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Beg the Dog

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"She's so thick-skinned, she can beg a guy she tried to kill for her life, and mean it!"

A character in a story makes a habit of abusing another character frequently. But when this character ends up in a tight spot, they are not afraid to grovel at the knees of anyone they can for help. Even the one they abuse.

Usually done in the form of comedy, although it can be played for drama, this type of scene will involve a character who is a frequent Butt-Monkey to someone else being desperately pleaded to by their abuser to help them out of whichever situation they got themselves into. The abuser is often a Smug Snake, and this scene exists to break this character down and show the butt monkey and the audience just how shameless or pathetic they are.

The abused character's reaction may vary. In many cases, the abused character will leave the abuser to his fate, allowing them to meet the consequences of their actions. There is also the chance that the abused character will come to the abuser's aid on every occasion. But in all likelihood, the abused character will eventually break this trend after enough oppression, leading to the first possibility occurring.

Compare Entitled Bastard, for characters who expect others to help them out no matter how little they deserve it, and to its sister trope Villains Want Mercy, for a defeated villain specifically (who may or may not have habitually abused his opponent) begging for mercy, after a battle. Also compare The Dog Bites Back, which involves an abused character striking back against their oppressor, rather than the oppressor getting himself into an unfortunate situation only the abused can help them out of, and Fair-Weather Foe, which involves a character being nice to their enemies if it can benefit them. May require the character to Cross the Burnt Bridge. Could overlap with Playing the Family Card if the beggar and the one being begged are relatives.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Jack: The protagonists of "Playing Doctor" are Kong, who is a rude bully; and Keaton, an amateur actor who is harassed by him. Kong's sister is later revealed to be suffering from a deadly illness, and she refuses to be attended by any doctor other than the famous Black Jack. Realizing that his family is too poor to afford that surgeon's assistance, Kong begs Keaton to dress up as Black Jack and encourages the girl to keep fighting for her life, with the latter agreeing on the condition Kong ceases pestering him.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: King Dedede generally isn't a very kind ruler, frequently abusing the townsfolk. In one episode, he starts selling the Waddle Dees who act as servants in his castle to the people of Cappy Town to help pay his debts and ends up selling all of them with everyone else in the castle leaving to avoid having to do all of their work. As Dedede doesn't know how to take care of himself, he goes to Cappy Town to beg for food, but he keeps mentioning that his predicament is a result of selling all of his Waddle Dees and the Cappies (who have greatly benefitted from the extra hands) think that he is trying to take them back and reject him.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Princess Malty had ruined Naofumi's life by claiming that he tried to rape her and stealing his stuff, forcing him to try and rebuild his life with the aid of a Ragtag Band of Misfits. However, karma bites Malty and her father's ass and their actions lead to them being sentenced to death. However, as they're being put to the guillotine, Malty begs Naofumi to save her. What's worse is that the slave marking she was given was not working, meaning she was being truthful in her desperate plea, thus the quote above. In a case of Be Careful What You Wish For, Naofumi does save the two... but requests that the king be renamed "Trash" and Malty "Bitch" with the Adventurer Name "Slut"

    Comic Books 
  • Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle has Skynet begging John Connor for help when Parnell, the cyborg ex-con who was given control of the Terminators, tries to take control of Skynet itself. John doesn't trust it naturally, but as Parnell is just as dangerous as Skynet, John lets himself be linked to a Terminator body. He kills Parnell and then Skynet itself.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Animorphs: Faced with an incoming conviction, Visser One resorts to calling Marco and getting him to crash the trial and make her superiors think keeping her alive is necessary. She figures she can use her host body, AKA, Marco's mother, to manipulate him into compliance. To her horror, Marco doesn't take the bait and nearly writes his mother off as a lost cause, only agreeing to help her because her death would leave Visser Three in charge. Visser One tries to express outrage in her narration, but Marco's mother laughs and points out how afraid she is in their shared thoughts.
  • Jane Eyre: Jane was raised by her Aunt Reed, who was extremely cruel to Jane and always favored her own children over Jane. Years later, when Aunt Reed is on her deathbed, abandoned by her ungrateful children, she begs Jane for forgiveness and help despite still hating her.
  • Oliver Twist: Before his execution, Fagin begs Oliver, the little boy whom he abducted and forced to become a thief against his will, to save his life.
  • Turn Coat: Throughout the Dresden Files to this point, Warden Morgan has been doing his best to catch Harry at a crime so he can be executed. Dresden hates the man. Which makes it all the more entertaining when he shows up at his door, wounded and begging for help, to set up the book's conflict.
  • Wulfrik: King Viglundr spends the entire book being disrespectful to Wulfrik (who admittedly has just as little respect for him, and insults/threatens him right back) due to his inconvenient survival (Viglundr promised his daughter Hjordis to Wulfrik for killing the rival chieftain Torgald but always intended to marry Hjordis to Torgald's son Sveinbjorn to secure an alliance between their tribes). At the end of the book, Viglundr's machinations have been turned against him by Wulfrik, he's facing multiple tribes and his own men banding against him, and he's reduced to begging Wulfrik to help, even offering him the crown and Hjordis. Wulfrik has accepted that he'll never be king but the instrument of the gods, and sacrificed Hjordis in the process, and so leaves Viglundr without even killing him, commenting that it'll be interesting to see which tribe gets to Viglundr first.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Christmas 2000 season of Coronation Street saw Domestic Abuser Geoff Metcalfe snap and try to kill his spouse Yasmeen after she finally pulled a Not Afraid of You Anymore and exposed all his horrible acts to the public. After he chases her and Alya onto the house roof, Yasmeen stoically dares him to kill her if it will add any satisfaction to his sad unfulfilled life....he makes the lunge for her but misses and slips off the roof, hanging from the ledge, begging for Yasmeen to save him. Despite Alya's protests, Yasmeen does try, but Geoff panics when she struggles to reach and starts snapping abuse at her, before immediately losing grip.
  • In the Fawlty Towers episode "Communication Problems", Basil is desperate to convince the crotchety Mrs Richards that a large amount of money is his. He asks Butt-Monkey Manuel to back him up; Manuel, going off Basil's previous instructions replies "I know nothing", causing Basil to plead with him.
  • iCarly: In "iReunite With Missy", Sam finds out that Carly's old friend Missy is trying to get her out of the picture and have Carly to herself, so she asks Freddie to help her fight back. Freddie is understandably incredulous and asks why he should help her, so she responds that the fact she came to him, of all people, is reason enough.
  • Misfits: After spending the series bullying Invisible Introvert Simon, Nathan demands he use his invisibility to save the both of them from Rachel's zombie-esque abstinence cultists that are rapidly closing in on them. Simon is appalled that Nathan would expect aid after all his abuse and leaves Nathan to fend for himself.
  • "A Piano in the House", an episode of The Twilight Zone, features a Caustic Critic and all-around Jerkass named Fitzgerald Fortune who mocks, derides, and abuses everyone he knows, from a local playwright to his butler to his wife Esther. Things get worse when Fortune buys the titular player piano and learns that its Magic Music has the power to compel people to reveal their innermost feelings. He debuts the instrument at his wife's birthday party that night and, after a grand evening of humiliating people, ends up Hoist by His Own Petard when Esther puts a roll on the piano that reveals Fortune's deep secret: he's actually a scared, frightened, Psychopathic Manchild who torments those around him because he's terrified and envious of them. His tone makes it clear that he's begging for everyone to forgive him, but they realize that he's simply too pathetic to worry about and instead leave—including Esther.
  • Victorious: In "Jade Dumps Beck", Jade's jealousy of Beck talking to other girls causes her to break up with him. However, Jade realizes that she misses Beck too much and tearfully begs Tori to help her win him back despite having bullied and humiliated Tori since the pilot episode. When Tori rightfully asks what is in it for her, Jade replies that "maybe" she'll come to like Tori.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings: At the end of the game, once Sonic forces Erazor Djinn to be permanently sealed off inside his lamp for a third wish, Erazor himself starts begging Shahra to rescue him from his fate, complete with begging that "we can start over", in spite of the fact that he once tried to force her to collect the Seven Rings for him at the beginning of the game by putting a curse on her that would've sapped her of her lifeforce, and even murdered her once she took the strike meant for Sonic, an act he felt no remorse over. Naturally, Shahra refused to interfere, and Erazor was sealed off inside his lamp for eternity.

    Web Animation 
  • Being a mostly cathartic series, some ATTACK on MIKA episodes end with the antagonist getting in trouble and begging mercy from the protagonist they abused.
    • The Corrupt Corporate Executive who abused his adopted son Eiji, and later on kicked him and his own bedridden wife out of the house, only keeping his sister Sayuki. When he forces Sayuki into an Arranged Marriage with the CEO of one of his client companies, it turned out to be Eiji. When Eiji refuses to merge his company with that of his father's, the man begs him to reconsider, only to be rejected by both Eiji and Sayuki
    • Yuki begs her older sister Saki for help as their parents are taken away by the police. However, the latter has none of it and leaves her on her own for all the mistreatment she was put through.
    • Morao, a CEO who abused his wife Yuka, is reduced to begging her not to call the police after her sister Mika told him she hired a detective.
    • Years after Aoi left the house because her parents' refusal to invite her to her sister Nina's wedding on top of mistreating the former, these same parents come to her friend Hibiki's house where she lives and beg her to let them stay because Nina's husband turned out to be a psychopath who made their lives (apparently except Nina's) hell.
    • After their grandmother inherits the house to Chikage, her younger sister Chinami begs her for help as she is 7 months pregnant and their parents disowned her for it. However, she has none of it after all the abuse she was put through and leaves her on her own.
    • Kuzumi begs Koji for help after the Yakuza group he married into enslave both her and her dad for causing damage to the Chairman's house.
    • Yugami dumps her husband Masashi after winning the lottery and takes her daughter Love with her, but when he told her the ticket expired and his knowing of her affair with his friend Takuya, they come back and Yugami begs him to let her back in. However, he isn't having any of it and sues her for damages.
    • Aika and Miho are reduced to begging Kazuo not to leave after he told the former she's actually the daughter of another man and divorced the latter, after so many years of abuse he endured.
  • Manga Soprano:
  • MoniRobo:
    • "My husband's true personality was revealed during my pregnancy": Kohei begs Matsumi for forgiveness when the latter's cousin Homura exposed him to his mother, but Matsumi isn't having any of it and divorces him.
    • "I introduced my boyfriend to my toxic parents… Then…": After Sakura marries her boyfriend Masayoshi and he becomes a successful CEO despite being blind, her parents contact her and beg for money despite being abusive towards her in the past. Turns out Sakura's sister got hooked on host clubs and sank herself in debt; she had an affair before marrying a rich guy and got dumped as a result.
    • "My wife cheated on me but my daughter liked him better. We got divorced and...": Remi begged her father Futoshi to help after she found out her mom's new husband was a chubby chaser to the point he let both of them eat what they wanted in order to fatten them. Understandably, he refused to do something because of the abuse they put him through. But in the epilogue, he called the Professor to invent a medicine and sent Miyu to inject it into Remi, making her thin again.
    • "My little sister ruined the contracts I had with a client...": After Mizuna reveals to Miyuki that her dad was fired from Moni Moni Construction ten years ago and then from Robo Robo Tradings for her attempted rape of manager Riku, she loses her previous bravado and begs Mizuna to rehire her, but she refuses and goes through with it. After the man got fired and arrested for embezzlement and abuse of power to get Miyuki a job at MoniRobo Trading Company, on top of Miyuki herself being forced to pay for damages after the incident, the mother begs Mizuna, whom both she, her husband, and Miyuki abused and put aside earlier on, for money. However, Mizuna refuses and calls her out for all the abuse they put her through.
    • "We went to a luxurious hotel for our wedding anniversary but...": Tanaka pleaded with Kei to forgive him after the former was fired from the hotel by his grandfather for not only his abusive behavior towards him and his wife Kyoko during their stay since the latter was the granddaughter of famous philanthropist Manjiro Kisaragi but for his bullying of Kei since middle school. However, the couple has none of it and refuses to listen to his pleas.
    • "This girl only got the job thanks to her uncle, and just lazes around": Kasumi quit her job after Nano and the other employees refused to let her force the project on them and then found a new job at a company that was allegedly better than her former one. However, she calls Nano to put her back in the company upon learning her new job was at a black company.
    • "My parents didn't show any love towards me but once I got successful...": Months after Karen and Masato's wedding, her former father called her to chew Masato out for giving him $1.10 as severance pay, which alluded to Karen's story about her former parents giving her the same amount as allowance. However, the man begs for more severance to pay for Hiroki's tuition and his wife's shopping debts in anticipation of him being hired into an elite company, but Karen hangs up on the bastard.

  • In Red vs. Blue, Felix begs his partner Locus, whose PTSD and mental health issues he had exploited to force him into becoming a mercenary along with him and had been continuously manipulating him to keep him by his side, to rescue him from the Reds and Blues. Locus, who had just cottoned on to this and had a Heel Realization, chooses to leave Felix to his fate.

    Western Animation 
  • Played for Drama in Bojack Horseman. The titular character is a self-destructive alcoholic who has a tendency to abuse the people around him thanks to a terrible upbringing, love of the spotlight, and a generally self-centered nature. However, Bojack believes that he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold...but unlike many examples of that trope, he needs people to assure him of that. In one episode, he outright begs his long-suffering friend (and frequent target of his narcissistic abuse) Diane to confirm that he is, in fact, a good person deep down. Much of Bojack's Character Development across the series is him realizing that he is, in fact, a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk who needs to genuinely work on his flaws rather than be soothed by other people.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Stew-roids", resident Alpha Bitch Connie D'Amico tries to turn Chris into one of the popular clique, only for it to backfire on her when he surpasses her and becomes a Jerk Jock. When Connie asks his sister (and her favourite victim for bullying) Meg for help dealing with him, she expectedly reads her the riot act for all the crap she's given her, which Connie can't even remember. Meg ultimately only helps her because Chris' jerkass behaviour annoys her as well.
    • In "Stewie Loves Lois", Peter goes for a physical at the hospital, but when Dr. Hartman tries to give him a routine prostate exam, he thinks he's been sexually violated and files a lawsuit that costs the doctor his practice. Later, Peter starts having genuine problems with his prostate and, after a failed attempt at a Paper-Thin Disguise as a delivery man with a "package" placed on his behind, tearfully begs Dr. Hartman to give him the check-up for fear of a serious health issue. Hartman ultimately decides that he can't turn away someone in need and helps Peter.
  • Oscar's Orchestra: In the episode “Knight in Shining Armour”, Lucius ends up trapped in a Rapunzel-style tower to keep him from running away from the new character of the episode. He asks Oscar for help escaping, despite the fact that Lucius has been a henchman of Thadius throughout the entire series, seemingly just as eager as Thadius to destroy instruments and music, and was at best apathetic to Thadius’s abuse of Oscar and at worst joined in.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer vs Patty and Selma", Homer blows the family's savings on an ill-advised investment in pumpkin farming. He needs a loan for a mortgage payment and, after exhausting every other option, is forced to beg his hated sisters-in-law, Patty and Selma (who, earlier in the episode, he forcibly kicked out of the house), for the money. They give him a check, but force him to become their slave in exchange for not telling Marge about the deal—which becomes moot when she sees the I.O.U. note from them.
    • Milhouse gets quite the payback for all of the grievances he's suffered at Bart's hands in "Bart Sells His Soul". After Bart sells his soul for five bucks to Milhouse, he begins to find very odd things happening to him and fears he's becoming truly soulless. He begs Milhouse for the piece of paper representing his soul back and even offers to pay him back - only for Milhouse to jack up the price on him and cackle evilly. He later trades the soul to Comic Book Guy for ALF pogs even though he knows Bart still wants it back.
  • The Transformers: Megatron is always a Bad Boss towards his second-in-command Starscream, even when the latter offers good advice. But in some episodes like "Divide and Conquer" and "Starscream's Brigade", Megatron finds himself begging Starscream for either assistance or mercy. The smug Starscream takes satisfaction in Megatron's humiliation, seeing it as proof that he's more worthy to be leader of the Decepticons.


Video Example(s):


Begging the bullied

Nathan demands Simon, who he's bullied all series, save him from the abstinence cultists. Simon is incredulous.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BegTheDog

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