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    Films — Animation 
  • Gaston, from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, stabs the Beast moments after the Beast decides to let him go (rather than dropping him off the roof). Admittedly, the Beast wasn't actually saving him, but he was sparing him when he didn't really have to, so it's still pretty bastardly. It was also the very last act he ever committed.
  • The Incredibles
    • Superheroes go into hiding to escape being sued by the people they saved.
    • Buddy Pine was an extremely devout fan of Mr. Incredible who's implied to constantly butt in on his heroics, and in one instance, he almost gets killed, with Mr. Incredible's rescue inadvertently causing great damage, kick-starting the Superheroes Registration Act which forces Mr. Incredible into retirement and hiding. Yet years later, as Syndrome, he has the gall to say he got the short end of the stick that day.
    • In the sequel, the Big Bad, Evelyn Deavor, doesn't show any gratitude for Helen saving her in the climax, pointing out that it doesn't make Helen right. Helen, not at all put out, points out, "But it does make you alive."
  • Mulan. Chi Fu. Mulan destroyed nearly the entire Hun army singlehandedly, yet as soon as it's revealed she's a woman, he immediately decides that she deserves death (though, in some fairness, it was illegal for a woman to be in the army at that time, and the penalty was death; she avoids it only because she had saved Shang's life shortly before, and he repaid his debt by sparing her). After she goes even further and saves the emperor (who is also his boss) from the Hun survivors, he's no better. Shang has had enough of him though.
    Chi Fu: That creature's not worth protecting.
    Shang: She's a hero.
    Chi Fu: 'Tis a woman. She'll never be worth anything.
    Shang: (grabs his collar) Listen, you pompous...
  • In the finale of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Judge Claude Frollo throws Quasimodo off the wall of Notre Dame but is dragged along with him. Esmeralda catches and holds Quasi's hand who holds Frollo. Despite having learned that Frollo had murdered his mother, Quasi is unwilling to let his adopted father go. Frollo manages to get to safety and immediately tries to kill the heroes. He fails and pays dearly for it.
  • Cera in the first The Land Before Time movie. Littlefoot's mother saves her and Littlefoot from being eaten by Sharptooth. Even after this she remains racist against "longnecks", even going so far as to call Littlefoot's mother stupid, which causes a fight between the two. She gets over it, however.
  • Toy Story:
    • Woody has his moment in Toy Story 2. Buzz and friends go to great lengths to get up to the apartment and rescue him from toy collector Al, who is preparing to send him to Japan. The most prominent expression of this is when Buzz gives a heartfelt speech about how he once taught him that life was only worth living if he was loved by a child and he came to rescue him because he believed him. His response? "Well, you wasted your time." Although Woody does see Buzz's point and tries to leave with him almost immediately afterward.
    • Lotso in Toy Story 3. Woody and Buzz risk their lives to save him near the end. Then when he has a chance to save them with no risk, he deliberately leaves them to die in the incinerator. He eventually pays the price for this big time.
  • Amos Slade in The Fox and the Hound is bent on shooting Tod, even after the fox saves him and Copper from a bear. He backs down and lets Tod go after Copper gives him a Heel Realization.
  • Stoick the Vast in How to Train Your Dragon could count as this when he finally finds out about Hiccup and Toothless. After inadvertently endangering Hiccup and seeing Toothless rescue him, he attacks the dragon and orders him captured after Toothless spares his life when Hiccup begs him to. Then he tells Hiccup that he's not his son just because he befriended a dragon, then he doesn't listen to his son's stories about how big the queen dragon is and brings what is apparently most of the village on an inadvertent suicide mission. While he's forced into a My God, What Have I Done? in every conceivable way, in the end, Hiccup is responsible for saving him and everyone else, and it costs him his right foot.
    • Though, Stoick and the rest of the village DO avert this after the first "Dragon Riders" save them from the Red Death. By the second movie, Dragons become a beloved part of the village, Stoick is openly proud and supportive of his son to the point of trying to groom him into being the new Chief, and Hiccup is called "The Pride of Berk" and cheered on by the villagers, even 5 years after his victory. And, when Drago and his Bewilderbeest make landfall on Berk, the people cheer at the sight of Hiccup and Toothless flying in to battle them.
  • The Swan Princess 2. Derek saves Knuckles from falling off a cliff, only to be pushed down the same cliff by him a few seconds afterwards.
  • Originally, at the end of The Lion King, Simba actually chases Scar to the top of a cliff, causing the evil lion to plead for his life, and that the hyenas were behind the death of Mufasa, Simba actually tells Scar to "run away and never return", but Scar responds by throwing burning embers into Simba's face and attacking him while he is blinded. He doesn't survive after his fight with Simba, though thanks to his blame on them, it takes the hyenas to finally finish him.
  • After saving a man's life in Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World, Pocahontas gets knocked down by that same guy and to add insult to injury he calls her a savage.
  • Appears in Megara's backstory from Hercules. She sold her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend's life, and he thanked her by dumping her for another girl almost immediately after. Crushed, she gave up on love and became the cynical Broken Bird she is for most of the film.
  • Even Captain Hook from Disney's Peter Pan counts as this. After Peter Pan wins the sword duel with Hook on the condition that he doesn't fly, by instead jumping and tying him up in with his own pirate flag, he agrees to spare his life and let him leave Never Land on the condition that he never returns, but not without forcing him to call himself a codfish out loud to humiliate him. Then, as Peter rejoices his victory, Hook takes the opportunity to attempt to strike him with his hook-hand. Of course, Peter quickly dodges his attack, Hook loses his ballance and falls into the jaws of the crocodile.
  • The titular character from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
    • His plan after his best friend took his place and risked his own life for Sinbad's sake? Go to Fiji.
    • After Marina has saved Sinbad and his men by piloting the ship away from the sirens? Sinbad just yells at her for causing damage to his ship and chipping the paint, causing Marina to shut herself in a cabin. Very shortly afterwards, his crew weren't very happy at this, nor his dog Spike. After seeing their disgusted glares, Sinbad knocks on the cabin door and when she answers, he grudgingly thanks her and the rest of the crew return back to work.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Departed, when Barrigan saves Sullivan from being arrested the very next thing he does is shoot his rescuer in the head.
  • In The Dictator, even after Nuclear Nadal saves Aladeen from being decapitated by angry Wadiyan refugees, Aladeen complains to him again for making a nuclear weapon that is round and not pointy.
  • The two rats in Dr. Dolittle are explicitly not grateful to the good doctor after he saves one of them.
    "You want gratitude? Get a hamster!"
  • In Dracula Untold, Vlad's people try to burn him alive the moment they find out that he's a vampire and they don't care who he is or what he had done to save them all — to them, he's just a monster. Vlad calls them out on the spot. When Vlad's vampire army has finished off the Ottomans, they turn their attention to try and kill Ingeras. They forgot whose boy that was.
  • Happens in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A., both of which end with Snake screwing over an ungrateful president. In the first one, the president shows no respect for any of the people who died in the process of getting him out of New York. The president in Escape from L.A. makes the president in Escape From New York seem like a nice guy.
  • In Ex Machina, even though Caleb helped her escape, Ava left him to die of starvation in the facility.
  • Lieutenant Dan subverts this in Forrest Gump. Initially he is not only ungrateful, but downright angry with Gump for saving his life. This was mostly a pride thing, though, as he was the first in his family not to die in battle and didn't know what to do with his life afterwards, especially after losing his legs. If anything, by the end of the movie he becomes grateful to Gump for not just saving him, but giving him a reason to live. Even before the end, he actually respected Gump and considered him his best friend. He was angry at him for saving him because he had to live without legs, but that didn't mean he truly turned against him.
    "I never thanked you for saving my life."
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army the civilians swing from Muggles to Ungrateful Bastards ridiculously soon after the Masquerade is broken. Although the fact that Hellboy would seem to them to have gone from "cool urban legend" to "scary demon with huge guns who attracts enormous, destructive plant monsters"... And this is why the comics has him being public knowledge since day one (that's since the 1950s).
  • Horrible Bosses: Even though Dale saved Harken by giving him his epinephine medication for a peanut allergy, Harken still acts hostile towards him just like with everyone else. Harken's wife's even lampshades this.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action:
    Kate: You can't fire me! My company made $950 million dollars.
    CEO It's not a billion.
