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All Take and No Give

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"You're like a sponge! You take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion!"

In order for a relationship to work, each party must put effort into the relationship, and they must appreciate the results. Sometimes, one party has to put more effort in than the other, while in other situations, it's evenly spread. Of course, it can also become a very sick relationship when it's All Take And No Give. This trope comes in two flavors with a middle ground.

In the first variant, the Taker knows the Giver is insecure and wants to feel needed and wanted, so they manipulate and extort the Giver into giving them what they want in exchange for morsels of affection. These relationships are typically led by a domineering Bratty Half-Pint, a more sinister Fantasy-Forbidding Father, or Clingy Jealous Girl over an Extreme Doormat.

The other variant is a bit more disturbing. Rather than the Taker being in charge, it's the Giver who is in control. It's not that they're pathologically compelled to generosity, but a deep desire to control and even own the Taker... so they work to make them completely psychologically and physically dependent, and may, in fact, cripple their ability to do some (or all) things. This is the hallmark of My Beloved Smother, who may impair or delay their child's growth to keep them dependent. If romantic, the Giver may be a Stalker with a Crush or a Yandere who has managed to start a relationship with their target and then proceeded to demolish their self-esteem in the guise of "helping" them. Expect them to say "I did it all for you", and justify alienating the Taker from past friends because "They Were Holding You Back." If the Taker should realize this and work up the resolve to break the cycle, the Giver will not be pleased. If the partners are married, this may lead to one partner becoming a Stepping Stone Spouse as the Taker moves on to someone with better resources.

The middle ground is akin to The Masochism Tango, both the Giver and the Taker are in a deeply co-dependent relationship they can't break out of. Maybe they're a Meal Ticket and a shop-happy floozy, a parent who can't stand to say "no" and an emotionally needy Spoiled Brat, or an indulgent monarch raising a Royal Brat. In all variations, both participants will be unwilling or unable to leave, change or even identify the relationship.

While in many cases, one party taking advantage of the other is intentional, this sort of relationship, particularly the one in which the Giver is dominant, can happen by accident. In those cases, one party may not realize that their well-intentioned "gifts" are not good for the other, while the other may be uncomfortable with the arrangement but lack the courage to challenge the status quo.

Expect the Giver to say a variation of "I give and I give, and you take and you take" with one of two possible inflections, feigned suffering meant to guilt-trip the Taker, or resigned exasperation as they once again give in.

Compare Taking Advantage of Generosity (although that doesn't require a couple). Contrast Ignored Enamored Underling and Unrequited Love Tropes in general, which are akin to "All Give And No Take".



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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is why the titular character of Aggretsuko broke up with Resasuke: he wasn't a bad person, but he couldn't really provide what Retsuko wanted, while her commitment to their relationship ended up being stressful.
  • A relationship becomes the motive for murder in Case Closed. The "Taker" discovered that the "Giver" was ruining her life so she'd stay dependent forever, and thus murdered the "Giver".
  • Code Geass has Lelouch Lamperouge masterfully manipulating Rolo into being a Giver. Poor Rolo thought someone actually liked him. Of course, being both a fake replacement sibling and an assassin ordered to kill Lelouch if he was shown to have his memories regained did not endear him. Also, Rolo had become the manipulative type of Giver, to the point he wanted Lelouch as his brother to the point where he would forget Nunnally. And once Rolo killed Shirley in cold blood, Lelouch pretty much tried to get rid of him as payback. Until, ironically enough, Rolo saved his life at the cost of his own.
  • A Condition Called Love: Heavily explored as this is the kind of situation Hananoi sets up with his romantic interests so that they will grow to need him, never leave him, and become his out of a fear of abandonment. In sum, he love bombs his partners with what he believes to be ideal boyfriend behavior and expects the same level of devotion in return, becoming obsessive and even controlling when his ideal is not met. Naturally, this overbearing approach is resoundly rejected by every one of his past girlfriends. Current girlfriend Hotaru rejects this too and tells him that if only one person in a relationship can be happy with the other continuously sacrificing their own desires, interests, and health for them, she doesn't ever want to fall in love. She insists on Hananoi being more upfront with his emotional needs and less passively manipulative so that they can have a balanced relationship.
  • This was the root of Seiko and Ruruka's falling out in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School. Ruruka frequently made use of Seiko's skill as a Mad Scientist for various medicines and performance enhancers over the years and felt frustrated that Seiko's illness made her unable to return the favor using her sweets. The mutual lack of communication as well as Nagito inadvertently getting the two, as well as Ruruka's boyfriend Izayoi, expelled from Hope's Peak (which led the two to blame each other for the incident) led to them hating each other as adults.
  • In Death Note, Smug Snake Light Yagami and his girlfriend/co-conspirator Misa are like this; Light is a manipulative Consummate Liar who takes advantage of Misa's mental instability and desperation for support to make her both his most dangerous pawn and his lover - in his defense, though, it wasn't as if she gave him much of a choice. This results in a relationship where Light plays with her life, like everyone else's, while she is gradually consumed by her obsession with him, despite his total lack of affection toward her. It culminates in her death. A stranger example happens in the Yostuba arc, where Light's Memory Gambit has him working on his own murder investigation under L. During this period, Light is genuinely trying to help, and L gladly accepts his generosity - while trying to get him convicted for murder.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Revealed in the Databook to be how Zenitsu was treated by seven different malicious women in the past, each of them taking advantage of Zenitsu's desperate wish for a girlfriend; they all feigned appreciation towards Zenitsu while draining him of money and piling him high with debts. It is noted none of them would let Zenitsu even hold their hand, much less allow any other form of physical proximity, emotionally manipulating Zenitsu by promising they would get closer if he took care of their needs.
  • Unsui and Agon of Eyeshield 21 have this undertone to their relationship. Unsui tends to act like a surrogate parent to his brother (it's implied their real parents spoil him), puts his brother's needs before his own, and constantly apologizes for his brother's actions. This is due to Unsui's need to have a purpose after the painful realization that he'll always be a mediocre person without his brother.
  • Fruits Basket: This is what Akito's relationship with Kureno is all about. Kureno is the only one in the Zodiac who obeys Akito without any reluctance and gives her all his attention even though he's no longer forced to by the curse since it broke for him years ago. Akito keeps Kureno with her at all times and doesn't want him to interact with anyone else or go anywhere without her permission. Shigure calls Kureno out on how him doing anything Akito wants from him despite his curse breaking only made Akito worse as a person as she still thinks she can get away with expecting to be loved by others while giving nothing but abuse and spite in return.
  • The relationship between siblings Umaru and Taihei in Himouto! Umaru-chan. Umaru is a Lazy Bum who expects Taihei to wait on her hand and foot while Taihei, for all his attempts to get his sister to straighten up, mostly does exactly that.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Shinobu Kawajiri was initially stuck with a deadbeat husband who expected her to give what he wanted. At least until Kira Kill and Replaceed her husband to hide out, which caused her to Took a Level in Cheerfulness.
    • JoJolion: This is indicated to be the relationship between Yasuho and Toru. Yasuho states that he would appear randomly in her life, only to take something convenient from her and disappear. From information about the original Satoru Akefu and her idea about a wireless power source, it is fitting that Toru has been leeching off of her, given that Rock Humans are parasitic by nature.
  • This is what Big Bad Ajimu of Medaka Box says is the true nature of Medaka and Zenkichi's relationship. Even after Zenkichi's unfailing devotion to her, all out of his love for her, she takes it for granted. Ajimu bluntly states he was not born to serve Medaka. This ultimately proves to have some truth to it when Medaka berates and attacks Zenkichi for not being able to pass the first part of her test given to her possible successors. When Zenkichi confronts her to prove his point, she beats the tar out of him and berates him further to solidify him becoming her enemy just so she wasn't wrong in her assumptions can continue to see value in him.
    • This also makes her seem even more of a Jerkass since when Akune decides to join Zenkichi against Medaka she praises him instead of giving him the same treatment.
  • Monster (1994): The sequel Another Monster delves deeper into Tenma and Eva's relationship when Eva realizes that despite her being the taker, Tenma was always the stronger one who she depended on for a sense of worth and confidence.
  • Prétear: Takako, when she first started out as the Pretear, was the Taker, with Hayate as the Giver. However, when she realized that he didn't return her affections, she became the Princess of Disaster.
  • At the beginning of Princess Tutu, Rue and Mytho have a strange relationship where they're both content but they both "give" things that the other person finds meaningless and "take" something else that's unimportant to the other; Rue might be considered the Taker just because she gets something out of Mytho that he intentionally gives, even if it's not what she really wants. Mytho follows Rue's every whim, but only because he likes being ordered around and "nobody else tells [him] what to do". Rue keeps him around because she wants to be loved, but he's completely incapable of reciprocating, so she just makes him tell her "I love you" and pretends that it's real.
  • Sekai and Setsuna of School Days have this type of relationship, with Setsuna as the Giver and Sekai as the Taker. It isn't bad-intentioned on Sekai's part and she truly does see Setsuna as her best friend, but she also completely fails to consider Setsuna's feelings regarding her actions (like taking the guy she had a crush on). It's largely Setsuna's fault as well, though; her only concern in life seems to be Sekai's happiness, and she is willing to steamroll over anyone and anything she has to in order to achieve this. The best examples of this are the lengths she'll go to in order to keep Kotonoha away from Makoto even after learning that Sekai had lied to her about them previously breaking up, and when she offers Makoto the chance to have sex with her if he promises to stay faithful to Sekai afterwards.
  • In Spirited Away, we have a case of the second variant with No Face as the Giver and Chihiro as the Taker. In the beginning, No Face helped Chihiro out and Chihiro gratefully accepted his help. But once Chihiro refused to accept one of his gifts after seeing how the other bath patrons were greedily accepting his gifts of gold without question, No Face went a little crazy, ate some people and demanded that Chihiro be brought to him so she could accept his gifts.
    • Then there's Yubaba and her gigantic baby Boh. She coddles him incessantly and he's spoiled rotten. It takes a Forced Transformation into a tiny animal for him to learn manners and "grow up". He gets better.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs:
  • Partway through Welcome to the NHK, Satou begins to fear/hallucinate that Misaki may be trying to trick him into a relationship. She is.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! plays with this. Yugi solves the Millennium Puzzle and gains a spirit for an alter ego. The spirit then protects Yugi from bullies and wins games of all kinds on his behalf, including tournaments, whilst letting Yugi take credit. Initially, Yugi refuses to entertain the idea of helping the spirit get his freedom, but he later admits his dependency and resolves to become stronger. Zigzagged in that most of the reason the pair entered tournaments in the first place was people targeting the Puzzle and Yugi's loved ones, rather than Yugi using the spirit intentionally for personal glory. The final arc partially focuses on Yugi asserting his own strength and learning to live up to the reputation the spirit gave him, netting a big victory against one of the final villain's forms and challenging the spirit to a final duel after the day has been saved.
  • In Yuri is My Job!, Kanoko Mamiya accuses Mitsuki Yano of being a Taker for their mutual Only Friend Hime Shiraki, alleging that Hime often helps Mitsuki, but Mitsuki has never once helped Hime. Kanoko is hardly unbiased, given that she has an unrequited love for Hime and that she loathes Misuki due to jealousy, but Mitsuki is left unable to make a rebuttal.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Harley Quinn is like this to her beloved, The Joker. She helps him with all his plans, breaks him out of Arkham over and over again, and always comes back to him. Depending on the Writer, The Joker may give her nothing more in return than tolerance, or a bullet to the heart.
  • Daredevil: Matt Murdock descended into this at the end of his relationship with Heather Glenn. Still stricken by the death of his ex-lover Elektra, he deliberately let the company Heather had inherited be destroyed to make sure that she would have nothing in her life but him, and thus couldn't leave him.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Donald Duck is often the Giver in his relationships with both his girlfriend Daisy and his uncle/employer Scrooge. This is the inciting incident in the Don Rosa story "The Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros", where Huey, Dewey, and Louie notice how this setup is negatively affecting their Uncle Donald, so they reconnect him with his old friends Panchito Pistoles and José Carioca, who actually appreciate and acknowledge his heroic actions, which helps him get through a recent funk.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Lightning Lord's obsessive nature with his siblings comes across as this. He believes as the oldest it's his right to demand Lightning Lass become his "twin," and he's willing to get rid of Lightning Lad to make it happen. Even if such behavior wasn't completely demented, throughout their lives the older Ranzz sibling never did anything to warrant the twins wanting anything to do with him.

    Fan Works 


  • The Minkiad: Farkle describes his father's marriage as such: "You gave so much to Jennifer and she never gave anything back and you think that you have to be that way with me."
  • Raise Yourselves Up (We're Done): Miss Bustier proves to be a shining example of this when she bans Marinette and Chloé from participating in their class' annual trip. Turns out that she's so accustomed to shunting all the hard work of organizing said trips off of her students, to the point that she doesn't even bother getting permission, much less getting passports or anything else ready. The only "solution" she can come up with is trying to convince Marinette and Chloé to let the class bum off of all of their hard work arranging their own trip, while blithely ignoring the "minor manner" of her still not having the passports or anything else ready.
  • Universe Falls: In "Lost and Found", Dipper confronts Mabel over how she thinks nothing of asking him to give up the things he wants in order to ensure she gets what she desires.

Ace Attorney

  • Dirty Sympathy has Kristoph and Apollo in a variant two relationship. Kristoph is an abusive Giver, controlling every aspect of Apollo's life by providing him with employment, transportation, and shelter which Apollo as the Taker can't afford to refuse.


  • In Confessions, Sasha outright declares to Anne and Marcy that their relationship should be simply "I lead, you follow." In her case, Sasha legitimately doesn't know any better or realize how unhealthy their dynamic is.
  • Sasha and the Frogs: Weaponized by Grime; once he realizes that Sasha was a Toxic Friend Influence for Anne, and that pointing this out is a reliable way of triggering Anne's Calamity Powers, he uses this knowledge to Break the Cutie by hammering home the notion that Sasha only ever saw her as a useful tool rather than a friend.


  • In A Father's Faith, Team Arrow enlist Black Siren's help to resurrect Laurel. She asks them why would Laurel want to return, given that they all took everything from her and never gave anything back. Everyone is uncomfortably affected by this, but ironically, the person we see a first person P.O.V. reaction to this (Thea), is probably the one person who has the least to worry about.note  Then turned on its head when Quentin replies that is exactly why Laurel would want to return, to help people, even if they took her for granted.
  • moral of the story (Nyame): With Laurel as the Giver and Oliver and her family as the Takers. Laurel is constantly expected to subordinate her feelings to everyone else's and support them through their troubles, while dealing with her troubles on her own without their support. And when she tries to complain about this, they label her as selfish and tell her off. It takes her committing suicide for them to recognize and regret their bad treatment of her, but by that point it's too late.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • In The Stalking Zuko Series, Aang's status as a Taker is one reason why the author believes a relationship between him and Katara would never work out. Aang would have to put the restoration of the Air Nomads above all else, and Katara wouldn't want to constantly have to make concessions for that goal.

Case Closed

Final Fantasy

  • Shinra High Soldier: Yuffie gives all she can to try and support Sephiroth, offering both him and his girlfriend moral and financial support. Sephiroth takes this for granted, and once Yuffie leaves Midgar and is no longer immediately useful, their relationship grows distant and neglected.

Fullmetal Alchemist

  • Elemental Chess Trilogy: Triumvirate centers around Roy's fears that his relationship with Riza has deteriorated into this over time, with him taking everything she ever offered him while providing nothing in return.

Gravity Falls

Harry Potter

  • Ginny Weasley and the Heir of Slytherin: When Ginny starts growing suspicious of Riddle, she notes that while she's been telling him everything about her life, he's offered barely anything about himself in return.
  • The Very Secret Diary: Tom and Ginny's relationship is this, portrayed in the most disturbing manner in possible. Tom is the Taker, taking all of Ginny's life force and draining her of any free will and almost all sense of self, and Ginny, desperate for a friend, gives and gives and gives, not realizing Tom's true nature until it's too late. Tom, however, paints himself as the selfless Giver who patiently listens to all of Ginny's problems and is always there for her, making Ginny feel like the selfish, abusive Taker who takes advantage of his kindness, further manipulating her.


The Hunger Games

  • Fixed to a Star: From Lorata's We Must be Killers: Tales from District 2 series features recent victor Claudius voicing his disillusionment with the Capitol to Lyme, his mentor, in a call-forward to their joining the Rebellion in the aftermath of the 3rd Quarter Quell.
    Claudius: One day it will be too much. They ask, we give, and they take, that's the way it goes. But they just keep asking and just keep taking, and one day, they'll take something you don't want to give. Something so bad, it's worse than marching your kids to their deaths every year. One day you're going to walk away. Take me with you.

The Loud House

  • No Such Luck, No Such Love: Lincoln points out to Lori that whenever he wants to ask a favor from any of his sisters, they expect to be plied with bribes like chocolate and offering to do their chores... and even then, they'll only just consider whether or not to help. On the flip side, if any of them decide they need his help with something, they expect him to just go along with it without question, much less getting anything out of the deal for himself.
  • Syngenesophobia: All of the Loud girls take their brother completely for granted, and turn on him en masse whenever one of their Hair-Trigger Tempers goes off.

Love Hina

  • For His Own Sake:
    • While Keitaro is willing to forgive Naru for every slight, insult and violent assault, always offering her the benefit of the doubt, she never returns the favor, always assuming the worst and 'punishing' him for imagined slights while refusing to acknowledge any of her misjudgments. The story proper begins when Keitaro decides he's had enough and breaks things off with her.
    • This is Naru's personality in a nutshell. She's a Spoiled Brat and Entitled Bastard who's thoroughly convinced that everyone should bend over backwards, showering her with all the attention and support she demands while she offers them nothing in return. Doesn't matter who it is — Keitaro, Shinobu, Granny Hina, her family; she soaks things up and throws a fit whenever she doesn't get her way.
    • During the final chapter, Granny Hina realizes this applies to her relationship with Naru as well: she repaid all of Hina's efforts to provide her and the other Hinata Girls with a safe harbor by abusing her grandson. Even after learning the sheer scope of this abuse, Hina was willing to keep supporting her... and Naru participated in a scheme to kidnap and attempt to murder Keitaro. Once Hina draws the line and declares she won't help her any further after bailing her out of jail, Naru throws a fit and makes clear how little she appreciates everything she'd done up to that point, leaving Granny Hina regretting how much she sacrificed in the process.
    • Sarah serves as another good example, thanks to Naru and most of the other Hinata Girls' Toxic Friend Influence. After seeing how Naru and Motoko abused Keitaro, she's convinced that she can just beat the crap out of anyone who dares trying to rein in her bratty behavior, giving her adoptive father Seta no end of grief.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • In Archenemies to Superfriends, Lila ultimately ends up befriending Marinette after learning the hard way that none of her Fair-Weather Friends were actually worth the effort she put into stealing them in the first place.
  • The Babysitting Fiasco: Alya and Nino manipulate Marinette into babysitting their siblings for them, even "volunteering" to look after said siblings more often — and getting paid by their parents for it — so that they can pocket all that extra money for themselves while making Marinette do all the work for free. Neither one spares a single thought as to how much pressure this is putting on her, and when she's forced to cancel so she can catch up on her studies, Alya complains about it. She justifies all of this with the notion that "friends always help each other out!", but never does anything for Marinette in return.
  • Couturiere: Marinette suffers from an inverted version of this; others grew so used to her unwavering support that they began taking it completely for granted. Hawkmoth incorporates this into his Breaking Speech, declaring upfront that while he's using her to his own ends, he's being honest about it, and is actually offering something in return.
    Hawkmoth: I have kept my promise. Can you say the same for them?
  • Dad Villain AU: Nathalie is an Ignored Enamored Underling for both Gabriel and Emelie here; Gabriel ruthlessly exploited her feelings for both him and his wife during his reign of terror, convincing her to sacrifce her health as Mayura for no reward whatsoever. While she doesn't recall the original reality thanks to his Wish rewriting reality, she still finds herself being strung along by her employers in this fashion... something Viceroy Exploits when he contracts her through one of his butterflies:
    Viceroy: Your heart sings and sighs with an aged bitterness and betrayal, as you have sacrificed all you could offer for those you love, and they have left you to suffer in loneliness, indulging in one another while using you. You need not buckle under their yokes. Some rots are sweet, Nathalie, some rots yield wine. Would you like to become wine with me, Nathalie? Would you like to be sweet again?
  • Dodged a Beetle: While Tikki has a few suspicions about Lila's true character beforehand, she really starts to realize what kind of person she's dealing with after Lila gets Marinette to make a scarf for Adrien's birthday... so that Lila can give it to him, while not mentioning who made it. She then goes on to convince Nino and Marinette to organize a party in the park with the intent of taking all the credit for it.
  • Fashion Upgrade: Tikki points out that Marinette is frequently on the bad end of this, as she's willing to offer up everything she can to help and support her friends... and others often take advantage of this. So, one of Marinette's major flaws is the inversion of this trope, while her former classmates — and more importantly, her former homeroom teacher — play it straight.
  • Feralnette AU:
    • Ms. Bustier encourages her class to take Marinette's generosity for granted in this fashion. When Mylène wants an Impractically Fancy Outfit for their upcoming production of The Little Mermaid, she fails to notice how Marinette is balking at her presumption that she'll just make it for her, no questions asked... but Bustier does notice and gives her a Death Glare, making clear that as far as she's concerned, Marinette has no choice in the matter.
    • During Birds of a Feather, Kagami realizes that while she and Adrien have started dating, she's the only one who's invested anything into their relationship. Adrien takes her presence in his life completely for granted; he never wants to spend any time with her, prioritizing everyone else over her — he only settles for her when nobody else is available, and gets annoyed whenever she suggests he should make more of an effort to be with his "girlfriend". This spurs her to issue an ultimatum: either he steps up or she breaks it off.
  • The one-shot Heartfelt Gifts depicts a world where people can literally infuse their feelings into gifts. In exchange, they can feel the love and appreciation others have for their gifts. However, Marinette discovers that no matter how many times she offers Adrien gifts filled with parts of her heart, she never receives anything in return. Not all of them make it safely into his hands, but even the ones that do go unnoticed and unappreciated, until she finds that she has nothing left to give, having completely exhausted all her feelings for him.
  • The Karma of Lies:
    • Instead of being truly thankful for everything Marinette does for them as their 'Everyday Ladybug', her classmates take her support completely for granted. Once Lila comes along and convinces them that she's an even better version of Marinette, with bigger and better connections, they flock to her side while ignoring the girl who helped them out for so long. By the time they realize Marinette still has things to offer, she's moved on and found friends who don't exploit her generosity.
    • Lila, naturally, is also a prime example of this. While she presents herself as a generous young woman who does tons of charity work, she's actually a Con Artist who runs fake charities while stringing her marks along with false promises. In essence, she's a Taker who pretends to be a Giver, luring Secretly Selfish Takers into becoming Givers in hopes of taking advantage of promises she'll never deliver upon.
    • Adrien also proves to be a Taker In Sheep's Clothing. Ultimately, he only cares about himself; it's fine if Lila scams everyone else so long as he isn't hurt, and since he already knows she's a liar, he presumes that he's perfectly safe. He feels entitled to everything he wants — including and especially Ladybug's love, and sees nothing wrong with letting her pull all the weight while he jokes around and flirts during akuma battles.
  • Marinette's Week Off: Alya and the rest of Marinette's classmates (save for Nathaniel and Chloé) expect her to drop everything at a moment's notice and help salvage their plans for Mylène's play, the school dance and the big fundraiser, even though they'd all broken off their "friendships" with her. The only thing that stops them from continuing to harass her is learning that she's currently away on vacation and physically can't come back and assist them, causing them to panic.
    • In the sequel, Alya gets even more blatant about this; the moment she learns that Marinette has started a successful acting career, she starts trying to reclaim her as her "bestie", openly admitting to her peers that she wants Marinette to "make things up to her" by using her connections. And no, she still doesn't intend to offer her anything but lip service about being her "bestie" in return.
  • Miraculous Ladybug Salt-Shots:
    • Nothing Comes For Free centers around the accusation that Miss Caline Bustier has forced Marinette to endlessly provide "favors" and services for her and everyone else in the class, foisting off her own responsibilities onto the class representative and pressuring her to cater to everyone else's needs. When Marinette reaches her breaking point, she reveals to her mother that Caline is making her organize their next field trip all by herself, and that all the girls expect her to make them prom dresses for free, among countless other favors.
    • In My Compensation, Alya foists all of her babysitting duties off onto Marinette while pocketing the money her parents are paying her for supposedly supervising her sisters. She also helped herself to "free pastries" from the Dupain-Cheng bakery on a regular basis, assuming she'd never have to pay for anything since she was "besties" with their daughter.
    • Being A Good Example Isn't So Easy, Is It? also takes Miss Bustier to task for her overreliance on Marinette. When her former "star student" transfers to another class, Chloé becomes the new representative, only for the Spoiled Brat to promptly make clear that she outright refuses to do any work — and when Caline tries confronting her over it, hits her with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how she's not a "pushover like Dupain-Cheng" and will get her fired if she tries forcing the issue.
    • In Broken Reflection of Love, Adrien starts dating Marinette due to how she reminds him of Ladybug. Since he doesn't know that they're the same person, he repeatedly neglects his "girlfriend"; the most he ever gives her is token "apology gifts" for skipping out on dates. He also pressures her to change her whole wardrobe up and start wearing more Ladybug red; when she balks at the suggestion, he walks out on her.
    • Referenced in Spots of Change; one of the reasons Marinette decided to give up being Ladybug was because she was worn out from having everyone take her efforts for granted, both as a superheroine and a civilian. Alya schemes to repay her by making a big scandal out of her retirement, asking leading questions to her replacement Anatis implying that Ladybug "abandoned" her duties.
  • Scarlet Lady: Chloé Bourgeois's "friendship" with Sabrina works this way. She fully expects her Beta Bitch to bend over backwards to accommodate her every demand. Tellingly, when Chloé actually does grasp that Sabrina is starting to learn how to stand up to her, her idea of reconciliation is generously letting her borrow a beret.
  • In Tattered Remains of Broken Dreams (Yours, Not Mine), Marinette's classmates repay all of the favors she's done for them by shredding her school sketchbook. This turns out to have been a blessing in disguise when they learn too late that said sketchbook was filled with all the projects she was still working on for them... and since they've just demonstrated how little they appreciated her efforts, she sees no reason to recreate or finish any of those.
  • Truth and Consequences twists this trope around: everything falls apart because Ladybug and Chat Noir both feel that they're the abused and exploited "Giver" in their partnership.
    • Marinette felt forced to bear all the responsibility of protecting Paris, and that she's The Only One who takes their duties seriously, while Chat Noir feels free to joke around and flirt during fights, or make Senseless Sacrifices that leave her without any support.
    • Chat Noir, meanwhile, resents being treated like her sidekick rather than an equal partner, and feels as though he's been Locked Out of the Loop regarding things like the existence of the Guardian and other Miraculouses. His self-sacrifices have led to him repeatedly winding up Brainwashed and Crazy, even temporarily dying for the sake of Paris... is it so wrong that he's like more answers...?
  • Two Letters:
    • Marinette came to see all of Paris this way. As Ladybug, she was the Giver, constantly dealing with akumas while neglecting her own needs and emotional health. Meanwhile, Paris took her completely for granted, judging any mistakes she made harshly. While she fought to repress all her negative emotions so that Hawkmoth couldn't exploit them, many citizens seemed to see nothing truly wrong with being akumatized over the most petty and trivial reasons, assuming that she'd save the day and erase all the consequences of their actions.
    • Luka fears that Marinette was so Conditioned to Accept Horror that all of her relationships had reached this point. When they got back together, she was constantly trying to defer everything to Luka, wanting him to make all the decisions so that she didn't risk upsetting him with her own wishes or desires. It took months to convince her that it was okay for her to want things for herself, and it's something they're still working on half a year after her retirement.
  • Weight Off Your Shoulder: At one point, Bunnyx uses the Burrow to peer into a Bad Future where Marinette and Adrien got married without the latter going through any Character Development. As a result, Adrien takes his wife completely for granted, expecting her to do all the heavy lifting not just in their relationship, but keeping the company he inherited from his father afloat. Eventually, Marinette can't take this anymore and divorces him; even as the divorce is being finalized, Adrien continues pressuring her to "forget about it", complaining that he doesn't understand why she doesn't want to work things out.
  • What Goes Around Comes Around:
    • Thanks to his Abusive Parents, Adrien believes that this how relationships are meant to work. Once he learns that Marinette is Ladybug, he expects her to fall into his arms and start serving his every whim, such as helping him get his father out of prison, despite her making quite clear that she doesn't agree with his desires... because as far as he's concerned, that's what love is all about. Doing whatever you can to make your partner happy, with said partner offering nothing in return.
    • Alya also falls into this mentality. Upon learning Marinette's Secret Identity, she immediately decides that her 'best friend' OWES her a passel of exclusive interviews and content for her Ladyblog. She also expects her to make Rena Rouge a permanent hero and let her reveal her own identity alongside Nino/Carapace for the views. It takes dealing with Bill 'Buster' Brockman in Truth & Journalism for her to realize just how entitled she was acting, and that she'd been taking Marinette's friendship completely for granted and making all kinds of unreasonable demands.
    • Brockman's former friendship with Mr. Burner also qualifies. So far as Brockman was concerned, Mr. Burner needed to be his personal lackey and cheerleader; when Burner tried to warn him that Myron was using him to spread Malicious Slander, Brockman angrily broke things off. He also refuses to admit he did anything wrong, blaming everything entirely upon Myron and expecting Burner to fall back into their old dynamic when he demands it.
  • The Wolves in the Woods:
    • Ms. Bustier encouraged this mentality in her students, singling out Marinette as her 'model student' and pressuring her to bend over backwards in order to help all her 'friends'. The majority of the class expects to have the same relationship with Lila, assuming that she'll use all her supposed connections to make all their dreams come true... despite how this Lila never implied she'd do anything of the sort.
    • Alya turns out to be especially awful about this. Despite leading the charge against her former "bestie", she's hellbent on forcing her to return to Francoise Dupont and continue catering to her every whim. It's also eventually revealed that she had known all along that Lila was lying, but took advantage of her Malicious Slander in an attempt to shred Marinette's self-confidence and turn her into an Extreme Doormat desperate for her approval. After learning about that, Nino openly questions whether Alya truly cared about ANYONE, or if she was just a False Friend who only cared about herself.

My Hero Academia

  • but you gotta get up at least once more: Izuku eventually realizes that he has unintentionally been taking advantage of Mitoki in this fashion; their relationship consists entirely of Izuku going to him for help with his projects or comfort, but has never provided that in return or chosen to hang out just for the sake of being together. He immediately apologizes and promises to be a better friend from that point on.
  • In Conversations with a Cryptid, Hisashi Midoriya is the Giver, being Inko's absent and rich husband who gives Inko and their son Izuku as much money as they need. Unfortunately for Inko as the Taker since she quit her job to marry him and have Izuku, she has no way of reprisal. Since she is dependent on him for income and for Izuku's tuition, she can't divorce him for disappearing on her for 8 years. Inko can't refuse his help because it would be difficult to get a job since she has been out of the workforce so long, and she has no family for support.
  • Fear No Evil: The Humarise cult lures desperate and isolated Quirkless people into their number with promises of providing support, opportunities and a sense of community and belonging. They then isolate their members from their family and friends, milking their victims of everything they have.


  • Duran And Kiyohime's Omake Theater: Natsuki occasionally worries that she falls into this, spurring her to try various things to demonstrate to Shizuru how much she cares. This tends to leave her very flustered, since, as Shizuru notes, Natsuki is a very private person, with open displays of affection resting outside her comfort zone. Shizuru also notes that she doesn't believe this actually applies to Natsuki at all.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Bitterness, Twilight accuses her friends of only caring about the "benefits" of being friends with her, adding that the way they fought over the Grand Galloping Gala tickets should have been a warning sign.
  • Her Inner Demons: Sadly, this was Sci-Twilight's relationship with Crystal Prep in a nutshell. She was the Giver, using her smarts to help Crystal Prep win countless academic contests, but the student body played the taker and gave her nothing but ridicule and scorn, instead of praise and recognition she never got at her old school. Abacus Cinch initially averted this by giving Sci-Twilight some privileges, but then played it straight by blackmailing her star student into joining the Friendship Games. During the Friendship Games, she still got no recognition from her fellow Shadowbolts. So it is a small wonder she grew angry and resentful enough to become Midnight Sparkle once she unleashed the magic.
    Sci-Twilight: I won one city academic contest after another, Crystal Prep became more prestigious than ever, and not a single smile or a slap on the back or even a "Good job, Twilight" followed.
  • The Reign of Twilight Sparkle: After going mad from being trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, Queen Twilight fosters this kind of relationship with Luna.


  • The Moon Cries in Reverse: Jiraiya secretly believes that the shinobi system is fatally flawed in this fashion; the hidden villages expect Undying Loyalty from their ninja without offering enough in return. This problem is driven home by Hiruzen's behavior throughout Lunar Lamentations — he subjects Naruto and his teammates to absolutely horrific Training from Hell, insisting the trio need to "prove their loyalty" to Konoha while ignoring how his abuse runs the risk of creating a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: The prior fic ends with Asuka and Shinji so burned-out that they were afraid of having a real relationship, so Asuka proposes this setup in lieu of an actual romance (her as the Taker, Shinji as the Giver), not expecting him to actually agree to such a loveless one-sided affair, only for him to accept it on the basis that it was better than nothing. This fic has several characters, including their own future selves (who are in a healthy relationship) denounce that "agreement" as a hollow shell of a relationship.
  • Shinji and Asuka's relationship in Ghosts of Evangelion superficially seems like Asuka bossing Shinji around all the time, but it's more complicated than that. He enjoys doing things for her at least partly as atonement for the many ways he failed her in the past. Asuka, on the other hand, feels like her life has meaning because Shinji feels she's worth taking care of. He will stand up to her when he thinks she's wrong and she will take care of him when necessary, but this dynamic is still the backbone of their complex, decades-long and codependent relationship even though they're both aware of it and acknowledge it explicitly at times.
  • The One I Love Is...: One of the reasons that Shinji chose Asuka and not Rei was he knew their relationship would become this: she would make him the only goal of her existence, she would make anything for him without asking for anything in return and he would take everything. And it would not be fair to Rei.

Ouran High School Host Club

  • In I Think We'll Be Okay, this is one of Kosuke's Fatal Flaws. As much as she loves Kohta, she isn't willing to work on any of her bad habits, preferring to let him do all the heavy lifting. This leaves Kohta wondering whether she'll similarly lack the investment required to keep their relationship going once they enter college.


  • In Recovery, this is how Weiss feels about the relationship between Yang and Blake, with Yang as the "Giver" and Blake the "Taker". She understands that Yang loves Blake and the feeling may indeed be mutual, but her problem lies with how despite Yang giving Blake so much affection and care, in the end, Blake still threw it away to run off after Beacon's fall. The fact she has her own feelings for Yang that she tried to bury for their sakes does play a bit into it, but Yang herself comes to realize it after a bit of soul-searching and also decides that while she still loves Blake, she would rather be with Weiss, the person who's been trying to help her all this time.
    Weiss: When has she ever been here, Yang?! Where does she always go when you need her? I’ve watched it happen time and again. She chose Sun over you, she didn’t believe you about Mercury, and she left you after you risked your life for her at Beacon. Do you honestly think so little of me that you believe I would stand in the way if you two were actually good for each other? You might not believe me when I say how I feel about you, but how on Remnant could I let someone I love keep getting hurt and say nothing. I know that you can’t buy someone's love Yang, just as much as I know that loving someone who keeps wounding you isn’t healthy.

Star Trek

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

  • In Surface Pressure TMNT, Mikey starts seeing himself as the Taker and the rest of his family as Givers after watching the film Encanto with April and Casey, and he's deeply ashamed of it. However, this is actually a subversion. It's obvious that Mikey's just as much as a Giver as his brothers are, and the only one who can't see it is Mikey himself.

Tokyo Babylon

  • In Nukume Dori, surprisingly, Subaru becomes a Taker. After establishing their relationship, Subaru demands that Seishirou show sincere affection and attention to him, but Subaru is either too embarrassed, scared, or absorbed into other people's problems to do the same in return. He gets better.

Total Drama

  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Duncan’s relationship with Gwen has an unsettling amount of this. In all of their scenes together, Gwen is always helping Duncan out, while he hasn’t helped her out once.

The Twilight Saga

  • Tough Love has Charlie taking his daughter to task for taking everyone around her for granted, expecting them to provide a convenient safety net for her to fall back upon even as she treats them all as though they're "beneath" her, convinced that she's so much smarter and superior to everyone else despite being a Know-Nothing Know-It-All who's flunking out of school due to her refusal to take her studies seriously.
    • The whole plotline is set into motion when Bella threatens to move out if her father doesn't cave to her latest demands. Charlie calls her bluff, and it's rapidly made clear that Bella never intended to follow through on her threat... much less anticipated that her father would refuse to let her take it back. Even as he spells out that he's kicking her out of his house, she continuously expects him to change his mind, take it back or otherwise drop the matter, and is deeply surprised when he follows through.
    • She took her employment by Ms. Newton completely for granted, Stealing from the Till and flagrantly lying to her employer about how many hours she was working. Once again, she's shocked to learn that she was fired from her job, much less that Ms. Newton knew she was a thief and informed her father.
    • Charlie also notes that she doesn't treat Edward and the Cullens any better, acting as though she can hardly tolerate any of them even as they pamper and cater to her whims. His remarks about this cause Edward to realize she's after immortality, triggering their breakup.
      Charlie: I gotta wonder why you're so eager to go to the Cullens. You say you hate it when they buy you things, when they take you places, when they make you food, even when they throw you parties. And it sure isn't Edward. You two barely speak. I bet you couldn't even tell me his favorite color. I wish I knew what they have that you want so damned much.

Yuri!!! on Ice

  • Rivals Series: Yuuri and Viktor's relationship starts out this way, as Viktor is constantly pursuing Yuuri while the other, unaware of his intentions, keeps unintentionally rejecting him.

    Films — Animated 
  • Coraline had the Other Mother as a giver, and the previous ghost children (and Coraline, for a bit) as takers. But then again, the relationship could switch around with the Other Mother as the taker, needing love and the souls from the children, who would give it to her unwillingly or unknowingly.
  • Tangled: Gothel does this to Rapunzel, both the Taker for the hair, and the Giver to keep her helpless and secure.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Succinctly diagnosed in Citizen Kane when Kane's estranged friend Jed Leland explains why Charles Foster Kane died alone and friendless, both of his wives having left him. It's also alluded to in the end when Susan rejects Kane's appeal and leaves him for good after he says "You can't do this to me."
    Leland: That's all he ever wanted out of life...was love. That's the tragedy of Charles Foster Kane. You see, he just didn't have any to give.
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Queenie Goldstein discovers Newt Scamander's relationship with Leta Lestrange by reading his mind, and how it didn't work out.
    Queenie: She was a taker. You need a giver.
  • Lifetime Movies often portray marriage that way with a selfish, abusive and ungrateful husband and a loving, faithful, ever-suffering wife who just endures the selfishness and Jerkassery of her spouse.
  • In Looper, Old Joe accuses his younger self of being this to his (their?) future wife, saying that he’ll just soak her love up like a sponge and not understand how much he owes her until she’s gone.
  • Throughout the Meet the Parents trilogy, Jack Byrnes' Fatal Flaw (other than rampant paranoia, especially towards his son-in-law Greg) is that it's impossible for him to be open to his family, in either an emotional or a factual way, and yet he demands them to be completely open to him.
  • MirrorMask has the dark counterparts to Helena and her mom, the Princess and Queen of Shadows. The princess was all take, a needy and rebellious girl who ran away, stole the mirror mask and started destroying the paper world. The Queen was all give, controlling, smothering, and at one point even brainwashing Helena into acting like a doll daughter. Neil Gaiman may have a thing for this trope.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Rotti says this to Amber when she asks him for more surgery. He refuses at first, but one look at her botched face job has him change his mind.
  • Columbia to Frank in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In the end, though, she does finally call him out on his behavior and ultimately refuses to cooperate with him in the film's climax.

  • In Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden's idle family live off his success and insult him for it at the same time. An even more explicit version of the second type is railroad executive James Taggart's marriage to Cherryl Brooks; his lifting her out of her life as a dime-store worker left her as a Fish out of Water unable to cope in her husband's social circle and dependent on him for everything — and that's just what he wanted. Cherryl Goes Mad From The Revelation when she realizes this; James does the same when he can't hide from his motivation any longer.
  • Jane Austen:
    • Lydia Bennet of Pride and Prejudice demands attention all the time, appropriates her sister Kitty's clothing at will, and never thinks that she should do anything for anyone else. Really, the scene where she tells Jane and Elizabeth "We're treating you to lunch, but you have to lend us the money because we've already spent ours" says it all.
    • Tom Bertram in Mansfield Park uses up so much of his dad's money that his dad is forced to give the church living he'd intended for his younger son to a different man so as to clear the debt. Tom is extremely annoyed at all the fuss being made over it. (He smartens up after a particularly wild night sends him into a nearly fatal illness for weeks, and all of his hundred or more "particular friends" ditch him.)
    • Mr. Elliot of Persuasion is quite a sinister version. He married his first wife for money, and though she loved him, he was callous and cold to her after the wedding and she died a very unhappy woman. He was as close as family to his good friends the Smiths — encouraging them to spend far past their means to keep him in style, and then abandoning them when they went broke. He doesn't so much as twitch a finger to help Mrs. Smith get an inheritance she's legally entitled to, not because he's claiming it but because he can't be bothered.
  • The poem Bitten by the Snake implies this sort of relationship, where the titular snake is the taker and the mouse was the giver, the latter realizing this fully upon being bitten. She's implied to turn out better for it.
  • This is basically The Giving Tree in a nutshell, plus some Glurge. The titular tree gives a boy she loves her apples, branches, and even her trunk even as the boy grows up and abandons it. In the end, the tree is happy even though it's now a stump because the boy, now an old man, finally came back to it to ask to sit on it.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there's the implication that Ginny's relationship with Tom Riddle was the second variant, obviously with Riddle as the manipulative Giver of his companionship and Ginny as the controlled Taker. Of course, it goes the other way as well. As Ginny eagerly poured out her heart and soul to Tom Riddle, he fed off of it to the point where he had sucked nearly all of the life out of her.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix a grieving Cho forces her friend Marietta to accompany her to the Hog's Head and later to D.A. meetings where she is obviously uncomfortable and is hinted to not completely believe Harry since she is concerned by things her Ministry working mother says and ultimately does not take a resistance movement organized to prepare them to fight Voldemort as seriously as her discomfort with breaking the rules
  • Stephen King:
    • In It, Eddie and his mother (in the past) and Eddie and his wife (in the book's present) both come off as the second variety, with the woman as the domineering Giver and Eddie as the Taker who is being controlled.
    • The Stand:
      • Larry Underwood's own mother calls him a "taker", which comes back to haunt him many times. To put it in the words of his friend Wayne Stukey, there's "something in [Larry] that's like biting on tinfoil."
      • Nadine Cross, in contrast, is a Giver who, in her own words, needs to be needed. She has a breakdown when the nearly feral boy "Joe" she has been protecting suddenly regains his old identity "Leo Rockway" after meeting Mother Abigail. After Larry rejects Nadine in favor of his current love interest Lucy, Nadine does a Face–Heel Turn and goes to the one person she thinks still needs her: Randall Flagg. She realizes far too late that this is a huge mistake.
  • C. S. Lewis used this trope a lot.
    • In The Four Loves, he cites Mrs. Fidget, whose endless housework on behalf of her family left them miserable, and how some women live their lives up to the verge of old age in endless service to a maternal vampire.
    • In The Great Divorce, one damned soul is a woman who wants to give everything to her son as long as he's under her control, and another damned soul is not happy as long as his wife could be happy without him.
    • In The Screwtape Letters, the last letter, after Wormwood's failure, is addressed in the most affectionate terms, looking forward to devouring him.
    • In Till We Have Faces, Orual wants Psyche to be happy — as long as Orual and only Orual is the one to make her happy. Otherwise, she must be made miserable. She ultimately realizes it by the end.
    • The Last Battle has Shift and Puzzle. The narrator sums it up at the very beginning of the book: "At least they both said they were friends, but from the way things went on you might have thought Puzzle was more like Shift's servant than his friend."
  • Most of Julia's relationships in The Mark of the Lion trilogy tend towards this, as Julia morphs from a sweet girl into a disillusioned, Love Hungry Rich Bitch.
  • Rabbit at Rest: Harry, or at least he's accused of this by Thelma's husband Ronnie. Harry and Thelma had an affair for years, and Ronnie says that what really bothers him was not that Harry was bonking his wife, but that Thelma loved Harry and he didn't really care about her outside of the sex. A defiant Harry says that Thelma was "a fantastic lay."
  • A major point in The Robots of Dawn. Gladia has been raised on Solaria, a Sex Is Evil planet. She never had an orgasm, because there was no Giver and no Taker. Later, she emigrated to Aurora, a Free-Love Future planet, but the problem persisted because, with the free attitude, there was once again neither Giver nor Taker. Then, she was given a Ridiculously Human Robot and did manage to have an orgasm, but she was only a Taker because a robot cannot Take. And then, she had sex with Baley when he was near-unconscious with exhaustion, to experience the role of a Giver. Considering she then married an Auroran and lived with him for over a century, it can be assumed all this gave her the proper perspective.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Cersei Lannister relationship with Jaime is characterised to a large degree by this, and for complicated reasons — Jaime himself observes that Cersei will dislike the diminished resemblance between them after his time at war, hinting that he knows she lives vicariously through him (though he himself does not try to think of why she would need to). For Cersei, as the queen mother guilty of high treason with Jaime, her entire situation is a matter of life and death, not just for herself but for all three of their children too. Considering that Jaime, as a man, can take the black to escape the ax, the demands and burden of their crimes fall heavier on Cersei. Considering she is at higher risk than Jaime, it becomes clearer why she responds so fearfully, then furiously, when Jaime no longer acts in her service.
    • Jaime Lannister relationship with Cersei is characterised by this, of the mutual variety. Leaving aside Cersei for her own page, Jaime's love for Cersei is in large part not love for her at all, but love for the idea of her and the mythology he projects onto the both of them. Jaime sees Cersei, such as knowing she will dislike the diminished resemblance between them after his time at war, but he notably never tries to understand her, such as wondering why Cersei needs to live vicariously through him. Jaime overall tended to surrender to Cersei's will so as to cope with his intense loneliness and isolation, but when he does try to enact his own will, such as by attacking Eddard Stark or proposing he and Cersei marry openly, he does so recklessly and blindly to the risks that swamp them and their children, risks that he himself helped to create. Jaime claims, "She has never come to me. She has always waited, letting me come to her," yet what we actually see on-page is 2 instances where Cersei comes to Jaime and reaches out (in the White Tower, and the Sept during Tywin's funeral) and 0 of the inverse. When his wildly impossible fantasies are flat out rejected by Cersei, he laments what he lost ("I've lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister won this war."); then when Tyrion informs him of Lancel and Osmund and Moonboy, the idealisation of Cersei appears to be flipping to demonisation. This all or nothing, black and white nature of their relationship may in all likelihood doom them both, if prophecies are considered.
  • In Song of Solomon, both Hagar and Ruth would do anything for Milkman, needing him to keep on living. Milkman never cared for them apart from what they could give him. Also, Macon Jr. provided the family's income, keeping the family in luxury and completely dependent on him.
  • Star Wars Legends reveals this to be the case for the H'nemthe species, as covered in passing in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina. Due to the fact that there are 20 males for every female of the species, males literally give their females everything. Up to and including their lives: H'nemthe females have elongated, razor-sharp tongues that they use to eviscerate the males after sex, whereupon they devour the corpse. Virgin females are vegetarians up until they lose their virginity — whereupon they also lose their "vegetarian virginity" as well.
  • In Alma Katsu's The Taker, Lanny is the Giver and Jonathan is the Taker. A sort of mix between the two types: Lanny will do anything for Jonathan, no matter the cost or risk to herself - including a few things he would not have wanted her to do for him, had she bothered to ask him.
  • The Taking Tree, a parody of The Giving Tree, inverts the tree-boy relationship dynamic: the boy is a selfish jerk who takes everything he can from the hapless tree until the tree finally gets fed up and calls the cops on him. After the boy grows up, he comes back to cut down the tree in revenge only for the tree to fall on him and crush him to death.
  • In Ugly Love, Miles and Tate's relationship is this for much of the novel, with Miles as the Taker and Tate as the Giver. Miles wants nothing from the relationship but sex and shuts down any of Tate's attempts to form a deeper bond with him. Tate initially enjoys sex with Miles, but it stops being fun for her because she craves emotional intimacy from him and gets fed up dealing with his mood swings. Tate feels it's her own fault because Miles made it clear from the get-go he was only interested in sex, though neither of them breaks it off even when Tate confesses to Miles she's falling in love with him and his rejection hurts her.
  • Where Are the Children?: Nancy states that her first husband was always "good to [her]"; he made important decisions for her, got her medication and looked after her, including sometimes taking on extra childcare and housework, because Nancy was often depressed and "sick", especially as she'd been abruptly orphaned shortly before marrying Carl and had no family or close friends in San Francisco. Nancy often felt guilty that Carl took on so much and she couldn't be a better wife because of her frequent ailments; she also felt guilty that she never truly fell in love with Carl despite everything he did for her. It becomes clear that Carl intentionally manipulated Nancy into believing she was constantly frail and helpless so that she'd be completely dependent on him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon Cooper is a Taker with all his friends being the Givers, expecting others to succumb to his every whim, from what they eat each day to driving him around no matter how it might inconvenience others, and only does things for others when he literally has no other choice. On the other hand, he does have his Pet the Dog moments. note 
    • Because Leonard is a chronic enabler, he is the Giver in this sort of relationship with several characters, be it Sheldon, Penny or even his own mother Beverly.
  • The Boys (2019): Butcher's relationship with the rest of the team is this to a tee. While deep down he respects them (sort of), he leads the team with an iron fist and prioritizes his goals and wants over those of the others and expects them to be okay with it even to the point that he leaves the others to the mercy of Vought to go after Homelander in Season 1 and immediately tried to sell Kimiko's brother out in Season 2. This comes to a head in Season 3 when this exact behavior ruins his relationships with both Frenchie and Marvin.
    Kimiko: (though text) I'm not your fucking gun.
    Butcher: That is exactly what you are. In case any of you have forgotten how this works, when I tell you to do something, you fucking do it.
  • Breaking Bad: Walter White's nasty habit of using others hits two people hard in particular:
    • Jesse Pinkman, Walt's longtime partner in crime, is the most blatant example, though their case is a bit of a Zig-Zagged Trope admittedly. While Walt does share the profits with Jesse and fights back at any suggestion of killing Jesse (until Season 5 that is), it's made clear that he doesn't see Jesse as a true equal as he'll frequently not tell Jesse what's going on, insults him, dismisses his problems, lies to his face, and gaslights him while expecting Jesse to do everything he says.
    • Played completely straight with Saul Goodman, Walt's lawyer. Yes, Walt is paying Saul a percentage, but that is mostly so Saul has an incentive other than not getting caught. In truth, their relationship is almost completely one-sided for the majority of the series, with Saul being forced to cater to every last one of Walt's demands (even going out of his way to protect Walt in some cases) while risking his own life in the process. In return, Walt never shows any concern for Saul's safety and, with the exception of "Crawl Space", never thanks Saul for any of the risky things he does to cover his crimes, even going so far as to threaten Saul when the latter wants to break ties with Walt.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike and Buffy's "relationship" in season 6, with Buffy as Taker and Spike as Giver. They seem caught between the two types - he puts up with truly ridiculous amounts of abuse from her due to obsessive love, yet is constantly trying to drag her into the darkness. This may be Laser-Guided Karma for Spike's earlier relationship with Harmony, whose final speech to him is roughly "I thought if I gave and gave and gave you'd come around. Maybe be a little nicer, instead of treating me like your dog. But then I realized you're the dog."
  • In Coronation Street, Mavis Riley and Derek Wilton's on-and-off relationship is like this, where Derek is the taker and Mavis is the giver. It seems to be a middle ground, where Derek is obliviously taking Mavis for granted and Mavis feels compelled to help him because she keeps fooling herself into thinking he'll change.
  • The Barone family are a seemingly dysfunctional example of this dynamic in Everybody Loves Raymond. Matriarch Marie Barone controls her adult family by seemingly eternal giving — of food, comforts, domestic help — which serves to keep her husband and sons as dependent man-children who are forever bound to her in a web of obligation. She also uses her giving streak to minimize and diminish her two daughters-in-law. But neither her husband nor her sons can resist taking.
  • Fellow Travelers: Hawkins Fuller is the Taker and Timothy Laughlin is the Giver in their romance; the power imbalance stems from their Lover and Beloved dynamic. Tim desires to be in a committed relationship with Hawk despite the grave legal and social difficulties LGBT+ people face during the homophobic 1950s, but Hawk continually insists that their romance must remain casual. Hawk plans to marry Lucy Smith to be his beard, and the mere idea of this is extremely upsetting to Tim. During a Christmastime tryst, Tim gives Hawk a brand new tie as a Christmas gift, yet Hawk hadn't thought of getting anything for his boyfriend even though he did purchase a stunning silver bracelet set with emeralds for Lucy. (Although Tim is thrilled by the expensive — but pre-owned — monogrammed cufflinks etched with Hawk's initials that the latter hands to him after rummaging through his closet, it doesn't change the fact that Hawk didn't consider buying a Christmas present for Tim.) Hawk doesn't offer emotional support to Tim when the latter needs it, even though Hawk expects Tim to comfort him when he's in distress. Tim often expresses his love for Hawk, but the latter never says "I love you" in return.
  • Fans of Gossip Girl often complain about how Nate and Chuck's friendship is like this, ironically with Nate being the taker and Chuck the giver. Chuck will always bend over backwards to help Nate while Nate had to be forced by Blair to help get Chuck off the barstool and attend his father's funeral. And that's still one of Nate's best displays of friendship. Nate is also the Taker to Blair's Giver when they're together.
  • House and Wilson are a little unusual, since their relationship, while strange and disturbing, actually seems to work for both of them — House's selfishness has prevented him from having any other friends, and while Wilson keeps embracing vulnerable people and nursing them towards mental health and self-confidence, he invariably loses all interest in them once they no longer need him to take care of them. House, by contrast, is a bottomless pit of need; no matter how much Wilson (or anyone else) gives, it's never enough. The only person who could put up with the ultimate Giver in the long run is the ultimate Taker, and vice versa.
  • House of Anubis:
    • Many fans have accused Nina and Fabian's relationship to be like this, with Fabian putting in much more of the effort AND doing many dangerous things for Nina and sometimes not even getting so much of a thank you in return. Eventually averted, however, with Nina putting on the mask of Anubis, willing to go to the Egyptian afterlife to spare her friends and her Grandmother from being cursed any longer.
    • Amber and Alfie's relationship at the beginning of season 2 was also like this.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt's romantic relationship overwhelmingly takes place on Lestat's terms. Louis turns into a vampire for Lestat, losing his life and his ties with his family. He moves into Lestat's house. He disengages from his Catholic faith. He tries to be a vampire after Lestat's model despite having a private distaste for it. The closest thing to a counter-example is the decision to adopt Claudia — something Louis wanted and Lestat did not. But even then, the impetus for it to actually happen — Lestat doing the turning — happened per Lestat's decision. Lestat would claim that even with all of Louis' sacrifices, he still ultimately suffered more in the relationship because he loved Louis more than he was loved in return.
  • Al Bundy's family is like this on Married... with Children, doing very little to contribute to the household and whining whenever they don't get their way. Peggy is the worst one. Whereas the kids eventually get jobs and start paying their own way, what she contributes to the relationship is questionable, given that she refuses to get a job, cook or clean the house, and constantly spends Al's money on useless junk and Bon Bons. Peg justifies this by claiming that she does serve a function: boosting Al's ego as the sole breadwinner. How much Peg is right is up to debate, but an early episode did have Peg get a job. Al became almost as miserable as Peg was because he actually liked having her around and he enjoyed complaining about her freeloading.
  • My Rosy Life: Poor Soon-yi's relationship with her entire family. She's a Housewife and she cooks and cleans and no one lifts a finger to help her. Her husband is cheating on her. Her horrible mother-in-law bitches at her for not having sons. Her father is an alcoholic loser who needs constant tending. Soon-yi is a Tragic Dropout who didn't get an education, sacrificing for her younger sister and brother—but neither of them are willing to lift a finger to look after their father now.
  • The Office (US) has an unusual example with Andy and Angela's relationship. At first, Andy is an insensitive Dogged Nice Guy to her, continuing to pursue her long after she's made it obvious that she isn't interested. And then she agrees to go out with him. The relationship continues very much in this vein: Andy goes out of his way to woo Angela and lavish her with affection while she coldly portions out tiny morsels of affection in between terse scoldings. It's not even clear to onlookers why Angela agreed to date him at all as she really doesn't seem to like him, but depressingly, Andy seems entirely (or at the least selectively) oblivious to her complete lack of fond feelings for him and too much of an Extreme Doormat to ever question her rulings.
  • Ann and Andy's relationship in the first season of Parks and Recreation is this, with Ann being the giver and Andy the taker. Not helping was that Ann, prior to meeting Leslie and learning to assert herself more, was a bit of an Extreme Doormat with a bad case of Florence Nightingale Effect and Weakness Turns Her On while Andy was a Lazy Bum Manchild whose laziness was implied to have been inadvertently enabled by Ann's coddling. It comes to a head when Andy breaks his legs after stumbling into an abandoned pit near their home, driving Ann to make a complaint to the city government, kicking off the main plot, and Ann discovers at the end of the season that Andy deliberately delayed getting his leg casts removed for two whole weeks just because he liked having her wait on him hand and foot. This drives her to finally break up with him. They both go on to find better and more equal relationships with other people.
  • On The Sarah Silverman Program, Sarah is The "Taker" to her sister, Laura. Sarah refuses to work. All her money and her apartment is provided to her by her sister, for which Laura receives zero gratitude.
  • Schitt's Creek: In the fifth season, Alexis Rose realizes this is true about her and her boyfriend, Kindly Vet Ted. Alexis realizes she must start to give back to him or risk losing him. This represents Character Development since when she dated Ted in the first season, she was completely oblivious to her bad treatment of him and even broke his heart twice. This is true to a lesser extent with Alexis's brother David and his boyfriend Patrick. Early in their relationship, Patrick seemed primarily interested in caring for fussy and emotional David, but by the fifth season, David is regularly seen going out of his way for Patrick.
  • Seinfeld:
    • In one episode, Jerry refers to himself as a Taker and another character as a Giver, and argues that a relationship between a Giver and Taker is the ideal.
    • Kramer and George are both all take and no give in most episodes.
  • The title character from Sherlock and John in the initial stages of their friendship. John is extremely tolerant of Sherlock, who makes no effort to be either easy to live with or particularly accommodating, despite John being willing to kill criminals and put his life on the line for Sherlock's sake. Ultimately averted, however, when Sherlock allows the world to believe he is "a fake genius" and stages his own suicide to safeguard John's and their other friends' lives. John himself doesn't seem to believe this of their relationship, as stated by him during his graveyard spiel following Sherlock's supposed death: "I was so alone, and I owe you so much." Understandable, as the very first episode hints that John sorely misses the thrill and danger of war, and that helping Sherlock with his cases gives him a sense of purpose and allows him to experience the excitement he craves.
  • Smallville:
    • In season eight, Chloe and Davis Bloome, more or less, but this time it is Chloe who insists on giving.
  • Pretty much the relationship between the Winchesters and Castiel, from Supernatural, with the latter being the Giver. While Cas has done an endless list of things for Sam and Dean (usually at the cost of his own well-being), he has not asked something from the Winchesters in return more than twice. However, although he doesn't usually get as much as a "thanks" in return, what has really been irking some fans is that on the one time Cas actually needed the Winchesters to support him, they failed to do so. It's arguable that the whole Leviathan business could have been avoided if only Sam and Dean had listened to Cas, instead of turning on him for making a deal with a demon... something the Winchesters themselves do on a daily basis.
    • This is also the Winchesters' relationship with Kevin Tran, again with the latter as the Giver. They pretty much see him as a walking talking translation machine. In fact, Kevin was able to tell when demons were impersonating Sam and Dean because the demons were being nice to him.
  • In the second season of True Blood, the maenad Maryann functions as the giver to the alcoholic, emotionally fragile Tara. She invites Tara to live in her mansion where she's pampered around the clock, under the guise of trying to help the girl turn her life around. In reality, Maryann is trying to drive a wedge between Tara and her abusive mother so that she can control Tara's life herself, feeding off her anguish and rage.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Cat and Mouse", Andrea Moffat showers Guillaume de Marchaux with affection and gifts as she believes that she has finally found True Love after years of loneliness. However, Guillaume belittles her by calling her a "fool of a woman" and threatens to leave if she does not get him a decent blend of coffee as opposed to the "sewage water" that she was serving him. As soon as she leaves, he has sex with her supposed friend Elaine. He later tells Andrea to spare him the clichés when she says that she thought that he loved her.
  • In Veronica Mars, the title character often slips into this, particularly with respect to her friend Wallace. Veronica falls into this, as the "Taker", with Wallace being the "Giver." It gets to the point where she gets rightfully called out on it.
  • Although we never meet Rick's parents (who are explicitly stated to be upper-class conservatives) on The Young Ones, he is strongly implied to have this kind of relationship with them. At one point, Vyvyan describes Rick as "the classic example of an only child".

  • Burt Bacharach's theme Alfie from the film(s) of the same name has the lines "What's it all about, when you sort it out, Alfie? Are we meant to take more than we give?" Depending on how it is performed, the song can be from the perspective of a character who is a Giver to Alfie's Taker, or, if sung from a narrative perspective instead of a character perspective, can be a comment on Alfie's Taker personality in general.
  • The narrator of "Let Me Be Your Armor" by Assemblage 23 is a very possessive Giver.
  • "Manchild" by Eels is an interesting example: the Taker in question is clearly depressed about her life, and there's nothing the Giver can do to completely help her despite all attempts to do so - therefore, she's is the one who thinks about the Giver as a Taker.
    And every time you crave for me, I'm here.
    And anything you hunger for, I'll share.
    And I will be quietly standing by, while slowly I am dying inside.
    Hold me in your arms,
    And let me be the one who can feel,
    Like I am a child in love.
  • "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child is about a relationship like this, despite the common assumption that it's about the woman being a Gold Digger. The verses talk about how the woman's boyfriend keeps doing things like borrowing her car, using up all the gas, and not filling up afterwards. The chorus is a plea for the man to pay his fair share.
  • Played straight in Sammy Hagar's / Rick Springfield's hit single "I've Done Everything for You," where the narrator describes his relationship as being this.
    I've done everything for you. You've done nothing for me.
  • "Grenade" by Bruno Mars specifically mentions this trope:
    Easy come, easy go - that's just how you live
    Oh, take, take, take it all but you never give.
  • Matchbox Twenty has "I don't wanna be the crutch" about being a living emotional crutch and "Feel", which has a "I make YOU so tired" semi-sarcastically.
  • "Oleander" by Mother Mother from the Taker's point of view, singing about their relationship with their Living Emotional Crutch:
    I make a mess and you'll be there to help me undress
    I'll be unclean, I'll be obscene, you'll be the rest
    And if you leave me, rest assured it would kill me
  • The narrator of "They're Coming To Take Me Away" by Napoleon XIV claims to be a sympathetic Giver.
  • "Why Don't You Get a Job?" by The Offspring depicts this kind of relationship between a man and his Gold Digger girlfriend. The last verse reverses the genders.
  • Defied in the Oingo Boingo song "Not My Slave". The narrator tries to talk the girl he loves out of her submissive tendencies, insisting she's not his property and that he just wants her to be happy...and that just because she's free doesn't mean he's abandoning her.
  • Dolly Parton describes working "9 to 5" as this.
  • "Let Me Live" by Queen"
    All you do is take all I do is give
    Baby, why don't you give me a chance to live
  • Tears for Fears: In "The Conflict" (the B-Side of "Change"), the narrator observes that he and his partner switch roles between being the Taker and the Giver, and this unhealthy dynamic creates a vicious cycle in their relationship.
    When one of us is making
    The other is taking
    There's no end to end
    When one of us is trying
    The other is lying
    There's no end to end
  • Rob Thomas has the verse "You take and take and take and take and" in "Give Me The Meltdown".
  • "Everything She Wants" by Wham!. The whole song really, but especially:
    They told me marriage was a give and take
    Well, you've shown me you can take, you've got some givin' to do
  • Main character Pink, of Rock Opera The Wall, is like this to just about everybody he comes into contact with, in part because his Beloved Smother was like this to him.
    Mother: OF COURSE Momma's gonna help you build a wall!
    Pink: Mother, does it have to be so... high?
  • "In The Year 2525" by Zager and Evans paints man's relationship with the Earth this way (an opinion that's not entirely unfounded):
    He's taken everything this old Earth can give
    And he ain't put back nothing, whoa-ohhhhh...
  • Cat Hairballs: Ren and Stimpy's whole dynamic through the song and video is this. Stimpy is hwarfing up hairballs for Ren that are being used to make him things like a suit, and food but that's still not good enough for Ren he demands more like a bike, an Italian sports car, high heel shoes, a hat and matching underwear, all be made from the product that's being farmed solely from Stimpy. The video makes this more evident by showing Stimpy becoming more and more exhausted from the effort of trying to keep up with Ren's demands, eventually ending with Stimpy trying to give one last good hwarf, only to pass out on the conveyor belt which is immediately followed by Ren brutally smashing Stimpy's butt with a big rubber stamp so hard it leaves a butt brand.
  • Lit's Miserable has this as one of its main themes, both in the lyrics and in the video. The song mentions how the woman has used up all of (the man's) plans, then later she uses up his friends, but the man tells himself "who needs them" when "(she) means everything". In the video the Giant Woman lounges around while the band performs the song for her only for her to eventually start eating them alive for seemingly no reason than her own amusement. The men's unwillingness in becoming her snacks is apparent in the way they try to escape her and beg for their lives, but she ignores this and eats them anyway. In the end they gave her everything, including their lives, to satisfy her appetites, but she doesn't care.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Elly Patterson of For Better or for Worse is an interesting example. She considers herself to be the victim of the first variant, slaving away for an unappreciative family who never offers any help or support whatsoever to their poor, put-upon mother. However, it's just as easy to view her as a self-absorbed shrew with a martyr complex who wants to 'own the horses' by manipulating her children and raising them to remain hopelessly reliant on her or an Elly-approved spouse. It doesn't help the writer's reboot makes the husband an over-the-top horrible man (who was based on her Real Life husband before that relationship went sour).
  • Roxanne of Candorville expects Lemont to bend entirely to her will, with no sense of compromise. There are indications that this is how she handles any relationship, sexual or otherwise.
  • The titular fat cat in Garfield, believes that his lot in life is to not be disturbed while he sleeps for as long as he pleases, and eat as much as he can stuff into his stomach, while Jon's place in the world to keep him fed and not complain about the humongous grocery bills or the mean spirited pranks Garfield plays on him or Odie.

    Video Games 
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: Henry describes Joey Drew this way. It's implied that Bertrum knows of this part of his nature as well, thus why he wants all the credit.
  • Bravely Default: Airy the Cryst-Fairy is loyal to Ouroboros to the bitter end, spending centuries linking together the countless versions of Luxendarc in a process that seems akin to an endless cycle. And we only see about a fraction of it. How is she repaid for her efforts? By being devoured by her master, seen as only a means to an end.
  • In a non-romantic take on this, the Danganronpa series has the relationship between Junko Enoshima and her older twin sister, Mukuro Ikusaba. The latter is the giver, having given up everything she ever loved in favor of Junko, who is the taker and never so much as even thanks her sister and even outright murders her just for the hell of it while Mukuro is posing as her.
  • In the .hack//G.U. trilogy, Sakaki is revealed to be the "controlling giver" type towards Atoli when he crosses the Moral Event Horizon. He even delivers the classic line of accusing his victim of being "all take" and twists the knife in her low self-worth to convince her to only rely on him for emotional support. To put this in perspective, he got his hooks into the poor girl when he met her on a suicide website! What a creep!
  • Ensemble Stars!:
    • Tori deliberately tries to situate himself as the Taker, referring to all others (aside from his beloved Eichi) as his 'slaves' and bossing them around depending on his whims. However, the most obvious example - his eternally devoted butler Yuzuru - is actually a variation, in that Yuzuru is actually very clingy and is capable of being outright dangerous when his beloved Bocchama does something he doesn't like.
    • Souma, on the other hand, is so dedicated, loyal, hard-working, and naive that it's very easy for him to end up on the Giver side. The previous year, Keito essentially took advantage of his by bringing him into Akatsuki's shady business despite knowing how upset he'd be to hurt Kanata and without offering any real mentoring as Akatsuki was never intended to conduct any idol activities; thanks to Souma's influence he gets better and comes to actually worry a lot about how much Souma subordinates himself out of respect for him and Kuro. Meanwhile, Kanata (who Souma also feels Undying Loyalty towards) often asks him to cook for him but is deliberately kind of cruel to him, which Souma is totally okay with as he understands it as 'tough love' (though Shinobu at least finds it concerning). It probably doesn't help that Kanata was raised to believe that he was a Physical God and didn't realise until he was fifteen that all people have their own names, and still seems to struggle with empathy at times.
  • Mr. Eaten in Fallen London is not generous. Seeking the Name will take everything from you, and there isn't a whole lot Mr. Eaten will give back.
  • This trope is invoked verbatim by Lancaster in Front Mission 4. He is trying to get Latona to open up about the secret she has uncovered about Wagner, but she's too aggressive in their negotiation.
  • In God of War Ragnarök, Sindri accuses Atreus of being this after Odin kills Brok. And given how his selfishness resulted in him making a lot of foolish decisions, he's not entirely wrong.
  • In Highway Blossoms, Amber eventually realizes that she's a Giver and Marina's a Taker. Amber looks after Marina and caters to her needs, but doesn't let herself rely on Marina or see her as an equal. Despite that, after they reconcile, Amber wonders if maybe Marina has been the one helping her this entire time.
  • In It's You: A Breakup Story, the main character's boyfriend Josh is the epitome of this. He calls you at midnight after you've had a long shift as a nurse and will not stop talking about himself until you initiate the titular breakup.
  • The King of Fighters: Luong accuses Athena of doing this to Kensou, chastising her for seemingly taking his feelings and not returning them in kind.
  • Howard and Angelica's relationship functions as an all give and no take relationship in Shikkoku no Sharnoth. Angelica asks for things on a whim, and Howard goes to great lengths to fulfill them. They truly love each other, but all gestures of affection seem to flow in one direction.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, Momoko ends up on both ends of the trope. In most of her relationships with her classmates prior to meeting Kamen, Momo was a Giver whose kind and helpful nature was frequently abused, resulting in her developing trust issues, until she met and came to trust Kamen. When it came to Kamen, however, Momo gradually ended up becoming the Taker, with Kamen noting how Momoko always asked Kamen to do things for her.
  • In Silent Hill 2, Mary, James' wife, was quite demanding and her mood swings only made her even more demanding. Mary dying from a terminal illness understandably made her become all take and no give towards James, which also took a toll on his emotional being. In her final moments, Mary writes a letter to James and confesses that she had been incredibly selfish and wished she had been more supportive of him during her final days.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: The second variant is used, with Penelope wanting to control Bentley for her world domination ploy. She's initially generous and helpful with his designs, but when he's not looking, she sells them to villains. When Bentley caught on, Penelope lied that she betrayed his friends out of her love for him. He wasn't fooled and dumped her on the spot.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: Yusuke Kawata ends up in a relationship like this when he met "R". She always badgers him into buying presents for her despite him not being able to afford them. However, when Yusuke makes a reservation for an Italian restaurant as per R's wishes, she takes offense at the fact he booked the cheapest he could afford, leading R to leave him for a rich guy.
  • Epithet Erased: Following Calliope Blyndeff's death, the family more or less collapsed into Molly pouring everything she could and then some into getting everything done, Molly's sister Lorelai blowing off her responsibilities and leaving Molly to handle them on top of everything else while complaining that Molly can't make time to do what she wants, and their father Martin leeching off Molly's efforts while clawing toy ideas from Lorelai's dream bubbles, caring about neither except insofar as they can make him happy. Word of God is that the only thing standing between Molly and violently snapping in a few years at how much weight she's expected to carry is the presence of Giovanni "GREATEST VILLAIN IN THE WORLD" Potage.
  • Helluva Boss: Verosika states that her relationship with Blitzo was this in "OZZIE'S", with her being the Giver and him being the Taker.
    Verosika: Blitzo? (singing) I used to date him
    I'd stroke him, I'd fellate him
    But when it was my turn
    He did no reciprocatin'

    Web Comics 
  • In Ménage à 3, this is what Gary and Yuki's relationship degenerated to: She demanded oral sex from Gary anytime and anywhere the mood strikes her. Reciprocation - not even a kiss - did not even occur to her; partly because she can't even think of Gary's penis without having a psychotic break, partly because Yuki is stunningly selfish. The one-sidedness of the situation does get spelled out for her eventually and she decides to break things off.
  • Fuzzy from Sam & Fuzzy is this on a platonic level, being incredibly demanding of everyone and practically only capable of giving back when a gun's held to his head. Sam is about the only person who can tolerate him for long and their Heterosexual Life-Partners outfit has been strained to the breaking point several times, often due to Fuzzy being unwilling to compromise.
  • Selkie: Jessie's relationship with her girlfriend Alexis casts her as the giver, and Alexis as the freeloading, irresponsible taker. This is most obvious financially, where Jessie is the only one who is actually employed, while Alexis is the one with the expensive shoe habit, but it's also true emotionally, where Jessie is supportive and considerate while Alexis is willing to pull a prank that might cost Jessie her job in order to amuse herself. That prank, and Alexis' lack of remorse, ends up being what ends the relationship.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Chick and Nella. Not even the latter dying and turning evil is enough to make the Chick learn her lesson about treating her better. Subverted in that The Chick actually pays Nella to put up with her.
  • Ask That Guy with the Glasses and his narrator. The narrator puts up with all of Ask That Guy's batshittery and evil with little complaint, and can't even get him to look him in the eyes during sex in return.
  • In Red vs. Blue, Church's selfishness and egotism results in his relationships falling into this. He obsessed over his girlfriend Tex and demands she stay with him at all times, but refuses to acknowledge any of her wants and constantly pursues her. With his friends, Church demands endless amounts of help and respect while never giving any in return. With Character Development, he eventually grows out of it.
  • Lampshaded in RWBY. One of the reasons Jaune refuses to ask for help from Pyrrha is because he feels that he can't repay her in any way. He fears becoming a 'Taker'- not without reason, as the power difference between them make it difficult to establish a healthy relationship.
    • Cinder Fall and Emerald Sustrai, on the other hand, are a clear-cut case of the trope. Cinder plucked Emerald off the streets and promised that she'd never be hungry again, which led to Emerald becoming a Love Martyr for her. Cinder kept her promise but alternates it with a lot of physical and emotional abuse, which slowly escalates over the series as Emerald grows increasingly terrified of the depths of Cinder's villainous behavior, the dangerous people she associates with, and her own moral conflict. In Volume 8, Emerald finally realizes that Cinder does not care about her, and leaves to join the heroes.
  • Syera of Springhole mentions this trope in their article about predatory people. These types of people are always expecting others to do emotional labor for them and think they can repay the favor with sex and physical gifts if they bother to pay back at all.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Simon Petrikov and Betty Grof's relationship is shown to have shades of this in the Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake sequel miniseries. While they genuinely loved each other, Simon's passive behavior caused him to enable Betty's self-sacrificing tendencies when it came to supporting him. This lead to Betty neglecting and abandoning her own career aspirations to support his antiquarian work and be an essential assistance in his discoveries while letting him take all the credit. It's still downplayed since Simon never actually forced Betty to do anything she didn't want to do for him, but wasn't assertive enough to insist that Betty should want some success for herself instead of only being happy with helping Simon become successful. At the end, Simon realizes and acknowledges he and Betty were never equals as she was too codependent toward him and he wasn't thoughtful enough to stop Betty from giving up everything for him, but both recognize their love was genuine before finally moving on.
  • American Dad!:
    • Despite Stan Smith being a Jerkass, he is very much The Giver to Francine, who obsessively spoils their kids while placing all the responsibility of disciplining them on him. The only time she sees anything wrong with this is when Stan tries to spend time for himself, forcing her to deal with the consequences of her actions. She has also shown many instances of Moral Myopia — she’s unwilling to spend time with his mother yet expects him to be okay with her parents; she can look at other men, but he can’t look at other women. Even their sex life is this, as it's fundamentally him meticulously mastering everything she told him she enjoys and her being disappointed that he doesn’t do things that she didn’t tell him she wanted him to do. Finally, Stan has repeatedly given up things for Francine: his time, money, even his life, and most recently, his immortal soul.
    • Roger expects others to bend over backwards to do things for him, yet he is often unwilling to perform even simple tasks or small favors for them without getting something in return.
  • Amphibia: This was Anne Boonchuy's dynamic with her friend Sasha Waybright. Sasha would constantly give her things and do whatever she wanted when asked, with one of these incidents contributing to them and their other best friend Marcy all ending up in Amphibia. For her part, Sasha does truly see Anne as one of her closest friends; her manipulative tendencies simply extend to everyone, and she views her regular coercing of Anne and Marcy as being for their benefit. Mind you, she is aware of how controlling she can be, and does come to acknowledge how that harms their friendship... but still feels no reason to change for a good while longer, since she fully believes that this behavior helps push her friends to greater success.
  • Arthur: In "D.W. Unties the Knot", D.W. implies this is the reason for her apparent liking of James; he's good at doing what she tells him to.
  • As Told by Ginger: Dodie Bishop is meant to be Ginger's best friend, but she constantly demonstrates that she will stomp all over Ginger's feelings in her quest for popularity, a boy she likes, or getting to go to a party. Yet when Ginger's plans don't suit her, she throws an overdramatic fit and complains about what a bad friend she is.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • Any relationship with Harley Quinn, where she will be The Giver. She invokes this trope being the lover of The Joker and Poison Ivy's friend. Justified because those two are sociopaths and can only be The Takers. The truly disturbing thing about Harley is that she looks for this type of relationship (The Joker and Poison Ivy maybe could like Harley, but as sociopaths, they cannot truly care about her). Even in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker we see that Harley has this type of relationship with her granddaughters, the twins, when Harley bails them out of jail and they only act with indifference and annoying to her screams and recriminations.
    • The Joker relationship with Harley Quinn. She has an almost doglike unconditional love and loyalty to him; he still treats her horribly, including trying to murder her at least once. This seems to vary depending on who you ask, though:
      Paul Dini: I think initially he was looking to play her and get what he could out of her, and then realized he had opened Pandora’s box and this woman in her madness could match him at just about anything he does. I think he finds that, in some ways, very sexy and attractive. But he’s not really set up to love in the way a regular person is. I think there are sparks and intensity and weird passion of a sort to their relationship, but I would not call it a loving relationship in the traditional sense.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: The titular characters believe they are owed whatever they want, yet they won't help others unless it benefits them in some way. This is most notable with Stewart and Tom Anderson.
  • Bob's Burgers: This is the best description of Linda Belcher and Gayle's relationship. Linda's spent all their lives babying Gayle by protecting her from the harsh truths of the world. As adults, Gayle's a barely functioning wreck of a woman who relies on Linda to do everything for her. Linda gives everything she has to keep Gayle happy no matter how detrimental it proves to herself and her family (it's implied one reason the Belchers are so poor is because Linda keeps giving Gayle money whenever she asks). Gayle responds to all this by continuing to ask Linda for more, never makes any effort to try and pay her back, and has repeatedly tried to steal Bob (who outright hates Gayle).
  • Brickleberry: Malloy's relationships with Woody and Anita involve them spoiling him while he gives them nothing in return. Also, when he learns the latter no longer has any money, he outright abandons her and tells her to "choke on [his] balls".
    Malloy: [After Woody finally kicks Anita out.] No, Gam Gam, don't go! I-I need more presents. [briefly starts stammering] I mean I love you.
    Anita: I don't have anymore money, Malloy.
    Malloy: Choke on my [while abandoning Anita and rolling his eyes] balls.
  • Daria: This is what the relationship between the Barksdale sisters and their mother boils down to. Helen, Rita and Amy were more or less pitted against each by their mom when they were growing up. Rita was the favorite daughter and spoiled by their parents, which still goes on and extends to Rita's adult daughter Erin. Helen compensated by becoming an overachiever and a workaholic, loathing anything to do with her family but more than willing to show up Rita and their mom. Amy was ignored by everyone and did whatever she could to not be dragged into the arguing between Helen and Rita. As adults, Rita believes the reason why Mother Barksdale treats her so well is because she's the only one who makes an effort to have her in her life. Helen and Amy both accurately ask why either of them should bother giving their mom the time of day after she spent their entire lives treating them like garbage.
  • Donkey Kong Country: One line from a song pretty much says it all:
    King K. Rool: It's great to be a king. I seem to have a knack for taking everything I want and giving nothing back!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Bloo is not above taking extreme advantage of Wilt's generosity. The episode "Where There's a Wilt, There's a Way" is all about Bloo, as well as countless others, taking advantage of Wilt and Wilt's inability to say no.
  • Gravity Falls: Bill manages to talk Dipper Pines into a deal by pointing out that he constantly sacrifices for Mabel Pines and she never extends the same courtesy to him. Indeed, even after Bill steals Dipper's body, Mabel's still more concerned about putting on her puppet show than helping him. Fortunately, Bill wasn't expecting Mabel to move past this. Then again, she has slipped back into this a few times, the final time resulting in allowing Bill to finally take control of Gravity Falls.
  • Justice League: Simon Stagg is The Giver to his daughter, Sapphire. When she falls in love with someone and plans to move to Chicago, Stagg uses her lover in an experiment that leaves him horribly disfigured so she'll have only her daddy to turn to.
  • King of the Hill: This is discussed when Bill joins a chorus group. When Bill tries to argue that they are his friends and need him, Hank brings up how they have only been asking him to give (to the point where they made him use up his sick and vacation days at work) and talks about how friendship is a two-way street.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: This is the relationship between Chloé and Sabrina. Sabrina does Chloé Bourgeois;'s schoolwork for her, carries out the grunt work in Chloé's petty schemes, and generally waits on her "best friend" hand and foot. Chloé offers rather little in return outside of the occasional Pet the Dog moment.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Applejack gently chides Rarity for acting this way towards Sweetie Belle in the episode "Sisterhooves Social". Rarity believes she's been giving enough of her own, until Applejack points out that sometimes, to really give back to someone else, you have to be willing to give in, and do what they want. Realizing she has been acting this way by snubbing Sweetie Belle's attempts at sisterly bonding (going against the spirit of her Element of Generosity) is what prompts Rarity to make amends.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: For as much as Lord Boxman likes to claim his robots are his family, he constantly exploits them and treats them like servants, only openly reciprocating their love when they accomplish his goals. The effect this has had on their mental states is about what you’d expect:
    Raymond: [Shannon] just doesn't seem to realize that love must only be granted when certain expectations are met.
    Darrell: Right? It's like she learned nothing from daddy!
  • The Owl House: All of Emperor Belos's relationships, whether personal or professional, are marked by him demanding slavish loyalty while inevitably betraying each of his allies at some point. Hunter, essentially Belos' son, is quickly cast aside and nearly murdered by Belos for seriously questioning him once; Belos has the gall to accuse Hunter of having betrayed him.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Shadow Weaver tends to fall into the "controlling Giver" camp with her parenting and mentorship. She had no problem lavishing her wards (except for Catra) with praise and power, laden with manipulation and psychological abuse.
    • Catra's relationship with Adora prior to Adora's defection had strong undertones of this, with Catra as the Taker, best exemplified in a flashback where a young Catra lashes out at Adora becoming too friendly with Lonnie, gets affectionate when Adora reassures her that she'll still be her friend, and then storms off in a huff when Adora suggests she apologize and they all be friends. However, with Scorpia, it evolved from under-, to over-, to totally-enveloping-tones. Scorpia was endlessly loyal, self-sacrificing, and kind to Catra, and in return, Catra offered her tiny scraps of affection mixed with resentment, bullying and hostility. Catra has similarly one-sided relationships with other people in her orbit, such as Lonnie and her squad, but Scorpia is the one who deals with the brunt of the exploitation. Eventually, Scorpia realises that Catra is a bad friend and straight-up leaves. This causes Catra immense grief, with Double Trouble later calling her out for expecting anyone to stay with her when she does nothing but exploit them. Realizing the wrongness in her actions becomes a major part of her Character Development in the final season. After a Heel–Face Turn starting with an attempted Heroic Sacrifice, Catra apologizes to several of the people she's wronged and makes efforts to be supportive of others and communicate her issues healthily.
    • Hordak rewards underlings who please him with a tenuous position in his favour that can be lost in moments. He offers little else. And Horde Prime is even worse; Hordak struggles for decades to conquer Etheria for him and make contact with him, and Horde Prime calls him defective and casually Mind Rapes him. Fittingly, his forces work on similar protocols; at one point, Scorpia summarises the deal her family made with the Horde as consisting of her people giving up their land, their runestone, and their princess, and getting, um, well, she's not sure what but she's sure there was something.
  • The Simpsons: Mr. Burns is like this to Smithers much of the time. On the other hand, Smithers doesn't seem to mind, since he has an almost pathological need to serve Burns. When his boss fired him, he quickly became a drunken wreck, spending his days drinking cheap Scotch and watching Comedy Central. When Homer accidentally crippled Burns by pushing him out of a third-story window, forcing him to be waited on hand and foot by Smithers, Smithers sent the Simpsons a very large basket of fruit as thanks.
  • South Park: This is the relationship Eric Cartman and his mother have. And it works both ways, according to "Tsst!" — Cartman gets spoiled rotten, while his mother has a ready-made companion to do stuff she enjoys. A fact that Cartman twists to his advantage at every opportunity. This is also the case with Cartman's romantic relationship with Heidi Turner in Season 21. Heidi's desire for an honest, open, and equal relationship is hardly unreasonable, but Cartman believes she's demanding too much of him because he's such a selfish sociopath - he wants to be cared for without caring back in return. After dithering on it some as well as briefly becoming exactly like him, Heidi finally wises up at the end of the season and permanently breaks up with Cartman.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Yours, Mine, and Mine", Patrick does this concerning stealing SpongeBob's money and the toy he paid for. When SpongeBob tries to protest, Patrick just rudely says, "Have you learned nothing from sharing?" His remark meant that he believed sharing meant that SpongeBob pays for everything and Patrick takes everything.
  • Total Drama: Heather's alliances are solely for her benefit. She demands practically everything from Beth and Lindsay while they get nothing in return from Heather, not even gratitude.