If I Can't Have You...

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"But if I wasn't ever going to be happy again, then I would make sure that they wouldn't be alive to enjoy their happiness."

"If I can't have you, then no one will!" is a Stock Phrase often spoken by jealous and envious or narcissistic characters (often villains) demanding to be loved. The set up is usually as follows: Baddie has grown infatuated with the hero or his Love Interest and kidnaps her with the intent to "marry" her. Or just have his way with her. While it is possible for the villain to love their captive in a non-sicko way, it's usually love of the Love Makes You Evil or Love Hungry variety. Case in point: once the hero breaks her out and they kiss passionately, expect him to shout this line and decide that if she won't love him, she's not going to love anyone period.

If the villain is a Femme Fatale who was wooing the hero, she may well shoot him once his love interest shows up. Many a non-villainous "jilted" Clingy Jealous Girl will react this way, and there may be some truth to it, as this seems to be the mentality behind many people who kill their cheating spouses or ex-lovers (both in fiction and in Real Life). A woman may also be more likely to get away with it.

If the villain ever had an inkling of a chance, this becomes a form of Kick the Dog or Moral Event Horizon that shows that they're "The Wrong Guy".

See No MacGuffin, No Winner when the trope phrase is directed at something of intrinsic value, rather than an object of affection. See also Love Makes You Evil, Yandere, and Living Emotional Crutch. The polar opposite of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Often the person trying to kill the object of their affection is Not Good with Rejection.

An alternative to killing their beloved is for the villain to kill the hero for being a romantic rival. If the villain is canny, he'll play it off as an accident. If he isn't quite sane, he'll tell his captive and actually expect this to make her throw herself in his arms. When this trope is magnified and taken to its logical extreme, it becomes either Taking You with Me or Put Them All Out of My Misery.

As this trope frequently occurs during the climax of a story, beware the spoilers!


Examples

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    Eastern European Animation 
  • The protagonist of Ersatz has the power to make anything, anything at all, out of blow-up balloons. He makes a sexy bikini woman, but she dumps him for a surfer. After the man tracks the woman down,he interrups their sex and kills the woman by pulling her plug out.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In East of the Sun and West of the Moon, the prince is cursed to turn into a bear because he would not marry his stepsister as his Wicked Stepmother wanted.
  • In Rapunzel, Mother Gothel throws Rapunzel out into the wilderness, and blinds the prince so they will be unable to find each other.
  • In Snow White Fire Red, her ogress mother curses her so that the prince she ran off with will forget her as soon as his mother kiss him.

     Fan Works 
  • In the cross-over comic Grim Tales from Down Below, Minnie screams this at Junior before trying to decapitate him. While she's not actually a villain, she is under the influence of Him, making her evil at the time it was said.
    • For added Squick, Minnie is Junior's half-sister, so he's as creeped out as the readers are.
  • Defying the Odds shows this in a flashback, as Tweety tells Sylvester the harsh promise Tyler made to her when she turned dwon his marriage proposal.
  • In Revenge Road, Hikaru decides to kill Kyosuke and Madoka, angry at Kyosuke for rejecting her and Madoka (to a slightly lesser degree) for stealing him away, and jealous of the happiness they share.
  • In the final chapter of Project Gethinator, Admiral Daro'Xen, who is Yandere in a big way for Commander Shepard, utterly loses it after he decisively turns her down and calls her on her crazy scheme and her obsession with him. After realizing that Shepard is in love with Tali, Xen goes into full-on Woman Scorned mode, and proceeds to turn the same faulty mineral scanner that Tali's idiot crewman Prazza from the preceding fic Inglorious Boshtets accidentally used to make a star go supernova on the main star of the Eta Carinae system, causing it to go hyper-nova, making sure to have the Normandy's drive core disabled so Shepard, Tali and the crew cannot escape. Only Shepard's quick thinking and Legion's advanced technical skills get everyone out of there alive.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series gives this a bizarre and interesting twist:
    Thunderstorm: IF I CAN'T HAVE THIS WORLD, THEN IT CAN'T HAVE YOU!
    Jack: I don't think so. That was a pretty good line.
  • Played with in Inner Demons. When Queen!Twilight realizes that her brother is rejecting her advances in favor of, you know, his wife, she decides she will kill him along with the rest of the heroes — but first she's going to make him watch her kill Cadence. Fortunately, the rest of the Mane Six show up in time to stop her.
  • Dirty Sympathy has Daryan attempts to kill Klavier by having him strangled to death when he finds out that the latter is cheating on him another man. Daryan outright states this trope as his reason for not ending his relationship with Klavier when the latter questions why they don't break up if Daryan hates him so much.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Splash Woman blows up her underwater hideout after losing, saying that if she can't have Mega Man no one will.
  • In Hunting The Unicorn, Blaine's stalker Alex threatens to run a concussed Blaine over if his friends call 911.
  • Mischief Revived:
    Charlie: Why Fred? Why try to kill your own brother?
    Ron: He can’t have Hermione. I won’t let him. If I can’t have her, neither can he.

     Film - Animated 
  • Claude Frollo from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame movie is a rather horrifying example... as he puts it: "She will be mine or she will burn!"
  • Part of Lotso's backstory in Toy Story 3. He and his friends were misplaced by their owner during a car trip, and by the time they found their way home, her parents had bought the kid a new Lotso. Instead of letting his friends go back, he spent the rest of his life trying to make other toys as miserable and jaded as him.
    Lotso: She replaced us!
    Woody: She replaced you! And if you couldn't have her, no one could!
  • In Megamind, this is what triggers Titan/Hal Stewart's Face–Heel Turn, since he only agreed to become a superhero on the basis that this would attract Roxanne to him. When this didn't turn out to be the case, he begins a city-wide rampage, and ends up tying her to a radio tower on the top of a tall building.
  • In Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, once the Big Bad fails to cature the Diamond Planet for herself, she attempts to ram her ship into it while actually saying the trope name.

     Myth and Legend 
  • The huldra of Scandinavian folklore are a type of fairy who appear as beautiful women with cow or horse tails. Although they are often eager to marry, they are also very strict and demanding, and if you even think of turning one down, she will kill you.
  • In one version of the Hyacinthus myth, his death isn't an accident. Zephyr grows jealous that Hyacinthus chose Apollo over him, and purposefully blew the discus off-course to hit him. Needless to say, this version is more popular.
  • There is a Japanese folktale about the daughter of a village major, Kiyohime. She fell in love with a handsome young priest named Anchin. The feelings are mutual, but he eventually rejects her and she turns into a serpent. He escapes into the Dojoji temple, but she follows him and burns the place down, before committing suicide.

    Theater 
  • In the final act of the opera Carmen, the eponymous character is killed by the hero for this reason.
  • In the opera Wozzeck, the title character stabs Marie to death following this line. (Büchner's play doesn't use the line.)
  • The ending of Menotti's opera Maria Golovin has an extremely jealous Donato attempt this to Maria. Subverted in that he is blind and thus has to ask his mother to aim the gun at her, which she doesn't, instead pointing him in the wrong direction and leading him to believe that he did.
  • Éponine in the musical Les Misérables. In the song "One Day More," Marius is debating to himself whether to follow Cosette to England or fight with the students. Éponine, standing beside him, practically makes the decision for him by grabbing him by the arm and the two of them running off. A minute later, they are next seen with Enjolras and the other students, and Marius tells Enjolras "My place is here, I fight with you." This is made a lot more obvious in the revival, back when Celia Keenan-Bolger was Éponine (in the revival, Éponine extends her hand out to Marius, and he quickly grabs her hand and they both run).
  • In Martin Guerre, the play's antagonist, Guilliame attemtps to kill Bertrande after losing her to not one but TWO Martin Guerres.
  • Subverted in Verve by Mark Lucas. A Butt Monkey lawyer finds himself dumped for a vibrator.
    "If I can’t have her, then no shiny piece of Taiwanese plastic will!"
  • Nessarose from Wicked reacts to Boq’s rejection of her love by stealing her sister Elphaba’s spellbook and cursing him to “lose his heart” to her, inadvertently making him literally lose his heart. Nessa begs Elphaba to save him before the spell kills him, and Elphaba does so by creating a new form for him that doesn’t need a heart to live. The incident leads to Nessarose becoming the Wicked Witch of the East and to Boq becoming the Tin Man.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Rocket Age if Yathlax the Eye can't have Princess D'larna, he'll kill her... plus some more beside. Needless to say Yathlax, D'larna's former bodyguard, has gone off the deep end.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: Gilgamesh decides at the end of Fate route that if Saber will not submit to him, he'll just rape and kill her. But then again, even if she did agree his next idea of how their relationship would go would be making her drink the 'black mud' from the cursed Grail. Destroying her mind and giving her physical form.
  • School Days does this to its main character in at least one ending and in the anime.
  • In Tsukihime, Akiha says something like this in one of the routes, and does her damnedest to kill Shiki.
  • In Ever17, Sora gets really close to this after seeing Takeshi and Tsugumi having sex in the gondola.
  • The Extreme Love Ends for Shion and Toma in Starstruck Love have this happen to the heroine.
  • The Bad Ends in Yandere: I Love You So I Want to Kill You. If Subaru makes the wrong choices either in the main story or in the selected Yandere ending sequence, then he will be killed. But it doesn't stop there; stuff still goes on after he dies.

    Web Comics 
  • There was a really weird version of this in Dominic Deegan; when it's revealed that villain Karnak was in a Love Triangle with Donovan over Miranda, the reason he's been trying to kill Miranda is to hurt him for taking her away from him.
  • In General Protection Fault, Trudy says this exact phrase when pointing a gun at Nick's head after he stated that he could not trust her or return her feelings upon realizing her role in a wide-reaching conspiracy. In an alternate future, the same scene had resulted in her killing him, but in this timeline, he merely stands there, resolute, until she drops the gun and is unable to shoot him.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court. Diego sets up a scheme to fortify the Court in such a way that it simultaneously murders the hypotenuse and subjects the woman who resisted his advances to a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Spacetrawler may be the only work to combine this trope with The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Growp's attempts to murder Emily are actually his twisted way of saying he loves her. He eventually takes a bullet and dies to save her from getting killed by the wrong person.
  • Homestuck plays this straight when Eridan decides to kill Feferi when she defends Sollux after Eridan KO'd him. An unusual case because Eridan wanted both Feferi and Sollux, but they both rejected him and hooked up with each other, prompting his murderous rampage.
  • Raven Red, toward Harmony Thunder, in Jet Dream. She specifically wants the sex-changed Harmony back in her male persona as Jack Thunder - something everyone else knows to be impossible. If she can't have Jack Thunder, well....

    Web Original 
  • Chatoyant College: Paul shows this trope. In Book 9, Corrie rescinds that magical restraining order. His reaction is to attack Dawn with a stone knife.
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), Light says this to L before shooting him.
  • Hardly Working: Pat in "My Bloody Valentine" plays a possessive sociopath who kills Sarah after previously murdering everyone in the office who flirted with her on Valentine's Day. It backfires on him, as she wanted to ask him out before he stabbed her fatally.
  • RWBY: This is Adam's reaction to Blake deciding not to be part of his genocidal terrorist group as well as breaking off their (according to Word of God) abusive relationship. He swears to destroy everything she loves. He starts by cutting off Yang's arm when she tries to rescue Blake from him.
  • Played for Laughs in Golden Time Forever Online when Koko threatens to kill Mitsuo, learn necromancy to revive him, kill him again, revive him again, marry him, and live off of his life insurance money. In that order.
  • The Veronica Exclusive: This is probably the reason Jane threatens to murder Veronica (along with the rest of the school) after Veronica breaks up with her. She alternates between desperately trying to sweet-talk Veronica into coming back to her and screaming about how she's going to kill her, and it is creepy.

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