History Main / HonorBeforeReason

18th Apr '16 5:45:20 AM LadyJaneGrey
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* In ''Fanfiction/YuGiOhTheThousandYearDoor'', there's a situation similar to the one mention in the anime section. Maria demands a duel against Francesca by using the whole town of Keelhaul Key as a hostage. Maria cheats during most of the duel, using an enchanted eyepatch to view Francesca hand, until her mother appears in a hologram of her true, intimidating form of [[EvilSorceress the Shadow Queen]] (the first time the protagonists have seen her as such) to disqualify her and scold her for the action. (While Fran's defeat is essential to her plans, cheating isn't allowed due to magical constraints.) However, Fran interrupts, saying she'll forgive the offense and let the duel continue if Maria simply stops doing so. This, despite the [[DeadlyGame terms of the contest]] that she and the others were pretty much conned into accepting. Both Maria and Queen think she's a fool, but the duel does continue and she wins anyway. (In the rebooted version, Fran presses her luck further, sympathizing with Maria and telling the Queen - to her face, with witnesses - [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech that the biggest reason she turned out bad was because she had bad parents.]] Maria and her other siblings seem to take this to heart later.)
9th Mar '16 3:13:45 PM mlsmithca
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[[index]]
* HonorBeforeReason/AnimeAndManga
* HonorBeforeReason/ComicBooks
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Film}}
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Literature}}
* HonorBeforeReason/LiveActionTV
* HonorBeforeReason/MythologyAndReligion
* HonorBeforeReason/ProfessionalWrestling
* HonorBeforeReason/TabletopGames
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Theatre}}
* HonorBeforeReason/VideoGames
* HonorBeforeReason/VisualNovels
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Webcomics}}
* HonorBeforeReason/WebOriginal
* HonorBeforeReason/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

!!Other Examples



[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* If you just want the short version, ''every anime and manga ever made has at least one of these guys.'' Or, if you have time, please read on.
* One of the main defining characteristics of ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'', no matter which of the [[ContinuitySnarl many, many different versions]] you recognize. His EstablishingCharacterMoment for the very first episode of the first anime is coming to Earth to visit a little girl's birthday party like he promised... despite being considered Public Enemy #1 by [[VichyEarth the corrupt government]].
** Essential to the TwistEnding of "Endless Odyssesy": [[spoiler: Harlock promises early into the series that he will help Tadashi Daiba succeed in his vow to kill the man who murdered his father, commenting on his belief that a man cannot break a promise and anyone who would break a promise or an oath is not a man. After Nu is defeated, he then reveals that ''he'' was the one who killed Daiba's father, as he had promised to do so if Tsuyoshi Daiba gave in to his hunger for knowledge and betrayed humanity to Nu. He repeats what Tsuyoshi's spirit had earlier revealed to Tadashi, that he has vowed to Tsuyoshi to kill Tadashi if he [[IWantToBeARealMan cannot become a man]], and firmly declares that Tadashi either kill him or be shot down.]]
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'':
** Inuyasha will not run or hide from a fight, even if caught in his powerless [[BroughtDownToNormal human form]]. The anime expands this to explore how Inuyasha and Kikyou first met. When Kikyou demands to know why he didn't attack her when she was too injured to fight back, he explains he doesn't play dirty.
** Sesshoumaru will fight his opponents head on, even when severely [[BroughtDownToBadass de-powered]]. He inflicts a DieOrFly test on Inuyasha to prove Inuyasha's ready for Meidou Zangetsuha, promising he'll give up both swords if it works. Badly injured, Inuyasha succeeds, Sesshoumaru keeps his promise, and Naraku ambushes Inuyasha with Tenseiga. Sesshoumaru dives into the meidou to save Inuyasha, destroying Tenseiga and also his ability to escape the meidou. When Inuyasha notices, Sesshoumaru says saving them is up to Inuyasha now, prompting Inuyasha to realise he's been given Meidou Zangetsuha.
* In ''Anime/SpeedGrapher'', Saiga relentlessly protects Kagura from Suitengu and the members of the secret underground club of the rich and elite of Japan, against the advice and protests of his friends Ginza and [[PetHomosexual Bob]], who believe throughout the series that he should simply leave her to her fate. Saiga is willing to die in order to allow Kagura a chance of happiness, and in the end [[spoiler:goes blind while saving her.]]
* The heroes of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' follow this trope to a tee. Surprisingly enough, even the heartless SocialDarwinist villain Shishio Makoto follows this trope, threatening to kill his scheming right-hand man, Houji, who proposed a cowardly assault on the loved ones of the heroes while they dueled his lord; for such behavior is, to quote Shishio himself, "Against the Way of the Warrior." They then do it anyway after Shishio lies to the Juppongatana about a supposed infraction Houji had committed that had put them in danger, as a way to put Houji on the spot and force him to prove the strength of his devotion, with Houji's resultant display of loyalty and committment impressing Shishio sufficiently that he claims the idea as his own.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Son Goku's seemingly illogical and insane [[FriendToAllLivingThings unconditional love for life]] and his ability to forgive '''anyone''' has allowed him to turn the dozens of monsters, madmen, and murderers that he has fought throughout the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' saga (with the unfortunate exception of Frieza, Dr. Gero and Cell) into heroes.
** Another infamous example is when Goku gives Cell a Senzu bean to fully heal himself so that he can fight Goku's son Gohan at full strength. He was confident in his son's strength and he is partially impaired by his Saiyan genes. What he did to Frieza on the other hand...
** The whole scene near the end of the Buu arc where Goku is refusing to throw the Genki Dama because Vegeta's in the way must qualify for this. He's holding back an attack with enough power to destroy the final BigBad because it would kill Vegeta too. Forget that not throwing the attack would doom the entire universe ''including'' that one person he's trying to spare.
** While generally a CombatPragmatist, Future Trunks falls into this at least once during the Cell Saga. After Cell becomes perfect, Trunks deliberately stands back and watches while Vegeta is getting his ass kicked because he knows Vegeta is too prideful to want his help, despite Krillin literally ''begging'' him to do something, as well as the fact that Vegeta's pride is ''exactly'' why Cell was able to become perfect in the first place. He only steps in to fight after Vegeta is beaten unconscious.
* Played straight with Kira Yamato, the protagonist of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]''. He realizes that although stopping one's enemies without murdering them may be difficult, but doing otherwise would breed more hatred and thus not bring an end to war. [[JustifiedTrope Of course,]] [[ImprobableAimingSkills his aim is so good]] [[BeamSpam and his arsenal so large]] [[TheAce that against anything other than a top ace]] [[MartialPacifist the fact that he shoots to disable rather than destroy]] [[OneManArmy really makes no difference at all.]]
** In the sequel series he takes this to ridiculous levels, allowing himself to be defeated losing his mecha and seriously risking his own death rather than allow his side to wipe out an enemy force instead they try to outrun and only disable and shoot near misses. He also refuses to hold a grudge and kill enemy pilot Shinn Asuka when the guy has nearly killed him and killed countless pilots on his side and it's clear the man as a very nasty vendetta against him.
** Played equally straight, previously, with Shiro Amada of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam '', who believed in killing only as an absolute last resort, despite being the commander of a mobile suit unit.
*** And the fact that Zeon ''gassed his home colony in front of him during the first week of the gas'' doesn't change his mind about this. They're a reason why people laughed in his face when talking about this.
** Both these instances can be traced back to Judau Ashta from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' who began acting like this about the same time they touched down on Earth and the show started GrowingTheBeard, simply because he couldn't handle any more death. Sometimes it actually worked, such as with Masai and Puru 2. However, it usually failed miserably (the death of the entire Blue Team, Rommel, [[spoiler:Chara Soon]], and Haman). At the end of the series, having born witness to the Federation dragging its heels before mobilizing a fleet to defeat Neo Zeon and showing up after the battle was over, he was at the breaking point. To let him blow off steam, Bright let Judau deck him in the face... [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome something awesome for both of them.]]
** Then there's Char Aznable in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'', who purposefully leaked the specs for the cutting-edge Psycoframe system, knowing that Amuro would get it and have it built into his next Gundam. The reason he did this was because he thought there would be no point in defeating Amuro if he and Amuro weren't evenly-matched in the battle.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', Wufei tracks down Treize Khushrenada in an attempt to kill him to prevent him from taking control of the Earth Sphere Alliance. However, instead of blowing Treize to smithereens with his Gundam, Wufei accepts a challenge to a sword duel from Treize which he loses. Treize reciprocates Wufei's earlier gesture of honor and allows him to leave in his Gundam rather than seizing the state-of-the-art machine for study or reverse-engineering. Wufei departs--again passing up the perfectly good chance to eliminate the would-be dictator with superior firepower.
** Played as a major defining character trait for Zechs Merquise. He won't defeat an opponent if it not a fair fight. This translates to, he can disarm them in mid-combat, then spare them because they are no longer armed with a weapon. His need to be honorable certainly seems to cloud any sense of priority, as he will give his rival a powerful and destructive Gundam, just so they can have a fair duel, while in the middle of a war.
** In ''Endless Waltz'', Zechs, Noin, and the Wing boys also do this. After they defeat hundreds of enemy mobile suits without killing a single soldier, Quatre comments that if they were fighting to kill, they could have blown through the Mariemeia Army far more easily, but then there would have been no point to their intervention.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', Graham Aker is the embodiment of this trope. "Sounds reasonable! Too bad I'm an unreasonable man!!!".
*** Especially pronounced in the second season where he and Setsuna are duelling over an ocean. Setsuna's Gundam malfunctions in the middle of the fight and Graham leaves him be because he can't see any value in defeating a disabled opponent.
* In ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', the titular character's suicidal devotion to Nagi and ''every'' person that needs his help often falls into this. Plus, the fact he [[SocialServicesDoesNotExist never called social services]] on his deadbeat parents (who are either heartless, brainless, or both) as a child speaks volumes about his kind character.
** Becomes downplayed though the course of the series due to how [[KnightInSourArmor cynical]] he has become thanks to his horrid childhood.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' would be considerably less funny [[PillarsOfMoralCharacter without this]]. It also would've been much much shorter.
** This can actually be considered an element of Ranma's fighting style; whenever challenged to one of the various {{Martial Arts and Crafts}}, he always has to {{Beat Them at Their Own Game}}, even if he has only a minimum amount of time to pick up the rules and despite the fact he's usually going against a champion of that style. During the Martial Arts Dining arc; despite the fact Ranma is clearly starving, s/he insists that s/he will only eat what s/he ''earns'' from the table/arena. In the anime, at least, s/he even goes so far as to turn down Akane when she offers her fiancé some smuggled food. This almost results in Ranma losing the contest when his/her frantic efforts at both fighting and thinking up counters burn out what little energy s/he has left.
** Nodoka Saotome and her {{Seppuku}} pledge is a rather darkly humorous take on this, seeing as how the so-called "pledge" is ambiguous as all hell (It was that Ranma would grow up to be 'manly'). While the series' heavy reliance on RuleOfFunny ultimately leaves the audience [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt too skeptical to believe the threat would ever REALLY be carried out,]] all the evidence in the series is that, if Ranma thought he had sufficiently disappointed his mother, ''he would go through with it''. This is despite the fact that Ranma was about a year old when he 'agreed' to it.
** One thing that often gets over looked is that Ranma's father Genma, despite being a DirtyCoward, has come up with two super-powered techniques which he ''never'' uses simply because he vowed not to. He holds to this even when he's getting beaten senseless and could easily wipe the floor with his attacker if he broke them out. He'd also submit to the Seppuku thing if he was called on it (of course, in typical Genma fashion, the trick is arranging matters so that he never does actually get called on it). Honour is a finely tuned thing.
* The only way to cure Kibagami Jubei, the hero of the {{anime}} classic ''Anime/NinjaScroll'', of the slow-acting poison in his body was to take a Girl Ninja whose own body's potent poison would destroy the comparatively weaker venom in the process. But knowing that this would obliterate what little was left of her sense of self-worth, already shredded by the fact no man dares to touch her, Jubei instead refused her offer and walked off like a gentleman, into certain death.
** Well, he ''does'' [[TakingAThirdOption kiss her.]]
* Negi Springfield of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima!'', in spite of being a talented young warrior, is so kind-hearted he even offered mercy to a Demon Lord ''who destroyed his village and crippled his sister.'' His kindness and merciful nature has almost cost him his life on more than one occasion.
** He tends to show mercy when he perceives an unvoiced IfIWantedYouDead subtext -- he's just painfully ready to see those. He also benefits more from showing mercy than he would from finishing enemies of the week off. For example, the Demon Lord (who was just a summoned lackey anyway) dropped on its way back home the second hint so far that the village massacre did no truly ''permanent'' harm to anybody... except emotionally, if Negi ''let'' it...
* In ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' Millia insists that Max shoot to disable Zentradi battlepods to simply put them out of action instead of simply killing them to show that the Terrans are serious about wanting peace. Even though this could be seen as completely insane considering the Zentradi finally decided to fight full out to destroy the ship, Hikaru Ichijo learns what his wingmates are doing and joins this act of mercy along with other pilots despite the dire situation. As it turns out, that gesture saves the ship because the many of the Zentrani forces, already becoming enthralled with Terran culture, learn what about the Humans' mercy and decide to mutiny throughout the fleet to stop the fight. Commander Breetai is horrified at that unprecedented insubordination and ordered an immediate ceasefire in direct violation of his orders.
* In a somewhat unusual example, Suzaku from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' displays shades of this trope. Unusual since many consider him to be a ''villain'', because the main character is a NecessarilyEvil AntiHero / HeroAntagonist / DesignatedVillain (pick one) violently rebelling against TheEmpire that Suzaku has joined to attempt to induce legitimate social change.
** Prior to a certain event near the end of the first series ([[spoiler:Euphie's death]]), Suzaku follows this trope pretty closely despite working for the [[TheEmpire evil empire]]. He refuses to shoot his friend even when threatened with being shot himself if he doesn't, he stops pursuing his target in order to save endangered civilians, he always gives his targets a chance to surrender (even after [[ItsPersonal things get pesonal]]), and basically has to live as a TechnicalPacifist who's involved in killing tons of people. He also regularly risks himself to save others (although this is partially because he's a [[spoiler:DeathSeeker]]).
** Lelouch himself falls under this on one occasion: the chess match against Schneizel. Schneizel deliberately moves his king into check. Instead of accepting an immediate win, and in the process captivity of Suzaku, one of his biggest obstacles, Lelouch refuses the move. Schneizel notes that the Emperor would have immediately checkmated, and has just [[SecretTestOfCharacter learned the type of man the still masked Zero is]].
* Digimon has a few examples:
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', the main characters are capable of killing other Digimon without batting an eye, Kari and TK included. In the sequel anime, however, they make a big fuss about ''wounding'' a rampaging SkullGreymon that can ''very'' easily kill them.
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' there are two cases of this: Cody, who suffered an HeroicBSOD for ''lying'', and for a while considered himself worthless to the point of not being willing to be the one chosen to escape from a underwater base in order to save the others. The D-3 chosen children also showed the troupe when it came to the point of having to kill an actual digimon, which wasn't a problem for the [[Anime/DigimonAdventure previous chosen]].
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', this a definite, if not lampshaded, character trait of Ryo Akiyama.
* Though she knows she can't do it for everybody (and this fact does cost her quite a bit of her happiness), Mai Tokiha from ''Anime/MaiHime'' possesses an unshakable desire to protect her friends and her brother. She even wanted to find it in her heart to forgive a pair of her ''enemies'' (who wanted to turn her school into a pile of smoldering rubble), because she saw them happily singing together in a park one day and figured that even they deserved a chance at happiness.
* Subverted in (of all shows) ''Anime/TransformersArmada''. Faced with the choice of leaving his friend, Wheeljack, trapped in an inferno and going for help, or staying with him to the end, Hot Shot goes with the former, but is forced to abandon Wheeljack because his commander believed in TheNeedsOfTheMany over the principle of NoOneGetsLeftBehind, and refused to risk any more of his troops in the fire. Hot Shot defied his commander and tried to go back for Wheeljack, but by then the flames were too much for him to overcome. The decision is later regretted, out of both reasonable, genuine guilt, and the fact that Wheeljack survived, and did not...[[BestServedCold take abandonment very well]].
* Tendō Rushuna in ''Anime/{{Grenadier}}'' specifically fights to "remove an enemy's will to fight" [[ThouShaltNotKill without killing]], or if possible, without hurting them at all.
* In ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' it's more of a case of vengeance over reason, with Thorfinn risking life and limb to protect the man he wants to kill.
** More importantly is the way he always insists on doing the killing the 'honourable' way, in a one-on-one duel. Said man, who is more experienced, skilled at playing the younger man as a two-cent kazoo and far more CombatPragmatist [[spoiler:(and once was in the same position as Thorfinn; he assassinated his victim in his bed after spending two years worming himself into his graces)]], considers Thorfinn's methods to be a major case of WhatAnIdiot.
* Fate of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', who, despite the insistence of her superiors, stayed inside the BigBad's CollapsingLair to try and stop the SelfDestructMechanism during the third season finale because there were innocent people trapped inside. Not to mention the time she freed her WorthyOpponent from the clutches of a monster out of instinct... which promptly got her berated by MissionControl because she was supposed to capture her.
** The latter incident is similar to one time in the first season when Nanoha intervened against Lindy's orders to help Fate seal the six Jewel Seeds in the ocean, rather than wait until she was exhausted and vulnerable afterward to capture her, even giving her half the seeds. Thankfully, Fate had not collected enough seeds for her mother to reach Al-Hazard.
* Hikaru from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' invokes this directly in the first season during her fight with [[BrainwashedandCrazy Lafarga]]. When Umi implores her to use her magic to save her life, Hikaru replies that "The opponent is a swordsman. I won't use magic either," despite the fact that using her fire magic would have done the job in an instant.
* Despite the carnage that inevitably occurs around him, and his superhuman skill with a gun, Vash the Stampede from ''{{Trigun}}'' is absolutely determined never to kill anyone. This puts him in increasingly tighter positions as the series progresses, [[spoiler:until he has to choose between killing a villain with his own gun or allowing his friends to be killed. He shoots. Or maybe the villain forced Vash to shoot him with his mind control powers. It's plausible that he would rather just force Vash to kill him than see Vash maintain his no killing rule (even though it would have caused Vash great suffering from guilt). Vash himself might not even know which happened.]] Fortunately, Vash is practically the platonic ideal of ImprobableAimingSkills, and even towards the end, there's very little death that could have been resolved by him shooting to kill, [[spoiler: unless you count him not killing Knives a long time ago.]]
** Oh no, it was very clear that [[spoiler:Vash chose to pull the trigger. That was the whole point of Legato's plot -- he only used his powers to keep Vash from saving Meryl and Milly directly, forcing him to ''choose'' of his own will to pull the trigger. He could have chosen to let them die, instead he chose to kill Legato. It's fiendishly brilliant.]]
* Chibodee and George in ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' both lose their rematch to Domon because they showed their attacks to him beforehand, and he was able to learn moves to counter them.
** Sai Saici had a different version of this in his rematch with Domon. Even with his Gundam getting [[CurbStompBattle thrashed]] by Domon, he still kept fighting. It took the intervention of Neo-China's Emperor to prevent Sai Saici's death.
* The entire premise of ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'' is that Japan's government is so committed to honoring its post-WWII disarmament agreements, that when the planet is threatened by asteroids that used to be pieces of the moon, instead of arming itself with ballistic missiles to protect itself like most nations did they go to the ludicrous expense of creating HumongousMecha which can only be piloted by children who have certain qualities to destroy the rocks instead.
* LampshadeHanging: Both protagonist and antagonist fall victim to this line of thinking in ''{{Claymore}}''. An awakened being [[spoiler:Ophelia]] puts all of her vulnerable, human portions at her tail and challenges Claire to cut through the awakened being's body using her dangerous "Flash Sword" technique. As Claire begins the test of mettle, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "The fool, she could've just ignored me and aimed right for my tail." [[spoiler:Ophelia]] seems to slightly realize that she too is guilty of honor before reason since she agreed to put all of her vulnerable parts in one easy to target place. As she continues to berate Claire's foolishness, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "Wait, who am I talking about?"
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', LovableSexManiac Sanji is completely [[WouldntHitAGirl unwilling to hit a female]] for any reason whatsoever. This has very nearly cost him his life on more than one occasion, and he's been called out on it as well. Sanji is fully aware of this, but this rule is so ingrained in him that he can not and will not break it for anything.
** Sanji also straight up used this trope when, against the advice from his crewmates, gave food to starving and obviously evil pirates who then immediately attacked him. Sanji then said that he stood by his decision.
*** Because he [[spoiler:starved almost to death as a kid]] starving is something he literally does not wish on his worst enemy. No exceptions.
** Another Sanji example is his fight against Wanze; Despite being the strongest of the three (Franky, Usopp, and him), he opts to fight the relatively-weak Wanze due to his honor as a cook even though there are stronger agents ahead.
** Also Whitebeard, who'd do truly outrageous and insane things to protect his sons. He is however opposed to rushing in half-cocked, and makes sure to use strategy and not just brute force.
*** The rest of the crew counts as well, even if it's disobeying their father's wishes. [[spoiler: Imagine if they all jumped in to rescue Whitebeard from death?]]
** Nami's adoptive mom, Bellemere, essentially chose to be executed rather than disavow being Nami's mother. On the other hand, the doctor and Genzo point out afterward that their plan to send Nojiko and Nami out to sea to spare them from being discovered wouldn't have worked, as the fishmen had sunk all the boats, and Bellemere, having been a former Marine, ''knew'' it would have been impossible to resist the Fishmen, so it's likely Bellemere thought things through more than it seemed.
** Interestingly, despite being the main character, Luffy doesn't usually follow this trope to arbitrary levels. You couldn't ask for a truer friend, but he's made it clear that he does what ''he'' wants to do, and doesn't care if other people disapprove. He's also willing to break a promise if he gets angry enough.
** The mayor of the town Buggy is attacking in the Buggy arc tries to stand up to the pirates, prompting Luffy to punch him out. He later realizes that he was wrong and is grateful to Luffy for stopping him from throwing his life away.
** The dueling giants Dorry and Broggy are this UpToEleven. In short, according to their homeland traditions, if two warriors of Elbaf get into a dispute and neither will yield, they must fight, and the God of Elbaf grants victory to whoever is right. Fast forward 100 years, and these two guys are STILL FIGHTING. What's more, neither of them can remember what caused the argument in the first place; they still fight because its a manner of honor. [[spoiler: it was who caught the bigger fish.]] This is also why Dorry fights even when a bomb goes off in his stomach; he doesn't want to lose face and disgrace Broggy by quitting, and Broggy, even knowing that Dorry isn't at 100%, doesn't want to upset his friend by showing sympathy. Interestingly, even though they're determined to kill each other for petty reasons they can't recall, they're still best friends.
** KidSamurai Momonosuke is too proud to accept food even when he's almost skeletal with hunger [[spoiler: which saves him since he didn't eat the addictive, poisonous candy given to the other kids. He finally eats when sees his father give up his own pride]].
** Smoker would have chosen death over accepting help from a pirate in Hazard Punk if Tashigi hadn't reminded him they had subordinates and little kids to help.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Edward turns down the opportunity to take the Philosopher's Stone and run, despite it being the one thing he's been searching for for three years. He leaves it, because the doctor who has the stone used it to heal injuries and sicknesses in his town. Edward says that he didn't want to take away the town's life support, and if he achieved his objective at the cost of others, then it would leave a bitter aftertaste. His brother agrees.
** Also, even to save his friends, Edward finds himself unable to kill anybody, even his virtually immortal enemies. [[spoiler:He makes an exception for Father.]]
** Once the brothers discover the true source of a Philosopher's Stone ([[spoiler:human souls]]), they resolve to never use that means to get their bodies back to normal. [[spoiler:And in the end, they didn't have to.]]
** Late in the game, Al concedes to use the Stone during a fight with Kimblee, because he's helping to save humanity, not himself, and [[spoiler:the souls in the stone would probably want to fight for what's best for humanity as well]].
** In the finale, [[spoiler:Hohenheim, having exhausted his Philosopher's Stone, was down to his own soul and would likely die soon; he offers it up to save Alphonse, who had sacrificed his bond to his armor to give Edward his arm back and prevent Father from turning him into another Stone. Edward turns it down, because the brothers believed that, as it's their own fault for losing their bodies, they won't have anyone pay for their mistake, even their own father. Probably a good thing, though, because there's a chance that Hohenheim would have ended up [[AndIMustScream stuck in the Gate]]]].
** A rare villain example in the form of Kimblee. As despicable as he seems, he still has his code of honor which he never breaks [[spoiler:even to save his own life, or at least keep his soul from fading away.]] Had Kimblee simply stood by as Pride [[spoiler: attempted to [[GrandTheftMe steal Ed's body]] when his own was disentegrating]], he might have even been able to reassert his own consciousness over Pride's at a later point.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** [[TheHero Ichigo]] believes in fighting his way. He won't let his hollow get in the way of that, even if disadvantages him to do so. His hollow taking over allowed him to not only survive Byakuya's killing blow, but to gain the upper hand and badly wound Byakuya. Upon regaining control, Ichigo apologised to Byakuya and asked if they could start the fight over. It was the first time Byakuya realised Ichigo had a lot more honour to him than he'd realised and, fortunately for Ichigo, he agreed.
** Ichigo displayed this trait again against Ulquiorra. Ichigo, at the verge of death, was so completely taken over by his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide hollow]] that he lost all reason and not only overwhelmed Ulquiorra with raw power, but even stabbed Uryuu for trying to calm him down. When Ichigo regains control, and sees what he's done to both Ulquiorra and Uryuu, he insists that the only way he'll continue fighting Ulquiorra is if he's given the same injuries in compensation. ''This means chopping off an arm and a leg''. [[spoiler: Ulquiorra's too far gone, however, and dies before Ichigo can carry through his vow.]] It's especially bad because Ulquiorra has very clearly displayed that he can easily regenerate limbs. The fight would be even again if Ichigo just stood by and allowed him to heal up a bit naturally so the offer to have his own limbs cut off is exceptionally irrational.
** Ikkaku has vowed to fight and die under Kenpachi's command. To this end he'll even throw a fight to avoid revealing how powerful he really is, just in case the truth puts him under pressure to work towards becoming a captain of another squad. Called out on this by Iba who told him he's not as expendable as he thinks he is, he should be working to get stronger, and he should never put personal pride before his shinigami duty.
** Yumichika is so determined to remain a subordinate of both Kenpachi and Ikkaku, and so determined to uphold the squad's kidou-hating, direct combat-loving philosophy, that he hides his power and would prefer to die than reveal the truth in public. Ikkaku may only be hiding bankai, but Yumichika's even hiding his ''shikai'' thanks to his power being kidou-based. This means he has to fight his battles on HeroicResolve alone.
** Ukitake placed so much value on honour that he ignored his own misgivings and allowed Kaien to avenge his murdered wife. When Kaien requested Ukitake and Rukia stay out of the fight no matter way, Ukitake agreed and explained to Rukia that there was a difference between a fight for life and a fight for pride. Unfortunately, the culprit wasn't a normal hollow and had a special ability that proved Kaien's undoing.
** Subverted with Kyouraku. He's a devoted CombatPragmatist and lectures other captains that idealistic fighting is a distraction captains can't afford when in battle. Kyouraku and Ukitake are acknowledged as the greatest partnership in the Gotei 13, and it's made clear that while one side of the partnership plays this trope painfully straight, the other blows it to hell.
** Yamamoto lost his left arm in the battle against Aizen. Afterwards, he chooses to leave it as it is, even though [[HealingHands Orihime]] would easily be able to restore it. He says he didn't think it would be right to ask a human for help in a matter that should have only involved shinigami. [[spoiler:Yhwach mocks him for this attitude, pointing out that if he still had both arms, he might have stood a chance against him, before killing Yamamoto.]]
** Cang Du believes that people with bonds in life should go TogetherInDeath. He'll even go to the trouble of knocking enemies out and dragging them to their comrades so he can kill them at the same time. He also said it didn't feel right to attack Hitsugaya with his own Bankai, even though he doesn't believe Bankai have wills and souls of their own.
* [[ActionGirl 2nd Lt.]] [[Anime/PumpkinScissors Alice L. Malvin]] has made it her mission to help people and to repair the damage done to her nation by the recent war. This means that she will not hesitate to call out ''anyone'' who she sees as contributing to or aggravating that damage, up to and including TheEmperor of her own country, regardless of how capable they might be of physically or politically squashing her like a bug.
* Naja of ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'' is guilty of this on several occasions, most notably when he and Lia escape from a sand submersible working together with the World Destruction Committee. After surfacing and reaching land, he has the chance to arrest them on the spot, but opts to let them go (much to Lia's frustration). After all, they had a deal.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** Josuke Higashikata is the poster child of this trope. In a series where AnyoneCanDie he holds the distinction of having not killed a single human, despite the deaths of people around him, including his grandfather early on! Of course, that's just [[TechnicalPacifist not taking their life...]]
** In the Part 7, Steel Ball Run, Ringo Roadagain is determined to make sure that not only is he aware of everything that could play a role in a duel; he wants his opponent to be likewise aware. There's actually a good reason for this--those duels are to help purify his spirit of uncertainty. If neither side has an advantage (and before you ask, although Mandom's good at [[GroundhogDayLoop saving Ringo's neck,]] it gives his opponent the same capacity to avoid Ringo's attacks), then he can be sure that his victories were genuinely deserved.
* Tenma in ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', although he distinctly cares about the "right thing" rather than any type of personal honor.
* Theoretically this can be applied to the Dai-Gurren team in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' because they tend to put ''[[HotBlooded everything]]'' before reason. Viral especially which is why he can [[BeyondTheImpossible break physical laws and do the impossible.]]
** Viral also provides a couple of more straight examples. First he allows Team Gurren to [[PleasePutSomeClothesOn get dressed]] before a fight. Later he refuses an order to attack Simon because his commander is threatening to kill Yoko if Simon defends himself.
* Red from ''PokemonSpecial'' is subject to this as part of his firm belief that it's not a victory if your opponent is at a disadvantage. This has led to a few minor WhatAnIdiot moments, but even though this series is [[DarkerAndEdgier grittier]] than the anime, it's still an idealistic shonen, so it rarely bites him in the butt.
** Dia also shows shades of this, wanting to stop Team Galactic even though he's just a kid.
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple''. The series oozes this: even the antagonists, none of whom are even remotely nice people, will abide by the rules of martial arts--which is to say, even though they all want the main character either dead or on their side, none of them will go ahead and kill him, despite having many chances to do so. The title character himself, meanwhile, has a strict set of beliefs that he ''will not break,'' regardless of how much sense they make to others. It's completely [[BadAss awesome,]] of course.
** As long as the antagonists from Yami/YOMI are concerned, this is not so much "Honor Before Reason" as much as it is their, as they call it, "pride as martial artists". They want to prove that ''their'' way of doing martial arts is the only proper way. If you want to prove that your kung-fu is better, than you have to defeat the enemy by using kung-fu, otherwise you haven't proven anything.
*** This extends so far that the ones who are defeated will ''willingly'' rot in prison once defeated even though it's clearly displayed they can enter and leave at will.
* In ''HajimeNoIppo'', World Champion David Eagle is unwilling to exploit Takamuras bleeding wound by targeting it, possibly giving him a TKO win. Any normal boxer would have done so, and Takamura himself does without hestitation. However, this also has to do with Eagle wanting to fight his opponent on the same level, in order to push himself further.
* Rock Lee of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' nearly destroys his own life to defend his Nindo. Fortunately, [[spoiler:there were HealingHands available]].
** The whole reason for Naruto trying to help and redeem Sasuke can be summed up as this: he must stand by his word to save his friend, however despicable his friend's actions and motives.
* ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''- Shu always does the right thing, no matter the consequences. Stupid perhaps, but considering the [[DeathWorld impossibly bleak setting]] of the series it's difficult not to cheer him on. [[DecoyProtagonist While he doesn't achieve much on his own]], his idealism causes others to question their actions and [maybe] regain their hope for the future.
* Jin from ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo''. A running plot-line of the series is the fact that his fellow disciples are trying to avenge the death of their master by killing Jin. Actually [[spoiler: Jin's Master was forced to kill Jin during the night by the BigBad because of Jin's defiance against turning their samurai school into an assassin school/guild. Jin merely killed him in self-defense. If Jin simply told the others this, it would save him a lot of trouble. It would also disgrace the name of their master and school so he takes full blame.]]
* ''Pokemon Chronicles'' was a SpinOff of the original anime where each episode provided ADayInTheLimelight moments to many of the show's secondary characters. One episode centred around Ash's friendly rival Richie, who met an older trainer named Silver who dreamed of catching a Moltres. Unfortunately, Team Rocket tried to kidnap the Moltres, and Richie and Silver had to team up to rescue it. They succeeded, but Moltres was injured and exhausted from what Team Rocket did to it. Silver knew he could have captured Moltres easily but he chose to let it go. He wanted to [[EarnYourHappyEnding catch Moltres fairly]], beating it in an honest fight.
** Though in a way, this ''can'' qualify as reasonable. Catching a legendary Pokemon in such a weakened state creates the very real possibility of ending up with a Pokemon well beyond your ability to control once its healed, and taking advantage of its moment of weakness sounds like a fantastic way of ruining any goodwill you had just earned from it.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': [[TheLancer Kazuma]] [[RatedMForManly Kuwabara]] is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. He [[HotBlooded loudly]] declines his teammates' offers to keep him from dying, insisting that men fight their own battles, and later, after whupping a kid who nearly killed him and his {{Muggle}} friends, Kuwabara opts to save the kid's life by dragging not only his unconscious body, but the body all three of his friends to a hospital despite sustaining heavy injuries himself.
* In the original version of episode 2 of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Pegasus points out that Yugi could have won at one point. Yugi explains that he couldn't let the match end while his monster was under Pegasus' control. Pegasus calls him a fool.
** In the virtual world arc, Ooka/Johnson was caught cheating by Noa/Noah and Jonouchi/Joey would have won by default. However, Jonouchi insisted on finishing the duel. Never mind the fact that a. Jonouchi already had a huge disadvantage (no cards in his hand and no monsters on the field. And more importantly, they were dueling for their lifes as the loser would be trapped in the virtual world forever. [[LampshadeHanging Even Yugi and Anzu/Tea wondered what Jonouchi was thinking.]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'':
** Johan/Jessie from refuses to use cards that destroy opponent monsters with effects, claiming that such a strategy is too simple and boring.
** In the episode where Judai duels Society of Light member Kanda, who uses a game show deck (his cards force the opponent to answer questions correctly or else lose their monsters and take damage). For the final question, Judai remembers that his opponent gave the answer to it earlier that day. The opponent goes OhCrap, but Judai purposely fudges the answer, saying he won't answer because it wouldn't be fair, and takes the damage. Sure, Judai wins anyway, but it was still pretty dumb, considering the [[{{Brainwashed}} consequences]] if he had lost to a member of the Society of Light.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'':
** Jack throws Stardust Dragon, which he stole from Yusei two years before, at Yusei and say he can have it back. But Yusei throws it back at him because he wants to win Stardust Dragon back in a duel.
** Subverted later, when Yusei is forced to enter the Fortune Cup, since his friends are kidnapped by the organizers, and the only way to save them is reaching the final of the tournament. Jack gives Stardust Dragon back to Yusei, so Yusei wouldn't lose there, and Yusei accepts.
** In a partial example, during Yusei's first duel with Aki, he tunes together Junk Warrior and Junk Synchron to summon Stardust Dragon and attacks with it. Rua asked what he was thinking, since Junk Warrior had more ATK points at the time and would have dealt more damage. However, while Yusei did want to win, he also wanted to save Aki from her inner darkness, and knew an attack by Stardust Dragon would resonate with her more.
** Crow loans Jack the card Trust Guardian, which has a very useful effect. In his next few duels, when he draws it, he refuses to play it, both because he and Crow got into an argument and because it looks cute, which made it look out of place with the rest of his big, tough, and grotesque monsters. After losing a duel that in hindsight he would have easily won if he had played it, Jack realizes he was being foolish and starts playing it.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', [[NobleDemon Mizael]], one of the Seven Barian Emperors was big on this. When he and his fellow Barians Vector and Durbe confront Yuma, Shark, and Kaito on the Sargasso battlefield, he refused to use the "Sargasso's Lighthouse" card that his two allies were using (which would have protected him from the Sargasso's detrimental effects) calling it a "coward's card" and preferring a battle against Kaito on truly equal terms.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'':
** Reiji uses several cards that inflict damage to himself each turn. In their duel, Yuya is in a position where if he just ends his turn, Reiji will take 4,000 damage and lose, but he hesitates. When he finally does end his turn, Reiji quickly plays a card that mitigates the damage. Yuya says he's glad because it wouldn't have felt right to win that way instead of with his own cards and strategies.
** Yuya needs to win four matches in a row to qualify for a tournament. The Maiami City Committee say they are impressed by his earlier matches and offer to let him in right away, but he says it wouldn't be right and does the four matches.
** Serena absolutely refuses to back down from a fight, even when hopelessly outnumbered and when Yuya begs her to take the small boy Reira to safety while he holds the mooks off.
* Great General of Darkness of ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' is this. He lives to bring his people to a better life have a battle against Tetsuya, who have become his mutual WorthyOpponent.
** Tetsuya mention this in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha''. He mentioned how Great General of Darkness is just a honorable warrior that took the wrong path.
* Examples from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' and its sister show ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'':
** When Mikoto Misaka learns that her clones that she loves like sisters are being slaughtered by Accelerator, she considers the affair her problem and tries to solve it on her own, not telling anybody about it. When she realizes that she can't beat Accelerator, she decides her only option is a HeroicSacrifice. When Touma Kamijou finds out, he calls her out on being too proud to ask for help and solves the problem by kicking Accelerator's ass.
** Touma Kamijou has ChronicHeroSyndrome and absolutely refuses to ignore or abandon anybody in trouble, no matter how injured he is or how powerful the foe. It is later pointed out that he also has a problem with asking others for help, which he later grows out of.
** Gunha Sogiita has SuperSpeed and the ability to teleport, yet he always announces his presence and refuses to ambush or attack from behind. He claims that a true warrior always takes his opponents head-on and does not use dirty tricks. Ironically, this is part of the reason why [[ApathyKilledTheCat he sees no reason to learn and improve himself]].
** Index insists that dealing with enemy mages is her responsibility and not Touma's. She ignores Touma's arguments that he is better suited to fight them.
** Leivinia Birdway carries an antique flintlock pistol that only has one shot and takes a long time to load (she typically uses it to finish off a downed opponent). She doesn't use modern guns because of her contempt for science and because flintlock pistols are cooler.
** Princess Vilian is an ActualPacifist, and as a result refuses to learn how to use magic because it can potentially be used to fight.
* Eita Touga of ''Manga/TwelveBeast'' frequently advocates running away from the giant, city destroying war-machine. War Leader Jawea and the Harpies choose to stay and fight, to protect their tribe's honour. Less egregious than other examples as fleeing would leave over half the tribe--the elderly, young, and flightless--behind.
* In Anime/VoltesV, TheDragon continues to fight the Voltes team in the last episode, even though it is obvious his side is about to lose. The only reason for doing so is that he is a noble.
* In ''LightNovel/MadanNoOuToVanadis'', the ''entire nation'' of Brune will only fight with swords and thinks that people who use bows are sissies and thus have no honor. The protagonist (an improbably skilled archer) politely thinks they're idiots.
** That's not the best example in the series though, oh no. The best example is the protagonist's ChildhoodFriend and {{Meido}} (of the non-battle variety) staying in the protagonist's mansion when an invading army ransacks the town, only starting to flee when the enemy general enters the mansion and announces his intention to rape her. Why? ''Because the protagonist told her to watch the house''.
* ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'' has our protagonists, long been obsessed with survival and avoiding fights with [[NotUsingTheZWord "them"]] wherever possible, decide to brave an entire ''horde'' of them to save a 7-year-old girl. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome In a rare example of honour winning over reason]], ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oPjhrV8HjM they were successful]]''.
-->''"[[PunctuatedForEmphasis IT'S. A. LITTLE. GIRL.]]"''
* When Train confronts Shiki near the end of ''Anime/BlackCat'', just before his final battle with Creed, he has, depending on whether it's the manga or the anime, either the ability to fire one last nanomachine-powered railgun shot for the day or an [[AppliedPhlebotinum Orichalcum bullet]] that can pierce any object. Just before the fight actually starts, he ends up firing it into the sky instead, just to show that he doesn't need it to beat Shiki ''or'' Creed.

to:

