotional well-being, and are possibly what help drive Elphaba on a more radical course. It's implied that the adult Glinda is something of a drunk specifically because of this.
* In the ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', most characters after their heroics are punished accordingly by their local female authority, i.e. Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Maidens, wife.

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* ''Literature/{{Wicked}}''
**
Elphaba in the book version of ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' starts out trying to do good. She ends up getting killed off for real by the end of the book because of it. (The musical version has much more family friendly ending for her though she's still blamed for everything)
** Glinda also indirectly suffers from this trope, since her attempt to help Dorothy by giving her the ruby slippers only contributes to Elphaba's eventual nervous breakdown when she hexes the ruby slippers so they won't come off Dorothy's feet, which keeps Dorothy from giving them to Elphaba...which could very well have kept Elphaba from lighting her broom, and... well...
*** Glinda gets hit with this even earlier on when all ** All of her Glinda's attempts to help Elphaba be a better and happier person not only fail, but take a toll on her social circle and emotional well-being, and are possibly what help drive Elphaba on a more radical course. It's implied that the adult Glinda is something of a drunk specifically because of this.
%% * In the ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', most characters after their heroics are punished accordingly by their local female authority, i.e. Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, Maidens, wife.



* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden could be the poster child for this trope. No matter how many times he saves the world, no matter how many times he does the right thing, ''breaking even is coming out ahead for him''. And he doesn't come out ahead very often.
** For example, Harry's unwillingness to let evil triumph because he refused to save someone started a war that caused an uncertain (but extremely high) number of deaths and made him even more of a social pariah among the wizarding community than he was before.

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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden could be the poster child for this trope. No matter how many times he saves the world, no matter how many times he does the right thing, ''breaking even is coming out ahead for him''. And he doesn't come out ahead very often.
''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** For example, Harry's unwillingness to let evil triumph because he refused to save someone started a war that caused an uncertain (but extremely high) number of deaths and made him even more of a social pariah among the wizarding community than he was before.



** And let's not forget poor Murphy. In ''Proven Guilty,'' she abandons an investigation to help Harry save a teenage girl [[spoiler: who is the daughter of a genuine KnightInShiningArmor, by going through ''the heart of Winter itself'']], with no guarantee that she'll come out alive, the odds stacked against her. She doesn't even hesitate to help. Her reward? [[spoiler:A demotion, and a warning that she'll get fired if it happens again.]] As of ''Changes'', [[spoiler:she is fired.]] For exactly the same reason.
* In ''Literature/TheBible'', [[MessianicArchetype Jesus]] resurrects the dead, feeds the hungry, heals the sick and disabled, teaches the way of the right and has done no wrong. He becomes hated by the Pharisees and is put on the cross.

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** And let's not forget poor Murphy. In ''Proven Guilty,'' she Murphy abandons an investigation to help Harry save a teenage girl [[spoiler: who is the daughter of a genuine KnightInShiningArmor, by going through ''the heart of Winter itself'']], with no guarantee that she'll come out alive, the odds stacked against her. She doesn't even hesitate to help. Her reward? [[spoiler:A demotion, and a warning that she'll get fired if it happens again.]] As of ''Changes'', [[spoiler:she is fired.]] For exactly the same reason.
* In ''Literature/TheBible'', ''Literature/TheBible''
**
[[MessianicArchetype Jesus]] resurrects the dead, feeds the hungry, heals the sick and disabled, teaches the way of the right and has done no wrong. He becomes hated by the Pharisees and is put on the cross.



** Speaking of Lord Voldemort, his birth came as an indirect result of a Ministry of Magic official [[spoiler:arresting Voldemort's would-be birth mother's [[AbusiveParents father]], who starts attacking her upon learning that [[StalkerWithACrush she harbors a crush on a Muggle man]], and her [[BigBrotherBully brother]], for their violent tendencies (they tried to fight off the officers trying to arrest her brother for [[FantasticRacism his abusing magic on the very same Muggle man she has a crush on]]), giving her time to [[SlippingAMickey drug the Muggle man she has a crush on with a]] LovePotion long enough that said Muggle man would take her away and eventually involuntarily become the father of her [[ChildByRape child]].]]

