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Faked Gift Acceptance

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Gift-giving is usually meant to be a way for characters to bond, or to express affection or love. Sometimes, though, it goes sour, especially if the character receiving the gift harbors negative feelings for the giver or is of a nasty disposition to begin with. This is occasionally shown by the receiver appearing to be genuinely pleased with whatever is given, only to discard it in some manner the moment the giver and anyone else present are out of sight, often by breaking it or throwing it away.

In more sympathetic examples, the person may not want or be able to use the present, but they don't want to hurt the giver's feelings, so they thank them for their thoughtfulness and then re-gift or otherwise dispose of the item once alone. This version especially ties in with Unwanted Gift Plot, where the entire plot revolves around a person getting a present they don't want and getting in additional trouble by pretending to like it.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Nijigahara Holograph, Maki gives her boss Makoto one of her paintings as a first step toward possibly taking their relationship further. Makoto accepts the painting right away, but as soon as Maki walks out the door, he smashes it over his knee, which is the first sign to the reader that he's not at all what he appears to be. He later tells her what he did, which then leads to a violent assault on her.

  • In Equestria Divided, as part of her Sanity Slippage, Rarity ends up destroying the gem Spike gave her.
  • The Discworld fic The Red and the White sees Nimue Weatherwax, (an Ancestress) being courted by a wizard called Myrddin, or Marvin. When he gifts her roses, she accepts them with great reluctance, and on returning to her home, she displays them in the nearest thing she has to a vase - the "guzunder", a vital piece of non-plumbing that usually lives under the bed. She considers this a fitting place for them.

  • In True Lies, Harry gives his daughter a snow globe as a present. She thanks him, but as soon as he's away, she calls it a dumb gift and throws it into the trash.
  • In Twins, Vincent receives a birthday present from his receptionist being a bottle of Aqua Velva after shave. He drops it in the trash soon as she leaves.

  • The Famous Five: In Five Get Into Trouble, the villains give the Five money, to compensate them for the "inconvenience" of kidnapping them. Julian accepts it without a word of thanks, but later gives it to Aggie, the downtrodden housekeeper. The Five also give away money given as a gift in Five Go To Billycock Hill.
  • Judge Dee: Justified in "The Chinese Bell Murders". The abbot of a Buddhist monastery suspected of scamming the women who come to pray for fertility presents the judge with several ingots of precious metal which he accepts, to Sergeant Hong's chagrin. At the end, the judge reveals the money was used solely to trap the villain by buying a pair of young prostitutes and having them spend a night in the temple to find out what was going on (the monks rape the women who spend the night in the temple, counting on the social stigma of knowingly bearing a bastard to silence them). The reason he couldn't reassure the sergeant earlier was because of the increasing influence of Buddhism in Chinese society, who would have accused the judge of slander.
  • In Troubled Blood from the Cormoran Strike Novels, Strike forgets his partner Robin Ellacott's birthday and is only reminded at the last minute by a text message from one his friends chastising for forgetting. Going out to get a last minute gift but not wanting to get her anything too personal, he decides to go with flowers but buys stargazer lilies, unaware that Sarah Shadlock, the woman whom is now dating Robin's ex-husband after cheating with him, once brought some for a housewarming party she held. Annoyed, Robin accepts them, but then just leaves them to sit in the office until they eventually wilt, which takes over a week, thanks to diligent watering from the office secretary.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory has one episode which reveals that this trope was used at least twice. First, Raj gives Howard and Bernadette a weird crystal ornament as a present. Howard and Bernadette then re-gift it to Leonard and Penny. They then give it to Sheldon and Amy, who struggle to figure out what it's used for.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Subverted in "Ransom". After Amy and Rosa spend the whole episode failing to win a fancy Scandinavian stroller for Amy's upcoming baby, Rosa tries to comfort her by saying she already got her a stroller for her baby shower. When she tells her what type it is, Amy obviously tries to hide her disappointment by graciously saying it's a good stroller and thanking her before Rosa tells her she got a gift receipt.
    Amy: [hastily] Thank you so much.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: In "Empress Carlotta's Necklace", Rob gives Laura the titular jewelry, which is large and garish. Millie, who finds the necklace as hideous as Laura, suggests throwing it away or wearing it to a bad neighborhood and hoping to get mugged. Laura can't bring herself to get rid of it. She eventually finds a way, however, when Rob's mother falls in love with the necklace. Laura tells Rob that her birthday is approaching, and the necklace is the best present she can think to give her. Rob thinks it's an incredibly sweet gesture, Rob's mother is thrilled to tears, and Laura doesn't have to deal with the necklace anymore.
  • Friends: "The One With Chandler in a Box" establishes Rachel as being notorious for exchanging presents. Having just found out that she's exchanged all his presents to her from their relationship, Ross spends the episode making snide digs at her about this until she snaps and presents him with a box of souvenirs from their relationship that do mean something to her.
    Rachel: This is a movie stub from our first date. This is an eggshell from the first time you made me breakfast in bed. This is from the museum, the first time we... were together. Okay, maybe I exchange gifts sometimes, but I keep the things that matter.
    Ross: I don't know what to say. I'm sorry. Though, you're not supposed to take these. *points to the bone* It's like a million years old. We actually have people looking for that.
  • Wings has a kind of inversion. On Joe's birthday, he's talking on the phone with someone who sent him a gift of a Goya hat. While he's thanking the person for the hat, we see Lowell in the background taking the hat out of the trash and trying it on.

    Video Games 
  • In the first chapter of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Ichiban is taken to a high-end hostess club by his boss' son, Masato Arakawa, who is trying to woo the top girl Yumeno with an expensive watch he got for her birthday. Later that evening, Ichiban goes to the bathroom and overhears Yumeno talking with one of her other guests, Police Commissioner Horinouchi, about how she finds Masato and his gifts creepy and that she plans to sell the watch at a pawn shop after her shift. Masato overhears it too, and this event is the first of two that triggers his Start of Darkness.

    Web Video 
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Black Yoshi's Call of Duty: Black Ops III!", Mario buys Black Yoshi a $300.00 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Wii U bundlenote  instead of the $500.00 PS4 bundle that Black Yoshi really wanted, so that Black Yoshi can play the game on the Wii U's screen and Mario can watch TV when he wants. Mario asks Black Yoshi if he loves it, and Black Yoshi appears to accept it at first, but then he destroys the Wii U by shooting it with a crossbow. Black Yoshi then threatens to kill Mario if he doesn't get him the PS4 bundle.

    Western Animation 
  • The Cramp Twins: Wendy Winkle gave her father several hand-made objects with cutesy designs which he pretends to like in front of her, but hides them in his desk instead of using them like his daughter wanted. After she finds out he didn't like any of them, she makes him a wallet designed like a pink mouse, hoping he would like this one, but the result is the same. In the end, after a temporary tomboy phase, she buys her father a more manly gift, which he likes for real.
  • Family Guy: In "Quagmire's Dad", Ida Quagmire, fresh from having a sex-change operation, gives Lois some crumble she made to celebrate. Once she's out of earshot, Lois tells Meg to dispose of it in the garbage (specifically, in the can outside).
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil: In "Love Stinks", Brad goes out with a girl who only pretends to like him as part of her cheerleader initiation. When Brad gives her a box of chocolates, she pretends to find it cute, but after he goes away, she throws it in the trash with disgust.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Played with in "Bubbie's Tummy Ache". When Flapjack journeys to Bubbie's stomach to find out the cause of her pain, he notices that Bubbie didn't swallow the breakfast he prepared for her some time ago, which she supposedly had eaten. Bubbie admits Flapjack is a terrible cook.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: This overlaps with Unwanted Gift Plot in "Secrets and Pies". After Pinkie notices a pie she baked for Rainbow Dash in a garbage can, she starts to believe that Rainbow hates pies as she never recalls seeing her eat any of them. She gets her beliefs confirmed when one of the pies that Rainbow attempts to discard by balloon falls on Pinkie Pie. Rainbow's reasons for pretending to accept the pies was because she didn't want to hurt Pinkie's feelings and took them despite not actually liking pies.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Subverted in "The Gift of Gum". Patrick gives SpongeBob a giant ball of used gum as a present; SpongeBob tries to throw it away but Patrick catches him in the act.

    Real Life 
  • In her autobiography "Land of the Good Shadows", Anauta [Blackmore] tells the story of when a sailor gave her an apple, something that growing up in an Inuit community she had never seen before. After a few bites, she chucked it overboard, but told him she liked it. He immediately gave her another apple—which also went overboard as soon as she was out of his sight.