"There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. (pause) Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy."Two characters conflict and one is more powerful/more advantageously positioned than the other. This powerful character wants to avoid a fight and so warns the other party against provoking a decisive clash because they will lose. This could be for any number of reasons:
— Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back
- Powerful character will go berserk and won't be able to stop himself.
- The attacker is a friend/family/True Companion.
- The powerful character is a Martial Pacifist or Good Is Not Soft and is trying to offer a Last-Second Chance.
- Powerful character sees the other as a potential ally.
- Character is evil, but an Anti-Villain, Noble Demon, or otherwise attached to the victim.
- Powerful character doesn't need the win, and intimidating their opponent into fleeing the fight is a pragmatic way To Win Without Fighting.
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Anime and Manga
- In Bleach, Captain Kyoraku, one of the oldest captains, on two occasions,
- In the Soul Society arc he encounters a hopelessly inexperienced and outmatched Chad. He doesn't exactly beg for him not to attack, but makes an extensive attempt at parley, clearly for no reason other than the fact he didn't want to hurt him.
- During the Fake Karakura Town arc, he (along with Stark) tries to make the point that a duel between such powerful men would be needlessly destructive (when pushed, he goes to the fucking wall). Jushiro Ukitake simultaneously has one of these moments with the fraccion, Lilynette.
- Late in the second battle over Tokyo in Code Geass, Suzaku finds himself in an insane disadvantage against a furious Kallen, who warns him that she will destroy him if he does not take the opportunity to retreat. Naturally, given his death wish, he stays to accept defeat... which is when his "live" command geass activates and forces him to use the FLEIJA cannon equipped to his Lancelot, forcing a stalemate, and nuking most of Tokyo. Whoops.
- For a True Companion example, One Piece has Luffy saying this to Usopp before their fight.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, when Al makes Ed stop trying to beat Tucker to death, and Tucker continues to goad him on. Al tells him that if he doesn't shut up, HE'LL be the one beating Tucker. Al is made of nothing but steel like armor at this point, so if he starts beating you, it will hurt a lot more than if Ed gets a shot at you.
- In "Fullmetal vs. Flame" Col. Mustang has a flashback to Ishval, in a situation with a young soldier he caught off guard, but hesitates to kill. Both Mustang and the boy know that if the kid so much as raises his rifle, Mustang will kill him. The kid does anyway.
- When Buccaneer asks him to hold the line against the soldiers still loyal to Amestris, Greedling warns them first that if they don't want to get hurt or have a family at home, they should leave right now. Those that stay are the victims of a Terminator-inspired rampage.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Gohan begs Cell to give up his plans and surrender peacefully, because Gohan knows that if he should enter his Unstoppable Rage mode, he'd utterly annihilate Cell, and he doesn't wish that on anyone, not even a monster like Cell. Cell, however, decides that he wants to see this fantastic power for himself. He gets his wish, and it does not end well for him.
- Goku repeatedly warns the Ginyu Force that they don't stand a chance against him and should just scram. They end up trounced by him (and finished off by Vegeta). He tries something similar when he first goes Super Saiyan in his fight with Frieza, though Cruel Mercy was also a factor.
- In a villain example, before Frieza unleashed half of his power, he offers Goku the chance to come work for him, saying it would be ashamed to destroy such talent. When Goku says no, Frieza is quite upset about it, saying what a complete waste it is, along with how stupid the Saiyans were for not remaining his faithful servants.
- Holyland: Masaki says this to King in chapter 140. Obviously, the villain does not listen.
- In InuYasha, Inuyasha and Kikyo's early interactions consisted of Kikyo pinning Inuyasha to a tree with her arrows and warning him to stay away from her and the Shikon Jewel if he doesn't want to be killed. It's subverted; every time, she gives him the warning, but doesn't go through with it.
- In the backstory of Legend of Galactic Heroes, emperor Kornelias I sent emissaries to the Free Planets Alliance to beg them to accept his rule peacefully and negotiate their entry in the Galactic Empire. Three times he sent emissaries, and three times they were laughed out of the Alliance, whose government was still riding high on their triumph at Dagon, by then the only large scale confrontation of the war. Then Kornelias personally prepared and led an invasion, and bulldozed through the Alliance Star Fleet until a palace coup forced him to turn back.
- At the end of Codename: Sailor V Sailor Venus begs Danburite to stand down, as she still sees him as Ace and doesn't want to kill her true love. He attacks, and Sailor Venus promptly kills him.
- In the Matt Fraction Defenders, the Silver Surfer begs a tiger-headed man to release him, saying "Don't make me do this." The attacker doesn't relent, and the Surfer renders him into atoms.
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: When the government sends in Superman to take down Batman, Supes spends the entirety of their fight begging Bats to just give up because he really doesn't want to go through with it. Bats refuses to stay down.
- Angel and Faith: After Angel makes it clear to Whistler that he does not support his methods, Whistler snaps, punches a hole through Angel's stomach, and comes within a hair's breadth of staking him before he manages to stop and compose himself, remarking that, even after everything that's happened, Angel is still his "favorite kid" and he doesn't want to go through with it. Nonetheless, he warns Angel to stay out of his way because he won't be so lucky next time.
- In an issue of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Spoken word for word by Monkey Khan in Universe 39 when he fights Mecha Sally.
- Once More with Feeling: In chapter 9 Asuka quotes the trope verbatim after Shinji gets on her nerves:
Asuka:"Third Child [...] Come with me".
Shinji (to Misato):"You have no idea how long I've waited to hear her say thatů"
Asuka: "Don't make me destroy you"
- Advice And Trust: When Rei brings Kaworu home, she instructs him NOT to touch anything because she's yearning for an excuse to obliterate him. Kaworu assures her that he'll try not to goad her to destroy him.
Rei: This is my residence. Do not touch anything. My instincts are already demanding your destruction for the invasion, even requested.
Kaworu: (smiling) I will try not to force you to destroy me.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction You Obey, Shadowfax is threatened with this by her interrogator. He makes good on his threats in a non-lethal but gruesome way.
- In the The Legend of Zelda fic Blood and Spirit, when Link is briefly overtaken by Majora and sent to attack Zelda, Fi intervenes, stating that, while she does not want to fight her master, she will do what she has to do to protect her creator.
- In Origin Story, Alex Harris has this reaction whenever someone tries to fight her. She knows she's going to win, and is constantly afraid of hurting people, but also doesn't believe in not putting a person who is a threat to her down as hard as possible.
- The last chapters of Cleaves Cuts And Cracks has Spinel choosing between and old friend and the Crystal Gems. She begs the Gems to stop since she doesn't want anyone harmed which tragically leads to her demise.
- Ambience A Fleet Symphony:
- In chapter 99, Shoukaku receives a communication from the Abyssal reinforcements warning the Combined Fleet to withdraw, or else.
- In chapter 106, after another incident that threatens the unity of the fleet, Sanford says that the ship girls had better stop pushing their luck, unless they want him to start giving out punishments.
Films — Animated
- Lilo & Stitch:
Jumba: Don't make me shoot you. You were expensive.
- In The Prince of Egypt, right before the plague of the firstborn Moses is begging his brother Ramses not to let things continue, all while staring at Ramses's son. Ramses refuses, upsetting Moses, who knows that the son will be a victim of the plague.
- Part of Mojo Jojo's We Can Rule Together speech from The Powerpuff Girls Movie ("We are kindred spirits whose powers spring from the same source, so, girls, do not make me destroy you!"), resulting in a very painful Shut Up, Hannibal!.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars:
- The Trope Namer is in The Empire Strikes Back. Darth Vader has Luke trapped and defenseless, but he also knows Luke is the best bet for ending the Galactic Civil War and possibly destroying the Emperor as well.
- Happens twice in Revenge of the Sith. Anakin, knowing he is the Chosen One, says "Don't make me kill you", but at the end of that duel, Obi-Wan has the high ground and realizes that Anakin is about to do something really stupid in his blind rage. Obi-Wan's reply? "Don't try it," in an exasperated, almost pleading tone.
- Run Leia Run (Star Wars spoof animation)
Darth Vader: Bring me my shuttle.Stormtrooper: Sir, that line's been changed to "Alert the Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival."Darth Vader: Don't make me destroy you.
- Spies Like Us. The two title spies are undergoing harsh training and ask to quit.
Colonel Rhumbus: Boys, it would be a shame to have to kill you now.
Draco: I don't want to kill you; I never did! And I don't want you to kill me! [Bowen looks at Draco] How do we gain? If you win, you lose a trade. If I win, I wait around for the next sword slinger thirsting to carve a reputation out of my hide. And I'm tired of lurking in holes and skulking in darkness. I'm gonna let you up now, and if you insist, we can pursue this fracas to its final stupidity... or... you can listen to my alternative.
- During Kyuuzou's early duel scene in Seven Samurai it's mentioned by a spectator that Kyuuzou asked his challenger not to duel him, because he would certainly be killed. Single-Stroke Battle ensues and Kyuuzou is notably saddened by the outcome.
- Pay attention during the practice duel. Kyuuzou clearly landed a killing blow (if they weren't wielding bamboo shoots).
- In the Line of Fire: Would-be assassin Mitch Leary is toying with Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan. He doesn't actually want to harm Frank, though, unless he actually gets in the way of his plan.
- The second half of 2010's B-movie Half Moon consists largely of the werewolf, Jacob, cuffed to a chair, held at gunpoint by the prostitute, Rose. She's trying to convince him to give her the combination to his safe so she can take the money to appease her pimp, while he's trying to convince her to leave with the money he's already given her (he needs the rest to pay for anti-lycanthropy treatments) before he transforms and kills them.
- In The Ten Commandments, Seti, Moses' adopted father, is visibly distraught as Moses keeps digging himself a deeper and deeper hole in regards to his murder of a slave master. Seti must hold his adopted son accountable in the law, but does not want to sentence his own son to death — he eventually settles on exile and striking Moses' existence from all Egyptian records.
Seti: Why are you forcing me to destroy you?
- Near the end of The Elite Squad, Nascimento tries to get a mook to spill the beans on Baiano's location without having to torture. Unfortunately, the dumbass doesn't get the message...
- The climax of Chronicle becomes this when Andrew goes berserk with power after his mother dies and his father berates him for it. Matt, whom had been spending the entire 2nd half of the movie convincing Andrew to calm down and control his telekinetic power, continuously pleads Andrew to stop or he'd be force to do this. Sadly, Andrew doesn't listen, and Matt is forced to do what he has to do...
- Shows up in the second of Eddie Murphy's Dr. Dolittle movies. The good doctor wants to introduce Archie to Ava in hopes of preserving their species. Ava is not impressed.
´´´Ava, to Dr. Dolittle´´´: Oh, don't make me eat you.
- In Black Hawk Down, Specialist Mike Kurth sees a woman about to pick up a gun. He yells for her not to do it... and unhesitatingly shreds her when she does.
- Averted in A Brother's Price: Genre Savvy Captain Tern knows that, if she tries to force entry to the Whistler household, the Whistler girls (the oldest one who is at home at the time is about sixteen) will fight to death, regardless of what she says, as they have brothers to protect. She's not keen on killing little girls, so she decides to wait until the Queen's Justice arrives and sorts it out. She explains this thought process to Princess Rensellaer when asked why she's willing to wait for what could be hours. (Captain Tern would have to kill the girls, as it is her duty to protect the royal family, regardless of how stupid the princesses act. Fortunately, Rensellaer agrees that they should avoid a confrontation)
- Geralt warns a Snow White Expy that this will happen when they fight. Though to be fair, his fighting style provides few non-lethal tools for dealing with dangerous opponents.
- Honor Harrington, during peace talks after decade-long wars:
"Speaking for myself, as an individual, and not for my Star Empire or my Queen, I implore you to accept Her Majesty's proposal. I've killed too many of your people over the last twenty T-years, and your people have killed too many of mine. Don't make me kill any more, Madame President. Please."
- This starts becoming par for the course when the Manticorans start having regular encounters with the Solarian League Navy. The SLN is so big its reserves have reserves, but it is also so painfully obsolete that those numbers amount to very little, prompting Manticoran officers to make it clear just how easily they could be destroyed. It's the rare Solly officer who has the intelligence and/or moral courage to Know When to Fold 'Em.
- Heroic examples occur several times during the X-Wing Series, when before or during a fight someone - usually Wedge Antilles - will announce his rank, his name, and his affiliation, and then offer the enemy the chance to either surrender or, sometimes, cease fighting and escape. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't he and his forces invariably annihilate the enemy forces, though not always without casualties.
- Wencit to the wizards of Kontovar in David Weber's The War Maid's Choice. Paraphrased 'This is the only warning, I know all your plans, if you try to go through with any of them or in any way seek to hurt the woman in question, I will release the spell to raze your continent. None of you will escape and it will become such a ruined, barren wasteland that it will be a hundred thousand years before any sign of life reemerges."
- In The Zombie Knight, the Rainlords of Sair basically say this with their motto, which is "The rain fears not the torch."
- Journey to Chaos: When royal guards came to arrest Mia on false charge of sedition, she warned them not to make her leave the guild lobby. Her hammerspace ate them.
- The Dresden Files Small Favor has Harry witnessing this type of confrontation. On one side is a human possessed by a Fallen Angel who takes the form of a powerful gorilla. On the other side, there is the Eldest Gruff, champion of Queen Titania and, based on the three purple shrouds he wears on a belt, killer of three Senior Council of Wizards in his long life. Both want Harry for their own reasons and the Fallen refuses to back down, despite the Gruff asking him too. He has no conflict with the Fallen, but will defend himself if attacked. It is a quick and painless death for the Fallen's host.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Riker, to his new girlfriend Yuta, who turned out to be a villain (the misguided type).
- From Battlestar Galactica, when Kara and Sam reunite after New Caprica:
Kara: [to Sam] I'm in a different place now. I... I, I don't know how else to explain it to you, but I got out of that cell and it's like someone painted the world in different colors. And I look at you and I want to tear your eyes out just for looking at me. I just want to hurt someone and it might as well be you. So you should probably go before that happens.
- Earlier in the series, after Kara admits that she was indirectly responsible for Zak's death by clearing him to fly a fighter he didn't have the skills for, Adama tells her "Walk out of this room...while you still can."
- From JAG, when Admiral Chegwidden, a former Navy SEAL, gets into a scrape with a Italian mafioso:
Admiral: Signor Amati, many people have tried to kill me one time or another. They're mostly dead. So there's a good chance that your brother-in-law will join them if he does come after me.... Does he have other sons?
Enrico Amati: Uno.
Admiral: When he comes, I'll regrettably kill him too. And after him?
Enrico Amati: My sister will expect me to uphold the honor of mi familia.
Admiral: Then I'll have to kill you. I don't want to have to do that.
Enrico Amati: [in Italian] You're either a very bold man, or crazy!
Admiral: [In Italian] Not crazy. Practical.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Played for Laughs when Xander is fighting a demon-possessed Cordelia.
"Cordelia! I don't wanna hurt you...some of the time."
- Willow says this to Xander at the end of Season 6, when he stops her from destroying the world.
- When Angel makes it clear that he will not support Whistler's methods, Whistler loses his temper, puts his fist through Angel's gut, and comes dangerously close to staking him before managing to stop himself, remarking that even after everything that's happened, Angel is still his "favorite kid" and he doesn't want to kill him. However, he nonetheless departs while warning Angel to stay out of his way or he would be forced to.
- Played for Laughs when Xander is fighting a demon-possessed Cordelia.
- Doctor Who:
Ten: I'm so old....I used to have so much mercy...You get one warning and that was it.
- The Tenth Doctor regularly does the Last-Second Chance version to his enemies.
Eleven: You gave me hope and then you took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. God only knows what it will do to me. Basically, RUN!!!andEleven: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.Eleven gives what his arguably his best one of these in The Pandorica OpensEleven: "No plans, no backup, no weapons worth a damn. Oh, and something else I don't have: anything to lose. So, if you're sitting up there with your silly little spaceships and your silly little guns and you've any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight; just remember who's standing in your way. Remember every black day I ever stopped you and then, AND THEN, do the smart thing. Beat Let somebody else try first."
- The Eleventh Doctor gets in on this, too.
- Twelve in "Face the Raven" almost goes a bit War Doctor when he threatens Ashildr. When Clara is about to be killed by the Quantum Shade, he basically turns into the Master, "I'll bring UNIT, I'll bring the Zygons, give me a minute, I'll bring the Daleks, and the Cybermen— You will save Clara. And you will do it NOW. Or I will rain hell on you for the rest of time." "I can do whatever the hell I like. You've read the stories, you know who I am. And in all of that time, did you ever hear about anyone who stopped me?" He even brazenly admits to not acting in the name of the Doctor any more, which is very very scary. He only seems to back off when Clara orders him not to insult her memory with revenge; even then, his last words to Ashildr are "I was lost a long time ago, she was saving you, I'll do my best, but I strongly advise you to keep out of my way", punctuated with an exhalation that seethes with blood curdling rage: "you'll find it's a very small universe when I'm angry with you."
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures we see that this behavior tends to rub off on companions.
- Mal does this while dressed as a woman in Firefly:
"I swear by my pretty floral bonnet: if your hand touches metal, I will end you."
- Babylon 5: Commonly heard from human commanders: "Surrender or be destroyed." Sheridan, being a goody two-shoes, instructs his crew to target the engines and weapons systems.
Sheridan: We're trying to disable them, not destroy them.
Delenn: Why not? Only one human captain has survived battle with a Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value you lives, be someplace else.
- When Delenn arrives with a fleet to protect Babylon 5, the attackers say this. She responds with a combination this and Badass Boast:
- In Supernatural, Lucifer begs Gabriel, his beloved younger brother, not to stand against him, and says this trope nearly word for word. Gabriel retorts that "No one makes us do anything", a criticism of Lucifer's tendency to blame others for his own actions, and attacks him. It doesn't work out well for Gabriel.
- Happens repeatedly when Merlin is cornered. He doesn't want to kill people with his magic (and he usually has to kill them to prevent his secret getting out) so he tries to warn them off in advance. Sadly, it never works.
- Subverted in Halo 2:
Sergeant Johnson: [while he is fighting the Covenant] I don't want to kill you, it's just that you're too ugly to let live!
- Used word-for-word by Artanis towards Aldaris in Starcraft: Brood Wars during the penultimate Protoss mission.
- Implied towards Shepard by Harbinger in Mass Effect 2.
Harbinger: If I must tear you apart Shepard, I will.
Shepard: And don't let us meet again.
- The Illusive Man says something to this effect in Mass Effect 3.
The Illusive Man: Don't interfere with my plans Shepard. I won't warn you again.
- In all 3 games, Paragon Shepard's approach to hostile situations is essentially "I'd like us to get along...but I have a fully loaded arsenal at my fingertips and I'm really good at using it."
- Spelled out particularly well in the conclusion of the Citadel DLC, where one of the villains has been captured. Said villain banters with Shepard some, and Paragon Shepard warns them not to ever cross paths again. The villain takes the hint.
Adversary: What's this? Commander Shepard pleading for his/her life?
Shepard: I am pleading for yours.
- Unlike the Paragon Shepard who convinces them there's a better way and a chance for peace, Renegade Shepard can end the Geth-Quarian War by basically informing the quarians "The geth are about to come back online and I'm done saving you from yourselves. You want to throw yourselves at them, be my guest."
- Saren invokes this several times during the first game. Paragon Shepard replies with exactly the same thing.
- The Illusive Man says something to this effect in Mass Effect 3.
- If you ask the Orz what happened to the Androsynth in Star Control II, they warn you that they will kill you if you insist on asking that, and thus ask you not to do so. Keep it up and they'll show that they aren't bluffing.
- Resident Evil 6: At the very beginning of his campaign, Leon futilely attempts to talk the zombified President down, but ultimately can't stop the inevitable.
- Devil May Cry 4: Right before the Boss Battle with Credo, Nero explicitly tells him to back down, not wanting to hurt him for the sake of Kyrie, Credo's sister and Nero's Love Interest. Credo dismisses it:
Credo: Hurt me? You still don't get it, do you?! (goes One-Winged Angel)
- Tales of Maj'Eyal has the Allure Wars, a conflict between the tricky and ruthless halfling Nargol Empire, and the honorable but intrusively "benevolent" human Conclave. When the Nargol were pushed to the brink of losing, they warned the Conclave that "a great tragedy will ensue if you continue to push further, and do not accept our previously-stated terms of peaceful resolution. Do not force us to do this." Of course, by this point, they'd spent so much time bluffing for tactical advantages that the Conclave was hardly inclined to believe them. The first mass-necromantic attack in history caught the Conclave completely off-guard, horrifying them into abandoning all pretenses of chivalry and ensuring the war would turn into an increasingly vicious stalemate.
- If you're going down the Genocide path in Undertale, Sans the Skeleton will warn you that if you continue down the path you're currently on, you're going to have a bad time... He may be The Prankster, but this time he's not joking.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Bob is one of the only three people in the universe Galatea loves (she's just betrayed a possible fourth, Fructose Riboflavin, but with good reason). When Bob suddenly arrives while she's on the verge of conquering a planet, she says, "So... You don't approve? Oh Uncle, don't make me fight you."
- In The Specialists Hartmann doesn't want to hurt anyone.
- In Bob and George, "Hold it right there! Don't make me shoot!" — last panel is a complaint about the regulations.
- Baron Klaus Wulfenbach of Girl Genius basically founded his version of the Empire of Europa on one main guiding principle: "Don't Make Me Come Over There". Because he will stomp you flat using great tactical advantage (from on high) if you provoke him into it by Doing Something Stupid. He really, really hates stupidity (like, trying to enslave or otherwise abuse your general population, fomenting treason and rebellion, not handing over any found cans o' evil for proper disposal... that kind of thing) with a vengeance, so it's very much in your best interest not to push that button while he's around. And, he's proved it often enough, both in back-story and on-panel.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Lair of General Grievous":
Nahdar Vebb: [to Grievous] Don't make me destroy you!
- Needless to say, it doesn't work out the way Nahdar intended.
- In The Simpsons, included in Homer's advice to Lisa:
Lisa: What do you say to a boy to let him know you're not interested?Marge Simpson: Well, honey, I...Homer: Let me handle this, Marge. I've heard them all: "I like you as a friend," "I think we should see other people," "I no speak English"...Lisa: I get the idea.Homer: "I'm married to the sea," "I don't want to kill you but I will"...
- Gaz on Invader Zim seems to imply this when she has a hard time understanding the stupidity and lameness of Dib.
Gaz: "That was your fate of the world work? Jumping in a puddle? ...You do realize I'm going to have to destroy you now."
- Marine Gen. James Mattis, in a message sent to Iraqi tribal leaders in August 2003.
"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all."
- Basically the message from Commodore Matthew Perry to the Japanese government in 1854.
- In the animal world, venom is a biologically expensive substance, taking a long time and a not insignificant amount of energy to produce. As such, many venomous animals will try really hard to make you back off before they dose you with it. Rattlesnakes make their signature noise, cobras flare out their hoods and hiss, tarantulas (and some other spiders) will rear up and expose their fangs, and scorpions spread their claws and arch their tails over their bodies. Even some species of wasp will ram you as a final warning before they start stinging.