History Main / IDidWhatIhadToDo

15th Feb '17 10:06:40 AM IndustriousArc
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* ''FanFic/ABrighterDark'': Garon, being unpossessed and in full control of himself, shows himself to be a leader subscribing to this philosophy, willing to go to extreme lengths in the hopes of somehow improving the [[CrapsackWorld apocalypticly poor standards of living his country has.]] [[TheExtremistWasRight Most of the time, it's actually pretty hard to argue with him.]]
26th Jan '17 6:19:42 PM Wyldchyld
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** When Ichigo tries to confront Ukitake and Byakuya at Rukia's prison, Yoruichi intervenes and stabs her hand into Ichigo's wounds to insert a [[InstantSedation tranquilizer]] into his body so she can carry him away from the location as quickly as possible. When Ichigo comes round and demands to know why she did that and why she didn't try to save Rukia, Ganju or Hanatarou, she explains that she had to do it this way because Byakuya was too strong for Ichigo to fight and too fast for Yoruichi to be able to escape if carrying more than one person. She also knew [[FatherToHisMen Ukitake]] would protect the others from any consequences of being associated with Ichigo.
** Mayuri has a confrontation with Yamamoto over taking a very important decision without first consulting Yamamoto and his response is that he had to do what was necessary because the problem required an immediate response and couldn't afford to be tied up by CelestialBureaucracy. [[spoiler:The decision concerned was to kill twenty-eight thousand residents of Soul Society to stabilize the cosmic balance of souls that exist to prevent the universe from breaking]] .
** Katagiri was asked to keep a secret but felt forced to reveal it because she believed the secret would threaten the Ishida family's future. [[spoiler:The secret was that Masaki had saved a shinigami, but Katagiri noticed Masaki received a Hollow-tainted wound. She acted based on Ryuuken's earlier statement to her that the future of the family depended on their bloodline remaining untainted. Katagiri's decision was the correct one, as Masaki's tainted wound would have destroyed her had she not received treatment in time]].

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** When Ichigo tries to confront Ukitake and Byakuya at Rukia's prison, Yoruichi intervenes and stabs her hand into Ichigo's wounds to insert a [[InstantSedation tranquilizer]] tranquilliser]] into his body so she can carry him away from the location as quickly as possible. When Ichigo comes round and demands to know why she did that and why she didn't try to save Rukia, Ganju or Hanatarou, she explains that she had to do it this way because Byakuya was too strong for Ichigo to fight and too fast for Yoruichi to be able to escape if carrying more than one person. She also knew [[FatherToHisMen Ukitake]] would protect the others from any consequences of being associated with Ichigo.
** Mayuri has a confrontation with Yamamoto over taking a very important decision without first consulting Yamamoto and his response is that he had to do what was necessary because the problem required an immediate response and couldn't afford to be tied up by CelestialBureaucracy. [[spoiler:The decision concerned was to kill twenty-eight thousand residents of Soul Society to stabilize the cosmic balance of souls that exist to prevent the universe from breaking]] .
breaking.]]
** Katagiri was asked to keep a secret but felt forced to reveal it because she believed the secret would threaten the Ishida family's future. [[spoiler:The secret was that Masaki had saved a shinigami, Soul Reaper, but Katagiri noticed Masaki received a Hollow-tainted wound. She acted based on Ryuuken's earlier statement to her that the future of the family depended on their bloodline remaining untainted. Katagiri's decision was the correct one, as Masaki's tainted wound would have destroyed her had she not received treatment in time]].time.]]
31st Dec '16 8:02:22 PM nombretomado
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* The 6th episode of the TVTropes original webseries ''WebVideo/EchoChamber'' has Tom claim that, when he dumped his [[PsychoExGirlfriend ex-girlfriend]], he was just doing what he had to do. [[spoiler: For once, it seems like [[{{Jerkass}} he]]'s [[AssholeVictim telling]] [[UnreliableNarrator the]] [[JerkassHasAPoint truth]].]]

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* The 6th episode of the TVTropes Wiki/TVTropes original webseries ''WebVideo/EchoChamber'' has Tom claim that, when he dumped his [[PsychoExGirlfriend ex-girlfriend]], he was just doing what he had to do. [[spoiler: For once, it seems like [[{{Jerkass}} he]]'s [[AssholeVictim telling]] [[UnreliableNarrator the]] [[JerkassHasAPoint truth]].]]



* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' villain Bobby Jacks' entire justification for 'playing the game'. (The full statement being: 'I did what I had to do to survive')

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* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' villain Bobby Jacks' entire justification for 'playing the game'. (The full statement being: 'I did what I had to do to survive')



* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Alexandria justifies abducting innocents from other worlds, most of whom were about to die, and then experimenting on them in order to better develop Cauldron's super serum with this.

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* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', ''Literature/{{Worm}}'':
**
Alexandria justifies abducting innocents from other worlds, most of whom were about to die, and then experimenting on them in order to better develop Cauldron's super serum with this.



* In ''FriendshipIsWitchcraft'', Applejack apparently committed one or more war crimes [[GreatOffscreenWar during the backstory]]. Applejack insists, "I did what I had to to protect the Apple family!"

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* In ''FriendshipIsWitchcraft'', ''WebVideo/FriendshipIsWitchcraft'', Applejack apparently committed one or more war crimes [[GreatOffscreenWar during the backstory]]. Applejack insists, "I did what I had to to protect the Apple family!"
11th Dec '16 10:11:59 AM LBHills
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Sometimes good people have to do bad things because if they don't, worse things will happen. At its heart, this is a post-facto justification for [[NecessarilyEvil morally questionable]] [[ShootTheDog actions]] presented to those who would question the necessity or ''rightness'' of said actions. Perhaps TheHero has [[SaveTheVillain saved the villain]], or [[HostageForMcGuffin surrendered the MacGuffin to save a hostage]], or abandoned innocents/friends to their fate [[SadisticChoice to save others]]. Or the NobleDemon has saved TheHero while [[IWasJustPassingThrough just passing through]]. Or the AntiHero (usually a PragmaticHero) has [[ShootTheDog shot the dog]]. Their comrades (particularly TheHeart) are baffled, stunned, and angered. They ask ''"WhatWereYouThinking"'', and exclaim ''"WhatTheHellHero"''

The questioned character turns to them and says point blank: "I did what I had to do." And, more often than not, nothing else.

The character may later be somewhat humanized by showing that they regard it as DirtyBusiness, or giving them BadDreams, or DrowningMySorrows, but they may not, and other shows of guilt, grief, or weakness are very unlikely. (Nastier sorts may express such sentiment only [[ItsAllAboutMe in the context of self-pity]]: their grief is that they were the ones who had to do such horrible things, or that no one else understands why it was necessary.)

This is also used sometimes as an explanation for LawfulNeutral or LawfulStupid actions. Compare WellIntentionedExtremist. Contrast ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime, which does the same as in this case, but for ChaoticNeutral or ChaoticStupid actions. Often a plays a part in the weight of TheChainsOfCommanding. If we get to see the consequences, and it actually ''works'', then that's TheExtremistWasRight ("and it worked").

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Sometimes good people have a decent person has to do bad things something bad, because if they don't, worse things will happen. At its heart, this it is a post-facto the only way to prevent something ''worse'' from happening. 'I Did What I Had To Do' generally involves an after-the-fact justification for [[NecessarilyEvil morally questionable]] [[ShootTheDog actions]] presented to those who would question the necessity actions.]] The culprit presents this statement when he's confronted with a "WhatWereYouThinking" or ''rightness'' of said actions. Perhaps TheHero has [[SaveTheVillain saved the villain]], or [[HostageForMcGuffin surrendered the MacGuffin to save a hostage]], or abandoned innocents/friends to their fate [[SadisticChoice to save others]]. Or the NobleDemon has saved TheHero while [[IWasJustPassingThrough just passing through]]. Or the AntiHero (usually a PragmaticHero) has [[ShootTheDog shot the dog]]. Their comrades "WhatTheHellHero" reaction from someone (particularly TheHeart) are baffled, stunned, and angered. They ask ''"WhatWereYouThinking"'', and exclaim ''"WhatTheHellHero"''

to whom he owes an explanation.

The questioned character turns to them and says point blank: will generally say, "I did what I had to do." And, more often than not, nothing else.

The consequences of such an action vary, of course, depending on the work's place in the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism. A character may later be somewhat humanized by showing that they who sincerely regrets the 'necessary' action is likely to regard it as DirtyBusiness, or giving them suffer BadDreams, or DrowningMySorrows, but [[DrowningMySorrows try to forget through chemical means.]] Someone who realizes they don't feel all that bad about the 'necessity' may not, and other shows of guilt, grief, or weakness are very unlikely. (Nastier sorts may express such sentiment be suffering from StartOfDarkness. A character who was already rather amoral might say this only because [[ItsAllAboutMe in the context of self-pity]]: their grief is they're upset that they were the ones who had to do such horrible things, or that no one else understands why it was necessary.)

This is also used sometimes as an explanation for LawfulNeutral or LawfulStupid actions.
get their hands dirty]].

Generally associated with OOCIsSeriousBusiness.
Compare WellIntentionedExtremist. Contrast ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime, which does WellIntentionedExtremist and ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime. When the same as in this case, but for ChaoticNeutral or ChaoticStupid actions. Often a plays a part in the weight of character's motivation is her responsibility to those under her command, see TheChainsOfCommanding. If we get to see the consequences, and it consequences shown actually ''works'', ''justify'' the action, then that's TheExtremistWasRight ("and it worked").
TheExtremistWasRight. A character growing too comfortable with 'doing what I had to do' is guilty of a ReverseSlipperySlopeFallacy.
24th Nov '16 12:05:17 PM nombretomado
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* This is Felicity Shagwell's excuse for sleeping with Fat Bastard in the second ''AustinPowers'' movie. However, Austin's not so much bothered about the ethics as the ''[[{{squick}} physics]]''.

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* This is Felicity Shagwell's excuse for sleeping with Fat Bastard in the second ''AustinPowers'' movie.''Film/AustinPowersTheSpyWhoShaggedMe''. However, Austin's not so much bothered about the ethics as the ''[[{{squick}} physics]]''.
16th Nov '16 6:39:35 PM Arkhia
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* ''The Sanctuary Telepath'': they had to lie to Helen about the elemental so she and the Sanctuary Network could stay safe - even if it meant that she got a more heartbreaking version of the events, she blamed the wrong people and their relationship with Janine weakened.As it turned out when Janine visited a parallel universe, they were right.
15th Nov '16 3:35:38 PM Taskmaster123
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* During World War II, in the Pacific Theater, a fighter pilot crashed upon landing and was trapped in the burning wreckage. The first officer to arrive on the scene, hearing the pilot's screams as he was burned alive and knowing that the firefighting equipment to put out the fire and extricate him from the wreck would never get there in time, promptly drew his sidearm and killed the pilot, sparing him an agonizing death. There wasn't even any talk of a court-martial, as everyone knew that he'd basically had the balls to do something unpleasant that had to be done.
13th Nov '16 12:47:48 PM infernape612
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* Shows up the in kalash93 story, [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/228544/how-it-was How It Was]]. In it, the protagonist uses it as his explanation for why he killed an enemy who had surrendered. The other characters do not buy it. This trope is a running theme in the story on multiple levels, as the story is an interestng look into PTSD.

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* Shows up the in kalash93 story, [[http://www.''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/228544/how-it-was How It Was]].Was]]''. In it, the protagonist uses it as his explanation for why he killed an enemy who had surrendered. The other characters do not buy it. This trope is a running theme in the story on multiple levels, as the story is an interestng look into PTSD.



* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], in the aftermath of the Equestrian Civil War, during the Fillydelphia Trials, one of the more prominent leaders of the New Lunar Order and famed former Equestrian general, Thunderhide, explains that he joined Nightmare Moon out of necessity to change what he saw was a corrupt system, and to ensure a better future for Equestria. Given that he was a famed general beforehand, the highly publicized trial made ponies start to see the depths one of their own would sink to in order to change things, and this was responsible for [[spoiler: the revival of Pegasi nationalism and the end of Celestia's cult of personality.]]
* In ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]'' [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]], Samantha Shepard experiences a HeroicBSOD that tilts her away from her usual paragon self. She rationalizes what she does with this trope, but in the sequel ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', she has MyGodWhatHaveIDone breakdown that makes her question why anyone else would keep her around. Others justify retaining Shepard (rather than imprisoning her for war crimes) based on this trope. Since the [[spoiler:Flood]] invasion, this sort of justification comes up more and more often given perceptions of [[GodzillaThreshold the stakes]], though this is hardly the only reason characters give for invoking the trope.

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* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], ''FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed'', in the aftermath of the Equestrian Civil War, during the Fillydelphia Trials, one of the more prominent leaders of the New Lunar Order and famed former Equestrian general, Thunderhide, explains that he joined Nightmare Moon out of necessity to change what he saw was a corrupt system, and to ensure a better future for Equestria. Given that he was a famed general beforehand, the highly publicized trial made ponies start to see the depths one of their own would sink to in order to change things, and this was responsible for [[spoiler: the revival of Pegasi nationalism and the end of Celestia's cult of personality.]]
* In ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]'' ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''Franchise/StarWars''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]], Samantha Shepard experiences a HeroicBSOD that tilts her away from her usual paragon self. She rationalizes what she does with this trope, but in the sequel ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', she has MyGodWhatHaveIDone breakdown that makes her question why anyone else would keep her around. Others justify retaining Shepard (rather than imprisoning her for war crimes) based on this trope. Since the [[spoiler:Flood]] invasion, this sort of justification comes up more and more often given perceptions of [[GodzillaThreshold the stakes]], though this is hardly the only reason characters give for invoking the trope.



* The North Korean Digidestined in most ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' fanfics end up in situations like these, as do China's Digidestined. Their governments force them into doing various horrifying things and the kids rationalize it with 'I did what I had to do, [[AndYourLittleDogToo because otherwise they'd kill my family']]. Since they're kids, this comes across as more desperate and terrified than villainous. Fandom's is fairly good about not making them evil because their countries are - at least, fandom's good about that ''now''. There's some DeadFic from five or more years ago where they're straight up ForTheEvulz lunatics.
* This quote from the VillainProtagonist of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fanfic The Council Era says all that is needed to be said. "I will pay for taking the low ground after I die, but there always has to be someone who is willing to make such a sacrifice, for the sake of something far greater than themselves. It's part of the order of things." Keep in mind that his "taking the low ground" was committing genocide. It is likely that in the second part of the storyline, when he's expected to decline further into ChaoticEvil, that he'll still try to use the "I Did What I Had To Do" card, even if his motivation becomes DespotismJustifiesTheMeans.

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* The North Korean Digidestined in most ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' fanfics end up in situations like these, as do China's Digidestined. Their governments force them into doing various horrifying things and the kids rationalize it with 'I did what I had to do, [[AndYourLittleDogToo because otherwise they'd kill my family']]. Since they're kids, this comes across as more desperate and terrified than villainous. Fandom's The fandom is fairly good about not making them evil because their countries are - at least, fandom's good about that ''now''. There's some DeadFic from five or more years ago where they're straight up ForTheEvulz lunatics.
* This quote from the VillainProtagonist of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fanfic The ''The Council Era Era'' says all that is needed to be said. "I will pay for taking the low ground after I die, but there always has to be someone who is willing to make such a sacrifice, for the sake of something far greater than themselves. It's part of the order of things." Keep in mind that his "taking the low ground" was committing genocide. It is likely that in the second part of the storyline, when he's expected to decline further into ChaoticEvil, that he'll still try to use the "I Did What I Had To Do" card, even if his motivation becomes DespotismJustifiesTheMeans.



* In ''[[PokeWars Poke Wars: The Subsistence]]'' Ash has Pikachu use Thunder on a sinking ferry overrun by Sharpedo and Tentecruel. He regrets that he had to kill everyone on the ship but the Pokémon swarming the ship were too dangerous to leave alive.

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* In ''[[PokeWars ''[[FanFic/PokeWars Poke Wars: The Subsistence]]'' Ash has Pikachu use Thunder on a sinking ferry overrun by Sharpedo and Tentecruel. He regrets that he had to kill everyone on the ship but the Pokémon swarming the ship were too dangerous to leave alive.



* In ''TheTomorrowSeries'' fanfic "[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8361242/1/Taking-Care-of-Business Taking Care of Business]]" Homer Yannos uses this as the mantra he needs to keep himself sane [[spoiler: after he kills Lee's enemy girlfriend to prevent the group's discovery.]]

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* In ''TheTomorrowSeries'' ''Literature/TheTomorrowSeries'' fanfic "[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8361242/1/Taking-Care-of-Business Taking Care of Business]]" Homer Yannos uses this as the mantra he needs to keep himself sane [[spoiler: after he kills Lee's enemy girlfriend to prevent the group's discovery.]]



* In the LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero fanfiction,''Fanfic/TheSteepPathAhead'', the Cardinal's reasoning for not returning Louise (who had been kidnapped and dropped off in an orphanage as a child) to her mother sooner boils down to this.

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* In the LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' fanfiction,''Fanfic/TheSteepPathAhead'', the Cardinal's reasoning for not returning Louise (who had been kidnapped and dropped off in an orphanage as a child) to her mother sooner boils down to this.
10th Nov '16 1:31:43 PM Tron80
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* WonderWoman ends up having to say this a lot after killing Maxwell Lord (with the whole thing recorded and broadcast to boot), who was controlling Superman (and who could've killed everyone present in the time it took to come up with a better plan). The whole thing sets off the CrisisCrossover, InfiniteCrisis.

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* WonderWoman In ''Comicbook/SupergirlRebirth'' Cyborg Superman defends his actions stating that he did what he needed to do to guarantee Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'s happiness.
-->'''Cyborg Superman:''' I heard you, Kara. You longed to return to Argo City. I did only what needed to be done to give you that.
* Franchise/WonderWoman
ends up having to say this a lot after killing Maxwell Lord (with the whole thing recorded and broadcast to boot), who was controlling Superman (and who could've killed everyone present in the time it took to come up with a better plan). The whole thing sets off the CrisisCrossover, InfiniteCrisis.
28th Sep '16 6:46:51 AM GrigorII
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->''"In all the years that Rome has stood, the Gates of War have only been shut twice. In my reign, the Senate ordered them shut three times."''
-->-- '''Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}}'''

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->''"In all ->I have always admired [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Lincoln]]. When [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the years South began going its own way]], he knew that Rome has stood, the Gates of War have only been shut twice. In my reign, the Senate ordered taking a position against them shut three times."''
would lead to civil war. But he did it anyway. Because he understood something... understood it more perhaps than anyone else in that time. He knew that a house divided against itself cannot stand... a nation can not be divided and survive. Under his administration, brother hunted down brother, friend turned against friend. It was terrible. It was bloody. It was '''necessary'''. Because at the end, the republic held, and the nation was restored.
-->-- '''Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}}'''
[[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] in ''ComicBook/CivilWar''
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