Ungrateful Bastard

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Hey muties! Not that this is going to stop us fearing or despising you, and it won't teach us any important lesson, but we could really use your help saving some trapped kids over here!"

Heroes save people, even enemies. What's more, if a hero saves a rival or villain enough times, you'd expect them to change their attitude towards the hero into one of at least grudging respect or having honor dictate that they "owe them one".

You'd be wrong.

Heroes don't always get gratitude, recognition, or even a basic "thank you" for their efforts, and sometimes, any thanks are patently insincere. Rivals and enemies in particular tend to treat these saves with the same gratitude for the air they breathe (read, none). And that's if they aren't actively angry at being put through the ignominy of being saved by those filthy freaks, they'll usually betray such mercy at the first opportunity. Ungrateful Bastards.

This is true even if it's a forced Enemy Mine situation, and he never even acknowledges the service rendered or is grateful, much less gets Character Development or a change in their relationship to Reset Button. This might be done either to show how utterly evil (or at least callous) the enemy is, and avoid having the show's formula change with the Big Bad growing unable to kill or hate someone who has saved them so often.

See also Never Accepted in His Hometown, What Have You Done for Me Lately? and Zero-Approval Gambit.

Contrast Grudging Thank You. Probably not related to the Inglourious Basterds kind. See also Entitled Bastard.

Examples of Ungrateful Bastard include:

Anime and Manga

  • Mazinger Z: The Hero Kouji Kabuto, his Tsundere Battle Couple and Love Interest Sayaka Yumi, their families and their friends risk their lives on a constant basis to protect humankind of a Mad Scientist and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds worked for Hitler and wants to Take Over the World and enslaving the whole humanity to make them pay for all grievances he suffered in the past. How many "Thank you" they get? You guessed it, no one. Not only that but also people constantly blames them for the destruction and the deaths caused for the battles between Mazinger-Z and the Mechanical Beasts, apparently not realizing if Mazinger-Z did not exist, all of them would be corpses or slaves (or keeping in mind how Dr. Hell got his Mooks, they could become BOTH). And every time The Dragon Baron Ashura blackmails the Japanese Government, they demand the Government gives in their threats (episode 17 provides with a good example).
  • Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! refuses to change his opinion of Yugi, despite the latter having come to his and/or his brother's rescue on at least three separate occasions. He has a Grudging Thank You moment at the end of Duelist Kingdom, even though defeating Yugi became an obsession for him in the following seasons.
    • At least he stopped trying to kill him in the manga. His opinion of Yugi did eventually change, but that was in episode 223, and it took seeing Yugi destroy ALL THREE EGYPTIAN GODS in one move for that to happen.
  • Lolly and Menolly from Bleach. After Orihime heals them both (including bringing Menolly back from the dead) from the mauling they got at the hands of Grimmjow, they still consider her a useless monster not worthy of Aizen's attention. When he leaves to take out the hometown, they decide to take advantage of Ichigo being occupied with another fight and try to beat Orihime to death again. It doesn't end well for them. They (or at least Lolly) actually hate Orihime MORE after she heals them. Ungrateful Bastard indeed.

Lolly: What is she... What... She's... She's... Like a monster...!?

