no good deed goes unpunished


Also found in: Acronyms.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Due to the cruelty, ignorance, or selfishness of the world or others, one's good deeds or good intentions will often result in more trouble than they are worth. An ironic and sardonic twist on the more standard moral that "no good deed goes unrewarded." Janet: "I decided to help George clean out his gutters, but now he's got me doing all sorts of repairs around the house!" Bill: "I guess no good deed goes unpunished, eh?"
See also: deed, goes, good, no

no good deed goes unpunished

A kindness or other positive behavior often is rewarded with opprobrium or abuse. This new, equally sarcastic take on “the way to hell is paved with good intentions” dates from the late 1900s. William Lashner used it, “But that’s the way of it, Detective . . . No good deed goes unpunished.” And Sue Miller used it in The Lake Shore Limited (2010), where a girl who had a car accident said “I was visiting my . . . great-aunt. She’s in a nursing home” and the man who helped her says, “Well no good deed goes unpunished.”
See also: deed, goes, good, no, unpunished
References in periodicals archive ?
The next morning the assistant greeted me with a wry look on her face, and said, "No good deed goes unpunished!"
The Supreme Court's ruling appears to have given validity to the adage that, "no good deed goes unpunished."
It's often said that no good deed goes unpunished. But ASAE prefers to reward good deeds, particularly innovative projects and activities in the international arena that represent economic, social, or advocacy achievements.
And the other moral of this story is no good deed goes unpunished.
But, proving the cliche that no good deed goes unpunished, one man found out the hard way that when you donate a phone, it's a pretty good idea to deactivate it first.
As no good deed goes unpunished, he will no doubt be pilloried on the stake of political correctness.
In the category of "no good deed goes unpunished," civilian employers seeking to ease the financial strain for employees recently called to active military duty are faced with having to determine the correct federal employment tax and reporting treatment of "differential" or "supplemental" payments made to these employees without the benefit of updated and concise guidance.
There's an old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. Here's a related bit of sadomasochistic wisdom: No research finding, good or not, goes public without eventually yielding unforeseen consequences that leave researchers either shaking their heads or spinning in their graves.
'They say that no good deed goes unpunished, and that public service can be a very thankless job.
They say no good deed goes unpunished. An Australian fisherman attempting to free three sharks was bitten by one of the fish and badly injured last week.
It seemed to me that the expression: 'No good deed goes unpunished' had been invented for this exact eventuality.
This just in from the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Dept.: A Durango judge has ordered two Colorado teenage girls to pay the $900 medical bill of a woman who was frightened when the girls left a plate of cookies, complete with construction paper hearts that said "Have a great night!" on her porch late one evening last summer.
Being stuck in a restaurant with 400 strangers for tour hours--some of whom may be related to actors you'd love to make a snarky comment about--embodies the adage: "No good deed goes unpunished."
As played with poisoned fangs by Derek Jacobi, Bacon is a prince of darkness who has constructed an inverted world in which, as one friend says, "no good deed goes unpunished." A public sadist and a bedroom masochist, Bacon shudders with orgasmic pleasure at the taste of a boxer's blood on his face or the tragic spectacle of the Odessa Steps massacre in The Battleship Potemkin.