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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. May require the character to Cross the Burnt Bridge.


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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 that 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.

    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 
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Kuzco spends the first part of the movie trying to get back to his Treacherous Advisor Yzma, convinced that she'll help him out despite having fired her (and she is actually who has suffered the least from him). But he never gets the chance to beg which is for the better because he realizes that no, she was the one who turned him into a llama in the first place (in the process of trying to kill him). When they meet again, the goal has downgraded from him asking her for help, to him asking her not to kill him. Complete with Ironic Echo to boot.
    Kuzco: Okay, I admit it. Maybe I wasn't as nice as I should have been. But Yzma, you really wanna kill me?!
    Yzma: Just think of it as... you're being let go. That your life's going in a different direction. That your body is part of a permanent outplacement.
    Kronk: Hey, that's kinda like what he said to you when you got fired.
    Yzma: I know. It's called a "cruel irony". Like my dependence on you.
  • Peter Pan: Anytime the crocodile shows up, don't be surprised to hear Captain Hook screaming Smee's name despite constantly berating him otherwise. Their relationship is pretty much built on this.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • 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.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings: At the ending 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 
  • 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.
  • 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 in 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:
    • After Milano failed to steal Kanade's future husband and the scandal caused by her and her parents at the hotel Kanade worked at, they show up and beg her for money to pay their debts. Understandably, Kanade is having none of it and tells them off.
    • After finding out that Ram is a Yakuza's wife, her former parents start to beg her to let them go after they pay for what their daughter Momo ate at the restaurant she and her husband Kairi owned. However, Ram isn't having any of it and lets Kairi take care of them.
    • A worn-out Nonoka shows up to Ram's house begging her for help after stealing Ikki-san from her. Turns out Ikki-san was a a misogynistic, sexist sleazebag who abused and enslaved her. To top it off, he refuses to sign the divorce papers and her own parents sided with him, effectively trapping her in the marriage. However, Ram refuses and kicks her out.
    • Months marrying her sister Yuri, Masashi comes to beg Ram to take him back because he was in on a fraud scheme and Yuri overspent to the point of plunging him and her family into debt.

    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.
  • 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):


Erazor begs Shahra

In the ending 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 in 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.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / BegTheDog

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