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I've Come Too Far
"If I apologize or feel regret, everything will be over. I'll never... be able to reach this place."
Griffith, Berserk

In a moment of crisis, a hero or a villain might look back and declare: "I've come too far..." to stop now. This is a desperate kind of determination. A common variant on the phrase is, "We haven't come this far just to give up now!"

A frequent reason for why a villain may not do a Heel-Face Turn and have an Ignored Epiphany instead. They may cross the Moral Event Horizon as a result. It may also be a case where the villain realizes that he's evil but feels he's come too far to deserve redemption. This is occasionally a case of the Sunk Cost Fallacy but not necessarily. If you've come so far that reaching your goal requires only a tiny push any more, it's "more economical", so to speak, to go through with it.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch justifies his uncertainty about the Zero Requiem plan by claiming that too many people have been sacrificed for them to stop. This would ordinarily not fit the trope, except that he was responsible for many of those sacrifices.
    • He's actually been using this excuse in one permutation or another since around the time one of his battle strategies worked a little too well and ended up killing dozens of civilians who had little to nothing to do with the nearby battle, including Shirley's father.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Scar does one of these when his old teacher tries to get him to give up his alchemist-murdering ways. Interestingly, he later does have a Heel-Face Turn of sorts and later is there to stop Mustang from passing the Moral Event Horizon and then having to do one of these himself.
  • Griffith of Berserk provides the page quote. It's his motivation for sacrifing his friends so he can become a demon. Even when shown with an semi-idyllic future where he lives peacefully with Casca, he finds he cannot abandon his dream when the Godhand show him a vision in which he steps over the corpses of those who have already died following him.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Aion reflects on how only six of the Sinners survived the first battle of their rebellion, and as the survivors, they were obliged to honor the sacrifice of the fallen by continuing to fight.
  • This is Johan's response to being forgiven by his sister in Monster.
  • Light Yagami of Death Note feels this way, especially when considering his options in the second arc.
    • When L suggests a course of action that Soichiro refuses to brook, he argues, "It's just a bit further." Which might figure into the Tarot Motifs in the anime.
  • In Mirai Nikki, this is Yukiteru's justification for jumping off the slippery slope, starting wholesale slaughter of bystanders and eventually killing his closest friends in their quest to become Deus' successor, justifying it that once they become God, they can resurrect all the people they killed. Unfortunately, Death isn't Cheap in the Mirai Nikki universe, and while he may be able to restore their bodies, he cannot bring back their souls, and at best he would only have lifeless shells - a fact Yuno knows only too well, since she won the game in an alternate universe and travelled to the current one after failing to resurrect Yuki.
  • In Attack on Titan, this is at least part of what drives Reiner and Bertolt to continue their mission regardless of personal feelings or growing doubts. After everything they've already done, the only thing they believe is left for them to do is complete their mission or die trying.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, this is the core of Zeheart Gallette's motivation. He has seen many comrades die, often at his command, for the sake of Lord Ezelcant's "Project Eden". When he later finds out that Project Eden is not a cause he agrees with, he pushes on trying to fulfill it regardless, because if he didn't, then all the lives he sacrificed would be for nothing. He repeatedly tells himself that he's come too far to stop now as he orders more and more people to their deaths, which of course only compounds the problem.

    Comics 
  • Flintheart Glomgold expresses this sentiment the second time he tries to beat Scrooge McDuck in a contest of wealth, and resorts to trickery to win: "I've betrayed my dear old mother's fondest hopes! I've turned myself into a scoundrel — all to win the title of world's richest duck! I've got to win!"
  • In World War Hulk, the Earth-based heroes and the Warbound start swapping "too far!"s like trading cards.

    Animated Films 

     Films 
  • In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Chance admonishes Shadow (who was admitting defeat after seeming to have broken one of his legs, saying he was too old to keep going after such an injury and survive)
    Chance: [to Shadow] You pushed me this far, now I'm pushing you the rest of the way! You know, back in the woods, even when things looked really bad, I always thought we'd make it because I thought you were too stubborn to quit! Well, you're not going to quit, not now, not when we're this close! Now, try again!
  • The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday
    Sam Longwood: I've survived two avalanches, three blizzards, five Indian uprisings and seven presidential elections, but I've never been owned by no woman nor dog...and I've come too far down the road to let it happen to me now.
  • In Downfall, Adolf Hitler uses these very words (or rather, the German equivalent) during his infamous rant. Also an example from Real Life.
  • Played for Laughs in Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle. The two leave their apartment and head to the elevator, stoned, on their titular quest. Kumar notices he forgot his cellphone. When Harold offers to run back and get it, he quickly declares, "No...we've gone too far already." It is literally right down the hall.
  • The Matrix Revolutions:
    Morpheus: Can we make it?
    Niobe: We ain't come this far...
  • Played for Laughs in Tromeo And Juliet. Upon discovering that they are brother and sister, Tromeo and Juliet declare "Fuck it, we've come this far," and move to the suburbs and raise a family of deformed children.
  • Sarah uses the phrase almost word for word in Labyrinth when she is in the Oubliette.
    I'm not giving up now, I've come too far!
  • In Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, this is Danny's reasoning for summoning Pumpkinhead, even though (as Spoony pointed out in his review) there was nothing stopping them from just walking away.
  • In Star Trek: First Contact, as Picard loses his temper with Lily when she suggests destroying the Enterprise rather than continue trying to fight the Borg.
    Picard: I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they've done!
  • In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker tries to convince his father Darth Vader to make a Heel-Face Turn. Vader says "It is...too late for me, son." He's already realized that what he's doing is wrong, but believes he's so far beyond the possibility of redemption that it would be pointless to try. Later in the movie, he changes his mind when Luke is about to be murdered by the Emperor. Redemption Equals Death ensues.
  • The Lone Ranger: The reason the captain leading the American forces joins the villains; by the time he finds out what's going on, he's already killed too many innocent Native Americans and would be held responsible for their deaths.
  • In Captain Phillips, the lead pirate says "I go too far, Irish", when Captain Phillips (whom the pirates call "Irish"), suggests that they need to surrender because the U.S. Navy will never let them get away.
  • In The Mad Magician, Don Gallico acknowledges that he's beyond all saving as he prepares to murder Bruce and that when the time comes for the legal system to come down hard on him, he'd rather be electrocuted, since he'll be going to hell anyway.
    Lieutenant Bruce: Gallico, you don't know what you're doing!
    Lieutenant Bruce: Yes, I know! They'll say I'm mad, quite mad! They'll lock me in jail for life, put me in a padded cell with a straitjacket! No thank you, I'll take the chair!

     Live-Actions Tv 
  • Alias episode "All the Time in the World"
    Irina Derevko: I've come too far to let anything get in my way.
  • In Game of Thrones, after Theon Greyjoy spends a whole season kicking dogs to better fit in with his brutal family, and the payoff is finally inevitable:
    Maester Luwin: "I've known you many years, Theon Greyjoy. You're not the man you're pretending to be."
    Theon: "You may be right... but I've gone too far to pretend to be anything else."
    • In season 3, he acknowledges that the Starks were his real family, not the Greyjoys, but by that point he's done so much to hurt them that he knows they will never accept him again.
    Theon: " My real father lost his head at Kingís Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. And now Iíve burned everything down."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In Season 4, the Villainous Maggie Walsh says 'I've come too far to let some little blonde stop me.' She then activates her supersoldier prototype ADAM, which promptly kills her.
    • After releasing a magic plague over London, causing people to painfully mutate into monsters, Angel forces Whistler to look at what he's done to innocents in an attempt to get through to him. While he is briefly swayed and appears unsure, Whistler brushes it off, telling Angel that no matter what, he's come too far in his plans to stop now.
  • Lilith invokes this trope on Sam in Supernatural, daring him to use his demon-fueled powers to kill her since it would be a waste for him to turn himself into a monster for the purpose of killing her and then get cold feet at the last second. This successfully goads Sam into killing her, therefore releasing Lucifer. All according to plan.

     Theatre 
  • Macbeth gets a speech about this: "I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er."
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, just as Judge Turpin enters his establishment, allowing him to bring his revenge scheme to fruition, Sweeney is pestered again by the Beggar Woman. Declaring "I have no time!", he slits her throat and goes to meet with the judge. It's not that this was really more evil than his usual actions (he had been killing his customers for some time), but it still shows him being willing to sacrifice others to achieve his goals and it comes back to bite him, as the Beggar Woman turns out to be Sweeney's wife- the entire reason for his revenge plan.

     Videogames 
  • In one of the endings of Saya no Uta, where Kouji says that he's gone too far and all that he can see now in front of him is his own demise, since he has finally crossed that line of no return.
  • Trying and failing to redeem Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights will result in her spouting this trope at you.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
    I just find out that I'm this special dragon, and you tell me all is lost? That I have no home or family left? I've come way too far to give up now. I wanna see where I come from.
  • By the latter part of the third disc of Final Fantasy VIII, it's clear to everyone including Seifer himself that there's no longer anything he could possibly stand to gain from continuing to oppose Squall and company. When confronted for the third and final boss fight against him, however, he refuses to back down, declaring that he's come too far to turn back now.
  • General Azimuth pulls this in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, right before the final boss fight.
    Azimuth: I'm sorry, Ratchet! I've come too far to fail now!
  • The intro video to Left 4 Dead 2 has "I have not...come this far...to die now!" from Nick.
    • He will also say it randomly while critically wounded and limping around in game.
  • The Last Spartan in God of War 2 says, "I have come too far to fail," right before you fight him.
  • A phrase often said by Litchi Faye-Ling in BlazBlue, she's done too much in trying to save Arakune, including corrupting herself to the same corruption that turned him to the creature he is, and later on, joining the NOL main branch that she personally is uneasy with. If she would stop like how everyone told her to, then all the things she has done to herself would be in vain and she would be doomed with the fate of dying earlier than everyone else or at worst, becoming the next Arakune. That being said, unlike most examples, she's capable of feeling remorse of what she must do (and does show it), but treated it like it was the only path available for her.

     webcomics 
  • In The Order of the Stick, Redcloak forces himself to believe that every goblin, including his brother, that has died in service to The Plan has been necessary, unlike his brother, who felt that years after they brought Xykon in, they should have eliminated him and tried something else. The advantage of this is that he can go on denying any responsibility for the horrific things he has done in the name of the plan, and both Xykon and Righteye have pointed this out to him.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 Secret Of The Omnitrix, after Gwen had just been eaten by a Florouna (Wildvine) and Azmuth refuses to turn off the Omnitrix, which is about to self-destruct...
    Ben as Cannonbolt: I've come too far! I've lost too much to be stopped now!

    Real Life 
  • One reason some criminal and extremist groups require new recruits to perform some heinous act as part of their initiation is to produce this effect, thus forcing the newcomer to make an irrevocable commitment.
  • Also the rationale behind the Just Following Orders mindset. If you refuse to follow an order, you agree that every act of atrocity that you had done before then was done because you, at some level, were willing to commit it (since you didn't put your foot down then).

It Wasn't EasyStock PhrasesI've Got an X and I'm Not Afraid to Use It

alternative title(s): I Have Come Too Far
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