Follow TV Tropes


Ungrateful Bastard / Western Animation

Go To

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Zuko was an Ungrateful Bastard pre-Character Development. Aang saves his life twice in the first season (though the first may have been a simple quid-pro-quo since Zuko freed him) and once in the second season. His uncle even points out to him that he's only alive because of the Gaang's mercy, but he still chooses to help bring him down in Ba Sing Se.
    • Early in season two, Zuko was on the receiving end of this trope in "Zuko Alone". He comes into an Earth Kingdom town as The Drifter, stands up to the bullying soldiers oppressing them, and saves the kid who hero worshiped him, but because he does the last bit after revealing his identity, the entire town, including the kid, shuns him.
    • Advertisement:
    • Early on in the first season episode "Imprisoned", there's an Earth Kingdom village being occupied by the Fire Nation, which outlaws all earthbending. While Katara is talking with Haru, an earthbender who practices in secret, they find an old man who is trapped in a landslide. Haru saves his life using his earthbending, only to be repaid by the old man turning him in to the Fire Nation.
    • Thankfully averted in the third-season episode "The Painted Lady". After Katara (who has been masquerading as the eponymous spirit) drives the Fire Nation army away from the town and blows up their factory, one of the townspeople recognizes her. The rest of the town gets mad and it looks like they're going to get run out of town, only for Sokka to step in and yell at them about how ungrateful they're being, since the factory is destroyed, the army is gone, and the people can make their village prosperous again.
      • This does ignore the actual reasons why the villagers might be mad: The higher ups are going to blame someone for the destruction of the factory, and that someone is likely to be the villagers. So Katara may have just screwed them over.
      • Averted by the actual Painted Lady, however. She was actually quite appreciative of Katara's efforts.
    • Advertisement:
    • Played straight in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord"; Sozin and Roku are shown battling a volcano, and Roku saves Sozin's life when the Fire Lord nearly falls into the lava. How does Sozin repay him? By leaving him to die when Roku succumbs to the poisonous gasses, so that the Avatar won't be able to oppose the Fire Nation's plans for expansion.
    • Played straight in the Southern Raiders. Zuko has joined the Gaang, is teaching Aang firebending and has rescued Katara's father but she still treats him awfully.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: In "Operation F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N", Sector V try to save a mysterious student named Leona from the Delightful Children, who kidnapped her to lead them to the Fountain of Youth so as to destroy itnote . After Sector V free Leona from their grasp and dump her into the fountain making her a kid again, she thanks them by shooting them with the fountain's water trying to de-age them out of existence (which would literally kill them), ignoring Numbuh 5's attempt to talk her out of it. Subverted that she eventually does thank them and pulls a Heel–Face Turn in the end.
  • Family Guy: If there's one character who should be on this trope more than anybody, it would be Peter Griffin. Take the episode "You Can't Do That on Television, Peter" for example. Right after he was mauled by a puma (thanks to his own stupidity), Meg uses her medical knowledge to save Peter's life before the latter bleeds to death. When Peter finally regains consciousness at the hospital, he flippantly demands a glass of water from Meg instead of thanking her for saving his life.
    • Brian, Twice:
      • He gave Stewie herpes after the latter went back in time to save him from his imminent death.
      • After Quagmire helped him find a dentist to give him new teeth, he used his position as a realtor, having received it because of his teeth, to convince Quagmire that a hated rival pilot is after a great Condo. After the purchase, the guys accompany Quagmire to the property to find it's a run down dump and was completely misrepresented. Joe reveals that there is an escape clause good for 72 hours after purchase, but Brian has ducked out to hide for the 72 hours. Taking refuge at a motel, he finds Quagmire already waiting for him. Quagmire informs Brian that his already low opinion of him has been pushed even further. Brian confesses that Quagmire may be his only friend, but it's revealed to only be a ruse to outlast the 72 hours. Because of this, an outraged Quagmire knocks Brian's teeth out with a lamp.
