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Scolded for Not Buying

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"Hmph. What a waste of time. Go and fall off a cliff."
The Undead Merchant, Dark Souls 1

Most video games allow you to enter and leave their barter menus at your leisure, regardless of whether you have any money or if you actually buy anything. Some, however, avert this by having the merchant react with displeasure if you decide to raise their hopes for potential profit and then dash them by leaving the barter menu without making any transactions. Whether it's them just politely commenting on this, or calling you the worst scum on Earth for wasting their time, it's this trope.


Generally NOT Truth in Television, unless the customer is obviously just wasting the time of the merchant or the sales staff (or is a repeat offender of excessively only window shopping on the premises instead of buying actual stuff). Even if the merchant can't help the customer at this time, they nonetheless want them to remember them as pleasant and helpful, in case they are looking for something else in the future that the store might be able to supply.

Compare Adam Smith Hates Your Guts. Also compare Shoplift and Die, when punishment is dealt for those trying to get stuff for free.



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    Action Adventure Games 
  • In The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja, if you decide not to buy anything, the shopkeeper gets an angry look and asks you to leave.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Beedle complains loudly if you leave his shop without buying. Somewhat justified in that he has to pedal extra hard to get the hot-air balloon shop down to the ground.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, if you leave Beedle's shop without buying anything, he will activate the trap door to kick you out for the same reason, except this time the reason he needs to pedal harder is to keep his shop afloat with both of you in it.
  • The starting trader Sidorovich in STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl will gripe at you if you open the trading menu and then don't make a transaction.

    Adventure Games 

    Hack 'n' Slash Games 
  • Dark Souls: all the merchants have several responses to the player leaving without making a purchase, including the first one encountered in the game telling you to go fall off a cliff and calling you a cheap bastard.

    Platform Games 

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party 4: Some of the item shopkeepers will lambaste you for passing by the item shop without buying anything. Boo, for instance, will say, "What!? Why did you even come in if you're not going to buy anything!? What a waste of time!"

    MMO Games 
  • Warframe: If the player does not buy anything from him and is not equipped with a Prime item, Baro Ki'Teer will often comment about how the player has something to work towards, implying the items are out of their reach, or recommend Darvo as an alternative, implying that he finds Darvo's merchandise is at a lower tier than his.


    Role Playing Games 
  • In Bug Fables:
    • Hot-tempered Cricketly of the travelling caravan gets annoyed if you check an item but won't buy it.
    Cricketly: Are you sure? Well, your loss, these items aren't found anywhere else!
    • Similarly, a variation occurs with the quest boards; in Golden Settlement and Defiant Root, if you see the quest but will not take it, the quest board runners will scold you for wasting their time.
      Golden Settlement quest board runner: Stop wasting my time then.
      Defiant Root quest board runner: (angrily) Pick something else, then!
  • A few of the shopkeepers in Earthbound:
    Twoson department store tool shop: Are you here just to say hi? What a loser!
    Summers shop: This place isn't for looky loos. If you're not buying, get out!
    Scaraba shop: Why don't you buy something? I've got a family to feed!
  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl has Shilleka comment "Next time you should buy something."
  • Variation in Final Fantasy IX: If you summon the moogle on the World Map then send him away without saving, he will say "Don't call me if you don't need me, Kupo!" as he leaves. Do this multiple times in a row, and he'll start giving more angry/sinister responses until they finally devolve into angrish. Doing this also nets you an achievement in the PC and PS4 versions of the game.
  • Downplayed in The World Ends with You. Shopkeepers have different 'friendship' ratings, affecting their dialogue and how many abilities they can unlock for certain equipment. At low friendship ratings, they'll comment about the missed sale, but it's more of an aside, to-themselves remark. The owner of a certain high-class shop will even observe that the player characters are teenagers and her prices are in the seven-digit yen zone.
  • Grunt in Mass Effect 2 will be peeved if you decline expending resources for his customized shotgun after you ask him about any prototypes he might have that might help on the mission.
  • In Might and Magic VI, VII and VIII, most merchants say some comment that ranges from sarcasm to outright anger if you have at least 10000 gold and leave without making any transactions. Often, one of your party members will take umbrage at what they just heard.
  • In Wasteland 2, some merchants will comment on you not making any transactions, and there's at least one randomly encountered merchant who will threaten to get into a fight with you if leave barter without buying anything.
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, merchants will complain if you sell stuff to them, but don't buy from them.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, every merchant will, without fail, whine or complain if you don't buy anything.
  • In the 3DS entries of the Etrian Odyssey series with voice acting, starting from The Millennium Girl, various voiced townsfolk are audibly displeased if you visit and leave without doing anything else. The most notable instance of this is Shellika, who says "Next time you should buy something."
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Nopon merchants in particular will express displeasure or even insult the party if the player backs out without buying. Human merchants sometimes voice displeasure, but usually more of the disappointed variety.

    Simulation Games 
  • In the Animal Crossing series, Crazy Redd is a rather eccentric figure in the black market. However, he seems a bit miffed if you were to leave his shop without buying anything.
  • In FTL: Faster Than Light, most merchants won't mind if you don't buy anything, but there is a random encounter where you can contact a ship that has equipment for sale, and if you look at his inventory but don't buy anything, he'll attack you for wasting his time.
  • Inverted in Kitty Powers' Matchmaker: If you set up a date between two customers but cancel it in the last second, the customer will make an annoyed comment.

    Strategy Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • In Daughter for Dessert, Kathy doesn’t take kindly to a “customer” who comes to the diner for the ambience, but doesn’t want to order any food.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • In Grand Theft Auto V online if you call one of your contacts but do not make use of their services, they will make a comment about you acting weird.
  • Villagers in Minecraft announce their displeasure rather loudly when you just flip through their offers.