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The Thing That Would Not Leave

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"It came seventeen years ago—and to this day
It has shown no intention of going away."

Everyone wants to be polite, especially to a guest in your home, and hospitality is a sacred virtue. Unfortunately, your courtesy is not always reciprocated, and, to your horror, you can find yourself trapped with The Thing That Would Not Leave—the guest who stays seemingly forever.

Many a Dom Com has used the set-up of a house guest who will not leave, despite hints and repeated requests. The put-upon homeowners must find a way to remove this unwanted guest without being rude, but no matter how many times they yawn, look at the clock, or mention an early appointment for the next day, their guest remains an immovable fixture on the couch.

The most common way of getting caught in this trap is to take in a friend or relative who's down on their luck "just for a few days". Supposedly the situation will be temporary until they get back on their feet. Invariably the friend will either be a complete eccentric or have absolutely no regard for the people whose home they're squatting in. After having their lives turned completely upside down by someone who appears to have no clue as to the harm they're doing, the inevitable confrontation occurs.

Expect a tearful farewell from the guest as they disappear out into the cold, and a mountain of regret from the homeowners as they wonder whether there was a better way to handle the situation. Or, alternatively, an attempt for the guest to provoke a tearful farewell by acting wounded and bemoaning their hosts' ungraciousness — only for the by-now hard-hearted host, who has gone way past any limits of tolerance they may have had with this annoying and inconsiderate leech, to push them out the door (perhaps while screaming, "Get Out!"), slam it shut and lock it behind them.

Alternately, the host may end up facing a serious crisis that could lead to their being humiliated, ruined or otherwise facing a very bad outcome. When the host is at the end of their rope, the guest solves the problem either by turning to be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass who turns their skills to repaying their host's kindness, being The Social Expert and charming whoever is causing the host's grief, etc. The host's aggravation will likely dissipate after this.

Pity the adherent of Sacred Hospitality, who might have to put up with this from people they don't even like. As a result of this, many such codes include an upper limit on how long the rules apply or circumstances under which the rules no longer apply, such as if the guest was caught stealing from their hosts, or tried to rape any of the hosts. Compare the Basement-Dweller, who may become this to his (or more rarely, her) parents, especially if the dweller is still something of a Spoiled Brat. If they stay for more than one episode and become a mainstay of the series, they may be a Token Houseguest.

Named for the Saturday Night Live sketch that presented this premise as a horror movie trailer, featuring John Belushi as the Thing. Compare with The Cat Came Back and Pretty Freeloaders. For those who refuse to leave because they forget it's not their house, see House Amnesia.


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  • A Taco Bell radio ad for a super-sized menu item poses the situation where a person attending a party doesn't leave despite many subtle hints. The ad suggests buying the item, which is large enough for two people, and eating it by yourself to make the point clear.
  • Microsoft ran an ad where Seinfield and Bill Gates stayed way past their welcome in an average family home in an effort to understand the average consumer.
  • A commercial for a flu medication featured Wayne "Newman" Knight playing a personification of the disease, who refuses to leave a family's home as he spreads illness and annoyance to them all.
  • A variation occurs in this Washington state lottery commercial, where paying off one mime to stop his acting attracts other mimes who try to pull off the same act in order to get paid to leave.
    Lottery Winner: Go away!
  • According to a 1979 commercial, one of the things Airwick Carpet Fresh can help you with is "the fish that comes to dinner... and stays".

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black★Rock Shooter, Kagari calls Mato this and resorts to being completely goddamned scary to drive her away.
  • Sakura from Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan suffers greatly from this trope, since Dokuro-chan decides to live with him. Oh, and did we mention she beats the living shit out of him to the point of killing him? That's fine, she just resurrects him, only to kill him again and again... And there's nothing he can do, she's come to stay.
  • Digimon Data Squad: This is brought up by Agumon himself during the final episode when he tells Masaru that he's going to return to the Digital World. Prior to this, Agumon was welcomed by the Daimon household because he's Masaru's partner and surrogate younger brother and both were working for DATS. But after the Grand Finale, DATS gets disbanded and all Digimon are returning to their original world, something that Masaru doesn't want to accept. Agumon has to make it clear to him that "Digimon alarm" isn't going to be a thing anymore, and if Agumon were to stay with the Daimons (even if they're still welcoming him), all he would be is a freeloader who does nothing but eat tamagoyaki all day, becoming more of a burden the longer he's staying.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: An early stage of Ling Yao's friendship with Ed consists of Ling sitting uninvited in Ed's hotel room ordering room service by the ton at Ed's expense. Luckily for Ed's wallet, the stage doesn't last for too long, because Ling is also a Badass Normal with the ability to detect homunculi, and so are both of his bodyguards, so they quickly get involved in the actual plot.
  • Momiji of Good Luck Girl! is a unique example, since she actually can't leave until she steals a large amount of Ichiko's fortune energy, because he was born with more energy than normal humans.
  • In Haré+Guu Hare suddenly has to live with Guu, since his mother decided to adopt her out of the blue. Guu also loves to torment the poor kid, and he can't do anything against it.
  • Northern Italy from Hetalia: Axis Powers is this to Germany initially, hanging around, irritating him, and generally being useless. Despite Germany's attempts to throw him out, then give him away, he always returns. Eventually the two become close friends, however.
  • Hinamatsuri: Yakuza gangster Nitta finds himself forced to take care of a young telekinetic girl who just arrived at his house one day.
  • In Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens, Jin suddenly sees his house shared with Nagi who doesn't have a hint of courtesy and gratitude in her. Though he does have some confrontations with her, he eventually sets that aside and learns to like her the way she is.
  • Kiznaiver: Chidori accuses both Tenga and Hisomu of being this. Tenga moves in with Katsuhira after their first adventure to guarantee he would not hurt himself by accident since he Feels No Pain and Hisomu starts hanging out in Katsuhira's house all the time just because he wants Katsuhira to hurt himself.
  • The "Baka" prince from Level E made himself a guest in Tsutsui's house, much to his annoyance.
  • In Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, the thing that would not leave (Neuro) is not only in Yako's house, but anywhere she goes. He treats her like a dog, but somehow she gets used to his extravagances.
  • My Hero Academia: Vigilantes: Professional superhero Eraserhead becomes this to a couple of drug dealers of all people, routinely using their hideout for stakeouts without asking and randomly popping in to get the word on the street from them. He basically treats this as their punishment, since they're too small-time to be worth busting (they actually sell a totally legal drug, they just aren't licensed).
  • Romantic Comedy Please Go Home, Akutsu-san! is a classic tale of "delinquent girl meets boy, girl stalks boy to find where he lives, girl shows up basically every single day and quickly begins staying there while boy's too much of a Chivalrous Pervert to mind".
  • Pokémon Journeys: The Series: A Morpeko follows the Team Rocket trio from Galar all the way back to Kanto, and ends up routinely devouring their food, much to their chagrin and annoyance. Eventually, though, James ends up growing fond of it and catches it.
  • Invoked by Miki in Ramen Fighter Miki episode 7 A, “Peel Off the Fake Smile”, when Burger Fool Miki wants to expose The Rival Megumi true nature as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Miki goes to Megumi’s bakery as a client and stays there for hours, trying to get into Megumi’s nerves and make her drop her façade of The Fake Cutie in front of Megumi’s clients, ensuring they see Beneath the Mask and so they would not return to Megumi’s bakery.
  • Ranma ½ has Happosai, the greedy old lecher who trained Soun and Genma, and who now insists that he has a right to stay at Soun's house despite his constant sexual harassment of Soun's daughters. Every attempt to kick him out has failed and has often led to comedic Disproportionate Retribution.
    • From the Tendo daughters' point of view, Ranma and Genma are this as well. Many a fanfic call them out on it.
  • Re:Zero: Roswaal's librarian, Beatrice, has enhanced his library to prevent anyone but him from entering. This serves especially well in her favor as she prefers her own company. Unfortunately for her, Subaru is immune to the enchantment and can enter the library at any time he wants, which he does on a regular basis to visit Beatrice. This of course bothers Beatrice to no end but she can't do anything about it because Beatrice herself has no idea how Subaru can get past her magic.
  • Ageha in They Are My Noble Masters. She kisses Ren and begins ignoring her own butler, makes him train, takes up all his time and attention, obstructs his duties, and makes him cook dinner. While not quite to comedic lethal chef levels, he's never cooked before.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: Uzaki makes a point of being present at Sakurai's apartment as much as she possibly can, so that his resistance against her gradually diminishes. One of her more subtle methods to encroach him is by gradually bringing her own stuff into his apartment, which he chides her for. That is, until she offers to cook for him, leaving him no foothold to reclaim his lost space.

    Comic Books 
  • At the end of Atomic Robo and the Vengeful Dead, Dr Dinosaur decides (based on his typical moon logic) that Tesladyne consulting with him about Zorth cartography and related interdimensional shenanigans during the plot constituted a job offer, and declares himself Phil Broughton's roommate at Tesladyne. Phil is not pleased.
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics miniseries Topokolossal had this as one of the secondary plots: while the main plot was about Mickey Mouse and friends being tricked by Pete, Portis, and Black Spot into starring in a science fiction series with a sadistic director so they won't investigate the three thieves' latest robbery, one of the secondary plots had a family from Mouseton watching the series... And their friends from Duckburg, who had done the same in the previous story about Scrooge's soap opera, mooching off them and ignoring suggestions they just leave until the villains try and fail to Take Over the World, during which they stayed there to protect their friends' house from the droid armies... And, as pointed out by their host, left their own house defenseless and could have been thrashed, at which point they run back hoping it had been spared.
  • A Silent Hill graphic novel puts a horror twist on this. A bum artist who went from friend to friend mooching this way sees a report on Silent Hill, an abandoned town that still has water and electricity and fully stocked markets. Never questioning his luck for a second, he moves there and starts painting... and seeing ungodly abominations who are always polite to him and pose for his portraits. He paints them, sends the portraits to his manager, becomes famous and rich... and realizes he's in a Closed Circle. The town is punishing his impoliteness. He tries to escape with the help of a bus full of cheerleaders, but that ends badly.
  • Squirrel Girl kicked Deadpool out of the GLI clubhouse when he wouldn't leave. She was alerted in a Meanwhile, in the Future… situation: she had gone to the future, and the team leader (who is immortal) had waited 90 years to ask her to go back in time to kick Deadpool out.
  • Done in the Swedish comic strip Rocky, down to even using this same title, with Rocky's friend Rippo being drunk off his ass after a party in his apartment, where he ends up causing a flood in the kitchen and costing Rocky a hookup with a girl he met. He then comments that Rocky really needs to get laid since he's acting all tense. So Rocky takes it out on Rippo's ass... literally
  • Tintin:
    • In The Castafiore Emerald, Bianca Castafiore invites herself to Marlinspike Hall for a vacation. She ends up spending several weeks there.
    • Jolyon Wagg (Séraphin Lampion) is even worse, as he lacks any and all awareness of how much people loathe him, his intrusive behavior, and his incessant attempts to sell them insurance. (Even Bianca Castafiore can't put up with him.) At one point he and his entire extended family moves into Marlinspike Hall, with no intention of leaving even when Haddock outright tells them to. Until Calculus (incorrectly) tells him Haddock has a contagious disease; then they leave in a hurry
  • Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: Subverted when the shop (which was also his house) was destroyed, Elektra asks her sensei to allow her father to stay. But she clarifies that it's just for the night, and he would seek a hotel in the morning.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dennis the Menace (US): Dennis Mitchell will never stop going to George Wilson's house, no matter how much the cantankerous old man begs (or roars) at him to just go away. In a few stories, Dennis even decides that he needs to do something to "cheer up Mr. Wilson" as a result of yet another attempt by Wilson to ask him to leave, leading to more mayhem.
  • Doonesbury:
    • Used when Zonker moves in with Mike and J.J. to the point of seriously grating on their nerves. J.J. comments at one point that it's like having a teenage son (which was surprisingly appropriate, with Mike even giving him an allowance).
    • J.J.'s once and future boyfriend Zeke also moved back in with her when she started dating Mike after Zeke had burned down Duke's house.
    • And then there are the times when Zonker's father moves in after bickering with his wife, much to Zonker's annoyance.
    • One story arc had Zonker moving in with an English nobleman when he was called in to vote a tiebreaker for the House of Lords (he bought an English title, long story). Long after the vote, he remains at the castle, oblivious to the clear exasperation the castle staff and his host feel towards him. He finally is booted forcibly by his host, who took the liberty of packing for him.
    • As of this writing, it appears another such scenario is in the works with Uncle Duke. One might expect Duke to be the unwanted guest, but in this case, he's the host—the guest is Trff Bmzklfrpz, former President-for-Life of Greater Berzerkistan. Duke arranged an extraction to get him out of Berzerkistan just ahead of a revolution, but it turns out that Trff's Swiss bank accounts have been frozen, and he's penniless with nowhere to go.
  • One The Far Side cartoon depicted: "The Arnolds feign death until the Wagners, sensing awkwardness, are compelled to leave."
  • In For Better or for Worse, when Elly gives birth to April, a distant cousin of John's (whom Elly has never even met) invites herself to come and stay with the Pattersons to help out with the baby. She stays on and on, getting in the way, making messes, letting her cat run roughshod over everything, and totally freeloading. John eventually breaks down and puts a security deposit on an apartment for her just to get her out of the house. To add insult to injury, a number of people think that the cousin is John's mistress, although there's no indication that the Pattersons themselves ever find out about the misconception.
  • Garfield is sometimes this to Jon, with one strip going something like this:
    Garfield: [standing close to Jon] Jon, be honest. Am I annoying?
    Jon: Go away!
    Garfield: [holding Jon's head tightly] Not until you answer my question.
  • In Sally Forth, Sally's mother tended to be this for a while when she'd come to visit, with the bonus of a massive amount of disdain for Ted and endless criticism for Sally and Hilary. Ted finally snaps and forcibly kicks her out, which seems to get her to mellow out, at least for a while. She got worse again when she was living with Sally's sister Jackie, although this eventually turned out to be because living with Jackie wasn't her choice, and nobody had ever asked her about it.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Alexander Afanasyev's "Little Master Misery", the embodiment of Misery latches on to the poor brother and promises to move to his house and never, never leave his side. The poor brother is badgered by Misery every day to go to the tavern and get drunk, pawing his few belongings to buy one more drink; and he has no other option but to comply because Misery will not stop complaining and pestering him until he obeys. After one month, the poor brother has nothing left, not even a will to resist Misery's demands, but he is delighted when one chance to get rid of his unwanted guest presents itself.

    Fan Works 
  • All You Need Is Love: Naomi Misora feels so sorry for her stalker, Light Yagami/Kira, because he's being sexually harassed in the workplace that she invites him to stay at her place for a couple days... In the end Naomi ends up kidnapping Raye (her clueless fiancé) and fleeing the country to get away from Light. Meanwhile Light, who has to date not yet left her apartment, sends her a note informing her that the fridge is empty and now L and Matsuda (the stalker's stalkers) had followed him there and are in the process of "redecorating." The story then has a Time Skip — it's five years later and Light still hasn't left.
  • Ask Fluffle Puff: The titular character and Queen Chrysalis basically invite themselves to live at Twilight's tree with no indication of wanting to leave... until they go on vacation and return to find it destroyed. After it's rebuilt as Twilight's new castle, she boots both of them out, to Chrysalis' fury... until all of a sudden she and Fluffle suddenly start living in the house the latter had all along. And then Marksaline starts applying this trope to them, alternatively scaring Chrysalis and generally making her very uncomfortable.
  • Custody Battle: All for One shows up at Izuku and the First's apartment and refuses to leave.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 23, Rainbow Dash mentions an incident with an annoying and pushy magazine salesman who was clearly this, to the point where she almost called the guards on him when she found him still outside the next morning, asleep on her welcome mat.
  • Girls Next Door: The Pale Man apparently followed Ofelia to the apartment building. He installed himself in Jareth's and Erik's kitchen, for several hundred pages. They managed to get rid of him once "with the help" of the friendly GirlScouts, but he came back and had a brownie sash. It took the combined efforts of Susan Sto Helit, two Deaths and Dream to finally remove him for good... which could be ultimately worse since he found a friend (the Corinthian) thanks to this.
  • The Jack Horner Universe Saga: Steven is this to Jack, who keeps pestering him to be a better person. After Jack's attempts to keep him away with a lawyer fail, he resigns himself to tolerating and horrifying the young Gem in turn.
  • Loki: Agent of Doomgard: Loki's way of getting an audience with God Emperor Doom (and a job) was annoying the Thors with not leaving until they ran out of all other options. Naturally after getting said job the chances of Loki ever leaving went down to approximately zero.
  • On a Clear Day: Draco works for a charity organisation. When the organisation plans a gala to raise money for the children who lost their parents in the war against Voldemort, Draco's boss demands that he makes sure that the Great Harry Potter is in attendance. The problem is that since the war, Harry has turned agoraphobic and refuses to leave Grimmauld Place, which prompts Draco to intentionally invoke this trope. It's not that he never leaves, but he goes there every day, sits around for hours, and tries to annoy Harry into agreeing to come to the gala. He succeeds.
  • Please Stop Eating The Hell Butterflies: Gin sneaks into Seireitei regularly despite having defected with Aizen. He stays there so often that Yamamoto gives up and restates him as Captain when he finds out that Gin's still doing all the 3rd division's paperwork and offered to do Zaraki's.
    No, we will not be re-appointing Ichimaru Gin as taicho of your division, just because he never seems to leave. Stop calling him "taicho". It's confusing people. -Even if he sneaks in at night and does all the paperwork. -On second thought, welcome back, Ichimaru-taicho.
  • Sharing the Nation: Early in the story, Ember comes to Ponyville as part of the general dragon immigration and invites herself into the former library, which is now serving as Spike's home after Twilight ascended and moved out. She promptly makes herself a permanent fixture of the place, and to Spike's immense irritation it turns out that growing in dragon culture makes one into a pretty lousy houseguest.
  • Ultimate Spider-Woman:
    • Subverted in Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With the Light. Protagonist Mary Jane Watson is invited by her Aunt Anna to live with her and Mary Jane's cousin Kristy while she attends university, but Mary Jane refuses in part because she's afraid she'd be mooching off them. Mary Jane insists on staying in her own apartment, only to suffer a nervous breakdown and lose her apartment after being a Triple Shifter catches up with her. Finally, Mary Jane moves in with Anna and Kristy, although she insists on doing a lot of the housework and helping out financially to earn her keep.
    • Another subversion occurs with Mary Jane's mother Maddie Lieber-Watson. When Maddie and Mary Jane were kicked out of the family home by Maddie's husband Phillip Watson, Anna offers Maddie a place to stay. This is more Justified than many cases since Maddie is initially a seriously Broken Bird and is in no shape to take care of herself.
  • Ultra Fast Pony: Fluttershy actually threatens to become this and being all shy around Twilight's home to coerce her into giving up the second gala ticket.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby, as far as Tim is concerned, the Boss Baby is this. The Boss Baby himself reinforces it when he warns Tim that if his formula is taken away, then...
    Boss Baby: Every morning when you wake up, I will be there. Every night at dinner, I will be there. ... You and I... will be brothers. Always.
  • Chapter 2 of The House (2022) features a developer trying to sell his own house despite an ongoing insect infestation, and the only prospective buyers who are interested are an odd couple who stay well past the viewing... and never leave. Despite the developer's increasingly pointed suggestions that they need to actually buy the house if they want to stay, they remain there, sleeping in the master bedroom, lounging around in the hot tub, having him wait on them while they watch TV, and even inviting their extended family to stay. It turns out that the couple and their family are all giant mutant beetles.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie:
    • Spinel after being reset insists on hanging around Steven and rarely contributes constructively. Pink Diamond seemed to also feel this way about Spinel just as she got her first colony, which contributed in tricking her into staying in the garden for 6,000 years.
    • After Steven declines moving into the palace with the Diamonds so he can return to his life on Earth, the Diamonds show up on Earth unannounced declaring they have come to live with him instead. Steven is not amused by this, though it is subverted when the Diamonds are disgusted by the destruction they see and decide to take Spinel back with them to Homeworld instead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In a Czech film from 1980's Cutting It Short, Francin's overwhelming brother Pepin (The Ditz who always narrates lewd and entertaining stories in No Indoor Voice) comes to visit him and his young bride Maryshka. He wrote in a letter that he intended to stay for about 14 days. Francin is horrified that his staying with them for 14 years is more likely. The film is based on a novella by Bohumil Hrabal who wrote it about his family. Uncle Pepin stayed with them for good.
  • Dennis the Menace: Dinosaur Hunter: The opportunist archaeologist Barclay "Bones" Schuyler III overstays his welcome at the Mitchell house after being called in to check on a dinosaur bone. He is finally expelled after going too far by planting dinosaur bones in the Wilson's yard.
  • In The Dictator, Admiral General Aladeen complains that Osama bin Laden has been squatting in his palace and mooching off of him ever since his Body Double was killed by Seal Team 6 in Pakistan. And he keeps messing up his bathroom!
  • The premise of Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill. As the trailer put it, "She isn't subtle. She isn't shy. She isn't leaving."
  • The League of Gentlemen. After they've successfully pulled off The Caper, the robbers are having a celebratory drink before going their separate ways with the loot when they're startled by a knock on the door. Turns out it's 'Bunny' Warren, an old army buddy of Hyde who's now his neighbour and has come to visit. Everyone works to keep Bunny's glass topped up and prevent him seeing anything suspicious while he rambles on about his time in the military, and the others make excuses to slip out the door one by one. Bunny is still there when the police show up to arrest Hyde and gets thrown into the paddy wagon with him, by which time he's too drunk to understand what's happening.
  • Madhouse (1990) centers its whole plot around this trope.
  • The Ur-Example is probably The Man Who Came to Dinner. Sheridan "Sherry" Whiteside is left no choice but to stay with Ohio businessman Ernest Stanley and his family after he supposedly breaks his hip, but even after finding it's perfectly fine, he keeps this a secret so he can stay in town for the purpose of breaking up his assistant Maggie's romance.
  • Office Space has a variation with Milton, The Employee Who Would Not Leave. After an accounting snafu is found, it's discovered he had been laid off some five years previous, but he had never been told and his paychecks had never stopped coming. So they decided the easiest way to get rid of him was to stop paying him, figuring he would eventually leave on his own. Instead, he stayed at his job, despite being constantly ignored and degraded, until he eventually burned the entire building to the ground.
  • Peter Weir's 1979 thriller The Plumber is a darkly serious version of this.
  • School of Rock has this in the form of the protagonist Dewey Finn, who contributes nothing to the rent, has no job, and was recently kicked out of his band.
  • Ed in Shaun of the Dead appears to have shown up at his friend Shaun's place one night five years before the events of the movie and not left since, having reduced his living room to a slovenly heap and not budged from the sofa since. Played with in that while Shaun's quite happy to have him around (although it's also made clear that Ed's really a bad influence on him), Shaun's roommate Pete makes it more than clear that for him Ed wore out his welcome a long time ago. Shaun doesn't mind to the point that even after Ed becomes a zombie, he still keeps him in the shed at the bottom of the garden, chained up as they play Playstation 2 (Timesplitters) together.
  • In The Shout, Crossley invites himself to lunch at Anthony and Rachel's and then just does not leave: gradually taking over their lives, possibly through magical means.
  • Spin Me Round: Amber generously allows Deb to raid her closet at the hotel because Deb's suitcase got lost in transit. When Amber gets a call from her friend, she politely signals that she's going to take the call, but Deb doesn't get the message that she's supposed to leave. She lingers obliviously as Amber makes increasingly awkward hints that she should leave until Deb finally figures it out.
  • Danny McBride in This Is the End is a dark and dramatic example of this trope. James Franco also sees all of Seth, Jay, Craig, and Jonah as this (except he does have a soft spot for Seth) given that it's his house they're staying in and to ensure he doesn't starve, he hides food and cola in a secret closet leaving the others to forage for food or drink their own urine.
  • Thor: Love and Thunder: While at the end of Avengers: Endgame the Guardians of the Galaxy were okay with Thor tagging along, by the time the movie starts they've all gotten fed up of him. Acquiring a pair of goats who constantly scream their heads off proves the last straw, and when Thor departs none of them are sorry to see him go.
  • What About Bob? — a somewhat unique variation, in that it's only Leo who really wants Bob gone, and everyone else comes to like Bob far more than Leo to the point where they're quite happy to have him around.
    Leo: You think he's gone? That's the whole point! He's never gone!
  • You, Me and Dupree: Carl regrets having Dupree moving in with them almost immediately, as he makes life for Molly and Carl a living hell. Dupree sleeps naked on their couch, changes the message on their answering machine, gets cable for their TV without their permission, walks in on them when they're about to have sex and messes up their toilet.

  • Once there was a retired New York merchant who owned a large summer home in the Catskill Mountains. He had a kind heart and because of this, his summers became a nightmare for him. With the appearance of the crocuses and with the first liquid notes of the robin all his poor relatives from Brownsville, East New York, Midwood, and West Bronx descended upon him in the country in force. They never gave him a moment's peace or privacy until the leaves began to turn. Then they returned to New York.
    One day, as he sat gloomily regarding a young third cousin-in-law upon whom a thousand hints had been wasted, he sighed and said, "There is little likelihood, is there, that you'll ever come on another visit here?"
    "What a thing to say!" protested the young man with heat. "Why, you are the prince of hosts! Why shouldn't I come again?"
    "How can you come again if you never go away?" moaned his host plaintively.