  • Commander Feral in SWAT Kats has been personally saved by the SWAT Kats dozens of times, as well as seeing them save the city. This does not change his opinion that they are dangerous vigilantes who should leave protecting Megakat city to The Enforcers. "The Dark Side of the SWAT Kats" features what might be an amazingly fitting inversion involving the same character. When the SWAT Kats find themselves in a Mirror Universe where their equivalents are evil, they plead with Feral to check out Pumadyne labs to see that a bomb detonator was stolen by that universe's evil SWAT Kats. He comes to believe them enough to check it out, and when the evil SWAT Kats show up and attack, admits they were telling the truth. He still thinks the Enforcers can handle it alone, though; and he might have a point, in a setting where a lone Enforcer helicopter reacts to animated skeletons by casually obliterating them with Gatling fire.
    • Averted by him in "Enter the Madkat" where he, along with Mayor Manx, David Litterbin, and Callie Briggs get kidnapped by Madkat, they are eventually rescued by the SWAT Kats. Lt. Steel plays it straight ranting about how much damage was done to the city (never mind how he himself never did a thing to help and was completely useless as all he cared about was advancing his career). Feral tells him to shut up.
  • Teen Titans: A straightforward example would be Val-Yor from "Troq". Despite the fact that Starfire saved his life and helped fulfill the mission, he still continues to act racist towards her with only a half-hearted compliment. In addition, even though the Titans did just as much work as him in the mission, when they defend her, he immediately accuses them of being just as bad as the Tamaraneans, having not changed his opinion on them in the slightest.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg get tired of celebrating Thanksgiving, and decide to create a holiday known as "Thanksgetting" where they can show how ungrateful they are, and in addition, wear their costumes and picking their own presents.
  • The FOX 90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In one episode, this is subverted. At the end of the episode, after a plot that Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. had to recruit Jonah's help for, Spidey has saved the day, caught the Chameleon, but no-one has even said thank you. Jonah is probably going to profit from the whole episode by printing an issue that will likely sell out (no doubt blaming him for it all). As Spidey sulks on the roof of a building, wondering if it's all worth it, Fury flies by in a high-tech vehicle, shouting to him, giving him a heads up and expressing his thanks for the help. Spidey is a little surprised that someone actually did that, and figures that at least it's a start.
  • In the animated version of The Legend of Zelda, Zelda comes across this way with her continuous refusal to kiss Link even after he saves her life/father/kingdom repeatedly. Granted, he has a tendency to request the kiss when they're not yet out of danger, but even after the threat has passed she often comes up with stupid reasons not to do it. This one might be justifiable, though; she might not kiss him simply because she might not be interested in him in this continuity. Now why she doesn't give Link a reward besides a kiss, on the other hand...
    • This further brought into question in an episode where Zelda is the only one who can see a ghost Link, and it's brought up by Ganon who points out that can only happen if she's secretly in love with him.
    • Which seriously ticked off a lot of fans when Captain N: The Game Master saves her once and she kisses him. Link is justifiably ticked off throughout the episode.
  • The Simpsons:
    • This trope was the whole reason Mona Simpson was always on the run from the law in "Mother Simpson". After saving Mr. Burns when a hippie demonstration she was participating in went wrong, Mr. Burns was able to identify Mona, forcing her to abandon Homer at such a young age. Luckily, the demonstration had also cured a young Clancy Wiggum, who was working as a security guard, of his asthma. Unlike Mr. Burns, Wiggum was, in fact, grateful because it finally allowed him to join the police force, and he anonymously helped Mona escape from Springfield to avoid getting arrested.
    • In "Brother from Another Series", Sideshow Bob still tries to kill Bart, even teaming up with his brother Cecil on one occasion, despite that Cecil previously tried to kill them both and it was Bart who saved him.
    • Oh, but Bob's worst exhibition of this Trope was in "Sideshow Bob Roberts". After being pardoned by Mayor Quimby, he not only ran against him for the opposing party, but ran a rather nasty (as in slanderous) attack ad claiming Quimby was soft on crime, seeing as he had pardoned a convict who was twice convicted of attempted murder - Bob himself. Bob won the election after rigging the votes, even though he would have won legally since he got 100% of the vote.
    • Lisa rarely acknowledges when someone does something nice for her though mostly her family who she has a very What Have You Done for Me Lately? attitude towards. Despite being the obvious favorite to the point where Homer and Marge are willing to screw over Bart just to make it more convenient to help her she still has a massive case of Middle Child Syndrome. This is especially seen with Bart who has done numerous nice things for her to the point of making multiple Heroic Sacrifices note  which Lisa doesn’t even bother to remember as seen in "On A Clear Day I Can't See My Sister". Even as early as the first season Lisa showed this attitude in "The Crepes of Wrath" after Bart gave her a present she said it was the first unselfish thing he’d ever done completely forgetting how he defended her from being harassed by Nelson 6 episodes earlier.
    • In the episode, "No Loan Again, Naturally", the family is forced to sell the house after some financial trouble. Flanders buys the house, agrees to keep them as tenants, and he then brings the house up to code, but then Homer complains when Flanders mentions they're late on the rent, and calls the local news to do smear piece against him. It's not too surprising when Flanders evicts them.
  • Dan from Dan Vs..
    • Elise's parents, though her mother is a bit less. Despite the fact that he saved their lives, neither of them really like Chris. Dan also saved their life on a separate occasion, but their hatred of him is somewhat more understandable.
  • Benson and Ticket Guy from Regular Show.
    • The Astronaughts as well. When Rigby points out they saved the city, their only response is to throw the grilled cheese in their face and threaten their lives.
    • Rigby, after being saved by his friends from a doppelganger, manages to be an Ungrateful Bastard at ''Temp Check"
    Rigby: What a windbag! I thought he’d never shut up. I can’t believe you guys thought he was me. You must feel like idiots, right?
  • Rocket Power: Josh Grody is not met with open arms by the Rocket gang, but Sam is sympathetic to him and tries to make him feel welcome. Josh repays Sam by picking on him and trying to replace him in the group.
  • Gobsmack from Pearlie is the pickiest bastard in the show.
  • Gargamel the wizard in The Smurfs. Despite many a Save the Villain moment by the Smurfs, he still never returns the favor and is still plotting his revenge against them. Even his cat Azrael, when Natural Smurf shows him mercy, is that ungrateful.
    • In a bit of a subversion, with lampshading, Gargamel actually accuses The Smurfs of this when he's seen dangling off a cliff over a pool of lava after risking his own life to protect The Smurfs from extinction by rescuing the Long Life Stone from Nemesis. The subversion comes from the fact that, in doing so, Gargamel is both conveniently forgetting the long track record that The Smurfs have of coming to his rescue despite his attempts on them, and the fact that in that particular situation, The Smurfs were completely incapable of rescuing him even if they wanted to. Although, he does somehow manage to extricate himself off screen because he does join forces with The Smurfs to fight Nemesis again at a later date.
  • Maria Hill from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! refuses to accept the Avengers' vigilante behavior no matter how many times they save the world, S.H.I.E.L.D., and/or her.
  • In My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny is kicked out of a popular teen hangout because Mezmer, the owner, refuses to serve robots. Later on, she saves the shop from a gang of space bikers. Mezmer still kicks her out (and blames her for the property damage alongside them), but this time, the rest of the teens, who were grateful that Jenny saved them, get angry and disgusted with him and leave as well. He doesn't care until he immediately realizes there's no one left.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: Soon after Penelope saved the Hooded Claw from falling to his death and brought up the Think Nothing of It trope, he abducted her and tried to sadistically kill her again, without a blink.
  • In Transformers: Prime, Silas' subordinates save him from certain death by installing him in Breakdown's body. Silas is pleased with the results and thanks them for a lifetime of service. Then he casually murders them so he can join the Decepticons. This makes what happens to him that much more satisfying.
  • In the episode "Babel" of Batman Beyond, Terry saves some zookeepers from some escaped animals. Later, when Shriek makes the whole city unable to understand each other, the zookeepers are among the people demanding that Terry turn himself in. Even Bruce is ticked off at this, but Terry in a truly Establishing Batman Moment simply says he doesn't do what he does for gratitude.
  • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the Turtles are being badmouthed on air by a Jerkass talk show host which has been doing well at turning the public against them. By the end of the episode they manage to save his life from Krang and are pretty sure that by now he'll soften up. Nope, he's going to be trashing them even more than ever. After all, it may not be personal, but it is what brings in the ratings. The Turtles are understandably pretty ticked.
  • Mindy's mother is this to Buttons in Animaniacs.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • SpongeBob of all people, becomes one of these in the infamous episode "A Pal For Gary". After scolding and blaming Gary for Puffy Fluffy's actions throughout the whole episode (even when the now-monstrous Puffy is clearly trying to eat the snail), he is grabbed by Puffy and nearly eaten himself. At this point, Gary has every reason to just leave SpongeBob to his fate, but instead of doing so, he shows an incredible amount of loyalty and courage, and whips Puffy to knock SpongeBob out of his mouth and drive him away...and instead of thanking Gary, or even apologizing for his earlier actions, SpongeBob tries to get Puffy Fluffy back, and after that fails, scolds Gary for it. This especially comes from him completely ignoring the seller's warning about Puffy Fluffy when spotting him (they are extremely hostile to other pets, especially snails), and even stealing Puffy Fluffy without paying anything.
    • Squidward is this in many instances:
      • In "Can You Spare a Dime", while initially thankful of SpongeBob taking him in from homelessness, Squidward becomes an absolute spoiled brat who refuses to leave and makes SpongeBob wait on him hand and foot. And he gets away with it in the end. Almost.
      • Also on "Good Neighbors", Squidward had set up a security alarm in his house as SpongeBob and Patrick come in without any problem to give him an apology cake and apologize for unknowingly ruining his Sunday. But Squidward tries to get them kicked out instead of accepting their apology.
      • In "Squidtastic Voyage", when he eagerly screams at SpongeBob and Patrick to get out his body without even a thank you for getting the reed out of his throat. This results in a Poor Communication Kills in the end, when he yells "Go!", resulting in Patrick pressing the grow button.
      • The entire episode of "Sponge-Cano" revolves around Squidward expressing this trope to the fullest. He admits that he isn't grateful for anything, which includes having SpongeBob as his neighbor, and then declares that he is the most miserable person in Bikini Bottom. When SpongeBob convinced the citizens from sacrificing Squidward to the volcano and offered himself as one instead, Squidward doesn't thank him and tells SpongeBob to jump in, only to fall in the volcano. Squidward begs SpongeBob to help him and tells him that he is indeed grateful for everything, so SpongeBob does so. At the end of the episode, Squidward's house was blown by the water pipe and falls into the volcano, thus ending its eruption. Just when we thought Squidward learned his lesson, he tells SpongeBob that he lied to him and he is still ungrateful for everything since doesn't have anywhere to live. Not even spending the night at SpongeBob's house would help matters.
      • "Enchanted Tiki Dreams" to an extent. SpongeBob and Patrick build this fantasy world for him so he can relax, and like in "Can You Spare a Dime", he is initially grateful, But then they wreck his "Tiki Land" and Squidward immediately disregards their good intentions and the episode ends with him hitting them with his boat. This example is a little more understandable since they caused him a lot of physical harm earlier in the episode.
    • Plankton who is solely committed in stealing the Krabby Patty Formula, that in times where he has been saved by SpongeBob or Mr Krabs he immediately goes back to stealing mode. Even his computer wife Karen is no exception, and he casually forgets her, or leaves her behind if it gets him any closer to his goals.
    • When a school bully named Flats who was going to kick SpongeBob's butt was terribly injured in a truck accident, SpongeBob performed CPR on him for five hours straight. When he wakes up he still plans to kick his butt. And Spongebob was told that Flats would be fine after the first few minutes and he just wanted to make sure.
    • In the episode "Born Again Krabs," when the Flying Dutchman is about to take Mr. Krabs to Davy Jones' locker as punishment for his miserly ways, SpongeBob sticks up for him, wagering his own soul that Krabs is indeed generous. After that, Krabs sells SpongeBob's soul to the Flying Dutchman for all of the change in the Dutchman's pocket (a mere 62 cents) without hesitation. This was such a dick move that Squidward, who finds SpongeBob annoying as heck, is absolutely disgusted with Krabs and chews him out for it, outright telling him that he should be ashamed of himself. And he only regretted it because he realised that it was also a very stupid move to sacrifice his best frier for a meager direct profit.
