Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence
“So you hate meBob 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. Far more often, this is expressed as a stock complaint of hyperpatriotism or chauvinism or just plain bigotry in general. For example, "foreigners" are taking over one's country (or community, or whatever) and are going to outbreed or even replace the native people - and, worst of all, just might be plotting to turn everyone else into them, whether genetically or just culturally. Sometimes done by Racist Grandmas, Heteronormative Crusaders, or Troubled Sympathetic Bigots. The latter may have homophobia or similar as an actual clinical phobia rather than just categorism. See also White Man's Burden, which suggests being "oppressed" by another group's weakness or neediness. May overlap with Stop Being Stereotypical if that trope is used as an excuse - if the "oppressee" argues that the stereotypes are true, the group is making him hate them with their obnoxious behavior, and that therefore the group is deserving of any mistreatment they get. (An anti-heroic version of this character might like some members of the group if they "don't act like the stereotype.") 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.
That's the way it goes
What the fuck?
I guess I'll never know”
—Minor Threat, “No Reason”
That's the way it goes
What the fuck?
I guess I'll never know”
—Minor Threat, “No Reason”
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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 Futari Wa 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 (often because mutants, "Homo Superior", technically pose a "threat" to humans, "Homo Sapiens", as the "next step" in evolution). This sentiment and the persecution it inspires lead 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.
- In Inglourious Basterds, Nazi Colonel Hans Landa expresses his views on the Jews, comparing it to how others feel about rats. "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 existence as well.
- Except there's more to it than that. CLU wasn't a person, he was a program and it was his innate desire and purpose in existence to fulfill the mandate of his User. Flynn ordered him to "create the perfect system" not realizing what that would mean if taken to a literal-minded extreme by a computer program basically incapable of nuance. To CLU, he was merely doing what he was built to do by his Creator himself and he felt confused and betrayed when he was condemned for his efforts. As a result he became consumed with self-loathing and hateful of Flynn as only a betrayed child could, and so he rebelled. Flynn himself realized this in the end, and he apologized to CLU and took responsibility for his mistakes.
- 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.
- 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, James Potter and Severus Snape pretty much feel this way toward one another due to a complex relationship of hatred and envy (though it seems they hate more what they embody). James outright says it's because Snape exists that bothers him. Snape never directly says it, but his actions speak louder than James' words.
- Sirius Black feels like this toward Kreacher, the Black family House Elf somewhat. More accurately, he sees Kreacher as the embodiment of his horrid childhood and loathsome ideals he wholeheartedly rejected of the Black family.
- Due to his aforementioned hateship with James, Severus feels this toward James' son, the titular Harry Potter. Harry himself felt something akin to this toward the man.
- The more general Fantastic Racism against "Mudbloods" has a lot of this, especially in Deathly Hallows.
- 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.
- The Silastic Armorfiend of Striterax from Life The Universe And Everything:
It'll have to go.
- 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:
- 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 has a couple of cases:
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- A more or less Justified example in Codex Alera. The yeti-like Icemen use a form of water magic to communicate, while the humans must use their racial fire magic to stay warm in the far north where the Icemen live. Unfortunately, using the two magics in close proximity causes discomfort, meaning that just by existing humanity inflicts pain on the Icemen.
Live Action TV
- The conversation between Jarod (hero) and Mr Raines (villain) in the first season finale of The Pretender:
Jarod: You stole me from my parents. You had the FBI kill my brother, and now you're trying to kill my family. What have I ever done to you?Mr. Raines: You exist.
- In Doctor Who, this is how the Daleks feel about all other forms of life.
- Spoofed on Married... with Children: Al and NO MA'AMnote often spoke this way about their wives or women in general (although, strangely, they are perfectly fine with having women around as sex objects); in turn, Al's Straw Feminist neighbor Marcy sometimes said the same about men. In the end of a given episode, both sides are typically undermined by Hypocritical Humor.
- A Criminal Minds episode ("Lessons Learned", on Season Two) has a mujahideen leader telling this is the reason he wages war against the Western world to Jason Gideon (it's said that he lost his wife and son to a drone strike and implied that he had devolved into his current mindset). When Gideon asks if this would mean killing everybody on the planet (that doesn't follows him), the man just gives Gideon a smile and says that to him there's no such thing as a non-combatant.
- 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.
- The classic/cliche Paladin, played as Lawful Stupid or Knight Templar, often falls into this trope. Any Evil or Chaotic beings (whether they are NPCs or PCs) just can't be allowed to continue existing because the Paladin character has personal alignment restrictions. More enlightened/cooperative players will not have their Paladin characters take this track and usually focus more on setting a Lawful Good example.
- In one drunken rant, Arne Anka claims to be a victim oppressed by the existence of beautiful women.
- In West Side Story, the Jets feel very threatened by the presence of Puerto Ricans in their neighborhood, and claim their American culture is "drowning." Ironically, the Sharks harbor similar attitudes about Americans. ("I think I'll go back to San Juan.")
- 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. (Of course, the Tentacles could easily escape their miserable existence by killing themselves, but why should they be the ones who have to die?)
- 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.
- This is the motive of the Big Bad of Persona 4 Arena. Who oppresses him? HUMANITY!
- 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.
- SF Debris has a "Stupid Neelix Moment" for just about every Star Trek: Voyager episode. Just the mere appearance of the character warrants this award.
- Discussed by Zinnia Jones in the episode Re: "Can't Even Go to the Park" regarding the blog post "Can't Even Go to the Park" which gained international infamy for suggesting that the concepts of "freedom" and "Not outlawing the existence of gay people" are mutually exclusive.
- Every devout Khersian thinks this way about Mack in Tales Of MU. Considering she's half-demon and Khersis exists to purge the world of demons, and demons feed on humans, there is some justification. But since she's the protagonist, we are sympathetic to her situation. It doesn't help that the characters who most dehumanize demons in the setting are either Jerkasses like Gloria and Ariadne or the bastard Mercy.
- Many of the quoted fundies on Fundies Say the Darndest Things feel this way about atheists, gays, and anyone following a religion other than their own.
- Not Always Right:
- This person feels threatened by somebody watching Doctor Who on her smartphone, with headphones on.
- This person likewise complains to a coffee shop about one of their customers, claiming that she's "offending" and "abusing" the other customers simply because she requires a walking stick.
- This Straw Vegan on Not Always Working seems to have this attitude toward animal products. She throws out coworkers' lunches, tells another coworker to never wear their leather jacket again, and then attempts to throw out her boss's leather purse. That last one got her fired on her first day working at that job.
- This video by DarkMatter2525, titled "Hate Speech", in which after a Christian tells an atheist how he is going to forever burn in Hell while he will bask in the glory of Heaven, and the atheist rebukes him by saying that he thinks that's ridiculous, the Christian accuses him of "hate speech" and "oppressing Christians".
- The mind hunters of Tales From My D&D Campaigncan apparently feel the presence of every other living mind in any of the three worlds, and it causes them perpetual torment. Thus, their ultimate goal is to "kill, wipe, or dominate every other mind."
- In the 90's X-Men cartoon this is more or less the opinion and motivation of Graydon Creed (despite the fact he appears to be a baseline human born to two mutant parents... who were Abusive Parents). Keeping in mind he says the following as if it were fact:
Jubilee: What did we ever do to you!?
Creed: (with a Slasher Smile) You were born!
- In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien we meet Adwaita. He is first seen as the Evil Overlord who rules Ledgerdomain, the dimension where Mana, which is both Life Energy and the fuel for magic, comes from. He felt that all life was stealing from him by having that energy.
- Mind you, he was from a race of peaceful philosophers who really didn't even lie. All that changed when he came into possession of the Alpha Rune, the source of magic. Needless to say, he went completely mad with power.
- Evil Seed from the 2002 He-Man cartoon hates humans because they eat plants, which inspires him to try and take over their lands.
- Parodied in the episode of South Park that has "poor" people feel threatened by the arrival of rich people in their town (note: in this case the town is almost all white and all the rich newcomers are black, so here "richness" is used as an Acceptable Target). This is silly, as all the rich people are very nice and do not consciously hurt anyone; at their very worst they are Innocently Insensitive, wondering why in the world the native townsfolk would watch movies on a "VHS" instead of a DVD player. But the "poor" people just will not stop complaining about them, even arguing that the rich people are going to make their children go to school with rich children and try to turn them into "richers."