Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
The Unapologetic
A character who doesn't apologize for their actions.


(permanent link) added: 2013-11-17 16:18:29 sponsor: 313Bluestreak (last reply: 2013-12-28 09:55:36)

Add Tag:
"Repent? Me? Cheek! I can't start repenting at my time of life. I'd never get any work done. Anyway," she added, "I ain't sorry for most of it."

The opposite of Apologises a Lot where a character apologizes for things he didn't so or aren't worth apologizing for. This type of character has done something (or a lifetime of somethings) that has upset others, but he refuses to apologize. Unlike Never My Fault, he's not passing the blame, he simply isn't sorry. Or at least claims not to be.

This can be because he feels he did what he had to do, and had no choice in the matter, or that the end result was worth it since Utopia Justifies the Means.

Alternately, he may be too prideful to admit that he didn't have to go that far. A simple "sorry" can patch things up with everyone he wronged, but his ego is making it hard for him to do so. He could just be a Jerkass who responds by telling the victim to quit whining already. He may well go into a full-on Redemption Rejection.

There are some cases that the unapologetic character is in fact in the right, and the person demanding an apology is actually the bad guy from an objective viewpoint. Tyrants often try to make a heroic freedom fighter admit that he loves big brother, and was very wrong to try to put a stop to the Government Drug Enforcement.

This is usually, but not always, a Character Flaw, and may transition into An Aesop about showing consideration for others. Naive characters will easily forgive this character despite not apologizing. A common trait of The Sociopath, the Narcissist, and a character who does things For the Evulz. Related to Lack of Empathy if they don't feel empathetic to apologize. Also related to I Regret Nothing.

Ordered Apologies won't work for this character, but if it does, expect him to give a Backhanded Apology. If he is genuinely apologetic, but has trouble actually making the apology due to pride, embarrassment, or guilt, he Cannot Spit It Out. Contrast Rejected Apology where a character refuses to accept an apology. Contrast Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done? and The Atoner.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Sonic X, Amy asks if Knuckles was going to apologize to Sonic for fighting against him because Dr. Eggman had him tricked, only for Knuckles to tell her to zip it just before smiling at Sonic and the gang, tells them "later", and walks away. In season 3, however, he did apologize to the gang for falling for Eggman's tricks.

Comic Books
  • The Joker hates apologies. He hates the very idea that something should ever be apologized for.
    Joker: "My friend... Jonny Jonny... what I hate more than everything... is apologies."
  • In The Sandman, Morpheus is the immortal ruler of dreams, and tends to be very inflexible, refusing to apologize or admit error. In his backstory, he sentenced a woman to hell for eternity simply for refusing his advances (when she had very good, selfless reasons for doing so.) After several thousand years, he is finally goaded into freeing her by his sister Death, which sets in motion the events leading to his own demise.

Film
  • In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, John Wayne's Catch Phrase is "Don't apologize, it's a sign of weakness."
  • In one scene of Wedding Crashers: Jeremy had made a foul remark about one of the proper ladies in the wedding, earning him the glares from the guests. He then claims this statement to John:
    Jeremy: I'm sorry. I'm not sorry. Okay? I'm not gonna apologize, I'm a cocksman! *gets glares from wedding guests again* Tourette's.

Literature
  • Satan from Paradise Lost refuses to repent to God due to his pride that had him thrown out of heaven, even if God is willing to welcome him back if he does so, because, in his words, he would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven.

Live-Action TV
  • Insufferable Genius Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory doesn't apologize for anything he does. For him to apologize would imply that he was actually wrong, which is impossible for a genius like him, as his calculations for all things in life are always correct. He could never accept the possibility that he might be wrong, and thus he never apologizes. Of course, when push comes to shove, even he'll break down and try to make amends if he wronged any of his friends. He'll come up with a solution or compromise to the problem that he started, thus still making him look good, but that's as close as he gets to actually apologizing.
  • In Coach Trip, Bruce and John got kicked out of the fourth season after Bruce picking a fight on the coach for no apparent reason. He then refused to apologize for doing so.
  • In one episode of Friends, Joey's at dinner with a woman who specifically tells him not to touch her dessert while she's in the bathroom. When she comes out, he finishes the last bite with a smile and says "I'm not even sorry."
  • In the Home Improvement episode "Luck Be a Taylor Tonight", Fred states that he never apologized to any woman, and when Tim asks how many times has he been married, his response was three because he can't find a woman who understands him.
  • In House of Anubis, when Joy tries to talk to Nina about the former's kiss with Fabian, Nina asks if it's supposed to be her way of saying sorry. Joy responds by saying, "I wasn't going to apologize,"
    • Patricia has a moment like this too where she refuses to apologize to Eddie for accidentally spilling a secret of his, only it's justified, because she didn't actually do anything wrong, and was just being forced to apologize to Eddie so she could convince him to drop an article he was writing about the local ghost.
  • Gibbs from NCIS. His catchphrase: "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness."
  • This is discussed in one episode of The Sopranos after Christopher gets out of drug rehab:
    Tony Soprano: So, what step are you at now?
    Christopher: I did all the steps, except for the one where I'm supposed to go around and apologize to all the people I fucked over when I was using.
    Tony Soprano: ...I think maybe you shouldn't do that one. You know, let sleeping dogs lie.
    Christopher: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, London quoted her dad's sayings that "There's two things rich people never do: Apologize and pay taxes". One of her rich friends responds that her dad said the same thing the last time she visited him in prison.
  • Angela from The Office (US) refuses to apologize for her actions. This is exemplified in an episode in which she is given the task of calling up clients who were upset due to a company mistake. She refuses to say the company is sorry to everyone she calls, even though she has nothing personal at stake.

Professional Wrestling
  • In a stretcher match against Shawn Michaels in One Night Stand 2008, Batista mouths off "I'm not sorry. I don't love you" to him before planting a Batista Bomb. This was an Ironic Echo to Shawn's WrestleMania XXIV match against Ric Flair in where he says "I'm sorry. I love you" before giving Flair a superkick thus not only beating him, but also ending his career. This was the main reason why Batista had started a feud against Shawn in the first place.

Theatre

Web Videos
  • In Hellsing Abridged, Alucard has caused so many horrible acts such as massive collateral damage, multiple noise complaints, a dozen innocent deaths, and lots of sexual harassment, and after all of this, he states that he's not apologizing for them.

Western Animation
  • In The Angry Beavers, a couple of Labcoat-wearing scientists frequently cause inconveniences for Norbert and Dagget. They don't apologize for anything they do, because they do it in the name of science!
  • In the The Fairly Oddparents episode, "Timmy the Barbarian", Timmy mentions that the advantages of being a barbarian are taking what he wants, kicking butt, and never having to apologize.
  • Blooregard "Bloo" Q. Kazoo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • In the episode, "Cuckoo for Coco Cards", Bloo doesn't apologize to Coco for trying to steal all the attention from her, despite the obvious hints that he should, such as a pen, an apology card, and a self-addressed envelope, and thus tries to collect all the trading cards of the Imaginary Friends without her help. It's only after he finds out what his status is on his card Big Insensitive Jerkface that he apologizes to her.
    • In the special, "Destination Imagination", when World apologizes to Frankie for shrinking her friends, Bloo mentions to him that when Frankie makes him apologize, she makes him sound like he means it (a fact later proven in the episode).
  • Futurama has the recurring character Hedonismbot - a robot who...was apparently built for no other reason than to be a hedonist. Indeed his first ever spoken line was (in the context of all robots being responsible for Earth's eventual destruction);
    "I apologise for nothing!"
  • Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the episode, "Paste Makes Waste", Buttercup teases Elmer Sglue for eating paste. When Elmer turns into a giant radioactive monster as a result of eating a fly that swam in toxic waste and landed in his paste, Blossom and Bubbles get trapped in him, leaving Buttercup to apologize to him the only option of saving them. Of course, Buttercup is reluctant to do so.
    • In the episode, "All Chalked Up", Buttercup destroys Bubbles' chalk, leading Bubbles to get a new set from a butterfly that is really a disguised Him. The chalk transforms her drawings into giant monsters. At the end of the episode, Buttercup reluctantly tries to apologize, but Bubbles accepts her apology before she can give it.
  • Subverted in an episode of The Simpsons:
    Homer: I never apologize. I'm sorry, that's just the way I am.
  • In The Spectacular Spider Man, Norman Osborn's catch phrase is "don't apologize, I never do." In fact, his son realizes that he's been replaced by a body double when the double apologizes to him.
  • In the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Little Yellow Book", The townspeople of Bikini Bottom were mad at Squidward for reading SpongeBob's diary, making him cry, and Mr. Krabs orders him to apologize to him, only for Squidward to tell him that SpongeBob will get over it. Squidward spends the remainder of the episode feeling proud of what he did until his house was repossessed and was chained in the middle of the town while people are throwing tomatoes at him. Subverted in that he asks SpongeBob to forgive him, just until he reads his real diary, feeling enjoyed while tomatoes are being thrown at him.
  • In one scene of the Thomas the Tank Engine episode "Diesel Does It Again", Diesel, who was previously shown to be antagonistic towards steam engines, didn't apologize to Percy for deliberately bumping right behind him, startling the little green engine in the process.

Real Life
  • Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who assassinated U.S. President William McKinley in 1901 pleaded guilty on his trial and refused to speak to his lawyers. Before his execution, he stated: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

replies: 23

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy