->''"Remember the bad guys on those shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings? Well, these guys are not like those guys. They won't exercise restraint because you're children. They '''will''' kill you if they get the chance. Do not give them that chance."''
-->-- '''Mrs. Incredible''', ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''

%% One quote is enough, please put others in the Quotes tab or the examples.

A StockPhrase used on characters frivolous in the face of a MatterOfLifeAndDeath.

"This isn't a game." or "We are not playing a game." (Or sometimes "We are not playing.") Sometimes even when it ''is'' a game, but the stakes are too high to treat it as one, such as the second type of SeriousBusiness; alternatively, the character may point that "This is serious," generally with an enumeration of the consequences. (With the first type of SeriousBusiness, use of this is a characterization trope: the character really is that out of touch with reality.)

Often supplemented with concrete observations, such as that people will die or suffer terrible injuries if they fail. SergeantRock (who knows WarIsHell) will often use it on NewMeat that think WarIsGlorious.

Usually used on people who are supposed to be on the same side as TheHero, and who are cooperating, but not seriously enough. CavalierCompetitor is a natural target for it. The ObstructiveBureaucrat, for instance, is usually told that this is a MatterOfLifeAndDeath. Sometimes, though, the target ''is'' entirely serious, and the use of this statement may reflect a difference in perspectives between them and the speaker.

When this is news to the character, see AndYouThoughtItWasAGame instead.

SisterTrope to ThisIsReality, but with no invocation of the FourthWall (unless, of course, it's being said within a VideoGame). YouWatchTooMuchX is a milder SisterTrope. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not related to]] [[UsefulNotes/{{Basketball}} Allen Iverson's]] [[Memes/{{Sports}} thoughts on]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM practice.]]



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{MAR}}'', the evil Chess Pieces have created a War Game where the last remaining strong good guys can fight against them in a final struggle for the fate of the world. When attacking the land of wizards, Kaldea, the BigBad Phantom comes across TheProtagonist Ginta, and fights him off without any effort. As said fight was not during the war games, Phantom let him live, saying that "today's fight was just for fun." Ginta promptly goes berserk, exclaiming that it is ''NOT'' a game.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'':
** In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', Taichi gets reckless after he learns he's in {{Cyberspace}}, thinking that the Digital World's only virtual and there's no real danger. He's eventually set straight that it's as real as Earth, with no extra lives or continues, and has a HeroicBSOD over how his recklessness could've killed him.
** Ken mistakes the Digital World to actually BE a game in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', not knowing he was enslaving real beings and, upon his defeat and before [[HeelFaceTurn joining the group]], threatens to "[[SaveScumming reset the Digital World]]".
** Also shows up in ''Anime/DigimonTamers''. After learning that Digimon are real, Hirokazu and Kenta think that being a Tamer and fighting evil Digimon is the coolest thing ever. When they want to accompany Takato to one of these fights, Takato nixes it, invoking this trope.
** Jiangliang got a taste of this trope before the series started. Prior to the series, he absolutely loved playing the Digimon computer game. Then one day after receiving a new edition of it from his father, he picked Terriermon as his starter. After some play, Jiangliang slowly realizes that it's real. After gaining Terriermon as his partner, Jiangliang swears off fighting and becomes an ActualPacifist.
** Takuya from ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'', who realises this after his reckless plan to defeat Duskmon fails. He's also told this by Kouji, who scolds him for the aforementioned plan before they carry it out.
** [[spoiler:Yuu from ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' is tricked by Dark Knightmon into thinking that the Digital World is just a game (similarly to Ken, minus one Dark Seed).]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. In the episode spent in the Orange Islands, Team Rocket tells the twerps that "this isn't a video game?"
* ''Anime/SummerWars'' is about an A.I. hacking into an online virtual world that the real world uses for nearly everything. When the protagonists try to stop it, their families gradually realize the activities they have been playing on their handheld devices ''isn't exactly a game...''
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Kakashi Hatake berates Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto for not taking their training seriously enough. He even says, "You think this is all a game"; he makes a point by holding Sasuke hostage and giving Sakura the option to either kill Naruto or he [Sasuke] dies. After explaining how dangerous the shinobi world can really be, and how many lives are lost from mistakes or childishness, the trio finally get what it means to be "a team".
* The eponymous ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' was designed so players who logged in couldn't log out, PermaDeath was in effect, and in-game death (or attempting to remove the Nervgear headset in the real world) would kill the player in the real world. Panic sets in when most of the players realize that, until they can defeat the final boss, SAO has become their new reality. The Black Moon Guild in particular learn this the hard way when they go into a dungeon that's too high for that level and decide to open a treasure chest without checking it for traps first, which not only summons a horde of monsters but also traps them inside and disables their crystals, which could potentially be used to teleport themselves out or heal.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'', Shun Kurosaki uses this line when Reiji says his little sibling Reira will join them on their quest, pointing out life and death duels are no place for children. Reiji assures Reira's skills make up for his youth.
