Scars could be used metaphorically, and a good time could be anything anyone considers to be fun.

For example:

  • After a night out with friends you might have a hangover or a negative bank balance
  • After an off-road outride you might be have some physical scars from falling
  • After a good session at the gym you could be stiff or have a case of jelly legs
  • After staying up all night playing games you might feel fatigued the next day

Edit (I'm on my phone, and don't know styling off by heart)

So these scars are meant to have a positive side, definitely, like a sort of bade of honour, although it might have inflicted physical harm, to a personally preferred level of comfort.

Repercussion and such words probably describe the scar well enough, but I'm looking for something catch, almost like "battle scars," as someone mentioned.

Something like, no pain no gain. I like the Piper one. Something like the Piper's Price.

I was hoping for a word/phrase you can use, and everyone knows the feeling of the good time scars; the emotion of whatever good time, and the bad-but-tollerable scars that often results, but hopefully, without the negative reference to conflict, as battle scars.

Perhaps the Dictionary of Eternal Sorrow should be consulted. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that here.

  • You mean an opposite for consequence, I assume. How about prosequence from Urban Dictionary?
    – NVZ
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 6:58
  • I would just call this a "cost" or a "toll." That night out really took its toll on me. That session at the gym came at the cost of jelly legs. Commented May 19, 2017 at 7:05
  • Are these "scars" a bad thing, or are they worn as a badge of honour?
    – AndyT
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 9:54
  • scars itself isn't bad
    – Drew
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 13:56

5 Answers 5


A common idiomatic expression is to pay the piper. This is related to the expression He who pays the piper calls the tune, meaning that there is a price to one's enjoyment or diversion. Or, from Quora:

‘bearing the negative consequence of something that was enjoyable at the time’.


don't expect to get something for nothing.

So, for example

Upon waking the day after the party, I knew it was now time to pay the piper.

If you keep that up, you'll be paying the piper tomorrow.


I would call them battle scars.

Oxford Dictionaries:


Damaged or affected by fighting.
‘a group of battle-scarred veterans’
[figurative] ‘the battle-scarred executives of the technology boom’


Definition of battle scar

: a scar from a wound suffered in battle

  • … a man removed his Yankees cap to show a battle scar — received, he said, when he was a 14-year-old carrying a Kalashnikov in Lebanon's civil war. — Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2005

— often used figuratively

  • As forerunners of third-wave American folk music, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers now bear many battle scars from their run-ins with pop culture in the 20 years they've been performing. — Karen Iris Tucker, The Advocate, 30 Mar. 2004

    — battle–scarred adjective

  • As battle-scarred gamblers are fond of saying, the only way to be sure you come out ahead is to buy the casino. — Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 1 Aug. 2005


If you want to contrast the badness of the 'scars' with the goodness of the good time, how about

downside: the negative aspect of something otherwise regarded as good or desirable.

However, this does not have a time element to it. Another possibility would be

repercussion: an unintended consequence of an event or action, especially an unwelcome one.


You may call it a side effect.


side effect (plural side effects)

(idiomatic) An unintended consequence of any action in addition to the intended consequence of that action


Road Rash

Literally, this is the scrapes and abrasions you get when you wipe out on a longboard or inline skates or a bike at high speed. But it has plenty of figurative useage in the sense of @AndyT 's badge of honor. It is a conspicuous and painful reminder of the activity.

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