    • Patrick in "Yours, Mine, and Mine". When Patrick couldn't afford to pay for his meal at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob offers to pay for it and share it with him. That is where Patrick behaves like a massive jerkass towards SpongeBob throughout the episode. Not only did he eat the meal he was supposed to be sharing with SpongeBob, but he refuses to share the Krabby Patty Toy with him throughout the episode, even going so far as to eat it in the end just to make sure SpongeBob doesn't have it.
  • Eustace Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog certainly qualifies. Courage has saved this guy's life many times, and Eustace refuses to pay the dog any respect and show some gratitude. The fact that he went as far to hire Courage's worst enemies to murder him after everything the dog went through to save the old man only takes this trope Up to Eleven on Eustace's part.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy would have these:
    • Dawn Of The Eds: Ed saves Kevin from the Kankers, Kevin doesn't thank him and proceeds to call him space dork.
    • A Boy and His Ed: For once, Kevin was about to offer the Eds something (which is eventually revealed to be jawbreakers). How does Eddy respond? With a flippant retort saying that he's heard that one before.
    • Stuck In Ed: Jimmy gives Eddy a scam that could potentially work, Eddy rejects the scam because of how childish it is.
      • This ends up coming back to bite him when Jimmy pulls off the scam by himself and makes an abundance of money while the Edds are stuck with nothing.
    • Your Ed Here: Edd tries to console Eddy and reveals to him his own Embarrassing Middle Name after Kevin reveals Eddy's Embarrassing Middle Name to others. Eddy thanks him by doing the exact same thing that Kevin did to him, yelling Edd's middle name to everyone so that the kids can make fun of Edd instead.
    • If it Smells Like An Ed: Jimmy invites the Eds to his Friendship Day festivities and he offers Eddy friendship. Eddy’s response? He gives Jimmy a wedgie, causing everybody to laugh at the latter and eventually reducing him to tears.
    • Sarah, even when Ed protects her, she still treats him like shit.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Boast Busters", "The Great and Powerful" Trixie claims to be able to defeat an Ursa Major. However, when an actual Ursa shows up, exposing Trixie's lies, Twilight Sparkle steps in and defeats the Ursa, saving hundreds of lives, including Trixie's. Trixie then proceeds to talk down to Twilight, claiming Twilight will NEVER be able to match up to her abilities before running off, much to the annoyance of Twilight's friend Rainbow Dash.
    • In "No Second Prances", Starlight Glimmer gets upset with how Twilight Sparkle is treating her and calls her out for not wholly trusting her. Apparently letting all the genuinely villainous stuff she did slide without consequence, holding absolutely no grudges whatsoever, devoting much of her life to personally mentoring her, giving her a free home and a group of friends, and even helping her rekindle past friendships, isn't good enough. While Twilight is also being hypocritical for not applying the same to the comparably less vile Trixie, her reasoning to do so (fearing she'll be a bad influence on a former villain who has proven quite easy to poke off the slippery slope) is quite valid but apparently counts for nothing.
      • Trixie herself then comes off as this in an even worse sense when she revealed that she had actually been using Starlight to "get back" at Twilight, despite the fact that Twilight saved her from an Ursa Minor, and even pardoned her for the stunt she pulled with the Alicorn Amulet.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • In "Slave the Day," the Girls save Big Billy's life. He's so grateful that he tries to do everything he can for them, but this leads to him being a hindrance more than anything else, so they eventually (rather bluntly) tell him to leave them alone. Hurt, Billy teams up with the rest of the Gangreen Gang to lure them into a trap, but he thinks many moments too late that he ultimately can't go through with it since they still saved him regardless and betrays the Gang, saving the Girls at the last second. How do they respond? Beat him within an inch of his life anyway. To be fair, however, he did tie them to the tracks in the first place. So this is somewhat justified.