  • In The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, Olivia's old college friend Laurie and her daughter Wynter come to stay at the Hayes house. At first, Olivia is delighted to see her, but she quickly becomes intolerable to the rest of the family because she won't stop lecturing them about their diets being full of chemicals, pesticides, and artificial ingredients, while letting Wynter make a mess of the house. She intends to stay for a few more weeks while doing her shows at the local country club and making Abby babysit her bratty daughter every single day for free, but finally gets thrown out (and forced to pay a few hundred dollars) after the Hayes parents find out she's been making Abby babysit Wynter for 8-9 hours every day without paying her a cent. Even sweeter, they only find out in the first place because Laurie made a huge fuss about Abby giving Wynter a bar of chocolate.
  • Gilbert's Aunt Mary Maria does this to the Blythes in Anne of Ingleside, sticking around for almost two months past her original vacation. She only leaves after Anne, who's been driven to total distraction by her sour, demanding and overly-particular attitude, decides to actually do something nice for her and winds up inadvertently offending her so much she leaves. She decides to throw a birthday party for Aunt Mary Maria, with all the (very few) things she knows the latter actually likes; it backfires when Aunt Mary Maria turns out to be extremely sensitive about her age and is convinced Anne threw the party to be nasty about it and rub it in.
  • "The Awful Fate of Melpomenous Jones", by Stephen Leacock. Subverted, however, in that the curate actually wants to leave, as much or more than his hosts want him to, but they keep inviting him to stay because they don't want to be rude, and he doesn't want to refuse for the same reason. The story ends with him dying and breathing a sigh of relief that he can finally GO. The story was adapted into a short animation by the National Film Board of Canada, which can be found here.
  • One of the many subplots of Anthony Trollope's Ayala's Angel involves the usually generous patriarch Sir Thomas Tringle being driven to exasperation by the failure of his new son-in-law, the Honourable Septimus Traffik, to remove himself and his new wife to an establishment of their own and quit mooching off her rich family, despite his continual hints, barbs, and even demands. Near the end of the book, the Traffiks do finally move out, though.
  • Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville, is about a man who is hired by an office as a scrivener, becomes increasingly particular about the work he does (to the point where he "would prefer not" do just about anything, even eat, in his final days.), and just won't leave, despite having been told to get out many times. Though Bartleby's employer puts up with him for a time because he's not harming anything or anyone by merely staying in the office, he ends up deciding to move his offices elsewhere to get rid of him (as he can't bring himself to forcibly throw Bartleby out). Even then, Bartleby still remains in the office building until he is arrested for trespassing because the new owner of the office doesn't want to put up with him.
  • Kate in Meg Cabot's Boy Meets Girl becomes this to Jen and Craig, her friends who she's staying with. It's somewhat subverted in that they like her, don't mind her staying, and are entirely sympathetic with her problem of not having enough to get her own place, but their place isn't that big and Craig kinda wants their flat and sofa back (especially since Jen's trying to get pregnant). Also a subversion in that Kate feels extremely guilty about moving in, constantly searches for apartments, and moves out the minute fashion editor Dolly Vargas offers her a room.
    • Jen also begs Kate to stay, citing that Dolly Vargas wears mink indoors and Really Gets Around while engaged in a relationship with their newspaper's CEO. Craig has to convince Jen that Kate moving out is a good idea.
  • Iqbal in Capital, who invites himself to stay with Shahid (whom he hasn't seen for ten years and wasn't even close friends with) won't leave for months, and uses Shahid's broadband to go on jihadist websites, resulting in Shahid's arrest for terrorism.
  • Diana Wynne Jones's chapter books Chair Person, The Four Grannies and Who Got Rid of Angus Flint? has been collected as a volume called Stopping for a Spell whose back cover describes all three stories in terms of this trope.
  • Divine Misfortune: Syph attaches herself to whoever "lets her into their lives". In Bonnie's case, it was just sharing a park bench. From then on Syph follows her home and refuses to leave. Since she's the Goddess of Heartbreak, this causes her food to go bad, her surroundings having a permanent chill, all media becomes warped into depressing parodies of themselves and Bonnie has to suffer from a constant feeling of existential ennui.
  • As in the page quote — Edward Gorey's short story The Doubtful Guest involves a highly annoying penguin-like creature constantly angering a family.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Deborah makes it clear in book 1 that she sees Sid the ambulatory skeleton as this, claiming that their parents have "kept this big house years longer than they intended just to make sure that they can keep that thing hidden". She also asks Georgia what'll happen if he's still sticking around years from now, having to live with Madison when she's an adult and thus complicating her life. She eventually and reluctantly gets past this view after he saves Georgia later (and then Madison learns about him and also accepts him), coming to accept him as part of the family.
  • In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett leaves Tara to go and visit sister-in-law Melanie in Atlanta. Ostensibly, it's so they can get to know each other better, and Melanie her new nephew Wade, as well helping Scarlett get over her supposed grief over the death of her husband Charles (and possible legitimate post-partum depression). In reality, it's so she can be close to Ashley when he comes to visit Melanie. In any event, though the plan is only for Scarlett to visit, the general assumption of everyone is that she's there to stay, as this is a tradition in the South — people visit relatives for Christmas but don't leave until June, newlyweds visit relatives during their honeymoon but don't leave until after the birth of their second child, elderly aunts/uncles come for Sunday dinner but don't leave until they die. Needless to say, unlike most examples here, these guests are usually welcome.
  • Humorist Erma Bombeck, in The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank, had a pint-sized version in Kenny, a friend of her son's who stopped by and then just hung around. For months if not years. Erma finally calls Kenny's mother about this, explaining that "We cancelled our vacation when we couldn't get anyone to watch Kenny."
  • Gus the Friendly Ghost tells about the titular ghost living happily in the attic above a family. One night, he invites a hungry mouse into the house for dinner, and things go well at first. But when the family returns, the mouse doesn't want to share the house with them and tries to force them to leave so that he can have the house for himself. Gus tries warning him that he'd get into deeper trouble (like when the father sets out mousetraps when he believes that there's a mouse in the house), but the mouse refuses to listen. When the mouse scares the mother of the family, Gus has finally had enough and orders the mouse to Get Out! and go back to the garden. At the end, however, he and the mouse make up and still hang out at dinner.
  • Hilda and the Mad Scientist: Hilda is a well-meaning example. She moves into Dr. Weinerstein's castle because she thinks he needs a caretaker and stays even though he doesn't want her there, to the point of trying to vaporize her. Ultimately, this leads him to create a monster... which does the same thing.
  • This happens in Jeeves and Wooster fairly often, as poor old Wooster is such an Extreme Doormat that it's impossible for him to turn away a houseguest. Fortunately, Jeeves is smart enough to cleverly get rid of such visitors with no hurt feelings.
    • On more than one occasion, Bertie admits in his narration that the reverse is also true, and he is often seen as the Thing when he visits various stately homes.
    • P. G. Wodehouse also once wrote a short story in a Letters to the Editor format from an uninvited party guest who managed to turn an overnight stay at a couple's house into a years long residency. The letters start out questioning why her hosts seem so surly lately and later replies from the newspaperman describe his reactions to apparent attempts to injure or even kill her by the hosts with a fair amount of First-Person Smartass. The final letter from the editor has him assuring the freeloader (who's just been evicted) that all is not lost and she'll eventually be able to find someone else to share her company with while being Genre Savvy enough to refuse to give her his address.
  • Journey to Chaos: Eric had this problem during A Mage's Power. Oliver was not even a house guest but an apartment neighbor and yet he still hung out in Eric's apartment, ate his food, and watched TV late into the night. Eric was too much of an Extreme Doormat to tell him to leave.
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Mma Ramotswe's first case was a woman whose father (whom she hadn't seen since she was little) returned and was living off her. She wouldn't object to feeding and housing her father for the rest of his life, since that's what you do for family, but she'd started to suspect that this moocher wasn't actually her father. Mma Ramotswe came up with a way of getting rid of the impostor.
  • In Petronella the title character, the third offspring of a family which had always had three sons up until then, decides to defy her parents and brothers and go off in search of a prince to rescue. She finds one at the house of Albion the enchanter and rides off with him, only to discover that this trope was in effect.
    Albion: He came to visit me for a weekend. At the end of it, he said, "It's so pleasant here, do you mind if I stay on for another day or two?" I'm very polite and I said, "Of course." He stayed on, and on, and on...
  • The final chapter of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice indicates that Lydia and Wickham often imposed on Jane and Bingley in this way later in life, so much so that the perennially good-natured Bingley "came so close as to talk of giving them a hint to be gone." Lydia also occasionally did this to Darcy and Lizzy, but her husband was never allowed to accompany her — which, given the history between Wickham and Darcy, is entirely unsurprising.
  • In Pyramids, the Discworld's analogue of Ancient Egypt has a pantheon of Gods which includes Hat, The Vulture-Headed God Of Unwelcome Guests. A Running Gag is that people are reluctant even to have devotional statues of Hat, on the very reasonable fear that this will act as an invocation to the God to call by and acknowledge the believer with a personal visit.
  • In Shaman Blues, Vulture manages to obtain this status in just a few days, thanks to being absolutely annoying, messy, and lazy. He even once steals Witkacy's keys to take his date home and sleep with her on the couch. And just when Wiktacy thinks he's gotten rid of him, Vulture decides to move to a flat right next to Witkacy's.
  • In Superfudge, the Hatcher family is constantly annoyed by Fudge's friend Daniel. At one point, Daniel looks ready to invite himself to stay for dinner with them, but Mrs. Hatcher tricks him into leaving by pretending that they're having peas and onions with their dinner (two foods that he hates).
    • In another book in the series, Double Fudge, the Hatchers' cousins take up residence in their apartment living room for several months, driving everyone crazy.
  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose is one of Dr. Seuss's older works, about a moose who lets other animals live on his horns. Unfortunately, these animals - which increase in number - take advantage of his hospitality, and refuse to leave. When Thidwick's herd gives him an ultimatum - get rid of them or leave the herd - he still can't bring himself to be rude to his guests, and leaves. Still, the guests grow in number and size, inviting more guests, and refusing to consider the increasing physical and psychological load they're putting on their host. Finally, when a group of hunters comes after Thidwick, he decides to stand up for himself, and sheds his antlers, fleeing to safety and leaving his inconsiderate guests behind. The last page of the book shows them made into taxidermy specimens, still on the shed antlers.
  • Ogden Nash wrote a poem about The Thing That Would Not Leave called "Polterguest, My Polterguest".
  • A children's book called The Trolls has a woman tell her nieces and nephews about growing up in Vancouver with her eccentric family. One of these family members was their great-uncle Louis, who came for two weeks and stayed for six years. He only left after he insisted he saved the narrator's younger brother from a pack of trolls and the narrator's mother ordered him out in disgust.
  • In the comic novel Young Adolf by Beryl Bainbridge, a big-hearted Austrian woman living with her husband in Liverpool, England just before WW1, is concerned for the welfare of her idealistic, dreaming, and utterly lazy younger brother, whom she loves despairingly. Trying to get him out of his idle student ways and offer him a new chance, she invites him to Liverpool to stay with her family. At least he can get a job and learn some English. Her husband reluctantly allows this. But young Adolf proves just as lazy, unrealistic, and entitled as he ever was at home...note 

    Live Action TV 
  • On Adam Ruins Everything, Adam describes a Real Life case where an AirBnB host had to get a lawyer and formally evict someone that had rented a room for a while and decided to stay long after the fact. This is punctuated by Adam opening up a closet in his host's home, revealing a woman who states that she's been there so long, her body has fused to her host's laundry basket.
  • ALF is all about this trope. Furry, aardvark-like alien Gordon "ALF" Shumway moves in to the middle-class suburban American family the Tanners and they let him stay. Alf then drains their finances by eating all the food in the house and watching TV and using the telephone all day. The Tanners get weary of this, but they refuse to let ALF leave the house out of fear he could get abducted by law authorities actively patrolling the earth for any aliens.
    • Additionally, the Tanners get an awful lot of requests from other people begging them to let them stay at their house, be it from family or neighbors.
    • Alf took this trope to even greater lengths in "Happy Together" torturing Willie's brother Neal.
  • All in the Family:
    • During the show's first five seasons (1971-1975), main character Archie Bunker's son-in-law, Mike Stivic, the "Meathead" who was working for a college degree and often unemployed (or, at best, underemployed) and bringing very little to nothing in the way of income.
    • An early Season 2 episode, "The Saga Of Cousin Oscar," had this Unseen Character stop for a visit and literally eat Archie out of house and home. The visit was implied to have lasted several weeks, with the plot picking up with Archie and Mike trying to figure out how to get Oscar to leave ... until Mike discovers Oscar unresponsive in bed, and a doctor declares him dead.
  • Angel:
    • Cordelia in "Rm w/a Vu". Within a few hours, Angel's basement is covered wall-to-wall with Cordelia's trophies, there's peanut butter on his bed, his leather chair is ruined, and Cordelia is busily cutting up his linoleum floor to examine the hardwood. By morning, Angel is literally begging Doyle to find Cordy a place to stay.
    • In "Disharmony," Cordelia insists to the rest of Team Angel that they give Harmony a chance and help her figure out what to do with her life. However, she's unbearably annoying, getting in everyone's way, popping her gum loudly, accidentally spilling a mug of blood and shorting out the computer, and tearing a page out of a Tome of Eldritch Lore to dispose of her gun. Before long, Wesley is loudly screaming for someone to stake her.
  • Partial subversion in an episode of Being Human: Tully is invited to stay over one housemate's objections, but by the end of the episode the positions regarding him have reversed, with the original naysayer defending Tully's continued presence against the others' complaints.
    • The second-to-last season gives a truly disturbing example. An incredibly unpleasant huckster is bitten by a werewolf and ends up homeless and penniless. The housemates let him stay with them out of sympathy, but he proceeds to secretly trick Tom into handing over all his money for "investments" (money being used to give Tom's adopted father a proper funeral, no less) and then convince him that Annie and Hal secretly don't care about Tom and are deliberately ignoring his birthday (in reality, neither even knew it was Tom's birthday). The reason he was doing this? He wanted to drive Tom to leave permanently, so he would have a place to stay in the house. Even after Hal confronts him about this, after Tom was found miserably living in a tent in the woods, the con man still is convinced he'll be able to stay on with them. One doesn't feel too sorry for him when Hal kills him.
  • In Bewitched, Mr. Kravitz stayed with Darren and Samantha for several days after he and Mrs. Kravitz had a huge fight. Between his unusually loud snoring, his obsession with making brussels sprouts, and refusal to patch things up with Mrs. Kravitz despite the fact that she clearly wants him back, Darren and Samantha are both at their wits' end. Samantha eventually fixed the issue by making them dream about the day Mr. Kravitz proposed, causing them to run into each others' arms once they woke up.
  • In Season 8 of The Big Bang Theory, Stuart moves into Mrs. Wolowitz's house as her caretaker and companion. After she passes away, and Howard and Bernadette move in, they decide he can stay until he gets his own place. They soon come to regret this, as he shows no signs of even thinking about leaving.
    • Sheldon sees Penny as this, because he's very annoyed over Penny eating their food without ever paying them back, piggy-backing on their Wifi, sitting in his preferred couch spot, and in one episode she keeps bugging him for advice on how to ace through Age of Conan. Unlike most examples of the trope, however, Sheldon grows to actually love Penny and his complaints about her doing these things become more of an Insult of Endearment than anything.
  • Broad City: Bevers is the boyfriend of Abbi's (never-seen) roommate, who came over to use the shower one day and simply never left, spending all of his time eating and playing video games. In a flashback episode, we see Bevers started as an attractive, muscular stud who took a smitten Abbi up on her offer of not having to do anything as a guest (which he then took to a nightmarish extreme). One of the few times he DOES leave, Abbi celebrates by dancing naked to "Edge Of Glory."
  • Spike does this to both Xander and Giles in Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This becomes particularly apparent when Weetabix gets involved. According to Spike, it adds texture to blood.
  • Café Americain: In "Weekend at Holly's", Fabiana decides to hide out from her boyfriend at Holly's apartment, but her flamboyant nature makes her very conspicuous.
  • This is the central premise to dads, with the added complication that the "things" in question are, well, the character's fathers.
  • All the members of Danger Five find Holly annoying thanks to her ditzy behaviour in a World of Action Girls. Unfortunately every time she gets killed off she's brought back to life again. They briefly encounter a Future Badass version of her, only for that version to be accidentally killed by ditzy Holly.
  • Death in Paradise: In "Melodies of Murder", Dwayne's father Nelson moves in uninvited to Jack's shack and makes himself at home: much to Jack's annoyance.
  • In the final episode of Derry Girls, Eamonn has moved in with the Quinns - supposed to be temporary while his roof was repaired, but he's now been there for months with no sign of ever leaving. Gerry tries to offload him onto Colm, who refuses, so the Quinns are still stuck with him.
  • In The Dick Van Dyke Show, Rob invites a temporarily-displaced Buddy to stay with him. It's a variant in that they both end up utterly miserable, but they're both too polite to admit that the other is driving them nuts.
  • In Doctor Who, the "Pond Life" webisode has the Doctor rescue an Ood from a sticky situation, only to escape the TARDIS and end up in Amy and Rory's house. For the next month or so, they are forced to live with the Ood (who insists on serving as their butler), until the Doctor can come and pick him up.
  • Early Edition: In one season 3 episode, Patrick said he just got kicked out of the college frat house he lived in because the fraternity dug up some old by-laws that ban members from staying for more than 10 years after they graduate from college.
  • An episode of Father Ted had the priests dealing with Father Stone, the dullest man alive, who absolutely loves staying with Ted. According to the writer's commentary on the DVD, he was based on a real person.
  • Most of the subplot with Daphne's irritating mother in the later seasons of Frasier involved her greatly over-staying her welcome when staying with Niles and Daphne. Daphne's brothers (especially Simon) also fell into this trope, but mostly because they really were ungrateful and obnoxious spongers who barged into Frasier's apartment and took unreasonable liberties whilst they were there.
    • Niles himself becomes this for one episode, staying with Frasier while looking for a cheaper place to live after his divorce from Maris. Unfortunately, he drives Martin and Frasier mad with his odd quirks making them unable to sleep, and Frasier soon learns Niles isn't even bothering to look for a new home. His sympathy evaporates very quickly when he notices Niles has ordered a bottle of wine that can't be opened for two years. For once, it's not just proximity to Daphne that's causing Niles to mooch — he just can't face how dire his straits have become.
  • In Season 2 of Friends: Eddie Menuek, Chandler's roommate for three episodes after Joey moves out. He's initially introduced as being friendly but slightly odd — but then his true nature is shown after a few days: a crazed Stalker without a Crush (who is implied to be schizophrenic) who sneaks into Chandler's room to watch him sleep, enjoys dehydrating fruit a bit too much, convinces himself that Chandler slept with his ex-girlfriend and then murdered his goldfish, then replaces said fish with a goldfish cracker, and steals a mannequin head from a Macy's store and says that they could use it as a chip bowl at parties. And to top it off, whenever Chandler confronts him that he's had enough and demands that he moves out, Eddie always forgets that the conversation ever happened — at one point, Chandler asks Eddie if he remembers yesterday's conversation:
    Eddie: We took a road trip to Las Vegas, man.
    Chandler: Oh sweet Moses!
    • It takes Joey moving back in, he and Chandler pretending that they have no idea who Eddie is and that he never lived there, for him to finally move out.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: In "Host to the Ghost", Mrs. Muir desperately needs some work done on her kitchen. The only way she can get workmen to stay is if the captain leaves for a while, so he goes to stay with Claymore and turns into a very unwelcome guest.
  • Girlfriends (2000) has Lynn, who crashed on Joan's couch and wouldn't leave for 8 years. She later also stayed with Toni, before getting a place in Maya's mom's garage.
  • The Golden Girls had an episode named "The Stan Who Came to Dinner," in which Dorothy's ex-husband stays with the girls to recuperate from heart surgery, but overstays his welcome.
  • In one episode of Green Acres, when a Hungarian man appeared on the Douglases' doorstep, he's revealed to have saved the life of Lisa's uncle and as such, they are obligated to house him to repay the debt, much to Oliver's disbelief. While the man does help out around the farm by fixing a few things, some of his antics irritate Oliver, such as constantly asking to be paid and taking several liberties without Oliver's consent. Ultimately, Oliver draws the line when the Hungarian reveals he's inviting his family to come live with them and plans to build a house on the Douglases' property, leading him to finally throw the guy out. Unfortunately, just before he leaves, the man puts a Hungarian curse on Oliver that causes everything he had fixed to break again.
  • Zig-zagged with Wilson in Season 2 of House. After Wilson leaves his wife, he moves in with House, and House resorts to a campaign of pranks to get Wilson to leave — but when Wilson actually starts apartment-hunting, House ends up intentionally sabotaging him.
    • When Wilson realizes the reverse psychology at play:
    Wilson: You're... miserable, and you're lonely, and you're going to trap me here to keep me every bit as miserable and lonely too!
    • Played straight twice over in the penultimate episode of Season 6. After initially seeming okay with having House as a roommate indefinitely, Wilson asks him to move out when he starts getting serious with his girlfriend. House reluctantly goes back to his own apartment, only to find that Alvie, his roommate from the mental hospital at the start of the season, has moved in in his absence and isn't eager to leave.
  • One episode of iCarly had two police officers use Carly and Spencer's apartment for a stakeout. They eat food out of their refrigerator, interrupt the webshow, one of them brings his bratty little kid over (who screams very loudly when he finds out they're out of soda) and one of the cops is a bully from Spencer's childhood.
    • They've also dealt with literally dozens of people (somewhere around 40 to 50) staying at their apartment room in "iBeat The Heat" when word gets out Spencer has a backup battery-operated air conditioner during a heatwave in Seattle when all the power goes out (which of course was the result of people overusing their own ACs).
    • Don't forget Mandy. She's a cuckoo pest who's annoying as hell rudely disrupting their webcast shows, making duck "quack" sounds wearing a duck mask, and keeps following the iCarly team wherever they go.
    • Spencer in "iSpace Out" runs into one girl who for some reason stays in his apartment room and doesn't talk at all.
  • One of the earliest examples is from I Love Lucy with guest-star Tennessee Ernie Ford as Lucy's "Cousin Ernie" who stays over for one episode and wears out his welcome by the next one. Hilariously Lampshaded by Lucy on Ernie's second appearance when she says, "He stayed overnight with us for a couple of weeks once."
  • Though she willingly takes them in whenever they need it, Mary in In Plain Sight clearly feels this way about her mom and sister.
  • Nico Saiba from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid first appeared to troll the resident Dr. Jerk, Taiga Hanaya. She grates on his nerves with her cheerful attitude and adamant resolution to settle down in his office. Surprisingly, despite being the resident's Nominal Hero and Token Evil Teammate, he doesn't go any further than rudely telling her to leave.
    • As time passed it became increasingly obvious that Taiga is a Jerkass Woobie who mostly plays the role of Nominal Hero because he thinks that's the only way to go. He came to care about Nico just as she started to care about him.
    • #27 actually reveals he let her stay because when she said that he is her doctor, she gave him meaning and made him happy.
  • La que se avecina: At one point, Javi complains that his mother-in-law Estela was only going to stay with him and Lola for a few days, but has already been around for months.
  • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit opened with this situation, with the apartment tenant eventually growing so frustrated that he threatens his "roommate" with a meat cleaver. The problem solves itself when a bullet rips through a nearby wall and kills the moocher.
  • Overton Jones becomes this for an episode of Living Single, Maxine is more like the thing that keeps returning.
  • In one episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Lois must endure an overly-talkative old woman who overstays her welcome because she's a good babysitter for Jamie. However, Lois soon reaches her breaking point and rudely tells the babysitter to leave, only to regret it when she dies offscreen soon after. Then the old lady's similarly-chatty sister arrives for the funeral...
  • In a sketch in Man Stroke Woman a woman tries to break up with her unbearably lazy boyfriend, who for some reason won't understand that she actually wants to break up. She tries to be nice at first, using phrases like " It's not you its me." She finally snaps when he disagrees, saying that she has been wonderful. She lets him know how lazy and unattractive he has been. He keeps taking it as joking and continues to play his video games. Eventually she is seen sitting with him, eating chips and watching tv, consistently repeating a defeated " Get out. Get out. Get out."
  • In Marlon, the titular protagonist's Black and Nerdy friend Stevie asked to stay on his couch. By the pilot, this has been the situation for two years, during which Stevie has put off getting a job and his own place. In one episode, Yvette learns Stevie comes from a wealthy background and he has a nest egg left by his grandmother that could get him out of Marlon's place.
  • Rito Revolto made his debut in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers intending to give Rita a wedding gift — and proceed to stay even as everyone — Rita and especially Zedd, who was tired of Rito constantly calling him "Ed" — repeatedly made it clear that they want his ass out.
  • Claire and Mitchell's mom from Modern Family. Interesting in that she becomes this from the moment she arrives.
  • In Mother & Son, Robert shows up at his brother Arthur's at the end of one episode, after his wife Liz kicks him out and changes the locks. He's still there three weeks later, and when Arthur tells him to Get Out!, he moves into his caravan, which he parks in Arthur's driveway.
  • Sylvia Fine from The Nanny spends so much time in the house where her daughter, Fran, works, that when it's mentioned that Sylvia is only there for a visit, one of the kids Fran takes care of wonders when Sylvia moved out.
    • Nanny Mueller verges on this as well, visiting Max on her tour of all those she cared for in her career, but starting to edge Fran out of her own job.
  • Late in the thirteenth season of NCIS, FBI Agent Fornell gets shot and is hospitalized. The premiere on the following season shows that he has been staying with Gibbs since getting released from the hospital while his teenaged daughter is away at boarding school. He stays for several episodes, wearing Gibbs's clothes and eating his food and at one time, blowing out the power while trying to fix the broken washing machine himself. Eventually, Emily Fornell manages to get her father to come home by unleashing termites in Gibbs's basement. While this leaves Gibbs temporarily without a home, he is completely unconcerned, as he then makes himself at home at Fornell's house.
  • On One Day at a Time (2017) Schneider has his own luxurious apartment elsewhere in the building, but he insists on spending most of his time in the main characters' apartment, even sleeping on their couch after an injury.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, when the actor playing Grandad died, they needed to find a way to replace him. Uncle Albert had been this to one of the branches of the family who attended Grandad's funeral until they left him at the funeral with no way to contact them. He then became this to the Trotters, even provoking Del, pushed past his limits, to try to get him to leave. Del eventually relents and decides to let Albert stay because "He's fam'ly, in' he?" and Del cannot refuse to take his family in.
    • It later turns out this isn't the first time this has happened to Albert. In addition to the relatives that left Albert at the funeral (and had moved when they tried to take him back), Albert mentions that another group of relatives that actually emigrated whilst he was at the shops.
    • Rodney was also known to become this when having problems with his marriage, by going back to stay with his brother and be reluctant to leave- until he found that Racquel had already beaten him to the vacant room, leaving him on the sofa and kind of feeling this way about her. The situation was resolved by Racquel and Del Boy making a Relationship Upgrade, slightly reducing the pressure on space (until the relationship produced little Damien, anyway...)
  • Peacemaker (2022): Peacemaker's friend Vigilante mostly pops up to ask if Peacemaker wants to kill people together. He ends up following Peacemaker on his extremely important top-secret government assignment, to the exasperation of the rest of the team. Eventually, they just stop trying to get him to leave and formally brief him on the mission.
  • In one episode of Plebs, Marcus, Jason, and Grumio turn a trial session at a luxurious 24-hr fitness center into a multi-day stay because the vouchers never specified a length of a "trial." They're ultimately ejected after a new owner implements policies that include capping the length of trials and incinerating the contents of the lockers, leaving the boys to go home in the altogether.
  • Rachel Maddow lampshaded this trope hilariously in her account of how one story regarding Iraqi elections ended up on her show. NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel happened to be in town, which he almost never is, so when he swung by her daily rundown meeting to say hello to everyone, everyone enthusiastically said 'hello' back. But then, in Rachel's words, "he didn't leave." He just hung around the meeting until Rachel, overcome by curiosity, asked, "Richard, is there something you'd like to add to the meeting?" At which point Richard let out a Big "YES!" and started excitedly explaining The Very Huge Deal That Just Happened in Iraq. (And when Rachel noticed his hand twitching and handed him a whiteboard marker, he diagrammed it.) When he finished explaining the Huge Deal, a very impressed Rachel essentially said, "Yeah, you're coming on my show tonight." And thus Richard Engel got to tell all of her viewers about the Huge Deal by parking himself in her rundown meeting and counting on their long-standing friendship and Rachel's innate curiosity to do the rest.
    Rachel: Richard, thank you for hijacking our meeting today.
  • Played with and justified in Roseanne. Once he started dating Darlene, David started spending a lot more time at the Conners, to the point he was at their house more than he was at their own. Roseanne didn't mind so much since David was a lot nicer and better behaved than her own kids, though did advise David to back off some when she saw Darlene wasn't comfortable with him being so close. Later on though, it came out that David's mother was abusive, so he had perfectly good reason to want to be at his house as little as possible. Upon finding that out, Roseanne had David move in with them permanently.
  • The Trope Namer, as mentioned above, was from the 1978 Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Christopher Lee. The skit in question depicted the scenario in the form of a Faux Horrific horror movie trailer spoof where John Belushi played a boorish house guest whose refusal to leave and ill-mannered behavior causes no small amount of pain and dread for his hosts.
  • Roland Schitt does this to the Roses a couple of times on Schitt's Creek. He won't leave their motel room in the pilot and uses the bathroom for a long time. He moves into the motel in Season 2 and won't leave. Then, in Season 4, when he is working at the motel, he stays way past the time when his shift has ended, playing video games in the lobby.
  • In Secret Diary of a Call Girl the main character (a call girl) has a one-night stand with a man who is not a client. Unaware of her profession and unemployed, the guy (Matt Smith) insists on hanging out with Hannah at her apartment. Not wanting to be rude, she doesn't ask him to leave. He eventually leaves when her friend Ben shows up and claims he is her fiancee.
  • An early episode of Seinfeld has Jerry and Elaine inadvertently being this when Kramer gets lost on his way to pick them up from a party. It's actually the host's wife who's rather rude, complaining to her husband that she wants them to leave, even though the two are genuinely sorry for imposing on them.
    • Elaine and Kramer have opposite views of this. In "The Busboy," Elaine considers a week too long to have a house guest, and in "The Wig Master," Kramer cheerfully says that his friend Bob Sacomano once stayed with him for a year and a half.
  • In the The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode "The Arwin That Came to Dinner", after Arwin's mother gets married and moves out of the house, Arwin starts sleeping over at the Martain's suite every night and driving Zack, Cody, and Carey crazy.
  • Played for Laughs in The Tonight Show during an interview with Hugh Jackman. Jackman, a native Australian, warned Jimmy Fallon to never invite an Australian to his home because they would make themselves a little bit too comfortable. While he was saying this, he was pulling out a blanket. The next night, when the show started, Jimmy found Hugh still asleep on the couch of the studio.
  • This is the premise for Two and a Half Men — Alan moves in with his bachelor brother Charlie for "a couple of days" when his wife divorces him and then stays for about a decade.
    • Amazingly, he managed to stay even after Charlie's death, and the sale of the house to Walden. Walden frequently lampshades this.
  • Velvet: Mateo takes pity on Barbara and invites her and her infant daughter to stay at his house until she finds her own place. Barbara spends the next several episodes making herself at home and guilt-tripping Mateo whenever he tries to kick her out. Then there is the matter of his lie to Clara about the situation.
  • What We Do in the Shadows (2019): Colin Robinson is an Employee That Would Not Leave. An energy vampire who feeds on misery, Colin spends his time irritating and boring coworkers at his office. Eventually he reveals that he has no official job and doesn't know what the company does, he just blended into the workplace. After inadvertently destroying the company by feeding too much, he gleefully attaches himself to another office to begin the whole pattern again.
  • From The Wrong Door, The World's Most Annoying Creature is this in spades.
  • Yes, Dear is basically This Trope: The Show. The entire premise is that well-off, stick-up-his-ass company executive Greg Warner has to put up with his Lower-Class Lout Obnoxious In-Laws the Hugheses living in his guest house: his wife's sister Christine, her husband Jimmy, and their two sons Dominic and Logan. Greg's wife Kim doesn't mind them all living together, but Greg is perpetually irritated by their presence and takes every opportunity to complain about them and openly express his desire for them to leave (even though Jimmy is probably the closest thing to a friend he actually has). Late in the series, the Hugheses finally get their own place and move out, but in the final episode, their house is destroyed when a storm knocks over a huge tree right on top of it. The final scene has them showing up on the Warners' doorstep asking if the guest house is okay.

  • Described in the song "We Wish You Weren't Living With Us", by Bob Rivers. It goes to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".
  • The audience can presume this is what Jack of "Hit the Road Jack" by Percy Mayfield turns out to be.
  • The topic of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones song "You Gotta Go".
  • And the Tim Wilson song "Brother in Law".
  • Del tha Funkee Homosapien covers this with "Sleepin' on My Couch", which ends with what appears to be the forcible ejection of the friend in question out of a window.
  • Jake Thackray's song "Leopold Alcox" is about a Walking Disaster Area relation who comes for a (long, long) visit.
    Leopold Alcox, my distant relation
    has come to my flat for a brief visitation.
    He's been here since February, damn and blast him,
    my nerves and my furniture will not outlast him!
  • The Trews' song "No Time for Later" is about telling one of these to leave.
  • Played for Laughs in the song "Parece que me quieren echar" ("It looks like they wanna kick me out") by the Chilean group Sexual Democracia, which is from the POV of a trope enacter.
  • Madness's "The Bed and Breakfast Man" is about the band's original drummer John Hasler and his shameless sofa-surfing habits.
  • The Ben Folds Five song "Steven's Last Night in Town" is about a slick outsider who blows into town, charms a whole circle of friends, then starts finding excuses not to go away.
    Well, we thought he was gone
    But he's come back again
    Last week it was funny
    And now the joke's wearing thin
    Because everyone knows now that every night now will be
    Steven's last night in town
  • In feline form: The Cat Came Back, a children's folk song written in 1893 by Harry S. Miller, centers on the narrator's efforts to get rid of a seemingly indestructible pet cat who always turns back up.
  • Invoked in "Please Go Home," Daniel Franzese's parody of "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith, about a hook-up who won't take the hint that it's time to leave.
  • Rob Cantor's "Christian Bale is at Your Party". It details a scene where Christian Bale shows up to your house party uninvited. He starts doing things like eating all your queso dip, selling frozen pizza by the slice, and talking on your phone. Then, this escalates to him stabbing your wife and running naked through the crowd. Someone calls the cops on him, and they chase him down the street, but he manages to escape at the last moment.
  • In the “Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks“ song “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away”, Dan Hicks complains to a unnamed women that he will never miss her is she refuses to never leave him alone ever.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: "Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house — too much of you, and he will hate you." (Proverbs 25:17)
  • The Odyssey: During Odysseus' 20-year absence, many young men, assuming that he must have died, take up residence in his mansion to court his wife Penelope. Penelope believes that Odysseus is still alive and will not take a new husband. The suitors stick around and live off Odysseus' wealth for years, even when it becomes plain that Penelope does not want them around and has no interest in remarrying. When Odysseus finally comes back, he kills them all for violating the laws of hospitality as guests.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Shigeo "Anti Mexico" Okumura, a foreigner on excursion from All Japan Pro Wrestling to CMLL who hated Mexicans. Fair enough, except that Okumura remained while all the other Japanese wrestlers returned to their home promotions and in fact stayed in Mexico apparently in the name of antagonizing Mexicans for so long that he began to speak Spanish with a Mexican accent. Over a decade of this eventually lead to a Heel–Face Turn of sorts, or perhaps something like him being there so long that it became harder for people to truly become angry with him anymore. And besides, he was a nice translator for that steady flow of Japanese wrestlers on excursion.
  • Boogeyman in OVW, although they did not even know he was a "guest" until it was revealed UPN had directed him their way, a reveal that happened after he finally left.
  • Prince Nana was this for the first three years of Ring of Honor until he left of his own accord...only to come back in 2008 after his ill-gotten riches had been lost, which saw him drug out by security three times...only to buy his way back in via Barack Obama's stimulus package.
  • Sara Del Rey had this opinion of Courtney Rush, who bear in mind, was Del Rey's partner as one-half of the SHIMMER tag team champions. To be fair, Sara never agreed to tag with Rush in the first place, Rush just got them booked out of sheer persistence. When the Canadian Ninjas demanded they get their SHIMMER title shots at nCw Femme Fatales IX, since Del Rey and Rush were there too, Del Rey willingly gave them the belts! Courtney Rush tried to fight anyway but could not beat both Ninjas by herself.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Ferals has one episode where Robbie's aunt Mavis comes to stay. Initially it seems like she's a Cool Old Lady wearing bright clothes and being very upbeat and cheerful. It turns out she's a bigger con artist than Rattus and has a habit of pulling cons and pranks on whoever she can, refusing to take her doctor's medical advice, and completely taking over Robbie and Leonard's flat by redecorating it to her tastes and filling it with food only she likes. Robbie and Leonard discuss trying to get her to leave but can't bring themselves to ask. It takes the Ferals dealing with their problem of the episode (a trouble-making pet rock) and causing such a ruckus that Robbie and Lenonard are able to convince Mavis that life is this chaotic all the time for her. She quickly leaves so she can get some peace and quiet.
  • Sesame Street:
    • One episode deals with Big Bird encountering a cuckoo bird family who invade his nest in his absence and refuse to leave.
    • In another episode, Big Bird recalls to Snuffy the time he became obsessed with spending the night with Gordon and Susan because of his fear of sleeping in his nest alone.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Burn Rate, one useful strategy is to play "Bad Hire" cards on your opponents, forcing them to hire unnecessary (or even worse, incompetent) employees, thus increasing their personnel expenses (i.e., their burn rate) without gaining anything in return.
  • Negative-value roommates in Chez Geek can only be got rid of by playing some specific cards (such as "Justifiable Homicide") or by lucky dice rolling (and in the latter case, they go annoy someone else). Several of them, such as the Choad Warrior, also demonstrate other features of the trope, such as eating your food.
  • In the 4th Edition Shadowrun supplement book "Runner's Guide," annoying roommates you can't get rid of is a possible negative quality you can take for your home.

  • In The Good Person of Szechwan, everyone who'd ever had any connection with the protagonist ended up staying at her new home.
  • Becomes a major plot point in King Lear. After abdicating the throne and giving his daughters Goneril and Regan one half each of the kingdom to rule, Lear himself decides to spend the rest of his days living with them in alternating months. The problem is that Lear insists on traveling with a retinue of one hundred knights; the group spends all day on the castle grounds hunting or generally tromping around making a mess of things, then show up at the main house each night and demand to be waited on hand and foot. Goneril and Regan, while certainly far from pure of heart, are very justifiably angry about their father's treatment of them (especially considering that they have to run all of England during this time), and scheme to either kick Lear out or get him to make some concessions. He refuses, and the princesses proceed to banish him and his servants from their estates, leaving the former king homeless.
  • Henrik Ibsen has the lawyer Stensgaard in his play The League of Youth, a fellow with high self-esteem and no sense of social skills (at times). He is set on doing it his way and has to be moved by force after being "goodbyed" three times by one of his betters.
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner is, if not the Trope Maker, the source of inspiration for a great many later examples of infuriating semi-permanent houseguests. In fact, for a time the play's title entered the vernacular as a shorthand term for anybody overstaying their welcome in this manner.
    • The play and movie were inspired by real life. It all began when Algonquin Round Table member, drama critic, New Yorker magazine columnist, and all-around Jerkass Alexander Woollcott showed up unannounced and uninvited at playwright Moss Hart's country home in Pennsylvania. He completely reorganized the home, becoming so insufferable after only two days that Hart and his writing partner George S. Kaufman wondered what would have happened if Woollcott had broken his leg and wasn't able to leave...
  • Rick Steadman, the title character of Larry Shue's The Nerd, overstays his welcome right away, ruining a dinner meeting with host Willum's client, insulting and scaring said client's wife and kid, respectively, and being generally (albeit obliviously) rude to the other two tenants of the home. The thing is, Rick saved Willum's life in Vietnam so the latter feels like he owes it to the former, and when Willum tries to subtly hint to Rick to leave, Rick decides to become his partner, to ensuing hilarity. However, Willum never learns that Rick is an actor who was hired by one of his tenants to make him realize his priorities.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate III has two that show up in Act III; Mizora and Yenna. Mizora is warlock companion/Player Character Wyll's patron who essentially torments him For the Evulz and decides to hang around the camp for a front-row seat to the party's struggle against the Big Bad. She can't be harmed or convinced to leave, but she'll at least help out with the Final Battle. Yenna is a Tagalong Kid orphan who hangs around the party since she has nowhere else to go, and simply comes back every single time she's told to piss off by an evil player. She ends up being the victim of a Kill and Replace or kidnapping by the Big Bad Duumvirate's Orin the Red.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there is a Dummied Out character named Terek. Restoring the game's content with certain Game Mod patches results in him squatting in the player's home in Whiterun, and he refuses to move out unless you kill him.
  • One side quest in God of War (PS4) deals with a spirit whose family devoted their lives to worshipping Thor. When his father died, they built a statue of the thunder god to watch over his grave, and to their surprise, Thor himself came to offer his condolences. At first, the family was overjoyed, but he took advantage of their hospitality, and when the man's mother begged him to leave, Thor killed her in a fit of drunken anger.
  • Early on in Grand Theft Auto V, Trevor forcefully moves into the apartment of Floyd, the cousin of his lackey Wade, and quickly takes it over for himself, causing it to be dirtier and more decrepit the longer he stays while Floyd is forced to be another of his lackey and occasionally unwilling sex partner. Eventually, Floyd's girlfriend (the one who actually owns the apartment) returns from her business trip and tries to force Trevor out, which leads to Trevor murdering her and Floyd while making sure Wade never finds out.
  • One sidequest in Jade Empire has the player contend with Sir Roderick, a Mighty Whitey parody who has taken up residence in the Scholar's Garden while he tries to "educate" the people of the Jade Empire—completely oblivious to his hosts' unsubtle hints that they want him gone. The player gets recruited by them to best Sir Roderick in a debate and duel, which will finally convince him to leave.
  • Ravio in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. He starts out staying in Link's home for lack of anywhere else to go, and before long more or less annexes the place in Link's absence, turning it into a shop (and staying after Link buys out everything in the shop, despite claiming he now has the money to leave any time he wants).
  • In Little Shop: World Traveler the player character's brother shows up asking if he can crash at their place for a while. He then proceeds to hassle the building manager, eat all the food, and leave water running in the tub while he goes out to buy bubble bath, flooding the apartment. He also leaves dirty clothes and empty pizza boxes lying around.
  • In romance interactive novel, Moonrise, the character Alice inserts herself into the player character's life, whether they welcome her or not.
  • In The Sims 2, you might have a guest who stays until around three in the morning, playing with your video games or on your computer, or with the bubble-blower, and then, out of the blue, you get this dialogue that says "You invited me to spend the night, but then you didn't let me get any sleep! I'm leaving!" even when you never gave any such invitation — you were just too polite to ask the guest to leave!
  • In The Sims 3, you can control your Sims while they are in another household, so you can invoke this trope to a degree. You can eat your hosts' food, sleep in their beds, etc. If you keep it up, your hosts will become more and more annoyed with you and they'll eventually just throw you out.
  • In Starbound, you can invite tenants to live in any rooms you build anywhere, and they pay you rent. They also sometimes give you quests to find their friend/date/cousin/coworker who either got lost or got kidnapped near some local landmark nearby and bring them back. Congratulations, you'll soon have a new resident hanging around your place, and this one won't pay you for the stay. And while you can get rid of tenants by taking down their colony deed, freeloaders won't leave unless they get killed somehow.
  • Suika Ibuki, at the end of Touhou Hisouten ~ Scarlet Weather Rhapsody successfully bullies enemy of the week Tenshi Hinanai out of a patch of land in Heaven. Tenshi, having ascended there as a very young child, was utterly bored by Bhava-Agra's endless parties, and naturally assumed Suika would likewise lose interest and leave. Unfortunately, not only is Suika an oni, known for their constant partying and hell-raising, Tenshi never bothered to tell anyone what she'd done, leaving Suika to rampage in Heaven with no one to stop her.
  • Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey: As in the original myth, Penelope is besieged by suitors who refuse to leave until she chooses one of them as a husband. They finally flee when Wishbone shows up and passes the Engagement Challenge that Penelope sets up.
  • One "episode" of You Don't Know Jack: Full Stream has Jimmy Fallon show up as a Special Guest for a question, and then refuse to leave afterwards, to the point of staying through the credits. One of the questions later in the game even name-drops The Man Who Came to Dinner.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Max's Big Bust: A Captain Nekorai Tale, there's Max's sister, Heather. She moves in after she loses her job and proceeds to eat all of Max's food while she lazes about all day. She then proceeds to simultaneously flood the apartment and set it on fire, resulting in Max's eviction.
  • During the Christmas Episode of My Forged Wedding, Takao and the protagonist's plans for a romantic holiday evening at home are derailed when Takao's younger brother Tatsuki shows up to complain about having been dumped by his girlfriend and simply refuses to go away. Tatsuki ends up inviting himself to dinner, eats most of the food the protagonist had prepared, gets drunk, and barges in on every attempt the couple makes at having a private moment together. It all works out in the end, but Takao wryly comments that next year, he and the protagonist should take a trip out of the country for Christmas.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Parody Sue Erika Furudo quickly wears out her welcome by her callous disregard for everyone else and her constant need to assert her intellectual superiority. Worse, even if they wanted to get rid of her they can't because of the typhoon outside trapping them all on the island of Rokkenjima. The narration even makes this clear, describing her as one starting out as an unexpected guest welcome to stay while the storm rages on, to an unwanted guest who can't leave while the storm rages on.

    Web Animation 
  • In DEATH BATTLE! Deadpool has become this for Wiz and Boomstick, dropping in to bother the two at least Once a Season. It's gotten so bad that they conspired to create a match with Big Head to get rid of him! And it worked! Until it didn't. The Mask decided to troll Wiz and Boomstick by giving them a Continuity Gem to bring him back to life. Cue terrified hosts running away.
  • Marine becomes this towards Shadow in Shadow And Marine after he loses a bet with Sonic.

  • In Bruno the Bandit, Great-Uncle Lucius, who lied about being a member of Bruno's family, came for an afternoon visit over thirty years before the comic happens, and then fell sick and was, according to him and (after some threats from Lucius) his doctors, about to die, thus making the family have to take care of him. He's going to live until at least "some seventy years later". And he will still be about to die.
  • Buster Wilde Weerwolf: Try as he might, but every time Trey kicks Buster out of the club, Buster always ends up getting back in.
  • Used in Casey and Andy where one day, straight out of the blue (apparently while on the way to give Quantum Cop another Nobel Prize), the King Of Sweden (King Carl XVI Gustaf) decided to remain in Casey and Andy's couch and demand they bring him drinks. The only times they managed to get him out of the couch was when they bribed him with drinks to help with a crisis in a fantasy dimension and when he was briefly kidnapped by the Land Pirates (which he joined due to, you guessed it, Stockholm Syndrome). The strip's epilogue reveals he remained there for another 20 years before dying and being replaced by his daughter Victoria.
    • The League of Recurring Antagonists seem to have a similar problem with the Emperor of Japan.
    • Their next-door neighbor Jenn has Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on her sofa and scarfing all her lager.
  • In Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell, three angels showed up on Darwin's door one day to save his soul and prevent him from making a deadly mistake. Unfortunately, the event they were supposed to prevent happened nine years ago at this point, so they just decided to move in with him instead, and hang out on the couch mooching all day while getting high.
  • In Ensign Sue Must Die, the new ensign, Mary Sue, is so annoying that the entire senior crew of the Enterprise try to get rid of her. Making her fight a room full of Klingons? She kills every one of them. Transporting her off the ship? Scotty tried that twice and she inexplicably came back every time. Dumping her off on the mirror universe Enterprise? They want nothing to do with her, and in fact were planning on dropping their Sue off with the regular Enterprise. Even a phaser set to 'Pocket Death Star' fails to do anything, as she spent the last three years building an immunity to phaser blasts. They eventually do find the one method that works: giving her a Red Shirt and sending her on an away mission.
  • Girl Genius: Oggie's false etymology for relativity references relatives who won't leave:
  • Prince Zander in Latchkey Kingdom. His friend and Minor Living Alone Willa takes him in after his family is usurped/goes on vacation without him. He doesn't do any chores, keeps her up late, doesn't let her go into the dangerous dungeons, and throws a rock at some strangers and lets Willa take the blame. It only takes one day before Willa usurps the throne again just to get him out of her house.
  • Megatokyo: Piro and Largo stay in the apartment of Piro's friend Tsubasa when they are stuck in Japan at first. While they genuinely mean to not impose, they are distracted by Tsubasa's vast video game collection and wind up staying until Tsubasa leaves for America and they are evicted from the apartment, along with Robot Girl Ping. They leave after Tsubasa moves out first.
  • Plume: Corrick the Guardian Entity becomes this briefly to Vesper and - especially - her aunt after revealing his true nature, accompanying the girl wherever she'd be. Including the bathroom. Vesper gets used to it after a while, though.
  • Katia, the main character of Prequel. She meets Quill-Weave after breaking into her house on a drunken bender to have sex with a stranger in her own bed. Since Quill is one of the first people to genuinely treat her nicely (out of pity and later guilt), Katia latches onto her like an adorably pathetic, puppy-dog-eyed lamprey.
  • It's apparently a bad idea to be this trope to Iceland in Scandinavia and the World. As seen here, his method of dealing with such individuals is to give them insufficiently fermented hakarl, then point his now-blind guest in the direction of an erupting volcano.
  • Sluggy Freelance does a very strange version with Bert. At first, he's the main characters' roommate, so it's no problem that he's there. Then he says he's moving out because the others are too weird, though he's always most certainly been the weirdest one even in that bunch. The others don't necessarily want him to go, at least Torg, but all right. The problem is when he says he has moved out even while he's obviously still living in there. In the end, Torg gets fed up and calls the UN to send inspectors to find him, which they fail to do because Bert was in a closet.
  • The basic plot of Batman and the Bat-Titans has a Jerkass version of Batman mooching off of the Teen Titans.
  • The webcomic of the same name has Luca being this to Francesca.
  • Tripping Over You: The Schwartzes' cousin Alfons shows up for a visit in Chapter 5, admits he doesn't know how long he'll be staying and hasn't been shown to have left in the subsequent twelve chapters. Downplayed in that, despite Eli's misgivings about hosting him, Alfons is a congenial Starving Artist who doesn't impose and who helps mitigate Eli's Empty Nest pangs after Liam moves out.

    Web Original 
  • CollegeHumor reminds us that whenever you have a party, there's a risk that one of your guests just won't leave.
  • Tee Morris, a frequent guest on the Dragon Page and Farpoint Media podcasts, took pride in his moniker of "the Guest That Wouldn't Go Away". He even made his own audio bumper.
  • Nobody Here: "Mister" is about a stranger following Jogchem into his house and making himself at home. While confused as to who he is and why he's doing this, Jogchem doesn't particularly seem to mind. This trope gets lampshaded in "Tidy", where Jogchem is too much of an Extreme Doormat to kick him out.
    What got into this man, to step in here, sleep in my chair and stick all my stuff together? I don't have to take this! I'll... I'll grab him! And then shake him! Verbally, that is... I'll tell him a thing or two... And ask him when he's going to leave.
    As soon as he wakes up...
  • The Noedolekcin Archives has a less friendly example. Nickelodeon treats Kirk as a nuisance since he began hijacking the channel, as they have tried several times to get rid of him, but none so far have succeeded.
  • Red vs. Blue in Season 11 had Simmons join the Blue team to get away from Sarge and Grif. He annoys Tucker and Wash who are getting on each other's nerves with his need for chores and attempts to kiss up to Wash. Becomes Inverted when Simmons wants to go back to Red team when Caboose is made leader of Blue team but can't because Freckles threatened to kill him if he "abandoned his post."
  • Animosity-wise, SCP-682 is this to those who are holding in captive, and they want to kill him due to his tendency to kill anything that is living. However, thanks to his Adaptive Ability from anything that is used to kill him, he won't be leaving anytime soon. It also doesn't help that his adaptation also works against things that send him somewhere else instead of killing him, allowing him to keep coming back.
  • In Shadowrun Storytime, Locke doesn't feel safe returning to his apartment after Knight Errant raided it, so he ends up staying at Wildcard's house. Wildcard eventually gets frustrated enough that he changes his face and identity, sublets his house, and moves into a college frat to get away. Locke then starts mooching on Dervish.
  • Slimecicle Cinematic Universe: At the start of "The HARDEST Minecraft Difficulty", a group of polar bears constantly follows the group, attacking them at any time they're not moving. They're quickly removed during the first meeting at Molympus due to being near-unavoidable.
  • There are numerous YouTube videos where a menstrual period is personified as (usually) a girl or woman who acts like this. She does things like arrive unannounced and ahead of schedule, pressures her hostess to eat junk food, goes to pieces over trivial things, wears her hostess' nicest underwear, critiques the hostess' choice to wear white pants, punches her in the stomach or back, tags along on dates (or tries for a threesome) with the hostess' Love Interest, criticizes said Love Interest, and just generally acts obnoxious. She always does leave, but always with the promise that she'll be back next month, much to the annoyance of her hostess. Sometimes, she changes her mind and decides to stay for a few extra days.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: The Abridged Series (by ShadyVox and XTheDarkOne): Jaden has made several attempts to get rid of the Winged Kuriboh card, but it always comes back to him.
    Jaden: I've tried trading it, I've tried selling it, I've tried yelling at it, I've tried mailing it to Australia. The damn thing is like Droopy, Syrus. It always finds me!

    Western Animation 
  • The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo: In "Scooby in Kwackyland", Vincent Van Ghoul has been staying with the crew for a week while his home is being re-cobwebbed, and has spent most of that time laying in bed and making unreasonable demands. Daphne actually refers to him by the trope name shortly before the gang's latest adventure begins.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Jimmy creates a robot to pass off as a little brother. This comes to bite him in the ass when said robot turns out to be a Genki Boy who doesn't give Jimmy a moment's rest until Jimmy creates a robot family for him to go live in the moon.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Ricky Spanish", Stan and Francine sent letters to their adoptive African son Tungee (whom they believed didn't exist because they thought Africa didn't exist either) to encourage him to come live with them, which does happen much to their shock. His perkiness becomes too much for them to bear that they ditch him in a "Costgo" but soon regret that decision and go get him back... just for him to remind them how annoying he was that they both jump out of the running car and watch, horrified, as he disappears in the distance... and then they go back to missing him.
  • Amphibia: In "Adventures in Catsitting", Hop-Pop expresses worry about being a "free-loader" to the Boonchuys. He recalls having to put up with "Cousin Stanley", a (probably phony) distant relative who mooched off the Plantars for months on end until they got fed up and threw him out a second-story window into the swamp.
  • An episode of The Angry Beavers titled "The Bing That Wouldn't Leave" involves Norbert and Daggett rescuing a gecko named Bing who won't leave them alone. They try all sorts of schemes to get rid of him, and eventually try passing him along to one of their other friends, but they find out Bing's reputation for clinginess proceeds him.
  • Happens in Animaniacs when the Warners encounter a man named Francis Pumphandle ("But everybody calls me 'Pip'.") who continues to talk on and on about a long pointless story involving tambourines, orchids and bologna. The Warners try desperately to shake him off, only for him to follow them home. They essentially give up and listen to him talk about his story as they go about their routines, presumably for days, but then he finishes it and leaves. They're surprised to find they miss him and chase him down to hear more stories.
  • Bob's Burgers has Teddy, who spends so much time at the titular restaurant he practically lives there and frequently inserts himself into the Belchers' family problems despite not actually being related to them. However, despite his occasionally annoying nature, the Belchers view him as a close friend and sincerely enjoy his company.
  • Bojack Horseman has Todd, a cheery slacker who seems to have just, one day, decided to move into Bojack's house after having nowhere else to go. While Bojack could easily kick Todd out, he keeps him around out of loneliness and even at one point sabotages Todd's Rock Opera so that he can't move on. As the series progressed, Todd eventually leaves.
  • In The Boondocks episode "Invasion of the Katrinians", Robert Freeman's relatives from New Orleans come by to stay at his house after Hurricane Katrina left them homeless, and soon they really overstay their welcome. Huey and Riley get forced to cook for and clean after them while Robert is burdened with expensive bills covering their food, water, and power.
  • The Bump in the Night episode "Auntie Matta" had Mr. Bumpy's Auntie Matta pay a visit to her nephew, who shows her around the house and teaches her modern ways for monsters to scare people. Things take a turn for the worse when Bumpy's aunt won't stop scaring his friends and stays at the house for months. In the end, Bumpy scares his aunt into leaving by introducing her to television.
  • In one episode of Chowder, Chowder invites Gazpacho to stay at the catering company after he has a fight with his mother. You can guess how it turns out.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • In "Operation: S.P.A.N.K.", Count Spankulot decides to join the side of good and temporarily becomes a member of the Kids Next Door. Sector V hates him and wants him out, so they trick him into spanking an innocent, so he goes to jail again.
    • In "Operation: H.O.T.S.T.U.F.F.", Kani stays at Sector V's treehouse when his own house is rendered unlivable by the thermostat being too high. Gradually, he begins to act like an annoying teenager while Numbuh 4 takes the role of a parental figure trying to urge him to get outside and stop drinking so much soda.
  • Dan Vs. does this in "Dan Vs. The Mummy", when the eponymous mummy shows up at Dan's house and starts mooching off of him.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory episode "Shoo, Shoe Gnomes", Dexter's boots get ruined, so Dee Dee sets up a ceremony to summon shoemaker gnomes to repair them. It worked and Dexter's boots are good as new...but unfortunately, the gnomes move into Dexter's lab and refuse to leave.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Ed is this to Eddy at the start of "One + One = Ed", joining Eddy in bed and refusing to let him sleep by asking incredibly silly questions.
      Eddy: ED! What are you doing in my bed?!?
      Ed: I can't sleep, Eddy. I keep thinking, how can my feet smell if they don't have a nose?
    • In "Rambling Ed", the Eds take up residence at Rolf's shed before they endlessly exploit Rolf by eating him out of house and home, sleeping in his bed, and making him wash the dishes they made dirty, being too stupid (and shallow) to notice they're torturing Rolf.
    • The end of "Momma's Little Ed" has Edd become this to Eddy, as his ultimate punishment for pranking Edd with fake sticky notes from Edd's parents.
    • "Here's Mud in Your Ed" has Jimmy becomes this towards Rolf after the latter helps Jimmy get back at Eddy for scamming him. Jimmy would end up spending the rest of the day with Rolf, even repapering his bedroom while Rolf's trying to sleep, much to his consternation.
      Rolf: Boy Jimmy, when might you be going home?
  • The B-plot of the Family Guy episode "Dog Gone" involves Lois hiring Consuela, a Hispanic housemaid, after she gets tired of cleaning up Peter's messes. She quickly slides into this territory, staying overnight just because it's raining and refusing to leave after they fire her and even outright pay her to go away. It takes being knocked out with chloroform and dumped next door at Joe's just to finally get rid of her.
  • The Flintstones:
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends had the episode "Go Goo Go" when a very hyperactive Motor Mouth girl named Goo comes to Foster's. After she begins filling up the house with imaginary friends, Mac tries to get rid of her, but Goo doesn't take the hint. The other members of the main cast don't get the hint either and think that the reason that Goo isn't leaving is that she's Mac's girlfriend and can't work up the nerve to ask her.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • In the episode "The Thing That Stayed Forever" (a nod to the SNL sketch this trope is named after), Jon's annoying Uncle Ed moves in and stays for months while eating Jon out of house and home in the process because Jon is too stubborn to kick out a relative. Jon bursts into agony outside when Uncle Ed states he plans to stay for a few more years. So Garfield comes up with several schemes to get rid of him which all fail. Finally he makes Jon call his wife Edna, who shows up to drag him home. It's revealed that the reason he stayed at Jon's house for so long was that Edna put him on a diet.
    • Garfield also encountered a homeless fat cat who convinced Jon to take away all of Garfield's room and board and then bestow them to the homeless cat in "Pest of a Guest".
    • Cactus Jake, Aunt Prunella, and Jon's Fat Idiot cousin Roscoe have all been this to Garfield, Jon, and Odie.
  • The Garfield Show has a similar relative named Aunt Ivy who is so obnoxious that it leads to Jon tiring of her in one day, as opposed to months.
  • In one episode of Goof Troop, a look at the boundary lines between Pete and Goofy's houses shows that Pete owns half of Goofy's property, with him taking advantage of it by tearing down half of Goofy's house and living on the property while wickedly invoking This Is My Side. At the end of the episode, Peg looked over the property graph again and reveals that Pete had been looking at it upside down. Goofy actually owned half of his house, to his horror.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • Nergal becomes one to Billy's family out of shame towards losing a board game.
    • Billy's mom sees Grim as this, going as far as to blame Grim for the refrigerator always being empty in "Reap Walking", even though it's her incredibly hungry (and fat) husband's fault.
    • Fred Fredburger in "Keeper of the Reaper" after brushing his teeth goes to lie in bed... right next to the same juror he shared a bench with.
      Pale Ghoulish Juror: How many times do I have to tell you this is MY HOUSE?!!!
      Fred Fredburger: Yes.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Oskar becomes this to Arnold in "Arnold as Cupid" after a falling out with his wife Susie. Not only is he a freeloading guest who's squatting in Arnold's room, he becomes a total dick to Arnold by playing the saxophone while Arnold's supposed to study for a test, inviting friends over to play cards and betting Arnold's CD player (and lost).
  • House of Mouse:
    • In one episode, Miss Turtle will not leave the house or leave Mickey alone until Baby Shellby performs on stage.
    • Mortimer Mouse has also taken undue advantage of the club's hospitality; Mickey and the gang can't do anything about his obnoxious behavior because they think he's a food critic. He only leaves when they find out he isn't really one and Lumiere decides to give him a Rump Roast.
  • Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling: In the Season 1 episode "Wrestling Roommates", after being thrown out of his apartment, Captain Lou Albano comes to stay with Hulk Hogan for a while, but Albano's slobbish habits and attempts to help out around the place drive Hulk crazy. Eventually, Junkyard Dog needs someone to babysit his junkyard while he heads out of town for a match, to which Hulk lets Lou stay there as his part-time home. But then, just as Hulk finishes cleaning up his apartment, Hillbilly Jim pops by to stay with him.
  • Keef in Invader Zim, though it was more that he just kept coming back so much he was calling Zim's house "home" by the end of the episode. Then Zim ripped his eyeballs out and made him think a squirrel was Zim.
  • King of the Hill: This is how Hank Hill views his niece Luanne while she was living with them in the first half of the show. Luanne originally lived with the Hills after her parents split up; her mother went to prison for stabbing her dad with a fork, and her dad went to work on an offshore oil rig and refused to return until his wife died (later retconned into his being in prison too). Hank tried a number of ways to get Luanne to leave, mainly because she was using his personal den for her room. She later moves out on her own after Hank tries to make her pay rent, a move his wife Peggy did not approve and was not happy to learn about after the fact.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Blythe's Pet Project," Shivers the Squirrel keeps finding his way back into the pet shop every time someone else forces him to leave. Enraging everyone further is his compulsive kleptomania and hoarding, which at first causes infighting among the pets until Shivers's hoard is discovered.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • In one episode, Yosemite Sam has to move in with Bugs and Daffy after he rigs his home to work on solar power and a big storm leaves him without power. He becomes more and more of a nuisance, and schemes to get him to leave on his own only backfire.
    • Daffy is also an example of this in the same show. He moved in until he got back on his feet and stayed for seven years, apparently without realizing at all that he is not really someone you would want to be around for that long. The situation is lampshaded in an episode where Bugs accidentally cracks a water pipe in the house.
      Daffy: There's no water! I refuse to pay rent until this is fixed!
      Bugs: Daffy, you've never paid rent.
      Daffy: And I will continue to do so until this is fixed!
  • This turns up in some of the classic Looney Tunes shorts:
    • Bugs intrudes on Elmer in this manner in "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper" and "Upswept Hare". Daffy also does this to Porky in several cartoons.
    • Not to mention every Charlie Dog cartoon, ever, is about Charlie weaseling his way into a stranger's household (frequently that of Porky Pig) and proceeding to drive his new "master" crazy.
    • In "The Fair Haired Hare", Bugs and Sam are court-ordered to share Sam's prairie home after Sam builds over Bugs' hole in the ground. Sam does more than try to get Bugs to leave...he tries to kill him.
    • "From Hare to Heir" has Bugs representing a firm awarding Duke Sam 1 million pounds under the provision he keeps his temper in check with Bugs deducting any amount he sees warrants whenever Sam blows up. Bugs spends the rest of the cartoon making Sam's life a living hell, just to see if and when he loses his temper.
    • In "The Stupor Salesman", Daffy is a door-to-door salesman who takes a taxi to the hideout of a notorious bank robber and pesters him to buy something. Despite the bank robber making very (violently) clear that he is not interested in anything Daffy has to sell, Daffy refuses to take no for an answer, and makes it a point to not leave until he's made a sale.
  • An episode of the Mr. Bean animated series had Bean's childhood friend Harry staying with him and taking advantage of his hospitality, leaving him almost broke. Bean finally gets rid of him by ditching him at the restaurant after indulgently encouraging Harry to eat all he wants with empty promises of footing the bill himself (after Harry finished eating, Bean snuck into the bathroom and hid in the ducts), leaving Harry to work off the hefty bill.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Fluttershy is on the receiving end in Season 4's "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies" when a group of Breezies are separated from the rest of their swarm and she agrees to let them stay with her until they recover. It eventually becomes clear that all but one of the group would rather stay and enjoy her hospitality rather than resume the dangerous journey home, and Fluttershy has to bring herself to be Cruel to Be Kind and force them to move on. She does help escort them to the portal back to their home dimension though (with the help of Twilight and the others).
    • The Season 6 episode "Flutter Brutter" takes it up a notch with Fluttershy's younger brother Zephyr Breeze, who is this to both her and their parents when he moves into their respective houses to mooch off of their hospitality. It's stated he's been like this for quite some time until Fluttershy kicks him out. He eventually undergoes Character Development, and while he moves back in with his parents afterward, at least he's graduated from school this time and promises to look for a job (and a Season 8 comic later shows him having actually gotten one).
  • In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Fish Out of Water", Gopher moves in with an unwilling Rabbit when a terristrial migrating school of trout fill his tunnels. Adding to this, he starts "renovating" Rabbit's house to the point that it's a mess, prompting Rabbit to get the trout of the tunnels to get his home back.
  • The Peanuts special He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown has Snoopy sent across town for obedience training. Since he has to make the trip on foot, Charlie Brown asks Peppermint Patty to put him up "just for one night". You can guess what happens next. Peppermint Patty finally gets Snoopy to leave by forcing him to "pull his own weight" by doing chores around the house.
  • The aptly-named Pet Alien episode "The Guest Who Wouldn't Leave... Ever" has a black-hole warlord called Bob move into the lighthouse and refuse to leave no matter what. When Tommy politely asks him to leave, Bob simply kicks him and the aliens out instead and tries to summon a black hole to kill them when they fight back.
  • In Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer briefly moves in with Rocko after his parents rent out his room, making Rocko miserable the whole time, loud snoring, hogging the bathroom, messing up the house, giving away his furniture to charity, but Rocko officially lost it when Heffer hosted a nude party in his backyard. Luckily, Heffer realizes that it's too difficult to live with Rocko, and Heffer's dad comes by to drag him back home.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Otto Show", Otto moves in with the Simpsons after he loses his job. Later subverted when Homer kicks him out and calls him a "drain-clogging, last-cookie-eating, collect-call-getting-sponge". Ironically, his anger at being called a sponge is what motivates Otto to retake his driving test so he can get his job and his apartment back.
    • "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes" features Homer's half-brother Herb coming to stay with the Simpsons after Homer unintentionally destroyed Herb's car company. Justified in that Herb was destitute and had been living as a hobo until then. Subverted in that Herb also moves out when he regains his fortune and gets the Simpsons gifts for supporting him.
    • The plot of taking a houseguest has been recycled several times: The Simpsons have taken in such Springfield regulars as Krusty ("Krusty Gets Kancelled" and "The Last Temptation of Krust"), Sideshow Bob ("The Great Louse Detective"), Apu ("Homer and Apu", and the season nine episode "Lisa's Sax" has Apu randomly appearing in the Simpson house during a parody of the All in the Family opening theme), Chester J. Lampwick ("The Day the Violence Died") and Gil (who stayed a whole year, according to "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II"). When Kent Brockman came in "You Kent Always Say What You Want", this was subject of a Lampshade Hanging when Homer asks him for an 8"x10" for "the wall of casual acquaintances who came to stay for a while". Finally is Lurleen Lumpkin (the country singer whom Homer tried to promote in "Colonel Homer", despite that Lurleen was seducing him) in "Papa Don't Leech".
    • "I Am Furious (Yellow)" has a caricatured Stan Lee staying in the Android's Dungeon and driving Comic Book Guy crazy.
      Bart: Stan Lee came back?
      Comic Book Guy: Stan Lee never left. And I'm starting to think that his mind is no longer in mint condition.
    • "Bart To The Future" features a now-grown Lisa as the U.S. President faced with the country's massive debt problem. Her efforts to solve it are hindered a now-grown Bart who's a Jaded Washout and The Slacker. Bart hangs around The White House being a nuisance to the point of barging into the Oval Office during Lisa's attempts to reassure the public about America's finances and revealing just how bad things are. Other world leaders confront Lisa to demand she immediately pay America's debts. Bart saves the day by charming the leaders into giving Lisa more time, even chiding her for dealing with debt collectors without his help.
  • The Smurfs (1981): In the episode "Smurfing for Ghosts", Peewit calls for the Smurfs' help because of Quarrel Castle's resident ghost Uncle Fenwick trying to get his relatives to leave.
  • The Smurfs (2021): In the episode "The Guest That Wouldn't Leave", the Smurfs try to kick Wild out of Papa Smurf's house after his ankle has been healed, only Wild wouldn't leave without Papa Smurf's bed.
  • In Sitting Ducks, a crow named Raoul gets his foot smashed in Bill's window. Raoul then takes advantage of his "broken" foot, using Bill to buy inflatable palm trees, jukeboxes, and carts full of food. Bill then comes to realize that Raoul's foot isn’t broken at all, and then Bill and Aldo team up to scare him straight, causing both Bill and Raoul's feet to get broken in the process.
  • Sonic Boom had Eggman becoming one after his island fortress got damaged in a storm, forcing him to crash with Sonic and Tails, causing pillow fights, making them stay up really late, and generally being a nuisance. It turns out it was all a trick to tire them out so his new robot can destroy them. Said robot immediately goes haywire, forcing an Enemy Mine since Eggman will actually have to stay with them if it destroys his base. When Eggman's base is wrecked, Sonic's smart enough to refuse him a place to stay.
  • Tyler Perry, of all people, becomes this in the South Park episode "Funnybot", being the only comedian that actually shows up for Jimmy's comedy awards show. Then he starts squatting at the school in full Madea garb and routine, and nobody can get him to leave because Token is the only person who thinks he's funny and won't stop giving him money. Worth noting that even Token seems to be aware of the annoyance, he just can't help it.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • SpongeBob himself qualifies as this. Squidward would love to spend the day doing things that bring him peace and calm, but he can't, because every time he settles down for some quiet relaxation, SpongeBob, with Patrick in tow, loudly barges into Squidward's house and announces that the three of them will do an activity that only he and Patrick will enjoy. Despite Squidward clearly and loudly stating that he is not interested in taking part in whatever they are doing, SpongeBob will refuse to take "no" for an answer.
    • In "Home Sweet Pineapple", SpongeBob tries moving in to Squidward's house after nematodes eat up his pineapple. After obliging to let him stay because he was half asleep, Squidward wakes up and immediately kicks him out.
    • In "Jellyfish Jam", the jellyfish (plural, not just the first one) become this to SpongeBob after the one he decided to keep as a pet invited the others to party at his house while he was asleep.
    • "Can You Spare a Dime?" takes this to absurd levels with Squidward as the unwanted guest. He exploits SpongeBob's natural friendliness and eagerness to help. This eventually proves too much for SpongeBob, who soon begins aggressively giving Squidward blindingly obvious hints to get a job and stop sulking over losing his last one, but Squidward won't budge. It shows that even SpongeBob has his limits.
    • In "Ghost Host", the Flying Dutchman stays at SpongeBob's house while his ship is being repaired. It took 3 months for his ship to be fixed up, but he stayed for 6 months. This is because, during his stay, he would at first scare SpongeBob at every opportunity, but when he gets into a funk after thinking he's no longer scary, he becomes a lazy slob who invites his ghost friends to party and wreck SpongeBob's house, forcing the latter to motivate and try to get the Dutchman's spark back.
  • The Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Royal Pain" sees King River crash at the Diaz residence after an argument with his wife. Star is happy with the arrangement at first but soon grows weary of her father's constant all-night ragers and lack of respect for Earth culture and decorum (which she realizes reflects her own craziness at times). River eventually realizes he's making a mess of things and goes home to his wife after patching things up with Star.
  • In Static Shock, Richie hangs out at the Hawkins household so often that Sharon says he ought to pay them rent. Virgil and his father don't seem to care too much, though. However, it is later revealed that Richie never invites Virgil over because his father is a racist.
  • Discussed in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Mxyzpixilated" when Lois admits to Clark that she dreads visits from her sister, because "she moves right on in, and stays and stays..."
  • Casey Jones is a mild version of this in one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003). He doesn't stay that long, comparatively, but he does a fair amount of damage to the furnishings before he goes. The Turtles (especially Mikey) even make several "Thing That Would Not Leave" jokes.
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "Charlie", the Bears are stuck with a clumsy, chatter-box Sasquatch named Charlie after Grizzly signs them up for an AirBNB-like service called "Caveshare". It turns out Charlie is on the run from paparazzi and Bigfoot-hunters, who swarm outside the Bears' cave until the Bears trick them into going away.
  • Zig & Sharko: in "The Ghastly Ghost", a pirate's ghost moves in with Marina, much to Sharko's annoyance.

    Real Life 
  • John Belushi was like this by many accounts, casually dropping by at the houses of friends, and sometimes strangers, making himself at home, eating their food before falling asleep, and generally staying way beyond the point of welcome. In fact, he directly inspired the SNL sketch that now names the trope.
  • Hans Christian Andersen paid a visit to Charles Dickens. Andersen was supposed to stay for a night, but he ended up mooching off of Dickens for over a month. Reportedly, Dickens made ever-increasingly obvious hints to the ever-oblivious Andersen to leave and refused to answer Andersen's correspondence when he'd gone - much to Andersen's confusion. So enraged was Dickens that he wrote in the mirror in Andersen's room "Hans Christian Andersen slept in this bed for five weeks." The character of Uriah Heep in David Copperfield is said to have been partially based on him.
  • Kirby Vacuum Cleaner salesmen. They barge into people's homes claiming they want to do a "quick" demonstration or that the owner has won a "free carpet cleaning", then turn the house upside-down with several hours of "demonstrations" (and sometimes outright theft), refusing to leave until either they get forcibly thrown out or someone agrees to buy the vacuum for a ridiculously overpriced cost.
  • Used by Queen Elizabeth I as a tactic to financially bankrupt nobles with questionable loyalties at best. Since she was the Queen, they had to put her up like a Queen. It was often a cover for her spies to dig through the nobles' dirty laundry while she and her very extensive entourage (sometimes literally) ate them out of house and home - as well as a way to save on costs to the royal household, which was not in the best financial condition in Elizabethan times, thanks to her father's extravagance throughout his reign.
  • The proverb "Visitors and fish smell in three days." Some variations of this appear all throughout history, from ancient China to Poor Richard's almanac.
  • In 1971, Chile's Marxist president, Salvador Allende extended an invitation to Fidel Castro to visit the country. He made a visit supposedly for just a week, but he ended up staying for a month. And to top it all, when he returned to Cuba, he declared that they had nothing to learn from Chile. Castro had given advice to Allende and offered support, but also got into several arguments with him over the month.
  • Immolation drummer Craig Smilowski got booted from the band due to his habit of crashing on lead guitarist Bob Vigna's couch for weeks on end without paying rent. According to Ross Dolan, it wasn't an overnight decision; Vigna had been dropping increasingly less subtle hints that he was getting sick of Smilowski sitting around his house all day and that he needed to get a job (the fact that he apparently wasn't showing up to rehearsal didn't help), but it did not register, and so Smilowski was eventually asked to leave the band as a result. Dolan also made it clear that they didn't harbor any ill will towards Smilowski as a person, just that he was a shitty bandmate.
  • Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks
    • He once stayed at a friend's house for weeks, commandeering their couch, eating their food, and ruining their laptops, among other things. The whole story was told to former The Colbert Report head writer Allison Silverman, who made a dramatized video about it.
    • He later did it again at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he'd been granted asylum in August 2012 to avoid extradition for various criminal charges and ended up staying there for years. This proved to be an uncomfortable arrangement for the embassy's staff because the mission occupies just four small rooms and Assange occupied two of them. His presence was disruptive to their day-to-day duties, made worse by the fact that he became prone to tantrums as his stay dragged on.
    • He made a pledge that he'd leave the embassy if the US released Chelsea Manning (one of the sources of the leaked documents), he went back on it and stayed after Barack Obama did so when leaving office. In October 2018, Assange's behavior was reported to have gotten worse, to the point where the embassy staff issued orders for him to clean up after himself and his cat. By December 2018, the Ecuadorian and British governments negotiated an agreement that said that the Brits wouldn't extradite Assange to a country with the death penalty if he left the embassy, but Assange rejected the deal and continued to refuse to leave.
    • Finally, he was forced out when, in April 2019, Ecuador revoked his asylum and allowed British police to come into the embassy and arrest him. The cat has reportedly been re-homed.
  • When Carolus Rex suffered crushing defeats in The Great Northern War, he resigned to stay in the territory of the Ottoman Empire. However, when the Swedish king overstayed his welcome, a skirmish occurred in the territory of Bender, and Carolus was imprisoned. This didn't last long, however, as the Ottomans received word of a Swedish victory at the battle of Gadebusch, after which, Carolus was released with a full apology.
  • Major League catcher and World War II-era spy Moe Berg became this later in life. By most accounts, he was unable to adjust to peacetime life, despite holding a Columbia law degree, being a qualified university language instructor, and having many offers to coach. Instead, he would usually stay with friends and acquaintances like Joe DiMaggio and Jimmie Breslin for weeks at a time, often implying that he was still serving in some clandestine capacity. He lived with his brother, Samuel, for 17 years before Samuel got tired of the arrangement and had Moe legally evicted. Moe would go on to live with his sister for the rest of his life.
  • Cracked's John Cheese admits to (and is embarrassed of) having been the thing that would not leave for a long time.
  • During the comic book crossover Deathmate, Rob Liefeld was running over a year late with his issue, so Bob Layton of Valiant Comics invoked this trope by hanging around his house and not leaving until Rob finished his half.
  • Carrie Fisher had her own way of dealing with these people. Stay too long after the party's over? No problem, she would run you off... by putting on her copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special, which she requested in exchange for doing commentaries on the reissues of the classic trilogy. The party's over once this thing comes out, and all the guests are probably gone by the time it's over. Suffice to say, she probably never had to deal with this problem since she implemented this system.
  • 30-year-old college flunkie Michael Rotondo from Syracuse, New York was sued by his own parents for refusing to leave their home in addition to refusing to find a job or pay rent during his stay there and the judge granted his parents' request to evict him. He later went on to Alex Jones for financial aid and counseling, who lectured Rotondo why it's not okay to be this trope. Rotondo even turned down a job offer from Jones to be a reporter, saying that the check for merely $3000 Jones gave him is enough.
    Alex Jones: Do I have the right to just go knock on somebody's door and tell them they're gonna take care of me? This idea: Take care of me! Take care of me! You know what happens in the park if you feed the squirrels and the wildlife; they become obese, greedy, hateful, and stupid.
  • Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator from 2017 to 2018, developed a reputation for this while in office.
    • He moved into the spare bedroom of two friends (and lobbyists) when he went to Washington, having agreed to pay them 50 dollars a night (well below market rates). What was originally supposed to be a six-week arrangement stretched into months as he took advantage of his friends' hospitality. Pruitt's landlords dropped hint after hint that they wanted him to move out and began sending him listings for houses and apartments in the area before finally telling him, in frustration, that they were going to change the locks to their house and that they were going to rent his room out to someone else. And even though Pruitt was offered a very low price for the room, he apparently never paid his rent on time and would only provide the money after constant cajoling. There was also an incident where Pruitt's Secret Service detail broke down his room's door thinking he'd collapsed, leaving the angry landlords with an expensive repair bill.
    • He also had to be told very bluntly to stop coming to the White House without an appointment and hanging out at the White House Mess, because he was taking up seats and eating food meant for White House staffers.
  • Oddly enough, this trope is how the Catholic Church ended up evolving the current conclave that is used to elect The Pope. Basically, in a nutshell, by the 13th Century, Papal Succession had become something of a mess, to put it mildly, thanks to secular politicsnote  inserting itself into the process. The Cardinals would meet in various places in Italy to hash out succession, often in very long, drawn-out sessions that saw them living off the largesse of the townsfolk. In essence, the entire College of Cardinals became one massive Thing That Would Not Leave to the people of Rome, Perugia, and finally Viterbo. In all three cases, after putting up with the situation for a period long past what people would call reasonable, the city elders gave the College of Cardinals a subtle hint to get on with it and decide by locking them in the local Cathedral and not letting them out till Habemus Papamnote . In Viterbo, they had to add a second tactic after the Cardinals just would not take the hint. After another prolonged period without a decision, they were put on bread-and-water rations note  the Cardinals finally decided to stop messing around and get to the business of actually electing a Pope.
  • Nick, one half of the Lang Brothers, became this by accident in early 2020. He went to stay with his brother Matt for a month as a sort of writer's retreat, so they could devote a lot of time to working on future projects in their Hatchetfield series. Then the COVID-19 Pandemic happened, and with quarantine, shelter-in-place orders, and travel bans in place, Nick was stuck there for over a year. This wasn't the most comfortable situation, since Matt lives with his girlfriend, and Nick only had one suitcase with him. Luckily, them being stuck together for a year with nowhere to go led to the creation of the much-beloved Nightmare Time.
  • Osama bin Laden. According to reports, the Taliban adamantly told him not to launch global jihad from Afghan soil because of the inevitable backlash, but since Mullah Omar had invoked Sacred Hospitality they were bound by culture and tradition to shelter him no matter what. It didn't end well for anybody.
  • Home security companies have started using the tactic of a door-to-door sales rep who simply will not take "no" for an answer. Made even worse by a habit of showing up at really odd hours (evening is a popular choice). Any attempt to politely decline the offer will be met by a "may I ask why?" line of questioning. There have even been reports of sales reps resorting to Crocodile Tears as a last resort!

So, what's for dinner?
Get out of my house.


Video Example(s):


Caroling Scam

The Eds go door-to-door singing Christmas carols to all the Kids (with the impression that they won't stop until they're given cash). They end up getting a jar of quarters...and a piece of bacon from Rolf.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChristmasCarolers

Media sources: