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Throw the Dog a Bone

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"Waspinator happy at last."
Waspinator, giving the very last line of Transformers: Beast Wars

So they've been constantly injured, the butt of every joke and misfortune, much to the audience's amusement, and it seems the universe itself just likes screwing with him. So what's happening now? Huh... he's happy?

Yes, it seems that fate/God/the writers finally decided to Throw the Dog a Bone. It can be them ultimately coming out ahead, or just having a break for once, but it's generally very satisfying to whomever it happens to and any fans that had felt sorry for him.

One way this can happen is if the "Dog" character gets into a relationship. This can be very irritating to fans of the other character if it comes across as a reward and objectifies - in particularly bad versions of this; they might come across as - by this trope's very metaphor — a "bone." (Even "better", listen to fans complain if this doesn't happen.)

If the bone is thrown only to be cruelly snatched away later, then this becomes Yank the Dog's Chain, a set-up for the writers to further toy with the hapless character.

Compare Karmic Jackpot, Earn Your Happy Ending (the ending-specific variant of this trope) and contrast with Team Rocket Wins. If the character in-question happens to get this permanently and completely by chance, instead of temporarily, then it's Serendipity Shock.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • The Trix Rabbit is occasionally given a chance to actually try the cereal depending on the outcome of a poll. People vote for him to get it every time, and by now you would think the company would get that people really feel sorry for him and hate the kids.
    • They probably do and know that sympathy for the rabbit makes people remember the commercials more.
    • Of course the audience is supposed to sympathize with the rabbit: they're supposed to want the cereal as bad as he does.
      • The message seems to be that the audience is supposed to sympathize with the kids, and feel ridiculously entitled to their cereal, thus becoming more insistent on buying it.
      • There have been a small number of ads where he did actually get to eat the cereal: one of them is found Here. In another, he tastes it, goes into his usual "description" monologue, and looks up to see that the bowl is now empty.
  • One Christmas-themed Cocoa Pebbles commercial ends with the real Santa showing up, and Fred and Barney for a change sharing a bowl of the cereal as friends.
  • After attempting to get back together with the woman who rejected him for a Swiffer Wet-Jet (buying flowers, dedicating radio songs to her), the broom finally found a new girlfriend - the rake.
  • A priceless Super Bowl Coke commercial where Macy Balloons of Stewie and Underdog are fighting (aka bumping into each other) in order to get that balloon of a Coke bottle. Eventually, the bottle starts to float away. Both characters turn and see a round shape on the horizon. It's Charlie Brown, who then wins the prize. Watch it here.
    • Even better, he gets it in full view of a Lucy van Pelt lookalike.
  • Apple -- Frankie's Holiday. Frankenstein's Monster goes to a nearby town to try and celebrate with the people via caroling. However, their inevitable fear of him, combined with his awkwardness, nearly sends him over the Despair Event Horizon... until one little girl decides to back him up, soon followed by all of the now-encouraged townspeople. And FM, finally getting his ultimate Christmas gift — acceptance — can only invoke Tears of Joy.

    Comic Strips 
  • A Blondie comic showed everything going right for Dagwood, like the inversion of a Humiliation Conga: Mr. Dithers praised him and gave him a raise for some particularly skilled work, Blondie prepared his favorite meal and then smilingly waved him off to poker night, where he can't seem to get a bad hand.... The final panel shows Blondie, sitting up in bed, smiling out at the reader (and looking hot in her nightie) and saying something to the effect that "after X years in this comic strip, he deserves a day like this!"
  • Calvin and Hobbes: One Sunday strip has Calvin finally getting an 'A'.
  • In Garfield, Jon is finally now dating Liz the veterinarian, after crushing on her without success for, what? Thirty years?
    • Before that, he actually managed to get a real date. Granted, the woman in question was a bit of a Gonk, but despite that she had a lovely personality, and they both had a wonderful time.
  • One strip of The Born Loser had the protagonist having a moment of good luck for once. Once.
  • In Peanuts, Charlie Brown had some success in the '90s after decades of constant failure; he managed to hit a home run and win the game for his team not once but twice; he defeated a bully named Joe Agate in marbles; and he might even have kicked the ball for once.
    • In You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown winds up winning a motocross race despite every force in the universe seemingly indicating that he wouldn't. Goes into "Shaggy Dog" Story territory when the intended prize—Pro Bowl tickets—is replaced by five free haircuts. His hair is not very plentiful and his father is a barber.
    • It's Magic, Charlie Brown throws two bones at Charlie Brown after Snoopy makes him disappear. When Charlie Brown sees Lucy playing with her football, he takes the opportunity to kick it from her and then taunt her about it. Later on after Snoopy brings him back, Lucy tells him he can't prove that he kicked the football. Snoopy retaliates by suspending her in midair and leaves, happily skipping away with together with Charlie Brown.
    • Earlier, there was a series of strips where Lucy asks Charlie Brown to have her new little brother, Rerun, join the team. Because of his size, Rerun keeps getting walks, and they actually manage to win their first game. Unfortunately, he and Linus are called in to a meeting with the Little League organization, who reveal that they have to forfeit their game when it was revealed that Rerun gambled on the game with Snoopy.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fanfic Queen of All Oni (part of Project Dark Jade), Jade ends up hiring the Enforcers, and pays them regular wages (at one point, they mock the heroes by saying it's more than Section 13 pays them), and even when she fires them she gives them severance pay and all their belongings. When they realize that Jackie isn't there yet, they decide to flee the country and get away from magic and the chaos involving it that they keep getting mixed up with once and for all. And then they get arrested almost immediately afterwards.
  • For much of Dęmorphing, Tom is only slightly better-off than in canon. He's freed, sure, but he has bipolar disorder brought on by years of brain damage, regularly gets into fights with the other human refugees, and accidentally-on-purpose becomes a nothlit. At the end of The Cost of the Fight, though, he gets a girlfriend. Even Jake is surprised to see him be happy for once.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, after reaching an emotional catharsis of sorts to get over her jealousy and grudge over Celestia, the Lemony Narrator finds her happiness, that being a couch, a good stock of Doritos, and her coltfriend, Crazy Larry at her side. This is after countless failures in her life, like messing up on a relatively easy love potion, somehow catching syphilis, her countless academic failures, and general inability to find self-worth. Even though she hadn't exactly been The Woobie throughout the fic and many of her challenges seemed to be self-deserved, she found her own happy ending.
  • The Bridge to Terabithia fandom, notably of the 2007 Disney film adaptation, has a special disdain for the movie-exclusive character Scott Hoager, who continues to bully Jess Aarons even after Leslie Burke's death. But in the LDD-fanfic, Bridge to Terabithia 2: The Last Time, the writer ElleFred took the effort to redeem Scott by including a chapter where Scott, now a teenager, and his sidekick-cum-fellow bully Gary Fulcher meets Jess and Leslie (retconned from her alleged "death") and actually spoke to each other directly for the first time in 6 years. Scott eventually apologized to Jess for being a bully and they actually became quite chummy, although Jess still doesn't consider Scott or Gary as friends, but more of acquaintances. But what really takes the cake is that in the Distant Epilogue, Scott ends up married to Jess' ex-girlfriend, the OC Sonia Taylors who is stated to have the body of a supermodel, as well as joining the military after graduation and becoming an Army Sergeant. Best of all? Scott and Sonia ends up having a son who becomes best friends with Jess' and Leslie's daughter.
  • Throughout most of Loved and Lost, Twilight's disgraced loved ones are met with contempt and hatred from Jewelius, the citizens of Canterlot, and even Twilight herself. However, after escaping from Canterlot, they eventually receive refuge from Mayor Mare and the rest of Ponyville. It's revealed shortly after that this was done in response to a collective dog-kicking by Jewelius, who spitefully wanted to punish the town for being the home of the "traitorous" Mane Five.
  • The story No, I am NOT a Brony, GET ME OUTTA EQUESTRIA! has a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot chapter in which BronyWriter pulls the hero, TD Powell back to Earth for the purposes of the Q&A, and while he makes it clear that he'll be sending TD back to Equestria for future chapters, he lets him have his date with his longtime crush Danae first.
  • In Those Lacking Spines, Vexen has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after his encounter with the Lazy Town Cake Song among other things. He spends most of Chapter 10 relaxing in a lounge while Lexaeus and Xaldin are fighting Bishounen Gutless.
  • In the Space Quest Incinerations fan game, General Bruce Havok (one of the most badass guys in the galaxy and Gordon Freeman expy) says to Roger Wilco (janitor savior of the galaxy yet perpetual Chew Toy Extraordinaire) that he knows of Roger's heroism and is a big fan (much to Bea's annoyance). While he did treat Roger like crap earlier, it's largely because it's been many years since Roger's exploits have occurred and thus Bruce didn't realize he was dealing with that Roger Wilco (since it's a relatively common name), and Roger is something of a Jerkass when he's not saving the galaxy.
  • In the Bleach story A Black Heart Ichigo lets Kon takeover his body to get laid while Ichigo takes care of some business.
  • In Uninvited Guests, after enduring 41 chapters of craziness, Toshiro Hitsugaya is happy when Nanao Ise takes over as his lieutenant, a partner who actually does her job. The narration even points out that the universe may throw you a bone if you work hard and never give up.
  • In the Danny Phantom fanfiction Harmless, Klemper now has the ghost dog, Cujo. At last, the lonely ghost has some friends.
  • In one Kim Possible fanfiction, Drakken complains about his plan going wrong and his base being destroyed on his birthday. So Ron convinces him to use a machine to drop several gallons of oil on the fighting Kim and Shego; in exchange, Ron would hold off on destroying the base for a while. Upon seeing the results, Drakken declares it his best birthday ever.
  • In Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister? Naruto routinely unwings Sekirei then blocks their ability to be winged either to save them from abusive Ashikabi and/or allow them to make their own decisions without being influenced by their bond. While Minato has been the Butt-Monkey for most of the story, including both Matsu and Tsukiumi finding him pathetic once they weren't drawn to him, Musubi still loved him after her bond was severed. In fact, neither knew it was severed until they kissed and she didn't sprout wings.
  • God Slaying Blade Works has several omakes where Kariya Matou, one of the biggest Butt Monkeys of Fate/Zero, gets to earn his happy ending, and one where the 4th Holy Grail War's Lancer gets to die a heroic death just like he wanted instead of getting betrayed and killed like a dog.
  • Parsee Mizuhashi from the Touhou Project is a literal Green-Eyed Monster taken to its logical conclusion: She is Driven by Envy, jealousy sustains her and her power to make other people envious is born from her own jealousy of them. Everything in her existence revolves around this misery, around how she's physically incapable of being content with what she has and always envies others for what what they have that she does not... In the fandom she's most commonly shipped with the drop-dead gorgeous and incredibly strong Yuugi Hoshiguma... Of course, Parsee still cannot be happy with what she has and will always find some way to sour her own fortune, but at least Yuugi is always there to support her.
  • The fanmade animatic "Quest for the Northwest" from Gravity Falls: Deep Woods throws one to Pacifica Northwest, who's given a break from her Abusive Parents and runs away a few hours to have fun with Dipper and Mabel. Another is thrown at the "Free Pizza" guy, who finally manages to get a pizza when the kids offer him one.
  • Ultra Fast Pony: Despite being a Sadist Show, full to the brim with Black Comedy, the show resident Butt Monkeys occasionally get a bone:
    • Subverted in Purple Party Pooper, which opens with Twilight happily singing to herself, because it's her birthday and despite their differences, the rest of the Mane Six are coming to celebrate... before Spike tells her they're not coming. Cue Cluster F-Bomb.
    • Cheerilee is constantly pushed around, insulted, and even manipulated by her own students. But after one of the girls schemes leads to her waking up married to Big Mac, on a bed in the hole in the middle of the road, they go on to be Happily Married.
    • Luna is finally accepted by Ponyville, at the end of "Utter Lunacy". Though zigzagged, as she doesn't know how exactly that happened and the episode ends on her being utterly confused and storming off in frustration.
    • Spike, who is treated like a slave by his clingy "adopted mother"/owner Twilight, on top of being a general Butt-Monkey. But unlike Twilight, The Mane Six actually showed up for his birthday. Also, he occasionally gets away with making a snide remark at Twilight.
    • Despite Twilight and Spike having a very unhealthy relationship, they both occasionally show they care about each other deep down.
    • Rainbow Dash probably ties with Spike and Luna for biggest Butt-Monkey of the cast, without even counting her Hilariously Abusive Childhood. Never the less, she actually gets a few of these:
      • After (accidentally) saving a child in a well, she is briefly treated as a hero. She also goes out for ice cream with Scootaloo at the end of the episode, who herself is the No-Respect Guy in the CMC.
      • Twilight actually shows up to spend time with her in the hospital.
      • Her human counterpart in The Equestria Girls universe, is the most popular girl in school.
      • Soarin accepting her as his adopted daughter, after going her whole life without a parental figure who genuinely loved or even liked her.
      • Pinkie Pie 2 actually standing up for her, after Cheese Sandwhich mistakes her for a demon and tries to kill her.
    • For a brief moment while in the dream world, Luna and Scootaloo actually enjoy each other's company.
  • In An 'April Fool's' Errand, despite having a holiday based off of Homer's slanderized account of how he met his wife, Hades is happy just to have a holiday dedicated to him for once.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Victor Fries surrenders after learning that his wife Nora has been cured of her terminal illness by the Quirk she developed in cryostasis. After spending fifteen years in Arkham as a model inmate, he leaves a free man and gets to reunite with his wife, starting Fries Financial, an incredibly successful conglomerate. He seems to be held in high esteem by the events of the story and his granddaughter Wiktoria is offended when another girl calls him a "sentimental old fool".
  • Fate/Harem Antics: Shirou Emiya is sent a dream of Archer EMIYA's memories. In the memory, EMIYA takes down a group of Dead Apostles and arrives in time to rescue a little boy they were planning to eat. EMIYA became happy that for once in his life, he managed to save someone.
  • Fates Collide: Mercury Black constantly gets beaten up by everybody, usually Gilgamesh, and ends up losing one or both artificial legs. Then he manages to win Round 2 of the Grand Order Tournament, outlasting all his opponents, including Gilgamesh.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: After so many bad dates, Tucker decides to actually create an honest dating profile, and has a nice date with Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo.
  • In Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime, the Peanuts gang have a last get-together before parting ways forever, and for once Charlie Brown gets a little of happiness sent his way. Long-time bullies Violet and her friend Patty praise him a bit in their own way, and Lucy Van Pelt points out that his baseball team always sticked by him, even though they hardly won any games. Peppermint Patty also gets a bone when Charlie decides to keep hanging out with her.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • Despite often getting blasted off by Ash, the Team Rocket trio gets a letter of praise from Giovanni after they capture Felgrand, telling them that they got massive raises and are in line to be promoted.
    • After being defeated in all of his battles against Ash, A.J. he's shown winning an important battle against Erika. He later gets strong Ship Tease with Jeanette Fisher as the two begin to travel together.
    • Jessie wins the Princess' Festival tournament and the doll set, since Misty doesn't take part in it this time around.
    • Resident Butt-Monkey Samurai manages to get through four rounds of the Indigo League. Though given that his fifth round opponent was Koga, that is as far as his bone gets him.
    • After the heartbreak in the first Butterfree Interlude, the next one gives him a chance for a Second Love.
  • Gaz Dreams of Genie: While it's not a major focus of the plot, Dib finally gets a relieve from all the crap he went through in canon when Azie switches lives with Gaz, and as a result his memories of his mean sister are poofed out of existence and he gets to grow up with a nice sister instead who loves him.
  • My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series:
    • In the "negative episodes", while Fluttershy's Woobie and Extreme Doormat status from canon are still played up for dark comedy and she still gets no respect from most ponies (not to mention she doesn't even get to show up till episode eight), she does get some "minor victories" here and there: in the episode covering the events of "Stare Master" she manages to assert herself better than at any previous point in the series and ends up having a relatively pleasant night with the CMC and a eldritch being and in the episode covering "Sonic Rainboom" shows that despite their flaws, she and Rainbow Dash do sincerely see each other as friends. Flutters even seemed to finally start growing a spine before the series got cancelled, and she gets to tell off Twilight while drunk after the gala. (Not that Twilight cares, but still.)
    • The Episode of the original covering "Owls Well That Ends Well", is basically a Breather Episode about Twilight and Spike hanging around the library with each other, that shows that they do genuinely care about each other, even if they don't show it often.
  • Second Bite of the Cherry: The Zhou family never got to see their daughter again after she was taken to the Cloud Recesses, but meeting Lan Wangji allows them to learn he's a very sweet and kind young man who genuinely adores his fiancée.

    Films — Animation 
  • Brave: Maudie lucks out at the end of the movie by hooking up with the Hunk from Clan Dingwall.
  • On April 14, 2022, Blue Sky Studios released an animation to commemorate the Ice Age franchise move from the studio to Disney. The animation was about Scrat not only finding an acorn and not losing it, but also allowed to eat it in peace.
  • The credits of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time show that while Anastasia did not become a princess, she did get a nice boyfriend.
  • Features in the Futurama film Bender's Big Score; Fry's dog Seymour, originally depicted as spending twelve years waiting for Fry after he was frozen when Fry never knew about it, now spends those twelve years living with Fry's time-paradox duplicate.
  • Rugrats in Paris ends with Chuckie not only getting a new mother, but also a new sister named Kimi when Chas marries Kira.

  • "Even the Losers" by Tom Petty.
    Baby, even the losers get lucky sometime
    Even the losers keep a little bit of pride
    They get lucky sometime...
  • Averted with "At Seventeen", Janis Ian's 1975 pop classic about teenage elitism and being shunned, where the narrator is not even so much as thrown a bone while all of her popular classmates get all of the attention, accolades and the cream off the crop of boys.
  • Referenced by name in the song The Ballad of Ira Hayes, written by Peter La Farge and most famously sung by Johnny Cash: "they let him raise the flag and lower it, like you'd throw a dog a bone."
  • In 2009-10, Lou Reed decided to make a tour inspired by Metal Machine Music, meaning over an hour of droning sounds in lieu of music. Naturally, the concerts were full of boos and walkouts, but the two gigs in Brazil had Reed doing something to reward whoever was left for an encore by actually singing.
  • Daft Punk's "Da Funk" music video follows Charles, a dog-man with a broken leg and a broken boombox that keeps blaring the song in question, as he walks through New York City at night. Though he's polite to everyone he meets along the way, he's generally treated brusquely by everyone he meets, and even when he has a pleasant conversation with a childhood friend named Beatrice who invites him to dinner, he can't follow her onto the bus because boomboxes aren't allowed. A few videos later, Charles returned (sans boombox or broken leg) for "Fresh" - he still has the same pleasant demeanor, but now he's a successful film actor with a Cool Car who's going out with Beatrice.

    Print Media 
  • MAD's Monroe is occasionally thrown a bone, though they often Yank the Dog's Chain in the very same comic. Two examples:
    • Getting to make out with his Irish cousin. When his parents find out, they force him to sleep in his roofless tree house in the pouring rain.
    • Having the school bully steal his date at the cinema, but then getting him to eat a rotten hot dog he found on the floor of The Rocky Horror Picture Show screening next door.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • During the kayfabe era in the WWF, Jobbers on television typically often didn't get got so much as any offense when they appeared on television, but many of them also appeared on televised cards at larger venues such as New York City's Madison Square Garden, where not only were they generally more competitive, some of them had solid victories over their foes. Examples include "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, Tiger Chung Lee, Danny Davis (and his masked alter-ego, Mr. X), Barry O, Scott Casey, The Moondogs (Spot, Rex and King), Los Conquistadores, Iron Mike Sharpe, S.D. Jones, Sam Houston, Tim Horner and others. Several were solid mid-carders; some had key roles in developing feuds (e.g., Davis, as part of his dishonest referee-turned-wrestler gimmick; Jones in André the Giant's feud with Bobby Heenan) while others, such as the Moondogs and Sharpe had main-event matches at some point.
    • Speaking of Los Conquistadores, they were one of the last two teams remaining at the WWF's 1988 Survivor Series, lasting 42 minutes before falling to the newly-turned-heel The Powers of Pain. While they were mercilessly beaten on by the face team every time they were in the ring, they somehow survived until the very end.
    • On occasion, in bigger promotions, the jobber, jobber-to-the-stars and mid-carders would — particularly at B Show and C-Show house shows — get title opportunities against champions (usually, brought along to help anchor a card or, especially if they have great potential, to show rare leadership opportunities) they would never get on television.
  • Howard Finkel, WWE's ring announcer during the 90s and early 2000s, was a Butt-Monkey almost any time he had any role in any storyline. However, during a feud between the mutually mulleted X-Pac and Jeff Jarrett, Jarrett bullied Finkle (who was bald) as part of the buildup. After X-Pac won the hair versus hair match, Finkle got to help him shave Jarrett's head.
  • Stacy Keibler was a Designated Monkey for almost the entirety of her WWE career, despite being (mostly) a face: stripped, spanked, bullied by both men and women, beaten to within an inch of her life on several occasions, and constantly negatively compared to more "traditionally" beautiful Divas such as Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus. And to top it all, she won only three matches over the course of a four-year run. But there was a brief period late in 2004 when she Took a Level in Badass, ascended to main-event status, and - arguably her proudest moment - entered a Divas' Battle Royal at that year's Taboo Tuesday and managed to stay in the ring for most of the match, outlasting every other face Diva.
    • WWE actually had a much bigger bone planned for her: Stacy was originally booked to win Taboo Tuesday and become Women's Champion. However, the day of the match, she told the WWE brass she didn't deserve to be champion, as she was not a wrestler. Instead, they did a half-hearted Status Quo Is God by letting Molly Holly (the woman Stacy pinned three weeks in a row going into Taboo Tuesday) be the one to eliminate her. Stacy fully reverted back to her Faux Action Girl status shortly afterwards, losing a bra-and-panties match to newcomer Christy Hemme.
  • Zack Ryder had been WWE's Butt-Monkey for years, but at WrestleMania 32, he won the opening ladder match to become Intercontinental Champion. He lost it the next day on Raw, but no one can take away his WrestleMania moment.

    Puppet Shows 
  • A Season One episode of The Muppet Show has Fozzie Bear, the usual Butt-Monkey, mock the snarky critics Statler and Waldorf with the help of the guest star; the masterful Bruce Forsyth, no less, is Fozzie's accomplice in this. The bear manages to out-snark Statler and Waldorf so badly that they end up hiding in their box waving a white flag.
    • Fozzie also gets revenge in other episodes; in the Steve Martin episode, the night's show is canceled as it was already scheduled for open auditions. One pair of auditionees are Statler and Waldorf; Fozzie goes up to their balcony to mock them. Another episode has him do the same thing during Statler and Waldorf's take on an actual opening number. "Bring on the bear!"
    • Also, any Swedish Chef sketch that doesn't end with him being attacked by his cuisine or otherwise harmed — examples include "Chicken in the Basket", "Chocolate Moose" (note the spelling), and his use of guns to make doughnuts and a salad respectively!
    • In the Muppet Labs sketches, any time Beaker comes out better than Dr. Bunsen Honeydew — or at least the doctor doesn't get off scot free. This especially counts for the Mac Davis episode where Beaker accidentally makes several clones of himself, which spend most of the remainder of the episode chasing Honeydew around.
  • Sesame Street: Bert is usually the one to lose out in his and Ernie's games, yet in the game where Bert mimics Ernie's drumming, he wins the game, and when they play the rhyming game, both of them end up having fun.

  • Australian Rules Football: Going into the 2016 season, the Western Bulldogs had only won one premiership, way back in 1954, and hadn't played in a Grand Final since 1961. During that time, they had lost seven Preliminary Finals between 1985 and 2010, narrowly avoided being merged in 1989, and suffered near-constant financial troubles. Then, in round 3, captain Bob Murphy injured his knee and was out for the season. They finished seventh after the home-and-away season, and were underdogs (pardon the pun) all through the finals — against the West Coast Eagles in Perth, then reigning three-time premiers Hawthorn, then Greater Western Sydney in Sydney, before finally making it to the Grand Final against the top-placed Sydney Swans... and they won. Even injured captain Bob Murphy got a happy ending, with coach Luke Beveridge calling him up during the presentations and giving his premiership medal to him.
    • The following season had Richmond win the premiership, having last won in 1980. They were up against heavy favorites Adelaide, who had placed first on the ladder for the 2017, and scored 108 against Adelaide's 60, even going as far as to deny them a goal in the second quarter. Richmond would win again in 2019 and 2020 against Greater Western Sydney and Geelong, respectively, and Adelaide got the wooden spoon in 2020.
  • For the 2016 All-Star game, the NHL opened voting up to the fans to select some of the team members. An online campaign made a push for nominating John Scott as captain of the Pacific Division. Scott was a 33-year-old enforcer who had five goals in his entire career and who generally played a few minutes a night on the fourth line (on those nights where he wasn't relegated to the press box or sent to the minors) - he was much slower and less skilled than the All-Stars he would be playing alongside and many of the organizers thought it would be hilarious to watch him try and keep up. Scott was reportedly embarrassed at the campaign initially but, as it gained steam and he rose to the top of the fan polls, he decided to make the most of it and attend with his family, publicly reasoning that it was an opportunity he otherwise would never get. The league, upset at the mockery of what they saw as one of their premier events, quietly fumed but stated they would abide by the poll results (publicly at least - Scott would later reveal that league officials approached him in private and asked him to either decline the invite or fake an injury so that someone else could take his roster spot). However, two weeks before the All-Star game, Scott was abruptly traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Montreal Canadians (with some rumors indicating that Scott's inclusion in the trade had been encouraged or facilitated by the league itself), who signaled that they did not plan to use him on their team and sent him to the minors instead, potentially rendering him ineligible for inclusion in the All-Star game (as he was no longer technically an NHL player). Fans - including many who had not initially supported the campaign - were furious that Scott would not even get to attend the All-Star Game after he had been put through the campaign and, as an added kicker, Scott was being sent to the opposite side of the continent from his family when his wife was pregnant with twins. After several days of outrage from the fanbase, the NHL relented and announced that Scott would still be allowed to participate in the All-Star Game after all. The game wound up being a highlight reel for Scott - he received the loudest applause at the player introductions, scored two goals in the semi-final game, got in a mock-fight with Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, captained his team to victory in the final game, and was voted tournament MVP despite the fact that his name was not included on the initial ballot. Scott was hoisted on his teammates shoulders while giving an interview and was approached with several sponsorship deals and a movie deal after the tournament. He would eventually retire from professional hockey at the end of the season.
  • The sheer fact that, after 108 years, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016.
    • In the late 1880's the Louisville Colonels became the doormats they would be throughout the 1890's (which contributed to the team being contracted away after the 1899 season). However there was a bright spot in 1890, when they won the American Association pennant (with 88 wins and 44 losses, and the second-place Columbus Solons were ten games behind at 79-55) and tied the World Series with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Bonus points since the previous season they'd been at the bottom of the Associaton at 27-111.
  • For 636 days leading into September 20, 2018, the Cleveland Browns foot hadn't won a game even going 0-16 in 2017. The 2018 season was no different after tying in the first game and narrowly losing their second. However, after their newly-drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield rallied from a 11-point deficit after halftime to secure the franchise's firsts victory in over two years, Cleveland celebrated as if won the Super Bowl.
    • Before this was Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-ever win in their second season in 1977 after going winless in their inaugural season.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • After years of being the game's Butt-Monkey, shown dying in droves in the fluff, getting saddled with unplayable units, and being to some extent incompatible with the current core rules, around the transition to 4th Edition the Imperial Guard finally got a decent codex. Their 5th edition update brought such treats as support gunships and the ability to field more tanks than any other army, pushing the guard into full Who's Laughing Now? territory. They are the largest unified military force in the galaxy and get to act it.
    • The Dark Eldar went over a decade without an update to their extremely limited and increasingly dated model range and notoriously unforgiving rulebook, before finally getting not just a codex packed full of background fluff and viable units, but some of the most detailed models Games Workshop has ever produced.
    • The Fall of Cadia campaign ends with the Chaos Space Marines under Abaddon the Despoiler finally steamrolling through Cadia and blowing the entire planet to kingdom come after twelve similar thwarted Black Crusades, beating the combined forces of the Imperium, the Eldar, the Necrons and the Dark Eldar and Harlequins.

    Web Animation 
  • In Happy Tree Friends, Cuddles (the character who has died the most) and Giggles (the runner-up) are in a relationship. Episodes showing this, however, end with both of them dying horribly...except for one. The episode "I Nub You" have them as a counterpoint to the romance between Handy and the newly-handless Petunia. (Cuddles pushes Giggles on a swing: Handy finds doing the same tricky, so they just ride a see-saw; Cuddles and Giggles hold hands: Handy and Petunia tie their bandages together, and so on). Although Petunia and Handy, as the stars of the episode, die horribly, Cuddles and Giggles get to live.
  • My Little Pony Meets:
    • Lyra and Bonbon are victims of constant physical abuse, without doing anything to deserve it, what so ever. But in Toucan LDM meets My Little Pony, they manage to lore the very creator of the show to Ponyville, and get to have a little well deserved payback.
      • To a much lesser extent in Elsa meets, where it briefly looks like they are going to be hit by something.. only for nothing to happen.
      • Subverted in The Joker meets, where they see The Batmobile about to crash into them, like it did in the original Bat Man meets, only for Lyra to grab Bonbon saying "not this time" and teleporting them away at the last second... off of a cliff.
    • After being beat up in early episodes, Spike actually gets to be a hero in both Rapunzel meets where he aids Rarity in saving the titular character and Godzilla meets, where in his "monster form" he fights Godzilla to a draw and is celebrated by Ponyville, after convincing the Kaiju to go peacefully.
  • In RWBY Chibi after spending three seasons of being ignored, mocked and all around being the Butt-Monkey, Jaune gets his due in "JNPR Dreams" where he's Huntsman of the Year and Team RWBY, JNPR, Penny and Velvet all cheer for him. In the waking world, the rest of Jaune's teammates are just amused by it with Pyrrha asking Ren and Nora not to wake him as he looks so adorable.

    Real Life 
  • Whitney Kropp, a bullying victim at Ogemaw Heights High School, was nominated for homecoming queen by her tormentors as a Carrie-inspired prank. The prank backfired and it got the town to support Whitney and Whitney ended up winning the crown for Homecoming queen.
  • The DC Extended Universe has been helpful to actors and characters.
    • While Henry Cavill did have some lead roles in shows and movies, he was also infamous for getting snubbed on getting major roles from various studios in favor of other actors, most notably by Robert Pattinson for the role of Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movie series and Superman for the movie that became Superman Returns. That all changed when Zack Snyder gave him a second chance at playing the latter in the Continuity Reboot film Man of Steel.
    • Wonder Woman finally getting to appear in a live-action film after years of the movie project going nowhere - especially considering that Warner Bros. executives were on the fence about letting her have a movie, leading to the now-infamous Tweet from Brett White about how DC didn't want to do Wonder Woman because it was too confusing, while Marvel was working on Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), which has a raccoon using machine guns. Taken even further once it was confirmed that she would be getting a standalone film before Marvel could release a female-led movie. And Wonder Woman (2017) became the most acclaimed of the DCEU flicks and a massive box office hit.
      • This is also the case for her actress Gal Gadot, who had a decently successful modeling career but was having trouble finding roles in Hollywood, with her only role of note up to that point being Gisele Yashar in the The Fast and Furious franchise. She was even thinking of quitting acting altogether before getting cast as Wonder Woman.
    • The story goes that Ben Affleck was vying to be Batman during the period between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins, but because of the Development Hell he took on Daredevil as the closest thing. His career tanking from Gigli didn't help, either. Even after rebuilding his career by being both actor and director, he admitted to being surprised when he was approached to be Batman because he was getting older and couldn't play a 20-something or 30-something Batman, and was delighted to learn they were going in the Dark Knight Returns direction for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Unfortunately, after the notoriously Troubled Production going on for the theatrical cut of Justice League, it went south because Affleck ended up going back to rehab, and had to give up the cape and cowl as well the director's chair for The Batman.
  • Michael Bell, who voiced Prowl and Swoop among others, in The Transformers, expressed interest in returning to the Transformers franchise for years, auditioning to reprise the roles of Prowl and Swoop for Transformers: Animated, and for Ratchet and William Fowler for Transformers: Prime, but these never panned out (Animated!Prowl went to Jeff Bennett, Animated!Swoop was The Speechless, and Prime!Ratchet and Fowler were voiced by Jeffrey Combs and Ernie Hudson respectively). This was until he was cast as High Tide in Prime's sister series Transformers: Rescue Bots. Along with Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Gregg Berger, and Dan Gilvezan, he also returned for Transformers: Devastation, reprising the roles of Sideswipe and Scrapper.
  • Scott Cawthon was a troubled game developer who could never quite be a success. His then-most well known game, Chipper and Sons Lumber Co., was slammed and mocked for its unintentionally creepy character designs, devastating Scott and prompting him to make one last game before finding a new career. That game was Five Nights at Freddy's, and his life was never quite the same afterwards.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was, for the longest time, victim to a legendary Award Snub, having never won an Oscar despite many well-received roles. Come the 2016 Academy Awards, however, and the unthinkable occured - The Revenant finally earned the Oscar his fans feel he deserved.
  • If Leo only scoring an Oscar in his sixth attempt was deemed painful, imagine how it went for both acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins (only in his fourteenth, Blade Runner 2049) and sound mixer Kevin O'Connell (his twentieth, Hacksaw Ridge).
  • Nintendo never seemed to know what to do with Eternal Darkness since its release; it was a western-developed game, meaning the Japanese company didn't have much attachment to it personally, and it was a Psychological Horror story, a far cry from their usual family-friendly output, leaving them to eternally renew the trademark with no follow-up. In Super Smash Bros., all it got was a cursory mention in Brawl's Chronicle; no stickers or trophies in any of the games... until Ulimate, which finally gave Eternal Darkness a nod with Alex Roivas as a Spirit to rescue.
  • When Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was being developed, plenty of Darkstalkers fans were hoping for Jon Talbain to be a playable character after not being playable for any of them. While that unfortunately never happened, Ryoma Niitsuma, the developer of the game and it's update, ''Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3'', did say that had there been more development time, Jon would have been his pick for the series' fourth rep. At the very least, his fans were given some compensation with Amaterasu getting an alternate DLC costume that has her strongly resembling Talbain in Ultimate.
  • In a rare example of a son of a bitch being thrown a bone, Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, after years of posthumous abuse, including being hung upside down and uncertainty about the disposal of his remains, was ultimately buried in a crypt in his hometown of Predannio—the only posthumous honor to ever be accorded to the dictator who inspired Hitler's twelve-year reign of terror over Germany.
  • Daši Freyr's band Gagnamagniš were selected to represent Iceland at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. Their song quickly became a viral hit online, and was widely considered to be the frontrunner to win, but the contest was cancelled for the year due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. The band were reselected for the 2021 contest with a new song... but then one member of the band tested positive for the virus before their Semi-Final. The band chose not to perform without him so rehearsal footage was used in lieu of a live performance. Daši was eventually invited to perform in the interval act for the 2023 Contest, as part of the "United by Music" theme, finally giving him a chance to perform live on the Eurovision stage.


Alternative Title(s): Give The Dog A Bone


"Waspinator Happy At Last"

In the final scene of "Beast Wars", Waspinator, who had suffered no end of abuse for the entire series, finally finds eternal happiness. This is if you disregard the sequel series.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThrowTheDogABone

Media sources: