There is a feeling that I get when I have earned "Brownie Points" for offering to do something for someone but the offer gets turned down for some reason before I need to actually do it. All the reward for none of the effort.

  • 3
    I was tempted to say relief but I think you are looking for something more than that.
    – Chad
    Jul 26, 2011 at 2:17
  • Assassin's Creed Wiki, Juan Borgia the Elder: Final words of Ezio: And now you pay for it. Il piacere immeritato si consuma da sé (Pleasure unearned consumes itself). Jul 26, 2011 at 2:51
  • 1
    I feel like there should be some German word for this, like how they have schadenfreude.
    – simchona
    Jul 26, 2011 at 5:55
  • 1
    @simchona: you'd think so, but no such word comes to my mind (I'm a native German speaker). Jul 27, 2011 at 6:13
  • @Joachim: Good to know.
    – simchona
    Jul 27, 2011 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


I don't know of a word that encapsulates all of that, but here are a couple of suggestions, depending on the situation. More than likely, an idiomatic phrase will best suit.

1) off the hook: addresses the relief, though it doesn't full capture the credit (or brownie points)

2) absolved: free of duty or obligation. The downside here is the connotation of forgiven sin--not quite what we're after.

3) got/gave a free pass: with enough context, this could work.


I don't think there exists a single word to describe the feeling you're describing, as it's actually two feelings being experienced simultaneously.

The first is relief (oh good, I don't have to lend him money after all), and the second is self-righteousness (but wasn't that great of me to offer?).

We're complex creatures, human beings. More often than not, one word doesn't suffice.

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