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** Speaking of Lord Voldemort, his Voldemort's birth came as an indirect result of a Ministry of Magic official [[spoiler:arresting Voldemort's would-be birth mother's [[AbusiveParents father]], who starts attacking her upon learning that [[StalkerWithACrush she harbors a crush on a Muggle man]], and her [[BigBrotherBully brother]], for their violent tendencies (they tried to fight off the officers trying to arrest her brother for [[FantasticRacism his abusing magic on the very same Muggle man she has a crush on]]), giving her time to [[SlippingAMickey drug the Muggle man she has a crush on with a]] LovePotion long enough that said Muggle man would take her away and eventually involuntarily become the father of her [[ChildByRape child]].]]


* Central to the setting of ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' are Orogenes, who have the ability to, among other things, calm the constant seismic activity that plagues the world. When an orogene uses their abilities to save their family and neighbors from an earthquake, the survivors' first order of business is often to track them down and kill them out of fear and prejudice.

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* Central to the setting of ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' are Orogenes, who have the ability to, among other things, calm the constant seismic activity that plagues the world. When an orogene uses their abilities to save their family and neighbors from an earthquake, the survivors' first order of business is often to track them down and kill them out of fear and prejudice.prejudice.
* The Andalites in ''{{Literature/Animorphs}}'' named their version of the [[Franchise/StarTrek Prime Directive]] ''the law of Seerow's Kindness'' after this trope. Seerow was an explorer who found a primitive yet intelligent race of symbionts, and gifted them knowledge and technology. These Yeerks then began a conquest of the Galaxy, enslaving or killing millions.


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* Central to the setting of ''Literature/TheFifthSeason'' are Orogenes, who have the ability to, among other things, calm the constant seismic activity that plagues the world. When an orogene uses their abilities to save their family and neighbors from an earthquake, the survivors' first order of business is often to track them down and kill them out of fear and prejudice.

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** Speaking of Lord Voldemort, his birth came as an indirect result of a Ministry of Magic official [[spoiler:arresting Voldemort's would-be birth mother's [[AbusiveParents father]], who starts attacking her upon learning that [[StalkerWithACrush she harbors a crush on a Muggle man]], and her [[BigBrotherBully brother]], for their violent tendencies (they tried to fight off the officers trying to arrest her brother for [[FantasticRacism his abusing magic on the very same Muggle man she has a crush on]]), giving her time to [[SlippingAMickey drug the Muggle man she has a crush on with a]] LovePotion long enough that said Muggle man would take her away and eventually involuntarily become the father of her [[ChildByRape child]].]]

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* ''Literature/IAmMordred'': After Mordred frees the hawk, it kills Nyneve (and thus Gull, who's her familiar), since it's really Merlin transformed.


* ''Literature/HarryPoter''

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* ''Literature/HarryPoter''''Literature/HarryPotter''


* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Dumbledore takes an orphaned boy off to Hogwarts and gives him an education in magic. That boy grows up to be [[BigBad Voldemort]]. He does the same thing for Harry, of course, and this causes less disaster (eventually); though his attempts to protect Harry lead to some nasty things, particularly [[spoiler:Sirius's death]]. Harry gets a Deed of his own in the end of book 4: he and Cedric end up cooperating to finish the final task in the Triwizard Tournament, so Harry convinces him that they should take the Cup simultaneously and become co-victors. [[spoiler:They are unexpectedly whisked off to a graveyard in the middle of nowhere, and Cedric, who [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness was not part of the bad guys' plan]], is pointlessly executed. If Harry had been selfish and taken the Cup for himself, Cedric would have survived...''and'' he could have told Dumbledore about the Portkey, possibly giving him a chance to prevent Voldemort's resurrection]].

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* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', ''Literature/HarryPoter''
**
Dumbledore takes an orphaned boy off to Hogwarts and gives him an education in magic. That boy grows up to be [[BigBad Voldemort]]. He Lord Voldemort]].
** Dumbledore
does the same thing for Harry, of course, and this causes less disaster (eventually); though his attempts best to protect Harry and makes sure he survives, despite knowing that his wanting him safe instead of prepared for things will lead to some nasty things, particularly [[spoiler:Sirius's death]]. horrible results. [[spoiler:The worst being Sirius' death, which almost broke Harry. Consequently, Dumbledore has to call himself out while explaining everything to Harry.]]
**
Harry gets a Deed of his own in the end ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire Goblet of book 4: Fire]]'', when he and Cedric end up cooperating to finish are near the final task in the Triwizard Tournament, so Triforce Tournament cup. Harry convinces him that suggests they should both take the Cup simultaneously cup at the same time, making both of them winners. [[spoiler:The cup was a Portkey and become co-victors. [[spoiler:They are unexpectedly whisked off transported both to a graveyard in the middle of nowhere, and Cedric, who [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness was not part of the bad guys' plan]], is pointlessly executed. If graveyard. Cedric gets killed, Harry had been selfish tortured and taken almost killed himself, and Voldemort gets resurrected. Had Harry selfishly chosen to take the Cup for cup himself, Cedric would have survived...''and'' he survived... and could have told run off to inform Dumbledore about the Portkey, possibly giving him a chance to prevent likely preventing Voldemort's resurrection]].resurrection.]]


** Ned Stark tried to prevent three children's and a woman's death by warning her to run away, as he has learned her [[BrotherSisterIncest dark secret]]. Her answer is to capture him, have him painted as a traitor and force him to accept being separated from his entire family, while keeping his eldest daughter as a prisoner.

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** Ned Stark tried tries to prevent Queen Cersei and her three children's and a woman's death deaths by warning her to run away, as he has learned her [[BrotherSisterIncest dark secret]].secret]], and he knows the king will have them all executed. Her answer is to capture him, have him painted as a traitor and force him to accept being separated from his entire family, while keeping his eldest daughter as a prisoner.


* ''Literature/FightingFantasy'' was notorious about the "magical beggar" trope. Virtually every beggar you would meet would give you help that is far more valuable than the single coin you had to donate to them. In one book this is explained by the generosity of your donation: sure, you give a single gold piece every time, but the standard currency for those parts is ''copper''.


* In ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain The Black Cauldron]]'', Taran [[spoiler:gives up his magical brooch to "buy" the titular cauldron, only to find out it can't be destroyed without letting someone willing die]]. Eilonwy tries to comfort him by pointing out that while he doesn't have [[spoiler:the brooch]] anymore, no one can take away the fact that he did something truly honorable. [[spoiler:And then he is pretty much forced to give up that very thing, when the only person around to help move the cauldron only will do so on the condition that Taran lie and say the other person found and retrieved the thing]].

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* In ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain The Black Cauldron]]'', Taran [[spoiler:gives up his magical brooch to "buy" the titular cauldron, only to find out it can't be destroyed without letting someone willing die]]. Eilonwy tries to comfort him by pointing out that while he doesn't have [[spoiler:the brooch]] anymore, no one can take away the fact that he did something truly honorable. [[spoiler:And then he is pretty much forced to give up that very thing, when the only person around to help move the cauldron only will do so on the condition that Taran lie and say the other person found and retrieved the thing]].


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* In Creator/MichaelConnelly's ''The Reversal'', Jason Jessup's [[AmoralAttorney defense attorney]] complained to the judge about the prosecution only releasing part of the data they intend to use against Jessup. Prosecutor Margareth [=McPherson=] (nicknamed Maggie [=McFierce=]) replied they were still within the deadline and suggested the defender believed no good deed should go unpunished.

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* In Creator/MichaelConnelly's ''The Reversal'', ''Literature/TheReversal'', Jason Jessup's [[AmoralAttorney defense attorney]] complained to the judge about the prosecution only releasing part of the data they intend to use against Jessup. Prosecutor Margareth [=McPherson=] (nicknamed Maggie [=McFierce=]) replied they were still within the deadline and suggested the defender believed no good deed should go unpunished.


* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', Richard helps out a homeless person and becomes an {{Unperson}} for his trouble.

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* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', Richard helps out a homeless person and becomes an {{Unperson}} for his trouble.trouble, although [[EarnYourHappyEnding it works out for him in the end.]]


* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] could be the poster child for this trope. No matter how many times he saves the world, no matter how many times he does the right thing, ''breaking even is coming out ahead for him''. And he doesn't come out ahead very often.

to:

* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Harry Dresden]] Dresden could be the poster child for this trope. No matter how many times he saves the world, no matter how many times he does the right thing, ''breaking even is coming out ahead for him''. And he doesn't come out ahead very often.



* [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt's]] good deeds in the early part of his life caused him no small amount of grief. During his first surface raid he spared the life of a little elf girl and faked her death. Unfortunately, Lolth knew about this and didn't like that he ''wasn't'' an AxCrazy child murderer. She demanded a sacrifice from his house, and his father Zaknafein sacrificed himself in Drizz't's place. When the little elf girl he spared grew up, she mistakenly blamed Drizz't for the massacre that claimed her family that night due to her trauma. She spent her entire life hunting him and nearly killed him only to die in the attempt. Then there was the time he stumbled upon a gang of barghest whelps that had murdered a farming family and avenged them by killing the whelps. This earned him misplaced blame for the murders (as a Drow, he was a prime suspect) and the ire of a persistent bounty hunter. This trend more or less ended after he met his TrueCompanions, who made sure Drizz't would get better PR.

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* [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt's]] ''Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt'': Drizzt's good deeds in the early part of his life caused him no small amount of grief. During his first surface raid he spared the life of a little elf girl and faked her death. Unfortunately, Lolth knew about this and didn't like that he ''wasn't'' an AxCrazy child murderer. She demanded a sacrifice from his house, and his father Zaknafein sacrificed himself in Drizz't's place. When the little elf girl he spared grew up, she mistakenly blamed Drizz't for the massacre that claimed her family that night due to her trauma. She spent her entire life hunting him and nearly killed him only to die in the attempt. Then there was the time he stumbled upon a gang of barghest whelps that had murdered a farming family and avenged them by killing the whelps. This earned him misplaced blame for the murders (as a Drow, he was a prime suspect) and the ire of a persistent bounty hunter. This trend more or less ended after he met his TrueCompanions, who made sure Drizz't would get better PR.


* In ''TheSoundAndTheFury'', Quentin finds a young girl who is unable to speak English and he realizes that she is probably lost. Quentin proceeds to buy her some food and spend the next few hours trying to find her family. [[spoiler: His thanks for this is an arrest from the police, who were summoned by the young girl's older brother who thought that Quentin was kidnapping the girl. Quentin is fined seven dollars for this 'crime'.]]
* AnitaBlake quotes the saying in her first book, ''Guilty Pleasures'': "He had to be stopped. If I hadn't interfered tonight, he would have been stopped. No good deed goes unpunished."

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* In ''TheSoundAndTheFury'', ''Literature/TheSoundAndTheFury'', Quentin finds a young girl who is unable to speak English and he realizes that she is probably lost. Quentin proceeds to buy her some food and spend the next few hours trying to find her family. [[spoiler: His thanks for this is an arrest from the police, who were summoned by the young girl's older brother who thought that Quentin was kidnapping the girl. Quentin is fined seven dollars for this 'crime'.]]
* AnitaBlake Literature/AnitaBlake quotes the saying in her first book, ''Guilty Pleasures'': "He had to be stopped. If I hadn't interfered tonight, he would have been stopped. No good deed goes unpunished."

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