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No Hero Discount

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And that's why he says "What're ya buyin?", not "What're ya havin?"

Wakka: We gotta pay?! If we lose, you'll die too, buddy!
Rin: I have faith in your victory.
Wakka: Gee, thanks!

So you're the plucky group of young heroes out to defeat the Evil Overlord and bring peace back to the world. You'd think that means that shopkeepers might give you discounts or even free items — after all, you're protecting them and ensuring they'll still have not only their shops but also their businesses in the future. And, y'know, their lives.

But nope. You still pay full price, same as everybody else.

Even for more localized examples, where you'd think it'd be more personal: You've driven all the local bandits out of the peaceful hamlet and put their mob's leader to the sword, and even the shopkeepers will actively thank you for saving the place, but they still charge you full price. (Ironically, this often turns up in a story where the good guys tend to get Hero Insurance all the time.)

Happens especially in web-based Flash Games: You may be the chosen one, they may plead with you to save their village/island/country/world from destruction, but unless you rustle up an incredible amount of money (from behind the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence maybe?), you'll never get the best armor and weapons that you would need to do it with.

See also Adam Smith Hates Your Guts, which is where shop prices steadily rise regardless of how much sense this makes, and Karl Marx Hates Your Guts, where prices stay the same, again, regardless of logic. Also, see Dude, Where's My Respect? and With This Herring for when you're deliberately underequipped. May tempt some into trying to get a Ballistic Discount or a Five-Finger Discount. This is averted with Hospitality for Heroes and Discount Card.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Also happens in most any bounty hunter anime, from Cowboy Bebop to Gunsmith Cats. You break it, you bought it. Used mostly as an excuse to keep the heroes working by remaining in debt for the period of the show and sometimes past the ending as well.
  • The Daichis: Earth's Defense Family are enlisted to protect the world from danger, and given all sorts of cool weapons to do it with. But they have to pay each time they use them. And the cost of using their weapons is usually much more than the reward. And they weren't warned about this ahead of time.
  • Inverted in the Time Bokan Royal Revival OVA where the Science Ninja Team walks into a noodle shop owned by Boyacky, make an order, eat it, and then not pay. When Boyacky asks for 380 yen(about 3 bucks), they just stare at him, while slurping up the last noodle, and walk out. Superheroes never pay!

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Alias featured Jessica Jones complaining that she still had to pay for a pack of cigarettes after saving the shopkeeper from a robbery.
  • Spider-Man:
    • One story features the titular webslinger stopping by a take-out restaurant while in costume, where he watches the store owner give a pair of cops their meal for free. After asking if there was a discount for being a member of the Avengers he's informed that for him, everything on the menu is full price.
    • Averted in the penultimate issue of Chip Zdarsky's run. A hot dog stand owner who offers Spidey free hot dogs for life after Spider-Man saved him from a group of supervillains. But the same stand owner soon regrets this, as Spidey stops by his stand every day and talks incessantly about everything while eating.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the four are appalled that a wizard charged them 40,000 Swords to answer a few questions and wanted a cool half million to help Ringo find his mask-breaking amulet. After all, the world may end in a year; isn't it time to quit worrying about making a buck?
  • My Huntsman Academia:
    • Izuku still has to pay his bills even as he continually earns brownie points with Beacon's staff for his good deeds. He regularly shells out hundreds or even thousands of lien to maintain and upgrade his weapon, Emerald Gust. Then there's expenses like buying and repairing his clothes, school supplies, food, expenditures for his friends, and making sure he's stocked up on medical supplies and ammo. He does get some help from Weiss and Pyrrha, but he's insistent on not relying on them for his own expenses.
    • Subverted during Color Week. While returning home to Mountain Glenn for the holidays, Izuku finds that a Mistrali restaurant chain, Ni Hao Nyan, offers meals to Huntsmen and Huntresses at half the normal price in celebration of Hunter's Day.
  • Nightmares Yet to Come: At one point Trixie goes to Berry's bar, and is informed by Berry that she can't ignore Trixie's tab, and Trixie can't keep using the "defeated Corona" thing when A: She had five other ponies helping her, and B: Corona is still at large. If (when) Trixie does that, Berry tells her, they can talk about discounts. Trixie concedes the point.
  • In Juxtapose. When Izuku gets his first costume, he's overjoyed at how amazing it is. But his joy is replaced with dread when Mei points out the development costs for making something so advanced would be able to buy him a fully furnished house with a garden and appliances. He collapses from fright after hearing the full amount, but that's when Mei and the others start laughing and explain that they would never actually expect him to pay for all of it since he's their friend. All he has to do is buy Momo a few meals for the materials and be the best damn hero he can be (while advertising Mei's services of course).

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Sharon Tate goes to see a movie she starred in, and asks if she gets a discount for starring in it. The Apathetic Clerk doesn't recognize her and asks for the manager to confirm it, and then asks to take a picture with Sharon standing next to the movie poster so people will recognize her. Despite the clerk's ego-puncturing Innocently Insensitive actions, Sharon takes it all in stride.
  • Averted in Tenet. The Protagonist assumes he's on a budget when he has to buy an expensive suit to get in first contact with Kat, but Crosby reassures him that he can spend whatever he needs to Save the World, and they can worry about the checkbooks later.

  • Subverted in the BattleTech novel Hearts of Chaos. An invasion force is dropping from the sky, and a handful of mercenaries caught away from their 'Mechs are looking for a quick Five-Finger Discount in a gun shop they've run across to help fight it off. Does the owner who catches them in the act argue? Yes, briefly — but then he does allow himself to be talked into letting them arm themselves to their hearts' content, mostly on the grounds that if the invaders win they'll likely confiscate his property anyway.
  • Older Than Steam: At Chapter XVI, the Innkeeper asks Don Quixote for his pay. Don Quixote answers him that There Should Be a Law that forces Hospitality for Heroes on Knights Errant like himself:
    "I have little to do with that," replied the innkeeper; "pay me what you owe me, and let us have no more talk of chivalry, for all I care about is to get my money."
  • In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, averted by Obi-Wan via Jedi Mind Trick. He takes Boga the dragonmount without paying, but apologizes to the dragon-wrangler (who can't understand Basic anyway), pointing out that it's for the purpose of saving the planet Utapau.
  • Subverted in Three Hearts and Three Lions. It appears that one character is going to charge for his services to the hero, even though he knows full well the hero probably going to be in a major battle to save the world soon. But before he can, another character guilts him out of it.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: Bahar, a rookie witch at an evil Wizarding School which strictly limits the magical equipment alloted to each student, uses her alchemy skills to brew powerful potions which she then sells to classmates that need her help and can pay dearly to get it. The protagonist Emily becomes desperate after she fails to pass a certain test and is denied access to any useful supplies from the school store, but when she approaches Bahar, the alchemist refuses to help her because Emily has nothing to trade or to pay with. Even though Emily has a track record of stopping the class's cruellest students from harming others, and even though some of those cruel students may well target Bahar in the future, Bahar refuses to give Emily any help without payment and Emily is forced to look elsewhere.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In "Spin the Bottle", Connor saves a prostitute from a vampire and she offers to have sex with him to thank him. He gets turned off when she demands he pay her for it. When he points out that he just saved her life, she is unmoved, so he leaves.
  • In the iZombie episode "Dead Beat", Liv, seeking to prevent Major from turning into a zombie in the city lockup after he's arrested for the Chaos Killer murders, tries to buy brains from the brain dealer Don E. due to her brain supply in the morgue being cut off. Don E. will not budge on the price even after Liv tells him that if she doesn't get the brains, it will cause a Zombie Apocalypse, telling her that the threat of that happening is simply "leverage" and more reason to pay up.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): The Season 2 finale sees Jessica stop an armed robbery at the liquor store where she shops for booze, but she doesn't earn a free bottle as a result.
  • The Professionals. In "Old Dog with New Tricks", Cowley orders Bodie to buy a suit so he can pose as a politician's bodyguard. At the end of the episode as Doyle and Bodie walk off after having saved the day, Bodie explains that they're actually going to return the suit on Cowley's orders.

    Tabletop Games 
  • C°ntinuum: roleplaying in The Yet averts this trope. Since the characters are time travelers, it's assumed they are all very wealthy. The Continuum — the main faction of time travelers, assumes you would use time travel to get whatever you need, including money, so they make allowances. Likewise, you can pull the trick seen in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and simply make equipment appear what you need — by accepting an obligation to in your future take the time to set up the thing you need where you need it. So the protagonists literally can have nearly anything they need whenever they need it. The same applies to skills, with one example mentioning a character finding themselves on a crashing hovercraft, hopping back in time, working to set up a chance to learn to pilot hovercraft, learning those lessons, then jumping back to the time of the crash and saving the day.
  • Dark Heresy takes this trope into With This Herring territory; you can be an agent of the Inquisition scrounging for the cheapest weapons in the Imperium. Remember, the Inquisition has life-or-death authority over almost anyone in the Imperium. Then again, your team is one of quite likely hundreds of thousands working for the Inquisition, in a setting that's very heavy on We Have Reserves. Do you really think you're so special as to deserve extra funds?
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Zig-Zagged and Justified with temples that sell magical aid. By default, they charge heroic Player Characters because they need to finance their own operations and adventurers tend to pick up a lot of spending money. However, they'll also provide services at-cost or for free in extreme circumstances or when it's important to their god's goals.
  • Paranoia plays with this trope; Player Characters are often given elite, unreliable, possibly explosive gear no one should have. They're tasked with testing it on mission and are responsible for returning it safely. This can even be as ridiculous as being required to test a nuclear grenade with a three hundred yard radius and bring the grenade back intact. It helps that Paranoia is a darkly satirical send-up of RPGS and dystopian fiction.
  • Rogue Trader averts it, hard. The question isn't "Can we afford that gear?" It's more like, "Can we equip those ten thousand soldiers with that gear?" The answer is usually, "Take it out of petty cash."
  • Shadow Run, as a game of Cyberpunk Urban Fantasy, does things similarly to World of Darkness, though as a shadowrunner (an elite mercenary doing some quite shady and deniable covert ops for the mega-corps), you aren't buying the same things as the normal people in the world. Though if you have a good negotiator on your team, you might be able to wrangle a little extra money out of Mr Johnson in order to purchase specialized equipment for a run.
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire makes a mechanic of this trope; the GM has means of invoking your various debts and using them to push you down the plot.
  • In The World of Darkness, you aren't the chosen heroes. Set in Urban Fantasy with The Masquerade hiding the supernatural from Muggles, characters are generally free to invest points in character creation into wealth. Doing so simply means you have a bank account and possessions — and are generally subject to the same market forces as everyone else. Additionally, magic generally isn't for sale — well, not for cash. So just because you're a vampire or a mage doesn't mean your landlord is going to suddenly charge less rent — well, until you mind control him, anyway.

    Video Games 
  • Lampshaded in Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean, where the shopkeeper who follows you to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon justifies herself saying that she not only trusts your ability to defeat the bad guy, but if you should fail, the money wouldn't matter anyway.
  • Alundra eventually averts this, once the entire village puts their trust in you to save them, you can take healing items from the shop for free.
  • Avoided for the very last mission in Archimedean Dynasty, where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance (but what's new?). Even the most expensive and most powerful cannon is offered for a pittance.
  • Justified and lampshaded in Avadon. One question you ask of the Fortress Quartermaster is why you should have to pay for equipment. He's heard it from everyone else, and it's because Redbeard wants the Hands to be self-sufficient as possible.
  • Baldur's Gate zig-zags this trope. If you perform enough heroic acts and get your reputation high enough, shop prices start going down (to a maximum of 50% at 20 reputation) as the shopkeepers realize you're probably going to use the ludicrously expensive items for a good purpose (on the opposite side, being evil makes store prices higher). You still sell items for less than a fraction of what they're being sold for, and nobody ever just gives you items no matter your need. This creates a few plots holes, such as Drow (evil underground elf) merchants giving you lower prices based on your heroic deeds on the surface, as well as having to buy items from a priest in an elven city you're currently saving from an Evil Sorcerer.
  • Justified in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, as Dominique explains she's cut off from the Church's supply lines, and has to charge Miriam so she has some capital to keep the store stocked. That said, the fact that there is a hero in town trying to deal with the monsters in the castle is the only reason the store is open at all, as Dominique is there to aid Miriam. However, players can purchase a Discount Card that cuts 10% of the item's cost, for a high price of 100,000G.
  • Averted in Brave Soul with Coolbough and his associates (the Innkeepers). Though they don't let you stay in their inn for free because you're going to save the world at some point, but because the Hero's father saved Coolbough's life.
  • Case 02: Paranormal Evil: Justified. Brucie sells items to Marty at rather high prices because he cares more about making ends meet than heroism. He repeatedly states that he's an exorcist-for-hire rather than a hero of justice.
  • Castlevania
    • In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the monk, Vincent, will sell you various supplies. During a plot event, he'll be bitten by a vampire, and he'll run back in asking you to heal him. When entering his shop menu, he usually says "I'll make you a deal!", but when he's sick, he literally says "I'll lower the price... I'll lower the price!" However, he doesn't, and after you heal him, your characters ask him if he will lower the price — to which he responds that he's gotta make a living. Bummer.
    • Justified in Castlevania 64 where the shopkeeper is a contract that you made with the demon Renon, who couldn't care less about saving the world from vampires (he even remarks that the "end of the world is a fantastic business opportunity for him" during your last meeting). Of course, we all know how well deals like that go...
    • Also justified in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The Librarian is actually in the employ of Dracula, and only helps Alucard at all as he's a greedy bastard. And if you use any of the extra characters, he'll refuse to deal with them at all; Alucard is permissible because he's the Master's son, estranged or not, but dealing with the Belmonts would be outright treason.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia lampshades, justifies and subverts it. As much as Jacob the shop owner would like to give Shanoa what she needs for free, he still has to make a living, and considering the village is in the middle of nowhere with Shanoa being one of his only customers in a time of great unrest due to Dracula's imminent return, he can't afford to give her stuff for free. He does, however, give her a Discount Card after she purchases enough stuff in his shop.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • You can rescue a falsely imprisoned shop clerk from a dungeon. When you visit the shop later, the clerk will slip you some free potions when the shopkeeper isn't looking.
    • There is also the island in 1000 AD where, at first, the Mystics running the shops hate humans and charge far more than the asking price for items and weapons. However, completing a sidequest in 600 AD will improve the Mystics' attitude about humans, and the shops will now give a discount instead...which, sadly, means next to nothing, as you'll likely have vastly superior equipment by then anyway. However, if you can somehow grind up all the cash you need on the early visits, you'll likely be set in the way of equipment until somewhere around the Ocean Palace.
  • In City of Heroes, your currency is the hero (or villain) discount. You don't use dollars and cents to get Enhancements, you use Influence or Infamy to persuade vendors to cough them up.
  • Played straight throughout most of Clash at Demonhead, which sells a rotating stock of items to your character every time he uses the Shop Call or goes to the ocean on Route 5. However, once he visits the shop 30 times, the shopkeeper makes all of his items available to the hero at half price.
  • The Command & Conquer series often has opposing forces mining resources on the front lines of battle, with commanders more often than not conducting battle with minimal support from their factions.
  • Zig-zagged in Conception 2: Children Of The Seven Stars. Fort City doesn't charge the teenage protagonists for equipment... but it does require them to cash in Glow Points. GP are a merit system, earned by fighting monsters — and real, potentially lethal monsters at that, training in the simulator doesn't count. When one character asks why they're not being given this equipment for free, he's promptly told "nothing good ever comes when man's grasp exceeds his reach" — the war effort is half-run by the Church, who firmly believes man's pride has caused the current crisis. That said, the other half of the effort, AngelMarker R&D, is only too eager to provide experimental but crucial equipment like Wake's Ether Amp of the heroines' Dusk Breakers for free. All of this becomes a plot point when it turns out the CEO of AngelMarker is stonewalling attempts to end the war permanently so he can continue profiteering from the research funding the church is giving them.
  • Averted in Dark Cloud, where the Wise Owl will sell you a special sword for a discount. It's still pretty high but as he (along with some other merchants in the game) will tell you, they are still merchants and need to make a living.
  • In Dead Island, most of the survivor base areas have vendors who will sell you equipment. Despite the fact that the island has been overrun with zombies (thus making money useless), you constantly perform missions to help them, and the fact that they face certain death if you are killed, the vendors still insist on charging you money for their items
  • Deadly Premonition averts and actually justifies this. When Francis York Morgan recovers Keith Ingram's prize gutiar (itself an Infinity +1 Sword, seriously), he gives York a Gold Membership card to the store he owns, which gives nets its owners a permanent 50% off discount at his store. As Keith himself explains, he's now selling you the items as zero profit, meaning that you're paying wholesale cost; charging York any less would see Keith actually losing money, which - considering that Keith and the other townsfolk are not aware they're in a Cosmic Horror Story, is insanely generous.
  • The weapon and item shops in Demon Gaze not giving you discounts is one thing, since you're just another mercenary to them. Fran, on the other hand, in depending on you doing jobs only the Gazer can do, but will not discount you a cent. Booking more rooms so you can take more party members? Be prepared to cough up a cool 1000G (and Lorna had to cover the first one just so you wouldn't be flying solo). Fail to pay room and board the moment you step in the door after another life-threatening dungeon dive? She'll blacklist you from all but the most essential services until you settle. When Lancelorna warns you that money is Serious Business to Fran, she's not kidding.
  • "Smuggler" in Deus Ex won't give you explosives unless you pay an absurd amount of money for them, even if you've helped him out before, and even though he knows you need them to blow up a superfreighter full of enough of an incurable virus to infect the entire North American continent!. The exception is the first time you're in Hell's Kitchen, where he gives you a discount if you rescue his friend from MJ12.
    • Furthermore, those characters who suggest you ask someone else for needed items and information — and who are fully aware of the importance of you getting them — can't be bothered to so much as loan you the necessary credits.
    • Occasionally, some of your allies will give you items for free. Other characters will offer you a discount on items for sale in exchange for completing a side quest.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, despite your boss spending what must have been an absolute fortune to turn the PC who is the head of security into an augmented super soldier, you still need to pay for your own augmentation upgrades. And weapons. And ammo. And information. Considering you are trying to track down a mercenary group that killed half a dozen scientists and are planning some kind of conspiracy that would dramatically change the outlook of the company, you really should have a platinum company credit card that makes credits meaningless.
    • There's also a LIMB clinic office on Panchaea, where the shop keeper has barricaded herself against the crazed augs. She mentions that she'd like to give you a discount but the whole thing is based off a computer she can't change, so you're still charged full price for medicine, Typhoon ammo, and upgrade kits.
    • Averted in the case of Seurat, an arms dealer in Detroit. If you rescued Greg and Josie Thorpe during the factory mission, he will give you "the egghead discount" any time you visit him for the rest of the game.
    • In The Missing Link, Quinn (the only merchant) defends charging you for goods by reminding Jensen that he's a fugitive in the facility they're both in, so he's taking a tremendous risk doing business with him. However, if you saved a person earlier, he does give you a discount.
    • In general you're presumably on an expense account, you presumably can file the associated report and be reimbursed when the main plot is over. For the really expensive stuff (such as getting access to Heng Sha) your company does provide, which turns out to be a whole new problem — and makes the advantages of using money and equipment which can't be traced to your employer clear.
  • Diablo II has Tyrael, who charges up to 50,000 gold to resurrect your mercenary companion. He's an angel! What's he going to do with the money? Build ornate churches?
    • In regard to the Merchants of Light accompanying Tyrael, additional information at gives a reason for why they charge you for weapons and armor despite being at Hell's doorstep. Like Tyrael, they are forbidden to help you directly. Selling and buying equipment is a way for them to work around it, because it qualifies as indirect help at best.
      • From the game's Web site:
      In Act IV, Tyrael will resurrect your Hireling but he will charge you. What does he do with that gold? Angels got to pay the bills too.
    • Partially averted in Act 2 where, as a reward for defeating Radamant and avenging her family's death, the owner of the local tavern convinces the rest of the merchants to give you a discount on all wares. A discount, mind you, not free goods.
    • Larzuk seems to be aware of this trope in Lord of Destruction, saying that your gold isn't lining his pockets; it's paying for the armour, weapons and medical supplies of a city that is under siege by the forces of Hell.
    • The first Diablo game averts this trope to a degree, on the fact that nobody is expecting you to succeed. If the merchants gave free goods to every would be hero that tried to save the world, they'd have gone broke long before you showed up. This logic begins to fade after you've gone far past what anybody else has accomplished, and everybody starts believing that you are the real deal, but still charge you full price.
    • Sometimes, merchants will give you a discount as a quest reward. Not that it really matters.
  • In Dink Smallwood mod Attack of the Mutant Veggies the only sword available costs 500 gold pieces and a note of permission from the king. When Dink argues that he should just be given the sword since he's the only one saving their butts from the title ex-foodstuffs, the blacksmith counters that he and his family still have to eat.
  • Played with in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, as your character racks up FELONIES (i.e. become more of a "villain"), the shop prices go down and you sell items back at closer to their shop price. Have enough felonies, and you're actually selling items back for more than you paid for them. Of course, that's not really an option until New Game Plus unless you spend huge amounts of time Level Grinding.
  • Zigzagged in Donkey Kong Land III with the various bear cabins. They'll let you play a matching game to win prizes for free simply for finding Bonus Coins, but it's only free the first time. Win or lose, each subsequent play they charge 5 Bear Coins, pointing out that they are running a business:
    Bear: Five coins to play again! Hey, I gotta make a living too!
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, some folks will offer a discount...but the prices stay the same. The only time this is averted is with one merchant in Denerim, and then only if you played a certain origin story.
    • Oh it's far worse than that, your camp merchant will promise you a discount, but is actually one of the worst merchants in the game! He buys lower than average and sells higher. The worst part? He's right there in your camp, so invariably you'll sell him most of your loot for convenience's sake!
  • Somewhat-mocked in Dragon Quest IX, where after you save Batsureg, the shopkeepers declare that all their wares are yours... but of course you are such a hero that you will still compensate them.
  • Lampshaded just before the last stage of Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II where the eponymous city is overrun by the undead, and only a makeshift barricade stands between the shopkeeper and a horde of zombies, and the city's Only Hope is for you to storm the villain's citadel. If you complain about the shopkeeper still charging you full price, he points out that he's confident of your success, but if he gave away his goods where would he be after you save the city. Furthermore, you can afford it, so it isn't like he's jeopardizing the city's safety by refusing to just give the items away.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Downplayed in Morrowind and Oblivion. Completing quests for merchants who offer them will increase those merchants' dispositions, which will lead to better prices. The same is also true for completing faction quests and will net you a disposition boost for merchants in that faction. In Morrowind in particular, after completing the main quest, you can mention your status as the world-saving hero in NPC conversations for a guaranteed disposition increase. Despite this, it's still not completely averted since no matter what you do, you'll never get those merchants to give away their stock or even offer you prices below the item's actual value.
    • Similarly Downplayed in Skyrim, where doing favors for merchants (or simply being a regular customer for long enough) can allow you to take the cheap stuff off their shelves for free, when it would otherwise be considered stealing.
  • The first two Escape Velocity games do not give you any actual discounts, although certain missions could give you specific upgrades (usually ones you couldn't get elsewhere, and that were tied to the specific ship you were using at the time and so couldn't be transferred if you wanted to get a new ship), and both games had the explanation that you are technically a freelancing mercenary, so just being allowed to buy and use highly restricted military equipment is a pretty hefty concession already. The third game, Nova allowed for averting by adding titles the character could get, which behind the scenes could be set to reduce outfit costs by a given percentage from worlds controlled by the faction the title was tied to.
  • Lampshaded and justified in Evil Islands.
    • In one instance your base of operations is a village where you are praised as The Chosen One, but the village merchant is such an infamously stingy bastard he explicitly warns you right away that he will still charge you with all your purchases. Later all the village money happens to be stolen and he once again clearly refuses to supply the village guards with weapons for free... because they didn't stand for him against brigands.
    • Another time you join some rebels and obtain all the gear from their blacksmith. He actually apologizes for his shameless prices and explains that he has to smuggle the weapons and bribe the officials of the Evil Empire.
    • However, at the very end of the game, it's subverted; the very last 'merchant' you meet before the final battle will give you anything he has in stock and perform all services for free. He also fights on your side in the final battle, so he has plenty of incentive to make sure you're as tough as can be.
  • In Exit Fate, it's possible to recruit a few people to your army who then set up shops in your castle. Even though they're working for you, they still charge the same prices as every other shopkeeper in the game.
  • In Fallout 3, being nice to the ghoul bartender gets you a discount on anything he sells, but others are fairly unfriendly towards you, even after you repeatedly save their collective asses.
    • In Rivet City, there's an unmarked quest involving a city council member and a fellow merchant who accuses him of stealing his council seat. Completing the quest in favor of one will get you a discount from them, but cause the other to raise their prices.
    • This is lampshaded in the Mothership Zeta DLC, when Somah charges you money to repair your equipment despite the two of you having been kidnapped by aliens and fighting for your lives to escape. Somah points out that even if you both do escape, she's as good as dead anyway if she doesn't have any money to survive on in the Wasteland.
  • Fallout: New Vegas averts this with the addition of faction reputations, as you get a discount from merchants who are associated with a faction that likes you. This mechanic highlights other vendors apparent lack of gratitude though, a particularly notable example is Old Lady Gibson, who runs the junkyard just outside Novac. Despite being tied to Novac and its economy, she isn't marked as being part of the town and won't give you any discounts when you restore the town's salvage industry by clearing out the REPCONN test site during the Come Fly With Me quest, even though she explains she gets all her junk from REPCONN. She will even charge you five hundred caps for a MacGuffin critical to completing said quest, which is a lot for low level characters, though you can get it for half if your Speech or Barter skills are high enough, or for free with the Lady Killer perk. She is tied for first with the Gun Runners for being the richest vendor in the game, so its hard to ignore her if you want to sell all your Shop Fodder.
    • The bartender in Goodsprings will give you a discount if you drive away the attack by the Powder Gangers "on account of what you done for us."
    • Cost for repairing items is also completely unaffected by discounts or Barter skill.
    • The Great Khan armory merchant sells at price if you're liked by them. No discount — base price, whether you're buying or selling. This makes her an excellent choice for unloading expensive stuff, since you can trade in for ammunition and other cheap stuff without suffering price attrition.
  • Fallout 4 zigzags on this trope. There are a few vendors who will give you very good prices based on your affiliations. For example, Tinker Tom will only sell to you if you're a member of the Railroad, but he offers excellent prices because he's also a member of the Railroad and trying to help you out. Unfortunately, he's got rather limited selection. Other vendors won't give you that great of discounts, even shops you've built yourself at your settlements (though the fact that you get a cut of the profits does help offset this).
  • In Fate/Grand Order:
    • Even though the shopkeeper and the protagonist are friends, members of the same organization, and trying to save the world after it's already been destroyed, she still used to raise the price on you for every single goddamn copy of her painting that you bought. (The price was eventually lowered and players got a refund if they'd bought it at the original extortionate prices, though.)
    • During the Fate/EXTRA CCC crossover event, despite the world literally on the brink of destruction, BB refuses to just hand you stuff for free because she needed to take time to sneak everything by the event's Big Bad. She then goes onto say you should be grateful you're even able to buy things from her since she did all the hard work of bringing everything together behind the scenes.
  • The Final Fantasy series is quite fond of this trope.
    • Final Fantasy V sort of subverts this by having the shopkeeper in Bartz's home town give a discount (which is very appreciated when the single revival item in the game costs 1000 gold), but only because it's Bartz's hometown, not because he's a hero.
    • Final Fantasy VI subverts it at Figaro Castle, where the shopkeepers will refuse to charge Edgar (the king) or Sabin (his brother). However, both characters insist on paying, pointing out that the shopkeepers still have to earn a living. (If Edgar is your party leader, they still give you a 50% discount, though.)
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake plays the trope straight before subverting it later.
      • Being that Cloud Strife is a mercenary ex-SOLDIER who has no reputation within Midgar, this trope is played up for all its worth early on, with shopkeepers refusing to cut him a break even when he's taking on major jobs like clearing out Scrap Boulevard. However, as Cloud's rep builds and sidequests are completed, certain shopkeepers will offer heavily-discounted medical supplies. Vending machines will also offer certain heavily-discounted goods, depending on when the player accesses them.
      • Played with in a sidequest in the Sector 5 slums. After Cloud and Aerith rescue two of the kids from the Leaf Orphanage, the group of children will offer Cloud a quest to kill the "Toad King" (a rare variant of the Hedgehog Pie)... but they lack the money to pay him anything, and he tells them that they can't afford his usual fee. Upon further thought, Cloud agrees to give them "a special discount" and tells them they can pay him three Gil for the work. After the mission is completed, however, the kids will hand over the one piece of treasure they have — the unique Nail Bat weapon, which is worth "much more than" three Gil.
    • Final Fantasy VIII contains one exception. If you return to Timber after you're finished there in the main story, you can save a little girl from getting run over by a train, and it earns you a free night at the inn. Played straight for everything else, not that you'll really notice.
    • Lampshaded in Final Fantasy X right before the battle with That One Boss, Evrae, which also leads almost directly to a whole gauntlet run of bosses, Rin will still charge you exorbitant prices. When asked why, when you could all die, he replies:
      Rin: I have faith in your victory.
      • Also, the shopkeeper O'aka actually would give you a discount, but in his case only if you had donated a large sum of money to him when he was struggling to get his business off the ground. Otherwise, he charges almost double what any other shop would.
      • In Final Fantasy X-2, O'aka is so in debt to the Al Bhed that he's willing to avert this trope and give you a discount just so he can pay his debt off. In fact, if you help him clear out his entire debt, he'll be so thankful that he'll sell you his stock at a 90% discount.
      • While less related to the economy, in Final Fantasy X random people would give you items if you talked to them (this happens much less frequently after you defeat Seymour for the first time, as most of Spira brands your party as traitors), considering you're a summoner and her guardians. It made the stinginess of the shopkeepers more noticeable.
    • Final Fantasy XI also has NPC shopkeepers give you (small) discounts if you've got a high Fame score
    • Handwaved in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, where the only vendor in the game actually works for you, purchasing equipment while you're off adventuring. One NPC in the ship points out he must be losing quite the amount of money, as Tomah sells said equipment at only a fraction of the original price.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy XIII, where all transactions are done via the internet, so vendors are not aware of your status as heroes, but even then as you're characterized by the government as villains for the entirety of the plot, even if they knew your identity, they'd probably not want to sell to you, let alone give a discount. Another aversion is that the fal'Cie control all technology, and are revealed late in the game to be secretly manipulating you in your quest to destroy them (which they desire) but are prevented by their programming from aiding you directly (by lowering prices, presumably). One late game vendor has a message from the fal'Cie wishing you luck, though!
    • Before the final boss battle in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, one of Lightning's friends will sell her recovery items and spell synthesis at standard prices. What is he going to do with the money? It's the end of the world, and he won't have to repay his suppliers.
    • Watts from Final Fantasy Adventure distills this trope to its essence. He accompanies you through a dungeon to get some silver he needs. Despite the fact that you're accompanying him on his quest so that he can get what he needs without dying, he still charges you full price for more items in the middle of said dungeon. It gets worse. After you finish the dungeon and Watts gets the silver, he goes back to the Dwarf Cave to forge equipment with it. Does he give you any for free? Of course not, he charges you full price for the sword and armor. You even have to get the silver helmet from a different shop.
  • Fire Emblem can get rather silly about this.
    • In Radiant Dawn:
      • The shopkeepers are especially bad near the end. All of humanity is frozen in stone by an evil god. The only people still alive are your party, the enemies (brought back to life by the god to stop you) and a group of merchants following you. They STILL don't offer you a discount. The kicker? In a few cutscenes, they outright give you the Infinity+1 Spellbooks they found lying around for free BECAUSE you're the last people alive and you're the only hope for everyone. Not the most consistent of merchants, these guys. It gets even sillier when you realize that they DID give your army a discount for one chapter earlier in the game, before everyone was turned to stone. Why they didn't think to do so again is anyone's guess.
      • Averted by Volke when he offers to join for 3,000 gold. Bastian notes that this is a significant discount off his usual rate, and he comes with a powerful dagger worth 12,900 gold, meaning you're getting well over your money's worth for his services.
    • Exacerbated in Fates where members of your own army are running the shops in My Castle yet still won't give Corrin the stuff for free. However, discounts depends on the current keeper.
  • Completely averted in Freelancer, once you encounter the Order. They give you the best ship in the game at that point for 1100 credits, when other ships are in the hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, when time comes to trade that ship in to the next best one, you'll notice you can't sell it for a normal ship's price either.
  • Ghostbusters (1990) has the weapons shop owner that sells you weapons and shields for very high prices, despite the fact that such tools are practically needed for a Ghostbuster to do their job properly (the Barrier item is the most expensive at $30,000!). Playing normally, you'll never be able to buy every single item unless you deliberately grind money from safes, exit the level, and then repeat. After completing the Castle level however, the weapons shop owner will actually compensate you for that level since he wants to see his Evil Former Friend be put to justice.
  • Averted in Ghost of Tsushima: The game doesn't feature money at all, with generic "Supplies" being used in place of currency when you purchase weapon and armor upgrades along with other materials like steel and bamboo. In this case, the smiths are gladly working for free to help "the Ghost" fight off the invading Mongols, but they still can't do anything without the proper materials.
  • In the Harvest Moon series, most of the marriageable bachelors and bachelorettes work in the area's shops, which are usually owned by their families. You won't get any kind of discount from their family's store if you marry one of them, even if your spouse is the one running the store. This may be so that people would marry characters they liked, rather than just marrying the person that gives them the biggest discounts. It makes little sense in universe, but a lot of sense when you consider the implications of marrying someone for free cake at the bakery.
    • Averted, however, in one of its spin-off series, Rune Factory, you may get free fortune-telling or free bathing from your wife. Not that much, though.
    • In the sequels, your spouse will cook you a free meal every day, and her charging you for goods and services is justified in that they still have to help their own family.
  • Somewhat lampshaded in Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. After beating the final boss, Henry ponders the fact that all the money that he paid Cole went to the Humongous Mecha which Cole just tried to use to kill Henry.
  • In Heroine Quest, doing major favors for the shop keepers (rescuing one's child and helping two of them unite with each other) will not get you free stuff, but will get you everything sold at cost instead. It is the Fimblewinter, and people do have to eat.
  • Just Cause 2: The Sloth Demon will make you pay a ton of money for anything (except transportation), even after you find out he's Tom Sheldon in disguise. Granted, Panau is a dictatorship and its money is worth less than crap (Rico says himself that putting a bullet in the head of a guy to obtain some info would be more expensive than greasing his palm with a handful of banknotes), but come on, 20 grand for a pistol?
    • This is averted in the third and fourth games. The rebels/Army of Chaos will deliver anything they have to Rico for free, though it takes a little time for them to restock the item afterwards.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts, II and III, Huey, Dewey and Louie don't give a damn that their uncle is buying and saving the world as we know it, as long as he keeps on coughing up the munny. They even say in I and III that Donald gets "No family discounts!"
    • In 358/2 Days, the Organization Moogle admits that you're the only one who will buy his wares. In fact, he follows you when you run away just so he can continue to charge you. Still, he's useful before that final battle...
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The Lunar Lunch-O-Mat owner from gives you a mere 25% discount for being "the savior of [his] entire species," but it's sort of meaningless because you can't even visit the store until you've saved his entire species. Plus, the undiscounted prices would be things like 133 and one-third isotopes, and since you can't have a fraction of an isotope, he's probably lying about the discount. Or it's, you know, a joke.
    • After you rescue Big Brother Sea Monkee from the digestive tract of a carnivorous sea-plant, he still charges full price for everything in his store. Well, almost. He gives you a magic air-producing rock for free because he thinks it's worthless, and he refunds your payment for a spooky black lens because he hates it and never wants to see it again. The expensive maps are especially silly, since Little Brother gives you some of them for free.
  • Justified in Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos, in which the player starts with a writ identifying him as on official business for the king, which can be presented for free services. However, the writ is stolen, leaving him with no proof that he works for the king and justifying why he must pay for things like everyone else.
  • Lampshaded in Lawrence of Aragon after leaving an item shop in the starting town.
    Lawrence: No matter what you do for the people, they're never grateful enough to offer a discount.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • Not only will shops always charge you full price, but given how this game averts Wallet of Holding and yet combines Money for Nothing and Cash Gates for the shop's best items, you're often dealing with shopkeepers who sell items at such prices that you need a legendary wallet, fabled in song and story, just to carry the rupees needed to buy their wares.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Bomb-Master Cannon sells his bombs for prices several orders of magnitude above what you can possibly carry. This isn't intended as a Cash Gate, but as a Broken Bridge, and bombs can be bought for normal prices after the pirates rob the merchant of his bombs as part of the story. Prior to that, the merchant seems mighty pleased with his greedy exploitation of his monopoly, seemingly forgetting that, monopoly or not, he's not making money: no one can buy his wares because they cost more than the combined wealth of the world. In the same game, Tingle charges 398 Rupees to decipher each of eight maps needed to find the pieces of the Triforce. You have to get the first wallet upgrade to even pay this.However  Luckily, you can hold up to 5000 Rupees after finding both wallet upgrades, a big jump from previous Zelda games.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Chudley's Fine Goods and Fancy Trinkets Emporium. Only the rich members of Hyrule town can afford to shop there, which unfortunately doesn't include you — the minimum price for the goods sold there is higher than the amount Link can carry in his wallet. Only by completing a side quest later in the game will Malo take over the shop, and the prices will drop drastically.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Despite everyone in Skyloft knowing that you're saving Zelda (or at least that you're on a VERY important mission) you have to buy your potion, your equipment, and pay for its upgrades.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Justified in regard to Purah and Robbie, the two Sheikah scientists who give you upgrades and items based on ancient Magitek. They'd like to give that stuff away, but the collapse of the central government of Hyrule in the Great Calamity a hundred years ago cut them off from the regular funds and resources they once had for their research, so Link must fork over rupees and Ancient parts for their services. Also averted when you help a settlement free a Divine Beast; they'll reward you with a very powerful weapon and repair it for free if it breaks, only asking for the raw materials needed to fix it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Averted for once with Lurelin Village. The town has been leveled by pirates by the time you come across it. Once you've defeated the pirates and helped rebuild the village, the inhabitants do give you stuff and let you use all the town's services for free indefinitely in thanks.
  • Lemegeton: Justified. You're not giving gold to Noiva as payment, but rather so she can use the stuff, being the king element and all, as alchemical fuel to create what you need.
  • Littlewood: The game is basically what happens after the end of a Western RPG and sees the Player Character, who has already saved the world, rebuilding a town whose residents include their two former adventuring companions, who are also very close friends. One of them, Dalton, opens a shop in town. The other former adventuring companion, Willow, sometimes points out that she and the Player Character should be getting a discount at said shop.
  • Lufia 2 Rise Of The Sinistrals: Exaggerated when Tia outright tries to scam Maxim by trying to pay less for slain Jellies than what they're actually worth. When Maxim calls her on this she says it's because her shop is doing very poorly, and Maxim accepts the lowered amount.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Tia refuses to give Maxim and the party a discount at her shop, even while she's a party member (she'll leave the party temporarily to run behind the counter, and rejoin once you leave). Her justification is that her shop is doing poorly, which is no surprise given that she's off adventuring with you instead of running her shop.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star and its remakes, your old childhood buddy Ramus takes over a shop in Meribia. He initially charges you full price because he's still trying to establish his business, but just before the final battle with the fate of the entire world at stake, he gives you unlimited free items from his store to help out. This ends up being a good PR move, as after you do save the world, word gets around about him helping the Dragonmaster and he brings in more business than ever.
  • In both Makai Kingdom and Phantom Brave, you can have a merchant job class in your party; the higher level the merchant, the better stuff they sell (and possibly at lower prices). Said merchants still need to get stuff from somewhere (some kind of off-screen third party provider, possibly), so they still need money to pay for it.
  • Zigzagged in MapleStory; while you don't get discounts for your heroics, one benefit to belonging to a Guild is that they grant merchant discounts depending on their game ranking. The bigger the guild and the most high-Level players in said guild, the better the discount. Thus, a guild full of heroic players will indeed get a Hero Discount, but this is rendered void if you leave it.
  • In Mario & Luigi, shopkeepers are willing to give the Brothers a discount if they have good-looking mustaches (or in Bowser's case in the third game, if he has good-looking horns).
  • Mass Effect
    • Lampshaded in the first game, where you can yell at the requisitions officer of the Normandy (and pretty much anyone else who sells equipment during moments of emergency) for charging you for equipment. This turns out to be a justified case, however: the requisitions officer is actually obtaining you items that are not N7 standard issue out of his own pocket. He explains that each time ship docks he sells and buys weapons on his own expense and the more licenses and more money he has, the better he can supply you with. It's also completely justified during one mission; You can berate a shopkeeper about not giving you stuff, but he ALREADY gave a bunch of stuff to the paid security forces that had been protecting him and various others before you arrived, and he has no way of knowing how helpful you'll be anyway.
    • Averted in the sequel. You can get a discount at every shop, either by Charm/Intimidate dialogue or by completing a Side Quest. It's also lampshaded in this game by Mordin, a former salarian Special Task Group member who — comparing the STGs to the Spectres — comments that they're quite similar, but better-funded and not generally expected to buy their own weapons.
    • Mass Effect 3 averts it and plays it straight at different points. You can obtain discounts for certain intel choices, up to 10% off from all stores on the Citadel. On the other hand, you get charged an additional 10% if you buy things through the procurement terminal on the Normandy rather than the shops themselves.
  • Justified in Mega Man (Classic). Yes, it is annoying trying to find those screws, but Dr. Light kind of needs them if he's gonna build your equipment. Mega Man 7 even features a discount system in the form of finding Auto's missing bolt. No, the discount's not out of gratitude, but rather now that he's not impaired (he claims he has "a few screws loose" without it) he can make parts with less supplies as well as a few new ones.
  • Downplayed in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as the last act offers a 50% off all of the weapons etc. in Drebin's shop. However, this isn't directly related to aiding you on your missions; it's only because business is going bad (The disabling of ID'd guns creating a slump on the 'necessary' war economy) and they need to make sales.
  • In Metal Max Xeno, justified in-game. In a video game where the remainder of humanity is battling an A.I. onslaught - D'Annunzio, the manager of Iron Base, says that it's commerce that makes our species human. So he's not going to give you any discounts or freebies.
  • In Metro 2033, the only money is bartering with 5.45mm ammo left over from before the apocalypse. The ammo is in perfect condition, and packs more punch than the homemade crap you usually find. Therefore, you must choose between supporting the economy and saving your ass in a firefight. There's even an Achievement (Scrooge) for hoarding 500 Bullets.
  • Averted in Minecraft, which has a whole game mechanic built around the concept. Successfully defend a village in a pillager raid, and you'll receive the buff 'Hero of the Village' for a short period of time. Villager traders will give you generous discounts and random villagers will give you random gifts. If you cure a zombified villager, the discounts will be even greater, and you can subsequently re-infect and re-cure the same villager over and over again to get extremely valuable equipment for the same price as a loaf of bread (though this feature is due to be patched out in the 1.20.2 update). Conversely, attacking villagers will dramatically raise their prices and the prices of nearby villagers... assuming you can get near them to trade without the local iron golems stomping you into the ground.
  • Monster Hunter averts this, though in a roundabout way that goes unnoticed. Each game typically has "points", a Global Currency Exception that can be used instead of money in some places, and is outright required for certain specialized services. These points aren't actually currency, but represent the quid-pro-quo the Hunter has earned — for example, in Monster Hunter 4, the Hunter can claim services from travelling companions with Caravan Points, said companions explaining they're spotting the cost in return for quest work the Hunter has done.
  • MMORPGs can exaggerate this trope. Not only do you not get discounts for saving the town/country/world — not even if the shopkeeper himself gives you quests for 20 Bear Asses — but your fellow players will often charge ridiculously exorbitant prices for rare items and equipment.
    • Averted in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Certain overworld areas have major quest chains, usually given by an important person from that area, or otherwise about something much more important than some random person's problems. When you finish the major quest chain for an area, all shops in that area will give you a small discount.
    • Also averted in World of Warcraft, where you get discounts by 5% or so for every level of rep you have, up to 20% for exalted; unless you're a Goblin, whose merchantile skills, represented in the "Best Deals Anywhere" racial passive, lets them haggle down the prices to 20% off, as the name of the ability implies, anywhere..
  • The Neptunia series deserves a special mention. In every game, your party contains the very goddesses that rule over the world, and yet you're still forced to buy all of your items and equipment.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, you can ask a couple of merchants why you must pay if you are trying to save them all. One says you are "trying" — that is, he can't afford to lose money in case you fail, and if it comes to that he plans to run away. The other is a smith and needs gold for his furnace to burn properly.
    • During the climax of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, Volo helpfully comes to your party bearing supplies from the stores... that you have to pay for. He justifies it by saying that the merchants he requisitioned the items from expect to be paid for them.
  • Ocular Ink A freeware game. Parodied, in which the hero's travel fees are paid for by the government.
  • Justified in Ōkami's very last "shop" in the Ark of Yamato, the place where all the demons and evil spirits have gathered for you to defeat once and for all. You're not really "buying" anything — as Marco the NPC puts it, you are leaving a cash offering for the Celestials, and being rewarded based on however much you leave.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps averts this when you encounter Lupo the cartographer in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. He normally charges you for maps, but gives you the map for this area for free as he realizes that the situation is very dire.
  • The Talan in Outcast believe you're Messianic Archetype, prophecised to save them from tyranny. This doesn't stop a group of identical merchants, all brothers, from selling your own equipment to you and others (as "sacred objects") in an attempt to prove to their father that they can make enough money to inherit the family business.
  • Absent in the original Paper Mario , where the Toad Houses are free of charge. It is hinted somewhere in the game it's because they're owned by the Mushroom Kingdom and thus are a public service and not a private one like in every other RPG.
  • Justified in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door where Mario and his crew get no discounts whatsoever, but at the same time they're not objectively out on a quest to save the world but merely out to save Princess Peach again. To everyone else they're just another dime-a-dozen group of adventurers on a personal quest and undeserving of a discount, and while they do inadvertently save the world nobody is even aware of this until the game credits start.
  • One of the children in Persona 3 was the daughter to a multi-national company. God forbid they spare a couple million yen to help save the world.
    • Justified in that the multinational was doing everything in its power to hide that they caused the problems that she's trying to repair in the first place. Why would they do anything that might give away what they're hiding? Even when she takes it over following her father's murder, she still answers to the stockholders and can't pull any resources out of their grip. (Besides, she talks them into giving you a way to buy weapons in the first place — not to mention putting the Robot Girl on your team, something they could theoretically overrule.)
  • Averted in Persona 5 with the Airsoft Shop (where you can buy weapons and armor) and Medical Clinic (where you can buy healing items). Getting a high confidante rank with the store owners causes them to give you significant discounts on their wares. Justified with every other store since nobody knows you're a hero.
  • The Black Market Imps in Pinball Quest charge you full price for better equipment. Justified as they don't care about your quest in the least.
  • Completely averted in Quest 64. Inns will let you stay the night for free, and shops and pubs will give you consumables without asking for a single thing in return. This is stated in at least one place to be due to the villager's gratitude towards the monastery the protagonist is from. However, vendors will refuse to hand over an item if you already have an identical one in your inventory. No need to be greedy!
  • Justified in Quest for Glory series, in which every game takes place in a totally new setting, where your heroism in the previous games is known only to a few people, if any. The second game somewhat averts this trope: the people who you helped in the first game provide you with free room and board at their inn, and the merchants will give you the items you need to subdue the Elementals for free, but only if you ask at the appropriate time (so they won't just hand you over a brass lamp at any random point just because you asked for it, but if there's a fire elemental rampaging and you explain that you need it to capture it, they'll do so). The exception to this is Issur the blacksmith, but then it's well-established that he's a Jerkass.
  • A voluntary example in Rabi-Ribi: shopkeeper Miriam is willing to offer her wares to protagonist Erina at no cost, as Miriam is friends with Erina's master Rumi, but Erina insists on paying like everyone else. Miriam still insists on giving her a discount, and will periodically give her items for free anyway.
  • Lampshaded in Ratchet & Clank with this conversation involving a scientist they've rescued from mutant aliens:
    Scientist: How about I sell you these, at cost?
    Ratchet: 'Sell?' After we just saved your scrawny butt?
    Scientist: All right, all right. I'll throw in the employee discount too.
  • Can be averted or played straight in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, seeing as you're the merchant and it's up to you whether or not adventurers get discounts. Tear recommends that you give discounts to the heroes you hire, even if at a loss sometimes, since it will save you from having to equip them when you go dungeon crawling. Think of it as an investment.
  • Averted in Red Dead Redemption as a sufficiently famous and heroic John Marston can get up to 50% discount in the shops. However, the shops in the game's Wretched Hive, Thieves' Landing, which, in an inversion of the trope, only give a 50% discount if you are deeply criminal.
  • In Resident Evil 4, the vendor charges you rather high prices for weapons and other items, even though Los Illuminados are just as much a threat to him as to you (Though Fanon and the heat scope show he may be infected, and thus in less danger). Lampooned in this Penny Arcade strip.
  • Averted in Romancing SaGa 2, where, as a monarch, the player has access to such ungodly sums of money from the country's treasury that they never have to worry about being able to afford equipment from stores. Building new facilities in their kingdom, on the other hand...
  • Justified in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, where you're on a self-sufficient exploration ship with a fabrication lab; the options aren't "buy" and "sell" but "Manufacture" and "Dispose," and they're just using the resources you picked up (and demon money, "macca,") to build stuff. Macca is actually a form of energy used to power the ship's fabricators and healing devices. Since there are a ton of wounded soldiers and soldiers who need better weapons, armor, and revived demons, if they all just extracted what they wanted without ponying up the energy difference in macca, you'd swiftly be out of juice in the heart of an alternate dimension filled with demons.
  • Late in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, party member Hallelujah becomes the new boss of the Ashura-Kai. The first time you visit an Ashura-Kai item shop after his inaguration, the shopkeeper will say hi to her new boss, but she doesn't offer any discounts.
  • Averted in Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight receives ichor from the Troupple King for free (though he still has to purchase a chalice to hold it). In Plague Knight's campaign "Plague of Shadows", the Troupple King charges Plague Knight a hefty sum for ichor, because he's a villain and therefore needs to pay a "repentance fee". This is actually an example of Gameplay and Story Integration: As Plague Knight you are buying armor upgrades, rather than just refilling your health potions.
  • Averted in Slime Forest Adventure, but in an unusual way. You're not a hero, you're a local farmer. You don't actually become a "hero" until after you've Saved the Princess (and even then, you only become a member of the royal guard rather than a famous hero). At the same time, the king inverts this. If you bring him some evidence that you've actually got a shot at saving the princess, he'll just give you an axe to replace the hoe you've been using.
  • Splatoon 2: Zigzagged. Sheldon will not give you a discount just because you're saving and/or have saved the city; however, he does let you borrow all of the weapons you need and even gives you non-tournament-legal versions that are more powerful than the ones in the multiplayer.
  • In Spyro the Dragon, Moneybags not only never gives you a discount, he charges you exorbitant amounts not only for items, and even sometimes to get places you need to go. Chasing after him in Year of the Dragon is more satisfying than fighting bosses.
  • Lampshaded toward the end of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The Morphus, an ancient and advanced race of galactic guardians, have recognized you as a group of remarkably powerful heroes, and have made you the spearhead in their strategy to prevent the destruction of the entire universe. However, if you approach their own weapons-vendor, he will curtly inform you that "Despite the impending end of the universe, we unfortunately cannot offer you a discount..." But actually it's averted — you can get a 10% discount in this and every other store, if you help the owner with a few Fetch Quests. You can find or craft several vending machines for your ship. Yes, you still have to pay full price for the items even when you own the "shop."
  • Also lampshaded in Star Ocean: Second Evolution by an NPC mercenary at the Lacuer Frontline Base, who's planning to steal the equipment he needs to fight the monster army invading the country.
  • Steve Jackson's Sorcery: When the shopkeeper of the First Town tells you the price for rations, you can choose "Haggle" and your character will tell him that s/he is "the new best hope" for the kingdom. The shopkeeper apologises, but says "I still have to feed my family, whatever happens to the Crown."
  • Averted in Stonekeep. The only shop in the game is owned by a dwarf who'll charge you full price despite the fact that you're at war with their mortal enemies, the throggs...until you show him some feathers from a throgg shaman's headdress. He then goes on to tell you that his family was murdered by a throgg shaman (possibly the one you killed) and allows you to take whatever you want from his shop for free!
  • The Suikoden games have this as well.
    • In Suikoden, you're the son of a well-respected general and later become The Leader of the army. Do you get any discounts? Nope.
    • In Suikoden II, you're leading against another nation because of an Ax-Crazy Warrior Prince ravaging the land and you are a former child solider of his army. You can employ a glitch in the game that can give you unlimited money bur still no discount.
  • In Summoner 2, much like Romancing SaGa, the PC is a Queen (and The Chosen One besides), with full access to the Royal Treasury... which, unfortunately, is rather bare when you start the game. Earn some gold by adventuring and invest it wisely, however, and your kingdom will soon start to earn you enough money to buy whatever equipment you need. Unfortunately, you can't buy equipment within your own kingdom. Guess that would be too easy...
  • Super Mario RPG:
    • In the final dungeon, just before the entrance to the final boss battle against Smithy, The Toad as in Peach's assistant, sets up the area with a save block. He also sets up shop to sell you items like mushrooms and revival potions. Note that this Toad is on your side and the fate of the world hangs in the balance on this next fight. Guess the economy's more important than that. Although he does sell them at half price.
    • It gets weird when storming Bowser's Castle in the endgame, where Kamek will still sell Bowser and the others end-game equipment, and to help them afford the prices conjures a block that never runs out of coins, but only gives them one at a time, making it so that you have to strike it over a thousand times to buy everything. And you can carry at most 999 coins, so even if you came prepared you'll still have to jump quite a while.
    • Before that, Hinopio charges positively extraordinary prices for the luxury of sleeping on a pile of wooden crates. In a volcano. This gets lampshaded in the official strategy guide. (It helps that Hinopio is the only inn in the volcano. It also makes for a great moment when Mario awakens face-down on the very uncomfortable-looking crates.)
  • Super Paper Mario
    • You're saving the universe, and you still have to pay for every single thing including Inns, items, and even fortune telling on which places you're supposed to be. How about the fact that Mario was the legendary hero to save the universe foretold 1000 years ago? And of course the things you buy are twice as costly as when you sell them.
    • Bestovius makes reference to this trope, telling Mario that he will not teach him how to flip dimensions for free, and complaining that "heroes always expect everything to be given to them!". It does turn into a subversion if you refuse to pay twice in a row, whereupon he offers to teach it for free just so you can continue on your quest.
  • This goes back to Super Mario Bros. 3 where Toad lets you pick one of three boxes and get whatever item is inside it. Why not just let Mario get the items from all three boxes?
  • Princess Peach can't even catch a break from her own subjects. In Super Princess Peach, Toad is pretty annoyed if she asks for something in his shop and doesn't have enough Coins, and the worst part is, this game has an Adam Smith Hates Your Guts rule in regards to Vibe Tea and Tough Coffee. (Sure, the Mushroom Kingdom is in it's Darkest Hour with both Mario and Luigi being held hostage, but the guy can't fudge the rules for the Princess, right?) (Although Peach can get infinite coins if you know the "trick".)
  • Tales of Symphonia: Played with
    • Averted. Some service providers are initially happy to help out for free when they discover that you're the Chosen's group. Naturally, you quickly run into a group of people taking advantage of this by impersonating you.
    • Played straight. None of the actual shops'll give you any credit. The shopkeeper in the Doomed Hometown won't give a discount for the people who are going to save the world and whom he's known forever. Even "Marble's" charges you full price, even after you are identified as the Chosen's group and directly save the lives of both Chocolat and Cacao, the owners of the shop. This likely stems from the party not wanting to take advantage of people, as said group of impersonators are more than happy to ask for discounts that they actually get.
    • Averted again. Later when you get Regal, the president of a very powerful company — his mere presence in the party gives you a 10% discount on everything you buy and 10% bonus for everything you sell (provided you have his EX Skill "Personal" on). But the name of said skill is "Charisma", meaning it is his charm, not his business connections or anything. As to why a character in tattered prison clothes, messy hair and handcuffs inspires such respect in shopkeepers is left unexplained.
    • There's a similar aversion in Tales of the Abyss: Jade's "Emperor's Best Friend" title gives you a 10% discount buying, and Anise's Katz costume gives a 10% bonus selling. There's also a global economy system by which you reduce the price of goods in each town by doing sidequests that help out the townspeople, and reducing the price of goods in one location affects the price of the same goods in others. For example, since Engeve is stated to grow lots of food, lowering prices there will affect food prices worldwide.
  • Played for laughs in Tales of Berseria. During the game, you come across a little man in a turtle suit. Turns out, he's part of a traveling merchant group whom are notorious for overpricing their items. Because the main characters in the game is a Anti-Hero at best and a Villain Protagonist at worst, it doesn't take long for him to fall in line and lower the prices, despite his constant whining about it.
  • In Tears to Tiara, the hero tries to persuade Epona the shopkeeper to give stuff for free, because he is fighting for world peace and everything. She responds by giving a lecture that healthy economy is necessary for world peace, and if she will give stuff for free, it will ruin the economy. Said economic theory is definitely anachronistic.
  • In the Diablo clone Throne of Darkness, you can rescue a blacksmith who then joins your home base. To improve his inventory, you have to give him found equipment that he can take apart. You can then buy better gear. That's right: you have to give him tons of stuff for free, but he'll charge you money for stuff you want. Note that the game takes place in a shogunate-era Japan overrun by demons and monsters, he works for you (or rather your master), and you saved his life.
  • Lampshaded and averted in the final chapter of Treasure of the Rudra — Cid does give you a discount, but is chewed out because he still charges you at all, claiming he's selling from his personal emergency stash.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has a variation. Instead of buying better equipment for Squad 7, you pay the R&D fees to develop better equipment, which is then issued to them for no further charge. Let's not ask why one militia squad seems to be directing the entire R&D effort of the nation of Gallia.
  • Warframe:
    • You have to pay rather hefty amounts of credits to build things at your own personal foundry, in addition to the costs in materials. Side material reveals that this is a result of your ship's Cephalon skimming off the top in order to keep the ship maintained, the food stores stocked, and so on. If he didn't do that, your ship would fall apart and you'd starve to death after spending all your money buying a bunch of weapons blueprints off the market.
    • Justified with the various factions, syndicates, and colonies that you help out on your adventures. The currency you use to buy stuff from a faction is called "standing". It is earned by doing missions/bounties for them and giving them certain relevant items, and can be used to claim items from their merchants: from an In-Universe perspective, they're giving you the items for free to thank you for your assistance, with standing representing how indebted they feel towards you (and therefore how much they're willing to hand out).
  • In X-Men Legends II, Beast and Forge will charge their friends for health, energy and powerups. Pretty mercenary, considering that the X-Men and Brotherhood are using these items to defeat Apocalypse. Justified in that they accept not money, but "tech bits" (little pieces of Applied Phlebotinum dropped from enemies and destroyed objects), meaning that rather than charging ou for stuff in their inventory, they're building you stuff with raw materials you bring them.

