Okay, I was ignorant. I did something stupid. I got overeager or ahead of myself. I didn't realize the implications of my action, or I seriously thought I wouldn't screw this one up. I'm sorry. But please, don't hold it against me... I was Just Trying To Help.
Not only is this a handy pre-defined message, it's also a stock phrase
commonly used by characters, e.g. young kids in cartoons after their innocent attempt to help out causes a series of Disaster Dominoes
. Another common use of this is when someone is on the wrong end of a Rant Inducing Slight
or Minor Insult Meltdown
as after trying a little too hard to help.
Anime and Manga
- Garfield responds with this phrase when Jon reminds him how last time they went to the farm, Garfield tried to grow chickens by planting them in the ground.
- In Batman, Spoiler utters this line while collapsing into Batman's arms. It is quite a Tear Jerker, seeing as she is limping half dead after being shot and tortured for many hours, trying to make a contingency plan of Batman's work, which had accidentally caused a gang war.
- This is a Running Gag with Archie, who's clumsiness tends to turn minor problems into major disasters. One story shows that catastrophe is usually preceded by the words, "Let me help!"
- In The Prayer Warriors, Stalin's last words are "But I was only trying to help," after the Prayer Warriors confront him over his deciding to allow freedom of religion (while it might seem like a Pet the Dog moment, it's treated as his Moral Event Horizon). They then say "They only person you were trying to help were yourself! You evil satanic Kant!" and kill him.
- Celestia trying to save TD at the start of No, I Am NOT a Brony, GET ME OUTTA EQUESTRIA!!! ends up kicking off the plot when it traps him in Equestria. Later in the sequels, TD's pet phoenix also has a habit of trying to help, but ends up causing even more trouble for TD.
- Star Wars:
Lando, while being strangled by Chewbacca: Just trying to help...
- The Dark Knight
Juvenile vigilantes, after being tied up by Batman: We were just trying to help!
- Blazing Saddles:
Bart: Uh, excuse me, sir? (Taggart) specifically requested two niggers? To tell a family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.
Lyle: Git on that handcart and take it to the end of that line!
Bart: Just tryin' to help.
- 90210: "Lucky Strike"
Dixon Wilson: She can stay in my room. [everyone smiles] Just trying to help.
- All in the Family
Edith Bunker: Archie was just trying to help.
- All My Children
Ryan Lavery: Babe was just trying to help.
- Angel: "Judgment"
Cordelia Chase: Dennis is very sensitive, he's just trying to help. He's more a person than a G-H-O-S-T.
- Battlestar Galactica: "Collaborators"
Jammer: [pleading with the Circle] I was just trying to help people!
- Charmed: "Pardon My Past"
Prue Halliwell: Just trying to help.
- Michelle Tanner on Full House tends to drop this one every now and then.
- RENT: Presumably, this was the grounds upon which Angel was trying to defend Mark after the latter was caught filming a homeless woman who didn't appreciate the exploitation.
Woman: Who the fuck do you think you are? I don't need no goddamned help from some bleeding heart cameraman, my life's not for you to make a name for yourself on.
Angel: Easy, sugar, easy. He was just trying to—
Woman: Just trying to use me to kill his guilt?
- Red vs. Blue:
Doc:I'm really sorry guys. I was only trying to help.
Grif:Oh is that all? I for one was totally confused. I thought you were savagely trying to kill our sergeant by ramming him over and over with a six thousand pound steel death machine. Now that we know that you're just trying to help, by all means, please continue.