Patron-client ties are based on the exchange of material and immaterial goods. They are characterised by power inequality, reciprocity, voluntarism, and affectivity. This chapter argues that if the clients’ expectations concerning received goods are not met, but at the same time they feel coerced to continue relations with the patron, then these ties become loose and contested. Using Tunisia and Egypt as case studies, this chapter shows how patron-client ties changed incrementally from volitional into coercive from the mid-1970s until 2011, a period in which the governments of Tunisia and Egypt implemented neoliberal economic policies. It then uses the 2011 protests in the two countries to demonstrate how the clients attempted to liberate themselves from these ties. Methodologically, the chapter draws on the statements issued by a sample of participant movement organisations in the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings, a large pool of semi-structured interviews with activists who participated in the protests, and the slogans chanted during the uprisings.