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And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

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...but it was Worth It!

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

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Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Fanfiction 
  • 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."

    Film 
  • During the Twist Ending of The Game, Nicholas is given a shirt reading "I Was Drugged And Left For Dead In Mexico – And All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt."
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    Literature 
  • 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''.

    Live Action TV 
  • 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!

    Music 

    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. "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.

    Webcomics 
  • 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.

    Web Original 

    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."
    "Police!"
  • Rock & Rule: "Nobody seems to be buying these 'I Survived the Mok Concert' shirts!"

    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."

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

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