    • Princess in her debut episode "Stuck Up, Up and Away." On her second day of school, the girls remove a bomb from her before it can explode. Naturally, she doesn't learn to avoid the danger the girls get themselves in and goes home to complain about how "jealous" the girls are of her (as well as claiming they put the bomb on her).
    • Buttercup in the episode "Down N Dirty" after she finally decides to take a bath after getting fed up with being insulted because of her smelling so badly. Rather than thanking Blossom and Bubbles for even being willing to be near her due to her smelling so bad, Buttercup just retorts on how she only took the bath so she could resume crime-fighting. Blossom even lampshades this.
    Blossom: You know Buttercup. You may be clean, but your attitude still stinks.
  • In an early episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko and Filburt collaborate to repair the comic store and succeed in making tons of money selling the comics with the help of Really Really Big Man. When Mr. Smitty comes back, he demands Rocko to fire Filburt for no reason without so much of a "thank you". When Rocko refuses, explaining to Mr. Smitty that Filburt has helped him make all the money selling the comics, Mr. Smitty fires them both, which prompts Rocko to insult the boss right to his face for his ungratefulness.
    • In the episode "Cabin Fever", both the Bigheads and Rocko (with Heffer) have booked the same cabin for a vacation. Even though Ed is in the wrong (he booked the cabin for July, and it's only January), Rocko happily offers to share the cabin with the Bigheads. While Bev is grateful, Ed does nothing but gripe about having to share it with Rocko and Heffer and goes out of his way to try and ruin their good time...which backfires on him when he causes an avalanche that causes them all to be buried in a landslide.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • Gordon the Big Engine frequently uses this trope:
      • "Edward and Gordon": Edward helps him up the hill after the trucks hold him back, he forgets to thank him once he can run under his own power.
      • "Trouble in the Shed": Edward finds coaches for him, James and Henry, the three of them thank him by saying he has black wheels and blowing steam at him.
      • "You can do it, Toby!": Toby actually succeeds in pushing him up the hill, Gordon doesn't thank him nor does he apologize for insulting Toby earlier in the episode.
      • This was addressed in "Old Reliable Edward" where Edward helps push Gordon's express up the hill, and similarly, Gordon doesn't thank him. Edward complains about his lack of gratitude which led him and Thomas to hatch a plan to teach the big engine a lesson. As Thomas' plan worked, Gordon is stuck on the hill again, this time, he begs Edward to help him. Relieved that he's learned his lesson, Edward does so, and Gordon, while embarrassed, thanks him.
    • In "Dirty Work", Duck gets the trucks to stop singing their rude song towards Diesel, Diesel still goes on ahead with trying to get Duck sent away.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • This actually kick-starts the plot of "It's a Wishful Life". Timmy does a bunch of different things for people (painting a set for Mr. Bickles' play, doing his parents' lawn, buying AJ a brand new computer) only to have each of his efforts quashed either by petty reasons (Mr. Bickles was overly critical about the set), Contrived Coincidence (he chose to beautify the lawn on the day of the Dimmsdale Worst Lawn Competition) and the person just being an asshole (AJ rejects the computer because it's apparently obsolete even though it just came out. He then smashes it and uses it as a doorstop that, in his words, "Doesn't work.") The entire episode in fact is just taking a great big dump on Timmy's Butt-Monkey status (it's later found out in the plot that if he were never born everyone he knows would be more successful.)
    • In "Class Clown", Timmy has just saved Trixie from being eaten by the seemingly harmless plant. Her response? To call him out on it and dump him.
  • In Legend of Korra:
    • Republic City and President Raiko are bitter and angry at Korra for the massive vines that plague their city, despite Korra having just saved the entire world from the Dark Avatar. However, this enters into Jerkass Has a Point territory, as the reason the vines are so hard to remove is because Korra left the Spirit Portals open, which was not necessary for saving the world, so the vines can't just be chopped down and removed. Given that these vines have clogged major roadways, disrupted the plumbing, and caused buildings to collapse, it would be unsurprising if people have died as a result. By Book 4, they have reached a work-around, and the banishment that Raiko issued towards her is withdrawn thanks to her help fighting the Red Lotus.
    • The first time Korra saves Kuvira, specifically from the Colossus exploding, Kuvira throws a rock at her face and tries to kill her again with the detached superweapon. When Korra tanks a shot and saves her again, Kuvira is more willing to listen to reason, if a bit incredulous as to why Korra would save her again, and stands down.
  • Evil-Lyn in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002). He-Man saves her from becoming a Human Sacrifice, and she doesn't even say "thank you". (To his credit, He-Man did say beforehand, "I'm probably going to regret this...")
  • King of the Hill: 2 words - Peggy's. Mom. Not only is the reason for her sourness towards Peggy attributed towards Peggy's refusal to accept an arranged marriage with a neighboring rancher's son (and Peggy had no say in the matter) in an underhanded attempt to gain the property of the neighboring ranch, but even after Peggy saves her mom's ranch out of nothing but the kindness of her heart, her mother minimizes and brushes off the achievement as though it was nothing.
  • Gravity Falls
    • The Northwest Family were cursed for this; 150 years prior to "Northwest Mansion Noir", they had asked local lumberjacks to build their mansion in exchange for a yearly party between the lower and upper classes. The mansion apparently took years to complete, with several workers dying from the unsafe working conditions; then, once the workers had finished and asked for their reward, the Northwests laughed at them and shut them out of the party. Worse still, the lumberjacks' leader was killed in one of the landslides that the aggressive construction had kicked off - prompting a Dying Curse upon the Northwests.
    • Grunkle Stan accuses his twin brother of this. Stanley spent three decades trying to get his brother back from an alternate dimension. Not only does Ford overtly refuse to thank him, he demands that Stan relinquish ownership of the Mystery Shack and move out. Granted, Ford originally owned the shack and is understandably miffed to discover that Stan turned his old lab into a tourist trap after the tussle, but he doesn't realize that kicking Stan out will leave him homeless. The lack of gratitude, while harsh, is justified, as Stan risked the destruction of the entire universe to bring Stanford back.
  • The titular Gargoyles have long suffered from protecting these kinds of people. From the inhabitants of Castle Wyvern in 994 AD (save young Tom, though the Princess and Magus do turn around) to the inhabitants of 1994 New York City. While some Gargoyles (such as Demona) refuse to protect ungrateful bastards, other Gargoyles (such as Goliath) see it as their duty to protect those incapable of protecting themselves, regardless of whether or not their charges appreciate it.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka saves Captain Tarkin, Darth Vader's future Dragon, from a dangerous Separatist prison fortress. When he's about to be executed by the deranged warden, Ahsoka risked her life to rescue him while the team tried escaping. A few episodes later, Ahsoka is framed for a crime she didn't commit. When she's on trial and facing serious punishment, Tarkin steps her prosecutor and persuades the judges to give her the death penalty. To his credit, he honestly believes that she's guilty, and he's horrified when he learns he nearly had an innocent girl executed.
    Tarkin: I reserve my trust for those who take action, General Skywalker.
    Anakin: Then let me remind you; we rescued you back there, and I reserve my trust for those who understand gratitude, Captain Tarkin.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Carl Wheezer, Boy Genius" Carl, of all people, is this towards Jimmy even though Jimmy saved his and his girlfriend, Elke's lives, but Carl wanted Elke to believe the lies he told her in his letters, so he kept doing this until Elke admitted she was lying to him the whole time.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Zigzagged with Peppermint Larry. He is one of the more decently behaving characters towards the title character but its still way less than enough if one considers all the things that Flapjack has done for him over the series. One egregious case is when Flapjack dragged his Candy Wife out of danger which led Larry to declare him a hero and claim that he was indebted to him. That still however didn't mean for him that he wouldn't laugh at and mock him when he became a laughingstock thanks to a ridiculous photo that he took.
    • Played pefectly and putridly straight with the Sea Urchins a gang of no-good delinquents who see kindness as a weakness to be exploited, as they thank Bubbie and the others for inviting them to spend the night in her mouth by emptying from all of its possessions including her bells and K'nuckles membership tatoo.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In the episode "Let's Play Goodbye, Mr. Cat!", Mr. Cat's friends spend a lot of time and effort in helping him stay in Smileyland. Near the end of the episode, he manages to get invisibility powers and beats them all up.
    • In Episode 92, after Quack Quack saves Kaeloo, Stumpy and Mr. Cat from being impaled with sharp objects and then crushed to death by jumping in front of them, Mr. Cat's response is to call him a show-off. Yes, really.
    • Stumpy is one to Kaeloo in Episode 128. The plot of the episode revolves around Stumpy using various schemes to trick people into giving him money to buy a video game. Each time he tries something on Kaeloo, she immediately sees through the trick, but gives him money anyway and compliments his creativity in coming upnwith the scheme. In order to get more sympathy from others and therefore more money, Stumpy goes on TV and narrates a completely false story about his life which portrays Kaeloo as a selfish and bossy jerkass.
  • In a season 5 episode of Samurai Jack, after killing most of the Daughters of Aku, Jack ends up saving the sole survivor, pre-Heel–Face Turn Ashi. When they get swallowed by a ginormous monster and Jack saves her from whatever lurks inside, Ashi (who is bound by chains at the time) is far from grateful, even trying to kill him when he's busy saving their skins. Justified, considering in her perspective, that she is being saved by someone she was raised (and brainwashed) to believe that is: A. evil, B. her worst enemy, and C. should be assassinated at all costs.
    • Fortunately, this ends up getting subverted in later episodes, for Ashi undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and is very grateful to Jack for helping her learn the truth about Aku. They even fall in love!
  • The archnemesis of Popeye Bluto exemplifies this in some shorts. For example in "Abusement Park" after he provides a lot of the titular abuse, since he tries to force himself on Olive and then attempts to kill her for rejecting his advances and then Popeye too, he eventually ends up hanging on for dear life until Popeye swings him to safety. He warmly then says thank you for saving my life and with all the dissonance that this would entail, promptly kicks him in the face and tries to throw him to his doom.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Barnyard Dog's whole role from the short Daffy Duck Hunt amounts to this. His plan to catch Daffy relied on being ungrateful by making him take pity on him through his claims that Porky would abuse him if he didn't get him and with the promise that if he plays dead and hands himself over he would release him afterwards. Sure enough, Daffy is uncharacteristically compassionate and plays along which ends with Porky putting the supposedly dead duck on ice. This suddenly makes the dog feel conflicted (in typical cartoony angel-devil fashion) about betraying the one who helped him which makes him act on impulse and take him out of the freezer only to get a little warmth without even asking himself what is the point since he doesn't plan to let him go, but then he gives the answer on his own and blocks all exits, ultimately playing it straight.
    • In the Babbit and Catstello short Tale of Two Mice, Babbit orders Catstello to get him some cheese, even though the latter is frightened of the cat just outside and almost got killed by it. After Catstello nearly gets killed by the cat several more times, he finally gets Babbit the cheese he wants. Then Babbit tells him it's swiss cheese, which Catstello knows he doesn't like. For Catstello, this is the last straw; he slaps Babbit silly and starts literally shoving chunks of the cheese down his throat, telling Babbit he's gonna learn to like it.
  • Much like Spidey or the X-Men Danny Phantom comes up against a lot of this from the people he saves, who are determained to see him as evil simply because he's a ghost if not worse, ghost hunters such as his own parents wishing too dissect him and completely destroying him. Saving the town from an invasion from another dimension convinces half of them that he's a good guy. Only half.
  • In Ali Baba Bunny, Daffy's response to Bugs pretending to be a genie and saving him from Hassan's anger is to mock the rabbit's phony spell instead of saying "thank you". When Bugs saves him a second time, Daffy runs back to the cave to claim the treasure without a word of gratitude.
  • In the Tiny Toons episode "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny", Daffy shows no gratitude to Plucky and Hamton for attempting to break him out of jail. In his defence, they did fail and got thrown in jail alongside him.
  • King of the Hill: Defied. After Dale offers to help John Redcorn get some of his tribe's land returned to him, he ends his affair with Nancy realizing that it would be awful way to repay a man he considers to be a friend.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: