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"Begone" Bribe

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"I thought he'd go away if I gave him a dollar!"
Chef's mother on the Loch Ness Monster, South Park

A common reaction to the Annoying Younger Sibling or Dreadful Musician, where for the sake of a quiet life, the put-upon person resorts to paying off a pest in return for them leaving. The bribe is usually money but could be anything.

Of course, this trope is perhaps one of the most likely to get invoked by a less scrupulous character, who realizes they can make a quick buck or otherwise get their way by acting extremely intolerable towards their targets on purpose.

A subtrope of Screw the Rules, I Have Money!. Compare with Every Man Has His Price for "bribery" in a more generic sense. See also Remittance Man.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • During Elma's first appearance in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tohru gets her to leave by giving her a bag of cream puffs. It works.
  • Attempted unsuccessfully in the second arc of Vinland Saga. An English nobleman attempts to bribe the Danish prince Canute into leaving that region of England. However, Canute views himself as the rightful King of England, and is not impressed by the attempt to bribe him into leaving his own realm like he was some petty raider.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Calvin and Hobbes strip has Calvin planning to sell drainage ditch water as "Calvin's Curative Elixir" for a dollar a glass. When Hobbes objects that nobody will pay to drink obviously filthy sludge, he instead sets up a "Pitcher of Plague" stand with a sign posting a "$1 Not To Have Any" price.
  • Dennis the Menace (US): In one comic, Dennis and his friends have a band, with one of them wearing a sign that says "We play for free" and on the back wearing another that says "We stop for $1".
  • In Dilbert, the title character wonders where "Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light" gets his vast fortunes from. Phil responds, "Corporate sponsorship. Procter and Gamble pays me to stay away from them."
  • Paige once made money in FoxTrot by blogging. Meaning she hogged the computer using that pretense until Jason paid her to get off.
  • One Garfield comic has Garfield walking outside and he passed by a little dog with a sign offering to lick your face for ten cents. A little later, he comes across a considerably larger dog with an accordingly-bigger tongue with a sign offering to NOT lick your face for a dollar.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Grave Mound": In this lesser-known but comical Brothers Grimm tale, the Devil tries to bribe two men so they will leave the cemetery and he can claim a dead sinner's soul. However, the men trick him into thinking he hasn't brought enough money, so by the time the sun rises and the Devil is forced to retreat, the men have enough gold to live Wealthy Ever After.

    Fan Works 
  • The Desert Storm: After moving into their temporary new home on Tatooine during the Mirage arc, Obi-Wan gets some Jawas to leave him alone by handing them a piece of cheese. Ben disapproves of this since it only encourages the Jawas to return later.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby, the Boss Baby likes to throw money at people as a way of trying to get rid of them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Animal Crackers, Ravelli tells Captain Spaulding that he makes ten dollars an hour for playing, and twelve dollars an hour for not playing.
    "How much would you want to walk into an open manhole?"
    "Just the cover charge."
    "Well, drop in some time."
  • In the Nicholas Sparks movie The Best of Me, a rich girl's father offers her boyfriend the money for his college tuition if he'll break up with her, as he's genuinely worried that his white trash family will endanger her. The kid tells him to shove it.
  • In Big Daddy Julian will not stop talking to a bum (Steve Buscemi) on the way to McDonald's. Sonny (Adam Sandler) offers him an Egg McMuffin to end the conversation; he pretends to fall asleep after it's upgraded to a sausage McMuffin with hash browns. During the trial at the climax, Sonny waves a McDonalds bag at him to get him to conclude his testimony.
  • Inverted in A Little Princess (1995). A boy and his mother see Sara on the street and assume she's a beggar; the boy gives her money, and his mother tells him off, saying Sara will never leave them alone now.
  • The concept comes up twice in A Bronx Tale:
    • C complains to Sonny about a guy who owes him twenty dollars and has taken to running away every time he sees C coming. Sonny asks if this guy is really someone that C wants as a friend, and when C says no, Sonny tells him to view the exchange as getting rid of the guy instead of being about collecting the debt. Paraphrased slightly, Sonny says "He'll never ask you for anything again and he's out of your life forever for twenty dollars. You got off cheap."
    • When C tries to give the same advice to one of his friends later on, his friends instead say they are going to beat up the debtor anyway. This highlights how C's friends, despite idolizing Sonny and imitating him in any way they know how, don't really understand his philosophy or what separates him from "common" criminals.
  • In Cool Runnings, Sanka is only able to raise less than two dollars for the team by singing in the street, and not because anyone likes his singing.
    "I'll pay you a dollar to SHUT UP!"
  • In Death Walks on High Heels, Vanessa Matthews offers her husband Matthew's mistress five thousand pounds to leave him.
  • Inverted in the film adaptation of The Green Mile. Percy promised that if he got to place the sponge on the prisoner's head and give the order to activate the electric chair, he'd put in for a transfer to the mental hospital and they'd "Be rid of him." This prompts the other guards to ask what would happen if they said no. Percy responds that he'll stick around and make a career of being an executioner. They comply with his request and the results are nothing short of disastrous.
  • In the Laurel and Hardy short Below Zero, Stan and Ollie are attempting — with little success — to make money as street musicians. At one point during their performance, a woman calls down from a window to ask how much money they average per street. Ollie gratefully replies, "about fifty cents a street"...and the woman gives them a dollar and requests that they move down a couple streets.
  • Stu, the protagonist in Phone Booth, dismisses others by offering them money or valuable items, on more than one occasion. The Caller reminds him of this later and comments on how it shows Stu's disrespect towards other people.
  • Apparently in Star Wars Jar Jar Binks once found employment as a shudderup musician; people pay to shut 'em up.
  • In Sam, Cynthia cements her role as a bitch by offering to write Samantha a cheque for whatever she wants if she leaves and never sees Doc again.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • In Doctor Strange (2016), when Kaecilius successfully topples the Hong Kong Sanctum and allows the Dark Dimension to invade, Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to trap Dormammu in a "Groundhog Day" Loop as part of a Failure Gambit, offering to leave and end the loop if he gives up invading the Earth. It works.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange sends Loki into a bottomless pit, having been alerted of his presence in New York and having taken the proper precautions considering what he did the last time he was there. When Thor explains that he is only there to find Odin and planned on taking Loki with him off of Earth as soon as they finished, Strange offers to help them find him.
  • In Destroyer (2018), Erin ends up offering to pay Jay 11,400 dollars to leave Shelby and never come back. He takes it.
  • In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill's dad gives Bill and Ted some money and tells them to take a break from studying. They exit, and it's clear that Bill's dad is about to get it on with Missy (I mean Bill's Mom) in his bedroom.
    Ted: Now your dad's going for it, in your own room!
    Bill: Shut up Ted.
  • The Odd Way Home: When Duncan finally meets up with his Disappeared Dad, he's so unhappy to see Duncan that he offers him and Maya a large sum of money to never contact him again.
  • In A Recipe for Seduction, Billy offers Harland half a million dollars to get him to leave, but Harland refuses to take the money.
  • In Magic in the Water, Jack gives each of his kids a $100 bill to get them out of the way while he attends a support group meeting. Ashley protests, "Dad, this is-" but Joshua drags her away before Jack has time to change his mind.
  • My Fellow Americans, Kramer and Douglas are having a conversation in the former's home and his grandson wants to play. Douglas hands the boy a five dollar bill and gleefully says "Here look. Money!" and the boy takes the bribe. Kramer looks on disapprovingly with Douglas snarking "What, I was just showing him how you got elected."
  • In Eyes of Laura Mars, Laura's ex-husband Michael breaks into her house to harangue her about everything she supposedly did wrong during their marriage. When she gets fed up with him, she snaps, "Will fifty dollars be enough?" Then she gets out a hundred-dollar bill and holds it out to him. It works.
  • In Tormented (1960), Tom Stewart's ex Vi chartered a private boat to the island he lives on, but she didn't pay the boatman, who starts snooping around for her to collect. Tom, who had let Vi die during an earlier argument, pays the boatman her fee just to get rid of him. It initially works, but while having lunch, the boatman learns that Tom is engaged to another woman named Meg, and he twists Vi's mysterious disappearance around into blackmail.
  • In all versions of True Grit Mattie Ross, despite being only 14, is such a vicious negotiator, she absolutely steamrolls over Stonehill the horse trader. In their second meeting, rather than risk haggling with her again, he quickly accepts a blatantly terrible deal just to get rid of her.
    Stonehill: Wait a minute. Are we trading again? I just handed you twenty dollars each for those ponies and you now propose to buy one back for ten? Little girl, I will give you ten dollars to refrain from doing any more business here. It would be the most astute deal I have struck in Arkansas.

  • In 20 Years After, Aramis relates an anecdote about a time when Cardinal Mazarin got into a disagreement with a prince whose alliance he desired:
    ... "The prince immediately sent fifty thousand livres to Mazarin, begging him never to write to him again, and offering twenty thousand livres in addition if he engaged never to speak to him again. What did Mazarin do?"
    "He took offence?" said Athos.
    "He beat the messenger?" said Porthos.
    "He took the money?" said d'Artagnan.
    "You have guessed right, d'Artagnan," said Aramis.
  • Judge Dee: Cheng Pa, the leader of the Beggars' Guild and occasional informant, negotiates a 10% discount after dinner at a restaurant with the judge's lieutenants. Not so he'll leave, but to avoid a crowd of filthy, smelly mendicants taking up residence outside the restaurant.
  • In Albert Helps Out, a children's picture book from Mouse Math about two anthropomorphic mice named Albert and his sister Wanda, Albert wants to earn two quarters to pay to use a penny-smashing machine at the local library. He asks his sister, Wanda, who has just sat down to read for her homework, if there's anything she'll pay him to help her with, such as doing her homework, making her a special snack, or singing her favorite song. She tells him to sit quietly and that she'll give him a penny for every minute he does so. He makes it four minutes. When he asks if he can do it again, she says she can't afford it and suggests asking the neighbors if they need help.
    Wanda got out her piggy bank and counted out the pennies. "One, two, three, four."
  • Amber Brown is Green With Envy combines both the Annoying Younger Sibling and the Dreadful Musician variants. Dylan gets his father, his sisters and Amber, their friend, to pay him to not play the accordion around them. His father gives him five dollars, Amber gives him a dollar, Savannah fifty cents, and Polly a $1.50. However, shortly after this, it's discovered that he ruined one of Polly's dolls and he has to give her everything he just got, plus seven dollars on top of it.
  • The Ring of Solomon, a prequel book in The Bartimaeus Trilogy, features an example similar to the Dane-Geld idea. Solomon is the powerful ruler of Jerusalem thanks to his magic ring and many other nations are in thrall to Jerusalem. Unbeknownst to Solomon, however, some members of his council of advisers, particularly Khaba the Cruel, have been threatening other nations in his name, promising to bring down the power of the ring upon them if they don't offer vast monthly tributes.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Aliens: Invoked by the bratty little brother of the main protagonist of The Secret Weapon of Last Resort, who tells her "Five bucks, or I'm superglue" when she tries to get him to leave her and her best friend alone and stop harassing them. Naturally, he turns back up again soon afterward and winds up triggering the arrival of the story's alien characters.
  • In the Discworld books:
    • This is said to be the modus operandi of many members of the Beggar's Guild. Ankh-Morpork Guilds being what they are, you can do this in advance, sending the Guild an "anti-invitation" to an important event, with suitable remuneration.
    • In Night Watch, young!Nobby Nobbs comments to Vimes what a deal it is for him to stop following him for a pence (I think); sometimes he followed people until they paid much more.
    • In Hogfather, Foul Ol' Ron and his fellow tramps tell a restaurant owner that they'll sing (badly) for free since it's Hogswatch (the Disc's version of Christmas). He takes the hint and gives them some food to make them go away.
    • In The Truth, William de Worde pays his father a generous estimate of what it cost to raise him in order to get him to go away. The money isn't the thing, as Lord de Worde has gold in his DNA, but instead is based on the Dwarven tradition in which betrothed dwarves buy one another from their parents to symbolize their independence.
    • In Mort, when Death has retired and is looking for a new job with the first and only Ankh-Morpork job placement official, he is interrupted by a woman. Said woman ignores Death's sinister VOICE and threats. She only leaves when Death bribes her to leave.
    • Variation in Jingo, also involving Nobby: he's in disguise as an exotic dancer, but since he's ugly enough to defy the Attractive Bent-Gender trope, people are paying him not to take his clothes off.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Hermione starts the Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) and starts waving around a collecting tin, some people pay her for membership in the hope that if they do so, it'll get her to leave them alone and shut up. It doesn't work; she only becomes more vocal.
    • In a similar vein, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Ron complains about having spent some much time cleaning at 12 Grimmauld Place, saying that he feels like a house-elf, Hermione shoots back that now he understands what dreadful lives they lead. She suggests that he might now be a bit more active in S.P.E.W., suggesting that they do a sponsored scrub of the Gryffindor common room once they get back to Hogwarts, all proceeds to S.P.E.W. Ron mutters that he'll sponsor her to shut up about S.P.E.W., but only loudly enough for Harry to hear.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe there is a violinist at the eponymous restaurant who Zaphod and Ford get rid of like this. He leaves and goes over to bother Arthur and Trillian.
    • In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, there is a guy named Rob McKenna whom it always rains around because unbeknownst to him, or anyone else, he is a rain god. While the phenomenon cannot be explained, it can certainly be quantified. McKenna shows scientists his notes of the rain that follows him and they prove that it is indeed a real phenomenon. After this, McKenna is able to make a good living getting payments from resorts and stuff for him to not visit them.
  • Rudyard Kipling warned in Dane-Geld that this only encourages aggressors to extort more Begone Bribes in the future.
    And that is called paying the Dane-geld
    But we've proved it again and again
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.
    We never pay any-one Dane-geld
    No matter how trifling the cost.
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that plays it is lost!
  • In the Spanish book Manolito Gafotas, the main character's grandfather once paid a family of begging Dreadful Musicians some cash to shut them up — causing everyone else to cheer. They quickly weaponize this by warning people they will start playing if they don't pay up.
  • Myth Adventures:
    • In Hit or Myth, Aahz is kidnapped by coercion. Meanwhile, the king wants a vacation and wants Skeeve to stand in for him via disguise spell. Skeeve decides, with Aahz gone and his only allies Gleep and Buttercup, it's a good time to tell Grimble that, if the price is right, Skeeve will leave court.
    • In Sweet Myth-tery of Life, a con artist that Skeeve has held a torch for a number of books hits him up for some cash to start up a new scam, and he finally realizes how amoral and mercenary she is. He gives her the money on condition that she go away and never come back.
  • The Annoying Younger Sibling version is deconstructed in the Ogden Nash poem "The Comic Spirit", about a man whose life was a string of comic-strip tropes.
    Later he grew comparatively poor by giving the young brothers of girls he sat on sofas with a quarter to run along and play,
    Little realizing that they had no interest in the doings of anyone crazy enough to sit on a sofa with their sister and were already on their way.
  • In the Italian short story La Patente (which is a sort of deconstruction of The Jinx trope), the main character, after having his life ruined because of his fame of jinx, decides to get a living this way by standing near shops, so that shopkeepers, fearing his bad influence, would pay him to leave.
  • In Booth Tarkington's Penrod Penrod's sister's suitor gives him an entire dollar in exchange for his absence, which he promptly spends on enough junk food to make himself sick.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not: In "The Adventure of the Sacrifice Stone", Lady Sarah offers her son's fiancée, Flower Dalrymple, a cheque for one thousand pounds if she breaks off the engagement and never returns.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The Free Cities' tradition of serving a lavish welcome for the Dothraki is basically this. The Dothraki are a notorious nomadic people who will plunder anything worth taking and have devastated many other civilizations in Essos because they resisted. Instead of subjecting themselves to the same fate, the Free Cities service the Dothraki handsomely whenever they visit, so they will not sack them. The results may vary according to each khalasar's mood, though.
  • In The Star Dog, one of Alice, Girl from the Future books, Bakshtir is an advisor to kings who has made an enormous fortune thanks to the kings paying him to stop advising them.
  • The Sleeping Beauty: Prince Leopold has been making a kind of living this way ever since his own father shoved him out of the family castle. He shows up in a new kingdom, attracts attention from young and unmarried noblewomen (if not the princess herself), and daddy pays him to get lost.
  • Wulfrik: In the final arc, Wulfrik spares a Sigmarite priest with orders to go to Altdorf and tell the Emperor that the Norscans will Rape, Pillage, and Burn the area if not given ten thousand pounds of silver, and next time he'll ask for more. The priest agrees to go, obviously intending to bring the Imperial army. It's all a ruse, however: Wulfrik intends to return to Norsca alone, leaving the marauders there to fight their way out and make it look as though Sveinbjorn has abandoned them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Benny Hill Show: Benny is sitting in the park reading a book called "How to Get Rich." A young boy comes along with a toy trumpet blaring away. Benny buys the trumpet from the boy, then throws it away. Along comes a bunch of kids each with his/her own instrument (led by the trumpet boy, now with a new toy). Benny buys all their instruments, then realizes how much he just spent. He throws the book away and calls trumpet boy over, talking to him and taking notes on how to get rich.
  • From Blackadder season two:
    Blackadder: Excuse me, could you move along, please? Look, I'm waiting for my father-in-law. Last thing I want is some scruffy old beggar blocking the church door, smelling of cabbage.
    Kate's father: I am your father-in-law.
    Blackadder: Oh, no... All right, how much you want to clear off?
    Kate: Edmund, how could you? He's my father, my only living relative.
    Kate's father: Ten pounds should do the trick.
    Kate: Father!
  • In the Drop the Dead Donkey episode "Drunk Minister", roving reporter Damien Day is trying to record a piece to camera about the economic woes plaguing High Street shops in the early 1990s, but he keeps getting interrupted. In one of those interruptions, a homeless man wanders into the shot and won't go away until Damien pays him... whereupon he returns with every homeless man in the area, forcing Damien to pay them all (including the original man for a second time). When Damien is forced to do his piece live instead of recorded, the homeless men return yet again, clearly thinking "Well, it worked twice before..."
  • Heroes has Nathan Petrelli do this a lot in the first season to get rid of people threatening his campaign to become the senator. Among them being his brother Peter, Company member Noah Bennet, Meredith Gordon (his past lover and the mother of his daughter, Claire), as well as numerous others.
  • Law & Order: In the Season 2 episode "Blood Is Thicker...", the detectives suspect a very rich but very weak-willed man of having murdered his wife on orders from his mother, who hated her. One of the facts they discover during the pre-trial investigation is that the man had offered his wife two million dollars if she would accept a divorce and give him custody of their two kids.
  • On Mad Men, Don's long-lost half-brother Adam, who has thought he was dead for years (as Don intended), tracks him down and tries to re-establish their relationship. Don gives him five thousand dollars and tells him never to contact him again. Adam commits suicide, leaving Don with a vast amount of well-earned guilt. This storyline gets a Call-Back a couple of seasons later when Don volunteers to drive his current mistress's epileptic younger brother to his new job out of state, only for the brother to announce that he has no intention of staying there because his jobs never work out. Don lets him go, giving him some money and telling him that if anything happens to him, his sister will never forgive herself.
  • One episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus had a character who would randomly come into a sketch and say something like "I will not interrupt this sketch for a pound." The difference being that no one would pay him.
  • In The Partridge Family, Danny holds his hand out hopefully when Shirley tells him to leave the room for a private conversation. When she refuses to pay him, Danny mutters, "So much for free enterprise."
  • In Scrubs, JD is trying to get Cox to hire more nurses. Cox claims that there just isn't enough money for it, but that JD could raise the money himself, since he's so annoying, by offering people a service whereby he doesn't talk to them in exchange for a monthly fee.
  • Seinfeld. Desperate to get rid of two women who refuse to accept his decision to break up with them, George decides to give them fifty dollars each. Elaine snaps that if he gives her fifty bucks, he won't have to see her either.
  • It is very common in the average Soap Opera Inter-Class Romance for the rich person's parent or parent figure to offer the poor person a large sum of money to go away. Occasionally, this will turn out to be a Secret Test of Character, but usually, it's not.
  • Played for drama in Squid Game. When Gi-hun goes to his ex-wife as a last resort to ask for money for his mother's diabetes treatment, her new husband offers him an envelope with enough money to cover it, on the condition that Gi-hun stop trying to contact their family, including his daughter. Gi-hun is so incensed by this that he gets into a physical fight with his ex-wife's husband, only to see his daughter witnessing it.
  • Starsky & Hutch: When Starsky finds out that Hutch's girlfriend is a prostitute, he tries to pay her a large amount of money to leave town so Hutch won't have to find this out. She declares her love for Hutch and refuses to go; he accepts this, though he warns that she needs to tell Hutch her secret, or he'll do it for her. It being that kind of show, she's dead before she has a chance to.
  • In Trailer Park Boys, Ricky says this after a soured business deal with Lahey:
    Ricky: And you know what? I get out of jail, I try to start things off on the right foot. And you wouldn't do that, would you? So I'm gonna pay you $100 to fuck off. Leave me alone. Just give me my trailer and fuck off.
  • The main characters on Vikings, just like the historical figures who inspired them, often demand such bribes to stop raiding local kingdoms in England and France. Specific examples include:
    • In the first season, Ragnar manages to pull off several successful raids in Northumbria, and eventually defeats an army raised by King Aelle, capturing the king's brother who was leading said army. At first Aelle balks at paying the large ransom Ragnar demands, but when Ragnar defeats another army and executes the brother because of Aelle's refusal to pay, Aelle is forced to capitulate and pay off the vikings rather than let them continue raiding the countryside.
    • In the third season, the Franks manage to repel a Norse attempt to sack Paris, but the Norse stubbornly keep up The Siege until hunger and disease are running rampant in the city and the Franks are forced to try to negotiate a payment to make the Norse leave.
  • In Zoey 101, Logen's father arrives to confront his son about overspending his credit card and demands that Chase and Zoey leave the room, Chase responds "It's my room, you can't make me leave." until the butler offers him a 100 dollar bill, "And suddenly I feel like standing in the hallway."


    Puppet Shows 
  • A Sesame Street sketch had Cookie Monster's picnic interrupted by a mosquito, which wants to enter his picnic basket. Cookie Monster offers the mosquito various cookies if it will go away, but the mosquito refuses every one. Finally, Cookie Monster offers the mosquito a letter Z, which it happily accepts.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Ciro's younger siblings come across Daigo and his gang while he's experimenting with a newly created monster. After telling them that it's merely a man in a costume, Daigo then tries to bribe them with a hundred dollars (which, having grown up in poverty, is the most money the kids have ever seen in their life) to leave. When it doesn't work, he stops playing nice and sics the monster on them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A pair of fensir "Bleakniks" in Planescape pull this as a scam on a regular basis. One of them is an idiot who declaims terrible emo poetry, and thinks they actually have fans; the other is an actually quite talented musician who knows they don't.
  • Some Rogue Traders in Warhammer 40,000 owe their status to a legally binding one. Warrants of Trade are incredibly valuable documents that allow Rogue Traders to freely explore the galaxy and trade with xenos, but it also carries an obligation to do so, and anyone offered one must accept. Many a Rogue Trader (or their ancestor) were formerly high-ranking politicians whose enemies saddled with a Warrant to stop them from taking power.

    Video Games 
  • You do this all the bloody time in Assassin's Creed with beggars, bards, etc. Sometimes guards too. In the sequel, you can throw money on the ground for people to pick up. Useful for distracting those goddamn minstrels.
  • EarthBound (1994): Repeatedly talking to a certain NPC in the hotel in Summers will result in several short, unique responses before he eventually gives the player $50, implicitly to get them to stop bugging him.
    "Here, get yourself a juice or something..."
  • Fallen London: In the Hinterlands, you can involve yourself in an argument between church leaders and have the Submerged Rector read and interpret a Verse of Counter-Creed. You're bribed with a considerable amount of Scrip to get the Rector to leave.
    The Submerged Rector likes the bit of the Counter-Creed about BELLS WITH CLAPPERS AND BELLS WITHOUT.

    It can be construed as an argument for the value of Low Barnet as a parish; or as a subtle attack on the standard exegesis of Isaiah; or as a grand excuse to shout BING, BONG, BINGBONG outside of an already contentious meeting.

    Every person present contrives to understand the situation in the fashion that will be most individually offensive. You are requested - nay, begged - to influence the Rector into departing, and a bothered-looking Bishop offers you a substantial donation.
  • A learnable skill in Final Fantasy X, which becomes rather useful due to the rare items some enemies leave behind them after using it. In particular, don't enter the Bonus Dungeon without at least one million gil. The mid-boss of the dungeon hands over 99 of an extremely potent item if you give him that much as a bribe. Final Fantasy X-2 exaggerates it by not only having it still available but also offering the ability CONGRATS! You get this if you land all 7s on the Lady Luck's Random Reels ability and it's very easy to manipulate with a bit of practice by using pause. Hitting it not only gives you the effect of the bribe on the enemy at no cost but also still gives you the spoils from the battle and actually inverts it in a way by giving you a large amount of gil.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light:
    • One Random Encounter has a Space Pirate offer you half the spoils from the cargo ship they're raiding if you don't get involved.
    • If you're really laying the Smack down on an enemy, they'll offer you their remaining stock of missiles and drones and some FTL fuel to let them live. Sometimes they also offer a new gun on top of it, but it just as often amounts to a Comically Small Bribe since they're almost out of both and have no spare weapons.
  • The enemies in Kingdom, behave in a simple way: they run towards your base, and once they find something to steal, they grab it and turn around. If your army isn't enough to defeat all enemies in a wave, you can just drop coins on the ground, which they'll steal instead of more valuable things like your workers' tools or your crown, reducing the number of enemies that need to be fought.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • On some levels of hell in NetHack the level's resident Demon Lord will let you go peacefully if you pay it a sufficient bribe. Amusingly, if you type in a negative number for the number of gold pieces to give, the demon will attack you for trying to short-change it.
  • The city of Okriana in Outcast has street musicians you have to pay to shut up.
  • The original Paper Mario has a Peach interlude where she can use her Sneaky Parasol to disguise as Bowser's minions. If you enter the library and talk to the Hammer Bro. at the end, he tells you to leave him alone as he's studying...something and gives you a Shooting Star to scram.
  • Referenced in Sam & Max: Freelance Police season 2 episode 2 if you talk to the Maoi heads after drinking from the fountain of youth. "Look, I'm not very good with kids. Can I just give you some money or something so you'll go away?"
  • In Viva PiƱata, you can give the Ruffians and Professor Pester chocolate coins to get them to leave your garden, at least for a while. However, they won't leave if you don't give them enough.
  • In Hitman 2 during the Mumbai level, you can stand around a street vendor selling cloth and purchase them with a few coins Agent 47 has on hand. However, if 47 stands around silently, the vendor will interpret this as some form of haggling and will continuously adjust the price, and it'll keep going down and down (and occasionally up) as he gets increasingly freaked out by 47's intimidation and intensity. Wait long enough, and he fully caves and offers the items for free just to get 47 from scaring away other customers.
  • Total War: Warhammer III: Advancing through the Realm of Slaanesh during the Realms of Chaos campaign causes the Demon Prince at the heart of the realm to tempt you with bonuses if you abandon your quest and return to realspace. The boons get better the further in you get, including offers of astronomical sums of money, rare items you can't get elsewhere, and massive bonuses to characters and economy.
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous: Between the traditional RPG elements of the game, there are tactics-based "crusade" minigames and decision-based meetings with your council, with different options depending on which teammates you assign to council roles. One diplomatic council event has the Council and Aristocrats of your patron city both wanting you to support them and disavow the other group. With Woljif in your council, he brings up the fact that you can turn this to your benefit by demanding both groups pay you off in order to ensure you stay out of their way.
    "Noble schemers and courtiers are forced to reckon with the Commander's authority. They would be glad if the liberator of Drezen kept out of politics and their interests. In gratitude, they are ready to send a company of mercenaries to help the Commander. After all, if he runs out of soldiers, he might visit the capital."
  • Zeus: Master of Olympus: Invading armies can now be bribed to go away instead of using the ungodly-complicated combat system. Given how easy it is to make money, armies are only a threat in levels where there isn't a lot of infrastructure.

    Visual Novels 
  • On the field trip to Barbarossa in Double Homework, Dennis offers Morgan money to leave the ski lodge where everyone is staying. She refuses.

    Web Animation 
  • Manga Soprano: In My sister plundered my fiancé! Now my arranged marriage partner is also plundered, Nonoka tells Ram that even if she brought a lawyer, Ikki-san would bribe them into leaving in this exchange (errors in original):
    Ram: Even if won't help, the law would help you?
    Nonoka: It won't! I went to the lawyer once too but Ikki paid them loads of cash and made it go away.
  • In Ninja Action 1, among many, many Mooks that are simply slaughtered, there is a little girl that the ninja protagonist has to pay small change so that she'd stop buggering him (including one time when he's hidden under a cardboard box). However, considering that the one mook who refuses to pay her gets his brain blown up by a shotgun, it's probably the wisest choice. The ninja later buys her shotgun to finish off the Final Boss, but she doesn't include the ammunition...
  • In the Strong Bad Email, "Trading Cards" Strong Bad exchanges a "get outta my face" with Homestar for a post-it with a picture of Strong Bad bench-pressing a dinosaur. Homestar then reveals that he has been collecting these in exchange for "get outta my faces"; he currently has thirty-five of them.

    Web Comics 
  • In Brawl in the Family, turns out the Moblin only paid off Link so Link doesn't tell anyone about his doll fantasies and to make Link go away.
  • In Chasing the Sunset, Leaf at one point suggests that the group barter something to get money for an inn. Myrhad replies that between the dragon with a newly active Breath Weapon, the elf boy possessed by spirits of rage, the elf girl who's been admitted to a tribe of amazons, and the inherently disastrous pixie, they shouldn't have much trouble finding someone who will pay them to stay away.
    Myrhad: Of course, that does not get us a place to sleep.
  • In Dumbing of Age, Billie's frequent response to people she finds annoying is "here's [an insultingly small amount of money]. Go away."
  • In Freefall, Sam is often the one being given something to go away, and uses this to his advantage.
  • Lampshaded in chapter 66 of Joe vs. Elan School, where Joe's narration glumly says that his parents buy him a used car for college, "...surely as some kind of 'this will shut him up!' bribe."
  • In Megatokyo, Largo is being surprisingly nice to Erika after her past has caught up with her. However, she assumes he wants something from her, so just bluntly asks him "If I sleep with you, will you go away?"
  • In Schlock Mercenary, Schlock once manages to do this to a delivery driver after hijacking him in midair and trashing his van. It helps that he's actually fairly rich.
    Schlock: Sorry about your van. Do you want some money?
    Kidnapped Driver: You can't just buy your way out of—! *sees what Schlock is offering* Huh. I guess you can buy your way out of.
    Lt. Flinders: Wow. That bribe let you break the law and a prepositional phrase.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Quentyn tries to rid himself of a small crowd of small admirers.
    Quentyn: Listen, if I give you each a copper bead, will you all stop staring and go home?

    Web Original 
  • The Patreon meme "For $8000 a month, I will stop" has its origins in this meme, with the self-deprecating poster advertising the opportunity to "Buy my silence[,] permanently" with the titular payment.
  • In the backstory of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this is how William Darcy proved to his sister Gigi that George Wickham didn't actually love her and was only dating her to get more of the Darcys' money. William simply wrote out and signed a big fat check and offered it to George in exchange for George breaking up with Gigi. George immediately took the check and left, right in front of Gigi.
  • Neopets has a random event where a rendingly mewling Mutant Kadoatie appears and "you pay its owner 5000 Neopoints to take it away".

    Web Video 
  • The Pittsburgh SOAPranos has Sami get rid of an annoying busker who'd set up outside of her shop with a bribe of soap.
  • In Welcome Back, Potter, Jarry and Don offer Stacey their entire stash of Galleons (which is worthless to them) as a bribe to make her leave.

    Western Animation 
  • Princess Bubblegum of Adventure Time essentially did this to get rid of the character of James. The original James had made a Heroic Sacrifice, and Bubblegum had taken a piece of him beforehand so she could clone him. The clone then got a medal of bravery for the previous James' bravery and liked it so much that he decided to keep charging into danger and faking his death, so he would get both more clone companions and medals. When Bubblegum caught on to this, she was very upset and went to strip them of all their medals, (and possibly more) but then the James clones performed a genuinely brave and heroic act, so Bubblegum instead exiled them, which they went into willingly when she said she'd send them a medal for every day they are away.
  • In "The Scare Your Pants Off Club" from Arthur the kids circulate a petition to get the Scare Your Pants Off books, which a group of parents had removed, back in the library. Brain's way of soliciting signatures involves giving a long lecture to innocent bystanders. This prompts one to say, "We'll sign if you promise to stop explaining why we should!"
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy, while trying to raise money by playing music, finds out that he is horrible at it. He uses this to his advantage by threatening to keep playing if he isn't paid.
  • In an episode of Recess, Mikey imagines himself as a bard/minstrel when he's older. He serenades a couple, making the lady swoon and prompting her date to pay him to move on.
  • In the Family Guy episode "One if by Clam, Two if by Sea" the Griffins get new British neighbors. When Stewie hears Eliza's accent, he gives her a sixpence to keep her mouth shut and go away.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Bart the Murderer" has Principal Skinner walk in on a mobbed-up Bart having his cronies spray graffiti mocking Skinner. On being questioned about it, Bart yawns arrogantly, stuffs cash into Skinner's lapel pocket, and says "You didn't see nothin'. Now beat it." It doesn't work, and the scene then jump-cuts to Bart writing "I WILL NOT BRIBE PRINCIPAL SKINNER" over and over on a blackboard.
    • After Homer and his dad discovered and began selling a concoction of stuff from the medicine cabinet with a powerful aphrodisiac effect, Homer gives the kids money to go out to the movies so he can have sex with Marge. Evidently, every other parent in Springfield did the same. On Valentine's Day, Homer lets the kids watch TV as loud as they want, for the same reason.
    • Marge once gave Homer a camera for him to fix in the basement so she could fantasize about her romance novel. He proceeded to hammer a drill into it.
  • In "Boating Buddies" from SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward offers SpongeBob five dollars if he would leave Squidward alone. SpongeBob agrees, but it turns out that Squidward doesn't have enough money for that since he already gave five dollars to SpongeBob for the same reason yesterday.
  • In an episode of Beavis And Butthead a girl from the boys' school offers them a dollar to "get the hell away from me". The boys try to use the dollar to buy a gallon of gasoline. (Back in the 90's, this was feasible.)
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: "Fa La La Ed" (not to be confused with the show's actual Christmas Episode) has the Eds invoking this as Christmas Carolers.
    "Give us cash or we'll never stop singing, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!"
    • In "Shoo Ed" Eddy takes advantage of Johnny's annoying tendencies by amplifying them and having others pay the Eds to get rid of him.
  • In The Venture Brothers, when the Monarch interrupts his college class in order to arch his professor, a frustrated Dean Venture is able to get him to leave by writing him a check for one million dollars.

    Real Life 
  • School counselors advise students being bullied against paying off The Bully because the bully will just keep coming back for more money.
    • The Raj had a variation of that. It basically told border tribes with a propensity for raiding that they could have either gold or lead as incentive to peaceful behavior. It is hard to gauge the effectiveness of this; the area was never too much of a nuisance but it was never peaceful either.
    • The Vikings were also quite fond of demanding payment from nations they raided as a price to get them to stop — and then, more often than not according to the surviving historical sources, they returned to raiding them anyway after having received said payment, usually with no than a brief break in the raids. This was the inspiration for Kipling's Dane-Geld, who used the term Dane because it was mostly Danish vikings and rulers who spent centuries raiding or attempting to conquer England.
    • Policies of appeasement in general basically amount to this. As history has shown, appeasement of aggressors is very bad policy.
    • During the 14th century and indeed much of the Middle Ages, it was common for European rulers to hire a bunch of foreign and mercenary soldiers to help them fight a war, and then lay all of them off when the war ended. These unemployed soldiers often formed so-called companies of adventure: they would hire themselves out to states as Private Military Contractors, and whenever they were unemployed they would roam through various countries supporting themselves through banditry and extortion. These companies especially flourished in Italy, which was divided into numerous city-states which needed mercenaries to fight their wars and could hardly cooperate on anything. A free company arriving in an area would usually be approached by negotiators from the local power who would bribe them to go away, or perhaps if they had need of soldiers to actually hire the company. It would have been in the long-term collective interest of every city-state to refuse to do business with free companies and instead form an alliance to destroy them, but too often it was in the short-term interest of any one actor to either pay off a company to leave them alone, or to hire them to gain an advantage against their rival.
  • The Postmates website seems to have a bit of a problem where a splash page comes up and blocks you from accessing the rest of the site until you tip your previous driver.
  • Frequently, young people will pay their date's Annoying Younger Sibling to leave.
  • Cledus T. Judd has recounted an anecdote about his early career where one man kept coming by and putting money in the tip jar. At a break in the music, Cletus thanked the man for the tip, to which the man retorted that he thought that maybe if he paid Cletus, he could get rid of him.
  • This trick is used by mariachis at tourist resorts in Mexico. "The mariachis would serenade / and they would not shut up till they were paid..."
  • The tradition of going door-to-door singing Christmas carols has its origins in the older tradition of Wassailing, in which peasants would demand gifts from wealthy landowners. One Christmas carol, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", has largely forgotten verses that consist of the singers saying that they won't leave until they're given "figgy pudding." The verse outright demands figgy pudding and threatens that the singers "won't go until we get some; we'll just stay right here." Another verse demands the pudding be brought out to them.
    • This comes back to haunt Doofenshmirtz in the Phineas and Ferb Christmas special. After ranting and railing against the carolers for nearly the entire episode, he finds a can of figgy pudding in his cupboard and finally gets them to go away.
  • Eric Idle on John Cleese in The Pythons Autobiography:
    He once told me, and he won't deny this, "I'll do anything for money." So I offered him a pound to shut up, and he took it.
  • Remittance men (or in some cases women) made a living at this. This was a convention especially associated with Victorian Britain wherein someone thought for whatever reason to be an embarrassment to their family would be paid to stay far away from them, often overseas.
  • One possible etymology for the word "bribe" itself comes from "a peece, lump or cantill of bread given to a begger", to appease them.
  • In 14th century France, it's said a woman known as "Marie the Nuisance" would play the bagpipes at hung-over tavern guests until they gave her money to stop.
  • Contract buyouts are essentially a formalized legal version of this trope, where one party pays the other a lump sum to let them break the contract now rather than waiting for it to expire as previously agreed. This could be a landlord paying an existing tenant to vacate early so that they can rent to a richer prospect, or a sports team paying an underachieving player (an amount similar to his salary) to leave in order to open a roster spot and possibly free up salary cap space in future seasons.
  • Some telecom companies have been known to invert this by offering to pay people money to get out of their contracts with rival companies and become their new customers.
  • When an internal power struggle among Journey led to Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain filing a lawsuit against Ross Valory and Steve Smith, court documents showed that former lead singer Steve Perry was convinced to leave and give up his stake in the group in exchange for a significant chunk of the profits from albums and tours produced after his departure.
  • The Chinese pirate Queen Ching Shih was such a thorn in the side of the Qing government that they eventually agreed to pay her off if she would cease her pirating activities. She took the deal and spent the rest of her life running a gambling house and living in the lap of luxury.
  • Toward the end of his career, baseball player Derek Bell's attitude (coupled with middling performance) irritated the Pittsburgh Pirates badly enough that they paid him the remaining $4.5 million on his contract just to go away. Trading him would have been next to impossible because other teams knew about his reputation and didn't want to deal with himnote .
  • During the 2021 NFL offseason, Houston Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson declared that he would no longer play for the team. As a young successful player, he was too valuable to simply cut, so the Texans insisted on holding his rights and trying to trade him. Shortly thereafter, he was publicly accused of sexual assault and became too toxic to trade, so the team attempted this trope, by paying him his salary to go away for the year. When informed by the union that they were not allowed to keep him out of the team facility, they let him join the team - but only to practice in wildly inappropriate positions, like punt team coverage.


Video Example(s):



Jarry and Don offer Stacey their entire stash of Galleons (which is worthless to them) as a bribe to make her leave.

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Example of:

Main / BegoneBribe

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