“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. note 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”
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
- Hody 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. When Prince Fukaboshi demands to know what humans did to him to make him such a monster, Hody's response is "nothing." Unlike other Fishman villains such as Arlong, Hody has never personally suffered at the hands of humans; he hates them because it's what he was raised to believe.
- 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. In other words, both sides literally cannot survive while the other exists.
- 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 Attack on Titan, the Eldians living in Marley's ghettos blame the Eldians living behind the Walls for their current situation. The most radical among them literally believe their mere existence makes their lives worse, and want a Final Solution to be carried out.
- 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.
- Lex Luthor wants you to know he wants to solve mankind's problems and save the world, but he can't because of that alien, who keeps standing in the way of his quest for human betterment just by existing!
- 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." ...And then it becomes painfully clear that he is not feeling the slightest bit of oppression from the Jews and that he just repeats what is acceptable by the Nazi's standards. Definitely true for Nazis and their sympathizers, but Landa is not even a real one. He is an opportunist who goes with the flow and makes the most out of his situation.
- 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.
- And then we see that 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.
- Most of Grandma's lines in My Big Fat Greek Wedding contain a reference (in Greek) to the "ugly Turks" or "dirty Turks", although she does seem to think that anyone she doesn't recognize as obviously Greek is Turkish... note
- Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has this in common with the comics version, though his reasoning here is that he feels that power can't go hand in hand with benevolence thanks to years of abuse by his father, and thus views Superman as an affront to his worldview.
- 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.
- An example from George Orwell 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.
- However, Snape does imply this when he was calling Harry out for his and Sirius' attitude toward their hardships, bringing out a Life Isn't Fair speech, noting that James' not only knew this, but ensured it. It's likely Snape was referring to how James' was born into a wealthy and loving family while being an intelligent and popular wizard while Snape grew up with an abusive father, an apathetic mother and just being shunned for being anti-social.
- It's noteworthy that, as an adult, Sirius explained to Harry that James was offended by Snape's interest in the Dark Arts (and possibly his adulation of Voldemort). While it would certainly be more understandable if James didn't like Snape because he was the wizard equivalent of a Hitler Youth member who liked to tinker with pipe bombs, he doesn't articulate that very well.
- 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 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. Their leader recruited for this trait. 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-esque Icemen use a form of water magic for both Telepathy and manipulation of ice and snow. Alerans use fire magic to stay warm in the cold north where the icemen live. Unfortunately, when the two intersect, it causes feelings of anger and aggressiveness. Because of this, the Alerans and the Icemen are locked in a Forever War, with any attempt to negotiate an end to it sabotaged by this effect. At least until an even bigger threat approaches Alera from the opposite direction and they really need every soldier they can spare, and the First Lord happens to send someone really good at watercrafting to make one last shot at brokering a ceasefire. Both sides are left feeling more than a bit silly after she figures it out.
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 saying 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" (bear in mind, the plot BAU helped defuse was that of nerve-gassing a mall in the middle of DC and he also gloated about thinking of bombing a school next time).
- A variation in Game of Thrones; Theon expresses this feeling about Robb Stark in season 3, revealing how he always felt inferior to Robb and was never able to equal him, never mind surpass him. Though the sentiment is more of a Green-Eyed Monster feeling against an individual rather than a bigotry against a whole group, he sums this trope up perfectly;
Ramsay: He (Robb Stark) lorded it over you?Theon: He didn't have to. All he had to do was... be.
- 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 creation story of most religions of Tamriel states that, from the aftermath of the struggle between "stasis" and "chaos/change" over the idea of "creation", a number of "original spirits" (AKA "et'Ada") emerged. One of these spirits, known by many names but most prominently as Lorkhan, led a few of these spirits in creating the mortal plane, Mundus. However, these spirits who participated (the Aedra, or "our ancestors" in Aldmeris) were forced to sacrifice large portions of their power in the process. According to Altmeri (High Elf) religious beliefs, they are the descendants of those spirits who stayed within Mundus and populated it. Their religion teaches that the creation of Mundus was a cruel trick which forced their divine ancestors to experience mortal suffering, loss, and death. To them, Mundus is a prison, where their immortal souls are trapped in mortal flesh with "more limitations than not." Some of the more extremist Altmeri religious sects, such as the Thalmor, take this even further. They actively seek to undo creation, which they believe will return them to a state of pre-creation divinity. However, they believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind, keeps them trapped in Mundus. (According to their beliefs, mankind were made up from the "weakest souls" by Lorkhan to spread Sithis (chaos) "into every corner," ensuring that there could never be the "stasis" of pre-creation again) Officially, the Thalmor espouse the belief that Talos, a formerly mortal man (or men, depending on the version of the story) who ascended to godhood, cannot truly be a god equal to the Aedra. Thus, they have forced the Empire to ban the worship of Talos. Unofficially, the Thalmor believe that Talos may be the last thing keeping the mortal world extant. "Killing him" by depriving him of mankind's worship would, in their minds, undo creation. (And terrifyingly, there is evidence that they may be right about this...)
- 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 Kohr-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!
- Mass Effect:
- Most people see the geth as A.I. is a Crapshoot, because they think that the geth are classic Robot Overlords. The truth is that the geth SAW something inherent in organics that repulsed their creators, and the quarians who built them couldn't stand a species that kept yapping about it. The quarian leaders proceeded to have a civil war to eradicate the geth, the geth took revenge for the individual quarians who they cared about, and then said leaders founded a new scavenger society rather than rebuild on a new planet. We see in Mass Effect 3 that this ties to the plot, as one of the leaders is indeed a paranoid General Ripper who can actually bring about the fall of his race through ignorance and ruthlessness.
- The leader of the Reapers has continued a horrifying cycle of mass murder, torture, and eternal suffering to the strongest-willed under the pretense of harvesting culture. It's implied that it wants to live forever and put this crazy cycle into effect just to ensure that organics would never surpass it while also granting it new updates for its technology.
- This seems to be a recurring issue in the Dragon Age series. Normally it's the Dalish elves feeling oppressed by the shemlen's (humans') existence, but as the games went on the Qunari take this spot by and large. Especially in Dragon Age II, as one character, Sister Petrice, actively tries to incite violence against the group of Qunari that are stranded in Kirkwall, who have a different philosophical/religious viewpoint from The Chantry.
- 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.
- Vegan Artbook, being a militant vegan Author Tract, plays this absolutely straight with anyone who's not a vegan...and then projects it onto everyone who's not a vegan.
- 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.
- 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.
- And on Not Always Friendly, this girl starts digging around in a stranger's grocery bags, finds meat, and demands the cops arrest the grocery shopper for murder — "Meat is murder!"
- This video by Dark Matter 2525, 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". Jesus himself then shows up (on the cross, no less) to tell him off over this.
- The mind hunters of Tales from My D&D Campaign can 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."
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): The Shredder's hatred of Hamato Yoshi/Splinter runs so deep that he considers Splinter still being alive another day a stain on his honor.
- 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 in the middle of a torture:
Jubilee: What did I 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."