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
[[folder:Fan Works]]
* If you just want the short version, ''every anime and manga ever made has at least one of these guys.'' Or, if you have time, please read on.
* One
In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the main defining characteristics of ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'', no matter which of the [[ContinuitySnarl many, many different versions]] you recognize. His EstablishingCharacterMoment Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for the very first episode of the first anime is coming to Earth to visit a little girl's birthday party like he promised... "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite being considered Public Enemy #1 by [[VichyEarth the corrupt government]].
** Essential to the TwistEnding of "Endless Odyssesy": [[spoiler: Harlock promises early into the series that he will help Tadashi Daiba succeed in his vow to kill the man who murdered his father, commenting on his belief that a man cannot break a promise
Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and anyone who would break a promise or an oath is not a man. After Nu is defeated, he then reveals that ''he'' was the one who killed Daiba's father, as he had promised to do so if Tsuyoshi Daiba gave in to his hunger for knowledge and betrayed humanity to Nu. He repeats what Tsuyoshi's spirit had earlier revealed to Tadashi, that he has vowed to Tsuyoshi to kill Tadashi if he [[IWantToBeARealMan cannot become a man]], and firmly declares that Tadashi either kill him or be shot down.]]
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'':
** Inuyasha will not run or hide from a fight, even if caught in his powerless [[BroughtDownToNormal human form]]. The anime expands
Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this to explore how Inuyasha and Kikyou first met. When Kikyou demands to know why he didn't attack her when she was too injured to fight back, he explains he doesn't play dirty.
** Sesshoumaru will fight his opponents head on, even when severely [[BroughtDownToBadass de-powered]]. He inflicts a DieOrFly test on Inuyasha to prove Inuyasha's ready for Meidou Zangetsuha, promising he'll give up both swords if it works. Badly injured, Inuyasha succeeds, Sesshoumaru keeps his promise, and Naraku ambushes Inuyasha
with Tenseiga. Sesshoumaru dives into the meidou to save Inuyasha, destroying Tenseiga and also his ability to escape the meidou. When Inuyasha notices, Sesshoumaru says saving them is up to Inuyasha now, prompting Inuyasha to realise he's been given Meidou Zangetsuha.
* In ''Anime/SpeedGrapher'', Saiga relentlessly protects Kagura from Suitengu and the members of the secret underground club of the rich and elite of Japan, against the advice and protests of his friends Ginza and [[PetHomosexual Bob]], who believe throughout the series that he should simply leave her to her fate. Saiga is willing to die in order to allow Kagura a chance of happiness, and in the end [[spoiler:goes blind while saving her.]]
* The heroes of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' follow this trope to a tee. Surprisingly enough, even the heartless SocialDarwinist villain Shishio Makoto follows this trope, threatening to kill his scheming right-hand man, Houji, who proposed a cowardly assault on the loved ones of the heroes while they dueled his lord; for such behavior is, to quote Shishio himself, "Against the Way of the Warrior." They then do it anyway after Shishio lies to the Juppongatana about a supposed infraction Houji had committed that had put them in danger, as a way to put Houji on the spot and force him to prove the strength of his devotion, with Houji's resultant display of loyalty and committment impressing Shishio sufficiently that he claims the idea as his own.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Son Goku's seemingly illogical and insane [[FriendToAllLivingThings unconditional love for life]] and his ability to forgive '''anyone''' has allowed him to turn the dozens of monsters, madmen, and murderers that he has fought throughout the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' saga (with the unfortunate exception of Frieza, Dr. Gero and Cell) into heroes.
** Another infamous example is when Goku gives Cell a Senzu bean to fully heal himself so that he can fight Goku's son Gohan at full strength. He was confident in his son's strength and he is partially impaired by his Saiyan genes. What he did to Frieza on the other hand...
** The whole scene near the end of the Buu arc where Goku is refusing to throw the Genki Dama because Vegeta's in the way must qualify for this. He's holding back an attack with enough power to destroy the final BigBad because it would kill Vegeta too. Forget that not throwing the attack would doom the entire universe ''including'' that one person he's trying to spare.
** While generally a CombatPragmatist, Future Trunks falls into this at least once during the Cell Saga. After Cell becomes perfect, Trunks deliberately stands back and watches while Vegeta is getting his ass kicked because he knows Vegeta is too prideful to want his help, despite Krillin literally ''begging'' him to do something, as well as
the fact that Vegeta's pride is ''exactly'' why Cell was able to become perfect in the first place. He only steps in to fight after Vegeta is beaten unconscious.
* Played straight with Kira Yamato, the protagonist of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]''. He realizes that although stopping one's enemies without murdering them may be difficult, but doing otherwise would breed more hatred and thus not bring an end to war. [[JustifiedTrope Of course,]] [[ImprobableAimingSkills his aim is so good]] [[BeamSpam and his arsenal so large]] [[TheAce that against anything other than a top ace]] [[MartialPacifist the fact that he shoots to disable rather than destroy]] [[OneManArmy really makes no difference at all.]]
** In the sequel series he takes this to ridiculous levels, allowing himself to be defeated losing his mecha and seriously risking his own death rather than allow his side to wipe out an enemy force instead
Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they try expected her to outrun and only disable and shoot near misses. He also beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin
refuses to hold a grudge and kill enemy pilot Shinn Asuka when the guy has nearly killed him and killed countless pilots on his side and it's clear the man as a very nasty vendetta against him.
** Played equally straight, previously, with Shiro Amada of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam '', who believed in killing only as an absolute last resort,
wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite being the commander of a mobile suit unit.
*** And the fact that Zeon ''gassed his home colony in front of him during the first week of the gas'' doesn't change his mind about this. They're a reason why people laughed in his face when talking about this.
** Both these instances can be traced back to Judau Ashta from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' who began acting like this about the same time they touched down on Earth and the show started GrowingTheBeard, simply because he couldn't handle any more death. Sometimes it actually worked, such as with Masai and Puru 2. However, it usually failed miserably (the death of the entire Blue Team, Rommel, [[spoiler:Chara Soon]], and Haman). At the end of the series, having born witness to the Federation dragging its heels before mobilizing a fleet to defeat Neo Zeon and showing up after the battle was over, he was at the breaking point. To let him blow off steam, Bright let Judau deck him in the face... [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome something awesome for both of them.]]
** Then there's Char Aznable in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'', who purposefully leaked the specs for the cutting-edge Psycoframe system, knowing that Amuro would get it and have it built into his next Gundam. The reason he did this was because he thought there would be no point in defeating Amuro if he and Amuro weren't evenly-matched in the battle.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', Wufei tracks down Treize Khushrenada in an attempt to kill him to prevent him from taking control of the Earth Sphere Alliance. However, instead of blowing Treize to smithereens with his Gundam, Wufei accepts a challenge to a sword duel from Treize which he loses. Treize reciprocates Wufei's earlier gesture of honor and allows him to leave in his Gundam rather than seizing the state-of-the-art machine for study or reverse-engineering. Wufei departs--again passing up the perfectly good chance to eliminate the would-be dictator with superior firepower.
** Played as a major defining character trait for Zechs Merquise. He won't defeat an opponent if it not a fair fight. This translates to, he can disarm them in mid-combat, then spare them because they are no longer armed with a weapon. His need to be honorable certainly seems to cloud any sense of priority, as he will give his rival a powerful and destructive Gundam, just so they can have a fair duel, while in the middle of a war.
** In ''Endless Waltz'', Zechs, Noin, and the Wing boys also do this. After they defeat hundreds of enemy mobile suits without killing a single soldier, Quatre comments that if they were fighting to kill, they could have blown through the Mariemeia Army far more easily, but then there would have been no point to their intervention.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', Graham Aker is the embodiment of this trope. "Sounds reasonable! Too bad I'm an unreasonable man!!!".
*** Especially pronounced in the second season where he and Setsuna are duelling over an ocean. Setsuna's Gundam malfunctions in the middle of the fight and Graham leaves him be because he can't see any value in defeating a disabled opponent.
* In ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', the titular character's suicidal devotion to Nagi and ''every'' person that needs his help often falls into this. Plus, the fact he [[SocialServicesDoesNotExist never called social services]] on his deadbeat parents (who are either heartless, brainless, or both) as a child speaks volumes about his kind character.
** Becomes downplayed though the course of the series due to how [[KnightInSourArmor cynical]] he has become thanks to his horrid childhood.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' would be considerably less funny [[PillarsOfMoralCharacter without this]]. It also would've been much much shorter.
** This can actually be considered an element of Ranma's fighting style; whenever challenged to one of the various {{Martial Arts and Crafts}}, he always has to {{Beat Them at Their Own Game}}, even if he has only a minimum amount of time to pick up the rules and despite the fact he's usually going against a champion of that style. During the Martial Arts Dining arc; despite the fact Ranma is clearly starving, s/he insists that s/he will only eat what s/he ''earns'' from the table/arena. In the anime, at least, s/he even goes so far as to turn down Akane when she offers her fiancé some smuggled food. This almost results in Ranma losing the contest when his/her frantic efforts at both fighting and thinking up counters burn out what little energy s/he has left.
** Nodoka Saotome and her {{Seppuku}} pledge is a rather darkly humorous take on this, seeing as how the so-called "pledge" is ambiguous as all hell (It was that Ranma would grow up to be 'manly'). While the series' heavy reliance on RuleOfFunny ultimately leaves the audience [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt too skeptical to believe the threat would ever REALLY be carried out,]] all the evidence in the series is that, if Ranma thought he had sufficiently disappointed his mother, ''he would go through with it''. This is despite the fact that Ranma was about a year old when he 'agreed' to it.
** One thing that often gets over looked is that Ranma's father Genma, despite being a DirtyCoward, has come up with two super-powered techniques which he ''never'' uses simply because he vowed not to. He holds to this even when he's getting beaten senseless and could easily wipe the floor with his attacker if he broke them out. He'd also submit to the Seppuku thing if he was called on it (of course, in typical Genma fashion, the trick is arranging matters so that he never does actually get called on it). Honour is a finely tuned thing.
* The only way to cure Kibagami Jubei, the hero of the {{anime}} classic ''Anime/NinjaScroll'', of the slow-acting poison in his body was to take a Girl Ninja whose own body's potent poison would destroy the comparatively weaker venom in the process. But knowing that this would obliterate what little was left of her sense of self-worth, already shredded by the fact no man dares to touch her, Jubei instead refused her offer and walked off like a gentleman, into certain death.
** Well, he ''does'' [[TakingAThirdOption kiss her.]]
* Negi Springfield of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima!'', in spite of being a talented young warrior, is so kind-hearted he even offered mercy to a Demon Lord ''who destroyed his village and crippled his sister.'' His kindness and merciful nature has almost cost him his life on more than one occasion.
** He tends to show mercy when he perceives an unvoiced IfIWantedYouDead subtext -- he's just painfully ready to see those. He also benefits more from showing mercy than he would from finishing enemies of the week off. For example, the Demon Lord (who was just a summoned lackey anyway) dropped on its way back home the second hint so far that the village massacre did no truly ''permanent'' harm to anybody... except emotionally, if Negi ''let'' it...
* In ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' Millia insists that Max shoot to disable Zentradi battlepods to simply put them out of action instead of simply killing them to show that the Terrans are serious about wanting peace. Even though this could be seen as completely insane considering the Zentradi finally decided to fight full out to destroy the ship, Hikaru Ichijo learns what his wingmates are doing and joins this act of mercy along with other pilots despite the dire situation. As it turns out, that gesture saves the ship because the many of the Zentrani forces, already becoming enthralled with Terran culture, learn what about the Humans' mercy and decide to mutiny throughout the fleet to stop the fight. Commander Breetai is horrified at that unprecedented insubordination and ordered an immediate ceasefire in direct violation of his orders.
* In a somewhat unusual example, Suzaku from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' displays shades of this trope. Unusual since many consider him to be a ''villain'', because the main character is a NecessarilyEvil AntiHero / HeroAntagonist / DesignatedVillain (pick one) violently rebelling against TheEmpire that Suzaku has joined to attempt to induce legitimate social change.
** Prior to a certain event near the end of the first series ([[spoiler:Euphie's death]]), Suzaku follows this trope pretty closely despite working for the [[TheEmpire evil empire]]. He refuses to shoot his friend even when threatened with being shot himself if he doesn't, he stops pursuing his target in order to save endangered civilians, he always gives his targets a chance to surrender (even after [[ItsPersonal things get pesonal]]), and basically has to live as a TechnicalPacifist who's involved in killing tons of people. He also regularly risks himself to save others (although this is partially because he's a [[spoiler:DeathSeeker]]).
** Lelouch himself falls under this on one occasion: the chess match against Schneizel. Schneizel deliberately moves his king into check. Instead of accepting an immediate win, and in the process captivity of Suzaku, one of his biggest obstacles, Lelouch refuses the move. Schneizel notes that the Emperor would have immediately checkmated, and has just [[SecretTestOfCharacter learned the type of man the still masked Zero is]].
* Digimon has a few examples:
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', the main characters are capable of killing other Digimon without batting an eye, Kari and TK included. In the sequel anime, however, they make a big fuss about ''wounding'' a rampaging SkullGreymon that can ''very'' easily kill them.
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' there are two cases of this: Cody, who suffered an HeroicBSOD for ''lying'', and for a while considered himself worthless to the point of not being willing to be the one chosen to escape from a underwater base in order to save the others. The D-3 chosen children also showed the troupe when it came to the point of having to kill an actual digimon, which wasn't a problem for the [[Anime/DigimonAdventure previous chosen]].
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', this a definite, if not lampshaded, character trait of Ryo Akiyama.
* Though she knows she can't do it for everybody (and this fact does cost her quite a bit of her happiness), Mai Tokiha from ''Anime/MaiHime'' possesses an unshakable desire to protect her friends and her brother. She even wanted to find it in her heart to forgive a pair of her ''enemies'' (who wanted to turn her school into a pile of smoldering rubble), because she saw them happily singing together in a park one day and figured that even they deserved a chance at happiness.
* Subverted in (of all shows) ''Anime/TransformersArmada''. Faced with the choice of leaving his friend, Wheeljack, trapped in an inferno and going for help, or staying with him to the end, Hot Shot goes with the former, but is forced to abandon Wheeljack because his commander believed in TheNeedsOfTheMany over the principle of NoOneGetsLeftBehind, and refused to risk any more of his troops in the fire. Hot Shot defied his commander and tried to go back for Wheeljack, but by then the flames were too much for him to overcome. The decision is later regretted, out of both reasonable, genuine guilt, and the fact that Wheeljack survived, and did not...[[BestServedCold take abandonment very well]].
* Tendō Rushuna in ''Anime/{{Grenadier}}'' specifically fights to "remove an enemy's will to fight" [[ThouShaltNotKill without killing]], or if possible, without hurting them at all.
* In ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' it's more of a case of vengeance over reason, with Thorfinn risking life and limb to protect the man he wants to kill.
** More importantly is the way he always insists on doing the killing the 'honourable' way, in a one-on-one duel. Said man, who is more experienced, skilled at playing the younger man as a two-cent kazoo and far more CombatPragmatist [[spoiler:(and once was in the same position as Thorfinn; he assassinated his victim in his bed after spending two years worming himself into his graces)]], considers Thorfinn's methods to be a major case of WhatAnIdiot.
* Fate of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', who, despite the insistence of her superiors, stayed inside the BigBad's CollapsingLair to try and stop the SelfDestructMechanism during the third season finale because there were innocent people trapped inside. Not to mention the time she freed her WorthyOpponent from the clutches of a monster out of instinct... which promptly got her berated by MissionControl because she was supposed to capture her.
** The latter incident is similar to one time in the first season when Nanoha intervened against Lindy's orders to help Fate seal the six Jewel Seeds in the ocean, rather than wait until she was exhausted and vulnerable afterward to capture her, even giving her half the seeds. Thankfully, Fate had not collected enough seeds for her mother to reach Al-Hazard.
* Hikaru from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' invokes this directly in the first season during her fight with [[BrainwashedandCrazy Lafarga]]. When Umi implores her to use her magic to save her life, Hikaru replies that "The opponent is a swordsman. I won't use magic either," despite the fact that using her fire magic would have done the job in an instant.
* Despite the carnage that inevitably occurs around him, and his superhuman skill with a gun, Vash the Stampede from ''{{Trigun}}'' is absolutely determined never to kill anyone. This puts him in increasingly tighter positions as the series progresses, [[spoiler:until he has to choose between killing a villain with his own gun or allowing his friends to be killed. He shoots. Or maybe the villain forced Vash to shoot him with his mind control powers. It's plausible that he would rather just force Vash to kill him than see Vash maintain his no killing rule (even though it would have caused Vash great suffering from guilt). Vash himself might not even know which happened.]] Fortunately, Vash is practically the platonic ideal of ImprobableAimingSkills, and even towards the end, there's very little death that could have been resolved by him shooting to kill, [[spoiler: unless you count him not killing Knives a long time ago.]]
** Oh no, it was very clear that [[spoiler:Vash chose to pull the trigger. That was the whole point of Legato's plot -- he only used his powers to keep Vash from saving Meryl and Milly directly, forcing him to ''choose'' of his own will to pull the trigger. He could have chosen to let them die, instead he chose to kill Legato. It's fiendishly brilliant.]]
* Chibodee and George in ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' both lose their rematch to Domon because they showed their attacks to him beforehand, and he was able to learn moves to counter them.
** Sai Saici had a different version of this in his rematch with Domon. Even with his Gundam getting [[CurbStompBattle thrashed]] by Domon, he still kept fighting. It took the intervention of Neo-China's Emperor to prevent Sai Saici's death.
* The entire premise of ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'' is that Japan's government is so committed to honoring its post-WWII disarmament agreements, that when the planet is threatened by asteroids that used to be pieces of the moon, instead of arming itself with ballistic missiles to protect itself like most nations did they go to the ludicrous expense of creating HumongousMecha which can only be piloted by children who have certain qualities to destroy the rocks instead.
* LampshadeHanging: Both protagonist and antagonist fall victim to this line of thinking in ''{{Claymore}}''. An awakened being [[spoiler:Ophelia]] puts all of her vulnerable, human portions at her tail and challenges Claire to cut through the awakened being's body using her dangerous "Flash Sword" technique. As Claire begins the test of mettle, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "The fool, she could've just ignored me and aimed right for my tail." [[spoiler:Ophelia]] seems to slightly realize that she too is guilty of honor before reason since she agreed to put all of her vulnerable parts in one easy to target place. As she continues to berate Claire's foolishness, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "Wait, who am I talking about?"
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', LovableSexManiac Sanji is completely [[WouldntHitAGirl unwilling to hit a female]] for any reason whatsoever. This has very nearly cost him his life on more than one occasion, and he's been called out on it as well. Sanji is fully aware of this, but this rule is so ingrained in him that he can not and will not break it for anything.
** Sanji also straight up used this trope when, against the advice from his crewmates, gave food to starving and obviously evil pirates who then immediately attacked him. Sanji then said that he stood by his decision.
*** Because he [[spoiler:starved almost to death as a kid]] starving is something he literally does not wish on his worst enemy. No exceptions.
** Another Sanji example is his fight against Wanze; Despite being the strongest of the three (Franky, Usopp, and him), he opts to fight the relatively-weak Wanze due to his honor as a cook even though there are stronger agents ahead.
** Also Whitebeard, who'd do truly outrageous and insane things to protect his sons. He is however opposed to rushing in half-cocked, and makes sure to use strategy and not just brute force.
*** The rest of the crew counts as well, even if it's disobeying their father's wishes. [[spoiler: Imagine if they all jumped in to rescue Whitebeard from death?]]
** Nami's adoptive mom, Bellemere, essentially chose to be executed rather than disavow being Nami's mother. On the other hand, the doctor and Genzo point out afterward that their plan to send Nojiko and Nami out to sea to spare them from being discovered wouldn't have worked, as the fishmen had sunk all the boats, and Bellemere,
having been a former Marine, ''knew'' it would have been impossible stripped naked and left to resist the Fishmen, so it's likely Bellemere thought things through more than it seemed.
** Interestingly, despite being the main character, Luffy doesn't usually follow this trope to arbitrary levels. You couldn't ask
fend for a truer friend, but he's made it clear that he does what ''he'' wants to do, and doesn't care if other people disapprove. He's also willing to break a promise if he gets angry enough.
** The mayor of the town Buggy is attacking
herself in the Buggy arc tries forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to stand up to the pirates, prompting Luffy to punch him out. He later realizes that he was wrong and is grateful to Luffy for stopping him from throwing his life away.
** The dueling giants Dorry and Broggy are this UpToEleven. In short, according to their homeland traditions, if two warriors of Elbaf get into
take Ino on a dispute and neither will yield, they must fight, and the God of Elbaf grants victory to whoever is right. Fast forward 100 years, and these two guys are STILL FIGHTING. What's more, neither of them can remember what caused the argument in the first place; they still fight date because its a manner [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of honor. [[spoiler: it was who caught the bigger fish.]] This is also why Dorry fights even when a bomb goes off in his stomach; he doesn't want to lose face and disgrace Broggy by quitting, and Broggy, even knowing that Dorry isn't at 100%, doesn't want to upset his friend by showing sympathy. Interestingly, even though they're determined to kill each other for petty reasons they can't recall, they're still best friends.
** KidSamurai Momonosuke is too proud to accept food even when he's almost skeletal with hunger [[spoiler: which saves him since he didn't eat the addictive, poisonous candy given to the other kids. He finally eats when sees his father give up his own pride]].
** Smoker would have chosen death over accepting help from a pirate in Hazard Punk if Tashigi hadn't reminded him they had subordinates and little kids to help.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Edward turns down the opportunity to take the Philosopher's Stone and run, despite it being the one thing he's been searching for for three years. He leaves
it, because the doctor who has the stone used it to heal injuries and sicknesses in Uchiha Head keeps his town. Edward says promises.
** Team 7 decides
that he didn't want to take away this does not apply in the town's life support, Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and if he achieved his objective opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of others, then it would leave a bitter aftertaste. His brother agrees.
** Also, even to save his friends, Edward finds himself unable to kill anybody, even his virtually immortal enemies. [[spoiler:He makes an exception for Father.]]
** Once the brothers discover the true source of a Philosopher's Stone ([[spoiler:human souls]]), they resolve to never use that means to get their bodies back to normal. [[spoiler:And in the end, they didn't have to.]]
** Late in the game, Al concedes to use the Stone during a fight with Kimblee, because he's helping to save humanity, not himself, and [[spoiler:the souls in the stone would probably want to fight for what's best for humanity as well]].
** In the finale, [[spoiler:Hohenheim, having exhausted his Philosopher's Stone, was down to his own soul and would likely die soon; he offers it up to save Alphonse, who had sacrificed his bond to his armor to give Edward his arm back and prevent Father from turning him into another Stone. Edward turns it down, because the brothers believed that, as it's their own fault for losing their bodies, they won't have anyone pay for their mistake, even their own father. Probably a good thing, though, because there's a chance that Hohenheim would have ended up [[AndIMustScream stuck in the Gate]]]].
** A rare villain example in the form of Kimblee. As despicable as he seems, he still has his code of honor which he never breaks [[spoiler:even to save his own life, or at least keep his soul from fading away.]] Had Kimblee simply stood by as Pride [[spoiler: attempted to [[GrandTheftMe steal Ed's body]] when his own was disentegrating]], he might have even been able to reassert his own consciousness over Pride's at a later point.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** [[TheHero Ichigo]] believes in fighting his way. He won't let his hollow get in the way of that, even if disadvantages him to do so. His hollow taking over allowed him to not only survive Byakuya's killing blow, but to gain the upper hand and badly wound Byakuya. Upon regaining control, Ichigo apologised to Byakuya and asked if they could start the fight over. It was the first time Byakuya realised Ichigo had a lot more honour to him than he'd realised and, fortunately for Ichigo, he agreed.
** Ichigo displayed this trait again against Ulquiorra. Ichigo, at the verge of death, was so completely taken over by his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide hollow]] that he lost all reason and not only overwhelmed Ulquiorra with raw power, but even stabbed Uryuu for trying to calm him down. When Ichigo regains control, and sees what he's done to both Ulquiorra and Uryuu, he insists that the only way he'll continue fighting Ulquiorra is if he's given the same injuries in compensation. ''This means chopping off an arm and a leg''. [[spoiler: Ulquiorra's too far gone, however, and dies before Ichigo can carry through his vow.]] It's especially bad because Ulquiorra has very clearly displayed that he can easily regenerate limbs. The fight would be even again if Ichigo just stood by and allowed him to heal up a bit naturally so the offer to have his own limbs cut off is exceptionally irrational.
** Ikkaku has vowed to fight and die under Kenpachi's command. To this end he'll even throw a fight to avoid revealing how powerful he really is, just in case the truth puts him under pressure to work towards becoming a captain of another squad. Called out on this by Iba who told him he's not as expendable as he thinks he is, he should be working to get stronger, and he should never put personal pride before his shinigami duty.
** Yumichika is so determined to remain a subordinate of both Kenpachi and Ikkaku, and so determined to uphold the squad's kidou-hating, direct combat-loving philosophy, that he hides his power and would prefer to die than reveal the truth in public. Ikkaku may only be hiding bankai, but Yumichika's even hiding his ''shikai'' thanks to his power being kidou-based. This means he has to fight his battles on HeroicResolve alone.
** Ukitake placed so much value on honour that he ignored his own misgivings and allowed Kaien to avenge his murdered wife. When Kaien requested Ukitake and Rukia stay out of the fight no matter way, Ukitake agreed and explained to Rukia that there was a difference between a fight for life and a fight for pride. Unfortunately, the culprit wasn't a normal hollow and had a special ability that proved Kaien's undoing.
** Subverted with Kyouraku. He's a devoted CombatPragmatist and lectures other captains that idealistic fighting is a distraction captains can't afford when in battle. Kyouraku and Ukitake are acknowledged as the greatest partnership in the Gotei 13, and it's made clear that while one side of the partnership plays this trope painfully straight, the other blows it to hell.
** Yamamoto lost his left arm in the battle against Aizen. Afterwards, he chooses to leave it as it is, even though [[HealingHands Orihime]] would easily be able to restore it. He says he didn't think it would be right to ask a human for help in a matter that should have only involved shinigami. [[spoiler:Yhwach mocks him for this attitude, pointing out that if he still had both arms, he might have stood a chance against him, before killing Yamamoto.]]
** Cang Du believes that people with bonds in life should go TogetherInDeath. He'll even go to the trouble of knocking enemies out and dragging them to their comrades so he can kill them at the same time. He also said it didn't feel right to attack Hitsugaya with his own Bankai, even though he doesn't believe Bankai have wills and souls of their own.
* [[ActionGirl 2nd Lt.]] [[Anime/PumpkinScissors Alice L. Malvin]] has made it her mission to help people and to repair the damage done to her nation by the recent war. This means that she will not hesitate to call out ''anyone'' who she sees as contributing to or aggravating that damage, up to and including TheEmperor of her own country, regardless of how capable they might be of physically or politically squashing her like a bug.
* Naja of ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'' is guilty of this on several occasions, most notably when he and Lia escape from a sand submersible working together with the World Destruction Committee. After surfacing and reaching land, he has the chance to arrest them on the spot, but opts to let them go (much to Lia's frustration). After all, they had a deal.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** Josuke Higashikata is the poster child of this trope. In a series where AnyoneCanDie he holds the distinction of having not killed a single human, despite the deaths of people around him, including his grandfather early on! Of course, that's just [[TechnicalPacifist not taking their life...]]
** In the Part 7, Steel Ball Run, Ringo Roadagain is determined to make sure that not only is he aware of everything that could play a role in a duel; he wants his opponent to be likewise aware. There's actually a good reason for this--those duels are to help purify his spirit of uncertainty. If neither side has an advantage (and before you ask, although Mandom's good at [[GroundhogDayLoop saving Ringo's neck,]] it gives his opponent the same capacity to avoid Ringo's attacks), then he can be sure that his victories were genuinely deserved.
* Tenma in ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', although he distinctly cares about the "right thing" rather than any type of personal honor.
* Theoretically this can be applied to the Dai-Gurren team in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' because they tend to put ''[[HotBlooded everything]]'' before reason. Viral especially which is why he can [[BeyondTheImpossible break physical laws and do the impossible.]]
** Viral also provides a couple of more straight examples. First he allows Team Gurren to [[PleasePutSomeClothesOn get dressed]] before a fight. Later he refuses an order to attack Simon because his commander is threatening to kill Yoko if Simon defends himself.
* Red from ''PokemonSpecial'' is subject to this as part of his firm belief that it's not a victory if your opponent is at a disadvantage. This has led to a few minor WhatAnIdiot moments, but even though this series is [[DarkerAndEdgier grittier]] than the anime, it's still an idealistic shonen, so it rarely bites him in the butt.
** Dia also shows shades of this, wanting to stop Team Galactic even though he's just a kid.
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple''. The series oozes this: even the antagonists, none of whom are even remotely nice people, will abide by the rules of martial arts--which is to say, even though they all want the main character either dead or on their side, none of them will go ahead and kill him, despite having many chances to do so. The title character himself, meanwhile, has a strict set of beliefs that he ''will not break,'' regardless of how much sense they make to others. It's completely [[BadAss awesome,]] of course.
** As long as the antagonists from Yami/YOMI are concerned, this is not so much "Honor Before Reason" as much as it is their, as they call it, "pride as martial artists". They want to prove that ''their'' way of doing martial arts is the only proper way. If you want to prove that your kung-fu is better, than you have to defeat the enemy by using kung-fu, otherwise you haven't proven anything.
*** This extends so far that the ones who are defeated will ''willingly'' rot in prison once defeated even though it's clearly displayed they can enter and leave at will.
failing.
* In ''HajimeNoIppo'', World Champion David Eagle is unwilling to exploit Takamuras bleeding wound by targeting it, possibly giving him a TKO win. Any normal boxer would have done so, and Takamura himself does without hestitation. However, this also has to do with Eagle wanting to fight his opponent on the same level, in order to push himself further.
* Rock Lee of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' nearly destroys his own life to defend his Nindo. Fortunately, [[spoiler:there were HealingHands available]].
** The whole reason for Naruto trying to help and redeem Sasuke can be summed up as this: he must stand by his word to save his friend, however despicable his friend's actions and motives.
* ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''- Shu always does the right thing, no matter the consequences. Stupid perhaps, but considering the [[DeathWorld impossibly bleak setting]] of the series it's difficult not to cheer him on. [[DecoyProtagonist While he doesn't achieve much on his own]], his idealism causes others to question their actions and [maybe] regain their hope for the future.
* Jin from ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo''. A running plot-line of the series is the fact that his fellow disciples are trying to avenge the death of their master by killing Jin. Actually [[spoiler: Jin's Master was forced to kill Jin during the night by the BigBad because of Jin's defiance against turning their samurai school into an assassin school/guild. Jin merely killed him in self-defense. If Jin simply told the others this, it would save him a lot of trouble. It would also disgrace the name of their master and school so he takes full blame.]]
* ''Pokemon Chronicles'' was a SpinOff of the original anime where each episode provided ADayInTheLimelight moments to many of the show's secondary characters. One episode centred around Ash's friendly rival Richie, who met an older trainer named Silver who dreamed of catching a Moltres. Unfortunately, Team Rocket tried to kidnap the Moltres, and Richie and Silver had to team up to rescue it. They succeeded, but Moltres was injured and exhausted from what Team Rocket did to it. Silver knew he could have captured Moltres easily but he chose to let it go. He wanted to [[EarnYourHappyEnding catch Moltres fairly]], beating it in an honest fight.
** Though in a way, this ''can'' qualify as reasonable. Catching a legendary Pokemon in such a weakened state creates the very real possibility of ending up with a Pokemon well beyond your ability to control once its healed, and taking advantage of its moment of weakness sounds like a fantastic way of ruining any goodwill you had just earned from it.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': [[TheLancer Kazuma]] [[RatedMForManly Kuwabara]] is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. He [[HotBlooded loudly]] declines his teammates' offers to keep him from dying, insisting that men fight their own battles, and later, after whupping a kid who nearly killed him and his {{Muggle}} friends, Kuwabara opts to save the kid's life by dragging not only his unconscious body, but the body all three of his friends to a hospital despite sustaining heavy injuries himself.
* In the original version of episode 2 of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Pegasus points out that Yugi could have won at one point. Yugi explains that he couldn't let the match end while his monster was under Pegasus' control. Pegasus calls him a fool.
** In the virtual world arc, Ooka/Johnson was caught cheating by Noa/Noah and Jonouchi/Joey would have won by default. However, Jonouchi insisted on finishing the duel. Never mind the fact that a. Jonouchi already had a huge disadvantage (no cards in his hand and no monsters on the field. And more importantly, they were dueling for their lifes as the loser would be trapped in the virtual world forever. [[LampshadeHanging Even Yugi and Anzu/Tea wondered what Jonouchi was thinking.]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'':
** Johan/Jessie from refuses to use cards that destroy opponent monsters with effects, claiming that such a strategy is too simple and boring.
** In the episode where Judai duels Society of Light member Kanda, who uses a game show deck (his cards force the opponent to answer questions correctly or else lose their monsters and take damage). For the final question, Judai remembers that his opponent gave the answer to it earlier that day. The opponent goes OhCrap, but Judai purposely fudges the answer, saying he won't answer because it wouldn't be fair, and takes the damage. Sure, Judai wins anyway, but it was still pretty dumb, considering the [[{{Brainwashed}} consequences]] if he had lost to a member of the Society of Light.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'':
** Jack throws Stardust Dragon, which he stole from Yusei two years before, at Yusei and say he can have it back. But Yusei throws it back at him because he wants to win Stardust Dragon back in a duel.
** Subverted later, when Yusei is forced to enter the Fortune Cup, since his friends are kidnapped by the organizers, and the only way to save them is reaching the final of the tournament. Jack gives Stardust Dragon back to Yusei, so Yusei wouldn't lose there, and Yusei accepts.
** In a partial example, during Yusei's first duel with Aki, he tunes together Junk Warrior and Junk Synchron to summon Stardust Dragon and attacks with it. Rua asked what he was thinking, since Junk Warrior had more ATK points at the time and would have dealt more damage. However, while Yusei did want to win, he also wanted to save Aki from her inner darkness, and knew an attack by Stardust Dragon would resonate with her more.
** Crow loans Jack the card Trust Guardian, which has a very useful effect. In his next few duels, when he draws it, he refuses to play it, both because he and Crow got into an argument and because it looks cute, which made it look out of place with the rest of his big, tough, and grotesque monsters. After losing a duel that in hindsight he would have easily won if he had played it, Jack realizes he was being foolish and starts playing it.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', [[NobleDemon Mizael]], one of the Seven Barian Emperors was big on this. When he and his fellow Barians Vector and Durbe confront Yuma, Shark, and Kaito on the Sargasso battlefield, he refused to use the "Sargasso's Lighthouse" card that his two allies were using (which would have protected him from the Sargasso's detrimental effects) calling it a "coward's card" and preferring a battle against Kaito on truly equal terms.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'':
** Reiji uses several cards that inflict damage to himself each turn. In their duel, Yuya is in a position where if he just ends his turn, Reiji will take 4,000 damage and lose, but he hesitates. When he finally does end his turn, Reiji quickly plays a card that mitigates the damage. Yuya says he's glad because it wouldn't have felt right to win that way instead of with his own cards and strategies.
** Yuya needs to win four matches in a row to qualify for a tournament. The Maiami City Committee say they are impressed by his earlier matches and offer to let him in right away, but he says it wouldn't be right and does the four matches.
** Serena absolutely refuses to back down from a fight, even when hopelessly outnumbered and when Yuya begs her to take the small boy Reira to safety while he holds the mooks off.
* Great General of Darkness of ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' is this. He lives to bring his people to a better life have a battle against Tetsuya, who have become his mutual WorthyOpponent.
** Tetsuya mention this in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha''. He mentioned how Great General of Darkness is just a honorable warrior that took the wrong path.
* Examples from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' and its sister show ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'':
** When Mikoto Misaka learns that her clones that she loves like sisters are being slaughtered by Accelerator, she considers the affair her problem and tries to solve it on her own, not telling anybody about it. When she realizes that she can't beat Accelerator, she decides her only option is a HeroicSacrifice. When Touma Kamijou finds out, he calls her out on being too proud to ask for help and solves the problem by kicking Accelerator's ass.
** Touma Kamijou has ChronicHeroSyndrome and absolutely refuses to ignore or abandon anybody in trouble, no matter how injured he is or how powerful the foe. It is later pointed out that he also has a problem with asking others for help, which he later grows out of.
** Gunha Sogiita has SuperSpeed and the ability to teleport, yet he always announces his presence and refuses to ambush or attack from behind. He claims that a true warrior always takes his opponents head-on and does not use dirty tricks. Ironically, this is part of the reason why [[ApathyKilledTheCat he sees no reason to learn and improve himself]].
** Index insists that dealing with enemy mages is her responsibility and not Touma's. She ignores Touma's arguments that he is better suited to fight them.
** Leivinia Birdway carries an antique flintlock pistol that only has one shot and takes a long time to load (she typically uses it to finish off a downed opponent). She doesn't use modern guns because of her contempt for science and because flintlock pistols are cooler.
** Princess Vilian is an ActualPacifist, and as a result refuses to learn how to use magic because it can potentially be used to fight.
* Eita Touga of ''Manga/TwelveBeast'' frequently advocates running away from the giant, city destroying war-machine. War Leader Jawea and the Harpies choose to stay and fight, to protect their tribe's honour. Less egregious than other examples as fleeing would leave over half the tribe--the elderly, young, and flightless--behind.
* In Anime/VoltesV, TheDragon continues to fight the Voltes team in the last episode, even though it is obvious his side is about to lose. The only reason for doing so is that he is a noble.
* In ''LightNovel/MadanNoOuToVanadis'', the ''entire nation'' of Brune will only fight with swords and thinks that people who use bows are sissies and thus have no honor. The protagonist (an improbably skilled archer) politely thinks they're idiots.
** That's not the best example in the series though, oh no. The best example is the protagonist's ChildhoodFriend and {{Meido}} (of the non-battle variety) staying in the protagonist's mansion when an invading army ransacks the town, only starting to flee when the enemy general enters the mansion and announces his intention to rape her. Why? ''Because the protagonist told her to watch the house''.
* ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'' has our protagonists, long been obsessed with survival and avoiding fights with [[NotUsingTheZWord "them"]] wherever possible, decide to brave an entire ''horde'' of them to save a 7-year-old girl. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome In a rare example of honour winning over reason]],
''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oPjhrV8HjM they were successful]]''.
-->''"[[PunctuatedForEmphasis IT'S. A. LITTLE. GIRL.]]"''
* When Train confronts Shiki near
fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the end of ''Anime/BlackCat'', just before his final battle North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with Creed, no spending limit because of how much he has, depending on whether hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's the manga or the anime, either the ability his job to fire one last nanomachine-powered railgun shot for the day or an [[AppliedPhlebotinum Orichalcum bullet]] that can pierce any object. Just before the fight actually starts, he ends up firing it into the sky instead, support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just to show that he doesn't need it to beat Shiki ''or'' Creed.his wages as a construction worker.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Superheroes from both DC and Marvel are notorious for taking this to ridiculous extremes. The most obvious example is {{Franchise/Batman}}'s refusal to kill even SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, despite knowing that he's a purely evil, irredeemable, sadistic monster who cannot be reformed and who will simply go on killing innocent people just for kicks . When Joker then goes on to [[spoiler:kill Jason Todd, the second Robin]], Batman comes ''damn close'' to breaking his rule, but didn't in the end. Unfortunately, this would come to bite Batman later: when [[InfiniteCrisis Superboy-Prime's]] CosmicRetcon [[spoiler:resurrected Jason]], the fact that Batman [[spoiler:never avenged his death led him to assume the mantle of Red Hood, an AntiVillain who opposes Batman's no-kill ideology, thus pitting the two of them against each other.]] Batman takes this to another extreme when his alter ego becomes a juror at the trial of someone captured by him. When asked if there's any reason he shouldn't be a juror, Bruce Wayne tells the judge that [[CassandraTruth he's Batman]]. He later tells Tim that he had to tell because he was under oath.
* The protagonists of ''SinCity'' each possess this trait. Despite their violent and sadistic nature, they will still put their lives on the line and suffer greatly for the sake of those they wish to protect.
* In ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'', when a character makes a decision and says, "I am adamant!", that means literally ''nothing'', especially death threats, will make them change their mind. For instance, a swordsmith said this in refusing to sell one of his swords to a brutish samurai and when threatened to be killed, he all but said, "Kill me if you want, but that just guarantees I won't sell you anything."
** Usagi sums up his feelings for this trope when he says "What fools we have in this world, that confuse honor for weakness."
* More of a case of obsession before reason, but Rorschach from ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' has "Never Compromise" as his motto in the face or murderers and rapists, and the people who would stop him. [[spoiler:This leads to his death as he refuses to allow [[WellIntentionedExtremist Ozymandias]] to go free, despite that this would render the death of millions meaningless and restart the Cold War.]] However, he is also doing this because he does not want to allow the person responsible for the deaths of millions to walk off scot free, and he is disgusted with the idea that the only way to save humanity is to deceive and slaughter it.
* In ''ComicBook/RomSpaceKnight'', the title character found himself in such a situation when he had captured a disguised Dire Wraith disguised as a human scientist, but her security staff, unaware of her true nature, had arrived to help her. The Dire Wraith dared him to banish her at the cost that it will appear he killed her and he would likely never be able to convince humanity of the truth. Rom considers this, but since a friend had [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed his life]] to free his main weapon, he cannot have that sacrifice be for nothing. So, he banishes her and prepares to deal with the consequences.
* Yorick of ''YTheLastMan'' is like this for the first part of the series. Two major examples: He's the last living male human, yet tries not to cheat on his girlfriend who is half a world away. He comes across a town that's entirely populated by convicts from the near by women's correctional facility. Despite this, it seems to be one of the few nice places AfterTheEnd and is actually very stable. Yorick wants to turn them in to the government.
** It should be noted that Yorick has a nasty combination of Survivor's Guilt and general Catholic Guilt, along with a variety pack of mental hang-ups, that cause him to do not necessarily what is right, but what is mostly likely to make people hate and want to kill him (Honor Before Survival, in other words).
* ''Comicbook/TheTransformers'': There was the time Optimus Prime allowed himself to be destroyed because of a ''video game'' that he and Megatron were connected to in order to decide a battle. A game that ''he'd won,'' but by taking several {{NPC}}s out with Megs -- something he'd never do in reality, so he considered himself the loser.
** Further compounded by the fact that he killed the [=NPCs=] ''by accident''. Given that they were in an opaque structure, Optimus would not have been able to know they were there either way. Nonetheless, Optimus declares that his victory was by cheating.
--> '''[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]]:''' That's not what 'cheating' is, ''you stupid truck!''
* ComicBook/{{Jubilee}} of the Comicbook/{{X-Men}} takes the superheroic [[ThouShaltNotKill code against killing]] to a foolish extreme in one story. While escaping from Operation: Zero Tolerance (who had been torturing her for days), she seriously injured one of the guards -- and broke off her escape to perform CPR on him.
** That was a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
--->'''Jubilee:''' You wanna go around killing people? That's your choice. But don't think for a fraction of a second you're gonna make a murderer outta me.
** Sunfire has the potential to be a genuine force for good, but often finds himself at odds with the X-Men and other heroes due to the situation at hand often conflicting with his fanatical loyalty to Japan and his family's reputation. The major reason he ends up joining the Comicbook/UncannyAvengers is because he believes a Japanese hero being part earth's mightiest superhero team will bring honor and pride to his nation.
* In ''Incorruptible'' - a spin-off of ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'' - Max Damage made a HeelFaceTurn in response to The Plutonian's epic FaceHeelTurn. In the process of "making a clean start of it", he destroys billions of dollars in currency he'd stashed away over the years and destroyed most of his old gear and hideouts. Which is cool and all, but wouldn't all those resources actually ''help'' fight The Plutonian?
** Although the comic does frame this as the supervillainous equivalent of GoingColdTurkey, since Damage is trying to change his ways completely and feels that having the relics of his old life would make it too easy to slip back into old bad habits, same as a recovering drug addict doesn't keep a whole load of drugs stashed about the place just in case.
** He also seemed to think that the best way to be a superhero was just to do the opposite of whatever he'd usually do as a villain in a case of EvilCannotComprehendGood. As he got better at heroics he started to be a bit more reasonable.
* In the DC comic ComicBook/{{Birds of Prey}}, a group of Chinese uber fighters called the Twelve Brothers in Silk are said to be at Lady Shiva level of ability but routinely work for b-rate crime bosses by being challenged to defend their "honor." The claim being that they can't do the job, not that it's below them.
* In the first ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'' [[ComicBook/FrankMillersWolverine Limited Series]], Logan is aghast to learn that not only his girlfriend, Yashida Mariko, is married, but it was on the orders of her father which she obeyed without question. His friend makes it clear that she did it as a matter of personal honor and she literally would rather die than violate that. Logan goes to see her, but is frustrated that she is adamant about keeping her honor in obeying her father, even while her husband abuses her. Fortunately, Mariko eventually realizes that her father is besmirching their family's honor with his evil and plans to kill him and commit suicide in recompense. Fortunately, Wolverine beats her to it and Mariko considers the matter properly settled.
* Then there's ''Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}''. With great power comes many low-paying jobs, no respect, a legendary chain of disrupted relationships and break-ups, and many, many injuries. But he never resigns for long. Because he's Spider-Man, and he has a ''responsibility''.
** However, the ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan wants to think otherwise...
* In an early ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' tale, the Swordsman joined the team as [[TheMole a mole]] in order to bring them down from the inside. When the time came to kill his teammates via a bomb provided by the Mandarin, Swordsman relented, stating that it would be cowardly and dishonorable to kill the Avengers while they slept.
* In Jonathan Hickman's ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'', the Illuminati become aware of a cosmic DisasterDominoes event -- universes are colliding, Earth-first, and destroying each other -- and that when two universes begin to collide, the event can be halted by destroying one of the Earths. ComicBook/CaptainAmerica is the only member of the group who will not entertain the idea of destroying a planet to save everything else [[spoiler: so they wipe his memory and expel him]].
* ComicBook/BlackPanther discusses this at one point while defending the absent Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s turf. He threatens a crook by telling him that while Daredevil's code of ethics prevented him from taking lives, he as a warrior king, [[ThouShaltNotKill had no such hang-ups about using lethal force]].
* In the first Marvel vs. DC/DC vs. Marvel crossover miniseries, WonderWoman discovers ComicBook/TheMightyThor's hammer and takes it up, becoming the God(dess) of Thunder. When [[ComicBook/XMen Storm]] comes to challenge Wondy, she muses that she could easily defeat her with her new power, but discards it, finding it utterly unfair. Storm easily takes her down.
* At the end of one story in ''Comicbook/DraculaLives'', Literature/SolomonKane has Dracula at his mercy. Dracula reminds him that he owes him for saving his life earlier in the tale. Solomon grudgingly honors his request, and lets him go.
* Geoffrey St. John in [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]: Despite knowing what his mentor Ixis Naugus is truly like, and even acknowledging that the wizard committed treason in a preceding arc, he still tries to make the whole "King Naugus" thing work and appeal to Naugus' better nature to work with the people of New Mobotropolis to help cure his illness. He gets betrayed when Naugus [[GrandTheftMe possesses]] him to escape his illness and manipulate said people. And possibly erased from existence following the crossover with the Comicbook/MegaMan book.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateFantasticFour'', Victor Van Damme would rather die than have ''Reed Richards'' [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice]] himself for his sake.
* Comicbook/{{X 23}} has increasingly been becoming this. Most notable in ''Comicbook/{{Wolverines}}'', Laura, Comicbook/{{Daken}} and Comicbook/{{Blade}} subdue Siphon, a dangerous monster created by a Weapon X spinoff who feeds on the {{Healing Factor}}s of other people, sometimes killing them in the process. Daken and Blade both want to put him down, and they would certainly be ''right'' to because of just how severe a threat he poses. However before he was experimented on, Siphon was a very intelligent, cultured, and kind man who was transformed into the monster he's become entirely against his will, with this part of his personality emerging whenever he's satiated and in control of his hunger. Laura talks them out of it, however, as she feels she and Siphon are NotSoDifferent. She recognizes that he's a victim, and insists on doing the right thing and trying to ''help'' him. [[spoiler: It eventually bites her on the ass. Mystique ''[[BatmanGambit wanted]]'' Laura there when Daken confronted him for precisely this purpose, and unleashes an out-of-control Siphon on the group in the final issue, and he drains all of them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/The5000FingersOfDrT'', Bart goes to quite a bit of trouble to avoid waking Dr. T when he goes to break into the vault to steal some money...and then Bart leaves an IOU with his name for the missing cash. This winds up having nothing to do with him setting off the alarms and getting caught.
* In ''An Affair to Remember'', Terry refuses to let Ken pay for her to get better and be able to walk again because she thinks Nickie wouldn't approve, she knows Nickie can't afford it, and she thinks it would be ungrateful of her to let Ken give her back her mobility and then go marry someone else.
* When Ellen Ripley of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' makes a promise, [[IGaveMyWord crosses her heart and hopes to die]], you can bet your cocooned hide that no hive of monsters, snarling Alien Queen or imminent ''thermo-nuclear explosion'' will stop her from saving your life.
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', when Bruce Wayne realizes Ra's Al Ghul's ninja clan is a den of insanely destructive fanaticism and refuses to help them inflict such harm on the innocent. When Ducard learns about Wayne's opinion, he dismisses it and Wayne has the perfect response to illustrate his honor.
-->'''Henry Ducard:''' Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.\\
'''Bruce Wayne:''' That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.
** Furthermore, Wayne also vows to fight evil his way. Even though he is in this den of villainy, surrounded and outnumbered 100-1, he doesn't hesitate for an instant to start his war on crime on the clan. This fight ends in an explosion which kills several assassins and all of the prisoners that he had earlier refused to harm.
** Wayne takes this to even greater extremes in the 2008 sequel ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' where he refuses to kill the Joker despite how much easier it would make his life and how much safer it would make Gotham, just to prove that the Joker can't corrupt him.
* ''Film/TheBeastOfWar'' (1988). The Pashtun rebels spare the life of the protagonist (a Soviet tank driver) when he appeals to their traditional code of Pashtunwali, which requires even an enemy to be given sanctuary if he asks. Though some of the rebels argue that the rules shouldn't apply to DirtyCommunists who've learnt a single word of their language (nanawatai - sanctuary), the fact that he'd been left for dead by his comrades (and is willing to repair an RPG in order to blow them up in payback) is a significant factor in his defense.
* In ''Disney/BigHero6'', Wasabi insists on using his turn signals and stopping at red lights (on an empty street), even when his car is being chased by a supervillain trying to kill everyone. Annoyed, [=GoGo=] takes the wheel and does some crazy maneuvers to escape.
* ''Film/{{Broken Arrow|1996}}'': Rather than forcing Vic Deakin (JohnTravolta), who is out of bullets, to disarm a nuke there and then, Riley Hale (Christian Slater) drops his shotgun and accepts his former friend's challenge to [[GoodOldFisticuffs one final fistfight]].
** Well, Vic is holding the remote control that can detonate the nuke in single click; if Riley's just [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim being practical]], the result [[EarthShatteringKaboom can be disastrous]].
* ''Film/ConAir'': Cameron Poe (played by NicolasCage), one of only ''two'' decent human beings trapped on a prison transport aircraft populated by murderers, rapists and "every creep and freak in the universe", was a free man on parole who could have left the plane at any time to go back to his wife and daughter (who had never met him). Yet, the former Army Ranger in him would not allow him to "leave a fallen man behind," hence Poe gladly traded his freedom to save the life of his diabetic friend and the sole female guard eyed by the plane's worst rapist, "Johnny 23".
* In Creator/WarrenBeatty's ''Film/DickTracy'', Tracy is kidnapped and taken to his girlfriend's apartment building's boiler room where Big Boy Caprice tries to bribe him. Although the smart thing for Tracy would be to pretend to accept the money and then turn it in to the Police Department as soon as he's let go, Tracy decides to throw it back in Caprice's face on principle. The Kid is watching all of this in hiding, waiting for an opportunity to help, and is really impressed at the detective's fearless honor, but there is no way Tracy could have known he had an audience.
* ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'': Queen Guinevere has been accused of treason by adultery with Sir Lancelot, but not one person will champion her in Trial By Battle against Sir Gawain ... except the unarmored, untrained page Percival who appears to be operating either under the simple principle that the Queen must be championed, or TheDulcineaEffect. KingArthur ''knights'' him for this purpose ... although the battle is averted by the arrival of Sir Lancelot to take his place.
** Come to think of it, KingArthur refusing to champion his own ''wife'' against the accusation -- on the basis he is king and must be her judge in this -- is probably a potent illustration of Honor Before Reason.
** There's a similar plot and illustration of this trope in the film ''Film/FirstKnight''. After catching Lancelot and Guinevere in an embrace (ironically, she had been completely faithful to Arthur and was merely giving Lancelot a good-bye kiss), Arthur bluntly declares, "As a man, I may forgive. As a king. . .", then declares that two will be tried for treason, in public, lest the people think that he is showing favoritism or leniency that he would never have extended to anyone else.
* The 1962 JidaiGeki film ''Harakiri'' spends its entire run time tearing this trope to pieces in regards to the code of Bushido. A samurai is meant to accept HonorBeforeReason as his entire way of life, and when a ronin who claims to want to commit seppuku but is actually looking for a handout arrives at the gates of the Ii clan they treat him with contempt and force him to go through with it instead. The rest of the film centers on the revenge of his father-in-law, who at once reveals the hypocrisy of the Ii clan while calling into question an approach to life that values honor above feeding your own family.
* The Mangalores in ''Film/TheFifthElement'' live this trope to the core, and it's used against them. When they have barricaded themselves in a room and demand to negotiate, Korben Dallas walks in and shoots the leader in the head, as Mangalores refuse to fight without a leader. This results in one of the mooks complaining, "No fair!", rather than shooting Dallas when they outnumber him five to one.
* Gene Autry, famous Singing Cowboy and only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is known for having created the "Cowboy Code", a set of rules for cowboy characters in family friendly westerns — which is to say almost every character he ever played — to live by. The first of which falls straight into this trope; "Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage."
** Clint Eastwood's character uses a rather warped version of this in ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore''. He allows three resting bandits to get to their feet so that they have a fair chance to go for their guns before he dispatches them with his ImprobableAimingSkills. The odd thing is that these men only try to attack him because he just declared his intention to shoot them all, and they otherwise would have continued to regard him as an ally. He planned to kill three non-hostile men in cold blood no matter what happened so why even give them the chance?
* ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'': Sgt. Werner Rachtman is given an opportunity to save his life if he will disclose the location of a nearby German camp. If he refuses, Lt. Raine is gonna call up [[TheDreaded the Bear Jew]]. [[MyCountryRightOrWrong He refuses to put the lives of his fellow countrymen in danger]], receiving a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown for his trouble.
** Given what the Basterds tend to do to survivors of their raids (let's just say they leave them an unwanted memento on them to ensure that they are identified as being former Nazis.), Rachtman was probably lucky.
* In ''IpMan 2'', Master Hung keeps fighting in spite of his injuries because he will not willingly concede to the British. [[spoiler: The Twister fatally wounds him for it.]]
* While O-Ren Ishii of ''Film/KillBill'' is far from a good person, what with making her living as head of the Japanese underworld, she fights the Bride honorably, refusing to do the sensible thing and finish her off while she is on the ground. Honor doesn't really pay off against a RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** That said, O-Ren does set her army of mooks on the Bride to soften her up first.
** Earlier (or later), The Bride had the perfect opportunity to finish off Vernita Greene, but could not do the deed with Vernita's daughter present.
** She even ''doesn't'' kill the daughter (a living witness) and apologizes for doing the killing in front of her. She tells the daughter that, if and when she needs to avenge her mother, The Bride will be waiting.
* Toward the end of ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', King Baldwin IV offers Balian his sister Sybilla's hand in marriage. Sybilla is already married to Guy de Lusignan, but Baldwin IV offers to have Guy executed to allow the marriage to occur. It seems like a no-brainer, as it would allow Balian to ascend to the throne of Jerusalem, it would allow him to marry the woman he genuinely loves, and it would allow Balian to have a dangerous political rival eliminated. Balian, however, refuses, his piety not allowing him to have any part in Guy's death. Guy is allowed to live, and after Baldwin's death, ascends to the throne of Jerusalem, immediately inciting a war that allows Saladin's troops to overrun and capture Jerusalem. Had Balian accepted Baldwin's offer, Jerusalem would've remained in Crusader hands.
** Balian realized ''long'' before anyone else did, that Jerusalem in Saladin's hands was not a bad thing at all, and in fact gives a passionate speech at the end of the movie not for the Crusaders to hold Jerusalem to their deaths, but in fact to lay down their arms and ''surrender'' for the glory of God. So he actually ''subverts'' the trope later.
* In ''Film/TheLastSamurai,'' the samurai refuse to use firearms and technology as they considered them "dishonorable."
* In ''Film/LordOfWar'', agent Valentine will never break the law in order to arrest or stop Yuri Orlov.
-->'''Interpol agent:''' Let me make him disappear Mr. Valentine. Around here, people disappear all the time.\\
'''Agent Valentine:''' I can't do that.\\
'''Interpol agent:''' [[WhatYouAreInTheDark Look where we are. Who will know?]]\\
'''Agent Valentine:''' [[WhatYouAreInTheDark We will]].
* The title character in the cult western ''Film/MajorDundee'', Maj. Charles Amos Dundee (played by Charlton Heston) has a Confederate soldier killed for desertion, despite appeals for mercy, as is military law, despite being in the middle of nowhere and needing every man he can get in order to eliminate an Apache tribe on the war path. This ultimately proves to be a mistake as it causes even more tension between his Union soldiers and the Confederates, just when they were starting to get along too.
* In ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', the villain Captain Love pulls a gun on Zorro, but then discards it and faces him in a SwordFight.
* In ''Master of the World'' (based off of the JulesVerne novel), Phillip Evans exemplifies the more unpleasant end of this trope. He is obsessed with being an honorable and courageous gentleman, and doesn't understand why [[Creator/CharlesBronson John Strock]] doesn't openly defy [[VincentPrice Robur]]. He considers Strock a coward at best, and collaborating with Robur at worst, and talks down to him all the time. Strock attempts to explain that if he openly defied Robur, who has dozens of armed {{Mooks}} and what amounts to a [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld flying battleship]] at his disposal, he'd be ''very'' dead ''very'' quickly, and intends to stop Robur behind his back while only ''seeming'' compliant. Evans doesn't get it, and in fact this explanation makes him think even ''less'' of Strock, as he declares that Strock's subterfuge is dishonorable.
* In the Disney adaptation of ''Disney/PeterPan'' having given his word of honor to ''not'' fly in his final duel with Captain Hook, [[DramaPreservingHandicap Peter doggedly refuses to do so even when Hook proves to be the superior swordsman, having forced him to the corner of a mast leading to a fall that can kill him.]]
* In ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}'', when Pinocchio is led astray by Honest John and Gideon, Jiminy thinks about running over to tell Gepetto about it, but then decides to go after Pinocchio himself because "that would be snitching".
* William Turner of the ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' trilogy is another suicidally selfless example of this trope. For an example, see the "You can't... I can," scene in the first movie. Even the initially selfish Captain Jack Sparrow seems to be infected by his idealism, and eventually obeys this trope as well. In Sparrow's case, though, he obeys the trope explicitly because he knows that it's the last thing people expect from him.
-->'''Norrington:''' You actually were telling the truth.\\
'''Capt. Sparrow:''' I do that quite a lot, yet people are always surprised.
** Norrington in ''Curse of the Black Pearl'':
--->'''Jack:''' Think about it -- ''The Black Pearl''? The last ''real'' pirate threat in the Caribbean, mate. How can you pass that up?\\
'''Norrington:''' By remembering that I serve ''others'', Mister Sparrow, not only myself.
** Those may have been his sentiments, but Norrington's actions were mostly reasonable. Barring the whole 'underestimating peculiar pirates when he really should have known better' part--that could possibly be stress combined with, well, Jack Sparrow.
*** ''Captain'' Jack Sparrow.
* Every incarnation of the ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' lives by this trope. They will not kill anyone who is unarmed, ill, pregnant, or any other factor that would make them a viable non-combatant. They will also respect the wishes of their enemy if they desire to face off in a melee duel, as seen in the 2010 film ''Film/{{Predators}}''. They also may respect [[WorthyOpponent anyone who manages to kill one of their own]], as seen in [[Film/{{Predator 2}} the second film]]. But sometimes, usually when provoked, they just throw honor out the window and use every weapon at their disposal to obliterate the enemy regardless of fairness.
* ''Film/ThePurge'': DeconstructedTrope. One of the Sandin kids lets a stranger into their house because he really looks like he is in trouble. As a result of doing the morally right thing, horror ensues.
* ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' from movie 2 onwards.
* The shining examples in ''Film/ReservoirDogs''. Honor may just be a Tarantino thing. In the most prominent example in the film [[spoiler: Mr. Orange tells Mr. White he is in fact a cop, despite knowing that he would be killed. He waited until after the police showed up. He actually managed to preserve his honor by performing his duty as a cop and was suicidally sincere with a man who just saved his life under false pretenses.]] If that isn't honor, I don't know what is.
* Possibly Pride Before Reason would be a better description, but in ''Film/RobinHood1991'' Daguerre setences Robert to recieve one stroke of the lash adminstered in private; the minimum punishment he could allow under the law. If Robert had accepted this, everything would have quickly returned to normal. But Robert feels betrayed, insults Daguerre and, in a rapid escalation events, ends getting himself outlawed.
* Captain Miller's decision to let the German sniper live in ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''. Dumbass move with a capital D. But later, when Miller explains why he chooses Compassion Over Reason, you "almost" understand why he did it.
* In the film version of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'', after the Nazi takeover, Uncle Max says, "Well, the Anschluss happened peacefully, let's at least be grateful about that." Captain von Trapp replies, "Grateful?!". As he was brought up as a part of Europe's old warrior-caste he probably took the fact that Austria submitted peacefully as a personal insult.
* Captain Kirk and his crew decide that court-martial is a better alternative than not trying to rescue their friend in ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock''. This wouldn't necessarily be an example of the trope if they had just gone and never come back, but in the next film they all willingly go back to face that court-martial. They then save the Earth on upon their return, so the actual court-martial involves nothing more serious than Kirk being demoted to Captain ([[{{Unishment}} which is what he wanted all along]]) and handed a shiny new Enterprise.
* Luke Skywalker's unconditional love and faith in the humanity of Darth Vader, seen as at best stupid and at worst suicidal by the rest of the galaxy, was what saved his father and the ''Franchise/StarWars'' galaxy.
** Simultaneously giving us the second greatest CrowningMomentOfAwesome in the franchise, and setting his father up to give us the greatest one.
** Luke actually throws away his lightsaber so that he is defenseless against being tortured to death by Palpatine, rather than kill Vader and go to the dark side.
*** Then again, the Emperor was ''very'' explicit about his intended end state of Luke falling to the dark side.
** Except, at least the part about Vader, it was hardly stupid -- for a talented and trained Force Sensitive, it is far more reasonable to trust your feelings and instincts. Luke states on more than one occasion that he can sense the good in Vader, and there's little reason to doubt this is true.
*** And you don't have to be force-sensitive at all to see ahead of time that Luke's faith wasn't completely misplaced. "It is... too late for me, son" isn't a line you'd expect to hear out of someone who is completely heartless or beyond saving.
* ''[[http://bluebehemoth.com/album/52866/ The Sword]]'', a short film by Pointy Stick Productions, appears to be built entirely around this idea. It features a boy with hundreds of opportunities to [[FlawExploitation exploit flaws]] in the strategies of the Muslim invaders outside his castle wall, and an able-bodied monk in the castle that, with the boy's help, could at least match the invaders' fighting skills and shut the gate long before [[BigDamnVillains help could arrive]] [[BigDamnHeroes for either side]]. This is made worse when the boy's father [[ValuesDissonance thinks it okay]] to go off and fight in the Crusades; but doesn't think it important to teach anyone how to practically defend a castle, nor work as a team. The fact that the castle is so [[GenreBlindness oblivious]] how to defend itself save for its gate and that the villains in the forest, with all the accessible wood, [[IdiotPlot don't think]] to build a flaming battering ram to take down that gate illustrates that the short film's producers [[TheyJustDidntCare really weren't all that concerned]] with [[YouFailHistoryForever historical realism]]. The one saving grace is perhaps that the monk successfully averts some films' [[AllMonksKnowKungFu certain beliefs about monks]].
* Averted in ''Film/{{Superman}}''. Yes, Superman promised Miss Tessmacher that he would stop the nuclear missile heading for Hackensack, New Jersey before stopping the one heading for California, but considering the first one is going to strike a heavily populated area and the other one in a relatively isolated deserted region, it's obvious the Hackensack one has to be the priority one anyway.
* The most noble live-action example would have to be Indiana Jones in ''Film/TempleOfDoom'', who could have escaped with fortune and glory, instead got captured to save a helpless little boy from being whipped to death. Not the smartest of moves, yes; but '''any''' illusions of him being a heartless and cynical mercenary disappears at this point, and we cheer for him all the way as he saves '''all''' of the children and defeats the evil of Kali-Ma.
* A minor plot point in ''Film/TheTerminal'' hinges on this. While [[StuckAtTheAirportPlot stuck in an airport]] in New York for nine months thanks to a bureaucratic screwup, Krakozhian traveler Victor Navorski is notified that he can easily get sanctuary status in the United States if he testifies that he has a justifiable fear of returning to his home country, which is in the throes of a brutal civil war. As much as he wants to leave the airport, Victor refuses to say that he is afraid of returning to Krakozhia, as it's the only home that he knows or wants.
* John Connor of ''Terminator2JudgmentDay'' is another admirable example of this trope: he stops Sarah from killing Dyson even if it meant preventing Judgment Day, and his idealism allowed a war for humanity's future to be waged and '''won''' ''without murdering a single innocent human being''.
** Well, at least until the movie that followed. And the movie that followed that where-in it is revealed they didn't ''prevent'' Judgment Day, but delayed it, along with the deployment of T-600 and other sophisticated terminators.
* ''Film/{{Troy}}'': Hector personally goes out to fight the invincible Achilles to allow the man vengeance for killing his cousin, despite knowing that Achilles can kill him easily, the cousin was dressed up like Achilles and charged headfirst into battle, and they had an squad of archers on the wall who could have put down Achilles fairly easily.
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'': The villain, Frank, has a chance to ride away safely after killing his boss, Morton. Instead he comes back to face his nemesis, the man with the harmonica.
-->'''Frank:''' "Morton once told me I could never be like him. Now I understand why. Wouldn't have bothered him, knowing you were around somewhere alive."\\
'''Harmonica:''' "So, you found out you're not a businessman after all."\\
'''Frank:''' "Just a man."
* In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'' Gary puts Sam in a car & tells her to get out of Newton Haven & he'll figure a way out with the rest of the group. When he tells the rest of the group this, [[WhatTheHellHero they call him out on sending away the only person sober enough to drive]], only for him to retort that they would've criticised him if he hadn't done so.
* In ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny'', turns out that even the Devil must abide by the Demon Code, meaning he simply cannot refuse anyone who declares a rock-off challenge. Keep in mind, he presumably ''wrote'' this code in the first place! He does, however, reserve the right to act as judge for the challenge...
* In ''Film/{{Wanted}}'',[[spoiler: When Wesley returns to the Fraternity to kill Sloan, and Sloan said everybody's name had come up for assassination. Fox does the honorable and kills everybody with a curving bullet including herself in order to honor the code. The "before reason" part comes from the fact that Sloan has admitted to previously faking names in order to further his own agenda. She sees evidence that the other assassins don't share her commitment to the code so killing them is logical but killing yourself because a confessed liar told you that's what fate wanted is what makes it this trope.]]
* This trope is the source of Detective Spooner's TragicBigot tendencies towards robots in ''Film/IRobot''. He was involved in a car accident where his car and a car carrying an 11-year-old girl were sinking into a pond. A robot came by and, only having enough time to save one of them, saved Spooner instead of the child, despite Spooner's protests and insistence on saving the girl. Spooner lives and the girl drowns, solely because he had a 45% chance of survival, whereas her chances were only 11%, making Spooner the "logical choice". Spooner vehemently believes that the robot's calculation didn't justify leaving a child to die, and that robots don't have the emotional capacity to understand the weight of that kind of decision, and thus can't be trusted to do the right thing when it counts.
--> '''Spooner:''' That was somebody's ''baby''. 11%'s more than enough. A human being would have known that. Robots, (claps his hand over his heart) nothing in here, just lights and clockwork.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Ward of ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'': When two men come to his estate and explain that they're after a slave who went to Hurog because he heard a story about there being no slavery in Hurog (a long-forgotten law that hasn't been enforced for a long time), and they now expect Ward's help in getting that slave recaptured, Ward calmly states that "[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome There are no slaves in Hurog]]". His uncle then explains that the ancient law of the land is that a slave, once in Hurog, is not a slave any longer. The men are not pleased, and they work for the king. No one wonders, as Ward has been ObfuscatingStupidity for some time, and no one expects him to make ''intelligent'' decisions, and he is known for his love of ancient ballads. The decision turns out to work in Ward's favour, as he has to flee the castle anyway (the men have also come to take him to an asylum because he's seemingly insane), and his own, magically bound slave Oreg (whom he cannot free) is ''very'' favourably impressed by the decision. Ward does not adhere to a concept of honour where you don't run away - he happily does so, in order to protect the people on his land, who would die if forced to fight the king's army.
* Eddard "Ned" Stark from ''[[Literature/ASongofIceandFire A Game of Thrones]]'' is such a classic example, this trope could easily be called 'The Ned Stark Mindset', hence the comic on the main page. The series being highly [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical in outlook]], this is a tragic flaw which leads directly to [[spoiler: his own death, his daughter's captivity, and his son's armed rebellion.]]
** Eddard's son Robb Stark unfortunately inherits this trait. [[spoiler: Despite his pledge to marry a Frey lady to seal his alliance with the Freys, he marries another woman, to save her honor after sleeping with her, shortly after Frey men died fighting for him. This eventually leads to them betraying him, resulting in not only his own death, but that of his mother and thousands of his men.]]
** Ned's bastard son, Jon, shows this trait as well. At one point, he refuses to kill an old man in cold blood, even though his refusal would cause [[spoiler: the group of wildlings he's spying on to kill the old man anyway and then kill him, preventing him from warning the Night's Watch about the massive surprise attack headed their way.]]
** HonorBeforeReason could easily be the Starks' back-up family motto. Those Starks who don't subscribe to this policy do so usually as part of distancing themself from the house, although, at this point, [[spoiler: Arya [[SanitySlippage lacks honor and reason]], Sansa is a ManipulativeBitch in training, and Bran repeatedly {{Mind Rape}}s his mentally disabled friend.]] Benjen is probably the closest example of a Stark retaining their honour and not dying a horrible death, and even then [[spoiler: he's been missing for three years and might be dead anyway, having achieved pretty much nothing in the entire series thus far except for convincing Jon to join the Watch.]]
** The Karstarks (actual distant relations) are just as bad, if in a different way. They have honour, and are prickly about maintaining the letter of it. To the point of [[spoiler: taking umbrage when Robb has to execute one of their members for, frankly, being a grief-stricken, convention-breaking idiot]] which causes most [[spoiler: to turn coat]] instead of acknowledging the whole "stewardship of the North" thing the Starks have going on may occasionally lead to conflicts of honour like this. The insanity snowballs towards [[spoiler: a major in-family fight over who will inherit their own titles, let alone anything else]], at a point in time when the bigger seasonal picture is not that healthy for anybody not being able to pull together as a whole. Well done, Karstarks: you can shoot yourselves in the feet about as well as Starks can.
** Subverted in the case of House Arryn. Honor is a trait of House Arryn and it's heavily implied that the only reason the Starks are so honourable is because Ned was fostered with Jon Arryn, but by the beginning of the series the only Arryn's left are crazy Lysa and her sick five year old son.
** The Kingsguard are sworn to protect the king, no matter how bad he may be. [[spoiler:Jaime Lannister broke this rule, killing king Aerys, an AxCrazy murderous rapist who was actively trying to [[KillEmAll kill everyone in the city of King's Landing]] because [[TheMentallyDisturbed the voices in his head]] told him to. As a result, [[DeliberateValuesDissonance he's a despised pariah for breaking his oath.]]]]
** The Night's Watch must defend the realm from anything beyond the wall and stay out of any political entanglements. [[spoiler:Jon Snow tries to mobilise the Watch to rein in the warring kingdoms before the Others return, and gets stabbed for it.]]
** Stannis Baratheon, too. He doesn't even ''want'' to be king, but he's going to fight for it because to his way of thinking, he's the rightful king whether he likes it or not. For the same reason, he refuses to ally himself with competing kings Renly or Robb Stark even though he badly needs allies against the Lannisters.
* In David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'', members of the House (the parliament) have the son of the T'ang of Europe killed. Knowing where this could lead, the T'ang decides to let matters be. The leader of his army, Marshal Tolonen, does not obey orders. Instead he marches into the House in session and slits the throat of one of the plotters. This sets the stage for everything else.
* Rest from ''Literature/LoyalEnemies'' tries hard to act like this, although this is rather played for laughs. For some reason, he keeps on insisting that Shelena ({{Badass}} werewolf ActionGirl) is DamselInDistress, refuses to abandon his master to a "wild beast" (aforementioned Shelena) even when Veres explicitly tells him to, and won't leave Shelena even if it would make her job easier. And it's not like he's any good at fighting.
** Shelena may mock him for it, but one can also question her decision to take Veres home and kill him when he tried to kill her at least once before and will surely try it again. She states that it's because she wants to finish their matters honorably (which is odd, as she's usually CombatPragmatist).
* Literature/BraveNewWorld: [[NobleSavage John the Savage]], oh so very much.
* Kel from Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall''. In particular, she goes [[spoiler: into enemy territory with the intent of rescuing 500 refugees]]. By herself. This is so likely to end with her death that she herself acknowledges it. Admittedly, if she ''hadn't,'' then [[spoiler: the refugee children, two hundred of them, would have been [[PoweredByAForsakenChild made into nigh-unstoppable killing devices]]]], but that doesn't really enter into her reasons for why she does it. Fortunately, her TrueCompanions anticipated this and go to fight with her. They are a more understandable version of the trope; they still face exile/execution for betraying orders when they return to Tortall, but at least it won't be for nothing: they have a decent chance of defeating the BigBad, and evening out the war.
* Horton The Elephant from Creator/DrSeuss is an elephant of unshakable honor; once he gives his word, ''nothing'' will make him go back on it regardless of much danger, humiliation or rejection he suffers. Fortunately, his stories always end with him coming out on top because of this sense of honor.
* Creator/PiersAnthony relies on this one a lot. Given that the promises are often given under extreme duress ("Swear it or I kill her" or "Swear it or I will never let you leave"), one might think the promises meant little... oh no. Even if it endangers the free world, or the universe, that promise will not be broken, no matter how much Angsting goes on because of it.
** Self-lampshaded in later books: male centaur "character" (the refusal to go back on one's word) is "stubbornness" to everyone else, especially to the level-headed and practical female centaurs.
** This is actually subverted in his ''Mode Series''. The villain, well aware that the male lead will never go back on his word, agrees to let them go free, if they agree not to interfere with his plans. What he didn't take into account was that the female protagonist and her psychic horse don't play by those rules and the moment they are free, the horse uses his powers to force said villain to relinquish his claim to the multiverse, thus trapping him in his own world. The male lead is upset about this, but ultimately can't do anything about it now.
* Averted in ''HisDarkMaterials'': It is Will's opinion that honor might make you feel important, but when fighting is a matter of life or death, you have to fight dirty.
** Especially when you're twelve, and going against grown-ups.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Temeraire}} Empire of Ivory]]'' Laurence cannot abide High Command's act of [[spoiler: sending a Typhoid Mary among the French aerial corps -- an act which probably would win the war for England, but would just as likely also result in genocide among Europe's (and possibly Asia's) dragons. So, in an act he knows will see him hung, he steals some of the curative mushrooms they'd gathered from Africa, and goes AWOL to deliver them to the French.]] In a further act of Honor Before Reason, he [[spoiler:turns down Napoleon's offer of asylum or safe passage to China, preferring to return to England and face the music. Temeraire, getting in on the act, refuses to let him return alone. Laurence urges him to return to China, because he knew Temeraire was destined to be used as nothing but breeding stock if he went back. He doesn't.]] And the book ends with them flying back together.
** [[spoiler:Admiral Roland]] {{lampshade}}s this in the fifth book by pointing out how this verges on LawfulStupid: he could have [[spoiler:sent a discreet letter to [[strike:Napoleon]] ''anyone in France'' telling them where to get the curative mushrooms; someone as ingenious as Napoleon could easily have bribed a servant for a sample.]] This would have prevented [[spoiler:High Command's act of genocide]] ''without'' anyone knowing it was him.
*** [[WhatYouAreInTheDark Laurence would know though]] and explicitly says it makes no difference and is treason either way.
** Which only comes after he stops another (Prussian) character from shooting Napoleon from cover, but this may be not thanks to honor but his reasoning that Lien would have mauled them if they'd killed Napoleon not, which would have stopped them from revealing the French's plans they had just overheard.
* Wanderer, a parasitic alien who co-inhabits the mind and body of a human named Melanie in ''Literature/TheHost'' is very pro-life. She lies, badly and obviously, in order to protect the life of a guy who repeatedly tried to kill her. In fact, she's so pro-life that when she realizes that being a parasite on intelligent species is wrong, she [[spoiler: would rather let herself die than be transplanted into another body and take away their free will. Fortunately for Wanda, her friends (a) disagee with that, and (b) found her a replacement body that was as close to her ethical standards as possible.]]
* Carrot Ironfoundersson, the six foot dwarf (adopted) of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series is this to a "T". The weird part, though, is that, for Carrot, it ''works''.
** TheoryOfNarrativeCausality is a fact of life in Discworld, so of course it's going to work.
*** But the weird thing is, if anyone else tried it, they'd get creamed. It only works for Carrot because he's, well, ''Carrot''.
*** More specifically, because he's a [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler prince in disguise]]. Presumably if he acknowledges his heritage and takes the throne, he would start running headlong into all the challenges of a corrupt, decadent city like Ankh-Morpork and be frustrated in everything he tries to do. The TheoryOfNarrativeCausality will support him constantly as long as he's an underdog but rightful leader, and not a minute longer.
*** This is an example of The Code, a set of rules followed by heroes that says when a hero who follows the code is hopelessly outnumbered he will win. Also when the silver horde (seven old men) win a battle against five armies and when six men (some of them from the silver horde) who had just broken into the city of the gods back down from Carrot on the grounds that he's a king in disguise and there's one of him and six of them. Cohen the Barbarian sums this up perfectly "I outnumber you one to two."
*** And it doesn't ''always'' work for Carrot -- see the [[CurbStompBattle curb stomping he took]] in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', as he tried to fight Wolfgang "the proper way".
---> "Carrot, what have I told you about the [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Marquis of ]]'''[[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Bloody ]]'''[[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Fantailler?]]"
*** That's a questionable example, considering that Carrot opening himself up to that CurbStompBattle led to a romantic rival ''also'' committing HonorBeforeReason, and [[MurderTheHypotenuse getting beaten even worse]]. This leads to musing both in-universe and out about an AlternateCharacterInterpretation where he ''knows'' that destiny is on his side, and deliberately uses it...
** Another ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' example from ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'': 71-Hour Ahmed got his name from averting this trope. In the desert people are obliged to give one another three days of hospitality; the bond between guest and host is sacred, and considered inviolate by even the most seasoned killer. Ahmed was the guest of a man he suspected of poisoning a well, and thereby killing an entire village. After seventy-one hours he had put together the evidence necessary to prove his host's guilt, and Ahmed saw no reason why justice should wait even one hour -- and so his host became a head shorter. Ahmed became feared even by the D'regs, who despite being viewed as untrustworthy, bloodthirsty, and deceptive have their own code of honor.
** In ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' Vimes has reluctantly acknowledged that whatever his faults, Lord Rust is a man of honour, and it's just a shame he confuses honour with pig-headed stupidity. In a sort of warped mirror of how things work for Carrot, Rust valiantly led charges against an outnumbering enemy, and somehow his bullet-headed conviction that he can't be killed because he's acting honourably acts as armour. Shame about the men following him, though...
* Galad Damodred, from Robert Jordan's [[strike:12-book trilogy]] [[strike:DoorStopper]] bookshelf-destroyer fantasy series ''TheWheelOfTime'', ''always'' does what is right, no matter the cost to himself or others. His half-sister considers him loathsome for this reason. He also joins the series' version of the [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]], which created similar opinions in readers. This actually works in his favor in ''Knife of Dreams'' when he challenges an opponent knowing that his opponent was the better swordsman [[spoiler:only to win because his opponent was dragging out the fight to make Galad suffer. The result is that the [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]] now follow him.]]
** This seems like something of an informed ability (or maybe "informed personality trait"?). Throughout the books, Galad is usually willing to help most of the other characters that cross his path, or at least doesn't look to deep into things when they blatantly lie to him. He's avoided the soul-scarring spiritual and mental anguish pretty much every single other person has to deal with, and has managed to purge most of the evil elements from his fanatically-loyal army, while getting them to drop their centuries-long "Magic is Evil" crusade in favor of fighting the true Big Bad. For a series that is all about tragic flaws, Galad seems to make his work.
** Also, there's the Ogier, who'll ''never'' go back on their word, a fact exploited by Faile in ''The Shadow Rising'' in order to [[spoiler:force Perrin to take her with him to the Two Rivers]].
* In "Literature/EffiBriest", after Isntetten discovers that [[spoiler: Effi had an affair 7 years prior]], he decides that he must demand satisfaction and reclaim his honor, even though he openly acknowledges that it's a senseless act that will destroy his family over an event that he's not even "that" upset about.
* Refreshingly averted in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' (even though you'd be forgiven for mistaking the trope name [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming for one of its titles]]): most main characters, while definitely being persons of honor, hold those who enter the LawfulStupid territory due to this in the very low regard. Especially the title character, who once suffered a command officer that tried to use this trope to cover his incompetence.[[note]]Said commander, later made an admiral, got his comeuppance during Haven's Operation Thunderbolt, albeit at the expense of the fleet he commanded and the world it was assigned to guard.[[/note]]
** Although played completely straight by the PlanetOfHats Montana, filled with rugged individualists who all put honor above reason. In fact, their chief law enforcement officer is open about the fact that if he felt strongly enough about resisting the annexation of the Talbot cluster, he would resign and fight it openly like his erstwhile friend rather than continue in his job where he is immensely respected.
** Honor herself is generally pretty honourable (appropriately enough!) -- she just makes sure when she gives her word that she either really means to keep it or phrases it so carefully that she technically didn't break it (as in ''Honor Among Enemies'').
** It is played straight a few times where it is outright stated that making a heroic sacrifice to uphold the Star Kingdom's honor is a part of the Navy's tradition. Or in other words, getting your ship destroyed rather than be seen retreating is regarded as stupid but getting your ship destroyed attempting to protect civilians or an allied planet is simply following in the tradition of Edward Saganami. Michael Oversteegen sums it up:
--->"Well," Oversteegen said with a cold, hungry smile, "defendin' other people's planets against unprovoked attack by murderous scum seems t' have become something of a tradition for my Queen's Navy over the past few decades. Under the circumstances, I'm sure she'll forgive me for followin' that tradition."
* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' has Liu Bei, who ''nominally'' honors this trope (for political correctness' sake, apparently with Confucianism and thus this trope being ''en vogue''). Subverted in that more than once he operates less than nicely, whereas other times Honor Before Reason's the reason that he's the protagonist.
** For example, his refusal to simply take over Jing province before Cao Cao's arrival, even when Zhuge Liang specifically calls him on it, is because it would be interrupting the "natural" succession to the eldest son of current governor Liu Biao, and he doesn't want to take any criticism from "the people" for it, even though the dying Liu Biao himself requested that Liu Bei be his inheritor. In an earlier case of this with the late governor Tao Qian of Xu province, the late governor's officers and people begged Liu Bei to accept the succession... and even after Liu Bei gave in, he soon tried to give the office away to ''[[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Lu Bu]]''.
** ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 7'' had a variation where Liu Bei similarly refused to usurp his relative and host Liu Zhang of Yi province -- even though controlling Yi province was the key step in his advisor Zhuge Liang's "Tripartite Realm" strategy -- leading to his other advisor Pang Tong, and his generals Huang Zhong and Wei Yan, "mutinying" against Liu Zhang on behalf of Liu Bei and "the people," leaving Liu Bei upset until he saw that "the people" seemed to be perfectly fine with this.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings - The Two Towers'', Aragorn makes a statement fitting this trope when the Brothers-in-Arms have gone into Fangorn in search of Merry and Pippin.
-->'''Gimli:''' Then what shall we do now? We cannot pursue them through the whole fastness of Fangorn. We have come ill supplied. If we do not find them soon, we shall be of no use to them, except to sit down beside them and show our friendship by starving together.\\
'''Aragorn:''' If that is indeed all we can do, then we must do that. Let us go on.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', the [[IGaveMyWord Oath of Fëanor]] is particularly problematic: the eldest sons of Fëanor feel compelled to fulfill their oath, even though this means doing things which are not only counterproductive but which they know to be utterly wrong.
*** That's pretty much the plot of the Quenta Silmarillion: The hubris, stupidity, and irrational stubbornness of the good guys, especially the elves, does at least as much damage as Morgoth himself.
** Denethor also accuses Faramir of this in ''The Return of the King'', though unfairly. (Denethor feels that the Ring would have been useful to his country in the war, while Faramir believed it was too dangerous to use and therefore did not take the opportunity to get it from Frodo.)
--> "Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle. That may well befit one of a high race, if he sits in power and peace. But in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death."
** Bilbo in ''Literature/TheHobbit'' refused to kill Gollum out of pity, when it was clearly the sensible thing to do, as did Frodo (and eventually Sam) in the sequel. These actions led to the eventual saving of Middle-Earth, even when they seemed completely illogical at the time.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', the purpose of the Knights of the Cross is not to kill Denarians, but to save their hosts. They will give their foe every chance to surrender the coin, only killing the host if there is absolutely no other choice. And if the host does surrender the coin, their job is done, no matter how evil and vile the host may be, or how likely they are to seek another coin -- their purpose is not to judge, but to give each host a shot at redemption. Oddly enough, it does seem to work out for the best: [[spoiler:Sanya, Knight of the Cross and wielder of Esperacchius]] was a former Denarian host. However, also subverted -- [[spoiler: Michael and Sanya walk away from a particularly nasty host who had surrendered his coin in order for his life to be spared. However, they didn't insist that Harry do the same, and Harry, being the nice sort of chap he is, proceeds to break every major joint in the host's body with a baseball bat in order to extract important information and stop the host from escaping. And afterwards, the two Knights have a good laugh at the expression on the host's face when he realized he was left alone in a hotel room with a violently angry and vengeful man.]]
** On the side, they're especially amused by [[spoiler:the fact that Harry gave the man a quarter to use the pay phone to call 911.]]
--->'''Michael:''' Phone calls cost more than that now.\\
'''Harry:''' I know.\\
'''Everyone:''' ''(raucous laughter)''[[note]]In most locations, 911 is a free call, even from a payphone. Harry was just being evil.[[/note]]
** Considering that said Denarian [[spoiler:knew that the Knights wouldn't touch him because he surrendered the coin, regardless of the reason; then, before Harry beats the crap out of him, talks about how they [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] Shiro, the third Knight, and threatens Susan, the same woman Harry started a freaking WAR over...]] Of course, it deserves to be mentioned that [[spoiler:the same Denarian host comes back two books later in ''Dead Beat'' while working with the main villains, and tortures Harry in an attempt to get Lasciel's coin.]]
** And the way Harry pulls off this attack on the Denarian is perfect.
-->I turned away from him again and said, very quietly, "People like you always mistake compassion for weakness, Michael and Sanya aren't weak. Fortunately for you, they're good men."\\
The Denarian laughed at me.\\
"[[PreAsskickingOneLiner Unfortunately for you, I'm not.]]"\\
I spun around, swinging the bat as hard as I could, and broke his right kneecap.
** To a lesser degree, Harry himself. Despite Harry's repeated insistence he isn't a good person, he displays an alarming tendency to screw himself over to save others. ''Especially'' women and children.
* The entire novel of ''[[Literature/DonQuixote Don Quixote De La Mancha]]'' is a parody of the ChivalricRomance of Cervantes' time, including their obsession with honor.
** The first example is when Don Quixote [[WeHelpTheHelpless "rescues" Andrés from being flogged by his master]], Juan Haduldo. Don Quixote bullies Juan into promising to let Andres go, and he departs to other adventures, [[GenreSavvy because he has read that when a Knight]] [[IGaveMyWord gives his word, it’s enough.]] [[WrongGenreSavvy Unfortunately, this is the first modern novel]] [[RealityEnsues and Juan flogges Andres even harder.]]
* [[IdiotHero Alice L. Malvin]] of ''Anime/PumpkinScissors'' insists on charging ahead and "destroying evil" no matter what the odds are against them. Even after she [[CharacterDevelopment started using more reason]] after she was kidnapped, [[WideEyedIdealist she stayed true to her ideals]].
* In ''SirAproposOfNothing,'', the titular AntiHero has no use for honor, and often uses other people's honor against them in strange and awesome ways. Well, sometimes. Okay, when he's backed into a corner.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/{{Ultramarines}} novel ''Dead Sky Black Sun'', Uriel and Pasanius pursue their death oath until the bitter end although [[WhatYouAreInTheDark no one would know if they failed]], [[spoiler:and Leonid joins them, although the renegade Marines who join them for a time decide that it wasn't worth it]].
* Another ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel example: ''[[Literature/SoulDrinkers Soul Drinker]]''. Sarpedon's refusal to back down and let the Adeptus Mechanicus get away with stealing the Soulspear (which was ''the'' most sacred relic of their Chapter, and they had only just managed to locate it) led directly to their being declared Excommunicate Traitoris and finding themselves chased around the galaxy pursued by both Chaos and the Imperium, perpetually depleted and subject to shoot-on-sight orders.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Deus Encarmine]]'', Stele indulges in FlawExploitation with this; because the Blood Angels believe they owe him, he sets into play a BatmanGambit to win them to Chaos. Unfortunately, he trusts it a little too far. When he hears [[EpicHail a message had been sent]] bearing the id of a dead sergeant, he is flabbergasted: the Blood Angels regard [[DueToTheDead tampering with the equipment of the dead as sacriligeous]]. He does not consider that it is forbidden ''except under the most dire circumstances'' and so does not investigate who could have gotten to the dead man's gear. Indeed, when the responsible Blood Angel confesses, those he confesses to regard it as very serious -- but not so serious that even investigating it should take precedence over the news he had sent.
* In yet another ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel, ''[[Literature/SpaceMarineBattles Fall of Damnos]]'', the entire plan to defeat the KeystoneArmy relies on taking down said Keystone, which happens to be Necron Royarch (king). The leader of the defending force, [[GloryHound Cato Sicarius]], decides to duel him and forbids anyone else from helping out, as it would be "improper". Had he let go of his honor this one time, perhaps the title of the novel wouldn't be so spoilerrific...
* In P.C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', the Kencyr peoples display this trait as a whole. Honor overrides reason and common-sense, although the cleverer Kencyr are very good at working out ways to keep within the Law while doing whatever they want.
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', the Arends have this as their [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. Mandorallen takes this to the extreme even for an Arend.
* This is also the hat of the Tsurani from ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'', interestingly, both the heroes and villains of the ''Empire Trilogy'', that takes place entirely on the Tsurani homeworld, are people who realise that the Tsurani definition of honor should be put aside in the pursuit of more pragmatic goals. For the bad guys, it's selfish desires, for the good guys it's the good of the Empire in general.
* The Knights of Solamnia in the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' saga.
** [[CatchPhrase Est sularis oth mithas]].[[note]]"My honor is my life."[[/note]]
** The Knighthood as a whole was doing a-okay right up until [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Cataclysm]]. In the aftermath, the public began turning against them, saying that the Cataclysm was either their fault or blaming them for not stopping it. Solamnia was spared much of the destruction that followed, but soon Knights of Solamnia were being murdered by mobs in the streets. Recruitment plummeted and many remaining Knights simply took off their armor and renounced their vows. The larger problem was that the Solamnic Knights were sworn to uphold the Code (seen above) and the Measure, a complicated series of laws that uphold chivalric virtues and knightly behavior. For centuries, most of the Knights' senior leadership posts were vacant because not enough Knights existed to constitute a quorum to vote in new leaders and the Measure made no allowances for a giant meteor wiping out a good chunk of their membership. It wasn't until after the War of the Lance that a revised Measure was drafted that was much more flexible with the formalities. But ''during'' the War of the Lance, a large percentage of the Knighthood was slaughtered because they were ordered into a hopeless CurbStompBattle by a half-insane [[GeneralRipper Knight of the Rose]], Derek Crownguard. They could not refuse, because the Measure made Lord Derek the commander by rank and seniority, nor could they remove him from command because the Measure did not anticipate a Knight commander losing his shit in the middle of a war.
* In Creator/GKChesterton's ''Literature/TheManWhoWasThursday'', Syme is certain he will be crushed by Sunday if he doesn't tell the police -- but he's [[IGaveMyWord promised not to reveal anything he's learned]]. He knows how crazy it is, but does it anyway.
-->''It was his last triumph over these lunatics to go down into their dark room and die for something that they could not even understand.''
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars The Gods of Mars]]'', a traitor offers John Carter his freedom in return for certain pledges, and even though he will die, and his friends and allies could really use his help, Carter refuses.
** In ''The Chessmen of Mars'', when a man tries to lay hands on her while she is a prisoner, Tara stabs him, much to the horror of a slave woman.
--->''Lan-O, wide-eyed, looked with horror upon the corpse. "For this we shall both die," she cried.\\
"And who would live a slave in Manator?" asked Tara of Helium.\\
"I am not so brave as thou," said the slave girl, "and life is sweet and there is always hope."\\
"Life is sweet," agreed Tara of Helium, "but honor is sacred. But do not fear. When they come I shall tell them the truth -- that you had no hand in this and no opportunity to prevent it."''
** In ''A Fighting Man of Mars'', Tan Hadron rues this: John Carter refuses to strike first in any war, but his enemies, this time, had a MadScientist invention that caused ships to disintegrate and men to fall to their deaths, horribly; it had a short range, and Heliumite guns could have pounded the enemy ships to pieces before being in danger.
* Doing this is the central theme of de Sade's ''Justine''. It is, however, satire.
* ''The Bronze Horseman'' by Paullina Simons. Alexander and Dimitri plan to desert during the Finnish War by volunteering to search for their commanding officer's missing son. When they really do find him while crossing the lines, Alexander insists they bring him back, earning Alexander the eternal gratitude of their CO, and the hatred of his friend Dimitri.
* This attitude gets [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster]] into (light comedic) trouble on a regular basis.
* In Creator/WenSpencer's ''Endless Blue'', Paige says that they can't provoke a fight with the civ, as they are intelligent if primitive, Jones says that's inconvenient, and Paige says it's not supposed to be convenient.
* Byrhtnoth Byrhthelming, hero of the Anglo-Saxon poem ''Literature/TheBattleOfMaldon'' (fought in 991), has a horrible case of this: the Saxon army is on the mainland, the Viking enemy are on a marshy island with a one-man-wide causeway as the only way off, the Viking leader says that a really honourable opponent would let them cross and fight on open ground... and Byrhtnoth ''agrees''. The Saxons are crushed and he dies.
** YMMV here, as he may have suspected that if he didn't let them fight on open ground, they'd merely sail off and raid the next town over. He had the largest force in the area, and thus the best chance to stop the raiders, making this more of a SenselessSacrifice.
* A similar dilemma to the last John Carter example above led directly to the utter destruction of a galactic civilization in the past of the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe: Segafrendo. Picture a galaxy very much at peace with itself and ably defended against external threats by scarily competent alien mercenaries who everybody knows can nonetheless be trusted utterly because of their adherence to a strict code of honor. A code of honor that, it turns out, prevents them from initiating any hostilities against others on their own no matter how much they might want to. Cue a massive invasion force from another galaxy showing up and clearly moving into the perfect position over multiple worlds for its own crippling first strike, all the while refusing to formally declare its intentions or fire a single shot until ready...
* ''[[Literature/{{Sharpe}} Sharpe's Honour]]'', shockingly enough, features this as a major element. It starts with Sharpe fighting a duel over the honour of a woman he ''knows'' to be a traitor. Half-way through he's offered the chance to escape captivity, foil his nemesis and save the war for Britain, but refuses because doing so would involve breaking his [[IGaveMyWord parole]] (which he has not, at that point, given).
* Franchise/StarWarsLegends:
** In ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', mercenaries burst in on Luke Skywalker and some Bothan spies. One of the spies is shot but not with an [[InstantDeathBullet Instant Death Blaster Bolt]], and Luke refuses to leave him--and the Bothan dies, and Luke is captured, while those Bothans who just ran get away.
** ''Literature/{{Allegiance}}'' has Leia in an Imperial city and lying low, because they know she's there and are hunting her. While in hiding she sees burglars breaking into a house that has a child in it; she knows they probably won't just let the kid be, so she fires her blaster, even knowing that patrollers might hear and investigate. She knows it will get people's attention. That's why she does it, even though she might be discovered because of it.
** The novelization of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' gives this as the reason why Obi-Wan doesn't MercyKill the dismembered and burning Anakin (along with the fact that he can sense Sidious's approach and my not have time to escape):
--> In the end, there was only one choice. [...] In the end, he was still Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was still a Jedi, and he would not murder a helpless man.\\
He would leave it to the will of the Force.
* Garren's father in the FarsalaTrilogy, who [[TheBet made a bet]] that his son could conquer Farsala with only ten thousand troops. Unfortunately, his son has no such scruples.
* Eremon in Jules Watson's Dalriada Trilogy. He refuses to turn on the Scots tribe he's only recently met in order to join the Romans, even though it would be in his best interest to do so. Since there's no apparent reason why he'd be so loyal to the rather ungrateful tribe, this comes across more as a plot device than anything else.
* Colonel Nicholson in ''TheBridgeOverTheRiverKwai'' orders his men not to attempt an escape from the prison camp, because the circumstances under which they were captured mean that it would technically be against the rules for them to escape. He also helps his captors build a better bridge because they ordered him to.
* In ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians The Sea of Monsters]]'' when Percy doesn't kill Polyphemus. Also a case of GenreBlindness.
** It should be noted that Percy's fatal flaw is personal loyalty, which is basically an extreme version of NoOneGetsLeftBehind - ie. he'd prefer the safety of his friends and family over the safety of the world.
* While ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'' advises you to travel through urban areas as quickly as possible and not stop except under dire circumstances, an exception can be made if you want to assist other survivors. [[LampshadeHanging "Sometimes, logic must give way to humanity."]] (The rest of the book averts this pretty hard, though, and encourages the reader to be as pragmatic as possible for the sake of their own survival.)
* In [[Literature/TheMonkeyWrenchGang The Monkey Wrench Gang]], the titular band of [[WesternTerrorists ecoterrorists]] wage a war against development not because they think they'll win, but because "someone's got to do it".
* In Brandon Sanderson's ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', all of the Knights Radiant are supposed to be this way. While still dangerous, the "before reason" part is somewhat avoided by the fact that, on a world created by the Shard ''Honor'', acting like this gives you superpowers (specifically it attracts a spren, a sort of abstract ElementalEmbodiment of whatever particular principle you're holding to, who bonds with you and grants you power so long as you don't betray that principle), meaning it stands a decent chance of getting you out of the trouble it got you into.
* The [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Elites]] in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' expanded universe often would rather die with honor than live without. In ''The Cole Protocol'' it's even dishonorable to have another Elite give you a mercy killing, implying you're too weak to even kill yourself.
** Some are even observed fighting in hand-to-hand combat and dying from it rather than pick up a fully loaded human weapon at their feet.
** In a bit of a departure from human concepts of honor, Elites find it dishonorable to be wounded in battle, meaning you weren't good enough to come out unharmed. The Elite dishonorable in this manner usually demands to be allowed a chance to redeem himself by shedding blood of enemies. In ''The Cole Protocol'' an Elite feudal lord is attacked in his bedchamber by assassins. He kills them and, the next day, shows up in front of his vassals and disrobes to show no marks on his body. He then kills the man who sent the assassins for not doing the honorable thing and coming after him himself.
* In one of MercedesLackey's [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Tarma and Kethry]] stories in ''Oathblood'', Tarma and Kethry (and their Kyree Warrl) get a [[ClingyMacGuffin bad-luck cursed coin]]. Kethry refuses to do anything to pass it off onto another innocent party. Warrl comments, "Admirable. Stupid but admirable." [[spoiler:They eventually get rid of it by arranging to be targeted by bandits. Kethry only refused to pass it to an ''innocent'' party.]]
* The Arkenites in the StarTrekNovelVerse take their debts very seriously. In the StarTrekVanguard series, Klingons save an Arkenite outpost from a disaster in exchange for the outpost swearing allegiance to the Klingon Empire; the residents then refuse to back out. Even though they don't want to leave the Federation or help the Klingons, they all willingly keep to the promise even when Starfleet shows up trying to "liberate" them. To choose gratification over duty and refuse to repay their debt would, their leader explains, be unthinkable.
* Rudolph Rassendyll of ''Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda'' loves Princess Flavia and is loved by her, and she is arranged to be married to her boorish cousin and TheWrongfulHeirToTheThrone. Rassendyll admits to himself that the best possible outcome would be allowing the villains to dispose of his look-alike relative before stopping them, allowing him to be a good ruler and be with the woman he loves. However, because of his honor, he helps restore the king to the throne and [[DidNotGetTheGirl does not get the girl]]. For her part, because of her own honor, Flavia accepts being married to a man she despises rather than one she loves.
* Michael from the ''KnightAndRogueSeries''. He will only lie if absolutely necessary, and lets a murder suspect run free even though doing so will give him one of the most severe punishments the law can deal because he's found evidence she's innocent. In fact, she flat out tells him she can prove her innocence in court, but he's worried because the court he wants to take her to is stacked against her and there's a chance she could be found guilty anyway. Just for added affect, this not actually guilty murderer who choses not to capture despite the penalty had been torturing/experimenting on him several hours before he made this decision.
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', the two owners of the only ammunition factory burn it down to keep the civil war a fight with blades. Then they shake hands and depart for opposite sides of the war. The one who joins the coup is regarded as odd by his own side, who do not understand his principles.
* In Creator/WenSpencer's ''Literature/{{Tinker}}'', Windwolf threatens to castrate the man who offered Tinker a ScarpiaUltimatum to treat Windwolf. It would have stained his honor, even though it might cost him his life.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'':
** Daniar takes her ThouShallNotKill thing very seriously. Enemy soldiers were overrunning her kingdom's capital but she refused to do more than disarm them because they were conscripts. [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs This doesn't work well for her.]]
** Kazem too. Lots of 'die on your feet then live on your knees' sort of lines from him. Whether he believes this himself or is just using it as propaganda is up for debate.
* King Joyse in Stephen Donaldson's ''[[Literature/TheMirrorOfHerDreams Mordants Need]]'' novels. He refuses to take action while his enemies plot against him for fear that the cost of victory will be too high, using a problem from a draughts game that can't be won without sacrificing pieces as a metaphor for his dilemma. He also refuses to prevent his subjects from taking actions that have tragic results because they're motivated by love of the kingdom and have earned the right to do as they see fit. Subverted in the end though, since his inaction and feigned indecision were all part of a XanatosGambit he was playing against the whole world.
* Ashinji of ''Literature/GriffinsDaughter''. He basically swallows the heaps of abuse and petty slights his JerkAss older brother drops on him solely because Sadaiyo is the heir to the throne and Ashinji "owes" him fealty. Even his parents (who are aware of Sadaiyo's... predilections) marvel that he hasn't at least beaten the crap out of him once.
* Though usually a very pragmatic series, ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' pulls this one out of left field during the David Trilogy. The titular character is a SixthRanger the Animorphs have narrowly saved from capture, who in the process has been completely cut off from his family, his home, and everything he's ever known. Normally a pragmatic bunch, the Animorphs suddenly become unyielding sentinels of morality in dealing with him, forcing him to sleep in a cold barn rather than letting him sleep in a hotel room (which he admittedly broke into). Jake even goes so far as to ''threaten David's life'', which is especially jarring when one considers how often the other members of the team have used their powers for selfish ends. With all this dumped on him, it's really no surprise when David [[SanitySlippage snaps]] and goes SixthRangerTraitor on them.
** In ''The Decision'', all the Andalites on a ship decide to collectively commit suicide rather than running away when it becomes clear that they can't defeat the Yeerks the way they'd hoped. This was [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in Blog/CinnamonBunzuh:
-->Ifi: You can morph too, dude
-->Ifi: Did you forget that you can morph?
-->Ifi: You can all morph.
-->Ifi: You can ALL morph.
-->Adam: Isn't escaping the honorable thing to do?
-->Ifi: Not as honorable as MASS RITUAL SUICIDE
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', Oenoe recounts how some Nymphs, insanely, did not love their world of total indolence and ease, even with the help of drugs. Men were offered cryogenic slumber until the age where more martial virtues were needed, and women turned into heralds who sought out those men and brought them to the sleep. Oenoe herself slept in the tombs because she was in love with one such woman, and preferred having her heart break to forgetting her love.
* In ''The Trumpeter of Krackow'', a legend is told of a trumpeter who is sworn to blow a trumpet from a church tower every hour, doing so even while the Mongols are ravaging his city, thus revealing his presence. As might be expected, he ends up shot with an arrow for it.
* In ''Literature/RedeemingLove'', LoveMartyr Michael Hosea’s attempts to [[LoveRedeems cure]] bitter, cynical, and manipulative BrokenBird Angel, who is a prostitute—by marrying her and treating her as he would a pure, devoted, and faithful wife—often cross over into this territory, especially in the view of the other characters, who urge him to forget she ever existed.
* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' fights with this trope at times, dickering over doing the honorable thing vs. the logical thing and angsting over his decision later. He plays it straight a couple of times as a PluckyMiddie, when he tries to refuse being transferred from the ''Justinian''[[labelnote:*]]a Channel-bound tub[[/labelnote]] to the ''Indifatigable''[[labelnote:*]]an active frigate with certain opportunity for career advancement[[/labelnote]] out of loyalty to Captain Keene; Keene is touched but scolds him and sends him off anyway. Not long after that, Hornblower refuses to take credit for stopping a privateer he was held prisoner because he "lost" the prize vessel he ''had'' been commanding. (It had been holed--not Hornblower's fault--and had a rice cargo, so it basically popped its seams and became unsavable.) He does that even though Pellew has waved off the loss of the ship as quite unimportant.
* In ''Literature/TheLostFleet'', after 100 years of brutal fighting, TheAlliance fleet has degraded to this, although their concept of honor has also "evolved". Fleet tactics have largely been forgotten, as every ship charges into battle and hopes to win through sheer "fighting spirit". For the same reason, commands of choice are no longer battleships but battlecruisers, which allow them to be on the forefront of any charge. Battleships are reserved for those who lack aggression, with the thought being that thicker armor and stronger shields will help to compensate their faults. Killing civilians ''en masse'' is perfectly normal in order to deny the enemy further recruits and ruin the economy. Prisoners of war are executed. Saluting is an archaic concept, except for Marines. When Captain John Geary is recovered from his HumanPopsicle state, he is horrified to learn what has become of the Alliance sailors and officers. He tries to reintroduce the concepts of fleet tactics and honorable behavior, while constantly arguing with those ship commanders who want him to lead them to victory ''without'' changing anything. It doesn't help that most expect him to be the legendary "Black Jack" Geary whose last recorded order was "close with the enemy" (it was actually his [[TheLastStand Last Stand]] in an attempt to let civilian ships escape).
** Geary starts giving captains [[InsaneTrollLogic interesting]] interpretations of any orders that don't involve a full offensive in order to ensure that they follow them rather than ignore them in favor of an [[AttackAttackAttack all out attack]]. Good examples are referring to a retreat as repositioning to attack from a different direction or getting damaged ships to stay out of a fight by personally tasking them with defending the fleet auxiliaries.
* Lucy Pennykettle from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]].
* In ''Literature/RachelGriffin'', when the heroes find that someone in their circle is betraying them, Nastasia struggles with the idea of [[FeedTheMole feeding out false information]] to discover the mole--because it would involve lying.
* In Literature/DangerousSpirits, Konstantine falls just short of considering any criticism against the Tsar to be nothing less than outright treason, and breaks several friendships by reporting them to his superiors when his compatriots comment that the Tsar, while a great man, does not have a God-given right to rule.
* Played straight for cynicism in ''Literature/ThePrinceOfThorns'': Jorg is an almost-heartless monster who kills and tortures without hesitation or moral qualms. In the sequel The King of Thorns, his foil the Prince of Arrow is an honorable man, who even gives Jorg the chance to surrender and refuses to kill him because he's still a boy. As repayment, Jorg [[spoiler: starts multiple avalanches on his army, his newlywed wife blows up the invaders who've gotten through the gate as well as their own defenders, he allies with trolls, and finally Jorg attacks the army with all of his necromantic and fire magics until both are burned out of him and the army is routed. But none of this really matters, because the honorable Prince of Arrow has already been killed by his own less-honorable brother.]]
* During ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' Jerin gives his word of honor that he will be a placid, willing captive if his captors will spare Cira. He promptly turns on them, explaining to Cira that this is dealing with these people on their level - they're already shown themselves to not be trustworthy in the least.
* In the first pages of ''Literature/TyrannnosaurCanyon'' Tom Broadbent promises a dying man that he will convey a notebook and message to the dead man's daughter. He takes this promise personally, not allowing the police to get involved when they might have been able to help and directly imperiling his friends and family.
* This trait is ingrained into the training of the Disciples of Penance from ''Literature/OfFearAndFaith''. The group of them that the party meet in the Fortress of the Damned refused to abandon their station even long after it became clear that they were fighting a losing battle, and so they became trapped there, which [[DespairEventHorizon did not end well]] for them. [[spoiler: When they finally escape with the party's help, their leader Giovanna elects to turn herself in to her superiors to be arrested for leaving her post, and all of her soldiers follow her due to a combination of this trope and UndyingLoyalty to her.]]
* Blake Thorburn in ''Literature/{{Pact}}'' firmly retains his [[TheIdealist idealism and faith in humanity]] even when his inherited {{Karma}} means that [[EverythingTryingToKillYou the universe is passively attempting to murder him while his family's enemies attempt to do so actively]], believes in not striking first, and does everything he can to uphold the various vows and promises that he swears over the course of the story, in both letter and spirit.
* The Calvarians from ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'' are extremely prone to this. One of their most common sayings is, "Death before dishonor."
* The reformers' faction in ''Literature/ThePowerBroker'', including the young Robert Moses, is unwilling to cut deals with politicians and play the game. [[TheConsigliere Belle Moskowitz]] lifts Moses out of failure and teaches him how to "get things done". Ironically, the spiritual descendants of those idealistic reformers become Moses' enemies as he becomes entrenched and corrupt over the decades.
* ''JourneyToChaos'': In ''[[Literature/AMagesPower A Mage's Power]]'', Siron himself points out that the only thing he has to gain from [[spoiler: exposing his father's plan is staining his family's reputation and exposing himself to charges of treason. He explains that he couldn't live with himself otherwise. By the time of ''Literature/LoomingShadow'', he's become Kasile's servant as atonement for his role in the plan. This means he gets to hang out with his love interest all day]] so it turns out to be pretty reasonable too.
* In ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', Edward Ferrars refuses to break his engagement to [[BitchInSheepsClothing Lucy Steele]], even though he no longer loves her and in fact loves Elinor instead. For a woman to have an engagement broken on her ''was'' SeriousBusiness in Georgian times, however, the engagement had been a carefully-kept secret so there wouldn't be any public backlash. Nevertheless, he gave his word.
* ''Literature/TheWhiteCompany'': Sir Nigel has tendencies in this direction, to the exasperation of the people around him in general and his wife in particular. His wife, squire and second-in-command can usually keep him from getting into too much trouble, but sometime have to go behind his back to do so.
* ''Literature/WithFireAndSword'' (Polish: ''Ogniem i mieczem''), is an 1884 historical novel by the Polish author HenrykSienkiewicz set during the 17th century Khmelnytsky Uprising which ended Polish rule in what is now the Ukraine. In one of the early scenes, the Ukrainian rebels capture a town where there is a force of German mercenaries. The Ukrainians suggest that the mercenaries change sides and offer them a better contract than they had from their Polish employers. "You are mercenaries, this is not your war, what do you mind on whose side you fight?" But the mercenaries' commander answers "In three months' time our contract to the King of Poland ends. Then, we will be happy to sign a new contract with you". The Ukrainian says: "You don't have three months, we have to move on and can't afford to have at our back a force loyal to the King of Poland. If you don't change sides now, we will be forced to fight you. You are surrounded and greatly outnumbered!". To which the German answers: "It is our honor to be loyal to our contract and our employer, whatever the cost. If we lose our honor, we have nothing left". Thereupon, the mercenaries fight to the death against impossible odds rather than betray their contract, dying to the last and extracting a heavy price from the Ukrainians . (It is noteworthy that Sienkiewicz was an outspoken proponent of {{Romanticism}}, and the characters in his books - minor and major, heroes and villains alike - often tend to act in high-minded chivalrous manner.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' has Eddard Stark embody this trope and it does him far more harm than good. His demeanor is portrayed by parody in the trope's image. His eldest son Robb also inherited it from him.
** Maester Aemon gives an especially poignant defense of this trope, explaining that it's easy for men to do their sworn duty when there's no personal cost. It's only when that oath is upheld in dire circumstances does it ever mean anything.
* In the classic ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode, "Spectre of the Gun", Kirk becomes increasingly desperate to escape the surreal nightmare DeathTrap he and his landing party are thrust in. However, when the sheriff suggests he ambush the Earps to murder them, Kirk becomes nearly hysterical that he cannot stoop that low regardless of how dire the situation is. However, after the party figures a way to beat the trap, Kirk keeps to that same principle to spare the defeated Earps and that act impresses the aliens to not only let Kirk's party go, but also open up relations with the Federation. Thus by keeping to his principles, Kirk pulls a real victory out of the affair instead of mere survival. The same thing happens in "Arena" when he refuses to finish off the Gorn. Although by that point the Gorn wasn't in any shape to take advantage.
** Ironically, the outcome of "Spectre of the Gun" was due to ExecutiveMeddling. In the original script, Kirk ''does'' let pragmatism trump honor, and shoots Wyatt Earp in the back. The aliens release Kirk not because they're impressed by his principles, but because, having read his mind, they know he ''believes'' in honor, and conclude that for him to have violated his own principles, he must be insane, and therefore not culpable for his actions.
* Also prevalent in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', especially in the episode "I, Borg". Picard decides ''not'' to take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to destroy the Borg, an entity that had cut through the galaxy like locusts, including ''assimilating Picard himself'', because to use a newly individualized Borg against his race would be wrong. Somehow. Picard was severely reprimanded by his superiors for making that choice and, later, he admits that while what he did was the ''moral'' thing to do it may not have been the ''right'' thing.
** The idea was that it would be wrong because the newly individualized and presumably innocent Borg would also be killed. Also, Picard hoped that its individuality would spread through the collective, so that the Borg would no longer be enemies or would at least be a group that could be negotiated with. [[spoiler:And it worked, except only a part of the Collective was "infected" with individuality (implying that the other, more lethal option would have only taken out part of the Collective as well). Too bad Data's EvilTwin Lore manipulated them into becoming vicious conquerors.]]
** In the episode "Half a Life," an alien is about turn sixty, an age where people on his planet commit ritual suicide as a way of preserving their dignity. When he wants to break tradition in order to continue research on how to save the planet's dying star, they inform him that, even if he finds a way to save it, they would reject it because he broke tradition.
** "Pegasus" sees Captain Picard openly admitting to an Admiral violating a treaty with the Romulans by conducting cloaking research. Causing a diplomatic incident and making his own government look bad to maintain Starfleets honor.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' gives us the Jem'Hadar. They are programmed to obey the Vorta without question, even when they know better. In one particular instance, a bunch of half-dead Jem'Hadar walk right into a Federation ambush their Vorta sent them into, knowing beforehand he was doing it on purpose so they'd all die and he could defect, simply because they are bred to obey. This serves to make them surprisingly relatable in several episodes.
--> Sisko: "Do you really want to give up your life for the 'order of things'?"
--> Remata'Klan: "It is not my life to give up, Captain – and it never was."
** The Vorta are likewise bred to obey the Founders. While they never have so suicidal an opportunity to demonstrate this, their loyalty to the Founders is shown to trump reason on occasion. We also see a few surrender or defect though.
** Worf is one of the most prominent examples of a character following his personal brand of honor no matter what (though sometimes it puts him in conflict with the all-forgiving sentiments of Picard's brand of honor.) But the archetypal example comes in a ''Deep Space Nine'' episode where Worf battle's and defeats Jem Hadar soldiers in order of increasing difficulty not being given time to heal between battles to the point where fellow Klignon General Martok tells him that honor has been satisfied and he still gets up and keeps fighting. Eventually the Jem Hadar chief surrenders out of respect though he could have easily won the fight and is immediately killed by his pragmatic Vorta superior for his gesture.
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Captain Janeway turns down many opportunities to get the crew home by refusing to violate the Prime Directive. The irony there is that her willingness to violate the Prime Directive in the first episode is what left the ship stranded. She also suffered from a staggering amount of DependingOnTheWriter, and as a result seemed to follow a bizarre version of the Prime Directive unique to her and constantly changing.
** Janeway's first officer, Chakotay, at times exhibited this attitude as well; usually in confrontation with Janeway during one of the many instances where she ''was'' entirely willing to break the rules. Chakotay is probably one of the most consistent (if not well-known) examples of this trope, after ''Series/GameOfThrones'' Ned Stark. This was frequently at odds with his original status as a major leader in a guerrilla army/ terrorist group and the way he ran it, though considering that he became a Maquis due to considering it to be the morally right thing to do, he may have been this even as a terrorist.
*** Chakotay was a Starfleet officer before his defection, so he may still believe in he ''ideals'' of the Federation.
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Captain Malcolm Reynolds chooses to take in and shelter Simon and River Tam, despite the fact that having them on board increases the danger to his crew and actually puts all them in danger multiple times. When asked why he would do something so risky for people he barely knows when he seems like such a rational, cold-hearted bastard, he doesn't respond, tries to avoid answering altogether, or offers some flimsy excuse that everyone can see through quite clearly.
** Though this trope applies once they've become part of his crew, his reason for offering that protection in the first place probably come down to a simple TakeThat against the Alliance.
** [[TheMovie The Big Damn Movie]] shows this in one of its more powerful scenes: After River's psychotic rampage, and when Mal is confronted with every rational reason to leave them behind, he ''still'' chooses to protect them and fight for them.
** Mal is still brutally pragmatic, though, especially when dealing with threats to [[TrueCompanions his crew.]] Case in point: him kicking Crow into the ship's engine after he declared they would meet again in "The Train Job," or when he decided to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim shoot the Operative]] as soon as he said he was unarmed in ''Serenity''. That's what we like about Mal: he has honor, but not ''stupid'' honor."
** Or most times he does. On occasion, though, fighting for honor means Mal risking very likely death, which Inara once calls him on and points out how senseless it is. And, of course, much of his fighting against the Alliance (equally risky) probably IS an honor thing for him, including the less honorable criminal stuff (which is the only way he can justify it, and sometimes not even then).
** Mal does make it a point to help out people who are in dire straits, though; in "The Train Job," the moment he finds out the cargo he stole is medicine for the dying villagers he chooses to return it. When the local lawman remarks that people have a choice to make when they find out the details of a situation like theirs, Mal's only response is that he feels they ''don't'' have a choice at all.
** Even ''[[SociopathicHero Jayne]]'' has a few instances of this. One particular example is in "War Stories," where he outright tells the rest of the crew that going to rescue Mal from Niska's army of thugs is insane and a suicide mission. Later on, as everyone is preparing to go on the rescue mission, Jayne appears, fully loaded with all of his guns and ready to do his part. At the surprised look of the rest of the crew, his only response is a confused "What?"
** Jayne's sense of honor showed through in its own way; after betraying Simon and River Tam to the feds in "Ariel" and having to bust them back out due to getting pinched right long with them, he pleads with Mal [[TreacheryCoverUp not to let the others know about his dishonorable actions]], even while he was faced with his own death by being ThrownOutTheAirlock. That's the only reason Mal spared him.
*** It's also worth noting that Jayne could have easily left both of them there to distract the Feds and make a clean getaway, but he still helps them escape.
*** Maybe he just didn't think of it.
** Simon also does this for River, and he strictly follows the [[InconvenientHippocraticOath Hippocratic Oath]] even when he might risk capture or when it's someone he doesn't particularly like.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' features a serial killer's public defender who, acting on a tip from his client, goes to see a warehouse where the killer has stored bodies of his victims, which he admits was stupid but refuses to tell anyone where they are, standing firmly behind privilege. Because he had to lock it when he left, thus helping hide the bodies, [=McCoy=] decides to charge him as an accessory, while making it clear that all the lawyer has to do to get the charges dropped is give up the location of the bodies. [[spoiler: He never does, and goes to prison still refusing.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' tends to follow this trope when it comes to Buffy dealing with a human threat, at least until the Bringers (were they human?). She lets a werewolf hunter leave even though judging by the collection of teeth he's killed dozens of people to get werewolf pelts. She refuses to kill her friend Ford, who betrayed her, until after he becomes a vampire. And in the sixth season, despite the fact that Warren killed her friend Tara in cold blood and nearly killed her as well, she insists that she can't kill him because he's human and being the Slayer doesn't give her a license to kill.
** Perhaps the most extreme case is the fifth season, when she has to choose between saving her sister or saving the universe. She threatens everyone with death if they go near her sister. Then she [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]]. It is such an extreme case that one could say she acted as a PrinciplesZealot, although either way it also fits this trope as it is very unreasonable but according to the strict deontological ethics of a Principles Zealot, one can never kill an innocent human, even to save the whole world. Giles' [[ForHappiness consequential]] view, that Dawn should be killed if there is no other option, seems much more reasonable even if one isn't usually strongly consequentialist, but the point of the trope is that reason is being discarded.
** During the fourth season, all of the Scoobies arguably fall into this, being largely against killing Spike after he got his RestrainingBolt because he's helpless, despite the fact that he was one of their worst enemies and kept saying that he would kill them all at the first opportunity once he got the chip removed. Of course, that doesn't stop them from regularly taunting him over his "impotence" and beating him up for fun or information.
* [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]] could easily, ''easily'' wipe out the alien threat of the week, but he insists on giving them a choice, usually involving finding another world for them to settle on, free of intelligent life. It's only when they refuse that he shows them [[BewareTheNiceOnes why that might have been a good idea]].
** A perfect alternative example appears in the 1996 TV movie; a police officer is preventing the Doctor and his companion from reaching their destination. Time is running out, the entire planet Earth is at stake, and the Doctor doesn't have time to reason with the police officer. So he swipes the officer's gun. However, he is also not the kind of man who points guns at innocent people, no matter what the situation. So he points the gun ''at himself'' and yells "[[StopOrIShootMyself Now stand aside before I shoot myself]]!"
*** The Eighth Doctor hasn't changed in this respect by "The Night of the Doctor", either. He attempts to save a young woman from a crashing spaceship, but she refuses to go with him so he refuses to save himself.
** Gets more than a little {{Anvilicious}} when the Doctor opposes eliminating ''the Daleks'', even though they're dedicated to wiping out all non-Dalek life in the universe.
*** The Doctor's attitude makes more sense when you consider that he's terrified of losing his morals and becoming something like the Valeyard. If he agreed with genocide or murder, even once, even justifiably, he'd be taking a first step down a disastrous road, and he wants to avoid that at all costs. [[spoiler:Remember the Time Lord Victorious? That was but a glimpse of what he could become.]]
*** Additionally, the Time War could have been so awful that the idea of annihilating the Daleks brings up horrible memories.
*** In the classic series, the Doctor had the opportunity to wipe the Daleks out at the moment of their creation, but wasn't sure he had the right, and concluded that humans and other races ''opposing'' the Daleks was what led to [[TheFederation galactic harmony]].
** One of his worst moments was in the new series, when he met the Sontarans, a race of cloned soldiers, whose one notable weakness is a vent in the back of their necks. It's in the back because Sontarans are not supposed to retreat, so it's a relatively safe place to put it. He has a bomb that can destroy the Sontaran ship and save the Earth. But he decides to beam up to the Sontaran ship WITH THE BOMB in order to give them a chance to surrender. Never mind that anyone with even the smallest knowledge about the Sontaran would know that the Sontarans don't surrender, the idea that the ship in question wouldn't gladly be destroyed to be able to defeat someone as famous and powerful as The Doctor (Not to mention, stop his occasional ruinings of their war effort) is absurd. In the end, another character had to sacrifice himself to save him. Way to go, Doctor.
** This also comes up pretty much any time the "Laws of Time" get invoked. So the one Dalek who escaped the Time War, over thousands of years, becomes a half million Daleks, causing untold misery on Earth in the meantime. So does the Doctor just take the time machine at his disposal, go back in time, and fight the Dalek when there's only one of them? Of course not. When the Doctor tries to bring Rose back to her home, but accidentally arrives one year too late, causing Rose to have been listed as a missing person, her boyfriend to have been arrested for supposedly murdering her, and lots of trauma suffered by her family members, you'd think this would be easily fixable by just getting back in the TARDIS and getting it right this time, but that never even comes up. Even yanking Adric off of the crashing ship he's on is quickly shot down thanks to the Laws of Time, even though doing so wouldn't have altered history at all, as the ship still would have crashed, and the resulting aftermath would have been the same.
*** Within the world of ''Series/DoctorWho'', going back on one's own timeline is a ''strict no-no''--in fact, there's something about it called the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. The Doctor's code is less "honor before reason" and more "try to do as little damage to the timeline as you can." As for not saving Adric, well...[[TheScrappy This is Adric we're talking about]].
** Subverted by the eleventh Doctor. He tries to talk if the situation allows it and tries to spare manipulated pawns, but against actively hostile forces he will wipe them out as soon as he has the advantage.
* Helo on ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', the fact that his wife Sharon is a Cylon makes his journey much tougher.
* In ''TheSarahConnorChronicles'', which [[CanonDiscontinuity tosses out]] the events of ''Terminator 3'', both John and Sarah try to stop Skynet with no deaths. Cameron and Derek Reese don't share the same sentiment, however. If killing someone will complete the mission and possibly stop Skynet, they'll kill them in a ''heartbeat''. This goes out the window at the start of the second season, when John is forced to witness a man attempting to rape his mother. ThouShaltNotKill comes to a crashing end when he breaks free. On the other hand, John refuses to destroy Cameron even after she goes berserk and tries to kill him. Everyone, even ''Cameron herself'' thinks that John should have destroyed her, but he refuses to, because he still trusts her.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheATeam''. Even though the team usually fits the trope to a T, in one episode Hannibal secures the help of General Fullbright by promising to turn himself in if he assists him. Afterwards, Hannibal escapes and says "In war there are no promises; only strategy."
* Subversion in ''Series/{{Rome}}'' where Anthony, who is besieged in his palace with the (very) pitiful remains of his guard, counts on this trope and challenges Octavian, his sworn enemy and leader of the Roman forces, to a one-on-one duel, knowing that he is easily the superior warrior and brags that he alone is going to win the war. Octavian's answer is looking at his general-staff and asking: "Is he completely nuts???" Anthony rather stupidly assumed in his drug-addled state that Octavian would give up a supreme tactical advantage just to avoid looking like a coward, when even if Octavian cared about that he could just kill anyone who heard about it.
** ''Series/{{Rome}}'' also has a very interesting take on this trope with Lucius Vorenus. He is driven by his morals 100% and can think of nothing worse than dishonor. He stays loyal to Antony even after his death, prompting Octavian to comment: "The man turns loyalty into a vice". What makes Vorenus an interesting example is that he is so completely driven by his sense of honor and moral, but those don't exactly measure up with the ones we have today. He is, for example, prepared to kill the boy Lucius (his dead wife's bastard son) because "honor demands it". [[spoiler: Except he doesn't kill him after all, subverting this trope for perhaps the ''only'' time in all of his onscreen appearances, which made for a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming - or at least what passes for one in this show.]]
* Michael Weston from ''Series/BurnNotice'' will stop at nothing to solve the problems of every and any passerby he meets. Even if he should be trying to figure out who burned him. Or if his apartment as just been blown up in an attempt to murder him.
* Duncan [=MacLeod=] in ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'' is another prototype example for this trope. He would accept any challenge, no matter what the the odds, only to prove his honor. He even explained it to Methos in an episode:
-->'''Duncan:''' Did you know Mencius?\\
'''Methos:''' Student of Confucius, yeah.\\
'''Duncan:''' "I dislike death, but there are things that I dislike more than death--"\\
'''Methos:''' "--therefore there are occasions when I will not avoid danger." Death before dishonor.
** Actually justified considering Duncan is a 16th-century Highland Clansman when such ideals were very much the rule.
** And utterly averted in Methos himself, who only really follows this trope when it comes to his friends. This is illustrated in the episode "Chivalry", right after Duncan [=MacLeod=] has disarmed, then released, the episode's ''female'' bad guy, Kristin. As [=MacLeod=] starts walking away from Kristin, Methos steps forward.
-->'''Kristin:''' "Who are you?"\\
'''Methos:''' "A man born long before the age of chivalry." (waves his swordpoint toward her sword, which is on the ground next to her) "Pick it up."
* Prince Arthur in BBC's ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' has demonstrated this trope repeatedly, as far back as his risking his life to save Merlin in 1X04, all the way up to [[spoiler: literally putting his neck on the line to keep his word to Morguse]] in late season 2.
** Also Lancelot. Much to Guinevere's exasperation, it's almost as if he and Arthur are in some kind of competition as to who can be the most stoically self-sacrificing. (Lancelot's winning).
*** A good concrete example with Percival in the season 4 premiere. Percival stumbles across three frightened children, realizes he can't carry all of them and a torch (the only defense against the Dorocha), so he drops the torch and carries the children. Predictably, the Dorocha close in on him, but Elyan pulls a BigDamnHeroes moment to save them all.
* ''Series/TheAmazingRace'':
** In Season 2, Tara chose to put her alliance with Chris & Alex over the Race, and even over her own teammate, and it eventually cost them the Race.
** Erwin & Godwin (a.k.a. the Cho Bros, from Season 10) formed the infamous Six-Pack alliance with David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn (two teams most perceived as fodder). They then proceeded to sit around at tasks, after they were already done, waiting for the other teams in their alliance. Even their own alliance members thought this was stupid.
** The formerly engaged team of Dennis & Erika (Season 5) became the first team out when Dennis, who wanted to prove that he wasn't a "scumbag" after another team called him that earlier in the leg, let all the other teams get cabs before him and Erika. He did get a ConsolationPrize, however (other than the trip given to them by Colin & Christie after the race), in that this act appeared to re-spark his relationship with Erika.
* In one episode of ''Series/BlueBloods'', Jamie (the Reagan family's KnightInShiningArmor) is asked by the FBI to help them investigate possible corruption in the NYPD. Jamie refuses and decides to carry on his own investigation ''alone''--because it could potentially involve his family and it is more honorable for him to look at it first before deciding. In doing this Jamie is putting himself in considerable danger without backup. But [[KnightInShiningArmor that's Jamie.]]
* ''Series/NoahsArc'': This is one of Noah's more frequently seen characteristics, such as in one episode where he turns down a $4000 check from Wade because he feels he should get himself out of his financial mess (despite having to sell his beloved car to do so).
* A spoof on this occurs at the beginning of ''Series/DueSouth'' in which Fraser pursues a perp through miles and miles of frozen wasteland. Finally he brings him in, plops him at the Mounties' office and says, "That's the last time he'll fish over the limit."
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Delen always at least seems like [[TheMcCoy the sort of person]] who would put HonorBeforeReason. In fact she several times [[IDidWhatIHadToDo does what she has to do]] and once or twice what she definitely doesn't have to do. But she always gives the impression of putting HonorBeforeReason, prefers that as her default, and sometimes has a CrowningMomentOfAwesome while doing so. When told that Neroon is coming to assassinate her, Delenn forbids Lennier to tell Sheridan, believing that the Minbari people should deal with their own internal dirty laundry without foreign interference.
** Minbari generally think they are putting HonorBeforeReason. The real picture is more complex and depends on which Minbari you talk to.
** When Londo orders Narn evacuated because [[IGaveMyWord he gave his word]] to G'kar, he says "All I have left is my honor."
** The Expanded Universe adds the Rogolon, a ProudWarriorRace fixated with one-on-one duels. This bit them back in the ass ''hard'' during the Centauri-Orieni War: when the Centauri invaded them to bypass the Orieni lines, the Rogolon ships advanced one at a time issuing their challenges to the invaders, resulting in the Centauri (the local poster children for {{Combat Pragmatist}}s and ObligatoryWarCrimeScene) to gang up on their ships until there was nobody else to oppose their passage.
* [[Creator/GeorgeClooney Doug Ross]] on ''Series/{{ER}}'' was driven to do what was right for children, regardless of the consequences to himself or his career. That's admirable, but he was also very short-sighted when it came to the consequences of his actions to his friends and colleagues, and eventually left the hospital in disgrace due to some very questionable decisions.
** Meanwhile, when girlfriend Carol Hathaway accidentally killed a patient, (a) she refused to let the incident be covered up, (b) refused to let the other nurses be blamed or punished, even though she quite reasonably could have--they had all called in sick regarding a salary dispute, leaving her overwhelmed and no doubt contributing to her fatal error, and (c) insisted on being reprimanded even though it could have cost her her job (said punishment did in fact include her being suspended for a time) and her nursing license.
* Bates of ''DowntonAbbey'' is very much this, refusing to tell the Earl of Grantham that Thomas was the real thief when he's framed for theft (twice!) despite Thomas's constant bullying of both him and everyone else, because he doesn't want to be the cause of Thomas losing his job.
** Matthew Crawley is even worse. [[spoiler: First, he insists that he will still marry Lavinia even though she has seen him kissing Mary and has realised that he doesn't really love her. Later, he stands to inherit a great deal of money from Lavinia's father, which is great news for the family as Lord Grantham badly needs a fortune to hang onto his estate - but Matthew is unwilling to accept it as he is certain that Mr Swire must have left it to him thinking that Matthew really loved Lavinia.]]
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': The Evil Queen has called Snow White to a parlay, meaning that Snow cannot bring weapons. Snow agrees, and insists that she has to abide by the rules. Grumpy and [[Literature/RedRidingHood Red]] both in no uncertain terms tell her that this is a bad idea, and Red even says that Snow is "too noble for [her] own good." (What isn't mentioned but is important is the fact that Snow isn't allowed to bring weapons, but the Queen has ''magic'', so she's bringing a weapon just by showing up.) This is how she [[spoiler: ends up eating the poisoned apple that puts her to sleep]].
** Later, When Snow finally subverts this and [[spoiler: preemptively kills Cora by turning her own magic against her before she and Regina could become the Dark ones and murder her entire family]], she spends the next episode moping about and ''even begs Regina to kill her'', and then it is revealed that the powers that be for that universe branded her with a black spot on her heart for the act.
*** Though this is more likely because of the [[BewareTheNiceOnes unnecessarily cruel way]] she goes about killing Cora.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': A former soldier and Afghan War veteran robs banks because he believes he has a debt of honor to repay and needs to support the family of a friend who died in Afghanistan after they switched seats during a mission.
** A much bigger example, with much worse results: one of the core values Harold instilled in the Machine was the protection of human life, the idea that humans should be safeguarded and not sacrificed for the greater good. The Machine discovers a highly-placed official poised to assist in the creation of an unfettered rival AI, with much darker motives. While the rational thing to do would be to send Root to kill him, the Machine sends his number to Harold and Reese instead. They eventually deduce what the Machine wants them to do: the Machine is essentially asking its creator for permission to kill the man. Harold refuses, and as a result, the rival AI comes online, and things start getting substantially worse for the heroes. At the end of season 3, they are forced to abandon their vigilante work and go into hiding under protected cover identities. At the end of season 4, [[spoiler:their cover identities are blown and the Machine itself is offline.]]
* When Captain Gregson in ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' realises [[spoiler: his ex-partner framed a serial killer]], he says that if the guy turns out to be innocent, he'll have no option but to report her. When she asks if he realises what that will do to ''his'' career, he says it'll end it, but that's not the point.
* Koragg in ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'' is this trope. About midway through the season, the bad guys manage to strip the Rangers' powers and win. Koragg helps the Rangers get their powers back, because he didn't like the way the victory was achieved. Nick even lampshades this.
-->"You want darkness to take over the world, but only if it does it nicely?"
* In ''Bangkok Hilton'', Hal asks Richard to take his daughter's case, in spite of his inexperience with criminal law and the damage it could do to his firm if a white lawyer defends a white client on a drug trafficking charge.
-->'''Richard''': I can't help but ask myself, Hal, where's the profit in this?
-->'''Hal''': She's innocent. To some men, proving that would be profit enough.
-->'''Richard''': Oh, to some men but not me, is that it? Well, that's where you're wrong, Hal, because I'll tell you what else I've been thinking. Above all, I'm a lawyer, and if I don't use the law now to defend an innocent person, then, it doesn't mean anything, does it? So I think we'd better do it. We'd better defend her and damn the consequences.
* Shows up in the Arthurian episde of ''Series/MythQuest'', naturally. Particularly, after things go horribly wrong, Alex opts to accept the beheading he promised to Eliavres a year earlier instead of touch the window and get back to the real world.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "The Colonel's Wife", the eponymous wife has involuntarily become a drug courier in order to protect her husband's anti-drug program in Panama from blackmail. When the facts are about to be revealed, she gets herself killed in order to save her husband's honor.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' may be one of the only times this is portrayed negatively. Walter White, the AntiHero, declines money from his very wealthy former friend to pay for his cancer treatment, opting instead to cook meth. He does this out of {{Pride}} as the money comes from the company that he co-founded but dropped out of at the wrong time. Rather than showing his inner good, it shows that from the beginning that he was a selfish and petty man who lets his Pride rule everything he does, deciding to turn down money that could help his family in the long-run because of it. [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain It also serves to foreshadow]] [[VillainProtagonist the kind of man he eventually becomes.]]
* In ''Series/PrincessReturningPearl'', pretty much all "good" characters emobdy this trope, however there is one scene where it shows itself most clearly. Xiao Yan Zi, Yong Qi, Er Kang and Zi Wei have just commited a major crime and the emperor Qian Long is throwing them in jail. The Empress Dowager and Ling Fei manages to pretty much convince Qian Long to let Yong Qi go free because he is the emperor's son. The idea that if he isn't imprisoned, he could help rescue his friends. But apparently holding the IdiotBall, Yong Qi declares that he would rather go to jail with his friends than go free without them. You can see both Ling Fei and Er Kang mentally [[{{FacePalm}} facepalming]].
* Several of the ''Series/{{Friends}}'' cast display some shades of this trope. Monica would rather do everything she can to get people to like her and have her be the best hostess (or whatever she wants people to come over for) instead of accepting the fact that she doesn't have to be the best at everything. Joey refuses to accept Chandler's offer of loaning him money due to his pride. Ross refuses to admit he is wrong when he is actually wrong, which is one of the huge plot drives for the infamous break up between him and Rachel.
* This trope was the FatalFlaw of several ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' contestants:
** In the second season, Colby Donaldson had an easy win - his alliance pretty much controlled the entire game post merge, he was nigh untouchable for essentially the last half of the game, ''and'' had someone who wasn't very good at the game next to him he could take to the final two. Because he felt Tina deserved to be final two, he took her - which resulted in her winning. However, Colby was quite a good sport about it, and was ''quite'' glad that Tina won.
** In ''Cagayan'', Woo was in a similar spot to Colby - he had pretty much slipped through all of the major threats, and was in the position where he would cast the sole vote on who he would take to the final two. He had two options: He could vote out Tony, who had controlled the game, pulled his weight in challenges, found plenty of idols to keep further ensure his safety, and had the respect of almost everyone in the jury; or Kass, whose betrayal led to most of the jurors ''sitting'' there, had failed to perform well in challenges, had several enemies even amongst her new allies in the jury, and was taken along because she was easy to beat. Woo chose to take Tony because he was with him longer - suffice to say, [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade He chose poorly]]. This led to Spencer giving him a [[TheReasonYouSuck The Reason Kass sucks and you messed up speech]], a near unanimous vote for Tony, Woo being called one of the dumbest players to play the game, ''and'' get booed at the finale. When Probst asked who would have voted for Woo over Kass... almost everyone rose their hands. ''OUCH''.
** This also wound up hurting Coach several times - notably in ''South Pacific'', wherein he voted out three potential people he could have beaten (Edna, who the tribe irrationally disliked, Brandon, who was ''highly'' dislikable, and Rick, who was seen as not really playing the game.) and took Sophie with him further, which led to her winning over a 6-3 vote. Why did he take Sophie so far? Earlier on he made a final three deal with her and Albert - and he wanted to respect that.
* Gordon in ''Series/{{Gotham}}'' is adamant to solve the Wayne murders due to his promise to Bruce even if the case is officially closed and becoming more involved would put him and his loved ones in danger.
* Series/{{Vikings}}: After Ragnar's sword breaks, the Earl lets Ragnar smash their shields to bits and then tosses his own sword away so that they can pause to re-arm themselves with axes. This might be due to the duel's ritualistic nature.
** Despite the ferocity and numbers of the pagan Northmen, Emperor Charles is too proud to call his brothers for aid in defending Paris.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology And Religion]]
* As arguably Priam should have given Paris and Helen (who after all endangered their people for their personal pleasure) to the Greeks with his thanks, thus saving a whole lot of trouble, one could say that ''Literature/TheIliad'' is an example of this.
* Where KingArthur chooses not to change the law about burning adulterous wives after Guinevere's affair with Lancelot is revealed. He is not (particularly) jealous of them. He loves Guinevere, he loves Lancelot, he is the king and the law is barbarous, but no, he will not change it, he will keep it for some vague noble reason which is never sufficiently explained.
** In all the KingArthur stories, Arthur is just LawfulStupid. Now there is a good reason why he doesn't just ignore the law, because he is trying to get this new concept of "Rule of Law" to be adopted. But HonorBeforeReason is at work here, as he could just pardon Guinevere and Lancelot, as he is the king. And should he actually use some compassion, he could then get the law amended so future cases of adultery don't involve the death penalty.
** The death penalty isn't for adultery - it's for ''treason'', which both Lancelot and Guinevere have committed by betraying the King's trust. Whatever his personal feelings, he can't afford to change the law, for fear of giving other, more serious traitors a loophole.
** It's also [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation been theorised]] that Arthur actually thought this through, and arranged for Guinevere's public execution ''on the assumption'' that Lancelot would rescue her - resulting in the two of them alive, together and out of his jurisdiction. It almost worked, as well.
** All of the above are modern interpretations of Arthur's behavior. In the old Romances he is seriously pissed and more than happy that his wife and her lover should die. One can scarcely blame him. Not only have they humiliated him before the entire kingdom but he has consistently defended them from accusations that are now proved true.
* The Æsir not killing Fenrisulfr and Jörmungandr when they were small. Then again, the Norse did love their inevitable doom as thematic material...
** In a strange way, also what they actually DID do to them. Just because a prophecy said so, they kidnapped and imprisoned some weird but currently harmless magical animals, causing them to actually have a reason to want to kill the gods when they inevitably escaped.
** Weird variant with Loki, not particularly known for his sense of honor, who in two different myths is caught and coerced by a giant (Thiazi in one, Geirrod in the other) into promising to lure someone into a trap (Idunn and Thor, respectively). Afterward he goes ahead with it even when he's out of actual danger and it's sure to get the other Æsir angry with him. Blog/MythsRetold speculated that Geirrod had compromising pictures.
* This is pretty much the best way to defeat a {{kappa}} (a Japanese water imp that resembles a monkey with webbed hands and feet): the source of the kappa's strength is the water-filled depression on its head. Bowing to a kappa will make him bow back, and cause the water to run out, rendering him helpless.
** A lot of Japanese monsters are like this. There's a particular woman ghost with a slit face who will approach you and ask you if she is pretty. Answering honestly will make her kill you out of anger. Lying about it will also make her kill you. However, one way to escape is by saying that you are terribly sorry, but you have an appointment that you must keep and do not have time to talk. [[JapanesePoliteness She will apologize for holding you up and let you go.]]
* More folklore than mythology, but supposedly Dick Turpin took advantage of this in his victims by forcing them to swear not to turn him in or testify against him, which they actually stood by.
* This is basically how TheDevil ends up defeated by mere mortals in many tales, especially in American folklore; he's the source of all evil, a conniving trickster and lies easier than he breathes, but if he makes a deal then he will follow it [[LawfulEvil to the letter]], even if he has the metaphysical power to just yank your soul out on principle and laugh all the way back to hell. So long as the deal (or resultant challenge of it) is [[LiteralGenie not worded too ambiguously]], anyway.
** Case in point: A poor man with lots and lots of debts with no way to repay made a DealWithTheDevil, in that, the Devil would collect the man's soul once the Devil pays off all of the man's debts. The sorcerer Francis Bacon then pointed out that, according to the contract, the Devil could only collect the man's soul once '''all of the man's debts were paid'''. [[PuffOfLogic And so long as the man remained in debt to the Devil, the Devil could never take his soul.]]
*** There was a similar story about when the Devil came to take the man's soul, he showed the Devil his Certificate of Baptism, showing that there was a previous lien on the property, which takes precedence. As soon as the man's debt to God was paid off, the Devil can take the rest.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Earlier in professional wrestling, one of the markings of a face was that, win or lose, they'd wrestle fair while the heels would do whatever they had to in order to win. Career babyfaces such as Wrestling/RickySteamboat and Wrestling/TitoSantana were famous for this. Eventually, as wrestling got DarkerAndEdgier, wrestlers like Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin, Wrestling/RicFlair, and Wrestling/EddieGuerrero would be massive faces for the fans despite cheating often.
* This trope was teased with at ''ECW: One Night Stand 2006'' as Wrestling/RobVanDam fought Wrestling/JohnCena for the [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwe-h.html WWE World Heavyweight Championship ]]in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Towards the end of the match, Cena was attacked by Wrestling/{{Edge}} (very much to the approval of the rapidly pro-ECW/anti-Cena crowd who shouted "Thank You, Edge!" as he departed) while Rob was out. When Rob came to, he recognized what happened and looked as if, for a moment, that he wasn't going to take advantage of the situation. The announce team (Wrestling/{{Tazz}} and the legendary Wrestling/JoeyStyles) yelled for him to capitalize on the opportunity and to not let his pride get the better of him. RVD then decided to shirk his pride and frog splashed Cena to win the title.
** This ended up being RVD's downfall later on in the storyline: during RVD's run as [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ecw/ecw-h.html WWE ECW Heavyweight Champion]], [[{{Kayfabe}} General Manager]] Wrestling/PaulHeyman was handling him with kid gloves and protecting him from challengers. Recent ECW draftee Wrestling/TheBigShow decided he wanted a shot at the title; Heyman was against it, but RVD demanded the match. Heyman ended up betraying RVD and cost him the match, the championship, and his job (in reality he was suspended for a [=DWI=] incident).
* A face will continue to fight despite overwhelming odds or injuries causing the announcer to say "[[FearlessFool he has more guts than brains]]."
* One type of match is the Steel Cage match, where the objective is usually to climb over the top of the cage and escape before your opponents do. Chances are high that, at least once during the match, one wrestler will climb to the top only to sacrifice what ''could'' be a sure win for the sake of executing a [[DeathFromAbove high-flying move on the combatants still below.]] Bonus points if doing this move has put the wrestler in such a state that he's no longer in any condition to try climbing the cage again.
** The same in Ladder Matches.
* The main event of WWE Money in the Bank 2011 had Wrestling/JohnCena apply his "STF" hold on a tired Wrestling/CMPunk when Wrestling/VinceMcMahon and his cohort appeared, with Vince instructing his cohort to have the timekeeper ring the bell (recreating the Wrestling/MontrealScrewjob with Vince's minion in Vince's place from the original incident) -- however, Cena actually broke the hold, exited the ring, and promptly slugged the henchman, knocking him down and out and staring at Vince to make it clear, "no, not that way"... only for Cena to catch a "GTS" (Punk's own signature move) ''and'' be pinned for his troubles.
** Speaking of Money in the Bank, the actual Money in the Bank gimmick has become almost a character study in this trope. The winner of a Money in the Bank match has an open contract for a title shot that they can invoke at any time before the next year. Honorable grapplers will announce ahead of time when they are going to cash it in. Rob Van Dam announced he would use it to face John Cena at ''One Night Stand'', and Cena himself did it to Wrestling/CMPunk a week in advance before ''RAW 1000''. [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] announced that he'd be using it to challenge for the title at ''Wrestling/{{WrestleMania}}'' (though he would later subvert this trope later by cashing it in on Wrestling/TheBigShow). Dishonorable ones will run in right after the champion has taken a vicious beating, allowing them an almost assured victory.
*** Of the honorable wrestlers who cash in with fair warning, Cena's cash-in plays this trope the straightest. CMPunk had just taken a beating from Big Show, and Show was telling Cena to cash in on Punk right there and win the title. Instead, Cena chose to cash in next week at ''RAW 1000'', giving Punk time to recover. Cena would go on to win the match... [[OhCrap via disqualification.]] Thereby, he became the first person to cash in Money in the Bank and not win a title.
*** Punk himself has cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase - twice in fact, and is the second person to do so. It's how he won his first two world titles. Both were "dishonorable," however the first time it was Wrestling/{{Edge}}, who was a heel and had just screwed Wrestling/{{Batista}} out of the title the night before, so nobody really cared. The second time it was Wrestling/JeffHardy, and that's when it was seen as dishonorable, because Jeff was an uber-popular face at the time.
* Wrestling/BigBossman's 1990 face turn happened with a bout of this: he refused to return stolen property (the Million-Dollar Championship belt) to its rightful owner (Wrestling/TedDiBiase) because money changed hands between [=DiBiase=] and Slick to have Slick direct Bossman to recover the belt from the thief, Wrestling/JakeRoberts. He declared that he couldn't be bought and gave the belt back to Roberts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Clans from ''TabletopGame/{{Battletech}}'' suffer from this when they invade the Inner Sphere. One of the biggest reasons for their failure is that the Inner Sphere refuses to fight to the Clans' rules, and actually takes advantage of the Clans' adherence to their code. Example: Clans traditionally begin battles with a challenge that states how many troops they are committing to the assault, and asks the enemy what they're preparing to defend with (this actually makes sense for inter-Clan warfare; they're short on resources, so they want to keep battles small so as to minimize casualties and collateral damage). The Inner Sphere, of course, would lie. Later averted by most Clanners, who simply come to the conclusion that anyone who doesn't want to fight by the rules shouldn't be protected by them.
** Another reason for their failure lays in the fact that they must quantify their honor. For the Clans honor is not an abstract concept; they were created by a ProudWarriorRaceGuy. When preparing for combat they will enter into bidding rounds and the lowest bidder will have the honor of proving that they bid exactly the right amount of troops needed to win the battle. Clans defy reason when their commanders will willingly bid lower than the minimum number of troops needed to win the combat, and that according to Clan estimates!
** Prior to the introduction of the Clans, this was the hat of the Draconis Combine, which as a faction embrace a romanticized version of samurai honor. Probably the best example of it is this: if someone ordered a retreat, even if his unit was being overwhelmed by enemy forces and was in danger of being completely wiped out, he was expected to commit sepuku. Prior to the Clan invasion, the Draconis Combine's military took a very dim view of retreating from a fight regardless of the situation and placed a high expectation that you would try to fight individual duels with enemies instead of using group tactics. After the Clans invaded, the Combine was forced into adopting more [[CombatPragmatist pragmatic]] means of fighting since their traditional methods proved to be far less effective against the Clans' superior technology.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': Space Marines generally eschew camouflage in favor of wearing distinctively-colored armor, and often have troops whose primary purpose is to bear banners conferring only psychological advantages.
** This is more an aesthetic choice: Space Marines are in part analogues to knightly orders and warrior brotherhoods of old, and they're awesome enough warriors that camouflage isn't really a big deal. A better example would be times where a squad, company, or even entire Chapter of Space Marines go up against overwhelming odds to recover some sacred relic of their Chapter, which may very well be nothing more than a tattered old banner.
** While it is an aesthetic choice, it is noted that the Ultramarines, whose codex tends to be the rules Space Marines go by, consider stealth and indirect warfare cowardly, which contributed badly to the Horus Heresy when their Primarch [[LawfulStupid Roboute Guilliman]] refused to acknowledge his brother-primarch [[MagnificentBastard Alpharius]] for his brilliant and flexible combination of adaptive military combat and undermining the enemy from within, even when Alpharius went to extreme lengths to prove that his methods were worthy, because he judged Alpharius's deviation from the rigid outlines of the already established doctorines dishonorable. This would come back to bite Guilliman later when the Alpha Legion turned traitor, because Horus was one of the only primarchs who appreciated them, and underestimating their adaptable tactics cost the Ultramarines dearly in combat and allowed the Alpha Legion to continue to operate with impunity within the Imperium.
*** Ironically the [[DependingOnTheWriter current]] state of the Codex is that it has so many tips on how to be a CombatPragmatist and generalized tips (like use of camouflage) that even following it to the letter allows a Marine to be very tactically flexible.
*** The Horus Heresy novel 'Know No Fear' shows us Guilliman's real problem with the Alpha Legion isn't so much that they were dishonorable, but that their thinking was inferior. Guilliman preferred strict structure and fighting enemy combatants, while Alpharius taught his Legion to favor unstructured combat and command; to attack from within, and to not limit their targeting to military targets. While in the 41st millennium Guilliman's attitude seems silly, it made a lot of sense in the 31st millennium - It had made the Ultramarines the uncontested, most successful Space Marine legion of the Crusade, taking more planets then any other. In addition, their straight, honorable combat often made integrating whoever the conquered into the Imperium far smoother and easier due to the respect of their defeated foes. The Alpha Legion tended to leave planets confused, decimated, and altogether very, very unhappy with them. It should be noted, however, that the Alpha Legion did not turn to Chaos over this minor spat - It's just why the current Ultramarines think they did. Which is more of a Pride Before Reason problem.
** The obsession the DarkAngels have with hunting their turncoat members, the Fallen, ultimately falls into this. The sheer dedication the Dark Angels have to both wiping out all of their traitors and keeping their very existence secret from the Imperium in order to preserve their reputation as noble, honorable, loyal Space Marines means they will do things like abandon critical war objectives to chase after rumors of the Fallen, leave allies to be slaughtered, use their allies as bait or cannon fodder, and murder any Imperial who may have potentially discovered the secret. All of which is ''causing'' their reputation to be lost and making the Imperium regard them with just as much distrust and loathing as they fear the revelation of the Fallen's existence will bring. And any of their number who realise this and argue that they should stop this self-destructive spiral simply gets labelled as a Fallen.
** The Viskeons, a minor xenos race, were once a {{Proud Warrior Race|Guy}} who believed in noble, honourable conflict, favouring elaborate duels between individual warriors and [[TooDumbToLive holding ranged weapons in disdain]]. When Eldrad Ulthran guided Hive Fleet Kraken into the Viskeon homeworld, the honour-bound Viskeon warriors found the ultimate test in the cold, ruthless Tyranid hordes. [[CurbStompBattle The Viskeon people were wiped out in a single night]].
** One race encountered prior to the Heresy had abandoned all-out warfare in favor of battles in specialized arenas. When the Imperium dropped by, they found the aliens armored up, weapons in hand... aligned neatly in the arenas and looking up at the ships in orbit waiting for the humans to land and fight them. [[DeathFromAbove They didn't last long.]]
* The still-really-popular Marvel Superheroes RPG had this as a ''game mechanic''. You couldn't use MindControl ''in any circumstance'' without losing Karma unless you were a villain. The idea being, of course, that the GM should ''always'' include a way to win ''without'' removing a person's free will. This ''was'' a superhero game, after all!
* The godess Rondra and her church of the pen & paper RPG TabletopGame/TheDarkEye are a fine example of this trope: Over the course of time Rondra [[{{Flanderization}} degenerated]] from a goddess of war into a goddess of honor, going so far as to deem battles between armies and the art of war (strategy and tactics, that is) as "necessary evils" and only approving of one-on-one combats, which meet [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen certain standards of honorable behavior]]. This development hasn't been without consequences in the game world itself: it has been mentioned that army officers tend to worship Hesinde (a godess of knowledge) or Phex (a trickster god of luck and wits) instead of Rondra. Not to mention Kor, a merciless god of bloodshed and mercenaries, who has a considerable amount of [[SociopathicHero followers among]] [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism disillusioned]] [[AntiHero warriors]]. And it seems as if yet another god is preparing to compete with Rondra and take over her old domain: Nandus, a god of reason, whose followers unsurprisingly prefer [[CombatPragmatist reason over honor]].
* High Compassion and Valor virtues in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' can create an ersatz form of this trope.
** Additionally, the optional Merits and Flaws system gives "Code of Honor" as a Flaw; its value varies depending on how much it restricts your actions.
* Virtues work this way in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}''. If a character wants to go against what their virtues would compel them to do they need to make a dice roll and fail to take the action, for example a character with Courage would have to fail a Courage roll to pass up on a fight with a dangerous opponent or willingly accept help from another person. If a Scion ignores their virtues too much they succumb to the virtue extremity and act out the extreme of the virtue.
** The trope could be called "Virtue before Reason" in Scion's case, as even the ones that have almost nothing to do with honor (for example, Expression, which is all about creating art of all kinds) will still demand you follow them even when NOT following them is more prudent. This is even the case of the Dark Virtues that the Titans and their spawn use-for example, passing up an opportunity to torment a Scion or even attempting to invoke WhyDontYouJustShootHim requires a failed Malice roll. That's right-Titanspawn would rather engage in BondVillainStupidity instead of killing you right then and there. At least the game mechanics give a reason for it.
* The Adamantine Arrow of ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' have the importance of honour enshrined in their creed as "Enlightenment is Honour". The Arrow believe that oaths are a deep expression of one's soul, and that fighting without honour is meaningless, so when they [[IGaveMyWord give their word]] they take it ''very'' seriously. That said, they are still encouraged to consider a situation carefully before committing themselves to anything, that their oaths should be simple and state exactly what they intend, as well as accounting for all possibilities (for example "I will be dead before you have this grimoire" is considered less preferable to "I will be dead before ''the enemy'' has this grimoire" since the former doesn't account for former enemies becoming allies). Overall, while they should keep to their word and their code, they should be careful not to cripple themselves with it.
* One of the three Renown categories from ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' is honour, which is often associated with the law-keeper Philodox and 'just' deeds.
** It becomes one of five Renown categories in ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'', where it's associated with the Philodox-equivalents, the Elodoth.
* A possible trait in TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} is "Code of Honor". However, this is an unusual variant that has different degrees, including [[HonorAmongThieves a Pirate's Code of Honor"]] as a lower level than a Knightly one.
* In TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} there are several variations of this for different cultures. The ''Fteirle'' code of the Aslan is highly developed as befits a ProudWarriorRace.
* Dwarves in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} are this trope's posterboys. If they have some great dishonor that befalls them, sometimes as minor as not keeping a promise or a young dwarf being turned down by the girl they fancy, to something as major as kinslaying or failing to stop an assault on a stronghold, they lose the will to live. However, Dwarves physically and psychologically find it impossible to commit suicide, so they become slayers and go fight the biggest baddest thing they can find until they find one that can kill them (they never fight to lose either).
** This is a major problem in the Literature/GotrekAndFelix series; a Slayer's shame will not be relieved until death, but Gotrek seems to be completely unbeatable. Another is that the shame must be foremost on their mind when they die to relieve it, and Snorri, another slayer, has taken a ''lot'' of blows to the head over his career as a slayer and can't remember what it was.
** Bretonnia is pretty big on this as well. Advanced weaponry that'd give them an advantage over [[TheUsualAdversaries Beastmen]], such as guns and crossbows, are outright spurned. The Bretonnians get away with it through [[ImmuneToBullets magical]] PlotArmour and [[{{Determinator}} sheer balls]].
* In ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'', the Bright Crusaders and the Heroes of Justice are the only teams who categorically refuse to cheat in any way. The problem is, [[CrapsackWorld naturally]], they're the only people who have this compunction - in fact, for the Goblin team, cheating is their ''entire strategy''. And naturally, for these teams, FailureIsTheOnlyOption.
* ''[[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2111664817/vow-of-honor-rpg?ref=nav_search Vow of Honor]]'' is built around this trope. You play as discount paladins who gain and lose power depending on how well they uphold [[TheOrder Fasaan]]'s tenets. Depending on the GM's whims, staying honourable may be a minor inconvenience or hair-pullingly frustrating. (One way to violate the Righteousness vow is to be ''be emotionally affected'' by "times of tribulation.") To top it all off, the game is specifically designed to encourage philosophical conflicts between players.
* ''{{Magic The Gathering}}'s'' Bant setting is so honor-bound that several knights wear ''backless'' suits of armor. This works due to the plane's color alighnment: White mana (law and order) dominates the plane, while Red (mindless destruction) and Black (corruption, selfishness) are absent. Sadly, it proves a bit less effective when those colors return.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* This is the entire point of the plot of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In addition to the [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything do-nothing-ness]] and ethics of the pirates, Frederic swears himself to killing all of his friends once his indenture is over because piracy is wrong. He interrupts the Major General's daughters stripping on the beach due to uh, honor. And when the Pirate King and Ruth reveal that due to his birthday, he's going to be indentured until 1940, they don't even try to enforce it on him -- "we leave it to your honor."
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell, it's right there the subtitle -- "The Slave of Duty"]]
** Stripping? They intend to paddle in the water. So -- take their shoes and socks off. Probably pull up their skirts a little, too. Then, he is a slave to duty.
*** But--''bare ankles!'' Scandalous!
** At the end the pirates themselves surrender when called upon to do so in Queen Victoria's name.
* Arguably, this is the tragic flaw of Brutus in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' - he doesn't want to accept that the people around him are not as idealistic and honorable as he is.
* In ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', this is the fork Arthur finds himself caught on when Guinevere is caught with Lancelot. As Mordred says: "Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be -- kill the queen or kill the law?"
* Features prominently in Victor Hugo's play ''Hernani'' and its opera adaptation, ''Ernani''--a rather extreme case of IGaveMyWord.
* This is the central theme of ''AManForAllSeasons'' - Thomas More could easily save himself, but that would come at the cost of his integrity, something he is not willing to give.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Incorporated into the mechanics of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''. Sparing noncombatants and wounded, fleeing aircraft earns you respect and means you don't fight the ''hardest'' aces (though the ones you do fight certainly aren't slouches), but earns you less money in the long run.
* In ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'', Tyson Rios makes it a point to try to bring the conspirators within [[spoiler: Security and Strategy Corporation]] to justice, even going to so far as to force [[spoiler: Ernest Stockwell, CEO of SSC]] to turn himself in once they rescued him. His partner, Elliot Salem, who is much more pragmatic and selfish, repeatedly calls him on his honorable nature, pointing out that the two are [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]].
* As Rucks puts it in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' "If you can't do something smart, do something right".
* In ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', the French gentleman-fighter Duke refuses to [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown attack prone and vunerable opponents]], because of his insistence on [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fighting like a gentleman]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}''. Though initially Jack is told that the only way to get large amounts of ADAM is to kill and harvest the Little Sisters, Doctor Tenenbaum makes it a point to give Jack gifts for choosing the harder path of rescuing the Little Sisters, by giving him both large amounts of ADAM ''and'' unique plasmids. Considering how much more great loot you get from saving them and how little the difference in ADAM between saving and harvesting all the Sisters is (over the course of the whole game), choosing to harvest the little sisters would be a case of Sadism Before Reason. (Or you might do it just to hear [[MultipleEndings the ending]] where the good doctor [[WhatTheHellHero calls you out for being a jerk]].)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' (especially ''[[VideoGame/CallOfJuarezBoundInBlood Bound In Blood]]''), characters will come along and challenge the protagonist to a gunfight, which he accepts. Never mind they have easily pulled a Malcolm Reynolds style move and simply shot them as soon as they showed up instead of doing the whole showdown thing. In the second game they are already outlaws anyway and no one else is around to tell the tale later.
* Angeal in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', honorable as he is he gave us a warning early on.
-->'''Angeal:''' But I never stole from that tree, because the wealthy man's son was my friend.\\
'''Zack:''' If he was a friend, you should've just asked for some.\\
'''Angeal:''' Honor can be quite a burden at times.
* In the canonical ending of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'', Kyle Katarn has Jerec disarmed and on his knees. Jerec tries to goad Kyle into killing him. Kyle responds by giving him his weapon back.
* Lupa from ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' is a very strong believer in this philosophy. [[spoiler: Tragically, it leads to his downfall because victims of the Atma Virus need to eat their opponents, or they become permanently berserk and have an insatiable bloodlust. Gale then takes up this philosophy after Lupa's death triggers his emotions]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'': If Adell makes you a promise, he ''will'' keep it.
-->'''Rozalin:''' Fool! You are going to get yourself killed!\\
'''Adell:''' ... Don't worry. [[{{Determinator}} I won't die. I still have other promises to keep]].
** [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] takes this to the logical extreme. Want to know why he refuses to drink blood, at the cost of all of his power and prestige: [[spoiler:because he promised someone that he wouldn't drink blood until he showed them true terror, and they ''died'' before it happened. Not considering death of the recipient a legitimate reason for breaking off a contract, he just went on not drinking blood for the next four hundred years]].
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] learns this as AnAesop, as, though it went against his otherwise perfectly rational motto of not taking on any foe he wasn't confident about, he found he had to fight on regardless if it meant [[DistressedDamsel rescuing]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]].
** More precisely, he learns that while his perfectly logical fighting style is effective, it doesn't allow him to exceed the limits he sets on himself. Only by ignoring reason and logic can he find the power to succeed despite overwhelming odds. He stubbornly refuses to believe that it changes his fighting style, though:
---> '''Onion Knight''': Don't get me wrong, I still won't fight anyone I can't beat. So I guess I'll ''just have to beat you!''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a lot of this going on. Being a Grey Warden, he considers it part of his duty.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. The Hand of Korth was supposed to attack the Tevinter Imperium, but somehow managed to get it into his head to attack you instead. After you kill him, his father (the chieftain of the tribe) declares his displeasure by smacking your holdings with goat's blood, as is the tribe's custom. Thing is, the chief is a lot smarter than his son, and knows this is probably going to get him killed. So he goes whole-hog and [[spoiler:physically ''throws a goat at the castle''. He's officially arrested for "laying siege to the walls with a goat."]] If you choose to "exile" him and his clan to Tevinter ([[{{Unishment}} which is what they wanted in the first place]]), it's one of the few decisions that every single one of your companions approves of.
* ''EVEOnline'' has this in the form of Amarr Empire battle doctrine, which completely forbids retreat or surrender. During their war with the Jove, the only battle they fought with them cost them most of their fleet because they couldn't retreat or give up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with the Broken Steel DLC installed, while the player can send a radiation-immune companion character to activate the purifier rather than sacrificing themselves or Sarah Lyons, the game still considers this a cowardly choice rather than [[NegateYourOwnSacrifice Negating Your Own Sacrifice]].
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to Auron, Jecht would often try and talk his companions into helping someone out because it was 'the right thing to do.' If he used that phrase, both Auron and Braska knew it would get them into a whole heap of trouble.
* Gerik and his mercenaries from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. When they and their employer [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Prince Innes]] are vastly outnumbered by an enemy army, Innes tries to convince them to surrender and save themselves since the other guys are only after him. Even after he fires them they refuse to (thoughhe orders them to surrender [[WhatAnIdiot after firing them]]).
-->'''Innes:''' Unbelievable... and you people call yourselves mercenaries? I thought you fought for money, not duty.\\
'''Gerik:''' Yeah, that's one of the rules. Guess we're lousy mercenaries, eh?
* The elites in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series definitely fall under this trope. In one book, the Chief noted that even regular soldiers would fight hand-to-hand and die rather than pick up fully-loaded human weapons at their feet. The high-ranking zealots take it further, '''''especially''''' in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The [[WordofGod Word of God]] at the time was that these officers had a honour code that prohibited them from using ranged weapons, and entering vehicles is considered cowardice. As a result, they end up being less dangerous than their gun-wielding subordinates, since they just run at you with a sword. When you do get one as an ally, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything giving him a gun will just result in him running up to enemies and bludgeoning them with it, and he will stubbornly refuse to enter any vehicle]].
** Of course they're still more dangerous than their subordinates because they're ten foot aliens with cloaking devices, energy shields and an one-hit kill weapon. On heroic, which is as close to realistic difficulty, unless if several marines focus fire on the single zealot, he ''will'' reach lunging distance before his shields drop and he ''will'' annihilate the group of marines by himself.
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald Duck briefly follows Riku in his evil phase due to a literal interpretation of King Mickey's orders. He later realizes this is stupid and returns to Sora's side.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series, Meta Knight will give you a sword in the favor of a fair fight, even when the fate of the universe is on the line. In one game, the two of you are on a damaged airship that is currently falling towards the ocean - and he'll wait a full thirty seconds for you to pick up the sword before deciding to attack you anyways. In another, the fact that his evil doppelganger doesn't throw you a sword is the first clue that it's not really him.
* This is used for IdiotHero Wain's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''. When a bolt of lightning sets a house on fire and a little girl is trapped inside, Wain rushes in without hesitation, pulls the girl out, then collapses from his injuries. Seena heals him, then asks what he would have done if she ''wasn't'' able to heal him...to which he replies that she ''could'' heal him, so it wasn't a problem anyway.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', where Samara, a WarriorMonk swears an Oath to Shepard so she will follow his/her orders, no matter how dishonorable they would be normally considered by her Code. However, she does inform them that if he/she does anything particularly dishonorable in the eyes of the Code, Samara will kill them when she is released from the oath of subsumation.
** Either played straight or subverted depending on the player's whims in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where Samara attempts to [[spoiler:kill herself]] as her Code requires her [[spoiler:to kill her only surviving daughter]]. However, Shepard can intervene, allowing time for [[spoiler:her daughter to provide an alternative]].
** Inverted with Javik in ''Mass Effect 3'', he chastises Shepard for believing that that victory is possible with one's honor intact.
---> "Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer."
** Zig-zagged with curing the genophage. If Wrex is in charge, especially if Eve is still alive, the honourable path - playing fair with an old friend - is also the reasonable one, since they can keep the krogan pointed at the enemy and direct them toward a brighter future, while backstabbing them for salarian support will end in [[spoiler:Wrex dead, Mordin dead, and Clan Urdnot sitting the war out]]. If Wreav is in charge, especially if Eve is dead, curing the genophage - while still the noble thing to do - will ultimately end in either a massive krogan civil war, or a new Krogan Rebellions, and as a result the dishonourable option of backstabbing them becomes the most viable.
* Enforced with ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'''s KarmaMeter. Characters can earn Chivalry points from doing things like sparing prisoners and lowering taxes, or Dread by executing [=POWs=] and exploiting peasants, that's straightforward enough. But on the battlefield you're abiding by medieval codes of chivalry, so "good" strategies are limited to frontal assaults against an equally matched opponent. If you use flanking actions, shoot down foes with archers, charge units in the rear, or use spies to gather intelligence - you know, ''tactics'' - characters will quickly pick up "Cruel and Cunning" and other Dreaded traits.
* Both [[KnightTemplar Colonel]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist General]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' have been duped into sending Repliforce to war with the world by [[ManipulativeBastard Sigma]], forcing X and Zero to stop them. Colonel foolishly becomes a MartyrWithoutACause, which has a ''horrific'' [[KillTheCutie repercussion]] if you're playing as Zero. [[spoiler: His sister Iris tries to exact [[RevengeBeforeReason a heartbroken revenge]] after being [[BreakTheCutie emotionally wrecked by the death of her brother]], and Zero, her beloved boyfriend, is forced to do her in (Similar to RomeoAndJuliet, but Romeo still lives). Zero has a '''''stratospheric''''' HeroicBSOD as a result]].
** General is one of the all-time offenders of this trope, enacting a myriad of disasters because of the honorable name of Repliforce. He meets a [[TheManBehindTheCurtain cloaked figure]], never discovering he's really [[BigBad the most feared Maverick on the planet, Sigma]]. Thinking this "stranger" is a [[AWolfInSheepsClothing man of reputable advice]] makes him fall victim to [[UnwittingPawn Sigma's deceitful logic]] and enter into '''''seriously''''' DirtyBusiness. Worse, he is unaware [[DoubleAgent Magma Dragoon]] caused [[ColonyDrop Sky Lagoon to crash]] and [[InnocentBystander wipe out millions]]- he thinks it's an accident perpetrated by the Maverick Hunters. This unintentionally causes Repliforce to dishonor its namesake, the army to be decimated, and General to decide the ends justify the means. Worse, General has [[KillSat Final Weapon]], a doomsday space station geared for armageddon. After X/Zero gives him a well-deserved WhatTheHellHero speech (Zero even more angered, on the verge of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge), pulverizing half his steely body in the process, General cools down long enough to realize that acting in favor of NecessarilyEvil was a deadly mistake, and he has a HeelFaceTurn. However, Sigma's EvilPlan allowed him to hijack Final Weapon to trigger the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. To stop it, General pulls a HeroicSacrifice, using his halfway-ruined body to block the weapon's laser strike, but doing so vaporizes him into space dust.
** While several characters show signs of this, nowhere is it more apparent then in Colonel. By stubbornly refusing to allow his forces to be questioned by the Hunters due to his [[{{Hubris}} pride]], he is hugely responsible for the Fourth Maverick War, which leaves himself, his sister and the rest of Repliforce dead. In fact, he is one of the few villains from that game who is ''completely unsympathetic''.
* Inverted in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Being a StealthBasedGame, Snake isn't averse to using every dirty, underhanded tactic in the book to incapacitate/kill/sneak past his enemies, and MissionControl encourages the player to employ these tactics at every possible occasion, while the villains ''always'' announce their presence and proceed to give Snake a (relatively) fair fight instead of [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing him]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: The Boss inverts and plays this trope straight. Her GambitRoulette ensured that she'd be dishonored and declared "the biggest traitor of this century," her personal honor keeps her from killing, and sometimes even passively '''helping''' Snake in his mission.]]
*** The End is a more pure embodiment, as he wanted "one last" honorable sniper battle. even if he gets the drop on you, he only ever knocks Snake out and drags him to an ''unlocked'' cell at a previous base instead of killing Snake. In turn, Snake is sad to disappoint The End if the player lets him die of old age, which causes the Major to chew him out over the radio for trying to be dramatic.
* Piston Hondo from ''PunchOut'' has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese and all. [[CombatPragmatist You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch]]. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
** However, this trope is downplayed [[FridgeBrilliance when you think about it]]. If you pay attention, he's actually staring at you while he's bowing, which is considered ''extremely'' disrespectful in Japan. He's not so much being honorable as he is being [[StealthInsult ironic]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quest for Glory 2}}'', a fighter faces TheDragon in a climactic swordfight, and quickly disarms him. If he chooses to kill his unarmed foe, instead of letting him have his sword back, the game treats it as a dishonorable act... even though TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is due to happen ''in a few minutes,'' if the hero doesn't get a move on. The VGA fan remake is even more extreme in this regard; giving the sword back leads to a truly NintendoHard fight. Apparently, TheDragon waits until after you show him mercy to bust out the really nasty moves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Romancing SaGa}}'', Lord Theodore is the leader of the Knights of the Dominion, and one of the few who still follows their code to the letter. Unfortunately, he is '''''so''''' convinced that he's '''''the''''' bastion [[JusticeWillPrevail of justice and honor]], '''''the''''' [[HolierThanThou last such bastion left in the Dominion]] that he constantly overcompensates for the failings of his kin, both real and imagined. Rather than leading by example, he becomes LawfulStupid incarnate.
* In ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', Naoe Kanetsugu embodies this trope to a tee, Azai Nagamasa less so (who splits this with his [[LoveFreak love]] of Oichi). Interestingly, the JerkAss Ishida Mitsunari actually adopts this trope by his decisive battle at Sekigahara [[spoiler:by refusing an officer's suggestion of a sneak attack on the enemy, and revealing in his ending that his friends' honor tropes actually rubbed off on him]].
* A game mechanic in ''VideoGame/{{Sengoku}}''. Honor is gained by such things as donating money to the Emperor and granting land to vassals, and lost by hatching plots and declaring wars. If a character loses too much, they commit {{seppuku}}.
* Kasumi from ''Shakkin Shimai'' takes this to an extreme, refusing help from Okura even if it means she'll be sold into prostitution to pay off her family's debt.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' usually acts before he thinks, and, being a generally nice guy, he's usually acing heroically (or [[IdiotHero stupidly]], but sometimes GoodIsDumb). He justification for rushing headlong into a mission that seems hopelessly outmatched is just "IGaveMyWord."
* Possible in the ''VideoGame/StarRuler'' mod ''Galactic Armory''. One [[MinMaxing Trait]] you can take is "Code of Honor", which prevents from using a variety of subsystems. No [=WMDs=], fair enough, but when the thing prevents you from using sensible things like ArmorPiercingAttack it goes straight into this.
* Luke, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of the Abyss}},'' starts off as being extremely self-centered and arrogant, but later he becomes near-suicidally selfless in an attempt to make up for his previous behavior, and holds true to the strength and ideals of humanity, opposing the fatalist views of the game's antagonists.
* The Half-Zatoichi in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is a katana wielded by the Demoman and the Soldier. It is Honorbound, meaning that once you draw it, sheathing it without drawing blood will hurt you, but you regain a large amount of health when you kill with it.
* In the ''Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse'' book ''Literature/OfBloodAndHonor'', the human paladin Tirion Fordring is an extremely honourable guy, saving an elderly man from a race which pretty much all of humanity was still recovering from having being nearly crushed by at the time. Doing so saw him exiled for treachery and his wife refusing to take herself and their son into the ruin he made for himself. His magical powers were supposed to have been taken from him, though due to nature of his use of them, it is assumed that they were granted by moral righteousness -- which has since been debated and argued about in true nature, due to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* In ''WarriorsOrochi'', Pang De's version of this trope is so cliche that he's called out on this more than once -- hilariously, when one asks him what his "way of the warrior" even means, Pang De's explanation is basically repeating the concept. [[spoiler:It's especially off, and call-out-on-worthy, since he's on Orochi's side through Wei, particularly Cao Pi's aligning with Orochi. However, in the Battle of Shizugatake (Shu story) if the player manages to save enough Hojo officers and prevent defections he will recognize the conflict and agree to leave Wei/Orochi]].
* In a rare ''villainous'' example of this trope, in ''Weaponlord'', it has been prophecied that on the night that the moon bleeds, the BigBad Zarak will be killed by the Weaponlord, whose identity is unknown except for the clue that he/she was born under the Warrior's Moon. Zarak's lieutenants advise him to pull a Herod and simply slaughter all the infants born under that moon, but Zarak instead decides to wait until the Weaponlord is grown up, and then face his prophecied killer fair-and-square in single combat to see if the prophecy will really work. [[spoiler: This gets Zarak killed if you play anyone but him, and if you play Zarak himself, it is revealed that Zarak ''himself'' was born under a Warrior's Moon, and since he killed the ''previous'' BigBad, Zarak ''himself'' becomes the Weaponlord]].
* Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji from ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' suffers a terminal case of this. His casual disrespect of a ''gaijin'' Ultor Executive whom he deems as beneath him backfires when that guy --BiggerBad Dane Vogel-- immediately gives crucial intel to the Saints in retaliation, and his insistence on an honorable katana duel against The Boss goes awry when it turns out The Boss is a CombatPragmatist who has no problem bringing a gun to a swordfight.
* The White Knights of ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' apparently value the honour of a straight-up battle that would leave many of their number dead over the reasonable approach of sniping the enemy leader from above and behind, almost expelling the member of their order that [[CombatPragmatist took the latter approach]] to killing a dark magic-wielding enemy warlord.
** Pointedly averted by the Temple Knights of Saradomin, an order of holy paladins in the service of a god of honor and nobility, who nonetheless immediately recruited the aforementioned shooter on the basis that he ''did'' get the job done.
* The Arceans in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' are all about honor, even at their own expense. This why, despite being generally nice enough guys to those who aren't their enemies, they are considered morally Neutral: honor is more important to them than any morality. A savvy player can exploit this to get the Arcean AI to do some very stupid things if they set things up properly.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingons, repeatedly, to IdiotBall levels. Might even qualify as a DeconstructedTrope.
** In the backstory they react to Federation condemnation of their unilateral invasion of the Gorn Hegemony by breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning attacks on Federation colonies. [[HistoryRepeats Just like they did before the Dominion War]].
** In the mission "Diplomatic Orders", a Klingon cruiser commander gets information that a Federation diplomat is really an Undine. Does he submit his findings to the Federation? No! He leads a deep-strike into Federation territory to kill the ambassador himself, and instead of coming out firing, he sacrifices the element of surprise to high-handedly demand that the Federation PC hand over the ambassador. The Fed PC reacts surprisingly well to this: instead of just blasting the idiot out of space on sight (remember, the Feds and Klinks have now '''been at war for four years'' and the Klingon is asking a Starfleet officer on an EscortMission to ''hand over his escortee to an enemy combatant''), he asks to see the Klingon's evidence, and the Klingon instead takes umbrage and attacks, and because he's up against a {{Plot Armor}}ed PlayerCharacter he dies completely pointlessly and Starfleet makes the kill against the Undine.
** Then there's "House Pegh", a.k.a. [[FanNickname "House Pratfall"]] [[invoked]]. Emperor Kahless breaks away from a covert infiltration mission that is going surprisingly well because he sees an Iconian on a security camera and wants to challenge it to honorable combat. T'Ket at first ignores the idiot, then basically toys with Kahless for a while until [[spoiler:B'Eler {{technobabble}}s away T'Ket's NighInvulnerability. Instead of pressing his unearned advantage home, Kahless cuts off T'Ket's arm then starts monologuing about honor, giving T'Ket time to recover and vape Kahless. And then the "mighty Klingon warriors" of House Pegh, supposedly the Empire's covert ops arm, ''panic and run for their lives''.]]
* In the storyline of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' Kotal Kahn, TheEmperor of all Outworld, permits a foreign emissary of no great importance to challenge him in TrialByCombat for the life of a petty thief. His decision to personally participate himself instead of using a champion is questionable, although it may have been a calculated risk given that he's [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking an incredibly deadly warrior]]. Less forgivable is that upon losing, he insists that the winner execute him as per ancient tradition, even though he's in the midst of a SuccessionCrisis and his death would give the throne to his hated, psychotic rival. He only survives because his opponent [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs him on the throne]] and demands his service instead.
* ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis'': Walter, a knight from a neighboring kingdom who lost to TheHero, Fray, in a battle tournament, demands a rematch when they meet up again a year later and wants it ''now''! Never mind that they meet up in a crowded tavern and drawing his sword in the midst of civilians while on an official mission for his king would have tarnished his honor far more than a fair loss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Given that it's a VisualNovel about the {{Shinsengumi}} and the [[EndOfAnAge fall of the shogunate]], this trope runs rampant throughout most of ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}''. Saito and Hijikata's routes in particular are full to the brim with it, both on their own parts and on the parts of Kondou and the subordinates they've inspired to follow them; they are dedicated swordsmen with deeply-held beliefs about what it means to be a warrior, in an age in which swords are quickly becoming obsolete in favor of guns and Western tactics. Their senses of honor also mean that, nearly to a man, the Shinsengumi captains insist on keeping Chizuru with them and protecting her even as they face losing battle after losing battle and everything falls apart around them; whenever it's so much as suggested that it would be better for Chizuru to leave rather than have them risk death to defend her, they bridle at the suggestion that they're not capable of protecting her.
* In Soryu Oh's route of ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', Soryu is set for an ArrangedMarriage to the daughter of a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad]] boss - a marriage which would consolidate their two gangs into a powerful organization which he would be next in line to take over - but declines at the last minute. In doing so, he offends the girl's father and causes him to lose face to the point that the only way for Soryu's gang to smooth things over is to hand Soryu over to be executed. As Soryu is no doubt fully aware of the likely consequences of his decision, his chosen course of action benefits ''absolutely no one'', but he is willing to be executed rather than marry a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him when he knows that what he really wants is to be with the protagonist.
* Saber in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has a pretty bad case of this. She ''knows'' her decisions are going to screw her over yet feels bound by her honor and rules of fair play. As an example in FSN, she charges the temple single handed after everyone agrees it's suicide to do so, is commanded ''not'' to go and is perfectly aware that at best she will be severely wounded. In FZ, she lets Lancer go assuming that he's going to kill her Master Kiritsugu and therefore remove her from the war. Why? One, she doesn't like Kiritsugu and two, Lancer just helped her out. He only lives because Lancer [[WorthyOpponent lives by the same rules]].
** Naturally, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', she ends up the Servant of another person who epitomizes this trope, Shirou.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''TalesOfTheQuestor'' is filled with this trope and subversions, and just reading the comic would be faster than listing every case. Some noteworthy examples include [[spoiler:taking on a rat-king on his own with nearly suicidal results]], freeing a thief he believed would be punished remarkably severely, feeding said thief ''after'' she tried to steal from him, and being polite and friendly to humans he had little reason to trust. When Quentin reveals himself to the villagers to help fight the [[TheFairFolk evil Fey lord]], his honorable behavior he displayed at the farmer's home comes into play when that [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00493.html farmer speaks up and tells the crowd that he trusts the Racoonan hero]]. Even more recently, attempting to draw the attention of said evil Fey lord to protect a bunch of humans earned him ThreeWishes.
** However, HonorBeforeReason is [[GoodIsNotNice nowhere to be found]] when he makes those three wishes. He -- as a narrator -- tells us that even one carefully-worded wish could ruin a fae. When he's done making his ''three'', the evil Fae Lord is utterly ''ruined''. Then again, perhaps he ''is'' showing honor -- by protecting the mortal realm by turning their nemesis into the fae version of a penniless vagabond, especially when he could have wished for all his grand quest items to allow him to return home in triumph.
*** It may not be immediately obvious, but most of his Honor Before Reason behavior is attributable to his own naïveté. [[spoiler:Taking on a rat-king alone was a matter of being in a hopeless scenario. If he ran, the shadow rats would have overwhelmed and devoured him anyway.]] He helped the thief in question less because of honor and more because he's a soft touch. As to wishing for the Fae Lord to retrieve all the quest items for him, that was a little bit above the Fae's pay grade (they're powerful, not omnipotent or omniscient). Phrasing the wishes just right to avoid a backlash would have required a platoon of lawyers, and even if the Fae had granted the wish he would still have been left with a very powerful and very ANGRY Fae Princeling ready to squash him like a bug. His three wishes were phrased so as to minimize the damage the Fae Princeling could cause. He is largely oblivious till after the fact what a perfect storm of bankruptcy his wishes have caused the Fae Lord in question.
** Honor and Reason go hand in hand when he takes on his current quest. He acts with Honor by fulfilling an ancient contract to save a village, fully knowing he may never be able to return home. He acts with equal Reason--it's his hometown, and if he turns this quest down, he ''will'' never be able to return home as his family is in the exact same predicament as everyone else. Even if he dies without completing his quest, [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever his village is protected.]]
** And yet again, when he takes on the mission to kill a dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside. After the guardsmen sent to assist him [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere abandon him in the middle of the night]], he decides to press on... despite having little-to-no supplies and only Sam and a disgraced squire (with a possibly haunted suit of self-motivating magic armor) as back up. Though this time it's heavily implied that it's as much about Quentyn's ego as it is about keeping his word.
* Homestuck is an interesting case of this. The troll society of Alternia allows mindless killing of any on a lower bloodcaste than oneself. It encourages it, even. Along with that, revenge is encouraged, as is pretty much anything. The subversion, and in being so, the played-straight (by human standards) example is Karkat, who, despite copious swearing, has not once hurt another troll.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'' manhwa, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/noblesse/v03/c189/27.html one of the noble vampires proceeds to cut himself because Frankenstein "unfairly received a wound.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Lord Soon of the Sapphire Guard swore an oath of non-interference regarding the Snarl's Gates, other than his own. This was a good idea at the time, to prevent infighting from spoiling old friendships. However, ''all'' the paladins of the Guard still consider themselves bound by this oath, even though those to whom it was sworn are (probably) all dead, and seizing the Gates before the BigBad does is the key to saving the multiverse. Nevertheless, the oath takes precedence over the paladins' drive to oppose evil wherever it be found. This forces [[spoiler:Lord Shojo to get creative, and hire the title party to investigate the Gates instead. Ironically, at least one other Scribble member thought Soon would break his oath, and booby trapped the location he gave for his Gate in an act of spite. Double irony: he was the only one that didn't break it.]]
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:this led to O-Chul being able to completely avoid compromising ANYTHING about the other gates.]] This is lampshaded by Redcloak, who remarks with frustration that it is absurd for generations of paladins to wilfully sabotage their own ability to perform their duties, all for a silly promise. A (literal) lampshade is then promptly hung around the lampshade itself.
** No longer true. A leader of the paladins eventually offers to help the Order of the Stick in their quest, if only by covering one of the remaining gates when the main characters go to find the other. He explains that [[spoiler:with their Gate destroyed, the oaths that bound them are dissolved]].
** Durkon declares he and Hilgya must part because they must do their duty [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0084.html]] -- followed by ManlyTears.
* The entirety of the qualified regulars (except for Parakewl) in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' one by one decide to help Baam and Lahel take the Guardian's test, even though they've known each other only for a month and expected to fight each other, and even though that specific test is harder than the usual course. Special mention goes to [[spoiler: Hatsu, who is the most immediate and most vocal proponent of supporting Baam, and Koon, who by pretending to be against it riles most up to follow Hatsu.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'' has one ongoing example and one example that crosses over with RefusalOfTheCall.
** [[KnightTemplar The Knights of La-Shoar]] have a strict policy on anything that goes against "Natural Law", policies that have become defacto law in their territory - at the top of that list is magic. ''Any'' magic, from healing magic to offensive spells to charmed items. Not only does this put their kingdom at a disadvantage (Every other major power makes open use of magic), but they know it. But refuse to change their ways at all.
** LadyOfWar Bernadette jumped through every ridiculous hoop The Knights put up to test her "suitability" to be one of their numbers. They had to be sure she wasn't "cheating" or just getting lucky when challenging other knights. (As if her taking down an ArtifactOfDoom-wielding psycho who'd carved through their ranks wasn't proof enough.). This has been Bernadette's life dream. And just when the elder Knights formally ask Bernadette to join them... she turns them down. She chose to come out of the closet as Maytag's lover, rather than be forced to deny her as a knight. (Homosexuals ''also'' being against "Natural Law") Note that Bernadette and Maytag were very much on the down low before Bernadette's moment and Maytag would've been perfectly happy to keep it that way.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'', this trope is the Eastern Basitin [[PlanetOfHats hat]], to the point that they're biologically tuned to accept and obey orders, even clearly self-destructive ones. (Keith's ability to disobey is considered "proof" that he's "broken and unfit".)
** Hell, as one of the few who are able to disobey orders, Keith tries to off himself from the crushing guilt. It should be noted that not every Eastern Basitin is happy about this urge and can deeply regret following questionable orders.
* Villainous example: The Wizard's Apprentice in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. He swore to his mentor and God that he would kill all of the [[GreenRocks Dewitchery Diamond]]'s spawn, which previously had all been monsters. Now that he's discovered that Ellen is not a monster but instead an OppositeSexClone who has done nothing wrong, well, he feels really bad about it, but he takes his oaths ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 very]]'' seriously.
* In ''Webcomic/CastlevaniaRPG'', [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/25 Katrina has been harassing Shaft]] (one of Dracula's lieutenants), convinced his take over of a villiage is part of some master plan of villainy (he was elected mayor through no trickery on his part). In exasperation, Shaft removes the CatGirl curse he'd placed on her years ago, thinking that would shut her up. Instead, it made her angrier, since she was convinced she had to "earn" the curse's removal through good deeds and demanded Shaft ''re-curse her''. [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/26 He does]] - again, just to shut her up.
* Sir Muir in ''Webcomic/{{Harkovast}}'' pretty much personifies this trope.
* Big Ears from ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' qualifies, as it is usual for paladins. He would throw himself "into the fires of hell" if he thinks it's the right thing to do, but fortunately he can be reasoned with by his companions.
* Avery, Sisko's player from Webcomic/DAndDS9 informs the DM that the Borg's roll was a CriticalHit, despite it not being in his interest to do so.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5418980/ she realizes that it wasn't worth it.]]
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', the ninjas only have one purpose in life: to kill the "dragon rider"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Neil Sinclair of ''{{Survival of the Fittest}}'' fits this trope. The primary example of such behaviour is trusting Dominica Sharpiro by offering her a place in his Pro escape group, despite knowing, for ''certain'' that she [[spoiler:earlier killed another group member]] who became separated from the others.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is big on this one, protecting friends and children to the most extreme degree even though he knows full well it'll get himself hurt.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the trope is discussed in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/snare-13-10/ Snare 13.10]] when [[spoiler:Grue i.e. Brian is talking to Taylor i.e. Skitter]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Brian]]:''' I ''worry'' about you. You throw yourself into these situations like you don't care if you die, like you've got nothing to stick around for except for those people you insist on protecting. [[spoiler:Dinah]], the people from [[spoiler:your territory]]. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only more so. Riskier stuff. I start thinking about how I'm supposed to protect you, get you to stop, get you to focus on a goal that's actually attainable, because you're so capable that you could be amazing if you stopped acting suicidal.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge refuses to use sniper rifles and other long distance weapons other than regular guns, as he believes the only way to kill someone is up close and personal. He admits that he has no problem with using a nuke on an enemy because of RuleOfCool.
* In Sherwood Forest, Will follows Robin to the castle and rushes into battle to save him. This would be very noble if not for the fact that he's a terrible swordfighter and basically just manages to kill a guy through sheer dumb luck. He also got lucky in that his appearance made the Sheriff's guards scatter; if they'd stuck around long enough to realize he was just flailing wildly with a sword, they probably would have killed him.
* Tempered Steel from WebOriginal/FalloutIsDragons will always, always, always try to talk others into doing the right thing. Even a pissed off dragon who is currently preparing its breath weapon.
* Actually {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' as an argument [[spoiler:against Goku in "Goku vs. Superman". Many Dragonball Z characters, Goku included, have a habit of demanding a fair fight even against an obviously superior opponent. Hence, even if [[IdiotHero Goku]] managed to figure out Superman's weaknesses to kryptonite and exposure to a red star, he would refuse to exploit them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Zeta from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject'' is like this once he's grown a conscience and done a HeelFaceTurn against his creators. Ro notes that it would easier for him to escape the NSA's agents tailing him if he'd fight back, but his code of nonviolence is not negotiable for him. And on the odd occasions he ''will'' fight, he won't kill. Ever. The weird thing is that all of this actively goes against his programming and nature, unlike many of the examples on this page.
* AntiVillain Prince Zuko in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]'' begins the series believing he's a disgrace and only his father can restore his honour, with his rightful place, but his desperation and his tendency to put his quest for redemption above all else puts he and his crew at risk. He ends the series by wanting to restore honour of the entire Fire Nation. 'Kay.
--> '''[[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs Actor!Zuko]]''': Honourrrrr!\\
** Aang is unwilling to outright kill Firelord Ozai, despite everyone, including his past lives, telling him it's the only way. [[spoiler:Plot twist: [[TakeAThirdOption Lion turtle.]]]]
*** In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarDay the season two episode "Avatar Day"]], Aang insists on undergoing an unfair trial by the Avatar-hating Chin Village for something he did in a former life.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra publicly challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, alone; [[MagnificentBastard Amon]] does not have the same moral qualms. And yet...
** A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into [[SuperMode the Avatar State]] from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her EnemyWithin rears up and [[DiabolusExMachina forces her back to normal.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' insists on defending others from evil, even when it means passing up a chance to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the past]] and undo the original ''cause'' of the evil.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Gathering", Goliath decides to have himself and his clan help their enemy, David Xanatos, stop the godlike Oberon from abducting his child on pure principle, considering they owe the billionaire absolutely nothing. Although it's obviously a difficult and dangerous task, Goliath is instrumental to making Oberon compromise to allow the child to stay. As a result, Xanatos then feels he owes the clan big time, which leads him to inviting them back to the castle to live safely after they are exposed to the public.
** Likewise Owen's participation in that battle, since he knew [[spoiler:Oberon would not be happy he was missing the Gathering]].
** During his first appearance Macbeth is trying to capture the gargoyles, but he chooses to calmly wait until sundown to fight them rather than just moving their statues in the middle of the day. In a later episode he refuses to let Demona smash them, again citing it as dishonorable.
* Optimus Prime in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' always was an honorable fighter. Particularly in the episode "Heavy Metal War", when Megatron challenged Prime to single combat. Megatron, of course, cheated by transferring all of the special abilities of the Deceptions to himself. Even though Megatron was ''clearly'' doing things he could not possibly do (teleport, fire null rays, etc.) Prime accepted defeat. At least, until Teletraan-1 pointed out what a cheating bastard Megatron was.
** Many of the older comics and some of the new ones use this to mark the difference between Optimus Prime and other Autobot leaders such as Grimlock, who's not as honor bound, more ruthless and willing to do whatever is necessary for a victory. Yet that same honor, similar to Captain Carrot (see Literature, above) is what allows Prime to make things work that others simply wouldn't. Through patience, a few [[PatrickStewartSpeech Peter Cullen Speeches]], and honorable behavior throughout, Prime manages to convince a Decepticon commander that his surrender to the Earthbound Deceptions is ''not'' a sign that the "great Optimus Prime" actually is and always was a coward or a weakling, but rather that he genuinely believes that only by uniting can they stop a greater threat.
* {{ZigZagged}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}''. Enzo has returned home to Mainframe, all grown up, big, strong and gunning for Megabyte, both literally and figuratively. When confronted by Enzo's gun, Megabyte taunts him into fighting like a "real sprite". Enzo puts away his gun...but then proceeds to send Megabyte flying with a punch hard enough to dent his chest, ''before'' Megabyte has a chance to prepare. And he then proceeds to do it ''again'' while Megabyte is still recovering from the first attack. When Megabyte inevitably cheats, he takes him on with a spear, then at the end of the fight, spares Megabyte... despite Megabyte enslaving the population of Mainframe, torturing his friends, and killing countless binomes.
* Alissa from ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall'' was more so worried about helping the survivors (whom might already be infected) then quarantining the ship. Her captain might have been nuts but he actually made SOME sense. Could also be a case of Compassion Before Reason.
** You have to be dead in order to be infected, but still there was at most ''20 people out of 2000'' left alive and going crazy.
*** You don't have to be dead for the marker to drive you batshit insane though.
* Played straight and then subverted during an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' animated series. Tony Stark agrees to get an artifact from a booby-trapped tomb if Madame Masque will release his kidnapped workers. She releases Julia Carpenter (Spiderwoman) who will send the Iron Man armor but keeps the other workers captive. Julia says that she will send down the armor "and a lot more", but Tony stops her because he has given his word. The trope is subverted almost immediately afterward. Once, Iron Man has entered the tomb, Julia convinces Jim Rhodes (War Machine) to attack Madame Masque and her minions anyway, arguing that the only chance the hostages have is if they attack their captors off guard.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' are made of this trope; so much so that they come across as arrogant when they refuse to let the title characters join them on a potential suicide mission. This trope is also subverted in that the Teen Titans end up undoing all the {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s the Doom Patrol made offscreen.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' actually pulls a FaceHeelTurn ''because of this trope.'' Omi lost his good side temporarily becoming evil. The main villain of the season then had Omi pledge loyalty to him. After he returned to normal, Omi decided to stay with the villain SOLELY to keep a promise he made when he wasn't in his right mind.
** Another is when Omi doesn't look up the secret to destroying all evil.... because he promised not to. And actually it's worse than that, because he DOES break the promise and looks it up... but now to feebly try to keep the now BROKEN promise he refuses to USE the secret. Sure, things work out in the better in the end, but it's still horrific use of this trope since as far as Omi was concerned, he was playing it painfully straight. [[spoiler: Though it turns out the secret was really the secret to destroy all good. Chase gives up that little tidbit. Omi then uses Chase's own words against him.]]
* Subverted in a strange way in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode. Mojo has Blossom in a bind by having the Professor and her two sisters hostage. He demands Blossom's fealty and tries to use her honesty against her.
-->'''Blossom:''' What do you want?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' First, you will bow down before me! Next, you will pledge your allegiance and devotion to serve me!\\
'''Blossom:''' How do you know I won't lie?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' Because you're Blossom.\\
'''Blossom:''' Shoot!
** Another example would be from the episode where she first gets her "ice breath" power. After inadvertently causing the escape of a trio of robbers, she promises never to use her ice powers again. She has the timing to make this promise as a giant meteor is headed straight for Townsville. She's the only one that can stop it, yet she's insistent on maintaining her promise despite the fact that the promise won't ''matter if she doesn't do something''. Buttercup manages to snap her out of it, though.
** When faced with elderly criminals, Buttercup and Bubbles prepare to foil their crime when Blossom stops them. She points out while they could stop them, they have to respect the elderly. She decides to instead [[OldSuperhero recruit the heroes who fought the villains the last time]]. The end result has everyone being rushed into intensive care with everyone recognizing Blossom's error.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa turning down a fortune after finding out what Mr Burns had turned the recycling company he and Lisa had started into. What she could've done with twelve million.
--> '''Homer, in a hospital bed after 4 simultaneous heart attacks:''' It's okay, sweetie. But we really could've used that 12,000 dollars.\\
'''Lisa''': Actually dad, 10% of 120 million dollars ''isn't'' 12,000, it's...\\
''*Smash cut to hospital corridor*''\\
'''PA:''' Code Blue! Code Blue!
** The worst part about this particular scenario is that since Lisa didn't take the money, Mr. Burns gets the money, and he probably wouldn't do anything good with it.
** This trope often applies to Lisa. Typically, someone will try and convince her to lie, cheat, or at least conceal the truth, because it's to everyone's advantage. In fact, the story will often go out of its way to assure us that everyone is better off with the lie. This usually leads to Lisa having a moral crisis before she decides to tell the truth after all (usually in an overly dramatic fashion). But of course, there's always another twist at this point.
** In one episode, the town was GenreSavvy enough to trick Lisa. She had cheated in a test (no, really) and her ill-gotten A got the school in a position to be granted government funds. When Comptroller Atkins showed up at a public conference to deliver the check, Lisa confessed and Comptroller Atkins decided to let them keep the money anyway. After WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons left, it's revealed to the viewers that, knowing Lisa would have confessed, the entire town had an imposter disguised as Comptroller Atkins to lure Lisa away and, when the real Comptroller Atkins showed up, they used a false Lisa to trick him.
** Though in a surprisingly rare case it's averted in "Lisa the Iconoclast", where she ultimately decides not to ruin the town's image of their founder Jedediah Springfield by revealing that he was actually a ruthless pirate.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' had this during the Justice Lords arc. It's pointed out that the Lords are every bit as smart, strong, fast, and skilled as the League, except that they're willing to KILL. Superman insists that he won't cross that line, to which Batman replies they'll have to cross SOME kind of line. So they end up getting [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Lex Luthor's]] help.
** WonderWoman is banished by her mother from [[LadyLand Themyscira]] for bringing men to the island and breaking the law. If she hadn't worked with the HostageForMcGuffin scenario, the Amazons would [[TakenForGranite remain in stone]]. If she hadn't received help from her teammates, Hades could have taken over. TheFlash points out this is ridiculous since she risked her life to save everyone. When the Gods have her return in "The Balance", she says she should leave after completing the task. Hippolyta asks her to stay and when she points out her exile, her mother explains that the Gods will have to deal with her if they have a problem with that. One wonders why she didn't say this the first time other than to have a BittersweetEnding.
** Because she was too stubborn. In the first episode, she even told Diana they shouldn't be concern about the alien invasion. Or it could be that the 'no men' law was laid down by the Greek gods, and they don't ''like'' being disobeyed.
* WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic: Applejack.
** Particularly in the episode "Applebuck Season", where she promises to do a few too many things while ''also'' harvesting her family's entire apple orchard by herself. It takes most of the episode, severe sleep deprivation and overwork, and accidentally causing several disasters to finally convince her that maybe she should admit she's overextended herself and ask for some help.
** She does it again in "The Last Roundup," where her failure to win a contest whose prize she had promised to donate to Ponyville led her to ''run away from home and go out West'' intending to work off the debt. She was too ashamed to face her friends and family, despite the fact that nobody ''else'' actually blamed her for losing the contest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[DarkActionGirl Shego's]] brother [[GoodisDumb Hego]] is this in the ep where it's revealed she used to be a hero. For example: His letting the enemy strike first and revealing their presence became too much for his sister, and became one of the many reasons, if not '''THE''' reason for her FaceHeelTurn.
--> '''Shego''': (Annoyed) Why do you think I left?!
* Brick from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' believed highly in his code as a cadet. So strong was his honor, that he sacrificed winning a challenge for his team to save the lives of Mike, Zoey, and Cameron, who were on the ''other'' team. [[spoiler: This resulted in his elimination, but those he saved saluted him good-bye.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian Goes Back To College", Brian goes on a guilt trip after Stewie convinces him to cheat on a test and pass. After some internal conflict, Brian decides not to cheat on his final exam and he fails, but at least he feels good for being honest. The Griffins all say he should have cheated.
-->'''Chris:''' I HATE YOU!!!
* In ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated: Sword of Storms'', a Japanese daimyo kills his own daughter, rather than breaking a promise. A promise he made to demons.
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' episode "The Slaves of Castle Plundarr", the mutants enslave humanoids resembling cattle. Lion-O, being Lion-O, wants to free them, and he and the elder [=ThunderCats=] do so. The mutants use "warp gas", an anger and aggression-inducing substance, to turn the freed slaves against their rescuers. Lion-O refuses to retreat, saying the Lord of the [=ThunderCats=] ''can't'' run. Cheetara tells him "pride carried too far is ''foolishness''."
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' occasionally falls into this. He nearly has a nervous breakdown in "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" trying to make everyone happy because he made a vow to always help someone in trouble, and in "Videomakers" he insists on [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil obeying the FBI warnings]] on all their pre-Mushroom War video tapes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''Into the Wild Green Yonder'', the last Encycolopod tries (albeit reluctantly) to preserve the genetic material of the recently deceased last Dark One. The Encyclopod preserves extinct species by carrying recreations of them on its back using genetic material. The Dark Ones have been trying to exterminate the Encyclopods ever since the two species existed. [[spoiler:If the Dark One's remains hadn't been completely destroyed before the Encyclopod could reach them]], the Encyclopod's honor would have forced it to carry its own mortal enemy on its back.
* In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Phineas and Ferb]]'s Quantum Boogaloo", when Doofenshmirtz took over the Tri-State Area in the BadFuture, he got everyone (including the O.W.C.A.) to swear obedience to him. All he had to do to stop whatever plans they had to dethrone him was reminding them of the oath.
* The 2013 ''ScoobyDoo'' video feature "WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooStageFright" has [[spoiler: Fred and Daphne winning the top prize on a show called "Talent Star" via popular vote. However, they deliberately throw the contest so Emma Gale, a sweet little girl who was a contestant on the show, could win the prize and save her family's farm.]]
* ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' has gained a heavy case of this in later seasons. While usually hard working and loyal, he will very quickly disobey an order or ignore duties if he believes someone else is remotely unhappy or needs help. He is usually reprimanded for this, though the Fat Controller occasionally lets it slide if it truly is for the better rather than just causing confusion and delay. Other engines occasionally have bouts of this too.
* In the third season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', the Shredder decides that the perfect time to take revenge on Splinter is [[spoiler:seconds before [[{{ItMakesSenseInContext}} an army of extradimensional Tricertops]] [[{{EarthShatteringKaboom}} destroy the Earth]] in order to prevent the Kraang from using it as a foothold in the show's main universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' runs on this trope, with a typical episode revolving around its IdealHero's [[ChronicHeroSyndrome inability to stop doing minor good deeds for random passerby despite the fact that he and his friend are being hunted down by the villain's henchman]], or his need to venture on an increasingly complicated and dangerous quest in the hope of ''personally'' returning a lost sock to its owner rather than risk leaving it in the lost and found.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.
[[/folder]]
6th Mar '16 9:14:15 AM Knight20
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[[index]]
* HonorBeforeReason/AnimeAndManga
* HonorBeforeReason/ComicBooks
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Film}}
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Literature}}
* HonorBeforeReason/LiveActionTV
* HonorBeforeReason/MythologyAndReligion
* HonorBeforeReason/ProfessionalWrestling
* HonorBeforeReason/TabletopGames
[[/index]]



