open/close all folders
- In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Wolffy's reaction to the goats saving him is usually to try to capture them anyway. One such example is in Joys of Seasons episode 26, where Wolffy captures Jonie after she saves him from nearly falling off the edge of a cliff - using the same rope that Jonie used to rescue him, no less.
- A justified example from the Blake's 7 audios: After trying to kill or capture them for two seasons straight, did you really think Servalan would not take advantage of a crippled Liberator? That it was crippled holding the line against the Andromedan invasion is irrelevant.
- In The One-Handed Girl, the girl refused payment for a pumpkin, instead giving it to her sister-in-law. When the sister-in-law tries to get another the next day, the girl is out, so she tells the girl's brother that the girl had refused to sell her any, even though she sold them to other.
- In The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa, the tsar keeps on using the archer's success as a reason to give him a new task or get his head cut off. Then when the princess demands it, he has the archer thrown into boiling water.
- The Brothers Grimm story The Bremen Town Musicians features a donkey, a cat, a dog and a rooster who are all past their prime years and no longer able to perform their services for their masters. Instead of allowing the animals to spend their final years in peace, each animal's owner plans to simply dispose of their beasts and replace them with newer animals. The animals decide to set off on their own.
- The dwarf who sisters Snow-White and Rose-Red keep helping.
- The story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a classic example. The town of Hamelin refuses to pay the Pied Piper the amount they had promised him for solving their terrible rat infestation. In short, they stiff him. In some versions, he's even falsely blamed for bringing the rats in the first place. But they pay for it in spades, as he kidnaps their children. In fact, the saying "time to pay the piper" is derived from this story.
- Some versions of Puss in Boots end this way, with the cat being promised a fine funeral when he eventually passes on. Playing dead to test his master's sincerity, the cat finds out that the real plan was just to fling him out the window. The cat promptly ceases his charade and leaves, understandably pissed.
- The joke about the pig that is so talented (can play piano, talk, etc.) that the farmer is eating the poor thing one piece at a time, starting with its limbs, because "a pig this good, you don't eat it all at once". What makes the joke this trope is that on some versions of the story the pig saved the farmer, his entire family and all of the other animals in the farm from some disaster (fire, tornado, etc, even bodily carrying them to a safe zone-and on some versions even repeatedly) back when it had all of its limbs. Some versions of the joke do have the farmer giving the pig a very luxurious spot on the farm to live in as a symbol of gratitude, but the fact that the farmer still wishes to eat him, and has started to do so by crippling him doesn't even try to make it Fridge Horror that it's a Gilded Cage.
- The captain of the Golden Vanity promises the sky to whoever sinks the enemy ship (French or Spanish, depending on who's covering), then goes back on his word when the cabin boy succeeds, refusing even to pull him back on board. Some versions have the kid surviving, most not.
- The blues standard "How Blue Can You Get", which was Covered Up by B.B. King, goes into great detail about how the speaker's wife/girlfriend is ungrateful for everything he's done for her.I gave you a brand new Ford,
you said, "I want a Cadillac"
I bought you a ten dollar dinner,
you said "Thanks for the snack"
I let you live in my penthouse,
you said it was just a shack
I gave you seven children,
and now you want to give them back
- Sensacional Carlitos came to BJ and Mr. 450's aid after they were jumped and had the World Wrestling League Americas title stolen from them by Joe Bravo, Escobar, and Negrín. Since you're on this page, Mr. 450's lack of gratitude shouldn't surprise you.
- One episode of Dragnet involves a lady who worked for years to get a murderess paroled, and then when she was, offered houseroom and hospitality. The murderess took out a life insurance policy on her hostess and murdered her. Hardly surprising that said murderess's life was forfeit this time around.