* In ''LightNovel/DateALive'', Shido is very uncomfortable about his mission to seduce extremely powerful Spirits so they don't destroy the world. Kotori tells him that it doesn't matter if he gets killed, he can just press continue and start over with a new life. Annoyed, Shido says this is not a game, this is serious. [[spoiler:Shido was not aware, but Kotori was, that he had a powerful HealingFactor and can come back from seemingly mortal wounds.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** 10 years prior to the start of the story, Shanks told Luffy that being a pirate is not a game. When Luffy gets captured by the bandit Grizzly, Shanks has to teach Luffy some lessons how dangerous it is to live as a pirate.
** When one of Dragon's subordinates in the Revolutionary Army celebrates winning a battle, Dragon sternly reminds him that this is war, and victories should not be celebrated.
** After Zoro tells the crew that Usopp shouldn't be allowed back into the crew until he apologizes for his insubordination, he caps off the speech by saying that they "aren't playing a game of being pirates."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A number of DC Comics fans relate "This isn't a game" immediately to Franchise/{{Batman}} and his various Robins, given how often this phrase is uttered between them (or from one Robin to another). Specifically, [[DeadSidekick Jason/Robin II]] is linked to the belief that it's a game; meanwhile, Steph/Robin IV yelled at Black Mask, before he beat her and started torturing her, that "this isn't a game!"
* When CerebusSyndrome sets in during the 4th volume of ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'', Gram'ma Ben tells the innocent Fone Bone, "Where do you think you are?! Back in Boneville!? It's high time you realized that this isn't a game, Bone!"
* ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'': In ''ComicBook/{{Superboy}} #11'', Superboy and Bunker are about to fight a supervillain who's attacking a bridge. Bunker gets all excited about getting to beat up another bad guy. Superboy tells him to calm down, that it isn't a game and if they screw up, people might get hurt.
* In one of the King Kull stories printed in the back of [[ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian Savage Sword of Conan]] series, Kull participates in a DuelToTheDeath with a mercenary leader. At one point, Kull gives his opponent a [[GroinAttack kick to the balls]] and the man falls to his knees complaining about Kull's low blow. The king responds, "Get up, you border wolf. This isn't a children's game."
* During the ''ComicBook/WorldWarHulk'' crossover, the Hulk shows up on the X-Men's doorstep, looking for Professor Xavier. Rockslide is stoked at the chance to fight him, until Beast tells him this verbatim.
-->'''Beast:''' This is not "awesome". It's not a game. I've fought the Hulk before. Several times. And I've ''never'' seen him [[TranquilFury like this.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', when George asks what happens if they can't get a piece of the Vasyn during their quest, Jeft tells them that “this is not a game you can win on good intentions and points. You have victory conditions....” The other Fans think he's just using gamer terminology, but the irony is that [[spoiler: that this really ''is'' a kind of game that Jeft set up]] and is actually quite true.
* In ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'', [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]] calls out [[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Trixie]] on prosecuting the innocent Rainbow Dash as revenge against Twilight Sparkle, saying that this isn't a game, and she shouldn't use an innocent life to get back at Twilight.
* In ''Fanfic/NotQuiteHeroes'', Dr. Drakken ends up in a [[EvilVersusEvil fight with another villain]]. Shego tries to convince him to [[PragmaticVillainy cut his losses and quit]], pointing out that it's not like fighting Kim Possible -- if he loses ''this'' fight, he won't go to jail [[CardboardPrison for a while]], he'll ''die''.
* In the ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' / ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' crossover ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12139359/1/One-Sunny-Day One Sunny Day]]'', Yang Xiao Long says she became a Huntress just for the thrill of exciting adventures. An irate Archer lectures her that this isn't some fun contest or game, and if she keeps treating her duties like one, people are going to die.
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/5409173/chapters/24558825 Harry Potter and the Gaining of Faith]]'' Dumbledore chides Faith for the death of Fenrir Greyback and the [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique interrogation]] and mutilation of Antonin Dolohov at the hands of her allies.
-->'''Dumbledore:''' When I agreed to let you be a part of this, I didn’t imagine you would sink to such depths.\\
'''Faith:''' Wake up, old man. This isn’t a fucking game. This isn’t a damn Quidditch match. We ain’t on the pitch here. This is motherfucking ''war''.
* In ''Fanfic/FateHaremAntics'', Ayako Mitsuari only learns about the existence of magic and the Holy Grail War due to becoming Assassin/Hassan of Serenity's new Master. Ayako angrily confronts Rin Tohsaka about leaving her LockedOutOfTheLoop when they have been friends for years. Rin says this isn't a game, and since Ayako can't use magic, getting involved will likely get her killed.
* In ''Fanfic/WhereTalentGoesToDie'', after Monokuma gives everyone the second motive- information on how to kill another classmate and/or that classmate's dirty secrets- [[TeamDad Mitamura]] acknowledges that everyone has probably looked at the information already. [[JerkAss Hoshino]], [[CommanderContrarian who'd otherwise taken every opportunity to deride Mitamura]], is actually somewhat impressed that she realizes that the killing game isn't like "playing elected official" at her old school. In response, Mitamura points out that her work for the student council wasn't a game, either, even if she's aware that the stakes are much higher now.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'': When Mrs. Incredible and her kids are raiding the island base to rescue Mr. Incredible.
-->'''Mrs. Incredible''': Remember the bad guys on those shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings? Well, these guys are not like those guys. They won't exercise restraint because you're children. They ''will'' kill you if they get the chance. Do not give them that chance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'', the titular supervillain's fights with Metro Man are more of an excuse to build cool robots and trade quips than anything else. When Megamind actually seems to ''win'', he creates a new superhero just so he'll have another sparring partner. Problem is, Titan has no use for banter or jibes - he is just a murderous, brutish thug.
-->'''Megamind:''' Whoa, whoa, whoa! This isn't how you play the game!\\
'''Titan:''' Game over!
* ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', when Hopper comes back and the ants have not collected all the food yet:
-->'''Hopper:''' You think this is a game? Well, guess what: you just lost.
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'': At one point, the only way that Marlin and Dorey make it out of a dangerous situation without completely dissolving into panic is by pretending that it *is* a game.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/CrocodileDundee II''. Mick Dundee is about to go up against some gangsters.
-->'''Sue Charlton:''' Mick -- be careful. This isn't a game.\\
'''Mick:''' Tis to me.
* ''Film/AmericanNinja 4: The Annihilation'':
-->'''Sean Davidson:''' This isn't a game, Gavin, those were ninja!
* ''Film/{{Antitrust}}'':
-->'''Milo:''' This isn't a game! In the real world, when you kill people they die -- for real!
* ''Film/IronMan1'':
-->'''Jim Rhodes:''' This isn't a game. You do not send civilian equipment into my active war zone. Do you understand me?
* ''Film/GoldenEye'':
-->'''Natalya Simonova:''' This is not one of your games, Boris! Real people will die! You pathetic little worm...
* ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'':
-->'''Ruth:''' This is not a game. Our situation is precarious. You ''know'' the money's gone.\\
'''Rose:''' Of course I know it's gone! You remind me every day!
* In ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'', while he is participating in a TV game show, Stanley's teammates stress that [[SeriousBusiness this isn't a game.]]
* ''Film/{{Clue}}'''s tagline:
-->''It's not just a game -- anymore.''
* ''Film/{{Tron}}'': When Kevin Flynn plays his first game, he at first has fun, but when he realizes that the games are to the death this dialogue describes it all:
-->'''Sark:''' FINISH THE GAME!\\
'''Flynn:''' [[BigNo NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!]]
* The teaser trailer for ''Film/TronLegacy'' plays a variation on this:
-->'''Unknown program racing against Clu:''' It's just a game!\\
'''Clu:''' Not anymore. ''(kills his opponent)''
* ''Film/SpyGame''. Inverted. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Clue is in the title:]]
-->'''Bishop:''' Ah, Jesus Christ, you just... You don't just trade these people like they're baseball cards! It's not a fucking game!\\
'''Muir:''' Oh, yes it is. It's exactly what it is. And it's no kid's game either. [[SeriousBusiness This is a whole other game. And it's serious and it's dangerous. And it's not one you want to lose.]]
* The tagline for the infamous ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' movie was "This Ain't No Game."
* ''Film/FantasticFourRiseOfTheSilverSurfer'':
** Right after Reed Richards explains that Johnny Storm's encounter with the Surfer earlier in the film has caused him to begin randomly swapping powers with other members of the team whenever he makes physical contact with them, Ben Grimm grabs Johnny's shoulder and knowingly causes their powers to switch. The fact that it's Johnny, who is usually the jokester on the team, who says this only further emphasizes how serious the situation really is.
--->'''Johnny:''' Oh, come on! We just said this is serious!
** Said word-for-word later in the film to Johnny by Captain Raye.
* ''Film/HardCandy'': "Jeff, playtime is over. Now it's time to wake up."
* Said word-for-word in ''Film/{{Taken}} 2''.
* In ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', when Roger decides to go in and save Eddie and Jessica, Benny the cab tells him, "Be careful with that gun, Roger! This ain't no cartoon, y'know!"
* In ''Film/KickAss2'', Kick-Ass and Motherf**ker are fighting and ends with the latter hanging over a shark tank. Kick-Ass manages to grab him and pleads with him to stops his super-villain act, citing "This isn't a comic book!".

* Creator/DanAbnett's ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novels:
** In ''Only in Death'', [[spoiler: after the loss of Gaunt]], Rawne informs his officers to tell the men that if they slip up, they will make [[spoiler:Gaunt]]'s [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice]] [[SenselessSacrifice in vain]]. When they are shocked:
--->'''Rawne:''' I'm not playing around because ''they're'' not playing around.
** In ''His Last Command'', when Gaunt orders Ludd to leave him, and Ludd objects that his orders were to stay with him at all times, Gaunt answers that that was fine when it was just a game, but it wasn't a game any more.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novel ''[[Literature/BloodAngels Red Fury]]'', when Kayne speaks of how interesting the Chapters' gathering is, Rafen rebukes him: "This is not a game."
* In [=CS=] Goto's ''[[Literature/DawnOfWar Blood Ravens]]'' novel ''Dawn of War: Ascension'', Gabriel threatens an eldar to try to get a translation from him, informing him that it was not a game.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', Percy rebukes Nico for not taking a game of capture-the-flag seriously, pointing out that they had real weapons that could really hurt: this is serious.
* In Jim Butcher's ''[[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Dresden Files]]'' novel ''Summer Knight'', Ebneazer, trying to get Harry to meet with the senior members, tells him this is not a game; later, the Summer Lady asks whether he thinks it a joke or game.
** In the same vein, Harry is later trying to teach a rebellious, headstrong apprentice of his own. She turns invisible and hides in his car, but he finds out and yells at her that this is not a game or a joke, but serious, life-or-death business-she ''could'' get badly hurt, or worse. [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness Cue the one time in the entire series]] Harry refrains from being his usual PopCulturedBadass self.
-->[[spoiler: Molly]]: "Yoda never gave anybody a bracelet that..."
-->Harry: ''' "I. Am not. Yoda." '''
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'',
** Just after the conspiracy is unmasked, Frodo uses a similar phrase to try to convince Merry and Pippin not to come with him.
** Gandalf tells Pippin that "this is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party" after he tosses a rock into a deep pit in Moria.
** At Gondor, Pippin might have liked his new get up, except that he knows this is not a play.
* Creator/TerryPratchett:
** ''Discworld/SmallGods'' has the repeated line(s), "This is Not a Game, Here and Now You Are Alive."
** In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', Mr. Bent tells Moist that banking is not a game, but Moist replies, "It is, and it's an old game called What Can We Get Away With."
* Creator/WalterJonWilliams's appropriately titled ''This Is Not a Game'', about an AlternateRealityGame producer using her forums and players to get her out of a burning Jakarta, has the forum admins constantly reminding the players that this one is Not a Game.
* In ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', when all four Pevensies swipe coats from the wardrobe to wear in snowy Narnia, one of the younger siblings suggests they could pretend they're Arctic explorers. An older sib points out that their circumstances are already exciting and mysterious enough, there's no need to pretend anything. Not quite a MatterOfLifeAndDeath, but same trope.
* Subverted in the ''Literature/BlackJewels'' trilogy, in that to the Sadist, it ''is'' a game. Near the end of the series, when Daemon's not quite as cold-hearted to everything, the phrase he (and other characters) use to tell themselves they've got to keep going is, "Play the game," or keep the deception against the Big Bads going. Similarly, when witnessing an Arcerian execution, one character says, "He [the huge intelligent tiger] is ''playing'' with him [the man to be executed]." Another character replies, in a grim, low voice, "He's playing, but it isn't a game. This is an Arcerian execution." The tiger then proceeds to precisely, brutally, mercilessly murder the man by batting him around as he would a toy. Considering said tiger weighs in at around 800 pounds, the man lasts about a minute before being gutted and left to die as everyone else watchs. In case you're feeling even the slightest bit sorry for the guy, the reason for the execution was [[spoiler:several (like, twenty plus) counts of rape, including gang raping the village's Priestess, murdering a whole village, and betraying his race, cause, and Jewel.]] Don't read that unless you have a strong stomach or you don't visualize things as you read them.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/OnlyYouCanSaveMankind'', the Captain criticizes humanity for thinking all of life as a game. Later, during a class discussion of the war (Iraq, then ongoing), Johnny hears someone asking whether they think the pilots treat it like a game, when they could be killed at any time, and saying that people turn everything into games and it's not games. Then he realizes it was him.
* In Shanna Swendson's ''[[Literature/EnchantedInc Don't Hex with Texas]]'', Owen tells Dean that magic is not a game.
* In Creator/AdrianTchaikovsky's ''[[Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt Dragonfly Falling]]'', Drephos annoys a Wasp officer by speaking of the next move in the game (the war); when asked if it was a game to him, Drephos retorts that it is the officer, too, and they knew the stakes.
* In Creator/DaleBrown's ''Sky Masters'', Patrick calls Dr. Masters out on his flippant, overly casual attitude with regards to the oncoming battle.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Literature/TheHermeticMillennia'', Menelaus watches an interaction not turn out as he expects. He is disappointed, and catches himself, reminding himself this was not a game.
* In Creator/SarahAHoyt's ''Literature/GentlemanTakesAChance'', Keith thinks a power is cool, and Rafiel starts to rebuke him. Keith says he knows it's not a game or a play, but it's still cool.
* In Hannu Rajaniemi's ''Literature/TheQuantumThief'', Pixel discusses Isidore's detective work as if it were a game, and Isidore objects that it's not. This becomes an uncrossable cultural boundary, as Pixil is a Zoku, who perceive their entire existence as a series of games and distractions and react with horror and disgust to people controlled by ideologies.
* ''Literature/TheExilesViolin'': Jacquie tells Clay repeatedly that detective work is dangerous but it doesn't sink in until [[spoiler: they are captured and tortured under suspicion of spying.]]
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's "Lodestar", Nicholas van Rijn deduces where they are getting the transuranics to sell and asks for a cut. Coya and David Falkayn argue that it's just a game for him, he doesn't need the money, but it's not a game for those doing it. He gives it up -- and Coya realizes that he's old.
* In Creator/JulieKagawa's ''Literature/TheIronDaughter'', when Meghan realizes that the Iron Fey are still killing the wyldwood, Puck argues that this is not a game to try to get her to go home.
* In Creator/DorothyLSayers:
** ''Whose Body?'', at one point, Literature/LordPeterWimsey talks with Parker about his misgivings, and Parker points out that, though he started this as a distraction, it's not a game, and he can't act like a sportsman in it.
** In ''Clouds of Witness'', Peter goes to see his brother in jail. Gerald tells him he wishes he'd stop playing at detective, and Peter tells him that it's not a game.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''The Un-Man'', Naysmith, in the headlong flight from government agents, is a great pains to invert this trope for the two-year-old boy he's rescued, convincing him it's just an exciting game, because the trauma from terror would be too great at that age.
* ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsImASupervillain'':
** Most of the super community, heroes and villains alike, treat the whole thing as a game, with lots of grandstanding and speeches and posing for the cameras. Not Generic Girl. She just stops crime.
--->'''Generic Girl:''' You're mining a trash heap. Not for uranium, just for junk. Stop pretending to be a supervillain, Penelope. This isn’t a game.\\
'''Bad Penny:''' Then why are you playing, Claudia?
** In the prequel novel ''Literature/IDidNOTGiveThatSpiderSuperhumanIntelligence'', we find out ''why'' the community treats it like a game. When they didn't, things got very personal, lots of people died, and LA was turning into a mad science warzone. It took Spider stepping in to turn things around. Interestingly, she only did this because she owed Goodnight a favor, and knew that Goodnight wanted superheroing to be fun.
--->'''Neon Rider:''' This isn't a game.\\
'''Spider:''' Perhaps we should make it one.
* In Creator/LJagiLamplighter's ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland]]'', when Nastasia is once again being a stickler for rules (which she can push to LawfulStupid levels), Zoe tells her that they are not playing a game of D&D and the princess is not Lawful Good.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Due to their BloodKnight nature, the Alethi treat war as a game, with the reward being a place battling in the afterlife. It's more formalized than most examples, as they even keep a big scoreboard in the king's main meeting room, which tracks how much money each highprince has won. The board notably does not track how many soldiers have died, and Dalinar spends a lot of time trying to convince people to take the war seriously, out of respect to the fallen if nothing else. It's also pointed out that the Alethi could easily defeat their enemy for good if they would just work together, [[WeAREStrugglingTogether but the highprinces have far more fun racing each other for the prize]].
* In ''"The Greatest Game: Hunters,"'' one of Major Karl Bolle's first lessons to his trainees for the fighter branch after introducing himself, laying down the ground rules, going over what he's going to teach and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick saying how few of his trainees survive long enough to become aces]], is to disabuse them of the notion that dogfighting is a game.
-->'''Bolle''': An Englishman once called air combat "[[TitleDrop The greatest game]] that God ever invented." I would bet money that he now lies in a shallow grave in Flanders. [[SuddenlyShouting THIS IS NOT A GAME]]!
* In one of Creator/AgathaChristie's Literature/HerculePoirot novels, [[TheWatson Hastings]] rebukes Poirot for his deceptive tactics by saying he's not 'playing the game.' Poirot sternly replies that murder is not a game.


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BlackBooks'', Evan, the slightly-unhinged manager of Goliath Books has this to say in a motivational speech to his staff:
-->'''Evan:''' Selling books is like a game; it has rules, and you have to learn them and get serious about them ''[[{{Metaphorgotten}} because it's not a game!]]''
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}''. Casey to Chuck, after the latter (a Geek Squad employee) claims he can defuse a bomb:
-->'''Casey:''' This is not an Xbox. You are not an [[Franchise/XMen X-Man]].
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' has ShellShockedVeteran Derek Reese thrust into a mentor position for a bunch of teenaged military cadets, who talk about their aspirations. He does not approve.
-->'''Derek:''' Best of the best. Counting kills, like it's a game. Like it's just a game. I remember one particularly fun day: A guy in my squad got his stomach blasted open in a fire fight. He spent six hours, holding his own guts in. His buddy carried him on his back to the nearest aid station, just praying that someone could put the dumb son of a bitch together again. The game, Pyle... the game is played with your buddy's life -- with the life of your squad, your platoon. The game is played by you, on behalf of the whole damned human race!"
* Parodied in the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS2E23AFistfulOfPaintballs A Fistful of Paintballs:]]
--> '''Annie''': This isn't a game... this is paintball.
* Often heard on the opening of the UK edition of the ''Series/TheApprentice''.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Comes up in "The Zygon Inversion" when the Doctor sets up a SadisticChoice in place of a war: He gives them two boxes that either do exactly what they want (that is, genocide) or will backfire horribly--and they have no way of knowing which button to push. Kate, the human representative, demands to know why he's doing this, and he gives them a tongue-lashing over it.
-->'''The Doctor:''' Because it's not a game, Kate! This is a scale model of war! Every war ever fought right there in front of you! Because it's always the same! When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who's going to die! You don't know whose children are going to scream and burn! How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they were always going to have to do from the very beginning: '''''SIT DOWN AND TALK!'''''


[[folder:Print Media]]
* Used as the basis of humor in a Shouts & Murmurs column in ''The New Yorker'': [[http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/01/09/060109sh_shouts?currentPage=all This Is No Game]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars 2]]'', this trope manifests itself (along with [[NotSoDifferent Not So Different]]) during the Yellow Comet campaign mission "A Mirror Darkly" involving Sonja and Lash, in which the former calls out the latter:
-->'''Lash:''' Oh well, I still have plenty of pieces to play with.\\
'''Sonja:''' P-Pieces?! I can't believe you said that! This [war] isn't a game! You're not on some kind of playground!\\
'''Lash:''' Oh, but it IS a game. A wonderfully fun game between you and me!
* ''Spider-Man'':
-->'''Spider-Man:''' This isn't a game, Mysterio! The symbiotes will destroy ''everything'' in their path unless I can stop them!
* On one SideQuest in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', Shepard has to convince a woman to stop working as an informant because her sister is worried about her. At one point, Shepard says "This isn't a game, Jenna. These people are dangerous!".
* Naomi says a variant of it in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' [[LampshadeHanging while images of the logos of all the previous canonical games come up on the screen]].
* In ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'', the monk Seem tells Jak and Daxter "This isn't a game!", and they respond by [[AsideGlance giving a side glance to the camera.]]
* Rinoa in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' is called out twice during the first disc, first by Squall and later by Quistis, over the lack of professionalism they see in her approach to resistance against Galbadia. Rinoa herself is already very well aware that it's not a game, but she lacks the training and experience that the [[PrivateMilitaryContractors SeeDs]] have had, and it takes her a while to understand just how far in she is over her head.
-->'''Rinoa:''' "Who said this was a game...? I understand what's going on..."
