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A Stock Phrase
used by characters about to or after having done some crazy action, especially if it could result in dying. Very frequently parodied.
One variation is for the character to state a regret other than what might be expected, for example:
- Regretting that the crazy action failed in its goal (but with no regrets about doing it in the first place).
- Regretting that the crazy action didn't accomplish more than it did (again, with no regrets about the action itself). A common version is a villain regretting that he didn't kill as many people as he would have liked.
- Regretting some random trivial thing unrelated to the crazy action.
- Regretting everything. This one is usually used to parody the normal usage of this trope.
Can be a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner
. Compare Worth It
, I Did What I Had to Do
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Anime and Manga
- Raoh's Famous Last Words: "My life was one lived without a single regret!" Of course, this often pops up in parodies.
- In the Impel Down arc of One Piece, this is Mr.2 Bon Clay's last line, as he rushes forward Chief Warden Magellan. It's also a major theme in the following arc and the series as a whole, as part of being a pirate is to live life without regrets (especially according to Luffy and Ace).
- A minor character in Samurai Champloo is killed by the shrapnel from a smashed baseball bat during a particularly intense game. His last words are "I die with no regrets."
- In the Marvel/Wildstorm crossover World War Three, after being defeated by Deathblow and the Thing, the dying Skrull who had replaced Iron Man says "I did what I was ordered to do. I don't regret anything".
- At the end of the Judge Dredd story arc Apocalypse War, the last words of the defeated war marshal Kazan are: "I... regret nothing! I apologise for... nothing!"
Film - Live Action
- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad: instead of following the Big Bad Prince Koura, Sinbad follows and recovers the slave girl Margiana.
Margiana: You followed me instead of Koura? Then he has won the race.
Sinbad: The race perhaps.
Margiana: And the prize?
Sinbad: Not the prize.
Margiana: A crown of untold riches!
Sinbad: I regret nothing.
- In the German film Sophie Scholl, the title character is given an opportunity to save herself from punishment for her anti-Nazi activities, if she gives a statement withdrawing her opposition to Hitler's regime and crimes. She refuses, and is executed.
Investigator Mohr: For the record, I ask you, "Have you, after our conversations, come to the conclusion that your actions together with your brother is to be regarded in the current situation of war as a crime against society and in particular, against our hard fighting troops in the East, and must be harshly condemned?"
Sophie: No, not in my opinion.
Investigator Mohr: You wouldn't betray your brother by admitting your mistake.
Sophie: But I'd betray the idea. I'd do the exact same thing again, because it is not I, but you who has the wrong worldview. I am still of the opinion that I did my best for my people. I don't regret it, and I will accept the consequences.
- Persuasion: Anne Elliot gives a speech about how "I have nothing to reproach myself with" regarding the eight years of needless pain and suffering she and Captain Wentworth endured as a result of her letting Lady Russell persuade her into breaking their engagement... even though she states she would never give someone the same advice in a similar situation.
- Played with in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe — the Doctor is caught in a crashing plane on Mars. The woman he's with hears him humming.
"What's that noise?" Asked Kadiatu.
"Edith Piaf," said the Doctor. "Born on a doorstop and sang the blues."
"I'd sing the blues," said Kadiatu, "if I'd been born on a doorstep. What's the song about?"
"What did she regret?"
"Absolutely nothing," said the Doctor.
They hit the ground.
- Timequake features a short story by one of the characters entitled "Bunker Bingo Party," about the last few hours of Hitler's life. Before killing himself, Hitler ponders what his last words should be. He considers "I regret nothing" but it is pointed out to him that Edith Piaf has already made those words famous. He briefly considers "Bingo" but then settles on "I never asked to be born in the first place," and pulls the trigger.
- In Jack Higgins' The Wrath of God, Oliver van Horne helped narrator Emmett Keogh against corrupt police (Keogh had tried to rescue a girl the cops were going to rape). Van Horne machine-gunned the cops, but then he and Keogh were caught and sentenced to death. As he was taken out to be shot (the local authority actually meant to use them to kill off a particularly nasty bandit, and put them through a mock execution to show his power over them), van Horne said, "No regrets, Keogh."
Live Action TV
- "Non Je ne Regrette Rien" ("No, I don't regret anything"), best known for Edith Piaf's version.
- Played with in "My Way":
Regrets... I've had a few.
But then again, too few to mention.
- "Headlong Flight" by Rush:
All the treasures
The gold and glory
It didn't always feel that way
I don't regret it
I'll never forget it
I wouldn't trade tomorrow for today
- "Drug Ballad" by Eminem:
If I could take it all back now, I wouldn't
I would have did more shit that people said that I shouldn't
- Mass Effect:
- The Postal Dude from Postal says this when you have him commit suicide.
- A recorded but unused Scout line from the Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Sandvich" video: "I regret everything! I regret everything I've ever done!"
- Troll batriders in Warcraft will shout "The ends justify the means!" before perishing in a fiery kamikaze attack.
- Last Scenario has Augustus' Famous Last Words:
I proved my superiority. I have already won. I regret nothing.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3
- The End has a slightly different choice of words ("I have no regrets") for when you beat him the right way.
- In one of the side videos, he starts doing the creepy old man stalker with EVA, and in the end, when he tries to shoot her for being with other men, she runs him over with her bike, and he says the same thing.
- Disc One Final Boss Jarod's Famous Last Words in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
"Gh-ghuahh... I am... sorry for nothing. I regret... nothing. Because I did it my way... You win, Priestess. You must be delighted. Enjoy it while you can... Because... sooner or later... you..."
- In Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II: Retribution, when the Ork battlewagon boss is destroyed, its pilot states that his only regret is exploding.
- In Borderlands 2, dying psychos will occasionally shout "I regret... nothing!" Of course, they also occasionally shout "I regret EVERYTHING!" instead.
- Assassins Creed III: after a series of encounters throughout the game, Haytham Kenway has a final duel with his son Connor. During the struggle, Connor kills his father, who does not regret his loyalty to the Templars. He even mocks the Redemption Equals Death trope along the way.
- Yuna from Final Fantasy X tells Tidus "It would be so easy...to let my fate just carry me away...following this same path my whole life through. But I know...I can't. What I do, I do...with no regrets." Granted, she wasn't dying at the time she said that, but then you realize that her journey is supposed to end with her death.
- This is a possible dialog choice in The Curse Of Monkey Island when Guybrush is forced to walk the plank.
- Parodied in the Homestar Runner toon Fall Float Parade, where Coach Z shouts "I regret everything!" when he and Marzipan are set upon by an enormous (and possibly malevolent) Marshie balloon.
- In The Secret Life Of Dolls, Anna says this at her trial for torturing Edward with a voodoo doll.
- Finishes a Crowning Moment of Funny in Red vs. Blue, where a minor Red Zealot character says this after acquiring the Blue flag and ranting about how the Battle Creek Reds and Blues will "worship me as though I were a god!" Then the Blues run up and kill him, making him say this.
Red Zealot: I regret nothing! I lived as few men dared to dream!
- In adamwestslapsod The Legend of Zelda: The Abridged Series series, after Link "defeats" Twinrova one of them says "I regret nothing!... except dying."
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, in Kaiba's flashbacks, when he take over his step-father's company, we learn that he doesn't had enough shares but he got them from Hobson.
Hobson: Hobson give shares to Seto!
Gozaburo: Hobson, how could you do this to me? After I picked you up from the gutters-
Hobson: Hobson regret nothing!
- The Simpsons:
- In one Halloween special, Mr. Burns is seen in hell, turned into an ugly (well, even uglier) creature, and he says this line.
- Also, we pan over the Very Long Line to see the Itchy & Scratchy Movie, which goes over a drawbridge; the drawbridge opens and one person falls through. As he's falling he calls out the Stock Phrase in question.
- In the Chowder episode "Grubble Gum", Gazpacho declares this once he realizes he's about to be consumed by an ever-growing katamari of grubble gum.
- In Futurama:
- Bender argues that all robots should be deactivated because they pollute too much, especially Hedonism-bot, who responds with "I apologize for nothing."
- When That Guy from the 80s dies from boneitis at the end of "Future Stock" his dying words are "My only regret.. is that I have.. BONEITIS!"
- Zuko on Avatar The Last Airbender after passing up the opportunity to Heel Face Turn, resulting in his uncle being imprisoned:
You brought this on yourself, you know. We could have returned together. You could have been a hero. You have no right to judge me, uncle. I Did What I Had to Do
in Ba Sing Se, and you're a fool for not joining me! He does come to regret it later in the season, however.
- Terra on Teen Titans:
Terra: My name is Terra. I have done horrible things. And I have absolutely no regrets.
- We find out that she was lying.
- Batman contemplating his eventual demise in I am the Night.
It might be the Joker, or Two-Face, or just some punk who gets lucky. My decision. No regrets.
- Said twice by Cosmo in one episode of The Fairly Oddparents before taking off in an escape pod with Wanda to escape a doomed Earth.
- The last words of Nathan Hale (American revolutionary who was hanged when caught spying on the British Army): "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
- Timothy McVeigh who blew up Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people, said before his execution that his only regret is that he didn't completely level it.
- Serial Killer Carl Panzram made this statement after his arrest: "In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry."
- Andrew Jackson once said "I have only two regrets: I didn't shoot Henry Clay and I didn't hang John C. Calhoun."
- It adds something when you know that John C. Calhoun was Andrew Jackson's vice-president.
- From Tallulah Bankhead's autobiography: "The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."
- Murderer Thomas Kemp's final words when he was executed in April 2012 were "I regret nothing."
- Nationalist terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, after sentenced to prison for killing 77 people apologized... to militant nationalists for not killing more people.
- Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who assassinated U.S. President William McKinley in 1901 pleaded guilty on his trial and refused to speak to his lawyers. Before his execution, he stated: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."
- Norman Lamont, a minister in Margaret Thatcher's Government and Chancellor of the Exchequer under John Major, famously replied "Je ne regrette rien" at a press conference in 1993 when asked which of two embarrassing things he regretted more. His reply got laughs from the audience, but it played very poorly on the 6:00 news (a word to aspiring politicians: if you're asked what you regret, and say you regret nothing, the media will pick up on the worst thing you've ever done, and say you don't regret that). He was sacked a while later.