So someone starts working at a job, and after their first week, they receive their first paycheck: They are overjoyed... only to discover that a large percentage of their own pay had to be deducted for tax-related issues, at which point they are angered.
This is a Truth in Television.
- Subverted in FoxTrot, where Peter mentions how much of his pay was cut when he received his first paycheck from his summer job at the movie theater, and Roger says "Welcome to the world of taxes." Peter then reveals that he wasn't referring to taxes, but to the price of all the theater snacks he helped himself to.
- Dilbert: Dilbert and Wally are very well aware of this trope. When they have to give a new worker their first paycheck (a person who previously got paid in full for her jobs), they donned earmuffs to block out her screams of anguish when she saw how much was deducted. It didn't save their coffee, though.
- Zits: This happens when Jeremy receives his first paycheck from the movie theatre. He starts ranting and storms off. Walt watches all of this and comments that he might just have seen the birth of a conservative.
- Our Miss Brooks: Happens to Miss Brooks in Easter Outfit. Miss Brooks finds the $50.00 she earned working at the board of education during spring break to be considerably eroded by tax deductions.
- In the Looney Tunes cartoon "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper", Elmer Fudd is in the middle of hunting Bugs when suddenly he gets a letter from his Uncle Louie that he is getting three million dollarsnote in his will as long as Elmer gives up hunting. Bugs proceeds to take advantage of this, moving in with Elmer Fudd, using up his hot water, taking his food and generally being a nuisance with the threat of telling Uncle Louie that he is being abused if he doesn't cower to his demands. When Uncle Louie dies, he inherits the money, but due to various fees and taxes, by the time he gets the letter he now owes the attorney $1.98. While disappointed by his rotten luck, Elmer is free to enact vengeance on the rabbit.