Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence
Bob is not free, or so he thinks. On the contrary, he considers himself to be very oppressed. Because there is a certain kind of people that he doesn't like, and they... exist
. He's not free to kill them or otherwise remove them, thus he's not free at all.
At best, this is Played for Laughs
, often running on Rule of Creepy
. (In this version, the "oppression" may come in the form of I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!
and be portrayed as real). At worst, it may make the character come across as a monster.
In either case, death threats or "liberation
" is optional. Whining about how the open existence of other people in itself infringes on one's freedom is enough. Note that it does not
count to claim that the other group may pose an actual threat in the future.
An Evil Overlord
of the Manipulative Bastard
kind may use this trope as a strategy to cling to power, directing his subjects' yearning for freedom into a racist yearning for "liberation
" from the existence of another ethnic group.
Sometimes done by Racist Grandmas
, Heteronormative Crusaders
, or Troubled Sympathetic Bigots
. The latter may have homophobia or similar as an actual
rather than just categorism
When this destructive hatred is not focused solely on one group but every human being, it's Kill All Humans
. The next step up is the Absolute Xenophobe
, who wants to destroy all other sentient life not part of their own group, human or otherwise. The final one is the Omnicidal Maniac
, who wants to kill and destroy literally everything
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Anime & Manga
- Hordy Jones, Big Bad of One Piece's Fishman Island arc, absolutely despises humans with a passion. He preaches to his fellow Fishmen and Merfolk about vengeance on humanity and considers anyone who is friendly with or seeks peace with humans to be No True Scotsman. What lands him in this trope is the fact his actions are pure, blind racism. He's had few, if any, of the negative experiences with humans that pushed other Fishman villains like Arlong. He grew up simply hearing humans are bad and took it to extremes.
- In Yu Gi Oh Zexal, the inhabitants of Barian World are apparently enemies of the inhabitants of the Astral World, and plan nothing less than genocide against them. Their leader, known simply as Barian, seems Obviously Evil, but his servants come in varying degrees of evil, from Gilag, who is pretty much Dumb Muscle, to Alit (who seems to be a Noble Demon).
- It's more complicated than it appears. Barian and Astral world were once one and the same, with Astral world's desire to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence leading it to expel everything in it that contained Chaos. This lead to Barian World's creation. It's also revealed that Astral was specifically born to destroy Barian World and that Astral World's goals are slowly killing the remaining inhabitants, who need chaos in order to live. Otherwise they become sick and slowly die.
- The Big Bad (the real one) of Pretty Cure Splash*Star wants to wipe out all life in the universe because he predates it and thinks all of that life is too noisy. He wants the universe to be a nice and quiet void again.
- In Chick Tracts, the non-Christians (which includes Catholics) do this quite often. They feel insulted, threatened, even oppressed... not by how the Christians treat them, but by their very existence. Of course, the Christian characters are always loving and righteous Soulsaving Crusaders, never this trope. They never have any negative feelings towards Gays, Catholics, or whatever... It's just that they find it unfortunate that they all deserve to get tortured and raped forever in hell and will get this well-deserved punishment soon enough.
- In Bitchy Bitch and Bitchy Butch, this trope is a stock complaint from various versions of The Fundamentalist, feeling oppressed by the existence of Atheists and Gays and so on. Even when the Atheists and Gays are simply minding their own business. Especially then, actually, since they thus send the heretical political message that they somehow deserve to exist.
- In Bitchy Butch, we also have Butchy herself, with these feelings against men and heterosexuals.
- In a twist on the X-Men example below, when the second group of X-Men joined up, Angel & Iceman of the first group got really territorial. Thunderbird I was quick to set them straight.
- And of course, the whole franchise has a lot of mutant-haters who feel this way about all mutants. This leads some mutants to feel this way about all humans.
- The Killing Fields depicts the Khmer Rouge's application of these principles to those of Vietnamese descent and "intellectuals", a category that included urban professionals and people who wore glasses.
- Hotel Rwanda depicts the genocide in that country as a consequence of this logic.
- I Shot Andy Warhol is about Valerie Solanas, who apparently came to believe this about all men and consequently published the infamous S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto.
- Amanda Bynes' character in Easy A sobs that no matter how nice she is to "the whores and the homosexuals", "they just keep DOING it!"
- Part of what distinguishes The Matrix's Big Bad Agent Smith from his fellow Machines is his belief that human beings are, by their very existence, a destructive virus that must be eradicated. He later extends this view to all of existence, his former masters included.
- Somewhat unusually, the Star Wars prequel films make this actually true about the Sith; until they're all wiped out, everyone else is threatened by their detrimental effect on "the Balance of the Force."
- The fact that the Sith job description involves being egocentric sociopaths, each of whom is supernaturally compelled to establish dominance over everyone else might have something to do with this fact...
- Of course, the films don't mention the fact that the Jedi often create these same Sith, often because of feeling oppressed by the existence of the Dark Side, or by the very idea of anyone going against their code. For Jedi, anything remotely defiant of their code equals to Dark Side, which equals to instant Face-Heel Turn to them. Every so often, their own training methods and harsh code tend to make people go to the Dark Side, and they refuse to accept that it just might have been their fault, often shifting the blame around to whoever to avoid questioning themselves (Much like Anakin blaming Obi-Wan for Padmé's refusal to join him). And you know what's worse? This war has been going for thousands of years in-story (and will go on for at least a few hundred more as of Star Wars Legacy), and they ALWAYS revert to their old ways, never learning from their mistakes.
- In Inglourious Basterds, Nazi Colonel Hans Landa expresses this view on the Jews. "You don't like them. You don't really know why you don't like them. All you know is you find them repulsive."
- TRON: Legacy: Clu was frustrated with the Isos existing, but could not do anything about it while Flynn was in charge. Once he executed his coup, he is not only all too willing to exterminate every Iso, and Program that does not fit his self-created template of "perfection," but he's itching to take his crusade to the User world because he feels oppressed by human existance as well.
- In the Neo-Nazi novel The Turner Diaries, the Aryan race is finally "liberated" as the protagonists let atomic, biological and chemical bombs rain over the entire planet, exterminating over 90% of mankind. This is portrayed as a happy ending.
- In Guards! Guards!, most of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night feel like this in their low-grade, resentful way. Notably, this is played for laughs.
Brother Plasterer: I reckon my brother-in-law's been oppressing me with this new flashy carriage of his. I mean, I haven't got a carriage. That's oppression, that is.
- Another Orwell example occurs in Animal Farm, where one of the revolution's slogans is "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad." It's horribly subverted later in the story, however, as the ruling class of pigs essentially become human, and teach the sheep to chant "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better."
- An example of this attitude in sixth-century Ostrogothic Italy, as recounted in L. Sprague deCamp's novel Lest Darkness Fall:
"You don't like the Goths?"
"No! Not with the persecution we have to put up with!"
"Religious persecution. We won't stand for it forever."
"I thought the Goths let everybody worship as they pleased."
"That's just it! We Orthodox are forced to stand around and watch Arians and Monophysites and Nestorians and Jews going about their business unmolested, as if they owned the country. If that isn't persecution, I'd like to know what is!"
- In Good Omens, R.P. Tyler appears to be one of these, but lacks the passion to do anything but send letter after Strongly Worded Letter to the local newspaper complaining about everyone and everything that annoys him by its presence - including the fact that the paper doesn't publish all of them because if they did they wouldn't have any room in the Letters to the Editor section for anyone else's letters.
- Some Cosmic Horror Stories have their human characters Go Mad from the Revelation that an Eldritch Abomination exists, in defiance of rationality or experience, even if said Abomination isn't demonstrably trying to harm them. Then again, just because it's not trying doesn't mean it can't happen by accident — after all, we don't always notice when we step on a bunch of bugs...
- In Harry Turtledove's Alternate History Timeline-191, the Freedom Party (a Confederate Expy of the Nazis) advocates a CSA "free" of any black population.
- In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, a Puritan bringing a young woman through France explains how oppressive it is, in that people who want to purify the Church are prevented.
- In Harry Potter, Severus Snape is treated this way by James. Potter, Sirius Black and, to a lesser extent, the other Marauders during the Flashback scene, Snape's Worst Memory. When quizzed by Lily about why he bullies him, James haughtily replies "It's more the fact that he exists ,if you know what I mean".. Harry was not amused in the slightest.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The best way to pick a fight with a Silastic Armorfiend was just to be born. They didn't like it, they got resentful. And when an Armorfiend got resentful, someone got hurt.
- And, of course, the inhabitants of the planet Krikkit, around whom the events of Life, the Universe and Everything revolve. They are a charming, sports-loving, easy-going — if a little whimsical — race who just happen to desire the annihilation of the rest of the universe because their whole history has been manipulated by the super-computer Hactar to bring them to this way of thinking. Having evolved shielded from knowledge of the possibility of anything existing outside their own planet, they are appalled when a spaceship crash-lands on their world, at once blowing apart their idea of existence. They debate - charmingly, whimsically - the implications of a universe outside their planet this and come to one conclusion:
It'll have to go.
- The Rihannsu (Romulans) of Diane Duane's Star Trek novels use this as their basis for their isolationism and imperialism. After Vulcan's First Contact with another species turned out to be a band of marauding pirates that took half the planet's leaders hostage and massacred the rest, a major splinter group left the planet (after the Vulcans brutally slaughtered the pirates), heading to the least hospitable part of the galaxy they could find. Once they set up shop, they blew up any ship that came near their planet, because the alien was something to be feared.
- Discworld: The Auditors of Reality apply this trope to every single lifeform (and in fact, inert matter would probably still irritate them), but have a particular hatred for the too chaotic humanity.
Death: Down in the deepest kingdoms of the sea, where there is no light, there lives a type of creature with no brain and no eyes and no mouth. It does nothing but live and put forth petals of perfect crimson where none are there to see. It is nothing but a tiny yes in the night. And yet... And yet... It has enemies who bear it a vicious, unbending malice, who wish not only for its tiny life to be over but also that it had never existed. Are you with me so far?
Susan: "Well, yes, but-"
Death: Good. Now, imagine what they think of humanity.
Live Action TV
- This is how most of the Imperium feels about aliens, mutants and heretics. Granted in their case it's somewhat justified, considering nearly all the aliens are just as genocidal as they are (and the ones who aren't are either being manipulated by a caste of mysterious alien sages for who knows what purpose, or are ever more genocidal than they are) and mutants and heretics are all vessels, willingly or not, for the power of the Dark Gods.
- While there are plenty of xenophobic groups in Rifts, the most standout example is the CoalitionStates. Their leader, Emperor Karl Prosek, turned his people's fear of the unknown into an irrational hatred of all those who are different (mages, non-humans, and to a lesser extent, psychics and mutants). Even the most mild-mannered citizen of the Coalition believes that wizards and D-Bees threaten his or her life merely by existing, and hates and fears them without reservation. Note that this mindset has been instilled not because of any genuine threat these groups pose (most would rather live and let live), but because fear and hatred of an outside force lets The Powers That Be in the Coalition High Command amass more and more power.
- In one drunken rant, Arne Anka claims to be a victim oppressed by the existence of beautiful women.
- In The Elder Scrolls, the Thalmor believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind, keeps the elves trapped in the normal world, which explains quite nicely why they can't accept the ascension of Talos, a mortal man, into the ranks of the Divines, and why they want his worship stamped out at all costs. The scary thing is that they might actually be right.
- In Day Of The Tentacle, the mutated Purple Tentacle rules a Bad Future where he and his most loyal followers blame all humans for Dr. Fred's creation of their "ungainly forms" and so wish to exterminate them all.
- In Star Control II, this is the motivation behind the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah's extermination campaigns. Much like the Daleks, they consider all non-Ur-Quan life to be abhorrent. They also think they're doing the universe a favor, since they believe in reincarnation and without any other species to be born into, every soul will eventually become an Ur-Quan. Their Freudian Excuse is that they were psychically enslaved by an evil race of lazy Hypnotoads for generations. After freeing themselves and lobotomizing their former slavemasters, the Ur-Quan are deadset on making sure no one can ever enslave them again. The Kor-Ah believe this can only be possible if no other species exist.
- Early in Homestuck, highblood Eridan hated lowbloods and often tried to commission Vriska for doomsday devices so he could kill them all... for no better reason than because, well, they existed. However, it's heavily implied that he never seriously intended to go through with it and that it was all just to keep up appearances and retain the interest of his moirail.