    • This may not have been an increase in hatred, but shock/fear at realizing the full extent of Orihime's powers (Not everyday you meet someone who can bring people back from the dead.) Considering that Hollows/Arrancars/Espada/etc. are born from spirits of the dead that have remained in our world and become increasingly more corrupted, then this counts as pretty much seeing what Hollows would consider an Eldritch Abomination at work.. Quite the Fridge Brilliance there.
      • Lolly seems to revert from this to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You when Orihime is threatened by Yammy. Thus leading to her apparent permanent death. Almost, at least in the anime.
      • Not true, as it seems Loly lived in both the anime and manga. This is actually subverted as far as Menoly goes, as after the first incident, she seemed willing to just leave Orihime alone for fear of getting in trouble, but Loly pressured her into it.
  • Rufa from Dragon Half, while not, technically, an enemy, treads close to this trope.
  • Dragonball Z
    • Frieza tries to kill Goku one last time after just getting his life saved. By this point, Goku's had enough and doesn't offer him the same deal twice. Hey, sometimes he learns, it's just Frieza who couldn't.
    • Another Z example would be a bit earlier in that Saga, when Gohan grabs a badly-wounded Vegeta to get him out of the way of Recoome's incredibly powerful Breath Weapon (which probably would have instantly killed him). Just why Vegeta yells at him depends on the translation, but he's pissed off about it.
    • Vegeta has a history of this. When he intentionally wounds himself to the point of near-death, thinking Dende will heal him and make him stronger, he's horrified to find Dende refuses to do so (due to the rather-reasonable argument that Vegeta has killed a lot of Namekians). When Dende comes back and finally obeys, Vegeta punches him in the stomach, with a cry of "You little turd!"
  • An example that's neither villains nor rivals: The Obstructive Bureaucrats ordering around the Black Order in D.Gray-man. These jerks are supposedly on Allen's (the hero) side. Yet their reaction to him saving everyone's asses, hampering the Big Bad's ability to make Mooks, and capturing the Ark at the end of the Ark Arc is to put him under surveillance and try him for heresy, despite the fact that it is known, in canon, that if he'd betrayed him he wouldn't still be walking around, let alone now one of their most powerful exorcists. Not only that, but they absolutely need him to continue their war, pushing this into Too Dumb to Live territory. Even worse now, they put him in a jail cell for not obeying orders when he was trying to save everyone.
  • In Buso Renkin , Kazuki risks his life to protect the Hayasaka Twins (the series' sympathetic villains) from Tokiko, who wants to kill them simply because they work for L.X.E. Shusui "thanks" Kazuki by trying to kill him. Kazuki gets better (thanks to Ouka), but even so...
  • Nabiki Tendô, of Ranma ½. Ranma Saotome is not only engaged to marry her little sister in an Arranged Marriage, but protects the household on a fairly regular basis from various chaos. Admittedly, some of that chaos comes to them because he's living there, but there are many events that would have fallen on the Tendôs' doorstep anyway (Picolet Chardin showing up to claim one of them as his promised wife, Akane running off to Ryûgenzawa and its resident Orochi, Happôsai coming to town...). He's also directly saved her from harm at least once, and once saved her life. How does she repay him? She's utterly indifferent to his well-being and considers him solely a source of money and amusement, to the extent she's willing to put his life in danger if she thinks it will make her some money.
  • In Naruto Sasuke Uchiha became this recently. While attacking the Kage conference, Suigetsu and Jugo save his life, as they had against Killer Bee earlier. However, Sasuke leaves them both to die without looking back, collapsing the ceiling on them and the enemies alike. Later on, Karin heals him back from the brink of death (again, saving his life twice counting Killer Bee and the Kages) and helps Sasuke defeat Danzo. When Danzo takes her hostage, Sasuke aims his chakra sword-thing right through her, considering anyone dumb enough to be taken hostage a burden. She survives both the sword and Danzo's self-destruct jutsu, and just as Sasuke is about to kill her with blackfire, Sakura shows up and claims to want to join them. Sasuke (who even now isn't that stupid) tells Sakura to kill Karin, who manages to warn Sakura that Sasuke's about to chidori both of them. It should be noted that as much of a rabid Sasuke fangirl as Karin is, she doesn't take being skewered well.
    • Also, the treatment of Naruto by the villagers. If the Kyuubi hadn't been sealed inside him, it would have destroyed Konoha, but he is a pariah because of it. Over time, this gets better as they see how much Naruto has accomplished and start regarding him as a hero.
  • In Pokémon: Giratina and The Sky Warrior, the main characters meet Shaymin the Gratitude Pokémon. Yeah Right.
    • Also Lampshaded when Ash saves the Team Rocket trio. While Jessie claims it doesn't change anything and begins ranting at the heros for saving them James interupts saying that he, at least, is thankful. This doesn't stop him doing villian stuff a few seconds later.
  • In one episode of Samurai Champloo, the trio supposedly meet Xavier III whose trying to spread Christianity to Japan. However he turns out be nothing but a con man taking advantage of the locals. A girl name Yuri, whom he mercilessly abused, has him at gunpoint and is all set to kill him. But she eventually just tells him to get lost and spares his life. He respond by trying to kill her. Karma however stepped in when after a brief fight a giant cross gets dropped on him.
  • The Council are this towards Fairy Tail. On occasion this makes sense, since usually Fairy Tail just rounds up random minor criminals while destorying half the city in the process, but they also get punished when stopping potential calamities without causing trouble in the process
  • In one of Genzo's story arcs, a limp old man named Yasuke asks Genzo to made an artificial leg for him. As soon as Yasuke get his new limb, he tries to chop the puppetmaster with his Yamiganemaru blade.
  • In a sense, Villetta Nu of Code Geass could be considered this for convincing Ohgi, whose love she finally accepted, to lead the charge of the Black Knights in turning on Lelouch because of some rather questionable evidence of Geass. Yeah, even though she had been keeping surveillance over Lelouch because of said power, which she must have known had limits, and that Lelouch saved Ohgi from execution via Britannian firing squad, which he had to do by going under Villetta's radar. Now alright, Lelouch didn't necessarily do it for Villetta's sake, but talk about a complete lack of class.
  • One Piece has Zeff providing Don Krieg with food to feed his starving crew with, only for Krieg to immediately turn around and attack the resturant who had just saved both his and his crew's lives.
    • Of course, Krieg did give everyone in the restaurant time to evacuate before he took it over; still Jerkass behavior, but quite a concession coming from him. A better example would be when Don Krieg himself was starving. Everyone else present loudly and proudly declared their intent to just let him keel over and die, with only Sanji willing to step forward with food for him. Once Don Krieg is done eating, the first thing he does is get up and punch out, of all people, Sanji. For absolutely no reason.
    • The Longarm tribe, who Brooke decides to work with and proceeds to earn them a lot of money and fame, repay him by turning him over to the Navy when Brooke tells them that he plans to retire and return to piracy.
    • In One Piece Film Strong World, the Straw Hats go out of their way to warn Golden Lion Shiki about an incoming typhoon. After they avoid it, he repays them by kidnapping Nami as his new navigator and sends the rest of the crew pummelling down towards his floating islands as prey for the animals there.
    • Myosgard, after just having his life saved by Queen Otohime, he tries to shoot her. Then again after he is healed up, all he shouts is his disgust towards having to be with them. And lastly, he voices his anger when Otohime wishes to come with him on his ship.
  • Viper Snakely from Kimba the White Lion. Even though Kimba gone against his desire for revenge for killing both of his parents and saved his life from a car crash, Viper Snakely continues to hunt for Kimba and sometimes kill some of his subjects.

Comic Books

  • The X-Men. They can save the world over and over again, and the public of the Marvel universe will still hate and fear them. This is particularly notable during any origin arc, most all of which can be summarized as "Hey, those mutants saved us from that rampaging robot/alien/supervillain/whatever, let's throw rocks at them!"
    • In Messiah Complex, Mystique saves her daughter Rogue's life, and Rogue responds by trying to kill her because she had risked an infant's life to do it.
  • Spider-Man can save J. Jonah Jameson, JJJ's family, and indeed the whole city of New York all day long if he likes; next morning, the Daily Bugle headlines are still going to be reading "Threat or Menace?"
    • There's the occasional hint that Jameson actually does like Spider-Man, but that he puts on the horse and pony show to sell newspapers. And far more regular hints that JJ can't stand him. Actually, JJJ clearly stated that he was jealous of Spider-Man, all the way back in the tenth issue.
    • Ultimate JJJ, on the other hand, got a clue after a storyline event with the Chameleon caused him to learn Spider-Man's secret identity and Spider-Man's aid kept him from dying when he got shot in the head: this JJJ refused to reveal his identity and vowed to do a complete 180 and "fight the world for him". Under most circumstances, this would likely be Ret Conned as brain damage, or brainwashing, or reversed quickly or eventually, but having only one single writer scripting the entire series helps avoid such problems.
    • There's also enough evidence that New Yorkers, even if such mass consumers of Accentuate the Negative to make the Daily Bugle the number one paper, aren't as pliable to the mass media message, and will rally behind Spider-Man. This also pisses off J.J., but the only thing he likes more than subscription numbers is to be pissed off, so everyone's happy.
    • Not to mention Spidey can deliver a quick dose of Laser-Guided Karma to any asshole who starts Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like, namely by shutting their traps with a gag of webbing.
    • Some of the New York City Cops are also more on the ball than their colleagues, and will cut the wall-crawler some slack when he makes their lives easier. On rare occasions, more belligerent cops will be called out by their partners, who point out that Spider-Man didn't actually do anything wrong.
      • Subverted in one older issue, on patrol, Spidey notices an old woman being mugged, he stops the mugger and returns her purse. She thanks him sincerely, promises to never read or believe JJJ's editorials from then on, and wishes him good luck in the future as he swings away.
  • Hell, the whole Marvel Universe as a whole are filled with ungrateful bastards, quick to turn on the heroes for no good reason or if they make a mistake despite getting their asses saved from Galactus, Magneto, Dr. Doom, etc., Civil War demonstrating that behavior. Then again, Marvel citizens are pretty much dumbasses so it's not really surprising. That said, the occasional moments when ordinary people actually show gratitude to the heroes are all the more satisfying, and can serve as Pet the Dog moments to make them likable to the readers.
    • The assholishness of the Marvel universe's inhabitants is so pronounced that, when the Avengers hopped to the DC Universe in JLA/Avengers, they were flabbergasted when cheering civilians mobbed them with grateful thanks (and autograph requests) for saving them from a disaster, and upon seeing how much positive media attention the JLA got for their heroics, became suspicious that the DC Superheroes were tyrants demanding worship from humans.
  • Aquaman has the "I don't get no respect" shtick to a tee. Even after his makeover in The New 52 and DC Rebirth run just about everybody both above the shoreline and below still make their indecent jabs at the lame fish hero.
    • In Grant Morrison's JLA run when the mad bull host angel Asmodel laid siege to the mortal plane and Aquaman was there to help with the relief efforts in rescuing civilians trapped under buildings, how do a couple of beat cops respond to his saving them? They're thankful... in that they recognize their rescuer as Fish-Man.
    • The recent[when?] Rebirth run stipulates transgressions by the surface world seizing and forcibly closing an Atlantean embassy built on land, effectively spiting Arthur, as then-king of Atlantis, by practically declaring war on his domain. With a particularly moronic and disrespectful politician escalating aggression against Atlantis due to being a self-righteous schmuck, on top of manipulations by the oceanic-themed terrorist organization N.E.M.O.
    • In either case; continuity shows how much a bunch of idiotic and hideously belligerent xenophobes the Atlantean peoples well and truly are. Condescending and bigoted towards the surface-dweller population, they are constantly making up excuse after excuse to depose Arthur and make war on the surface world despite the problem of Mutually Assured Destruction if and when they do.
      • This is both in lieu of and in spite of how the Gullible Lemmings defer to their regularly-exploited idiot laws in order to choose their next dully elected power-abusing douchebag whom Arthur has to defeat in order to save the world. Every leader with whom his undeserving parent race uses to replace him always turns out to be a worse fit for power that the throne entails than he ever was. Yet they constantly defer to tyranny, isolationism and suicide every time.
    • Even a lot of the jerks in his hometown of Amnesty Bay, despite their keeping his sanctity safe, are kind of standoffish and disrespectful from time to time. This is made abundantly clear both by the criminals and local law enforcement of the city whenever he comes onto the scene to save the day. Either laughing or wondering what he'll do with no water or fish around to help him.
  • Superman can save the whole frakking universe over and over again, and the government will still create Cape Busters to attack him. Supe's son, Chris Kent (Nightwing), and his girlfriend, Thara Ak-Var (Flamebird), almost always to get attacked the second after they finish a rescue.
    • Was even worse in the beginning of Superman. From time to time he would lose his powers for a few days or so and would get a replacement. In this time of course, everyone simply forgets all his deeds he has done, there would be parades for the replacement for things Superman did every day and sometimes people would even insult him for becoming useless.
    • And on occasions when it would even only slightly seem as if Superman would do something evil, everyone would consider it the truth (maybe except Lois and Jimmy, and sometimes not even them) and think he was evil or abandoned the city.
    • However, perhaps as a way to distinguish it from Marvel, this quality was reduced considerably (though inconsistently) in DC humans over time to the point where hurting Superman is pretty much a Berserk Button for the entire city of Metropolis.
  • When Supergirl and her then boyfriend Powerboy quelled a hurricane in Mexico, a general threatens them, saying it is illegal for metahumans to interfere with Mexican affairs. Powerboy threatens to bring the hurricane back, and the general shuts up.
    • Supergirl, again, dealt with this with Cat Grant after saving her life (and accidentally breaking Cat's arm in the process). This led Cat to go on a surprisingly effective smear campaign against the Girl of Steel. In the end, Supergirl merely left a note on her desk promising never to rescue her again.
  • As befitting a Sociopathic Hero and Villain Protagonist, The Punisher is this trope to the extreme. Not just to criminals who even risk their lives to save his own (it won't even buy you a decent death), but also to his friends. Even for the innocent, getting even a thank you out of Frank requires you to go above and beyond the call of duty.
  • In one story in Tales of the Slayers, a medieval Slayer saves her town from a horrific vampire attack... and is burned as a witch for it. Her stricken Watcher, Forced to Watch as she burned, goes to the city gates and lets the vampires in.

Fairy Tales

  • 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.

Fan Works

  • In Team 8, Naruto's team of himself, Shino, Hinata and Kurenai fights a team of missing-nin that kidnapped Konohamaru and Hinata's younger sister Hanabi. After being released, Hanabi shows little gratitude toward her rescuers, particularly her older sister Hinata, and expresses disdain toward her for getting knocked out first.
  • In Naruto Veangance Revelaitons, Ronan accuses Naruto of being this for kidnapping Sakura after he supposedly saved him from committing suicide, but this is actually not true; Ronan was willing to let Naruto die, and made no effort to save him when he committed suicide.
  • In My Immortal, "Dumblydore" saves the lives of "good" characters at least twice. They respond by constantly insulting and deriding him for not being "goffik" enough. Also, whenever anything big goes wrong, Ebony and friends go to Dumbledore and expect him to fix it for them.
  • In one The Legend of Zelda fic, Link finishes up saving a village only for the mayor to throw him out because of the amount of damage Link caused. Link himself knew he was going to cause damage and was willing to fix it up, but the mayor's reaction sends him into a minor Heroic BSOD (He gets better).


  • 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 it's still pretty bastardly. It was also the very last act he ever committed.
  • The Incredibles has superheroes go into hiding to escape being sued by the people they saved. To be fair, the ones we see ends up hurting most of them pretty badly.
  • In the finale of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 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 the bastard go. Frollo manages to get to relative safety and... immediately tries to kill the heroes. Relative was the key word.
  • 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.
    • She gets better eventually.
  • Lotso in |Toy Story 3. Basically, 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.
    • 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."
  • 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. Great parenting skills, Stoick.
  • Sykes in Shark Tale demands that Oscar pays him.
  • 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 Simba off the cliff and starts cackling evilly as he is about to be burned alive in the fire.
    • The sequel has Kiara attempting to save Zira from drowning in a river, but Zira refuses her offer and decides to drown anyway.
  • In Hellboy II 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 1950's).
  • Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump 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.

"I never thanked you for saving my life."

  • In The Phantom movie, 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.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, "Steamboat Willie" is spared by the platoon... only to rejoin the Nazis, help kill the main character, and actively kill the Jewish squad member. No wonder shortly after he surrenders he gets shot. By the same guy who convinced Capt. Miller to let him go, in fact, right after he tries to get him to do the same thing again.
  • In Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Ingen's dinosaur capturing party rescues Ian and his team 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, of course). Despite all of this, Ian's team still feels the need to spend every minute of screen time possible heckling and sabotaging them. They even steal 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.


  • The Jedi in the Star Wars Expanded Universe are consistently feared by the Galaxy. And while this fear is warranted (the Jedi have had multiple civil wars, singular Jedi who go dark can wreck an entire galaxy, they have special powers), for a few examples, during the Vong War, a large portion of the New Republic felt that the best thing to do would be to appease the Vong by giving them the Jedi. As of this post, the New Republic (Galactic Alliance) is more fearful of the Jedi than the remnants of the Empire. Despite saving the Galaxy again and again, the Jedi just can't seem to catch a break.
    • Blame DelRey for keeping an Idiot Ball in the Mooks of the galaxy to continue to write huge, galaxy spanning stories despite quality taking a nosedive. The most egregious examples are New Jedi Order and Legacy of the Force, especially on the latter where the idiots in the alliance elect a War Criminal to be their Chief of State who goes on to exile the Galaxy's savior, Luke Skywalker. What stupid fucking idiots.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Talent series, early on the Talents provide a warning that saves the life of, among others, a Senator who's arguing vehemently to deny them legal protection—even though it also risks the life of their strongest defender. Undaunted, the Senator not only accuses them of perpetrating a hoax but also insists that real psychics would have known better.
  • Steve from the The Saga of Darren Shan. Darren saves him by sacrificing most of his humanity after an accident. And how does Steve repay him, by becoming a vampire slayer and vowing to kill him. All because he thought Darren stole his original dream of becoming a vampire.
  • Jennifer-the-Jerk Is Missing. The title character is rude and insulting to her rescuers when she's found. "I like you better tied up and muffled," one of her rescuers says.

Jennifer: Oh, yuck! Malcolm Wylie, what are you doing here? I was hoping to be rescued by some handsome cop or maybe a federal agent or something.

  • Palicrovol in Hart's Hope, so much so that the book consists of a plea by another character for him not to kill Orem. It doesn't help that he contributed to the problem by raping the Big Bad, Beauty, when she was a child. So once Orem frees him and his closest friends -- including the narrator -- from their various curses, at the cost of Orem's beloved son, Palicrovol sets out to kill him due to Orem's time as Beauty's second-string consort. Discovering that Orem is his son (by a different woman) only prompts him to add incest to his list of charges.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Pool of the Black Ones, Conan the Barbarian is rescued from the sea by a pirate ship. As soon as they make land, he goes to murder the captain so he can take over.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, the amnesiac Phaethon hears himself denounced as ungrateful and later learns that he is suing to have his father declared dead after his father had died to save him and been revived from a noumenal recording. Still later, he recovers his memory. He learns that his dying father had asked him to do something and pledged him monetary support so he could do it; he was suing to get the money to carry out his father's Last Request.
  • In Warrior Cats, Brokenstar plots with Tigerstar to take over Thunderclan, even though the same clan gave him shelter when he was blinded and saved him from being murdered by two other clans. Even his own clanmates don't treat him with the same kindness as Thunderclan.
  • No matter how many times Harry Potter saves his school, the students of Hogwarts will still turn against him on a moment's notice on the strength of lies purported by the government. Meanwhile, Harry never shows any gratitude to Snape for saving his life in the first book, or for attempting to save him and his friends from Sirius Black (at the time believed to be a mass murderer), or for saving their life again in Order of the Phoenix. Of course, Snape's a dick to Harry, but you'd think saving his life would merit at least a "thank you" from a kid whose defining characteristic is love.
    • In Harry's defense, he didn't know about the first one until it was months too late to say anything, Snape immediately voided whatever gratitude Harry might have owed him for the second incident by deliberately lying about what happened to try and to get Sirius murdered an hour later, and by the time Harry first saw Snape again after the third incident Snape was in full double agent mode and doing his absolute best to convince Harry (and everyone else) he was actually working for Voldemort.
    • Draco Malfoy. Ron even lampshades it:

"And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!"

  • Anyone who has read Stephen King's Everything's Eventual will know that Diane, the character from the short story Lunch at the Gotham Cafe, is definitely this trope. You would think, that even after her husband just saved her life from a psychotic waiter, even after she treated him very coldly, not to mention demanding a divorce, would at least warrant a "thank you" from her!
  • Discworld heroes often get this, especially the ones who saved the world from certain destruction, because people become a lot less certain about how certain it was. In particular, we're told in Eric that there was some talk of building a statue of Rincewind after he saved the world from the Dungeon Dimensions (again) in Sourcery, but as the wizards became more determined to pretend it never happened (since they were the ones who started a magical war and opened the rift in the first place) this became a commemorative plaque, then a commendation on the roll of honour, and finally an official reprimand for being improperly dressed.
  • The Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: The protagonists, of all people, are these! Payback has Mark Lane save Julia's life, and instead of being grateful, Charles Martin sends three men with presidential gold shields to intimidate Mark, and the three men perform a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Mark's friend Jack Emery. In that book Deja Vu, almost all the men working with the Vigilantes up and leave, and Charles has to explain to the ladies that their men risk their lives, careers and reputations on a daily basis for them, and they have never shown any sort of gratitude for their men! Unfortunately, the ladies do not take that to heart, because the men successfully find the ladies' target, point out his location, and the women respond to this by performing a No Holds Barred Beatdown on their target in front of their men, without even allowing the men to have a piece of him! Ungrateful Bitches!

Live-Action TV

  • Little House On the Prairie: The 1979 episode "Barn Burner," which deals with the hardcore racism of a Walnut Grove-area farmer, has such an example at the episode's climax. Judd Larabee is being tried for barn burning in the aftermath of the destruction of Jonathan Garvey's barn; the offense carries an automatic death penalty upon conviction. Eleven of the 12 jurors have voted to convict Larabee, but one – Joe Kagan, the black farmer whom Larabee strongly hates – is not convinced Larabee was responsible; Kagan's instincts prove correct when Jonathan's son, Andy, admits he left a lantern hanging too close to the barn and it ignited the dry tinderwood. Larabee is acquitted ... and shows his graciousness by continuing to call Kagan every racist name in the book! Larabee pays a heavy price in the end, as his family leaves him and the other townsfolk shun him; it is implied that Larabee dies shortly thereafter of a heart attack.
  • The Jeffersons: Unlike what the episode title may imply, "Sorry, Wrong Meeting" is not a funny little story about accidentally walking into the wrong meeting, although the plot is most certainly about walking into the wrong meeting. To determine how to handle a series of burgalries in the Manhattan high-rise where the Willises and Jeffersons live, Tom plans a meeting; in the elevator, he runs into a man (who has just moved into the building) and his son, who are planning their own meeting. Tom—unknowing that the gentleman is the master of the local Klu Klux Klan chapter, and unknowing that the meeting is about running the Jeffersons out—offers to come. George, Tom and Mr. Bentley (also a white man) arrive and discover that they have the wrong meeting. A loud argument eventually ensues, with George's natural talent of wit (along with Tom's reasoning and Mr. Bentley also using sarcastic wit) thwarting the leader's racist reasoning at every turn. Eventually, the KKK leader suddenly passes out, and George—the only one who knows CPR—manages to revive him and save his life. However, when the man's son tells him that George had saved him, the leader promptly tells his son that "You should've let me die!" (The audience gasps in disbelief at this point.) His attitude makes the other members realize what they're doing is wrong and, when his assistant tries to resume the meeting, the others all leave the club en masse, with the son—who had once admired his father and was starting to become the very racist image of him—apologizes and takes a look at his own values.
  • Played straight and averted in Stargate SG-1. Despite various team-ups with the likes of Apophis and Ba'al, both continuously try to destroy the SG-1 afterwards. Averted with Lord Yu, who was at least honorable enough to respect their deals, though admitedly he held to a higher moral standard than most Goa'uld, for instance being the only System Lord to vote against readmitting Anubis into their ranks. It's notable he was the only one still alive from the time Anubis was expelled, making him one of the more successful ones too.
    • Well, Ba'al has helped the SG-1 team on a couple of occasions against a common enemy, and once he even tried to settle down on Earth and made them the offer that he'd become a good lawful citizen and stay inconspicuous if they left him alone, but they still kept trying to kill him; or to capture him to take him to the Tok'ra to extract the Goa'uld symbiote... and then kill it. No rest for the wicked.
    • Much as the show liked to forget it, every Goa'uld was holding a host captive. Even if they weren't menacing anyone else, merely letting them "live their lives in peace" was an unacceptable situation—as proven by the trial over the Goa'uld and Skaara.
  • The living Ancients in the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Return" fall squarely within this trope. After their hyperdrive failed in the void between the Milky Way and Pegasus, they set their ship up to travel at .999 percent the speed of light. Thanks to relativity, they're still alive 10,000 years later when the Atlantis expedition finds them and brings them home. Their thanks? Kicking the entire human population out, including the people on the mainland, so they could be "alone" and have "time to adjust". Despite repeatedly stating their gratitude, they never actually show it. Arguably they could have had a chance had they not been killed within weeks of reclaiming the city, but there's really no excuse for just how unreasonable they were behaving at the beginning.
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "Of Moose and Men", Hawkeye saves the life of a Colonel who is angered by his unmilitary bearing and lack of discipline. After the operation the closest he can come to thanking Hawkeye is to tell him he's "letting him off the hook" (as a favor to Colonel Potter, not Hawkeye himself) by not having him court-martialed for insubordination.
  • In Misfits, when Nikki receives a heart transplant that saves her life, she tells the doctor she doesn't want her new heart, and orders him to take it out and give her a different one. In her defense, along with the new heart she had inherited the "gift" of spontaneous teleportation (her first trip resulted in her finding herself in the morgue, lying on top of the frozen corpse of her heart donor) but she couldn't really tell the doctor that part without sounding batshit crazy.
  • One episode of Lois and Clark had Superman facing a lawsuit after rescuing a rock musician who claimed Superman injured his hand in the process and that he couldn't play guitar anymore. Turns out the guy had history of suing people at the slightest provocation.
  • As shown in the above quote, in the Victorious special Locked Up!, Tori protects Jade from a prisoner who was threatening her. Jade's response: "I didn't need your help!" Which is an interesting perspective considering that said prisoner just knocked Jade to the ground with one blow.
  • In the Doctor Who episode Full Circle, one character doubles back and pulls another free from the marsh men, and is caught himself. The rescued one takes one look at his rescuer and runs off without even trying to help.
  • In Crossing Jordan Garret Macy found out that a dead victim is alive and paralyze near death, said victim happens to be his old friend who sets his life in ruining the entire cast. When he was paralyze he said in his mind that he would change as a better man if they saved his life. But when he got out of the hospital he decides to sue the team for negligence. On the way to his car he was killed for real when he was hit by an ambulance.
  • Ingrid in Young Dracula, especially in season three. She's trying to distract her brother so one of her vampires can kill him. She decides the appropriate distraction is to thank him for when he saved her life the previous episode.
  • Jack Bauer in 24 has personally saved the USA government officials from political assassinations, a false pretense for war, nuclear attacks, biological attacks, a corrupt president, and more.. To thank him, the officials he worked for don't do a damn thing to save Jack when he was captured by Chinese agents who tortured him for almost two years for information (that he never gave.) Also, most of 24 consists of bureaucrats putting all their efforts in punishing Jack after or even when he's stopping terrorists from murdering hundreds of thousands of people. After everything he's done to save the country, the country's leaders give him less than squat back.
  • This trope is discussed in Game of Thrones. Ramsay Bolton believes that his hounsdswill never turn on hi because they are not this trope. However, Sansa isn't wrong to point out that they had a reason to turn on him. He decided to stop feeding them, in other words, he was a terrible pet owner in the end.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • The Bible – particularly the Gospels – contain many parables and passages about gratitude:
    • Luke 17:11-19 is the story of Jesus cleansing 10 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 10 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, equal to a lifetime of wages – immediately or face imprisonment and torture. The servant begs for mercy, which moves the king enough to cancel the debt. Not long thereafter, the servant encounters one of his friends, who owed him a small amount – stated in the Bible as 100 denari, or less than an average day's wages. Likewise, the man's friend says he doesn't have the money and asks for time to collect money to repay the debt, but the servant refuses to accept the explanation 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. Shouldn’t 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 had the servant jailed until the debt was repaid. 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).


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: ... And then, if glory come by chance your way,
To pay no tribute unto Caesar, none,
But keep the merit all your own! ...

Video Games

  • At one point in The World Ends With You, the player is given the choice whether or not to rescue Those Two Bad Guys Uzuki and Kariya from Taboo Noise. If they choose to do so, Kariya is thankful... but Uzuki tells them to, basically, piss off. Amusingly, Neku is aware of this trope, and if you save them, explains that he's only doing it to piss them off.
  • Good god, Phantom Brave. Most of the population believes Marona is "the Possessed One" who can kill them all. So not only do they berate, insult, and hiss at her...they hire her services to save their bacon, and then stiff her on the payment. They get better, but geez.
  • One of the reasons Archer is so bitter in Fate/stay night. As a typical demonstration of how people felt after being saved, one of them put him to death afterward after accusing him of starting the incident.
  • The fairies in Chrono Cross. After saving them all from certain death by rampaging dwarves, they yell at you for happening to be humans. The dwarves blamed the humans for killing their marsh, but instead of going after them killed people nominally on their side. Yet Serge's party is the one who takes the blame, even for killing the dwarves who were attacking!
    • The fairies are a prime example, but really, EVERYTHING in the game that accuses Serge and company of wrong doing is full of itself. Especially the Green Aesops toward the game's ending. The dwarves get on Serge for killing the Hydra. Said dwarves are also the guys who have been trying to kill you, no questions asked, since you got into the Marsh. Then said dwarves go off and slaughter the fairies. Save the fairies, and they act like you're the murderers. Then there's the whole "Reptites evolved more closely with the planet!" Which is a load of crock, since the Reptites were building giant castles and actively waging war, while the humans had been peaceful, and lived in harmony with nature. Nevermind the parts where the dragons try and blame you for Lavos' crimes. Especially since it was HUMANS who fought to take care of Lavos, while all other good for nothing races in all the other good for nothing time-lines just sat around doing nothing. Chrono Cross takes place in a WORLD of ungrateful bastards.
  • Scott Shelby a.k.a The Origami Killer from Heavy Rain can be this in one of the scenarios played out. During the fight on a conveyor belt against Jayden. If you did the button prompts right, Shelby gets knocked off and hanging for his life. You can choose to let him drop or hoist him up. Choose the latter, and he still tries to kill Jayden. Not surprisingly this leads to Shelby's downfall after one last struggle.
  • The weeping willow in King's Quest V Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder. When you turn her back into her human form, she carelessly tosses aside her harp (the sole comfort she had the whole time she was a tree), calls her fiancé, and struts off with him without so much as a word of thanks to you. As Paw Dugan put it in his Let's Play, "YOU'RE WELCOME, YOU UNGRATEFUL BIIIIIIIITCH!!"
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Colonel Cassandra Moore. When she asks you to Kill the Brotherhood of Steel, you can instead negotiate a peace treaty with them, with the Brotherhood agreeing to send men to assist at Hoover Dam You gain NCR INFAMY for doing that. It probably has something to do with her being a General Ripper, considering that, in addition to the Brotherhood, she wants to kill The Kings, the Great Khans and Mister House. Did she ever stop to wonder if it was reasonable to ask one person to wipe out four major factions and weather s/he might have a problem with it?
    • Moore served in Operation Sunburst a few years prior, which saw the NCR and Brotherhood in a state of open war and in which the NCR incurred massive casualties before wearing the Brotherhood down via sheer weight of numbers. Her unhappiness over an alliance with them is understandable, even if not exactly agreeable. Likewise, the Great Khans boast about their open antagonism towards the NCR and although they've fallen on hard times lately, even a cursory look at their recent past paints them as little more than opportunistic raiders who killed and stole whatever they pleased. A former Great Khan who was present at the Bitter Springs Massacre even says the tribe got what was coming to them.
  • In Dragon Quest VI, even after you weaken Murdaw by defeating him in the dream world and, you know, saving the monarchs of Somnia from certain doom, the guards of Somnia will still treat you like a piece of shit due to the events of your last visit. Thankfully, the recently awakened king sets them straight before things can get hairy.
  • World of Warcraft
    • The player can rescue Magatha Grimtotem from the Twilight's Hammer cult, but she responds with a promise to kill the player if they ever meet again.
    • To Alliance players, the Nightborne - particularly Thalyssra - comes across this in Battle for Azeroth. Here’s how it goes down during the Legion expansion (short version): The player first finds Thalyssra as a Nightfallen, starving for lack of mana and assaulted by Withered. After finding her sanctuary and saving her from becoming a Withered - clearly a Fate Worse Than Death - the player finds her fellow outcasts Oculeth (which requires using malfunctioning teleporters and fighting his insane apprentice) and Valtrois (which requires solving a mirror puzzle) and keep them from starving. Next follows a long campaign where the player has fight through mobs of spider-demons to find a seed to plant a new Arcan’dor, then sneak into the Surumar vineyards gain mana wyrms (needed to keep vermin away from the young Arcan’dor). What follows then is a long string of quests where the player has to continually infiltrate Surumar in disguise (risking death if it falters) find mana to keep his three allies from starving and pay a pricey informant, all while saving citizens - including children - from slavers, interrupting a public execution, spreading slander among nobles to rig an election, and even delving into the Emerald Nightmare itself. Eventually, the Arcan’dor blossoms and the Nightfallen are cured of the cursed state, but it’s not over yet. After raising an army (managing to get the Alliance and Horde to cooperate, for petes' sake), training soldiers, and fighting the Legion again and again, Surumar is finally freed. (Causing the player to gain the well-deserved Good Surmerian achievement. After all this, one would think you’d have a friend and ally for life, but that’s only the case if you’re Horde, because when Battle for Azeroth starts, Thalyssa sides with them, simply because Tyrande makes one rude comment. Clearly, members of the Alliance would see such an act as cruel betrayal, and the worst thing is, this is far from the only example of this that the new expansion has caused.
  • At the end of Crash: Twinsanity Dr. Neo Cortex learned from his mistake and goes back to being Crash's arch rival.
  • Miles Edgeworth comes off as one to Phoenix Wright in the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game. When things look hopeless for him while he's on trial for murder, Maya manages to coerce Lotta into making a contradiction with her testimony by shouting out at her, getting held in contempt of court in the process, but in response, after the first day of the trial, Edgeworth tells Phoenix she should watch what she says in court. This is ultimately subverted when it is revealed that Edgeworth arranged to pay for Maya's bail. Gumshoe also notes that Edgeworth's lips were trembling during the outburst.
  • Knight Commander Meredith in Dragon Age II. Even if you side with her during The Last Straw, she will still try to kill you. Also Grace, the apostate mage that you help earlier in an Act I quest, returns in Act III convinced that her own failure to escape the templars is your fault.
    • In the previous game, you recuse Queen Anora from Arl Howe's estate. On your way out, you're confronted with Ser Cauthrien and a number of guards who charge you with breaking and entering and murder of the Arl. You'd think having the captive Queen on hand would get you to get out of the situation without bloodshed, but drop her name and reveal her and she instead pins her kidnapping on you and your companions.
      • No, that was necessary. She even explains why the ruse after you return.
        • Her explanation is not convincing. The person leading those troops is Loghain's lieutenant, who entirely knows what Anora looks like. Ser Cauthrien is not only a regular attendant at the royal court but has also been Loghain's loyal aide pretty much her whole life and Anora is Loghain's daughter. So Anora logically has nothing to lose by revealing herself or you revealing her, because Ser Cauthrien should be able to pick her out of the crowd anyway. Furthermore, since Anora should know that Cauthrien's loyalty to Loghain is absolute (they grew up together), the only way Cauthrien would be willing to let Anora go anyway is if Loghain was not agreeing with Arl Eamon's plan to hold the Queen hostage -- meaning that her backing your play should have gotten you out scott-free too.
  • The Council of Mass Effect certainly acts like this toward Shepard. Virtually any major decision in the first game will be second-guessed by them, even actions carried out by a force you had no authority over.
    • Carries over to the second game. The original Council, which owes you their lives, refuses to believe the Reapers exist and only grudgingly gives you your SPECTRE status back. If it's the human council, who owe their position to you, they won't even speak with you and only Anderson can get you reinstated.
      • In the third, you'll be surprised that Shepard doesn't name this trope. Council Tevos's Exact Words are:

The cruel and unfortunate truth is that while the Reapers focus on Earth, we can prepare and regroup.

  • The Demiurge in Strange Journey. After a long, grueling battle you manage to beat the massive monstrosity and allow it to fuse into a single being. If not Law-aligned, he immediately warns you there will be consequences for not choosing his path, demanding retribution just for not believing in its ideals. The option of shoving it back into his can is heartily welcomed at this point.
    • There are several demons who will allow you to begin negotiations with them, ask them to be your demon, make demands of you... and then refuse to join you anyway. These demons are all of either the Law or Chaos alignments (they include Angel, Oni, and Lilim), and will not pull this on you if you're of the same alignment. Thankfully, there's a Sub App called "Tea Amity" that forces them to reconsider their refusal; once they reconsider, they will always agree to join you.
  • At the end of Saints Row the Third, if you rescue Shaundi, she berates you at first asking why he lets so many of his other friends die. She gets a cold "Shut Up" from The Boss afterwards showing that he really took that personally.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • 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 qui-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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
      • This is possibly justified by Feral's rigidly Black And White view of justice. In "Metal Urgency", he refuses to let the Metallikats tell them who the SWAT Kats really are. When Callie Briggs calls him on this, he simply says he won't deal with criminals on any level.
        • It's not like Feral's wrong. The SWAT Kats have massive firepower, cause huge amounts of collateral damage, refuse to follow the rules and are generally reckless. (Example: in "The Giant Bacteria" they dropped Morbulous because it was more fun than just handing him over, thus allowing him to escape before the Enforcers could get him again.) And he's not completely ungrateful, he just greatly disapproves of them and their methods, and you can pretty much tell which episodes he'll be sympathetic/grateful to them because they'll add in a different character to take up the unsympathetic role.
        • Feral didn't like them when they were Enforcers either: on their first day (as shown in "The Wrath of Dark Kat") they saved the city but destroyed Enforcer HQ, which got them fired and on Feral's blacklist for life.... Which wouldn't have happened if he hadn't interfered in the first place.
  • The FOX 90's Spider-Man: The Animated Series. JJJ has a Freudian Excuse for hating Spidey and every other masked character (except Scorpion, whose creation he personally endorsed): his family was killed by The Rose, a mask-wearing mob boss that (in main Marvel continuity) was a subordinate of the Kingpin.
    • Just to be clear, Jameson isn't fond of Scorpion either. It only took about half of his origin episode for JJJ to realize he screwed up, and he even goes so far as to admit that Spider-Man is the lesser evil of the two.
  • 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.
  • The Simpsons: This trope was the whole reason Mona Simpson was always on the run from the law. 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.
    • 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.
  • Dan from Dan Vs.
  • 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.
      • To be fair, Mordecai and Rigby lied to them... all the episode.
    • Rigby, after being saved by his friends from a doppelganger, manages to be a Beyond the Impossible Ungrateful Bastard at Temp Check"

Doug: ...A guy like me, doesn’t have a lot to be thankful, but you, you got friends, a job, a nice work bed. You’ve got a good thing going here, never forget that.
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?

  • Gobsmack from Pearlie is the pickiest bastard in the show.
  • After the mutual Revenge Romance between Brian, Quagmire and each other's exes on Family Guy, Brian apologizes to Quagmire for his behavior and offers to bury the hatchet in hopes of finally becoming friends. Just when it looks like Quagmire, who has had a known dislike for Brian, has finally let it slide, and he is about to agree to Brian's request for a ride home, only to drive off before Brian can get in, and then hit Brian in reverse. What a creep!
  • 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.
  • Wasp from Transformers Animated. Ever since the day Bumblebee accidentally sent him to prison for a crime Wasp did not commit, Wasp has since then vowed revenge on Bee for betraying him and wants to kill him one day. When Wasp because of his obsession with revenge on Bumblebee for framing him, accidentally gets mutated into a technorganic monster, Bumblebee is now horrified by Wasp's hideous new look, and immediately apologizes to him. Wasp's response:

Wasp: (in his pre-organic voice) Wasp... forgive... Bumblebot... (brief pause, now in his "normal" voice) ...BUT WASPINATOR NEVER FORGIVE!!!"

  • Maria Hill from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes refuses to accept the Avengers' vigilante behavior how many times they save the world, SHIELD, 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, but this time, the rest of the teens, who were grateful that Jenny saved them, leave as well.
  • In The Cramp Twins first episode (and the first segment), Wayne is choking on his food. His brother Lucian gives him the Heimlich maneuver, only for Wayne to spit on his face. He was faking it the whole time, but we digress.

Real Life

  • There's always gonna be a few people who won't even say thank you when you do them a favor.
  • During the fighting in the Pacific in World War Two, wounded Japanese soldiers would often deliberately blow up corpsman who were trying to help them.
  • On a national level, many Canadians have felt this way about US politicians due to 9/11. Despite the country accepting all the international flights diverted from the US (and thus assuming the potential risk of terrorists arriving on those flights, when no one knew what was going on or how many there were), it was noted that when the Bush Administration was going around thanking other countries for their support it took days before they remembered the country next door. The continued exasperation at the Canadian embassy having to send out regular press releases informing candidates, elected officials and even cabinet members that, no, none of the hijackers entered the US from Canada, merely adds to it.
  • Oriana Fallaci. She was an Italian journalist who got trapped in the middle of a shooting in Tlatelolco, Mexico City and was shot three times before she was left for dead. By the final years of her life, she hated Mexicans even though it was thanks to a Mexican that she survived. The Mexican student standing beside her protected her with his body from the bullets that were impacting everywhere before he was arrested (and probably tortured).
  • The family of Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount basketball player that died on court in 1990) attempted to sue both of the first responders that attempted to help their son, and they sued the school as well. The lawsuit against the first responders (including a doctor in the crowd who volunteered to come down and help) was unsuccessful. The lawsuit against the school was settled out of court before trial for 1.4 million.
  • When the four-man Christian Peacemaker Team were captured in Iraq, resulting in the torture-murder of one of their activists, they initially did not thank the soldiers who rescued them, being a diplomatic organization who were reluctant to be associated with a military effort. However, they later publicly thanked the soldiers.
  • North Korea, whose sole supply of almost all of its needed goods comes from China, often insults them and isn't very grateful.
    • For most of its history North Korea hsd depended on foreign aid from Communist states to keep the economy running. However, this has never been officially acknowledged. The Soviet Union ignored this ungrateful behavior because they needed North Korea as a buffer state and did not want them to ally with China. After the Soviet Union collapsed North Korea suffered economic disaster as Russia and China began demanding that any payments be on time and all friendship prices were revoked.
  • Similar to the Canadian example above: in the buildup to the Iraq War, France was accused by the United States of betrayal and cowardice for not agreeing to send troops to aid in the war effort. This accusation flew in the face of over 200 years of strong relations between the two nations, from the American Revolution to the fact that France had sent troops as part of the coalition effort in Afghanistan less than two years prior.
    • YMMV on that one. Many Americans have long considered the French to be the Ungrateful Bastards, since France has long been one of the most anti-American countries in the Western world, despite the fact that America rescued France in both World War I and World War Two, and helped rebuild France after the second, and defended France from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
    • Furthermore, whatever debt of honor the US owed France for the aid given us in the Revolutionary War would be to the French monarchy, which France overthrew in 1789. France is trying to cash in a marker owed to a previous regime whose legacy they themselves rejected. (Justifiably so, really, but still.) Can't have it both ways, France. If your government does not consider itself as inheriting the karmic debts of the House of Bourbon, neither can it claim the karmic debts owed to said house.
  • TV Tropes is very much this. The admins tend to ban even contributors who have been members for years and have been extremely helpful for simple mistakes. They are also this in regards to ban evaders. Once they find out someone is ban evading, they will permaban their new account on the spot even if the new account has done nothing but help out and correct mistakes.