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' gives us this:
-->'''Lightning''': Keep running—it's die or turn Cie'th. There's no place for l'Cie to hide. No…they want a fight? Let's take it to the Sanctum's door!\\
'''Sazh''': This isn't a game!\\
'''Lightning''': No. That's for damn sure. It started with Serah. The fal'Cie took her. Now I'm a l'Cie. And the Sanctum's hunting me, an enemy of the state. But who's pulling their strings? A fal'Cie. Eden. Cocoon's sustainer and guiding light. It probably ordered the Purge, too. Pulse and Sanctum fal'Cie? They're all the same. And we're all the same to them: expendable. I'm not dying a fal'Cie slave.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', teen detective Naoto Shirogane drops by the main characters to inform them that the murders they have been investigating have apparently been solved, and that their 'game' is about to end. Of course, by this point many of them have either lost friends or nearly been killed themselves over the course of the investigation, and they angrily point out that if anyone thinks of it as a 'game' it would be Naoto, not them.
* The very first line spoken in ''{{Wheelman}}'' is "You think this is a game? Move!"
* A Cut USA General from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals: Zero Hour'' has lines left over in the game's files. Amongst these is "What? Do you think this is a game? Well, do ya?" {{Lampshaded}}, in that moments afterward he prompts the player "not to answer that," thus [[BreakingTheFourthWall finding a hole in that wall we never see.]]
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'', said by your MissionControl: "Why do you move so slowly? Do you think this is some kind of game?"
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime''
-->'''Prince:''' If you want to be useful, try finding a book that'll tell us how to get out of here.\\
'''Farah:''' This isn't that kind of game.\\
'''Prince:''' Game? She thinks this is a game!
* In ''VideoGame/{{Thwaite}}'', in a NoDamageRun in progress, one of the villagers thinks the action is [[AllPartOfTheShow just an elaborate fireworks show]], and another has a hard time convincing him otherwise.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSunTheLostAge'', if Felix [[{{Troll}} consistently antagonizes]] [[CoolOldGuy Kraden]] by saying no to [[ButThouMust certain questions]] thoughout the game, he'll eventually flip out and give an epic rant to this effect:
-->'''Kraden:''' What!? Are you INSANE!? Or maybe you think you're funny? Because you're not! Maybe this whole quest is just a game to you, but it's not to me! Are you bored!? Do you want to go home!? FINE! That's it! Then let's go home!
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', Varian says this in response to [[spoiler:Jaina, with the player's help, exiling all the Sunreavers from Dalaran and bringing the Kirin Tor into the Alliance]].
-->'''Varian''': I can't fault you for following orders. In fact, I can't really fault Jaina for acting on her own behalf, for once. But still... we aren't playing a game here. We are dealing with war, with people's lives, with the future of the Alliance itself.
* ''VideoGame/DoubleSwitch'' features this clever wordplay in the event of a GameOver, courtesy of [[Creator/RLeeErmey Lyle the Repairman]].
--> "You thought this was just a '''GAME''', didn't you?! Well, it's '''OVER''' for you!"
* During ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm'', during Sarah Kerrigan's trolljob in the first mission (which is basically a tutorial that goes OffTheRails InUniverse), Valerian will remark: "This isn't a game, Kerrigan!"
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoLibertyCityStories'' has Nurse Bob going "Now, look, life ain't a cartoon! And it sure as hell in a handbasket ain't no game!"
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', near the beginning of the third trial, Nagito suggests that Hajime is suspicious based on the possibility that he carried out the murders based on the "Wizard of Monomi" movie, even though both of them know that Hajime didn't see the movie until after the killings took place. Nagito says it was all a "warm-up."
-->'''Hajime''': Wh-What warm up? This isn't a game, you know!
-->'''Nagito''': D-don't get mad! I just think warming up is really important, especially since this isn't a game.
** Later on in the third trial, when Nagito suggests that he knows something about the killer, Fuyuhiko angrily reminds him that he shouldn't withhold important information, because this isn't a game. Monokuma, who's presiding over the students and encouraging them to kill each other, chimes in to insist that it is a game.
** Even later, near the end, Hinata is forced into a SadisticChoice and goes into a HeroicBSOD when he can't decide. [[spoiler: The memory of Nanami, who at this point is supposed to be dead,]] brings this up in order to snap him out of it. If this isn't a game, then Hinata should be able to TakeAThirdOption. [[spoiler: What follows is [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration the game mechanics being thrown out the window]] as Hinata declares his intent to move forward into the future, regardless of hope or despair.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', which is based on a game, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0417.html we get a different differentiation]], when Haley's well-intentioned but misguided attempt to reassure some of Azure City's defenders gets her a stern rebuke from O-Chul.
-->'''O-Chul:''' This isn't the dungeon. In a war, people on the winning side still die.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** The Castle warns Agatha that claiming to be the Heterodyne is not a game.
** [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20130104 Agatha asks what sort of game Gil is playing at, and Gil retorts, "Nothing. No game."]]
* In ''A Distant Soil'', [[http://adistantsoil.com/2009/01/17/01172009/ Jason warns Liana of that]].
* In ''Webcomic/AlienDice'', when Chel says something like "This is only a game." to Lexx, he screams "I am playing for my life!"
* [[http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/2010/07/miss-leech-and-yard.html Miss Leech and The Yard]] starts with the inspector informing the LittleOldLadyInvestigates that "Crime is not a game, Miss Leech. Withholding evidence is against the law."
* ''Webcomic/TheDreamlandChronicles''
** [[http://www.thedreamlandchronicles.com/the-dreamland-chronicles/chapter-05/page-308/ here]]
--->'''Felicity:''' Stop playing around!
** [[http://www.thedreamlandchronicles.com/the-dreamland-chronicles/chapter-05/page-311/ here]]
--->'''Nicodemus:''' You think this is a game?
** Inverted [[http://www.thedreamlandchronicles.com/the-dreamland-chronicles/todays-dreamland-chronicles-657/ here]]
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo''
** "[[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1058 It's not a game.]]"
** "[[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1175 That part of me belongs to me. It's not part of any game.]]"
** "[[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1336 Miho, this kid needs help! This isn't a game anymore!]]
---->'''Miho:''' I'm not playing a game!\\
'''Piro:''' Yes you are! Everything is a game to you!\\
'''Miho:''' Have you ever won anything that isn't a game?
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'',
** Cole declares "[[http://endstone.net/comic/issue-1-page-35/ No more jokes, no more games]]" -- before she {{Mind Rape}}s a man who had been a benefactor to her.
** [[http://endstone.net/comic/11-14-endstone-stop-playing-around/ When Pablo sneaks up on Jon to use his practiced "Undead voice", Jon tells his father to stop playing.]]
* In ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'', [[http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=700 Pip uses it -- and finds some skepticism.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2008-03-18 And Percy tells Pooch that his sitting in a shoe is no game.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfShanShan'', [[http://shanshan.upperrealms.com/view.php?pageid=050&chapterid=3 Adam demands if Shan Shan thinks it's all fun and games.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Director Tagg of the [[CapeBusters PRT]] has this to say to the leader of the three supervillains that just took his base apart and humiliated his superheroes, in response to her explanation that it was a necessary retaliation for [[spoiler:his attack on her secret identity]], part of the "game."
-->'''Director Tagg''': Game? Little girl, this is a ''war.''\\
'''[[NobleDemon Skitter]]''': If this is a war, then my side's winning.
* Matpat of WebVideo/GameTheory runs a series called ''Reality Check'', where the premise is analysing video games such as VideoGame/RainbowSix to see how they compare to real life by putting actual gamers into those situations.
--> '''Scotty:''' So, bottom line is this: what you do in terms of gaming in front of the screen is entirely different. You're going to find out [[RealityEnsues you have a lot of physical fatigue, you're gonna be sweating, you're gonna be nervous, you're gonna be shaking...]]
--> '''Matpat:''' In Rainbow Six, there are actually four different classes of characters, right [...] [[GenreSavvy Judging by the way that you're laughing, this doesn't seem to be a realistic scenario]].
* ''WebVideo/SuperPowerBeatDown'': Darth Maul angrily uses this line when Spider-Man foolishly cracks a joke even though Maul is currently Force Choking Mary Jane.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used in the ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' episode "Final Round":
-->'''Aelita:''' This isn't a video game, William.
* Intro to ''WesternAnimation/DaBoomCrew'':
-->"This ain't no game no more baby... this is REAL!"
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim''. In the episode "Nanozim" Dib and Zim face off in a nanobot battle within Dib's body. Gaz walks by and sees Dib controlling his nanobot, and asks what game he's playing. Dib screams "This is no game, this is my life!". Gaz tells him to use the "quarter-circle-back" cheat to transform, which works, half subverting the trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'':
** To Miko, repeatedly.
--->'''Jack:''' Miko, Raf was almost killed! This isn't a game; when are you going to get that through your thick skull?
** As of Season 3, it's looking like it's FINALLY sunk in that being around the Autobots is dangerous.
* Invoked in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', when [[AllUpToYou Ron goes up against Monkey Fist]] while Kim is with her gamer-geek cousin Larry:
-->'''Larry:''' (''gesturing toward Kim's Kimmunicator'') Give it to me, I have an idea.\\
'''Kim:''' This isn't one of your stupid science-fiction games, Larry! Ron's facing [[FantasyKitchenSink a kung-fu mutant with bio-engineered hands and mystical monkey powers and]]... ''[[[{{Beat}} pauses]], then hands him the Kimmunicator]'' Here.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Practically everything that happens on the show is treated as a game by everyone except [[HarmlessVillain Olaf]], who winds up using this line very often.