Religion and Mythology
- The Bible particularly the Gospels contains many parables and passages about gratitude:
- Luke 17:11-19 is the story of Jesus cleansing ten lepers, but only one of them a Samaritan thinks to thank Jesus and praise Him. While Jesus has plenty of praise for the one who did show his gratitude, He is highly offended at the nine who didn't: "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
- Matthew 18: 21-35 tells the story of the unmerciful servant. Here, the ruler of a kingdom demands that a lowly servant repay all his debts 10,000 talents, several billion dollars by modern standards immediately or face imprisonment and torture. The servant begs for mercy and more time to repay the debt, which moves the king enough to cancel the debt altogether. Not long thereafter, the servant encounters one of his debtors, who owes him 100 denarii, which is maybe a few months' rent by modern standards. Likewise, the man's friend says he doesn't have the money and begs for time to collect the money to repay the debt, but the servant refuses to ease up on him and has him badly beaten. The king learns of this incident, summons the servant and screams at him, "You wicked servant. I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldnt you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" Jesus who again weaves this parable then explains that the king rescinded his pardon and had the servant jailed and tortured until the debt could be repaid (which would be... never). His entire point was that good Christians show mercy and gratitude.
- Matthew 20:1-16 is about laborers in the vineyard. Here, the owner of the vineyard hires workers in stages, paying them all an identical sum at the end of the day, regardless of how many hours they worked, whether for several hours or just a few minutes. The workers who received their denarius for working only a short time are thankful, but those who worked all day in scorching heat and without breaks complain when they are given the same denarius. The master, sensing that his worker(s) are ungrateful for what they view as meager pay, replies, "Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" Jesus' point, aside from gratuity, is one He makes several times in the Gospels: "The last will be first, and the first last." (Matthew 20:16).
- In Classical Mythology, Medea sacrificed everything she had for Jason and saved the citizens of Corinth from a famine. The Corinthians tried to get Jason to dump her and her children, and Jason went with it. As Medea was a demigoddess with enormous skill and power, they paid dearly for it, with Jason's punishment being so bad that Hera, goddess of marriage, the patron divinity Jason had spurned by abandoning Medea, and rightly infamous for her sadistic punishments against Zeus' lovers, couldn't find anything more to add aside from letting him live with it.
- From Wicked, the Cowardly Lion's reason for joining the witch-hunting mob:Tin Man: And the lion also has a grievance to repay, if she'd let him fight his own battles when he was young he wouldn't be a coward today!
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Cyrano lampshades, invokes and tragically averts this trope as the supreme aspiration in his work: After being bullied all his life, Cyrano distrust everyone who claims to help him, and coldly reject any intent of friendship or any help from a powerful person (De Guiche and Cardenal Richelieu at Act II Scene VI). He does not suspect that Christian will help him in his love life and that averting this trope will be his downfall. Lampshaded in Act II Scene VIII.Cyrano: ...
... And then, if glory come by chance your way,
To pay no tribute unto Caesar, none,
But keep the merit all your own! ...
- Red vs. Blue:
- Due to his hatred of Grif, Sarge will often disregard and criticize anything he may of done, even if Sarge would congratulate Simmons and Donut for doing the same thing. Most notably in Season One, when Grif somehow revives Sarge from a bullet wound to the head with CPR, after which Sarge thanks Simmons for saving him, but after being told it was Grif who saved him, Sarge's response is to criticize how he revived him.
- It is revealed after Season Six, that after helping bring down Project Freelancer, Agent Washington was "rewarded" by being locked up with the rest of the Freelancer personnel and is only released, after coming across some valuable information.
- In Bad Machinery when Archie saves Linton from drowning he comments that it probably only saved him so it could kill him itself. Jack then claims to be phoning the dictionary to ask for a stronger version of the word "ungrateful".
- In Impure Blood, people with Ancient blood can expect this treatment, as did their ancestors:
- Apparently the appropriate response to his help in saving a city is to try to arrest Roan for being a half-blood. Of course, someone would actually have to arrest him...
- Dara rescues a family from Auhle's Golem soldiers. The family repays her by knocking her out from behind and delivering her to the prison. When she's released, she's bitter enough to try joining Auhle rather than endure it anymore.
- Meat Shield: Prince Jonus of Westhame. After they saved his sorry life and soul from a demoness and a bunch of evil cultists, he has the gall to try and get the heroes arrested for "laying a hand on his person". Jaine's response sums it up best.
- Thistil Mistil Kistil: Loki's interpretation.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, neither of the two fairies shows Annie or Kat any gratitude or even courtesy for helping them reconcile.
- In Homestuck, the Author Avatar saves Spades Slick from fatal wounds and the death of his universe, and nurses him back to health. How is said Author Avatar thanked? Multiple stab wounds and stubborn refusal to drink his fresh Butler-milk.
- Vriska thinks all of her friends are like this. The reality is, her method of "helping" people would leave anyone a bit bitter.
- The entire elf race in Errant Story — their response to being saved from genocide? Threaten to hunt down the one that saved them if she didn't relinquish the power she "stole" to save them.
- Maren in TwoKinds is completely ungrateful to Raine for helping save her life from an assassin's poison after it's revealed that Raine is actually half-Keidran, making her come off as even more racist than Red, who's otherwise slowly coming around to a more sympathetic angle. The best she bothers to do when Red speaks in Raine's defense concerning all Raine did for them is a dismissive "Eh, fine. Whatever."
- Eric refuses to let his slaves go even though they risked their own lives and sacrificed their chance at freedom to wait for him to return to the ship. And these slaves weren't even under a control spell at the time. Then again, considering who makes the decision to wait, and that nobody wanted Eric to let them go in the first place, only to let them be bought their freedom, it's not all that clear cut. Eric even specifically made sure Kat and the slaves were ready to escape on their own if he and the others failed. Besides, even one half of the slaves aren't sure about how good an idea it is to be that free in the first place, and if both mind-controlled slaves were set free, that would leave the ship to be crewed by just Kat and Eric, making travel almost impossible. Eric's got a lot more reasons not to set them free besides being a jerk, even if that turns out to be his main reason.
- Later strips reveal that the notion of freeing a slave out of gratitude is simply outside of Eric's frame of reference and also carries serious, potentially even fatal, consequences. Eric eventually comes around after he's had some time to think about it and Trace figures out how to provide him with Plausible Deniability.
- Slightly Damned: Demons are widely despised in Medius; ergo, several people Buwaro selflessly helps out will usually respond with violence. Such as when he offered to help an old lady with her groceries, only for her to whack him in the face with her purse. She apologizes, though, because she apparently thought he was wearing a costume.
- Rhea, Buwaro, and Jake help out civilians during the demonic invasion of St. Curtis. When Buwaro tries to help out a Jakkai, this particular Jakkai's response is to punch him in the face.
- Kieri's brother Kazai is one taken Up to Eleven. After risking life and limb to save the two angel siblings from the demons' clutches, finally managing to succeed after a grueling battle against several demons that left both him and Rhea heavily battered and fatigued, Kazai physically assaults Buwaro the next time they confront each other, and refuses to be any nicer to him, much less even THANK him, despite the fact that Kazai and his sister would be DEAD if not for him. The fact that Buwaro took Kieri as a "prisoner" (though only as a ploy) probably had something to do with it, but still.
- While most of the Light Warriors in 8-Bit Theater are selfish monsters for whom earnest gratitude is a foreign concept, Thief, who combines elven smugness with unrepentant greed, has a particularly bad case. For reference, the following conversation takes place immediately after Dragoon kills a dragon that has come within inches of killing Thief already and is just about to finish the job:Thief: You killed Muffin? Seriously, I'm asking. My retinas may have detached from shaking.
Dragoon: Oh, she's quite dead. Y'know, I'm not sure if "Muffin" was really her name!
Thief: That's fascinating. Now shut up and get off my flying unfair taxation fortress.
Dragoon: Do elves have a word for gratitude?
Thief: God, I'd throw you off myself if only I could see.
- In Noob, Bartémulius and Nostariat, the recurring Insufferable Genius Quest Giver pair. In addition to insulting the protagonists all while expecting their help, they never thank them once the help is given. The comic version of the story at least shows their monetary rewards to be quite decent.
- Taco-Man Plays Zelda II has Princess Zelda's ghost visit Taco-Man while he plays, and constantly express impatience with how long it takes him to wake her. After his victory in beating the game restores Zelda's ghost to her body, she doesn't thank him for his help, and sounds sarcastic when singing praises of "a banana beat[ing] a shitty game from the '80s". Before Taco-Man leaves, he tells Zelda, "You're just rude and ungrateful!"
- Played for Laughs in The Nostalgia Critic's Moulin Rouge! review. brentalfloss came to help with the review, and, at the end, The Nostalgia Chick dictates that "[they] need a sad ending, just for the sake of a sad ending" since it's a Moulin Rogue review. The Critic shrugs, pulls out a gun and shoots Brent. Not long after, Brent shoots the Critic from Heaven and grumbles "Ungrateful jackass..."