[[folder:Theatre]]
* This is the entire point of the plot of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In addition to the [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything do-nothing-ness]] and ethics of the pirates, Frederic swears himself to killing all of his friends once his indenture is over because piracy is wrong. He interrupts the Major General's daughters stripping on the beach due to uh, honor. And when the Pirate King and Ruth reveal that due to his birthday, he's going to be indentured until 1940, they don't even try to enforce it on him -- "we leave it to your honor."
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell, it's right there the subtitle -- "The Slave of Duty"]]
** Stripping? They intend to paddle in the water. So -- take their shoes and socks off. Probably pull up their skirts a little, too. Then, he is a slave to duty.
*** But--''bare ankles!'' Scandalous!
** At the end the pirates themselves surrender when called upon to do so in Queen Victoria's name.
* Arguably, this is the tragic flaw of Brutus in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' - he doesn't want to accept that the people around him are not as idealistic and honorable as he is.
* In ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', this is the fork Arthur finds himself caught on when Guinevere is caught with Lancelot. As Mordred says: "Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be -- kill the queen or kill the law?"
* Features prominently in Victor Hugo's play ''Hernani'' and its opera adaptation, ''Ernani''--a rather extreme case of IGaveMyWord.
* This is the central theme of ''AManForAllSeasons'' - Thomas More could easily save himself, but that would come at the cost of his integrity, something he is not willing to give.

to:

[[folder:Theatre]]
[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* This is If you just want the entire point short version, ''every anime and manga ever made has at least one of these guys.'' Or, if you have time, please read on.
* One
of the plot main defining characteristics of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In addition ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'', no matter which of the [[ContinuitySnarl many, many different versions]] you recognize. His EstablishingCharacterMoment for the very first episode of the first anime is coming to Earth to visit a little girl's birthday party like he promised... despite being considered Public Enemy #1 by [[VichyEarth the corrupt government]].
** Essential
to the [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything do-nothing-ness]] TwistEnding of "Endless Odyssesy": [[spoiler: Harlock promises early into the series that he will help Tadashi Daiba succeed in his vow to kill the man who murdered his father, commenting on his belief that a man cannot break a promise and ethics anyone who would break a promise or an oath is not a man. After Nu is defeated, he then reveals that ''he'' was the one who killed Daiba's father, as he had promised to do so if Tsuyoshi Daiba gave in to his hunger for knowledge and betrayed humanity to Nu. He repeats what Tsuyoshi's spirit had earlier revealed to Tadashi, that he has vowed to Tsuyoshi to kill Tadashi if he [[IWantToBeARealMan cannot become a man]], and firmly declares that Tadashi either kill him or be shot down.]]
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'':
** Inuyasha will not run or hide from a fight, even if caught in his powerless [[BroughtDownToNormal human form]]. The anime expands this to explore how Inuyasha and Kikyou first met. When Kikyou demands to know why he didn't attack her when she was too injured to fight back, he explains he doesn't play dirty.
** Sesshoumaru will fight his opponents head on, even when severely [[BroughtDownToBadass de-powered]]. He inflicts a DieOrFly test on Inuyasha to prove Inuyasha's ready for Meidou Zangetsuha, promising he'll give up both swords if it works. Badly injured, Inuyasha succeeds, Sesshoumaru keeps his promise, and Naraku ambushes Inuyasha with Tenseiga. Sesshoumaru dives into the meidou to save Inuyasha, destroying Tenseiga and also his ability to escape the meidou. When Inuyasha notices, Sesshoumaru says saving them is up to Inuyasha now, prompting Inuyasha to realise he's been given Meidou Zangetsuha.
* In ''Anime/SpeedGrapher'', Saiga relentlessly protects Kagura from Suitengu and the members
of the pirates, Frederic swears himself to killing all secret underground club of the rich and elite of Japan, against the advice and protests of his friends once Ginza and [[PetHomosexual Bob]], who believe throughout the series that he should simply leave her to her fate. Saiga is willing to die in order to allow Kagura a chance of happiness, and in the end [[spoiler:goes blind while saving her.]]
* The heroes of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' follow this trope to a tee. Surprisingly enough, even the heartless SocialDarwinist villain Shishio Makoto follows this trope, threatening to kill
his indenture scheming right-hand man, Houji, who proposed a cowardly assault on the loved ones of the heroes while they dueled his lord; for such behavior is, to quote Shishio himself, "Against the Way of the Warrior." They then do it anyway after Shishio lies to the Juppongatana about a supposed infraction Houji had committed that had put them in danger, as a way to put Houji on the spot and force him to prove the strength of his devotion, with Houji's resultant display of loyalty and committment impressing Shishio sufficiently that he claims the idea as his own.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Son Goku's seemingly illogical and insane [[FriendToAllLivingThings unconditional love for life]] and his ability to forgive '''anyone''' has allowed him to turn the dozens of monsters, madmen, and murderers that he has fought throughout the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' saga (with the unfortunate exception of Frieza, Dr. Gero and Cell) into heroes.
** Another infamous example
is over when Goku gives Cell a Senzu bean to fully heal himself so that he can fight Goku's son Gohan at full strength. He was confident in his son's strength and he is partially impaired by his Saiyan genes. What he did to Frieza on the other hand...
** The whole scene near the end of the Buu arc where Goku is refusing to throw the Genki Dama
because piracy is wrong. He interrupts Vegeta's in the Major General's daughters stripping on way must qualify for this. He's holding back an attack with enough power to destroy the beach due final BigBad because it would kill Vegeta too. Forget that not throwing the attack would doom the entire universe ''including'' that one person he's trying to uh, honor. And spare.
** While generally a CombatPragmatist, Future Trunks falls into this at least once during the Cell Saga. After Cell becomes perfect, Trunks deliberately stands back and watches while Vegeta is getting his ass kicked because he knows Vegeta is too prideful to want his help, despite Krillin literally ''begging'' him to do something, as well as the fact that Vegeta's pride is ''exactly'' why Cell was able to become perfect in the first place. He only steps in to fight after Vegeta is beaten unconscious.
* Played straight with Kira Yamato, the protagonist of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]''. He realizes that although stopping one's enemies without murdering them may be difficult, but doing otherwise would breed more hatred and thus not bring an end to war. [[JustifiedTrope Of course,]] [[ImprobableAimingSkills his aim is so good]] [[BeamSpam and his arsenal so large]] [[TheAce that against anything other than a top ace]] [[MartialPacifist the fact that he shoots to disable rather than destroy]] [[OneManArmy really makes no difference at all.]]
** In the sequel series he takes this to ridiculous levels, allowing himself to be defeated losing his mecha and seriously risking his own death rather than allow his side to wipe out an enemy force instead they try to outrun and only disable and shoot near misses. He also refuses to hold a grudge and kill enemy pilot Shinn Asuka
when the Pirate King guy has nearly killed him and Ruth reveal killed countless pilots on his side and it's clear the man as a very nasty vendetta against him.
** Played equally straight, previously, with Shiro Amada of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam '', who believed in killing only as an absolute last resort, despite being the commander of a mobile suit unit.
*** And the fact
that Zeon ''gassed his home colony in front of him during the first week of the gas'' doesn't change his mind about this. They're a reason why people laughed in his face when talking about this.
** Both these instances can be traced back to Judau Ashta from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' who began acting like this about the same time they touched down on Earth and the show started GrowingTheBeard, simply because he couldn't handle any more death. Sometimes it actually worked, such as with Masai and Puru 2. However, it usually failed miserably (the death of the entire Blue Team, Rommel, [[spoiler:Chara Soon]], and Haman). At the end of the series, having born witness to the Federation dragging its heels before mobilizing a fleet to defeat Neo Zeon and showing up after the battle was over, he was at the breaking point. To let him blow off steam, Bright let Judau deck him in the face... [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome something awesome for both of them.]]
** Then there's Char Aznable in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'', who purposefully leaked the specs for the cutting-edge Psycoframe system, knowing that Amuro would get it and have it built into his next Gundam. The reason he did this was because he thought there would be no point in defeating Amuro if he and Amuro weren't evenly-matched in the battle.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', Wufei tracks down Treize Khushrenada in an attempt to kill him to prevent him from taking control of the Earth Sphere Alliance. However, instead of blowing Treize to smithereens with his Gundam, Wufei accepts a challenge to a sword duel from Treize which he loses. Treize reciprocates Wufei's earlier gesture of honor and allows him to leave in his Gundam rather than seizing the state-of-the-art machine for study or reverse-engineering. Wufei departs--again passing up the perfectly good chance to eliminate the would-be dictator with superior firepower.
** Played as a major defining character trait for Zechs Merquise. He won't defeat an opponent if it not a fair fight. This translates to, he can disarm them in mid-combat, then spare them because they are no longer armed with a weapon. His need to be honorable certainly seems to cloud any sense of priority, as he will give his rival a powerful and destructive Gundam, just so they can have a fair duel, while in the middle of a war.
** In ''Endless Waltz'', Zechs, Noin, and the Wing boys also do this. After they defeat hundreds of enemy mobile suits without killing a single soldier, Quatre comments that if they were fighting to kill, they could have blown through the Mariemeia Army far more easily, but then there would have been no point to their intervention.
** In ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'', Graham Aker is the embodiment of this trope. "Sounds reasonable! Too bad I'm an unreasonable man!!!".
*** Especially pronounced in the second season where he and Setsuna are duelling over an ocean. Setsuna's Gundam malfunctions in the middle of the fight and Graham leaves him be because he can't see any value in defeating a disabled opponent.
* In ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', the titular character's suicidal devotion to Nagi and ''every'' person that needs his help often falls into this. Plus, the fact he [[SocialServicesDoesNotExist never called social services]] on his deadbeat parents (who are either heartless, brainless, or both) as a child speaks volumes about his kind character.
** Becomes downplayed though the course of the series due to how [[KnightInSourArmor cynical]] he has become thanks to his horrid childhood.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' would be considerably less funny [[PillarsOfMoralCharacter without this]]. It also would've been much much shorter.
** This can actually be considered an element of Ranma's fighting style; whenever challenged to one of the various {{Martial Arts and Crafts}}, he always has to {{Beat Them at Their Own Game}}, even if he has only a minimum amount of time to pick up the rules and despite the fact he's usually going against a champion of that style. During the Martial Arts Dining arc; despite the fact Ranma is clearly starving, s/he insists that s/he will only eat what s/he ''earns'' from the table/arena. In the anime, at least, s/he even goes so far as to turn down Akane when she offers her fiancé some smuggled food. This almost results in Ranma losing the contest when his/her frantic efforts at both fighting and thinking up counters burn out what little energy s/he has left.
** Nodoka Saotome and her {{Seppuku}} pledge is a rather darkly humorous take on this, seeing as how the so-called "pledge" is ambiguous as all hell (It was that Ranma would grow up to be 'manly'). While the series' heavy reliance on RuleOfFunny ultimately leaves the audience [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt too skeptical to believe the threat would ever REALLY be carried out,]] all the evidence in the series is that, if Ranma thought he had sufficiently disappointed his mother, ''he would go through with it''. This is despite the fact that Ranma was about a year old when he 'agreed' to it.
** One thing that often gets over looked is that Ranma's father Genma, despite being a DirtyCoward, has come up with two super-powered techniques which he ''never'' uses simply because he vowed not to. He holds to this even when he's getting beaten senseless and could easily wipe the floor with his attacker if he broke them out. He'd also submit to the Seppuku thing if he was called on it (of course, in typical Genma fashion, the trick is arranging matters so that he never does actually get called on it). Honour is a finely tuned thing.
* The only way to cure Kibagami Jubei, the hero of the {{anime}} classic ''Anime/NinjaScroll'', of the slow-acting poison in his body was to take a Girl Ninja whose own body's potent poison would destroy the comparatively weaker venom in the process. But knowing that this would obliterate what little was left of her sense of self-worth, already shredded by the fact no man dares to touch her, Jubei instead refused her offer and walked off like a gentleman, into certain death.
** Well, he ''does'' [[TakingAThirdOption kiss her.]]
* Negi Springfield of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima!'', in spite of being a talented young warrior, is so kind-hearted he even offered mercy to a Demon Lord ''who destroyed his village and crippled his sister.'' His kindness and merciful nature has almost cost him his life on more than one occasion.
** He tends to show mercy when he perceives an unvoiced IfIWantedYouDead subtext -- he's just painfully ready to see those. He also benefits more from showing mercy than he would from finishing enemies of the week off. For example, the Demon Lord (who was just a summoned lackey anyway) dropped on its way back home the second hint so far that the village massacre did no truly ''permanent'' harm to anybody... except emotionally, if Negi ''let'' it...
* In ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' Millia insists that Max shoot to disable Zentradi battlepods to simply put them out of action instead of simply killing them to show that the Terrans are serious about wanting peace. Even though this could be seen as completely insane considering the Zentradi finally decided to fight full out to destroy the ship, Hikaru Ichijo learns what his wingmates are doing and joins this act of mercy along with other pilots despite the dire situation. As it turns out, that gesture saves the ship because the many of the Zentrani forces, already becoming enthralled with Terran culture, learn what about the Humans' mercy and decide to mutiny throughout the fleet to stop the fight. Commander Breetai is horrified at that unprecedented insubordination and ordered an immediate ceasefire in direct violation of his orders.
* In a somewhat unusual example, Suzaku from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' displays shades of this trope. Unusual since many consider him to be a ''villain'', because the main character is a NecessarilyEvil AntiHero / HeroAntagonist / DesignatedVillain (pick one) violently rebelling against TheEmpire that Suzaku has joined to attempt to induce legitimate social change.
** Prior to a certain event near the end of the first series ([[spoiler:Euphie's death]]), Suzaku follows this trope pretty closely despite working for the [[TheEmpire evil empire]]. He refuses to shoot his friend even when threatened with being shot himself if he doesn't, he stops pursuing his target in order to save endangered civilians, he always gives his targets a chance to surrender (even after [[ItsPersonal things get pesonal]]), and basically has to live as a TechnicalPacifist who's involved in killing tons of people. He also regularly risks himself to save others (although this is partially because he's a [[spoiler:DeathSeeker]]).
** Lelouch himself falls under this on one occasion: the chess match against Schneizel. Schneizel deliberately moves his king into check. Instead of accepting an immediate win, and in the process captivity of Suzaku, one of his biggest obstacles, Lelouch refuses the move. Schneizel notes that the Emperor would have immediately checkmated, and has just [[SecretTestOfCharacter learned the type of man the still masked Zero is]].
* Digimon has a few examples:
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', the main characters are capable of killing other Digimon without batting an eye, Kari and TK included. In the sequel anime, however, they make a big fuss about ''wounding'' a rampaging SkullGreymon that can ''very'' easily kill them.
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' there are two cases of this: Cody, who suffered an HeroicBSOD for ''lying'', and for a while considered himself worthless to the point of not being willing to be the one chosen to escape from a underwater base in order to save the others. The D-3 chosen children also showed the troupe when it came to the point of having to kill an actual digimon, which wasn't a problem for the [[Anime/DigimonAdventure previous chosen]].
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', this a definite, if not lampshaded, character trait of Ryo Akiyama.
* Though she knows she can't do it for everybody (and this fact does cost her quite a bit of her happiness), Mai Tokiha from ''Anime/MaiHime'' possesses an unshakable desire to protect her friends and her brother. She even wanted to find it in her heart to forgive a pair of her ''enemies'' (who wanted to turn her school into a pile of smoldering rubble), because she saw them happily singing together in a park one day and figured that even they deserved a chance at happiness.
* Subverted in (of all shows) ''Anime/TransformersArmada''. Faced with the choice of leaving his friend, Wheeljack, trapped in an inferno and going for help, or staying with him to the end, Hot Shot goes with the former, but is forced to abandon Wheeljack because his commander believed in TheNeedsOfTheMany over the principle of NoOneGetsLeftBehind, and refused to risk any more of his troops in the fire. Hot Shot defied his commander and tried to go back for Wheeljack, but by then the flames were too much for him to overcome. The decision is later regretted, out of both reasonable, genuine guilt, and the fact that Wheeljack survived, and did not...[[BestServedCold take abandonment very well]].
* Tendō Rushuna in ''Anime/{{Grenadier}}'' specifically fights to "remove an enemy's will to fight" [[ThouShaltNotKill without killing]], or if possible, without hurting them at all.
* In ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' it's more of a case of vengeance over reason, with Thorfinn risking life and limb to protect the man he wants to kill.
** More importantly is the way he always insists on doing the killing the 'honourable' way, in a one-on-one duel. Said man, who is more experienced, skilled at playing the younger man as a two-cent kazoo and far more CombatPragmatist [[spoiler:(and once was in the same position as Thorfinn; he assassinated his victim in his bed after spending two years worming himself into his graces)]], considers Thorfinn's methods to be a major case of WhatAnIdiot.
* Fate of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', who, despite the insistence of her superiors, stayed inside the BigBad's CollapsingLair to try and stop the SelfDestructMechanism during the third season finale because there were innocent people trapped inside. Not to mention the time she freed her WorthyOpponent from the clutches of a monster out of instinct... which promptly got her berated by MissionControl because she was supposed to capture her.
** The latter incident is similar to one time in the first season when Nanoha intervened against Lindy's orders to help Fate seal the six Jewel Seeds in the ocean, rather than wait until she was exhausted and vulnerable afterward to capture her, even giving her half the seeds. Thankfully, Fate had not collected enough seeds for her mother to reach Al-Hazard.
* Hikaru from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' invokes this directly in the first season during her fight with [[BrainwashedandCrazy Lafarga]]. When Umi implores her to use her magic to save her life, Hikaru replies that "The opponent is a swordsman. I won't use magic either," despite the fact that using her fire magic would have done the job in an instant.
* Despite the carnage that inevitably occurs around him, and his superhuman skill with a gun, Vash the Stampede from ''{{Trigun}}'' is absolutely determined never to kill anyone. This puts him in increasingly tighter positions as the series progresses, [[spoiler:until he has to choose between killing a villain with his own gun or allowing his friends to be killed. He shoots. Or maybe the villain forced Vash to shoot him with his mind control powers. It's plausible that he would rather just force Vash to kill him than see Vash maintain his no killing rule (even though it would have caused Vash great suffering from guilt). Vash himself might not even know which happened.]] Fortunately, Vash is practically the platonic ideal of ImprobableAimingSkills, and even towards the end, there's very little death that could have been resolved by him shooting to kill, [[spoiler: unless you count him not killing Knives a long time ago.]]
** Oh no, it was very clear that [[spoiler:Vash chose to pull the trigger. That was the whole point of Legato's plot -- he only used his powers to keep Vash from saving Meryl and Milly directly, forcing him to ''choose'' of his own will to pull the trigger. He could have chosen to let them die, instead he chose to kill Legato. It's fiendishly brilliant.]]
* Chibodee and George in ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam]]'' both lose their rematch to Domon because they showed their attacks to him beforehand, and he was able to learn moves to counter them.
** Sai Saici had a different version of this in his rematch with Domon. Even with his Gundam getting [[CurbStompBattle thrashed]] by Domon, he still kept fighting. It took the intervention of Neo-China's Emperor to prevent Sai Saici's death.
* The entire premise of ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'' is that Japan's government is so committed to honoring its post-WWII disarmament agreements, that when the planet is threatened by asteroids that used to be pieces of the moon, instead of arming itself with ballistic missiles to protect itself like most nations did they go to the ludicrous expense of creating HumongousMecha which can only be piloted by children who have certain qualities to destroy the rocks instead.
* LampshadeHanging: Both protagonist and antagonist fall victim to this line of thinking in ''{{Claymore}}''. An awakened being [[spoiler:Ophelia]] puts all of her vulnerable, human portions at her tail and challenges Claire to cut through the awakened being's body using her dangerous "Flash Sword" technique. As Claire begins the test of mettle, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "The fool, she could've just ignored me and aimed right for my tail." [[spoiler:Ophelia]] seems to slightly realize that she too is guilty of honor before reason since she agreed to put all of her vulnerable parts in one easy to target place. As she continues to berate Claire's foolishness, [[spoiler:Ophelia]] thinks to herself, "Wait, who am I talking about?"
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', LovableSexManiac Sanji is completely [[WouldntHitAGirl unwilling to hit a female]] for any reason whatsoever. This has very nearly cost him his life on more than one occasion, and he's been called out on it as well. Sanji is fully aware of this, but this rule is so ingrained in him that he can not and will not break it for anything.
** Sanji also straight up used this trope when, against the advice from his crewmates, gave food to starving and obviously evil pirates who then immediately attacked him. Sanji then said that he stood by his decision.
*** Because he [[spoiler:starved almost to death as a kid]] starving is something he literally does not wish on his worst enemy. No exceptions.
** Another Sanji example is his fight against Wanze; Despite being the strongest of the three (Franky, Usopp, and him), he opts to fight the relatively-weak Wanze
due to his birthday, honor as a cook even though there are stronger agents ahead.
** Also Whitebeard, who'd do truly outrageous and insane things to protect his sons. He is however opposed to rushing in half-cocked, and makes sure to use strategy and not just brute force.
*** The rest of the crew counts as well, even if it's disobeying their father's wishes. [[spoiler: Imagine if they all jumped in to rescue Whitebeard from death?]]
** Nami's adoptive mom, Bellemere, essentially chose to be executed rather than disavow being Nami's mother. On the other hand, the doctor and Genzo point out afterward that their plan to send Nojiko and Nami out to sea to spare them from being discovered wouldn't have worked, as the fishmen had sunk all the boats, and Bellemere, having been a former Marine, ''knew'' it would have been impossible to resist the Fishmen, so it's likely Bellemere thought things through more than it seemed.
** Interestingly, despite being the main character, Luffy doesn't usually follow this trope to arbitrary levels. You couldn't ask for a truer friend, but
he's going made it clear that he does what ''he'' wants to be indentured until 1940, they don't even try do, and doesn't care if other people disapprove. He's also willing to enforce it on him -- "we leave it to your honor."
break a promise if he gets angry enough.
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell, it's right there The mayor of the subtitle -- "The Slave of Duty"]]
** Stripping? They intend to paddle
town Buggy is attacking in the water. So -- take Buggy arc tries to stand up to the pirates, prompting Luffy to punch him out. He later realizes that he was wrong and is grateful to Luffy for stopping him from throwing his life away.
** The dueling giants Dorry and Broggy are this UpToEleven. In short, according to
their shoes homeland traditions, if two warriors of Elbaf get into a dispute and socks off. Probably pull up their skirts a little, too. Then, he is a slave to duty.
*** But--''bare ankles!'' Scandalous!
** At
neither will yield, they must fight, and the end God of Elbaf grants victory to whoever is right. Fast forward 100 years, and these two guys are STILL FIGHTING. What's more, neither of them can remember what caused the pirates themselves surrender argument in the first place; they still fight because its a manner of honor. [[spoiler: it was who caught the bigger fish.]] This is also why Dorry fights even when called upon to do so a bomb goes off in Queen Victoria's name.
* Arguably, this is the tragic flaw of Brutus in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' -
his stomach; he doesn't want to lose face and disgrace Broggy by quitting, and Broggy, even knowing that Dorry isn't at 100%, doesn't want to upset his friend by showing sympathy. Interestingly, even though they're determined to kill each other for petty reasons they can't recall, they're still best friends.
** KidSamurai Momonosuke is too proud to
accept that the people around him are not as idealistic and honorable as he is.
* In ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', this is the fork Arthur finds himself caught on
food even when Guinevere is caught he's almost skeletal with Lancelot. As Mordred says: "Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be -- kill hunger [[spoiler: which saves him since he didn't eat the queen or kill addictive, poisonous candy given to the law?"
* Features prominently in Victor Hugo's play ''Hernani'' and its opera adaptation, ''Ernani''--a rather extreme case of IGaveMyWord.
* This is the central theme of ''AManForAllSeasons'' - Thomas More could easily save himself, but that
other kids. He finally eats when sees his father give up his own pride]].
** Smoker
would come have chosen death over accepting help from a pirate in Hazard Punk if Tashigi hadn't reminded him they had subordinates and little kids to help.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Edward turns down the opportunity to take the Philosopher's Stone and run, despite it being the one thing he's been searching for for three years. He leaves it, because the doctor who has the stone used it to heal injuries and sicknesses in his town. Edward says that he didn't want to take away the town's life support, and if he achieved his objective
at the cost of others, then it would leave a bitter aftertaste. His brother agrees.
** Also, even to save
his integrity, something friends, Edward finds himself unable to kill anybody, even his virtually immortal enemies. [[spoiler:He makes an exception for Father.]]
** Once the brothers discover the true source of a Philosopher's Stone ([[spoiler:human souls]]), they resolve to never use that means to get their bodies back to normal. [[spoiler:And in the end, they didn't have to.]]
** Late in the game, Al concedes to use the Stone during a fight with Kimblee, because he's helping to save humanity, not himself, and [[spoiler:the souls in the stone would probably want to fight for what's best for humanity as well]].
** In the finale, [[spoiler:Hohenheim, having exhausted his Philosopher's Stone, was down to his own soul and would likely die soon;
he offers it up to save Alphonse, who had sacrificed his bond to his armor to give Edward his arm back and prevent Father from turning him into another Stone. Edward turns it down, because the brothers believed that, as it's their own fault for losing their bodies, they won't have anyone pay for their mistake, even their own father. Probably a good thing, though, because there's a chance that Hohenheim would have ended up [[AndIMustScream stuck in the Gate]]]].
** A rare villain example in the form of Kimblee. As despicable as he seems, he still has his code of honor which he never breaks [[spoiler:even to save his own life, or at least keep his soul from fading away.]] Had Kimblee simply stood by as Pride [[spoiler: attempted to [[GrandTheftMe steal Ed's body]] when his own was disentegrating]], he might have even been able to reassert his own consciousness over Pride's at a later point.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** [[TheHero Ichigo]] believes in fighting his way. He won't let his hollow get in the way of that, even if disadvantages him to do so. His hollow taking over allowed him to not only survive Byakuya's killing blow, but to gain the upper hand and badly wound Byakuya. Upon regaining control, Ichigo apologised to Byakuya and asked if they could start the fight over. It was the first time Byakuya realised Ichigo had a lot more honour to him than he'd realised and, fortunately for Ichigo, he agreed.
** Ichigo displayed this trait again against Ulquiorra. Ichigo, at the verge of death, was so completely taken over by his [[SuperpoweredEvilSide hollow]] that he lost all reason and not only overwhelmed Ulquiorra with raw power, but even stabbed Uryuu for trying to calm him down. When Ichigo regains control, and sees what he's done to both Ulquiorra and Uryuu, he insists that the only way he'll continue fighting Ulquiorra is if he's given the same injuries in compensation. ''This means chopping off an arm and a leg''. [[spoiler: Ulquiorra's too far gone, however, and dies before Ichigo can carry through his vow.]] It's especially bad because Ulquiorra has very clearly displayed that he can easily regenerate limbs. The fight would be even again if Ichigo just stood by and allowed him to heal up a bit naturally so the offer to have his own limbs cut off is exceptionally irrational.
** Ikkaku has vowed to fight and die under Kenpachi's command. To this end he'll even throw a fight to avoid revealing how powerful he really is, just in case the truth puts him under pressure to work towards becoming a captain of another squad. Called out on this by Iba who told him he's not as expendable as he thinks he is, he should be working to get stronger, and he should never put personal pride before his shinigami duty.
** Yumichika is so determined to remain a subordinate of both Kenpachi and Ikkaku, and so determined to uphold the squad's kidou-hating, direct combat-loving philosophy, that he hides his power and would prefer to die than reveal the truth in public. Ikkaku may only be hiding bankai, but Yumichika's even hiding his ''shikai'' thanks to his power being kidou-based. This means he has to fight his battles on HeroicResolve alone.
** Ukitake placed so much value on honour that he ignored his own misgivings and allowed Kaien to avenge his murdered wife. When Kaien requested Ukitake and Rukia stay out of the fight no matter way, Ukitake agreed and explained to Rukia that there was a difference between a fight for life and a fight for pride. Unfortunately, the culprit wasn't a normal hollow and had a special ability that proved Kaien's undoing.
** Subverted with Kyouraku. He's a devoted CombatPragmatist and lectures other captains that idealistic fighting is a distraction captains can't afford when in battle. Kyouraku and Ukitake are acknowledged as the greatest partnership in the Gotei 13, and it's made clear that while one side of the partnership plays this trope painfully straight, the other blows it to hell.
** Yamamoto lost his left arm in the battle against Aizen. Afterwards, he chooses to leave it as it is, even though [[HealingHands Orihime]] would easily be able to restore it. He says he didn't think it would be right to ask a human for help in a matter that should have only involved shinigami. [[spoiler:Yhwach mocks him for this attitude, pointing out that if he still had both arms, he might have stood a chance against him, before killing Yamamoto.]]
** Cang Du believes that people with bonds in life should go TogetherInDeath. He'll even go to the trouble of knocking enemies out and dragging them to their comrades so he can kill them at the same time. He also said it didn't feel right to attack Hitsugaya with his own Bankai, even though he doesn't believe Bankai have wills and souls of their own.
* [[ActionGirl 2nd Lt.]] [[Anime/PumpkinScissors Alice L. Malvin]] has made it her mission to help people and to repair the damage done to her nation by the recent war. This means that she will not hesitate to call out ''anyone'' who she sees as contributing to or aggravating that damage, up to and including TheEmperor of her own country, regardless of how capable they might be of physically or politically squashing her like a bug.
* Naja of ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'' is guilty of this on several occasions, most notably when he and Lia escape from a sand submersible working together with the World Destruction Committee. After surfacing and reaching land, he has the chance to arrest them on the spot, but opts to let them go (much to Lia's frustration). After all, they had a deal.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** Josuke Higashikata is the poster child of this trope. In a series where AnyoneCanDie he holds the distinction of having not killed a single human, despite the deaths of people around him, including his grandfather early on! Of course, that's just [[TechnicalPacifist not taking their life...]]
** In the Part 7, Steel Ball Run, Ringo Roadagain is determined to make sure that not only is he aware of everything that could play a role in a duel; he wants his opponent to be likewise aware. There's actually a good reason for this--those duels are to help purify his spirit of uncertainty. If neither side has an advantage (and before you ask, although Mandom's good at [[GroundhogDayLoop saving Ringo's neck,]] it gives his opponent the same capacity to avoid Ringo's attacks), then he can be sure that his victories were genuinely deserved.
* Tenma in ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', although he distinctly cares about the "right thing" rather than any type of personal honor.
* Theoretically this can be applied to the Dai-Gurren team in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' because they tend to put ''[[HotBlooded everything]]'' before reason. Viral especially which is why he can [[BeyondTheImpossible break physical laws and do the impossible.]]
** Viral also provides a couple of more straight examples. First he allows Team Gurren to [[PleasePutSomeClothesOn get dressed]] before a fight. Later he refuses an order to attack Simon because his commander is threatening to kill Yoko if Simon defends himself.
* Red from ''PokemonSpecial'' is subject to this as part of his firm belief that it's not a victory if your opponent is at a disadvantage. This has led to a few minor WhatAnIdiot moments, but even though this series is [[DarkerAndEdgier grittier]] than the anime, it's still an idealistic shonen, so it rarely bites him in the butt.
** Dia also shows shades of this, wanting to stop Team Galactic even though he's just a kid.
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple''. The series oozes this: even the antagonists, none of whom are even remotely nice people, will abide by the rules of martial arts--which is to say, even though they all want the main character either dead or on their side, none of them will go ahead and kill him, despite having many chances to do so. The title character himself, meanwhile, has a strict set of beliefs that he ''will not break,'' regardless of how much sense they make to others. It's completely [[BadAss awesome,]] of course.
** As long as the antagonists from Yami/YOMI are concerned, this
is not willing so much "Honor Before Reason" as much as it is their, as they call it, "pride as martial artists". They want to give.prove that ''their'' way of doing martial arts is the only proper way. If you want to prove that your kung-fu is better, than you have to defeat the enemy by using kung-fu, otherwise you haven't proven anything.
*** This extends so far that the ones who are defeated will ''willingly'' rot in prison once defeated even though it's clearly displayed they can enter and leave at will.
* In ''HajimeNoIppo'', World Champion David Eagle is unwilling to exploit Takamuras bleeding wound by targeting it, possibly giving him a TKO win. Any normal boxer would have done so, and Takamura himself does without hestitation. However, this also has to do with Eagle wanting to fight his opponent on the same level, in order to push himself further.
* Rock Lee of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' nearly destroys his own life to defend his Nindo. Fortunately, [[spoiler:there were HealingHands available]].
** The whole reason for Naruto trying to help and redeem Sasuke can be summed up as this: he must stand by his word to save his friend, however despicable his friend's actions and motives.
* ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''- Shu always does the right thing, no matter the consequences. Stupid perhaps, but considering the [[DeathWorld impossibly bleak setting]] of the series it's difficult not to cheer him on. [[DecoyProtagonist While he doesn't achieve much on his own]], his idealism causes others to question their actions and [maybe] regain their hope for the future.
* Jin from ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo''. A running plot-line of the series is the fact that his fellow disciples are trying to avenge the death of their master by killing Jin. Actually [[spoiler: Jin's Master was forced to kill Jin during the night by the BigBad because of Jin's defiance against turning their samurai school into an assassin school/guild. Jin merely killed him in self-defense. If Jin simply told the others this, it would save him a lot of trouble. It would also disgrace the name of their master and school so he takes full blame.]]
* ''Pokemon Chronicles'' was a SpinOff of the original anime where each episode provided ADayInTheLimelight moments to many of the show's secondary characters. One episode centred around Ash's friendly rival Richie, who met an older trainer named Silver who dreamed of catching a Moltres. Unfortunately, Team Rocket tried to kidnap the Moltres, and Richie and Silver had to team up to rescue it. They succeeded, but Moltres was injured and exhausted from what Team Rocket did to it. Silver knew he could have captured Moltres easily but he chose to let it go. He wanted to [[EarnYourHappyEnding catch Moltres fairly]], beating it in an honest fight.
** Though in a way, this ''can'' qualify as reasonable. Catching a legendary Pokemon in such a weakened state creates the very real possibility of ending up with a Pokemon well beyond your ability to control once its healed, and taking advantage of its moment of weakness sounds like a fantastic way of ruining any goodwill you had just earned from it.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': [[TheLancer Kazuma]] [[RatedMForManly Kuwabara]] is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. He [[HotBlooded loudly]] declines his teammates' offers to keep him from dying, insisting that men fight their own battles, and later, after whupping a kid who nearly killed him and his {{Muggle}} friends, Kuwabara opts to save the kid's life by dragging not only his unconscious body, but the body all three of his friends to a hospital despite sustaining heavy injuries himself.
* In the original version of episode 2 of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Pegasus points out that Yugi could have won at one point. Yugi explains that he couldn't let the match end while his monster was under Pegasus' control. Pegasus calls him a fool.
** In the virtual world arc, Ooka/Johnson was caught cheating by Noa/Noah and Jonouchi/Joey would have won by default. However, Jonouchi insisted on finishing the duel. Never mind the fact that a. Jonouchi already had a huge disadvantage (no cards in his hand and no monsters on the field. And more importantly, they were dueling for their lifes as the loser would be trapped in the virtual world forever. [[LampshadeHanging Even Yugi and Anzu/Tea wondered what Jonouchi was thinking.]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'':
** Johan/Jessie from refuses to use cards that destroy opponent monsters with effects, claiming that such a strategy is too simple and boring.
** In the episode where Judai duels Society of Light member Kanda, who uses a game show deck (his cards force the opponent to answer questions correctly or else lose their monsters and take damage). For the final question, Judai remembers that his opponent gave the answer to it earlier that day. The opponent goes OhCrap, but Judai purposely fudges the answer, saying he won't answer because it wouldn't be fair, and takes the damage. Sure, Judai wins anyway, but it was still pretty dumb, considering the [[{{Brainwashed}} consequences]] if he had lost to a member of the Society of Light.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'':
** Jack throws Stardust Dragon, which he stole from Yusei two years before, at Yusei and say he can have it back. But Yusei throws it back at him because he wants to win Stardust Dragon back in a duel.
** Subverted later, when Yusei is forced to enter the Fortune Cup, since his friends are kidnapped by the organizers, and the only way to save them is reaching the final of the tournament. Jack gives Stardust Dragon back to Yusei, so Yusei wouldn't lose there, and Yusei accepts.
** In a partial example, during Yusei's first duel with Aki, he tunes together Junk Warrior and Junk Synchron to summon Stardust Dragon and attacks with it. Rua asked what he was thinking, since Junk Warrior had more ATK points at the time and would have dealt more damage. However, while Yusei did want to win, he also wanted to save Aki from her inner darkness, and knew an attack by Stardust Dragon would resonate with her more.
** Crow loans Jack the card Trust Guardian, which has a very useful effect. In his next few duels, when he draws it, he refuses to play it, both because he and Crow got into an argument and because it looks cute, which made it look out of place with the rest of his big, tough, and grotesque monsters. After losing a duel that in hindsight he would have easily won if he had played it, Jack realizes he was being foolish and starts playing it.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'', [[NobleDemon Mizael]], one of the Seven Barian Emperors was big on this. When he and his fellow Barians Vector and Durbe confront Yuma, Shark, and Kaito on the Sargasso battlefield, he refused to use the "Sargasso's Lighthouse" card that his two allies were using (which would have protected him from the Sargasso's detrimental effects) calling it a "coward's card" and preferring a battle against Kaito on truly equal terms.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'':
** Reiji uses several cards that inflict damage to himself each turn. In their duel, Yuya is in a position where if he just ends his turn, Reiji will take 4,000 damage and lose, but he hesitates. When he finally does end his turn, Reiji quickly plays a card that mitigates the damage. Yuya says he's glad because it wouldn't have felt right to win that way instead of with his own cards and strategies.
** Yuya needs to win four matches in a row to qualify for a tournament. The Maiami City Committee say they are impressed by his earlier matches and offer to let him in right away, but he says it wouldn't be right and does the four matches.
** Serena absolutely refuses to back down from a fight, even when hopelessly outnumbered and when Yuya begs her to take the small boy Reira to safety while he holds the mooks off.
* Great General of Darkness of ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' is this. He lives to bring his people to a better life have a battle against Tetsuya, who have become his mutual WorthyOpponent.
** Tetsuya mention this in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha''. He mentioned how Great General of Darkness is just a honorable warrior that took the wrong path.
* Examples from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' and its sister show ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'':
** When Mikoto Misaka learns that her clones that she loves like sisters are being slaughtered by Accelerator, she considers the affair her problem and tries to solve it on her own, not telling anybody about it. When she realizes that she can't beat Accelerator, she decides her only option is a HeroicSacrifice. When Touma Kamijou finds out, he calls her out on being too proud to ask for help and solves the problem by kicking Accelerator's ass.
** Touma Kamijou has ChronicHeroSyndrome and absolutely refuses to ignore or abandon anybody in trouble, no matter how injured he is or how powerful the foe. It is later pointed out that he also has a problem with asking others for help, which he later grows out of.
** Gunha Sogiita has SuperSpeed and the ability to teleport, yet he always announces his presence and refuses to ambush or attack from behind. He claims that a true warrior always takes his opponents head-on and does not use dirty tricks. Ironically, this is part of the reason why [[ApathyKilledTheCat he sees no reason to learn and improve himself]].
** Index insists that dealing with enemy mages is her responsibility and not Touma's. She ignores Touma's arguments that he is better suited to fight them.
** Leivinia Birdway carries an antique flintlock pistol that only has one shot and takes a long time to load (she typically uses it to finish off a downed opponent). She doesn't use modern guns because of her contempt for science and because flintlock pistols are cooler.
** Princess Vilian is an ActualPacifist, and as a result refuses to learn how to use magic because it can potentially be used to fight.
* Eita Touga of ''Manga/TwelveBeast'' frequently advocates running away from the giant, city destroying war-machine. War Leader Jawea and the Harpies choose to stay and fight, to protect their tribe's honour. Less egregious than other examples as fleeing would leave over half the tribe--the elderly, young, and flightless--behind.
* In Anime/VoltesV, TheDragon continues to fight the Voltes team in the last episode, even though it is obvious his side is about to lose. The only reason for doing so is that he is a noble.
* In ''LightNovel/MadanNoOuToVanadis'', the ''entire nation'' of Brune will only fight with swords and thinks that people who use bows are sissies and thus have no honor. The protagonist (an improbably skilled archer) politely thinks they're idiots.
** That's not the best example in the series though, oh no. The best example is the protagonist's ChildhoodFriend and {{Meido}} (of the non-battle variety) staying in the protagonist's mansion when an invading army ransacks the town, only starting to flee when the enemy general enters the mansion and announces his intention to rape her. Why? ''Because the protagonist told her to watch the house''.
* ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'' has our protagonists, long been obsessed with survival and avoiding fights with [[NotUsingTheZWord "them"]] wherever possible, decide to brave an entire ''horde'' of them to save a 7-year-old girl. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome In a rare example of honour winning over reason]], ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oPjhrV8HjM they were successful]]''.
-->''"[[PunctuatedForEmphasis IT'S. A. LITTLE. GIRL.]]"''
* When Train confronts Shiki near the end of ''Anime/BlackCat'', just before his final battle with Creed, he has, depending on whether it's the manga or the anime, either the ability to fire one last nanomachine-powered railgun shot for the day or an [[AppliedPhlebotinum Orichalcum bullet]] that can pierce any object. Just before the fight actually starts, he ends up firing it into the sky instead, just to show that he doesn't need it to beat Shiki ''or'' Creed.



[[folder:Video Games]]
* Incorporated into the mechanics of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''. Sparing noncombatants and wounded, fleeing aircraft earns you respect and means you don't fight the ''hardest'' aces (though the ones you do fight certainly aren't slouches), but earns you less money in the long run.
* In ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'', Tyson Rios makes it a point to try to bring the conspirators within [[spoiler: Security and Strategy Corporation]] to justice, even going to so far as to force [[spoiler: Ernest Stockwell, CEO of SSC]] to turn himself in once they rescued him. His partner, Elliot Salem, who is much more pragmatic and selfish, repeatedly calls him on his honorable nature, pointing out that the two are [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]].
* As Rucks puts it in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' "If you can't do something smart, do something right".
* In ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', the French gentleman-fighter Duke refuses to [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown attack prone and vunerable opponents]], because of his insistence on [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fighting like a gentleman]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}''. Though initially Jack is told that the only way to get large amounts of ADAM is to kill and harvest the Little Sisters, Doctor Tenenbaum makes it a point to give Jack gifts for choosing the harder path of rescuing the Little Sisters, by giving him both large amounts of ADAM ''and'' unique plasmids. Considering how much more great loot you get from saving them and how little the difference in ADAM between saving and harvesting all the Sisters is (over the course of the whole game), choosing to harvest the little sisters would be a case of Sadism Before Reason. (Or you might do it just to hear [[MultipleEndings the ending]] where the good doctor [[WhatTheHellHero calls you out for being a jerk]].)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' (especially ''[[VideoGame/CallOfJuarezBoundInBlood Bound In Blood]]''), characters will come along and challenge the protagonist to a gunfight, which he accepts. Never mind they have easily pulled a Malcolm Reynolds style move and simply shot them as soon as they showed up instead of doing the whole showdown thing. In the second game they are already outlaws anyway and no one else is around to tell the tale later.
* Angeal in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', honorable as he is he gave us a warning early on.
-->'''Angeal:''' But I never stole from that tree, because the wealthy man's son was my friend.\\
'''Zack:''' If he was a friend, you should've just asked for some.\\
'''Angeal:''' Honor can be quite a burden at times.
* In the canonical ending of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'', Kyle Katarn has Jerec disarmed and on his knees. Jerec tries to goad Kyle into killing him. Kyle responds by giving him his weapon back.
* Lupa from ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' is a very strong believer in this philosophy. [[spoiler: Tragically, it leads to his downfall because victims of the Atma Virus need to eat their opponents, or they become permanently berserk and have an insatiable bloodlust. Gale then takes up this philosophy after Lupa's death triggers his emotions]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'': If Adell makes you a promise, he ''will'' keep it.
-->'''Rozalin:''' Fool! You are going to get yourself killed!\\
'''Adell:''' ... Don't worry. [[{{Determinator}} I won't die. I still have other promises to keep]].
** [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] takes this to the logical extreme. Want to know why he refuses to drink blood, at the cost of all of his power and prestige: [[spoiler:because he promised someone that he wouldn't drink blood until he showed them true terror, and they ''died'' before it happened. Not considering death of the recipient a legitimate reason for breaking off a contract, he just went on not drinking blood for the next four hundred years]].
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] learns this as AnAesop, as, though it went against his otherwise perfectly rational motto of not taking on any foe he wasn't confident about, he found he had to fight on regardless if it meant [[DistressedDamsel rescuing]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]].
** More precisely, he learns that while his perfectly logical fighting style is effective, it doesn't allow him to exceed the limits he sets on himself. Only by ignoring reason and logic can he find the power to succeed despite overwhelming odds. He stubbornly refuses to believe that it changes his fighting style, though:
---> '''Onion Knight''': Don't get me wrong, I still won't fight anyone I can't beat. So I guess I'll ''just have to beat you!''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a lot of this going on. Being a Grey Warden, he considers it part of his duty.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. The Hand of Korth was supposed to attack the Tevinter Imperium, but somehow managed to get it into his head to attack you instead. After you kill him, his father (the chieftain of the tribe) declares his displeasure by smacking your holdings with goat's blood, as is the tribe's custom. Thing is, the chief is a lot smarter than his son, and knows this is probably going to get him killed. So he goes whole-hog and [[spoiler:physically ''throws a goat at the castle''. He's officially arrested for "laying siege to the walls with a goat."]] If you choose to "exile" him and his clan to Tevinter ([[{{Unishment}} which is what they wanted in the first place]]), it's one of the few decisions that every single one of your companions approves of.
* ''EVEOnline'' has this in the form of Amarr Empire battle doctrine, which completely forbids retreat or surrender. During their war with the Jove, the only battle they fought with them cost them most of their fleet because they couldn't retreat or give up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with the Broken Steel DLC installed, while the player can send a radiation-immune companion character to activate the purifier rather than sacrificing themselves or Sarah Lyons, the game still considers this a cowardly choice rather than [[NegateYourOwnSacrifice Negating Your Own Sacrifice]].
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to Auron, Jecht would often try and talk his companions into helping someone out because it was 'the right thing to do.' If he used that phrase, both Auron and Braska knew it would get them into a whole heap of trouble.
* Gerik and his mercenaries from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. When they and their employer [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Prince Innes]] are vastly outnumbered by an enemy army, Innes tries to convince them to surrender and save themselves since the other guys are only after him. Even after he fires them they refuse to (thoughhe orders them to surrender [[WhatAnIdiot after firing them]]).
-->'''Innes:''' Unbelievable... and you people call yourselves mercenaries? I thought you fought for money, not duty.\\
'''Gerik:''' Yeah, that's one of the rules. Guess we're lousy mercenaries, eh?
* The elites in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series definitely fall under this trope. In one book, the Chief noted that even regular soldiers would fight hand-to-hand and die rather than pick up fully-loaded human weapons at their feet. The high-ranking zealots take it further, '''''especially''''' in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The [[WordofGod Word of God]] at the time was that these officers had a honour code that prohibited them from using ranged weapons, and entering vehicles is considered cowardice. As a result, they end up being less dangerous than their gun-wielding subordinates, since they just run at you with a sword. When you do get one as an ally, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything giving him a gun will just result in him running up to enemies and bludgeoning them with it, and he will stubbornly refuse to enter any vehicle]].
** Of course they're still more dangerous than their subordinates because they're ten foot aliens with cloaking devices, energy shields and an one-hit kill weapon. On heroic, which is as close to realistic difficulty, unless if several marines focus fire on the single zealot, he ''will'' reach lunging distance before his shields drop and he ''will'' annihilate the group of marines by himself.
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald Duck briefly follows Riku in his evil phase due to a literal interpretation of King Mickey's orders. He later realizes this is stupid and returns to Sora's side.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series, Meta Knight will give you a sword in the favor of a fair fight, even when the fate of the universe is on the line. In one game, the two of you are on a damaged airship that is currently falling towards the ocean - and he'll wait a full thirty seconds for you to pick up the sword before deciding to attack you anyways. In another, the fact that his evil doppelganger doesn't throw you a sword is the first clue that it's not really him.
* This is used for IdiotHero Wain's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''. When a bolt of lightning sets a house on fire and a little girl is trapped inside, Wain rushes in without hesitation, pulls the girl out, then collapses from his injuries. Seena heals him, then asks what he would have done if she ''wasn't'' able to heal him...to which he replies that she ''could'' heal him, so it wasn't a problem anyway.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', where Samara, a WarriorMonk swears an Oath to Shepard so she will follow his/her orders, no matter how dishonorable they would be normally considered by her Code. However, she does inform them that if he/she does anything particularly dishonorable in the eyes of the Code, Samara will kill them when she is released from the oath of subsumation.
** Either played straight or subverted depending on the player's whims in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where Samara attempts to [[spoiler:kill herself]] as her Code requires her [[spoiler:to kill her only surviving daughter]]. However, Shepard can intervene, allowing time for [[spoiler:her daughter to provide an alternative]].
** Inverted with Javik in ''Mass Effect 3'', he chastises Shepard for believing that that victory is possible with one's honor intact.
---> "Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer."
** Zig-zagged with curing the genophage. If Wrex is in charge, especially if Eve is still alive, the honourable path - playing fair with an old friend - is also the reasonable one, since they can keep the krogan pointed at the enemy and direct them toward a brighter future, while backstabbing them for salarian support will end in [[spoiler:Wrex dead, Mordin dead, and Clan Urdnot sitting the war out]]. If Wreav is in charge, especially if Eve is dead, curing the genophage - while still the noble thing to do - will ultimately end in either a massive krogan civil war, or a new Krogan Rebellions, and as a result the dishonourable option of backstabbing them becomes the most viable.
* Enforced with ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'''s KarmaMeter. Characters can earn Chivalry points from doing things like sparing prisoners and lowering taxes, or Dread by executing [=POWs=] and exploiting peasants, that's straightforward enough. But on the battlefield you're abiding by medieval codes of chivalry, so "good" strategies are limited to frontal assaults against an equally matched opponent. If you use flanking actions, shoot down foes with archers, charge units in the rear, or use spies to gather intelligence - you know, ''tactics'' - characters will quickly pick up "Cruel and Cunning" and other Dreaded traits.
* Both [[KnightTemplar Colonel]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist General]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' have been duped into sending Repliforce to war with the world by [[ManipulativeBastard Sigma]], forcing X and Zero to stop them. Colonel foolishly becomes a MartyrWithoutACause, which has a ''horrific'' [[KillTheCutie repercussion]] if you're playing as Zero. [[spoiler: His sister Iris tries to exact [[RevengeBeforeReason a heartbroken revenge]] after being [[BreakTheCutie emotionally wrecked by the death of her brother]], and Zero, her beloved boyfriend, is forced to do her in (Similar to RomeoAndJuliet, but Romeo still lives). Zero has a '''''stratospheric''''' HeroicBSOD as a result]].
** General is one of the all-time offenders of this trope, enacting a myriad of disasters because of the honorable name of Repliforce. He meets a [[TheManBehindTheCurtain cloaked figure]], never discovering he's really [[BigBad the most feared Maverick on the planet, Sigma]]. Thinking this "stranger" is a [[AWolfInSheepsClothing man of reputable advice]] makes him fall victim to [[UnwittingPawn Sigma's deceitful logic]] and enter into '''''seriously''''' DirtyBusiness. Worse, he is unaware [[DoubleAgent Magma Dragoon]] caused [[ColonyDrop Sky Lagoon to crash]] and [[InnocentBystander wipe out millions]]- he thinks it's an accident perpetrated by the Maverick Hunters. This unintentionally causes Repliforce to dishonor its namesake, the army to be decimated, and General to decide the ends justify the means. Worse, General has [[KillSat Final Weapon]], a doomsday space station geared for armageddon. After X/Zero gives him a well-deserved WhatTheHellHero speech (Zero even more angered, on the verge of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge), pulverizing half his steely body in the process, General cools down long enough to realize that acting in favor of NecessarilyEvil was a deadly mistake, and he has a HeelFaceTurn. However, Sigma's EvilPlan allowed him to hijack Final Weapon to trigger the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. To stop it, General pulls a HeroicSacrifice, using his halfway-ruined body to block the weapon's laser strike, but doing so vaporizes him into space dust.
** While several characters show signs of this, nowhere is it more apparent then in Colonel. By stubbornly refusing to allow his forces to be questioned by the Hunters due to his [[{{Hubris}} pride]], he is hugely responsible for the Fourth Maverick War, which leaves himself, his sister and the rest of Repliforce dead. In fact, he is one of the few villains from that game who is ''completely unsympathetic''.
* Inverted in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Being a StealthBasedGame, Snake isn't averse to using every dirty, underhanded tactic in the book to incapacitate/kill/sneak past his enemies, and MissionControl encourages the player to employ these tactics at every possible occasion, while the villains ''always'' announce their presence and proceed to give Snake a (relatively) fair fight instead of [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing him]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: The Boss inverts and plays this trope straight. Her GambitRoulette ensured that she'd be dishonored and declared "the biggest traitor of this century," her personal honor keeps her from killing, and sometimes even passively '''helping''' Snake in his mission.]]
*** The End is a more pure embodiment, as he wanted "one last" honorable sniper battle. even if he gets the drop on you, he only ever knocks Snake out and drags him to an ''unlocked'' cell at a previous base instead of killing Snake. In turn, Snake is sad to disappoint The End if the player lets him die of old age, which causes the Major to chew him out over the radio for trying to be dramatic.
* Piston Hondo from ''PunchOut'' has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese and all. [[CombatPragmatist You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch]]. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
** However, this trope is downplayed [[FridgeBrilliance when you think about it]]. If you pay attention, he's actually staring at you while he's bowing, which is considered ''extremely'' disrespectful in Japan. He's not so much being honorable as he is being [[StealthInsult ironic]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quest for Glory 2}}'', a fighter faces TheDragon in a climactic swordfight, and quickly disarms him. If he chooses to kill his unarmed foe, instead of letting him have his sword back, the game treats it as a dishonorable act... even though TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is due to happen ''in a few minutes,'' if the hero doesn't get a move on. The VGA fan remake is even more extreme in this regard; giving the sword back leads to a truly NintendoHard fight. Apparently, TheDragon waits until after you show him mercy to bust out the really nasty moves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Romancing SaGa}}'', Lord Theodore is the leader of the Knights of the Dominion, and one of the few who still follows their code to the letter. Unfortunately, he is '''''so''''' convinced that he's '''''the''''' bastion [[JusticeWillPrevail of justice and honor]], '''''the''''' [[HolierThanThou last such bastion left in the Dominion]] that he constantly overcompensates for the failings of his kin, both real and imagined. Rather than leading by example, he becomes LawfulStupid incarnate.
* In ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', Naoe Kanetsugu embodies this trope to a tee, Azai Nagamasa less so (who splits this with his [[LoveFreak love]] of Oichi). Interestingly, the JerkAss Ishida Mitsunari actually adopts this trope by his decisive battle at Sekigahara [[spoiler:by refusing an officer's suggestion of a sneak attack on the enemy, and revealing in his ending that his friends' honor tropes actually rubbed off on him]].
* A game mechanic in ''VideoGame/{{Sengoku}}''. Honor is gained by such things as donating money to the Emperor and granting land to vassals, and lost by hatching plots and declaring wars. If a character loses too much, they commit {{seppuku}}.
* Kasumi from ''Shakkin Shimai'' takes this to an extreme, refusing help from Okura even if it means she'll be sold into prostitution to pay off her family's debt.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' usually acts before he thinks, and, being a generally nice guy, he's usually acing heroically (or [[IdiotHero stupidly]], but sometimes GoodIsDumb). He justification for rushing headlong into a mission that seems hopelessly outmatched is just "IGaveMyWord."
* Possible in the ''VideoGame/StarRuler'' mod ''Galactic Armory''. One [[MinMaxing Trait]] you can take is "Code of Honor", which prevents from using a variety of subsystems. No [=WMDs=], fair enough, but when the thing prevents you from using sensible things like ArmorPiercingAttack it goes straight into this.
* Luke, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of the Abyss}},'' starts off as being extremely self-centered and arrogant, but later he becomes near-suicidally selfless in an attempt to make up for his previous behavior, and holds true to the strength and ideals of humanity, opposing the fatalist views of the game's antagonists.
* The Half-Zatoichi in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is a katana wielded by the Demoman and the Soldier. It is Honorbound, meaning that once you draw it, sheathing it without drawing blood will hurt you, but you regain a large amount of health when you kill with it.
* In the ''Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse'' book ''Literature/OfBloodAndHonor'', the human paladin Tirion Fordring is an extremely honourable guy, saving an elderly man from a race which pretty much all of humanity was still recovering from having being nearly crushed by at the time. Doing so saw him exiled for treachery and his wife refusing to take herself and their son into the ruin he made for himself. His magical powers were supposed to have been taken from him, though due to nature of his use of them, it is assumed that they were granted by moral righteousness -- which has since been debated and argued about in true nature, due to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* In ''WarriorsOrochi'', Pang De's version of this trope is so cliche that he's called out on this more than once -- hilariously, when one asks him what his "way of the warrior" even means, Pang De's explanation is basically repeating the concept. [[spoiler:It's especially off, and call-out-on-worthy, since he's on Orochi's side through Wei, particularly Cao Pi's aligning with Orochi. However, in the Battle of Shizugatake (Shu story) if the player manages to save enough Hojo officers and prevent defections he will recognize the conflict and agree to leave Wei/Orochi]].
* In a rare ''villainous'' example of this trope, in ''Weaponlord'', it has been prophecied that on the night that the moon bleeds, the BigBad Zarak will be killed by the Weaponlord, whose identity is unknown except for the clue that he/she was born under the Warrior's Moon. Zarak's lieutenants advise him to pull a Herod and simply slaughter all the infants born under that moon, but Zarak instead decides to wait until the Weaponlord is grown up, and then face his prophecied killer fair-and-square in single combat to see if the prophecy will really work. [[spoiler: This gets Zarak killed if you play anyone but him, and if you play Zarak himself, it is revealed that Zarak ''himself'' was born under a Warrior's Moon, and since he killed the ''previous'' BigBad, Zarak ''himself'' becomes the Weaponlord]].
* Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji from ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' suffers a terminal case of this. His casual disrespect of a ''gaijin'' Ultor Executive whom he deems as beneath him backfires when that guy --BiggerBad Dane Vogel-- immediately gives crucial intel to the Saints in retaliation, and his insistence on an honorable katana duel against The Boss goes awry when it turns out The Boss is a CombatPragmatist who has no problem bringing a gun to a swordfight.
* The White Knights of ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' apparently value the honour of a straight-up battle that would leave many of their number dead over the reasonable approach of sniping the enemy leader from above and behind, almost expelling the member of their order that [[CombatPragmatist took the latter approach]] to killing a dark magic-wielding enemy warlord.
** Pointedly averted by the Temple Knights of Saradomin, an order of holy paladins in the service of a god of honor and nobility, who nonetheless immediately recruited the aforementioned shooter on the basis that he ''did'' get the job done.
* The Arceans in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' are all about honor, even at their own expense. This why, despite being generally nice enough guys to those who aren't their enemies, they are considered morally Neutral: honor is more important to them than any morality. A savvy player can exploit this to get the Arcean AI to do some very stupid things if they set things up properly.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingons, repeatedly, to IdiotBall levels. Might even qualify as a DeconstructedTrope.
** In the backstory they react to Federation condemnation of their unilateral invasion of the Gorn Hegemony by breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning attacks on Federation colonies. [[HistoryRepeats Just like they did before the Dominion War]].
** In the mission "Diplomatic Orders", a Klingon cruiser commander gets information that a Federation diplomat is really an Undine. Does he submit his findings to the Federation? No! He leads a deep-strike into Federation territory to kill the ambassador himself, and instead of coming out firing, he sacrifices the element of surprise to high-handedly demand that the Federation PC hand over the ambassador. The Fed PC reacts surprisingly well to this: instead of just blasting the idiot out of space on sight (remember, the Feds and Klinks have now '''been at war for four years'' and the Klingon is asking a Starfleet officer on an EscortMission to ''hand over his escortee to an enemy combatant''), he asks to see the Klingon's evidence, and the Klingon instead takes umbrage and attacks, and because he's up against a {{Plot Armor}}ed PlayerCharacter he dies completely pointlessly and Starfleet makes the kill against the Undine.
** Then there's "House Pegh", a.k.a. [[FanNickname "House Pratfall"]] [[invoked]]. Emperor Kahless breaks away from a covert infiltration mission that is going surprisingly well because he sees an Iconian on a security camera and wants to challenge it to honorable combat. T'Ket at first ignores the idiot, then basically toys with Kahless for a while until [[spoiler:B'Eler {{technobabble}}s away T'Ket's NighInvulnerability. Instead of pressing his unearned advantage home, Kahless cuts off T'Ket's arm then starts monologuing about honor, giving T'Ket time to recover and vape Kahless. And then the "mighty Klingon warriors" of House Pegh, supposedly the Empire's covert ops arm, ''panic and run for their lives''.]]
* In the storyline of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' Kotal Kahn, TheEmperor of all Outworld, permits a foreign emissary of no great importance to challenge him in TrialByCombat for the life of a petty thief. His decision to personally participate himself instead of using a champion is questionable, although it may have been a calculated risk given that he's [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking an incredibly deadly warrior]]. Less forgivable is that upon losing, he insists that the winner execute him as per ancient tradition, even though he's in the midst of a SuccessionCrisis and his death would give the throne to his hated, psychotic rival. He only survives because his opponent [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs him on the throne]] and demands his service instead.
* ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis'': Walter, a knight from a neighboring kingdom who lost to TheHero, Fray, in a battle tournament, demands a rematch when they meet up again a year later and wants it ''now''! Never mind that they meet up in a crowded tavern and drawing his sword in the midst of civilians while on an official mission for his king would have tarnished his honor far more than a fair loss.

to:

[[folder:Video Games]]
[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Incorporated into the mechanics of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''. Sparing noncombatants Superheroes from both DC and wounded, fleeing aircraft earns you respect and means you don't fight the ''hardest'' aces (though the ones you do fight certainly aren't slouches), but earns you less money in the long run.
* In ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'', Tyson Rios makes it a point to try to bring the conspirators within [[spoiler: Security and Strategy Corporation]] to justice, even going to so far as to force [[spoiler: Ernest Stockwell, CEO of SSC]] to turn himself in once they rescued him. His partner, Elliot Salem, who is much more pragmatic and selfish, repeatedly calls him on his honorable nature, pointing out that the two
Marvel are [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]].
* As Rucks puts it in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' "If you can't do something smart, do something right".
* In ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', the French gentleman-fighter Duke refuses
notorious for taking this to [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown attack prone and vunerable opponents]], because of his insistence on [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fighting like a gentleman]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}''. Though initially Jack
ridiculous extremes. The most obvious example is told that the only way to get large amounts of ADAM is {{Franchise/Batman}}'s refusal to kill even SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, despite knowing that he's a purely evil, irredeemable, sadistic monster who cannot be reformed and harvest the Little Sisters, Doctor Tenenbaum makes it a point to give Jack gifts for choosing the harder path of rescuing the Little Sisters, by giving him both large amounts of ADAM ''and'' unique plasmids. Considering how much more great loot you get from saving them and how little the difference in ADAM between saving and harvesting all the Sisters is (over the course of the whole game), choosing to harvest the little sisters would be a case of Sadism Before Reason. (Or you might do it just to hear [[MultipleEndings the ending]] where the good doctor [[WhatTheHellHero calls you out for being a jerk]].)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' (especially ''[[VideoGame/CallOfJuarezBoundInBlood Bound In Blood]]''), characters
who will come along and challenge the protagonist to a gunfight, which he accepts. Never mind they have easily pulled a Malcolm Reynolds style move and simply shot them as soon as they showed up instead of doing the whole showdown thing. In the second game they are already outlaws anyway and no one else is around to tell the tale later.
* Angeal in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', honorable as he is he gave us a warning early on.
-->'''Angeal:''' But I never stole from that tree, because the wealthy man's son was my friend.\\
'''Zack:''' If he was a friend, you should've just asked for some.\\
'''Angeal:''' Honor can be quite a burden at times.
* In the canonical ending of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'', Kyle Katarn has Jerec disarmed and
go on his knees. Jerec tries to goad Kyle into killing him. Kyle responds by giving him his weapon back.
* Lupa from ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' is a very strong believer in this philosophy. [[spoiler: Tragically, it leads to his downfall because victims of the Atma Virus need to eat their opponents, or they become permanently berserk and have an insatiable bloodlust. Gale then takes up this philosophy after Lupa's death triggers his emotions]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'': If Adell makes you a promise, he ''will'' keep it.
-->'''Rozalin:''' Fool! You are going to get yourself killed!\\
'''Adell:''' ... Don't worry. [[{{Determinator}} I won't die. I still have other promises to keep]].
** [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] takes this to the logical extreme. Want to know why he refuses to drink blood, at the cost of all of his power and prestige: [[spoiler:because he promised someone that he wouldn't drink blood until he showed them true terror, and they ''died'' before it happened. Not considering death of the recipient a legitimate reason for breaking off a contract, he just went on not drinking blood for the next four hundred years]].
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] learns this as AnAesop, as, though it went against his otherwise perfectly rational motto of not taking on any foe he wasn't confident about, he found he had to fight on regardless if it meant [[DistressedDamsel rescuing]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]].
** More precisely, he learns that while his perfectly logical fighting style is effective, it doesn't allow him to exceed the limits he sets on himself. Only by ignoring reason and logic can he find the power to succeed despite overwhelming odds. He stubbornly refuses to believe that it changes his fighting style, though:
---> '''Onion Knight''': Don't get me wrong, I still won't fight anyone I can't beat. So I guess I'll ''just have to beat you!''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a lot of this going on. Being a Grey Warden, he considers it part of his duty.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. The Hand of Korth was supposed to attack the Tevinter Imperium, but somehow managed to get it into his head to attack you instead. After you kill him, his father (the chieftain of the tribe) declares his displeasure by smacking your holdings with goat's blood, as is the tribe's custom. Thing is, the chief is a lot smarter than his son, and knows this is probably going to get him killed. So he goes whole-hog and [[spoiler:physically ''throws a goat at the castle''. He's officially arrested for "laying siege to the walls with a goat."]] If you choose to "exile" him and his clan to Tevinter ([[{{Unishment}} which is what they wanted in the first place]]), it's one of the few decisions that every single one of your companions approves of.
* ''EVEOnline'' has this in the form of Amarr Empire battle doctrine, which completely forbids retreat or surrender. During their war with the Jove, the only battle they fought with them cost them most of their fleet because they couldn't retreat or give up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with the Broken Steel DLC installed, while the player can send a radiation-immune companion character to activate the purifier rather than sacrificing themselves or Sarah Lyons, the game still considers this a cowardly choice rather than [[NegateYourOwnSacrifice Negating Your Own Sacrifice]].
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to Auron, Jecht would often try and talk his companions into helping someone out because it was 'the right thing to do.' If he used that phrase, both Auron and Braska knew it would get them into a whole heap of trouble.
* Gerik and his mercenaries from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. When they and their employer [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Prince Innes]] are vastly outnumbered by an enemy army, Innes tries to convince them to surrender and save themselves since the other guys are only after him. Even after he fires them they refuse to (thoughhe orders them to surrender [[WhatAnIdiot after firing them]]).
-->'''Innes:''' Unbelievable... and you
innocent people call yourselves mercenaries? I thought you fought for money, not duty.\\
'''Gerik:''' Yeah, that's one of the rules. Guess we're lousy mercenaries, eh?
* The elites in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series definitely fall under this trope. In one book, the Chief noted that even regular soldiers would fight hand-to-hand and die rather than pick up fully-loaded human weapons at their feet. The high-ranking zealots take it further, '''''especially''''' in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The [[WordofGod Word of God]] at the time was that these officers had a honour code that prohibited them from using ranged weapons, and entering vehicles is considered cowardice. As a result, they end up being less dangerous than their gun-wielding subordinates, since they
just run at you with a sword. for kicks . When you do get one as an ally, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything giving him a gun will just result in him running up to enemies and bludgeoning them with it, and he will stubbornly refuse to enter any vehicle]].
** Of course they're still more dangerous than their subordinates because they're ten foot aliens with cloaking devices, energy shields and an one-hit kill weapon. On heroic, which is as close to realistic difficulty, unless if several marines focus fire on the single zealot, he ''will'' reach lunging distance before his shields drop and he ''will'' annihilate the group of marines by himself.
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald Duck briefly follows Riku in his evil phase due to a literal interpretation of King Mickey's orders. He later realizes this is stupid and returns to Sora's side.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series, Meta Knight will give you a sword in the favor of a fair fight, even when the fate of the universe is on the line. In one game, the two of you are on a damaged airship that is currently falling towards the ocean - and he'll wait a full thirty seconds for you to pick up the sword before deciding to attack you anyways. In another, the fact that his evil doppelganger doesn't throw you a sword is the first clue that it's not really him.
* This is used for IdiotHero Wain's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''. When a bolt of lightning sets a house on fire and a little girl is trapped inside, Wain rushes in without hesitation, pulls the girl out,
Joker then collapses from his injuries. Seena heals him, then asks what he would have done if she ''wasn't'' able to heal him...to which he replies that she ''could'' heal him, so it wasn't a problem anyway.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', where Samara, a WarriorMonk swears an Oath to Shepard so she will follow his/her orders, no matter how dishonorable they would be normally considered by her Code. However, she does inform them that if he/she does anything particularly dishonorable in the eyes of the Code, Samara will kill them when she is released from the oath of subsumation.
** Either played straight or subverted depending
goes on the player's whims in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where Samara attempts to [[spoiler:kill herself]] as her Code requires her [[spoiler:to kill her only surviving daughter]]. However, Shepard can intervene, allowing time for [[spoiler:her daughter Jason Todd, the second Robin]], Batman comes ''damn close'' to provide an alternative]].
** Inverted with Javik in ''Mass Effect 3'', he chastises Shepard for believing that that victory is possible with one's honor intact.
---> "Stand
breaking his rule, but didn't in the ashes end. Unfortunately, this would come to bite Batman later: when [[InfiniteCrisis Superboy-Prime's]] CosmicRetcon [[spoiler:resurrected Jason]], the fact that Batman [[spoiler:never avenged his death led him to assume the mantle of Red Hood, an AntiVillain who opposes Batman's no-kill ideology, thus pitting the two of them against each other.]] Batman takes this to another extreme when his alter ego becomes a trillion dead souls, juror at the trial of someone captured by him. When asked if there's any reason he shouldn't be a juror, Bruce Wayne tells the judge that [[CassandraTruth he's Batman]]. He later tells Tim that he had to tell because he was under oath.
* The protagonists of ''SinCity'' each possess this trait. Despite their violent
and ask sadistic nature, they will still put their lives on the ghosts line and suffer greatly for the sake of those they wish to protect.
* In ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'', when a character makes a decision and says, "I am adamant!", that means literally ''nothing'', especially death threats, will make them change their mind. For instance, a swordsmith said this in refusing to sell one of his swords to a brutish samurai and when threatened to be killed, he all but said, "Kill me
if honor matters. The silence is your answer.you want, but that just guarantees I won't sell you anything."
** Zig-zagged with curing the genophage. If Wrex is in charge, especially if Eve is still alive, the honourable path - playing fair with an old friend - is also the reasonable one, since they can keep the krogan pointed at the enemy and direct them toward a brighter future, while backstabbing them Usagi sums up his feelings for salarian support will end in [[spoiler:Wrex dead, Mordin dead, and Clan Urdnot sitting the war out]]. If Wreav is in charge, especially if Eve is dead, curing the genophage - while still the noble thing to do - will ultimately end in either a massive krogan civil war, or a new Krogan Rebellions, and as a result the dishonourable option of backstabbing them becomes the most viable.
* Enforced with ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'''s KarmaMeter. Characters can earn Chivalry points from doing things like sparing prisoners and lowering taxes, or Dread by executing [=POWs=] and exploiting peasants, that's straightforward enough. But on the battlefield you're abiding by medieval codes of chivalry, so "good" strategies are limited to frontal assaults against an equally matched opponent. If you use flanking actions, shoot down foes with archers, charge units in the rear, or use spies to gather intelligence - you know, ''tactics'' - characters will quickly pick up "Cruel and Cunning" and other Dreaded traits.
* Both [[KnightTemplar Colonel]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist General]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' have been duped into sending Repliforce to war with the world by [[ManipulativeBastard Sigma]], forcing X and Zero to stop them. Colonel foolishly becomes a MartyrWithoutACause, which has a ''horrific'' [[KillTheCutie repercussion]] if you're playing as Zero. [[spoiler: His sister Iris tries to exact [[RevengeBeforeReason a heartbroken revenge]] after being [[BreakTheCutie emotionally wrecked by the death of her brother]], and Zero, her beloved boyfriend, is forced to do her in (Similar to RomeoAndJuliet, but Romeo still lives). Zero has a '''''stratospheric''''' HeroicBSOD as a result]].
** General is one of the all-time offenders of this trope, enacting a myriad of disasters because of the honorable name of Repliforce. He meets a [[TheManBehindTheCurtain cloaked figure]], never discovering he's really [[BigBad the most feared Maverick on the planet, Sigma]]. Thinking this "stranger" is a [[AWolfInSheepsClothing man of reputable advice]] makes him fall victim to [[UnwittingPawn Sigma's deceitful logic]] and enter into '''''seriously''''' DirtyBusiness. Worse, he is unaware [[DoubleAgent Magma Dragoon]] caused [[ColonyDrop Sky Lagoon to crash]] and [[InnocentBystander wipe out millions]]- he thinks it's an accident perpetrated by the Maverick Hunters. This unintentionally causes Repliforce to dishonor its namesake, the army to be decimated, and General to decide the ends justify the means. Worse, General has [[KillSat Final Weapon]], a doomsday space station geared for armageddon. After X/Zero gives him a well-deserved WhatTheHellHero speech (Zero even more angered, on the verge of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge), pulverizing half his steely body in the process, General cools down long enough to realize that acting in favor of NecessarilyEvil was a deadly mistake, and he has a HeelFaceTurn. However, Sigma's EvilPlan allowed him to hijack Final Weapon to trigger the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. To stop it, General pulls a HeroicSacrifice, using his halfway-ruined body to block the weapon's laser strike, but doing so vaporizes him into space dust.
** While several characters show signs of this, nowhere is it more apparent then in Colonel. By stubbornly refusing to allow his forces to be questioned by the Hunters due to his [[{{Hubris}} pride]], he is hugely responsible for the Fourth Maverick War, which leaves himself, his sister and the rest of Repliforce dead. In fact, he is one of the few villains from that game who is ''completely unsympathetic''.
* Inverted in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Being a StealthBasedGame, Snake isn't averse to using every dirty, underhanded tactic in the book to incapacitate/kill/sneak past his enemies, and MissionControl encourages the player to employ these tactics at every possible occasion, while the villains ''always'' announce their presence and proceed to give Snake a (relatively) fair fight instead of [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing him]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: The Boss inverts and plays
this trope straight. Her GambitRoulette ensured that she'd be dishonored and declared "the biggest traitor of this century," her personal honor keeps her from killing, and sometimes even passively '''helping''' Snake in his mission.]]
*** The End is a more pure embodiment, as he wanted "one last" honorable sniper battle. even if he gets the drop on you, he only ever knocks Snake out and drags him to an ''unlocked'' cell at a previous base instead of killing Snake. In turn, Snake is sad to disappoint The End if the player lets him die of old age, which causes the Major to chew him out over the radio for trying to be dramatic.
* Piston Hondo from ''PunchOut'' has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese and all. [[CombatPragmatist You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch]]. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
** However, this trope is downplayed [[FridgeBrilliance
when you think about it]]. If you pay attention, he's actually staring at you while he's bowing, which is considered ''extremely'' disrespectful in Japan. He's not so much being honorable as he is being [[StealthInsult ironic]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quest for Glory 2}}'', a fighter faces TheDragon in a climactic swordfight, and quickly disarms him. If he chooses to kill his unarmed foe, instead of letting him
says "What fools we have his sword back, the game treats it as a dishonorable act... even though TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is due to happen ''in a few minutes,'' if the hero doesn't get a move on. The VGA fan remake is even more extreme in this regard; giving the sword back leads to a truly NintendoHard fight. Apparently, TheDragon waits until after you show him mercy to bust out the really nasty moves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Romancing SaGa}}'', Lord Theodore is the leader of the Knights of the Dominion, and one of the few who still follows their code to the letter. Unfortunately, he is '''''so''''' convinced
world, that he's '''''the''''' bastion [[JusticeWillPrevail of justice and honor]], '''''the''''' [[HolierThanThou last such bastion left in the Dominion]] that he constantly overcompensates for the failings of his kin, both real and imagined. Rather than leading by example, he becomes LawfulStupid incarnate.
* In ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', Naoe Kanetsugu embodies this trope to a tee, Azai Nagamasa less so (who splits this with his [[LoveFreak love]] of Oichi). Interestingly, the JerkAss Ishida Mitsunari actually adopts this trope by his decisive battle at Sekigahara [[spoiler:by refusing an officer's suggestion of a sneak attack on the enemy, and revealing in his ending that his friends'
confuse honor tropes actually rubbed off on him]].
* A game mechanic in ''VideoGame/{{Sengoku}}''. Honor is gained by such things as donating money to the Emperor and granting land to vassals, and lost by hatching plots and declaring wars. If a character loses too much, they commit {{seppuku}}.
* Kasumi from ''Shakkin Shimai'' takes this to an extreme, refusing help from Okura even if it means she'll be sold into prostitution to pay off her family's debt.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' usually acts before he thinks, and, being a generally nice guy, he's usually acing heroically (or [[IdiotHero stupidly]], but sometimes GoodIsDumb). He justification
for rushing headlong into a mission that seems hopelessly outmatched is just "IGaveMyWord.weakness."
* Possible More of a case of obsession before reason, but Rorschach from ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' has "Never Compromise" as his motto in the ''VideoGame/StarRuler'' mod ''Galactic Armory''. One [[MinMaxing Trait]] you can take face or murderers and rapists, and the people who would stop him. [[spoiler:This leads to his death as he refuses to allow [[WellIntentionedExtremist Ozymandias]] to go free, despite that this would render the death of millions meaningless and restart the Cold War.]] However, he is "Code also doing this because he does not want to allow the person responsible for the deaths of Honor", which prevents millions to walk off scot free, and he is disgusted with the idea that the only way to save humanity is to deceive and slaughter it.
* In ''ComicBook/RomSpaceKnight'', the title character found himself in such a situation when he had captured a disguised Dire Wraith disguised as a human scientist, but her security staff, unaware of her true nature, had arrived to help her. The Dire Wraith dared him to banish her at the cost that it will appear he killed her and he would likely never be able to convince humanity of the truth. Rom considers this, but since a friend had [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed his life]] to free his main weapon, he cannot have that sacrifice be for nothing. So, he banishes her and prepares to deal with the consequences.
* Yorick of ''YTheLastMan'' is like this for the first part of the series. Two major examples: He's the last living male human, yet tries not to cheat on his girlfriend who is half a world away. He comes across a town that's entirely populated by convicts
from using the near by women's correctional facility. Despite this, it seems to be one of the few nice places AfterTheEnd and is actually very stable. Yorick wants to turn them in to the government.
** It should be noted that Yorick has a nasty combination of Survivor's Guilt and general Catholic Guilt, along with
a variety pack of subsystems. No [=WMDs=], fair enough, mental hang-ups, that cause him to do not necessarily what is right, but when the thing prevents you from using sensible things like ArmorPiercingAttack it goes straight into this.
* Luke, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of the Abyss}},'' starts off as being extremely self-centered and arrogant, but later he becomes near-suicidally selfless in an attempt
what is mostly likely to make up for his previous behavior, people hate and holds true want to kill him (Honor Before Survival, in other words).
* ''Comicbook/TheTransformers'': There was
the strength time Optimus Prime allowed himself to be destroyed because of a ''video game'' that he and ideals of humanity, opposing Megatron were connected to in order to decide a battle. A game that ''he'd won,'' but by taking several {{NPC}}s out with Megs -- something he'd never do in reality, so he considered himself the fatalist views of the game's antagonists.
* The Half-Zatoichi in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is a katana wielded
loser.
** Further compounded
by the Demoman and the Soldier. It is Honorbound, meaning fact that once you draw it, sheathing it without drawing blood will hurt you, but you regain a large amount of health when you kill with it.
* In
he killed the ''Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse'' book ''Literature/OfBloodAndHonor'', the human paladin Tirion Fordring is an extremely honourable guy, saving an elderly man from a race which pretty much all of humanity was still recovering from having being nearly crushed by at the time. Doing so saw him exiled for treachery and his wife refusing to take herself and their son into the ruin he made for himself. His magical powers were supposed to have been taken from him, though due to nature of his use of them, it is assumed [=NPCs=] ''by accident''. Given that they were granted by moral righteousness -- which has since in an opaque structure, Optimus would not have been debated able to know they were there either way. Nonetheless, Optimus declares that his victory was by cheating.
--> '''[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]]:''' That's not what 'cheating' is, ''you stupid truck!''
* ComicBook/{{Jubilee}} of the Comicbook/{{X-Men}} takes the superheroic [[ThouShaltNotKill code against killing]] to a foolish extreme in one story. While escaping from Operation: Zero Tolerance (who had been torturing her for days), she seriously injured one of the guards --
and argued about in true nature, broke off her escape to perform CPR on him.
** That was a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
--->'''Jubilee:''' You wanna go around killing people? That's your choice. But don't think for a fraction of a second you're gonna make a murderer outta me.
** Sunfire has the potential to be a genuine force for good, but often finds himself at odds with the X-Men and other heroes
due to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* In ''WarriorsOrochi'', Pang De's version of this trope is so cliche that he's called out on this more than once -- hilariously, when one asks him what his "way of
the warrior" even means, Pang De's explanation is basically repeating the concept. [[spoiler:It's especially off, and call-out-on-worthy, since he's on Orochi's side through Wei, particularly Cao Pi's aligning situation at hand often conflicting with Orochi. However, in the Battle of Shizugatake (Shu story) if the player manages to save enough Hojo officers and prevent defections he will recognize the conflict and agree to leave Wei/Orochi]].
* In a rare ''villainous'' example of this trope, in ''Weaponlord'', it has been prophecied that on the night that the moon bleeds, the BigBad Zarak will be killed by the Weaponlord, whose identity is unknown except for the clue that he/she was born under the Warrior's Moon. Zarak's lieutenants advise him to pull a Herod and simply slaughter all the infants born under that moon, but Zarak instead decides to wait until the Weaponlord is grown up, and then face
his prophecied killer fair-and-square in single combat fanatical loyalty to see if the prophecy will really work. [[spoiler: This gets Zarak killed if you play anyone but him, and if you play Zarak himself, it is revealed that Zarak ''himself'' was born under a Warrior's Moon, and since he killed the ''previous'' BigBad, Zarak ''himself'' becomes the Weaponlord]].
* Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji from ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' suffers a terminal case of this. His casual disrespect of a ''gaijin'' Ultor Executive whom he deems as beneath him backfires when that guy --BiggerBad Dane Vogel-- immediately gives crucial intel to the Saints in retaliation,
Japan and his insistence on an honorable katana duel against family's reputation. The Boss goes awry when it turns out The Boss is a CombatPragmatist who has no problem bringing a gun to a swordfight.
* The White Knights of ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' apparently value
major reason he ends up joining the honour of Comicbook/UncannyAvengers is because he believes a straight-up battle that would leave many of their number dead over the reasonable approach of sniping the enemy leader from above and behind, almost expelling the member of their order that [[CombatPragmatist took the latter approach]] to killing a dark magic-wielding enemy warlord.
** Pointedly averted by the Temple Knights of Saradomin, an order of holy paladins in the service of a god of
Japanese hero being part earth's mightiest superhero team will bring honor and nobility, who nonetheless immediately recruited the aforementioned shooter on the basis that he ''did'' get the job done.
pride to his nation.
* In ''Incorruptible'' - a spin-off of ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'' - Max Damage made a HeelFaceTurn in response to The Arceans in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' are all about honor, even at their own expense. This why, despite being generally nice enough guys to those who aren't their enemies, they are considered morally Neutral: honor is more important to them than any morality. A savvy player can exploit this to get the Arcean AI to do some very stupid things if they set things up properly.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingons, repeatedly, to IdiotBall levels. Might even qualify as a DeconstructedTrope.
**
Plutonian's epic FaceHeelTurn. In the backstory they react to Federation condemnation process of their unilateral invasion "making a clean start of the Gorn Hegemony by breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning attacks on Federation colonies. [[HistoryRepeats Just like they did before the Dominion War]].
** In the mission "Diplomatic Orders", a Klingon cruiser commander gets information that a Federation diplomat is really an Undine. Does
it", he submit his findings to the Federation? No! He leads a deep-strike into Federation territory to kill the ambassador himself, and instead destroys billions of coming out firing, he sacrifices the element of surprise to high-handedly demand that the Federation PC hand dollars in currency he'd stashed away over the ambassador. years and destroyed most of his old gear and hideouts. Which is cool and all, but wouldn't all those resources actually ''help'' fight The Fed PC reacts surprisingly well to this: instead of just blasting Plutonian?
** Although
the idiot out of space on sight (remember, comic does frame this as the Feds and Klinks have now '''been at war for four years'' and the Klingon supervillainous equivalent of GoingColdTurkey, since Damage is asking a Starfleet officer on an EscortMission trying to ''hand over change his escortee to an enemy combatant''), he asks to see the Klingon's evidence, and the Klingon instead takes umbrage and attacks, and because he's up against a {{Plot Armor}}ed PlayerCharacter he dies ways completely pointlessly and Starfleet feels that having the relics of his old life would make it too easy to slip back into old bad habits, same as a recovering drug addict doesn't keep a whole load of drugs stashed about the place just in case.
** He also seemed to think that the best way to be a superhero was just to do the opposite of whatever he'd usually do as a villain in a case of EvilCannotComprehendGood. As he got better at heroics he started to be a bit more reasonable.
* In the DC comic ComicBook/{{Birds of Prey}}, a group of Chinese uber fighters called the Twelve Brothers in Silk are said to be at Lady Shiva level of ability but routinely work for b-rate crime bosses by being challenged to defend their "honor." The claim being that they can't do the job, not that it's below them.
* In the first ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'' [[ComicBook/FrankMillersWolverine Limited Series]], Logan is aghast to learn that not only his girlfriend, Yashida Mariko, is married, but it was on the orders of her father which she obeyed without question. His friend
makes the it clear that she did it as a matter of personal honor and she literally would rather die than violate that. Logan goes to see her, but is frustrated that she is adamant about keeping her honor in obeying her father, even while her husband abuses her. Fortunately, Mariko eventually realizes that her father is besmirching their family's honor with his evil and plans to kill against him and commit suicide in recompense. Fortunately, Wolverine beats her to it and Mariko considers the Undine.
**
matter properly settled.
*
Then there's "House Pegh", a.k.a. [[FanNickname "House Pratfall"]] [[invoked]]. Emperor Kahless breaks away from ''Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}''. With great power comes many low-paying jobs, no respect, a covert infiltration mission that is going surprisingly well because he sees an Iconian on a security camera legendary chain of disrupted relationships and break-ups, and many, many injuries. But he never resigns for long. Because he's Spider-Man, and he has a ''responsibility''.
** However, the ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan
wants to think otherwise...
* In an early ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' tale, the Swordsman joined the team as [[TheMole a mole]] in order to bring them down from the inside. When the time came to kill his teammates via a bomb provided by the Mandarin, Swordsman relented, stating that it would be cowardly and dishonorable to kill the Avengers while they slept.
* In Jonathan Hickman's ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'', the Illuminati become aware of a cosmic DisasterDominoes event -- universes are colliding, Earth-first, and destroying each other -- and that when two universes begin to collide, the event can be halted by destroying one of the Earths. ComicBook/CaptainAmerica is the only member of the group who will not entertain the idea of destroying a planet to save everything else [[spoiler: so they wipe his memory and expel him]].
* ComicBook/BlackPanther discusses this at one point while defending the absent Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s turf. He threatens a crook by telling him that while Daredevil's code of ethics prevented him from taking lives, he as a warrior king, [[ThouShaltNotKill had no such hang-ups about using lethal force]].
* In the first Marvel vs. DC/DC vs. Marvel crossover miniseries, WonderWoman discovers ComicBook/TheMightyThor's hammer and takes it up, becoming the God(dess) of Thunder. When [[ComicBook/XMen Storm]] comes
to challenge it to honorable combat. T'Ket at first ignores the idiot, then basically toys Wondy, she muses that she could easily defeat her with Kahless her new power, but discards it, finding it utterly unfair. Storm easily takes her down.
* At the end of one story in ''Comicbook/DraculaLives'', Literature/SolomonKane has Dracula at his mercy. Dracula reminds him that he owes him
for a while until [[spoiler:B'Eler {{technobabble}}s away T'Ket's NighInvulnerability. Instead of pressing saving his unearned advantage home, Kahless cuts off T'Ket's arm then starts monologuing about honor, giving T'Ket time to recover life earlier in the tale. Solomon grudgingly honors his request, and vape Kahless. lets him go.
* Geoffrey St. John in [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]: Despite knowing what his mentor Ixis Naugus is truly like, and even acknowledging that the wizard committed treason in a preceding arc, he still tries to make the whole "King Naugus" thing work and appeal to Naugus' better nature to work with the people of New Mobotropolis to help cure his illness. He gets betrayed when Naugus [[GrandTheftMe possesses]] him to escape his illness and manipulate said people.
And then possibly erased from existence following the "mighty Klingon warriors" of House Pegh, supposedly crossover with the Empire's covert ops arm, ''panic and run for their lives''.]]
Comicbook/MegaMan book.
* In the storyline of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' Kotal Kahn, TheEmperor of all Outworld, permits a foreign emissary of no great importance to challenge him in TrialByCombat for the life of a petty thief. His decision to personally participate ''ComicBook/UltimateFantasticFour'', Victor Van Damme would rather die than have ''Reed Richards'' [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice]] himself instead of using a champion is questionable, although it may have for his sake.
* Comicbook/{{X 23}} has increasingly
been becoming this. Most notable in ''Comicbook/{{Wolverines}}'', Laura, Comicbook/{{Daken}} and Comicbook/{{Blade}} subdue Siphon, a calculated risk given dangerous monster created by a Weapon X spinoff who feeds on the {{Healing Factor}}s of other people, sometimes killing them in the process. Daken and Blade both want to put him down, and they would certainly be ''right'' to because of just how severe a threat he poses. However before he was experimented on, Siphon was a very intelligent, cultured, and kind man who was transformed into the monster he's become entirely against his will, with this part of his personality emerging whenever he's satiated and in control of his hunger. Laura talks them out of it, however, as she feels she and Siphon are NotSoDifferent. She recognizes that he's [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking an incredibly deadly warrior]]. Less forgivable is that upon losing, he a victim, and insists that on doing the winner execute right thing and trying to ''help'' him. [[spoiler: It eventually bites her on the ass. Mystique ''[[BatmanGambit wanted]]'' Laura there when Daken confronted him as per ancient tradition, even though he's for precisely this purpose, and unleashes an out-of-control Siphon on the group in the midst of a SuccessionCrisis final issue, and his death would give the throne to his hated, psychotic rival. He only survives because his opponent [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs him on the throne]] and demands his service instead.
* ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis'': Walter, a knight from a neighboring kingdom who lost to TheHero, Fray, in a battle tournament, demands a rematch when they meet up again a year later and wants it ''now''! Never mind that they meet up in a crowded tavern and drawing his sword in the midst
he drains all of civilians while on an official mission for his king would have tarnished his honor far more than a fair loss.them.]]



[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Given that it's a VisualNovel about the {{Shinsengumi}} and the [[EndOfAnAge fall of the shogunate]], this trope runs rampant throughout most of ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}''. Saito and Hijikata's routes in particular are full to the brim with it, both on their own parts and on the parts of Kondou and the subordinates they've inspired to follow them; they are dedicated swordsmen with deeply-held beliefs about what it means to be a warrior, in an age in which swords are quickly becoming obsolete in favor of guns and Western tactics. Their senses of honor also mean that, nearly to a man, the Shinsengumi captains insist on keeping Chizuru with them and protecting her even as they face losing battle after losing battle and everything falls apart around them; whenever it's so much as suggested that it would be better for Chizuru to leave rather than have them risk death to defend her, they bridle at the suggestion that they're not capable of protecting her.
* In Soryu Oh's route of ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', Soryu is set for an ArrangedMarriage to the daughter of a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad]] boss - a marriage which would consolidate their two gangs into a powerful organization which he would be next in line to take over - but declines at the last minute. In doing so, he offends the girl's father and causes him to lose face to the point that the only way for Soryu's gang to smooth things over is to hand Soryu over to be executed. As Soryu is no doubt fully aware of the likely consequences of his decision, his chosen course of action benefits ''absolutely no one'', but he is willing to be executed rather than marry a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him when he knows that what he really wants is to be with the protagonist.
* Saber in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has a pretty bad case of this. She ''knows'' her decisions are going to screw her over yet feels bound by her honor and rules of fair play. As an example in FSN, she charges the temple single handed after everyone agrees it's suicide to do so, is commanded ''not'' to go and is perfectly aware that at best she will be severely wounded. In FZ, she lets Lancer go assuming that he's going to kill her Master Kiritsugu and therefore remove her from the war. Why? One, she doesn't like Kiritsugu and two, Lancer just helped her out. He only lives because Lancer [[WorthyOpponent lives by the same rules]].
** Naturally, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', she ends up the Servant of another person who epitomizes this trope, Shirou.

to:

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
[[folder:Film]]
* Given In ''Film/The5000FingersOfDrT'', Bart goes to quite a bit of trouble to avoid waking Dr. T when he goes to break into the vault to steal some money...and then Bart leaves an IOU with his name for the missing cash. This winds up having nothing to do with him setting off the alarms and getting caught.
* In ''An Affair to Remember'', Terry refuses to let Ken pay for her to get better and be able to walk again because she thinks Nickie wouldn't approve, she knows Nickie can't afford it, and she thinks it would be ungrateful of her to let Ken give her back her mobility and then go marry someone else.
* When Ellen Ripley of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' makes a promise, [[IGaveMyWord crosses her heart and hopes to die]], you can bet your cocooned hide
that it's no hive of monsters, snarling Alien Queen or imminent ''thermo-nuclear explosion'' will stop her from saving your life.
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', when Bruce Wayne realizes Ra's Al Ghul's ninja clan is
a VisualNovel about the {{Shinsengumi}} den of insanely destructive fanaticism and the [[EndOfAnAge fall of the shogunate]], this trope runs rampant throughout most of ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}''. Saito and Hijikata's routes in particular are full refuses to the brim with it, both on their own parts and help them inflict such harm on the parts of Kondou and the subordinates they've inspired to follow them; they are dedicated swordsmen with deeply-held beliefs innocent. When Ducard learns about what Wayne's opinion, he dismisses it means to be a warrior, in an age in which swords are quickly becoming obsolete in favor of guns and Western tactics. Their senses of honor also mean that, nearly to a man, Wayne has the Shinsengumi captains insist on keeping Chizuru with them and protecting her even as they face losing battle after losing battle and everything falls apart around them; whenever perfect response to illustrate his honor.
-->'''Henry Ducard:''' Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.\\
'''Bruce Wayne:''' That's why
it's so much as suggested that it would be better for Chizuru important. It separates us from them.
** Furthermore, Wayne also vows
to leave rather than have them risk death to defend her, they bridle at the suggestion that they're not capable of protecting her.
* In Soryu Oh's route of ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', Soryu is set for an ArrangedMarriage to the daughter of a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad]] boss - a marriage which would consolidate their two gangs into a powerful organization which he would be next in line to take over - but declines at the last minute. In doing so, he offends the girl's father and causes him to lose face to the point that the only way for Soryu's gang to smooth things over is to hand Soryu over to be executed. As Soryu is no doubt fully aware of the likely consequences of
fight evil his decision, his chosen course of action benefits ''absolutely no one'', but way. Even though he is willing to be executed rather than marry a woman in this den of villainy, surrounded and outnumbered 100-1, he doesn't love hesitate for an instant to start his war on crime on the clan. This fight ends in an explosion which kills several assassins and all of the prisoners that he had earlier refused to harm.
** Wayne takes this to even greater extremes in the 2008 sequel ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' where he refuses to kill the Joker despite how much easier it would make his life and how much safer it would make Gotham, just to prove that the Joker can't corrupt him.
* ''Film/TheBeastOfWar'' (1988). The Pashtun rebels spare the life of the protagonist (a Soviet tank driver) when he appeals to their traditional code of Pashtunwali, which requires even an enemy to be given sanctuary if he asks. Though some of the rebels argue that the rules shouldn't apply to DirtyCommunists who've learnt a single word of their language (nanawatai - sanctuary), the fact that he'd been left for dead by his comrades (and is willing to repair an RPG in order to blow them up in payback) is a significant factor in his defense.
* In ''Disney/BigHero6'', Wasabi insists on using his turn signals and stopping at red lights (on an empty street), even when his car is being chased by a supervillain trying to kill everyone. Annoyed, [=GoGo=] takes the wheel and does some crazy maneuvers to escape.
* ''Film/{{Broken Arrow|1996}}'': Rather than forcing Vic Deakin (JohnTravolta),
who is out of bullets, to disarm a nuke there and then, Riley Hale (Christian Slater) drops his shotgun and accepts his former friend's challenge to [[GoodOldFisticuffs one final fistfight]].
** Well, Vic is holding the remote control that can detonate the nuke in single click; if Riley's just [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim being practical]], the result [[EarthShatteringKaboom can be disastrous]].
* ''Film/ConAir'': Cameron Poe (played by NicolasCage), one of only ''two'' decent human beings trapped on a prison transport aircraft populated by murderers, rapists and "every creep and freak in the universe", was a free man on parole who could have left the plane at any time to go back to his wife and daughter (who had never met him). Yet, the former Army Ranger in him would not allow him to "leave a fallen man behind," hence Poe gladly traded his freedom to save the life of his diabetic friend and the sole female guard eyed by the plane's worst rapist, "Johnny 23".
* In Creator/WarrenBeatty's ''Film/DickTracy'', Tracy is kidnapped and taken to his girlfriend's apartment building's boiler room where Big Boy Caprice tries to bribe him. Although the smart thing for Tracy would be to pretend to accept the money and then turn it in to the Police Department as soon as he's let go, Tracy decides to throw it back in Caprice's face on principle. The Kid is watching all of this in hiding, waiting for an opportunity to help, and is really impressed at the detective's fearless honor, but there is no way Tracy could have known he had an audience.
* ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'': Queen Guinevere has been accused of treason by adultery with Sir Lancelot, but not one person will champion her in Trial By Battle against Sir Gawain ... except the unarmored, untrained page Percival who appears to be operating either under the simple principle that the Queen must be championed, or TheDulcineaEffect. KingArthur ''knights'' him for this purpose ... although the battle is averted by the arrival of Sir Lancelot to take his place.
** Come to think of it, KingArthur refusing to champion his own ''wife'' against the accusation -- on the basis he is king and must be her judge in this -- is probably a potent illustration of Honor Before Reason.
** There's a similar plot and illustration of this trope in the film ''Film/FirstKnight''. After catching Lancelot and Guinevere in an embrace (ironically, she had been completely faithful to Arthur and was merely giving Lancelot a good-bye kiss), Arthur bluntly declares, "As a man, I may forgive. As a king. . .", then declares that two will be tried for treason, in public, lest the people think that he is showing favoritism or leniency that he would never have extended to anyone else.
* The 1962 JidaiGeki film ''Harakiri'' spends its entire run time tearing this trope to pieces in regards to the code of Bushido. A samurai is meant to accept HonorBeforeReason as his entire way of life, and when a ronin who claims to want to commit seppuku but is actually looking for a handout arrives at the gates of the Ii clan they treat him with contempt and force him to go through with it instead. The rest of the film centers on the revenge of his father-in-law, who at once reveals the hypocrisy of the Ii clan while calling into question an approach to life that values honor above feeding your own family.
* The Mangalores in ''Film/TheFifthElement'' live this trope to the core, and it's used against them. When they have barricaded themselves in a room and demand to negotiate, Korben Dallas walks in and shoots the leader in the head, as Mangalores refuse to fight without a leader. This results in one of the mooks complaining, "No fair!", rather than shooting Dallas when they outnumber him five to one.
* Gene Autry, famous Singing Cowboy and only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is known for having created the "Cowboy Code", a set of rules for cowboy characters in family friendly westerns — which is to say almost every character he ever played — to live by. The first of which falls straight into this trope; "Never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage."
** Clint Eastwood's character uses a rather warped version of this in ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore''. He allows three resting bandits to get to their feet so that they have a fair chance to go for their guns before he dispatches them with his ImprobableAimingSkills. The odd thing is that these men only try to attack him because he just declared his intention to shoot them all, and they otherwise would have continued to regard him as an ally. He planned to kill three non-hostile men in cold blood no matter what happened so why even give them the chance?
* ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'': Sgt. Werner Rachtman is given an opportunity to save his life if he will disclose the location of a nearby German camp. If he refuses, Lt. Raine is gonna call up [[TheDreaded the Bear Jew]]. [[MyCountryRightOrWrong He refuses to put the lives of his fellow countrymen in danger]], receiving a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown for his trouble.
** Given what the Basterds tend to do to survivors of their raids (let's just say they leave them an unwanted memento on them to ensure that they are identified as being former Nazis.), Rachtman was probably lucky.
* In ''IpMan 2'', Master Hung keeps fighting in spite of his injuries because he will not willingly concede to the British. [[spoiler: The Twister fatally wounds him for it.]]
* While O-Ren Ishii of ''Film/KillBill'' is far from a good person, what with making her living as head of the Japanese underworld, she fights the Bride honorably, refusing to do the sensible thing and finish her off while she is on the ground. Honor
doesn't love him when he knows that what he really wants pay off against a RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** That said, O-Ren does set her army of mooks on the Bride to soften her up first.
** Earlier (or later), The Bride had the perfect opportunity to finish off Vernita Greene, but could not do the deed with Vernita's daughter present.
** She even ''doesn't'' kill the daughter (a living witness) and apologizes for doing the killing in front of her. She tells the daughter that, if and when she needs to avenge her mother, The Bride will be waiting.
* Toward the end of ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', King Baldwin IV offers Balian his sister Sybilla's hand in marriage. Sybilla
is already married to Guy de Lusignan, but Baldwin IV offers to have Guy executed to allow the marriage to occur. It seems like a no-brainer, as it would allow Balian to ascend to the throne of Jerusalem, it would allow him to marry the woman he genuinely loves, and it would allow Balian to have a dangerous political rival eliminated. Balian, however, refuses, his piety not allowing him to have any part in Guy's death. Guy is allowed to live, and after Baldwin's death, ascends to the throne of Jerusalem, immediately inciting a war that allows Saladin's troops to overrun and capture Jerusalem. Had Balian accepted Baldwin's offer, Jerusalem would've remained in Crusader hands.
** Balian realized ''long'' before anyone else did, that Jerusalem in Saladin's hands was not a bad thing at all, and in fact gives a passionate speech at the end of the movie not for the Crusaders to hold Jerusalem to their deaths, but in fact to lay down their arms and ''surrender'' for the glory of God. So he actually ''subverts'' the trope later.
* In ''Film/TheLastSamurai,'' the samurai refuse to use firearms and technology as they considered them "dishonorable."
* In ''Film/LordOfWar'', agent Valentine will never break the law in order to arrest or stop Yuri Orlov.
-->'''Interpol agent:''' Let me make him disappear Mr. Valentine. Around here, people disappear all the time.\\
'''Agent Valentine:''' I can't do that.\\
'''Interpol agent:''' [[WhatYouAreInTheDark Look where we are. Who will know?]]\\
'''Agent Valentine:''' [[WhatYouAreInTheDark We will]].
* The title character in the cult western ''Film/MajorDundee'', Maj. Charles Amos Dundee (played by Charlton Heston) has a Confederate soldier killed for desertion, despite appeals for mercy, as is military law, despite being in the middle of nowhere and needing every man he can get in order to eliminate an Apache tribe on the war path. This ultimately proves
to be a mistake as it causes even more tension between his Union soldiers and the Confederates, just when they were starting to get along too.
* In ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', the villain Captain Love pulls a gun on Zorro, but then discards it and faces him in a SwordFight.
* In ''Master of the World'' (based off of the JulesVerne novel), Phillip Evans exemplifies the more unpleasant end of this trope. He is obsessed
with being an honorable and courageous gentleman, and doesn't understand why [[Creator/CharlesBronson John Strock]] doesn't openly defy [[VincentPrice Robur]]. He considers Strock a coward at best, and collaborating with Robur at worst, and talks down to him all the protagonist.
* Saber in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''
time. Strock attempts to explain that if he openly defied Robur, who has dozens of armed {{Mooks}} and ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has what amounts to a pretty bad case [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld flying battleship]] at his disposal, he'd be ''very'' dead ''very'' quickly, and intends to stop Robur behind his back while only ''seeming'' compliant. Evans doesn't get it, and in fact this explanation makes him think even ''less'' of this. She ''knows'' her decisions are going to screw her over yet feels bound by her Strock, as he declares that Strock's subterfuge is dishonorable.
* In the Disney adaptation of ''Disney/PeterPan'' having given his word of
honor and rules of fair play. As an example in FSN, she charges the temple single handed after everyone agrees it's suicide to do so, is commanded ''not'' fly in his final duel with Captain Hook, [[DramaPreservingHandicap Peter doggedly refuses to do so even when Hook proves to be the superior swordsman, having forced him to the corner of a mast leading to a fall that can kill him.]]
* In ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}'', when Pinocchio is led astray by Honest John and Gideon, Jiminy thinks about running over to tell Gepetto about it, but then decides
to go and is perfectly aware that at best she will be severely wounded. In FZ, she lets Lancer go assuming that he's going to kill her Master Kiritsugu and therefore remove her from the war. Why? One, she doesn't like Kiritsugu and two, Lancer just helped her out. He only lives after Pinocchio himself because Lancer "that would be snitching".
* William Turner of the ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' trilogy is another suicidally selfless example of this trope. For an example, see the "You can't... I can," scene in the first movie. Even the initially selfish Captain Jack Sparrow seems to be infected by his idealism, and eventually obeys this trope as well. In Sparrow's case, though, he obeys the trope explicitly because he knows that it's the last thing people expect from him.
-->'''Norrington:''' You actually were telling the truth.\\
'''Capt. Sparrow:''' I do that quite a lot, yet people are always surprised.
** Norrington in ''Curse of the Black Pearl'':
--->'''Jack:''' Think about it -- ''The Black Pearl''? The last ''real'' pirate threat in the Caribbean, mate. How can you pass that up?\\
'''Norrington:''' By remembering that I serve ''others'', Mister Sparrow, not only myself.
** Those may have been his sentiments, but Norrington's actions were mostly reasonable. Barring the whole 'underestimating peculiar pirates when he really should have known better' part--that could possibly be stress combined with, well, Jack Sparrow.
**** ''Captain'' Jack Sparrow.
* Every incarnation of the ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' lives by this trope. They will not kill anyone who is unarmed, ill, pregnant, or any other factor that would make them a viable non-combatant. They will also respect the wishes of their enemy if they desire to face off in a melee duel, as seen in the 2010 film ''Film/{{Predators}}''. They also may respect
[[WorthyOpponent lives anyone who manages to kill one of their own]], as seen in [[Film/{{Predator 2}} the second film]]. But sometimes, usually when provoked, they just throw honor out the window and use every weapon at their disposal to obliterate the enemy regardless of fairness.
* ''Film/ThePurge'': DeconstructedTrope. One of the Sandin kids lets a stranger into their house because he really looks like he is in trouble. As a result of doing the morally right thing, horror ensues.
* ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' from movie 2 onwards.
* The shining examples in ''Film/ReservoirDogs''. Honor may just be a Tarantino thing. In the most prominent example in the film [[spoiler: Mr. Orange tells Mr. White he is in fact a cop, despite knowing that he would be killed. He waited until after the police showed up. He actually managed to preserve his honor by performing his duty as a cop and was suicidally sincere with a man who just saved his life under false pretenses.]] If that isn't honor, I don't know what is.
* Possibly Pride Before Reason would be a better description, but in ''Film/RobinHood1991'' Daguerre setences Robert to recieve one stroke of the lash adminstered in private; the minimum punishment he could allow under the law. If Robert had accepted this, everything would have quickly returned to normal. But Robert feels betrayed, insults Daguerre and, in a rapid escalation events, ends getting himself outlawed.
* Captain Miller's decision to let the German sniper live in ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan''. Dumbass move with a capital D. But later, when Miller explains why he chooses Compassion Over Reason, you "almost" understand why he did it.
* In the film version of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'', after the Nazi takeover, Uncle Max says, "Well, the Anschluss happened peacefully, let's at least be grateful about that." Captain von Trapp replies, "Grateful?!". As he was brought up as a part of Europe's old warrior-caste he probably took the fact that Austria submitted peacefully as a personal insult.
* Captain Kirk and his crew decide that court-martial is a better alternative than not trying to rescue their friend in ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock''. This wouldn't necessarily be an example of the trope if they had just gone and never come back, but in the next film they all willingly go back to face that court-martial. They then save the Earth on upon their return, so the actual court-martial involves nothing more serious than Kirk being demoted to Captain ([[{{Unishment}} which is what he wanted all along]]) and handed a shiny new Enterprise.
* Luke Skywalker's unconditional love and faith in the humanity of Darth Vader, seen as at best stupid and at worst suicidal
by the same rules]].
** Naturally, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', she ends up
rest of the Servant galaxy, was what saved his father and the ''Franchise/StarWars'' galaxy.
** Simultaneously giving us the second greatest CrowningMomentOfAwesome in the franchise, and setting his father up to give us the greatest one.
** Luke actually throws away his lightsaber so that he is defenseless against being tortured to death by Palpatine, rather than kill Vader and go to the dark side.
*** Then again, the Emperor was ''very'' explicit about his intended end state
of Luke falling to the dark side.
** Except, at least the part about Vader, it was hardly stupid -- for a talented and trained Force Sensitive, it is far more reasonable to trust your feelings and instincts. Luke states on more than one occasion that he can sense the good in Vader, and there's little reason to doubt this is true.
*** And you don't have to be force-sensitive at all to see ahead of time that Luke's faith wasn't completely misplaced. "It is... too late for me, son" isn't a line you'd expect to hear out of someone who is completely heartless or beyond saving.
* ''[[http://bluebehemoth.com/album/52866/ The Sword]]'', a short film by Pointy Stick Productions, appears to be built entirely around this idea. It features a boy with hundreds of opportunities to [[FlawExploitation exploit flaws]] in the strategies of the Muslim invaders outside his castle wall, and an able-bodied monk in the castle that, with the boy's help, could at least match the invaders' fighting skills and shut the gate long before [[BigDamnVillains help could arrive]] [[BigDamnHeroes for either side]]. This is made worse when the boy's father [[ValuesDissonance thinks it okay]] to go off and fight in the Crusades; but doesn't think it important to teach anyone how to practically defend a castle, nor work as a team. The fact that the castle is so [[GenreBlindness oblivious]] how to defend itself save for its gate and that the villains in the forest, with all the accessible wood, [[IdiotPlot don't think]] to build a flaming battering ram to take down that gate illustrates that the short film's producers [[TheyJustDidntCare really weren't all that concerned]] with [[YouFailHistoryForever historical realism]]. The one saving grace is perhaps that the monk successfully averts some films' [[AllMonksKnowKungFu certain beliefs about monks]].
* Averted in ''Film/{{Superman}}''. Yes, Superman promised Miss Tessmacher that he would stop the nuclear missile heading for Hackensack, New Jersey before stopping the one heading for California, but considering the first one is going to strike a heavily populated area and the other one in a relatively isolated deserted region, it's obvious the Hackensack one has to be the priority one anyway.
* The most noble live-action example would have to be Indiana Jones in ''Film/TempleOfDoom'', who could have escaped with fortune and glory, instead got captured to save a helpless little boy from being whipped to death. Not the smartest of moves, yes; but '''any''' illusions of him being a heartless and cynical mercenary disappears at this point, and we cheer for him all the way as he saves '''all''' of the children and defeats the evil of Kali-Ma.
* A minor plot point in ''Film/TheTerminal'' hinges on this. While [[StuckAtTheAirportPlot stuck in an airport]] in New York for nine months thanks to a bureaucratic screwup, Krakozhian traveler Victor Navorski is notified that he can easily get sanctuary status in the United States if he testifies that he has a justifiable fear of returning to his home country, which is in the throes of a brutal civil war. As much as he wants to leave the airport, Victor refuses to say that he is afraid of returning to Krakozhia, as it's the only home that he knows or wants.
* John Connor of ''Terminator2JudgmentDay'' is
another admirable example of this trope: he stops Sarah from killing Dyson even if it meant preventing Judgment Day, and his idealism allowed a war for humanity's future to be waged and '''won''' ''without murdering a single innocent human being''.
** Well, at least until the movie that followed. And the movie that followed that where-in it is revealed they didn't ''prevent'' Judgment Day, but delayed it, along with the deployment of T-600 and other sophisticated terminators.
* ''Film/{{Troy}}'': Hector personally goes out to fight the invincible Achilles to allow the man vengeance for killing his cousin, despite knowing that Achilles can kill him easily, the cousin was dressed up like Achilles and charged headfirst into battle, and they had an squad of archers on the wall who could have put down Achilles fairly easily.
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInTheWest'': The villain, Frank, has a chance to ride away safely after killing his boss, Morton. Instead he comes back to face his nemesis, the man with the harmonica.
-->'''Frank:''' "Morton once told me I could never be like him. Now I understand why. Wouldn't have bothered him, knowing you were around somewhere alive."\\
'''Harmonica:''' "So, you found out you're not a businessman after all."\\
'''Frank:''' "Just a man."
* In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'' Gary puts Sam in a car & tells her to get out of Newton Haven & he'll figure a way out with the rest of the group. When he tells the rest of the group this, [[WhatTheHellHero they call him out on sending away the only
person sober enough to drive]], only for him to retort that they would've criticised him if he hadn't done so.
* In ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny'', turns out that even the Devil must abide by the Demon Code, meaning he simply cannot refuse anyone
who epitomizes declares a rock-off challenge. Keep in mind, he presumably ''wrote'' this trope, Shirou.code in the first place! He does, however, reserve the right to act as judge for the challenge...
* In ''Film/{{Wanted}}'',[[spoiler: When Wesley returns to the Fraternity to kill Sloan, and Sloan said everybody's name had come up for assassination. Fox does the honorable and kills everybody with a curving bullet including herself in order to honor the code. The "before reason" part comes from the fact that Sloan has admitted to previously faking names in order to further his own agenda. She sees evidence that the other assassins don't share her commitment to the code so killing them is logical but killing yourself because a confessed liar told you that's what fate wanted is what makes it this trope.]]
* This trope is the source of Detective Spooner's TragicBigot tendencies towards robots in ''Film/IRobot''. He was involved in a car accident where his car and a car carrying an 11-year-old girl were sinking into a pond. A robot came by and, only having enough time to save one of them, saved Spooner instead of the child, despite Spooner's protests and insistence on saving the girl. Spooner lives and the girl drowns, solely because he had a 45% chance of survival, whereas her chances were only 11%, making Spooner the "logical choice". Spooner vehemently believes that the robot's calculation didn't justify leaving a child to die, and that robots don't have the emotional capacity to understand the weight of that kind of decision, and thus can't be trusted to do the right thing when it counts.
--> '''Spooner:''' That was somebody's ''baby''. 11%'s more than enough. A human being would have known that. Robots, (claps his hand over his heart) nothing in here, just lights and clockwork.



[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''TalesOfTheQuestor'' is filled with this trope and subversions, and just reading the comic would be faster than listing every case. Some noteworthy examples include [[spoiler:taking on a rat-king on his own with nearly suicidal results]], freeing a thief he believed would be punished remarkably severely, feeding said thief ''after'' she tried to steal from him, and being polite and friendly to humans he had little reason to trust. When Quentin reveals himself to the villagers to help fight the [[TheFairFolk evil Fey lord]], his honorable behavior he displayed at the farmer's home comes into play when that [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00493.html farmer speaks up and tells the crowd that he trusts the Racoonan hero]]. Even more recently, attempting to draw the attention of said evil Fey lord to protect a bunch of humans earned him ThreeWishes.
** However, HonorBeforeReason is [[GoodIsNotNice nowhere to be found]] when he makes those three wishes. He -- as a narrator -- tells us that even one carefully-worded wish could ruin a fae. When he's done making his ''three'', the evil Fae Lord is utterly ''ruined''. Then again, perhaps he ''is'' showing honor -- by protecting the mortal realm by turning their nemesis into the fae version of a penniless vagabond, especially when he could have wished for all his grand quest items to allow him to return home in triumph.
*** It may not be immediately obvious, but most of his Honor Before Reason behavior is attributable to his own naïveté. [[spoiler:Taking on a rat-king alone was a matter of being in a hopeless scenario. If he ran, the shadow rats would have overwhelmed and devoured him anyway.]] He helped the thief in question less because of honor and more because he's a soft touch. As to wishing for the Fae Lord to retrieve all the quest items for him, that was a little bit above the Fae's pay grade (they're powerful, not omnipotent or omniscient). Phrasing the wishes just right to avoid a backlash would have required a platoon of lawyers, and even if the Fae had granted the wish he would still have been left with a very powerful and very ANGRY Fae Princeling ready to squash him like a bug. His three wishes were phrased so as to minimize the damage the Fae Princeling could cause. He is largely oblivious till after the fact what a perfect storm of bankruptcy his wishes have caused the Fae Lord in question.
** Honor and Reason go hand in hand when he takes on his current quest. He acts with Honor by fulfilling an ancient contract to save a village, fully knowing he may never be able to return home. He acts with equal Reason--it's his hometown, and if he turns this quest down, he ''will'' never be able to return home as his family is in the exact same predicament as everyone else. Even if he dies without completing his quest, [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever his village is protected.]]
** And yet again, when he takes on the mission to kill a dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside. After the guardsmen sent to assist him [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere abandon him in the middle of the night]], he decides to press on... despite having little-to-no supplies and only Sam and a disgraced squire (with a possibly haunted suit of self-motivating magic armor) as back up. Though this time it's heavily implied that it's as much about Quentyn's ego as it is about keeping his word.
* Homestuck is an interesting case of this. The troll society of Alternia allows mindless killing of any on a lower bloodcaste than oneself. It encourages it, even. Along with that, revenge is encouraged, as is pretty much anything. The subversion, and in being so, the played-straight (by human standards) example is Karkat, who, despite copious swearing, has not once hurt another troll.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'' manhwa, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/noblesse/v03/c189/27.html one of the noble vampires proceeds to cut himself because Frankenstein "unfairly received a wound.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Lord Soon of the Sapphire Guard swore an oath of non-interference regarding the Snarl's Gates, other than his own. This was a good idea at the time, to prevent infighting from spoiling old friendships. However, ''all'' the paladins of the Guard still consider themselves bound by this oath, even though those to whom it was sworn are (probably) all dead, and seizing the Gates before the BigBad does is the key to saving the multiverse. Nevertheless, the oath takes precedence over the paladins' drive to oppose evil wherever it be found. This forces [[spoiler:Lord Shojo to get creative, and hire the title party to investigate the Gates instead. Ironically, at least one other Scribble member thought Soon would break his oath, and booby trapped the location he gave for his Gate in an act of spite. Double irony: he was the only one that didn't break it.]]
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:this led to O-Chul being able to completely avoid compromising ANYTHING about the other gates.]] This is lampshaded by Redcloak, who remarks with frustration that it is absurd for generations of paladins to wilfully sabotage their own ability to perform their duties, all for a silly promise. A (literal) lampshade is then promptly hung around the lampshade itself.
** No longer true. A leader of the paladins eventually offers to help the Order of the Stick in their quest, if only by covering one of the remaining gates when the main characters go to find the other. He explains that [[spoiler:with their Gate destroyed, the oaths that bound them are dissolved]].
** Durkon declares he and Hilgya must part because they must do their duty [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0084.html]] -- followed by ManlyTears.
* The entirety of the qualified regulars (except for Parakewl) in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' one by one decide to help Baam and Lahel take the Guardian's test, even though they've known each other only for a month and expected to fight each other, and even though that specific test is harder than the usual course. Special mention goes to [[spoiler: Hatsu, who is the most immediate and most vocal proponent of supporting Baam, and Koon, who by pretending to be against it riles most up to follow Hatsu.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'' has one ongoing example and one example that crosses over with RefusalOfTheCall.
** [[KnightTemplar The Knights of La-Shoar]] have a strict policy on anything that goes against "Natural Law", policies that have become defacto law in their territory - at the top of that list is magic. ''Any'' magic, from healing magic to offensive spells to charmed items. Not only does this put their kingdom at a disadvantage (Every other major power makes open use of magic), but they know it. But refuse to change their ways at all.
** LadyOfWar Bernadette jumped through every ridiculous hoop The Knights put up to test her "suitability" to be one of their numbers. They had to be sure she wasn't "cheating" or just getting lucky when challenging other knights. (As if her taking down an ArtifactOfDoom-wielding psycho who'd carved through their ranks wasn't proof enough.). This has been Bernadette's life dream. And just when the elder Knights formally ask Bernadette to join them... she turns them down. She chose to come out of the closet as Maytag's lover, rather than be forced to deny her as a knight. (Homosexuals ''also'' being against "Natural Law") Note that Bernadette and Maytag were very much on the down low before Bernadette's moment and Maytag would've been perfectly happy to keep it that way.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'', this trope is the Eastern Basitin [[PlanetOfHats hat]], to the point that they're biologically tuned to accept and obey orders, even clearly self-destructive ones. (Keith's ability to disobey is considered "proof" that he's "broken and unfit".)
** Hell, as one of the few who are able to disobey orders, Keith tries to off himself from the crushing guilt. It should be noted that not every Eastern Basitin is happy about this urge and can deeply regret following questionable orders.
* Villainous example: The Wizard's Apprentice in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. He swore to his mentor and God that he would kill all of the [[GreenRocks Dewitchery Diamond]]'s spawn, which previously had all been monsters. Now that he's discovered that Ellen is not a monster but instead an OppositeSexClone who has done nothing wrong, well, he feels really bad about it, but he takes his oaths ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 very]]'' seriously.
* In ''Webcomic/CastlevaniaRPG'', [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/25 Katrina has been harassing Shaft]] (one of Dracula's lieutenants), convinced his take over of a villiage is part of some master plan of villainy (he was elected mayor through no trickery on his part). In exasperation, Shaft removes the CatGirl curse he'd placed on her years ago, thinking that would shut her up. Instead, it made her angrier, since she was convinced she had to "earn" the curse's removal through good deeds and demanded Shaft ''re-curse her''. [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/26 He does]] - again, just to shut her up.
* Sir Muir in ''Webcomic/{{Harkovast}}'' pretty much personifies this trope.
* Big Ears from ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' qualifies, as it is usual for paladins. He would throw himself "into the fires of hell" if he thinks it's the right thing to do, but fortunately he can be reasoned with by his companions.
* Avery, Sisko's player from Webcomic/DAndDS9 informs the DM that the Borg's roll was a CriticalHit, despite it not being in his interest to do so.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5418980/ she realizes that it wasn't worth it.]]
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', the ninjas only have one purpose in life: to kill the "dragon rider"

to:

[[folder:Web Comics]]
[[folder:Literature]]
* ''TalesOfTheQuestor'' is filled with this trope and subversions, and just reading the comic would be faster than listing every case. Some noteworthy examples include [[spoiler:taking on a rat-king on his own with nearly suicidal results]], freeing a thief he believed would be punished remarkably severely, feeding said thief ''after'' she tried to steal from him, and being polite and friendly to humans he had little reason to trust. Ward of ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'': When Quentin reveals himself to the villagers to help fight the [[TheFairFolk evil Fey lord]], his honorable behavior he displayed at the farmer's home comes into play when that [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00493.html farmer speaks up and tells the crowd that he trusts the Racoonan hero]]. Even more recently, attempting to draw the attention of said evil Fey lord to protect a bunch of humans earned him ThreeWishes.
** However, HonorBeforeReason is [[GoodIsNotNice nowhere to be found]] when he makes those three wishes. He -- as a narrator -- tells us that even one carefully-worded wish could ruin a fae. When he's done making his ''three'', the evil Fae Lord is utterly ''ruined''. Then again, perhaps he ''is'' showing honor -- by protecting the mortal realm by turning their nemesis into the fae version of a penniless vagabond, especially when he could have wished for all his grand quest items to allow him to return home in triumph.
*** It may not be immediately obvious, but most of his Honor Before Reason behavior is attributable
two men come to his own naïveté. [[spoiler:Taking on a rat-king alone was a matter of being in a hopeless scenario. If he ran, the shadow rats would have overwhelmed estate and devoured him anyway.]] He helped the thief in question less explain that they're after a slave who went to Hurog because of honor he heard a story about there being no slavery in Hurog (a long-forgotten law that hasn't been enforced for a long time), and more they now expect Ward's help in getting that slave recaptured, Ward calmly states that "[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome There are no slaves in Hurog]]". His uncle then explains that the ancient law of the land is that a slave, once in Hurog, is not a slave any longer. The men are not pleased, and they work for the king. No one wonders, as Ward has been ObfuscatingStupidity for some time, and no one expects him to make ''intelligent'' decisions, and he is known for his love of ancient ballads. The decision turns out to work in Ward's favour, as he has to flee the castle anyway (the men have also come to take him to an asylum because he's a soft touch. As to wishing for seemingly insane), and his own, magically bound slave Oreg (whom he cannot free) is ''very'' favourably impressed by the Fae Lord decision. Ward does not adhere to retrieve all a concept of honour where you don't run away - he happily does so, in order to protect the quest items for him, that was a little bit above the Fae's pay grade (they're powerful, not omnipotent or omniscient). Phrasing the wishes just right to avoid a backlash would have required a platoon of lawyers, and even if the Fae had granted the wish he would still have been left with a very powerful and very ANGRY Fae Princeling ready to squash him like a bug. His three wishes were phrased so as to minimize the damage the Fae Princeling could cause. He is largely oblivious till after the fact what a perfect storm of bankruptcy his wishes have caused the Fae Lord in question.
** Honor and Reason go hand in hand when he takes
people on his current quest. He acts with Honor by fulfilling an ancient contract land, who would die if forced to save fight the king's army.
* Eddard "Ned" Stark from ''[[Literature/ASongofIceandFire A Game of Thrones]]'' is such
a village, fully knowing he may never be able to return home. He acts with equal Reason--it's his hometown, and if he turns classic example, this quest down, he ''will'' never trope could easily be able called 'The Ned Stark Mindset', hence the comic on the main page. The series being highly [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical in outlook]], this is a tragic flaw which leads directly to return home as [[spoiler: his family is in the exact same predicament as everyone else. Even if he dies without completing own death, his quest, [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever daughter's captivity, and his village is protected.son's armed rebellion.]]
** And yet again, when he takes on the mission to kill a dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside. After the guardsmen sent to assist him [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere abandon him in the middle of the night]], he decides to press on... despite having little-to-no supplies and only Sam and a disgraced squire (with a possibly haunted suit of self-motivating magic armor) as back up. Though Eddard's son Robb Stark unfortunately inherits this time it's heavily implied that it's as much about Quentyn's ego as it is about keeping trait. [[spoiler: Despite his word.
* Homestuck is an interesting case of this. The troll society of Alternia allows mindless killing of any on
pledge to marry a lower bloodcaste than oneself. It encourages it, even. Along Frey lady to seal his alliance with that, revenge is encouraged, as is pretty much anything. The subversion, and in being so, the played-straight (by human standards) example is Karkat, who, despite copious swearing, has not once hurt Freys, he marries another troll.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'' manhwa, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/noblesse/v03/c189/27.html one
woman, to save her honor after sleeping with her, shortly after Frey men died fighting for him. This eventually leads to them betraying him, resulting in not only his own death, but that of the noble vampires proceeds to cut himself because Frankenstein "unfairly received a wound.his mother and thousands of his men.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Lord Soon of the Sapphire Guard swore an oath of non-interference regarding the Snarl's Gates, other than his own. This was a good idea at the time, to prevent infighting from spoiling old friendships. However, ''all'' the paladins of the Guard still consider themselves bound by ** Ned's bastard son, Jon, shows this oath, trait as well. At one point, he refuses to kill an old man in cold blood, even though those to whom it was sworn are (probably) all dead, and seizing the Gates before the BigBad does is the key to saving the multiverse. Nevertheless, the oath takes precedence over the paladins' drive to oppose evil wherever it be found. This forces [[spoiler:Lord Shojo to get creative, and hire the title party to investigate the Gates instead. Ironically, at least one other Scribble member thought Soon his refusal would break his oath, cause [[spoiler: the group of wildlings he's spying on to kill the old man anyway and booby trapped then kill him, preventing him from warning the location he gave for his Gate in an act of spite. Double irony: he was Night's Watch about the only one that didn't break it.massive surprise attack headed their way.]]
** On HonorBeforeReason could easily be the other hand, [[spoiler:this led to O-Chul being able to completely avoid compromising ANYTHING about the other gates.]] This is lampshaded by Redcloak, Starks' back-up family motto. Those Starks who remarks with frustration that it is absurd for generations of paladins don't subscribe to wilfully sabotage their own ability to perform their duties, all for a silly promise. A (literal) lampshade is then promptly hung around the lampshade itself.
** No longer true. A leader of the paladins eventually offers to help the Order of the Stick in their quest, if only by covering one of the remaining gates when the main characters go to find the other. He explains that [[spoiler:with their Gate destroyed, the oaths that bound them are dissolved]].
** Durkon declares he and Hilgya must
this policy do so usually as part because they must do their duty [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0084.html]] -- followed by ManlyTears.
* The entirety
of distancing themself from the qualified regulars (except for Parakewl) in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' one by one decide to help Baam and Lahel take the Guardian's test, even though they've known each other only for a month and expected to fight each other, and even though that specific test is harder than the usual course. Special mention goes to house, although, at this point, [[spoiler: Hatsu, who Arya [[SanitySlippage lacks honor and reason]], Sansa is a ManipulativeBitch in training, and Bran repeatedly {{Mind Rape}}s his mentally disabled friend.]] Benjen is probably the most immediate closest example of a Stark retaining their honour and most vocal proponent of supporting Baam, not dying a horrible death, and Koon, who by pretending even then [[spoiler: he's been missing for three years and might be dead anyway, having achieved pretty much nothing in the entire series thus far except for convincing Jon to be against it riles most up to follow Hatsu.join the Watch.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'' has one ongoing example and one example that crosses over with RefusalOfTheCall.
** [[KnightTemplar The Knights of La-Shoar]] Karstarks (actual distant relations) are just as bad, if in a different way. They have a strict policy on anything that goes against "Natural Law", policies that have become defacto law in their territory - at honour, and are prickly about maintaining the top letter of that list is magic. ''Any'' magic, from healing magic to offensive spells to charmed items. Not only does this put their kingdom at a disadvantage (Every other major power makes open use of magic), but they know it. But refuse To the point of [[spoiler: taking umbrage when Robb has to change their ways at all.
** LadyOfWar Bernadette jumped through every ridiculous hoop The Knights put up to test her "suitability" to be
execute one of their numbers. They had members for, frankly, being a grief-stricken, convention-breaking idiot]] which causes most [[spoiler: to be sure she wasn't "cheating" or just getting lucky when challenging other knights. (As if her taking down an ArtifactOfDoom-wielding psycho who'd carved through turn coat]] instead of acknowledging the whole "stewardship of the North" thing the Starks have going on may occasionally lead to conflicts of honour like this. The insanity snowballs towards [[spoiler: a major in-family fight over who will inherit their ranks wasn't proof enough.). This has been Bernadette's life dream. And just own titles, let alone anything else]], at a point in time when the elder Knights formally ask Bernadette bigger seasonal picture is not that healthy for anybody not being able to join them... she turns them down. She chose to come out pull together as a whole. Well done, Karstarks: you can shoot yourselves in the feet about as well as Starks can.
** Subverted in the case of House Arryn. Honor is a trait of House Arryn and it's heavily implied that the only reason the Starks are so honourable is because Ned was fostered with Jon Arryn, but by the beginning
of the closet as Maytag's lover, rather than be forced to deny series the only Arryn's left are crazy Lysa and her as a knight. (Homosexuals ''also'' being against "Natural Law") Note that Bernadette and Maytag were very much on sick five year old son.
** The Kingsguard are sworn to protect
the down low before Bernadette's moment and Maytag would've been perfectly happy to keep it that way.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'',
king, no matter how bad he may be. [[spoiler:Jaime Lannister broke this trope is rule, killing king Aerys, an AxCrazy murderous rapist who was actively trying to [[KillEmAll kill everyone in the Eastern Basitin [[PlanetOfHats hat]], to city of King's Landing]] because [[TheMentallyDisturbed the point that they're biologically tuned to accept and obey orders, even clearly self-destructive ones. (Keith's ability to disobey is considered "proof" that voices in his head]] told him to. As a result, [[DeliberateValuesDissonance he's "broken a despised pariah for breaking his oath.]]]]
** The Night's Watch must defend the realm from anything beyond the wall
and unfit".)
** Hell, as one
stay out of the few who are able to disobey orders, Keith any political entanglements. [[spoiler:Jon Snow tries to off himself from mobilise the crushing guilt. It should be noted that not every Eastern Basitin is happy about this urge Watch to rein in the warring kingdoms before the Others return, and can deeply regret following questionable orders.
* Villainous example: The Wizard's Apprentice in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. He swore to his mentor and God that he would kill all of the [[GreenRocks Dewitchery Diamond]]'s spawn, which previously had all been monsters. Now that he's discovered that Ellen is not a monster but instead an OppositeSexClone who has done nothing wrong, well, he feels really bad about it, but he takes his oaths ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 very]]'' seriously.
* In ''Webcomic/CastlevaniaRPG'', [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/25 Katrina has been harassing Shaft]] (one of Dracula's lieutenants), convinced his take over of a villiage is part of some master plan of villainy (he was elected mayor through no trickery on his part). In exasperation, Shaft removes the CatGirl curse he'd placed on her years ago, thinking that would shut her up. Instead, it made her angrier, since she was convinced she had to "earn" the curse's removal through good deeds and demanded Shaft ''re-curse her''. [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/26 He does]] - again, just to shut her up.
* Sir Muir in ''Webcomic/{{Harkovast}}'' pretty much personifies this trope.
* Big Ears from ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' qualifies, as it is usual
gets stabbed for paladins. He would throw himself "into the fires of hell" if he thinks it's the right thing to do, but fortunately he can be reasoned with by his companions.
* Avery, Sisko's player from Webcomic/DAndDS9 informs the DM that the Borg's roll was a CriticalHit, despite it not being in his interest to do so.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5418980/ she realizes that it wasn't worth
it.]]
** Stannis Baratheon, too. He doesn't even ''want'' to be king, but he's going to fight for it because to his way of thinking, he's the rightful king whether he likes it or not. For the same reason, he refuses to ally himself with competing kings Renly or Robb Stark even though he badly needs allies against the Lannisters.
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'', members of the ninjas House (the parliament) have the son of the T'ang of Europe killed. Knowing where this could lead, the T'ang decides to let matters be. The leader of his army, Marshal Tolonen, does not obey orders. Instead he marches into the House in session and slits the throat of one of the plotters. This sets the stage for everything else.
* Rest from ''Literature/LoyalEnemies'' tries hard to act like this, although this is rather played for laughs. For some reason, he keeps on insisting that Shelena ({{Badass}} werewolf ActionGirl) is DamselInDistress, refuses to abandon his master to a "wild beast" (aforementioned Shelena) even when Veres explicitly tells him to, and won't leave Shelena even if it would make her job easier. And it's not like he's any good at fighting.
** Shelena may mock him for it, but one can also question her decision to take Veres home and kill him when he tried to kill her at least once before and will surely try it again. She states that it's because she wants to finish their matters honorably (which is odd, as she's usually CombatPragmatist).
* Literature/BraveNewWorld: [[NobleSavage John the Savage]], oh so very much.
* Kel from Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall''. In particular, she goes [[spoiler: into enemy territory with the intent of rescuing 500 refugees]]. By herself. This is so likely to end with her death that she herself acknowledges it. Admittedly, if she ''hadn't,'' then [[spoiler: the refugee children, two hundred of them, would have been [[PoweredByAForsakenChild made into nigh-unstoppable killing devices]]]], but that doesn't really enter into her reasons for why she does it. Fortunately, her TrueCompanions anticipated this and go to fight with her. They are a more understandable version of the trope; they still face exile/execution for betraying orders when they return to Tortall, but at least it won't be for nothing: they have a decent chance of defeating the BigBad, and evening out the war.
* Horton The Elephant from Creator/DrSeuss is an elephant of unshakable honor; once he gives his word, ''nothing'' will make him go back on it regardless of much danger, humiliation or rejection he suffers. Fortunately, his stories always end with him coming out on top because of this sense of honor.
* Creator/PiersAnthony relies on this one a lot. Given that the promises are often given under extreme duress ("Swear it or I kill her" or "Swear it or I will never let you leave"), one might think the promises meant little... oh no. Even if it endangers the free world, or the universe, that promise will not be broken, no matter how much Angsting goes on because of it.
** Self-lampshaded in later books: male centaur "character" (the refusal to go back on one's word) is "stubbornness" to everyone else, especially to the level-headed and practical female centaurs.
** This is actually subverted in his ''Mode Series''. The villain, well aware that the male lead will never go back on his word, agrees to let them go free, if they agree not to interfere with his plans. What he didn't take into account was that the female protagonist and her psychic horse don't play by those rules and the moment they are free, the horse uses his powers to force said villain to relinquish his claim to the multiverse, thus trapping him in his own world. The male lead is upset about this, but ultimately can't do anything about it now.
* Averted in ''HisDarkMaterials'': It is Will's opinion that honor might make you feel important, but when fighting is a matter of life or death, you have to fight dirty.
** Especially when you're twelve, and going against grown-ups.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Temeraire}} Empire of Ivory]]'' Laurence cannot abide High Command's act of [[spoiler: sending a Typhoid Mary among the French aerial corps -- an act which probably would win the war for England, but would just as likely also result in genocide among Europe's (and possibly Asia's) dragons. So, in an act he knows will see him hung, he steals some of the curative mushrooms they'd gathered from Africa, and goes AWOL to deliver them to the French.]] In a further act of Honor Before Reason, he [[spoiler:turns down Napoleon's offer of asylum or safe passage to China, preferring to return to England and face the music. Temeraire, getting in on the act, refuses to let him return alone. Laurence urges him to return to China, because he knew Temeraire was destined to be used as nothing but breeding stock if he went back. He doesn't.]] And the book ends with them flying back together.
** [[spoiler:Admiral Roland]] {{lampshade}}s this in the fifth book by pointing out how this verges on LawfulStupid: he could have [[spoiler:sent a discreet letter to [[strike:Napoleon]] ''anyone in France'' telling them where to get the curative mushrooms; someone as ingenious as Napoleon could easily have bribed a servant for a sample.]] This would have prevented [[spoiler:High Command's act of genocide]] ''without'' anyone knowing it was him.
*** [[WhatYouAreInTheDark Laurence would know though]] and explicitly says it makes no difference and is treason either way.
** Which
only comes after he stops another (Prussian) character from shooting Napoleon from cover, but this may be not thanks to honor but his reasoning that Lien would have mauled them if they'd killed Napoleon not, which would have stopped them from revealing the French's plans they had just overheard.
* Wanderer, a parasitic alien who co-inhabits the mind and body of a human named Melanie in ''Literature/TheHost'' is very pro-life. She lies, badly and obviously, in order to protect the life of a guy who repeatedly tried to kill her. In fact, she's so pro-life that when she realizes that being a parasite on intelligent species is wrong, she [[spoiler: would rather let herself die than be transplanted into another body and take away their free will. Fortunately for Wanda, her friends (a) disagee with that, and (b) found her a replacement body that was as close to her ethical standards as possible.]]
* Carrot Ironfoundersson, the six foot dwarf (adopted) of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series is this to a "T". The weird part, though, is that, for Carrot, it ''works''.
** TheoryOfNarrativeCausality is a fact of life in Discworld, so of course it's going to work.
*** But the weird thing is, if anyone else tried it, they'd get creamed. It only works for Carrot because he's, well, ''Carrot''.
*** More specifically, because he's a [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler prince in disguise]]. Presumably if he acknowledges his heritage and takes the throne, he would start running headlong into all the challenges of a corrupt, decadent city like Ankh-Morpork and be frustrated in everything he tries to do. The TheoryOfNarrativeCausality will support him constantly as long as he's an underdog but rightful leader, and not a minute longer.
*** This is an example of The Code, a set of rules followed by heroes that says when a hero who follows the code is hopelessly outnumbered he will win. Also when the silver horde (seven old men) win a battle against five armies and when six men (some of them from the silver horde) who had just broken into the city of the gods back down from Carrot on the grounds that he's a king in disguise and there's
one of him and six of them. Cohen the Barbarian sums this up perfectly "I outnumber you one to two."
*** And it doesn't ''always'' work for Carrot -- see the [[CurbStompBattle curb stomping he took]] in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', as he tried to fight Wolfgang "the proper way".
---> "Carrot, what have I told you about the [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Marquis of ]]'''[[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Bloody ]]'''[[LetsFightLikeGentlemen Fantailler?]]"
*** That's a questionable example, considering that Carrot opening himself up to that CurbStompBattle led to a romantic rival ''also'' committing HonorBeforeReason, and [[MurderTheHypotenuse getting beaten even worse]]. This leads to musing both in-universe and out about an AlternateCharacterInterpretation where he ''knows'' that destiny is on his side, and deliberately uses it...
** Another ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' example from ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'': 71-Hour Ahmed got his name from averting this trope. In the desert people are obliged to give one another three days of hospitality; the bond between guest and host is sacred, and considered inviolate by even the most seasoned killer. Ahmed was the guest of a man he suspected of poisoning a well, and thereby killing an entire village. After seventy-one hours he had put together the evidence necessary to prove his host's guilt, and Ahmed saw no reason why justice should wait even one hour -- and so his host became a head shorter. Ahmed became feared even by the D'regs, who despite being viewed as untrustworthy, bloodthirsty, and deceptive have their own code of honor.
** In ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' Vimes has reluctantly acknowledged that whatever his faults, Lord Rust is a man of honour, and it's just a shame he confuses honour with pig-headed stupidity. In a sort of warped mirror of how things work for Carrot, Rust valiantly led charges against an outnumbering enemy, and somehow his bullet-headed conviction that he can't be killed because he's acting honourably acts as armour. Shame about the men following him, though...
* Galad Damodred, from Robert Jordan's [[strike:12-book trilogy]] [[strike:DoorStopper]] bookshelf-destroyer fantasy series ''TheWheelOfTime'', ''always'' does what is right, no matter the cost to himself or others. His half-sister considers him loathsome for this reason. He also joins the series' version of the [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]], which created similar opinions in readers. This actually works in his favor in ''Knife of Dreams'' when he challenges an opponent knowing that his opponent was the better swordsman [[spoiler:only to win because his opponent was dragging out the fight to make Galad suffer. The result is that the [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]] now follow him.]]
** This seems like something of an informed ability (or maybe "informed personality trait"?). Throughout the books, Galad is usually willing to help most of the other characters that cross his path, or at least doesn't look to deep into things when they blatantly lie to him. He's avoided the soul-scarring spiritual and mental anguish pretty much every single other person has to deal with, and has managed to purge most of the evil elements from his fanatically-loyal army, while getting them to drop their centuries-long "Magic is Evil" crusade in favor of fighting the true Big Bad. For a series that is all about tragic flaws, Galad seems to make his work.
** Also, there's the Ogier, who'll ''never'' go back on their word, a fact exploited by Faile in ''The Shadow Rising'' in order to [[spoiler:force Perrin to take her with him to the Two Rivers]].
* In "Literature/EffiBriest", after Isntetten discovers that [[spoiler: Effi had an affair 7 years prior]], he decides that he must demand satisfaction and reclaim his honor, even though he openly acknowledges that it's a senseless act that will destroy his family over an event that he's not even "that" upset about.
* Refreshingly averted in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' (even though you'd be forgiven for mistaking the trope name [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming for one of its titles]]): most main characters, while definitely being persons of honor, hold those who enter the LawfulStupid territory due to this in the very low regard. Especially the title character, who once suffered a command officer that tried to use this trope to cover his incompetence.[[note]]Said commander, later made an admiral, got his comeuppance during Haven's Operation Thunderbolt, albeit at the expense of the fleet he commanded and the world it was assigned to guard.[[/note]]
** Although played completely straight by the PlanetOfHats Montana, filled with rugged individualists who all put honor above reason. In fact, their chief law enforcement officer is open about the fact that if he felt strongly enough about resisting the annexation of the Talbot cluster, he would resign and fight it openly like his erstwhile friend rather than continue in his job where he is immensely respected.
** Honor herself is generally pretty honourable (appropriately enough!) -- she just makes sure when she gives her word that she either really means to keep it or phrases it so carefully that she technically didn't break it (as in ''Honor Among Enemies'').
** It is played straight a few times where it is outright stated that making a heroic sacrifice to uphold the Star Kingdom's honor is a part of the Navy's tradition. Or in other words, getting your ship destroyed rather than be seen retreating is regarded as stupid but getting your ship destroyed attempting to protect civilians or an allied planet is simply following in the tradition of Edward Saganami. Michael Oversteegen sums it up:
--->"Well," Oversteegen said with a cold, hungry smile, "defendin' other people's planets against unprovoked attack by murderous scum seems t' have become something of a tradition for my Queen's Navy over the past few decades. Under the circumstances, I'm sure she'll forgive me for followin' that tradition."
* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' has Liu Bei, who ''nominally'' honors this trope (for political correctness' sake, apparently with Confucianism and thus this trope being ''en vogue''). Subverted in that more than once he operates less than nicely, whereas other times Honor Before Reason's the reason that he's the protagonist.
** For example, his refusal to simply take over Jing province before Cao Cao's arrival, even when Zhuge Liang specifically calls him on it, is because it would be interrupting the "natural" succession to the eldest son of current governor Liu Biao, and he doesn't want to take any criticism from "the people" for it, even though the dying Liu Biao himself requested that Liu Bei be his inheritor. In an earlier case of this with the late governor Tao Qian of Xu province, the late governor's officers and people begged Liu Bei to accept the succession... and even after Liu Bei gave in, he soon tried to give the office away to ''[[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Lu Bu]]''.
** ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 7'' had a variation where Liu Bei similarly refused to usurp his relative and host Liu Zhang of Yi province -- even though controlling Yi province was the key step in his advisor Zhuge Liang's "Tripartite Realm" strategy -- leading to his other advisor Pang Tong, and his generals Huang Zhong and Wei Yan, "mutinying" against Liu Zhang on behalf of Liu Bei and "the people," leaving Liu Bei upset until he saw that "the people" seemed to be perfectly fine with this.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings - The Two Towers'', Aragorn makes a statement fitting this trope when the Brothers-in-Arms have gone into Fangorn in search of Merry and Pippin.
-->'''Gimli:''' Then what shall we do now? We cannot pursue them through the whole fastness of Fangorn. We have come ill supplied. If we do not find them soon, we shall be of no use to them, except to sit down beside them and show our friendship by starving together.\\
'''Aragorn:''' If that is indeed all we can do, then we must do that. Let us go on.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', the [[IGaveMyWord Oath of Fëanor]] is particularly problematic: the eldest sons of Fëanor feel compelled to fulfill their oath, even though this means doing things which are not only counterproductive but which they know to be utterly wrong.
*** That's pretty much the plot of the Quenta Silmarillion: The hubris, stupidity, and irrational stubbornness of the good guys, especially the elves, does at least as much damage as Morgoth himself.
** Denethor also accuses Faramir of this in ''The Return of the King'', though unfairly. (Denethor feels that the Ring would have been useful to his country in the war, while Faramir believed it was too dangerous to use and therefore did not take the opportunity to get it from Frodo.)
--> "Ever your desire is to appear lordly and generous as a king of old, gracious, gentle. That may well befit one of a high race, if he sits in power and peace. But in desperate hours gentleness may be repaid with death."
** Bilbo in ''Literature/TheHobbit'' refused to kill Gollum out of pity, when it was clearly the sensible thing to do, as did Frodo (and eventually Sam) in the sequel. These actions led to the eventual saving of Middle-Earth, even when they seemed completely illogical at the time.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', the
purpose in life: of the Knights of the Cross is not to kill Denarians, but to save their hosts. They will give their foe every chance to surrender the "dragon rider"coin, only killing the host if there is absolutely no other choice. And if the host does surrender the coin, their job is done, no matter how evil and vile the host may be, or how likely they are to seek another coin -- their purpose is not to judge, but to give each host a shot at redemption. Oddly enough, it does seem to work out for the best: [[spoiler:Sanya, Knight of the Cross and wielder of Esperacchius]] was a former Denarian host. However, also subverted -- [[spoiler: Michael and Sanya walk away from a particularly nasty host who had surrendered his coin in order for his life to be spared. However, they didn't insist that Harry do the same, and Harry, being the nice sort of chap he is, proceeds to break every major joint in the host's body with a baseball bat in order to extract important information and stop the host from escaping. And afterwards, the two Knights have a good laugh at the expression on the host's face when he realized he was left alone in a hotel room with a violently angry and vengeful man.]]
** On the side, they're especially amused by [[spoiler:the fact that Harry gave the man a quarter to use the pay phone to call 911.]]
--->'''Michael:''' Phone calls cost more than that now.\\
'''Harry:''' I know.\\
'''Everyone:''' ''(raucous laughter)''[[note]]In most locations, 911 is a free call, even from a payphone. Harry was just being evil.[[/note]]
** Considering that said Denarian [[spoiler:knew that the Knights wouldn't touch him because he surrendered the coin, regardless of the reason; then, before Harry beats the crap out of him, talks about how they [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] Shiro, the third Knight, and threatens Susan, the same woman Harry started a freaking WAR over...]] Of course, it deserves to be mentioned that [[spoiler:the same Denarian host comes back two books later in ''Dead Beat'' while working with the main villains, and tortures Harry in an attempt to get Lasciel's coin.]]
** And the way Harry pulls off this attack on the Denarian is perfect.
-->I turned away from him again and said, very quietly, "People like you always mistake compassion for weakness, Michael and Sanya aren't weak. Fortunately for you, they're good men."\\
The Denarian laughed at me.\\
"[[PreAsskickingOneLiner Unfortunately for you, I'm not.]]"\\
I spun around, swinging the bat as hard as I could, and broke his right kneecap.
** To a lesser degree, Harry himself. Despite Harry's repeated insistence he isn't a good person, he displays an alarming tendency to screw himself over to save others. ''Especially'' women and children.
* The entire novel of ''[[Literature/DonQuixote Don Quixote De La Mancha]]'' is a parody of the ChivalricRomance of Cervantes' time, including their obsession with honor.
** The first example is when Don Quixote [[WeHelpTheHelpless "rescues" Andrés from being flogged by his master]], Juan Haduldo. Don Quixote bullies Juan into promising to let Andres go, and he departs to other adventures, [[GenreSavvy because he has read that when a Knight]] [[IGaveMyWord gives his word, it’s enough.]] [[WrongGenreSavvy Unfortunately, this is the first modern novel]] [[RealityEnsues and Juan flogges Andres even harder.]]
* [[IdiotHero Alice L. Malvin]] of ''Anime/PumpkinScissors'' insists on charging ahead and "destroying evil" no matter what the odds are against them. Even after she [[CharacterDevelopment started using more reason]] after she was kidnapped, [[WideEyedIdealist she stayed true to her ideals]].
* In ''SirAproposOfNothing,'', the titular AntiHero has no use for honor, and often uses other people's honor against them in strange and awesome ways. Well, sometimes. Okay, when he's backed into a corner.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/{{Ultramarines}} novel ''Dead Sky Black Sun'', Uriel and Pasanius pursue their death oath until the bitter end although [[WhatYouAreInTheDark no one would know if they failed]], [[spoiler:and Leonid joins them, although the renegade Marines who join them for a time decide that it wasn't worth it]].
* Another ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel example: ''[[Literature/SoulDrinkers Soul Drinker]]''. Sarpedon's refusal to back down and let the Adeptus Mechanicus get away with stealing the Soulspear (which was ''the'' most sacred relic of their Chapter, and they had only just managed to locate it) led directly to their being declared Excommunicate Traitoris and finding themselves chased around the galaxy pursued by both Chaos and the Imperium, perpetually depleted and subject to shoot-on-sight orders.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Deus Encarmine]]'', Stele indulges in FlawExploitation with this; because the Blood Angels believe they owe him, he sets into play a BatmanGambit to win them to Chaos. Unfortunately, he trusts it a little too far. When he hears [[EpicHail a message had been sent]] bearing the id of a dead sergeant, he is flabbergasted: the Blood Angels regard [[DueToTheDead tampering with the equipment of the dead as sacriligeous]]. He does not consider that it is forbidden ''except under the most dire circumstances'' and so does not investigate who could have gotten to the dead man's gear. Indeed, when the responsible Blood Angel confesses, those he confesses to regard it as very serious -- but not so serious that even investigating it should take precedence over the news he had sent.
* In yet another ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel, ''[[Literature/SpaceMarineBattles Fall of Damnos]]'', the entire plan to defeat the KeystoneArmy relies on taking down said Keystone, which happens to be Necron Royarch (king). The leader of the defending force, [[GloryHound Cato Sicarius]], decides to duel him and forbids anyone else from helping out, as it would be "improper". Had he let go of his honor this one time, perhaps the title of the novel wouldn't be so spoilerrific...
* In P.C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', the Kencyr peoples display this trait as a whole. Honor overrides reason and common-sense, although the cleverer Kencyr are very good at working out ways to keep within the Law while doing whatever they want.
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', the Arends have this as their [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. Mandorallen takes this to the extreme even for an Arend.
* This is also the hat of the Tsurani from ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'', interestingly, both the heroes and villains of the ''Empire Trilogy'', that takes place entirely on the Tsurani homeworld, are people who realise that the Tsurani definition of honor should be put aside in the pursuit of more pragmatic goals. For the bad guys, it's selfish desires, for the good guys it's the good of the Empire in general.
* The Knights of Solamnia in the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' saga.
** [[CatchPhrase Est sularis oth mithas]].[[note]]"My honor is my life."[[/note]]
** The Knighthood as a whole was doing a-okay right up until [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Cataclysm]]. In the aftermath, the public began turning against them, saying that the Cataclysm was either their fault or blaming them for not stopping it. Solamnia was spared much of the destruction that followed, but soon Knights of Solamnia were being murdered by mobs in the streets. Recruitment plummeted and many remaining Knights simply took off their armor and renounced their vows. The larger problem was that the Solamnic Knights were sworn to uphold the Code (seen above) and the Measure, a complicated series of laws that uphold chivalric virtues and knightly behavior. For centuries, most of the Knights' senior leadership posts were vacant because not enough Knights existed to constitute a quorum to vote in new leaders and the Measure made no allowances for a giant meteor wiping out a good chunk of their membership. It wasn't until after the War of the Lance that a revised Measure was drafted that was much more flexible with the formalities. But ''during'' the War of the Lance, a large percentage of the Knighthood was slaughtered because they were ordered into a hopeless CurbStompBattle by a half-insane [[GeneralRipper Knight of the Rose]], Derek Crownguard. They could not refuse, because the Measure made Lord Derek the commander by rank and seniority, nor could they remove him from command because the Measure did not anticipate a Knight commander losing his shit in the middle of a war.
* In Creator/GKChesterton's ''Literature/TheManWhoWasThursday'', Syme is certain he will be crushed by Sunday if he doesn't tell the police -- but he's [[IGaveMyWord promised not to reveal anything he's learned]]. He knows how crazy it is, but does it anyway.
-->''It was his last triumph over these lunatics to go down into their dark room and die for something that they could not even understand.''
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars The Gods of Mars]]'', a traitor offers John Carter his freedom in return for certain pledges, and even though he will die, and his friends and allies could really use his help, Carter refuses.
** In ''The Chessmen of Mars'', when a man tries to lay hands on her while she is a prisoner, Tara stabs him, much to the horror of a slave woman.
--->''Lan-O, wide-eyed, looked with horror upon the corpse. "For this we shall both die," she cried.\\
"And who would live a slave in Manator?" asked Tara of Helium.\\
"I am not so brave as thou," said the slave girl, "and life is sweet and there is always hope."\\
"Life is sweet," agreed Tara of Helium, "but honor is sacred. But do not fear. When they come I shall tell them the truth -- that you had no hand in this and no opportunity to prevent it."''
** In ''A Fighting Man of Mars'', Tan Hadron rues this: John Carter refuses to strike first in any war, but his enemies, this time, had a MadScientist invention that caused ships to disintegrate and men to fall to their deaths, horribly; it had a short range, and Heliumite guns could have pounded the enemy ships to pieces before being in danger.
* Doing this is the central theme of de Sade's ''Justine''. It is, however, satire.
* ''The Bronze Horseman'' by Paullina Simons. Alexander and Dimitri plan to desert during the Finnish War by volunteering to search for their commanding officer's missing son. When they really do find him while crossing the lines, Alexander insists they bring him back, earning Alexander the eternal gratitude of their CO, and the hatred of his friend Dimitri.
* This attitude gets [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster]] into (light comedic) trouble on a regular basis.
* In Creator/WenSpencer's ''Endless Blue'', Paige says that they can't provoke a fight with the civ, as they are intelligent if primitive, Jones says that's inconvenient, and Paige says it's not supposed to be convenient.
* Byrhtnoth Byrhthelming, hero of the Anglo-Saxon poem ''Literature/TheBattleOfMaldon'' (fought in 991), has a horrible case of this: the Saxon army is on the mainland, the Viking enemy are on a marshy island with a one-man-wide causeway as the only way off, the Viking leader says that a really honourable opponent would let them cross and fight on open ground... and Byrhtnoth ''agrees''. The Saxons are crushed and he dies.
** YMMV here, as he may have suspected that if he didn't let them fight on open ground, they'd merely sail off and raid the next town over. He had the largest force in the area, and thus the best chance to stop the raiders, making this more of a SenselessSacrifice.
* A similar dilemma to the last John Carter example above led directly to the utter destruction of a galactic civilization in the past of the ''Literature/PerryRhodan'' universe: Segafrendo. Picture a galaxy very much at peace with itself and ably defended against external threats by scarily competent alien mercenaries who everybody knows can nonetheless be trusted utterly because of their adherence to a strict code of honor. A code of honor that, it turns out, prevents them from initiating any hostilities against others on their own no matter how much they might want to. Cue a massive invasion force from another galaxy showing up and clearly moving into the perfect position over multiple worlds for its own crippling first strike, all the while refusing to formally declare its intentions or fire a single shot until ready...
* ''[[Literature/{{Sharpe}} Sharpe's Honour]]'', shockingly enough, features this as a major element. It starts with Sharpe fighting a duel over the honour of a woman he ''knows'' to be a traitor. Half-way through he's offered the chance to escape captivity, foil his nemesis and save the war for Britain, but refuses because doing so would involve breaking his [[IGaveMyWord parole]] (which he has not, at that point, given).
* Franchise/StarWarsLegends:
** In ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', mercenaries burst in on Luke Skywalker and some Bothan spies. One of the spies is shot but not with an [[InstantDeathBullet Instant Death Blaster Bolt]], and Luke refuses to leave him--and the Bothan dies, and Luke is captured, while those Bothans who just ran get away.
** ''Literature/{{Allegiance}}'' has Leia in an Imperial city and lying low, because they know she's there and are hunting her. While in hiding she sees burglars breaking into a house that has a child in it; she knows they probably won't just let the kid be, so she fires her blaster, even knowing that patrollers might hear and investigate. She knows it will get people's attention. That's why she does it, even though she might be discovered because of it.
** The novelization of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' gives this as the reason why Obi-Wan doesn't MercyKill the dismembered and burning Anakin (along with the fact that he can sense Sidious's approach and my not have time to escape):
--> In the end, there was only one choice. [...] In the end, he was still Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was still a Jedi, and he would not murder a helpless man.\\
He would leave it to the will of the Force.
* Garren's father in the FarsalaTrilogy, who [[TheBet made a bet]] that his son could conquer Farsala with only ten thousand troops. Unfortunately, his son has no such scruples.
* Eremon in Jules Watson's Dalriada Trilogy. He refuses to turn on the Scots tribe he's only recently met in order to join the Romans, even though it would be in his best interest to do so. Since there's no apparent reason why he'd be so loyal to the rather ungrateful tribe, this comes across more as a plot device than anything else.
* Colonel Nicholson in ''TheBridgeOverTheRiverKwai'' orders his men not to attempt an escape from the prison camp, because the circumstances under which they were captured mean that it would technically be against the rules for them to escape. He also helps his captors build a better bridge because they ordered him to.
* In ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians The Sea of Monsters]]'' when Percy doesn't kill Polyphemus. Also a case of GenreBlindness.
** It should be noted that Percy's fatal flaw is personal loyalty, which is basically an extreme version of NoOneGetsLeftBehind - ie. he'd prefer the safety of his friends and family over the safety of the world.
* While ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'' advises you to travel through urban areas as quickly as possible and not stop except under dire circumstances, an exception can be made if you want to assist other survivors. [[LampshadeHanging "Sometimes, logic must give way to humanity."]] (The rest of the book averts this pretty hard, though, and encourages the reader to be as pragmatic as possible for the sake of their own survival.)
* In [[Literature/TheMonkeyWrenchGang The Monkey Wrench Gang]], the titular band of [[WesternTerrorists ecoterrorists]] wage a war against development not because they think they'll win, but because "someone's got to do it".
* In Brandon Sanderson's ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', all of the Knights Radiant are supposed to be this way. While still dangerous, the "before reason" part is somewhat avoided by the fact that, on a world created by the Shard ''Honor'', acting like this gives you superpowers (specifically it attracts a spren, a sort of abstract ElementalEmbodiment of whatever particular principle you're holding to, who bonds with you and grants you power so long as you don't betray that principle), meaning it stands a decent chance of getting you out of the trouble it got you into.
* The [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Elites]] in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' expanded universe often would rather die with honor than live without. In ''The Cole Protocol'' it's even dishonorable to have another Elite give you a mercy killing, implying you're too weak to even kill yourself.
** Some are even observed fighting in hand-to-hand combat and dying from it rather than pick up a fully loaded human weapon at their feet.
** In a bit of a departure from human concepts of honor, Elites find it dishonorable to be wounded in battle, meaning you weren't good enough to come out unharmed. The Elite dishonorable in this manner usually demands to be allowed a chance to redeem himself by shedding blood of enemies. In ''The Cole Protocol'' an Elite feudal lord is attacked in his bedchamber by assassins. He kills them and, the next day, shows up in front of his vassals and disrobes to show no marks on his body. He then kills the man who sent the assassins for not doing the honorable thing and coming after him himself.
* In one of MercedesLackey's [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Tarma and Kethry]] stories in ''Oathblood'', Tarma and Kethry (and their Kyree Warrl) get a [[ClingyMacGuffin bad-luck cursed coin]]. Kethry refuses to do anything to pass it off onto another innocent party. Warrl comments, "Admirable. Stupid but admirable." [[spoiler:They eventually get rid of it by arranging to be targeted by bandits. Kethry only refused to pass it to an ''innocent'' party.]]
* The Arkenites in the StarTrekNovelVerse take their debts very seriously. In the StarTrekVanguard series, Klingons save an Arkenite outpost from a disaster in exchange for the outpost swearing allegiance to the Klingon Empire; the residents then refuse to back out. Even though they don't want to leave the Federation or help the Klingons, they all willingly keep to the promise even when Starfleet shows up trying to "liberate" them. To choose gratification over duty and refuse to repay their debt would, their leader explains, be unthinkable.
* Rudolph Rassendyll of ''Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda'' loves Princess Flavia and is loved by her, and she is arranged to be married to her boorish cousin and TheWrongfulHeirToTheThrone. Rassendyll admits to himself that the best possible outcome would be allowing the villains to dispose of his look-alike relative before stopping them, allowing him to be a good ruler and be with the woman he loves. However, because of his honor, he helps restore the king to the throne and [[DidNotGetTheGirl does not get the girl]]. For her part, because of her own honor, Flavia accepts being married to a man she despises rather than one she loves.
* Michael from the ''KnightAndRogueSeries''. He will only lie if absolutely necessary, and lets a murder suspect run free even though doing so will give him one of the most severe punishments the law can deal because he's found evidence she's innocent. In fact, she flat out tells him she can prove her innocence in court, but he's worried because the court he wants to take her to is stacked against her and there's a chance she could be found guilty anyway. Just for added affect, this not actually guilty murderer who choses not to capture despite the penalty had been torturing/experimenting on him several hours before he made this decision.
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', the two owners of the only ammunition factory burn it down to keep the civil war a fight with blades. Then they shake hands and depart for opposite sides of the war. The one who joins the coup is regarded as odd by his own side, who do not understand his principles.
* In Creator/WenSpencer's ''Literature/{{Tinker}}'', Windwolf threatens to castrate the man who offered Tinker a ScarpiaUltimatum to treat Windwolf. It would have stained his honor, even though it might cost him his life.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'':
** Daniar takes her ThouShallNotKill thing very seriously. Enemy soldiers were overrunning her kingdom's capital but she refused to do more than disarm them because they were conscripts. [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs This doesn't work well for her.]]
** Kazem too. Lots of 'die on your feet then live on your knees' sort of lines from him. Whether he believes this himself or is just using it as propaganda is up for debate.
* King Joyse in Stephen Donaldson's ''[[Literature/TheMirrorOfHerDreams Mordants Need]]'' novels. He refuses to take action while his enemies plot against him for fear that the cost of victory will be too high, using a problem from a draughts game that can't be won without sacrificing pieces as a metaphor for his dilemma. He also refuses to prevent his subjects from taking actions that have tragic results because they're motivated by love of the kingdom and have earned the right to do as they see fit. Subverted in the end though, since his inaction and feigned indecision were all part of a XanatosGambit he was playing against the whole world.
* Ashinji of ''Literature/GriffinsDaughter''. He basically swallows the heaps of abuse and petty slights his JerkAss older brother drops on him solely because Sadaiyo is the heir to the throne and Ashinji "owes" him fealty. Even his parents (who are aware of Sadaiyo's... predilections) marvel that he hasn't at least beaten the crap out of him once.
* Though usually a very pragmatic series, ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' pulls this one out of left field during the David Trilogy. The titular character is a SixthRanger the Animorphs have narrowly saved from capture, who in the process has been completely cut off from his family, his home, and everything he's ever known. Normally a pragmatic bunch, the Animorphs suddenly become unyielding sentinels of morality in dealing with him, forcing him to sleep in a cold barn rather than letting him sleep in a hotel room (which he admittedly broke into). Jake even goes so far as to ''threaten David's life'', which is especially jarring when one considers how often the other members of the team have used their powers for selfish ends. With all this dumped on him, it's really no surprise when David [[SanitySlippage snaps]] and goes SixthRangerTraitor on them.
** In ''The Decision'', all the Andalites on a ship decide to collectively commit suicide rather than running away when it becomes clear that they can't defeat the Yeerks the way they'd hoped. This was [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in Blog/CinnamonBunzuh:
-->Ifi: You can morph too, dude
-->Ifi: Did you forget that you can morph?
-->Ifi: You can all morph.
-->Ifi: You can ALL morph.
-->Adam: Isn't escaping the honorable thing to do?
-->Ifi: Not as honorable as MASS RITUAL SUICIDE
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', Oenoe recounts how some Nymphs, insanely, did not love their world of total indolence and ease, even with the help of drugs. Men were offered cryogenic slumber until the age where more martial virtues were needed, and women turned into heralds who sought out those men and brought them to the sleep. Oenoe herself slept in the tombs because she was in love with one such woman, and preferred having her heart break to forgetting her love.
* In ''The Trumpeter of Krackow'', a legend is told of a trumpeter who is sworn to blow a trumpet from a church tower every hour, doing so even while the Mongols are ravaging his city, thus revealing his presence. As might be expected, he ends up shot with an arrow for it.
* In ''Literature/RedeemingLove'', LoveMartyr Michael Hosea’s attempts to [[LoveRedeems cure]] bitter, cynical, and manipulative BrokenBird Angel, who is a prostitute—by marrying her and treating her as he would a pure, devoted, and faithful wife—often cross over into this territory, especially in the view of the other characters, who urge him to forget she ever existed.
* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' fights with this trope at times, dickering over doing the honorable thing vs. the logical thing and angsting over his decision later. He plays it straight a couple of times as a PluckyMiddie, when he tries to refuse being transferred from the ''Justinian''[[labelnote:*]]a Channel-bound tub[[/labelnote]] to the ''Indifatigable''[[labelnote:*]]an active frigate with certain opportunity for career advancement[[/labelnote]] out of loyalty to Captain Keene; Keene is touched but scolds him and sends him off anyway. Not long after that, Hornblower refuses to take credit for stopping a privateer he was held prisoner because he "lost" the prize vessel he ''had'' been commanding. (It had been holed--not Hornblower's fault--and had a rice cargo, so it basically popped its seams and became unsavable.) He does that even though Pellew has waved off the loss of the ship as quite unimportant.
* In ''Literature/TheLostFleet'', after 100 years of brutal fighting, TheAlliance fleet has degraded to this, although their concept of honor has also "evolved". Fleet tactics have largely been forgotten, as every ship charges into battle and hopes to win through sheer "fighting spirit". For the same reason, commands of choice are no longer battleships but battlecruisers, which allow them to be on the forefront of any charge. Battleships are reserved for those who lack aggression, with the thought being that thicker armor and stronger shields will help to compensate their faults. Killing civilians ''en masse'' is perfectly normal in order to deny the enemy further recruits and ruin the economy. Prisoners of war are executed. Saluting is an archaic concept, except for Marines. When Captain John Geary is recovered from his HumanPopsicle state, he is horrified to learn what has become of the Alliance sailors and officers. He tries to reintroduce the concepts of fleet tactics and honorable behavior, while constantly arguing with those ship commanders who want him to lead them to victory ''without'' changing anything. It doesn't help that most expect him to be the legendary "Black Jack" Geary whose last recorded order was "close with the enemy" (it was actually his [[TheLastStand Last Stand]] in an attempt to let civilian ships escape).
** Geary starts giving captains [[InsaneTrollLogic interesting]] interpretations of any orders that don't involve a full offensive in order to ensure that they follow them rather than ignore them in favor of an [[AttackAttackAttack all out attack]]. Good examples are referring to a retreat as repositioning to attack from a different direction or getting damaged ships to stay out of a fight by personally tasking them with defending the fleet auxiliaries.
* Lucy Pennykettle from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]].
* In ''Literature/RachelGriffin'', when the heroes find that someone in their circle is betraying them, Nastasia struggles with the idea of [[FeedTheMole feeding out false information]] to discover the mole--because it would involve lying.
* In Literature/DangerousSpirits, Konstantine falls just short of considering any criticism against the Tsar to be nothing less than outright treason, and breaks several friendships by reporting them to his superiors when his compatriots comment that the Tsar, while a great man, does not have a God-given right to rule.
* Played straight for cynicism in ''Literature/ThePrinceOfThorns'': Jorg is an almost-heartless monster who kills and tortures without hesitation or moral qualms. In the sequel The King of Thorns, his foil the Prince of Arrow is an honorable man, who even gives Jorg the chance to surrender and refuses to kill him because he's still a boy. As repayment, Jorg [[spoiler: starts multiple avalanches on his army, his newlywed wife blows up the invaders who've gotten through the gate as well as their own defenders, he allies with trolls, and finally Jorg attacks the army with all of his necromantic and fire magics until both are burned out of him and the army is routed. But none of this really matters, because the honorable Prince of Arrow has already been killed by his own less-honorable brother.]]
* During ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' Jerin gives his word of honor that he will be a placid, willing captive if his captors will spare Cira. He promptly turns on them, explaining to Cira that this is dealing with these people on their level - they're already shown themselves to not be trustworthy in the least.
* In the first pages of ''Literature/TyrannnosaurCanyon'' Tom Broadbent promises a dying man that he will convey a notebook and message to the dead man's daughter. He takes this promise personally, not allowing the police to get involved when they might have been able to help and directly imperiling his friends and family.
* This trait is ingrained into the training of the Disciples of Penance from ''Literature/OfFearAndFaith''. The group of them that the party meet in the Fortress of the Damned refused to abandon their station even long after it became clear that they were fighting a losing battle, and so they became trapped there, which [[DespairEventHorizon did not end well]] for them. [[spoiler: When they finally escape with the party's help, their leader Giovanna elects to turn herself in to her superiors to be arrested for leaving her post, and all of her soldiers follow her due to a combination of this trope and UndyingLoyalty to her.]]
* Blake Thorburn in ''Literature/{{Pact}}'' firmly retains his [[TheIdealist idealism and faith in humanity]] even when his inherited {{Karma}} means that [[EverythingTryingToKillYou the universe is passively attempting to murder him while his family's enemies attempt to do so actively]], believes in not striking first, and does everything he can to uphold the various vows and promises that he swears over the course of the story, in both letter and spirit.
* The Calvarians from ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'' are extremely prone to this. One of their most common sayings is, "Death before dishonor."
* The reformers' faction in ''Literature/ThePowerBroker'', including the young Robert Moses, is unwilling to cut deals with politicians and play the game. [[TheConsigliere Belle Moskowitz]] lifts Moses out of failure and teaches him how to "get things done". Ironically, the spiritual descendants of those idealistic reformers become Moses' enemies as he becomes entrenched and corrupt over the decades.
* ''JourneyToChaos'': In ''[[Literature/AMagesPower A Mage's Power]]'', Siron himself points out that the only thing he has to gain from [[spoiler: exposing his father's plan is staining his family's reputation and exposing himself to charges of treason. He explains that he couldn't live with himself otherwise. By the time of ''Literature/LoomingShadow'', he's become Kasile's servant as atonement for his role in the plan. This means he gets to hang out with his love interest all day]] so it turns out to be pretty reasonable too.
* In ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', Edward Ferrars refuses to break his engagement to [[BitchInSheepsClothing Lucy Steele]], even though he no longer loves her and in fact loves Elinor instead. For a woman to have an engagement broken on her ''was'' SeriousBusiness in Georgian times, however, the engagement had been a carefully-kept secret so there wouldn't be any public backlash. Nevertheless, he gave his word.
* ''Literature/TheWhiteCompany'': Sir Nigel has tendencies in this direction, to the exasperation of the people around him in general and his wife in particular. His wife, squire and second-in-command can usually keep him from getting into too much trouble, but sometime have to go behind his back to do so.
* ''Literature/WithFireAndSword'' (Polish: ''Ogniem i mieczem''), is an 1884 historical novel by the Polish author HenrykSienkiewicz set during the 17th century Khmelnytsky Uprising which ended Polish rule in what is now the Ukraine. In one of the early scenes, the Ukrainian rebels capture a town where there is a force of German mercenaries. The Ukrainians suggest that the mercenaries change sides and offer them a better contract than they had from their Polish employers. "You are mercenaries, this is not your war, what do you mind on whose side you fight?" But the mercenaries' commander answers "In three months' time our contract to the King of Poland ends. Then, we will be happy to sign a new contract with you". The Ukrainian says: "You don't have three months, we have to move on and can't afford to have at our back a force loyal to the King of Poland. If you don't change sides now, we will be forced to fight you. You are surrounded and greatly outnumbered!". To which the German answers: "It is our honor to be loyal to our contract and our employer, whatever the cost. If we lose our honor, we have nothing left". Thereupon, the mercenaries fight to the death against impossible odds rather than betray their contract, dying to the last and extracting a heavy price from the Ukrainians . (It is noteworthy that Sienkiewicz was an outspoken proponent of {{Romanticism}}, and the characters in his books - minor and major, heroes and villains alike - often tend to act in high-minded chivalrous manner.)



[[folder:Web Original]]
* Neil Sinclair of ''{{Survival of the Fittest}}'' fits this trope. The primary example of such behaviour is trusting Dominica Sharpiro by offering her a place in his Pro escape group, despite knowing, for ''certain'' that she [[spoiler:earlier killed another group member]] who became separated from the others.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is big on this one, protecting friends and children to the most extreme degree even though he knows full well it'll get himself hurt.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the trope is discussed in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/snare-13-10/ Snare 13.10]] when [[spoiler:Grue i.e. Brian is talking to Taylor i.e. Skitter]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Brian]]:''' I ''worry'' about you. You throw yourself into these situations like you don't care if you die, like you've got nothing to stick around for except for those people you insist on protecting. [[spoiler:Dinah]], the people from [[spoiler:your territory]]. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only more so. Riskier stuff. I start thinking about how I'm supposed to protect you, get you to stop, get you to focus on a goal that's actually attainable, because you're so capable that you could be amazing if you stopped acting suicidal.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge refuses to use sniper rifles and other long distance weapons other than regular guns, as he believes the only way to kill someone is up close and personal. He admits that he has no problem with using a nuke on an enemy because of RuleOfCool.
* In Sherwood Forest, Will follows Robin to the castle and rushes into battle to save him. This would be very noble if not for the fact that he's a terrible swordfighter and basically just manages to kill a guy through sheer dumb luck. He also got lucky in that his appearance made the Sheriff's guards scatter; if they'd stuck around long enough to realize he was just flailing wildly with a sword, they probably would have killed him.
* Tempered Steel from WebOriginal/FalloutIsDragons will always, always, always try to talk others into doing the right thing. Even a pissed off dragon who is currently preparing its breath weapon.
* Actually {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' as an argument [[spoiler:against Goku in "Goku vs. Superman". Many Dragonball Z characters, Goku included, have a habit of demanding a fair fight even against an obviously superior opponent. Hence, even if [[IdiotHero Goku]] managed to figure out Superman's weaknesses to kryptonite and exposure to a red star, he would refuse to exploit them.]]

to:

[[folder:Web Original]]
[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Neil Sinclair ''Series/GameOfThrones'' has Eddard Stark embody this trope and it does him far more harm than good. His demeanor is portrayed by parody in the trope's image. His eldest son Robb also inherited it from him.
** Maester Aemon gives an especially poignant defense
of ''{{Survival this trope, explaining that it's easy for men to do their sworn duty when there's no personal cost. It's only when that oath is upheld in dire circumstances does it ever mean anything.
* In the classic ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode, "Spectre
of the Fittest}}'' fits this trope. Gun", Kirk becomes increasingly desperate to escape the surreal nightmare DeathTrap he and his landing party are thrust in. However, when the sheriff suggests he ambush the Earps to murder them, Kirk becomes nearly hysterical that he cannot stoop that low regardless of how dire the situation is. However, after the party figures a way to beat the trap, Kirk keeps to that same principle to spare the defeated Earps and that act impresses the aliens to not only let Kirk's party go, but also open up relations with the Federation. Thus by keeping to his principles, Kirk pulls a real victory out of the affair instead of mere survival. The primary same thing happens in "Arena" when he refuses to finish off the Gorn. Although by that point the Gorn wasn't in any shape to take advantage.
** Ironically, the outcome of "Spectre of the Gun" was due to ExecutiveMeddling. In the original script, Kirk ''does'' let pragmatism trump honor, and shoots Wyatt Earp in the back. The aliens release Kirk not because they're impressed by his principles, but because, having read his mind, they know he ''believes'' in honor, and conclude that for him to have violated his own principles, he must be insane, and therefore not culpable for his actions.
* Also prevalent in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', especially in the episode "I, Borg". Picard decides ''not'' to take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to destroy the Borg, an entity that had cut through the galaxy like locusts, including ''assimilating Picard himself'', because to use a newly individualized Borg against his race would be wrong. Somehow. Picard was severely reprimanded by his superiors for making that choice and, later, he admits that while what he did was the ''moral'' thing to do it may not have been the ''right'' thing.
** The idea was that it would be wrong because the newly individualized and presumably innocent Borg would also be killed. Also, Picard hoped that its individuality would spread through the collective, so that the Borg would no longer be enemies or would at least be a group that could be negotiated with. [[spoiler:And it worked, except only a part of the Collective was "infected" with individuality (implying that the other, more lethal option would have only taken out part of the Collective as well). Too bad Data's EvilTwin Lore manipulated them into becoming vicious conquerors.]]
** In the episode "Half a Life," an alien is about turn sixty, an age where people on his planet commit ritual suicide as a way of preserving their dignity. When he wants to break tradition in order to continue research on how to save the planet's dying star, they inform him that, even if he finds a way to save it, they would reject it because he broke tradition.
** "Pegasus" sees Captain Picard openly admitting to an Admiral violating a treaty with the Romulans by conducting cloaking research. Causing a diplomatic incident and making his own government look bad to maintain Starfleets honor.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' gives us the Jem'Hadar. They are programmed to obey the Vorta without question, even when they know better. In one particular instance, a bunch of half-dead Jem'Hadar walk right into a Federation ambush their Vorta sent them into, knowing beforehand he was doing it on purpose so they'd all die and he could defect, simply because they are bred to obey. This serves to make them surprisingly relatable in several episodes.
--> Sisko: "Do you really want to give up your life for the 'order of things'?"
--> Remata'Klan: "It is not my life to give up, Captain – and it never was."
** The Vorta are likewise bred to obey the Founders. While they never have so suicidal an opportunity to demonstrate this, their loyalty to the Founders is shown to trump reason on occasion. We also see a few surrender or defect though.
** Worf is one of the most prominent examples of a character following his personal brand of honor no matter what (though sometimes it puts him in conflict with the all-forgiving sentiments of Picard's brand of honor.) But the archetypal
example comes in a ''Deep Space Nine'' episode where Worf battle's and defeats Jem Hadar soldiers in order of increasing difficulty not being given time to heal between battles to the point where fellow Klignon General Martok tells him that honor has been satisfied and he still gets up and keeps fighting. Eventually the Jem Hadar chief surrenders out of respect though he could have easily won the fight and is immediately killed by his pragmatic Vorta superior for his gesture.
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Captain Janeway turns down many opportunities to get the crew home by refusing to violate the Prime Directive. The irony there is that her willingness to violate the Prime Directive in the first episode is what left the ship stranded. She also suffered from a staggering amount of DependingOnTheWriter, and as a result seemed to follow a bizarre version of the Prime Directive unique to her and constantly changing.
** Janeway's first officer, Chakotay, at times exhibited this attitude as well; usually in confrontation with Janeway during one of the many instances where she ''was'' entirely willing to break the rules. Chakotay is probably one of the most consistent (if not well-known) examples of this trope, after ''Series/GameOfThrones'' Ned Stark. This was frequently at odds with his original status as a major leader in a guerrilla army/ terrorist group and the way he ran it, though considering that he became a Maquis due to considering it to be the morally right thing to do, he may have been this even as a terrorist.
*** Chakotay was a Starfleet officer before his defection, so he may still believe in he ''ideals'' of the Federation.
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Captain Malcolm Reynolds chooses to take in and shelter Simon and River Tam, despite the fact that having them on board increases the danger to his crew and actually puts all them in danger multiple times. When asked why he would do something so risky for people he barely knows when he seems like
such behaviour is trusting Dominica Sharpiro by a rational, cold-hearted bastard, he doesn't respond, tries to avoid answering altogether, or offers some flimsy excuse that everyone can see through quite clearly.
** Though this trope applies once they've become part of his crew, his reason for
offering her a that protection in the first place probably come down to a simple TakeThat against the Alliance.
** [[TheMovie The Big Damn Movie]] shows this
in one of its more powerful scenes: After River's psychotic rampage, and when Mal is confronted with every rational reason to leave them behind, he ''still'' chooses to protect them and fight for them.
** Mal is still brutally pragmatic, though, especially when dealing with threats to [[TrueCompanions
his Pro escape group, crew.]] Case in point: him kicking Crow into the ship's engine after he declared they would meet again in "The Train Job," or when he decided to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim shoot the Operative]] as soon as he said he was unarmed in ''Serenity''. That's what we like about Mal: he has honor, but not ''stupid'' honor."
** Or most times he does. On occasion, though, fighting for honor means Mal risking very likely death, which Inara once calls him on and points out how senseless it is. And, of course, much of his fighting against the Alliance (equally risky) probably IS an honor thing for him, including the less honorable criminal stuff (which is the only way he can justify it, and sometimes not even then).
** Mal does make it a point to help out people who are in dire straits, though; in "The Train Job," the moment he finds out the cargo he stole is medicine for the dying villagers he chooses to return it. When the local lawman remarks that people have a choice to make when they find out the details of a situation like theirs, Mal's only response is that he feels they ''don't'' have a choice at all.
** Even ''[[SociopathicHero Jayne]]'' has a few instances of this. One particular example is in "War Stories," where he outright tells the rest of the crew that going to rescue Mal from Niska's army of thugs is insane and a suicide mission. Later on, as everyone is preparing to go on the rescue mission, Jayne appears, fully loaded with all of his guns and ready to do his part. At the surprised look of the rest of the crew, his only response is a confused "What?"
** Jayne's sense of honor showed through in its own way; after betraying Simon and River Tam to the feds in "Ariel" and having to bust them back out due to getting pinched right long with them, he pleads with Mal [[TreacheryCoverUp not to let the others know about his dishonorable actions]], even while he was faced with his own death by being ThrownOutTheAirlock. That's the only reason Mal spared him.
*** It's also worth noting that Jayne could have easily left both of them there to distract the Feds and make a clean getaway, but he still helps them escape.
*** Maybe he just didn't think of it.
** Simon also does this for River, and he strictly follows the [[InconvenientHippocraticOath Hippocratic Oath]] even when he might risk capture or when it's someone he doesn't particularly like.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' features a serial killer's public defender who, acting on a tip from his client, goes to see a warehouse where the killer has stored bodies of his victims, which he admits was stupid but refuses to tell anyone where they are, standing firmly behind privilege. Because he had to lock it when he left, thus helping hide the bodies, [=McCoy=] decides to charge him as an accessory, while making it clear that all the lawyer has to do to get the charges dropped is give up the location of the bodies. [[spoiler: He never does, and goes to prison still refusing.]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' tends to follow this trope when it comes to Buffy dealing with a human threat, at least until the Bringers (were they human?). She lets a werewolf hunter leave even though judging by the collection of teeth he's killed dozens of people to get werewolf pelts. She refuses to kill her friend Ford, who betrayed her, until after he becomes a vampire. And in the sixth season,
despite knowing, for ''certain'' the fact that Warren killed her friend Tara in cold blood and nearly killed her as well, she insists that she [[spoiler:earlier killed another group member]] who became separated from can't kill him because he's human and being the others.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is big on this one, protecting friends and children
Slayer doesn't give her a license to kill.
** Perhaps
the most extreme degree case is the fifth season, when she has to choose between saving her sister or saving the universe. She threatens everyone with death if they go near her sister. Then she [[TakeAThirdOption takes a third option]]. It is such an extreme case that one could say she acted as a PrinciplesZealot, although either way it also fits this trope as it is very unreasonable but according to the strict deontological ethics of a Principles Zealot, one can never kill an innocent human, even though he knows full well it'll get himself hurt.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'',
to save the whole world. Giles' [[ForHappiness consequential]] view, that Dawn should be killed if there is no other option, seems much more reasonable even if one isn't usually strongly consequentialist, but the point of the trope is discussed in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/snare-13-10/ Snare 13.10]] when [[spoiler:Grue i.e. Brian that reason is talking to Taylor i.e. Skitter]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Brian]]:''' I ''worry'' about you. You throw yourself
being discarded.
** During the fourth season, all of the Scoobies arguably fall
into these situations like you don't care if you die, like you've this, being largely against killing Spike after he got nothing to stick around for except for those people you insist on protecting. [[spoiler:Dinah]], the people from [[spoiler:your territory]]. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only more so. Riskier stuff. I start thinking about how I'm supposed to protect you, get you to stop, get you to focus on a goal that's actually attainable, his RestrainingBolt because you're so capable he's helpless, despite the fact that you he was one of their worst enemies and kept saying that he would kill them all at the first opportunity once he got the chip removed. Of course, that doesn't stop them from regularly taunting him over his "impotence" and beating him up for fun or information.
* [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]]
could be amazing if you stopped acting suicidal.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge
easily, ''easily'' wipe out the alien threat of the week, but he insists on giving them a choice, usually involving finding another world for them to settle on, free of intelligent life. It's only when they refuse that he shows them [[BewareTheNiceOnes why that might have been a good idea]].
** A perfect alternative example appears in the 1996 TV movie; a police officer is preventing the Doctor and his companion from reaching their destination. Time is running out, the entire planet Earth is at stake, and the Doctor doesn't have time to reason with the police officer. So he swipes the officer's gun. However, he is also not the kind of man who points guns at innocent people, no matter what the situation. So he points the gun ''at himself'' and yells "[[StopOrIShootMyself Now stand aside before I shoot myself]]!"
*** The Eighth Doctor hasn't changed in this respect by "The Night of the Doctor", either. He attempts to save a young woman from a crashing spaceship, but she
refuses to use sniper rifles and other long distance weapons other than regular guns, as he believes the only way to kill someone is up close and personal. He admits that he has no problem go with using a nuke on an enemy because of RuleOfCool.
* In Sherwood Forest, Will follows Robin to the castle and rushes into battle
him so he refuses to save him. This would be very noble if not for himself.
** Gets more than a little {{Anvilicious}} when
the fact Doctor opposes eliminating ''the Daleks'', even though they're dedicated to wiping out all non-Dalek life in the universe.
*** The Doctor's attitude makes more sense when you consider
that he's a terrible swordfighter terrified of losing his morals and basically becoming something like the Valeyard. If he agreed with genocide or murder, even once, even justifiably, he'd be taking a first step down a disastrous road, and he wants to avoid that at all costs. [[spoiler:Remember the Time Lord Victorious? That was but a glimpse of what he could become.]]
*** Additionally, the Time War could have been so awful that the idea of annihilating the Daleks brings up horrible memories.
*** In the classic series, the Doctor had the opportunity to wipe the Daleks out at the moment of their creation, but wasn't sure he had the right, and concluded that humans and other races ''opposing'' the Daleks was what led to [[TheFederation galactic harmony]].
** One of his worst moments was in the new series, when he met the Sontarans, a race of cloned soldiers, whose one notable weakness is a vent in the back of their necks. It's in the back because Sontarans are not supposed to retreat, so it's a relatively safe place to put it. He has a bomb that can destroy the Sontaran ship and save the Earth. But he decides to beam up to the Sontaran ship WITH THE BOMB in order to give them a chance to surrender. Never mind that anyone with even the smallest knowledge about the Sontaran would know that the Sontarans don't surrender, the idea that the ship in question wouldn't gladly be destroyed to be able to defeat someone as famous and powerful as The Doctor (Not to mention, stop his occasional ruinings of their war effort) is absurd. In the end, another character had to sacrifice himself to save him. Way to go, Doctor.
** This also comes up pretty much any time the "Laws of Time" get invoked. So the one Dalek who escaped the Time War, over thousands of years, becomes a half million Daleks, causing untold misery on Earth in the meantime. So does the Doctor
just manages take the time machine at his disposal, go back in time, and fight the Dalek when there's only one of them? Of course not. When the Doctor tries to kill bring Rose back to her home, but accidentally arrives one year too late, causing Rose to have been listed as a guy through sheer dumb luck. He also got lucky missing person, her boyfriend to have been arrested for supposedly murdering her, and lots of trauma suffered by her family members, you'd think this would be easily fixable by just getting back in the TARDIS and getting it right this time, but that his appearance made never even comes up. Even yanking Adric off of the Sheriff's guards scatter; if they'd stuck around long enough crashing ship he's on is quickly shot down thanks to realize he was just flailing wildly with a sword, they probably the Laws of Time, even though doing so wouldn't have altered history at all, as the ship still would have killed him.
* Tempered Steel from WebOriginal/FalloutIsDragons will always, always, always try
crashed, and the resulting aftermath would have been the same.
*** Within the world of ''Series/DoctorWho'', going back on one's own timeline is a ''strict no-no''--in fact, there's something about it called the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. The Doctor's code is less "honor before reason" and more "try to do as little damage to the timeline as you can." As for not saving Adric, well...[[TheScrappy This is Adric we're talking about]].
** Subverted by the eleventh Doctor. He tries
to talk others into doing if the right thing. Even a pissed off dragon who is currently preparing its breath weapon.
* Actually {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' as an argument [[spoiler:against Goku in "Goku vs. Superman". Many Dragonball Z characters, Goku included, have a habit of demanding a fair fight even
situation allows it and tries to spare manipulated pawns, but against an obviously actively hostile forces he will wipe them out as soon as he has the advantage.
* Helo on ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', the fact that his wife Sharon is a Cylon makes his journey much tougher.
* In ''TheSarahConnorChronicles'', which [[CanonDiscontinuity tosses out]] the events of ''Terminator 3'', both John and Sarah try to stop Skynet with no deaths. Cameron and Derek Reese don't share the same sentiment, however. If killing someone will complete the mission and possibly stop Skynet, they'll kill them in a ''heartbeat''. This goes out the window at the start of the second season, when John is forced to witness a man attempting to rape his mother. ThouShaltNotKill comes to a crashing end when he breaks free. On the other hand, John refuses to destroy Cameron even after she goes berserk and tries to kill him. Everyone, even ''Cameron herself'' thinks that John should have destroyed her, but he refuses to, because he still trusts her.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheATeam''. Even though the team usually fits the trope to a T, in one episode Hannibal secures the help of General Fullbright by promising to turn himself in if he assists him. Afterwards, Hannibal escapes and says "In war there are no promises; only strategy."
* Subversion in ''Series/{{Rome}}'' where Anthony, who is besieged in his palace with the (very) pitiful remains of his guard, counts on this trope and challenges Octavian, his sworn enemy and leader of the Roman forces, to a one-on-one duel, knowing that he is easily the
superior opponent. Hence, warrior and brags that he alone is going to win the war. Octavian's answer is looking at his general-staff and asking: "Is he completely nuts???" Anthony rather stupidly assumed in his drug-addled state that Octavian would give up a supreme tactical advantage just to avoid looking like a coward, when even if [[IdiotHero Goku]] managed Octavian cared about that he could just kill anyone who heard about it.
** ''Series/{{Rome}}'' also has a very interesting take on this trope with Lucius Vorenus. He is driven by his morals 100% and can think of nothing worse than dishonor. He stays loyal to Antony even after his death, prompting Octavian to comment: "The man turns loyalty into a vice". What makes Vorenus an interesting example is that he is so completely driven by his sense of honor and moral, but those don't exactly measure up with the ones we have today. He is, for example, prepared to kill the boy Lucius (his dead wife's bastard son) because "honor demands it". [[spoiler: Except he doesn't kill him after all, subverting this trope for perhaps the ''only'' time in all of his onscreen appearances, which made for a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming - or at least what passes for one in this show.]]
* Michael Weston from ''Series/BurnNotice'' will stop at nothing to solve the problems of every and any passerby he meets. Even if he should be trying
to figure out Superman's weaknesses who burned him. Or if his apartment as just been blown up in an attempt to kryptonite murder him.
* Duncan [=MacLeod=] in ''Series/{{Highlander}}: The Series'' is another prototype example for this trope. He would accept any challenge, no matter what the the odds, only to prove his honor. He even explained it to Methos in an episode:
-->'''Duncan:''' Did you know Mencius?\\
'''Methos:''' Student of Confucius, yeah.\\
'''Duncan:''' "I dislike death, but there are things that I dislike more than death--"\\
'''Methos:''' "--therefore there are occasions when I will not avoid danger." Death before dishonor.
** Actually justified considering Duncan is a 16th-century Highland Clansman when such ideals were very much the rule.
** And utterly averted in Methos himself, who only really follows this trope when it comes to his friends. This is illustrated in the episode "Chivalry", right after Duncan [=MacLeod=] has disarmed, then released, the episode's ''female'' bad guy, Kristin. As [=MacLeod=] starts walking away from Kristin, Methos steps forward.
-->'''Kristin:''' "Who are you?"\\
'''Methos:''' "A man born long before the age of chivalry." (waves his swordpoint toward her sword, which is on the ground next to her) "Pick it up."
* Prince Arthur in BBC's ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' has demonstrated this trope repeatedly, as far back as his risking his life to save Merlin in 1X04, all the way up to [[spoiler: literally putting his neck on the line to keep his word to Morguse]] in late season 2.
** Also Lancelot. Much to Guinevere's exasperation, it's almost as if he
and exposure Arthur are in some kind of competition as to who can be the most stoically self-sacrificing. (Lancelot's winning).
*** A good concrete example with Percival in the season 4 premiere. Percival stumbles across three frightened children, realizes he can't carry all of them and a torch (the only defense against the Dorocha), so he drops the torch and carries the children. Predictably, the Dorocha close in on him, but Elyan pulls a BigDamnHeroes moment to save them all.
* ''Series/TheAmazingRace'':
** In Season 2, Tara chose to put her alliance with Chris & Alex over the Race, and even over her own teammate, and it eventually cost them the Race.
** Erwin & Godwin (a.k.a. the Cho Bros, from Season 10) formed the infamous Six-Pack alliance with David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn (two teams most perceived as fodder). They then proceeded to sit around at tasks, after they were already done, waiting for the other teams in their alliance. Even their own alliance members thought this was stupid.
** The formerly engaged team of Dennis & Erika (Season 5) became the first team out when Dennis, who wanted to prove that he wasn't a "scumbag" after another team called him that earlier in the leg, let all the other teams get cabs before him and Erika. He did get a ConsolationPrize, however (other than the trip given to them by Colin & Christie after the race), in that this act appeared to re-spark his relationship with Erika.
* In one episode of ''Series/BlueBloods'', Jamie (the Reagan family's KnightInShiningArmor) is asked by the FBI to help them investigate possible corruption in the NYPD. Jamie refuses and decides to carry on his own investigation ''alone''--because it could potentially involve his family and it is more honorable for him to look at it first before deciding. In doing this Jamie is putting himself in considerable danger without backup. But [[KnightInShiningArmor that's Jamie.]]
* ''Series/NoahsArc'': This is one of Noah's more frequently seen characteristics, such as in one episode where he turns down a $4000 check from Wade because he feels he should get himself out of his financial mess (despite having to sell his beloved car to do so).
* A spoof on this occurs at the beginning of ''Series/DueSouth'' in which Fraser pursues a perp through miles and miles of frozen wasteland. Finally he brings him in, plops him at the Mounties' office and says, "That's the last time he'll fish over the limit."
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Delen always at least seems like [[TheMcCoy the sort of person]] who would put HonorBeforeReason. In fact she several times [[IDidWhatIHadToDo does what she has to do]] and once or twice what she definitely doesn't have to do. But she always gives the impression of putting HonorBeforeReason, prefers that as her default, and sometimes has a CrowningMomentOfAwesome while doing so. When told that Neroon is coming to assassinate her, Delenn forbids Lennier to tell Sheridan, believing that the Minbari people should deal with their own internal dirty laundry without foreign interference.
** Minbari generally think they are putting HonorBeforeReason. The real picture is more complex and depends on which Minbari you talk to.
** When Londo orders Narn evacuated because [[IGaveMyWord he gave his word]] to G'kar, he says "All I have left is my honor."
** The Expanded Universe adds the Rogolon, a ProudWarriorRace fixated with one-on-one duels. This bit them back in the ass ''hard'' during the Centauri-Orieni War: when the Centauri invaded them to bypass the Orieni lines, the Rogolon ships advanced one at a time issuing their challenges to the invaders, resulting in the Centauri (the local poster children for {{Combat Pragmatist}}s and ObligatoryWarCrimeScene) to gang up on their ships until there was nobody else to oppose their passage.
* [[Creator/GeorgeClooney Doug Ross]] on ''Series/{{ER}}'' was driven to do what was right for children, regardless of the consequences to himself or his career. That's admirable, but he was also very short-sighted when it came to the consequences of his actions to his friends and colleagues, and eventually left the hospital in disgrace due to some very questionable decisions.
** Meanwhile, when girlfriend Carol Hathaway accidentally killed a patient, (a) she refused to let the incident be covered up, (b) refused to let the other nurses be blamed or punished, even though she quite reasonably could have--they had all called in sick regarding a salary dispute, leaving her overwhelmed and no doubt contributing to her fatal error, and (c) insisted on being reprimanded even though it could have cost her her job (said punishment did in fact include her being suspended for a time) and her nursing license.
* Bates of ''DowntonAbbey'' is very much this, refusing to tell the Earl of Grantham that Thomas was the real thief when he's framed for theft (twice!) despite Thomas's constant bullying of both him and everyone else, because he doesn't want to be the cause of Thomas losing his job.
** Matthew Crawley is even worse. [[spoiler: First, he insists that he will still marry Lavinia even though she has seen him kissing Mary and has realised that he doesn't really love her. Later, he stands to inherit a great deal of money from Lavinia's father, which is great news for the family as Lord Grantham badly needs a fortune to hang onto his estate - but Matthew is unwilling to accept it as he is certain that Mr Swire must have left it to him thinking that Matthew really loved Lavinia.]]
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': The Evil Queen has called Snow White
to a red star, parlay, meaning that Snow cannot bring weapons. Snow agrees, and insists that she has to abide by the rules. Grumpy and [[Literature/RedRidingHood Red]] both in no uncertain terms tell her that this is a bad idea, and Red even says that Snow is "too noble for [her] own good." (What isn't mentioned but is important is the fact that Snow isn't allowed to bring weapons, but the Queen has ''magic'', so she's bringing a weapon just by showing up.) This is how she [[spoiler: ends up eating the poisoned apple that puts her to sleep]].
** Later, When Snow finally subverts this and [[spoiler: preemptively kills Cora by turning her own magic against her before she and Regina could become the Dark ones and murder her entire family]], she spends the next episode moping about and ''even begs Regina to kill her'', and then it is revealed that the powers that be for that universe branded her with a black spot on her heart for the act.
*** Though this is more likely because of the [[BewareTheNiceOnes unnecessarily cruel way]] she goes about killing Cora.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': A former soldier and Afghan War veteran robs banks because he believes he has a debt of honor to repay and needs to support the family of a friend who died in Afghanistan after they switched seats during a mission.
** A much bigger example, with much worse results: one of the core values Harold instilled in the Machine was the protection of human life, the idea that humans should be safeguarded and not sacrificed for the greater good. The Machine discovers a highly-placed official poised to assist in the creation of an unfettered rival AI, with much darker motives. While the rational thing to do would be to send Root to kill him, the Machine sends his number to Harold and Reese instead. They eventually deduce what the Machine wants them to do: the Machine is essentially asking its creator for permission to kill the man. Harold refuses, and as a result, the rival AI comes online, and things start getting substantially worse for the heroes. At the end of season 3, they are forced to abandon their vigilante work and go into hiding under protected cover identities. At the end of season 4, [[spoiler:their cover identities are blown and the Machine itself is offline.]]
* When Captain Gregson in ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' realises [[spoiler: his ex-partner framed a serial killer]], he says that if the guy turns out to be innocent, he'll have no option but to report her. When she asks if he realises what that will do to ''his'' career, he says it'll end it, but that's not the point.
* Koragg in ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'' is this trope. About midway through the season, the bad guys manage to strip the Rangers' powers and win. Koragg helps the Rangers get their powers back, because he didn't like the way the victory was achieved. Nick even lampshades this.
-->"You want darkness to take over the world, but only if it does it nicely?"
* In ''Bangkok Hilton'', Hal asks Richard to take his daughter's case, in spite of his inexperience with criminal law and the damage it could do to his firm if a white lawyer defends a white client on a drug trafficking charge.
-->'''Richard''': I can't help but ask myself, Hal, where's the profit in this?
-->'''Hal''': She's innocent. To some men, proving that would be profit enough.
-->'''Richard''': Oh, to some men but not me, is that it? Well, that's where you're wrong, Hal, because I'll tell you what else I've been thinking. Above all, I'm a lawyer, and if I don't use the law now to defend an innocent person, then, it doesn't mean anything, does it? So I think we'd better do it. We'd better defend her and damn the consequences.
* Shows up in the Arthurian episde of ''Series/MythQuest'', naturally. Particularly, after things go horribly wrong, Alex opts to accept the beheading he promised to Eliavres a year earlier instead of touch the window and get back to the real world.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "The Colonel's Wife", the eponymous wife has involuntarily become a drug courier in order to protect her husband's anti-drug program in Panama from blackmail. When the facts are about to be revealed, she gets herself killed in order to save her husband's honor.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' may be one of the only times this is portrayed negatively. Walter White, the AntiHero, declines money from his very wealthy former friend to pay for his cancer treatment, opting instead to cook meth. He does this out of {{Pride}} as the money comes from the company that he co-founded but dropped out of at the wrong time. Rather than showing his inner good, it shows that from the beginning that he was a selfish and petty man who lets his Pride rule everything he does, deciding to turn down money that could help his family in the long-run because of it. [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain It also serves to foreshadow]] [[VillainProtagonist the kind of man he eventually becomes.]]
* In ''Series/PrincessReturningPearl'', pretty much all "good" characters emobdy this trope, however there is one scene where it shows itself most clearly. Xiao Yan Zi, Yong Qi, Er Kang and Zi Wei have just commited a major crime and the emperor Qian Long is throwing them in jail. The Empress Dowager and Ling Fei manages to pretty much convince Qian Long to let Yong Qi go free because he is the emperor's son. The idea that if he isn't imprisoned, he could help rescue his friends. But apparently holding the IdiotBall, Yong Qi declares that
he would refuse rather go to exploit them.]]jail with his friends than go free without them. You can see both Ling Fei and Er Kang mentally [[{{FacePalm}} facepalming]].
* Several of the ''Series/{{Friends}}'' cast display some shades of this trope. Monica would rather do everything she can to get people to like her and have her be the best hostess (or whatever she wants people to come over for) instead of accepting the fact that she doesn't have to be the best at everything. Joey refuses to accept Chandler's offer of loaning him money due to his pride. Ross refuses to admit he is wrong when he is actually wrong, which is one of the huge plot drives for the infamous break up between him and Rachel.
* This trope was the FatalFlaw of several ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' contestants:
** In the second season, Colby Donaldson had an easy win - his alliance pretty much controlled the entire game post merge, he was nigh untouchable for essentially the last half of the game, ''and'' had someone who wasn't very good at the game next to him he could take to the final two. Because he felt Tina deserved to be final two, he took her - which resulted in her winning. However, Colby was quite a good sport about it, and was ''quite'' glad that Tina won.
** In ''Cagayan'', Woo was in a similar spot to Colby - he had pretty much slipped through all of the major threats, and was in the position where he would cast the sole vote on who he would take to the final two. He had two options: He could vote out Tony, who had controlled the game, pulled his weight in challenges, found plenty of idols to keep further ensure his safety, and had the respect of almost everyone in the jury; or Kass, whose betrayal led to most of the jurors ''sitting'' there, had failed to perform well in challenges, had several enemies even amongst her new allies in the jury, and was taken along because she was easy to beat. Woo chose to take Tony because he was with him longer - suffice to say, [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade He chose poorly]]. This led to Spencer giving him a [[TheReasonYouSuck The Reason Kass sucks and you messed up speech]], a near unanimous vote for Tony, Woo being called one of the dumbest players to play the game, ''and'' get booed at the finale. When Probst asked who would have voted for Woo over Kass... almost everyone rose their hands. ''OUCH''.
** This also wound up hurting Coach several times - notably in ''South Pacific'', wherein he voted out three potential people he could have beaten (Edna, who the tribe irrationally disliked, Brandon, who was ''highly'' dislikable, and Rick, who was seen as not really playing the game.) and took Sophie with him further, which led to her winning over a 6-3 vote. Why did he take Sophie so far? Earlier on he made a final three deal with her and Albert - and he wanted to respect that.
* Gordon in ''Series/{{Gotham}}'' is adamant to solve the Wayne murders due to his promise to Bruce even if the case is officially closed and becoming more involved would put him and his loved ones in danger.
* Series/{{Vikings}}: After Ragnar's sword breaks, the Earl lets Ragnar smash their shields to bits and then tosses his own sword away so that they can pause to re-arm themselves with axes. This might be due to the duel's ritualistic nature.
** Despite the ferocity and numbers of the pagan Northmen, Emperor Charles is too proud to call his brothers for aid in defending Paris.



[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Zeta from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject'' is like this once he's grown a conscience and done a HeelFaceTurn against his creators. Ro notes that it would easier for him to escape the NSA's agents tailing him if he'd fight back, but his code of nonviolence is not negotiable for him. And on the odd occasions he ''will'' fight, he won't kill. Ever. The weird thing is that all of this actively goes against his programming and nature, unlike many of the examples on this page.
* AntiVillain Prince Zuko in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]'' begins the series believing he's a disgrace and only his father can restore his honour, with his rightful place, but his desperation and his tendency to put his quest for redemption above all else puts he and his crew at risk. He ends the series by wanting to restore honour of the entire Fire Nation. 'Kay.
--> '''[[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs Actor!Zuko]]''': Honourrrrr!\\
** Aang is unwilling to outright kill Firelord Ozai, despite everyone, including his past lives, telling him it's the only way. [[spoiler:Plot twist: [[TakeAThirdOption Lion turtle.]]]]
*** In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarDay the season two episode "Avatar Day"]], Aang insists on undergoing an unfair trial by the Avatar-hating Chin Village for something he did in a former life.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra publicly challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, alone; [[MagnificentBastard Amon]] does not have the same moral qualms. And yet...
** A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into [[SuperMode the Avatar State]] from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her EnemyWithin rears up and [[DiabolusExMachina forces her back to normal.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' insists on defending others from evil, even when it means passing up a chance to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the past]] and undo the original ''cause'' of the evil.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Gathering", Goliath decides to have himself and his clan help their enemy, David Xanatos, stop the godlike Oberon from abducting his child on pure principle, considering they owe the billionaire absolutely nothing. Although it's obviously a difficult and dangerous task, Goliath is instrumental to making Oberon compromise to allow the child to stay. As a result, Xanatos then feels he owes the clan big time, which leads him to inviting them back to the castle to live safely after they are exposed to the public.
** Likewise Owen's participation in that battle, since he knew [[spoiler:Oberon would not be happy he was missing the Gathering]].
** During his first appearance Macbeth is trying to capture the gargoyles, but he chooses to calmly wait until sundown to fight them rather than just moving their statues in the middle of the day. In a later episode he refuses to let Demona smash them, again citing it as dishonorable.
* Optimus Prime in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' always was an honorable fighter. Particularly in the episode "Heavy Metal War", when Megatron challenged Prime to single combat. Megatron, of course, cheated by transferring all of the special abilities of the Deceptions to himself. Even though Megatron was ''clearly'' doing things he could not possibly do (teleport, fire null rays, etc.) Prime accepted defeat. At least, until Teletraan-1 pointed out what a cheating bastard Megatron was.
** Many of the older comics and some of the new ones use this to mark the difference between Optimus Prime and other Autobot leaders such as Grimlock, who's not as honor bound, more ruthless and willing to do whatever is necessary for a victory. Yet that same honor, similar to Captain Carrot (see Literature, above) is what allows Prime to make things work that others simply wouldn't. Through patience, a few [[PatrickStewartSpeech Peter Cullen Speeches]], and honorable behavior throughout, Prime manages to convince a Decepticon commander that his surrender to the Earthbound Deceptions is ''not'' a sign that the "great Optimus Prime" actually is and always was a coward or a weakling, but rather that he genuinely believes that only by uniting can they stop a greater threat.
* {{ZigZagged}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}''. Enzo has returned home to Mainframe, all grown up, big, strong and gunning for Megabyte, both literally and figuratively. When confronted by Enzo's gun, Megabyte taunts him into fighting like a "real sprite". Enzo puts away his gun...but then proceeds to send Megabyte flying with a punch hard enough to dent his chest, ''before'' Megabyte has a chance to prepare. And he then proceeds to do it ''again'' while Megabyte is still recovering from the first attack. When Megabyte inevitably cheats, he takes him on with a spear, then at the end of the fight, spares Megabyte... despite Megabyte enslaving the population of Mainframe, torturing his friends, and killing countless binomes.
* Alissa from ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall'' was more so worried about helping the survivors (whom might already be infected) then quarantining the ship. Her captain might have been nuts but he actually made SOME sense. Could also be a case of Compassion Before Reason.
** You have to be dead in order to be infected, but still there was at most ''20 people out of 2000'' left alive and going crazy.
*** You don't have to be dead for the marker to drive you batshit insane though.
* Played straight and then subverted during an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' animated series. Tony Stark agrees to get an artifact from a booby-trapped tomb if Madame Masque will release his kidnapped workers. She releases Julia Carpenter (Spiderwoman) who will send the Iron Man armor but keeps the other workers captive. Julia says that she will send down the armor "and a lot more", but Tony stops her because he has given his word. The trope is subverted almost immediately afterward. Once, Iron Man has entered the tomb, Julia convinces Jim Rhodes (War Machine) to attack Madame Masque and her minions anyway, arguing that the only chance the hostages have is if they attack their captors off guard.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' are made of this trope; so much so that they come across as arrogant when they refuse to let the title characters join them on a potential suicide mission. This trope is also subverted in that the Teen Titans end up undoing all the {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s the Doom Patrol made offscreen.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' actually pulls a FaceHeelTurn ''because of this trope.'' Omi lost his good side temporarily becoming evil. The main villain of the season then had Omi pledge loyalty to him. After he returned to normal, Omi decided to stay with the villain SOLELY to keep a promise he made when he wasn't in his right mind.
** Another is when Omi doesn't look up the secret to destroying all evil.... because he promised not to. And actually it's worse than that, because he DOES break the promise and looks it up... but now to feebly try to keep the now BROKEN promise he refuses to USE the secret. Sure, things work out in the better in the end, but it's still horrific use of this trope since as far as Omi was concerned, he was playing it painfully straight. [[spoiler: Though it turns out the secret was really the secret to destroy all good. Chase gives up that little tidbit. Omi then uses Chase's own words against him.]]
* Subverted in a strange way in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode. Mojo has Blossom in a bind by having the Professor and her two sisters hostage. He demands Blossom's fealty and tries to use her honesty against her.
-->'''Blossom:''' What do you want?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' First, you will bow down before me! Next, you will pledge your allegiance and devotion to serve me!\\
'''Blossom:''' How do you know I won't lie?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' Because you're Blossom.\\
'''Blossom:''' Shoot!
** Another example would be from the episode where she first gets her "ice breath" power. After inadvertently causing the escape of a trio of robbers, she promises never to use her ice powers again. She has the timing to make this promise as a giant meteor is headed straight for Townsville. She's the only one that can stop it, yet she's insistent on maintaining her promise despite the fact that the promise won't ''matter if she doesn't do something''. Buttercup manages to snap her out of it, though.
** When faced with elderly criminals, Buttercup and Bubbles prepare to foil their crime when Blossom stops them. She points out while they could stop them, they have to respect the elderly. She decides to instead [[OldSuperhero recruit the heroes who fought the villains the last time]]. The end result has everyone being rushed into intensive care with everyone recognizing Blossom's error.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa turning down a fortune after finding out what Mr Burns had turned the recycling company he and Lisa had started into. What she could've done with twelve million.
--> '''Homer, in a hospital bed after 4 simultaneous heart attacks:''' It's okay, sweetie. But we really could've used that 12,000 dollars.\\
'''Lisa''': Actually dad, 10% of 120 million dollars ''isn't'' 12,000, it's...\\
''*Smash cut to hospital corridor*''\\
'''PA:''' Code Blue! Code Blue!
** The worst part about this particular scenario is that since Lisa didn't take the money, Mr. Burns gets the money, and he probably wouldn't do anything good with it.
** This trope often applies to Lisa. Typically, someone will try and convince her to lie, cheat, or at least conceal the truth, because it's to everyone's advantage. In fact, the story will often go out of its way to assure us that everyone is better off with the lie. This usually leads to Lisa having a moral crisis before she decides to tell the truth after all (usually in an overly dramatic fashion). But of course, there's always another twist at this point.
** In one episode, the town was GenreSavvy enough to trick Lisa. She had cheated in a test (no, really) and her ill-gotten A got the school in a position to be granted government funds. When Comptroller Atkins showed up at a public conference to deliver the check, Lisa confessed and Comptroller Atkins decided to let them keep the money anyway. After WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons left, it's revealed to the viewers that, knowing Lisa would have confessed, the entire town had an imposter disguised as Comptroller Atkins to lure Lisa away and, when the real Comptroller Atkins showed up, they used a false Lisa to trick him.
** Though in a surprisingly rare case it's averted in "Lisa the Iconoclast", where she ultimately decides not to ruin the town's image of their founder Jedediah Springfield by revealing that he was actually a ruthless pirate.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' had this during the Justice Lords arc. It's pointed out that the Lords are every bit as smart, strong, fast, and skilled as the League, except that they're willing to KILL. Superman insists that he won't cross that line, to which Batman replies they'll have to cross SOME kind of line. So they end up getting [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Lex Luthor's]] help.
** WonderWoman is banished by her mother from [[LadyLand Themyscira]] for bringing men to the island and breaking the law. If she hadn't worked with the HostageForMcGuffin scenario, the Amazons would [[TakenForGranite remain in stone]]. If she hadn't received help from her teammates, Hades could have taken over. TheFlash points out this is ridiculous since she risked her life to save everyone. When the Gods have her return in "The Balance", she says she should leave after completing the task. Hippolyta asks her to stay and when she points out her exile, her mother explains that the Gods will have to deal with her if they have a problem with that. One wonders why she didn't say this the first time other than to have a BittersweetEnding.
** Because she was too stubborn. In the first episode, she even told Diana they shouldn't be concern about the alien invasion. Or it could be that the 'no men' law was laid down by the Greek gods, and they don't ''like'' being disobeyed.
* WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic: Applejack.
** Particularly in the episode "Applebuck Season", where she promises to do a few too many things while ''also'' harvesting her family's entire apple orchard by herself. It takes most of the episode, severe sleep deprivation and overwork, and accidentally causing several disasters to finally convince her that maybe she should admit she's overextended herself and ask for some help.
** She does it again in "The Last Roundup," where her failure to win a contest whose prize she had promised to donate to Ponyville led her to ''run away from home and go out West'' intending to work off the debt. She was too ashamed to face her friends and family, despite the fact that nobody ''else'' actually blamed her for losing the contest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[DarkActionGirl Shego's]] brother [[GoodisDumb Hego]] is this in the ep where it's revealed she used to be a hero. For example: His letting the enemy strike first and revealing their presence became too much for his sister, and became one of the many reasons, if not '''THE''' reason for her FaceHeelTurn.
--> '''Shego''': (Annoyed) Why do you think I left?!
* Brick from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' believed highly in his code as a cadet. So strong was his honor, that he sacrificed winning a challenge for his team to save the lives of Mike, Zoey, and Cameron, who were on the ''other'' team. [[spoiler: This resulted in his elimination, but those he saved saluted him good-bye.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian Goes Back To College", Brian goes on a guilt trip after Stewie convinces him to cheat on a test and pass. After some internal conflict, Brian decides not to cheat on his final exam and he fails, but at least he feels good for being honest. The Griffins all say he should have cheated.
-->'''Chris:''' I HATE YOU!!!
* In ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated: Sword of Storms'', a Japanese daimyo kills his own daughter, rather than breaking a promise. A promise he made to demons.
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' episode "The Slaves of Castle Plundarr", the mutants enslave humanoids resembling cattle. Lion-O, being Lion-O, wants to free them, and he and the elder [=ThunderCats=] do so. The mutants use "warp gas", an anger and aggression-inducing substance, to turn the freed slaves against their rescuers. Lion-O refuses to retreat, saying the Lord of the [=ThunderCats=] ''can't'' run. Cheetara tells him "pride carried too far is ''foolishness''."
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' occasionally falls into this. He nearly has a nervous breakdown in "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" trying to make everyone happy because he made a vow to always help someone in trouble, and in "Videomakers" he insists on [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil obeying the FBI warnings]] on all their pre-Mushroom War video tapes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''Into the Wild Green Yonder'', the last Encycolopod tries (albeit reluctantly) to preserve the genetic material of the recently deceased last Dark One. The Encyclopod preserves extinct species by carrying recreations of them on its back using genetic material. The Dark Ones have been trying to exterminate the Encyclopods ever since the two species existed. [[spoiler:If the Dark One's remains hadn't been completely destroyed before the Encyclopod could reach them]], the Encyclopod's honor would have forced it to carry its own mortal enemy on its back.
* In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Phineas and Ferb]]'s Quantum Boogaloo", when Doofenshmirtz took over the Tri-State Area in the BadFuture, he got everyone (including the O.W.C.A.) to swear obedience to him. All he had to do to stop whatever plans they had to dethrone him was reminding them of the oath.
* The 2013 ''ScoobyDoo'' video feature "WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooStageFright" has [[spoiler: Fred and Daphne winning the top prize on a show called "Talent Star" via popular vote. However, they deliberately throw the contest so Emma Gale, a sweet little girl who was a contestant on the show, could win the prize and save her family's farm.]]
* ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' has gained a heavy case of this in later seasons. While usually hard working and loyal, he will very quickly disobey an order or ignore duties if he believes someone else is remotely unhappy or needs help. He is usually reprimanded for this, though the Fat Controller occasionally lets it slide if it truly is for the better rather than just causing confusion and delay. Other engines occasionally have bouts of this too.
* In the third season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', the Shredder decides that the perfect time to take revenge on Splinter is [[spoiler:seconds before [[{{ItMakesSenseInContext}} an army of extradimensional Tricertops]] [[{{EarthShatteringKaboom}} destroy the Earth]] in order to prevent the Kraang from using it as a foothold in the show's main universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' runs on this trope, with a typical episode revolving around its IdealHero's [[ChronicHeroSyndrome inability to stop doing minor good deeds for random passerby despite the fact that he and his friend are being hunted down by the villain's henchman]], or his need to venture on an increasingly complicated and dangerous quest in the hope of ''personally'' returning a lost sock to its owner rather than risk leaving it in the lost and found.

to:

[[folder:Western Animation]]
[[folder:Mythology And Religion]]
* Zeta from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject'' is like this once he's grown a conscience As arguably Priam should have given Paris and done a HeelFaceTurn against his creators. Ro notes that it would easier Helen (who after all endangered their people for him their personal pleasure) to escape the NSA's agents tailing him if he'd fight back, but his code of nonviolence is not negotiable for him. And on the odd occasions he ''will'' fight, he won't kill. Ever. The weird thing is that all of this actively goes against his programming and nature, unlike many of the examples on this page.
* AntiVillain Prince Zuko in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]'' begins the series believing he's a disgrace and only his father can restore his honour,
Greeks with his rightful place, thanks, thus saving a whole lot of trouble, one could say that ''Literature/TheIliad'' is an example of this.
* Where KingArthur chooses not to change the law about burning adulterous wives after Guinevere's affair with Lancelot is revealed. He is not (particularly) jealous of them. He loves Guinevere, he loves Lancelot, he is the king and the law is barbarous,
but his desperation and his tendency to put his quest no, he will not change it, he will keep it for redemption above all else puts he and his crew at risk. He ends the series by wanting to restore honour of the entire Fire Nation. 'Kay.
--> '''[[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs Actor!Zuko]]''': Honourrrrr!\\
** Aang is unwilling to outright kill Firelord Ozai, despite everyone, including his past lives, telling him it's the only way. [[spoiler:Plot twist: [[TakeAThirdOption Lion turtle.]]]]
*** In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarDay the season two episode "Avatar Day"]], Aang insists on undergoing an unfair trial by the Avatar-hating Chin Village for something he did in a former life.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra publicly challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, alone; [[MagnificentBastard Amon]] does not have the same moral qualms. And yet...
** A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into [[SuperMode the Avatar State]] from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her EnemyWithin rears up and [[DiabolusExMachina forces her back to normal.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' insists on defending others from evil, even when it means passing up a chance to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the past]] and undo the original ''cause'' of the evil.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Gathering", Goliath decides to have himself and his clan help their enemy, David Xanatos, stop the godlike Oberon from abducting his child on pure principle, considering they owe the billionaire absolutely nothing. Although it's obviously a difficult and dangerous task, Goliath is instrumental to making Oberon compromise to allow the child to stay. As a result, Xanatos then feels he owes the clan big time,
some vague noble reason which leads him to inviting them back to the castle to live safely after they are exposed to the public.
** Likewise Owen's participation in that battle, since he knew [[spoiler:Oberon would not be happy he was missing the Gathering]].
is never sufficiently explained.
** During his first appearance Macbeth In all the KingArthur stories, Arthur is just LawfulStupid. Now there is a good reason why he doesn't just ignore the law, because he is trying to capture the gargoyles, but get this new concept of "Rule of Law" to be adopted. But HonorBeforeReason is at work here, as he chooses to calmly wait until sundown to fight them rather than could just moving their statues in pardon Guinevere and Lancelot, as he is the middle of king. And should he actually use some compassion, he could then get the day. In a later episode he refuses to let Demona smash them, again citing it as dishonorable.law amended so future cases of adultery don't involve the death penalty.
* Optimus Prime in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' always was an honorable fighter. Particularly ** The death penalty isn't for adultery - it's for ''treason'', which both Lancelot and Guinevere have committed by betraying the King's trust. Whatever his personal feelings, he can't afford to change the law, for fear of giving other, more serious traitors a loophole.
** It's also [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation been theorised]] that Arthur actually thought this through, and arranged for Guinevere's public execution ''on the assumption'' that Lancelot would rescue her - resulting
in the episode "Heavy Metal War", when Megatron challenged Prime to single combat. Megatron, two of course, cheated by transferring all them alive, together and out of his jurisdiction. It almost worked, as well.
** All
of the special abilities above are modern interpretations of Arthur's behavior. In the Deceptions to himself. Even though Megatron was ''clearly'' doing things old Romances he could not possibly do (teleport, fire null rays, etc.) Prime accepted defeat. At least, until Teletraan-1 pointed out what a cheating bastard Megatron was.
** Many of the older comics
is seriously pissed and some of the new ones use this to mark the difference between Optimus Prime and other Autobot leaders such as Grimlock, who's not as honor bound, more ruthless and willing to do whatever is necessary for a victory. Yet that same honor, similar to Captain Carrot (see Literature, above) is what allows Prime to make things work that others simply wouldn't. Through patience, a few [[PatrickStewartSpeech Peter Cullen Speeches]], and honorable behavior throughout, Prime manages to convince a Decepticon commander than happy that his surrender to wife and her lover should die. One can scarcely blame him. Not only have they humiliated him before the Earthbound Deceptions is ''not'' a sign entire kingdom but he has consistently defended them from accusations that are now proved true.
* The Æsir not killing Fenrisulfr and Jörmungandr when they were small. Then again,
the "great Optimus Prime" Norse did love their inevitable doom as thematic material...
** In a strange way, also what they
actually is and always was DID do to them. Just because a coward or a weakling, but rather that he genuinely believes that only by uniting can prophecy said so, they stop a greater threat.
* {{ZigZagged}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}''. Enzo has returned home to Mainframe, all grown up, big, strong
kidnapped and gunning for Megabyte, both literally and figuratively. When confronted by Enzo's gun, Megabyte taunts him into fighting like a "real sprite". Enzo puts away his gun...imprisoned some weird but then proceeds currently harmless magical animals, causing them to send Megabyte flying with actually have a punch hard enough reason to dent his chest, ''before'' Megabyte has a chance want to prepare. And he then proceeds to do it ''again'' while Megabyte is still recovering from kill the first attack. When Megabyte gods when they inevitably cheats, he takes him on escaped.
** Weird variant
with Loki, not particularly known for his sense of honor, who in two different myths is caught and coerced by a spear, then at giant (Thiazi in one, Geirrod in the end of the fight, spares Megabyte... despite Megabyte enslaving the population of Mainframe, torturing his friends, other) into promising to lure someone into a trap (Idunn and killing countless binomes.
* Alissa from ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall'' was more so worried about helping the survivors (whom might already be infected) then quarantining the ship. Her captain might have been nuts but
Thor, respectively). Afterward he actually made SOME sense. Could also be a case of Compassion Before Reason.
** You have to be dead in order to be infected, but still there was at most ''20 people
goes ahead with it even when he's out of 2000'' left alive actual danger and going crazy.
*** You don't have to be dead for the marker to drive you batshit insane though.
* Played straight and then subverted during an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' animated series. Tony Stark agrees
it's sure to get an artifact from a booby-trapped tomb if Madame Masque will release his kidnapped workers. She releases Julia Carpenter (Spiderwoman) who will send the Iron Man armor but keeps the other workers captive. Julia says Æsir angry with him. Blog/MythsRetold speculated that she will send down Geirrod had compromising pictures.
* This is pretty much
the armor "and a lot more", but Tony stops her because he has given his word. The trope is subverted almost immediately afterward. Once, Iron Man has entered the tomb, Julia convinces Jim Rhodes (War Machine) best way to attack Madame Masque and her minions anyway, arguing defeat a {{kappa}} (a Japanese water imp that resembles a monkey with webbed hands and feet): the only chance the hostages have is if they attack their captors off guard.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' are made of this trope; so much so that they come across as arrogant when they refuse to let the title characters join them on a potential suicide mission. This trope is also subverted in that the Teen Titans end up undoing all the {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s the Doom Patrol made offscreen.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' actually pulls a FaceHeelTurn ''because of this trope.'' Omi lost his good side temporarily becoming evil. The main villain
source of the season then had Omi pledge loyalty kappa's strength is the water-filled depression on its head. Bowing to him. After he returned a kappa will make him bow back, and cause the water to normal, Omi decided to stay run out, rendering him helpless.
** A lot of Japanese monsters are like this. There's a particular woman ghost
with the villain SOLELY a slit face who will approach you and ask you if she is pretty. Answering honestly will make her kill you out of anger. Lying about it will also make her kill you. However, one way to escape is by saying that you are terribly sorry, but you have an appointment that you must keep a promise he made when he wasn't in his right mind.
** Another is when Omi doesn't look up the secret to destroying all evil.... because he promised
and do not to. And actually it's worse than that, because he DOES break the promise have time to talk. [[JapanesePoliteness She will apologize for holding you up and looks it up... but now to feebly try to keep the now BROKEN promise he refuses to USE the secret. Sure, things work out in the better in the end, but it's still horrific use of this trope since as far as Omi was concerned, he was playing it painfully straight. [[spoiler: Though it turns out the secret was really the secret to destroy all good. Chase gives up that little tidbit. Omi then uses Chase's own words against him.let you go.]]
* Subverted More folklore than mythology, but supposedly Dick Turpin took advantage of this in a strange way his victims by forcing them to swear not to turn him in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode. Mojo has Blossom in a bind by having the Professor and her two sisters hostage. He demands Blossom's fealty and tries to use her honesty or testify against her.
-->'''Blossom:''' What do you want?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' First, you will bow down before me! Next, you will pledge your allegiance and devotion to serve me!\\
'''Blossom:''' How do you know I won't lie?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' Because you're Blossom.\\
'''Blossom:''' Shoot!
** Another example would be from the episode where she first gets her "ice breath" power. After inadvertently causing the escape of a trio of robbers, she promises never to use her ice powers again. She has the timing to make this promise as a giant meteor is headed straight for Townsville. She's the only one that can stop it, yet she's insistent on maintaining her promise despite the fact that the promise won't ''matter if she doesn't do something''. Buttercup manages to snap her out of it, though.
** When faced with elderly criminals, Buttercup and Bubbles prepare to foil their crime when Blossom stops them. She points out while
him, which they could stop them, they have to respect the elderly. She decides to instead [[OldSuperhero recruit the heroes who fought the villains the last time]]. The end result has everyone being rushed into intensive care with everyone recognizing Blossom's error.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa turning down a fortune after finding out what Mr Burns had turned the recycling company he and Lisa had started into. What she could've done with twelve million.
--> '''Homer, in a hospital bed after 4 simultaneous heart attacks:''' It's okay, sweetie. But we really could've used that 12,000 dollars.\\
'''Lisa''': Actually dad, 10% of 120 million dollars ''isn't'' 12,000, it's...\\
''*Smash cut to hospital corridor*''\\
'''PA:''' Code Blue! Code Blue!
** The worst part about this particular scenario is that since Lisa didn't take the money, Mr. Burns gets the money, and he probably wouldn't do anything good with it.
** This trope often applies to Lisa. Typically, someone will try and convince her to lie, cheat, or at least conceal the truth, because it's to everyone's advantage. In fact, the story will often go out of its way to assure us that everyone is better off with the lie. This usually leads to Lisa having a moral crisis before she decides to tell the truth after all (usually in an overly dramatic fashion). But of course, there's always another twist at this point.
** In one episode, the town was GenreSavvy enough to trick Lisa. She had cheated in a test (no, really) and her ill-gotten A got the school in a position to be granted government funds. When Comptroller Atkins showed up at a public conference to deliver the check, Lisa confessed and Comptroller Atkins decided to let them keep the money anyway. After WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons left, it's revealed to the viewers that, knowing Lisa would have confessed, the entire town had an imposter disguised as Comptroller Atkins to lure Lisa away and, when the real Comptroller Atkins showed up, they used a false Lisa to trick him.
** Though in a surprisingly rare case it's averted in "Lisa the Iconoclast", where she ultimately decides not to ruin the town's image of their founder Jedediah Springfield by revealing that he was
actually a ruthless pirate.
stood by.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' had this during This is basically how TheDevil ends up defeated by mere mortals in many tales, especially in American folklore; he's the Justice Lords arc. It's source of all evil, a conniving trickster and lies easier than he breathes, but if he makes a deal then he will follow it [[LawfulEvil to the letter]], even if he has the metaphysical power to just yank your soul out on principle and laugh all the way back to hell. So long as the deal (or resultant challenge of it) is [[LiteralGenie not worded too ambiguously]], anyway.
** Case in point: A poor man with lots and lots of debts with no way to repay made a DealWithTheDevil, in that, the Devil would collect the man's soul once the Devil pays off all of the man's debts. The sorcerer Francis Bacon then
pointed out that that, according to the Lords are every bit as smart, strong, fast, and skilled contract, the Devil could only collect the man's soul once '''all of the man's debts were paid'''. [[PuffOfLogic And so long as the League, except that they're willing to KILL. Superman insists that he won't cross that line, to which Batman replies they'll have to cross SOME kind of line. So they end up getting [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Lex Luthor's]] help.
** WonderWoman is banished by her mother from [[LadyLand Themyscira]] for bringing men
man remained in debt to the island and breaking Devil, the law. If she hadn't worked with the HostageForMcGuffin scenario, the Amazons would [[TakenForGranite remain in stone]]. If she hadn't received help from her teammates, Hades Devil could have taken over. TheFlash points out this is ridiculous since she risked her life to save everyone. When the Gods have her return in "The Balance", she says she should leave after completing the task. Hippolyta asks her to stay and when she points out her exile, her mother explains that the Gods will have to deal with her if they have a problem with that. One wonders why she didn't say this the first time other than to have a BittersweetEnding.
** Because she was too stubborn. In the first episode, she even told Diana they shouldn't be concern about the alien invasion. Or it could be that the 'no men' law was laid down by the Greek gods, and they don't ''like'' being disobeyed.
* WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic: Applejack.
** Particularly in the episode "Applebuck Season", where she promises to do a few too many things while ''also'' harvesting her family's entire apple orchard by herself. It takes most of the episode, severe sleep deprivation and overwork, and accidentally causing several disasters to finally convince her that maybe she should admit she's overextended herself and ask for some help.
** She does it again in "The Last Roundup," where her failure to win a contest whose prize she had promised to donate to Ponyville led her to ''run away from home and go out West'' intending to work off the debt. She was too ashamed to face her friends and family, despite the fact that nobody ''else'' actually blamed her for losing the contest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[DarkActionGirl Shego's]] brother [[GoodisDumb Hego]] is this in the ep where it's revealed she used to be a hero. For example: His letting the enemy strike first and revealing their presence became too much for
never take his sister, and became one of the many reasons, if not '''THE''' reason for her FaceHeelTurn.
--> '''Shego''': (Annoyed) Why do you think I left?!
* Brick from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' believed highly in his code as a cadet. So strong was his honor, that he sacrificed winning a challenge for his team to save the lives of Mike, Zoey, and Cameron, who were on the ''other'' team. [[spoiler: This resulted in his elimination, but those he saved saluted him good-bye.
soul.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian Goes Back To College", Brian goes on a guilt trip after Stewie convinces him to cheat on a test and pass. After some internal conflict, Brian decides not to cheat on his final exam and he fails, but at least he feels good for being honest. The Griffins all say he should have cheated.
-->'''Chris:''' I HATE YOU!!!
* In ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated: Sword of Storms'', a Japanese daimyo kills his own daughter, rather than breaking a promise. A promise he made to demons.
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' episode "The Slaves of Castle Plundarr", the mutants enslave humanoids resembling cattle. Lion-O, being Lion-O, wants to free them, and he and the elder [=ThunderCats=] do so. The mutants use "warp gas", an anger and aggression-inducing substance, to turn the freed slaves against their rescuers. Lion-O refuses to retreat, saying the Lord of the [=ThunderCats=] ''can't'' run. Cheetara tells him "pride carried too far is ''foolishness''."
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' occasionally falls into this. He nearly has a nervous breakdown in "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" trying to make everyone happy because he made a vow to always help someone in trouble, and in "Videomakers" he insists on [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil obeying the FBI warnings]] on all their pre-Mushroom War video tapes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''Into the Wild Green Yonder'', the last Encycolopod tries (albeit reluctantly) to preserve the genetic material of the recently deceased last Dark One. The Encyclopod preserves extinct species by carrying recreations of them on its back using genetic material. The Dark Ones have been trying to exterminate the Encyclopods ever since the two species existed. [[spoiler:If the Dark One's remains hadn't been completely destroyed before the Encyclopod could reach them]], the Encyclopod's honor would have forced it to carry its own mortal enemy on its back.
* In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Phineas and Ferb]]'s Quantum Boogaloo", when Doofenshmirtz took over the Tri-State Area in the BadFuture, he got everyone (including the O.W.C.A.) to swear obedience to him. All he had to do to stop whatever plans they had to dethrone him was reminding them of the oath.
* The 2013 ''ScoobyDoo'' video feature "WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooStageFright" has [[spoiler: Fred and Daphne winning the top prize on a show called "Talent Star" via popular vote. However, they deliberately throw the contest so Emma Gale, a sweet little girl who
*** There was a contestant on similar story about when the show, could win the prize and save her family's farm.]]
* ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' has gained a heavy case of this in later seasons. While usually hard working and loyal, he will very quickly disobey an order or ignore duties if he believes someone else is remotely unhappy or needs help. He is usually reprimanded for this, though the Fat Controller occasionally lets it slide if it truly is for the better rather than just causing confusion and delay. Other engines occasionally have bouts of this too.
* In the third season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', the Shredder decides that the perfect time
Devil came to take revenge on Splinter is [[spoiler:seconds before [[{{ItMakesSenseInContext}} an army of extradimensional Tricertops]] [[{{EarthShatteringKaboom}} destroy the Earth]] in order to prevent man's soul, he showed the Kraang from using it as a foothold in the show's main universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' runs on this trope, with a typical episode revolving around its IdealHero's [[ChronicHeroSyndrome inability to stop doing minor good deeds for random passerby despite the fact
Devil his Certificate of Baptism, showing that he and his friend are being hunted down by there was a previous lien on the villain's henchman]], or his need to venture on an increasingly complicated and dangerous quest in property, which takes precedence. As soon as the hope of ''personally'' returning a lost sock man's debt to its owner rather than risk leaving it in God was paid off, the lost and found.Devil can take the rest.



[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.

to:

[[folder:Fan Works]]
[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself
Earlier in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him
professional medical attention even wrestling, one of the markings of a face was that, win or lose, they'd wrestle fair while the heels would do whatever they had to in order to win. Career babyfaces such as Wrestling/RickySteamboat and Wrestling/TitoSantana were famous for this. Eventually, as wrestling got DarkerAndEdgier, wrestlers like Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin, Wrestling/RicFlair, and Wrestling/EddieGuerrero would be massive faces for the fans despite cheating often.
* This trope was teased with at ''ECW: One Night Stand 2006'' as Wrestling/RobVanDam fought Wrestling/JohnCena for the [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwe-h.html WWE World Heavyweight Championship ]]in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Towards the end of the match, Cena was attacked by Wrestling/{{Edge}} (very much to the approval of the rapidly pro-ECW/anti-Cena crowd who shouted "Thank You, Edge!" as he departed) while Rob was out. When Rob came to, he recognized what happened and looked as if, for a moment, that he wasn't going to take advantage of the situation. The announce team (Wrestling/{{Tazz}} and the legendary Wrestling/JoeyStyles) yelled for him to capitalize on the opportunity and to not let his pride get the better of him. RVD then decided to shirk his pride and frog splashed Cena to win the title.
** This ended up being RVD's downfall later on in the storyline: during RVD's run as [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ecw/ecw-h.html WWE ECW Heavyweight Champion]], [[{{Kayfabe}} General Manager]] Wrestling/PaulHeyman was handling him with kid gloves and protecting him from challengers. Recent ECW draftee Wrestling/TheBigShow decided he wanted a shot
at the title; Heyman was against it, but RVD demanded the match. Heyman ended up betraying RVD and cost him the match, the championship, and his job (in reality he was suspended for a [=DWI=] incident).
* A face will continue to fight despite overwhelming odds or injuries causing the announcer to say "[[FearlessFool he has more guts than brains]]."
* One type
of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian
match is the Steel Cage match, where the objective is usually to climb over the top of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use cage and escape before your opponents do. Chances are high that, at least once during the MBI cards match, one wrestler will climb to the top only to sacrifice what ''could'' be a sure win for the sake of executing a [[DeathFromAbove high-flying move on the combatants still below.]] Bonus points if doing this move has put the wrestler in such a state that he's no longer in any condition to try climbing the cage again.
** The same in Ladder Matches.
* The main event of WWE Money in the Bank 2011 had Wrestling/JohnCena apply his "STF" hold on a tired Wrestling/CMPunk when Wrestling/VinceMcMahon and his cohort appeared,
with no spending limit Vince instructing his cohort to have the timekeeper ring the bell (recreating the Wrestling/MontrealScrewjob with Vince's minion in Vince's place from the original incident) -- however, Cena actually broke the hold, exited the ring, and promptly slugged the henchman, knocking him down and out and staring at Vince to make it clear, "no, not that way"... only for Cena to catch a "GTS" (Punk's own signature move) ''and'' be pinned for his troubles.
** Speaking of Money in the Bank, the actual Money in the Bank gimmick has become almost a character study in this trope. The winner of a Money in the Bank match has an open contract for a title shot that they can invoke at any time before the next year. Honorable grapplers will announce ahead of time when they are going to cash it in. Rob Van Dam announced he would use it to face John Cena at ''One Night Stand'', and Cena himself did it to Wrestling/CMPunk a week in advance before ''RAW 1000''. [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] announced that he'd be using it to challenge for the title at ''Wrestling/{{WrestleMania}}'' (though he would later subvert this trope later by cashing it in on Wrestling/TheBigShow). Dishonorable ones will run in right after the champion has taken a vicious beating, allowing them an almost assured victory.
*** Of the honorable wrestlers who cash in with fair warning, Cena's cash-in plays this trope the straightest. CMPunk had just taken a beating from Big Show, and Show was telling Cena to cash in on Punk right there and win the title. Instead, Cena chose to cash in next week at ''RAW 1000'', giving Punk time to recover. Cena would go on to win the match... [[OhCrap via disqualification.]] Thereby, he became the first person to cash in Money in the Bank and not win a title.
*** Punk himself has cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase - twice in fact, and is the second person to do so. It's how he won his first two world titles. Both were "dishonorable," however the first time it was Wrestling/{{Edge}}, who was a heel and had just screwed Wrestling/{{Batista}} out of the title the night before, so nobody really cared. The second time it was Wrestling/JeffHardy, and that's when it was seen as dishonorable,
because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let Jeff was an uber-popular face at the girls do any chores or get jobs time.
* Wrestling/BigBossman's 1990 face turn happened with a bout of this: he refused
to help out return stolen property (the Million-Dollar Championship belt) to its rightful owner (Wrestling/TedDiBiase) because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women money changed hands between [=DiBiase=] and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.Slick to have Slick direct Bossman to recover the belt from the thief, Wrestling/JakeRoberts. He declared that he couldn't be bought and gave the belt back to Roberts.


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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Clans from ''TabletopGame/{{Battletech}}'' suffer from this when they invade the Inner Sphere. One of the biggest reasons for their failure is that the Inner Sphere refuses to fight to the Clans' rules, and actually takes advantage of the Clans' adherence to their code. Example: Clans traditionally begin battles with a challenge that states how many troops they are committing to the assault, and asks the enemy what they're preparing to defend with (this actually makes sense for inter-Clan warfare; they're short on resources, so they want to keep battles small so as to minimize casualties and collateral damage). The Inner Sphere, of course, would lie. Later averted by most Clanners, who simply come to the conclusion that anyone who doesn't want to fight by the rules shouldn't be protected by them.
** Another reason for their failure lays in the fact that they must quantify their honor. For the Clans honor is not an abstract concept; they were created by a ProudWarriorRaceGuy. When preparing for combat they will enter into bidding rounds and the lowest bidder will have the honor of proving that they bid exactly the right amount of troops needed to win the battle. Clans defy reason when their commanders will willingly bid lower than the minimum number of troops needed to win the combat, and that according to Clan estimates!
** Prior to the introduction of the Clans, this was the hat of the Draconis Combine, which as a faction embrace a romanticized version of samurai honor. Probably the best example of it is this: if someone ordered a retreat, even if his unit was being overwhelmed by enemy forces and was in danger of being completely wiped out, he was expected to commit sepuku. Prior to the Clan invasion, the Draconis Combine's military took a very dim view of retreating from a fight regardless of the situation and placed a high expectation that you would try to fight individual duels with enemies instead of using group tactics. After the Clans invaded, the Combine was forced into adopting more [[CombatPragmatist pragmatic]] means of fighting since their traditional methods proved to be far less effective against the Clans' superior technology.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': Space Marines generally eschew camouflage in favor of wearing distinctively-colored armor, and often have troops whose primary purpose is to bear banners conferring only psychological advantages.
** This is more an aesthetic choice: Space Marines are in part analogues to knightly orders and warrior brotherhoods of old, and they're awesome enough warriors that camouflage isn't really a big deal. A better example would be times where a squad, company, or even entire Chapter of Space Marines go up against overwhelming odds to recover some sacred relic of their Chapter, which may very well be nothing more than a tattered old banner.
** While it is an aesthetic choice, it is noted that the Ultramarines, whose codex tends to be the rules Space Marines go by, consider stealth and indirect warfare cowardly, which contributed badly to the Horus Heresy when their Primarch [[LawfulStupid Roboute Guilliman]] refused to acknowledge his brother-primarch [[MagnificentBastard Alpharius]] for his brilliant and flexible combination of adaptive military combat and undermining the enemy from within, even when Alpharius went to extreme lengths to prove that his methods were worthy, because he judged Alpharius's deviation from the rigid outlines of the already established doctorines dishonorable. This would come back to bite Guilliman later when the Alpha Legion turned traitor, because Horus was one of the only primarchs who appreciated them, and underestimating their adaptable tactics cost the Ultramarines dearly in combat and allowed the Alpha Legion to continue to operate with impunity within the Imperium.
*** Ironically the [[DependingOnTheWriter current]] state of the Codex is that it has so many tips on how to be a CombatPragmatist and generalized tips (like use of camouflage) that even following it to the letter allows a Marine to be very tactically flexible.
*** The Horus Heresy novel 'Know No Fear' shows us Guilliman's real problem with the Alpha Legion isn't so much that they were dishonorable, but that their thinking was inferior. Guilliman preferred strict structure and fighting enemy combatants, while Alpharius taught his Legion to favor unstructured combat and command; to attack from within, and to not limit their targeting to military targets. While in the 41st millennium Guilliman's attitude seems silly, it made a lot of sense in the 31st millennium - It had made the Ultramarines the uncontested, most successful Space Marine legion of the Crusade, taking more planets then any other. In addition, their straight, honorable combat often made integrating whoever the conquered into the Imperium far smoother and easier due to the respect of their defeated foes. The Alpha Legion tended to leave planets confused, decimated, and altogether very, very unhappy with them. It should be noted, however, that the Alpha Legion did not turn to Chaos over this minor spat - It's just why the current Ultramarines think they did. Which is more of a Pride Before Reason problem.
** The obsession the DarkAngels have with hunting their turncoat members, the Fallen, ultimately falls into this. The sheer dedication the Dark Angels have to both wiping out all of their traitors and keeping their very existence secret from the Imperium in order to preserve their reputation as noble, honorable, loyal Space Marines means they will do things like abandon critical war objectives to chase after rumors of the Fallen, leave allies to be slaughtered, use their allies as bait or cannon fodder, and murder any Imperial who may have potentially discovered the secret. All of which is ''causing'' their reputation to be lost and making the Imperium regard them with just as much distrust and loathing as they fear the revelation of the Fallen's existence will bring. And any of their number who realise this and argue that they should stop this self-destructive spiral simply gets labelled as a Fallen.
** The Viskeons, a minor xenos race, were once a {{Proud Warrior Race|Guy}} who believed in noble, honourable conflict, favouring elaborate duels between individual warriors and [[TooDumbToLive holding ranged weapons in disdain]]. When Eldrad Ulthran guided Hive Fleet Kraken into the Viskeon homeworld, the honour-bound Viskeon warriors found the ultimate test in the cold, ruthless Tyranid hordes. [[CurbStompBattle The Viskeon people were wiped out in a single night]].
** One race encountered prior to the Heresy had abandoned all-out warfare in favor of battles in specialized arenas. When the Imperium dropped by, they found the aliens armored up, weapons in hand... aligned neatly in the arenas and looking up at the ships in orbit waiting for the humans to land and fight them. [[DeathFromAbove They didn't last long.]]
* The still-really-popular Marvel Superheroes RPG had this as a ''game mechanic''. You couldn't use MindControl ''in any circumstance'' without losing Karma unless you were a villain. The idea being, of course, that the GM should ''always'' include a way to win ''without'' removing a person's free will. This ''was'' a superhero game, after all!
* The godess Rondra and her church of the pen & paper RPG TabletopGame/TheDarkEye are a fine example of this trope: Over the course of time Rondra [[{{Flanderization}} degenerated]] from a goddess of war into a goddess of honor, going so far as to deem battles between armies and the art of war (strategy and tactics, that is) as "necessary evils" and only approving of one-on-one combats, which meet [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen certain standards of honorable behavior]]. This development hasn't been without consequences in the game world itself: it has been mentioned that army officers tend to worship Hesinde (a godess of knowledge) or Phex (a trickster god of luck and wits) instead of Rondra. Not to mention Kor, a merciless god of bloodshed and mercenaries, who has a considerable amount of [[SociopathicHero followers among]] [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism disillusioned]] [[AntiHero warriors]]. And it seems as if yet another god is preparing to compete with Rondra and take over her old domain: Nandus, a god of reason, whose followers unsurprisingly prefer [[CombatPragmatist reason over honor]].
* High Compassion and Valor virtues in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' can create an ersatz form of this trope.
** Additionally, the optional Merits and Flaws system gives "Code of Honor" as a Flaw; its value varies depending on how much it restricts your actions.
* Virtues work this way in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}''. If a character wants to go against what their virtues would compel them to do they need to make a dice roll and fail to take the action, for example a character with Courage would have to fail a Courage roll to pass up on a fight with a dangerous opponent or willingly accept help from another person. If a Scion ignores their virtues too much they succumb to the virtue extremity and act out the extreme of the virtue.
** The trope could be called "Virtue before Reason" in Scion's case, as even the ones that have almost nothing to do with honor (for example, Expression, which is all about creating art of all kinds) will still demand you follow them even when NOT following them is more prudent. This is even the case of the Dark Virtues that the Titans and their spawn use-for example, passing up an opportunity to torment a Scion or even attempting to invoke WhyDontYouJustShootHim requires a failed Malice roll. That's right-Titanspawn would rather engage in BondVillainStupidity instead of killing you right then and there. At least the game mechanics give a reason for it.
* The Adamantine Arrow of ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' have the importance of honour enshrined in their creed as "Enlightenment is Honour". The Arrow believe that oaths are a deep expression of one's soul, and that fighting without honour is meaningless, so when they [[IGaveMyWord give their word]] they take it ''very'' seriously. That said, they are still encouraged to consider a situation carefully before committing themselves to anything, that their oaths should be simple and state exactly what they intend, as well as accounting for all possibilities (for example "I will be dead before you have this grimoire" is considered less preferable to "I will be dead before ''the enemy'' has this grimoire" since the former doesn't account for former enemies becoming allies). Overall, while they should keep to their word and their code, they should be careful not to cripple themselves with it.
* One of the three Renown categories from ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' is honour, which is often associated with the law-keeper Philodox and 'just' deeds.
** It becomes one of five Renown categories in ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'', where it's associated with the Philodox-equivalents, the Elodoth.
* A possible trait in TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} is "Code of Honor". However, this is an unusual variant that has different degrees, including [[HonorAmongThieves a Pirate's Code of Honor"]] as a lower level than a Knightly one.
* In TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} there are several variations of this for different cultures. The ''Fteirle'' code of the Aslan is highly developed as befits a ProudWarriorRace.
* Dwarves in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} are this trope's posterboys. If they have some great dishonor that befalls them, sometimes as minor as not keeping a promise or a young dwarf being turned down by the girl they fancy, to something as major as kinslaying or failing to stop an assault on a stronghold, they lose the will to live. However, Dwarves physically and psychologically find it impossible to commit suicide, so they become slayers and go fight the biggest baddest thing they can find until they find one that can kill them (they never fight to lose either).
** This is a major problem in the Literature/GotrekAndFelix series; a Slayer's shame will not be relieved until death, but Gotrek seems to be completely unbeatable. Another is that the shame must be foremost on their mind when they die to relieve it, and Snorri, another slayer, has taken a ''lot'' of blows to the head over his career as a slayer and can't remember what it was.
** Bretonnia is pretty big on this as well. Advanced weaponry that'd give them an advantage over [[TheUsualAdversaries Beastmen]], such as guns and crossbows, are outright spurned. The Bretonnians get away with it through [[ImmuneToBullets magical]] PlotArmour and [[{{Determinator}} sheer balls]].
* In ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'', the Bright Crusaders and the Heroes of Justice are the only teams who categorically refuse to cheat in any way. The problem is, [[CrapsackWorld naturally]], they're the only people who have this compunction - in fact, for the Goblin team, cheating is their ''entire strategy''. And naturally, for these teams, FailureIsTheOnlyOption.
* ''[[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2111664817/vow-of-honor-rpg?ref=nav_search Vow of Honor]]'' is built around this trope. You play as discount paladins who gain and lose power depending on how well they uphold [[TheOrder Fasaan]]'s tenets. Depending on the GM's whims, staying honourable may be a minor inconvenience or hair-pullingly frustrating. (One way to violate the Righteousness vow is to be ''be emotionally affected'' by "times of tribulation.") To top it all off, the game is specifically designed to encourage philosophical conflicts between players.
* ''{{Magic The Gathering}}'s'' Bant setting is so honor-bound that several knights wear ''backless'' suits of armor. This works due to the plane's color alighnment: White mana (law and order) dominates the plane, while Red (mindless destruction) and Black (corruption, selfishness) are absent. Sadly, it proves a bit less effective when those colors return.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* This is the entire point of the plot of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In addition to the [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything do-nothing-ness]] and ethics of the pirates, Frederic swears himself to killing all of his friends once his indenture is over because piracy is wrong. He interrupts the Major General's daughters stripping on the beach due to uh, honor. And when the Pirate King and Ruth reveal that due to his birthday, he's going to be indentured until 1940, they don't even try to enforce it on him -- "we leave it to your honor."
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell, it's right there the subtitle -- "The Slave of Duty"]]
** Stripping? They intend to paddle in the water. So -- take their shoes and socks off. Probably pull up their skirts a little, too. Then, he is a slave to duty.
*** But--''bare ankles!'' Scandalous!
** At the end the pirates themselves surrender when called upon to do so in Queen Victoria's name.
* Arguably, this is the tragic flaw of Brutus in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' - he doesn't want to accept that the people around him are not as idealistic and honorable as he is.
* In ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', this is the fork Arthur finds himself caught on when Guinevere is caught with Lancelot. As Mordred says: "Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be -- kill the queen or kill the law?"
* Features prominently in Victor Hugo's play ''Hernani'' and its opera adaptation, ''Ernani''--a rather extreme case of IGaveMyWord.
* This is the central theme of ''AManForAllSeasons'' - Thomas More could easily save himself, but that would come at the cost of his integrity, something he is not willing to give.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Incorporated into the mechanics of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''. Sparing noncombatants and wounded, fleeing aircraft earns you respect and means you don't fight the ''hardest'' aces (though the ones you do fight certainly aren't slouches), but earns you less money in the long run.
* In ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'', Tyson Rios makes it a point to try to bring the conspirators within [[spoiler: Security and Strategy Corporation]] to justice, even going to so far as to force [[spoiler: Ernest Stockwell, CEO of SSC]] to turn himself in once they rescued him. His partner, Elliot Salem, who is much more pragmatic and selfish, repeatedly calls him on his honorable nature, pointing out that the two are [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]].
* As Rucks puts it in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' "If you can't do something smart, do something right".
* In ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', the French gentleman-fighter Duke refuses to [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown attack prone and vunerable opponents]], because of his insistence on [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fighting like a gentleman]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}''. Though initially Jack is told that the only way to get large amounts of ADAM is to kill and harvest the Little Sisters, Doctor Tenenbaum makes it a point to give Jack gifts for choosing the harder path of rescuing the Little Sisters, by giving him both large amounts of ADAM ''and'' unique plasmids. Considering how much more great loot you get from saving them and how little the difference in ADAM between saving and harvesting all the Sisters is (over the course of the whole game), choosing to harvest the little sisters would be a case of Sadism Before Reason. (Or you might do it just to hear [[MultipleEndings the ending]] where the good doctor [[WhatTheHellHero calls you out for being a jerk]].)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' (especially ''[[VideoGame/CallOfJuarezBoundInBlood Bound In Blood]]''), characters will come along and challenge the protagonist to a gunfight, which he accepts. Never mind they have easily pulled a Malcolm Reynolds style move and simply shot them as soon as they showed up instead of doing the whole showdown thing. In the second game they are already outlaws anyway and no one else is around to tell the tale later.
* Angeal in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', honorable as he is he gave us a warning early on.
-->'''Angeal:''' But I never stole from that tree, because the wealthy man's son was my friend.\\
'''Zack:''' If he was a friend, you should've just asked for some.\\
'''Angeal:''' Honor can be quite a burden at times.
* In the canonical ending of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'', Kyle Katarn has Jerec disarmed and on his knees. Jerec tries to goad Kyle into killing him. Kyle responds by giving him his weapon back.
* Lupa from ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' is a very strong believer in this philosophy. [[spoiler: Tragically, it leads to his downfall because victims of the Atma Virus need to eat their opponents, or they become permanently berserk and have an insatiable bloodlust. Gale then takes up this philosophy after Lupa's death triggers his emotions]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'': If Adell makes you a promise, he ''will'' keep it.
-->'''Rozalin:''' Fool! You are going to get yourself killed!\\
'''Adell:''' ... Don't worry. [[{{Determinator}} I won't die. I still have other promises to keep]].
** [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] takes this to the logical extreme. Want to know why he refuses to drink blood, at the cost of all of his power and prestige: [[spoiler:because he promised someone that he wouldn't drink blood until he showed them true terror, and they ''died'' before it happened. Not considering death of the recipient a legitimate reason for breaking off a contract, he just went on not drinking blood for the next four hundred years]].
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] learns this as AnAesop, as, though it went against his otherwise perfectly rational motto of not taking on any foe he wasn't confident about, he found he had to fight on regardless if it meant [[DistressedDamsel rescuing]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]].
** More precisely, he learns that while his perfectly logical fighting style is effective, it doesn't allow him to exceed the limits he sets on himself. Only by ignoring reason and logic can he find the power to succeed despite overwhelming odds. He stubbornly refuses to believe that it changes his fighting style, though:
---> '''Onion Knight''': Don't get me wrong, I still won't fight anyone I can't beat. So I guess I'll ''just have to beat you!''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a lot of this going on. Being a Grey Warden, he considers it part of his duty.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. The Hand of Korth was supposed to attack the Tevinter Imperium, but somehow managed to get it into his head to attack you instead. After you kill him, his father (the chieftain of the tribe) declares his displeasure by smacking your holdings with goat's blood, as is the tribe's custom. Thing is, the chief is a lot smarter than his son, and knows this is probably going to get him killed. So he goes whole-hog and [[spoiler:physically ''throws a goat at the castle''. He's officially arrested for "laying siege to the walls with a goat."]] If you choose to "exile" him and his clan to Tevinter ([[{{Unishment}} which is what they wanted in the first place]]), it's one of the few decisions that every single one of your companions approves of.
* ''EVEOnline'' has this in the form of Amarr Empire battle doctrine, which completely forbids retreat or surrender. During their war with the Jove, the only battle they fought with them cost them most of their fleet because they couldn't retreat or give up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with the Broken Steel DLC installed, while the player can send a radiation-immune companion character to activate the purifier rather than sacrificing themselves or Sarah Lyons, the game still considers this a cowardly choice rather than [[NegateYourOwnSacrifice Negating Your Own Sacrifice]].
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to Auron, Jecht would often try and talk his companions into helping someone out because it was 'the right thing to do.' If he used that phrase, both Auron and Braska knew it would get them into a whole heap of trouble.
* Gerik and his mercenaries from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. When they and their employer [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Prince Innes]] are vastly outnumbered by an enemy army, Innes tries to convince them to surrender and save themselves since the other guys are only after him. Even after he fires them they refuse to (thoughhe orders them to surrender [[WhatAnIdiot after firing them]]).
-->'''Innes:''' Unbelievable... and you people call yourselves mercenaries? I thought you fought for money, not duty.\\
'''Gerik:''' Yeah, that's one of the rules. Guess we're lousy mercenaries, eh?
* The elites in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series definitely fall under this trope. In one book, the Chief noted that even regular soldiers would fight hand-to-hand and die rather than pick up fully-loaded human weapons at their feet. The high-ranking zealots take it further, '''''especially''''' in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The [[WordofGod Word of God]] at the time was that these officers had a honour code that prohibited them from using ranged weapons, and entering vehicles is considered cowardice. As a result, they end up being less dangerous than their gun-wielding subordinates, since they just run at you with a sword. When you do get one as an ally, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything giving him a gun will just result in him running up to enemies and bludgeoning them with it, and he will stubbornly refuse to enter any vehicle]].
** Of course they're still more dangerous than their subordinates because they're ten foot aliens with cloaking devices, energy shields and an one-hit kill weapon. On heroic, which is as close to realistic difficulty, unless if several marines focus fire on the single zealot, he ''will'' reach lunging distance before his shields drop and he ''will'' annihilate the group of marines by himself.
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald Duck briefly follows Riku in his evil phase due to a literal interpretation of King Mickey's orders. He later realizes this is stupid and returns to Sora's side.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series, Meta Knight will give you a sword in the favor of a fair fight, even when the fate of the universe is on the line. In one game, the two of you are on a damaged airship that is currently falling towards the ocean - and he'll wait a full thirty seconds for you to pick up the sword before deciding to attack you anyways. In another, the fact that his evil doppelganger doesn't throw you a sword is the first clue that it's not really him.
* This is used for IdiotHero Wain's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''. When a bolt of lightning sets a house on fire and a little girl is trapped inside, Wain rushes in without hesitation, pulls the girl out, then collapses from his injuries. Seena heals him, then asks what he would have done if she ''wasn't'' able to heal him...to which he replies that she ''could'' heal him, so it wasn't a problem anyway.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', where Samara, a WarriorMonk swears an Oath to Shepard so she will follow his/her orders, no matter how dishonorable they would be normally considered by her Code. However, she does inform them that if he/she does anything particularly dishonorable in the eyes of the Code, Samara will kill them when she is released from the oath of subsumation.
** Either played straight or subverted depending on the player's whims in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where Samara attempts to [[spoiler:kill herself]] as her Code requires her [[spoiler:to kill her only surviving daughter]]. However, Shepard can intervene, allowing time for [[spoiler:her daughter to provide an alternative]].
** Inverted with Javik in ''Mass Effect 3'', he chastises Shepard for believing that that victory is possible with one's honor intact.
---> "Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer."
** Zig-zagged with curing the genophage. If Wrex is in charge, especially if Eve is still alive, the honourable path - playing fair with an old friend - is also the reasonable one, since they can keep the krogan pointed at the enemy and direct them toward a brighter future, while backstabbing them for salarian support will end in [[spoiler:Wrex dead, Mordin dead, and Clan Urdnot sitting the war out]]. If Wreav is in charge, especially if Eve is dead, curing the genophage - while still the noble thing to do - will ultimately end in either a massive krogan civil war, or a new Krogan Rebellions, and as a result the dishonourable option of backstabbing them becomes the most viable.
* Enforced with ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'''s KarmaMeter. Characters can earn Chivalry points from doing things like sparing prisoners and lowering taxes, or Dread by executing [=POWs=] and exploiting peasants, that's straightforward enough. But on the battlefield you're abiding by medieval codes of chivalry, so "good" strategies are limited to frontal assaults against an equally matched opponent. If you use flanking actions, shoot down foes with archers, charge units in the rear, or use spies to gather intelligence - you know, ''tactics'' - characters will quickly pick up "Cruel and Cunning" and other Dreaded traits.
* Both [[KnightTemplar Colonel]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist General]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' have been duped into sending Repliforce to war with the world by [[ManipulativeBastard Sigma]], forcing X and Zero to stop them. Colonel foolishly becomes a MartyrWithoutACause, which has a ''horrific'' [[KillTheCutie repercussion]] if you're playing as Zero. [[spoiler: His sister Iris tries to exact [[RevengeBeforeReason a heartbroken revenge]] after being [[BreakTheCutie emotionally wrecked by the death of her brother]], and Zero, her beloved boyfriend, is forced to do her in (Similar to RomeoAndJuliet, but Romeo still lives). Zero has a '''''stratospheric''''' HeroicBSOD as a result]].
** General is one of the all-time offenders of this trope, enacting a myriad of disasters because of the honorable name of Repliforce. He meets a [[TheManBehindTheCurtain cloaked figure]], never discovering he's really [[BigBad the most feared Maverick on the planet, Sigma]]. Thinking this "stranger" is a [[AWolfInSheepsClothing man of reputable advice]] makes him fall victim to [[UnwittingPawn Sigma's deceitful logic]] and enter into '''''seriously''''' DirtyBusiness. Worse, he is unaware [[DoubleAgent Magma Dragoon]] caused [[ColonyDrop Sky Lagoon to crash]] and [[InnocentBystander wipe out millions]]- he thinks it's an accident perpetrated by the Maverick Hunters. This unintentionally causes Repliforce to dishonor its namesake, the army to be decimated, and General to decide the ends justify the means. Worse, General has [[KillSat Final Weapon]], a doomsday space station geared for armageddon. After X/Zero gives him a well-deserved WhatTheHellHero speech (Zero even more angered, on the verge of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge), pulverizing half his steely body in the process, General cools down long enough to realize that acting in favor of NecessarilyEvil was a deadly mistake, and he has a HeelFaceTurn. However, Sigma's EvilPlan allowed him to hijack Final Weapon to trigger the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. To stop it, General pulls a HeroicSacrifice, using his halfway-ruined body to block the weapon's laser strike, but doing so vaporizes him into space dust.
** While several characters show signs of this, nowhere is it more apparent then in Colonel. By stubbornly refusing to allow his forces to be questioned by the Hunters due to his [[{{Hubris}} pride]], he is hugely responsible for the Fourth Maverick War, which leaves himself, his sister and the rest of Repliforce dead. In fact, he is one of the few villains from that game who is ''completely unsympathetic''.
* Inverted in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Being a StealthBasedGame, Snake isn't averse to using every dirty, underhanded tactic in the book to incapacitate/kill/sneak past his enemies, and MissionControl encourages the player to employ these tactics at every possible occasion, while the villains ''always'' announce their presence and proceed to give Snake a (relatively) fair fight instead of [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing him]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: The Boss inverts and plays this trope straight. Her GambitRoulette ensured that she'd be dishonored and declared "the biggest traitor of this century," her personal honor keeps her from killing, and sometimes even passively '''helping''' Snake in his mission.]]
*** The End is a more pure embodiment, as he wanted "one last" honorable sniper battle. even if he gets the drop on you, he only ever knocks Snake out and drags him to an ''unlocked'' cell at a previous base instead of killing Snake. In turn, Snake is sad to disappoint The End if the player lets him die of old age, which causes the Major to chew him out over the radio for trying to be dramatic.
* Piston Hondo from ''PunchOut'' has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese and all. [[CombatPragmatist You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch]]. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
** However, this trope is downplayed [[FridgeBrilliance when you think about it]]. If you pay attention, he's actually staring at you while he's bowing, which is considered ''extremely'' disrespectful in Japan. He's not so much being honorable as he is being [[StealthInsult ironic]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quest for Glory 2}}'', a fighter faces TheDragon in a climactic swordfight, and quickly disarms him. If he chooses to kill his unarmed foe, instead of letting him have his sword back, the game treats it as a dishonorable act... even though TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is due to happen ''in a few minutes,'' if the hero doesn't get a move on. The VGA fan remake is even more extreme in this regard; giving the sword back leads to a truly NintendoHard fight. Apparently, TheDragon waits until after you show him mercy to bust out the really nasty moves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Romancing SaGa}}'', Lord Theodore is the leader of the Knights of the Dominion, and one of the few who still follows their code to the letter. Unfortunately, he is '''''so''''' convinced that he's '''''the''''' bastion [[JusticeWillPrevail of justice and honor]], '''''the''''' [[HolierThanThou last such bastion left in the Dominion]] that he constantly overcompensates for the failings of his kin, both real and imagined. Rather than leading by example, he becomes LawfulStupid incarnate.
* In ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', Naoe Kanetsugu embodies this trope to a tee, Azai Nagamasa less so (who splits this with his [[LoveFreak love]] of Oichi). Interestingly, the JerkAss Ishida Mitsunari actually adopts this trope by his decisive battle at Sekigahara [[spoiler:by refusing an officer's suggestion of a sneak attack on the enemy, and revealing in his ending that his friends' honor tropes actually rubbed off on him]].
* A game mechanic in ''VideoGame/{{Sengoku}}''. Honor is gained by such things as donating money to the Emperor and granting land to vassals, and lost by hatching plots and declaring wars. If a character loses too much, they commit {{seppuku}}.
* Kasumi from ''Shakkin Shimai'' takes this to an extreme, refusing help from Okura even if it means she'll be sold into prostitution to pay off her family's debt.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' usually acts before he thinks, and, being a generally nice guy, he's usually acing heroically (or [[IdiotHero stupidly]], but sometimes GoodIsDumb). He justification for rushing headlong into a mission that seems hopelessly outmatched is just "IGaveMyWord."
* Possible in the ''VideoGame/StarRuler'' mod ''Galactic Armory''. One [[MinMaxing Trait]] you can take is "Code of Honor", which prevents from using a variety of subsystems. No [=WMDs=], fair enough, but when the thing prevents you from using sensible things like ArmorPiercingAttack it goes straight into this.
* Luke, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of the Abyss}},'' starts off as being extremely self-centered and arrogant, but later he becomes near-suicidally selfless in an attempt to make up for his previous behavior, and holds true to the strength and ideals of humanity, opposing the fatalist views of the game's antagonists.
* The Half-Zatoichi in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is a katana wielded by the Demoman and the Soldier. It is Honorbound, meaning that once you draw it, sheathing it without drawing blood will hurt you, but you regain a large amount of health when you kill with it.
* In the ''Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse'' book ''Literature/OfBloodAndHonor'', the human paladin Tirion Fordring is an extremely honourable guy, saving an elderly man from a race which pretty much all of humanity was still recovering from having being nearly crushed by at the time. Doing so saw him exiled for treachery and his wife refusing to take herself and their son into the ruin he made for himself. His magical powers were supposed to have been taken from him, though due to nature of his use of them, it is assumed that they were granted by moral righteousness -- which has since been debated and argued about in true nature, due to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* In ''WarriorsOrochi'', Pang De's version of this trope is so cliche that he's called out on this more than once -- hilariously, when one asks him what his "way of the warrior" even means, Pang De's explanation is basically repeating the concept. [[spoiler:It's especially off, and call-out-on-worthy, since he's on Orochi's side through Wei, particularly Cao Pi's aligning with Orochi. However, in the Battle of Shizugatake (Shu story) if the player manages to save enough Hojo officers and prevent defections he will recognize the conflict and agree to leave Wei/Orochi]].
* In a rare ''villainous'' example of this trope, in ''Weaponlord'', it has been prophecied that on the night that the moon bleeds, the BigBad Zarak will be killed by the Weaponlord, whose identity is unknown except for the clue that he/she was born under the Warrior's Moon. Zarak's lieutenants advise him to pull a Herod and simply slaughter all the infants born under that moon, but Zarak instead decides to wait until the Weaponlord is grown up, and then face his prophecied killer fair-and-square in single combat to see if the prophecy will really work. [[spoiler: This gets Zarak killed if you play anyone but him, and if you play Zarak himself, it is revealed that Zarak ''himself'' was born under a Warrior's Moon, and since he killed the ''previous'' BigBad, Zarak ''himself'' becomes the Weaponlord]].
* Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji from ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' suffers a terminal case of this. His casual disrespect of a ''gaijin'' Ultor Executive whom he deems as beneath him backfires when that guy --BiggerBad Dane Vogel-- immediately gives crucial intel to the Saints in retaliation, and his insistence on an honorable katana duel against The Boss goes awry when it turns out The Boss is a CombatPragmatist who has no problem bringing a gun to a swordfight.
* The White Knights of ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' apparently value the honour of a straight-up battle that would leave many of their number dead over the reasonable approach of sniping the enemy leader from above and behind, almost expelling the member of their order that [[CombatPragmatist took the latter approach]] to killing a dark magic-wielding enemy warlord.
** Pointedly averted by the Temple Knights of Saradomin, an order of holy paladins in the service of a god of honor and nobility, who nonetheless immediately recruited the aforementioned shooter on the basis that he ''did'' get the job done.
* The Arceans in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' are all about honor, even at their own expense. This why, despite being generally nice enough guys to those who aren't their enemies, they are considered morally Neutral: honor is more important to them than any morality. A savvy player can exploit this to get the Arcean AI to do some very stupid things if they set things up properly.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingons, repeatedly, to IdiotBall levels. Might even qualify as a DeconstructedTrope.
** In the backstory they react to Federation condemnation of their unilateral invasion of the Gorn Hegemony by breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning attacks on Federation colonies. [[HistoryRepeats Just like they did before the Dominion War]].
** In the mission "Diplomatic Orders", a Klingon cruiser commander gets information that a Federation diplomat is really an Undine. Does he submit his findings to the Federation? No! He leads a deep-strike into Federation territory to kill the ambassador himself, and instead of coming out firing, he sacrifices the element of surprise to high-handedly demand that the Federation PC hand over the ambassador. The Fed PC reacts surprisingly well to this: instead of just blasting the idiot out of space on sight (remember, the Feds and Klinks have now '''been at war for four years'' and the Klingon is asking a Starfleet officer on an EscortMission to ''hand over his escortee to an enemy combatant''), he asks to see the Klingon's evidence, and the Klingon instead takes umbrage and attacks, and because he's up against a {{Plot Armor}}ed PlayerCharacter he dies completely pointlessly and Starfleet makes the kill against the Undine.
** Then there's "House Pegh", a.k.a. [[FanNickname "House Pratfall"]] [[invoked]]. Emperor Kahless breaks away from a covert infiltration mission that is going surprisingly well because he sees an Iconian on a security camera and wants to challenge it to honorable combat. T'Ket at first ignores the idiot, then basically toys with Kahless for a while until [[spoiler:B'Eler {{technobabble}}s away T'Ket's NighInvulnerability. Instead of pressing his unearned advantage home, Kahless cuts off T'Ket's arm then starts monologuing about honor, giving T'Ket time to recover and vape Kahless. And then the "mighty Klingon warriors" of House Pegh, supposedly the Empire's covert ops arm, ''panic and run for their lives''.]]
* In the storyline of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' Kotal Kahn, TheEmperor of all Outworld, permits a foreign emissary of no great importance to challenge him in TrialByCombat for the life of a petty thief. His decision to personally participate himself instead of using a champion is questionable, although it may have been a calculated risk given that he's [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking an incredibly deadly warrior]]. Less forgivable is that upon losing, he insists that the winner execute him as per ancient tradition, even though he's in the midst of a SuccessionCrisis and his death would give the throne to his hated, psychotic rival. He only survives because his opponent [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs him on the throne]] and demands his service instead.
* ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis'': Walter, a knight from a neighboring kingdom who lost to TheHero, Fray, in a battle tournament, demands a rematch when they meet up again a year later and wants it ''now''! Never mind that they meet up in a crowded tavern and drawing his sword in the midst of civilians while on an official mission for his king would have tarnished his honor far more than a fair loss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Given that it's a VisualNovel about the {{Shinsengumi}} and the [[EndOfAnAge fall of the shogunate]], this trope runs rampant throughout most of ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}''. Saito and Hijikata's routes in particular are full to the brim with it, both on their own parts and on the parts of Kondou and the subordinates they've inspired to follow them; they are dedicated swordsmen with deeply-held beliefs about what it means to be a warrior, in an age in which swords are quickly becoming obsolete in favor of guns and Western tactics. Their senses of honor also mean that, nearly to a man, the Shinsengumi captains insist on keeping Chizuru with them and protecting her even as they face losing battle after losing battle and everything falls apart around them; whenever it's so much as suggested that it would be better for Chizuru to leave rather than have them risk death to defend her, they bridle at the suggestion that they're not capable of protecting her.
* In Soryu Oh's route of ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', Soryu is set for an ArrangedMarriage to the daughter of a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad]] boss - a marriage which would consolidate their two gangs into a powerful organization which he would be next in line to take over - but declines at the last minute. In doing so, he offends the girl's father and causes him to lose face to the point that the only way for Soryu's gang to smooth things over is to hand Soryu over to be executed. As Soryu is no doubt fully aware of the likely consequences of his decision, his chosen course of action benefits ''absolutely no one'', but he is willing to be executed rather than marry a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him when he knows that what he really wants is to be with the protagonist.
* Saber in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has a pretty bad case of this. She ''knows'' her decisions are going to screw her over yet feels bound by her honor and rules of fair play. As an example in FSN, she charges the temple single handed after everyone agrees it's suicide to do so, is commanded ''not'' to go and is perfectly aware that at best she will be severely wounded. In FZ, she lets Lancer go assuming that he's going to kill her Master Kiritsugu and therefore remove her from the war. Why? One, she doesn't like Kiritsugu and two, Lancer just helped her out. He only lives because Lancer [[WorthyOpponent lives by the same rules]].
** Naturally, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', she ends up the Servant of another person who epitomizes this trope, Shirou.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''TalesOfTheQuestor'' is filled with this trope and subversions, and just reading the comic would be faster than listing every case. Some noteworthy examples include [[spoiler:taking on a rat-king on his own with nearly suicidal results]], freeing a thief he believed would be punished remarkably severely, feeding said thief ''after'' she tried to steal from him, and being polite and friendly to humans he had little reason to trust. When Quentin reveals himself to the villagers to help fight the [[TheFairFolk evil Fey lord]], his honorable behavior he displayed at the farmer's home comes into play when that [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00493.html farmer speaks up and tells the crowd that he trusts the Racoonan hero]]. Even more recently, attempting to draw the attention of said evil Fey lord to protect a bunch of humans earned him ThreeWishes.
** However, HonorBeforeReason is [[GoodIsNotNice nowhere to be found]] when he makes those three wishes. He -- as a narrator -- tells us that even one carefully-worded wish could ruin a fae. When he's done making his ''three'', the evil Fae Lord is utterly ''ruined''. Then again, perhaps he ''is'' showing honor -- by protecting the mortal realm by turning their nemesis into the fae version of a penniless vagabond, especially when he could have wished for all his grand quest items to allow him to return home in triumph.
*** It may not be immediately obvious, but most of his Honor Before Reason behavior is attributable to his own naïveté. [[spoiler:Taking on a rat-king alone was a matter of being in a hopeless scenario. If he ran, the shadow rats would have overwhelmed and devoured him anyway.]] He helped the thief in question less because of honor and more because he's a soft touch. As to wishing for the Fae Lord to retrieve all the quest items for him, that was a little bit above the Fae's pay grade (they're powerful, not omnipotent or omniscient). Phrasing the wishes just right to avoid a backlash would have required a platoon of lawyers, and even if the Fae had granted the wish he would still have been left with a very powerful and very ANGRY Fae Princeling ready to squash him like a bug. His three wishes were phrased so as to minimize the damage the Fae Princeling could cause. He is largely oblivious till after the fact what a perfect storm of bankruptcy his wishes have caused the Fae Lord in question.
** Honor and Reason go hand in hand when he takes on his current quest. He acts with Honor by fulfilling an ancient contract to save a village, fully knowing he may never be able to return home. He acts with equal Reason--it's his hometown, and if he turns this quest down, he ''will'' never be able to return home as his family is in the exact same predicament as everyone else. Even if he dies without completing his quest, [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever his village is protected.]]
** And yet again, when he takes on the mission to kill a dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside. After the guardsmen sent to assist him [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere abandon him in the middle of the night]], he decides to press on... despite having little-to-no supplies and only Sam and a disgraced squire (with a possibly haunted suit of self-motivating magic armor) as back up. Though this time it's heavily implied that it's as much about Quentyn's ego as it is about keeping his word.
* Homestuck is an interesting case of this. The troll society of Alternia allows mindless killing of any on a lower bloodcaste than oneself. It encourages it, even. Along with that, revenge is encouraged, as is pretty much anything. The subversion, and in being so, the played-straight (by human standards) example is Karkat, who, despite copious swearing, has not once hurt another troll.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'' manhwa, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/noblesse/v03/c189/27.html one of the noble vampires proceeds to cut himself because Frankenstein "unfairly received a wound.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Lord Soon of the Sapphire Guard swore an oath of non-interference regarding the Snarl's Gates, other than his own. This was a good idea at the time, to prevent infighting from spoiling old friendships. However, ''all'' the paladins of the Guard still consider themselves bound by this oath, even though those to whom it was sworn are (probably) all dead, and seizing the Gates before the BigBad does is the key to saving the multiverse. Nevertheless, the oath takes precedence over the paladins' drive to oppose evil wherever it be found. This forces [[spoiler:Lord Shojo to get creative, and hire the title party to investigate the Gates instead. Ironically, at least one other Scribble member thought Soon would break his oath, and booby trapped the location he gave for his Gate in an act of spite. Double irony: he was the only one that didn't break it.]]
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:this led to O-Chul being able to completely avoid compromising ANYTHING about the other gates.]] This is lampshaded by Redcloak, who remarks with frustration that it is absurd for generations of paladins to wilfully sabotage their own ability to perform their duties, all for a silly promise. A (literal) lampshade is then promptly hung around the lampshade itself.
** No longer true. A leader of the paladins eventually offers to help the Order of the Stick in their quest, if only by covering one of the remaining gates when the main characters go to find the other. He explains that [[spoiler:with their Gate destroyed, the oaths that bound them are dissolved]].
** Durkon declares he and Hilgya must part because they must do their duty [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0084.html]] -- followed by ManlyTears.
* The entirety of the qualified regulars (except for Parakewl) in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' one by one decide to help Baam and Lahel take the Guardian's test, even though they've known each other only for a month and expected to fight each other, and even though that specific test is harder than the usual course. Special mention goes to [[spoiler: Hatsu, who is the most immediate and most vocal proponent of supporting Baam, and Koon, who by pretending to be against it riles most up to follow Hatsu.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'' has one ongoing example and one example that crosses over with RefusalOfTheCall.
** [[KnightTemplar The Knights of La-Shoar]] have a strict policy on anything that goes against "Natural Law", policies that have become defacto law in their territory - at the top of that list is magic. ''Any'' magic, from healing magic to offensive spells to charmed items. Not only does this put their kingdom at a disadvantage (Every other major power makes open use of magic), but they know it. But refuse to change their ways at all.
** LadyOfWar Bernadette jumped through every ridiculous hoop The Knights put up to test her "suitability" to be one of their numbers. They had to be sure she wasn't "cheating" or just getting lucky when challenging other knights. (As if her taking down an ArtifactOfDoom-wielding psycho who'd carved through their ranks wasn't proof enough.). This has been Bernadette's life dream. And just when the elder Knights formally ask Bernadette to join them... she turns them down. She chose to come out of the closet as Maytag's lover, rather than be forced to deny her as a knight. (Homosexuals ''also'' being against "Natural Law") Note that Bernadette and Maytag were very much on the down low before Bernadette's moment and Maytag would've been perfectly happy to keep it that way.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'', this trope is the Eastern Basitin [[PlanetOfHats hat]], to the point that they're biologically tuned to accept and obey orders, even clearly self-destructive ones. (Keith's ability to disobey is considered "proof" that he's "broken and unfit".)
** Hell, as one of the few who are able to disobey orders, Keith tries to off himself from the crushing guilt. It should be noted that not every Eastern Basitin is happy about this urge and can deeply regret following questionable orders.
* Villainous example: The Wizard's Apprentice in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. He swore to his mentor and God that he would kill all of the [[GreenRocks Dewitchery Diamond]]'s spawn, which previously had all been monsters. Now that he's discovered that Ellen is not a monster but instead an OppositeSexClone who has done nothing wrong, well, he feels really bad about it, but he takes his oaths ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 very]]'' seriously.
* In ''Webcomic/CastlevaniaRPG'', [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/25 Katrina has been harassing Shaft]] (one of Dracula's lieutenants), convinced his take over of a villiage is part of some master plan of villainy (he was elected mayor through no trickery on his part). In exasperation, Shaft removes the CatGirl curse he'd placed on her years ago, thinking that would shut her up. Instead, it made her angrier, since she was convinced she had to "earn" the curse's removal through good deeds and demanded Shaft ''re-curse her''. [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/26 He does]] - again, just to shut her up.
* Sir Muir in ''Webcomic/{{Harkovast}}'' pretty much personifies this trope.
* Big Ears from ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' qualifies, as it is usual for paladins. He would throw himself "into the fires of hell" if he thinks it's the right thing to do, but fortunately he can be reasoned with by his companions.
* Avery, Sisko's player from Webcomic/DAndDS9 informs the DM that the Borg's roll was a CriticalHit, despite it not being in his interest to do so.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5418980/ she realizes that it wasn't worth it.]]
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', the ninjas only have one purpose in life: to kill the "dragon rider"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Neil Sinclair of ''{{Survival of the Fittest}}'' fits this trope. The primary example of such behaviour is trusting Dominica Sharpiro by offering her a place in his Pro escape group, despite knowing, for ''certain'' that she [[spoiler:earlier killed another group member]] who became separated from the others.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is big on this one, protecting friends and children to the most extreme degree even though he knows full well it'll get himself hurt.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the trope is discussed in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/snare-13-10/ Snare 13.10]] when [[spoiler:Grue i.e. Brian is talking to Taylor i.e. Skitter]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Brian]]:''' I ''worry'' about you. You throw yourself into these situations like you don't care if you die, like you've got nothing to stick around for except for those people you insist on protecting. [[spoiler:Dinah]], the people from [[spoiler:your territory]]. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only more so. Riskier stuff. I start thinking about how I'm supposed to protect you, get you to stop, get you to focus on a goal that's actually attainable, because you're so capable that you could be amazing if you stopped acting suicidal.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge refuses to use sniper rifles and other long distance weapons other than regular guns, as he believes the only way to kill someone is up close and personal. He admits that he has no problem with using a nuke on an enemy because of RuleOfCool.
* In Sherwood Forest, Will follows Robin to the castle and rushes into battle to save him. This would be very noble if not for the fact that he's a terrible swordfighter and basically just manages to kill a guy through sheer dumb luck. He also got lucky in that his appearance made the Sheriff's guards scatter; if they'd stuck around long enough to realize he was just flailing wildly with a sword, they probably would have killed him.
* Tempered Steel from WebOriginal/FalloutIsDragons will always, always, always try to talk others into doing the right thing. Even a pissed off dragon who is currently preparing its breath weapon.
* Actually {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' as an argument [[spoiler:against Goku in "Goku vs. Superman". Many Dragonball Z characters, Goku included, have a habit of demanding a fair fight even against an obviously superior opponent. Hence, even if [[IdiotHero Goku]] managed to figure out Superman's weaknesses to kryptonite and exposure to a red star, he would refuse to exploit them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Zeta from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject'' is like this once he's grown a conscience and done a HeelFaceTurn against his creators. Ro notes that it would easier for him to escape the NSA's agents tailing him if he'd fight back, but his code of nonviolence is not negotiable for him. And on the odd occasions he ''will'' fight, he won't kill. Ever. The weird thing is that all of this actively goes against his programming and nature, unlike many of the examples on this page.
* AntiVillain Prince Zuko in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]'' begins the series believing he's a disgrace and only his father can restore his honour, with his rightful place, but his desperation and his tendency to put his quest for redemption above all else puts he and his crew at risk. He ends the series by wanting to restore honour of the entire Fire Nation. 'Kay.
--> '''[[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs Actor!Zuko]]''': Honourrrrr!\\
** Aang is unwilling to outright kill Firelord Ozai, despite everyone, including his past lives, telling him it's the only way. [[spoiler:Plot twist: [[TakeAThirdOption Lion turtle.]]]]
*** In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarDay the season two episode "Avatar Day"]], Aang insists on undergoing an unfair trial by the Avatar-hating Chin Village for something he did in a former life.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra publicly challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, alone; [[MagnificentBastard Amon]] does not have the same moral qualms. And yet...
** A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into [[SuperMode the Avatar State]] from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her EnemyWithin rears up and [[DiabolusExMachina forces her back to normal.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' insists on defending others from evil, even when it means passing up a chance to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the past]] and undo the original ''cause'' of the evil.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Gathering", Goliath decides to have himself and his clan help their enemy, David Xanatos, stop the godlike Oberon from abducting his child on pure principle, considering they owe the billionaire absolutely nothing. Although it's obviously a difficult and dangerous task, Goliath is instrumental to making Oberon compromise to allow the child to stay. As a result, Xanatos then feels he owes the clan big time, which leads him to inviting them back to the castle to live safely after they are exposed to the public.
** Likewise Owen's participation in that battle, since he knew [[spoiler:Oberon would not be happy he was missing the Gathering]].
** During his first appearance Macbeth is trying to capture the gargoyles, but he chooses to calmly wait until sundown to fight them rather than just moving their statues in the middle of the day. In a later episode he refuses to let Demona smash them, again citing it as dishonorable.
* Optimus Prime in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' always was an honorable fighter. Particularly in the episode "Heavy Metal War", when Megatron challenged Prime to single combat. Megatron, of course, cheated by transferring all of the special abilities of the Deceptions to himself. Even though Megatron was ''clearly'' doing things he could not possibly do (teleport, fire null rays, etc.) Prime accepted defeat. At least, until Teletraan-1 pointed out what a cheating bastard Megatron was.
** Many of the older comics and some of the new ones use this to mark the difference between Optimus Prime and other Autobot leaders such as Grimlock, who's not as honor bound, more ruthless and willing to do whatever is necessary for a victory. Yet that same honor, similar to Captain Carrot (see Literature, above) is what allows Prime to make things work that others simply wouldn't. Through patience, a few [[PatrickStewartSpeech Peter Cullen Speeches]], and honorable behavior throughout, Prime manages to convince a Decepticon commander that his surrender to the Earthbound Deceptions is ''not'' a sign that the "great Optimus Prime" actually is and always was a coward or a weakling, but rather that he genuinely believes that only by uniting can they stop a greater threat.
* {{ZigZagged}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}''. Enzo has returned home to Mainframe, all grown up, big, strong and gunning for Megabyte, both literally and figuratively. When confronted by Enzo's gun, Megabyte taunts him into fighting like a "real sprite". Enzo puts away his gun...but then proceeds to send Megabyte flying with a punch hard enough to dent his chest, ''before'' Megabyte has a chance to prepare. And he then proceeds to do it ''again'' while Megabyte is still recovering from the first attack. When Megabyte inevitably cheats, he takes him on with a spear, then at the end of the fight, spares Megabyte... despite Megabyte enslaving the population of Mainframe, torturing his friends, and killing countless binomes.
* Alissa from ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall'' was more so worried about helping the survivors (whom might already be infected) then quarantining the ship. Her captain might have been nuts but he actually made SOME sense. Could also be a case of Compassion Before Reason.
** You have to be dead in order to be infected, but still there was at most ''20 people out of 2000'' left alive and going crazy.
*** You don't have to be dead for the marker to drive you batshit insane though.
* Played straight and then subverted during an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' animated series. Tony Stark agrees to get an artifact from a booby-trapped tomb if Madame Masque will release his kidnapped workers. She releases Julia Carpenter (Spiderwoman) who will send the Iron Man armor but keeps the other workers captive. Julia says that she will send down the armor "and a lot more", but Tony stops her because he has given his word. The trope is subverted almost immediately afterward. Once, Iron Man has entered the tomb, Julia convinces Jim Rhodes (War Machine) to attack Madame Masque and her minions anyway, arguing that the only chance the hostages have is if they attack their captors off guard.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' are made of this trope; so much so that they come across as arrogant when they refuse to let the title characters join them on a potential suicide mission. This trope is also subverted in that the Teen Titans end up undoing all the {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s the Doom Patrol made offscreen.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' actually pulls a FaceHeelTurn ''because of this trope.'' Omi lost his good side temporarily becoming evil. The main villain of the season then had Omi pledge loyalty to him. After he returned to normal, Omi decided to stay with the villain SOLELY to keep a promise he made when he wasn't in his right mind.
** Another is when Omi doesn't look up the secret to destroying all evil.... because he promised not to. And actually it's worse than that, because he DOES break the promise and looks it up... but now to feebly try to keep the now BROKEN promise he refuses to USE the secret. Sure, things work out in the better in the end, but it's still horrific use of this trope since as far as Omi was concerned, he was playing it painfully straight. [[spoiler: Though it turns out the secret was really the secret to destroy all good. Chase gives up that little tidbit. Omi then uses Chase's own words against him.]]
* Subverted in a strange way in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode. Mojo has Blossom in a bind by having the Professor and her two sisters hostage. He demands Blossom's fealty and tries to use her honesty against her.
-->'''Blossom:''' What do you want?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' First, you will bow down before me! Next, you will pledge your allegiance and devotion to serve me!\\
'''Blossom:''' How do you know I won't lie?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' Because you're Blossom.\\
'''Blossom:''' Shoot!
** Another example would be from the episode where she first gets her "ice breath" power. After inadvertently causing the escape of a trio of robbers, she promises never to use her ice powers again. She has the timing to make this promise as a giant meteor is headed straight for Townsville. She's the only one that can stop it, yet she's insistent on maintaining her promise despite the fact that the promise won't ''matter if she doesn't do something''. Buttercup manages to snap her out of it, though.
** When faced with elderly criminals, Buttercup and Bubbles prepare to foil their crime when Blossom stops them. She points out while they could stop them, they have to respect the elderly. She decides to instead [[OldSuperhero recruit the heroes who fought the villains the last time]]. The end result has everyone being rushed into intensive care with everyone recognizing Blossom's error.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa turning down a fortune after finding out what Mr Burns had turned the recycling company he and Lisa had started into. What she could've done with twelve million.
--> '''Homer, in a hospital bed after 4 simultaneous heart attacks:''' It's okay, sweetie. But we really could've used that 12,000 dollars.\\
'''Lisa''': Actually dad, 10% of 120 million dollars ''isn't'' 12,000, it's...\\
''*Smash cut to hospital corridor*''\\
'''PA:''' Code Blue! Code Blue!
** The worst part about this particular scenario is that since Lisa didn't take the money, Mr. Burns gets the money, and he probably wouldn't do anything good with it.
** This trope often applies to Lisa. Typically, someone will try and convince her to lie, cheat, or at least conceal the truth, because it's to everyone's advantage. In fact, the story will often go out of its way to assure us that everyone is better off with the lie. This usually leads to Lisa having a moral crisis before she decides to tell the truth after all (usually in an overly dramatic fashion). But of course, there's always another twist at this point.
** In one episode, the town was GenreSavvy enough to trick Lisa. She had cheated in a test (no, really) and her ill-gotten A got the school in a position to be granted government funds. When Comptroller Atkins showed up at a public conference to deliver the check, Lisa confessed and Comptroller Atkins decided to let them keep the money anyway. After WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons left, it's revealed to the viewers that, knowing Lisa would have confessed, the entire town had an imposter disguised as Comptroller Atkins to lure Lisa away and, when the real Comptroller Atkins showed up, they used a false Lisa to trick him.
** Though in a surprisingly rare case it's averted in "Lisa the Iconoclast", where she ultimately decides not to ruin the town's image of their founder Jedediah Springfield by revealing that he was actually a ruthless pirate.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' had this during the Justice Lords arc. It's pointed out that the Lords are every bit as smart, strong, fast, and skilled as the League, except that they're willing to KILL. Superman insists that he won't cross that line, to which Batman replies they'll have to cross SOME kind of line. So they end up getting [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Lex Luthor's]] help.
** WonderWoman is banished by her mother from [[LadyLand Themyscira]] for bringing men to the island and breaking the law. If she hadn't worked with the HostageForMcGuffin scenario, the Amazons would [[TakenForGranite remain in stone]]. If she hadn't received help from her teammates, Hades could have taken over. TheFlash points out this is ridiculous since she risked her life to save everyone. When the Gods have her return in "The Balance", she says she should leave after completing the task. Hippolyta asks her to stay and when she points out her exile, her mother explains that the Gods will have to deal with her if they have a problem with that. One wonders why she didn't say this the first time other than to have a BittersweetEnding.
** Because she was too stubborn. In the first episode, she even told Diana they shouldn't be concern about the alien invasion. Or it could be that the 'no men' law was laid down by the Greek gods, and they don't ''like'' being disobeyed.
* WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic: Applejack.
** Particularly in the episode "Applebuck Season", where she promises to do a few too many things while ''also'' harvesting her family's entire apple orchard by herself. It takes most of the episode, severe sleep deprivation and overwork, and accidentally causing several disasters to finally convince her that maybe she should admit she's overextended herself and ask for some help.
** She does it again in "The Last Roundup," where her failure to win a contest whose prize she had promised to donate to Ponyville led her to ''run away from home and go out West'' intending to work off the debt. She was too ashamed to face her friends and family, despite the fact that nobody ''else'' actually blamed her for losing the contest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[DarkActionGirl Shego's]] brother [[GoodisDumb Hego]] is this in the ep where it's revealed she used to be a hero. For example: His letting the enemy strike first and revealing their presence became too much for his sister, and became one of the many reasons, if not '''THE''' reason for her FaceHeelTurn.
--> '''Shego''': (Annoyed) Why do you think I left?!
* Brick from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' believed highly in his code as a cadet. So strong was his honor, that he sacrificed winning a challenge for his team to save the lives of Mike, Zoey, and Cameron, who were on the ''other'' team. [[spoiler: This resulted in his elimination, but those he saved saluted him good-bye.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian Goes Back To College", Brian goes on a guilt trip after Stewie convinces him to cheat on a test and pass. After some internal conflict, Brian decides not to cheat on his final exam and he fails, but at least he feels good for being honest. The Griffins all say he should have cheated.
-->'''Chris:''' I HATE YOU!!!
* In ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated: Sword of Storms'', a Japanese daimyo kills his own daughter, rather than breaking a promise. A promise he made to demons.
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' episode "The Slaves of Castle Plundarr", the mutants enslave humanoids resembling cattle. Lion-O, being Lion-O, wants to free them, and he and the elder [=ThunderCats=] do so. The mutants use "warp gas", an anger and aggression-inducing substance, to turn the freed slaves against their rescuers. Lion-O refuses to retreat, saying the Lord of the [=ThunderCats=] ''can't'' run. Cheetara tells him "pride carried too far is ''foolishness''."
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' occasionally falls into this. He nearly has a nervous breakdown in "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" trying to make everyone happy because he made a vow to always help someone in trouble, and in "Videomakers" he insists on [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil obeying the FBI warnings]] on all their pre-Mushroom War video tapes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''Into the Wild Green Yonder'', the last Encycolopod tries (albeit reluctantly) to preserve the genetic material of the recently deceased last Dark One. The Encyclopod preserves extinct species by carrying recreations of them on its back using genetic material. The Dark Ones have been trying to exterminate the Encyclopods ever since the two species existed. [[spoiler:If the Dark One's remains hadn't been completely destroyed before the Encyclopod could reach them]], the Encyclopod's honor would have forced it to carry its own mortal enemy on its back.
* In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Phineas and Ferb]]'s Quantum Boogaloo", when Doofenshmirtz took over the Tri-State Area in the BadFuture, he got everyone (including the O.W.C.A.) to swear obedience to him. All he had to do to stop whatever plans they had to dethrone him was reminding them of the oath.
* The 2013 ''ScoobyDoo'' video feature "WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooStageFright" has [[spoiler: Fred and Daphne winning the top prize on a show called "Talent Star" via popular vote. However, they deliberately throw the contest so Emma Gale, a sweet little girl who was a contestant on the show, could win the prize and save her family's farm.]]
* ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' has gained a heavy case of this in later seasons. While usually hard working and loyal, he will very quickly disobey an order or ignore duties if he believes someone else is remotely unhappy or needs help. He is usually reprimanded for this, though the Fat Controller occasionally lets it slide if it truly is for the better rather than just causing confusion and delay. Other engines occasionally have bouts of this too.
* In the third season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', the Shredder decides that the perfect time to take revenge on Splinter is [[spoiler:seconds before [[{{ItMakesSenseInContext}} an army of extradimensional Tricertops]] [[{{EarthShatteringKaboom}} destroy the Earth]] in order to prevent the Kraang from using it as a foothold in the show's main universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' runs on this trope, with a typical episode revolving around its IdealHero's [[ChronicHeroSyndrome inability to stop doing minor good deeds for random passerby despite the fact that he and his friend are being hunted down by the villain's henchman]], or his need to venture on an increasingly complicated and dangerous quest in the hope of ''personally'' returning a lost sock to its owner rather than risk leaving it in the lost and found.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.
[[/folder]]
5th Mar '16 6:58:13 AM Knight20
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* HonorBeforeReason/{{Theatre}}


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Theatre]]
* This is the entire point of the plot of ''ThePiratesOfPenzance''. In addition to the [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything do-nothing-ness]] and ethics of the pirates, Frederic swears himself to killing all of his friends once his indenture is over because piracy is wrong. He interrupts the Major General's daughters stripping on the beach due to uh, honor. And when the Pirate King and Ruth reveal that due to his birthday, he's going to be indentured until 1940, they don't even try to enforce it on him -- "we leave it to your honor."
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell, it's right there the subtitle -- "The Slave of Duty"]]
** Stripping? They intend to paddle in the water. So -- take their shoes and socks off. Probably pull up their skirts a little, too. Then, he is a slave to duty.
*** But--''bare ankles!'' Scandalous!
** At the end the pirates themselves surrender when called upon to do so in Queen Victoria's name.
* Arguably, this is the tragic flaw of Brutus in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Julius Caesar'' - he doesn't want to accept that the people around him are not as idealistic and honorable as he is.
* In ''Theatre/{{Camelot}}'', this is the fork Arthur finds himself caught on when Guinevere is caught with Lancelot. As Mordred says: "Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be -- kill the queen or kill the law?"
* Features prominently in Victor Hugo's play ''Hernani'' and its opera adaptation, ''Ernani''--a rather extreme case of IGaveMyWord.
* This is the central theme of ''AManForAllSeasons'' - Thomas More could easily save himself, but that would come at the cost of his integrity, something he is not willing to give.
[[/folder]]
5th Mar '16 6:56:13 AM Knight20
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* HonorBeforeReason/VideoGames
* HonorBeforeReason/VisualNovels
* HonorBeforeReason/{{Webcomics}}
* HonorBeforeReason/WebOriginal
* HonorBeforeReason/WesternAnimation



!!Other Examples

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.

to:

!!Other Examples

[[folder:Fan Works]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Incorporated into the mechanics of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''. Sparing noncombatants and wounded, fleeing aircraft earns you respect and means you don't fight the ''hardest'' aces (though the ones you do fight certainly aren't slouches), but earns you less money in the long run.
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of ''VideoGame/ArmyOfTwo'', Tyson Rios makes it a point to try to bring the Avengers chew conspirators within [[spoiler: Security and Strategy Corporation]] to justice, even going to so far as to force [[spoiler: Ernest Stockwell, CEO of SSC]] to turn himself in once they rescued him. His partner, Elliot Salem, who is much more pragmatic and selfish, repeatedly calls him on his honorable nature, pointing out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
two are [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin
As Rucks puts it in ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' "If you can't do something smart, do something right".
* In ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', the French gentleman-fighter Duke
refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown attack prone and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date vunerable opponents]], because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter of his insistence on [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen fighting like a gentleman]].
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}''. Though initially Jack is told that the only way to get large amounts of ADAM is to kill and harvest the Little Sisters, Doctor Tenenbaum makes it a point to give Jack gifts for choosing the harder path of rescuing the Little Sisters, by giving him both large amounts of ADAM ''and'' unique plasmids. Considering
how much more great loot you get from saving them and how little the difference in ADAM between saving and harvesting all the Sisters is (over the course of the whole game), choosing to harvest the little sisters would be a case of Sadism Before Reason. (Or you might do it just to hear [[MultipleEndings the ending]] where the good doctor [[WhatTheHellHero calls you out for being a jerk]].)
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarez'' (especially ''[[VideoGame/CallOfJuarezBoundInBlood Bound In Blood]]''), characters will come along and challenge the protagonist to a gunfight, which he accepts. Never mind they have
easily pulled a Malcolm Reynolds style move and simply shot them as soon as they showed up instead of doing the whole showdown thing. In the second game they are already outlaws anyway and no one else is around to tell the tale later.
* Angeal in ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', honorable as
he could duck out of it, is he gave us a warning early on.
-->'''Angeal:''' But I never stole from that tree,
because the Uchiha Head keeps wealthy man's son was my friend.\\
'''Zack:''' If he was a friend, you should've just asked for some.\\
'''Angeal:''' Honor can be quite a burden at times.
* In the canonical ending of ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Jedi Knight]]'', Kyle Katarn has Jerec disarmed and on
his promises.
** Team 7 decides that
knees. Jerec tries to goad Kyle into killing him. Kyle responds by giving him his weapon back.
* Lupa from ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' is a very strong believer in
this does not apply in philosophy. [[spoiler: Tragically, it leads to his downfall because victims of the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment Atma Virus need to eat their opponents, or they can scrape become permanently berserk and have an insatiable bloodlust. Gale then takes up while looking for this philosophy after Lupa's death triggers his emotions]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'': If Adell makes you
a scroll, they know that the exams promise, he ''will'' keep it.
-->'''Rozalin:''' Fool! You
are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt going to get him professional medical attention even yourself killed!\\
'''Adell:''' ... Don't worry. [[{{Determinator}} I won't die. I still have other promises to keep]].
** [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten Valvatorez]] takes this to the logical extreme. Want to know why he refuses to drink blood,
at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian
all of his power and prestige: [[spoiler:because he promised someone that he wouldn't drink blood until he showed them true terror, and they ''died'' before it happened. Not considering death of the North]]'', Minato recipient a legitimate reason for breaking off a contract, he just went on not drinking blood for the next four hundred years]].
* In ''DissidiaFinalFantasy'', [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII The Onion Knight]] learns this as AnAesop, as, though it went against his otherwise perfectly rational motto of not taking on any foe he wasn't confident about, he found he had to fight on regardless if it meant [[DistressedDamsel rescuing]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]].
** More precisely, he learns that while his perfectly logical fighting style is effective, it doesn't allow him to exceed the limits he sets on himself. Only by ignoring reason and logic can he find the power to succeed despite overwhelming odds. He stubbornly
refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he believe that it changes his fighting style, though:
---> '''Onion Knight''': Don't get me wrong, I still
won't let fight anyone I can't beat. So I guess I'll ''just have to beat you!''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Alistair in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a lot of this going on. Being a Grey Warden, he considers it part of his duty.
** PlayedForLaughs in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''. The Hand of Korth was supposed to attack
the girls do any chores or Tevinter Imperium, but somehow managed to get jobs it into his head to help attack you instead. After you kill him, his father (the chieftain of the tribe) declares his displeasure by smacking your holdings with goat's blood, as is the tribe's custom. Thing is, the chief is a lot smarter than his son, and knows this is probably going to get him killed. So he goes whole-hog and [[spoiler:physically ''throws a goat at the castle''. He's officially arrested for "laying siege to the walls with a goat."]] If you choose to "exile" him and his clan to Tevinter ([[{{Unishment}} which is what they wanted in the first place]]), it's one of the few decisions that every single one of your companions approves of.
* ''EVEOnline'' has this in the form of Amarr Empire battle doctrine, which completely forbids retreat or surrender. During their war with the Jove, the only battle they fought with them cost them most of their fleet because they couldn't retreat or give up.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', with the Broken Steel DLC installed, while the player can send a radiation-immune companion character to activate the purifier rather than sacrificing themselves or Sarah Lyons, the game still considers this a cowardly choice rather than [[NegateYourOwnSacrifice Negating Your Own Sacrifice]].
* Alluded to in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''. According to Auron, Jecht would often try and talk his companions into helping someone
out because it was 'the right thing to do.' If he used that phrase, both Auron and Braska knew it would get them into a whole heap of trouble.
* Gerik and his mercenaries from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. When they and their employer [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Prince Innes]] are vastly outnumbered by an enemy army, Innes tries to convince them to surrender and save themselves since the other guys are only after him. Even after he fires them they refuse to (thoughhe orders them to surrender [[WhatAnIdiot after firing them]]).
-->'''Innes:''' Unbelievable... and you people call yourselves mercenaries? I thought you fought for money, not duty.\\
'''Gerik:''' Yeah, that's one of the rules. Guess we're lousy mercenaries, eh?
* The elites in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series definitely fall under this trope. In one book, the Chief noted that even regular soldiers would fight hand-to-hand and die rather than pick up fully-loaded human weapons at their feet. The high-ranking zealots take it further, '''''especially''''' in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The [[WordofGod Word of God]] at the time was that these officers had a honour code that prohibited them from using ranged weapons, and entering vehicles is considered cowardice. As a result, they end up being less dangerous than their gun-wielding subordinates, since they just run at you with a sword. When you do get one as an ally, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything giving him a gun will just result in him running up to enemies and bludgeoning them with it, and he will stubbornly refuse to enter any vehicle]].
** Of course they're still more dangerous than their subordinates because they're ten foot aliens with cloaking devices, energy shields and an one-hit kill weapon. On heroic, which is as close to realistic difficulty, unless if several marines focus fire on the single zealot, he ''will'' reach lunging distance before his shields drop and he ''will'' annihilate the group of marines by himself.
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'', Donald Duck briefly follows Riku in his evil phase due to a literal interpretation of King Mickey's orders. He later realizes this is stupid and returns to Sora's side.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' series, Meta Knight will give you a sword in the favor of a fair fight, even when the fate of the universe is on the line. In one game, the two of you are on a damaged airship that is currently falling towards the ocean - and he'll wait a full thirty seconds for you to pick up the sword before deciding to attack you anyways. In another, the fact that his evil doppelganger doesn't throw you a sword is the first clue that
it's not really him.
* This is used for IdiotHero Wain's EstablishingCharacterMoment in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheLegendReturns''. When a bolt of lightning sets a house on fire and a little girl is trapped inside, Wain rushes in without hesitation, pulls the girl out, then collapses from
his job injuries. Seena heals him, then asks what he would have done if she ''wasn't'' able to heal him...to which he replies that she ''could'' heal him, so it wasn't a problem anyway.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', where Samara, a WarriorMonk swears an Oath to Shepard so she will follow his/her orders, no matter how dishonorable they would be normally considered by her Code. However, she does inform them that if he/she does anything particularly dishonorable in the eyes of the Code, Samara will kill them when she is released from the oath of subsumation.
** Either played straight or subverted depending on the player's whims in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', where Samara attempts to [[spoiler:kill herself]] as her Code requires her [[spoiler:to kill her only surviving daughter]]. However, Shepard can intervene, allowing time for [[spoiler:her daughter to provide an alternative]].
** Inverted with Javik in ''Mass Effect 3'', he chastises Shepard for believing that that victory is possible with one's honor intact.
---> "Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer."
** Zig-zagged with curing the genophage. If Wrex is in charge, especially if Eve is still alive, the honourable path - playing fair with an old friend - is also the reasonable one, since they can keep the krogan pointed at the enemy and direct them toward a brighter future, while backstabbing them for salarian
support will end in [[spoiler:Wrex dead, Mordin dead, and Clan Urdnot sitting the war out]]. If Wreav is in charge, especially if Eve is dead, curing the genophage - while still the noble thing to do - will ultimately end in either a massive krogan civil war, or a new Krogan Rebellions, and as a result the dishonourable option of backstabbing them all. becomes the most viable.
* Enforced with ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar'''s KarmaMeter. Characters can earn Chivalry points from doing things like sparing prisoners and lowering taxes, or Dread by executing [=POWs=] and exploiting peasants, that's straightforward enough. But on the battlefield you're abiding by medieval codes of chivalry, so "good" strategies are limited to frontal assaults against an equally matched opponent. If you use flanking actions, shoot down foes with archers, charge units in the rear, or use spies to gather intelligence - you know, ''tactics'' - characters will quickly pick up "Cruel and Cunning" and other Dreaded traits.
* Both [[KnightTemplar Colonel]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist General]] from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' have been duped into sending Repliforce to war with the world by [[ManipulativeBastard Sigma]], forcing X and Zero to stop them. Colonel foolishly becomes a MartyrWithoutACause, which has a ''horrific'' [[KillTheCutie repercussion]] if you're playing as Zero. [[spoiler: His sister Iris tries to exact [[RevengeBeforeReason a heartbroken revenge]] after being [[BreakTheCutie emotionally wrecked by the death of her brother]], and Zero, her beloved boyfriend, is forced to do her in (Similar to RomeoAndJuliet, but Romeo still lives). Zero has a '''''stratospheric''''' HeroicBSOD as a result]].
** General is one of the all-time offenders of this trope, enacting a myriad of disasters because of the honorable name of Repliforce. He meets a [[TheManBehindTheCurtain cloaked figure]], never discovering he's really [[BigBad the most feared Maverick on the planet, Sigma]]. Thinking this "stranger" is a [[AWolfInSheepsClothing man of reputable advice]] makes him fall victim to [[UnwittingPawn Sigma's deceitful logic]] and enter into '''''seriously''''' DirtyBusiness. Worse, he is unaware [[DoubleAgent Magma Dragoon]] caused [[ColonyDrop Sky Lagoon to crash]] and [[InnocentBystander wipe out millions]]- he thinks it's an accident perpetrated by the Maverick Hunters.
This unintentionally causes Repliforce to dishonor its namesake, the army to be decimated, and General to decide the ends justify the means. Worse, General has [[KillSat Final Weapon]], a doomsday space station geared for armageddon. After X/Zero gives him a well-deserved WhatTheHellHero speech (Zero even more angered, on the verge of a RoaringRampageOfRevenge), pulverizing half his steely body in the process, General cools down long enough to realize that acting in favor of NecessarilyEvil was a deadly mistake, and he has a HeelFaceTurn. However, Sigma's EvilPlan allowed him to hijack Final Weapon to trigger the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. To stop it, General pulls a HeroicSacrifice, using his halfway-ruined body to block the weapon's laser strike, but doing so vaporizes him into space dust.
** While several characters show signs of this, nowhere is it more apparent then in Colonel. By stubbornly refusing to allow his forces to be questioned by the Hunters due to his [[{{Hubris}} pride]], he is hugely responsible for the Fourth Maverick War, which
leaves Minato himself, his sister and the rest of Repliforce dead. In fact, he is one of the few villains from that game who is ''completely unsympathetic''.
* Inverted in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series. Being a StealthBasedGame, Snake isn't averse to using every dirty, underhanded tactic in the book to incapacitate/kill/sneak past his enemies, and MissionControl encourages the player to employ these tactics at every possible occasion, while the villains ''always'' announce their presence and proceed to give Snake a (relatively) fair fight instead of [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just killing him]].
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: The Boss inverts and plays this trope straight. Her GambitRoulette ensured that she'd be dishonored and declared "the biggest traitor of this century," her personal honor keeps her from killing, and sometimes even passively '''helping''' Snake in his mission.]]
*** The End is a more pure embodiment, as he wanted "one last" honorable sniper battle. even if he gets the drop on you, he only ever knocks Snake out and drags him to an ''unlocked'' cell at a previous base instead of killing Snake. In turn, Snake is sad to disappoint The End if the player lets him die of old age, which causes the Major to chew him out over the radio for
trying to support several women be dramatic.
* Piston Hondo from ''PunchOut'' has a really bad habit of bowing before a match, being Japanese
and all. [[CombatPragmatist You can punch him in the middle of his bowing to gain a start punch]]. He learns his lesson for the title defense match against him and will dodge and counter your punch if you try to do it again.
** However, this trope is downplayed [[FridgeBrilliance when you think about it]]. If you pay attention, he's actually staring at you while he's bowing, which is considered ''extremely'' disrespectful in Japan. He's not so much being honorable as he is being [[StealthInsult ironic]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Quest for Glory 2}}'', a fighter faces TheDragon in a climactic swordfight, and quickly disarms him. If he chooses to kill his unarmed foe, instead of letting him have his sword back, the game treats it as a dishonorable act... even though TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is due to happen ''in a few minutes,'' if the hero doesn't get a move on. The VGA fan remake is even more extreme in this regard; giving the sword back leads to a truly NintendoHard fight. Apparently, TheDragon waits until after you show him mercy to bust out the really nasty moves.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Romancing SaGa}}'', Lord Theodore is the leader of the Knights of the Dominion, and one of the few who still follows their code to the letter. Unfortunately, he is '''''so''''' convinced that he's '''''the''''' bastion [[JusticeWillPrevail of justice and honor]], '''''the''''' [[HolierThanThou last such bastion left in the Dominion]] that he constantly overcompensates for the failings of his kin, both real and imagined. Rather than leading by example, he becomes LawfulStupid incarnate.
* In ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', Naoe Kanetsugu embodies this trope to a tee, Azai Nagamasa less so (who splits this with his [[LoveFreak love]] of Oichi). Interestingly, the JerkAss Ishida Mitsunari actually adopts this trope by his decisive battle at Sekigahara [[spoiler:by refusing an officer's suggestion of a sneak attack on the enemy, and revealing in his ending that his friends' honor tropes actually rubbed off on him]].
* A game mechanic in ''VideoGame/{{Sengoku}}''. Honor is gained by such things as donating money to the Emperor and granting land to vassals, and lost by hatching plots and declaring wars. If a character loses too much, they commit {{seppuku}}.
* Kasumi from ''Shakkin Shimai'' takes this to an extreme, refusing help from Okura even if it means she'll be sold into prostitution to pay off her family's debt.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' usually acts before he thinks, and, being a generally nice guy, he's usually acing heroically (or [[IdiotHero stupidly]], but sometimes GoodIsDumb). He justification for rushing headlong into a mission that seems hopelessly outmatched is just "IGaveMyWord."
* Possible in the ''VideoGame/StarRuler'' mod ''Galactic Armory''. One [[MinMaxing Trait]] you can take is "Code of Honor", which prevents from using a variety of subsystems. No [=WMDs=], fair enough, but when the thing prevents you from using sensible things like ArmorPiercingAttack it goes straight into this.
* Luke, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Tales of the Abyss}},'' starts off as being extremely self-centered and arrogant, but later he becomes near-suicidally selfless in an attempt to make up for his previous behavior, and holds true to the strength and ideals of humanity, opposing the fatalist views of the game's antagonists.
* The Half-Zatoichi in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is a katana wielded by the Demoman and the Soldier. It is Honorbound, meaning that once you draw it, sheathing it without drawing blood will hurt you, but you regain a large amount of health when you kill with it.
* In the ''Franchise/WarcraftExpandedUniverse'' book ''Literature/OfBloodAndHonor'', the human paladin Tirion Fordring is an extremely honourable guy, saving an elderly man from a race which pretty much all of humanity was still recovering from having being nearly crushed by at the time. Doing so saw him exiled for treachery and his wife refusing to take herself and their son into the ruin he made for himself. His magical powers were supposed to have been taken from him, though due to nature of his use of them, it is assumed that they were granted by moral righteousness -- which has since been debated and argued about in true nature, due to ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''.
* In ''WarriorsOrochi'', Pang De's version of this trope is so cliche that he's called out on this more than once -- hilariously, when one asks him what his "way of the warrior" even means, Pang De's explanation is basically repeating the concept. [[spoiler:It's especially off, and call-out-on-worthy, since he's on Orochi's side through Wei, particularly Cao Pi's aligning with Orochi. However, in the Battle of Shizugatake (Shu story) if the player manages to save enough Hojo officers and prevent defections he will recognize the conflict and agree to leave Wei/Orochi]].
* In a rare ''villainous'' example of this trope, in ''Weaponlord'', it has been prophecied that on the night that the moon bleeds, the BigBad Zarak will be killed by the Weaponlord, whose identity is unknown except for the clue that he/she was born under the Warrior's Moon. Zarak's lieutenants advise him to pull a Herod and simply slaughter all the infants born under that moon, but Zarak instead decides to wait until the Weaponlord is grown up, and then face his prophecied killer fair-and-square in single combat to see if the prophecy will really work. [[spoiler: This gets Zarak killed if you play anyone but him, and if you play Zarak himself, it is revealed that Zarak ''himself'' was born under a Warrior's Moon, and since he killed the ''previous'' BigBad, Zarak ''himself'' becomes the Weaponlord]].
* Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji from ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' suffers a terminal case of this. His casual disrespect of a ''gaijin'' Ultor Executive whom he deems as beneath him backfires when that guy --BiggerBad Dane Vogel-- immediately gives crucial intel to the Saints in retaliation, and his insistence on an honorable katana duel against The Boss goes awry when it turns out The Boss is a CombatPragmatist who has no problem bringing a gun to a swordfight.
* The White Knights of ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' apparently value the honour of a straight-up battle that would leave many of their number dead over the reasonable approach of sniping the enemy leader from above and behind, almost expelling the member of their order that [[CombatPragmatist took the latter approach]] to killing a dark magic-wielding enemy warlord.
** Pointedly averted by the Temple Knights of Saradomin, an order of holy paladins in the service of a god of honor and nobility, who nonetheless immediately recruited the aforementioned shooter on the basis that he ''did'' get the job done.
* The Arceans in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'' are all about honor, even at their own expense. This why, despite being generally nice enough guys to those who aren't their enemies, they are considered morally Neutral: honor is more important to them than any morality. A savvy player can exploit this to get the Arcean AI to do some very stupid things if they set things up properly.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'': The Klingons, repeatedly, to IdiotBall levels. Might even qualify as a DeconstructedTrope.
** In the backstory they react to Federation condemnation of their unilateral invasion of the Gorn Hegemony by breaking off diplomatic relations and beginning attacks on Federation colonies. [[HistoryRepeats Just like they did before the Dominion War]].
** In the mission "Diplomatic Orders", a Klingon cruiser commander gets information that a Federation diplomat is really an Undine. Does he submit his findings to the Federation? No! He leads a deep-strike into Federation territory to kill the ambassador himself, and instead of coming out firing, he sacrifices the element of surprise to high-handedly demand that the Federation PC hand over the ambassador. The Fed PC reacts surprisingly well to this: instead of just blasting the idiot out of space on sight (remember, the Feds and Klinks have now '''been at war for four years'' and the Klingon is asking a Starfleet officer on an EscortMission to ''hand over his escortee to an enemy combatant''), he asks to see the Klingon's evidence, and the Klingon instead takes umbrage and attacks, and because he's up against a {{Plot Armor}}ed PlayerCharacter he dies completely pointlessly and Starfleet makes the kill against the Undine.
** Then there's "House Pegh", a.k.a. [[FanNickname "House Pratfall"]] [[invoked]]. Emperor Kahless breaks away from a covert infiltration mission that is going surprisingly well because he sees an Iconian on a security camera and wants to challenge it to honorable combat. T'Ket at first ignores the idiot, then basically toys with Kahless for a while until [[spoiler:B'Eler {{technobabble}}s away T'Ket's NighInvulnerability. Instead of pressing his unearned advantage home, Kahless cuts off T'Ket's arm then starts monologuing about honor, giving T'Ket time to recover and vape Kahless. And then the "mighty Klingon warriors" of House Pegh, supposedly the Empire's covert ops arm, ''panic and run for their lives''.]]
* In the storyline of ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' Kotal Kahn, TheEmperor of all Outworld, permits a foreign emissary of no great importance to challenge him in TrialByCombat for the life of a petty thief. His decision to personally participate
himself on just instead of using a champion is questionable, although it may have been a calculated risk given that he's [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking an incredibly deadly warrior]]. Less forgivable is that upon losing, he insists that the winner execute him as per ancient tradition, even though he's in the midst of a SuccessionCrisis and his wages as death would give the throne to his hated, psychotic rival. He only survives because his opponent [[CantKillYouStillNeedYou needs him on the throne]] and demands his service instead.
* ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis'': Walter,
a construction worker.knight from a neighboring kingdom who lost to TheHero, Fray, in a battle tournament, demands a rematch when they meet up again a year later and wants it ''now''! Never mind that they meet up in a crowded tavern and drawing his sword in the midst of civilians while on an official mission for his king would have tarnished his honor far more than a fair loss.


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Given that it's a VisualNovel about the {{Shinsengumi}} and the [[EndOfAnAge fall of the shogunate]], this trope runs rampant throughout most of ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}''. Saito and Hijikata's routes in particular are full to the brim with it, both on their own parts and on the parts of Kondou and the subordinates they've inspired to follow them; they are dedicated swordsmen with deeply-held beliefs about what it means to be a warrior, in an age in which swords are quickly becoming obsolete in favor of guns and Western tactics. Their senses of honor also mean that, nearly to a man, the Shinsengumi captains insist on keeping Chizuru with them and protecting her even as they face losing battle after losing battle and everything falls apart around them; whenever it's so much as suggested that it would be better for Chizuru to leave rather than have them risk death to defend her, they bridle at the suggestion that they're not capable of protecting her.
* In Soryu Oh's route of ''VisualNovel/KissedByTheBaddestBidder'', Soryu is set for an ArrangedMarriage to the daughter of a [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs Triad]] boss - a marriage which would consolidate their two gangs into a powerful organization which he would be next in line to take over - but declines at the last minute. In doing so, he offends the girl's father and causes him to lose face to the point that the only way for Soryu's gang to smooth things over is to hand Soryu over to be executed. As Soryu is no doubt fully aware of the likely consequences of his decision, his chosen course of action benefits ''absolutely no one'', but he is willing to be executed rather than marry a woman he doesn't love and who doesn't love him when he knows that what he really wants is to be with the protagonist.
* Saber in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has a pretty bad case of this. She ''knows'' her decisions are going to screw her over yet feels bound by her honor and rules of fair play. As an example in FSN, she charges the temple single handed after everyone agrees it's suicide to do so, is commanded ''not'' to go and is perfectly aware that at best she will be severely wounded. In FZ, she lets Lancer go assuming that he's going to kill her Master Kiritsugu and therefore remove her from the war. Why? One, she doesn't like Kiritsugu and two, Lancer just helped her out. He only lives because Lancer [[WorthyOpponent lives by the same rules]].
** Naturally, in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', she ends up the Servant of another person who epitomizes this trope, Shirou.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''TalesOfTheQuestor'' is filled with this trope and subversions, and just reading the comic would be faster than listing every case. Some noteworthy examples include [[spoiler:taking on a rat-king on his own with nearly suicidal results]], freeing a thief he believed would be punished remarkably severely, feeding said thief ''after'' she tried to steal from him, and being polite and friendly to humans he had little reason to trust. When Quentin reveals himself to the villagers to help fight the [[TheFairFolk evil Fey lord]], his honorable behavior he displayed at the farmer's home comes into play when that [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00493.html farmer speaks up and tells the crowd that he trusts the Racoonan hero]]. Even more recently, attempting to draw the attention of said evil Fey lord to protect a bunch of humans earned him ThreeWishes.
** However, HonorBeforeReason is [[GoodIsNotNice nowhere to be found]] when he makes those three wishes. He -- as a narrator -- tells us that even one carefully-worded wish could ruin a fae. When he's done making his ''three'', the evil Fae Lord is utterly ''ruined''. Then again, perhaps he ''is'' showing honor -- by protecting the mortal realm by turning their nemesis into the fae version of a penniless vagabond, especially when he could have wished for all his grand quest items to allow him to return home in triumph.
*** It may not be immediately obvious, but most of his Honor Before Reason behavior is attributable to his own naïveté. [[spoiler:Taking on a rat-king alone was a matter of being in a hopeless scenario. If he ran, the shadow rats would have overwhelmed and devoured him anyway.]] He helped the thief in question less because of honor and more because he's a soft touch. As to wishing for the Fae Lord to retrieve all the quest items for him, that was a little bit above the Fae's pay grade (they're powerful, not omnipotent or omniscient). Phrasing the wishes just right to avoid a backlash would have required a platoon of lawyers, and even if the Fae had granted the wish he would still have been left with a very powerful and very ANGRY Fae Princeling ready to squash him like a bug. His three wishes were phrased so as to minimize the damage the Fae Princeling could cause. He is largely oblivious till after the fact what a perfect storm of bankruptcy his wishes have caused the Fae Lord in question.
** Honor and Reason go hand in hand when he takes on his current quest. He acts with Honor by fulfilling an ancient contract to save a village, fully knowing he may never be able to return home. He acts with equal Reason--it's his hometown, and if he turns this quest down, he ''will'' never be able to return home as his family is in the exact same predicament as everyone else. Even if he dies without completing his quest, [[MyDefenseNeedNotProtectMeForever his village is protected.]]
** And yet again, when he takes on the mission to kill a dragon that had been terrorizing the countryside. After the guardsmen sent to assist him [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere abandon him in the middle of the night]], he decides to press on... despite having little-to-no supplies and only Sam and a disgraced squire (with a possibly haunted suit of self-motivating magic armor) as back up. Though this time it's heavily implied that it's as much about Quentyn's ego as it is about keeping his word.
* Homestuck is an interesting case of this. The troll society of Alternia allows mindless killing of any on a lower bloodcaste than oneself. It encourages it, even. Along with that, revenge is encouraged, as is pretty much anything. The subversion, and in being so, the played-straight (by human standards) example is Karkat, who, despite copious swearing, has not once hurt another troll.
* In the ''Webcomic/{{Noblesse}}'' manhwa, [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/noblesse/v03/c189/27.html one of the noble vampires proceeds to cut himself because Frankenstein "unfairly received a wound.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Lord Soon of the Sapphire Guard swore an oath of non-interference regarding the Snarl's Gates, other than his own. This was a good idea at the time, to prevent infighting from spoiling old friendships. However, ''all'' the paladins of the Guard still consider themselves bound by this oath, even though those to whom it was sworn are (probably) all dead, and seizing the Gates before the BigBad does is the key to saving the multiverse. Nevertheless, the oath takes precedence over the paladins' drive to oppose evil wherever it be found. This forces [[spoiler:Lord Shojo to get creative, and hire the title party to investigate the Gates instead. Ironically, at least one other Scribble member thought Soon would break his oath, and booby trapped the location he gave for his Gate in an act of spite. Double irony: he was the only one that didn't break it.]]
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:this led to O-Chul being able to completely avoid compromising ANYTHING about the other gates.]] This is lampshaded by Redcloak, who remarks with frustration that it is absurd for generations of paladins to wilfully sabotage their own ability to perform their duties, all for a silly promise. A (literal) lampshade is then promptly hung around the lampshade itself.
** No longer true. A leader of the paladins eventually offers to help the Order of the Stick in their quest, if only by covering one of the remaining gates when the main characters go to find the other. He explains that [[spoiler:with their Gate destroyed, the oaths that bound them are dissolved]].
** Durkon declares he and Hilgya must part because they must do their duty [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0084.html]] -- followed by ManlyTears.
* The entirety of the qualified regulars (except for Parakewl) in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' one by one decide to help Baam and Lahel take the Guardian's test, even though they've known each other only for a month and expected to fight each other, and even though that specific test is harder than the usual course. Special mention goes to [[spoiler: Hatsu, who is the most immediate and most vocal proponent of supporting Baam, and Koon, who by pretending to be against it riles most up to follow Hatsu.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}'' has one ongoing example and one example that crosses over with RefusalOfTheCall.
** [[KnightTemplar The Knights of La-Shoar]] have a strict policy on anything that goes against "Natural Law", policies that have become defacto law in their territory - at the top of that list is magic. ''Any'' magic, from healing magic to offensive spells to charmed items. Not only does this put their kingdom at a disadvantage (Every other major power makes open use of magic), but they know it. But refuse to change their ways at all.
** LadyOfWar Bernadette jumped through every ridiculous hoop The Knights put up to test her "suitability" to be one of their numbers. They had to be sure she wasn't "cheating" or just getting lucky when challenging other knights. (As if her taking down an ArtifactOfDoom-wielding psycho who'd carved through their ranks wasn't proof enough.). This has been Bernadette's life dream. And just when the elder Knights formally ask Bernadette to join them... she turns them down. She chose to come out of the closet as Maytag's lover, rather than be forced to deny her as a knight. (Homosexuals ''also'' being against "Natural Law") Note that Bernadette and Maytag were very much on the down low before Bernadette's moment and Maytag would've been perfectly happy to keep it that way.
* In ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'', this trope is the Eastern Basitin [[PlanetOfHats hat]], to the point that they're biologically tuned to accept and obey orders, even clearly self-destructive ones. (Keith's ability to disobey is considered "proof" that he's "broken and unfit".)
** Hell, as one of the few who are able to disobey orders, Keith tries to off himself from the crushing guilt. It should be noted that not every Eastern Basitin is happy about this urge and can deeply regret following questionable orders.
* Villainous example: The Wizard's Apprentice in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''. He swore to his mentor and God that he would kill all of the [[GreenRocks Dewitchery Diamond]]'s spawn, which previously had all been monsters. Now that he's discovered that Ellen is not a monster but instead an OppositeSexClone who has done nothing wrong, well, he feels really bad about it, but he takes his oaths ''[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 very]]'' seriously.
* In ''Webcomic/CastlevaniaRPG'', [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/25 Katrina has been harassing Shaft]] (one of Dracula's lieutenants), convinced his take over of a villiage is part of some master plan of villainy (he was elected mayor through no trickery on his part). In exasperation, Shaft removes the CatGirl curse he'd placed on her years ago, thinking that would shut her up. Instead, it made her angrier, since she was convinced she had to "earn" the curse's removal through good deeds and demanded Shaft ''re-curse her''. [[http://www.cvrpg.com/archive/comic/2009/03/26 He does]] - again, just to shut her up.
* Sir Muir in ''Webcomic/{{Harkovast}}'' pretty much personifies this trope.
* Big Ears from ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' qualifies, as it is usual for paladins. He would throw himself "into the fires of hell" if he thinks it's the right thing to do, but fortunately he can be reasoned with by his companions.
* Avery, Sisko's player from Webcomic/DAndDS9 informs the DM that the Borg's roll was a CriticalHit, despite it not being in his interest to do so.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', [[spoiler:Goro]] [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-13-page-18 demonstrates this]] by going after [[spoiler:Smith]] alone. Afterwards, [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Dragon_Doctors/5418980/ she realizes that it wasn't worth it.]]
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', the ninjas only have one purpose in life: to kill the "dragon rider"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Neil Sinclair of ''{{Survival of the Fittest}}'' fits this trope. The primary example of such behaviour is trusting Dominica Sharpiro by offering her a place in his Pro escape group, despite knowing, for ''certain'' that she [[spoiler:earlier killed another group member]] who became separated from the others.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is big on this one, protecting friends and children to the most extreme degree even though he knows full well it'll get himself hurt.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the trope is discussed in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/snare-13-10/ Snare 13.10]] when [[spoiler:Grue i.e. Brian is talking to Taylor i.e. Skitter]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Brian]]:''' I ''worry'' about you. You throw yourself into these situations like you don't care if you die, like you've got nothing to stick around for except for those people you insist on protecting. [[spoiler:Dinah]], the people from [[spoiler:your territory]]. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only more so. Riskier stuff. I start thinking about how I'm supposed to protect you, get you to stop, get you to focus on a goal that's actually attainable, because you're so capable that you could be amazing if you stopped acting suicidal.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge refuses to use sniper rifles and other long distance weapons other than regular guns, as he believes the only way to kill someone is up close and personal. He admits that he has no problem with using a nuke on an enemy because of RuleOfCool.
* In Sherwood Forest, Will follows Robin to the castle and rushes into battle to save him. This would be very noble if not for the fact that he's a terrible swordfighter and basically just manages to kill a guy through sheer dumb luck. He also got lucky in that his appearance made the Sheriff's guards scatter; if they'd stuck around long enough to realize he was just flailing wildly with a sword, they probably would have killed him.
* Tempered Steel from WebOriginal/FalloutIsDragons will always, always, always try to talk others into doing the right thing. Even a pissed off dragon who is currently preparing its breath weapon.
* Actually {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' as an argument [[spoiler:against Goku in "Goku vs. Superman". Many Dragonball Z characters, Goku included, have a habit of demanding a fair fight even against an obviously superior opponent. Hence, even if [[IdiotHero Goku]] managed to figure out Superman's weaknesses to kryptonite and exposure to a red star, he would refuse to exploit them.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Zeta from ''WesternAnimation/TheZetaProject'' is like this once he's grown a conscience and done a HeelFaceTurn against his creators. Ro notes that it would easier for him to escape the NSA's agents tailing him if he'd fight back, but his code of nonviolence is not negotiable for him. And on the odd occasions he ''will'' fight, he won't kill. Ever. The weird thing is that all of this actively goes against his programming and nature, unlike many of the examples on this page.
* AntiVillain Prince Zuko in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]'' begins the series believing he's a disgrace and only his father can restore his honour, with his rightful place, but his desperation and his tendency to put his quest for redemption above all else puts he and his crew at risk. He ends the series by wanting to restore honour of the entire Fire Nation. 'Kay.
--> '''[[WhoWouldWantToWatchUs Actor!Zuko]]''': Honourrrrr!\\
** Aang is unwilling to outright kill Firelord Ozai, despite everyone, including his past lives, telling him it's the only way. [[spoiler:Plot twist: [[TakeAThirdOption Lion turtle.]]]]
*** In [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarDay the season two episode "Avatar Day"]], Aang insists on undergoing an unfair trial by the Avatar-hating Chin Village for something he did in a former life.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra publicly challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, alone; [[MagnificentBastard Amon]] does not have the same moral qualms. And yet...
** A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into [[SuperMode the Avatar State]] from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her EnemyWithin rears up and [[DiabolusExMachina forces her back to normal.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' insists on defending others from evil, even when it means passing up a chance to [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong return to the past]] and undo the original ''cause'' of the evil.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "The Gathering", Goliath decides to have himself and his clan help their enemy, David Xanatos, stop the godlike Oberon from abducting his child on pure principle, considering they owe the billionaire absolutely nothing. Although it's obviously a difficult and dangerous task, Goliath is instrumental to making Oberon compromise to allow the child to stay. As a result, Xanatos then feels he owes the clan big time, which leads him to inviting them back to the castle to live safely after they are exposed to the public.
** Likewise Owen's participation in that battle, since he knew [[spoiler:Oberon would not be happy he was missing the Gathering]].
** During his first appearance Macbeth is trying to capture the gargoyles, but he chooses to calmly wait until sundown to fight them rather than just moving their statues in the middle of the day. In a later episode he refuses to let Demona smash them, again citing it as dishonorable.
* Optimus Prime in ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' always was an honorable fighter. Particularly in the episode "Heavy Metal War", when Megatron challenged Prime to single combat. Megatron, of course, cheated by transferring all of the special abilities of the Deceptions to himself. Even though Megatron was ''clearly'' doing things he could not possibly do (teleport, fire null rays, etc.) Prime accepted defeat. At least, until Teletraan-1 pointed out what a cheating bastard Megatron was.
** Many of the older comics and some of the new ones use this to mark the difference between Optimus Prime and other Autobot leaders such as Grimlock, who's not as honor bound, more ruthless and willing to do whatever is necessary for a victory. Yet that same honor, similar to Captain Carrot (see Literature, above) is what allows Prime to make things work that others simply wouldn't. Through patience, a few [[PatrickStewartSpeech Peter Cullen Speeches]], and honorable behavior throughout, Prime manages to convince a Decepticon commander that his surrender to the Earthbound Deceptions is ''not'' a sign that the "great Optimus Prime" actually is and always was a coward or a weakling, but rather that he genuinely believes that only by uniting can they stop a greater threat.
* {{ZigZagged}} in ''WesternAnimation/{{ReBoot}}''. Enzo has returned home to Mainframe, all grown up, big, strong and gunning for Megabyte, both literally and figuratively. When confronted by Enzo's gun, Megabyte taunts him into fighting like a "real sprite". Enzo puts away his gun...but then proceeds to send Megabyte flying with a punch hard enough to dent his chest, ''before'' Megabyte has a chance to prepare. And he then proceeds to do it ''again'' while Megabyte is still recovering from the first attack. When Megabyte inevitably cheats, he takes him on with a spear, then at the end of the fight, spares Megabyte... despite Megabyte enslaving the population of Mainframe, torturing his friends, and killing countless binomes.
* Alissa from ''WesternAnimation/DeadSpaceDownfall'' was more so worried about helping the survivors (whom might already be infected) then quarantining the ship. Her captain might have been nuts but he actually made SOME sense. Could also be a case of Compassion Before Reason.
** You have to be dead in order to be infected, but still there was at most ''20 people out of 2000'' left alive and going crazy.
*** You don't have to be dead for the marker to drive you batshit insane though.
* Played straight and then subverted during an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' animated series. Tony Stark agrees to get an artifact from a booby-trapped tomb if Madame Masque will release his kidnapped workers. She releases Julia Carpenter (Spiderwoman) who will send the Iron Man armor but keeps the other workers captive. Julia says that she will send down the armor "and a lot more", but Tony stops her because he has given his word. The trope is subverted almost immediately afterward. Once, Iron Man has entered the tomb, Julia convinces Jim Rhodes (War Machine) to attack Madame Masque and her minions anyway, arguing that the only chance the hostages have is if they attack their captors off guard.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' are made of this trope; so much so that they come across as arrogant when they refuse to let the title characters join them on a potential suicide mission. This trope is also subverted in that the Teen Titans end up undoing all the {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s the Doom Patrol made offscreen.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' actually pulls a FaceHeelTurn ''because of this trope.'' Omi lost his good side temporarily becoming evil. The main villain of the season then had Omi pledge loyalty to him. After he returned to normal, Omi decided to stay with the villain SOLELY to keep a promise he made when he wasn't in his right mind.
** Another is when Omi doesn't look up the secret to destroying all evil.... because he promised not to. And actually it's worse than that, because he DOES break the promise and looks it up... but now to feebly try to keep the now BROKEN promise he refuses to USE the secret. Sure, things work out in the better in the end, but it's still horrific use of this trope since as far as Omi was concerned, he was playing it painfully straight. [[spoiler: Though it turns out the secret was really the secret to destroy all good. Chase gives up that little tidbit. Omi then uses Chase's own words against him.]]
* Subverted in a strange way in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode. Mojo has Blossom in a bind by having the Professor and her two sisters hostage. He demands Blossom's fealty and tries to use her honesty against her.
-->'''Blossom:''' What do you want?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' First, you will bow down before me! Next, you will pledge your allegiance and devotion to serve me!\\
'''Blossom:''' How do you know I won't lie?\\
'''Mojo Jojo:''' Because you're Blossom.\\
'''Blossom:''' Shoot!
** Another example would be from the episode where she first gets her "ice breath" power. After inadvertently causing the escape of a trio of robbers, she promises never to use her ice powers again. She has the timing to make this promise as a giant meteor is headed straight for Townsville. She's the only one that can stop it, yet she's insistent on maintaining her promise despite the fact that the promise won't ''matter if she doesn't do something''. Buttercup manages to snap her out of it, though.
** When faced with elderly criminals, Buttercup and Bubbles prepare to foil their crime when Blossom stops them. She points out while they could stop them, they have to respect the elderly. She decides to instead [[OldSuperhero recruit the heroes who fought the villains the last time]]. The end result has everyone being rushed into intensive care with everyone recognizing Blossom's error.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Lisa turning down a fortune after finding out what Mr Burns had turned the recycling company he and Lisa had started into. What she could've done with twelve million.
--> '''Homer, in a hospital bed after 4 simultaneous heart attacks:''' It's okay, sweetie. But we really could've used that 12,000 dollars.\\
'''Lisa''': Actually dad, 10% of 120 million dollars ''isn't'' 12,000, it's...\\
''*Smash cut to hospital corridor*''\\
'''PA:''' Code Blue! Code Blue!
** The worst part about this particular scenario is that since Lisa didn't take the money, Mr. Burns gets the money, and he probably wouldn't do anything good with it.
** This trope often applies to Lisa. Typically, someone will try and convince her to lie, cheat, or at least conceal the truth, because it's to everyone's advantage. In fact, the story will often go out of its way to assure us that everyone is better off with the lie. This usually leads to Lisa having a moral crisis before she decides to tell the truth after all (usually in an overly dramatic fashion). But of course, there's always another twist at this point.
** In one episode, the town was GenreSavvy enough to trick Lisa. She had cheated in a test (no, really) and her ill-gotten A got the school in a position to be granted government funds. When Comptroller Atkins showed up at a public conference to deliver the check, Lisa confessed and Comptroller Atkins decided to let them keep the money anyway. After WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons left, it's revealed to the viewers that, knowing Lisa would have confessed, the entire town had an imposter disguised as Comptroller Atkins to lure Lisa away and, when the real Comptroller Atkins showed up, they used a false Lisa to trick him.
** Though in a surprisingly rare case it's averted in "Lisa the Iconoclast", where she ultimately decides not to ruin the town's image of their founder Jedediah Springfield by revealing that he was actually a ruthless pirate.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' had this during the Justice Lords arc. It's pointed out that the Lords are every bit as smart, strong, fast, and skilled as the League, except that they're willing to KILL. Superman insists that he won't cross that line, to which Batman replies they'll have to cross SOME kind of line. So they end up getting [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Lex Luthor's]] help.
** WonderWoman is banished by her mother from [[LadyLand Themyscira]] for bringing men to the island and breaking the law. If she hadn't worked with the HostageForMcGuffin scenario, the Amazons would [[TakenForGranite remain in stone]]. If she hadn't received help from her teammates, Hades could have taken over. TheFlash points out this is ridiculous since she risked her life to save everyone. When the Gods have her return in "The Balance", she says she should leave after completing the task. Hippolyta asks her to stay and when she points out her exile, her mother explains that the Gods will have to deal with her if they have a problem with that. One wonders why she didn't say this the first time other than to have a BittersweetEnding.
** Because she was too stubborn. In the first episode, she even told Diana they shouldn't be concern about the alien invasion. Or it could be that the 'no men' law was laid down by the Greek gods, and they don't ''like'' being disobeyed.
* WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic: Applejack.
** Particularly in the episode "Applebuck Season", where she promises to do a few too many things while ''also'' harvesting her family's entire apple orchard by herself. It takes most of the episode, severe sleep deprivation and overwork, and accidentally causing several disasters to finally convince her that maybe she should admit she's overextended herself and ask for some help.
** She does it again in "The Last Roundup," where her failure to win a contest whose prize she had promised to donate to Ponyville led her to ''run away from home and go out West'' intending to work off the debt. She was too ashamed to face her friends and family, despite the fact that nobody ''else'' actually blamed her for losing the contest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', [[DarkActionGirl Shego's]] brother [[GoodisDumb Hego]] is this in the ep where it's revealed she used to be a hero. For example: His letting the enemy strike first and revealing their presence became too much for his sister, and became one of the many reasons, if not '''THE''' reason for her FaceHeelTurn.
--> '''Shego''': (Annoyed) Why do you think I left?!
* Brick from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' believed highly in his code as a cadet. So strong was his honor, that he sacrificed winning a challenge for his team to save the lives of Mike, Zoey, and Cameron, who were on the ''other'' team. [[spoiler: This resulted in his elimination, but those he saved saluted him good-bye.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "Brian Goes Back To College", Brian goes on a guilt trip after Stewie convinces him to cheat on a test and pass. After some internal conflict, Brian decides not to cheat on his final exam and he fails, but at least he feels good for being honest. The Griffins all say he should have cheated.
-->'''Chris:''' I HATE YOU!!!
* In ''WesternAnimation/HellboyAnimated: Sword of Storms'', a Japanese daimyo kills his own daughter, rather than breaking a promise. A promise he made to demons.
* In the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' episode "The Slaves of Castle Plundarr", the mutants enslave humanoids resembling cattle. Lion-O, being Lion-O, wants to free them, and he and the elder [=ThunderCats=] do so. The mutants use "warp gas", an anger and aggression-inducing substance, to turn the freed slaves against their rescuers. Lion-O refuses to retreat, saying the Lord of the [=ThunderCats=] ''can't'' run. Cheetara tells him "pride carried too far is ''foolishness''."
* Finn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' occasionally falls into this. He nearly has a nervous breakdown in "Memories of Boom-Boom Mountain" trying to make everyone happy because he made a vow to always help someone in trouble, and in "Videomakers" he insists on [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil obeying the FBI warnings]] on all their pre-Mushroom War video tapes.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' movie ''Into the Wild Green Yonder'', the last Encycolopod tries (albeit reluctantly) to preserve the genetic material of the recently deceased last Dark One. The Encyclopod preserves extinct species by carrying recreations of them on its back using genetic material. The Dark Ones have been trying to exterminate the Encyclopods ever since the two species existed. [[spoiler:If the Dark One's remains hadn't been completely destroyed before the Encyclopod could reach them]], the Encyclopod's honor would have forced it to carry its own mortal enemy on its back.
* In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Phineas and Ferb]]'s Quantum Boogaloo", when Doofenshmirtz took over the Tri-State Area in the BadFuture, he got everyone (including the O.W.C.A.) to swear obedience to him. All he had to do to stop whatever plans they had to dethrone him was reminding them of the oath.
* The 2013 ''ScoobyDoo'' video feature "WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooStageFright" has [[spoiler: Fred and Daphne winning the top prize on a show called "Talent Star" via popular vote. However, they deliberately throw the contest so Emma Gale, a sweet little girl who was a contestant on the show, could win the prize and save her family's farm.]]
* ''ThomasTheTankEngine'' has gained a heavy case of this in later seasons. While usually hard working and loyal, he will very quickly disobey an order or ignore duties if he believes someone else is remotely unhappy or needs help. He is usually reprimanded for this, though the Fat Controller occasionally lets it slide if it truly is for the better rather than just causing confusion and delay. Other engines occasionally have bouts of this too.
* In the third season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', the Shredder decides that the perfect time to take revenge on Splinter is [[spoiler:seconds before [[{{ItMakesSenseInContext}} an army of extradimensional Tricertops]] [[{{EarthShatteringKaboom}} destroy the Earth]] in order to prevent the Kraang from using it as a foothold in the show's main universe]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' runs on this trope, with a typical episode revolving around its IdealHero's [[ChronicHeroSyndrome inability to stop doing minor good deeds for random passerby despite the fact that he and his friend are being hunted down by the villain's henchman]], or his need to venture on an increasingly complicated and dangerous quest in the hope of ''personally'' returning a lost sock to its owner rather than risk leaving it in the lost and found.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', several of the Avengers chew out [[BadassNormal Black Widow]] for "letting [Alex Harris] go" despite Alex having beaten Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, and Wonder Man quite easily. Combining this with the fact that Alex shrugs off Hulkbuster bullets, Natasha [[DeadpanSnarker asks if they expected her to beat Alex by breaking some of her bones on the girl]].
* ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
** Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
** Team 7 decides that this does not apply in the Chunin exams when Naruto gets injured. Rather than give him what treatment they can scrape up while looking for a scroll, they know that the exams are not a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and opt to get him professional medical attention even at the cost of failing.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.
[[/folder]]
8th Oct '15 5:25:34 PM ShorinBJ
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Compare/contrast with IncorruptiblePurePureness, GoodIsOldFashioned, TheFettered, MartyrdomCulture, RevengeBeforeReason, and NobleDemon (the EvilCounterpart). Contrast NoNonsenseNemesis and BlindObedience.

to:

Compare/contrast with IncorruptiblePurePureness, GoodIsOldFashioned, TheFettered, MartyrdomCulture, RevengeBeforeReason, and NobleDemon (the EvilCounterpart). Contrast NoNonsenseNemesis CombatPragmatist, NoNonsenseNemesis, and BlindObedience.
2nd Aug '15 8:33:44 AM TheSinful
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7892592/1/Sekirei-Guardian-of-the-North Sekirei: Guardian of the North]]'', Minato refuses to use the MBI cards with no spending limit because of how much he hates MBI. Likewise, he won't let the girls do any chores or get jobs to help out because it's his job to support them all. This leaves Minato trying to support several women and himself on just his wages as a construction worker.
13th Apr '15 6:49:16 PM rodneyAnonymous
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[[quoteright:342:[[http://forlackofabettercomic.com/?id=23 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GameOfKingsHbeforeR_227.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:342: [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Honor is overrated.]]]]

to:

[[quoteright:342:[[http://forlackofabettercomic.com/?id=23 [[quoteright:342:[[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GameOfKingsHbeforeR_227.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:342: [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire [[http://forlackofabettercomic.com/?id=23 Honor is overrated.]]]]
6th Feb '15 2:42:29 PM ChaoticNovelist
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In stories on the cynical end... well, [[TooDumbToLive not so much.]]

to:

In stories on the cynical end... well, [[TooDumbToLive not so much.]]
end, you get TooDumbToLive.



When done well and/or consistently, such acts of decency fan the flickering flames of idealism in the viewers' hearts; they make them cheer even harder for the hero and inspire a desire to be just as pure and honorable. When done poorly... well, the term "LawfulStupid" comes to mind, as does MartyrWithoutACause.

to:

When done well and/or consistently, such acts of decency fan the flickering flames of idealism in the viewers' hearts; they make them cheer even harder for the hero and inspire a desire to be just as pure and honorable. When done poorly... well, poorly, the term "LawfulStupid" comes to mind, as does MartyrWithoutACause.
29th Jan '15 12:38:51 PM Pastykake
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Heroes who abide by this trope more often than not act in a manner that, while morally sound and honorable, is far from the most practical solution. Quite often this kind of decent, chivalric behavior will come at [[HeroicSacrifice a great cost to the hero's happiness, kill him outright, or similarly leave him a destroyed human being]]. A villain aware of such a gallant hero is bound to use FlawExploitation against him as well.

Put another way, a character who adheres to this trope, is someone who is [[TheFettered more committed to a particular code of abstract ethics]], than they are to their own self-preservation. They believe in a pre-defined set of rules which universally apply, and they will not break said rules, even if their own death results in adhering to them in one particular instance. These types will usually justify that, by claiming that living with the shame that results from having broken said rules, is worse than death itself.

to:

Heroes who abide by this trope more often than not act in a manner that, while although morally sound and honorable, is far from the most practical solution. Quite often this kind of decent, chivalric behavior will come at [[HeroicSacrifice a great cost to the hero's happiness, kill him outright, or similarly leave him a destroyed human being]]. A villain aware [[GenreSavvy aware]] of such a gallant hero is bound to use FlawExploitation against him as well.

Put another way, a character who adheres to this trope, trope is someone who is [[TheFettered more committed to a particular code of abstract ethics]], ethics]] than they are he is to their his own self-preservation. They believe He believes in a pre-defined set of rules which universally apply, and they he will not break said rules, even if their his own death results in from adhering to them in one particular instance. These types will usually justify that, this by claiming that living with the shame that results from having broken said rules, rules is worse than death itself.
AFateWorseThanDeath.






* In ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory'' Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammates clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because he said he would, no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.

to:

* In ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory'' ''FanFic/ATeachersGlory''
**
Kin refuses to wear her deceased teammates teammate's clothes, despite having been stripped naked and left to fend for herself in the forest of death. Also, Sasuke finds himself obliged to take Ino on a date because [[IGaveMyWord he said he would, would]], no matter how easily he could duck out of it, because the Uchiha Head keeps his promises.
This list shows the last 10 events of 217. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.HonorBeforeReason