Your parents went on their second honeymoon, your best friend went to Paris, or you survived the scariest haunted house in the world without needing to change your underwear afterwards.
And all you got was this lousy T-shirt.
Truth in Television. These T-shirts are everywhere.
Compare And Your Reward Is Clothes.
- Akane of Flying Witch is known for having awful sense in choosing souvenirs, giving things like crude oil and raw coffee beans. After a trip to Burkina Faso, she brings Makoto a T-shirt that says "Burkino Faso" on the front and "Welcome" on the back. Akane admits she was mostly intrigued by the fact the text was in Japanese.
- In The Books of Magic, Tim Hunter goes to the Dark Tower, and all he gets is, well, guess.
- The Joker wears an "I Killed Jason Todd and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" on an alternate cover to Batman #619◊. It's fairly popular with Joker cosplayers.
- Deadpool gets Hawkeye for Secret Santa, but to his surprise it's Kate Bishop instead of Clint - making his gift, a shirt reading◊ "I killed The Hulk and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" even less appropriate!
- West Coast Avengers (2018) has Kid Omega wearing "I de-vamped Jubilee and all I got was this lousy T-shirt".
- In Raising Ourselves George jokingly claims that he considered buying Harry's godson Teddy a custom T-shirt reading "My daddy killed Voldemort and all I got was this T-shirt."
- America (The Book) has a photo of a fake 1800 presidential campaign shirt that read "I endorsed the candidacy of Thomas Jefferson, for which I was inadequately compensated with this tunic of poor qualitie!"
- Played with in The Scrambled States Of America. After all the states are back in their original spots, New York gives Michigan a T-shirt that says, "My friend traded places with California and all I got was this stupid T-shirt!"
Michigan: This is a classic!
New York: I knew you'd like it!
- Just so you know, Alabama and Indiana also took California's place when the states all switched places.
- One book in The Zack Files series explains that a certain science museum is so cheap that instead of having a real spacesuit on display, they have a T-shirt that belonged to Neil Armstrong's brother. The shirt says, "My brother went to the moon and all I got is this lousy T-shirt".
- The Stainless Steel Rat for President. Our anti-hero sees a bored tourist in a shirt saying this trope, and takes him aside for a free bottle of wine so he can be Mugged for Disguise.
- On Sports Night, on the night of the NFL Draft, Dana gets T-shirts for the crew that say, "I survived Draft Day at Sports Night." When she insists on everyone wearing them now, Casey points out that draft day was just starting, and thus, they hadn't survived it yet.
- Married... with Children: Marcy was so drunk when she married Jefferson that her only clue to the fact she got married was the "lousy T-shirt" she got at the chapel.
- In Dinosaurs, after Robbie is drafted, Earl appears with merchandise that includes, "My son went to We Are Right and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
- On the UK edition of The Apprentice, a candidate called Myles (aka "Mr Monaco") received one such T-shirt as a leaving present. It said, "I went back to England to go on The Apprentice and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
- One of the Zonks on the 1980s version of Let's Make a Deal was a T-shirt that read, "I got Zonked by Monty Hall!!!!" This was usually awarded as the Zonk in the Door #4 game.
- On the Season 3 reunion of Ru Pauls Drag Race, Mimi Imfurst apologized to India Ferrah for picking her up over the shoulder during their infamous lip synch and gave her [India] a T-shirt as a gift that said, "I got picked up by Mimi Imfurst and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!" India was clearly not amused.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch: In the episode "The Good, the Bad, and the Luau", Sabrina and her twin sister buy these t-shirts for each other.
- During one arc on Passions, Charity Standish was imprisoned in ice while a "zombie" version of her took her place; it was ultimately revealed as a succubus and died soon after. The succubus made a return appearance in a short arc sometime later, wearing a shirt that said something along the lines of "I went to Hell and back and all I got was this lousy T-shirt".
- Red Dwarf: It may be metaphorical in this case, but Lister himself is due for one.
Lister: I've been surviving in space for five or six years. When it comes to weirdy, paradoxy space stuff, I bought the T-shirt!
Kryten: He bought it and I ironed it for him!
- Fall Out Boy has a song called "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me".
- The German band Wir sind Helden has the song "Meine Freundin war im Koma und alles was sie mir mitgebracht hat war dieses lausige T-Shirt" ("My friend was in a coma and all she got me was this lousy T-Shirt").
- In the blasphemy-heavy Bloodhound Gang song "Hell Yeah", one of the lines is, "Crucified and all I got was this lousy T-shirt".
- In City of Heroes, the Payoff badge is purchased for 1000 Mission Architect tickets. Its badge text is "I spent 1000 Mission Architect tickets and all I got was this stupid badge," capped by the badge art, an ">:(" emoticon.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. "I completed Vice City and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
- The Secret of Monkey Island: "I found the treasure of Melee Island and all I got was this stupid T-shirt."
- Also, "I beat the Sword Master and all I got was this stupid T-shirt."
- Warhawk: In one of the epilogues from the original Playstation game, it is mentioned that one of the pilots, after the events of the game, retired and resorting to selling "I survived the Red Mercury War, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirts.
- In Zangband, kill a Greater Hell-Beast, and it will drop a T-shirt saying, "I killed the GHB and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"
- Kingdom of Loathing has a variant; anyone who had an active account when the developers introduced Ascension in June 2005 was entitled to a trophy called "This Lousy Trophy".
- Pink Panther's Passport to Peril: In Egypt, a man named Mouth tries to sell one of these t-Shirts to Pink.
- Saints Row IV has one saying "I saved the damn universe..." in the front and the rest of the phrase in the back.
- In PAYDAY 2, completing the job "Lab Rats" on the highest difficulty will reward you with an achievement titled "I survived Lab Rats on One Down And All I Got Was This Achievement".
- Also in PAYDAY 2, while in the safe house, you can optionally burn your offshore money. Doing so will present you with an image displaying the words "I burnt my entire offshore and all I got was this lousy picture. -Toastie Buns".
- After reaching the NUKE NUKE NUKE and the games ends, if you play I Was In the War again, your character wears a shirt that says "I Was in the War and all i got was this lousy t-shirt".
- In SPY Fox in: Dry Cereal, SPY Fox can allude to this when you click on him inside William's blimp, saying that he should get a shirt saying that he saved the world and all he got was a lousy t-shirt.
- In The Order of the Stick, members of the hobgoblin horde fighting the Battle of Azure City receive T-shirts saying, "I killed a PC and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!" upon "killing" the illusion forms of several members of the titular party.
- And several strips later, the goblins encounter Haley and Belkar, and say that maybe they handed out the T-shirts too soon.
- Count Your Sheep plays with this. Katie finds her mother wearing a Pac-Man T-shirt and gives this response.
- In Monster of the Week episode Musings of the Cigarette-Smoking Man bad guys get ones with "I saved goddam democracy and all I got was this T-shirt" and "I joined the conspiracy and all I got was this T-shirt" written on them.
- If you backed the TV Tropes Revitalization Project on Kickstarter at $45 level, you got a T-shirt that said, "I Backed TV Tropes on Kickstarter and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" on it.
- Whateley Universe: Mentioned in Merry Descent into Madness while Merry was looking for a shirt to wear.:
I did manage to find a few jumpsuits, and a few shirts, mostly of the touristy T-shirt type. You know the kind; "My dad went to the Caribbean and all I got was this crummy t-shirt?"
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe online novella "Houdini and the Space Cuckoos", the Eleventh Doctor has a shirt that says "I died at Lake Silencio and all my wife got me was this lousy T-shirt".
- Ugly Americans: The Department of Integration is shut down in the "Kong of Queens" episode and Leonard goes on a bit of a bender. He ends up being worshipped à la Colonel Kurtz and is later seen wearing a shirt saying, "I was a demigod and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
- The Kids From Room 402: Polly McShane got one in Florida.
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: Ray Ray mentioned buying one at the end of "Monster Con" but no t-shirt with that kind of message was actually seen.
- Recess: Jeffery's parents went to Hawaii and all they got him was his trademark Hawaiian shirt.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series: The episode "Upside Down Town" had Hilda and Zelda get a souvenir shirt, which reads, "Rome burned and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
- Rock & Rule: "Nobody seems to be buying these 'I Survived the Mok Concert' shirts!"
- Turns out to be Older Than Feudalism, in the form of a stylus found in Londinium with an inscription that amounts to "I went to Rome and all I got for you was this stylus."
- A software bug hunter named Evan Ricafort was "rewarded" for one of his jobs with a shirt that says "I hacked the Dutch government and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."