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And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

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...but boy, was it worth it!

"I killed a PC and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!"
— T-shirt in The Order of the Stick

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.

This trope is a jokey stock phrase on (in most cases) a Fun T-Shirt. It's something of an Obligatory Joke printed on souvenirs and is so well-known that oftentimes, media that feature it will play on the absurdity of the t-shirt appearing in a scene.

The concept is Older Than Feudalism: a stylus was found in Londinium with an inscription that amounts to "I went to Rome and all I got for you was this stylus."

May overlap with And Your Reward Is Clothes if that's a reward given for completing a task and My New Gift Is Lame if such an item was purchased for someone else and they dislike it. The [Popular Saying], But... variant of this joke will usually have "this lousy t-shirt" replaced with something related to the action described on the shirt.


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    Comic Books 


  • During the Twist Ending of The Game (1997), Nicholas is given a shirt reading "I Was Drugged And Left For Dead In Mexico And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt."

  • A subverted version appears as a hypothetical t-shirt slogan circulating online:
    "I got lockjaw at the dick sucking factory and all I got was lockjaw, as previously mentioned."

  • 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.
  • In the third book of The Trials of Apollo, Leo appears as a cameo, wearing a T-shirt that says in Latin, "My Cohort Went to New Rome and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt''.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine spin-off Legends of the Ferengi, Quark says that his father's legacy to him was a vast collection of headskirts (those things some Ferengi wear round the back of their heads), each one bearing a legend to the effect of "I survived [disaster]". He eventually realises the message his father was giving him: somebody bought these things, which meant somebody sold them, which neatly illustrates Rule of Acquisition #162: Even in the worst of times, somebody makes a profit.
  • In Craig Shaw Gardner's Slaves of the Volcano God Roger and his companions are about to be sacrificed to the volcano god Wakka Loa by Doctor Dread, who happens to be wearing a wizard robe and hat because he couldn't find his high priest outfit. The back of the robe has runes which say "MY PARENTS WENT TO CAMELOT AND ALL I GOT WERE THESE LOUSY WIZARD ROBES!"

    Live Action TV 
  • Uncle Bryn is proudly wearing a t-shirt printed with "My niece went to Greece, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!" when the titular Gavin & Stacey come home from their honeymoon. Everyone present is confused as the happy couple didn't get it for him; they brought him a bottle of Greek booze. Turns out Bryn had the t-shirt printed himself as a joke.
    Nessa: How did the t-shirt go, Bryn?
    Bryn: Mixed reviews.
  • 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 RuPaul's 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!
  • On The Big Bang Theory, after Howard returns from his trip to the Space Station, he gifts Raj with such a shirt. Raj notes, with genuine delight, that Howard didn't even bring the shirt with him to the Space Station, making its lousiness very authentic.
  • In the season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, Paul Stamets is seriously injured in battle and placed in a coma by his husband, Hugh Culber. Early in season 3, Culber brings Stamets out of the coma, and he's seriously disoriented but hell-bent on helping repair the battle-damaged Discovery, leading to this compromise:
    Culber: Tell you what, I'll let you go back to work if you can spell "My partner brought me out of a coma and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." Spell it.
    Stamets: {pained stare} My brain...
    Culber: Yes, it's scrambled like an egg.
    • One cut later, Stamets is spelling out "l-o-u-s-y t-s-h-i-r-t."
      Culber: "T-shirt" has a hyphen.

  • 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".
  • Daughters has a similarily titled song called "I Slept with the Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy 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".
  • The cover art for the single release of "Sicko Mode" by Travis Scott has the phrase "I went to Astroworld and all I got was this f**kin' song" written on the center.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is part of Nyla Rose's gimmick in All Elite Wrestling; after she finishes destroying an opponent, her manager Vickie Guerrero enters the ring and covers their face with one of Nyla's merchandise shirts which is emblazoned with "I SURVIVED NYLA ...AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS T-SHIRT." as a mocking consolation prize.

    Video Games 
  • BIONICLE: In the first Mata Nui Online Game, there's a trader shop on the outskirts of Po-Wahi with a rock carving that says "My friend went to Po-Wahi and all I got was this lousy rock".
  • 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, the reward for 100% Completion is a shirt for your character that reads: "I completed Vice City and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
  • 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".
  • 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".
  • One of the empty chest messages added to the English-language localization of The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero reads "Inside this chest, you find a shirt that reads 'I checked this chest twice and I got was this lousy t-shirt.' You decide not to take it with you."
  • Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus: Parodied. One of the T-shirts in the Xavian (a race of alien birds) gift shop, which they plan to sell to humans after their Alien Invasion, has the slogan "my planet was brought under the dominion of the Xavian empire and all I got was this lousy t-shirt which is not nearly as good as having feathers anyway."
  • Saints Row IV has one saying "I saved the damn universe..." in the front and the rest of the phrase in the back.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • PAYDAY 2:
    • Finishing Lab Rats on Death Sentence difficulty with One Down enabled earns you an achievement fittingly titled "I survived Lab Rats on One Down And All I Got Was This Achievement".
    • Burning your offshore money in the safe house will present you with an image displaying the words "I burnt my entire offshore and all I got was this lousy picture. -Toastie Buns".
  • In a similar fashion, Sonic Colors Ultimate invokes this trope with the achievement for completing Tropical Resort: "...All I Got Is This Tropical Resort T-Shirt".
  • Pink Panther's Passport to Peril: In Egypt, a man named Mouth tries to sell one of these t-Shirts to Pink.
  • 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 resorted to selling "I survived the Red Mercury War, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirts.
  • One merchant in Wynncraft's Letvus Airbase sells Cinfras Souvenir T-Shirts that come in a variety of colors, each for a ridiculously high cost. All of them lack special stat modifiers, give a very meager health bonus, and have the following item description:
    The shirt has the quote "I went to the Letvus Airbase in Cinfras and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" printed on it.
  • 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!"
  • The Jungle Inferno update of Team Fortress 2 has an unreleased cosmetic that was supposed to have this description: "You went to Mercenary Park and all you got was this stupid hat. And dysentery."

  • 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.
  • Grrl Power has two in quick succession after the super-brawl - first is the Big Bad of the arc, Vehemence, in custody and sporting an "I Fought ARC-SWAT and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!", and not long after is the Barberian, who Dabbler had slept with to recharge, sporting "I fought ARC-SWAT and all I got was [blank] and [blank] and my [blank][blank] by Dabbler."

    Web Original 
  • 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".
  • Babylon Bee: Following the Trump impeachment: "Mitch McConnell Sends Pelosi Shirt Reading 'I Impeached The President And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt'"
  • In Nightmare Time, Alice gets such a shirt at the Watcher World amusement park. Her dad Bill compliments her on the shirt, but Alice wryly replies that it's pretty lousy, which Bill takes a second to realize is a joke.
  • From the BIONICLE universe, the now-deprecated Mata Nui Online Game had Po-Wahi, the land of the element of stone. One of the few denizens of the countryside was the owner of an isolated souvenir stand; one of the items he was selling was a large but otherwise ordinary stone, etched with Matoran script that translated to "My friend went to Po-Wahi, and all I got was this lousy rock".
  • The Redbubble store for House to Astonish sells a t-shirt with the slogan "I made it into The Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and all I got was killed in this lousy crossover".

    Western Animation 
  • 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 and Rule: "Nobody seems to be buying these 'I Survived the Mok Concert' shirts!"
  • Dead End: Paranormal Park: When Courtney is unable to go on Hox's Castle, Barney, Norma, and Pugsley go instead in order to win a prize for her. After a series of hardships, one of which results in Barney dying and being replaced with an exact copy with all his memories, they end up winning thanks to Temeluchus' presence, but since no one has actually won before, they get given a mug that says "My friend died on Hox's Castle and all I got was this lousy mug".
  • The Owl House: In "For the Future", it's shown that Hexside became a hiding place both during Emperor Belos' draining spell and after the Collector was freed and started turning people into puppets. One of the students there sells T-shirts that insult either Belos or the Collector, with one of them saying "I Survived The Day Of Unity And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt!"

    Real Life 
  • The Dutch government has a responsible disclosure program where if you find a vulnerability in their systems, they reward you with a shirt that has a small logo of their National Cyber Security Center, together with the text "I hacked the Dutch government and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.
  • An archaeological find from Roman-era London makes this trope Older Than Feudalism. In 2019, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) reported in a blog post that their team had unearthed a stylus from the first century AD, inscribed with a short, tongue-in-cheek passage in Latin that acknowledges the souvenir is cheap because their money was spent on the trip to Rome, but they were thinking of you. Basically "I went to Rome and all I got you was this pen."

Alternative Title(s): And All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt