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Please, I Will Do Anything!
A stock phrase and a sentiment. The usual response is, "Anything???
" A character, usually a sympathetic one, is all out begging another for a favor - or to be spared a cruelty.
If the other is ready to listen, expect to be doing
anything. A particularly cruel villain will take the pleading character at their word, extort something out of them that they'd never agree to otherwise
, and then gloat
and commit the atrocity anyway.
Hope against hope that it won't cross over into Scarpia Ultimatum
Related to Ain't Too Proud to Beg
, but this trope is more about paying any price, while the other is more about giving up pride and defiance. It shows up a lot in porn and slash fiction.
Compare Deal with the Devil
, in which this is often Satan's cue. Anything But That!
often follows this trope when the demand made of the character is the one thing they never want to do.
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Anime & Manga
- Ranma ˝: Kuno has a wish granting sword and Ranma (female) offers to do "anything" if he uses the wish for her. Ranma of course intends to first get the wish and so become permanently male before paying up- thus being safe from any shenanigans- but Kuno asks for a kiss first. Ranma just can't do it.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Italy says this when Germany finds him in a tomato box. Played for Laughs, obviously.
- Cecily in The Sacred Blacksmith offers to give Luke anything if he'll help her save Aria. "If it's money, I will work for you until the day I die. If it's my body, you can do anything you want with me." (Luke, being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, helps out and doesn't ask for any reward.)
- Fruits Basket manga. Broken Bird Rin Sohma offers to sleep with her cousin Shigure if he tells her how to break the curse of the clan. He declines said offer.
- A very squicky version occurs in Kimba the White Lion, in which an underaged cub Lea/Raya offered herself as a bride to the adult lion BuBu, in hopes of making him spare Kimba. Even Totto, Bubu's advisor seemed appalled by this.
- Guaranteed to make Yuuko's ears perk in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and Xxx Holic. Lampshaded in one instance of the latter; Yuuko warns a customer desperate to have a magical photograph that shows her pushing another woman off a cliff destroyed that "one shouldn't say 'I'll pay anything' quite so easily." The customer insists, and so Yuuko grants her wish and names her price: the customer must never allow her image to be recorded on any kind of media ever again, or else her victim and crime will also appear in the recording. In today's society, with the prevalence of camera phones, security cameras, live TV broadcasts, and the like, she's essentially doomed herself to solitary house arrest for the rest of her life.
- If a girl ever says this in a hentai doujin, expect live eels or an enema kit to show up by the next page, if not the next panel.
- Gokujou Drops: Komari pleads with Yukio to sponsor her insisting that she'll do anything to return the favor.
- In the first episode of Samurai Champloo, Fuu says this to the man guarding our heroes who are due to be executed. The guard is rather annoyed to find that doesn't include sex.
- Played for laughs in Bakemonogatari: the recipient takes their sweet time loudly and enthusiastically highlighting how great an opportunity it is, to the giver's disgust, until he comes up with something completely unexpected and rather heart-warming.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the mercenary duelist Titan becomes trapped in a hellish dimension after losing a Shadow Duel to Judai. After he makes this plea, Kagemaru hears him, rescues him, and gives him supernatural powers as a member of the Seven Stars. (Unfortunately for Titan, he later loses to Asuka - after making a Hannibal Lecture that she refuses to believe - and is banished back to the place. He isn't seen again.)
- In Lucky Star, closet otaku Izumi Wakase asks "How much otaku talk is too much?" before finding out that Yutaka was watching on Patricia's end of the chat. When she begs Yutaka in person not to say anything about it, Hiyori has an Imagine Spot where Izumi says the trope name to a guy who's apparently willing to take her up on the offer. The real Izumi feels Yutaka should pick her friends more carefully...
- In Anatolia Story, Princess Alexandra of Arzawa offers herself as a slave (and implicitly in a sexual manner) to a "young boy" who has led the Hitite conquer of seven Arzawan cities, in a very heartfelt but incredibly misguided attempt to help her country. It turns out, however, that this Ishtar person is actually a girl named Yuri and the concubine of a Hitite prince, so she makes Alexandra one of her maids instead.
- In an issue of Tales Of Suspense, Captain America tells the Red Skull that he will do anything Red Skull wants if he refrains from destroying all of the U.S.'s major cities with a gigantic energy weapon. Red Skull makes Cap promise to serve him for 24 hours, which Cap does (It was the Silver Age). Cue Red Skull gloating about it on TV and the Marvel Earth citizens, fickle morons that they are, screaming for Cap's blood.
- In the first Cerebus comic to feature Red Sophia, in which she offers it to him after he beats her it a sword fight (she attacked)... and instead of having her do something... erotic, he uses her as a pack mule.
- In the opening of V for Vendetta, the heroine is arrested for prostitution, the punishment for which is left to the arresting officer's discretion. She makes this offer. The policemen explain that yes, she will do anything—then they'll kill her.
- X-Men villain Nimrod was badly damaged and needed to be repaired. In one alternate future, it attacked the home of Storm and Forge (who are married with two kids in this timeline). After killing Storm, it threatened to kill her and Forge's daughter. Forge tearfully begged Nimrod to spare her, promising that he would do anything. "Anything" in this case being full repairs. Present-day Forge, watching these events, is horrified that his future self aided Nimrod but acknowledges that if his daughter were threatened like that he would have done the same thing.
- An old joke involves a man in the desert who is so desperate for sexual release that he wants to screw his camel. But the camel escapes every time. Then, the man finds a crashed plane, and rescues a beautiful girl from it. She proposes to do anything as reward. So the man asks her to hold the camel.
- There is a joke about a Brainless Beauty university student who needs to pass an upcoming exam. She comes to her professor's office, pose seductively, and offer to do "anything" for a good grade. The professor tells her to study for it, if she's really willing to do anything.
- Back To The Future Prequel: Doc begs Hank to release Marty, telling him "I'll do anything you say." Hank doesn't listen.
- A significant plot point in I Want a Refund. This trope is played with quite a bit. To elaborate, it is Invoked in an Inverted form, Subverted, Double Subverted, Triple Subverted, and then Subverted again.
- Played for Laughs in the Tamers Forever Series Takato will only forgive Ruki for sleeping through his battle with Chaos if she kisses Chaos. She takes a third option and instead kisses Takato, since they're the same person.
Films — Animated
- Used as a Meaningful Echo in Disney's Beauty and the Beast:
- First when Belle is pleading for her father's life
- Second when Beast is hanging Gaston over the edge of the roof.
- In The Book Of Life, Manolo says this about being reunited with Maria after her apparent death. Xibalba responds by sending him to the afterlife.
- In the Disney version of Peter Pan, just when it looks like Captain Hook has the drop on Peter, Peter grabs the ship's skull-and-crossbones flag and wraps up Hook in it. In the process, Hook loses his sword, Peter takes it and threatens Hook with it, which leads to him nervously saying a variation on this line:
Hook: You wouldn't do in old Hook in now, would you, lad? I'll go away forever. I'll do anything you say.
Peter: Well... all right. If you... say you're a codfish.
Hook: (swallows nervously) I'm a codfish.
Hook: (wailing) I'M A CODFISH!!
Peter: All right, Hook, you're free to go and never return.
Films — Live-Action
- King Roland of Druidia in Spaceballs tells the hero Lone Starr that he'll pay anything if Lone Starr will rescue his daughter. Lone Starr agrees to do it for a million spacebucks (but, what with becoming a hero in the process of rescuing her, he ends up taking only 248 spacebucks for food, gas and tolls).
- A variation is used in Geppetto.
- For many tropers, when you hear Please, I Will Do Anything!, you think of this scene from The Princess Bride (too bad for the Count that he didn't have the "Anything" Inigo wanted...):
Inigo Montoya: "Offer me money."
Count Rugen: "Yes!"
Inigo Montoya: "Power, too, promise me that."
Count Rugen: "All that I have and more. Please."
Inigo Montoya: "Offer me everything I ask for!"
Inigo Montoya: *stabs Rugen* "I want my father back, you son of a bitch!"
- In Bent Max's general plan of escape from a concentration camp seems to be whatever it takes.
- Liliah in The Ten Commandments, to save Joshua, the result of which is her marrying Dathan.
- Jesse does this to his foster dad in Free Willy, when he's begging him to help save the whale.
- In Oldboy, Dae-su Oh begs his former captor not to tell Mi-do that he is her father, offering to be his dog. He ends up cutting his tongue out, which works.
- The second joke example above is played straight in The Life Of David Gale, though the two do in fact later have sex and her False Rape Accusation sets the plot in motion.
Live Action TV
- In the Life Action TV show of Jin, Kyotaro, a samurai, privately begs actor Sawamura for money and declares he would do anything (though not with the exact words.) Sawamura tells him to "partake in a show" - that show being to prostrate himself before Sawamura in the streets and publically plead, which Kyotaro does.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint", when Picard believes his away team to be in danger, he makes said bargain in exchange for Q bringing them back. When they're teleported to the bridge, he echoes the bargain to Picard. But it wasn't Q who brought them back, but the creature.
- Parodied in Blackadder Goes Forth when Blackadder discovers Bob, a woman disguised as a male soldier.
Bob: "Oh, sir, please don't give me away, sir! [...] I want to do my bit for the boys, sir."
Blackadder: "Oh. Really."
Bob: "I'd do anything, sir!"
Blackadder: "...yes, I'd keep that to myself if I was you, Bob."
- LOST: Kate does one of these in "I Do" when Pickett is threatening to shoot Sawyer, but then Jack calls on the walkie-talkie Just in Time and saves the day, more or less.
- On Angel, Angel's sworn enemy, Holtz manages to get his hands on Angel's baby son, Connor. Holtz threatens to break his neck unless Angel allows him to take the baby away. Angel not only agrees but, when it seems like Holtz is faltering, begs him to simply take the boy, instead of hurting him.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Woman-hating Sinister Minister Caleb to the Victim of the Week.
"Well, now, is this the part where
you offer to do anything? Because I tried to make it clear; you got nothin' I want to explore."
- The beginning of the "Let's Go to the Mall" video that Barney shows on his laptop in an episode of How I Met Your Mother plays around with this trope.
- The Doctor says this pretty much word for word in the Season 4 finale when the Daleks captured him and his Tardis and make him watch as his Tardis (with Donna inside it) is sent to the core of the ship to be incinerated.
- In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Jack pleads with the 456 to spare Ianto's life when it released a virus in the building where both he and Ianto were.
- On Dexter, a woman captured by Trinity begs for her life when he tries to force her to jump off a building.
Woman: I'll do anything!
Trinity: Good. Jump.
- Once Upon a Time: Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold gets some variation of this often. Usually along the lines of "I'll pay any price."
- The Meat Loaf song I would do anything for love (but I won't do that). Believe it or not, the song was inspired by an argument over buying a box of raisins.
- Though not stated in dialogue, in the Dream Ballet from Oklahoma! Laurey suggests that she will do anything to have Jud spare Curly's life.
- In Oliver!, the song "I'd Do Anything" is mostly one guy saying he'd do anything for a girl, and the girl making ridiculous or strange suggestions, to all of which he agrees. Then Fagin co-opts it, and does the routine with his gang of loyal street urchins, and his suggestions are a little darker.
- In Salome, Herod makes a solemn vow to give Salomé whatever she desires after she has danced for him. When she demands the head of Jokanaan in a silver charger, he objects and suggests a Long List of priceless things he could give her. "Give me the head of Jokanaan", she insists.
- A particularly cruel version exists in Suikoden II. There's this villager who had her village utterly massacred by Luca Blight. She begs that she be spared if she does anything. Luca thinks a bit and forces her to act like a pig. She did so. Once the deed is done... Luca kills her anyway with this reasoning: "DIE, PIG!!!!"
- A variation occurs in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. When Mario asks Goldbob permission to use the giant cannon, Goldbob asks what it's worth to him. There are three responses; if Mario answers "Everything I have!" Goldbob asks twice if he's sure, then gives him permission. (This is actually a Secret Test of Character; while he does take all of Mario's things, he gives them all back a minute later.)
- The love interest of the main character in Away Shuffle Dungeon swore to do anything as long as the "Away" didn't take him. This resulted in it taking not only her, but the whole freaking village in exchange.
- Ella's response to Ser Alrik in the Dragon Age II quest "Dissent":
Ella: Please, no! Don't make me Tranquil! I'll do anything!
Ser Alrik: That's right. Once you're Tranquil, you'll do anything I ask.
- The Nostalgia Critic does this in the Tom and Jerry movie review, where he really doesn't want to listen to another song.
: "I'll do anything! I'll do your taxes, shave your back... prostitute
myself for money
! Just please not another song!"
- Subverted in one of Ellie Kemper's early web sketches, she plays a college student begging her professor for a better grade, and suggestively offering to do anything. Cut to a shot of her murdering one of his rivals.
- Gargoyles: The Weird Sisters ask MacBeth what he would be willing to trade for Demona's aid in protecting his family and kingdom. He answers, "Anything."
- Used by Tahno in The Legend of Korra as he begs Amon not to take his bending away. It doesn't work.
- In several episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.
- In The Four Tasks Of Danger Mouse, DM tells Count Duckula he'll do anything to obtain two tail feathers from him (as part of a deal to Baron Greenback, who has taken Penfold prisoner). Duckula's request: "Can you get me on television?"
- This was the biggest part of the plot of "The Joker's Favor", a famous episode of Batman: The Animated Series. To summarize: A blue-collar worker named Charlie Collins was having a very bad day, and when he was coming home from work, a rude motorist cutting him off the last straw; he cussed the man out in a fit of road rage, only to find out, to his horror, it was the Joker. The villain chased the poor man down, and when Charlie begged for his life, making this exact plea, the Joker took him up on it, promising to let him go if he agreed to do him a favor, saying he'd think of one later. For two years, the Joker kept track of Charlie like a sadistic "hobby" (Charlie moving to Ohio with his family and changing his name didn't help much), then called him to tell him he wanted him to make good on that promise. The "favor" was part of the Joker's plan to infiltrate a testimonial dinner for Commissioner Gordon and plant a bomb; Charlie simply had to hold the door open. However, Charlie then found his hand glued to the doorknob, the Joker telling him he never said he'd let him live this time. Charlie got even in spades however, after Batman foiled the plan; after confronting the Joker in an alley and belting him across the face, he responded to his threat by producing a bomb of his own and threatening to kill both of them. Horrified at the thought of being killed in such a humiliating way (and realizing this wasn't fun anymore) the Joker surrendered all the information he had on Charlie and his family before Batman hauled him away.
- Something of a pornography staple, or so we've been told.
- Abusive Parents (and spouses) are often so hard on their children/spouses for the littlest of screw-ups that they may display this behavior, even with others outside of the abuser. This is due to being conditioned to the idea that every mistake they make is their fault, and that the only response will be Disproportionate Retribution. People unaware of the victim's situation will often be confused, worried, or feel as if they constantly have to reassure the victim that they are alright, and nobody is mad at them.