    Web Animation 
  • The Final Fantasy example is parodied in the flash animation "Awesome Tribute" by Ricepirate.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In the Minecraft Let's Play/roleplay series Dogcraft, Stacy borrows dozens of treats from Madeleine, the villager running Basil's Barkery, in Episode 81, "The Creeper War". This is done to level all her wolves up to maximum level Creeper Sweeper so that they can fight against the creepers taking over Dogcraft. However, this leaves her in debt with Madeleine, who constantly demands payment in gold for the treats. This eventually causes Addison to lead the wolf pack into the Nether to steal gold from the zombie pigmen in order to help Stacy pay back her debt, which leads to... a lot of trouble.
  • The Legend of Neil takes this trope to a new level. Not only will the shopkeeper not give Link/Neil a discount, but he tries to cheat him, swindle him of more money than he has and then kill him.
  • The reason shopkeepers won't give you a discount when you claim to be saving the world is probably that they've already heard it a dozen times, as seen on Not Always Right.
  • Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation made fun of such RPG shopkeeper behavior, in the Torchlight review:
    Yahtzee: I have a lot of respect for the fantasy peasant village economic model. It seems those guys have a good scam going. You just accidentally build your village in walking distance of the local gnoll camp, or near a dragon cave, or directly on top of a gateway to hell, build a big fat checkpoint in the village center and keep giving birth to potential kidnap-victims, and your shopkeeper, your blacksmith, your tailor and your innkeeper, they'll all be set for fucking life.

    Western Animation 
  • Seen in Cyberchase in the episode "The Snelfu Snafu: Part 2", when the Cybermates had to pay full price for parts to locate the Encryptor Chip to save Motherboard.
  • Zigzagged in an episode of Filmation's Ghostbusters. To combat a dragon that's melting the polar caps and causing global flooding, the heroes have to fly back to civilization and get an industrial-strength fire extinguisher. The merchant doesn't demand payment on the spot (he expresses concern over the flooding himself), but does say he'll mail them the bill.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy not only doesn't get a discount but is actually overcharged for produce because the store owner is an asshole, and Twilight Sparkle is unable to hail a cab in Manehattan. Keep in mind both of these folks have saved the world several times over, are national heroes, and the latter is royalty.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Masked superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are frequent patrons of the Krusty Krab, but they have to pay full price just like everyone else. Barnacle Boy attempts to ask for a "living legend discount", to no avail. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie has Mr. Krabs hastily try to up the prices of everything when King Neptune arrives.
  • Discussed in an episode of Steven Universe: Peridot thinks the Gems should have taken a shopping cart while they were at a store, and when Pearl protests that that would be stealing, Peridot says they should be able to take whatever they want as a reward for saving the planet. Lapis chimes in that they should "at least get a discount."

    Real Life 
  • Often, the person behind the counter is not the decision-maker who has the ability to grant you a discount. Giving you free things is essentially stealing from their employer (unless they make up the difference out of their own pockets).
  • The reason that many veterans hate the Red Cross is that they charged soldiers for doughnuts during World War II. They also charged for shaving kits in the Korean War. Without telling the troops about the charge, or that accepting it was optional. This is also an example of General Failure. The Brass told the Red Cross to charge the soldiers as our allies weren't getting that for free so neither should our soldiers. The reason for that is the American Red Cross had a lot more resources than the other Red Cross as it was from a country not being bombed.
  • Members of the Canadian Armed Forces get absolutely soaked when paying Rations and Quarters, their equivalent of Room and Board when staying in shacks and eating at the mess hall. Paying for the shacks itself it not too expensive, ranging from a meager $70 to $100 a month, but a soldier is also forced to pay an additional $350 to $450 a month to eat at the mess hall. Yes this is mandatory; you cannot live in the shacks without paying to eat at the mess hall as well. Ask any Canadian soldier how they feel about this if you have good half hour to kill.