DrSleep on Jan 10th 2019 at 10:47:08 AM
Last Edited By:
DrSleep on Jan 16th 2019 at 7:34:19 AM
Page Type: trope
- He's like the gardener's dog that eats no cabbage and won't let others eitherLope de Vega
Ever heard the phrase "sharing is caring"? Not for these people.
Alice has something she doesn't need. Maybe it's a Money Sink. Maybe it's a lame present. Maybe it's just something she doesn't like. But here comes Bob, offering to take it off her hands, and Alice refuses - it's hers goddamit!
A Dog in the Manger scenario is when a character has something of no use or value to them (it may not even be something they want) but won't let anyone else have it. Or, alternately, a character has something and refuses to share it with anyone else, even if such sharing would come at no cost to themselves. Note that this trope doesn't only apply to things - in fact a common variant is when a character cuts off or monopolizes the time of another character, preventing them from interacting with anyone else.
The Trope Namer is the fable "The Dog In The Manger", where a dog lying in a manger full of barley refuses to let any other animals eat even though it can't eat the barley itself and has no use for it.
Compare Tall Poppy Syndrome, when people put down their peers' ambitions and successes while having none of their own. Contrast No Man Should Have This Power when this trope is done because if anyone (else) gets this thing, it'll lead to disaster. Sister Trope to If I Can't Have You...
See also X Must Not Win.
- Cinderella: Anastasia and Drizella complain about their old jewelry and even make a point of throwing it away. However, when Cinderella shows up wearing the beads in preparation for the ball, they still consider it theft and violently take it all back.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: As a kid, Gregor Clegane attempts to kill his younger brother Sandor for playing with one of his discarded toys, burning half his face in the process.
- Wuthering Heights: Isabelle name-drops the trope when accusing Catherine of keeping her from Heathcliff
You are a dog in the manger, Cathy, and desire no one to be loved but yourself!
- Dune: Paul Muad'Dib forbids his wife Irulan to have any affair that might produce a child, even as he refuses to so much as touch her himself, neglecting her in favor of his concubine Chani.
- One of Jesus's criticisms of the Pharisees was that they prevented others from being righteous while being unrighteous themselves. From Matthew 23:13
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; you do not enter yourselves, nor will you let others enter.
- The Adventure Zone: Balance: Played for Laughs when the Squishy Wizard Taako scams his way into acquiring the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom, then sticks it on his back as a fashion accessory with no intention of using it. Zig-zagged eight episodes later when he finally gives it to the team fighter.
- Utilised in the Looney Tunes short "Well Worn Daffy", where an even more mean spirited than usual Daffy is hoarding a water well to himself, shooting at Speedy and his comrades whenever they try to take from it. After a lengthy war fending them off, Daffy decides the blow up the well just to ensure once and for all Speedy can't get his hands on it, though the explosives expectedly backfire.
- Played for Laughs several times in The Simpsons:
Marge: Where'd you get that money?Grandpa: The Government. I didn't earn it. I don't need it. But if they miss one payment, I'll raise hell.
- In general, Homer can be convinced to hold onto any random possession he is disinterested in if he finds out Flanders wants it.
- In the episode, "Treehouse of Horror III", when Grandpa explains how he managed to get Bart wads of cash as a birthday present:
- In "Homer Badman" Homer fetches the kids an enormous supply of candy. They feast until eventually they are sick and refuse anymore. Marge suggests donating the candy to someone more needy, Bart and Lisa immediately cling onto it and begrudgingly eat more.
- In the Bojack Horseman episode "Bojack Hates the Troops", Bojack gets into an argument with someone at a supermarket over calling "dibs" on a box of muffins. Despite not even wanting the muffins, he takes them to spite the other guy who demands them back. The entire episode afterwards becomes a television documented Escalating War based on the principle of who had rights to said box of muffins, with Bojack refusing to apologise over the feud (despite having ate all of them at the start of the episode and quickly regretting the purchase).
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