  • In Lord of Illusions, Nix's cult have spent the better part of 15 years trying to revive him from his imprisonment in the afterlife. Upon his resurrection he murders them all for having proven themselves unworthy of him.
  • The No Budget fantasy film The Lords of Magick has a nobleman horribly mutilated and murdered by bandits, before being resurrected by two passing wizards. Said nobleman's response is to immediately have the wizards arrested for practising the forbidden art of necromancy, without any mention at all of reporting the people who actually killed him.
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Ingen's dinosaur capturing party rescues Ian and his team, the supposed good guys in the film, after a T-Rex destroys all of their equipment and leaves them dangling off of a cliff. They then provide all of the information Ian and co. need to get help and personally escort them there, despite heavy losses to their own ranks (most of which directly caused by Ian's group). Despite all of this, Ian's team still feels the need to spend every minute of screen time possible heckling and sabotaging them. Nick Van Owen even steals the bullets from them as they leave the island, leaving Ingen's team helpless against the attacking dinosaurs. That's manslaughter, or at the very least depraved indifference.
  • In Man of Steel, a younger Clark saving a school bus full of children from drowning is met with much fear and hatred from the townspeople. Subverted by Pete, who rats Clark out to his mother, who in turn confronts the Kents. However, Pete seems to have done so out of a sense of awe and appreciation, and is visibly sheepish about it. His mother herself goes in the opposite direction and declares Clark a savior and a sign from God. Later, Pete is not only nicer to Clark, but doesn't reveal his identity when Zod calls on Earth to do so.
  • In Million Dollar Baby Maggie's mother and sister, who object to her buying a house for them for fear of losing their welfare and instead insist on money.
  • In The Phantom, The Dragon Quill was once saved by the 20th Phantom, after he was attacked by a rabid monkey. Quill said that he would lead him to the Sengh Brotherhood's hideout. Instead, he stabbed the Phantom in the back, stole his belt and took it to the Brotherhood, who initiated him.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides: Angelica is horrified at Jack for sacrificing her father Blackbeard by switching the chalices and even tries to shoot him as he maroons her on the island...despite the fact that he saved her life by doing so.
  • In the B Movie, Prayer For The Rollerboys, Corey Haim saves the life of The Dragon to the boss of a roller blade gang, who also happens to be Haim's childhood friend. Out of jealousy, the dragon spends the rest of the film trying to sabotage Haim's place in the gang.
  • In Project X, some bullies grab a little person and throw him into an oven. Costa forces them to leave and pulls him out, only for the midget to punch him in the nuts.
  • Rim of the World: The kids are saved from the "Purge Mask" gang when the alien attacks and kills them all; then the gang's leader, already badly wounded, distracts the alien from the kids long enough for them to escape.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, "Steamboat Willie" is spared by the platoon... only to rejoin the German forces and help kill the main character, Miller. No wonder shortly after he surrenders he gets shot. By the same guy who argued with the squad that he should be let go, in fact.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • Subverted in the finale of the first Spider-Man film, where Spidey seems to get a lot more respect than he ever did in the comics. Just when it looks like the Green Goblin is about to end his career, the villain starts getting pelted with garbage by angry New Yorkers standing on the Queensboro Bridge. The New Yorkers scream profanities at the villain, one says "C'mon, you're gonna attack a guy who's trying to save a bunch of kids?!", and then one New Yorker shouts, "You mess wit' one of us, you mess wit' ALL of us!" Apparently, this was added in as a Shout-Out to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to reflect the general feeling New Yorkers had following the crisis. Still, for Spider-Man, this was really something.
      • It was played straight earlier in the film, when calls were being made for Spidey's arrest. It was even fairly invoked by the Green Goblin, who told Spider-Man that the people of New York would hate him in the end despite everything he'd done for them — and they did. Also, it featured JJJ doing his thing in typical Paparazzi fashion.
    • In Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man saves Harry Osborn from being killed when Dr. Ock's experiment blows up. Harry, who still thinks Spidey killed his father, tells him it doesn't change anything. As he leaves the building with his bodyguard, Harry says Spider-Man shamed him by touching him.
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin Skywalker himself from the prequel trilogy enjoys living this trope. He definitely qualifies during Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, where he puts the blame on Obi-Wan Kenobi for holding him back after Shmi, his mother, died in the Tusken Raider camp, assume that the Jedi Council weren't going easy on him and distrust them even more after he's refused the rank of Jedi Master, kills all of the Jedi, including the younglings, in the Jedi temple during Order 66 after all his devoted years of serving them, and, worst of all, Force chokes Padmé Amidala, his wife, to near death, after all his years of marriage with her, because he thought that she betrays him when Obi-Wan appears on her ship, so that the medical facility staff in Polis Massa will be unable to save her, leaving her eventual death inevitable. There isn't even any victory in his final defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan, because the victory for Anakin's former Jedi Master came off as Pyrrhic, resulting in the fallen Jedi apprentice being encased in black armor at the very end of the third prequel.
    • Leia. "When you came in here, didn't you have a plan for getting out?" No, we didn't, Your Worshipfullness, because we're two guys and an anthropomorphic dog up against thousands of enemy soldiers. To save your ungrateful skin. For whatever reason, it's Played for Laughs. Rescues are kind of pointless when everyone just gets killed on the way out.
    • Han does call Leia out when she complains about the rescue, "Maybe you'd like it back in your cell, Your Highness."
    • The Jedi themselves were on the receiving end of this. When they were wiped out nobody really cared. Served the Republic in all its forms as guardians for twenty thousand years? Led the clone troopers (who also get no respect) to victory against the overwhelming Separatist forces in the current civil war? Oh, well. No use crying over spilt milk.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon this seems to be the case on the surface, but is subverted. While Optimus Prime kills Megatron, despite the fact that he helped him defeat a mutual enemy it's made clear Megatron's actions were purely out of self-interest, and that aside, he was personally responsible for the death of one of Prime's comrades. Even his alleged "surrender" seemed to be nothing more than an act of mockery.
    • Played horrifically straight by humanity in Transformers: Age of Extinction. The Autobots have defended humanity from invasion, even at the cost of their own world being reborn. Humanity's response to this is to help an intergalactic Bounty Hunter kill the remaining Autobots and harvest their bodies for the raw materials to make consumer goods. For profit. There have actually been camps hoping humans get wiped out in the next movie because of this.
      • Continued in Transformers: The Last Knight, potentially worse. The Autobots are still hunted alongside the Decepticonsnote , and Cade, the one guy willing to help them, is branded a fugitive, to the extent that when it's discovered Cade had a MacGuffin that was valued by the Decepticons, their response is to form an Enemy Mine with Megatron instead of trying to work with their former allies the Autobots.
  • In the first Warlock movie, the warlock's reward to the first man who offered the unconscious and time-teleported warlock shelter is to murder him in his own kitchen.
  • In War for the Planet of the Apes, Caesar expresses this to Col. McCullough:
    Caesar: I did not start this war. I offered you peace. I showed you mercy. But now you're here to finish us off for good.
    • After the battle at the beginning of the movie, among the surviving soldiers Caesar allows to leave unharmed, includes Preacher, so that they can deliver a message to the Colonel. Later during the Final Battle, Preacher, who had earlier shown signs of a Heel–Face Turn, is just about to finish off Caesar when he is blown up by the gorilla, Red, who did make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    Magneto: Shame. She was so beautiful.
    • In X-Men: First Class, minutes after the mutants single-handedly prevent World War III, the military tries to kill them since they were deemed too dangerous.
    • Ichiro Yashida is nothing but self-serving towards The Wolverine thanks to whom he had the unique distinction of witnessing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings at first hand and living to tell the tale. He wanted to acquire Wolverine's Healing Factor to achieve eternal youth, and attempts to argue that it's for Logan's own good since that what he (Logan) really wanted, as if his wishes would make any difference to him. At first he even seems genuinely thankful to Logan for saving his life back in WWII. When Logan says no, he shows the uglier side of him and that he would put his survival before even his savior's to the point of gloating at his face while slowly killing him.
      • Shingen shows nothing but open contempt for Logan throughout the movie (which is his natural state for every other character anyway). He never once acknowledges or thanks him for saving his father's life, if not for which he wouldn't even exist.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Erik—while living under a new identity—uses his powers to save a fellow steelworker, so what happens next? Another steelworker informs the authorities who he really is, which leads to the death of Lehnsherr's wife and daughter.

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