->''"And now, king-papa," the princess went on, "I must tell you another thing. One night long ago Curdie drove the goblins away and brought Lootie and me safe from the mountain. And I promised him a kiss when we got home, but Lootie wouldn't let me give it him. I don't want you to scold Lootie, but I want you to tell her that a princess'' must ''do as she promises."\\
"Indeed she must, my child--except it be wrong," said the king. "There, give Curdie a kiss."\\
And as he spoke he held her towards him.\\
The princess reached down, threw her arms round Curdie's neck, and kissed him on the mouth, saying: "There, Curdie! There's the kiss I promised you!"''
-->-- '''Creator/GeorgeMacDonald''', ''Literature/ThePrincessAndTheGoblin''

''[[DescribeTopicHere I swore to Describe I Gave My Word Here, and you shall not deter me!]]''

Any dialog to indicate your ''deep'' offense that someone says that you could do something that you [[ThePromise promised]] not to, or refrain from something you promised to do -- or actually tries to do something you had promised would not happen. (You are, after all, "a man of your word.") Bonus points if [[WhatYouAreInTheDark no one would realize]] you had broken it: if you had given it to a dying man, or no one would believe the character you gave it to. A LastRequest for some reason is actually an especially binding promise -- as is [[BestServedCold a vow]] [[TalkingToTheDead made to the already dead]].

Generally preceded by the {{Stock Phrase|s}} "I give you my word."

May indicate HonorBeforeReason. On the other hand, a reputation for [[PowerOfTrust trustworthiness]] makes it easier to get people to listen to you, possibly getting you out of a MexicanStandoff, HostageSituation, or other situation that cannot be resolved by brute force. On [[{{Metaphorgotten}} the third hand]], when getting someone's word, beware of ExactWords.

The BlueBlood, particularly the OfficerAndAGentleman, is prone to this. Indeed, he may say, "I give my word as a gentleman."

More elaborate formulas are possible. This may be because their word is not binding without them, or to emphasize their seriousness. This can be "I swear by X (Usually a deity)" -- occasionally with the implication that X will personally avenge you on them if they swear falsely -- or a specific curse that they invoke to fall on them if they fail (usually expressed in the form "May X strike me down"). BoltOfDivineRetribution is not unknown as punishment.

Conversely, some characters, particularly in settings where honor is held highly, will consider any kind of statement, no matter how casual, as binding.

Making a blank-check promise -- "Yes, I will do something for you" -- or making it only because you have been lied to may lead to HonorBeforeReason, where a character insists on carrying it out anyway. However, in these situations, even the most honorable character often insists on ExactWords. More prudent characters will break it on these grounds; then, they are more likely to be sure of their facts, or refuse to make a blank-check promise.

Even [[EvilVirtues some villains]] stick to [[VillainsNeverLie scrupulous honesty]], either because [[EvenEvilHasStandards they retain some ethical standards]] or because [[PragmaticVillainy long-term trust is more useful]] than [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder short-term backstabbing]]. It is often a ''disadvantage'' for the Devil in a DealWithTheDevil. He ''will'' follow what he said; he'll [[JerkassGenie squirm the meaning]] if he can, but if he gave some ImpossibleTask for you to follow and you somehow did, he will begrudgingly follow through. There are [[YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo exceptions to this]], but if someone is dealing with a [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils literal devil]], the deal can be expected to be honored.

If an IncorruptiblePurePureness character must break his word, or insist on ExactWords for some sound reason -- such as having been tricked -- he will break it but think it DirtyBusiness. A KnightTemplar, on the other hand, will either break his word (or insist on ExactWords) without a tremor of conscience, or monomaniacally insist on carrying it out, regardless of the consequences. Similarly, heroes forced into the SadisticChoice (where one option is saving lives and another keeping their promise) may end up forced into a FrequentlyBrokenUnbreakableVow.

Required for CombatByChampion.

Contrast HeroicVow and WillNotTellALie. Closely related to the BloodOath. When someone has broken this vow so thoroughly they become ostracised they're TheOathBreaker. ReleasingFromThePromise is another option, though some characters think that even the person they've sworn the oath to can't free them.



[[folder:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}]]
* Once ''Manga/{{Golgo 13}}'' accepts a contract he always completes the mission. [[http://www.saito-pro.co.jp/english/index.htm]], [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086148/plotsummary]]
* This is practically Manga/{{Naruto}}'s {{catchphrase}} even more than [[VerbalTic dattebayo/believe it]]. He never backs down on his word. EVER.
** [[AnimalMotifs Which is based on how]] [[CunningLikeAFox foxes]] in Japanese mythology, despite being [[TheTrickster tricksters]], tend to keep promises.
** [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone After realising how far Naruto would go to keep his promise to bring Sasuke back to her]], [[BlatantLies Sakura says she doesn't want Sasuke back]] and goes pretty far to try to convince Naruto of this. It doesn't work. Of course, by now, [[StatusQuoIsGod Naruto is too obsessed with Sasuke to think about anything else and wants to bring him back for his own reasons.]]
* Pagasus J. Crawford / Maximillian Pegasus released the souls of Seto Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba and Sugoroku Mutou / Solomon Mutou in the English dub of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' after being defeated by Yugi. He gives a soliloquy about how he always keeps his word.
** Frequently Yami Yugi's reasoning, combined with a sense of responsibility. He makes a promise to the spirit of Dark Magician Girl in one of the filler arcs and at one point states he has a promise to keep.
* Jonouchi ''seriously'' did this in ''Manga/YuGiOhR''. In the beginning of the story, he borrowed a Duel Disk from Tilla Mook, the first Card Professor, promising he'd return it. Unfortunately, he lost it over the course of the story, but gained the far superior Black Duel Disk created by Tenma after defeating Bandit Keith. Despite the value of this Disk, he later gave it to Mook in the epilogue to replace the one he lost, as he considered himself bound to his promise. (And as you might expect, she didn't mind at all.)
* [[LightIsNotGood Eliphas]], the god-like ruler of the Astral-world in ''Anime/YuGiOhZEXAL'' was [[WellIntentionedExtremist fanatical in his disdain for Chaos]] and the beings that possess it, and willing to commit genocide upon the Barian World to meet that goal. Despite being likely a thousand times more powerful than Yuma, and blaming him for Astral's injuries, he agreed to duel Yuma, so long as Yuma was willing to wager his memories of Astral. Without a doubt, Eliphas' [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers ability to use Shining Draw whenever he wanted]] was blatant cheating (clearly, [[{{Hypocrite}} he didn't have as much regard for Law as he thought he did]]) but Yuma still won, and claiming to be a man of his word, Eliphas kept his side of the bargain and released Astral. (Both physically and from the "programming" previously placed on him.)
* An interesting example in ''[[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Hokuto No Ken]]'', where Kenshiro breaks a promise to spare a {{Mook|s}}'s life, asking the thug how many time ''he's'' kept a promise in his life, or spared someone who begged for their life, before leaving him to [[YourHeadASplode die messily]].
* Ichigo in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' does this. Inoue Orihime states that "when he says 'I'm going to win' those are the times that he definitely will!"
* Riza Hawkeye in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', when she agreed to become Roy Mustang's subordinate.
** In keeping with his policy of [[VillainsNeverLie always telling the truth]], Greed will keep any promise he makes. [[spoiler:Except at the end, where he lied for the first and last time to save Ling and [[TakingYouWithMe deal]] [[BigBad Father]] [[HeroicSacrifice a]] [[DyingMomentOfAwesome devastating]] [[AssimilationBackfire blow.]]]]
** Ling Yao states that people of Xing always keep their promises. He proves this to be true twice, once in keeping his word in assisting the Elrics with the capture of a homunculus, and again at Bucaneer's [[spoiler:dying request]] that he protect the front gate of Central Command. Ling's bodyguard, Lan Fan, acts similarly in her promise to return to Amestris and seek out the evil there, which she honors.
* The titular character in ''Franchise/LupinIII''. Despite being a thief, he is known even to the ICPO as a man of his word. He will keep it even when it places him at a disadvantage.
* Once when Tamahome places his life at serious risk to save Miaka in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'', she fumes at him and tells him how much he terrified her. He takes this more lightly than other examples do, though; he chuckles and asks to be repaid in time. The other instances of this trope [[spoiler:such as when he tries to comfort Miaka after being [[AttemptedRape nearly raped]] by Nakago by telling her that he promised to make her the happiest bride in the world]] don't go as well.
* We have Arlong from ''Manga/OnePiece'' who always keeps his word when it comes to money. Which is why he was upset when Nami almost had enough money to buy her village and leave his crew despite all his henchmen telling him that he could just break his promise. That is why he found [[LoopholeAbuse other means]] to keep Nami from leaving.
** Speaking of ''Manga/OnePiece'', it's unexpectedly averted in regards to the main character, Luffy. At two different points in the series, he's been forced to promise not to fight on a certain island. Both times he ended up getting angry enough that he broke his promise anyway, with particularly bad consequences in the second case. It's not that he's unreliable: he'll fight to the death against seemingly unbeatable odds to protect a friend, but he tends to do things his own way regardless of what other people think of it.
*** In Luffy's case, it seems to be quite simple. When others make him give his word, he'll usually only give it in order to shut them up and later either forget about it or simply do the opposite thing because he considers that better. When he gives his word by himself, without any prompting, you can be sure he'll keep it forever.
*** One particular case (and probably the most well-known among the fandom, considering its aftermath), is when Hachi made Luffy promise to not antagonize the World Nobles, no matter what they do. Luffy ''was'' planning on keeping this one, considering that if he didn't, an admiral would show up on the island. [[BerserkButton And then one of them shot Hachi]]. That was perhaps the only time anyone could forgive Luffy for knowingly going back on his word.
** Brook's backstory, dream and general reason for living all run on this. "Dying is no excuse!"
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', Goku agrees to marry Chi-Chi, thinking marriage is a type of food. Several years later, Chi-Chi returns to hold Goku to his promise. Even at this point, Goku is still a ChasteHero who doesn't really understand the concept of romantic love, but he still marries Chi-Chi anyways because he gave his word.
** In the ''[[Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods Battle of the Gods]]'' movie, Beers makes a statement that if no one can defeat him in combat, he will destroy Earth. Later he seems to regret saying that and wants to spare Earth from destruction regardless, but states that now that he's given his word, he ''must'' abide by it as a matter of honor. [[spoiler:When Goku loses but still gave him an excellent battle, he destroys one rock on Earth's surface, then claims that he's too tired right now to do the rest of it, and he'll come back in a few million years to finish the job. [[ExactWords He never did specify WHEN he would destroy Earth, you see.]]]]
* In ''Anime/{{Windaria}}'' neither Prince Roland nor Princess Veronica want to fight, yet they swore they would on their parent's deathbeds.
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' Sensui says he will release the captured Kuwabara if Yusuke's team can kill Gourmet. When Kurama does that, Sensui keeps his promise. However this just ensures that Yusuke's friends fall into a trap, so Sensui can have a one-on-one battle.
* In ''Manga/ABridesStory'', Amir smuggles a meal to a boy being deprived of dinner as punishment, and tells him she will only do it this time. When he disobeys again, his mother, who ordered it, is shocked because Amir insists on her word, and she needs someone to go around her.
* Rex Godwin, the BigBad of the first season of ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''. While he did not survive the final battle with Yusei, Jack, and Crow, the promise he originally made to Yusei - to build the Daedalus Bridge and liberate the citizens of Satellite - was still kept.
* Subverted in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''. Hayate made Signum promise that they would forget about the Book of Darkness as long as she was it's master, a promise that she was all to willing to keep. But when it turned out that Hayate was going to die, it's Signum who suggests that they use the book in a bid to save her. Honor is incredibly important to Signum, but Hayate is more important.
-->'''Signum:''' "[[TearJerker Forgive us, our master. We shall be breaking our oath this one time...]] ''[[TearJerker Please forgive us for this wrongdoing!]]''"
* In ''Anime/ValkyrieDriveMermaid'', Mamori agrees to transform into a sword for Mirei to wield, but makes her promise not to fight anybody. Mirei keeps the promise and escapes after fending off a few attacks, even though Mamori is unconscious during her transformation and would not have any way of knowing what Mirei does while wielding her.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The word of SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom is ''always'' honored, although the wise will [[ExactWords pay attention to anything left unsaid]].
* Lobo always keeps his promises. He'll merrily violate the spirit of a contract, but never the word of it. If he's promised not to kill you, he won't, no matter how much he may hate you. (Do note, however, that under the right circumstances, it's quite possible to survive multiple cases of dismemberment.)
* Lucifer from, well, ''Comicbook/{{Lucifer}}'' never breaks his word, deliberately lies, or leaves a service unpaid. It's a point of pride for him, and those aware of his character often warn against mistaking it for a virtue. His wording needs to be watched, sometimes; if he tells that he gives you a chance to do something, it doesn't mean that he's compelled to tell you when that chance comes, or just what you should do to get the desired outcome.
* In ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'', Ming the Merciless rewarded Sonja's treachery as promised: by marrying her and making her his empress. ''Then'' he [[RewardedAsATraitorDeserves ordered her execution]].
* ComicBook/{{Galactus}}. After Reed Richards saved his life, he swore he'd never attempt to feed on Earth again. Thus far, he has kept this promise.
* {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} and ComicBook/{{Thanos}} both will keep the literal word of any agreement, but they are not above violating the spirit of an agreement. This is common for super-villains who want to appear to have some degree of honor to set themselves above others, but can twist it to still be villains. So even if they give their word you cannot trust them.
* When [[ProfessionalKiller the Foreigner's]] organization, the 1400 club, was taken over by [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Justin Hammer]], he tried to convince Franchise/SpiderMan to help him fight them, which he knew would be a ''very'' hard sell, because his men had murdered Ned Leeds, a close friend of the hero. He promised Spidey he'd turn himself in to the police and confess to all his crimes once they had succeeded in exchange for his help. Spidey accepted, and to his incredible surprise, the Foreigner kept his word to the letter. (Of course, being the MagnificentBastard he was, the Foreigner didn't expect to be in jail long; most of the murders he had committed in his long career as the world's best assassin were ''very'' high profile, and he had never been identified as the killer in any of them. [[SarcasticConfession He figured the police would think he was just some crackpot]] and release him, which was exactly what happened.)
* In ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'', when Daredevil surrenders to the Plunderer to save hostages, one of the Plunderer's crewmen suggests tossing ''him'' overboard instead. The Plunderer is positively outraged at the very suggestion: "''Silence'', you scurvy toad! I have given my ''word!''"
* In the comic book adaptation of ''ComicBook/TheLegendOfZelda'', Link is asked to promise Zelda that he will not leave the palace on a specific day, in the storyline "He Also Stands". BigBad Ganon uses several different ploys to try to lure him outside (which, unbeknownst to Link, would have had disastrous results), but he keeps insisting that he can't because he promised.
* In one rather memorable series of ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' strips, Charlie Brown was sick at the hospital, and amazingly, the one who was the most upset about it was [[{{Jerkass}} Lucy]], who had otherwise treated him so mean. She finally went outside and made the following vow: "Charlie Brown, I know that you can't hear me, but I want to make you a promise. I promise that if you get well, I'll never pull the football away again!" Unfortunately for her, Charlie Brown ''did'' get better, he ''did'' hear it somehow (maybe Linus told him) and held her to it; the amazing thing is, she actually tried to keep her word, but Charlie Brown missed, kicking her in the hand. (He apologized, to which she replied, "The next time you go to the hospital, stay there!" and apparently, she decided she wasn't bound by the promise anymore, because the annual prank continued as always, starting the next year.)
* A heroic example became a bone of contention between Wolverine and Namor in ComicBook/CivilWar. Wolverine has tracked Nitro, the villain responsible for the Stanford incident, and promised Nitro his protection until Wolverine can find out who's responsible for Nitro's out of control explosive powers (long story). Namor captures Nitro, since Nitro was responsible for his niece Namorita's death. When Wolverine goes to Atlantis to retrieve Nitro, Namor calls him out on giving his word to a multiple murderer. Wolverine won't have any of it.
-->'''Wolverine:''' That doesn't change the fact ''I still gave my word.''

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/185.htm The False Prince And The True]]'', a young man promises an old woman [[MayDecemberRomance that he will marry her]] if she saves his life. She does.
-->''"You swore to marry her if she saved your life, and, come what may, you must fulfil your promise."''
* In ''Literature/{{Tattercoats}}'', the grandfather had sworn never to look on his granddaughter's face, which means he is excluded from the HappyEnding.
* In an Indian fairy tale/riddle, a prince and a king find the tracks of a queen and a princess who are escaping the armies that overwhelmed their kingdom. The prince assumes that the smaller footprint is the princess and tells the king that he should marry the woman with the larger footprint, he'll marry the woman with the smaller. Then they find the queen and princess and learn that actually the queen has the smaller foot. So they have to marry as they had agreed in advantage: the king to the princess, and the prince to the queen.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'':
** Asuka sometimes asks Shinji why he always puts up with her. Shinji always replies that every time he left her alone she went through Hell, so he promised he would never abandon her again, not matter what, and he will not go back on his word.
** When Daniel or Rayana -the divine rulers of Avalon- make a promise you can trust that they SHALL fulfill it, even if they have to warp time and space to do so.
--->'''Ching''':''"If he promised you, then it will be so, […] He may bring her forward in time whenever we return so she doesn't have to wait for you, or take you back to just before she wakes, or some other way. However they make it happen, the Lord and Lady will keep their promises to you, don't worry."''
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', a Draconequus (and probably anyone else who knows a thing about her) will never break a promise if they swore on their Mother, [[EldritchAbomination Entropy]], not even Discord. Justified, as they ''literally'' can't break it because Entropy ''hates'' [[BerserkButton having her name taken in vain]] and is TheDreaded for very good reason.
--> '''Rancor''': You can trust 'em. The last [[UnPerson ___]] who promised on Mom's name and didn't keep their end...well, even if you knew who __ was, [[RetGone you wouldn't remember now.]]
* Although she probably wouldn't be blamed for breaking such a promise in the context of TheHungerGames, Vale Whitaker of ''Fanfic/SomeSemblanceOfMeaning'' promised that she would give meaning to this near-certain death sentence by protecting her district partner, Kit. And that is exactly what she intends to do. [[spoiler: However, although she tries, she ends up losing Kit when he is killed by a mutt, and she is forced to search for a new purpose in the arena.]]
* Subverted in ''Fanfic/AProtectorsPride''. Aizen promises to spare Karakura Town if Ichigo promises to leave him alone forever. As Aizen leaves, Ichigo has a massive internal debate, and though it tears him up inside to break his word, he realizes Aizen is too dangerous and will only cause more suffering and destruction elsewhere, then pursues him.
* Maledict from ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'' does this numerous times, both good and [[LiteralGenie bad]]. In particular, during the final battle, Maledict promises to give Sonic his Planet Egg back and spare the galaxy in exchange for the Chaos Emeralds. Afterward, Maledict keeps his word and pardons them... and lets them keep the Chaos Emeralds as a thanks for their help.
* In ''Fanfic/TheUltimateEvil'', an AlternateUniverseFic about ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', while Shendu is portrayed as the [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder lying]] demon he's known as in canon, he has (for the most part at least) kept his promise made to his [[VillainousCrush love interest]] Valerie of not forcing her into something against her will, intending to instead make her to fall in love with him.
* In ''Fanfic/MirrorOfMaybe'' Severus has made this his lifestyle. He never lies, unless it is required by his position as a spy. This is what makes Harry first take real notice of him (in the mirror); someone expresses surprise that Severus went out of his way to help them, and Severus simply replies - rather irritably - "I said I would, didn't I?"
* A fair number of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' stories have Hidan keeping his word in any deal he makes, [[PragmaticVillainy if only because no one would be willing to deal with a man who's known for going back on his word]].
* A rather important note about dwarves in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6348510/1/Rising-of-the-Dark Rising of the Dark]]'' is that they consider any promise made "over the tankard" (that is, any promise made while drinking) to be just as binding as an oath sworn before the gods. Thus, when Manga/{{Naruto}} makes what he considers a simple toast to his friendship with the dwarf Hagwin and elf Celia, Hagwin takes it as an oath of UndyingLoyalty between them.
* Inverted in ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide''. Misato promised Shinji that he would have not to pilot his HumongousMecha anymore after killing the latest enemy. When she tells him that maybe he will have to pilot and fight again, he is furious... until Asuka tells him that people make and break promises the whole time, and it’s stupid and unfair hating someone for that.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* From ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'': "No... I promised I'd never let anything happen to him..."
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}},'' Ellie makes Carl promise that one day they'll have a house next to Paradise Falls in South America. They grow up and [[HappilyMarried get married]], but can never afford to make the trip. The plot is largely based upon Carl, as an old man, trying to fulfill his promise by moving their house there after Ellie's death. In this case, though, the {{Stock Phrase|s}} is replaced by a repeated "cross over the heart" motion.
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'':
** Vanellope inverts it, reminding Ralph that he promised, but he carries through.
** Gene gives Ralph [[spoiler:the penthouse key]].
-->'''Gene:''' Let it never be said that I am not a man of my word.
* Lady Tremaine in ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' gives her word that Cinderella can go to the ball if she "gets all her work done and finds something suitable to wear." She does both. Lady Tremaine says, "I never go back on my word." Unfortunately, [[LoopholeAbuse she never promised that she wouldn't let her daughters tear the suitable dress to bits.]]
* In ''Disney/PeterPan''. Hook accuses Peter of being a coward because he always flies away instead of fighting him fair and square. Pan gives his word to fight Hook without flying, despite Wendy begging him not to.
** Captain Hook himself uses this, albeit in a sneaky, loophole-abusive way. "I have given me word not to lay a finger, or a hook, on Peter Pan. And Captain Hook never breaks a promise…" as he's lowering a bomb into Peter's hideout.
** In the sequel, Hook convinces Wendy's daughter Jane to tell him where to find Pan, but Jane makes him promise not to hurt Pan. Hook signs a contract promising he wouldn't hurt a hair on Pan's head. Then he goes ahead and captures Pan, plucks a single hair, gives it to Jane, and explains that's the hair he won't hurt.
* Rapunzel in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''. When she makes a promise, no matter how it might hurt her, she ''will'' keep it. From returning Flynn the tiara he stole (even if he would leave her, despite her growing feelings for him) to [[spoiler: promising Gothel she would stay with her and never run away again, as long as she heals Flynn]] (even if it means never seeing Flynn again and giving up her freedom).
** Though earlier on she promises never to ''ask'' to leave the tower again, so she's free to actually leave without asking (although she does feel guilty about it).
* ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'': Ultimately Wilbur Robinson. He makes a promise under duress to take Lewis [[spoiler:really his father's younger self]] back to see his [[MissingMom biological mom]], and despite assorted happenings that make it clear that said course of action could potentially be dangerous, not to mention the fact that it seemed likely that he never intended to follow through on the promise…he follows through on the promise.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Aliens}}'': Ellen Ripley crossed her heart and hoped to die that she will '''not''' leave Newt behind, and that's why [[HonorBeforeReason neither a hive of snarling monsters, their colossal queen-mother nor even an IMMINENT NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST is going to stop her from going back to save her life.]]
* Deconstructed (along with several other Western tropes) in ''Film/TheWildBunch''. Sykes is shot by bounty hunters led by Thornton, who used to be one of the titular outlaws, on his way to rendezvous with the rest of the bunch. Dutch is pissed.
--> '''Dutch Engstrom:''' Damn that Deke Thornton to hell!
--> '''Pike Bishop:''' What would you do in his place? He gave his word.
--> '''Dutch Engstrom:''' He gave his word to a railroad!
--> '''Pike Bishop:''' It's his word!
--> '''Dutch Engstrom:''' That ain't what counts! It's WHO you give it TO!
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'': Captain Barbossa is another one of those who keeps to the word of his promise but not the spirit; he has gotten grievously offended by both Elizabeth's and Will's accusation that he didn't fulfill his part of the bargain he made to them, and tells them if they have a problem with how he did it, [[ExactWords it's their fault for not being specific in the agreement.]]
** Will Turner also always keeps his promises. This leads to him betraying most of the cast over the course of the second two movies so he can kill Davy Jones and free his father from eternal servitude on the ''Dutchman''.
* ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen''. Anton Chigurh promises Moss that if he doesn't hand him the money, [[RevengeByProxy he will go after his wife]]. [[spoiler:Moss not only didn't hand-deliver the money to Chigurh as he was supposed to, but he dies trying to hatch a plan to keep his wife safe, and after he is buried, Moss's now-widow sees Chigurh sitting in the living room, waiting to kill her. Chigurh knew that Moss's wife did nothing wrong, but he felt he had no choice but to kill her, since gave his word that he would kill Moss's wife if Moss didn't return the money. He flips a quarter to determine if she lives or not. In the book, she at first refuses, but gives in and loses. In the film, she refuses to play along at all, pointing out that it's just a half-assed way for him to avoid responsibility for his actions: this is the one time in the film that we see Chigurh [[VillainousBreakdown lose his cool at all]].]]
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Inigo wants to help the Man in Black climb the last few feet of cliff--so that he can kill him in a duel:
-->'''Inigo''': I could give you my word as a Spaniard.
-->'''Man in Black''': No good. I've known too many Spaniards.
-->'''Inigo''': Isn't there any way you trust me?
-->'''Man in Black''': Nothing comes to mind.
-->'''Inigo''': I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.
-->'''Man in Black''': ''pause'' Throw me the rope.
** Not to mention that after the "Man in Black" reaches the top, Inigo lets him rest for a bit, and they chat. They really aren't enemies. (Inigo [[PunchClockVillain is only a villain by association anyway.]])
** Twisted around when Prince Humperdink agrees not to hurt Westley if Buttercup will come along quietly, with the reasoning being that it will be ''Count Rugen'' that actually hurts Westley, and Humperdink will only watch.
*** And ultimately subverted when Humperdink [[spoiler: mostly]] kills Westley.
* From ''Film/JerryMaguire'':
-->'''Jerry:''' "Tell me you didn't sign. Tell me you didn't sign because I'm still rather moved by that whole "Stronger than oak" thing."
-->"...We signed an hour ago."
* In ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'', Angel Eyes shoots his employer after taking money from his last victim to do so. He always keeps a contract, even with a man he's just killed.
* In ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Two Towers'', Gollum swears by the One Ring that he will lead Frodo and Sam to Mordor. He actually does so before betraying them.
** There is an interesting difference in the wording between the original novel and the movie. In the book he tries to swear "on the Precious", but Frodo refuses to accept a vow that depends on his lust for it, and makes him swear ''by'' it, instead, which binds him to serve Frodo as long as he's holding the Ring, whereas in the movie Frodo simply accepts "on the Precious".
** Another interesting difference: in the film, when confronted ("Sméagol promised!") he replies [[ILied "Sméagol lied."]] In the books, he swore to serve "the master of the Precious," so by stealing it for himself, he [[ExactWords became the master of the Precious]] and could [[MetaphoricallyTrue serve himself]].
*** The same could be said of the Ring itself. Gollum also swore never to let Sauron have it. Sauron was coming for the Ring when Gollum had it. ....there was only one way to keep the vow, even if Gollum doesn't realize it.
*** One more, though more of a curse than a promise: After Gollum attacks Frodo on the slope of Mount Doom, Frodo says that if Gollum ever lays hands on him again, he himself will "perish in the fire." And Gollum does. And guess what happens to him moments later.
** Another example: Samwise Gamgee.
--> '''Sam:.''' I made a promise, Mister Frodo. A promise! "Don't you lose him, Samwise Gamgee." And I don't mean to!
** Also, Aragorn releasing the dead army after the battle of Pelennor Fields despite Gimli urging him not to.
* In the comedy ''Film/MajorPayne'', the titular character promises a biker thug that he'll take his foot and kick him across face with it. Distracted by his footwork Payne then proceeds to sucker punch him in the throat and kick him in the [[GroinAttack nuts]]. The biker (now on his knees choking) foolishly brings up the Major's threat:
--> '''Biker''': You...you said you were gonna...hit me in the face.
--> '''Payne''': You calling me a liar?! * ''[[ExactWords boots him in the face]]''*
* In ''Film/ILoveYouPhillipMorris'', the prisoner in the next cell takes his agreement to play a song in his cassette player for Steven and Phillip to dance to very seriously, continuing to play it after lights out when the guards demand he stop it. When several guards come and try to force him to turn it off, he fights them off, screaming "[[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch MY WORD IS MY BOND, BITCH!]]".
* In ''Film/LegallyBlonde'', Brooke Wyndam, the accused, gives her alibi to law student, Elle Woods. Elle refuses to divulge this alibi despite being pressured by the lead attorney, Callahan, and the other law students working the case because Elle promised not to tell.
* ''Film/FlashGordon''. Princess Aura asks Dale Arden to put a poison pill in Ming's drink. Dale declines, saying she gave her word to Ming to be a good wife to him if he'd spare Prince Barin and Hans Zarkov.
--> '''Princess Aura''': ''My father never kept an oath in his life!''\\
'''Dale''': ''I can't help that. I have to keep my word. It's one of the things that makes us better than you.''
* ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', when Yoda expresses his disapproval over the training of Anakin.
--> '''Obi-Wan''': ''Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word. I will train Anakin.''
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', John made the T-800 promise to never kill anyone, and he literally did, even before he made the promise.
* Subverted in ''Film/TheReplacements'', when team owner Edward O'Neil re-hires coach Jimmy [=McGinty=] and asks him to put together a team of replacement players while the real players are on strike, [=McGinty=] agrees on the condition that he will have no interference from O'Neil on his player choices. O'Neil is reluctant but answers with "my word is my bond". [=McGinty=], knowing O'Neil, asks for it in writing. Later on, O'Neil breaks his promise and demands that [=McGinty=] switch quarterbacks.
* In ''Film/RunFatboyRun'', perennial slacker Dennis Doyle promises he will finish the Nike River Run marathon, and he does, despite a badly sprained, and possibly ''broken'' ankle slowing him down.
* From ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'', after a discussion of all the good reasons for giving up and going home.
-->'''Harry:''' Well, there comes a time to turn Mother's picture to the wall and get out. The village will be no worse off than it was before we came.
-->'''Chris Adams:''' You forget one thing. We took a contract.
-->'''Vin:''' Not the kind any court would enforce.
-->'''Chris:''' That's just the kind you've got to keep.
* Marriage is the promise of eternal love and as a man of honor, Leopold of ''Film/KateAndLeopold'', cannot promise eternally what he has never felt momentarily.
* A variation in ''Film/SchindlersList''. Near the start, the pre-CharacterDevelopment Schindler is convincing the Jewish black market to finance his factory in exchange for a share of the products, and the Jews ask for a guarantee that he'll uphold his end of the deal. Schindler contemptuously points out that any sort of contract or attempt to make a legally binding agreement would be pointless, so they must simply accept that "I said I'll do it. That's your guarantee". The fact that he does keep his bargain even though he could easily screw them over is an early indication that there's more to him than a greedy war-profiteer.
* After a prison riot, ''Film/BirdmanOfAlcatraz'' throws a rifle and a revolver out of a window and promises the warden that the prisoners have no other firearms. An official asks the warden how he could trust the word of a convict, but the warden assures him that, despite their problems, Robert Stroud has never lied to him.
* ''Mad Max''
** ''Film/TheRoadwarrior''. Mad Max drives the big rig into the compound through a gauntlet of DesertPunk psychos in exchange for his V8 Intercepter returned with all the fuel he needs. After this act of bravery, the people there are shocked when [[AntiHero Max refuses to drive the rig out again the next day]], having already fulfilled his part of the bargain. Their leader Papagallo tries to talk him round, delivering an epic TheReasonYouSuckSpeech when Max refuses. As Max drives out of the compound that night, Papagallo's NumberTwo objects.
-->"You're letting him go?! Well let's keep his vehicle at least!"
-->"He fulfilled his contract. He's an honorable man."
** Averted in the sequel ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome''. Aunty hires Max to kill Blaster, but Max refuses to FinishHim when a DramaticUnmask shows the GiantMook to be a simpleton. Because a contract is SeriousBusiness in Bartertown, Aunty is able to use the law to [[YouHaveFailedMe punish Max for his failure to follow through]].
* In the ''Film/JamesBond'' film ''Film/LicenceToKill'', this outright said by the villain Sanchez regarding his insistence on paying the corrupt DEA agent who broke him out of prison.
* In ''Film/{{Twins}}'', when Vincent delivers the stolen jet engine to Beetroot, Beetroot has realized by now that Vincent obviously got ahold of it by accident, and probably doesn't even "know what the hell this thing is". Vincent assumes for a minute that Beetroot is going to kill him, but he doesn't - after explaining to him what the "thing" is, he leaves Vincent the promised $5 million and takes the goods. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, Beetroot and his assistant are quickly gunned down by [[BigBad Webster]] just as Julius arrives, leading to the final showdown of the movie.]]
* ''Film/IComeInPeace'': It's a recurring plot point that Jack Caine always keeps his promises when he does make one. The alien cop seems to be aware of this reputation, since when he is dying, he also makes Jack promise to stop the alien drug dealer before he can kill even more people.
* The ending of the film ''Nostalghia'' has its main character painstakingly walking across an empty pool with a lit candle because of a promise he made to a madman who believed that if he could cross the pool with a lit candle, he could save the world.

* ''Literature/InFuryBorn'': Tisiphone will not break her word if she vows to help somebody obtain vengeance, however the price is literally the person's soul and sanity.
* ''Literature/JamesBond'': [[http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/Ernst_Stavro_Blofeld Blofeld]] will not violate a business agreement. He wants S.P.E.C.T.R.E. to be known as a trustworthy organization that is superior to the other crime syndicates.
* StarWars: Jango and Boba Fett live by a [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jango_Fett%27s_code code]] of completing the mission. Only extreme conditions can force them to retreat in failure.
** In ''[[Literature/XWingSeries Starfighters of Adumar]]'', Imperial Admiral Teren Rogriss finds himself in a bind because of this trope. He gives his word to the Adumari people that if they side with the New Republic, the Imperials would leave, and not return except under formal banners of truce or war. He expects that he'll be ordered to bombard Adumar from orbit if they don't comply, in direct contradiction to his promise. [[AntiVillain This conflicts with his sense of honor greatly.]]
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''His Last Command'', Gaunt holds Van Voytz at gunpoint to demand his word for the safety of his men. Van Voytz gives it, Gaunt lowers his gun, one of Van Voytz's subordinates starts to rush him, and Van Voytz bellows in outrage that he had given his word. (And demands that he salute Gaunt.)
** Of course, he never said Gaunt wouldn't be ''arrested'' for pulling that stunt...
* In LoisMcMasterBujold's ''{{Literature/Vorkosigan|Saga}}'' novels:
** The {{backstory}} includes a massacre of prisoners who had surrendered on Aral Vorkosigan's personal word of honor. Vorkosigan barehandedly [[NeckSnap broke the neck]] of the man responsible for the deaths as soon as he heard of it. Various other Vor give their words throughout the books.
** This is then subverted later on in ''Shards of Honor'' when Aral stretches the truth a bit, and obtains privacy to discuss various sensitive subjects with Cordelia by giving his word as a Vorkosigan that they would only discuss his past proposal of marriage. Cordelia remarks on the fact that there had been a time when he would never have given his word falsely.
** Ekaterin feels guilt over her decision to abandon her first marriage not because abusive JerkAss Tien deserved better, but because in marrying him she had given her word.
** Generally speaking, if a member of the Barrayarran upper-class says "My word as Vor", they ''mean it''.
*** In fact, this is the basis for Barrayar's entire legal system. When a Vor gives you his word, it has the force of a signed contract -- and if he fails to keep his promise, he can be sued for breach of contract. It's also the basis of their Government: Vor Counts and Lords give their words to their Emperor that they will serve him - even if the Emperor is, at the time, a frightened young boy. Miles explains the metaphysics of the idea at one point; "Your breath is your life. What you pledge with your breath, you pledge with your life."
*** An example that illustrates just how seriously this is taken occurs in ''A Civil Campaign'', when Gregor is would-be-casually talking to Lord Dono and party. One of them mentions that they had given their words, and Gregor interjects "You took their oaths?" If Lord Dono had, in fact, accepted formal oaths of allegiance from his men, he would have been guilty of breaking a law that would see him ''condemned to death''. By public exposure and starvation, no less. Fortunately, LoopholeAbuse saves the day; "Our ''personal'' oaths, sire. Any man may freely give his personal oath, for his own personal acts."
** Closing the generational circle, large parts of both ''Memory'' and ''A Civil Campaign'' revolve around how Ekaterin and Miles cope with living after failing to keep their words. It's a survivors problem, as Miles puts it, since sooner or later a philosophy based on "death before dishonor" inevitably forces one to choose between being dead or forsworn.
** Mark experiences the effect saying "My word as Vorkosigan" can have in ''Mirror Dance''. He says it lightly, when promising Kareen a dance at a later date, and when she gives him a huge smile...
--->He felt like a man who's gone to spit, and had a diamond pop accidentally from his lips. And he couldn't call it back and re-swallow it.
* Rajputs in the ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' are absolutely fanatical about their word even when(by implication at least) taken under duress and even when it compels them to serve a monstrous regime. They do however manage to [[ExactWords lawyer their way]] out of it. Other groups have a lot of respect for promises as well. But no one takes it as far as Rajputs.
* In Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Literature/EmilyOfNewMoon'', Emily, while feverish, told her aunt to open up a well that had been sealed. Her aunt gives her word and goes to do it. Others are shocked that she feels herself bound by a promise given to quiet a delirious child, but she does. [[spoiler:Emily is psychic, and the well turns out to hold the body of a woman who had been believed to have run away with a lover on a ship that had sunk, but had actually broken her neck falling in.]]
* Rex Stout's Literature/NeroWolfe -- if he gives his word, it's good. Even Inspector Cramer believes him under those circumstances.
* Mowgli in Creator/RudyardKipling's ''Literature/TheJungleBook'' set out to kill Shere Khan "to keep my word."
** In ''The Second Jungle Book'', he persuades Kaa to help against the dhole by explaining that he had given his word to help the Free People.
--->''It is my Word which I have spoken. The Trees know, the River knows. Till the dhole have gone by my Word comes not back to me.''
* In Creator/PatriciaCWrede's ''[[Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles Talking to Dragons]]'', Daystar rashly promises to help a [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]], without knowing what she wants. Some quibbling about ExactWords and some work later, he manages to disentangle himself.
* In Sir Creator/WalterScott's ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}'', after Rebecca declares that she will [[DrivenToSuicide throw herself from a window]] [[AttemptedRape to escape him]], de Bois-Guilbert vows that she is safe.
-->''Many a law, many a commandment have I broken, but my word never.''
* In Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'', at the end, Henry Tilney asks Catherine to marry him, and then tells her that his father [[ParentalMarriageVeto has forbidden it]]. She is glad of the order: if she had known first, she would have been honor-bound to refuse him, but now, she has said she would and is bound by that.
** In ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'', Anne Eliot's friend Mrs. Smith fishes to discover whether she is engaged to Walter Eliot before she reveals the truth; if Anne had been, she would be bound by her word, and for Mrs. Smith to tell her the truth would not warn her off but merely make her unhappy for no good reason. (Fortunately, Anne wasn't.)
** In ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', Edward Ferrars no longer wishes to marry the woman he's engaged to. But he refuses to break the engagement in face of disinheritance.
* Quite common in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''
** In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''Literature/{{Ultramarines}}'' novel ''Warriors of Ultramar'', after the Inquisitor promised [[spoiler:that he would not call Exterminus on a planet to keep it from the tyrannids]], Uriel rebukes him for failing this: "I thought you were a man of your word."
*** Also in his novel ''Storm of Iron'', when rounding up prisoners to flush out where the guns are, Kroeger tells them if they live, they will be permitted to live, he gives his word, and one of them jeers at him for saying that -- the word of an Iron Warrior. She does survive, and observes that he gave his word, but she had judged him correctly; he jeers at the notion.
*** And his novel ''Fulgrim'', Fulgrim gives Ferrus Manus his word as his sworn honour brother that he does not lie. Alas, that is exactly when Ferrus Manus is bound to fight him.
** In Lee Lightner's ''Literature/SpaceWolf'' novel ''Sons of Fenris'', when prisoner to the Space Wolves, Jeremiah promises not to escape, and Ragnar gives him and his men their weapons back. Later, after he disputes with Ragnar about where they should go, it ends when he says, "I gave you my word."
-->''Ragnar, I pledge to you by my faith in Lion El'Johnson and the Emperor, that my men and I will remain your prisoners, until the time comes when our brethren free us or you release us.''
*** Later, Jeremiah pleads with Ragnar to let him be the one to deal with Cadmus, because he had pledged his word to his chapter; Ragnar gives his word that Cadmus will be his to deal with. When they meet Cadmus, Cadmus offers information in return for his life, and Ragnar promises, much to Jeremiah's outrage. [[spoiler:When Cadmus demands that Ragnar let him go free, Ragnar says that he [[ExactWords only promised him his life, and it's his]], and Ragnar suggests that he start defending it. The Space Wolves leave and the Dark Angels don't.]]
** In ''Wolf's Honour'', [[spoiler:Bulveye]] assures Ragnar that he knows, in time, [[spoiler:Leman Russ]] and he will meet again, because [[spoiler:Russ]] gave him his word on it.
** In Ben Counter's ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''Galaxy in Flames'', when Tarvitz is [[spoiler:trying to warn the betrayed Marines on Isstavan III]], he invokes ThePowerOfFriendship to get Garro to believe his word, because of their {{Fire Forged Friends}}hip.
-->''as my honor brother I ask you to [[PowerOfTrust trust]] me like you have never trusted me before. On my life I swear that I do not lie to you, Nathaniel.''
*** And his novel ''[[Literature/SoulDrinkers Chapter War]]'', when the Howling Griffons are introduced, Mercaeno explains the BackStory of the daemon they had just killed: three thousand years before, they had sworn to avenge the death of Orlando Furioso, and had finally done so. Part of why it had taken so long was that they had other oaths. He explains that they are traveling to this planet to fulfill an oath. The Inquisitor he tells this to says that he, also, is traveling there to keep his word. Indeed, the Howling Griffons' chief motivation throughout the novel is keeping their word; when the Soul Drinkers [[spoiler:persuade them that they are not the Black Chalice they have sworn {{Revenge}} on, the Howling Griffons stop fighting them and go to keep their oath to protect a planet from orks]].
** In Matt Farrer's "After Desh'ea" (in ''Tales of Heresy''), Kharn tells Angron that despite Angron's demand that he fight, he had given his word not to lift his hand to him, and [[KillMeNowOrForeverStayYourHand if that means he dies, he dies. Angron is clearly moved by such devotion.]]
** In the BackStory of Simon Spurrier's Literature/NightLords novel ''Lord of the Night'', Sahaal had watched [[spoiler:the Night Haunter]] be assassinated, because [[spoiler:the Night Haunter]] had foreseen it and extracted a promise from him to do so.
** In Creator/JamesSwallow's novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Deus Encarmine]]'', Rafen had promised their father to look out for Arkio. [[spoiler:Making their CainAndAbel fight [[ConflictingLoyalty particularly hard]] on Rafen -- and he apologizes to the dying Arkio for not having helped him.]] And Stele has Koris and other sergeant promise to keep a secret before he lies to them; they would think of this trope and not consider it was a lie.
* In Creator/GeorgeMacDonald's ''Literature/ThePrincessAndTheGoblin'', Princess Irene takes -- as the page quote shows -- most of the book to manage to keep her word.
* In the ChivalricRomance ''Sir Orfeo'', when Orfeo [[KingIncognito presents himself at the court of the King of Fairy]], the king promises him a reward for his ministrelry. Orfeo asks for his kidnapped wife. The king objects that he is all dirty and tattered and unfit for such a lady; Orfeo says it would be more unfitting for the king to break his word, and the king has to concede.
* At the end of Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Heir of Sea and Fire'', the second book of ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'', Raederle swears by the ghost of Ylon that she will not leave Morgon. [[spoiler:When, in the next book, she does leave him, Morgon tracks her down, worried that the ghost must already be troubling her for breaking it.]]
* In Creator/ENesbit's ''Literature/TheStoryOfTheAmulet'', the children and an Egyptian priest give their words: the priest by a secret name on a certain altar, and the children ''say'' they will do it, which means the same. [[spoiler:The priest then declares that there is no such name, so he is not bound, but the Psammead knows that there is, and threatens to call upon it.]]
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', practically ''any'' magical being keeps to their word if they give it. Dresden explains that if a wizard gives their word (especially if they swear by their power) then going back on it will permanently damage their magic. TheFairFolk are naturally bound by the letter of their word (if not by the spirit). The Knights of the Cross keep their word on general principle. It seems one of the advantages of being powered by a Fallen Angels that you ''can'' go back on your word with no negative repercussions, but the downside of that is that, since you are being powered by a ''Fallen Angel'', you go back so often it no longer has any meaning at all.
** In ''Changes'', [[spoiler: the Red King]] is able to get around this by speaking through a translator. Even though the translator gave his word while speaking on behalf of him, [[spoiler: the Red King]] himself [[LoopholeAbuse never spoke such a promise]] and so was able to double cross Harry with no negative consequences.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series, the D'regs will follow this if they give their word. They will not feel bound to oaths or to swearing on something, though.
** In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', Trev promised his mum not to play football. He insists on keeping it, even though she's dead.
** In ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', the financiers save Ankh-Morpork with a verbal agreement, bound by a handshake. They know this is quite binding. It is implied that the financiers are quite willing to hire the Guild of Assassins to punish anyone who threatens people's faith in this system.
* In Rick Riordan's ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', gods are bound by their promises by the River Styx. [[spoiler:Hades]] keeps his to Nico even without that, though he insists on ExactWords. [[spoiler:And Luke's promise to Annabeth is crucial to his final HeroicSacrifice.]]
** This is not universal, as both Zeus and Poseidon break a vow made this way. The thing is, breaking this kind of a promise is really bad, and the fates will try and find a way to punish whoever broke it (though it's never shown exactly ''what'' happens).
* Shadow from Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AmericanGods'' keeps his promises, from little things like having a proper bath the moment he gets out of prison, to [[spoiler:letting a god swing at his skull with a sledgehammer, having [[ChessWithDeath wagered his life in a checker game]]. The god doesn't come for him; Shadow voluntarily returns to his home to pay off this debt, and even turns down a postponement suggested by that god]].
* In Brian Jacques's ''{{Redwall}}'', Warbeak gives her word on her mother's egg. When the king orders Matthias's death, Warbeak says so, and the king immediately revokes the order.
** Vilu Daskar has a fondness for using this trope -- and ExactWords -- on his victims. When he no longer has a use for certain slaves, he tells them they're free to leave and makes them WalkThePlank. His crew are also seen discussing various ways he's "set prisoners free", including telling them they will leave the ship alive, then sewing them up in sacks and dropping them overboard.
** Also see Matthias' SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome.
* In Creator/GKChesterton's ''Literature/TheManWhoWasThursday'', Syme promises not to reveal what he learns to the police before his companion reveals a serious anarchist club. Despite everything he learns, he keeps it to the end.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', why Beren insists on trying to carry out the ImpossibleTask when Lúthien asks him to just run off with her.
** The Elven Lord Finrod Felagund made an oath to Beren's father Barahir to always help him or his kin after the latter saved his life. This led to Finrod leaving his realm and people to go with Beren on his quest. He died saving Beren's life.
** The Oath of Fëanor: Fëanor and his sons swore to recover the Silmarils. It led them to slaughter other Elves three times, which was not only despicable in itself (which they knew) but also very much hindered their own quest in the long term. Ultimately, [[spoiler: Fëanor and all but two of his sons die attempting to fulfill the oath. The two that survive ''do'' manage to reclaim two of the Simarili, but they had done so many evil things that they are burned by the jewels. This finally pushes them over the DespairEventHorizon]]. It is unclear whether they genuinely couldn't break their vow, or were simply unwilling to.
*** This may be why this trope is pointedly averted where the [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Fellowship of the Ring]]--except Frodo--are concerned: Gimli wants to make them swear an oath, but Elrond absolutely refuses. (''The Silmarillion'' was published posthumously, so the connection is never made explicitly, but Elrond and his family, by blood ''and'' by adoption, suffered from the consequences of the Oath of Fëanor.)
** Also, Faramir in ''The Two Towers'':
--> "Not if I found it on the highway would I take it, I said. Even if I were such a man as to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take these words as a vow, and be held by them."
** In the same sequence, Frodo responds to Faramir's attempt to persuade him not to let Gollum be his guide into Mordor by saying he has already given his word to Gollum:
--> "You would not ask me to break faith with him?"
* ''[[Literature/HortonHatchesTheEgg Horton Hatches the Egg]]'', by Creator/DrSeuss: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant; an elephant's faithful, one hundred percent." Horton sticks with his agreed-upon egg-sitting, no matter how much suffering it puts him through, and no matter how much the bird is abusing it.
* In Creator/JKRowling's ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', Harry is reluctantly made to give his word to Dumbledore that, during their mission, if he tells Harry to run, he'll run; that if he tells him to leave him and save himself, he will do so. Also used in the movie.
** There is also The Unbreakable Vow, a more literal version of this trope. The Unbreakable Vow is a spell that forces a person into this trope. If the person who gives his word goes back on it, he/she dies. Period.
** In many Harry Potter {{Fan Fic}}s, characters swear on their magic, with the less drastic consequence of losing their magic instead of their life if they break it.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars A Princess of Mars]]'', when Dejah Thoris is chained, John Carter tries to get the key. Tars Tarkas, who by now knows that Carter is nothing if not honorable, tells him that if Carter gives his word that neither he nor she would try to escape, he might "have the key and throw the chains into the river Iss." John Carter's reply? "It were better you kept the key, Tars Tarkas."
** Thuvia in ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars Thuvia, Maid of Mars]]'' and Tara in ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars The Chessmen of Mars]]'' are deeply distressed at falling in love with the hero while promised to another man.
** In ''[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars A Fighting Man of Mars]]'', although Tul Axtar is a DirtyCoward and has beautiful women abducted for him, he nevertheless keeps his word not to murder Tan Hadron out of hand, though he [[ExactWords does throw him into the most dangerous regions he can find]]. Sanoma Tora [[spoiler: is also a DirtyCoward and traitor to boot but she deserves ''some'' credit for insisting on this condition before aiding Tul Axtar]].
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/{{Catseye}}'', when Rangers try to hire Troy, he tells them that his current employer asked him to stay on after his temporary contract ends; he had given his word. [[ReleasingFromThePromise Kyger would have to consent to his going.]] The Rangers admit that that is the disadvantage of dealing with honorable men. Later, when one Ranger persuades Troy to accept his word to a truce, they are ambushed. Furious, Troy takes him hostage and knocks him out while he makes his escape. Later, he almost apologizes; he had not realized at the time that the ambushers were not the Ranger's men.
* In Frank Yerby's ''The Saracen Blade'', protagonist Pietro and his friend [[KnightInShiningArmor Gautier]] find Gautier's Albigensian uncle wants to die of his wounds. Gautier is troubled when Pietro, ignoring the man's wishes, starts tending the injuries as soon as the uncle passes out. "I gave my word, Pietro," he says. Pietro snaps, "I didn't."
* In C.S. Friedman's ''Literature/ColdfireTrilogy'', the Hunter Gerald Tarrant ''always'' keeps his word. Breaking it actually causes him anguish and seems to threaten what little humanity he has left. The only reason he joins the main characters on their quest in the first book was due to this. Under the influence of a powerful Tidal-based Working that exposes a person's true self ([[TheHero Damien]] displayed his KnightInShiningArmor tendencies and Senzei...isn't proud of whatever it was he did), Tarrant succumbed to his inherent predatory nature and attacked Ciani -- and he had earlier promised Karril that he would never harm her. He spends the rest of the book trying to make it up to her, and suffers a great deal in the process, [[spoiler: culminating in a near HeroicSacrifice, although he recovered eventually]]. Near the end of the first book, [[spoiler: BigBad Calesta]] nearly tricks Tarrant into breaking his word again [[spoiler: by offering him as a sacrifice a girl whom Tarrant hard earlier assured on a whim he would not hurt. Tarrant barely catches himself this time]]. This pisses him off so badly he joins Damien on his new quest in order to hunt down [[spoiler: Calesta]].
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the Aes Sedai are made to swear on an artifact known as the Oath Rod, one of the oaths being to never tell a lie. Even though they pride themselves on the ability to get around the oath, if they ever give a promise, they mean it because the magic of the oath prevents them from lying.
** Specifically, the oath is to "speak no word that is not true". This [[LoopholeAbuse notably does NOT exclude]] insinuations along the lines of "some say X", lies of omission, or encouraging misconceptions through ambiguous phrasing.
*** And as a result {{deconstructed|Trope}}, since no one who knows them well enough trusts them unless they give a clear unambiguous answer (which is rare).
** It's a misconception that Aes Sedai can't break their promises. The First Oath means that an Aes Sedai can't give her word unless she intends to keep it at the time that she gives it, but there's nothing that prevents her from later changing her mind.
** Siuan attempts to use ExactWords to get out of an oath to Gareth Bryne. He assembles an army to track her across the entire continent and force her to fulfill the promise. It takes him a painfully long time to realize that this is because he's in love with her, not the principle of the thing.
** Mat Cauthon and company (including Aes Sedai and Seanchan captives, among others) are being chased by the Seanchan at one point (kidnapping a [[spoiler:Seanchan princess]] would do that). When it seems that their pursuers have caught up, Mat is flying from one end of the [[ItMakesSenseInContext circus]] to the other, barking orders at all the rest, except one, to try and keep them from attracting attention. When that one ([[spoiler:the Seanchan Princess]]) later asks him why he had no such orders for her, he says that [[ThePowerOfTrust he remembers that she gave her word one book ago that she would stay hidden by any means necessary.]] This is an uncanny show of savvy for a series characterised by the MarsAndVenusGenderContrast and constant [[IdiotBall Idiot Ball-ing]] and really elevates her esteem of him.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/TheGoldenOecumene The Golden Age]]'' and ''The Phoenix Exultant'', Helion's word to the Horators keeps him from defying them even for his beloved son. Only in ''The Golden Transcedence'', when Daphne reveals he gave his word to his son in the time he does not remember, is he perturbed.
* In Creator/WenSpencer's ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Eldest Whistler promises Ren not to take unnecessary risks while scouting, and does refrain from acts to keep it.
* In Suzanne Collins's ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Katniss promises Prim to really, really, really try. Shooting the Gamemakers' pig, when she is convinced it will get her a low score and no sponsors, causes her to cry TearsOfRemorse partly over that.
* In Creator/AaronAllston's ''Literature/GalateaIn2D'', Roger thinks, even while threatening's Red's life, that he can't really kill him, because he gave his word.
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Stardust}}'', one witch keeps her word not to harm another -- just inflicts LaserGuidedAmnesia.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ThePeopleOfTheBlackCircle" Conan inverts it -- saluting Yasmina with "You kept your word!"
* In L. Jagi Lamplighter's ''[[Literature/ProsperosDaughter Prospero Lost]]'', Ferdinard, deeply touched that Miranda is still unmarried, assumes that she was keeping her vow to marry him or remain a maid. He offers to marry her and not consummate the marriage so she can get it dissolved and then marry as she chooses.
* In Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''[[Literature/ThoseWhoHuntTheNight Blood Maidens]]'', a vampire master informs fledglings that he has promised Asher his protection, and dreadful things will happen if anyone hurts him.
* In ''[[Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt Salute the Dark]]'', the Dragonflies are honor bound not to try to reclaim their lands.
* Brienne of Tarth from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has this as a major character trait, setting her up as a {{Foil}} for [[TheOathbreaker Jaime Lannister]]; she's one of the ''only'' characters who can legitimately be trusted never to go back on her word or do something dishonorable. Because she lives in a CrapsackWorld, this bites her in the ass. A lot. [[spoiler:When told she could either do something she felt was dishonorable or be executed, she refused to make the choice, until after her captors started hanging her and her companions.]]
** For a largely villainous family, the Lannisters take their unofficial motto "a Lannister always pays his debts" fairly seriously. They take pains to fulfill their promises and repay their debts... although the flipside of this is that they also take pains to fulfill their threats and [[BestServedCold repay their grudges]].
** Jaime fulfills this trope himself to a fair degree. [[NeverLiveItDown He broke one oath]], and you'd be hard pressed to find a character who hasn't; admittedly it was kind of a big one, but then you find out why he really did it. In the later part of the series, his increasingly desperate attempts to toe the razor blade between his strong loyalty to his family and keeping his word only get him disliked even more, by people (on both sides) who don't understand why he's doing it or simply refuse to believe that the Kingslayer would ever consider keeping an oath.
* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', this is the reason Dalinar [[spoiler:gives up his Shardblade]].
-->'''Kaladin:''' You really do think it was a good deal, don't you?
-->'''Dalinar:''' For my honor? Definitely.
* In Jack Shepherd's ''Literature/TheLostFleet'' novel ''Valiant'', one Allied prisoner has gotten to know Geary well enough that he assures the Syndics that he always keeps his word.
* In a Dutch novel by Thea Beckman, set in the middle ages, (noble) prisoners of war are allowed to walk around freely, because they gave their word that they would not try to escape, and abide by it. One of the prisoners however is not of noble birth, and when he finds out something that would help his side, if only they knew about it, he does not hesitate to break his word (arguing that he is not noble, therefore his honor is not important to him). Despite his information, the nobleman he tells it to is angry with him, because now the other prisoners will not be believed anymore and probably put in chains to prevent their escaping as well.
* In ''Literature/SadCypress'', Elinor Carlisle promises her dying aunt that her lawyer will be sent for so that a provision can be made for her protege Mary Gerrard (who is Elinor's romantic rival). After the aunt dies without leaving a will, Elinor herself gives Mary an adequate sum of money (all the while hating her and feeling intensely jealous of her). Then, of course, Mary dies and Elinor is [[MurderTheHypotenuse charged with the murder...]]
* In JohnCWright's ''Literature/CountToATrillion'', why Menelaus survived the voyage of insanity. The crew manages to run out of supplies despite half their number, including Menelaus, being in coldsleep, and [[DrivenToMadness begin killing each other]] and their sleeping comrades for extra oxygen and food. [[BigBadFriend del Azarchel]] [[FriendshipMoment stands guard over Menelaus]] to prevent this, [[SubvertedTrope even though he's as far gone as the rest of the crew]], because He Gave His Word.
** In ''The Hermetic Millennia'', Ctesibus recounts his story because he gave his word. At another point, Menelaus reflects on how the Knights of Malta have not been in Malta for thousands of years; they had left when Napoleon threatened, without fighting, because they had sworn to never fight Christians.
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm The January Dancer]]'', Hugh must return because he swore on his father's name that he would.
* From ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' book series:
** In ''Midshipman Hornblower'', our hero is a prisoner of the Spanish and gives his parole not to escape. Later he's permitted to save the lives of some shipwrecked Spanish sailors and is picked up by an English ship shortly afterwards. Though sorely tempted, he tells the Captain he must keep his word to go back. This being the 18th century, everybody understands completely.
** Played with in ''Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies'' when Hornblower gives his word as a gentleman that he is telling the truth [[spoiler:when he lies that Napoleon was dead. When he reaches port, and is about to confess his shame and prepare to resign from the Navy, he learns that Napoleon really was dead]].
* A ballad by Adelbert von Chamisso puts into verse the German folktale of the women of Weinsberg. In 1140, the town of Weinsberg in Württemberg was besieged by the forces of German king Conrad III, who was in a mind to set an example of the rebellious inhabitants. However he said he would spare the women and told them they could leave with as much as they could carry on their backs. So the next morning the women came through the gate, each one of the carrying her husband on her back. The chancellor tried to stop them saying: "That is not what the king meant!" But Conrad said: "A king's word must hold and must not be twisted."
* In Wen Spencer's ''Literature/{{Tinker}}'', when Tinker says she could have reneged on a deal, Windwolf asks whether she would break her word of honor. She admits, after a bit, that no, she wouldn't have.
* In Creator/RobinMcKinley's ''Literature/{{Sunshine}}'', Sunshine grows worried when Constantine does not show up at the time he stated.
* In Creator/JohnHemry's ''Literature/TheLostStars'' novel ''Tarnished Knight'', Drakon refuses to consider killing the four ISS agents who helped him; he had promised them their lives.
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/FairyWings'', Tamisin inverts it, refusing to believe that Jak had just left after he had promised.
* In E.E. "Doc" Smith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series, a Lensman always keeps his promise no matter how casually made, even to spiders and worms.
* The Vampaneze, the odd cousins of [[Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan the vampires]] are incredibly honourable in their [[BlueAndOrangeMorality own]] way. Lying is abhorent to them to the extent even if one was your mortal enemy, you could trust him to keep his word.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's "The Live Coward", the abbot asks, with child-like curiosity, for books about astronomy as part of the price to help. Wing Alak, though knowing it his duty to ruthlessly break his word when needed, resolves that this promise he will make sure he keeps.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''[[Literature/{{Warlock}} Forerunner Foray]]'', one soldier tries to argue with Turan, telling him that he was pledged to him.
* In Creator/BernardCornwell's ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'s Tiger'', Gudin puts Lawford on the spot by demanding to know the truth about him and Sharpe -- on his word of honor. He gets it, too.
* In Creator/BernardCornwell's ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'s Triumph'', when Sharpe stays with [=McCandless=], [=McCandless=] observes that everything Pohlmann offered -- promotion to officer, and riches, and more -- were real. Only his oath to the king held him away.
* In ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'', [[TheTrickster Trickster]] Kyprioth promises Aly that he'll take her back home if she keeps the Balitang girls, Sarai and Dove, safe through the summer. When Aly realizes that they're the focus of TheProphecy and a planned revolution to take the Copper Isles back from its white conquerors, she realizes she's been set up, but Kyprioth assures her that he will keep his word as gods are required to do. (But he was [[BatmanGambit banking on her deciding to stay anyhow]], which she did.)
* Entrusted with the LastRequest of a murdered man, Tom Broadbent of ''Literature/TyrannosaurCanyon'' insists repeatedly that he has a duty to fulfill that request personally. Doing so puts his friends and family in immediate danger but he never expresses regret.
* In ''Literature/{{Pact}}'', mystic practitioners CannotTellALie due to the presence of minor spirits which penalize lies, and which enforce each vow as a MagicallyBindingContract. When Blake Thorburn is made an {{Unperson}} by a demon, these spirits forget about the vows he swore, meaning that he is theoretically able to lie and break his word-but he is ''offended'' by the suggestion that he needs spirits as an excuse for him to keep his word.
* Even though Sage of the ''Literature/AscendanceTrilogy'' has a flexible relationship with the truth, he does take his word very seriously and will carry out promises he makes, even when there is no benefit or obligation on his part.
* In ''Carnivores of Light and Dark'' by ''Creator/AlanDeanFoster'', the main character gets a LastRequest from a dying soldier to save a kidnapped princes from the evil necromancer who'd kidnapped her (the main character was hoping that the man was already dead when he washed up on the beach, so as to avoid this). Instead he got stuck working his way through three books worth of [[WackyWaysideTribe crazy adventures]] to find her, defeat the necromancer, and discover that in the meantime she'd fallen in love with her captor. But, being a man of his word, he insisted on taking her back to her family but promised that he'd grant her one request. So she asked to go back to the necromancer (which involved more crazy adventures, but all off screen this time). The companions he picked up along the way all expressed their opinions that he'd fallen well into LawfulStupid territory.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In an episode of the Real Life TV ''Luggage Wars,'' an American couple find a pair of what are proven to be Harry Houdini's handcuffs. The Irish escape artist who verifies it says they could be worth ''£10,000 or more'' to a collector. Then he challenges them that if he can do his 100 feet of rope trick in 30 seconds - which he has done before - can he win the cuffs? They shake hands on it. They lose the cuffs. It's a handshake agreement.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'': The [[http://andromeda.wikia.com/wiki/Ogami Ogami]] will not break a contract and will always complete a mission. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlG-g5tBBbg]]
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Hazari Hazari]] see completing a contract as a matter of pride. However, they can be bought off for a high price. Also, unreliable and double-dealing clients must increase the bounty money or find another option.
* Villains in ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' are not known for being honorable, but [[NobleDemon Villamax]] from ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' was an exception. In one episode, he captured most of the Rangers and the Magna Defender and offered to let them go in exchange for Leo surrendering himself. Leo agreed, and much to everyone’s surprise, especially Deviot’s, Villamax kept up his end of the deal.
** Deviot actually is about to kill the captured rangers, and protests letting them go. Villamax demands that they be released however, citing that he gave his word.
* Arthur of BBC's ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' is [[HonorBeforeReason like this]], even going so far as to put his head on a literal chopping block after giving his word to accept whatever challenge he was given in exchange for his life.
** Merlin too, in his second WhatTheHellHero moment of 2X12 when he frees the Great Dragon, who then proceeds to attack Camelot.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheSopranos'': when Carmella and Tony are discussing ratting out other criminals and going into witness protection, Tony says this. Carmella replies: "What are you, a kid in a treehouse?" A nice way to point out how ridiculous this trope can be, when the choice is following your word or protecting your family.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': Boss Hogg is about as corrupt as you can get and will [[MetaphoricallyTrue work]] [[LoopholeAbuse any]] [[ExactWords angle]], but he will keep his word if he "spits and shakes" on it.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' Aeryn swears that [[BigBad Scorpius]] will not be harmed because he saved her life. She binds John to it as well, making him promise. Of course, she's delirious at the time so it wasn't really a fair way to get sanctuary. Not that Scorpius cares.
** This is later PlayedForLaughs in "Hot to Katratzi".
--->'''Crichton''': (about killing Scorpius) You made me promise that I wouldn't.
--->'''Aeryn''': Well, I release you from that promise.
--->'''Crichton''': Say that again.
--->'''Aeryn''': I release you from that promise.
--->'''Crichton''': Thank you. (points gun at Scorpius's head) I'll give you my bike if you kill him.
* In ''TheLateShift'' (based on real events), Jay Leno has difficulty firing his out-of-control executive producer, Helen Kushnick, because he gave his word to her late husband on his deathbed that he'd take care of her.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "The Die Is Cast", when Odo is missing in the Gamma Quadrant, Michael Eddigton sabotages the Cloaking Device in an attempt to stop Sisko's rescue operation. Sisko decides to continue the mission anyway, at which point Eddington pledged to help, invoking this trope.
--->'''Kira''': What makes you think we'll trust you again?
--->'''Eddington''': Because I give you my word.
--->'''Sisko''': I make it a policy to never question the word of anyone who wears that uniform. Don't make me change that policy.
** In the episode "In Purgatory's Shadow", Worf and Garak get sent into the Gamma Quadrant in search of the Cardassians and Romulans that were lost in "The Die is Cast". Before he goes, Garak promises Ziyal he'll return safely. This results in Ziyal refusing to leave the station when Dukat orders her to because "He [Garak] made a promise; and so did I". Dukat is so furious that his daughter would choose a promise to an enemy of her family over obeying her father that he abandons her on the station even though he has secret information that the station is about to become very, very vulnerable.
** Tweaked with in an episode of TNG, when Worf is stuck in a sort of Romulan prison camp/community. After multiple attempts at causing trouble, including setting off an explosion and trying to escape, Worf asks to go hunting with another Klingon and gives his word that he won't try to escape again. The Romulan commander however is having none of this, until an elder Klingon reminds him that he gave ''his'' word years ago, and has never broken it.
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'', Jack Bauer carries this on his back, to such an extent that he actually can't understand why Dana, who'd only met him a couple of hours earlier, could possibly doubt him. [[spoiler: He later breaks his word by killing her. Sucks to be her.]]
** His former mentor, turned TheDragon, at one point tells Jack he will only cooperate if Jack gives him his word that he will be released after it is over, as he knows how much Jack values his word. Jack does, but the Dragon [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy knows]] that he has killed too many of Jack's friends, [[spoiler: David Palmer, Tony Almeida, and Michelle Dessler]], for him to keep his word and lays a trap for Jack. He is then OutGambitted.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': If [[MagnificentBastard Ben Linus]] says he'll let you get off the island, you '''will''' get off the island.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' Tyrion Lannister on two occasions offers to pay considerable sums when his life is threatened. First, he offers a purse of gold to Mord, his jailer when he is held captive in The Eyrie. Second, he offers a wealth of weaponry to various hill tribe warriors when they threaten to kill him. Despite being quite capable of screwing over both parties, Tyrion honours his promises in keeping with his family's unofficial motto "a Lannister always pays his debts." He even utters this phrase when paying back Mord.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'' features this with Avon, of all people, in the second series finale.
** It seems to be a general rule for him -- he spends the following two seasons searching for [[spoiler:Blake]] because he promised to take him back to Earth. When Avon finally does break his word on something ([[spoiler:trying to kill Vila after promising to keep him safe]]) it's a sign that [[KillEmAll the end]] is near.
* Todd from ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' isn't someone to be easily trusted. His first encounter with Sheppard though shows, that he has a sense of honor and keeps his word once given - without expecting Sheppard to do the same. One could say it is a case of HonorBeforeReason. Todd's esteem certainly arrives from Sheppard's willingness to stay true his word.
** This is not to say that they like each other. After a few of Todd betrayals (there were extenuating circumstances), Sheppard is understandably a little wary of trusting the guy again. When Todd asks Sheppard in the series finale why he let him go the last time, Sheppard tells him that he gave his word... and also because he thought Todd wouldn't make it on his own.
* Subverted in ''Series/StargateSG1'' Season 2 episode ''Spirits'' when the character Tonane refers to the Goa'uld larva inside Teal'c as a "demon"
-->'''Teal'c''': The demon will cause you no harm. I give you my word.
-->'''Tonane''': Normally that would mean a great deal to me. But how do I know the value of your word? We've only just met.
** In the episode "It's Good to Be King", Teal'c promises a Jaffa (played by WayneBrady) that he'll die quickly. When Teal'c finally kills him, the Jaffa's last words are "You are a man of your word".
* In ''Series/BreakingBad'', Jesse gives his word that he will pay a fair price to the junkyard owner who has towed and stored his RV. When the [[JerkAss junkyard owner]] threatens to sell it off and pocket the money instead, Jesse steals the RV. [[spoiler: When Jesse finally gets some cash, he returns with the fair payment, plus interest, plus the cost of the portable toilet and fence that he broke during his escape.]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive''. Londo Mollari [[spoiler:gives Narn its freedom in return for G'kar's aid in overthrowing Cartagia. Even though G'kar fulfills his part of the bargain first and Londo would have no problem maintaining the occupation, he chooses to withdraw peacefully]]. This line is used verbatim to explain why.
** In the episode ''Atonement'' Delenn promises to abide by [[DeliberateValuesDissonance her clans decision]] regarding her marriage to Sheridan.
* A plot point in the season 6 episodes of ''Series/{{House}}'', "The Dig" and "After Hours". In the latter episode, Thirteen is determined, perhaps beyond reason, to keep a promise she made to the woman [[spoiler:who had been her cellmate in prison]]. Chase correctly analyzes that her intense reaction to the idea of keeping her word is a reaction to her having previously kept her promise to [[spoiler:euthanize her own brother as he was dying an ugly death from Huntington's disease, which is why Thirteen had spent time in prison, and which disease Thirteen also has herself. As Chase points out, by adopting the philosophy that she had to kill her own brother because she had given her word she would do it and you can't go back on that, it distances her from responsibility for what she did]].
* ''Series/{{Buffy|TheVampireSlayer}}'':
** Played straight in the Season 5 finale.
-->'''Spike:''' You don't come near the girl, Doc.
-->'''Doc:''' I don't smell a soul anywhere on you. Why do you even care?
-->'''Spike:''' [[CourtlyLove I made a promise to a lady.]]
** The Mayor doesn't like others accusing him of dishonesty.
* In ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess,'' one of the title character's former generals was terrorizing a town, and he and Xena fought a duel which Xena won. She said that she'd forgo taking his life if he promised to leave the village alone. When he agrees, he and his men begin to clear out... except one, who sneakily goes for his knife to try and attack Xena from behind. ''The general throws a dagger into his chest from across the room,'' and says to a surprised Xena, "A deal's a deal." He then leaves as promised.
* Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' has only once ever gone back on a deal, and it's possible that [[TheAtoner he's been trying to make]] [[MyGreatestFailure up for it ever since]]. This is not to say that he won't [[ExactWords twist the bargain]] [[ManipulativeBastard to his own ends]], as he does when [[spoiler: he ''fakes'' the murder Regina wanted him to frame Mary for, claiming that Regina never explicitly ''told him'' to kill the would-be victim]]. And even if you [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor get exactly what you want from him]], the price you'll have to pay may be far greater than you imagine...''especially'' if you try to cheat him out of his end.
* ''Series/MythQuest'': Alex takes the place of Sir Caradoc in episode 6, and accepts a challenge from Eliavres. If Alex cuts off Eliavres' head, he will return in one year and behead Alex. A year later, Alex has been framed and is about to be executed by King Arthur for treason. Rather than try to get out of it, he requests that Eliavres be the one to behead him, and this is his reason.
* This comes up in ''Series/{{Continuum}}'', when Kagame trades a hostage he had taken (the grandmother of a traitor) for his own mother. Travis kills the grandmother anyway, and Kagame is ''pissed''.
-->'''Kagame:''' You made me break my word. My '''''WORD!''''' If you act like a mad dog, ''I will put you down like one''.
* ''Series/HouseOfSaddam'': Subverted. Saddam promises his first wife that Raghad and Rana would be spared his wrath upon their return to Iraq. Their husbands, Hussein and Saddam Kamel, are not as lucky. Technically, Saddam did promise not to harm them, but didn't say anything about their Uncle Ali exercising tribal law at Saddam's behest. Thus his word becomes only MetaphoricallyTrue.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' featured this in "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail," the Season 2 finale. [[FatBastard Dale the Whale]], Monk's ArchEnemy, is a suspect in the murder of an inmate where he's incarcerated. Dale gets Monk to agree to a deal: solve the case, and the villain will tell Monk everything he knows about Trudy's murder. When Monk finds the the truth and exonerates Dale, the latter remarks that "a deal's a deal" and shares some crucial information. It's ultimately a SubvertedTrope, though, as a later season reveals that the whole thing was a XanatosGambit designed to frame Monk in a later crime which, if successful, would end in Dale's freedom.

* In Music/MeatLoaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," Meat Loaf's would-be conquest makes him swear to "love her forever" before she'll have sex with him. After trying to talk her out of it, Meat Loaf eventually agrees to "love her 'til the end of time." The song ends with the two unhappily married, but Loaf won't leave her: "I'll never break my promise or forget my vow."

* In Myth/ClassicalMythology, all the gods (even the tricksters, even mighty Zeus) must follow their word when they swear by the Styx. [[WomanScorned Hera]] tricked Dionysus' mother Semele into making Zeus swear by the Styx to show her his true, divine, form -- which burned her to a crisp.
** Also, Helios promised his beloved son Phaethon anything, on the River Styx. Phaeton asked for a joyride in his father's chariot. The only trouble was, said chariot was the Sun. The story did not end well.
** In ''Literature/TheIliad'', it's why the Greeks went to UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar - Odysseus decided that the only way to avoid war over who should marry Helen of Troy was to make all of her suitors promise that they would abide by her father's decision (whoever it was) and go to war against anyone who would abduct her. They all agreed, and it was a good idea - after all, [[TemptingFate who would be stupid enough to face all the armies of Greece for one lady?]]
** In the theatrical version of the Argonaut myth, Jason justified his break-up with Medea and marrying Glauce because he gave his word. Medea replied [[DeconstructedTrope he was breaking his marriage vow]], [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge and made him pay]].
* Speaking of tricksters: even Loki of Norse Mythology kept his word once given. In one myth Loki is captured by the giant Geirrod and held captive until he agrees to give his word that he will lead Thor -- who at this point in time is Loki's friend -- to the giant's lair, without his hammer or mighty girdle. Once released, there was no reason Loki couldn't have run off or at least warned Thor what was going on, but he was forced to keep his word.
* Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur's knights, kept his side of the bargain he made with the Green Knight and went to meet him, even though he was led to believe it would result in his death. As it turned out, the Green Knight [[SecretTestOfCharacter was trying to test Arthur's knights]]; Gawain passed the test, and was spared. (He didn't get a perfect score, however, because there was more to the test; after the Green Knight disguises himself as a nobleman and gives him lodging, his wife tries to tempt him, and another deal Gawain makes is that he will give his host everything he got in exchange for everything his host got. Gawain would not surrender to the woman's charms and betray his host, but when she gives him a girdle which she claims will protect his life, ''that'' is too much of a temptation, and he doesn't give it to the Knight.)

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* If [[Wrestling/{{WWE}} a certain someone]] "guaran-''damn''-tees" a win, expect said win over whoever Wrestling/{{Vince|McMahon}} is feuding with that year.
* Though Radiant Rain didn't like her, Wrestling/MercedesMartinez remained unmolested by her groups after [[GimmickMatches she forced Rain to say "I quit"]] in Wrestling/{{WSU}}. That didn't stop Jessicka Havok from breaking away from Rain's Army and starting her own group threatening to kill her though, nor did it stop Valkyrie from ganging up on Martinez after Rain relinquished leadership to Serena Deeb.
* Wrestling/HiroshiTanahashi dropped out of the IWGP Heavyweight title scene after losing to Kazuchika Okada at ''King Of Pro Wrestling'' 2013 and made no further attempt to return to it, as promised. However, when Wrestling/BulletClub brought Wrestling/AJStyles to Wrestling/{{New Japan|ProWrestling}} and he took the belt, Tanahashi considered the vow fulfilled, since it was mainly to give closure to him vs Okada.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is a major aspect of ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost''. True Fae give shape to their surroundings in Arcadia through the force of their agreements, and this is often how they ensnare their victims- binding them, often involuntarily, to agreements that their victims ''must'' abide by. This affects escaped Changelings as well- pledges, agreements, and contracts are a fundamental aspect of Changeling life, and breaking them results in both societal and magical punishment.
* This is also a major aspect of ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming'', especially in the form of oaths. A changeling who breaks her given word often risks facing both dire supernatural consequences and shunning and punishment from changeling society.
** For example, trolls forfeit their strength should they fail to uphold a promise.
** Although sluagh have a reputation of being liars and slanderers, when a sluagh says something, and gives his word that it's true, it's very likely to be true. This is because the sluagh strive to maintain excellence in their role as information brokers of the Fae. The splatbook for the sluagh notes how dreadful consequences await both those fae who would accuse a sluagh of lying after confirming the truth of a situation, and those sluagh who would guarantee the truth after having lied. While sluagh are under no supernatural obligation to lie or to tell the truth, sluagh pride themselves as being information merchants of the highest caliber, and they are quick to literally cut out the tongues of their own peers who would dare to deliberately claim true a falsehood. Likewise, sluagh don't appreciate outsiders accusing them of lying simply because they speak an unpleasant or inconvenient truth. Such accusers risk having their own tongues cut out, or exposed to a sanity-destroying fright, or, worst of all, having all of their darkest, most embarrassing skeletons in their closets set loose upon the world.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', a devil (LawfulEvil beastie) does not give his word often, but when he does, you know for certain that he will keep it. However [[JackassGenie how he keeps it is another matter entirely]]...
** There is an entertaining scene in the D&D-based ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'' which concerns getting a devil to admit he broke his word.
** A ''dangerous'' example occurs with Pandorym, one of the [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]] outlined in the ''Elder Evils'' sourcebook. Originally, it was summoned millennia ago by a cabal of foolish wizards after agreeing to a contract in which it would act as a DoomsdayDevice to be used against the gods, but the wizards double-crossed it and imprisoned it to use as a deterrent. The gods smote the arrogant wizards dead, but Pandorym was too powerful for them to destroy, so it remained in its prison until the present time. If it ever escaped, its first goal would be [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge to enact revenge by slaying every last descendant of its betrayers]]; however, its second goal would be to fulfill its end of the original contract. With its [[OrangeAndBlueMorality alien view of reality]] it is bound by a strange code of honor to keeps its word, even though its summoners ''broke'' theirs. And because its side of the contract was to slay every god in existence, this code of honor [[OmnicidalManiac threatens all of creation.]]

* The title character of Creator/VictorHugo's play ''Hernani'' [[EnemyMine temporarily allies himself with his enemy]], gaining his cooperation by giving him a hunting-horn and promising that he will kill himself when he hears it blown. A couple of acts later, Hernani has won fame, fortune, and the woman he loves, when he hears the horn. And [[HonorBeforeReason darned if he doesn't actually do it.]]
* This is also true in Verdi's operatic adaptation, ''Ernani''.
* In Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'': Hermia to Lysander, when he asks her to come with him.
-->''I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,\\
By his best arrow with the golden head,\\
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,\\
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,\\
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,\\
When the false Troyan under sail was seen,\\
By all the vows that ever men have broke,\\
In number more than ever women spoke,\\
In that same place thou hast appointed me,\\
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.''
* In ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', Benedick wrestles with the notion of his repeated pledges to never marry.
-->''Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humor? No! The world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', Chief leaves Cortana on High Charity, in an attempt to stop the Flood, [[ThePromise promising that he'll return to bring her back]]. She responds that he shouldn't make promises he knows he can't keep. This leads to a [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments heartwarming moment]] in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'':
---> '''Cortana''': You found me. But [[BreakTheCutie so much of me is wrong]]... [[MindRape out of place]]... you might be too late...
---> '''[[TheHero Master Chief]]''': You know me. When I make a promise...
---> '''Cortana''': ...You... keep it. ...I ''do'' know how to pick 'em...
---> '''Master Chief''': Lucky me.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'', Cortana again warns Master Chief not to make promises that he can't keep as he claims that he can prevent her [[AIIsACrapshoot Rampancy]] by getting her back to Earth. [[spoiler: [[{{Tearjerker}} This time, he can't keep his promise.]] ]]
---> [[spoiler: '''Master Chief''': It was my job to take care of you.]]
---> [[spoiler: '''Cortana''': We were supposed to take care of each other. [[{{Tearjerker}} And we did]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' The Courier has an option to invoke this trope. During your travels you can come across a NCR Private upset about the fact that her husband, an NCR Ranger, has been killed and his corpse is being used by Fiends to draw other soldiers in. After killing the fiends and retrieving his corpse, two NCR soldiers express absolute awed disbelief:
--->'''NCR Soldier''': (If the player took significant damage) Why? Why would you sacrifice so much, your own body, for a stranger?
--->'''Courier''': I made a promise to Private Morales.
--->'''NCR Soldier''': That must be some code of honor you hold yourself to. Don't worry, no need for you to hoist him over your shoulder and haul him all the way back to California, like I know you would if you had to.
* The ''player'' can actually do this in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. There's a dialogue option in the first part of the game where you make a promise to get to the bottom of the mystery and find the real culprit behind the murders. Following through on this vow to the bitter end is what ultimately earns you the [[MultipleEndings True Ending.]]
* Adell from ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories''. He would do anything to keep his promises, even to an enemy. Like, deliver an EvilOverlord's daughter to her daddy, whom he has also vowed to kill. Much to said daughter's surprise, he's quite serious about both getting her to the overlord unhurt AND killing the overlord.
** Valvatorez from ''VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten'' is even more willing to keep a promise. He decides to overthrow the Netherworld's government just because they're keeping him from fulfilling his promise to give his Prinny trainees a sardine after he finishes training them. [[spoiler: He's also been waiting 400 years to fulfill a different promise to show a certain someone "true fear" before he ever drinks blood again, because they died before he could live up to it.]]
* VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII When Squall makes [[ThePromise a promise]], especially to Rinoa, count on it being kept, regardless of the danger involved in doing so or [[NiceJobBreakingItHero the consequences that might follow]].
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'', [[HeroWorshipper Nicola]] wishes to meet the [[SealedBadassInACan Great Hero]] of legend, and would search for him himself if not for one thing: he promised his father that he would never leave his hometown of Mezar. Thus, even after his father is long gone, he sticks around town, asking any adventurers passing through to see if they can't revive the Great Hero.
* Red from ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' absolutely insists on keeping his promises. When asked why, his response is just "I swore on my tail that I would!"
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', while on Mordin's recruitment mission, you can find Mordin's assisstant being threatened by some angry batarians. If you use the paragon option, you tell them that if they let him go, then you'll let them live. If you actually do so, then Shepard can basically say that they gave their word.
* Supposedly, when Taiga in ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'' gives his word about something, he always keeps it even when he would much rather lie or break his promise. However, the one example of him actually promising something is an agreement you can optionally break.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. [[TheDragon Odahviing]] acts offended when the PlayerCharacter questions his sincerity, as he is a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Dovah]] and has given his word. The player can point out that he had just tried to trick them barely a minute ago. Ultimately, however, he does do as he promised.
* This is part of Dakkon's backstory in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''. When The Nameless One saved his life, he swore his allegiance for life, not knowing that The Nameless One was immortal. If the player tries to free him of his obligation, he replies that it isn't your decision to make.
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'', Dekar mentions this after he demonstrates how [[CatchPhrase one of the things he's best at]] really is [[spoiler:not dying]].
* About three quarters through ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', you can have an encounter with Sans in which he tells a story about his befriending someone who asked him to protect any humans who entered the Underground. Despite his claim that he hates making promises, he agrees and reveals it's the only reason he didn't [[spoiler:kill you on sight]] earlier in the game. The only thing that will force him to break his promise is the sheer carnage you wreak in a No Mercy run, at which point he apologizes to the one he made his promise to before [[spoiler: fighting you as the final boss]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': The Jagers [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080618 break their promise to not reveal the Sneaky Gate to non-Jagers]], but [[NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught it's no big deal since they didn't get caught]].
** It's not that they revealed the 'sneeky gate' to outsiders, it's that the Jagerkin have vowed not to re-enter Mechanicsburg until a Hetrodyne is officially in residence. [[ExactWords Being UNDER it doesn't count.]]
** [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20050617 Earlier, Agatha has them swear on their loyalty to the Heterodynes]]
** Embi, a member of Master Payne's Travelling Heterodyne Show, claims he swore a sacred oath to see the world when he was young and didn't understand how big the world was, and that his oath made him functionally immortal. Of course, he is a carny, so how much is true, how much is "for the show" and how much is "hazing the new girl" is anyone's guess.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0546.html Soon's Oath]]. Really. Even if it sounds implausible.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0813.html Roy insists on a pardon for Ian and Geoffrey as well, because he gave his word.]]
** In a villainous example, [[spoiler: Malack]] passes up an easy chance to finish off the Order out of respect for [[spoiler: Durkon, whose last request was that he spare them.]] As he's still a bad guy, he eventually decides he can't ''keep'' ignoring them.
* Webcomic/BobAndGeorge: [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/011007c Why Proto Man won't tell the Author anything]].
** [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/030913c Or the spirit guide tell George]].
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': Why Abraham wanted to [[spoiler: kill Ellen]]; he [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-10 swore an oath to his master and to god to kill all abominations created by the Dewitchery Diamond]]. Being a KnightTemplar, he insists on carrying it out in all cases; even to the point that this attitude [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2009-06-18 almost gets him killed]].
** Also a {{deconstruction}}; he could see that Ellen wasn't a monster like the other beings created by the diamond, and he didn't actually ''want'' to kill her. But his word was more important to him than his own peace of mind and her life. Fortunately, [[spoiler: Nanase got an EleventhHourSuperPower DesperationAttack powerful enough to stop him in his tracks, and then was able to talk him out of it. She argued that since Abraham's oath was made with the intention of protecting innocent people, given this sort of dilemma, it's more important to follow the spirit of the oath than the letter of the oath]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Pibgorn}}'' [[http://www.gocomics.com/pibgorn/2003/07/31/ I have your solemn word?]]
* In ''Webcomic/WoodenRose'' [[http://www.woodenrosecomic.com/comic/chapter2/32.html As promised. I always keep my word.]]
* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'': [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Chapter001/ib005.html O-on the honor of my family line, then, as far back as it can be traced!]]
** [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Chapter004/ib024.html And he means it, grumbling about how he's not free yet.]]
* In ''Webcomic/NipAndTuck'', [[http://www.rhjunior.com/NT/00464.html I swear by all my beaver ancestors]].
* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', Quentyn asked whether he still is keeping his word to be a Questor after hearing he must face a challenge within two weeks. [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00030.html He still abides by his oath.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Key}}'', [[http://key.shadilyn.com/view.php?pageid=029&chapterid=1 the griffin urges that the king is a man of his word, and they should be patient and think that something might have interfered.]]
* In ''Webcomic/FauxPas'', [[http://www.ozfoxes.net/cgi/pl-fp1.cgi?1084 Dusk is astounded: she had given her word not to eat the rabbits, and some part of her didn't even want to do it.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[BrokenSaints "He gave his word, and his word was his bond."]] The wording itself is a reference to the creators' {{Catchphrase}}: "Word is Bond".
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's determination to keep his promises to either the fans or other reviewers usually ends up biting him in the ass.
* In ''WebVideo/MidnightScreenings'', Brad was thinking of walking out of ''Creator/TylerPerry's Single Moms Club'', but he knew that if he broke that promise, Dave and Brian would murder him, after they fully sat through three others by Perry.
* In ''Roleplay/UnnaturalSelection'', Alison chose death rather than break her promise of not killing a certain opponent. There was [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning a bit of pragmatism]] in it though, as a majority of [[InteractiveComic suggesters]] judged her messianic aura as more important to her cause than her life.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' Melanie, formerly Ten of the Royal Flush Gang, gives Batman a note for Terry [=McGinnis=] but makes Batman promise he will not read it. Batman agrees. What she doesn't know is Batman is Terry, so he tosses the note out without reading it because of his promise (and maybe a little because DatingCatwoman seemed like a serious mistake).
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'''s first 2-Part episode, towards the end, after Ben thanks Kevin, an Ex-con man who helped them because of an EnemyMine situation, admitting they couldn't have done it without him, Kevin replies in his usual resentful and sharp-tongued manner that they still won't make it without him, clarifying when Gwen asked him if he wants to help that he made a promise to the Magister (A SpacePolice member who did a HeroicSacrifice earlier on to save his life), and he intends on seeing it through to the end, which ends (with a little encouragement from Gwen to bury his old grudge towards Ben) with the New trio putting their hands together.
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'':
** Lobo's vow to always keep his word is repeated in "The Main Man" where he tells Superman "The Main Man's word is as good as gold".
** When Mr Mxyzptlk is put on trial for abusing his powers, the charges are breaking interdimensional law, using his powers to torment weaker species, and - most heinously of all - going back on his word.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''
** In the episode "Hearafter", Lobo's tendency to only follow the letter of what he promised is ''again'' an issue. In this episode, Lobo only battles the League in the Watchtower, which is in orbit (believing it to be an audition and not intending permanent harm), and when he is actually on Earth, he only fights Kalibak (who is not from Earth, but Apokolips). Technically speaking, he never broke the promise he made to Superman - but still gave the League a ''big'' headache by showing up.
** In one episode, [[ExactWords Circe gave her word she would leave Hippolyta alone.]] [[FalseReassurance That meant she could turn her daughter]] WonderWoman [[BalefulPolymorph into a pig]]. She plays this straight later when she changes Wonder Woman back after Batman does as she requests [[ItAmusedMe (which is simply her idea of fun)]], despite her being clearly more powerful than Zatanna and Batman.
** In "A Better World", Luthor makes [[EnemyMine a deal]] with the Justice League to use one of his inventions to [[PowerNullifier depower]] the Justice Lords, in exchange for a presidential pardon for his crimes and giving the League the device afterwards. He gets the chance to backstab the League and depower them as well, but refrains:
-->'''Lex''': This would be so sweet…but, a deal's a deal. ''(hands Superman the power disrupter)''
* In the WesternAnimation/TexAvery cartoon "The Three Little Pups", Wolfie spends the whole short trying every trick he can think of to force his way into Droopy's house, while Droopy and his two brothers spend most of it watching a western movie on television. Eventually, Wolfie pulls out all the stops, planting a vast arsenal of explosives around the house; as he lights the fuse, he [[BreakingTheFourthWall addresses the audience]] and says, "I tell y'all, if this don't work, I'm... I'm goin' inta television." Well, it doesn't work (the explosion creating a ''huge'' crater but leaving the house unharmed). In the final shot, as Droopy and his brothers continue watching TV, Wolfie rides onto the set in cowboy gear. "Howdy, y'all!" he says, before riding off.
* Done in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ducktales}}'', where Scrooge gives his word not to leave the Beagle Boys behind on a pirate isle. And, he keeps his word, going back for them when he could have escaped. As Scrooge himself says, "Scrooge [=McDuck=]'s word is as good as gold." (The Beagle Boys still go to jail when they get back, however.)
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "[=McStroke=]" Peter takes Brian with him to [[BlandNameProduct McBurgertown]] headquarters so he can find incriminating evidence to sue the company. They find a door to a room that is off limits and Peter gives his word that they won't go in. When Brian tells Peter this is what they were looking for, he tells him he gave his word, but Brian tells him to forget that and they go in anyway.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', after Jimmy gives his word not to leave a certain spot, nothing can make him break it. Said promise is actually a SecretTestOfCharacter that Lucius doesn't want him to pass.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'', She-Ra volunteers to surrender herself in exchange for the release of hostage citizens. The villain of the week actually lets them go ''first'', then is surprised and impressed when she keeps her promise to surrender.
* Omi in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' keeps his word, even to the point of withholding the secret to defeating all evil because of a promise to [[BigBad Chase Young]].
** It's a trait even Chase Young keeps to - and is one of his sole redeeming qualities.
* ''{{Popeye}}'':
** A pair of Al Brodax cartoons made by Gene Deitch dealt with a talking dog named Roger who causes problems for Popeye. In the second cartoon, Roger returns and promises to not talk to anyone except Popeye and Olive, which causes another problem after he witnesses a bank robbery.
** Outside the Brodaxverse, there's a story where Popeye and Bluto were searching for a sunken treasure and promise to split it in two equal parts. Despite Bluto's failed attempts to get rid of Popeye and keep the whole treasure to himself, Popeye still allowed Bluto to keep his half. Not that it'll do Bluto any good for as long as he's still stranded.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' episode "Tub Be or Not Tub Be," [[NiceGuy PJ]] makes a promise to Max not to give away any secrets and later makes one to Pete not to tell on him (though at the time, he had no idea what he was promising not to tell on him ''for''). When PJ discovers Pete has been using him as an unwitting spy, [[BeingGoodSucks he is stuck trying to figure out who to break the promise to: his best friend or his dad]] (and matters were not at all helped by Pete [[{{Hypocrite}} putting him on a guilt-trip about breaking a promise he only made because he was lied to]] and Max [[NoSympathy mistakenly believing he was a traitor]]). Eventually, he makes it obvious that Pete was using him [[LoopholeAbuse without explicitly saying so, even when asked for direct confirmation]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', when Zatara is trying to convince ComicBook/DoctorFate to release his daughter ComicBook/{{Zatanna}} and offers himself up as an alternate host, Fate asks what guarantee he has that Zatara will actually put on the helmet. Zatara simply says "My word." That's enough for Fate, and Zatara does indeed allow Fate to possess him for the remainder of the series.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'':
** In the final part of the multi-part "Turtles in Space", Leonardo swears on his word of honor that he will use a device that Professor Honeycutt (the Fugitoid) gives him that will destroy his memory chips (killing him, effectively) if they are about to be captured. (Honeycutt has memorized the blueprints for a DoomsdayDevice that ''two'' tyrannical empires want, and he must avoid letting them get it at all costs.) When it looks like all hope is lost, Leonardo sadly agrees to do so. [[spoiler:Fortunately, [[DeusExMachina Splinter and the Utroms intervene]] right before he pushes the button.]]
** Donatello promised the people who were trapped in the underground city that he would come back when he found a cure for the curse that would turn them back into monsters if they ever left the protection of the Crystal Star; once he found the cure, he was determined to keep that promise, and even after the Turtles found that the Star was missing and the inhabitants has succumbed to the curse without it, he absolutely ''refused'' to turn back, pressing though to create and administer the cure even as they were trying to kill them.
* As evil as Venger - the BigBad of the ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'' cartoon - is, he seems to adhere to this code too, rarely ever going back on a deal. The rare times he has [[EnemyMine made a deal with the heroes]], he has not double crossed them, and in at least one case, he held a man's son hostage and ordered him to do a job in exchange for the boy's release; when the man did so, he did indeed release the boy unharmed.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmoggies'': When the Smoggies decided to leave Coral Island, they needed to replenish their ship's oil supply and their only hope was extracting oil from Coral Island. As part of a deal between them and the Suntots, the Smoggies could extract oil from Coral Island on the proviso they didn't take any oil from the tarbog's pit. When Emma wanted to break the deal, her usually HenpeckedHusband invoked this trope. [[LoopholeAbuse Too bad Emma didn't give hers]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/SilverSurfer'' animated series. In a particular bit of dramatic irony, Norrin Radd offers his own planet up to Galactus immediately after making a deal with him to become the Silver Surfer to save it and having his memory wiped. Galactus states that the planet is not for beings such as him and the Surfer because he once made a deal with an honorable man.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PeterPanAndThePirates'', Hook ''usually'' follows this policy, insisting that he's "a gentleman" who will always follow his end of an agreement. (And despite the cartoon being DarkerAndEdgier than the Disney version, he doesn't exploit loopholes as blatantly as his counterpart does.)
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ChallengeOfTheGobots'', after [[MadScientist Doctor Braxis]] is double-crossed by the Renegades ''and'' the rulers of the 21st Level, he offers to help Turbo escape from the latter ''if'' he simply lets him go once they're in the clear. Once they make it and reach the other Guardians, Turbo is a little upset that he has to keep his word, but Leader-1 insists he do so. Braxis runs off says he's "glad there's ''someone'' around here who knows what a deal is!"
* It's not directly said in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', but [[AntiVillain Zuko]] promising to leave innocent villagers in peace if Aang surrenders to him near the beginning of the series, and then keeping his promise, is an early sign of [[NobleDemon his more noble nature]].
* An interesting subversion occurs in ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends''. J. Jonah Jameson is in trouble at one point and begs Spider-Man to save him, promising to stop printing bad things about him. After he's rescued, he immediately tells Spider-Man that he was lying and gloats about it. Spider-Man says that he knew Jameson would break his word; if he had ''kept'' his word, ''then'' he'd have been surprised.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has this as a major plot point in "Keep Calm and Flutter On." Fluttershy, the ShrinkingViolet of the main cast, is tasked with reforming [[BigBad Discord]], a RealityWarper who nearly destroyed the world twice. She decides to do this by showing him nothing but respect and love; Discord, meanwhile, is kept in check by the threat of the Elements of Harmony, six magical relics that have the power to [[TakenForGranite turn him to stone]]. When Discord's trickery results in a massive flood at Sweet Apple Acres, he agrees to reverse the magic if Fluttershy promises to never use her Element of Kindness on him. She agrees, and Discord does fix the flood...[[ExactWords by freezing the water, creating a massive ice field]]. The rest of the Mane Six urge Fluttershy to use her Element to trap him, but she adamantly refuses, explaining that she made a promise. As the Elements only work [[AllYourPowersCombined when all six are used together]], this means that Discord is permanently free, and he gloats incessantly, bragging that he manipulated Fluttershy's friendship with him to get his way; she angrily declares that while she'll maintain her vow, she is ''not'' Discord's friend any longer. It's only when he realizes that being such a massive jerk will end in him losing his only friend ''ever'' that he decides to fix the problem fair and square.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Germany's political scene went bullocks in 1999 about the contributions scandal of the Christian Democratic Union, the country's major conservative party, especially as then recently retired chancellor Helmut Kohl refused to admit the names of their contributors on the grounds that "I gave them my word of honor". It was a major blow for him and his party, and the "word of honor" became a meme on par with UsefulNotes/BillClinton allegedly not having had "[...]sexual relations with that woman[...]"
* Curious historical etymology- partly why (until very recently) Bankers were held in such high esteem was that they were punctilious about keeping their word. The London Stock Exchange itself has the motto, "My word is my bond" inscribed over the entrance, which is the origin of the phrase. Because there were so few bankers in a very close knit professional community, breaking your word led you to very soon to be unable to practice as a Banker in England. Incidentally the lack of documents inherent in such Gentlemen's agreements led to very frustrated English Lawyers, but that's another story.
** See ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' for a verbal agreement among bankers.
* Subtle but important point, a verbal contract is any contract which is expressed in words (written or spoken). An oral contract is one which have been agreed by spoken communication, in contrast to a written contract, where the contract is a written document. This is often confused.
* Legally enforceable under Scottish law; an oral contract is as legally binding as written one.
** As it is the case in most law systems. Although for certain agreements additional forms are required and thus your word is not enough to uphold the contract.
*** The thing about oral contracts is that you don't have any evidence of agreements and promises. If it's one party's word against the other, barring any witnesses to support one side or the other, courts have no way to intervene.
* Samuel Goldwyn said, "An oral contract is as good as the paper it's written on," but this is not always the case. Oral contracts, when done correctly before witnesses, can be enforced. For example, in 1984 after Getty Oil was sold to Pennzoil in a handshake deal, Texaco made a higher offer, and the company was sold to Texaco. Pennzoil filed a lawsuit alleging tortuous interference with this oral contract, which the court upheld and awarded $11.1 billion in damages, later reduced to $9.1 billion, but increased again by interest and penalties.
** Contracts in which one party becomes a surety (acts as guarantor) for another party's debt or other obligation.
* Daredevil Evel Knievel wasn't a bad guy, but he believed in a lot of "core values", as he called them, one of which was the importance of always keeping his word. He stated that although he knew he may not have successfully made or even survived his ill-fated Snake River Canyon jump, he followed through with it and every other stunt because he gave his word that he would. Prior to the Canyon jump, Knievel stated, "If someone says to you, 'that guy should have never jumped the canyon. You knew if he did, that he'd lose his life and that he was crazy.' Do me a favor. Tell him that you saw me here and regardless of what I was, that you knew me, and that I kept my word."
* Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system. All of the meanings originated from the French parole ("voice", "spoken word"). Following its use in late-resurrected Anglo-French chivalric practice, the term became associated with the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their word of honor to abide by certain restrictions.
* In UsefulNotes/{{Norway}}, the new king as a rule pledges allegiance to the Norwegian constitution. This tradition began in 1814, with Christian Frederick, king elect, who was sworn in immediately after the constitution was finished and signed. This tradition paid back on two dramatic occasions. First for Christian Frederick himself, who was honor-bound to protect the constitution and to rule by it, and therefore had to resign when the treaty of Kiel came into play in the summer of 1814.
** The second time was even more [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome]]: When the UsefulNotes/NaziGermany occupied Norway in april 1940, king Haakon VII, who ''also'' had sworn allegiance to the Norwegian constitution, had to face the German claims, he stated: ''I choose to fight you under the terms of the constitution I have honorably sworn allegiance to. Either that, or abdication!'' Thus, his given word secured continuous resistance against the occupying forces, and made a SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, which bolstered the resistance for the rest of the war - that is ''the entire war''!
* [[http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-23957605 Robert Campbell]] was a British prisoner of war during World War I. Having been captured by the Germans, he received news that his mother was dying of cancer. He wrote a letter to the German Kaiser asking to be released so he could say his last goodbyes to her. He was granted his release, on one condition: that he return to the prison camp. Campbell agreed, giving his word he would return. Since being a prisoner of war is one of the many reasons WarIsHell, Campbell had every reason to break his promise and not return to the German prison camp. But he gave his word he would return, and return he did. He felt that, as an officer, he was honor-bound to keep his promise. However, as soon as he returned, he immediately attempted to break out, since he also felt that, as a prisoner of war, he was honor-bound to escape.