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Don't You Like It?

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It's a special occasion, and you want to celebrate it with someone special, or offer a token of your esteem. Maybe you just want to be nice, or show that you aren't such a bad guy after all. So you search around and finally come up with the perfect gift and... she doesn't like it? She hates it? She's running away? But you had a pet goliath spider when you were a kid - doesn't she know how cuddly they are?

Welcome to Don't You Like It?, a subtrope of My New Gift Is Lame where the gift in question is inadvertently horrifying or disgusting because the giver was raised in an environment where this was considered completely appropriate - but this doesn't match up with the standards of the recipient.


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  • In Land of the Lustrous, primeval-era doctor Rutile vowed to save Padparadscha and has been trying ceaselessly for centuries to do so. There's a lot of angst, romantic subtext, declarations of devotion, etc involved... until some kid takes Pad's comatose body off-world, without Rutile's knowledge or permission, to a highly advanced civilization where their medical condition can be healed. Rutile is not pleased.
  • Sousuke does this on occasion Kaname in Full Metal Panic!, starting off with an apology gift of his adoptive home country's most treasured export—the raw ingredients for opiumnote . After Kaname tries to slap some sense into him, he realizes that he made a cultural error and apologizes for not remembering that cocaine is significantly more valued than opium in Tokyo.

    Comic Books 
  • Happens in Dork Tower when Ken Mills gives his girlfriend Sujata a 1,000-point Korn Demon of Kaos High Priest of Pain Blood Champion miniature figure as a token of his affection. Needless to say, she didn't take it well.
  • In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Johnny tells a story about someone who died horribly in one of his torture machines. When the listener (strapped into that very torture machine) is, understandably, horrified, Johnny looks confused and asks "Don't you think that's funny?"

  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington plays Santa Claus Sandy Claws and distributes Christmas gifts to the children of the world - stuff like Shrunken Heads, carnivorous toys, etc. He is horrified to find that not only don't they like their gifts, but they shoot down his sleigh.
  • Buddy, having been raised as an Elf, doesn't really know what lingerie is, but sees it advertised as "the perfect gift". He buys it as a present for his dad, who, needless to say, isn't thrilled about it.
  • Father of the Bride (1991)- Brian gives Annie a blender as a wedding present and she almost calls the wedding off because she thinks he's telling her to Stay in the Kitchen. Turns out he gave it to her because she loves banana milkshakes and the blender was supposed to be great for those.

  • Crops up in the first ElfQuest novelisation: The Sun Folk want to welcome the Wolfriders with a feast. The Wolfriders are horrified at the cooking. They prefer eating meat raw.
  • This is at least part of the story behind the Lone Power's exile in Young Wizards. At the beginning of the universe, It wanted to make something completely new and original and different from the other Powers' creations.
    Others had invented planets, light, gravity, space. The Lone Power invented death, and bound it irrevocably into the worlds. Shortly thereafter the other Powers joined forces and cast the Lone One out.
    • However, while the Lone Power may have originally been misguided rather than malevolent, It stubbornly refuses to believe that there's anything wrong with Its "gift" and therefore is not exactly in a hurry to fix the problems It caused.
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair has been virtually alone for the last ten years, but leaps at the chance to make gifts for Julia, with whom he is smitten. Romance and mad science turn out not to mix terribly well, and his initial gifts (her bisected diving companion turned into a cyborg and a pet chimera) horrify and confuse her.

    Live Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Mr. Boynton's Parents", Miss Brooks is dismayed when Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin are representing a student delegation naming her their "Mother away from Mother". To make matters worse, they present her with a shawl as a gift for Mother's Day.
    • In "Mr. Boynton's Mustache", Miss Brooks, Miss Enright, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Mr. Stone frantically try to avoid being presented with the Home Economics students' class projects. The girls sewed up a suit and a dress out of an old horse blanket.
    • In "24 Hours", Mrs. Conklin is furious with her husband for gifting her with a pair of expensive andirons for her birthday.
  • Pretty much anything The Addams Family has ever done as a favor for their Muggle neighbors.
  • Inverted in Alien Nation: If you give flowers to the Tenctonese make sure the roots are intact. Dying flowers are unpleasant.
    • In one of the movies, a Purist poisons Emily and Susan with infected flowers, and he's shown buying them at a stand and asking specifically for live flowers as a gift for Newcomers. The cut flowers Matt brought to the hospital were especially inappropriate because of the Tenctonese practice of surrounding a sick person with living things, even animals.
  • Everwood: While cleaning out Nina's attic, 8-year-old Delia finds an issue of Penthouse. Caught off-guard, Nina says it's an artistic photography magazine. Delia keeps it and gives it to her classmate as a birthday present. Awkwardness ensues.

  • From the Jonathan Coulton song "Skullcrusher Mountain":
    I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you
    But I kind of get the feeling that you don't like it - what's with all the screaming?
    You like monkeys, you like ponies... maybe you don't like monsters so much
    Maybe I used too many monkeys - isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

    Music Videos 
  • The music video for "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Close But No Cigar", where a cat tries to woo a human woman with gifts of dead mice.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • One Mother's Day FoxTrot strip had Andy receiving the traditional gifts of flowers, chocolates, and cards from her kids. Then Jason's pet iguana Quincy crawls up to her carrying a dead cricket in his mouth...

    Video Games 
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo there's this conversation in which Tank references this trope, about Neo's first Virtual Training Simulation outfit which is black and rather Mortal Kombatesque with a red band, Sarashi type bindings around his waist and fists during the kung-fu/ninja training level
    Neo: So, uh, what's with the outfit ?
    Tank: You don't like it ?
    Neo: ...
  • In Dawn of War II, you can find a Power Axe that the Blood Ravens gifted to Ragnar Blackmane, who promptly turned it down. It's implied to be intentionally shoddy so they can keep it.

  • In one of the 8-Bit Theater guest comics, this is Black Mage's response when White Mage objects to her present: a still-beating heart.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation entry SCP-4666 is primarily a Santabomination that murders families and abducts their children during the yuletide season, but 15% of the time, it instead leaves a gift. Said gifts are made from the children it abducts, so unless you're a fan of knives carved from bone or drums made of human skin, you're probably not going to enjoy them much.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: Brian is considering becoming a teacher at Chris's school.
    Brian: I probably have a lot to offer young people.
    Stewie: What are you going to teach them? How to lick the Dorito crumbs from between the sofa cushions or how to leave a dead bird on the carpet?
    Brian: That was a gift, you bastard, that was a gift for the family!
    • Brian did this earlier with a present for Lois - also a dead bird. Chris liked it.
    • In a cutaway gag, Vincent van Gogh - head wrapped in bloody bandages - presents his girlfriend with a gift.
    Girlfriend: Oh, it's...what is this?
    Van Gogh: It's my ear! Do you like it? You don't— you don't like it...
    Girlfriend: No, I like it! But it's just — why you ear?
    Van Gogh: Because I love you!
    Girlfriend: Well, at least this'll be a funny story to tell our kids someday.
    Van Gogh: Oh, you want kids? Oh, yikes. Uh, I wish you'd told me that before I got you this.
    (It's a box shaped like a penis.)
  • On My Gym Partner's a Monkey, Mr. Hornbill gives Mrs. Tusk a rhino pie, which is exactly what you're thinking it is.
  • In one episode of Sushi Pack, the Pack is chosen to greet a group of delegates From The Planet Citrus, and present them with gifts. However, because they were too busy to read up on Citrusian culture, their gifts of cut flowers, chocolates, and a painting titled "Making Applesauce" don't go over well with the delegates, who are essentially living fruits.
  • Once on SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick gives SpongeBob a giant ball of chewed gum as a present. SpongeBob was too polite to say anything, even after he, his house, and half the population of Bikini Bottom get tangled up in it.
    • Not to mention Spongebob's sweater that he gave to Squidward ("Do you love it??"), which was a little itchy because it'd been made out of eyelashes.
  • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare Trigger," Yosemite Sam gives Bugs one second to draw a gun. He does so on a sketch pad. Sam says he's fair-to-middlin' with a pencil himself. He goes through white heat trying to draw a gun on the pad. When he's finished:
    Bugs: (observing the picture) Hmmm...mmm-hmmm....hmmmm.....It stinks!
  • In the beginning of Xiaolin Showdown episode "Omi Town", the heroes are opening their Chinese New Year gifts;
    Dojo: I wonder what my Great-Great-Great-Great Uncle Tiamat sent me! (Tears wrapping paper off an ice block containing a dragon's skeleton) His bones. How thoughtful.