Is there a phraseme or idiom for "doing something useful (necessary) and pleasant at the same time" with positive connotation?

For example - using a bike to get to work and back home is useful (because it allows you to train your body), and pleasant (if you go through the park or a forest, etc.).

Or, another possible example - a boss may convince an employee to sign in for a business trip (to the North Pole) because it is useful to the firm and may be pleasant because the employee is an amateur photographer and will have a chance to take a photo of a polar bear.

There is a Russian phraseme that is usable in both cases, but is there a similar one in English for at least one of the cases?

  • There are many non-idiomatic phrases, such as delightful task and pleasant chore. Why do you need an idiom?
    – bib
    Dec 21, 2013 at 17:13
  • @bib Maybe the phrase will do, but "delightful task" doesn't have a "it may seem boring at first glance, but in fact there is a pleasant side".
    – Artemix
    Dec 21, 2013 at 17:16
  • In US usage, the terms task and chore both have a slightly negative connotation when used alone.
    – bib
    Dec 21, 2013 at 17:59
  • And then there's the phrase from John Mellencamp, Hurts so good.
    – bib
    Dec 21, 2013 at 18:08
  • @bib Hurts so good - very nice! :)
    – Artemix
    Dec 21, 2013 at 18:44

1 Answer 1


It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

I'd suggest that it's used ironically far more often than literally.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.