Follow TV Tropes


Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like

Go To

The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, "The End of Time"

Just because you helped someone out doesn't mean they'll appreciate it. Taken to extremes, that attitude results in this trope: a character is upset with a person who rescued them, maybe even saving their life, because in the process, they did something "wrong".

While Troper Man heroically pulled Alice and Bob away from being smashed to bits by a giant Robotic Ninja Dragon on a Muthafrickin' Plane, he committed the horrific crime of making them miss their tour bus. Never mind that Troper Man risked his life to save them, what's important is that they were slightly inconvenienced.

A snippy remark is optional. Makes use of the Law of Disproportionate Response. Compare to No Sympathy. See also Ungrateful Bastard, Think Nothing of It, Grudging "Thank You", Entitled Bastard. Not to be confused with Unwanted Rescue or Embarrassing Rescue. A hero can get in on this if this Hero Harasses Helpers or if another carries him away from danger while he still wants to fight. Also note Hands Off My Fluffy!. Can happen on a cultural level when Klingon Scientists Get No Respect. If the trope's averted but the negative consequences of the rescue still happen, it's usually due to Hero Insurance. Rescue Reversal justifies this - having to save the would-be rescuers from harm sure is embarrassing for both the captive and the rescuers.

Can sometimes be warranted in the case of a Terrifying Rescuer or Destructive Savior, or if a Neat Freak was saved with a Revolting Rescue. If the rescuee not only complains, but actually harms their rescuer, you have The Farmer and the Viper.

This trope is when the person otherwise would have appreciated the rescue, but they take issue with the person who rescued them, or the manner in which the rescue was performed. If they didn't want to be rescued period, then it's Unwanted Rescue.

Compare Embarrassing Rescue. For a possible inverse, people complaining about kidnappings they don't like, see Pity the Kidnapper. Contrast Refuse to Rescue the Disliked where it's the case of "Complaining About Rescuing Someone They Don't Like".


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Btooom!: Himiko escapes a group of upperclassmen who were in the middle of raping her friends and manages to get help and get the group arrested, however instead of thanking her, her friends resent her for leaving them behind and nominate her into a Deadly Game. Whether or not they realize that she would’ve been outnumbered and overtaken by the group if she had stayed to help them on her own is unknown.
  • Black Butler: When Ciel gets kidnapped by the mafia, he (justifiedly) complains when Sebastian allows himself to be riddled with bullets and plays dead instead of getting on with the rescue.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo pulls a Big Damn Heroes when he arrives at the Repentance Cell to save Ganju and Hanatarou from Byakuya Kuchiki. He turns to speak to Rukia, who immediately protests, though in actuality, she's concerned about his wounds. Ichigo then proceeds to tell her "All of your opinions are rejected" and cracks that she should just cower in a corner and tremble "Save me, Save me!" Hilarity Ensues.
    • Rukia also complains when Ichigo halts her execution, especially when he tosses her Eyeshield 21-style to Renji.
    • Subverted later, during the Hueco Mundo Arc. Orihime hadn't wanted them coming after her, but she didn't complain when they did.
    • Averted in the "Arabian nights" episode parodying the Soul Society arc. When "Chigo" goes to save "Rukiruki", she tears up and asks why he didn't save her earlier. Chigo then pokes at her and says that's not what she's supposed to say.
  • Osamu Dazai note  of Bungou Stray Dogs is (at least at first) a personification of Suicide as Comedy, so you can guess his reaction when Atsushi saves him from drowning in the first episode.
  • In Claymore, Clare rescues a hostage Galatea by chopping off Agatha's arm, and Galatea comments that Clare ended up cutting off some of her hair. Clare then apologizes, and takes care of the rest of Agatha, this time without harming a single follicle. In this case it's a mutual joke, since Clare had just said the precision of her technique had improved and that she only hit her hair because she wasn't specifically trying not to hit her hair.
  • In Corsair, Canale does this to a degree when Ayace saves him from his former master but the best example is when Aura complains to Ayace about taking too long to rescue her at the end. Rather than genuine ungratefulness it's simply because they're in the habit of ribbing each other.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, after Vegeta allows Babidi to turn him into a Majin, he gets a Motive Rant where he explains that it was all because of his hatred for Goku surpassing him. According to him, the absolute worst part is "He even saved my life once! I can't ever forgive him for that!" This attitude makes more sense with the knowledge that Vegeta is literally all about Pride, both as the Prince of the Saiyan race and as a fighter.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Mustang bursts in at the last second and manages to save Hawkeye and Fuery from Gluttony. As he sags in relief over the fact that they're still alive, Hawkeye promptly turns to him and practically rips his face off with the force of her anger. Bitchiness averted by the fact that she's mad not because he saved their lives, but because he came out and exposed himself as part of what was supposed to be a covert operation and now she's worried for him.
  • England from Hetalia: Axis Powers wasn't too happy when America got him out of Italy. Being suspended by a rope that was hanging from a plane in flight might have had something to do with that.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders: Polnareff chastises Avdol's sacrifice for Taking the Bullet to protect him, much to Kakyoin's frustration. Polnareff then sheds Manly Tears since he's had it with others giving their lives to rescue him.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Rohan criticizes Josuke even after he was saved from Yuya's Highway Star, since he blatantly warned Josuke earlier not to provoke his opponent and ignored his warning.
  • In Episode 7 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Fate saves Signum from a monster on a reflex. Signum tells Fate that she won't thank her, as because Fate destroyed the monster, she can't get its Linker Core. Fate remarks that in retrospect, "getting in the way of the bad guys is (her) job."
  • Played for Laughs in My Hero Academia during the End of Term Exams. Mineta gets grabbed by Sero's tape and tossed away so Midnight doesn't catch him with her sleeping gas. Unfortunately, Sero does get caught and falls asleep, first landing his head on her boob and then she rests him on her lap. Given Mineta's personality, he's not happy in the least.
    "If Sero hadn't saved me, then I'd be the one in that position!"
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, in episode 22, Asuka struggles to be in sync with her Eva unit and jealous of Rei in better sync than her. During the next angel fight, she attempts to upstage her... And fails miserably, getting a MASSIVE Mind Rape as a result. It's up to Rei finish the angel, and Asuka, having failed to prove herself better, has her pride completely tarnished. When Shinji tries to comfort her at the end, she takes it as him rubbing it in her face.
    Asuka: Shut up! Who the hell is "okay"?! How can it get any worse?! That little bitch...! That little bitch Rei rescued me! Don't you know that I'd rather have died?! I hate her! I hate you, Shinji!! I HATE EVERYTHING!!!
  • Pokémon: The Series: A rather possessive Bewear is always there to come to Team Rocket's aid, taking them back to its den before a twerp encounter would end badly for the Rockets, something that the quartet have occasionally voiced their contempt upon. Rather telling since it is the alternative to their usual A Twinkle in the Sky Running Gag.
    Jessie: Wait, hey, hey, hey. Wha-What? What are you doing? Excuse me. Please let us go? Um...
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Rare example where the complaining is fully justified. Motoyasu gets in a duel against Naofumi to "free" Raphtalia from him and wins it through cheating (outside interference from Malty, who attacked Naofumi from behind when he was getting the upper hand). While it's true that Naofumi purchased Raphtalia as a slave and has her fight for him, Motoyasu fails to see that she is perfectly content like that, and she's understandably angry that he and everyone else strongarmed her to remove her slave mark without question. She also points out how Motoyasu criticizes Naofumi for owning a slave, yet he himself does nothing to abolish slavery or help slaves like her. Later chapters reveal that, as a demihuman, being a slave actually gives her a degree of legal protection against the Fantastic Racism that plagues the kingdom.
  • Skip Beat! has Kyoko with a heavy ankle injury in the hot sun and barely capable of moving. Then Ren comes along and, seeing she's obviously in need of help, begins to carry her in his arms to the location they are both heading to. And Kyoko quickly begins to struggle and politely, but vehemently, decline his help saying she was doing just fine (slowly inching her way towards some shade like a turtle) because she hates him on principle at this point. Ren promptly sets her onto a bench and proceeds to leave.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! manga series (it follows the first seasons of the OVA), Ayeka finds herself as the Damsel in Distress so the villain can lure Tenchi to fight her. Ryoko figures this is a bad idea and one suckerpunch later finds herself in the villain's ship. Ayeka complains about it until Ryoko outright slaps her for being selfish. Impressive not only in that this is Ryoko of all people, but that Ayeka is encased in a spherical, rubbery prison which Ryoko has previously had difficulty penetrating in her rescue attempt. And she still doesn't when she clocks Ayeka — she simply strikes so hard that the cocoon doesn't make a difference.
  • In the first episode of Virtua Fighter, Akira goes to rescue Pai after she's been taken by the Koenkan goons. She's understandably upset that he of all people comes to save her, given that just a couple hours ago he accidentally stole her first kiss (and after eating gyoza, no less). The two end up escaping together anyway, though.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: In episode 7, Yuzu overhears Sawatari's friends discuss that he is planning to take revenge on Yuya for beating him in a previous episode. Yuzu, pissed, and most likely recalling how Sawatari almost killed her and the kids during said duel, decides to go and pick a fight with him herself, only for a masked stranger to step in claiming he'll keep her safe. She's less than pleased about this. It soon turns into a Wham Episode when the Strange's turns out to be an Identical Stranger to Yuya and that he thought Sawatari was part of an organization called "Academia", among other things.

    Comic Books 
  • After saving the planet half-a-dozen times, The Authority are betrayed and attacked by assorted national governments for being too powerful (and daring to have their own opinions). Once the Authority recovers, they decide to ignore the latest world threat, and order every superhero on the planet to do the same, in order to make the normal humans come up with their own damn rescue for once.
  • Batman:
    • "'Thanks for saving my bacon, Robin.' Why, think nothing of it!"
    • A brief moment in Detective Comics, Robin complains about Nightwing rescuing him from trying to make a jump from a bridge after a major earthquake. Nightwing calls him out on not being appreciative of it, only for Robin to exclaim that he could have made the jump. Nightwing ends the argument claiming that he was only trying to play it safe because he didn't want to have to explain to Bruce how he could lose yet another partner. Naturally, this ends up turning into an argument as to why Nightwing was there in the first place with Robin accusing Batman of having sent someone to keep an eye on him while he was gone. Nightwing responds that it was his idea and not Batman's and that Robin could use the help given that Gotham is hard to handle on a normal day without the added bonus of a natural disaster having just occurred. This further annoys Robin.
  • DuckTales: Overlaps with Death by Materialism; in the "Curse of Flabbergé" story, Scrooge loudly protests Launchpad grabbing him away from a diamond he was hunting even though the area was becoming dangerously electrified.
  • Firestorm averted a particular disaster and much loss of life — and was promptly sued by a businesswoman who suffered significant property damage as a result of his actions. Compounding his woes, she was or became engaged to marry his father. She eventually dropped the lawsuit after Firestorm gave a version of the With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility speech. She also figured out he was her stepson-to-be.
  • In the Injustice: Gods Among Us comic, at one point before Superman started his tyranic regime, Darkseid ordered a full-blown invasion on Earth. His troops attacked all around the world, causing countless destruction and death. Superman, after asking Barry Allen about whether or not he should kill again and none of them being able to come up with anything better, rushed at full speed all across the world destroying all the invaders, thus saving the world and rescuing everyone, Batman and his followers included from certain death. Batman blames him for all the invaders he killed by doing so afterwards.
  • Part of the back story of Mark Waid's Irredeemable is that the lead character got tired of people being ungrateful for his rescues. So he goes completely Axe-Crazy.
  • In Legends, Guy Gardner brings a crippled airliner down to safety and expects the people to thank him. Instead, he gets an angry mob riled up because he landed said airliner in the middle of a busy highway, despite the fact that he only did so because he got pinged in the head by a piece of yellow-colored debris from the airliner. Guy Gardner just snubs the ungrateful crowd and flies off.
  • In the reboot Legion Of Superheroes, the Legion replaces their greatest critic on the United Planets Council (who also happens to be Apparition's mother) with Chameleon, thereby saving her from being framed for a conspiracy and killed by its real leader. Her reaction is that R. J. Brande's band of thugs kidnapped her, and the fact they happened to stop the conspiracy means they're going to get away with it.
  • Somewhat justified in Lucifer, since the rescue was genuinely botched. Jill Presto didn't realize that Mazikeen's half-rotted face wasn't an injury but a deliberate shape-shifting choice, and that by "healing" Mazikeen, she was actually binding her into a single form. Mazikeen swearing to kill Jill for her well-intentioned mistake still seems like Disproportionate Retribution, though.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • To remind us that there is still prejudice against mutants, most 90s-onward comics with X's somewhere in their titles loved to make use of this trope to such an extent that it became a major theme of more than one comic. Almost never is any character seen thanking a mutant for their rescue, despite the alarming frequency with which those rescues occur. This is made even worse by the fact that most of the dangers that X-mutants save people from are caused by other humans, who the near-victims apparently don't hate quite so much as their rescuers. Say what?
    • One Ungrateful Bastard, a disfigured human, argued that if "you mutants" (those who just saved his life) didn't exist, he wouldn't have been nearly killed by an anti-mutant lynch mob, mistaking him for a mutant, in the first place.
    • Also subverted in X-Men in the character of Senator Robert Kelly. He started off as an outspoken anti-mutant activist with honest concerns about the effect of mutants in society, but over the course of many rescues by various mutants his stance began to soften, saving the X-Men's bacon on at least one occasion (during Zero Tolerance) by seeking legal action against a government-sponsored Sentinel program.
    • One extreme example had Chamber saving the life of another mutant and being called a "monster". Admittedly, said mutant was a child and was nearly murdered in cold blood by two particularly irrational mutant haters (they blamed the failure of their dot-com company on mutants), but still...
    • In Banshee's backstory, a Jerkass cop shoots out his future wife Maeve Rourke's motorcycle tire while she's giving Sean a ride, and they go careening off a cliff. Banshee flies them to safety. As soon as they land, she punches him in the stomach for her bike being wrecked, even though it wasn't his fault.
      Maeve: (after the punch) Well, how d'ye like that?! I save you from that brute McLanahan, and lose the best bike I ever owned in the process!
      Sean: Well, how d'ye think I feel? I save a body's life, and the only thanks I get is a punch and an earful o' grief!
      Maeve: ...Aye, that's a fair point.
    • Bobby Drake's one-time girlfriend Opal later became an uber-embodiment of this trope. Mecha-Yakuza, Phalanx, what have you. There was no threat Bobby and the X-Men could save her from that wouldn't earn her wholesale scorn.
  • Ms. Marvel (1977): Joe Danvers is such a sexist pig he complains about being saved by "a frail" and demands she return him right back to where she found him; about to be shoved off a tall building by a supervillain, simply because it offends his pride to be saved by a woman. The woman, his own daughter, punches him out rather than let him die from his own stupidity.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic the Comic Tails would often get complaints from people who wanted Sonic to rescue them instead.
    • In the Sonic X comic, after Sonic saves about a dozen or more people from getting killed by missiles, a Rich Bitch called Milan whines about him letting her father's limousine get stolen by Decoe and Bocoe.
  • Spider-Man: "Threat or Menace" has been the headline of every issue of the Daily Bugle for the last 40+ years, and it has been justified on maybe 2 occasions when Chameleon or Venom shows up. The rest of the time it just doesn't make sense, especially after big events like Maximum Carnage.
  • In Spider-Man Noir, Spidey shoots the Vulture to save Aunt May's life. May's reaction is that by running around in a mask shooting people, all he's doing is perpetuating the cycle of violence.
  • Superman:
    • In Supergirl (2005) #34, Supergirl saves Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant from being hit by falling debris. Unfortunately, Cat accidentally gets bruised when Jimmy lands on her. Cat became so irate that she devoted herself to wage a smear campaign against Supergirl.
    • How Luthor Met Superboy: When Superboy saves teenager Lex Luthor from being burned alive, his (until then) friend yells at him because Superboy accidentally destroyed his experiments and his hair as rescuing him from a burning lab.
  • In Land of the Black Gold, Abdullah reacts really badly to being rescued by Tintin. Besides continually running off and playing silly games, he screams nonstop when Tintin corners him and bites Tintin's hand when he tries to gag him with it. He goes on to tell Tintin at length about how his papa the Emir will surely have him tortured to death for abusing him when they haven't even reached safety yet.
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Officer Isabelle Modini tears into Wonder Woman after Wondy's rescue of her left her with potentially career-ending injuries. She then goes on to explain she's thankful Wondy kept her from going splat, but is furious that Wondy left her dangling while talking down the drug addict that shoved her out the widow, since she feels druggies are all completely worthless scumbags incapable of turning their lives around. Modini eats her words when that same addict dies saving her life.

    Fan Works 
  • In How To Drill Your Way Through Your Problems, Alice is extremely ungrateful to Lagann when he saves her from her apartment, which had been firebombed by nazis, and she was trapped under a fallen cabinet, calling him out that while yes, he saved people, he neither stopped the nazis that did it in the first place, nor did he prevent the building from being destroyed or the fire from spreading. She's more appreciative later, since she's actually Bakuda and Lagann rescues her from Lung's captivity.
    • Played with after the Uber and Leet fight, when Miss Militia does congratulate Lagann and Mouse Protector, and is grateful that they kept her safe when the battle was raging around them, she explains that the job of a hero is to try to de-escalate things, and not to start a giant robot brawl that takes out most of the block.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • Due to Chloe's Fantastic Racism towards humankind, she cannot bring herself to appreciate Kyril's efforts to save her and her liege, Olga, from the Black Dogs' clutches. The thought of stabbing him with a knife comes to her mind for more than a couple of times. To her, Kyril is a "filthy human" who assisted the Black Dogs to kill and imprison her fellow dark elves.
    • While Olga does not share the above sentiment, she's not thankful to Kyril for fetching her servant back to her in the remastered version, because the Adaptation Expansion has Kyril beat Olga in a fight and throw her in a cell, which results in her Adaptational Jerkassery.
    • For a wordless example, several villagers in Chapter 1 of the remastered version are not happy with how Alicia has arrived late to save two more from defilement and death.
  • Justified in Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, since the Badass in Distress is unaware of the person's Heel–Face Turn, making them a Terrifying Rescuer. Sarah burned a third of her galaxy trying to stop the Flood, so even prideful Aria is afraid of Sarah. That the Siren has changed is not known initially. Later lampshaded by the rescuer in question.
  • In Shinobi of the High Seas, Jewelry Bonney complains endlessly after Naruto's crew save her from Akainu, right up until they offer to tie her to a cannonball and return her. This is part of why one of Naruto's crew hypothesizes that Bonney is actually a child who aged herself to adulthood.
  • In one story of the Facing the Future Series, Paulina allowed herself to be captured by Walker's forces so that Danny Phantom would save her. Much to her disappointment, Sam Tasma came.
  • The Way, Truth, and Light: When Olga Marie is being chased by a squad of Dragon Tooth Warriors, Ritsuka saves her by getting their attention and making them chase him instead. After they are dealt with and they regroup, instead of thanking him, she calls him a coward because she only saw him running away. After the others clarify what he did, she spends a lot of time complaining about her only help being an incompetent fool who doesn't know about the supernatural.
  • Zig-Zagged in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Characters periodically feel the urge to complain about other characters doing things on their behalf without their permission; Hermione in particular is often at the butt of a rescue she doesn't approve of, due to Harry's often-problematic methods. She does forgive him for bringing her back to life and turning her into a Sparkly Unicorn Princess, though.
  • In Oh God, Not Again!, Ginny was quite put out by the lack of heroics involved in Harry's defeat of the basilisk (which consisted of Harry pulling out a rooster and letting it crow, making the basilisk drop dead). She's further annoyed when Harry mentions that the book Lockhart's going to write about the experience is going to be, um, embellished.
  • In BURN THE WITCH, Lila shows no appreciation whatsoever for any of Marinette's efforts to protect her from Witch Hunter and her ever-growing angry mob. So far as she's concerned, Marinette should stop acting like such a "goody-two shoes". She's also less than enthusiastic about the prospect of being saved by Ladybug, whom she considers to be even more self-righteous than Marinette.
  • Feralnette AU has a Downplayed example when Ladybug saves Alya from White Knight. After she lures the akuma away, Alya mutters that it "Took her long enough" to show up, before turning around and reassuring Felix that it's totally okay for her to continue endangering herself and others Going for the Big Scoop because "Ladybug always saves the day".
  • Hop to It has Chloé's reaction to being rescued by Rabbit when her penthouse is being attacked by Sequana, refusing to go with anyone other than Ladybug. Rabbit ignores her and simply picks her up and leaves. Chloé later refuses to give Rabbit any credit for it when she's brought to her father.
  • Androgyninja's A Drop of Poison: Sasuke refuses to admit that he actually needed Sakura's help during the bell test, even after she digs him out of the earth.
  • Five Petals: When Lee arrives to aid him against the Sound Trio, Sasuke responds by mocking him, then cricitizing his choice of technique. Lee responds by offering him The Unsmile as he notes "Oh... Sasuke Uchiha, I do not like you."
  • In Team 8, Hanabi, after being rescued by Naruto's team, is completely ungrateful toward her rescuers, and mocks her older sister Hinata for being the first to get knocked out, even though her actions had been necessary to stop Hanabi's kidnappers from escaping.
    Naruto didn't say anything, but he could feel his upper lip curling. Hinata really had saved their butts... so why was her sister being such a brat about it?
  • Neon Metathesis Evangelion: Asuka and Rei have just saved the entire city once again! The angel is dead! They even managed to have it safely explode up a hill, away from the city! Everyone lives! People cheer... except, no. Instead, when the angel exploded it made the two Evangelions land in a less than graceful manner. And apparently that means the pilots did bad. Unlike in canon with Asuka and Shinji, here Asuka calls this out and rants about that nonsense in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • A Professor and a Student: Delia gave Ash a major chewing out and called him selfish after they escaped the Unown. While Delia knows that Ash was trying to do the right thing by saving her, she was mad because he put his own life at risk. Due to this incident, Ash completely stopped discussing any of his adventures with her.
  • In Sylvia the Sylveon, this is how Alseides, one of Sylvia's brothers, responds when she saves him from being used in Beastly Bloodsports.
  • In With Strings Attached, the four rescue 40 people from being shrunken playthings, but the people aren't happy because they were transferred to another universe in the process. Continued in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World; nothing the four do to save anyone is properly appreciated; quite often their actions result in fines, admonishment, or attempted lynching. The best result boils down to "Thank you, we have no more work for you at present."
  • In Saving Sodor, the trucks save Duck from Diesel 10 by making him crash through a fence and slide down a slope. When Diesel 10 leaves, Duck snaps at the trucks for making him crash, but he thanks them for saving him after they point out that he would have been destroyed if they hadn't made him crash.
  • Things Jade Hates: Jade gets upset with Beck for calling the police on her mother, believing that he robbed her of personal agency in the process.
  • In With This Ring, he's not vocal about it, but Paul finds the whole EMP generator pulse with Red Torpedo and Red Inferno a bit... worrying.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, when Pacha rescues Kuzco from a pack of angry jaguars, but accidentally gets them both tied around a tree trunk. Suspended above a ravine.
    Kuzco: Maybe I'm just new to this whole rescuing thing, but this, to me, might be considered kind of a step backwards, wouldn't you say?
    Pacha: No, no, no. It's okay. This is all right. We can figure this out.
    [tree starts breaking]
    Kuzco: ...I hate you.
  • In Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ellie's reaction to Manny saving the group from an aquatic predator is to call him out for facing the threat head-on rather than trying to run away, as befits her mentality as a "possum".
    Ellie: That was the bravest thing I've ever seen.
    Manny: Oh, it was nothing, I just-
    Ellie: Oh no, it's not a compliment! To a possum, bravery is just dumb! ... Maybe mammoths are going extinct because they put themselves in danger too often. Maybe you should run away more.
  • In the beginning of the The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible stops a train from flying off the tracks after a bomb explodes in front of it. Unfortunately, the sudden stop gives all the passengers whiplash, and they sue (jointly with the "victim" of an Unwanted Rescue). This sets off the plot; after that incident, people all over the country start blaming Supers for anything they can, and the government creates a "Supers Relocation Program" to hide them. Mind you, Bob did cause numerous injuries, but the alternative was to just let the train crash and kill everyone.
  • In Justice League: War, Green Lantern rescues a woman in Gotham City from a parademon. After depositing her on a roof, she asks him how much her "rescue" is going to cost. When her show of ingratitude prompts the superhero to fly away, she shouts "And how am I supposed to get down from here now?"
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, after Kovu has just saved Kiara from the wildfire:
    Kiara: Where am I?
    Kovu: You're safe, in the Pride Lands.
    Kiara: The Pride Lands? No! Why'd you bring me here? Who do you think you are?!
    Kovu: I think I'm the one that just saved your life!
    Kiara: Look, I had everything under control!
    Kovu: Not from where I'm standing.
    Kiara: Then move downwind.
  • In Oliver & Company, the dogs think they're "rescusing" Oliver from Jenny's house not realizing he's happy there with her. Oliver isn't happy with them about this.
  • In Shrek, Fiona is initially impressed with her rescue, but becomes quickly petulant when Shrek refuses to take off his helmet and kiss her, denies being her true love, mocks her naivete, and finally disappoints her by turning out to be an ogre, rather than a prince or at least a knight. This is somewhat understandable, as her parents apparently viewed locking her up in a tower as akin to a dating service or getting an Mrs. degree from an Ivy League school. Her peril seemed to be more on the order of a professional hazard than a truly existential threat.
    Fiona: This isn't right! You're supposed to charge in, sword drawn, banner flying! That's what all the other knights difrod!
    Shrek: Yeah! (looking at some charred remains nearby) Right before they burst into flame!
    Fiona: That's not the point!
  • Toy Story 2: When Buzz, the other Buzz and the rest of Andy's toys find Woody and come to free him from Al's apartment, Woody claims that he has no intention of returning to Andy after he heeded Pete's advice to simply be preserved in a museum in Tokyo (Pete manipulated Woody into thinking he's getting too worn out to be played with). Buzz retorts that Woody won't ever be truly loved by a child as an exhibit so much as a toy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Charge at Feather River, both the McKeever sisters complain when Archer and his men rescue them from the Cheyenne camp: Anne because she feels that she cannot return to white society because she has been Defiled Forever, and Jennie because she has gone native.
  • Trashy Taiwan Indy Jones rip-off Treasure Hunter (2009): female lead resents being rescued by male lead, simply because her father does not come with the rescue party.
  • In Forrest Gump, Lt. Dan Taylor doesn't take it well when Forrest rescues him, partly because he had a family member who died in every American war and felt it was his duty to follow suit, but mostly because his lower legs still had to be amputated and he struggles so much to adjust to living as an amputee that he comes to see it as a Fate Worse than Death. He eventually gets over this.
  • Subverted in Hancock, when the eponymous jerkass hero saves a man from being hit by a train by flipping his car over onto the next and derailing the train. Most of the bystanders are irate, but the rescued man points out that Hancock just saved his life! Of course... he could have done a better job. Or a good job, even. It should be noted that by that point, everyone had a good damn reason to be irate at him, even without a rescue.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
    Harry: Promise me something.
    Dobby: Anything, sir.
    Harry Potter: Never try to save my life again.
    • Very justified in that (A) Dobby's method of "saving" Harry was rather destructive, leading to a broken arm (followed by an arm with no bones thanks to a particularly incompetent teacher) at one point, and (B) it was said in jest.
    • This becomes Harsher in Hindsight when Dobby sacrifices himself to save Harry in Deathly Hallows Part 1.
  • The Hot Rock: When Dortmunder and Kelp break Greenberg out of prison, Greenberg complains that they should have brought a ladder with them because he can't climb a rope.
  • In Hudson Hawk, after the title character saves the blooming love interest from a falling stone horse, she tells him he didn't have to do that. "It's what any hero would do." "No, I mean you didn't have to knock me over like that and tear my dress." - but she was only teasing.
  • In Maleficent, the titular character meets her Dragon by saving him from getting beaten to death. She does this by turning him from a raven into a man, scaring off the farmer (who screams "demon!" and runs). What's his response to this?
    Diaval: (looks down at his new body in horror) What have you done to my beautiful self?
    Maleficent: Would you have preferred I let them beat and kill you?
    (Beat, as Diaval once again looks over himself)
    Diaval: (flatly) I'm not certain.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail Sir Galahad stumbles into the Castle Anthrax where he's told: "Oh, I am afraid our life must seem very dull and quiet compared to yours. We are but eight score young blondes and brunettes, all between sixteen and nineteen-and-a-half, cut off in this castle with no one to protect us. Oooh. It is a lonely life: bathing, dressing, undressing, making exciting underwear. We are just not used to handsome knights. Nay. Nay. Come. Come. You may lie here. Oh, but you are wounded!" Then Sir Lancelot "rescues" him.
  • In Rambo IV, after Rambo mows down a group of pirates, one of the aid workers whose life he just saved tells him that it's not OK to take a life, even in self-defence. When his conviction is put to the test, the man beats one of the bad guys to death with a rock rather than let him kill him.
    • Notably the female aid worker (who is the only friendly one) insists what happened was horrible but necessary, and that they have to keep going.
  • Rogue (2020): Initially, Tessa and Chloe spend a lot of time whining at the mercenaries who freed them: despite Sam point out they are not even the people they were hired to rescue, and they are only extracting them because it is the right ting to do.
  • Rush Hour: When Carter and Lee finally manage to save Soo Yung, a task that involves fighting through an army of mooks, the Big Bad, The Dragon, disarming a bomb, and surviving a near-death fall from the top of a building, the first thing she says to Lee is "What took you so long!?"
  • In Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, Holmes has been tied up, gagged and stuffed inside a sea chest to be thrown overboard. Watson and Lestrade chase away the henchmen who were carrying the chest.
    Holmes: You needn't have yelled at them so abruptly. They dropped me on my head. Moriarty would have been delighted.
  • Spaceballs:
    Vespa: I will not be rescued in such filth.
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Spock initially feels that his shipmates, being the illogical humans they are, made a huge mistake in saving him because his one life would not seem to be worth the costs they incurred along the way (at least one other life — that of David Marcus — plus the destruction of the Enterprise and putting all their careers in jeopardy). To be fair, he's running almost entirely on logic at this point because his more abstract memories are returning more slowly — and from a pure logic point of view, he's not entirely wrong. It takes the crisis facing Earth and the time travel adventure to save it capped with a reconciliation with his father for Spock to accept that his crewmates made the right decision to save him and in the process save McCoy as well.
    • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk and McCoy are on the verge of being executed after a staged escape when Kirk demands the name of whoever wants him dead. The Prison warden decides since they are both about to die, it wouldn't hurt to let them know. Cue transporters from Spock and the Enterprise.
      Warden: Well, since you're all about to die anyway, why not tell you. His name is—
      [cue transporter beam]
      Kirk: Oh! Not... SON OF A—-
      [Klingon prison guards fire wildly to no avail]
      Kirk: [back on the Enterprise] —OF A BI... BI... BI... Dammit to hell! Of all the... Son of a — Couldn't you have waited two seconds?
      Spock: Captain?!
      Kirk: He was just about to explain the whole thing!!!
      Chekhov: ... You vant to go back?
      Kirk: It's cold !!!
  • Star Wars: A New Hope. "Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, your highness." Though she was pointedly critiquing their lack of planning rather than something irrelevant. It's not much of a rescue if everyone dies on the way out. (Or perhaps Leia believes that a space pirate and a farm boy don't appreciate just what they've gotten themselves into, and ignorantly believe they're on a fantastic adventure.) Interestingly, Han in turn gripes about the results of Leia subsequently pulling their fat out of the fire — granted, they're in a dianoga-infested trash compactor... and it's been turned on...
  • In Streets of Fire, Ellen Aim is furious that Tom only rescued her for money.
  • The Suicide Squad has a Black Comedy version. After being ordered to rescue Colonel Flag, our heroes sneak into a jungle camp silent-killing everyone they see, burst into a tent...and find Flag happily drinking tea with the Rebel Leader. Turns out they just killed the good guys. Oops!
  • Both Lois and Jimmy do this in Superman: The Movie
    Lois: The trouble with men of steel is that there's never one around when you want one.
    Jimmy: Thanks a lot Superman! You leave me in the middle of nowhere...
  • In Titanic (1997), Rose DeWitt Bukater's mother, Ruth, wishes for the lifeboats to be seated according to class while the ship is sinking, and hopes they aren't too crowded. Rose understandably gets pissed and delivers a talk-down that leaves her mother dumbfounded.
  • In Top Gun: Maverick, Maverick gets shot down trying to save Rooster's plane, but Rooster returns to rescue Maverick from an enemy helicopter before getting shot down himself. Maverick gets pissed that Rooster would risk his life once more despite Maverick's efforts. It is ultimately inverted in the end once Maverick and Rooster make it back to their carrier safely and Maverick thanks Rooster for saving his life.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Bumblebee rescues Sam and his family from every appliance in their kitchen (animated into feral Transformers) and for his trouble is essentially sent to his room — just because he happened to blow up part of the house.
  • Tumbleweed: When Tigre comes to break Jim out of jail, Jim complains that fleeing is just going to make him look guilty. Tigre replies that Jim doesn't have much choice now that he (Tigre) has killed a deputy.
  • The Villain: Cactus Jack, after his horse Whiskey saves him from being blown up. In fairness, Whiskey accomplishes this by kicking Jack out of range with his back feet.

  • Subverted in Yaoi Genre Ai no Kusabi when Riki does this late in the story during an Unwanted Rescue. His ex-lover Guy "rescues" him by kidnapping him back from his captor Iason who had been keeping him as a sex slave. Only by this point, Riki has fallen in love with Iason and completely rejects Guy's attempt to save him but as a means to protect Guy from Iason.
  • Conan the Barbarian: In Robert E. Howard's Shadows In The Moonlight, Olivia talks of the dangers of Conan's proposed route, and he reminds her that she asked to be taken along; she admits it would be better than her fate if she stayed.
  • Discworld:
    • In The Light Fantastic, Cohen saves a girl from being sacrificed at a tribal altar. Only afterwards does she tell him that now she's missed her chance to be with the moon goddess drinking mead out of a silver bowl, rather than dealing with Rincewind, Twoflower and Cohen's bad back. Not to mention all those years she spent protecting her virginity have now been wasted. She eventually comes around once she falls in love with Cohen (though she's gone by the next time Cohen shows up, as is traditional for barbarian heroes).
    • In Wintersmith, Tiffany thinks that if Annagramma were drowning and you threw her a rope, she would complain it was the wrong colour. Downplayed, because this never actually happens and adds to the already-too-long list of reasons to hate Annagramma.
  • Subverted in The Divine Cities. Knowing how defensive the Continentals are when it comes to anything Divine, Shara expects the locals to be furious when they kill Urav, a god-created tentacle monster that was attacking the city and devouring dozens of people. She's quite surprised when the populace hails them as heroes, showing they aren't all the irrational zealots she thought they were.
  • Gulliver's Travels: When the Lilliputian royal castle catches fire, Gulliver extinguishes the flames by urinating on them. The Empress is too disgusted to be grateful.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: Back when Alberich was a Karsite officer, he saved a village from being destroyed by bandits. The local priests realize that he knew the village needed to be saved because he had forbidden psychic powers and order him to be burned at the stake.
    • Alberich himself does a little complaining after he is rescued from the aforementioned punishment by his fated Companion and hauled off to Valdemar, he gets over it fairly quickly though.
  • The dwarves from The Hobbit complain bitterly about Bilbo shutting them up in barrels and floating them down a river as a means of busting them out of jail. Granted, that is a very uncomfortable (not to mention dangerous) means of escape, but Bilbo, who is at this point sick and cranky, is not taking any of their crap.
  • Played for Drama in Jack Higgins' novel In The Hour Before Midnight. A team of mercenaries is hired to rescue a financier's stepdaughter from a Sicilian bandit. When the protagonist comes across her bathing in the stream without a guard, she pulls a gun on him. Is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome? Nope — her stepfather wants her dead for the inheritance and the bandits have been promised a cut if they protect her. The protagonist has an Oh, Crap! moment as he realises his own commander had to have known this, and he's also been set up to be killed.
  • Sometimes happens for no specified reason in The Knight in Rusty Armor. "You can't please everyone" thinks the rescuing knight.
  • R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt novels:
    • In Streams of Silver, while Drizzt, Wulfgar, Regis and Bruenor are running from a bunch of trolls and Gaia's Vengeance, Bruenor trips and Wulfgar picks him up and starts running again. After narrowly escaping, Bruenor angrily asks Wulfgar where his axe is, followed by Drizzt sarcastically reprimanding Wulfgar that he should have taken the axe and left Bruenor behind.
    • In The Dark Elf Trilogy Drizzt has to run from his kind and was almost hunted down, shortly after (and because of) saving a young moon elf girl while participating in surface raid. He plausibly faked killing her to do so and even this bluff was very close to immediate failure. Ellifain Tuuserail turned out to be less than happy with it, especially because she remembered it poorly and was convinced that Drizzt had slain her mother. Later she tried to kill him (almost successfully).
  • Malus Darkblade: Malus encounters another druchii assaulted by an entire mob and rescues him, because he needs some directions. The druchii, being a worshiper of Khaine, considers this rescue a grave insult and immediately attacks Malus. Then it gets weirder. Malus incapacitates the zealot but is then confused as to what to do with him, as clearly neither the threats of death nor torture are going to work - in fact the zealot is screaming for Malus to kill him. In desperation he threatens to spare the wounded druchii and even treat his wounds. The zealot is utterly horrified that a fellow druchii would ever sink that low and instantly spills the beans.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Prince of the North, Gerin the Fox rescues the oracle Selatre from monsters. Trouble is, she was unconscious so he had to carry her — and she has an extreme form of Virgin Power: merely being touched by a man is enough to strip her of her prophetic ability. When she wakes up, she's as horrified as if he'd literally raped her. In her defense, what distresses her isn't losing the power to prophesy, but losing the constant psychic connection to her god.
  • The third Rogue Warrior novel, Task Force Blue, opens with Marcinko and his SEALs storming an airliner full of hostages, including the Secretary of the Navy. After the rescue, the Secretary treats the SEALs as loose cannons to be reined in. The reason? In the course of the rescue, Marcinko shot her bodyguard... who had been waving a gun around and didn't drop it when confronted by the rescue team.
  • The Ruins has one incredibly long example of this trope. Never mind the fact that Jeff is trying to keep everyone alive. Amy whines constantly about the fact that he occasionally needs her help to do things, that he's rationing food and water, that he tried and failed to save Pablo after the vine eats his legs, or that he doesn't always put her comfort first. At least Stacy and Mathias will do what Jeff tells them to and come up with their own plans and Eric has the vine in him, so he's kinda got an excuse, but not Amy. The endless whining makes her death a LOT less sad and depressing than say Stacy's, Eric's or Jeff's?
  • The first book of The Scholomance series begins with Galadriel 'El' Higgins seething about how Orion Lake's habit of rescuing everyone in sight is interfering with her hopes of demonstrating enough mystic ability to secure the allies needed to graduate the titular Wizarding School in one piece. Oddly enough, her lack of fawning gratitude is the heart of what makes her Orion's first actual friend.
  • Present in Snow-White and Rose-Red. The girls repeatedly save the dwarf from certain death, but each time it requires that they cut off another piece of his precious beard. Guess which part of the rescue he cares about more. Of course, the dwarf's actually an evil bastard whose magic power is all in his beard.
  • Spice and Wolf: When Holo is captured by the Medio Company, which threatens to turn her over to the Church, Lawrence talks the Milone Company into sending some of their own bruisers to rescue her. She is furious that he didn't come to get her himself... especially since she gave the first rescuer through the door a big hug (and maybe, she implies, said something a bit intimate) before realizing he wasn't Lawrence.
  • In one story from Starfleet Corps of Engineers, the Da Vinci is blocked by space pirates from rescuing a group of miners, and only makes it by turning the mining technology they were delivering into makeshift weapons. Most of the miners know the difference between being dead with intact supplies or being alive without, but one doesn't and must be shouted down.
  • Ben Shapiro's True Allegiance contains this mixed with Strawman Has a Point. After Gen. Brett Hawthorne is kidnapped by terrorists and held captive in Iran, he sends a coded message to the U.S. containing his coordinates and the word "airstrike." Instead of going through with the airstrike, President Prescott opts to instead launch a rescue mission that successfully rescues Hawthorne. After being rescued, Hawthorne calls Prescott a coward for not going through with the airstrike plan. Prescott, however, makes multiple extremely salient points against the airstrike plan. Namely that the jet could have been intercepted by Iran, the target was too small to reliably hit with a missile, they had no way of knowing if the coordinates were even correct, and it would have been foolish to commit an act of war against Iran over one captured general.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time:
    • When Mat Cauthon frees Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve from their cell in the Stone of Tear, they berate him for his language, manhandle him with the One Power, and walk off without him. Their reaction to his flippant comments was in part thanks to being frayed from a rough interrogation and the looming threat of being forcibly turned to the Shadow by one of the Forsaken; all the same, they don't give him so much as a grudging apology until Aviendha takes them to task in a later book. Also worth noting is that while Nynaeve and Elayne's forced apologies are completely insincere at the time (they don't acknowledge that Avienda is correct, they just don't want her upset with them) they later both wholeheartedly acknowledge his worth either to himself (Elayne) or to someone else speaking ill of him (Nynaeve) whereas Egwene who was not present when Avienda confronted the other two never ends up addressing her own character flaws and keeps them throughout.
    • When Rand is rescued from the Aes Sedai kidnappers who were keeping him in torturous conditions, his first reaction to the Aes Sedai who had assisted in his release is to force them to kneel with the captives and swear fealty to him. Finding that their group had more channelers than the limit he had insisted on, just like the delegation that had smuggled in extras to overwhelm and kidnap him, overrode any gratitude he might have felt.
    • When Suian and Gawyn rescue Egwene from the White Tower after the Seanchan attack she berates them for potentially ruining her efforts to turn the Tower Loyalists to their side. It later turns out that her berating was unwarranted.
  • Warhammer 40,000: In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, Cain saves a regiment from an enemy ambush, only to have them complain because he damaged a holy temple's garden in the process.
    Asmar: We would rather have perished than have our survival bought at the price of blasphemy.
    Cain: We'll know better next time.
Of note is that Cain's regiment had already proposed their aid in replanting it, while Asmar's didn't.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Fractured House", Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse get into an argument about him storming a HYDRA safehouse to rescue her, as she feels he interrupted when she had the situation well in hand.
  • Angel
    • Played for Drama in "Judgment". Angel has just spotted the pregnant woman from Cordelia's vision when, out of nowhere, a crazed Prio Motu demon appears. A fight ensues and Angel breaks the demon’s neck. He reassures the woman that's it's dead. She starts to cry and kneels by the dead Prio's body. Turns out he was her protector. Whoops!
    • Gunn and his posse approach a yuppie who's about to get into his parked car. The guy immediately takes off running, shrieking, "Just take the car!", but runs head-first into a vampire. Gunn and his stake come to the rescue. Poof! Terrified, the yuppie scampers away, with Gunn shouting, "Uh, you're welcome?" after him.
  • Played for Drama in Arrow
    • In the finale of Season Two, Thea Queen is rescued from a Deathstroke Super-Soldier by her biological father, Malcolm Merlyn. Given that he's a supervillain responsible for hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in destruction, she rather understandably doesn't want much to do with him, and ends up shooting him a few times (he's wearing a Bulletproof Vest).
    • In "Suicidal Tendences", Task Force X rescues an American senator from terrorists who turn out to be mercenaries he hired; the senator was supposed to negotiate a peaceful solution to the crisis, getting himself some good publicity. Of course, now both the hostages and Task Force X know too much for that to happen...
  • The A-Team:
    • In "The Only Church In Town" the Mother Superior of the orphanage the team saves is quite unhappy with the Team's methods of driving off the bandits terrorizing them. This is because the bandits are just a small squad from a much larger gang and angering them means the rest of the gang will return and try to destroy the orphanage.
    • In "Harder Than It Looks" when the team rescues a girl from the terrorist group holding her hostage she fights them every step of the way and even holds them at gunpoint and demands they take her back. Her boyfriend is a member of the group, who has been questioning their methods and she knows the group's leaders are just looking for an excuse to off him. She's worried they'll think he helped her escape and kill him.
    • In "Deadly Maneuvers", Murdock borrows one of B.A.'s necklaces (a sharp crescent moon) to cut their ropes and free them. In the process he inadvertently implies that B.A. is fat and also accidentally breaks the gold chain to the necklace, both of which B.A. complains about.
    • In "Hot Styles" a large part of the plot revolves around the Damsel in Distress's unwillingness to let Face and his friends save her. It turns out the villain is also holding her young son, and she's afraid he'll be hurt if she tries to escape.
  • Awaken: Hye-won rescues Jung-woo when he falls over the stair-rails. Jung-woo isn't grateful because she pulled his hair in the process.
  • In Blackadder Goes Forth, Blackadder crashes his plane behind enemy lines and is captured by the Germans, where they force him to teach home economics to German schoolgirls. The Germans, playing on the British Stiff Upper Lip stereotype, consider this a Fate Worse than Death for their captives, whereas Blackadder sees it as a fantastic opportunity to escape the trenches. So when Flashheart pops up to save him and bring him back to the trenches, he's less than pleased.
  • In Season 3 of The Boys (2019), Hughie becomes an Empowered Badass Normal and saves Mother's Milk from a Russian trooper sneaking up on him. M.M. and the rest of the squad are more concerned with Hughie taking Super Serum without telling them (especially Butcher who explicitly told him not to), and are disappointed in him as they all feel No Man Should Have This Power.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • When Xander and Willow's cheating gets exposed after they get kidnapped and locked in an abandoned factory, only for their respective partners to burst in and find the two of them making out.
      Xander: And they burst in, rescuing us, without even knocking? I mean, this is really all their fault.
    • Played for Drama on the two separate occasions when the Scoobies resurrect Buffy after she dies, only to find she's less than grateful to be yanked out of Heaven and returned to the traumatic life of a Slayer.
    • And for laughs in Halloween; Buffy saves Xander from getting beaten up by Larry, and in return he spends the next few scenes complaining that she undercut his masculinity.
      Xander: A black eye heals, Buffy, but cowardice has an unlimited shelf life.
  • Cheers: The man whose life Eddie LeBec saves by pushing him out of the way of an ice resurfacer complains that in doing so Eddie threw out his thumb. Note that Eddie was killed doing this.
  • The Daily Show: Jon Stewart accused Wall Street of complaining about rescues they didn't like in reference to the trillion-dollar bailout, explaining the "rescuer-rescuee" relationship.
    Jon: I would suggest that you don't complain about whether or not you get a window seat on the rescue boat.
    • In fairness, to this day there are suggestions that letting Wall Street work its way through bankruptcy would have been the quicker and healthier option, rather than the Holding Out for a Hero that’s resulted.
  • In the cop TV show The District, Ella Farmer, on her way back from a lunch break, sees a man fall from a ladder, and when his breathing stopped she moved him to perform CPR. The move paralyzes him, and in response the family files a lawsuit against Ella.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The War Machines", when another man is hassling Polly, Ben tells him to stop. The other man picks a fight, and Ben does not retreat; the bartender has to intervene. Polly starts complaining, but Dodo urges that he was only trying to help.
    • In the climax of "The Web of Fear", the Great Intelligence tries to mind wipe the Doctor, who manages to Reverse Polarity the device so he can destroy the Great Intelligence instead. So he's understandably (but unjustifiably, as he never told anyone his plan) angry when his companions turn up to rescue him, smashing the device and enabling the Great Intelligence to escape.
    • In "The Mind of Evil", the Doctor is saved at the last moment from being shot by Mailer, the Master's current henchman. The Doctor responds with the classic line: "Brigadier! Do you think for once you could manage to arrive before the nick of time?"
    • In "Frontier in Space", the Master is rescued by his Ogron minions but he's not happy because one of the Ogrons is captured in the process, endangering his Evil Plan.
    • The Sixth Doctor has just found the Second and gotten him away from his kidnappers in "The Two Doctors":
      Sixth Doctor: I've come a long way for you.
      Second Doctor: Naturally. Don't expect any thanks.
    • Played for Drama in "The Waters of Mars". The doctor saves the crew of the first martian colony, despite history saying that they should all die (a fixed point in time, as it inspired the creation of Earth's galactic empire). In a conversation with the leader of the base, the Doctor gets dangerously close to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, declaring himself the "Timelord Victorious," the winner of the Time War. Time truly is his to do with as he pleases. She disagrees.
    • The Doctor's response to being rescued in "The End of Time" is "WORST. RESCUE. EVER!" Granted, he was strapped into a wheeled restraint chair. Rather than untying him, the rescuers opted to take him still tied to it and flee down a huge flight of stairs.
      Tenth Doctor: Not the stairs, not the stairs! Oh, oof, ow, oof, ah, ow, oh, ow!
    • In "The Time of Angels", Amy fears she will have to be left behind because she believes her hand is turning to stone. The Doctor bites her hand to prove the sensation is all psychological, and with the Angels advancing, they have this exchange:
      Amy: You bit me!
      The Doctor: Yeah, and you're alive.
      Amy: I've got a mark, look at my hand!
      The Doctor: And you're alive! Did I mention?
      Amy: Blimey, your teeth... have you got space teeth?
      The Doctor: Yeah, alive. All I'm saying.
    • In "Revolution of the Daleks", when Jack Harkness breaks the Doctor out of the asteroid prison she's been incarcerated in for decades, she wants to know how many crimes he committed as a Get into Jail Free ploy. Jack protests that she can hardly take the moral high ground when he's busting her out of prison (not to mention the Doctor was imprisoned for seven thousand offenses). When he teleports them directly into the TARDIS however, the Doctor awards him a gold star. In the same episode Jack Robertson also complains about his rescue, even though everyone would feel well justified about leaving him to the (non)mercy of the Daleks he was trying to cut a deal with by betraying the Doctor.
    • Justified in "The Halloween Apocalypse". The Lupari are the designated protectors of humanity from an upcoming apocalypse. The first of them to reach Earth saves his designated human by chopping down his front door with an axe, kidnapping him and locking him in an electrified holding pen, then destroying his home with a Booby Trap he sets for the Doctor. Needless to say no-one is happy about this, even after he explains his good intentions.
  • Game of Thrones: The episode "Spoils of War" ends with Bronn saving Jamie from being incinerated by Drogan by tackling him into a nearby river, the weight of his armor dragging them both under. The following episode, "Eastwatch", opens with Bronn dragging them both out of the water after having carried them downstream to safety... and the first thing Jamie says is a complaint about Bronn almost drowning him. It takes Bronn a moment to process the stupidity of that statement.
  • In the Game Shakers episode "Trip Steals the Jet", Trip's rich friends complain about everything on the flight back knowing the pilots have just bailed and Kenzie, Babe, and Trip must fly the plane by themselves. They don't even acknowledge that the trio have saved their lives.
  • Gilmore Girls briefly mentioned that Trix (the "original" Lorelai Gilmore) was rescued from her house during a harsh winter, but rather than being grateful, she was displeased that the rescueing team stained her carpet with snow.
  • In one episode of Help! I'm a Teenage Outlaw, after the gang rescues the hostage from the guards, she complains about the fact she has to be running and complains "this is the worst rescue mission, ever!"
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: In "Just Passing Through", Iolaus carries a boy out of a burning building, but the little Spoiled Brat complains that he wanted Hercules to save him, kicks Iolaus in the shin, and runs back into the building, forcing Hercules to save him.
  • In House, Cuddy's mother tries to sue the hospital after House saves her life. She claims it was over his methods, but it turns out she knowingly slapped them with a frivolous suit as part of a Machiavellian scheme.
  • In House of Anubis Nina did this to Fabian. The rescue? Saving her from falling into a bottomless chasm. The 'crime'? Accidentally kissing a girl he thought was her. Granted, it wasn't the smallest accident in the world, but he still didn't deserve to be yelled at for saving her life.
    Fabian: I...I saved you...
    Nina: Yeah? Well why don't you save the other girl in this dress?
  • An episode of The Jeffersons featured a white man who was insanely racist, and who George obviously was not fond of. However, he suffers from a life-threatening ailment to which George reluctantly saved him. Upon regaining consciousness, he learns what George did, and says, "you should have let me die."
  • The premise of one episode of Lois & Clark: Superman saves a musician from being crushed by a falling, oversized speaker... and the guy sues him for spraining his arm. The rest of the episode features a lot of people trying to cash in. At the trial, the court room is rigged with a C12 bomb, and Superman bursts through the ceiling to fly off with it, saving everyone... and the musician claims to have gone blind from getting plaster dust in his eyes. Finally his girlfriend gets fed up, reveals that he's just pretending to be injured, and tells him to lay off harassing the hero.
  • In an episode of MacGyver (1985), Angus and bounty hunter Frank Colton are saved from being "processed" on a conveyor belt by being shunted... into a container of fish. Frank's response? "Oh no! Fish! I hate fish!"
    • Of course, in this case Frank's deep aversion to fish conveniently leads up to his declaration that "the desert is more [his] speed." Considering that Frank Colton is played by Cleavon Little, this is most likely a fun Shout-Out to his best known role in a certain Mel Brooks comedy... (here's the theme music some of you are already humming along to.)
  • On an early episode of M*A*S*H, a small electrical fire breaks out in the OR. Trapper John takes a basin of water and throws it on the fire, extinguishing it. When Hot Lips rightly points out that he couldn't have easily known whether there was water or sanitizing alcohol in the basin (both would have been in the OR at the same time, and the latter would have caused the fire to have grown exponentially) and was taking a serious risk by grabbing the first basin in reach, he retorts by quipping "Maybe you'd like it better with the fire?"
    • There's also the fact that fighting electrical fires with water is very risky, as it brings the risk of electrocution.
  • Misfits:
    • Nathan complains after Super Hoodie saved him from the clutches of the Virtue Organisation, not because he didn't want to be rescued, but because he objected to being dropped unceremoniously on the floor afterwards (which anyone would be tempted to do after five seconds in Nathan's company).
    • In season 2, Nikki, after receiving a heart transplant that undoubtedly saved her life, decides that she hates her new heart ("take it out — I want a different one!")... because it teleported her right onto the corpse of it's previous owner! Understandable, but still a bit on the bitchy side.
      • Doubly so, since in addition to saving her life, the heart also (somehow) transferred it's former owner's ability to teleport to her. If it hadn't, she could have found her new heart randomly deciding to teleport itself out of her, which would have killed her instantly!
  • Once Upon a Time. Being, as she says, a good person, Emma doesn't hesitate to rescue Regina's ass from a fire, even though Regina fully expected to be left behind. No sooner are they safe (and in front of the press) than does Regina start yelling at Emma for not being considerate of her hurt ankle.
    Emma: Seriously? You're complaining about how I saved your life?!
  • Person of Interest. In the Batman Cold Open of "Liberty", John Reese somehow appears inside a Van in Black with several Cartel kidnappers about to shoot a hostage, and shoots them instead causing the van to crash spectacularly. Unsurprisingly, the victim flees, shouting that Reese is crazy. Reese grumbles that no-one ever says thank you, though at the end of the episode the Victim of the Week does just that.
  • Porridge: In the film episode, Fletcher and Godber accidentally get caught up in Oakes's escape plot, and unwillingly end up going with him. Oakes thinks he is doing them a favour, but Fletcher firmly tells him this is not true, because they have less than a year to go on their sentences. He persuades Oakes to abandon them in the road, leaving them to find their way back to the prison, and to break back in.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • "Psirens": While fleeing from shapeshifting monsters, the crew, upon letting Lister(?) back on board Starbug, discovers another Lister outside. Rather than risk leaving behind the real one, they let that Lister in, as well, and perform a series of tests to determine which one is which. The test that brings conclusive results? Give them both an electric guitar. The one that can actually play well is blasted to deathnote . Lister's reaction: "I resent this. I resent you saving my life in this fashion."
    • Kryten tries to get Rimmer acquitted of a life sentence in a penal colony through a defence based around the idea that Rimmsy is an idiot chicken soup vending machine repairman with a Napoleon complex that only someone even more idiotic could have appointed to a vital, crew-endangering position (and thus that person would be guilty instead). Rimmer complains all the way through, which Kryten just uses as evidence of Rimmer's stupidity.
      Kryten: A man of such awesome stupidity-
      Rimmer: Objection!
      Kryten: A man of such awesome stupidity that he even objects to his own defense counsel!
  • Kate from the third season of BBC's Robin Hood was the show's Designated Victim and Token Girl. Constantly getting captured, injured or wandering into trouble, Kate's defining attribute was her inexplicable ungratefulness whenever the outlaws dared to rescue her from torture, rape and/or death. Her attitude problem was probably the result of the writers attempting to make her a Plucky Girl that didn't need the help of any big strong men to save her, a trait that was completely undermined by the fact that she was a rather bitchy Faux Action Girl who was utterly incapable of doing it herself.
  • In Saving Hope, Dr. Goran's first surgery at the titular Hope Zion hospital involves doing an experimental procedure that could (and ultimately does) save the patients arm, instead of amputating it like the patient wanted. Dr. Goran tries to talk the patient out of his survivor's guilt (he was injured in war) so he won't feel like he needs to be punished by losing his arm but is unsuccessful and the patient ungratefully sues the hospital (and wins).
  • A variation in Scrubs: After Elliott saves a patient who was given three months to live, he sues her, claiming that the depression that followed his acceptance of his own mortality has ruined his life. It goes nowhere, though, after she and J.D.'s Girl of the Week give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Seinfeld: Jerry mentions this happening in one of his stand-up comedy bits involving Superman, theorizing this is why superheroes have secret identities, since their rescues are so often destructive.
    Jerry (voicing a complaining person): Yeah, Superman, thanks for saving my life and all, but did you have to come through my wall? I've got a security deposit here, what am I supposed to do?
  • In Smallville, there is a light-hearted example in "Noir" when Chloe is pushed off a balcony and Clark Super Speeds in just in time to catch her in a Bridal Carry.
    Chloe: You didn't have to wait until the last second, you know.
    Clark: What fun would that be?
  • Stargate SG-1
    • Daniel and Vala are cornered by the bad guys and Vala is accidentally shot. Vala's daughter Adria (also the Big Bad) springs into action to heal Vala's wound...when Daniel takes advantage of Adria's distraction to stun her and ensure their escape. Vala's response "You couldn't have waited until she finished healing me?!"
    • The Season 1 episode "Enigma" had the Tollan complaining about being rescued by SG-1, as they apparently had their own rescue ship coming.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Way of the Warrior", the Defiant saves the members of the Cardassian civilian government (Detapa Council), including Dukat, from a Klingon attack just before their ship dissolves into tiny little pieces. However, instead of being grateful for the rescue, Dukat rather complains about having to undergo bloodscreenings to verify his identity as a solid (non-shapeshifter). Which leads to this amusing exchange:
    Dax: Looks like I won, Benjamin. You owe me dinner.
    Dukat: And what is that supposed to mean?
    Dax: Captain Sisko bet me that you would thank him for the rescue before you started complaining.
    Captain Sisko: I lost.
  • Supergirl (2015): In the pilot, Kara decides to save a plane because her adopted sister Alex is in the plane. Alex tells her that she should not have made herself visible. And she gets complaints at a press conference that she scraped the bridge with the airplane wing (never mind that the plane was about to fly into the bridge.) The whole thing is meant to demonstrate that being a superhero isn't as easy as it looks.
  • Voyagers!: Cleopatra protests the slave's robe Bogg and Jeff throw over her to disguise her while they escape, despite the fact that she's now a target for the Roman Senate if she's recognized.
  • In The Walking Dead (2010), Michonne is notably angry on being rescued by the Governor and Merle, who notably pulled a gun on them while rescuing them, and dispatched two reanimated soldiers casually, while Andrea calls her on it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The usual intro for the very first ROH On HD Net of 2010 was delayed as the crew found Eddie Kingston laid out in the hallway of the arena and was delayed further still as he refused help getting up, much less medical attention. His was the first match of the night, which he insisted in going through with too.
  • When Ivelisse Vélez was not happy to see her boyfriend Jeremiah Crane in the Lucha Underground Temple when he saved her from Marty The Moth Martinez and La Mariposa. Velez had specifically instructed him not to enter, as doing so would mean they would inevitably have to fight one another. To put it lightly, Velez was more right than she knew, but whether or not what happened would have been worse than what the lepidoptera siblings would have done to her is unknown.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Jessica snaps at Hans for trying to help her off the floor, and would've gone on a longer tirade if she hadn't been interrupted. This is partly because Jessica is a jerkass, and partly because Hans is an ex-Neo Nazi who is disliked by most of his peers.
    • Jacob gets angry at the group of kids who try to help him after he suffers a Psychic Nosebleed, as he finds their help more troublesome than not. This causes tension with Irene, one of the kids who was trying to help him, which in turn causes him to panic that she has it out for him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In an Exalted supplement, a sidebar in the chapter about the conquered city formerly known as Thorns is entitled, "We Wanted To Be Saved... Just Not By You". Kind of justified, seeing as pre-conquest Thorns had been loyal to the Realm, the nation that most demonized the Solar Exalted, the default PCs, so they would perceive being saved by the Solars not as being liberated, but as going from being conquered by undead to being conquered by demons.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has Angron the Primarch of the World Eaters. Angron was a leader of rebel gladiators who freed themselves from their Neucerian slavers. The Emperor came to Angron when his army is about to be cornered by the Neucerian armies, offering him the chance to join his crusade. Angron refused, choosing to die along with his fellow warriors, so the Emperor decides to simply abduct Angron by teleporting him on his ship, leaving the rebels to be slaughtered by the Neucerians. Angron never forgave the Emperor for what he did since then, and his legion are one of the first to turn to Chaos in the Horus Heresy.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. In the Dungeon magazine adventure "A Hot Day in L'Trel", while the PCs are in the city of L'Trel they can rescue an unconscious old woman from the upper floor of a burning house. Six months later, the old woman will sue the PCs, claiming that they rescued her in a negligent manner and gave her a permanently injured back. L'Trel city law backs her up: it says that the fact that the PCs risked their lives to save her and that she would have died if she hadn't been rescued can't be used as a defense. The PCs will probably lose the case and have to pay thousands of gold pieces in damages, all of which they could have avoided just by letting her burn to death.

  • In Cactus Flower, Toni is at first annoyed at Igor for thwarting her suicide attempt.
  • In Shrek: The Musical, Fiona does this during "This Is How A Dream Comes True" when Shrek doesn't rescue her the way she imagined being rescued.
  • Wicked
    • The Cowardly Lion's reason for joining the witch-hunting mob — this after she saved him from sadistic scientists. In all fairness, there's a giant crowd hunting for blood. Claiming to hate Elphaba equals not dying. And he doesn't make light of the fact that he's a coward.
      Tin Man: And the lion also has a grievance to repay, if she'd let him fight his own battles when he was young he wouldn't be a coward today!
    • And the Tin Man himself — being turned into tin saved his life. Of course, given that when he woke up she was gone and the nearest person blamed it on her, he might just not know the whole story.

    Video Games 
  • In Mizuki's route in AI: The Somnium Files, she gets tear-gassed, Bound and Gagged, and left in a hollow speaker in her own home as a warning for Kaname Date to get off the New Cyclops Killings case. When Date finds her and rips the tape off her mouth, she immediately starts complaining about how late he was and how forcefully he ripped the tape off. He puts the tape back on before undoing the rest of her bindings.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Downplayed. After Raymond rescues an unconscious Ann from a collapsing building during her battle with Loki, she calls him arrogant for rushing headfirst into danger.
  • Due to being crazy, Orendi from Battleborn sees the past incident in which Marquis saved her as him having "abducted" and "enslaved" her. She expresses this in a couple of lines in the multiplayer modes.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures, one of the bonus levels you play as Edd and Eddy who have to go rescue Ed who's been taken prisoner by the robots on an alien planet. The evil robots imprison Ed inside an anti-gravity sphere protected by electricity, but then Edd shuts it off. Ed complains he was having so much fun floating around in there and wants to go again.
  • In Fallout 3, most of the science team act this way during the frantic escape from Project Purity, particularly Daniel Agincourt who accuses both the Lone Wanderer and their father of selling them out to the Enclave. The Lone Wanderer furiously replies that their father was one of the scientists the Enclave just murdered, causing him to hastily apologise and become marginally more helpful. The team do thank the Wanderer for saving them upon reaching the safety of the Citadel.
    • The science team were also guilty of this in the past. None of them trusted the Brotherhood of Steel, despite them being the only thing preventing the Project from being overrun with Super-Mutants on a daily basis. Naturally, when the Brotherhood withdrew their support for the Project, it was quickly abandoned and left to the Mutants.
    • Invoked in both directions during the Lone Wanderers first journey to the GNR building, with the Brotherhood of Steel insisting that they were rescuing "yet another idiot wastelander" from the Super-Mutants, despite the Lone Wanderer being equally as competent (if not more so) in the battle. Should the Lone Wanderer proceed to take down the Super-Mutant Behemoth with the Fat Man launcher, most of them are impressed enough to stop treating the Wanderer as a nuisance and finally admit that their help was invaluable.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • In some routes, Shirou horribly injures himself Taking the Bullet for Saber and Rin. They tend to berate him for being an idiot.
    • A big part of why Archer is so pissed off is because this is essentially every rescue for him. Nobody understands why he is helping people so he has very few friends and tends to make enemies when saving people. He was even put to death by someone he just saved because the disaster is blamed on him. At one point he rescues Shirou from Caster's temple; half of the rescue involves both of them telling the other to shut up and the other half is them calling each other idiots. That has shades of Hilarious in Hindsight because since Archer is future Shirou, even when rescuing HIMSELF he can't help but argue, and the two have the exact same reactions to things, albeit allowing for Archer's understandably more cynical take on things. Actually Averted in why Archer is pissed; Emiya Shirou goes to his death with a smile on his face, even executed by those he saved. What turned him into a Knight in Sour Armor was what happened after his death — an eternity of 'cleaning up' after the messes of other humans, which almost always involved murdering people, often complete innocents whose only crime was being turned into a zombie or whatever — a horrific mix of a Fate Worse than Death and Ironic Hell for someone who only wanted to see people smile.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, Michael's Spoiled Brat kids tend to have this attitude towards him killing people to save their lives (and put food on the table). Although to be fair, Jimmy says himself that despite knowing his dad used to kill people, it's another thing to witness it firsthand.
  • A recurring theme in Gravity Rush, but the most poignant example comes at the beginning, as Kat is learning how to use her gravity powers. A father asks her to rescue his son from danger. She does so...but couldn't save their house from falling. The father lambasts her for this despite her rescuing his son and after she leaves the father tells his son to never trust mutants like her (and he agrees).
  • This trope is pretty much the basis of the Heroes Rise plot. Two heroes accidently kill a dangerous criminal? They get life imprisonment. Another known hero who saved numerous people turns out to do something questionably moral? They are now a disgrace It also happens to the Player Character very often. You killed a terrorist to prevent a nuclear holocaust? You are now a fugitive. You jumped in front of the energy beam to save your friend? She still hates you if you had exposed her secret identity Were you a bit rude to other heroes while risking your life defending innocent people? Everyone hates you now. Even if you are a paragon of justice someone will still hate you for one reason or another.
  • In Hogwarts Legacy, Token Evil Teammate Sebastian Sallow uses the Imperius Curse to inflict Psychic-Assisted Suicide on a goblin about to murder his sister. His sister sees him as a Terrifying Rescuer and his ex-Auror uncle disowns him, stating that the Unforgivable Curses are called "unforgivable" for a reason and threatens to turn him and the Player Character as well in if he catches them doing it again.
  • Zote the Mighty in Hollow Knight. The Knight can find two opportunities to save this pathetic Jerkass. In one case, he squirms and grumbles helplessly where predatory monsters have left him All Webbed Up and will surely return to snack on him; in another a giant bug is already chewing him. And in each case, after he is cut free, he upbraids the Player Character for getting in his way. Zote seems thoroughly deluded that he is a mighty warrior who needs no help.
  • In Kane & Lynch Dead Men, Kane goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to rescue his daughter from The 7 ...only to have her point a gun at him and call him a murderer. If you choose to fly out in the helicopter, she complains that Kane is leaving his men to die. If you choose to rescue the men, she complains when she gets shot during the next level.
  • In King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, Rosella rescues a prince from a lifetime as a frog by kissing him and breaking the spell. Despite the fact that she is a princess, he takes one look at her disguise (a peasant girl outfit) and complains that he's been rescued by the wrong person.
  • In Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Batman doesn't appreciate it when Superman shows up to save him and Robin from the exploding Ace Chemical building and puts out the fire, both because he destroys all the evidence of Joker and Lex Luthor's break-in, and he and Robin would've survived the jump off the building, albeit with broken legs.
  • In Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon, the villains are performers who wish to turn Japan into a giant stage. After defeating them, Goemon and company are attacked by a mob of angry fangirls who liked the Peach Mountain Shoguns!
    Girl A: Hey! You guys! What did you do to Dancin'?!
    Girl B: The oh-so-beautiful song and dance of Dancin' and Lily...we won't be able to see them. Thanks to you! You little...
  • In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the Exposition Fairy Kersti gets stuck in a Scuttlebug's web. The only way to free her is to peel her off the web like any other sticker you find lying which point she immediately starts complaining that you weren't more gentle about it.
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:
      • In the Mos Espa level, at one point someone standing outside their apartment asks you to deal with the thieves inside. You need to do this in order to get through the apartment and find your way to Shmi and Anakin's slave quarters. However, the person asking you to help them is ungrateful and offers you nothing in return, instead complaining "It took you long enough... hope you didn't break anything."
      • In the Theed level of the same game, you are charged with protecting Queen Amidala. Occasionally, you leave her alone for a while and she inevitably comes under attack. You hear her cry for help, return and swiftly dispatch her assailants. Her way of showing her gratitude for your service to Her Majesty: a stern rebuke, "You're stepping on my dress!"
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Your efforts to rescue Bastila for almost the entire Taris arc. She breaks out just as you are about to free her, insists that she rescued herself, before berating the player on the sloppy job they've done so far, like not having found transport off the planet yet. (This can be avoided if you use certain dialogue options.) The Reveal puts this whole scene in a different light. It's one thing to be rescued by a nobody grunt, it quite another when it's an amnesic Sith Lord, the same one she helped capture a few months prior. Even more concerning was that Reven's "programming" seemed to be wearing off.
    • The sequel has Atton Rand's comment on this whilst on the Harbinger, culminating in his declaration that the Jedi Exile and Kreia are the two worst Jedi that he's ever met.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, Isamu rips you out for taking too long in saving him out of the Kabukicho Prison, making him look like an Ungrateful Bastard. There is a Dummied Out sequence which explains Isamu's attitude - the Psychologist Teacher he was fawning over had broadcast a message for the PC to come and save her from her imprisonment at the Obelisk - this making Isamu fall into Heroic BSoD as he realizes he was little better than a nobody in the Vortex World.
  • A more somber/tragic example is used in Silent Hill 2 where Angela is cornered by a monster and James saves her. Later on, Angela, who is completely broken and suicidal thanks to her Abusive Parents in the past, flatly thanks James for saving her and wishes that he hadn't done so. Because of her tragic childhood, Angela believes all the pain she's enduring is something she deserves.
  • Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon has you saving those Two Guys from Adromeda, and after breaking them out of Prison, fighting a Death Match with gigantic Rockem Sockem Robots, AND fighting a space dogfight, they complain about the lack of light speed and in flight entertainment.
  • An issue with Mary Jane in Marvel's Spider-Man and the reason she broke up with Peter in the back story. Peter's repeated rescues of her and his over-protectiveness leaves her feeling useless, comes to a head when he attempts to rescue her when she doesn't need it, stopping her from getting vital information from a contact. Their reconciliation comes when Peter starts accepting that she's going to do dangerous things for her job and she starts counting on him being there to rescue her.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon:
    • The Sheila side-mission in Sunny Villa is to rescue a Damsel in Distress at the top of a tower. However, once you battle all the Rhynocs to get to the top, she promptly tells you that she has a restraining order against the guy who asked you to rescue her in the first place.
    • Sheila and the other unlocked playables are a more justified example of the trope. After being charged to guard them by the Sorceress, Moneybags quickly offers to release them to Spyro. Since Moneybags only did it because Spyro could grant him a heftier sum of gems than the Sorceress however, they aren't impressed, and clobber him out of disgust the moment they are released.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, a rich businessman's kidnapped daughter trash-talks the player before she's even rescued. She quickly changes her tune if asked whether she'd prefer to stay with the Tong.
    Kiki: Oh, I'm so impressed. What? Like, you want me to thank you or something? In your dreams, asshole.
    PC: Close your food hole or you'll find yourself back in your cage.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, Sarge is shot in the head and is revived when Grif gives him CPR. When he's told that it was CPR that saved him, he thanks Simmons, thinking he was the one who saved his life. When Simmons tells him it was actually Grif who saved his life, Sarge immediately chided Grif about the idiocy of using CPR for a bullet wound to the head. "What would you do if I got shot in the foot? Rub my neck with aloe vera?" Guess how Doc tries to treat Caboose when he gets shot in the foot. Less successful results though, Caboose's toe falls off.
    • Also happens in season 9 where Church got pissed off that they rescued him from the memory unit after he'd finally found peace.

    Web Comics 
  • In Freefall, Mr. Kornada is upset about his rescue from a building being wrecked by a hurricane because his rescuers won't let him attend a meeting. He then proceeds to steal the headset of one of said rescuers and forces the other to leave her stranded in the flood, because himself getting to the city is of course more important.
  • Nodwick and his group have to rescue people like this a lot. One example, they rescued one rather obnoxious noble who cussed Piffany out for it. (Really bad idea; simply making her cry - which is what happened - seems to be enough to make Artax and Yeagar want to beat the crud out of someone. In fact, threats - or heavens forbid - physical harm - directed at Piffany is one of the few things that will make the two of them risk their own lives in a fight.)
    • And in another brief storyline, they had the old job of rescuing a princess from a dragon; it was rather easy, because the dragon actually begged them to take her from him, saying she was such a nag, she was driving him crazy. They quickly found out exactly why this was the case, and it wasn't long before they wanted to give her back to him.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. In the guest comic "Don't Fear the PEEPER", Wonderella pre-empts this trope by making her rescuees sign a non-liability agreement before she rescues them.
    Wonderella: Look, I'm doing you all a huge favor here, and I don't want to get sued cause one of you a-holes decides you didn't like the way I saved your life.
  • The Order of the Stick, Lien defies the trope when she is cornered by hobgoblins after she can't get her spear out of some goblins she killed. Durkon kills them with Thor's Lightning, and Lien gets singed a bit by accident. Durkon immediately apologizes for it, but Lien refuses to complain.
  • Pet Foolery: In "Rescue", an adventurer named Orin is chained up in a tower, condemned to waste away until death takes him. He hears his friend Starla calling to him from outside and is ecstatic that she has come to rescue him... although when she awkwardly warns him that she had to shapeshift into "something that you in particular find... unpleasant" in order to make her way up the outside of the tower, he suspiciously tells her to enter slowly. The second the first Giant Spider legs peak over the window ledge:
    Orin: NOPE! No no no! Don't you DARE come in here!
    Starla: Listen! Do you want to get rescued or not?!
    Orin: Nope! Just leave me here. I'd rather die.
    Starla: Oh stop being such a baby! I'm coming in and you're just gonna have to deal with it!
    Orin: No no no NO NO NOOOO! EW EW EW!!! STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!
    Starla: S-Stop kicking!
  • Rebirth: A bit more justified than most examples, but Neo angrily demands to know what the hell Noah was thinking cutting himself to save Neo from the undead at the mall. Noah seemingly not seeing anything unusual about what he did only makes Neo angrier.
  • Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance, after falling unconscious during his fight scene in "Dangerous Days", doesn't even let Torg finish telling him that Kiki saved Bun-Bun's life or that Torg himself killed the Big Bad. As The Big Guy of the strip, he can't handle being saved by two of its wussiest characters. "My fragile little mind is on the brink here, understand?"
  • Unsounded: Vanilla screams and hits Duane when he rescues her from being eaten and torn apart by the First Silver Weapon. Duane is a desiccated corpse, so her reaction is understandable.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Full-Tilt Tails", Tails tries to rescue a man who jumps out of an airplane. The man tells Tails that he was in a skydiving competition and Tails' rescue made him lose. Justified in that Tails didn't know the man was in a skydiving competition until after he told him.
  • From the Superman episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Lois Lane escapes Lex Luthor and while falling cries out for Superman. She opens her eyes to see Batman has caught her while Superman is fighting Luthor. She doesn't outright say it, so much as how she says it.
    Lois: Oh Batman... Gee thanks...
    • Also leads to Tornado Champion's Face–Heel Turn in "Hail the Tornado Tyrant!".
  • Ben 10: The group is about to die upon reentry from space when Ben changes into Cannonbolt and saves them. Gwen complains about the bumpy ride and the heat.
  • Monty of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers is given a cheese-attack-induced burst of energy by a fellow Ranger telling him they have cheese in order to get him to break out. Monty thinks that was a dirty trick.
  • Done in one Codename: Kids Next Door episode where Sector V goes to sabotage an award show for their Rogues Gallery, though notice Numbuh 1 hasn't arrived to take part. They do their preparations and are about to watch the fun when they see the villains have captured Numbuh 1 and dolled him up like an award. They race back to the show and, not being able to come up with a better plan on the time limit they have, just rush in and grab Numbah 1 before their sabotage activates. Course all Numbuh 1 cares about is how haphazard the rescue was, prompting Numbuh 5 to re-gag him in the middle of his tirade.
  • In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dee Dee manages to save Dexter from an alien prison (where he was about to be eaten by his cellmate) but he refuses to thank her, although he has sort of a good reason — it was her fault he ended up there.
  • Drawn Together: Xandir's girlfriend refuses to accept his rescue once she finds out he's gay.
  • One episode of The Fairly OddParents! has Timmy rescuing Trixie from an alien plant that he had gotten her as a gift earlier in the episode that has turned out to be not so harmless. Her response when he saves her:
  • From the first Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball episode when Chris (Luke Skywalker) tries to save Lois (Princess Leia):
    Lois (Princess Leia): Aren't you a little fat to be a stormtrooper?
    Chris (Luke Skywalker): Well, stay here and rot, you stuck-up bitch!
  • In an episode of Gargoyles, the eponymous creatures save some civilians from some extremist terrorists. The civilians react to the Gargoyles with horror and tell them to keep away. Brooklyn adds, dryly, "Don't gush over us or anything. It's kind of embarrassing." In all fairness to the civilians, from their perspective they've just seen a group of heavily armed men overpowered by winged monsters, and they have no idea if they're the next target.
  • In the "Sink the Montana!" episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, when Admiral Lattimer learns that he is due to retire, but his ship the Montana is to be sent to the scrapyard, he makes a Face–Heel Turn and joins forces with Cobra to save his ship. The Montana starts out being outfitted with a device that renders technology based ships unusable, so General Hawk undergoes a secret mission to borrow the Constitution from the bay, since it has no technology to destroy and is undetectable. Later on, when the battleship's firing mechanism controls are locked, the Armed Forces make the decision to destroy the Montana. Lattimer, who feels that his actions were disgraceful, tries to invoke Going Down with the Ship and die with the Montana, but Hawk will have none of it, and punches Lattimer unconscious to rescue him, with Lattimer lamenting that Hawk should have just let him die, and while the Joes are talking about what punishment Lattimer will receive, Hawk mentions that whatever disciplinary measures they have in store will pale in comparison to being permanently separated from his beloved ship.
  • Gravity Falls: Pacifica, being Pacifica, starts complaining while Mabel is untying her from what is essentially a death trap in "The Golf War". Her tone changes really quickly when Mabel threatens to leave her there.
    Pacifica: Took you long enough! And watch the earrings, they're worth more than your house!
    Mabel: You know what, on second thought, maybe I won't untie you.
    Pacifica: Untie me! Untie me!
    Mabel: That's what I thought.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Once an Episode, Jackie will insist Jade not follow him into a dangerous situation, Jade will do so anyway and wind up saving his life, and Jackie will chew her out for it. In this case the complains are based purely on Jackie's (usually misplaced) concern for his niece's safety.
  • Lucius on the Superhero Episode Jimmy Two-Shoes. Justified, since Jimmy, Beezy, and Heloise were fighting over who got to save him rather than, you know, actually saving him.
  • After Green Arrow saves both himself and Black Canary from being hit by an oncoming train in Justice League Unlimited, Canary gets pissed over leaving her motorcycle behind, at which Arrow responds, "Gee, you're right. I'm sorry I saved our lives."
  • Kim Possible saves Bonnie. Bonnie complains. Repeat. Lucky for everyone, Bonnie is seldom in distress.
  • In the "Kiss N' Tell" episode of The Legend of Zelda (1989), Zelda comes to the rescue of a random maiden being attacked by a Gleeok (three-headed dragon). Said maiden refuses Zelda's help, wanting to be saved by a "handsome hero" instead. Justified because she was actually a Gibdo in disguise and the whole thing was a trap to turn Link into an anthropomorphic frog.
  • In one episode of Little Wizards, our heroes have to rescue Gump from the gnomes of the Woolly Woods, who have mistaken Gump for their prophesied leader: Gump must either marry the gnome princess to cement his position, or be fed to the giant Gormalu as an imposter, with neither fate being very desirable for the young monster. But as the group tries to sneak out at dawn, Gump smells that the village is starting to cook breakfast and immediately wants to stay and stuff himself at the feast. Prince Dexter angrily grabs Gump and starts dragging him away, whereupon Gump howls so load in anger he wakes the whole village, who immediately give chase to rescue "The Wise One".
  • Mega Man: Fully Charged: Whenever Mega Man saves or assists Sgt. Breaker Night against a Robot Master attack, Night bitches and moans endlessly about being saved by a robot. The real reason he hates it when Mega Man helps him is because he arranged those attacks; he’s Running Both Sides and most of the Robot Masters actually work for him, so whenever Aki “saves” Night, he’s unknowingly screwing up a carefully arranged Xanatos Gambit.
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures episode "Don't Touch That Dial" put Mighty Mouse in a myriad number of ersatz cartoon shows, one of which was "The Jetstones," an obvious and grotesque mash-up of The Flintstones and The Jetsons. When Sol Jetstone plummets to the ground, Mighty Mouse flies into rescue him, leading to this exchange:
    Jetstone: Hey! What are you doing?!
    Mighty Mouse: Why, I'm saving your day.
    Jetstone: Well, put me down. I gotta finish my theme song.
    Mighty Mouse: Suit yourself. (drops him)
  • Standard procedure for Chloe in Miraculous Ladybug. Every time her attitude make her the target of the vilain of the week, which is often, Ladybug or Cat Noir have to save her, and she complain that they took too much time, or that her hairstyle is ruined, or something else.
  • In an episode of Samurai Jack, Jack and the Scotsman must rescue his wife from some robots. Upon their arrival in her cell, she begins berating them for being late. Then, due to a stubbed toe, she makes them carry her down the stairs, which is difficult, as she is almost twice as large as the two of them put together. On the way down, they must continually switch positions, as every method of carrying is either uncomfortable, embarrassing, or too dangerous. She manages to redeem herself somewhat by manhandling the entire army of robots "guarding" her all by herself after one of them calls her "the fat one". Of course, this begs the question of why exactly she needed rescuing in the first place...
    • In another episode, Jack's response to being saved by a mysterious woman is to interrogate her, demanding to know who she is and why she helped him. When she tosses back a sarcastic, "You're welcome," he finds his manners and apologizes. Of course, she's actually Aku in disguise.
    • Princess Verbina - when Jack gets her and her brother into a getaway car, she tells him to navigate while she drives. Justified, since Jack just demonstrated that he has no idea how to drive and nearly got them all killed.
  • Sea Princesses: After Polvina saves a sea bass from a diver's net in "The Ungrateful Fish", she's surprised to discover that instead of being grateful, it becomes very aggressive towards her.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Tarkin spends the entirety of the Citadel arc complaining about how the Jedi are handling his rescue. Ahsoka finds him incredibly annoying. Anakin befriends him.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "Fuel for the Fire", Kaz saves racer Jace Rucklin from his ship before it explodes due to the stolen hyperfuel Rucklin put in it. Afterwards, Rucklin is instead angry both that Kaz allegedly screwed over his chances of winning the race, ignoring that without Kaz's intervention he would be dead, and blames Kaz for the destruction of his racer, which he complains that he poured all of his savings into. Everything that happened to Rucklin was a result of his own actions, which doesn't stop him from vowing to get Kaz back for, you know, saving his life.
  • A subversion in Static Shock occurs when, in attempt to move a car and its occupant out of danger, Static accidentally flings it into the air as a result of his powers being far stronger than normal. When Static manages to return the car to the ground safely, the frightened driver does berate him for a moment, but then asks him to do the same thing to get him to where he was intending to go, claiming the city's traffic to be 'even scarier'.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Vic refuses to let the Turtles save him from the Kraang unless he gets his phone back.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Buster, Babs and Byron go over a waterfall when Superman suddenly flies in and catches them. The response:
    Buster: Hey pal, this is our story!
    Babs: Yeah, get your own video!
    Superman: It's your call! (drops them back down the waterfall)
    • Well, they were asking for it... Ironically, when they're in real danger:
      Babs: Where's Superman when you need him?
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The Taujeerian leader says that they'd feel safer with five Paladins rather than four. To be fair, the other Paladins are in obvious agreement with him on the matter.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Epic Quest of Unfathomable Difficulty", shortly after rescuing the fair Princess Galactia, Wander and Slyvia then have to rescue the unfair Princess Veronicron.
    Princess Veronicron: Ugh, ya call this a rescue?
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Cheshire is captured and imprisoned by Red Arrow. When Sportsmaster comes to rescue her, she immediately starts griping at him and wondering why he had to be the one to come get her. Fridge Brilliance kicks in a few episodes later — Sportsmaster is Cheshire's father, whom she hates and ran away from home years before to escape. No wonder she wasn't happy he came to get her.
    • Dr. Serling Roquette is also fairly snarky about being rescued by Red Arrow in "Infiltrator"; mostly it has to do with the lack of fancy gadgets and being rescued by an ex-sidekick.

    Real Life 
  • This is why Good Samaritan laws exist. Not only do some people complain about being rescued, they sue their rescuer in court. While it is true that amateurs may not always succeed at emergency first aid, it is also true that in some cases Emergency Services simply cannot reach the victim in time. This does not even take into account cases where even successful treatment can lead to injury such as broken rib bones after administering CPR (which is almost guaranteed to break at least one rib when done properly) or the Heimlich maneuver.
  • The best way to open a person's airway to deliver rescue breathing involves moving the head. In a situation where the patient may have spine trauma, however, moving the head carries a risk of paralysis. For this reason, rescuers are trained to try to open the airway by manipulating the jaw bone—unless that doesn't work, in which case "life over limb" kicks in. There is a distant possibility that the patient (or his bereaved family) could try to sue because one or the other method injured someone, or didn't work.
  • This can crop up in a military mileu due to "life or limb" decisions. When a major artery in a limb is severed (or worse perforated) the loss of blood can rapidly exsanguinate a soldier. The most common treatment is a tourniquet, which was long thought to guarantee the loss of a limb. There are those who would rather die than live as a cripple and sometimes it's the medic who has to make the call without any knowledge of the soldier's wishes. Fortunately, in the last 10 years research has shown that limbs can survive tourniquet treatment for up to 45 minutes, so these situations are becoming less common.
  • Naloxone/Narcan is a powerful opiate receptor antagonist that is used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose, or, in plain English, instant buzzkill in a syringe. When EMTs administer it to people who have overdosed on heroin and the like, it's not uncommon to have to deal with one very pissed-off junkie, which is why most professionals restrain a person before administration or raise their oxygen levels a bit beforehand so the shock isn't quite as severe when they come out of it. It's something of a newbie rite of passage to get clocked by someone coming out of it kicking and screaming since if done properly it can take effect way faster than you think.
  • EMTs are trained to expect situations where patients have signed DNRs, but the family is insisting that he/she had changed her mind. Most teachers advise that when in doubt, one should treat, because no one has ever won a lawsuit for being wrongfully kept alive (but people have tried).
  • Heck of a rescue, Mr. President. For extra irony, the one who was complaining about it was himself criticized for his slowness in responding, while his critique is that the response was too fast.
  • Something like this seems to have happened insurance company AIG, who attempted to sue the Government for bailing it out only to later withdraw the complaint amid public backlash. In this case it's not the fact that they were bailed out so much as some of the specifics. This incident in particular was mocked by The New York Daily News, which ran an editorial cartoon in which a lifeguard saves a drowning man with "AIG" on his belly. When the lifeguard asks the man how he feels, the victim says, "like suing you."
  • Julius Caesar, while being held hostage by pirates, was insulted by the fact that their ransom demands were so low. He claimed he was worth more to Rome than their demands and thus demanded they ransom him for a higher price. Not an uncommon move for The Caligula. He also promised them that he would hunt them down and kill them. They thought he was kidding. He wasn't.


Rescuing A Venusian

A Venusian senator proves un-cooperative during his own rescue.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike

Media sources: