Just Trying to Help

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

Comic Books
  • 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!"
  • Supergirl: During the events of the "Amazons Attack" storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl try to end the war by kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hyppolita to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry, and Supergirl apologized to many people, saying that she had screwed everything up even though she just wanted to help.

Fan Works
  • 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.
  • In the Worm x Dishonored crossover fanfic, A Change Of Pace, the Outsider points out that Emma thought that shoving Taylor into the locker and letting her suffer for it would make her stronger for it.

  • 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.
    Lyle: GIT!

Live-Action TV
  • Beverly Hills 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?

Video Games

  • Zebra Girl: Sandra's vampires apologize for their actions by saying this after she scolds them.

Western Animation
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series
    Spot: Hey, you were just trying to help a fellow creature. We know your heart was in the right place.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Episode "Winter Wrap-Up":
      Twilight: (after Applejack rips into her for using magic) I just wanted to... oh...! (runs off crying)
    • Also used at the beginning of "Sisterhooves Social" when Sweetie Belle is trying to do something nice for Rarity.
  • Bat-Mite says this all the time in The New Adventures of Batman after causing Batman, Robin, and/or Batgirl a major problem that sets them back.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King", Mayor Hill uses this as his defense when he is confronted by the Clock King.
  • In the House of Mouse short "Donald's Goofy World", Goofy says this when Donald tells him he doesn't want to see his face again.

Web Original
  • 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.

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