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[[quoteright:347:[[ComicBook/ThePunisher http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barracudaeminem_1357.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:347:Pulling 'nothing personal' on ComicBook/ThePunisher ''and'' {{Music/Eminem}}? That's [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18785_6-comic-book-crossovers-you-wont-believe-actually-happened.html asking for trouble]].]]

->'''Tom Hagen:''' Your father wouldn't want to hear this, Sonny. This is business, not personal.\\
'''Santino Corleone:''' They shoot my father and it's business, my ass!\\
'''Tom Hagen:''' Even shooting your father was business, not personal, Sonny!
-->-- ''Film/TheGodfather''

A longstanding StockPhrase that has two uses.

The first is usually used by an antagonist. Generally it will be given after the antagonist has announced what he's about to do, but before he actually does it. Alternatively, it may be given after the protagonist has overwhelmed the villain and the villain is trying to defuse the hero's anger or justify his actions. It wasn't personal, after all. This can also come in the form of "it's not personal."

Often used this way by the LovableTraitor and the PunchClockVillain. Often this phrase comes back around in the form of an IronicEcho.

Usually, when a person says this, it really isn't personal to them. Why this should matter to the person they're hurting is a mystery, however. One can also argue that saying it isn't personal makes it personal, as it means [[ButForMeItWasTuesday the victim doesn't matter to the speaker]]. If anything, it often makes it ''worse'', because it usually means the victim didn't even ''do'' anything to even remotely justify the pain they have been forced to go through. As such, this trope can also refer to the character himself and not just to dialogue. At other times, the antagonist may say it's not personal as a way of saying "no hard feelings".

There are quite a few times when someone (usually the hero) starts off this way, and honestly means it; however, as the conflict progresses, he starts to get genuinely angry at whoever it is (usually because the guy is doing things that disgust him, or because the villain [[AndYourLittleDogToo started choosing victims who were close to the hero]]), at which point he changes his mind and says, "All right, ''now'' you've made it personal..." or something like that.

Often punctuated with "JustFollowingOrders". Contrast ItsPersonal. See also BeingPersonalIsntProfessional and ConsummateProfessional.

Unfortunately, this trope is very much TruthInTelevision.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Used in ''Anime/AfroSamurai'', when a random mook who led an attack for the Number Two Headband asks Afro "Why you gotta kill all my men? Why you gotta kill me?", Afro replies "Nothing personal. It's just revenge."
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has Fate starting off like this. He actually says he doesn't have anything against Negi, but beats the crap out of him because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eventually after Negi [[MinorInjuryOverreaction lands a punch on him]], he switches to ItsPersonal, which escalates to TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou levels.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion: End of Evangelion'', Shinji is about to be summarily executed by a JSSDF soldier, who tells him that shooting him in the head is nothing personal, Misato shows up [[BigDamnHeroes just in time]], [[TranquilFury guns blazing]], and explains to said grunt that he shouldn't take her blowing them away personally either (though it clearly ''is'' '''very''' personal, seeing how he was just about to kill Shinji). The wording differs in the translations:
-->'''Subtitle-Misato''': Nothing personal here either. ''*BANG!*''
-->'''Dub-Misato''': Heeey, no offense taken. ''*BANG! SPLORCH!*''[[note]]the dub track has an extra brain-splattering-on-the-wall sound effect[[/note]]
** On the English language commentary, Jason and Amanda Lee say that they originally imagined Creator/TaliesinJaffe delivering the line in an "I eat babies for breakfast" voice, but when he delivered it in a much more casual way, they realized it was even colder and [[ThrowItIn went with it]].
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Starrk says this to Kyoraku just before shooting him in the back. The reason why he got the chance to do so, incidentally, was because Kyoraku took Wonderweiss's attack on Ukitake rather personally.
* In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', when Beelzebumon comes after the Tamers to fulfill his DealWithTheDevil, he claims that it's just business and following through with the deal (odds are, given how conflicted he was to attack people he kinda liked, he's probably more telling himself that than he is them). Then he [[spoiler:kills Leomon]] and it promptly [[BloodKnight goes to his head]], subverting the trope.
* In a filler arc of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Gohan encounters Goku's old nemesis Mercenary Tao in a remote village. When Tao is ordered by his employer to kill an old man who was causing trouble for them, he says "Nothing personal, old man. This is just a job."
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Arkana told Yugi this during their duel. (Given what an underhanded cheater he was, it's kind of hard to believe him, however. Arkana's only saving grace was that he was being manipulated by someone who was even worse.) From the same franchise, an episode which pits Maximillion Pegasus against a resentful Kaiba has this memorable line:
-->'''Pegasus''': What, no hello, no how are you? I thought we were friends, Kaiba-boy. Don't tell me that kidnapping your little brother and seizing control of Kaiba Corp. has put a rift between us. It was nothing personal.
* [[TokenGoodTeammate Dieci]] said this to herself before getting into a BeamOWar with Nanoha in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers''. Nanoha didn't take it personally either, even thought Dieci was [[MamaBear standing between her and her daughter]].
* In ''Manga/VinlandSaga'', Thorkell the Tall is a BloodKnight who loves fighting and believes that anyone who dies sword in hand goes to [[WarriorHeaven Valhalla (or Folkvangr)]]. Consequently, the fortunes of war are never a personal matter to him; fighting is fighting and dead is dead. If he happens to kill someone's son, hey, it was a fight. If one of his friends happen to be cut down by the other side, hey, it was a fight. The only thing he does take personal are people who [[DangerousDeserter try to sneak out of the fighting]] or take the fun out of the fight with assassinations and dirty tricks.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Morlun, a thousand-years-old immortal that predates over beings with animal-like powers, gave us a funny dialogue based on it when he encountered Franchise/SpiderMan:
-->'''Morlun:''' This is how it's going to be. You will run. I will hunt you.(...) But finally you will fall from power. And then you will die. But you have my word. It's nothing personal.\\
'''Spider-Man:''' Wait a second. You say you want to kill me and claim it's nothing personal? Nothing personal?! Listen, man. I was fighting with every kind of jerk on this planet. I was fighting with freaks, mutants, aliens, and superequipped gangs... God dammit, I was fighting even with my own costume! And you know what? You're the first one, that really pissed me off!
** The Shocker at one point kidnaps Spider-man as revenge for years of having his crimes foiled, though it's implied that a large part of it is him being angry over Spider-man's constant mockery, and tortures the hero. Spider-man uses a more heroic form of this argument and points out that he wasn't doing it to spite Shocker, but because Shocker was going on constant crime sprees.
* In ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', we see a flashback to the climactic final confrontation between SherlockHolmes and James Moriarty. They make it clear to one another that this isn't a manner of personal spite and immediately begin fighting to the death. Of course, once Moriarty ''loses'', he immediately complains and calls Holmes a "drug-addicted sodomite".
* Lampshaded and subverted by Underworld in a Marvel Civil War comic. He visits the injured Hammerhead in the hospital, then tells him about a time that Hammerhead had grievously injured a friend of his for a petty amount of money. [[spoiler:Underworld puts a gun in Hammerhead's mouth and, before pulling the trigger, says "It's always personal, ya mook."]]
* [[ComicBook/UltimateMarvel Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine]] had a variation; after ripping Wolverine in half, Hulk is about to eat one of Wolverine's legs, letting him choose which one. Wolverine gets understandably pissed off, which prompts Hulk to say "You're taking this way too personal...", commenting that if he doesn't eat one leg, Wolverine will just reattach them and chase after him. When Logan says he'll do that anyway, Hulk comments that he's just giving him motivation to eat both legs.
* ComicBook/{{Deathstroke}} spears Phantom Lady through her torso. When she asks him why, he responds "Sorry, darlin'. Just business."
* In a crossover between ComicBook/ThePunisher and Music/{{Eminem}}[[note]]Discussed [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18785_6-comic-book-crossovers-you-wont-believe-actually-happened.html here]], second entry[[/note]], Barracuda, a childhood friend of Em's, hits him with this line after he's captured both Em and the Punisher.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Shadowpact}}'', the Pentacle tell the townspeople whom they have trapped in a giant magic prison shield that they will choose sacrifices at random from their number. They explain that it's nothing personal, it's just bad luck that their town was chosen, more people will be sacrificed if they try to resist, and that everything will be easier if they just go along with it. The Pentacle's leader Strega explains all of this with an eerily calm business-like tone.
* This is part of [[Characters/TheFlashTheRogues Captain Cold's]] general M.O., with him making it very clear that his villainy is merely his business model and enforcing a strict code of honor among his henchmen and those he works with to make sure it never gets personal. The times he breaks this rule in regard to himself are against Chillblaine, the man who killed his sister; and, later, against Inertia, for tricking the Rogues into killing Bart Allen and making them the top public enemies.
* ''ComicBook/{{Family}}'': When Silver kills his nephew Chrissie by dropping a building on him, he remarks that he has nothing against Chrissie personally, he just wants to hurt his brother by having him bury his son.
* ''ComicBook/GothamCityGarage'': When the titular team attempts to hijack a truck, [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara]] tosses the trucker out of the vehicle shouting: "Really sorry about this! Nothing personal!"

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
%%* Happens in [[http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-03-27/ a strip]] of ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' strip.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheWizardInTheShadows'', Eirian notes that one of Saruman's few saving graces as compared to Wormtongue is that it was never personal.
* ''FanFic/EarthAndSky'': The [=LaFish=] brothers say this right before attacking Soarin' and Pipsqueak during the Pegalathon. It's strongly implied (and later confirmed) that they were paid off by [[DiscOneFinalBoss Diamond Tiara]] to do so, so it's probably a true statement.
* The ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' [[BadFuture Dark World Series]] has this with Rancor, Discord's little sister, who states this is the case between her and the Dark World Elements of Harmony. It's completely true, as she genuinely has nothing against them and would probably be cheering for them (she is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of {{Revenge}} after all) otherwise, its just Her Father [[EldritchAbomination Havoc]] ordered her to help Discord out. [[spoiler:It turns out that her real mission was to get close to Discord to stab him InTheBack and take back Destruction's stolen power from him, in order for it to be used for its intended purpose (Destruction's actual job).]] Once her mission is finished, she just says "see yah later" and [[PunchClockVillain leaves the fight altogether.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Ripples}}'', former Queen [[KnightTemplar Allora]] says this to her son-in-law Zanden, right before [[spoiler: killing him as part of her [[TheCoup coup]]]].
* In ''Fanfic/GodSlayingBladeWorks'', Odysseus has nothing against Shirou Emiya. It's just that Shirou has a unique energy inside his body that Odysseus believes will give him the power to travel to other worlds. He's so desperate for this ability that he's willing to kill Shirou.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Used by the invading alien in the movie ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens''. It's not personal he's going to wipe out most of Earth's population and enslave the rest.
* ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire:'' [[spoiler:[[TheDragon Helga]] utters this, [[LastBreathBullet right before blowing up Rourke's hot-air balloon with her flare gun]]. It doubles as an IronicEcho because this is the same thing he told her when he threw her out of the balloon in the first place.]]
* In the Disney movie ''Disney/TheRescuersDownUnder'', Mcleach says this to Cody when [[spoiler:he tries to feed him to some crocodiles. He claims to be doing it because he doesn't want to disappoint the rangers (who he had tricked into thinking Cody had been eaten by crocodiles earlier in the movie).]]
%%* Used in ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'', which isn't surprising since the whole movie seems to parody ''Film/TheGodfather''.
* In WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie, Lord Business says this when he [[spoiler: leaves his Bad Cop to be killed with the Master Builders]]; "It's nothing personal, just business. ''Lord Business.''"
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie2017'', it's "nothing personal" that Captain Caleano and her crew plan to toss the ponies and Spike overboard. They are after all, just a PunchClockVillain crew. Thus, it's no surprise that they're willing to stop for a lunch break and are so readily convinced by Rainbow Dash initiating a song number - they don't have any personal stake in it. They've just been following orders.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The page-topping quote is one of the most famous examples, coming from ''Film/TheGodfather''.
** Though Santino is the hot-headed one, when he hears Michael's decision to [[spoiler: kill Solozzo]], he laughs and berates him for making the matter too personal. Michael's response?
-->'''Michael:''' [[TropeNamer "It's not personal. Strictly business."]]
** And again in ''Film/TheGodfather'', used by Tessio to Hagen at the end, [[spoiler: explaining the reason for betraying Michael]].
* In the movie ''Film/{{Taken}}'', one of the antagonists uses this. [[spoiler:The protagonist replies "It was always personal to me" and shoots him anyway.]]
* From ''Film/{{Clerks}}'':
--> '''Randal Graves''': Oh, hey, Caitlin, break his heart again this time and I'll kill ya. Nothing personal.
* Used chillingly by the Joker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'':
-->'''The Joker''': When I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know that I'm telling the truth. It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and look where that got you.
* Said by Ned Cecil to Dr. Doom in ''Film/FantasticFour'' when he takes over Doom's company. Shot right back by Doom after he kills him.
* Said by SmugSnake Lord Cutler Becket in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'':
-->'''Lord Cutler Beckett''': He actually expects us to honor our agreement. Nothing personal, Jack... it's just good business.
** And ironically repeated in [[spoiler: his delightful death scene.]]
* Martin's CatchPhrase "It's not me" in ''Film/GrossePointeBlank'' is basically a shorter way of saying this to his victims.
* In the Film/JamesBond film ''Film/LicenceToKill'', drug lord Sanchez says "Nothing personal... it's purely business" as he feeds [[spoiler:Felix Leiter]] to a shark.
* Also, in ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Dr. Kaufman has murdered [[spoiler:Paris Carver, Film/JamesBond's old flame]] and tries to kill him as well. When Bond gets the upper hand, the villain pleads:
-->'''Dr. Kaufman''': I'm just a professional doing a job.
-->'''Bond''': Me too. [BANG!]
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' used the phrase as its TagLine. (probably to parody a [[VoodooShark really infamous]] [[Film/JawsTheRevenge case of using]] ItsPersonal)
* The romantic comedy ''Film/YouveGotMail'' [[KickTheSonOfABitch emphatically rejects the trope]]: ''Godfather'' fan Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) runs the chain of mega-bookstores that ran the little specialist bookstore owned by Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) to the ground:
--> '''Joe''': It wasn't personal.
--> '''Kathleen''': What is that supposed to mean?! I am so sick of that. All it means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's personal to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal anyway?
--> '''Joe''': Uh, nothing.
--> '''Kathleen''': Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.
* In ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', a movie that takes place during the Vietnam War, Colonel Kurtz's haunting monologue emphasizes how important this concept is for a soldier. Kurtz illustrates this by describing an occasion when he was on a humanitarian mission to help a village and they gave medication and other supplies to help the people there, but the enemy took notice of this and killed every single person there just to spite the Americans. This shook Kurtz to his core, he wept bitterly and became so depressed over what had happened he thought he was going to go insane, but then he realized that to the Vietcong what they had done was nothing personal they loved their families and motivated by that love they were willing to do anything that it took to defeat the Americans so that they would leave the country and they could get back to their normal lives. In Kurtz's mind he had determined that the Vietcong had the right idea on how to be a soldier, you have to be a good, moral person but at the same time be able to tap into your instincts and be able to kill without, remorse, passion or judgment, if the Americans were as dedicated as their enemy and were willing to do anything that it took to win then the war would be over very quickly.
* Used by Jelly when he's about to murder Billy Crystal, in ''Film/AnalyzeThis.'' Crystal responds, "Don't kid yourself, Jelly. It doesn't get more personal."
* ''Franchise/StarWars Episode II: Film/AttackOfTheClones'': When apprehended, the bounty hunter who attempted to assassinate Padme states, "It's just a job."
* ''Film/DrStrangelove'': Used in the second sense - "You just can't expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some of our our boys - and that's not meant as an insult Mr Ambassador."
* This is explored in ''Film/TheWholeNineYards''. [[ProfessionalKiller Mob hitman]] Jimmy talks about his first target for assassination, and how he spent so much time with the guy and came to like him so much that when the order came to kill him, Jimmy couldn't go through with it. Instead, Jimmy told his target the truth and warned him to run, only to have his target [[BackStab shoot him in the back]] as a result. After that, things were ''very'' [[ItsPersonal personal]] for Jimmy, and the target "[[ColdBloodedTorture took a really]] [[FateWorseThanDeath long time to die]]." Ever since then Jimmy has stuck to the assassin's code of not getting too close to your target, and remembering that it's just business.
* In ''Film/TrainingDay'', Smiley says this after [[spoiler:he spares Jake's life.]] In this case, it really isn't; Smiley hates the guy who ordered the hit a lot more than the actual victim, towards whom he harbors no particular ill will beyond a general dislike of cops. It's when the target ''makes it'' personal that his life is spared--[[spoiler:Smiley has to show his gratitude to the guy who rescued his little cousin from a pair of rapists on the street, and sticking it to Alonzo is an added bonus.]]
* In ''Film/ManOnFire'', the people involved with Pita's kidnapping that Creasy tracks down all insist that it was not personal, but just business. Eventually Creasy just gets sick of this response, warning the last person that uses it.
* ''Film/TheLastBoyScout''. The woman Bruce Willis' character has been hired to bodyguard is targeted by assassins, who take him into a dark alley to bump him off so he won't get in their way.
-->'''Hitman:''' [[AffablyEvil Wrong time wrong place, nothing personal.]]
-->'''Willis:''' That's what you think. I screwed your wife last night.
* A major plot-point in ''Film/NewJackCity''. When undercover cop Scotty Appleton and drug kingpin Nino Brown are hanging out one night, Nino confesses that he killed an innocent school teacher as part of an initiation into a gang. Scotty asked Nino if the killing was business or personal. Nino made it clear that all his killings are business, never personal. [[spoiler: Turns out that school teacher was Scotty Appleton's mother and he nearly kills Nino Brown during the climax, making it clear that killing his mother was personal.]]
* Used in ''Film/PoliceAcademy5AssignmentMiamiBeach'', where Lassard is kidnapped by jewel thieves as a hostage, but he thinks it's all staged for his benefit and is having the time of his life. When the kidnapper is about to shoot him, he uses this phrase, but then the other cops show up. When Lassard finally figures out the truth, he tells the kidnapper the same thing, right before [[BadassGrandpa punching him out]].
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse''
** In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', after Cap (in a tight cramped elevator) has decimated his entire team of agents assigned to subdue the SuperSoldier, Rumlow (Crossbones) tries this on him. Cap doesn't buy it for a second.
-->'''Rumlow:''' Whoa there big guy. I just want you to know Cap, this isn't PERSONAL! (''lunges at Steve with his taser sticks'')\\
(''cue Steve kicking his ass for his trouble'')\\
'''Steve:''' [[ItsPersonal It kind of feels personal]].
** In ''Film/ThorRagnarok'', Loki assures Thor that, [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder unlike all those previous betrayals]], ''this'' one truly isn't personal. Thor isn't particularly fussed... as he saw it coming from a mile away and has already turned it against Loki.
* Victor doesn't give a damn about causes in ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine''. Contrast his attitude toward Jimmy with ItsPersonal.
* In ''Film/{{Hellraiser}}'', Frank [[spoiler: uses this one on Julia as he buries his fingers in her neck and drains her blood, killing her.]] She turns it around on him in [[Film/HellboundHellraiserII the sequel]].
* In ''Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjayPart2'', Gale tells Katniss that he would have expected her of all people to know that what they're doing in the war against the Capitol isn't personal. She shoots back that she of all people knows that it's all personal.
* ''Film/{{Silence}}'' has Inquisitor Inoue voice this as his justification for Feudal Japan's persecution of the Jesuit mission. He tells the protagonist Fr. Rodrigues that he and other authorities don't have anything against the Christian religion on a personal level, and Inoue also tells him that unlike his fellow noblemen, he doesn't see Christianity as a curse. [[spoiler:Indeed, he's content to allow the Hidden Christians to remain in hiding, and out of sight, stopping short of eradicating the religion entirely, because all he wanted was to end it as a political threat by getting the Jesuit fathers to apostatize]].
* A variation in ''Film/DeathWish4TheCrackdown'' with Ed Zacharias, leader of one of the drug gangs making the stuff that killed Paul Kersey's girlfriend's daughter (because she overdosed). The leader never met her, he probably never even met the kid that peddled the drugs to her. It doesn't matters to [[VigilanteMan Kersey]] he's one of the ''many'' that deserve to die, in any case.
-->'''Ed Zacharias''': Why are you doing this?\\
''(Kersey pulls a picture of the girl from his jacket pocket and shows it to him)''.\\
'''Ed Zacharias''': I don't even know the girl!\\
'''Paul Kersey''': [[PapaWolf I do]]. (Gives Zacharias a CoupDeGrace)

* Played with in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s recurring phrase "Personal isn't the same as Important".
** In ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', Edward D'Eath kills a clown and says it was nothing personal. The clown actually ''hates'' this, saying sarcastically "Oh, nice to know it wasn't personal. I'd hate to think I'd just been killed because it was ''personal''."
* In the Creator/AndrewVachss Burke book ''Strega'', one of the child sex offenders tries to call his child pornography "just business". This is contrasted with an earlier self-proclaimed pedophile [[EnemyMine that Burke is forced to speak civilly with,]] who speaks disdainfully of those who are "commercial" with child pornography and waxes lyrical about emotional bonds and being personal.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', Ares does this, telling Percy that "you just might get those hardheaded idiots to listen to you. So I have to kill you. Nothing personal." It seems to be being used humorously, though.
* In ''[[Literature/XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', Wedge's Red Flight is attacked by several Adumari ships before ever reaching the planet. After touching down Wedge speaks to the diplomatic liaison for an explanation.
--> "They were probably young, undisciplined pilots trying to achieve some [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy personal honor by killing you in a fair dogfight]]. I doubt it was anything personal."
--> "''You'' do. I take it very personally. We just had to [[StuffBlowingUp vape]] four pilots in what is theoretically a friendly zone."
* ''Literature/TheGodfather'': In the novel that inspired the movie, Michael Corleone himself takes the trope apart, making this a shining example of an UnbuiltTrope:
-->'''Michael:''' Tom, don't let anybody kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Unwind}}'', Risa is consigned to being "unwound" (to donate ''all'' her organs) because of ''budget cuts'' at the state children's home where she lives.
* Mentioned in Creator/JonStewart's ''Literature/EarthTheBook'' (written to aliens) that humans often believed that trade was, for some strange reason, exempt from normal moral codes of conduct.
* In ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Shadow of Freedom]]'', [[spoiler:Firebrand]] notes to himself that he has nothing personal against the agents for the [[spoiler:Seraphim Independence Movement]] he meets in Chapter Four. He even wishes them well, even if he doesn't expect "well" to be what actually happens.
* Faquarl says to Bartimaeus fairly early on in ''The Amulet of Samarkand'', the first book in ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy''. Generally, with djinn, this is true, as they're only working on the orders of a human master, but somehow it always did seem to get rather personal between Faquarl and Bartimaeus, any claims of it not being so aside.
* In ''Literature/ThisImmortal'', after Hasan tries to kill Conrad, he assures him that it's nothing personal -- the latter is just in the way of Hasan completing his job of killing Cort Myshtigo.
* Subverted by ''Literature/TakeshiKovacs'', his favorite philosopher/revolutionary said to make everything personal. Leading to his multiple [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Roaring Rampages of Revenge]], at least one of which might be counted as a minor act of genocide.
* ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'': After [[InTheBack knifing Silchas Ruin in the back]], Scabandari takes care to explain that it's not personal, just the way things are, and since there cannot be two people as powerful as they are or there would be conflict eventually, he's going to take the preemptive measure of removing Silchas from the picture.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': The attitude by Hazzard County sheriff's deputies and [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]] Enos and Cletus. During Cletus' run and for much of Enos' first run, they will apologize to Bo and Luke after Boss Hogg sent them to arrest them on some trumped-up charge ... which usually initiates a chase. There's a touch of this, too, in Sheriff Rosco.
%%* Used in episode two of ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}''
* Lampshaded in ''{{Series/Smallville}}''
-->'''Lana''': And then he had the nerve to say "It's nothing personal, only business."
* From ''{{Series/Cheers}}'':
--> '''Carla Tortelli-[=LeBec=]''': It's nothing personal. Just letting off steam.
* From ''Series/MelrosePlace'':
--> '''Allison Parker''': It's all in this memo. Again, I'm sorry. It's nothing personal. It's more about your illness.
* ''Nada Personal'', the exact translation of the phrase that names the trope, was the name of a Mexican SoapOpera, and of the memorable OpeningSong specially composed for it. In the soap, the title was justified because most of the protagonists involvement in the plot was because they were collateral damage of a Narc Boss' actions, and the phrase was uttered several times. In the song, however, the phrase was used as "Between both us/there is nothing personal...", i.e. There is no intimacy between us anymore, even if we still love each other.
* Played to [[DarkerandEdgier disturbing]] [[DudeNotFunny and offensive]] [[UpToEleven levels]] in ''{{Series/Jessie}}'' episode "What A Steal", seeing how it's used by [[CreepyChild a "precocious" girl]], Madeline, whom Ravi can't believe merely ''pretended'' to be his friend so that she could turn around and rob him and his entire family of their valuables. [[BlatantLies "Sorry, nerd, it's just business"]], she tells him. [[SarcasmMode Yeah sure it is]]. [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior She's only ten years old, and already she's a criminal in the making]], [[LittleMissBadass even barking orders at her accomplice, who happens to be her brother who is at least ten years her senior]].
* Used in the ''Series/MacGyver'' episode "Strictly Business": Mac's arch-nemesis Murdoc returns and announces to [=MacGyver=] that his employers, the assassination organization H.I.T., has assigned Murdoc to kill him. Mac is dumbfounded because the last time they met, they had [[EnemyMine teamed up]] against H.I.T. to rescue Murdoc's estranged sister who was kidnapped by H.I.T. when Murdoc resigned. Murdoc explains that his sister was later killed in an avalanche, giving Murdoc nothing to live for and prompting him to go back to his former life. Thus Murdoc explains his desire to kill Mac as "Nothing personal. Strictly business." (And indeed this was the only time he did so for that reason since their first meeting it was because he got in the way of his battle with Pete Thorton and the others were motivated by revenge more than anything else).
* Played with in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''; Warren says "it wasn't personal" when trying to persuade [[spoiler: Willow]] not to kill him for killing [[spoiler: Tara]]. Her response? [[ItsPersonal "This is."]]
* Common on ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' where whittling down tribes to the final numbers often causes a lot of ChronicBackstabbingDisorder. Boston Rob "The Rahbfatha" Mariano takes this to almost catchphrase levels.
* Used frequently in ''Series/BurnNotice'', both from the villains ''and'' the protagonists, although the protagonists use it more often to explain to the Victim of the Week that what the villains are planning to do to them isn't personal (as if that should matter).
* In the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Inside Man," a dabo girl named Leosa helps some Ferengi to steal a hologram made by Reg Barclay, whom she was sleeping with. When she gets caught, she tells him "If it makes any difference, it wasn't personal. It was just business."
* Used as the tag line of the original non-celebrity version of the American ''{{The Apprentice}}''. "It's nothing personal. It's just business."
* In the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Convictions", the antagonist is a man who received the line "nothing personal, it's just the times" [[FreudianExcuse one time too often]]. As a result, he started [[MadBomber planting bombs all over the station]], with the final one placed on the station's fusion reactor, [[TakingYouWithMe rigged to a deadman switch in his hand]].
* The trope shows up in the penultimate episode of ''Series/BreakingBad''. "Just you so you know, this isn't personal": [[spoiler:Todd to Andrea.]]
* Jamie Reagan, the least likely of the ''Series/BlueBloods'' characters, says this to Mafia prince Noble Sanfino when he asks why Jamie befriended him for the sake of an undercover op. Interestingly Jamie felt enough remorse to at least try to keep the mob from assassinating him when they [[YouHaveFailedMe discovered Noble's error]].
* In ''Series/TheFlash2014'' episode "Fastest Man Alive" BigBad Eobard Thawne puts a knife through CorruptCorporateExecutive Simon Stagg because Stagg was talking about harnessing The Flash's power for his own gain. As Stagg bleeds out, Thawne says this:
-->'''Thawne:''' Forgive me, Simon. I'm worried you'll think this is personal. It's not. It's just that The Man in the Red Suit, The Fastest Man Alive...he must be kept safe.

* An inversion: "You Bet We've Got Something Personal Against You!" by Music/BlackFlag.
* Found in John Cougar Mellencamp's "Rain on the Scarecrow," a very dark song from 1985 on an otherwise cheerful and wholesome album (named ''Scarecrow'', and featuring the much more commercially successful "Small Town" and "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A" as well). The family of the protagonist (named "John," of course) loses its farm when they become hopelessly indebted to a bank. Schepman, the bank's auctioneer, shows up to take bids on the land; when John confronts him, all he can say is: "John, it's just my job, and I hope you understand." Since "Rain on the Scarecrow" is [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory a thinly veiled allusion to the Crucifixion]], Schepman is clearly the equivalent of those about whom it was said: "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do." John telling Schepman he'll pray for his soul clinches the metaphor.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The reason Steve Corino broke up with Simply Luscious and opposed the Prophecy, because he wanted to milk ROH for money and felt they were going to get in the way of that.
* Wrestling/KevinSteen just doesn't care enough for it to be, according to his theme, ''Unsettling Differences''. Won't bother explaining, it goes nowhere. This theme is therefore unfitting because Steen proved time and time again his issues and motivations were ''always'' personal.
* Caprice Coleman has ordered you all to leave your personal issues at home before coming to the factory. No one wants to deal with your drama on the job!
* Adam Cole launched a relentless assault on Michael Elgin's person, from the pettiness of teaming up with Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis and Wrestling/MattHardy to shave off Elgin's mullet to {{forc|ed to watch}}ing Elgin to watch Cole and his three buddies assault Elgin's [[Wrestling/MsChif wife]]. Why, do you ask? Because Adam Cole took offense to Michael Elgin stating that challenging Cole for the Wrestling/RingOfHonor World Title was "nothing personal". Incidentally, it was nothing personal when Wrestling/KazuchikaOkada and Wrestling/AJStyles ended up laid out during Cole's personal war on Elgin, but AJ Styles took it personally enough to decline a shot at the world title to get at Cole...then again, AJ did wear the belt of a [[Wrestling/NewJapanProWrestling larger promotion]].[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Quintessence: The Blighted Venom'': At the end of Chapter 1, Lunair says to Reivier, "Nothing personal... But I'd rather not be held back by an annoyance like you."
* Sword Man in ''VideoGame/MegaMan8''. He's very businesslike, citing his orders from Doctor Wily as the only reason he's fighting.
* Several of the "mavericks" in ''VideoGame/MegaManX6'' speak amiably with X or Zero before their battle and only clash because they are on opposing sides with the hunters even trying to talk their way out of a fight. X even ''apologizes'' to Shield Sheldon before the fight because the latter was wrongfully accused by the Maverick Hunters in a previous event, which Sheldon isn't even bitter about:
--> '''X:''' I'm very sorry about the case. If only I could have been there in time.
--> '''Shield Sheldon:''' Don't be. I couldn't fulfill my role as a bodyguard, that's all.
* Invoked by Zevran in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' after you beat him, as he doesn't know Loghain's issues with you, and you can't afford to take it personally.
** [[spoiler:Iron Bull]] will say this in the Trespasser DLC of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' if [[spoiler:he sides with the Qunari against you]].
* In the original ''VideoGame/TombRaider'', the cowboy says this when you encounter him in Natla's Mines.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' when Snake talks to Naomi about why he beat her brother Gray Fox and left him to die during [[VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake the events of Zanzibar Land]]. According to Snake the fight between him and Fox was nothing personal, they were simply soldiers on opposite sides and it is a soldier's job to kill the enemy, that Fox survived is something Snake is happy about for Fox was his best friend at one point.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', [[spoiler:[[AssInAmbassador Ambassador Udina]] calmly sells you out to the Council and grounds your ship, despite having been on your side through most of the game. When you call him out, he says you've served your purpose and it's just politics.]]
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', if the player takes the Renegade path during Zaeed's loyalty mission, when you corner Vido Santiago he pitifully tries the "just business" line with Zaeed. It doesn't have any more success than one would expect it to.
** Miranda will claim this during the prologue mission, regarding Cerberus's history with the quarian flotilla.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The AffablyEvil [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyNuriXG3BQ Sniper]] is very clear on the differences between a paid assassin and a crazed lunatic when it comes to how to treat the act of murdering someone.
--> "Feelin's? You know who's got a lot of feelin's? Blokes that bludgeon their wives to death with a golf trophy. Professionals have standards."
* Early in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'', [[OneManArmy Havoc]] is informed that his former teammate Sakura, [[PrivateMilitaryContractors a mercenary]], now works for the enemy. At some point she catches Havoc and holds him at gunpoint:
-->'''Havoc:''' Still pissed?
-->'''Sakura:''' No... but I do have to kill you. Part of the job, you know.
** In [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals Generals]], the GLA HeroUnit will sometimes say, "Business is business," when ordered to make a kill, which definitely strikes of this trope.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'': Just before [[spoiler: Benny attempts to kill you and set the game's plot in motion]], he insists that the whole situation is a case of "wrong place at the wrong time".
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'': When [=GLaDOS=] hints that she was going to [[spoiler:kill Chell and start testing robots instead,]] she claims this trope (Of course, [[SelfProclaimedLiar considering]] [[{{Tsundere}} her]] [[EvilIsPetty personality ...]]):
-->"It's nothing personal. After all, you did kill me. Fair's fair."
* This turns up a lot in ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore''. You're a mercenary, and generally any enemy pilots you fight are mercenaries from the same group you work for. Business is business, and just because you were allies earlier is no reason to hold back now. Outside of the storyline, only a small minority of pilots are actually interested in fighting specifically you.
* ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'' has [[spoiler:Rondo use this on Claves when she kills her. "Sorry, but I was ordered to kill you if your identity was revealed. Nothing personal."]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheGodfather 2'', [[spoiler: Hyman Roth]] tries to offer this when you confront him for the last time.
* In ''VideoGame/BaldursGate II'', BigBad Jon Irenicus captures and tortures the PlayerCharacter and their companions for purely instrumental reasons. They are likely to have all hate for him, but he didn't even know them beforehand, and aside from his [[{{Revenge}} ultimate goal]] is quite thoroughly pragmatic even in the atrocities he commits. It's summed up in the opening narration: "There was no malice, no hatred. No mention of an old score. Only a quick capture and the promise of grim deeds to come."
* This trope is Lampshaded in ''MaxPayne'', with the death of Max's family being "nothing personal", as it was just the BigBad covering her tracks. Before Max finds this out, he monologues about this concept, pointing out that its ridiculous, and that it always ends up being personal anyway.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowTacticsBladesOfTheShogun'', the {{Ninja}} Hayato will sometimes say this when stabbing an enemy from behind. Unlike [[{{Samurai}} Mugen]], he was merely ''hired'' by the Shogun.
* In ''VideoGame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'', the FramingDevice is that Athena is narrating the game's events to the Crimson Raiders, and, in True Vault Hunter Mode, Tiny Tina. At one pont, she explains to Tina that on the battlefield, situations change, so she doesn't hold the time Lilith tried to kill her during gameplay personally. [[spoiler:She's still a bit ticked off about Lilith trying to kill her a couple of hours ago, though.]]
* In ''VideoGame/HotlineMiami'', upon finding him in his jail cell, [[spoiler:[[AntiVillain Richter]]]] claims that [[spoiler:killing the Hooker and attempting to assassinate Jacket]] was not anything personal (and in ''VideoGame/HotlineMiami2WrongNumber'' he apologizes for it), claiming that he, like Jacket, [[spoiler:is just another PunchClockVillain being roped into a hitman ring by the people leaving messages on his phone]]. The player has the option to kill him or not.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Rik from ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4486 subverts it]] with this BondOneLiner:
-->I could have said it's not personal, but just looking at your stupid-looking face made it personal.
** In case you were wondering, yeah, [[{{Jerkass}} Rik's a jerk]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Marilith}}'', the bodyguard Stark says it's nothing personal, just business when he betrays his boss to the BigBad.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2009-07-03 Death tries this on the mob.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{PoppyOPossum}}'', Fazzi [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this by specifically stating that the ensuing fight ''isn't'' business, ItsPersonal.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Wiki/{{Uncyclopedia}}'': [[http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/UnBooks:Only_Business Only Business]]
* From ''Website/TheOnion'': [[http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/local_man_glad_to_find_there Local Man Glad To Find There Was Nothing Personal Behind Murder Of Family]]
* The infamous [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/coldsteel-the-hedgeheg Coldsteel The Hedgeheg]] (a ParodySue of edgy ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' original characters) uses this as his go-to catchphrase.
--> ''psssh...nothin [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench personnel]]...kid...''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Jinx said it right before attacking her ex-team mates in the series' penultimate episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'': When Trigon tells Raven to kill all her friends he states it's nothing personal and that it's just the last step in being truly demonic.
* ComicBook/TheQuestion uses this in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' [[spoiler:as he is about to kill ComicBook/LexLuthor in cold blood]], even as he describes his distaste for other person as "[[Literature/GulliversTravels brobdingnagian]]". Slightly subverted in that Q proceeded to [[spoiler:get his ass handed to him by Lex Luthor, then sent to a prison in which he would be tortured with one of his team-mates as his main warden. Seems it wasn't personal to ComicBook/CaptainAtom either.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'': Dirt Boss turns Bulkhead into a [[PeoplePuppets People Puppet]] and plans on using him to create an explosion at an oil refinery...while his fellow Constructicon Mixmaster is attached to him. Dirt Boss himself doesn't even respond to Mix's protests, while Scrapper tells Mix it's nothing personal.
* When [[WesternAnimation/InvaderZim Tak tries to steal Zim's mission]], she claims it's not about revenge; she only wants to take back what's rightfully hers, since he ruined ''her'' mission years ago. He can't get this subtle distinction through his head.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' (the ''Goodfeathers'' segment) The three protagonists are angry after the plot puts them through the wringer - like always - and halfway through, Pesto smacks Squit in the face:
-->'''Squit:''' What was that for??
-->'''Pesto:''' Nothin'. Just felt like whackin' somebody.
* During ''{{Spawn}}'': The Animated Series, Jason Wynn sends corrupt government agents to assassinate Terry after he finds out Wynn was behind the shipment of illegal weapons. During the hunt, they chase him into a military warehouse. While there, a female employee runs into one of the agents who doesn't hesitate to kill her.
--> '''Agent''' "Sorry, sweetheart, wrong turn."

[[folder:Real Life]]
* It is not unknown for professional soldiers to feel this toward their [[WorthyOpponent counterpart]] on the other side. Not necessarily just because they viewed them as worthy opponents but because they realize that in another life they could have been friends. War is just a game of politics, the meaning of who is an enemy changes from one day to the next. Under those circumstances they realize it is petty to hold resentment towards an enemy now that the war is over. However, this depends on the strength of the propaganda in the war effort. During the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, many ''civilians'' felt that it totally ''was'' personal as a result of the RedScare. A ''very'' notable example of this were the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce Christmas Truces of 1914]] where enemy soldiers at various locations along the Western Front decided to put business on hold, take a break from trying to kill each other, and just celebrate Christmas with each other. HumansAreSpecial, indeed.
** As noted in The Other Wiki, those truces died out as the war progressed and became more personal.
* Assassins throughout history (ex. CIA, Mobsters, any Fanatic, etc.) probably felt this way. Getting to know a person before killing them is a time consuming process which usually (if not always) takes much effort. It just wouldn't be practical in most cases to make it personal.